Thursday, May 29, 2008

five days

just five days.
three of which will be spent with poets.

i work hard, but i play hard. and while i didn't want to bring any school work, a deadline is approaching and with no distractions i may make it through one of the books this weekend.

i always take a stack of books, and instead of taking what i want to read, i'll take what i have to read. though i must say, i wanttohaveto read these books. they are no burden.

but time is getting away from me, and my boss graciously gave me the monday between my standard tuesday and requested sunday off, giving me five glorious days off.

i'm still working the time, just longer days when i'm there, so no rest from that perspective, but i'm grateful for the respite.

we spent the day with friends. strange to have that be plural. i'm more of a friend girl than friends girl. and especially with women more isn't always better. at least i've never found that to be the case.

but this is a great group of women.
and i'm grateful to be amongst amidst amiddle them.

our daughters have a good vibe, and it's just a relief.

we let out a collective sigh when our daughters together met and spoke together without our guiding them (which i'm nor really into, and had to steer the moms away).

all ends well.

we'll even try to get together some during the summer.

it's a relief, a wonder, a joy.

time i had some of that. joy. pure and simple.

we pretty much decided it was a gathering of the weird (by others' standards), but since normal is a relative term, it's a pretty normal group.

now to pack.

wrath of overwrought

sometimes i have to avoid the poetry cramming my inbox because i am not in the right frame of mind to approach it.

beware the critique given in the wrong frame of mind.

some people can divorce themselves from exhaustion or whatever, i cannot. i'm one giant amoebic ambulatory emotion and i try to spare those i love the wrath of overwrought i sometimes feel.

it is just better for me to keep it shut until i can construct a linear thought. many don't get the circular.

straight lines, straight lines, i feel that is what school is about.

don't go there, come here, straight lines.

but with horses, straight lines are predatory. which is striking. never came to that conclusion before, and i try to amend my point a to b mentality with them because i don't like to waste steps, but if i can regain my external curvature around them, so much the better.

i just have to check it when i clock in for school.

i'm reading some zen poetry right now and it's the kind of stuff you have to take short shots of. like whiskey (though i tend not do that, so probably not the best analogy personally, let's try another), like the yammering company of women at my gym. i can only handle it in small doses. (yes. now that's closer to it).

though i'm meeting many more of those women in their going out clothes, instead of their workout clothes, at my job, banging out the caffine (we do provide a service after all).

but i've completely lost my thought, so perhaps straight is better in some instances. ah yes, inboxes.

so, i wade through a delightful and surprising set of poems, total crap the author practically calls them, and i'm thinking, that is not crap. but we are our own worst critics, and i offer my praise.

but i think, sometimes, those we praise come to expect it in some ways, and it does not have the weight of the negation.

this is a peculiar thought. again, the wisdom of pretty woman (why i have to go there when i'm making some linear progression, is just the way i'm wired).

the bad stuff is easier to believe.

and it is. i've believed it for years, and only now am not badgering myself into submission. not bludgeoning myself with criticism and shame.

i cannot part the personal critic from my friend. even from those i love most, and who tend to "listen" best to what i have to say.

we alone choose who we will believe, listen to, trust. even if it is the traumatic union of the abused child to the abuser, we inadvertently make that choice.

i would like to see my friends move to a place of better choices and treat their creative child, their artistic creations, with the awe and wonder they deserve.

too many dungeons and dark closets, anemic neglected creative children starved and lost. but i'm not in any position to convince them otherwise.

they alone must begin to believe.

how does that happen?

i don't really know.

time, perhaps. gentleness, most certainly. trust, absolutetly.

if they can find a group of readers and writers whom they trust, whom they will brave their shittiest works (all works have merit, none are shitty, in my mind), then, things can change.

i had a thought yesterday which i've now forgotten (darn! it was so good too, about this very thing. i guess i'm not supposed to share it here. so be it. it will hopefully congeal by essay time at the end of the semester).

but if we do not write for publication (the thought is coming back to me now), then for whom do we write?

here it is:
the works you've created have value, because you have value.
that issue settled, do you want to move your works toward having merit?

now, my solution/encouragement/ideas about how to make this happen are not the next guy's, but they are, write very bad poetry. all you can. the worst you can.

for in that purging, the gems will begin to appear.

and it will all be worthwhile.

i do not see art as commerce.

the question, can you make a living at it, is not the pivotal quesiton for me.

the pivotal quesiton is, can you live without making your art?

whatever form that takes.

it is the answer to that question that makes the others fall into place. i've always said, it's not about publication and i think i am surprised to find how desperately i believe it.

it's not about finding approval, i would go so far as to say.

but i promise you this, it is about doing the necessary work, whatever that is. however long it takes, however hard it is.

for this is your soul work. this is your liberating david from the marble work. it's not about concern for the things you could have done differently, it's about focusing on the curve of his chest, and the strength of his nose. of drawing him out of your psyche.

create. it is all up to you what comes out of the marble.
or if it sits a solid block, untouched in your life.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

he threw a shoe

so the horse i don't ride threw a shoe, ensuring that i won't be riding for a while. the farrier might have been and gone all ready, so it may be a moot point. but i'll make it nonetheless.

i rang my friend yesterday as i sat at home with my girl and had nothing but time on my hands (a rare occurrence). she invited us over, and it was a wonderful time. but today, we go to the farm and spend the day doing whatever pleases us.

i have been reading a lot about riding, and i hope to ride again sometime, but i'm not doing it for ego reasons, and i've felt, if i'm not in the right place, especially with a horse not my own, i will be more of a problem for the horse than he needs, so i've refrained.

my daughter is bummed, but i think if one can hardly focus due to exhaustion, they have no right being on the back of a creature that requires total focus. it just sounds like a dangerous equation to me.

so i don't ride. i walk with them. i visit them in their paddocks. i still muck their stalls and feed them. i think my girl is getting closer to where she could own a horse responsibly, but i'm not yet satisfied that it would not become more work for me by default.

she's made great strides, i'll give her that. she can carry half buckets of water now, and often does without complaint. she overheard my, if you complain, you can't handle the work comment, some weeks back. and has stopped, for the most part, complaining.

she realizes it's a gift, all of it.

when we stand with our respective horses grazing in the field, she wraps her arms around the neck of her newest favorite who has proud arabian tendencies. he's quite a pretty bay, bright and trusting. he has a crooked smile and a standy uppy mane. he lets me groom him without balking like velvet and i appreciate that.

i use the comb pretty well on him because he's so gracious. then, we get to bathe him and graze him in the sun until he dries, glistening in the sun.

but my girl leans her whole body up against the horse and i can see he's supporting all her weight because she stands on the back of her heels like my sister used to (she snapped more high heels that way, a feat i've never seen repeated).

and i stand beside the horse, but it's hard not to touch. everything about the horse's trusting you cries out for touch. the way the neck muscles ripple when they drink, the mottled spots on the chestnut body. the patient watching and waiting while you finish appointed tasks.

his shoe is gone. and i'm glad i don't have the pressure of riding. my sack of potatoes approach needs work i'm not up to right now. but i'm doing lots of reading in preparation, and hope the return will be timely.

Monday, May 26, 2008

synchronistic moments

i can hardly describe them, but i'm grateful when they occur.

and i try not to let the ordinary moments mean less. immersion in the now is what i'm after. it's hard, to stay present. hard to be a whole person.

but that is what's happening. wholeness is finding it's way into my life.

and i welcome it.

there was a song that came to me today, a rainbow song. i have to go see if i can't find the words.

here they are, pretty much any crazy thing you can think of, you can find easily now. which is nice, but i awoke from my nap today, and this was the song that i sang myself awake with.

since you been gone
by rainbow

I get the same old dream, same time every night
Fall to the ground and I wake up
So I get out of bed I put on my shoes and in my head
Thoughts like that since our break-up

These four walls are closing in
Look at the fix you’ve put me in

Since you’ve been gone
Since you’ve been gone
I’m out of my head, can’t take it
Could I be wrong, but since you’ve been gone
You cast a spell, so break it

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh
Since you’ve been gone

So in the night I stand beneath the back street light
I read the words that you sent to me
I can take the afternoon, but
night-time comes arround to soon
You can’t know what you mean to me

Your poison letter, your telegram
Just go to show you don’t give a damn


If you will come back baby, you
know you’ll never do wrong


(and while this video lacks joe lynn turner, it gets the point across nicely).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

the sooner you stop talking

the happier i'll be.

okay, okay, i admit it. i got in a fight with the frozen foods manager. and this was my parting gem. it shut him up, that's for sure.

the dude was busting my chops, MY chops, for our pastries being a mess.

which was so not my fault. it was, in fact, his.

so, what to do. this jerk starts telling me off, and i say,
it may go over talking to the kids that way, but not to me.

now, if i could just keep my cool. fortunately we were arguing in a freezer, and not once did i get cold (which is kind of funny).

it's not okay to talk to kids like that either. but i essentially sicked the whole store on this guy, so i should have been expecting it, but i wasn't. he caught me by surprise.

i get these fanciful moments when i think as a store we should be working together as a team, but it's more like a bad production of west side story, people in groups shucking and jiving (okay, mixed metaphors, but kind of funny).

and the chief visited today,
missed you yesterday.

you never told me where it was
(the gathering they had).

yes i did.

but, true to form, i forgot.

so, my courage (or ignorance) led me to give him a copy of my book.

hide it.
i said.

i don't really know why i let it go to him, but i did.

let me know when you want to sell it,
he said.

i don't.

that's the weird thing about it. it's mine, i love it, but it's not fodder for publication, main stream publication because it is still a living part of me. palpable, though when i read it today, i felt some separation beginning.

i'm looking forward to a new life.

i awoke to the soothing sounds of st. anger, my belly dance going on in my mind, and i believe it has to be them, at least one of the songs. i see amazing things happening in my head, now if i can work up my cardio so my heart doesn't explode when i try to keep my parts in motion that fast for that long. (however long it is, i'm not in shape enough now to do it. that's just how it is kids).

but tomorrow is another day, and i've a whole semester to work up to it.

part of my thinking is, it has to be a song i know every nuance of. then, the dance can't help but be amazing. i just hope i don't look like an idiot.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

karmic debt

it felt today like i had paid off some karmic debt. i don't know how to explain it. as i walked with a full wheel barrow to the ramp to dump the load in the spreader, i knew that it was something that i had to do. and that, in the coming weeks and years things will drastically change.

i can't say i'm not looking forward to it.

seems i rest just enough to power me through the next engagement.

i sat on the floor just out of the roundpen today, my back toward the big screaming baby, bandit, who has yet to fully trust me. but we made great strides today, i think. my being utterly vulnerable, back to him, wiped out, he was able to sniff and explore at his will.

i could not resist him, i had no will to resist.

he would step away (from what i could hear) and then return to explore my scent. that is perhaps the longest he's willingly stayed with me of his own accord.

i couldn't wander away if i tried. and i decided to let happen what would happen. to abandon myself to the moment and sit in the clover, pulling small handfulls and passing them over my shoulder to bandits eager lips.

then i went and found bucky.

at first, i walked out to his paddock and he was gone.

i walked back to his stable, and he was gone again.

my heart sank and i set out to find him on that damn farm. i've lost too much and not saying goodbye is the hardest part.

so i walked out to the far paddock where he used to be though i could see he was not there, and in turning to look back at his new paddock, over my right shoulder, i could see his bright golden face lit up and watching me walk by from inside a stall in the new field.

i had not paid attention to that particular stall before, i didn't realize he was free to go in and out of there. but it makes sense if you've got a horse or two whose owner doesn't ever come to turn them out in a place where they can stay out. no muss, no fuss. or so, that is what i believe the motivation to be. but i don't know. i could be entirely wrong.

they could have put him there so i could see him easily (;) and not have to walk the farm searching for him. but i doubt that, too.

whatever the reason, i thought i'd lost him today and my heart nearly plummeted out of my chest.

when i saw him, it beat again. and all i could do was keep from crying. i simply have no tears. none left, not a one.

that he smiles when i'm there, blows my mind. this wonderful creature who smiles again and again, not just once, but many times during my visit, blows me away. and i do what i can to see him without incurring the wrath of the owner.

but i am ready for the next phase of my life to begin.

after a hearty rest, that is.

mind dump

before i get into today's mind dump, and then pass out, for what i hope will be a long uninterrupted nap, let me just say...damn, i forgot what i was going to say.

my brain went offline somewhere around 11am when i thought i was supposed to get off work. i didn't actually get off until 11:30, and my boss finally said, just go. and she was hung over, i couldn't really function. sleep deprivation for me is just as bad if not worse than being hung over. thank you very much.

ah, i remember.

i hate turning on (now blackie lawless is on, yawn), metal mania and kip winger is on. please. dude looks like a lady. or before him, some other crap hair band.

what passes for metal these days makes me sick.

but i never much enjoyed the --ooh, queensryche--silent lucidity. now there's a song.

i have a huge paper to write. not huge in word count, huge in bringing all the shit that floats around in my mind together and distilling it down into one COHERENT argument.

not that i'm not coherent. just that, i'm so sporadic. sometimes i hit upon it, other times, not so much.

i'm fried, i'm tired, i'm just in from work, and now i need to load queensryche on my mp3 player, so i can have them sing me to sleep.

empire. awesome cd.

my sis has always loved geoff tate. i don't know why. his voice i guess. she's a singer, so the voice matters. and of course, that goes for me too, i don't want to hear someone squaking (how do you spell sqwaking? squwaking? damn i'm fried) like a chicken.

but a manly voice is what i like. the lead singer of the cult for one.

geoff tate, has a tender lilt to his voice.

anthony what's his name from the chili peppers. yes.

must rest.
brain shutdown imminent (or perhaps all ready in effect)

okay, so they redeem themselves by playing scorpions and then dio (you can't go wrong with them. the zoo is still one of my all time favorite songs, and i don't know that ronny james dio will ever look out of date, even though his whole 80s era video smacks of a timewarp, he's cooler than ever). but they follow that with skid row.


and finger eleven was on my radio station (who, irritatingly only plays the chili peppers and beastie boys, while i have learned to appreciate the subtle idiocy of the beasties, i don't need to fight for the right to party every time i turn on the radio. and santorium gets old. plus, californication is about as cliche as it gets now). so when the dj was celebrating finger eleven getting on with poison, i had to sigh. i see how it can benefit both. poison needs a hip now band to draw the actual music fans. finger eleven could use a break. i guess poison can provide that break, though i have never understood, for the life of me how that band ever got played, let alone sold out anything.

cherry pie, isn't that their song. please. (i sound like my brother now. i'm tired, what can i say).

but then, that damn station plays run to the hills with bruce dickinson's awesome singing and the band's powerful guitar riffs. i don't know that there ever has been a band that compares with maiden. there simply hasn't. that's a band i'd love to see reunite.

mmm. this is why i tune in time and again, though i have to mute poison and shit like that. (and note: without fail, maiden is followed up by poison. nothin' but a good time. how that band ever made it, i don't know. they say it was the chicks that bought the albums, but i wasn't buying them, and i have trouble believing there are that many chicks with no taste in music). amen.

Friday, May 23, 2008


that is the only way i can describe the customer we had tonight.

and i think, many times, people use belligerence to their advantage.

sure, my kid co-worker threw the customer's receipt in the trash (not a good idea). but the customer didn't have to be an ass while he demanded a new one.

it's all about the way we go about things. the tone.

i saw him stuffing the signed receipts for his credit card into his wallet. and i asked for them politely.
i need those sir.

they are my copies.

no sir, i need those.

i would not budge until he handed them over.

ultimately, i gave the guy what he wanted just to get rid of him. i don't have time to watch my kids being badgered, and it was all i could do to step in between these two puffed up males and keep the peace.

make the drink,
i kept saying.

and finally, my co-worker did.

one customer came in early tonight and caught me at the top of my downward spiral (actually, it wasn't that bad. i was able to keep a positive mood going until this jerk frustrated me).

so when i'm talking to my kid co-worker, the nice customer walks up, and i said,
i'm trying to become one of those people whom nothing affects. who let everything roll off my back.

he smiled at me.

but it's not working. i have to scream first.

he said,
it's called a primal scream.

i said. cause this guy walked up in the midst of my venting about my well meaning co-workers on the mid-shift (the kids, sigh).

they think they are helping by doing all the "work" of the evening shift, freeing me up to "clean" (smile here, what else can you do), and focus on sampling.

but when i walked in, the place looked like a bomb hit it, i kid you not. chocolate sauce slathered on cupboards and on the dish areas of the sink (where you set the dishes before they go into the basin).

empty coffee pots (that one i love, truly). because when it comes to coffee, people are patient as the day is long.

and no lids (well, there was one, but it is supposed to be non-dairy only) lids for the blender pitchers (of which there were only three, one being the non-dairy pitcher). we go through three pitchers in five seconds at my joint, and where are all the pitchers and lids? steeping in cold, yuckified dish water.

now, on a good day, hell, on a bad day, i can handle any of these variables. but all at once, when they leave me working alone because my young co-worker forgot he was working (and they wished me the best, but couldn't tell me when he'd be in).

i get a little irked.

i try not to, but i think, even mother teresa would be screaming if she worked there today.

and i'm amazed that leaving all the cleaning for me is the answer to the issues that arise when i say,
i can't do all the cleaning alone.

what is the answer then?

i genuinely don't know.

we spent the night, not focused on samples or shit like that. just getting the place back to a controllable level of chaos.

i've learned a grocery store, the amount of stock in the back that all has to come out, and the bzillions of signs and customers and carts, the whole place is pretty wild. add into that mix a service business with an impatient (generally, we do get some very patient, gracious, i would do anything for them customers) customer who needs their fix.

primal scream.

that's what i need to do.

that or just the best i can, then go home as fast as possible.

i just realized, i forgot what i went up to the office to do before i came home. perhaps i'll remember before it's urgent. perhaps not.

this is what happens at jobs though, i'm sure.

but when the asst. manager who orders all the mixes and stuff "forgets" to place an order, just like that, it leaves us all scrambling. and i'm not sure how to help my boss, maybe i should tell her about the primal scream.

no end in sight

well, there was one, this lady walking down the street had a rather large derrier, with kind of a shelf. i saw that and thought, god, i hope my ass doesn't look like that. but i go to the gym regularly and look at my end, while it's not tiny, it's not shelvy. enough said.

the mechanical trainer kicked my ass again. i'm so exhausted. i nearly couldn't finish. it wants me to do this spread your legs as far apart as you can machine, really fast, and i cramp up in my outer thigh when i do that (i know, too much information, but what do you expect).

and when reviewing the results (if it weren't enough for the blinking lights to blink blink blink at you through your workout there is a little computer screen that shows you how well you did or did not do). i consistenly score in the crapper (84%) on this ab machine.

and the actual "trainer" who is more of a measurement taker, talker on the phone than a trainer, said,
it scores that low on other people too.

and i said,
i'm not a cheetah, my spine is not that flexible.
because i'm swinging my torso back and forth with my lower body static as fast as i can, and the range of htis machine is 190 degrees if not slightly less. how are you supposed to do that fast? and i'm pretty bendy and wiggly. so if i can't get above 84 percent, i'd like to meet the lady who can.

that's the trouble i guess, when you have a ripped 19 year old boy set up the machines. but it's supposed to be gauged personally, so i try. i keep climbing on the machines and going for it.

it kicks my ass without failure.

see, there are plenty of ends in sight. just not the kind i'm talking about.

my summer calendar is nearly booked solid and while it is more fun than work (perhaps, equal parts fun and work is more accurate), i haven't even made allowance for the editing i have to do.

there is just so much on my plate, and i'm glad. last night at work, i enjoyed it but i could tell i was getting physically tapped. if it weren't for working out and keeping my strength up, i might be in worse shape.

pushing a mop around dirty floor boards is taxing work. doesn't sound like it. probably any sap could do it, but it's not the doing of it that i mean, it's the acutally getting the built up gunky crap from the edges of the floorboards with a mop. that requires some elbow grease.

others cleaned a lot before i got there. and i'm trying hard not to go back and redo their work, as it is a team effort. but it's certainly not up to my standards. and i don't want to shoot people down when they are just starting to try, so i'll say nothing and work on them one at a time.

divide and conquer.

i'm reading four books right now, and loving each of them. i just finished my fifth book for my end of semester packet on chinese characters and i enjoyed it. at least it was something other than rhyme and meter. the gradations of grief in the chinese language was one of the things that interested me. english is a sadly flat language.

must eat.
must shower.
must rest.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

why do you listen

i am always amazed by the ones who lean their ear in close to hear my mumbling replies. i'm typically distracted on the phone and banging dishes. what can i say, i'm a stay home (or was, i think i can officially ixnay the stay home part of my handle) mom.

i don't know how it happens. how we sit with kings. why they look into our eyes and listen to what we say.

is it because we amuse them with our juggling or because no one else will tell them they are, in fact, naked.

the rules don't apply to the fool. and no one wants to be the one to offend the king.

but i've not struggled with that much. king or pauper, all the same to me.

some would say i'm too big for my britches, reaching that high to whisper some something.

i say,
we do what we do. people resonate or no, accordingly.

our task is only to be faithful to the appointed task.

mine, at the moment, is working very hard at becoming the kind of manager i would like.

i struggle with the giant kids (who are taller than me) but, of course, more immature.

something about tall, i think tall people should be mature, but that has never been my experience. so i struggle with the kids.

i don't want to ride them mercilessly. i want to create a team atmosphere, but i get frustrated when the simple daily tasks are left for the next shift.

set the next shift up for success,
i keep saying.

when i leave the place (unless i've had a complete and total brain fart, which happens), things are stocked and clean, the place is back to ground zero.

when i get the place, without fail, the place is in the negative.

though the midshift crew is picking up some of the slack now a days.

which is good. they are the older adults, and i am glad they are contributing because i am too tired to do it all. no one needs to do it all.

my boss is very young, but surprisingly strong where i am weak. she trains really well, and i do okay. i tend to think efficiency in everything, including people. and you can't be efficient with people. people are the most inefficient of all in terms of relations.

i am reminded we have such unique perspectives of the world, and when operating on assumptions, things go bad, terribly, horribly, bad.

communication and clarity, stating expectations are the key.

but when the giant kids refuse, what then?

i do not know. i had to tell my latest junior giant that rules are in place for a reason. it is his first week of training and he is all ready trying to get around the rules. (the kid told me some shortcuts with coffee and such) and i balked.
you are just learning. if you never learn to do things properly, how can you ever do them properly?

it makes me consider the greater questions of work ethics and how they evolve. when do you choose to have a good or great work ethic as opposed to a mediocre or crappy one?

i want to ask this kid who's a junior in college,
when will you start doing a good job? when you're on the job as an engineer?

in my mind, it will be too late then. his habitual shortcutting won't allow for the necessary attention to detail.

that he is an aerospace engineer unnevers me. something about planes being developed by these lazy kids really creeps me out.

at least in previous generations the die hard workers who once had character and actually mastered their fields and crafts were in pivotal positions.

i'm not sure that is the case anymore.

now, it's about getting ahead, short cuts, networking. less about character, integrity, excellence.

and this chills me to the bone.

i will leave off this path of thought because it just occurred to me, these will be the powerbrokers when i'm old, and unless something happens, Y-I-K-E-S!

so, my position as manager is more than just clocking in and out.

i said to one kid i worked with last night, repeat after me,
i'm here to earn my paycheck not just get paid.
(this after i side-kicked martial arts style to welcome him to work, which he falcon kicked in return, this generates a great smile from him and ensures all will be well).

and he laughed.

this kid tends to take off his shoe and poke around in it, then get angry at me for telling him to wash his hands. (scary!)

he came in early to work and slept on the couch.

what can i say, high schoolers. they need more sleep than the rest of us, and probably get the least. but he does show up and works harder now than he did. he's washing his hands without balking at me, i saw him at least four times at the handwashing station last night. i was so proud of him.

things can change. and it is the small hilarities that get through.

to kings and kids

i guess.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


so we arrived ten minutes late, i packing everything i could, thinking it too much, and while here, thinking it not enough--there was room for more.

but minimal is good.

as we're placing her art in the cases, the librarians are walking by oohing and aaahing.

when your work is in a museum, i'll say, i knew her because she spent the whole day at the library.
grinning, they walked away.

she's proud of her work, and i walked to the top of the stairs and looked down to see how it would look to those descending to the children's area, and it is eye catching, very nicely done.

we placed most of the color pieces on the children's side, figuring this would be the best plan.

more of the pencil work displayed to the cafe side of the cases, and those pieces which showcase some aspect of technique i thought would do well highlighted.

and she is pleased, we argued a bit about this and that, but it's her case, her display and i tried to give way.

it's like asking an elephant to step aside so you can pass. sometimes, it may just be easier to go around.

and she is pleased. that is all that matters.

and i without a camera to capture the process, the moment. what kind of mother am i?

one who is too involved to be apart photographing the scene, that kind.

but i take the picture with my mind, in my heart, and write it down. this is my photo album, my scrapbooking.

and it is her day.

i am proud of her.

she said to me on the way,
i was drawing last night until i got too tired.
and two last minute additions made it into the case.

nothing like producing works and displaying them the next morning.

i love that kid.

write something deep and sad

i have just read a poem by a dear friend, and it is wonderful. it is one of those rare moments where a poem houses a soul. we hope all poems have soul, but they don't that intangible line between vulnerability and strength, between maintaining a proud facade, and letting it crumble around your feet.

there are moments, this is one of them, moments when the vulnerability of another is a vessel of healing and the waters run down my forehead and a laugh and cry simultaneously. laugh, for the truth of it. cry, for the truth of it.

i am surrounded by brilliance on all sides. sometimes that brilliance is diminished by the effects of time, or life. my brother, a brilliant artist, who does not believe himself to be such. poet after poet, i could spend hours naming who do not believe their work necessarily of merit. in doubt, they stab the pen at the page and scuttle the papers away in a drawer, until they dust them off and i get to see them briefly.

but my praise is not enough, it seems to encourage them to venture out, to share those works, those soul wrought works. there are other considerations.

i was driving yesterday and it came to me, there are a great many writers who make a living at this, who fashion a way of sustaining some semblance of a life by the word. they live the dream, some would say.

but i wonder, do they?

if those books stacked one on top of the other tower to the sky and they lack soul, conviction, strength, are they not lost before they are found?

this is the issue then, can one be a dedicated artist and make a living.

of course. anything is possible.

have i seen it in my own life?

nope. not once.

the artists of soul i know, have a day job and write because they must.

they do not write because it will put food on the plate and a roof overhead. though that is not for lack of trying.

i do not diminish the working writer in the least, rather, i applaud them.

my question is, how to keep soul in tact, soul in work, soul in the market place.

can it be done.

i simply do not know. from what i have seen of critic and publisher, market and best-sellers, i do not think it can happen. and that troubles me. i like to believe it can. i want to be proven wrong.

merton would seem an argument against my point.

but i do not speak of the famous gone. i speak of the struggling now.

i guess my greatest fear would be that if i tried to milk poetry for a living, that i would lose the willingness to fail. i would lean so heavily upon it to succeed, to shape it, to form it, to make it acceptable in the moment, that i would, invariably kill it. perhaps that is my shortcoming alone.

i do not know.

she won't get up.

but we must all be roused from our bed, especially to put our art up at the library. so i shall go now and wake the sleeping artist. and we shall carry her portfolio to the library, pick our parking spot in the empty lot, and knock on the glass doors.

hear the echo of our footsteps down the corridor and descend the stairs, where we'll take up every little piece of art and caress it once again before housing it behind glass for others to see.

these things that decorate my bookshelf behind my chair, so empty now.

she just got up herself, and said,
why didn't you wake me up?

which makes me laugh, because i do not like to be waken up (and truth be told, neither does she). it is far better, FAR, FAR better to allow me to wake up than to get tangled up in a day with me after being waken.

so, i hesitated one more moment and avert disaster of one kind. to flirt with disaster of another. we are now rushed, and here i sit, writing.

her vehicle is paint and pencil, clay and fabric.

mine, the word. she knows this. perhaps she realizes this is inviolable as my demanding she stop painting or drawing or creating at my whim.

but i will sign off and shut down before she has to fight. and we are nearly late and must away.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

we don't celebrate

this day last year i was only reminded of the day because a friend of mine im'd me and it brought the date to my attention. i am more aware of it this year, the date, that is, because i've got so many balls in the air and those balls require i know the day. so i can turn up where expected.

it's my anniversary and we won't celebrate. probably won't even mention it. it's become just another day in the long line of days that parade by, and we're tired of watching the procession. so we wander away and do our own thing.

i'll spend the day at the farm, which is the best place in the world. even when i do very little, it's what brings me back, grounds me. and i'm grateful to be there.

even when i'm barely standing upright, the horses make it worthwhile to give just a little more.

we've taken to eating breakfast in the little diner i love, and my girl enjoys it too. then, after, i have an errand to run for tomorrow morning when we install my girl's artwork at the library.

i want to believe in dreams again.
and last night's was curious. but what will likely happen is,
i'll go park myself in a large field with a book, and not be able to read the book because bucky will be nearby being gorgeous, the hawk will break from cover and for just a moment, everything will seem perfect.

and i will let it be perfect.

those are the moments i live for.

Monday, May 19, 2008


i don't know how to generate energy except to expend it.

so we sat around and spoke for a half-hour on two poems, which the poets present discussed the kernel that led to the stalk, that flowered into the corn we sat enjoying.

laughter abounds.

it's a good crowd and mostly i just sit and watch. i have little to add, i need add little. things take on a life of their own many times if we just believe.

so we'll be joining in and doing a poetry reading in july, it seems. sounds good to me.

i'll just show up, the pressure won't be on me to make anything happen, it can't. i can't do any more than just show up.

and fortunately, it's on a tuesday. the day i'm always off. :)

but tonight, as we stood in the crisp cold, the "aftermeeting" as one of the poets walking to her car called it, i felt revived. as if i'd never been tired and didn't know what tired was.

this, i'm told, is what happens when you're doing what you are supposed to be doing.

i keep going back to measure my progress, to look at the previous marks on the wall where i once stood as tall as i could, and how those same lines cower before me now. i've grown, it seems. and that pleases me. because i had set a course some time back, i had faced in a particular direction and not until arriving at the location do you know if your directions are correct.

only, i've got no directions. and this, is confirmed by those i trust. that the road worth taking is like slogging through a forest feeling lost most of the time.

at least my feeling capacity is rightly attuned. i feel lost most of the time.

that is some comfort.

that those i look to for counsel and guidance have themselves been very lost for most of their journey, comforts me. and only now in evaluating the literature criticizing poets who have come and gone before do i see the varyance. the difference between them and us, only i can't say it here as i wish i could. let me only say this.

critics see what is. they measure by the established standards.
artists see what can be. their sight is entirely other than the established.

that is the pivotal conclusion of this semester.

one kind poet was telling me the meaning of one of my poems, how it became something. and i said,
that really has nothing to do with me. my job is to write it down.

that, kids, is my only job.

i must remember this.

writing has always been the talisman for my journey. the way of discovery for me. and so it continues to be.

for that, i am grateful.

and for the unknown poets, who are known only by me or not even by me, i say,
write. live in obscurity. labor in obscurity. there are treasures there.

allz well

so my prof said i've completed the critical evaluation part. now i am free to write short precis' of the books i've left, which i take it to mean, a brief summary. nothing major. but the critical writing is nothing major in my mind. so why bother over it, just do what i've been doing all along which to me doesn't feel like much.

but it has freed my mind to start organizing my final essay, truth be told it's been simmering away in ye olde crockke potte the whole semester and i hope it comes out banging.

i have a valid poetic perspective. i have to articulate it. i have to draw from my wanderings this semester and incorporate that crucial horsemanship element. plus pull together a chapbook (which i don't care about at all. if i didn't ever do another one, so much the better, i say. but there is some good shit i've written since the last, and i'll do it with that in mind. to make it kind of a continuance of the former. plus, next semester i'm supposed to do an audio performance of these poems. perhaps i'll just read through the whole books and sell them as companion cds. i wouldn't mind that).

it becomes a question of finding someone with recording devices and a studio if i really want to get fancy.

though a recording of a small gathering might not be bad. though reading through two whole books could be demanding on people's butts.

it'd have to be an invitational affair, because if some random person showed up and vibed me out, i'd be screwed. though that never has happened yet.

i should probably just get a mic and crawl in a closet and record it there.

i'm just in from working out. i need to get moving. much to do. poetry roundtable tonight and i must show up.

i tend to drag my body around and appear where i am expected. is it worth my being there in that state? i don't really know.

sometimes i find words, always i read, so if that matters. then, yes.

i'll make an appt with the tattoo artist who decorated me last time, and get in there soon. i'm ready. the time for my next tat is at hand.

peace. out.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

big hugs

so when the chief saw me at the powwow, he gave me a big hug. which was warmly recieved and returned. when i later asked my husband what he thought of him, he said,
doesn't act like a married man.

that was the bottom line of the powwow i guess.

but i ran into lovely helen today, who said she loved my book and asked if i wrote all the poems.

i said.

i saw another tribal man i knew from a visit to the post office. unmistakeable eyes. i knew him from afar (that and the long braids, not many dudes running around with long braids).

so we're invited to some gathering this weekend, i don't know that i'll go. sounds like my husband may. which is good, he could stand to be around dudes.

but my work is preparing to demand more of me in that they want either me or my manager there all the time. (shit happens when we're not there). and i'm trying to stave off that eventuality by reminding the other assistant she can acutally do the work of management, too.

but she calls out a lot and today wandered in with her arm in a brace.

you really got in an accident,
i said.

yes. she didn't believe me, did she?

i told her, because if i called out as much and as last minute as this young girl, it wouldn't be hard not to believe the zillionth time you've called out last minute.

that's the trouble,
i said,
with not believing someone, they could be telling the truth
(was how i framed that little doozie).

home now, and got my paper back from my prof. which is a load off, i'll tell you. i'm just so tired, all i can do is crash. i can't wait for this semester to be over. but i had to ask him,
did i do it, have i done it, what i set out to do?

i got the rigorous part down, but this is specifically to be an academic semester of intensive poetry, and i'm not really the one to decide if i've fulfilled that requirement. he is. if he says no, i need to know now. not when the semester ends.

honestly, i don't know that i can change much, but if i know with three weeks, i can muster something. some thing. who knows what.

my summer is getting devoured with days off and projects to be done. i did sign up for whale watching, FINALLY. i spent all last year regretting not being able to get to that.

something about spending the day with my girl on a boat watching whales, it sounds awesome. my hubby won't go because he doesn't like the water so much.

i must go.

i must.

i told my girl we'd dress up for the ren faire this year, and i am not even sure i have another weekend while the faire is running to squeeze it in. time used to be mine. i used to have all the time in the world to do pretty much whatever i pleased. now, not so.

not so.

we had to leave early yesterday from the powwow to take care of the horses. my hubby helped, and i was glad. it meant the whole thing was over so much quicker and i left bucky with three raspberry lipstick smooches on his muzzle. it surprised me that he passed me by and went straight to my husband, but he never smiled after the cookies, until my husband went away and i was there alone.



i'm fried. and this is just one more thing i don't have time for.


Friday, May 16, 2008

give me back my life

it's not every day that i complain verbally.

here, in words, that's another story entirely.

but on the job, i'm steady and hardworking as a mule.

but i woke up with a crick in my neck this morning and it didn't bother me 'till i got to work.

something about moving boxes and lifting gallons of milk.

at one point, i had to call my young co-worker to retrieve our impossibly heavy (and as i found out last time i needed it, bouyant), first aid kit. which is deep in a cave like cabinet buried under all kinds of heavy crap (just what you need to be doing when the first aid kit is required, digging through a cave of a cabinet).

give me some pain killer.
i said.

she got me aspirin. i would have taken anything. i was just glad to get something.

my arm hung heavily at my side and my neck was kind of tilted in that sort of safety zone. and of course, i had customers.

a line of them, three, i think.

they just had to wait. i took a lifetime to make the drinks, then even longer ringing shit up. but my co-worker was on break and i could manage it, i just wasn't zipping around.

no way i could. so, since i never know what to do for myself in time of need, i called around, my husband was awol and my sister, too. fortunately i caught a cousin getting a manicure, who told me to massage it with some eucalyptus oil. and i hadn't even thought of that (which is why i call the troops when i'm aching. i have no idea how to help myself).

so i get this topical stuff that really is just to distract you from the pain, and start rubbing away on my neck. first the small tight spot, then most of the way around and i'm walking around smelling like grandma or a cough drop, i can't decide which.

but all ends well, we got out of there as fast as possible so i can go to bed. and hopefully, not wake up with a crick in my neck tomorrow.

my one co-worker of african descent said to tap my head on the pillow three times and say,
give me back my life in my neck.
but i must do this before i speak to anyone. as soon as i wake up. i'll try anything once.

sleep come and welcome.

last minute momma

so i'm racing around now, as we got the okay to put her art display up next week. weds is the only time i can do it.

we just titled everything and made up little placards.
now to finalize setting the works up.

i've decided i'd go broke if i tried to frame everything now, so i'm not going to do that.
same with matting, because i don't have a matte cutter myself, i'd have to depend on someone else, i've got no time and no space for a matte cutter here.

soooo, that leaves me the option of displaying the works au natural, simply ensuring the water color papers don't curl, and fortunately she likes painting on canvas board, so those are done.

i'm going to apply some heavy weight board to the back of the lighter pieces and call it a day.

i don't really know what else can be done with no time or money to do it. not much.

though, i have started framing things, she produces more than i could ever frame. i finally broke down and got her a portfolio, she needs the see through sleeve things of a model's portfolio.

i don't know, i hadn't really thought it through before now.

how does it get so complicated?

i have to preserve the integrity of the works, and later i'll figure out how to take this show on the road, should it ever come to that.


dead or sleeping?

we had to call in the big ladders because there was this little squirrel whose tail was blowing in the breeze and his little clawed hand was sticking out of our rain gutter.

i was surprised it didn't make me cry, but i figured, these damn squirrels are so well fed, he probably just died of old age. no worries. just lay down one day for a little sun in the rain gutter, and his number came up.

nothing abnormal about that.

a couple days later, i look out again and he's gone. i am figuring, well, they did a good job, quickly removing him (i didn't want him stinking since we're opening windows and such now).

but i just got in, and there was a message about not being able to find the little guy and they've searched everywhere.

which makes me laugh because we look out there all the time and he was gone really soon after we saw him, not moments, but days (we didn't keep looking at him once we thought him dead, that's just morbid).

but i'm told, they never extracted mr. squirrel, and i don't see him there. so, that means, either he's super squirrel and rose from the dead, or he was just napping.

the ramifications of this make my head spin. they make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me believe.

belief has been elusive, the fragile butterfly or flower that my heavy hand crushes every time it tries to grasp it.

but this little surprise is one i'll not forget soon. one i needed for so many reasons. not the least of which, that which i thought dead was merely sleeping.

what a thought.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

soul power

i'm reading this poetry book and i want to transcribe the whole thing for my friends (duh, i should just recommend it), but i've not had the time yet, because i'm nibbling my way through it, slowly. i read a paragraph and i just have to lean back and breathe in deep, ahhhh.

it is such the book for me and makes a lifesucking semester seem less so. i'm leaning toward the finish line now, and thinking about next semester gets my blood pumping again, so i'm compiling the belly dance books i'll need, and getting ready that way.

who knows what will happen.

i'm ready for change.

i'm ready for tranformation.

i'm ready for so much to be different than it is, and i'm excited because i know it is coming. change is coming.

i just have to trust that it will be well.


mechanical rooster

so i haven't even done sit ups the past week because the mechanical trainer is wearing me out! it keeps pushing and pushing, demanding more. sounds a bit like my marriage. har-har.

but i'm sweat soaked and satisfied.

last night my girl took me, or demanded i take her, swimming.

i love water. i am a water creature, i'm certain. i got pretty tired swimming laps so i got a kickboard and kept going. my stamina is not very good, yet.

but we swam for an hour and a half. waterlogged we ran to the car, it got cold while we were there so we're laughing, cutting across the baseball field, wrapped in towels trying not to get slathered with diamond dust.

but i had a poem come to me while i glided through the water, something i wanted to make really fine, and when i committed it to paper, i am not sure it is what i wanted. i had hoped the rhythms of the swim, the cadence of my voice, the sound of my breathing under the water would come through, and i don't know that any of that did.

we spent the day at a park, sprawled out on a blanket in the sun. while the girls tried to catch turtles (and did catch one successfully, a rather large red eared slider), and frogs.

meanwhile, i'm lying there having a wonderful conversation with a friend whom i am totally at peace with. there is no better way to spend a day.

feeling embraced and received.

my work week begins in earnest today and we have a powwow to attend this weekend. that will be curious. but i'm looking forward to it. the chief will meet my husband and daughter.

i will get to dance, and dancing is always a good thing.


(five points for anyone knowing where that title came from, remember, i have a child. and no, you didn't get the last movie right)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

a candidate

for the belly dance. i like this song immensely, and it moves me.

Seven Nation Army
by White Stripes

I'm gonna fight 'em off
A seven nation army couldn't hold me back
They're gonna rip it off
Taking their time right behind my back
And I'm talkin' to myself at night
Because I can't forget
Back and forth through my mind
Behind a cigarette

And the message comin' from my eyes says leave it alone...

Don't wanna hear about it
Every single one's got a story to tell
Everyone knows about it
From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell
And if I catch it comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do

And the feeling coming from my bones says find a home...

I'm going to Wichita
Far from this opera forevermore
I'm gonna work the straw
Make the sweat drip out of every pore
And I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding
Right before the lord
All the words are gonna bleed from me
And I will think no more

And the stains comin' from my blood tell me "Go back home"...

i would.

what if we could
by blue october

What if we could
Put our lives on
Hold and meet some
Where inside of the world
I would meet you
Would you meet me?

2, 3, 4...

On a park bench
On a skyscrape
On a mountain
Oh yeah, whatever it takes
I would meet you
Would you meet me?

I'm glad to say that we've met
But I'm sad to say that the circumstances weren't
On our side

So go on
Go on be your own
Go on be your own star

What if we could?
Where would we go?
If it felt right
Would you want me to know
I would meet you
Would you meet me

It's like a last chance
For a first dance
You're a sunrise
Can't somehow exist
I would meet you
Would you meet me

I'm glad to say that we've met
But I'm sad to say that the circumstances weren't
On our side

So go on
Go on be your own
Go on be your own star

A superstar in my eyes
In my eyes

Look in my eyes
Just look in my eyes
My eyes
My eyes!!!

What if we could
Put our lives on
Hold and meet some
Where inside of the world
I would meet you
Would you meet me?

On a park bench
On a skyscrape
On a mountain
Oh yeah, whatever it takes
I would meet you
Would you meet me?

God I would
God I would
I would meet you
Would you meet me

I would meet you
I would meet you
I would meet you

Monday, May 12, 2008

all i want from today

is to talk to my sister. many days have passed and we've not been able to utter a word, she off enjoying her family on a much needed retreat, and i, too busy to interfere. no time for it.

but today, fresh in from the gym, where the mechanical trainer kicked my ass again, i am ready to shower, shake off the heaviness, and talk to my sister. all day if she wants.

carrying me cordless with her as she gracefully deals with her children in scenarios that would send me flying off like a rocket.

she's a wonderful mother. i don't know how she became who she is except that she always was and i just hadn't realized it.

that's all i want from today,

a good long soulreviving chat with my sister.


so i banged out my paper in literally about an hour. i don't know how it happens so fast, i think for me, picking the right moment to write, as opposed to forcing myself to write is key. but one must learn to trust yourself this way. drawing ever closer to deadlines, taking chances with things perhaps not getting done. i mean, that is always a possibility, that i won't meet my deadline. but i always do, always, even a day early. which is meeting a deadline for me, i always try to finish before i said i would.

and while i have much, much more to do for this last packet than i had hoped, i am confident it will be fine as well. i've picked up another book, so that makes it five more books to go. which is a whirlwind, but since my semester ends june 10 or so, i'm just glad to get it done. i need a rest. and a long deprivation.

but the freelance (emphasis on free), work hasn't stopped. i've got stuff i have to get to in my between time.

i hear if you do what you love, the money will follow. and i do. much of what i do is free, and i consider this, paying my dues. but there will come a time, there must come a time when i hang up my shingle and am ready for this foray into editing i want to take.

i still won't be a grammarian editor, i think those are plentiful enough. but i am more intuitive. less invasive, perhaps than some, though i will require a lot of any writer i work with. it's just my demanding character i guess. who knows.

my fingers are all stiff as boards and i'm not sure why. so my remedy is to make them work. to go off to the gym and work them out, to go down to the laundry and use them, as i don't have time to baby my hands. too much to do.

i've never felt this strange stiffness before though. so who knows.

i would like to use william stafford's a poem a day process, but it doesn't work for me and that is like forcing myself (which might be the point), and i don't force myself to create. i believe if we honor what does come when it comes, there won't be a need to force it out. it will come, and does. in it's own faithful way. we merely have to trust the timing, again, timing comes up. that when we have a poem to write, it will flow. but the wanting to write the poem does not precede the poem's time to be written. does this make sense?

just as, i read all the books but did not write a single word. i left them all piled round me for when i was ready to write.

when it was time to write, the words came like someone turning on the hose, they just rushed out and onto the page in their appointed places. quite nicely too, but this is because i subconsciously consider everything and let it steep awhile. i don't read and then produce a paper liketysplit. i read and let the works gestate in my mind. in the fullness of time, the words, as athena pop from my mind, fully formed. and it is a wonder to behold.

i like that image. and i'm ready for today's load of work and wonder. i must to the gym, much to do and time, it seems has an agenda all its own.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

what must be done

i must do what must be done. there is no room for anything else.

tomorrow's deadline for my fourth packet finds me a book and a half behind and not a word finalized. though many smattered on the page, to hopefully prod my mind in some direction when i finally get to it.

worked this am, after working yesterday and mucking stalls. i must say, i'm getting tired of the work. but we went to the paddock and sat by the horses while they ate their afternoon snack and that was somewhat rejuvenating.

the lines and movements of these creatures intrigues me.

and bucky smiled his goofy smile several times for us. he's still a handfull and i've no time to just be there with him.

and today the hawk circled above my home, and i remembered the time long ago, ages ago, lifetimes ago when i was another person and that memory quickened in me. that moment of poetry and touching the one i love happened.

but i shake my head when my mind wanders there and try to draw myself back, draw myself back to now. to the stark reality of now. now is where i am, now is what is going on. now.

so leave off the poetry, leave off the dreams, leave off everything i say, and focus on the book i have to get through and the papers i must write.

the time is now. the task is at hand, there is no thing else.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

i am known

this kid came into work the other night and my boss and the young girl i was working with both knew who he was.

he kept going on about how everywhere he goes everyone knows him.

so i am standing there, clueless and say,
if it's any consolation, i don't know who you are.

now you do.
he said.

and all i could think, was, is that it? someone hands you a fist full of change and suddenly they "know" you. but of course, i curbed this bit of musing and went on my way.

in a sense i understand his meaning, though i won't remember him the next time he comes in. his face was unremarkable to me, his demeanor nothing i locked into memory as so many before.

the parking attendant at the poetry workshop.
the banker on the subway.
the old woman holding out her hand.

these people, for better or worse, in whatever shallow way, i've come to know. if by nothing other than the force of their image in my mind. they were real people to me.

this kid was not, he was just another customer, another face in the crowd. another anonymous coffee, which i don't even remember what it was.

but changing jobs for me was tough because there are people who think they know me here. people who in some small way are associated with some aspect of my life, through my husband or daughter, or our various social commitments. but in the true sense of knowing, as i understand it, none of these people, not one single soul, save a handful of poets and two friends know me.

knowing a person is more than just remembering their name, as difficult as that proves to be sometimes for me.

it requires investment on both parts and i would no more tell anyone they know me because they handed me some change, than tell them any number of sensitive things.

but this is incongruous with my chosen field. my given profession, the way i spend my time, is it not?

not really.

i think when people create art, it isn't necessarily for those who are surrounding them. it is certainly nice when some of those folks "get it" but those folks that don't get it aren't the end all of the situation.

we create art because, first of all, we must.

in all these books i'm reading about why shakespeare stressed his iambs just so, i keep thinking, this is bullshit. finally, i've come across one author who says,
scansion is not a science and stresses will vary from reader to reader.
which is marvelous comfort to me because i had been contemplating that this whole time. how do we ever know that's a spondee and a dactyl and not a trochee and a spondee (i didn't check to make sure that works out, so just be impressed by the sound of it, okay?).

my prof spelled it all out for me, making the whole thing digestable, or it would seem, but i am striken by a grave case of indigestion where prosody is concerned. the whole thing feels like a load of crap to me, and while every poet worth his word says you must study prosody, i find the endeavor wearisome beyond words.

know what you're not choosing is the logic, but i would like to let something organic happen. writing, for one.

i'm wasted tired now, more tired than i've been in a long time. last week after the botanical gardens i slept over fourteen hours. i read somewhere, sleep is a salve for a hurt mind. i think it was oscar wilde who said that.

and i think, more than physically healing of late, i'm mentally and emotionally healing. the utero of slumber is the best i can do, but day comes too soon and my dreams are of little comfort.

in fact, they leave me pondering the meaning for days.

which i guess is better than not dreaming at all.



i had this customer busting my chops one morning. i was alone, if i remember correctly, and he's going on and on about how i am giving him lousy service (because i won't put milk and sugar in his coffee, i'm thinking bite me, but manage not to say it).

so he says to me,
next time i see you here, i'm going to make a U-turn.

i reply.

first of all, i can't get over how people piss and moan about coffee. it's coffee for godsake. and yes, you're paying a bundle for it, but we aren't there to be badgered.

my boss told me today,
i've been meaning to talk to you about that.

because the guy came in. apparently he's a really good customer.

he was so sweet this time, and he apologized for his behaviour the last time. he kept telling my mgr how he had apologized, he seemed proud of that fact, even puppydogish today, rather than bulldogish the last time we faced off.

i told him,
i made another flavor of coffee just for you last weekend, but you didn't come.

and he said,
did you do it today.

(because it figures, he wouldn't come on a day when i am not prepared to serve him like he wanted those few weekends ago).

my boss said,
don't let the customers see your frustration.

but sometimes, i can't stuff it anymore. and if you're going to bust my chops about what coffee i've got brewed, then bust my chops for not milk and sugaring it for you, you better damn well believe i'm not going to be doing cartwheels the next time i see you.

i try to be good with customers. i really do. but sometimes, they vex me. and astound me.

we're supposed to give life changing service (that's not what it's called, but that is what it boils down to), and by god i try. but there are times, i would rather strangle the demanding than serve them. i guess that is how it always is. i guess that is when it matters most, if i can keep my shit together long enough to meet whatever rediculous demand is made, with a smile.

but then, today, he came in, and apologized and we hit it off pretty well. i told him,
we get all kinds. it didn't bother me.

i swear the requests some people make blow my mind.

but i need to not be so honest, that is what i'm told. (i try to bend my mind around that and it just won't go). so i do the best i can and curb my honesty.

some people we meet are genuinely kind and considerate.

i guess, what i'm saying is, if you don't give kindness to a serviceperson, it's really tough to get it back. and i know the dali lama would be kind to you even if you were a shit, but i'm not the dali lama. i'm just a screwed up girl looking for her own peace of mind (five points if you can name the movie that line is from).

peace. out.

Friday, May 09, 2008

they say

what you put out there comes back to you.

this frustrates me to no end because i work so hard to put good shit out there and when i get the difficulties i'm getting back, i don't know where it came from.

some will tell me it's some karmic bullshit, and i don't believe that. i'm not really sure what i believe at this point. all i know to do is all i know to do. simple as that. what will happen, will happen.

we can't control others, we can't even hope they'll do things remotely close to what we hope or imagine they would do. but we can, to the best of our abilities, gather our scattered selves and try to walk forward with dignity.

i hadn't meant to be wobbly about this, but it touches me deeply. to see the same thing coming around the bend that i had just thought i'd finally dealt the deathblow to.

night of the living dead seems to be the recurrent theme of my life, because it keeps rising up and wandering around the yard screwing up the view. and i don't know how to make it stop.

i want it to stop.

but i don't think things are ever that neat or easy. and we must slay the undead again.

and again.

and again.

at least i'm not wandering around in the yard with them anymore, i have that in my favor.

but i would so like goodness, and peace, a season of joy and fatness to be mine.

that is the direction i'm headed. the shore is still nowhere in sight. but i'm not turning back now.

it's too late.

i had a little talk with the chief the other night, and he asked me for a poetry book, i said,
there is too much in there i don't want you to know.

why do you write those things down then?

because it's what i do.

but it's a tenuous thing, meeting strangers. taking people into your confidence. believing that what you have to say, regardless of how it makes others feel is valuable.

some would say,
it's better to let it all die with you.

i don't know that i believe that.

there is something to being known. what that something is, i have yet to discover.

for all the tales i've told, i still am not sure i'm any closer to having those pivotal souls who surround me day by day knowing me. in fact, i'm sure they don't. they can't. they won't.

and that is the kind of shit wandering around in my front yard.

i'd so like it to be loveliness instead.

death to art

as my daughter prepares for her art exhibit at the library, she's been exploring new techniques, attempting new larger paintings, and after the botanical gardens, painted a lovely landscape in a way i've never seen her able to execute before.

i return home to a redeyed daughter last night and asked what was wrong. apparently the chosen punishment for not cleaning her room is a painting prohibition.

this takes me so far back to the days when i was budding and my dad, all thumbs and left feet where children were concerned, thought to effect some type of lesson learning--which the lesson i got was not the lesson he intended.

mind you, this is not me and my dad. my husband is nothing if not a good dad, but i do not agree here.

you can tell me all day long, we're all artists and we need to learn balance, but this is a child who has a gift. i've gone back and forth about the messy room thing, wrung my hands, enforced my will and finally, i just don't look in there, because when i do, oh my god. i hate it.

i see the flaws in my argument.

i know it is not perfect, but how often have you had to prepare for an art show? there will always be a day to clean the room. believe me, the mess will still be there.

she said to me the other day,
i have to paint every day, because june is next month.

yes, love.

i just keep buying paints and brushes and fresh canvi.

she burns through them demonstrating technique i did not know she knew.

of course some come out better than others, and not all are going to be displayed, but much of what she has done recently is fresh and lovely. unexpected.

she wanted some pallet knives, to try a technique, and she executed a lovely black horse on the cliff of a ravine (i call him the fire breathing horse, because it looks like he has a lick of flame coming out of his mouth), but his mane is windswept and most of it is done with knives. i've not seen her successfully execute this method and i'm pleased she finally has.

she reinterpreted the firebreathing horse in watercolours, and it is even more lovely with mingling hues of turqouise and pumpkin orange. though no fire from the black horse this time.

painting after painting, she labors the day away.

is this not education? is this not why i homeschool?

artists neglect lesser obligations at times (i promise you, the room will still be dirty in june), to tend to the pressing demands of the muse.

now in june, i may agree that painting need be laid aside to clean the room. but not now. not in this rush and frenzy of technique and inspiration. at least someone in this house is creating.

that does my heart good.

the exhibit will be called
a girl and her horses.

i may try to scan the works and bind them as a requerdo. and if she wishes, to gift them to loved ones.

who knows what will come of this, but i'm so smitten by her works, not simply because she's my child, mind you, though that plays no small part, but because she is expressing something epic.

little hands, taking up paints and brushes because they want to, not because i've ever told her to. i've simply laid the bits and pieces within reach, and she has taken them up.

it's a wonder to behold, really.

and i won't see it checked and curtailed.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

crunch time.

yesterday was as peaceful and beautiful as i hoped it would be. my girl and i laughed a lot, and sunned ourselves.

but it's time to get back to the grindstone. three books to go, one is so, so good i cannot force myself to rush through it. i may even hold it over until next time because that is how good it is. i linger on each page, and transcribe long passages into my journal.

rare, the books this semester that have this effect on me.

so, i'm trying not to get frantic, i'll just finish one book at a time. and try to put off my daughter's pleas to go somewhere else today. i must focus.

and i'll try to finish all i can because this is it. paper due monday.

it will be well. i'll get it all done. i just wish i had more time to enjoy it, and it wasn't so much about racing through the books as it was, gleaning from them and interacting with them.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


so, i need to accomplish a lot. as anyone who has a glimpse of my schedule will testify, i have no time to doddle.

but today, i did no thing. and loved it.

the horses have a way of brining you back down to earth, it becomes all about the good grazing. about lingering in the fields. about the comb along the neckline. nothing else matters. nothing else.

so, i gave myself to it.

and when i stopped thinking about my agenda (which arguably wasn't hard to do, i'm too tired to hold my mind in tension about what i need to accomplish), i was able to be in the middle of a field doing nothing.

and it was all right.

i had plans to meet a friend tomorrow, but yesterday's walk with my daughter proved so timely, we haven't missed spring yet, that i am going to infuse my life with beauty by spending tomorrow at ny botanical gardens. i can't explain it except to say, when one must perform one must find ways to slough off all the strain and stress.

my way is through beauty.

i need an infusion of beauty. the uncomplicated life of flowers and horses. the simple pleasure of a clean bucket of water and a fresh stall.

bucky was busy grazing in a new paddock and i saw him for a while, but i didn't get in his face. i watched him from a far field mostly, where i was posted atop a little grassy ridge.

only one could have moved me from that place, and the hawk broke from the trees to dance before my waking eyes. and i sighed a sigh of relief.

he sees me as i see him. it was a great comfort.

and i drove away, to unfortunately check my email and reenter the world of rush and hurry, only this time, a bit more peacefully.

Monday, May 05, 2008

everlasting friend

Everlasting Friend lyrics

A heartbeat skip, relationship
Inside a bubble bath
An icing drip below your lip
So we undo the math
A sudden slip between
My pathetic sedatives
A real-life script of how
Mistakes became our medicine, so

Delay the hurtful words
Of complicated overcast
Please take the message that I'm
Picking up my chin at last
I said my confidence
It gets stronger when you're next to me
But we pray from miles away
In quest for what we long to be

I might crumble, I might take a fall again
(Still missing you)
I might crumble, I might take a fall again
(Still missing you)
I might crumble, I might take a fall again
But you're my everlasting friend
Everlasting friend

A heartbeat skip, relationship
So we would stay up late
A teardrop drip below your lip
Beside the airport gate
A sudden slip from where
We used to be a year ago
A real-life script of how
Our hands would hold and not let go

But delay the mournful words
Of complicated overcast
Please take the message
That you taught me how to live at last
But I said my confidence
It gets stronger when you're next to me
But we wave respect goodbye
In quest for what we long to be, but

I might crumble, I might take a fall again
(Still missing you)
I might crumble, I might take a fall again
(Still missing you)
I might crumble, I might take a fall again
But you're my everlasting friend

Will you be coming home?
(Everlasting friend)
My everlasting friend, will you be coming home?
(Everlasting friend)

I might crumble, I might take a fall again
(Still missing you)
I might crumble, I might take a fall again
(Still missing you)
I might crumble, I might take a fall again

I might crumble, I might take a fall again
I might crumble, I might take a fall again
I might crumble, I might take a fall again
I might crumble, I might take a fall again
I just want to know that you'll be coming home
I just want to know that you'll be coming home
I just want to know that you'll be coming home
I just want to know that you'll be coming home

to india

the new job in south jersey would include travel, perhaps to india. i would not go, at least i'd try with my whole being to refuse, because i do not think he can protect me there. and i do not feel safe to go there unprotected.

there comes a time when we must draw a line and say,
this is as far as i go.

carry on if you must, but i must remain here.

there comes a time when we must abandon fear and set out on our own.

how near that time draws to me now and i feel the thrill of struggling to make it on my own.

but i've gone and said too much, and now you've probably connected dots that i had hoped would remain obscure. however, thinking about it now, i probably paint the picture so clearly, (for those who would understand), that it's an impressionist painting of sorts.

just in from the gym, my abs feeling the afterburn of a thousand situps. and i am signing up for a new kick your ass workout program because i've grown lax and the machines lose their allure.

this thing is supposed to track your progress and challenge you each time. it automatically increases as you gain strength.

which is good. i, like most people, am inclined toward laziness. and unless i have someone riding me, will do the very least possible.

so, mechanical trainer it is.

it's a strange world where so much is automated. and i look forward to tomorrow. but do not rush past today, for it is here i set my course.

peace. out.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

what size is yours

so i'm driving home from work, finally. and i see this tribal dude carrying a drum the size of, hmm, let's see, it was larger than a semi truck tire, let's put it that way. it was HUGE!

so i parked my car and ran back over to meet him, because it was just around the corner from my apt.

turns out, they're going to drum practice, him and his sweetie. and of course we're invited, but i should not go now. don't ask.

so he gives me a powwow flyer, and it turns out, he's the cousin of the chief of ramapough nation. ha! go figure.

small world indeed.

now i need to see about getting a proper shawl as i left all mine in texas. call it an oversight. but it's something i need now. i can't wait till i get back there and into my cedar chest. so, i'll have to splurge and get a new one.

pendleton, methinks. yes. indeed.

but i've been preparing to come home since i got up this morning and realized, i have one week and four books to read. that means, with my schedule a book a day on my not busy days.

i better get to it.

and it's good to see tribal people. i can't even tell you how good.

peace. out.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

immortality or oblivion

i have this visual file that i've actually made into a collage. part and parcel of julia cameron's artist's way. i love that book. i live by the principals. save the pages, i haven't done the pages in a year and a half probably.

but this visual file, was shoved in the moving van after i almost left it in texas. my best friend who is a visual artist would not see me leave it behind, and i'm so glad she took it upon herself to make it come with me.

though it is often gathered up and shoved behind the tv by one who shares my home, and piled behind clutter sometimes by others. i try to look at it as much as possible, adding to it as i can.

one thing i have never changed from the outset is a picture of a goldfish swimming in a blender with the line below it that says, immortality or oblivion?

this speaks to me.

surrounding that picture are a bunch of quotes about art, seeing it in a new way. the opportunities are endless. write naked. those sorts of things. the kinds of things i try to live my life by.

but ultimately, we do not know if it will be immortality or oblivion. even our simplest, or seeming simplest artistic ventures can be lost to time and disinterest, or they can become something.

i do not have my heart set on immortality, but i do have my heart set on creating art regardless of the reception i get today. will that art end up pureed? it's not up to me. it's up to me to do the best i can with what i've got. these eyes, these ears, this heart, these lungs.

whatever results from it, is the product of faithfulness to my calling and perhaps it will mean something to someone else.

i do not lie awake devising means of making this happen.

it will either happen on its own or it won't, nothing i can do about that either way.

but i can do my best to be faithful to the muse. faithful to the voice i hear.

this is seen as hardheadedness by some, stubbornness by others, outright ignorance by still others.

but adhereing to a straight and narrow has never appealed to me.

the trod path has been worn down all ready, no need for me to venture there.

sure there is great merit in study and honing up on the masters, but the masters had their day. they had their chance to be faithful to the muse, to the voice they hear.

this is my chance.

immortality or oblivion.

remains to be seen.

barn lessons

we were all over the place today, mucking one stall, fiddling with another horse. seemed to be doing everything and nothing at once. it was not confusion, so much as spontenaiety, which i don't mind. but i never really could get my feet under me.

and walking back from the paddock, nicole said,
there's buck.

and i was surprised to seem him in a turn out beside her barn. i grinned from ear to ear and waved. he pricked his ears forward and lifted his head.

i forget i should not be so enthusiastic about what is not mine.

but then i think, if he's being ignored, not so much neglected as ignored, is it wrong to lavish my affections on him? should i hide that or be ashamed of that?

besides, i think everyone knows anyway.

though i tried to keep it hush, hush. i guess making a bee line for his paddock is something of a hint. lingering there as long as possible, perhaps another.

what can i say, i'm discreet.

but wandering back in, apart from my get it done mentality, i stood there beside the big guy, who was shrieking for his stablemate who had been turned out with my girl's new favorite horse.

his earpiercing cries are more heartwrenching than irritating, so i kept walking over to him, standing beside him, (the top of my head comes to his withers), and stroking his graceful shoulders, feeling his whole body cry out.

there's something beautiful, magnificent about the way a horse throws his whole being into whatever it is he happens to be doing.

even spooking.

i tried to just stand there (and no, i didn't spook him, but i moved my hand once, and he stepped back from me, because i had been across the aisle in another stall when he cried out). his calls did not have his intended effect. drawing, instead this predatory looking two legged, who would take up arms beside him and stroke him.

but he calmed. when i'd walk away he'd cry out. and so i abandoned my appointed task and tried to do nothing but send him strength. to encourage him in his uncertainty.

and my girl, when finally in his stall said,
if you do his buckets, i'll do the stall.
and i jumped at the offer. proving even i grow weary of manual labor.

sure the waterbuckets are heavy and dirty, especially his. he loses more grain out of his mouth than down his throat, i'm convinced by the clouded muck which invariably rests at the bottom of his bucket.

so i clean and fill his buckets and she abandons the stall.

we discuss the original deal, and finally i say,

if you don't keep your word, what is it worth?

she tries to get around my question.

if you don't keep your word, what is it worth?

again, she evades.

if you don't keep your word, what is it worth?


and perhaps, this was the reason we were there today. the stuff of brushes and horsehair and mucking stalls is scenery at this point. we are there because we said we would, because our word means something.


finally, it's done. i'm officially in management at my work. it's taken a long time, but all ends well.

so, to christen my newfound position, i go into the freezer where we house our pastries, and find a collapsing tower of boxes. the new pastries i ordered had come in and were haphazardly stacked on top of the collapsing stack.

i start dismantling the pile, mind you, i'm working in a freezer, so no one wants to do this. they just want to lob boxes in and get out of there.

but i have found by taking a moment to organize, to cut access holes into the boxes so we don't have to shuffle boxes constantly, it keeps things orderly (until empty boxes are not removed and the integrity of the structure is compromised).

i keep inventory of all the pastries each time i order. if, for nothing else, so know, exactly what i have and what to order. this is easily done and i don't spend a lot of time on it. the major percent of time is in simply deconstructing the empty box towers and breaking them down.

i worked with a kid last night who normally coasts about doing a moderate amount of work.

when he arrived, i said,
i have a lot to do. you are responsible for x, y, and z. that is all you are responsible for
(but he was also the only one manning the station while i'm in the freezer and the cage in the stock room), so it required a bit of foresight and planning on his part to get it all done and serve the customers (who tend to flow in groups, a bit like fish that way).

i return occasionaly as work permits, doing jobs i did not ask or expect him to do upon my return, and to check his progress, which is minimal. i knew he would not be prepared to wrap it all up by the time we were to leave, but i let him do what he had to do.

he kept telling me,
chill suzanne.
(mind you i was moving at lightning speed because the store was full of customers at one point and i was watching him ring. it was a bit more than i could handle so i stepped in and rang customers up, while he bagged the stuff. it was tough, took the kid a good minute to open a bag to put merchandise in. but i let him do that, and kept the people moving. until i could get away to do what i needed to do.)

and i kept saying,
i have a lot to do.

but he kept insisting, i take a break. i knew he didn't get it (and wouldn't get it until 8:45 that night).

since i have a similar set up to the freezer going in the back cage (i have finally convinced everyone removing all the sleeves of cups from boxes and stacking them precariously, then moving them into the kiosk as we need them is excess work. as we need to stack the boxes in an area adjacent to the cage before they even go into the cage, we are moving those same cups a minimum of four times before the get to the drink we are making). if we take a box and stack it on the shelf, allowing the box to stabilize its contents, we eliminate "stocking" the cage, aside from popping in whole boxes of product when it gets low. it took a long time to pick up the loose sleeves of cups when they would collapse with the former system. and a great deal of strength to shuffle through closed boxes with the system before that. my system has all the cups stacked side by side in their original boxes with panels cut out so the cups can be extracted from the intact, but accessible box, via a giant window. the box remains in tact the entire time it is there because it is not cut in any way except to create this access window.

all the cups are accessible. i am doing this with every product i can, because it is something to need a pound of coffee and have to move twelve boxes to get to it. just as it is something to need two biscotti and have to move fifteen small boxes to get to it. time is money folks and we're operating on a skeleton crew. (mind you, moving the cups, except when they collapse all over the place, was not such a big deal, but when you have eight flavors of gums and mints in tiny little boxes stacked under fifteen or so flavors of teas beside biscotti and cookies, graham crackers and chocolate covered whatnots, it becomes quite tedious moving and stacking and shuffling through boxes).

these principles are simple. they eliminate the need to handle the boxes repeatedly.
all product is neatly organized and accessible, box contents can be evaluated either by sight or sticking one's hand in the hole and feeling the product. no need to move anything.

but by the time i have inventoried the paper goods, which required restocking all cups of every size, and to do that i had to climb up on three crates (that or move a fifty pound--i kid you not--twenty foot ladder that nearly bested me once), to access these boxes. i could not even reach the lids becase the quitter stacked them about twenty feet up inside the cage. i'm not sure how he did it, but it's not something i can undo without assistance.

so i go back to the kiosk, bar, whatever you call it, and my co-worker is scrambling. customers are an afterthought at this point because it is 8:45 when most of the stuff is done usually, and he had lots to do.

but if he doesn't ever get stretched, he will never grow. that's what i say. so i end up staying until well after 10pm, finishing, and i didn't even do everything because i need to get shit done and there is no one else to do it.

i sent my co-worker home after he did all he could and his dad arrived.

it was a good busy night, and i've just got to get the core product inventoried and ordering under control, as right now it's all over the place. we can't keep what we need in stock, and i think it is because no one really knows what we have and can't estimate what we need because they aren't thinking about everything.

i use the order form for both tracking inventory as well as ordering. i figure, why reinvent the wheel. and my previous attempts to catalogue inventory had me searching the order forms to see what i had (a second eyespy i simply don't have time for), so i got the idea to blank out all the order price information and use the blank lines to catalogue stock. it works very well, exceptionally well. and if i can get the system down right, i can know exactly what we have and inventory shouldn't be an issue again.

but that's my plan. it's not reality yet.

peace. out.