As A Child I Did Childhood Things 

As a child

I did childhood things

I packed a small bag of clothes

A journal, my one-eyed doll

and fled from war

The fireworks popped houses off the streets

Shattered and exploded

I hide among the debris

When I was raped and beaten

I was the cold mud and the roots

beneath my body, rustic roads

The maggots of the dead were my citizens

The worms, the trains

My blood, the smoke from the chimneys

In the darkness of the ghetto street

I was a ninja in a forgein land

guarded by red branches hiding

as the gun shots ran on window glass

I snuck across the ground under abandoned cars

hid behind old burnt out homes

Flipped over piss stained mattress

A child with missing sneakers

had penny candy by his side

with a bullet in his brain

So I took his candy and savored the sweetness

as I hid in a mulberry tree until the hungry blue

zombies came and went

When my belly was swollen and empty and my back

bare I was a monkey girl and searched

for apples and pears and blackberries and goose berries

I scavenged wild morel mushrooms and dandelions and greens

I sucked up tiny green sour grapes

I climbed and swung

when I found a fruit I’d eat

the core and worms and all

If I fell and got bloodied, I hid it

It was a curse. I didn’t limp

When I found nothing to eat

And a warm AK 47 in my hands

I was a great hero

when I killed the hawk men

and freed my homeland

The people would throw me a feast of roasted

venison and turkey and pies and cakes

With juices and butter and sweet red wines

with songs and dances with large walls and warm fires

I’d have a dry warm safe bed one day,

I would have people, I dreamed as I aimed into battle

felt the sting and pound of the ground

And my fallen brothers coming at me

In the winter snow with frozen toes inside plastic bags

I was the first to explore so far north

I followed the smell of bear and stole into old ice caves

I made a house under the great pines

broke the ice and fished with my hair and beer can

I followed the river and stole north

I stole bitter acorns from squirrels

when I found a dead thing it did not go to waste

Covered in scraps of lost artifacts

I was the last of my exploration party

My one armed doll chewed and rotten

my journal wet and dirty showed the map of my trail

well beyond where dragons or fairies ever go

I pushed on until the trail softened underfoot,

There I stepped into sinking brown mud

grasping for the first of wild leeks,

with rocks in my in mouth

I was beaten with bondage

I was warrior captured

forced to labor for the enemy

I would not shame self by crying out

When the demon goats shoved me in a bag

And throw me in the back of a pickup truck

I did not panic like the screaming

children under me

I found the seam and breathed slow

I did not cry for help

I saved my energy for the chance to run

when I had it, I ran in the shadows

barefoot with only the rope

that bound my hands behind my back

I ran til the city was new

and my legs strong enough

to kill and the rope a bracelet of freedom

I stole food and shoes and diamonds and life

I was a master spy behind enemy lines

I stole until I had enough to find home

In middle of a concrete street

I gave birth to a blue dead jar

it was a tiny fluffy head SOS sent out to sea

riding the waves and currents to bring back aid

It’s dark eyes searching for an island of refuge

a man of honor

When it came again and lived I hid it

and gave it all I could

I gave pieces of myself for coins

to buy it blanket and food

I gave everything

still, I sent it out to sea

Four times I sent an SOS

Until my blood found the riptides and the sea turtles

met the mermaid queen on the corral of the sea

When the sickness came

I could not walk, my knees swelled

my body ached and my scalp was a drum

for the great wolf chief to beat with his tail

I was poisoned by the evil hound

who wanted me for his bone

Under his jagged teeth

I pounded my fists into his mouth

I splintered and my marrow filled his belly

Covered in dirt, wearing lice

I walked hand and hand with my sister

With one mismatched sandal each and bone thin

I was blessed and happy

When the nights were cold I was her blanket

And She, my pillow

We ate avocados and little fish

when luck and pennies were on our side

We were best friends, ladies on a stroll

In the darkness I heard her scream

I tried to hold onto her

Her finger nails dug into my body

Tore my flesh

her hair was in my clenched fists

Her blood under my nails

the dark shadow lizard

Dragged her away screaming

and left me alone in our rock pile home

I was in the shadow of a great temple

writing my name with my wand

To bless the yellow dirt
when a blast went hard and heavy

I could not hear but the ringing of ice cream truck

At the park where children yelled and played

I could taste the metal in mouth

concrete and salt in my flesh

I was buried under the rubble

the stick still in my hand I was a wizard

becoming all powerful but first I had to fall

through the black hole to other side

and find the evil wizard

who had blasted my temple

let blood magic into the world

I had no hair, on a sheet

I laid hooked up to robots

my body shook with cold sweat ache

The vomit came out my mouth

shit and piss was cold and sore on my body

My eyes could not focus

Blurry and heavy all around me was tiny grey

hands holding me down

I could smell their copper and plastic spaceships

The aliens were inside me

trying to harvest my body

I had to fight so I made a clone of myself

climbed in my nose and slayed the creatures

until I could no longer

badly wounded I found my heart

kicked it when slowed

I kicked until my legs fell off

then I punched until my arms rotted off

Then I head butted and finally bit

Until their beeps and buzzing stopped

I could not feel myself

I was no longer a child

Sounds of leaves in Madison

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 mewpid-20151002_182825.jpg

I don’t want to die

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 shitwpid-20150718_144730.jpg

I’m all grown up

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

Everytime

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

Everytime

Dear Mother,

wpid-20150918_134849.jpg

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

The deathmares

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

I’m not sure

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
my help
how you were stressed
out cat and needed a nap
how you cared too much and were too honest

Dearest Rose,
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

I thought I was on something

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

Over the worst of it

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

In time

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

It was a joke

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.

I don’t need to know shit

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

Fatty fuck fuck

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

Am I Good enough

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

I am

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 go
and I will not be there
then months
and slowly years will shadow my memory

You will call me
and you will see
my phone on the end
table vibrating.

First you will think
I forgot it,
that I will come
back for it.  But I won’t.

You will see my clothes
and shoes.
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

For My Mother: Better than Nothing

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

Lost and found

Startled and afraid in your empty house from the sound of your
own foot stepping on an old wood board. Click, then echo,
then the long creek. Followed by another. Followed by another.

First is the swallowing panic, then it is horror,  then the crazed fear grows into the chest gripping, to finally your ears ring so loud you can’t  hear if it is you screaming or a siren some where far off in the next town over

It hard to live soft enough
Not to wake up the fear
that hides in awareness

You are here
And Henry is not

Practice

I woke up today and I was clear

In my whole life I never ordered room service
in a riot
no matter how hungry she gets
I never feed her. The monster
is a trapped black hole.
She screams and threatens
-begs and promises.

I listen carefully so I can duck her next blow or sidestep her strong
grab and pull

She wants power.  She wants to make me jump or bend or break.
She wants to order my universe around and when it doesn’t listen she wants to jam her fingers into it and bounce it off and out of my  existence.

Well Meaning

Well meaning humans

friends and family members

tell me to write a novel

something I can get paid for

They ask if I write

if I write at all

if I do, why don’t I show it

to them

they say with ups at the ends of the words

I mumble about the poem

about the line

about when I sit down and write

a poem  I do what

I can and hope

their war will be lost

on my ability to write a

decent poem

Of course I have a lot of

horse shit that I don’t

finger until it becomes apart

of my identity but the

process of writing a poem

I’ve put everything in

I’ve excepted

that I will never get drinks or licks

in exchange for my poems

But if I don’t write these bloody

stumps, if I don’t fuck on the mother

tongue and smear her ideologies

in my gruesome fantasies

her neat and organized world

may beat out the orgasmic

and thirsty