Thursday, November 25, 2010

Six Percenter

Went on a charity run this morning (ostensibly a Thanksgiving run for a food bank, but it would really be charitable to describe it as a run on my part, as I sloshed and shuffled alongside 9yo DD for about an hour's worth of 5k) then heard Roseanne Cash on a radio interview on the way home, extending some advice a friend had given her: "Sing for the 6 percent who are poets. They will always hear you."

Well, this one among the 6 percent may not hear you, because her ears are fucked up from Meniere's, but I will ask what, what, what did you say over and over because I WANT to hear you.

I was up over and over all night with headache and anxiety. One of those 5 a.m. mindswirls was built around what you can and can't say to people, and how to handle these things with DD. She no longer believes in Santa Claus. But it's a good bet some of her friends do, and so how do you deal with that? It requires a certain amount of social finesse. To not be rude and mean, but to just be secure in one's own convictions, tolerate ambiguity, listen with an open mind, but never let those nutjobs gain an inch when it comes to policy.

It's like me trying to converse about (or to avoid conversing about) monogamy, or Creationism, or the impartiality of Fox News. At this season, with all the togetherness, these things just...come up.

I'm sorry, what was that you said about Don't Ask Don't Tell? My hearing is just terrible.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Maybe this should stay an unreleased track. Quickie inspired by hangover caused by glass and a half of that box wine that's been in the fridge for almost two months now. I tried to use more of it up in the chicken cordon bleu with mushroom gravy last night, but there's still another glass or two. Maybe I'll reduce it late late tonight, with some rosemary, caraway, and aztec dream herb, and make of it a brew that creates a glamour. Like in The Craft. You think everything tastes great, and maybe it really does, but in the morning you're ready to bang your head into the wall.

Or maybe that's just because I have to go to work. Not again! Why does this keep happening, every fucking day???


No, The River was the one that came when I was locked up.
Nothing but bones, with a terribly scratched surface.
They didn't have eBay back then, but I wouldn't have gone for much.
So they stuffed me with filler until I could fit in my Calvins again
And be declared ready for release.
Darkness was years and so many battles before that.
Darkness came the summer the boy wrote over and over
All the words to Candy's Room, and changed the name
To mine, before I went away.

Photo: Frank Stefanko outtake from the photo session--probably decided he looked too good and consequently "inauthentic." I would have chosen this one, which is yet another reason I admire photographers. I go for the easy pretty and the good ones go for the heart. I took it off a tumblr website? called Byronic, which has so many little buttons and fussy stuff on it and so few words I can't figure out how the hell to give anyone any credit or even do them the courtesy of letting them know I took it. Sometimes things just get a little too complicated, especially for someone whose bones hurt.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It Makes a Great Lei


I plan the night garden, down to the last detail
A distraction from a leg cramp, or
The med tech bending, sterile paper rustling,
Cold metal or needles against skin, or the
Techno beat bashing as you lie so still
In the long white tube. You'll get out of here,
You remind yourself. Laboring over the imaginary garden
Is a way to not be here, now. My fear: I know
We won't have time to make the garden; we will never
Be granted that stretch of space to grow
Omixochitl, whose night scent young women
Are advised not to breathe. No such cautions
For old ones. Our gardens are choked
With weeds and frost-struck stems.
The table is a cold slab. I take my mind back
To details. Tuberose is a perennial in this climate
And will take a year. The roots are rhizomes.
I wonder: Can the bay overwinter?
Where will I get the seeds for the black poppies?
You would know, you would know. I dream myself away
To the place where I touch the boneflower
Blooming flesh-pale against the darkness,
In a few hours, coming. This could be
The only night garden we will know.
Only as big as this bed, in this room,
On the night ahead of us. This must be enough.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's, It's, A Barroom Blitz

You go out as a devil, with a woman dressed as half-devil, half angel and a man dressed as a priest, and it's going to do something to you, metaphysically speaking, especially if you made the mistake of trying to poke through Graham Greene's The End of the Affair just before going down for your disco nap earlier that evening.

And then there was the tequila and the cafe libido.

Plus I'd been looking at a friend's copy of the lovely annotated T.S. Eliot The Waste Land with the facsimiles of Pound's comments? He (the friend,not Eliot or Pound) was all, see, I thought the person who thinks she shouldn't have to revise anything should see this. A glance revealed at least one piece of good advice--he'd circled a "may" before the "put a record on the gramaphone" part and written: "Make up your mind!" Even a crazy-ass fascist stopped clock is right twice a day. I was getting all up in that argue-with-the-Christian-god space. Good thing I didn't touch the Antonia White, or you'd be hearing from me in the convent round about now.

So yeah, the gods will speak to you, too; just ask. Always pissed me off how he had to kill her off.

The Beginning of the Affair

Yes, the gods want to watch you
Press your mouth against
The brutally scarred cheek of the young atheist,
And they want you to eat the onions with your steak.
They want you to write the letter,
And send the letter, and to take
Lovers, and to make that abandoned
Sound you make. They want romance, wine,
Inconvenient conceptions, missed connections
At the station; they want theater, they want wit,
Wit, they never get enough of that.
They want explosions, and they want you
To dig yourself out of the rubble
Without any help from them at all.
They want you to walk in the rain,

True, but they also want you to come
Out of the cold, and believe me,
Even if you don't believe in them, believe me,
You can get very hot in here, we are waiting,
We will help you do what the gods want.
Because the gods want you alive. The gods
Want you steaming. Even the Christian god,
He'll spit you out if you're not hot enough,

He said so himself. The gods do not want you
To end anything. You're the one who wants that.
The gods, they desire everything
You can do. They want
What you want. They want you
To reach out right now and grab it,
Like a baby trying to pick up the water in the bath.

Photo: Who doesn't like some Julianne Moore?