11/01 Direct Link
several things came to mind, he hadn’t taken it, the–his–performance seriously until too late and then he got uncharacteristically nervous, not that he probably doesn’t get nervous but he hadn’t framed his mind properly, I mean he was good but not great or great but not courageous in the moment, relying instead on his done it a thousand times, he mistook his audience thinking us merely small town folk, secondly he couldn’t have been–wrestling the way he did–one with his instrument which distracted me, forecasting–telling–more than I wanted to know; he couldn’t be great
the under billed guitarist was superb
11/02 Direct Link
driving through sebastopol the women in black and others against the war were on their side of the street and the support the troops guy/s on the other, augmented by
a(nother) vet who was against the war, always thinking there’s no reason to assume fundamental disagreement it jars me that they stand apart
I leaned out my window, “we’re all on the same side.”
“no!” it was only the peace guy who shouted back, “no we’re not they’re war mongers!”

there it is, if two men side by side on the sidewalk can’t manage it, we’re out of business
11/03 Direct Link
it seems before I go mucking–uninvited–into her business–the story starts with I just phoned to say you’re a bitch and the ways in which from his point of view she is and from hers, not–I should take care of mine and make amends, offer apology for our misunderstanding of and little attention given to what it meant to make a go of the store and how little room we gave you to change and to enjoy if not prosperity at least a good bottle of wine and to say I’ve a jacket in my closet that belongs to your family
11/04 Direct Link
she–who’s known me a long time–and I were doing business and of a sudden she put down her pencil and looked, and hollered. Fun! she hooted seeing my hair, grinning all to hell. exactly it! I said.

sitting on the point to my right the edge of the pacific to my left the mouth of Tomales Bay where the sharks feed, it’s (all) very clear

OurMother, will be just out of reach this time; he suggested our coming would perhaps retrieve her to our frame of reference, I go of course to give her leave not to call her back
11/05 Direct Link
it’s not about playing for memory but for heart or from heart
like the answer to the question about my work is it true about should first of all be turned back to the questioner, you tell me, is it? which of course is to say all work that comes from the heart that speaks to the heart is true and I will use any facts or falsehoods to speak to a to evoke the inherent potential–in all senses of the word–in a of a feeling
so his playing is more true when he is in the heart of it
11/06 Direct Link
so having broken the as it turns out only imagined barrier of can’t play for memory or heart as the case may be since it wasn’t that at all but a particular kind of attention paid instead so the minute I started attending to the passage and the way in which the notes were tied together, the sound patterns finger patterns banjo patterns visual patterns I was ‘all of a sudden’ able to play it without the music because it made inherent sense–in all senses
and now the topsy turvy of it is then I can’t play if from music
11/07 Direct Link
the irony is the evoked feeling in the story mimics the sense of–and leaves the reader feeling–as if she/he doesn’t know what it’s about, which is the–stated in fact–point

I imagined the south another country or certainly a different stock. Was prepared to be an outsider, on my best behavior. Drab at first, barely visible, looking around to get the lay of things. But it wasn’t necessary. We recognized the each other in us just fine. Except for the ghosts and the apologies. And them treating me as if I were some sort of demi-goddess. From the land of oz.
11/08 Direct Link
it’s not about memory but about being present, knowing as they said as they say the tune, where it’s going and like with writing getting out of the way, not micro-managing but allowing for the concept to unfold or being inside the poem in the moment, the intent of the sphere and its logic and rhythm, when you read as opposed to impatient or lurking

I will go dressed in forest greens and browns from a time ago with auburn hair then and again

time has folded, I am in a quietude; the sounds are the birds and foxes; music
11/09 Direct Link
I wake up up in the middle of the night now and take great comfort and joy in there being no low spot to which my mind automatically goes. no worry or no worries.

the reading had the same magic as the walk, good will, enough for everyone and a grand sense of community and connection attributable in some part to us, is that, the work of a publisher?

the year’s commitments are completed. I’m free to roam now. Or am out of excuses, cul de sacs and other black holes that obfuscate and otherwise interfere with my writing projects
11/10 Direct Link
it’s been since August since last I saw ourmother, the longest separation since the beginning of this season of daughtering which I suppose speaks directly to a year later a stability, a peace, a things simply as they are hard won and now it is simply that I miss her
the wondrous thing is there is still and all a wondrous her to miss and to find and miss in the wrong looking and a me to find that goes along with it
there is a touch a being touched that is the memory of being together before spoken language
11/11 Direct Link
as much as I contrive to be one step ahead it is not to be, she was they were good days, they having primed and primped her to look good so we wouldn’t be I don’t know what and so she did, damn!

and yet when I said to sue I don’t know what you did to her but she looks great she said it would be wrong of me to not say she is not as good as she looks, so there you have it

I wonder if it’s better to have her better or worse than she looks
11/12 Direct Link
which of course leaves out her part in it, ever and still the consummate performer no matter the language speaking of I wonder if learning the non-spoken languages of autism will in time inform us in the realm of de- or dis- mentia/s as well
her blue eyes now clearer than ever still light up when she is in pleasure or slam shut like a door when she is whelmed

in the off-time we ouryoungerbrother, olderbrother, his daughter, and I stayed uptown, and our elders rolling over in their oh so communist graves were, in fact high–and to mention–upper class
11/13 Direct Link
I dreamed she was indentured and worked to the bone. And I mourned. I dreamed that when I picked Gus–my bony ancient tabby cat–up his whole hind quarter fell away and I mourned. I dreamed Paul fell over dead and I woke up.

Awake there is an as if quality to the sadness that I can’t quite get to. Alive is not dead. Out of the blue, wandering closer by than usual she said you’ve lost weight! yes I answered how much she wanted to know and then she followed the lines on her hand back to the blue yonder.
11/14 Direct Link
so I dared yeah I did to speak up, to voice knowing the difference between good and great between there and not between cheap and telling and the real deal and evoking between new and used and that said the second time he played it, it was he was alive

and the third time was out of this world

so I was about to whine about how many times I’d heard him play the villa lobos only to realize that I hadn’t heard it yet, which is to say familiarity does not always breed contempt, like everything else it depends
11/15 Direct Link
take instruction, he wanted to know why one takes instruction–banjo lessons in this case–and even more so: why, if you are unwilling to try or learn anything new, taking instruction is a bit of a mouthful but that notwithstanding music lessons are a multi splendored thing, even as an adult by which I mean no one made me, my second chin out response was of course it is a conversation but in fact that assumes a leg to stand on which means one first must have already tried and learned (taken instruction if you will) something whether good or bad
11/16 Direct Link
now, taking lesson is part of the lesson from not one but two because I have so much to learn which once started reminds me of all the things I had learned–which I’d worked so hard not to, that now lend themselves to being remembered

it’s about–too california for words notwithstanding–tapping into, supporting, nourishing, and holding for me when I lose the faith, my willingness and intention, and serious & not everyone who plays the banjo is a bit of a ham so it’s about goosing that edge, and of course my native curiosity, in all senses

and then comes conversation
11/17 Direct Link
but first there’s showing up, it keeps coming back to that, the best student shows up, I have no recollection of ever, during the violin years, talking about the music, or the violin, or my curiosity or lack thereof, or proclivities and lack thereof, being the daughter of a professional musician and taking lessons from the best of the them–they were all friends, I was as if down a chute sent
it’s not that I didn’t love music, well it’s not as if I didn’t breathe music and pass every milestone that’s known to man with music in the background
11/18 Direct Link
doomed from the start, the circle I was born into was meant for stars, which is not meant as a whine so you can forget the cheese which I’m happily eating, it just informs the conversation about taking and giving instruction, lesson, and what makes the giving, and taking, sing–if you will fact is neither of my teachers are stellar teachers, but they impart a passion for their playing and for their instrument and its music and history and they show up with experience knowledge and generosity and a curiosity–among other things about me–and

they’ve opened a world for me!
11/19 Direct Link
maybe it’s about the synergy of the pair, and that great teaching and learning is in the collaboration, the give and take of instruction and learning that speaks to a fundamental generosity which allows for among things imperfection making room instead for courageous excellence which gives room for curiosity which fuels learning and so spurs the willingness of the other, the elder if you will, to impart then from the wellspring of their muse and so it starts that thing that is–the best–instruction giving and taking
it is I suppose a grand covenant of sorts, of spoken and not, agreements
11/20 Direct Link
what did I mean by stellar she asked, and I guess I mean out of this world as in starlet or iconic

anyway I started out to say I’m not a stellar student either by which I meant I will be able to play the banjo purty well but I’m not going to be a banjoist when I grow up...which in the violin years by default meant unstellar

...she said her voice students didn’t sing for her until about 6 weeks after the first lesson; and I realize, entropy–one of my teachers–allowed me not to play until I was ready
11/21 Direct Link
but and then there is the whole issue of trust and I must say I in fact trust both my teachers–even though even at the beginning entropy used to get so frustrated with me because I couldn’t, (still can’t though with practice I’m getting better) ‘hear’ what he’s doing–by which I mean among other things they make it, allow it to be safe, though entropy was not sure about me for a good while I don’t think, in any way, was not sure I would last mostly and anti-entropy is, would choose to be if allowed a bit (ha) controlling
11/22 Direct Link
which is to say we all–stellar or not–have our foibles and expectations and we start in and from different places with different purposes in mind and inhabit our knowing and not knowing differently and our fears and our self consciousness

in the violin years I spent in every sense of the word each Saturday morning taking–or as the case was being given–a violin lesson, in my mind I preferred the idea of being the bus driver

now I love the feeling of gathering up my banjo and heading to my banjo lesson which at times takes up an entire weekend
11/23 Direct Link
we have local radio in our small town, not only an up and coming performing arts center full of divas and their politics–backbiting and otherwise–which streams on the internet and I of PenHouseInk Press and we of the PenHouseInk Guild were invited to read and talk and act like writers editors publishers and it wasn’t until the last minute I remembered that one of the beauties is that everyone if they but knew which they didn’t could listen though I got over myself and did tell one person who might–or not–have spread the word

I have my shy streaks
11/24 Direct Link
the anticipation of my very soon to be completed banjo is at least whelming if not overwhelming it’s an odd awed thing, a thing the excitement in its own right rite that has and doesn’t depending on how you look at it any thing to do with the banjo–an instrument one of a kind built put together imagined in part by and for me which is in the end only and not just a banjo, itself

and as badly as I can’t wait when the wait is over this time of daydreaming of imagining of possibility of foretelling is spent
11/25 Direct Link
luckily I’d been there, in the cramped studio, before talking about the upcoming poetry walk and luckily I can talk on the spot without feeling on the spot and not so much luckily but–without malice of forethought and plenty of it–I know my mind about pauses the terrors of dead time on radio notwithstanding &so there is time to think
and she at first having suggested a bell or some such end of poem signifier did in the lead up give me the “no bell prize” allowing the work and listener the time needed to like a fine wine breathe
11/26 Direct Link
a desperately ordinary man without weakness or secrets forever imagining complication/s that might make his otherwise seamless and boring, unchanging, life tolerable, he has nothing to measure content against, so he’s not

content latin contentus satisfied, from tenere to hold

he came to me in the middle of the night looking for a story to be part of

she hoped I’d read Father of The Woman about invisibility–using my father’s suicide– but I can’t just now it falling away as the story I’m part of, and not yet old saw enough to have found its new place in my repertoire
11/27 Direct Link
disappointment no expectations he keeps saying wanting to waylay any possible disappointment {Old French desappointer deprive of a position}

can, does one anticipate without expectation, is disappointment a spoiler, or is not what one expected simply by default a disappointment and inherently then neither good nor bad

as he waits for me to come, as if I were a bride and it my groom, does he worry about my disappointment or does he worry about his own disappointment if I do not respond as is the expectation I will

all the world’s a stage

five more days until the unveiling
11/28 Direct Link
it is misconstrued as always doing what he wants or she wants, it’s only seeming and another one of those tropes since there is always movement toward if nothing else chaos...and all things being equal ambivalence is its own black hole

he only expected honesty and doesn’t give a good god damn or misunderstand if she joins him or not, is much more observant of how it is she came by her direction her decision and the telling of it

what thing makes everything before it a lie, becomes that thing for which there is no forgiveness, no forbearance
11/29 Direct Link
the risk of participation– ah yes, good teacher good student, honesty good writer, good mentor, good neighbor good friend–
is then the risk of feelings, of not vulnerable one of those too california for words words by now suggesting victimization and default but of standing on the line and being accountable for the consequence of ones action ones desire and ones effectiveness and of course then truth telling

which then is the obfuscation, trick, of striving for–the no such thing as–excellence,

it’s a good line but since you are by default out of the playing field you’re off the hook
11/30 Direct Link
sharing; taking part of part in, being some of a whole
out of control, alive

ourmother is still alive still some semblance of her self herself still so not dead, not even dying and with her gusto absent her force is yet living this aspect full bore such as it is, there is a lesson here
there is a certain centrism that would cast this simply as sad, misses the point
to say I am sad is different,
to say visiting her is stressful–it takes a huge toll–is true but I wonder what the racket is

she is at peace