Monday, October 26, 2009


sometimes making lists can be a blessing. i sat down yesterday at work, and wrote out all the cannot miss pieces of this coming week. having them out of my mind and corralled on a page, even briefly, was a gift of sorts.

however, it can also be overwhelming to stand alone at the head of the week, and look down the long corridor which will command your time and attention, your energies and affections, and not give a single damn thing back.

i want to get it all done, hell, i have to. but mostly, i cannot go it alone.

yet, i am alone. so what does that mean?

i went and sat on the chief's couch last night and cried. not big breakdown cries, but just waters flowing, i couldn't keep them in any longer. sometimes the pressure builds to such a point, the tears come unbidden, unwelcome.

and, so i try not to hide it so much as to not overwhelm whomever happens to be around.

so, the list. the burgeoning list.

crossing things off one at a time, it's all i can do.

and i have a few moments to rest now. better make use of it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

late night

so tonight i see my kids homework sprawled out on the floor. i usually am too tired to notice, too tired to care.

i'm not so exhausted tonight as all that.

so, i look it over. it's pretty rough.

it reminds me of when i was her age, how no one helped me with my schoolwork and how vexing that was.

so, i notice the posterboard timeline she's drawn is all herky jerky with things crossed out. mind you, i can do scarcely better, but at least if one employs a ruler and whiteout for unsightly marks, it helps.

so, i decide, after hemming and hawing over it for a couple minutes, to go to the store and get some fresh posterboard.

she's been lugging this piece around for a while.

so i laid out her grid, and used a ruler, nice straight line.

but i can't rewrite the board for her, but reading the grading scale so conveniently taped on the back, i see she's missing some things, and a thing or two is askew.

so i draw light pencil lines for her to write her own words in,
and do the math so her integers are correlated correctly. it's the least i can do.

i'm nothing if not a distracted, utterly distracted parent.

but i was that kid with the shoddy no chance at placing art project or science project. honestly, i don't even remember doing those. i just remember scrambling to come up with something to hand in.

it was such a tough situation for me. and my mom was in the same position i am. not blaming, know that. just saying, i've been where my kid is at. since i noticed, is it a crime to get some fresh poster board and throw this kid a bone?

i want her to do well.

so in the morning, when we're both groggy, i'll give her the option of taking my board along with hers, and filling in the blanks.

she may opt for her own, which is entirely her option.

but, at least, she can know i was trying to help with the homework, even if most nights i pass out before she does.

i've been enforcing a pretty early bedtime, mostly because i need it. but, i think it helps her. she needs rest just like i do. we get along better when we're not sleep deprived, and, well, i just want to help her navigate this life if i can.

so much to think about. this little girl beside me, and i'm her only model. that thought kind of freaks me out.

but i do the best i can, and she learns much about the need for forgiveness, and we move on, one day at a time.

i'm told this is how one moves forward.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

down on me

that movie was, just what i needed. yes, i had to read the entire time, but it was really, truly motivating. enough of the pity party, at some point we all have to get over it and just move the fuck on.

so, here i sit, trying to reconcile my piss poor parenting with the myriad demands on my time and energy. i keep telling myself, i'm not the first person to go through this. i'm not the first person to attempt this. it can be done.

sometimes, this is not so helpful.

and i've had the personal dramas ongoing through the semester, the stuff i wrangle into words and becomes my poetry. my best friend said to me,
she has to know everything is fair game.


because it is. no thing is sacred in the writer's life.

and i just read a poetry book that spoke to me as a mother and person. this famous poet writes about the awkward untouching existence, unemotional existence, the extinguishing of her line, the family that is fading out.

and while, that is not my case, perhaps mine is the opposite, i'm touchy, too emotional, fiercely passionate and deeply in love with the people in my life. all the people who get close enough to me to dodge the flailing arms.

who put up with my bullshit ways, and allow me to put up with theirs.

i came to an understanding in her absence. and i finally articulated it tonight,
you think, perhaps my behaviour is exclusive to you. that i write poems to you, that i act this way to you alone. but my behaviour is exclusive to me. it is who i am.

i think, she understood. who knows.

the best we can do is try. to be present to one another and hope to reach through the bullshit of misunderstanding and fear. that someone will accept what we have to offer, the best we have to offer even if it is miserably shallow and frail. that they can understand the often herculean task of just making it through another day, and hold you in the dark cold of the night and whisper,
it's all right.

so often lately i've thought that i need to go off alone and be apart from everyone and everything. that loving is what does me the most harm. that caring is what weakness is.

but then i hear john mayer lauding the merits of love, and maybe it was mraz, both are so similar in my mind--and my morbid optimism rises up in me and i fool myself into believing someone, somewhere needs what i have to offer.

but i'm just so tired of feeling it is all a waste, of time, of energy.

i have bullshit assignments i have to complete. and i will complete them, but they have to come from the place where my waters flow. the depths of me. i have to incorporate these bullshit lessons into something that matters, because i do not write to fill a page. i do not write to get a grade.

so many words are needed at the moment, and my hope is, the well has not run dry. and being down on me is no way to start laboring through all that has need of my attention at the moment.

i may never write another poem, but i will continue to believe in life, in love. and in spite of how poorly i perform, how shitty a job i do mothering this child, that she is best served by my presence, flawed as it is.

it is all i can hope for now.

that somehow it all works out.

how does it?

it's a mystery.


i decided today, i'm probably a horrible person. the worst. will likely die alone some old hermit bah humbugging my way through life.

i'm leaning over the counter at work talking to the kids, when my kid starts poking me. and poking me. and poking me.

i turn and snap at her,
knock it off.

and turn back to the kids who were asking me something and who looked horrified (they don't have children, they don't know how kids can set you off in an instant). they do, however, know, i am a crab sometimes, and i'm bossy, and i'm a bitch.

so i turn back around and try to finish my conversation with them, and they all have this deer in the headlights look.

so we leave. i feel like shit, and i ask her,
does that ever go well, when i'm not having a conversation with my co-workers?


why did you do it then?

i wanted to show you something (in the pastry case).

what could you possibly show me that i don't see every day? and why couldn't it wait?

mind you, we are in my store, she's gazing into the pastry case that haunts my dreams and waking hours.


so, i spoke quite sternly about this to her as we are driving to our (soon to be cancelled apt at the farm). The call comes and it's cancelled, and i'm frustrated because i spent an hour doing nothing. i had just sat down at the library to study when i get a call saying,
we can try. rain is just a drizzle.

i understand my girl's riding instructor needs to keep appts. it is how she earns her money. and by the time the lesson is cancelled and i'm home, i've wasted about two hours.

i crashed when i got home. slept until just now. i'm wicked tired and fortunately, before racing out the door this morning, i did all my chores and put dinner (chicken soup) in crock pot. it smells wonderful, hope it tastes as good.

a hot soup would do my soul good right now.

make me feel human somehow, even though i'm, apparently, a completely and total bitch.

watching diving bell and butterfly.

long day.

it is in french with subtitles, not really in the mood to read them. but i need an attitude adjustment. maybe this will help. hopefully now that i'll be up most of the night, i'll write.

it's a tough movie. true. i like those best.

they remind me that my life isn't, and doesn't have to be perfect.

so much to do before my next packet is due. so very much. i can only eat this particular elephant one bite at a time. one tiny bite at a time.

i realized, academic writing is essentially learning how to say fuck you in big words. never have liked writing like that. of course i can. i just don't like to.

i will make it through this semester, i just have to dig deep.
i can do that. i will do that.

Friday, October 16, 2009

who cares?!

so, i'm slogging through my master's work. it feels like a bog that is drawing me under, and i need to just succumb. to sink and let the life be sucked out of me. maybe it's like the rabbit hole, and wonders await below. but maybe, it's just green muck and slime and i'm not completely inept.

i guess, what i'm struggling with most is, what does this all mean? there is no, this is how you write a poem. that can't be taught. there is very little instruction at all, mostly, i am analyzing books and poems, and my critique is critiqued.

i guess that is the point of learning, i think my difficulty is, the narrow confines of my scope. my last program, i was able to incorporate lifegiving aspects into the tedium that is study of poetic craft. horsemanship, belly dance (which was required of my school for my art credit--and i'm so glad they forced my hand on that one), shamanism.

but this, it is just poetry, just craft.

it makes the act of poetry, the art of poetry feel like something tasteless and bland in my mouth. something i'm stuffing down because i have to, not because i desire it or it has any nutritional value.

i'm told to listen to the prof, but nothing is really being said. other than, this isn't quite it (hear: jump higher). and so, i struggle to find my way up for air.

essentially, i'm debating on whether or not to continue in the program. if i'm not going to pass this semester, no point in continuing. maybe it's just not the right time for me to do this. (hear: i don't give a shit)

if i'm going to pass, i've made no secret of my struggle with the soulless element of this (or any) program, it's not just my program that i'm struggling to care about. it's the prostituing of art that has always stumped me.

my bachelor's didn't feel this way. it didn't demand of me art outside of life. it accomodated art as life. this, oddly enough, not so much. i can't explain it other than, i think the reading, the finding substance where none exists is the problem. so choose meatier books, you say. fine.

i am trying to go outside of poets i am inclined toward, but have no luck that way either.

perhaps direction is what i need. i thought a gentle hand would help me through this, and perhaps it was a wise choice, considering all that has changed since the beginning of the semester. but, a directing hand would help me more. someone who is strong on the rudder. i'm lost in this academic realm, not by choice, mind you, just because it is alien territory for me.

i can write critical papers. what i have to stop doing is looking to give a shit about what i say. stop caring.

i attach so much value to committedness, to connection. to simply giving a shit about what i spend my time on, that i am struggling to care about this.

which is odd. for me to embark on a study of poetry and essentially have to divorce my mind from the process is ludicrous. i think i've lost my way.

in fact, i know i have.

Friday, October 09, 2009

flame on

it's as if i'm wired for destruction. not moments after i wrote, i'm welcome, i grabbed the welcome mat and threw it on the fire. fortunately for me, my friends have come to expect this kind of behaviour and love me in spite of me. what can i say. we're all fucked up, i've said it before. nothing new.

all i can say is, i'm tired.

but tonight was a new experience. and while my kid is not technically alone while i'm at work, she is, in practice, by herself (that is, wihtout me).

i can't do that anymore. nights, that is.

so, i'm changing my availability as my boss seems to use the schedule for a punitive tool. and i'm tired of it. no one else is a single mom, they are all college kids, why the fuck can't they close? i'm done. no more closing for me. for this season. i can't do it.

so, we'll see what comes.

i bolted out of there one minute after the store closed, i had to get to my kid. she's so brave, so wonderful.

and i'm probably the worst mom on the planet.

and when a kid tonight said i was stressed, i didn't handle it well. i'm not known for handling that kind of thing well.

i said,
i am a single mom with a child at home and i couldn't reach her.

she forgets to take her phone off silent when she gets out of school, and it freaks me out.

but i force myself to stay calm, and at work, though every ounce of me wants to hop in the car and see where she is and what she's up to.

i have to be home at night. that is all there is to it. and three closes in a row are just beyond too much.

i'm tired of getting the shaft. tired of it.

persona non grata

seems i'm welcome again, where once i wasn't.
that's a nice change. i hate leaving a place with misunderstanding, but sometimes
absence is all that can change perspective.

so, i walked away, as i'm inclined to do.

i know how to leave. how to sashay out a door
leaving only the scent of patchouli.

i'm wide awake now, i will likely force myself into forward motion
and do what need be done. what i've been putting off.

i need to check my mail, i don't get around to that but once a month, if that.
but it isn't good practice. and i've been hauling my ex's letters around for longer than that, i'm sure he thinks i'm up to something. no, just busy.

my girl is happy though. if that's any measure of success.
and i would say, it's the only measure.

i have learned there are things which i cannot do.

i opted out of a performance on halloween, i cannot make it to practices
and the thought of trying exhausts me. so if just the thought of something wears me out, i best not do that thing.

i'm still gathering finishing touches for my current outfit, i just ordered a new hip scarf because mine is flinging coins like crazy and i want to look perfect.

we'll see. i'm told my outfit the way it is is perfect
but i've got a few other ideas i have yet to try.

feeling the tired now. i close again tonight, don't mind.
but then again, there are reasons now for me to be home before the sun goes down.

i have stated those reasons plainly, and we'll see if anything happens.
right now, my work situation is improving. a lot of changes have to be made and i really don't think my current manager is able to implement those changes. i certainly can't given my station. so, who will? remains to be seen.

i'm over killing myself for that place, so when i got the call on my only day off since last wednesday, i refused becuase i won't get another day off until sunday (that would be some ungodly number of days in a row, sure it's overtime pay, but i'd be a raving bitch by the end of it, then who will help me?)

overtime is nice, but sleep is better. and i passed out weds night after leaving pilates early (because i completely ran out of juice), and slept from 7:30pm to 12:30 the next day. wasted tired.

it is well. i don't feel so bad today, hence, being up to see the kiddo off.

life is good. regardless of what they say.

i'm still looking forward to arizona. P.L.A.Y. time.

can't wait.