Saturday, May 30, 2009

what affects you, affects me

i got some terrible news. it doesn't pertain to me directly, yet it does. i'm still trying to wrap my mind around it. trying to decide what role i have to play in mitigating the negative consequences of it. if any. i don't know what to do. i keep telling my friends,
i am trying not to kick into saviour mode

and they reply,
you can't.

i hear them, i do. it doesn't stop me from wanting to help. but this issue is larger than me.

and my ex standing before me said,
are you shrinking?

no. just not wearing platforms.

it's been a while since we've had cordial conversation, but it's returning. and i'm trying to keep from being the saviour of the world.

i am trying.

and all i want is to be held. but that won't happen.
so i bide my time, and sitting around the table with the belly dancers last night am asked,
do you have a lover?

i laughed, and said,
a reluctant one, yes. but i'm in the market if you know of anyone.

i must, must, must move forward.

and she traced the hawk tattoo on my back, the feel of her fingers surprised me. i looked at the goddess on the nape of her neck and told her the story of my goddess fetish.

i had lost it. i bought it before i got married, and i used to keep it on the piano beside me while i played. then, when we moved to new york, i lost her.

they were eating and i kept telling the story.

i only found her when i left my husband.

they said in chorus.

she said to us. for we had just revealed how recently we each left our respective spouses.

thank you.
we replied. and smiled. hoping to meet again.

and the matriarch of the group says,
we need to get together as women and rent a house. everyone just move here, and we'll live together.

sounds great to me.
i said.

i've lived communally before. it was a good fit for me. provided i've got my own space to be apart.

that's how this economy is going,
she replied.

and i drove away encouraged, feeling content. but still wanting to be held.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


i've forced a lot of issues in my day. and while i don't ever want to do that to someone i love, i confess, i have. i look at the liberties i've taken, and now realize, moving out of the area was the best move for me. i would have taken more.

now i'm just too tired to force any issue, because i simply don't have time or the desire to do so. little consolation for me, i must move on. move forward. it is time.

i just hadn't realized how hard i was making it. and for that oversight, i wish i could make it right. but the only thing for me to do is bug out.

and so i will.

pain is something palpable. i understand it. we ally ourselves with souls we hope will understand us, and the best we can hope for is a moment of mutuality. that is what i've come to understand. it is enough.

we do the best we can and then must move on.

poetry intensive next weekend, just in time, as usual.


my schedule, that is.

i keep trying to cram people in, make plans, but it just isn't working. and it doesn't necessarily jive with the schedules of others. especially my girl, who is particularly feeling the absence. i miss her too, but there is no way i can fix this. at least i have off for her little school concert. i'll have to go sit there and smile. (i hate those things. i used to tell her,
i don't want to hear everyone else, just sing for me.
which is completely true, but in this new context we live our lives, it's just not enough to not like something, i have to do it for her.)

i guess it's good that i have poets inviting me places, and i'm tempted. so tempted, but the logistics of getting there are more than i can manage, so i must, graciously, pass. though i want to go.

i don't get to the city enough, and this excursion would ask too much of me, i'm sure. so in the name of being sensible, i pass.

work soon, i was on bar yesterday morning, it was fine. i kept pace with it. there are some peripheral things i lost sight of, being on bar, but i need practice. and i didn't have five or seven cups lined up, i kept pace. which is huge. i think it might have been slower traffic, but it was still good practice for me. the usual bar guy was on register, (where i am fast and comfortable). but i need to not psych myself out of bar. i know how to make a fanfuckingtabulous drink. even had an old customer from my previous store come in and quietly ask me,
why do some people's drinks taste different?

different how?

different bad.

whose? mine?

no. the tall girl at your old store.

(ah, the one who hated me. it's not the first time i've heard her drinks are bad, but people love her).

really? i'm sorry, did you say something.

sometimes i do, but it just tastes bad, so i throw it away, or keep going to the next store.

that's very inconvenient for you.


it was not my favorite customer by any means. but i know these people, my dark angel knows them too. it's sad that someone can dominate something they aren't very good at, and dress it up to dazzle people so no one pays attention to what's inside.

very strange.

and i turned to my new boss and said,
did you hear that?


you have to tell him, if i tell him he'll think i'm making it up.


there are a lot of things i could say about this. i'll try to refrain from saying them. i think it's best that i left that store. i'll just leave it at that.

had a long talk with the pussycat yesterday (formerly the ballbuster), i asked him why he didn't move up. it's not a story new to me. i wish it were. i'm sorry it is about politics. and that some people get stuck in a position they are overqualified WAY overqualified for. but it can change, i believe it can.

i keep encouraging him, i know he can do it.

politics are bullshit.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


so i'm walking barefoot across the front yard, trying to find some place to lay in the sun and soak up some rays. when i step on something painful. i look at my foot, no blood, nothing, so i figure it must have been my imagination.

well today, i threw my weight to perform a hip lift and the pain in my foot shouted out at me. it was about a week or so ago when i stepped on that thing, whatever it was. i thought it was nothing, but it's been in there, festering away.

and how am i to get it out?

so i call the ex.
can you help me?

doesn't let me back in the apartment, apparently i'm never seeing the inside of that joint (too bad i didn't get all my shit out).

i'll come down.

apparently the opportunity to inflict pain on me is irresistable. even if only for a short time. nah, we're actually not fighting anymore, it's just a peaceful truce at the moment. and i'm grateful.

so he takes a needle and starts digging around in my foot. and then, i'm squirming, my kid is trying to help by holding a magnifying glass, and i had my foot out at first, propped up on the truck bumper, but that was unworkable, so i fold my leg over across my lap and start to pinch it like a zit to get the thing to come out.

he jabbed the needle in too deep and my foot shot out. so i took the pin and tried to fish it out, but the reason i need help for this is because i'm a coward when it comes to inflicting pain on myself. plus, i didn't see anything until just then. didn't even know i still had something in there, save the odd ache in my foot, which happens on occasion.

so, he says,
it's in too deep. maybe after you swim.

and i say
okay. i'll try again after swimming.

then give it one last squeeze and out she floats like lazarus. a tiny little sticker from some of the many thornbushes which adorn my front yard.

grab the tweezers, quick.

because i'm pinching my foot, and the thing is above water. (or flesh, as the case may be, and we could pluck it out if we moved quickly).

and so, blind, he gropes in the general direction with the tweezers and manages to pluck it out.

did you get it.

i don't know, i can't see.

my daughter chimes in.
there it is.

and the little tiny sticker was right on the edge of the tweezers.

i hate that my little sticker is cause for a whole family action plan, but i needed help and had no one to call to fish the sticker out of my foot. i am not sure i could have gotten it out alone as it took a couple sets of hands to gentle it from its nesting place.

if i didn't stand on my feet for eight hours a day it might not be such an issue, but i do. and, well, i'm just glad it's out.

no more trepsing around the front yard sans flipflops.

i tried soaking up more rays today, but it was overcast, i'm hoping the sun broke through enough to paint me lightly, so i can get a gentle tan and not something utterly damaging in one fell swoop.

poquito por poquito mija.

yes, grams.

i'm kind of tired, wanting to veg. got some movies for my afternoons off, which i find i've no motivation to study. perhaps because june is my study deadline (or the start of my official cram), i just don't feel like it.

but i do, however, feel like eating. which is something.

i'm hungry. i may even start cooking again soon. i miss it. the only trouble is, it takes time, and time is a commodoty i no longer possess in excess.

ah well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


my saturday did not turn out the way i wanted, but it was fine. a little girl anointed my toes with fairy dust, painted each toe nail, very delicately. i enjoyed the people i met that day, had never met them before, but am glad to know them now.

life is strange. interesting.

i'm supposed to get my painting today, i hope it works out. i really want it.

and the jaunt up to northern ny was fun. long drive. but it was a good trip. sometimes, i think all i have is my presence. i offered my presence to the dear soul i just met at a time when he needed it. i was well received. it was a nice time. i actually got a tad bit sunburned from my sunbathing, but that happens. not often, but it happens.

i laughed a lot. i cried some. i rested much. very tired. this is my last day off, i had three, and it was quite an unexpected surprise. i'm glad to be home, will hit the gym and try to get a few things done. but mostly, i rest if i need it. no break in sight until next monday. which is fine. (provided she gives me the day off).

i do feel better cared for here, she did give me three days off in a row which is a boon and a blessing. i hadn't realized how tired i was, but i could barely sit up. i kept lying down.

you look so tired,
he said.

and my eyes half closed looked back, and i just put my arm over my head and closed my eyes.

i want to kiss you, you have beautiful lips.

if you do, i'll kick your ass.
i replied. even though i could barely hold a convincing fist. i'd told him i was a blackbelt in karated, just incase. but he was a gentleman and gave me space.

i'm glad. i was too tired to drive home that night.

we went and saw wolverine, it wasn't that great. the claws were obviously animated. i didn't feel that way in the previous x-men, but this one they looked like toontown claws. strange.

my host was restless, pacing the cage. he came and went many times while i was there. i kept saying,
just do what you have to do, i'm fine.
and lounged in the back yard with my books, reading, writing, resting.

we get along, but two poets together is a lot to handle. it didn't take long to realize that. and there are very few people i can yell at and they yell back and it's okay. he feels like a familiar person, someone i'll know for a while. i hope so. i like people to be in my life if they are supposed to be (which is an obvious statement and says nothing).

i've got to go to the gym now. need an oil change. my pony is such a great ride.

my new friend had a few career suggestions for me, and being that i'm an introvert (i really am), i think he might be right. i often think i should find some isolated place to go for a while, and, well, perhaps i should. perhaps i should.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

private lessons

so i was the only one to make it to my belly dance class last night, and it was, essentially, a private lesson. for which i was humbled and grateful. i tried to get my hands on the picture of the fairy i let get away, and it eludes me still. why do the things i want taunt me so? why can't they just be mine? will i enjoy them more for the chase? i do not know. i do not yet possess that which i desire. not sure i ever will. and i have to be okay with that. i'm making peace with that.

so in the interim, i'm going up north. for a couple to three days. jetting out to where i'm invited to see through the eye poetic. i won't do any more than enjoy my company, whatever that means.

the drive after the painting today hooked me up with a few artists who know the new paltz area. seems i may get into that scene yet. we'll see how it goes. for now, i'm just leaving myself open to goodness.

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


the dissertation done, i feel like i have some time now for things that are beginning to press on me. namely, the stacks of books piled around my bed to be read before my residency. from one literary race to another, it seems.

i've fallen into a very comfortable place with my store. the ballbuster is really a pussycat, and i think it's going to be okay. i believe it is going to be okay.

now to the other pressing issues at hand.

still trying to decide what i want. these are huge questions, perhaps i contemplate them too much. but i don't entirely leave my life to chance, to whim, to fancy. i do try to pick a course. whether or not i stay the course is not the point. the point is that there is some direction, some point in space and time i hope to arrive at someday.

do i ever arrive? yes and no.

it is never, without fail, never how i envisioned it. it is, without fail, immeasurably better. i try to dream modestly, (that is an outright lie), i try to believe my own legend. i had forgotten that word. i try to believe my legend. to make it happen for me. but i'm essentially at the whim of mercy. timing being what it is, i trust it will all work out. and it usually does.

a lady came into the store yesterday,
y'all are going to get sick in this air conditioning.

not me,
i said.


what's your secret.

i don't get sick.

don't say that,
she replied.


i say it all the time. i just believe i won't get sick, and i don't.

i've never been one for the unparalleled powers of the mind, but i do dabble in the cognitive arts. i fashion my own vessel and sail out, i confess. where it takes me is another point entirely.

right now, i'm just enjoying everything.

i'm in the having fun phase of my life,
i told him.


you look good. look like you're having fun.

he proceeded to ask me about my girl, and i confessed the truth. that is what we poets are the best at extracting from others.

i'm sorry you have to go through that.
he said.

and for a moment, it didn't hurt so bad. it didn't feel quite so awful to be grappling with the things on my plate. for a moment, i felt not alone.

it was a nice feeling.

so i weigh the pros and cons of each adventure i'm invited to take. wonder if i can choose the right partner to dance with, ever. and am left doubting my ability in that area, trusting that he will present himself at the right moment. when the tango begins, i hope. you can belly dance alone, but you can't tango alone.

and these musings are ripping me open in ways i had not foreseen. too near truth, i'd say. get close and the waters flow. the waters flow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

awake she dreams

i've been in bed since four yesterday, i was so tired. slept most of that time, but had a lot of alpha time, heard the poems i know are coming if not at the intensive, sooner. one about my dark angel. it's nearly complete. i saw it, heard it, dreamt it last night. or was it this morning. no matter.

i've a few hours and i just want to be here and do nothing. veg. i'll make myself eat, because still, days go by and i don't eat. very bad habit. don't think it helps my stamina situation. especially when i've got so much going on. more and more, it seems.

i dreamt of a spirit visit last night, the spirit left through the front door, and lo and behold, my front door is ajar this morning. i saw the spirit open the door and exit. wild. least they could do is shut the door.

i was given a baby, am told this represents death. but i've never understood that to be the case. i've always understood it to be a new beginning. which i know is what death is, but there was no negative connotation with this baby. and i was grateful to receive it.

so many times i've listened to marion woodman describe the baby that comes in our dreams as a signal that some great birth is taking place, has taken place. that the journey has begun. i wanted that baby to be in my dreams. i wanted that rebirth.

in my dream stasis of last night, it has happened. though i feel no different today, i must believe everything is different.

everything is different.

and now i'll finally get up, eat, and shut the front door.

Monday, May 18, 2009

the test

i suspected a test yesterday. and sure enough. in my mind, i passed. i can see how it would be perceived that i failed. i was requested by name, and well, i was busy.

i riddled the ballbuster with questions today.

what's your issue with...
why don't you like...

and he navigated my barrage of questions with answers that seemed to pacify me.

i pegged you all wrong,
i finally told him.

then before he left i said,
i'm glad i got to talk to you.

i kept letting you shoot yourself in the foot,
he said.

i ask questions to clarify misconceptions if i have any.

he said.

so we left in a relative truce. according to him, someone else is the source of the drama. i'll ask that person when i work with them. either that or he's blowing smoke up my ass, i'll figure it out.

came home and went straight to bed, so tired, just woke up. work called, i need to come in an hour earlier. which is fine, whatever. then a day off, for which i'm grateful, i'm wasted tired. my first monday, mondays are slow. i hate slow. slow and tired make for a very long day. though the early part was fine. i dig the fast pace.

must go do something productive. not sure what.

buzz kill

talk about buzz killers, my phone rings and i have this nasty habit of answering without checking who it is.

guess. the ball busting shift.

when i heard his voice i said,
it's my day off, this better be important.

whoa! don't kill the messenger,
he said.

what? (i barked)

and it was some bullshit about overtime and closing a store (within the hour i was being asked to turn up for an eight hour shift at a busy store, yeah right).

but i was engaged elsewhere, and said so. though i didn't close the door completely.

i kept wandering around the place confessing to those i know,
i'm socially awkward, i don't network.

and to my surprise, got a few, i am too-s in return. this pleased me.

i think that's how we get off, we poets, confessing our sins publicly. i forget the context of this conversation, ah, it was dinner, i was telling them about my read in the city and how the lady walking with me to the subway said,
poets are the high priests of a culture.

and i added,
would you like to confess your sins? i am in need of material.

which was met with a round of laughter.

that's the thing, i don't laugh so much as when i'm with these people. and they all hug me now, which i don't mind. still don't have the kiss thing down, but that is for another day. i'm too busy hugging on people. i have mastered the sidle up side hug. which is a nice alternative to the air kiss. i hate the air kiss.

if you're going to kiss me, kiss me damn it.

anyway, work soon. the ball buster awaits. i want to tell him his voice is the last thing i want to hear on my day off. i'll try to restrain myself but something in me says, if i don't hose down this barking dog, he'll keep pestering me. his voice raises my cackles and i'm going to have fun with it today.

we'll see how it goes.

i'm a strong woman, and i won't be intimdated by any man.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

oh wond'rous day

words fail me, but here i am stammering on the page. just in from gazing at the constellation of new jersey poets which i am so enthralled by. i am not a woman who is easily impressed, nor do i like the popular, just because it is.

when the final poet read and it was all over, i leaned to my friend and said,
that was a buzz kill.

there is a difference, methinks, between the institution of poet and the great poet. some are merely ubiquitous. some are truly gifted. the two are not invariably bound. as was evidenced today. my opinions were met with favor, which pleased me, because the crowd i've fallen in with are heavy hitters.

the thing that strikes me is that we're all so fucked up.

the big deal poet who coughed during my poem a couple weeks ago came up to me and i said,
i am trying not to like you, but you're damn good.

he said.

you coughed during my reading bastard.



but i have to give him props for being a fine fucking poet. though, unless your eyes launch out of your head and the cough escapes that way, there is no fucking excuse for coughing at a poetry read. can it. squelch it. explode if you have to, but get out of the room and cough your lungs up. just shut the hell up while someone is reading.

i had bronchitis,
he said,
i wished i didn't cough during your poem, i like you. i'll make it up to you.



then i directed his attention to the line that was forming of people wanting him to sign books and talk to him.

your public waits.

and i took my leave. i don't like clamoring for attention, from anyone.

so i went and retrieved my book and gave it to him when he was less engaged, or at least engaged with the matriarch, who loves me and i love, and understands.

i held the book out to him,

it's beautiful,
he said.


i'll review it on my show.


and i walked away going,
oh shit.

what can i say. i was asked,
when is your next reading?

i don't know. i'm in the winging it phase of my career.

it was nice to be asked by a big deal poet. nice to be on the radar.

i don't need to be famous, i don't need to be published in their ways by their standards (whomever they are). i just need to do what i must and make my own way.

and so i shall. too wired now to rest, so maybe i'll edit some more, but it was nice to see him pouring out his guts to me, backing slight steps as he talked. a true poet. doesn't know when to shut up or what tmi means.

and we sat around the table at dinner and asked each other,
where does your therapist live?

laughing and having the most dysfunctional conversation possible. fragments all.

it was delightful, but i'm home now. and i need to remind myself, they are home too, we're back in our worlds.

and i remember the hands of the poet who had just read, he held it out for me to see, quivering ever so slightly. (he's amazing, i don't know how such a one could be nervioso. and this, my dear friend, coughed after a poem finished, while the rounds of clapping were drowning the noise, and i whispered in his ear,
good man for not coughing during her poem.

you bet.
he said.)

i offered to punch him before he went up so he wouldn't be nervous, but he didn't answer, so i let him go unaccosted. though i wanted to.

it was a good, very good day indeed.

intensive soon, and these, my friends will be there, i can't wait...

one woman said,
you have done as much for me as the matriarch
(which was the highest praise i've ever received). she's pouring out the poems and letting herself write because i told her the bad poems need to be written just as much as the good ones do.

and this pleases me, that in my own little obscure quirky way, i'm making a difference. this is all that i've wanted. and i'm grateful.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

wonderfully talented people

so my first class with the tribal, amazing teacher last night went well. it was a small class, which suits me. and it was tough. while i didn't get the type of repetition i'm used to, i got a lot of different things out of it. mostly, a space to put together all the pieces i've collected. i need to learn to collect the dots, and i think this class might just help me to do that. and dancing with my dear friend. she flows. i sputter. but i'm getting better, i was able to freestyle for a couple minutes or so, before i gave up. but it was nice. and to have such talented women to aspire to dance like is exciting.

went to the gym, hit an all time low, but this is a good low. after my muffin top photo from the reading, i realized there is still a lot to do. i know i'm squishy, but whatever, poquito por poquito.

these are a couple shots from the beltane festival, i'm onstage with my best friend, we're dancing with the amazing jenny cohen, who is leading us all in what was a most fun group dance.

this is a very fun time in my life. i need to keep enjoying it and not get bogged down in the bullshit. but the books are stacked around me and i know i must start reading in earnest. i have much to do before my residency, and that dissertation is not yet done.

work in a few hours, and i've got to make some progress, so i must away.

i will go to a poetry reading tomorrow and mingle with the poets i have come to adore. it's such an honor. this is a time that cannot be repeated, these poets won't be around forever, and i'm just grateful to be a part of such fine company.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

yes, now i remember....

it was an exhausting, exhilirating day. had my ass handed to me yesterday, went to bed feeling like the biggest loser on the planet, drank some unsavory whiskey (mostly because i had nothing to partner it with, will rethink my liquor choice for the intensive, what we drank last year we drank straight out of the bottle that we passed around. we had just come back from having several rounds at the bar, then finished off a fifth, i'd say of something quite divine--though by that time, i'm sure we could down jd straight. still, i want whatever was in that bottle from last time).

i arrived early tonight to the reading, after the potential 11 hour day scare at work. we have a pregnant shift who had to rush in to the doctor, and that meant all hands on deck while we scrambled to figure it out. i worked with the boss, whom i love. i love her. that's all there is to it. she and i are very similar, i think, and i can learn a lot from her. i find myself trusting her, which is a good thing. i've generally trusted very good people in my life.

she asked me about yesterday and ultimately said,
don't worry about it
(this is her mantra). just then another manager walked in and got the briefest update and said to me,
she wasn't staying anyway
(of the girl who walked off her shift yesterday during my watch. long story).

this pleased me, and absolved me of much self-inflicted guilt. i didn't really know if they were just telling me it wasn't my fault to be nice. i have been known to make people cry.

so today, the vibe (three women most of the day), was entirely different. we grooved, we gelled, we got shit done. and bonded. what can i say. the other lady is a californian as well. very nice.

i dragged myself out of there and hit the shower to try to revive myself for the release party i was to read at.

it worked, somewhat. but i knew i had one stop to make tonight, one thing i had to say, one apology. yet, my erratic behavior continues (and i just can't help who i am, i'm strange as strage goes).

having said it, i left to get a good seat at the reading. the best cushy chairs in the front row, where all the action is.

i got them, parked myself right in the middle and was flanked by the matriarch, who was exhausted. the other host sat two seats to my left, and i flagged down my fellow poet photographer, because you've got to be in the front row if you're taking pictures.

i had selfish motivation, i know. if i couldn't video, perhaps a still would come out that was salvagable. i hope so.

several shots of me were taken, who knows if i'll ever see any of them, but i saw a few flashes as i read.

being there, i saw one man whom i thought i knew. but being that this is a journal release party, these were big deal poets and i'm a small fish, as they say. i didn't go up to him, but he came over to me.

i remember you.

and i remember you. you ...

and i told him what he did.

he said.
i remember you from that night, too and you didn't even fall (it was a prank to preface his poem, he stumbled to the floor)

it was probably two years ago i read there, maybe a year and a half, but it's been a long time. and for these big deal poets to even remember me is something. i'm grateful to share pages with them, let alone a spark of recollection when i appear.

i'm still socially awkward, i have no idea how to mingle or why, but we talked a bit, and i said hello to other poets i know though they have no fucking clue who i am. after i read it's hard to forget me, i say. and, well, i just have to jog their memory.

and so i did.

it was fucking amazing.

i talked to those i know more from repeated intensives, i realize we're not all so comfortable and anything i can do to help, i do. but it's not easy and i don't enjoy it. i'm just going to have to get over it. even got the cheek kiss from a poet as i flanked the matriarch. i have to master that one, i don't do it, i'm more of a deliberate kisser, someone who turns her head and catches the kiss on the lips. too agressive that way. but what else is new.

i have poems to write. i feel them bubbling inside me. a cauldron boiling over. and soon, the intensive, where i'm free to, dared to write the things i cannot, should not utter aloud. the intensive throws open doors i hide behind and permits me, in the company of my fellows doing the exact same damn thing, to explore the darkness.

only this time, the darkness has ivory skin.

mark this, it's probably not the best idea to spend time with a confessional poet. shit finds its way into my work.

as the soundmand told me a story, i laughed and said,
do you really want to tell me this. i'm confessional
(which, of course, he knows),
this is the kind of shit that finds it's way into my work.

sure, go for it.
he said,
just be sure to give me a copy.

and free reign. artistic license is all i can ask for.

especially from a muse.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


i got my butt kicked today. and then joined in beating myself up. not that i wanted to, it just happens. i really do fight the darkness, but it sucks me in. belly dance was helpful, i got to shut out all those voices screaming in my head and just watch my hand and fingers cascade through the air.

this is all that exists, i made myself focus. to be in the moment.

just as i made myself rush home to write. writing always helps. it is why i can't go more than six months without a poetry intensive. it is why i go there so loaded.

and i'm afraid, that's the bottom line.

maybe i've done it all wrong. maybe i've found a loophole in his life and exploited it. it has to stop. you have to be alone and feel it. to own it. to have no one.

sometimes i realize there is no one for me. on my side, and it chills me, perhaps more than the voices that would assuage me with doubt. because ultimately, my friends loving me is what helps me through. without them, i don't know.

so i run down the list, and after each name, a no. no. no. no.

no one.

feel it. own it.

and my child can't swim tonight, so i will have to put on a brave face for whatever we do, and i'll be all distracted in my own world, in my head. locked up, and won't engage. i'll be distant.

the one person i need to be present to and for, i am struggling with even showing up again. why does that happen.

i would like to start drinking now and not wake up until i have to get ready for work, but i can't do that either.

so, alternately, i will come home after work tomorrow, put on something fine, and go to my poetry reading. stand up at the mic and read like it is the last poem i'm ever going to read.

then i will navigate the darkness home and try to remind myself, there is no one there. i am alone.

i'm so tired of needing others. so tired.

i wonder if this new guy i'm working with is going to whip out his penis every time we work together or if he'll ever just let me do my thing. i stood up to him today, but it was taxing. i was stressed.

and we were slammed. i'm tired but there is no rest.

i don't really understand the things going on. but i don't have to. i just have to show up and do my best. that's all i can do.

i have to remember there is no one on my side. no one.

navigating personalities

this is the challenge before me. i can't only rely on my feminine charms, i have to actually deal with people. so far, it's been okay. today i work with a ball buster of a shift and we'll see how it goes. if i'm not up to this task of dealing with the personalities, i may as well quit now. it's all about finessing personalities. i understand this. i have seen it. but i think it can also be about integrity too.

that is what i've disliked about political games, they seem disingenuous to me. i appreciate the truth, even if it hurts.

these days are long but the store is consistently, didn't even walk away from the register for four hours, busy. which is good. time flies.

i like when i work that i look at my clock only occasionally. it makes the whole ordeal less tedious. though i realize there is a lot for me to learn here.

the boss is going to put me in a class that i never made it to at my last place, which is good.
as soon as possible,
she said. and i move forward from there.

it's really not about politics, and yet it is. i understand this. i can call it something else, and i can keep refusing to play, or i can try to navigate my way through this latest place with a bit of forethought.

i have no ego. i have to remind myself of this, because it is more of a statement of where i want to be than where i am. i have egoless moment, sure. but do i live my life from that place, not yet.

so any shit this guy gives me will help me along the way. i will be grateful for it.

i will do my best to honor what i believe is right, and make few concessions along the way, though i don't know that being a hardass will further my point, i think it will work against me in the long run.

you know what they say about flies and vinegar, enemies and friends. i will employ some of these timeworn cliches as they are probably true.

must to work. then to belly dance, ultimately, i swim. long day ahead. but i'm grateful for it.

peace. out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

who ya know

sat down with my new mgr today. we had an enlightening talk. seems i've already ruffled feathers, but it's just because i work and don't wait for permission. this is offputting.

it made me laugh in one sense because the backroom literally had boxes all over the floor. i merely picked them up and put them on the shelves.

this was problematic for someone pissing around the turf.

my boss doesn't want me to get off on the wrong foot with anyone, so i said,
okay, i can walk around the boxes too, but it doesn't make sense if we're not selling product we have because it can't be found.


she ultimately said,
don't worry about it.

we'll see. we'll see.

i'm on my way somewhere, so i will see this as a learning experience. i will try not to take it personally and just roll with whatever happens.

it's all about relationships. i understand this. i'm not political by any stretch of the imagination, but i understand there are certain people who can help you and certain people who can hold you back. i won't get anywhere by getting on the bad side of those who can hold me back. i will try to keep from it. but i won't shy away from the hard things. this is a delicate balance.

everyone at my new store knows i'm moving on. this is curious. i'd told no one, but when someone flat out asked me, i'm owning it now. it's a big challenge. i've got a lot to learn.

and i said to my manager,
i don't know why someone green like me would be in this position when someone like my dear friend at another store is not in this position.

do you know this person,
i asked.

he's awesome.
she replied immediately and enthusiastically.

i won't get where i'm going without advertising the merits of this person, that's all i've got to say.

he's golden. he just doesn't know it yet.

and i have a poem just simmering away, i hear it. most of it, but it's not come out.

ah, now shimmy is doing a move i need to work on.

i need to workout. only two days last week, and i'm slacking so far this week. ugh.

maybe i'll get up early, but i doubt it.

i must away...dinner.

busy is as busy does

so my kid asked me for my schedule, and i'm surprised it's so packed. of course i sneak in time to go stalking, but that is a given. i'm finally going to take a full length class with that belly dancer i so admire. it will be up in orange county with the wiccans. what can i say, they are great belly dancers.

i'm looking forward to it, friday night. hope i can go every friday night, save the one i will miss for my poetry intensive, there i would rather be. there i would rather be.

i have to go to work soon, but i'm trying not to lose sight of the things i must accomplish in the near future. getting that dissertation off my plate is a major one. sat down for about five hours last night inputting edits and feel no closer to resolution. editing is a very nitpicky kind of thing. very much the devil in the details.

this is why i haven't had time for it. i just don't have that kind of attention to devote at the moment. it will be the last editing job i do for a the one my friend is not willing to let me do. tell me i can't do something and i'll make time for it. she's writing a smut novel, and i can't wait to get my hands on it. i'm hoping she'll let me publish it for her and that it will be the first of many such happy ventures. for her, i would make the time. for her, anything.

i must to work, have to decide where to speak up about things that are not by the book, and where to let it ride. perhaps there will be room for dialogue about these things. the ship is pretty loosely run, so i'm not sure what can be done about that.

my major miss my first close was the floors. they looked like hell. but i deep cleaned all the food prep areas, which needed it, and that to me makes more sense. i am only one person and just ran out of steam.

i did the floors, mind you. had the kid i was working with do them. but by the time i went to double check his work, it was game over time for me. i was wiped.

what do we have to do now?
he asked.

if we haven't done it, we're not doing it.
i said. and we left for the night. i was fried.

i wasn't surprised that was what they called me on, i was surprised it was all they called me on. not that i was so sloppy, but my standards are very high and i am trying to be reasonable with myself most of all. i work myself to a bloody nub quite well and i'm just not willing to do that anymore.

rules, boundaries, and limitations.
yes ceasar. i hear you.

but it's nearly time to go, i've got another outfit for residency, but still have about five days to figure out. maybe i'll just do leather pants, but how hot will it be in july in mass? perhaps very. i better take a cool alternative.

one time at a powwow i packed only warm clothes. like a dork. and i couldn't gourd dance that weekend because it was too warm for what i brought, plus draping a polyester double layered shawl completely around your body would have been too much. so i goofed off all weekend. it was still a great powwow. one of my favorites, but i always have to dance. what can i say...

this thursday i'm reading a poem at clifton commons barnes and noble. then sunday i get to go to a festival of journals. it's a few hours and about thirty or so literary publications are there with readers. shmooze time. i'll not shmooze, but i'm starting to know people, so i'll gladly go and say hello to those i adore.

my poetry intensive is just a couple weeks away, and i can't wait. it's been too long. too, too long. though i've needed the rest. six months is a long time. but i've got a bottle of jd all ready to smuggle in to the convent. ha!

Monday, May 11, 2009

be mean to me

when he said this i heard myself. i always hear the negative, the complaint, the criticism in what people say to me.

do i care what other people do?


do i care what other people think?


so why should i treat you the way other people do?

it seems i'm having this conversation repeatedly of late. the lady at the gym bitching because she actually has to do something vaguely resembling her job, says,

you know, no one else does this.

i don't really care what other people do.

i've noticed there are acceptable standards of beauty and i think they are all bullshit. i'm driven largely by the stuff inside, intuitively on my part and the way you make me feel. i don't need to know anything else, like who approves, how bad an idea this may be (i'm not asking).

mostly, because i really don't care. we love whom we love. i don't need approval of anyone to love someone. though if someone puts me off long enough, i will walk away, i do have some semblance of pride.

but for now, it is good, we are enjoying each other and it won't be like this for long. summer doesn't last forever.

school is starting soon, and with it a frenzy of work and schoolwork i can't imagine.

there are so many things i want to tell you still, maybe we'll have time to get around to them. we don't seem to talk about much other than what comes to mind, and that pleases me. you are the only one i do not hide from, the only one i feel completely comfortable in my own skin around.

that's something. that's more than something. i don't take it lightly. nor do i am to mistreat that which treats me so well.

good night sweetness, have a good day off.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

remember me

one thing about jungians is the way they take apart words and see them as wholes. re-member-me. remember me. piece me back together. i like that.

there is this soul who stirs in me the things i'd forgotten. the poems i've written years ago that had fallen into the abyss of the past, been there, done that. those poems never compiled in any collection, i was just writing at that time, spewing forth great bodies of poetry, and had begun to realize when i moved here, how i'm losing some of it.

some data locked in inacessible formats. some just gone forever.

but then, i am reminded of a poem i wrote and go out looking for it.

it was not without intent that i do what i do, that i did what i did. to be sure there are things that are gone forever, and goodbye to those things, i say.

but there remain some dear souls whom i can draw from the banks of memory, from the digital archives of my life and breathe life into them again, for those ears.

they come to me when i wake, and i read them with my breathy morning voice. i am reminded of when i wrote them and why. and who i am today in contrast. recontexting them. reliving them. rediscovering what was once so much a part of me.

and so much has changed.

i wasn't going to force my kid to "honor me" but she ultimately called this evening and we went out. ended up shopping. we're girls, what can i say. i found a cute outfit and she got something she'd wanted.

driving home she said,
it's just hard.

i know.

i miss you.

i miss you too. what can i do to help?

tell me your schedule.

i think her knowing where i am will help her psychically deal with my absence. so, as much as i don't like to show my hand, she needs to see some of it.

she made me a pair of earrings.

i should have made them different, i know you don't like matching earrings.

it's okay.

when i was trying on the outfit i saw that they were blue and pink. very sweet. the pink is more of a purple, but i consider the whole spectrum of red to purple in the continum of pink. (though it is likely in the continum of red, more accurately).

thank you baby,
and we hugged and kissed and said goodbye again.

only i am not sad. i am happy. i am grateful.

found a pair of jeans that are to die for, and won't fall off like the rest of them i have. only i have to have them taken up. i'm so short.

the chief was home when i arrived today,

you look exotic.


he was sweeping the porch and i asked about a pool. we discussed the options and basically, i'm just going to drag a sun chair into the backyard and sun myself there. i have to. i'm like a lizard in summer. a basker.

but i came home and slept. talked to my dearest friends, and saw my girl. it was a good night. following a good day in which i accomplished most everything i had on my plate. just inputting the revisions tomorrow, and then we can begin in earnest on revision.

i'll have to get a printer, but i need one. the last thing i had to print in haste i called my ex and he printed it for me. we're finally on peaceful terms, and i must say, i'm glad.

one of my best friends said,
he still loves you. you can't be married, but he still loves you.

and i said,
that's fine. i'm glad we're not together anymore, it's better this way.

my other best friend did not have such a positive take on his behavior.
be careful,
she said,
he wants something.

this is why i have so many best friends, because they balance each other's voices.

and the one i adore sleeps. and soon, so shall i.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


the merits and drawbacks of writing poetry that captures my essence is the topic on the table at the moment. at my best friend's house, we're going to belly dance in her basement studio, since there was no tai chi at the buddist monastery. but i also have a meeting today with someone who may help me out with a particular issue which has my heart.

when you write something everyone experiences it.

yes, but it's like a mural or painting on the wall. i don't let it out until i'm past it (which is and isn't true).

i wondered when i was reading your book if i was ready to be so intimate with you.
it's why i'm a confessional poet, because i can take you there.
i just didn't know if i was ready to go.

for me, writing is an exorcism. once i reveal the depths of my depravity, it's gone. once i process it on the page, it leaves me. and i move on.

yes, but we're still there and bringing you back.
it's a piece of my art, and i say, yes, i created that. but it's not me any longer. i say, look at where i'm at now.


the guys at work have long been asking for my poetry book. these are the educated gentlemen i worked with. and while i wanted to give it to them, i know what therein lies. i chose carefully the poem i would share with my greek scholar friend.

my last day of work, i gave him my poetry book.

after you read it, you'll know why i didn't let you read it until i was gone.

thank you, i'll be in touch.

and the same with my replacement.

i look forward to reading it. i'll call you.


...time for belly dance to start, i must away... perhaps i'll continue this thought later...perhaps not.

Friday, May 08, 2009

dark angel

it was my dark angel that gave me courage to leave my store. and i'm so glad i did. so glad i did.

while i showed up an hour late (dork, wrote down the wrong time!). the boss was grateful to have me there, and i was glad to be there. the whole place just lifted my spirit and i felt light as a feather. was even pleasant ! for a whole entire day.

go figure. new digs, what can i say. (that, or a great night...hmmm)

i do get on with the people i met today, and that is nice. no fucking around. my boss was sharing her perspectives on management, and i told her one of my greatest struggles was not being backed by the manager.

she said,
i will never do that to you.
and explained her approach.

what a relief,
i said.

while actual practices may vary, this is a word i can say, didn't you mean what you said when...

i think i can learn a lot from this lady. i like her style so far. some of her staff are grumblers, but most people grumble and complain and do little to change their stars. i'm not one of those cats.

so they watched my enthusiasm, and it was nice to be in a busy store. constantly moving. i have my first major task i will begin asap. rearranging the backroom. it's a disaster. no up or down. i will do it slowly and she can't wait for me to start. getting out in ten minutes like my previous store is applauded here as well, and since i'm told it's "dead" at night, i won't have any problem making that happen. i will pick up the time on the front end of my shift and use that toward administrative bullshit. she's cool with this approach. our work styles seem very compatible. i'm so grateful. so very, very grateful. thank you dark angel.

that reminds me...

met this artist, wanted to buy this piece for my dark angel, but settled on this.

she really is amazing for just starting out. and my brain just flooded with ideas, so i'm hoping to get together with her and give them to her. and secure some more of her art, a particular fairy that caught my eye.

this is one of my favorite local belly dancers, whom i hope to start taking lessons from. at least that's the plan. she's amazing.

anyway, i've got stuff to do. this is the problem with being online. i get online. must get back to three.d.

peace. out.

wait, this funny memory came to me, and i have to share it. at one point a customer from my former store came in. she said,
what are you doing here?

this, after the girl whom i worked with, a one month veteran said,
stop saying my store about that store. this is your store now.

which i found very sweet. considering it was iffy if we'd get along. but we're both moms and i've got that in. whew.

anyway, my customer from my former store said,
what are you doing here?

and i threw my arms up in the air and tilted my head back and said in the loudest voice,
this is my store and these are my baristas.

which the two guys working with me laughed at. one smiled and turned around and said,
technically, you're my barista.

the other just snickered.

turns out, he knows my dark angel.

go figure. small world.

before i left the boys were bantering with me about how things go down at this store. in the best sense, and i said,
bring it on gentlemen.

and they laughed.

this is going to be fun.
i said and left.

i'm going to like my new store.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

so much for ease

i lay abed thinking of what i'll wear to my residency. these are the points that consume my mind of late. certainly the tight black and grey capris i just aquired, no question there. i wore them to the belly dance fest, pink converse, and a pink shirt. too damn cute. but there are still nine other days to consider. the sets slowly coming together in my mind. i have to be productive and creative. looks like we do about four or five hours of classes, and a couple hours of creative writing each day of the residency. i faxed in my registration today so i can get into the reading seminar that is capped at 12 participants. i hope no one is as on the ball as i am, though i'm not so on the ball as that. it took me a couple days to get that fax faxed. hopefully i get in. i can hold my own in a room full of grad students. i've been doing it for years now. poetry intensives are great for more than just generating poetry.

perhaps i've three outfits.

today at the gym i lumbered around like a geriatric. i don't know why by my body is screaming. i guess i just don't know. last night at bd class we did figure eights for a solid five minutes, and that will challenge anyone.

at one point i'm going so fast feels like i could launch out to space.

but i got there early and warmed up. a solid fifteen minutes of dancing before class. some girls showed up, but i kept going, it helps me to let go. and i realized, there are so many things i do when my instructor puts on her music that i just forget about when i try to dance to my own music. which is why it's helpful to dance with my friend in her living room and out about the town, because she helps me remember what i've forgotten. watching her inspires me to move too.

she used a veil last time i was dancing at her house, and just moved with it so gracefully, like it was part of her. there was nothing but ease in her movements, grace. i want to dance like that.

so when i broke out a smaller veil than the one i usually use, it helped. just as it helped when i borrowed a smaller veil from her previously. i've been studying a long time, there comes a time when the student must move forward. time to perform.

but ... now i've lost my thought,

time to get ready for work. last day. huzzah.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

compelled to lie

so i am talking to my new boss who says she spoke with my previous boss, who mentioned i'm a closer. grrr.

i got to work and wanted to rip his head off.

why would you say that?

did you want me to lie?

you who lie about everything, why would you do that to me when you know i'm tired of closing. why are you compelled to be honest where i'm concerned?

i said you were a master closer.


the man cannot win by me. while he has honored my restrictions on communication, it still feels like anyway i can be got, i am got.

today, the girl who loathes me went home sick (conveniently leaving me and the all-star who is taking my place to receive and put away the order, run the floor, and do whatever bs didn't get done by the morning crew). sigh.

not that we're not up to the task, but both of us were the living dead today. drink making was nearly impossible, but making change was even worse. so i stayed on bar and bumbled through. i couldn't even walk away from bar for about four hours when i got there and he just kept zipping in and out to ring as needed, while i made the drinks (not so slow, just consistent traffic--which is annoying in the sense that it drags on and there is no break).

me and this guy usually get the pre-close stuff done by 5, we didn't even start it until six. we were both fried and just fumbling around. fortunately it was us and no one else.

this is too much work,
he said.

i know. i'm going to yell at him.

because who left my ass hanging out in the wind? who else.

every chance he gets.

i didn't run the shift.
he said.

but you're still responsible for everything he misses. he's in training.

leave me a list.

i will, but if you're going to give him cushy openings and not keep him on task, it's not going to work.

i know, i know.

what happened to you, you never would have missed this stuff before. pull yourself together and get over it.

because ultimately, it's the little shit that complicates things. if i can't step away from the bar for a second, and we are struggling with putting an order away and getting the work of the shift done, it's pretty damn tough. i should have probably just left it all for the next crew, but that is what is always done to me. it doesn't feel good to walk in to so much work, in addition to what you've already got on your plate.

but does it matter? no.

this is why i'm leaving.
i finally said,
there is a double standard and it's not okay.

if i had ever left him one man down and not mentioned it, or made up for it, i would have gotten chewed out. granted, i can do the work of a few people, but i'm exhausted. and that is not the point. the point is, you don't leave someone with their ass hanging in the wind.

but again, mine was. and i'm so ready to be done with it.

i'm going to sleep for what i hope will be at least half a day, if not a whole day. turned off my phone and will sleep as much as i can. i'm wasted tired...

but what else is new...

i went by my old digs, and the new manager said,
you look good. your whole aura has changed. last time you were here you looked stressed out

i did, because i was.
i told him,
i had to find an out that was good for everyone. timing and everything. i don't like to leave anyone in the lurch.

it was right for me to leave there when i did. to be going to the new store now. i'm ready for this next adventure to begin, after a hearty rest, that is...and perhaps some medicinal whiskey.

the rush

finally have my required reading list for my mfa residency. whew! and my library so far, has all but one of the books. this is why i love my library, why i'm grateful to be here in ny, poetry central. amen.

i seem to have misplaced my mfa handbook though, and this is problematic. i'm sure it will appear like the unicorn beside the glistening lake just when i need it. i need it now, but not this second, because i actually should be getting ready for work. have my new schedule and it conflicts with nothing but one thing i have slated for that week, which makes me happy. i have some commitments and i can keep them all. (well, two, wrestling again, which i'll miss, and a tea party, which i don't mind missing, save that it was with a group of belly dancing moms. ah well).

but my new boss seems very willing to work with me. she's scheduled me with her the first week so i can get a feel for what she wants. looks like i'll be ordering still, not everything, but some things. it is well.

i'm grateful.

must away, forced myself out of bed, to the gym where my legs began cramping again. think i'm seriously deficient in potassium, so i bought some bananas. and i craved fried chicken, so i got some of that too. weird. no, i'm not pregnant.

but i don't crave much, so when i do, i listen.

peace. out.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

nigh eve

perhaps i ask too much of the people in my life. perhaps i want more than is actually possible. that is ever the case, because i push the boundaries as a regular practice. it's how i love. (funny, i meant to write, how i live, but i like that, it is also how i love).

my dearest friend asked me,
it was too much, wasn't it?

perhaps. but i don't do little flourishes, i do large sweeping movements. it's how i live my life.

she laughs.

she noted how empathic she is, how she can pick up the energy of strangers, and i move through crowds and situations largely unaffected by these energies.

you're protected somehow. that's wonderful.

is it?

i'm not so sure. because if there are people i shouldn't be around and i saunter right up to them with an outstreched hand, that doesn't sound so good for me.

but i also give people lots of grace. i will talk to anyone provided they are kind. or at least willing. some people have this difficult exterior but underneath lay a creamy center. i hold hope to find everyone's creamy center.

perhaps this protects me from negative energies. i don't know.

perhaps i embrace my delusions too much, and endanger myself, but i don't think so. i think i get a better read on people than some. that i'm in an open place and that is the place i've longed to be for a very long time.

when i held my sister at the airport as she was leaving, i said,
goodbye pagan.

i never said that,
she replied.

but i understand. i know my life is not what others would have it be, it is merely what it is. i do not pretend to be anything other than what i am.

i pushed her too far. exposed her to too much, and so she will away, and i hope, will find my perspective not the stuff of hell and damnation, but something to respect (i did not say embrace because she cannot) because it is mine.

how these larger themes become so divisive, and i wish, i want only there to be peace between us. and love. as much love as we can muster.

but it cannot always be so, i understand this. and i am grateful, moreso than ever, for my friends who can hold me in this place i find myself now. this open, dark, willing place. that they can abide my darkness as i theirs. that they can not write me off just because i listen to the voices of others. and have ideas not like their own.

i will never yield to the idea of another just to win their favor. i'd rather be alone than do that.

and so i am.

home alone again.

and grateful.