Friday, April 30, 2004

{ the end of april }

the last poem for april, 2004...

Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

» ms. angelou's official site
ouch my head

yikes. after farmer's market (downtown is all pink in honor of alex madonna) dan and i went into mccarthy's last night for one beer. somehow that one self-mutated into a host of others and five hours later (yikes!) we stumbled home via a quick slice at woodstocks. ouch. how did that happen? it was really fun to see everyone and catch up and talk and all, but good lord, i think i'll stay away from the hooch for a little while. when i look into my crystal ball of all-the-great-things-i-wanna-do in my life, being the overenthusiastic drunk girl at the end of the bar does not rank very high. or at all.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

allison we love you

my friend allison is really sick. in the hospital for a long time sick. please take a sec and look at her beautiful face and think good healthy thoughts. allison is an actress and a singer and warm hearted person. she is adventurous and independent. she has really beautiful curly hair. she's modest and thoughtful and really smart. i visited her twice in denver (2002, 2003). she just moved to LA. for her birthday once i went with a group of her friends to guiseppes. all the other girls allison knew from her stint in caberet (she was a kit kat girl). i've never heard "happy birthday" sung so confidently in all my life. our voices filled guiseppes beautifully. there was harmony even. it's a memory that always brings a smile to my face.
since feeling is first
by e. e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says
we are for each other: then
laugh leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

the music, the clutter

So today is Wednesday morning, people, and you know that means one thing: get thy butts to Salon for the Wednesday Morning Download. (Not that I've gone yet myself.).

The cats got back from the vet today, both tutored. and neutered. Chapin is sacked out on the bed exhausted from all the meowmeowcrying he's been doing, looking for his little sister, who's all by herself wearing the party-foul lampshade of a plastic cone to keep her away from her stitches/staples.

I'm not ashamed to mention my cat(s) on the blog. Think what you want. (Only one cat is mine as little Char Char formally made an address change well over a month ago).

Finally. Clutter. My books have been bugging me. Too Many Books. So yesterday I took every book off every shelf and made a decision: stay, go. Stay go stay go stay go stay go. The go pile is substantial and was hard to make. How do you part with books that have been given to you? I apologize in advance. Meanwhile, my bookshelves' emphezema is gone — they can breathe again.

» more about clutter
Pretend You Live in a Room
by William Stafford

Play like you had a war. Hardly anyone
got killed except thousands of the enemy,
and many go around starving, holding
their hands out in pictures, begging.

Their houses, even the concrete and iron,
they've disappeared. These people
now live camped in the open. Overhead
stars keep telling their old, old story.

You have this world. You wander the earth.
You can't live in a room.

» about william stafford

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The Last Invocation
by Walt Whitman

At the last, tenderly,
From the walls of the powerful fortress'd house,
From the clasp of the knitted locks, from the keep of the well-closed doors,
Let me be wafted.

Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks—with a whisper,
Set ope the doors O soul.

Tenderly—be not impatient,
(Strong is your hold O mortal flesh,
Strong is your hold O love.)

» the walt whitman archive

Monday, April 26, 2004

Little Song of Service and Pride
(in memory of Henry Pollard)
by Jim Lindsay

In the middle of serving,

In the middle of so much pride,
still serving.

Nothing more than this!
Nothing less than this!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

With This Love
by Franz Wright

It is late afternoon and I have just returned from
the longer version of my walk nobody knows
about. For the first time in nearly a month, and
everything changed. It is the end of March, once —
more I have lived. This morning a young woman
described what it's like shooting coke with a baby
in your arms. The astonishing windy and altering light
and clouds and water were, at certain moments,

There is only one heart in my body, have mercy
on me.

The brown leaves buried all winter creatureless feet
running over dead grass beginning to green, the First
violet here and there, returned, the first star noticed all
at once as one stands staring into the black water—

Thank you for letting me live for a little as one of the
sane; thank you for letting me know what this is
like. Thank you for letting me look at your frightening
blue sky without fear, and your terrible world without
terror, and your loveless psychotic and hopelessly

with this love

» wright wins the pulitzer
» interview with the new yorker

Saturday, April 24, 2004

little things

caffeine curve

4th cup and 5:00: TRIPLE SHOTGUN MURDER
So, I don't know why I've been such a Wallyware fan. I've bought many a Wally mug (Wally surfs the bonzai pipeline) and Wally bowl (Now is the time to tell you... there was LSD in the dip). But the best, the favorite, the most loved and daily giggled over was the caffeine curve. Shannon had one too (in fact, she might have had one first). But over the years mine cracked, and there's no use for cracked coffee cups, no matter how much you love them. Last weekend at the Morro Bay 100 Garage Sale extravaganza, what did I find? The caffeine curve! For a quarter. Talk about God sighted.

» some pics of wallyware

Gad. So many reasons to love public radio. All songs considered, musicians you've never heard of series, includes none other than M. Ward. Check it out for M. Ward and other artists that might be just what you were looking for. Each musician was chosen by an ASC producer/affiliate or another fabulous musician such as Lucinda or Ryan Adams.

» a.s.c. list
the heart in walmart?!
aka the birth of mr. stinkity

barber's gotta a blog and she actually finds the heart in walmart. i love that girl. i miss her. time was when we all worked together in a type of work bliss that i don't think comes around very often. she made my life better, that is for damn sure. and now she's making a better life for rainier. you remember rainier... there were pictures of him in november. and now that i think about it, rainier and the kittens are damn near the same age. and how friggin cute is that?

» mr. stinkity
run sakyon, run!

tomorrow the sakyong runs the big sur marathon! here's an awesome blow-by-blow "visualization" of it. i am very tempted to go to big sur tomorrow to shout out ki ki! so so! as the sakyong runs by (added bonus: the sakyong is very handsome).

» mile-by-mile
winnipeg pelicans

catherine jamieson's been the photog this week in a day in the life. you gotta see the pic for today. i can't hard link to the photo -- just to the picture of the day. so if you look at this after sat, apr 24 you'll have to go and find it. but it is worth it.

» today's pic
who knows if the moon's
by e. e. cummings

who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky—filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where

Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

» i love the.e.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Descriptions of Heaven and Hell
by Mark Jarman

The wave breaks
And I'm carried into it.
This is hell, I know,
Yet my father laughs,
Chest-deep, proving I'm wrong.
We're safely rooted,
Rocked on his toes.

Nothing irked him more
Than asking, "What is there
Beyond death?"
His theory once was
That love greets you,
And the loveless
Don't know what to say.

» mj's start page

(not to be corny, but when i read this poem i found myself saying "oh my god" afterwards. this poem kind of took my breath away.)

Thursday, April 22, 2004


sends in jeff davis road: "Personally I follow the Chet Atkins diet. It involves a lot of drinking alone and listening to country songs, but I'm proud to say I've gained over 20 pounds following it." found on ten years of my life.
free form babble

so. wow. mercury in retrograde got me good: first, regular email went down and i didn't fix it (by lazy ass choice) for three weeks (it's back up now); then phone, kaput (that took five days); then, wireless down and that took five days, too (not my fault not my fault). then there was the computer virus (i've gotten two in the last month and i've never had a computer virus before); lessee, what else? knock on wood, but everything is back up and running. and there are a lot more good things in store.

good thing number one that's got me squirming in my chair and i'm ready to go right now and not wait two more months: i've got two friends coming from the east coast for live oak. rebel's coming from massachusets and the dear jdr is coming from dc. this is like... almost too good to be true.

jdr's been to visit twice, both times while i was still at the co-op and he made friends with all my friends, especially reb (i think the fact that they are both vegan helps), so i now have visions of incredibly tasty vegan treats at the campsite and two extra little bestfriends around to make the weekend one of the best (plus, amazing line up).

speekina veganism, i am one of the biggest carnivores in the world now. amazing that i was a vegetarian (not vegan) for six years. and no chicken for nine. how? how? how?

speekina meat, do you feel a need to backlash against atkins? i'm no atkins-er, but for the sake of balance i feel compelled to eat more bagels. and on a related note, bonobojones rants a bit about atkins and donuts on his blog ("but like porn obsesed christians, Atkins people are stuffing there faces with Maple Bars, Jellys, and Old Fashioned glazed"). snicker.

and speekina of nothing at all in particular, it is beautiful outside. should be in the 80s this weekend. (side note: jdr, if you are reading: i guarantee no rain on this trip; it'll be your first jaunt to slo with sunshine; in fact it'll be damn hot at live oak). and life is just good.

i need to knock on some wood.
Leda, After the Swan
by Carl Phillips

in the exaggerated grace
of his weight

the wings
raised, held in

I recognized
something more
than swan, I can't say.

There was just
this barely defined
shoulder, whose feathers
came away in my hands,

and the bit of world
left beyond it, coming down

to the heat-crippled field,

ravens the precise color of
sorrow in good light, neither
black nor blue, like fallen
stitches upon it,

and the hour forever,
it seemed, half-stepping
its way elsewhere—

everything, I
remember, began
happening more quickly.

» a gesture of inquiry

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Slow Children at Play
by Cecilia Woloch

All the quick children have gone inside, called
by their mothers to hurry-up-wash-your-hands
honey-dinner's-getting-cold, just-wait-till-your-father-gets-home—

and only the slow children out on the lawns, marking off
paths between fireflies, making soft little sounds with their mouths, ohs
that glow and go out and glow. And their slow mothers flickering,
pale in the dusk, watching them turn in the gentle air, watching them
twirling, their arms spread wide, thinking, These are my children, thinking,
Where is their dinner? Where has their father gone?

» More Cecilia Woloch

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

More About People
by Ogden Nash
When people aren't asking question
They're making suggestions
And when they're not doing one of those
They're either looking over your shoulder or stepping on your toes
And then as if that weren't enough to annoy you
They employ you.
Anybody at leisure
Incurs everybody's displeasure.
It seems to be very irking
To people at work to see other people not working,
So they tell you that work is wonderful medicine,
Just look at Firestone and Ford and Edison,
And they lecture you till they're out of breath or something
And then if you don't succumb they starve you to death or something.
All of which results in a nasty quirk:
That if you don't want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work.

» i love ogden nash

Monday, April 19, 2004


just a little network rant aka regular wireless rzzl frzzl
rzzl frzzl mercury in retrograde. gar! our network's been down since saturday morning. i'm also having phone problems. when it rains it pours. i'm currently pilfering someone's connection ("jake" whoever you are i love you, man). thank gawd for people who don't close their wireless networks. but the signal is weak, so i gotta work fast.

wireless router hosed? how can it be? it's new. cable connection works if i go directly into kb's computer, but doesn't if i go directly into mine (my laptop is an ibook and when i go to charter it says "sorry chump we don't support macintosh").

meanwhile, bummer: kb's computer keeps doing this "i'm sorry but NT is forcing me to shut down in 30 seconds" and then the 29-second count down and then bzzzzt bye bye so i can't use her computer (for that matter, kb, how are you using it?! poor kb.)

meanwhile, people: reach me on my cell. if i was smart enough to give you that number.

trains and woodencrackers aka, esp wireless, the way of the future
meanwhile, trains and trains and trains: woodencracker and i must share a wireless esp connection. almost every day i am out walking along the train tracks. i love that walk. it is a weird combination walk of iron, steel, coal, and nature. lots of nature. lots of train. and all last week i kept kicking myself (ouch) because i kept forgetting to bring my camera (untrue: one, it's not my camera; two, i keep remembering but think it's too bulky for my quick walk; three, the truth = lazy).

the trains have been awesome lately. number one, the way the different trains look. number two, the way the landscape changes depending on the train, the number of trains, but most importantly, the graffiti. lately, the graffiti's been awesome. i don't know if it is because the trains are coming from a more urban setting, or if like jane goodall studying monkeys, i'm learning to see the little nuances, invisible to the untrained eye. pun intended.

but the point of all of this is, the venerable woodencracker is obviously doing the same walk i'm doing, but he's smart and taking his camera. he caught at least two of the graffiti pieces i wanted to photograph. so hurry and check them out today, because i can't link to a specific entry, just his blog in general (hint, hint cracker: fix that).

so before i put up the poems, a little about what's been going on.

» woodencracker graffiti shots


god love the weekends. birthday party for jim at dan's house. perfect. but i'm a bad one to judge as i think i only like parties where i know everyone and where there are fewer than 25 people. not true. i exaggerate as i loved the gardners christmas party and i didn't know many and i loved dan's housewarming and there were like 100 people. i'm a funny type of extrovert.

saturday morning i spent in morro bay with dan and ryan capo hitting the supposed 100 garage sales. we got to about 15 and while i think dan was a little disappointed with it overall, i made out like a bandit. plus got to hang out with dan and my little bro. what more could i want? (my actual little bro, you are right, and hopefully i will see him soon).

this is way too chatty. i'm cutting myself off.
You, Andrew Marvell
by Archibald MacLeish

And here face down beneath the sun
And here upon earth's noonward height
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night:

To feel creep up the curving east
The earthy chill of dusk and slow
Upon those under lands the vast
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange
The flooding dark about their knees
The mountains over Persia change

And now at Kermanshah the gate
Dark empty and the withered grass
And through the twilight now the late
Few travelers in the westward pass

And Baghdad darken and the bridge
Across the silent river gone
And through Arabia the edge
Of evening widen and steal on

And deepen on Palmyra's street
The wheel rut in the ruined stone
And Lebanon fade out and Crete
high through the clouds and overblown

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls
And loom and slowly disappear
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under and the shore
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more
The low pale light across that land

Nor now the long light on the sea:

And here face downward in the sun
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on . . .

» monday morning a.m. musings

Sunday, April 18, 2004

by W. S. Merwin

My friend says I was not a good son
you understand
I say yes I understand

he says I did not go
to see my parents very often you know
and I say yes I know

even when I was living in the same city he says
maybe I would go there once
a month or maybe even less
I say oh yes

he says the last time I went to see my father
I say the last time I saw my father

he says the last time I saw my father
he was asking me about my life
how I was making out and he
went into the next room
to get something to give me

oh I say
feeling again the cold
of my father's hand the last time
he says and my father turned
in the doorway and saw me
look at my wristwatch and he
said you know I would like you to stay
and talk with me

oh yes I say

but if you are busy he said
I don't want you to feel that you
have to
just because I'm here

I say nothing

he says my father
said maybe
you have important work you are doing
or maybe you should be seeing
somebody I don't want to keep you

I look out the window
my friend is older than I am
he says and I told my father it was so
and I got up and left him then
you know

though there was nowhere I had to go
and nothing I had to do

» More Merwin

Saturday, April 17, 2004

In California During the Gulf War
by Denise Levertov

Among the blight-killed eucalypts, among

trees and bushes rusted by Christmas frosts,
the yards and hillsides exhausted by five years of drought,

certain airy white blossoms punctually
reappeared, and dense clusters of pale pink, dark pink--
a delicate abundance. They seemed

like guests arriving joyfully on the accustomed
festival day, unaware of the year's events, not perceiving
the sackcloth others were wearing.

To some of us, the dejected landscape consorted well
with our shame and bitterness. Skies ever-blue,
daily sunshine, disgusted us like smile-buttons.

Yet the blossoms, clinging to thin branches
more lightly than birds alert for flight,
lifted the sunken heart

even against its will.
But not
as symbols of hope: they were flimsy
as our resistance to the crimes committed

--again, again--in our name; and yes, they return,
year after year, and yes, they briefly shone with serene joy
over against the dark glare

of evil days. They are, and their presence
is quietness ineffable--and the bombings are, were,
no doubt will be; that quiet, that huge cacophany

simultaneous. No promise was being accorded, the blossoms
were not doves, there was no rainbow. And when it was claimed
the war had ended, it had not ended.

» more on levertov

Friday, April 16, 2004

friday night and i ain't got nobody

but i do have a new hairdo (thank god for A.J., goddess of styles and do's, if you'd seen what i'd walked in with you'd be singing her praises, too), a new cd (modest mouse and a shout of lurve to bonobojones for the styling of such cd givings), and a party to go to (happy birthday JM, mentioned yesterday). and lemme just say the modest mouse was leaning against the doorframe, much like my poetry book from last week with the note of "modest little mouse face." can we just clone him? i love me some fridays in april.
I Didn't Go To Church Today
by Ogden Nash

I didn't go to church today,
I trust the Lord to understand.
The surf was swirling blue and white,
The children swirling on the sand.
He knows, He knows how brief my stay,
How brief this spell of summer weather,
He knows when I am said and done
We'll have plenty of time together.

» nosh on nash

Thursday, April 15, 2004

by Joyce Sutphen

In the afternoon of summer, sounds
come through the window: a tractor
muttering to itself as it

pivots at the corner of the
hay field, stalled for a moment
as the green row feeds into the baler.

The wind slips a whisper behind
an ear; the noise of the highway
is like the dark green stem of a rose.

From the kitchen the blunt banging
of cupboard doors and wooden chairs
makes a lonely echo in the floor.

Somewhere, between the breeze
and the faraway sound of a train,
comes a line of birdsong, lightly
threading the heavy cloth of dream.

Today's poem came straight from The Writer's Almanac where I also learned that today is the birthday of many a smartypants: Leonardo da Vinci (for all you Code fans), Leonhard Euler (super math mind), and Henry James (great lit). Oh and the birthday of my illustrous former housemate and dear friend Jimbo Mathis. Finally, I heard something about some type of tax deadline.... (taxes and deadlines, two words that definitely belong together).

» The Writer's Almanac

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

moneymoneymoneymonneeey monnneeeeee

newest TWoP apprentice recaplet is up. i swear to god, the venerable miss alli makes me love the apprentice more. she needs to write a book cuz i need to buy it. meanwhile, i am a boobtube slave tonight and tomorrow as i am planning on watching both the dateline special and tomorrow's two-hour finale. and i have a new favorite adjective, a la TWoP: bat shit crazy. guess who gets called that the most? and speekina, you should see the omarosa aliases hurled around the boards: ohmyheadhurts and assorama being just two. i have my own to add: osociopatharosa. ;)

» last week's recaplet. delicious
» miss alli on tv boyfriends
by Charles Bukowski

the other day we were in a
bookstore in the mall
and my woman said, "look, there's

"I don't know him," I said.

"we had dinner with him
not too long ago," she said.

"all right," I said, "let's get
out of here."

Bob was a clerk in the store
and his back was to us.

my woman yelled, "hello, Bob!"

Bob turned and smiled, waved.
my woman waved back.
I nodded at Bob, a very
delicate blushing fellow.
(Bob, that is.)

outside my woman asked, "don't you remember him?"


"he came over with Ella. re- member Ella?"


my woman remembers everything.

I don't understand it, although
I suppose it's polite
to remember names and faces
I just can't do it
I don't want to carry all those
Bobs and Ellas and Jacks and Marions
and Darlenes around in my mind. eating and
drinking with them is difficult en- ough.
to attempt to recall them at will
is an affront to my well-

that they remember me is
bad enough.

» more about bukowski (I almost called that link "To all my friends!")

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Morenci and the Price of Copper

Front page on the LA Times today, an article about Morenci and how the price of copper effects the town's infrastructure and families. This is a company town, owned by Phelps Dodge and the site of one of the largest, most divisive strikes in American history. And also where my father's family is from. Like I mentioned in my Indian Summer Trip Blog, everyone they knew at one point was affiliated with the mine. There was no way around it. Now the only family I have there is my cousin and I haven't seen him in years. But I like to think that he's getting new roads and painted signs, too.

» LA Times Morenci Article


Did you know more Californians subscribe to the New Yorker than New Yorkers? I'm one of them.
After Love
by Maxine Kumin

Afterward, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries

These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.

Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership.

The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar

and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.

Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when

the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self

lay lightly down, and slept.

» who is maxine kumin?

Monday, April 12, 2004

she said and i thought...

  1. Boxing:: ali
  2. Lewis:: wonderland
  3. Bodyguard:: 80s
  4. Burnout:: previous me
  5. Cruising:: tom
  6. Easter:: santa ynez
  7. AA:: richmond, va
  8. Research:: library
  9. Redemption:: church
  10. Snickers:: slice

props out to catherine jamieson and then of course to luna nina for the game.

» unconscious mutterings
the first free iTune

Well gimme up one big celebratory hoot because I just won my first iTune. Which isn't bad as I've only bought two Pepsi (okay, okay, diet Pepsi) since the promotion started. Very excitedly I started my account (yeah, I've never even bought an iTune which is kind of ridiculous as I have it running on both my iBook and my PC and I've got an iPod) and eagerly tried the search function to see what I could buy. It's kind of hard to decide when it is your very first iTune. First I thought Grandaddy, because I don't have any Grandadddy. Then I thought Lambchop, because they've been coming up on my radar recently. But I clicked something wrong and next thing I knew I was at the main page where it talks about latest releases and that just suckered me in. And I am now a very proud owner of Float On by Modest Mouse. And I'm stoked.
The Coming of Light
by Mark Strand

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow's dust flares into breath.

» on becoming a poet

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Flying Inside Your Own Body
by Margaret Atwood

Your lungs fill & spread themselves,
wings of pink blood, and your bones
empty themselves and become hollow.
When you breathe in you’ll lift like a balloon
and your heart is light too & huge,
beating with pure joy, pure helium.
The sun’s white winds blow through you,
there’s nothing above you,
you see the earth now as an oval jewel,
radiant & seablue with love.
It’s only in dreams you can do this.
Waking, your heart is a shaken fist,
a fine dust clogs the air you breathe in;
the sun’s a hot copper weight pressing straight
down on the think pink rind of your skull.
It’s always the moment just before gunshot.
You try & try to rise but you cannot.

» attagirl

Saturday, April 10, 2004

After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
by Emily Dickinson

After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs—
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round—
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought—
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone—

This is the Hour of Lead—
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow—
First—Chill—then Stupor—the the letting go—

» my life has stood— a loaded dickinson—

(poem from the book the little sister and new brother-in-law left for me yesterday; they are the sweetest.)

Friday, April 09, 2004


so i was coming home from a little party. not a sit down cloth napkin party, but one with lots of people sitting on cement in front of a fire pit and a wild pinata that eluded its stick wielding nemises. it was a margarita and fish taco party and was fun. but cold. i was beyond chilly and so decided to walk home to find something warmer than my favorite flipflops (can't really call them thongs anymore can you?).

so i'm walking home. and it's a beautiful night. and i'm thinking hot damn i'm lucky right now and all other ridiculously happy thoughts that beseech you as you walk home on a spring evening after drinking two beers.

and i get to my house and i notice something leaning on my door. so i'm thinking federal express?! i couldn't remember ordering anything. and i get closer and instead it is a very very large volume of poetry. hard bound. just sitting there. against my door frame. no note. no inscription. just this very large tome of poems.

and i was so moved. because obviously this came from someone who is reading my blog and thought of me. little ol' me and my slight poetry obsession. and it completely made my day.


so maybe this has already made the rounds and i am behind on things, but i have to give you the tip to go and check out rance. rance is an mysterious blogger (more mystery!): he tells you that he is a hollywood insider (screenwriter maybe, but definitely an established actor who makes big bank and is at times on the cover of checkout-line magazines) who on a whim started a blog last december. he's using a pseudonym and trying to protect the non-innocent (nonnocent?) and the innocent, and, well, his career. i read the tip on boingboing (who's saying that it is owen wilson and it very well could be) and went to check it out. fun read — i like it a lot. and i like it because it is so normal despite his more glamorous surroundings — he's just telling his every-day crap like the rest of us. read it while it's still there.

» rance

mystery solved

so the poetry book was from my sister. and if you knew me and my sister, well this would just put a big smile on my face. because though we love each other a lot... well, we just have different interests. and for her to go out of her way to find me a poetry book... really. it just makes it that much more sweeter.

and p.s. she was my first guess. ;) xoxo to the newly married becca.
You do not

By Miller Williams

You do not drive cars
You do not read the newspaper
You sleep
You eat and drink milk
You catch cockroaches
and you sleep
You do not mail letters
You do not go to funerals
You sleep
across my lap
lying with everything shut
I am learning to sleep

» on being a laureat

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. — Unknown
Death comes to me again, a girl
by Dorianne Laux

Death comes to me again, a girl
in a cotton slip, barefoot, giggling.
It's not so terrible she tells me,
not like you think, all darkness
and silence. There are windchimes
and the smell of lemons, some days
it rains, but more often the air is dry
and sweet. I sit beneath the staircase
built from hair and bone and listen
to the voices of the living. I like it,
she says, shaking the dust from her hair,
especially when they fight, and when they sing.

» Get the Dorianne Laux-down

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

random snippets from kb's camera

KB gave me a CD chalk full of images from the last few months. Here are just a few...

About three weeks ago we decided it was time to let the Monsters go Outside. This was basically to retain any shred of sanity I might have had left. The Monsters got matching bling. They are such twins. Meanwhile, hilarity ensued as the Devils tried to figure out what the heck was around their necks and how to catch it.

this is chapin this is charlotte

Kristin and I fully documented the Monsters' first day out. However, most of the pictures are kinda blurry. I think cuz we were laughing so hard the whole time. First at the ridicuslousness of the Little Devils. And then at the ridiculousness of their owners. One owner shown here, in her spring/summer/fall uniform (note hot off the runway facial camera accessory — all the rage!)

chapin checks things out chapin and the clover charlotte and the lantern
emdot's uniform little pink tongue!

A few out of context: Me and KB before the Christmas Parade (we rode with the happening); Rem and Dan right after a few of us so rudely interrupted a cool as a cucumber NYE gathering; Dan and his very special birthday cake; Dan doing I don't know what at his Housewarming last weekend.

kb and mar going to the parade rem and dan on nye
dan's special birthday cake it was green for dan's party

plug: wed am downloads

I forgot to give a plug to my favorite weekly jaunt last week: Salon's Wednesday Morning Downloads. I think you'll need to be a subscriber to play (if you aren't a subscriber I highly recommend you become one and mention "EMDOT" when you sign up — I'll get a free month). Once a week Salon (well, their columnist Thomas Bartlett) lists interesting new tracks with about five downloads for your listening pleasure. One or two (sometimes three) of these downloads will be free, the rest are up for grabs via iTunes or your jukebox of choice.

Four or five weeks into and the facts are stacked: Bartlett makes good choices. His remark about "you really really like Indie Rock" today cracked me up and yet I still wonder why radio stations have not figured this out yet. Hello American Radio, we want our indie rock (and how). Bartlett mixes it up, though. He's into cross genre pollinization.

Meanwhile, here on the Central Toast of California we lost our beloved K-Otter to the formidable K-PIG a few months ago. In the beginning I was actually digging the change — the Pig, while being in the same general genre as the Otter, was playing songs I'd never heard or songs I was extremely stoked to hear. I lamented the loss of the local DJs, but still was quite stoked about the new mix.

But now I'm getting tired. And the Pig is definitely 150% more twangy than the Otter. While I do love the twang, I think I love it in the way that I love mayonnaise: it adds flavor but I don't want an inch of it on my sandwich.

Blah blah blah. I could blahg on here forever, don't mind me. And while you're out not minding me, make sure you take heed and head over to the aforementioned download page (also check out the archive list so you can get all the other singles he trumpeted from previous weeks). Tell 'em Em sent you.

» Wednesday Morning Downloads
» WMD archive page
in the spirit of things

So, as you probably know and can skip over, I'm a total goofball about this National Poetry Month thang. I've done something for it the last three years. I should be its friggin chairman (and maybe could do if I could think of a more poetic adjective than friggin). Meanwhile, what I love are seeing my friends getting in the swing, too, if only for a moment. But their moments are so good. Bean's got a poem and more about another national month campaign [backpacks!] and Stacia put her mighty graphic powers to work on an irish poem about desire.

» stacia: eamon/desire
» bean: whitman/ferry
Two words: Asso Rama

If you missed it Saturday night, here is a link to the Weekend TrumpDate with the Omarosa skit with everything and the kitchen trashcan falling on top of her. ;)

» A little piece of plaster or ceee-ment?
The last coupla days

So, I'm not blogging much. National Poetry Month takes up a little time, looking for the right poem to put up... looking for something I haven't read before. Learning about poets I hadn't known before.

Housewarming, Shmoop Style
And then life has been eventful and noneventful all at once. Dan had his housewarming party on Saturday night. Great people (great). Good food (incredible carnitas and everyone yummed and ummmed and I said, "Dan you should send out your recipe as a "Thank you for coming to my party."). Perfect space — Dan bought his shack (and/or shanty, you can pick) two years ago and my heart kind of sank because ohmigod there was so much to do and was my friend really moving into hobo land?

But he made good, as I knew he would and everybody oohed and ahhed about how far it had come and what a good job he had done. We stayed til one and Erin Tuttle had us playing a loud, raucus parlor game (are there parlor games anymore?) which would take too long to explain here but that kept us jumping up and yelling and pointing and clapping and hooting and all other et ceteras.

Saturday was also the memorial for Adrien Brown and maybe that is why I haven't been writing. Adrien was a happy, easy-going, welcoming, friendly, quick-to-smile guy from the UK who'd been working in SLO town for years. I worked with him at the Hell Hole (tm NickB.) way back in the day when I was still figuring out what HTML tags were. I know it sounds contrite and cliche and oversimplistic, but Adrien really was one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet. Kind. Fun loving. Goofy. Cool. Adrien died on March 30/31 while walking home. He fell and hit his head.

There's a lot of life that doesn't make any sense at all.

Adrien's memorial was held at the Mission. "At the Mission?!" I had asked Tom because I never really thought of Adrien as a religious kind of guy, much less a Catholic. But Catholic he was and the Mission filled up with two soccer teams in their jerseys, every bartender in town, co-workers, dear friends, acquaintances, and the like. There were people who had gone to university with him in England. There were people who had only just met him once but thought so highly they still came to the service.

The priest was perfect: self-effacing, gracious, a good storyteller and seemed genuinely saddened by such a senseless loss. He said "think in your mind the first word that comes to your head when you think of Adrien" and everyone was very quiet. He had to coax this mostly non-church-going crowd to make a noise.

"Social," someone said. "Yes," said the father, "social. Adrien was very social, wasn't he...." and then he would trial off about Adrien's social nature. "Generous!" said someone else. "That's right," said the father, "Adrien was very generous" and then he said some more. Word after word tumbled out and he had us all thinking of the nicest parts of Adrien. And while I think tears were trailing down everybody's cheeks, thinking of all of his good qualities made you think good thoughts of Adrien instead of the sad, sad, sad ones.
Rain Travel
by W. S. Merwin

I wake in the dark and remember
it is the morning when I must start
by myself on the journey
I lie listening to the black hour
before dawn and you are
still asleep beside me while
around us the trees full of night lean
hushed in their dream that bears
us up asleep and awake then I hear
drops falling one by one into
the sightless leaves and I
do not know when they began but
all at once there is no sound but rain
and the stream below us roaring
away into the rushing darkness

» More Merwin

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

The Fallen Tree
by Robert Bly

After a long walk I come down to the shore.
A cottonwood tree lies stretched out in the grass.
This tree knocked down by lightning —
and a hollow the owls made open now to the rain.
Disasters are all right, if they teach
men and women
to turn their hollow places up.

The tree lies stretched out
where it fell in the grass.
It is so mysterious, waters below, waters above,
so little of it we can ever know!

» More than Iron John

Monday, April 05, 2004

For All
by Gary Snyder

Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
singing inside
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.

I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.

» Get a Snyder Lowdown

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Making a Fist
by Naomi Shihab Nye

For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

"How do you know if you are going to die?"
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
"When you can no longer make a fist."

Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.

» An interview with Naomi Shihab Nye

Saturday, April 03, 2004

I Am Waiting
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
Of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the second coming
And I am waiting
For a religious revival
To sweep thru the state of Arizona
And I am waiting
For the grapes of wrath to stored
And I am waiting
For them to prove
That God is really American
And I am waiting
To see God on television
Piped into church altars
If they can find
The right channel
To tune it in on
And I am waiting
for the last supper to be served again
and a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the great divide to be crossed
and I anxiously waiting
For the secret of eternal life to be discovered
By an obscure practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and TV rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am waiting for retribution
for what America did to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for the American Boy
to take off Beauty's clothes
and get on top of her
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeting lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

» Who the heck is Ferlinghetti?
» City Lights Bookstore
» Ferlinghetti paintings

Friday, April 02, 2004

i know my addiction makes me pathetic

» open letters to the apprentices
via television without pity, the most brilliant web site on earth. today anyway.
A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty
by Ogden Nash

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.
Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then —
How old is Spring, Miranda?

» Quotes from Ogden Nash
» More about Nash

Thursday, April 01, 2004

i thank You God for most this amazing
by e. e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings;and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

» learn more about cummings
» read another poem today from the writer's almanac