Sunday, November 25, 2012

My new chapbook take 2...!


 after some technical -how to pay for it- issues that i believe i've fixed, i'm posting this again!

My newest, most lovely, humble and razor sharp chapbook is available for 5 bucks! There are 38 pages of poetry crafted with outrage and love.

Bird song is a collection of my favorite pieces over the last decade that center around love and loss, healing and recovery. The radical act of remembering.

This is the first chapbook I've ever made that didn't involve glue sticks and white out... fancy! I don't yet have an audio version to offer, but that's next on the to do list!

Your purchase will not only help me make those elusive ends meet but also generate plenty of warm fuzzy expansive feelings and of course more poetry!

Many thanks to sebastian who helped so so much technically and with heaps of moral support!

...and thanks in advance to all you lovely folk.

you can purchase it on my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

poem for the dead


haunting

I get to thinking on my bones
like star dust
not mine to have just to pass through
I get to thinking on your bones
like tree limbs

lying on the forest floor

or yours
buried in the dirt of mount hope

yours of ash
once arms full of firewood

get to thinking things like
homeland
mothers
lovers
dust
home in the water

migration

your fingers

the bed you died in

haunt me

all of you

its your time
to speak
like rustling leaves
to the ground

hustle and move me
remind me about the other side
of loss
about time arching over to knit
all the bones into blankets of light
I’m here to remember

yours.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

an end to able bodied rhetoric.

I wanted to chime in on the chorus of brilliant replies and comments from folks on B. leowes circulating article "an end to self care". I'll link some of my faves below. they cover many things i wish i had the time and energy to speak to, like the classism and sexism present, and the deeply triggering nature of the ableism, and just how interdependent self care and community care truly are. this is a work in progress for me, for all of us...but here's whats on the forefront for me right now...

i often struggle with copious amounts of shame, frustration and confusion over the fact that right now in my life all i have to give is going towards helping raise 2 children. It can feel deeply unradical, ordinary and anonymous. it is adding exponentially to my already intense isolation. While not my intention, my world has become this house, this home. As someone who is disabled and chronically ill, i am tapped . if i don't take time to space out and watch shadows dance on my wall, or have a hot shower, roll around on a tennis ball to keep my neck from going out, scroll thru fucking facebook, grow kale or whatever the hell i can manage that feels -still- and healing,  i won't be able to make dinner and clean it all up.
if no one makes dinner, the children don't eat.
children need to eat.
and these are not "my" children in the biological or legal sense, but i love them, we are family in the queerest loveliest sense, and i want to do my part in helping them become the best humans they can be. i want to help them navigate the violence and brutal complexity in the world, i want them to understand privilege and love and compassion and accountability.
articles like b. loewes' and the larger presence of this brand of deep running ableism in "movement work" just nail the shame and frustration firmly in place.
B. suggests that if we are unable to work endlessly for the movement, it is because we are not connected to our purpose. this suggests that what we -are- doing : caring for ourselves so that we can care for others, cleaning, cooking, crafting,  repairing, listening, teaching, recovering, is not movement work.

i certainly struggle with the loss of what feels like my life before i decided to live with children.
and i now can spot a mile off the lives and work of those that don't have dependants...it has, how do you say, a certain je ne sais quoi. a certain level of self absorption.
and while i might roll my eyes, i'd be lying if i didn't say i miss this.

but i also am aware that a degree of this new layer of loss and isolation i'm experiencing  is connected to the dominant, rooted in patriarchy idea that revolution isn't about raising children or helping each other with the mundane domestic task of surviving another day.
folks just always seem to have better things to do than help with someones kids, or just help someone.
and this is capitalism at work yeah? its a set up. there is not enough. not enough time/money/energy.
and revolution. well...it's THE thing.
but heres the thing, the front lines aren't linear. they aren't always dramatic. they
aren't -out-there-. they are everywhere, including the kitchen. including the bedtime story and the hands on love of being present for need.

i'm learning to think less in terms of productivity, esp. since framing life that way will certainly end me, and think more in terms of sustaining...sustenance...support. this flies in the face of my lower class life that screams produce, keep the cards close or die. it challenges the ableism in my working class roots, the internalized high stakes drive to succeed. to avoid being trash. or criminal.

This ableism lives on in radical political movements. It pushes out us sick ones and blames us for it.

ableism is dangerous. swallowing eugenic poison.

i'm learning that self love, self care and community care go together, they twine effortlessly with raising community and revolution. that i am doing the work, even shadow watching, even dish washing, even heart beating, even now.





here's the links i mentioned earlier...enjoy. and a nod to all the brilliant conversation between crips that let me realize that there was a reason, a buncha reasons, why B. Loewes article was so upsetting.

http://www.brownstargirl.org/1/post/2012/10/for-badass-disability-justice-working-class-and-poor-lead-models-of-sustainable-hustling-for-liberation.html

https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruin-christopher/my-response-to-an-end-to-self-care/10152210543650232

http://midnightapothecary.blogspot.com/

http://organizingupgrade.com/index.php/modules-menu/community-care/item/737-care-is-the-core-of-change

http://www.spectraspeaks.com/2012/10/response-to-an-end-to-self-care-community-care-how-about-an-end-to-the-martyr-complex/

Saturday, September 29, 2012

self preservation toolbox inventory #1

recognizing the feeling, the hollow heartbeat discomfort in my body that tells me I'm dealing with an untenable privilege dynamic in a relationship cuz it feels like everything i say is dramatic/traumatic/bad news/stress and their company makes me feel the draft where my safety net should be.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

fall things.

 (photo is a close shot of a garden bed, mulched with straw and a few tiny tiny one day old kale sprouts peeking through.)
 (photo is of the view out my shed door, from my desk. Outside it is late day sun lighting up a small apple tree sapling and behind that is my firewood stacked up against a cement block wall with a huge very green tree hanging overhead)
(photo is of me and my dog agatha. I've got this scrappy old straw hat on and a white a-shirt. My face is partially blocked by her black and white spotted ear, only half her face is visible. She is dog-smiling. We are sitting together in the back of my car)
( photo is a close up of a flower called a black eyed susan that is brilliant orange with a pitch black center.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

let go.

-->

 And all of a sudden today I leave here for good. For the second day now, I woke up in the morning not feeling well at all. Can’t breath, eyes crusted shut, glands swollen.
It’s the mold. Too much for me. While all the rain has been lovely, this old house can't handle it. What began as a faint musty smell has bloomed into east coast basement smell. The point of coming here is to feel better not just a different kind of sick. So that’s it. Such a quick turn around, but I know in my bones I have to go. So I’ve spent the day packing up when what I thought today would be was sketching and writing and –breathing-.

Methodical and too familiar, I begin with my clothes, towels, bedding.
Then books, arts supplies, movies. Boxes. Bags.
Moving mode is like a ghost at my back. Triggering.
I’ve done this too many times. Too many.
Adrenaline arrives to carry me.
I’m efficient, numb to my surroundings.
Can’t rest til its done.
but the land keeps poking me , piercing the numb with humming or blue birds, tiny horny toads or a soft warm clean wind across the open endless grass.
and pierced, I weep.
Then gather myself and push on...toothbrush, soaps and lotion.

 Lastly, I dismantle my little shrine, bury the  contents of the bowl (dirt, seeds, a small petition, a blue candle ) in the yard at the base of the fruit tree sapling. I drop the coins down the old hand dug well in front of the house and make a wish.
Actually 2.
Country home.
Enough.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

more air.




Trying to appreciate the land here. And it is truly beautiful to look at. Not so amazing to walk through. In fact, I find taking walks here brings up anxiety for me. Its as though the land screams “ I cannot sustain you!” parched cracked earth, nothing edible, no where soft to even sit and rest. It’s intense. I respect it for its intensity and I’m thankful for the clean air of open space but this land doesn’t welcome or encourage nesting. It’s spiny barbed and fending for its own self, its closer creatures. Humans need to keep moving.

And just like that the rain comes. Heavy and prolonged. Then hail. So loud it drowns out everything else,
the rattling old fridge the semi trucks on the highway. All animals fall quiet and still.
And then just again, the sun.
And steam rising.
Ditches running glimmering in the sudden light.
video

video




Sometimes while I’m here I can’t quite believe what I’m breathing. That the air is clean. I have to remind myself to inhale…truly inhale. That it’s ok to do so. In fact, it’s why I’m here. The air feels like cool water down my throat. Like silk lines my lungs. Feathers.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

air.

after months and months of searching, thinking i'd found something then searching some more...I finally found myself a little get away. just for a little while. I stayed for the first time last week and it was surreal, the quiet. the peeling away of layer after layer of exhaustion, exposure and over stimulation. 4 days and all i did was wander from the porch to the field to the kitchen to eat and back to the porch. listening. watching.
and an odd thing to be in a rural place and not have chores to do, no livestock to feed, water or move. no garden or fiber work to tend. and so hard to to resist fixing the house. its sorely neglected. I fight the urge to replace the hinges on the door or just replace the damn door all together, pull up old floor boards on the porch, put up gutters an sort out the drainage off the roof....i resist...since i'll only be here for another month.
and you know, i love new mexico, but I think chacon just spoiled it for me. my mountain home was the most beautiful place EVER. there just isn't anything else like it, and those of you that visited me there will know what i mean. green pasture, old growth forest, stands of aspen, rushing rivers and burbling spring water. unfortunately now it seems everywhere else is beautiful...but...
dry. prickly. barren.
so with this rental, the thing i truly enjoy is the old house. i fuckin love an old house. and of course the open space, just endless acres of human free space. yum.
I'll add more pictures soon....

*photo is of the old adobe farmhouse at sunset with the huge towering elm tree in the front yard defined by a split rail fence.

*photo is of my dog agatha on the front porch next to an old wooden chair and a daffodil yellow loveseat blocking one of the doorways to the house. the porch floor is buckling wooden planks, the roof is old maroon tin on top of latillas.

*photo is a view of the front porch length wise and the open space pasture beyond.

*photo is of  the side of the house at sunset with my little toyota corrolla parked in front and next to that, and larger than that, is a sorrel arabian mare grazing.

*photo is of an old root cellar, no longer in use, the doorway to it built into a dirt mound.

*photo is of one of the old 4 pane sash windows.


*photo is of the west facing side porch on the house, sunset lit, with wooden and wrought iron bench for sitting.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

pandora picks aaliyah


this song
takes me back
to what seems now like youth into saturn return
and you
and that crappy old car radio with the broken cassette
and all that washboard
and all that open space
and all that dust kicking up into our skin
into that tiny mountain cabin
candles burning hot we would fuck like the earth was opening
then primp for the bar in the flickering light
while the radio crackled and hissed
pop songs
drove steep dirt roads in the night
you kept a baseball bat behind your seat
you held my hips while i danced
this song takes me back
to need heavy
old as the hills butch femme
lust
damage
and revenge
and that old truck that broke your arm
you kept a rag stuffed into the hole where the gas cap shoulda been
you had to the hit the starter with a metal pipe to get it to turn over
i loved watching you pop the hood climb in there and beat that engine
made me wanna turn you over take you back
you pulled femme shine from my stone
like brilliant cholla flowers from santa fe sun

like prayer under my breath
i still ask
for your forgiveness
for my own anger made my breaking drove
our screeching
what i’ve learned from us
how i’ve changed
how together we were fumes and flame
combustion
but also climbed into the woods and sat
in wild silence
watched spiders spin webs
laughed at bird song

but you
like aaliyah
are gone now
just memories and spirit
kicking up like dust once
in while when music takes me unawares
turns me over
takes me back
like saturn returning
to you.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

haunt.

During a recent unwell stint, stuck in bed, i watched way too much of a show called Being Human (uk!). i’ve been thinking about the character annie, who was a ghost. she was bound, more or less, to the house she died in and her situation rang so true for me and my quiet life. the way that sometimes, if the circumstances were just right, she could be seen by the living. sometimes only by mediums and always by super naturals like vampires and werewolves. I liken this to how occasionally if i’m well enough and the circumstances are just right I can be in the world. move through the public like a normal person.
be seen.
spoken to.
touched.
how more often than not the people i can spend time with, because they are accessible, are other crips.
the supernatural. they are the ones that get it. they understand difference and isolation.

while i’ve been dealing with ei/chronic illness and access for over a decade and a half now, i’ve felt more and more like a ghost in this last year. I've been so unwell, especially since the house flooded last winter. The city, my house and my neighbors have all become too much for me. people know i’m around but never see me. or see me briefly. My crip lover that i live with plays the medium, he always sees me and is often the conduit to the rest of the world.

annie struggled with having a purpose in the world. feeling useful. she made endless cups of tea that she couldn’t drink. when she could be seen by humans she relished in the experience.
in being kind and helpful.  in laughter.
but mostly she rattled around the house she died in. waiting. scheming ways to connect.
sometimes succumbing to the non-life she was living.
just staring out windows.
waiting.

but thing is, i’m not a ghost. haven’t died yet.
not.
dead.
yet.
and believe me i know dead people. i know their ether. their reach.
and ghosts. ghosts are roaming haunting loss.
i want to be more than this. more than loss draped in a good laugh with a keen eye for tricks of light.
i want to feel -here-.
for ghosts there is no recovery.
my blood is moving and recovery is mine to embrace.
i've got shit to say and things to learn. people to touch and love.
supernaturally alive and spitting.

so here's to access eh?
and risk.
to remembering that the struggle to connect is precisely life.
i know this.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

hard times and a bridge

suspending
when i roll over
sun rising
and reach his chest with my waking hands run them
down his body my head resting there
exhaling dreams
inhaling
salt sharp butter sweet
the smooth warmth
of his skin how i read into this his heart
how it thaws me how can i not love him
even more how can i not desire this exact proximity
how can the rush not bring me home to every choice i've made
the choice to continue
breathing
desire bridging
lifes' beautiful rise
for this proximity
is bliss the risk of reaching
for this warmth this smooth summer lake stone
is the heart.