Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A little Envy

N's husband stopped by work as he had forgotten his lunch.
I will miss the opportunity to provide that kind of intimate, loving support to someone.

I would like to think that my husband and I were good friends. He was my best friend, certainly.
Now that we are separating- and it seems to be taking forever - it's double the loss.  It's radio silence on all fronts. I am so sad sometimes.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell

“leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses.
you make him call before
he visits. you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.”
Marty McConnell - Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell

Sunday, December 02, 2018

A Sunday

I had a flat tire right there, across the street from my parents' house. There could be no better place for that particular situation.  If anyone had been standing in the dining room, they could have watched and filmed everything.

Dad and I changed that tire.  He even gifted me his X-lug wrench as there was none in the car’s trunk and after trying out his, I was sold. In display the rare case of competency, speed and style in the changing of tires and he, heroically, lay down in the street and  handled the jack and I managed the flat, the new tire and the lug nuts.

When we reversed into the drive outside his well-stocked garage  (not everyone grew up with a full size air compressor?), he checked all the tire pressures, reloaded the trunk and customized the lug wrench with a bit of paint.

After that fascinating interlude, we went to the library. Early in the day, I threw together a free-form meatloaf. He was impressed. It was the first entree I’ve made in three months.
We demonstrate  love in some strange ways.

It's not typing, it's writing.

I'm deforesting my own treeline.
Letters of great length are being writing that will never be sent. They pile up into a flammable heap in the corner of the dining room. Produced but unedited, unrevised and unread. Already a huge stack has been condemned to the recycle can and I'm sure to produce even more useless material.

There is no Beloved any longer and I am trying my best to square with that.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Declarative Statements to Avoided

What was it Maya Angelou said? 
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
  • "Anything that takes you away from me is bad." Declared early on and often.
  • "I'm not interested in hearing you complain about work." 
  •  "I don't like him. He makes you laugh."
  • "Can't you ask your father for help?", avoiding financial chaos post-separation. Tell you what, Peaches: You can call him. Good luck because I know what he is going to say better than you do.
And then there was this:
  • "I am not going to come to help you unless you sound like you need help" He was sitting in a recliner, in the next room, watching telly.
  • Later amended to "I am not going to come to help you unless you call for me". Location, same recliner in the next room, watching telly.
This was after I was audibly choking on a piece of popcorn that was lodged in my windpipe. Tilting my head way back, I reached down my own throat with two long fingers and pulled it out with some difficulty and noise, the world's most unimpressive side show. It took a lot longer than I had expected to save myself. He did not even get up out of his goddamn chair or pause his program.

I could be writing this to remember what did not work for me, why it is best we split, what I will no longer accept quietly. No one is ever going to be allowed to have this much control over me again. Never.  I can save myself, thank you very much.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Apple Blossoms. It is now Spring.

I'm going to do something I never thought I'd do: my collection of fragrance is going away. I don't know how they are going, but I need to write a list of them.

I have two scents now.

  • Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, oil and something called body spray. So this is my brief affair; it's going to be warm kind of sunshine sexy, smelling like oranges. I bought the spray last weekend when I was furious with Senor Leiderhosen.
  • I Hate Perfume Russian Tea Caravan I have a 5 ml liter bottle inside another little plastic capped bottle from The Container Store, ninety-nine cents. Wouldn't have it any other way. So sexy and intentional. Enough to last me a while. I put it on the tattoo of my Mum's signature; she hated perfume. How our noses ran in church when little white eldery Ladies  wore hats. It's warm. When my nose is full of it, I feel it right here. Here. Where my breastplate armour  would lean towards Heaven on the prayer cards of me.

It's a Dark and Stormy nighty and I'm alone. With two cats. And six laying hens. Finoula Lou, Bubbah, TifFAnI, "Marjorie!", Cloud of the Fluffy Pants, Mary-Kate&Ashley, and -in the most Carol Channing style- Sally Corona.

It's been five eggs a day. Six, twice. So I just put on galoshes, a coat, and with my yellow flashlight I had to check they were snug and tucked in.

I am lucky.

Friday, December 02, 2016


The title and refrain of this song are her last request, at her most frightened.

My Sarah often delights in her "broken heart". I don't understand what she means and to request the explanation seems very personal, indeed.

I hate when I feel the nerves around my heart constrict enough to make my eyes just gush. But this is the price. This pain is the price of love, isn't it.

Winter is hard.
Oh is it you say
Where is your ice scraper and shovel
Where is your long underwear
That you never take off
Until you see hyacynth

I turn forty nine this year
And sometimes dawn is so dark
and the night so early i dont get to
see Marjorie!, cloud, Sally Corona,
and TiFFani at all.

So Im in a bit of a funk, like every winter
In quick succession
Huge amounts of work and pressure
coldness  that no amount of hot baths and cashmere can cure
and aching fingers (this new)
a birthday i like celebrating with as few people as possible
Holidays that make me quake with desire and terror
And a new year
Yeah, we'll have one of them
Think on the books you didnt read
the people who left the party
Bowie, Prince, Cohen
without me

And last week after wrecking the garbage disposal
and installing the new one
I could feel the muscles that unify a ribcage ache
The next day, my back goes out.

 And how is it you know
your meds arent working

Well, I'm writing, aren't I.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


There is something about the safety and love of gay men.

In 1990 I moved to Seattle. I was 21, alone and nursing some substantial heartbreak and disappointment.

Capitol Hill/Seattle, 1990 - 1998. I had inadvertently moved to the gayest neighborhood in Seattle. Even better, I had moved into an apartment building with the best neighbors ever, homosexual men. Men who took it upon themselves to allow me in.

We danced at Neighbors most Fridays. There is  nothing like being out on a dark night in a crowded urban club full of beautiful men who love Madonna and Prince even more than I did. Dance and lights and drinks and sweat and the sexual tension between beautiful young men you could lick off the matte black walls.

In a hot summer night of solidarity when a woman had the chutzpah to remove her shirt and disco wildly in her Maidenform, the DJ taunted her and tried to express how unwelcome she was. 

In response: her male escorts proceeded to remove all their clothing down to their sweaty briefs and shouted for the DJ to get ON WITH IT. The rest of the adoring  fruit-flies  on the dance floor  ripped away their blouses and the music played on and on and on. It was  magnificent. What ever could be lost was torn away and we danced until we swooned.

 I can easily imagine what it must have been like, these men and their friends in their safe place in a club designated for expression and joy and lust. As much as I do not want to, I can imagine the ambush in that familiar place.

Michael,  Ted, Michael, Johnathan, Jim, Todd, David and Michael. My most beloved Bob. My angels, my saviors from homesickness and heartache and loneliness.  They were the first ones to embrace my new incarnation as an adult. The ways we were odd were so alike. Loving these friends was so easy and gratifying as they did not use or discard or mistreat me, knowing exactly the result of cruelty of those impulses and rejecting that kind of weaponry. They were kind mostly, funny more often than not, spectacular in their friendship always. I dream of them still the way I dream of hootchy-cootch dancers, only in their finest and warmest light and at their most beautiful.

We were Lost Boys. They took me with them.

Gentlemen: thank you.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Going Away.

On St. Valentine's Day my True Love gave to me:

My beloved runs naked into my bedroom.
It's Otis! It's Otis!

And it is. Was.

I can't really get into it.

The worst/best  part was burying him in my parents' backyard
wrapped in a flowered sheet
Steven has brought incense
The kind I like
An expensive gift.
This will be a Buddhist ceremony, apparently.
He breaks the stick in two
hands me one half
lights them
put it to your forehead
then put it in with Otis.
I put it in
and burn my finger on Steven's embered end
And I am kneeling in the soft garden soil
When I get up and around
Da is holding up the side of the house.
That was real nice he says.
And I weep all over him.

I asked the Steven what he thought Otis' next reincarnation would be. "Magnificent." And that is a very fine answer.

Or maybe that is the highest one can be to enlightenment: a charming, happy, loving, weird, troublesome house cat. Our cat. The first we chose together. And Otis said, "Yes!" And loved us back.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Pink Prada eyeglass frames cateye, 2014

It was not a fucking good day today.
Locked out of N office, where my source files are kept.
Now her allies refuse to let me in and only the co-director will
Who is there only 50 percent of the time.
Now there is a form
to check out files
It should just say
Mme: you are not wanted here.
Clip it to a heavy clipboard and tell me to bash myself over the head with it.

My job is now impossible.
I still don't know what I did or what I was supposed to have done.
N still won't tell me.
Too busy,
Well, fuck that noise.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

A Tree Top Angel, 1980s. Nylon, lace, optimism.

I now understand why every hacky sack player I ever met was stoned. You need time to move a little differently when you are keeping something deliberately in the air.

My brother joined the Circus. And we couldn't be prouder. We. I love that my Da and I are a couple.
Odd, certainly. I like to think we might be friends.

ANYWAYS: My Brother Scott. Circus Shmrikus. Vermont. Heaven.

And he and his darling family came for Christmas and We were just in heaven, with the new Odessa.

So after a delightful two weeks they leave and Da says I want to learn how to juggle. Scarves. Scott said he learned using scarves. Buy a set for me on Walmart.com. I'll pick it up, two counties away.
Aw. No. Forget it.

Amazon is dangerous. juggling Scarves. Prime? Less than 12 bucks but more than three stars. Yes. Damn, I sent it to myself. Too much trouble to cancel so I send  him a fresh order.

He is delighted and confused and trying to rig them to make them operate in the air as he wants/expects himself/the juggler wants them to be.
We kind of see what Scott meant. but...

Week later: He bought bean bags from the 25 Cent Kiddy Bin at The Happy Dragon. Woop! That one has a different shape. The kids book from the library is on the bed in front of us, advising the bed lest one get tired of bending over for every dropped ball.

Week later I've knit him up three handspun spheres   filled with last years split peas. 150 gms each. But not this little 100 gm. Perfect for you. Good.

It's Wednesday, I'm alone at home. So now I am bouncing this 100 gm thing in patterns in the kitchen and I think this makes much more sense in this state, especially whist listening to Rosamund Pike reading the end five chapters of Pride and Prejudice and the new/refurbished headphones. It really is deeply pleasurable. Alone.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Bowie and Books

Here are Bowie’s booktrysts, in reverse chronological order:
  1. The Age of American Unreason (public library) by Susan Jacoby (2008)
  2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (public library) by Junot Diaz (2007)
  3. The Coast of Utopia (trilogy) (public library) by Tom Stoppard (2007)
  4. Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875–1945 (public library) by Jon Savage (2007)
  5. Fingersmith (public library) by Sarah Waters (2002)
  6. The Trial of Henry Kissinger (public library) by Christopher Hitchens (2001)
  7. Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder (public library) by Lawrence Weschler (1997)
  8. A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1890–1924 (public library) by Orlando Figes (1997)
  9. The Insult (public library) by Rupert Thomson (1996)
  10. Wonder Boys (public library) by Michael Chabon (1995)
  11. The Bird Artist (public library) by Howard Norman (1994)
  12. Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir (public library) by Anatole Broyard (1993)
  13. Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective (public library) by Arthur C. Danto (1992)
  14. Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (public library) by Camille Paglia (1990)
  15. David Bomberg (public library) by Richard Cork (1988)
  16. Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom (public library) by Peter Guralnick (1986)
  17. The Songlines (public library) by Bruce Chatwin (1986)
  18. Hawksmoor (public library) by Peter Ackroyd (1985)
  19. Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music (public library) by Gerri Hirshey (1984)
  20. Nights at the Circus (public library) by Angela Carter (1984)
  21. Money (public library) by Martin Amis (1984)
  22. White Noise (public library) by Don DeLillo (1984)
  23. Flaubert’s Parrot (public library) by Julian Barnes (1984)
  24. The Life and Times of Little Richard (public library) by Charles White (1984)
  25. A People’s History of the United States (public library) by Howard Zinn (1980)
  26. A Confederacy of Dunces (public library) by John Kennedy Toole (1980)
  27. Interviews with Francis Bacon (public library) by David Sylvester (1980)
  28. Darkness at Noon (public library) by Arthur Koestler (1980)
  29. Earthly Powers (public library) by Anthony Burgess (1980)
  30. Raw, a “graphix magazine” (1980–1991)
  31. Viz, magazine (1979–)
  32. The Gnostic Gospels (public library) by Elaine Pagels (1979)
  33. Metropolitan Life (public library) by Fran Lebowitz (1978)
  34. In Between the Sheets (public library) by Ian McEwan (1978)
  35. Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews (public library) by ed Malcolm Cowley (1977)
  36. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (public library) by Julian Jaynes (1976)
  37. Tales of Beatnik Glory (public library) by Ed Saunders (1975)
  38. Mystery Train (public library) by Greil Marcus (1975)
  39. Selected Poems (public library) by Frank O’Hara (1974)
  40. Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s (public library) by Otto Friedrich (1972)
  41. In Bluebeard’s Castle: Some Notes Towards the Re-definition of Culture (public library) by George Steiner (1971)
  42. Octobriana and the Russian Underground (public library) by Peter Sadecky (1971)
  43. The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll (public library) by Charlie Gillett (1970)
  44. The Quest for Christa T (public library) by Christa Wolf (1968)
  45. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock (public library) by Nik Cohn (1968)
  46. The Master and Margarita (public library) by Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)
  47. Journey into the Whirlwind (public library) by Eugenia Ginzburg (1967)
  48. Last Exit to Brooklyn (public library) by Hubert Selby Jr. (1966)
  49. In Cold Blood (public library) by Truman Capote (1965)
  50. City of Night (public library) by John Rechy (1965)
  51. Herzog (public library) by Saul Bellow (1964)
  52. Puckoon (public library) by Spike Milligan (1963)
  53. The American Way of Death (public library) by Jessica Mitford (1963)
  54. The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the Sea (public library) by Yukio Mishima (1963)
  55. The Fire Next Time (public library) by James Baldwin (1963)
  56. A Clockwork Orange (public library) by Anthony Burgess (1962)
  57. Inside the Whale and Other Essays (public library) by George Orwell (1962)
  58. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (public library) by Muriel Spark (1961)
  59. Private Eye, magazine (1961–)
  60. On Having No Head: Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious (public library) by Douglas Harding (1961)
  61. Silence: Lectures and Writing (public library) by John Cage (1961)
  62. Strange People (public library) by Frank Edwards (1961)
  63. The Divided Self (public library) by R. D. Laing (1960)
  64. All the Emperor’s Horses (public library) by David Kidd (1960)
  65. Billy Liar (public library) by Keith Waterhouse (1959)
  66. The Leopard (public library) by Giuseppe di Lampedusa (1958)
  67. On the Road (public library) by Jack Kerouac (1957)
  68. The Hidden Persuaders (public library) by Vance Packard (1957)
  69. Room at the Top (public library) by John Braine (1957)
  70. A Grave for a Dolphin (public library) by Alberto Denti di Pirajno (1956)
  71. The Outsider (public library) by Colin Wilson (1956)
  72. Lolita (public library) by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
  73. Nineteen Eighty-Four (public library) by George Orwell (1949)
  74. The Street (public library) by Ann Petry (1946)
  75. Black Boy (public library) by Richard Wright (1945)