01/01 Direct Link
provoke invoke evoke convoke
it dawned on me thinking about not so much rendering a piece of music note for note or paying so much attention to the map you miss the scenery and thinking of the nature of oral aural tradition as opposed to the nature of a thing written and anchored as if in stone and so of course right for ever but either way you’ve got to know feel understand grasp hear the music, the tune, the seminal nature of that thing that you are entering into and sharing or playing not so much note for note
01/02 Direct Link
in the night cats in the no power dark on the bed off the bed in the rain outside on the roof drumming I found the pain again in the rain cats off the bed cats on the bed pain’s perfect pitch riding the wind like a freight train up the canyon wake with a fright of live wires and nerves pain’s exquisite harmony an uneasy reminder of the rhumba down my leg of a time ago; but steady as I go I’ll weather the storm and the gerrymandering insurance company who of this same sudden would change my physicaltherapist
01/03 Direct Link
I’d just gotten through thinking if I met her on the street and she started in somehow thinking I was still holding the bag I’d have to put my hand out and say my name is judi, pleased to meet you
apparently I’d been on her mind as well, and having allowed the running into her to run its course she kept her own counsel, thanked me for mine of long ago and now we can meet as strangers with a history that kindles the interest but which is not to be used, thank you johnnie
she’s good she says
01/04 Direct Link
big river and rain huge winds and I see sweet unwind and realize the easy pleasure of no stress admiring yet again how stressful normal life was yo those not so many years ago when we were both working ‘in The City’ wow and see too it’s not no struggle but not struggling; the widow makers of our beloved trees broke the neutral line to our service drop–again and–well they’ll fix it when they do is the thing
meanwhile we have our generator–but we do–and our roof is not leaking our cats are fine and so are we, even stressed
01/05 Direct Link
it was pouring rain and my first thought was how silly to be out, I mean pouring fucking rain and fucking pouring rain and then I thought hell I used to drive to work in this shit why wouldn’t I be out and about for a thing of pleasure–my banjo lesson–and then I grinned again knowing that in the violin years I would’ve surely nailed the weather as the perfect excuse for not going to my lesson and then as if to prove my point there was a bolt of lightening and a huge crash of thunder, it was terrific!
01/06 Direct Link
he would still have me strive for that play it through seven times or five times perfectly–and I have been thinking of what I can play through excellently it is not quite the same
I think of it more in terms competence and communicating and sharing and whereas I don't strive for perfection I would for a kind of mastery and fluidity and comfort with the music and a seamless offering of the experience of the music whether or not the notes are completely perfect, which is to say I’m looking for the music to be perfect, not the notes
01/07 Direct Link
I’m again embarrassed to say I completely missed this with OurMother’s music making, how so très shallow; or one might say childish, or inattentive, unknowing thoughtless hadn’t really given it much thought, imagine that or missed that I hadn’t missed it though god knows I always knew her every mistake or had heard her every mistake had practiced in every sense of the word her every mistake this changes the onus a bit but I never once just listened to her music making until that is I heard michael her longstanding student now a musician in his own right play
01/08 Direct Link
rooted in all things empirical ourfather, a faithless hopeless skeptic by trade and politic, a stalwart watcher and pollster in his own write right rite and bar none the most opinionated man I ever knew, unwavering and unapologetic in his stance, never mind provocative especially during those self-affirming times of my own righteousness and to his dying day certain of everyone else’s right to be wrong nevertheless doggedly applied stalwart and stringent criteria before assigning causal relationship/s, never once claimed to know when he did not
acting as if you know when you don’t–or can’t–is no better than–any faith based–rhetoric
01/09 Direct Link
my father uneasy with easy explanation his own penchant for conspiracy notwithstanding his ambivalent feelings about this country behind the dollar curtain land of the knave and home of the fee withstanding is restive in his grave crying foul with begging not knowing with more of the same

clinton did not win the election because she cried
obama did not lose the election because he is black

knowing is hard enough, predicting is at best about probability
polls, dependent on sampling and self reporting, come with built-in ± error

that said, it’s time to figure out what else we didn’t/don’t know
01/10 Direct Link
a real time lesson among other things in the vernacular, I could not help but conjure how many different ways common usage withstanding or not it would go wrong to have said out loud I wonder if Hillary Clinton is the best man for the job, which of course I’m not sure she is but then have you any idea which part of not the best man for the job I mean, that said I’m not sure obama is the best man for the job either

smallmindedness will be our undoing

that said he is a better man than she
01/11 Direct Link
been sick as a dog for days why didn’t you mention it she asks when I finally do, I was busy I guess or sick or hadn’t thought of it that way at first, and then just hunkered down down down down, and it takes energy that I didn’t readily have and then before you know it two weeks have gone by and I realize I’ve been sick as a dog for days and though not 100 % I’m not losing ground any more, not so much getting better as not getting worse which is for starters a damn fine start,
01/12 Direct Link
it’s just something like this he says that will bring this county to its knees, no small thing to say of my recent bout of bronchitis, or of the nature of his damn sick database he whose bread and butter is our collective ill health, he whose threshold to manage is the hospital’s in or not flux no small thing these small things–a common virus and not enough to go around–that will upend us in the not so long run
great equalizers and lowest common denominators that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men have no sway over
01/13 Direct Link
no stranger to this land nevertheless stripped to my bare essentials I forgot and otherwise lost track of just those things that are the worth of it that make up the imagining that are backdrop to the dark crevice that are the interstitial spaces of curiosity, I forgot the pleasure of my banjo never mind my flesh or his stripped to the bear essentials there was a certain cowardice, a tired passivity masquerading as faith no coward the default catches me by surprise there is no rejoinder, only waiting until I get a certain kind of mad, waiting woman mad
01/14 Direct Link
she may be the better man but I can’t bring myself to vote for her not that I’d mind if she ended up with it, fact is any of the three of them would be better than the other options which is not to say that my choice is unimportant, it’s just I’ve not yet decided how I’m going to decide who will do a better job who will better represent–both speak for me and stand in for–me; and if it’s an issue who can beat the republicans who at this time are simply godforsaken crooks all their rhetoric notwithstanding
01/15 Direct Link
stocky bulky unmoveable as a watchdog murky brown eyes heavy lids full brow unlined forehead thick long brushcut hair good to run fingers through which he would never allow clean always pressed unimaginative clothes sensible if uncomfortable shoes ever present as an ache that I would call Torrence fair but impatient, rough but means nothing by it
it was the other–blue no light unwavering eyes a seductive, in spite of yourself, beauty and a meanness that chilled, with a whimsy and bully a bark and once bitten there’s nothing you wouldn’t hand over to avoid the second–who had me whipped
01/16 Direct Link
it took a while to figure it all out, a tribute to how much goes unnoticed, to how easily no matter a dogged vigilance one falls behind, I was nearly obliterated bankrupted comes to mind corrupted certainly disrupted we were together a good while I thought I knew you so well, cheap common and true, ravaged it bothers me now that I, mistress of names, never named you never called you by name would it have mattered changed the outcome made it worse, there was no part of my life that wasn’t ruptured, rapture
by any other name unmitigated pain
01/17 Direct Link
not that you lied, I made the mistakes of arrogance a certain insouciance a misplaced je ne sais quoi that morphed transliterated blossomed into a paralysis, I wasn’t afraid, I should have been
I understood, I shouldn’t have
I was patient read ineffective you caressed and cocooned me wooed me courted me had me hands down baffled me queered me I would have died for you, cheap common but true there were no other avenues, rapt
by any other name pain

refractory jealous proud and possessive as any lover I would have handed over all the secrets broken my word
01/18 Direct Link
and nothing or all to lose was all of a longtime hard won coming was no eye I to the future time was no space was no place no geography no metaphor no dimension I was flat lined dispirited walking dead cheap common but true burrowing toward a couldn’t remember not to be found rest quiet still, if only I was a lump on a log, nirvana by any other name suffering torment torture

nowhere to run to nowhere to hide oh sinner man

my body did not understand its own tongue I had nothing to bargain with, no prayer,
01/19 Direct Link
understanding now in a way I never could have had to before, the relationship a person has with pain by any other name, hopelessness
there are endpoints, the wisdom of the labyrinth notwithstanding
there are endpoints, sheddings like hair or bodily waste, pain by any other name anguish is an endpoint, one I was not able to overcome could not bullishly with elan or otherwise see never mind talk my way out of, the next level is dying, change as death

cemetery by any other name, rest is an endpoint

you who I did not foresee this happening to me,
01/20 Direct Link
-knee replacement surgery was dec 2004
-November 2005 my get together went catty-wumpus
-February 2006 started taking pregabalin
-now I go down to 25 mg and by–mid feb–two years later I hope to be able to call it quits

she said she thought I was different once I started taking the medication, that my thinking was different, and I agreed but by then my thinking was already different by then without a second thought I would have done anything to obliterate the blinding shrieking deafening not deadening though I was deadened pain, anything

so I started taking the pills
01/21 Direct Link
it’s not that he’s so innocent that would not bode well either after all untainted speaks to a naivete we can ill afford but it is perhaps he’s not so blatantly two or many faced, not so desperate and maybe it’s not that she is so shrill as she does at times seem desperate, willing to do anything desperate to not so much succeed but to win to show us, we are just the same being brainwashed, why for instance did they before she even really got started summarily cut off hillary’s speech last night just like that as if
01/22 Direct Link
I must say I’m not sure or to put it otherwise I’m sure I’ve been brainwashed, don’t trust that I’ve not been twisted by all of the spinners but either way I can not bring myself to vote for her though if she’s seated in the white house with bill or chelsea as the first lady I wouldn’t feel half bad or with the good john edwards either all inspire an optimism at least because they clearly can string words together on their feet, a good start but not enough
ironic the kennedy endorsement can be construed as the future
01/23 Direct Link
I’d thought to take my banjo again not necessarily to play for but to have, to practice simply the taking it simply the having it and but before I left sat down to play as if I’d taken it and was playing for and made a mistake as I drifted from the playing toward a thinking of something other than the music which was the mistake of course and would have simply been part of the music had I done the same thing playing the music but I wasn’t I was thinking about not making mistakes, was starting to, drift
01/24 Direct Link
but and so it brought to mind why would I–do I think to bring my banjo think to–play for, and whereas this never was a reasonable argument story concern doubt when it came to my writing once I began sharing it nor for that matter was it the risk or hesitation before I started sharing my work the question that came to mind with regards to playing for was why, a wide open why that started with it’s not as if she’d never heard ‘john henry’ before as if it were simply about ‘bach’ rather than sharing–the moment–music and heart
01/25 Direct Link
I think hardly anything these days of carrying a book of poetry with me and ‘whipping it out’ of having poems will travel and see it as no more or less part of conversation no more or less tooting my horn than any other expression (of mine) there is by now a no fuss a no play us a little tune dear breach change of scenery clumsiness there is an ease, a sensibility, a segue, ah something to share, a not performance, but instead an offering

not unlike a bowl of soup a loaf of bread a glass of wine
01/26 Direct Link
fact is I’m not yet sure what I add, I bring the music and a fine instrument but am not am not yet a proper medium channel soothsayer, it’s a courageous honesty thing yet again–not a beginner thing–though I would offer that as a beginner there are–still–so many things that interfere that said I know better than to say I’ve a beginner’s heart, and I’m not willing to say I’m unmusical

maybe there is something to being able to play one thing well, or

maybe it’s that ‘knowing the tune’ that say what it is you’re trying to say thing
01/27 Direct Link
I’m attending more each time I play to the sounds, to a striving for in the sense of what I’m reaching for what I’m working toward which is–god help me–the godliness of it all or perhaps a better word the majesty and a certain ringing true a vibration palpation palpitation palpable, toward the golden thread that reaches, toward the music, that feeds that connects that breaches that heals that simply is one of the languages that crosses thresholds that is universal, oh this is a horse of another color because harmonies I fear are in the ear of the beholder
01/28 Direct Link
going to winnipeg and I’m taking my travel banjo why he asked when I said it was both exciting and nerve wracking thinking I was worrying about ‘performing for others’ so I won’t have to give it back I said, referring to the deal we’d made about getting a banjo to travel with that ended up not being second rate shit banjo we thought we would get for me to travel, grinning to his rolling eyeballs to have and to play for dvora I said, you don’t have to perform for anyone, he reminded me
I worry still about–its– durability
01/29 Direct Link
Gus, our oldman cat of fifteen years who’s been here with us from the beginning, the last of our starter cats, whoshebe woodrow and hudu predeceasing him who we thought would surely die first having started with f.u.s is teetering on the precipice again, poised to break our hears, bringing up again the how much and what should we do, we’ve nursed him back from just this spot many times and but as always this time is worse, more precarious than the last time

integrity, comfort, what’s fair take his lead

no heroics, breathe in and out let him go
01/30 Direct Link
or not–do I can I should I go–or not

reasons on both sides, it’s a heart thing what will the looking back right thing be your mother is in the same boat he says and he’s more or less right, ah hard (ethical) choices, is my mother more important does my mother take precedence what are the obligations–to whom am I obliged to whom am I in service who is counting on me

will gus be fine either way, will he die alone–while paul is at work–if he is dying is it okay for him to die here alone, ah...
01/31 Direct Link
there it is, no it will not be okay with me if he dies here alone, though ourfather died alone once we got there, and whoshe it could be said died by the same token alone in the middle of the night while we were in our beds, akeba on the other hand died in our hands it will somehow not be fitting for him to die while we go on about our business though he certainly was just that kind of a cat and we love/d him all the more for it

ourmother is not yet dying–alone or otherwise