Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

It Was The Best of Times

September 10, 2022

It was the worst of times.

This Burning Man was the best and the hardest and the most magical and connected and hottest and Jesus fucking christ on a pogo stick, the worst entry and exodus I have had.

And.

I can’t wait to do it again.

Next year I will have all the things.

And do many of the things differently.

First.

No more tenting.

I’m figuring out a better way.

I just can’t do the dust coffin again.

I’m too old, and frankly, for the first time, truly ever, I can afford better accomodations.

I’m not saying I’m about to go out and buy an Airstream.

But I think I can swing a little camper trailer.

This burn I literally put up and took down my camp three times.

It was a disaster.

Fortunately.

I had a lot of lovely neighbors at my camp help me out.

And that was a learning lesson in humility.

I do not like asking for help.

I like helping.

I am really fucking good at helping others.

But asking for help?

Not so much.

I had to ask.

And ask a lot more than I was comfortable with.

I also had no choice.

Like.

When I got sick and had to go to the medics.

I had severe heat exhaustion, vomited, had hideous stomach cramps, dizziness and lightheadedness.

I knew I wasn’t doing well, but until I threw up I thought I was muddling along ok.

This literally happened my first day.

I still can’t believe I wound up in the medical tents on the first day I was there.

And thank god I let myself be taken.

I joked that my first “gift” on playa was a bag of fluids.

But really, thank God.

I didn’t realize how sick I was until I was in the tents.

And the beautiful, sweet people who took me there and sat with me there and helped me get back to camp were angels.

The next day I got to experience a playa miracle when a person who I barely knew magically provided a new tent for me.

Oh, wait, I left that part out.

In a nutshell, I land on playa Friday night at midnight, in a white out dust storm, Gate is closed, I sit for four hours before I finally get to Will Call to pick up my ticket and vehicle pass.

Then I spend an hour finding camp because none of the signs are up and I keep missing it.

Find camp around 5a.m., sit on the corner waiting for anyone to stir to find out where I am located, around 6:30a.m. some folks start getting up, figure out where I’m supposed to be camp, get somewhat situated, connect with the friend I’m setting up camp with, help him get settled and get shade structure up, start to get worried around noon as I haven’t gotten my own tent set up and it’s getting hot and I feel a dust storm coming (enough time on playa you can sometimes sense that shit in the wind), unravel may tent and start crying.

The “upgraded” new tent I had splurged on was a mesh top.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD kill me know.

I bought a dust coffin.

But with no other options.

I set up said dust coffin.

Storm sets in.

Sequester in dust coffin, try to nap, in a my dust mask and goggles and basically I could have just been on the open playa, there was so much dust, I was covered.

I might have slept an hour.

Maybe.

Which is why when I got sick, I got so sick, I had’t really slept in 36 hours, that and not enough food (I actually had been drinking a lot of water) led to the heat exhaustion, plus, well, duh, the heat.

So.

I’m telling my story about the multiple vans I had cancel on me, three separate reservations that all canceled on me and how I had to take my tiny Fiat and make the drive and basically halve the things I was bringing and I didn’t stage my tent and fuck my life, dust coffin, and the folks I was sitting with the next day commiserate, they’d had van cancellations too, and then.

HOLY SHIT.

My friend’s boyfriend goes behind the magic curtain and comes back with a tent, the same tent I used to use, so I know how to set it up, and it’s weather proof–no mesh top, no dust sifting down from the ceiling, “I’ve got a spare, you can use it,” he says.

So, I tore down dust coffin, and set up a new tent.

Two camp set ups in two days, extreme heat exhaustion, long wait to get in, not even on playa a day and a half and I thought, wow, this is really intense.

And it got wierder.

Harder.

Dustier.

And, as always, more magical in ways I could never expect.

I met and connected with new friends.

I reconnected with old friends.

I missed seeing a bunch of folks I for sure thought I was going to see.

I randomly bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in 8 years as I was pulling out on my bicycle from one art piece to head to another.

I got to go on an art car I have always dreamed of getting onto and rode one of the amazing mechanical carousel horses on it.

I danced.

One day, lost in a dust storm, shocker, I know, dust storms, I found myself so far beyond the area I was looking for that I just tried to find shelter to ride it out and stumbled upon a very, very, very lavish camp.

They had amazing music, and, holy shit, A/C.

I mean.

Fuck.

A huge common tent with A/C being piped into it.

There was also a lot and I do mean, A LOT, of drugs being very openly consumed.

I did not give a fuck.

I was sheltered in A/C dancing to amazing music.

I was never offered anything and I didn’t want anything and I didn’t care that there was so much wealth on display, all I did was, every once in a while, stop someone who was cavorting to ask for a water.

I was kept well hydrated and I danced for over three hours until the storm passed.

Then merrily took my tired knees back across playa on my bicycle.

I got to see my original poems hung up in the Museum of No Spectators, that brought big walloping tears to my eyes.

I had secret dream when I was young to see my art in a museum.

I was blown away by that.

Later in the week, with friends and family-an uncle on my father’s side of the family, I walked in my cap and gown and had a dear friend and the architect who designed the art piece, hood me in a graduation ceremony.

It was profound and moving and it meant an awful lot to me.

I also, promptly, got lost on the way back and wound up taking over an hour to find my way back.

Surreal to get lost in a place that I have been to so many times.

I star gazed in deep playa.

I cried in the middle of an art piece that moved me beyond words.

I danced in line waiting for ice.

I met a lot of international folks.

I got to know folks at my camp on a deeper more meaningful and intimate manner than I have ever experienced.

I don’t know how to write about one of the things that happened at camp that profoundly affected me without making it about me and I have been wondering for days about whether I would even write about it, or write a blog at all about Burning Man this year, though I have wanted to process it (my damn therapist had to cancel this week) but I do want to mention it lightly with respect and grace over drama.

I witnessed a death.

I was a first responder and performed CPR.

I was not a hero, but I was present and I am so very grateful that I was of service in the moments I was there.

I was also in shock at what had happened.

I leaned into people at my camp.

And I let myself cry when I could.

I only told a few people about what had happened.

Most of what I talked about was very minimal.

There was one person who heard the whole story, had been there when I walked out of the trailer stunned, held me as I shook with silent sobs and took very kind care of me.

I witnessed the camp come together in a way that stays with me, and I suspect, will always stay with me, to honor that person who passed and hold space for all those affected.

I told a woman who was there in the depths of the experience with me that this camp, which I had camped with twice prior, was now my camp for good, I was a member and I wanted a service position, I would be attending the business meeting and picking one up, commit to coming back, camp with them and be of service.

She welcomed me and suggested something to me and the next day I was elected to that position.

So.

I am going back next year, and every foreseeable year I can.

And I stayed, of course, I stayed, for the Temple burn.

Man burn was amazing and fun and I love me some pyro, yes, yes I do.

Temple was sweet, a touch sad, but not as forlorn as I have experienced it the few times I had been prior.

Honestly, I have only seen two Temple burns.

This burn was soft and sweet and though tears slid down my face a few times, it was not the horrendous vomiting of grief that I experienced after putting my best friends ashes in the Temple my first year.

Sidebar.

Yes. I do, now, know, that ashes are not welcomed there, but I was not aware of that at the time I went in 2007 for my first burn.

I can’t take those back.

And my best friend is always out there for me.

As I packed up my tiny car and got ready to sit in exodus for 6.5 hours, had I fucking known, ugh, I heard music from the camp next to me and I burst into tears.

You always get me at the end Burning Man, don’t you?

It was my friend’s favorite song playing.

It was like getting a soft kiss on my forehead, like he used to do, as I left the burn and headed home.

Tears wet on my face.

Gratitude for the intensity and the humility and the deep connections I made.

Shit.

I didn’t even tell you about the sauna in an Airstream I got to have, but I’ll save that for another day.

It is late.

And I have sleep to catch up on still.

I’ll see you in the dust next year.

You can’t get rid of me.

Seriously.

Burning Man, you got me for life.

Damn it.

Love Bird

August 9, 2021

I don’t remember when you called me that.

but it sticks.

Like ink under my skin.

A foreshadow of a tattoo to come.

Lovebird in script across my left hip.

On the backside, where I am inexplicably ticklish.

The only place on my body.

I expect the pain will be.

Excruciating.

Anything, I have learned, that brings such pleasure

Also brings.

Such pain.

Like the fire on my arms tonight.

I should not be typing.

I am healing.

Another kind of transformation.

This body of mine undergoes them it seems

All the time.

This, I sense, is a practice.

How can I say I miss you?

In some evocative way that will sing down, once again, into my arms

The moon.

A moon I no longer hunt for.

A moon I no longer sing to.

There is no moon without you.

There will be, a crow moon, a cherry blossom moon, a blue moon

But it will only be the moon tattooed on my back silhouetted

By the wings of a crow.

The one that carries my heart in its claws.

The sharp needle will poke my pain out again.

Again.

And.

Again.

And.

Again.

This moon I will never see, not with my own eyes, except

Perhaps in photographs.

Like the pictures I pulled from the drawer a few nights back.

Along with a scattering of blue boxes tied up in ribbons.

The tickets to the ferris wheel.

The room card to the hotel in D.C.

A paper wrapper that once held a bouquet of flowers.

Cards with butterflies and glitter.

You know how much I like things that sparkle.

A tag from a Christmas ornament–“New York is always ours.”

And letters.

All the letters.

I think I made it through two?

Before the grief swallowed me once more in its maw.

The pain it sings in my arms.

This time.

The bottoms.

Not the tops.

My dragons rest on top, one for each arm.

This pain has not healed yet.

But it will.

And the inky blue tattooed there will be the sky.

The same color of your eyes the day I fell into them.

Fell into you.

Fell for you.

Fell in love with you.

Soul sky eyes of blue.

There will be clouds that drift in that sky.

And my dragons will fly me through.

The pain will pass.

My heart will heal.

And every once in a while.

I may catch a glimpse of you in the echo of a song.

Or in the backward glance I throw at the mirror.

Where I will see just a glimpse of that word.

Lovebird.

Above my left hip.

Where you once so causally caressed me.

Undressed me.

And left me.

I will brush my hand over the calligraphy, wistful and soft,

Like unexpected snow in spring

And then I will fly,

Fly.

Fly.

Fly.

Away.

Free.

As the Crow Flies

February 8, 2021

Straight as an arrow.

The arrow of silver, Tiffany spun, you surprised me with, waking me from slumber–

Slipping into my room as I lay sleeping.

Never have I been so delighted.

Moved.

Shook.

I thought of that arrow today, it’s flight suspended between my clavicles, pointing to the stars that spangle my chest.

(Just added another one this past Friday)

Tempted to point out the fresh ink, the pink clementine orange of it, picture it, kiss it, and shoot you a photo of it with a wry smile.

Yet.

I did not.

I blocked you out, off my heart, off my soul, oft without you I have walked so long, why would it be any different now?

The crow flew over Jefferson Square park, a short walk from my house, dogs frolic in the late afternoon sun, and the murder gathered in the eucalyptus trees to spring full into the air twirling against the February sky.

Plum blossoms, pale pink and lavish purple, like bruises against the sky, tears of petals hanging from dark tree limbs.

Like the limbs burning on my back.

More work on the tattoo.

The one you inspired.

Two crows.

One cherry tree.

One heart.

Sometimes I think the pain is like the ghost of your hands on the backs of my shoulders.

Where you would hold me, whilst atop me, pushed in, face buried in my neck, arms under my shoulders, holding me as we became one and inseparable.

Yet.

Separate.

We are.

The crow reminded me of you, I said hello, carry my wishes forward to you upon the wind, but not my calls, my love letters or cards.

I am not sending them anymore.

I deleted you.

I blocked you.

I let you go.

Off into the high sky, like pastel balloons escaping a flower shop on Valentines Day.

Sigh.

Valentines Day.

Last year.

When I reached out to you once more.

That’s why, dearest, sweetest, dreamiest you, I deleted, blocked, and erased you, so I would not set the motion in momentum forward again.

No more.

No more calls.

No more poems.

No more kisses on your sweet face.

No more staring into your eyes.

No more falling in love with you.

Not that I believe I will fall out of love with you.

The love, I sense, does not die.

But it goes, it flings itself in a blue box in a drawer, like the blue sky against the wing of the crow as it flies away from me.

You have flown away from me.

I do not expect your return.

I never knew a love like this.

My exquisite corpse.

The crow in the copse.

My heart in my mouth.

The sky.

The sky.

The sky.

Like your eyes I fell into once upon a time.

In a land far, far away, The Sunset.

The sky is the only blue I will look into anymore.

Good bye my love.

Good bye my crow laughing at a funeral.

Good bye.

It Was The Sound of Love

April 25, 2020

It startled me.

I looked up from my desk.

Buried in client notes and scheduling.

Calendars and emails.

Love.

Just there.

In the air outside my window.

So insistent.

Listen to me it said.

Now.

Listen.

Tony Bennet.

I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Absolutely blasting from a neighbor’s open window.

At sunset.

At the kiss of twilight.

There you were.

Love.

On the meniscus of sun against the sea.

Belting out your heart to me.

Reminding me of all the love songs and mixed tapes and playlists.

Every song a serenade of your love.

I opened my back door and walked out to the deck.

Phone in hand.

Connected to you.

In that moment.

Exquisite surprise.

And I felt.

Hope.

For the first time in sometime in all this crazy world with all its crazy.

(I don’t need to name the pink pandemic elephant in the room)

I felt hope.

Love.

A resurgence of light in my system and the sincerest sweetest most generative optimism.

I love you San Francisco.

I really.

Really.

Really

Do.

 

The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay
The glory that was Rome is of another day
I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan
I’m going home to my city by the Bay

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don’t care

My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me

Je t’ai Dans la Peau

November 5, 2019

 

My tattoo is but days old.

Did you realize, my love, my sweet—

My heart.

(you have flown off with it yet again)

That when you spoke to me of me,

My impact on you.

My love for you.

 

My effect on your life–

 

You spoke to me in the

PAST TENSE.

Not in the present.

Not in the future.

All in the past.

 

Le passe compose

 

My least favorite tense in French, darling.

Post haste my love.

Post box full of love notes for you.

Photos of you in my phone.

My God you are gaunt.

The weight you have lost running.

Running away from us.

Running away from me.

Running away from yourself.

 

Running down to the sea,

Bare headed before the moon.

On your knees in the sand.

Sobbing.

I heard you there, your cries echoed in my bones.

I wept with you.

 

But not near you.

 

Tous les jours

Je fait l’amour.

Tous les jours.

 

All my wants/hope/dreams

All in the imperfect past.

 

Thus, am I to embody this grief.

My back crawls with it, the itch of sorrow.

Keening again as the crow flies.

You.

 

&

 

Me.

 

Bunny.

 

Out on a limb flowered with pain

Petals of sorrow,

Whisper soft sweet

Scratched on to my back

 

 

My back, my back, flat on my back

Holding my breath waiting for it to end.

Feeling the cold  tile pressed pattern of squares

Ground into the small of my back.

 

 

I was so cold, it was so, so cold.

Like.

Sugar drowned in milk.

 

And then.

All the waiting.

The waiting for you.

All those years.

All those decades.

I danced down so many roads,

Waiting for you.

 

And now.

This journey of a thousand miles,

This journey of a thousand tears—

Leaves me with nothing to do but wipe the blood from my back.

Wipe the tears from my face

(In every flower I see your face)

Stand up, stand back.

Rise anew.

Crafted in the cloak of my being.

Ever present.

Ever perfect.

Ever here.

Croaked the crow.

Ever more.

My love.

Never more, my love.

Yet.

Ever yours, my love.

IMG_0491

Translucent Honey

September 12, 2019

On the time that covers you.

Golden down

Whisper quick

Flicked with lust

And

The first kiss

Blush of love.

September sun against surreal

Blue skies.

Your eyes

Blue too.

Pupils dilated.

I remember.

Oh soft my heart that does always bear such remembrance.

Push my memories aside.

Focus on the now

Cloud of time.

Reminisce no more my love.

Lost in songs,

Mixed tapes,

Love letters,

Tattooed messages of

Forever

&

Eternity.

Momentos of our brief,

Too brief.

So brief.

Why so fucking brief?

Time.

Yet there.

There

It goes again.

In the whippet quick beat of my heart

Pulse dancing to the possibility

That one day.

Oh.

One day.

I will.

(yes please)

See you again.

Until then my sweet.

 

~Stay golden~

 

Love Flower

September 8, 2019

 

My sweet love.

My heart in my throat.

I really want to see you.

I stare through the agapanthus outside the cafe window.

Crow on the telephone wire across the street looks at me.

Winks.

Flies off.

You have flown off.

Here.

Not here.

Yet.

Still in my heart.

Which rises now in my chest, beckoning to that crow

On that high wire,

Breast puffed out in the chuffing wind–

Here, take me,

Take this heart, carry it off

Plumed with daisies,

Take it and beat your wings across the blue,

Drop it at his feet.

 

I hear you in the damned music.

I stuff my hand in my mouth to

Baffle the cries that arise behind my lips.

 

Shall I get another tattoo, my love?

More lyrics to memorialize you?

I really want to be with you.

 

(God fucking damn these love songs in cafes)

 

Hallelujah.

My, my,

My, sweet love.

Sun Burst

August 18, 2019

They left their car behind in the Pan Handle of Florida.

Broken down along the side of the road.

Tin can from a Chunky’s Chicken Corn Chowder soup barely holding

Together the rotten muffler.

Love.

Flashes like heat waves rolling up from asphalt

Pavement, as smoke eddies and drifts from a lit

Pall Mall filter Gold Light 100, grasped like a lifeline into

Another time where glorious naivety

Flexed in her 19 year old calve muscles.

Feet strong and unweary, propped on the dashboard watching the

Moss dipped trees roll along outside the window while Jethro Tull blasts from the radio.

These stories written in the power of youth and the glory of

Summers wandered through decades ago.

Her skin tattooed now with narratives and bygone memorabilia.

Literally.

She, her, I, wears her heart on her sleeve.

(Left side inside wrist wreathed with cherry blossoms)

She, her, I, has not forgotten the sunshine splash of freckles

Constellating his face and the desire badgering her heart to kiss each one.

Love rises like mist in a swimming pool at night in

Saint Augustine awash in humidity and the susurration of wind in palm leaves.

Song of flash pan memories born on the wings of cicadas,

Bark of a worried dog, crackle of fire on the edge of night,

Embers glowing on her (my) face, fronting strength under the curious

Gaze of heroin junkies and good ol’ boys with running mates and prostitute

Companions holding bent Budweiser can carburetor crack pipes.

She, her, I, will dance, never the less, none the less, dance now, dance then

Beneath the swelter of stars, amid the whispers of sexy, sexy, sexy

Spilling from the mouths of men unable to grasp her, attain her, hold her (me).

Love, lost like a plasticine slipper in the dusky playa at sunset.

Burnished with desire to kiss the bottom lip of his mouth and vanish into the

Streets of the Mission District, oh my sweet San Francisco how unexpected

Summer night strewn me with ghost kisses of fog being sucked in over Twin Peaks.

She, her, I will climb the hills back towards the sea, remember her (me) her face

Aswirl in dark curls, your face writ with awe, once again in her (my) hands.

Oh bluest eyes

Peering back into mine, this blissful fantasy a phantasmagoric feeling all

Ephemeral and moon washed will haunt you, I, me no more.

For yes, oh yes,

My darling.

This too shall pass.

Here Again

July 11, 2019

These old memories.

They bang at my head.

A washing of blue jean sky,

Salt tenderized by the sea.

Light.

So.

Californian.

Like my soul,

Built on mussel sea shells

Found by the sea shore.

Sally sells them for a penny a piece.

(find a penny pick it up)

In a brown paper bag I left them.

Hiding, the shells–

Underneath the Volkswagen’s seat.

The bounce of light against the

Rear window in the back seat of the Bug.

Little girl.

Brown eyes wide.

Watching the clouds scroll by,

Catching glimpses of ocean blue between the dunes.

Side mirror reflections bring me back to now.

Decades later.

Decades.

(All day long you’ll have good luck)

Four to be exact.

Those days down by the sea

Watching the water foam over the shore,

Tiny sandpipers scurry.

Coppertone baby in white panties,

Already insecure in my body,

Scampering at the edges of the sand burning bright

Heat rolling up my legs from my feet.

I am.

Curly headed.

I am.

Sweet lipped.

I am.

Brown as a nut berry.

(See a  penny, let it lie)

Pink soled feet softened by the rasp of sand.

Now I am plagued by these,

Photographs of melancholia–

Nostalgia tinged with seaweed.

The cry of mermaids in the grotto.

Sun high.

Heat on high

Cooking hotdogs on aluminum foil on the hood of the Volk’s.

Sand, a grit in my teeth.

Running back to the water, the ocean nips at my feet.

I find another shell for my paper bag.

(All good luck will pass you by)

Listen for the soundtrack to these memories.

One that drifts on the radio dial of Northern California

70s folk rock.

The outlines of my heart.

The nook in the cafe.

A flash of vinyl, the undertone scratch of needle finding the groove.

The light.

The light.

The light.

The smell of salt.

The hint of driftwood bonfires at the edge of night.

Golden foiled light in the dying

Embers of my childhood.

Bespoke.

Bag of shells.

Halo of white sun as I close my eyes to

Everything.

Lost again in that bright light.

Washed out in the sun.

Freckling my face.

I am.

Softened now

By these.

Kisses of eternity.

All The Beautiful Things

May 24, 2019

The sound of the robins in the trees.

The slant of early evening sun bathing the tall grass along Fulton Ave, park side.

The sound of you voice in my ear.

I love you.

Missing you all over again.

And again.

And again.

I’m not supposed to be holding a torch.

And I am.

And that’s ok.

It’s all ok.

The glory of you, the poetry in my blood, the fresh tattoo that I kissed with my lips on the inside of your arm.

I can feel the fever still on my mouth.

You were here.

Then gone.

The time went so fast.

In your arms again at last.

The longest 88 days of my life.

I suppose there are still long days ahead.

The long days of summer.

The long moments of wistful memories that enfold me.

How you look etched into my mind.

“You have my heart, be careful with it,” you said with tears in your throat.

So careful.

Baby.

So careful.

I wrote you a card the day before yesterday.

I hope you still check your mailbox once in a while for missives from me.

I don’t know how many to send.

I want to flood you with love letters.

You are my love letter.

I hope I am your love song.

I don’t know when I will see you again.

I know I will see you again.

I know the moon will keep you.

I know God will carry you.

I know you will be ok.

And one day you will be back and the window will be open.

You promised I would be the first person you would call.

I am holding you to that.

Don’t be too long my love.

My bones ache for you.

Boy turns to girl and says, “I love you so”

Boy turns to girl and says, “I love you so”

Boy turns to girl and says, “I love you so”

I love you too.

So much.

You laugh, you eyes, the song of you on my lips.

Gone once again for you.

Not caring who knows.

Fine with however it goes.

As long as you get your happiness my love.

Please.

Do.

Get happy.

I have never known anyone who deserves it more than you.

Love.

That is.

All the love in the world for you.

To the moon and back.

1,000 times infinity plus 2.

I adore you.

I love you.

Come for me my love.

Please do.

I wait with bated breath.

I always have.

I always will.


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