Monday, September 13, 2021

Pig and farm report

 


My son sent me that photo yesterday of Chesaw in the fertile Okanogan Vally. He pulled over in his truck to watch a fire burning. I’m making a huge batch of cheese and onion and green pepper enchiladas and another batch without cheese for those vegans who might be here to freeze because I’m expecting to feed a houseful of people sometime here in the near future and I don’t want to be caught off guard. Chopping onions and stirring a roux and unsuccessfully fighting back a ripe and pungent panic. Here is a reprint of my enchilada recipe except because the garden is still overflowing I’m using fresh peppers. The thought of the giant surfer children gathering here breaks my bombed out heart wide open. Hello Darklings. The day is bright and beautiful but everything in the vast underneath is burning.


ps. In case anyone wants it and because I am always curious about recipes here is my easypeasy recipe for cheese enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas a la Loudon
or, as we call it, dinner


THE ROUX

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan
Add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
This will become your roux the base for some of the world’s best sauces
Stir your roux constantly until it is light brown and has a nutty flavor it's a good idea to taste it to make sure the flour taste is cooked out but don't burn your tongue on it
While you are stirring sing this song repeatedly since it only has one verse and no chorus:

I want to make a roux for you
I want to make a roux for you
I want to make a roux for you
Now shut up and kiss me 


© Rebecca Loudon, 2005

THE SAUCE

Once your roux is cooked and you have sung the song several times
Add 1 large (28 ounce) can of red enchilada sauce any brand you want
This part is kind of cheaty but sometimes cheaty is ok and besides the roux absorbs the acky canned sauce taste
Add 2 cups of veggie broth
Toss in some salt to taste
Toss in some pepper to taste
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro unless you think cilantro tastes like soap

Bring your sauce to a boil
Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until it gets thick

THE FILLING

Chop up a giant onion and sauté it in a skillet
Add a couple of those little cans of diced green chilies again this is cheaty but so what
Set the onions aside so they cool a bit
Shred up a ton of cheese
I like mozzarella or jack but sharp cheddar is good too

THE TORTILLAS

10 to 14 white corn tortillas
A blob of canola oil
Heat the canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat
Fry the tortillas until they soft NOT crisp about 30 seconds per side
Remove to a paper towel lined plate

ASSEMBLAGE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

The rest of it is pretty obvious but here goes
Pour ½ cup of the sauce in bottom of baking pan
Spread it out so your enchiladas don’t stick this works for lasagna too
Dip each tortilla into the sauce quickly (or they’ll fall apart) then remove to a work surface which for me is usually the pan I’m cooking the enchiladas in but if you have a marble counter by all means use it this part is messy
Spoon some cheese and some of the onion/chili mixture into the center of the tortilla saving some cheese to top the enchiladas at the end
Place it seam down in the baking pan
Repeat until your pan is full
Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas
Top with the rest of the cheese

Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly or for an hour and a half if your oven is on the fritz and unreliable like mine
Sprinkle some more cilantro over the enchiladas before serving unless you think it tastes like soap


You can also add green onions and olives to the inside of the enchiladas if you want but it’s wrong
You CANNOT add meat to this recipe because I said so

Serve with a buttload of sour cream and some chacha salsa

Bon Appétit!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Pig and farm report

 



It rained this morning after months of the constant drydry sky of dead lawns yellowing trees arid meadows and thirsty gardens I woke to the sound not a pitterpatter but a full on delicious deluge and the trees lifted up their hands and my yard drank its fill

I want to write about Sam about what the past few months were like as she struggled with her mental and physical health (her sailing in and out of dementia) and how my son cared for her with heartbreaking tenderness but when I think of putting words to it I can’t breathe so not yet not yet

It is quiet in my house today yesterday I baked a giant apple stuffed honey challah for no one in particular but because the creation of it kept my hands busy my mind occupied between bouts of weeping I’m still in bed this morning with both feral cats curled at my right and left sides looking at photos of New York fashion week and enjoying my solitude it’s the first time in weeks that I have been truly by myself here at Summer’s End where I just celebrated my five year houseaversary and I needed this quiet as much as the trees need rain

Why don’t you all join me here in this newly green place and we can break bread together and discuss our costumes for the Met Gala or gardens or art or god or tide tables or baking or perfume or books or sewing or animal hijinks or dahlias or sourdough starters or aging anything anything at all but politics 


Big Love from the seaside,

Rebecca




Thursday, September 9, 2021

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt

 


My son sent the police to do a welfare check on his girlfriend of 17 years yesterday because he had not heard from her in a couple of days and he was worried worried. The police found her dead in her bed. We are fairly certain she had a heart attack and passed in her sleep. 

Children are not supposed to die.
Children are not supposed to die.
Children are not supposed to die.

*

Hearing my son howl in grief in his bedroom last night was the most terrible sound I have ever heard. It will haunt me my live long life but we are emotionally messy people. He is bereft and I am holding together to absorb what I can of his pain and grief. My son took this photo of Sam asleep in the backseat of his 57 Chevy.

Tomorrow Page heads to his father's to the orchard and the lake and then I can let myself fall apart to wail my own hurt. Think of us when you can and when you can.

Love.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Pig and farm report

Yesterday I celebrated myself which is what you do when you embrace radical aloneness the day began at 2 AM when a tsunami alert went off on my phone telling me to prepare for evacuation it was the 8.2 earthquake off the coast of Alaska and didn’t affect us here but the water was exceptionally choppy with strange currents I went back to sleep once I knew my little boat wasn’t setting out 

I did get my ears pierced (again) not at the mall but at the shop where I got my tattoo re-inked right before the plague swallowed us the earrings I chose to keep in my ears are small green gems on surgical steel posts posts that have flat backs so they won’t poke my neck while I sleep which is why I always removed them in the past 


I went to the mall and was filled with girly joy to be able to wander through Macy’s again which I have not done in over two years maybe more standing at the makeup and perfume counters looking at the expensive clothes and shoes and although I couldn’t run my hands across the perfume bottles or try on seventeen thousand scents at once because of covid restrictions it doesn’t matter none of that matters I could still smell the perfume my eyes full of colors and shapes as intense as when I was a girl drinking it in for the first time when I was nine and started taking the bus downtown alone for my violin lesson then stopping at the Spokane Bon Marche on the way home to watch the glamorous women dressed up dressed to shop making an outing of it making it a date a place to see and be seen I am deep in my heart my own girly self the same girl just older

I also stopped in to the Aveda store for cherry almond shampoo and their Hand Relief Cream and I wandered into the old fashioned candy store but wandered right back out since it wasn’t yet noon the mall wasn’t crowded at all though most people were not masked I walked about five miles all in all from tip to toe all the arms of the mall in my jersey swing dress and Chuck Taylors I stopped at the food court then circled back through the Macy’s entrance then got lost in the parking lot for a while before coming home to pick up dinner and a carrot cake from my little island bakery such an easy day and joyous being my best self being my true self embracing all of it letting it all wash through me














Saturday, July 24, 2021

Pig and farm report

Deep in the season of cherry light five days before my 68th birthday I am content a continent of quiet joy this feels new this feels miraculous unsick in the head unsick in the foot or knee or rib or gut here in my good green heaven with my cats and books and little want little need of much else I do fall into my right rhythms in summer my skin is happier standing in the water at the edge of the earth in the full moon low tide that kelpy vegetal fragrance that signals the birth of beginnings that signals music under my fingers wood waking up in the form of going back to beginning scales and etudes and arpeggios to slowing down Bach until my practice takes over again 

yesterday I drove to town for the farmers market and on the road back that narrow slip of land where I can see water on both sides of me I saw a golden eagle sitting on a wooden post and I stopped my car in the middle of the road to look at him so huge taller than a bald eagle and heavy muscled I took no photo I just sat with my hands on the steering wheel and trembled he was incredibly wild an untamed rare thing not meant for my eyes but he showed himself and this was a gift

There is a large colander full of marionberries on my kitchen counter but I’ve been eating them like candy now there are not enough to make jam I have some figs that I stuff with goat cheese and drizzle with honey until and bake until they warm and this has been my breakfast all week I have ripe cherry tomatoes from my garden Hal sleeps stretched out at my side when I first wake and turn on the light to read I keep the windows open and the television off the deer walk around in the yard I had to dispatch a small hornet’s nest under my deck I paint a little in the morning I listen to Mozart and Beethoven and Copland and Prokofiev and every weekday at noon I turn on the radio to KING FM our classical music station and listen to Bach’s lunch for an hour



and nothing stings                  and nothing hurts             and I remembered how to read           and owls sing  and rooster calls                     and feral cats purr at my side              and I am a musician once again         

and I want for nothing

I have a small plan for my birthday not Newport but I’m not weeping for the Oregon coast my plan is to order breakfast from the little state park cafe then take myself to an actual mall to get my ears re-pierced yet again then shop like the girly girl I have always been this may not seem like much of a plan to you but you might not be a Leo at almost 68 standing on the earth’s edge in the low tide


Today the moon is 100% full 

this is the Authentic Shark’s Tooth In The Undersea Gardens Gift Shop moon 






Monday, July 12, 2021

As much electricity as my optic nerve will hold



 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Pig and farm report

 Grandma Fay’s Ruined Orchard Apple Pie


 

I made an apple pie my son’s favorite and had a slice for breakfast with coffee which was delicious which made me feel my tiptop best like crap 

the neighbors have been shooting off fireworks since Wednesday fireworks that sound like cannons that sound like guns that sound like a rifle in my house

every year on this day I relive my trauma my PTSD reels me to the floor (my bed my little boat where I hold onto the sides as I capsize) I used to think PTSD was only for soldiers even back in the 1990s before I had a name for it my fireworks/extremely loud sudden noises anxiety cracked me through the roof which looked like my son becoming injured in a horrible accident or the house in flames or me losing my hearing or my cats running away the litany of woes dancing through my blood when I was still expected to show up to bring the giant bowl of potato salad make the pico de gallo with my tomatoes and peppers 

bake

the pie

before I had a name for it before I stopped showing up to the parties and potlucks and social type visits and being hounded in my own skin before I stopped lying and saying sure sure I’ll be there before I learned to say no NO. no thank you not this time not ever and acknowledging strange it was to face my own goddamn disease and stop backing down before my child and friends realized it wasn’t me just not wanting to have fun

last night the guns fired in my house from 4 pm until well after midnight I looked at my calming app I wore noise canceling headphones I played white noise music I shut my windows and turned on my fan (I didn’t do any of these things) I just held onto the sides of my boat and hoped I wouldn’t die

my son and I are going to the store then to the beach I want spaghetti for dinner he wants normal holiday fare he wants to be with his father his father’s giant family

sorry bud, not this time

Namaste/toodle loo


Friday, July 2, 2021

Desire’s wet cage

 



Wednesday, June 30, 2021

What I carry in my night suitcase

 





detail


Monday, June 28, 2021

Pig and farm report

It’s 107 degrees in Seattle and 99 out here on the Western edge parts of the interstate are buckling there are rolling blackouts in the city I stood in the murky water near the boat ramp this morning then kept standing there up to my knees then the tide came up to my waist fast before the drop off O jellies swim away swim away I came home and ate a fried egg sandwich and blue corn chips aka bat wings with the hothot salsa I made to counteract my own gnawing brain all I can manage in this weirdness salt and fat the food of my people today I happily flopped around in front of my fan read my book and tried to convince the cats to eat some ice it’s too hot for the television in a while I’ll run cold water in my lovely bathtub and sit there to trick myself into thinking any of this is okay




What we look like to the fishies 




 The world needs a narrative.

~Henry Darger

I am at zero a plague of Musca domestica streams from a hole in my side wrapped wrapped and wrapped who knows what is happening there I don’t want to look I can be the rag man easy enough disappear into the granary July’s oblivious meat I say I I say me the city heaves and buckles cars slide into trees weapons fired close by I say I I say me ask what what was that no one answers why should they a child two streets away drowned in a wading pool watched only by a dog. Summer is spelt is mold and stillborn mice a crow carrying a dead crow in its beak.  I sleep in my chair my knees and teeth ache. I can’t think of a reason to stop crying. In three days I will be the oldest I have ever been. What a terrible sad movie. I never should have watched never ever. I hope for a storm.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

We remember you from the before times

 







Pig and farm report

 



This morning I drove to the camp store drive-through coffee joint and asked for a large iced mocha my twice yearly indulgence. Little did I know that their large iced mocha came in a 32 ounce cup. The mocha had four shots of espresso in it and was topped with half a can of redi-whip. Goodchrist crispy crackers what the awful heck? I nestled the ludicrous plastic cup full of ice and ice sweat and Hershey’s chocolate from a squeeze bottle into the cup holder of my little car embarrassed by my American consumption even though it was accidental and drove up the road to make a left turn and a wasp flew in my car window and hit me in the mouth. It stunned him. He kind of shook his head and staggered onto my window rim where I promptly picked him up between my thumb and forefinger and helped him make good his escape. I drove home more carefully than usual due to my sweaty bundle of caffeinated joy stopped the car then threw the whole mess into the woods. There’s a grumpy cat. Nature and folly all in one morning.

 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Pig and farm report


I drove to the state park this morning and stood ankle deep in the Saratoga Passage until saltwater rose back up into my body the kundalini climb snake energy righting my blood righting my little boat. It was already 89 degrees. When I got home my son was standing in front of the open freezer holding Jupiter up like a cartoon baby lion so she could have a bit of breeze. He came back from the orchard because it was 114 degrees. We ordered lunch from the Mexican restaurant and put it on my credit card and brought it home credit because I am so close to payday and because of the dentist. I’ve written here about my weird shame in facing dentists dental work that soft highway of the throat that holds secrets big and small. My dental issues stem from my childhood abuse. My dental issues stem from my lack of dental insurance from lack of money. My dental issues stem from raw fear due to a few terrifying cheap dental close calls. My dental issues stem from shame at how horrible this current iteration of my mouth is my child mouth my wagging pink tongue its own shameful animal. I told new dentist call me Dr. Matt like a hometown chiropractor that I was glad when we all started wearing masks so I could talk to people and laugh without covering my mouth with my hand. I told my son tonight that I’m looking forward to the time when I can see my smile again. It used to be such a shiny beacon in my wild head. My teeth were bright mirrors. My smile was my high beams and I could disarm a man at 40 paces with its blinding light. I have been to call me Dr. Matt twice so far once for partial X-rays the second time for some gruesome oral surgery. I go back on September 2. I keep remembering if you want to change go through a door. I spent so many years being moved from place to place like a numb horse. It’s time for me now to allow unexpected joy to allow the smallest ecstasy.









Pig and farm report


 




Map of the lower angels

Friday, June 25, 2021

Pig and farm report

 


Pod boy 

                                                                             

Pig and farm report

 


Writing my way backward through intense joy writing my way backward through the beginning solstice writing my way backward through my newly shorn blonde blonde hair writing my way backward through pushing paint around until I stop judging myself writing my way backward to practice writing my way backward through miles (and miles) of jam writing my way backward through the farmers market kettle corn fresh fried doughnut spring onion pink dahlias lolling in my arms writing my way backward into summer dresses writing my way backward into reading writing my way backward I. Hope. Finally. into writing the full moon extraordinary low tides that salt air fragrant woodsmoke from campers at the state park the startled heron in my yard the hoard of giant monarch butterflies that suddenly descended drinking from my hummingbird feeders flickering in and out of vision and my joy unabated this morning I shaved my legs for only the second time in two years and opened all the windows to morning before drowning in cherry light there is no bell box on the door the lantern light casts down hard to my left near my heart I want to volunteer a standard method of gloriously happy

Hello Darklings I’ve missed you

Pig and farm report

 



God is a woman in a metal mask


*

*

*

*

*

*

*

full strawberry moon

 Dishman



everything promised disappeared into anger your blondblue exquisite smallness :: red flag wail loud enough to become myth :: old women still talk of how at two you fumed smoldered flew outside the bars and blackouts :: to knock breath from the tender :: she :: who promised she the saggy wet bottom mechanism her machine brain even then deviated :: by your boy fist :: kicked over the entire fat world’s fleshy flap without regard :: strangled by the wool cap in summer’s heat :: promised nothing :: promised Jesus :: and ladybugs at the water’s edge drowned in cheat grass :: drowned in mud :: under the horse hoof the  cement belt :: the staggering staggering gold wheat

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Pig and farm report

 







Good morning from the West where we are but blood under the earth’s talons

Monday, May 17, 2021


a thin line of blood mingled with shaving cream on my leg



I wanted to carry you on a drum
but my fat lip stopped
                   everything

I took it as communion
ASCENSIONE
(it’s OK to eat the host)

&      some women you know they hate you 
&      you wonder why they don’t call
&      you wonder what you did wrong
&      you run down the hallway barefoot
&      you burn a bit
a bit
                   golder

it does not get easier
it never gets easier
this is the HA HA Annie Oakley curse
pistol
rifle
shotgun
littlesureshot

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

When a poem pushes the air out of you

 Beth Roberts



Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Pig and farm report

I have been giddy with sun lately. And dresses. And punctuation. I planted more blueberries two bushes named Chandler. I bought them at the little bait&tackle gas station store where they sell worms and triscuits and fishing and crabbing licenses. And blueberry bushes for ten dollars each. They sell at nurseries for at least $30.00 each. The lilacs are out on the island and are beginning to open on my deck. Lilacs make me giddy and stupid. Lilacs make me slather myself with fancy girl perfume and wear my tiara to the grocery store. Lilacs make me dance. Lilacs are the smooth rock hidden in my boot the secret to my creaky hips in the morning. I wanted nothing more than to be the famous Lilac Queen or one of the famous Lilac Princesses of Spokane when I was growing up. Of course I was not. I have grown weirdly nostalgic for the smell of city busses and lilacs in a vase or purloined lilacs in my arms. They grew everywhere when I was a girl. I thought they were wild flowers but they are in fact intentional. When I was a girl my stepfather told me that if I ever saw lilacs growing randomly in the woods or in some deserted old place it meant someone lived there once and loved there enough to plant those gorgeous flowers intentionally. In other lesser news I titrated my dose of carbamazepine down so quickly that I got a sudden reminder that I am in fact still fucking crazy. So I have titrated back up by 100 mgs. It’s exhausting and typing it out here makes me want to cry. I keep thinking if I’m good enough if I’m fragrant enough if I’m princessy enough I will eventually outgrow my bipolar diagnosis. In fact I have spent this past year thinking I had outrun it. It’s hard to think about in the guts because it harkens to giddy it harkens to scrounging it harkens to dolphins by the jetty it harkens to accepting love it harkens to that lost world where I lived without a bathtub but a turquoise swimming pool was there and I swam in it every single night under the busiest flight path of the airport. The way the scent of lilacs can knife you in the belly or lift you clean up into the sky without warning.







Sunday, April 18, 2021

 Learning to Drive the Tractor


I'm mostly alone, cut my hair,
sorry as soon as the weight
of my braid went missing,
spent my entire life in a hotel lobby
guarding the suitcase.

That kind of hate is stunning,
so clean I stop breathing sometimes
with the sheer heat of it.

Eldon said brakepush. Eldon said
shut the fuck up. Eldon said
he could drive his motorcycle right off
the Lewiston Grade and he did,
and he keeps on going, into an Idaho
spring, all that green making me itch.

Don't give me any crap about Mercury
in retrograde. I could flip it on its side
and that flat coin becomes a blade,
a helmet spinking down a mountain.

Oh give me a home where they stack
the cream in little pyramids. And napkin
dispensers, Land-O-god.

Remember, remember when
I lose my head, to put me down,
put me down like my sweet
Brown Dog.




Monday, April 12, 2021

I’m on the left wearing my beloved saddle shoes to ride Ginger with my cousin Bethany or was it my father’s bastard daughter raised by one of my many aunts I no longer know but I know you can’t trust history the man in the hat was my grandfather not grandpa or gramps always the formal grandfather sir he whose love of language and length of legs I inherited and one of his horses it is an entire mood that strikes me in the blue hours how I was trotted out with my hair brushed just so the only time I was allowed to wear it long and true on display so my mother could get the money my grandfather was rolling in how my hair flew behind my head when I rode and my sister who I dreamed about all those years but in my dreams she was always my twin and I with my hair streaming out behind me like wings on fire





Pig and farm report

 


Spring as an ice storm spring as the first watermelon of the year is so blood red and perfectly sweet that your heart breaks a little spring as lilacs that refuse to let down their green knickers to show their purple spring as pale pink tulips in the house in a milk jug nodding their heads

all the tulip tourists have descended upon this quiet island so my coffee shop bakery is now overrun with women wearing bedazzled jeans dragging small children in by their arms to get an ice cream or use the bathroom while their tired cranky husbands wait so the line stretches out the door everyone crammed shoulder to shoulder ignoring the pandemic go away tourists I don’t love you eating my fear and scaring the whales

I spent an obscene amount of money this weekend on an expensive bottle of French perfume eau de parfum in fact from Paris that carries the scent of fig O Fig God's Candy I had a sample which I slathered myself in and my son told me I smelled like wood and it is true fig wood fig bark fig leaf fig fruit with an undertone of pepper I am so utterly fancy haha I am in fact so fancy that I might shave my legs for the first farmer's market or at least one leg

what I really wanted was a haircut but I'm waiting for my son to get his second vaccination he is off now to the orchard where he is tending to those fruit trees that are left standing and fishing with his father and shopping for a new truck because why would he buy a truck in pricey Seattle when he can drive over the mountains and get one for half that price in Spokane that sucking chest wound of a town that I call home

I spent this weekend preparing my garden for more blueberries and raspberries because the blueberries just took off last summer did you know that blueberries thrive in acidic soil therefore they love pine trees and tomatoes and tulips do not these are things you learn the hard way

it has been cold and sunny or rainy which is normal spring weather I keep wearing my summer dresses but with my leggings underneath in order to call forth summer

I'm reading Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five for the fifth or fifteenth or one hundred and fiftieth time I type with Hal draped on my arm as a tiny fierce fur stole my hair is actually long enough to braid so I have been wearing it braided on both sides not a look I have not imagined for myself since I was 30

I have recently been tapering down the amount of Tegretol I take because my doctor said my sodium levels were low and Tegretol is notorious for messing with sodium levels Tegretol for those of you who aren't bipolar is my main medication my number one crazy control my man in Amsterdam for keeping me from spinning off the earth's skin after I bought the parfum this weekend I questioned my sanity for a hot minute because crazy spending is always a sign of creeping mania but all my bills are paid I did not go to the mall and try on clothes or fly to a sparkling city to play I can sleep and read and I haven't been crying or laughing too much and I look okay in the mirror

except for my goddamn hair and there is nothing I can do about that at this point except wait 



Sunday, April 4, 2021

Pig and farm report

OSTARA


 

Two nights ago I went shopping and bought an obscene number of chocolate rabbits and peeps and theater candies like milk duds and bubbles with bubble wand and a small plush pale blue bunny and hazelnut ladybugs and bumblebees and green plastic Easter grass and I built my son my darling good boy a towering Easter basket of baroque proportions because yesterday he had his first Pfizer vaccine and because last year I couldn’t even get to the store for a candy bar much less such delicious Easter basket guts I also bought a huge batter bowl with a handle to contain all this richness because he is the chief pancake maker of the house 

we had scrambled eggs for breakfast and coffee and headed for the beach I wore a summer dress but put pants on underneath because I didn’t get this old without learning at least one thing maybe two my lilacs have tiny purple buds I go out on the deck every morning and talk to them my blueberries have fresh green leaves hummingbirds are back at the feeders deer are all over the place I dream about getting a haircut and a manicure and shopping for expensive perfumes in a department store but mostly I dream about the farmers market which opens in June last year I did not go not one single time because out here in red neck country no one believes in science so masks were scarce so I was only able to can some marionberry jam but I only grew enough strawberries for a few pints of no pectin small batch jam and believe me when I tell you sister I am down to one last jar of my own dam jam ma’am and maybe it isn’t tragic to you but you just don’t understand my secret relationship to peanut butter but now I am vaccinated so hahah there will be jam for miles this summer
 
LOUDON'S   JAM  EMPORIUM

~MILES OF JAM~

and fine chocolates


mostly I feel invigorated and happy and I just took a pan of enchiladas out of the oven and I made curry deviled eggs and a no bake cheesecake and my son my darling good boy got his first vaccination and he and I we are going to be just fine

love to you all from Summer’s End

Friday, April 2, 2021

Good Friday

 


Good Friday

Bird startled at how I adore my old woman face dry mapped throat waterblue eye shrubnest hair Look! I leer into the face of angels middle finger aloft how did cronewitch appear I watched the tomb never slept never shirked that duty or any other age you keening bitch snuck up stole the red river rapids that ran between my legs my plumb my stupid dangling fruit I don’t give a good goddamn for your flesh season your learned or any other wanderlust whose tiny silly face bobs under such a ridiculous hat oh hello sister hello auntie hello grandma wee granny gammy invisible hag HA!HA! I’m keeping all my secrets to myself 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Maundy Thursday

 Maundy Thursday


Owl’s racket and god appears 

in the low bones of mice

my daughter sews spangles 

to her left heel the kitchen clangs

with her ghosts and copper hooves


let’s build a death star behind the fig tree 

stitch marigolds into our manes 

float along the salt edge

take honey from its gold gold bed


this is a call to voluptuous

Babette the Queen of March rises


in the frog marsh my daughter 

dances and dances across the yard 

in her wild season

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Holy Tuesday

 

I recite an affirmation in the bathroom mirror give up give up give up it’s harder than it looks I want to open myself untie the knot in my chest pull out the hare-bad chemicals slide them into a casing add a formula for candor for kindness there is a switch in my heel its bright click you’d think it was Easter at Walmart derelict Jesus rising from the garden and patio department you’d think it was rapture the biggest lies are easy beauty and the intimacy of beauty 2 ball gowns 1 bare silk the other dragonfly and tulle scritches my [raw] [animal] mouse heart sectioning a silver stain there was nothing I could do about the house hands tied so and so to my sides and behind the mustache hid a scar on my lip hid the sneer stretched from the roof of my mouth for I was a man in those times and in those times I became bristled and clean and I knew where I stood I knew to grab the saddle horn the mane I wanted to change the rules just a little awake with a flea bite between my breasts nocturnal insects near a compulsion to be happy

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Pig and farm report

 





I took myself to breakfast this Passover morning which means I drove to the little beach cafe at the state park where I used to attend church every Sunday the pine cathedral cafe where god and I have our talks I parked in the no parking zone and called them and they brought my breakfast to me in a paper bag always the same breakfast veggie hash with no toast no egg no meat and a cup of black coffee meanwhile back at my house the wind tore down trees and the power flickered on and off then stayed off I drove the lee side near the little marina and sure enough a tree was in the road after having spent a few hours bouncing on a power line I parked there for a while watching the whitecaps then hail then snow then torrential rain in the church of no return the temple of cracking wood and lightning the synagog of potatoes and salted apples the sea sloshed up its briny sides tulips dipped their wolf heads to drink a man stood on the corner of Chance and No Bad Luck to practice his fly fishing casting his line over and over perhaps ready to catch a fish washed up on his back porch in the storm he cast up with a tight loop then down with a tight loop his line arcing in the dark sky over and over with just the way my father taught me both men dreaming forever of a swift running river the sun a cooler full of beer chocolate covered cherries a fire and a cast iron frying pan full of trout


Second Seder

Passover



I run in my sleep inhale surgical smoke camphor and winter’s stub the prophets say an answer is coming there’s always a prophet in this business one in a suit one in an open dress one in pajamas one with small children who run through the house leave the doors flung so the chimney sparks one in a ditch and all the haha in the hilarious world won’t fix it there’s a gun in my head darling there’s a gun and no end to this story bang bang

Saturday, March 27, 2021

First Seder

 Against gravity


I cannot consider my heart’s wet muscle its pumping pumping pumping the weight of it the fat of it the pulse of it in my body at rest I cannot consider my heart's music its valentine its stupid fault line my father’s heart stopped its lithe work when he was sixty I cannot consider my heart’s busy valves and harnesses aorta and arteries a horse’s heart in my body its glenoid shape its fourteen pounds its chambers filled with sugar and green grass and ecstasy its horse chambers playing Bach in a barn in sunlight my giant horse heart rolling in hay beating time keeping time perfect and alive but for an apple a hot steamed snort my heavy horse body moving always forward moving toward morning moving toward heaven

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Pig and farm report Vernal Equinox edition

 


I woke to a low distinct moaning I thought was coming from inside the house so I went into the dark with my flashlight to make sure everyone was okay when I was a girl my cat had kittens in the crook of my arm my dreamself deciphered her labor as the ocean swelling and then breaking I was not far wrong this house is so dark in the early morning none of the cats were on alert though beast Hal was awake with his ears flat on his head 

sleep was gone so I made coffee and sat on the blue couch waiting for dawn too dumb to light a match too dumb to decide which is greater Bach's music or God's gardenias or the fabric of exotic cushions or the sky blue of a coveted spring coat or the curve of a cabriole leg or the scrape of my fingernails against my scalp March brings decision and change as I climb into spring's well this is my brother's birth month and Bach's and the composer's one spring afternoon I shaved my legs too quickly before going to his house I shaved deep on my bony left ankle but the bleeding stopped soon enough then I was sitting at his kitchen table eating pieces of frozen mango wearing a white dress like the bride I wanted to be when my ankle started bleeding again profusely a votive flame in a ceramic bowl and the composer ran to his bathroom for bandages and he knelt and put my foot in his lap and he trembled as he touched my smooth leg and plastered me with adhesives and this moment is the one I remember the bright budgie bouncing in its cage and sun careening into the yellow kitchen and I burst out laughing

Spring is the time of blood and low moaning birth and death my father in his untreated pine coffin being lowered into the still frozen Portland earth this morning there was a cold blue sky with pink streaks in the east I walked onto the deck in my plastic flipflops to watch two deer trying to eat my fig tree a bird flew smack into my engine heart yesterday a red tailed hawk flew across my car windshield as I drove into the state park so low and huge that I stopped and made myself breathe there is something weird about March it's not winter even though it is goddamn and I ache for a warm beach for a little bit of shopping for clothes on a rack the delicious zhingzhing sound of hangers sliding for thumping a melon at the grocer for stepping in the Skagit river with my my dress tucked between my legs for choosing ripe corn off the back of a flatbed truck and of course for tomatoes I had my second covid vaccination it gave me a headache for three hours and deep fatigue for three days but no other side effects easy peasy my son was here and he surprised me by buying us dinner to go at my best and only Mexican restaurant here and now he is swapping out the windshield wipers on my sleek black car before he heads back to the orchard to take care of the orchard his land and his father

it is hard not to feel hopeful these days I have been oddly bi polar symptom free for a year no mania no depression all while the world was tumbling into the gray there is no explaining it but I am grateful though occasionally shaky as in this morning trying to type on my pc and hitting the wrong keys forgive me my frozen animal hands my mistyped words I have been practicing Bach for no concert ever I have been practicing Bach for that girl for remembering that girl maybe she was moaning maybe she was bleeding maybe she was giving birth in the crook of my arm in this time of blood

hello

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Pig and farm report

  Now there's a roar inside me like a carnival in full blast.
~ Henry Miller, Black Spring



It's spring all over the place but I've never been fond of spring and now is the month my father died. I never forgave spring for taking my father away from me with the noisy lush savage green growth everywhere. I got my first vaccine on February 25 absolute winter and today I made an appointment for my second vaccine at the end of winter. Making the first appointment felt like a Jesus miracle. Making the second appointment felt like a panic attack. The first vaccine knocked me on my buttocks I tell you what I thought for sure I'd get the shot roll my sleeve down put my coat back on and head for my car ignoring the advised 15 minute wait but I ended up being exceeding grateful for that wait. Whoa. Who cares. I don't want to die.

My son is camping with his friends at the state park eight minutes away from here. It's the first time he's seen his friends in over a year. He came home for a minute last night to gather firewood from our yard and he smelled like a campfire his clothes and hair thick with sea air and matches and dinner cooked on a grate. He is intensely beautiful.

I feel almost normal these days. Better than normal. I float up and out of my chair up and out of my body. There are bears and wild salmon and orca under my skin pulsing my blood along with growls and fluid muscular grace. Yesterday I bent down in my garden and an eagle flew up his heavy wings flapping right next to my head and my heart hammered in its cage. Incredible. This is called healing. I am not overly fond of spring so I ignore it and consider summer dresses and flats and my awful shrub of hair. I am too terrified of humans to get a haircut yet. Or a manicure or any damn thing.

I am terrible insecure about my writing which sometimes flows and sometimes falls to the ground screaming pretending some bloody wound. I am writing poetry but at a glacial pace. Once I cleaned my body of all the benzodiazepines I had been taking for over 15 years it took me a few months to align myself with my interior solar system. That is where I've been but it's a long boring story. I think it's good to feel insecure about writing. I think if that didn't happen every once in a while I'd be in deep trouble. That awful feeling of nincompoopness when it comes to writing is extremely important to my writing practice. I don't want to be the person who knows everything the smartass guru of HOW TO WRITE GOOD. I want to be opening up to it for the first time. I want to be a new pair of shoes on Easter morning. I want to smell those sheets hung in the sun to dry. I want to fall down the hill my first time up on skis. I want to crack it open each goddamn time I give it a shot. I just looked in my notebook and there's not a whole lot in there not really. No wonder!

I wore a pink and gray sweater in a diamond pattern and soft gray wool trousers with deep pockets to my father's funeral. I had one of those awful 80s perms that burned your hair up and I wore red framed sunglasses. I was angry that spring was going ahead being spring I remember that clearly. Spring was insulting me. I was mighty stoned. I got in an argument with the preacher after the service. I wanted to argue my father's death away. He was only 60 years old. I went to my father's house after the service and his wife gave me three of his sweaters and a box of his books. I wore those sweaters until they fell apart and for a good while after that.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Pig and farm report

 



This morning at dawn or just before I snailed in my bathtub shivering with my little window open to let steam hiss out thinking how I have made myself smaller and smaller to fit inside the pandemic this shrinking as though the air has been squeezed out of my body and water lots of water and essential salt and light too and even now that I have enough money to buy fruit on the smack top of March as in kiwi as in pear as in apple as in banana as in ruby grapefruit all gleaming on my kitchen table a richness a wealth of fruit even now that I have enough money to make a spring potato salad with tiny red purple and white potatoes and fresh dill and Hungarian paprika and real pepper and the last of the curry from the Souk in Seattle even now I still worry about wasting the least bit of food an egg gone bad the end of a loaf of bread turned stale can vex me and even though I still try to little myself down to bead into the smallest portion of my dreambody where it rains and the roof stays true on my house in the woods and the sea and this morning cinnamon rolled in the bathtub I envision myself in this beloved house with it bedrooms its compass rooms its tall ceilings its granite countered kitchen standing in a corner unable to move to this old beast computer to write because I have become cramped this plague year my wings folded damp and so today I send a prayer to the Animal Gods Who Watch Over Me to stretch out to my maximum beauty I send a prayer to the Animal Gods Who Watch Over Me to let my cocooning be swift and my emergence painless sleek and shimmery

good evening Darklings we are almost there I made it here I typed the words I am shaking with all the doubt that piles up when I stop my writing practice and time has stopped in my head and my eyebulbs burn with pollen swift and dark and swift

sending love dear beasts



 Nest


Dear heart, it’s time. I’ve felt it for weeks,
and just this morning the barn swallows
returned to build their nest in the eaves,
flew 600 miles in a single day to find me
wading the reeds in Tadpole Pond.
Their split tails cut the air, orange throats
sucking up insects spring intended
for my garden. This is how we line
the nest; feather, horse hair, cotton.
This is how we catch with our mouths
in midair. This is how we return time
after time, voices cracking winter's
scab, voices humming, pitched
like warmed paraffin. I’m not afraid
to say it. I never wanted this great
distance, all those miles ringing out.
Darling, my desire sings from mudslide,
bees frozen in the comb, magnolia lifting
her stingy pink fingers to heaven. I am
the clubfoot colt, the crooked lamb,
the cleft and bloody whelp, the spoon-
full of mice stillborn in the kitchen drawer.
I am the buck-toothed girl who waits
at the fence, watching for spring’s
terrible thaw.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Stevie Smith


Black March

I have a friend
At the end
Of the world.
His name is a breath

Of fresh air.
He is dressed in
Grey chiffon. At least
I think it is chiffon.
It has a
Peculiar look, like smoke.

It wraps him round
It blows out of place
It conceals him
I have not seen his face.

But I have seen his eyes, they are
As pretty and bright
As raindrops on black twigs
In March, and heard him say:

I am a breath
Of fresh air for you, a change
By and by.

Black March I call him
Because of his eyes
Being like March raindrops
On black twigs.

(Such a pretty time when the sky
Behind black twigs can be seen
Stretched out in one
Uninterrupted
Cambridge blue as cold as snow.)

But this friend
Whatever new names I give him
Is an old friend. He says:

Whatever names you give me
I am
A breath of fresh air,
A change for you.

Stevie Smith

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Pig and farm report

 


I took that photo in the morning thinking we’re going to have a storm and that night the wind came up and kept coming up 68 miles per hour I (cowered) in bed watching the young madrona outside my bedroom window bend screeching all the way to the ground then bounce back up then bend down again lashing the deck I could feel my house straining against its moorings as the trees moaned and whirled then a terrific crack as half a hardwood tree snapped off and hit the wall nearest my bed then a huge ripping noise that turned out to be an entire western hemlock unearthing itself and falling on the roof of the two story house at the end of my road all 120 feet of that tree my power went out at 10 pm then on then off then on then off again six times clearly a tree or branch bouncing on a power line then I saw the flashes of light coming out of the ground I thought at first it was lightning but it turned out to be power lines down all over the island on the roads dancing sparking and hissing wild and dangerous all the transformers on the island blew at once all this time Hal was in my bed pacing back and forth until he finally hid under my covers Wolfie and Jupiter were probably under a bed which honestly is where I should have been 

In the morning I pulled on my boots and put a warm sweater on over my nightgown and walked outside to assess the damage (some to my trees none to my house or windows or car) I pulled some giant tree limbs out of the street that would have blocked cars then drove around to see what roads were closed (most of them) I bought some iced coffee at a coffee stand with cash and stopped at the bait & tackle to shoot the shit and buy more water and junk food an island hub of sorts some people had two feet of water in their houses all the grocery stores were closed no cash registers 

Good thing I was a Camp Fire Girl because I was prepared I was ready I had everything I needed including bread and peanut butter and let me tell you I’ve existed on bread and peanut butter food of the gods

I got lucky

Power came back on just as the orange monster was being impeached a second time and that’s all I have to say about him I am finished and finished 

I am so grateful for electricity and running water and this house this solid amazing little house and the wild trees and deep water that surround it

I apologize for all of this being boring but I wanted to mark the day or close to the day of the storm and I lost energy half way through this post because I have a fever and may have caught a cold running around in the early morning wind in my jammies

101°

fever lexicon 1. pistol in my hand pointing down 2. green slippery grass 3. ormolu lamp 4. gold leaf thin 5. tequila 6. lobster on the veranda 7. bibs like giant infants 8. a bad idea flying into that fog  9. without headlamps

Saturday, January 16, 2021

 cat & plush

striped cat
glare
green glance 
tiger cut
said          I do
skirt the cold
winter
tiger patterned
st. happy 
winterman's
tiger          look
small dots 
on my dress
bands
of cold green
& white
cat
knives the dark
polka
dot dress 
black & broke
I wear green 
disgusted
broken window
watch-cap &
beethoven full 
glare cold dress 
heat my calves  
the wee plush 
peony
a cat 
two children
times peony 
green dress
my hands          tail
lick the star 
of every beethoven

Monday, January 11, 2021

And angels bake the bread

And angels bake the bread 


The morning her veterinarian woke in her bed he fed her spaghetti smashed the noodles into her mouth lit a candy cigarette after sauce on her white coverlet the vinegar-bleached sheets. There wasn't a fight. She simply wished him empty of music. He was not allowed to tell her how his feet burned how bright steam rose from the dog's bowl. He held her head under water and sang Mahler Saint John has let his little lamb go to the butcher Herod. They watched TV at night drowning. It felt like progress. Life was good under the ginger bell the animal hospital's glowing blue cross.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sending out tendrils through the stars

Darklings, I have missed you and now I am finding my way back to written language to writing to poetry after my return to reading in such great gulping swallows and healing myself of the hunger that that particular loss opened in me. Here is my hand seeking in a dark room if you wish to take it. I miss you all but have followed your voices now bringing mine back in. Hello. Hello from the island. Hello.





Francis Ponge

Oh Louvre of language, which may become a home, after the end of the race—perhaps for the other guests, some monkeys for example, or some bird, or some superior being, like the crustacean that substitutes itself for the mollusk in the periwinkle shell. And then, in the twilight of the animals, the wind and the tiny grains of sand slowly penetrate it, while on dry land it still shines and erodes, becoming brilliant as it crumbles, oh sterile immaterial dust, oh brilliant residue, although endlessly tumbled and crushed between cutting blades of the air and the sea. At last! No one is there, nothing can reform the sand, not even glass, and it’s all over.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Pig and farm report

 Advent poem December 6, 2020


Patty Hearst daughter of the bountiful deities of banks was taken to the underworld changed into her every her and so the earth burst with all the wrong assorted flowers the robbery of color poor Olympians Persephone of the yelling Persephone of the beret and of the rifle on the wordless television the pretty girl with a gun shouted pomegranate! pomegranate! motherfuckers!

*

I am here present as we said in elementary school I am here but I am reading reading returned to me like a lightning bolt to the brain the day the power went out all over the island and I was alone in the pitch black dark call me if the power goes out my son told me so I called him and said the power is out are you going to come here now with coffees and oats and ropes and batteries or what but nope so I crawled under my covers and started reading Atwood’s The Testaments with a flashlight I read straight through the night then I read Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials all three books and was into the second book before I realized it was a YA novel and I don’t care it was magic then Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower but only halfway through because it was too grim and scary then I read Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore which stunned me now I’m reading Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend I will never take reading for granted not ever again I know it can go out like a flame

I’m back where I was as a young woman when I left the commune inside of words and reluctant to turn on the television or look at a screen reluctant to surround myself in noise

I brought a tree into the house today from a Christmas tree farm ripe and green and pitchy I wrestled it into the stand and tightened the bolts with pliers I have done new things recently I replaced both the air filters on my car under the hood and on the passenger side so I had to figure out how to open the glove box by pressing in on the sides then sliding the connector tube up which involved me getting on my knees on wet leaves but I decided I didn’t want to pay $120 when I had YouTube to guide me like Jesus unfortunately there is no YouTube to tell you how to get a dead wood rat out from under your house but eventually the smell got to me and once again I knelt on the forest floor this time armed with my shop vac heavy gloves a long stick and a pair of barbecue tongs and managed to wrestle it out then fling the poor thing into its foresty grave

Ew

I read this tonight in My Brilliant Friend

“We lived in a world in which children and adults were often wounded, blood flowed from the wounds, they festered, and sometimes people died.”

It reminded me of growing up in Spokane

I saw four tiny goats balancing on a round bale of hay I gave myself a YouTube haircut that is not even on both sides but it looks much better and I baked some Japanese milk bread and made old fashioned fudge and now the scent of the tree is waking up everything in my head and my stupid heart

 




Hello Darklings hello