Friday, July 31, 2009

not serious

it was not
only but a joke
one of no particular meanness
but of them we have insufficient familiarity
to be taken less than

it was not always so
our mistaken perception

at first glance
might a fool
feel flattery afoot?
or an idit

not serious like
like it matters
when after all
there's no reason to matter

those for whom such things matter
would never ask
such a question of us
no, that is not
the way it is

this is not
one of those lives
to which such questions are directed
we are not
such people, of any such importance
to whose answers any would listen

that's just not the way it is

Thursday, July 30, 2009


being one who write more than work memos and to-do lists the process is as i imagine it might be for a synesthete ... or perhaps an autistic person. All this stuff comes in and what do we do with it? How can we process the information, the feelings, the reactions to it all? How do we deal without enlisting more craziness than we already have?

I do not plan to write -- do you? Is it a conscious effort for some, most or virtually all people? Were it a conscious effort I guess I could say, ok, now it's time to write and then write on command so to speak ... flip the switch and there shall be light. WB apparently can do that ... I came across am autographed copy of the timbered choir and really i bought it because it was signed and not because any of it spoke to me really.

My best writing really is in the car ... hurtling down the freeway at 60-75 mph and the words, the thoughts -- i can't really call them thoughts as they are more intuitions or senses coming from seeming nowhere ... driving is a great place to let the brain out to do as it well, that's why I love road trips.

I keep notebooks in the car and when they're full or i can't find one there are scraps of paper here and there, all over, anything to write on will do the job. Sometimes a lot comes to me, cascading over me from i don't know where or why, and then if i can i'll pull over to write for longer and maybe its disjointed, diarrhea of the brain and the pen.
Sometimes its not, it's more coherent.

I don't edit any of it.
Mostly I keep the notebooks though several have hit the recycle bin.
That's a lie -- we don't have a recycle bin and the City won't give us one so it's just mashed in with the regular nasty household crap ... potatoes that rotted, kitty litter, dog poop from the old one's living room accident, snot-filled tissues...

Its a process, an experience.
I have never taken anything from those notebooks and paper scraps and moved them elsewhere.
Ironically the more writing the less I have to show for it here ... it doesn't seem right to take something from there and dress it up, make it prettier, pretend it's something more than it is (rapid scribbles) and pretend i wrote it ... these things write themselves.

Do you think it's all a bunch of hooey? Maybe so. Certainly i'm no purist and i hardly have the right to even come across as though i have airs but the real and simple truth is that I just don;t know where it comes from, the things I write. They are somewhere inside and while I might have an idea or two about that, those ideas will almost certainly confirm as totally nuts the one writing.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be viewed as totally nuts if at least I could write worth a darn.
Speaking of which until i get a grasp of what the next inquiry ... where yr sense of what poetry is/must be/should be comes from ..." i imagine i will continue floundering.

Help me out here -- do you just want to know if I'm nuts? If voices whisper they want me to express for them since they have no voice? is it a trick question? How cna I know what poetry is if I've never had the slightest clue? If you say it is then it is - that's as far as I've gotte with that over several years of wondering.


"about poetry & yr poetry ... i'm curious what "real poets" you read ... yr influences ... where yr sense of what poetry is/must be/should be comes from ... whose (if any) stuff makes you want to write yr own."

my initial reaction is that this would be a short private conversation.

no -- it was what? why? what sort of questions are these? not a belligerent asking but a what in the world? who cares and what does it matter?

And then, that it would be a short private conversation and that i had wanted to know the same sorts of things of the asker for some time, as i view the asker as much more a writer and poet (whatever that is) than am i ... and have often wished that i knew where the asker finds or gets or senses whatever it is that leads to those writings, wishing that i could write like that ...

And these questions have been there, coming to mind at the most unusual times though perhaps anytime one is thinking about things like this -- so irrelevant in the scheme of things, so ethereal, so self centered as to seem almost absurd -- perhaps any time one of them came to mind it would strike me as unusual.

And then i thought ... maybe this is an exercise for me to figure out what it is, after all ... i often wonder at why i feel a need to write and have never come up with any satisfactory answer, not any answer at all. That you or he or another writes without some impulse to do so ... can it be?

There is some reason but i don't know what it is. I have gone through long periods of much writing. Perhaps it spills out in the form it does because correct grammar and sentence structure is not so important; perhaps because as much as I would like to think I could write I know or suspect that I really can't; that novel lurking in the background is beyond my meager skill set ...

It is not like eating or drinking or feeding the cats or watering the garden ... there is no necessity, there is no untoward consequence to follow ... or is there? I've too had similar periods where painting or collages or music was the means of expression, and then nothing, silent dark blandness descends and there is nothing to do but ... nothing.

So i will take this as an exercise and while having no illusions as to my abilities and lacks, perhaps thinking in a more organized way about the whys and the hows will lead to some understanding.
But why does it matter if I or you or anyone else understands?
It doesn't, but then one need not have dogs and cats and gardens and cameras and paints as any matter of necessity either and still we do.

Perhaps if I was a poet I could answer these questions ... maybe if I can answer them i will become a poet or even a writer.

someone thinks i can sometimes write something yhat qualifies as poetry - i put the five he selected over here for anyone who wants to look.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


somtimes they get in the way
sometimes i haven't any
when i feel a need
when i haven't any
i can't

what does it mean
thinking i need
to write?
a need to communicate ...
if so
with who
when none read
the words that appear?

are we just talking to ourselves again
pretending it's not really
talking to ourselves
because it's written?

even though
these words are written
we still talk back
in our heads

first day no job

no job
but to work anyway
nine fifteen -- where are you? I'm leaving at 10;30 so get over here
this is contract work
this is a contract job i said i'd do for a friend i've known my whole life
who used to be friends with my folks
but when i was in really bad shape and he asked what's wrong
like he really wanted to know
cause he really seemed to care
and i told him and he listened and he didn't treat me as less
but offered any help i wanted
and then never spoke to them again...
it's the way he is
he needs help
he asked
it's not so bad
jeans and t-shirts so long as i keep a throw down suit for in case
it looks like the work schedule is til 1-2
monday thru thursday, never on friday or weekends
so i guess i can work pretty steadily
and that's just the way he is

i found the 5 poems that R picked
that he thought were the better
to enter in a local poetry fest
you had to use your real name
he thought i wanted him to pick so if no one liked em it was because he picked the wrong ones
really it's not that
i told him
its that i wouldn't pick any
he says
pick the ones that mean something to you
but do any of them?
when a real poet writes a real poem does it have meaning for him
or is it just that moment in time, passing by, imprinted on the page
having passed through whatever filter we happened to be using then?

I have the five in draft on the other blog
but i want to do something else
five in a row seems kind of dense and boring and numbing
it's not like it's new
only recycled - going from here to there

maybe tomorrow i can finish the post
over there
in my so far so secret

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I haven't done much here -- ok, nothing at all -- for a while. R says I should be excited about the opportunities presented by leaving this job (at which I am currently goofing off rather). I am not NOT excited but R seems to be more excited than I. I got my first "real" job in 6th grade cleaning the school I went to and have worked more or less ever since. I never quit a job without knowing exactly what was next. I have a friend who guaranteed me a min of 20 hours a week contract - I thought the minimum was to ensure I got "$x" a week but he seems to think it means I will work at least "x" hours. Friday I leave here, with mixed feelings -- actually without much feeling at all -- and Monday he wants me there at 9:30. Maybe I picked the wrong thing. My boss announced I was leaving to become a "housewife" as I do not have an actual job to go to; R says I am not unemployed but I am becoming self employed, and the truth of the matter is -- if it could work financially and it wasn't unfair to R I would just stay home and do nothing but work to finish the house repairs and to read, write, photograph, garden, paint, contemplate... it's just not realistic with M off to Tulane in a month... probably it never will be realistic either.
I wanted time ... to watch stupid movies (aren't they all stupid, really?), to clean out and make a space for me at the house, to drive around (that seems to be how I write anymore), to write, to do photos, to read. But instead I am going to work at 9:30 on Monday. If I am expected to show up every day I may have to reconsider but this is a good friend after all -- so I can't just dump him in the grease either.
I wanted to put the house back in some order, to quit living out of boxes, to paint the new sheetrock, to do the finish work on the new floors, to get some bookcases put in since we had to rip out the built-in storage which was flooded and to get to the wood floors underneath that were ruined by Ike. I wanted to unpack the multitude of boxes ... I actually bought books Monday at a resale shop -- some of which I have copies of -- because mine are in one or more of the many boxes stacked in neat piles throughout the house. My reading choices otherwise are some James Alison ("On Being Liked" is proving very dense or I am too dense for this one), one WB ("The Memory of Old Jack"), a book on Islam, and an assortment of magazines and papers I haven't caught up with. M wanted a book of poetry the other day -- a real book, not a download from Gutenberg -- but no such luck. They don't seem to carry a lot of poetry in stores selling used books.
I have been writing a lot but in the car - not a smart or safe practice but for some time driving has been the easiest way to write, it just comes. I keep a notebook for those occasions but it is full and so I resort to the backs of old maps and scraps of paper. And I haven't really decided how I feel about moving things from those scraps or notebooks to here -- it is spontaneous as written but if I move it, it's just copying, not writing -- it doesn't feel the same as writing (it's not, after all, it is copying). So there is nothing to put here bc I am mired in ambivalence and having not written anything other than while driving for the longest time ... the default position is to do nothing.
Doing nothing accomplishes nothing, it helps me figure out exactly nothing, and it's a lazy way for a scared person to go about things, things we don't even know about.
Maybe I will post on the other site the things R selected for the poetry fest ... he is the only one who ever read as many as he did or who ever suggested I should be more public by submitting them for anything ...
I don't expect anything to come of it but it was nice to have that encouragement and feedback.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

an upcoming adventure

Today is the first day I don't eally have to work bc I know I'm not there long ... I didn't give notice bc the boss wasn't there yesterday; I emailed to see if she had a few minutes to talk, then she called me up and chewed me out ("I'm really disappointed in your lack of leadership," (but I am not in any leadership position) and "I can't tell you how disappointed I am" - after she's spent at least 10 minutes telling me what a disappointment I am bc I declined to try a case after learning the reason given for why someone else had to try the case was a lie) ... i did tell her i was done but i don't think she got it. Too bad - she can be a nice person but i think being management overwhelms her. Would not leadership better focus on why another lawyer lied about a conflict preventing him from trying his case, rather than being disappointed in me when I discover the case is not (never was) going to trial on Monday and never was a conflict?
I have finally figured out -- after being told for many years and knowing it but yet still being needed for my willingness to be dumped on -- that there is no reward for doing a good job and doing well, offering to help anytime anyone needs help, unless having more demands and being given more work is a reward. It's not.
I don't know that I've ever really worked any job where the paycheck was the big motivator -- of course a paycheck is necessary and can make some things easier but it's not worth a paycheck to be in this situation. Not anymore -- I just can't handle it
I end up with little or no family time, and with M off to Tulane in August and R having not the best health it's not like there will be any more time any time soon. I assume anyone wants to spend time with me - I probably wouldn't if I were them but it's no secret they (like most people) are nicer than me. Nor is there any time for photos (something R and I like to do together when we can), art, writing, reading, thinking, just being.
Forget about gardening and house -- the house is still not back together after Ike, almost a year later, the garden is rampantly weedy, in desperate need of care. I don't feel at home in this house with all that still needs done after Ike -- and home is really important, it's our family space and in the end what is there but home and family? Everything's in boxes -- books, things collected traveling that remind of family, memories, our stories. Things that make a box named house into a home for family. Lots of things yet to done to overcome Ike - so much isn't hard but for time is needed -- and now I'll have some. It'll be done eventually ... but i need it sooner, I feel displaced, homeless even. I know how stupid it is -- I have a house, but house is not home; I can't explain it but the two don't equate.
I digress
I quit my job for many reasons. I decided at the beginning of the year to have better work/life balance, meaning I wouldn't be there by year's end and now the time seems right. There are no jobs, I'm no one's demographic, but there will be something. A friend has some contract work as I decide what's next, and I can tackle the house one small project at a time. And the garden too.
The garden is starving, or was until I realized we'd never fed it (Miracle Gro to the rescue - amazing what that does). Some early tomatoes (I think they'll carry to fall), a very few strawberries (but the plants are grwoing well now), a few herbs but no peppers, potatoes, cukes, squash, corn. Now we're on to a few resentful eggplant, some okra here and there, ... the promise of lots of melons, they love the heat. The asparagus is going but it's too early ... several years before we know...roses, gingers, avocados and flowering vines to plant, waiting in relative shade, needing more care than I've had time to give...
Am I taking on to much? Perhaps. But I don't want to waste time either, eventually i'll be back to some regular job. But for now ... it's time to play with photos, write, paint, read ... breathe, be.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

if not...

if not then

My brain swirls,
wires frizzling with sheath-destroying heat,
of uncertainty.

Should anything
be said?
or in pointed directions?
Do you know
have any been there?
I guess
for nothing said
means nothing worth
and as nothing worth
the mere occupancy of space
does not mean
a thing.

I want to
tell me what to do
to know what to do
not just whatever
whatever you want
what I want
too old
too set
no changing the mind now
like dirty socks
flecked with the tar
of a floorless house
we stay
the same
an obstinate mess
less we set them to fires

No more body
few if any want
what has nothing to do
occupying spaces
few can see
I lost count at eleven

so what's next?
if there's god
only god knows
his humor lost here
for he must have
at least one

one that has no use
to talk to me
whoever is here
no reason, no point
Why waste a precious time
god knows, has all
for those who wait
who earned audience
who trust and believe

Moving cross the nation
is hardly the time
for questions
so enveloped
in secret solitude
that ask is intrude
no matter pretending

The most polite
the least of time
and fewer inclinations
one gulp of guilt
stuck in the throat
to stop the speaking
it must be done
I at least
in my density
cannot read a mind.

So where?
Maybe later
but nothing there now
only old and creaky
constructions demolished
should be hidden
at least
at last

better to take the space
of nothing
or at least
saying what is
offered to

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houston, tx, United States

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