Slow Summer

The butters’ been soft for over a month.

The sky turns a fuzzy pink around 8, reliably.

And speaking of pink- the Satin Flowers have proven their might in the backyard; pushing their elegant heads out of the cracked, compacted earth where the kiddie-pool once stood.

It’s summer in the Northwest, which means evening temps-of-your-dreams when the days are unbearable, which they’ve mostly been.

And speaking of pink- everyone’s walking around like they’ve spent too much time around aunt Dotty, cheeks all pinched-up.

And the crickets have so much to say.
Year after year I wish I could be privy.

A friend said the other day that she was ready for autumn but I told her “no”.

Times’ pulling all my extremities in different directions, asymmetrically. I’m like a wicked little star, shining, pulling. I’m mixed up & twinkly. It feels like it’s been a very long 2 months, that feels like 5 months, that feels like 2 weeks.
I just don’t know anymore.

If I measured the time in zucchini bread I’d be old enough to buy cigarettes, which means tiny flames, which means fire, which means sun, which means long summer nights, walking around aimless with sand in my pockets.

And speaking of pink- my toes are the color of tropical fish bellies. And speaking of sparkly: that too. It’s nice to wear peep-toe shoes when it’s warm, as the rest of the year my skin longs for breeze-contact.

There’s a little dog before me now. Her fur feels of soft, toasty hay. She’s my newest friend. We’re doing summer together from here on in.

I’m not sure she likes the heat terribly, but she certainly likes the butter on the counter & would like to know it better… with her pink tongue.

We’ll celebrate the season some more, sleeping outside in our clunky, well-worn trailer. We’ll pee out in the bushes under the cover of night. Come morning we’ll toast with fresh coffee & some creamy Baileys. And milk the last bit of heaven out of this time while we can.

Nada Mas

The 1st time I got my own apartment & had my 1st lone sit inside was my 1st big nothing.

Held by one of those clunky papasan chairs that are hard to get into & harder to get out of; creaky & boney. I sat.
Looking at a wall of blank & white being all I wanted to do; realizing- I could.
No one was going to walk in, questioning my inaction.

Never before had I taken such liberties, nor had it occurred to me as an option.

Busy brain owner extraordinaire, my mind is likely like yours; always diligently working to produce fruits.
A perpetual growing season.

When traveling alone I sit on the bed & have another big nothing. It comes over me.

The luxury of this
is everything.

Life doesn’t seem to crop up with these moments very often.

Being beside a forest stream is sweet. There’s a whole different kind of calm. A care & connection that are sparked. And full of so much. Our linkage is summoned. Our hearts become busy. The ocean is much of the same; as is a city in a foreign country full of floating strangers’ heads.

I suppose this is the draw of meditation. Where the emptiness grants a fulfillment.

Is it much like when the night is so quiet that it’s loud?

Try to tell a kid these days the value of vacancy & they might understand better than how I’d have received it as a child. These are over-stimulated times, & I wonder what’s around the corner for this, as we can only crest so high before descending. That is nature, which we still are.

In this hotel room the traffic whirs past, seems to sound out of the thin wall holding me apart from the interstate highway. The lights here cast a soft, welcomed glow. The television is flat before me, but it does not beckon.
My brain is happy as a clam with the gift pile of nothings sitting naked, out of their wrapping.

Blank canvases exist in infinite examples. Clay clump to the potter. Tarp to the painter. Pulpy paper to the sketch artist. Glowing blank screen to the journalist without assignment.

When my mind runs out on me again I’ll find a comfortable seat & wait for an idea to start to take shape, follow it with a soft, inviting gusto, & try not to scare it or put too much weight on it, as everything seems to be a game of nonchalantness.
Even inside my own self.

This is my sneaky way or twirling my hair while waiting. Looking at the writer’s block before me as but a cold cube to melt on a slow moving, cool morning. I’ll observe the dewy clover. Feel my shoes get soggy once more. Give some thoughts to getting better at preemptive dressing…
Jumping jacks are always there to help raise the temp.

It’s all process if it knocks something loose.

One time I walked around a dusty, Mexican border town just because I was too close to the country not to go in.
There were dogs running around whom I longed to connect with. Horses stood, idle in small, fenced in areas. There were multiple, bunches of balloons, deflated, tangled party remnants spiffying up the telephone wires. A siesta fiesta. I’d forgotten all my pesos at home.
There was an unexplained, long-ago-discarded fortress in the center of town.

Sometimes I feel like that structure is what my art looks like after a long stint of neglect. Do most people see themselves as structures? As small towns? As cities? I tied myself to that place without meaning to .

So it’s a small blank canvas after all. Or it could be long wall on a short block. Waiting for color & shape; in the darnedest of places.

Lion Dreams

It turns out you have cat to you; your sleep sounds border lion’s breath. A choppy purr that tells often of comfort & sometimes disruptions-

In bed I come in often after you; our schedules off-kiltered from differing responsibilities & priorities of self care; my skin is -these days- a pampered baby.

You- warm. I- an ice cube- that sun-bakes my edges on your heat.
I set to thaw- compliment of you. You bring me back to room temp.

Once the cold cold cold subsides I am myself again, more cozy & too awake to recognize my own sleep creature; safely assuming I’m mouse because I’m quiet, lay still, & wake so easily. I curl up small & am soft & my sneezes are in high register.

Waking life I am no mouse & you no cat.
Just when you breath you are forest king. Your vibration- my calm. I listen to the lull & am invited to join.

Owls of Autumn

Across the street from our house is a grove of old, tall tall trees of cedar & fir. This block is terribly lucky- most of these spaces are filled in with flat bottomed homes; not this patch.
6 trees. From where I sit it looks as if 1 or 2 more could have fit; a small forest reenactment, but the history of future city planning is fraught. In other words- this grove is a gift that I pray remains as is.

2 nights ago owl calls began. Owl calls are so woven into the background of life’s nights that unless it’s specifically loud- I fear the sounds might be lost to the wind. Like walking in jeans & no longer hearing thighs scrape. These owls- new neighbors. Last night was the 2nd night of their hooting & my heart is growing hopes that they’ll love their new accommodations & feel to stay.
Where were they before?
We walked in the dark to stand amongst the strong trunks, below the shaggy boughs, the burnt limbs- a nod at June’s oppressive heat dome. Soon the ground will be crunchy & snappy, but last night I don’t think we caused much of a stir with our presence. 2-3 owls could have been heard. 3- if the high pitched one was the baby my partner assumed it was. My own jury is out.

It is morning now & I am awake a bit more early than my preference, but having this still time to my lonesome is also an offering of sorts. A offering of time- which is one of the greatest offerings when the place is right.
A single candle has been lit, tea is steeping, & apart from the noise of being under countless flight paths- all of the rest I hear are other birds.

2 mornings ago when I went to brush my teeth I noticed a long parade of ants marching across the tiles from one door frame, up & over the sink, out to the window sill. There were clusters congregating. Who doesn’t stop to take in their behavior; wondering about social structure, work ethic, goals? How different really are we? A spider has taken up residency in the upper corner of the shower, about a foot from the water source. He is long & elegant. Legs for days. They each come to a wispy point. I’m constantly remarking how handsome he is. When I’m in there -it’s a happy place; I feel so at ease. Never taking for granted the hot water, comfort, privacy, sacred moment of cleansing, using all the elaborate lotions & potions to set me skin to 25 years of age. Spider is with me & I promise no harm. Last night I began to worry that I should take him outside: perhaps he was confused & would fair better in nature? More to eat. But I settled on giving him the benefit of the doubt as to knowing where he can thrive. Some beings can be alone. And he sees things my eyes are not sharp enough for. I spent time observing him, simultaneously hoping to instill no fear with my big human eyes. So beautiful. When I sang softly he moved around a bit. I couldn’t move out of minor chords. Maybe he was channeling. I tried to create a cathedral environment of sounds. I hoped he would only feel at ease. I wondered too- what he thought on, & how far we are from ever understanding each other. I even wondered if he got itchy & instantly he began to scratch his body! So there’s something there, & I have all the more fodder to take longer showers. Guilty pleasure indeed.

All of these observations begs the question- the tip of it at the very least: does the observer have part in interconnection? Or are we mere eyes? Eyes/ thoughts? Are spider & I interconnected simply by sharing space, or are we just coexisting?

Every body is an ecosystem. Every ecosystem interacts with neighboring ecosystems. This ant that has been running across the computer screen the whole time- are we connected beyond virtue of being in the same space? It’s not like she’s found my crumb source- per say. The owls- aside from soothing my last couple evenings & possibly infiltrating my dreams- are we connected? How many degrees? The tomatoes I plant> the rats that eat of them> owl supper… One obvious cycle yes, but this is “city living”, so without a garden – how do we connect? How am I giving to owl?

In the end- is it the tall trees that link us all? And is peace a projection? When I woke up this morning & sat cozily on my couch, looking up sounds of baby owls to listen to recorded distinctions between some; one sounding like static with a high pitched balloon-loosing-air finish, one sounding like a broken pony, one sounding like a sonar mammal- I sat in peace. The way the sun spills in the room, across this mustard yellow velvet couch- it just looks like equinox. Feels like equinox. Something is happening all around me. All the time.

across the street

Some Sounds of Silence

Do you hear the soft pulse

the purr of the morning;

the heat it crackles in spurts,

are the houseplants bothered at all?

These walls must have layers of absorbed music in them; caked in; packed on; but not this year.
This has been the year-of-quiet in this house. Mellow as tea steam.

I find comfort in the sounds of the dryer- banging around in the basement; the sound of warmth.
I find comfort in the sound of the neighboring, tall bamboo- stalks spanking in the wind; the sound of wild. I’m far from the ocean, but can draw this sound-comfort; hearing it’s rhythm where ever I go. My heart’s sound-twin.
What a lucky gal is me.

These days the birds have a lot to say. We live together now. I listen, trying to distinguish their calls & changes. Thus far I am still but a semi-useless human; unrefined in skills of decoding. Impatient & curious.
They make a lot of love. More than me.
Catching up is on my list-of-hopefuls.

The great majority of my afternoons hold murmurs from the speakers as I work with my hands, teaching me things I never knew or hadn’t understood well enough. I have submitted my mind to the Adult-School-of-Random-Education via strangers with jingles & hopefully diligent notes. I take my chances. My trust is 50/50.

My fantasies are desert-tied. I like to think of lizard bellies pressing against the screens of my window- me- on the other side, sleepily brushing my teeth in the morning, staring out at the pink blue morning horizon dotted with ocotillo, sage brush, pepperweed and other vegetative spirits with volatile oils that smell of perpetual rain when challenged with the weight of fingertips. I like to imagine red brown clay dust covering the tips of all my shoes. I like to picture casually engaging with desert people who tend very old cactus gardens. The countless dry, sun worn abandoned houses in my future beckon.

The Pacific Northwest is green of all variants. I will always remember it for this- no matter where I go. Always thank it for this. Regions can be thanked. There is nothing too big for a blessing. Nothing too small.
This is where I am now- up where I’m portable-heater-and-hot-beverage-reliant; forgetting my hoody makes me feel vulnerable & a few degrees further from happy. I have great fortune not to tend to addiction but these frosty February temperatures bring me close.

How I long to find new colors of feathers & old pottery on the ground; to forgo my woolens; to walk outside & have comfort wrap around my skin; to tend to tomatoes as many times a year as possible; to have the soft silence of a new ecosystem reveal it’s own life-pulse. And tap in.

And take in the purr of the morning.

And know the houseplants too- are cozy.

Bones About It

Equate me with foot dragging on carpeted stairs to squat quick & pensive at the outlet-God of cheap-thrill shock-therapy, for my inner-child needs a cold-water start to wake up from the monotonous boredom that’s got us all tangled up; dragging beneath the slowest car, riding on puro rims- over potholes & pits, with a blackout blotch smeared right over arrival time.

2 weeks that bled into 2 months, that bled into 9 months- at present, that bleed still. A vacuous wound unresponsive to tourniquets, & the pressure persists, but no mind, no mind.

I used to take my thinking-saw when I’d grown into my shadows & saw my skull open to let my head-moths fly around & land in unlikely places, & write about what came home, attached to their feet. I’d witness a white crow 2 times in an unmistakable flock of black ones & felt closer to the mystics; and stranger to common concerns like days of the week. I touched magic more often but also got my feet dirtier in the process. You can’t walk through a long field & not step in shit.

I struggle with recognizing my own web of fault. Have I trapped myself in the monotony or am I too close to my own nose to see my victimhood in having little to do for months? Everyday is a grand Groundhog of reminder, edging margins of subtle variation.

And now with cold cold air to wrap reliably around my leggys & weave it’s way through my hair & around my scalp, & penetrate my body top down & bottom up- I trap further into myself in inaction & the dullard’s company of a grey, cloth couch. My guitar will call & I will answer, but where once I had magic beans that rolled around my pockets of song snippets & poetry shreds I had hung without protest- on thin blue lines of spiral bound pages; storing them like orphans hoping to get chosen when I pull up in my petticoat & emerge from my Cadillac Roadster with clicky heels & feather hat. Dahling~ I am ready for you now. Prepackaged sentence pluckery. Those beans- where are they now?

My tea leaves carry-on unread, for my cup filleth & filleth again, I sip on & on all day long, working with my hands, trying & forgetting, repeat repeat repeat- to steady my mind- & search for cheap thrills or expensive thrills or I’m-open-to-suggestion-thrills-please-change-out-my-tea-now-I’m-ready-for-a-new-flavor-of-thrills.

Time is my sweet, yellow dog growing older. It passes without asking or telling, as it takes without the same pleasantries. One day we’ll look back with rosier lenses, while now we must find our way through the darkness of the un-knowing. Generating our own sparks again.

Pink Crown

Life is pretty pink right now. I kick it up with my toes; trail it home- stow aways’ in the crannies of my trainers. Everything in eye shot is blooming and sloughing. The earth: a post Thanksgiving meal eater, undoing its belt and letting it all hang out. All bets off. Ready for a shake. Like being through an earthquake without the tremors. Like a silent letter: the K in knife. Cut off. We’re all left, standing for safety in the door jamb, watching blossoms act so innocent, in part providing reassurance that the beat goes on, and in other part- seeming duplicitous, as if to say, simply- “come”.

But we can’t come now. Most of us can- at liberty- walk the blocks, though ill advised to venture from home far, as fear is the new dominant, dictating monger. We must avoid one another, and swallow fear when foreign objects enter our homes. Clean our hands with vigor and discipline, and learn to trust the cleanliness of others in our proximity.
You know you’re in deep when your nightmares consist of a faceless somebody petting your dog.
Here we are on our couches, absorbing movie after movie; ringing out our creative juices to get even a few amenable drops; cooking test run recipes from our mother’s lineage; spending quality-time, or alone-time, or terrible-too-small-world -time with loved ones, or old friends, or no one, or proximal, newly minted enemies. No matter how you slice it, everything is amplified. The light shines bright on every second, stretching them out like Coney Island taffy in July.
Streets, yards and sidewalks are covered in messy, carefree beauty that only an equinox can get away with. The natural-order and the parasitic-human dance to the same music at different beats, a Junior High-hands-free dance with a nun at the helm, monitoring touch with a stinging ruler. We are in perfectly juxtaposed tandem and its all awkward moves. Our mortal terror bowing to the elegance of the bold bearded Iris, the puffy Cherry blossoms, blushing Dogwoods, the auspicious Wisteria.
I walk past them, air kissing their pigment through my eyes, thankful for the distraction provided, and their involuntary reminder that washes in and out like the ocean waves at the shore, to focus on the passing colors and settle me into the weird, waking dream.IMG_7032IMG_7239

Oh the possible punches packed by the brain from an empty tin-can when it comes to tumbling too loudly, pushed along by wind, tricking on ears at metallic kick-along footsteps causing neck double back and double back and triple back.
Just me and that wind.
Just me and some trees. For all I know.
Just me and my dog- too busy darting untethered in the dark, bush to bush bedeviled by his snout- to sense my woeful paranoia.
This fear of sunless-sky time rapidly twists into sadness, as I’m well aware that I’m likely my own worst enemy- worrying myself so- amongst the blocks surrounding my domain, and even more-so that a place free of those lurking in the shadows is easy to imagine. This is the thought that I must hold between my throat and belly in a sustained inhale. Also, I have to remind myself to continue with breathing.
These notions dance erratically against the dread of the cumulative grouping of every horror movie I’ve watched, trailing me, or the fear of furthering my connection to the Me Too movement as I unintentionally create a target of my sole self in the street. Forced comfort causing friction against collected phobia. Like Rachmaninoff dropping from a dream to somehow share a stage of opposing sets, simultaneously with Siouxsie and the Banshees. Or trying to shimmy to Parliament Funkadelic, in synch with slow dancing to James Taylor.
It can be an easy endeavor to entertain this vision of harmless walks, as experience introduced myself to itself in tales sunk in from traveling fashion.
In the city of Florence. In the country of Italy.
There was an occasion that lasted a night, that lasted a lifetime in a seed inside my heart or soul or mind or maybe all at once or sometimes it may float around, where I became enlightened in an evening to a coupling sense of rawness and security; who’s mathematics equaled a unique sum of awe unknown to my own certainty before.  Walking along the drunkard’s-dream of cobblestone streets, gliding through Moorish marble piazzas and the basilica’s double colonnades, exploring  the banks of the Arno river, over uneven bridges, beyond Donatello’s conquering breast of Judith, past dizzying, extending stone structures, in the middle of the world, protected by an angelic omnipresence, cradled by an exotic energy in that the threat of an attacker was nil. News to me- it was- that this was even a conscious idea before this moment.
How natural keys fit between fingers. How deep the wagon wheel grooves can be driven before even questioning beliefs.
And all of this experience to have a tin-can maddeningly rattle me out of a purifying parade through the commonwealth. The uneasiness of the unseeable nipping my heels and herding me by invisible hand towards the absolute calm of home.


Like Love

When heated, coals become incandescent, glowing red-hot.
When were you the most coal?
Where did the spark start?
Lightning-footed before your head even knew it, till suddenly: poof– hairs are on end; your body electric?
Were you then pulled in? Washed over? Was it warm, did you let yourself burn, or were you magnetized in moment? In momentum? In monumental feeling? Familiar and old as bones?
Like moon;
With gravitational pull, consequently prompting the oceans to tide. All approximately 67% water of us.
Have you overflown, salty-wet? Basked in spilled star light, reflecting in lovers’ eyes? Awake awake awake and not in mind for sentence assembly, as something else occupied your mouth? Full. Filled.
We would likely quake when over-swept with thoughts to imagine the other side of this closeness emptied and airless; Before love, or without it.
Once that taste is stoked, palettes evolve standards, and these are models of desire, and this want is driving force, and resistance is no dice. So we keep at it, poke it, feed it.
When filled, thy cuppeth runneth over. And have you lately? Please, please.
Been crowded with passion. All red and heart hued. Exotic butterflies dancing in stomach, reminding us of the good stuff. The reason. The prompt. The time to tend to. And did you manage complete presence, and achieve surrender?
Fresh-out-the-kitchen, hot-off-the-griddle, flushed pie, ready to eat, just made for lovers with nose to nose kind of mornings. Skin to skin kind of nights.
The world, our oyster. The sea- ever-bearing.
It just takes a flicker to glow. Bioluminescent fervor.