Last year at this time holds no love for me. It keeps no fondness, it remembers nothing nostalgic. Last year at the end of February the world was cold and clouded in fever. The flowers of hate bloomed early last year.

Last February my sweet S & I had owned our tiny little shoestring coffeehouse-slash-bookstore for five months, and had dealt with faulty wiring, nonexistent plumbing, nasty carpet, drunkards, a change for the worse in the state's funding for mental health care and recovery clinics, the onset of a war and the "downturn" (like it's a submarine and not a stone falling) of the economy, a crackdown on head-shops that affected the glassblowers who sub-let the studio attached to the 1910's house where we had our business, and a car on fire in the lot beside our building. It was a wild ride last year. I would shoot that crazy-eyed horse if I saw it coming again.

Location, location, location, they tell you for a business. But what if the location changes? What if the world changes?

I can take no credit for the following. It was written by S during the long cold days of February last year, standing alone at the black counter in our little high-ceilinged wood-floored fire-in-the-hearth coffeehouse bookstore sandwiched between the concert hall and the methadone clinic. It closed last summer. I have no regrets, except for the camellia trees. They were beautiful and I miss them.

Tattered men clothes in trash bags slung over shoulders
Totter through potholes behind the concert hall.
In the alley Shoeless Tim pushes his wheelchair along
Sleeping bag riding in style as if it is the crippled one
He wears a cowboy hat and boots
Two sizes too small by the look
And has trouble walking with his crippled back and all.

Little rain dimples oil slick puddles.

Camellias in full bloom drop spent blossoms in drifts
Covering the beer cans candybar wrappers potato chip bags
Covering the Oregon Spring vodka bottles and cast off polyester slacks
The flowers fall in drifts covering drunk Anna
Flowered tennis shoeless toothless muttering
Laughing because her husband owns mailboxes etcetera
So when you want help mailing things
You can just go to hell because
I suggested
Move on you're scaring away
Both my customers.

The flowers fall
In drifts they fall
They fall
And maybe falling long enough will cover all the ground
And maybe falling long enough will cover the concert hall
Will cover the junkies quarreling over you stole seventy dollars off my food stamps
Will cover the huge pick-up trucks with idiot stickers
Will cover the bombs germs gas hate
Will cover the sound of mothers crying among the tanks
Will cover the bulldozers crushing homes and orchards
Will cover the children with rifles and suicide vests
Maybe falling long enough they will cover the war

The flowers falling in drifts
They fall they fall
And maybe falling long enough
Will cover


The wind blew it all over last night. All of it. We've been having these little mini-hurricanes howling through, blustering around, swirling and twisting and then receding again to tranquility. Can't complain too much but it seems like a terrible precursor to the notorious lion of March fast approaching.

Yesterday after work I bought a cheap bottle of red wine with the remaining $5 in my wallet. Yeah, cheap. But thanks to globalization and the current trend of francopathy, wine from some of France's best and oldest vinyards can be acquired at the ratty old corner market for $3.79 (marked down from $12.99, yeah baby) and there is no sales tax in this state. I flicked the penny in the empty parking lot and it fell clattering amongst the raindrops spattering hard on the black buckled pavement. The rain gurgled in the gutter and I blinked while the cold raindrops fell dappling my cheeks.

The sky turned an angry purple and the last of the sun setting over the mountains contrasted with brilliant pinks and yellows and oranges, which faded to the color of wine, and then the purple absorbed it all and smothered the last of the light.

I've been feeling like I need to remember something all week. It's a frustrating thing because I usually have no problem directing or focusing my thoughts. They go where I want unless I turn them loose and that's when I get the most done although it's generally disorganized. Hooray for chaos. If I just turned around fast enough it's possible I could see the nagging little thought at the back of my mind.


Reflections in the liquefactious layer on your eye are something like a salty convex mirror of tears. That thick acid smell of kreosote permeates the walls and burns our sinuses. I'll kiss your cupid's- bow lips and our souls will smile at eachother.

There is nothing to amend.

Ignorance and power and pride are a deadly mixture.


I slept for four hours this afternoon and now I feel much nicer.

The previous post does not indicate sorrow or unhappiness; it's just a hard short ride on a rough horse through thick brambles. Nostrils distended, ears pinned back, sweat in a lather on the neck. It's nothing I'm really feeling, just a mirror hanging on the wall.

You all are sweet and I thank you.
The space between, physical and temporal and emotional, provides no final answer, just a hollowness of echoes and where do those abandoned memories go, anyway? There are some things I don't even try to remember and wonder if someday I should, or if all really is for nothing then why not remember nothing. Nothing will reciprocate. Nothing will mediate. Nothing.

All the answers are the same as they have always been. If all we believe is death then all we do is die. The rest is vanity, and what does it profit? What shall it, prophet.

It is a haunted wilderness, a vortex, and there is no sound, no motion, no thought, only the false feeling of spinning, tracking time like a pendulum, decapitating and suspended in the dark water of some cold northern sea. I find no respite in self-inflicted misery. I feel no relief in the catch and painful release of wracking sobs. These eyes of mine squint hard against the blinding fateful chance of future and if I look carefully I can see behind me. That is what I am, was, and will be. It's all there, except ahead of me.

Much has been lost. Most of it will remain beneath the murky cold depths where it slipped to the dream of mermaids. I catch a glimpse of pale green gauze and dark hair and when I blink it changes back into the deep rolling water.

I've been looking for the questions, not the answers. Fragments of silk and eider down and the sickly-sweet breath of dreams, lost and wind-driven, crushed by bootheels, tucked into forgotten desk drawers in dusty old houses. God doesn't expect anyone to have faith in Him but sometimes He hopes, too.

Read Jamie's epiphany.


We're goin boom boom boom and that's the way we live.

I insisted on doing nothing yesterday. Actually I had stressed myself out about all the things I needed to do & S made me sit on the couch in the pale sunlight & rubbed my shoulders & smoothed my hair & said, "Shush." And nothing I didn't do made any difference at all, except I didn't get the laundry finished and so I had only one black skimpy slightly-unfavored-uncomfortable bra clean this morning. But there are worse things, sure.

And in a great big room and that's the way we live.

Thursday we had sweet JJ & Tebone come for dinner and we sampled three different types of red Italian wines with long names I can't recall (Montolpulciano? and two other Godblessitanos. Childish I know. Sobitemeano). I liked the cheapest one best; the other two would probably age better, but they had a sharp taste I didn't appreciate. Yes, I got a little tipsy. We talked about a big summertime shindig and commiserated with JJ's boss troubles and I recall sending them home with some books to read.

I'm the king of bongo, baby.

Friday flew by not quite fast enough. When I was a young girl my parents would take me camping at the beach south of San Francisco and I remember the long lines of brown pelicans skimming just above the surface of the water just behind the big waves, elegant in their flight and formation. Their wings make a crescent, and although they look awkward on land with their big long bills, they're graceful in the air. We would count them, how many in a line sailing swift over the crashing green. Every once in a while one would swoop and splash into the water and rise with a full beak, water streaming from the pouch, the fish ensared by the beak. And once I saw a sea lion leap out of the water and grab a pelican as it flew low above the waves. That's about how Friday felt.

I'm the king of bongo bong.

Saturday dawned sunny and bright and I awoke feeling refreshed and good, and I taught my dance class two new fun things to do with their bodies. One of my girls is a senior in high school, and something tells me high school is not her favorite thing. She's one of those large girls without much sense of her physical being, and I am glad to see her taking this class. She has a wide open moon face with clear skin and a stunning beautiful brilliant smile. She also has an awkward, self-conscious manner about her, and could be Junoesque but she's too painfully aware of her size in this small-equals-desireable culture. But she's learning, yes she is. It's my job to make her say, "Wow, I'm smart and pretty. And hey, look what I can do with these hips."

We're goin boom boom boom and that's the way we live.

Saturday afternoon we pruned most of the thirty or so roses in our yard (the previous owner thought the only plants in the world were roses and rhododendrons), all thorns and sweat and cuss words and rewarded ourselves with beers & cheeseburgers & a shower & then a nap together. We slept too long and woke up muffle-headed and wild-haired but a small dose of coffee cured the post-nap yawns. After errands and meetings we wended our way to our tall thin friends' tall thin house on the hill, where we ate much raw fish with rice & seaweed and drank Momokawa Diamond sake. It is fun to make sushi, roll the whole thing together in the little bamboo mats. A local fish market sells fantastic sushi-grade tuna. R-r-r-r-aw fish.

And in a great big room and that's the way we live.

We slept in Sunday. We did nothing Sunday. Well that's not true I'll leave it to the imagination.

I'm the king of bongo, baby.
I'm the king of bongo bong.


Springtime comes creeping like hope. I walked to lunch at noon and could see in the soggy black ground the beginnings of the very first blades pushing from the earth. The world turned green over night, flush green moss blooms on every surface, telephone poles, sidewalks, tree branches, automobiles.

This is a dirty old town, dreams drowned in the rain and fortunes buried like cigarette butts in the mud. Eugene is the first name of the man who settled here, built a cabin on a hillside overlooking the river. A chimney made of river rock and basalt still remains. It was once called Skinnerville and I think that would be a more appropriate name for this grimy old lumber-industry farm-community college town.

Gravel alleyways creep between the narrow crooked potholed streets. Mill houses built 200 years ago and monstrous maples and fir trees, ramshackle barns converted into houses or garages stacked between the tiny apartment complexes give the yin-yang feelings of suffocation and safety.

Everything rots in the rain. This is the land of shadows and rainbows, and the sunshine blares brilliant in brief gashes through the clouds and fog. The water reflects prisms and ribbons of refracted light onto the dark clouds. I saw a double rainbow yesterday to the north and had no time to chase it.

Today is a sunny day, the bright blue sky alone hurts my eyes. White clouds chase their dark shadows east across the valley where they meet the big mountians, which are purple and jagged and pale against the sky. And from the west I can smell just a hint of the coming spring in the smoky damp air.

Since December 22, aside from a night in between each visitor, we've had constant house guests. This includes both sets of parents and a friend kicking addiction with no other place safe to go.

Nearly two months of other people sharing our little two-bedroom one-bathroom home makes for a lot of laundry and cooking and stress and if anyone comes to stay with us for the next three months at least I think I'll go insane and move into the woodshed.

The thought did occur to me.

The house was blissfully quiet last night when I got home from dance class. We shared the last half of a bottle of red wine and practiced talking to eachother again.


Shake it sweet baby.

You can smile at your reflection in a window or a spoon and I'll smile at you.

Your eyes are pretty, flat on the underside and curved above like cathedral windows, and they look like they've seen too much and may be the color of jade but aren't jaded. You struggle with the notion of forgivenness for those who have hurt you. Most of those wrinkles are from wicked crooked grins and a quick wit.

I remember when you screwed up dyeing your hair and it turned bright orange. You wore a blond wig for a week and took on a whole new flamboyant personality.

You thought for sure you were bound for hell and bravely bared your teeth until you learned "sin" comes from the Greek word meaning "missed the mark," and that nobody else could tell you the destination of your soul.

You laugh louder than most.

The way you smell reminds me of winter, kind of musty and black leather and old fur coats. Risidual camphor and cedar of dark old closets. Marble legs move beneath thigh-high slits in the long black velvet skirts and knee-high boots you wear without socks year-round.

Constant dark burgundy lipstick, a wild mane of dark red hair, and a sunflower tattoo on your shoulder. Black clothes, always. You say it hides stains best.

You have the sweetest kindest heart that has been hurt before but is big and unafraid.

The people we share our lives with become facets of our dreams, our laughter, our thoughts, our prayers. We both have great hope it's not cancer.


Standing where the water meets the water in the rain, I could see big sheer cliffs to the north and a long rolling black beach to the south. We had travelled the night before through the dark, south south south like a bird to the balmy beaches of the banana belt north of the lost coast.

During our trip south, we halted at a bridge that swung wide open to let pass a shipping boat returning to its dock at the mouth of the Umpqua River, the sound of the water and engines, sea birds and a far away fog horn sounding its echo into the dusk over the water. A bat flew from between the giant black fir trees. The massive swing bridge is one of many along the coast that crosses rivers and creeks and inlets and bays, big art deco gothic curves and carved
suspensions of steel and concrete.

Coos Bay is a sweet little town, neon lights and twisting strange streets, old houses and mills, and unlike other coastal towns not completely reliant upon the summer tourist trade. We've kissed in the cafe on the corner with the sun shining through the windows. That was years ago now.

We rode fast through the great sweeps of the Oregon Dunes, some of the largest sand dunes in the world. I blinked through Denmark at 7:36, two houses a small store and a post office. The sky was clear for our journey and we travelled through some of the most remote country in the nation. There are no roads, not even logging or fire roads, east of the highway for a stretch of 40 miles.

Where the Siskiyous stumble jumbled into the sea, Humbug Mountain stands alone, the monstrous steep headland that halted Jack London in his ride north from San Francisco. He, like we, had to ride inland and creep around the base of the big dark mountain. East of the mountain is wilderness, and the most frequent sightings of sasquatch. People get lost and never return from the Siskiyous. We did not falter, or stop.

We crossed the Siuslaw River, the Umpqua River, the Coos River, the Coquille River, the Elk, the Sixes, the Rogue River, and countless creeks and streams in our trip to Gold Beach, named for the gold found in the rocky dark serpentine and quartz sand.

When we finally arrived after four hours of travel and exchanged hugs with loved ones I walked in the night air with the dogs outside on the banks of the big wide creek that rushed down to the ocean. The constellations looked like the bright white quartz pebbles strewn upon the black gravel sand, reflections of the ethereal on the earth, glinting in the lights of the heavens. Other than Orion and the Great Bear I could not distinguish the constellations. There were no lights, and no moon to steal light from the smaller stars.

We slept with the window open, breezes from the sea salting our faces, and awoke feeling quiet and happy.


Have a great weekend, everyone. I'll be back on Tuesday.

I've been working on one of those "100 things" lists but forgot to number them.
Such is life.

Not quite 100 random Sahalie facts:

My emotions rarely get the better of me. I'm one of the psychologically most well-balance people I know.

I will contradict myself.

Four is the number of times people have gotten me with that "You know 'gullible' isn't in the dictionary?" Yeah. It's not funny.

Red wine is my drink of choice.

I can ride a horse.

Ten years ago I was much wilder than I am now, but not nearly as sexy.

I have found true love and peace in my heart. I want to be good.

I once rode on the back of a hard-tail Harley behind a biker named Dead at 100 miles per hour headed west towards the setting sun.

I married the best man.

When I shop for clothes it's always in second-hand stores. I cannot justify spending $70 on jeans if I can purchase the same pair for $3.

I can shoulder shimmy like you wouldn't believe.

As a child I got stuck with my Mom at the top of the ferris wheel for a long time. I felt ill and puked and as we watched the vomit fall my Mom yelled, "Bombs away!" Which made me forget about being sick. My Mom doesn't remember this incident.

I didn't have breasts until I was 18. Didn't even bother stuffing my bra. What would have been the point?

I didn't have a butt until I was 25. I still fit into the jeans I wore in high school. Except now I have a butt.

My husband tells me I have a bite-able tummy.

I teach a beginning Middle Eastern dance class through the local community college.

Sometimes I forget about gravity.

I've seen a ram get a cattle prod shoved up its ass to make it ejaculate. I'm very good at imitating sheep noises and will sometimes do so in crowds.

You know me. I was the sickly scrawny knobby-kneed little bespectacled girl who sat in the back of the class. I was friends with everyone.

I've kissed a sea lion, ridden a camel, felt a cheetah's fur, and held a hunting falcon.

One time a horse named Blue trampled me. He didn't mean to and was very embarrassed about it.

I am a mimic.

My face is one of those "Hey don't I know you?" faces. People always tell me I look like someone they know.

I've never broken a bone in my body. I have no piercings. No tattoos. Only one tiny scar on the corner of my lower lip from when I was four.

I played piccolo in the high school marching band. I hated it. The uniform had this big fucking "A" on the chest.

I have straight long naturally blond hair. It's long enough to tuck into the waist band of my low-rise jeans. No I don't dye it, I don't bleach it, I just wash it daily and it's lucky if it gets brushed. It is so straight it doesn't get tangled. Thanks Mom.

I can kick above my head.

When I went crazy for a year I laughed all the time.

No one has ever called me a bitch except for my ex-boyfriend. It was one of about a hundred names he called me. I dumped his sorry ass.

My parents were both high school teachers. They're still in love with each other.

I love my in-laws.

When we got married four months after we met, people asked if I were pregnant. I wasn't.

I have little patience for stupidity, forced laughter, or snobbery.

My first college roommates were a lesbian couple from Paris, Texas who hogged the bathroom.

I never wear a watch.

My husband said the first thing he noticed about me were my pointy teeth.

I have a big garden.

I'm happy.

My eyes are blue with yellow around the iris.

I often don't wear any make-up.

When we were married we lived in a shotgun shack in a California cornfield. We moved to a pump house in the Oregon coast range. It was a big improvement.

The Davis received degree English of I from Bachelor University of California the Arts... Thank God I can run a ten-key.

I prefer "manual" to "automatic" in just about everything.

I believe in God. I do not believe in organized religions.


Dot's saturnine smile drew the corners of her lips downward and didn't reach her eyes. She had no wrinkles of worry on her forehead, just that demanding ambitious line running straight down between her dark eyebrows. She remembered women plucking their brows and then pencilling them back in to affect the look of constant surprise and thought how weak and stupid they all looked, fluttery hands and sucked-in cheeks, and this was fashion? She'd rather have a sunburn.

The trees stand bare and naked in the thick and freezing fog that rolled up the river valley.

I do not feel isolated.


Inspiration is a tenuous thing, intangible, flirtatious and altogether faithless. I felt the touch of her hand last night and found myself walking around outside in the freezing fog, the street light ringed with a halo and windows curtained against the cold and I think I could have cried. The cold air and woodsmoke burned my nose and I stood breathing deep, hidden in the purples and deep violets of night, made brilliant by the layer of river fog, and high above the cold stars glinted.

The music I played last night in our warm house was intoxicating like red wine, pretty when held up to the light, sharp and then smooth against the tongue. I found my thoughts dervishing, great billows of whirling energy, connected between earth and sky like a spinning dancer's hands, one hand open to the ground, the other open towards the sky, forming a conduit.

The dance troupe my friends and I have formed seeks to generate our own style of dancing together, working not through a set choreography but through communication, so the dance is impromptu and original, and never predictable. We have been focused on the how, and it has preoccupied me more than I would admit. How do we communicate while dancing without speaking? How do we work together without a choreography? Last night I believe I figured it out, and I cannot explain it in words, but with motions.


Any plant with the botanical identification officinalis was once used by physicians, as tincture, poultice, infusion, etc. This does not mean such plants are safe to ingest. Digitalis officinalis , foxglove, made into a tea is deadly.

The botanical name for pea vetch, which grows along ditches and in fields, is astragalus, and the Greek root word means both ankle and dice. Roll the bones.


The house was quiet last night. S sat on the couch in the dim light of one lamp listening to Beethoven's Piano Sonatas and I drew a bath, hot water swirling in the small tub. When I met S he had an enormous claw-foot tub in his bathroom and I think a portion of my initial attraction coincided with a great desire to climb in and submerge myself in the romantic old steel and porcelain beast. Better yet were the baths we shared, because we both fit in the tub, the water up to our chins, hair smoothed back from our foreheads, laughter bubbling and soap scrubbing.

I love water, love the rains, the oceans, the rivers, the lakes. Tiny rivulets skipping down a hillside like a riddle between rocks and stones, ferns and grasses can hold me entranced. I find the reflection, refraction, shadows, ripples, texture, and sounds of water fascinating.

Trips to the beach will find me above my knees in the water, the waves of the Pacific pushing and pulling rhythmically against my thin bare legs, tiny granules of sand escaping from beneath my toes. I will stand until the burning ache of the cold water recedes to something less than numbness and it feels as if all my body is infused with the ocean, all the aches and pains diminished, resolved with the flow of the tide. I love to watch the water, not because I am imagining what lies across the sea but because I love the motion of the waves, the pull of the moon, the swirl and eddy among the big submerged rocks and seastacks. I love the constant roar, the silence in the ebb, the sizzle of the sand, the rush of the flow as the water comes churning against the land. If I listen I can hear songs of dreams in the waves, like mermaids.

When we went backpacking in the high Sierra Mountians to that small pristine alpine lake that was the color of heaven and clear and cold as ice I stayed in the water until my lips and fingers turned the same blue as the water. We were alone at the lake, miles from any road, the whisper of the wind in the sugar pine trees. Around the far side of the lake reeds grew in the water and the bottom was sandy and flat. The water's depth was shoulder-high and I could see my numb feet moving through the aquatic grass, small quick trout darting from my shadow and motion. I don't remember breathing, walking slowly through liquid glass, my hair following me and twisting around my arms. It was so cold I wasn't even shivering. I remember the silence underwater, and have never heard such an absence of sound.

The quiet calls to me like water, promises a stillness. Last night as I lounged in the tub I could hear the Beethoven, and something else, too, barely there, a chorus, just perceptible. I sat up and listened hard with my eyes closed, the steam from my bath curling in tendrils around my face, hot water soaking my limbs, my whole body intensely focused on that other sound beneath the melody. I called to S, please pause the music, please let me listen, and when he came into the room I asked him to crack open the window. We held our breath and listened as the cold winter air spilled into the room. There, beneath the noisy layer of industry, beneath the low howl of the freight train whistle, beneath the occasional rush of car tires on pavement and the somewhere distant barking of a dog, there, there in the dark, after a sunny day and under an almost-full moon, there were frogs singing their early neeee-breeeee mating calls from the nearby creeks, ponds, bogs, drainage sloughs.

We smiled at each other and he left the window open a crack, kissed my lips warm and ruddy from the hot bath. He closed the door and returned to his piano sonatas, but at a lesser volume so that I might also enjoy the music of silence, sung in the small watery voices of frogs.


I am having no patience today.

Generally I pride myself on having patience & respect & all the things that go along with answering questions on the phone. Perhaps it was because yesterday turned out so lousy for so many people I care about. Maybe it was seeing the full moon exactly opposite Venus last night and wanting to reach out & touch them both. Possibly it's because I awoke at one in the morning with my husband snoring & shifting in his sleep pressed against and jostling my back & my cat curled against my bare stomach, her fur prickly against my sweaty skin, the stuff of nightmares.

Regardless, I am feeling both out of sorts & unwilling to grant patience to imbeciles who call with questions and then don't shut the fuck up they just keep talking they ask the question about five different ways and I understood it the first time but then they say the same thing they said a different way and maybe it's just because there's a vaccuum created by too much television and talking on cellular phones in their brains but I wish they'd quit yammering so I could answer, Mr. I'm-in-love-with-my-own-voice, Ms. Your-procedures-must-be-different-than-other-counties, Mrs. I-really-don't-think,-I-really-don't-think-that's-right, Mr. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah, just pose your question and then SHUT UP so I can respond.

I have no patience today for folks calling and talking themselves around to their own answers, which should have been plain-as-day, and had they stopped to THINK they wouldn't have had to call me and babble at me. Because frankly, it is a waste of my time, this ridiculous verbal hand-holding.

And when I say, "Please hold, I need to go get the file," that is the clue that I need more information before I can answer a question, so SHUT UP already. This morning alone I have cut three people off with the hold button, after informing them (politely-- I may be grinding my teeth but I am always polite. I'll even tell you kindly if I'm going to disconnect your call because you're being unprofessional or disrespectful) I needed to put them on hold, and they just keep talking.

The jackass in Shrek has nothing on these people, including one loud-mouth attorney who told me all about the refinance and the debt incurred and the second mortgage, like I care, but I couldn't interrupt, he was on a roll, and talked right over me for five minutes-- five freaking minutes, I looked at the timer on my phone's display-- although if he had just SHUT UP for a moment I would have been able to direct him to the person (ahem) who had written the letter (ahem) to which he was responding, so he didn't have to say it all twice. Dumbass.

While writing this I've answered five calls. They seem to be getting better. Or maybe the callers are just detecting that nearly psychotic too-nice edge in my voice.

Other than wanting to throw the phone out the window I'm having a great day.


The truth collides with memory, warps and buckles and remains just a fleeting touch like a feather on the cheek, the half-heard wisp of a song.

He was darkness and light, the balance between Dionysian and Appolonian, the words he molded and shaped resounded of philosophy and politics. She couldn't remember anything he said but felt the quickening in her breath, the warmth that spread through her and the constriction of her heart.

He held himself aloof. She plummeted into madness.

It was months ago and she had been alone with a drunken him, the wild side showing through like stormy weather.

He had kissed her in the dark water beneath the clear sky, their hair wet and entangled, and she had wanted him for so long it knocked the thoughts from her head and the strength from her body but she found herself pushing him away. Her heart kicked inside her chest and she was sure he could hear it.

She had wanted him for so long, but not like this, not because his inhibitions had receded behind the shadows in his eyes, not because he knew she wanted him and he could have her. She felt like flesh and wished to feel like spirit. The part that ached for him raged within her but could not overcome her disappointment.

She climbed dripping from the black pool and her head spun as she walked into the garden and his voice called for her. The earth, the rosemary, the cedar trees filled her senses, flooded her with hopeless longing for something equal, some balance. Passion burns too brightly and it was passion that she had kissed, the fire of it still burning her lips, the touch of his fingertips on her shoulder. The dry ground beneath her bare feet made her wish to be absorbed by the earth, swallowed, enclosed, buried.

He did not follow her into the garden.

Later after the winter had come and gone, when the daffodils first nodded their heads in the sunshine, she had called him and went to his apartment. He invited her in and she could not read his looks and smiles as she once did.

Once, when they could sit back to back reading in the park, when they spoke to each other and the sound would resound through their rib cages and fill each of their bodies. Once, when he would hold doors for her and they could laugh together. They had not been intimate but the best of friends. She did not know what changed.

Now she could hear the furnace click on, for the spring was damp and cold, and she could smell the burning dust on the small desk lamp. His apartment was not more than a room, and she felt she could not see into the corners of it.

She did not trust her shaking hands to take the cup of tea he offered. They sat looking at each other for what seemed eternity although she could hear the second hand tick only seven second of its way around the clock on his desk before he broke the silence with mention of school, work, family. Safe subjects. And then he asked, neither as an aside nor a direct question, what did she want.

She did not trust the shaking of her voice to answer him, and for one moment, for the space of a breath, she saw and understood the flash of hatred in his eyes. She had done nothing wrong.

The passion had changed, shifted its molten shape from desire to disgust. It burned through her thoughts like lightning, a blinding white flash, and although the pain was too fresh and he still seemed like an aching missing limb, she knew she could finally forget him.


Venus stood alone high in the West, shrouded by the dusk and luminous drapery of golden clouds, bright against the darkening sky. We three walked quietly and heard only the thin far whistle of a freight train destined for another town and a black crow needing no shadow took one last flight across the bright indigo.

Young boys played with a basketball and a hoop in their driveway, the light from the garage backlighting them, small imps leaping and the bouncing ball, grunts of exertion as they stretched for the rim. I could not see their faces.

Somewhere a hound sounded against the coming dark, and I could count the seconds in the space of our footsteps clocking against the black asphalt. In the half light and gloaming the shadows creep forth, become harder and breathe their release from the daylight.

Past dusk the real world is best seen through the corners of the eye, the shape blurs and the motion becomes round and somehow sinister. The darkness comes slowly alive and the light fades. The arc of the burning cigarette, a cat leaping a fence, the swing of the leg, and the shadow cast by the light from a window matching the motions.

I could disappear into the dark, change my face, hold the shadows in an embrace as the stars wheel and Venus blazes bright against the black velvet.


Why: such an eternal and often unanswerable word that operates also as a question. It implies a meaning and an intent, a cause and reaction, a chain of events. It is basic and elemental.

Some words are laden, heavy, weighted with meaning. Some words once meant deeper things, but the meaning has since been lost, like those words absorbed by the English language beginning with "wr" that indicate a twisting motion, or misdirection. The word writing itself describes a twisting motion of the wrist (which turns and twists to drag the utensil across the surface). Such meanings have since become wraiths, the lost haunting shadows of words.

We type but we call it writing. The physical act described means we're doing something else when we sit at a keyboard and tap away at the keys. What, exactly, are we doing, and why are we doing it?

I feel like Muscle, with his parallel between damaged modes of travel, Sex with his unabated curiosity and burning desire to rant, & Bobby with his question of self & blog & spiral-bound journal have sent my thoughts spinning.

The natural history of the English language is a curious lore, full of speculation and recently applied rules, but sometimes it breaks from the boundaries of grammar and spelling and punctuation. The basic reason for language is to communicate, and people do this now on a personal level the world over not seen before, through their keyboards to their weblogs & the comments attached. It is a new medium, and the word writing means something different now.

I don't often write about writing, because I feel it is reductive, like a snake eating its own tail. Perhaps that's my linguistic analytical blah blah past speaking. Too many poems reduced to too many meanings and double-entendres of the words, too much reading between the lines and ascribing hidden secrets to the phrases. I once declared there are no synonyms although my tongue deceived me and stated there are no cinnamons.

Language is a means of communication, of thought, of preserving information on many levels beyond the immediate and obvious surface. Its uses are deep. Aldous Huxley said written language is the closest we can come to telepathy, and I appreciate this sentiment, particularly in the context of the internet and online journals.

Blogs in particular demand the question, For whom will I write? Consider the possible audience. So, if the written language is the closest we can come to telepathy, and I am communicating with anyone and everyone, what shall I write, and why?

I have been thinking about performance, particularly about dancing, and also about writing. A dance performance needs three things: an audience, a dancer, and music. It becomes a closley coupled rhythm, a means of sharing something beautiful or stirring or thought-provoking with a number of people. It is, above all, entertaining. I have thought much about this, and do not dance to ensnare hearts, or to show off my body, or to fulfill a need for attention. Rather, I dance because I love the music, and the pairing of music with motion, and the sharing of that embodiment with those who appreciate it.

A public journal needs three things: readers, a writer, and words to be written.

Why write? It must be done on an individual basis, and the question therefore must be answered on an individual basis. I write for a number of reasons... To put into words the world I see. To entertain. To try and capture the light like a painter might, to embody the music like a dancer, to shape clay like a potter. Words are a medium to work. Do I always succeed in this expression of art? No. But practice is assisted with critique, and perhaps when I am a toothless old wild-eyed gray-haired lady I will have, at one brief moment in time, made practice into perfect.

Why not?