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03/01 Direct Link
for better and worse
things change before you take account of any of it and there we were heading home from our to dillon beach and back junket pulling into salmon creek and the woman approaching us asked if we had cell phone service they had just pulled a body from the ocean down there she said pointing looking away from us and I don’t have cell service she said and just like that it happens just like that for all the reasons it might or should not have whether or not you are paying attention it’s not always enough
03/02 Direct Link
to say we still have racism or it’s as bad as ever, or worse, is to forego the nuance of the conversation, and miss the trajectory of the process, we’re not where we were, we’re on to the next step where those most affected in the worst way are acting up, acting out, testing the waters, feeling their pain, their loss, the ebbing away of their position just because they are white, just because they are men; standing naked for the first time, without edifice, without automatic worth, automatic worthiness, without position or wealth, job or respect self or otherwise
03/03 Direct Link
judi goldberg, a poet, works with letters and words, ink and paper, typewriters, inkjet printers, handcranked and foottreadled presses, pencils, drawing pens, crayons, washi tape, giving form and dimensions to ideas taking shape as books, or things which might look like or be called a book, knowing just the same that making books is like riding freights; you can end up on a sideline in Minnesota when you meant to be at the switching yard in Fargo, North Dakota. About her work, she says: "...always questions who I am; what I want; how I know.” “Freedom is having language for...”
03/04 Direct Link
she still leads with the past, with the feeling that we could easily be part of the long litany of those who have done her wrong though she doesn’t mean to, it’s the lingering of a holocaust memory part of a dna a strand of yellow or blue she would push and pull for past dues, I find myself wanting to wait, wait it out, it’s the whine I cannot modulate, the whine I cannot tolerate the whine obliterates my compassion, I feel played though it too is part of the dna part of the memory part of my memory
03/05 Direct Link
not that I’m caring less, but that I’m understanding it as part of a larger process of change, change of the guard certainly but change of the larger order of things, and that to ignore the message of Donald Trump is to invite a Ted Cruz the greater evil of them all and to understand on some level, at each our own on your mark get set go we are all afraid of losing whatever it is which stands in for our sense of order, and so predictability, and safety, as in net as in workable as in okay, whew
03/06 Direct Link
as if it couldn’t the blackness multiplies expanding into the darkness, into silence into an extent of a balance of comfort resident in the depths of never getting there backward or forward or maybe only through time I am not looking for the light at all and can see just fine as if I couldn’t or shouldn’t even have thought to look as if I wasn’t looking all along as if looking wasn’t intrinsic perspectives change I see the bottom you see the top, it’s all true, perspective changes you see the top I see the bottom it’s still true
03/07 Direct Link
printed the last two-up of the
03/08 Direct Link
she died all of a sudden but along her way just the same, not one to waste time she like our mother lived every moment every minute from its beginning to the end knowing it’s the doing what you’re doing rather than doing what you’re not doing which is the waste or said versa vice not doing what you’re doing rather than doing what you’re not, that is the waste, with mindfulness and heart, with grace and goodwill and it was love and loving which reminded her of that, which fed her joy, and her sorrow, held in equal measure
03/09 Direct Link
ebb and flow, deciding the right and wrong of it as if, no not as if but in light of a whelming ambivalence having misjudged the timing of the end of flood season, the rule being no traveling when it is likely, or possible for that matter, and the balk as if it is a big deal, as if somehow going by plane is more formal than getting in the car, as if the airline runs my life instead of me and yet deciding not to go looms large as if it is a big deal & what if I’m wrong
03/10 Direct Link
that figured out I did take a raincheck on my trip and rain it did and the warnings did warn of rivers and creeks god willing notwithstanding rising and rising as if to relieve the sense that I might have been wrong and it doesn't matter because the simplicity of it was it was the right thing to do, being home, and sometimes there is no place to be, like home, where the hearth is, and the need for its tending is the most important yes home fires need tending, home is home, home is where I needed to be
03/11 Direct Link
curiosity.
innate that business of asking questions, business of talking back to figure out the shape of things for better and worse he says and sees faith as its opposite, that willingness to believe in truths as inalienable as inexplicable as not needing bolstering or explaining or exploring while that might be true, I think asking questions is a skill taking learning practice and grit and time to explore and wonder and enjoy the vastness of wanting to know what we don’t explain what we can’t but for the asking and learning, that then being its own kind of faith
03/12 Direct Link
They’d been looking through magazines, home decorating magazines looking for ideas. Color ideas for the living room. Colors beyond white. Every room in the house she’d grown up in had been white, or off-white or eggshell white. As if it was only background to whatever living would take place, would be hosted within the embrace of those oh so always white walls. She had tired of it, but had no innate, no self-generated, no god damned idea how to branch out. Until she saw red. Who, she wondered, would paint a room red! Could she? It began there.
03/13 Direct Link
Not a redwash, taking the place of the whitewash which had come before. An accent, a relief from the point of view which mandated no lines of demarcation. That had been a lie anyway. That pretense of we are all the same. Yes. And let’s not forget no. Definitely not. Let’s not forget the ways in which you always said it was nice to be different. Let’s not forget the tone. Ah, there were so many vagaries hidden in all that white. But there was lots of light. And few knick knacks to catch it. But there was conversation. Music.
03/14 Direct Link
One wall out of the 4 was painted red. The tallest in a slant-ceilinged living dining room, opposite the front door. Magnificent in its redness with not a single painting or shelf or doorway to distract the eye. In the center of the room was a freestanding wood burning stove. Next to it a fat cat, eyes wide open, watching everyone. They are all standing, talking loudly, as if they’ve just come back from a sporting event, or a political event. Not a funeral. They've just lost the one person who held them together. It is their last hurrah.
03/15 Direct Link
All of them, absent Teke (the first of them to die of natural or unnatural causes, and the only one to whom all of them still spoke) in the room with the one red wall. A red, so perfectly red, so perfectly appointed that you didn’t, weren’t compelled to notice it, to take note of it, to say, look at that damned red wall. She who with abandon painted it, a tribute to exception, was the only one who never let it go unnoticed. Until this now.

“I see now,” Ash said, without rancor, without edge, “why you left me.”
03/16 Direct Link
Tall and still lanky, still boyish looking even in his 70s, Ash, who she nearly married, who, still after all these years, she still loved, smiled. There was a time she would have assumed she knew what he meant. A time she would have just let that at once intimate but distant drive-by go. But she was, after all these years still sorry they’d not been friends, they’d once been so good at that.
“Why?”
“For not living up to your imagination!” Again said without a hint of malice. Or wist.
"One of our white lies," she said.
03/17 Direct Link
He took her hand. Now there was rue. He didn’t look at her, but at the red wall. He would have thought of it. He knew she knew that. But he never would have done it. She knew that too. He squeezed her hand, and letting it go walked away.


***


he couldn’t
help her
because
he couldn’t
help her
and
ever so
incrementally
wouldn’t
was built into every
thing


could not is not wouldn't is not could not
can’t could will is not might is would will
when it can be done diligence due


*** Walking taught me to stand still
03/18 Direct Link
it was familiar in ways I didn’t remember, that full-scale full on or full off without gray, without mediation without boundary coming from nowhere sense of her having been done wrong
*specifically and particularly by me* as if
trouble was I was unmoved though not untroubled by her descent into despair, just not her despair, I was troubled by the way in which at a certain point it's not so much you can’t walk-it-back grudge bearing but that you have to we have to start from the beginning again, and now, I’m not sure I want to
03/19 Direct Link
I get to, I forgive her, and it is and isn’t true, in the sense that I do forgive her, but knowing what I know, seeing what I already chose once not to, I’d just as soon keep my distance, so I get to, we’re not slated to be best friends, or even friends, which says nothing about friendly, (well it does, )or respect, but it does that too, and mostly it speaks to trust, or that I’m not hurt but tired, tired of it, of paying someone else’s bill, were I still working we’d they’d call it burned out
03/20 Direct Link
the lingering bad taste in my mouth is righteousness, and/or disappointment, yes and annoyance that she played the card she did, that she chose the way she did to solve the problem, so do I prefer the one up instead of the one down
,🎬
her claim would be we weren’t I wasn’t hearing her so she had no choice to change it up or down a notch maybe so maybe not
🎬
thing is the way we solve problems sometimes gives perfect relief to the problem, or the way the problem isn’t solved gives perfect relief to the problem, ha!
03/21 Direct Link
having in fact already decided in this case my objectivity was blown I left it to him to decide and absolutely, or implicitly, trusted what his decision would be, and he steered a course of letting it play itself out absent the drama trauma we were embroiled in, which is good, nobody up or down and I got there early to be already working already setting the stage before she came for let’s get on about it, and we did

another good lesson in the pull for everyone getting their due in one way or another, myself of course included
03/22 Direct Link
things
it’s the complexities and always the nuance of the in and out, the collecting and releasing the pragmatic overlaid as we’ve already discovered with the poetry, both in the getting and in the giving, like breathing this having and not any more, she’s writing about stuff, but could be talking about feelings which of course she is, even I have dresses in my closet I haven’t worn in ten years and we won’t even talk about earrings, as if we are dishonoring the time place person memory associated with the getting and using that once prized (or not) object
03/23 Direct Link
crusade
it’s not a crusade I reminded her and what would I could I dare I say about that in the face of all the crusades being mounted these days again my own included time to get off the high horse come down from the petard hoisted by it doesn’t matter who and get on with what each of is, simply human foibles and all

everyone wants their angels’s share of schadenfreude

fact is we become everything we hate, and chip on the shoulder translates into pain in the ass
critical mass. change it or accept it. end of story.
03/24 Direct Link
whose muster interesting thing having She, Of The Art Gallery come look through (our) my portfolio; one or two of those exercises in growing up, showing up 🎨 in the having first of all a portfolio to look through, (itself a process: first the having of stuff to put in it, second having the it to choose from, thirdly choosing from the all you have what to include, and then withstanding the scrutiny like that of principal monsignor grandmother music teacher clinical instructor or god, as if this is the final say or any say in whether you are good enough
03/25 Direct Link
two dreams in two nights about separation each close to home and then I literally woke up screaming, the wave first lifting me to a ceiling leaving me always room to breathe though he said he’d heard me breathing as if I were in trouble and then bottoming out like a tsunami crashing me to the floor but I woke up first screaming and then of course spent the next good bit of time giggling, what a rush, what a mystery, still

easter this time in march has snuck up on me without time to reflect on my old friend
03/26 Direct Link
words
hands feet knees candy oatmeal mush tools wind furl hurl curl we’ve worked hard through the years to have them have them mean something like a handshake a contract a bond leaves twigs sounds separate but equal spoken sung whispered written etched carved tattooed handwritten typewritten read can you read the lay of the land the word the mood on the marquis of my forehead it’s a language

photo shop tutorial
fire big and bigger
lemons squished grass play

I am called a poet because I attend to or play with the rhythm of language and language of rhythm
03/27 Direct Link
how do I know (whoamI)

born into a culture which valued talking, which meant speaking your mind, and so in a manner of speaking having the ‘privilege' of believing absolutely the intrinsic right I have to my own opinion and speaking it,

the how and practice of it— a host of good teachers and experiences and not a few bad ones underlie and overarch the long and short of in f/act saying what I think,

& a set of skills,
optimism, sense of humor, intent, rules of engagement, listening, self-reflection

and ofcourse we’re (only) good at what we do
03/28 Direct Link
what good is reading if you can’t read the lay of the land, she’d asked, when he’d without thought—obviously—said to his friend, I bet you can’t swim across the river, a better man would have let the taunt go, but given it was all wrong from the get to there would be no such reprieve for any of them

he couldn’t but he died trying

winner says the eulogy is what she should have quipped not that they would have paid her any more mind than they’d given the river who without malice or remorse takes what’s hers
03/29 Direct Link
re❅f✬use
each of their own mind stories which bear telling he threw away the half empty container of sandalwood oil they’d gotten in India from someone the hotelkeeper had known India which had suffocated her, hot and hyperbole she retrieved it put it back where it had been on the shelf ever since they’d lived in this house never used, saved for some special occasion as if it would be used up it smells like oil he said right or not she wasn’t ready yet to throw away, to forget, the story, she put it back, and she hid the beads
03/30 Direct Link
if we worked together it would be could be said we are being perfectly professional about it, and collegial and friendly or more accurately not frosty, cool or even aloof, but not friends as in engaging in the more personal subtexts, hmm. this business of not bearing grudges in complicated, it is the ongoing practice of forgiven whatever the hell that means, I know what not being grudge-bearing is by the attendant feeling, or burden or pain in the neck or chancre sore or fatigue or irritability or thinking being on a desert island would be just the ticket
03/31 Direct Link
timely, this april hiatus because of poetry month, I’ve come to a natural end, and the need for changing the rhythm up a bit, changing the downbeat, the syncopation the phrasing the color the music, the way of looking and giving language to. as if I were unrested or tested to the core I am tired as if I’ve been struggling or fighting for the right to_______________. and then I heard a thing about white privilege that sent me scurrying for godgivemestrength patience. what is white? the color of my skin. sorry don’t feel guilty, my jewish bags are packed.