Thursday, November 5, 2009

fences dos

boundaries have been a huge theme in my life lately - osmosis was needed but leads to weakness, trees need bark to stand as tall and stretch both ways, to the wisdom of balance between sun and ground.


We both own the fence that stands between us--
some days tall planks that break up the horizon line,
splinters stuck in my soft feet and fingers
some days barbed wire, sharp confines
and skinny sticks I helped my father plant

and when the land falls away around me
and I'm not floating but falling, that fence
stands upright and I can never
see your face, I can never
find the gate, can't unlatch the limbs
that separate
from safety

if it were me I'd tear this aging wood
from the earth's heart, plant orange trees
and grape vines to bring everyone
out of their houses, to end this self-imposed
dichotomy, to start great conversation
and end the hunger
we constantly live with

but isolation is a two way choice--
how would we divvy up this fruit,
how do I know when empty space is all
that keeps you coming back to me-—darling if it
were my choice, we'd build a bonfire
and hold hands dancing, but
it never is. What lies between us is
a product of two wants, twin necessities
in the form of sturdy posts and
deep, deep holes that kill my back in digging.

Without a fence the roses would spread and
hummingbirds would sing in the morning and
I wouldn't miss you daily. Shoulds and wants cross
over until a stockade of fingers and thorns keep
us away, and for now trees grow tall and
pollen doesn't drift over barren fields,
and someday when the land is older,
the house paid off our hearts unlatched
the planks will wear away as something
bright passes between us, builds
something better in its wake

Friday, July 24, 2009


Keep falling for boys that can't love me,
trying to salvage what's left of us,
children of the age where the war is never won—
like backroad trucks pulled by magnets away from ourselves,
sold for spare parts.

To distant from that loss, of being wantneeded in the world,
I salvage
other things—
cedar planks by the railroad tracks
where bone-thin birds nest—
these once were a barn,
held sweet hay, thickropes calmcows
some young man's livelihood.
Piling them in my truck, each splinter
is a hail mary, a curse I let rest
against my teeth. The house of love
is not filled with velvet or satin,
covered in glitter or stripped clean of
bright hair, or even bound in black leather...

As a child I saw houses collapse in upon themselves
like trees falling, some ghosts's life
imploding nail by nail,
sometimes for years.
Houses came down and fences
went up. Dad told me how lucky we were,
to have redwood fence posts,
their invincibilities
while my life continually crashed down
around my ears, left my sparrow bones
ringing shrill as bells.

I could barely see over the
blessed golden grass
that fed each sweet-eyed cow of ours,
clambering over russet posts
I thought I could smell the sea,
the shaded dirt, baby ferns curled
like sleeping cats—I thought
why not build
with this
as the years got leaner and leaner
and the boards on windows I looked through
were torn at by breezes and typhoons,
sometimes pulled off by pianist's fingers and
doe-eyed promises. Saving relationships--
with my father, girl-dog, old car,
these boys that come to me all soft hands
and words that twist like willows
is a dusty age-long fight,
a journey by bus and foot pushing
a shopping cart, folks avoiding
your crusted crinkled eyes, and you trudge
up the road towards a dirt floor
and missing walls and sagging cross beams
and a single chair you could never find
a cushion for, thinking why am I trying
and how will I eat tomorrow,
staring at a pile of redwood planks
as boys leave helplessly,
one by one.

Some step on nails,
some I send the dogs after.
They never think to bring tools
but termites, magpies come in their wake,
a reverse plague of reminders and constant cleaving.

When the fences go down
the houses will still
be falling, ravens always at the door
as I struggle to lift one
last beam
one steady once-tree
to keep the roof from caving...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"this is what summer should be"

a blackwinged brighthearted fairie ladygirl said about this poem... Not so sure.


deergirl summeride-

I know I'm free when I let the wind dry my hair on a sunset bike ride, some ghost-transplant from a mother-tea-tree-teacher time, a city truly connected finding roots in this sun-burn suburbs, let the summer storm air tie knots in my hair and leave them—as markers, a fence against fingers, tokens of a brook-smooth lightning-laced affection.

When the first thing
in my morning
is sleep.

Then sun-tea from stolen packets, my grandmother's glass jars.

That makes your face third— like bronze, like a charm— how I wish you were here, and not. How actuality ruins ideal; the sour taste of mixed teas steeped too long.

Know I'm free when the bike veers off the path as oleanders and jasmine sing my blood to summer and I feel no fear, only enchantment with the deadly fuschia blooms, only humble amusement at the wry twisting of my own course.

When my bike-body follows behind a young mother, quiet as Deer, her daughter smiling into my eyes just before I take that turn, around the twilight cedars, too quick for rational minds to catch. I'm a ghost, a deer-girl, the breeze gentler and sweeter on my shoulders—fuzzy nape of my neck—up those too-long-arms—gentler and sweeter than any touch yes even my own, and I wonder if you see me like that sometime—swift and dear and desirable, like a color or taste from childhood, a joy you could always feel—mother's first smile, your father's spicy-scented sweater you wore that first time to the coast, soft against six-year-old-skin, that decaying-salt-bright taste to ocean air familiar to you as cigarette smoke to me—how deep those images go—wool red, slate-gray mornings, freckled skin—I wonder,if that soul -secret isn't so much falling in love as it is chasing after it, some completeness we cannot name but even scientists pine for.

I know I'm free when I can see my beloved from across a meadow and pick my steps carefully (deer girl drawn to your salty skin, the grain of your bluesweet eyes, what salt waits behind them—vast, dry oceans my feet were made soft to cross) and I am still wary, no matter how much your dog-eyed soul tells me never fear, darling – rose and jasmine sing themselves under my skin a song of summertime without leashes, my tangled hair tying me to the foxtails, dry grass, fallen trees crisscrossing the meadows...

No matter how close I get I can never tell if there are ropes in your hands—I'm always prancing round, caught in some jewelled glass jar, anxieties hot from the sun, glass box of ideal and reality, sunset playing on the planes of your face like a running brook in my mind, a stream of things I wish were like the landscape flying by—deer-girl a ghost at your fingertips, mind far-flung even when our skin makes some wildflower palette put so close together—deer-girl almost out of reach, weighing jasmine blooms a cedar-rosemary-melody, a two-wheeled summer against a doe-eyed, fearful freedom...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

yay genderlabel!


I am

activist, amorous, beautiful, big sister, blessed, brunette, confidant, Democrat, daughter, dominant, esoteric, female, female-souled, feminist, femme, friend, full of love, hippychick, intelligent, LGBTQIOPPS, lover, loving, man-loving, misstery, multifacetted, niece, outspoken, pan-romantic, panamorous, passionate, peopleemotional, peopleplatonic, peoplesexual, polycurious, priestess, pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-life, pro-sex feminist, queer liberationist, queer-friendly, queer-minded, quirkyalone, recreational gender blender, sacred whore, sapiosexual, self-defined, sex positive, sexy, she-geek, spiritual, survivor, switch, treehugger

Who are you?

After taking the "quiz" - mostly an interesting look into vocabulary and identity involving HELLA checkboxes - you can view the "who chose what" statistics. The interestingest thing I've done in a while - thanks to Sinclair for posting it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

women, poets: do not do this

“Do I fall for men not this girl’s father—as fuel? As a tonic for the waiting? As a way to ruin? As a way to subvert some painful remnant?

It is so easy to abandon the self—-as the lover becomes the constant daydream which life interrupts.”

From Kimiko Hahn’s “After Opening her Text” – from The Narrow Road to the Interior

Dammit, is there something on my skin?
Cut the mane, cut the cords, I look into menboys eyes
and see their soul, the space between Them and Everything,
like the emptiness between neurons—
love is a neurotransmitter of height, and bluebluesky,
and dark earth and skin-toned rainbows.

Love is the chain around my heart,
the locket that clicks: open, close,
swollen joints, like a bone spur, two synapses, a scent-memory…
The sea air in France.
Then San Francisco.
His cologne like redwood bark, sharp woody earth scent, soft as skin that’s never seen day.

Darlings need IVs of meaning into their energy ducts,
set their chakras spinning with wild food and OM and an open-eyed kiss.
They come giving me their feelings, their second thoughts,
and I don’t know what else to do but bury them.
Pick up the shovel and run. Send them back, reroute
faux passion: you think you can get that love from me?
Honey, you are higher than I thought.

Sink down, turn around, look to me for the road
but not it’s ending
both heart and hearth are in that pinpoint of life
that keeps you whirling like a pottery wheel,
you are the kenning and the poetry and the song that won’t stop singing.
Baby quit chasing me and take it straight—
I’m willow of wisp, I’m siren of the sick,
to fall in love with anyone but yourself is the ultimate sin,
put your hand in the fire and I vanish like dawn mists, like desire,
like smoke and your soul I am everything, nothing,
the spokes of the wheel and it’s ever-beginning—how can I inject this connection?
How to show you: run your hands down both our lengths and tell me they are not perfectly mirrored, that after wethey implode in a lightgasm of chance all is not rightfully balanced.
Close your eyes for two hours.
Bury yourself in a mountain.
Watch children, ocean waves, learn how to sew yourself up and roast good meat.

But I digress: think:

Priestess as psychologist?
My hormones are phosphorous
but darling you glow just as bright if you’d take those pennies off your eyes.
I can only sit back, assess, diagnose and confirm,
send you away with white bottles and smudge sticks and a message you may not even hear.
I can’t read for you, can’t dream for you, can’t fuck for you,
even from the couch you are sad enough to break my heart, but no…
Can love you, yes, but you’re choking on a culture that demands finding fullness in the other
and empty tv screens and blank hearts and hate,
spit it out and put something good in your mouth for once:
green clover,
the truly wanted, your lover,
hold it there.
then relish the hollow in the back of your tongue, the lump In your throat.
Stop goddamn running and start godbless praying, baby, ask and ribbons will spring from your fingertips, bridges and railroad tracks and sturdy hands will grasp the farthest things, bright loving edges of a horizon, a fulfillment you thought you could never hold on to--

Sunday, May 3, 2009

naming the namer

names hold power - poets have often been called Namers in their archetypal work, in that they work with words, definitions, and the essence of things. in trying to work out my own identity, I first at what I call myself, and second at what others call me. This is a short piece based on that....

youngin', darlin'
cries-like-a-girl, bookworm, fluatista, little one, fairy feet, eats-like-a-bird—-

((I wonder what that would mean now as I no longer fly fearful fleet as a 6 year olds are—still feather boned but not picking at my food and keeping to the flock – I tear into meat with a raptor’s beak and I am all eyes, I see, I devour.
I keep more
to myself.

Skillet, Kestrel
Tiger T-Sue T-Bird sweetling Teresita, treesaw
sweet pea, sweetheart, traysa, tres, tracer, Terese

longlegs, browneyes
sweet girl
angel, mine.

Friday, March 20, 2009

jar poem

poem that bubbled up from a friend's poetry and the fond memories I only barely have of "canning season". there seems to be a theme with putting puzzles pieces together. if only I could glue them in place.

His poetry right now is
a sweet sigh. In silk-steamy morning
light it shines sometimes, like
dewdrops that collect
then fall. such mundane breaking,
how we like to have things
put together— the simple contentment
of the top of a jar of jam—
that checker pattern
pulled tight.
crushed jewels of berries and
precious sugar, burnt fingers
steaming glass. poems that curve
like those jars—into my hands,
into the stinging water. My great-grandmother’s
recipe, elegant scrawl. It’s all
water-stained, worn to cloth, the
ruby-filled pot, cream paper,
the shining jars sitting on
my front step, waiting
to be taken, emptied, a sigh of ease
when the poem’s lid is tight.
Their gleaming sides studded with morning.