December 24, 2009

December 20, 2009

the beautiful backyard i spent my childhood daydreaming in.  my father snapped this picture just this morning.  i would do anything to be there. i miss it so...
red gelatin leaves weighed the cold branches 
to curve
i saw things in my dreams. like this and like that.
like you and like him.
like nothing happened.
i saw a believer once.  sold for rain.  for winter.
for smoke rings and for teeth.
gnashing teeth.  
and i bid him fare freedom
and i saw it in my dreams.
how words dropped from words.. 
three became two 
became one.
I still know things.

December 19, 2009

i was born in a field. fully clothed. but naked on the inside. and disappointed. i was brought up on horseback. i had no men or women near me just ponies and faulty wiring. i eventually learned how to walk on my own legs, they showed me how the first time i fell off. i never ran.. not a mile or a day in my life. i believed every thing they told me and they told me nothing. eventually i had to leave the herd. i was so lonely. i ended up here. and there...

December 14, 2009

i'm thinking about things that have happened
furniture lived through
a backyard i called france
a wedding that i never planned for
a heartbreak that i was unprepared for

a million dollars
that ruined everything
your lion eyes never meeting 
mine mine mine

i'm thinking about things that have happened
since i quit the drugs
since i lost my horse and my house
my husband.

how love always feels like some great surprise to me
i never expect such lemon trees
with it's fruit falling and bruising around me
i thought about myself so exclusively
and i knew it and i'm sorry.

November 21, 2009

on the voyage we made 
 from north to south
 i only stayed behind 
 the wheel once.
 i refused to pull off 
 the last exit for thirty miles.
 a tennessee blizzard
 somewhere that seemed so much closer than it was

 i would not let go of the stiff wheel
 with every bit of our short history 
 and that bottomless future
 freezing in the metal box 
 we dragged behind us.
 you begged me to pull off.
 finally.  but i suddenly could not give up.

 as i am driven to struggle.

November 6, 2009

 i can find things to love.
 they rise up out of trash.
 a glitter 
 from under the consumption
 i run to it. 
 a treasure
 grows in the garbage
 a teacup flower
 i fly through your nest
 and pick branches
 from my hair
 use the river as a mirror
 ring the water from my wings

 i fall in love with things.

October 27, 2009

The grave
this part of me that won't die
that is stain
a resonance
a rocket
two shadows now.
one split.
i can bury it 

it claws up through the earth
and back into my body
through tiny feet
that are running as quickly as they can
towards anything
any man
any song
any dance
any drug

this part of me that doesn't die.
a zombie heart
feeling without beating
loving with nothing to love
embracing an empty space
a grave look on it's face
i can bury it.

October 24, 2009

October 23, 2009

 it is not a gentle gift 
 that god gives us. 
 but it is a gift.

 need ties us to this planet
 sharp rocks
 staked deep into thick earth.
 arms like balloon strings
 tethering us together.

 i am grounded by your expectations
 to be needed.
 counted on.

 i am not loose in this world
 i am a wild child without you
 your disarming love
 your gravity.
 your resistance
 when need is no longer
 we will be wisps of cottonseed 
 dandelion rain

October 22, 2009

A still life
tonight all my answers are questions
my heart is beating too fast
my thoughts like blurry hummingbirds
i fall apart 
crumbling leaf 
stepping over shit and onto glass
bleeding for who
for what
for when
a brand new amends 
my sorry winter coat
a breeding ground
this is still life.  


October 7, 2009

The maybe's
i'm a work in progress
unfinished business
and touching it
the television groans 
in the close distance
and the rain
has potential
like we have potential
like we slide off the road 
in the icy iciest ice
and correct the wheel
just before
the he said inevitable smash
not everything is inevitable
there are always
other possibilities
like dreams he says
like other realities
the maybe's 

October 5, 2009

the boldest chamber of my heart is a crying room.
i climb the walls
a mirrored ceiling
high walled 
wallpapered and blanket covered 
closing in.
the singing from inside is 
and the hurting is

October 1, 2009

September 30, 2009

1. i show up at stages
2. i tune and sound check
3. i play my songs

my admittedly depressing songs.
this is what i love.
this is what i have.
this is what i am.
and i'm always grateful 
that no matter how hard those three things get
because i'm lazy
because i'm tired 
because i'm broke 
because i'm busy
or heartbroken
or on the rag
or hungry
or sad
or bitter
or undressed
or sick
i still want to..

1. show up
2. tune up 
3. sing

September 29, 2009

it's a low sky today
and children are dragging 
in the possibilities

September 23, 2009

The doors
i still speak our language.  mostly to the dog.  mispronouncing words the way we always did, kill becoming kile.. a sound effect before peeing.. all sorts of subtle and odd changes to an otherwise mundane english language.  we made it our own.  we made everything our own.  i have tried this language out on friends but they miss the changes or they are only hearing every seventh word or they have to hang up because they're getting another call.  but like i said i speak it mostly to the dog.  her ears twitch at my every word.  sometimes i say your name to her and she looks hopefully at the door.  i do that for myself and i know it is so selfish but for three easy seconds she believes that you are coming through that door and for those three seconds i believe too and i feel light and safe knowing that you are coming home.  then we are distracted by september 23 2009..  a neighbor walking their own dog, a leaf blower, a shout from the tennis courts..  and we are back in the moment.  

i am not the same person now.  and i don't know where the girl i was went.  the girl who changed the dressings on your wound when you broke your leg, the girl who wanted to be buried in her wedding dress, the girl who was obsessed with your profile, the girl who lay on your chest.  she's gone.  you're gone. we have become other people.  i was once yours.  now i am my own.  that sounds so strong to me as i write it but i want to write it for someone else, not me.  it makes me desperate and scared.  my own?  i can't keep a plant alive, how will i take care of myself.  but i do.  somehow i wake up every morning and find my glasses in the covers and boil water to make my instant coffee and take my medicine and wait for the grizzly back pain to dull..  i take mabel outside to pee and try to determine my mood based on the weather.  

i am the same person as much as i am not.  our language has become my language.  you are only across town.  you go home to yourself now.  as i walk hopefully through my own door.  to our dog.  who looks for you when i say your name but who is helplessly in the moment and when suddenly remembering her stuffed toy, gallops off to attack.

September 10, 2009

tonight my head is in conference with my heart.  my head is getting tired of the tricks and games that my stupid heart has been playing.  it has graphs and charts that it has layed in front of my heart but my heart isn't having any of it.. it's burning the graphs and making paper airplanes of the charts and it's up on the conference table mocking my head.  and my head is shaking.  hearts are children.  my head has seen this before.  this wild and reckless.. this pitiful and shameless thing.  this dark youth that dominates us.  it always wants more. it's a sad little savage, this greedy heart of mine.  so my head takes it by the hand and puts it to bed early.  lets it cry itself to sleep again.  because that's what hearts need to do to survive.

September 8, 2009

early signs of trouble...
in the afternoons of the first home i remember, my mom would take naps. the house would quiet to a stand still and shades would be pulled and all the air would be sucked out of the little apartment in a sort of dark grey haze.  i would lie restless and waiting next to my mom on the king size bed as she rested like the dead.  for a thousand years i watched the ceiling, finding animal shapes from water stains..  water stains like clouds.  they seemed to form and reform.  one of those afternoons i just couldn't take it anymore.  i threw my four year old frame over the side of the bed, careful not to wake my mother and slid on my bottom down the carpeted stairs.  the kitchen was warm from something my mother was slow cooking for dinner.  i wandered the two shaded downstairs rooms and then did the only thing i could think of.  i pulled a chair across the linoleum to the stove and hauled my tiny body up onto it.  then i put both hands, flat and palm down, right on the stove top.  one on each burner.  

i wore socks slathered with vaseline on each of my hands for a week, my injured paws some kind of young badge of courage. 

i am always hurting myself to see what happens.

September 7, 2009

sometimes i think that i might have used up all my strength as a child.  this grown up that i am doesn't feel as strong as she once did.  it's as if my skin has been removed and i walk around in my broken bones.  i rattle like an old man.  i carry my heart outside of me like a purse.  filled with lost things. i bend and creak like a door. the chill in me.. a ghost passing through a sunny room.  

i saved my vulnerability up like nickels to spend later.  and now i cry too easy.  a small connection with a stranger.. a god bless you after a sneeze.. a door held open..  two parents holding the hands of a child between them..  and it starts, that one never ending tear that pours in slow motion out of the corner of my left eye.  a strange tear that makes a beeline down my face and falls like a thin river onto my collarbone.  a collarbone once broken as a three year old.  

i remember falling off the see saw and quickly pretending nothing was wrong, not wanting to worry my parents. already in me was the fear of being a burden, of being pitied. or weak. it wasn't discovered to be broken until, weeks later, at my monthly chemo treatments the doctor noticed that i wasn't using my arm.  an x-ray was taken and as it turns out, i had broken my collarbone!  as an adult i have made trips to the emergency room because i was "nervous."  times have changed.   

perhaps this is what happens to us as we get older.  the world begins to look very fragile and beautiful, glass.  we see through it..  the break-ability of it all.  it's scary, this lovely breakable world.

September 5, 2009

how was
ever a party girl?

...home. single. saturday. night. 41. me.
it's finally raining and the greedy trees are soaking up each thin and sparkly drop.  the grass is still dry and jealous.  it sounds so pretty in the sky.  it's like a goodbye party for the summer... thrown by clouds.

September 3, 2009

i am under a wordy spell
a feverish language
overcoming my morning.
in the short form.

September 1, 2009

Okay holy gamoly.  I just realized that the day after I posted a poem titled, Everything, my computer crashed and I lost everything!  I told the universe that I couldn't choose what to keep and what to let go of and it chose for me.  The universe is awesome.

August 28, 2009

I'm looking inside myself
for you.
separating the hardened ash
from the sweet pulp.
the lute.

I find a nest deconstructed.
you were born here
in the tornado.

silly string i'm peeling off.
a new moon. paperback.
the scratched surface
of a terrible year.

you have grown out of me
i have not

August 27, 2009

I used to save  
books of matches
horse shoes
hotel keys
birthday cards
christmas cards
valentines cards
ticket stubs
dog tags
hospital bracelets
love letters
hair brushes
butterfly wings
organized somewhere

but now i purge
i erase
i delete
i retreat
i minus
i destroy
i burn
i pillage
i clean
i throw
i let go

my mother told me that i get rid of everyone.

who do i save?

some of them are a choice i can't make.

i don't know what to hold
and what to drop.

August 25, 2009

Amazing Grace
I smashed an alarm clock once... into teensy tiny bits.  It was the same night that i kicked the toilet out of the floor.  I was drunk.  I was angry.  I was twenty one years old and a day.  My grandfather had died that morning... across the country.  He died while fireworks splattered the Santa Monica horizon just before the sun rose to erase them.  It was July 4th 1989, my father had come to Los Angeles to visit and to take me home to New England where his own father was dying.  

The news of Papa's death had come to me as i lay passed out from the previous day's "birthday celebration."  It had been a dangerously exciting day on Entrada Lane.  There was a reggae festival in the Tex Mex parking lot across the road and my best friend and I were determined to party harder than all our boy friends who were twice our size and ten years older. I took ecstasy and drank a case of beer and danced like a madwoman with the Rasta's.  In the early evening hours I slipped down an embankment and the glass bottle I was gripping for life hit the cement below and embedded itself into the palm of my hand... an alcoholic stigmata.  The accident had set off a crying fit and a security guard carried me across the street to my hole in the wall one room apartment and put me to bed where I cried myself from black out to pass out.  

Hours later Kym shook me back to consciousness to tell me that my father had called and that she needed to take me to his hotel so we could fly back to Boston for the funeral. 

 Kym was my brunette twin, we were attached at the hip since the first time we met.  She got me up and packed my suitcase, making sure to throw in my one black dress while I stormed through the dirty beach apartment cursing, crying and breaking whatever I could break.  My heart was broken and I wanted all of my things to also be as ruined.  She corralled me into her car and carefully drove me to the Marriott that my father was staying in.  
These are the things friends do.  

Sometimes i reluctantly recall that weekend. I think of my father who had lost his father...  I think of how i left him in his hotel and tripped on ecstasy and danced to reggae as he struggled with the imminent passing of his dad three thousand miles away.  I know he was there to try and save me.  He had come in an attempt to keep from losing two people he loved that summer.  There was no way to save my grandfather from the spreading cancer and his long life.  But he could save his wild child daughter who was drinking herself to an early demise in sunny california. 

My father and I made it to the funeral.  I sang "Amazing Grace" at the service.  It was held in the Catholic Church my dad had attended every Sunday as a child, a block from the house he grew up in on Russet Rd.  It was ironic as no one would need that amazing grace more than I over the following year. Shortly after the funeral I travelled back to Los Angeles and continued my reckless and relentless lifestyle.  It would not be the last time my father came to try and save me from myself. He came again and again to try and help me. It took another year of near death experiences, alcohol and cocaine poisoning, hospital visits, an arrest, rehab... before I was willing to go home and save myself.  

I was given such amazing grace..  and such an amazing father.

August 22, 2009

i want a free spirit 
but i carry chains.

i want to love myself
but i hide in my coat 

the ugliest mirror.
an uncherished heirloom.

the thing about surrender 
is you can't try.

you give up

August 19, 2009

it's the tiniest call
from the furious raking
from the pit
where you were sure
there was nothing.
left alive.

It's the thread
barely visible
too thin to hold
hover close
it wraps around you
a gentle placing.

i throw myself off things.

August 16, 2009

i pulled my shirt over my head
no i didn't

i imagined it.

i pulled my shirt over my head
no i didn't.

i tore my shirt off
i couldn't.

i pulled the shirt over my head

no i wouldn't.

seven feet away.
his long hot gaze
a new scar.

time tells you things you already knew.

August 14, 2009

Last night i dreamt that i had feathers tattooed on the inside of each of my wrists. they were the palest of little wings..  faint enough to see through to the blue rivers criss crossing just below the surface of my skin. 

There is an undercurrent of sadness inside of me.  a canyon.  a slow and deep welling.  my history, a spark that ignites some simple and tornadic source of emotion... tunneling through the basements of a hospital.  to the cold rooms.  undressed.. a crib in the changing room. tiny marks are made.  cold. metal slides over me.  they leave the room... I hold my breath.  a child and a machine.  God and science.  

A heart is also a heart. 

August 11, 2009

Sometimes when i lie the wrong way on my bed I feel more alive. 
I went to the DMV today to get a new drivers license.  My old one still had my married name on it and since it has been a year and a half since my divorce became official I figured it was time to go brave the line of thrilled and anxious sixteen year olds and get the damn thing renewed.  

As I waited for my number to be called I stared at my current license.  The picture was of a girl i hardly recognize now...  long wavy hair, strange half smile...  a maroon vest she loved and wore every day for a year.  I can clearly remember the afternoon i took that picture four years ago.  I was high on vicodin.. fidgety, chatty and made up for what seemed like a very important moment in my life.  I looked pretty..  but lost.  and i was lost.  and miserable.  I was so miserable then.  

I spent my days pillaging through thrift stores to resell junk as vintage.  In between purchases i would swallow pills carefully.. always counting and recounting to make sure i had enough to get through the day without getting sick.  I was a disappearing act, reemerging every three hours with a low grade fever and the chills and the desperate need to take more drugs.  Drugs that would not only dull the constant ache in my back but more importantly the stabbing pain in my gut that had been screaming at me for years, trying to tell me to wake the fuck up, to start over, to get help, to get clean again ...  The pain was trying to tell me that i was living a lie.  But I was so deep in that lie that there was no voice inside of me that i understood anymore.  I had lost the ability to hear truth from within myself.  

This morning I said goodbye to that drivers license.  I passed it over the counter to the flirty DMV employee and didn't look back.  I took another photo.  I was clear eyed and embarrassed. I left the building and stepped out into the thick Texas heat and in ten or so business days I'll have a new drivers license.  and on it will be a picture of a girl i know well.. a girl who was given enough grace to survive...

I am learning to listen to pain. Sometimes it is the only message I can hear.

August 10, 2009

Aw man...   you mean to tell me that people actually read this blog?  

August 9, 2009

August 6, 2009

a loose cannon 
shy as i explode 
into spectacle 

a fragile bomb 
a wild animal 
drag me back to you 

i've skipped niceties before 
the difference 
is mathematical...   life minus you

your things are in my closet 
you can't have them back 
they are my scrapbook 

what you have left 
your smell your generosity 

rough and scientific 
the addition is 
my dearest...   kiss

August 4, 2009

the deformed moon
sang to me last night
and i knew the song.
from a hot summer
sleeping in the hallway
with my hair too close to the fan
lime green nightie from woolworths
a flammable nine year old
escapes.  she is
walking the streets of a driveway
watching that same moon
waiting for directions.

July 31, 2009

we each played a song. i had butterflies and sang too loud. i wanted tim (easton) to think i was really good.  i put everything i had into it and felt sad afterwards. but then went to breakfast with shilah and tim and i wasn't sad anymore.  i ate too much and got jittery from coffee...  kgsr morning radio.