Thursday, January 23, 2020

note :

Lindsey Graham left the chamber when Nadler showed footage of him giving Clinton’s impeachment speech he was the only senator who left*1

what a chickenshit*2

1.* actual reportage
2.* personal opinion

I am waiting for the trial to start I have watched most of it except I went to sleep at 11 Tuesday and yesterday I had to shut my brain off and go to the beach for a few minutes I am so angry and frustrated by those who have obviously drunk more than their share of the White House’s Kool-Aid including John Bolton who could testify if he wanted to and Chief Justice Roberts who needs to grow a pair of balls and remove those 16 Republicans who were wandering around outside of the chamber during Adam Schiff’s brilliant speech yesterday morning either so bored or so guilt stricken or so sure they could break the law and not have to pay for it like their evil leader that they just flung it back in everyone’s face

I’m honestly terrified for the country now which has lost its moral core shame on Mitch McConnell who made a bunch of nasty rules which he himself couldn’t follow because his crickety elderly bones would not hold up for 24 hours in a row and what about the candy desk what the fuck they can’t follow their own milky rules there is no way any of them could hold down an honest job stuck at a desk or standing on a factory floor for 12 hours a day (most of my career at Boeing included 12 hour days)

16 Republicans walked out 16 of them I can’t even believe it it’s disgusting

tomorrow is my son’s birthday he just got here and we’re going to Seattle tomorrow and god I am so grateful for his being his intelligence and grace here is that long legged beasty being something he called The Christmas Dragon all through his early childhood and I never did find out why

time to go they’re reading the benediction see you soon Darklings

Monday, January 20, 2020

Movie review revue

I have only gone to two movies since I moved here because the only theater that isn’t infested with bedbugs is in the mall in which the Cascade shooting occurred the theater where the shooter hung out and watched Snowden before the police found him and it is creepy

tonight I watched Marriage Story because I have increased my dosage of tegretol again yes again again again and I feel terrible and could not drag myself out of bed I have never been a fan of Scarlett Johansson or Adam Driver and honestly I couldn’t remember Scarlett Johansson’s character’s name throughout the entire movie but Adam Driver surprised me by being powerful and moving and I sobbed three times watching him and now I think he’s amazing

what a sad movie which did nothing to lift me out of my gummy mouthed despair and honestly the movie felt like it was half directed by Nora Ephron and half directed by the creepy and now utterly despised w.a. with music by the lesser Newman cousin Randy seriously if you’re going to make a movie why not have Thomas Newman do the score he’s brilliant also why do people have to sing in movies now both of the main characters singing made no sense to the story line the only saving graces of this movie were Laura Dern who can Do No Wrong Merritt Wever Wallace Shawn who I love in anything and Alan Alda except for Adam Driver’s character I was always aware of the acting painfully aware like OK here is Scarlett Johansson in her tall jeans and she’s acting and now she’s acting like she’s crying now she’s pretend pouting now she’s being a mom and oh look she got a haircut and now she’s a little bit blonder than she was

I give Adam Driver four stars and the rest of the movie two stars a good movie if you feel too disgusting to get out of bed and there are no reruns of House on teevee or you want to go to a haunted theater in an empty mall

ps. last night I had a terrible anxious dream which involved a public toilet and getting lost as usual but at the last minute dream Tom Cruise drove up in a shiny little yellow convertible to rescue me from my dream self

Sunday, January 19, 2020

What is your sick quest, Sunday?

I reached up to the tall shelf in my library closet and a small box of stuff fell on my head that I had forgotten about the box was full of gold and green star stickers and other stickers that I used on young violin students' practice pages it was a box full of paste and glitter and rabbits in waistcoats and I wanted to get naked and put the stars all over myself and take my photo in the mirror and I still might

Saturday, January 18, 2020


I was never a fan of Fleetwood Mac because I think Stevie Nicks sounds like a billy goat a billy goat in lots of gossamer scarves and fanciful hats but this song in particular has always alarmed me because at first listen and frankly who needs more that a first listen it sounds to me like a man singing just lay you down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff

and that is just gross

also I’ve been laid down in the tall grass especially when I lived on the commune in the mountains  and I can tell you right now it made my entire body itch for days after no matter how many times I stood in the outside shower lathering up in Dr. Bronner’s Pure Peppermint Oil Soap under the watchful eyes of various cows horses and random other hippies and we were all random then and yes I still use the soap I use it for everything and so does my son

I baked a gorgeous loaf of bread tonight and every time I bake bread I remember my years on the commune with such fondness those women who were just a couple years older than I taught me not only how to bake bread and grow a garden and milk a goat they taught me how to be human and I will love them forever

Pig and farm report

the temperature rose drastically and melted the snow so quickly that I thought it was raining for two hours but it was just the trees trying to shake it off shake it off off off now it looks like spring outside except for branches and other debris flying past like green bullets wear eye protection please the weather on my weather app now looks like this I prefer snow snow snow snow to those squiggly wind lines

Prince Hal growled this morning his very first growl a deep in his throat warning to his sister to back the fuck down which she did the growl startled us all especially Prince Hal and I could suddenly see the fierce beastie he is going to become when he arrives at pure cathood a cat who will take no crap from anybody wear eye protection please

yes soft scritches

no soft scritches

I am baking today or attempting to bake bread the house is still pretty frozen inside so I’m taking my time damn I wish I had a heating pad to put under my pot but I will just let it go

I was supposed to go to the grocery store for Big Shopping which means buying the paper towels I like and olive oil stuff I can’t find on the island but I had yet another panic attack Majorca in scope the kind that makes my shoulders ache and I’m still a little iffy about fainting again in public or any damn where for that matter

that’s it for now if you see a truck flying sideways down your street or a growling feral kitten-almost-cat wear eye protection please

This has been a Radish King public service announcement 


Here I am again reminding myself that there is indeed still summer that it is guaranteed as long as I stay alive that my skin and hair and toes will return to their natural order that my elbows and wrists and hands will thaw the garden will be fecund and loamy moss will return to the trees roses and greeny green grass will magically reappear I will inhale lilac and hyacinth deer will turn tawny summer dresses and sandals will emerge from my closet and my knees will emerge and become their scabby spectacular selves I need to remind myself almost daily of the summer promise during terrible flat frozen winter I say it all the time I am and will always be a summer girl a Leo a water baby and to my very soul
Amin Amin Amin

this morning the wind is crawling up again so far it’s at an easy going 20 mph I’m still in bed with two cats rereading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential because I wanted to have his voice in my head I have not forgotten what a great writer he was before his television shows and that’s how I knew him first

“I’ve asked a lot what the best thing about cooking for a living is. And it’s this: to be a part of a subculture. To be part of a historical continuum, a secret society with its own language and customs. To enjoy the instant gratification of making something good with one’s hands—using all one’s senses.”

This is very much how I feel about being a musician that I am in a secret society a strange little aquarium of skilled obsessives closed to the outside world that the sound of rehearsals the guts of the music library their stacks ceiling high and valuable the after hour parties the competition and the ache that hours of practice brings the sharp emotional pain of having a student you’ve taught for eleven years go away to school the smell of rosin in a cold church on a Saturday morning are things that the world at large cannot gain admittance to not even the internet with its weird prying snake eyes can take it away I don’t feel that way about being a poet I never have perhaps because you can fake being a poet but you cannot fake playing a Mozart violin concerto but to be honest it’s probably because I’ve never felt like I belonged to poetryworld where having an MFA attached to your name or at least a college education is what allows you access to the top tier journals and conferences no matter the quality of your work no matter that I have published five books no matter that one of those books was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize I will never feel part of  but plop me down in any size group of musicians then I feel it always and immediately ahhhhh yes this is it this is home and I am so grateful for that strange eccentric family that accepts me for exactly how well I can play and nothing more

Friday, January 17, 2020

Pig and farm report

my yard this morning near the road

the wind finally stopped raging last night and we got more of the snow that has blanketed most of the coast for days it is still snowing and the sun was shining this morning at the beach it was 28 degrees one of things I did for my new year non celebration was to reinstate my NYT subscription electronic this time with news alerts cooking all of it I know many people are turning away from the news I did it myself especially noisy television news (except I watched Rachel Maddow for the Lev Parnas interviews) but even without teevee noise I still turned to the NYT until I hit the paywall which didn’t take long each month now I am all in with news alerts all of it fighting the urge to hide to become complacent it seems important that I hear and read and see (his body seems to be faltering? his gait seems off? hopefully?) with my own beautiful brain that big bouncing mess of wires and blood it seems important right now the way knowing how to sew or cook or build a fire seems important I did venture outside today other than my twice or thrice daily trips to start my car so the battery won’t die because nothing says The Shining  quicker than having no transportation out here in the wildgreenblue and of course going to the beach every day I went to the bank in town not much of a trip not much I know I am extraordinarily happy here alone in my house baking cooking storing away gathering preparing and I’m not even sure what I’m preparing for

it just feels important right now

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Things over which I am obsessing

1. Teeth
2. Money
3. Insurance and my lack thereof
4. Wind
5. Panic*
6. Wondering when exactly I start running around all scary and naked in the woods

*it might be true that I’m having a panic attack about having a panic attack if it is true I may have hit an all time low

Pig and farm report

Dog in possession of the last false smile

my teeth on the upper right side of my face hurt

When I saw a photo of Jeannine  looking radiant at her reading last night in the city I realized my personal color palette and I don’t mean in a 1980s Color Me Beautiful way (which I managed to escape by only wearing jeans and t shirts and steel toed boots during the day every day and at night for rehearsals and a number of floor length fancy black dresses to play during concerts because that’s what I did I worked in the factory then I went to rehearsals and played in the concert hall come to think of it the same still applied throughout the 1990s and 2000s and actually pretty much forever though I’ve abandoned the steel toed boots)

I will honestly wait until I get such a terrible headache that I can’t sit up before I rule out a brain tumor then check my credit score to find a dentist

okay my train fell off the track there after crashing into a flock of moo cows a metro bus and a player piano and you can see I tried to contain it unsuccessfully in parentheses so I will try again

it might be from banging my head on the floor when I fainted at the veterinarian’s office she said hopefully

this morning I was zipping through this blog looking for some color to appease my weary eyebulbs and except for a couple boring photos of produce all I saw were gray dark green bluish gray browns more dark green gray browns etcetera I found the same in my photos

boring photo of produce

this is the same color crave I go through every winter but the difference between now and then is that I no longer feel trapped and dead ended I know I can walk for a few minutes and the entire graybluegreen world is at my feet

I think they’re rotten I never had dental care as a child and could never afford it as an adult and I have already lost so many

what my original thought was here is that maybe the previous owners of my house who gleefully painted the inside guts with so much unbogly oranges and reds knew what they were doing and no not even three years later have I begun the Herculean task of repainting I still feel barely moved in even though everything has a place and I’ve pared down to essentials and my closets are tidy my garden is in place my sour dough starter has taken on island flavors and I have finally grown into the pulses and beats of a weather driven and water surrounded life

Dentists terrify me and feel invasive in a PTSD panicked body cringing way and rob you as they go 

I want to bake bread today and Sunday weirdoness is eating itself under my skin and bread is amazingly hard on teeth and now I want to buy a bunch of summer sweet bright yellow corn off the back of a flatbed truck at the Skagit River and I want and I want and I want

I think I just need to go to the river and have a stern talk with my mouth tomorrow then go to the Skagit co-op and fill my buskets with what ever color jumps out at me

why are teeth so shameful

at least now I have a plan which helps time to go to the beach


Friday, January 10, 2020

Pig and farm report

the wind tore across Possession Sound at frightening speeds all damned night it woke me at 4am I ran a tub full of hot water and clickwhistle off went my power I took a bath washed my hair in the tub by candlelight I left the water in the tub so I could flush my toilet with it (I keep a large pitcher in my bathroom for this very reason) until the power came back on got back into bed willing my hair to dry then at 7:30 I got up put on my giant coat my boots and my watch cap and headed out to the beach cafe the owner was there to turn on their generator and she told me any time I lose power I can come in for free coffee and sit by the giant stone fireplace and use their wifi and I thanked her and did not cry with her kindness though I took my time with breakfast that’s where I sit right there next to the kitchen you can see daylight in that window coming through the trees and the sound below and the deck chairs and tables stacked outside waiting for summer’s tourist trade

I spotted an old growth conifer that suicided on some power lines one and a half roads away from my house the tree is huge and it is still on the lines even though I passed three power co. trucks the guys in hard hats staring at the tree and at the lines I don’t blame them for leaving it they got as much as they could off the road that downed tree is going to be a big job and the power was out all over the island trees whose root balls became soaked and saturated because winter has been so dry but the dry part is over it has rained for days now flooding the rivers and culverts and sloughs and a small town just north of here Silvana and trees and of course the Old Testament force wind

I lingered at the cafe just past what felt like a proper time came back home got back into my bed to get warm and read a bit and when the power came back on I baked

And Lo! And behold! I made double dark chocolate espresso ginger brownies because I almost never fuck up brownies no matter what I do to them and She saw that it was good.

I called  the kid who is in the city where it is not snowing but surely will be by tonight and told him he should not have made fun of my apocalypse shopping list because guess who is at the store now that’s right every single damned person on the island that’s who except me haha

the moon is full and the water is high Darklings be well

100% full

This is   The bright slipstream has taken Alice away   moon

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Apocalypse shopping in the Anthropocene

I took myself to the doctor last night [my son took me] late and dark we slogged through ice and mud up the hill to his truck it began snowing as soon as he started it up earlier that day I had meant to go to the library and the grocery store but I was frozen on the my soft couch which had swallowed me in its gray cushions and faux fur blanket having become its own animal mouth I did not go to the library or store because I was in day five FIVE! COUNT EM! FIVE! of a rolling panic attack and I thought I was dying my left shoulder ached which was of course a heart attack never mind that I had actually rolled off the bench onto the floor in the veterinarian’s office which I didn’t figure out until this morning I had made an extreme shopping list to restock my pantry with everything literally  everything  and my son who kept hovering offered to go to the store so out of embarrassment I whittled the list down to the four things I actually needed I transferred money from my savings account into my checking account in case I got completely snowed in or had to go to the hospital or died


I actually thought I was going to die for five days

it wasn’t until I climbed into my son’s truck last night to go to the doctor and told him what drawer my clean underpants were in in case I had to go to the hospital with you know DEATH that I realized I was having one doozy of a panic attack he laughed at me and I laughed too and he said he had wondered why I transferred money and the whole underwear drawer conversation and I told him about my real shopping list the list for the end of the world and we laughed all the way to the damned doctor who told me I was in perfect health but I was having a panic attack and she gave me a sheathe of paper printed materials on what panic attacks look and feel like

it’s impossible to imagine this I’m pretty sure unless you’ve been inside it yourself

it snowed this morning and big snow is expected tomorrow so today I am going normal for me shopping and to the library and Wolfie is fine and Hal is sitting on my lap with a snuffly nose they both have head colds no infections I made it back to the vet with Hal Monday without fainting or dying and the world seems to have righted itself

Hello from Summer’s End where the fun never stops

Sunday, January 5, 2020

What happened

The end.

I need to work through this backward please hold your questions until the end

I fell into bed reeking of dung and piss and dirt animal and human adult and child
My son backed his truck up to the house so I could walk quickly in avoiding steps
I rode home in white faced silence willing my spirit not to slip out of my body again trying to convince my son that I was not dying I just have low blood pressure while Wolfie rode in the backseat
I realized I had become urban legend every person and animal in that office stared at me as I clicked the truck’s seat back and sank out of view
I finally got up and made a slow wobble to my son’s truck knowing I could never return
She called urgent care while I insisted that I was fine that I just had to stay there for a minute that I faint all the time haha but I have never not since the third grade not in daylight
The vet knelt beside me and looked at my eyeballs with a light just as she had done Wolfie’s and pronounced them constricted I wanted to say of course they’re constricted I just fainted haha
I knew I had to lie on the flat floor before I hit it hard so I did
The low bench swam against my face my son’s knee was hard against my back so I wouldn’t fall off the bench onto the floor
I sat down hard on the low bench because the known world was slipping out of focus
I handed my son my credit card
I saw the electric fireplace flick on and took my coat off because it was extremely warm
The vet said Wolfie is fine and would prescribe medicine for her eye which was inflamed but not scratched or infected
I locked my knees while holding Wolfie on the examine table so she wouldn’t bolt while the vet checked her vitals
We waited for 45 minutes to see the vet the woman sitting across from us had a giant dog and the woman would not stop talking at us
It was warm at the veterinarian office very warm I hadn’t eaten since breakfast
Getting Wolfie into her crate was extremely difficult we ended up having to shut all the doors scare her out of one room and trap her in another a broom handle was used plus heavy coats gloves a window screen and speed

Friday, January 3, 2020

Pig and farm report

my power is still on we weren’t able to put Wolfie in her kitty carrier no she said fuck that she said then she snarled and hissed a lot and disappeared under my son’s bed my vet is booked up so I made an appointment to take her to another vet in town tomorrow I’m going to try and snag her in a pillow case in other news I tried to walk out on the dock this morning but didn’t get far my phone thinks I walked up three flights of stairs I found the tree limb that I heard snap the other day I will go after it with my Barbie chainsaw once this crazy wind dies down

I’m pretty sure all those soft white boys in red maga hats waving their guns driving around with American flags and t*rump stickers plastered all over their trucks are going to be first in line to sign up for t*rump’s nasty little war aren’t you?

Day 3 beware! beware!

halfway to Epiphany and the wind screams off the mountains spins itself into a ball across the Salish Sea to rattle us awake again and again it woke me and again I made sure my flashlights were charged and my computer was charged and my phone was charged and my Jackery was charged I pushed the button that drops the coffee and called my son to come over to help me take Wolf to the vet because her left eye is swollen and she’s been sneezing I will no longer do this vet task alone I cannot bear walking another kitty into the forest without help

remember how we never used to have to charge anything and charge meant a thing you did with credit cards or car batteries or a mess of buffaloes running toward you?

the lights are already flickering beware! beware! tiny hitler has declared war from his tacky gilded palace in Florida he did not act through Congress he did not leave his golf course to go to the war room to address the nation instead he is speechifying this afternoon at evangelical so called leaders aka campaigning which is all he does beware! beware! tree limbs and witches and kittens are flying every which way in the wind’s mouth beware! beware! here on the north 48th the sea is filling up the breams and the fields the heron and kingfisher and hawk and owl and eagle stand guard beware! beware! the Stillaguamish River and its surrounding tributaries and sloughs is flooded flooded spilling onto the road beware! beware! the children are back in school beware! beware!

another dystopian day in Terrible America and honestly I feel so right inside so healthy and shiny and capable and good and able even though I dreamed all night even though I cannot stop the dreams and none of them good

here is a handy dandy scientific Camano Island weather chart to let you know when exactly your roof will peel off your house like a sardine lid it is quite basic some people (me) might argue that it’s a little too basic

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Everything in me feels broken :: an American essay

did your cow ignore the system of reality did she shit her spoons did your cow climb the steps into Liberty's arm vomit from her torch did she walk three miles to the store for toilet paper because her car was broken did your cow die in a Biblical plague did the Spokane valley reel from her death did animal rights activists rage her storms did your cow give milk at 4 AM on a mountain in northern California did she take LSD did she break her leg did a man break your cow's leg did your cow change her name kite checks did panic bend her body into a dread abiding lake did fear roll through your cow in whitecaps did she die every morning and every night to work in the factory did your cow fan dance on a hardwood milking machine were her hooves calloused was your cow a city winking awake in between lines of cocaine did your cow tattoo with bikers on Pike Street did she shame a war barefoot did your cow breast feed you in a cafe in the center of the Pentagon did your cow lose her leg to frostbite was she a calf arranged in pieces was she chuck was she bone-in was she ribs did your cow's seatbelt crush her throat did milk float her bra did she choke did a man punch your cow in the stomach did she live on a houseboat with a square cut out of its bottom did a duck swim up the hole into your cow's arms did she spit patriotic grief did she build war planes did she shudder when the B52 she helped rivet flew above her and tipped its wing did the factory floor shatter your cow's knee was her circle so small she stopped breathing did your cow spread her coat in the pasture and fuck as other cows chewed did your cow underground did hysteria chancre her blood did your cow build a camp fire then a ceremonial fire then a bonfire did she eat the forest as animals screamed out of her jaw did your cow stigmata every month did goddesses flood from her body into an American toilet was your cow a bellwether a war machine did your cow drink wine from an open bottle under the bridge did she squat in an abandoned house did she eat from garbage bins did your cow beg for money at a rest stop on the freeway did something happen to your cow in a public toilet did she walk into the American machine was your cow's slaughter drought driven did she affect herd growth grades and standards did something happen to your cow did something

The new

yesterday the beginning of 2020 the power flickered on and off (54 mph winds most of the day) and I listened to the racket (and my house being pummeled and thumped by pine cones and tree branches)  (at one point an actual crack! signaling a large limb had broken off somewhere in my woods) and I wrote (a. poem.) and read (Dana Levin’s brutal and gorgeous Sky Burial) and showered (quickly) and ran the washing machine (also quickly) and ate (red beans dirty rice cornbread) and watched a series that came out in 2014 that I had downloaded onto my computer (The Leftovers and holy shit) I did not go outside (flying debris) and the wind continued into nightfall (bringing a thunderstorm to round things out) but I slept through until morning (with weirdo dreams) and today I made it to the beach to consider the destruction (and raw power and beauty) and now I am going out into the actual known world (mockingbird wish me luck)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Deer in my yard this afternoon right before a thunderstorm

I refuse to look backward

Sunday, December 29, 2019

I’m rewatching Big Little Lies and none of the spousal abuse and horrific mother stuff even made me blink this time around but the entitled little girl whose parents are trying to enroll her in college and she says no! she says she wants to go build houses for homeless people! she says no no no fuck college! as her parents implore her     that.   that.      is what set me off in an avalanche of tears and sent me outside searching the forest floor for even the tiniest wood violet but no dice not yet I wanted to go to college my whole life

I do have a mosquito bite however which is highly unusual 
To name things wrongly is to add to the misfortune of the world.
~ Camus

do you believe Camus? I don’t not for one hot second therefore in 2020 I will recommence naming the full moons

Pig and farm report

I began dismantling Christmas in earnest two days ago and plan on finishing entirely this morning there are still sugar cookies in the lewdly winking Santa cookie jar and the two Santas that I put on a tall shelf that I can’t reach but the tree is gone the lights are down (Mary’s idea of winding the lights around a wrapping paper tube is brilliant something I never before considered) all the ornaments back in my closet I took a picture of that beautiful little beat up angel because she is my second oldest ornament hand carved no bigger than my thumb given to me by my friend Diana one of my best friends for years who I eventually lost because I got sober and crazy but my son is still in touch with her husband through his father etcetera it gets complicated as families do but that little angel persists in spite of her trauma she is a fighter my oldest ornaments are the White King and Queen From Alice in Wonderland I found them in the Canyon Way Bookstore in Newport Oregon

I believe and have believed for years that Christmas would be much improved if it occurred in February in that long bleak stretch of unbroken winter where nothing is green and the sky and water jostle for a bit of blue I could really bring the joy in February now we are in that liminal space between Christmas and New Year’s day where everything seems to stop completely except the eating of cheese and chocolates 

yesterday I drove to Mount Vernon to look at the snow geese and the trumpeter swans and hawks and eagles that live there in abundance in the now abandoned cornfields that drive along Old Pioneer Highway is gorgeous to me and teeming with Animal Gods three times now I have seen red foxes standing alert in those fields and great blue heron striding along the storm drains near the road I stopped and looked at the Skagit River which has been near flood levels I got out of my car and slid down the muddy bank and just stood there breathing before I realized that not only were my shoes muddy but so were my legs my entire butt and my hands so I had to get the giant piece of plastic the nursery put in my trunk when I bought my fig tree on my car seat to drive home

I had some upsetting news on Christmas day but I think I have it handled though it involves me having to change my health care provider to a clinic that is 40 minutes away in order to continue seeing New Nurse but I only go to the regulation doctor once a year and that’s only if I’m visibly bleeding New Nurse needs to step up her communications game though to be honest I sent her back a panicky reply and when she still hadn’t written back I sent her another panicky reply asking her to please let me know when she read it then later (this morning) I realized I had saved both of those damned emails as drafts so yeah I also need work I also saw a terrible car accident the same day a car hit a tree was still imbedded in the tree when and there was a head shaped hole perfectly punched through the windshield on the passenger side it was a day of pile ons and panic that would have been much more bearable in February 


I’m cooking red beans in my tiny slow cooker for New Year’s red beans and rice and cornbread which I have eaten since the dawn of man and I don’t even know why but in such jangled up strangely fast and roller coastery times such traditions count at least for me

Love to you Darklings for muddling through somehow

Friday, December 27, 2019

Here is the art

that accompanied the poem I had published at Burning House Press on Christmas Eve Eve it’s rather perfect given the poem

sometimes I feel like drowning

Migrants at the border wall babies grandmothers gather America the final girl smashes the other crooked fell her obsessive draw America the final girl is Philip who wears a built up shoe his legs different lengths America the final girl is a prostitute on Aurora in pink thigh high pleather boots frantic holds out her cell phone afraid to get shot America the final girl is a six year old boy straddling the wall in white wrinkled cotton he left his bicycle his dog his father he chalks Jesu Christo on the pillar connecting radiating metal bars America the final girl is a red nosed pit bull tearing up lawns and sprinklers hungry and wet eyed dance cages clang with Coca~Cola cans America the final girl is children singing in frightened classrooms America the final girl is spinny and frantic America the final girl moves her feet brushes her hair tangles fortune with prayer cards grows terrible and wild and vain America the final girl crashes into bald a rat tail coiled under one wig or another swims inside her body swims inside her illness swims inside all of it

isanyonereadingthis isanyonereadingthisis isanyonereadingthisis isanyonereadingthis

right after or right before Christmas day my son’s cousin got arrested and thrown in jail for two days for pulling a knife on her abusive boyfriend he had been abusing her for years her 12 year old son is out of the house now living with his grandmother the cycle of abuse and shitty Christmases continues and my son’s cousin has to pay a hefty fine and go to anger management classes

for protecting herself and her son

welcome to America where the patriarchy is stronger than ever

the battery on my car is dead again the hilarious part is that my jumper cables are in my trunk which only opens when the car’s battery is live because everything is electronic these days faulty design if you ask me which you didn’t I called my son for a jump and he’s not happy about having to leave the city and drive two hours to get me rolling again too bad

yes a rare mood but who cares no one is reading here

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Mood check

Merry Prankster

Till Eulenspiegel 

Ken Kesey

Rider-Waite Fool

The other Fool

Monday, December 23, 2019

What I did on Christmas Eve Eve

I have a new poem here at Burning House Press

Christmas Actual Eve :: zipping between ribbon crinkling deep rooted joy and threat level 1 crabbypants meltdown

Christmas Actual Eve update :: this morning I accidentally folded a fitted sheet correctly almost

Christmas Actual Eve update :: this morning I had to look all the way to the bottom of my bedside dresser drawer for an emery board because every time I use one Hal steals it sharpens his teeth with it then hides it somewhere while rummaging about my hand discovered a melted then hardened piece of salt water taffy that has been in there since two summers ago the last time I went to the Oregon coast I just put everything back where I found it and left the offending candy

Christmas Actual Eve update :: micro dosed equal amounts of thc/cbd oil because I feel myself spiking and I fear the crash because no amount of good clean living and holiday cheer is ever going to scrub away the stain of Christmas Suicide Mommy and Christmas Drunk High Waving A Gun Around Daddy

Christmas Actual Eve update :: successfully made a pumpkin pie after my major Thanksgiving pie fail I used a pie crust I had put in the freezer then made two more perfect pie crusts and popped them in the fridge after making 17,894 of them I have discovered the secret of making perfect pie crust every time practice

Christmas Actual Eve update :: I am hyper emotional but not manic or depressed I can’t even look at images that might be sad or sentimental I’ve already accidentally cried at least nine times today I don’t think I will ever escape this labyrinth I had steel cut oats for breakfast a banana for elevenses and an apple for lunch because tomorrow I cheese

Three years

Three years ago today we loaded up the last boxes threw our house keys on the floor of that awful house and locked it behind us forever

This night three years ago I held a terrible secret a blood sacrifice to the forest the sky I cannot write about it further I have been grieving all day tears on and off through the morning and now again but we made it out alive my brave son and I we made it out alive and are better people for our journey I hope three years ago I slipped into the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in after spending most of the night calling into the dark woods the trees the still unknown forest the blackest night the utter dark pressing in and strangely wide open different alien

I am working on forgiving myself

Right now I’m fighting the almost irresistible urge to eat as much fat and protein and sugar and wheat as possible then sleeping for five to seven months

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve we are almost through it almost

Baba Ram Dass is dead

This feels like the end of an era to me

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Pig and farm report

Animal God visitation at Summer’s End yesterday a Solstice gift

I woke at 2:30 am and could not get back to sleep I woke before the owls and accidentally alerted all three cats to jump on my bed and Busby Berkeley dance their way across my legs then my face I turned on the fire and waited for the echoing owl calls through the forest canopy and listened to the rain which is poundy and biblical in nature nonstop thunderstorms windstorms flood level rivers

yesterday I went to the beach the sharp narrow hairpin road still slick with the last of the leaves and I was glad for good old fashioned rubber boots that held me steady as I walked to the end of the dock where white water crashed and a crab man with three pots and ten Dungeness crabs (over his limit sure but he was gathering food for his family) kept giggling and trying to say good fortune good fortune while the crabs upside down skittered their claws in the air clicking for help maybe release back into the tumble the crab man and I couldn't stop laughing this is the way wind pulls words out of your mouth this is the way wind makes speaking ridiculous a flock of black oystercatchers pecked flickers out of the shallows with their dangerous red beaks they rarely show up unless they've been invited to a feast and it was a feast as the sea dumped her welcome basket close to the shore I watched a raven hop around with an entire sodden baguette in his beak he couldn't fly and he couldn't put it down because of the voracious and rude glaucous winged gulls there are floods down the road bigger floods in all the parking lots

I need to go to the grocery store in town this morning and I am fearing it with deep and abiding stomach clutching dread Christmas shoppers tend to be pushy and aggressive I only need to get broccoli and avocados and fruit and cheese for my Christmas dinner which over the years has become mostly a day of grazing a quiche a pumpkin pie some guacamole and chips I figure one giant meal a year that I am expected to cook is enough for me now that my life is so much smaller and so much larger ( my son asked what’s for Christmas breakfast waffles? and I burned a hole into him with my blazing eyebulbs)

I want to run a hot bath but I hear the breathing of more than one adult child I don't know who is here I might have to tippy toe into the kitchen to make coffee and get my oatmeal going before we can all be our most beautiful selves one day into winter and I'm already longing for summer I will always be a summer girl

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Solstice baking

Za’atar oregano and feta chili bread plus honey olive oil and cardamom challah I also made a smaller three braid challah that mysteriously disappeared


don’t mess with it.

Friday, December 20, 2019

“Your girlfriend stabbed me in the back with lefty scissors”

I went to breakfast with my son at The Overlook Hotel in the middle of a giant wind and rain storm early this morning he took a photo of this startling giant hawk at the beach seriously this is the largest hawk I’ve ever seen and she was clearly fishing low down like that because all the best fishermen know that fish rise in the rain after that he drove back to Seattle but he called to tell me there were state patrol officers and the fire department and coast guard and an ambulance on the bridge that connects our island to the mainland and that divers were hitting the water where the Stillaguamish River meets Possession Sound that salty fast body of confused water is running high almost up to the road in this storm tidelines have been extremely high all week probably a boat capsized I hope everyone is okay it’s cold out there

I love that I know the servers and the chef’s names at the cafe now and again they all came out to talk and gossip about the other patrons I always go early enough to be alone in that gorgeous empty lodge with its spectacular view of The Saratoga Passage and the old growth forest all around sitting at my own table up close to the kitchen I had the vegetarian hash again red jacket potatoes with fresh spinach roasted red bell peppers onions zucchini mushrooms and feta along with a home baked English muffin and two poached eggs that they get from Jack The Egg Man as usual I ate the poached egg on a muffin half two bites of the hash then brought everything else home in a little cardboard box 

my depression left the building almost as quickly as it entered and I was straight away just as obnoxiously Christmassy as I've been since the first of December yesterday I drove out to Mount Vernon to see the now shorn cornfields which are full of Snow Geese white white handkerchiefs flung against the gray sky and dun earth they are stunning here early because it’s been so oddly warm as it is everywhere that or oddly cold

today I made a double batch of sugar cookie dough which is in the refrigerator so I can roll them out and cut them tomorrow and I’m also baking more challah then I will take a little welcome parcel to my new neighbors who are actually a half mile away but this is the time of year that I moved in and I remember how cold moving was and how new and often desolate and how without my stuff just overwhelming boxes everywhere out here in the forest all my Christmas presents are wrapped except for the gorgeous German lefty scissors I bought my son which arrived by UPS as I was typing this he will be back on Christmas eve I watched the debates last night and after the wine cave vs wind cave talking points were made and all the candidates started down bragging about who was getting the least amount of money in donations I gave up that’s it for me for politics for now I’m going to go read a book

be well Darklings hold on to good cheer and hope if you even only find the smallest spark tomorrow is the Solstice my high holy day and the days will grow longer and nothing can stop them

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Pig and farm report :: impeachment edition

I increased my Doxepin from 3mgs to 6mgs last night as New Nurse has wanted and had bad swimmy dreams all night which has always happened to me with tricyclic antidepressants in the past hopefully I can go back to 3mgs and avoid that doorway I’m putting this here as a placeholder a reminder


this morning my son arrived and we watched the impeachment hearings then after a while we drove to the beach and I wept in his truck about something awful my horror of a mother did to me when I was in 6th grade I couldn’t even fathom why it came into my brain except that watching the broken dangerous republican party pay religious service to the most vile president ever to enter office may have trip wired me back to living through Nixon who now in light of this new nightmare government seems pathetic and tame


we came back watched some more went out for more coffee (his) and hot cocoa with extra extra whipped cream (mine) I also bought two black coffees for the two 7th Day Adventists who sometimes set up their stand of Watchtowers outside the library and stand there silently because she had on a longish skirt in high cold wind and she was visibly shivering


we came backed watched some more and I wrapped Christmas presents and put them under the tree then continued watching but by this time I was muting the republican speakers especially the clown prince from Georgia whose voice is hideous and whose lies are especially egregious to my ear we went back to the beach


last Sunday I noticed that the four people I know who are living in the state park including the people in the red truck were parked together I don’t know why they came together but it gladdened my heart to see them perhaps supporting each other perhaps even watching the football game together in the only rv among them now two of the tents have moved deeper into the forest but the red truck and the rv are still parked side by side when I was homeless I came together with other homeless people we came together to protect each other to lift each other up humans are sometimes good


I’m still listening to the impeachment and they are booing the remarkable Adam Schiff shame on them I think they’re getting close to the actual vote now

5:09 pm Pacific time


here’s a feral kitten against the dark

Monday, December 16, 2019

It’s Beethoven’s Birthday I don’t want you to think I forgot I’m just bobbing about in my little boat

Sunday, December 15, 2019

now my boat has stopped rocking I should have known when my right eyelid started twitching yesterday that my brain was on the fritz my eyelid is still twitching but I smacked myself hard in the head the way we used to smack our old fashioned televisions and the picture stopped rolling

A Sunday Sunday I wouldn’t read this if I were you

dark in all the ways Sunday can be I read this somewhere today loneliness and light despair what even the fuck is light despair? is it despair with cheese melted on top? maybe a cup of despair with whipped cream or Disney Despair On Ice perhaps light despair are the button eyes of your most beloved plush animal ripped out and placed on a doily maybe it’s reading your favorite book on a comfy chair in front of your house which is literally on fire or how about baking chocolate chip cookies and using a child’s tears in place of salt?

I appear to have fallen into a hole between early this morning and getting back from the beach yes there was a trigger there is always a trigger

waving from the muddy bottom



last night I finished reading Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey it will surely be the last book I finish this year I was in my bathtub filled with with too much very hot water in order to ease my knees which have taken many blows over the years my knees which are so scarred from falling off bicycles and horses and swings as a girl that when I had the shredded meniscus vacuumed out in my right knee the surgeon told me I had already had surgery there no I said I certainly would remember and he said they’re full of scars well there you go I have also fallen so many times and I was going to catalog the times I remember here this morning but I feel too quiet inside to do it now but I seem to always have been falling crashing down pitching my body off the earth’s uncertain skin which is perhaps why bodies of water even the motion of my bath always feels more steady than terra I also feel my age in my knees more than any other place especially in winter in Patti’s book she is hitching rides from strangers down Pacific Coast Highway I used to hitchhike there but I was very young and homeless not a famous elder woman with plenty of money this question skewed the book for me but only for a moment once I figured out how dreamy the book was how memory filled and aching it was a remembrance of the deaths of her lifelong friends Sam Shepard and Sandy Pearlman the first time I started reading it in my very hot tub I fell into a waking dream state and when I picked up the book later to read again I fell into that same dream state where my words along with Patti Smith’s were tumbling through my brain in a gorgeous music

I inhabit that delicious space between a book just finished and choosing a new book with plenty of time and comfort and all the words in the whole wide world right there within reach

I am going to be as small as possible today I’ll go to the beach soon as I do every morning then at 1:00 pm I’m going to make some hot chocolate turn on the little fire finish decorating the tree and binge watch HBO’s Watchmen because the finale is tonight and I don’t want it to end

tomorrow is Beethoven’s birthday 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

An advent calendar plus Christmas 
 ~  With thanks to Rosemarie Robotham

Day 1
Get drunk make a baby bark like a dog.

Day 2
Absorb your neighbor's lunatic desire.

 Day 3
Read a book about new girls and old girls.

Day 4
You will never be either.

Day 5
Give thanks with your mouth.

Day 6
Grow tentacles and a tail.

Day 7
Make noise when you walk.

Day 8
Sooth your tenders with 5 star curry.

Day 9
Sleep naked in nettles.

Day 10
Distend your furry fuselage.

Day 11
Your machine is animal.

Day 12
Pretend a cure.

Day 13
Unlace everything.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Panic baking in the redrum kitchen part 2

Shameless Love Apple Fig Tart Tart

Let us stop for a moment

Let us stop for a moment and consider the fact that I have owned this cookie jar for 45 years which means she’s older than almost every person I have connected with on twitter she’s a little beat up but who isn’t her lid is still intact and her spirit is strong

I keep my pie weights i.e. beans in her isn’t she gorgeous?

panic baking in the redrum kitchen

Friday 13

Draw a line around your body—this is what you can control

The poet Kelli Russell Agodon sent that out today in her tiny letter and it has stayed with me in fact it has become my mantra for right now when I feel the whole world swallowing me up in its red wolf mouth

I went to breakfast at the beach cafe that looked more cheery than usual with eight Christmas trees (which gives you an idea of how huge that lodge is) and because there is going to be a wedding reception there later I was the only customer there and the server and the chef and the espresso person came over three dark haired young women all artists and we talked and drank coffee before the morning push of tourists here for the whatever Christmas crap is happening on the island it’s not usually a good place to go if I’m lonely but it was today it’s hard right now not to feel hammered by the current news cycle by the reckless loud mouth ignorant republicans who are controlling the country and are controlled by their tiny evil king

I came home made two pie crusts stuck them in the fridge and disappeared into the sludge of my own crazy decided to make a rustic apple tart because when life hands you lemons squeeze them in someone’s eyes because it’s my son’s favorite he just doesn’t know it yet