Thursday, May 25, 2006

rhyming poets and republicans

My dream today is that I am going to sell the children and go live in art communities all over the world. Great link here

Today in my class we built a working city out of cardboard, we then painted art to go inside our cardboard houses. It was a blast. There’s a housing development outside of Porta Prince, Haiti made entirely of cardboard. I’ve been there and I have had dinner with grown people inside. It was not a blast. It was sad and not b/c they were poor people but b/c in this country, we view them as disposable people.

Who am I to talk---I am selling my children. Livi got a poem from a boy today in six colors: red, pink, yellow, green, blue and orange. “Your body is hot” is written in yellow. I am glad he avoided the obvious red. Thank god it didn’t rhyme. She is forbidden to date rhyming poets and republicans.

I know you are out there, you might be good people but my kid can’t date you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

there ya go honey

Random thoughts from Ballard

I am afraid I am missing Spring. I think it is possible to blink and wake up in August.

I have three more weeks of preschool classes and then I will no longer work at the center where I have taught for the last 8 years. I've had some of my students that long. I am sad.

I’ve spent so much time with grief the last year I feel like she owes me dinner. Happiness and peace are like new shoes which hurt my feet when I walk but I know they will get me there.

The book and I are almost done. I think after four years we understand each other. What have you done in four years? I have 50 pieces of myself that are as close to perfect as I can master. I am close.

Ancient mystics believe that to communicate with god one must begin with a sound. There are no silent religions. Chanting is merely breaking up the pattern of words. I sound far more mystical then I am---this morning I am going to Walmart to pick up flowers so that my new therapy groups can plant Spring in the clay pots they have made.

If we, as people stopped for one moment pretending to know what we wanted and were still, what would the universe look like?

I want cake for breakfast or chocolate croissants.

Billy says that we must create our “identity” as writers, our illusion as an author; that one sentence has fucked me up for a long time. I do not want an illusion. I don’t write to talk to you. I am speaking to the gods…not the pale boy kind but the gods who have six heads, the gods with breasts and puppies hanging from their teats. I am talking to their anger, fury, grief, joy. I am speaking into their sex and they are listening. I hear them.

But I still want cake.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

why I love my nephews more than any other men in the world


sidenote: it takes forever to load but I almost peed my pants

vanity sidenote: they were nine and ten when I married their uncle and I am NOT that old.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Moon day

Truth: I find my self incredibly boring lately so I am not posting.

Today when we were ripping up the carpet at the new/old house Lisa said that every day of the week has a planet. You come on Neptune and leave on Moon day.

Tonight I am thinking how different light travels in the country, how so much of my childhood was spent watching headlights move through the night air. And how when I was five, standing on the side of the road holding my sister’s hand as my father crawled through the trunk for a jack, it seemed like the world wore two moons always moving towards me.

Another truth: my father had to crawl into the trunk b/c I had filled the locks with toothpicks so when the flat tire came, the locks were wooden jagged edges blooming under his flash light.

I was that kind of girl.

I am that kind of woman. What ever is the direct path I fill with something I which is hard to move—something I find beautiful.

I don’t want you to think you are the toothpick or the lock or the moon. You are there.
It is the traveling that’s important. And I don’t mean you, or you, I mean me. You may define who my people are, but you do not know who I mean, who I am talking to.

There is a girl waiting on the side of the road, she is holding on to her sister, she is holding on tightly b/c her father is angry, he is taking everything out of the car laying it down in patterns so when the light shines, the objects become planets on asphalt.

A mother is crying in the front seat b/c this is what she does when there is a flat tire or an angry man. This is how she travels. One girl is holding on, one girl is being held.

Sometimes I don’t know which one I am.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It was great sharing a birthday with you...

The great poet, Stanley Kunitz, died this Sunday morning in just spring surrounded by the love of friends and family. His particular light will continue to burn as long as poets wander the earth. He was 101 years old. 1905-2006

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Joseph Stroud- Country of Light

I put the shell down and wait for the snail
to emerge. I have much to learn of patience.
I no longer wonder where did love go,
or why the nights are so long, Issa says
the words will find a way across the page,
they will make a path into morning.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

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I am alone in the house and it is completely quiet, can you hear it?

stars around the beautiful moon
hide back their luminous form
whenever all full she shines
on earth



I would write in Greek if my computer knew how. Parts of me are in grief and I rather be in Greek. As you age there is so much more to regret. I hate the bumper sticker that says “regret nothing”-- it is such bullshit.

Yesterday my x-husband called to tell me there was a raccoon INSIDE the new old house; I think I heard it the day before and thought it was a spirit.

I need to read more Sappho and less Celan. I need to stay away from Russian poets for at least one summer. I need to go camping and climb trees, wake up to the cold, write poems by the fire. I want to spend my Fridays at Al’s and Bookhouse.

Tomorrow I will be silvery.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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drink coffee like a girl

I began the day with the printer going off by my head b/c my daughter was printing out her paper on “International Workers Day” and socialism at 6 a.m. I really need to stop sending them to leftist schools;)

It is not yet 10 am and I have already done two loads of laundry, packed lunches and walked to the coffee shop—not the close coffee shop but the one by the lake where you can get chocolate croissants and good French coffee that I drink like a girl. On Sunday I drove there, had croissants pulled from the oven, drove back to my house and tip toed back to bed to offer my gifts to my amazing one so now all food is a disappointment.

My friends keep asking me what I am doing, what I am writing and I have no answer except that I am living. I am in between two houses, two kids, three jobs and three unfinished books. The sign on my door says I Am Growing Into A Woman and the sign on my fridge says I Am The Master of Doing Things I Don’t Know How To Do Well.

If I was in charge of the calendar May would be the New Year, why begin when everything is frozen? Why not now when the earth rips herself open with the possibility of it. I am happy. I am loved. I am happy and in love and today I want to celebrate that those things are happening on deeper level than I ever thought attainable.

Happy International Workers Day. Happy New Year. Now go out eat chocolate and drink coffee like a girl.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Okay I want to go to this just to hear Laura Sims read....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

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In less than 48 hours I will be a giant purple giraffe for the Mayday Parade. Olivia will be a elephant with a drum and Bella will be a star girl on stilts. Mayday is high holiday in our house. There is something magical about it, the process of beginning, of coming together as a community, creating art; not because it needs to be created or there is a certain project or grant but b/c it can, because living creatively, celebrating this time we are given is constantly a choice.

Monday, May 01, 2006

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April Twilights

Tonight this small volume of poems is comforting me. This small book, published in 1923 I found for five dollars yesterday in my favorite used bookstore and because it was old, yellow, because on page fifty three there's a postcard from the Crosby Hotel in New Mexico, I brought the book home. I brought the book home because it was her.

What is comforting is it could have been anyone, one reads the first page where Willa Cather thanks the editors who have published her poems and you know it is her first book b/c she thanks them in a way that is new and childlike. It brings me peace, that voice; the voice before it is a master’s voice before it Willa Cather’s voice telling us stories, it was a new voice.

I struggle so much to be a master, in so many things. Tonight I am reading a book before it is a book. I am looking at the way the poems shuffled and re shuffled themselves, how a woman began and I know this beginning. I am a master of this beginning, laying the manuscript out, telling it what I believe. Tonight it answers. Begin.

All books before they are books say one simple word.