Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Love Jones

Girl, don't GET that Rickie Lee Jones CD off the shelf, don't LOOK for it, don't take it out!!! Don't you put that CD in your car, girl, what are you DOING, you know what that's gonna get you!! You stop, now. You know where that's gonna get you.

"...and the only angel who sees us now watches from each other's eyes...."

Oh, it's just too late, there she is with the piano. Don't say I didn't warn you about all that girlie stuff, girl. You're going soft.

Here's some of her poetry.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Silence, Exile, Cunning

"...I will try to express myself in some mode of art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use—silence, exile, and cunning."

You just do a fastass Google and you find so many blog headlines that look just like that one! Dag. We all just so well read. There’s this one that busts on Dave Eggers alla time, just to give you one example. You, me, and what army.

Well, here's my eight bucks: It’s my struggle with silence, the exile of Pluto, and then let’s put an Olde English 800 spin on that last term and say it refers to my modus operandi nowadays. Yep, the c-word has certainly been shoved firmly into my arsenal and I can only suppose that eventually I’ll be all the better off for it, though right now I just feel like I’m going around being a c-word and will pay, pay, pay.

But as everyone who knows me knows, silence is the surest way to turn me into a quivering mass. You don’t even have to throw a bucket of water on this witch. Just go incommunicado. Or tell me to shut up. It's like death.

It all started with my quest to claim the shadow. [Iris out. The whole screen turns into a shadow.]

Here’s the theory: We take parts of ourselves we don’t wish to “own” and we turn them into “shadows” and often project them on other people. Some of us take our clockwatcher part, for instance, and pin it on the boss or the bitch, and then we can call them nitpicky, nagging, anal, no fun.

Take back your shadows, and you allegedly get back all kinds of energy, creativity, superpowers.

I recently took back my Bad Girl from a friend who’d looked after her and taken her on many adventures for years. She’s hard to handle, poor rejected thing, but she’s mine now, and we're having some good times. And I think it’s a relief to my friend to have her off her hands, so she can be as good or bad as she pleases, all on her own. So that worked.

But sometimes people don’t want you to take these parts back. They want to hang on to them. Or they want to hang on to you not having those parts, so they can keep busting on you for not having them. Or because you’re easier to handle without them.

So in the appropriate season, I made it my business to roam around in the underworld, looking for scraps of shadow to sew back onto my heels. I stumbled over several--the fuckup, the one that says and does the wrong thing, the outcast, and the one that speaks her mind and says right out what she wants, all living with another friend. That friend has paid a heavy, heavy price for speaking out and speaking freely and not calculating and manipulating and veiling, like I do. Scary. I don’t want to pay that price, have random folks hating on me! I guess that’s why I’d kicked that shadow to the curb to begin with.

Bottom, so to speak, line: Can you say what you want, flat out, without becoming a c-word or a d-word? Discuss.

I’m trying this technique: Say it, then shut up and wait. See what happens.

That’s the scary, bad, hard part about taking them back. The good part is that the people you’ve sent your shadows away to now get to be themselves again. Just fully themselves. And you get to know them, for real. Maybe for the first time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Old Turks and Coveting

Off to the land of scotch and golf and diamonds for the holiday with la familia. Little internet, no blogging, secret writing in the night, curled up on the narrow bed with a flashlight. Everything really does come full circle, and it does it over and over again.

I am currently using a notebook I found in a drugstore bin for .50, covered with pictures of Tinkerbell, patroness of lost boys, clever fixer of teapots, sacred in my pantheon of supernatural beings. My daughter covets it so strongly it is difficult to write, some days, over the whines. "Why can't I have it, please, why can't I have it???" She has at least a dozen notebooks, covered with butterflies and princesses and whatever catches her eye in the discount store; she is not deprived; she sits and writes poems in them with her vast collection of gel pens. Yet she wants this one so badly. I have to do the hard thing--some things are mommy's, some things are yours. I don't take your gel pens, do I? (Yet I do covet the gel pens, just as I sometimes covet the scotch and the diamonds and the green lawns and the widescreen tvs and the stainless steel gas ranges. Sometimes. But never the golf.) Mommy has boundaries, mommy can stick to her guns, mommy has made up her mind and will not change it for all the pleading. It has to be done. Mean mommy.

Here is my favorite poem by my daughter:
You are the boy I have been looking for
You are the girl I have been looking for
You are the boygirl I have been looking for
You are the girlboy I have been looking for

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nothing I Do Entitles Me to Eat My Fill

"It is true, I earn my living, but it is only an accident." --Brecht

Had lunch in a German restaurant today, after playground time. I wonder if my daughter will remember that her crazy mama used to drive her from place to place around the city playing the same song over and over. Today it's Milton Nascimento's Sueno con Serpientes, off Sentinale. This analysis quotes an interview with poet/songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, saying "various writers have speculated that the song symbolizes the never ending struggle through life's conflicts, the truth found by facing one's hidden fears, absolute truths and false images that mislead people, or political systems that sow the seeds of their own destruction." I think it could apply to any kind of system--everything eats its own tail (at least, it does if it's been keeping up with its yoga classes). The system is dead; long live the system--tear it down to build it up again (hey there, Pluto. Down, boy.). But I also believe you can choke them with your goodness, when you've got nothing else to work with.

"Of serpents, I dream
Long, transparent and in their bellies they carry
all they can snatch away from love
I kill one and a larger one appears
with even more hellfire burning inside
I don't fit in its mouth; it tries to swallow me.
But it chokes on the top of my temple
I think it is crazy; I give it a dove to chew,
and I poison it with my goodness.
Oh, I kill one and a larger one appears..."

It opens with Mercedes Sosa quoting Brecht (my favorite poet, writer, everything, and the one I'd call an influence if I'd ever written anything successful):
"There are men who struggle one day
and they are good
there are others who struggle one year
and they are better
there are those who struggle for many years
and they are better still.
But there are those who struggle all their lives;
Those are the indispensable ones."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Love Canal

Had an early morning root canal. Some people are surprised I would have a root canal and then go to work the rest of the day. One, I have deadlines. Two, there are worse things.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Here Comes a Storm in the Form of a Girl

I drove my hybrid smugly, as usual, to 355 Toyota for servicing. Got it back way hours later, with all the radio presets wiped out and replaced by Christian stations. And one country.

I'm pulling out and some guy's quoting, ick, Paul, something about "I wait on the Lord, I wait on the Lord." Well, I waited on the car. And a whole lotta other things, too, I'm waiting on.

I called, smugly, and ripped them a new one. Intend to write, smugly, too.

Ironically, all the way there I'd been over-and-overing Courtney Love's "Heaven Tonight."

I am drunk and drugged and dizzy with hope. I won't admit fear. He hung out here too often and caused a lot of trouble. The bouncers have his photo and they won't let him in.

"Here comes a storm in the form of a girl
Summer rains come flying in
It's like heaven tonight
Here comes a kiss like I never felt
There's nothing like this
It's like heaven tonight
I hear the horses come galloping
and I'll never grow old
It's like heaven tonight
Because I love you
For what you are....
I can believe that I can be happy
Summer will come again, I can be happy
Oh stop your crying, you can be happy..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Egoiste! Egoiste! Egoiste!

Speaking of men being excoriated, farewell Norman Mailer.

His third book a dismal critical and commercial failure, he started the Village Voice. Yay, balls!!!

And just to show I know not all women smack down men who speak out, here's a chunk from today's Post appreciation:

...What inspired her about "Armies" was "the freedom Norman Mailer gave himself." [said feminist writer Katha Pollitt]
"He gave himself the freedom to be ridiculous...He gave himself the freedom to be egocentric, to put himself at the center of a story that he is only very peripheral at, and to make a joke out of that."

He also gave himself the freedom to be serious about the fate of America.

Mailer saw his country -- for which he sometimes felt "a sharp searing love" -- as threatened not just by the Vietnam War but by the broader dominion of what he called "corporation land," by "the subtle oppression which had come to America out of the very air" of the 20th century, with "its oppressive Faustian lusts, its technological excrement all over the conduits of nature, its entrapment of the innocence of the best . . . ."

This, in the end, is why he chose the technique he did. "Once History inhabits a crazy house," he informs readers who might be puzzled by the choice, "egotism may be the last tool left to History."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pulling Out, Cutting Back, Making a New Bed

Burying my sorrows in my neglected garden, pulling out what's dead, cutting back what I hope will grow bigger and better in just a few months, really, just a few months is all it will take until there is warmth and they come back. They'll come back. That magic happens every year. But I don't ever really KNOW.

You know.

This is a look at the latest new moon from Planet Waves. But note before: Men "pay a high price in admitting to sexual desire" as well. Witness this phenomenon. OK, he's not my kind--yawn, no wild leaps or big brooding. But the way he's getting savaged by women all over blogland is grotesque. I hate these kinds of online pile-on flames. There are better ways to burn--ones that aren't fueled by fear over your own projections. Understand? Women savage men who admit looks and sex matter to them because they don't want to own that part of themselves that values looks and sex.

You want to make fun of his writing, well, that's another issue.

OK, rolling over in the gutter, let's check out the stars.

"We are exploring the darkness, facing the unknown, not really able to see what is happening....Our fear is really fear of change.

The Sun and the Moon are conjunct Juno. The Roman goddess Juno was queen of the gods and the jealous wife of Jupiter. By most accounts we think of Jupiter as unfaithful; we do not normally think of him as alive. If you were the king of the gods, you would probably want to have sex with all the other goddesses and nymphs, wouldn't you?

Juno symbolizes marriage, partnership dynamics, woman's role as a wife, fidelity and jealousy. She will also reveal shades of commitment, the feelings about commitment...This can change, particularly as we go through relationships. We may be questioning commitment unconsciously, or confused about its dynamics or meaning. We may in some way be feeling unfree, but experiencing it as chaos or loss of clarity. Possessiveness and learning how to let go arise as central themes of this lunation.

An exact conjunction of two asteroids, Vesta and Lilith in Capricorn is adding its own spice to the mixture... Lilith can also represent the crisis that "being the real me" brings into the lives of both women and men, particularly when it happens to women. Women in particular are trained to conceal their real identity as a way of life and of survival, particularly where sexual desire is concerned. For women, the price for admitting to sexual desire is apparently much higher than it is for men. When considering Lilith as the real woman inside the woman, this is an essential dimension to consider.

Vesta...can manifest either as celibacy or as the capacity to bestow sexual favors for the purpose of healing or growth; the choice is up to each of us.

...This is a picture of some interesting confrontations between the part of men that is more feminine, insecure, nurturing or needy; and the part of women that is hot at the core and focused on the intention of being known and available as inherently sexual."

One look at this, and you'll subscribe. How often does someone speak to your soul?

Thursday, November 8, 2007


The cold snap dictates Mark Lanegan’s The Winding Sheet. Even though the CD was given to us by someone who is gone from this world, and I can’t listen to it without that in the back of my mind.

I do like them big, dark and brooding. The recent work on the freaking Starbucks-ubiquitous In the Wild soundtrack almost makes Eddie Vedder bearable, but in the end, Mark’s always going to be the one for me.

I’m beginning to think I’m not in the Underworld, but under water. The glitter is dimmed, and I’ve learned quick gestures and fast breaks don’t work. Nothing I’m good at is of use here, yet. I’m a little afraid that one wave of my arm will set up a ripple that will engulf an island far away. Overestimation or wishful thinking?

My daughter now declares that her favorite food is pomegranate. We will share one tonight.

Let’s listen to Mark sing, now.

"Your voice is a mockingbird
Calling me when the day is gone
You please yourself with every word
Telling me where I'm going wrong
Telling me where I've gone wrong

Get me out it's starting to burn
I can't let go for the life of me
Some hold tight, and some turn
Another fire out in front of me
My whole life out in front of me

You can't kill what's already dead
But I don't blame you for trying it
The sun comes up and falls away
Two little birds makin' sense of it
Two mockingbirds making sense of it."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Crawl and Fly, You and I

Joni Mitchell's birthday, a new moon in Scorpio approaches, Mars plunges into the sea, Eros flutters off in distress that he's loved a mere mortal, and Pluto turns and faces me and declares: "Put down the fucking pomegranate and tell me now: Who is your lover and who is your enemy? Or do you want me to find out for you?"

I smash a few juicy seeds between my tongue and teeth, swallow and nod. "I'd appreciate that." I've really gotten to like the guy in the past six months. Quiet, no bullshit. Reminds me of Clint Eastwood.

Well, let's hear from the birthday girl. I'd forgotten what she could do to me.

"And put me at the top of your danger list
Just for being so much like you are!

You're a coward against the altitude--
You're a coward against the flesh--
Coward--caught between yes and no
Reckless this time on the line for yes, yes, yes!

...Behind my bolt locked door
The eagle and the serpent are at war in me
The serpent fighting for blind desire
The eagle for clarity
What strange prizes these battles bring
These hectic joys-these weary blues
Puffed up and strutting when I think I win
Down and shaken when I think I lose
There are rivets up here in this eagle
There are box cars down there on your snake
And we are twins of spirit
No matter which route home we take
Or what we forsake
We're going to come up to the eyes of clarity
And we'll go down to the beads of guile
There is danger and education
In living out such a reckless life style
I touched you on the central plains
It was plane to train, my twin
It was just plane shadow to train shadow
But to me it was skin to skin
The spirit talks in spectrums
He talks to mother earth to father sky
Self indulgence to self denial
Man to woman
Scales to feathers
You and I
Eagles in the sky
You and I
Snakes in the grass
You and I
Crawl and fly
You and I..."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

That's What She Said.

An actual funny interesting poetry blogger and her funny sexy online poetry magazine functioning in DC. I have to get out more.

I was doing my usual poking around for the payoff (spreadsheet ideal: fewer than five poems, more than $500 prize, less than $25 entry fee, simultaneous is great, not language poetry-centric. I'm just not fucking smart enough for language poetry.) and ran across it. And you know this shoutout can't be seen as currying favor for possible publication, cause no one reads my blog. "The Ballad of the Lonely Blog." Allllllright, that's enough.

I will be child free in eight hours and swept away for a few days of Romance. I have to gather my supplies. What did I do with that thing? No, that other thing, and the shoes. Think, think. It's not like you've been in the Underworld all week or anything, for chrissake.