Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Almost There!

February 25, 2018

I am almost done with my PhD application!

I have submitted my writing sample–ten pages of an academic paper I wrote for my Transpersonal Spirituality class.

I figured that was a good paper to submit to the program as it, the PhD, is in Transformative Inquiry.

I refreshed and polished my resume and updated it so that it was applicable to the application and I sent that in as well.

I did the online application and submitted that.

I contacted both of the people who wrote me letters of recommendation and confirmed that they had sent said letters to the department.


I ordered my transcripts from UW Madison and CIIS.

I was a little miffed at first that I had to order transcripts.

Can’t the admissions office just look up the transcripts I already sent in from UW Madison when I applied for the Masters program?



Does the admissions department need a sealed envelope from the registrars office.

Can’t someone just walk that shit down from the 4th floor to the second floor?

I mean.

Fucking come on.


Then I was like.

Ok, not my rules, not my bailiwick, not my place to criticize, not going to change anything by getting all fired up and I certainly am not going to fucking sabotage myself by not getting the transcripts to the admissions team.


I shelled out the $40 bucks and ordered them to be delivered.

They should get there by the time the deadline closes for the applications.

And if they don’t, which I think they will, I will contact the dean of the Transformative Inquiry program and show copies of the receipts indicating that the materials are on the way.

I don’t think it will be a problem and I will also, now that I’m thinking about it, draft her an e-mail and just let her know I was unaware that they would need my transcripts again since I am currently enrolled at the university, that I paid to have them rushed delivered and shit, she can just look me up online and see that I have a 4.0 for my Masters degree.

It’s silly stuff, but I’d rather pay out the little extra and make sure that I dot my “i’s” and cross my “t’s.”

And really I am happy to do the work.

Although it is a little nerve-wracking.

I had a moment earlier today when I just didn’t know if I was going to get it all done and it felt really overwhelming and I had a mild fuck it moment.


Then I remembered the glowing letters of recommendation that I have received and I thought about how disappointed I would be in myself and I just told myself to take some deep breaths and just do the next action in front of me.

Nothing more.

Just that.

Which at one point was just wash my breakfast dishes.


It was to do my morning writing.

I had hit a place in the online application process where I felt I was too anxious to continue doing it and I realized that a good way to quell that anxiety would be to do my morning pages.


I just stopped working on the application and wrote three and a half pages long hand and then I did my hair and make up.

I got sassy today too.

I was feeling it.

It helps sometimes for me to get sassy when I am working on something like this, it brings my energy up to be playful and dressed up.

I dare say it worked.

I also focused on doing what the next thing was all day long.

After I got my transcripts ordered I had to mail out a piece of mail and I had to go to group supervision.


I did just that.

I got in my car and I drove to the nearest mailbox and I sent off a signed document for permission to send my transcripts from CIIS to CIIS.

I let go of resentment and judgement around it and just sent in the request.

Then I drove to my internship.

Getting there with just enough time to run to Gus’s Market and grab a to go box and get a salad for lunch.

I sat through two hours of group supervision, I discussed clients, I talked about personal self-care, I checked in about a new client and I supported the other trainees in the room with their processes.

After group supervision I dashed over to Optical Underground, which had moved from Grant Avenue to Linden Alley.

The traffic was hellacious, but I made it there on time and I was able to pick out two new frames for my new prescription.

I, yes, splurged on some prescription sunglasses, and I got a nice new pair for progressive glasses for every day use.

I also asked that they tighten up my current frames, which had gone all loosey goosey on me.

I am really happy I got the glasses and then I bounced to the bank to deposit a check from my employers for the over time I worked this past week.

They always pay me for overtime in cash rather than having me get taxed, which is really quite nice.

Filled up the car with gas and found parking close to my nail salon.

Manicure and eye brow waxing.

Then off to do the deal.

And back home.

I wasn’t going to do a bunch more work on the application.

But I had a moment of realizing that I could do it, that there were in fact, a few things that I could just address tonight and get out-of-the-way.

Thus the resume, the transcript order (first one I did earlier and I couldn’t figure out how to access my UW Madison account before I left for group supervision) for the second set of transcripts, the academic writing sample (ten pages that I went back over and combed and edited to tighten and polish), and the resume.



I only have to do the autobiographical statement tomorrow and a statement about my goals for the program.

I should be able to knock that out in an hour.

Very happy with everything I got done today.

God damn.

I am almost done with my PhD application!

How crazy is that?


Beautiful And Drunk

February 20, 2018


Tipsy on the way you look at me.

The way you hold me tight.

The feel of your arms around me.

Besotted with you face.

The way it is framed by the window pane behind you.

The view of the river and the dark limbs of trees wet with the falling snow.


Magicked from above on your whim.

To sucker punch me with your charms, the brightness of your eyes.

The adoration there.

Dreamy and smitten with you.

There is nothing I could imbibe that would render me more inebriated.

Than your face.

Softly bombed and smote on the laughter that falls from your mouth into my eager ears.



How I love you.

I cannot tally all the moments that whirl in my head.

I have snap shots.

Photographs of you.

Kissing your cheek in front of a Rothko.

Holding your hand walking across red brick alleys.

The birds, out of nowhere, singing, harmonizing our love, trilling it loud to the sky.

I turned my face up to that sky and watched the clots of snow drift down, catching some on the tip of my tongue and laughing, knowing that soon you would kiss that self-same mouth.

Sitting across a table from you while music from the soundtrack of our love story played over the speakers.

Snatches of songs that we send one another.

Playlists of longing.

Songs of sorrow and sadness and desires.

Torch songs.

Blues songs.

Love songs for lovers.

All love songs remind me of you now.



More than others.

You know the ones.

I am woozy with you.

You have gone to my head.

Once again.

Punch drunk on your love.

Enchanted and elated.



Though I may be foolish.


I hear music.

I think of fairy tales.


I want your happily ever after.

I want your love always.


I want you.

Won’t you want me too?

Just say you do.

Just please.

Say you do.


Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is La Vie En rose

When you kiss me heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see La Vie En Rose

When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom

And when you speak…angels sing from above
Everyday words seem…to turn into love songs

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La Vie En Rose.




I Watched A Murder

January 27, 2018

Of crows today.



Diving into the wind and the updrafts.

They swirled over Noe Valley.

Then swooped in a big circle, all of a flock, towards Bernal Heights.

I watched mesmerized by them, as they flew out past the avocado tree.

I thought of you.

I think of you often.

I think of you always.

When am I not thinking of you?

Your face.

Your smile.

God your smile.

What you do to my heart when you smile.

With love in your eyes, with longing.

I could throw myself on the altar of that smile and abandon myself there forever.

The crows though.


Graceful and black silhouetted against the blue and the grey white clouds.

How they come from nowhere, swirl around each other and dissolve away again.

I think of a tattoo I want.

Not the one I will get on the morrow.

My blue heart.

My blue valentine.

My broken open tender-hearted, open throated gasp of pain.

I expect it will hurt.

And perhaps.



I welcome the pain.

I want it centered on my breast-plate.

I want to ameliorate the rest of the emotional pain.

I want to sear it out and render it gone.


Well, I know that it will not be gone.

Only blanketed, momentarily in the sing-song of physical pain.

Which will melt away again.

Leaving me once more in this boat, trying to row my way to shore.

Trying to find my way without you.

How do I find my way without you?

I am so lost.

I need the moon in the sky.

Blue moon this month.

Two full moons in the month.

It began with the Wolf Moon.

And will end with a blue moon.

Blue heart.

Sad face.

Sad eyes.

I will look at that moon and think of you

Tears wash down my face even imagining it.

It will wake me in the night, the light through the back door.

And remind me of all the times the light fell through the back door.

Slanting and shifting onto my bed to illuminate you.

The light.

It loves your face.

And I see you there.

On my bed.

Lit and smiling and I just dissolve into unresolved longing.

Oh my love.

My dearest, sweetest, love.

I miss you so much.


When love is real you don’t have to show it
When it is true than everyone will know
‘Cause they’ll be no one but you and me, you
You and me
Nobody baby but you and me (hey hey hey hey oh oh oh oh oh oh)
You and me
You and me
Nobody baby but you and me
You, you
You, you
You, you
You, you
You and me, baby

These Dreams Of You

January 17, 2018

Flash through my body.

Flush my skin.

Swarm me in sunshine and ghostly kisses.

Daydreams swaddled in cotton candy colored love.

Wildflowers and butterflies.

Clouds that bound bucolic over the blue sky.

High above me, my heart soaring out like pigeons flocking towards pinnacle roofs and crosshatching stovepipes.

I sat and watched the sky today.

Thoughts of you breathless in my chest.

Words to songs tucked into my ears.

I felt as though I was in a movie montage.

A silent soundtrack that no one heard but I.

Although I suspect that you heard the melody as well, despite the miles between us.

Always this connection.

Electric and poignant.

Soul bound and heart-rending.

Soft poesie in the corners of my mouth, which would curl up like a swallow swooping through twilight.

He gives me love, love, love, love.

Crazy love.

God the need for you.

The need that swallows me, wraps me up, carries me away without my control or consent.



Swept away.

I watched the sky a lot today, I think that has been spoken too already, but the clouds and the palm fronds and the trees leaves cutting into those gauzy masses had me softened and bending and wistful.

Wistful that still haunts me and lingers.

A burnished ache in my breast.

As though I have a blazon there, a lighthouse beam of love.

I think to myself.

All the thoughts of you, innumerable, a veritable encyclopedia of thoughts on you.

A reference book writ on my heart.

I long just to hold you tight.

So baby, I can just feel you.



I am listening to Van Morrison.

Wishing I was dancing with you to the music and not longing for you while I listen to it.

Thoughts of you whilst you lay, way over there, lay, oh, so far away.

How I miss you.

How I love you.

Let me not count the ways.

I would curry no sleep, only the counting, which is infinite, endless, and full of untold depth and mystery.

Like your eyes.

I just want to come home.

Come home.

And see your eyes.

Your eyes.

Looking at me.

That way.

You know the one.


Like that.




And the hope is.

The wish is.

The desire is.

Fervent and deep.

That you’ll come running to me.

Hey, come running to me.

Oh baby.


Won’t you?



Running to me.


When Was I Happiest

January 6, 2018


I just asked myself that.

In a prompting kind of way, hey you, you need to write your blog, get your fingers moving on that keyboard, make some fucking magic happen.

Because all of the seven people who read my blog really want to know what I did today.


I recently got an update from WordPress that I have once again celebrated an anniversary.

Eight years of blogging.


What the fuck did I write about?

So many things, so many thoughts.

I have published over 2,400 blogs.

My average blog is somewhere between 1100-1300 words.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say 1,000.

That means that I have written over 2,4000,000 words.

Over two million words!

Who the hell knew there were so many words in my head?

I never suspected that I would be where I am in now in my life when I started writing this blog.

I was living on Taylor and Washington in a large studio that was on a cable car line.

I was working as a nanny in China Basin.

I made really good money.

More than I actually make now, if you can believe that, because it was all under the table.

I had a very nice Felt 35 racing bike that I did my commute on.

I was horribly lonely.

I felt like all I did was grind at work, I worked at least 50 hours a week.

Which is funny, as I put in about fifty hours a week now and go to graduate school full-time.

But at that time I was going through a lot of weird stuff.

I was desperately trying to get abstinent with my food, which I did do in that apartment, but it took a hot ass second.

I was trying, oh so very hard, to get some head way on my book, said head way has come to naught in many ways, but you know, I started this blog by publishing each of the chapters one by one in the pages.

If you should want to read some really bad writing, well it’s there.

For sure.

I had a friend read the book in manuscript form about four years ago and he told me with no mincing of words that if he didn’t know better he would have never believed that the person who wrote this blog was the same person who had written that book.

My writing, suffice to say, has gotten much better.

That’s what happens when you practice.

You get better.

I have had eight years of practicing this blog.

Some days I am so inordinately pleased with what I have written that I may actually go back and re-read a blog.

But not very often.

I generally throw it down on the page, I”m just transcribing my thoughts, and really, thank god I have some fast typing skills, I’m just writing what I am thinking.

It’s a little like having a one-sided conversation with me.

Hey how was your day?

Let me tell you about mine, and then I’m unleashed upon you.

Or something like that.

I am reflecting as I did my Morning Pages this morning in the place where Morning Pages originated for me, about ten years ago.


If you thought writing a blog eight years in a row was something, check out my history with writing my Morning Pages.

Ten years, going on eleven.

I realized that this morning as I sat in Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and some time to kill before I had to be into work.

So instead of getting up stupid early, I let myself sleep in, packed my breakfast and brought it with me, planning to eat it at the cafe while having a cafe au lait before going into work.

The cafe is much the same as when I first started hanging out at it.

I had moved to a shared apartment in a rent controlled Victorian on Capp Street and 23rd and Muddy’s was the closest cafe to me and the one where I did a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sitting with another woman and reading out of a big blue book.

So many women in that cafe, before my regular Wednesday haunt, as well as my regular Saturday gig and many other times in between.

And it was also the scene of The Artist Way group that I was a part of for a year and a half.

It was an awesome group.

We met for an hour before rolling up the hill to a spot in Noe Valley on Wednesday nights.

We would grab the big round table towards the back of the cafe and anywhere from 6 to 10 of us would sit down for about an hour and share about the assignments we had done from the book.

We did one chapter a week, followed the instructions regarding the assignments, and talked about our experiences working the projects and doing the morning pages.

The book suggests that every morning you take time to write three pages long hand.

Emphasis on long hand.

No typewrite, keyboard, tablet, computer.

My blog does not count as morning pages and never has.

There is something so captivating about writing on paper with a good pen.

I was writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks that I brought back from Paris this morning and I reflected on how it was in that group that I came to the realization that I wanted to go to Paris.

That I actually wanted to move to Paris.

It would take some years before I moved, but by participating in that group I realized how much I wanted to go to Paris and I took myself on a solo trip for ten days after doing the work in the book.

I took myself on artists dates, I went to museums, I bought myself nice paper, I sat and daydreamed in cafes and watched clouds roll by.

I looked out those same windows today and marveled.

Look how far I have come.

Look where I am now.

My best friend in Paris messaged me today about when I’ll be going back.

I have been to Paris five times since I made that decision, and yes, one of those times was to live there for six months.

I have re-written that book.

Although I still don’t think it’s at a publishable place.

I have written poems.

I have performed with djs in nightclubs reciting my poems.

One of them became a recording.

I have lectured on stage.

I have traveled.

I went to Burning Man, a lot.

I traveled to New York by myself as well as New Orleans to go see art.

I have taken 1,000s and 1,000s of photographs.

I have written millions of words.

I think I have a few million more.

I have done morning pages in Paris, London, Rome, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Madison, Wisconsin, Anchorage, Alaska, Burning Man, Reno, San Diego, Las Vegas, and probably a bunch of other places I can’t remember now.

But they all started one night in a Muddy Waters coffee shop on Valencia and 24th.

Opening a door that has led me down this meandering path of creation and love.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.

And I Will Be Driving

January 2, 2018

All week.

No scooter for me that I can see for the next six to seven days.


Loads of rain in the forecast.

Tomorrow it looks like it went from forecasted rain to just overcast, but I think I will take my car anyway, just in case and because I really like driving it.

I reflected on that as I was helping my person run a little errand from his house, I got to spend a really lovely afternoon with him catching up, checking in, and doing the deal.

He’s doing really well, but gets tired fast.

We did a walk around the block after chatting for an hour and a half and then an errand to the bank, he was done in by the time I got him back to his house.

A very sweet little abode up in the upper part of Noe Valley at Caesar Chavez and I think 27th.

He’s been there for twenty years.

A gorgeous little one bedroom with the sweetest view.

I joked that I wanted it when he dies.

“Girleen, you’ll be with someone long before then and you and your man will want more space than I have here.”

He made a good point, it would be cramped for two people, but I have to say I had a little apartment envy considering it’s a little more than twice the size of my studio and he pays much less than I pay and he has windows, so many windows, hella jealous of the light, but super grateful he’s in a really good spot.


It was good to get face to face time.

We do a lot of phone check ins, I might call him every day, just leaving a message to touch base, and at least once a week we do a longer check in, and then we meet when my schedule allows, once his hip is fully healed there will be more regular face to face meetings.

I’m super grateful for him, he helps me so much with my perspective and my way of being in the world and he is a marvelous witness to my journey, he’s family really.

I have told him that should I get married he would be the person giving me away.

He’s the only man who I could fathom walking me down an aisle.

He sees me and for that I am graced.

I’ve been working with him now for about four years and he’s seen me through a lot.

I did not have much more on my plate today than seeing him.

I got up, after sleeping in, last time I’ll be sleeping in for a while, and went to yoga.

I didn’t have to bargain too hard with my brain to go and I had a good work out.

I really do want to get in more yoga classes, I realized today that going three days over the long weekend really made a difference, I could tell how different my body felt and some poses were much easier with just another day of practice thrown into the mix.

I could sneak into the 7 a.m. yoga class tomorrow, it would end by 8:15 a.m.

I’d have to fly home, shower, and dress lickety split and be on the road by 8:45/9 a.m.

I have therapy at 9:30 a.m. in Noe Valley before work.


It all starts back up tomorrow.

Work, therapy, seeing clients.

It’s not a full week with clients, I still have a few that are out-of-town, so it will be a nice easing back into the week.

What will be nice is that the kids will be back in school, which means a little less frenzy at the house in the mornings and some solo work with just the baby.

Back to work tomorrow.

Back to therapy.

It will be good.

I feel like I have come through an interesting time with the holidays.

And I’m grateful for the experiences I got to have, I learned a lot about myself, my expectations, and what I need in my life and what love means to me and how to work on cultivating that in my life.

I am loved.

And I’m not unaware of it.

I am grace with it.

It is like a sun halo on my heart.

A field of eider-down puffs and late afternoon light strained through honey.

This love that catches at my heart like breezes through summer trees.

I am adorned with it.

I got to see it very clearly today in my chat with my person and I am once again awed by all that I have.

Gratitude in spades, gratitude for my life, my experiences, for getting to be the woman I am, for what I have.

It’s not conventional, my life, and fuck, you know, I’m grateful for that too.

I believe I live a more passionate and alive life than most and I wouldn’t trade it for some one else’s trumped-up ideas of stability.

I have so very much.

And I am so very alive.

I am also grateful that I took care of my house today and got myself ready for the week.

I took down the Christmas tree, wrapping up all the ornaments, rolling up the lights, taking down the Christmas cards, packing things away.

All done for another year.

It was the right time to do it and I’m glad I didn’t leave the tree up longer, although for a minute my heart was just not into dismantling it.

I have some very sweet memories of my time with said Christmas tree this year and wrapping up all the ornaments and putting them in my Christmas box really highlighted the holiday I got to have that was similar and completely dissimilar to any other Christmas I have had.

So many lovely memories.

Nestled into tissue paper and carefully tucked away in my precious box of ornaments.

And today is the first day of a new year.

So much is going to happen.

I can feel it.

A pricking in my fingers.

A tingling in my bones.

Electricity in my blood.

This year is going to blow the lid off.

Just you wait.

It’s going to be a hell of a year.

Watch me.

When You Feel Heartbroken

December 14, 2017

And you don’t know what to do.

You write.

You cry a bit.

You put on Wooden Heart’s Listener album and sing along to torch songs.

About crows and whiskey and prayers that aren’t heard.

But God hears the prayers.

He just doesn’t always give you the answers you want to hear.

You think about dying.

But you don’t die.

You put on a brave face and tell yourself that the pain is alright.

That’s how you grow.

Isn’t it.


And I don’t want to die.

I still have so much living to do.

Maybe I just want to crawl into bed and cry into my pillows.

Fall asleep with tears rolling down my face and stare at the dark ceiling.

And wonder about the next door neighbor and the piano jazz that sometimes seeps out the windows of the ramshackle house at odd hours.

And maybe while I’m crying I’ll think about integrity and honesty and pain.

Because maybe you forgot what the pain feels like.


Until you feel the pain again.

And the surprise of it.

As though the past haunting hurt was just a whisper of how it feels now.

And maybe I’m not supposed to remember how it hurts.

Because then maybe I wouldn’t dare to love again.

Or love now.

I know I’m alive.

I know because it hurts.

And every moment of silence sinks me deeper.

The deep blue of Halsman’s Marilyn Monroe.

The old faded blue Christmas tree lights.

The blue ribbon on the package under the boughs.

Sinking me down.

So I write.

To process it all.

To not sink and stay sunk.

And I cry, soft, wicked slow, tears melting and wet.

Crumpled up and bent over and crying.

And maybe that’s ok.

It’s not, not ok.

It’s just a feeling.

It will pass.


Every season of grief has a meaning.

I just wish it wasn’t at Christmas time.

The baffled cheeriness of my battered heart.

Listening to Charlie Brown Christmas during the afternoon.

Watching the high blue sky and thinking of you.

Driving in my car so alive, so bouyant, so happy, so grateful.

To end the day in tears and confused and forsook.

I forsake myself, haven’t I?

Haunted by the last kiss you placed on my mouth.

Did you really tell me to scotch guard my shoes?

Were those your last words?

Because there’s no more to say, nothing left to say?

We all have the same holes in our heart.

Maybe I’ll just walk down to the sea and watch the meteor shower.

The sea can wash away the pain.

The sea can have it.

I won’t die from a broken heart.

It just feels that way.

That’s all.


Speak To Me

November 12, 2017

Of the desire in my psyche.

As I try to move.

Closer to you.

Binding my heart.

Against the heart place in your body.


Landed in heat.

Transcending my day to day human life.

You have given me access to energy.

Star energy.

Dream energy.

Love energy.

The chemistry of love ignites within me–

Binding me with bright prisms of light.

Blinding me to all else.


Your souls depth calling me home.

Descending me into vulnerability.


Embuing my life with purpose.

Through the feeling of love for you.

Sublime you.

My kissling.

My burnished butterfly wing.

My sacred crow calls and whisperings.

Leveling me with your divinity.

Archetype of my heart.

Reflected in your heart.

Transcending my needs.


Glorifying me.

Connecting me to this blue

Incantation of you.


My tether point.



Bless you my darling.

May the angels of dawn.

Kiss you.


You lay dreaming.

My Loving Present

October 13, 2017

You are my holy ideal.

My passion.

My archetype cohered to my heart.





Connected to this fire of love.

How I am put together.

Ingrained to my flexible soul.

All that stuff.

All these things.

Opening into space.

Breathing my heart open.

Opening me to more to be more.

I see a table-cloth, red checked.

Flaring out.

A blanket of hope and a lens too.

Complex and beatific.

Oh the awe for you of you about you.

The depth of you.

My value increasing with every breath.

Virtuosity in the cello string.

The thrum of my song of love.

Adoration of crows.

Murder of my ideas of who I am.

Into who I am becoming.

Filtered through this

Harrowing of you.

Exacerbate me.

Explode me.


Reconstitute me.

In your love.

The fall from being.

Into your arms savages me and saves me.

Activating me.

Another layer comes forth.

Another exploration.

Basic trust.



Foundational love.

My own capacity,


My heart in my chest.

Exposed to the air,

The fire and heat of you.

I stand strong and still in this knowledge,

In my being.

I let myself bathe in the bliss

Of you.

Your love, flying in the

Face of impossibility.

Which guides me to my expansive


Embodied and alive.

In the benevolent glory,

The astonishing glow,

Of you.

Bach Cello Sonata No.1

October 11, 2017

In G.

And 5 and 6 as well.

Yo Yo Ma.

That is what I am listening to.

It was an intense day and I feel it slowly easing out of my body and sliding to the floor in a big puddle.

I could slide to the floor in a big puddle.

When I need to calm down and unwind I like to listen to this in particular.

It is sweet and I find it wistful, God I miss playing the cello.

There’s a spot about 1:50 into the first sonata and I can feel the bow in my hand, I can see my fingers striding over the neck of the cello and I can feel it between my legs.

I can get weepy thinking about it.

One would suppose that I would be past it, this yearning, but somethings stay with me a long time.

I don’t know that I ever really got over the loss of playing cello.

And I have had it suggested too many times to count that maybe I pick it up again.

I think.


Let me do that.

In what fucking time?

I could give up writing in the morning.

I could play music for my morning spiritual fix.

I could not buy a car and buy a cello.

I could go over to Roland Feller and blow my heart out on a cello.

Roland Feller is the luthier for the San Francisco Symphony.

I went once, with a friend who worked out of the Burning Man offices when I was nannying there many years ago now.

He is a professional cello player and gigs about and plays with the San Jose Orchestra.

He gave me lessons for a while and one day took me to Roland Feller.

I would have never known that there was a luthier there.

It is an extraordinary nondescript house next to the Popeye’s Chicken on Divisadero Street.

There is no signage.

You have to make an appointment.

There is a gate and a call box and it looks like some cheap apartment, well, it’s in San Francisco so it’s probably not cheap, but the door opens into this gold mine of classical music instruments.



Stand up Bass.


Oh and the cellos.

I played a few different ones and I remember one in particular, it was luscious, the sound so rich, so vibrant, it made me quiver with delight.

My friend teased me a little that I was passionate and looked as though I might be having the sexy thoughts.

I had never had a cello quite that caliber ever before in my hands.

It was exquisite.

And one day.


I have written on this topic before, I will have another cello.

I’m not there yet.

But one day.

And in the mean time.


I have my Yo Yo Ma and I have Bach.

And Debussy.

And Chopin.

Oh the Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor.


So good.

The Bach is my favorite, but that Chopin is glorious too, passionate and brash and stupendous.

I love that I love classical music.

I don’t look the type.

Except, well, maybe that’s not true.

I feel like I might look the type, that there’s a brazen woman cellist in my heart.

Maybe she smashes herself on her music like I smash myself with my poetry.

Maybe one day the two will get back together again.

I don’t expect that I will ever be great, I never was great, but I had heart, yes, I had great big heart and I knew it and so did my most ardent supporter–my orchestra conductor, Mister Ziegler.

Where ever you are, you meant something to me that few teachers do.

He supported me, he was honest with me, he argued for me.

He brought in my mom and my step father, the fuck (egad, maybe I need yet another inventory on the man, christ), and sat them down and tried, oh how hard he tried, to convince them to not let me quit cello.

Quitting cello was not my idea.

It was my stepfathers idea.

We didn’t have enough money and my parents, god I can’t even say that, the man was never a fucking parent to me, he was a violent misogynistic sociopath, but not a parent, had bought a house in Windsor, outside the school system I was in at the time I was playing cello.

There was no thought of a tutor, I had one actually, that my conductor had arranged with the school and I was given said tutoring for free, but to move away from the school system I would lose that.

And the school that was closest to me, the one that I would attend, DeForest, well, they didn’t have an orchestra.

Oh sure.

They had band.

But no orchestra.

They had cut the funding for the orchestra.

You should see the football stadium though, a work of art that.


My conductor tried to argue that my parents continuing my tutoring or that I commute in to Madison for school and still stay with the cello.


There were words, there was fire, I could see how hard my conductor was trying to get through to my parents.

My stepfather hated me playing.

He hated me practicing.

I got lost in the cello, I wasn’t there, I was gone, gone, gone, and he wanted me present and not in my fantasy world.

He also did not like that I read as much as I did, I shit you not.

What fucking parent doesn’t want their children to read?

When I was punished some of the worst punishments were being denied those things that I loved most.

Books and my cello.

Cello was first to go.

“Put it away and go clean the bathtub,” he said.

The the books were taken.

I don’t know what I did, I mean, I have absolutely no recollection of what I had done to deserve the grounding to my room one weekend, but he was diabolical.

I had no problem being grounded to my room, fine with me, I won’t have to look at you.

I’ll read, thank you very much.


Oh my fucking god, the man had removed every single book I had in my room, everything was gone, it was stripped.

Thank God I had one underneath the mattress of my bed.

Fucking stashed my back up drugs thank you very much.


It wasn’t much of a surprise, after the cello was taken and my stepfather and my mom left the orchestra room with me sadly in tow, that once we moved to Windsor I was to be denied academic access as well.

“She’s too proud, she needs to be humbled, she’s not allowed to do it,” he told my mom, who had tried in her own way to get him to give his permission to sway him.

I was trailing behind in the snow walking down Windsor Road in the middle of a cold ass night listening to them argue about me and the invitation I had been given to join an advanced English class-accelerated and an accelerated math class.

I didn’t care so much about the math, irony, I was actually able to attend that, I think my mom might have had a hook up or something with the math teacher now that I look back, but the English was resolutely denied.

I can feel rage in my chest when I think about that.

“Too proud, she’s just too fucking proud.”

And maybe I was.

Pride goeth before the fall.

I have been humbled in many ways, but I still like my books and I still love listening to cello.

And I am beyond proud of how I grew and became the woman I am today.

Despite the horrendous odds against me growing up.

I got out.

And you can’t put me down.


I will not be ground down.

I will thrive.

I am thriving.

I am alive.





And yes.






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