Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Tongue's the Thing

I had my teeth cleaned this week.  Something I have done twice a year every year for the last say 45 years.  So, roughly 90 times I have sat in a similar chair.  This time I am laying there while the hygenist picks and scrapes my teeth when I suddenly wonder - Where is my tongue?  45 years of teeth cleaning and I have never thought or wondered about this before.  I mean who gives a rat's ass - right!?!  Being mentally OCD, I then HAD to figure it out.  I realize it's kinda sticking straight out all tense and stuff.  I don't like metal things in my mouth and as the tools are all metal-y, I think this is a tongue posture I have learned to minimize contact of my tongue with anything metal. 

I focus hard on making my tongue relax which took an amazing amount of focus and energy.  I finally feel it flop over onto the mirror.  The hygenist gives it a push with that same mirror and back at attention it goes - all that relaxation for naught.  I pretty much spent the next 30 minutes all too aware of my tongue, which is just weird given that I had never even considered it before.  And trust me tongue awareness is brutal. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Evolving Rebellion

I have this pair of panties, have probably had them ten years.  They are a sad faded purple color.  Still they are among my faves.  When I fist got them they had REBEL spelled out in a sparkly sequiny concoction across the back.  Don't scoff, I'm sure they came out of the sale bin.

I'm pretty sure the manufacturers meant this as a noun - as in I'm such a rebel I will brandish the word on my ass.  But I always took it for a verb - as in to rebel against the status quo.  Similar, but not quite.  Thing is ten years ago when those drawers were still vibrant and sparkly, that word suited my personality.  I was a bitch on a mission and would argue till my last phoneme what I believed.  Thing is, all that arguing got me nowhere and made me dreadfully unhappy.

I have taught myself to choose my battles now according to the possibility of change present.  If it is just arguing with neither side listening, I can't really get into it and will walk away.  If it is a real dialogue angled toward compromise I may join in.  The only exception are things that I feel very strongly about.  VERY strongly. There are fewer of these than before.  Most things that have touched my life personally - rape, incest, literacy, women's rights, science.

Just in case you think I made this shit up,
I included a photo of the drawers in question.
I'm doing laundry today and having just folded those beloved drawers.  I noticed that most of the sparklies have fallen off.  Now they just kinda say BE.  I like that evolution.  Oh you can still see where the REBEL was in the fabric.  But there is something comforting in changing the internal message from REBEL to BE.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Watermelon radishes
like watermelon tourmaline
red and white beets
like peppermint candies
carrots in purple, 
orange, yellow, white

Dreaming of distant days
and thumbing 
heirloom seed catalogues
as ice quiets the world 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Toucha Toucha Touch Me

As a person who has lived alone for long stretches of my life, I am acutely aware of when and how people touch me.  As a survivor, maybe it has always been this way.  I spent a good part of my thirties being kinda touch-phobic by which I could not stand for a stranger to brush up against me in any way.  A complete ruffling like an angry porcupine when someone touches me without my invitation or without good intention.  Contrasted to the complete melting of being touched in affection, camaraderie, and love where every defense mechanism slides off meaningless to the floor in the face of a mere touch.

Living alone means I am am touched less often than someone who shares a home with a lover and or kids.  I used to shamelessly get my fix from my nieces and nephews who would fight to wallow in my lap, hold my hand or hug and kiss on me.  These few I trusted completely just as they trusted me.  There has been a sadness for me in losing that as they grow up.  Not that I would have it otherwise.  The youngest ones have been too big for my lap for a while now and are rapidly approaching a place where holding hands and skipping wherever we go will no longer fly.  :-(

I pay someone once a month do massage.  And some months while I am lying there on the table I get a little weepy thinking the last time anyone touched me was the last time I laid there.  A whole month ago.  Double sad face.

I know touching is vital to the development of children.  But I wonder if it isn't also vital to us as grown-ups too.  I know how much it means to me.   How it makes me feel suddenly included in this tribe.

As most of you know, my mom was diagnosed a few months ago with an aggressive form of Alzheimers disease.  Things have evened out, but there are still days where we struggle and fall back into old patterns.  None of them good.  How when she goes there, I follow along unable to hold my ground against the slide.  How she clings to me and drags me down with her into the pit.

Last weekend we had one of those fights from hell.  Yunno the where you end up screaming at each other, neither listening to the other.  I drop the F-bomb.  She flings it back at me (this woman never says this word).  I try to just remove myself but can't.  As a last desperate measure, I squat down - ripped out knee and all - and take her teary face in my hands.  I tell her how very much I love her and how that's all that matters.  Everything else will work itself out.  I have said this many times that night.  But finally she hears the words, sees the truth in my eyes and the anger falls away.  Since then I have made a conscious effort to touch her more - hold her hand when we walk toward a restaurant or through the mall, rub her arm or back, hug and kiss on her.  And I am seeing a slight improvement.  She doesn't remember any more than before.  But she gets less angry.  That's an amazing thing.

And being experimental nerd girl, I have to wonder what could I let go of if I had someone to touch me more often, if I had someone to see me, if I became part of a tribe larger than one.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Heart beating in her breast
a drumline too fast 
for me to follow
where she goes

The Inner Guru

I went to brunch with friends the other day.  It always amazes me how this feeds so much more than my belly. friend is explaining why she doesn't write more often when I feel it happen.  That little inner Guru stopped smoking weed long enough to put on his tie-dyeds and crawl up onto his pulpit.  Uh-oh!  I hear him start spouting all kind of advice.  His pontificating gathers the attention of this other little part of me rather used to sitting in the corner for her mouthiness who pipes up with, WTF are you talking about?  You do exactly those same things. All this happening under the baleful eye of the Accountant who feels it is his job to tally all my shortcomings (He has been muttering lately about needing a branch office).  I don't know where the dude is who tallies my GOOD deeds, maybe the accountant outsourced his job because he was so seldom used.

I want to knock that little Guru right off his high horse and stuff something large and smelly in his mouth to make him stop preaching, but realize sadly that he is right about all the things he says about writing.

According to the Guru:

Writing is not something you think about doing.  You either write or you don't.  No discussion.  
Write every day even if it's crappy.  

Course then he contradicts himself by saying:

There's nothing wrong with waiting til you have something to say.  

So which is it - every day or when I feel like it?

Other pearls from the Guru:

You don't have to write for long periods of time.  Some people write beautiful stuff in five minutes a day. William Carlos Williams used to compose his poems on the back of his prescription pads between patients.

The idea is not to become the writing, but for the writing to become you.

WTF!?!  Here old man.  Here's a fatty.  Take your Birks and go lay back down on the futon.

I know he's right.  I know the 'advice' I just gave my friend is meant for me too.  I have let the practice of writing slide - A LOT!  Writing very little in the last 4 months.  I used editing my poetry for publication as an excuse not to write.  Told myself that time was limited and that the editing was 'more important' than the writing.....or was that the Accountant who said that?  Either way, it feels time to blow the dust off my quill and get back to it.  Lucky you, that means there will probably be more brain drivel thrown out here for your consideration.

Now if you will excuse me, I believe it's open season on ACCOUNTANTS.

The First Rant of 2012

When I started my new job last spring, I somehow did not receive either insurance or prescription cards from my new (former) employer.  I recognized the absence of the former the first time I needed to see a doc.  The prescription thing though has been coasting - mostly off the inertia of whatever I had set in place previously.

That is until my pharmacy called the doctor who called me to ask about compliance and demanded an office visit.  That's right the pharmacy TATTLED on me!  WTF- right!?!  My brain is trying to process all of this as to why.  Did my pharmacy become suddenly concerned about missed doses of drugs?  Were they worried I might croak and blame them somehow?  According to their record I have been off these meds for over a year, so why now?  Or was it something simpler?

Yunno like money?  BINGO!  I doubt the pharmacy OR the doctors office give a flying fuck about me and my health.  I suspect, but have no evidence, that this is the correct one all the way 'round.  The pharmacy doesn't miss me.  They miss my money.  Or more accurately, they miss my insurance companies money.  I note that the tattling did not occur until I was well and righteously insured again and able to pay them.   They want my money.

The doctor may be a brilliant accomplished woman, but she spend on average less than 2 minutes/visit thinking about me, my health and my well being.  So, why do I trust these two entities with my life?

Good question.

The thing is that since my mom has gotten so bad and I have been harping on her about compliance with her meds, that little voice has been saying 'Yunno you can't bitch at her about it when you don't do it yourself.'  UGH!   I hate that little voice.  So I started being compliant a couple months ago.  I have missed a few doses here and there, but these last two month I have been almost perfect.  So the phone call was ill-timed and off in every way.

STILL pondering what gives them the right to start this shit storm?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things I cannot say out there
poured out, a malevolent disease
over white pages
Perception of a thing
is NOT the thing,
nor is it even necessarily true.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Henry VIII: All Is True

This eve, I lov-ed not the Bard
as much as seasons pass-ed

but envy heads on pillows bourne
where lovely dreams are mass-ed

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kneaded deep
to where tears threaten
and waiting for 
the release 
I hope will come.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A curled brown leaf
startles me, looking so very much
like a dead mouse

And I laugh
imagining a tree
with mice instead of leaves

humored by such an Alice
kind of thought

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In the midst of chaos
how delightful to 
stumble upon laughter.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I sit on the brick wall
one leg idly swinging
bathing in the light of 
the Full Wolf Moon.  

Message in a Bottle

This week I have been thinking about a message in a bottle.  Not that Nicholas Sparks POS or the Police song (although now I find that I am humming it to myself).  These things fascinate me - a lot - more than is healthy really.  When I was little I always hoped to find one bobbing about in the lake where my grandparents lived.  Admittedly it was not a small lake, about 4000 acres, but if I had found one, it most likely would have been from one of the other lake residents and would not have held me the way one that had journeyed thousands of miles over years or decades would.  Those were the kind that enchanted my child's imagination.  The very idea of being connected to someone I didn't know (obviously waaaay before Al Gore thought up the interwebs :) reaching out and speaking to me over countless miles and indeterminate time was fodder for all kinds of daydreams. 

I have never found my message in a bottle, although I did perpetrate a fake pirate map in a bottle for my nephew Josh while we were in NC 15 years ago.  It was the hit of that trip.  Digressing.  Anyway - I still think about these things a lot.  Feeling like maybe it's time for me to send one out into the world.  Who knows. 

While I am engrossed in bottle-y message daydreaming I have this idea jump fully formed into my head.  Naysayers may skip ahead.  What if I have already let loose some bottle from some distant shore in a previous lifetime hoping that this me here and now will find it?  What would I tell my future self?  What if, in essence, my spirit is that message and this ephemeral body the bottle?  Messages gathering steam and speed after countless lives.  Each stashed into a new bottle waiting for me to simply remember it's out there and look for it.   

Message to the finder:

Ahoy traveler!

You are never alone.
You are beautiful just like you are right now.
You are loved by the restless hoard beyond the waves.
Write that book.  Right NOW!  There will never be a better time.
Enjoy the people around you, they will only be with you a short time.
Have lots of ear-popping, toe-curling sex.
Don’t waste time on bad food, bad TV, bad anything really.
Find beauty in places overlooked.
Take time to linger in the aspenglow.
Build sculptures in snow, in popsicle sticks, in mud, in whatever delights your hands.
Laugh more.
 Trust your inner compass.  
Do not be afraid.  It’s a waste of time.
Ditto anger. 

Always look inward and toward that horizon and watch for me.

Your past and future self

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

A new year flat and stale
a leftover champagne
lacking its bubbles

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Well it's that time of year again, time to throw my little coracle into the River of Stones and see where it takes me.  (For any unfamiliar with the River of Stones check it out). 

Wind roaring through
winter bare trees
make me grateful
for four plain walls
and the comforting aroma
of banana nut bread

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled C...