Sunday, May 8, 2022

Pig and farm report

 



Welcome to the Sunday edition of the pig and farm report. It is bloody cold out here on the island 41° this morning. My lilacs refuse to open my herb garden looks like the saddest bit of vegetable you find in the bottom of your refrigerator bin in autumn and forget about planting tomatoes those ruby beating hearts. Still it is unbearably beautiful when the sun shines and the rain makes my yard smell like the most intense lovely day you can imagine from camp in utter girlhood. Bunnies are still hopping about deer still play statue in the yard and the rhododendrons that grow everywhere in my yard carry on voracious and bright. Spring continues in spite of wool trousers cashmere sweaters heavy blankets and the propane fire blazing from dawn until bedtime not to mention snuggly cats. 

Today is difficult for me. The echo of mother precious mother that is everywhere today strikes my ear as vinegar my mother being the sort of person to prove that just because you can procreate doesn’t mean you should. I guess that’s all I have to say about it but those who know know and those who don’t carry on believing that we all had brilliant loving parents. I did go to the grocery this morning and the smell of flowers and guilt for sale at every cash register was palpable. I listened to John Lennon wailing on my car radio on the way home. Maybe all my dials really have flown off. 

That’s it for today. Look how beautiful my front yard is blazing in frozen sunlight.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Pig and farm report

 


At 4:16 this morning a M3.6 earthquake shook me awake it was reported to have hit between Mount Vernon and Seattle which is basically my house. I made it through a cold and rain soaked April by reading and writing poetry drafts an exercise in humility and endurance. I missed six days but I kept going. It was glorious to jump start the part of my brain that wants/needs to find comfort in playing with language. I took that picture of a daffodil field at the Skagit River between the touristy tulip farms and La Conner. There is a nursery out there that I love to wander in even when the cold wind whistles through. 

I have planted herbs in a pot some chives and tarragon and catnip chocolate mint and peppermint in another. It’s been too cold to plant much else. Lilacs are just now beginning to open around the island. I have a new dermatologist so now I’m trying a cheapo version of some fancy medicine for rheumatoid arthritis though I am not convinced that I have it. My joints ache all the time but doesn’t that just happen when you get old and as of today I am the proud owner of of a Delta dental insurance policy that covers one half of dentures and a bizarre mix of other things some teeth to be extracted some not sometimes pain meds sometimes not if it’s Thursday and the dentist’s dog barfed on his kitchen floor that morning you don’t have insurance for that day etc but at least I moved forward at least I did something. Beethoven said Art demands of us that we do not stand still. I’m locked into the policy for a year. Maybe I can find an adult to explain it to me. In the meantime I will continue to wear a mask to hide my awful broken mouth while I shop for a dentist who does not live “out here” as  in here in the random wilderness. Except for a strange bout of laryngitis that was caused by bad air quality in Seattle a place that used to have the cleanest air in the world I haven’t been sick in two years. It’s been a while since I posted here and this sounds boring to me but here I am snaggle toothed and still crazy.

Welcome to May the most glorious month of spring.



Saturday, April 30, 2022

In the season of lilacs and drunk magnolias

at night my teeth transmit the truth of small
emperors and exploded planets a song
that was popular the year we walked
to the carnival in Coeur d’Alene and gnats
swarmed my cotton candy you boiler of cabbage
you cap sleeper you stunted slump a week later
laminaria expanded my awful circle
a briny memory tincture that ached for years
shoved me backward down the moss covered
boat ramp the dog I loved whose great tongue
smelled like a deep placid lake the elderly white
doctor said he put a seashell inside me I knew
it was spiky and spined but he prized the little
bomb out on the way home I wrecked your car
music is violence and tissue memory lands
my fingers in the right place or evening prim
rose do you think it’s easy now I séance my gods
I am not halved or quartered simply a seed
I carry will I ever stop standing between
doors one opens and a soprano sings the Queen
of the Night aria slams shut and another scorches
my eyes with electricity and now without prayer
or platitudes like a piano exposing its tender guts
on the street straining and moaning roiling inside

Friday, April 29, 2022

April 29.

The Abandoned Mozart Players


In this orchestra we drive a 1946 Buick Special

up and down First Avenue into downtown 

fearless in the underworld we don’t even know 

what day it is our feet pull themselves away a bit more 

each morning where we walk arm in arm through the mall

to shoplift earrings from Claire’s and cherry cola lips

time lists and tilts its hoary head here in dreamland

now the sandbar is exposed Baby Island a shimmer 

mirage on the green edge of Whidbey what happened

to that girl with the Strawberry Shortcake tattoo her brain 

filled with blood at the edge of twenty one her twin

brother scrubbed chimneys her mother a cook in the prison

our bodies told us what we craved but oh darling our faces 

our faces are no longer ours

Thursday, April 28, 2022

April 28.

The  moment I became invisible

I kept running to the front porch
to force air into my lungs
don’t ever tell me just breathe
all those years working three jobs
jangled my latitude nerves
maybe there was too much noise
in my head maybe one of my dials
flew off she thought we were alike
she had no idea how hard I tried
kept time to my interior metronome
I forgot to put vinegar in my potato
salad for Easter so sue me Jesus
I didn’t feel safe enough to tell her
how I felt about kale or Emily Dickinson
I wanted to stand in the square
and scream but I cried
instead and crammed
blueberries in my mouth as a hawk
battered a crow out of the sky

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

April 27.

The hummingbirds are thirsty now

My brother’s dahlias light up

like a party at night it’s time

to release the dragon kite

across the frozen artichoke 

field my brother and I see

entities from other dimensions

we thought the earth was rising

up and cracked like an elder

woman’s hands how could

you not be open to all that

light my brother is Bruce

Willis fighting crime in Los

Angeles he knows the broken

heart of the world his sugar

dog prances and sings among 

the dahlias demanding that we

not stand still as the light

streams blue and wild here

in Arcadia

Friday, April 22, 2022

April 22.

Funhouse


Panic O panic leave me alone

I thought my heart was going to explode 

I practiced Bach the honest of being able

practice during the day pretend 

to be (a real musician) the problem

is it takes forever to go back 

a dead computer eats me but there are worse

things no gas or a car that doesn’t rattle

neither rangey nor strange if I can stop worrying 

about my future as a Bright as shameful

downcast eyes as the place with bullet proof

glass for $55 you too can be an exploded

star Merry Christmas Merry Christmas 

don’t get me wrong I’m no saint 

or lonely my head is on fire 

leave me O beautiful oh beautiful


April 21.

 I posted this yesterday but on the wrong blog yikes!


 Alice’s poem


Leaving Cheryl’s funeral a bee

flew in my jacket or Gail’s

I stopped the car jumped out

or Gail jumped out certain the bee

was Cheryl saying hello saying

goodbye saying haha gotcha

later I planted a hazelnut tree

in the side yard of my rental house

in north Seattle the next day Alice

made us a tea party at work

we drank out of small white cups

with wild green leaves growing

on them Cheryl might have never

been a ghost but now Alice is

I can’t find her anywhere Gail gone

too all the girls lost to me one way

or another all the girls donning

our jackets and teacups laughing up 

and down our green sides


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

April 20.

April 20



before coffee or cricket before

the bullfrog’s unholy racket

just a book a cat staring at me

with her bright constellations 

and my wrist’s constant throb

it is in this quiet that I remove my 

head arrange it among corn

flowers and baby’s breath

in the florist’s refrigerated

case breathe the promise 

fragrance of gardenias in boxes

rose cramped arrangements 

elephant shaped vases for the ill

I’ll return for you at nine

I tell my empty skull

don’t worry I tell my blue 

blue eyes I’ll always come back

I lie without blinking and close

the soft fleshy door




Tuesday, April 19, 2022

April 19.

 Women are roughly twice as prone to demon possession as men.  — unknown source


The first true low tide of the year rolled a kelpy brine

scent through my house as I stood on my porch

crushing eggshells into vines that curl up the steps

maybe the island is sinking every time someone builds

another house here a man told me this it must be true

a young couple worried baffled at the forest gates

as he read printed instructions on how to change

a tire I demon laughed at him but I only know how

to hard boil an egg giving thanks to the chicken

I don’t actually hear what the eggs are saying

I only know how to resurrect a cake stitch a spell 

into a sock change the strings on a violin or push

a child out of my body and set him free

my hair smells of wood smoke and salt

I have picked morels from the woods by the sea

if needs be cast me out if needs be 


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter

 


Saturday, April 16, 2022

April 16.

Easter

savory
requiem 
poison 

We are already ghosts

Friday, April 15, 2022

April 15.

 The mother of cornfields arrives hungry


I move the distress planchette through the woods

where bloody dock grows in fairy clumps an owl

keeps sentry in the cedar some for my pocket 

clomp clomp a bread horse trots feverish

along the seawall asks how to discharge his energy

safely in a community I push the distress planchette 

further into the forest where three deer drink

from the Little River runoff to the tide flats the blue

lipped clams jellyfish on the sand brilliant hubcaps 

halfway through April and language has fled me

my troubles washed in the blood of the spring lamb

sent to slaughter the other lamb who died

for our dinner a robin joins the sentry owl

together they watch my life get smaller

Thursday, April 14, 2022

April 14.

Maundy Thursday

A bouquet of nerium oleander
for the lovely young doctor
who prods the skins of me
writes on my arm with an orange
stick watches the welts rise up
a trick or witchery let me place
these in water sir bury your face
in their star petaled pinkery 
as I wait in welts & itch plaques
begging for ointment & drugs
my boiled scalp my secret drudge
your office lights landing strips
your giant chair from which my legs
dangle like a toddler’s go ahead
physician peer into my ears check
the folds & whorls don’t miss a spot
behind those knees under my tit
on my thigh there too haha even
my most secret bend over thank you 
thank you for seeing me thank you
yes I’ll be back in three months yes
I’ll stop at the lab on my way out
those blossoms are delicious baked
onto your favorite dessert enjoy!


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

April 13.

 The rabbit tractates

 

1.      A low Easter quaked in eel grass and mud biting bit under my left breast

2.      Soup with the Easter Pony

3.      Drop an egg swirl it violently with a stick

4.      Highspeed mouse trap please leave a detailed message everything tiptop and shiny

5.      My hair is getting on my last nerve

6.      I have not taught a violin lesson since March 1

7.      I was lobster girl with Sea World proportions

8.      The actor Jason Lee as Jesus surgically removed my heart

9.      She saw the dead Jesus’s ghost holy crap and he was lighted up like a Christmas tree

10.  My body was a jackrabbit

11.  Mount Rainier was pink seriously pink like frosting like my favorite Easter dress like the inside of a rabbit’s ear like tongues of fire

12.  We were both in the pudding by then the Easter promise of Cleaner Smoother Hands

13. Just north of some trees in one section were giant chickens that could peck you right to hell

14. I wish I had been that girl with a dog too and radiant


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

 April 12


I refuse everything except the green cake the exceptional star nosed mole reading seismic waves traveling through the earth’s layers help help I am a subterranean princess a tiara brat of the widest stripe a parody of every child movie rolled out on garage doors during the plague I am named Zip and Zap I am sugar mascot tiny gunpowder I am fur and mite help help panic has brought me low tonight panic has stolen my bristle tongue softened my edges to "ADD PICKLES"

Monday, April 11, 2022

April 11.

 So sang the Four Square gospel choir


Anoint me with olive oil because I burnt a cake stuffed

chocolate flowers in my eyes braided

my bedsheets lathered lard into my hair removed my tongue for safekeeping

left my ovaries on a fence took the baths

at Baden-Baden telephoned my exes

claimed they fathered baby goats  removed my arms for safekeeping

promised my soul to a Pentecost cult

shaved my left leg in the bloody nick

removed my breasts for safekeeping 

smoked the guts of a pixie stick removed my womb for safekeeping

ate the husk of the corn instead removed that fetus for safekeeping

there is magnolia poison over me

there is magnolia poison over me

Oh Lord come down now

there is magnolia poison over me



Sunday, April 10, 2022

April 10.

 Sonny Boy Jesus


Look at my crosshatched hands daring
the water to rise up criss crossed rough
I carry the weight of every orchid roustabout
this morning the scuba diver skimmed
the surface her brisk frog legs kicking out
no whale no bloody angel or weeping Mary
potato salad and canned biscuits salted
meat and little lambs I keep my hands
folded the skin worn thin all those factory
chemicals and digging potatoes out of soil
without gloves tell me oracle am I near
my seventh decade I have no social
group no scholarship no quilting bee
barely suited for these trees the best
I can do is call up snow an Easter
diorama on Palm Sunday while girls
dream of devotion in milk fed voices
the godhead deeper than we ever imagined

Saturday, April 9, 2022

April 9.

 On the ninth day I already failed


There is honey in my hair

I flipped a coin and it stayed on its edge

for seven days and seven nights

the clouds were Old Testament 

use pasta as a skewer stop scrolling start practicing 

lose 1.5 inches of belly fat using this one trick

you would be shocked at how much I don’t care

you can be shocked by a neutral wire

you might be shocked at how many adults are dead inside

I am small and crumpled so I’ll make fart noises

with my mouth and hands inside this poem

then clap in rhythm Magic 8 Ball says

Answer hazy ask again tomorrow

Yes. No. Goodbye.

Friday, April 8, 2022

April 8.

On the morning of the storm

We drove to the Skagit River in my son's truck
to talk about her wind cut through power
flicked off and on ghosts he said he's always
seen them gathering on the edges of houses
barns old schools places where children
or grandmothers lived the river is constant here
we mourn through it even when we want to be
shut out children aren't supposed to die
the mud banks rear and churn daffodil
fields pulse like giant earthlights even in early
spring when the Pacific tide breaks its bounds
we hold grief like stars hissing in our mouths
the tide has no heart for us the lower angels
sink and rise from the smokestack's painted sides
to the hospital's last call


Thursday, April 7, 2022

April 7.

First fugue

I attached rabbit ears to a new mask
so he could better hear but Beethoven
blew in fury raft and grosse panicked
when we recorded the piece tender animals flew
from the ceiling onto our music stands hilarious
in that raw moment the church shimmered gold
held our breath as one animal did not stop
my desire template drowned out
the (actual) quartet billow sails I knelt in loam
leaned forward into the notes my knotted fingers
my Beethoven ache in the audience a woman
screamed stung by a bee on her shoulder where tulips
breathed hosannas their wolf heads dipped
and swayed in ravage faces could not hear
(warning) voices not even the rabbit
ears glue and mud and tomato vine I covered my (true)
ears onto his ears as panic bundled and roared
my (felt) hands flying against my instrument
watched the fugue climb straight up to god


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

April 6.

400 meat chickens

lost in the storm
ever since I fainted on the floor
of the veterinarian’s office
I can’t drive or sing
because fat bodied moths
live in my throat I broke my arm
heard the snap she said
you’re fine this morning
my tooth cracked I’ve never
been good at asking for help
I’m bored of my own trauma
I’ve never been good
at asking for help but I could
write a treatise on the joy
of cowardice how precise
it feels to just walk away from school
or family or husband or job
that step outside mid day
when it’s quiet as rapture
such wild joy as women hang
laundry on the lines and chickens
go flapping into the west
all those livers
all that meat


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

April 5.

When my mouth goes round

Oooos come out cartoon clouds embarrassed
by my excess my beak long in its nest
a hiss the weave wind water rising
a screen whickered off the kitchen window
cracked then slid into the undergarden

I dissolved the pill on my tongue a cranky host
the rabbit king dissolved on my tongue
as tru la tru lala storms sang across the Salish Sea
tru la tru lala rabbits sang in the undergarden

when I was a girl I tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk
in a thick Spokane summer in the equinox I balanced
the same egg on its end or was it midnight hidden
in the lilac bushes the blue polished egg I rolled
in my mouth like my own little pow as the rabbits
watched their pink eyes twitching

Monday, April 4, 2022

April 4.

 

Blank document

 

This is the absolute last day hurry if you have a picture of Jesus in your bio I’m blocking you if you have a picture of a flag in your bio or on your car or hanging on your house I’m blocking you no I don’t really care about the lord or your workout routine or your handsome graying beard or your truck or your cowboy hat or your dog or America or your snug fitting underpants or your church or your sourdough bread but especially I don't care about your sourdough bread stop showing me your loaf I hate your loaf my electric is sharp my fat my thin my old new skin my daily grind my earth friendly I’m inspired by Ibsen never heard of them led by the very best team of doctor dictators an erratic symbol crash can eff the entire piece look at her go in her space boots her lulu lemons shake it I really don’t love your sourdough I don’t care about your gd starter shake it up baby like chocolate pudding in your face we’re all dying we’re all dying here

Sunday, April 3, 2022

April 3.

Where the red light’s always on

I’m growing a horn on the left side of my head
skin cells dance shed multiply and throb
girls in the dark sing into hairbrushes
yesterday I forgot everything stupid
crunched the corners of my mouth afraid
to show my true face my brain slid off its polar

ha ha! words turned into letters into insects
on the page an amateur monster
I couldn’t even find the key

but Courtney could

look! she said
I’m still here! she said

Aurora beat her heart into us
exploded poppies in the seesaw street
girls I loved sang into their hairbrushes
little fears the liquid Cs of repent

 Courtney said drink up!

lapped the rough edges down strummed deep
into the scaled and feathered night Woodland
Park beat the horn growing on my head
the turtles pale flamingos great apes
howled into that unsafe house

the girls sang rescue me
swing swing swing your blond legs
over the divider stop the car
strum deep into the scaly night

Saturday, April 2, 2022

April 2.

 Remember Rebecca how it felt to step to the water’s edge?


On Maundy Thursday I baked blueberry pie
beans and apples don’t wear a light color dress
the berries will burst their guts on you
the way giving blood feels like letting go
of everything

or how at certain times in my life parts
of my body went numb in spring the black
tailed deer chewed honeycrisp apples in the snow
in front of my house her body
the color of elephant tusks

on Shrove Tuesday I ate the cake purple
and gold straight through to the plastic baby
clack clack on my tooth and kayakers
dotted the Stillaguamish River 
swift primary flags like standards
bright narrow countries
yet to be discovered

Friday, April 1, 2022

April 1.

 Maybe I didn't listen hard enough


O woe rule water rises
(and won't stop)
she drove away forgot
shoe dangled
on the brake

O woe no molasses
dignity still
sometimes she answered

O woe dervish horse brain
the girl alone ghost telephone
rang was she calling me from her bed

O woe alone in her bed
the phone rang
don’t let me go tonight
she said

O woe don't let me go


Pig and farm report (with swears)



This is the week in which I did all the hard things an emergency plumbing incident that ended up with me calling the stinky septic guy turns out my tank wasn't full but he found the problem and fixed it very $$$ three headed dog no matter what then I went to the doctor for my yearly visit which meant an hour in his office with bruises up and down my arm from labs and then tip to toe inspection of my personal girly space then meds refilled then an ekg because even though I told Doctor Call Me Zack that yes I was having a panic attack at that very moment he still needed to have a look for himself but by the time he left the office and his girl Annie the Racist walked in to stick the thing-a-ma-bobs all over my chest everything looked normal my heart wasn't exploding at all! Doctor Call Me Zack came back in to tell me that I was not in fact having a heart incident but it seemed that I was in fact having a panic attack when I came into the office ignoring the fact that I ALREADY TOLD HIM THAT for fuck sake then he told me all my numbers were good but he wanted me to go back to the lab to have my sodium level checked again even though I told him my sodium level would be low because I adjusted my psyche meds ok! I said with gusto! OKAY! I'll head right back to the lab!!! then I breezed the fuck out of there because I had no veins left in my body no doctor police stopped me at the door (it’s shocking how easy it is to not do what your doctor tells you to do up to and including stepping on the scale and yet we [I] are raised to follow them no matter what

after that I went to Mount Vernon to look at the Skagit River and the tulips which have sprouted just in time for the tulip festival which brings droves of unnecessary tourists to my island and beyond and to buy donuts at Darren's Donuts and to get dinner at Taco del Mar then yesterday I sent my book MS to a beloved press and that was the scariest thing of all

(that's a lie the plumbing was the scariest thing of all)

today is April the beginning of National Poetry Month and I am participating in the poem a day self torture last year I got to day two before my brains ran out so far so good here on April Fish Day at noon I'm going to get my second booster because why not because even though Doctor Call Me Zack told me I might not need it I don't trust him because at the beginning of covid he told me not to worry about masks that they wouldn't do any good (was he listening to our then pig-president?) and his nurse Annie the Racist told me she wasn't going to get vaccinated (though she’s assured me she since has because her children got them and should it have not been the other way around sad face emoji) still it can't hurt I am well over 65 and spent the early parts of my life smoking and coughing and getting bronchitis once or twice a year and almost dying of pneumonia a few times and better safe than sorry and if our now president can get a boosted booster then I'm going to

I sent my son to the store to pick up what I will need after my booster:
1. Strawberries
2. Aspirin
3. 

look at Queen Jupiter staring down into the heater vent like its haunted cat but aren't all cats kind of strange that way?