Tuesday, April 30, 2002

note to mel

mel, welcome back to your motherland. i got your letter. ;) expect a reply soonish.

to anyone else reading, mel is part of "3m": mike, mel, millie, the british family that came to visit a year and a half ago. from england they haven't spent much time there in the last ten years. mike and mel biked from england to china. it took five years. the last trip had them two-wheeling across the great north american continent. they stayed in san luis for a month or two; at our place for about a month. millie, then seven, came to the halloween party as lizzie borden. which is quite a daring choice for her parents. [smile]. months later mel snuck back to slo for the bob nationals. dressed as an english chap, she crashed the bob pre-race party and everyone quite gleefully welcomed her back when her gig was up.

check out their bike jewelry and postcards.


jaxon: what do buddhists have to say about how you get cancer?
marya: i don't know.... i've never heard anything about it.
jaxon (almost yelling): well what kind of shambhala warrior are you??!!

heh. good point. he silenced me. ;)

Monday, April 29, 2002


well. yikes. my place is being painted and [gulp] it is bright! i think i just need to get used to it. everyone seems to love it, but truthfully it does seem very yellow and very purple. the primer where the red is going is pink, which is making everything look that much brighter (and i do mean peeeeeenk). pink is temporary pink is temporary pink is temporary. eric is adding the red to the mantle as i type and i took a bunch of pictures during lunch.

the good news is that i am getting carpet. i've had this white and black ancient tile -- we think it is from the 30s. the tiles been crumbling and breaking up here and there -- where my bed frame sits on it, where the desk chair rolls in and out and in the front door. this could or could not contain asbestos. the landlords seem to think "no."

so, carpet = yea. and my good friend and housemate heather who is an interior designer by trade can get us a 40% off deal. ;) cross your fingers i don't have to pay for this upfront (and then taken out of my rent slowly).


this weekend, driving too and from ojai, i listened to ekhart tolle's book, The Power of Now. i recommend this book -- even if you can only take it in small paragraph doses. it's all good.

A letter to Kate

letter to kate in the higher reaches of the Canadian prairie

I think the idea about the magazine is a good one. I have long had a thought about having a web site for my "writing" friends -- a vault of sorts (that's what I call one part of my web site that I want to evolve more). I envision a place where there are a number of regulars -- you can go to the site and visit these different people to see what is going on with them. So many of my friends are into varied and very interesting things -- Jan who is living in Hondurus (spelling??), Maya in S.F. (she's spent some time in the dw halls), Raylene who bravely moved to NYC two weeks after September 11 to become a famous architect; and then of course my wonderful, illustrious, and prolific dw friends (past and present). ;)

What is your vision for the magazine? What are your plans?

Meanwhile... I must be going through what my dad calls the Düns (pron: dunes), which is a type of Trap of Doubt. You know you are in the Düns when you get sick or get repeatedly sick... Last week I pinched a nerve in my neck/shoulder, and this morning I woke up with a sore throat. I'm "moving." More like "in transition." My place is getting painted -- I've lived in this particular space for almost 7 years. So, I moved everything I own outta there into a temporary situation -- which has actually been fun. However, I felt completely overwhelmed when it came time to choose paint colors and to figure out how to redo my place so that it looks nicer and is more functional. Sounds like not-big decisions on paper, but in RL put me in a quasi-low-grade tail spin which I tried to ignore like a hangnail.

Instead of going with calming colors (which I probably need) I went with favorite colors; a decision I need to have faith in. These are colors that I could roll around in -- the ones that I love and point out all the time in nature. A periwinkle blue that is at times the color of a twilight sky, or a detail in a shadowed lake. A brick-ish, wine-ish red which I am just drawn to and shows up in my wardrobe and quilt and other little things around me. My housemate helped me to pick out a neutral-ish creamy yellow with a hint of green. And white for ceiling and other accents. (Yellow = main walls; periwinkle = wainscotting; red = around doors and windows and for the mantle; white = ceiling, top of wainscotting, and one big window area).

I saw the yellow on the walls last night and it is ... ummm... much brighter on a big space than it is on a 3 x 3 color sample. (Trust trust trust).

It'll work out. I do have faith. Faith and a sore throat and a soiree, a rendezvous, a mild detour into The Trap of Doubt.

Or maybe I just was exposed to a virus [smile].

Other things: I spent the weekend in Ojai for Shambhala Training, Level IV, taught by Dr. Joseph Parent. It was by far my favorite of the levels to date. Just one more Level and I complete this part of the training. There is advanced training, too, which I am planning on taking. About 13 hours of sitting (meditation practice) this weekend. At a dhatun, which is a month-long retreat common within my sangha, you sit 9 hours a day. So I am thinking I shouldn't complain about 13 hours spread over three days. So, I'm not complaining. Just.... mmmmm... pointing out. Yeah, that's it. (Actually, the sitting wasn't that bad ... somehow after the third day you begin to want to practice even longer).

I love getting your journal email. It makes me feel like I am part of a community. ;)



Friday, April 26, 2002


john: haven't you ever heard of the i-ching?
marya: i prefer the ch-ching!

john, jim, and ryan went to tsurugi's for lunch. ryan is a staunch vegetarian. and even beyond that would not be considered a food adventurer. upon seeing john's plate of sashimi and sushi...

ryan: what did you order? fear factor?

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Two from Brooks

today's poems are both from Gwendolyn Brooks, 1960...

The Crazy Woman

I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I'll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.

I'll wait until November.
That is the time for me.
I'll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.

And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
"That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May."

We Real Cool

The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die Soon.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002


my friend miss bethie k. and the telemarketer...

Beth: Hello?
Him: Is this...um...Mrs....K******r?
Beth: [assuming he means her mom] She's not available.
Him: Oh...I can call back tomorrow...
Beth: What's this in regard to?
Him: Um...uh...mortgage?
Beth: Oh, yeah, you should probably take us off your list.
Him: [whining] You're so mean!!
Beth: [chuckle] Yeah, we get a lot of calls like this. [beat] Thank you.
Him: [starting to cry?!] You're welcome.
Beth: Uh...bye...
Him: [still crying?!?!] Bye...


today's poem is for macker. macker once asked the list about kerouac. (so macker, if you are reading, and i know you are, here's a smattering; though i'd have to say this isn't a great smattering. more of a slight gnosh. a little nibble. and maybe not indicative of the whole meal.) once upon a time i was a huge beat fan. nowadays i'm more prone to thinking of them as Those Who Excelled at Extending Adolescence. Or maybe that just cuz I'm over 30 now.

i'm losing all the indentations here in my blog.... i'll try to remedy soonly.


In his jest serious, in his murders victim,
or which, is God? Who began
before non-existence's dependence
on existence, Who came before
the chicken and the egg

Who started out
enormous Light
the dark brilliance of the Mystery
for all good hears to shroud inside
and keep their understanding sympathy
intact as Beethoven's courageous
slow sigh.

In his atrocitites victim?
In his jests damned?
In his damnation damnation?
Or is God just the golden hover
light manifesting Mayakaya
the illusion of the moon, branches
across the face of the moon?

 O perturbing swttlontaggek
montiana godio
Thou high suffermaker!
Tell me now, in Your Poem!

the planets are lining up and we're all excited

well, okay, i'm excited. i've been checking 'em out every night that it is clear, trying to figure out which one is saturn, which one is jupiter. (venus is easy -- it's the brightest). but, after the last few days i wonder if they are stacking up against us. my co-op mate ryan smashed his hand into the rocks while surfing on sunday, fracturing his hand. i've tweeked my neck and cannot beat a funk that has seemed to envelop me. *everyone* at work is grumpy.

last night six of us ventured out to the performing arts center to see lucinda williams. i'd been so excited. and despite my funk i really put effort into pulling myself out of the doldrums for the show. lucinda has been a downright inspiration to me... to write and sing. and not worry about the complexity of the song or how my voice sounds. (don't read that wrong: lucinda sings with amazing emotion and her song lyrics are stellar.... it's just that she can take an everyday thing and turn it into the everyman's anthem and that is amazing).

anyhow, the concert almost sucked. she hated us. the crowd. it wasn't really our fault. she'd spent the last three nights playing the filmore in the city. how can my little whiteybread squeekyclean town compete with that? we all heard her from the stage, her back turned to us, away from the mic, drinking something from a red plastic fratparty cup say to one of the guitarists "no alcohol, no cigarettes...." then, after an hour of playing she finally talked to the audience saying "i don't know what it is, but this is the lowest energy; i feel like i'm up here just going [mimes guitar strumm movement]. i hope you come and see us sometime in a bar."

we rallied. the whole place. jumped to its feet. wanting to please her. but, truly it was too late. she didn't put the effort in to get us going in the beginning, we didn't have the momentum to pick it up on our own. too bad.

meanwhile, it was still great to see her live. her two guitarists were a.ma.zing. they are guitar gods. and i don't even know what their names are. one played lowslung and bittersweet. his solos broke my heart. the other played regular electric guitar and the pedal steel and seemed to want to address the crowd. he was more of the heart of the show than lucinda. my favorite is when they played to each other. i think i got a little weak-kneed on that one.

i'm behind on my poem for each april day. can i blame those line-dancing planets? rzzl frzzl.


Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Dream Variations

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me—
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening . . .
A tall, slim tree . . .
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.

— Langston Hughes

Monday, April 22, 2002

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of i{Spiritus Mundi}
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

— William Butler Yeats

Sunday, April 21, 2002


Today's poem comes from the W.A.. . .


Word over all, beautiful as the sky,
Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost,
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again, and ever
again, this soil'd world;
For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead,
I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin — I draw near,
Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.

— Walt Whitman.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

Halfway Down

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn't any
Other stair
Quite like
I'm not at the bottom,
I'm not at the top;
So this is the stair
I always

Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up,
And isn't down.
it isn't in the nursery,
it isn't in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head:
"It isn't really
It's somewhere else

— A. A. Milne from When We Were Very Young.

Friday, April 19, 2002


Four talked about the pine tree. One defined it by genus, species, and variety. One assessed its disadvantages for the lumber industry. One quoted poems about pine trees in many languages. One took root, stretched out branches, and rustled.

— Dan Pagis

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Two New Sites

Craig Ruiz. Talented web designer and painter.
Check out Craig's paintings. He's having a show in June at Big Sky. Craig's pictures have appeared in emdot.com or often go out to my friends as beautiful examples of where I live. He has the cutest cat ever called Che.

Nigel Cambell. Talented web designer and photographer.
Nigel's newest site is called Decisions Revisions. Nigel'll give you a picture a day. Or thereabouts. A long-time web journaler, N lives in England. He's got a sexy voice. ;)


Now that all your distance surrounds me
I stand unarmed inside a lone evening

The honey is fragrant on the table
and there is thunder in the valley,
much anxiety between the one and the other

I am frequented space
deserted by your sun.

Come. Ask me where
shout solitude at me

And this sky tainted with dismay
with mountain lights
has learned me by heart forever.

— Andrea Zanzotto

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Too Many Names

Mondays are meshed with Tuesdays
and the week with the whole year.
Time cannot be cut
with your weary scissors,
and all the names of the day
are washed out by the waters of night.

No one can claim the name of Pedro,
nobody is Rosa or Maria,all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain under rain.
They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
Of Chiles and Paraguays;
I have no idea what they are saying.
I know only the skin of ht earth
and I know it is without a name.

When Ilived amongst the roots
they pleased me more than flowers did,
and when I spoke to a stone
it rang like a bell.

It is so long, the spring
which goes on all winter.
Time lost its shoes.
A year is four centuries.

When I sleep every night,
what am I called or not called?
And when I wake, who am I
if I was not I while I slept?

This means to say that scarcely
have we landed into life
than we come as if new-born;
let us not fill our mouths
with so many faltering names
with so much sad formalities
with so much pompous letters,
with so much of yours and mine,
with so much signing of papers.

I have a mind to confuse things,
unite them, bring them to birth,
mix them up, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the oneness of the ocean,
a generous, vast wholeness,
a crepitant fragrance.

— Pablo Neruda

the irony never ends

did you know that all those flags flapping on everyone's cars after
Sept 11 actually decreased gas mileage, therefore creating a greater
need for oil?

and on that vein... two new ones from Lynda Barry: "in tribute" to the S.U.V. woman and Middle East Crisis.


marya: john would've been a good journalist because he's a skeptic.
rem: really? i'm not convinced.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

today's poem (which is in the previous entry) is from the same author from yesterday. only i am behind in my daily poems. when i asked mike if i could publish the first he sent this as well, and i am very happy to share it.


tonight my mom, sister and i ventured to the performing arts center to catch the vagina monologues. i thought it was perfect to watch that with your mom and your sister. it's good to belly laugh all together. it was nice to see so many women show up in the packed house, but nicer to see the men. and i wondered, who got dragged here? who was appeasing? who suggested? at one point a man towards the front let out a great laugh and the three women on stage grinned at him.

i had my mom on one side and two seventy year old grannies on the other. seventy doesn't seem very old to me anymore. and i know my own gram would've howled with the rest of us. but they sat very quietly and didn't clap between vignettes. i know i shouldn't try to read anything into that.


i'm moving. temporarily moving. my place is getting painted. and it will take a week to prep and a week to paint. i'm in a temporary spot and i love it. so nice to have new surroundings, a new environment, a new way the light looks in the morning, coming through different windows pointing in different directions. the change is so good, i'm having second thoughts about moving back in....


enough chit chat. remember to read today's poem. and yesterday's.

m. <-- emdot

Warrior Heart

She knows fear
she's touched it
and it's touched her
it is not that she is unafraid

Her fearful heart
is even familiar
a common experience
in her daily life

It's not just the big fear
it's almost never that
though she's been there as well
she's seen the face of terror

But right now it's not some mortal danger
it's more just getting through today
or even the next minute
it's just staying — again — and again

That subtle edge that presses her heart
the little threat that sinks her stomach
that makes her want to turn away
that makes it easy just to go

Yet she doesn't turn away
she opens up and lets it in
and it hurts but she stays
and shares the pain with tenderness

Though she may be afraid
because there is no end to fear
still - she walks into that uncertainty
she can't help it any longer

The fear of what’s to come
the fear of what has been
the fear of feeling anything
the fear of being alive

If you were to know her
"fearlessness" may never cross your mind
but you might just perceive
how she is touched by life

How she lingers in the flowers
How a bird’s song brings a tear
how she is there – for anyone
simple — ordinary — straightforward

The tender open heart
vulnerable to the depth
with nothing to defend

— Mike Rubey

Monday, April 15, 2002

Subj: The Promise Land

i'm on a new (for me) list serv and the thread's headed towards the middle-east. i'm right, no i'm right, no i'm right, etc. lots of emotion. lots of opinion. and all i know is that it is very complicated and even though i semi-keep up with the news, i'm no scholar and i'm no expert. i just wish there was peace and some kindness. and that sounds trite, but i don't mean it that way.

the below poem was a response to the thread. i don't think the author meant it as a poem, but i liked it very much and he gave permission for it to appear here. and here you are.

(Subj: The Promise Land)

The promised land is everywhere, and nowhere.
It is in the heart of those who hold it.
It is not real estate.
It has never been real estate.
To hold the view that it is any certain place is an error.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding,
a confusion of the wisdom-
which issues from ethnic creation myths,
the world around.
The chosen people...and their promised land.

Here where I am, the promised land where sits this house.
Was once the Comanchera...
those beautiful human beings, and others
who lived on this land....(noone knows how long)
given them by their creator (in the beginning)
are gone.
They fought like noone ever fought
making fools of the pony soldiers
until they were so few (the blue soldiers came like winter snow)
so few that they quit
and said enough,
though they were never defeated.

Sometimes you just say enough.

— Mike Rubey


marya [with mouth full of candy]: i know, i know, i've been laggin'.
jaxon: who's that? the brother of bin ladin? bin laggin?

Sunday, April 14, 2002

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

poem for sunday, april 13

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give—yes or no, or maybe—
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

— William Stafford from Stories That Could Be True

poem for saturday, april 13

The Meandering Sky

And I'll look at the sky if I can see
and think why didn't I stay longer
why did i stop gazing how could I
not recognize the grain and linking
and the blue nap going to the edge
the long wave of silk that covers me
the faces and animals and all colors
which are the texture and the depth
of that great fabric enfolding treetops
softly not to bruise the apple buds
not to be sullen or pale for long
but to carry my hands to breathe
on my forehead and comfort my temples
and wait for me not even wanting to wait
but dawdling like a child among flowers

— Benjamin Saltman from The Book of Moss

Friday, April 12, 2002

To Make a Prairie

today's poem...

To Make a Prairie

To make a prairie it takes clover
and one bee, -
And revery.
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.

— Emily Dickinson

Thursday, April 11, 2002

overheards, in four parts

stephen: i like all kinds of music too.... except for country
marya: really? i like alternative country a lot like lyle and lucinda...
jaxon: yeah i like the alternative to country as well which is not to listen to it

jim mcd: that seven sure is an odd number

marya: you're grumpy
jaxon: what? me grumpy? i'm not grumpy. i'm sexy-smart.

marya: i love sitting next to jaxon he makes me laugh
marya: (relates above story to kristin)
jaxon: smart? i said *smurf*. i'm sexy smurf.

later in the evening i was showing off my new strappy white slingbacky sandals.

marya:they're white
shane: they're sexy. now you need a gold tooth
marya gives quizzical look
shane: cuz you know you're hard core


I heard this this morning on NPR. And thought, perfect timing for my poem-a-day habit. I am the poet pusher. In college I had great resistance to Wordsworth at first... I tend to not like the traditional stuff. But I ended up really liking him (and Blake). So for today in honor of spring and National Poetry Month (and NPR), I offer Wordsworth.


I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

— William Wordsworth

no no, part II

sidenote to dream: in interpretting this dream i've decided it is yet another manifestation of my religious anxieties/apathies. "god"zilla, sealing fate, trying to figure out the future through glimpses of a trailer....

okay, or maybe that is a stretch.

no no

okay, i realize that talking about one's dreams is supposed to be a no-no. but this morning, i was dreaming that i was actually living the godzilla movie. i was of course bummed because i had never actually seen the godzilla movie -- only the trailer. so from the trailer i was trying to deduce the safest possible place to be and/or how to save more people, knowing that of course their fate was sealed in the movie. sidenote: godzilla movie (in dream) supposedly ends with godzilla eating a kitten, after crashing through a huge parking complex at the edge of town onto a peaceful pastural landscape where you can watch drive-in movies in lawn chairs.

house photo

i was wondering why i was waking up so early without the aid of my alarm. and then realized that i was hearing a muffled stairway scramble, a hushed hallway shuffle. i peeked at the clock which said 6:13 and my mind did that early-morning reasoning: you know when you reach to remember if today is a work day.

it was house picture day. they only way to get everyone in the photo was to do it at dawn's early light. next i heard reb's "mar mar!" call from the hallway and realized that picture day really was happening. and that musta been what the chalkboard had meant all week: bed head required.

some were dressed in business attire. yoga attire. teaching children attire. others had on robes and messed hair. i saw reb's jaguar print slippers. "my sister sent them to me!" she said. "it's the only kinda pyjamas i have. otherwise i just woulda been naked."

so there we were, three rows deep.. sixish across. heather held wizard who is recuperating from yet another catfight wound and limps. i sat on shane's lap, reb sat on mine.

in a matter of days, cholla is moving on... heading eastward to the hot phoenix desert. in a matter of weeks (many weeks) jeff and rebecca are heading eastward as well after a working stint in either australia or europe. reb needs to see her neice and nephew grow up. monica and dan both have new houses they have bought, yet still live in our sweet little co-op.

and then there is wizard who is pushing 12, 13, 14. somewhere in there. and his legs aren't as bouncy as they once were. that was noted when he thudded off of sarah's lap a few house dinners ago. but i can't bring myself to think about that right now.

on the flip side, there's the young blood, the new wave. jason and crew. we have new housemate jen who is a kick-in-the-pants and continues the alpha female tradition (my theory: all women at the stab are alpha females).

but most importantly we have coffee at this very moment and i am going to go get my second cup. and then it's on to start the day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002


god love ernie, the massage therapist.


ernie: people forget that we are 99% gorilla. And you gotta feed the animal.

April 10

Today is the birthday of Niels Dahl-Jenson. Niels and I became inseperable friends when I moved to Santa Cruz way back in the day. Motorcycle rides, music, hanging out drinking coffee. When I think back to living in SC there's no way for me to picture it in my head without Niels. Then I moved to SoCal and he moved to Denmark. We kept in touch for a year (or more?) and then... I don't remember how things began to dwindle. Maybe the atlantic ocean just sucks postcards and good thoughts into its MidAtlantic Shelf. I bet there are loads of unread mail piled high there. Nevertheless, I can't pass a Tenth of April without thinking of Niels and what a great friend he was to me.

Ogden Nash

Three poems from today's poet: Ogden Nash. If he were younger I think he might want to marry me.

My Dream

This is my dream,
It is my own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.
— Ogden Nash

Everybody Tells Me Everything

I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And that is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.
— Ogden Nash

Pretty Halcyon Days

How pleasant to sit on the beach,
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun,
With ocean galore within reach,
And nothing at all to be done!
No letters to answer,
No bills to be burned,
No work to be shirked,
No cash to be earned,
It is pleasant to sit on the beach
With nothing at all to be done!
How pleasant to look at the ocean,
Democratic and damp; indiscriminate;
It fills me with noble emotion
To think I am able to swim in it.
To lave in the wave,
Majestic and chilly,
Tomorrow I crave;
But today it is silly.
It is pleasant to look at the ocean;
Tomorrow, perhaps, I shall swim in it.
— Ogden Nash

Two poems

here are the two poems that i had to delete yesterday, due to blogger's bugs. ;)

The first (from yesterday), Carl Dennis won the Pulitzer on Monday for his collection of poems in Practical Gods. The second (from Monday), a part of Gertrude Stein's Stanzas in Meditation.

The God Who Loves You

It must be troubling for the god who loves you
To ponder how much happier you'd be today
Had you been able to glimpse your many futures.
It must be painful for him to watch you on Friday evenings
Driving home from the office, content with your week—
Three fine houses sold to deserving families—
Knowing as he does exactly what would have happened
Had you gone to your second choice for college,
Knowing the roommate you'd have been allotted
Whose ardent opinions on painting and music
Would have kindled in you a lifelong passion.
A life thirty points above the life you're living
On any scale of satisfaction. And every point
A thorn in the side of the god who loves you.
You don't want that, a large-souled man like you
Who tries to withhold from your wife the day's disappointments
So she can save her empathy for the children.
And would you want this god to compare your wife
With the woman you were destined to meet on the other campus?
It hurts you to think of him ranking the conversation
You'd have enjoyed over there higher in insight
Than the conversation you're used to.
And think how this loving god would feel
Knowing that the man next in line for your wife
Would have pleased her more than you ever will
Even on your best days, when you really try.
Can you sleep at night believing a god like that
Is pacing his cloudy bedroom, harassed by alternatives
You're spared by ignorance? The difference between what is
And what could have been will remain alive for him
Even after you cease existing, after you catch a chill
Running out in the snow for the morning paper,
Losing eleven years that the god who loves you
Will feel compelled to imagine scene by scene
Unless you come to the rescue by imagining him
No wiser than you are, no god at all, only a friend
No closer than the actual friend you made at college,
The one you haven't written in months. Sit down tonight
And write him about the life you can talk about
With a claim to authority, the life you've witnessed,
Which for all you know is the life you've chosen.
— Carl Dennis

Part V

Which I wish to say is this
There is no beginning to an end
But there is a beginning and an end
To beginning.
Why yes of course.
Any one can learn that north of course
Is not only north but north as north
Why were they worried.
What I wish to say is this.
Yes of course
— Gertrude Stein

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

yum = tabouli, couscous, and chicken salad mixed together. might not sounds scrumptious but it sure hits the spot.

damn i am chatty today. i need a partner in loitering-in-cafe crime.


i feel compelled to say that blogger fucks up. a lot. i don't know what happened to the last entry that i posted it, but it ran into the poem i posted for today and i had to delete it and the previous two entries and still the problem persists. seriously sucks. PLUS, the site is down a LOT. Grrrr.

super furries

i am in slobbery love with super furry animals. seriously. i'm sitting here at work and can barely concentrate because i just want to get lost in these old songs. strange mix of today plus 70s bowie. imho. am in super daydreamy mood today. someone please pull me out of it.

Monday, April 08, 2002

Stanzas in Meditation

From Stanzas in Meditation
Part V

Which I wish to say is this
There is no beginning to an end
But there is a beginning and an end
To beginning.
Why yes of course.
Any one can learn that north of course
Is not only north but north as north
Why were they worried.
What I wish to say is this.
Yes of course

Gertrude Stein

Sunday, April 07, 2002

The tips are still quietly buzzing

Looking up SLO Town links to see where Emdot fits in the Google Scheme of Things (number two, thank you very much), I came across some Weird Al Yankovich SLO Town lyrics. I haven't heard the song, but the words are good enough.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Two of my best friends and favorite people on the planet have blogs nowadays. These two should meet. Carrie, Carsten. Carsten, Carrie. ;)

Carsten makes me believe in soulmates. Or maybe that there are so many wonderful people to connect with out there. Our correspondence (if ever condensed) could be boiled down to a virtual Me-Too Fest. He lives in Berlin, before that Montreal, before that a suburb of Toronto, before that Denmark and before that Scotland. He is funny and humble and talented and incredibly wonderfully opinionated. There's a lot to look at on his site, but if you just want a read, check out his blog.

Carrie is this gentle caring creature with a wicked lockerroom/bathroom brand of humor. Carrie is the type that makes everyone feel comfortable, without even trying or without betraying herself. Carrie and I used to work together, but she has jumped ship to follow her dreams of being an actress. Her troupe will embark to europe soon for a summer tour. Talented, smart, pretty, and able to belly laugh for days (hey, she's a superhero!). That counts for a lot. You can catch her thoughts at Drama Queen. I miss her to the point of not really even being able to think about it. Good friends are hard to come by.

Sixth song written! In 30 minutes! (Why am I writing like Fred Milton?! Hey!)

This one is called either "Get Right In" or "Everybody Knows" or "Storm Clouds Come," I haven't decided which yet. It's very dust-bowly, dry and dusty, god-lurvin' and a-storm's a-comin' type. I sang it to Ryan and Jen while they ate lunch. Dave leaned his head out a window to ask "O Sister Where Art Thou?"

Poor Dave and Shane, wallmates in Ye Ol' House o' the Co-Op, are subjected to my on-and-on-and-on guitar goings.

I just got my guitar back from Blue Note. The Scots guy who works there said, "this is an interesting guitar you have. How did you come about it?"

I was glad he thought it was interesting because I love my guitar. It's my second guitar, as well as the second one given to me. It has history, first with ShowBiz Nis, an old mate of Steve's, my scottish ex. Legend has it that Showbiz wrote many songs on it. Then it was Steve himself who wrote a million songs on it. He brought it to America. He let me keep it here.

It's a Levin. And the Scots guy at blue note said "this was the guitar to have when I was buskin' in London." More reason to love it. And love it I do, which is why I took it in: to get it patched up and put back together. It's a beater that is for sure.

It has the sweetest sound. But, since getting it back from Blue Note it sounds brassy or metalic... something that I'm having a hard time putting my finger on. I'll let Bret at work have a look at it and hopefully he'll give me some insight on how to bring the sweet sound back.

Meanwhile, my fingers have those satisfyingly purplishly-indented-guitar-string grooves happening. The tips are still quietly buzzing.

Always for the first time

Today's poem comes coincidentally via RyanH., who read it out loud to me and Diana over morning coffee and tea. Last week R's friend Nico passed the Breton book on to Ryan at McCarthy's, our downtown Irish pub/dive bar. Ryan said that there he was, drinking beer, surrounded by noise and yer typical brew-ha-ha (pun intended), nose deep inside the breton.

Then I thought, how great to have a friend who'll read you poetry out loud over coffee and tea Sunday morning.

It is beautiful here today. Finally Spring weather. Sunny, bright and all the flowers hopping. And the bees buzzing. The wisteria has opened it's doors to the Big Bee Hostel once again.

Meanwhile, back to today's poem.

Always for the first time

Always for the first time
As if I hardly know what you look like
You come back at a certain time of night to a house at an angle to my window
A completely imaginary house
Where from one second to the next
In the unbroken darkness
I expect it to happen again the fascinating ripping
The one and only ripping
Of its facade and my heart
The closer I come to you
In reality
The more the key sings in the door of the unknown room
Where you appear for me all alone
First you are totally fused with the brightness
The fleeting angle of a curtain
It's a field of jasmine I've gazed on at dawn on a road just outside Grasse
With its diagonal of women pickers
Behind them the shadowy falling wing of stripped seedlings
In front of them the T-square of dazzlement
The curtain invisibly raised
All the flowers come back in a tumult
It's you in the grip of this long long hour never troubled enough till you fall asleep
You as though you could be
The same except that maybe I'll never meet you
You pretend not to know I watch you
Amazingly I'm no longer sure you know it
Your idleness brings tears to my eyes
A cloud of interpretations surrounds each of your movements
It's a hunt for honeydew
There are rocking chairs on a bridge there are branches trying to scratch you in the forest
In a shop window on the Rue Nortre-Dame-de-Lorette there are
Two beautiful crossed legs trapped in long stockings
That flare out at the center of a big white clover
Only for me to lean over the cliff
Of the hopeless fusion of your presense and your absence
I've discovered the secret
Of always loving you
For the first time

Andre Breton

Saturday, April 06, 2002

There but for the Grace

It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened sooner. Later.
Nearer. Farther.
It happened not to you.

You survived because you were the first.
You survived because you were the last.
Because you were alone. Because of people.
Because you turned left. Because you turned right.
Because rain fell. Because a shadow fell.
Because sunny weather prevailed.

Luckily there was a wood.
Luckily there were no trees.
Luckily there was a rail, a hook, a beam, a brake,
a frame, a bend, a millimeter, a second.
Luckily a straw was floating on the surface.

Thanks to, because, and yet, in spite of.
What would have happened had not a hand, a foot,
by a step, a hairsbreadth
by sheer coincidence.

So you're here? Straight from a moment ajar?
The net had one eyehole, and you got through it?
There's no end to my wonder, my silence.
how fast your heart beats in me.
Wislawa Szymborska

Friday, April 05, 2002

This Is Just To Say

Today I choose William Carlos Williams. One of my favorites. ;)

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

— William Carlos Williams

To a Poor Old Woman

munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

— William Carlos Williams

Thursday, April 04, 2002


regarding my moment of Supreme Absent-Mindedness

marya: it's been a long week.
bill h.: sounds like it's been a blonde week.

Wanna be a poet or just feel like being inspired by one?

Read an article about Philip Levine.

(yes is a pleasant country:)

yes is a pleasant country:
if’s wintry
(my lovely)
let’s open the year

both is the very weather
(not either)
my treasure,
when violets appear

love is a deeper season
than reason;
my sweet one
(and april’s where we’re)

e. e. cummings

Wednesday, April 03, 2002


i hesitate in sullying the fine quality of recent poetry posts. however, you gotta report what you gotta report. this one comes from the bowels of the overheard-gutter-talkin' work environment....

marya: scroll-lock? that sounds funny.
john: yeah. my scroll-lock itches.
jim klo: that's almost as bad as the palm theater being next to Me Heng Lo.

April is National Poetry Month

More from the Shambhala weekend... (with permission)

[Practice is so hard]

Practice is so hard
It's uncomfortable
And boring
I never get it right anyway
I want to watch T.V.
Or have a little chat
And then I remember
I'm not doing it for myself
I suppose I can sit
A while longer

— William O.

[They say death comes without warning]

They say death comes without warning
I'm not so sure
The color of the persian carpet flower in the sea
The sounds of the mockingbird at 3 AM
The smell of garlic and onions cooking in butter
The subtle flavors of a rich wine
The feel of a silk shirt

These must be warnings to a warrior for they cannot be distraction

They are the celebration I am longing for
They are the ache in my heart, the tear in my eye

— Pat L.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Mad Girl's Love Song

Mad Girl's Love Song is not a well-known Plath poem, and is definitely not one of her more notoriously dark or abstract poems. But for me it has a sweetness and a realness that has always made it one of my favorites.

Mad Girl's Love Song

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade
Exit seraphim and Satan's men
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

— Sylvia Plath

Monday, April 01, 2002

April is National Poetry Month. And in honor, I'll put up a poem a day.

This weekend I did Shambhala Training Level 3. We were asked to write a poem about our experience.

Shambhala Training in Three Levels

Level One
I watch the white shape dance on the carpet
A flitting white spot from a gap in the blinds
It turns into lips that smile and speak words I can't hear
And like my thoughts, this illuminated dancing light
(that escaped onto the carpet)
Dances, and changes, and flickers, and entertains me

Level Two
My old mind had such control I thought that I existed
I let my fears take root and hold and watched as my hopes persisted

But then one day I got the word that these were not real things
That hope and fear were future tense, not what I was experiencing

Hope is simply speculation and fear's not in the moment
This was such a revelation, I've decided to embrace and own it

Level Three
I want to show you love
(and I want it to look like this: no defenses

I want to show you space
(and I want it to look like this: no defenses

I want to show you courage
(and I want it to look like this: no defenses

I want to show you that I'll show up
(and I want it to look like this: no defenses

— Marya F.