Sunday, December 30, 2007


so the mngmt and business aspect of my going in only as needed is appreciated, the kids are not happy. i walked in last night to one on her cell (this the acting mgr that night), who was displeased and yelled for a softspoken girl,
where were you?

there was a line.

she's a smoker, so i get it, she needs her fix. but this is a business.

the kids don't think of that when they bag on the boss and do a half-assed job washing dishes. i have grave concerns about the standards of cleanliness and have tried to make positive changes, but i think the kids are glad when i'm not there telling them to rewash stuff and wash their hands.

who knows, can't please everyone. and last mgr i spoke to (not a kid, or at least in a role of authority), was glad i was not being paid to just stand around and wished others would volunteer to go home.

it's costing the company more to pay us than we are bringing in. you do the math.

but these kids don't seem to know the meaning of work, and neither do some of the adults i've seen. but when there are six or seven of us packed behind a coffee bar, it's hard to find anything to do. we're all over each other helping. it's too much.

so the blame can't all be laid on the kids.
the scheduling issues are huge, and some of those kids just need to be sent home when there is no one there.

i was told to suggest this, but i don't feel it is my place. i suggested it by offering to go (an indirect suggestion at best).

what can i say? we do the best we can.

i must go to work today, sure hope there is something to do.

peace. out.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

stand down

so we are incredibly sloooowwww at *bux. i hate standing around, so i've taken to calling and seeing if we're slow or busy, i have too busy a life to stand around for five hours even when i'm getting paid for it.

all i could do the other day was think of my laundry pile, how i could spend those five hours, a luxury for me.

but i was trapped, they wouldn't let me go because i was closing.

so, i am calling in advance now.

do you need me? i can even just go in for the acutal work about a half hour to forty five minutes in advance of clockout.

but once the fly is stuck in the web, it cannot get free. the more it wrestles, the more it struggles, the greater the entrapment.

so i struggle before the web, to navigate around the tangles. and i will go in as needed. though all this time doing other things has made my time at the espresso bar awkward. one needs to practice or you get rusty.

how quickly one becomes unfamiliar with the tools of the trade. i understand why you can lose your certification at this joint if you don't work in two months. (or less, i'm not sure the exact date).

the mgr said to me today that i may be titled soon, and she wishes others would call out rather than getting paid for doing nothing.

understand we used to run our giant mall store with two people. i'm not used to being six people packed in behind a coffee bar just standing around. i'd rather not, thank you.

so, last night when i called out, i laid down at 7pm and woke up this morning at 9:30. what can i say, i'm tired.

time to rest. the rush of the holidays is over.
sleep is good.

Friday, December 28, 2007


i never much took to horses. wasn't around them. i feel all gangly and awkward around them.

but today as we were visitng the towering draft horse, another soul across the way was there and i turned to him and he looked at me. i'm partial to dark bays but my girl says this horse is part norweigan fjord and standard breed (whatever the hell that means). about fourteen hands high my girl estimates, and i'm inclined to believe her.
(short for a horse,
she says), but the size means something to me, so it was nice to see in living color.

bucky by name, a malt colored horse with (i'm making up colors here folks), with a two tone mane, black under and blonde on top. fascinating coloration, his tail was mixed too, split top and bottom like that.

so, i look at bucky for a while. i'm not inclined to go petting strange horses. but he practically had his head in the breezeway, so i reached out to touch him. he did not move, seemed to receive my touch, so i petted him and scratched his muzzle a bit (is that the right word?) and lowered his head a bit so i could scratch between his eyes. i imagine a horse doesn't get scratched there much without someone doing it.

he likes you,
my girl said.

so i stayed with him a while and looked into his eyes, spoke softly to him until i had to go. i visited him before i left for the day.

curious, i have never known a horse intimately. (that sounds horrible, i know, forgive me. but keep it clean folks.)

and now, looking into the eyes of these beautiful creatures i understand so much how a man can call a horse his best friend and let her carry him away when all other troubles press in.

i understand so much more now than i did this morning.

my sister asked me,
what was your best moment today.

and while i did have a conversation with a dear friend and her husband, a three hour long, no awkward silence, interesting actually thought provoking conversation (i hate chit chat), where among the topics we discussed my potentially doing a poetry reading at her mom's place (she hosts poets, most recently kurtis lamkin, what are the odds?) in rhode island.

the horse, stranger to me, though i had not the power to free him, i did have the power to be present to him today.

and that is what it is all about.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

stalking the dead

my first ever chapbook is now in my hands and i love it.

we'll see if anything comes of it. i don't see how publication can elude me now. it simply can't.

i'm fresh in from work, doing laundry until the wee hours as i'm never home anymore.

my lifesucking job wanted me to go in and work tonight but i was working at my other job, so i was able to opt out. hopefully they'll just stop calling. it's hard for me to say no to them.

we did a lot of standing around today and i hate to earn wages that way. but i'm tired and just wanted to be there. i was able to go over to the grocery side of the store and do some cashier stuff for breaks over there, but that ended and it was back to standing around. even took my break today, which is probably only the second time.

i'll do laundry until i'm waaaay tired, and then to bed. i've got a hot date with a dear friend and i'm looking forward to adult conversation.

enjoying the silence and time alone, but damn, a girl needs companionship.

today, a draft horse regarded me, and i stood there and looked into his giant eyes as he towered over me. my daughter begins lessons next week and i'll be spending lots of time in the company of horses.

the grounds are gorgeous and they make me believe miracles can happen.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

whole again

i'm not sure how we come into this world, whole and then we fragment, or fragmented and then we find our missing parts and become whole. but i'm feeling a wholeness i've never felt before. a fullness of being. a completion is at hand. and it is good.

does it change anything? not really.

and yet, it changes everything.

a whole woman can deal with any hand she's dealt.
a whole woman can gift completion to others.

i think that is what it amounts to, unless
we take all our fragmented selves and give to each other
from our brokenness. making mosaics along the way.

i've so many intricate patterns in this broken life of mine
patterns i would not change. subtle hues and veining cracks
tenderly overlaid with solter, and something comes of it.

there is no brokenness that goes ...

what is the word i'm looking for,
that goes, unnoticed, while that is certainly true, that is not the whole truth.

untended, is that even a word? perhaps, but i know a few who would rather kill than let you dress their festing wounds. i have been one of those wounded dogs, biting the hand that would stretch out in kindness.

unaided, this is better, still a ramshackle word which doesn't get where i'm going
but one that shows the direction i'm headed and i guess that is the best language can do.

give you an inkling of where i'm bounding off to.

though i often don't know myself.

i went to paint a cup today. spur of the moment. after eating in that luncheonette i wanted to eat in, in small town america. i'm roaming the streets of goshen, ny for the next couple days while my daughter rides horses. i don't mind. it's been a long time since i've been alone and not fallen apart. a long time since i could sit up right and not dissolve into a pool of tears. wholeness.

so i have this idea that i'm going to throw pottery, but in this makeshift life, we do the best we can with what we've got. so i end up, painting a ceramic cup. a giant one, the kind i like to drink out of every morning.

one way the women of the pueblos would communicate or send messages was to paint them into or on pots. the hidden bowl of the vessel concealing the heart of the matter. and being that i'm not inclined to hiding, i painted my vessel and then wrote important words over the top of it.

words matter.

don't let anyone tell you they don't.

walk in beauty

it can't rain always





laugh more


because it's all about what we tell ourselves. the line we sell ourselves. am i going to make it out of this pit? certainly. never had any doubt i wouldn't (wow, the negatives in that sentence are mindbending). but here i am now, not in the quagmire of grief i once was, my whole future laid out before me, what will i do? which way will i go?

what does your heart desire?

it's been a long time since anyone has asked me that question. time i start asking myself. as i was painting, i was seeing myself at dodge. there ain't nothing like it.

we've (the attendees of the event) decided aesthetic location is of more import than relative comfort and ease of getting from one spot to another. tents and sometimes muddy walkways are a necessary evil, overflowing main stage tents, and the beauty of nature all are part of the deal. it will be at lovely waterloo village again this year and i can't wait to be there. with my daughter by my side. who will i meet, who will i hear, what will the journey be like?

i've driven that road i launched my car off of last year, and it's interesting how in the heat of the moment such an event makes an everest out of a tiny offramp. but it felt like i flew forever. and considering it was potentially a lifeending fiasco, i'm just grateful to still be here.

gratitude. that's a word i forgot. but one need not be reminded of that which is their essence.

i meant to thank all those dear souls who helped me through this year, you know who you are. if you come here and see these words, know that i am grateful in part because of you. i am rich beyond wealth, and simply, unutterably, grateful.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

le' me hear lemmy

so i'm lying in bed giggling. just glad to be alive. (thought i'd mention it as i'm usually so grim.) it's not the season, or any thing other than simple gratitude. i didn't go into my lifesucking job today. first time i've ever said no. and i hope it's the last i'll be having to say no to them.

i would still be there, in fact, they wanted a seven hour shift out of me, occurring after my new job's seven hour shift. too much. and i said no.

turned in my keys again on friday.

we'll see if this one takes.

got keys (or key rather) at my new job. not a title yet, but it won't be long in coming. i know that much. my new crew is made up primarily of kids and the current boss has his work cut out for him. i will do what i can. and his wife gave gifts to the gang (even though they are mean to him, perhaps that is why she felt the need to intervene, made me realize the impact for good a wife can have in her husband's life. there was a day once, i baked cookies for my hubbies co-workers. had a horrible hazelnut experience, but that was aeons ago and i'm another person now).

my rabbiton has a cage three times the size of his last one, which was just long enough for him to stretch out lengthwise in. since he can't visit his outdoor haunts with all the snow and rain of late, he must be inside. since i am only in the kitchen for short spells these days, and he in the cage otherwise, i got him the big daddy cage where he is now happily sorting his bedding. shoveling shit around, literally.

we watched shrek the third tonight. that is incredibly funny and my patience for kid movies is about nil at this point, but this was refreshing. it had king arthur and merlin in it. which was a nice surprise.

it's pouring rain outside and i'm all toasty inside but can't sleep. i've fallen into this napping habit. a couple hours here and there and i'm good to go. hopefully losing the second, second job will help me fall back into normal sleep patterns, but i just don't sleep. i'm tired, i lie there for hours and nothing. i talk to darkness. i think. eventually i get up.

my sister tells me her hubby (whom i adore) is griping that his kids don't know motorhead. they have to hear and know lemmy to be his kids, and so they shall. it just made me laugh because we've both gone through these christian phases where we trash everything in our circle the wagons religiosity, then end up buying it all back again.

they tossed many signed special edition hard rock/metal cds from his days at KNAC. such a loss. such a loss. but we do what we must. and when we know different, we do different.

that's all for now. i'm off to work on schoolwork. my semester ends the 18th of january and i've pulled together a chapbook for it, which i will probably only sell to those i trust completely or don't know at all.

i keep wondering when my next read will be and what my role at dodge will be this year. it's good to look forward.


Friday, December 21, 2007

who me?

now i've got some big deal poets wanting to hear me read.


life is a trip. my daughter, the poor child strapped into the co-pilot seat for this wild ride.

today as we sat in traffic trying to find JOY in the moment, we had to laugh.

she sees me fail perhaps more than she sees me succeed. but that is probably a good thing. i never want the kid to stop trying. i never want the kid to give up. she can do anything.

how do i know this?

because she is. simply because she is.

by that line of thinking i can do anything, why?

because i am, simply because i am.

it's a good day. a tough, hardwork, jampacked day, but there are moments when i wouldn't trade the world for my life.

and i just had one of those moments.

tell me when you're reading, i'll come see you.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

fortune cookie say

no one is standing in your way anymore, it is time to move forward.

how can i argue with that?

it's about as arbitrary as everything else in my life. and sometimes a cookie knows whereof it speaks, right?

who knew it would just take a cookie.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Raul Midon - Sunshine lyrics

Sunshine when you’re with me I can fly
Sunshine when you’re with me I can fly

Every day I wonder why
Peace on earth’s so hard to find
Real peace begins inside
In our hearts and in our minds
Hearts and minds begin to see
That one and all means you and me
And what we know can set us free
Rearrange reality

Reality is what we know
We can change a river’s flow
Plant a seed, watch it grow
Build a shelter, build a home
Home is where my heart will stay
Even when I’m far away
Makes no difference what they say
As long as you will be my sunshine

Sunshine when you’re with me I can fly
Sunshine when you’re with me I can fly

When I’m feeling sad and low
And I’m not sure where to go
And all the good times that I’ve known
Have gone and left me all alone
All alone I’ll never be
Long as you are here with me
You’re in everything I see
And everything I’m doing
All I do I do for you
You’re my sun, you’re my moon
Every lazy afternoon
You’re my inspiration
Inspiration lights the way
Brings a sparkle to each day
Makes the dark clouds go away
Let us let the children play

Sunshine when you’re with me I can fly
Sunshine when you’re with me I can fly
Music is the reason why
People laugh people cry
Sing and dance and clap their hands
It’s how the whole world understands
Understands that we are one
Makes no difference what you’ve done
Or where you live under the sun

We are only human
Only human yes it’s true
Still the mystery is you
And the sky so clear and blue
Makes every day feel so brand new
Brand new day throughout the world
For all the little boys and girls
If everybody lends a hand
We can live together!

Sunshine when you’re with me I can fly
Sunshine when you’re with me I can fly

Monday, December 17, 2007

demonstrable hypocrisy

i hope if i ever spout out hypocritical bullshit someone calls me on it. (and not anonymously, that doesn't hold water with me).

tonight at work, there were legitimate emergencies which required the mgr, and shift mgr to not be there.

sometimes, i hate being so dependable. but i was half alive tonight, worth little more than being the responsible party, if even that.

before the asst. mgr who would not cover for the mgr who had to leave, left, she said to me,
i just want you to know you're covering for her, not me.


team talk is bullshit in my book. because those who use it, use it only when they benefit from the team talk. from team building.

integrity holds more water with me.

if you say you're going to do something, do it.

of course if there are actual emergencies, we all must pitch in, but the time to prove a point is not when children are involved.

and as a mother i went in to help. propped myself up on the counter and tried to smile.

the mgr whom i used to adore said,
they'll do all the work, just smile and do your returns.

it was not about that. not about me being able to be pleasant, or even about my ability to stay upright through the night. i couldn't. i simply did not have the strength, so i sat a great deal of the time with my head hanging low. trying not to fall over.

this is why i am trying to leave this company. the crazy work ethic, the crazy--i'll teach you a lesson at the expense of everyone and anyone (utter selfishness), and consequences be damned.

of course, when it comes to my needing something, you better help me. because i'm so two faced, i can make you feel like i love you, even when i'm just using you.

but i'm onto the game now.

as a mother, i went in tonight.

i hope to sleep until my 4pm shift tomorrow. and make it through that. i'm fried. this was to be my day off. but so much for that luxury.

one of my poet friends whom i did not get to see tonight, when i apologized for not being at the poetry roundtable said,
you've been a lousy friend to no one.

for which i'm grateful.

there are a few souls who know me. still.

sleep all day, work all night.

so i'm awakened, midday by the phone ringing. several times. not just once. i could sleep through the first one, but not the fourth one.

my other job, needing help. i keep hearing my current manager say,
i'm an enabler.
i wonder if i'm an enabler in many ways.

every time i'm there i say,
what am i doing here?

you're a kind person,
one of the new girls says.

i'm an idiot.
i reply.

last night, they gave me my store keys back. two steps forward, five steps back.

and i thought i was disengaging. it is nice to have a position of trust. but it's wearing me thin like butter scraped across too much bread.

but if someone tells me their kids will sit home alone, i will give up my poetry event to help out. i wouldn't want my kid to be sitting home alone.

my poetry event is choc full o'adults. they will understand. the kids at home alone, won't. it is not even an issue at this point.

so, i'll be hopped up on the cold meds, and propped against something hoping to make it through the night (we're closing at 11 now. what fun that is, it was a ghost town last night).

and it's no wonder why i'm crabby.


as much as i'd like to profess i'm not irked by anonymous commenters, they get to me just like they would probably get to anyone.

i'm not hidden here. in fact, i'm too open for my own good. why i do what i do is for my reasons alone.

i won't be here always, i will close up shop and head off into the sunset. but for now, this is it.

i will happily entertain any comment made by someone who has the balls to say who they are. otherwise, why would i listen? why should i care?

my life is not a game. it's not a team effort. it's my fuckedup life and i get to complain about it if i want. here i am able to speak my mind and if someone some how pretzels my comments into my being closedminded, well, that person really doesn't know shit about me.

but they got my blood pumping whoever they were.

every time i've said something, i've had the balls to say,
i said that.

i expect no less in return.

it's a dangerouus game, being bold enough to stand behind your words, but one i know not how to play otherwise. and for those who don't understand this. those who would cower behind anonymity, i don't need people in my life like that.

there is no reason to hide. unless i've proven myself unreasonable.

you're proving that now,
you may say. but if you say it without saying who you are, it doesn't matter to me what you say.

i write here because i have friends who love to read this shit.

friends whose names and faces i know. friends whom i trust.

those friends speak their minds to me and allow me the courtesy of knowing who they are.

i don't have time for the rest. to be grateful for someone's anonymous judgments of my life. i don't really think anyone has time for that shit.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


i still feel so close to you, but it's not the same. it's never the same. and i begin to quaver and wonder if i've lost what it means to be certain. i used to have an inner certainty, a knowing. and in someways i still do, in some ways, i still do.

but mostly, it's a tenacity that holds me. an i'll be damned if i'll let this thing get the better of me kind of stubbornness that keeps me hanging on. swinging back and forth, back and forth, wondering when it will be safe to let go.

there are a few things that bring me comfort. a few moments
when it would seem the world is aright. and i am finding peace now.

but it feels like so much chocolate, promising to be substantial
and all hollow inside. empty, more emptiness.

so i keep moving forward, one step at a time.
i keep going. i don't know how to stop. i won't let myself stop
because i can't go back to where i was, or who i was.

i'm a completely different person now. and it's easier for that person
to keep moving. even in limbo. even in a haze of exhaustion.

that person, at least can function.

work today, and i wonder, when friends see me and say,
you look so tired.
if i do indeed look as tired as i feel.

i can't keep this up forever. i don't want to.

i want to lay down
before fires
and watch the snowflakes fall
and be whole.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

blizzards and sweet dreams

another night at starbucks (yes, that's where i'm working). i'm being timed as i'm training on the coffee machine, coming in waaaaay undertime and loving it. three drinks in nine minutes is mandatory, i did it in 5, first time making those drinks and i'd only practiced twice on each drink. a lot to remember, and when the quacks come out and want their half-caff yaya whoseywhatsey latte, i gotsta make it. and so i shall.

it's way better than running myself ragged at the clothes store though.

and i'm all hopped up on the beverages, but loving it. i highly recommend the peppermint white chocolate mocha--my drink of choice of late.

i rang at the grocery store after getting off at starbucks, which is nice, because i get to work since i'm awake anyway. got home around 11:30.

now, to reckon with the sleep situation.

try to go to sleep straight off, is a good idea, but one i seldom opt for.

so here i am. wishing for words and wanting to say so much but since i can't i keep my days filled to overflowing. i can't keep up the pace. i know this.

but i made a decision this weekend to start moving toward joy. to go fully after it, wrestle it to the ground, rope it and tie it if i have to. (i've been watching a lot of rodeo and bull riding lately, plus LOTS of military shows. i have always had an affinity for the military, but now, it enlarges my compassion in ways i can't begin to explain. it reminds me of what others will do and go through for those they love--even for those they don't know).

i should write something like a paper, but i probably won't.

i'm rambling on. but it is well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

belly flop open

well, in one sense i tanked tonight. and that pleases me immensely. i chose to do it. i could have stayed safe and nailed it, but i took the challenge leveled at my by kurtis lamkin and other poets present.

flying without a net, my catcher absent, and i wafted down to find the ground not so hard as i thought it would be.

i've jumped ahead of my story, he'd have hated that. let me start again.

we got lost. did i forget that little gem.
the whole way i'm calling out to kurtis, don't start without us.

we end up at a drug store of the same name (as the arts center) but in a different town. duh.

so we scramble and hop on the freeway (new jersey signage, if you've never been here, sucks!). i manage to run to a wal-mart to buy a map (why i didn't stop at a gas station for that, i don't know). i meet a man in line who tells me exactly where to go.

a half hour late, and i've abandoned the map in the long line at wal-mart, and run out the door. shoot off like a rocket and bolt into the building which is right where the man said it would be. (bless the man who knew how to give us accurate directions!).

we enter the room, and kurtis had just sat down, i get a smile of reckognition and a,
then he continues with his explanation of his instrument. the kora.

a colorful man named jerry challenges me to read my poems without reading. the oral tradition haunting me again.

so i feel brave, i know these poems, they are strong hearty children and they can withstand this brutal assault of memory.

forgetting the title of the first one (because one can't perform just one poem, no, one must climb to the top of the highest hill and leap headlong into the unknown).

i completely forgot the end of the first poem, and just talked to the people, but i did remember the title where i had left the end of the poem.

and i realized, poem is in some ways like jazz.

but i am not a jazz performer, i'm a poet.

but without a catcher, i am hardly a flyer. still i try.

i sat down with kurtis after and said,
i tried.

he encouraged me to keep trying. to feel the silence that comes and go with it. to reinvent the poem in the moment. he talked to me about ella fitzgerald and how she liked to forget lines,
because that's when a song comes alive,
he said.

i left out a lot of details of my poem, but the gist was there, and it was a moment i will not soon forget. how often does one get to completely tank in front of a huge poet?

we do our best, and i have three k.l. cds to succle on until i can get another someday.

it's good to know we live in a small world. that poets from south carolina end up in jersey more often than not. and that dodge is coming soon. the mecca of all poets.

and i shall be there, on staff. perhaps, even, on stage.


Sunday, December 09, 2007


when my feet return to earth, i wonder at the time it takes to acclimate. the heaviness of my body, the pull of gravity holds me where once i flew, drifted from whim to whim on words and so much poetry.

just in from my intensive, ready to trade in the pen for a cash register as i'm headed to the mall for a bout in hell. i say that half laughing. but not really. i go there because i love those women, for no reason else.

my boss there tells me i won an award, being the top roles manager in the district for the month of november. i laughed.

i always laugh when we are known for who we are.

i'm not sure i have the capacity to do such hard work for so little pay. such long hours for so little return.

editing is what i need to do.

the poets i was with this weekend kept encouraging me to publish, publish. don't be afraid, don't hesitate.

after my readings, even freshly composed poems, silence.

always the silence.

i said to one jaded nj poet,
i just figure, there is nothing to say.

she said,
there is plenty to say.

yet the silence prevails.

and i fall into it trembling.

many times after i read this weekend, i was physically shaking. trying to keep my composure. but my hands were quivering as i grasped the yarn and moved the crochet hook.

sleep returned to me last night, heavily, heavily it came.
i had my head down this morning during my workshop and told them before i read,
i'm not sure i'm even awake.

after, one poet said,
if that's what you can do half asleep, i can't imagine what you can do fully functioning.

which was kind. so very kind.

the cognitive disconnect, the actual disengaging of the brain from the process of writing has always worked for me.

and i was slightly jealous that a poet who organizes readings hasn't asked me to read, but she said she is trying to work me in.

there were so many leads for journals to submit to, so many new connections made. so much to think about, remember, but i'm home now, and the heaviness of my limbs has returned.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

pocket full o'dough

i went to kurtis' workshop void of greenbacks.

i just opened a poetry list to find he's reading nearby, next week. and i have the night off. huzzah!

i will go with a pocket full o'dough and pick up all those cds i passed over.
sometimes frugality does not pay. and i've listened to my memories of him singing. i've tried to conjure the playing of the kora in my mind, but it fades. alas, it fades.

time to mount my pony and ride.
me and my pocket full o'dough.

on the down low

so, yesterday i'm mired in a pit of doom and gloom. couldn't extract myself. felt like brier rabbit in molasses. slogging through the day. trying not to offend too horribly, and not faring too well. but passing, with a maximum of grace from those who must endure me on a daily basis.

i have never felt i understood what i understand now the way i understand it. trouble is, it's a black mood that brought that understanding. trouble is, that is the only way i process. sigh.

black mood coming. beware.

so, i'm simultaneously listening to "you can be happy" by dr. carlson, because the man makes sense to me, though his happy tone irks me on days like yesterday, hell, his happier than thou tone irks me on days like today when i'm feeling functional again.

he says,
moods are not the real thing,

they are indicators of dysfunctional thought patterns. low moods, come and go. indicators all of whack thinking (my paraphrase, incase you couldn't tell).

but the trouble is, there is no way for me to slog out of the pit when i'm stuck in it. no way to extract myself from the quicksand that gurgles and slurps me deeper in. so i stop fighting and hope, it will, as the ocean spat out sylvia plath like a cork, spit me out.

i emerged this morning, firing on all cylinders. 800 situps later (yes, can we say obssessive compulsive? at least i'm not drinking), and i'm banging out all kinds of productivity today.

but i can't get around carlson's idea that we should not linger on depressive thoughts or feelings.

i hear what he is saying. but i don't know how not to linger, how not to succumb to the blackness that permeates my life on some days.

it was snowing and beautiful out all day yesterday, i didn't get one foot out the door (probably why i tanked and couldn't pull out, at least if i force myself to the gym i can get some endorphins phlowing).

but the problem with the gym is i've had to start going in the am, the music is so damn loud, i've got my mp3 player as loud as i can stand it, and the cackling hens are still fucking with my head. they talk louder and louder. why they can't get right up close and whisper (probably the loud music), i don't know. but i've taken to singing really loud and off key when one particularly obnoxious woman stands beside me and bellows her inane blather to where i can't hear myself think.

silent gym. that is what i need.

it's so bad, i would probably not go there, just because they are so damn loud.

sound issues still, but it's a different kind of thing now.

i go to the gym for some peace of mind. i leave the gym frustrated with the volume of the bad music (think, 80s pop, horribly remade, not even the insufferable original songs, blasted at ear splitting volumes). sigh.

what is a girl to do?

it's a wonder i haven't cracked like a bad egg before.

but i'm tough. i can handle it.

i still haven't found the magic switch to flip my bad mood to a good mood. carlson's on some kind of dope i don't have access to. or, i'm misunderstanding.

i ride out the down lows, and emerge again in the light.

Monday, December 03, 2007

an up and coming poet

so i was introduced at kurtis' workshop to another poet, by a hardened nj poet as "an up and coming poet." i'm still grinning inside and that was days ago.

it's one of those surreal, i believed it in my heart, but here it is in three d moments. the kind of shit i live for.

plr is out. you can get a copy here. i have two poems in it.

i keep trying to get a cover shot of plr here, but it's beyond me, so just follow the link, of course, if you want me to sign it, i will oblige (though i was opposed to it once, as in all things, i come around eventually).

this publication, very prestigous, did not lose, has not lost its lustre, i must say. i'm still stoked that i'm in plr (the next two rounds). quite a feeling.

btw, i just realized, kurtis lamkin is in this edition of plr. huzzah. (check out his work here, hear him read here i couldn't access the sound link, but perhaps you can. you really must hear kurtis perform his work. it's amazing. looking at it on the page, and hearing it in my mind, two entirely different worlds. that is the important thing about poetry readings, you get the poet's voice rooted firmly in your head. then, their works are never flaccid on a page, but well, you get the idea).

lots of other greats, i'm sure.

leaning into the wind, i've got a poetry intensive coming up this weekend and i'm trying to prioritize. i haven't written save one poem for the workshop this weekend, but i'm backbuilding. storing up. preparing for the great rush of poems that will come whether i'm ready or not at the intensive.

i was explaining this to a poet who said she hadn't written in about a year and a half.
in the quiet times you're storing up. getting ready for the fertile times. don't worry about it.

if you've done it in the past,
i said,
you can do it again.

i believe this.

if you've never done it, there's no time like the present to start. everyone can write poetry. will the first trip out of the gate be publication worthy? no, but does anyone expect it to be? absolutely not.

you don't have to go public, just write.

this particular poet, when we said goodbye, looked at me as if i were the most confident person in the world. (and in poetry circles, i am), she had this, i'm going to miss you, let me hold you with my eyes one last time look about her. it surprised me. but i think we feel that way toward anyone who revives our hope. who breathes in our gaping mouth, void of breath, and returns to us the breath of life.

not that i was so pivotal, it was just what she conveyed by a glance. as if she were drinking me in one last time. curious. doesn't happen often.

i was speaking about this to a friend who actually is a poet AND attended poetry therapy.
look into it,
she said.

i don't want anyone to contaminate my waters until i can express what i'm trying to say.
i think this is potentially my master's work. because at this moment, i can't separate myself from the process of it (perhaps then i won't but i'll be farther along academically, and will be required to formulate some grand thesis. this is, perhaps the best i've got).

worked 11 hours on my feet yesterday, my fingers are splitting and bleeding from the cold (i have never experienced this before, i write now with bandages on them), it's strange, being so close to freedom and being bound. like a prisoner with a window he cannot see out of. spending all his time, clamboring about, standing on the sink, or leaning from the bunk, to just catch a glimpse of what he remembers, what he knows is out there. and will someday see.

persephone, remembering the blossoms of spring, as it is always springtime when she returns. and yet, looking about to see only sights horrendous to the eye and breathing in that which burns.

it will be well, i can feel it in my bones.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

they aren't yours, they're ours

so, long day.

i'm tired, but it's the good tired of having worked very hard, and played very hard. always nice when the two bookend into a fantastic day.

today's poetry workshop at the poetry center in paterson, new jersey with kurtis lamkin was amazing.

he utterly disarmed me. i didn't know a thing about his work before today, and i'm just grateful, completely grateful i was able to sit at his feet for a brief moment. it was an honor.

first of all, he was not an ass. which is wonderful.
he was completely accessible.

he opened his workshop in a most refreshing way,
he had US read.

he said,
to get a sense of the power in the room.

i stumbled through my poem, but it was met, as most every poem i read is met, with pin drop silence. what can i say. i'm used to it.

i don't think my little worlds need much commenting. and that these dodge poets feel the same, is humbling. truly.

i've had people tell me to publish. it's always encouraging. but i doubt. i wonder if my children are strong enough to fare for themselves in the world.

kurtis opened my mind to a lot of new ideas. many of which are just too much for this small space.

i shall write on them for school. but when he got up to read/play the kora, i was spellbound.

i'd never heard that instrument before, but it was utterly beautiful.

so finally, i get up to read. i always sign up last.
and i read a poem that has a song in it,

the ay-ay-ay-ay song (also known as cielito lindo)

and i read one other.

i went to leave and say goodbye to kurtis who said,

are you published?

not yet.


because i don't fare as well as you do
(he had said, a poem of his got edited by a publisher without his consultation or consent. and he gave himself over to the fate of the poem).
i am not so gracious when i get edited. i stop publishing. they're mine.

they aren't yours, they're ours.
he said.

essentially ending all arguments i have against publication.

i've been piddling around with some selfpublishing ideas. i may take a stab at a few more journals. i don't know. i really don't know. but i feel compelled now, as custodian of the muse to not crimp the line.

to let my works out into the public. perhaps not the most recent ones, but some of them will certainly be made available.

the student is ready.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

remind me who i am

i told my friend,
last night reminded me who i am.

did you forget?

no, sometimes it just helps to be reminded.

and so i was. but we almost got lost coming home, i turned down a street going the wrong way (literally, driving on the wrong side of the median), and that was a bad, i had to undo quickly, so i opted to drive over the median. i forget sometimes that i no longer own a jeep, though i drive like i own a jeep. which is the argument for me to have one again.

my jeep transmuted into my first home. which isn't a bad deal, it's just that i miss my jeep. have for a long time. but had an accident (which wasn't my fault--amazingly from what i've confessed here), and the car was close to being totalled, i wish they had because i never felt safe in it again (or as safe as i once felt in it). so i was glad to see it go. don't think i drove it much after i married, that was the unmarried suzanne's conveyance.

but it's time, i think, to obtain one again. i'm getting wild.

i forget they make the medians peak so if you do shit like i did last night, you will high center. fortunately, i have enough foolishness to attack it diagonally and we don't get stuck, just scrape the hell out of the underside of our sedan. sigh.

my pony can handle it,
i say.

as my guest (who i had probably scared shitless by then) said,
i hope you didn't damage anything.


and we made it home just fine. i am, perhaps, too bold.

then proceed to tell her about launching my car off the onramp. i bet next time we go somewhere, she'll opt to drive.

whatever. i like to be a passenger sometimes too, but it was an hour away and i wanted to drive.

sherman alexie is amazing. irreverent. beautiful. i can't say anymore about it here because this is my polite blog (if you can believe that).

but i was laughing the entire time. it was like a stand-up show, and i was grateful for it. laughter is healing. and i was healed.

one of the first things he said was,
it's good to see brown people here.

not many people say shit like that, and it is nice to hear.

quite a few ethnicities represented last night, which is also refreshing.

but all that race talk isn't "appropriate" but it is the kind of thing that gets noticed just never talked about.

he talked about it.

i love him for it.

unafraid. an intrepid soul.

standing up at rutgers, no less, and being utterly himself. it was a beautiful thing. i practically lobbed my book at him, feigned indifference is always the route to take. i don't like to gush over people.

so he signed my book, we chatted a bit, and while in line for his automograph, i saw a very heavy weight poet, and since he had to pass right by me, i was able to reintroduce myself and remind him i want to be his appointed slave at dodge poety festival this coming year.

he asked me my last name. (which is a loaded question)

and i spelled it out as i always do (it doesn't sound like it's spelled folks) and reminded him that my business card has a llama sticking its head out of a car and that we met at the poetry center in paterson.

he said.

so, i see myself at dodge, being his cupbearer, so to speak.

i'm not a hag, so if he just wants someone nice to look at, that will do.

i simply want to be on staff. i don't care how or in what capacity (she says that now). but i want to be on staff, i will be on staff. mark my words.

all this to say, it felt good, after slogging through work and school deadlines for months now, it's good to be back where i'm supposed to be. on the literary scene.

peace. out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

six hundred

i've finally upped the number of situps i'm doing to six hundred. but when you reach a point where the workout isn't pushing you anymore, it's time to up the ante.

so there you have it.

now i have that wasted tired, body exhaustion feeling which is a good thing.

i've lost some twenty-four inches, and twelve pounds. that's a lot of excess suz. i could stand to lose more, but when i went belt shopping (got a nice pink studded belt since i wear one everyday, and a jack skellington--only 34 inches! i miss my jack) i wondered if i'd gotten them too small, but i am shrinking, so it is beter to get them small and shrink down farther, than to have what i've got now, a huge belt cinched all the way in.

working out is getting cut out of my overbusy schedule, but i'm trying to work it back in. because it keeps me healthy mentally.

i'll rest some today before my long drive down to rutgers, but i can't wait. a friend might go along, but even alone, the drive is lovely. most every drive here is lovely. but this one is more mountainous and gorgeous than others. it's the road that we arrived to new york on, and i am glad to see it again.

it still impresses me.

i'm getting squaked at by my new boss about my availablility, but if they hire you knowing your limitations, they should use you to the full extent your limitations allow. my limitations did not change, expectations did.

what do to?

yes, i want to work at the coffeeshop, and i did bring in a school book yesterday during my shift, so i read a bit for school, but that is not how i like to earn my wages, working halfassed. so we'll see if i can cope with where i'm at, though the schedule is better for me. easier to accomodate.

at the moment, i'm not sure what will happen, but i will give it my best shot and perhaps it will be well.

of course it will be well.

i had a customer last night say,
perhaps it won't.

and i laughed.

i said.

we like to think positive. but it's tough sometimes.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

strange compliments

tonight i had a cherokee man from north carolina ask me what i was.
always an interesting question as i don't usually know how to answer.
i tend to just smile and listen to whatever comes next.

you're beautiful,
he said.

thank you.

he was buying three bunches of kale and a bunch of carrots.

two rabbits,
he said,

my daughter is trying to talk me into doing that.

bad idea,
he said.

he tells me what i all ready know about the naughty boys and how they don't play well together.

but kept punctuating everything with,
you're beautiful.

and it was genuine. which was nice. i lost track of my counting with his gushing. and just smiled, said thank you, and started counting again.

grown men who act like boys.

makes me laugh.

but then i thought about the cherokee i know and love,
it's good to see those who remind you of what you love.

last night, a man from the meat department, i think (fitting)
was fawning all over me. and i kept laughing and said,
you're dangerous.

when i sing to you, then you can tell me i'm dangerous,
he said.

all the while i'm thinking, this is why i don't like to be around men overmuch.

but i did see two of my lady friends, and it was good to see them.

my feet hurt, i'm tired. but it is all good.

i am believing goodness will come to me in the land of the living.

in the meantime, it feels good to smile again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

poetry saves me again

two weeks coming which are full of work, packed with work, but rounded out nicely with play. this, is what i've been working for. to play.

sherman alexie is at rutgers wednesday night.
i shall be there, wild horses could not keep me from it. (well, one could, but that is beside the point).

saturday, a poetry workshop with kurtis lamkin, dodge poet. and i get to read. what shall i read? i haven't been to a reading in weeks, months perhaps.

next weekend, a poetry intensive, three glorious days when i get to be who i am amongst those of similiar ilk. it is a curious thing, to be around others in such a way. but it is a godsend. a lifedefining moment (or several of them stacked end on end until one is fat and happy with their gifting).

my poetry prof (he's not a poet, but digs poetry), my prof (more accutate, you see, edumucation is not lost on me!) can hear my poetic voice and i dig that. he gets it. he can pick out a hesistant comma, or a uncertain period. but i think, next semester instead of going the full blown jungian route, i'll sit under the published poet on staff. or try to. go mano y mano and see how i fare under her piercing eye.

if nothing else, it will be excruciatingly exhilirating. like the rest of my life.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

giving away my power

it is not every day i let someone completely get me off my game. but it happened yesterday. as soon as i arrived to work in high spirits, there was a customer intent on stealing.

i'd never encountered stealing by abuse, but her tactics worked. she badgered me a good ten minutes, and there are so many things i woulda, coulda, shoulda done in hindsight, but i let the bitch get to me and i gave her power to hurt me.

my co-workers didn't know how to pull me out of the rut i got into after that theft, and i didn't either. but i keep processing things in my mind, going over the scenario, trying to see what i could of done, what i will do next time.

we get some of the kindest people, but then we get thieves. and this one was so bold and in your face about it, i wasn't expecting it. and it frustrates me that i was the pawn she used to take the store.

the district manager was in house when all this happened and said,
shake it off, it's not your money.

but that wasn't the point.

during the ordeal, the thing that bothered me most, was she (the thief) took one of my actions, innocent to an honest person (that could have been my first clue right there) and used it to determine i was "mean."

she told everyone wihtin the radius of the register the whole time i was working how horrible i was and shit like that.

that i didn't shut her down, is my error number two. it's hard to think with someone riding you viciously the whole way.

the entire night ended in drama that i'm told may turn out for good, but i left there with my head reeling from it all.

crazy management. here we go again.

i walked away with an employee saying,
what am i still doing here? i have to get out of here.

she agreed.

i kept thinking the entire time i was trying to rectify the situation that communication doesn't go two ways with the unreasonable. and while in the end, i did get my point across, it wore me thin like butter scraped across too much bread.

i did not need that shit in my refuge. perhaps taking cover in asylums is my first mistake.

though that word asylum is not even a shadow of what it once was. it has been turned on its head to mean something beside what it once meant.

i want the asylum of original intent. a refuge. a place of rest. a safe haven.

to date, i have none.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

a feast of crumbs

the sadness of my life o'erruns it's bounds tonight, and i can't keep it in. i'm sorry. i don't mean to be toxic, it just seems that i am in this season. perhaps in more seasons than i imagine. i don't know why or how anyone could read what i write and not feel anything but sadness.

but this is only a moment in time. i will not be sad always. it can't rain always i've been told and i try to believe it.

tomorrow, the family will go feast at a friend's (their friend's), and i'll stay home alone. it won't be the first time spending turkey day alone, i often do. i just cannot hold a smile for strangers at length anymore.

i would rather be alone and feast on crumbs.

not sure what i'll do. i may not even get out of bed, but if the mood strikes me, i may go for a long walk. there was a stream i once liked to visit. maybe there.

not sure.

there is no comfort to be found, that's the thing.
i'm essentially inconsolable, which is why i avoid people lately.

they say it gets easier, but my dealings with grief prove it only gets harder for the first year.

work is my life raft, and before i fell apart today i called my old stomping ground and asked if they needed help, which they did. i was glad to oblige.

but the place is still off and i need to get away from there, but how? and if it serves to get me out of my pool of tears perhaps the personal dramas are worth it.

i don't know.

i just don't know.

i'm tired now, so i will end this lament, but my breadcrumb trail is stale and i grow weary of so little to feast on. only heartache.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

always, always,

words for you.

always, always,

this silence.

nothing satisfies

nothing comes close to comfort


i've come to know a great deal

about longing in this time.

it is the note my heart plays.

i keep waiting, looking out windows

hoping. and for what?

i'm asked this all the time

all i can do is retreat to my familiar

yet cavernous silence, to wait some more

i go apart alone now, walk beside waters that once

glittered like diamonds. but the cold has come and they

bite, frothy teeth, grey with cold. and i bundle up and try

to last as long as i can before retreating indoors, into my

cavernous, ever present silence.

and these words for you.

always, always,

this love for you


don't buy that

so, i'm in training and ringing up stuff (since my new coffeeshoppe job is in a grocery store), and i can't help but make up shit about the people shopping. it is how my mind works folks, deal with it.

so the lady with one navel orange, five cans of cat food, some fake mouse toys, and small portions of thanksgiving type fare. i'm thinking, catlady. but at least she didn't buy tons of catfood. perhaps she only has one cat.

and there's nothing wrong with that. we all need companionship.

but then one of the managers goes through the line and i say something that strikes him as funny, and he's giggling. a grown man. it's late, granted. but he's lugging home a large bag of cat litter. i say,
long day?

he says.

time to go home and hug the cat.

i say to the young buck traning me. and we laugh.

my young counterpart bought one can of soup. i asked if he was like the guy on the morning show who admitted to peeling off the label, opening the can and setting it on the burner directly. no pan.

he uses a pan, which is refreshing.

it's hard not to make up stories about people. it is what i do.

so when the man with the mullet and red shirt are in the darkened meat section (the start shutting off the lights at 11pm), wanders around to the cash register, i am surprised to learn he is a very nice man (bad haircut notwithstanding), and i am a meanie. but we know that all ready.

it's weird, working with dudes. but i'll muddle through somehow. the best thing that happened was when my young (23) trainer asked my age and i told him, he was shocked. i haven't been around the young much of late (dudes i mean), i'm around young girls all the time. but it was nice to be thought much younger than i really am. it was meant in a good way.

home late, i'm working to the poing of sleepiness, and passed out when i walked in the door. i think that works for me, but the coffee bar closes much earlier than the store. so, i guess, i'll just have to come home wide eyed and try to sleep.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

call me crazy

so, i didn't start my new job and i didn't leave my old job. see, my life works this way.

i volunteered to help out on black friday which is a freaky name for a day, but whatever.

it was a hard blow to my store to lose me because finding a replacement and training them at this particularly tough time of the year is, well, impossible.

so, since my new job didn't schedule me, i'm going to keep the old job and pitch in when i can. it works out for us both that way. i'm not dealing my dearly loved co-workers a stunning blow (which they would have to cover for me), but i'm also not sacrificing the job i really want.

it's probably madness, but...

the price of freedom is high. i gotsta start saving.

peace. out.

five bucks and change

if my belly dancing teacher's coins are the measure of her assets, shall we say, she's got about a dollar in change hanging there.

i'd say i've got about two fifty. and the stand in for my instructor this morning was five dollars and change. that's a whole lot of coins.

i couldn't keep the grin off my face, and if people knew i go home and write about them, i'm sure they'd be upset. but meanwhile, i just look happy, or giddy, or whatever.

it was so distracting though, seeing all that ass coming at me, shaking all around. i'm so used to my sculpted teacher, and it's not that this one wasn't sculpted. she didn't have a rack but she was loaded, if you know what i mean. she was as tight as a big girl can be. probably had a waist my size.

she was a dancer, ballet, all kinds of shit. she named names. none of which i knew.

i told her, i have no idea who those people are.

way to end a conversation, but why feign knowledge i do not have?

so she's dancing away and i'm watching worlds collide. whoa!

if her thighs were glazed and had pineapples and cherries on them, i'd have been salivating. as it was, i'm not into chicks or food. so i just enjoyed the show.

and a show, it was.

i kept laughing.

it's is so wonderful seeing women free enough to shake their stuff. to slam coins across their hips and wiggle around for the world to see. i realized today, i can't not belly dance. in some form or fashion. even if it is just in classes, i can't not belly dance. it's too wonderful.

our class is decidedly loosening up. though it is still pretty focused. we tend to shout out a bit more at the teacher and that is always nice.

though this girl got on the floor and did some things i can only hope to do. humenah!

i'm not so bendy in those ways. i am more wiggly, shall we say.

my first day of work was a bust, but at least i got my schedule for next week.


Friday, November 16, 2007

one day more

my last day at work tomorrow. my first day at work tomorrow. why does everything in my life work out that way?

am i ready for this adventure? i'm not sure.

i don't think adventures begin when we are ready, they just begin. and we go along for the ride.

one new girl at work tonight said, i miss you all ready.

very much the sort of thing i say. i was grateful for the sentiment.

i've only ever worked with her once, but she's sweet.
the others are sweet too, but there is a certain innocent sweetness this one has.

yes, i will miss those girls.
i am still getting offers for my hopeful return.
but i don't know. i may, if i really miss them.
but i try not to go back, i like to move forward.

returning there would be going back.

i'm not sure what i'll do. i'm never sure what i'll do.
i think it's time to leap and let these wings catch me.

i'm tired. maybe i'll sleep tonight. i hope so.

big day tomorrow.

hope i'm ready for it.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


has always been a big issue with me.

i've never really believed in my own value.

it's coming down to dollars and cents now. leaving my lifesucking job was the first in a line (of hopefully) good life affirming choices.

went in to work one day and there is always shit to do as soon as you walk in the door at that place. one day, i got on a conference call (which is a huge waste of time but it makes the higher ups feel like they are doing something--besides wasting our time, i'm not sure what they accomplish with those things), and i forget to clock in until after the call.

i asked my (new) manager via post-it, and verbally, to please amend the punch.

found the note trashed, and thought, perhaps she did it.

went and looked (i do have those privliges), and nope. she didn't. ignored my request completely.

it's not like i was late and not working and wanted the time, i was there AND working, just forgot to clock in before the call.

wrote another post-it, and i'm not sure if she ever did it, so i printed out the punch to make sure i could go back and find it directly.

i've asked another manager, my so-called friend to help me figure it out, this from a girl who spends tons of time making sure her hours are right, and i've been put off and put off, until finally last night i was told,
you're going to have to go through the paperwork.

it's not about the 15 minutes anymore for me

it's about doing what you are supposed to do and taking care of your workers.

if she never amended the punch, she robbed me of 15 minutes, deliberately.

if someone will short you 15 minutes, they'll short you in other ways.

that, is why i'm leaving.

crazy management.

we become like those we surround ourselves with, i believe that. which is why, if i ever hope to be a manager with compassion and integrity, i have to get the hell out of dodge now.

explaining this to another manager, she didn't get it.

the other people i work with get it. and though they hate to see me go and tell me every time i see them, they are not guilting me into staying.

i must go.

now, what is freedom worth?

if i said, $300/hr was the price of freedom, is it something i'd be willing to pay?

if i don't pay now monetarily, what will that cost me personally? emotionally?

my greatest fear is that i won't think i'm worth the money. that i'll just continue taking the shit i've taken all along because i think it is the best i can do.

that is such a lie.

crazy management is not to be tolerated.

and when i stop preferring my self, my integrity, my own dignity, then i've become a crazy manager of my own life.

i could view it another way. that i am paying myself $300/hr for freedom.

then, perhaps i could suffer the blow and not want to resign myself to status quo.

if the universe truly does meet our needs, the money isn't an issue.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the price of freedom

is running about $350/hr. or so i'm told. pretty steep.
i wish money wasn't a factor in everything. that all my broke friends
could have what they need (namely, money). that i could give them
some of mine. but for some strange reason it is what it is.
and i've not yet found a way to live apart from money, there are
precious few who can.

tonight in belly dancing, my beautiful, delicious instructor
led us in a spontaneous meditation. this from a figure eight.
i have a poem in me about it, but it's not ripe yet. and will
have to wait. as i was driving away i thought, how odd i must
appear, when i have to go write. i make a beeline and shut up.

then at home, no one can talk to me until i'm done.

it must be the same for all artists.

but the poem eludes me and i'm too tired to try to wrangle it,
'tis not my style.

so i'll let it come. and will try to present favorable conditions
for its return. belly dancing music being one.

i have a few cds, they are not my favorite. i like the music my
bohemian instructor plays. but her tastes are ecclectic and trying
to pin down her selections is tough.

she's who turned me on to that annie lennox song. which i listen to many times
almost every day.

so, i will sleep with my belly dance cds on. and see what happens.

tonight she said,
belly dance is a dance by women, for women.

and we were all lost in the movement of our hips, the rolling of our spines,
the undulations of our arms. there were no awkwardnesses tonight, i stumbled a few times, but that is to be expected when lost in movements one is trying to learn.

i saw myself dancing. i was dancing.
and the instructor's movements are easier and easier for me to follow.
though her form is hard to hold.

she's got a rock solid body, and well, i just don't.

but i do the best i can, and muddle through.

that seems to be how i get along.

i want my freedom, seems i'll have to pay the price.
when i told my instructor about this she said,
freedom is priceless.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

so much i want to say

but this will have to do. i miss you. do you hear me? i miss you.

it seems all i ever want now is some shred of hope, but hope in what?

i don't even know that i know.

i'm leaving my work in three days (on saturday) and starting my new job the same day. i'm sad and excited at the same time.

i've made a habit of leaving. i've said this all before. now it is no different. as i sat in the backroom eating lunch today, the difficulties we face, the mean customers, the kind customers, the laughter, the cameraderie, i'll miss it all.

but i know i must go.

there comes a time with me when i feel the fullness of the season.

things die all the time, times change. but that doesn't necessarily signify anything.

i'm watching a lot of things in my life wither, but it is not necessarily time for them to die off. and i'm not looking to hack off limbs before their time.

though i want to, at times, be done with anything smacking of death. so tired of it am i. but something in me feels, just a bit longer. one more day.

that is how i've made it this long, one day at a time.

the tasks at hand are almost too numerous to count (in fact, they are). i move mostly by deadlines. my calendar is my greatest ally in this race that has become my life, but i needed it this way. i was languishing on the vine.

now, i'm scrambling.

but i'm also trying not to neglect my right and true soulwork.

editing is that work. it is the thing that i put my hand to, like a master gardener and it flourishes.

that damn orchid my husband bought for me when we arrived here is still living, despite a long season of neglect. that has more to do with the strength of the plant than any ability in me to nurture a thing.

i'm sure of it.

i saw it tonight and waved hello. still with me.
though i can't imagine why.

sometimes, i want to hold on, to stop. to be steady and keep the scarcely familiar (though horribly unworkable) known as opposed to diving into the great unknown.

my friend told me this recently when i was considering staying at my lifesucking job.

but no, i knew it was a different motivation entirely.

i just wanted to be where the memories are rich, and the place that has helped me survive. though it is time for more than survival. i know this.

the season is upon me when i must make choices to thrive. i have all my options open. all my roads are ripe with possibility, it's just a matter of asking, what do i really want?

and moving in that direction.

i tell my girl this often,
we must ever move in the direction of our dreams.

she listens. i tell her,
it's not my bookshop, not my coffeeshop i'll be working at, but it is one step closer.

i'm grateful for where i've been. for all i've learned.
for the companions i've picked up along the way.

today i didn't feel quite so lonely, like i might actually have friends on this planet.

but, friends rejoice when we move toward our dreams.

and this is my greatest challenge for these dear souls i love.
will they rejoice with me, even if i leave them?

or will they curse my departure and divorce any knowledge of me?

i cannot say, no one can say how another will receive our pursuing our dreams.

but it is not their dream we pursue. it is ours alone.

so i saw two hawks today. how i needed that.
and i'm not certain of anything more than yesterday, except that today
i feel loved. and grateful.

tomorrow can only get better.

Friday, November 09, 2007

first snow

leaving work tonight i drove from rain into snow, the first gently fluttering flakes of the season, it was downright heartwarming.

too bad i don't have anyone to share it with.

my girl crept out of bed to say good night to me and i told her. she jumped up and down a few times, then crept back to bed because she was cold.

i pile the layers on and prepare for another late night.

schoolwork keeps me up. sleeplessness is my companion.
i seem to only want to sleep when i have to get up.
but just in from work and i'm bright eyed and bushy tailed.

they want to offer me more money to stay, but i keep saying, no. don't.

i need to leave there. i must leave there.

tonight a customer started yelling at us, and when she was leaving, i went up to her and told her it was inappropriate for her to yell at us. she was mumbling and grumbling but i'm tired of taking shit from people who don't know how to treat hardworking underpaid servicepersons.

another lady i met shook my hand, just the second time that has happened at work, and i must say, it's damn refreshing. to have some stranger shake your hand and introduce themselves, it's unexpected and restores my faith in human decency.

we get the whole gamut, thieves and the honest. meanies and ladies so kind it makes you all melty inside.

mostly we get the meanies though. or at least those are the ones we remember.

why is that? perhaps it's the footprint they leave behind.

good kind people are like good hikers, you never know they are there until they pass you by. the yammering kind of hikers i can live without (had to avoid many of them the other day out with my girl).

the line from a poem, when in the forest, speak no louder than a tree kept coming to me. i kept trying to honor that sentiment and shut my mouth. but it was also a time for me and my girl to be together.

so i talked with her.

and the hike leaders. them i don't mind.
but i realized, i don't really like people in general. except the people i love. them i would give my i-teeth for. but the rest of humanity, not so much.

a hermitage somewhere is what i need, a reclusive pasture to be away from people is my ideal. driving around new york today, i was amazed at how anyone could ever want to live elsewhere.

one other kind customer said,
then you'd really like kentucky, it's more beautiful than this.

i can't even imagine anything more beautiful than new york right now.

first snow, wish i had someone to share it with.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

leaving for good

so, i signed on the dotted line at the new job today. start the day i leave hell.

this will be heaven by comparison.

remind me, when i piss and moan, this is heaven.

i don't know that everyone feels so secluded in their own reality as i do. that every mistake is tragedy and every triumph elation. but this is how it is with me. i don't know how else to be.

the bird feathers and seed got so thick in my kitchen i had to do something about it, this is the child's job, but she neglects her right and true duties. and i take them up. when i am so tired and have so much to do.

i tell her repeatedly,
this is easier than horses. how can you own horses if you can't keep parakeets and a rabbit clean, fed, and watered?

she fails to see the logic of this, but i insist she try.

meanwhile the sailor in me is coming out and i'm trying to be a "good" mom, if there ever was such a thing, she surely weren't me. but my girl is used to my tirades and just keeps shirking her duties.

she did clean her room though, because i laid down the law.

but i'm so tired. i have so much to do.

and the hubby now complains that he's "tired" of paying for everything.

what the hell is that about?

this is the same man who told me to quit my job when i got pregnant. stay home, raise our child.

now, because he's tired, everything changes?

my working fulltime would put my child in public school, she does not want to go. (i can't blame her, her deal is pretty sweet).

but i can't get into my industry (editing) without my bachelor's so that buys me another year. one year more. uno mas.

then, we'll see what the cards hold.

walking down the beach in cali, i told god,
i don't believe in you anymore.

he didn't say anything.

the honesty of that place for me though, was what mattered.

i'll grapple with my faith some more. and the christian friends i still have will try to persuade me that i'm wrong. i'll try to persuade them that i'm fine.

but the questions are undeniable.

i've lost everything this year. that my faith would end up a wreck was not hard to foresee.

that i'm still having these conversations with god, as it were, is proof to my dear athiest friend (who says i shouldn't be an atheist until i can spell the word), that i'm not completely down on god.

who knows.

i know nothing anymore. anything i claimed to once know, i hereby foresake.

i've lost it all and i don't see any of it returning anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

dull aches

the dull ache of a headache is threatening me again, i've only been up about an hour today, the rest of the time in a haze of drug induced slumber. seems i'm fighting off something that would take me out. but i cannot sleep, though i try.

fitful rest is no rest at all. and i have stared down the sun too many times, eyes blurry and nearly blind i wonder if i can see at all. if i've ever seen at all.

i believe in hope and love (not little dogs)
these are the very things friends counsel me against.

they watch my zigzagging path around graves and wonder when i'll accept the facts.

the facts have never been what they are, in my mind.

but i am tired now, and restless.

uncertain and wanting to see again, just when i feel my eyes have failed me.

these moments when it boils down to my inability to exert my will, my vain attempts at changing my life, my grandiose ideas of my future

these are the moments i want to fade away into a dream, walk off the set and be no more here.

but i am here. and there are at least two people who would miss me.
i know what it means to grieve, i know how they would struggle for every breath

so they keep me here.

all this from a cold. it's good i don't get sick often.
but i'm tired and want a rest, yet resting does this to me.

when i'm moving at the speed of light and hardly have time to think, i merely function. i am reduced to survival. that is how i've navigated this year, mostly, survival.

but i will have to slow down. have to feel again.
have to reenter my life and i watch the exits go by
faster than i can react and think, next time. maybe next time.

meanwhile, i try to be present to the two who need me most
and let the rest settle itself.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


just got a call from my store manager, every time i try to leave they offer to promote me.

i'm such a sap for going for it.

they will do the same for me now if i'll stay.

they will work me like a dog if i stay. which has been a lifesaver for me.
but the mall parking, my god.

my LA driver tendencies kick in and i'm such a witch when i can't find parking or get delayed on the road. i'm better sans commute.

but i will miss the girls.

it's always them that keeps me there.

sure are a lot of good people in hell.

it doesn't hurt that i had 100% segment goals achieved this past month.

the store is going double platinum in april and that would be fun. lots of panties and nighties and bras to play with (i'd be in the lingerie department).

but that would be too tempting too, spending my hard earned money and for what?

i just don't know.

sounds like a mass exodus is about to begin with the sales associates too, so it can only get worse.

sigh. what to do? is this even a question?

Monday, November 05, 2007

easier now

it has gotten so much easier, my job, my stint in hell. perhaps it's the perspective of leaving, that makes me appreciate what time i have left. what few challenges there are for me to master. perhaps, it's just the relief of moving on.

so much there is not right. and i can't fix any of it. all i can do is my small part, being faithful with the measure i was given. and tonight i felt successful in that small way. my small part played, and played well.

i'm slacking in school. there are so many deadlines in my mind, so much to do. i seem to never have a moment just to be. but i arranged it this way, to alleviate my malaise. i could not cry anymore. i could not think of all i've lost anymore, i had to move forward and start believing for the future.

and so i do.

my daughter and i talk a lot about what is to come. it will certainly involve horses. one way or another, i will make that happen for her. i'm not sure how, but i've never been sure how. and it has always worked itself out.

she's smitten of horses.

when we hit turbulence, the thing that gets me through is the morbid thought: what a way to go out. such glory.

but i couldn't say that to her. so we hit some rough patches and i had her name all the animals at the ranch where she takes lessons.

she told me the names and tempraments of the cats and horses, the assorted livestock that people the place. i'm not sure she knows the names of the people who actually work there, but they are necessary evils in her mind.

something else to focus on. that is the key to getting through the hard spots.

so i've focused my mind as much as possible on pueblo nations. right now i'm reading a book on the pottery of the pueblos, as well as the day lifestyle of the peoples.

i feel so removed from them. i've not grown up with any native traditions other than story telling. my grams told me stories every night at dinner. stories i couldn't figure out, but many of them were captured in women who run with wolves.

i wanted a sand dollar when i walked the california beach. i figure it isn't too much to ask of a soveriegn god to slam a whole sand dollar on a rock laden beach for me to find. but i found none.

instead i found a small necklace of fishline, made when i was a very small baby, with the name "suzy" on it. my childhood handle. this, was in my grams' jewelry which we were sorting through to determine what we'd keep and what we'd part with.

i kept more than i should, probably, but it was grams' stuff.

and i've untangled the small baby necklace and have it hanging here beside me. reminding me of one who loved me more than any. a good thing to be reminded of. i have felt so far from love. so far from the lifegiving force that makes living worthwhile.

that is why i focus my mind on other things. so i don't focus on what i've lost, or what is absent.

i've spent enough time in tears, it's time to move forward.

whatever that means. i'm not entirely sure.
but the steps come easier now, though not without longing.

and i wish for one to make it all make sense to me.
and i would gladly welcome that one home.

i see it in my mind. how it will happen.
and i long for it to come.

any day now...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

i have no idea

so i'm writing this series of poems right now, that will likely never get published in my lifetime, which is a curious thing to say, to know. but it is something i must do. today, every step i took was a word, a poem, a line. it was the most vivid experience of poetry i can say that i've yet had.

often i hear my poems (often, always, actually). but today, i lived my poem. it's a curious thing to convey. hard to fit into words. i know the lines came to my ear but i was walking through that poem with each step. and as i stood in the appalachian mountains overlooking the delaware, i thought, one never knows when a poem will come, like this vista. one step lets you see far beyond what you could see hemmed in the treeline. one step was all it took. what will the next step be like?

it's a curious thing.

then, when i'm driving home, marion woodman (love her!) was speaking about feminine consciousness and said,
if you surrender you may find you are a poet and you have to take responsibility for that.

i hope i've taken responsibility for that.

i don't know that being a poet MEANS i have to publish. or that not publishing MEANS i'm not a poet. i don't think those two things are invariable correlates. i think those two things are like any other two things that some times come in tandem, sometimes not.

what i do know is, i write poems and some dear souls read them. it does not concern me how many souls read them, because
it is a dangerous thing to put soul in the marketplace,
marion woodman warns.

timing is everything. i must not rush. i must not be hasty.
and with my poetry, as with nothing else in my life, i can wait.
i can let it continue to richen and deepen and grow.
in fact, i want it to.

i may be faulted for never going back and rearranging a thing.
but i cannot be faulted for not growing.

my new works are so vastly different from anything i've done before.
at least they feel different to me in length and content. (though i was headed here all the while, i know that in my bones).

i just don't know that anyone really understands the story i'm telling or if it can be understood along the way.

perhaps in hindsight, when the last jot and tiddle are struck on the last cyber sheet, i will know what i have created. then someone can say,
this is what she's done.

though, i don't care to converse with that person about it.

i will likely be on some mountaintop somewhere living another poem.
so close the two are melded.

my life, my poetry
my poetry, my life

publishing is an entirely other subject.
one of admittedly little interest to me.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

loose hips sail ships

so my belly dance instructor tells me today as we're doing ribcage figure eights that i have loose hips. which made me smile.

try doing a ribcage figure eight. move no part of your hips, don't lead with your shoulders, but use the bottom rib to jut out forward and up, circle around and drop down and back. your butt must be very clenched (sorry, no delicate way to say that), and your pelvis pushed as far under as you can get it. this is the belly dancer's natural stance. an upright pelvis. (or a pelvis standing on its toes makes more sense to my mind).

once half the eight is done, alternate with the other bottom rib jutting out (which happens naturally as the first rib juts back). the trick is, moving just the ribcage, not leading with your chest or shoulders. it's difficult.

so we did isolations today, and everything on me wants to move with everything else, but i've been working on isolations for nearly a year now (i can't believe it's been that long, more like nine months), but still. long time.

the trick is to get your ribcage moving independent of your hips. your shoulders naturally follow your ribs but they do not initiate the action.

to do this, i have to fix the image in my mind, and often, close my eyes to see my body moving in the form i'm trying to make. it's not natural movement by any means. but i can see how far i've come. i've farther yet to go, that's for sure. but it was nice to hear her say i have loose hips. they do like to shimmy and shake. i can put a wiggle in just about anywhere. and no harm can be done from shaking what you've got, right?

i've started dancing more at work. when the girls are looking and (hopefully) customers aren't. there are these great songs on and the girls laugh. which is my whole point. it's quite something to see someone's hips moving independent of their ribcage. it's a peculiar movement. something one works up to.

we're so blocky, we don't use many abdominal muscles in our instant age.

i've danced for no one yet. i thought about dancing for my sister and mom, but was glad i decided against it, i was just too tired.

so i dance for no one. i dance alone.

i hope to study flamenco next. i can get into that dance. it's gorgeous and shares many postures with belly dancing.


Friday, November 02, 2007

t minus fourteen days

so i gave my notice at my lifesucking job. got offered another job by a humble, compassionate man--at a far better rate than i'm getting now. and sans commute. can't pass that up. while i'll be working with dudes now (a safeguard i invoked for myself back in the day--working with only women), i figure i'll be fine. i'm a tough bitch.

my manager said to me when she spoke to me about my leaving
going some place with less responsibility.

i think i said
(as in, yeah right). but that is the management style there, very strange.

it is time for me to leave, i never want to subscibe to the management philosophy of this particular company.

i have to get out now before i mindmeld into some manager i never wanted to be. it's hard enough for me to keep my shit together personally without having to defend my managerial style (which is "too nice").

i will never stop being "nice" to associates. i told my new manager,
compassion is never a the wrong answer.

and he just smiled.

i haven't gotten the job yet, but i've done the paperwork, taken the drug test and i hope it's all but done. i am really excited to start there. but i'll miss the goils.

i will always miss the goils.

one of them wanted to come with me. but she can't.

i miss my sister's babies. they were totally zen for me.

i don't want anymore kids, but i would love to participate in any baby raising i can, it's so wonderful. babies are healing. and i've needed healing.

it's hard to be away from them, but i know their cries now and can tell them apart on the phone.

the clock is ticking on my stay in hell, i'm glad to be getting paroled. i hope i've done what i was there to do. i think i have.

it is time for me to move on.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

the absence of peace

i've always counseled friends and loved ones,
go for peace. you can't manufacture peace.
while these words are true, they are also heavy in the absence of peace. burdensome.

just in from tai chi where i felt off center. couldn't shut down my mind and be there. though my body went through the motions well enough. there is just so much on my mind and being home brings it all back.

suffocatingly so.

all i could think of was persephone, how long did it take for her to crave the smell of sulphur instead of fresh aire? the sound of screams and the sight of death become commonplace rather than grotesque? horrifying. when does the horror subside to something akin to normal? and how does one go about accepting these terms of living. tricked as she was by the fates. by fate. having indulged herself only of a few pomegranate seeds.

but for her bereaved mother, she would be lost to the world, to those she loved.

my sister held me as i was leaving and cried.
i miss you so much,
she wept.

i don't get that often. being held by one who will not let me go.

i don't get that often, simply being held.

and i'm tired of it.

home again the acrid smell burns and the darkness threatens to become commonplace again.

and i can only breathe it in and try not to acclimate.


one of my favorite things to do when i fly, when i ride in trains and cars, is to lose myself in the scenery out the window. my mind dances across the deserts and on mountain peaks, great thoughts germinate and seem to sprout while i'm looking out over the world in my various travels.

even to the grocery store. i am lost in the trees and mountains of our drive.

on every flight now without exception, since my daughter discovered the joy of a window seat (no more cramming her uncomfortably between me and some stranger, which in never liked much anyway, but i do find it odd that the only place a stranger will rest their arm against yours is in a plane--something about no options), she sits at the window and does what i used to do. stick my face in the opening and dance on the scenery.

i can't see out.

it made me realize last night, we give up windowseats for our children, so they can see, so they can find their own way in this vast wasteland that is a world. though i'm not down on the world right now.

our first red-eye from california, and i'm not sure if i slept. my mind was so active, it's hard to know if i was asleep or just had my eyes shut. it's a strange feeling, i wonder if it's like being in a coma.

we make it all the way to seacaucus junction and there we are stuck for an hour and change because the scant train service at the wee hours of the morning. but it was well. i went to buy a coffee and couldn't even comprehend the amount (i don't function when i'm wiped). but finally managed to bungle my way through that.

on the train home, i folded in half over her backpack, she had her head in the small window, and passed out on the very short ride. train rides, plane rides, when one needs sleep are never long enough. but it was enough to give me strength, shall we say, to walk home.

once home, to pillow, 8am-2pm passed like a heartbeat, that is how i know i slept. but now, i'm in a groggy grey that needs to get moving. i don't go back to work for a couple days, and for that, i am grateful.

my girl and her dad will roam the streets tonight and i will probably go workout and start trying to undo what my indulgent vacation has done.

but i had a lovely time. a lovely time.
i shall mention the firestorm later.


Monday, October 22, 2007

forced alliances

sometimes we make ourselves stay where we ought not be, trying to rememdy ills we are not able to master.

sometimes we realize our best intentions are always misunderstood and in what particular context. contexts can change. for that i'm grateful.

sometimes we make things right, not everything, just one thing. a tiny thing. a small unnoticable kindness, a pebble in the shoe of one soul, and none knows of the remedy, save the one who could only limp and favor the limb restored.

sometimes we make things worse and try paddling up a waterfall only to find it cannot be done, though we gave it a good show. our frantic efforts to conquer that which rushes in unchecked, amount to little more than exhaustion. the deluge will not cease by will alone. and we begin to understand this.

sometimes we are in a place for a person. we are there for no reason of our own, just to be witness to their lives, their story, playing a major minor role, and their scene would feel empty without our presence. that is all required, presence.

sometimes that season ends and we part with those we love, much time spent in grieving. much time spent in tears. this is always a worthy endeavor, no matter how undignified. i will be more undignified than this, he said.

sometimes the cloak of darkness is pierced, one spear of light through the lateral ribs of night. and we forever bear the wound of piercing. we forever bear the wound.

sometimes we are told, scars are badges of honor. and scan our bodies to realized we are riddled with scars. we are riddled with honor.

sometimes just the knowing of a thing, makes it all worthwhile. regardless of the outcome. and we know. as we have never known before.

sometimes trust finds us unawares, and we are found trustworthy, even find one to trust. that is a miracle.

sometimes we sit in darkness but the dawn always comes. remember that. it always comes. and i await it, with you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

did you see that poem?

so my girl just finished the first aptitude testing she's ever done. we'll see how she does, it's hard to capture the education i'm giving her in standardized tests. i read through the questions and thought of how my mind bends things around and how i've likely pretzeled her in the same ways. poor girl, just like me.

but then, we were leaving the library, our celebratory haunt. our place of rest and rejuvination. where we chase our dreams and honor our feminine virtues. i had written a poem about a tree stump, and read it to her as she unlocked her bike.

did you see that poem?

i knew she didn't because she has grown in strength and rode right up the hill she used to stall out at the bottom of, and now, she zooms halfway up before losing the will to forge ahead.

there, as i watched her from the bottom of the hill, her growth evident (how we miss these things when they are underfoot, and i am blind to them most of the time, so distracted am i, so distracted am i). but i see it there, as she waits for me, all decked out in turquoise, her long black hair trailing down her back. she turns and waves from her perch halfway up the hill.

i wave back and finally arrive.

i made it to the second row of leaves.

i know, you're getting strong,
i say. remembering how she used to complain up the hill, all the way up the hill, and the many ocassions i stopped the flow of complaint with demands for her to focus on the beauty of the scenery. the elements of nature right before her eyes.

it all depends on what you focus on, the burning in your legs from the steep hill, or the changing faces of the trees.

so my poem done, i ask her,
did you see that poem?

no. which one?

you tell me.

i knew she had listened. i knew she could find the tree if she looked for it. our minds work in similar ways, and i am training a poet unawares.

find the poem,
i said.

all the way to the spot she points out what could be the poem. (perhaps her poem, but not mine).

we stop right in front of the tree. and she smiles.

that's the tree.

i know.
she says.

aptitude tests be damned. if i can give this kid one ounce of what i've learned in the past year, she'll be set. but i have more to do. much, much more to do.