Tag Archive: poetry


Trying to find words tonight. I’ve literally been staring at the screen for 15 minutes or more. Straining. There is so much, and yet…no words to express.

I’m not feeling the clever words about what happened this time last year at the Texas State Capitol, where for a moment there, everyone saw the ridiculous lengths those in power will go to to remain in power. It was just a moment, but everything was exposed. And yet…amnesia.

May My Consciousness & (My)

I don’t want to write about political frustrations on these pages. Though I have considered returning to a format where I post links to current events after several paragraphs of solopsistic esoterica…but I feel like I’m constantly feeding links about news into the void. On these pages…and in my journal…I focus on process. My process. A lifelong project. A lifelong process.

(Beh)avior Bee ov service to all Beeingz in

My intention with these pages. With this blog. Is to explore words without consequences. It’s my escape from thinking things through. Even this post, with its over-awareness of itself, is violating several of the preceding principles. I need to make this space my space for unthinking.

Wait awhile, close your eyes, let your breathing stop three seconds or so, listen to the inside silence in the womb of the world, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, re-recognize the bliss you forgot, the emptiness and essence and ecstasy of ever having been and ever to be the golden eternity. This is the lesson you forgot. -Jack Kerouac

I nervously paste those words into an email and send them…but neglect to add an address to send to.

all worldz, Liberating all…

He asked me if I’ve ever stopped (writing.) It felt good to honestly say that I haven’t. I haven’t ever stopped. I haven’t ever stopped writing. The writing changes. My language. My inflection. My intention. But, reading back, and filtering out the crap, I’d say there’s a lot of stuff that’s better than I’m willing to admit. A good editor might be able to make something of it. Maybe someday I will find a good editor.

into the suchness of this

Until then, I’m just re-recognizing the bliss I forgot. Calling forth the lesson I forgot.

& every moment -X

She

looked at

him, asked

“Are You the lesson

I forgot.”

He

grinned

a reminder.

 

Advertisements

Oyster

Just a quick note to let you know that my Etsy shop has gone live! I’m currently listing a couple of poetry chapbooks by Lorri Jackson called Scat and My Mouth is a Hole in My Face, as well as my new zine Oyster Lexicon: An A-Z of Me.

Get ’em while they’re hot!

 

snippets of springtime from random journal entries:

There is a tiny baby in polka dots here in the waiting room at the eye doctor. We are waiting for Buddha the Grouch’s pupils to dilate. The baby cris, is picked up by her mom. She (the baby) makes a motor boat sound with her tiny lips. I tell Buddga the Grouch “That baby is cute. I want to squish her.” Buddha the Grouch says “That baby wants me to be able to play M-rated video games.

***

End of day I’m off my feet

This cultivated silence, background noise & candle & a cuppa joe. Resounding non-sound a temporary respite from day’s dull roar & I sit in silence, let word overtake me silence bringing onrush of joy to temporary standstill silence & my crickets still sound like birds after all these years humidity brings it back to me that bedroom window the only place to press my face for cooler air to embrace. People drifting in and out of my picture view, bumbling like enormous mountains the size of ships. The traffic shifts my focus.

***

Dear You,

What have I learned this week? That you can’t force a banana into a peanut jar? That I don’t know why I keep ending up in the middle of crazy-ass relationships. It’s like the reverse instinct. Like when we were at the zoo & the people all ran TOWARDS the lion when he roared.

***

What I mean to say is this – I am forming sentences in a vacuum. A grave mistake. A simple misdirection and a hollow expression. This magic can interact transgressively. Regress into an open can. Trying to believe I can be liberated. B.B. King is free from the spell.

***

I ate popcorn for dinner tonight – and other tales of misguided adulthood.

The dog is outside, whining. Right now, I’m playing Sims. Enjoying peace and housematelessness and guestlessness. Soon there will be more guests and new guests and before that kids and back to work.

But at least the house is mostly clean, and the laundry is mostly done, and I have mostly exercised mostly every day. Mostly.

From here on out, I get to do what I want to do. Wander around in my pajamas all day.

Mostly.

***

 

IMG_7660

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When did I allow my heart to get so fettered, not feathered,

Weathered. This is not love

by any approximation & yet

it is approximately the closest

I feel like I can get

 

One who gives me everything but

one who gives me nothing but

I divide myself into portions

Portions of me

Free

For the taking.

 

I should be satisfied

with

the dove in my hand, and

the hawk in my bush.

Instead,

I may go cold turkey.

***

20140208_073710

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder what I am half paying attention to now?

What am I?

I stopped caring

the minute I stopped

defining.

Steadfastly refuse to call myself

a poet

Though…pictures

paint words

in my mind.

**

IMG_7766

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking in heat

Falling in love w/the you in everyone

& longing, which is the better part of love

The distance so tangible, it feels

like a touch

that keeps me from alone long not long alone. The

you in everyone I have never had had

never known no never. Will never know

& that’s ok b/c longing

is the better part

of love

***

IMG_8214

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to wind chime & bird chatter and cars going by. It sure feels good to be alive.

In a minutes, I’m going to wrap this up & take the kids out for ice cream. Maybe come back out on the porch later & write some more.

Oh, and – I got the job.

***

IMG_8215

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chirping, I hope like a cricket – w/out wings. I can only fall. Hop. Skip. You say it is not the way you planned things. I say Fuck Your Plans.

***

The Tao of Bird argued about not wanting to take a shower for about 30 minutes this morning. Including yelling and name calling and tantrum throwing and many many many “I HATE YOU”‘s. Now he is in the shower. Has been for about 15 minutes. Singing away. Apparently never planning to come out.

Meanwhile, Buddha the grouch is still sleeping, I am listening to an Animal Collective song called Bees. The birds are singing. The sun is shining.

“Please Take Your Time…”

The song entreaties me. Entices me. Pleads with me.

 

IMG_8912 The second day of my trip (the first day off the road) I had a bit of solitude, during which I wandered around feeling so alive I wondered if perhaps I had maybe died. I remember thinking to myself “I think I’ve died and gone to Colorado,” then admonishing myself for even thinking that and forcing myself to promise myself that I would never ever write that. (oh, hi.)

I wrote in my journal: Relying on the light that comes from shadows.

In all, I must have wandered around for an hour, trying to decide at what point on my journey I might have died, if I had died. And what part of the journey was my afterlife, if there is an afterlife. And then I started thinking about the fact that I don’t know anyone’s phone number. Like NO ONE. Not even people back home. Nor did I have the address of where I was staying anywhere except for on my phone. And without my phone I was basically helpless in this strange city in which I was currently wandering around lost.

But I managed to not lose my phone, and I did manage to wander back to my friends’ house, and we had a nice walk together to the cemetery nearby as the sun went down, and we went to the pot shop where giant marijuana buds filled rows and rows of candy jars along the counter, and I felt like I was experiencing history – like the end of prohibition – and it was a little weird being such a noob in that environment, but it was pretty cool.

And then we went for Pho, but I had vermicelli.

20140313_205946

The next day was Pi day, so we had to get pie.

20140314_175656

I noticed a conspicuous absence that the weird allergy headache thing I had in Austin that was causing me to feel like maybe I might possibly have an incurable brain tumor and just maybe might be on death’s door (and I’m usually not a hypochondriac, but I had honestly never had a headache like this one before – it lasted for weeks and weeks, went away immediately went I went on antibiotics after my doctor and I agreed I might have an ear infection, then came back a couple of days after I finished the antibiotics.) This made me feel a little less…well, old.

 

 

20140314_155051

Before pie, though, I had the best salad I have ever eaten in my entire life (avocados and honey mustard and…BANANAS! OH MY!) and did some more wandering. Snapping pictures of cool houses against the perfect blue sky.

20140314_142002

 

And then Casa Bonita. But first we watched Southpark to get in the mood.

20140314_205428

 

And the next day, breakfast snacks in a cool diner in Denver and a road trip to Nederland. I tried to write in my journal on the way but it was just a scribbly mess, so fuck it.

I actually did very little writing while I was there. At some point during the trip I just decided I would have to gather the sounds, sights, smells, and textures of the trip like Leo Leonni’s Frederick the mouse, and hoard them for less spectacular times. I busied myself with the gathering and the experiencing. Watching and listening. Feeling and thinking. And, always, moving.

Nederland, where we got to see just enough snow to be delighted, but not enough to be annoyed…

IMG_9000

 

…then Boulder, where I bought postcards and notecards from local artists and candy and pop from local companies.

20140314_173915

And ate in a pub. And wandered. And met some new and interesting people. And my hosts convinced me to climb the zillion and one steps and visit Red Rocks, which I did not regret one bit…And we talked about having drinks at Charlie Brown’s, where Kerouac and the Beats used to stop on their mad cross-country adventures, but we were all pretty tired after all of that climbing, so we retired to the house to watch a horror movie and I planned my return journey before bedtime. Good night.

IMG_9096

(to be continued)

I Remember Nothing

March 2 091

In Case Of Emergency

break glass

break

glass cases of urgency

The walls of the calendar slam

against each other

noisily

as I duck and cover

I once had a dream

of unraveling

the thread

that (loosely) stitches the days together,

bastes the weeks, and

loosely pins

the years.

Nevermind the decades.

(before never mind became

one word.)

Killing Joke sings of

living in the eighties.

I’m somewhere else

Entirely.

All Hail the Non-Custodial!

He who reads your journals,

and holds their fatalistic contents against you

For THIRTEEN.

FUCKING.

YEARS.

He who gives you

Just what you deserve

and more

He who stayed up countless nights,

witnessing crying jags

of an anxious infant

from across the room

on the couch

in his unemployed haze

while you begged to be relieved

so you could sleep enough

for work in the morning

Hail the non-custodial!

For never reading a single book

about parenting

or education

but who is just sure

You are doing it wrong

Who doesn’t want you

to bother him

with the details…

Unless he does.

Hail the custodial!

who complains about

discriminatory courts

Who enjoys custodial rights, but never

custodial responsibility

Who never questions

why birthday celebrations

slumber parties

and pretty much all relationships

exist at the home of the custodial.

Never considers the cost

of creating a welcoming home,

but enjoys the privilege

of not having to pay it.

Hail him! Bow before him!

Prostrate yourself for the crumbs

that barely pay the grocery budget

of a house with two

Growing

Teenage boys.

The same amount

that supported

toddler diets and

grade school needs

can now certainly be stretched

to cover

adolescent appetites

and extracurricular

activities.

Throw roses in his wake,

as he tells you

that’s all you’re getting.

Curse your inability to understand

non-custodial math

as you foolishly add up the costs of lodging,

entertainment,

education,

and logistical expenses.

Make sure he knows how special

and holy

he is.

And always. Always. ALWAYS.

Find a way to make do

without his assistance

Because those in custody

should not have to want

for his wanting.

p.s. The subject

of this poem

is FICTIONAL.

Because

Maude forbid anyone

EVER

besmirch the

good name

of the

non-custodial.

 

The Art of Unsticking a Window

 

You must be thorough.

That angry purple paint

you carelessly splashed

onto walls

over baseboards

globbed onto sills & casements

won’t give easy

Having solidified

In your

Living Room

for a decade

while you’ve craved

open windows

never time to

break the seal

 

Though you wield a hammer

You must be gentle

The glass, already

hairline

fractured

and delicate

a window is more

vulnerable, even,

than it seems

Surrounded, as it is, by

impervious, swollen

wood

 

You must be innovative

When a hammer doesn’t work

try a paint scraper

& if you can’t find

a paint scraper,

you look for a

screwdriver

And if your last housemate

stole all your tools,

use the metal spatula

floating in the

sink’s lake of last night’s

fetid dishes

 

You must be persistent

get at every single

crevice – slicint, pushing,

pulling, hammering,

BELIEVING

with all your might

that you will get this

fucking window

open.

You will feel this autumn’s

cool breezes in your

Living Room

 

You must

write poetry

in your mind

as you work.

 

You must stop

When you are done

and celebrate

By writing down that poem.

 

You must not

be discouraged

by the fact that there are

Three more windows

waiting

to be

Pried Open.

01abf3a75413f4356fb3807444b181d5959dc10153

That’s no way to say goodbye

01e029b0e82a2eb0f9cdeb8db315f84773f4e2197a

 

This is all I have to say,
and normally I shy away
from these cryptic posts,
but I’ll call this my poem of the day

As a parent, I expect to have
my children take me for granted.
As a friend
Not so much

And while I understand
The nature of the man
And don’t expect a
“Thank you”

I expect more than I got,
I expect more than vitriol
I deserve better than a temper tantrum
And a scrawled note.

And I’m not going to list my sacrifices,
Though there were many unspoken
and unacknowledged
I’ll just say
You’re Welcome.
All the best.
And take care.

“From the story of Ajaolele’s trip to a distant market I turned to these ideas about evolution and about art to expand on the notion that Eshu is a god of uncertainty and accident, and that these functions are necessarily connected to his ability to change someone’s lot in life. These are all one and the same thing: leaving the village, the accident in the market, and the change of fortune. Ajaolele’s altered situation, his conversion into “a person with followers,” would never have come to him in the context of his own village, for the village is rule-governed and no man gets “brides without bridesweatlh” there. For a fundamental shift of that sort Ajaolele needs a happy accident, and for that it helps if he puts himself “on the road” and “in the market,” phrases I put in quotation marks because we should remember not to confine ourselves to their literal reading. At stake here is an attitude toward life, and you do not really need to leave town to have it. Duchamp makes that clear. You can be on the road at home and in the mind, attentive to the plenitude of coincidence that habit and design sometimes obscure. There is an old saying: “Luck is the residue of design.” Being “aware of Eshu” means entering a frame of mind in which the eye notices that residue all around it, the plentiful and ready-made world right at hand.” -Lewis Hyde, from Trickster Makes This World

It is a(n) (anti) habit of mine to make random choices as often as possible. I’ve developed this process over the years as my life has become busier and busier and the amount of conscious decisions I have to make on a daily basis has become more and more overwhelming. To the point where choosing a movie or choosing a book or choosing a topic to write about can paralyze me. There are so many wonderful things in the world to observe and ingest and participate in…sometimes it feels like the only option is to choose at random to ensure there is no confirmation bias preventing me from experiencing something new.

I realize it sounds a little crazy, but I actually have a process for choosing things at random. Several processes, actually*. For books, for instance, I use Goodreads as my gigantic reading list. I use it as a holding place for every single book that I see or hear referenced or recommended, and when it comes time to buy or borrow a book, I choose randomly from my gigantic list (generally using some sort of random number generator). I also usually choose multiple books – typically a mixture of fiction and non-fiction – which adds an element of mixed context to the randomness. The books I am reading together influence my experience of them individually.

For instance, a month or so ago, I happened to be reading The Ecology of Commerce, which had been loaned to me by a friend, along with some essays by Wendell Berry and Plutocrats. These were all chosen at random individually, and reading them together provided me with an in-depth study of cause/effect. Not to mention I’m pretty sure Wendell Berry was mentioned in both Ecology of Commerce AND Plutocrats, which made things even more interesting.

This is the kind of synchronicity that I get from allowing randomness in my life. It very much does open me up to more “happy accidents” and residual fate. The weaving of disparate ideas together to form a cloth of eclectic patterns and color combinations is a great source of inspiration for me. I’d never really thought about the benefits of this tendency I’ve had for some time now – thinking only that it enabled me to avoid having to make so many damn conscious decisions and never considering how opening myself up to the arbitrary might spur creativity and expansion.

Poem of the day is by Rilke, who I admit I am not really connecting with…but this poem seems applicable to this topic:

What Birds Plunge Through Is Not The Intimate Space

What birds plunge through is not the intimate space,
in which you see all Forms intensified.
(In the Open, denied, you would lose yourself,
would disappear into that vastness.)

Space reaches from us and translates Things:
to become the very essence of a tree,
throw inner space around it, from that space
that lives in you. Encircle it with restraint.
It has no limits. For the first time, shaped
in your renouncing, it becomes fully tree.

Submitted and Translated by Gabriel Caffrey

Rainer Maria Rilke
*Buddha the Grouch, my eldest son, makes fun of me for my obsession with random selection. He tells me “You spend so much time fighting for freedom and choice, and then you give up your choices to a random number generator!” I just nod and smile.

Today’s poem is by Alice Walker:

016d859e6c7c6f929720eb33ec6da91d9c3f97d169

A Picture Story For The Curious

(You supply the pictures!)

I get to meditate
in a chair!
Or against the wall
with my legs
stretched out!
(Or even in bed!)

I get to see
maybe half
of what I’m looking at!
(This changes everything!)

I get to dance
like the tipsy old men
I adored
when I was an infant!
(They never dropped me!)

I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!
I get to ride a bicycle
with tall
handlebars!
(My posture improves!)

I get to give up
learning to sail!
I get to know
I will never speak
German!

I get to snuggle all
morning
with my snuggler
of choice:
counting the hours
by how many times
we get up
to pee!

I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!
I get to eat chocolate
with my salad.
Or even as a first course!
I get to forget!
I get to paint
with colors
I mix myself!
Colors
I’ve never seen
before.

I get to sleep
with my dog
& pray never to outlive
my cat!
I get to play
music
without reading
a note!

I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!
I get to sleep
in a
hammock
under the same
stars
wherever I am!
I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!

I get to laugh
at all the things
I don’t know
& cannot
find!

I get to greet
people I don’t remember
as if I know them
very well.
After all, how different
can they be?

I get to grow
my entire
garden
in a few
pots!
I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!

I get to see
& feel
the suffering
of the whole
world
& to take
a nap
when I feel
like it
anyway!

I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!

I get to feel
more love
than I ever thought
existed!
Everything appears to be made
of the stuff!

I feel this
especially for You! Though I may not remember
exactly which You
you are!
How cool is this!
Still, I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!
And that is just a taste
as the old people used to say
down in Georgia
when I was a child
of what you get
for getting old.

Reminding us, as they witnessed our curiosity about them, that no matter the losses, there’s something fabulous going on at every stage of Life, something to let go of, maybe, but for darn sure, something to get!