No roses, but I stopped for the birds

CV and her granddad and I went to Golden Gate Park today to watch the birds. We saw a red-shouldered hawk, tons of hummingbirds, Western Tananger, junkos, pygmy nuthatch, purple finches, house finches, song sparrows, chestnut backed chickadees, gold finches (only from a distance, alas), downie woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers (I didn't see that, because I was focused on the hawk, but it was there to be seen by others), a red-eyed vireo, a kingfisher, Canadian geese, mallards, junco (be careful typing in a variant spelling or you'll get lots of images of men's "junk-oh!"), townsend's warbler, and probably a couple other kinds of birds whose names I can't remember, plus a turtle and a really cool cactus flower. My dad and I thought it was fun. CV even thought it was fun. It was, unquestionably, fun. Even for the birds, who were not harmed for the production of this fun.

3 for Thanateros

Ft. Laudie Daudie

This weekend I have the pleasure of traveling from the East coast to the West coast of Florida with my boyfriend. Today is Fort Lauderdale.

First birthdays happen every day.

He is not there

Yvette, I wish I could hold your hand today while all of those balloons are let loose in Wilson Woods. You know that I would not send plastic into the sky, not even for him. But I wish I was there to hold your hand, Hermanita, while you send off your balloon. While you say to the sky, "Happy Birthday, Big Brother." I wish I was there to tell you funny stories about him. I wish I could tell you the story of how I chased your brother through the halls of Pelham High School when I saw him flirt with another girl, and how he ran from me when he saw my face, and how he was right to run because I would have cut him that day. And how he teased me for months after about my angry face.

And how when I was sad he would sometimes put on one of my dresses and dance around shaking his butt to meringue until I had to laugh. His big old body in a dress.

And about how desperately sad he was when you pushed your Momma down that flight of steps because he knew you would never forgive yourself. He forgave you right away. He understood how mean she was to you.

Did you know that he talked about you every time I saw him, Yvette? He talked about how beautiful you had become. He talked about how you were going to school like he never would. How you were becoming a dental hygienist, and you would get out, and you would be OK.

He got out, too, Yvette. It was the only way he saw how to get out. Your big brother is not stuck anymore. He is not there.



Spare Bedroom

The spare bedroom appears to be empty.

i myself become the village, for the duration of a sentence, and the valley functions as a cavity into which i aspire to disappear


Today I am picking huckleberries with my four-year-old nephew. For that I am not so much there and very here.


The Trinity sang from the back seat. The Trinity told me that the small creature that lives on the shoulder must be kept alive. Because without that little music all songs will end. In no uncertain. Terms. In the far corner there is a patch of blue. It whispers to the passing that without asters summer will never end. In the whispers a larger field of brown waits beyond.

an alternate recollection


I do believe we're made of magic stuff.
I stayed up and saw that this was true.
In a place where sleep can't find me.
I need a hug.
I'll take a bath.
I love you

Transient Luminous Events

The language disappears. Two arches with which to contend rock upon the spread of the book. Where is the source? I survey--two wine glasses, two waters, a pitcher, the western windows, the crystal. Too much glass to determine.

Okay, here I am!

So this morning a friend wrote to see if she could come by and say hi to me and my Dad and the hubby and Callie, and I was about to write and say--I actually did write it, but I didn't send it--I was about to write her and say, You're a dear friend and I love you very much so I'm sure you'll understand that we're all on horrible schedules and deadlines here and we can't pause for even a moment so can you maybe come back and see us when you're in town in late October? But then just before I hit send realize, Good Lord, am I really going to allow myself to become THAT person? So I said, sure, give a call when you're on your way. But then my phone sort of died and she just came anyway, right when Dad was making breakfast, for which we only had 2 eggs, but he stretched them with milk and lots of cheese and there were croissants and some fruit from the day before and lots and lots of bacon (we used the whole package, amen), and everyone was full and happy and the hubby even came out of his dissertation cave for a bit to be ribbed about his 15-year-old decision not to eat bacon and I've been generally much calmer (and, I will add, equally productive) today.

She was here, without the wishing!


Today, on Canada's talk radio, the therapist asked the caller,
"If you won the lottery today, would you stay with him?"

The caller answered, "...Yes. Yes."



The Motorcycles of the Area

Bike Lane

All day long boys and girls and young professionals who could and probably do own cars ride bikes. They wear helmets. They wear backpacks with ten extra pockets and twenty extra straps. They fill the bike lane by the green strip where people who don’t sweat at work run. The runners wear high-priced toe shoes that make their bodies think they’re barefoot. If they went barefoot for real they would cut their feet on glass. There is no glass, no litter anywhere. People pick it up, city employees who haul it all away. They wear gloves. Their feet ache through the arches and their backs ache in the center when their work is over. Then they clock out, pick their babies up from daycare, and board the bus for home. The babies will go to college and make something of themselves, but not today. Today they are heavy.

Across the tracks from Clairvoyance

Across the tracks from Clairvoyance is Logic, a sedate town filled with navy blue outfits. The children are not dirty and never have visible scabs. They have to push buttons to get inside their driveways. The people there are very important. They drink clear specific drinks. Alcohol from bauhaus bottles with citrus garnish cut in the proper direction to form little wedges with no dangling bits of pith. The men have short hair, the boys have cowlicks, the girls wear pink ribbons, the women have highlighted bobs. The men where navy blue trousers, the women wear navy blue dresses, the boys wear blue peddle-pushers, the girls wear pink dresses without lace. The men go to work, the women go to work, the boys go to school, the girls go to school. There are no pets, but there are guard dogs.

No one from Logic works in Clairvoyance, and no one from Clairvoyance drives through Logic. Boundaries snake between the two towns: the train tracks, chain link fences, naturally-formed gullies, boulders. These boundaries are not insurmountable, but everyone in Logic assumes they know what lies in Clairvoyance and everyone in Clairvoyance trusts their instincts about avoiding Logic.

The children from Logic are forbidden to play with the children from Clairvoyance, but on Wednesday nights the brave ones float things to each other in the fountain. There have been town council referendum in both towns to have the fountain removed, but the maps in Clairvoyance list the fountain outside town boundaries, as do the maps in Logic. No one will claim responsibility for it.

The fountain sits on the top of a hill. It is made of stone and runs with water all year long. Even in winter, there is a trickle of warm water gurgling out of androgynous faces carved on all sides. No one has ever tested the depth of the fountain, but the water is deep enough and the basin is wide enough to form eddies that look like whirlpools to the smaller children. The water flows in a continuous circle.

On Wednesday, the adults in Logic are busy at their town council meetings followed by their bauhaus cocktail parties. On Wednesday the adults in Clairvoyance are busy building alters to various deities followed by their wine-soaked rituals. The children of both towns sneak down one by one, each carrying an object in their hands to float in the fountain. The children from Clairvoyance float pieces of magenta colored fabrics, parrot feathers, packets of oiled flower petals. The children from Logic float perfectly designed boats made from 24 lb paper, uncracked almonds, and reasonable shoes.

After about an hour of objects circling the fountain, all of the paper boats, almonds, and reasonable shoes are fished out of the fountain by the children of Logic. All of the pieces of magenta colored fabrics,  packets of oiled flower petals, and parrot feathers go home with the children of Clairvoyance, except for one.

There is one small yellow feather that floated out of the fountain. A small girl picked it up while the other children were petting magenta fabrics and pushing paper boats. She twirled it between her thumb and forefinger. She pinched water out of the wet down at the base of the feather, and stroked the bright yellow barbs at the top. Her eyes fixed on the other children of Logic, the little girl took two backward steps away from the fountain. When no one noticed, she took two more. She tucked the feather into one of her hair ribbons and took two more steps back. She dried her hands on her pink laceless dress and took two more. She kicked off her sensible shoes and took two more back. Then she turned around and walked forward.


On the third day, as was foretold, we entered the promised land of milk and peanut butter. And the Trinity was waiting, he and she and she were waiting, with the crusts cut clean from their holy sammiches. Their blue polo shirts shone with crumbs and their pudgy hands clutched chalices of lowfat milk. Crates of juice boxes filled the garage with plenty. And we cried, lo, this is the land we have come to, let us all pile into the back seat of the car and rejoice. And there was singing. And the song spoke of a hobo man on our shoulder. We chose to let him live. We chose to eat string cheese in the sun.

On a Summer Night in Clairvoyance

I was surprised to hear a vehicle pull into the driveway. It was late, after midnight.

I was sitting on the porch we called the deck. Screened-in, which a deck would never be. I had Leonard Cohen on in the kitchen, speaker propped against the open window. Wheels against gravel, a little VW. I had no idea who it would be. I don’t remember even wondering. And I wasn’t high. It was just the rain and the music and, after all, I did this every night. Just sit, the rest of them asleep upstairs.

I could see him as he came forward, opening the wooden screen door. I knew him. A friend of my brother’s. I didn’t know him too well, he was younger. He had some records under his arm. We talked for a while about music. I had been away a few years. We might have had some tea.

the city of clairvoyance

The city of Clairvoyance. Plaza the color of burnt-sienna. As in Miramar, the Alexandria hotel, the people do wander through. In this city, there are no mirrors. There are no sculptures with wings. Cafes are full of old women. They wear beards like Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, recite poetry as if they were the Tartar king in Kubla Kahn.

During the day in Clairvoyence, the sky is always silent and always blue. Childrens hands twitch, because they dream of more days in the year, more days to play by the sea. You can smell the fish on the dark-clothed women. They come to the bistros after dusk and hang on each other like heavy nets. Some smoke hand-rolled cigarettes. Some hold cigars in their mouths, which they merely chew...

Eavesdropping 90210

It's only minutes past midnight:

"Lava rocks spilled on the floor."

"An avalanche reminds me of her moon time."

"Curved fire nipples beg."

"Table wood holding eternal glass containers."

"Sometimes it's easier to be the boyfriend."



I'm not even sure I was in my day today. Tenure packet. Feeding. Oh, here's a gorgeous moment: strawberry pancakes for brunch, made by me via Deborah Madison's recipe plus cinnamon and strawberries. Feeding. Then, oh lord, this is what my life has come to: COSTCO. The once in 4 months which is now, due to the baby, once in 3 months, trip to COSTCO. Feeding. Nap for me, I have no idea if the baby slept or not. Feeding. Dinner for the adults. Feeding. And now back to the tenure packet, except the baby is crying so that may mean baby holding and then the inevitable feeding. This is not, I fear, the stuff of luminous writing. But there were those pancakes....

Good Lord Willing and the Creek Don't Rise

Sunrise, noon and sunset all watched from my grandma's farm house porch swing. Swapped gossip about the West Virginia family and canning recipes, admired the sunburst skin of a hillbilly tomato and savored the way in which the breeze swept through the silences.

Miss Fantastic Strikes Again Part 2

love forever, Selah & Bo & Chalmette (the saved)

The Truth of the Matter

This silence is mine; what's inside won't come out. Sometimes, I am fucking my lover, and I can't say "I'm too dry; make me wetter." My voice might start another story. One in which he does the things I can't bring myself to ask for: "I'm too dry; make me wetter." Instead of just moans. O's and breaths too staggered and simple to mean anything but fuck. I don't want to say I need something. I am a person who doesn't need anything from anyone, so I have told myself. If we're fucking, skin so close it's glued, can't he feel his cock pulling at my canal? I am being turned inside out. From my first lover, I learned not to mind. From my second lover, I learned to mind, but not ask. The learning stopped there. My second throat might vibrate the right sounds, but I've been plugged, stopped up with cock, that throat choked. He can't tell, my lover, even though he shares, even though he listens, even though he is delighted by the sight of my tongue and the flicking of spit that comes with talking, I can't speak I can't speak I can't speak. He is watching. I look pleasured. I am, sort of.


She supposes she is suburbanized. She didn’t mean for it to happen.
The three bedroom corner lot ranch prison in the middle of a
well maintained, well policed neighborhood came out of nowhere and
arrested her.

When she was a child she lived in undesirable locations. Vagrants, drug abusers and drunks wandered the hallways. Like dominoes, they slept where they fell. One night, from her bedroom window, she watched a man stab another man in the chest repeatedly for a forty-ounce bottle of malt liquor. She stood outside with the rest of the gawkers the following morning when the police arrived. The people in expensive suits on their way to their corner offices said they were happy the street would be rid of one more bum. Later that evening she was behind bullet proof glass selling liquor and loose cigarettes to underage teenagers from nicer areas and the homeless, when the priest from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church came in. He hated the homeless. Hated their begging at the church door for food, shelter and prayer, and hated that the liquor store was so close to his sacred space. “You’re sure to find a place in hell with the devil,” he spit at her before leaving with his pack of cinnamon gum.

This happens in the morning

"tell me what you know about dismemberment" (bhanu kapil, the vertical interrogation of strangers)

The morning after the fair the father takes the girl to see his mother.

But I Was Only Teasing

morning sounds

through steel.

eight. nine.

the dog knows

what time

it is by the clank

of food in her bowl.

even if it is gravel.

nourishment by song,

this is the certainty.

this is the principle.

I used to confuse

new trees

with buckets—


water is no bastion

against Thursday.

"when the clairvoyant pauses"


Fluidic Captures

07312010: Imprint from Solar Return Ritual
(ink, mucous, spermatozoa, blood, urine, ants, Amber petals)
09012010: Imprint of Invocations (Kia, Pan, Legba)
(blood, spermatozoa, spit, ants, resin, black sand from el Templo Negro)


Boyhood, Alabama

"It was mostly empty, and I felt kindly strange about that on account of I done felt like that woman who I gave my viewing money too was a woman who sold houses. She couldn't fool me though, this was boyhood done long gone. It couldn't do me no turn of good."
--Turd of the woods

A Point of Reference

Lifted above grids, I turn toward measured water.

Imposed ways we've always done: follow the river, avoid arroyos, and never open acequia gates not one moment before your hour.

Where are you, heart?

I'm told home is where the heart is.

I find myself inside this house's four walls shouting,
"I'm here! I'm here!"

Where are you, heart?

Not a Bang But a Whimper

I really want to be writing about what a lovely swelter of September day today is; about how my very own papa is sitting across the table from me working merrily away whilst I work merrily away at the same table and my daughter's papa is working in our study and our daughter is sleeping, on her tummy, on a handmade quilt on the floor; or about how we ate little quiches for lunch that were delicious partly because they were so wee; or about how I still can't locate the source of all that hammering; or about how my jade plant seems to need more and less light simultaneously; or about how yesterday I went to a place called Float Matrix and entered a pod that made me think Rod Serling was going to start describing my life as an episode of "The Twilight Zone" but instead of hearing Rod Serling I heard mostly nothing as I floated on Epsom Salt saturated waters for an hour and let my body re-align. There's so much I could be writing about. But my tenure packet is due very very very soon. So, for the limited audience whose responsibility it is to read tenure packets, I'll be writing about my contributions to the campus, the community, and the classroom instead.

The Four Corner Harmonic Day

I am in search of the perfect day.
The sun would be shining.
The leaves can be any color.
I would be outside.
My lover would be with me.
We'd walk and talk, lay a blanket down under a palm tree, eat figs under the fronds' slim shadows.
The sun would go down.
We'd stay, find figs neverending.

Like Your Paint

Behind the convenience store, next to the dumpster where I’ve parked, a heavy man stands before a white plastic fence. A can of spray paint is in his right hand, others poke out of a satchel near his belly. I watch him over my dashboard, sip my hot tea. He’s painting a mural, wild, indecipherable and bright as this yellow fall day. I decide his name is Wayne because I want him to be real.

Do you know that whatever you’re painting will fade, Wayne? Or else it will be painted over by some miser; it will not last. Graffiti is youth, and time or someone or something will destroy it.

I’m being pessimistic, forgive me.

My father is sick, Wayne. I’m on the way to the hospital now and feeling heavy. Today they are going to use lasers to shoot the cancer cells in his brain. This is what my day holds.

But here you are: making art in public, risking fines or whatever penalties they have for middle-aged vandal-artists. You must be celebrating something, look at that smile on your face.

You inspire me, Wayne. You really do.

Look at you: your big belly, that lit cigarette in your mouth despite the aerosol—who cares if you explode, you’re alive right now! The wind is teasing your white hair into wild strands. You are confronting yourself and the world with that spray can, making a statement.

This morning, while you paint, I’m going to look down at the decaying face of my father and wonder whether he will gain more wisdom if he survives or if he dies. My grandmother will tell stories about when my father was a child. He was a bad kid, Wayne, in a funny way. But I can’t listen to her stories lately. I go for walks when she starts to tell them. On my walks I beat myself up for denying her privilege because of my own fears.

Maybe today will be different because of you, Wayne. Maybe I’ll follow your lead. Maybe I’ll buy a magic marker and plant myself in front of a giant hospital window, one facing the highway, and I’ll tag my heart to it. I’ll re-write my grandmother’s stories and make her little boy good and when her grief lifts his sickness will float away like your paint, like my fear, our existence.


Ears in the little room on the roof.
Ciudad caos. Calle Caohuila.
Buscando señal...

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

When I sent you an email, I began it with "Dear Lovers." I deleted the salutation and typed in "Dear Friends."I will learn from this mistake. As so we begin without, "Hi, how are yous." I am not interested in shaking your hand.

Dear Lovers, Welcome. Squeeze me tight, my body up against yours. Kiss me hard on the mouth and then let us make art together. Love, Kristen

I begin with someone much wiser than I am:

Entering The Shell
~Jalal al-din Rumi

Love is alive,
and someone borne along by it is more alive
than lions roaring or men in their fierce courage.

Bandits ambush others on the road.
They get wealth, but they stay in one place.

Lovers keep moving, never the same,
not for a second.

What makes others grieve, they enjoy.
When they look angry, do not believe their faces.
It is like spring lightning, a joke before the rain.

They chew thorns thoughtfully,
along with pasture grass.
Gazelle and lioness having dinner.

Love is invisible except here, in us.
Sometimes I praise love. Sometimes love praises me.

Love, a little shell somewhere on the ocean floor, opens its mouth.

You and I and we, those imaginary beings,
enter the shell as a single drop of water.


It's my thirteenth day in America. I keep thinking people here look ill, but they're not. They're white. Did I look ill to Africans?

the planchette missive


it is only September.

but then, I guess,

we all become parents


and most of us become

orphans someday.

when neither the last

night in August

nor sudden rain

can return, then

huge drops

and drops pelt

coneflowers down.

each of us sees

the sun set


unsophisticated beginnings

"we were nobody's conqueror"

-renee gladman, juice

I'm glad no one stole your bike

I woke up on your couch
I didn't hear you go to bed
I was cold and had to pee
then I remembered that I had forgotten
to put your bike inside the shop
It is beautiful and crisp but...
Too cold for my taste
the bike is still there,
I bring it inside
take a drink
back to bed
I'm glad no one stole your bike.


pg.33, Liber Null & Psychonaut, by Peter J. Carroll

Thee 23rd Current • 8.23.2010, approx. 11pm

Schematic for Tetrahedral Machine

Banishing Ritual / Cerro Colorado, January 2010