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A therapist once told me that I thrive on becoming rather than being. He was
right, but I didn’t understand at the time it is a double edged sword
The excitement of becoming is a drug that can chase one into madly searching for somewhere to land
Being. Ah, being. Just being. It sounds like stasis. Boring, Stuck.
At this age, I realize that stasis is equilibrium and that is a very good thing. Balance.
Not a teetering on the edge kind of balance, but a discrete place of action and calm.
Pity this wisdom comes so late in life, but the richness of nuance and meaning adds immeasurably to each precious day on this side of the dirt.
Experiences become a symphony of light and serenity
of satisfaction and grace notes of grief and booms of being one in this place
while memories race to claim a seat in reality, they add color and depth
to what is already at hand
I want to taste and feel and understand and stay still in the moment
It is a good thing, a very good thing, to be here.
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Either the crazy never begins
or the crazy never ends
Irascible writers are blown by the
winds to their place, screaming or quiet
In life, as in marriage or writing or working or drinking or making love or sweating out a hangover
Desperate regret births fear
And so, safely in the waiting room, under the buzzing lights
we will read a magazine, toss it aside
pace and curse and commiserate with others
we will never leave that room
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This morning, I arrived at the intersection of mortality and denial. The past, present, and future sat at a cafe table, sipped lattes, and watched as my steps became hesitant.
The past delicately placed a five on the table. “My money’s on knowledge. She’s seen this one before and chose–well, if not wisely, then correctly.”
Present added a fiver. “I don’t know. Lately, she’s been just waiting and not doing. I’m going with what I see now.”
Future smirked and placed a ten under the cold candle. “You all know I have to cover both positions.”
I looked both ways and sighed. There must be a third choice I cannot yet see. Frost may have gotten it wrong. I took out my notebook and started writing down the possibilities.
Wings sprouted from my shoulders and lifted me up, over the intersection, over the obstacles, away from the cafe. From above, I could see both roads. I clutched my notebook to my chest and smiled. So, the writer’s way, then.
A passing waiter collected the money off the table and smiled at the trio staring openmouthed as I disappeared.
“It’s a push. Better luck next time.”
He tucked a cigarette behind his ear and stared at the blinding sand and the sad, blinding, dead-end strip of sand stared back
It knew it would win in the end
I watched his boot trace a silly amoeba, then dot a couple of eyes with the toe
and the sand stared back
There’s a silence in the country that pierces deep and dark and fills unsuspecting hearts with historical grief from hundreds of years of spilled blood and screams and ripped out hope
‘Stay here and suffer’ the silence begged. ‘Let it eat you alive, this soul stabbing pain’
He let the old rage come in and fill his body with pulsing red He felt a high pitch of keening sorrow as it pushed aside the rage
it stabbed his lungs
He fell to the sand, the eternal sand
the wondrous grounding of soul came to quiet
He dipped a finger into the sand and tasted grit tasted salt tasted what was
what is what will be
the beating of his heart remains connected to the sand
He felt dizzy and heard a drumbeat of the elders passing him a mantle
in the passing of a low rider
I dragged these boots through the mud for months
Through the beating sun
Through biting flies
Through circles of swamp and lonely cold beans in the can
Through dusty nameless plains of cactus and snakes
I fell to my knees
I stared at cool stars until the fever broke and rest came
I am, I go on, I am empty, I go crazy and try to touch the sky
I chew on solitude
It tastes like old leather
And aches of a sky so blue it snatches my breath away
There is no turning back from these atrocities. There is no “I was just joking” minimizing.
This is the pivot point. We either reclaim our humanity or we continue down hell’s path.
I spoke to a woman who was nonchalant. She said, I’m legal. I stared at her. She was engulfed in “I got mine.”
I shopped today, minding my place. White supremacy. It hangs on me like a spiderweb.
I don’t know how to shed it. But I can do something. I can be one among many.
I can be non-centered. This isn’t my world. I just live in it. I can speak out as a human.
I make it an awareness and a yoke.
It is. It is a sunset in the finite understanding of tarot card readers and icy cold beers drawn from a
What is inside curls like smoke to the air.
It bends in the darkness that has settled over this big, brawling country.
My tiny flame, other tiny flames will form the fateful lightning of a terrible, swift sword. And truth will march on…
I sling words with feeling without skimming on the surface like a cockroach across a puddle.
I get drunk and cry with my pen instead of writing about my tears. Anyone can do that.
I drag myself through a slimy alley of darkness and live to keep it a secret.
I don’t have time to spout pretty words and platitudes and cocktail party phrases.
My life, my existence is this: every word counts.
Every stinking drop of sweat on this table is a poem. Every lamentation for lost vices pushes a limit. Every painful sunrise is a testament to being laid bare every night.
Every click of the compressor motor on the refrigerator counts down to the end, closer than the beginning, and I am alive to feel every second of it, taste every bitter dreg of it, lose myself in all the places where I don’t matter.
The afternoon breeze whipped a fly-spotted curtain into that peculiar fabric dance of letting go
I sweated and smoked, blew rings that vanished honorably like poets from decades ago flicked the same ashes as they thought drowsy thoughts and contemplated what words,
what words, what words
There aren’t any words. There’s just the bottle that drips time down to the table.
And soon, as the sun sets with orange and purple twilight chomping at the bit to bring its brief blaze of glory, a glorious interlude between sweating and swearing and yearning
to cool streetlights, nature night sounds, rustlings of words that sneak by in the dark
little thieves of time and comfortable existence
I took a walk in the woods one day on a well-worn path dappled with shade and sun
beside the path, a quiet creek made its run
to the ocean, you say, but maybe to a thirsty belly or a still
The earth felt alive and laughing at my puny existence as I ground out the miles without a real sense of distance,
but miles went by.
I heard a hum, like the twang of a lonely banjo that slides in and out of the mountains after a midnight rain when the fog settles low
The hum of the earth, the world, the sentience of startling rocks that pace my path, not as stumbling blocks, but
guides to the secrets of the ground
If I only listen and dissolve my barriers of skin, mortal skin
When I walk out to the mailbox in my ratty shorts and the wrinkled shirt that I slept in
three days in a row
And my hair looks like I combed it with a leaf blower from the back
That’s when the neighborhood cop comes by and wants to chat about
just anything at all, because I look sketchy I guess
I don’t want to be rude, because there are times when I AM sketchy
I might need the goodwill, or even since I looked sketchy last week and
wasn’t, I’m not likely to be sketchy this week
Mental gymnastics are the most exercise this ole girl is gonna get any more
keeps the kitties in kibble and me in tacos