Thursday, December 31, 2009


My thinking is the same--my three Rs: Reading,
Writing, Running. And a vacancy of mind.

When you look in your mind you find it covered
with a lot of rubbishy thoughts.
You have to penetrate these and hear
what your mind is telling you to do.
Such work is original work. Agnes Martin

Seed syllable of manjusri/manjughosa 'dhih', the perfection of wisdom, in the Tibetan Uchen script

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009


For Christmas I got a camera and the other day
was brilliant so we drove to Coney Island
and the wind was there and
sea smells and a clarity everywhere I looked.
Sometimes there aren't words. I've run out of words
just now. Or maybe it's that I'm brimming
with them and don't know how to use them here.
Well, the light was cold like the water. It blew
away the holiday blues and swept
me clean.
Every one/thing to see along the boarded up
board walk was out and about for a stroll
So I'll show you some thoughts.

A vigilance though the ferris
wheel, carnival games
and freak show are closed
for the season, still my sense
that things are open for business
just not when we people folk are around.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


So it's time for spice cake, a family recipe, from grandmother
to my mother to me. When I was young I hated it.
Raisins, nutmeg, pecans weren't my food groups.
Now I actually don't mind it. It's eggless, butterless- dense!
Not too sweet. Maybe a good kind of cake
for the darkening days. I'm listening to lots
of medieval Christmas tunes.
You can feel the cold seep into the castle.
The dark skies fold down around the village fires.
Why they sing and tell stories- to push back the winter.

Here's the spice cake - from my old spiral notebook
where I keep odd scraps of this-and-that recipes.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Sometimes getting into the Xmas
spirit isn't so holly/ivy, this year especially.
But there are little road maps to lead one
through the hardened forest of the heart.
Like time in the city. Looking, first
at some art in the painter's studio
for an exhibition I'm co-curating on words
and pictures. Then at MoMa where I saw

and wandered into the water lilies, which now
have their own room and it wasn't too crowded,
though as usual people pose in front of the paintings
as if they're at the Grand Canyon, and maybe looking
at his paint and colors and light is kind of like staring
at the expanse of that place.
I walked a lot and of course the city is packed
with tourists, but NYC is not all glittering lights
there's always an edge, a con gone wrong
thus the cop with machine gun.

A good day...I'm ready for the tree.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Faux Self-Portrait of You

You are a very uneven person.
You, on the other hand, the one with not quite
five fingers, are a very uneven person.
Look me in the eye I say with conviction and say
you are a person of complete unevenness.
I look away to look for the surface of something
whose unevenness is its main attraction.
Very uneven person, I address you haphazardly,
you are a patchy, jerky lurcher.
You are nonuniform. You are subsubsubstantial,
I say to you of the fluctuating essence of uneven-
ness. No, I say, I am not a triangle, I do not
fit in the corner. I am an uneven piece of furn-
iture. There is a sirocco in you today.
You are a difficult table. Anything that rolls
rolls off of you almost immediately.
You're not good for a broken string of beads,
Is this not so I say uneven person that you are.
I look down to watch the beads roll where the floor
leans. An odd lullaby passes through my hair.


Monday, November 23, 2009


Of fern bed:
crow feather, shell fragment
chip of bone then petrified
tennis orb, further down
shard of soccer sphere
treasures I uncovered
this morning burrowing
through the mess and mulch
of fall's leavings -
the annual excavation of ancient
Octobers when the yard
was fodder for kick or hide
chase/pretend -
thankfully the skeleton
days have returned
it's fossil time again

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

body clock

Out of sync, off kilter
wide awake
though around and about
is asleep, including I imagine
even the gargoyles of Notre Dame.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Even the cats in Paris are aristocratic.
One of sights as I walked for about five
hours along the Seine,
into Nortre Dame,
through the Luxembourg Gardens,
also browsing ubiquitous book
shops, book stalls, as well as people-watching
in a cafe, got lost finally,
figured the route out (I'm directionally challenged) and collapsed.
What a sea change from July's red mesa-scapes.
Tomorrow I'm thinking BatOBus.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

what the stars say

Horoscope for week of October 15, 2009

Were you ever a tiger in one of your past lives? If so, this would be an excellent time to tap into that power. If you have never lived the life of a tiger, would you be willing to imagine that you did? During the coming week's challenges, you will really benefit from being able to call on the specific kind of intelligence a tiger possesses, as well as its speed, perceptivity, sense of smell, charisma, and beauty. Your homework is to spend ten minutes envisioning yourself inhabiting the body of a tiger.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I know pretty pictures but it's nearly my birthday and it's playoff
season and all of a sudden all the leaves tumbled off branches
in wind andit smells like decay, which I don't mind in fact aside
from the smell of the ocean the scent of fall is one of my most
favorite, and I'm making soup for dinner and will probably go kick
some leaf piles later so there.
(I haven't really been away, just from here, but really
I've been around it's just that sometimes
I don't want to be here here.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Mesa Memo
Re structures --
the horizon and its lack
of cluttery maples,
turquoise too.
Structure and turquoise.
A color with vivid gloss
like that door in an adobe gate
beat up trucks,
the blue car in a driveway's shadow.
An abandoned house.
And everywhere turquoise.

Yesterday's weather moved
in strokes of rain over the high desert.
Blue-gray clouds flung the mesa
across the sky. The Chama
glowed muddy red and brown.
I'd forgotten about these colors.

I see it: sight line
of the same old same old
you know -- it's always trees, bird
breakfast or collage:
to make a blue door
from an old sock is the conundrum.

Off to find a river rock
maybe a mesa to take home
though they'll charge extra
in baggage, there won't be room
in the overhead bins
-- pack it in with other trinkets
adobe red, Chaco Canyon
swimming in Abiqui

This poem and collage exist partly because Dorothee
Lang, editor of the BluePrintReview, asked that I
send her some of the writings posted during my
trip to New Mexico. So I fiddled and she collaged
and the result can be read here and at just a moment.
Check it out. Thanks Dorothee!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Stopped by the farm to pick up tomatoes -- the last of the season probably.
The place teemed with apple-picking families. The stand was filled with
'mums and I could smell the home made donuts. Fall is here. Leaves
are turning. It's my favorite time, October especially. I think
I've finally left summer behind, though for some reason it
took longer than usual to relinquish it. I'd still like one more sea
swim. I'm rushing through Frida Kahlo's diary (thanks Rebecca) so
that I can read it again. Amazing sketches, doodles, words, blots of
ink. Then onto other books. And to watching the fall climb
out of the skin of summer, shedding all that green.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


from my friend Alexandra's trees



Come here’s
a peach he said
and held it out just far
enough to reach beyond his lap
and off-

ered me
a room the one
room left he said in all
of Thessaloniki that night
packed with

The peach was lush
I hadn’t slept for days
it was like velvet lips a lamp
he smiled

the bed for me
I knew it was in fact
the only room the only bed
The peach

and he said Come
nodding to make me
agree I wanted the peach and
the bed

he said
to take it see
how nice it was and I
thought how I could take it ginger-
ly my

tips only touch-
ing only it Not in
or out I stayed in the doorway

a fly
He stroked the peach
and asked where I was from
I said the States he smiled and asked
how long

I’d stay
The fly had found
the peach I said I’d leave
for Turkey in the morning I

so much
to sleep and on
a bed I thought of all
the ways to say that word
and that

they must
have gradient
meanings He asked me did
I want the peach and I said sure
and took

it from
his hand He asked
then if I’d take the room
It costs too much I said and turned
to go

He said
to stay a while
and we could talk The sun
was going down I said no thanks
I’d head

out on
the late train but
could I still have the peach
and what else could he say to that
but yes

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo,

who writes:

Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn't the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating.

Here I've posted a short video made with the photo, the music and the score (composed by the birds).

PS: thanks to Kelli for posting this...I'm passing it on from her blog.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


On a rainy, blah blah day, it was a treat to discover the work
of artist Kate Clark at the Aldrich Museum. Her strange
and wonderful sculptures caught me the instant
I walked into the space. Oh this would be the kind of art
that could work perfectly on the cover
of a book -- one day in the distant
future--my book!

Friday, August 28, 2009

green soon gone

Dear One Absent This Long While


It has been so wet stones glaze in moss;
everything blooms coldly.

I expect you. I thought one night it was you
at the base of the drive, you at the foot of the stairs,

you in a shiver of light, but each time
leaves in wind revealed themselves,

the retreating shadow of a fox, daybreak.
We expect you, cat and I, bluebirds and I, the stove.

In May we dreamed of wreaths burning on bonfires
over which young men and women leapt.

June efforts quietly.
I’ve planted vegetables along each garden wall

so even if spring continues to disappoint
we can say at least the lettuce loved the rain.

I have new gloves and a new hoe.
I practice eulogies. He was a hawk

with white feathered legs. She had the quiet ribs
of a salamander crossing the old pony post road.

Yours is the name the leaves chatter
at the edge of the unrabbited woods.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The Spider's Web Speakeasy, 1920, Pittston, PA

Libra Horoscope for week of August 20, 2009

An epic treasure hunt will soon begin. Are you ready for it? I don't think you are. To get yourself in shape to perform at a high level, I suggest that you open your mind wider than you ever have before. The clues that will be most helpful won't resemble any clues you've ever valued in the past, and they'll be arriving from unforeseen sources. I'll give you a hint about what to look for in the early going of the quest for the magic boon: What circumstance in your life has a certain metaphorical similarity to a speakeasy during the time when alcohol sales were illegal in America?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Later I'm going to make golden carrot soup even though it's hot
and chocolate chip cookies with pecans because tomorrow
my friend is coming for lunch and I'm tutoring in the morning
so can't cook then. And over lunch we're going to talk about
our manuscripts, which we've been working on for a while
and finally exchanged about a month ago. Hers is further
along. Mine is in process, still figuring itself out.
Shall I tell you about it? Too soon.
It's not really 'about' one thing, but it does circle some
ideas, one being emptiness. Golden carrot soup even
though it's hot seems like the right food for poetry tomorrow.
And chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite foods.
If I can get some tomatoes from a friend's garden, we might
have those too. I hope the heat eases up. While I was away, and
visiting Georgia O'Keefe's house, I had a revelation about my
book. So there are rooms in the book I need to go explore.
My friend's, on the other hand, feels more complete.
Not that it's finished, but the framing is up and good.
Anyway, we'll talk. And eat soup, tomatoes, some
bread and cheese then cookies. And unfurl our books like bolts
of linen. Who knows what I could make after such an afternoon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

rain dance

I rain danced during the downpour that caught
me by surprise during this evening's walk.
A soaking jig with thunder way off.
Then received my tarot reading via email.
The word gestation appeared and that's curious
as I've had several pregnancy dreams. Pondering.
Then a later email contained the news that some
poems are here at mungbeing, an online journal
recommended by Anna (thanks Anna!).
Maybe I should rain dance more often.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


A picture up at Rebecca's blog reminded me of this
website -- Terrible Yellow Eyes. Check it out. Cory Godbey is inspired by the book and all the art at the site swirls around Where The Wild Things Are. It's a book I read over and over to my kids. Soon to be a movie. That worries me a bit because Sendak's illustrations and the cadence of the story are so deeply imprinted in me. I don't know if I can see the film.


Frida Kahlo's The Dream

Such strange dreams recently -- dead grandfathers, weird collections of peoples at parties, poet bloggers in the neighborhood, even a pregnancy dream! As Ashbery writes, "Melons bloomed in corners, shrimp blew away to be fecund elsewhere, next year...Somewhere darkness churns and answers are riveting, taking on a fresh look, a twist."

I think his poetry is infectious, perhaps invading my sleep.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

cloud (s)

The hawk is back today, plaintiff, calling
missing something as it circles the house,
the road. As have I. Thinking about my father
who died a year ago. A complicated, difficult,
incredible man. He loved music -- played
the guitar, piano, sang. I've been listening
to Hank Williams, Doc Watson, Paul Simon,
the Beach Boys and a host of other songs
as well as the hawk. A bit carried away
with cloud shots, which are over the top
but there you go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Have I told you I love to swim? Oceans especially.
I grew up body surfing against narrow margins
of sand. Rivers next -- rocky, shallow cold rivers.
Lake, pond, pool too. Today, the last day, we drove
back to Abiqui. I swam in this amazing lake
surrounded by...well you can see. High desert
mesas & red rock & the smell of sage as clouds
amassed for yet another afternoon storm.
There was something other worldly.
The lake's not natural, created by damming
the Chama River. It serves as a reservoir.
Swimming there felt a bit the way I imagine
swimming on another planet might be like.
To float, surrounded by red clay cliffs
that hug the shore, not the endless ocean.
A good way to end things. A last swim.
Good bye to butte, to adobe, to annunciative
(is that a word) weather, to turquoise.

Monday, July 27, 2009

everything is illuminating

I see it -- my habits of seeing, the sightline
I've been stuck in, the same old same old
you know, it's always trees, bird, the dead
chimpanzee, make it new, breakfast or
collage but the same. It's a habit this
way I've been seeing, like smoking or chocolate.
So obvious that a different landscape would be
evocative, but how to make a blue door from
an old sock is the conundrum.

winding down

Blue blue sky & I'm going running
then off to find a river rock or two
maybe another mesa while I can
though bringing a mesa home
will be hard as they'll charge
extra in baggage & there won't
be room in the overhead bins
so I'll have to carry it another
way, which I can think about
while I run along with other
thoughts on the final days
in turqouise/silver land.