||[Sep. 21st, 2007|06:38 pm]
THE HARD WHITE BONE THAT IS POWDERED |
& PLACED UNDERNEATH RHIZOMES in WINTER;
THE SOFT CLEAR FLUID OF THE MOON CALLED TEARS
1. Things that Give Excitement
While Eating Them
Fat ripe cherries which burst
dark juice on white page of book.
Mango running down chin.
Fresh coconut: sharp chips of white sweet.
2. Small Things that Watching, Give Pleasure
The jenny wrens soon to be here
in the first snap of October.
The robins coming in on the bitter wind
and getting drunk on the fermenting hawthorn berries.
An old woman's hand carrying thread to needle.
A book of poems so thin the spine
is a cricket's back in Autumn.
The bobwhite's call across the fog.
A young woman in her first tightly-laced bodice,
the lace turning her nipples into small stones.
3. Things That Are Annoying
A dog next door that pits herself
against the chain link, over and over.
Without a whimper of feeling.
Cats, who in the middle in the night,
dip their paw into my glass of milk
without a degree of tidiness.
Being awakened before the alarm,
even if it's close, but for no good reason.
4. Surprising Things
While sitting in a plum thicket,
the sudden rustle of a grosbeak.
Through an open garden gate,
a view of sunflowers in bloom.
Three cats following me down the alley,
their eyes at quarter moon.
Boys on bikes spilling around the corner,
handlebars catching my hair.
5. A List of Things That Change:
Babies. Leaves. The Price of Gold.
The longing for one thing
that becomes meaningless in old age.
6. A List of Horrible Things
Old lonely dogs barking though the night
or puppies whining before dark.
Footsteps on marble floors
in the train station.
The scuff of a suitcase case.
One's husband crying in harsh
uncontrolled sobs at a memory.
Hearing a voice that reminds a woman of her mother,
causing the stink of fear to roll down her armpits.
The spaces between a baby's breath.
7. A List of Grieving
A withered mouse the cat left behind the stove:
and its empty sockets.
The accidental loss of a friend.
The hard silence after apologies.
Watching an ugly callous form
on a once tender foot.
22 September 2007
I've just come in from gardening in pitch-black, watched around the block with garden shears to steal floors for a clean bedroom, new furniture, beauty upon beauty. Alone. Dan is at his college course of auto mechanic. it's cheaper to do the labor yrself and just buy car parts.
I'm so tired all the time I tremble; can't sleep, don't stop to eat. This is the fourth art
show I am working toward this year and I am so tired, but I can't sleep, just lie staring at the ceiling or out the window at a single star if that's the turn of the universe. Otherwise...
I think I've had that many and a few more poetry readings: trying to memorize,focus on my intonations, timing the poems, giving the heart to the voice and the voice to the heart... This is all to the good. This is what I desired in high school and trained myself for; this is why I mentored with certain older poets, because I wanted this to be my life. All the people in my family are artists. ididn't believe I could until my mid thirties. I never believed I could do it and then I met a woman who is an incredible artist in 1990 and she said there is no reason you cannot learn to put yr visions into the world and so I have and so I am. What I am doing now I am so pleased with. I hope I can take photographs and post some when I am done. The show is October 20 for any of you in the Bay area. (I will send you a card chiclet-girl on time). I am spilling myself into the paint, into the found objects. I cannot believe I actually found a tiny pair of metal handcuffs the size of one's thumbnail. It made me giggle to find them.
Right now, the atmosphere is red. The whole sky right down to the earth is a eerie scarlet light. I had a root canal yesterday. I went to a doctor today who said the key to sleep is to get up the same time each morning and make it an early hour. Even if you stay up til two in the morning, still you must get up at whatever time you agreed to get up. I usually get up at six thirty and take my heart meds which according to bio-rhythms, work best in the a.m. My long-acting morphine is the same way. The doctor said, my exercise should be done in the morning to facilitate sleep at night. This sounds like agony, but tomorrow I will begin.
I have discovered the red. There's a forest fire somewhere. The whole town gets scared when this happens. We have a volenteer dept and it's small. It takes a while for the county CDF to arrive up here. This is why Fire Towers. This is why those endlessly bored, but brave men and women sit month after month with a set of binocs looking, chasin' down a whiff of smoke...
The doctor tells me to start my day with gardening, cuz he knows I love my garden and it'll not just be good for me, but kick the light endorphins in to make me happy. He says that's half the battle. I, of course, need more things to plant. I have about eighteen bulbs and that's it. I intend to go to my ex husband's and see if I can body-snatch some chard plants. When we were married, I planted about twelve and now there's around 50. Over a year ago, I took 18 and they bolted in the hot ugly weather after about a year and a little. These new ones I intend to shade and make them last far into the winter and into next year. My landlord has a baby tractor and he says, "ya wants some naked ladies? hold on. Ya wants some daffodils, just a minute and he digs and scrooges and scrabbles and lifts up a bucket full of bulbs I take home and plant in my part of the hankerchief garden. I just realized I can divide my iris. I have alot that have crowded themselves into a fine amount over the last four years.
24 September 2007
I hurt all over, every joint, every piece of skin like a sunburn or a brand new tattoo. My garden paths are naked. I need to fill them up with little ground covers and johnny jump ups and ...I forget this garden is only a few years old. And I've made mistakes, which are time consuming and costly. Every year my Youngest Brother gives me a gift certificate to the local nursery at Christmas and one at my birthday. I dream and plan and change my mind and study library magazines all winter until I have a Plan of Action. Which often gets changed at the nursery when I see something so exotic, so sexy that i just have to have it.
Tonight is the 24th. I put this post on hold because Dan and I had to run down to San Francisco yesterday and pickup some Chinese furniture some friends of ours have wanted to give us. The wife is Chinese and these are things she brought over when she married her husband. They met in China at a Dog Stew Party. I know, it sounds foreign, well, for petessakes, It IS, to us. But it is normal in China. She said it is good for arthritis.I don't hold with animal parts used as medicine, but herbs are good things. Anyway, we are nobody to turn our noses up at real Chinese furniture. The set is two bedside tables with two drawers each and a tall thin dresser of drawers. Each corner has a brass accoutrement for lack of a better word. (hardware Robin, hardware...) and the pulls are ornate brass. I look carefully at them and realize they are in the shape of bats. They are etched with flying bats! The furniture sat in the children's room. I haven't looked very carefully at the set yet because Dan needs another guy or strong woman to help him get them out of the car, so I don't know how much boy-damage there is on the wood parts, which is a bird's eye kind of maple.
If they are very scratched, I plan to take off all the brass and paint the wood flat black and lacquer it four or five times so that it appears as if you are looking through water and then I'll put the brass back on.
They are not very scratched. I polished them and they gleam in the warm autumn sunshine. The wood soaked up the oil and pushed out the lemon scent into the room. It's exotic and lovely. There are many cupboards and drawers on the tall dresser, which will go into my studio. I opened the first cupboard on top and on one side are four little drawers, with these little bat pulls.Next to them is a small ish space that has an piece of wood that can make the area two shelves. I need to find ittle plugs at the hardware store, so right now it is one space just right foe my smallish Remington typewriter. My huge Underwood fits on top. Underneath this little curio area are five drawers. So many art materials will fit in this dresser. The bedside tables just don't work for the bed, because we put the bed on a slant coming out into the room. My friend betty from Church is going to give me her Grandmother's metal head and foot board for th it and in the triangualr space behind the head board, where all this light abides, I plan to buy a tree of soem kind. Dan says, "I can build a platform for storage for summer clothes and the tree can sit up there and lean over our bed. Our Youngest Son sez, "Put white Italian Christmas lights on it." What an Idea! So, the bedside tables. One I put in the parlor next to a hundred year old small leather chair with the phone, a repro antique clock that stands tall and a plant in a 9 inch tall pot my favorite Chinese green. It is so simple, so clean. On the wall, are three smallish framed pictures of Dylan Thomas: one alone, one, with his wife Caitlin walking in a Welsh lane and a playbill from the twenties announcing the coming play "Under Milkwood". A part of me says I should have hung one simple Chinese print I have of "The Flute-Player in Feather Coat". The nice thng about keeping house, is you can play dress-up and change things around and put old things in new places.
Back to the Garden and the here and now: I have dug up about fifteen iris and broken the rhizomes where the roots seemed a good place and I planted them in different settings in the garden. I have no idea which colors will come up where, so it'll be a surprise come next spring. I also plan in February to hard prune my one rose tree and move it to a bed that is built of bricks like Italian terrace beds. I will plant small stuff around the base of the tree, to keep the cats from digging the dirt and you-know-whatting. I am so effn' tired of picking up catshit. I can't tell you strongly enough. I also want to buy at least a hundred violas and pansies and plant them in every naked place! Will I be able to? NO,no, and no. But I believe in The Big Maybe. I truly do.
I believe bad things can go away and good things can return. I believe in flowers as a form of love-making. I believe in friends making up with each other. i believe that the front door of a house is a great big smiling mouth that opens up when you knock and it says, "Why hello there!
Come right in and sit down. The Mrs. went into the kitchen to put the kettle on for tea. She saw you walking up the lane and you looked tired." My back door says, "Ah, don't go in just yet. Go out and admire that tiny garden the Mrs made and sit down. She'll bring you some iced tea and some lemon cookies in a moment. Smell those lillies, woncha?"
And when I come out with the tall frosted glasses on the tray and a plate of cookies and I see yr weary, but shining face, I'll drop the tray and run right up to you and I take you in my arms, and I will say, "I am so glad you came back. I have missed you like the dickons." And capt'in will rub up against yr ankles until you pick him up and he'll whisper in yr ear, "I'm glad you found the Major", you needed a pal. And I'll be his pal too." And we'll start all over again, but this time, going into the caboose and making hot chocolate because I forgot it's Autumn here. Time doesn't matter with real friendship. I discovered that waiting. It seems like forever. And you might make it forever, but I can wait, because I'm yr friend and I love you.