poetry

to do, this weekend:

– meal plan for the forthcoming week, fail to execute plan

– shower

– clip finger nails

– manage mustache

– feed children at least once maybe twice

– bathe children at least once maybe twice

– remember that this is all temporary, remember that I hate when people say that, its not helpful or accurate, I mean what scale are we working with here, temporary relative to what

– buy food, try to cook food, hate food, hate cooking, do it anyways, selflessly

– remind myself that I am selfless, a mother, a selfless mother, a self-identified selfless mother, even better

– eat tortillas out of the fridge when no one is looking, maybe with mustard, maybe just plain

– pray for the energy to finish the dishes, scrubbing with hands and soap and waning strength, finish dishes, feel elated

– find bedroom, half-alive, step over unidentifiable things in the dark, crawl between probably dirty sheets, let thoughts drift silently and free across still air, out the window, down the sidewalk toward joggers and sleeping babies in strollers, couples out on first dates, hopeful, naive

– repeat tomorrow, except with more vigor, except with more patience, and less frozen food

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prose

Death Trap, a novel

I always wanted to write a book since I can remember. But not because I wanted to write a book as much as I wanted to title a book. It’s basically the same reason I wanted to have children, the naming. That’s the fun part in either situation. Anyways I always wanted to write a novel and call it Death Trap. Maybe a memoir since I’m not especially good at making things up.

I was at the library yesterday and on the shelf I saw a novel called Death Trap. Just sitting there looking at me pretentiously aloof. I was both sad and irritated, although this is my general disposition on most days so who knows. But one thing is for certain, I need to come up with another title. But what’s the point of writing a book called something else, anyways? Maybe I should call my memoir that, Something Else, not Death Trap. How’s that for pretentiously aloof?

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poetry

memory throw-up

a bicycle thief

along the waterfront

a crew cut in summer

a book about poems

gimme that shelter

a collage of diamond eyed kids

a documentary from India

a midcentury table

a naive melody

some pour over coffee

a train ride to upstate

to see pretty things

a needle in the hay

the damage done

a love note on motel paper

a grilled cheese on wheat

things we lost in the fire

cats, European shoes

still in San Diego

suede with marigold straps

terrible angels

the gathering darkness

moved out of Venice

to holier ground

friend of the devil

Denver in winter

tattered cover, Paris

buzzed and blue eyed

heart of gold

church songs, my favorite

midnight pancakes after we did it

americana sunday after you told me

see you on a dark night

under sheets eyes meet

old news, moody blues

imitation, impostor, serenity prayer

there comes a time

christmas lights, backyard camping

water breaks, los angeles takes

the king is gone but not forgotten

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poetry

trap door words

I remember the first time I used drugs. Maybe not the first time, but the first major experience, the first time I felt my conscious altered in any real way. I remember sitting there, staring at a painting on a wall, thinking that it was odd that this whole alternate world I was existing in was neatly described by the word “drug”. It was a word just like any other word, just like “chair” or “Italian” or “love”. And yet there was something so different about this word. It was a trap door, a word that appeared to be ordinary until you got close enough to it to touch it; then, with even the slightest pressure it would spin around, and all of a sudden you were on the other side. Very Alice Through the Looking Glass, very Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, very confusing.

I began wondering if there were more words like this. More secret doors, more hidden worlds, masquerading as merely vowels and consonants, as average everyday nouns. Words that held more than sounds and meanings, but altered states of consciousness. Now sure, I understand that words are endowed with meaning by a number of factors. I get that one word, say “sailboat”, may be rife with energy and experience for one person and be inert for another. Those who have never partaken in drugs may have no trap door feelings about this word. But still I wonder if some words, regardless of what experience the word-user brings to the table, have this potential while others do not.

Interestingly the only other time that I have had this trap door feeling towards a word is when I became a mother. Almost immediately after my son arrived on planet earth I fell into a deep depression. I felt I had been lied to, that no one told me that being a mother was more than being a “mother”. Again I was faced with another realm of consciousness, a word that couldn’t be described adequately by its definition. The word “mother” failed to convey what I needed it to, the ramifications of its realness were beyond the word itself, the whole was greater than its parts.

Maybe figuring this all out could be a thing, right? Discovering if you have such trap door words, and if so what your trap door words are… which nouns (verbs? adjectives?) transport you and which remain in the land of the living, humbly doing their job, not asking for more than a passing nod. Maybe it could be like astrology, or numerology, or which ever other faddish thing tells you more about your thinly-veiled psychology than you probably ever wanted to know.

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