Monday, June 29, 2020

Our Father who art in heaven
Stay there
And we'll stay here on earth
Which is sometimes so pretty 

Jacques Prevert

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Pig and farm report

this afternoon I saw two cows engaging in some rigorous bovine sexing I have been sick but I am on the mend

the american president is a war criminal

I screamed through the house this morning about the american president because I heard on the television that his aides his personal attendants his right hand men his mobsters and lackeys can’t tell him about war crimes committed on his watch because it will make him mad

I was raised by and with some world class bullies and I never backed down and the fact that the top stooges are afraid to make the king stooge mad is fucking staggering

this the end of democracy right now

the reason I haven’t posted in two weeks is not because I’ve been sick but because of the aforementioned insanity and my own

I’ve been reading my book and making smaller and smaller terrariums the last being a completely native terrarium in a pint jar with strata and moss and tiny plants from my very own woods and I’ve been watching things grow

I went to the actual store because I can no longer afford instacart because it got too personal and because I kept getting perfectly green rock hard limes without a drop of juice in them I was shocked to see not only a full aisle of toilet paper but all kinds of flour in fact the teeming shelves overloaded my senses but I had already worked out a system with my son where I ran through the store in my mask and gloves throwing stuff into my cart then I ran out of the store to the safety of my car gasping for breath as my son paid for everything with my debit card

was this a fluke all this stuff? my perfect timing?

the american president belongs in prison right now for war crimes and for colluding with dictators to kill american soldiers

I have not written here because I am wary of writing about my mental illness not only panic attacks in the store but the fact that people are shooting guns nightly loud and close for no reason other than the fact that they have guns and it’s their second amendment right to shoot them and now fireworks on top of that it really wakes up my PTSD that startle instinct is so strong I have not written here because I am tired of writing about my about my damn mental illness and I am still without a psychiatrist

I haven’t written here because my bipolar disorder hasn’t taken a breath even though the whole wolf world is on a break and last night my mentally divergent brain was cycling so rapidly I only slept for three hours

I’ve been working on a poem but my progress with it is glacial much like watching things grow yesterday I realized that my green house is simply a seashell in the world’s terrarium and benign alien beings watch over us with love and grace

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Pig and farm report

Tonight an eagle flew horizontally at eye level straight through my front yard my heart shivered with the wild beauty of it I ran out to the porch to what? see if I could track its passage? to hear if it left me a message about my dying country? a parcel?

I have been sick a pancreatitis flareup again but it was a short (though painful) bout just a week no doctor I felt today like I might be on the mend I don’t drink and I don’t smoke but I can lie very still on top of a hot water bottle and take ibuprofen I have 12 Vicodin but I’m saving them for the apocalypse or in case I fall down and break my arms off

I dreamed I was trying to play the clarinet in an orchestra and I couldn’t make my left hand close around the upper joint the conductor was the american president a panic dream and a music anxiety dream all rolled into one I woke up in a slick sheen of sweat probably my fever breaking

that eagle though shot through the green like jesus on a bender

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Sarah Manguso wrote in the Paris Review “How far along are you? people will ask of your book, as if the page count indicates anything, but progress on a book isn’t linear. It’s oceanic.”

I grieve for my finished unfinished manuscript. Ten years worth of research and scrawl that feels stillborn now even though it is still alive still kicking dust from the molding with its tiny shoes in the office of a publisher. I feel guilty for my grief for giving into it in such a powerful historic moment.

I line my unread copies of the Paris Review in numerical order on the child sized roll top desk from which I used to teach pretend school as a small girl believing that one day I would actually be a true scholar. I’m afraid of opening them. The smell of fresh ink makes me high. Mimeograph ink was my first drug. I would shake when I held the damp slick test paper gentian letters swimming into my malleable brain.

Since the plague I’ve been afraid to turn on my pc where my manuscript lives. I tell myself the boxy computer is going to be dead or the monitor ultra bright wavy constant updates whirling away the white mesmerizing circle on the blue field Word won’t allow me access my pages will come up as Read Only and I won’t know how to fix it my story will be broken even though I have ten copies maybe more in my email. It feels like sickness.

I sent the manuscript in various stages to four people. One of those people was a writer I paid to do some editing and she said it was ambitious. This didn’t feel like a compliment. Two people liked the first section of the book my research and notes about what living through that research was like but didn’t mention the second half of the book the poems at all. The fourth person never wrote back. I sent it to Dorothy a press I adore. The editor told me she loved it but didn’t think it was a fit. The editor who has it now has seen all of it in parts but not the finished edition with its careful red lip and smooth hair.

Writing about Queer Wing-ed writing about writing gives me a crave for something creamy in my mouth butter noodles or mashed potatoes nursery food comfort food. Maybe my life as a writer is finished. My last reading was in NYC in 2016 at the KGB Bar. I evaporated from the Seattle poetry scene. I was never good at being part of a scene. Applesauce tapioca pudding milk toast.

Coward food.

When I was pregnant everyone asked how far along are you all the time. I slapped their hands away when they tried to pat my huge belly. I hated the human attention that pregnancy brought. In my ninth month a man in the mall pointed at me in the batik caftan dress I had been wearing for weeks and told me I was disgusting that I should stay home. I got the same question from writers about Queer Wing-ed the entire nine years I was actively writing it. How far along are you? Then the question suddenly stopped as though I had birthed the book wobbly and gravid with fresh ink in line at the printer.

I walk from room to room and the blue carpet feels like a sea or a padded cell or the scarred keys of a practice piano in high school. It never feels like a classroom. I miss teaching. I use eye drops to mimic youth. I smear cream on my face when I think of it. I keep my hair long and carefully bleached. All of my skin is a problem area. I am cracked but not currently bleeding. My last violin student called me coach. I wander from room to room and the blue carpet feels like whale fur or the fungal network that connects trees or the good doctor’s big white leather chair.

Fence has four poems of mine that I sent them 11 months ago. I opened Submittable today and couldn’t figure out how to use the interface even though I’ve used it for years. I have not submitted anything since December. I just stopped at the same time the world stopped. Blogger changed its font for no reason one paragraph ago. I don’t understand the breakdown of systems. I understand less and less.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Pig and farm report

I made a frittata this afternoon with eggs from Jack and all the stuff that came in the CSA box mushrooms onions leafy green spinach and zucchini I tossed in some red pepper and garlic cream and mozzarella it made a huge meal I thought it was 2 pm but it was almost 5 I thought it was Tuesday but it was Monday I drove around the island I talked to the red calves a bright yellow budgie landed on one of my hummingbird feeders and drank beautiful and startling he must have been someone’s pet I have been on Nextdoor for my neighborhood since the plague in case someone needed help or I did just to connect even though the tone there is mostly very republican today two different people wrote that four little brown pigs were carousing on the intersection of South Camano Drive and Cross Island Road that filled me with quick joy then worry and makes this the second Pig and farm report with actual pigs

I made this Alice in Wonderland hanging terrarium for my son’s girlfriend he’s going to Seattle Wednesday I have all the feelings about it

this post has erased itself three times

I believe the american president is a war criminal who should be dragged out of his house and tried

I told my son today that I could not hear him talk about the protests I am full up with it I don’t even know where to put my emotions about it right now maybe I can keep making jars full of dirt and bury my worries inside

Saturday, June 6, 2020

In the plant hospital

I spent quiet time in my head this morning talking to my watermelon peperomia as I cut off two leaves one of the cats bit through dipped them in root hormone planted them and put them in a little greenhouse in the sun using my hands this way comforts me the same way baking comforts me the same way practicing Bach comforts me I was only interrupted once when my CSA box was delivered it is quiet here in the zero hour bar and grill and strangely still I can’t tell if it’s Saturday or Thursday it no longer matters

the babies

the mother


Friday, June 5, 2020

Pig and farm report

look at the wild dragon fringe on the berries growing under my deck
that fringe says hey stupid! eat me!

I hacked the living heck out of those vines with my machete and sharp long handled loppers that the City of Seattle accidentally left on a sidewalk next to a park where I used to live I put the thorny bastard vines in the big green yard waste box and dragged that damned box up the hill yesterday I still have work to do poisonberry vines never sleep

100% full

This is the Jimmy Troy Clown Prince Of The Air  moon

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Pig and farm report

I have this list of 198 nonviolent social actions we can take against the american president and his henchmen  and a recipe for ricotta lemon cake on my desktop I now have a personal instacart shopper named Brian S this morning I thought I’d try to order toilet paper and my brand of peanut butter (I’ve given up looking for flour I have the bag of hard red spring wheat from my CSA to hold me for a while) and Brian S texted me that he’d begun my small list the last time Brian S was here he told me he liked me through the window this time he told me through the window that he was shopping in Arlington 40 miles away when my name came up and he caught it he is in his 50 s and drives a Subaru I’m fairly certain shopping for instacart was not his original job and he likes me because I am ashamed to shop through instacart I am ashamed to be an eccentric obese woman over 65 years old in this version of america and I am ashamed to have been a smoker for 18 years though I quit in 1989 and therefore because of this shame I am a wildly extravagant tipper

Brian S is the most social activity I’ve had in three months

I wonder what he thinks of me wandering through the house in my 20 year old Microsoft tee shirt and  sad men’s pajamas from Sears my wild hair and bare feet I wonder if he’s noticed the wee stone pig and the large statue of Beethoven resting side by side near the door and the pots of strawberries on my deck I wonder if he harshly judges the number of Magnum double caramel ice cream bars I order I wonder if he’s as much of a voyeur as I am I wonder if he’s completely insane like an axe murderer or something

I wonder if I am completely insane

I found this six foot tall foxglove growing outside and this bear scat when I went out to fight the fake blackberries under my deck I absolutely adore foxglove the Dr. Seuss bend in their stalks and one never knows when one might need some digitalis in a hurry


answering the question once and for all about where a bear shits

you’re welcome 

What our sons say

tomorrow my son is going to photograph a protest in Snohomish a small town no one had heard of until it became patient zero for the corona virus Snohomish where I attend the county fair every summer Snohomish where a handful of peaceful protesters were greeted by a sidewalk full of white american proudboys standing with spread legs holding automatic weapons snickering among themselves not only their stances but their faces threatening and ugly

the american president’s boys with a long tradition of  hate

my son quoted Shakespeare to me this morning

The blood of the citizens of Verona makes the hands of the citizens both bloody and uncivilized; that is, not polite, and possibly murderous.

then he quoted some of the lyrics to Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit and he said that George Floyd was lynched I think so too deliberately horribly and in the open

my son believes we are at the beginning of true worldwide revolution that the protests are not going to stop that they have just begun that the citizens of the world have been oppressed long enough they are rising up as one body to demand change and they will not stop until change is brought forth he tells me he sees children in the streets some as young as high school age young people finally finding their voices their rallying cry

All photographs courtesy of the photographer Page Loudon 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

corona 21.

corona 21.

I have never lived in a black body
I have never pulled a splinter from my black son’s foot
I have never breast fed a black daughter
I have never feared for my daughter going to school
I have never schooled my son on how to speak to the police
I have never told my son how to hold his head when he’s sitting alone in his car
I have never been spat on for the color of my skin
I have never been yelled at about the color of my skin
I have never been arrested for just existing in a black body

my chest clenches and opens clenches and opens in grief
I hear their voices all loud frightened angry sad shouting
I can’t breathe
children risking the pandemic to be heard and getting tear gassed at the foot of the nation’s hearth

this is all I can do witness and remember
witness and remember