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



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


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


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


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


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
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


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
green glance 
tiger cut
said          I do
skirt the cold
tiger patterned
st. happy 
tiger          look
small dots 
on my dress
of cold green
& white
knives the dark
dot dress 
black & broke
I wear green 
broken window
watch-cap &
beethoven full 
glare cold dress 
heat my calves  
the wee plush 
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


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

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

December 1

Green lights zip the sky

I stitched her palm into the palm of my palm needle slung through ho ho I said fat tabby settled her bottom against the bathroom tiles my hands waved in the tub mirrored stitches pulled out a palm with asterisks along its bony spine ha ha I said listen! her heart warbled on a crane twenty and five stories above the city silver under rolling palms hee hee I said as the sky zipped open the greeny green of her reflection

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Pig and farm report


I woke up at 5 AM and was very still in my bed listening to a huge wind storm which has already lost me power twice this morning and rattled my house's bones thinking nothing hurts nothing hurts for what seemed like a long stretch of time then I heard Hal or Jupiter acking up a hairball. Ahh nature's beauty. Did Emily Dickinson have cats? I don't think so maybe her famous hounds but I very much doubt they slept in her bed. They were wealthy Amherst hounds that lounged under the table gulping down entire platters full of duck a l'orange and slurping port and farting. But cats are not accustomed to all that twee. I doubt Emily ever woke to a windstorm got up to wobble to the loo and stepped in a giant slimy hairball cursing under her breath in her hyphenated way There's a certain Slant of light, Winter mornings -- that OH FUCK WHAT WAS THAT!?!?! You damned cat come back here now we need to have words where was I? Oh yes That oppresses, like the Heft Of Cathedral WHAT? ANOTHER ONE? JESUS STOP EATING MY HAIR RIBBONS YOU LITTLE SHIT. 

I am flat flat flat as a 12th century map. There be dragons. I feel loopy and slightly hungover though I did not partake yesterday or last night though I danced alone in my flickering outer outer room. Here comes the wind again in swells and waves it is just incredible I do love rude weather and I always have. I need to be quiet for a while and listen.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

💥 🎇 🧨

I made a celebratory babka. And once my face stops leaking I want to talk about Dr. Biden’s utterly fantastic dress and I cannot wait until Joe rips down the three layer fence the baboon anus has erected around the White House and Dr. Biden brings a sense of style and grace back to the place. Boy Joe’s speech was a real barn burner. 


Monday, October 26, 2020


my aged cat never left my side ever I slept on feathers crossed my Ts clean as a fishwife the moment in which he rose up hallelujah I was not afraid of solitude but reckless pursuit neckties guns in the temple the low dome last week’s rent drew out the lining the ache in my side that proved resolve men rode motorcycles up and down the street pounded my door demanded open up demanded money as Russian girls in the cafeteria argued over the napkin dispensers cooed like release doves lacking a center I’m not nostalgic for the parasite the waterworm there is nothing left to talk about apples and sandwiches stuffed with fruit the mokrie dela disappeared from automats turn and slide the plastic door or the washateria the Laundra in Newport Loadstar Dryers coin tumble orbiting sensors in my bed gossiping bodies at night target practice on Thursdays in Dallas go ahead go ahead now tell me about the white capped angel of terror and desire

Friday, October 16, 2020

Pig and farm report


That’s a thing that happened I voted with my son and he took a picture of me putting my ballot in the box and when I looked at it I was astounded to see a great froth of pure white hair where my bangs used to be a tsunami of white it seems the only time I’ve looked at myself is when I’m making sure a mask fits in my rear view mirror 

two nights ago I dreamed about Obama he was just here warm and intelligent and comforting like a good father I see this as a sign 

I am going on as usual got an elder flu shot changed the filter in my furnace replaced the propane heater thermostat with a very fancy and very expensive remote control thermostat there is really nothing to report in this report I am in no mood to humble brag about these things or my daily climbs on the trails in the state park or my gourdy garden or my fabulous cooking mostly I am keeping watch I am keeping watch and keeping my head down I am ticking down the clock and growing out my white white bangs hello hello from in here

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Leaving this here to wake up my blog I apologize if the fake hacker jumped from my posts to your email apparently if you close the door for more than seven days they break in happy October

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Pig and farm report


this morning I was finally able to go outside and breathe I stood on the front porch and inhaled the scent of rain soaked forest then I went out to the deck to take that photo of a sugar maple in my yard I opened all the windows in the house put the screens in then drove to the beach there is some stuff going on with my mental health that I am not ready to write about here and so I am stopped from writing anything at all for now last night I dreamed of a giant cabbage and women with weary intelligent eyes and huge dogs I am okay but not okay I will be okay just checking in here to say hello hello

Friday, September 18, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Bone Lullaby

Cante la arena blanca,
sal rota sobre la playa, 
corazón del delfín
montando su onda lisa
en la noche.

Cante los huesos, 
la cáscara quebrada. 
Cocos hablan en le voz del Dios,
derramar la leche al mar.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Pig and farm report


I’ve been having a panic attack all day a panic attack for ten straight hours it’s a real doozy it is medium dark all the time now like a deep summer night in Alaska my son strapped two of his many bungee cords to my fan for a makeshift air filter it rained for a few minutes but it didn’t change the air quality index this is one whiny post

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Pig and farm report

the sky is brown full of smoke ash tar creosote and whatever else trees exhale as they burn as they die that picture is not current I just put it there because it is a portal I only stepped outside once yesterday to grab the CSA box from the porch and I held my breath while doing so no baking no frying no vacuuming (not that I was going to vacuum) and no running the dryer we are quiet inside both of us with raging headaches the house full of invisible smoke waiting for rain there are no birds flying or hopping around no birdsong the leaves on my rhododendrons are drooping my trees cast their eyes to the south toward Seattle and Portland which is now on alert to evacuate half a million people that amazing green place burning burning with an administration that has been steadily and quietly rolling back environmental protections an administration that does not believe in science an administration that disregards the entire west coast because our governors would not stoop to kiss the nasty man’s ring

my son is here because the fires were raging toward his orchard which isn’t really much of an an orchard anymore but acres and acres of lush green land in the Okanogan Valley because his dad refused to spray his trees with chemicals and the surrounding orchard owners complained because if Jim’s trees got infested then it could spread so he removed most of his fruit trees and sold a lot of his land and became very very rich I completely fell off the track in this paragraph 

but behold! all is not bleak! last night wee feral cat Hal caught his first mouse and jumped up on my bed with it crunched between his pointy feral teeth (not carrying it neatly by its tail singing a kill song as Jupiter does) I quickly dispatched the mouse into the forest and commenced giving Hal highest praise and catnip and strokes and thanks for his brilliant gift there hasn’t been a mouse in the house for over a year I’m sure it was just seeking sanctuary the second goodness is that two days ago I started to read again finally I read Iain Reid’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things after watching Charlie Kaufman’s brilliant film based on the book because I was so intrigued and mesmerized by the film (on Netflix highly recommended) and yesterday I read halfway through Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments I read the way I’ve read my entire life nonstop lost enthralled and happy like there had never been a long stretch of time where reading left me my most beloved portal

after I eat my egg this morning I’m diving right back in but with even more love for the art of reading now that I know such a gift can be lost to me

I hope you are safe wherever you are

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Pig and farm report

tomorrow I see the doctor not for anything special except for the billion diseases and maladies I’ve imagined for myself since my bloodwork plus a very real case of what might be ringworm which I have not had since I was a very small child but this quacks like a duck and if it is what I suspect it is then it came directly from my friendly neighborhood veterinarian and the whole idea of it causes me terrible stress and dreams of my brother and needles 

mockingbird wish me luck

 On Tour with The Billy Tipton Saxophone Quartet

A woman walked toward me stuck her fingers in her eyes to avoid looking at me it’s like playing piano she said (that easy) like playing Bach she said (that easy) or running with a broken champagne flute in your mouth easypeasy she said. I rubbed the hairy wen on my left wrist. It pained me to think of his constricted chest the muscle pull yet I would gleefully take hot tongs to his tongue nothing worse than feeling duped than waking up to cold meat and beer. The Portuguese boy in the cigarette factory lopped off his thumb he said I’m no performing monkey when the ambulance drove away lights pulsing as cuckoo-shrikes rose from the mud to announce their lack of water. Darfur water conflict. Tibet water conflict. Sudan water conflict. Water stressed countries. The next day I discovered a velvet bag in a chicken pot pie. I was not the best hostess. I had to play Snow White in Port Townsend that night. I wore paper slippers the blue and yellow dress my skin white as an egg. I rode the ferry first car at the prow. I let down the chain let down the wedges at my front wheels let down my pinched bodice let down my windows and slid into the Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Pig and farm report

I kept busy today but my brain refuses facts refuses the fog that feels like cotton refuses the noise the muted hum of a typical Sunday with its repeated news and its weird 

yesterday I was inflicted with a terrible kind of self pity that led to me to wandering the house Ophelia-like in my white nightgown and also eating six or seven meals I lost count not big meals I had a huge salad at one point then I had a half a cup of brown rice with broccoli tossed in then I had three baby bok choy that I sautéed then later I had a huge soft pretzel on a bee plate and much later still I had two corn tortillas with butter and pretty soon I started to feel like crap and I still feel like crap I think it began with me trying to make my own iced coffee and I'm still not sure how much coffee I drank inside my experiment but I couldn't sleep last night I dreamed I found a huge U shaped bright orange pumpkin with octopus tentacles wriggling around the tentacles were grabbing at me and I was grabbing them and they were slimy 

I was making pretzels and when I pulled my hands out of the dough they looked like hooves and I was a disgusted with myself I felt like my life had just opened its eye I felt pain in my back and the weight of writing from a place of meaty violence the wolf world holds me in its wet soft mouth I worry that I might be the last person to believe the plague is behind us I might be the last person to leave my house into normal into the after I seem so much more worried than everyone else barely fledged and now carried into another season foolish and sentimental 

if I am reading one paragraph at a time does it still count as reading? I read this fantastic work in the Yale Review by Dana Levin not a long piece but it too held me in its teeth and took me two hours I am so glad I finished reading it’s deeply moving my difficulty with reading right now breaks me I feel not here like a forklift ran over my jello brain in an underground parking lot like my soul is a ghost limb begging for a scratch not being able to read refuses blood and butter salt and honey I chide myself for it here but believe me it is the worst punishment my brain could have concocted for me it is not a joke but I have to hush now Ophelia is back knocking like a hungry wasp on my screen

there is the little house in the tree I took this picture by hiding myself on a side street in plain sight you can see the little white picket fence they’re building and the basketball hoop attached to the stairs I feel pretty sure this place holds deep magik like carnivals and Florida and rivers

my son has asked me three times now if we’re going to have a Christmas tree this year and I assure him yes each time and that’s all I know of the future that question and its exclaimed answer but will I be last to go into the green?

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Owls video attempt #4

All the Montanas live in me

 Counting figs and wasps

I followed your dither through the maximum amount of Christs and a small helplessness to see how things looked after the dustup my day-glo dress yielded a razor and a couple on a sidewalk near a pub in Chicago 1947 held hands she hummed he frantically searched his pockets there were holes in the wall of his belly I insisted beyond names until the day we woke the rats and elk in the clearing startled up their flanky desire

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Pig and farm report

today I stabbed the lid of a Tupperware container with the tip of my big butcher knife because I couldn’t pry it off

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Pig and farm report

I feel equal parts energetic and rebecca-small-r tragic yesterday I baked this delicious and amazing loaf of bread stuffed with gruyere cheese roasted tomatoes and basil from my garden today I swapped out my spring duvet cover for my winter duvet cover then I paid my property taxes which were not due until Halloween actually on Halloween which is altogether hinky but I kept thinking about the enormous sum of it the Halloween of it the power of the receipt in my hidey place kept creeping up on me and I’d worry worry worry and so I just did it I paid online early then I bought myself a pair of bright red boots they’re good for navigating out here and that’s pretty much all I wear now boots in the winter surfer flip flops in the summer the rebecca-small-r tragic part is me feeling like I should be a super woman who can read a pattern and sew a mask sew ten or twenty masks! sew 40,000 masks! masks for everyone! but I can’t even read a book these days and when I look at a pattern the lines and measurements swim across the paper or website or page in a distressing way and I refuse to explain myself further or be shamed by my lack because fuck it look at this biscuit light loaf of deliciousness that I baked and I paid my property taxes like a grown up and also no one can rock a pair of red boots like I can

I have been tending to Hal’s cold by locking him in the bathroom with me for twenty minutes twice a day with the shower going full blast hot and the fan off so we both get the benefits of a sauna me for my girly complexion Hal for his crusty boogers I also attempt to smear erythromycin ointment into his literal eyeball which is enflamed and trust me he is still very feral when it comes to having anybody poke around in his eyeball and I am too I’m taking him to our covid free vet Friday which means stuffing him into his wee crate then waiting in my car in the vet’s parking lot as they check him out inside their office I am okay with this arrangement because I have not forgot last January when after wrangling Wolfie to the hot vet office I fainted right there on the goddamn floor like a Victorian spinster though I did not fall I just sat on a chair quickly then sloped onto the floor Hal is a little better today he has been howling for attention and he ate mightily and he “helped” me swap out my duvet covers but he surely does look like a drunk little pirate with his sneezes and his wonky eyeball 

this morning I met this basketball sized wasp nest hanging from a slender madrona branch behind my house hello I said to the many many very busy wasps while slowly backing away from the nest there is no way I’m crawling all the way up a ladder at night in the pitch black woods to contain them while they sleep nope we have agreed to live together peacefully yay nature

I spied a tiny house in a tree near the beach not a treehouse and yet a treehouse all the same with windows with lacy curtains and a proper pointed roof and power and a tiny tiny yard with weird small playground toys in it now I go there every day and just stare at it as it is fabulous beyond belief I can tell someone is living there so no picture but still I keep staring as I pass because it is pure magic

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Happy Birthday Summer’s End

four years ago today I went to the elderly escrow lady and signed the papers to become an actual house owner the first line on the many pages of documents read 


and then fourteen thousand pages of signatures

it struck me as weird since it had been so long since I had been a married person still there I was a completely alone human woman with a chonky inheritance ready to buy a house all by myself but questionable because I didn’t have a man a husband a helpmate someone to bring home the bacon a breadwinner a spouse a partner a childhood sweetheart a sugar a honey a king a prince a lover boy a bae a main squeeze an old man a hubby a mate a paramour a better half a significant other a lord and master a helpmate a bedmate a groom or a man of the house there I was manless and therefore somehow wrong somehow lacking

the elderly escrow lady peered up at me like I was trying to pull a heist but I finished signing all the papers then asked if I could keep her pen

I have not stopped loving this house since I moved in not one single time not even when Alice cringed and said I didn’t think it would be so rustic I love my huge kitchen with its walk in closet pantry I love my master bathroom with its slate walls and cedar ceiling I love my outer outer room and my library I love every tree in my wood and I love my proximity to Desolation Sound and Port Susan and the Salish Sea

I had a terrible nightmare that left me drenched in sweat when I woke a ptsd dream Hal has a cold so two times a day I trick him into my bathroom with wet food then shut the door so we both have a sauna he isn’t happy about it but it is good in fact for both of us

I’m making pico de gallo peppers and red heart tomatoes and onion and cilantro and far too much lime juice for most people that’s it for me chopping vegetables and herbs and listening to Elementary on the telly not following along but hearing Jonny Lee Miller’s voice is a whole mood for me that and the forest the beach. 


Friday, August 28, 2020

Pig and farm report

early this morning I was awakened by howling and screeching screams that I thought at first was a pack of monkeys being murdered by coyotes in my back yard I used to live near the Woodland Park Zoo and I have personal experience with howler monkeys 

I woke up Page so he could hear it too and filmed it with my phone at the same time though it was pitch black out there Page thought it was Bigfoot but this is no surprise since this summer we both saw bear scat in the yard and immediately thought cow

the howling went on for a good 30 minutes and I eventually figured out it was two owls mating and sent the video to Mary Moon She Who Holds Knowledge of All Things and she assured me that indeed those were owls having wild owl sex practically on my deck possibly right below my bedroom window

Mary I apologize for waking you so early but damn woman, nature, right?

August 28, 2020

I’m watching the march on Washington D.C. on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I have a dream speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963

George Floyd’s brother Philonise spoke surrounded by his family and I watched him rub his brow and bow his head down deeply and I knew he was having a panic attack as the crowd surged in on him I knew it as clearly as I know my own name I thought he was going to faint but they got him out of there and my son said he was being held up by the ghosts of King and Malcom X and Gandhi  Muhammad Ali and Medger Evers and Rosa Parks

I give my tears to the dead today I give my water to the dead

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Pig and farm report

I bought some authentic real grits (not that mealy west coast crap) from the company Southern Queen whose incredible logo is right up there a Black owned business with an amazing product which I will be having this weekend along with honest to bog collards curtesy of my CSA box

tonight the Mets and the Marlins met on the ball field facing each other in two lines removed their caps bowed their heads in silence for 42 seconds then waved to each other with their ball caps and walked off the field leaving nothing but a Black Lives Matter tee shirt on home plate having canceled the game and this finally is the thing that triggered my tears that now fall freely under my fingers as I type after days of stuffing those tears back into my head as I’ve watched the news in horror holding my head up in the air so the tears would not fall out but baseball is my game and this is the image that broke me

we witnessed yet another young Black man gunned down in front of his own children by police in Kenosha

a 17 year old maga proudboy shooter killed two people and wounded a third during a protest in the same city then walked away past several police officers saying what he had done admitting what he had done bragging about what he had done and the police told him to go home which he did before turning himself in later

murders ordered by king donald 

Riot Kitchen an organization that offers hot vegetarian meals to protestors across the US an organization I have been supporting had their crew members grabbed from the street and thrown in black unmarked cars in Kenosha last night and now they are disappeared

all they were doing was feeding people

Feed my sheep

those are their blond blue eyed baby boy Jesus’s supposed last words on earth

Feed my sheep

no one can find them who took them police? FBI? NSA? all the american president’s gestapo

Jacob Blake the man who was shot repeatedly in the back by police remains handcuffed to his hospital bed paralyzed from the waist down

why is he shackled?

I have a feeling of dread about the republican convention tonight in what used to be the rose garden a garden I stood in as a girl with my uncle 

something wicked this way comes

this week I successfully took myself to the clinic for necessary blood tests to keep my psych meds alive in my brain then fell up my porch step onto my stomach bruising my entire left side after I had successfully driven myself home the top of my left foot absorbed most of the damage and is now black and blue and swollen like a weird squash and it hurts like a motherfucker but I’ve mostly been keeping it up and iced

my left foot has absorbed most of the damage of my entire life now that I think on it and when you damage your foot you pretty much think on it  

a lot 

my favorite word for 2020 so far is problematic 

my left foot has been problematic since I was a girl 

I’m still going to the beach every day I saw a hawk knock a raven out of the air I saw a great blue heron standing in a culvert just inches from where I stood I watched a two year old girl walk with her mother on the lee side of the island this morning the child was wearing a bright pink gauzy shawl that was at least five feet long and it furled out behind her in an amazing wave I finally moved my tiny belongings out of my gray winter purse into my spring purse which is pink and has a sixties boxy look I was saving it until after covid but here we are I began a skin care routine with a fancy cleanser then masque then cream then lip exfoliant but I gave it up in one day the gladiolus are finished drooping their long stalks with one determined flower hanging onto the ends of each one with ridiculous hope the dahlias are up the bullfrogs sing in the marshlands behind my house my son is still here but he is leaving Saturday going to the city then to his orchard we talk about politics and art and memory and music my son is brilliant and his thoughts constantly keep me thinking we talked this morning about how our brains grow rigid if they are not used we think this is what happened to Terrible America its denizens grown rigid and stupid

I can’t practice Bach because when I play my violin I keep my right foot in front of me and my left foot behind me then I move my body using my left rear foot as a propeller launching me almost out of my chair at times something that used to disturb The Jackal my prize student’s mother all that moving around she’d say the queen of judgment and I’d beg her to go see the symphony for herself so she could see that I was not broken

ps. I teach my students to sit with both feet in front of them planted firmly on the floor

I wanted to write about woodpeckers how their tongues practically curl around their brains and about penguins’s terrifying sort of teeth these creatures are not at all disneyfied but instead I’ll confess that my terraria my science projects are all over the place now at different stages of growth and decay fecundity and death and according to my son are problematic but I think I’m done with nature at least for tonight

Saturday, August 22, 2020



this morning I baked that completely fucked up pan of brownies and that’s my day so far though all this is saved by the fact that I saw two blonde llamas just chilling in the back of a truck at the beach the other day

last night I dreamed of a plane crash in the sky above my yard at first one white sneaker fell then another then more white sneakers fell faster then part of the wing came crashing down and the survivors were on my porch asking to come in asking for water asking to use the bathroom asking for help I used to work on the wiring inside those airplane wings with Alice I know exactly what they look like Alice are you here are you the wing burned and burned near my fig tree among all those white sneakers my name is on every single wing I ever tied and crimped the wire bundles for my name goes into the sky every time one of those planes flies and when they crash the people who inspect the crash sites know who wired the plane but they never tell because the knowing would be too much to bear 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Pig and farm report


my right hand hurts because tendinitis has gripped my first two fingers the fingers in my bow hand my right hand hurts because I have been practicing Bach my right hand hurts because I am anxious my right hand hurts from pulling weeds and kneading bread my right hand hurts because I have been driving so much and I'm gripping the goddamn steering wheel like I'm about to be raptured and I'm not right with jesus I have not treated my hands as precious babies throughout my life they are pretty beat up

I go to the beach every day I watch the beach for hours I am not in a hurry with it I have distributed the silk sheet I have rinsed my hair in a tide pool I know which seabirds will be standing in the mudflats I know how barnacles stink in the sun I know what the tides are I have read and memorized the tide tables I have culled and given away the sea in my head I have considered how long it takes wounds to heal 

sometimes my son feels like my jailer everything wobbles and is in flux especially time during covid I am at 37% or 10% or perhaps 22% I cannot function after a few days of rain last week or two weeks ago or last week or yesterday I realized it was autumn as firmly as a handshake as riotous and alarming as a sneeze or a white boy high five never high five me my right hand hurts from high fives my brain hurts from high fives there will be no more high fives I love my son who takes care of me and he never tries to high five me and I am so glad and so lucky that he's here

autumn moved in and the entire planet shifted and I felt the shift this is not crazy old lady talk I felt the shift in my bones it was a few days before I woke and smelled campfire smoke from the state park come in through my bedroom window early in the morning the campfire smoke took root in my hair and stayed and it rained another day and six trees at the beach gave up their root balls and crashed blocking the road today it is windy a wind storm and I have a plan to make enchiladas and I should get to it but I have misgivings about starting a cooking project when the wind is high and trees are going to tree heaven just eight miles away and I lose power out here so frequently

my son's truck is fixed for now and it cost me a pretty hunk of change and it cost him a pretty hunk of change it cost all of us but I feel it the most because I have so very recently been dirt poor and I still think in my wobbly brain like a dirt poor person it is not that far behind me just four years behind me I worried about all the money it would take to fix my son's truck I worried that I would become poor again even though I own this house and have a pantry full of food and a bed that won't fall through the floor and working electronic toys and a car I rarely drive any more except to the beach and the state park gripping the steering wheel like I'm about to be raptured

that picture up there is from the only sleepover I ever had or attended as a girl as a leggy wild eyed girl with my friend Elena Benoit who I remember because not only did she attend my only sleepover but she and I read the entire school library in the third grade including dictionaries and encyclopedias this was a pact we agreed on and kept already that sleepover at my mother's terrible house looks dangerous and unsupervised what was happening what I tried to crop the photo and because I am typing on my pc because my right hand hurts too much to hold my ipad and type with one finger as I usually do the crappy cropping mechanics combined with my lack of skill made the photo too dark but I have the original and maybe darkness is required to see myself here my leggy wild eyed girl self with one friend and a lot of books my right hand hurts and my hair smells like campfire smoke and I am not okay this morning I am still a wild eyed girl twirling in a bright blue dress with a belled skirt

all I have done so far today is wonder why my heart keeps pounding like a horse inside me and make a roux and smell my wood smoke campfire hair swirl around my head and even though I know what a roux is what a roux is meant to do* I am still impressed when I make a roux and its thick magic happens every single time and now all the things are happening at once the enchilada sauce is cooking the lights are flickering I am writing to beat the wind and to apologize to myself for not writing here every day so it isn't such a shock to find out I can still do it

my right hand hurts because I went too long without practicing Bach and thought I could dive right in even though I know better and my writing practice here suffers and I suffer because writing feels lost but Bach felt lost until I rosined up my bow and got to it

mastery of practice is mastery of art I know this deep down in my leggy wild eyed self I taught this to all my students both writing and violin for years and here I am twirling in my blue summer dress and pulling weeds and listening to the news though this dress is a bell and when I twirl the skirt balloons out like a Sufi dancer and my whole head is holy and fills with smoke and air

I am at 37% or 10% perhaps 22% not in my right mind though I am neither depressed nor manic I watch too much television news I worry about the post office I am distraught over what is happening the past three years to our very basic freedoms I worry about women of child bearing age who might need an abortion or a divorce or a vote if the republican party gets another four years I am fucking worried and we should all be

I feel a little bit crazy but not actually crazy you don't have to be the Kleenix Lady who rushes over when I start to cry at an AA meeting or a doctor's office or any public space because you want me to stop you want to stopper me to throw a blanket over my whole messed up life to stop me from howling to stop my animal grief to stop me from becoming fully my animal self as my terrible family destined me to be I might go into survival mode in a ball on the floor today but it's okay you don't have to be the Kleenix Lady instead join me in keening and howling join me in the best ever cure

I am so glad the days are getting shorter


*I know what a roux is meant to do might be a Johnny Mercer song but it is not and he's dead so he can't have it though honestly he should have thought of it living in the south as he did

Saturday, August 15, 2020


my six strand braided challah is the same burnished color as my old mahogany Franklin upright piano