mercredi 24 décembre 2014

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa, where have you been all my life? I have a picture of you with my little brother Paul when he was two years old, then four. He was so adorable, blond hair with straight-across bangs, lips pursed tightly together. I even named my own son after him. My brother is now a captain for Southwest Airlines. Perhaps he'll fly over Alaska again and put out fires...

Santa, if you live, will you deliver my brother and my sons home to me for Christmas? I've got a fire burning in the heartland of my heart, I've got tons of love and forgiveness and goodwill towards men and women, I've got poems galore to welcome in the New Year. Now all I need are my two Pauls, a Joseph, and the pitter-patter of little hooflets on my rooftop and the year will be complete.

Oh dear Santa, I got my two front teeth in Greece, I got a little studio in Gresham, Oregon last December, I've got many friends. But, oh Santa, can't you bring back my family? I'm praying, I'm hoping, I'm full of fatalistic hope. I can't help myself: it's all I've got left.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. xoxoxooxox

mardi 4 novembre 2014


"Midsummer Eve" by Edward Robert Hughes

If I follow her light
will I find myself in a forest
birch and brattle
fern and folly?

She turns quickly in the air
shining her smile on me
then disappears
in a wisp of willow.

Does she beckon or taunt
letting me know
she is uncatchable?

Ay ay ay!
I chase like Diana
after the wild deer.

She is something
to be desired but
never possessed.

samedi 25 octobre 2014


(a draft from a few years ago...)

zoot anon
i'm caught between then and now
and not an arthritic knuckle
but real angst and repression

seeds of revolution

true enough
i'm selfish
i'm a shellfish allergic to myself
decidedly blanched and strung out

petrified artifact

café noir
i can't wake up
my eyelids are strung with
cat gut and threads of lilac

ritual abuse

tonight the moon
and then mars and venus
the brilliant orbs remind me
how far i am from you

pornographic magazine

if i could speak
i'd scream
i'd read all the names i call you
when you are not around

sniffing bloodhounds

i'd be revealed
among fiery demons
and all your sacred vows
would not count anymore

absolve yourself

i'd drown
in your open hands
i'd flounder like salmon
when they reach bonneville dam

forgetting goodness

lundi 20 octobre 2014

Nothing Is True Fantasy

I didn't wake up this morning. The sky remained a deep black hole in my consciousness, taking into itself all the matter at hand and out of hand. The moon rose and set, moving through its phases in a fit of broken rem sleep... I jerked from left to right, sat up, went rigid, fell out bed, slept on the floor, walked to the bathroom, peed in my sleep.

Though what struck me was the lack of birdsong... where did they go, those early morning harbingers, calling light from darkness? Then again, where did the morning go, tumbling down a hill, out of control, head over toe over and over: morning, not morning, full, half, quarter. Nothing was relevant, nothing was certain.

Time was warped and speeded up, and all the creatures great and small couldn't hold on. I was sending them on a dream voyage, on an electric ship, far away from the known and the half-known, from grand theories to the waking life where dream and reality intermix and produce orphan children. There was one of every age of me in the layers of time, every second of my life bumping up against another... I felt like Stanley Kubrick and Keir Dullea, making a psychedelic movie.

At the center of it all, an exploding sun, the great and final flare, an eclipsed God and a universal law. Everything must end. I didn't wake up this morning, and neither did you.

lundi 6 octobre 2014

Last Laugh

Mille neuf cent quatre-vingt sept
je ne savais rien
auparavant ou encore

Je me suis mariée
avec un oeuf
dur à cuire
qui m'a promis la lune

Il m'a dit
"Je veux une famille
Laisse-moi t'aider
avec toutes tes tâches"

Et je me suis fondue
le blanc avec le jaune
J'avais besoin d'assistance
avec mes deux enfants

Alors il a prit
sa bicyclette et conduit
jusqu'à la montagne
et il est rentré plat

Et tout son argent
(et le mien aussi)
est gaspillé pour des discus
dans un bel aquarium

Ils sont tous mort un jour
quand il a mélangé les eaux
avec un grand cuillère
en bois

Aujourd'hui je peux rire
mais à cet époque
j'ai craqué dans une chambre
d'un hôpital mental

Ah la vie est comédie
rira bien qui rira le dernier
Ah la vie est absurdité
mais je veux survivre

lundi 8 septembre 2014

Moineau's September Song

snowy cheer
hot toddies
white white hope
with bells pealing
an exchange of gifts
with St Nicholas
it's all cheap tyranny--

green buds
so what
then orange blossoms
a maypole
for the peasant
girls and boys
let them have it--

beauty queens on
red beaches
burning in the sun
jellyfish mob the shoreline
just give me an espresso
a big shady oak
and leave me alone--

but in September
en septembre
to septemvrios
when I have to dig deep
under the cover of
new darkness
under the changing colors

when everything
is dying
when everything
has given up and
given in
to rain and worms
and the end of poems

when the mistral
whips through Provence
and drives the locals
mad with sound
when olives ripen and rot
and birds scatter
in great wave patterns

there you will find me
unearthing my heart
resurrecting my great body
and then flying
starting over
one more time
ad infinitum

mardi 26 août 2014

lonely with, lonely without

if only you were here
i would pull you inside me
as easily as a breath
and then i would exhale

jasmine descends
from the vines overhead
late in the summer
it is overly pungent

i watch i soferina
and fall in love with
aliki vougiouglaki
how silly of me 

lonely with you
lonely without you
what i thought i had
was an illusion

as i sleep you are
passing through the
streets of lamia
searching for almonds

when i wake it will be 
your turn to dream
crossing the threshold
of unfulfilled desire


mardi 12 août 2014

jeudi 7 août 2014


10,000 lightyears later
and I'm still sucked down into
the wormhole of your hatred.
I will not grab that silver thread
winding from the exalted place
you claim to be your birthright:
Your narrative doesn't wash
and the food you eat is poison.

mardi 5 août 2014

Calling Margaret

Just before dawn on August 4, 2014, a cool breeze blew through the house. It brushed across the sheets, ruffled your hair, but did not wake you. It spoke into your ear, calling your name: "Margaret, Margaret, God loves you."

You smiled in your sleep; the fear you felt the day before subsided and your face relaxed. Yes you loved them, all of them, with the kind of love that only saints know, unconditional, infinite. That love would never die.

A door opened up in the corner of the room, as you big as you needed. You blew a kiss to your family, to all humanity, and ascended. In the morning, they found your body but you were gone.

mardi 29 juillet 2014

The Echoes

Frank Howell - New Mexico Echo

With even one glance
at the Ecstatic,
we swear we will do anything,
anything at all
to keep it.
In that moment,
we do not lie:
The Ecstatic projects itself forward
like an echo,
and all we see before us is
the Ecstatic, the Ecstatic, the Ecstatic,
the Most Beautiful,
the Most Compassionate,
Beyond Joy and Sadness,
Supreme Peace,
Absolute Consciousness.
Yet like every echo,
this one fades too
from our failing eyes,
our distracted ears,
our feeble, fickle hearts,
and though we've pledged all actions,
we cannot deliver:
No one can sustain that vision
and not go insane,
and thus are we left with the echoes,
with our humanness.

mardi 15 juillet 2014

"I'm flying!"

Pieter Pauwel Rubens: The Fall of Icarus

Long fall into this poem
I've been slipping and sliding so long
it feels like home
Dignity is no longer an option
No I must laugh at myself
flailing my arms alongside Daedalus
then light up like the sun
and sparkle like the final flourish
on a Hammond B3
Here I come, darling
Fall or fly with me in this 
free-for-all of love

samedi 12 juillet 2014

I'll fight you with my mind

I don't have a muscle left
to fight you with
so I'll fight you with
my mind:
I'll renounce your
sweet nothings
in deference to
logical arguments
and though you already
think you've won
because you had a
superior education
corresponding skull size
and an ancient cave dwelling
from the younger Dryas
I've butted heads
with the best poets
and have loved them
amidst the rubble of
battered futures
I couldn't invest
but I've slept with them
and it was worth it

When the market crashed
I hitchhiked across an ocean
thinking I had escaped
but it was a mistake:
The market had not crashed
volcanic winter had not started
and flowers were still growing
out of American garbage
I returned and planted
seeds of self-love
and though I had
plenty of doubts
I chose to believe in myself
something you could not
do or give me
not a house above ground
In spite of your superior knowledge
in spite of your charts and graphs
and the vast undeniable
romance of Hellas
I had to come back
turn my back on everything
and begin again

I will have to remind myself
a thousand times before I'm done
I will have to exercise
my muscle mind
even as the jasmine blooms
even as the winter comes
even as the sun rises ...

Daphne by Hubert von Herkomer

dimanche 6 juillet 2014

The End of Everything

Frederic Leighton: The Fisherman and the Siren

I left my glasses
on a bench
next to the Mediterranean:
I haven't been able
to see anything since.
I was blinded by
orange blooms,
blazing turquoise,
white morning light
breaking on mountains,
village songs,
Macedonian dances,
and your hands
all over my body.
I will never recover;
I will never see again.
My heart is a broken drum
on a broken sea floor,
the spoils of an internal war
and the end of everything.

Never give yourself away
to the Mediterranean.
Never do it.
Afterward, nothing else exists.

vendredi 27 juin 2014

Dans le jardin

Toujours ces clés d'antiquité
Les pleurs viennent
on ne peut pas les empêcher
Les reines fières
souriantes en masques d'albâtre
leurs robes longues, les cheveux serrés
Mais leurs filles sont nues
chassées, emportées, violées
par les dieux et les fils de dieux 
en formes d'animaux

let it go

the broken places in me
move in and out of french,
icelandic, greek and italian
sometimes it's better
not to know the language
but how my curious mind
wants to know, wants to relive
wants the pain to wash over
it never cleanses, never relieves
just replenishes
it the curse of memory
the human gift
and it's vicious

samedi 14 juin 2014

Hospital Visit

originally written in June, 2009

he's asleep in the

northwest corner of the room
we knock softly, calling out
his name... nothing but silence
there's one old man in pyjamas
sleeping soundly, the third
bed is empty, it is neatly made
with hospital corners, i wonder
about the man that was in it

we said 6, it is 7:30
we enter tentatively, not wanting
to take him by surprise and
round the drawn white curtain
he's sitting up on piled-up pillows
i notice his hair is all gray, what
remains of it after the treatments
it looks soft and thin, and i see that
he's lost weight since last week

he wakes, opening his right
eye––the left is paralyzed––and
he's surprised to see us, "oh, hi,"
and then, "they're trying a new pill"
"what kind?" i ask. "chemo..."
the first thing he does is
bring out fading pictures from the
50s, there's a photo of him at
thirteen, round and handsome
i go to the desk and ask for a xerox

we bring out the book we
bought on the story of the
coast guard, and figure out
where we last left off
we joke about the coastie motto:
"you have to go out but you
don't have to come back"
and then read about katrina

he sinks back into his
pillows, nodding out to the
monotony of my voice

jeudi 12 juin 2014

Family Habit

Our family always
did it like that
you know
hit the road
as soon as we
were old enough
We were running away
from generations of pain
perhaps at one point
outwardly caused
by some Bolshevik or Nazi
but eventually it was
with alcohol and cigarettes
sex and escapism

I always thought
I'd be the one
to break the habit
with my own children
Two sons whom I adored
and stayed close to
but I found myself in a bed
unable to get up one day
crushed with mental illness
and as hard as I tried
I couldn't rise up
My brain was running away
as it had been indoctrinated

So there it was
the family trait
and I can never again 
look at things as simple
or self-explanatory
No history is like that
It's nuanced and colored
with myriad bubbles
that break the surface
of the smooth, the perfect
the undaunted

vendredi 16 mai 2014

Rioting over Punctiglio

Punctilio - Joe Mazza

She wanted to break the rules
rearrange the living room
put a big crack
in the neurotic mirror
of her mother's house beautiful

She wanted dust to accrue
and love to accumulate
to dance naked with Isadora Duncan
die flaming with Sarah Bernhardt
never be afraid of anything or anyone

She wanted pancakes for supper
a yard full of honeysuckle
life in another language
and who the hell cared if it was perfect
perfect what was perfect what was perfect

was perfect
was perfect
was always perfect
what was not
was punctiglio

jeudi 8 mai 2014


FJ Bertuch (1747–1822)

I first had to save my body
and now I'm working on saving my soul
Two years ago I packed my poetry into a box
a few pictures of my sons
some books, my favorite film
and I ran away from sixteen years
of pain and illness
I hurt a lot of people in the process
the man I'd lived with for twenty years
my children, my mother
Even today, none of them understand it
They've forgotten about my suffering
and I realize now they never grasped it
If I had stayed, I would still be on
seven medications, counting the infernal days
waiting to die, in constant pain
But I saved my life
rose from the ashes
flew to Greece
threw the bag of meds in the trash
swam in the healing waters of Thermopyles
and tried to forgive myself

samedi 19 avril 2014

The Lost Shawl

Fancy Shawl Dancer by Donald Brewer

for Vince Wannassay
I brought it to your house
when Richard left
this seed of an idea I called
“shawl on a shawl”
Even if my Sioux warrior
abandoned me in the depth
of my love for him
Even if he drank himself
a thousand times under the table
I would take our child, our Joey
and I would dance the circle dance
with other Human Beings
I would create a shawl
and wrap myself up in it proudly
and round and round I'd go
beating my feet into the dirt
to the singing of the drum
at Warm Springs 

Vincent, you were his best friend
and you and Dee became mine after he left
helping me apply the shawl dancer
with thread and felt to the shawl
a “shawl on a shawl” I called her
One day I returned to find
you had sewn and knotted
the fringe all around the edges
a gift for me in my grief and madness
You gave my son Paul a light blue
fancy dancing costume
He broke all the feathers
and I felt terrible
but I never felt worse than when
the “shawl on a shawl” got thrown away 

I was working at the tv station
on the day my new husband
moved us into our new house
I told him, just throw the garbage out
any crap we aren't using
I didn't foresee how literally he would take it
and the “shawl on a shawl”
wound up in the St. John's dump
among my bead collection, my loom
and my algebra books
I'm lucky I didn't lose my poetry that day
I'm lucky I didn't go insane 

I wound up in a mental hospital
a month after that
when I realized I had married
someone I didn't love
that I was still in love with Richard

mercredi 2 avril 2014


Thomas Ralph Spence - Sleeping Beauty

I dreamt I was
the mother of invention
I dreamt my wit
was the soul of brevity
I flew to the east
and married Archimedes
I flew to the west
and shook hands with Ben Franklin
I entered into a pact
with the Sandman:
No more marriages
At the tender age of 57
I am learning to love freedom
I am learning to love myself

samedi 22 mars 2014

every house

"Spiral patterns like that exhibited by R Sculptoris are generally due to a companion star..."

every house I lived in
had a death in it
a thick black tick
deleting fathers, brothers, mothers
leaving me out of doors
breaking windows
wandering like a foreigner
through new little towns
with woolen mills and
muddy lake beds
where I swam belly down
eyes down down down
falling always down
in a death spiral

samedi 15 mars 2014

The Making of Rain

Photo: Pigeons sitting in summer window by Marilyn Nosewicz 
I wrote this poem for Akira Kurosawa the day that he died... September 6, 1998.

I was an inmate of sadness
But I dried all my tears
And put away the madness
Of those melancholic years

The locked doors and the voices
The old crown of perdition
The cold reason of choices
The treason of tradition

And I blew it to an atom
With one puff of my mouth
And left behind my Sodom
For the garden of the south

Now I rest in this bright place
Perfumed with gardenia
Birds on my windowlace
Sontinas de España

And I realize the sadness
Is a part of the framework
And the isolating madness
Is a bulwark of a birthmark

And I justify the dullness
With the sadness that I've lost
Like an amnesiacal witness
To the holocaust of frost

I know that I could leave there
With one wave of my hand
And blow the frost to seafare
At the edge of this bright land

But I covet it like butter
On a renunciant's bread
And close up every shutter
And put myself to bed

To dream of the northland
And the cold bitter snows
That reduce every man's plan
And cover mouth and nose

To rest on her bosom
To hear her heart ticking
Puts an end to the flotsam
Puts an end to the thinking

I lay in this garden
And give myself to pain
And watch the south sky darken
And lend itself to rain

mardi 4 mars 2014


i had an insight
but just for a minute
and then it was spent
like every red cent
i lay my hands on

money comes and
money goes
like self-revelations
during early morning
anxiety attacks

you wake from 
the dream again
wanting to make
amends to everyone
you've harmed

you work out a
plan in your head
write a letter
pick up the phone
dial the number

and just before
they pick up
you get out of bed
and forget everything 
best laid plans

next month
i will make a budget
next month
i will speak with you
i'm rehearsing it

dimanche 23 février 2014


je suis devenue
un rare poisson
salé, roti
mangé, vomi
puis canalisé
domini domini
saint saumon
ses œufs
dans l'écume
des vagues
en hiver
nul en l'air
faire faillite
à la fin
de ses jours
ange saumon

vendredi 17 janvier 2014

At the Stuck exhibit

Sin like a mirror
half-smiles at me as I cry
and if that's not enough
Lucifer is there to remind me
how lonely it gets
when your only light
is a pale crescent...
Am I Apollo or Dionysus?
I can't tell anymore
damned if I do and
damned if I don't on this
big dark canvas of
forever twilight
Like Sisyphus it's the
same hills same valleys
and if that's not enough
the sky is on fire
and I find the symbolist anchors
of my childhood
I lie like Judith
I seduce and I kill
and what I get is more revenge
than you can shake a stick at
my own reflection cast
back to me as Sin
and Pietà, Pietà will always be mine
Pity my sons do not love me

Frye Museum, Seattle
Franz von Stuck
January 16, 2014

samedi 11 janvier 2014

Ayia Marina

It's true, I loved you
my blue edges giving way
to your salty kiss
that warm summer sea
turquoise and flecked
with blooms of jellyfish
mountain vistas
it felt like bliss
it almost felt like breath
my legs wrapped
tightly around your waist
as we crashed with
wave after wave
of classic tantra
laughing buddha
and for just a moment
one bright moment
we became children