Or Take Me For A Ride

park place 1

I think about writing. I do. Every day, all the time, I think about writing because I am a writer. It is one of the basic things I know about me, like that I am left-handed and that no one will see my natural hair color without a court order. I’d also need another six hours every day to be all the other things I know about me.

park place 2

Pete is thinking about bread. We get up in the dark every day now and get on our bicycles before the mornings lose their blueness. It is interesting for him to contemplate breads he will later bake while we dodge drivers oblivious and homicidal. Tomorrow: miniature flatbreads, but we could use a better bike path.

park place 3

Several of my annual projects are close to completion; I may have mentioned it. Perhaps I didn’t, but thought I was boring you senseless about project x, project y, project z and group efforts 1, 2 and 3. This happens, sometimes. One summer, I thought I was complaining ad nauseum about a family wedding, but it turned out I had zipped my Love That Red lips. Only one person at my job remembered hearing I’d be celebrating crankily, while everyone else scratched their heads. I’ll take pictures. Also: do not scratch that.

park place 4

Knock On the Window Pane

Lettuce. Is too!

Lettuce. Is too!

Pssst! My little town has a weekend-long, town-wide garage sale every September. Last spring, a friend who teaches second grade in the city about 200 yards across a mossy river, asked folks to clean out their shelves for extra kids’ books. Yesterday, I collected the books on my street; I wish I could have gone a few blocks in any direction, but my creaky back lodged a formal complaint. Anyhoo, books for the kids. Shhhhhh! It’s a secret!

Eucalyptus and Asparagus, obviously on their way out for a couple of cosmos.

Eucalyptus and Asparagus, obviously on their way out for a couple of cosmos.

Not Even the Chair

Brain Damage #1

“Why is everyone laughing?”
The adult said, “You asked
over and over for someone
‘Pass the butter, please.’
Then you said, ‘This place
is like Congress: you have to apply
to get anything passed.'”
Whoever is home in my noggin
when I am out
should not quit his day job.

When You Could Stop A Clock

Cutting up t-shirts to make yarn is 100% easier when Drusy, my tiny protector from all things yarn-like, is not helping. Or halping. Because she is not helpful.

Lover of all things impulsive, you should buy my delightful friend Boni Joi’s book Before, During Or After Rainstorms. You will love this book and wish to meet the inimitable Boni, whose life as she lives it is an amazing story in itself.

A Magnet And I Am

In January, I shot my mouth off in my doctor’s office by mentioning I’d had some sort of brain explosion and suddenly my doctor, who is amused by every breath I take, stopped laughing. I felt kind of dickish about that. Anyhoo, she told me she’d ditch her trainee and I should make an appointment come spring. What with the warm weather, I figured it was time to turn myself in. Yesterday, I had my doctor’s undivided attention for about an hour, which was a whole lot like having all searchlights find me at once, only with a charming European accent and excellent shoes. My doctor is a damn fascinating person. You may remember me whining that I used to be Me, now I’m me and have little idea what happened in between. Starting tomorrow, we’re going to try to find out. This brought up lots of issues I had pushed to the back of my mind, including who I was and what I think now of the artwork I was doing then. And then, Adrienne Rich died. I feel speechless about that because one of the last things I did as Me was to exceed my time limit at a huge, prestigious academic poetry reading for which I was the opening act and Adrienne Rich was the feature. It was a bridge-burning move of Golden Gate proportions in which I put on a good, visceral show and never did it again. In the bargain, I lost the protection of another famous woman artist I had grown to love. I never wrote another poem. Then my brain cut me off.

In another life, maybe Adrienne Rich and I would have been friends now. Maybe.

This morning, my friend Robert sent me a different obituary for Adrienne Rich, leading us to conclude that Robert’s life broke in half at just about the same time mine did. I remember being the engine that pushed an art scene, a comedy troupe, an underground life for dozens of people too fired up to stay home at night, but it’s a distant memory now. In it, I look like Annie Sullivan in Danskin capris. As the day wore on, I felt a sense of my place in things firming up. Finally, as I was sitting in my cousin Carmello’s hair salon, I heard this on the CD player and just about sat up straight at the shampoo sink.

In the early nineties, when I was burning a swath across the landscape, I sat at my Mac at nights, listening to music in languages I didn’t speak and writing my next performance poems. Blue Bell Knoll was one of my favorite albums for this kind of work. It possesses a certain emotional plasticity that lets the mind wander and the characters flow. I wrote some of my best work listening to this album and haven’t listened to it since. In the salon today, it seemed like the Universe was shouting my name. Carmello reminded me today wasn’t the first time that’d happened in his shop.

Okay, I hear it. But why? What is there to know?