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.