AS SIMPLE AS THAT

 

AS SIMPLE AS THAT

my man is away
i am quiet
left behind
with coffee and the cats

i remember back
when i was young
left behind
with drama twisted sheets
an empty bed

like jane
the girl with one eye
and lopsided perspective
she is young
swimming in the pool
of sex
thinking
analyzing
determining
figuring
strategizing
preaching change
blaming
left behind
with the why of it all

she doesn’t know
what being young
is for, to dive
into drama
and love it

to feel the water
thick with scum
coat your skin
to digest
each swallow
each blow
each thrust
each wave
with conviction

i watch jane
kick flail
cry against the current

– move with it –
i say
-before him
i moved with it, let
it snap me about –
she isn’t listening

i don’t tell her
that i let the rock
smoke sex whatever
pull and push me
whenever
wherever

my man
he didn’t come
to me
the current
delivered me
right up
to the empty
barstool
to his right

i looked over
saw his hazel eyes
shaded
with thick black lash

i spoke
he answered
it was as simple as that

**This is a poem from my book, as simple as that

 

Moving With No Movement At All

 

I haven’t been writing lately.

I’ve wanted to write.

I’ve wanted to write because that’s what I’m supposed to do. Write. I’m a writer. I should be writing. I want to write. I miss writing. I miss feeling words flow through me on a walk or during yoga. I miss rushing to get to my journal to write them down. I want to mush words together between my fingers, to mold them and shape and form them into a pose and put it in the kiln to finish.

I’ve wanted to write but since the picture I haven’t. I mean a journal entry here or there, but that’s the extent of my pen.

I’ve thought about writing. I’ve thought a lot about how I’m not writing. I’ve thought a lot about the light bulbs that puffy cloud through my mind but don’t seem to make their way through my fingers onto the ring.

I’ve been reading more than writing. Good thing writers read. Phew! I’ve been reading articles and books, poetry and blogs. I’ve been reading the news. I even read the back of my husband’s Morning O’s cereal box. (A quick read indeed).

The other day I read Cindy Yantis’ Thought Changer blog. She wrote about winding roads and beating your own drum.  

Let me paraphrase. I do that. I paraphrase. I’ll take someone else’s light bulb and ingest it, process it and make it my own. It’s not plagiarism, I promise. I give credit where credit is due. It’s more like digestion. Then I can share the light bulb and spread the love. Isn’t this what we writer’s want? To make a difference in the world with our words and let our light bulbs enlighten.

Cindy described that feeling of moving through molasses, that idea of things not happening fast enough. I know this place, I know this judgement of speed and how things should look. I know this gavel well.labryinth

My path has brought me here–to this forest. I’m not producing right now. It’s not my time. It’s my time to clock. Instead of writing, I’ll sneak off to a dark cool theatre and watch someone else’s creativity unfurl. Instead of writing, I’ll explore my own popcorn. I’ll listen to it hum and vibrate. I’ll feel it and feed it a bit of patience and respect and ocean air. It has been quite a practice, putting  my judgment aside and letting my popcorn dolphin on it’s own.

When I sit back and breathe I feel my gratitude. I’m grateful for the picture–that huge bump in my own coiling trail. I am grateful for the wrench that jammed up my labyrinth and the skillful hands of builder who yanked it out. All that digging and stirring about, although quite tunneling, turned out to be a blessing. I am different. I am more grounded. I am even somehow more whole.

It’s a funny thought. To find myself here, in a place of acceptance after that picture and the tunnel and my inability to grasp at my light bulbs and put them to pen. After all that, I’m okay.

Still, in this place of moving within no movement at all.

 

Unedited Sunday Morning Musings

 

today

when i was walking

sand slipping between my toes

heels sinking

and lifting

legs moving me forward

people lined up in pews

eyes closed

hands clasped

throats thick with hymn

and they prayed

 

while they sat

surfers AND dolphins

sunday morning redondo beach

in the white and blue

steepled building

down the street from my house

i watched

neoprene clad surfers

wait on waves

i watched

dolphins flip

through the gleam

of sun

a flicker-dance

on the water

i watched pelicans

and gulls dive

for their breakfast

 

i know it might be corny

to make such a simple

comparison

my church

to theirs

 

sometimes truth

is just that simple

 

Lessons Learned From Writing a Book

I’ve started working on my next book of poetry.
I loved how I felt when I was working on as simple as that. 

Driven,
focused,
relaxed,
happy,
passionate,
excited
creative
juiced

Yum

I imagined that once it was published I’d sell lots and lots and lots of copies.

“Honey, I wish more people read poetry.  They’d buy your book and love it.  Its mesmerizing.” Bill said.  as simple as that cover

I was sitting on the sofa, editing a poem for my blog.  He was standing in the doorway holding my book open in his hands.  I love the cover.  It’s a picture I took with my Blackberry one day when Bill and I had driven to the Esplanade to look at the ocean after a rainstorm  The sky and the ocean were the same color, slate gray; separated only by the sepia setting sun pushing it’s way through a cloud filled sky.   That day, I had no idea I’d use that picture for the cover of my first book.

“Yeah.  Well, I know I’m nuts, I thought I’d sell a few more copies.” I said.  It’s true. As embarrassing as it is to admit, let alone write about here (but I am getting naked after all), I thought more people would buy it.  I sent emails to my community and posted it all over Facebook.  I even changed the signature on my email to read, “Have you purchased your copy of my book yet?” with a link to my blurb bookstore.

My ego toys with me.

I was too attached to selling it. According to the Buddhists, attachment and avoidance are the causes of human suffering.

A gentle lesson.

I  thought that all the people that I support and have supported would support me back.  Did I give to others expecting for something in return?  That’s not the reason to give.  I know that’s not why I gave.  But, I can’t lie, I thought that the people in my ‘community’ would give the way I had.  Have I stopped giving? NO!  I have stopped expecting.  Isn’t expecting something in return the same as being attached?  Expectation. Attachment.

On Friday, I was walking to my car from spin class and a women came up to me.

“Can you spare some money for a cab?  My car broke down and I can’t get a hold of my son to come pick me up.” She said.  She was pretty, with dark hair pulled to the side in a pony tail, black rimmed glasses and a striped shirt.  She was holding her smart phone and her driver’s license in her left hand.

“Oh.” I said. She followed me to my car.  I opened my trunk.  “You don’t have triple A?” I asked.

“My son is a mechanic. I know the whole electrical system is shot.” She said.  “I’ve been calling and calling him to come and pick me up. He’s not answering his phone.”

My purse was in my trunk.  I placed my spinning shoes next to it and grabbed my wallet and opened it.  I had three ones and a twenty.

“This is all I have and I don’t think three dollars will get you very far.” I said.  I handed her the twenty.

“Thank you. Can I give you my contact information so I can pay you back? Here’s my license, take my information. She thrust her hand forward at me and showed me her license.  “I’m really telling the truth. People have been so mean to me. I’ve been asking for help. No one would help me.  Thank you so much. I don’t know how to thank you.” She said. She seemed as if she were going to cry.

“Don’t worry about it.” I said.  I put my wallet back in my purse and took it out of the trunk.  I slammed the trunk shut.  “Good luck with your car.” I said.

“Thank you so much.” She said.

I walked to the driver’s side, opened the door.  “No problem.” I said.  I opened my car door. “Good luck”.  She waved at me and I got in my car.

Over the next two days, two other people came up to me and asked me for money.  They didn’t seem as sincere and I had used the last three dollars  in my wallet to buy Bill an Italian ice.  I keep forgetting to get cash. I don’t know if this woman was ripping me off or not.  All I knew is she needed the money either way.  So I gave it to her.  I left the parking lot that morning with a smile on my face.

I like giving.

A gentle lesson.

I ordered thirty of my books to use for poetry readings and give as gifts.  I’d love to give them all away for free, but that doesn’t feel quite right.   There’s a lesson in that.

Here’s the woo-woo. Are you sitting down?  It’s an energetic thing.  Yup. Energy.  I want to receive.  I want to be paid to write.  You get my drift, yes? I want to receive.  With grace, with joy, with ease. I want to receive.  Yes? Yes! You do get my drift. I know you do. I see you swooshing down the slope.

I was accepted to write for Demand Media.  I’ll get paid for each article I write.  Energy.  I’ll be receiving money for my writing.  Energy.  (I met a writer in dance class.  She’s a screenwriter.  Lucky you.  I said.  I laughed.  I’m a poet, I said.)  Ahhhh, but who knows how the future will unfold.

Meanwhile, I walk by the stack of my books in my office. Sometimes I’ll stop.  Pick up a copy.   This is my book. I say.  I feel its weight in my hands.  Marvel at the shine of the cover, how good I look in the picture on the back.  I’ll read the ISBN number.  I’ll open it and read a poem.

I wrote a book.
I published a book.
I have a book.

It’s gorgeous
It’s good
It’s worth-while
It’s touching
Funny
Silly
Astute
It’s real
It’s true
It’s my book
I wrote it
And at poetry readings
I read from it

I’ve always wanted to stand in front of the room
Open my book to a page marked with a pink post it
This is from my collection of poetry called ‘as simple as that’ I say to the audience
And read a poem from my book

At the last reading I went to, a man came up to me
And asked to buy a copy of my book
And I signed it
And handed it back to him
And he smiled, he said thank you
And I smiled at him
“Thank you” I said

Be The Field

 

drop

thirsty for a drop of
movement
a splash
onto my white
primer
a brush stroke
a swirl
a splat
a drop even

paint mesunset depth
like sky
with orange and blue and pink and green and purple and
violet and…
perspective and light and black and cloud and
depth

the sea rages on
churned red brown ocean
foams sepia
hurls herself at the sand
seaweed pulled piles
gasp and bubble

today in Texas
the hale was the size of grapefruit
ruby red splatters
fed
cracked hungry earth

Deepak Chopra says
“you are a field of all possibilities”

sea rages onfly with the birds
ride with the waves
dive with the dolphins
slurp up the brine
left on shore
let it spill over
drip down my chin
make a mess
of perfection

 

 

as I breathe in
I am the field
as I breathe out
of all possibilities

Just this…

 

starlit nightsweet smell of yam baking in the oven
fat orange cat by my side
sound of metal hitting metal as the drum of the drier turns
the music of an afternoon at home
the fog has rolled in
the sky is grey
the sun will shine again
tomorrow maybe
the sky will turn
the fog will leave
we’ll see stars
when we look up

this is my life
today
quiet
a day of reaching in and reaching out
of phone calls and emails
of questions and answers
of planning and presenting
of moving and being still

this is my lifevision presents
today
a soft thought
floats from the sky
catches in the perfect
black curl
at the base of my neck
a soft thought
that I retrieve and digest

 

a soft thought

a quiet simple soft thought
a soft thought
in a simple inhale

This is life
This is a life
This is my life

 

Expansion & Contraction

I look out of my office and see the grooves in the floor. I want to lie down. Allow the tops of my feet, thighs, stomach, breasts, my palms, my left cheek, my ear to rest on the boards that have been here since 1951. There is story to share.

Flooring needs to acclimate to its environment. It’s called acclimation. It prevents excessive expansion or contraction.
Expansion and contraction.knotted history
Expansion and contraction.
Wood floors expand and contract.
They need space to allow for movement.
They are alive.

I’ve stripped through many layers of polish and shine to come to the original tongue and groove wood panels that are at my foundation. I prefer a natural finish. I want my imperfections to shine as the sunlight streams in through the windows. A nick here, a scar there, knotted flaws. Blemishes contain story.

I can find story anywhere if I choose to see. Choose to pay attention. Choose to feel. Acclimate to the energy that has been left behind. A fingerprint left on a glass coffee table, the red lipstick that stains a favorite tea cup, the faint scent of Tide tumbling in the air as the drier runs. I can be still to feel the pitter-patter of children that grew up on these floors, feel their bumps and bruises, knees, shins, hearts scraped, scarred, broken and healed.

When we first moved into the house I felt the history. I wondered if one day I’d greet Bill in a bouffant do and white ruffled apron over a yellow fitted blouse and full skirt. The smell of his dinner warming in the O’Keefe and Merritt oven, some sort of a casserole baking with broccoli, tuna and Campbell’s cream-of-something soup. I’d greet him with a chilled Martini, three olives, little vermouth, ruby lips pursed, “How was your day honey?”

I’ve never made a casserole, but I do greet him with a kiss, smile and the question.

As I look out from my office, I see us grooved into the boards. We have, after nine years in our home, added to its history.

We’ve acclimated to the house. Like the wood floors did when they first settled in 1951, we settled ourselves in here, happy, in 2004. One day another couple will settle in after we’ve left. They’ll swirl themselves into our spirits and the spirits of those that have come before.

We are pieces of wood. We expand and contract.  We are boards in a floor, placed together, tongue and groove, to create a patchwork foundation.  We are story.

Hot Mess

 

“You’re a hot mess!” Rebekah said.

I was still catching my breath.  My skin was hot and sticky.  I was on my knees pushing into the pole, my arms stretched,  tugging at my shoulders, gripping the metal above my head.  It felt cool on my belly. My hair was wild, covering my face, a strand caught in my mouth.  Rebekah was smiling; standing with her right knee bent, right foot resting on her left, leaning against the stereo console.  She held my gold Nano, like a gift in her hand.

I could still feel the swell of my song, the sax, the drum brush, the heat of my music, strong and powerful, wrapping itself inside of me, moving down massaging my spine, circling its way around my hips, through my belly, inside my thighs and diffusing itself in my legs and out my red tipped toes.

swirlsofcolorI had just let go.  I let my body take over. My head would fall to the right, stretch out and around to the left and pull back and down, my body side-stretching vertebra by vertebra snaking itself, following my head. I had to grab onto a wall, crawl on the floor or lean into one of the white overstuffed chairs for support as I danced. I let my body find her  way as she slipped underneath the song and twisted through to her own pulse.  She curved up and down and around poles, landing, back arched, chest forward onto the floor, on her back, writhing onto her belly and pausing, leg lifting into the air, bending back and pulling herself around to her back again. She melted into an oozing rainbow of red, ruffles, black patent leather, lace and skin.  She painted me with splashes onto the wall, with swirls that dripped down the poles, with splatters that marked the chairs.

Now I’m part of a living memory, a history that’s grooved itself into the wood floor, part of the tradition of stripping down and diving into spirit.

I’ll come back in the New Year and sink into soft purple. When I reach my fingers in front of me, arms stretched, legs splayed open, pulling myself into the room, I’ll feel the pulse of my history as I trace my fingertips along the raised surface of tongue and groove boards.  I’ll absorb the celebration of the women who’ve danced before and cheer for those that’ll come after.  I’ll feel the pieces of broken shell and watch soft yolk ooze golden yellow.  That glowing knowledge and love, freedom and truth decorate this room.

I broke free of my shell this year.  I tossed it away piece by piece.  I watched it burn as I flung it into my fire. I watched old memories, old ways and old cares spark orange and light the winter night sky.bruning fire

I like that.  I like that I’m a dancing, happy, free, inspired, chest open, heart forward, arms raised, gorgeous, strong, grateful, smiling, stripping down, layer-by-layer, hot mess.  I like that I’m peeling into myself.  I like that the deeper I go the messier and happier I get.  Yeah.  Rebekah’s right.  I am a fucking HOT MESS.

I smiled.  “That’s my new year’s resolution.” I said.

 

 

The song I danced to on December 31, 2012 was Christina Aguilera’s Nasty Naughty Boy.  Happy New Year!