Thursday, July 30, 2009

six arms and deadly

the six armed woman. she reared her head today. i faced off with my boss and i told her i will not get angry and stuck. i will promote. i will move forward. she cannot stop me. i was all power today.

it was unexpected (that was just honest).

it started out like any other day. but sometimes in work settings, i rise up. i find the strength to stand up for myself.

ultimately, i laid it out for her.
that was a bullshit complaint, i should have been defended, it never should have been a sit down conversation.

bottom line.

uh, uh, uh.
was how it went.

what will happen. i don't know. but i won't be robbed of power again. i've had enough. it's time to move forward, to move on. doors will open.

sometimes a girl just has to lop off a few heads to get her way.

i'm not here to judge you,
i said.
but i won't be stifled.

uh, uh, uh.

it's always the same.

and the support i need will come. the vindication i need will come.

no one fucks with a six armed woman.

remember that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

hearing me

today, i spent the better part of it alone. well, mostly. a lot of cyber contact which doesn't really count. but the moments stretched out in the sun, were rich with words. i could hear so many refrains i know to be the beginnings of poems. so many paths i need to walk down, i just lay there and heard them.

at class tonight we discussed how connected my best friend is energically, and i am that connected emotionally. it is not easy to be a live emotional wire. it is like being plugged in to a nuclear reactor, being the nuclear reactor. and sometimes, i just have to let off the steam. to vent the pressure building.

today was a more relaxing vent, no freaking out, just feeling it congeal into words that will become something someday.

i can't explain this. my process. i know i need to, to articulate it. to show people the how of what i do. but it's so much about being alive. being alove is what i wrote first. alove. i like that hybrid. alove. i spend a lot of time alove. i hope to spend equally as much time alive. not sure if i do.

alive is difficult. alive is painful. alive is confusing. alive is uncertainty embodied. alive is trial and error, for me, mostly error. but we stumble on and try some more. that is what alive is to me.

i don't have any answers. as metallica sang for me today,
no i don't know the answer. i don't even know what the question is.

how much i spend my life in that place. careening. i do a lot of that. it's the leap first aspect of my being.

and the powerful woman, the six armed, the devil woman stirs.

and i stand, open armed, saying,
come. and welcome.

it's time. time for me to speak these things. i hear them, whispers on the edges of my consciousness. i hope they scream from the page when i finally write them down.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

here, now

let me tell you, i do not know how this all turns out. how the bills get paid and we find peace. i do not know that everyone, or even i will find peace, but i trust i will receive that which is mine. just as i believe in abundance for you. everything you need, and then some. that is my wish.

there have been so many times of late, i've stood beside you, wordless. unable to speak. lost in your eyes again. damn me. damning me. i don't try to go there, do that. but it happens, i admit it. you know when i've swirled away, and sometimes stop and smile. asking me if i'm lost, calling it to my attention. taking a long drag on your cigarette, and stepping away from me. always away. but i stay anchored, to wall, or ground, and wait. you will circle back. you always do. or i always do. something magnetic happening there, i don't claim to understand.

and today, when i kissed your hand, it was because your hands were feigning anger, and i wanted them to love, to be loved. my raisin rage lipstick smearing the length of your beautiful hand.

i'm working.

so am i.

and we retreated to our separate corners and then i left. before saying goodbye because i'm never going to fight for your attention, never going to demand what you don't freely give (that's a lie, and you know it). but what i take, i will return, polished, i hope.

and i promised not to take advantage of you, but i fail there, regularly. and now, here, i'm tired, wiped out. confessing my sins again.

but there is still so much to say, and i plodding on, stammering out the lines, hope somehow it comes. someday it comes, and in something i recognize and jot down.

you tell me i need more than poetry, but this is the problem, i am poetry. it is how my mind works. it is who i am. i cannot separate it out any longer. i do not speak of it as something apart, it is who i am. what i am.

and when words fail me at long last, i hope to have written them all, all i was supposed to write. and that you, dark muse, have let me capture you a few more times.

stand still.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

write me

sometimes the things i write, write me. this is coming. i feel it. backbuilding. this always happens before a creative surge. the room of the gods, not thusly called but by me, where in the fine arts museum i encountered them all. shiva, kali, many whose names i cannot remember, some headless, the many armed, the ravenous, the vicious, the immortal.

i stood in their presence, feeling the timelessness of space.

such power.

the demon god whose backlighting illuminated shadows of fire on the wall behind him. almost eerily. but i didn't look away from his half crazed eyes. i see you. i nod and move on. the folded legged buddah, how many incarnations of the buddah there are. the goddesses whose torsoes only survive, still frozen in perfection. the fertility goddesses whose vulvas seemed rubbed raw with time and touch, head missing, breasts heavy with the milk of ages.

and the samurai, blades and sheaves, all that is left of their fierce legacy. headless helmets of greek warriors. greaves, legless. i looked into the hollows and saw the faces once present. the eyes that knew too much of death, too little of lounging in a woman's arms in peacetime. these phantom warriors looked back through time at me, and i bowed and walked away.

to the crypt where egyptian carvings, ankhs, dogs, hawks, mummies were displayed. their stylistic adornments carved even into the insides of the caskets (or what were they called then, sarcophogi). i leaned over, wondering if i'd fall headlong into yesterday when these bodies were fresh and embalmed, void of eyes and innards, wrapped in linen cloths, heavy with beaded dressings. such beatuiful memorials. such lavish keeping of the dead.

there was one coffin carved, no two, with a man and a woman on top. these two lovers entwined forever, buried forever. the one woman's breast was exposed, he is forever inches from it, his hungry mouth, gaping forever. i wondered why they didn't just let him have her, one lasting time. i wished it for them, but they may have had their fill in life. i wouldn't know. and the other two, discreetly holding each other, twined together, her breasts hidden beneath their arms. perhaps he wished to hide her there, to hold her as all his own, through the ages. who knows.

and the horses from the tang dynasty. ceramic. frozen mid scratch, one, white. the other jostling his head, black. two other had women midgallop, stretching out, the sign said,
playing polo.
but i wonder that the asians had polo. that it wasn't some eurporean bullshit, which it probably was, that the asians kept their identity.

there have been so many times, i've seen an asian something and longed for that ability to withstand fierce attack from the outside and keep my identity, my culture, my traditions in tact. sure they are changing now, but how many thousands of years have the asian people defined themselves. lived by their own rules, died by their own swords. gotta give 'em props for that.

and the goddesses call to me,
write me.

and so i will.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


so, the check engine light comes on. thereby fucking up my plans. i was halfway to the dmv and had to finish that, so i kept driving. the ex told me to check the oil because my car sounded (he used the technical terms) funny yesterday. i did, it was low. drive to carguys, leave car.

take this umbrella.

no, it's just rain. it won't hurt me.

let me give you a ride.

no, i'll walk. i'm ready to kill somebody. (at that he let me go)

i really, wanted to save myself this time. i'd made the trip to the carguy, and was just going to walk home. granted, it was pouring rain. a deluge. but it didn't seem that far. and i really needed a walk to clear my head. unfortunately, it was pouring rain, i may have mentioned it.

i end up turning into a restaurant after i dropped some papers off at the insurance place. i have my own insurance cards with only my name on them now. big deal, ha?

to me it is. small steps.

but then, the check engine light, and i'm not sure what to do. i'm talking to my pony, like that will help. and we make it there.

so i'm sitting in this restaurant and decide to find out if the chief is out and about. he was, so he came and got me.

so damn tired of being rescued.

it's just a call for a ride,
i'm told. but it doesn't feel that way to me.

i wanted to walk myself home. but it was far, i was in my flipflops in the rain. not a good combination.

fortunately, he will be home today, and will take me to retrieve my car when it is ready. i hope it's not too serious. that we caught it in time.

and i want to be strong, but sometimes, i just don't feel it.

Monday, July 20, 2009


so, i cried tonight. such a baby. i can't help it, but things get to me and i may just still be tired from such a taxing vacation. but to return back and get a sit down because a customer was offended by (and i kid you NOT) my moving a trash can, it blew my mind. blew my mind.

note to self: you can get complaints for doing your job.

didn't realize that one. somehow, i thought the point was to do your job.

our trashcans weigh a lot. so i drag them. this is offensive, apparently.

i am told to let it go, by those with more sense than i, apparently. but how this complaint can even be entertained is what stumps me most. and this little gem just keeps getting better. but i better stop, go rant somewhere else.

and so i will.

my favorite person suffered a tragic loss, and before left tonight, he made me laugh several times. he was not bantering with me when i got there, but i didn't know the trauma that had occured so i just left him alone. then, i cried. and he pulled out of his rut and made me laugh before he left. what a guy.

and my favorite tattooed pierced guy came in, just who i needed to see. i probably greeted him with too much enthusiasm. but there you go, i don't know how to hide my enthusiasm. (or my sadness, apparently)

and i don't know why i care.

why do i care?

but i believe this, when doors close, without fail, other doors open. swing wide open and embrace me, receive me. my life has always been thus, always thus will it be.

i've been kicked out of my home, homeless for a while, gone through my share of bullshit, and life has always embraced me, abundance has come to me.

i believe it will come again. even if i can't fathom how. or when, or from where.

hope will likely be the death of me.

growed up

i was right, five pounds. my girl summed it up,
that's a half a pound a day.
that's about how much i ate.
plus, i sat on my ass the entire time. maybe this winter i'll do the gym. i just didn't have it in me to exercise. in many ways it was my vacation, and that's how many of us justified it. at one point during a meal, i pushed my plate away and said,
this is like forcefeeding.
after that, i stopped eating so much. everything looks good when you first get there. and plus, who can turn down carrot cake at every meal? not me. that is one of my weaknesses. but a huge calorie indulgence. i realized what the deal was, it was a social event. meals were where we discussed the three hour discussions of poetry. where we decompressed and bonded. i think i'll not buy the meal plan next time, and just eat when i have to. but it will be winter and maybe eating is important then. i don't know.

i am feeling like my old self again, in many ways. up before anyone is at their desks, i decided to go by my car guys and see if i couldn't get an inspection. they fit me in, so i left my car. since i've been to the gym, i'm walking around in my sweaty clothes. fortunately i remembered to load my thirty books into my rolling crate so i didn't have to carry them to the library. i rolled them along behind me.

got many things out of the way. and with the ex sans trabajo, i now have to pay for everything myself, and it looks like he'll be relocating back to the lone star state pretty soon. meaning, mommy me. i will have my girl during the transition and until he finds a job. my little place with the two of us. that will be something.

but she's pretty profoundly out of shape at the moment, and i know it's due to my not making her exercise. hell, i didn't make myself exercise for a week and gained five pounds. so, we're going swimming after we get my car. i have a couple hours she can have today. then weds, we're spending all day at the pool. after we hit the hudson. but i may try to forego that, and make her walk with me. she'll be exhausted, but it's good for us. i must remind myself of this.

what is moderation? i don't know.

so i had to do some of the things i probably should have done long ago. finally, today, split off my insurance from his. things like that. the little nit picky things that go with rending lives. and homes.

my semester has just begun and i've got to attack the work, but so far, nothing. we'll have to see how my schedule changes things. i was pretty much a closer at my last store, so i could fall into a sleep late rhythm. but not so much. here i have equal amounts of closes and mids/latemids, which make the sleep situation interesting. i'll have to fit study inbetween the cracks, as i always do.

at least, at the very least, i wrote about three poems, viable poems while i was at the residency, and these i can include in my first packet. only nine more to go. but i'm feeling a lot of things stirring. the museum was very fruitful. very much where i needed to be. an infusion of beauty. let me see if i can't find that print of the lady with the dude's head in a jar. here is the keats' poem, the story is from. and here the oil.

and now, to try to do some work.

the hard work begins

so i'm back home now. working through a semester of intense writing and reading schedules. while living my regular life and meeting the demands of those around me. because people need shit from me, and i do what i can.

though, if you don't land squarely in my immediate circle of people i love, it's really not a good time to try to get to shit from me. that's the bottom line. and i have to remind myself of that.

i'm still on the sleep schedule from the past ten days, so i'll try to keep it up, and go to the gym. i close the store tonight, which will be good. i am not ready to have to deal with many people at the moment. and closing is a quiet three, and we get our shit done, the customer load is less than half during the day, and i generally can zen out on some detail that needs attention. though i'm going to try not to be overdoingitsuzanne anymore.

i just don't have it to give.

i will get weighed and measured today, i imagine i've gained at least five pounds, who knows. i swear, cake with every meal is a horrible idea. but one that, i broke out of about three days before i left residency.

i realized a lot of things i deny myself there. a lot of luxuries i do not afford myself, and i have to work on that. meanwhile my swim pass has gone awol and i have to find it. the ex is renewing my kid's, and i have to try to get in on that. swimming is very high on my agenda.

a new tattoo is high on the priority list, but it's the time constraints, the getting there and doing it that are the issue. i know what i want, where. now to make it happen.

gotta run. this body needs looking after, and i have a schedule to keep.


Friday, July 17, 2009

high five

today was a curious day. spent the morning, as usual, in three hours of poetry workshop. (hear: hell). it's not that i don't like poetry, i just don't like spinning infinite circles around nothing. this is what we do in poetry workshop. we make our brains hurt discussing three poems in an hour and a half. line by line. word by word. character by character. enough to drive you mad.

i showed up late today, i didn't mean to, but it happens. and i felt bad because i always seem the rebel. i'm not trying to be but it was a blazing hot day and i needed water for my water bottle. so i went to get it. then, i was late. only five minutes, but i was bummed i forgot the water.

so, we're workshopping some poems i feel are utterly irredeemable. i don't see anything on the page worth talking about, let alone talking about for an hour and a half. (hear: torture begins). i oblige, try to just keep my mouth shut and get through it.

this lemonade from lemons prof is reading the same poems i want to roundfile, and she gets up and shows us on the board how to make this poem matter. how to explode the content out off the page and into the realm of poetry (not just words on a page in poetic form). it was afuckingmazing.

then we move on to the next poet who really is skilled at wordplay, and ultimately the prof and i are going back and forth over the narrative details of this particular poem and i'm firing back at her, mind you, we were so engaged in this discussion the group just sat and watched. and finally, some fifteen minutes into the discussion, the poet chimes in and tells us that i got the pivotal detail right.

the poet leading the workshop, the prof i've been an ass to the entire time she's been here, puts her hand up in the air and i slap it and laugh. the poem was such a circuitous mindnumbing path of words that i felt like i'd sprinted up and down a flight of stairs with the exertion of that exchange. but it was a great relief to know i can read a poem, even a convoluted poem, mano y mano with a published poet.

at the reading tonight (after the open bar, note to self: bring liquor next residency, LOTS of liquor), i went up to the poet/prof and said,
that was just beautiful what you did with that work. you saw the potential on the page and not just the poem. it was amazing to watch.

she said,
thank you, coming from you that means a lot

she went on to say,
i reread through your poems tonight. i'm amazed at what you're doing. you're breaking all the rules and making it work. you're 95% there.

wow. now wait until she finds out they are all first drafts. :D

i was wondering what she'd say about my work, because when i saw it in her piles today there was not anything written on them. the other poems from my fellows had tons of notes. maybe tomorrow the notes will be there, but today i couldn't draw any conclusions.

so, here's where it's at for me. i see why this poet is the prof. i want to be the prof someday and see beyond the poem to the potential on the page. truly, it was amazing. i wish you could have been there.

now, i must to bed, drank a couple glasses of wine, i'm in the goddess club apparently, the resident writer who comes from africa calls me a fellow goddess, and this pleases me.

it has been, for all my bitching, a wonderful residency. i had a lot of soul searching to do, and i've not yet clarified what exactly i'm going to say, how i'm going to make this redeemable for the directors. but i want to contribute, that is what i keep saying. i want to contribute to this program. to make it better. so my suggestions are going to be helpful not just bullshit criticism. anyone can complain, i want to give them tangible ideas for improving things, making it work for others.

gotta go to bed. i'm being critiqued tomorrow for the last time. this will be the toughest critque yet. what she says will make a difference, i have to listen, and be willing to change. i am willing to change. (well, not really).

i'm still me.



i stayed in bed until the absolute last second today. was five minutes late to my workshop where i'm not being the bestest girl. i can't help it. the poet gave me a big hug last night and said,
you're such a fiery woman.

i nearly cried.
i'm grappling with a lot of things.

and it's a legitimate battle. you're doing it very honestly.

she hugged me again.
and i know today i have to get out of dodge. i just have to go take the train walk to the japanese art room and sit there. no pen, no paper, no pressure. let time take me where it will.

i'm not sure what else to do. i met a fiction writer last night who said,
listen to what is said and take the thing that affirms who you are least. the thing that stretches you.

which is helpful in some ways because so far, nothing here affirms me. it's all alien territory.

but i need time alone, so i seek it, with the artists of old. and i revisit the picasso sculpture i've never seen before. quite stunning, the first cubist sculpture. and the oil of that chick with they guy's head in a jar of basil. i love that painting. i'll have to try to find it.

peace. out.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


so suzanne, will you be irreverent the entire time?

a devilish grin cuts across my face.

this is why i do better with a low residency program. i can do whatever i want in the interim. it's the tedium of sitting in classes and bullshitting all day that i've lost the capacity for.

someone today called me a "high thinker" and sometimes i wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just be a sheep in the herd. i can't hide the near intolerance for this particular set of hoops i have to navigate at the moment.

i did get my choice of advisor which is a blessing. she is giving me trust first, and that is what i need at this point. i want to be directed, but i also want to direct. i want to walk with someone not follow.

so we touched upon the process issues we've each identified with my work, namely, that i don't revise anything and i proposed this idea.
how about i revise something and argue why it doesn't work for me.


i think if i approach it as an intellectual endeavor, not a practice issue, that i can swallow it. if i make it a requirement for my program that i revise something, anything, that i give a little here, that i'll get a little there.

i'm told,
the process sucks but you will be a better writer after.

i have to trust this. have to.

i do understand that i am not here so much for the process bullshit as i am for the credential. i want to teach someday, i want to move forward in my life, my writing, and this is what i need to do now. for no reason other than it is the place in my life i've come to.

i just didn't expect to feel outcast among my people. but i think this outcast feeling is something i carry deep inside. the marrow in my bones, if you will. it is not something i can divorce myself from simply be cause i want to. i will never really fit in, and i have to accept that fact, because to me, fitting in is selling out. that is the bottom line. there is some outsider in me that i don't ever expect to wipe her shoes on the welcome mat and come in to any inhabited building. this wild woman runs free and cannot be caged. will not be caged. this is the woman i get a glimpse of from time to time. the woman i get in trouble for being. and so be it.

i'm told by the two other poets in my group whom i connect with that i need to voice my concerns about the lack of soul in process. if not so much for myself for the fire that will blaze with the discussion. these are the larger themes i want to explore, the mystics of poetry that i live my life reading and writing about. the rest leaves off, the talk of craft leaves off where i'm just getting started.

i need to utter these words, to dare steering the group way off course because i'm not getting anything from these craft discussions. today when we were analyzing poems, i got bored and counted all the letters of a particular type on the page to be a smart ass.

she used a 66 times, and e 78 times.

i said it almost nonchalantly, and the poet leading the workshop said,
that's interesting, what does it mean?

i have no idea.
(hear: it's all bullshit to me)

which led to a discussion about the use of letter sounds. i looked at her and said,
you're really going to make something of this?

she smiled,
in some ways your being irrevernt is helpful.

she asked us all if we were appreciating the process or if there was going to be a mutiny?

are you sanctioning mutiny?
i ask. she smiles and says,
well, i've been part of a few mutinies myself.
(remember, she is a poet).

but i met with my advisor who had just left this poet and another (the big cheese poet) and my advisor said,
i think you'll be one of our shining stars.

i just smiled. i genuinely feel bad for those who have to try to teach me something. it's a frustrating process, i'm sure. i'm hard headed as yesterday. there's no changing me. but i'm also moving. to my own beat, perhaps, but moving nonetheless.

i have another mindnumbing class to go to. i'm told the prof is a hottie. and this is how i get my kicks these days. oogling men. and women, apparently.

peace. out.


i am bored out of my mind at this residency. partly because i'm just reading and talking craft all day. that gets old. for everyone.

secondly because what really matters, soul, duende, has hardly been touched. i know i'm too touchy feely (and the sun just decided to white out my computer screen), but it's not just about how a poem looks on a page. the craft as it is called. bullshit, i call it.

one poet i've just met summed it up for me this way,
you really care about craft, you craft your poems. you don't care about nitpicking

right, and nitpicking is usually desgised (i don't even know how to spell anymore), as craft.

i'm changing the tone of this residency from today on. i will risk more. i already wrote a poem for someone who moved me. i don't know how it is received, i just did it. it was an homage. something i had to do.

but i'm not living life in a way that resembles anything like the way i want to live my life, it's just not possible. i'm turning up for classes with a bad attitude, and just suffering through it. i don't know how to find my inner pollyanna. i think she died. she just gave up and left a sign hanging on the back of her chair, went to look for happier lands or something.

i want to see people i love, though i know i will come to love these people. i just hate the awkwardness of not loving yet. does this make sense, that meaningless middle ground of getting to know people. blegh.

here, it's in my face every day and i'm pretty lost in it.

but i've found one guy who disappears every day, this is his last residency, who is like a giant ball of yarn which i bat back and forth between my claws. this amuses me. only, i don't get to do it too often. and that wicked girl makes me smile.

last night i asked the guy who has sat in front of me the past three nights' readings to sit there again so i can look at him. his body is finely sculpted, shall we say. he's a jock, admittedly, we covered that ground at the bar. and i have to spend the next four residencies with him. so that is not something to play with, but my poet friend laughed and said,

what? men are objects of women's interest.

they are objects of my interest, let's put it that way. and i need muse. besides the one i've got. the many muses, sadly, this is what my work is about, the people who turn me on.

so i wrote a poem for a hot lesbian. what can i say, she's hot.

gotsta run. again, i'm bored.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

four am praying to the porcelain god

well, i may have drank too much. but it was only two captain and coke's, but i think it was more about breakfast, than it was about the liquor. though i got, admittedly, sauced. i haven't puked in years. willed myself not to. and this wasn't so much a belly purge as just some karmic bullshit, i'm sure of it. i had it coming.

at least i didn't puke on myself or in bed, or on the walk home. that would have just been embarrasing.

drink less.

and as the program director left the bar, and all we first semester students are still going at it, she says, with a wide smile,
this bodes well for the program.

we laughed. because we're all bucking and kicking the system. we needed to get sauced because there are a lot of things we're being asked to swallow that just ain't right.

and now the fiction writer returns and i must bust his chops before rejoining my group.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


when he first mentioned it, it was the first time anyone had ever called me a force of any kind.
an irresistable force,
he said.

today at lunch, they called me a
force of nature.

wait, what?

it's come up a few times in the group.

what has.

you're a force.


i have a poem to write, it has so far been percolating in my little brain for a night, and i asked the person it will be about if they mind if i write a poem about them.

sure, i'd be flattered.

i didn't tell her what it's about.

i have to figure out how to write it now. she is, ultimately, intriguing and i think perhaps better a figment of my imagination than the real deal.

anyway, i found that interesting. and i had talks with potential advisors, those i want to work with, and the one guy is such a hardass, i doubt if i could suffer through a semester with him. though if i get him i will, i was, before that conversation going to put him down as my first choice. now, not so much.

i am now going to put my current advisor down because she said the words.

when we were speaking she said this to me,
i will push back.

and this made me smile. because i have been saying to other students,
i need someone who will push back.
i never uttered this to her. but to hear her say it is the kind of cosmic bullshit i live for.

so we had a very good discussion about what the semester could hold and now we're both excited about working together. i feel like i could thrive under her watchful eye.

now to wander to the T and find my way to boston, then the fine arts museum. i need to get out of this place it's too much. though lots of smiling faces are saying,
great reading last night.

it's nice to have peers that respect you.

this fiction writer asked me today,
are you in fiction?

hell no,
i said (always delicate and thoughtful in my replies).

sorry, didn't mean to offend you.

i can do what you do in fifty words or less.
i smiled. and he laughed.

he wanted to join us for lunch, but i think i intimidated him. ah well, wouldn't be the first man. so i'm glad i'm getting off campus today. reading a poem about seduction makes the dudes respond weirdly. and the women just walk by smiling.

it's kind of funny.


my reading went well last night. that goes without saying, but i realized this morning, they all go well and i understand this. it is what i do. who i am. how i sound in this life.

i decided to go with an homage to my dark angel. i read the three poems i probably should never read in public, but i knew if there was a place and a time, this was the place and this the time. we are here to take creative risks. these are new poems, relatively untested, but they dogged me all day and i couldn't get around them. how much i genuinely like them.

i opened with my serial killer poem because my muse mentioned it in a sense in the second poem. this poem was well recieved and met with much laughter. i know, my dark humor.

which reminds me, my girl has my same sense of the funny. she made a social faux pas and it occurred to me later that night after i was stumped by her behavior, i would have thought that was funny if it wasn't my kid, but me. it is something i would have done. but she did it. and it was not well recieved. i guess that is the liability of youth. the untested waters. i called her late that night and said,
you have my sense of humor.


it is funny what you said, but the person didn't receive it that way.

i know.

i'm sorry.

because i understand she is my child. the product of my tutelage. be horrified. she is also her own person, so her own dark humor has developed, and while i wish she liked to be funny in more familiar ways, or perhaps--never quote me on this--more acceptable ways, i remember having that same sense of humor as a young person. the macabre just struck me as hilarious. what can you do.

i was alone a lot. let's put it that way. particularly after i got into high school. i had three or four friends, that was it. i didn't want any more, didn't care about anyone, i guess because i'm sitting in a school setting and thinking about my own child, these things are coming up. damn.

poor girl, just like me.

so, i'm reading the second poem, i own the room. they are with me and i'm in the moment. these are the moments i live for. and when i finish that second poem, applause breaks out and i am standing there. unable to read because the room is roaring with applause.

we had only three minutes to read, and it was going by very fast, so i ran my finger across my throat, looked at the moderater and asked if i could read another and said to the crowd,
my three minutes is passing.

they settled down and i broke into my poem prehensile toes.

the poem is gripping in that it is very sexual. erotic. when i got to the end, the crowd still with me all the way, applause again broke out.

i waved in the air and walked to my seat at the back of the room and mowhawk who was sitting next to me mouthed something, but i couldn't hear because the room was lit up with applause.

so i wrote him a note,
what did you say?

that was amazing!

and i laughed, smiled, and closed my eyes to concentrate on the next reader.

i slipped out of the room without talking to anyone after the reading, didn't see any writers until my roommate appeared in our room.

i called my dark muse while i was still tingling with excitement.

there is nothing like being recieved. finding your audience. making your sound. i hope you get to exprience this. and not just once.

Monday, July 13, 2009

too much for her

i'm very close to having to choose my advising professor for the semester. some measure of it is fate, some of it will. i do get to indicate a preference and while the dear poet i'm under at the moment is sweet, i think i might be too much for her. i might overwhelm her.

i know i can be a lot to take in one sitting. perhaps even in several sittings. but this education is about more than my idosyncracies. it is about the direction of my work. the larger picture. i'm determined after a drastic change of direction, to focus on the business of writing more than the craft of writing, ultimately.

the craft stuff is a lot of smoke and mirrors in my opinion. i don't agree with others simply because they are craftsmen. i don't agree with others simply because they are published. what i need to do is find out how to get my angle out there. to found a journal is still my ultimate goal in this life. while it has taken a backseat, it is not going completely unacknowledged.

this essential step of my mfa will ultimately put me in a position of exploring the innerworkings of running a literary journal. the unglamorous aspects, the business aspects. the whole shebang.

while i'm less tired today, i'm finding, it is perhaps because i've met my kindreds here. i've found my people, as it were. three hours aren't enough to talk about the poems we're scrutinizing. those conversations go on entire days sometimes. that is why we are here.

and in the process, we're planning a jail break tomorrow. some fine arts museum here in boston. while i thought i'd stay in and not venture out, there is a willing soul whose company i enjoy immensely, and she and i will take in a museum. i think it will rejuvenate me in a way lying in my uncomfortable noisy dorm room won't. an infusion of beauty. but not literary beauty, believe me, i'm infused. but an infusion of art.

when i go to museums, i need hours. i sit in front of one painting sometimes for twenty minutes, i cry. i write. i don't just run through and check off boxes for what i've seen. though when i have my girl with me, she has an affinity for picasso, and so we seek out any picassos we can. i've seen a few. not many, but a few. not to mention the ones i saw before she was born. guernica is something to see in real life. but i love woman sleeping, it is, perhaps my favorite picasso to this point. but i digress.

always digress.

now i have to bang out my coming semester, sort through and commit to a book list (tenative though it may be), find a direction to head in, that my advisor will sign off on. i'm not keen on studying only poetry. i've said this. i'm keen on exploring many things and creating from those things. maybe i could incorporate an art aspect, that would be the bomb.

works of art and poetry. hmm. why not?

anyway, my next lecture will begin soon. i'm eating decidedly less, but still probably too much and am sure there will be more of me going home than there was arriving. that seems to be the case since i'm having cake with every meal. and today for lunch i had cake and ice cream. it is not the first time.

we eat breakfast, scrutinize poetry for three hours, eat, have three or four hours of workshops and classes and then eat again. then have a reading. this is a bit much, i should like to have fewer meals, but there is something of a feeding frenzy going on and the piranahesque qualities of my nature are coming out.

the other day i wanted meat. there were ribs. i ate two plates of ribs and licked my fingers the entire time. i could smell the ribs on my fingers into the next morning. it's a weird thing having a buffet, while you wrack your brain. but that is how it is.

i don't eat much usually, so this is beyond normal. i should probably skip a few meals, and if i'm at the museum tomorrow, it's entirely possible i will.

we have our reading tonight and i'm considering reading a couple recent poems about my dark angel. i don't know why i'd read those except that i enjoy them. i do enjoy them.

what can i say. i'm broken. bent. unfixable.

some might even say, irredeemable.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

the gift of the reader

so the first poet's works that i read really blew my doors off. the rest, not so much. the trouble is, that no one else really got the poet i most enjoyed, save one person. so we three sit together at meals after the workshop and discuss what went down. i didn't agree with most of what was said about the works. and for me, i didn't think the comments were applicable to my poetic style. these ladies agree.

so, two new poets today and i'm groping around for nice things to say. not necessarily nice, but helpful. helpful is good. trouble is, i got nothing. maybe it's the effect of my overmuch honesty, but i don't know how to be helpful in this situation. i don't know if the girl wants her own mirror held up and reflected back on her works, i doubt it. so what to do.

besides, the things that concern me do not concern her. she is more about the structure and form of poetry. where i'm more about the organic nature of poetry.

what is the meaning of this poem?

what does it mean to you?

something entirely different from you, so it needs to be clarified.

i don't agree. i've read a poet's works and gotten an entirely different interpretation. i call that the gift of the reader. was the poem written imprecisely? no. it is just my frame of reference is different. it is not a bad thing to have multiple meanings.

how comfortable are you with ambiguity?

horribly so. i don't mind it at all.

you see, what they were saying was i had to be black or white. but i'm all about the shades of grey. i'm down the middle road, not the left or right. it is my nature, my perspective as a poet.

i think it might be helpful to explore where poets are coming from. if you are just banging out the work FOR publication, that is one thing. if you are writing because it is your purpose on this planet, that's another. i'm too damn mystical for most academics, but i'm also certain that this is my bliss. this is my vocation in this life. they cannot dissuade me. i know my voice, and while i can and will refine it, i don't know that opening myself up to critique based on inaccurate interpretation is the point.

in this poem you should focus on the dance.

later at lunch i told the ladies, that poem is not about the dance. that poem is about appropriating the masculine by a woman. they missed the picture for the frame.

we understood that,
they said.

and i knew they did because they were defending and explaining my work to the others.

it's something when a complete stranger can look at a page and say,
this poet is...
and be right on the money.

i did not speak during my workshop, by design. i just listened. but the things they wanted me to do, the ones who did not get my work will never be me, so i dismiss them.

there are some questions i need to explore. do the author and the speaker have to be the same person? if they are what are the ramifications? if they are not, how does that change the poem.

i don't know how a confessional freeverse poet can separate out what is and isn't their life/work.

when someone is the author and speaker, the advisor said,
i don't feel i have the right to comment on the poem, to critique it.

of course you do. i gave you that right when i put it on the page.

i understand that if i'm going to lay it all out, there or here, it is fodder for critique. so be it. it is a choice i'm deliberately making. i think it a copout to say,
this is your life, i can't critique it.
so don't, critique my poetry.

that is entirely different.

these distinctions must be made. we spent an hour and a half workshopping three of my poems. it was not that helpful, but i trust it will get better, and i'll glean much from this experience. even if i have to chase it down and tie it like a prize steer in calf roping.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

tired body, tired mine

i rested some today in the hours my roomie was away, but cramming in my alone time is no good. and i've got workshops tomorrow i've not yet prepared for so it's going to be a late night for me.

or, later than i've been awake here. though in these bright flouresents, i'm suddenly feeling tired.

i was sitting under a path light by the entrance to the commons where i'm staying. reading and saying good night to all the poets and writers walking by on their way to the dorms.

nice spot.

yes. i don't think it will be here tomorrow night.

i'm tired. and alone in that curious peopled way. the i've got an itch you can't scratch for me yet, because we've just met way. the polite, don't show too much way.

but i am amidst poets.

i got workshopped today. and while there were no, and i repeat, no surprises, i am trying to remind myself to listen. to attend. to care. because i don't. i have my work, i have my way of producing my work. if you can help me refine my voice, that's one thing. if you're going to put my work in a poetic blender, fuck you.

that is how i look at it.

not too forgiving. not too openminded about my own work.

but i'm willing to try.

it's the future works these words are for. i don't revise poems. i don't revise anything. i don't go back into the kitchen and rebake the cake. i just make a new one. very culinary in that approach. perhaps that is the best approach.

it has made me think a lot about who i am as a poet. some people say,
i write poetry.
i say,
i'm a poet.
no apologizing for it, it's the fact of the matter.

it was nice to finally meet the prof who recommended me for the program, who got me into the program and encourages me now. he introduced me to his wife and daughter tonight as an excellent poet. which i am humbled by because he is afuckingmazing. he read a snippet of a short story and i told him what i thought about a particular scene, he and his family laughed and he said,
i'm going to steal that.

so, there you have it. the fire of works and critique, the readings and wonders of residency.

i get to sleep on a relatively uncomfortable bed, but i'm trying not to mind it. it is sleep after all, and i've been fortunate. i could be at work. i must remember this.

i've worked so hard to get here, i see how many years i've been laboring to this place. it started out in fits and starts, one poetry reading here, one open mic. now amongst my peers, i feel ready for this, the fullness of time is upon me and the advisor i get will be the right one for this season.

i hope i get the one i want but the odds are slim as i'm a first semester student.

i'm not your average first semester student though, and that, i have in my favor.

it's late, much to do. i could use the love of those who know me. and i'm grateful for what comes.

poets cluster

the other writers kind of jokingly say,
the poets always stick together.

and people admit,
well, i do also write poetry, but i'm here for...

it's a good crowd. i've not had any time alone yet, so i just warned everyone,
when i'm sitting in the corner crying, just ignore me. i'll have an emotional breakdown if i don't get some alone time.

my roommate and i (she's a fiction writer), get along fine. which is nice. but! i have a built in companion when i'd rather just be on my own. in one sense it's good that it makes me get out and talk. in the other (the other being, that i know what happens after i've been "on" for several consecutive days), i wear out completely emotionally. it's exhausting being attentive and fun. i hate it.

i know i'm not the only one, and many commiserate with me. they tell me of secluded spots they've found, but it's nothing like being in your room in your undies for hours and vegetating hardcore. that's the kind of alone i need. the impenetrable alonness of the socially awkward.

we had a reception last night, bottles and bottles of wine. we were all feeling pretty good and i am glad i didn't bring anything but all anyone could say was,
i wish we had some rum.

and there will be a few cash bar receptions coming up,
but wine never tastes as good when you pay for it
(as one of the other writers noted).

there's a guy whose got a mowhawk, piercings, and tats galore.

are we going to get to see it up? it looks like a good one.

no, i forgot my gel.


ah well, can't have everything. sounds like we'll be back here new years. i never have anything to do on the holidays so this will be nice. and it will be freezing. i'm told to bring several things, snow boots being one.

guess i'll have to look into getting some.

it is well. never finished the 820 page book, my prof laughed. i am nearing 700 (i made it to 698), and he said,
what kind of parent are you, never read harry potter.

i told her,
i'll buy you the book, now go away.

he laughed.

i had no interest, still have no interest in reading the series. none at all. just because of the time issues involved. now if it were my genre, yes. but it's not.

sitting around at dinner last night a poet came up.

she wrote this poem ...

ah, yes, i have her books with me.

so i'm lugging around, today, two of the books of the poet we mentioned. i hope to use them for my semester study. heard one of the potential poets last night. afuckingmazing. it is nice to know whatever prof i get will be a good deal.

gotta run. have to critque poems for workshop at 9 am. i am the second person on deck to get critiqued, so i got off easy in that i only have to do one person's work today.

i'm behind though. i hate to be behind. but i hate to read the work of another poet when i'm not in the right frame of mind. it really is bad form.

it is well. i have no cell service here, it's kind of nice. isolate.

we'll see how i fare in workshop today.

Friday, July 10, 2009

lugging too much crap

fortunately when i pulled into the college i ran into two other returning students from my program. one of them a poet. we wandered through the dorms and found our rooms together, that makes it nice. not being lost alone, i mean. but, lo and behold, what do i find in my room...a roommate. sigh.

i was supposed to have a single room. but, alas, last minute this chick shows up and rooms with me. she's very nice, and i was exhausted so i told her,
i'll probably be a bitch, just ignore me.

we chatted a bit (i could feel my reserves draining away), and i tried to play nice. unpacked my endless bags of crap, and finally hit the hay around 10:30. i left work at 4pm, so arriving just after 8 is pretty good, i think. but not only did i have a roommate surprise, since she arrived early, she got my sheets and towels, etc. when they did not "appear" as she had hoped, i had to wander around campus at 9pm in search of sheets so i could go to bed.

i stumbled onto a security guard, and since i didn't get a parking pass yet, it was fortuitous.

will i get towed? i don't have a parking permit yet.

no, i'm the boss tonight.


i also need sheets.

you're the one.


i have to drop this off in the other dorm, then we'll get your sheets.

do you want me to come with you so you don't have to walk back?


he is puffing away on a cigar and fiddling with that shoulder walkie talkie police wear.

i'll finish smoking that for you,
i say as he heads for the dorm.

he turns around,
want a light?

no, i don't smoke.

he smiles, and puts it up on the light fixture.
the benefits of being tall.


he came back out pretty quick, while i sat on the steps and waited.

what's your name?


i laughed, i couldn't help it. and i said,
you're my first shamus. probably not even spelling that right). irish, no doubt.

and we got into a discussion about patriotism. my very favorite subject.

essentially, the guy is american. his wife, a detective. nice man. led me through campus, got a mini tour.

so i'm finally abed, and the person upstairs arrives around 11pm. and lumbers around moving furniture it sounds like, maybe it's just poor acoustics. and i neglected to note the type of battery i needed for my little mp3 speaker pillow, so i was not lulled to sleep by the soothing sounds of nirvana or blue october.

curiously enough, my roomie's ringtone is blue october. that is nice. though not at midnight.

i dreamt there was a line for the shower and got up. at least i saw what to wear today, the jury was still out on that one. so i got up and ready at 6am, no one else even stirring. it's hard to be quiet especially in unfamiliar surroundings where you don't know what creaks, slams or otherwise makes loud banging noises.

i took a long hot shower, now i'm going to read until some undetermined time when i'll go hunt down breakfast in the cafeteria. since i'm in some unknown building (likely the student center, i know the cafeteria can't be far).

shamus told me they have fox, deer, all manner of woodland creatures here, so maybe with these early risings i'll spy a few.

my arms are very tired, and i'm trying not to disturb my goddamn roommate, so i'll use my computer less than i'd hoped.

ah, to have a single room. it is my wish.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


thirty books and seven bags later, i'm nearly packed for residency. i've got just a couple things to tick off my list, then, if i haven't thought of it. it ain't happening.

doing laundry, watching a movie, mostly trying to rest. i'm pretty tired but rested well last night. i was bright eyed and bushy tailed for work today. lots of laughter, my face hurt within an hour of being there, we had a good time, laughing and smiling. i like to be able to be a dork. but i'm not always in the mood for it. and if i'm with a downer crowd, it's hard to pull up.

so i got on register all day today because i was laughing, the customers were laughing, i was dancing to the shitty music and singing horribly. had a good time. a very good time today.

but i'm tired. i need this break. work grinds me down to a bloody nub, and i'm finding more and more facets of this political climate i don't like. essentially, this is what it boils down to, if the dm don't like you, you ain't goin' anywhere. not up down or sideways and that's petty. no one should have that kind of power.

i've managed to avoid his bad side, but so many people i adore have not. it frustrates me. better workers than me are being held back or overlooked because of personal biases, certainly not for the benefit of the company.

time after time the story is the same. i'm tired of hearing it.

but grumpy gus likes me now, i said to him today,
you're over hating me now.

he smiled. he has this wicked evil genius smile.

and i came back from lunch having hiked my drawers up too high and laughed telling the other kids,
i gave myself a wedgie.

it was that kind of day. talk of aprons only (yikes, the images that put in my head were enough to keep me laughing sporadically throughout the day). not to mention the hygenic faux pas that would create. i just kept saying,
my girls won't stay put, they need to be corralled,
and we all laughed.

it all started when this man with a suit and tie who wanted a green tea did "not object to wood" and we laughed and laughed.

it was great. i know he knew what he said, he thought it was funny too. but the things that happen, the wack conversations we end up having made the day for me.

plus, i got out of there early, before i burned out. and that is all that matters.

don't start until 10:30 tomorrow, so i can get gas, return the dvd i'm indulging in. and load up before work. so much to do.

but it's all good. i'm tired, but ready for this.

just got a note from one of the professors (OMFG!), all this stuff about being willing to rework poems in workshop yada yada yada. i guess i shoulda sent poems i'm willing to revise. but the thing about me is, i'm willing to revise i just don't. never have been convinced of the need. even from the best of writers, i don't agree. i'm so committed to my voice to the point of it being a personal flaw. but that is where i can grow. if someone can teach me how to revise, i will attempt revision. the thing about it is, no one has ever been able to impart that bit of wisdom. the how to of revision.

strengthen your verbs
someone said to me.

bite me,
i responded. i'm not going to go through every poem and strengthen my verbs. that is so not me. i either hit it, or i write a new poem. that is my process.

we'll see how it goes. i'm open. i'm willing. perhaps i'm able.

i'll likely go by and see my crone before i drive off to ma tomorrow. it will make me happy. and my best friend will come by and see me off too.

that will make me incredibly happy. i hate that word. happy. it's a bullshit word. it will be nice. but that too is a bullshit word. nice.

i told this one customer, quoting my favorite movie (a very hip guy, not some dowdy old dude or anything).
i don't want to be nice. or anyone to be nice to me.


the next time he came in he threw his money and said,
here bitch.


and i looked at him, shocked.

he said,
you didn't want me to be nice.


and i laughed.

you surprised me, and that's quite an accomplishment.

we laughed. he asked me my nationality. we are of simliar ilk. he is a singer, rapper type. eurpoean. something about uk djs, how they're the bomb. i don't know anything about it.

but i like to see people passionate about what they do. who they are. that pleases me.

pursue your bliss,
campbell would say.

yes. i try.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


so, i wanted to sleep in, but my body had other ideas. wide awake at 8am. so, i rolled out of bed and went to the gym. it's been too long. i'm told the way to generate energy is to burn it, applying this theory, i work my body in what has become my bestworst workout. i'm not into it anymore. i don't like going there, but it is some place to go do the work i need to do. i will last this winter, then i'm out. contracts are a bitch.

so, i am at the library, bearing down on six hundred pages and just wanting to pass out. this is why i don't read at home. i would pass out and then be in the same boat with the book.

while i appreciate the merits of harry potter, i don't see the allure. it's all so much information and i guess if i'd gotten on board at the beginning of the ride instead of midway through the fad, it would have been easier. but i was a different person then.

so i'll read this book and not look back, though my girl wants desperately for me to read them all. i just don't have that kind of time. i don't know that i have this kind of time. this particular class i'm reading this book for is on writing anger. the books are excellent models, just a bit much. too damn much if you ask me.

i'm hoping to delve into jung and some more pueblo poets this go round. incorporating whatever crazy shit i can get by my prof. we'll see how it goes. it will help that i pulled it out two semesters ago and the prof i did it with teaches in this program. he's the one i'm reading this damn book for. grr.

anyway, work soon.

some of my favorite people will be working, that's good.

i'll take it easy tonight, i'm tired.

Monday, July 06, 2009

none too pleased

the chief is back and his eyes were wide as saucers when i told him about my snake charming.

no lying out at all,
he said.

like that is going to happen. what is with the dudes in my life, they're very protective. and i get tired of it. though, i don't protect myself in those ways, so maybe it's a good thing.

i'm not the only creature sun seeking at that hour,
i told him. he was not amused. i came home to find the stairs lined with all manner of snake eradication powders and things. sigh.

i'm too tired to fight. he did leave the light on for me, i forget to leave it on for myself. again, it just doesn't occur to me.

i'm glad they're back though, i was tired of being alone (even though i was only alone a day or so). what can i say. psychic comfort that they are. i feel safer when they are here. i don't know why. i don't know why.

i have that long drive thursday, and i'm so tired. i'm debating tonight on working out or sleeping in tomorrow. i think i'll sleep in. my body is just aching from work and it usually isn't so bad. i think i just need a real break. this residency couldn't come at a better time.

so i'm closing tonight with the girl who calls me suz. i adore her. we finish every last thing at 8:30. she looks at me and says,
this is rediculous.

i know.
i tell her.
we're not going to go crazy, we'll just take it easy.

the store was full of customers but we'd done every conceivable thing (and then some). we walked out a little later because i was having trouble counting my register. i think it had more to do with me being tired than anything. but 10:15 is still respectable. though we should have walked out of there at 10:03. whatever. it is what it is.

i had nice conversations with customers tonight. it was a good run.

none of my personal favorites came in, but that's okay. i'll see them later this week before i go. i'm having more fun with the staff now. there is a comfort that was not there before. and i'm grateful for it.

but i'm tired. and wide awake.

go figure.

before i go

let me just say this. i'm still waiting for you. damn it, i am. i try not to, but i find myself, even moreso now watching the horizon again. it's quite distracting. but i've got a lot of things pulling at me, a lot demanding my attention, so it's hard to carve out the pining space i once had. i just can't devote that kind of time to anyone but myself, which is probably a good thing. i'm sure it's a good thing. i invited a poet i know to visit me up at my residency and he said,
i don't want to intrude.
which was gracious. i find that i like to have something or someone comfortable with me when i go where i need to go, and always end up going alone, so why do i even try. it would just be more complexity than i need.

the staff will accomodate my late arrival, which is good, because i lack teleporting capabilities at the moment. so i cannot be there when they want me there. we'll see how it goes.

seems having done this so many times, things would be a bit clearer. but there are a lot of details to slip by. i get that. i'm looking forward to resting in between sessions. tough, that the thing i covet most is time alone in the sun or by a lake, but that's how it is for me. i may not make it to boston proper this time, i just have to take it easy. forced rest.

and now, still three hundred pages from my goal, i must away. must, must away.

though i would rather sit here and wait for you. you will not come. i know this. i understand this deep inside. but still i wait. it's the damnable thing about me, this predictability.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

sleep baby sleep

sometimes the most loving thing a person can do for me is just let me sleep.

i don't know how you do it,
she said,
just keep going.


that's why i pass out when i get the chance.

i've crammed a lot in lately. but that's because when people can see me, i have to be around them. i don't do so well completely isolated. i can't remember when i last holed up and went it alone. this is why i feel like an extrovert, but when i was with that poet in new york, i knew entirely that i have a fully developed introvert. i can't handle it all the time.

we went to the hudson this morning. fed the geese. my girl is midway through a pokethon while playing her ds. i get that this is how people spend time, and sometimes i'm grateful. because i just can't keep up with everything i have in my heart to do. but i've got her another night, then i will be gone for a while. embracing the unknown.

though i imagine, this residency will be just like a prolonged intensive. we read, write, and discuss there. that is the sum of the residency. some nights readings are scheduled. i think the one i'm reading at is on tuesday night, about midway through the whole enchilada.

i've decided to read about three of my favorite poems. poems i've read a lot of late. moreso because i like them, then because i don't have anything better. perhaps i do, but bloodlust is always a good poem. sangre de dios, tambien. the final one will likely be, bury me in the lake. that should be very close to three minutes. i want to read more, but this will do.

went to a fourth of july festival with my best friend yesterday. it was nice to be in the sun, but she doesn't handle it so well, and i hope she's faring better than last night. we spent a deal of time with our crone, whom i now won't see for three weeks. this is tough.

i can't explain how it feels to be around them. like i have nothing to hide. that is a wonderful feeling. i don't have anything to hide, but anything is acceptable. and that is quite a feeling.

there is a new activity my best friend is experimenting with and i told her,
i won't do that.

but it's really cool.

yes, but it's not me.

and she tries to convince me why it is of value.

it is of value for you, i don't judge you for that, but it would impede on my process.


and we discuss process again. she's a scientist. very keen on the wherefores. i'm very keen on the whys. the whys are the grist for my mill. the whys are what matter most to me. to answer my questions is to rob from me the fodder for my poetry. i think mulling over questions is what produces most of my work, simple as that.

today my reek of patchouli confused a bee. he wasn't aggressive, just curious. he didn't want to go away and landed in my hair. i finally whooshed him away and came inside. perhaps it is too much of a good thing. but i love it. it is the scent of freedom.

i want to sleep more.

closing the store monday and tuesday. then mids weds and thurs. i hope they change their standard to accomodate my arrival, otherwise, i be sleeping in my pony. we'll see how it goes. either way, i will keep to my established plan and it will be well.

my mom says,
park by the security booth and sleep there.

she's always looking out for me. i'm grateful for that.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

snake charmer

i have thought about belly dancing with a snake. of course, i'd have to get way better before i did that. right now, it's just something in the back of my mind. don't know that i could feed live creatures to a pet and then cuddle up with it.

it is a nice thought though, snake charming. i remember the pictures, the black and white film of the woman kissing the cobra's head. why does she do that? are we drawn to danger as a species? or is there something deeper than that there? not sure.

and of course it all depends on the kind of snake. i'm not about to try to pet a rattler or copperhead. that's just silly. i want to live, as many risks as i'm inclined to take, i want to live. it was more about the experience. sharing space, as steve irwin used to say. i get that, i so get that.

three hundred pages in to my eight hundred plus page book and i'm getting irritated. rereading the verbiage in my course descriptions, and crossing out anything i possibly can that says, suggested or recommended, which leaves only this book to finish. so i have to lug it around and slog through hogwarts as quickly as possible. it only varies slightly from the movie, but it's just a slow read for me. i'm not intrigued, i'm not hooked. it's just a read.

but i started gathering, culling books from my piles to take with me, and i see more and more, the deeper layers of things i've collected for this and coming semesters. i want to incorporate some psychology and mysticism into the poetry angle, because a straight shot down the academic road will be death for me. and i want to live. i remember studying prosody two semesters ago, and it got old real quick. i still struggle with dissecting poetry for the sake of dissection. there is nothing to be gained by one who does not want to be a poetic anatomist in the practice of prosody. sure, i will learn to impress friends and teachers with ten dollar words, but i don't actually use those words. i guess, having those words at my command is the point of higher education. but those words already are at my command, the thing is, i don't want to use them. i don't need to use them.

when i explain myself to a group of poets, it's more about intuition. i am finding this is parallel to another course i'm studying at the moment. and the woman i'm learning from says things that can apply to poetry. put the books down, be intuitive first. that is the kind of teacher i respond to. hence, the sojourn up there to sit at her feet.

i need to get ready, to go up to my people. but first a visit to work, to ensure they know what to do with the heavily loaded deposit. i instructed them in the finer arts of preparing for a weekend when the bank is closed. we'll see if the logical progression of thought is followed, or if the rote way of doing things is followed. i'm banking on rote, because i had to explain the process a couple times for it to make sense. i don't think what i see as the logical progression of that thought is so logical to all. though it is to me.

at least i'll have my chai for the road. i'm a nicer driver when i've got me a chai.

i'm going to spend the day with my friends up north, then work. hope i don't have to close early, but i may. the girl i am closing with doesn't want to be there late, so she'll be pushing to close early, while i'm inclined to stay open the entire time. i would have liked the day off too, but we didn't get it, so it is what it is. with all the time i'll be away, i need the hours.

it's getting better at my work, but i've learned some new angles on the cup lady story. i need to talk to my new boss about what i've heard. i trust honesty, anything less is just a lie.

peace. out.

Friday, July 03, 2009


the last rat snake the chief encountered is still lying beside my car at the base of a boulder. it makes me sad to see him there. but the neighbors are decidedly freaked out about snakes. that one was on the porch upstairs, and that meant it got by me on the ground level, and found it's way up there. but it's a rat snake, so i was sad that it got killed.

today after catching the sun for a few moments, maybe fifteen tops (but we take what we can get these days), i folded up my chair and began to walk to my door when another sun catcher, a black rat snake was flicking its tongue at me and moving its head ever so slightly back and forth. i wondered if he was trying to glamour me. i'm too big for him to eat, but he was moving like a cobra would, it was wonderful to see. i am told they bite and it hurts, i should have read those snake books my girl checked out. maybe i'll just look online. but he was coming toward me ever so slightly, and i wanted to discourage his being killed, so i squatted down, my sun chair between us, and a huge harry potter book in my hand.

i breathed on him hoping it would freak him out and make him go away, but he just kept edging toward me, ever so slightly. i thought waving my hand in the sun would create a scary shadow, but that had no effect either.

so i resorted to touching him. i wanted to use my hand, believe me, but i went the safe route and touched his head with the book. the very large book. and he didn't like it one bit. but stayed there, so i touched him again. he was very insistent that there in the last rays of sun, edging toward me, was where he wanted to be. so i kind of pushed him with my book because he had to go some other direction than toward my house. for his own safety.

go away little one,
he was not so big, i imagine, as far as rat snakes go. i guess he was about three feet long. black as coal with a creamy underbelly. his black tongue flicking so gently in the air. it's really something to see. to be there sharing space with such a divine creature.

but i wanted him to live, and if the neighbors caught a glimpse of me talking to this snake, they would have produced any manner of firearm or shovel to decapitate or otherwise blow this creature into the underworld.

when i touched him that last time, he quickly folded back over himself and slid into the bushes, at the base, i watched his tail zig and zag out of sight, i wanted to touch it, but decided not to, i wasn't intending to freak him out, just help him live another day. i'm told they are wonderful for keeping other creatures at bay, and it is one creature i've never had a close enounter with. considering i had just folded up my sun chair, and he was sharing the same sun, it was a nice little moment for us.

but he's gone now. i'm watching the house alone, and it's okay. i needed to be alone this week. and i'm grateful for it.

the lady who was carrying on about the cups wrote a letter to corporate. whatever. so i'll have to talk to the dm about it. fine. she came in today, and while i knew it was her, i didn't treat her any different than any other day. though she may have felt that way. i have no intention of changing who i am for some damn customer.

she left without biting my head off, though she has taken to telling the other baristas what a monster i apparently am. i find this amusing. i've given my share of shit to people. i'll bear the karmic load until this burden has passed. i tried, quite some time back, to stop being a bitch--mostly it was moving to texas where everyone was so goddamn nice, i had to stop being a bitch because no one was being a bitch back to me. but mostly, they had other ways to stick it to you. nice ways. smiling ways.

perhaps that's why i don't trust a smile.

anyway, i digress.

hopefully i'll get some reading done tonight. saw my girl, back from a week at her friend's house. we checked out a bunch of movies, we'll hang this weekend and it will be well. i am looking forward to it. then, next week, i away to boston.

wow, time flies.

much reading yet to do. gotta get to it.
time to hit the books.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

i'll take the leather

packing for my residency has hit a fevered pitch. i started out with a managable pile, but ten days is a long time, and i have to look cute. so i'm taking a lot of clothes. and then, we have readings and dinners, etc. i don't want to show up in nasty clothes i've worn all day long, so now i'm considering dressier options for the night (hear, she's taking the leather).

but my pile grows, and i need things like ethernet cable (just in case) and a reading lamp. a fan. these are thing i do not have here. i left my former domicile with just the clothes and books. the fancy shit never came up. not that an ethernet cable is fancy, just not on my list of must haves. if you're loading up your car with only what will fit, leaving a fourteen year situation, it's tough to think through every scenario.

so i keep calling the ex, can i borrow this and that. some of the shit is mine and i won't return it, but other things, like that cable, are his. i just need a loaner. who else can i ask for these things. i'll be rebuked by my best friend, who'll say,
stop asking him for help.
because she wants me to cut the cord completely, and i have. but there is some shit, like pulling a thorn out of my foot that i just don't know who else to ask, without feeling like i'm putting someone out.

i'm probably putting him out, but that's no surprise.

so, i'm a light packer, usually, but the mound is ginormous, and i have to figure out how to get all this shit there and back. the bitch of the whole deal is, i get a final missive from the mfa program saying,
new students must arrive by 4:30pm.
bullshit. i can't. i guess i may spend that first night in my car, because i can't get there until 9pm. i have to work. i can't just take ten days off work and make it eleven just because some administrator doesn't want the hassel of a late arrival. bullshit.

so, hopefully they'll make an exception. i'm always needing exceptions and it's troubling. legitimate, but troubling. they can't make that kind of demand arbitrarily though, and that demand sounds arbitrary.

i am excited though. i'll take my swimsuit incase i can find some pool somewhere to wet my doggies.

the books i want to read and possess next semester will likely be in tow. see, the pile is mounting. books alone, i'll probably have about forty if i take what i want to take. i may try to limit myself to just ten, because, come on, this is rediculous. but i am planning my semester and if letting the prof acutally see the book will help my case, i'll lug thirty extra books up there. anything to get my way. anything.

i'm not progressing on the reading. i really have to not be home. decided to pack tonight, it needed to be done. but the reading does too. i just don't have time to get it all done in advance. granted, i've done most of it. time to go with speed reading, which is how they tell you to read in college anyway.

i hope it's not pretentious, using words like missive. ugh. i will need to rest a lot between bullshit sessions. we'll see how it goes. i'm excited though, it's a great adventure. which reminds me, i need to print out directions. my navigator is tempramental, and since i call her sybil, it's best not to trust one such as she.

my pony is faithful though, he'll get me there.

peace. out.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

three weeks

is a long time before i'll see my friends again. won't be able to make it to any classes or hang with the girls until after my residency and their festival. i wish i could go, but two and a half weeks of vacation, while it would be deliriously fun, is out of the question. i'm hoping to be able to swing it next year though, i have to.

i love these women. and it's nice to be able to be comfortable around others. it's not something i experience every day. and today, this sugary sweet girl i worked with got a talking to. she's been kind to me since i started there, but it's the i'm going to smile while i cut your heart out with a spoon and eat it right in front of you kind of sweetness (blegh).

you want me to treat you with respect you do not give me in return.

how so?

when i first started here, i'd spent three days (eight hour days, mind you), on register. i said to you, i don't want to ring today. and you said to me, welcome to ...

all i needed was an hour break from register today.

fine, but i'm just saying, the way you treated me did not incline me to acquiesce to your request. (ha! i didn't use those words).

anyway, it was a decent conversation, i think no one realizes how they come across. and so i told her exactly what i thought and she told me what she thinks, and it is well, i trust. i don't like strained relations. and the last two weeks she's been a bitch.

i've been very kind to you.

yes, you have. you smile, but most of the time it feels like you're saying, fuck you.

no, i'm not.

just letting you know how it feels.

things may have been worked out. they may just fester. but while i'm away at my residency next week, she'll be leaving for her new college on the west coast. i only have to work with her one or two more times. simple as that. the only thing constant is change.

the chief left this morning. gone a week, hopefully back before i leave for my time away. but i need the time alone. residency will prove to be a challenge, i'll have to be "on" most of the time. my only day off until then is sunday, and then it's go go go.

i have to remind myself, these trials will make me better. these trials will make me better. these trials will make me better.

must away, reading to do... still six books to finish for next week.

how i want to play, just play.