Here, November means fall
And fall is when the leaves change from green yellow pink orange red burgendy brown. And November is when the leaves are mostly burgendy brown with a few yellow holding onto summer.
They all eventually give up and fall to the ground. The wind blows them down the street, which is made of pavement here and the sound of leaves scraping and crunching against it, is the great harbinger of rain and ice and snow and bitter winds and gray skies and negative temperatures. Now it is warm and the sun shines but the sky is a pale blue and the leaves are brown and most are down
This year everything seems important. The way the burgendy brown leaf falls on my open journal as I write or the noise the door makes when eldest daughter opens it, home from high school or the warm soft fur of my little dog. The sweet soft voice of my littlest daughter squeaky singing songs of her imagination or the beep I get when husband texts he is coming home. It is all very important and clear and center of my focus, my awareness, my life
I can’t hold it or collect it or slow it
But I know it and how it feels as it fleets across me, scaring and healing me, breaking and building me -this time fabric, this god to me
I’ve learned to fight
I promise you now whatever
Life throws up at me
I am going to fight it
Because I know I am strong
I learned that from you
So when this ends bad
I won’t give up -I’ll push on
Even when it is hopeless
Even when the world swells open
Even when the sky loses blue
Even when I am alone
Even when fear bites my spine
I will fight. I will give my life for this
So the daughters that follow will learn what I’ve learned from you and they’ll too, be capable of adapting to any war
And thrive in it, mother like you taught me to do
Doing what I love.
There are a lot of things I love including writing, cooking, bodyboarding, reading, playing video games, playing ball with kids, dancing, painting, making sex with Henry, flying and taking a walk to name a few and if I die doing any of them it’s not beautiful. It is horrible.
It is always ugly to die, dip shit
And it getting to the suck part where the old people are us and our parents are dead and the babies aren’t babies any more and everything hurts
Sunlight on my face in the crisp morning air as I sip a cup of coffee is as good as gets.
If it’s true that old people just get lonely, I am screwed
I wonder how many dogs I’ll live with
Once upon a time there was little girl
named Maya. She had blond
hair and big blue eyes. Maya usually wore pretty dresses and fancy slippers. Her favorite dress was pink with shiny shimmering diamonds all over it. She wore it almost everyday and if it was dirty or needed mending she would cry and refuse to do anything until she had her dress back and coaxing her out to play took the chef to promise to make her favorite dinner, speghetti with meatballs.
Maya was a good little girl because she was smart and strong and funny and didn’t take any sass from anyone. She was the Queen.
If someone gave her a hard time she would hit them on top of the head with her royal hitting stick. Her best friend was a little dog named Mamow and they loved to play on the edge of the spokey forest under an old sugar maple, who Maya named Whisper because when the leaves rubbed together they sounded like a man softly speaking to a child the way Maya’s Daddy would when he read her a story at the end of a long day of play as Maya feel sleep in his large arms.
On the first day of summer Maya was playing under Whisper with Mamow. They were playing a game of keep away. Maya hid a little brown teddy bear and Mamow tried to find it. When he did, he would run around the tree and little Maya chased after him until she got it back. Then Maya ran around the tree while Mamow chased her. They liked this game very much. It made Mamow bark and Maya giggle. In her excitement Maya throw the teddy bear up into the air. It bounced of a branch and went flying into the spokey forest. Mamow sat and stared and pawed at the spokey forest. Maya froze.
They didn’t go into the spokey forest for two reasons. One it was called the Spokey forest and two it was home of wild beasts, most notably the blue Tiger which was a fearsome beast that glady ate little creatures such as Maya and Mamow and teddy bear. Usually she would just peak in and watch the shadows of the forest dance and then go about her play but poor teddy bear was in there. How could she abandon him? Mamow and her looked into the forest. She could not see the teddy bear. Maya had a big problem .
So what did little Maya do?
She said, I’ll find him and she went into the spokey forest. Mamow wined. Teddy bear was hung up on the branch of a gooseberry bush so she pulled teddy down and hugged him. She was a good little girl and like all good little girls she was brave and a loyal friend. Then Maya went home and had speghetti and she gave Mamow the all the meatballs. Then her woman helped her put on her shimmering diamond dress and Maya privileged Mamow with a song and spirited face squeezing.
Recently I’ve decided I want to get big muscles so I’ve been pumping iron and doing push ups. I’m going to get so ripped everyone is going to call me annie the body.
Pretty soon I’ll be so strong I’ll be able to pick you up and fuck you down
Someone asks for prayers, I want to say, O sure I’ll do nothing, dip shit as I roll my eyes and shake my head in disgust at their wasted pleas
I don’t though. I know they are stupid and weak and afraid -I am too
The main difference between us is I get peace from impermenance. When shit gets real hard, it’s what gives me compassion and grip
I don’t want them to know I get meaning from all their unanswered prays.
I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore
Just because they can’t find their keys or are dying of cancer in front their family.
I’m just happier believing it’s bad luck
My dream is simple
It is to love
Don’t complicate it
I feel guilty for writing poems
for this one and all the other ones
Because everyone I know has tried to give me
alternatives to my life
I never tell them to go fuck their self
I like the freedom that the fear gives me
I’ve been afraid of so much that when I feel it I get nostalgic and the surge of adrenaline pushes me to kill it’s source. That’s why it took me so long to quit.
When a thing settle in and relaxes -that’s when it hurts to get punched in the head
Fear numbs out the pain. Compassion magnifies it
Sometimes when we make love
I cry after you fall asleep
The beauty and pain in this hard life
sometimes gets jumbled up together and is expressed in the same sigh or breath
Everyone time I’ve cried I’ve said, I’m sorry
Without compassion for myself
Its time to change, for me
Continue reading “For me”
it keeps coming back up
It goes somewhere and then comes back
But you already know this
This morning smelled like fall
I was relieved
I’m not wasting summer anymore
I think I’m all done with wasted
I miss being able to call you
And hear you tell all about your day of weeding your huge garden or teaching English as a second language, or your studies of foreign language for another mission trip or about the new poem you wrote, usually about praising your god.
I could ask you for your oatmeal cookie recipe or crepe recipe or what temperature to roast a chicken and you would take the time to tell me, each time I asked.
I could have looked it up but hearing your voice gave me courage. I suppose it was a way to get your love and attention, even as a grown far away woman.
Now you are a broken baby crab, so diseased and crippled you can barely pick up the phone and can’t talk when sitting and can barely stand and you talk so quiet I can’t understand what you say besides the shuffling sounds of the 1 minute it takes you stand before you say hello. These sounds haunt me and let me know you are alive
I would share this with you but I can’t . This pain is not yours
You struggle in that big house next to the pack of wolves, with the forest and swamp surrounding you, falling and grabbing at the walls, banging off the furniture and wood stove.
You fight to get up.
you fight to stay up.
You fight to sit down.
You fight to lie down
Every thing you do is a battle
And I am afraid of what ails you is coming for me or worse, your grandchildren, zombie grandma
Each day I stand and clean my house I’m grateful. I have been pumping iron and dancing and scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, smiling as I do it. The harder the better, if I can do it because I know how lucky I am to be alive and able to clean any of it.
I know you want to die fighting alone in your house in the forest of howls but it hurts all us kids to see you do it. One of these falls is going to be breakfast for a bear or pack of wolves but that is your choice and my burden and my brothers to hold dear
One that hurts more and more because it is the end of your fight, dear Mother
But I won’t. Instead I’ll write this poem and maybe you won’t read it
If you do, don’t tell me. I don’t want to hear from you
When you spoke, I listened. you said fucked up violent shit. You said enough to make me ask, am I a person?
It will never be ok between us.
Stopped about a month ago
I waited until now to make sure or not to jinx it
They were bad. Everyone died. Night after night
They were locked and stiff
Grotesque with strange smiles and wide eyes, in fancy silks and cheap jewelry, shoeless with crosses wrapped around their hands
They were waterfalls.
They were moon illusions.
They were sun spots.
And I’d find them
in their beds and in the their backyard. I’d see their feet poking out of the lilac bushes and hanging from clothes lines
their hair grew and wrapped and knotted around my legs
Each time I leaned in, searching with fuzzy Dream eyes, trying to understand what I saw, then I’d realize in new shock it was my dead family. I was a minute too late . i dropped them and ran. But they stuck to me. They came out of the furniture, or the walls or other loved ones bodies.
I awoke scared and weepy night after night until I learned I would be lucky when I died
That’s when the death-mares ended
This language wants to hold me down and make me speak clearly or cure silence
But what I can’t scratch out or won’t whisper in your ear is more important then what I have
finite is mine or yours
If you are capable of love
You are the last
of of my pride
so I hung on
even though you hurt me
so bad – I couldn’t tell you
When I should have let go
I hugged tighter
made excuses for you
how you were a sick
little baby and needed
how you were stressed
out cat and needed a nap
how you cared too much and were too honest
you made me believe
I was the thorn
For the last time
You probably think
I will forgive you
-say sorry for getting
hurt like I usually do
But you are Shakespeare to me
Or I was onto something
It was a story I had told until I believed You wanted my voice or I talked too much or I needed love or shelter or a great lake Or a lemon hanging ripe inside your hand And or you come but I leave. There is dirt in my heart. The road calls. Then shouts. Then stops by. Then stares open mouth, and yes, then grabs me by the hair at the base of my neck and beats me against you, my life. To look down a road is a dare onto something and or off another Story that inflicts me
With the tracks more than the view
I realized that I can’t be still for long
If I am I get bored as fuck
And start imaging wild and horrific and wondrous shit
Until I start to believe it
Like the other day, I believed that
You loved me
Then today I thought you didn’t
And somehow it mattered what I thought
You see what I am getting at?
Life can get so overwhelming that time slows down
Each day on waking you are happy to live and breathe. Your nights are cocoons; your mornings are butterflies. Their suffering shadows you. They flash inside of you. You don’t have a cure. You can’t give back . You are an atheist. You don’t pray.
You research all night long, all day long. You do it over and over searching for a cure or a clear path to life
All hope is lost but You don’t give up. And then there is a doctor that puts his hands on their arm and listens and says, I am going to cure you and then does.
This is the power of science. This is the result of reason. This is the price of love.
Sometimes you have to lose your religion
We were walking on the shore of lake Michigan, wet and hot
the smell of fish and sand hung strong in the crisp air. You grabbed me and kissed me, squeezed
my breasts, lifted my shirt, exposing my breasts on the dock as an old man in a fishing boat watched.
I pointed at him and we ran away giggling to our friends house where we sang and drank ale.
And I was in love, with you
And with myself
For first time
Dizzy and happy and full of energy
High on being alive in our bodies
Young and brimming with expectations of greatness and wild wondrous success
Eager to earn it and to lose it and fight for it.
For all of it, not settling for damn thing, no regrets, just push push push and play play play
That’s the way we were
That’s how we are now
Because it works works works
To create the life we want
I was suppose to make you laugh
Then you would relax and start a good time. Some of the hurt would leave your body and the anger would stop squeezing the base of your neck.
Your fists would relax into a hand
Your eyes would soften out water
But you didn’t laugh. You smashed a beer can on top of my head.
The tree in the backyard is gone. I had the guys come and take it away
It was dying. I had no choice. Now the yard is empty. Next year there will be a garden. But now I miss the tree. It was a sugar maple that branched out and up. Now there is a stump waiting to be ground down and out.
The wood is stacked up ready for the coming winter
My birthday is coming. I am going to be 35. These poems are all I have accomplished. They are for you, my love, my Henry, my earth, my maple, my sweet, my rock, my baby.
I am not as good as a tree but maybe when I am ground out my stacks will keep you warm
Tomorrow I am going to hawaii
It is going to cost a lot- The kids are coming. My brother and his are coming. But my dog must stay home. I miss him already but more on that later
I was in hawaii once in the airport on a way to guam. The smell of flowers and feel of humid air has stayed with me and vowed me to return.
That was a life time ago but here I am double checking bags and all the things I needed to do to get ready, ready to pick another pipe dream true
Most of my dreams have come true because of Henry. He is magic. I rub him and ask if we can and he says yes.
And that’s how we got the dog. And the babies and the house and all these poems, I’ve written for him so he and you will always know that he existed.
My Henry is a real man
It’s around 6 and the sweat is dripping down my back onto a hawaii tacky themed dress that we got to match- money blown to make my girls smile
Of course I look stupid but for love
For my loves smile I’d fly to farthest ends of the earth and spend my last cent to do the hula and eat spam
No one else understands me
As much as you do and I will always love you, my little buddy
You are the sweetest thing I have ever met. You have shared enlightenment and peace and chicken with me.
If you survive a tragedy and others don’t, it’s not life trying to teach you a lesson, you narasctic piece of shit
Other peoples’ deaths are not apart of a grand plan so you can become a better person, asshole
You just got lucky. Don’t worry about it. It runs out, dumb fuck
Your Dad was a
Piece of shit who
Did as little as possible
For you but despite that
You learned how to love
Happy Father’s day
No. There is not.
Sometimes it hurts so bad we growl out feral death wishes and sometimes it feels like we are soaring fast and high
Invincible to harm or sadness
Happiness doesn’t need sadness or the pain. We would stay joyous and free if we could, forever
But we can’t. That doesn’t make hurt heroic. If someone trys to tell you otherwise, tell them to go fuck their self
From the rest of us
DO YOU HEAR ME?
Can I feel your breath for a bit?
My brain is starting to convince me I am the last human standing
And you and the rest are simulations mumbling against the walls of this world
You do. That’s your life purpose
I want to be ignorant and stupid of the rules and limitations of this mother tongue
Name parts, divvy up the line, organize the intent, frame the time
Me, I’m going to mess it up and confuse it in half thoughts and run on sentences. And you can name me dumb, and I’ll admit it happily and full of pride and self affirming horseshit stops
I have unruly and coarse and untrue poesy and I am an hell of a lot more entertaining than you
How many times are you going to tell me Henry is going to leave me for some skinny younger beautiful shiny warm bag?
What happens if he does, you can say see, told you so, no one could love a fat fuck like you?
We’ve been together since we’re kids, now we are old and we have fucked through bad and good, through young and fat, through grief and birth.
I am an old fat piece of shit now and I get it anytime I want.
You haven’t got any. You are skinny and hardworking and smart and good looking but you don’t know how to accept or love others. You put people down in guise of helping but it’s not helpful. Its hurtful and mean and hateful
I put her things in boxes
load up the back
of the suv and drop it off at a second hand store again, and again, I give her stuff away.
There are books in Hungarian and old poems and a wedding dress, and old county western tapes, gospel 45s and candle sticks and maps of Rome and crosses on beaded string. The old papers that were once important and orderly now heapped and bagged and ready for the dump and all of it smells sweet like candy and perfume, like her, like she still lives
A strong young man is going to rent the place. Soon the place will smell like him and all the traces of her will be sweated and dicked and lived out
now, done with the haul I pause, and allow the grief to surface and take one last breath inside of her old blue house and now, close the door on the life that sustained and raised me
Sometimes I think I am wasting my life and am suck ass loser
Who should dig a hole and lie in it until the wind covers me with dirt
Sometimes the inner critic gets so loud and hurtful I can’t do anything but listen as she cuts me into bits of flesh and failure
After a while she shuts up and then I can put myself back together and finish another line
Dear loudon wainwright iii,
That song “Homeless” helps me.
I play it and never sing along
Your voice is perfect in it and the words are spot on
you have your story but for me
It’s about death of the only one who ever loved me and I play it when I think I can’t hold on
Thanks for giving me shelter for a song
You are lucky to be alive child
so I guess that makes us even
-Don’t you think?
Just remember that the next time
I make you mad enough to yell
Going to leave you
And you won’t realize
At first that it was the last time
You will see me
A week or so will come
and I will not be there
and slowly years will shadow my memory
You will call me
and you will see
my phone on the end
First you will think
I forgot it,
that I will come
back for it. But I won’t.
You will see my clothes
You will assume
I’ll come back
for a change or to get
them at least.
You’ll hold onto them
longer then you should,
finally with guilt
you’ll drop them off
at a second hand store.
And slowly all my stuff
will be gone
until you only have
a few photos of me
that you’ll hide away
because when you
look at them
they will hurt you.
You will have to move
and change your life
to stop the hurt.
And I won’t know or care.
I will have already
moved on -Dead and rotten
far and forever removed
God damn it Henry
you son of a. -fuck- Hell. No
There is no defense.
No cure. it’s hopeless
You smile at me and look at my face and rub my back and tell me jokes and get me to tell you jokes and you tell me how smart and funny and sexy I am and kiss the back of my neck and pour me brandy and ceva ask me questions about light and shadows and time until i start looking down and smiling
Before I know it your snoring
On my face with your right hand on my ass and left around my breasts
Locking me for an hour or so
With a grateful smile
You aren’t that great
I am sorry to say
You had too many kids
you made us share bathwater
And wouldn’t give us sugar
You never had time
to play or cuddle
It was chores and more chores
And never tv time
You never bought gifts
for birthdays or Christmas.
If we wanted something
you made us make it
or go out and earn it
But you did feed us
and let us sleep in the house.
you never gave us up for adoption or sold us for rice
so I guess you’re better than nothing
Happy mother’s day
This poem is your gift
I don’t get it. If I had that much wealth, I’d travel and eat and sail and fuck and sing and laugh and hug and have a big party with all my friends and family which would be everybody because I’d be rich and I’d let the food and ale and wine trickle down and everyone would get their mess
I wouldn’t waste time governing or hoarding or waring
I’d pay someone else to do it
I could have one of those. You know a real important one where people depend on me and look up to me and are jealous about all the big money I make.
If I were smart and hardworking and pretty like you, I could. But that’s you. I’m a stupid little toad who writes cake and eats poetry and fucks up hard
you can have the top