Tuesday, August 31, 2010

are you done?

we used to visit every day, but not so anymore. my best friend and i have largely parted ways, and for this, i can only look back in gratitude and appreciate who she is. used to be i'd fall apart and she'd watch me melt into tears then say,
are you done? can we go have fun now?
and we would. she wouldn't hold anything against me and i love her for that.

i got a lot accomplished today, but there are still about a million things on my list. the unwieldy list i try to wrangle into some semblance of order on occasion but mostly, just try not to let the urgent run the show. though it felt a bit like that today. though i have some ideas sometimes and they prove to be so wonderfully right i cannot help but giggle.

much of what happened today was the product of synchronicity and a gleefully conspiring universe. for that i am grateful.

tomorrow is a day off and i've pledged it to my employer, so we'll see if i can get out early and knock off some of the last things on my absolutely must do soon section. not to be confused with, you better not forget to do this asap (hear: you're racking up fines at the library dork).

i just decluttered my livingroom floor, which is a mental load off. now if the legal bits would come together i'd be set. i think they are. synchronicity. there's something to be said for it.

i'm tired, not wanting to push it too far, but not wanting to let up before the burst of creative get it done energy has passed. though my lower back is saying,
it's passed. it's passed.

time to hit the hay.

nighty night.

my lady, my love

spent the most delightful weekend in boston, then came crashing back into my life. as i sat there, crying, from the surprise (yet again, i am surprised by being surprised) of another twist in the suzanne gets a divorce drama, she kept saying,
it's just a small setback, you'll get through it.
and i just had to completely freak out for a while. she let me, i'm grateful.

sometimes i can't see. i am no visionary. i am all trembling mass of quivering doubt.

but today, the fog subsided somewhat. i have found a book she asked me about, the thing is, we talk on the phone every day. we spent the entire day sunday together, just talking. not searching for things to say, but just talking. comfortably. enjoyably. together in the breeze of her yard. enjoying companionship.

it's hard to come home and stammer through my life, and i just got back.

though, i walked into my store, fresh from the return trip from boston and everyone greeted me with a smile. they all knew i was at my wits end and needed a break. so they conspired to give me one. i was, and am, so grateful.

i don't want my boss' job. i don't know how she does it. how she deals with all the bullshit. i don't think i could do that job very effectively for very long. a week seemed too long for me and i only had a fraction of her headaches. a fraction.

but i'm being drawn and quartered emotionally with the ex. trying not to let that happen, but sometimes, i realize there goes an arm, there goes a leg, and it's gone before i realize what has happened.

it's not so much him that is doing it to me. it's me. i get mentally strungout and have a hard time finding the separated limbs and reattaching them.

but i won't be stumped for long. that is one of my feline abilities.

and so i dug out a book that i had long forgotten. she and i talk about everything, and in the process, so many old lines of poems i wrote ages ago come out, and there are still more books, more collections.

every time i see you you give me a new book,
she says. and it's true. i do. it's something to have someone quoting my work to me. i have also realized i have not compiled anything since i started this mfa program, and it's high time i do that.

but now. i need to read. to focus on my
poetry manifesto
as my mentor has dubbed it.

and so it shall be.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


i'm not sure what makes things happen. how one is freed to move from point a to point b, but i'm ready. i'm so ready to be where my dreams are calling me, i can hardly stand the now. but that's not the point. projecting into a future unknown, to the discontent of the now is not the point. so i must wait. be here. be patient. try to engage again. though i'm over it, so over it all i can hardly breathe.

i can hear it in your voice, how frustrated you are.

and it makes me slightly nervous that i will get reckless as i'm inclined to do. that i will leap before time.

but is there ever a time when it is too soon to leap?

sometimes, i feel the master of my course. completely in control. at the moment, i understand that there is also a timetable at play. i have understood this concept before, but right now, on the cusp of so much good, it is hard to resign myself to patience. to embrace the moment.

but i must.



be here.

there is something for me yet to learn or i would have moved on. i understand this.

and so, trying not to pace the cage, as i'm inclined to do, i'm trying just to let time unfold surprises and say yes to good things.

there are many coming my way. i am willing to receive them now.

goodness come to me, you're a long awaited guest.


there is some relief, i will admit, to getting a packet out of my hands and into my mentor's. there is this, i haven't failed out yet feeling that i guess is just old habits of thought. i feel it less now than before. something about this semester, i thought i would have less control, be at somebody's mercy (that is what i dread), but it's not so. so i'm writing what i want and it feels good. unsafe. wild. risky. but good.

i'm grateful to be able to do this.

i asked a beautiful african goddess how we write about those things we are not supposed to discuss.

you have to enter into the middle of them,
she said,
and own them.

yes. i understand.

she challenged me immensely. we have since lost touch, but being in touch is very limiting at times. it fosters this false sense of familiarity. sometimes people are supposed to be lightning flashes in a life, and they are lovely to behold, but you cannot hold to a flash of lightening.

so i let her go. as i will let everyone else go.

letting go is all i seem to understand. it surprises me still when someone stays. i'm grateful for it. i welcome the comfort of it. as i lay entangled with my lover, our bodies perfectly locked together, listening to her heart beat, i couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief.

it is so good. all of it.

and today, i'm off work. i have a list as long as my arm to accomplish. but i will let it go for now. and sit here, watching the rain fall, listening to bunny chew. seeing kitties scramble in and out of the rain.

and know it will all get done someday.

but not today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

reach out

i've been writing, it is gaining momentum, which is how it happens with writing i guess. for being a writer, i profess no expertise, the muse is mysterious. distrust anyone who says they understand it. i certainly respect it, but i do not understand it.

so, here we go again, putting myself out there on the page. trying to fashion words in phrases that stand up to critical evaluation. i do love this part. i can be a werd nerd and make a case. but i also love convincing people of my point. not so much that they have to agree, but that they see the merits of my case. my case has many merits.

trying to unveil what exactly i am getting at, circling in on the prey, is where it's at for me at the moment. gratefully, i have one reader who knows me, knows my works, and she helped weed out some selfdepricating diction. which is the kind of critique i welcome. i don't want misplaced humility (or mislabled humility) to diminish the strength of my work.

i'm moving forward. packet due tomorrow. more than halfway done. not that i mean to put it off, but my process is largely subconscious and somehow, all the conversations, all the snippets i read, all the cud i chew come together to say something.

i am grateful for this gift. for the muse who delights and intrigues me. who makes me want to keep writing.

even when i'm tired. and fear i've nothing to say.

she beckons me again,

reach out

and here, with symbol and screen, is my most direct line.

surprised again!

the way my mfa program is designed we submit packets of work. five packets in a typical semester. my first one is due tomorrow. i'm trying to sort through ideas racing through my head, an uncertain hunger in my belly, and just plain boredom with my job.

i keep saying this,
that the only thing that surprises me is that i am still surprised.
i should expect my ex to get me at any cost. he got me again today, and i was surprised by it.

i am amazed at how much i marvel at the way things are, i guess because i've been decent. or tried to be. except for the whole keying the car thing which was when we were still married and living together and i was angry. i'm not angry anymore, just done. over it. at the end of my rope.

and technically, he got all bent, but it was my car i keyed. and i told him,
if you want to key the toyota, feel free.
then, after that every scratch he got on his precious car he blamed me for, when it wasn't me. but how do you prove that?

you don't. so i let it go. he, likely, hasn't. dudes and their cars, i'll never get it.

so, i keyed my own car, so what? move on with your life man.

and now, another semester, the penultimate (i hate that word), as they say. and i can't wait to see what will happen. it's exciting what will be going on now that the internship is out of the picture. seems i am going to have to write about that later. i shouldn't say anything about it now.

i hate shoulds, seems i am doing a lot of those lately, but i'm trying to learn from my mistakes and grow.

even when i don't feel i've made mistakes, i'm trying to keep from compounding confusion by speaking my blunt mind. believe me, i'll speak when i'm free to do so.

but for now, here it is.

i'm going to start picking over my ideas like a primate parting the hairs of a fellow primate looking for bugs to eat. that's a pretty picture, right?

i'm off to see what happens. with my writing it's always interesting. and we'll see if i can bang this out something noteworthy. i think i can.

Monday, August 23, 2010


so, it's not so much that i worked an open and close in one day, same store. i've done it before. though, it was two different stores and i had a break in between where i sat in my car for a couple hours and thought,
what the hell am i doing?

this time, i had to open the next day. there was no lingering in bed while i found strength of body and mind to drag my ass back into work. no, it was out of store at ten pm, back in store at 5:15, which sucked.

my existential dread due to the fact that i now have some relief coming. help is on the way. at least the court has ordered it. when it will appear, i do not know. but i'm tired, been tired for some time. and i need a change.

i say that the motto of our company should be,
we love to hate you,
because while i appreciate you're paying an arm and a leg for something, giving shit to the person making or from whom you're ordering your drink does not bode well of your intellect and or foresight. karma's a bitch, that's all i'm saying.

so yesterday, had a grown man, about twelve hours into my shift, when i'm looking like i could rip someone's head off, bemoan the fact that i didn't want to dump an entire pitcher of tea to make him his one refill. he looked like he would cry or have a fit. i said,
if it's an issue, i'll do it.
but i made only an amount sufficient to refill and perhaps one extra. the kid i'm working with comes up behind me and makes a full pitcher, which we proceeded to dump at the end of the evening.

best laid plans. what can i say.

i am beyond caring at this point. if douche wants tea, douche can have tea. what does it matter to me?

then this one guy tells me to put twenty on his card. while his tab was twenty three. i tell him,
there isn't enough.
he says,
put twenty more,
like this is my miscommunication. i wanted to reach across the counter and snap his little chicken neck because i know how to add twenty on after the tab, but he specified twenty. how douche was going to pay the balance was not for me to decide. speak english. communicate clearly. this is why we love to hate you.

a bunch of narcissistic people bitching about foam. this is my day job.

i need a new gig like you can't imagine.

all my life through, when i've needed a change, change has come quickly.

i need a change.

universe, do you hear me, i need a change.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


when i wrote, may justice light upon me, i had no idea that it would. i only hoped. nine months i've struggled to keep my child fed, and kept, without help. without any compassion from my ex. i am a parent, i am a woman, i am a single mom. this is my task, caring for my child. i'm so grateful i have only one. i can't imagine trying to meet the needs of more than one person at this moment in my life.

so the judge asked very few questions. numbers do not lie. and she got to work, banging out numbers based on pay stubs and cold hard facts.

when i asked for help he so flippantly responded, that i had no choice. we had to go to court. i had reached the end of my ability to do this entirely alone. i needed help. court mandated help if that is what it took.

so, when she said what she did, my attorney's mouth dropped open, and i cried.

justice lit upon me.

i told him, before we even went,
i would have been so much nicer to you than they will be.
and it proved true. i am not feeling bad about it, because he forced my hand. he dared me to take him to court. he would not help me any other way. now, he has no choice but to help.

the judge ordered it. may it be so.

and i cried.

is this all you earn?
she asked

i've been a stay at home, homeschooling mom for fourteen years,
i replied.

and she asked me no further questions. we left, grateful.

i only wish that he doesn't force me back into court, that he accepts this as the best it will get. and that, now that i have some breathing space. some, don't have to work till i drop time, that i can buy a real bed, and pay off the mounting bills.

it is well my dear ones, it is well.

that which i needed has come to me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


so i have this legal size, doublesided, tinest writing in the whole damn town form i have to fill out in triplicate, no less. a tangle of figures i have to commit to paper, then tuesday back to court. so much fun.

i opened five days, maybe it was six, in a row. which was nice but i aimed to sleep in today, and i guess 5:11 is sleeping in when one is up at 4:15 the entire week before.

just got final approval for my spoken word cd. i'm so excited. it sounds great. now i need to go back to the studio and lay down more tracks. when, is the question? i don't know. i think maybe i need to compile them in a book first. don't know. but i like my new work, and want to get it out there. i realized, not only have the people i love most not heard me read, this is a chance for them to hear me reading my works. not performing it, mind you, but reading it.

it is enough.

and now, i am looking forward to my people coming to my graduation in july. i will give them a private reading if they don't arrive soon enough to hear my reading (there will be a lot of us graduating). so let me go back to sleep then, and finish the paperwork later, it is not difficult, just tedious. and i'm trying to read a few books and get some thoughts on paper. first packet of the new semester due in a couple weeks. i hope to have read at least four books.

i've had no time to write creatively, but i'm collaborating on some poems with another poet and my poetry group from residency. which is exciting in its own right.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

so long

i couldn't just throw in the towel, it's not my style. though, on other occasions i have been the first to realize a dead thing, is, in fact, dead. this was ill fated from the beginning and i won't lose time contemplating why. i'm just excited to get going on something new, something i've been wanting to do for ages now.

leave all the other things aside, move forward. forward is all that matters.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

someone died today

and it puts everything in perspective. the little bs we let sideline us, it doesn't matter. i will admit though, it was tough standing there for four hours explaining to every customer "what happened" and answering the inevitable question,
did they die?
do many people survive being struck by a train? none that i know of. it just got way old, it was ptsd wednesday at the bux. hated every minute of it.

a customer whom i'd always felt a kinship toward, maybe it's the venti chai he drinks, came walking in, face distraught saying,
i have to use your phone, i have to call 911.
and it went downhill from there, some nightmare unfolding in the picture windows we stood in front of.

and every two minutes,
what happened? did they die?

YES, they died!
we finally answered.

it was rough by the time i left because hours into this, we're still getting people who have no clue,
someone died,
i said. and turned away.

i didn't cry. wanted to several times. wanted to hurl, wanted to lose it in all manner of ways, but somehow, held it together.

it's strange how that shockwave goes out. the guy walking in the door,
i need to use your phone.

his face, his breaking down on the phone to his wife,
can you just come and sit with me for a while. i need to talk to the cops.

then, hours later he returned.

i'm sorry for how i acted.

no one needed an apology. i told him,
i would have hugged you if it didn't feel inappropriate.

he was falling apart. he slapped me on the back as he left, his thank you for my unrealized gesture. i watched him drive away and said,
i hope he gets therapy.
because he saw it happen. he kept replaying it saying,
if only, if only.

those moments never leave us. they scar the mind.

i hope, for the many people who witnessed today's tragedy, for their healing. for their collective outpouring of grief. for the mom who will get the inevitable phone call, for the friends and loved ones who will soon find out, that she just stepped out in front of the train.

i hope that they cherished every moment with her, because she's gone.

and i drove up to see my friend. i had to lay eyes on someone i love. to hug my child. to hold my bunny.

my boss made me leave on schedule saying,
any other day i'd be grateful for you to stay, but you need to go.

and i was glad to leave. so, so glad.

i couldn't take it anymore.

but now, home, grateful for the breath in my lungs, i will go sit in the sun beside the freezing cold kiddie pool with my neighbor and cherish the stifling heat, that i am still here to complain about it.

and maybe, i won't complain, i'll just be grateful i'm still here.

still here.

i wish she was too.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

um yeah

finding myself at crossroads again.

i felt this way on saturday when the past came rolling up the drive. it's hard to prepare for the unknown (at least it is for me). so, i just do the best i can and muddle through. that's all i can do.

i understand a few things in this life, among them, that there are consequences to every action.

trust is huge for me. once lost, quite possibly, never regained. i simply move on. it's who i am.

so, now, to deal with that which is before me, soundly in my field.

that which needs to happen, does. i believe this.

i will lean upon that which i know to be true, and the rest will fall away. the rest will fall away.

Monday, August 02, 2010

why write

i'm not sure why i come here, to this place and write these thoughts. why i share them, why i continue to open up but the answer isn't as simple as one response can hold. there are many reasons. habit. boredom. nowhereelsetoturn. no therapy. literary exhibitionist tendencies. you name it. why does anyone create art? is what i'm doing here art? that is not for me to decide. but i do know artists create art by virtue of the fact that they are artists. not the other way around. art is not the impetus here, artists are.

this is something i've not really come to terms with until now, but we were asked at the midway point of our residency by our fabulous new poet what we would do with twenty million dollars. the responses varied from the practical to the wild, mine was,
whatever i want.


will you make time for writing?


i don't have to make time for my writing. this is my life. it is who i am, what i do.


i feel the same,
she said.

it has been too many years that i've given myself over to writing for me to question that process, that ingrained nature now. a dear neighbor whom i'm just getting to know offered to teach me folk guitar, but i have to refuse because i have only so much time for one, and my arms must be saved for writing. already i give too much arm and hand to my job. cannot divide the waters again.

someday, when art is my sole occupation, i may take up guitar. at the moment, making a living is the priority, and thus the demands it puts on my arms are warranted. but that will change as well.

i'm not sure how, i'm not sure when, but that which i need is coming to me.
i believe this.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


i'm trying to digest this very meaty portion of a book i'm reading. some princeton university press book, which is thick with logic and i find the invocation of myth. i love it when this happens, granted, but it sure makes me work very hard to articulate my argument when i so disagree (or simply diverge from the path well trod), with what's being said. in this case, much as in my personal life, i find the assent more captivating than the negation.


it is all i feel coursing through me. the yes of the moment. the yes of inspiration. the yes of hope.

there it is, there it all is in that passage. my paper is waiting there for me to uncoil it from the snake's suffocating embrace. the question is, how do i do that? how do i accomplish what i'm hoping to accomplish here? i don't know.

that is never comforting. that my process begins and ends in unknowing is most disconcerting. not for me, mind you, i live in this alien territory. i have to keep myself calm, and centered, and let my mind do the digesting. when my tummy starts to turn, i say,
no, it's okay. we've got this under control.

and then, i push it out of my mind. it's madness really. that my process is so seemingly detached. i understand how disconcerting it could be for someone hoping i can give them any valid answer when all i can say is a genuine, i don't know.

because i don't.

bottom line. will i fail? no. my mind has never let me down, it won't start now.

will i be successful as i want to be? i hope so. that remains to be seen. if it can be had by hardwork and ingenuity then it will be had by me. if not, then, it remains to be seen. but that is life. life is all mystery. we simply do the best we can with what we've got before us. good, bad, indifferent, our best is all we have to offer at any moment.

and i grow weary of my station. i want to launch out. i find myself chomping at the bit for that better life i'm imagining. i'm creating in my mind. that place of peace and happiness i will no longer live without. how does one get to that place? i don't know.

does such a place exist. surely, there is a whole world to be had out there. i'm not asking for anything more than goodness. not an ounce more than abundance. nothing less than utter and complete triumph. no more unhappy endings for me. i won't settle for that anymore.

and when i go flying from my misadventures. whether tangible or figurative, i will laugh the laugh of a content woman. and be grateful for a moment of defying gravity. and look forward to the next flight.

favored of the gods am i.

my paper is right there in this one passage, waiting to be unleashed. so be it.