Thursday, January 31, 2008


so i've finally caved to the idea of studying poetry from the old school mindset (the rules), to articulate what i'm trying to do at this moment. i must make my case plain and clear, even if it is not heard by many. i must make my case so i can make my case.

this is good though, this underlying question. this stone in my poetic shoe. i will have a semester to work it out.

not that i feel compelled to explain what i'm doing or why, but one must know the rules to break them, so they say.

i can't just wring my hands at being misunderstood. i have to come down and take off my shoes and walk around in the dust a bit, explain what i'm doing, and why. personally, i'd rather just do what i do.

but the ability to articulate why you do what you do is important. i've learned that here. if nothing else. to be able to account for the subtleties of mind and heart, to craft a dialogue of established accepted practices in order to reveal why i refuse to adhere to said practices, that is key.

i found, last semester, much of what i do, i do by virtue of who i am. i'm not the first to do it. no great surprise there. some of it comes from the storyteller tradition, some of it from experiences of late. all converging on the page and resulting in my peculiar use of the language.

i could be clearer. i could use grammatically correct sentence structure. i'm sure many would appreciate it, but the many have never, ever been my audience. i'm reaching for the few. which is counterintuitive. but hey, whatever.

such flippancy, such willingness to leave my point unsaid, undebated, uncontested even when it is misunderstood is something i will struggle with this semester. i need to make my case clear.

and so i will.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

wild stallions

strangely enough, i'm happy.

i don't know what they slipped in my water, but i was not even frantic once today. and that is HUUUGGEE!!

helped my girl brush down velvet again, she's wanting me to take lessons. i never let on that i used to be afraid of horses, and i told her that today. she said,
so did i, remember?

but i wouldn't let her shy away from them, so we both had to confront our fears, and now look at us.

we're going to a horse expo in pennsylvania, and i'm stoked about it. i like to encourage her passions. she woke up this morning and had two hours before her lessons, what does she do? pencil drawings of horses.

she's getting quite good, but the child doesn't prioritize. everything is horses. if it isn't neighing, she ain't interested. and that's the only way i can motivate her.

she wants me to grab a shovel and start mucking out stalls along side her (i'm not going to just let the kid ride, she has to get a handle on the work that goes with riding, so i make her do the whole thing. but she's still not doing everything, and i want her to do everything. partly because i don't know how to teach her these things and she's got a willing teacher who sees it as us helping, so it's a win-win situation).

but strangely enough, it makes me happy.

she told the instructor that i really like bucky, and was told he's a wild soul. that he has pulled the bars out of his stall and jumped right out.

my kind of horse. why can't i love the unwild. the tame, the sedate?

it just isn't my lot i guess.

so i haven't seen bucky in a while because he's been outside, which is good. but i've not worn the proper shoes, i don't have paddock boots (how many pairs of shoes does a girl need). i could break out my cowboy boots, but i hadn't really thought of that till now.

so i went to work, picking horse hair off me. yes, i should have changed my shirt, but i didn't want to. and it was an underlayer, not the top layer, and most of the hair was gone by the time i got there.

gross, i know.

so, what can i say. i'm interested in what my daughter is learning. but i would like to see bucky again soon.

Monday, January 28, 2008

watch me burn

after spending all day with girls. and finding a new hiking partner, who i may be able to handle, i'm not sure. but i've wanted to roam appalachian trails around where i live for quite some time. now i've found a soul who is game. primitive camping too, yum, i love camping. especially when i don't have to remember everything. that's the tough part, too much pressure. i like to just show up.

though i used to camp a lot, at powwows, it's an entirely different thing.

so, i'm at the survival camp and never realized, i'm leading the girls around ALL DAMN DAY!

but it was a great experience and at the end, i got to sit in a cabin for hours alone tending fire, reading a dearly loved book. i wanted, many times, to turn off the lights of the cabin and watch the fire burn. fortunately i remembered, a truckload of girls would be piling in the door and that is what would happen. i'd get to watch the fire through the night.

i was *supposed* to wake up and keep the fire burnin' but...

i sleep very sound when i do sleep. and i'd watched the fire burn for at least an hour. then i fell asleep. woke to red embers and another leader stumbling around in the cold dark trying to load the fireplace. fortunately, my flashlight was handy and i illuminated her way, shall we say.

three times she woke up. i didn't bother to get up the second two times as she had a flashlight ready then.

it's a challenge to get ten girls, mostly if not entirely tweens you don't know handed off to you first thing in the morning (especially when you're not expecting it). so we got to know each other and spent the day together learning ice rescue, hypothermia indicators, simulating an emergency situation, hiking, firebuilding (my all time favorite), and constructing a debris shelter.

it was a good time.

my feet were cold almost immediately upon arriving at camp, so during the hypothermia lecture, i pulled out my vapor barriers and wrapped my feet in plastic. (a weird practice, but i understood it after the lecture) and since my feet couldn't fit another pair of sox in the boots, i had to go that route, i was grateful for it.

so i finally get a moment out of the cabin, after the girls are gone (have to wait for a leader to appear to step out to the loo), and it was snowing. just flurries. but it was lovely.

if it's going to be that cold it may as well snow.

i saw something in the fire, i need to write about it. sometimes it helps to let on in prose, other times, not so much.

it's a mystery how the writing of a great poem (even a good or mediocre poem) goes. i drove past migrant workers today and remembered the manic feeling after i captured a poem having seen their faces.

i was on my way for a day at the beach and went in to my friend's house and wrote on her computer. i emailed it out as i always do, and knew i'd caught it.

that poem is one i read recently at the poetry center in nj. it's an awesome poem. and i was laughing with this horrible sense of accomplishment after penning it because i knew it was something.

it's in my chapbook if you happen to glimpse one of those. i got a whole box of them today. now to sell them.

peace. out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

filet me

if fingers were fish, i fileted my finger tonight.

i was closing the shop and have this checklist i'm working from. being that it's foodservice, everything is stainless and sharp as hell.

why they don't round corners of these things, or take the sharp edges off, i don't know. i've shaved off more layers of skin in that place because i wash stuff that doesn't get touched by others.

tonight though, i hacked into my finger with the fridge handle, it was gushing blood and i had to get help to doctor it.

my dear friend gets sick at the sight of blood but managed to find the stuff i needed from the well stocked, but intricate first aid kit.

customers walked up when i did it, so the other guy there had to help them, while i bled and tried to stay the flow.

now it's just a triangular flap of flesh with a pocket of blood under it. i cleaned it out really good, but i need to do it again before bed. and i have to do it alone. sigh. i hate taking care of my own wounds.

the good news of the night is, i'm going to get the training they hired me for. finally.

last word from the mgrs was it wasn't going to happen.

but tonight, i was told it will.

which pleases me.

i'm effective as a manager and am learning a lot. working with kids and the older set is tough. my delivery needs work.

but i can't help being a short bossy chick. that's how they made me. someone thought it was a good idea. and well, i'm trying to be "nice"

yes. that's the word.


i've got a lot of work to do.

but you knew that all ready.

and my hiking boots arrived, so i'm breaking them in. better late than never. i've been meaning to get these since i went hiking in november. at least i got it done. it's supposed to be wicked cold this weekend, and we'll be camping and outdoors. yikes. 15 degrees by day, 5 degrees at night. yikes. hope i'm ready for this. (no choice if i'm not. at least my feet won't be cold now, that was a big concern for me. hopefully they won't be hurting either).

peace. out.


sometimes i pace the cage feeling trapped. sometimes i don't even have the energy to pace. i just sit there and stare with the detached indifference of one resigned to a cage. sometimes, i come up with every scheme i can to break free. sometimes the days all blend together like a muddy watercolour. sometimes, they are crisp and chiseled, the days, each distinct, like a master's oil painting.

i realize when i don't go to the gym and i languish in my home, those are the worst days for me. for my family. because i feel trapped and slide into a despair i cannot shake.

but today, intent on not doing that again, i went to the gym straight away. the ladies were all over the place and i had to move away from them, but i wasn't about to give over my peace to any stranger.

ran my few errands, now i'm home to a mountain of dishes. but the frame of mind is different and i'm ready for the challenges this day presents. the frustrations, the hovering over the child to get one thing done.

they say we make our own reality. what we focus on becomes what we experience.

i'm not sure how that works, but i've noticed my thought patterns are changing with occasional backfirings of the old ways. though, you'd think my life were a junker of a car, and in some ways it is, i'm in the process of a much needed overhaul.

i'm tired of living my life with the drapes drawn in the gloom of sadness.

it's time to throw open the blinds and embrace the day. the challenges, the triumphs. to believe anything is possible,

because anything is.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

pack it in, pack it out

so i'm helping with a winter survival camp this weekend.

trying to pack all that crap in one small daypack and an overnight bag is really tough.

things like extra batteries and lightbulbs, black garbage bag, that is the stuff that gets me, because i have to go to the store.

today is my first day off in six, and i'm tired. i just want to be home.

i slept as long as possible this morning, and i feel a bit adrift.

i don't like to be cold when i'm sleeping. went to one campout and it was the coldest night i've ever spent. my tentmates had all abandoned me, so i spent the night trying not to move from the residual warmth of the spot i was in.

so i'm taking layers upon layers upon layers. and that won't happen again.

we'll be hiking and i've not had a proper pair of hiking boots, but i've finally got some, if only they'd just arrive. (i know, not enough time to break them in) which is bad news, but i'll have another pair in the car and hope for the best. i'm imperfect, it's an imperfect life. i hope it will be well.

so the key is not to take too much shit, but to have enough of what you need to not need anything else.

no firebuilding this time, mostly survival shelters (debris shelters i think they are called), an emergency scenario (i volunteered for this leg of the camp this time so i could learn as well. there is so much i don't know, admittedly).

but i've needed to get out of my environment, and what better place, a mountain camp with gorgeous lakes and trails. all that and i managed to not get sucked into a den mom kind of scenario (i'd have to die, if that were the case). i just get to be a helping adult and independent of the kids.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

you'll learn

i had to fly to work today after my daughter's riding lesson, so i helped her brush down the horse. velvet. sigh.

anyway, i've never groomed a horse before, and i'm doing the hind quarter and my girl is on the other side when the tail lifts slightly. i'm brushing her rump and my girl says,
move away from the tail mom.

cause i'm just standing there waiting to see what will happen next (didn't learn anything from the sneeze, i guess).

and i don't see or hear anything. my sniffer ain't that great, and my daughter says,
she farted.

and the trainer (cowgirl, horse instructor, what do you call those people?) and another girl mucking out stalls laugh. one calls out,
it's a sign of affection.

and i can't smell a thing--seriously.

but i walk around to put the blanket on, because it had just started snowing, and walk right into the zone.


talk about aromatic. apparently her farts go left because i was on the right side and couldn't smell it, but my daughter was in the pocket and still had to pick out the hooves in that stench.

so we're driving home and i said to my girl,
thank you for telling me to move.

she said,
you'll learn.

like she's an old pro.

i love that kid. even when she irritates me, she's such a wise old soul.

she asked me once why i was so happy, this was the day after my debut poetry read in nyc, and i said,
because i'm doing what i was created to do.

when we drive away from the stables, she says,
it just feels right. me being on horses.

her instructor told her today that she'll make a fine horsewoman someday.

this pleases me, because i had and still probably have no idea what i want to be when i grow up.

my girl wants to be a vet, or do something with horses.

more power to you, i say.

and i will do what i can to make that happen. a bit of a distance for us at the moment, but it will not always be so.

i see a future full of horses.

and a lifetime of laughter ahead.

Monday, January 21, 2008


i have a fabulous growl. and make good use of it.

today at the gym, the music wasn't so bad i couldn't ignore it, the ladies weren't yammering at ungodly levels, but...

so i walk in to get measured. my monthly dose of reality.

i try to get measured on the same day each month because i figure it is more accurate, most accurate, to be measured on the same day monthly, than not.

but i have been measured when i've been bloated up like the goodyear blimp, and that is never encouraging.

so i didn't expect good news, you know, working at *bux, drinking all the crap i can dream up. and the pastries, my god, to die for. (everything is so sweet though, i never thought i'd get tired of sweet, but i am).

so, i decide i'm going to suck my load in while she's measuring, but it doesn't help much. which is probably a good thing, that i walk around with it all sucked in to begin with. plus those 800 situps. i lost count many times today, i have to come up with some other means of counting because when you can't keep track of how many you've done, you're probably doing too many? yes?

so i'm stoked because i ditched another four pounds. that's a lot. thirteen all told, but i'm still probably horribly overweight according to those damn growth charts, i think for my height i'm supposed to weight 110 pounds. yeah, right. i weighed that once when i was ten or something.

if i lose another thirty pounds i'll be very happy. i ditched a half inch in my arms, but they still wave like flags and i hate that. (such a gross image, i know). but hey, you don't read me for the nicey nice shit i say (when do i say nice shit?, okay, you got me there), it's the sordid details. the, oh my god, i can't believe she's telling people that (even the people who won't admit that they read it, fucking cowards, i'm on a roll today).

so this chick walks in, i'm mostly done with my workout, all is well, i'm doing good. last time around the circuit, and she gets on a board across the room. there are about half the boards/machines empty at this point. for some reason, three of the women are lined up one after the other behind me a couple stops away. (i hate that, too).

so, she decides to come over--mid count, mind you--and get on the very next machine, the one i am going to get on in about 15 seconds.

so, i go around her, and do the next machine. then come back after she's done. but she doesn't move off the second machine when i come back around so she's still right in front of me.

i mutter some colorful language, and walk across the room

now, i'm having to wait for the line of ladies behind me to pass the machines i needed, and go back. gggrrrr!

the whole time i'm thinking, don't let this get to you. don't be angry.
anger is a dysfunction of the mind.

don't be dysfunctional.

i'm so fucking dysfunctional, it's shocking.

functionally dysfunctional, i say.

but then i thought, maybe because this gets to me, i'm going to keep getting got by it. i need to not let it get to me.

figure some way to release whatever courtesies i expect, whatever decencies i hope for from others and just roll with it.

(which is what i thought i'd done all along, but apparently not).

i still get angry and freak out.
i need to find other ways of dealing with my anger and frustration
because working out isn't helping so much with that i don't think.

not sure what will.

not sure.

dr. carlson would say,
just dismiss the dysfunctional thoughts and go about your day.

the thoughts are not you.

and i agree. i won't fixate on them, i'll just let them go.
rehashing them now only brings them up again, puts me back in the moment
of frustration. so i need to stop reliving my pain as it were.

huge life lesson there.

i'm going to go. i think it's time to be silent for a while.
walking in beauty is hard. i think shaping the body is the easy part.
shaping the soul, the presence, the vibe you're putting out there is the hard part.

so much work to do.
but i am moving forward
and that is encouraging.

she said.
don't do that!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

endless possibilites

do we live in a world of endless possibilities?
or are we fated to certain ends, by certain means?
can we change our lives?
or are we truly impotent?

i like to believe we can change our lives. we can do anything. that there is nothing impossible, only challenges that need a reckoning.

i trust that we are not locked in to mindless living of meaningless lives, but that each moment, each breath can be, in fact, is precious.

there is never nothing happening.

a line from a movie i saw recently, peaceful warrior.

about those who change our lives then disappear.

we must go on living. we must participate in each moment.

this is turning out to be an exciting year so far, so much happening. so much potential.

this year no less than last. moreso, perhaps.

i can spend time wallowing in freakish misery (oops, waxed princess bride again).

or i can trust that though the design is unseen by me, there is a pattern being weaved.

my prof is fond of asking me,
to what degree are you the weaver?

i do not know. (my profundity knows no bounds)

how pivotal am i in my destiny? in my future unveiling? in my dreams coming to fruition?

i do not know. i can't pretend to know.

it has all been such a surprise thus far, and lately, i feel the sun again. i can breathe.

i met the chief of the local nation today. picked him out of a lineup essentially. he had leather thongs on the end of his braids, i knew he was tribal. no white dudes walking around with leather thongs hanging from their braids that i know of.

no, not even willie nelson.

he gave me his card, and i think he wants to meet my family.

curious. we've been so disjointed here in new york. the thought of being all familial now, of presenting ourselves as a clan unto ourselves, is curious to me.

not so much dishonest as, well, just different.

i can't get into it here. i'm not sure what to say or do these days. my life is changing in ways i can hardly express or quantify. so i don't. i just let it ride and see what happens.

so far, i've been pleased with how things are progressing. even when they are bad or scary, because then, i learn and grow.

i'm grateful, for every heart rending moment of the past year, for ever sigh of relief, every tear, everything. i would change none of it.

but it's time to get on with living.

time to launch out, and i feel like the whole world and its endless possibilities are mine.

in a pinch

so, say what you will about my comandeering ways, i am a good person to have in your corner in a pinch.

got called in to work early yesterday, which is good. hours cut school costs the same. so the young mgr. kept saying,
i'll come in and help.

i was trying to reassure her i could handle it.

but she would not be dissuaded, and in the end i thought it better not to try as she might think i'm trying to take over again.

it's a touchy thing, not trying to step on the toes of a boss, but yet offer to be of assistance. very tricky indeed.

but she's been working long hours, LOOOOONG hours, so i figured, if i could save her a trip in, i would.

but no, she turned up.

i had done everything. just a few things remained which couldn't be done until after closing or just before.

i like running the show. now if they would just give me a commensurate title, that would help. i'm sure some kids are wondering what the deal is, and either way, no matter to me, i'm horribly dependable, but it would be easier, and granted, it's hard to get it any easier when there are only two people closing.

but i did a bang up job last night, and i'm up early because i go in at 8am. i always like to post early when i'm up because it proves i do get out of bed early sometimes. though i try not to make it a habit.

sleep is still an issue, though, and i remembered a couple administrative points i forgot last night, a few blanks i left incomplete, which i need to fix this morning. i should probably eat rather than sitting here blathering on,

so i must away. have a great day.

i wish my wishes would come true, i am tired of waiting.

what else is new.


Friday, January 18, 2008

finished early

so i turned in my last assingment last night, though it was due today. i like to beat deadlines rather than be last minute. turned in my presentation today, though it is not due until monday.

now, final steps of the semester. then residency for next semester which begins jan 30. i hope to take a minute to catch my breath between, but i've got lots to do with my girl. some overnight camping at a winter survival camp, where i mostly play with fire. i love playing with fire.

i've had so much to do for so long, i won't know what to do with myself the next week or so.

maybe i'll just vegitate.

the thought of reading something else at this moment is daunting.

i would like to get to my regular open mic here locally, but i just can't request it off from work, i have to ask for other significant poetry reads off, and i can't be asking for all kinds of days off.

i got certified at my job last night, only missed four points. called two drinks wrong (actually, i was never told to call them the way the test requires them called because we only call them that way for the test. sigh). and, i hear there may be changes in the mgmt. soon, which may be a good thing. it's never good to have two people of the same title at one tiny location. (or even one large location, i imagine).

my daughter's favorite horse, velvet (of all names, a gorgeous black pony), sneezed on me the other day. never had that happen before. it was gross. but funny. i had never realized that was how a horse sneezes and since i didn't realize, i didn't stay away from the zone. my girl was picking hooves and the instructor was doing something else at the hind quarters and didn't get sprayed.

but ah, lucky me, some things just make my day.

maybe i'll have a nap. i'm pretty tired.

think i'll opt out of all additional classes next semester and just do my bachelor's work. i need a rest.


Thursday, January 17, 2008


so my kid had to get labs done to make sure she was healthy.
actually, it was to appease a strange doctor. i liked the doctor, don't get me wrong, but it's easy to check a thousand and one boxes on the lab form and i told her we didn't have insurance.

she wanted to be sure. and i'm glad.
but i knew my girl was fine.

it was a heavy weight hanging over me for the past week. i'm glad it's over now. well, almost. one last check to make sure things are all okay.

nothing worse than having to deal with doctors, i say.

but i have issues with any authority figures and i just want my kid to be healthy, so i put my issues aside and do what is best for the child.

my heart aches though, sometimes, at times like this. because it is a tough call.

i am reading a bunch of medical books to get a grasp on those big ten thousand pound words the doctor let slide when i was in her office.

the book says, a person is considered over weight if they are in the 90th percentile for weight, and obese if they are in the 95th percentile for weight.

well, hello, my people are short. my kid was born in the 90th percentile.

who are these charts and figures based on? i don't know. some elvish folks from the highlands i think.

we also have different skin coloration which caused the doctor concern, and i said,
it is how our skin is colored,
and she just wanted to be sure. ordered another lab.

i'm glad she was cautious, but i know that kid is healthy. i know she didn't just spike in weight. she has always had a body just like mine. all curves. no straight lines, what can i say.

do i want her to be large marge? absolutely not.

but i also don't want her thinking she has to be in the fifieth percentile or below to be normal.

for my family, she is normal. she'll likely peak at a towering five two, maybe five one. but that's it.

i'm just glad it's almost completely over.
doctors don't realize the weight they put on people by saying simple words, common to them. but loaded for the hearer.

all that matters is, my girl is well.
as i knew she was.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

easier to take it than say no

so i'm ready to explode, devoured all the chocolate at hand and decide, i better go for a walk, clear my head.

i get to the library, where all my walks seem to begin or end,
and the lady behind the counter is this nice lady who hurt her wrist recently.

the guy next to her is the noisy man. the one who lunges the plastic video containers from as far as possible creating a wretched clanging noise the entire time he's behind the counter. jars my nerves, i'm surprised it doesn't get to anyone else.

perhaps that's my problem, too much shit gets to me.

so i am listening to the loud man talk to a customer, or patron, whatever you call people who go to the library. and they are shooting the breeze about cookies and milk.

when the man is leaving, he says,
i'll call ahead next time for my cookies and milk.

the lady and i are just quietly doing our thing, me trying to stay out of the fray, the man, patron i think they're called (or we're called as the case may be), was one of those labrador types. who is all wagging tongue and tail, never met a stanger. and i'm in a foul mood.

i think i may be more pit bull. but i digress.

so he pulls out some chocolate "for the lady"

and she says,
don't feed the animals.

he doesn't get the hint.

gives her the chocolate.

she says,
thank you.

and he makes some comment everyone ignores about cookies and milk and finally leaves.

the lady behind the counter says to me,
sometimes it's easier just to take the candy, than to say no.

i said.

grateful she just took it.

but as i walked home i began to wonder. is that the mo of my life?

have i taken so much shit at home, i lack the ability to say no? this question haunts me.

granted i don't take shit from those outside my familiar walls, but inside. that's a whole other story.

they would bend me backwards till i snap if i let them. and still want more.

i love them, don't get me wrong, but i swear i can't get a break.

these four days off have been all about them, and my schoolwork hangs over my head.

what am i to do?

my daughter has taken to waiting up for me at night. which i'm grateful for, but it is my study time. having her in the middle of that time, either watching tv or reading or whatever, is not helping me study.

i'm not blaming her. i'm not blaming anyone. i've just reached a place where i need a change and i need it now.

i've been calm and peaceful for as long as i can be.

i need a break. i should go to boston. or move to the city.

but i'm not sure i can or what i'd do when i got there.

tango classes are offered at the place that offers my belly dancing classes. i want to take tango like you can't imagine. i lack a partner though.

the story of my life.

i've just ordered a bunch of copies of my chapbook. we'll see what happens next (without poetry, where would i be?)


so in an effort to improve my child's health, we've purchased two loaves of the heaviest bread in all creation (no, wait, i have one healthy friend who baked me a heavier loaf once, i unloaded it at a potluck, that's how healthy my family is).

so, i make sandwiches out of this bolder, using a chisel and hammer
and serve it up, with a smile.

i'm trying to eat it and gagging on it.

when my husband brought the bread home, he said,
i could knock someone out with this bread.

i kept trying to make it work. had a slice with dinner (and again, nearly choked), but stuffed it down.

my god, health food sucks.

my sister says i'll get used to it.

try ezekiel bread
(she says)

but warns,
it's heavier than what you've got.

yeah, that's just what i need. i could gnaw on an end table for something a touch heavier than the bread i've got.

my argument has always been, if i can't get my people to eat "health" food, what's the point of buying it?

so, i'm suffering through a sandwich which is presumably healthy but i start gagging and get really painful hiccups,

my body is rejecting it,
i tell my sister.

you've got to drink water with it.

but i've got about 3/4 of a rocksandwich to go
so i better get to it.

i miss soft unhealthy bread.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

love love love

we find
a reason
to smile.
a reason
to go on
just one
more day

Monday, January 14, 2008

four days

i have four days off, including yesterday, so i guess only three now. my school semester ends thursday and i've lots to do to be ready for that. it's perfect timing that i have this respite from work. i needed it.

i'm certian i will complete my tasks, but there is always so much else pulling at me, i wonder how and when one learns tangible peace. that is my aim this year and i'm not sure how to go about it. how to incorporate it, make room for it in my life.

many times i neglect what must be done in favor of my art. art represents peace to me. it is a great outlet. a great triumph if i can make time for it and honor it.

but to neglect other things that demand my time, is that to dishonor them?

i hope not. but one can never know for sure.

there simply is not enough of me to do all that need be done. i have begun stating these limitations in no uncertain terms.

i cannot do everything, and i still try, but much, much, too much, goes untended in my opinion.

i need help. from those i live with, from friends. i need a lot of help.
perhaps much more than i even realize.

potential moves plauge us, and i never know how invested to get in these things. but they do wear on me. the possibility. the immense work of moving a household cross country, seems we can't just move down the street (though my husband suggested it at one point here and i nearly died. i have only one friend here and the idea of having to move my home, even my slim, trim, purged home exhausted me). flawed though our haunt here is, i don't have to move it, just maintain it. that is all i can do right now. maintain.

so i'm taking my girl in to the doctor today. and we still have no insurance.
that feels like such a stigma. and i struggle with the weight of it.

i keep wanting to change my life and i'm not sure how to go about it.

but being eyed by doctors and asked questions, innocent enough, i have to remind myself, it's all for the health of my beautiful child. i would do anything for her. does my lacking insurance mean i'm a bad mom? no. but sometimes i wonder if it doesn't look that way. though appearances never mattered much to me, it's hard to keep that mindset always. especially when the unexpected comes up.

if life is a stream of endless possibility, and believing is half the battle, then i've got a lot of restructing of the way my mind works to do. i don't know where or how to begin that process though.

so i trust friends to show me my blindspots.

and i will take these four days to counsel with the beasts and birds that frequent my life. they seem to understand more than i and are willing to convey it.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

don't mix with technology

so my husband gets frustrated because i'm constantly breaking mechanical things. electronic things. anything which need be treated with kid gloves, which i don't wear (incase you hadn't noticed).

so i drop my phone into a basin of water tonight.

it's gone on a digital hiatus.

don't call, don't text. just ring me at home.

too bad i've been putting only my cell number on things.

so, now, i'm in the market.

i'm on my third mp3 player, i wear them to work out. i won't work out if i don't have my own music. that techno 80s crap they play is enough to make me go postal. so if i forget my music, i'm out of there. even if i dragged myself unwillingly there. and i'm so not about wasted trips.

but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

made peace with the young mgr. tonight.

talked to both mgrs. together which is what needed to happen. too much he said she said bullshit is never good.

the store mgr. asked me how i was when i walked in and my face is like a billboard, so i can't say i'm "fine" and not look the part, because my whole countenance falls when i'm down.

i'm emotive. what can i say?

i think it might work out. i believe it will.

i was losing hope and getting immensely frustrated with the situation, but things are turning around and looking up.


so, i'm off to see what else i can break by unduly submerging in water (then resubmerging to rinse it off--but i won't tell my hubby that last part).

he instructed me to "leave it off" if it ever happens again, because i probably fried it.

i turned it on a few times all ready and tried to shake the excess juice out of it, but they should make a waterproof fone for people like me. with the dropsies.

or, i should use bluetooth technology, regardless of how mr.roboto i think that looks.


Friday, January 11, 2008

breath units

so part of my take on the poem, on poetry, on writing poetry is this.

grammar serves to help the reader translate in the mind the voice of the poet, or the speaker of the poem (not to be confused as always the same, even in my poetry).

punctuation serves to facilitate the manufacturing of the voice i'm trying to capture, nothing else.

where it leaves this standard, i set it aside.

i have dismantled the sentence to such a point that it may make no sense to grammarians.

but grammarians aren't my audience. may they never be. amen.

real people, speaking in the modern age, living in three dimensions (sometimes more), with active memories and vivid hopes and dreams are my audience.

people are capable of more understanding that we give them credit for.

if the standardization of english is to homogenize a voice (or voices as the case may be), or make it so we can communicate easily (thoughtlessly, i say). to make the reader take a mind off approach to the written word, or worse, a soul off approach.


i'm not going there.

this quirky style i've developed in my blog
has finally made it's way to my poetry. (note, where i make a typeO, like just now using it's for its, of course i want to correct that, my intent is not to look idiotic, but brilliant. ha!)

this narrative voice is speaking from my poems now

and a whole lot of excess punctuation is just going to blow the whole deal.

so, what is to be done?

i'm not sure.

keep trusting my readers is my natural instinct.

to keep believing my voice (which i've found in "legitimate" native writers), is mine and therefore inviolate.

again, i love to hear comments, it makes me solidify my reasons for (or at least find words for) my eccentricties of word and grammar.

so breath units are my take on the grammar structure of a poem.

let me see if i can't make it clear.

if i write with prose punctuation in a poem
there is an inherent formality which is problematic for me
because i'm thoroughly informal.

i'm not sure i can demonstrate what i'm saying without posting a poem of mine, but i'm not doing that anymore, so i have to trust my reader here and leave off the prose (such as it is).

breath units. think about it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

grammar skool

so, the thing about grammar is, you have to know what you're doing to violate the rules.

if you know the rules, you can break them. so the saying goes.

my brain works in such ways that my poetry is an attempt to keep up. i could excuse a lot of my sins with this logic. that there is so much i'm trying to do, so much i'm trying to say.

but if i won't listen now to those who love me, who will i listen to?

if i don't try to change now, will i just run myself into some rut i can't ever get out of. am i all ready there?

it's easy to catch the grammer problems in other people's work. that is what i do.

but when it comes to mine, it's tough.

my prof is always pointing out stuff like that. dear poets around me do the same, but i can see, so many times, a vision beyond what is there.

does a poem require parallel tenses?

from the position of a confessional poet, i'm not so sure. i'd even have to say, no. everything i know about tenses, tells me the correct grammatical structure is parallel. he wrote, he sat, he thought. parallel structure.

but i'm not inclined to that end in my poems.

even after it is pointed out, i reconsider, and say, i'm sticking with an uneven structure, because it is not prose.

he thought, he writes, he sits. they work for me.

these variations.

will these variations finish me?


am i willing to take those chances?


i guess if i were uncertain, now would be the time to scramble. to change what i've got.

i'm not sure i'm uncertain (how convincing is that?)

but i will always, always, always listen to my friends. to their input.

will i take it. remains to be seen. i need editorial help, but the deal about editing is, the final poem is the poet's alone.

i stand by that.

i will fall by that.

i will fly .

Monday, January 07, 2008

don't encourage me

fresh off the horn with a friend who says i make the details of my life interesting.
HA! such words make me want to write more. why? i don't know. i like words, always have. they've never been lacking in my life. when i'm lonely, they come to soothe me. when i'm sad, they come to relieve me. when i'm tired, they come. they always come. when i'm happy, that is when i seem most wordless, what is that about?

someday (soon i hope), i'm going to be damn happy and write about it.
with the grace and ease of my dear friends, whose joy seems palpable in their writings.

my girl is sad tonight. she waited up for me and lamented a bit. i'm grateful she trusts me. we are a pair, she and i.

sometimes her dad can't soothe her, he just can't get through, and i spend five minutes with the child, and she's a different person when we're done. it's wonderful.

that happened just before we moved, she was BUUUUUUMMMEEED.

but i framed it as an adventure, think of all the wonderful things we'll do, the places we'll see, the people we'll meet. she got excited. where she had been crying inconsolably, she began to see potential for good.

that was tonight's reenactment. and i'm glad i am able to communicate with her. lord knows, i needed anyone who could communicate with me the whole way through my life, and precious few they are, though they are cherished souls indeed.

i seem to have the gift of driving people away. it's not that i don't cherish folk, i just don't have any compulsion to keep a large audience. i'd rather have the few true, trusted souls and that's all i need. the rest are flowers and grass. (you know the poem thing, some friends are like trees, some like grass, some like flowers). i'm grateful for the presence of all types of friends but only truly mourn the passing of those tree friends.

i've not lost any. infact, some saplings have grown quite strong. and i am grateful.
i've a few redwoods towering in my life. and of them i am in awe.

there is some mutuality there and i would have none if it weren't for them.

they come in all types, none of them like me. my god, i couldn't stand a friend like myself, such a flake, too artsy fartsy and fatally idealist.

but i believe we cross paths with those we need to cross paths with. they adorn our lives with so much beauty and grace, they make even the darkest, saddest times bearable.

those are the tree friends.

the ones who will not be moved.

and for them, those who seem to find something encouraging to say when perhaps most others are speechless or embarrassed by my latest overmuch informational confession, for them, i am grateful.

these tears

are the first that aren't grief tears.

the rivers i've cried this year, and these come from another source. the font somewhere deep inside that i don't yet know.

the trick is to not keep crying, yet not to damn up the flow.

my chapbook is in hand, that is good news.

my other book is in hand, that is good news.

my people are healthy, that is good news.

what else could i ask for?

there is uncertainty in the air, and these days, it's not housed with certainty. it doesn't come carried on winds of faith.

it's more a hot dry desert breeze, that seems to suck the moisture out of you. but i'm writing sad again, and i'm really not.

yet, feel the end of a great many things at hand.

not the same person i was, ever discovering who i am now. and wondering what will come. i say,
all that is mine will come to me.

but i never much mention what i will let go.

we can't continue packing shit in barns, we have to let things go. i think about this often. the move to ny was grueling because it was the first major, i'm talking throw away everything but the essential, purge of my life.

and i like to purge. but i also pad my nest.

so, i feel it's time to launch out, a few twigs in beak and build a new nest.

bare essentials again. and i think about what i have and if i could live without it.

the stuff is easy to let go. it's always the people that get me.

murmurs of a return to texas, and my blood runs cold. i don't want to go back there, ever. it is not home to me.

i know i can make my own way here, but i'm not sure if i am ready for all that means. if i can handle all that means.

we'll see.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

made my waters flow

so i'm a tough chick, but as i've said, there's a limit to what i can handle.

as soon as i got to work, it hit me, and following my husband's advice, i called my boss and told him what happened with the kid mgr.

he said,
you did nothing wrong.

and realized i was crying. damn it. i always cry. it's a weakness of mine. especially after my grams died, i stopped wearing regular mascara because i cried so much.

he said,
don't let them make you cry.

but i've never been a balls of steel woman who can keep her shit together while at work. i don't know how to do that.

but my boss was gracious and compassionate.

but the kids made my waters flow.

they won this round in many respects, but it's not a battle. we're supposed to be a team.

i keep telling myself that.

it's a business, not a gang of friends.

i came home and told my family what happened, that i cried. and that they "don't like me" and my daughter said,
what's not to like?

which made me smile.

and a list runs through my mind. we are our own worst critics. i know my flaws, i know my shortcomings, i know my vast limitations.

but she knows, a smile is priceless.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

in the direction of the wind

so, i'm fresh in from a day with a bunch of adolescent girls, including mine own. what a wonderful, mindnumbing, delirious day we had.

at one point, my girl and i dangled over a creek and raced acorn boats down the currents. we stumbled through the brush, (she didn't want to walk on the path) and i saw no harm in it, though i'm sure we broke some unwritten rule somewhere. but we followed the creek, not the path. and it was wonderful.

sometimes, just getting somewhere takes the fun out of exploring. but my kid is undaunted and wanted to meander.

deer scat, tracks, even a femur half devoured were some of our discoveries. commonplace to many, but i'm pretty clueless, not a real outdoorsy type, though i love learning, these experience reveal how little i actually know. it's good to get a glimpse of our limitations, especially in a place of utter and complete peace. as if, being limited, mortal, frail is enough.

i'm a moss expert.
she said. and proceeded to tell me about the different types of moss. we came across some she didn't know. and i smiled to myself, thinking, some expert. but didn't say it. at least she thinks she's an expert.

she's fond of moss, what can i say.

it's a time of trepidation when one is preparing to teach a group of girls of slightly varying ages information they may or may not know in diluted or undiluted strains of information (that's a weird sentence, i know, but i'm too tired to go back and fix it).

so, i had fun with them, enjoyed them. tried to remember their names but there were simply too many of them, and i couldn't. time was too short.

so we got our twiggy fires burning and boiled water, then these pirahna girls attacked the chocolate i brought along to sweeten the deal, they were tired and ready to go home at the end, my workshops were last and second to last for the two groups.

went by my first second job and got my last check, hoping never to set foot in that place again. i'm done, i'm so done.

and it's good to be done.

my chapbooks have finally arrived and another book i've put together. i can't wait to tear into them.

but before i do:

which way does an a frame point when starting a fire?

Friday, January 04, 2008

horrible employee

so, i'm not sure if i'm a wretched employee or someone who is an asset. i seem to step in shit wherever i work, and try as i might to navigate it. it's just there, stinking up my shoes.

tonight, the young co-mgr, felt overpowered by my presence when a *bux trainer came in and kept talking to me privately. i wasn't saying things i wouldn't say to everyone, but when i took notes as the trainer was talking, the young mgr. felt compelled to tell me,
i'll tell [the boss]

when the trainer left, the young mgr turned and said outloud,
what does my nametag say, manager. let me manage.

i said,
taking notes is not a crime.

and left it at that.

until the young mgr. brought it up again.

i'll tell [the boss]

i wasn't trying to get in your business,
i said,
just taking notes because i wouldn't remember what she said.

the youngish mgr stayed over an extra 2.5 hours to torment me, how do i know this, because she would say shit to me, bossy shit.

i tried to keep my chin up and my head down, but it made me question my stand.

so i called my best friends. to ask them. my sister to ask her.

now i am convinced that it is not me, just the situation.

group think is tough. and when working in a group of teenagers, it is immensely difficult to navigate.

i don't gossip. i shut it down. i state my opposing case plainly for all to hear. and i don't hide behind anonymity (i say, use my name, whenever i say something, because i believe we need to be responsible for the things we say, and damn it, i try).

the trainer asked if i'd consider management, but my availability is nights and weekends. so, she said, (in earshot of the young mgr),
it's good to have someone of your maturity here.

(which didn't help one bit with the kids).

but i'm tired now.
and the kids got to me.

so i'm going to bed. no work tomorrow.

just little girls.
and i'll be packing chocolate.


under pendletons she lay

so, i went to the stables with my daughter for her lesson and thought five layers on top was enough (a bit of overkill one might have said), but i neglected, in my overmuch henning of my daughter to get her hat, i neglected to get my hat. so the top was off my crockpot sotospeak. and i got cold. my gloves too thin, and when we left i had trouble pronouncing words, that's how cold it was. 4-14 degrees last night. somewhere in there, and i was ill prepared. and paid for it.

it took a long time for my fingers and face to thaw, so when i got home, i wasn't about to run out into the cold again. so i crawled under a pile of pendletons and tried to warm up.

i did read one chapter of my book for school and studied up for the firebuilding workshop i'll be leading tomorrow, but i should not have stayed the whole time in the cold, i realize this in hindsight.

i did get to visit bucky, who had a flake of wood in the corner of his eye, which i removed. he threaded his whole head and neck through his stall bars and i scratched down his mane. gorgeous horse.

the draft horse was nowhere to be found, in another stall i guess.

there is something about the size of these giants that impresses me. something tragic about them being locked up because we have opposable thumbs, and they don't. we devise means for keeping them in.

and i wonder who comes to let bucky out and when.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

open mic tonight

i wish i didn't feel such hesitancy. i used to not bat an eye when these things came about but i've a headache just now. and it's cold outside. i'm tired of the cold.

but i will away, to clifton and read for the matriarch.

i have a poem stirring in me, perhaps the other poets will bring it out. perhaps the drive will, perhaps the chill.

who knows what makes these things come. but i see it, i hear it. it's just beyond my grasp. so tonight i ride my pony and see what happens.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

walk in beauty

my resolution then. someone asked me if i had one, and i thought that as good as any. i keep trying to improve my station and it seems the only way to do that is to become kind. not just outwardly though. the deep kindness one can feel as a person's essence. i don't know that i've ever possessed that (or embodied it, is probably the right way of saying it).

i have moments when i'm less selfish than others, moments i'm more inclined not to bite the head off innocent standersby. but, for the most part, i'm not deeply, inwardly kind. and this year, i mean to change that.

that is what beauty is all about, i think.

when you see a gorgeous woman, if she is stuck on herself or demeaning to others, how deep is that beauty? not very.

when you see a person who is perhaps not the most fabulous feast for the eye, but has that inner resonance of kindness, they transform and become more beautiful before your once judgmental eyes. what has made them lovely? certainly not their physical attributes, but their kind soul.

i don't think these are exclusives, the beautiful can also be kind. i'm just trying to distinguish between the kind of beauty i mean.

walk in beauty could also be, walk in kindness.
because an entitled beauty is no feast for the eyes (or not more than a feast for the eyes).

so, i guess i'm setting myself up for some trials, we do not grow without them. but i like to think of it as i'm setting myself up for a compassionate, presence filled year.

to be kind, one must be present.

too long i've been distracted.

and this year i mean to walk in beauty.