Wednesday, March 30, 2011

in the news

i am hoping my articles come out sooner than later. i have written six of them so far. decided early on that i want to be the fair unbiased type of reporter, not a bloodletter. i'm trying to hear all the voices, not just the resounding ones. perhaps it helps that i'm not a part of that community per se. i'm removed and objective.

trying to land another gig with another paper. if i could get a few of these going, it would be something.

today i had a choice to make, initially i made the wrong one then my mind flooded with the reasons why that is wrong. the cost was potentially too great, unbearable, so i relented and it will take some doing to unmake this choice, some humble pie to eat, but i will eat it and smile.

again, i found a certain flood of peace come over me when i recanted and changed my decision irrevocably. i must correct the situation and move forward. all is right in my world.

i dreamt of a long lost friend last night. someone i haven't seen in my mind's eye for ages. i still couldn't reach him, but i saw him there as clearly as i am seeing these keys, this computer. he was present in my dreams, though much had changed.

sometimes i think, it is enough to know the love you give is never wasted. the love you splurge on others. the love you lavish on yourself, is an investment. though you may never see a tangible return, love given, love entrusted betters the world. i believe this. so now the task is to move forward unjaded.

naturally when one recoils from a loss, it is easier to scar over, to harden after a wound, but it is not for the best. sometimes that scarred flesh can be rehabilitated, the scarred soul can be restored. but sometimes, it gets locked into the downward spiral of hurt and anger. i don't want that anymore.

even when there is someone i love whom i can't be in relationship with, namely any number of members of my family. i love them no less, i simply can't be in relationship with them. bottom line. no judgment. i understand my limitations, and want them to not have to bend or break for me. i can move on. i can move forward. it is all good.

then, in that forward movement, joy comes. peace.

i'm planning a visit back to my homeland. the hardest part for me of being there is that i haven't been able to hold this line. to be who i am today in new york. i revert to type. i don't want to do that anymore. old patterns be damned, i'm evolving.

so i will go back to cali, and break new ground. break new bread. hug the ones i love so dearly but am so far from physically.

we can only do the best we can. i tell my daughter this all the time.

do i make right, selfless decisions always? hardly. i wish.

but one look at my daughter's face and it is all rendered in clarity. the choices we make will be borne out by our children. love them. love yourself. be good to one another.

i believe this.

Monday, March 28, 2011

run toward the roar

an analogy i heard once always stuck with me. it said, when a lion is stalking prey, the lionesses flank then encircle the creature, while the lion roars. when the lion roars, the creature turns on its heels (as anything hearing a roar would), and runs right into the claws of the waiting lionesses.

the lesson, run toward the roar. toward the very thing that scares you.

sometimes i feel this is all i do. finding aged toothless lions, a shadow of fear, something that incites a reaction by the imagination more than anything. it's as if someone has a cardboard cutout of a lion and a music box recording and is projecting the sound from behind the cutout, and only by approaching this fearsome creature, is one ever clued in to the fact that it's a sham. fear is a sham.

i have come to believe this wholeheartedly. but sometimes, like a moment earlier today, it gripped me and my blood ran cold.
i sat wide eyed and motionless for a moment, then i pursued it. followed the fear to its inevitable demise as a whiff of smoke.

i do not always have this kind of courage. sometimes i run and run myself ragged before stopping to see there is nothing chasing me but my wild imagination. the idea of what could be after me.

crunched my car this weekend. that car has been through it with me. i hate seeing it in the mechanic's lot, out of play for a few days. but my pony is strong and i'm sure will have at least eight more lives. seeing as this is the first time in all our adventures my dear pony has had to be sidelined.

the thing about it is, i got to do everything i planned and so looked forward to because my car kept running. even after i clipped the suv and took out my headlight, my pony kept running. purring even. it loves me.

that's the thing about this life, connections. i'm so connected to people and things, it's as if there is some great energic network of which we are all a part. i'm sure this is the case. anyone can see.

but cars?

the inanimate?

don't know. i don't ask those kinds of questions because they seem absurd. but tell me don't you feel a kindred to some things, even inanimate things? better yet, to creatures? there has been this hangabout vulture, i don't know what he wants, but i've never been so close to a vulture. and so i talk to him. ask him how he's doing. he just walks away. a large bird, and he's probably only an juvenile.

but his ease with himself, his gangly feet and unappealing profile, the blackness of his skin which i admire. he just walks about like he knows something, something i once knew. we all go down to dust i say, we all go down to dust.

and the vulture flies away, and we are safe in pony, and i trust the lion is just a figment of my overactive imagination. i believe and trust. i will not let that go. not even when i am most afraid.

i will stare fear in the eye, and topple over the cardboard cutout, just to get a glimpse of what is really haunting me.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

happy birthday

no i haven't forgotten, i just don't hang my head anymore, and that is how you'd like it, i'm sure.

but i just had to say it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

i will be beside you

a friend writes to me and asks me to stay with her, i promise to be beside her. what else is this life for but to be there for and with those we love. i know i speak of love, and to those who know me, i probably overuse the word, but it's not from an excess of idealism, it's what makes my life mean something. the people.

seems wherever i go, wherever i end up, i find my way, or they find their way to me, these beautiful souls who adorn my life, like so many glimmering stars. the night is nothing without them. i would miss them if they were gone. i got used to not seeing the sun rise and set, but i can still look up, from wherever i am and see the stars. even the moon hides her face at night, but the stars hold fast. in a way that grounds me.

i've been a nomad most of my life. i don't understand the wherefores of what i do or why. i sometimes don't know how people can stand being around me. i walk away when it would be polite to stay, i don't smile when i should, but laugh when it is not appropriate. and yet, those who speak this language of the broken, who exist on fringes and wish upon stars, those people find me, or i find them. however that works.

people are my home, my kindred, my country. i would like a place to know. that i could be there through the years, but it doesn't seem to be the way of it for me. seems i'm like a band of gypsies and i have to get around.

but the dots are connecting, the constellations are defining themselves and i'm beginning to understand the mystery behind what seemed a few smatterings of light in an otherwise dark night. the darkness makes the light possible. the light makes the darkness possible. however that works, i don't pretend to know, but i am grateful, that when i am holed up something glimmering and golden gets through, usually in the form of a friend.

Friday, March 18, 2011

what do my dreams look like

i've been thinking about it for a very long time, since someone who loved me once asked me to think about it. i haven't forgotten. i'm finishing up my master's and setting out on my own, to a land of clover and honeybees.

i'm organizing my taxes and boy does that suck. but i'm better prepared than i thought i was. if i can get some of it back, great, if not, so be it. but i will try. i started my business this year and made a bit of money, i hope to increase that as the years go on to be my own boss and a name in the industry, if, for nothing else than the quality of my work.

my dreams, i want peace. that's all i've ever wanted. i'm closer to it now than ever. i can feel it brush against my skin and sometimes it stays and i revel in it.

i want certainty, but know this is not possible in this life, so i settle for this, the certainty that trapped is an illusion. there is always a way to move forward, sometimes it requires a season of bondage, a moment of captivity, but there is always freedom in the heart and soul. i have come to know this with every fibre of my being. freedom is a state of mind.

i want independence, and i have it.

i want companionship, and i have it when i want it, which is better than what i had before. i would still like to know there is someone abiding with me, beside me, through all my dark nights, and footlights, that someone is there for me. regardless. i don't know that yet. i look forward to knowing it someday.

i want my girl to be able to do whatever she wants. and for the most part, for what i can manage, she can. the things i cannot get for her, i cannot manage, i explain why and we work it out. life is not a short order situation, some things are worth waiting for. i think she gets this. though i am not so good with delayed gratification, i hope she is learning to live with it. to appreciate it. and sometimes, i think she does.

i want to laugh. loud and hard. till my sides ache. to be with those people who inspire me and delight me. mostly, i am. those are the people i love. but i want only those people around me. and sometimes that is a demand that is not looked up on favorably. there is something to be said for networking and playing nice, but i haven't time in my life for it. when i look around at all i've accomplished, i'm kind of stunned. i've the fewest hours i've ever had since i went back to work about five years ago. and i'm just finding time for things. how did i do it before? i don't know. momentum i guess. and the understanding of those i love.

i want to enjoy life. to love deeply. to live freely.

and so i shall.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

hurts so good

went to my yoga/pilates fusion class yesterday and about two or three minutes into it, i kid you not, my thighs locked up. the rest of the time i was in agony. counting down the minutes, and an hour is a long time to be clock watching and rolling around on the floor in pain.

i'm so out of shape from my time off, and i've got my stamina back to a decent level, i don't have to dive into bed after every outing, sometimes i can be out and about a whole day again, but i can only stand for up to six hours, no more. any more and it wipes me out. that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

it's just time for me to find my bliss in the form of my day job.

i get to order my diploma and submit my graduate lecture description, and this feels like progress. soon, very soon, it will be done. my prof said to me,
you've trusted your life to words and they sing.

the jury is still out on the title poem, but i explained all the reasons for the choices i have made in my poems, and she understands. how that changes anything, i don't know, but i think the fact that one can explain why one made a certain choice is something. i'm grateful for this journey, it has been long and painful, but so much growth is evident. i can articulate the whys of what i do now, not just do the stuff. that's something. not like i want to have to explain myself, i would like the poetry to speak for itself, and i think outside of academia it does, but inside, where i've abandoned all punctuation save the comma, period, Mdash, and apostrophe, it's hard to accept as a stylistic choice. but i've finally got something here, that is bigger than stalking the dead. something i will be proud to publish, whether through a traditional publisher or on my own, i have something here that i think will make it on its own merits.

i've had to let a lot go, but there was one surprise addition. my prof wanted me to include a poem i sent her as an explanation for why i did something in another poem and she said,
include it, it demonstrates your range.
that isn't a bad thing.

the collection is vast, as collections go. i am as pleased with it as if i had only had my hands on it. some would call that stubbornness, but as i told one professor during a workshop,
i'm approaching an ideal in my mind. a vision. and that poem is as close as i can get at the moment.
she replied,
well, you're approaching it at a gallop.

as far as praise goes, i will take that response. i still don't believe poetry is made by committee. that we can alter a poem and end up down the road and around the corner and call that revision. poems are birthed in the soul, this will always be my perspective. they are an expression of spirit. the more i come to understand about poetry, the more i truly believe this.

i am excited for what is to come.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

all the shots you take

again, i'm grateful for metallica. i swear the song shoot me again is my mainstay at times like these.

apparently someone in my life is trying to sabotage me, the thing is, i don't go down without a fight. so i'm swinging back. i try not to go there, but this is personal attack, has nothing to do with anything else.

won't really say more now, except that i'm fighting.

Monday, March 07, 2011


my girl is dragging me to my first anime convention. i imagine it will be full of shrieking teens and i had just better have my ipod fully charged. it's in brooklyn, so i will drive to assure i get home with as much time for shut eye as possible. though i'm sure i'll be a zombie come sunday when i open at six am, having left brooklyn at 10pm the night before. such is life. she tells me i'll be the conference mom, but that's how it goes.

we're taking in two concerts too, her first, which i was dying to go to, my baby's first concert a band i love and she loves, can't wait. and since i couldn't wait i got tickets for a second show in nj, it was iffy whether or not there would be a ticket for me the first time around. so nee and i will go twice, which is pretty cool. i will definitely have to bring ear plugs as prince was loooouuuud and they will be even louder.

my apartment looks like a bomb hit it. i had a packet due today which i turned in on friday because i was sick of looking at it. i'm so glad it is out of my hair. i hope my prof can see my responses are thoughtful and not just outright negation of her critique. there are reasons i do what i do. one poem she wanted me to cut off this list of things i took from my ex because "it would be interesting to end" at another point. but the whole point of the poem, it occurred to me is counting coup. i have to have that list in there. there are so many subtle tribal things that i had to explain, who knows.

i'm debating on sending my book out to a publisher, if they will take it as is, i will let it go, but if they can't i will just continue to self publish.

trying to build up the energy to do the dishes and clean my apt, but it ain't gonna happen tonight. the best i can do is rest and hope i can face the music tomorrow.

i went a very long time without a true day off since jury duty took me to the city both of my days off. though my new boss has shortened my hours considerably, i have to learn how to manage my time, i tend to cocoon a lot. who knows, maybe i need to.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

curious bedfellows

i will admit something i don't say often, because there really is no point in saying it, but i will say it now, and move on. i have no idea what i'm doing. i'm making it up as i go. i find the flow and navigate from there, when i hit still water, i drift and spin in the still cool because the rapids took everything i've got to navigate. i'm in a still moment now. a deep dark cool that allows me to catch my breath and move into tomorrow with ease.

i missed seeing my tats, this has been a long cold winter, so yesterday the sun was out and i sat, tank top clad, in the sun, soaking up the rays. i closed my eyes and let everything, everyone i should say, i love go.

you are free, and you have always been free.

i have to remind myself that i, too, am free. trapped is the illusion, i believe this.

so, i stand at the precipice and wonder where the winds will carry me (to change metaphors). i do the best i know how and hear that resounding yes in my soul, the only yes i follow. i have to not let the fact that my companions dwindle in number then replenish, bother me because it has never been a numbers game. i want true companionship, not masses of noise.

that's one thing i noticed when i was on the train to the city, those with a traveling companion. i'm not sure i will ever have one besides my daughter, but she is the best company i could ask for. i have to remind myself that she, too, is free, and that i have to teach her how to let go.

she has my talent of slipping out without a goodbye and disappearing. we do this, i think it is our nature, to slip away and keep moving.

i want what matters, and i'm mired in the nonessential at the moment, though i have to work, i can't seem to shake free from the job that has become only burden to me. so i do my time, and hope i see the signs marking the exit. i need the first exit possible.

my favorite boss is gone now, she transferred out. i have been having these what are you going to do with your life conversations, and while they are very motivating, you don't know how many people i've helped leave my life, i miss them. and so, my comfort is gone. we keep in touch, sure, but there is something to being physically present to a person. to seeing their eyes and feeling their energy.

i don't really know how to describe it. i'm tired of the unknown, yet that is where i have chosen to live my life. sometimes i envy those people who are from somewhere. a woman in jury duty mentioned that she'd lived in her home her entire life. i can't even conceive of that concept. the longest i've lived in one home is seven years, in my entire life, seven years.

so, my task at the moment is to settle down. to let my roots sink in. to be here. to let these people, whomever they are, whomever they will be, know me. and to know them.

we do not choose our neighbors, nor those we love. but we can give them access.

i have to remember not to close the world out as i sometimes do when i get uncertain. but to press on, to move forward, to keep going because there is something just around the bend, a curious incident that will change my life for the better, and i can't wait to know what that is. i've been waiting so long.

let it come.

Friday, March 04, 2011

happy birthday grams

i don't stop and think about it anymore, i wouldn't have today, but my sister mentioned she was going to the beach to visit my grams. now i have to write about it.

i spent the better part of the past three days in the company of a grandma who was very much like my own. she even scared away some guys she said wanted to rob me. she gave them the ojos, while i was shopping in chinatown for my girl's bday. she lectured me on being alert and looking at people who are around. she is so sweet. i hadn't thought i'd miss her, but i do. i don't have too many people who fight for me like that. who just take me under their wing and chase off a couple of bad guys. i looked at her and said,
you are my guardian angel.
and she smiled. probably thought i was crazy.

i met her because the first day of jury duty i wanted to sit by someone who smelled good. she had a look about her that said, i smell good. so i sat by her, and we talked a bit the first few hours of that first day.

i had no idea if i'd ever see her again, but when i arrived for my next stint at jury duty, there she was in the ladies room washing her hands beside me. and i said,
hi, i met you at the assembly room,
and smiled. she acknowledged me.

then we had to sign in by number, so we all lined up and i got a whiff of her again, and said,
you still smell good.
:) and smiled. she probably thought i was nuts. i think i may be sometimes. who says that shit to people?

anyway, she sat by me every chance after that, and we were two whole days on our asses in court waiting to be called for the selection process, and so when we could we would talk. we had lunch together, we bought candy and met to walk around at breaks.

she's back in the bronx now, and i'm back in my little apartment, my tiny, feels so much like home and mine i love it apartment. with the photo of my grams and grandpa looking down on me, that i have to admit, i miss her. this is not news. everyone who knows me, knows this. but i don't often stop anymore on her birthday, or the anniversary of her death to say it.

but i'm saying it now, i miss her.

happy birthday gramsy. wherever you are, i hope you're still dancing.