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Archive for September, 2010

Today is a day of excess. I can’t even see the lines the water is so deep. I’ve become a bird flying in the sea to catch fish, a woman who can’t walk in her own heels. Water is coming out of places I didn’t know water could come out of. Drunk in undercover garages, sipping engine oil, passed out. I don’t even feel like I have anything to say anymore, but I keep talking to myself.

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crafting a poem

A poem is really crafted in the editing process. I hate knowing this. I hate knowing its true. I’m at a very discouraging part of the editing process. All I have are bits of unpoems. words on a page. cliched words on a page no less. I want to throw them all away and start the agonizing process all over again except logically I know I’ll have to start the agonizing process all over again.

The trash men didn’t take our garbage this morning because it was too full. Like I have the extra space for that. At least it’s getting colder and nothing will reek too much of rot. But that’s how I feel with my editing right now too. Raw chicken, rotten banana peels, toenails, the empty shell of an acorn squash and I’m stuck with all of it for god knows how long. I have to weed through it all to see if there’s anything worth saving and I’m terrified there’s nothing worth saving.

who wrote all this crap anyway? A 10 year old?

Maybe it means I’m growing up. That my style is changing. Whatever it means, I have a lot of work to do and I keep getting distracted. Perhaps it’s time to lock all the doors.

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We collide into each other, we hit hard. While the rain outside dances in the puddles, somewhere else its heaving sobs. We play marbles with ourselves. My heart’s a small glass orb all cloudy red inside, a strip of yellow. What is yours?

I keep getting stronger in my dreams and taking tip toes in life. Sneaking upon something that already knows I’m coming. Should I just kick down the door instead?

Tula is aggravated by the rain. She whines and stares outside singing the ‘rain rain go away’ song in tongues. She’s stalking birds she won’t see today. They’re nestled in to the trees. She claws at my clothes as a ‘take that’ for the rain like it’s my fault she’s bored. A car alarm goes off and so has the novelty of safety it brings. No one listens to that crap anymore.

We all gather around – I still need to get a rug for my writing room – but we all gather around in a circle on the wood floor anyway. We place a prize in the middle, something unnamed, a marble with the most beautiful ribbons of color inside. I want it I want it I want it. I don’t know what it means; what it is, but something like hunger says this marble will tell me what to do; how to live; how to find peace and comfort and answers; how to live life with music playing in my ears, with my pink boots on all the time.

We take our marble hearts. Place them between the flat nail on our thumb and our pillow skin fingers and flick with all our might.

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Wednesday sunrise

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I had heavy dreams last night. But dreams of me stronger than I am normally. I was paralyzed in bed, my voice paralyzed. i wasn’t choking on words – that would require words to be stuck somewhere. No, my words hadn’t even formed into clouds, into vapor – they were apparitions moving through curtains and slamming doors in my mind. I kept asking myself why why why I was so scared. I didn’t do anything as a child. I protected myself in silence.

In my dreams I finally said things to an old lost friend. She’s my test ghost. Her presence in my dreams measures where I am strength-wise in myself. She can be overbearing and mean. I can be a wet noodle. She can be disinterested and callous. I can be shy and in dark corners.

the last two dreams I’ve had about her I felt we were equals. Something that’s never happened before. But finally last night I told her what I needed back then; that I was still hurt about how she treated me.

She said she would try to be here for me now – I’ve heard that before. I said we should take our time getting to know each other again. She said she was devoted to making things of the past right. “Don’t you feel like this is awkward right now,” she said as we walked beside each other through a jungle stuck in a mall. “Yes, it is awkward right now, but it’s honest,” I replied.

My next dream was early this morning. I was home in Davis, riding my bike as all Davisites do and on my way to a coffee shop for a mocha. It was Valentine’s Day as well, so I decided to get my friends cupcake brownies with 5 stories of whipped cream on them. I stood in line and waited. As it was my turn to order the server looks to me and I don’t say anything. But there’s a guy standing next to me who cuts in front of me, pushes me aside and gives his order. At this point, I freak out (yay me!). Curse words, loud words, words all words and I’m yelling in public. The owner even has to tell me that this is a children’s establishment and I apologize to him. But suddenly it becomes my job (appointed by the owner who is now a therapist) to see how many times I can piss this guy into a frenzy – without curse words of course. If the mad man gets angry 5 times he doesn’t get any cookies.

I push him and I push him and I push him. I don’t want him to get cookies. I think he’s an asshole who doesn’t deserve cookies. He yells 4 times, in my face, yelling personal, cutting things and I yell back. I don’t remember the words just the feeling of them coming out of me – angry.

Finally, he sits down next to me, quiet, exhausted and says “this all has to do with your dad and it’s not your fault and I’m sorry to bring all my anger on you. I figured out on my own that if I keep going on like this I won’t get my cookies.”

I wonder why I’m so afraid to get angry in my daily life? It’s so personal, so untamed – like having an orgasm in front of someone. I’m not ready to let certain people see me out of control. But anger isn’t the sort of emotion that waits around until you’re ready or not.

When I was on the river, I wanted to row harder, be stronger, write harder, work harder. I wanted to row through the wind. I wanted my arms to get heavy. I wanted my body to feel the work. I wanted to come home and train so that next year when I went out again, I’d be that much stronger.

Perhaps all I need is more practice.

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I’d be perfectly happy if none of these people talked to me today. I’m desperately trying to hold on to the river and see the V leading me forward through the sandbars and sudden rocks.

But now the rocks have become people and wads of gum and bad drivers, the water is now concrete and unmoved.

I have my tan lines and my scratches from the trees and bruises from the raft and straps holding us in. I flipped into the water on the last and only day of the rapids. All I remember is seeing the yellow boat look me in the eye as it dumped me over into the Colorado River. Days before I felt how cold the water was, dipped my head into the movement and felt a brain freeze without putting anything into my mouth. But that day I was dumped, I didn’t feel the water at all or how cold it was. Something inside me knew to warm up quickly, to flap my arms behind me, to keep my feet up and my head up despite the rapids pulling me down stream. I backstroked to shore and shivered.

Later that day my step-dad said he was sure glad to see my head pop up after I went under.

I had a feeling that day something would happen. The days leading up to the rapids were calm and sunny, at times windy, but we pushed through to camp despite the work. That morning there was a silent nervousness though every one. We were about to venture into the river’s heart and who knew what we’d find there. She changes daily, the night before the sky broke and dumped water on us into the night. The water level rose with sediment and tree limbs. We could only see as far as she would let us. We could only pick our lines as we saw the choppy chocolate milk waves before us. The canyon had a pulse of its own. Next year perhaps we’ll choose the right path.

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Westwater photos

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