Wednesday, April 30, 2008

losing sight of shore

my best friend calls, as if on cue. i needed her. she knew it. hence the call.

taking a chance,
are you working?
she asks
(i often answer my phone at work, my bad)

no, i'm finally home.

what's wrong?

she knows my voice. but i couldn't talk about it, so we circled the runway catching up on the details of her life, before i could get her advice.

she is one of my trusted advisors.

she said,
you will never discover new continents unless you lose sight of the shore.

you don't feel like you're making progress because you're in the middle of the journey,
she said,
but you're making great strides.

and she reminded me how.

think about it, plan for it, be prepared
she says.
and if it doesn't happen, at least you were ready to move forward if it did.

she, the architect of this part of my journey, no i don't come up with this shit alone. there is a design. an undergirding plan of action. i am headed in a direction, though the winds have started howling and the compass fell overboard. and i'm not sure how it will work out. but i know what to do this moment. i can lean into friday and move forward.

perhaps discoveries happen when we least expect them.

draw her in

i'm struggling with some parenting issues and my instinct is to drive the child away, but my heart says,
no. that's not right.

sometimes, i get such a clear glimpse of the moment in my past, when i as a child committed grievous sins, and how my parents failed to parent me (or did the best they could), though my sister and i largely raised each other (or she, me as the case may be).

not wanting to follow this path, i have watched as she navigates the parenting road with dignity and grace. always keeping her brood close by and leading by heart.

i call out to her when i struggle with dilemmas, in a way i would have normally gone to my grams. i'd never consider asking my mom or dad for parenting advice, as i've just made clear. that is not the way i want to go.

though i get it, they did the best they could. or, perhaps, they did as they were able.

my battle then is do enlarge my abilities as a parent. and i find wratcheting the child into my jam packed schedule, in ways beyond mere shuttle service and necessary co-existing, require deliberate actions on my part to ask for what may appear unreasonable at work, three back to back days where i can be away from work, at the very least, two (because i just have nothing to give without that).

and today's struggle reminds me of the urgency of these moments. work will always be there. my bachelor's will get completed one way or another, but my child will not always be in this malleable positon. she will not so willingly abide my direction, especially if it were not there when she needed it.

as i do not seek the advice of my biological parents, she would shut me out, perhaps not to that degree, but it would create a rend between us.

so what to do?

what feels most unnatural at this displeasing moment.

i will draw her in, closer. spend more time focusing on her. and not being productive in the sense of checking things off my everpresent list (that it is everpersent, should give me a clue, it will be there when i've time to deal with it).

i will go now, this is a subtle ignoring, sitting here writing while we're together. and focus on her.

it is all i know to do.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

one down, five to go

so i knocked out bly last night. i'm not sure who's next. it was not the best bly book i've ever read, but it was doable. he had something to say at least.

i have never been into surrealist poetry. the quantum leaps from word to word, i get lost in the void, standing there scratching my head and wondering what do chickens with trousers have to do with anything?

but this is the challenge. i found his discussion of the three brains, quite intriguing and will focus on that.

last night was wicked cold. it was like camping. i know something has got to change, but what?

though i did jump through the final hoops of mgmt training last night and friday my assistant status gets finalized. i've paid dearly for it. so it's none too soon.

my young boss has a second job, her old job. i'm not sure what that means, if she's transitioning out. she said,
i'm not challenged here.

which, i'm not sure what that means, since things haven't run smoothly in a while, i'm not sure how many more challenges you need.

i'm not sure whom they'd choose to take over, perhaps they'd hire someone else, but if it were me, my availability is not 24/7 like hers is. and, it would be easier for me to transition into another place, perhaps, having moved up significantly. though i'm not sure what will happen.

strange things are afoot at the circle k (anyone know that line?)

busy day, i've lots of reading.
peace. out.

Monday, April 28, 2008

hewn limbs

i don't know how to quit, it's not in my blood. always, the requisite two weeks, sometimes more as in the case of leaving hell during the christmas season.

what can i say, quitting takes some cojones. which i lack.

nah, i think quitting takes some defect of character.

and home from work, the laundry still not finished, i'll be up finishing it off, and my feet feel tired from standing, but the work is good, even though we are a man down. he got a better job, what can i say, i'd leave too, if i had the right offer.

but i wouldn't quit. i'd never quit.

now i'm hoping the boss doesn't work me to a bloody nub. and my three days off this week are inviolate. it's not that i can't live without them, it's just there ain't enough of me to go around and i need rest. more than ever.

i napped a great while today after the gym, that's what happens when i lose the stamina i'd built up. i have to start over. so here i go, again from the start.

and while i love to open myself up to community, i realize, i don't take advice from those i neither trust nor respect. it's not every person in my life i'll listen to, in fact, most would say, it's none. but i do listen. i just have my own way of doing things.

i see very clearly for being of such clouded vision.

and i will not forego my path as i see it.

i am so far out on the limb, that i'd rather saw it off and see what happens than come in and be "normal" whatever that means.

that quote that i love goes, (and i've lost the exact quote and attribution)
he who never saws off the limb on which he sits, never realizes sawn off limbs have unaccountable ways of staying put

all i know how to do is sit upon the limb on which i saw.

go figure.

wake up NOW!

i was stunned to see i have only two weeks before my next packet is due. i had been trying to make it an easier packet than the previous, but it seems i could not manage it. so now, with five books needing to be read, i must press in.

when i saw that near deadline, it was like a slap in the face. which is why i write things on many calendars, so i am constantly reminded of things upcoming and something about ripping that fresh page off the calendar that stuns you into action. i do it as soon as i can each month, to increase the time i have to do something about the shock.

i'm flat as road kill though and am not sure where it will come from. sometimes, i drag my dry eyeballs across the page and hope, hope i pick something up. the crackle as i close the lids and try to shut the tired out.

it may not be so bad as all that, i must count up my pages and see what rings of fire i must navigate these next two weeks.

and i was feeling exhausted and books arrived. happy day!

the poems compiled for a friend are now in my hand, and they bristle with hope. i wanted them with me last week and i roamed around town and read, but now is enough. now is sufficient.

tired is overtaking me and today at the gym, i just didn't have it in me to do the situps. it was enough that i made it there for the requisite half hour, let alone, forcing my body through the rigors of a thousand situps. i just don't have it in me.

i've begun trading away days at work when i close with another manager. i sure as hell don't need to be there, so, i have another three glorious days off in a row this week. i hope that helps.

must devise a plan of attack for this packet. it looks as if i only have to read 88.5 pages per day, which is not so bad. only 1238 pages this packet. i read half a book last packet, which i guess is something. hopefully these books have something to say and will compel me through them.


cold refreshing

it's gotten cold again, and this pleases me. i don't want the heat to advance too quickly. yesterday, my girl said to me,
i like to be with you.

and then, i ran her off. ever the imperfect mother. but we did spend hours together, played chess and checkers.

my husband walks in and unloads his directions for the interview in south jersey, and i try to load it onto the gps, but it's overcast and i'm indoors.

so i wander outside, late at night, when things make noises in the dark to startle me.

i was shocked by how many people were out, on foot, roaming about the town.

i tried to get it to work, drove to the top of a hill and sat, giving the little doohickey a chance to catch a glimpse of the satellite, but it's still too overcast. and i'm tired of waiting. so i wind my way home, trying not to drive like i'm up to something. passing a cop car and reminding myself, when one lives by the police station, one invariably passes police cars.

this should be a comfort to me, that our streets are manned by the uniformed. but it is not, old traumas meld in my mind to make me drive with the discomfort of one who has something to fear. and so i try to drive normally, which must look very suspicious. i sat there, going over what i'd say if they pulled me over.

i'm trying to set up the gps for my husband's interview tomorrow.

at least the little hour glass was turning and turning, emptying and filling, the cloudy sky would explain why it would not work. and hopefully, they would listen.

hopefully, they would let me go without harassing me. especially since i haven't done anything. they say this is a free country, and i try to believe it.

all the talk of equality makes me laugh now, not because i don't want it, but because i know equality doesn't exist. and this is my reality. driving at night hoping the cops don't deal me an injustice. that i can be about my business and make it home safe.

the chill air helps me to sleep. my blankets piled thick and high, one of which is electric, as i need help generating heat these days. seems some of my fire has gone out. and i can't get it back. no matter how i try.

so i huddle around the electric fire, the one that goes on with a switch. and tell myself, this is sufficient. to pay the gas man for his blue flame, and trust that it warms well enough. there is no crackling, no dancing, no laughing. but for now, that is to be expected.

and i pull the blankets over my head and breathe through a small gap, trapping in all the warmth i can and trying to stave off shivers.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

it begins again today

that's a lifesucking attitude, and i try to fight slipping into that mindset, focusing on where i want the day to go, instead of where i dread it ending up.

that i still don't know the answers to the larger (even the smaller) issues that confront me is of little comfort, but i'm relatively at peace with it for now. i'm just trying to unbox my mind so the poetry i see on the outskirts will find its way in.

and then, onto the page.

i'm considering revising something, as much as i revise anything, but i have two words that trouble me and since i cannot ignore them, or explain them away (sometimes these things come with their own explanations and when i get that, i'm fine with it), but these two points seem to me to be in need of addressing.

when i tried to do it, on the fly, at the open i hosted, i didn't feel i did the poem justice. time to spend a bit more time actually focusing on the poem and making it right.

while this week promises to be no less in terms of demands, it will be a decidedly slower pace. it has to be. the blossoms are raining down from the trees right now and i can't miss it. i have to take walks and get out there to experience it.

spring has finally and fully sprung here.

and the sight of giant velvety bees makes me smile.

i'm on the downward slope out of my semester, which pleases me. my last packet was a success, i'm not entirely sure how, but the prof said it was strong, though i did not think so.

he has even suggested my taking the horsemanship angle further, which i consider a particular triumph, because he was not making the connection of why it matters to poetry, to me, to have that element. so this is good news. but there are not enough days in a semester for all i care to explore.

my master's work, i had thought, would be something involving psych, but now, i'm not sure. i'll have to wait and see what happens.

i do get to read bly this packet, and start delving into an asian component. which i'm looking forward too. sadly, form is too narrowly represented by the europeans. so, i asked for a divergence into asian form (mostly, to keep my sanity. how much do i care to read about the traditional stuffy stuff. i want to contemplate, and i think asian poets a fine option. as usual, my prof took this in stride and made some excellent suggestions).

my semester culminates in a weekend poetry intensive, which is a fertile rejuvenating experience even if i don't make any real connections with any particular poet. i get to know a bunch over meal time and hearing them read. it's an incredible group that i've stumbled into, and i'm just grateful to be there.

mostly, i spend the time doing whatever i want. tai chi in the garden before everyone is awake. long walks through the grounds, which are fine. sitting and reading or talking with other poets whom i've met previously (and unfortunately, neglected to keep in touch with). last time, there was this poet who wrote a line about the faces of tribal people, my husband's people in particular, that i remember even now. crisp as the first moment those words cross my ears. and i think that is what gets some of these people, that i welcome them and recite their lines to them after a year or six months of being apart.

it has come, i think, from learning to listen, to hone into the timeless moments of a poetry read. i remember the one we just had and i can tell you, perhaps not all the poets--but just the ones i care about or who impressed me--i can tell you a line that was significant to me. chronical all those lines in my brain, from all the poets i've heard read, all the poets i've met and it's no wonder i'm working on overload here.

perhaps this is why i enjoy my job so much, because it is utterly apart from my life. it has absolutely zero to do with the business of poetry. (i don't like that phrase, but there it is). it's as if, my brain functions in a totally different capacity there, and i come up with shit that blows people away, but lately, i've been so fried, i am zoned out. the lights are on kind of zoning. and the kid i work with most said to me,
you don't notice anything.

because i've been so tired. unable to focus or remember even the simplest thing. but that is because it does not matter to me, to remember the jot and tiddles of the coffee world.

i had my first tasting with a coffee master. it was something to behold. he spoke of coffee, and the subtle hues, the way and places it hits the palate, to astound me. something about the mastery of one's work, the doing what you love, and doing it well. perhaps here i do my job the greatest disservice. that i am there, essentially, not caring. but it's a different kind of functioning for me. and i'm learning a lot. in different ways.

after that intensive weekend, my semester requires of me another, final, packet. wherein all my hairbrained ideas will come together in one glorious conclusion.

i try not to think of this now, because that is not my process. i just let the information sit. attend to what i am reading now and leave the pressure off. time is pressure enough. and this packet, i must do some scansion. begin the actual work of attempting to take a poem apart, hack it into bloody bits, and write critically about the dismembered poem. (i should write it like a horror scene. i'd love that!)

perhaps thats the rejuvenating thrill for me, that i could actually bomb than succeed in pulling off an academic paper that way. but, to cover my bases, i'd submit a plain jane version. i'm no fool.

i must away, spent more time rambling on than i intended to and the day is getting away from me, almost time to punch in for my mid-shift.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

make it stop

i have to devise ways to lure myself to sleep. even my self-medicating (the dregs of a bottle i hadn't finished from about six or eight months ago), didn't help. here i am, wide awake.

my girl and i both agreed, neither of us wanted to drive to the farm today, but we had a commitment, and so we honored it.

miraculously, it took us only an hour to do our duties.

five horses. one hour. yeah, we bad.

(not really, they had only one bucket, so we added another clean one we'd put up in the feed stall. only minor poopage, due to the horses being out in this fabulous weather we're having. which started tuesday morning. the horses being turned out all night, meaning we had very little, precious little to do each morning. it still took us an hour to do it, but we got it done and i was grateful it was only an hour, as my girl had a full day of riding and whatnot to contend with).

we made it to today, and both agreed, we'd sleep in tomorrow. (if i can ever get to sleep that is.)

but i watched a movie called august rush. LOVED it!

the artist's dilemma again. those movies sometimes capture an angle, a glimpse, a whisper, and this one, slightly more.

that's all for now.
must rest.

Friday, April 25, 2008

mending fences

so it wasn't me she was referring to, the owner, i mean. it was my girl (may as well have been me). she (my girl) had misplaced her crop and was scouring the lounge (or the room that reeks of ammonia with a couch in it--hence, the name, the lounge), looking for it when the owner saw her, then my girl remembered she'd left it with the instructor's stuff in the other barn. and off she went.

it didn't occur to me, the connection between the cowboy ghetto and this lady. as i walked around the place, i was so smitten by the natural beauty of the place, i didn't really pay attention to every fence being in need of repair.

today it hit me.

i'm having trouble with someone who doesn't know how to mend fences.

i hope i have learned to take the time to make things right. to repair that which provides boundaries and lines of demarcation.

but then again, who knows.

this week took it's toll on me and yesterday's bright eyed and bushy tailed employee has faded into a do nothing, stand around and zone out employee.

i need to go to bed now. i open the store at 6:30 then back to the farm at 3:30. i am not sure when i get rest, sometime next week, i hope. if i remember to schedule it, that is.

she hates me

i keep trying not to psych myself out, but the owner of the farm pointed at me as i walked up from visiting bucky (which i probably should not have done, but couldn't resist), and the instructor we help took a step my way, then turned on her heels as someone else needed her.

it is camp week after all.

but today ends a week of being there. playing with fire, so to speak. and monday, they moved a huge, mammoth frisian into bucky's paddock and in order to let them work out the dynamics, i stayed away. but i had to check it out. see if he was adjusting.

this is the same giant draft who kicked the nice lady's slightly smaller draft and mad him limp (lame, i guess it's called). it will be a while before he heals.

when i got to bucky's paddock. he knew i was there, but stood, stone still, with one leg tucked in, i'd never seen him stand this way. and it produced a slight bulge just above his bend in his leg (i don't know horse anatomy, yet).

imagine a bump on the tapering part of a chicken leg. (fried. i mean).

so i was concerned. that and he was standing before a length of fence that had been kicked out, part jaggedly pointing in toward him, and the rail above, knocked in the other direction.

shit happened. but what?

the whole farm is rigged. thrown together with some baling wire and what seems to be round pen fencing. a very shoddy operation by anyone's standards. and there bucky stands in the middle of all that ghetto cowboy country, mudcaked and motionless.

i stood there for a lot longer than i intended to because he was immoble. the frisian motionless behind him (about two horselengths away), then prince, ambling around eating, unconcerned with his frozen penmates.

i wish i understood what it all meant.

then bucky turned to face me and, came fully alive, if you know what i'm saying. i noticed he always does this when i amble over and it's kind of weird. but i don't know how horses naturally are, so i just chalk it up to that. being a dude and having all that hardware to exhibit.

he walks over to me when his enthusiasm fades, and i greet him with a fist full of grasses and wild onion. which he gobbles down.

i gave him a bit more, he seemed all right. he walked fine. just a bit more aloof.

so i finally tear myself away from him, and prince never came over to get some lovin'. usually he drives bucky away to see what's happening. he maintained his position in the paddock, as did the frisian. like some incredible chess game. i hoped i hadn't cost bucky too much.

but then my girl rang my phone and i told her i was nearly there, walking back from bucky's paddock.

and when i saw the owner pointing, my girl standing at the far end of the other barn, her voice a plaintive,
hurry, mom,
i knew something was up.

i told her i was checking on bucky. and since i'd asked her earlier that morning if she heard any talk about how they are doing, she said,
he's probably fine. if they had been talking about them, that would mean trouble. but i haven't heard anything.

the kid's sharp.

so in the car she tells me the owner barked at her for being in the barn where our favorite instructor is not.
what are you doing over here,
the owner snapped.

i'm getting my stuff,
my girl responded (unused to anyone but me being crabby).

why didn't you get it earlier,
the owner pried

i had to call my mom.
my girl stated.

the owner proceeds to mumble,
i hate camp week.

why anyone has public grounds they don't want the public on, i do not know. perhaps her misguided attempt to privatize her grounds is what my girl and i keep running into.

i'm shoveling shit for a friend and my girl, and now i'm not even going to get to see bucky. this frustrates me but for the horses. i remind myself, this is who i'm doing this for.

so i'll agree to whatever restrictions i have to, and catch a glimpse of bucky from hundreds of feet away and be content.

because that woman is not well. with this kind of vengeance, she's going to ruin the instructor's horse business.

i hope my friend gets out of it or the owner gets settled back at home (or wherever she came from, though she lives on the property, she has MS and doesn't always pick, pick, pick).


Thursday, April 24, 2008

change agent

so after three days off, i left my work and it was 8 cents under or over, i can't remmber which way. i come back and it's near thirty or forty dollars in the red.

no one can seem to figure shit out while i'm gone, so as soon as i come in, i start off the shift the way i normally do. counting everything, documenting everything.

what my young co-managers don't understand is that they are not only protecting themselves but the staff by counting everything and documenting the dollas.

i can't get them to understand this though. with them it's clock in, clock out. that this shit happens when i'm gone is good in that i'm not there to get tangled up in it all. but bad, in that it's happening at all. that's a lot of money to be down.

and finally, since i did the inventory it's "better."

come on kids, how hard is it to keep track of stuff.

but i've seen a lot of bad accounting for product, sloppy standards, etc. so it's to be expected that shit goes missing or can't be found.

i completely rearranged the entire back cage and storage areas while doing inventory. it's the only way to be thorough, knowing exactly what is and isn't there.

i need a higher paying job though. so i won't be there forever. i'm making beans compared to what i could be or used to make.

i consider it, my dues for getting into management.

but i'm so tired of the headaches, though the other newer (not in length of employment, but in upcoming assistant mgr. status) assistants seem amazed that i can get the kids to work at all.

i tell them, there are always at least two things to do.
i ask them (or whomever i'm working with), which do you want to do?

and do the one they don't want to do. i don't really care, at this point, what i do. there are some things i have to do, but most of it is negotiable. so if the kids don't want to wash dishes, i'm happy to have them do something else. but no one stands around on my watch. we work together, as a team. everyone participating.

something about letting another person choose what they want to do, makes it more palatable somehow. all this is a great social experiment for me, having no previous management experience.

but i tend to save the dirty, hard jobs for myself. and i don't mind this. they have to get done and i think, when i finally ask one of them to do it, they will have seen me slogging the dirty mop bucket (which i managed to topple over tonight--that's fun kids), that when it comes their time to do it, they don't object so much.

i'm easing the princess (one of my favorite co-workers, a kid who doesn't even know how to sweep) into mopping. she's overcoming her aversion to touching the mop and broom by retrieving them. and soon, she will be sweeping and mopping, but she doesn't know this yet.


i'm evil. i know. but the girl has got to learn and contribute. we all do.

i forgot to tell you this (and i tell you everything--not really), the disabled vet, last time we worked together said to me,
susan, we got off to a bad start. you're one of the nicest people here.

which made me smile inside. i don't need to be liked, i don't need to be "nice" i don't care to be friends with anyone at my place of employ. what i want to see is a job done well to the standards we need to meet. that's it. do that and we're good. don't do it, and i'll try to help change what needs to be changed. (this is seen as pickiness by many. they got some horrible habits before i came on and since they were all trained together, making the same sloppy mistakes together, i could see them plainly). now, when they see my sloppy mistakes, i say,
you're right. and thank them for pointing it out.

i figure, if you can't take direction, you shouldn't be giving direction.

i think they understand this about me now. i'm not above correction and never want to be. i'm grateful for it, in fact. but sometimes, shit's just got to change. and i tend to be a change agent.

peace. out.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

wing me away

there are precious few who inspire me. perhaps, few in the two legged spectrum. but there is one whose mere utterances give me these grand vistas and inspires me to larger schemes (like i need the help). but sometimes i get bogged down in my little world and lose sight of the grandeur, of the foolishness that bliss is, or the bliss that foolishness is, however that works.

but i've caught wind of it again and it comes to me when the petals waft gently off the trees and i could weep from so much promise, so much life.

we speak in codes and half-truths mostly, i understand this. but there comes a time when our intersecting ideas unlock, unleash, unearth that which is hiding or forgotten momentarily.

and i am grateful for the reminder, that i can, indeed fly.

these earthbound days are few. and i am tired of rotted fences and sagging dreams.

i had forgotten how promising a day can be.

what is that thing, that burning ember in the bosom that keeps you going when others have given up. that thing that can warm another if they huddle close.

brave souls, these, who draw their warmth from our embers. they risk a burn, and we that dividing embers might quench them, douse their light and heat.

but that is not the case, that is never the case.

and we take what we have left and impart one flicker of hope one to another.
and then, anything is possible.

even flight.

something about hot.

i don't care to be hot. at least with cold, you can move and put on layers. but hot, you're screwed essentially. and last hot spell, my a/c farted out. so this hot spell, i realize i should have fixed it after last hot spell and i'm dying.

so i call the mechanic,
can you get me in and get the car back to me by 3?


well, i can't get the truck there until 45 minutes after i said it would be there (life happens!) and he can't guarantee a thing. but my kid is in another town far away and i can't gamble with being there or not being there to pick her up, though she told me she'd wait with velvet if i were late.

that's a good idea,
i said.

not thinking it would be terribly late.

but with the mechanic not willing to tell me if 3:30 would be doable because he has so much work,
how about tomorrow,
he says.

i can't get it here any earlier, and the stakes increase because the latter part of the week i've got to fly back home then to work after picking her up.

her riding instructor is very liberal with her time, i should take comfort in this. and know that i could leave the truck there, but it is better not to gamble thus. considering it's about a 45 minute drive to the farm.

and i'm too tired to deal with it, so i'll punt it to next week. but i'm frying in that damn truck and not sure what to do about it.

at least by coming home i can shower and unearth my summer clothes which are still tucked away. maybe it's better this way.

who knows.

i'm going to veg. i have stuff to do, but i think i need to vegemegate rather than run up and down four flights of stairs all afternoon doing laundry.

the laundry can get done after i'm rested some.

and i just don't know what to do about the heat.

last night at my open mic, the library was so fricken' hot. when the weather starts to warm up, they don't adjust for the change (i've noticed the slack repeatedly), and last night, it was warm enough to rise bread. we sat there pretty lethargic as poet after poet read and we were all pretty zapped.

i lay in bed until 15 minutes before trying to catch a bit of rest, but there was none to be had. and last night after the open, when i'm most awake, i kept thinking i have to go to sleep. early morning.

it's no way to live.

so i'm going to go veg for a few hours then get my girl on time and hopefully, rested. because while the park bench of yesterday was nice, it was not restful. it was merely a way to pass the time.


Monday, April 21, 2008


made it. i knew by the time i hit today a ton of stuff would have passed that i simply had to navigate.

my eyes burn now as i write and close them momentarily.

my girl is working on her bronze award for a big organization every morning this week before camp starts, so we are, without fail, going to be at the farm by 8am. though we banged it out so quickly today, we might show up at 8:30 tomorrow morning. (the difference an extra half hour of sleep makes in my life is huge!)

everyone fed, stalls mucked, water buckets scrubbed and we had close to an hour to kill.

walking out to bucky's paddock (how else do you think i'd pass the time?), a hawk cut across my path and roosted in the trees. i would never have seen him there except that he let me get a glimpse of him and watch him land. he stayed there most of the time i was with bucky, then flew around and across bucky's paddock to rest in an obliging tree. he was indiscernable at that location, i never would have known he was there, save the blackbird who kept diving at him. he ignored them and they gave up.

we wandered back to the minis and my girl is racing up and down the fenceline with one gorgeous little white mare.

look mom!
she grinned as she ran, the horse trotting along beside her.

did you see?

nope, missed it.
which sometimes, even if i've seen it, i say that just to get the kid moving.

again and again she did it, i "finally" caught one episode and the mangy cat rubbed up against me though i objected. he snuck up when i was watching the treelines.

i don't want what you're offering,
i said, as i pushed him away.

i feel bad for him. bald patches and mats so thick they feel like pom-poms.

so now, i've hours to kill and a good book to read. i was going to start leaning toward my next packet, but i can't. i just don't have it in me. and last night i punted two books to the next packet, so have plenty to do, just not the desire to do it just yet.

for now, i'll reward myself with a book which has caught my eye for some time, i finally broke down and bought it after having a dream of a dark horse.

perhaps there's something there for me.

and an obliging bench in the park at the center of this small town where i'll spend the week. i may try to nap in the breeze and sun. i hope that isn't a problem. we'll find out. i've got no where to go, and i need to rest up. hosting an open mic tonight with a featured speaker. so after nabbing my girl in a few hours, i must away and home to change then to the library for the read.

but i have three days off work and i will try, desperately, to forget about work for a while. they may call, but i won't answer. i've learned that lesson and a girl has to draw the line somewhere.

to the park, to nap like a homeless person.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

easy does it

so i started my paper, mammoth intimidating frozen work that it promises to be. and i find it has some surprises all its own.

it's tough to convey the context of a book, that you actually read it and aren't just jumping through hoops. i have to demonstrate i can critically evaluate poems.

there are precious few poems i care to evaluate, let alone hack apart into bloody bits for gawking and poking at.

but i've begun the process and it isn't as bad as i thought it would be. often, i find, dread requires more energy of me than just doing the thing.

how will this all weave together for a cohesive argument for my prof, i do not know. will he buy it? i don't know.

it comes to this, he doesn't have to buy what i'm selling. i simply have to make a damn fine case.

after i got his words on my last poems, which were esentially rendered "emotionally flat" a fellow student asked me how it felt.

these people don't define me or my writing.
i replied.

they have their opinions, and yes i have to listen, but i don't have to do what they say.

she was stunned.

i'm adorably hardheaded, i guess you could say.

but i haven't come all this way to roll over for some intellectual. it will not happen.

will i learn from them, god i hope so.
will i change my style or what i do? i hope not. that is not the point.

so, in contemplating this, i decided to dump the whole load on him. to let him have it, as it were. i was going to pick only my "strongest" poems for him to read, but then i thought, that is disingenuous personally. i cannot live that way.

you don't have to like what i do, hell, you don't have to even like me.

but you do have to put up with me if you so choose. part of that involves me having the courage, balls if you will, to be who i am, regardless of who's watching. (or gawking mouth agape as the case may be).

is it easy, no. hell no.

i get tired of laying all out there, but i don't know how to be anyone else. and i don't want to start now, pussy footing around someone because i respect them and their opinion. that is not integrity on my part. that is ass kissing, and i refuse, i simply refuse to do that.

i could say all the right things, the right way, to fashion my prose smooth and clean as they want me to (in fact, i have to for the critical writing part of this gig), but ultimately, this is where it's at. this is where our voices become stronger.

langston hughes handed in a poem for a final paper.

poets have to be brave. especially poets who have something to say. a new way of seeing.

i don't know that my way of seeing is all that new, i do know, when i am true to it, it rewards me and my readers.

if i can not let them run me off from my voice, my territory, if you will. i can thrive here.

having met a new friend who got online as i was beginning a poem, i finished it up and asked if she wanted to read it.

she did, so i emailed it. we chatted a bit, and i went on about my day.

the next time we got together, she told me how she sat at her computer and cried as she read it.

she said,
when someone says they are "a poet," this is met with a great deal of skepticism. so when you said you were writing a poem, i never expected it to affect me.

i said, smiling in the sun.

you have a gift,
she said.

thank you.

i don't know why this happens but it does.

i like to think of it as lorca's duende.

i may not have power or position, but i do have a voice. and i'll be damned if some college is going to deny me that voice.

the spring i fear

my girl told me this analogy today,

dad reminds me of the carnival game with the glove on the spring. it's not the glove i fear, it's the spring. and it always seems coiled.

such a beautiful horrible metaphor. something about his quiet nature, when a quiet person yells, it's shocking. i feel it too. i yell back, and i don't often yell in return, but i feel i need to defend myself somehow.

and i feel bad for them both. i remind her that i yell too. that i have horrible, terrible, no good very bad days, too.

and sometimes i agree with why she's gotten busted, and i tell her so. (i don't need her thinking me a great parent at his expense, that's for damn sure).

so i do my best to soothe her, to offer her some consolation. but she gets lit up by him. in a way she doesn't get lit up by me. go figure.

though we have our spats. many of them. we duke it out and move on. somehow, (unless i am entirely deluded, which i may well be), it doesn't seem to stick with us. perhaps because when we have that uncomfortable angry energy, i work at it until it goes away.

i'm not sure the man has the same ability for reconciliation. in fact, i know he doesn't. so i try to help. i try to offer what little perspective i have to her. and occasionally to him.

i remind him,
it affects her deeply when you treat her that way.

and he tries to remedy what he can when i tell him, the difficulty being, we're both exhausted and in school and working and, and, and...

it's yet another sad tale in my life, that i hope will transform someday. but i don't know that people can change their behaviours if they are not conscious of them. myself included. i haven't yelled in a great while. i think writing about my misbehaviours helps me reframe them, see them in an objective light.

i like to think this is the redemptive aspect of writing, the holy cud we writers chew.

that our works can transform us if we let them.

peace. out.


so my phone no longer holds a charge since i dropped it in water. but when i remember to charge it, good things happen--actually, my boss pesters me, so the argument for not charging it is compelling.

phone dead at work, and she didn't show up to do inventory with me.

i'm not a knucklehead, so i do it myself.

she wanders in when i'm done and asks if i did everything.







yeah, it was a good feeling. i like to accomplish shit on my own, i don't need handholding.

but i'm tired now. spent more time at work than i had, but at least i didn't have to go back.

now, if i can only get that paper wrote.

(bad english for comic effect is underrated).

peace. out.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

goodbye kiwi

so it looks like if nj comes through, that's it. and i can't say i'm not relieved. i am. either way it will be a disruption, but a disruption that actually moves me in a direction i'm not entirely opposed to is better than cutting me off and shipping me overseas.

not that i don't want to go overseas, mind you. just not under those circumstances.

one more book to finish, i have just about a hundred pages to go, before the paper for monday, which i still haven't written a word. i've thought a lot about it, pushed it from my mind a lot more. (which is how i write), so i expect it to all be well. what could possibly go wrong. HA!

we're having a two day discussion of one of the books, can't wait for that. i pretty much expect it to be a large hoop i must jump through and that's about it.

so tomorrow is inventory. we've been in the crapper since the last inventory, so i hope it goes well. it's on me and the manager if it doesn't (as far as counting goes).

gotta go. dinner and a movie.

nothing like a diversion.

Friday, April 18, 2008

just one wish

i guess i'm reverting to type. to being overworked and exhausted. to being not thought highly of, as i was for a time now so far gone from memory that i hardly remember the touch of softness on my cheek.

and i need a rest, a long rest in the arms of love. but don't even know if that is possible anymore. and contemplate the alternative, trudging through my life as is wondering where it went wrong or what i can possibly change.

for so long i felt there was nothing could be done, nothing i would do. now i want an overhaul. a mulligan. another chance to change the way it is.

but even that seems beyond me.
so i settle into this rhythm of denial. of not wanting what i want most. of not loving what i love most. of not needing what i need most.

and it leaves me hollowed out, like a crusty bread you fill with soup.

only there is no soup, no hungry soul waiting to devour the goodness i contain, if indeed i contain any.

if i had one wish, i don't even know what that would be anymore.

i don't know how people go through life without self medicating. without going to great lengths to change what is and is not satisfactory.

i would spit it all out, but some part of me just wants to resign again. to sink back into whatever bog and mire i got clear of once forever ago. and just stop trying to live a dream because we must all wake up. and the harsh light of day is all i'm left with.

should i stay or should i go now

i am of mixed emotion, largely because i'm tired, wiped out, kaput. but also because there are two companies vying for my husband's interest and it perplexes me. i hate to, hate to hear about potential moves too long before i have to start dashing crap into boxes. it grinds me down.

i have no strength to fight off the dread now, and even the allure of a gorgeous kiwi landscape is doing little to soothe me. mostly i can only think, i will not see my sister for a very long time. and that troubles me. deeply.

i have very few, precious few people who i really need in my life. she is one.

up and leaving again, taking some ungodly flight knowing she cannot follow with her small clan just about does me in. we've lived apart most of our lives now, but it has always been just a matter of getting to her. i guess it still will be that, but it looks so different to me from here.

and i was up reading info on moving there last night, sent by the prospective company. it does sound wonderful. i look forward to meeting the tribal people, but i'm not sure and this uncertainty is what is disloging my pilings.

i don't know that the beauty of the place is enough to keep me. we shall see.

and jersey is interested, and while that is not such an extreme adventure, it is one i can stomache. only 1.5 hours from where we are now, and i think i can do that.

the difference being, i am not locked down on an island, unable to return to those i may need to ground me.

though in this tehnological world we are not really locked into any one place. in a sense.

but that sense has long been lacking for me. and i need my people. to be able to get to them.

i must go rest. my early press to get the work for this packet done has left me thin as a sheet of phyllo dough. and i don't want to force or strain too hard, as i might crack apart and blow away.

paper due monday, now if only i can write it. as yet, not a single word on the six books i've completed. i decided to give myself a break and not require the seventh yet.

to bed and dreaming of a place of my own.
and peace, requested peace.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

to be a new jersey poet

in the haze of my afternoon, my husband stumbles in to tell me new jersey is back in play. we'd move down by princeton.

this is a wonderful thing for one who wants to be a new jersey poet.
this is a wonderful thing for one who does not want to go back to texas (ever)
this is a wonderful thing, i must remind myself of this.

but just now, as the phone rings me from my final exhausted slumber, and some bigwig from the new jersey company is on the line, i cannot think of that.

my mind begins to swirl with dates upcoming, with friends (or friend) we'll leave--though i have just found two other belly dancing homeschooling moms, and that is like lightning striking.

the comfortable grooves my shoes have worn in this pavement were only temporary, i knew this.

i knew this and i knew it would come time when we'd move again.

i want to be a new jersey poet. the only way to do that is to live there or be born there, since i cannot have the latter, the former it must be.

and it is not so far, i cannot participate in the rich full happenings here locally. the crowd of phenoms i've come to know, whether by face or name.

rather it opens my doors to a whole new set of poets, throws open the windows of my life to air out the musty lived in winter, but i won't see some of these poets again. i won't come back to this place, see these swans, feed these geese.

and for a time, they are all i can think about.

art show in june

so, i've long wanted my girl's work displayed. it's amazing and getting better. i've lugged her work tot he library at the request of one of the ladies who said,
it will be judged like an adult's.

and i said,
that should be no problem.

so she wasn't there the first time i drug it in. and i tend to let these things slip my mind since i'm so busy. but it didn't. today was the day, her art surrounding me, it said, take me to the library. and so i did.

since i can't force myself to function on my behalf today, i walked into her office (this is the lady who schedules the poetry stuff i host), and she watched as i held one upside down. and tried to show her just a sample of the work.

she's eleven.
i said,
and this stuff is everywhere, all over the house.

wow. mostly horses?

yes, but she has other stuff, too. (thinking of the joan miro and van gogh pictures she made in art class).

so, long story short, she's got an art show coming up at our library in june. she'll get a set of glass cases to display her works (i confess some are in model magic, but hey, the kids will love it).

the librarians who know us (we're always there), were all impressed by the works. i need to dig out the pictures buried in her room (i'm not the world's best keeper of art--duh, i just realized, i should get her a portfolio, that is the answer! to the art store! huzzah).

and i've got to part with her works for a month. i hadn't thought that through, but my kid needs to be challenged as an artist, and so, here we go.

peace. out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

hurry up and wait.

so, i didn't get my certification yet. sigh.
but it's a matter of three items left to check off. nothing can be done about it.

my dm is awesome. he uttered some lines from a led zeppelin song and i picked it up and carried on, cueing the other guy to say the rest of the lines, but the other guy is much (MUCH) younger than we are, and had no clue. i bet if i said the lines to you, you could get the lines better than these kids.

we laughed.

communication was the section we were working on.

the dm says,
communication breakdown.

i say,
it's always the same.

then cue the kid, who had this blank confused stare. :)

when the kid caught on (that is, the dm explained what he'd missed, he said,
i can play stairway to heaven on the guitar,
and we agreed that was sufficient to make up for the lack of zep lyrics on the brain).

so, this after the dm informs me my certification will take place at 1 instead of 12, and last for two hours (being three instead of one i depart--sigh), and i had to re-arrange my girl's riding lesson, but all ends well.

and my girl wouldn't leave the farm until we bathed the horse and let her eat fresh grass. i try to keep my distance with that horse, i think i annoy her. what can i say, i'm not everyone's cup of tea.

but i did get to see bucky. and his wanton regard for me is delirious. we stood there breathing in each other's faces for a while, i scratching his neck, he trying to nibble on anything of mine he could. but i'm wise to him now (and wearing much fewer clothes, so i keep telling him not to sample me, as it hurts). but he's gorgeous. his dizzy brown eyes and the alfalfa stains on his velvet lips. just wonderful. the hawk was there keeping vigil as well. which pleases me.

and delivered chapbook to dear friend. it was good to see her.

but i've been going and haven't stopped since i awoke at 7am, and i need to veg now.


fire my burners

so i get the okay from a dear friend to compile her works. i stay up till midnight tweaking and i'm pleased with the product, i've ordered a proof (gotta love lulu) but in just the time since i went to bed, i know there are issues i need to fix.

when do i have the time for this?

i don't. plain and simple.

but i must make the time. we make time for what matters, i've come to understand that.

and when i was doing it, it all came together, the title, the cover, everything. it's going to be gorgeous, i must say, i have a knack for book design.

my covers tend to be darker than your average, and my sister said,
your book doesn't have a title

but it does, it's ethereal. i dig that.

probably not jump off the shelves marketing, but i like something to draw me in. to catch my eye and make me want to investigate.

i don't mind a little delay and don't feel fifty point white letters on a black dust cover are the only way to convey a message.

subtlety is key kids.

subtlety is key.

and now, i go take my test after very little sleep, but i feel brighteyed and bushytailed because i am doing the work i am supposed to be doing.

i always knew it incorporated publishing authors, but i never knew in what context or how it would look.

i have preferences, and so far, my book has gotten oohs and aaahs, from those who have seen and bought it. is it perfect, no, but neither am i.

winnebago say,
there is nothing perfect.
(i'm editing it).

i need to go get ready for my test, but there are few things that give me the energy to stumble through my day like working with others' words. it is tough, it demands more than it feels i have to give, but i'm one of those highly functional types, who needs more to keep me going.

(or i've just had a spat of madness, but it doesn't feel like madness and i would do it even if it was).

my dear friend said,
no, don't go to the trouble.

but i did. i had to.

i love her works. i want them for myself, what better reason to compile and edit them? though i love the unedited versions.

she has a peculiar vernacular, a way of speaking that will lose its charm if edited with too heavy a hand. so i will have the unedited version for my own enjoyment.

and i will carry it close to my heart, for it is what gives me strength.

Monday, April 14, 2008

attractive lines

i won't get into why, but one thing i have my daughter do is practice her penmanship by extracting two sentences from her reading materials each day and reproducing these lines on the page.

she's run through the expected lines of mom is a zombie, etc.

but today's was a gem, i want to comandeer it for a poem. it reads

he looked like ten miles of bad road


so when i steal it and use it, (just did), i can't even cite it because she don't cite sources.

ah well. i enjoy seeing what she comes up with and it's curious how these lines are so wonderful. they are her way of saying something.

the found poem, if you will.

why is it i'm surrounded by such amazing poets, none of whom believe they are as amazing as they are.

i guess, that is why we are together, mutual affinity. we all need peers. we need to be challenged by others who get us. who aren't too far ahead or behind that we can still relate and invigorate each other's works.

i have the privileged position of being a black hole that sucks unpublished works my way, and i love it, i would not have it otherwise.

my prof started the semester asking what book or movie i'd watched or read recently that i could discuss. and since the books i read on my freetime are unpublished. i couldn't discuss them.

but reading unpublished works is the best way for me to spend my precious freetime, contributing to the fine authors and poets who abound in my life.

i want them to succeed and in whatever way i can help, i try. from finding typos. to encouraging those who are staring the grim reaper/writer's block (which often feel the same), through. it is my life's work, i am convinced.

i test for my mgmt. position tomorrow. finished my training manual tonight. nothing like planning ahead. but we are incredibly busy and i've no time just to sit and do bookwork (we cannot take the books home). gratefully, we had no customers tonight and i sat for two hours, at least, just finishing my book.

now, to test.

i meet the district manager who will certify me. and then to the farm. i'm thinking tomorrow i go roam a bit.

i need some time to decompress and i have a poetry book to deliver to a friend. perhaps tomorrow is the day.

it's long overdue. and i miss her. she's the coolest kat in hell, her husband is a film director. i adore them both.

her mom is the one who may host me at a poetry reading someday. we'll see what happens.

time for me to check out. two days off (save the test tomorrow).

peace. out.


how fully my heart pounds now, again, these poets i love quicken me. and i am grateful.

the world is a soulless place it seems, but they scrape together crumbs for a feast and i grow fat on their offerings.

i would like to get a view of the world that is not meager and wanting.

for fullness.

that is what i wish.

and peace. requested peace.

that which is mine will come to me. i believe this.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

bail out

so i get to work at 12, which is earlier than i was supposed to be there. and find out the girl who was there had been "left" by the other asst. mgr. for four hours.

it bums me out when people are so selfish.

the key thing is just a nightmare, and i'm racing around a jam packed store trying to get stuff done between spurts.

i'm fried tonight and my only consolation is a dear friend's spurt of poetry. that revives me.

more than the published poets, more than the big wigs i'm reading. just a person i love writing gives me strength to carry on.

that's all, i'm fried.
peace. out.

literary orgies

it's been a long time since i just went out into the yard with bunny and daughter and did nothing. i tried to read, but was too inspired for that. mostly, i just fed the blue jays and squirrels. took note of the passing fowl and breathed in the fresh air.

it's been a long, claustrophobic winter and i'm glad it's over.

i lazed about as long as possible this morning before having to extract the summer clothes (that's how nice it's been) from storage for my girl to make it to her religious indoctrination of the week. what can i say, i'm thrilled she's around a group of, what's the word... conservatives. that's sufficient to rattle the cages of everyone with their own ideas let alone mine.

an early phone call, it can't be good, has to be work, those people are forever waking me up. and i'm called in early. good thing i enjoyed the day off while i had it. too soon unaccountability ends, too soon.

work is a joke right now, with the pettiness of a young manager who wants silly things done certain ways (which have no bearing on the product or preparation time), i am starting to ignore her directives as they seem ludicrous.

and i've yet to certify, tuesday that will happen.

but one of the other asst. mgrs in training has this, she should be on call 24-7 attitude, because she's the manager, he says.

and i think, whoa! that's not right. everyone needs a rest. and there is a place to draw the line and trust your lieutenants, or burnout will ensue.

the one asst who is pegged for her mgmt. position, should it come to that, should she choose to jump ship, loves to call out just before her shift begins. doesn't bat an eye at calling out. in the five months i've been there, she's called out at least ten or twelve times, maybe more. unbelievable.

but i never call out. an entire year in hell and i never called out.

it's not my nature, though if they keep working me like they are, i may need to call out for my own sanity.

i'm off, precious few hours until work and i've got reading to do. though i've lost my way (what else is new), and i have lots of ground to make up.

a mountain of writing, which i am putting off until i can go at it in one giant wordfest. a literary orgy if you will.

peace. out.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

colic averted

maybe not, but my girl's instincts told her to get someone to look at that horse, laid out flat in its stall. she tried talking to it, but it wouldn't do more than swivel its ears.

mom, that horse is not okay.

c'mon, we have work to do
(i, all business when lives are at stake).

but mom,

later. c'mon.

he's laid out flat.

lots of horses lay out flat, i see it all the time.

but not in the stall.

i'll look in a minute.

and finished the stall i was nearly done with.

when i walked over to where she sent me, sure enough, he was splayed out and breathing pretty normal (what do i know?)

so i made some noise, looked in on him through the stall door, instead of just the feed bucket hole, he did not move. even when i was rumbling around. then, he lumbered up to folded legs and started to do what sounded like a fart, but his tail didn't move (see, my experience is paying off some), and then cough, then gasp. it was odd.

so i walk over to the next barn where the owner and a few others are huddled in conversation.

someone needs to come and look at this horse, my daughter said it is not acting normal.

the owner shoots off like a rocket for the stall, and i turn around and take the wheel barrow full up the ramp to the spreader.

manuer and shavings in the breeze when another man shows up, he asks about the horse and i direct him to the owner. who has entered the stall and gotten the horse haltered and up. she's on the phone when i walk by, and they are taking the horse out for a walk.

i didn't keep up with it, but when the owner passed by us at the far end of the barn (i was half hoping we weren't doing anything wrong), she asked my girl what happened.

my girl told her,
i tried to talk to him, but he just stayed there, and didn't move.

thank you.

THE OWNER thanked my girl.

and when she went by, i informed her i've bought my girl a small manuer pick (which was the source of so much consternation this past week) and that we'd be bringing it to and from, for her not to be concerned that it is not her small pick, but our own.

she explained again why she didn't want it used, and i understood the first time.

so i listened, and smiled, and she went on her way.

by the time we left, everyone had gone their ways, and i was sorry i couldn't go see bucky.

but in true form, i went to see him, though i probably shouldn't have. i know we are being watched and while i have no ill intent, i am not sure everyone believes that. (what could i possibly be up to shoveling poo, i simply don't know).

bucky was a muddy mess, so were many of the horses today, they seemed proud of their complete and total immersion in the outdoors.

but we got to see him, spent a few moments with him. and then went our way.

the hawk broke cover to let me know he was there, in the treeline. white belly glistening in the sun.

and i was grateful.

wide awake dreaming

my co-worker, ex-military tells me if i work out too much and don't eat right the resultant discombobulation is similar to what i'm experiencing at work. i simply don't know what i'm doing lately and with all the changes and lockdown, i'm pretty useless. which is a good time.

so i muddled through another shift and this asian dude comes in as we're closing. stands at the counter and asks for something but i tell him we're closed.

he keeps standing there, for about three minutes and finally my co-worker talks to him. the guy says little of interest and when i turn around again (i was washing dishes at that point), he says,
beautiful girl. you're a really beautiful girl.

which i think is kind of strange, because i've got a baseball cap on, with all my hair oozing out the back in a rather sloppily constructed bun, i'm wearing that green apron and the rest of the getup. it's nothing fabulous, at all. i don't even have a scrap of makeup. i got out of the habit some time ago now.

so the guy watches me extract an overfull bag of trash from the can and offers to help, i said,
no thanks, i've got it
(like i'm really going to let some customer come behind the counter and help me, if i really needed help, i'd ask my co-worker who watched me do the same thing the previous night and wanted to help but i waved him off. i'm a strong woman.

which reminds me of a funny thing, i took that overfull bag of trash to the chute last night and it was very heavy. the chute bottom is about shoulder height for me. and so i open it, get the waft of rotten fruits and vegetable potpourri which comes with the grocery store garbage chute, then hold the bag out in front of me as i'm facing the chute and proceed to twirl with the bag in a 360 degree circle--kind of like a discus thrower--at which point the centrifugal forces begin to lift the bag and i whirl it into the chute to the amazement of the two big guys standing there watching me maneuver this load.

do you treat your man like that,
they said, laughing.

and i made muscles with my arms and walked away, enough said.

but i was grinning from ear to ear).

so the asian guy wanders away and i make a break for it into the back room. repeat yesterday's launching of the garbage, and figure out how to operate the box crusher, then leave the backroom.

the asian guy is standing right by the door when i walk out, he's looking at some product and says,

i smile and walk by as fast as i can.

my co-worker says when i return,
be sure that guy isn't following you when you leave.
(which i'm grateful he said, because i don't think that way, i expect the best of people--who generally rise to the occasion).

so the asian guy is posted by the punch out clock talking to two of my co-workers at the grocery store. and i took the opportunity to ring up the things my peeps at home needed, and get out of there quick. he was embroiled in a very animated story which involved some pantomime and one does not get out of those conversations quickly.

so i walked pretty fast out of the store and hopped on my pony, and got away.

i don't work today and have been wondering what i'm going to do. i need to read. to do some schoolwork, but i also have to go to the farm and take care of the horses.

i love the drive, love the work, love the horses.

and trust that is enough for now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

you look familiar

so i'm sitting on this bench in the sun, thanking the stars that i'm out and not lying around my house (the object in motion stays in motion), so they arrive, a new friend i'm going to meet and her daughter.

i put a call out to the local homeschoolers because i needed to find some kids for my girl to get to know. we've been here a long time and she's put up with the kids she knows as long as she can. she's had it. and i can't say that i blame her.

so we met, we wooed we made exchange of vow,
not exactly, but it was so nice meeting someone on the same channel as i am.

i don't need many friends. just those ones i can't live without.

so she says,
you look familiar.

and it turns out, we met earlier this year, but i was riding the wave of my life and didn't have time to chit chat (as i've always said).

and off i went, missing my opportunity to connect.

such is life.

but now, i'm ready, and so is she for us to spend time together.

work has gotten completely weird because someone is stealing. and now, everything is in lockdown mode, which is to be expected but it doesn't make the performing of funcitons easy.

and i'm just hoping it gets straightened out soon because i was very frustrated working tonight with everything locked. we can't even get more coffee out, that's how rediculous it is. i wish i had some idea what was going on because i've not seen anything awry on my shifts. we're so busy working and cleaning, i can't imagine who has time to steal. but apparently someone does.

now, to schoolwork.

peace. out.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

kiwi bound?

so, i get word the process is moving forward and i don't mind either way.

i could use a lovely landscape, a break from my life, as it were.

if we go, i revert to mom at home and figure it out from there.

fortunately a move would not affect my degree completion at all. there are people from all over the world doing school the way i am. perhaps it would give me the time and freedom to complete my master's.

but i'd miss my sister. of all people, i would have to figure out some way to get a phone where we could talk without restriction.

at least homeschooling is legal in kiwiland. that's good news.

i test for my mgmt. certification on tuesday. we'll see what happens there. they seem to be spreading my days out and i'm tired.

i think having to accomplish so much with each moment of each day just wears me thin.

like a bit of butter scraped across too much bread.

i had to read something today that was not required because it has been so long since i've read something i want to read. the requisite texts are sucking the joy out of my poetic contemplations. and i am not sure what to do about that.

i'm certainly feeling the disconnect of my soul and my brain.

i don't like it very much. but there ain't much i can do. i asked for it, in a sense.

all i can do now is hold on and hope for the best.

a review of sorts

the impromptu purchase of my chapbook this weekend by a poet i met this season at the poetry center writes this morning and says he had to keep reading.

he liked my book, essentially.

which is the point, i guess.

i'm not exactly sure what the point is. as i sit here and contemplate another book order because i've nearly gone through the whole first order (total about 36 books), not many, but certaintly not none.

do i want to sell more?

i'm not sure. i certainly like the book. is that reason enough?

why am i selling it any way?

because people ask for my work, is that reason enough?

i don't know.

there is an emily dickinson line about publication being the auction of the mind of man.

that line strikes me. perhaps she was able to keep from being hypocritical about it by not publishing. she didn't auction her mind. the few poems she did publish in her lifetime were heavily altered, so the story goes.

i understand why she would hold them back if they were to be treated so.

but this is not the case for me, i have the freedom to print my lines as i see fit. to write my lines and leave them unedited (as i'm inclined to do).

so it is a different approach all together.

i wonder, if she had the opportunity i have, to write and self-publish, would she?

does it really matter what she'd have done or do now?

not really.

i'm still turning over the same cud in my mind. to publish or not to publish.

that will ever be my question. and while i can do it on my own, by my own terms, i at least feel it is the right way to do it.

one cannot keep a thing hidden that is meant to be for the masses, i believe that. cream rises. someone once said that to me.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

working poet

i don't know what it takes for one to reach that moment when they've actually made it. sometimes, i wonder if we all have a chance at it, or if only a few, a select group will ever truly "make it" and i guess that depends on what you mean by making it.

i sat here looking at my fingertips white and raisined from washing mountains of dishes, and it didn't take me too long (surprisingly), sometimes the dread of a thing is worse than the actual thing. thought i learned that long ago. and when we finally submit to the thing, it wasn't so bad. it was even a bit enjoyable.

i get paid to wash dishes, essentially at the new job. i'm not looking to wash dishes at home anymore, all the zen has gone out of it for me. but i know this is not right and cannot long be maintained. we run out of forks and spoons eventually. and i need to stop avoiding it, and get back to washing those dishes.

my now tender (strong but tender) fingertips are back to writing and i wonder if all those artists along the way who have not made it, lost their way in the mundane. or if they found their way through the mundane? the mundane never goes away, it always is waiting for you to come around again.

this could be lifesucking, or it could be lifegiving depending on how you receive it.

right now, it's okay that i've not made it, that i'm not close to making it. i'm not ready to peak yet. i have bigger dreams than that.

but i'm ready to rest. and remind myself that making it is not necessarily what other people deem it is for my life. it is only what i believe it to be.

at this moment, i have no idea what that looks like.

i just know, as long as i can, as long as i'm able, i'll be a working poet first.

i remembered this story of the dali lama, that struck me as utterly opposite of my interactions with the owner of the farm.

the dali lama was staying at a hotel in a town where he was giving a lecture. the first day, he greeted the housekeeper who was waiting by the door when he left for the lecture with such courtesy, such kindness, that each day one or two more housekeepers were waiting with that original housekeeper. by the end of his stay the halls were flanked with the housekeeping staff.

it is not about who you are, but how you treat people. do you respect them and garner that same respect in kind?

by that token, i did not give the owner her due, perhaps. but neither did she give me mine, demanding that i "know" who she is.


i never want to be that kind of successful person. i have met amazing, famous poets. some with the genuine willingness to treat others with dignity and respect equal to that of the dali lama and the housekeeping staff.

that is my ideal. that is what i strive to attain. to respect persons regardless of their station.

i didn't do so well with the owner and can do better, i will do better.

peace. out.

all right, i know who you are

but i still don't care.

the owner of the farm is plaguing me. she isn't around much but when she is, apparently she's, um, how to say it, a bitch? yes.

well, i'm trying to steer clear of her, because i don't want to start a losing battle and i'm just trying to keep my kid out of harm's way. something about this woman, she didn't care for me i don't think (i know), because i didn't pay her due respect. trouble is, i don't just lick the feet of anyone who comes my way, regardless of what they own.

and if they want me to, well, yeah, keep dreaming.
there are precious few who i will pay homage to. i don't know that any of them have two legs.

so the trick is, not to lose my zen at this point.

and nicole just said to humor her. it's nothing personal.

what can i say? i get to meet the fun people. that's about it.

but today nicole trotted bandit with me on the longe line. that was a curious crashing of pelvic bone and saddle. mostly, i was just along for the ride. though i had to start and stop him. and since he's arthritic, he needed about ten minutes to warm up, ten minutes of me crashing up and down in the saddle and trying to hold on and balance.

fun stuff kids.

but i have to learn. i have to learn so i can move beyond it.

i'm still loving the horses and bandit was curiously calm today. no hysterics. no whinnies like we were trying to take his soul. he was simply willing. and for that, i was grateful.

i just kept trying to breathe and enjoy myself.

it didn't even hurt that much, i'm just tired. the general tired of one who does too much. we walked into a warm restaurant and i wanted to curl into a ball and sleep right there, so i had to keep walking out and sit in the sun on a bench outside or i would have just toppled over.

i did get to see bucky after tracking him down. he was in his stall. i think they are turning him out at night. we saw him saturday just before the sun went down, he was out in the paddock. today, he was in.

it's a gorgeous day though.

and one of the nicest ladies there at the barn, her horse got turned out with a giant draft horse (her horse is a slightly smaller draft horse) and apparently there was some roughousing going on, and the nice lady's horse got the worse end of the deal.

she's an empath, i can tell. she ground relates to her horse a lot, so i like her very much. and when she came in during my lesson, i wanted to see what had happened, but there was too much to do.

so finally, after turning the big guy out, i found her.

are you okay?

she said,
thank you for asking.

she was just upset that her horse got roughed up and was limping after it while she had no say in the matter.

i wished there was something i could have done to help her feel better.

curious that it happened on a day the beotch was there. maybe that had something to do with it. there was a curious vibe at the farm today. perhaps owners don't realize how much their vibe affects the souls on their property.

i am just trying to keep to my appointed tasks.

and nicole, ever grateful, is just trying to keep from getting pestered. i certainly don't want to be the source of pestering. who knows. sometimes, these political intrigues are more than i care to contemplate. i will just let it all go, and continue to do what i'm there for, to make the lives of a few horses (and one fabulous owner) a little easier.

and when we arrived home, my husband stayed in his car--which had pulled in the driveway before us--longer than usual. when i came back down, he said,
i think i've lost my wallet.

so he drove off, back to the store he had just left.

only to return a few minutes later.

did you find it?

yeup. right there on the ground where i had parked.

apparently, it fell out of his pocket while he was getting in the car or something. i told him,
you are one favored guy.
he never gets tickets (okay 3 in 34 years of driving, and when he loses his wallet, badabing, he finds it all there, in tact). i'm grateful for this, the headache that would have come from that is not to be envied, but it's just amazing.

i lost my license, glasses, and a twenty i'd slipped into the case once. we were on our way to the byron nelson, i'd gotten tickets from somewhere (no, wait, that was in the days when my husband's job had perks). i crossed my legs on the bus from parking and out slipped my glass case. i was fortunate in that i realized it before we left the event, and that as we were leaving, the very bus i rode over on was pulled right up waiting for people. i asked the driver who handed me my glass case, glasses, and license, sans the twenty. but i'd gladly pay twenty bucks to get my stuff back. nightmare averted.

so i have been favored too. i know this. it's not sour grapes here, i'm just saying, i am quite favored, but my husband is favored to the point of annoyance. if that were possible.

Monday, April 07, 2008

rush of words

sometimes i settle into the rush of words, the way my chair is positioned in the corner surrounded by stacks of books, at my feet, falling into piles beside my chair
the bookcase long overrun, has transferred most of its bounty to the adjacent built in cabinet. and now more books vie for the space those once beloved books held. only a few kept their words on my shelf. most were sent so i could have those most useful closest at hand. and now they pile up and i rifle through them to find what i need.

so many words surround me.

and yet, they, for all their comfort leave me wanting. they, for all their secrets, leave me feeling out of the loop. i do not yet know what i need to know to solve these riddles and rhymes. i have to wait. and waiting is not my strong suit.

the neighbor downstairs has this way of carmelizing onions that makes me want to kick his door in and gobble them up. sometimes, he forgets he's cooking and the wondrous smell becomes noxious. the haunt of something that could have been delicious but has gone rank, is probably worse than smelling the sweet smell of something that tastes delicious even vicariously.

i notice, at the gym, when i'm doing my thousand situps, that the ladies habitually talk of food. down to the syrups and sauces, i have heard so many talks of buffets and restaurants, it would make your head spin if you tried to keep track of it all. and i laughed because the trainer was captivated by the description of a breafast buffet one member went to, and i said,
vicarous eating, eh?

they laughed.

it was curious though.

i realized, i don't know much about status symbols, don't know or don't care, not sure which. i'm sure there is some seed in me that cares, but when these women are talking about wanting to look rich and well off, that their next car purchase must be a bmw, mercedes, or lexus--no, that's the family car, i realize why i have nothing to say to them.

i'm just glad my banged up pony, the toyota camry which i drive over medians and has lost another hubcap (some have called it the spycar because they are everywhere and no one really sees these cars), though i did see one the other day parked beside me that was a gorgeous midnight blue. i'm trying to get my hubby to invest in a jeep wrangler for me. silver, like i used to have. my daughter says,
i'm working on it.

if i get that conveyance, it will be more about her ability to persuade than mine. i've not asked for it. but i do want another jeep someday.

so i pass two, literally, not exaggerating, bentleys driving into the parking lot of my store as i'm leaving last night and think, what the hell is going on? i guess it's just indicative of the places surrounding where i live, certainly not where i live.

money hasn't ever really impressed me. sure there are lots of things to buy, but i have always been more into people. i would rather know people than possess things. though i've got my share of crap, i'll tell you.

i'm needing to purge again. but hoping we don't move too soon, though at this rate, the livingroom of our current apartment should be packed to the gills with books by summer. my girl is amassing horse books faster than i am poetry books. and that is saying something.

as much as i didn't want to buy any on saturday, i had to buy a copy of the plr i'm in, as i gave mine away, i don't remember to whom, i think to my sister. and i picked up two copies of a poet from wales, amazing stuff.

just more for me to add to my to be read list.

peace. out.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

golden threads

finally up from my late nap (why i put these things off and upset my schedule, i don't know). and an email from a poet i met recently awaited me.

i forget i've got some stuff published now. and it was about that.

curious the place of being relatively unknown. i was at the poetry center yesterday and took to the mic, a mic many great GREAT by any definition, poets have read at: ginsberg, stern, kunitz, mazziotti-gillan, flynn, just to name the few off the top of my head.

i walk up there and read something, anything, at this point, i can't keep straight what i read where. used to be i'd only read a piece once. never twice to the same audience. but i've bent that rule some now, as i simply cannot keep it straight.

sold another chapbook and bequeathed one to another fellow poet. a downpayment for her published work someday.

we must believe in each other, if we don't, who will?

i am amazed at how strong the poets i know are, and how some of those very same poets doubt themselves, to the point of self-censorship. even refusal to read in public, when their works are amazing.

it seems i have the opportunity to be a brazen reader, regardless of who's sitting in the audience. from that perspective i can encourage other poets to step up to the mic and take ownership of it.

i want to challenge other poets to do this. if i can, they can. poetry is no respecter of persons. get your ass up to that podium and read.

breathe and read.

i did not feel particularly called to read yesterday, that was the odd thing. most of the time i feel this compulsion, this inner urge to be heard.

yesterday, i could have passed. would have passed if i hadn't signed up, lucky number 13, that's me.

but it was also the last open reading of the season at the poetry center and as such, something worth my efforts even though i feel indifferent about it.

the session didn't soothe me as it usually does, perhaps because i was racing to get work stuff done when the event started so i slipped in late. i had business to attend to and could not separate the two yesterday.

i am the kind of person who needs great divides between functions. my work must remain at my work. but it has the ability to ooze out into other parts of my life, as it did yesterday. when your boss has a speed dial number on your phone, that's a bad sign.

i'm probably working way too much, but it seems when i don't work, things go wrong with the accounting angle of the place. i'm glad they don't happen on my watch, but i'm troubled they are happening at all. it's a simple matter of equipping your people to do the job thoroughly. if not in fact, giving them the adequate tools, communicating the instructions clearly.

i'm not so sure any of that is done at my job. my boss is doing her best, but there are a lot of gaps happening. all the time i spend there makes me certain i can't do this for the rest of my life. it is merely a stepping stone somewhere.


i don't know.

i can't see beyond the moment.

but i keep believing there is a pattern being woven, that, perhaps, i am weaving. though the design is a mystery to me, it is, by the diligent effort of my hand coming together even now.

and yesterday, the golden thread of poetry was primary.

for that, i am grateful.

(today it plays no subtler role, i guess that could be said of all my days, but days when i take the mic are certainly highlights.)

peace. out.

lost track

sometimes, i lose the scent. i forget what i'm hunting and lift my head, sniff the winds and try to remember.

today is one of those days.

i look at the scroll of things coming up unfurling at my feet, far out as the eye can see. and i wonder, what am i supposed to be doing now?

not sure, so what do i do? i come here to clear my mind.

yesterday was a whirlwind though we got the horses done in two hours, it wasn't a zen two hours because the farm owner was there. and you know when someone says,
you don't know who i am,
nothing good can come after that, regardless of what comes after that, right?

so, no i had no clue and still don't care who owns what. but it made me think, what do i own?

these lungs, these fingers, these legs.

that's plenty, for now.

it had me contemplating what i want to own, and there isn't much. though now, the short list includes a horse. i admit it. i never thought it would happen to me, it's such a cliche at this point in my life, but whatever. cliche be damned. i want a horse of my very own.

today at work the customers seemed to be moving in fast forward. watching them come in, even the grandmas with their tennies on were all business and moving at lightspeed.

i've lost track of where i am in my books. i think i'm right on track, but i'll just use my faithful equation and refigure where i'm supposed to be. maybe the page number has gone down a bit since i've been pretty faithful to my appointed pages. i can't recall falling behind and not making up for it and then some.

i was considering going to school next semester, actually physically walking in the building, it would be one excuse to go to vermont, but that might mean i don't get the prof i adore, the abenaki prof. and that is unsatisfactory, an unacceptable alternative. so i --ooh, interrupted by a poet-- nothing better in life than to be interrupted by a poet. i'm so grateful to be constantly surrounded by poets of amazing caliber. i often have to ask myself if i'm dreaming. but then a lame poet reads and i think, surely not. in my dreams, we are all outstanding!

i must away, time to run to the library with my girl. i'll pick up this thread sometime in the future, see, how quickly i lose track.

peace. out.

okay, i'm back. ever have that waaaay tired feeling of wanting to just lie down wherever you are and sleep? i'm feeling that way standing up. today at work i could have slept anywhere. but of course, i couldn't.

the kids walk in looking like i feel. that's to be expected though. they surely don't get enough sleep and until they shake it off (about an hour in to work, they're pretty useless, then again, so am i. but i'm a more functional useless).

so we go to the library and i get all kinds of movies i don't have time to watch, but one can always hope the day suddenly has twenty five or twenty six hours.

last night the hubby put on some movie about iraq and i simply could not keep the bananas peeled. i zonked out, my girl said she clapped her hands right beside my head and i didn't budge. i was O.U.T. out.

i imagine the same thing will happen. unless a movie is exceptionally good, good enough to accomodate my exhaustion (though i'm not feeling exhausted, just tired), then i can't watch it. i'll try a movie twice, though i just got count of monte cristo again, (third try) but my sister says i'll love it and she usually calls them. so i try. but i tend to pass out just when it gets started.

movies have that effect on me. anything to make me fall asleep.

though i wonder now why i'm here banging out the letahs when i should be would be could be sleeping.

oh what a wonder, what a mystery that is me.

peace. out.

Friday, April 04, 2008

a thousand times goodnight

decided to up the ante at the gym. a thousand plus situps. the plus is because i lost count. i keep doing that. my mind tends to roam freely most occasions and i'm not inclined to keep it in check.

now my arms and abs have that dull burn of being worked and worked hard.

i believe a nap will be in order (i'm such a baby, i work really hard, then i nap really hard). but the pace i keep can't be kept without sufficient recovery time. for me, that has to be creative as well as physical. and a nap is the best remedy for what ails me.

there is a gorgeous poem i got today and had to send it to my friends because it is so powerful. here's the link if you care to read it, very worthwhile.

i must go eat something, do some work, some reading, then some serious napping. creative incubation let's call it.

then, as always, off to work.

ripe with possibility

i don't know what it is, even at my lowest, i wake in the morning feeling like it's another chance to do it right. to make something wonderful happen.

i try not to let my mind spin off in the direction of the past or future, as both are equally questionable. what i've done, what i've yet to do. nothing i can change about either, so i must stay here. in the moment.

i need to work out then begin the rush of my day.

i'm reading an excellent poetry book called omeros by derek walcott. my prof recommended it, and it's gorgeous. just a joy to read. so much so, i read 104 instead of just 52 pages yesterday. after this (which looks to have about three hundred (possibly 250) more pages, two more books for this packet.

it will be light on the creative writing part, but that is beside the point. i will have genuinely frontloaded after this. and can ease into my last two packets with more freedom to delve critically into my subject.

though i'm still not looking forward to it.

i have had a different approach this time around because these poets have left me so speechless and often times bored (though, in each book there is at least one captivating poem, much to my relief). so i let the writing, the annotation set. and in one flurry of words and hours, a marathon of writing, i draft all my pages at the same time. then, as i'm inclined to do, i don't reread just hit SEND.

this is dangerous. especially with a critical eye such as i've got on me now. but last packet, i went back after i sent it, and saw only three actual errors. i think he found a couple more that i'd missed. but this contemplative writing process really works for me. and now i'm taking it even further because i have to start writing before i actually hear anything.

i simply hear crickets regarding these poets.

but just like this blog, as i start to write the thoughts come. it's like turning on the tap. sometimes incorporating the quotes is a big deal because i use a laptop on my lap, and have no proper workspace. so juggling a book and laptop can be a bit trying. so i try to input my passages before the actual writing.

then, i can contemplate what i'm going to write on free of having to labor to incorporate said quotes into the work.

i have planned with a friend to go up next semester to vermont and attend residency in person. i would love to do this, take eight days and be an actual student. meet my profs face to face.

but the logistics of that extraction in my life are daunting. i'm not sure i can pull it off. the stretch of time is one thing, but i think it will likely coincide with when i'm spending about ten days in cali. as far as i can tell, one can't be in two places at once. so it may be virtual again. which is fine.

i'm still happy and excited, which is a peculiar undercurrent i'm not used to, but i'm certainly glad it's here. i've needed some good feeling. some peace. that it's come to me now is more than i could ask or imagine.

and i eagerly await what arrives next.

that which is mine, will come to me.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

rough day done

it's been a rough day, and i knew i needed a friend today so i arranged to go meet up with a dear soul i love after what i knew promised to be a test. and test it was.

i'd like to say i passed, that i kept my cool. but i didn't. i held my shit together until i got out of the situation, but it was difficult. and i needed a place to go fall apart. a safe place to lose it all.

and so, seated with my new jersey best friend, i fell to pieces.

and she let me. then helped me gather them up again.

it's something to be with a soul who can see you whole and see you all in parts and not love you less. it's something to be with one who can accept you any way you arrive and send you off better than you were.

i'm just glad it's over. i would like to say i passed the test and it's over, but life is not that simple. things are not so neat and clean (at least not in my life), there's always shit ooozing out of the crevices that i have to deal with.

and so i shall.

but for tonight, all is well. the soft sounds of slumber fill the air. i have reading to do and must away.


happy fiction

i have come to believe there are these little lies we tell ourselves, sometimes it is easier to believe the fictions we create in our minds than the actual truths. or truth as the case may be. so in love with who we imagine the other to be, we cannot divorce ourselves from delusion save some rending, some violent emotional earthquake that has us diving under tables and covering our heads.

don't let it rise,
i tell myself

the wash of fear and uncertainty.

but then the better part of me says,
let it rise, we can handle it.

and so i sit and watch the room fill with the fears and doubts, troubles and concerns which all hang about me, in the back of my mind, the unacknowledged possibility that shit could actually hit the fan.

and when the room is full and there is not a sliver of space for one more horror, i acknowledge them. one by one.

yes, there you are. i have known you all my life.

and then, like some spectre who only wants to be seen again. it thins and fades until gone.

so my progression of doubts and fears continues this way, until i have looked over each long seated doubt and each knee trembling fear. until i have said,
yes, you do have the ability to haunt me.

and then, pleased with themselves, they leave me, just like that.

fear provides information. i have come to understand this.

if we do not run from the fears that stalk us, they can teach us their bone chilling lessons. and we can grow stronger. fear as ally.

but when one's fear mechanism is so disconnected in early life, one knows not how to process fear appropriately, everything--everything becomes a life or death fight. (does this make sense?)

in my former inability to part myself from pain, i developed this frog in a slowly boiling kettle lifestyle. the heat kept rising and i was content to watch the bubbles form.

but no more.

what do you have to teach me,
i ask each now.

sometimes it is nothing more than simple acknowledgement they want.

other times, it is revelation of my long held misassociations.

time to surrender these,
fear says.

and i have to decide.

do i want to let them go, really?

am i wanting to truly walk in light, or just say that when it is the right thing to say?

and some moments, when the fullness of time has come, i find the strength of voice and will to say,
yes. it is time to let these go.