"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I feel like I carry a black cloud
and it's starting to rain on all the undeserving
as if I'd sprung a leak

What I thought was truth spoken
from the divining rod of quivering bones
was merely a rain dance.

No one asked for rain.

(Our car was broken into last night...everything ravaged and $8,000 worth of equipment stolen. I got fired from my remaining volunteer post as the farm's newsletter writer last night...the last vestige of something I dearly loved. My son is bumming couch nights from people he does not know because the girlfriend of his buddy (who said he could stay with him until he found a place) was so openly hostile and resentful that the streets of Los Angeles were more appealing. And this morning....well, that was something else altogether. Why continue this ramble. Fact is, I feel toxic, as if all the ills of the world are my doing. Can you imagine what kind of idiot thinks she has that much power? This one.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Fundraiser

Even a poem
is too loud.

What is happening to me? The past few years have certainly seen this movement towards a very quiet life. I seem to be incapable of handling the way people swarm like bees, the hum of their conversation, the screeching punctuation of those who seek attention above the din. I CRAVE silence like a junkie. I am angry tonight because my neighbors are once again out on their postage stamp of a patio laughing it up like cancer has left the planet, and joblessness was soooo yesterday, and my son has not been spending his first four hours in Los Angeles on his bike, waiting for someone to let him on the couch. That sounds so jaded! I am angry at myself for being jaded. But I have weight. There are incredible weights...held, released, thrown, purposed, unpurposed. I used to drown them out. I suppose now I am facing them head to head, and distraction is just another semester to a diploma long past due. Noise was a deluge to thought. (Drown those dirty rats!)

I remember cooking in my kitchen...Marc Broussard on full volume, the melody, the sway, the words overshadowing my own, pots and pans making racket like ghosts in the attic, bent on driving the living from the halls of entitlement. It was only a stage...a brilliant light before the filament breaks a bone and darkness comes unexpected. This silence holds no distraction. There are no more shades on the windows, and filters are a thing of the past. This is where the mortar and pestle meet...in the coveted silence. Rubber v. Road. Truth v. Wish. The full monty.

I watched the sunset in silence tonight, as if it could prepare me for frivolity, as if I could store it. There was a bright square in the midst of that glorious display. I thought, "How strange that this block of light should be suspended above all that sets...hung up, unable to pass on...another kitchen ghost with unsettled business". I tried to photograph it.  After one shot, my camera said Out Of Memory. Oh man. God is speaking Annie. Pay attention. We cannot capture and hold. Life is a succession of filaments. Be aware.

Of course I cannot live in such silence and still play human. And so I am wondering how to manage. People are hard. I am people. I am a shell misappropriated in the egg white. It's difficult to put your finger on such a thing, surrounded in moving viscosity.

Silence is keen on exhumation
the quiet Archeologist

(I had to go to a fundraiser tonight. I had a panic attack. I'd been having them all day. But these 200 people in a cramped space...yelling...shouting as a group whenever a raffle prize was won, jostling, swarming. Sh*t. I thought I was just about gonna die. I wanted silence. I didn't get it.)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crossing Over

It should be one hell of a moment
the kind where fireworks mark mandatory celebration
and the champagne cork knocks an eye out.

Naw, that's not right.
It should be an epiphany
that halts you dead in the tracks of your every day practicality
head slapping double take - back and forth,
yesterday and tomorrow no longer at odds
because the day has come
oh my friends, the day has COME...
when you have more past than future.

But there is no rite of passage in this slow decline
We move toward it, then past it
with nothing more than a nod to another day spent
the same way yesterday was spent
and the day before that
because we just don't know
can't know
the date or time
when our end is closer than our beginning.

If you knew you had reached the backside of the mountain,
the sun lost in the translation of topography...
the lack of warmth might be motivational.
But it's just another sunset
and there will be just so many more.

I've crossed over you know.
I don't know the exact moment I jumped
but I'll not live another fifty years,
and I promise to no one in particular
that tomorrow will be different than today
and stranger still, the day after that.

I was born in April,
born again in February,
and somewhere between presents and cake
the candles started burning backwards.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Before I Ruin It

Image found here

Christmas cards lay unopened
like a stack of newspapers that will become tinder
then fire, then ash.
I wonder when we will just throw them out
but it seems too symbolic
of something we can't yet name.

Valentine is a romantic notion
thread, buttons, hearts under pressure
sewn together, unraveling, mended, torn
and from love, this most delicate of emotions,
Hallmark makes a killing.

Ah, but friendship is in the air today
falling like heart petals
blanketing the injured sea with a transfusion of blood red.
I sat for a moment among them
casting off glances at the unexpected
trolling for sharks.

Best go now
before I catch one.

(I am a melancholy personality and my own worst enemy. I tend to look backwards, and forwards, and have a hard time simply being in the moment. I duck my head, waiting for the anvil to drop, yet also knowing I am an anvil. Sometimes friendship can only be received in small doses. Given too much time, I might find something to ruin it with!)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Worship Can Happen Anywhere

I worshipped today
Soul crunching worship.

Have you ever?
Then there is no explanation sufficient.

It's been so long
but the song was made from my own joints
the way they push together without cartilage
carving new pathways into this flat valley
for rivers to run
painful, yet no less of a journey.

So my soul rose up as
tears, meeting these lips
opened in allowance.
I sang.
It was time,
the voice was choked...but heard
my heart
ahhh, my heart
one measured bar released
from such a cage.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Forgiving Me

I think I forgave myself yesterday.
I meant to.
I actually looked in the mirror and told that woman
I forgive you

She balked
and can you blame her?

Hatching off days on the walls of her cell
bamboo shoots under the nails of her fingers
that self imposed agony of a slow pull.
Pain must be felt at all times (how else is it purgatory?)
each sliver removed bit by bit by bit
so as to feel every mile of road
as if it were neverendingneverendingneverending.

But there is only so much blood to spill.
I told her..."Woman, it's time."

That man.
That man who blew my fantasy-family house of cards
to fucking smithereens...
she forgave him the next day.
Sure as shit she wrote him and said all was forgiven.
And she meant it
because forgiving is not the same as forgetting.
It is simply an acknowledgement that something is done
and cannot be undone
and we're not going to keep hashing it out
torturing fingernails and demanding blood.

She can't do the same for herself.
Well...she couldn't...
until yesterday
tomorrow too.

"There's a host of hurts we come across
None of which alike
From the air inside the birthing room
To the darkness where we die
Though I feel I'm just as strong as any man I know
I'm not able on my own
Carry round the secrets
Only heaven knows
Crawl into our darkened rooms where only victims go
Though I feel I'm strong enough to carry all this load
I'm not able on my own

All my actions, false or true
Selfish motives I will use
We were born with knives in hand
Trained to kill our fellow man
If we're not better than the rest
How will children do their best
Find your patience, find your truth
Love is all we have to lose

I'm not able on my own"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Failure To Thrive

I have lost touch.
Did you know hormones have curled my hair?
But only my pull knows the wavy spring
or the way ringlets wind around my finger
as soft limbs entwining a lovers body.

She touches my wrist
says "unfist your hand"
I look down to find a truth I did not know.
These clenched hands always prepared now
to defend
shoulders hunched and ready.

My fingers open to her suggestion
life line exposed
both her hands grab my palm
thumbs firmly stroking the trigger points
on the ear of an agitated dog.

I think to cry.
I want to.
Inside I did...
stomach distended with all that is unreleased.
And I know why babies fail to thrive without
At 49 I am such a child.

Yet God knows I have need.
The wind came up against my sweating flesh
with it's playground hands, bigger than my body!
They touched everywhere at once
my lips, my arms, my heaving belly
tussling my hair in a way that felt like nurture.
Oh mother, wherefore art thou?
I was touched.

Can a breeze be enough?

I reached out yesterday.
Her judgement harmed me, caged me further.
I am so set back that I consider I will always be alone
in wait for the wind.