The year's end rolls towards us, gentle flick of a cat's tail, soon to blink and extinguish. I won't miss it.

We're headed to the high wide big sky lonesome mesa to spend the first week of the new year with his parents. For some inexplicable reason it feels like we're about to jump off the edge of the earth. I'm holding my breath.

May it be a happy new year.


I’ll be like that Indian girl with the wrinkled sweat-stained white Jack Daniel’s baseball cap and the dirty fingernails who held her hand, palm facing out, across her eyes, so that I wouldn’t exist.

No profit or loss, no equity statement, no policy, drag it out and say I really don’t like it, the way words lose their meanings. Babble-on. What ever whatever words. I wonder about the hidden lost depths in words like “knit” and “knot” and “know,” “write” and “wry” and “wring.” Get around it. Twist it. Delve. Linguistical spelunking. These things keep me up long after the trains in the yard, early or late between the darkest hours of the night, are done clanging and locking and thumping and whistling in their linear love. That, and the notion of unexistence, or nonexistence, oblivion, or endlessness. Give me humbleness and understanding and peace in my heart.
I found a box in the garage labeled “Good Intentions” and opened the lid to reveal all sorts of bricks and cobbles and pavement stones. Are my intentions bad if I haven’t been working on that road? So that was Christmas, peace on earth good will towards men and by the way, fuck those “happy Holidayers.” Boyo what a wonderful attitude. How can we possibly argue it’s keeping Christ in Christmas when the first question any one asks after the day is What did you get? Seems to me something is m-i-s-s-i-n-g but what do I know, once again I failed to send out greeting cards. Burn it all, I say.

Know what I hate? The wretched little media-skews, the ones that make people actually pontificate about whether it should be “French fries” or “Merry Christmas” and all the pseudo-important dispute of nomencogs and that’s not a real word but whatthefuckever. These ridiculous premises are considered grounds for “safe” arguments, discussions unlikely to turn violent, but my my, don’t people have their hackles up more than usual?

I feel like we’re all observed-- hey watch the masses; look what they buy when we play this commercial during this sports event; and watch them argue Chevy or Ford or if feta is better than cheddar. So easy to divide and conquer, I imagine a roomful of mean-spirited sonsabitches sniggering in their coat sleeves like they did as snot-nosed kids when they’d trap a yellow jacket and a black widow together in a jar and then shake it.

I’m curious for how many how much of a day is occupied by considering the riotous babel of some over-paid smug politico asshole with a balding-but-airbrushed pate who thinks he’s hilarious? Corporate interests consider us only as cogs in the machine or grist in the grind, and frankly my dear I want nothing to do with such machinations.

Probably I’m behind the times on this because I buy most clothes second-hand but I think one of the most important innovative changes in 2005 are the different types of tags in clothing. Yes the tags are still there, but they’re actually printed on the cloth, or else they’re strategically placed, and made of soft material instead of that nasty itchy interfacing, so that I’m not inclined to take a scissors to the shirt. Shit isn’t that a sad thing of note, I can’t think of anything better that has happened in the cosmopolite world this year?


Experiencing technical difficulties.


I pray the world finds peace for just one day, just one. Doesn’t anyone else wonder how quiet it would be if every one spent one day attempting to break the cycle of stimulus-response? One day not working, not driving, not watching teevee, not talking on phones, not turning on any electricity, not conducting business, not fighting, not oppressing, not buying or selling or lending or collecting, not anticipating what will happen tomorrow, not worrying about things beyond our control. Just one day be free human beings, one day out of thousands of days, imagine the quiet, imagine the soft voices, imagine the realization of peace we might see in another's eyes if we could just, for one rotation of the earth, unplug, turn everything off, shut down, find stillness in our hearts and listen to the wind caress the world.

They travelled, slowly, only a donkey and some blankets and their love. She rode, her dark blue robe hiding her swollen belly but not lightening the weight within her that shifted with the donkey's gait, his backbone hard and sharp and uncomfortable. But the animal neither stumbled nor stopped. Campfires of nomads and shepherds dotted the dark horizon as they neared the town, a few lights in the huts and houses shining brightly in the thickening dusk and they travelled to Bethlehem to pay taxes.

Unable to find a hostel in the town with narrow dirt streets, they boarded in a stable, and the child was born through hard labor and pain, but she remained quiet and strong and held him in her arms when he was born. He slept in a manger, up off the ground, a most humble and simple bed.

The shepherds nearby heard with fear and amazement from the host of heavens, and came and expressed joy and wonder at the birth of the baby, and she heard their voices and pondered the meaning of their words in her heart.

When her child was named, the man in the temple held her babe in his arms and said he could die now because he had seen salvation, and that the child would be the light and the glory, and would be a sign spoken against, and she felt as though a sword pierced her heart.

A star in the heavens was shining, clear and brilliant and silver in the dark sky.

Remember to give love that you may receive it.


Tony is driving through Oregon. Happy trails!


Didn’t nobody sleep last night, somebody took a shower at three, the floorboards creaking and toilet flushing and dogs and cats making dog and cat noises and rain pouring and people snoring and train whistling and plus I should not have consumed wine then gin & tonic then wine again then whiskey.

I’m happy to see my folks; their long drive was uneventful and they both seem relaxed and happy with their retirement. Many hugs and lots of laughing and silliness. S had prepared a feast of smoked pork tenderloin wrapped in proscuitto and apple slices, baked potato wedges, and a salad.

After dinner Mom and I did dishes with silly hip-bump dancing in the kitchen and then we danced arms wrapped around each other in the front room. Our knees bend at exactly the same time, our concept of rhythm identical. Our extended bobbing giggling hugging shuffle was the height of elation for me, brought back memories of dancing with her as a little girl. The long hallway in their house where I grew up was always reason enough to lock arms in mock tango and charge galumphing gallop-skipping together.

They were still asleep when I left for work this morning but I get to leave at noon. I’ll have them all to myself, too, because S has gone for the day and will return late tonight. S went crabbing with B, but first they’ll go marauding, searching for treasures, and it’s been awhile since they’ve seen each other so the problems of the world will be solved all over again. I hope they have good luck catching crabs. The weather on the coast promises to be balmy and blustery, high tide an hour before sunset.

My Mom asks What shall we do next? She demands Take me to see the waterfalls. She declares Let’s go shopping! She asks Why don’t we go for a W-A-L-K and then laughs because the dogs know how to spell that word. She asks What shall we do for dinner?

Dad is constantly amused by Mom's sassiness. He had laser surgery on his eyes and can see without glasses and I like to see his face. All his wrinkles go up, from smiling, and now we can all see that twinkle in his eye. Last night he made a toast and said in his okay-I'm-serious-you-guys tone, which always contains an underlying suppressed laugh, May our tribe increase! Yes Dad, we’ve been thinking and talking about it. I didn't mean to blush.

This is a good day despite the hangover & lack of sleep.


Slumbertime, winter solstice, the sun stands still in Capricorn. This is the ecliptic crux when the earth tilts her belly to the sun. In the northern lands sunrise comes late and sunset comes early, and the day between is illuminated with long rays of cold silver light. Celestial coordinates and ancient holy days, this is the beginning of winter.

Winter is no old man this year; she winks her thick dark-lashed eyes, arranges her petticoats, and shakes ice crystals like diamonds from her black hat. She’s not calculating, but is cruel and frigid for all her austere beauty. Her cold sneer turned the remaining crimson leaves on the oaks into a shade paler than gold, and they fell as winterkill into the gutters.

Everything I own smells faintly of woodsmoke from oak logs.

They have a long road to travel, and I pray they have safe journey through the mountains. My parents are coming to visit. I have not seen them since summer; it has been too long.
Stripped down. Running around nekked as a jay bird. I like the blankness, just the shapes of letters filling the void. No blah blah, other than my own, of course.

Two new links (waaaaaaaaaay down at the bottom! go on, get a head rush!), both pleasant potables, Fat Free Milk (who is currently sans computer, but must be linked anyway) and Whiskey River, a very nice & calming place.


It can’t be there and not here. I don’t have time. Discuss the virtues of ain’t; vernacular conjugation of to be or not to be? Beans porridge corn tortillas for dinner, then a hot bath that turned my skin ruddy and sleek, I caught myself thinking in narrative dialogue and it’s been a while. Symptoms of depression ignored in favor of bed, the days grow darker and darker, we dwell in silence like hushed fiddlestrings which somehow lost their tune overnight. All those hokey self-indulgent navel gazing poems I wrote a hundred years ago now make me think I was someone else. And I was. And I ain’t. I need those soft woolen warm strong arms wrapped tight around me, and pet my hair.


An eye for an eye until we’re all blind; Justice put her thumb on the scale. No repentance acceptable but death, and who decided? I can do nothing but try and fathom the reasoning of revenge. It feels far beyond my grasp, that atonement too little too late is worth death. We have fallen far, and despite our claims and protestations to the contrary, we cannot laud our good deeds unless we recognize and seek to address our wretched faults. The sins committed are grievous; the wages are beyond price, beyond mortality, beyond belief.

No one knows another’s soul. Not even the eyes, those windows of the soul, can show the depths unknown. We all need forgiveness. But somehow it is not ours to give.

I’ve been dwelling in dark books, good books but not good for lending, books that if I loaned out I’d have to make an apologetic disclaimer about the images trapped in the black and white text by the authors. Images of death, of dead animals, of sickness, of plague, of drowning, of murder and rape and suicide, images I wish I hadn’t seen in my mind’s eye. Images I wish I could put back inside the book and close the cover. It was not my intent; a good book is more than its fragmentary images, but some thoughts linger like retina burns.

Sometimes when I awake in the dark I can feel the physical presence of dreams. While the day is not yet dawned and the cat has not yet come creeping I can almost hear the dream breathing, can feel the shade of its shadow, and feel as it lays me gently down. The warm bed receives my weight and the dream leaves me to find my waking equilibrium.

Sometimes the visions flit quickly, birdlike, the reverie gone and forgotten. Other times the dream strolls away, great lumbering beast of the alternate slumbering world, glancing over its shoulder with a sigh. Not all dreams are kind, not all are benevolent, but thankfully I am not often visited by succubae or cruel and frightening monsters. Most of my dreams are about the things I cannot see, or say, or read. Puzzles I cannot calculate, words I don’t understand.

In my dreams I work hard to read a line of print, and the visions that follow blow wide the blue horizon, flings the sky to the stars, with a sensation of flying headlong into the depths, until the spaces between the stars become filled with the crystalline souls of those who have first atoned and then suffered judgment, the entirety of truth barely visible from the corners of my eyes, I can understand the ephemeral and the eternal, I am weightless and rocketing a hundred thousand miles an hour and then I falter and breathe and settle and slowly open my eyes to see the dull yellow arc of a streetlight shining through the window on the ceiling, and hear a low train song whistling in the night.

The last breath of a dream, exhaled.



The worst of it is I can’t think while sitting. This mind works better in a body in motion. Four days ago I learned some things I cannot do, and it’s always a good thing to find those boundaries. It is good to find and ponder and then start testing them, little nudges at first, to recognize the boundary’s general area. Then some prodding when the weak point is discovered. Then increasing pressure until it stretches to the point of breaking. Practice, practice, practice. What couldn’t I do, a backwards pivot 360* turn to the left, stop, then turn to the right, stop, then turn to the left, and left, and left, and left, stop. It’s not the spinning so much as the stopping that causes me problems. I need to work on the cessation of movement. Music is nothing without silence.

Warning signs ignored, the immediate currency undervalued, stuck in a holding pattern. I can see other ships in the night but can’t tell them about rocks ahead. Because I don’t know.

We bundled up and went outside in the middle of the night because there were no clouds. We searched for some streaks of meteors in the sky, the Geminids, above Orion. Hats and gloves and blankets and binoculars and wee drams of port, and it was nice for snuggling but we did not see any meteors. The celestial display was limited by countless Christmas decorations for miles around, every other house lit up like a Las Vegas casino. We saw the waxing rising moon with Mars standing very close to her belly, and we pondered the hopefulness of peace.

Clear morning flushed pink, we all slept too late.

A long walk, a release of tensions unknown. There is nothing like walking to regain balance. I wanted to follow the little blue-grey birdies as they bumped along the overgrown ditch, flitting between ash trees and hawthorns and willows growing alongside the unpaved access road. The dogs slept quietly for the rest of the day.

Silk painting, resist between the colors, it reminds me of trying to bleed my name on a paper to prove my devotion, to set proof of my existence on something I intended to burn. It reminds me of some unknown memory of dark fingers holding a pale wooden spoon, stirring thousands of white caterpillar cocoons in a black, dry, shallow pot, low flames flickering up the sides. Invisible woven fine fibers, I slip my fingers over the even grain, it makes a sound like a sword being drawn, like water being poured. I paint abstract flowers, and moons and stars, tree branches, dragonflies, fish, birds. It looks like stained glass. Silk is wings.

Magical dream of love, eyes closed and we sounded like the ocean, some big wave rolling in to churn the smooth pebbles. It swelled and receded, swelled and receded, swelled and swelled and swelled and we moved together, shattered with a ragged breath into particulates expanding out into the atmosphere. We both felt that. Surely such energy is not all lost to entropy.

I thought of something while in the shower last night and thought I could recall it this morning but it must have slipped down the drain.

He shoveled chicken yakisoba into his mouth with chopsticks as we walked through the freezing fog and the shadows of tree branches. He fed me a chunk of steaming hot chicken and bean sprouts and carrots with his chopsticks when we paused at a street corner. Steam crept from the gutter. A plump calico cat perched on a porch. The days are dark and short, but not without light.


The shortest distance between two points is a straight line so let us take a meandering course because everything wants to be round. Let us discuss the formation of sedimentary rocks, let us wonder at the course of a river, let us consider the gravity of bodies in motion.

Everything is different when seen from a distance, an unobtainable objective view, valued and called “better” for its natural elusiveness. Instead of watching the river, of which we can see only the churning roiling surface and imagine the depths of its path, imagine being the water. What rocks and roots and fallen trees? Bodies of water. What course to travel, what path of least resistence, what channels to cut into the rock, whither shall we go?

Millions of animalcules swarm inside the droplets of river water, microscopic creatures with feathery undulating fins and segmented jelly bodies, and since they’re made mostly of water they appear transparent, no bigger than a dust mote. We cannot view a thing without interpreting it, and I wonder, why not find joy in seeking the miniscule? Can we abandon the objective, can we alter the point of view which makes it so simple to dis-relate to every thing? Given the vastness of the universe, how are we different from the micro-organism in the droplet from a puddle? The wind moves on the waters.

Yesterday was a steady constant gray and wet shroud pulled around the world, gauzy dark clouds wrapped and wound around the horizon, a muffle, a damper. Voices do not carry in the fog like voices across water. Everything is hushed, waiting for the dark lurking luminous fog-beast to lumber away down the hollows and valleys. The rain was not so much droplets falling, but the air felt thick with water, saturating rather than precipitating, the heavy-bellied clouds descended to the earth. Only seagulls ventured into the damp and cold, wheeling high above and swirling like dust motes reflecting the pale distant sunlight.

In dance class last night I felt my mind gathering all the pertinent bits and pieces, considering the particulars, sorting and storing the information even as my muscles stretched, released, flexed, and achieved that rubbery state just this side of exhaustion. We learned a step pattern, folkloric in origin, which travels in a figure-8 on the floor. It involves a tricky backwards-feeling gyre, spinning against the momentum of the turn, a curious design.

We also learned foundation movements from Upper Egypt and North African tribes, which precede modern bellydance movement. Curious to see the big tribal motion, the bounces and the kicks, motions like horses pawing the earth, and then the refinement, making the motion smaller and more controlled. It is possible to see the same motion, the same muscles being used, but where the motion was once large, for dancing in parties outside, now the motion is small and refined, for dancing between tables in night clubs.

Evolved does not always indicate increased value. Sometimes we forget the basis of the thing itself. I find it increasingly important to discover my methods of discernment, to learn how easily I can turn against the gyre and still find balance.


Wander alone, the days have felt like one big smear of indigo across a sheet of silk. Neither unpleasant but also undefined. Days turn into nights turn into days again before I’m ready to see them end, is it twilight or dawn? He’s back to school and almost finished with this first quarter, every horizontal surface in the house covered with books and journals and reading materials and photocopies and legal pads. His eyes are too tired to see.

Saturday morning was sunny; after teaching my dance class I sold China silk for veils, rolling the shimmering white fabric out on the long studio floor, measuring and cutting and folding. There is something in the thing itself, a genuine delight to touch, the liquid motion inherent to the fibers. Three yards each, I measured and then ripped the cloth quickly, the violence temporary before the separate pieces regained composure. Three yards for a lovely long sheer drape.

How many boiled cocoons of silk worms, how many long threads spun down and teased out and woven tightly strand by filament strand? Ready to dye, what colors will they become?

In the dark wet evening I picked chard from the garden, tender waxy green leaves with vermillion stems and veins. A very well-rested JJ herself came and knit while we sat and chatted, always a pleasure, she's lovely. And S didn’t burn the chard I picked, but almost. He cooked a sweet potato soufflé and barbequed chicken breasts and we drank too much wine.

After dinner and after JJ left for home, S & I had more wine and were silly and drunk and painted little green leaves on the molding that runs across the kitchen’s built-in shelf. It was fun and worth much laughter and the next morning it was worth even more laughter. Not quite so bad as you could imagine but certainly not as good as we thought we had done through the fog and unsteady headiness of red wine.

Sunday morning was easy and then I gave him time alone for schoolwork & went to my girl Shelly’s home. She was excited about a fancy box of tea. Each bundle looks like a cluster of tea leaves but when steeped in hot water, unfurls to display the most tricksy of flower-drying arts. How do they do it? One lump of grey-green opened up to show a large orange flower in the center. We knelt on her kitchen floor and watched as the flower bloomed inside the pot of hot water. It seemed like time-lapse photography. The tea was very tasty and good, too.

Then we worked. The level of communication, the anticipation and connection we’ve achieved through dancing together for years is indescribable. We love working together to fill the spaces within the music with motion. Yesterday we worked long on a choreography, the movement just came effortlessly, we elaborated combinations and decided on timing, we figured out stepwork and spins and drops. The rhythm moved steady, and so did we, with sweating smiling faces.

I returned home to a studious husband, who worked late into the night, and who got up an hour before me this morning.

When I got up he said the coals in the woodstove were still burning, so it was very easy to get the fire going. And I said well good.


Sleep eluded me throughout the stormy night because of some internal ache, which I can triangulate in its relation between my rib cage, shoulder, and spine. My head cold descended to chest congestion and every once in a while my voice gets all phlegmatic & raspy and my ears plug up and I'd sure love to hear this deep cigarette-smoke-sounding phone-sex voice I know I'm sporting but I just can't hear anything.

It was a shit-on-the-rug kind of morning, my goodness what an unbelievable mess. The cat was blamed but upon consideration I think it was the dog. At any rate I fear it destroyed the 200-year-old black-and-red hand-woven Persian camelhair rug in our living room, given to us by a good friend. Yes, the rug was already worse for wear, with frayed edges and a hole worn through it and paint stains and Play-doh mashed into the best side. But the other best side? Now has semi-diarrheal nastiness seeped into the fiber. I fear cleaning it will cause the whole thing to self-destruct. We rolled it up and removed it to the garage. It may have to go the way of all rugs, revered none the less, but destined for decomposition. Unexpected activity left us with fewer than ten minutes to get dressed, and no coffee brewed, before we had to leave home for the day. Far too much excitement. Far too much excrescence.

My boss rides his bicycle to work even in the rain. He got these goggles and he looks like Junior Bird Man so I made the Jr. Bird Man mask with my hands and sang the song and told him he needed water wings, it's that wet out there. He giggled at me. I later heard him saying to the office manager as they went for coffee and a meeting, "You're driving... unless you wanna ride on my handlebars."


Lumber train lumbered laden with the dark logs in the rain, the wet rails dull and black like the shadowy hills and I sat waiting and waiting and waiting. The urban tide turned, and it rolled slowly, and we all waited. Windshield wipers off and the world blurred like a stained glass window scene of logging town industry, nothing romantic, no flowers, just grey and brown and black and rain, while headlights and streetlights cast dingy yellow illumination.

Homeless man in drab black clothes shuffled and stamped his feet waiting for the train, cars and truck idled and belched grey plumes, the sewers exhaled steam. The brilliant red traffic light, the brilliant green, the brilliant yellow, the brilliant red again, changes amounting to nothing but a show of lights, an alleviation of the grey, and we all still waited.

Five minutes earlier would have been on time. Five ten fifteen the train gathers speed but it’s one long unbroken chain, a glimpse of each rail car bearing the burden of dead trees, cross-guards flashed at a much faster tempo than the train’s travel. The earth beneath the weight of steel and wet wood rumbled and the rails groaned, and the passage of such a burdened beast is never quiet. And still we waited. The lights changed from red to green to yellow to red again and there, finally, the end of the line, the turn of tide, traffic flowed in a different course.

During my bath last night he brought me loganberry wine in a small glass, and a teakettle, three times, to refresh the heat, and added bath salts, and kissed my forehead. Then I could hear him playing his fiddle in the other room, where the woodstove burned oak logs he had split last summer to make our house warm in winter.
Being with him is the best thing I know.