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.