ASCESIS

THE 2012 POEMS



























JAN HAAG


















COPYRIGHT PAGE












































ASCESIS

"CLOSE STUDIES"




Several years ago I read a commentary on Borges which spoke of his work as “ascesis” -- with the precise meaning: “close studies,” which struck me, in the case of Borges, as profoundly apt. However, when I looked up the unfamiliar word, I found it most frequently defined as: “discipline,” “renunciation,” “asceticism.” Still its meaning “close studies” lingered in my mind as an image: Borges peering intently though a magnifying glass or a microscope with a slightly exotic, possibly macabre, intensity. Though I haven’t yet been able to find this specific reference again, I believe it might have been in an essay either written by or referred to by Maria Kodama -- Borges’ wife.









































574+ poems written during the 366 day year of
2012

at the rate of (at least) a poem a day --
at times more



























CONTENTS


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xx

Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xx


THE 574+ POEMS

January 1 -- February 2, #s 1 -- 45
Oughts   xxx,       Today's Poem   xxx,       Even A Cat   xxx,       Catchall   xxx,        All   xxx,       Coercion In The Kitchen   xxx,           Churning   xxx,         Urning   xxx,         Yearning   xxx,         Full   xxx,         Lull   xxx, Like Music   xxx,       Music   xxx,       Enough   xxx, xxx,       Eon's End   xxx,       No, I Won't Be Coming For A Visit   xxx,       It's Going To Snow Blood   xxx,       Prediction   xxx,       Ion   xxx,       Icons   xxx,       The Snow Is Falling Again   xxx,         Again   xxx,           Exhausted Beyond Caring   xxx,         Repetition   xxx, Petition   xxx,        On/Off or Off/On   xxx,       On   xxx,        Francesco   xxx,        No Bang  xxx,       Bang   xxx,  Fire   xxx,         Wine And Ire   xxx,         Playing The Puzzle   xxx, The Clowns   xxx,       Owns   xxx,       Ass Backwards, Why? How?   xxx,          Par-ing The Course   xxx,          The Course Of Years   xxx,        Fears   xxx, Ears   xxx,       Tears [I]  xxx,       Airs   xxx,       Unreasoning Fear   xxx,       Seasoning Fear   xxx,         Sea Ears xxx

February 2, #s 46 -- 47, Gita
Gita   xxx,       Gita II   xxx

February 3 -- February 16, #s 48 -- 63
Wislawa Szymborska   xxx,       Sky Ride   xxx,       Riddled   xxx,       Led   xxx,       Red   xxx,       An Arm And A Leg   xxx,       Legacy   xxx,       Legal-Ity   xxx,       Levity   xxx,       5:24 AM   xxx,       Life Changing -- Party Reunion   xxx,       Changing   xxx,       Aging   xxx,       About 4:30 PM   xxx,       The Ides Of February   xxx,       A Door Dimly Seen or A Bottle Precariously Balanced   xxx

February 17, #s 64 -- 65, Precarious Eczema
Precarious Eczema   xxx,       Precarious Eczema II   xxx

February 18 -- February 27, #s 66 -- 77
Pre Car I   xxx,       Slowly I’m Learning   xxx,       Eyes   xxx,       Repetition or What Gets Me About Life   xxx,     Repetition or Learning Late In Life   xxx,       Repetition or One More Thing   xxx,       Things   xxx,       Ings   xxx,       Numbers 2012   xxx,       Numb   xxx,       Neutrinos   xxx,       Nos   xxx

February 28, #s 78 -- 79, Time Scale
Time Scale   xxx,       Time Scale II   xxx

February 29 -- March 1, #s 80 -- 81, Suicide
Suicide   xxx,       Suicide II   xxx

March 1 -- March 7, #s 82 -- 90
Rachel Maddow   xxx,       The Dow   xxx,       Uprising   xxx,       Ghastly Night   xxx,       Habits   xxx,       Phone Call   xxx,       Call and Response   xxx,       Pounce   xxx,       Ounce   xxx

March 8 -- March 15, #s 91 -- 100, Nuance
Nuance   xxx,       Nuance II   xxx,       Nuance III   xxx,       Nuance IV   xxx,       Nuance V   xxx,       Nuance VI   xxx,       Nuance VII   xxx,       Nuance VIII   xxx,       Nuance IX   xxx,       Nuance X   xxx,       Nuance XI   xxx

March 15 -- March 17, #s 101 -- 103
One Day   xxx,       Today   xxx,       What Day Is This?   xxx

March 18 -- March 19, #s 104 -- 107, Is This?
Is This?   xxx,       Is This II   xxx,       Is This III   xxx,       Is This IV   xxx

March 20 -- March 21, #s 108 -- 109
Obit   xxx,       Winter’s Obit   xxx

March 22 -- March 26, #s 110 -- 120, Writer’s Obit
Writer’s Obit    xxx,       Writer’s Obit II   xxx,       Writer’s Obit III   xxx,       Writer’s Obit IV   xxx,       Writer’s Obit V   xxx,       Writer’s Obit VI   xxx,       Writer’s Obit VII   xxx,       Writer’s Obit VIII   xxx,       Writer’s Obit IX   xxx,       Writer’s Obit X   xxx,       Writer’s Obit XI   xxx,       Writer’s Obit XII   xxx,       Writer’s Obit XIII   xxx

March 26 -- March 31, #s 121 -- 127
Today’s Itch   xxx,       It’s Hard To Be Objective   xxx,       Gluten   xxx,       It’s All In There Someplace   xxx,       Someplace, Sometimes   xxx,       Aches And Pains   xxx,       End Of March   xxx


THE PLEIN JAN POEMS
April 1 -- April 26, #s 128 -- 159

April 1 -- April 8, #s 128 -- 137, The 100 Word Poems
On The Empore Of The Large Kuhn   xxx,       On Reading Reed’s 100th Anniversary   xxx,       On Being Beneath The Jungle   xxx,       On Being Breakfasted   xxx,       On Being Nonplussed   xxx,       On Being Mystery Absorbed   xxx,       On Being Alarmed By My Right Leg   xxx,       On Being Filthy Rich   xxx,       On Being A Misjudger Of Distances   xxx,       On Being Aware Women Were Meant To Rule   xxx

April 9 -- April 16, #s 138 -- 147, The 99 Word Poems
On Being   xxx,       On Imaging Every House In Seattle Painted Yellow   xxx,       On Being Afraid To Live In This World   xxx,       On Being Thought Full   xxx,       On Being Thought Full II   xxx,       On Being Thought Full III   xxx,       On Being Power Full IV   xxx,       On Being Angry At The Molecules   xxx,       On Understanding The Built In Negative   xxx,       On Being Tuckered Out By Too Many Possibilities   xxx

April 17, #148, The 98 Word Poem
On Meeting With The Dermatologist   xxx

April 18 -- April 25, #s 149 -- 158, The 97 Word Poems
On Being A Recognizable News-A-Holic   xxx,       On Coming Out Of Vikramaditya's Class   xxx,       On Being Aware That The Chip Has Fallen From My Shoulder   xxx,       On Being Aware I Can Stand Up For Myself   xxx,       On Being Aware Of Wasting The Day   xxx,       On Being Aware Of Miscalculations Of All Sorts   xxx,       On Being Aware Of What I Said/Thought   xxx,       On Being Aware   xxx,       On Being Aware Of Having Been Made Piecemeal   xxx,       On Becoming Aware That My Brain Has Stopped   xxx

April 26, #159, A 170 Word Poem
On Becoming Aware Of My Particular Form I   xxx


*  *  *  *  *  

April 26 -- May 4, #s 160 -- 169, The 96 Word Poems
On Becoming Aware Of My Particular Form II   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of My Particular Form III   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of All One Fight, The Whole Plan   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of A Slight But Delicate Pain   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Other Things To Observe   xxx,       On Becoming Aware That Tomorrow Is May Day   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of May Day   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Nancy Carter On May Day   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Possibilities and Impossibilities   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of The Function Of Poetry   xxx

May 5 -- May 9, #s 170 --179, The 95 Word Poems
On Becoming Aware Of The Dangers   xxx,       On Becoming Lighter Than Air   xxx,       On Becoming Lighter Than Air II   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Chronic Dissatisfaction   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of The Sounds Of The House   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of The Heart Pounding Louder Than The Computer   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Heart Pounding Substitutes   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of A Strong Desire To Commit Suicide   xxx,       On Becoming Aware of Being In Flagrante Delicto   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Being In Flagrante Delicto   xxx

May 9 -- May 15, #s 180 -- 189, The 94 Word Poems
On Becoming Aware   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Terror   xxx,       On Becoming Aware I Can Still Calculate   xxx,       On Becoming Convinced I’ll Never Be Well Again   xxx,       On Becoming Aged And Furious   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Steps Closer To Death   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Compression’s Joys   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Impossibility   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Subtle Pleasures   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Vision Erased   xxx

May 15 -- May 22, #s 190 -- 200, The 93 Word Poems
On Becoming Aware Of Liking Some Poems   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Crumbling Fury   xxx,       On Becoming Aware of How Suzanne Sees My World   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Awful Feelings   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Awful Feelings II   xxx,       On Becoming Aware That Prednisone Does Some Good   xxx,       On Becoming Aware That Prednisone Does Some Good II   xxx,       On Becoming Aware That Things Go Frenziedly Wrong   xxx,       On Becoming Aware That Yesterday Was A Glorious Walk   xxx,       On Trying To Remember My Many Alma Maters   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of The White Spot Growing   xxx

May 23 -- May 28, #s 201 -- 210, The 92 Word Poems
On Becoming Aware That I Felt Good Yesterday   xxx,       On Becoming Aware That I Feel Devastated   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Work Done   xxx,       On Becoming The Stillness   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Adventures Personal To Me [I]   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Adventures Personal To Me [II]   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of The Noisy Stillness   xxx,       On Becoming Aware Of Thoughtless Peace   xxx,       On Becoming Half Awake   xxx,       On Receiving Communications   xxx

May 28 -- June 1, #s 211 -- 219, The 91 Word Poems
On Being Open To The Flight Of The Candle Light   xxx,       On Being Released From A Pacific Northwest Winter   xxx,       On Being Released From A Pacific Northwest Winter II   xxx,       On Being Released From Thoughts   xxx,       On Being Released From An Ability To Think   xxx,       On Being Unable To Concentrate   xxx,       On Being Aware Of Living   xxx,       On Being Aware Of The People   xxx,       On Being Aware Of A Cosmic Shift   xxx,       On Being Aware Of One More Morning Shouting Rage   xxx

June 1 -- June 7, #s 220 -- 229, The 90 Word Poems
On Being Aware Of One More Morning’s Sadness   xxx,       On Being A Further Meditation On Silence   xxx,       On Being Informed Of The Beacon Food Forest   xxx,       On Being At Sixes And Sevens   xxx,       On Being Aware The Fear Is Beginning To Disappear   xxx,       On Being Aware Of The Fear   xxx,       On Beginning To Look Like / Act Like   xxx,       On Beginning To Consider   xxx,       On Beginning To Being   xxx,       On Becoming Aware I Really Am   xxx

June 7 -- June 11, #s 230 -- 239, The 89 Word Poems
Which Causes Me To Ask   xxx,       And Ask Again   xxx,       And Now I’m Left With This   xxx,       On Becoming Aware I Have Less And Less Desire To Make Sense   xxx,       On Becoming A Belle For Liberty   xxx,       Having Written 6,000 Poems   xxx,       Becoming Aware Enough To Stand Alone   xxx,       Becoming Aware   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Inspiration’s M.O.   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of The Anxiety Hole   xxx

June 12, # 240, The 88 Word Poems
Becoming Aware Of The Way Things Are   xxx


A MORE PERFECT WORLD
June 12 -- July 1, #s 241 -- 273

June 12 -- June 17, #s 241 -- 250, The 88 Word Poems
Becoming Aware It’s Time To Imagine A World I’d Like To Live In   xxx,       Becoming Aware I’m Not Ready To Imagine A Better World   xxx,       Becoming Aware I’m Beginning To Imagine A Better World   xxx,       Becoming Aware I Begin To See Myself As   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of A Gift   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of A Gift II   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of A Gift III   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Incapacity   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Listening   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of A Question   xxx

June 17 -- June 24, #s 251 -- 261, The 87 Word Poems
Becoming Curious -- Who Are They?   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of What Writing Is   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Unchosen Choice   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Unchosen Choice II   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Quiet, Overcast   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Summer   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of The Sounds   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Mount Rainier With Clouds   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Constant Anxiety In The Pit Of My Stomach   xxx,       Speculations On The Weight Of Beauty   xxx,       Becoming A Portrait Of The Artist As An Old Woman   xxx

June 25 -- June 30, #s 262 -- 271, The 86 Word Poems
Becoming Stirred Up And Breathless   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Extinction   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Thoughts About The “Necessity”   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Thoughts   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Surgical Precision   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of The Night And Night Thoughts   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Night Soil, Disintegration   xxx,       Upon Counting The Plein Jan “A More Perfect World” Poems   xxx,       Becoming Aware Of Being Farm Raised   xxx,       Considering The Hawaiian Pineapple   xxx

July 1, #s 272 -- 273, The 85 Word Poems
Consider The Disappearance Of Craftsmanship I   xxx,       Consider The Disappearance Of Craftsmanship II   xxx,      


*  *  *  *  *  

July 2 -- July 6, #s 274 -- 281, The 85 Word Poems
Considering The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time I   xxx,       Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time II   xxx,       Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time III   xxx,       Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time IV   xxx,       Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time V   xxx,       Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time VI   xxx,       Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time VII   xxx,       Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time VIII   xxx

July 7 -- July 14, #s 282 -- 291, The 84 Word Poems
Consider A New Way Of Doing All Things   xxx,       Consider A New Way Of Doing Things   xxx,       Consider A New Way Of Doing   xxx,       Consider A New Way I   xxx,       Consider A New Way II   xxx,       Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World I   xxx,       Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World II   xxx,       Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World III   xxx,       Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World IV   xxx,       Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World V   xxx

July 15 -- July 22, #s 292 -- 301, The 83 Word Poems
Consider Shiva-Purna   xxx,       Consider Shiva-Purna II   xxx,       Consider Shiva-Purna III   xxx,       Consider Shiva-Purna IV   xxx,       Consider Shiva-Purna V   xxx,       Considering The Music I   xxx,       Considering The Music II   xxx,       Considering The Music III   xxx,       Considering The Music IV   xxx,       Considering Chernobyl I   xxx

July 23 -- July 27, #s 302 -- 311, The 82 Word Poems
Considering Chernobyl II   xxx,       Considering Chernobyl III   xxx,       Considering Chernobyl IV   xxx,       Considering Chernobyl V   xxx,       Considering Chernobyl VI   xxx,       Considering Chernobyl VII   xxx,       Considering Chernobyl VIII   xxx,       Considering The First 19 Pages Of Hillman’s Alexandra David-Neel Script: Alexandra’s Dream -- Part I   xxx,       Considering The First 19 Pages Of Hillman’s Alexandra David-Neel Script: Alexandra’s Dream -- Part II   xxx,       Considering The Results Of Writing Poetry   xxx

July 28, #s 312 -- 321, The 81 Word Poems
Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night I   xxx,       Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night II   xxx,       Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night III   xxx,       Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night IV   xxx,       Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night V   xxx,       Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night VI   xxx,       Considering I Did More Than Most VII   xxx,       Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night VIII   xxx,       Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night IX   xxx,       Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night X   xxx

July 29 -- August 1, #s 322 -- 332, The 80 Word Poems
Considering One’s Greatest Fear In Life Is That   xxx,       Considering Hillman’s Alexandra David-Neel Script   xxx,       Considering: Just Do It I   xxx,       Considering: Just Do It II   xxx,       Considering: Just Do It III   xxx,       Considering: Just Do It IV   xxx,       Considering: Just Do It V   xxx,       Considering: Just Do It VI   xxx,       Considering: Just Do It VII   xxx,       Considering: Coursera I, re: Daphne Koller’s TED Talk   xxx,       Considering: Coursera II, re: Daphne Koller’s TED Talk   xxx

August 2 -- August 6, #s 333 -- 343, The 79 Word Poems
Considering Those Who Have Died I   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died II   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died III   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died IV   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died V   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died VI   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died VII   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died VIII   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died IX   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died X   xxx,       Considering Those Who Have Died XI   xxx

August 6 -- August 13, #s 344 -- 353, The 78 Word Poems
Considering Friendship I   xxx,       Considering Friendship II   xxx,       Considering Friendship III   xxx,       Considering Friendship IV   xxx,       Considering Friendship V   xxx,       Considering Friendship VI   xxx,       Considering Friendship VII   xxx,       Considering Friendship VIII   xxx,       Considering Friendship IX   xxx,       Considering Friendship X   xxx

August 14 -- August 18, #s 354 -- 363, The 77 Word Poems
Considering Clumsiness I   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness II   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness III   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness IV   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness V   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness VI   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness VII   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness VIII   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness IX   xxx,       Considering Clumsiness X   xxx

August 18 -- August 24, #s 364 -- 373, The 76 Word Poems
Considering My Lack Of Remembrance I   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance II   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance III   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance IV   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance V   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance VI   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance VII   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance VIII   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance IX   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance X   xxx

August 25 -- September 1, #s 374 -- 383, The 75 Word Poems
Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XI   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XII   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XIII   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XIV   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XV   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XVI   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XVII   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XVIII   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XIX   xxx,       Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XX   xxx

September 2 -- September 3, #s 384 -- 386
I’m Now   xxx,       Human Life   xxx,       O Little Green Grasshopper   xxx

September 3 -- September 4, #s 387 -- 388, Republicans
Republicans   xxx,       Republicans II   xxx

September 4 -- September 23, #s 389 -- 423
A Human   xxx,       This And That   xxx,       Intensity   xxx,       Who Knew   xxx,       Known   xxx,       Unknown   xxx,       Soaked In Olive Oil   xxx,       Writing   xxx,       Loves or Men!!   xxx,       Not Unlike   xxx,       Three Thoughts   xxx,       Break With The Past   xxx,       Pluck The String   xxx,       Traveling Here Traveling There   xxx,       Traveling   xxx,       Reader   xxx,       Winding Down   xxx,       The End Of Reason   xxx,       Hillary Clinton   xxx,       Billed Again   xxx,       Stressed   xxx,       Unstressed   xxx,       When Did We Arrive?   xxx,       Divorce The Body   xxx,       One Piece Missing   xxx,       Missing   xxx,       Blank Mind   xxx,       Thinking   xxx,       The Spiders Are Moving In   xxx,       Anger Hangs In The Air   xxx,       Today They’re Doing The Parking Lot   xxx,       No Sun Today   xxx,       Tears [II]   xxx,       Gloomy Weather   xxx,       Poltergeists Or Ghosts   xxx

September 24, #s 424 -- 425, Or Ghosts
Or Ghosts   xxx,       Or Ghosts II   xxx

September 24 -- October 2, #s 426 -- 442
Who Am I   xxx,       Who Is She?   xxx,       The Itch   xxx,       Can It Be?   xxx,       Escape   xxx,       Fog   xxx,       Symbiosis   xxx,       Internal Idiocy   xxx,       Green Grasshoppers   xxx,       Perhaps   xxx,       And The Rest Of Us   xxx,       What Is That Grand   xxx,       What A Concept   xxx,       A Madness   xxx,       An Hysterical Frightenedness   xxx,       Sleepy, Unable To Keep My Eyes Open   xxx,       The Ansel Adams/Jackson Pollock #69   xxx

October 2 -- October 6, #s 443 -- 448, Waking Up
Waking Up   xxx,       Waking Up II   xxx,       Waking Up III   xxx,       Waking Up IV   xxx,       Waking Up V   xxx,       Waking Up VI   xxx

October 7 -- October 12, #s 449 -- 456
Yes, Mitt   xxx,       Columbus Day   xxx,       The Day   xxx,       Who Are You To Choose?   xxx,       The Discouragement Time Of Day   xxx,       Time Of Day   xxx,       Time Of Despair   xxx,       Despair   xxx


RUMI TAUGHT ME . . .
October 13 -- November 6, #s 457 -- 500

October 13 -- October 28, #s 457 -- 485, Rumi Taught Me Much
Rumi Taught Me Much I   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much II   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much III   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much IV   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much V   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much VI   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much VII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much VIII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much IX   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much X   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XI   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XIII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XIV   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XV   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XVI   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XVII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XVIII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much But Maybe Not Enough XIX   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XX   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXI   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXIIA   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXIII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXIV   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXV   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXVI   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXVII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXVIII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXIX   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Much XXX   xxx

October 29 -- November 2, #s 486 -- 493, Rumi Taught Me More
Rumi Taught Me More XXXI   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me More XXXII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me More XXXIII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me More XXXIV   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me More XXXV   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me More XXXVI   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me More XXXVII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me More XXXVIII   xxx

November 3, #s 494 -- 496, Rumi Taught Me Enough
Rumi Taught Me Enough XXXIX   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Enough XL   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me Enough XLI   xxx

November 4 -- November 5, #s 497 -- 498, Rumi Taught Me
Rumi Taught Me XLII   xxx,       Rumi Taught Me XLIII   xxx

November 6, #s 499 -- 500
Rumi Taught XLIV   xxx,       Rumi XLV   xxx


*  *  *  *  *  

November 7 -- November 12, #s 501 -- 509, Obama Winning America
Obama Winning America I   xxx,       Obama Winning America II   xxx,       Obama Winning America III   xxx,       Obama Winning America IV   xxx,       Obama Winning America V   xxx,       Obama Winning America VI   xxx,       Obama Winning America VII   xxx,       Obama Winning America VIII   xxx,       Obama Winning America IX   xxx,       Obama Winning America X   xxx

November 13 -- November 14, #s 510 -- 511
Men: The Despicable Gender   xxx,       So Sleepy   xxx

November 15 -- November 17, #s 512 -- 514, Semi Autistic
Semi Autistic   xxx,       Semi Autistic II   xxx,       Semi Autistic III   xxx,       Semi Autistic IV   xxx

November 18, # 515
Tut Tut   xxx

November 18 - November 19, #s 516 -- 517, Rereading CC
Rereading CC   xxx,       Rereading CC II   xxx

November 19, # 518
The Commercialization Of The World   xxx

November 20 -- November 22, #s 519 -- 522, The World
The World I   xxx,       The World II   xxx,       The World III   xxx,       The World IV   xxx

November 23 -- November 27, #s 523 -- 528, Keep Busy
Keep Busy I   xxx,       Keep Busy II   xxx,       Keep Busy III   xxx,       Keep Busy IV   xxx,       Keep Busy V   xxx,       Keep Busy VI   xxx

November 28 -- December 3, #s 529 -- 536, Reviewing
Reviewing I   xxx,       Reviewing II   xxx,       Reviewing III   xxx,       Reviewing IV   xxx,       Reviewing V   xxx,       Reviewing VI   xxx,       Reviewing VII   xxx,       Reviewing VIII   xxx

December 4, # 537
From Now On Take The Time To Think   xxx,      

December 5 -- December 22, #s 538 -- 559, From Now On
From Now On I   xxx,       From Now On II   xxx,       From Now On III   xxx,       From Now On IV   xxx,       From Now On V   xxx,       From Now On VI   xxx,       From Now On VII   xxx,       From Now On VIII   xxx,       From Now On IX   xxx,       From Now On X   xxx,       From Now On XI   xxx,       From Now On XII   xxx,       From Now On XIII   xxx,       From Now On XIV   xxx,       From Now On XV   xxx,       From Now On XVI   xxx,       From Now On XVII   xxx,       From Now On XVIII   xxx,       From Now On XIX   xxx,       From Now On XX   xxx,       From Now On XXI   xxx,       From Now On XXII   xxx

December 23 -- December 31, #s 560 -- 574, Life Without Parole
Life Without Parole I   xxx,       Life Without Parole II   xxx,       Life Without Parole III   xxx,       Life Without Parole IV   xxx,       Life Without Parole V   xxx,       Life Without Parole VI   xxx,       Life Without Parole VII   xxx,       Life Without Parole VIII   xxx,       Life Without Parole IX   xxx,       Life Without Parole X   xxx,       Life Without Parole XI   xxx,       Life Without Parole XII   xxx,       Life Without Parole XIII   xxx,       Life Without Parole XIV   xxx,       Life Without Parole XV   xxx


APPENDIX

George Colluzzi   xxx,       Choice   xxx

Index of Titles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxx












INTRODUCTION


I always need a Project -- I can define it anyway I please. So, being without a Project on day one of 2012, I considered what was in my mind (not much) and heart, and decided to write a poem a day for a year. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, I ended up doing this, as I do most things, to excess. Thus, though the normal year has 365 days (but this was a leap year -- so 366 days), writing at least one poem a day, I ended up with 574+ poems.

Adding one other condition to this simple count (of a poem a day), i.e. to accept whatever was given, I could, each day, mull around as much as I pleased. But when I sat down to write, I had to accept whatever thought was in my mind (or heart), profound or stupid, elegant or crude, idiotic or commonsensical. It had to be the gift of the Muse at that moment -- and -- the truth. So, with a nod to Rumi, I began what turned out to be ASCESIS, the 574+ poems of 2012.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Throughout my life I've had many helpers, mentors, friends, for instance, my sister, Helen Hawley and, most recently, Margaret Barham. Additionally, I have had extraordinarily fine, some quite legendary, teachers: Frederick E. Smith, uncle, painter, the first to introduce me to the joys of appreciation and creation; Eleanor King, dancer, choreographer; Stella Adler, acting teacher; Francis Fergusson, author of THE IDEA OF A THEATER; two of North Indian Classical Music's greatest exponents, Ali Akbar Khan and Swapan Chaudhuri.

As a University of Washington Access Student for 18 years, I have enjoyed the work, guidance and teaching of many superb UW professors, including: Richard Salomon, Sanskrit and Buddhist scholar; Stanley Chernicoff, geographer; Suzanne L. Hawley, niece, astronomer, Director of the Apache Point Observatory; Toby Smith, astronomer; Vikramaditya Prakash, architectural theorist, historian, global visionary. Other angels include: Jana Hawley, niece, musician, teacher of Waldorf teachers; Jim Hughes, theoretical physicist; Nancy Peter, a Buddha; Ann Manning; Rosa (Halley Hawley) Hughes; Cleve Leshikar; as well as Antonio Vellani, Director AFI Center for Advanced Film Studies; June Wayne, artist; and Lenore Tawney, artist.

Among the hundreds of books/authors that transformed my life/work, three stand out: Rumi, primarily through Coleman Barks’ readings and translations in THE ESSENTIAL RUMI; Doris Lessing through her magnificent life, amazing work, and great novel: THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK; and David Abram through his BECOMING ANIMAL, which provides a vivid example of the kind of synesthesia I set out, as a child, to achieve in writing. Having found it impossible, I gave it up to write poetry and asceses.























































THE 574+ POEMS
























































































OUGHTS

#1
1-1/12-10-12/1-17-13

Good morning New Year!

I look out the window and see a contrail
dropping precipitously from a blue cloud,
maybe a thousand or 2,000 feet, into a white cloud.
And is no more.

An hour later
I look again and only the white contrail is there -- widening.

No.

Coming down on the slant of the contrail, its belly
parallel to the earth, is a plane. It drops lower and lower,
down and down, its nose pointed west, into the brightness

of the clouds and
-- remaining parallel to the earth --
disappears.

Now
the contrail is gone, layers and layers of blue and white clouds remain;
and
one small cloud, as often happens, kisses the eastern flank of Mt. Rainier.

The mountain is blue -- like the clouds.



TODAY’S POEM

#2
1-2/12-10-12/1-17-23-13

Today’s poem. With the wind howling around the corners
of the nunnery, note the code:
0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1.
It indicates the computer’s

life blood, its plasma. It’s as simple as that,
0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 -ing into eternity. We’ll end up in The Cloud,
or beyond, whatever that may mean, because galaxies, being Stationary?
Receding? -- have more chance at immortality.

One of the new discoveries is that
the other side of the moon -- which is not dark
-- dark only because humans
can’t see it -- may have been irrevocably roughened

by a collision, another body hitting it too
hard to recover from. Such a cosmic event, infinitely
beyond human imagination, now lies rocky,
un-eroded for billions of years,

endlessly patient, willing to await
the universe’s next touch. Bless us, O Lord,
for we have sinned. Light years and light
years and light years provide many a slip

between the cup and the lip. Focus your eyes
below the margin of error. Thought is power --
but nothing like a billion tons
of ice and rock -- speed, blind eons of thrust:

0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1



EVEN A CAT

#3
1-3/12-10-12/8-23-13

For Kat

Even a cat has a sense of distance and drop-off,
of climbable and not-advised-to.
Cats can’t tell you what they ate for dinner last

night but, for the most part, you can be sure it
was more or less proportional
to their size, shape and weight. There aren’t

but a few three-hundred pound cats around and,
to make that distinction, we call
them lions or tigers, cheetahs, leopards or meer-

kats, every one a cat, Suricata suricatta.



CATCHALL

#4
1-4/12-10-12/8-23-13

Since, basically, we are all made of the same molecules,
atoms, hadrons, quarks, bits and pieces of nothingness
that have somehow become matter, matter enough for

us to pay attention to, spin around at mighty speeds and
split for the promotion of peace, the joys of knowledge,
the prosecution of war and for procreation -- why is it we

can’t get along with each other? Maybe because we are
just an afterthought, a period, an addendum, a footnote,
a conglomeration, an amalgamation, a stew of leftovers

put on the back burner at a low temperature to simmer,
hopefully, to a piquant sauce to dress the dinosaurs, tri-
lobites and moon rocks. We think, because we can think

about it, that we were meant to rule it. A tree, never mov-
ing, dominates the landscape, a mountain crumbles and re-
mains. What exactly is it that we do to make us co-creators

of the universe, of the bits and fissions hundreds of billions,
trillions of light years out there in the midnight sky, twinkl-
ing sequins flecked over a fandango dancer’s twirling skirt?

O, mighty humanity, we are not glue, nor the god particle.
We are just the particle that invented god, because we could
not, in our youth, explain ourselves any other way -- an odd

construction, an ephemeral idea -- briefly flaring stars,
nothing more.



ALL

#5
1-5-12

The computer: I do not understand it anymore than I under-
stand how to push thin lead up the wood to form a pencil.

Yes, we can trace it all back, everything back, to my fault
for being alive. Being alive, I think, is usually a designation

appropriate to people between 10 and 11 and those between
65 and 70, maybe even as old as 75. But for the rest, we

start down hill and pick up a frightening speed by 78.
Our cup runneth over into all sorts of inabilities we

never dreamed could manifest. It seemed natural
that we do things and they become easier to

do but, somewhere in the 70’s (for sure),
things begin to reverse: the more you

do it, the more likely you are to
become frothingly insane as

the inanimate (especially)
world fights back. No

thing stays where
it is put and no
word comes
to mind to
end this
poem.



COERCION IN THE KITCHEN

#6
1-5/12-14-12

Every morsel of food that comes from my kitchen
has its own tale to tell: Leaping on the floor, half
washed down the drain, cut in more pieces than
planned, slick as a whistle, as hard to hold as
a nettle -- it neither goes, nor stays where I,
the cook, want it to be. “Be where I want
you to be!” the old cook screams -- a la-
ment, the eternal cry of the human to
both animate and inanimate worlds.

“Let it be, let it be, let it be,” wailed
the Beatles in their admonition
to peace, let the destination
contain peaceful progress
toward love, acceptance,
nourishment, and tide
turning delectability.
Let it be.
Let it
be.



CHURNING

#7
1-5/6/12-16-12

Oddly enough, all those things that I thought, with so
much anguish, made me different from others, now,
when stated, seem to cast tentacles to touch, to caress
others, bond with humans. When does problem solving

evolve into intuition? Why does it do it at times, but not at
other times? Intuition, the great subliminal! One doesn’t know
its churning until the tense changes to: “know what was going
on,” until it is reviewed in the future become present. O curves

reminiscent of Borobodur, I see you, but do not speculate why.
The mind, set spinning, sticks in analysis, illusions of thinking,
and loses contact with the icy wind blowing as I walk from
doctor to registrar for my class in dinosaurs.

Now that I can walk again, my mind wakes,
keeps pace -- planning poems, readings,
soon outdistancing the body.
What will I do tomorrow

if I can’t
ground
myself
today?



URNING

#8
1-7-12/3-20-13

I have been making urns.
I didn’t quite know it.
I don’t quite know why.

To bury the dead in?
But, at the moment,
I know no other than

my cat and myself --
neither designated for death
today or tomorrow.

I did take the trouble
to congratulate Marcellus Turner
at the Public Library today

on his excellent conduct
of the meeting-for-suggestions,
then bussed home

looking much better than I felt,
and spent most of the rest
of the day with brilliantly civilized

Adam Dalgliesh, so certain of an
ordered universe, of a certain
solvableness to the chaos of things.

Now, my eyes closing with sleep
-- having gotten up early this morning --
I go back to bed.



YEARNING

#9
1-8/12-16-12/2-1/3-20-13

The sense of smell is gone.
Did taste go with it?
It hasn’t lessened my desire to eat.

There seems to be some sensation
in my mouth when I eat.
Just the basics? Maybe just the basics:

sweet, sour, hot, cold, bitter,
unctuous, chalky on my teeth.
Creamy, pudding-y? Let

me
see
if

I can slip this one into an urn
with a narrow mouth
and blown sides.

Down, down it
goes into the cave
of my throat, a very
vertical cave, with nothing
but slippery walls, a humming
retreat into darkness in a search,
lost search, for taste. None just here,
though it seems pretty clear, it has been,
there has been taste in this passage ere now,
as well as a certain anticipation of more to come.

But it’s not like waiting for chocolate. No chocolates
are coming. Maybe a fig drop or a walnut ball will come, or
maybe toothsome bits of yogurt, Greek yogurt, and the sweetness
of coconut milk. It’s difficult for me to believe that those who have
traveled, have not been to India. India -- the land of acceptance.
Where is there to travel if you don’t go to India? --
where the gods, surprises dwell, dwell deep,
there in your breast, in eyes that see everything,
go everywhere, even the places the body cannot follow.
Sweet honey, sweet coconut milk.

No matter. Even dressed in heavy pink velvet, I will not go!
Not in the bitter bleakness of mornings, nor the faint glimmerings
of sunlight, after the news. Stand like a tree. Stand your ground. Dig in roots.



FULL

#10
1-9/12-16-12/2-1-13

The sky is again red-pink-gold --
what I used to call cerise, and still want to.
(But recently I’ve learned it is quinacradone-
coral, plus a little orange.) Underneath the cloud
cover, covering the whole sky, tinting the
whole morning dark, right down, almost,
to the silhouetted mountains
-- which at this moment
stand out black --
it is embraced by cerise.

Within minutes the blue-
black clouds lower even further,
leaving just a slit for the mountains
and quinacradone-coral. Up in the
blue clouds, where they part
and become fluffy,

is a piece of the white
moon. Could it be full?
I study the calendar. Yes,
it is full.



LULL

#11
1-10/12-16-12/2-1/3-20-13

I found
a great swath
of oriental print
fabric on the free
table, silky to the
touch and lined.

I draped
it over a chair,
wooden-armed and
cushioned, to form a
dark cave for Shiva-purna
(“purna” means full of),
the cat. He hides there
in privacy and bliss.

I created
for him and for
me a lull in reality,
where he can spin
cat dreams pregnant
with purr, project
mystery. Where is
he? Where has he
gone? Under the
chair for aloneness
and bliss.

Sleep quiet,
dear cat,
in your castle,
safe from the world
of storms and hungers,
ye-ow-elling, lacking all but
spiritual adventures: no mice,
no woods, no fellow cats,
just a routine of stay-
at-home discipline.

Don’t be
discouraged,
it’s like life as a
Karakurinetsuke.



LIKE MUSIC

#12
1-11-12/2-5/3-20-13

After awhile there was no flesh on the bones of Steve Jobs 1-12-12
Subtler colors this morning in the sunrise,
some plum and navy blue, taupe and pink,
further away, gold -- with the sun rising
further to the south. Amazing.

The high pitched whine this morning, I hear
it in my bed. Roger diagnosed it as coming
from the eastern vent or the furnace itself.
I, of course, agreed, just

not to detain him. But I think he is wrong.
I think there’s some implement or appliance
that someone somewhere plugs in that gives
off this detestable hummm.

I look up again at 7:18 and there’s the “cerise”
-- also known as "quinacradone coral with a touch
of orange," almost like a silk ribbon. This morning
it outlines the Cascades,

then brightens to an almost frightening red
with plum on top. The sun comes up in
the western pattern, brighter and brighter
behind the mountains.

The hum is gone
for now.

The quinacradone seeps up and up into the dark
blue sky. The gold/cerise lights the west side of
the tall buildings, the sparkling lights. Mount
Rainier stands in front

of the pinks and reds -- just barely showing pink.
Then, suddenly, the clouds above it break askance
into white. Difficult to know if it is a white
background or a cloud color.

The whole eastern sky bursts into blue/red cloud cover!
Here comes the sun! Mount Rainier, pristine white and,
surrounding her, layers and layers of blue/coral/blue/coral
/blue and a Gauguinian-pink lake!

White smoke from one University smoke stack...



MUSIC

#13
1-11-12/2-6/3-27-13

I used the Internet long before I had it at home.
I got up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, walked a
dark mile or two down to the 24 hour lab to go on

fumbling my way through the creation of a website long
before (1996) I understood how letters flew from my finger
tips into cyber space. I still don’t understand that passage but,

now I know it doesn’t matter. Go.Go.Use it.Use it. There’s very
little else to do. The world has turned into a cyber jungle of rampant
vines and outrageous tropical growths too complicated for me to follow.

So I stick with the html from yesteryear. I don’t have to understand how
lead gets into a pencil to use it to write. As far as I’m concerned, the techies can
fold up shop and go home. Nobody needs to be that in touch with one’s fellow man.

Have you not observed that as soon as people get rich enough, most move away from
others? -- just as one eventually stops answering most e-mail. There’s nothing to create
if one spends too much time twittering and tweeting. Who needs to know what you ate

for breakfast? Or exactly what time you died? Restrain yourself from excessive indulgence
in a world created by cyberspace. Even music, turned to noise years ago, drops off one’s
personal radar. Silence was a good invention. The silence of space. The invisibility of

the wind. The longing for nothingness outruns the nonsense of community.
Be alone. Be alone.
They will survive without you.



ENOUGH

#14
1-12-12/2-6/3-20-13

A disaster of a day. Enough!
I think only of my will.
TEN THATS goes to Vikram --
do what you want with the rest.
I’ve left directives here and there,
send the discs and computer equipment
to Vikram or to Texas
but,
for the most part, I don’t care.
Let whoever loves the
needlepoints have them and if one
day they all are gathered into
a museum --
Good!.
Together they have a
meaning that the single ones don’t achieve.
Same with the poetry --
if it ever gets
published, publish the “yearly
poems” as they are: chronologically.
It doesn’t matter that some are good
and some are bad, together they chronic-ologize
a life, my life -- such as it was. And now
I want to go up, go to sleep and,
hopefully,
never wake again.

P.S. All has changed now, Margaret Barham and Vikram will know where things belong. JH, 2-6-13



EON’S END

#15
1-13-12/2-6/3-21/27-13

I get up. I wander back and forth. Even up
and down -- on that metal ladder. Seeking
what? Seeking somewhere to minimize my
puzzlement.

Searching my memory to find if I
have forgotten anything. What’s there?
What is not there? By now, the scramble,
the chaos

is ubiquitous, not even the needle-seeking
camel can take the haystack seriously anymore.
Who could want -- miss anything -- so deeply buried
in the trash?

Someday soon, I must, with enormous gravitas, dig
into that minefield (so suggests the wandering mind) of
such unimaginable treasures: goods, gold, greatness, ideas,
prejudices aplenty hiding beneath

what was once discarded and not thought of again -- except
by the dazed-from-sleep mind. Wander about, O human body.
See what you tap into, see if you can think this morning beyond last
night’s be-all, all but ended

it all, distilled, mind-stopping agony -- all from meddling in my own affairs.
Forget it. Stay still. Drown that voice of ecstatic pain. It costs little to freeze in
the face of dangerous annihilation, pitiable humiliation, assassination of my own
character -- if there is such. Mostly,

it seems I am “all soul and no sound,” all thought and no action, because, unlike my
fellow humans, male and female, I don’t believe in their axioms of who we are, where we
have been, where we are likely to go, and why. Even the stars do not want to penetrate that
concealed code. “Nowhere,” is the only plausible

answer, and it is an insufficient, stupid, nowhere answer. “Come dance with me and be my
love,” sang the ancient poet but, today, we know there is nowhere to go: You are molecules,
I am molecules, at best, we might be able to change form -- before the eon’s-midnight finale.




NO, I WON’T BE COMING FOR A VISIT

#16
1-13-12/2-7/3-21/13

Perhaps I have forgotten the reason I wanted to travel.
I did, after all, travel quite a bit for an ordinary kid like
me, stuffed at a taxidermist farm in Marysville, Wash. I

set out with a desire to echo the footsteps of the great
travelers: Alexandra David-Neel, the lady named Bell, the
Swiss woman, whom I read late in life, after I had traveled,

Ella Maillart, and Dervla Murphy, Freya Stark, Isak Dinesen.
If I had traveled with their guts and their gumption and their
courage, knowledge, finesse, perhaps I would be doing it still.

But probably not. At some point it is Enough! I wandered alone,
and “wander” is, perhaps, a better word for how I did what I did:
Jumped out of bed one morning, or jumped off a train or bus -- and

walked. It was my delight. I walked on and on. I walked, slowly,
often with bare feet or in sandals, especially in India, where the red
volcanic dust is inches deep -- and as ephemeral as walking in silk.

I walked Russia, too, in '79 or 81?, under the midnight sun, through
streets illuminated and empty but for my shadow, my echo. Russians
go to bed. Tourists -- this tourist -- stayed up. I was there for a film

festival. I skipped the films -- and wandered Moscow, the Kremlin,
enjoyed the solitude, the end-of-the-world feeling of the deserted
city. All else but me and the facades disappeared. In those days

there was no terror -- or I didn’t notice it. Through beautiful,
naked streets, swiped by slanting sunlight, I walked forever.
And in Nepal, with my back to the peaks I crossed the flat

land, met a butte, climbed it -- and turned around -- and
There! -- Exactly there! were the high Himalayas revealed
briefly for my astonishment. I walked on to establish my

whereabouts. When I turned again there were clouds, no
mountains, and a khaki-suited man saying I couldn’t be
there. But it was all right. I slammed the preservation
door in my memory and descended as he directed.
I didn’t need to see more.



IT’S GOING TO SNOW BLOOD

#17
1-14-12/2-7/3-21-13

The wind howls, trying to get louder than the news
saying the same old things: -- lots of people dying,
sick, massacred, lots of suicides, too. Hmmm.

Since all we ever hear is death and more death,
destruction and colossal destruction, any
wonder, our morale, our civilization

is shooting down hill at what would be in any
other context an outrageous rate. But we hear
misfortune day after day after day, and shrug,

try to find, for squeamish me, something more
intellectual to listen to. Others apparently crave music,
or what passes for music now: lots of crashing noise and

drum-like beats on almost everything. It’s interesting to watch
humanity self distract. Poof! you’re gone. Haven’t been here
a million years yet -- but, given our large brains, we are

precocious and can get on with it, so smart we can kill
ourselves and allow the next “dominant” species to arrive.
Odd. It seems a very odd thing to do, but we are -- like
bloodhounds --
dedicated
to it.



PREDICTION

#18
1-14-12/2-8/3-21-13

I wander back and forth a bit,
almost losing my balance,
full of a choking anxiety,
wondering if this is the day I’ll go.

It’s got to be someday, why not now?
Seems a bit foolish -- to
spend a lot of time con-
sidering it -- and yet it’s hard to give up

the only world I have ever known.
Consider the alternative:
200 years old, unable
to die, warped, waspish, dry skinned,

a bubbling, babbling,
eager-to-be-
disembodied
mind.



ION

#19
1-15-12/2-8-13

The dreadful taste of artificial sweeteners is more than
I can bear. Yuck! Get it out of my mouth! -- that
penetrating, ubiquitous coating of water-
like texture combined with the permeating
sweetness of saccharine -- too sweet to bear.

Even bears, fond of honey, would be
repelled by human’s unnatural invention --
maybe -- or maybe with a thick black
coat of hairy fur, you can endure
artificial sweeteners.

It’s called: tarting up the world, like turning
a woman into an object of men’s desire.
We shouldn’t get on that subject,
at least not until I create my vase to
vomit in.

“But it’s not humanity!” you cry. It is our
civilization that has turned our males
into vicious perverts, victimizing women,
needing someone lower than themselves
on which to take out their rage.

Take DSK for instance, our almost-
President-of-France. One wonders
that he ever had time to work, with his
necessity to stick his stick in every
harmless butterfly.

Just unzipping his pants was a full time
occupation. What a nasty thing he makes
of the instrument designed to propagate
the race. Was that what god had in mind

when he
gave man a penis?
To return the favor,
man created god
in his image.



ICONS

#20
1-15-12/2-8/3-21/27-13

My muse writes what she wants to write.
I’ve given up directing her. Let her do
what she pleases. Seattle is gone behind
fog left by the snow. A light snow is
falling -- or fell. It seems to have
stopped now.

The fog is increasing, even some of
the trees this side of the canal are
gone, the lake is gone and now,
a dribble of snow begins again --
light like chick feathers
from a pillow

case. I am alone.
It’s quiet and cold.
My mind wants to plan
a walk, down hill, to the library,
to return JOBS and RIVER OF SMOKE,
to go the other

way to Trader Joe’s to get a doublewide
scratching box for Shiva-purna.
A splurge. A New Year’s
present he deserves.
And my heart?
What does my heart want to do?

It wants to stop aching -- to outlive or outsmart
the anxiety that has taken up residence be-
cause of me speaking up for myself.
The only time I like
or admire my poems
is when Ann reads them.

Otherwise they seem like drivel --
what anyone else would say.
But isn’t that the point JJ? -- for THE PLAIN
JANE POEMS, the JUST JAN POEMS,
THE PLEIN JAN POEMS:
to say it so plainly that

no one suspects it is poetry; it’s
"Just the Facts, Mam,
Nothing But The Facts."
We live in a world of factoids
and no longer much care
if they are true or not.

"Just the Facts, Mam."
It seems I am beginning to live in the past.
Yesterday I had a long and lively chat
with Charles -- about the places
we have lived, the countries,
cities, houses, the studios.

It’s quite a collection.
For me, there was
the redesigned-
by-Frank-Lloyd-Wright apartment
on Chicago’s Near North, 19 E. Pearson,
with the Grand-Central-size living room and the Bishop’s?

Cardinal’s? some kind of Pontiff's?
house, 208 East Superior, with
it’s redesign of a dozen
fireplaces, one in each unit,
The Three Arts Club, between
the slums and the super rich.

I bought a pair of shoes,
in those days
for $30 or $35
thinking
my extravagance
outrageous. Now it’s chicken feed.

The whole world has become chicken feed --
doesn’t satisfy as a square meal. Icons
from the past, bowls of jelly.
I think of the Green
House,
and must once again

look up that poem I wrote for the opening of something
in Silver City, spontaneous, perfect.
I think again of the huge modern adobe we lived
in up the box canyon for Seeds of Change,
the monastery at Su Dok Sah,
the ashram at Ganeshapuri,

the dozen way stations
in India,
the old nunnery I now inhabit,
the house on the edge of the forest
near Port Matilda where I could wash
the morning dishes looking out

the great wide
window into the waking forest,
the old house in Seattle
with fireplace, and huge front windows
which I could have loved, except for
the black man robbing me of $300

while he grinningly “helped” me
paint the big walls white.
The green house, again, all the second floor with
its many niches and rooms and closets, where
Lampeggia and I used to chase each
other around the circle of linked rooms.

I just took a break to pursue
the poem I wrote in New Mexico,
when I lived at the Seeds of Change farm.
I wrote it on the day for some kind of opening,
I can’t remember for what, nor can I remember the poem.
Was it GEORGE COLUZZI?*

It was one of my favorites for years.
I can’t even guess how many poems I have written.
My cup runneth over. In recent years, it’s easy as breathing.
I just wait for the muse to toss me a line!
And away we go.

Away I tow.

* See Appendix




THE SNOW IS FALLING AGAIN

#21
1-15-12/3-27-13
And I am trapped inside this body,
chilled, wanting to go out, but not
wanting to risk falling

because of ice hidden under snow?
Hungry! for meat!
Eat!

Just woke from my afternoon nap.
Almost refreshed.
Go!



AGAIN

#22
1-15-12/3-27-13
When everything in the world was temporary,
you rented an apartment. You lived with a friend.
Permanent was not in your vocabulary.

19 E. Pearson had gigantic, floor to ceiling windows.
I can’t remember if we ever attempted to wash them.
Space overhead is the sense of freedom.

Now I must back to bed and finish my long sleep.
It’s Sunday night and the snow is not even an inch
on the ground. "Let it be, let it be, let it be."



EXHAUSTED BEYOND CARING

#23
1-16-12/3-27-13

The snow is on the ground,
the ice beneath it.
A single emotion
flares when I
deal with my stuff.
Why, Mother of Mercy, does one
burden oneself, one’s life, others,
with one's stuff?
Are we here just to accumulate stuff?

The only poem of mine I've memorized is:
“I made most precious things,
I made them for the Potlatch,
when they are gone, I’m richer still
I’ll make others, I have the skill.”

Today, I’d add a few words:
“I’ll make others -- stoke the Potlatch with skill.”



REPETITION

#24
1-17-12/2-13/4-15/18-13

This morning I am mesmerized by the capsizing
of the Costa Concordia. A huge ship, larger than
you can imagine, skimmed a rock, scraped along it,
created a gash 160 feet long, and now lies on its side
beside red rocks -- red, as if covered with blood --
outside Grosseto where, 50 years ago,
I drank divine white wine.

I remember -- who can avoid it? -- the Titanic going
down (in 1912) long before I was born. How many lives
lost? -- the dark sea, the unseen iceberg. And the Andrea
Doria -- in the painting phase of my multi-art career -- sank.
I listened to the radio, painted small, amoeboid shapes
all night in red and yellow ochre, black and white:
the Greek palette.

The Andrea Doria,
itself a work of art
-- “the most
beautiful ship
ever built --”
sank with
1,706

humans,
through the night.
The humans were rescued.
The great ship (to be explored by
divers over the years)
disappeared.

Now the Concordia,
multi-decked, sleek as a silver bullet,
carrying 4,229 humans, 2,400 tons of fuel,
set sail from Civitavecchia at 7:00 PM -- in time for dinner,
grazed rock and sank. People swam ashore, rode in lifeboats,
all through the night.
32 died.

Curiously enough, I find myself working on the second draft of this on 2-13-13, 1 year and 1 month since the disaster.



PETITION

#25
1-17-12/ 2-13-13

I’m afraid we’re all reaching the age
where we take ourselves seriously,
The whole floor. The whole of my
acquaintance.

Fierce opinions. The last ditch effort
to make harmonic alliance with our
preferences. To speak up. To object
if necessary.

Crotchety old people who’ve no time
left to dissemble. Speak. Say it now!
The grave is a silent place. Constrict.
The only one

not to argue with is one's muse. Pay
her attention. Deem her worthy of
knowledge you don’t have. Don’t
want. Now or never.

I like the sense of order that English
murder mysteries project -- Dalgliesh,
for instance -- and the architecture. To
live among mullioned

windows, stone arches, towers and turrets
would be like living here, in my antique
nunnery -- though its only 100 years old
-- and an anomaly in this

neighborhood of craftsman’s homes built
originally for stolid workerbee/refugees
from England’s dreams of an Indian
Empire, (now each worth a million)
fit for 21st Century’s uneasy slumber
waking presently without the turrets or
the towers.



ON/OFF or OFF/ON

#26
1-17/18-12

Dinosaurs tomorrow: Argentinosaurus
to the tiniest bird.
1-18-12, 7:30 AM the castle is snowed in
No cars in motion.
Isolated on my sheet of whiteness. Quiet.

No dinosaurs this morning. And the NET,
too, has gone dark.
Protest is in the air, along with uncountable
snow flakes, I go
back to bed with a grateful heart.

I’ve lost track of one of Shiva-purna’s baggies
which contains 1/2 a pig’s
kidney. Maybe I already fed it to him last
night, surely not this morning.
He sleeps on his brown-cushion throne.

He sleeps, I sleep, we all sleep, dust mites et al.
The dinosaurs in my head
sleep too. A day of snow. That means a lot
in Seattle. Chaos will ensue
sooner or later. The dandruff of heaven is falling.

God has shaken his hoary locks, and we all bow
our heads, begin to sneeze.

We no longer have to break the tails of dinosaurs
to make them sit down.
We now know they can and did balance their elongated,
not to say overwhelming, bulk
on two thin legs. Watch the birds, watch the crows:

sleek black and teetering. Only we, or very few
(the trees), balance elegantly, vertically,
a stem and branches. The rest of the world is horizontal.
And, to cheer Jobs’ ghost,
there is no on/off switch. In a streamlined world, we are sleek.
Like the crows.



ON

#27
1-18-12

I find each day now I lose my way.
The vision of the morning is rather
like the early morning snow, white,

untrampled upon, and remembering
comes easily. Locked in the tower,
skidding on the ice of my mind,

nothing else to do -- perhaps sing
mad songs, reaffirming the delights
of butter and jam. Having never had

a child, just the idea of a living creature
coming out of my body is a thought too
bizarre to be thought. Having not indulged

in quite a few of the ordinary inevitables
of human life, I find it very quiet out here,
like freshly fallen snow where one can hear

the ticking of every clock and the beating,
the breathing of the human heart. The cat’s
gentle paw upon my breast, pink nose upturned

reaffirms the joy of solitude, of letting the mind
rest inside the skull, choosing not to make too much
use of what one no longer has the energy to urge on.



FRANCESCO

#28
1-19-12

“Yes, I sank the Costa Concordia.
But that was an eon ago. We were drunk!
We were high! We were having a fabulous time!
I heard the crunch, but it didn’t occur to me to pay
attention. Though I must have paid some kind of
attention, for 4,000 passengers got off safely,
Someone was doing something right, and
it may have been me.

Ciao.”
He smiled his boyish smile and left again for his cell.
One nighttime of fun and a lifetime of incarceration.



NO BANG

#29
1-19-12
“...not with a bang but a whimper...”

T. S. Eliot
Maybe this is what Eliot meant --
the snow drifting down as softly
as the fur on a cat’s belly.

All soul, no sound! A world so
quiet that even the tiny clicks of
the keys on a fairly new computer

echo like a circle of thunder round
my equator. The suffocating snow,
rises and rises like sea water in the air-

tight compartments of a sinking ship.
Go!
Where?



BANG

#30
1-19-12

All of human knowledge is nonsense.
If you live long enough you’ll find this out.

Like chess pieces, all our ideas move back and forth,
like jagged knights across a formally constricted board.

For awhile this is in fashion, then that. Next year it will be
another thing. And, if you live long enough, it’ll come round

to same and same again. Do you know how the knight moves?
Learn it. Everything is new in you.

Don’t bother to imitate.



FIRE

#31
1-19-12

The heat swells up around me
and I don’t even notice
until I am cooked
like a lobster,
red
inside a shell.



WINE AND IRE

#32
1-20-12/2-14/3-4/9-16-13
Inspired by Tariq Ali: His heavy browed, sensuously wide-mouthed face
Man has been very clever to persuade
woman to be satisfied by seeing,
over the mound of her belly,
a king of the world between her legs,
rather than through eyes of her own honorable
effort or employment.

“Sleeping with kings” is the highest rank men
would like to grant women as a measure
of their success in this world -- rather than
honor their effort or employment. To see
a glamorous, white-haired, heavy-browed,
darkly-handsome face between her legs,
over the mound of her belly,
to realize she sleeps with
power
in this world
is supposed to satisfy her,
enthrone her among the Goddesses.

Never, so goes the mythos, through her own effort, her own
achievement, in things of this world, will she find satisfaction,
fulfillment. Except for the few who have tried it the other
way round. Ah, the immense satisfaction of being
Elizabeth I, never succumbing to
wifeliness or motherhood,
the total satisfaction
of not sharing her power, or

Eleanor, who preferred her own
company and her own sex to having the great
crippled man between her knees, or

Emily, triumphant poet of America, who lived out her destiny
unmarried, all but uninvolved with men, ignoring their man-
datory avenues to recognition. No paltry publishing
for her. She wrote for half a century for her own
accomplishment, enjoyment,
satisfaction.

Or Alexandra David-Neel, though acquiring a husband part way
through to her 100th, trekked the Himalayas without him
for the better part of an amazing life, and was,
perhaps, as one biographer put it: “some-
what of a hair shirt to live with.”
An amazing array of
women without that
hoary head
between
their
legs,
have
lived and died
and left great gifts of their
own -- beyond the realm of mere
men or husbands. If you use your own
gifts dedicatedly enough you may far outdistance
those who would enslave you, or suggest you can only
aspire to immortality via swain or child. The longer I live
the more convinced I become that each of us is alive
solely, uniquely for one’s self.
Each one is very alone
on this earth.
Only tragedy
can ensue from being
farmed out to or enslaved by another.



PLAYING THE PUZZLE

#33
1-21-12

I discover why painting is more treasured than photos,
more treasured than reality. What does the stroke of paint brush
or the penetration of needle (in textile) add that reality doesn’t possess?
I’m playing an impossibly difficult puzzle,

a painting by Van Gogh: “Courtesan” --
then I notice it states (after Eisen) after the title.
I begin to wonder, to suspect. This may be an epiphany
for what I want to say. I Google it, and find Keisai Eisen --
and a thousand painted Courtesans.

Returning to what I was about to say: puzzles of paintings are more
difficult to play than are photographs. Every millimeter
of Eisen’s Courtesan is variation. The eye cannot settle
on a single color surface. It dances, it dances, dances, dances --
variation on the hundred million depths noticed in a
Pollack or a needlepoint.

Every stitch an adventure. Every adventure unveiling the possibility of
proceeding in a dozen, a hundred, a hundred thousand directions.
Making it difficult to find or fit the next piece.

Late in life I have come to experience --
after I play for an hour or two (it is taking me
weeks to put the puzzle together).
I look around, I discover my environment is
the Eisen/Van Gogh painting --

painted with fat strokes filled with an ooze of pigments. Mixed here.
Pure there. Complex. Reflecting the universe.
Explain it to me.
Live it.



THE CLOWNS

#34
1-22-12/8-23-13

Sunday morning, longing to listen to Chris Hayes,
but here I am back at the keyboard, working on one
of these short-lined things again.

What a joy it is to be alive at this particular moment
when it seems the whole world as we know it is in
disintegration -- just to be here listening to the wit and

wiles of Rachel Maddow and, now, Chris Hayes,
hopefully the first of a new breed of conversationalists.
What a relief to hear people actually talking to each other,

rather than playing the controlling question and answer
game the other anchors play. Maddow and Hayes: we
have two serious, brilliantly serious, commentators

making use of the last days of the American Empire,
along with two great comedians: Jon Stewart and
Stephen Colbert, all here to fulfill my brilliant insight

(when I was seeking what NO PALMS was about)
that, in conclusion, "there’s nothing else to do but
laugh about it." If we’re lucky we’ll pull out of this

election year with Colbert running -- seriously --
for president, rather than as just a joke. Our
homeland, our times, our democracy are being

forced from the face of the earth by the 1% gods.
What rich fodder for jokes! And then to also have two
master comics erupting weekly to beat time

as the Republican party immolates itself -- and as much
of the rest of the country as one can imagine. The only
excuse for this nonsense, of course, is, when Obama

wins, to have him step forth -- at last! and Occupy the image
of the great president that lies within him. Call it Socialism,
or whatever you like, as long as he steps forward of, by

and for
the people. He has the greatest opportunity in
all of American history. Now, good man -- Go For it! Help
us laugh with good cheer -- all the way to the bank of eternity.



OWNS

#35
1-23-12/8-23-13

I can begin to see
the cleansing of the path
way through my life

Beginning somewhat near
the beginning of 2011 I didn’t
quite take a vow --

but something like it -- to “clean
up my life,” weed out the chaff, get down
to the wheat. And, amusingly,

one of the main things I have
done lately is to weed out the wheat itself. Advised
by my good Dr. Masa, I’ve gone

gluten-free. At first, amazing! Now long enough
to have become used to it and, some days, even doubtful if
it’s doing what I say it is -- in my loud panaceas --

for it hasn’t helped everything. It has made me more
sane, possibly less driven, my head, most days, a little clearer,
energy up somewhat, some days the fog is just gone.

It was jars yesterday. For all of my 78 years
I have been saving jars -- for the jamming, for the canning,
which I no longer do, nor the picking -- but

still I can’t throw a jar away, nor the lids. So one
cupboard became uncloseably full: lids flying, jars clanging,
occasionally crashing to the ground. Out!

Out! Fortunately Charles, next
door, is a painter, a colorist, who needs little
(adorable) jars occasionally

to mix his colors in. Now he
has a “can just use it once” collection.
I think he’s pleased.



ASS BACKWARDS, WHY? HOW?

#36
1-24-12/1-27/8-24-13

PART I


“DINOSAURS DON’T CHEW,”
mutates into
“Dinosaurs can’t chew.”

“What an astonishing thought,” I think,
holding the image that accompanies thinking
about the mythical Brontosaurus (Thunder Lizard)
-- standing around during the Bone Wars --
his neck as long as a four story building, munching
on cycads, up-rooting them. Am I now to understand that
he swallowed them whole? And the palms, and the savannah
grass, all goes down, tickle tickle tickle whole and unchewed?
which, of course, only leads me to the thought of “Why did nature
start out -- or at least in her early days (according to humans) -- so
large: creatures weighing tons and, so far, in my cursory studies I have
found no reference to, nor awareness of how the giant early dinosaurs
mutated, as we all do: bugs, seeds of plants, humans, from small to larger?
Where’s the evidence, from bacteria to monster, of how the stegosaurs got here
to be counted amongst the biggest living things ever? And they never chewed?
Hmmm. Took in the world whole and had what had to be a dramatic/dynamic
digestive system. Where did that come from? How did they mutate from a
zygote into a four thousand pound beast? When you study dinosaurs it is a given that
they were here, are here, we have their bones for proof, but how did they get here?
and why? And then they disappeared, more or less, all at once,
leaving only birds behind, the crows, for instance, balancing,
teeter asses, on their two spindly legs -- they did not, it has
recently become clear, lay their tails on the ground
for a prop. The big belly in the middle
balanced the whole, teetering 10,000
lbs, like Atlas, holding up
the world on
his finger
tip.


PART II


WHY DID GOD START OUT SO BIG?
When everything else in nature
started out as atom or quark,
grew into molecule,
zygote, basel collection,
into pollen,
seed,
into
creature
and -- if you follow the
dinosaurs -- into very small creatures,
with a side track into humans -- though
quite small, they may be considered medium
size -- who then began to make not only zygotes
and babies, but things outside themselves,
big things, monstrous big things, like
the Saturn rocket to the moon with
30,000,000,000.000 pounds
of thrust, circling round,
at times -- forever

in

space?


PART III


OR IS IT ALL SO REPETITIOUS IT'S OF NO INTEREST?



PAR-ING THE COURSE

#37
1-25/26-12

Running on empty this morning, really empty,
way below par, and it’s hard to tell exactly why.
Not depressed nor totally energyless. Seem to be
fully awake. Not exactly filled with enthusiasm but,

on the other hand, not down. Knee hurts, that’s par,
hands itch, also par, but one wonders why. Yes, Why
all the torments as described in the annals of the saints,
particularly the saints of India? They too, had itches, and

hurts and terrible tortures, agonies to endure as they sat still
waiting for visions of Enlightenment, Nirvana. Maybe sitting
still is the problem -- our Western Wise Men would have the brain
much improved by Exercise. And perhaps they are right, look at

the wisdom of our Footballers*, our Pugilists, our randy Golfers,
surely they display the epitome of brain function. The high
hopping Tennis champions -- some women enter in
here, so maybe it does raise the brain quotient.
High minds, lovely bodies, who can ask for
anything more? But I suspect the goal
and goodness of exercise shows up
more in the walks of Steve Jobs.

It seems he could hardly hold
a meeting without making it
a walk across Stanford’s
magnificent, rolling,
brown grass
acres.

His legs moved. He thought.
A brilliant entrepreneur --
fit for America, the
land of billion-
aires and
dreams.

Einstein also walked a lot.

But then note the brain
of Stephen Hawkins
confined in a body
confined in a
wheelchair.
Wisdom?
per-
son-
i-
fied?

May-
be.

The Tarahumara run.


* Many football players, recently studied, are found to have been robbed of brain function due to multiple concussions during play.



THE COURSE OF YEARS

#38
1-26-12

The world has turned gray again.
The clouds have become a pervasive fog.
I think of the poor dinosaurs

one hundred million years ago
who couldn’t chew. Does that mean
chewing had not yet

been invented? Or did the lizards
the crocodiles choose the easy way out?
Swallow it whole, man,

swallow it whole! A beast? A tree?
In one gulp. Again, had chewing been invented
and they just chose not to

use it? Bacteria, giant sea creatures
do a lot of wholesale swallowing, seining out
the fish, the krill, the plankton with

their forest of teeth -- like having
a thousand olives for dinner, rolling them
around in the acid of the huge,

hallow stomachs of whales and...
but sharks are different. How different are
we? Sixty-five million years since

they disappeared my fingers
are still tilted toward the possibility of
developing into flippers.



FEARS

#39
1-27-12

Woke up aflame again. As if I had a great
Amazonian shield on each flank of my body,
one on each cheek, one on the forehead,

one pressing down my chest into a hot
eternity, the itch deep and severe, the
urge to die, to just give it up. Why

repair the ancient vehicle when I no longer
have the desire to drive? And then, scratch
scratch on the hand, and the desire for it

just to STOP. Seems unfair for this to happen
when I am trying so hard to eat right, sleep right,
walk a lot, exercise. What more do you want,

you sporty god? I’m not exactly a profligate.
I love my cat, I do him good, I am helpful
to almost every person that crosses my path

even if it’s no more than a jaunty, enthusiastic
comment on their “Beautiful Garden.”
Now, at this very moment it feels like a

knife is cutting into my little toe, where the
remains of the corn still abide. O God!
Abide With Me. Who knew at the time

that that was the only performance I was
destined to ever give on the clarinet? -- in the church,
and that I would remember it so long and

so vividly? Then I gave it up.



EARS

#40
1-28-12

It appears now that I’ve had a wish list
for my life. Now that I take time to sit still,
like the crystalline waters at the foot of a falls
which quietly settles out the detritus

of the earth to mirror the empty, finely
detailed sphere. It reflects the luminosity of
Plan A, Plan B, or First Desire, Second Desire
as each appears in that crystalline mirror.

The first one I remember and see it now in
its lucidity and fulfillment was To Live Everywhere
In The World And Write. Viewing my life
from the grand perspective of 78,

I have done that. Maybe not to the degree I hoped,
but enough. Enough to call it fulfillment of the first
dream. Then in youth, high school, again, not
anticipating the glorious fulfillment

of that desire, I fell in love with
the atmosphere surrounding the habited nuns,
the quiet serenity of Holy Names Female Academy.
Years later, when I moved into the Good Shepherd Center,

I discovered I had fulfilled my adolescent request
of the world, to spend my late years in
a nunnery, a monastery, in the quiet
and semi solitude.

I never wanted to be a Catholic, but as I wandered
the world I visited nunneries and monasteries,
and knew deep inside, that was where I
wanted to spend old age --

in quiet solitude, in silence, in contemplation.
One day I noticed, I had fulfilled that dream
quite easily and almost by accident.
I have lived now, for ten years

on the fifth floor, in the eyrie of my dreams,
in the attic of the Good Shepherd Center,
a former nunnery of the Sisters of the Good
Shepherd. Along the way, I wanted

desperately to make movies. l didn’t quite
succeed in making films: I did succeed in helping
to create some fine filmmakers. And met
a few friends. I remember Juleen

who, I think was the one who instructed
me to be aware that I didn’t have to do
everything myself, but could put
a wish into the universe,

and others would do the things I wanted to do.
Others would make my dreams come true --
often better than I could have done.
Gandhiji said, “Be the thing in the world

you want to see.” I found out that one
could add to that. Put out the wish you want
to see fulfilled, step back a little and
let others do it for you.

All that the world seeks is that you clarify
your dreams, make them crystal clear,
then let the universe take over and either
through you or beside you

or in opposition to you, the universe
will fulfill those crystal pools
of desire, freeing you to step back and dream again.
So in the great and the small,

I or my cosmically appointed surrogate,
fulfilled my dreams, and in doing so
forged at last at last at last a bond
between me and others

working on a cosmic, almost unnoticeable scale,
to manifest your desires. Keep dreaming.



TEARS [I]

#41
1-29-12

I have poetry to write
before I die -- later this
afternoon.

A down day. Rain
trickling, gloomy,
ready for death,

if it would only come
in my sleep, gently
without shoes.

Hands itch, beyond
belief, mind dark,
landscapes of fear,

not to die, but to go
on. Why would one
want to go on one

more hour in this
gloom, gloomy mind-
set? Reset the clock.

Tick it out today, ding-dong.
I’ve been wondering lately,
why all this activity:

people running round,
traveling, visiting, schooling,
gardening, making fortunes

and spending them. Why?
The quiet, silence of
the grave is very appealing.



AIRS

#42
1-30-12

At the bottom of every cup
of coffee is a poem.
Who would give that up
for clear skin

and no more itch? The nature
goddess has arranged
her world in a strange way.
Askew. If you do.

If you don’t, more or less
askew, too. No one
can fathom her use of reason
or unreason. The world

does and it doesn’t. Were
the first linguists
dazzled by this symmetry
or did they await

befuddlement? Finding
out -- language
blossomed from symmetry.
or symmetry budded

from the need to utter
regarding the odd
askewness of trying
to balance

the newly revealed skewed
world, where everything
does and doesn’t.
Most things are and are not.



UNREASONING FEAR

#43
1-31-12

Just the heat -- huffing, puffing, sucking, regurgitating the air --
the only sound, plus a light sweat permeating
the back of my neck, cold breeze from open-
at-the-top, double-hung windows inflames my
naked haunches.
A system of contrasts. Doesn’t seem quite fair
when what is wanted on this Tuesday morning
is a smoothly warming world. Nothing is simple anymore,
nothing is going to return to the way it was, the

way it used to be when I was young and paid no attention to the
progress of the morning heat. Having not slept
last night, because of eczema creeping all over
my body, ankles, shins, hands, arms, an itching
scalp, fiery back,
a dreadful fear that things will be thus forever,
until elusive death trips me up, tosses me into
the bliss of an unremarkable afterlife which can’t be any
worse than this. But funnily enough, I also

feel much better this morning, awake, alive, feeling that I can even
say “I’ll do this,” and I will actually do it. I scratch the back of my
left hand until it burns and is all-over red, like a cargo of angry
measles-covered shrimp. Egad! am I supposed to eat that? No!
Not to be done, not even to be thought of. God, as we learn
little by little throughout life, jests naught with us. His gaze
is elsewhere. Likely he’d apologize if we came at all to his
attention. But we don’t. We simply are one little piece
in life’s gigantic jigsaw. No matter how unlikely it

may seem, it’ll all fit together in the end to
form that remarkable life, which happens
to make us realize the endlessness, the
power of idiotic small things that bend
to the preordained will of the world.
It’s all there, all intentional. Don’t
judge, don’t recommend how we
think it ought to be. What is, is,

we learned long ago on dark,
charming nights in your little
cabin off Lookout Mountain
Road, where one could drive
in but had to back out, over
tea on Westbourne, and once
in a while on Pacific View Drive,
questioning the universe and, as always,
receiving no answer.



SEASONING FEAR

#44
2-1/2-12

I was thinking wouldn’t it be splendid if we had
a once a year, maybe twice a year, departure festival.
Anyone who didn’t want to go on living could sign
up and we could all get together, maybe in a valley
like Gobekli Tepe in Turkey.

And have a great big party. Anyone who wanted to
opt in, could, and if they got too overwhelmingly
enjoying the party, they
could
opt out at any time.

But those of us who really want to stay to the end! --
would get some pleasant sleep inducing substance
and go off on our way of peace and joy.

How long will it take the human race to see that this is
a greatly benign and eventually necessary happening,
option, possibility

to save the earth and humanity? Especially those future-dwellers
who are always worrying about their children and grandchildren.
We could regularly make room, and relieve the burden
on those young ‘uns tending us old ones.
Old ones who, most, I think, come to the point,
sooner or later, when
they’d rather be dead.

Make it an outrageously joyous festival! Enough is enough.



SEA EARS

#45
2-2-12/8-27-13

Develop your sea ears young ones,
listen to the roar of the waves and the wind,
feel the upheavals of the earth,
lie down on the ground and listen, really listen.

Float on your back in the sea looking at the sky,
the blue sky, in it one great ball of fire
visible by day and thought about at night.
Listen. Listen with your sea ears.
You’ll hear what you have to hear.
What you can hear is light and luminosity,
in silence, in peace, deep in your being,
somewhere near your heart,
juxtaposed to death.
What is born, dies.
Don’t resist.
please,
don’t resist.

The world is passed on through
the exquisite corpse
which shares its constituent bits
on the undulating sea.
Keep your sea ears clean, your bones aligned,
and agree to peace.



GITA

#46
2-2-12/8-28-13

I remember years ago, living in Texas,
when I was about 50, studying the Bhagavad Gita
with Gina Lalli -- and we came to a passage about
"being condemned to wander for some misbehavior,"
and I thought, No No No, wandering is the
greatest pleasure. Wandering is life.
Who do you know that doesn’t enjoy really wandering through life?
Or maybe you do know a lot of those who have settled in, and down, just
this side of the womb.
But I, my greatest dream, and at last I could formulate it,
has always been to live everyplace on earth
and write.
Wandering and writing, the two greatest things the earth had to offer --
until the invention of the internet!

Now you can sit still and wander forever,
but its not quite as much fun as having the hot dust of India
between your toes, and the breeze from the sea
across your eyes.



GITA II

#47
2-2-12

Now I go down to film, I think my subject will be
NOMADISM
we, the Hunter-gatherers.



WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA

#48
2-3-12/8-28-13

She writes just like I do -- or --
our subjects correlate right down the line:
her cat facing the death of her mistress,
abandonment.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t kill myself.
What would Shiva-purna do?
Wait for me to come home?
I think, she, the poet, was tired of poetry.
.
Just as I am tired of the high toned sentiments,
the glumph, glumph, glumph of metered verse,

the nonessentialness of all that beauty out there
making not one wit of difference
to witless man.

Szymborska says what she thinks.
At 88, I’m sure she was ready to go.
They paint her as a modest recluse --

If they want to meet a modest recluse,
come visit me and my cat.
I used to think I didn’t publish

because I couldn’t find a publisher.
They all wanted to change something,
or probably didn’t read the submissions.

Then I found out, I probably set it up.
I didn’t want to write for those people --
not for almost anyone on earth.

If they really wanted to read my stuff
they were probably of a poetic temperament,
and could write their own.

Not the mundane drivel that is so prevalent
today among the poets gatherings
but just some poetic image like:

“After 20 years of peace and
prosperity, happiness,
procreation, Oedipus found

out what Jocasta already knew
and put out his eyes.
Thus began Western Civilization.”



SKY RIDE

#49
2-4-12

PART I


I feel like I live on Mars,
as if I left Earth long ago.

Way down there I see all
these things happening,

some even interesting, but
involving me not at all, a

new war here, another one
there, none of them related

to anything I really think about,
none of them of interest until

this morning, another story about
whales, trapped somewhere -- no

it was an old story, from the Reagan
years: about 3 or 5 gray whales beached

and dying. And before that, the news
of the discovery of a gigantic lake --

maybe ocean -- an ocean discovered at
Vostok in Russia over 3,000 feet beneath

the ground, frozen over, the largest
underground body of water ever

found on earth. (I didn’t know
there were 140 others). They were

drilling for ice cores, and noticed
the composition of the ice began to

change, not frozen soil anymore,
but pure ice. Jupiter's Europa

has a number of underground
frozen lakes -- oceans. I sit here

admiring human’s ingenuity, wishing
their curiosity would one day lead

them to stop killing each other and,
instead, admire the awesome genius

of their fellows and jump for joy.

PART II


In the meantime, I wake, and my legs,
ankles, elbows, upper arms, lower arms

seem to be a bit better, even the first
knuckle on my right hand seems to be

less glowing red, and more pink-flecked-
with-white. Have I mentioned I am

suffering from a massive, probably, allergy
of some kind and I am all over broken out

either with eczema or an eczema-like rash?
(Aside from discovering unusual features on

the earth, as one ages, one gets unusual “gifts”
from the universe.) Today it is worsening

on my outer thighs, big patches of all-over-little-
bumps, flaring into a new rash patch. But the itch

itself seems to have calmed down a bit. Under
doctors orders, I began yesterday taking 3 drops of

Animal Mix 3 times a day which will help immunize me
against Shiva-purna, the cat, as well as against camels, goats,

chickens, cows, dogs (short and long haired), ducks, fish
scales (fresh and salt water) plus a host of others. I’ll skip

along here: goose, horse, llama. quail, rat, sheep or any turkeys
that happen to be living with me here in my fifth floor eyrie,

a regular Noah’s ark of animals, looking out on my magnificent
view of Mount Rainier shimmering into the haze of this early-spring,

oddly sunshiny morning. I think of Jim, who now has shingles, Fukushima
-- maybe the nuclear cloud has arrived. I close my eyes and my radio and go

back to living light years away on my Mars or Jupiter, hundreds of years before
(or after) they built the tower of Babylon, which separated or brought together

humankind.

And now I begin to itch again and go to my bathtub, for, this time, a soda
bath, with maybe a touch of milk-like oatmeal, oozing soothingly, from

a sock I bought, decades and decades ago to accompany me to --
was it Russia? Korea? somewhere, where it was to be cold

at the time. These were special insulating socks that wicked off
the moisture, and kept in the heat. It’s mate is gone,

but it serves well in its new capacity of colloidal oatmeal
container, to soothe my inflamed skin which,

if you did not know,
is the largest organ of the human body.



RIDDLED

#50
2-5-12/8-28-13

Riddled with disease,
absolutely,
from head to toe,
eczema, hives, rash,

rampant manifesting red
spots
everywhere.

I am insane with itch,
everywhere.

I think of the so-called saints
and their afflictions.
If you weren’t a saint before the itch,
you certainly will be now.

I think about and fear the Cetirizine.
Dr. Dodge said it was okay
to take more --
take it every day.

I’m used to taking 1 teaspoon every 2 or 3 weeks.
Then recently, more frequently, and
now, if it still works, it seems
I need it twice a day.

Just for the week, he said.
Will I survive the week?

Do I want to?



LED

#51
2-6-12/8-28-13

Led by the hand through god’s country,
one foot in front of the other,
step by step up the mountain
and through the valleys,

we walk to who knows where
or why, docilely, murmuring
prayers and mumbo jumbo -- ,
we are all so pious about our nonsense.

Wouldn’t it be a joy and a surprise to suddenly
find we all fall silent as the moon
shines ever brighter.
It kisses earth with its brightness.
I pet my pussy through the night.



RED

#52
2-6-12

The reds have gone to sleep by now,
crimson, cerise, cherry, apple, true red,
true blue, blood, and the rest. There

are touches of reds in the witch hazel’s
golden yellow filigreed sunshine. They
still smell nice, I’m told. I’ve no smell

sense for years past now. Everything’s
fresh and clean and spring-like (much
too early) and doesn’t smell. Closest to

smell is the wind off the Sound, you can
feel the moisture and the vistas in it. The
man who planted the witch hazel, with his

son, is gone now, gone dancing to Colorado.
His wife dances too, they garden, they paint,
each paints their vision of the world. Whether

in Seattle or Colorado, they see inside. They stand
gazing, near the rim, into the Black Canyon of the
Gunnison, leaving us, in our eyries to miss them in

this too early, red-tinged spring.



AN ARM AND A LEG

#53
2-7-12

“It'll cost you an arm and a leg.”
It’s an old folk saying, or is it?
I haven’t even Googled it yet.

But in my case it is both arms and both legs,
completely covered by, ravaged by -- is it really eczema?
And much of the body in between.

I've just risen from an Apple Cider Vinegar and Soda bath.
The itching has been replaced by a kind of tingling, and always
the consciousness it is there, slightly tight and just there.

And lots of garlic in my usual only-vegetables soup -- or in this case --
sauce on my green bean vermicelli -- to the point I feel it way down in my gut,
just a little, burning burning and, with fig and almond stuck in my teeth,

I am bugged! It makes me want to gnash my teeth and scream out, but instead
I sit calmly down to write a poem or two - this is the first one. And this is about
the 7th or possibly 6th day of a really bad skin “condition.” If you have studied

modern medicine or gone to modern doctors, the first thing you will find out is:
they haven’t clue one what can stop eczema or what causes it or why you have it.
Only if you get really bad, “incurable” diseases do they have

modern medicine, machines, data bases, study, research enough
to even begin to treat you. Up to then, it is by guess and by gosh,
with lots of steroids. And those I’ve tried do the usual thing, they

cure it up quite suddenly and, as long as you put it on or swallow
it, the usually expensive drug, it’s okay -- quit their miracle drugs
and the ailment, malady, rash bounces back twice as bad. So you

have an alternative: Go on or don’t go on with the medicines
and, if you’re lucky enough to find a convenient or humane way
(these are mostly closely guarded secrets) to kill yourself:

Take it. Guns are too messy for me, besides I don’t have one,
nor know anyone who does. So, it’s on, for the moment, with
itch scratch, scratch itch, and gurgly stomach. C’est la vie! or Ciao Belli,
as Debbie, who has disappeared, used to say.



LEGACY

#54
2-8-12

Up jerking around.
Literally.
I can’t tell if I’ve become spastic
or
if it is just another form of itch.

My upper arms, a crocodile’s sea of red,
so hot you could fry an egg on them.

It’s an interior fire of some kind.
I still need something on my shoulders,
and the heater on.

The olive oil I have coated my arms and my legs with
makes them glow a bright red.

I feel totally hopeless at the moment, a need to die.
Why on earth would one want to get well
and live in the shadow of this
the rest of my life?

It’s so bad
it now seems like I will never recover -- and I can’t stop
Jerking.



LEGAL - ITY

#55
2-9-12

Dare I mention that the world seems to be in order this morning?
Many things going right.
Delicious hummus made with a whole can of organic garbanzos,
garlic, olive oil, Vitamin C, et with chopped carrot and celery sticks,
wiped up with one lettuce leaf from a large Green Leaf Singles
transparent plastic box.
A note from Swedish saying they agreed with me about the bill.
It was incorrect.
And, perhaps most worth rejoicing of all, the eczema seems to be
lightening up, in retreat. I slept through the night, unhindered
during two long sleeps by only the mildest of itch.
It itches more now. I’m awake and wandering about.
It seems all over it has calmed down,
the crusty alligator feel of it is less,
but now, the thighs are coming
through with definite rash.
I took some Cetirizine
this morning,
realizing that just sleep and Stellaria cream
may not be strong enough to cause a cure,
and though
I now feel just a little high, a little wobbly,
still it's worth the vicious itch being gone.
C’est la vie!

Stellaria’s other name is Chickweed.
When I recall the, maybe, acres of chickweed I
have pulled, or dug under in my time!
It’s evident that nature meant us to
work close to the earth -- and learn.



LEVITY

#56
2-10-12/8-29-13

This may be the day I decided to die, and it’s quite okay.
I got the Stellaria Cream, and I thought it helps, it does
soothe the itching. And apart from the red blotches all over,

I don’t feel bad, rather hyper indeed, either from so much
running around today, so much input, going off early to
get the cream $16 worth, then to Dr. D who has backed

off and wants to turn us, the Senior Center patients, more
over to the kids. And though Justin is a very nice guy, I don’t
feel he really hears me or that he tunes in on an old lady,

the way some of the other students have done -- mostly, but
not always, women. And then with Helen Sue, trying to talk
about death and my leaving fairly soon -- she knows not

at all what to say or do and, I think, would just as soon
I die quietly, no fuss, no muss. And I rather agree to that
but I want some good conversation about death and dying

before I go. Totally exhausted, I take the other pill, given
to me today by Dr. D that has to do with the Methylation
Pathway. I am all worn out and am off to bed. It would be so

nice just to not wake up. But if and when I do, I do know
I’ll feel better then than I do now. The Stellaria goo all over
my skin is annoying to bump into whenever I move, so,
move no more -- and Shiva-purna sleeps on.



5:24 AM

#57
2-11-12/8-29-13

I wake all cold and trembly, interior cold
as well as exterior. I gently rub my withered
skin. It seems to damp down the incipient itch.

I stretch my toes and legs, and look. They are the same.
I keep the itch at bay by gentle petting. I am tempted
not to take my thyroid pill. The eczema is slightly fiery

but as long as I pet it gently, it doesn’t yet itch. My
only thought is finding the blood report from Swedish,
and walking it over to Dr. D. I look forward to the

walk. Then remember my knee. So far, waking, peeing,
talking with the cat a little, it doesn’t hurt. Maybe it won’t
hurt today. Where O where did I put the blood report?

I remember distinctly putting it somewhere, in my black
purse, I thought to take to Dr. D. But it is not there.
In the Swedish folder. How can my mind be such a total

blank? I’m not in a panic yet, but I will be. I look forward
to my oatmeal bath. It’s cold in the studio, I shiver as I
type. The cat meows. Up to put out his food -- maybe

I can find the folder.

Slept from about midnight, after a tortured night of
itch. Got up, stayed up, watching Rachel Maddow,
doing the dishes, rinsed all over with oatmeal milk,

put on Stellaria, many dabs, rubbing it in. My sister
had done my back earlier, thoroughly, when she
brought me home. The house warms slowly. Up

from the computer, give Shiva-purna his
left-over bits of kidney, turn on radio to
the always eagerly anticipated array of

Saturday morning, save-the-world and save-
the-environment programs. Brush Shiva
while he purrs and eats his dry food,

100 strokes, and as I empty the brush,
I once again think that if I had saved
all the fur I brush out of him, I would

have a blanket, warm enough to heat the world.
I look like a very fleshy skeleton in the bathroom
mirror. I am losing weight (a blessing) and

wonder if I am to get back down to the 130 range
where I spent the midyears of my life. At times
I think this will all stop when I get to there --

all this excess weight is a problem, a consequence
of my fallow years. Yesterday I thought back
to when the first great gain was. It was at

Blue Mountain Center, the cookie jar, 24-
7, and the open pantry. The thighs remain
heavy, but even they are slowly losing --

the greatest treat of all from this restriction
and itching. 6:20 take Thyroid pill,
Angela Davis on the radio.

Pureed carrots, coconut
and Vitamin C
for breakfast.



LIFE CHANGING -- PARTY REUNION

#58
2-12-12

The Marks are back,
Long live the Marks!
Blatter and Willson,
former GSC staff.

Blatter ran off to
Bainbridge, Willson
to Colorado. Different
lives, but the same people,

I had this poem to finish,
to write, to fulfill my promise
of a poem a day, so I left the
frigid chapel and the good fellowship

to come up and fulfill my obligation
and even my ordinary lyricism
has deserted me this late
at night.

Margo and Mark were eloquent
on the subject of raising chickens,
and the fresh eggs, lots of eggs.
I drank only the juice, apple,

perhaps, and carrot,
a lovely, low key party,
Mark Willson here to cart away
the rest of their stuff to Colorado.

Margo’s not too sure
if she likes it more than here, her then
over busy life. Now it’s not so busy,
she works harder in the day and

under the stars at night.



CHANGING

#59
2-13-12/8-29-13

The morning is here again.
Each day feels like it might turn out
to be a voyage forever.

Since I remember nothing,
I didn’t know, at 7:30, I was about to
miss the reunion in the chapel.

And when I got there, I
only wanted to get away, as it was
ice cold and the long

table was dotted with
lovely bites of food, all of which
I no longer eat.

What to do at a party if
you don’t eat, don’t drink, don’t smoke
and see most of the

people there every day --
except the Marks, Willson and Blatter.
Blatter is beginning to

look like an icon, bald,
big hooded eyes, still-faced, contained.
And I notice, at last

at 78, that I am no longer
automatically afraid of people, no longer
need to have pre-cogitated

things to say. I was ice
cold and, even though I was about to leave,
I gratefully and graciously

accepted the offer of
blankets from Neill and from
Margaret, and sat comfortably

swathed for the last half hour
feeling, at last, at home and part of the group
of which I am, after all, an essential part.

We share a history now of ten years
in a 100 year old building -- then on the verge of decay,
now, spruced up quite elegantly.

Lucky Us.



AGING

#60
2-14-12

It’s too quiet in here,
it’s driven me crazy.
So I search, find
Whitney Houston

I will always love you!
Now, I can sit down and
write -- a little noise,
a little ambience in the air.

What a superb voice --
that could not keep her
from dying of trying
not to be so unhappy.

It is amazing, how
often great success
leads to death.
At the same time

it is not surprising.
Where is there to
go from great
success? So,

does life consist
only in the striving?
No more striving:
no more life?

Is that the throw
of the dice, or the
great plan? Screaming
from the heart?



ABOUT 4:30 PM

#61
2-14-12/8-30-13

The golden light that comes
under the dark blue sky
burnishing the limbs of trees,
illuminating the afternoon

both dazzlingly bright and
somber blue beneath the
darkening day, far from night
but related to fading day.

Crucified, I fall into the open
arms of nothingness under
the silences of painful afternoon,
before the hesitant doom of one more day.



THE IDES OF FEBRUARY

#62
2-15-12/8/30/13

The Ides of February, or is it?
How many days does February
have in it this year?
But it seems

March is already here. So much
is to take place in March that it
seems like it has
already happened.

Where should I look for consolation?
The eczema existing in Fact or in Mind?
How to deal with it?
Other things can be worse.

Where shall we go to hide? Inside
the humming heater?
There’s warmth diverted with
finger-clipped gloves.

Don’t go. See if you can stand it
just a few months more.
Everything is in the process of altering.
Be patient with it.

Tickle the fingers, see if they exist
any place else on earth.



A DOOR DIMLY SEEN

or

A BOTTLE PRECARIOUSLY BALANCED

#63
2-16/17-12

I emptied the olive oil bottle and then
uprighted it.

A door dimly seen can be a metaphor
for most things in life.
However this metaphor happened last
night.

I was walking down a long hall in the
basement of the Burke.
Even before I got there the door at the
end seemed

familiar. Just an ordinary basement
door in an ordinary,
but well kept museum basement,
golden wood and locked

and familiar.

It’s where I used to pick forams, thought
I, the most beautiful,
sand grain sized and intricate things in the
world.

I spent a year or two, possibly three, picking them
for no reason at all,
only for their beauty, their variety, their intricacy.
No one was interested

in them at that time, the Oil Companies
had forgone their original use of time-lining
cores by their presence, but essentially no one needed
them any more.

But now, 10 or 15 years later,
five or six passionately interested young people
defended their territory in the Behind The Scenes Night at
the Burke.

“Climate change,” said one intense beauty.
"Foraminifera turn out to be a marvelously accurate
climate change scale."

But it was night and the door was locked. I had spent my time,
possibly even "pioneered" a bit, “Just looking at them for their beauty.”

There is nothing tinier, or more intricate than a foraminifera
castle on the end of your brush beneath a microscope --
trembling, as you got older and sent

the gems into space. Like the moon shots:
they were and, at the moment, are no more.
Human attention shifts.

The forams, tiny perfections of intricate architecture, remain the same,
in their billions, under and near the sea.
Each perfection, at times useful,

always,
like most sand grains, in danger
of being shot off into space.

The inverted olive oil bottle is empty now,
its silky shifting patterns of drainage
complete.

I must pick another.



PRECARIOUS ECZEMA

#64
2-17-12

I slipped into bed last night
and then began the fireworks.
The skin starts to prickle here,
there, within a few minutes
everywhere.

Sounds like sparklers
and fireworks,
and, a little, it is like that,
but then the itch triumphs
over all else --

the insatiable urge to scratch --
scratch until the blue white light of
Stop It!
reigns in the mind.
Unrestrained you could scratch

right through the top of your nice, flat,
still elegant foot. You moan and twist
and turn, pull the sheet up and
throw it down, nothing
stops the advance of the itch.

Nothing changes the burning fiery,
flaming, invisible advance of
itch, itch, itch,
the backs of your hands and
knuckles are crusty still.

Even though the red alligator skin
has calmed and shows areas of
normalcy, new itches rise in
white part of your forearms.
and back.

Just in bed --
if morning doesn’t come soon
surely you’ll die of
the fire and ice
of the itch.

Or not.
Which could be worse --
existing forever in a nettle
patch of itch?
or

being at peace inert, stone dead?



PRECARIOUS ECZEMA II

#65
2-17/18-12

It attacks me at night,
so it is very difficult to take it in stride.

It’s nothing you can quantify --
the energy you wake with
after an especially long,
successful
sleep

when the itch is in recession.
The morning is ice cold,
the wind howls, murmurs
whistles, whines.

Winter, the least favored of the seasons.
Or is it? I never met an Eskimo,
But many people choose
to live at subzero.

Why?



PRE CAR I

#66
2-18-12

Pronounced pre-car-ee,
makes one think of sleighs
and sleds and skating on ice.

No cars at all, like the streets of
Chautauqua, sub zero, its houses
shrouded in zip-up gowns of blue,
white, gray, zips for the doorway
and maybe a zip for one window
to keep the storms out, to way-
lay the snow.

Each turret and tower
modestly clothed, each
balcony provided for.

I didn’t stay long enough
to learn if they had an
unzipping ceremony

come spring.

I fled.



SLOWLY I’M LEARNING

#67
2-19/20-12

Slowly, I learn how little I know. Not about
the cosmos, not about the swath of time
marching across the world since the big
bang, not about “the big world,” not about

myself --“to thine own self be true,” not about
my id or my psychology, thinking habits, or
poetry whims, really, just about getting up in
the morning -- indecisively -- I’m supposed to

have a routine I follow, but sometimes I don’t:
peeing, brushing the cat -- his sweet, earnest face
raised in thankfulness. He did, after all, not meow
until 3:37AM, and calmed down after that. It takes

time deciding: what to cook, what to take from
the fridge, what to feed the cat, when to open
the computer, log in, be seduced by the “end
times” things happening in the world: murders,

wars, throats cut, rapes, ruling class indecencies,
a bit worse than the tragedies of the under classes
-- freezing in winter nights, frost bit noses. Who
knew when they would wake up dead

in the morning? But now we’ve switched
to my imagination, the news, even NPR,
doesn’t routinely cover the ragamuffins in the
parks or along the water ways. Why should they

care? I do because they are often in our former
pool house, now a picnic house -- they sleep on
the tables, not the cold concrete slab floors.
For now they’ve been banished -- for

rowdiness, bringing too many possessions,
cluttering up the park’s facilities. A few
of them I’ve talked with, a few of them,
I like a lot. But not excessively.

What would I initiate if I invited one into
my fifth floor studio on a particularly
cold night? I’ve slept out. Often, with a
a good sleeping bag, plenty of blankets,

it’s refreshing. During my years of great
adventures, crossing the country I’ve slept
in my car, in forests, on deserted roads,
in backyards, near abandoned houses

But it wasn’t involuntary. After the radio
gives me its deep dose of gloom and doom,
I snap it off and head to the computer on
its not too neat, not too messy, long white

table slab, and let my mind loose. The limbic
brain, poetry forming synapses, brain fractals
toss up images and thoughts that it seems too
brutal to deny. I write. What do people
who don’t write do? Just let it all slip

away through the interstices of the brain, dissolve in
the acid of remembrance, crumble in the dust with
the petals of ancient flowers? Seed-savers! that's what
they were talking about today on my favorite Sunday

morning committed radio programs. Billions of seeds
being saved against the rapacious Monsantos, the monster
patenting-the-food-you-eat entrepreneurs, so they can
diddle with the seeds that have come down to us almost

from the apes, and, impotent-ting them, sell them back
to you -- that is if you want, though a slow learner, to live.



EYES

#68
2-20-12

The eyes are deep in their sockets,
underscored by rings and bags --
not unattractive in that world
weary way.

They’re dimmed, of course,
and bronze -- or is that
green? All the para-
phernalia

of beauty, love and death
in the eyes has slipped
away into the years,
nothingness.

The eyes are dark,
the moon rises,
the night falls
who is...?



REPETITION

or

WHAT GETS ME ABOUT LIFE

#69
2-21/24-12

What gets me about life is that you have
to do the same thing over and over and
over and over again.

Right now I note #68, a number
of such significance that it will never die,
at least to people

of my age. 1968. the year when everything
happened -- the year when everything started to
happen.

I remember some years ago rereading my
diary from 1968 and being amazed
that everything

happened in that year. All the things of that time
that I thought took years and years and years
happened then,

not only then, but in a fairly short period of
1968. The Democratic Convention that blew up
into a riot...

And, interestingly enough, I get stopped right
there, I cannot remember now all the things
that happened

exactly then. They’re gone, evaporated in the mists
of time. Think of things in your life or the
life of the USA

or the life of the planet and, unless you wrote
it down, or in some form, memorized them
or are not 78 --

there’s not much you remember about the Twin
Towers falling down or Pearl Harbor of the
Second World War,

nor the Supreme Court Election of “W” --
the incident that shoved history over the edge and
began the present disaster.

Nor can you remember the leaving of John. Ah, but
you can! -- that memorial drive up to New York city
in the little red Apel,

in the thundering rain, the wet feet, the fog, the wind-
shield wiper going -- only on his side of the car. When
I asked him to fix

the other wiper, he had demanded: “What do you
need to see for?” And he never did fix it. I had to
leave to begin

to see on my own. I was 35 when I left for that
elongated drive through the rain, 35 when he
dropped me off,

gave me a kiss on the forehead (and not much else)
and sent me up in the elevator to Enid Eidenoff’s
Village apartment.

End of Marriage; Beginning of New Life. And,
speaking of repetition, pattern, note the date:

2-21-12

or

22112

One could play it on the tabla. Second go round...



REPETITION

or

LEARNING LATE IN LIFE

#70
2-21-12

One of the things I learned later in life,
when I moved among the
high achievers,

is that no one ever feels they have achieved enough,
enough anything, nor had enough recognition. At every
step on every rung

there’s hurt, there’s pain, there’s the shame of
being ignored, there’s the yearning to say some-
thing the world

will scoop up like a sutra and repeat -- endlessly
around the world and down through the ages.
When it happens

then you know -- it means nothing -- and again,
you begin to castigate yourself for failure, for
lack of.

Later on you begin to know “the lack of” is
the disease. You’ll never fill the lack of hole
enough to

last you even one twitch of envy or desire.
Up to 77 and a half I felt as if I had spent
my whole life

pandering.




REPETITION

or

ONE MORE THING

#71
2-22-12/8-30-12

It only gets worse and worse.
I do this and I do that, hoping it will help.
But, of course, it doesn’t. It only gets worse.
It’s a crying shame.

I’ll go nap and see if that changes the world.

Due for another bath?
I wonder.

Wrapping in a wet sheet, Heidi suggested.
“That’s what the Tibetans do,” said I
Though I doubt the Tibetans have eczema.

I don’t think the chickweed on the rash is doing any good.
It only gets worse and worse, I itch right up to a screaming
climax.

Do it one more time.



THINGS

#72
2-23-12

Even the books grow old.
They used to be my favorite companions,
Now my favorite companion is sleep:
Oblivious, deep, prolonged sleep.

I long to give the books away.
They still have great value:
What formed a mind between
about 16 or 17 and, let’s say, 77 --

60 years! And now,
I read no more. Not only are my eyes
dimming, the tiny letters becoming jumbled,
but the brain is jumbled, too.

What’s already in there is orderly enough.
But new stuff either just slides on by or
can’t, when push comes to shove, find
room. No room at the in-

put, though the output still seems to work
well enough. Still, I need Ann to tell me if
each poem is coherent enough to be of
interest to other humans, even of interest

to myself. Until she reads it, with her slow,
sensible, understanding-every-word voice,
it all seems crap to me, just what slides out
each day. But, of course, that is what my

intention is in all these “Plain Jane Poems.”
It’s a pursuit to find out what I really think,
what I believe. How I (a secular nun) see the world.
What else can a single human, female being, living in

an ivory tower (in an old nunnery), on the fifth floor on
the highest hill around (like others captured early on
by the Catholics for their monuments), in Wallingford,
Seattle, Washington, USA, do?



INGS

#73
2-24/25-12

I pet the white belly of the sleeping cat.
Ah! the luxury of a life spent sleeping!
What a waste! Cry the doers.

But, ah, at 78, I recognize its luxury.
To not care! To just do it. The luxury
of just wasting a life!

So much life! Too much life!
I can waste it
as I please.



NUMBERS
2012

#74
2-25-12

1915, 1918, 1925
Such numbers never came up in my day, and
1933
almost got away, too, but I arrived on 12-6-33
and have been here ever since.

I am very attached to that 33. 1933, not so much.
But 33, plain 33, may hold the significance of the universe.

What do I mean by that? Oh, mostly nothing. But an astonishing
array of things got done in 1933 -- read your American History books.

This begins to look like the Pyramid of the Sun, which I have climbed
at Teotihuacan.

Mayan hieroglyphic texts call it “puh” -- place of reeds (for handcrafts, writing).
1933 has powered the world, in a manner of speaking, ever since it happened.
So here I am!



NUMB

#75
2-26-12

Just beginning to feel numb
when the sun breaks out in a shine.
Half the day is gone.
What should I rant on,
blind and fond,
today?

Spent all night and mostly the day
listening to news and Noam.
Didn’t learn much,
but had to flee,
before the sun hit the wide prairie
between thee and me.



NEUTRINOS

#76
2-27-12

Sky rockets and lightning and sparklers and
explosions flash about -- the visible
uproar of my anger.
And

the sun is shining, gentle in the ice-cold air.
The room is warm, just a little draft
around my dwindling
buttock.

It gives me joy, despite the flaming anger at
the way of the world and all its constant
missteps, droppings --
uncontrolled.

If anyone ever doubted that we are simply one
more mistake, they need only live to 78
and absorb into the old
body

one mistake, one misstep after another along the
way to washing a dish, grinding a fruit drink,
lusting to get to the computer
to write this poem.



NOS

#77
2-27-12/8-31-13

Gandhi and me,
and not one superfluous
thing. Discard the adding machine.
Find, if you can, a subtracting machine.
Let’s get back to the naked body at the computer,
tossing up and batting, with my racquet of weariness,
one more ball -- and then, one more ball!
Smack it down, bury it with your
young girl’s desires.
Au revoir.



TIME SCALE

#78
2-28-12

I think the fever is passing.
I still itch, I still have red arms,
but the extreme heat seems to have
gone from the red arms and the red ankles.

Imagine! being on the way to health and recovery.
I can’t. I leave it to you. Old age seems to be full of
nothing but tending to the ever sick body, whose only
wellness seems to be inventing new kinds of sickness, up-

set, allergy, symptoms, some worse than others. Some maybe
worth dying for. Whose invention was it to push back life further
and further into eternity? Death is inevitable, who needs to live un-
til the flesh falls apart. A nice death at 69 or 70 would have been
perfectly acceptable.



TIME SCALE II

#79
2-28/29-12

Today we had sapote at the food bank.
The clouds move like a drum roll
through the sky.

I suffer, it seems,
with synesthesia, not knowing
if I see or hear.

Today, Nesbitt talked of
the size and enormous weight
of the dinosaurs,

and I, suffering with the itch,
and the ice cold weather (with snow)
manage to make it home and into

bed, with a crash like the seashore turning
to slush and ice and snow, feel
from bad to worse.

When does old age finally end?
Waiting for that “Now!” to
rumble through the skies
again.



SUICIDE

#80
2-29-12

I, who all my life,
felt confident that, when the time
came, I would take the easy way out,

now find myself trapped in an
agonizing body, paralyzed with
inability, even fear of

taking any way out at all.
“Seven hours left,”
said Martin when he called

“of February.” Of this leap
year, this day when Helen Sue
reminded me that Ruthanne

would, technically, be 17 years old
having been born on leap year day
17 times ago.



SUICIDE II

#81
3-1-12/8-31-13

My handwriting has changed --
if I allow it to be what it wants to be:
big and bold and angular.

Very different than the last 78 years,
which tended to be small, light and messy,
more decorative than informative.

I think I have changed -- right down
in my molecules -- since this
extreme diet of non-gluten, no dairy, almost

no starch, just vegetables and not much else,
with a little fruit, meat -- and I feel fine, even
though my eczema flares again and again,

here and there. It has faded some
today and the flaming heat seems to have
gone out of it.

I hardly dare hope I am on the mend.
It still itches mightily, and it’s hard
to keep my nails off of it.

But as long as I do, the itches lie dormant
beneath the surface layer of now goose bump
like flesh. From the toes right on up

is a complete body cover of all but invisible
(mostly neutral) bumps, which if molested
by my nails turns into the red carpet

which is the first stage of the eczema, but
even those red itchy splotches on my
thighs seem to have calmed down

a bit today. The diet? The emu oil?
All the good green vegetables,
including the rather ugly, club shaped

leaves of that really dark green, heavy,
almost leather like, though
small leafed, recently noticed kale?

I’m becoming capable of looking upon it
as one more adventure, one more dance
through being human and being alive.

The creepy crawlies really will get you,
if you move around too much on earth,
persist in drinking your coffee, eating

your beautifully manufactured, sweeter
than honey cake. Sit still now, and think
of suicide. Do you really want to go?



RACHEL MADDOW

#82
3-1-12

Rachel Maddow, the perfect embodiment of the
21st Century woman: beautiful, articulate, intelligent,
a Rhodes Scholar, right down or up to her lovely,

asymmetrical face, her modesty, her necessity to dress
down, a certain charming awkwardness from time to
time right out to her oft mentioned homosexuality.

What more could one ask of the vanguard of the new
woman, coming into her own -- at last! Paris will not go
out and rip apart worlds for her, but he might hire her

as an equal buddy for adventures everywhere in the world.
Time to move on and out from the women hating males,
the must-dominate sex. Kick him in the balls and let's go

resurrect the world, the whole world, spoiled by his
fearsome need to possess. He had some talent, but
it was far outweighed by vicious acquisitiveness.

Now that Rachel is here to charm the world
with her low-key superiority, her delightful,
quiet assertiveness, we can relegate him

back to his place, lifting boxes and carrying
heavy loads, using those muscles of a body
that can be beautiful, rather than jamming

up in a skull where he hasn’t the capacity
to learn or to share. Take him out of his
suits and, with a certain modesty,

expose his ugly masculinity, there
in the context, where one can
accept an appendage so
ridiculous.



THE DOW

#83
3-1-12

Have you ever seen pictures from the concentrations camps,
from the pogroms, or any other rounding up of naked
Jews? The chesty swagger is gone, and there’s that funny
little thing that swings at large half
way down every one of their bodies.

Such a tiny weapon with which to flog
a world,
to use as a weapon against the kindliness
and gentleness of women.

Let him, the American male, stand alone in the corner,
pathetic, nothing better to do
than guard his balls.



UPRISING

#84
3-2-12
for Steve Peters:
Installation in Suyama Space by Rick Araluce and Steve Peters
It doesn’t work until you put a little
effort into it. The curator didn’t want noise
especially not the ubiquitous noise of the 21st
Century which is called music.

So the room is silent -- almost -- full of
an airy jumble of pipes and joints which
form ubiquitous angles and jets to nowhere,
with just the hint of

ambient music -- which -- when one chooses an open
pipe to listen to, comes like pure liquid
streaming from snow up from the pipes below,
harmonizing

like the purity of a celestial chorus, up out of
the antiqued (painted to be) dirty old pipes,
drops of crystal honey, maybe from
earth’s center, maybe from

the effort of constructing something as
unprepossessing as the earth itself,
which gives sound of such purity as to make one
aware only of stillness.

Araluce has reconstructed, reconstituted, ersatzed
a semblance of old, left behind, pipes kinked
here and there, bound together, going equitably
nowhere and somewhere --

within which Peters has tapped into the
ephemeral music of their stillness -- beneath
the scarred old wooden floor
crystalline sounds seep up bewitchingly.



GHASTLY NIGHT

#85
3-3-12

Throughout the night, ghastly
tormenting, insatiable itch.
Why? Why? Why?
screams my put-upon psyche.
I toss, I turn, I scratch, I don’t scratch.
I swear I won’t get up, I won’t lie
down.

At last! I think I find that it is the Benadryl
that gives me the jerking, uncontrollable
muscle spasms. So after that last dose
I take no more Benadryl,
switch back to my ever-favorite
aspirin and finally get to sleep
about 3:00 AM.

Wake just after 6:00, feel better
for the four aspirin.
The red is receding from
my arms, I don’t so much
itch, but feel “gooey”
from all that oil and lotion
I used in the night to keep from itching.

I’m sick of writing these eczema poems.
It’s time to be well,
The poison is out of my system,
now I must continue the good diet
forever.
No more
Ghastly Nights.



HABITS

ONE WOULD LIKE TO DEVELOP
#86
3-4-12

God damn it! After 78 years and not much more,
I don’t understand how the world, the universe,
the ambient air, the molecules that make up this
whole mess, I don’t understand how they cannot,
at this late date, read my mind. Those tiny little
atoms and molecules, neutrinos, and hadrons, and
bits of bacteria -- since they are everything, how
is it that after 78 years, they can’t read my mind?

After all, if you can get it together enough to form
dinosaurs and hadrosaurs, what’s so difficult about
reading one puny human mind? We, we humans,
spend a lot of time trying to read your mind,* to
scrape out your secrets, to tweak things smaller
than we can see, further away than we can hear,
more oddly shaped than we can bear, and yet you
can’t meet us halfway, and clue us in on my mind

music? Seems unlikely to me. We conceived it right
off the bat and years ago, millenniums ago, “Let there
be light, and there was light.” So why make it so dif-
ficult for such a simple little thing like perceiving and
carrying out my intentions. Is it just that you want to
prolong your entertainment! is that all we are in your
creation -- just a bit of entertainment struggling to
figure out your mixed intentions, and then go home?

If you don’t speak my language, that’s a bit ridiculous
isn’t it. Don’t know our intentions! after you made us!
A stupid oversight!, maybe a crafty one. You ask if I
know the intentions of my children -- after parturition?
beyond a yelp for milk and a clean diaper. Humans
make children and then children do what they do --
often a complete mystery to the parents who made
them, even detrimental, often savagely untrue to what

they considered human nature. No such thing, you say,
It’s a flux. You do what you do today, tomorrow may
be different. You say but your elements remain the
same throughout eternity. But no one has ever proved
that, nor ever will. You‘ll be gone when the last atom
finally chooses to change -- or not. Besides we
all know about mutants. That’s how the world
got so full -- random mutation. Even if you

yourself remain the same -- and there are lots
of you -- still the random mutants over millions
and billions of years mutate. That’s how we got
not only red, but also pinkish and bluish red
flowers, though they, too, had opinions about their
color. I notice, now that I am rapidly losing weight,
that I had blown up, all unnoticed, to a substantial
size. So, though I didn't really notice the weight

gain while it was taking place, I now notice I am
shrinking down to a skinnier, insubstantial, fragile-
looking size, that I hardly recognize, let alone like
or dislike. And I itch tremendously now, randomly,
here and there, and my right ankle actually hurts
from too much scratching. Off to an oatmeal bath
soon.

* (And since you don’t have one we fail.)



PHONE CALL

#87
3-4-12

If Amy is dead, I am going to feel bad.
So, though Diana gave me her sister’s
phone number, I hesitate to call.

I’ve been calling Amy’s number for over
a week now -- no answer. Maybe it was
just an “episode” -- she’s had one before.

So now at 11:11 by my old computer clock,
I go to call Judy Caughey.
But still -- I don’t like to think of her as dead --

such a grand old spirit! I’ll miss her laugh and
she’ll miss mine. Why does one insist on living
in “reality”? I could not call and never know.

I try. No answer but an answering machine
for Judy Caughey. I leave a message, my voice
breaking and the tears starting up at every word.

I just ask Judy to call me and let me know if
“something” has happened to Amy. I guess my
heart is really touched and full of sorrow at the

thought of losing Amy after all these years.
I’ll miss our weekend chats, and laughter. PS.
My eczema seems better today, in much of

the scabbed places, it’s lost its color, but it
still itches like mad. Amy survived it for
many years, maybe I will too. I’m 10 years

younger than Amy. Later -- Amy is not dead,
but now lives in another section of the home,
an intensive care section. Judy said she is okay.



CALL AND RESPONSE

#88
3-5-12

I don’t seem to feel sorrow anymore,
or anything else for that matter. I only
find out how touched I am when, speak-
ing about my fears, the voice cracks and
the tears start up.

How utterly disciplined we Americans, we
older Americans, are. I think of all the weep-
ing, wailing and gnashing of teeth my younger
spirit indulged in, and now, no more. Whatever
happens is in the scheme

of things. It is. It just is. Makes me think how wise
Nick and I once were -- when we recorded that tape:
“What Is” 30? 40? 50? years ago. It’s like one knows
everything, always. It’s just that one doesn’t often, on tape,
articulate it. We were

recording it to use it, possibly, as the sound track for an experimental
movie we were about to make, but never did. And it makes one question
the whole idea of catching, preserving, using in a movie, a work of art, any-
thing at all. For it is always there, same thoughts, same ideas, same sentiments,
just a few years and a few whiskers added.



POUNCE

#89
3-6-12

Once again I live in heart stopping panic.
The eczema, the creeping crud, the inflammation
goes on and on, now engulfing my body from
top, under the hair, to toe.

I talk to someone on the night line at the Dermatology
Clinic at UW, right over here on Roosevelt Way, and
after several pauses, she tells me the first appointment
I can get is April 6th. I can’t believe my ears, after
all the emergency in my voice telling her about
the creeping crud, the itch.

The attitude seems to be -- wait awhile, you may die,
or maybe they believe in spontaneous cures -- if
everyone is casual enough, and waits long enough,
maybe you’ll find out there was no reason to panic
-- as you’ll be dead by the time they can give you
an appointment. As they said to John -- he begging
for attention to some accident, or emergency on the
chain gang in a southern prison, “Die and prove it!”

Then they have the nerve to make official and media
complaints about the poor using the Emergency Room
too often, too much. Well, honey! that’s what the regular
doctors encourage -- since they never have room at the inn
within days or hours of your having been shot, bleeding to
death: “Die and prove it.” Or go to the ER and get an aspirin
and be charged, either you or the taxpayer, $600 per visit.

So. What to do now?



OUNCE

#90
3-7-12

The sun shines. The mountains have disappeared.
The sun reflects murkily off the tall buildings.
The air is filled with smog? or just morning
mist? The building was so cold last night
that the furnace ran throughout the
night, making it cozy. I slept well.

Now I am awake again, ready
to write the first poem of
the day. I have begun
my Prednisone cure;
let it work, let it
function to
restore
my
skin.
I’m tired
of writing wails,
anguish, itch. I’m tired
of being a victim of 21st
Century fiddling with our natural
environment. Today they announce
that they have invented a new weed killer
to deal with the weeds that grew strong on
Roundup Ready Weed Killer. Does it never occur
to them to junk their nasty chemicals invented to try
to out-smart nature? Fail! you stupid brutes! and if you
take humanity with you via your chemical playing -- well
Why not?



NUANCE

#91
3-8-12

I’m glad to be on the antibiotics/steroids
for this moment, so encouraged to see the raging red rash
calm down, and maybe, indeed, go away -- at least for now.

At 78 one begins to care less and less about tomorrow --
just give me this day, this peace, this moment to reflect that
nothing lasts forever -- including life, human life.

Thank God -- or any other mythical beast.
I suppose the thanks are actually due to the structure of
the molecules, which 99 times out of a 100 don’t misfire.

As I look back on my life of occasional itch, hives, festers,
scratching, skin anguish, I wonder why I have picked up
such a load of that 1%.



NUANCE II

#92
3-9/10-12

I see so clearly: me,
wearing that plain, knit fabric,
sleeveless beige blouse. I had it for years and do
not remember parting with it; yet it has been gone for an
unremembered timelessness.

When Dr. Hurst was
questioning me about some burning
burn from the sun that I might have suffered even
long ago, I eventually got to the wearing of that blouse: sleeveless
so there was a definite line

where the sunshine
could fall on my skin and where it was
blocked. The tops, outsides and backs of the arms
were naked to the sun, and the straight line dividing the red from
the white is right where

the arms hang next
to the body. No light in there. It’s called
photo-topic burn and it has educated the cells, so that
even 30 or 50 years later they know, when keyed, how to do it again,
from whatever cause --

some inflammation in
the body. Why is it that my body is
all aflame? Now? After I’m almost 80? Was
it coffee, sweets, meats? a few nips at grass and mushrooms?
What on earth has

made me so toxic -- so
that my molecular identity is that
with the Toxic world? The beige blouse, a walk
someplace in the burning sun. Not, I think, the walk
through the Alps, when

John wanted to minus my weight
from the ailing WABO motorbike. No.
I had, then, long sleeves which I could, and did, pull down.
It was a matter of pulling them down.



NUANCE III

#93
3-10-12

Yesterday Shiva-purna and I shared a chicken
which was even labeled “No Antibiotics” in its
feeding. I’ve not been eating chicken lately -- scared
of those antibiotics. But since I am now

filled with Prednisone, it probably doesn’t make
much difference. Shiva-purna gets the white meat,
which is too “chalky” for my taste and I eat the dark. One
chicken does us for two or three days.



NUANCE IV

#94
3-10-12

Feel inspired all over,
as if I were about to start a new project.
I wonder if that is the creative juices
or
the Prednisone.

I have no topic in mind,
no story,
nothing
to say.

So why the feeling of falling into a creative maelstrom?
What would I write if I had something to say?
What long-term project could come along
that would keep me occupied (like JOCASTA)
for 50 years?

Can one hope for two in a lifetime?
Especially starting the second
at 78?

Doubtful.



NUANCE V

#95
3-11-12

I feel like I am ruining my mind, my mental
faculties, my intelligence, my ability to think
2 + 2 equal four, by listening to the radio,

the news coming from TV over the computer
hour by hour by hour, which I have become
stunningly addicted to. The bad news, the deaths,
the wars, the tragedies, the mistreatment of one


human being by another. I am packed with bad
news and even just this morning, I learn that
some of the radiation let loose in the air since

Hiroshima may be causing the rampant
increase of eczema, other skin diseases,
other rottings of our DNA, alternations.


Why do I keep listening when I know the
very structure of the information is such
that in no way can it be useful? A dog

dying one minute, an explosion of a whole
town the next, a woman chained to a bed
to give birth in prison next to a tale of
repeatedly surviving gang rape.


The human mind doesn’t deal that fast, the very
speed of the information cancels its significance.
But where to go? Into blind, deaf muteness, into

isolation more than I already know? Music has
been ruined for me by inserting it between every
other sentence of bad news. So that one cries out
not only to stop the injuries, but to Stop The Music

the too rhythmic, the too blaring, the too wailing
interspersed with the noise we used to delete
from our musical tracks.

The world and I have nothing to do with each other anymore.
Interesting to forget everything I think just as I think it.
The winds blow.
The Phoenix Lights flash.
My skin creeps with the cold.




NUANCE VI

#95A
3-12/12-5-12/3-12-13

I’m so mellowed out with good feelings -- I don’t
know if it is the Prednisone or the spice
and almond/hemp
drunk in the morning
with turmeric,
but I “feel” creative.

Not that I have anything more to say
than the usual blank. I just feel good.
In spite of the itch and the eagerness
to tear my flesh with fierce nails.

The vision persists of the beige blouse,
and the fearsome sunburn -- wearing it.
Or was it driving for those many years
with my elbow hanging out over the

window sill. In any case, it is the two
upper arms, near the shoulder
and the deltoid muscle, that cry out

with itch itch itch, as if they
did not get scratched enough
when they were first burned.

--------

I was born the day after Prohibition was repealed.
Odd fact. One wonders if “it was written.”

--------

I certainly don’t act in the Prohibition mode, even
though, for the most part I don’t drink.

--------

I just wanted to make a note of it. All sorts of little
conjoinings lately. I suppose I have just lived long
enough to have a memory for most things that cross
my path.

--------

Yesterday, Johnny Cash singing: I WALK THE LINE
on the radio, the day before a Beatles’ song or two.

--------

And I never listen to music on the radio, and certainly
never knew how emotionally attached and moved I
am to the music of the ‘60s --
but everyone is.

--------

As they no doubt will be to the music of the 10’s of the 21st,
except I don’t listen to enough music, or like enough of it to
remember what it is.

--------

Time passes and passes, one can almost feel the breeze of every
new memory as it’s laid to rest in an aging disintegrating brain.



NUANCE VII

#96
3-13-12

I glance to see where I am -- 5 short of 100 poems
for the year -- Should I rejoice? And the itch marches
on. Just about an hour since I took my first dose of just
2 Prednisone. Does it make me itch? Or does the minimizing
dose make me itch? Or is it God dousing me with the seven plagues
of being alive?

It’s supposed to snow today. I feel myself almost holding my breath
waiting for the fine white flakes to fall. Getting the urge to walk south down
Lake Union -- to the end -- to town? And then what? Bus back. Shall I invite
Margaret? Or am I getting too dependent on companionship in what used to be
my pleasure in solitary walks? I seem to be cheering up. But also am constantly
afraid that the itch is not abandoning me as it should with the powerful AMA
medicines. It’s really just another full body itch this morning after 2 pills and a
serving of stir-fry veggies with cow.

My brain feels really emptied out. Is that good or bad? I have all the time and the will
and the talent to go on writing forever, but it becomes more and more meaningless to
me. Convert everything in the world into words? Odd occupation. But still better in my
mind than wasting time talking to others. What is there left to talk about? The world has
come to an end even before its predicted time.

I want to cry, I want to weep, but there’s no point. I really want to stop itching. That’s
what I want to do. Stop itching from deep within. The elbow out the car window. That
haunts me now. I drove like that for years. Did I cook my arm?



NUANCE VIII

#97
3-13-12

Suddenly I see myself going into the library at
the Volunteer Park SAAM, as I used to do to
study Oriental Rugs.

Where are the hundred million things that have
dropped out of my consciousness? I once was so
passionate about this and that. Must know! Must
search and possess -- and now? -- now, no curiosity,
energy.

Just energy to walk and walk -- is that a result of the
healing -- one hardly dares say “healed” -- knee?
Walk while you can before the next attack.

Is nutmeg that powerful? I have been fixing a hot
drink each day with Almond milk, Hemp milk, water,
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, cumin,
and each day feeling a little euphoria
behind or before or underneath or above
the itch.

I think I’ve lost more weight. The ankles are
getting very slim. I don’t remember being this
slim, when I am surely at least 150 lbs heavy.

Back to bed?
Stand on my head?
I’m too well read.

My right foot itches mightily right where the
sole joins the top of the foot on the right side,
the skin a bit coarse and dry,

And then the head.
Should I leap in the tub and soak it all away?
Seems a pity having just put on the Sarna and the
Clobetasol Propionate.
Is this the final straw? or should I just go back to bed?
or watch (again)

THERE SHALL BE BLOOD.



NUANCE IX

#98
3-13-12/9-1-13

As one gets older everything becomes a transport into the past,
the future, the found, the neglected, the coddled, the loved,
the obsessed over, the mind, the remembrance, the wished for,
the lost, the long ago, the longed for, the rejected or elected.
Vivid images flare up, from any point, of people, places, passions,
obsessions, emotions felt, anguishes suppressed. One begins to see
the whole mesh: everything connected to everything else: Indra’s Net.

I have forgotten that image for a long time and, as I call it up now,
or, as it spontaneously springs into life, I’m not certain what it meant.
Everything is connected to everything else, every point is the center of
the universe? So obvious -- it’s not worth mentioning: the
whizzing molecules. All the molecules of the universe whiz
this way and that, become one thing and then another, all, all
of it so clear and obvious, why mention it at all, all, all all all all all.

All my imagery, all my thoughts come out in the shape of Shang bronzes,
pots? Golden metal, shiny, strong, bronze pots, each shape having
a sacred meaning, and a sacred name.

Rest here. Don’t go on.



NUANCE X

#99
3-14-12/9-1-13

Lately I’ve been amazed at how clean
vegetables are -- and fruits.
Up through the dirt they come,
or
down from the trees they fall.
And though their contact points with the earth
may include dirt, inside their jackets or clusters or packets
they remain remarkably clean,
while they feed on dirt,
on dirt made up of the molecules of
the bodies of their forebears.
How then can a rotten apple or potato
make one sick?
What is the process of death and decay?
of falling away from the healthy norm?

What is the exact point where it turns from an
overripe peach, to a putrid peach?
Why should it matter?



NUANCE XI

#100
3-15-12

The Ides of March -- not so different from other days,
grey sky, grey clouds, grey mood, rain drops, not endless,
but there, definitely there. Seattle is famous for its rain,
and well it should be, even now, not falling hard, it leaches
all the color from the necklace of rubies running south.

Raindrops have no color, but they refract, or reflect, or
absorb. They let you know they are there, and do quite
contribute to the ubiquitous greyness, the somber mood.
I’ve lapped up my morning vegetable mash, listened to
the lewd murder and war reports. So off I go now, for

a stroll around grey Greenlake, by myself. I’m loving
Margaret's company lately on my every other day walks.
But also miss the solitude, the head down, neck withdrawn
into my big fuzzy coat, water trickle, thoughtless head,
wandering legs, all alone out in the sad weather of

the Ides of March.



ONE DAY

#101
3-15/16-12
(re: ...the 16 Afghanis: 3 women, 4 men and 9
children killed by a US Soldier who "...just lost it...” at the
beginning of his 4th deployment)
One day, sooner or later, we’re going to learn
that going to war destroys lives!
In my day, the phrase was “destroys the lives of people who...”
but now it’s been shortened to just “...lives...”
destroys lives,
hurts lives,
costs lives.

And yet we don’t learn. We send men and women off to war to
witness, cause and suffer the most horrendous injuries, spectacles,
emotions, see heart wrenching scenes -- which we expect them to
withstand, to come back, whole or, at worse, mended, and always,
either are or pretend to be, shocked that their lives have been
irrevocably changed, destroyed, found unsalvageable, that
some have become monsters to themselves, and to others;
that they want to do nothing, no further participation,
or they want to Kill! Kill! Kill!
-- and we’re the ones that trained them to do it.

Who’s to forgive us?



TODAY

#102
3-16-12

The sun has managed to come out. But the mountain remains hidden.
The wind sighs around the eaves, bright and white clouds move north.
“I’ll meet you there,” I feel like saying, but I won’t, not at this moment.

I’m going to sit here at the computer with the sun on my back, warming
flesh. It’s enough. One more empty day to fill. I'm learning to like the emp-
tiness, or, better stated, “learning to not want to change the emptiness. Let it
be. Let it be. Let it be.”

Someone in an old (3-7-11) Newsweek finally wrote the article I have been
waiting to read or felt I must write myself, i.e. “I Can’t Think!” by Sharon Beg-
ley, about the overload and monstrous rapidity of tidbits and tragedies pouring

into our brains from all sides at maximum speed. Not only does it prevent one from
thinking or understanding but, indeed, alters the structure of the brain -- right to the
point where we'll no longer be able to think. Everything just whizzes by like bed

frames in a hurricane. The spectacle is quite flashy, attractive, but the grasp,
the understanding, the interweaving it into one’s own fiber of being is strictly
impossible. All the detritus flying around in the hurricane lies suspended in the air

-- until it cools, stops whirling, and is no more. Everything is worth letting go. Is there
anything worth retaining? “No,” say the rivers, the deluge, the avalanche, the nuclear
explosion! Volcanos can do it, why not we!



WHAT DAY IS THIS?

#103
3-17-12

After glorious sunshine, almost all the way through our glorious walk yesterday
from here to Fremont and back, we are back to the rain pouring down. It
doesn’t exactly inspire me to go out walking in it, but I will.
Grit teeth.

My itch is still here, but subsiding. My right knee hurts again from yesterday’s
walk. I must remember that all the rest of my shoes, except the FlipFlops,
distort the lie of my leg. Wear only FF’s for maximum knee
recovery.

The mind is blank, the heater pants and hums, the cool air caresses my thighs.
The body breathes deep, wants to meditate, do nothing. What god can I
call on this morning to lend me at least a minimum ration of
inspiration?

You were a fool to keep talking to me yesterday, after my attention had flown.
But flown intention is now the way of -- the rhythm of the water-soaked
world. My eyes close into sleep as I type. I’m calm, I’m
hollow.



IS THIS?

#104
3-18-12

Every time I move I do something wrong.
I want to cry, I want to scream
and kick my heels. I want to gnash my
teeth and insist the universe make it right.
Why subject a little old lady to the indignity
of always being wrong?

I put a bottle on the counter, the contents
splash out. I spray water on a plant and
the hose guides most of it off the
counter onto the floor. What is the point?
-- of movement, of trying, of dignity,
of gravity. The whole world seems
askew to me. Very likely I am askew
to it. No one told me it would be like this.
Maybe no one knew.

A million years, more or less, on the earth
and the environment can’t read the intentions
of its prime suspect.

Is this kosher?



IS THIS? II

#105
3-18-12

I don’t really want to go on. I don’t want to force
myself to change moods, to impose from without
subject matter for this poem, the next. In this low
grey, humdrum, spiceless world, I am willing my-
self to be willing to wait until the mood shifts.
Enough whip-cracking over my own head.

They used to call me driven. I never knew what
they meant. Didn’t everyone force themselves to
get out of bed, to do this or that, to form a project
or complete a dull letter? How were you to live with
out force and drivenness? Well, now I am finding out.
I just mosey from thought to thoughts, idea to ideas.

That’s enough. Don’t do anything. Most of the world
was made with forced labor, and I was willing and able
to be a part of that conspiracy. But now you say you’re
not. You don’t want to do anything anymore except
what bubbles up out of contentment, i.e. Nothing.
You want to do nothing at all from restlessness,

from initiative. Sit, like the clay lump you are, and let the rains
pour, melt you back into the ground like the Sphinx of Giza,
“Horus of the Horizon.” Everything melts back down to mud,
sand, a breath of air. Why should you be different? You put too
much passion into making things. Now there is nothing more to be
made. Preserved. Relax. Hold your foot, hold your knee. Stop limping

through life. There’s nothing more to do, no rock under
which to hide or boulder to lie beside. Enough! You’ve done
enough. I never really thought I would grow so beyond the pale
that I no longer understand much of what younger people, or just
other people are talking about -- in tones so rapid that the human brain,
my human brain, can’t follow well enough to consider, to muse upon to
come to terms with.



IS THIS? III

#106
3-18/19-12

Hey guys, pay no attention to all that Judeo⁄Christian⁄primo male
folderol. You had to have a mother to get here. Nor can you get
here without a body. If you have a body, it came from a mother.
Do not let them kid you that male got created first, then gave up
one little rib to get a companion. Look around, see for yourself.
All mothers come first, all mothers come before children. From

women come babies. From babies the human race was off and
running. Men had to invent their genealogy and wrote -- when
writing was invented (very likely by a woman) -- a bunch of
nonsense around the 4th or 5th Century B.C., trying even
then to justify their envy and hatred of women -- who
had it all: the ability to make babies, to sustain life,

patience and the wherewithal to do the house work, cook meals,
become warriors if they so chose -- not many did. They preferred
the hand of friendship and a good heart to heart. Men tried to trick
women into hating each other, but they didn’t. They needed the recipe,
the help with the kids more than they needed antagonism. After hunting
(running around all day long) the men came home no more than shells,

with nothing better to do than lounge about until we all ran out
of meat, the kill, the meta protein that men insisted on finding, getting,
killing and hooting about. They were stampeded by that funny little thing
between their legs. They thought it was god, paradise enow, sacred, a template
for building peculiar buildings. But of course they were mistaken. Their voices
improved if it was cut off, or at least carefully cut into and hid in their pants, but
they never could have children. Who knows who your daddy was? Ask Eve.



IS THIS? IV

#107
3-19-12

Eat Fat, says Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
from Russia, “Eat Fat,” saturated fat, animal fat.
Eat Fat.

And I think, having gone to the Gauguin exhibit today,
that I am finished with art. I just can’t think of any reason
for me to go and look at any modern, so called Art,
nor even to go again to see “the old masters” like Gauguin.
Art, pictures, paintings, sculptures don’t seem to speak
to me anymore.
What does?
The sunshine, taking a walk. I seem to like people better,
but they just don’t interest me.

I find I am thoughtful about Dimitra having died, about two
months ago, even though I hadn’t thought of her in years.
One of the anchors of my youth. She’s the one for whom
I began to write JOCASTA, 50? 60? years ago.
She, again, was marvelous to look at and to hear
again, in her 70s, on THE STING dvd in the bonus features.
Odd I should be looking at it just now.
I must have checked it out just about when
she had just died. I had never seen the whole thing before.

It was pleasant spending the afternoon with HS,
even though the Gauguin show was not of much interest:
very overproduced, the works represented -- minimal,
badly labeled, so one didn’t know if much
of the sculpture was G's or traditional Tahitian stuff.



OBIT

#108
3-20-12

Dimitra is dead -- since January 26, 2012
Amazing. Hadn’t thought of her in years.
Recently checked out THE STING from
the SPL -- only when I finally looked at it
did I realize I had never before seen the whole thing.
It turns out, Loretta Salino was Dimitra’s most notable role.

Mostly because of the famous duo, Newman and Redford,
starring in what turned out such a fun, caper film, a “camaraderie”
thing to have done. Probably, it was also Julia Philips’ capstone.
Just then was when I knew her. “Most of my friends,” she said one day,
meaning her high school chums, “are dead...” of an overdose,
or petty crime, or disappointment or suicide.

Julia shared with Dimitra
fine talent, beauty, and a drama of presence.
Yet it did not suffice to catapult Dimitra to the top of
the heap in Hollywood. Pity. She would have liked that.
She was the origin of my beginning to write JOCASTA --
for her. I didn’t get it done until 50 years too late.

However, Julia danced among the stars for quite a few years,
until finally compelled to write:
“YOU’LL NEVER EAT LUNCH IN THIS TOWN AGAIN.”
Amazing -- the gossamer threads that web us all together.
My career is much like Dimitra’s, some notable things,
but never shooting-star fame. And what is fame anyhow?

I had enough to know what it tastes like: mostly, like now --
when I can neither smell nor taste -- it was tasteless.
What for?
Dimitra’s obit reminds me she had a sister. I think, whatever
her name was, she was known as Billy, an interior decorator of
excellent good taste. Alone now, with the dramatic Dimitra gone...

I think Billy had a husband but no children. No children for Dimitra
nor Julia nor me. We all agreed on that somehow, though we never talked
about it. It was not a sacrifice. It was a joy to be a grown up, free woman
on the way to fame. Who wanted kids on the pursuit path to glory?
Art.
And now, many are dead -- the mid 70s are lethal. Those of us
who go on living, like me, no doubt, have lost the sense of ambition,
other necessities of fame and fortune.
We spend the days being reminded
of long ago, other things. Maybe the apogee is:
Lack of elevated fame develops along the way:
honesty.



WINTER’S OBIT

#109
3-21-12

We’ve officially dropped into spring,
so I can no longer marvel at how early all the blossoms are.
Maybe none of them were early.
We were simply unprepared by the mild discomfort of
this winter into thinking it had not yet arrived, therefore
had not passed. All the mad profusion of the crocuses
were, maybe, quite on time.
It’s my time sense that is askew, not nature’s
and yet, all is different.
A twenty+ foot high bush of camellias,
so covered with blossoms, that one was stopped in one’s
tracks -- even though, when I first noticed the bush, half
of the flowers were already tinged with brown.
And there they still are. We are left with the nagging
suspicion that Global Warming is skewing our seasons.
But we, here in Seattle, are grateful --
for every splash of sunshine, each radiance of
blossoms,
though it still snows elsewhere with devastating effect.
And the earth shakes 7.9 in Mexico.



WRITER’S OBIT

#110
3-22-12

I have forgotten almost everything:
the names of my best friends, the titles
of my favorite books. My mind has become
like those old punch cards for early
computers,

except the holes are filled with
blankness. My conversation has become
one hesitancy after another, waiting
for the blanks to fill in, and
sometimes

they do -- seldom at the time,
but later, next day, next week, next year.
When memory vanishes from the mind,
where does it go? -- since it wasn’t
there,

no where to be seen, in the first
place, not smelt, nor felt, nor touched,
nor tasted. It existed somewhere,
vaguely between the ears.
Now

there’s a pleasant peace there,
one no longer has to
struggle to maintain
a civilized
mien.



WRITER’S OBIT II

#111
3-22-12

Most of my experience comes from the movies.
Life and death, all those things others write about.
Except

I did watch my mother die.
We sat with her breathing with difficulty
until her head lapsed to the side
and she was gone.
Quietly.

The pain didn’t come until later.
In the night.
And while chanting.
Looking at the winter blue sky,
though it was May.

Then, eons of agony,
crying, longing, yearning.
As if they were an exceptionally clever
misreading of my peacefulness.
Indifference.

But I never saw anyone else die.
Did not want to.
There were a few corpses of
kittens when I was
young.

The big bodies of dead
horses beside the river, up there
in Kathmandu.
Why?
Where

did they come from? What did
they intend to do with them? -- there
beside the river --
the image still alive in my eyes --
memory.



WRITER’S OBIT III

#112
3-23-12

The world, it seems, is coming apart at the seams.
As of this week the coup de grace
may be
one murdered black boy, Trayvon Martin,

so adorable it breaks your heart just
to look at him, his smile, his sparkling eyes,
his joyous aliveness in a dozen
photographs.

And his known killer still not even arrested:
known who he is
known where he lives
though we have also heard he was
packing up to head on out.

35,000 people gathered in Sanford today
to protest Trayvon’s killing.
And still no arrests.
Odd!

What’s going on behind the scenes there? --
February 26th is almost a month ago.
Will arresting Zimmerman
bring down the whole Bush clan?
What’s big enough to shield
a known killer?

Hmm. It seems the USA is about to implode
or explode or both.
The opening day after day of multiple
cans of worms goes on and on
and on.



WRITER’S OBIT IV

#113
3-24-12

I do not engage with my society
at all.
I take some delicious cream and some
tasty nuts and live in my elegant tower

above the town, above the city, up into
the clouds. I’m not happy, I am not sad.
I marvel that I have been so clever as to
arrange my life of total freedom from care
or want or desire. Only when I listen to the

media, which I do a lot of, do I find the 10,000
things on this earth that lead to despair. Shut off
the radio, the computer, the CDs and the DVDs
for silence

and the world looks beautiful, even though, in
Seattle, it is mostly grey.



WRITER’S OBIT V

#113A
3-24-12

Which is to say, that unless bad and sad things happen
to human beings, there’s not much to say about them.

One can sing the praises of nature, endlessly, and if one
does not look at the animal movies on the computer, one

can consider it quite idyllic.

Yet, Shiva goes though his whole “range of motion” seemingly
without provocation or motivation -- much like me. He is not

happy, he is not sad. The timer buzzes for me to go hang the
laundry. I’ll do that, calmly, walk down the hall, load the wet
stuff into my arms and return.

I now function on automatic pilot. I used to be interested
in everything, now I am interested in nothing.
Humming along in neutral.




THE FOUR STRING POEMS



WRITER’S OBIT VI

#114
3-24-12

How long can you maintain an interest in spots?
Little red spots here and there, big red spots, lines of
spots, circles of spots, blotches of spots. Just how
long can you keep researching them?
Eventually spots just ooze or skip or silently remove
themselves from consciousness.

And you’re left with a slightly damaged body --
or not. No damage at all, just clear skin,
a vague remembrance of itch
and nothing more.
Nothing more.
Nothing more.

Such is life in the mode of
lack-of-interest.
Or
living without coffee.

All those poems at the bottom of
each coffee cup, now
unsought,
unchallenged.

Well, maybe I am waking up
just enough to begin
to want
desire
again,
need
something to
do.
Hmmm.
HHH coming,
I’ll
ask her.



WRITER’S OBIT VII

#115
3-25-12

I sit on my bed on the floor in the loft thinking I must
go downstairs and turn on the lights
so I know I’m alive.

I’m still alive,
I brush the cat.
I eat an apple.
I wash the dishes.
Songs of silence
and despair

But not really.
Really peaceful.
Nose stuffed,
eyes dim
and dimmer.

The heater
pushes its hum,
the lights shine
into the giant
plant leaves.

It was spring all day long.
Daffodils.
Crocuses.
Grape hyacinth.
Flowering quince
in its exquisite
shade of
flowering quince.

I can no longer smell.
I miss the fragrance of spring.
I miss more than that.

The night is black,
the lights sparkle in tiers.



WRITER’S OBIT VIII

#116
3-25-12

It’s time to go to bed.
I’ve watched movies
and done work
through the night.

I turn off the panting
of the heater
I think of tigers,
Blake’s tygers
burning bright
in the silence
of the night.

Almost everyone else’s
poems are about
someone else.
Mine see only
beneath my skin.
Thy skin is opaque.

Beautiful, perhaps,
but like chalk
making up
cliffs
around
Dover

and other
terminal
places.



WRITER’S OBIT IX

#117
3-25-12

Bathing
to radio sound
in the night

the
BBC
Anyone else up
to listen
to thee?

They figure
the audience
IQ
goes up
exponentially
in
the night.

I think
of Amy
intermittently

dead
or
alive.
My
acquaintance
dwindles.

“Just thee and me,”
I say to
Shiva
(the cat)
in the night.



WRITER’S OBIT X

#118
3-25-12

Mentioned to HHH
today, as we walked about town,
my desire to paint
all the houses of
Seattle
yellow.

Bright yellow,
mellow yellow,
soft radiant
slightly orange
yellow,

the yellow of sunlight
coming from the blue
sky,
lemon yellow,
forsythia yellow,
daisy yellow,
jonquil yellow,
daffodils,
pansy yellow,

every house,
chock-a-block
throughout
the (often)
gray
grey
over-clouded
city,

every house, bright yellow
so no one ever
doubts again,
that Seattle
wakes
up
for
spring.



WRITER’S OBIT XI

#118A
3-25-12

Halley Hawley Hughes
is not my niece’s name
but should have been.

Born in the year of
Halley’s Comet
to
an astronomer mother,
a theoretical physicist father,
destined to have
a piano playing
brother and a
Nanny Aunt Poet
she grew up to
become a
lovely
Rosa.



WRITER’S OBIT XII

#119
3-25-12

Thai dinner with Neill and Margaret --
hear his tales of FiLMiC Pro,
his travels, adventures
new success, new learning.
Both Neill and his mother,
Margaret
very bright people.
Maybe I’m coming back to life.

Who knows, only tomorrow
will let me know if my
Prison Project matters,
and -- Matters or Not
-- Who cares.
It’s fun
to
think
about, fun
to do.



WRITER’S OBIT XIII

#120
3-26-12

School starts again today:
Vikram, Arch 251
Non Western Architecture.
My 15th? 16th? who knows
how many years I have
spent in that glorious class.

So here I go again. Haven’t
talked with V since he’s back, I'll
just be in class. Or might go see him in
his office before class. But I think not.
Just the little old student who is always
there.

I am feeling eons better. Had my first
regular meal last night since beginning
the non-gluten diet. Maybe all I need
is some ordinary nourishment. Itch
a lot, but aside from that, feel better.

Beginning to fall in love with my
Prison Project, eager to work on it.
Hmm, maybe this really is the project
I’ve been looking for. But if all goes
right, I would soon be eliminated from
it. The classes should just take place,
the prisoners should just be allowed
and helped to begin to study, and helped
in all ways to overcome, in many cases
childhoods without opportunity.

Let them study, learn and enjoy life.
No sweat.



TODAY’S ITCH

#121
3-26-12

It’s warm, I’m hot, the day
skips along
new class
old friendship
mind blank,
sorry Kat backed out
from coming
to
class.
Sorry
Dimitra is dead
New Project bouncing
around in my head,
enough
poetry
for
today.
Namaste.



IT’S HARD TO BE OBJECTIVE

#122
3-27-12

My cat lacks a certain objectivity at 7:15 in the morning.
Shiva-purna wants it known, with a certain whine, that
he considers it his right and his privilege to be fed first
thing each morning.

And not only fed, but brushed as he is eating. He thinks
even poetry needs to take second place to his desires.
I try to be up front with him about the fact that I am,
perhaps unnecessarily,

a little slow in getting his plate on the floor, because I
am warming it on the heater, so it is not ice-cold
-- with the danger his elegant tongue might stick to it if
he licks it too soon.

Other than that we are in agreement, that 6:00 AM
is the appropriate time for waking, coming to life,
being here, and 7:00 o’clock is the appropriate time
for both him and me

to begin our daily round of eating. I usually try to have
something in the cupboard thawing by then, kidney or
cat food, but at times he needs, like this morning, to wait
awhile for the thawing.

In the meantime, he has almost always a dish sufficiently
supplied with his dry food -- which he adores. Especially
if eating it draws me to be his brushing attendant. So why
not apply the brush

and spoil the cat? A constant cascade of purring is my reward
-- as if I needed a reward for pleasing the cat, even a non-ob-
jective, slightly whining cat, purring as his blue eyes stare
into mine.



GLUTEN

#123
3-28-12

My stomach hurts terribly this morning.
It didn’t at first, but after exercising and
getting up it has decided it is not only
full of gas but full of pain as well.

What to do? Soda water, a shit, burping?
I suspect it might have all been caused
by gluten in the yeast I ate yesterday to
dress my salad. A mistake.

But it is relatively nice to know that the
non-gluten diet is keeping me away from
this kind of stomach ache which I haven’t had
since I started it in February.



IT’S ALL IN THERE SOMEPLACE

#124
3-29-12

Busily, in the morning, peeling a -------?
I still can’t name it.
Attacking it with my peeler, I off, rather
unevenly, the outer skin: pale, dirty, lemony
gold, gone, it reveals the white,
very slightly golden, inner flesh.
All the time, as I hit, gently
and peel, caressing the -------? with my hand.
I still cannot name it.

The loss of memory is an extraordinary thing. Who
knew you could hold a thing in your hand, that you
know you know, and work with it -- you’re going
to bake it -- and yet not be able to name it. You
scrape and scrape, and gently hack and core a bit
with the rounded tip of the peeler. You’re not
trying to make it 100% naked. You know,
if you so choose you could eat the skin,
the outer layer is no different than that
beneath. You know grandmother
was partial to this common
uncommon vegetable, and
Mother, too. You peel it
all, except a few spots
of the dirty golden
yellow, slightly
embedded
flecks. After
all it is a
root vege-
table fair-
ly mild.
And still
no name.
You
step
away
do
some-
thing,
else.
Wash-
ing
your
hands:
aha!
a
par-
snip!



SOMEPLACE, SOMETIMES

#125
3-30-12

I’m wandering this morning,
here and there, between the kitchen and the studio,
back and forth, unable to settle.

My mind, too, is wandering,
here and there, settling on nothing, not even a fertile
nothing, just a blank, darkness of blankness.

No feeling, no thoughts, no urgencies --
almost an eye-closing wish to return to bed, sleep, oblivion.
A common happening -- now at 78.

I feel I repeat myself endlessly but, too,
there is very little input in my life. Wandered all day yesterday,
from Earthquakes to TJ’s -- where they had not

saved two jars of coconut oil for me. My icebox
grows emptier and emptier. Only as I write this do I realize what an
ancient term “icebox” is -- what cool kid of today would

even recognize it? -- probably known only by deduction
or via the movies. Ice Box. Big blocks of ice delivered with tongs lifting
them from the straw on the truck bed, wedging it into

the rectangular compartment at the top of the fridge --
cut from a pond and expected to last, I forget, how many days? a week?
a month? From TJ’s to the eye doctor, where I was told:

Not to Worry, even though I was a bit terrified by my sight
growing constantly and rapidly dimmer and grayer. “Just cataracts,” he assured
me, “easily operable when the time comes.” He and the doctor he’ll

recommend (he doesn’t operate anymore) have done thousands.
Next appointment he suggests: six months hence. In September -- a logical time
to decide on an all gray world or surgery. My sister, I believe,

is now blind in one eye due to duo cataract operations. When I
mention this to Dr. N, he reassures me: “Oh, yes, once in a while bad things
can happen.” At times I have felt my sight is all I have.



ACHES AND PAINS

#126
3-30-12

I used to joke about, and make comments
about, old people getting together and talking
about nothing but their ailments.
No longer.

No matter what they are saying, or what they
realize, the fact is, the human is nothing but
the body. When it’s gone, you’re gone.
Thank God, you might say

and I would agree. Nonetheless it is a topic
worth dwelling on. After all the aches and pains,
as you begin to realize that, ultimately, nothing is
ever going to get better again, the aches and pains
take on an almost metaphysical meaning.

As long as you are here and you hurt -- and you
can talk about it -- you are here.

It’s like the brush strokes of a painting -- sure
there is the canvas and the stretcher bars and even
the paint, but you're the one that makes the stroke

and/or the dab or the swish or the poke that puts
the color in. And when you’re gone, no more
color, no more blobs or drips, or swishes, or swirls
-- whatever they might mean. No more.

Nothing has intrinsic meaning, unless humans say it is so.
What a fool to buy a Van Gogh for a couple million
dollars -- when you know humans are bound to disappear --
everything else does, even the dollar is on its way out.

What is valuable?
Time passing -- and how you personally swim in the stream of
time and happenings.
Nothing more.
Nothing less.

Up stream all the way.



END OF MARCH

#127
3-31-12

Who knows what April will bring?
Not much, not much. There’s not much
in this world I would like April to bring.
Some warmth and lasting

sunshine! Debbie called today. Lovely
to hear her, but still she has that too
loud, echo-y phone. So it is crazy-making
to persist in talking with her.

But she is okay, which is a boon
to know. She was let go from the Rep.
Which I suspected, but she
seems to have recovered,

though angry at a shorting
in pay. I wish some angel
with a wand would touch her
with a superb job,

something to use her talent
and her wit. What a
witless world it is to waste
so many talented people.

Spent a good part of the day playing
the fabulous jigsaw puzzle Suzanne loaned
me on Wednesday, full of brightly
colored, wonderfully patterned pieces.

Ann had said, “Don’t come,” as the sister,
at 88, persists in her negative bullheadedness
and it falls on Ann to placate her. At least
they did not allow her a heart operation --

at her age! The incredible silliness of
our medicine that wants to preserve
all bodies, especially of paying customers,
way past time for mummy-hood.




THE PLEIN JAN POEMS

#128 -- #159
4-1-12 -- 4-26-12


With #128, ON THE EMPORE OF THE LARGE KUHN, at 100 words per poem, I began a diminishing form of word count poems. After each 10 poems, I dropped a word. However, by 75 words, I was needing too many variations, so the discipline petered out. With other poems in other years, I have done similar descents, down, even to, as I recall, a single word. It’s a fascinating discipline.


----------------


The 100 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON THE EMPORE OF THE LARGE KUHN

#128
4-1/5-22-12

Markus Wuersch plays Alessandro
Scarlatti’s ROMPE SPREZZA on the trumpet;
the beautiful singer, Regula Muehlemann
echoes each note -- glorious to hear.
Best of all: Amy alive, doing okay.
Caughey, her sister, gives me the word.

I call. Intermittently, making up things
to say. I end recommending: Schama’s
POWER OF ART.

It’s odd, at this late date, what makes life
worth living: the cherry blossoms,
the wild, cool, stinging air on a stormy,
sunshine day, a few hours with Veatchs,
C and T, at the GURU GITA,
chai -- my first excursion back into spices,
milk, sugar -- “All’s well that ends well.”



ON READING REED’S 100TH ANNIVERSARY

#129
4-1/2-12

REED -- I went there. Though proud of it,
I never thought about it influencing me.
But reading this (apparently) magazine?
periodical? (for the first time), I am struck
by how radically changed I was by that
not quite one year:

my vocabulary, thought processes, deportment
-- the very pride in affirming I was smart.
These influences keep working down in my soul.

I was aloof. I was used. I got out of there.
Young people are clay in the hands of what
they choose to do, where, all unknowing, they
choose to go, the mold is cast long before
awareness dawns.



ON BEING BENEATH THE JUNGLE

#130
4-2-12

Slept well. Refreshed. Even the vibrating head
seems to be doing some good: my few varicose
veins disappearing, the aches, though now often
in both knees, seem to be going. I must weigh
again today. Am I any skinnier?

Do I even believe in recovering my health? I
had quite been won over to the idea I would
never feel really good again,

never feel thirty-six again: vigorous, full of
ambition and (although forced) bravado; a
snob, a player, a contender for the big prizes.
Now I grasp this treasure: the quiet, the calming
down in solitude -- my jungle growing.



ON BEING BREAKFASTED

#131
4-3/5-22-12

Baby arugula and scored steak,
and a quieting down of the craving
for coffee. I feel so much better
without it, and the poetry seems
to flow enough, so why crave it
or drink it?

Why are my dietary cravings
always so separated from actually
being hungry?

Much less now, since the no gluten,
but, nonetheless, still a factor in
my over-eating, wanting to eat too
often. Settle down, Jan, and get
on with it!

I’ve narrowed down these
lines to the trivia of day to day.
Where should I search for more?
Truly, is there more?



ON BEING NONPLUSSED

#132
4-4/5-22-12

Tears running this morning listening to the young
Martin Luther King speak -- too young to do what he did,
know what he knew,
possessing Jovian courage
-- or did he just go ahead and
do what he had to do?

America -- with
its hatreds, racism, eternal money grubbing,
power grabbing, braggadocio -- claiming to be for the people --
is a nasty hypocritical country, too often
defaulting against its vaunted “values.”

“Yet it is still the best,” I was about to say.
But is it?

Have we long ago passed the test for grabbing the inhumanity prize?
Will we keep striving for it?



ON BEING MYSTERY ABSORBED

#133
4-4/5-22-12

When viewing mysteries on DVDs -- I never
try to weave the story together to come out with
the culprit -- before the hero(ine) deduces it all.
I’m just charmed by watching these clever
people going through their paces, thinking it
all out, mostly while moseying through the
lovely English countryside.
They are doing their best,
and their best is usually good

enough. It’s a method of relaxation --
simple enough to follow, wherein
the good get their rewards and the bad go
to jail. Who, in a world such as ours, populated
by silly, evil clowns, could ask for anything more?



ON BEING ALARMED BY MY RIGHT LEG

#134
4-5/5-22-12

Up this morning and limping about. I thought last night
that the stiffness, ache, pull and tug, push and pull
in my right leg would be better, but as soon as I get up

or

try to get up I limp like a veteran -- and the nose also
itches, a little more than I can bear. What to do? What
on earth to do?

You’ve got this old woman to live with and she’s always
got complaints -- first one thing and then another: today
it’s itchy nose and game right leg aching, from the knee
up and the knee down.



ON BEING FILTHY RICH

#135
4-6/5-22-12

Millionaires, Billionaires, Gadzillionaires -- why do you need
so much? Even though in passing you create frugal
jobs, flamboyant industries, employ jewelers and arms merchants,
why do you find it so necessary to step on the necks of the poor,
the usual, the ordinary, the fragile life of the planet, the purity
of sky blue air? No one begrudges you as much as you
can use in a lifetime, but to gather everything into your
possessive arms, forbidding its use to humanity, animals, plants
and the forests -- Why? Does it give you some nasty pleasure
to be the source of suffering?



ON BEING A MISJUDGER OF DISTANCES

#136
4-7/5-22-12

Hell in a hand basket! Crashing into walls and cupboard doors,
getting things halfway to the mouth (the foot partially taken from
that mouth), dropping things short of the counter, the table, the sill,
tripping over one’s own vocabulary, hell bent on easing up on torment-

ing one’s self, what more can one ask of the universe? -- it growing older,
I growing older with it. It counts in millions, I count in months -- not much
left for either of us. O the journey is long and the rewards few but, not know-
ing anything else, I march on for the nonce.



ON BEING AWARE WOMEN WERE MEANT TO RULE

#137
4-8/5-22-12

Women are stepping out from their shadows,
their eyes still half hidden. Modest or spoiled,
under black lace or beneath huge crinolines,
women have been sequestered, smothered
and made to wear ridiculous clothes, made
to be grossly
intimidated by that slimy stick or soft fleshy
pudding, when they, as sole bearers of the human
race, are born to be free, to rule with gaiety, to
be honored, to mother a race of delightful people,
not killers of men and rapers of women. Step out
naked, robed, proud, do better than your sons, fathers
-- whose acts have all but destroyed
humanity.




The 99 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON BEING

#138
4-9-12

Women;
seeds.

Plants grow; die;
come again in a
year as miniature
yellow-green delicate-leafed
spring -- buds so small it breaks
the heart to see them emerge solitary
into the indifferent world.

They have a whole bush to be with! Maybe not.
Spindly twigs, some wind-broken, dance with delight,
A late frost. Others die. Were the buds early? Consider
the alternatives. Plastic twigs, permanent buds, nothing
fragile, all rigid, all bright -- undying flowers, never-dying
leaves. Needing to be dusted. Some vegetables
come clean from the earth; babies come
bloody from the womb. All sit in my
undisturbed lap. Ah Women!



ON IMAGING EVERY HOUSE IN SEATTLE PAINTED YELLOW

#139
4-9/10-12

Yellow, Brilliant Yellow, Mellow Yellow, Orange Yellow,
Lemon Yellow, Zinc Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light, Amber,
Orange Amber, Mustard Yellow, Umber, Urine,

Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Aureolin, Barytes Yellow,
Brilliant Yellow Light, Indian Yellow, Italian Earth, Nickel Yellow,
Nickel Titanium Yellow, Mars Yellow, Hansa Yellow, Olive Oxide,

Turmeric, Gold, Chrome Yellow, Aryl Amide Yellow Light, Pale Gold,
Saffron, Damascus Yellow, Cyprus Orange, Zinc Buff Yellowish, Gold,
Cobalt Yellow Lake, Trinacria Orange, Vesuvius Yellow, Gamboge,

Unbleached Titanium Pale, Raw Sienna Light, Santorini Yellow,
Scheveningern Yellow, Bismuth Yellow, Renaissance Gold,
Windsor Lemon, Alizarine Yellow --

thus Seattle’ll look like sunshine on gray days.



ON BEING AFRAID TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD

#140
4-10/5-24-12

Way up high, the cherry blossoms have turned a dirty pink, almost
brown, bountiful still, and beautiful, fading into the gray
light in my grey mood. I slept last night, on and on,
into darkness and into light.

I feel mild now, drink coffee, milk --
tempting gods of hunger craving.
Purity again! Let go.
Shirk the world
of temptations.
Pay attention

to Sunyata,
Shunya.

Especially
concentrate on
nothingness
nothing
nun
no.

There are other things in life to
lift up, to crave, to whine
in the night for,
to disagree
with
but

never
nothingness.
Very different than very little.



ON BEING THOUGHT FULL

#141
4-11/5-24-12

Transiting the landscape between my kitchen and my
computer, I pass the reach of the cat’s claws -- just a
scratch without any blood. Just a tender reminder, a
gentle “Hello. Don’t forget I am here -- near.” And
on with the poem, this morning’s poem about the
somewhat treacherous landscape between the
sink and the sinkhole of knowledge that
issues forth words, endless words.
Where do they all
come from?

Buddha’s
bowl inverted.
What does it mean?
I was once told. I knew.
How smart I would be if all the
words that entered my ears got to
my brain.



ON BEING THOUGHT FULL II

#142
4-12-12

Transiting another morning of blank brain.
Again my thought that Buddha -- though he may
not have known what he was really after when he
pursued enlightenment -- was going to be gifted with it
automatically when he got old. Old age is a state -- not
yet continuous -- of blank brain. Do good, because you
can’t think of anything else to do.

I love the vivid green mashes of my non-gluten diet, so
vivid, so healthy looking, as if it will infuse inside and
aerate the whole shebang. Odd how old words,
old slang in particular, surface, now quite
frequently.



ON BEING THOUGHT FULL III

#143
4-13-12

Transiting from fear and hatred of women,
Friday the 13th, Paraskevidekatriaphobia, too, will disappear.
Consider all the male-generated superstitions against women, divide
by 13 and toss each dung-bit into the East River -- or the nearest creek.
Float it to sea. Why are men (to this day) so intent on inventing stigma
against women? Because they can’t have babies? Do men feel so
retributive for not being blessed (or cursed) with wombs?
Ever met a woman who actually wanted a funny,
worm-like, hairy-topped thing to hang
between her legs? Of course not.
Keep humanity’s seed pod
safe, inside, warm, sacred.



ON BEING POWER FULL IV

#144
4-14-12

Transiting into the Idea, the presently vociferous Idea,
of a War on Women: It’s been going on a long time, maybe
since the 5th Century B.C. or very likely, very much longer. Back
in Matriarchal Days it was known, unquestionably, women were the source
and the power of the human race. Then the sprinters came from behind to declare
that They, because they were bigger, stronger, more brutish, could dominate the human
race and began to do so. They could do it by lies, innuendo, strong-arm tactics, slaugh-
ter of others -- until mass musculature let them declare themselves gods.



ON BEING ANGRY AT THE MOLECULES

#145
4-15-12

How come your predictable counts and mine doesn’t?
Does the human brain foreswear predictability?
To gain what?

Or is it just not very bright? Can’t see the future for
the misconceptions. What did we receive thinking for?
To go to Mars? Because God couldn’t get there without
our portage?

Seems odd.
Seems untrue.
Makes me angry.

And the angrier I get the more I distrust that we got here by
anything but fluke. But what a complicated fluke. In its worst
aspects, a disaster, in its best, unbelievably glorious.

Why?

Didn’t it always seem inevitable that we’d ask: Why?



ON UNDERSTANDING THE BUILT IN NEGATIVE

#146
4-15/5-24-12

I’m beginning to understand that the human psyche is built on
insatiable desire(s). Is that what Buddha was talking about?
The molecular structure? The DNA? The brain ganglia?
The ipsilateral silent period?

The brain is built of such that it cannot be different. No thing can
satisfy it. But desire ever grows. To rid oneself of it is supposed
to be the triumph of Buddhism.
Its triumph is my desire to sleep.

Being human is desire, being awake, doing!
Humans must do to be alive.
Breathe, move, think, die -- but above all, do! -- when
tired of doing: kill.



ON BEING TUCKERED OUT BY TOO MANY POSSIBILITIES

#147
4-16-12

Yesterday or the day before that
there was the possibility of suicide
following the stepping-on-to of my
glasses. Each thing whirls by in its

own vortex. Hundreds of tornados
pummeled the mid-west: yesterday,
the day before, and the day before that.
Seattleites had one of the most beautiful

Sundays on record: sunny, not quite warm,
but not cold, no ice cold wind. Extreme heat
elsewhere. We, at the precinct caucus, having
walked through the noon spring, were joyful

to be -- where there was nothing much to do.
So we, M and I, walked home -- I to bed.



The 98 Word Poem 1

ON MEETING WITH THE DERMATOLOGIST

#148
4-17-12

Sadness hangs a concrete barrier
round my neck. My skin, once praised,
is now fraught with eczema:

itch, bloody pimples, rash patches.
Having entered your system, the inflammation never leaves.
It might clear, but will return.

A third of earth’s people suffer it.
Yet avaricious MD’s spend little effort on finding a cure.
Not lucrative, nor glamorous enough, like a heart or liver

transplant. It’s assumed you’d rather scratch yourself
to death than die of failures in bits of anatomy you’ve never seen,
never will, would be frightened of if you held them pulsing in your quivering hands.



The 97 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON BEING A RECOGNIZABLE NEWS-A-HOLIC

#149
4-18-12

Listening to the horrors of the news,
created by men, one can’t turn away unscathed: in body
(somewhat) in mind (a fortress robbed, raped,
left for dead) -- being forcefed on plutonium. The nuclear
blast via tsunami or tornado, via the
males disregard of nurturance, males vaunting of greed.

Stop now:
or there will be charred cinders where there used
to be children. I dislike the screaming, strident voices of kids
just as much as you do, but I do not prefer the ground shaking,
earthquake inciting, the thunder of war, especially on those we
don’t even know.



ON COMING OUT OF VIKRAMADITYA’S CLASS

#150
4-19-12

Coming from Vikramaditya’s class yesterday --
an incandescent insight! The whole world
alight with spring, millions of minute yellow-green buds
bursting into leaf! I had been musing over what he
gives in class, probably unnoted by most of his students
now -- maybe forever. No matter where you stand,
he offers insight into
the other half of the world and, in the process,
unifies the earth;
how all completes one another, balances one another, affects
one another.
How, all being here,
if we could stop killing one another,
we could learn to enjoy one another’s dazzling company,
uniqueness, similarity.



ON BEING AWARE THAT THE CHIP HAS FALLEN FROM MY SHOULDER

#151
4-20-12

I’m nicer now. It is as if that chip weighed a thousand pounds.
Now, that it’s gone, I can stand straighter, friendlier, and stop
wondering who is the enemy. No enemies -- except on Amy Good-
man this morning one learns the whole of America and probably
most of the world is being surveilled, listened-in on -- whether or
not one is a likely suspect -- just as a matter of course. They
have the equipment, the power, and why shouldn’t they do
just that? So they do. Poetry is probably classified as
a subversive activity. So why not me?



ON BEING AWARE I CAN STAND UP FOR MYSELF

#152
4-21-12

Without dying -- I’m still thinking of Witt -- smiling within at the lesson
I’ve taught him -- proud of myself, proud of speaking up. I may have
saved him from doing that again to another.

Surfacing along with this revelation -- acting deliberately to teach
someone a lesson -- is the genuine dislike I feel for handsome,
self-satisfied boys who feel they’re so attractive they can

waste others’ time with impunity.
This sounds suspiciously like a sour-grapes
old maid.

Maybe
because I never had children, never took on the responsibility of
educating even one young human into manners, grace, kindness, thoughtfulness.



ON BEING AWARE OF WASTING THE DAY

#153
4-22-12

No umph to do anything. Sitting quietly. Chatting on the phone.
What’s the point? Of doing nothing or doing something.
Beautiful day. I’m tired. Too sleepy to resist going back to sleep.
Can’t clear my head enough to even think about posting some poems.
Although I now think I know how. Frightened to try again. Everything
seems more of a problem than I’m prepared to deal with.
Beautiful day. Not enough umph to go outside
and breathe in the air.
Reading’s no longer an option.
I must learn to do something else.
Giant sneezes all day long.



ON BEING AWARE OF MISCALCULATIONS OF ALL SORTS

#154
4-23-12

My aim is different, so is my strength.
My eyes are misting with cataracts,
perhaps a little astigmatism.

The whole world is changing.
At 78 it’s not easy to take.

It’s someone cheating at cards.
Sometimes you notice, sometimes you don’t.

But all is off, out of sync, one miscalculation after another.
You’d like to scream.
At times you do.

What you used to do easily, you still do with aplomb,
but it (what ever it is) flies off to the ceiling,
shoots across the room,
illuminates the stars of anger;
re-ignites
the smoldering
fires of madness.



ON BEING AWARE OF WHAT I SAID/THOUGHT

#155
4-24-12

“My life has been reduced to this.” That was the phrase in my
head this morning, as I stood high on the ladder to the loft surveying
my studio⁄home⁄apartment⁄cell⁄eyrie⁄prison⁄escape⁄ivory tower,
which is about as romantic a hideaway as can be imagined in the early
years of the 21st Century. Abundant with books, with a huge pyramidal
jungle of plants, all my patterned and extraordinary needlepoints, and
the patterned rugs, pillows, cushions, spreads making it look as colorful
as any Persian’s tent out standing in the aridity of the Rajasthan desert.



ON BEING AWARE

#156
4-24-12

I found a pristine copy of the card Muktananda
used to give away and which I have
carried in my cardpack until it
has almost disintegrated.
I found again the list of lysine to arginine
in foods and am reminded
it might be an excess of arginine in my system
causing the hives, eczema, dry skin, itch.
Several days ago I began taking L-lysine capsules.
Forget the salve, the treatments
mis-prescribed by the last AMA Doctor Hurst,
Dermatologist (and all others) I shall never see again.
I only count myself lucky they haven’t
killed me before now.



ON BEING AWARE OF HAVING BEEN MADE PIECEMEAL

#157
4-25-12

I do not know if it was through contagion or contact or conflagration
that I took on the colors, the concerns, the contemptible coercions of
this society, my society -- or how I managed to remain
separated from the legos that construct our world. There’s little about
it that I admire or want to emulate. Later on in life, I find I only
have a bad taste in my mouth when I think about its treasures, prizes
and rewards.
What is it that I want?
Who would I be if I had not been diverted early in life?



ON BECOMING AWARE THAT MY BRAIN HAS STOPPED

#158
4-25-12

I am becoming aware that my brain has stopped reading my body.
I no longer can tell if I am holding my umbrella -- unless, looking down,
I see it beneath my fingertips.
Once I perceive it, feel its handle’s pressure against the web
between thumb and forefinger --
It is there!
Otherwise there’s no sensation of heft or weight
even in a coffee cup.
Spills,
knock-overs,
fury.

I can’t smell.
I think I can still hear,

but our obsessive
dwelling on civic shames and political skullduggery,
screeching, raucous music
make all sounds instantly forgettable,
brain stopped
-- utterly
silent.



A 170 Word Poem

THE LAST POEM FROM THE PLEIN JAN POEMS:
(or maybe the First).


ON BECOMING AWARE OF MY PARTICULAR FORM I

#159
4-26-12

To my surprise, I find I am still on the same pursuit. This
discovery is not about having forgot my path, but simply not analyzing
it recently:

Each day I grab a simple word -- phrase, idea, theorem, statement, proof
-- out of the air or from the idylling hum of my mind and run with it,

sticking as close as I can to a Plain Jane
vocabulary, everyday idiom, ordinary thought pattern -- a non-thinking-plod
of step by step,

until, in the last line or lines, at the last gasp, the concluding of each excursion,
ascesis, adventure,
I usually -- up to today -- let my hands spring from the tabla, laugh,
smile, giggle, rejoice and conclude with a flourish.

I.e., as I found in Rumi an age or two ago:
He is the world’s most satisfying poet
in bringing the mundane and the sublime, hand in hand,
into a side-by-side conjunction,
into the same universe

to show me -- I who doubted -- that they are
(however many sides)
of the same coin.

*  *  *  *  *  



The 96 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON BECOMING AWARE OF MY PARTICULAR FORM II

#160
4-26-12/9-12-13
For Brian Atwater and John Vidalle
I‘m taking a class in Earthquakes.
I never expected it to bring me to tears and a great
wrenching and opening of the heart, but today in John Vidalle’s
class, guest lecturer Brian Atwater spoke of earthquakes
around the Northwest coast of America,
as well as other Ring of Fire earthquake zones,
including Japan.

He brought up GENJI MONOGATARI
-- citing its use as a yardstick to help
measure time elapsed between earthquakes.
As I raised my hand to his question: “Has anyone
read THE TALE OF GENJI or the PILLOW BOOK?”
The tears coursed down my cheeks

as if the earthquake in my heart actually shook
the ground beneath our classroom. My Uncle Freddie,
years and years and years ago, had recommended I read GENJI.
And I read it -- the PILLOW BOOK as well -- both by Murasaki.

(No, wrong! -- THE PILLOW BOOK is by Sei Shonagon -- and I did not read it then).

Atwater asked which I liked best. It surprised me, for GENJI is the
masterpiece, the PILLOW BOOK is (from a writer's pov) merely
“another book” of that time. I thought about that and,
as Atwater recapped its contents: “...the many affairs of...”
I thought: “O, I see: from a male pov...”.

GENJI is the one about the whole of 10th Century Japanese Court life,
the Heian period -- a gigantic achievement, analogous to
REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST.
By then the tears were lessening,
as I realized the earthquake was about how much
I missed Freddie, and hadn’t thought of him for ages.

Fredric Eudell Smith
Born October 25, 1914
Died April 17, 1979

I scattered some of his ashes near
Ban Chiang as I walked out to the highway
in Thailand in 1988.

He, his ashes, had sat with me in a gold paper box,
for the better part of a decade, on my great
old George III chest -- ‘til I finished
putting in my time at AFI
-- not knowing where to scatter the
less-than-a-handful of ashes.

How much Freddie influenced my whole life,
how many things I had looked into and studied
on his recommendation, how much I missed him.

When I reached the age to be able to remember 20,
30, maybe 40 years ago, I had remarked to him how much
I delighted in being old enough to think, to say, to actually
remember: “20 years ago, 30 years ago...” and he, in his gentle,
agreeable way, smiled, said: “...and a few years from now,
you’ll be watching the centuries contract, remembering
eons as if they were years in your own life.”

Atwater showed us some images of “rectangular cores”
detailing the earth’s personal history as recorded in muds and sands,
exactly recording the last great quake, and the one before, and the one before.

The tears started up again,

a tsunami of compassion for my life, my uncle, for
our earth -- for humanity’s brief life.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF MY PARTICULAR FORM III

#161
4-27-12/9-13/15-13

This morning is full of false starts, aimless behavior --
whether to proceed with the 96 WORD POEMS?
or another decalog? --
as #159 may turn into the novel. I wonder!

In my imagination: what a rich tapestry my interactions
with Freddie present. But I have never been able to finish
(or only JOCASTA) a long work.
No! there were many intensely worked attempts:

ANGELS DEATH, NARCISSUS JONQUILLA, etc.
I wrote six unrefined novels, 4 or 5 autobiographies,
and continued the 50 year tailspin of JOCASTA --
filigreed with the discovery that poetry

-- to be just an immortal poet --
was my destiny.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF ALL ONE FIGHT, THE WHOLE PLAN

#162
4-28-12/9-13-13

Why do the rich need so much money? (Endless war.)
Why are some politicians intent on overpopulating America,
forbidding birth control, keeping women reproducing, poor?
(Cannon fodder.)

This morning, Bruce Gagnon noted,
concisely,
the Republican necessity to restructure the world.
I had sensed it, smelt it in the air,
this return to feudalism.
BG revealed the whole plan:
The Final Solution
-- as they see it.

Hogtie women again,
dismantle democracy,
keep the happy (filthy rich) few
at continual civil war with
the serfs, breeders, soldiers --
a good training ground for
the great game
board,

the world.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF A SLIGHT BUT DELICATE PAIN

#163
4-28/7-4-12

I’m enjoying the aftermath of quitting the Witt,
of saying “No,” to one more temptation of a failing spirit,
“No,” to putting myself again at risk by too much sympatico.
A twinge here, there a tweak.

“...things fall apart...”

Who knew this referred to the human body?
The eyes go, dexterity wanes, muscles ache
and want to quit their tendons.
I forget where I am or where this poem was going.

“...the centre cannot hold...”

Yeats, I think, was always an old man.
Who can blame him for fascination
with his own disintegration?
Certainly not I.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF OTHER THINGS TO OBSERVE

#164
4-29-12

I can breathe noticeably. My cat can breathe without so much as
a hair’s movement.
I stand in the loft and watch him. He lies looking up at me
from the middle of the studio.
I assure him I am coming down. No hair twitches.
Down. He meows.
What does he want?
Are the limits of his desires food and brushing? -- ah yes, and
watching me. He wants me to move about and do things
so he can watch.
Does that sound like the Christian God?
Surely not Shiva -- totally absorbed,
dancing the world into existence.



ON BECOMING AWARE THAT TOMORROW IS MAY DAY

#165
4-30-12/9-16-13

My sister doesn’t know what May Day means.
She stands aside from politics,
protest, action. She has many
friends who, no doubt, do the same. But I am

aware, radicalized by the WTO Protest, the Battle
in Seattle, 1999, where, for
three days, I sat, marched,
wandered and thus know that May Day 2012 could

be significant in the lives of us who, still alive, the 99%,
know the world must change.
Today might mark a day of
destiny where, in Seattle, the news dwelt on rebuilding

the Seawall -- eroded by
the tides of the Sound.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF MAY DAY

#166
5-1-12/9-16-13

On becoming aware there is no design,
only pattern. At what point does pattern become
design? You’re a needle-pointer, you should be able
to answer that one: two blue, two red, and a white.
Then back the other way, a white, two reds and a
blue. Repeat this pattern often enough, and a de-
sign will emerge; then try it with one less red or
one more white. There’s your design!
Or throw in a head of Caesar,
stitch round it,
keeping the pattern,
drink your fill,
gulp,
sip,
become inebriated
with color, pattern and design.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF NANCY CARTER ON MAY DAY

#167
5-2-12/9-16-13

Yesterday. I went to class; there was no class.
Across the hall, she also waited
for some mis-noted schedule.

We began to talk. She waited for Linguistics,
I for Earthquakes. I mentioned Steven Pinker --
of whom she’d never heard -- nor even
of Noam Chomsky.
Interiorly horrified at such neglect, I smiled.

We soon arrived at travel. I recommended my
“TERROR, Go alone. Go alone. Go alone.”
She, from Marysville, where I was born, was sweet, intelligent,
older, seeking a degree.

Did I persuade her to forget
the degree? -- just prance about the world.
Earthquakes never happened.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF POSSIBILITIES AND IMPOSSIBILITIES

#168
5-3-12/9-16-13

Yesterday I dreamt I might go to India,
Ahmedabad, in the wake of my dearest
friend. I would stay in a tiny cabin near
the Gandhi-ji Ashram. Discard all my stuff,
take one tiny laptop -- write a few more hundreds
or maybe thousands of poems. But the city is huge,
my dream of a hermitage with a sandy garden to sit in,
good food cooked by the ashram, warmth until I die --
may not be possible. My skin and knee are better, my eyes
worse. The slight dizziness shoots through my brain
intermittently... Well, who knows.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF THE FUNCTION OF POETRY

#169
5-4/7-4-12

Pull from the void, write it down,
let it fall back into the void.
Nothing lasts.

That is not an excuse to do nothing.
What would happen if violets refused to bloom in spring?
Nothing.

Who would miss the violets?
No one.
But that’s no more an excuse for the violets not to bloom

than it is for you.
You occupy (a popular word now)
the chair of a poet.

Nothing lasts. But that’s not an excuse
to not write poetry.
The sun rises

and goes down. Sunsets are not
permission for no more
sun rises.



The 95 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON BECOMING AWARE OF THE DANGERS

#170
5-5-12

Finally, an actually forbidden topic:
leaving, possibly, my glorious eyrie, going
back to India, fulfilling that dreaming, fulfilling
that longing. V is very likely going back to become
president of a college there -- his dream fulfilled. 100% fabulous!
And I could tag along in one capacity or another.

It’s in a big city -- which doesn’t appeal to me. I envisage a little
cabin, a hermitage. But I also know the difficulties of
living in India. How to cook? How to eat?
The laundry? The house cleaning?
The internet connection?
Shiva-purna?
The entire
difficulty
of
being.



ON BECOMING LIGHTER THAN AIR

#171
5-5-12/9-16-13

After much thought, time,
my return to India might be
like this: You’ll have the C job --
a dream come true. You’ll be superb. And I, dreaming
a parallel dream, may come if I can find a small hermitage, a cabin
or attic in which to write, from which

to wander vast Ahmedabad, the arid landscape of India. Ah! I long
to walk there again, sit under a tree, watch sunshine desiccate
the elements. And, if all goes well, find a bright pyre,
an easy death, become
a curl of
smoke,
drift
off
to
Nirvana.



ON BECOMING LIGHTER THAN AIR II

#172
5-6-12

I’d like to exactly replicate in India
where and how I live in Seattle.
In my eyrie, in my attic, in a
a palatial park
So why go?
The heat for one thing --
though it may now be too hot for me.
The people, all the anonymous people
I will likely never meet,
but know that if you stopped
almost anyone on the street
they would have an opinion,
and a worthy one, having thought
about it a lot, on why and how the human
race is here. What we do, what we could/should do.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF CHRONIC DISSATISFACTION

#173
5-6-12

I am sad that nothing satisfies me.
I live in the most enchanting place in Seattle,
with the finest view of the city, of Mount Rainier.

Every day I waste hours and hours listening to the news
-- hypnotized -- until my energy runs thin and becomes worn to a groggy
motivationless nub, without focus enough to do more than write

one more Plein Jan poem, one more not very interesting
wail. Why? Why have I become so antagonistic
toward getting anything done?

I used to be compulsive --
making myself do do do.
Now I do nothing.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF THE SOUNDS OF THE HOUSE

#174
5-7-12

I sit perfectly still, listening to the sounds of my world:
the low-hum/chatter of the heater, the far off whine of a mower,
the drip of the faucet, the gentle, intermittent “Mur-row” of the cat.

Maybe that constant hum is the freeway,
I-5 crossing the bridge.

My mind, with apple shreds on one eye, remains perfectly blank.
10 minutes passes quite swiftly. I pass the sweet moist pad to
the other eye.

There’s a tightness on the lower legs, shins,
where I’ve put lotion to deal with the eczema.

It dries shiny,
doesn’t itch.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF THE HEART POUNDING LOUDER
THAN THE COMPUTER

#175
5-8-12

If your computer (laptop) isn’t working,
immediately cross the room and write one or
more poems on your Mac Mini.
Meow back at the cat when he asks once again to be fed.
Feed him some more of what he had before
and see if that fulfills his delicious-requirements.
Talk a little more to him.
See where you are in your word count of
ninety-five words.
Sixty-six.
Add some more.
Talk some more with Shiva-purna.
Learn how to charge the battery
as the book suggests.
Do so.
Notice the heart is quieter now.
Breathe deeply.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF HEART POUNDING SUBSTITUTES

#176
5-8-12

What are some of the grand thoughts I had today?
Profoundly moved by the displacement stronger
earthquakes create -- even though they don’t
tip cows into crevasses and crush them.

Shocked by the photographs of the 1906
San Francisco earthquake. Most of it
didn’t happen because the earth
shook, but because of the fires.
Acres and acres of devastation.

Fascinating to see where the (so far identified)
faults lie -- up the west of America --
dozens of them.

The earth is not a friendly place,
nor are human beings as a species.
Do we deserve each other?



ON BECOMING AWARE OF A STRONG DESIRE TO COMMIT SUICIDE

#177
5-8-12

I can’t find it because I can’t remember what I’m looking for.
I can’t get it done because I forget what I am doing.
I can’t call you because I don’t remember who you are.
I can’t stay on the diet because I can’t remember to eat.
I can’t follow the path because I can’t remember where it is
or where it goes. I can write another poem because
it makes no difference
whatsoever.
My legs itch
violently.
I have
no desire
to go on.
The medical
profession
serves
the doctors
and
not
the patients.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF BEING IN FLAGRANTE DELICTO

#178
5-9-12

I want to get out of here. Whatever words come
are fine. It’s the only thing I have left to focus
my mind.

One more poem and one more poem, each a
whining drop into the void. Although less so
now.

I want only to state my circumstances. The
forms of poetry, or let’s say the line lengths
of poetry

are what I know best and can judge. This
works, this doesn’t. Make it sing a high
wail

of despair and chagrin. I have nothing against
life, the planet is beautiful, more so now
than before.


ON BECOMING AWARE OF BEING IN FLAGRANTE DELICTO II

#178 & #179
5-9-12

I can pay no attention to humans who want to
destroy it, put most people in chains, make them
work

for less and less so that they can have more and
more. Of what? How many hours can you spend
ambling through

a museum? How many hours can even DSK spend
steadily raping young women singly and in groups?
Surely,

even his pecker wilts, gets tired with overuse. France
has declared Diallo a heroine for suing him. I do too.
Now we

need to catch up to the money buggers doing it
in flagrante delicto.



The 94 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON BECOMING AWARE

#180
5-9-12

I feel remote, alienated from the human race.
No race for me. I am slower than a snail. I
bought a new computer today, I don’t
know
why
except the old one expired at eight -- almost worthy
of a longevity prize for computers. The old MacPro is with
the
new
one at
the shop
receiving content. Suzanne
helped me. I am so exhausted,
I am off to bed. Even
though I remembered
I can view a movie
on my
Mac Mini. I
had
almost
forgotten
its capabilities.
But too tired to
keep my eyes open.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF TERROR

#181
5-10-12

Reluctant to write a poem today,
so sad and down, so hungering for human conversation.
Just finished a long and and notable talk with
Charles: old times, old events, childhood memories,
worries about the lease letter from Kji.
Such a pile of thou shalt not's!

And my skin disease seems to be getting worse,
not better; eczema, dermatitis, whatever it might be,
and the new laptop not arriving until tomorrow.
Living without news so peaceful and restful
but an undertow of stress.
Wish I were dead.

More and more terrified.
Nothing more to do.



ON BECOMING AWARE I CAN STILL CALCULATE

#182
5-11-12

It mystifies me how I continue,
quite effectively, to operate --
having nothing to do --
with 1/4th my brain capacity,
and 1/8th my enthusiasm
quotient.

The sun is brilliantly beautiful,
but it’s not enough to lift my spirit.
Nothing
suggests itself for enjoyment.
There’s only this blank
dragging wish to be
dead in a coffin.

Linda, though she lived it for years,
at the end, didn’t even
have time for that wish.

Meanwhile, my eczema streaks
look 1/10th of 1% better,
and there’s just enough energy
to sit here writing this
poem.



ON BECOMING CONVINCED I’LL NEVER BE WELL AGAIN

#183
5-12-12

My skin is so hot it feels like a glowing,
fearsome, red coal left over from a blazing fire.
Perhaps, like a comet, I am speeding so fast
through the cooling universe, I'm burning out.

Went medicine shopping with Margaret,
and got the hated Clobetasol, plus the
Prednisone. The young man behind
counter said he, too, was suffering

from eczema and he recommended Aquaphor.
Maybe I’ll get that next time, as it
seems there is certain to be a next time.
The whole world, it seems, suffers
from one skin disease or another.



ON BECOMING AGED AND FURIOUS

#184
5-12-12

I’m here beyond my allotted time
and I am furious! The doctors are
perfectly happy problem-solving,
doing research, prescribing
medications.

Some of which work, some
that do not, but all, almost all,
at an excessive price, not only
in human disappointment, but
much in the way of creating
and sustaining the virus of
greed. Doctors used to serve
humanity; now they get rich
and humanity gets
sicker and
sicker.

Cut off all medical aid.
Be done with it.
Corpses in the
street? Why not?
They’ll be a lot quieter
than the noisy, drunken
homeless.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF STEPS CLOSER TO DEATH

#185
5-13-12

I rose and, though dizzy, I descended my forbidden ladder,
ate, took some aspirin, drank some blendered fruit, took
(again) my first Prednisone (5MG), exercised a little,
to shake my head into compliance, and
re-ascended, to sleep a bit more.
Woke again, sought advice
from Google on
Clobetasol.

Aha! drink
tea, eat oatmeal,
avocados, garlic, don’t
snub albacore, consume
apples, onions. Still alive at 9:11 --
a famous date -- maybe the cause of my
downhill flight -- or not. Avoiding news, I tune
the radio for noise, long for the bliss of death --
terrified.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF COMPRESSION’S JOYS

#186
5-13-12

I work word by word on my -- what?
Numerical reduction poems? See
each poem go tighter, tighter,
bringing out the bones
of the thought,
slicing away
the
extraneous,
sluicing, the
fragments,
teasing
meaning
from each
nugget, speck
of gold or dross,
determined to drink
the final concoction
even though vile.
Setting aside
my preferences,
balanced on a molehill,
I scan the horizon
of my old desires, dreams,
fish out the likely seeds or roots
(routes), pathways to eternity.
“I must go now,”
says the grasshopper to the hare (hair),
which stands erect with fright.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF IMPOSSIBILITY

#187
5-13-12/9-17-13

I cannot recreate
the past
-- without evoking moments --
their pain turned to beauty
more painful than the pain.

Nothing lives
in the passing of time,
but an exquisite poignancy
making remembrance more
ravishing than happening
ever was -- varnishing
what once existed.

Time
was, it is no more. Past
vision exists no more
than the ticking of
a clock manifests
what time was
as it passed.

Too full of an
agonizing
beauty,
not
inherent,
but lent, as
beautiful as
the
setting sun,
as
transient,
as
bright.

Gone.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF SUBTLE PLEASURES

#188
5-14-12

I enjoy doing the dishes in the morning,
changing chaos into order early -- every day.
Lots of it -- Shiva-purna and I both like an extravagant use
of small white plates -- to eat off, to dissect fruit on,
to scrub the backside of -- once in a while.

A plate, even washed every day, retains the ability
to accumulate a yellowish rim around
its foot. I do my dishes by hand.
Maybe that yellowish rim is what
caused those endlessly busy
inventors (changers of the way things are)
to create the overkill of the electric dishwasher.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF VISION ERASED

#189
5-15-12

The world has changed so much I don’t know what to do
with my memories. They no longer apply to any
reality, not even a dreamscape.

Every inch of the earth is now up for sale, bought and sold,
stripped of its riches and its identifying marks. The
strippers don’t seem to care if

we end up on a bald ball, flattened, without mountain tops,
without foliage, without animals and, eventually,
without humans --

oceans sucked dry, the fish, the whales, the dolphins beached,
gasping, on the shore, their bones evaporating like
the saline waters.



The 93 Word Poems 1 -- 11

ON BECOMING AWARE OF LIKING SOME POEMS

#190
5-15-12

Don’t get pleased with yourself.
You’ve written a lot of dreck
to get this far in
fracking

your brains every morning
for a poem. Precious
rock destroyed,
gas gushing.

“Be careful what you wish for,”
is how the moderns -- and
the ancients -- put it
The world

may
implode
any day now.
Poof! you’re gone.
Where? Shall we look
for you among the stars?
or under the smashed atoms?

Extrude a toe, if you hear me, or
an ear, but hide your eyes, hide
your eyes. What you see is
not fit for humans.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF CRUMBLING FURY

#191
5-16-12

Once again in a fury -- can’t find things,
knock things off the desk, water dripping --
my whole life is dominated by the inanimate
world and its plot against me.

Now I couldn’t spell “inaniment” -- sounds
right but doesn’t look right. The whole machine
(me and the computer) seems a little out of kilter
this morning. Margaret helped yesterday,
Suzanne is coming to help a bit today.
I need all the help I can get.

As the world falls apart, so does my brain,
or
As my brain falls apart, so does the world.



A 293 Word Poem

ON BECOMING AWARE OF HOW SUZANNE SEES MY WORLD

#192
5-17-12

Suzanne said it’s irritating to listen to me always crying “poor me,”
but insofar as I can register my own behavior, I never cry “poor me.”
I do talk incessantly about what is happening to my body -- my mind,
but I never cry “poor me.”

I find it far too interesting to harbor hardly any emotion about it, though I do
remember, when younger, being irritated and bored by old people (excepting my
parents) perpetually talking about nothing but their illnesses and operations --
and I never wanted to be like that.

But, now that I am here, with not much to do, I find it endlessly
fascinating to watch closely and observe the progress of disintegration
that the human mind/body goes through. But, perhaps, there are only
very few, in my purview --

Ann, Mar-B, Nick, Vikram -- who, aging, as I am, can appreciate
it is merely observation, scientific research, if you will, deep digging
into one’s experience, dedicatedly honest sharing of it with others, the
world, simply acknowledging that

this is what happens -- for no known reason. The body wears out, the
mind wears out -- not everyone’s! -- but many -- you acknowledge
and endure. So you might as well observe it and comment on it
as lightly as a passing parade.

In fact, this might be the happiest period of my life. To make it so
for everyone might happen if the mad medicine men stopped
trying to stop death. It is. It will come -- designed that way.
Live on at your own peril --

and -- if you speak about death and aging -- the annoyance
of even your most favorite relations.
But that’s what I found
the tragedy
of my
own
parents -- that perpetual cheer,
that negligible digging into the intriguing questions of life.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF AWFUL FEELINGS

#193
5-17/18-12

I feel like this is my last day on earth.
S’s words really prey on my mind, and
my words, too, lie there like a molten
haunting.

The devastation of it comes from some
deep cause in our family. This haunted,
sinking, inconsolable feeling comes from
deep wounds

and if not just from wounds but some
great flow in the life of my family, why
does it well up so strongly that all I want
to do is

die? Weak with pain and terror, I’m never
supposed to speak up
in my family.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF AWFUL FEELINGS II

#194
5-18-12

It’s hard for me to be honest.
I haven’t heard from Suzanne
and, in the ordinary course
of things, I wouldn’t
hear from
her
until I
“e”-d her on
Tuesday or Monday
to ask if she wants soup
on Wednesday. It’ll be a little
hurried this week. I have a 10:30
appointment with MASA -- for which the
knee is doing fine, though, again, it feels a little
twisted and I am full of gas -- which I now think
might relate to the knee, it’s “out of jointness” pressing
on a nerve???



ON BECOMING AWARE THAT PREDNISONE DOES SOME GOOD

#195
5-19-12

I also learned, it seems, that Prednisone is one of the
ingredients in Clobetasol. Rather, Prednisone,
sort of a cousin, is converted via
the liver into prednisolone,
an analog.

Liquids evaporate. Solids appear not to.
Although that which dries is likely
to have held liquid
initially.

Salt, when tasted, immediately cries out:
“More!” More, especially of
its conveyance.

Random facts, random speculations that may
or may not lead to poetry.

Rumi married the mundane and the sublime
Lately, I have become a Justice
of the Peace (I wonder if
they still exist)
myself.



ON BECOMING AWARE THAT PREDNISONE DOES SOME GOOD II

#196
5-19-12

So, inside and outside, via the recommended
rituals of doctors and the Internet,
I treat myself
as

eczema comes and goes. Slowly, it
is revealed that its probable
cause is stress. Me?
Stressed?

In my idyllic life, in my ivory tower, up here
with the angels and the blue sky?
How could it be?
Slowly,

it is revealed that my family’s dismissal
of me as a bit of an unsuitable odd-one
bites deep, undermines my
confidence,

has made me feel an alien, an outcast,
ever forbidden to tell the truth,
reprimanded if I did so.
Itchy,

stress, eczema.



ON BECOMING AWARE THAT THINGS GO FRENZIEDLY WRONG

#197
5-20-12

Gnashing my teeth,
snarling, cursing:
“Why me!”
“Why!”
Has the universe nothing better to do
than razz
non-discriminatingly,
old, uncool, uncomprehending
computer-users
like me?

At 11:24 AM, I’m assured it’s my fault.
Having transferred my speakers to my new Air
I wrongly re-plugged the printer.
Ahaaa!!!*!*!*!

Exhausted by blazing fury
and total dismay,
I contemplate the fact that
each time I do,
I begin
by doing wrong.
Wrong. Wrong.
Wrong. Wrong.
Gyrations of an insanely clanging bell!

Is there hope
I’ll ever function again? --
or is
it now
down
hill
until
oblivion?



ON BECOMING AWARE THAT YESTERDAY WAS A GLORIOUS WALK

#198
5-21-12

With Margaret -- I walked home from Zenith
through drizzling rain: cool, refreshing, drop
by drop on our cheeks and hoods.

The thrilling part was striding barefoot
through the high, heavy-with-moisture, long
grass. Almost immediately the knee felt better.

Perhaps, I could rid my knee of trouble if I
divorced myself from the necessity of wearing
shoes. The bliss a long walk through wet

grass generates

is somewhat akin to the artificially ordered lines
of a short poem. Or is it like a long slog
up a steep hill near the end?



ON TRYING TO REMEMBER MY MANY ALMA MATERS

#199
5-21-12

My “NOURISHING MOTHERS” include

After high school --
ending up at Roosevelt, Everett and
Holy Names Female Academy -- my list of
nourishing mothers includes:
Burnley Art School
The Art Institute of Chicago
Reed College
The New School for Social Research
Pennsylvania State University
Stella Adler
University of Washington
American Film Institute (where I was the nourishing mother)
UCLA
Southwestern University School of Law
University of Washington

And studying with various masters along the way,
among them:
Frederick E. Smith (painting)
Eleanor King (dance)
Bruce Bookman (Akido)
Bill Mitchell (Yoga)
Loren Gage (Theatre)
Ali Akbar College of Music:
Ali Akbar Khan (singing)
Swapan Chaudhuri (tabla)
Muktananda
Son Sunnin
Vikram Prakash
others whose names I've forgotten
+ various teachers of dance, writing and art
+ 15 years as an Access student at UW
and, in fact, the rest of my life in one educational institution,
or class or workshop or special study or another,
as well as taught here and there --
a living embodiment of The Perpetual Student, right up to today.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF THE WHITE SPOT GROWING

#200
5-22-12

I feel
good this morning --
God knows why.
And, since
he’s a mythical beast,
it makes no difference.

Speaking
of happenings
to the body,
as S has requested me
not to dwell on,

I’ll dare just mention
a white spot on my right hand’s
back -- below the third
finger’s knuckle.

It’s about half
by a quarter of an inch,
oval-ish,
and slightly larger
toward the thumb side. It

doesn’t
hurt, it doesn’t glow,
it does seem to grow
a bit -- over
time -- a year? two?.

It has no
feeling separate from
the hand.



The 92 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON BECOMING AWARE THAT I FELT GOOD YESTERDAY

#201
5-23-12

I felt really good yesterday!
rational!
energetic!
I learned that I,
apparently, have been
holding my right leg
stiff, locked, afraid to
really walk on it for
years.

Yesterday, I relaxed it,
or it released, and I strode along all
the way to UW,
speedily,
without pain,
and got there 45 minutes early,
just as the rains began again.
And the knee never really
hurt, as was usual,
the whole day through.

It gives me hope.
I posted ten poems.

What has cleared my mind?
My body?

A gift to be savored
deeply.



ON BECOMING AWARE THAT I FEEL DEVASTATED

#202
5-24-12

Mulling knowledge of Vikram leaving -- then
realize I’ve just worked on a calendar that
includes Arch 251 -- all summer long. My

heart can crack slowly -- even though Vikram
announced his “last” class yesterday -- the
upcoming one is “just summer” -- at a lovely

time: 2:00 in the afternoon, until 5:00. Reminds
me of Lorca’s "Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias."
I’m ready -- I only hope I can bestir myself

enough this summer to get
my boxes in order, get all poems
posted and papers shipped out, so I can

rest in peace.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF WORK DONE

#203
5-24-12

I took the opportunity (audacity)
to follow my dream(s),

Did I accomplish more under the coercive
pressures of institutional jobs?

(They gave me newspaper recognition.)

You discount the 5,000 poems -- as if,
meaningless, they don’t count, do not, in fact, exist.

If I try to hold a thought and go on “living,”
the thought always loses.

The brain, the word-making faculty, seems to have its own
rhythm, laws, priorities. Ignore them at your peril -- and theirs.

“Muse, don’t think you can have both: on demand recall
and nomadic brain fever/freedom.”



ON BECOMING THE STILLNESS

#204
5-24-12

The quiet of a sunshine afternoon. I hear the rustle
of the leaves. Somewhere out there a duck quacks.
More wind, as if it wanted to stir up some dust,
but only the guttural bird sounds and the quiet
lift of the air is heard. Not even traffic noise
from the bridge reaches this far in the stillness.
Do I hear, way off, a persistent horn, rather
like a foghorn? an airplane? Chirp chirp, go
little ducklings, find a home and some
instruction under mama’s warm
breast, love, comfort in the
universe.



Two 69 Word Poems = 138 Words or 1 & 1/2 92 Word Poems

ON BECOMING AWARE OF ADVENTURES PERSONAL TO ME

#205
5-25-12

As an independent woman with a good job, a title,
a two story apartment all my own, and a passion to write,
the first significant thing I bought -- with my
fairly good (for a woman) salary -- was
the 13 volume, 1933 edition
of

THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY.

Extravagant, awkward, it was
shipped to my office from England in two
wooden crates. Unloading the books at home
I arranged them



ON BECOMING AWARE OF ADVENTURES PERSONAL TO ME

#206
5-25-12

in an empty-
centered, coffin-like rectangle,
then cozily lay down among them.
(I can’t remember if I ever bought
a second significant thing.)

Even now, when most of the world’s words are online,
I have them still, use them -- occasionally. Niece,
Suzanne, wants to inherit them. She will
doubtlessly treasure them and pass
them on -- relics from the era
before all knowledge
is implanted in us
via
computer
chip.



ON BECOMING AWARE OF THE NOISY STILLNESS

#207
5-26-12

Traffic noise, birds, airplanes, doors closing -- is that
the hum of the universe? The tap of feet in the hall.
I’ll walk today into the sunshine, the warmth.
Summer’s coming.

The stunning array and abundance of flower goes on,
my mood lifts, the flesh maybe hurts a little less,
the brain putters on, not unpleasantly.
Spring at its height!

Are we really going to destroy all this for human greed?
Ask Shiva-purna, who has adapted quite nicely to
being a captive cat, if he wants more:
Love? Cat food? Brushing?



ON BECOMING AWARE OF THOUGHTLESS PEACE

#208
5-26/27-12

At this late date it seems to me that
artists are the ones who simply tell the best lies
about the human condition.

For when you get old and strip away all else,
what have you got left? -- Eating, sleeping, a
rather blank take on total awareness

that means less and less as the days go
by and, energyless, you spend days
trying to remember, to guess

where your enthusiasm, your talent
came from in those brief,
energetic, halcyon days.

Where it has now flown
hardly matters.
You’ll be there soon
enough.



ON BECOMING HALF AWAKE

#209
5-27-12

Mild, sleepy -- fagged out,
too much sleep.

The sunshine has flown, my Sunday
morning radio programs of less and less
interest, except Maria Gilardin.

She always comes through -- this morning,
with a re-look at the Kent State murders --
possibly by the FBI doing their regular

infiltration of peaceful gatherings
to foment riots, to make the Students,
-- the, today, Occupiers -- seem guilty

of behavior they would be
justified in shooting at. Our world
offers a hideous vision.

Shiva-purna comes meowing, tucks
down, cheek on cool linoleum
and, pretending to be my muse,
sleeps.



ON RECEIVING COMMUNICATIONS

#210
5-28-12

A glimpse of inspiration?
Possibilities? My coarse,
orangey red chair, with
the two
denim blue pillows,
covered with the ornate,
Chinese dragon-patterned
-- What to call it? --
eight foot long throw,
embodies gold richness on
Prussian blue. Lined with dots
on greenish-gold unctuousness,
of which a small flipped over bit
at the top winks at me, suggesting
I should turn it into a poem. A
flipped bit of fabric? Covering
an indifferent chair, evokes? --
The whole, like a throne,
the tiny flipped bit,
a delicate, quite
private, message
from
the great
Shape-shifter
Shiva.



The 91 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON BEING OPEN TO THE FLIGHT OF THE CANDLE LIGHT

#211
5-28-12

Eyelashes feather my cheeks:
I don’t feel them. I feel only
light or
imagination.

To what end? These
super delicate
feelings --
like
tiny moths,
bugs, molecular size
mosquitos,
found on my
kitchen wall -- so
transparent they are
invisible, except for what
I mistook to be moisture drops
speckling the wall’s colorlessness.
Transparent wings, translucent bodies,
where did a 1/2 million come from? And why?

I have not rinsed the wall, nor the
stove hood, as I enjoy having the
evidence they were here
-- are still here --
those bugs of light.



ON BEING RELEASED FROM A PACIFIC NORTHWEST WINTER

#212
5-28-12

If I live through another PNW winter
I must not forget that as spring thrusts
toward zenith the light breezes blow,
the leaves on the high trees near my
windows rustle like inaudible music.
Energy.
Light.
Air to breathe
return
from
hibernation.
Poems
write themselves.
The air is full of poems.
The air is poems:
the light glows pure sunlight, the brain
swells toward the bones of the skull,
all is a triumphant glow --
that Shiva didn’t want
to go unacknowledged.
So he invented
beings larger than bugs, smaller than dinosaurs.



ON BEING RELEASED FROM A PACIFIC NORTHWEST WINTER II

#213
5-28-12

Not very often do I get quiet enough to write these
gossamer poems. The freeway subdues its hum at
my back. An airplane, maybe two, fills, for a long
minute or two, the available decibels, then fades
into the nothingness of being, having been,
has been. The wind whistles. The air, full
of motion wants to chill me, but I em-
brace it. Embarrassed, it calms to
a wafting whisper across
time. Intention?
Is it always
here?
Will it come
again?
Be?

The Beatles sang: "Let it be. Let it be."



ON BEING RELEASED FROM THOUGHTS

#214
5-28/29-12

Yesterday, after we’d
taken a long slow walk to Greenlake
(and back), where not as
many people as
I, a Seattleite, expected on a dappled
Memorial Monday, strolled
round; and after Margaret
(my self-appointed
Sherpa) had scraped up piles
of soil, filled and carried
a large pot of it, from which to
replenish other pots, upstairs,
I planted the aloe from Julie.

All day the blooms were
stunning, the sunlight
intermittent. Alone at last, I
fell immediately into an
exhausted, mildly depressed state --
having written poetry,
lickety-split,
much
of
the
morning.



ON BEING RELEASED FROM AN ABILITY TO THINK

#214A
5-29-12

Unable to escape the pressure
in my skull -- either my brain died
or a high pollen count
stretches my brain
like a drum’s head,
or today I enter a new phase
of disintegration.
Hmmm.

Blank, I sit and stare.
Margaret brought additional speakers
so I can play CDs or DVDs
on both computers.

Unaware 28th had transitioned into 29th,
I had no originating-on-this-day
poem in my one-a-day poem-project.
Thus, late at night, I write this poem --
longing only to sleep.

I woke, I wrote 6,000 poems,
I went back to sleep.



ON BEING UNABLE TO CONCENTRATE

#215
5-30-12

Maybe
a bit better
-- after a fruit
drink? with
coffee,
almond milk?
1 Prednisone?
a Glucosamine?
I, apparently, mis-
read my calendar,
(not the first time)
and asked S to arrive
earlier than necessary.
What do I do that I get
crossed up day after day? It
becomes a colossal drag re the groping
mind. And down I go into the dungeon
of blame and game. Is this a Christmas tree
I see developing before me? Give the computer
a chance and it’ll do its own thing.
Maybe better than yours.



ON BEING AWARE OF LIVING

#216
5-31-12

You do it all the time,
but at no time is it clear
what you are doing.

It is background, the
sound of the sympathetic
stings on the sarod,

everything/nothing.

Its twin description(s)
of god: this, this and this;
and not this, not this, not this.

All pervasive. Everything, everywhere,
pervasive. You can’t be aware
of it. It is your awareness.

I’d be impatient with this --
these nonsensical words,
this trying-to-be concept,

but now, with my age-fuzzied
brain, it seems perfectly clear
to be aware of living, of being.



ON BEING AWARE OF THE PEOPLE

#217
5-31-12

The people across the tarmac are sending signals.
Or is that an aeroplane? Same eyes, same hips, but
maybe they’re not related. Wynken, Blynken and Nod
sail by in their shoe.

I’d settle for less -- if there were any possibility I’d be
heard. The highway hums, the night falls down, soon
I’ll pick up my bag and go back to my bed in the dark.
Send my blessings to God.

Get a receipt. He’s forgotten us. We know
nothing but the moon: made of the earth. We’re
made of the sky.



ON BEING AWARE OF A COSMIC SHIFT

#218
5-31-12

I didn’t used to think the universe should listen to me,
but now I do.
It’s the simple opposite of thinking that every molecule
and its exact placement
is
meant to be exactly that
and
that that
is
meaningful.

Why so much
pattern?

Unless
design is a pleasure
for God
as
well
as for me.

But
I lose the sense of
this/that
as
frequently
as I believe it.

Like God,
it’s a convenient
metaphor
for
Shiva,
the dancing God, lost in the grand intensity
of rhythm,

dha din din dha



ON BEING AWARE OF ONE MORE MORNING SHOUTING RAGE

#219
6-1-12

I feel violent and vicious, willing to poke and punch.
What? Who? the God-damned Universe for perpetual,
ongoing interference in everything I try to do. It truly is
hell on earth: to spill, to stumble, to overreach, to under-
reach, to wrongly estimate -- each everyday thing. I walk around
in the nude trying to do in the morning, before I am encumbered
by clothes or shoes, with double and triple the opportunity for
doubling and tripling the miss-es.

Slow down, Plein Jan, hold your breath long enough, the problems will pass.



*This is the last of the 91 word poems, and I wrote the first draft right to the exact count for the first time. I'm getting good at estimating a specific quantity of words on a page -- a fantastically useless skill, something like poetry itself.





The 90 Word Poems 1 -- 10

ON BEING AWARE OF ONE MORE MORNING’S SADNESS

#220
6-1/2-12

I live up near the top of a hundred year old Lombardy Poplar
in full leaf. The wind causes it to dance and rustle.
I want just to watch it, listen to it, stare into space.
Enough time has been had by all. I used
to be concerned about what
would happen to my
writing when I died.
Now, not so
much.

I’ll be gone. You'll be gone.
C’est la vie.

They didn’t want to read it while I was living,
I'm getting beyond caring if they
read it when I’m dead.



ON BEING A FURTHER MEDITATION ON SILENCE

#221
6-2-12

It’s so pleasant when the quiet sets in after,
beyond, the noise of the radio. Thanks to Shiva,
I never got addicted to the visuals on TV.
I prefer the radio, old fashioned though
that may be. But in the totality of like
and dislike, being and not being, I’m still
in love with silence -- though, as that fellow,
that “monk,” once said, I am not a high
enough being to “go into silence.” True.
Quite true. I never would have guessed
how true I would find it out to be.



ON BEING INFORMED OF THE BEACON FOOD FOREST

#222
6-2-12

They apparently don’t know that Seattle was a food forest
long before we got here, when the Indians were here, and the
wild blackberries, elderberries, huckleberries, oregon
grape, crabapples, salal, salmon berries, thimble berries, hazelnuts
are still here -- and struggle to survive the machetes of the Parks
Department, the homeowners, the landowners. Just don’t let
them deplete our fruit basket, let alone the fabulous edible
weeds, dandelions, plantain, chickweed, nettles, quince,
black raspberries, mushrooms and twigs,
strawberries, fiddle head ferns,
rose hips, bitterweed.

Nonetheless, hurrah for the
Beacon Food Forest!



ON BEING AT SIXES AND SEVENS

#223
6-3-12

...at times, 8s & 9s. I am beside myself with frustration
because the cosmos continually thwarts what I want to do.
All the world I know is in my head or at my fingertips, how
then can it be so discombobulated? What is its “straight line”?
What does it have to do that doesn’t allow deviation toward
my desires -- ever? If this is valid idiocy, how come
it arrived “suddenly” in my seventy-eighth
year? Where has clear mind, energetic
motivation gone? You note:
I “worked hard to
shake it out.”
Enjoy.



ON BEING AWARE THE FEAR IS BEGINNING TO DISAPPEAR

#224
6-3-12

It’s noticeable that the fear is half gone, more gone
than I guessed it could be before I noticed
it going. I watch myself speaking
up, doing this or that, quite
unconsciously, having
forgotten I was
afraid to do
it. Now I
often
accomplish
the thing itself
before I become aware
I used to be afraid to even begin.
I cling less to my writing, acknowledging
it no longer is of primary importance. Now, I do
what I do, remembering, often without attention,
whatever my brain designates, significant or not.



ON BEING AWARE OF THE FEAR

#225
6-4-12

Some doctors know more words than I do, but no more
about the human body. Especially this human body.
Sometimes they do a little good, often they have no
more idea of a “cure” than I do. Walk alone, for
Shiva’s sake, walk alone. I rose this morning. While
taking a bath I got terribly traumatized, “post trau-
matic stress.” Called Terry -- no answer still. Then
I just relaxed into doing the dishes. cleaning the
icebox, playing the mid end of the puzzle.
No phone calls
Stay home, relax.
Enlightenment!



ON BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE / ACT LIKE

#226
6-5-12

On beginning to look like⁄act like a down and outer, one of
the street people, the discouraged and driven mad people.
Now that I have let go of the musts and shoulds and
could-if-you-trieds, the Northern European
Anglo Saxon tradition and answer to
being, the work ethic of:
you must go on
no matter
how
shitty you feel,
I’ve come to a standstill --
like Steve, who just keeled over, woke up in the hospital
-- you should be so lucky! But here he is, on the street, rough voiced,
cheerful.



1 or 2 90 Word Poems

ON BEGINNING TO CONSIDER

#227
6-6-12

Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps man is not a compassionate
creature. Yesterday, in Wisconsin, we saw a bit more
than half of mankind vote against his own best interests,
vote for the rich, vote for the movie/money/maker/
advertising budgeteers. What more do you need to see,
Plein Jan?

You look at your own life and you see that, truly, the most
exciting events were often creations of great piles of money:
going to the moon, building the vast and sumptuous architecture
of Indian Temples. Great accumulations of wealth, religious
or secular, or war have fielded some of the greatest
splendors of mankind.

Do you really need to care about the lives trampled? men,
women and children killed, maimed, starved in pursuit of riches
and beauty? Can the temples and the palaces be built only from the
blood of many? Is one man’s vision necessarily rapacious? inevitably
in conflict with the greatest visions of all: nature building her forests,
colossal monuments, oceans, mountains,

ninety foot trees, eye-stretching canyons, towering eroded sculptures
with just the power of rivers running through rock? When mankind finally
rests, will it be to enjoy what nature placed here before he arrived, and
early man knew how to worship? When we have time to contemplate,
will we, as a species, be less self-involved, self-congratulatory?
Less willing to be special --
like me?



ON BEGINNING TO BEING

#228
6-6-12

How do the pieces of this world come
together? Plate tectonics was
a beautiful suggestion, cooling and
sympathetic, possibly lasting. Eternal
change can be boring.

We lost this second one once. Let’s
see what happens in a second round now.
Round and round, the meanings will
emerge and seem no stranger than
that which is already here.

What is this sudden urge to write
nonsense? Or is it simply an urge
not to work on sense anymore?
Let’s save this this time, or
see if it wants to disappear again.



ON BECOMING AWARE I REALLY AM

#229
6-7-12

I really am a bit dotty. Not only that, but I discern
a certain pleasure in being silly -- just like my father.
Only now, instead of filling me with contempt, it fills
me with a certain relief, a certain pressure to not so
pleasure in the illness which will sooner or later, no
doubt, cause death: non-glamorous diseases, such
as eczema, energylessness, continually reoccurring
knee pain. Enough already! How much more does one
have to pay for a one-way ticket out of here? on the railroad
to eternal rest?



The 89 Word Poems 1 -- 10

WHICH CAUSES ME TO ASK

#230
6-7-12

Is the earth itself in constant pain?
Not from human impingement (as we like to think),
but simply from being in its “being created” turmoil:
its earthquakes, its tsunamis, its volcanic explosions,
its often recurring seeps of flood basalts, its dust
blows and rain storms, its gigantic elephants
tamping the ground -- or dying off and
not tamping the ground --
an hypothesis I lately heard of why so
many of the early animals were so
big: enormous in size and weight they compacted new ground
to make things grow.



AND ASK AGAIN

#231
6-7-12

The next thing I read is the dinosaurs
may not have been as big as we think, in fact
may have been fairly skinny, bony things, svelte
agile, hopping about -- like kangaroos -- and not in on the
primordial tamping scheme of, say, the mastodons, the sloths.
The whales, too, are big side shoots.
We’re medium size ourselves but, look
at the disproportionate effect we have
caused in part by our mobility, which,
in turn, is a residual effect,
of those big ones
and their
plant food
decaying into oil.



One And A Half 89 Word Poems

AND NOW I’M LEFT WITH THIS

#232
6-7-12

What is it all about?
Do I expect the heavens to open up,
a voice to intone -- what...?
Perhaps one of my few meditational insights:

Total Trust

Here I am knocking loudly at death’s door --
still no word.
Today led me to Gaffur’s Form, and re-reading
some Devayani Poems.

They have not disappeared.
nor has my time living in San Anselmo,
going to Swapanji's and Khansahib’s classes,
wandering aimlessly round and round
the San Francisco Seminary.

All this remembering
was stirred into motion
by Paul Scott’s RAJ QUARTET,
and the BBC production
called:
THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN.

A few days ago the novel itself
would not leave my mind.
It was only a dim memory,
not knowing where or when I had read it,
or if I had seen the BBC production.



ON BECOMING AWARE I HAVE LESS AND LESS DESIRE TO MAKE SENSE

#233
6-8-12

Let it flow! Wherever -- like a spring spring.
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow
through leaf debris, exposing roots,
covering rocks -- at first, just a coat of
greying wet, then the crystal clear bubbles,
ripples of the spring itself.

Up from hiding in the earth
comes the clear water, making earth
habitable. The other planets get
short shrift/shift
re water. Not many have
atmosphere, some have gas.

Somewhere out there there may be
huge vats of potable liquid
for fish and humans,
or other things.



ON BECOMING A BELLE FOR LIBERTY

#234
6-8/9-12

I think my desire to be sick
exceeds my desire to be well.
Grandmother: now I begin to
understand you, sitting for years
at the kitchen table -- drinking coffee
laced with canned milk, eating grey,
homemade, margarined, bread -- stacks of
unread Christian Science Monitors at your
right elbow, your back against the wall, some read
Monitors creased, bent back on the table, some at your feet.
“Let it be,

let it be, let it be,” you knew that song long before the Beatles sang it.



HAVING WRITTEN 6,000 POEMS

#235
6-9-12

I’ve become patient enough to eat my dinner one bite at
a time, slowly, bean by bean, drawing out meager sustenance
to fill the long evening until the shadows fall asleep. Even minute time
segments can cover an infinite hour, like the pace of the hands on the school
clock’s face -- if you can wait that long -- comparable to the years it took to mound
the platform on which the Taj Mahal was conjured, ethereally white against the depth
of the day blue skyand the night black cosmos.



BECOMING AWARE ENOUGH TO STAND ALONE

#236
6-10-12

It’s bad to demand creature comforts from one another,
for your vital statistics you must remain alone. Each
living creature dines alone in consciousness with
just the universe for silverware, the stars at
large, the radiation wavelengths
dancing up and down,
forget the silver
plating.
Plant
vital things,
that live alone,
use digital imagery,
prosthetic limbs and
artificial consciousness
for plug-ins where the
sky and stars used
to be. “Pay
attention only to me,” cries human’s imaginary god,
while forgetting, neglecting the goddess before parturition.
Stand alone, stand alone.



BECOMING AWARE

#237
6-10-12

We’ve adopted Munch’s "Scream"
as our logo in the Human Race --
the Olympics of a dying species,
too proud to accept the gifts
available, we invent our
own poisons, with
great pride
and
colossal talent,
paying no attention to
the atmospheric gifts heaped
upon us day after day after day.

What will we do tomorrow when carbon
neutral says to stop? Race on. Race on. Race on.
O crazy Man and even crazier Wo - man.
Wake up -- now! Tomorrow came
yesterday. The earth
is cooling
from
its meteor shower.



BECOMING AWARE OF INSPIRATION’S M.O.

#238
6-10/11-12

Waiting for inspiration is
exhausting. Inspiration is
secretive.

Like a thief in soft shoes,
it sneaks up, pencil in hand,
and strikes without pain --
deep, dramatic or sly.

It seldom comes
while one waits,
nor does it laugh when
it catches one off guard.

One just -- not necessarily
suddenly --
finds oneself with
“something to do.”

Only later recognizing
with gratitude --
being caught while
wandering in the limbo

of not knowing what to do,
one is in a state of exultation
doing and doing.
Inspiration is exhausting

and without end.



BECOMING AWARE OF THE ANXIETY HOLE

#239
6-11-12

Becoming aware of the anxiety hole in my stomach’s pit --
it often forms like a black hole 10 to 30 minutes after waking. Why?
I don’t get anxious in my sleep. But waking,
even into summer’s sunlight (next week)
initiates the bottomless pit feeling down
in the abdomen and a little
breathlessness in the chest.

Why?

Haven’t I done enough over decades, decades, decades
to wake serene? This doing disease! -- is it American? --
because we go out and terrorize the world
or
is it just a characteristic of being human?



The 88 Word Poems 1

BECOMING AWARE OF THE WAY THINGS ARE

#240
6-12-12

It’s an extraordinary thing to wake up all but paralyzed every
morning; neck stiff, back stiff, haunches stiff, knee twinging,
aching again, as it tries to move -- whether on the top or
on the bottom.

It takes a trip down the ladder for evacuation,
then up and down, and down again, before I
wake enough to move determinedly against
the partial paralysis.

Then, encouragingly enough, after an hour or so,
Plein Jan returns and is able to move her stiff neck
side to side, up and down -- bow.





A MORE PERFECT WORLD

#241 -- #273
6-12-12 -- 7-1-12


The 88 Word Poems 2 -- 11

BECOMING AWARE IT’S TIME TO IMAGINE A WORLD I’D LIKE TO LIVE IN

#241
6-12-12

And I have no idea
how to begin.
My critical faculty, like,
I would guess, most
people’s critical faculty,
or maybe not most,
but the intellectual
crowd I belong to,
has an over-developed
sense of what’s
wrong --
or is that a human
frailty?
Something wrong?
Go fix it.
Start a petition,
start a moral war.
How did we get so
trained for war,
for fighting?
Why didn’t we (I) notice
the birds singing,
the flowers blooming?
Why does one more
beautiful day slip
from the mind
so easily?




BECOMING AWARE I’M NOT READY TO IMAGINE A BETTER WORLD

#242
6-13-12

-- where I’d fit in,
not be alien.

Watching
THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN
last week, my single thought
was:

how released British souls -- if not their severely
hedged-in-consciousness --
must have felt with all that space,
wildness, wilderness
to sport about in,

to sail out from that claustrophobic,
completely gardened isle,
to stride freely
across a great land, trample a history
multiple times as old,
exponentially more complex
than that of the blue woaded* Anglo-Saxons.

No wonder India was
THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN,
indeed, the very crown itself.

* Isatis tinctoria



BECOMING AWARE I’M BEGINNING TO IMAGINE A BETTER WORLD

#243
6-14-12

Things calming down, the flames less hot,
a quiet, serene, ocean stretches out
before me -- cool, refreshing.

Feel better. Don’t know why. Depression passing?
I have remembered, during this particularly awful
session with the blues, that I do seem periodically
to cycle through depression -- just “depression.”
It may be something purely physical and, if I
wait long enough, I come out the other side
-- once again able to think and do, feel
good and reason --
and we’ll see
what else
might
birth itself before this life is over.



BECOMING AWARE I BEGIN TO SEE MYSELF AS

#244
6-14-12

frighteningly thin -- in the mirror. I find my shoulders,
my arms, even my thighs look frighteningly thin.
Yet I know I probably still weigh in the 170’s
or more. Odd -- what the eye doesn’t see
in the mirror -- that the avoirdupois
doesn’t register as excessive
poundage.

Do you suppose that just admitting --
after listening to Charlie Rose’s
CONSCIOUSNESS
program
-- twice! --
after really
admitting
that I am depressed
might act as a cure-all?

Everything lighter today,
the serene ocean vision persists,
the unfocusing of attentive attention
may work.



BECOMING AWARE OF A GIFT

#245
6-14-12
“A poet needs to know everything.” JH
HS brought from Susie
the 5-3-12 Skagit Valley Herald’s 360’s
article about Edward R. Murrow
(Egbert)
and his two brothers, Lacey and Dewey --
from Blanchard -- schooled
with my father at Edison High.

Edward, as head of USIA,
mentored his successor,
George Stevens Jr.,
who later left USIA to found

The American Film Institute,
where he
employed Toni, my mentor,
who helped me
circulate for awhile
in the big world,
acquiring enough
vocabulary, knowledge, savvy
to write,
later on,
as Plein Jan,

about the 10,000 things.



BECOMING AWARE OF A GIFT II

#246
6-14/15-12

Everyday I drive myself right to the edge of sickness.
Excess! always excess!
eat too much, sleep too much, write too much.
I can’t quit
until I feel queasy, overspent, dopey.

I’ve never discovered
moderation,
a point at which to quit.
That’s why these 88 words, exactly!
are important to me!
Unless I have a preset, arbitrary limit,
I can’t stop.

I love the idea of a nunnery -- living by the bell.
But, though I have managed to do so
at times,
quitting now
doesn’t happen for me.



BECOMING AWARE OF A GIFT III

#247
6-15-12

The sunshine splashes through the glass,
hits my newly seeded big pot. I lean down
close to hear the seeds pop, the sprouts thrust
up. I need more sunshine. As soon as the sun
does shine, I want more -- and more.

Why be satisfied with enough? It is so
far away, so hot in itself -- and cooling.
A few degrees more for me, for my
time left on earth, would surely make
little difference to the sun. The lacy
shadows
begin to
shimmer

over walls, into my heart.



BECOMING AWARE OF INCAPACITY

#248
6-15-12

Listening to TED through the day
reminding me how narrowly I have constricted my
universe. Why? A whole new way of thinking
evolved since I stopped paying attention.
Intriguing? No doubt. But I can barely tease
out the sense. Why does anything have to
make sense? Play with the human genome -- who knows
who may emerge?

Sneak stealthily into silence. Watch A and B submerge.
Even though their capacities have less in common
than I have in common with Shiva-purna.
At least he knows how to obtain food.



BECOMING AWARE OF LISTENING

#249
6-16-12
For Safiye
It’s thrilling just to know you,
just because you are half Turkish,
exotic, from another world
running through your veins,
dark eyes, angular body,
a wild sense of rhythm and fun,
a breath of mustache above your
elegant, feminine lip,
dark brows, a frown
of concentration,
learning about the world
first and second hand.
The other half is Mexican --
maybe that’s where the rhythm
comes from, the impulse to
go and do, to laugh,
discarding the North American,
dour, too sober to sit in the sun, Nordic heritage.



BECOMING AWARE OF A QUESTION

#250
6-17-12

What does “to write” mean?
As in conversation, one
never quite knows what
one is going to say, until its
said.

When young I thought:
“Someday great ideas will
come, a complete vision,
a timeless awareness,
Brilliance, certainty.”

I’ll know what to say
when I get there. Then I’ll sit,
write. But that’s not what
happened.

My best writing, indeed,
much the way I now write
almost everything
is by catching the tail,
ear, eye of a thought that
feels worth writing down --
at least for the moment.



The 87 Word Poems 1 -- 11

BECOMING CURIOUS -- WHO ARE THEY?

#251
6-17-12

I know little about my friends,
don’t remember histories at all.
What happens to them or me
always seems forgettable.

Important is the hunger or
anguish I feel, they feel, day
by day as life slips through
our fingers,

fleeing from now into the past.
Today is today and it hurts,
or it doesn’t. Today I am,
she is, ecstatically happy.

Events recede.
Each vision of disaster
or heart stopping delight
expands the soul and leaves
anticipation airless.

Sing soul, sing!
Enjoy the sunshine,
shed salt tears.



BECOMING AWARE OF WHAT WRITING IS

#252
6-18-12

I can’t go back to India,
the India I found in 1983,
wandering, going wherever
a word, or my feet
took me.

I can’t go back,
because I am
different,
India is different,
my ignorance is different,
and I am not free of expectation.

Pay attention to the world you travel,
you’ll not see it again, never
know its pristine newness
again.

Everything evaporates.
Time passing is
the bottom
line.

Pay attention. Be here.
Be there.
Be.

Write about it.
Words are
the butterfly net
of time.



BECOMING AWARE OF UNCHOSEN CHOICE

#253
6-18-12

I’m gambling.
I forget what I’m doing
five times an hour.

The hair cutting razor is out.
The bath mat is down,
The poetry page is closed.

Shiva-p gets frozen cat food;
I get black bean hummus
for breakfast

with zucchini, black bean/white corn/quinoa chips.
Circle back in order?
Out of order?

Go off on a tangent.
Zigzag?
Return on a ruler.

The alphabet makes
the mind (a chaos of vision)
an orderly progression

it wasn’t meant to be.
Choose an unmindful concept.
Or not.



BECOMING AWARE OF UNCHOSEN CHOICE II

#254
6-18-12

I’m losing my fine motor skills, i.e.
the skill to pick a sheet of paper
from the floor -- or a puzzle
piece from table --
or floor.

The fingernails no longer slip
easily under the object,
balance, lift,
grasp.

Why
write this down?
Partly because no one else
will. The big things in life seldom

bothered
me into making
language. But the little
things of everyday drive me mad!

Now, there’s an observation worth a piece

of
paper
-- or today --
a few bytes
on a super-colossally-light
MacBook
Air.



BECOMING AWARE OF QUIET, OVERCAST

#255
6-19-12

Becoming aware of the quiet, overcast,
hum of the highway -- grey. Gray mood,
grey light tinging all, including my heart.
Thinking of S, her cancer. Will she

maintain a “no speak about it” attitude?
Or welcome “time to talk”? We all have
destiny dates; it’s all but un-American
not to cower at cancer, even

knowing it as another extortion tool,
handy, nearby, a Damocles' Sword
hung by a spider’s thread swaying
above everyone’s head.

When the doctor threatened
me with it, I didn’t go back.




BECOMING AWARE OF SUMMER

#256
6-20-12

Sun’s out, warm back, seeds sprouting like mad
in the new earth filled, dirt filled pot.
I don’t know what -- melons?

and two other things -- planted on June 14th?
Here they come. There’s enough
earth/dirt in there to grow

quite a crop. But the sun doesn’t come in
enough to grow food -- lots of
leaves but no food and,

as the summer arrives (tomorrow),
the sun moves to leave
me in shade,

lots of light and complete shade.
The poet’ll have some
flowers,

brightness
without
sun.



BECOMING AWARE OF THE SOUNDS

#257
6-21-12

The sounds that I am alone, and will be alone
throughout the day, click and bumble and hiss.
The Good Shepherd Center makes more noise
than the no birds, one distant airplane world.

An unsourceable dripping; my heaters’ fans,
whether spinning heat or cold, intermittently
join the cat’s miew, the measured click, click,
click, clicking of his claws along the golden

linoleum. He knows “his” sounds: the dish
being set on the floor, the tub running --
soon he’ll be drinking soda water
sideways.
And I’ll be amused.



BECOMING AWARE OF MOUNT RAINIER WITH CLOUDS

#258
6-22-12

Yesterday, Solstice, at dusk
fluffy clouds -- unlike the usual horizontals that
sever peak from base -- overwhelmed Mount Rainier.

Today, two images haunt me:

1) This morning Amy Goodman reported
on a Senate Hearing: re 81,000+ men, in solitary
confinement -- some of whom are driven crazy.
“One,” mentioned by Anthony Graves,*
“pulled his eye out and swallowed it.”

2) The other: long ago, on an AFI student filmmaker’s
zoo shoot, a young mother, warned not to visit,
watched a lion behind bars, grab
her child and eat him.

* Exonerated and released after 18 years in solitary confinement




BECOMING AWARE OF CONSTANT ANXIETY IN THE PIT OF MY STOMACH

#259
6-23-12

Becoming aware of constant anxiety in the pit
of my stomach and getting very tired of it.
I shriek at the heavens: “I’m not a God
damned criminal!”

I steal only toilet paper, while others rob
nations and peoples, continents,
families, histories, livelihoods,
health, wealth,
futures.

So how did you come to feel so guilty?
It’s the Christian ethic: make
the other guy, or in
this case woman,
guilty
enough and they will disable

themselves, so the
1%
can concentrate
wholly on stealing
treasure
from everyone
else.



SPECULATIONS ON THE WEIGHT OF BEAUTY

#260
6-23/24-12

She was so beautiful that
the young man wanted
to sculpt a statue of her.

He did. Life-size.
It was beautiful.
She had been a dancer.
Its marble was heavy,
it weighed her down.

When moving to England,
she and four sons
hoisted it, the marble Ann,
into the truck’s bed,
drove to a cliff
-- they abound in --
the Puget Sound
area --

and shoved it into space.
It crashed on the shore below.
The one became many.
Free
of the inert weight
of a rock’s beauty,
she danced.



BECOMING A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN OLD WOMAN*

#261
6-24-12

Unexpectedly an image of the tower Joyce lived in flashes in my mind --
tall, but not unlike that squat tower in Chandigarh --
stone, cold in the Irish world, cool in hot India.
Have I seen a picture of its vivid image?

My tower is an Italianate, five story building with a multi-peaked
roof -- not at all a tower, really, but a multi-planed
attic, full of light and, from time to time,
a touch of
magic --

cohabiting with the nuns’ shades,
puzzling peacefully through
humanity’s
whys?
wherefores?
woes.

* Derived from James Joyce’s A PORTRAIT OF THE THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN




The 86 Word Poems 1 -- 10

BECOMING STIRRED UP AND BREATHLESS

#262
6-25-12

It’s partly coffee, of course, partly too much visiting,
chatting, too many people.

Need to be alone, watch the mountain dissolve --
snowflake by snowflake.

I love the slow decretion of these “diminishing
word poems.” I was shocked

yesterday to find a catastrophic disorganization.
Unconscious I had skipped

all but one of the 98 Word Poems, I threw in
a few hundreds-of-words

“epics.” Now I must “sort it,” as the British
say, edit them into

postable poems. The posting after the two?
three? year hiatus,

goes splendidly. Watch it accrete!



BECOMING AWARE OF EXTINCTION

#263
6-26-12

O God Almighty! The Itch the itch the
itch, not unlike other ultimates you
prescribe for your supposedly
favored creation. “1/3” doctors
say, “of earth dwellers are
afflicted
with
eczema.”

Is it fair? You invent us, then afflict us.
It may, of course, be our own doing.
We’ve completely poisoned our
air, our food with our “better than
nature,” idiotic inventions,
interventions.
We could
complain:
It’s all Your fault for

inventing initial perfection.
Where else could we have gone
but down hill, fast,
into
suicide?



BECOMING AWARE OF THOUGHTS ABOUT THE “NECESSITY”

#264
6-27-12

of that sinking feeling in the pit
of my stomach:

It’s familiar.
I almost welcome it,
fear I won’t get anything done
unless dogged by sinking anxiety.

Why not?
Because I’ll curl up into
a kittenish ball, go back to sleep.

Is that true?
Often. I long for oblivion,
so I go back to sleep.

Do you cultivate that need?
For what?
For the next poem?

No.
We both know I begin to
poetize after a big swig of coffee.
Is creativity chemical? -- not “feeling-related?”
Maybe.



BECOMING AWARE OF THOUGHTS

#265
6-28/29-12

They’re like piano wire twisted around the walking
wire Wallenda traverses to cross Niagara Falls.
Why would one want to do that? “It’s my job.”

Born into the Wallenda family: that’s what they do:
walk wires, other insane contraptions, conceptions
to make spectacles of themselves for jaw droppers,

for the entertainment of those who want to gape,
marvel. Let them. “May I have a menu?” It does
less harm to the Western World than one imagines,

than the insane Negativity Vow sweeping across
GOP’s windless plain.



BECOMING AWARE OF SURGICAL PRECISION

#266
6-29-12
For Suzanne
Clip, prune, snip a plant,
it always changes directions, slightly
or greatly. The older you get the more
likely you are able to guess, judge, conjure
the direction it will take. Pruning makes the
plant grow bushier, more full of fruit, flowers.
With apologies to the plant, clip precisely,
mend carefully, and the plant will be
more beautiful than it has ever
been -- such, too, is how we
study the stars in the
firmament:

Big Bang, and
eventually there’s
a sparkling asteroid
called Suzanne Hawley.



BECOMING AWARE OF THE NIGHT AND NIGHT THOUGHTS

#267
6-30-12

There’s no way words can convey
the smeary, sparkly grace of the lights
across -- and crossing -- the lake, across
Portage Bay, reflections in the water,
the misty rain coming down,
dots and dashes,

coming down slowly:
illuminating string-like patterns
under the lamplights of the parking lot.
Nothing exists in blank mind
but dots and dashes.

I want to scream and scream and scream and scream.
The mind hops about like a mosquito:
sucking blood here, there
and here again.
A crimson drop feast.
To what end?



BECOMING AWARE OF NIGHT SOIL, DISINTEGRATION

#268
6-30-12

As one can see, I have in no way suggested
A MORE PERFECT WORLD.
I can’t even describe
this one,

much less,
think about it -- or another.
After 78 years of grasping, taking it all in,
I have arrived at nothing

but futility. But, then again, that’s
something.
Remember your watch word
for poetic inspiration is:

Accept. Be grateful.
You could have been as dull-witted
as the other guy
instead of


Plein Jan

here she lies
misbegotten
fully clothed

RIP


DON’T SCRATCH
6-30-12




UPON COUNTING THE PLEIN JAN “A MORE PERFECT WORLD” POEMS

#269
6-30/7-1-12

48 are written.
There are three spaces left
for the full deck --
52 weeks in the year.
(Turns out I was mistaken in the count.)

This year we
gain a
second, a Leap Second,
“the 26th to be added to UTC since 1972”*
-- one second
ticking nine billion
times.

Don’t let it stop!

My God, don’t let it stop!
Who’d know which one
nine billionth of
the second
to start
up
again?

I visited the Atomic Clock in Boulder --
know I was there,
don’t remember it!

* http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/06/120629-leap-second-weekend-science-time-utc-atomic-clocks/




BECOMING AWARE OF BEING FARM RAISED

#270
6-30/7-1-12

Many people, you know which ones,
were never near a farm, don’t know
the best fruits fall ripe
from the trees. Bruised maybe,
perhaps a little rotten
in spots, but, skin peeled back,
or not and bit into right there,
in the heat and the dust,
the hot sun having
kissed it, it now, in kissing me,
excites the salivary glands,
the taste buds,
the tongue,
tickles the throat.
Infinite sweetness
channeled
down to the heart.
Even the dry lungs respond.
The zephyrs, the asuras steal.



CONSIDERING THE HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE

#271
6-30/7-1-12

The Hawaiian pineapple,
or, in particular, the golden, spiny, young,
second crop
pineapple I picked from the dust
in an Hawaiian field, peeled its slightly leathery husk
with my teeth
and ate -- there in the heat and the dust,
juice running down my
chin,
my arms
my body sweaty, turning sticky sweet in the heat.

Everyone should be
at least partially reared
on a farm to know
the sweetness of sweat-dropping life --
drop drop drop
onto the earth
-- indulging the succulent pleasure of
eating its fruits
fresh.



The 85 Word Poems 1 -- 2

CONSIDER THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CRAFTSMANSHIP I

#272
7-1-12

I am tired of my tidy world,
-- a place for everything, everything in its place --
so, apparently, is my subliminal self.

I find things in the oddest places:
the hamburger in the baggie and twist drawer,
walnuts, destined for refrigeration,
in my plastic (outlawed today) bags cupboard,
my white bowl on the kettle shelf --
a slipshod world.

I come from an age of perfection,
when our reading/writing, shooting/viewing crafts --
were released only highly polished.
Today? Not so much.
Google’ll still deliver its approximation.



CONSIDER THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CRAFTSMANSHIP II

#273
7-1-12

Now, on the news, they chop off mid sentence,
visuals are badly framed, interruptions occur mid report,
correct attribution is mocked.
Plunk. Its there.
Period.
There is enough.

With cell phone and iPod -- who cares about
niceties of composition, terminating courteously
at the end, not the middle, of a thought.
We used to relate through the elegance of editing
rather than higgily piggily juxtaposition.

Commentators race through commentary like
bullet trains to Hiroshima.
They communicate that their words, though said,
aren’t important and --

they’re not.

*  *  *  *  *  



The 85 Word Poems 3 -- 10

CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING GOOD ALL THE TIME I

#274
7-2-12

I feel good
but still unable to make a decision.
One week deep into 3 weeks,
alteration between 4 Prednisone
a day and 1,
the red dots and eczema splotches
are dying down.
I itch, but not intolerably.
Even a bit of
hope grows: “Let’s live!”

Is that the Pred or me?

I don’t know whether to continue
A MORE PERFECT WORLD
(an ironic title).
or switch to Plein Jan
-- walk on
dance it off.
I’ll opt for another title,
or for none at all.



CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING GOOD ALL THE TIME II

#275
7-2/3-12

The “feel good” is already cascading into
“dense head” after some coffee with
almond milk and whey protein,
a couple of strawberries and
one Pred pill.

No Thy this morning.
Trying it also: one day on,
one day off.

For some time past, I’ve begun
to suspect I may have passed
beyond the necessity for taking
Levothyroxine -- after
20 or 25 years.

I wish I could find a doctor to trust.
But they are all,
as far as I can tell,
“practicing” -- just like me.



CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING GOOD ALL THE TIME III

#276
7-2/3-12

The face is puffy, itches;
the back itches, too.

The biopsy gouges are bright black
and bruised. Did he go in
with a yardstick? None hurts, but
the back one itches -- fiercely.

My reaction to coffee makes me think
I should do without that now, too.

Here come the sneezes.
The weight gain is noticeable.
Old people don’t need “things to do,”
they are fully occupied being

aware of bodily processes
that used to just happen

without any help.
Ignore them?
That seems
artificial too.



CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING GOOD ALL THE TIME IV

#277
7-3-12

Hardly a thought comes into my head
without igniting a thousand memories,
abruptly staring into galaxies of new thoughts,
chains of memory, looping and linking
into the disappeared past,
a threading
forward into the proximate,
anticipated future:

what has happened, what will happen,
what is happening now. In lightening flashes
and slow, all but imperceptible, forward
thrustings,
and,
at times,
withdrawal into
inaccessibility
of the past.

Is this the extremity of delicious heat
that is burning
Colorado
to grey fecund ash
upon the ground?



CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING GOOD ALL THE TIME V

#278
7-4-12

Is that what it’s all about?
-- to sing

great songs, think big thoughts?
All the lying, cheating, crucifying people:
stir up enough dirt, you can commemorate
it in song:

“This land is your land, this land is my land.”

Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday lights on
July 14, Bastille Day.
Makes me realize how old I am -- just 2 and
20 from a hundred. Yet, excepting aches
and pains, the interior feels the same.

Maybe that’s true immortality.
You stay the same, and
change every day.



CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING GOOD ALL THE TIME VI

#279
7-5-12

To end like this,
right at the edge, not on the streets,
but nearly -- what a pleasure! Means
enough for independence, but none
to indulge in other old
age things: travel, excessive gift
giving, playing the market. I need no more
clothes, nor to go any more places, not to events, nor to visit
-- except Ann, a bit more
incapacitated then I am, but equally
joyous. 2012 is the most beautiful spring/summer
Seattle has ever known.
One need only walk
through it,
periscope-headed,

slowly.



CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING GOOD ALL THE TIME VII

#280
7-5-12

and the irresponsibility of having brought
this beautiful planet to its knees.
Fortunately we don’t have
the capacity to kill
it.
As soon as we are gone the earth will
reanimate its perfect ouroborosal
autocannibalism.
Again,
everything will
perform its
necessary
bit
in the
circular
sustain-
ability
earth
attained
long before humans began to interfere with its rhythms.

It, this vivid blue ball, will wander on, enjoying its creative
and disintegrative,
almost imperceptible
inhalations and
exhalations.

Who knows what history
will be left by humans?



CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING GOOD ALL THE TIME VIII

#281
7-6-12

Angela, this morning, at Bastyr,
teaching me to be more gentle
with my aching thigh, etc.
little movements --
Darling,
slow down, really
slow down
and
maybe the knee
will be perceived to be
better than you think it is.
What a colossal invention of a joint.

The whole world strikes me
as being far more amazing then I took time
to think ere now.

Twenty words short of my goal for the day -- what shall
we add in here? besides relaxation and attention? Hope? Charity?



The 84 Word Poems 1 -- 10

CONSIDER A NEW WAY OF DOING ALL THINGS

#282
7-7-12

Angela may have changed my life.
Do everything slow.

I’ve been doing a minuet
with that concept for months now,
but it took a great leap forward as she
was stretching my right, knee-hurting leg
yesterday in very slow, gentle motion.

All this aerobic hopping and dashing about
may be the problem and not the solution.

Outside I hear what I, at first, thought was some
machinery in distress, but then it resolved itself
into “marching” drums -- no doubt, the children’s
parade through Wallingford.



CONSIDER A NEW WAY OF DOING THINGS

#283
7-8-12

My dream, as a not very young girl, was:
to live every place in the world and write.

I’ve done that.

Years, places later, inspired by senior year
at Holy Names -- and much sole soul travel --

desire became: spend old age in a Nunnery
-- but no desire to be Catholic. I do

that now -- with a clear Southeast view across
Lake Union, up Capitol Hill to HNA’s dome,

St Joseph’s obelisk, St Marks’ octagon. Geometric
dreams, diminishing, manifest quicker, quicker,

mean less,
stabilize delight.



CONSIDER A NEW WAY OF DOING

#284
7-8-12

God (whizzing molecules) created pattern
and repetition.
(Now, with Higgs’ boson, we know
where matter comes from.)
You don’t need anything else:
one stitch, two stitches, one stitch, two stitches,
occasionally a third stitch -- and there’s a universe!

What to do with it?
Breed bees?

Create a Bang? -- shoot particles ubiquitously through space?

And space?

Where did that come from?
Where is it going? wondered Gauguin,
a hatchet-faced flower behind the girl’s ear.

Pink ground, blue palms --
occasionally Lake Union glows in the dawn.



CONSIDER A NEW WAY I

#285
7-9-12

Just take the chill out of the air --
even on a summer morning
small perimeters of cold

emanate from the stuffed seat of the chair,
the ridged metal and plastic of the arms,
the gap between its front and my back.

The head begins to fog in even with
3 sips of the coffee. Ate one fig.
What answer to the universe

is to emerge on this
morning of sunshine
and lingering
mist?

Is this an arrowhead I see before me?

A

sullied

continent?



CONSIDER A NEW WAY II

#286
7-10-12

Phone calls! company!
More then the last 6 months of ‘12.
Surprisingly, Plein Jan was up to it:
Energetic this day.

Even with annoyances and
gravity dogging every footstep, igniting
her trigger temper kicking in with coffee,
the last of the alternating 40 mg Prednisone.

Suzanne, over for Clarie, looking peaked, older, subdued.
Didn’t realize what a big event the cancer operation
was -- is. But good to see her relax.
Joyous Liz drops by.

A sunset walk with
the dogs, Neill, Happy Birthday, Margaret.



CONSIDER WINGED THINGS TRAPPED IN OUR WORLD I

#287
7-11-12

Yesterday,
on the kitchen wall,
almost indistinguishable
from it, a white moth perched
immobilizing me with its beauty.
I stared. I didn’t touch it,
I forgot about it.

This morning --
scrabbling in the wall.
Five floors up?
Mice in the walls?

I moved closer.
I walked away.
Tear down the walls
for a mouse?

Scrabbling again.
I peered into the vitamin tray.
The white moth was
scrabbling for its life.

I lifted the bottles aside.
It scrabbled.
It could not fly.
I crushed it.



CONSIDER WINGED THINGS TRAPPED IN OUR WORLD II

#288
7-11-12

One other time I’ve heard scrabbling
as disproportionately loud --
at the Dabob beach cabin.
Alone in the morning:
I thought it was
a motor boat
on the bay.

I couldn’t see it.
Finally, I caught sight
of a hummingbird, brutalizing
itself against a closed window.

I rose. I caught it in my hands.
I stepped outside, opened
my hands. It sat on my
palm, exquisitely,

for a full minute,
as if to reward me
with its beauty
for my kindness.

Then it flew away.



CONSIDER WINGED THINGS TRAPPED IN OUR WORLD III

#289
7-12-12

The house, tiny bit by, at times, one paper
at a time, is getting cleaned up.
It’s hard to image -- it’s too much to call
it joy -- but how -- my heart
begins to glow, on at least a low flame --
the clean parts delight me.
It’s taken two years, many a nap.

The sun coming in the window also delights
me. Summer has arrived and
stayed, noticeably, over three, or is it four?
or even five? days. Seattleites
rejoice, stroll slowly around Green Lake.



CONSIDER WINGED THINGS TRAPPED IN OUR WORLD IV

#290
7-13-12

They’ve found some new oldest bones -- in Africa, of course.
Two million years, they say. Another species, but human, by some
definition; interred in a rock and, for awhile past, in a museum. No
body curious enough to examine them ere now. Won’t it be a surprise
when we find that humans got here just about the time of the
Big Bang. Or not. It starts to rain -- after huge heat yesterday, sweating.
Thunder. No doubt lightening, but my back is to the window.



A 2.3333333333333 84 Word Poem

CONSIDER WINGED THINGS TRAPPED IN OUR WORLD V

#291
7-14/15-12

Everything is clean and white on a grey day.
It, all of it, none of it, can really be that clean.
Maybe it’s the luminous non-sunshine on the clouds
that makes this slow day seem so bright -- without sun.
I wait for something to happen. Nothing’s going to happen.
Sleep again, or force myself along the lines I actually want to go.
What is the difference between “force” and “willingness?”

I visited Ann, after a whole concatenation of phone attempts
and failures -- something’s wrong

84


with her line. And then a delightful
crossing of town, and intense
conversation -- about what?

Her sister’s bitterness about living -- but still doesn’t want to die.
Our mutual agreement that it’s hard to die. Hard, that is, to find
a decent way to commit suicide.
A civilized world would
provide a specialty shop
for the most
painless pills
or instruments
for one to use in
getting out of this world.
But no, the insanity of the Christian ethic
commands us to carry on living

84


living, living, drooling, incontinent and mindless. Plug even the unconscious
into artificial hearts and kidneys and brains.
How idiotic can you get?
How idiotic can medical science get?

28

= 196

divided by 84 = 2.33333333333333333333

84 + 84 +33 = 201 // 84 + 84 + 28 = 196



The 83 Word Poems 1 -- 10

CONSIDER SHIVA-PURNA

#292
7-15-12

He sleeps on his cushions, his big white paws crossed,
white chin laid atop them, quieter than a mouse.
I frequently feel bad about depriving him
of running through meadows
and forests, jungles and
gardens. On
the other
hand,

I
feed him
well, respond to
his cries for companionship
as best I can. Not, in fact, much. He
wants to watch me in motion, not computering,
not petting him, not, beyond an absolute minimum, trying
to play with him. Nada. Kaput. Fini.
Contentment?



CONSIDER SHIVA-PURNA II

#293
7-16-12

It is just about time for Shiva-purna
to learn to speak -- words. Already,
he speaks clearly enough in gesture,
movement, pleading looks,
tender rub-againsts.

But our communication is getting more -- not
complicated -- possibly: subtle. I’d like to understand
the subtlety of his desires, his affections, his thoughts
about our environment. Lovely though it is, it is for him
(and for me) a prison -- of comfort, of ennui, sleepy-headed
beauty, pleasure. Our destinies are intertwined. So what do we
do from here on in?



CONSIDER SHIVA-PURNA III

#294
7-17-12

Discombobulated! Too much delicious green mash!
No wonder dinosaurs, vegetarian or carnivore, grew so huge.
Green plants, meat! who could want more? -- except a bit of fruit,
dark chocolate.

The plain fact of ennui, non-inspiration, at 5:00 in the afternoon
is too much eating.

I continue avoiding
posting -- even though
I now know what to do, how to do it.

Just Do It! But I’ve promised no more force against Plein Jan,
nor mild coercion.
She’ll do it, when she does it.



CONSIDER SHIVA-PURNA IV

#295
7-18-12

Curiosity killed the cat. Satisfaction brought him back.
The rejoinder (in print), may be no older than I am, 1933.*
“Curiosity” started as “care” in about 1598 -- maybe Shakespeare,*
but was “curiosity” by 1898.*

Curiosity is a mainstay of my life.
If it were easy, I’d off myself tomorrow,
but it is not. Perhaps the main reason
I stay, without daunting dissatisfaction, is
Curiosity!

Where does that lane go?
What’ll happen next?
What’d he die of?
Who said that?

Perhaps I’m a cat.

* http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/curiosity-killed-the-cat.html




CONSIDER SHIVA-PURNA V

#296
7-19-12

Time is moving right along at such a fast clip
that it all but makes me dizzy, not only dizzy,
but slightly nauseated, as if I were rocketing
through space that is not quite stable, knocks
from side to side, twirls around and, at times,
seems like we’re heading right back to where
we came from -- right out there, right out
through the front door into the sky
blue sea, the sea-blue anemones,
the tadpoles, the frogs,
the ghost-white
moths with
transparent
wings.



CONSIDERING THE MUSIC I

#297
7-19-12

The sun is out, Wuersch plays the Ernst Saches trumpet piece.
My head singing, itching, the organ playing. For a moment
I envision the tiny soft clad, black feet of Solomon,
delicately running, touching the organ pedals
as the trumpet flings its notes in arcs
and swirls. My face itches.

I’m about to walk off to the Prednisone store,
get me more pills to keep the eczema at bay.
It’s actually going away. If only I could train
my fingernails to stop
scratching.



CONSIDERING THE MUSIC II

#298
7-19/20-12

The news keeps me over stimulated,
away from the beauty, peace, quiet of my beautiful loft, beautiful life.
How did the Western world -- maybe the whole world --

get so addicted

to drama? The movies? The novel? Writing? Poetry?
We made life more
“interesting,” stopped relinquishing it all to the past.

We grasp and hold artificial forms of the mind
and daily, hourly even, dramatize what has happened,
has not happened,

live large, exaggerated lives
in the dramatic past
and ignore the present

peace.



CONSIDERING THE MUSIC III

#299
7-20-12

The rain pours down like liquid fire,
a plane booms, breaks the sound barrier,
no one can see Mount Rainier today.

The emotions swim in the dry rain
in my studio, in my mind.
I try to concentrate on the beginning of time.

When did it start? Surely we were timeless
for several million years and --
if you count from

the molecular state -- probably several hundreds
of millions of years --
doing what?

Preparing to write a novel? Surely
something more than an
encyclopedia.



CONSIDERING THE MUSIC IV

#300
7-21-12

Stuffed head -- what from? I don’t know.
Too many vegetables?

The new washer is elegantly efficient. My
towels and sheets haven’t looked so white
in years, and that, with vinegar and soda!

The N and C uprooting goes on: first
I heard was six months, then J and R
as alternatives (unlikely), now it is 90

days. My heart goes thump thump
thump. It’s always hard to move on,
but it’s as frequently the saving of a

life as it is its downfall.



CONSIDERING CHERNOBYL I

#301
7-22-12

They’re going over what happened at Chernobyl --
worse than any of us can, even now, conjecture.
Radioactive clouds

high up, very high up, irradiating everything beneath.
Radio mentions almost everyplace but Seattle, or Seattle’s
Washington. Apparently God smiles on us.

But why is it that almost all I know suffer from
some kind of -- for now -- fairly moderate, but chronic
discomfort, disease? We’re all old, wandering toward

death, but do we have to limp, itch, cough,
suffer from askew and rapidly dimming sight?



The 82 Word Poems 1 -- 10

CONSIDERING CHERNOBYL II

#302
7-23-12

I think I’ve gone down,
maybe living in the void
from now on.

My universe is hollowed
out, resonant with clappers
re-sounding here and there
like mad cow bells

in the wind. Is this
the human condition? do
others feel full? Full of what?
The ringing in my head goes
on and on and on,

the chest fallen, the lungs
collapsed, the heart beating
like a hollow cave. There is
nothing outside that is not inside
to seek shelter from the mind.



CONSIDERING CHERNOBYL III

#303
7-24-12

The most on-time people in the world
are the majority members of the film
industry. If they’re not on time, it
goes directly into over-time, then
double-time, then golden-time.
Woe to the worker of the
world so out of it,
who’d fuck
with the
bottom
line.
Be
prompt,
be appreciated,
be loved and be
paid, at whatever
level a perfectly
decent wage
and be
on

time.

No melt downs,
no drama, no passing
around of blame. Love
your fellows,
love your
job.



CONSIDERING CHERNOBYL IV

#204
7-24-12

The Natural World -- where things
grow according to their own
time, shape, scale,
develop curves
and angles,
dwindle
to
nothingness
and
again gain ground
to full-blown
beauty and
design.

“Design” is the new
catch word,
covering
the worlds,
nano
and tech,

that newborns
understand instantly
and well; which we, of 78
going on 100,
stumble over, cry “Uncle!”,
wish we were dead.

Except!

Curiosity keeps us alive
and trembling with
mortal delight:
What’s next? What’s next!
Maybe Adam is
re-growing his apple.



A 164 Word Poem

CONSIDERING CHERNOBYL V

#305
7-24/25-12

FOR CHARLES --
if my relatives can’t think of
anything to do with my two slabs of wood
that have served as desk and
transition -- the smaller one -- take them.

Under the dozen layers of white paint is,
as I remember, beautiful
mahogany,
maybe Philippine mahogany,
from a woodworker I knew in
the Morongo Valley desert.

I needed
some
slabs to sleep on
in my Volkswagen bus.
The WW said: “I’ll cut these for you.”
I was shocked.
They were beautiful,
He just cut them and
gave them to me.

I slept on them for years, in the bus,
on the road, in various houses -- one or another with
cushions or not, and have used them as desk slabs
for 20 years or so.

If you know a wood worker,
you might strip them back
to their natural
state and have beauty
to write upon,
or eat upon,
or paint upon,
or sleep
upon.

I’m sure they’re full of
good luck,
high virtue,
lovely dreams.



CONSIDERING CHERNOBYL VI

#306
7-25-12

Why does my heart tremble so?
My head blurs,
My eyes blur,
I live,
a good deal of the time
in terror.

Why?

Is it caused by the daily news?
Maybe.
Why am I so addicted to those
nonsensical gloom
and doom
reports?

I know I feel better when -- living as I do
in one of the loveliest situations in
the world -- I live
in silence

or
what passes for silence
with the highway humming,
the garden gadgets going,
the pounding --

someplace.



CONSIDERING CHERNOBYL VII

#307
7-26-12

I have nothing
to say, yet
to an
excruciating
degree
I need to say it
clearly as possible,
with unmistakable
precision.

I sit down empty headed.
Make, create it. Then,
at the best of times, let it crumble
back into the ever friable
earth.

Everything has a history.
Each generation
forgets -- or never heard of --
30 Asian Americans
in my
NonWestern Architecture
class, two
Caucasians, the articulate girl
who sits across from me,
and me.

I never noticed until yesterday.
Why yesterday?



CONSIDERING CHERNOBYL VIII

#308
7-26-12

Because V,
trying to summon reactions from
the too silent students, polled:
How many had heard of
Salman Rushdie?
the fatwa?
Ayatollah Khomeini?
the 1979-81 Hostage Crisis?
The Shah?

None.

The vote was none --
but me.
History disappears
as fast as you can spin it,
leaving nothing to say --

a drop of nothingness
into the void.

An
“I don’t deserve”
terror
exists
in the pit of my stomach,
haunting,
vulnerable.

What is remembered?
What fragments
move into the record?

Then disappear.



CONSIDERING THE FIRST 19 PAGES OF HILLMAN’S
ALEXANDRA DAVID-NEEL SCRIPT

ALEXANDRA’S DREAM -- Part I

#309
7-27-12

This seems to me
all lyrical montage --
the champagne itself
rather than a recipe
of how the champagne
was made.

Is this “magical realism?”

Maybe I’m so far away
from film making,
Hollywood,
pitching,
salesmanship
that I no longer know
how a script is made,
sold or serves as a blueprint
for a movie.

Certainly you catch something
of Alexandra David-Neel,
but from the
connoisseur's POV
rather than from
the
vintner's.

How exactly does she get from French
child to Tibetan adventurer?



CONSIDERING THE FIRST 19 PAGES OF HILLMAN’S
ALEXANDRA DAVID-NEEL SCRIPT

ALEXANDRA’S DREAM -- Part II

#310
7-27-12

The study, the preparations,
the hardships, the rejection,
the nitty-gritty, I find “How-to”
scripts more interesting
than lyrical appreciations.

ALEXANDRA’S DREAM
adds to the myth
not the bio,
you’re telling of her dream
rather than how
she, herself, actually lived in
the bones and flesh of her life.

I’d like to know, step by step,
how she made the wine
rather than dwell on your
appreciation of the wine.

I could be wrong,
certainly there is room for both:
legend and bio.



CONSIDERING THE RESULTS OF WRITING POETRY

#311
7-27-12

Every morning I write a poem, and every morning
I fall asleep as I finish the poem
and must recuperate in bed
for an hour or two
before I
can
pick up living again.

Is this part of my goal of relaxing?
Does one 82 word poem take that much out of my
energy store, my adrenal capacity?
Or am I bored?

I’ve gotten so deep into nitty-gritty
writing it seems completely
uninspired.

Or am I down to the tap-roots at last?*

* Note the page number -- in original 333.





The 81 Word Poems 1 -- 10

CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT I

#312
7-28-12

Ebulliently silent with happiness
or, perhaps, Silent Ebullience of Happiness
as
Lilla and Diana were here, downstairs,
L on the bed, D on the rose-colored
foam mattress. I therefore couldn’t laugh
out loud? -- or dance on the ceiling.

Something I haven’t done since
my “enlightenment.”
The day after which, at Greystone,
in my spacious office, I restrained myself
from floating around the wide decorative coping
of my ceiling lest people think me peculiar if they
came in and saw me aloft.



CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT II

#313
7-28-12

D and I had talked about old times in
San Francisco, Los Angeles, at AFI etc. Where she
worked for me during my ten year tenure, and from
which I have never stated before, baldly, I was fired,
or, as they say today, Let Go, Terminated. Why?

Because
Jean Firstenburg disliked me, hated my success, wanted
to grab credit for the DWW and, no doubt, was already
planning to rid herself of me, having, she or her henchman,
listened in on phone conversations where I
made no secret of wanting to quit.



CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT III

#314
7-28-12

Toni advised me not to quit, let her fire me, it was then easier to
get unemployment. Unhappily, I took his advice and
stuck it out until the morning I arrived to find
the pink slip on my desk.

I can’t really remember the stated cause but I
think it was “restructuring” -- for which she
was firing the head of, inventor of, and most
successful head of programs in the whole
institute. Today there'd be no pause
even to think before one thought
of suing her/the institute,
because they immediately rehired the position.

But the world and I weren’t so deep into
the suing for cause then.
So I left,
both ashamed and delighted.



CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT IV

#315
7-28-12

And I left with my tail between my legs,
including one grueling tearful last
meeting with the bitch where I
whined “what am I going to do?”
and negotiated what was even in those
days a modest parting payment.

Well what I was going to do was go off
to an amazing new life of 30 years of
adventure and freedom,
culminating last night in
not being able to
sleep for
the
joy of
it all.

The immense weight lifted by
saying point blank last night
I was fired -- to Diana.



CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT V

#316
7-28-12

My other explanations have always centered around
the self hatred I had began to feel
re the shrewdness, cleverness,
calculation I was beginning to develop.
I had learned how to make my
way around Hollywood, how to push this button
and that button,
make this happen and that happen.

That pink slip was probably one of the best
things that ever happened to me,
but it has taken me 30 years
to be able to recognize, to acknowledge the successful
life I did lead, my accomplishments,
my goodness,
the moral standards -- if you will -- that I held myself to
(relatively unknown until last night).



CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT VI

#317
7-28-12

I did more than most, and I did shift the world, the
whole world, if only by the merest fraction of an inch,
by helping many filmmakers in their careers,
and women! the DWW, just by existing
shifted the down dog position of
women filmmakers.
I did that, and it made me happy!
So happy that I couldn’t sleep
last night 30 years after
The Dream of the Marble Bridge
and the
not being able to give myself
credit for what I have
actually done in my life.

Hooray Plein Jan



CONSIDERING I DID MORE THAN MOST VII

#318
7-28-12

I did more than most.
Enough to know that no matter
how much you do, you’ll be forgotten --
sooner or later -- mostly even in your
lifetime.

And it won’t matter. Fame is a bubble.
It bursts. Its nature is to burst.
Nothingness
into nothingness.

Whatever you do will be superseded by what
the other almost 7 billion* do, have done, will do.
The molecules never stand still.

Only you can stand still -- holding
a jeweled accomplishment
that only you
can
see.

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

This, 81 words, #7 added in a day later




CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT VIII

#319
7-28/29-12

Maybe life is nothing but a picture puzzle.
One plays it by picking up one piece
after another, fitting it in, if it fits, or holding
it back until one sees where it fits.

And when you finish?
Well, I, as quickly as possible, roll it up,
put it in its box, crush and wiggle-waggle
it until all the pieces fall apart, put on
the lid and -- on to the next, or -- to the interval
between one puzzle and the next.



CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT IX

#320
7-28/29-12

Other than pictures, what does it mean?

At night I stare across Lake Union
at the glory of Seattle’s 21st Century
skyline, a sparkling panorama from
my south windows, lights in verticals,
horizontals, diamonds driving north,
rubies south, brilliant crosses -- plane
lights -- flying toward me
and away.

I glance, I stare, trying to decipher: What
it all means. Nothing more than, sooner
or later, one has to raggle it up, fragment it,
return it to its box? Put on the lid.



CONSIDERING I WAS TOO HAPPY TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT X

#321
7-28/29-12

Maybe someone else will play it.
Or not.
The jigsaw puzzle
may be the greatest of all
anti-intellectualizing
tools --
so very much
needed by
this
gadget and glamour
society.

Everything is
displayed so succinctly --
what do you do with it?
Sequester it in its box?
Teach it all the things
you don’t want to
think about
anymore?

Get on with it?
Get on with what?

Live through it
Live?
Now there’s a question.
But there are no answers -- ultimately no questions.



The 80 Word Poems 1 -- 11

CONSIDERING ONE’S GREATEST FEAR IN LIFE IS THAT

#322
7-29-12

nothing will happen, that the hours will tick by
and nothing will happen, that days will nod
through and nothing will happen. How did we get so
differentiated from the lions? They sleep
all day and a good part of the night, yet, upon each
awakening, are filled with the energy and agility of a gymnast.

When I get up late, Mother will give me
avocado on toast for breakfast.
All the cooked cereal bits
having been served by
9:00.




CONSIDERING
HILLMAN’S ALEXANDRA DAVID-NEEL SCRIPT

PAGES 20 THROUGH 108
#323
7-30-12

TO BOB HILLMAN: Well, to plunge right in:

First, I’m 30 years away from Hollywood, script reading, thinking about the movies.

Second, I recently read another friend’s script and as you can see from the top poems here (#s 309 and 310) I had the same problem with it. You both seem to write in a kind of stream of consciousness mode right at the top -- to indicate a montage of “what came before,” and though it might actually work in film, it is, for me, really hard to follow and visualize in script form. So that brings up:

Third: What is your goal for this script? To sell it to a director or producer? To do it yourself? To pass it around to possible money people? To have it just exist (as a thing of beauty) in itself? It almost does the latter, but not quite.

Fourth: Maybe movie/Hollywood people are far more poetic than they used to be in my day. But in my day the beginning of the script would have been Page 20 -- where you begin to have some story/action/characters etc.

FROM HERE ON DOWN THIS IS STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS ON THE PART OF THIS “CRITIC”:

Ask yourself how much do they (whatever audience you have in mind) really need to know (19 pages worth of montage/background?) before they know any of the people involved. (You and I may be the only ones left alive to know just who, and what an amazing woman, Alexandra David-Neel really was.)

You turn out to be a very good writer -- if a bit oblique!

I ran into these same problems (ESPECIALLY THIRD ABOVE) when writing JOCASTA. And ultimately decided on “as a thing of beauty in itself” -- i.e. I really wanted it to exist and I really wanted people to read it whether or not they were considering it for production. So I went through and erased all the “camera” directions and called it a Reading Script -- so one could enjoy it just as a piece of literature. Which is probably not a great way to sell it.

No offers so far, but, as of today, 266 people have downloaded JOCASTA from Internet Archives, to say nothing of the one or two dozen I’ve passed it around to. So it’s out there -- and also on Amazon as a Kindle where no one has paid to download it. But that’s okay with me. I really want my take on JOCASTA to exist! I feel it’s that important -- to have translated the Oedipus story into a woman’s POV. Let it take a century or two. IT IS AVAILABLE, and I don’t need the money.

So that brings me to another point -- what really bothers me about ALEXANDRA’S DREAM is turning it into a “love story” which strikes me as really beside the point. It might be a selling point, but re her life, I doubt if it is true. If it is true, having read most of her stuff and never come to this conclusion, I’d like to be pointed to where you got the idea that she was “sexually” in love with Yongden.

Though I must say, your writing is oblique enough so one is never really sure whether or not that is what you are saying.

But, this comes from a Feminist. Women -- especially women like A D-N spend a good deal less time thinking about men and sleeping with men than men think they do.

A D-N was a Great! Adventurer, and I think that is REALLY CENTRAL to her life and, in a script written just for the beauty of it and the telling of her story and because you want it said, you mustn’t distort her raison d’etre. If it is written as a love story to sell it (to Hollywood or any major film company or person) that probably can be justified as shrewd.

Although the one person I kept thinking of as a possible director as I read it was Lasse Hallstrom -- and he probably wouldn’t need that inducement. (If you don’t know his work, look at all of it. He is very eclectic and BRILLIANTLY honest.)

I find the script as now written, half “slanted” and half “true to A D-N’s life”.

And I am fully aware that no one would make OUT OF AFRICA until they turned Denys Finch Hatton, an erudite English lord, into Robert Redford, “the cowboy.” But it got the film made, and it was quite a good film. (In my day, every woman in film wanted to make that film, but only Pollack was clever or shrewd or unprincipled enough to cast the BIG movie star. One makes one’s choices.)

For me, A D-N’s film SHOULD exist, on paper at least, as true to her life. But, I do understand, such a script probably wouldn’t sell. And it is also really hard to write. Everyone understands “love;” few understand the depths of a lust for adventure, exploring the meaning of life, trying everything, becoming, as she was, an ordained Monk.

And though at times your obliqueness really serves, it also confuses. For instance the single inclusion of A D-N’s period, just by being singular (though it happens every month) seems to indicate something important or amazing or sinister. I, for instance, wondered if you were trying to imply she was having a spontaneous abortion since it is never clear whether she is or is not “sleeping with” Yongden, or at what point she begins to or doesn’t.

I’m all for nitty-gritty, like actually mentioning women’s periods, but you have to strew that kind of thing throughout the script, or the single incident becomes too dramatic.

One of my favorite summations re A D-N was by her, I think, last and very long-time secretary: “She was a great woman, but somewhat of a hair-shirt to live with!”

And again, -- I can’t remember if it was you I suggested might read (for female and male POVs) Ella Maillart’s FORBIDDEN JOURNEY and Peter Fleming’s NEWS FROM TARTARY. They journeyed together from Peking to Srinagar in 1935 and wrote these parallel books. Fabulous documents revealing the difference between male and female POVs -- which can be roughly summed up as Male = “larger world,” and Female = the “nitty-gritty.” Both fine writers and excellent books! And great lessons in really telling it like it is (was).

So selling the script? or doing it yourself?

I can easily picture you going out with a 16mm Bolex, shooting this script, much as it is and creating a masterpiece -- but mostly if it were 20 or 30 years ago -- as the world was then and your age was that much less.

However, even in those circumstances, you’d, I hope, end up tightening it up a great deal in the editing.

Again, your writing itself is excellent, and very evocative -- but it needs, in my opinion, much more nitty-gritty and a somewhat greater degree of a willingness to declare with a certain certainty -- but then I am a woman. And though the constant ambiguity is intriguing, it becomes a bit much by p. 108. One really wants to know what happened, what is happening -- all along.

Indeed one can never really know the truth, but an author (perhaps) owes it to the reader/viewer to assert, at least a little bit, I believe: “it was this way.”

And again, unless you are aiming for a Hollywood Blockbuster, where fudging for financing is almost always necessary, THE TRUTH! as you see it, is necessary.

With some fine tuning the material, as you see it, is worth existing in and for itself -- as a really good script/story.

And you can post it at Internet Archives and/or as a Kindle, etc. etc. etc. even if it never graduates to “being made.”

In the meantime I wish you the best of luck!!! It’s really very close to being excellent. -- And will be -- with some very thoughtful simplification.

If you want more comment, let me know specifically what you’d like commented on.

And always keep in mind I am 30 years away from Hollywood (the “real” world of the movie world), live in an ivory tower, and have given up the idea of fame and glory and making money, though I would still be pleased if it ever arrived, i.e. the POV of a poet.

Thanks for letting me read ALEXANDRA’S DREAM.

Much love,

Namaste,

JJ



CONSIDERING: JUST DO IT I

#324
7-30-12

Each day I intend to post more poems
and each day I birdwalk
all around
and never get to it.

My excuse is not remembering
exactly how to do it -- I mean, how to make multiple pages
for the 2012 POEMS. Already, they’re too many to
fit chronologically into a single document.
(324 with this one -- and half the year,
plus one month is just passing).

For some reason, I choose to fiddle-faddle,
rather than concentrate
and
Just Do It.



CONSIDERING: JUST DO IT II

#325
7-31-12

People courted me in those days,
those AFI days. “Courted” is a word I never
used then. I just thought, if I thought at all,
how friendly people were. It took me a long
time to realize -- that they wanted something.
Thus, sweetly, naively I met a lot of people,
and most, sooner or later, faded away.

I think it was clear, that I, personally,
had nothing to sell,
was not a player, didn’t even
know there was a game.



CONSIDERING: JUST DO IT III

#326
7-31-12

And the cucumbers were rather
heavy -- big and stout and green --
conjuring up heat on a verandah
in a dry and dusty climate, making
me think of a woman’s work I read
long ago. The name is gone now,
but it will come back.

600,000,000, yes, six hundred million
people in the north and east of India,
are without power today! Last night.
Tomorrow?

The grids went out.
Leaving the land,
modernizing
Bharata,
Holy Land
-- city living --
may not work.



CONSIDERING: JUST DO IT IV

#327
8-1-12

O! the startling joys of getting rid of everything!
I’ve been at it for two years now, but lately
it’s, I’m, revving up. Even to the point
where I can notice the change.

Space and lightness are opening up
in my studio, in my loft, in my
heart. Space for new
thoughts,

lightness to peer at old
beliefs. One wonders
what humans,
today’s
humans, would
be like if
unconditioned,
un-brain-washed
as children,
by
our
society --
dare I call it
civilization?



CONSIDERING: JUST DO IT V

#328
8-1-12

I can hardly resist leaping up and jumping for joy.
The sun is out, my heart is getting lighter
and lighter. How can you make a
poem out of joy?

How dependent this civilization is on disaster,
death and destruction for its literary
material. And “literary material”
-- what on earth is that for?

Why did we learn to speak? Write? What essential
is communicable in words
that didn’t exist before?

My life is words. Can I dismiss them
so easily?



CONSIDERING: JUST DO IT VI

#329
8-1-12

Is this the end of my writing career?
What is there to say without doom and gloom?
Without poignancy!

Ah yes! poignancy, that bitter sweet, sour sweet,
delicious indulgence, both sadness
and fear indulged in with

solemn glee. What if we just let
things be? Let the sun shine,
let the rain rain.

Let the beautiful flower live and die.
Die is as lovely as live
if you let it be.

It opens paths,
makes room
for next and new.



CONSIDERING: JUST DO IT VII

#330
8-1-12

So overexcited at being so happy,
I have to “waste” some time
(an hour or two) playing the
sun fish puzzle
-- so easy it is delightful --
until I calm down
and sober up
enough
to

get on with it
whatever it might be.
Might even
be to actually “posting” --

as I’ve been “wanting”
to do,
for many days
past,
but do not get to.

Eat some liver,
eat some
greens,

feel the tingle
course around
in the
blood stream.



CONSIDERING: COURSERA I
re: Daphne Koller’s TED Talk

#331
8-1-12

I’m not quite sure there is anything more
I really want to learn, study for,
memorize.

I go to the classes for entertainment,
for fun, for learning the odd
fascinating tidbit,

to watch and admire V’s mind
at work, to appreciate the
divine synthesis

he makes of his reading, his study,
his knowledge, his ambition.
But my mind is not

quite like that. It is more fragmented.
I admire this fact and that
insight,

but, as for synthesizing:
I can bring disparate elements
into harmony, visual beauty,

but I do not naturally
weave a web of intellectual
comprehension.



CONSIDERING: COURSERA II
re: Daphne Koller’s TED Talk

#332
8-1-12

Indeed, I dump everything into the mixing
bowl, never mind where it comes from,
stir and mix and taste and taste again
until it tastes just right.

And it doesn’t matter if it fits a
preconceived form, idea, school of thought.
It’s simply the amalgam it makes as
it passes into my body,

very like food. You want it to be good, but
unless a fanatic, you don’t really care where
it comes from. It’s what you
now make of the

hundred billion billion molecules
now in you -- so
you write a line that is only
representative of you --

and if the scholar wants to, he
can trace it back and footnote it;
for me, it just tastes good,
and I hope it tastes good to you too.



The 79 Word Poems 1 -- 11

CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED I

#333
8-2/5-12

Images persist after death,
memories of actions,
appearances --
but their names are gone.

Maybe, like movie stars
-- you know intimate things
about people you don’t know --
but you remember the names
because you’ve seen them in print.

I’d eat lunch with the artfully homespun,
elegant-in-gingham woman in San Antonio,
whose father, when she was a child,
owned the airport.
We’d eat

Mexican food, in a very
particular, family run restaurant,
the name of which I’ve also forgotten.
She’d monologue and I’d listen.
There was something French

about her name.
It could have been pronounced
the American way,
but she chose French.



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED II

#334
8-2/5-12

Most of the people I liked were
a little pretentious,
“cultivated” one might say,
wittier,
all play-acting a little
for each other.

My present passion for Plein -- Pleinness --
is new, also cultivated. I dig
toward bedrock, try to
find the rock
beneath
all that I have been,
all that I believe.

The Blue Angels practice for Seafair,
dive almost to the water, up past the mountain.
I squint to see them, maybe I need more
honey in the eyes.



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED III

#335
8-2-12

The distressed cry of the bird,
crow, I think, goes on and on
until I get up from my puzzle
and look outside -- wondering
if she might be protecting her
baby(s). I can’t see her. Not
from my eyrie. But the booms
and roars of the Blue Angels
go on and on. I can’t see them
either.

The sky is one blue roar, not
too loud, from horizon to horizon.
Birdless, white clouds, the traffic
whines on 5.



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED IV

#336
8-2-12

This new (5 year old) trend
of individualizing
each potato and peach, with
assurance of purity,
name and pedigree -- if not birth date,
but definitely an expected-to-die-by
date -- makes one feel like a
cannibal, eating one’s friends,
neighbors who’ve
shared the land with you.

If every potato
has a name and costs a fortune,
how can you eat it with impunity
in the old fashioned way,
thoughtlessly, hungrily bolting it down,
savoring its creamy,
crumbly,
starchiness under the butter?



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED V

#337
8-2-12

It’s nothing to do with you;
it’s all about “shipping and handling.”
Even clean-up is

figured in, i.e. a trash fee for
the huge plastic boxes
lettuce leaves now come in.

Higher charges for
a distinguished potato!
than one just
thrown up by a shovel.

The whole, many illiterate, eight
billion are encouraged
to transact for their share,

while the 1% tries, naturally,
to insure the lowest cannibals
pay (more than) their share,

while he, the clever top gouger,
off-shores expenses, doubles his
fees -- after all he created all those jobs!



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED VI

#338
8-2/3-12

The 79 word poems flipping around like
hotcakes on a griddle...

Maybe I was born to be 79 --
and write 79 word poems.

Other people write Haiku,
I write 79.

Or, other people write sonnets,
I write words

one at a time, one after the other.
Stunning words

so beautiful, they stun
one to silence.

In the silence of the chirping
forest,

can you imagine the awful delight
of that first word! --

keen as Anne Bancroft
hearing Helen Keller.



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED VII

#339
8-3-12

ANNE BANCROFT --
was one of the finest actresses

who ever lived -- at least in my Centuries,
a Miracle Worker --

beautiful, witty and a cruel bitch --
able to reduce the

overweight Marilyn B to tears -- which,
of course, she didn’t shed.

Nonetheless one’s heart broke for MB,
when, asking for a comment on

her project, AB replied: “I wasn’t
paying attention,”

and other little stunners like that.
One could say:

She didn’t suffer fools gladly,
but MB was no fool.



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED VIII

#340
8-3/5-12

My anger increases hour by hour. I’m not mad,
except at the slipperiness of my
hands -- and brains.

At first, I was not hungry on my gluten-less
diet, but now I’ve returned
to ravenous.

Mostly, I suspect, the Prednisone. I take
enough to keep the rash away.
That’s enough

to make me moon-faced, for awhile, and
hungry most of the time. Eat
less! Eat less! Eat less!

Eat protein. Why does it itch so -- high
on my right
wing?



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED IX

#341
8-4-12

One more glorious morning, and
I can see Mt. Rainier even with the
glassless eye. The honey in the eye
helps a lot -- brightens up the world.

Feel much better. I guess I just have
to learn that when I feel awful, logy,
out of sorts, impatient, incapable, etc.,
I must to go to bed and sleep a good

long sleep. Off to see Ann after several
missed Saturdays, take her some poems,
so we can read aloud and laugh.



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED X

#342
8-5-12

Are you dying, little machine?
You keep track of page numbers.
But you don’t register on the screen-page

itself the “correct” number.
Moving numbers suit you on the
left, but only a static number (that chosen

as a “start” number) registers
on the right -- page after page. Annoying!
Today, I spend more time trying to resolve this

than I spend on poems. Annoying!
The machine’s triumph again! Our infernal
inventions are soon cleverer than we are. C’est la vie.



CONSIDERING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED XI

#343
8-6-12

Well, it is worth belonging to the human race
after all! We landed on Mars today! I lived to
see the human race send a Rover to Mars --
appropriately named Curiosity. Both

the landing and the name bring tears
of delight to my honey-sweetened
eyes. How can we, nearly eight
billion, be so capable and

despicable at the same time? I wake,
even before the news, feeling
so so good! Yippee!
Thinking of

Suzanne,
may she relax, enjoy now.



The 78 Word Poems 1 -- 10

CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP I

#344
8-6-12

Hot topic, dangerous subject.
I’ve been accommodating all my life,
but nonetheless end up with few friends.
Maybe more than I actually want.

I’m backsliding a bit from being
content to always do things alone.
“Things” being what interests me.

Nobody really shares the ubiquity
of my tastes, curiosity. A bit here,
there, but never eclectic
enough to allay

my doubts about
the desirability
of friendship itself.

Curiosity -- about everything.
Curiosity just landed on Mars.
Go Curiosity
Go!



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP II

#345
8-6-12

We’re born alone
and die alone.
(nobody
wants to
go
with us)
And like

other cats: the lion,
the cheetah, the panther
the tiger, and Shiva-purna,

maybe we’re meant to
shirk off, like fleas,
the attachments

humans like to think,
praise, accommodate
as their fate.

Most other cats
copulate, then go their way.
The male immediately,

the female after
sharing much
amusement,
mock play,
mock hunts,

tons of licked
shit
and fur --

when she
tires of being
milked.



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP III

#346
8-7-12

This morning, I remembered how bad
I felt when Allen asked me to leave,
how bad I almost always felt in
connection with men (boys).
Almost never did
boyfriends
fill me with joy.

Mostly they were no
friends at all, only somewhat
friendly, often only interested in me
when I was more interested in them
than in us or me.

What a respite old age is from those
emotional roller-coasters.
They’re all dead.
I seldom think
of them.



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP IV

#347
8-8-12

There are more important things than thinking
about children -- adorable though they may be --
more important than “love,” sex,
more important than
relationship,

community --
all buzz words of
the newly being-fleshed
21st Century. Simply put:
if we are going to leave an earth

for them, we have to stop blowing it up.
Nothing’s more ridiculous than “engagement”
-- then a second set of humans racing out, dragging back,
caring for “the wounded.” If you don’t mean it, don’t shoot.



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP V

#348
8-8-12

I’m flaming furious most of the time --
like a sparkler
magnified to the size of
an atom bomb -- not necessarily mad at
anyone or anything. But there’s an incipient
banging if you get too close to me.
All day and all night.
Beware!
I’ve
been bottled up so long
that one of those ex-
plosions is likely to shatter everything
for miles around.
With jaw set and a smile on my
face I go on being flaming furious!



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP VI

#349
8-9-12

No wonder people are afraid of me, afraid to like
me. I am afraid to like them, afraid to hurt
them or myself --
if I don’t keep everything bottled
up and clamped down.

Potentially, lethal
shrapnel will fly.
I don’t want to be responsible for killing you.
I don’t want to take care of you.

I think of the honey mead
exploding in our attic --
one summer so long ago --
and we weren’t even
home for the show.



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP VII

#350
8-10-12

Drama’s not so necessary anymore,
The hours and the terror I spent
beside the phone -- waiting. The ingenuity
and devious plots I concocted to get
around the suspicion of being disliked,
to be loved.
Strange, that seems to be the gist:
I don’t want the responsibility of
being loved by you.

I want to be my own person
in my own place -- disconnected from
your agony and your temptation to
disregard me and my wants.
Boohoo, death’s coming.



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP VIII

#351
8-11-12

Food -- nuts, dark chocolate, fruit juice,
sunflower seeds with salt, all conspire to
give me “dense head” and weak body/
legs. Hmm. Back to dancing with the
diet-fairy. Even though remaining
100% on the non-gluten diet, I
need to be a little more
severe re enforcement.

Today, again, I am trying one
last cut to the Prednisone.
Read Pam Warhurst’s TED talk --
what an inspiration: to make the entire
planet edible and sustainable, all the time
by everyone.



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP IX

#352
8-12-12

Honey in the eyes, sunshine on the sill,
a cool breeze heralding thoughts -- will
my heart put forth
its weight of despair
or add leaping elation
to the twitter of a bird, a
siren in the distance, traffic on the Interstate?

A seaplane buzzes, circles, passes, disappears.
Chungmi comes today. Am I filled with dread?
My past has been
leaping into my life
lately as I correspond
with Maya to establish facts
about the origin of the DWW.



CONSIDERING FRIENDSHIP X

#353
8-13-12

Already so weary I can’t think.
Started exercising in the Chapel,
again. M and Bear come in, help
press half my feet against the pillar,
rest. Up to studio to eat, clean,
write. Waylay myself by
turning on the news. The Rabid
Republicans are even more Rabid
with Glee, due to Ryan pick as VP.
He’s personable enough. His ideas
are straight from Imperial Hell.
Enrich the rich. Squash the poor.
Disenfranchise women.
Shoot messengers.
C’est la vie.



The 77 Word Poems 1 -- 10

CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS I

#354
8-14-12

Everything I do anymore creates a mess.
It didn’t used to be this way.
I traveled in foreign lands, left no trace,
climbed high hills without
dislodging rock or avalanche. Now I sit
and breathe and the world folds
into chaos around me.
Indeed, the 21st Century may be our last.
Not for nuclear fission, radiation poisoning,
but sheer veniality:
grab, strike, pound, smash, abandon,
let the next person (mutation) clean
the mess.
Floods scrub our face.



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS II

#355
8-14-12

I had the answer to everything
yesterday,
now I am at total blank, staring, lost.
I remember nothing.
I see only the sunshine pouring in
at the window, darting
dangerously close to my heart.
Odd.
What was it that I knew yesterday?
Ah yes! well -- at least one thing --
the terrified white men
of America must kill kill kill
now that they are about to be
the minority. Kill blacks and browns
and reds and women and...



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS III

A 133 WORD POEM

#356
8-14/15-12

Her look? Beautiful, possibly Cambodian:
“What is your heritage?” I asked.
“Dutch. Russian. -- Ukrainian Russian.
What’s yours?”
I stumbled: “The usual stew: Caucasian, Nordic.”

I asked because, though she had an exotic Eastern look,
like the other 33 in our Non-Western Architecture class,
I wondered if she was part Caucasian.

It took me six weeks to register that I was
-- except the woman sitting across from me --
and, may hap, my questionee turned interlocutor,
the only Caucasian in the room.

Everyone else was Asian.

Hence, “the usual stew “ -- meaning:
English, Irish, Scandinavian, French, German, etc., i.e. “American.”
Later, I realized I might have sounded like an outdated,
perhaps arrogant, colonialist.
She, too, it finally occurred to me,
grew up in a melting pot -- a stew of a different flavor.

After class, I apologized.



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS IV

#357
8-15-12

By now, we have front row seats --
Ann and I -- feel that cushion of aging air
speeding faster before us as the world,
let alone we, begins to break the sound barrier
-- BOOM!

And here we are on the other side with Ryan/Romney --
living proof that the richer you get the less capable of compassion
you become, and even some of your fellow man (not necessarily woman),
blind-sided, go along for the vote.

Earth quakes.



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS V

#358
8-15-12

In those days
none of us thought
of Social Security -- it
was there and, of course,
we wouldn’t need it.

We’d be so rich and successful,
we’d help the needy, relatives,
neighbors.

But arriving here, at 78,
we aren’t rich. So we’re grateful
for Social Security.

It fills in gaps, along with
food banks, food stamps, free clinics,
low-income housing, other special

considerations because we are poets
and painters -- “unsuccessful”
but

dedicated recorders
of your
corporate
world.



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS VI

#359
8-16-12

Every move scares the bejesus out of me,
afraid I’ll hook something, spill, knock, drop
something, afraid it’ll break, bark, or sit straight
up and run away, My heart pounds. Old age is an age
of overreaction. Everything startles, may never go away,
never come back -- as what’s-his-name might have said:
“It is the best of times, the worst of times.” Ann and I,
plus about 8 billion, have ringside seats at (possibly)
humanity’s
best/last century.



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS VII

#360
8-16-12

Julian Assange, the fair haired boy turned man --
and maybe white-haired -- under public service,
scrutiny, excessive courage, has now put, in the
course of events, the whole world --
which wants to believe it lives
by the rule-of-law --
to the test.

Will they or won’t they live by their sacred
“diplomatic immunity”? -- or will they march right
into Ecuadorian sovereignty and arrest a man
who has not yet even been
charged with a crime,
let alone committed one?



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS VIII

#361
8-16-12

What sounded like quarreling crows,
loud, ubiquitous and unstoppable,
turned out to be children
making the mandatory noise
to accompany
their garden tour.
Americans
seem intent on huge, universal
screechy, bang and drum
noise.

At times, without
change in decibels,
it's called music.
O the ache
in the ears,
the wear and tear
on the brain,
enough to drive brave soldiers,
more than at any other time in history,
to suicide --

and
the experts
don’t know why!



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS IX

#362
8-17-12

Again, at sixes and sevens, close to tears.
I get lost so easily, skirting the tides
of forgetfulness, the shoals of remembrance.

Again, one more going-to-be-hot beautiful day,
the sun out, the breeze still cool, time
to climb on my hobbyhorse and get on with -- what?

Rocking and swaying and massaging my left shoulder,
where will it lead? Where will it stop?
Single planes fly. Rainier peeps through the cloud cover.

Run Jan run, cry, leap, fly.



CONSIDERING CLUMSINESS X

#363
8-18-12

We’ve been together for over 78 years.
Is it not time for you to pay attention
and put some effort into understanding me?
I try always to understand you.

But you’re so much bigger than me.
I’m an infinitesimal part of you --
a part so small that, undoubtedly,
it’s easy to forget me.

Who is that wee particle?
(I can feel your squint.)
Whereas you are everything
I see. Even me. I can’t see
free of you.



The 76 Word Poems 1 -- 10

CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE I

#364
8-18-12

It’s living with a spook.
Not even a well-meaning spook.
It hides things. I’m
inclined to call it “he” --
my masculine half.

He finds it highly amusing for me
to go hunting time after time and,
in sum, hour after hour, looking
for the keys, or the cellphone
or my calendar page I use
to remember my life.
It’s annoying.

Now:
I remember
putting my keys
on the
door handle.
Who reached in,
put them elsewhere?



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE II

#365
8-19-12

My eyebrows flare up and out like the demon-gods that
guard many households in Asia -- China? Japan? Korea?
They’re put there to frighten the evil spirits away.
By their ugliness and fierceness they protect.

As I advance through this 7th decade I get more
demon-ish, demonic, angry -- all the time at the non-
sense humans have made of their own lives and planet.
Who am I to judge? Ask yourself. Who are you not to judge?



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE III

#366
8-20-12/4-10-13

My fury rises, explodes, rises, explodes.
I make almost no effort to stop it -- i.e.
I wouldn’t do it in front of you.

Although, yesterday I did to an unknown
woman wanting to enter the building on Sunday --
an act forbidden after our four break-ins,

memo-rized several weeks ago.
I didn’t regret it! even with my
feeling of:

“applies to all but me,”
as I step over a barrier
or let the cat out.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE IV

#367
8-20-12

My fury rises.

Lately,
I feel, again and again,
men are trying to close ranks
against us -- not only Republican
“legitimate rape” men, but even
the decent
sort.

I see many turning an exaggerated
shade, degree, of white -- spooked
because women are truly
finding their voice
and mean to
pursue
its
call.
Now.
This time.

Make no mistake:
we know there has been,
would be,
will be,
no human race,
but for us.

Run sheep run.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE V

#368
8-21-12

Anxiety is still revved up from yesterday’s
prolonged (and successful) encounter
with MM who was trying to remove
Union PT from my WiFi
“wavelength.”

So far,

its raucously blue Cisco
page no longer pops up. Is it actually
fixed? Long ago, entering computerland
with its emblematic gateway plaque: “Abandon All Hope
Ye Who Enter Here,”

I did.

Gone. Poof. One never expects anything
to really work, work for long, work
like it once did.

But today...?



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE VI

#369
8-21-12

Lately, it’s as if my eyes pick up
more than they’re supposed to.
Nothing very interesting, nothing
particularly alarming, mostly
unfinished black patterns on
white or light --
like spiders’ footprints
in air, like their
spun silk
which
you can observe,
if sunlight is at the right angle,
spanning
great distances
across the front garden
full of sky
in front of the monkey tree.

There’s no tracing them to an end
before the breeze
lifts them away.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE VII

#370
8-21-12

It turns out I have a nasty temper,
but, fortunately, I can satisfy the urge to lash
out by cursing gravity, the laws of physics.

Why are things as they are?
Irritating!
-- fairly often, but if I shout and cuss, yell,
and scream at the
“natural”
processes that get in my way,

I calm down after awhile, put some honey
in my eyes, and get on with my,
supposed to be, beatific
relationship
with the universe.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE VIII

#371
8-22-12

Gravity -- you’ve got to stick someplace
-- or do you?
The stars roam around, gyrate, increase,
decrease, fall.

The planets whiz about, maybe crash or get
swallowed every billion years
or two. You have
your own
orbit.

But it doesn’t mean you stick to it
-- day night day night day night day night.
Well, when you put it that way
-- maybe I do.

Let’s catch nectar in a bowl
which
stays
on
the
table
due to gravity.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE IX

#372
8-23-12

I had so many things I was going to write about this morning
and now I can’t remember one. Each day a surprise.
Each hour, if one chooses to look at it this way, a shock.

Round and round life goes and seems to end up more like
nowhere than ever before. But it is entertaining. Right now
the Republican party of the USA is honing in on imploding
itself.

Poof! -- one idiocy after another -- they’re gone.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE X

#373
8-24-12

Rub a dub dub
six men in a tub,
does it spoil my nub
to smile and willingly hug
the heuristic and lunatic bug
which was promised if I lug
up the high hill and under the dug
and archaeological trench's rug,
to find just one pint-sized, prize mug,
the residue of a nutter’s nug-
get that can be tug-
ged upstream with a shrug
into submission like a pug
roughhousing, rioting slug
and cinnamon’s bud.



The 75 Word Poems 1 -- 10

CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XI

#374
8-25-12

A little late! But start a bramble garden -- here!
at Good Shepherd. We’ve been tearing out the
blackberry brambles for over a quarter of a century.
Now they’re almost gone. Time to conserve!
Let them climb the holly tree, let them make an
impenetrable ring. Let us pick their black and
delicious fruit for nourishment.

Stop!

destroying our heritage! For what?
Beautiful gardens?
We can have those too.
But stop the snobbery
toward our heritage.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XII

#375
8-25-12

Late at night. Flaming anger again.
Ah now I remember what I was going to write
about after leaving Ann today -- and our grand chat.

I noticed definitively that I revert to a very
O Poor Me walk when I get up to leave
Why?

And I got an answer. I’m saying
you really have to understand that I am a poor child that
must be pitied, see how I almost hobble away,
I walk humbly and turned in.
You have to pity me for being so
sick and plagued and inoffensive
and the moment I step out the door
I begin to straighten up and fly right.

I’m not at all like this with Ann,
but when it comes time to leave
I have to prove to her once again --
poor me! I want her pity,
her compassion, and not her love or admiration.

She of course is really crippled, but I’m not thinking
about that at all as I limp away all folded in and
humble, and truly sick as you can see!
Why?

I would guess it has to do with my parents not really being overtly
loving or compassionate or staying with us
except when we were sick.
So I have to prove to Ann
I didn’t mean it -- don’t mean to be well.
I’m still sick, lest she think I walk away whole and
not in need of her love/help. Strange mix up here -- I must dig further.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XIII

#376
8-26-12

So tired I could scream! As if I am going to fold
in on myself like a tent in the wind, dumped
and flying apart with a howl.

I haven’t heard today’s news yet to see if
we’ve been lucky enough to have
the Republican Convention

whisked off to never never land by Hurricane
Isaac. Too grand a vision to even
imagine.

In one swoop monsooned away,
leaving only sanity standing,
lonely, in their
place.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XIV

#377
8-27-12

The sun is bright -- again,
but nothing erases
the coolness in the breeze.

Here am I, still waiting for
summer to begin, for Rainier
to come out and rejoice

with us. The cool wind
reminds one that
it is all but autumn.

Do nothing.
Time goes by.
Nothing is done.

It’s okay.
The sun shines.
Freshness

comes in at the windows.
Shiva-purna is
-- perhaps --

content in his
fur coat.
New

friend Sally
is
a delight.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XV

#378
8-28-12

As the light summer breeze blows cool with autumn’s preface,
I remain in an anticipatory mood waiting waiting waiting for
summer to begin -- only to wake and find that
the year is moving toward its end,
its preordained end.
The light is
fading.
The glow is from the west now.
There’ll be no more early dawns, illuminated nights.
Both ends have burnt. The blackened wick remains with the knowledge
of its slow, silent passing.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XVI

#379
8-29-12

My biggest life-question
today, and days past,
is
whether
to throw away one
of my six inch plates.

I have about ten.
I almost never have guests.
There’s just Shiva-purna and
me and, though
we use all the plates all the
time, I’m sure he doesn’t mind
one little flat chip
from the edge
of an otherwise
perfectly
usable plate.

The question is, after at least
eight years of use, why do I mind -- now?



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XVII

#380
8-29-12

I’ve scarcely thought of the DWW for many years now,
but with Maya doing her PhD and asking questions,
up come some answers I hadn’t really missed until
now.
Why is there no “history” of the DWW?
Because of me. I didn’t want all the
famous women being badgered
while they were trying to
direct their projects.
So no one got
to go on their
sets or

interview them as a group --
and, I guess, being denied this “hook”
the reporters, would be article
writers, didn’t interview them
just on their own.
I guess, like a mother hen, I scared them away.

This was in the days long ago,
before publicity became
the better half of almost
every happening
in Hollywood and
elsewhere.

My thought was: “time enough when
they’ve made their tapes and have some-
thing to show, or have jobs and are on their
way.” But of course, by then, the moment had passed.
Now, almost no one cares that there is often far more publicity
than accomplishment. The zeitgeist now is "famous for being famous."
We were much castigated in that “under dog” era for having only “famous women” in
the program. And even that wasn’t true.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XVIII

#381
8-30-12

At my sister’s house,
I glimpse myself in the dark
hallway mirror, mouth open,
laughing,

like a carbon copy,
unaware that I look that way
-- with a mouth full of dark
teeth,

the cave of my mouth
getting darker and darker,
an indication of a cat’s
low murmur.

In my home mirror I look perfectly
normal -- the Prednisone puff
gone from my cheeks,
they’ve

balanced to be identical again --
and the blue moon is
bright.



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XIX

#382
8-31-12

My heart weighs so heavily this morning
I can barely stay awake.
Can’t find any reason to assign to it.
Perfectly glorious yesterday -- at the beach
in the sun, wading in water with shoes on,
picking blackberries -- not the real northwest
wild blackberries, just the Evergreens.
My sister says the real wild ones are gone.
The vines that used to trail, within a year or two,
over every stump, are gone forever.
Break my heart!



CONSIDERING MY LACK OF REMEMBRANCE XX

#383
9-1-12

Spent most of the day listening
to all my favorites:
Maddow, Hayes,
Harris-Perry, Schultz, etc.
on MSNBC’s continuous site.

I listened twice and a bit
to the summing up of the
Republican Convention,
full of raving lunatics,
idiots, liars;

then watched most of Michael
Moore’s SICKO. O, god,
enough of American corruption!
By day’s end,

I knew if I were more extrovert,
rational, younger (maybe had
a companion)
I’d go live in some
other country.



*    *    *    *    *    



I’M NOW

#384
9-2-12

I’ve come to the end of my 10 poems per word count collection,
scaling down from 100 words per poem to, and including,
75 words per poem. That seems to be enough.

Enough is enough.

I could go down and down, but 75 already seems to
have dwindled to mostly brief “diary” entries. I’m not
a Haikuist, I’m not fond of the “one note” piano

players who pluck or touch one pure note
for an eternity to milk all they can
out of the singular ping or plain e -- which is usually

not much.

What I have to say lately seems to ask for more words.
But I’m terrified to jump into thin air, total freedom
-- forget the shackles -- just write.

Nancy calls this morning, having been in Africa, watching

lions chew on warthogs in the trees -- on a $50,000 spree.
Wildly amusing talk. She’s mending from a fall
and a gouge with surgery and a skin graft.

We agree that, along with the ever more evident slippage
of the mind, there also happens a new kind
of clarity and exact participation in what one is doing.

Back on the Prednisone

this morning -- 30mm -- didn’t want to, but also
don’t want the red-legged eczema to take over
the whole body again. What has helped

is really admitting it’s here to stay. Eczema, my noticeable
companion, is here to stay -- a lively crustacean --
with me to the grave.

Ah so!
Maybe better than nothingness
or
maybe not.



HUMAN LIFE

#385
9-3-12

There’s a lot that is sad and quiet about human life.
So much of it self-inflicted -- we don’t know why.
We love and then its gone, we hate and then it dies.

We walk in the beauty of the garden, in the quiet of the wood.
We brush the cat, it purrs, turns its nose up high, asks questions
to which we have no answers nor any deeper questions in reply.

Indulge in these good feelings before you wake up with a sigh.
Recognize it will be fleeting, learn that more than feelings die.
Sit it out upon the roof tops, watching autumn’s brilliant sky

turn apricot and crimson with artichokes turning into violent
violet thistles higher than you can fly.
O walking human, sit and cry.



O LITTLE GREEN GRASSHOPPER

#386
9-3-12

O little green grasshopper, elegant, adorable,
translucent, agile, I’d like to tell you we are
friends, but I know eventually you’d have to

jump away, climb walls, scrunch against ceilings,
move swiftly up the tub, hop, for dear life, across
the keyboard. Are you lonely out there on the vast

vertical whitenesses with no companion in sight? No,
of course not, you’re more
curious than I.



REPUBLICANS

#387
9-3-12

I’m rather looking forward to moving into
bad-tempered old age. I’ve been so sweet-
sweet, accommodating, apologetic, gentle,
self-effacing, helpful, hopeful all my
life and now I look out across the
American landscape and what
do I see but acres of self-
aggrandizing, money-grubbing,
idiotic rich people, good at
business and poor, very
poor, down there
below F, at
thinking,
reasoning
compassion
generosity
toward their
fellow humans.
They’d rather hug
their money than
pay a ten dollar tax
bill for a poor blind
quadriplegic veteran from
a war instigated by the rulers
and fought by the ruled.
What happened to
the Republicans
who brought
us
Abraham Lincoln?
What’ll happen to them
when, delivered to their
universal dog-eat-dog world,
they themselves are barbecued
over a bonfire built by people
stripped of human
dignity by those
who need
endlessly
more!



REPUBLICANS II

#388
9-4-12

I find a lot of entertainment in
thinking about death:
The quiet of the grave,
the peace of no mind,
the lack of itching,
the lack of worrying
about itching and scratching
and eating in odd ways,
in taking pills and
applying salves.
I think about
not needing to scratch
my head any more
or think about what is
going to happen to this poem
and the whole lot.
I came, I saw, I composed
several, maybe its even
many by now,
thousands of poems.
Why?

Because I wanted to.
I have no audience
I don’t need any.
Just the one or two or
three I do have.
Ann, who hilariously
shares all this trivia
with me -- she reads,
we laugh. But none of it
is worth going on for
much longer.

However, being a masochist,
I’d prefer to wait until
after the elections,
to see if America,
the world, is gong to
be left in good hands,
or transferred over to
the lying, venal
Republicans.



A HUMAN

#389
9-4-12/10-05-13

For two days now, I am haunted by the image of that little seed,
not even as big as a seed, a molecule, a little cluster of molecules --
who can imagine how small? not even seeable without a microscope,
a special microscope. A little seed so tiny, with a tail, swimming
upstream, blindly, as far as we can tell, with no knowledge of
where it is going or why or what will happen to it. There
is no consciousness, yet it swims without
destination or hope, and yet it swims
until it, in the jellyfish-like
world, bumps into --
what? Another seed
a bit
bigger
but
certainly
less adventurous.
Joining, they cuddle into a niche --
if some of the photos are to be believed --
a wall of dazzling pinkness and rest there. Rest,
gather nourishment and grow. Begin to develop into
something quite other than a seed. It’s just amazing

at this point how sleep suddenly wells up, overcomes me.
I can barely keep my eyes open or -- am helpless against them
wanting to be
shut.



THIS AND THAT

#390
9-5-12

“This” is up close and personal.
“That” is off there in the distance,
barely can see it.
I guess they’re two more words I need
to look up,
have a little dance with.
They seem to inhabit the same universe
as that microscopic bit of semen
on the loose
near the fallopian tubes searching
for the microscopic dot that is to be me
or you, swimming for dear life
through the milky fluids.
Bam! -- (but no sound),
and thus I come into being
or you -- but it’s
more difficult to focus
my vision on
a you-sperm
than a me-sperm,
though sperm itself seems
neutral enough --
a very kind of “that” substance.
One could see last night,
a vision so clear,
it makes one laugh,
the manifestation of the white man’s
fear. Twins yet! the Castros --
no not the Cuba guy,
but two of them, twins, from San Antonio.
One more talented than the other,
but there’s no doubt Julian
(pronounced Hu-lian)
Castro will be our first
Latino President
in a not too distant --
not a very “that-ish” --
future.



INTENSITY

#391
9-6-12/10-6-13

Almost a whole day full of rage and intensity,
convinced, at first, I needed to join the fray
for women again. How? Through publishing
(online) a bit more of my relationship
with the feminist, women’s move-
ment, now in jeopardy from
the Republicans’ idiocies.

Fortunately, I had a meeting
with Juliana and Smith and
was able to work off the
steam, until I almost
collapsed, as I do
quiet frequently
when stirred
by emotion
and rage.
Dramatic
fatigue
sets
in.
Al-
most
to the
point of
collapse. I
walked very
slowly home hoping
just the movement would
save my life -- and it did. As
I rested, passion began to dis-
solve down into normal tiredness.

Now, soon to bed and to rest until
I see what tomorrow brings. How
amazing to be so full of passion again.
Watched hour after hour the Democratic
Convention in session -- inspiring as it gets!



WHO KNEW

#392
9-7-12/10-6-13

Who knew I’d spend my whole life
waiting on a dark street in a car
-- having escaped --
and not knowing where to go.

Odd, lonely, hurt, wanting to get away,
but nowhere to go. Once, long ago
in Marin County, without
car, and because I felt like it,

I lay down in the deep night, in the middle of the road,
one of those dark, twisty-into-the-hills-climbing roads.
I curled up and slept
maybe for a moment or two.

And then, got up and went home,
odd, lonely, hurt. Never,
having escaped, never
knowing where to go.

“Goodnight, sweet Prince.”
Who said that to Hamlet?
No one
ever said it to me.

And why should they? I was never
a prince or sweet,
and nobody, hardly
a soul, will mourn my passing.

And why should they?
I won’t.
I came, I saw, I left.
And yet, if I linger, it might

be seen that I did quite a lot.
But, “having done,” is nothing
like “something to do”
in the night, when, having left,

one sits in the dark car waiting.
I didn’t even know it bothered me --
living a lie for 30 years --
a little, inconsequential, face-saving lie.

But why? To save face, buying into their
judgment, values? How lucky I am
to have escaped at all.
Now I find it has haunted me

all the days of my life.



KNOWN

#393
9-7-12

My face crumples into homeliness,
swollen eyelids, the left side seeming
to elongate and flesh out.

Is there such a program? After childhood
and adulthood, for the growth genes to wake
again -- but only on one side?

This happens to be my right side.
What activated the genes to grow
in the first place, and why

would they start up again, when
sleep seems to me to be the
primary desire?

It’s that seed again.
It tickles the mind.
a tiny seed, a zygote,

an incubus: who knows
who wrote the instruction
book -- and declined to enclose it.

Why?



UNKNOWN

#394
9-8-12/10-6-13

This poem is just a stop-gap on my way to bed --
thinking of bits and pieces of what Ann and I
talked about today, over poems and before.

Her pain and age begin to show a bit more,
and mine too. We both agree: an awareness
of neutrality begins to manifest. I don’t

think she’d use the word neutrality, but
rather -- and I can’t think of the word
right now -- but I think its what she

means by “being in it.” This or that
happens, and there’s no necessity
anymore for judgment or for

acceptance or rejection, it just
is. It’s not even a feeling, it
just is. Reality is. Life is.

What happens just is. It’s a
feeling of age and age-
lessness, granting

what is -- just is. One has
handled enough to just
see and let be.

A president must feel this
way but, even so,
must make a

decision.



SOAKED IN OLIVE OIL

#395
9-9-12

In my slippery brain today
I seem to be half in Italy -- in Firenze
or Venezia -- in the sun, looking at the
satyr in Firenze’s Piazza della Signoria,
just over from the handsome,
burdened David.

The air is bright and I am young.
I think of this -- like mud stirred up
from a clear pond -- because of Sally’s, my new
friend’s, soon departure for that evocative land
of memories, brief memories in
a life being lived, as most lives,
without thought of looking back
at it over 50 years of accumulated
-- and not much thought about --
experience.

But here I am on this quiet Sunday
afternoon -- having drunk my fill at
the Internet’s political trough,
dined on zucchini, olive oil
soaked dried
tomato, quinoa,
black bean, white
corn chips --
trying
to re-read a bit of
Andre Gide’s Journals, Vol. 4.
Age: 80

I read all volumes
and most of his other writings
in my 20s?, 30s?,
and remember nothing,
or very little,
except a sympathetic soul? intellect?
And, sure enough, he is.

But no less difficult to read
because I,
at 78, fall, nod
almost to sleep
before the end of any page
chosen at random.



WRITING

#396
9-9-12

It’s very hard proceeding without a memory,
with two computers, one old, one new,
one online, one safely used only for
poetry and printing, off line.

I have this flaming passion for
accuracy in my old age.
I don’t want to exaggerate or
minimize.

I don’t want to settle for the American
spelling of Firenze
when I am thinking of its Italian
equivalent.

And, since I can look something up 3 to 5
times before I either commit it to memory
or have the wit to write it down,
it’s a very long process

writing the simplest
thought, composition,
-- possibly definitive --
poem.



LOVES or MEN!!

#397
9-10-12/10-10-13

Momentarily,
I could not remember why
I wanted to open up that antique chest
where I have stored all the men

in my life, put what was left of their
memories in moth balls, and shut
the lid. Ah, now I remember:
yes, there’s a book just

out talking about
the End of Men and the Rise of Women --
whose premise I have personally and alone been
visiting, observing, noting for sometime now.

One looks around and sees all sorts of beautiful women --
women seem to be getting more beautiful all the time,
as contrasted with the too often ugliness of powerful men
in high places, also in medium places and, I suspect,

right down to the bottom. More women, smarter women seem
to be flooding up from the petroglyphs where they have so long been
stored, the petrified, beautiful, remnants -- what’s left over after a stultified life.
Which causes one, me, to muse on how different life is from just 30+ years ago

when I left Hollywood and my life as one of the notable
feminists. There were some then, but mostly they
were climbing sheer rock walls, unscalable cliffs
with knives clenched in their teeth

mostly getting nowhere fast.
But now!

Wow! one looks around: they are everywhere, smart, accomplished,
beautiful, full of energy and passion and fairness and honesty -- fighting
their way through the muck of this unbelievably corrupt society,
the United States of America has become.

And the question becomes, how to relate to men? -- now.
If we become, already are, the dominant gender, what do we do
about Them? They held us as virtual slaves and, even to this day,
want to dictate what we can do with our bodies.

Soon they’ll recognize, that They can’t
have children (without us) is a significant fact.
We must be retained, just to continue the race.
And now retaining us in our growing stature may mean

they have lost their power, their right, their ability
to enslave, enthrall us, enchant us --
order us about. Their mighty physical-might now
means relatively little.

In this new world (cyber space), They, for the most part,
have brought about (and which women are
invading in hordes), little girls
come from the womb today, just like little boys:

ready to compute! We don’t need to be able to
lift a car or jump over airplanes;
we can just sit down and let them
acknowledge, at last, that we are

smarter than they are -- their intelligence
tests have shone this since the beginning of testing,
and now it can be said aloud.
Women only fall behind by being

excluded from work out there in their world.
As soon as women get into that world
even with little power, they begin to excel. They
out-pace men again -- just as they did in kindergarten.

Now, am I up to going on with a man-by-man
analysis of what They have meant in my life?
At first, way back in high school, or junior
high, when the gender division first became obvious,

and the boy-meets-girl tale began to dominate,
I can observe a progression in my relationships
to them. At first I was quite willing (I had been bred to it like
most girls were), I was happy to be the companion, girlfriend,

she who stood on the sidelines and cheered his successes, achievements,
advancements, even though I knew in my heart I was smarter than he,
had written better papers, thought more Helios thoughts,
had greater visions than being just housewife and mother + girlfriend.

So right on through high school and then off to college.
I was one of the last people lucky enough to arrive when you could still be
an “itinerant” student, i.e., it was cheap enough and open enough for one
to be able to dictate for oneself that you were going to

study this and not that. Degrees still seemed unimportant to me.
I was there studying for THE KNOWLEDGE -- not the passport.
So I cheered and matched wits and absorbed what I wanted to absorb.
Nonetheless, I was still heavily under the influence of one day meeting

him! someone! who’d do life for me! It took to exactly my 50th
birthday to ditch that notion forever. I no longer was a lady
in waiting for the white knight to come along. Everything
I did after December 6, 1983, was done for me,

by myself, usually, and just for me -- not in hopes of meeting
Galahad! Ooops, I still haven’t got to the “loves”;
they have receded so far in importance, it (love) they (men as lovers)
simply don’t come up anymore for me, and -- (the big question)

What is it I really want to do? dominates.
All of them have receded so far from my consciousness
in the last few years, that even the memory of my loves seems
insignificant beside what I want to do, how I want to live,

what I want to write, what I find human life to be about.
Dimly, I had already begun, by myself, alone in my eyrie,
to perceive this shift in “the culture”. -- But now,
especially since the convention, and right back

to the Republican insanity of trying to make laws
to control birth control for women, and rape
laws, now women are stepping forward
unlikely ever to give up their rights

again in this lifetime.

The whole house of cards is still stacked against
us, but now, almost everyone, women and men,
sees it for what it is -- a house of cards, ready to
collapse. Now, we can begin to discuss

what should we do with men?
My old poem* keeps coming to mind,
I can’t think of its title, but I’ll
find it
-- written I believe over
ten years ago.

Writing for an hour or two, and now almost falling asleep,
I’ll call this the First Draft, maybe nap
and see if I can find that poem...
Not even bother to correct the spelling yet...

* CHOICE, See Appendix



NOT UNLIKE

#398
9-11-12

The sun is shining, the air is
slightly cool, and its not unlike the
morning 11 years ago, when I

crossed the street, kitty-corner,
to check up on Douze.
I walked into Vikram’s apartment

and the radio was on.
And, to this day, I can’t remember
if I saw it then or not.

Maybe I turned on the news on
his computer. I saw a plane fly into a building in
New York. I thought it was a joke, an accident.

I was to fly out to New Mexico to visit Judi
on September 12th. I watched a bit longer,
writing a few amusing e-mails in the meantime.

And, somehow, by the time I got home,
kitty-corner from his baroque building
to my modern one, I began to realize

something momentous had happened.
For the rest of the day, I sat in the
common room at Tate-Mason, watching

the television.
I had no TV of my own.
I watched

the planes fly and crash,
watched the buildings implode, fold
and crumble down into the

street, panicked people running
every which way, clouds of
dust and smoke and what we

later learned was poison
laden air.
I watched hypnotized,

I was no longer amused.
I did not fly to see
Judi.

I have never been on a plane since.
Not for fear of accident or death,
but for anger at how

we agreed to let the perpetrators
alter forever our way of life,
our (Bush’s) overreaction.

Instead of acknowledging what happened,
a dreadful thing, but not less
than we have inflicted upon other

peoples around the world,
and moving on, we have for years
kept ourselves stuck in

that morass of blame and cowering
terror -- to keep the war going,
to keep terrorism

in the forefront of the American
brain so that we can be manipulated
by our consciousless politicians.



THREE THOUGHTS

#399
9-11-12

I’ve had three thoughts this morning:

1.

Since reading has fallen out of my purview,
I have unutterable amounts of time on my hands.
What did I used to do to fill the empty vistas?

Well, I read a lot. But now, reading: I fall asleep
even faster than I do when I write. The life of
the mind, apparently, is being eliminated

from my DNA. I don’t really mind. I find my
empty mind fairly often is at peace. It’s quite
satisfactory to sit and stare, to muse
and do nothing.


2.

Watching the ceremony to commemorate 9-11-01:
It brings no thought. It also brings tears to my eyes
to think of those people ending up as names read

from a list. Afterwards Taps is bugled with elegant,
singular, haunting, precision -- then echoed by two
or three other bugles -- not quite so perfect.
Again the tears


3.

and the realization that just the striving for
perfection is perfection itself. It is enough.
Perfection would be inhumane, causing
a reign of tears.



BREAK WITH THE PAST

#400
9-11-12

Nothing ever comes of human relations.
I’m tired of hanging around, waiting.
Time to act, act out, dramatize.

Enough of chemistry between human beings.
It means less than the communal creation of ant hills.
The little green grasshoppers hop around now in the splendid

weather of summer’s end, in the sun as gold as Montezuma’s treasure.
Break my heart, break with the past. Envision no future. Alone.
Sit alone within the rustling sound of the cottonwoods,

long for spring, and pray it will not
come too soon, sit,
incognito,

wait,
for meaning
to manifest. Sit still, sit alone.



PLUCK THE STRING

#401
9-11-12

Pluck the vibrating string.
Don’t let the time pass. Count
the drum beat, the rhythm,

stay in tune, trace the melody
with a lightening bolt, explode
the black holes, the white holes

of the universe. Pause.
Explore your heart
slowly.



TRAVELING HERE TRAVELING THERE

#402
9-12-12

Traveling here,
traveling there, one doesn’t
have to do it anymore.

The beautiful landscapes are
no less beautiful,
the exotic sights are no less
enamouring.

The crash of the sea along the coast
is no less
evocative, beckoning,
treacherous.

But stay.
Live in your capsule.

After you’ve seen half the world,
the other half doesn’t matter.

Out there are only pathways
that lead to your heart.

All pathways lead to your heart.

Where exactly
is the sky bluer,
the sea without salt?



TRAVELING

#403
9-12/13-12

Move this from here to here?
Why should I?
This body:
so attached, so very attached
at the ends of my arms, fingertips,
toes, top of the head, full of hair and itch.
Move it around. It is a gift -- made for use.

Shiva-purna can stagnate with only a little
stiffness showing up in a slight limp in his white
fur boots. But you. You?

The human body, as different from a cat’s body --
or the same -- was made for movement:
Running,
Jumping,
Clawing,
Eating,
Tormenting a mouse,
Kneading,
needing you
for companionship.

You don’t understand his meow,
nor does he understand yours.

Nonetheless he tells you when he is hungry,
hurting, needing a brushing or his box cleaned.

Ask for him to write you something, see what a cat says.



READER

#404
9-13-12

She was a reader --
always in the company of great men,
and some women, too --
so it was hard
to make friends with her.

She noticed --
wanted you to notice, too --
life taking place
on a different plane.

Wanted you to notice
that the universe was huge,
and it was difficult to notice its day by dayness

Diurnal fragility --
words take no room.

Writing?

Now, that’s something else.



WINDING DOWN

#405
9-13-12

Start with a studio full of...
not too full of -- real furniture,
furniture of the mind,
and, over two years,
two years toward the end
of life,
start to discard,
throw away,
give away,
empty out
the tidbits
of life:
remembrances,
memories,
tokens,
pledges,
keepsakes,
doodads

throw them away,
give them to friends,
neighbors,
strangers,
soul mates,
enemies -- if you have any left --

get rid of them.
Live in the glow
of nothing to do,
nowhere to go:

the terrors of one’s youth.
Old companions now --
familiar --

in attendance, they
leave the studio
roomy, empty,
for an echo.



THE END OF REASON

#406
9-14-12

Again, fury! The demons inhabiting
me.
Everything is in the way,
obstructing me
as if I had a whole race
of Republicans
inhabiting the other half
of my soul.

Oh, how well I understand those
old goats in the Congress,
after years they’ve dug
in so deep they can’t
tell right from wrong.

They’ve forgotten
the law, the land
and the leprechauns
who sent them
there.

They’re going to get their way!
even if the empire comes
tumbling down like
the Twin Towers
in cumulus clouds
of dust.

Destroy! if you can’t dominate!
Hatred is a terrible thing
when practiced by
a Twitt named Mitt.



HILLARY CLINTON

#407
9-15-12

Hillary has developed gravitas
in the last few days.

She’ll be our next president.
She’ll be persecuted just like her husband.

She’ll do some good, and probably
kill herself doing it.

What a remarkable life she,
girl from Illinois,

woman from Arkansas,
Stateswoman after D.C.,

has led.
Secretary of State

has been good for her,
and good for America.

She’ll be a vanguard
back into

matriarchal society.



BILLED AGAIN

#408
9-15-12

Billed again by UW on
their peculiar system of
double billing.

And feeling suicidal already,
I think about just finishing
this one year project --

a poem a day for every day
of 2012, then just
checking out.

What’s the point of
coping any longer
with the

itch and the depression
that my life
has become.

Goodbye and good riddance.
Even the days of late
glorious sunshine

cannot make up
enough for me
to want to go on.



STRESSED

#409
9-16/12-26-12

As I lick the green mash from my little plate
in a state of agitated fury,
I think about my ancestors, taking their million
mile stroll along the coastlines from Africa to
-- finally --
North America, walking a little each day
-- not very far --
strolling in the dawn and in the sunset -- laughing, maybe,
enjoying the view, never having been this way before.

Supplied with their rock flakes and
animal skins,
they walk on -- knowing they will never
return this way.
Aeons of ancestors have walked out and never
come back.

Oh a few
with stories to tell, but
once walking, they walk on
day by day,
in full moon nights as well,
wondering
wondering
wondering

finally freed of the stress of curiosity.



UNSTRESSED

#410
9-16-12

I began my life, some time ago,
to walk out of here.

“Here” being the intense and amorphous dwelling
in my head --

the only place I go now

-- very little traveling,
even to the grocery store.

But I try now to retrace my steps
through the development of ideas, goals,

desires to do this or that.

Let everything go, except this foot placed
in front of that foot

to where?

I hear the kittens in the hall.

One of the earliest patterns known
-- maybe the first:

a diamond cross-hatching etched
in stone.

I remember it well --

walking through it that night. I thought it was
real, filling the room, but I stepped right through it.

It was there and it wasn’t there.
We are here and not here.



WHEN DID WE ARRIVE?

#411
9-16-12

When did we arrive?
Where?

There are two paths.
The path of the seed.

Path I

Being.
Touched.
Its potential,

from being smaller
than a quarter grain of sand,

grows into its potential.
Me. You. A lion. A tree.

It needs just a
touch.

Or

Path II

Evolution
Being here already,

it can (does) evolve
from ape to man to

God knows what.
A dinosaur?

And disappears.



DIVORCE THE BODY

#412
9-17-12

Looking forward to peace, the grave, leaving the body.
For
it’s mostly the body that hurts, sways or succumbs,
falls
under the onslaught of life. It could have been
foreseen
that we’d choose life without feeling, pain, or
frustration.
But, having begun when the voice began,
fundamentally
to extemporize the agony, the pain, the
fantastical
nature, the never ending coping with
fanaticism,
the fear, the anguish, the built-in
frequency
subjecting the molecules
forever
to misfortune,
fear,
terror,
foolishness,
pain.

Then
what do we do?
Think,
lunge forward, blind,
thoughtless,
fearless into slaughter,
tumultuously
trusting that movement,
trembling,
will protect us from
tolerating
everything but peace.



ONE PIECE MISSING

#413
9-17-12

The quicker you can disaggregate
the assembled puzzle,
the quicker you can get on to the
next puzzle.

One moment to admire,
three moments to
disassemble,
a lifetime to solve puzzles.



MISSING

#414
9-17-12

I sit in my dim chamber
within my dimming mind
watching the sunshine,
brighter than
I can
imagine

pour
through the
window, like molten gold.

Can I catch it?

No.

Not today, but tomorrow, in
my imagination,
I may be
able to
trap it

by holding my breath,
breathing
the
cooling
air.

Inspire.
Expire.

What if the sun
does not
shine

tomorrow?

Hammer
the
gold
diligently.



BLANK MIND

#415
9-18-12

The sun is out, the air is cool,
the cat’s been fed,
and so have I.
Next?

The cat has taken to sleeping
where he can wake
studying his
image

in the mirror. This is just since
the kittens have been
playing in the
hall.

Perhaps seeing them has wakened
in him a curiosity, a
knowledge that
other

creatures like him
abound.



THINKING

#416
9-19-12

Thinking of the past, the poor, the future.
I feel that here I’m treading on thin ground
so filled with anxiety I can hardly breathe.
Why?

Have I been generous enough in this life?
I was. I don’t do much anymore, nor
do I have much, nor do I need much,
nor do I long for more.

Wanting is such an artificial concept
instilled in us as children. I’ve watched
my sister (I had only nanny-babies of
my own) encourage them to choose,
to want, to

compete, to must-have. My cat asks and
90 times out of a hundred, I just give him
what he wants: more food, more brushing,
a wee bit of a chase, a look of communing,
the door opened,

the faucet turned on. Why would one not?
The anxiety remains and grows worse. I’d
rather minimize my wants then encourage
them. One can do without, except sunshine,
cool air, the grace of 100

foot high Lombardy Poplars.



THE SPIDERS ARE MOVING IN

#417
9-19-12

The spiders are moving in. Lately, I’ve been
talking to them rather than squashing them,
telling them they’re welcome to stay as long
as I don’t see them. I don’t want to watch
their antics, nor smear them on the walls.

Let them do what they want to do, I just
don’t want to play host. Keep out of sight!
Mind your own business. There’s plenty of
room. Just be discreet. Other things have
turned from ugly to, if not beautiful, at
least “interesting” in my eyes. Do that.

Crawl about where I can’t see you. Spin
all you want. Leave your webs -- especially
where the dew can catch them -- but leave
me in peace,
ya hear?



ANGER HANGS IN THE AIR

#418
9-20-12

There’s plenty of time,
endless time to consider who
we are, how we got here.

From a moving bacterium
(Why does it move?),
to a seed, a sperm,

an egg, an ovum
all densely coded with
the color of my eyes

the color of my teeth,
the pitch of my voice,
the extensions and

contractions of my muscles,
the thoughts in my head,
the rate of growth:

O, O, O, the coding is immense
and endless and all there in
that little, itty-bitty seed

that meets my seed
and becomes me.
No wonder the brain

explodes trying to think
about all this -- even
after we have begun

to replicate -- all this.
Makes you mad
at times!

Doesn’t it?
Nothing but time
and mystery.



TODAY THEY’RE DOING THE PARKING LOT

#419
9-21-12

Today they’re re-paving the parking lot.
Let’s put the golden coins
(the Lunaria coins, annual honesty
in the Brassicaceae family)
into the pots of soil sitting below
the windows to receive seed.

It’s all a glorious sea of shiny black tar,
at the moment, no lines or arrows,
no cars, no expectation of
cars, nothing but hypnotizing
blackness surrounding all the islands,
the rhomboids and parallelograms,

of grape vines and apple trees,
pear and Asian pear trees, a wild
lilac, an espaliered pear,
raspberries in the brush, and the
gorgeous lily, having flowered
like a bronze tiger at six feet, has

now gone dormant.
Quiet, now that the motors
have stopped running,
the machinery departed,
and I’m awake after
my nap

waiting for the next disaster.



NO SUN TODAY

#420
9-21-12

Two hours past noon and still
no sun today,
makes one feel deserted by
what had turned into a
glorious summer.

In Seattle a glorious summer is exceptionally
glorious, and exceptionally rare, or
at least, more than a day or two
of glorious, is rarer
than unicorns in the garden.

Once in a while one feels one has
seen one, is about to see one,
one is about to call,
about to step out on
the dangerous ledge,

crane one’s neck to follow
the vision, which, like a
great blue heron flapping
its giant wings overhead,
is a little beyond
imagination.



TEARS [II]

#421
9-21-12

The tears are just behind my eyes,
right at the edges, rigid like sluice gates,
holding back torrents,
holding back tears.

If one drops, the others will
follow, tears and the possibility of
tears, will provide floods, tsunamis of
tears, regrets, drowned hopes.

Humanity has gone wild as the weather.
Earth, having endured fire and floods,
volcanos erupting, mountains exploding,
seas washing the continents away,

smiles at us and our panic. No ice cap
to the north, no warmth in the south,
Gaia accommodates. It’s we who
think nature is a

disaster.



GLOOMY WEATHER

#422
9-21-12

When god created human beings,
how come he didn’t create
sunshine all the time
to go with them?
It’s noticeable
how happy
a few
rays

can
make a
human. Good
cheer reigns with the sun.



POLTERGEISTS OR GHOSTS

#423
9-23-12

Poltergeists or ghosts or playful
spirits sprinting around
are foxing up what
I do.

My mind is slipping. But that bad?
Or are there others in my
house, or in-the-night
visitors that come,
change things,
go.

If there are, what should I do?
Stand guard with a hangman’s
noose, catch them, strangle
them, outwit them
into stopping,
going elsewhere?

Or is it a magnificent opportunity
to study the ways and minds
of poltergeists and ghosts --
things I don’t believe
in, can’t see?

Out-wait them, avoid them, get
a ghost buster in to negate
their unwelcome
behavior?

They can watch me do what I do.
And I, though I can’t see them,
I will study what they do.

Or pretend
to.



OR GHOSTS

#424
9-24-12

Poltergeists.
What is it that is stopping me?
I feel stiff as a board,
and as motiveless as a turtle.

Today I am thinking of Toni --
who I haven’t thought of in
a decade or two.

Toni -- one of the great loves
of my life, and I see
myself: gauche and young
and wonder still,
as I wondered then:
What did he see in me?

Why did he fall in love with me?
Because I loved and admired him so?
-- his glamour, his foreignness,
his sophistication, his Italian
polish! It still puzzles me,
paralyzes my mind as
I try to think.

What did he see in me?
I was barely formed back then,
even at 36,
or whatever I was
then.

What did he see in me?
Is this just another Jan-bashing thought
or is there some kind of sluice gate, thick,
dense, concrete, as powerful as a volcano
holding back a mountain top
removal explosion.
(Not yet invented
then.)



OR GHOSTS II

#425
9-24-12

I have never had a sense
of my own appearance
in the world.

Oh, I can look in the mirror
and see as well as anybody
else, but...

It’s like trying to scrub
months, even years
of tarnish off
an oil-frying
pan --
the yellowed
oil begins to
disappear
and

here, at the turning down
of the lid’s edge, it is
bright and shiny
as aluminum
always is
under the
frying
specks.

Who was this girl?

It’s curiously akin to the
terror I feel when I hear
voices at the other end of the
hall, when I sit nude,
trying to peer into the inside
of my brain --

and don’t want to be caught, questioned,
discovered -- or known.



WHO AM I?

#426
9-24-12

It’s
like I
have been
(or am trying to be)
a peeping Tom
at the Big Bang,
the implosion or explosion,
that initiated the world --
at least our world.

As if my umbilicus was as
famous and long,
as curvy and stalwart
as the Great Wall of China,
which, they used to say,
was the sole human-made
object that could be
seen from the moon.

No one’s up there now.
Can I be seen from the moon?

What can you see from the moon?
What did Neil Armstrong
(who just died -- August 25, 2012, at 82)
see?

He never said much. Does peering
from the moon make you quiet?
Or was it essentially a blank --
like my mind:
It’s all there, perfectly clear
and yet, it’s like looking in
the mirror and not seeing
who you really are.

Is life more than just a casual glance?
Maybe not.



WHO IS SHE?

#427
9-24-12

There is nothing as quiet as
a high-stepping skinny
little black kitten.

Her paws make no noise,
her presence makes
no sound.

But Shiva-purna can smell
her, sense her. His
ears perk,

he burbles little meows,
he must see into
the hall.



THE ITCH

#428
9-25-12

Can it be apples?
Can it be Levothyroxine?
Before I didn’t itch
and now I do.

Who’s the culprit?
Coffee? Coconut milk?
Shattered nerves
listening to
the news?

It’s amazing what we
have invented
to shatter
our peace
of mind.

The ice cap is melting.
Soon -- no more
ice at the
North
Pole.

A sunny planet,
full of peace,
wafting
winds,
quiet.



CAN IT BE?

#429
9-25-12

Can it be? Can it be?
And my cracked blue bowl...
The face aflame with itch.
The heart scorched and
withering free of
the body.

Will the sun shine today?
Tomorrow? Ever again?
The weather and my
age, both
deteriorating,
quietly, quickly.

Come again, sweet summer.
Never mind the ice cap’s
melting, the mountains
exploding. They
will do that
whether

or not we are here to witness,
tell the tale, make the poem.
Was language invented for
poetry? Or for giving
directions re:
the nearest anthill?



ESCAPE

#430
9-25-12

The only place to flee
is into the heart of your captor.
Watch carefully.
Wait for the unguarded moment.
You’ll see -- what?
That he is no more human than thee.



FOG

#431
9-26-12

The fog has whited-out the world.
And I am whited-out also,
not by the fog,
but

by the peace of old age, peace and
the aching of the bones
and the gas filled
stomach,

which, massaged away leaves both
bones and stomach freed
like the free
floating

whited-out fog -- first to arrive in
Seattle this fall to
hide the cerise
leaves.

Perhaps my game playing: cat and
mouse tryst with poetry,
is coming to an
end.

Fallen into fogbound, I no longer
have energy or passion
enough to be
a writer

of this world or the next. Peace, quiet
the leaves have no need to
tell their transforming
tale: they rustle,
they die.



SYMBIOSIS

#432
9-26-12

Along steps a human,
sees the cerise,
picks up
the

leaf. At home it curls
into a pale brown,
indiscriminate
fragility.

It, too, will be mulch.
Time runs through
the bones
only

for humans, too aware
to receive the
elusive grace
of

harmony, the melody
of color, the magic
of the tapping
wind,

the taste of autumn in
the air, the touch
of the silk
floss

blossom, the smell of
no smell, the
wisp of
life

passing through.



INTERNAL IDIOCY

#433
9-27-12

The people downstairs
seem to function
on about
the
same level
as our idiot child
running for president.

Mitt the Twit and now --
after the interference run on my
computer signal -- they are making a concerted
effort,
it seems, to overload the new laundry machine;
29 pillow cases, 16 towels and a few
etceteras; one wonders where
they
store their minds. Maybe
they have none. Now
there’s
a
thought.



GREEN GRASSHOPPERS

#434
9-27-12

Green grasshoppers, crickets,
delicate creatures hopping about
this morning. Still in bed I watch
five of them explore my ceiling.

I hope they eat bugs and germs.
Surely they are as useful as they
are delightful. I don’t mind mur-
dering a spider or two.

Race discrimination?
Hot topic.



PERHAPS

#435
9-28-12

Perhaps it’s time to start talking
with my cat on a more
highfalutin level.

Right now, it’s all about food
and brushing. Not
petting. He does

not like to be petted, but he likes
very much to be brushed
while eating.



AND THE REST OF US

#436
9-28-12

And the rest of us like to keep
our pleasures discrete,
sheltered from
one another.

All at once is ecstasy, but
then: all has been
had, makes
one sad.



WHAT IS THAT GRAND

#437
9-28-12

What is that grand drama playing around in my head,
contracting my heart, shortening my breath?
What are you afraid of? Can we beam it into a great
play of passion and despair, high drama, low
comedy -- anything to fit into the frameworks of those
who have gone before, nothing new under

the sun, except those who sit and wait by the fire or, in
today’s mechanized world, the whirring buzzing
electric heater, doing its best to take the chill off and keep
it at bay? Amazing how the language changes. What
were once clichés are so seldom now heard they sound fresh,
like the new wind blowing through clouds.

The news couldn’t get worse, with the Republican morons
running for president on down to women police --
those who police the reality of women, all self-appointed
men, none of whom seem to have been born of
woman, declaring what our bodies do and don’t do, what
is good for us and why we should be killed. How

odd they took the reins of command, like we do, even though
mostly benevolent, the leash of a dog. Cats don’t
accept leashes. They’ll bite and fight and scratch, infect and
abandon those who’d say yea and nay to them.
Clever cats, prisoned in our world, but still free and chock-full,
making their own words out of me-ow, and a mur-yowl.



WHAT A CONCEPT

#438
9-29-12

I am quite consciously and deliberately
living without distractions.
I don’t want to go play cards or bingo
to be with my fellow humans.

I don’t want to go to a party or dance.
For the most part I don’t even
want to engage in conversation with my
fellow humans. I want only to

get up and do what I do, see if I can’t
find peace and pleasure in
whatever the universe freely offers day
by day, hour by hour. If

I am haunted by thought or desire or
remembrance, let it be, just let
it be, see where the silence and the non-
distraction takes me, wait, if I

must. But even “wait” I want to cancel, as I
recall frequently Isak Dinesen's
citation, description, in OUT OF AFRICA that
her house boys, or servants or

whatever she called them, never waited. Once
they arrived in Nairobi, for instance,
and she went off to do her shopping or lunching
or purchasing, the “boy” would

simply hunker down and be. Do nothing, read nothing, talk only
if to talk were required, but squatting
alone, he would just be -- no distractions, no “civilized” distractions
or pretense of “interest in” -- just be.

What a concept to pursue, no, not pursue, no more
than my cat pursues a thought, an idea,
a need to act, until disturbed or called upon to act -- as if
there is something criminal in just being.



A MADNESS

#439
9-30-12

Full of illusions of myself --
this shy little mouse of a girl...
Even though I have been told from
time to time by various people that I am
very pushy, determined, overwhelming, dis-
dainful, pigheaded, whatever. Still I hold the
image of my shyness tight against my breast,
and claimed the special privileges of fear.

But, as I study this illusion closely, I see
many different me’s.
Yes, I am shy and fearful and afraid.
Yes, I am pushy and determined to get
my way in various circumstances.
Yes, I once was shy and afraid enough to die.
Also, I went through years of being Somebody
at AFI and know how, when the circumstances warrant it
to speak up, to get things done, to be aggressive in being a
shepherdess.

Yes, I did learn some time ago to stop looking for the way to
do things, having realized the only way for me to do things
is my way. Many of these youthful fears have long since
disappeared, and yet I often cloak myself in shyness and
fear and refuse to do certain things out of fear of being
utterly wounded again -- as in hawking my art work,
selling my poetry

-- (or reaching out to people) --
all things having to do with promoting
myself. Promoting others is easy,
I’m incredibly friendly when myself is
not involved.
I am extremely capable of doing almost everything
until that inner me says
No! don’t go there, they will gobble you up.
Is this, it suddenly occurs to me, just my inner-me’s
way of preventing me from perjuring myself?
“Be afraid! Don’t go there! That’s not you!”

Truly, I think
I do harbor fears that my art is not meant to be sold --
that my money must come from somewhere else
so that I can give away my art. When it comes,
it comes so easily that it seems wrong to charge.
At the same time, I don’t really find myself
giving it away.

Like the needlepoints. I don’t want to sell them -- at all,
let alone individually, but I want them to stay together,
and if push came to shove, I’d give them away.

I’ve never thought of much of this until today.
And why today?
All because I think I am beginning to see
that the timid me is an illusion --
an illusion I hold dear.
I used to be foolishly generous and,
not to be that anymore, I am often
foolishly parsimonious.



AN HYSTERICAL FRIGHTENEDNESS

#440
10-1-12

Anxiety lies, an unsheathed dagger across my heart.
Why? Is it just eating tomatoes, or too many vitamins?
Or is it MM’s lack of contact as he’s supposed to be hiring me.
I suppose it’s the latter, even though I could just as easily say no.
I’m actually unlikely to run out of money before my life draws
to a conclusion. So what’s the big deal? Tomato? potatoes? the
deadly nightshades, not eaten for months, now causing havoc
along the nerve fibers. C’est la vie.
Calm down, the sun is shining, I
have a “Jackson Pollack” poem to write
based on the visual imagery of Ansel Adams

catching in: #69, Trailside, near Juneau, Alaska, 1947, the random (sic) abundance
of a Jackson Pollack. Frightening. And: so what?

C’est la vie.



SLEEPY, UNABLE TO KEEP MY EYES OPEN

#441
10-1-12

The sunshine came out, hit my back
like a sledge hammer and the soles
of my feet.

I was enervated, but not so enervated
that I couldn’t rise up and write this
poem.



THE ANSEL ADAM/JACKSON POLLOCK #69

#442
10-2-12/1-8-13

The Ansel Adams/Jackson Pollock #69 lies at my elbow.
From time to time Charles has pointed out why he thinks
JP is the be all and end all of modern art, and when I saw
this picture of AA’s picture I could see what he sees, I think,
in a JP: a cluster of weeds, little, sparkly white flowers -- baby's
breath, blackberry leaves, grasses, etc. in such glorious disarray
it triumphs over abstraction. The lights, the darks, the textures,
the composition, the depths and the surface might be what JP saw,
maybe long before he loped over a canvas splashing! And though he’d
forgotten it, his fingers, feet, hands, legs had absorbed the molecules of
the vision, the remembrance: allowing him to dance without thought, with
bucket and paintbrush in hand -- or stick. Ode to #69 Trailside, near Juneau,
Alaska, 1947 in ANSEL ADAMS AT 100. Little, Brown and Company ©2001.



WAKING UP

#443
10-2-12/1-8-13

Filling up with nice, motivating self-hatred. And
now what?
One more beautiful autumn day out there: clear sky,
cool weather, nothing to do.
But the desire, at last! to do something. What? ever?
what is there to do?
One more poem and one more poem and one more
poem.
Discouragement, self hatred. What on earth is there
to do? I may end up playing bingo yet! Or maybe
run for President.



WAKING UP II

#444
10-3-12/1-8-13

It seems I am walking off into space,
more and more space around me,
spaciousness, with hints of the
rainbow coming in at the
window.

Is this wakefulness, and if so, what
do you do with it? Other
dimensions beckon,
sun and cool
air

predominate. Shadows created by
the rising sun re-create the
walls: sunshine and
shadow play
over

my brain, causing it to lose perspective
in this daunting world. Where do
I look for a cause? Where
do I look for an
answer? --

or was it a question to begin with? Dear
muse, dwell with me now, help me
to figure it out: rising sun,
rising moon, all cast
shadows:

deep, black shadows, on the white walls,
on the blankness of being -- once
the urges have passed
and there is
nothing

left, but groundwork and identity.
Who assigns identity?
An important
job passed
on,

or fobbed off unto those who are willing --
almost never those who could,
if wakened, contribute.
While those
asleep
sigh.



WAKING UP III

#445
10-3/4-12/1-8-13

I understand “god” more, the “molecules” more
and more each day. Each version is sacred.
Try it this way, try it that way,
all is perfect -- all is version.

Why judge?
Go on,
and on,
each experiment is worth it.

Erase none of the path, the
history,

go on.



WAKING UP IV

#446
10-4-12/1-9-13

Feel splendid, brain alive when I get up.

Revision:

I felt like hell when I finally stood -- up and out
of bed, ache here and there, mostly
all over,
itch fearsomely, legs and back.
But, descending the ladder slats, and
coming to rest against the kitchen
counter,

and one teaspoon of Cetirizine later --
I began to feel splendid!
brain alive,
able to think.
Plan.

Then I had my morning drink: fruit and --
this morning, the new Whey Protein,
coconut milk,
a few carrot pieces,

and felt dulled again -- head denser.
Is it the banana? the apple? the blueberries?
I know I mustn’t eat garbanzo beans again.

What can I eat?
Or is the upset just the fact of activating
the stomach again?

Longing to hear Eve Ensler at 9:00 AM our time.
The world is full of good people doing good.
Why am I so blighted?



WAKING UP V

#447
10-5-12/1-9-13

One romantic image after another
skedaddles, scatters
throughout my brain:
remembrances, true remembrances

as well as others from films, literature, travels
taken and untaken, visions of the moon,
slithering through narrow tunnels, holes in
the earth, mimicking a spelunker's crawl.

I read in an old magazine, March 3-9, 2012,
that the measuring of a neutrino going faster
than the speed of light may have been off -- perhaps
by as much as 1/40,996th of a nanosecond.

Thus the images dance, not so fast,
but the mind plays with the possibility.
I don’t read this New Scientist, Special
Issue until October 5, 2012.

Hmmm.

Imagine the incalculable shifts in all the surroundings
as well as the possibility of a second error
in a quartz crystal clock, supposedly oscillating
at 10,000,000 times a second.

Who can imagine which of those 1/10,000,000
beats were a bit too fast/slow.
So, Heathcliff sits in my brain this morning
as I speculate on the lack of imagination

of a human race that has to re-refer again
and again and again to the same 10 or 20
“classics.” Think of all the billions and trillions of
words, describing something, that never
get a reference.



WAKING UP VI

#448
10-6-12/1-9-13

Ah! almost forgot my poem today.
A long, interesting, and stressful day
-- but not in a bad way.
Visit with Ann, read the last two
weeks of poems -- not as trivial as I thought
-- and Ann thought “too many words.”
And she’s quite right.
It’s not true of all the poems, but some,
their words (sounding nice) but not
really digging into the soil
beneath the poem.

Bedrock.
A few touched bedrock --
I don’t know how or why.
“Just do it,” remains the watchword.

Then buy a few foods at 12th and Jackson.
And a last minute decision to follow my impulse to
take #60 to the University District.

Arriving at Broadway and Republican, a
transfer point, I realized
I was near Dhammadinna.
Called her, waited,
coffeed at Starbucks,
where I offered to buy her coffee,
thinking in my price range, but she
wanted a latte. And deep down
I realized I was not poor enough
to say no.

Odd how I begin
to associate my financial state
with the crises in the world.
I go on in my super modest mode,
and once in awhile realize
it probably has gone from my choice,
to long-term necessity -- or at least
reasonableness.
Not because my money is less,
but because
prices are soaring. If I didn’t go
to the food bank,
I’d soon begin to eat my principal.

By then, too much coffee, and
not enough rest in the day, I soon
fell silent with Dhammadinna.

Nor had I eaten since my breakfast Whey,
though I didn’t feel hungry. I am beginning
to realize I rarely feel hunger, but “feeling
hungry” is often my fatigue and
often my anger.

I soon fell silent, and began
to think -- about really getting old,
the aching legs, the excessive
fatigue, the need for silence,
for actually being alone.

But DD remains a favorite
as humans go. She’s older,
more serious, beginning to develop
the gravitas of
a real “teacher.”

We walked over to take the #43 to the district,
and poof, I was on the next bus,
and transferred -- still in the sunshine
with my summer hat
and walked on home, and began to
play my puzzle again to calm down,
really wanted more Chris Hayes
who I’d had the good luck to hear
on the computer already this morning.
So listened to Melissa Harris-Perry.

How she has grown in depth,
seriousness, ability to lead her
discussions.

By then, I was calming down, and almost ready
for bed, and realized for all the material
that had been passing through my head especially on
the last leg of my journey, I still had not written my poem.
Thus I write.



YES, MITT

#449
10-7-12/1-9-13

What’s a government for? -- if not to make
sure everyone is fed, clothed, housed
and taken care of when sick
or injured? -- especially in
the richest country
ever known?

And the United States, the richest
country ever known, has certainly
reached the point of being
able to do so, if the
luckier share
with others.

We certainly don’t say to a child newly
arrived and hungry -- “Take care of
yourself.” Nor need we, later
in life, abandon those
who find it beyond

their abilities to care for themselves.
Call it ‘Entitlement” if you
wish to, or just human
decency. And what
better way

to accomplish this than to have everyone
chip into a pot (call it government
if you want) whose job it is
to make sure this care
is carried out?

Those with the most, chip in most,
those with least chip in
what they can.
Voila!

Did you ever know a child who didn’t
want to do what her mother and
dad were doing?
C’est la vie.



COLUMBUS DAY

#450
10-8-12/1-9-13

I wake, ankles itching and burning, I rise and by 10:07 AM
I’m crazy as a loon, the NET only half works. Can’t
get Amy Goodman. The sun is too bright, my first
encounter with food this morning, coffee with
milk, leaves me rattled, my second leaves
me all but incapacitated with criss-
crossed crazy thoughts where
thinking used to be.

What I hear on the radio, on the last part of Amy’s earlier
show, leaves me in tears: Native Americans talking
-- barely able to express themselves in English --
talking about their treatment at the hands
of Americans. One of the main
reasons they were kid-
napped and carted
off to

boarding schools even as infants -- and kept until
they forgot their heritage -- was to teach them
English and make sure they used it. But
obviously their brains, their hearts,
all their molecules said “No!”
Don’t learn the language
of your captors.
Then,

having forgotten their own languages, they are
left all but mute. Which seems to be what
the Americans wanted: docile and
mute Indians, an outstanding
example of colonialism
at work on peoples
of peace,
even

unto the Seventh Generation.



THE DAY

#451
10-9-12

My brain again, firing at the speed of light.
Today is the day some man is jumping out
of something up there in the sky that
will let him fall fast enough to pass
the sound barrier -- without a
chute or a plane. Wow!
Anything for
entertainment.

Hopefully he’ll land standing up on down.



WHO ARE YOU TO CHOOSE?

#452
10-10-12/1-9-13

Who are you to choose whether
I am hungry or not?
Go hungry.
Or not?
Go ahead, play with the fucking words.
No fucking.
Enough fucking already
Too much fucking already.
Go silently into that good night.
And don’t bother to shout even a whisper back.
You want to choose? --
go ahead and choose,
keeping in mind whether you’re hungry or not.
Evade your taxes, supersede your wants.
Goodnight, Sweet Prince.
Good night.

O Jan, I’d do anything for you if your tale
was as organized as that of the peddling-influence,
little green crackers of agreement, ridiculous in suits,
flimflam men promulgate, without even a smile.



THE DISCOURAGEMENT TIME OF DAY

#453
10-10-12/1-9-13

Really doddering into the discouragement corridors
of day, day by day, nothing-to-do days.

What I want done is to clean up the poetry
for this year: THE 2012 POEMS -- one poem a day
for the entire 365.

But even as important as that would be, the more important
is gathering together the papers scattered about in various
boxes, on various surfaces; edit some or a great many of
them, get them all boxed up and shipped off to Texas --
and, though it sounds grand on paper, if I were to do it
with the kind of drive and energy I used to have,
it could all be done in a month?
or less?

The sicknesses of fatigue and itch have driven
or are driving me
crazy.



TIME OF DAY

#454
10-11-12

Crazy as a loon --
all the doctor and doctor
related activities are as mad
making as a major conflagration,

and they, essentially, do nothing, except
give you medicine that chases it away, and,
as soon as you stop taking the medicine, it
comes back in spades!!



TIME OF DESPAIR

#455
10-12-12

So tired I could die -- again and again --
throughout the day, and then periods
of all-rightness.

Everything aches, from the toes
to the ears. Even breathing cries

for a little more effort,
and there’s a certain dizziness
when

I move my head up, or from side to side,
and the red legs itch, the turning-red
thighs don’t itch yet.

Feel blasted and dependent. Almost nothing rouses.
Back to bed at 5:44 in the evening

of a cold autumn day, windy, blowing us toward
winter.



DESPAIR

#456
10-12-12

Throughout my life my pain has come
mainly through my contact with other
people.

Where I had hoped for pleasure, there
is often pain, the searing pain of --
what?

Rejection? The dance of joy I have
often felt -- or anticipated, too often
ends in deep despair.

As with Shiva-purna: He meows for
something. I do not know what -- and
then I feel his pain of rejection.



RUMI TAUGHT ME . . .

#457 -- #500
10-13-12 -- 11-6-12


RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH I

#457
10-13-12/1-11/10-12-13

Only about one ninety-ninth percent of what passes through my brain
in an hour gets written down here -- as “poetry.” And I have to
invent a new word for what it is. For it certainly is not poetry in
a conventional sense. Indeed, I write in this “form” specifi-
cally to avoid anything resembling that olde timee
glumph, glumph, as well as any of the modern
noise and triviality that passes for poetry
today, with its sprung rhythms and
its about to spring meanings
made from the flotsam
of contemporary
life. But
I

like
trivialities,
just not the dull,
colorless, lackluster
parading of sex sex sex
that has replaced love, the
recitation of which was already
driving us mad, the hurt, the wailing,
juvenile screaming and drum pounding
of their so-called love -- done so much better
by coyote and the guttural whales. The lion was
born knowing how to roar. We spend the best of our
youth locked in clutter-walled, badly aired classrooms,
learning to parse words and sentences, learning the interstices,
and hidden from what would make all that vocabulary worthwhile.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH II

#458
10-13-12/1-11-13

It’s raining today. The first time in,
perhaps, forty days and forty
glorious nights, and it’ll be
the first time Roxy,
the dog,
will

be
free to
experience
the rain coming
down all over everything.
Will she try, as she now does,
with a gushing and shower-headed
hose, to jump and catch each falling
drop? Leaping, growling, jumping for joy.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH III

#459
10-14-12/1-11-13

I wonder how genuine an old love can be
when one’s an antique and the other is
prime or possibly even underage?

From the antique’s pov I’m wondering
if one isn’t so jaded, so hurt, so overcome
with the mendacity of the human species

that almost nothing can be genuine anymore,
including, because the taste buds wane, the
taste of food. It used to be a pleasure; now it

is one more thing to remember. Love, too,
may be problematic by now. But, of course,
by now, problematic is no barrier. With age

comes the realization all problems can
be solved, else one wouldn’t be typing at
the computer right now, musing about love.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH IV

#460
10-14-12/1-11-13/4-2-13

Perhaps I am rediscovering silence.
The election coverage on radio and
via computer drives one like a nail
into madness --

one might almost say: murderous madness --
pounding on and on with trivial shit,
lies, accusations, misanthropic mis-
representations,

nothing to do with wise governance, all
to do with a power struggle, to rule
the rules of this imperfect govern-
ment:

a high school popularity test, the only substantive
words coming from women fighting for
their rights and their lives -- this might be
the first time

in history -- which began long after matriarchy
had kept earth safe for who knows
how many tens of thousands of years,
before male

dominance began, and they, all the theys, forgot
where life, actual life, comes from, i.e.
in their opinion: from the belly of
the beast.

In any case it is now in history, herstory, and millions,
all over the globe, are stepping forward --
including Eve Ensler, VM,* Julia Gillard,
PM,** acting catalysts

paving the way out of the vicious control of
women’s bodies that has reigned
hatred and havoc into the world,
over the fountain
of humankind for at least fifteen thousand years.***

*Vagina Monologues, arranging for the Amnesty International dancing of women throughout the world on February 14, 2013.
** Prime Minister of Australia, parliament speech of October 8 or 9, 2012, castigating her misogynistic antagonists.
***Around the time the Greek Myths were invented and solidified, and carved into the stone of the male brain.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH V

#461
10-14-12/1-11-13

One cannot deny that while they rained (power all over the earth)
the male mind and brawn also did a passel of good:
many exciting and adventurous things,

causing many women to want to be men and, in actuality, to act like
men -- instead of being their own powerful, indestructible,
feminine selves. For if men really

were to succeed along their wildly destructible paths, they would have
long since destroyed their only window on the future:
their children: no children/no mankind.

It’s that simple.
Also the reverse:

Too many children/no mankind -- eventually. For they would continue to
do what men have done for at least the last sixteen
centuries: march themselves, fucking

around the earth, leaving woman's fertile womb writhing and whimpering.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH VI

#462
10-14-12

State the big with the little. The dichotomy of the grand
and the mundane -- as enshrined in male thought --
had almost driven me mad, or worse,
longing to get off this earth
or do nothing --
as it all
seemed
too mundane.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH VII

#463
10-15-12

Today I begin to pass on to Suzanne
my most precious possession:
my OED,
the first thing, maybe the only thing
of Significance,
I bought, having started my own life --
beyond marriage.
I have loved it for all these years, from
1968? or 7,
but now use it seldom -- everything is online.

I love it still,
and am delighted
Suzanne asked for it,
and delighted too, to give it up,

getting closer and closer to needing nothing,
not even my favorite possession.
C’est la vie.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH VIII

#464
10-15-12

One last disastrous dinner with my sister
and the wind is blowing and the rain is howling down.
I usually love the wind, and the rain seldom
bothers me.

But tonight my heart is in my throat, beating fast, angered
by her drunken, pretended naiveté.
How difficult is it to put one piece of chicken in one pan naked
-- nothing more --
and let it cook in the same oven at the same temperature
as all the other food --
until done?

If you don’t want me to come to your family
dinners/celebrations,
tell me.
As you know, I rarely want to come.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH IX

#465
10-16-12

About to listen to the Presidential Debate --
a highly orchestrated affair that doesn’t usually
amount to much. Though the last one, a few
weeks ago, rather trimmed the President’s
sails. Just not at his tippy top. Whereas Mitt,
the chameleon, was in full attack mode and, for
the first time, since he was designated candidate,
he hit his stride in combative, and one might
say, effective conflict -- hopping around as usual
between his many and contradictory opinions,
which really did suffice for that evening.
We’ll see what happens tonight.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH X

#466
10-17-12

So often in the morning I now wake
feeling sad.
Partly, its cause is nothing to do and no
where to go.
Partly it’s red legs and the overwhelming,
from time to time,
itch. And, I was about to say, it’s the slipping
away of me/my memory.
But I’m not sure that is true. I don’t really
mind the lapses, the pauses, gaps
in the memory walls, especially now when
we all have our auxiliary memory: Google.
Look up anything, anytime, anywhere, re the
state of the world and its molecules -- but
my own memory? Not yet fully recorded --
except in the cosmos, the ether,
the uninterpretable
stars.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XI

#467
10-17-12

I saw the mountain earlier this morning,
snow white, in an ice-white sky, blue
clouds, blue buttermilk clouds, tufts.

The mountain all but indistinguishable
within the atmosphere, wishing
it weren't there -- not completely.

Later -- the sky all white now --
the mountain has withdrawn.
Sun brightens the clouds.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XII

#468
10-18-12

The itch rises -- home from a cup of coffee
at Starbucks -- everything itches. Once thought
commercial coffee made me itch less than home-
brewed, but see I am wrong.

What to do? What to do? Watching the body
fall apart piece by piece, one piece after another
not working properly -- what should I do from
here on in? Scratch, scream, itch?

The extension-of-life doctors/researchers have
managed to insure that we live into older
and older ages, enabling us to experience a
broader spectrum of ills, aches and itches.

I think biologically, we were meant to drop dead
at a certain age, not grasp for more and more time
-- like the insatiable bankers snorting riches.
“May peace be with you.” “And with you.”




RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XIII

#469
10-19-12/4-2-13

It’s like throwing a pin into the cosmos, saying:
“Wherever it lands, I’ll start there.”
All the time reality, one kind of reality, spins
around my head. Inside. Outside. Like the endlessly
proliferating flowers of oleander:
poisonous, I believe -- to animals.

Who's

to say where the pin lands? Or when?
More than likely, it’ll never be found. Who needs
it anyway? -- One single straight pin -- not much of a
toss-up. Nonetheless, it begins there.

Here.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XIV

#470
10-19-12/4-1-13

Doris Lessing talks about the deterioration of her father
in MY FATHER. How grand and fabulous her words
make it sound -- a deterioration not unlike my own. But
at least, beside a dying decaying body, he had dreams,
past and present, convictions to stay alive -- a 3,000
acre farm in Africa to attend to. I have only 3 or 4 or 6
thousand poems that will slosh about, unnoticed,
in my absence.

The turning of life into words is a magical alchemy, a delightful
process Lessing was blessed to do. What else would I do in this
winding down darkness of the soul?



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XV

#471
10-19-12/4-2-13

Terrified and alone --
but not really.
There’s no place I’d rather be,
no one I’d rather be,
no company I’d rather choose than my own.

Of all the things I’ve owned in this world
of all the things I’ve seen, heard, nothing
matches the obsession I have
to one day have the insight, the understanding of
all this movement and if this stillness has a meaning.
(And, so what if it does?)
Can I find it out if I muse, think, ponder,
wonder,
long and hard enough?
And, if I do, what then?

A crackpot obsession? What if humans had been
born with three legs? Would things be different?
Why do the cells do what they do?
And only that?

Until they do something different?
My right eye and cheek seem bruised and drooping.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XVI

#472
10-19-12

Today’s the day George McGovern’s dying.
I do, but barely, remember voting for him.

Listening to Amy Goodman’s tribute this morning
I see he was a great influence in my life, on my thought.

I was too naive to see it then -- or now.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XVII

#473
10-20-12

I do not want to start with something new
or fresh or unopened. It seems a bit of an insult
to the universe to want, always, the new.

Everything has been here for 4.2 billion years,
why should I want an unsullied, unwormy apple?
I want to dress -- in clothes I have worn

every day for a year -- even though the washing
has become 100 times easier now with the
new, uncharging washing machine.

Is it because I feel so worn out, worn in? But no.
I don’t really feel that way. In the mirror, I’m
always glad I look a bit spiffy -- with dramatic

scarf and cut off khakis. And I love the formality
of Ann always, despite the pain, dressed in elegant
black, nothing fancy, just well chosen 10? 20? 30?

years ago. And yet I have chosen a writing form
that begins anew every morning, and is so short
it needs to be good. But that’s not the aim. That’s

the by-product. If one can catch the evanescence
of the moment in 21 not too long lines, that will
be the achievement of this morning.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XVIII

#474
10-20-12

I live in the middle of a vast (once was vast) orchard --
apples mostly -- that the nuns or their surrogates
planted, un-cared for now, but unsprayed.

This year, the city did, however, begin to prune to bring
the fruit down low, which will make it healthier, which
will make it pickable -- and there -- when the time comes

and the bombs start falling.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH BUT MAYBE NOT ENOUGH XIX

#475
10-21-12

A whole morning of absolute terror and despair:
face swollen, cheeks and temples bright red
with rash, skin drooping down from my right
eye, listening to all the despair on the radio,

I try, against my better judgment, to fix my
computer, which seems to have crashed my
main program for watching TV or video, and
give up before the last step or two. Decide

to go back from Chrome to Firefox -- it
does still work. There’s nothing but the bad
happening in the humans’ universe: hideous
things done to children, immigrants, women,

all tormented by the once good, noble USA.
What’s the point of going on? I’ve promised
myself, I’ll stick it out to the end of 2012,
just to fulfill my self-promise of one poem

a day for the year, even though today I
am 110 poems beyond the 365. And then?
Then, maybe, I’ll have the guts to chew
some oleander or one of the other deadly

plants freely available in gardens, under the beautiful
sunshine now pouring through the window. Why
do I insist on despairing? I keep peering as deeply
as I can into my “soul” and find no answers. None.

My milky eyes can barely see.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XX

#475A
10-22-12

What is the grand design of the universe?
And what does it matter?

Why do I try to turn my experience into words?
And who’s to know or care if I succeed?

The black kitten, thin as a shadow, explores across
the paper strewn table.

Motiveless?
She knows where the food is and it’s not on the table.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXI

#476
10-22-12

At the bottom of my heart is this anxiety, this agony
still going on over the tiff with my sister.

Care about it? or ignore it?

What on earth was human consciousness developed for?
in such unusable and excessive amounts?

I’m sure, proportionally, 99% more people worry about,
tease apart and reassemble tiffs-with-one’s-sister

than puzzle over Swift Gamma-Ray Bursts
occasionally lighting up the midnight sky,

or

who becomes the next U.S. President in 16 days.

Is the lesson simply: there is enough time and space
for everything?

“Please proceed.”*


*President Obama to Mitt Romney, 2nd Presidential Debate, Oct. 16, 2012




RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXII

#477
10-22-12

I bring a subject to mind and the mind scampers off.
It doesn’t want to deal with anything I think up.

It wants to rest quietly in its cranium, gently rocked,
semi asleep, in a deadly (they might have said in early years)
torpor -- making from temple to temple seem dark, dense,
uninvaded-by-words-or-thoughts: a vacancy, like the night sky.

The little black kitten, thin as a shadow, explores the paper-ridden
table top, sniffs at the food she didn’t eat before, is quite willing,
with a quick body twist, to be picked up, sent home with Julia.

The morning proceeds: traffic sounds from the freeway,
airplane (maybe seaplane) engines from the sky, the fan
announcing the furnace has finally come on for the winter.

“Preying on the mind” has become quite different with age:
more intermittent, more docile, more
needn’t-be-solved.

“Please proceed.”



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXIIA

#477A
10-22-12

It’s hard to believe that I reached age 78
never having written down, spelled out,
“preying on the mind.”

So my first thought was:
“Praying” on the mind -- ?

Doesn’t seem quite right.

It’s more like a bird
swooping down,
talons extended,

possibly
to snatch one’s mind away.
A bird of prey.

Preying bird.

And sure enough Google agrees.

Tucked into each tiny moment of time
are infinitely small, molecular constructs
waiting to be studied, teased apart, analyzed

after

having been expressed.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXIII

#478
10-22-12

I used to have a stranglehold on how I spent my time,
or rather,
time had a stranglehold on my throat, not allowing
me to breathe
unless I could prove I had used that hour well, those
ten minutes with grace.
And what did it prove? Thousands and thousands of
sheets of paper covered with
the hieroglyphs my mind sends forth to try to fulfill the
wildest dreams of my ambition, my
desire to fructify the moment with promised immortality
-- if it would agree to appear on my stage
in words.
And today? I want to do nothing at all, nothing but tick tick
tick on the computer keys -- see what comes out,
rest in-between ticks, ponder what is scraped off the membranes,
or what comes through the tuberculum of the brain.
Lumps and gaps, it doesn’t mention tubes.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXIV

#479
10-23-12

I do not know why I’m so reluctant to let
my anger at my sister boil over onto this
page -- or any other page.

I look at our role playing and see so clearly
that she wants to play lady bountiful, and
won’t play until one’s really destitute,
bereft.

But I’m not destitute and not bereft, even though
I play the starring role of “I worked so hard for
humanity all those years and was/am
financially safe.”

Until the Republicans brought the American economy
to a standstill -- so I can just stay in one place, treading
water, not winning, not losing, but when around my sister,
certainly not being

myself. Myself is unacceptable to her -- that her children
or her family might like me, might, without restrictions
want to help me along at 78. But she doesn’t want to
aid in that at

all until I have to throw myself on her mercy. And, old
alcoholic that she is, I’d rather die. If I am fortunate, this
intermittent dizziness may turn into something from which
I’ll proceed to “early" death.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXV

#480
10-24-12/1-12-13

A single gull shrieks overhead; I think of Karen Blixen, her
coffee farm in Kenya. Seattle has neither the warmth, nor the
romance. The traffic roars, churns across the distance. One can
imagine the black water beneath the decorative bridges, the copper-
blue turrets on the small control rooms, the air: grey, moist, deep, at

most breathable in a breathless way. The sound never disappears, the
splash of cars driving by on wet streets, a child whines. There are other
people on this earth, right around me, some on our eleven acres -- but that’s
later. Now it is only 8:30 AM. No child, I think, is here yet, and yet, as I think
that, I hear laughter, a mother’s voice, a child’s giggle, a protest, and then back to

the even roar of the freeway -- today is here. Coffee is. Eyes half-blind. Sounds dim
down as the air cools. The heater is on, making the metal rods of the ladder hot to
the touch. Again, I think of Karen Blixen, thousands of miles alone in the brush,
yet not like me alone. She had her acquaintances, friends, intellectual buddies,
but like Rousseau, claimed to be alone. Achieving this only by ignoring the

real people who lived in the interstices of their lives. Never alone.
I suppose I am the same, all alone in my eyrie, and yet there is
Charles, Jere, Julia, and, further afield, Margaret, and on
the phone Nick and Martin -- my life is full of people.
Think of the criss-cross corridors inside the great

pyramids of Giza or any place else, filled with painted,
silent people, hieroglyphs on the coffins, wisdom in code
waiting to be read -- in the silence left by the gull, in the void
created by the traffic’s roar. What would Karen do? Change her
name to Isak? Shoot? Think up amusements for the void, for the

black path, criss and cross through the impenetrable bulk of
the pyramids’ slanting walls, cliffs. “Leave me alone,”
each thing says. Loneliness pulses through my
heart but, believe me, I would have it no
other way, not now, not ever. Another

car drives through the splash
on the streets. It must have rained.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXVI

#481
10-24-12/1-12-13

A story I very much want to tell, but can’t seem to find the right
moment to commit it to cyber bytes -- or paper

When I was in Korea at Su Dok Sah, sitting Zen in a 10th century
complex -- buildings made of stone, pillars, glass doors,
wood doors, kitchen fires, gigantic pots, ice on
stone, frozen laundry cracking -- they were building
a new temple, huge, high in the old way.

Down, down, the steep sheer
hill, a space was cleared.
When I first noticed
it -- actually stopped and looked at it -- there
were maybe two, maybe three towering
tree trunks, still rough-hewn, twiggy,
gigantic, already erected,
from nowhere near Su Dok Sah -- where
the trees were small -- the forests having been
eliminated by the Japanese
before WWII.

Huge trees, little men, many stories
down, hacking and chipping.
Trunks became columns -- as other
trunks arrived. When they were all
up and slicked down smooth,
there were aisles of giant
pillars along
each side of the floor.

And the ringing ringing ringing of hammers
against concrete and stone, as they carved,
half moon by half moon, rings enough to face
the tree trunks from dirt floor to sawn off
tops supporting the open sky.

All I can think of now, almost asleep,
is the great piles of stripped saplings
that were gathered to form the roof, bent
from outside the circle of their sawn trunks
to the inside tips that, tied together, formed the
ridge. And then the casements, built into the rising
stone walls, one by one. One piece by another fitted
atop empty walls, closed in to become a vacant space
for a window -- if not on the world, at least sentinels
over the vast grounds of
Su Dok Sah.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXVII

#482
10-25-12/1-13-13

Terror has caught me by the short hairs, upset
and jollity, too. Older, growing older is an
experience and a half, worth the 78 years
it’s taken to get here -- at times.

My dreadful diseases may be lessening, certainly
I’m less intimidated by them. A third of the
world suffers from eczema. Do we see the
AMA et al. dashing to indulge in cutting-edge
tech support/research to rid us of it? Of
course not. There’re riches in transplanting
hearts for the rich, cosmetizing the famous.

But, I don’t care. It’s amazing how much
I don’t care, how little necessity I now
feel to nurture the human race -- a
doomed and kooky species.

On the one hand, so noble, so capable
of humanitarianism; on the other,
how delighted humans are to gouge
out each others eyes. Were we
designed to be unable to act
except in cases of high drama,
dire consequence?

For, though there are systems
of degradation, there are also
systems of excessive comfort.
Let Shiva tell you: deprived
of his hereditary right to
run, to hunt, live wild
and eat after effort,
he now gets his only
exercise walking
from his pillows
to his food dish.

Look what we have done!
Look what we have done!
-- using our brains or lack
thereof. No wonder --
and rightly so -- I live
in terror of what
I have done,
what I (we)
now may do.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXVIII

#483
10-26-12

Spoonful by spoonful, blueberry by blueberry,
the little jar of jam is gone today.
Autumn lights the sky,
but only intermittently.

The sprite from down the road apiece has never
reappeared: no Count got her in Lake Como.
Did duties disappear her in California?
She hasn’t appeared with her dog

in my park. Her schedule sounded frenetic,
but still as if her menagerie would
triumph. We’d walk and talk
and play on the wet grass.

But now the cold rains fall. Seattle’s grey
light promises winter, but little
beyond. The election of
the United States

President fills the nooks and crannies
of the American Dream, vacates
what used to be life, now
anxiety sans hope.

Who knew that half the population of the USA
was as kook-filled as the high bush
blueberries in the overabun-
dance of Bear Meadows

in that state where the Constitution was signed.
But even with a judiciously small spoon
the sweet savoriness fades
unto a blank tongue.

And I remain, rapt, licking my fingers, no
longer waiting for the sprite
to re-engage her
pup.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXIX

#484
10-27-12/1-15-13

Dizzy again, as on 10-17-12, began out
walking with Margaret in the rain.
Vision affected, especially with my glasses on,
temples tight.
I wonder if I’m on my way to death. Makes little
difference to me. At least I won’t have to wake up.
Nor ever think again about eczema getting better or
worse.
Something seems to be affecting my NET connection
tonight -- more than usual, so tired of dealing with that!
Thinking about it, too much!

Acquired new little oriental rug from the free table, with
beautiful center of red, and round stain for placing a potted
plant on. Acquired it for Shiva, who immediately lies upon it,
scratches it, no doubt, loves it.

Later, on the way across the chapel, met John Marshall
of Open Books, the book store nearby, where I’ve meant to visit
for these 10 or 11 years. It’s giving a reading here tonight, shan’t, of
course, go. But nice to meet him, nice man. Must go and talk with him,
if I survive the night and, whenever it happens, the next episode of dizzy.

My sight so much worse with my glasses on. Hmmmm. So tired of all
the corrections and remedies for the aging body. Can’t even begin to
scrunch this into a poem tonight. I do wonder if I shall live to the
end of “one poem a day for 2012.”
But if not,
c’est la vie.

Let it be known, if I die before morning, my last action before ending
this poem was to spend a bit of time straightening out my drawer full
of little new and used plastic baggies, twists, rubber bands, etc.

No action is more important than any other action.
Life, I think I have discovered, is simply action, movement,
and thinking, writing, painting, etc. etc. is merely the background
music for perpetual action. Enough already, let the bacteria
and the fungi, the molecules and the Higgs boson particles
go on -- live in my name! It’s not much to be one of quadrillions
and quadrillions. Some of it was fun. May I go peacefully in the night.
No doubt, I should sleep downstairs tonight, and not up via the
ladder into my loft, but I shall go up, none-the-less.
I came here ready to serve but, I wasn’t much needed.

The wind has apparently driven our NET connection mad. 9:18 PM



RUMI TAUGHT ME MUCH XXX

#485
10-28-12/1-15-13

I’ve gotten rid of all my clever ideas and clever quips,
nothing to cloud my mind but fresh air,
even used the dryer for the first
time (in ten years),
sleepy all
the

time gallivanting by,
reading, today, THE END OF MEN.
Cool, grey, sunless, silence.

Talked at length with Diana last night to relieve
the pressure of my depression. Effective. By slightly
different routes we’ve come to the same place. The eczema
may be a bit less. Dare I hope?

Sleepy.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MORE XXXI

#486
10-29-12

So many things I don’t know what to do with...
having fallen into complete despair.
My enthusiasm for everything has fallen away.
The cat meows for brushing.
Today, the big storm strikes in the East --
and even outside my windows
the wind howls. Is the earth angry?
I certainly am.
Last night I looked out and it was black,
all black, no lights at all.
And it began to dawn on me, that was
supposed to be Seattle, but there were no
lights.
The brain tried to compute it. Losing
power in New York, maybe we were turning
out lights in a sympathy strike.
Then I went about my business.
Ha!
A little later, I looked again: still black.
Then later: a row of lights along the shore
of Lake Union. Hello! Hello?
And a while later:
Hello! again -- one story’s worth of lights,
maybe two, above that blackness.
The tall buildings never reappeared
before I went to bed, 2:00 AMish.
I must look now,
and see if they’re there.

They’re there, taller and grayer in silhouette
than the grey sky.

Blueberries and whey protein!
and a new attitude bouncing up
my skull -- the inner shell of the skull
resonating with the wind.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MORE XXXII

#487
10-29-12/10-12-13

Watching Hurricane Sandy sweep around the East Coast,
via the computer, with visuals and sound effects
from the trees outside, twisting and bending.
The sun is shining, the waves are
leaping, my heart is
pounding.

What a Monday morning!
The West Coast in sympathy with the East?
The clouds racing across the blue sky to the south,
the leaves clinging to our poplars, whipping around,
bending branches.

Lately my eyes jump around.
Rather,
my vision sees things of this world

jump around: spots, discs, small animals,
black shooting flakes, shooting fuzzy, no-color
bull eyes, all dashing about -- mainly away from me,
but, once in a while, toward me. Real? Not real?
Does it bother me? It certainly enlivens the

vision having become dim, sloppy, outmoded.
Do I go any place? from here? I’m so willing to
check out. But it’s difficult. I have become a great
practicer of easy, easier, easiest. Sit, stare, do nothing,
something will change. If nothing more, the shadow in
the sky. Walk away or -- sit still? Believe me, it makes
no difference
to the uni-
verse.

Ding dong. The time is right.
I wonder if the East coast is still there.
Sandy? What a non-name for an event
predicted to affect 60 million people.
Nature is always over-profligate.
Meditate.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MORE XXXIII

#488
10-29-12

I always have this feeling of “not as good as”
because I didn’t have a proper upbringing.
All I have of that, that elegance and know-how,
I taught myself,
but it still is only, always, an overlay of what is
really there, rather crude and naive Jan, very impressed
with the impressive people whose paths
I have managed to cross in this life.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MORE XXXIV

#489
10-30-12

My web connection is not working -- since last night.
So, off to school early to deal with e-mail.
Sandy the Hurricane visited us between now
-- when the computer stopped
connecting -- and this morning.

The kittens’ toys are still in the Hall, but not the kittens.
Odd how much I enjoy seeing them, inviting them in,
but how unattached I feel. Don’t need to own them.
Almost reaching the point: I don’t need to own anything.

Asked M, yesterday, in our long chat in the sunshine, if
she’d help me straighten my mess,
my papers, my life, and she, of course, immediately
volunteered. A little scary.

But whether it is scarier to let all papers, etc. rest
or to begin to deal with them, it’s hard to tell. If
I had the guts, or clarity of mind, I might toss
the lot, or -- never that! -- I’d know on what
basis to separate the wheat from the chaff
poems.

But, as always, I know nothing at this moment,
except that I seem to feel considerably better
on the blueberries and whey.
Hmmmm



RUMI TAUGHT ME MORE XXXV

#490
10-31-12/1-15-13

V’s 551 class is the most thought provoking
class I’ve ever attended
and yet, now, in my old age, I begin to question
perhaps, the need for so much thought.

Re Memorials, architectural memorials:
An event causing a memorial
happens in time,
then the memorial
continues in time.

Very balanced.

One might say that of Mai Lin’s (first work)
Vietnam War Memorial, which was the first
work to simply list the names of those who
died in the war. Simple, plain surfaces
with names carved in it

-- and the whole world has come to visit
to be horrified at so many.
And others come to visit, to find the name
of their father or brother or son.

It occurs to me this was the first work of
art based in social networking:
put someone’s name in public and the public
will come to visit.

Like Hamlet’s ghost, it cries: “Remember Me.”
No longer tombs of unknown soldiers --
now they give the highest place to the known
soldiers.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MORE XXXVI

#491
11-1-12

I find it very relaxing to stand perfectly still
and not know, for minutes at a time,
what I am going to do next.

Stand,
as if in a living trance.
Still.
In the comfort of a neck scarf’s
warmth, loose and elegantly draped.
Surely,
when I move, the meaning will manifest,
the adventure, the next step,
the glorious raveling out of what has gone in
sprightliness
before. The long necked flowers make no plans.
But they know their destinies. No adventuring is needed,
nor plans, nor insight into human endeavor. They will stand
until they are a stalk and not walk away irritated they didn’t get
supplied
the nervousness, nor the necessities, nor the non plus ultima that
babies and mothers and fathers did, in this expanding universe.
Do, command, insist. O fragrant, flourishing flowers, stand
with me while I count to 4 -- 6 --- 8 ---- evaporate, and
then we’ll sit awhile in the late, very late afternoon
sunshine.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MORE XXXVII

#492
11-2-12

Ethiopian Children, given iPads? or some
easy to use computer -- who neither spoke nor could read English --

began within a very short time to use the computers,
and taught each other.

Little children, I think they were, like 3 or so

-- heard on KUOW between 7 and 8 o’clock this morning.
See if I can find it.



RUMI TAUGHT ME MORE XXXVIII

#493
11-2-12/1-15-13

A novel is an organized flow of words. If you want to write
novels in this new developing world, have a lot of
children -- who can be your tech support.

They come out much cleverer than you’ll ever be with apps
and texts, and tweets and twitters. Society is falling
apart. It’s almost gone, based on lies, as it

was. It will soon not be anymore. People have lost more
than their religion, their belief systems. So many lies
come from the mouth of Mitt the Twitt, he

has exhausted Human’s belief in anything.
C’est la vie. May the Republicans die
a painful death.



RUMI TAUGHT ME ENOUGH XXXIX

#494
11-3-12/1-15-13

Why am I so unhappy?

Because I am not somebody else.

That seems to be the crux of the matter.

I don’t, I discovered recently,

want another relationship

unless I could be in it as myself.

And what, exactly, does that mean?


I haven’t minded terribly,
being in this not so
good not so
bad body.
But
Enough
is enough I’m
ready to move on.
Don’t bother anybody else.



RUMI TAUGHT ME ENOUGH XL

#495
11-3-12

I think of the enormous deep
well that is my consciousness
filling up for 78 years with
knowledge, much

of it fascinating,
and all of it stitched together
in a unique way
-- which is me.

What’s to be done with it?
And why does it seem
important?
And why isn’t it?

Is nature’s message
just that?
Life is to be here and then
to be gone?

What else are we to conclude from
its great overabundance:
several billion (poisonous) oleander blossoms down
the median of Highway 5,

and 7 nearing 8 billion of
us, we humans, now cluttering
the earth, north and south, east, west:
America, Europe, Asia, Africa
etcetera?

What for?

Is the plan just to enjoy a couple dozen years
-- not quite a hundred --
and then Pouf!
you’re gone.

And -- you were toxic while you lasted,
and only an era marker:
The time when the earth was cooling,
the time of the dinosaurs,
the time of the humans.
The time of the imploding star.



RUMI TAUGHT ME ENOUGH XLI

#496
11-3-12

The whole shebang causes my heart to ache,
tears flood the eyes for Sandy Hurricane’s
victims -- and what do I do? Think only
about shaking the shackles that bind me
to this doomed planet flying through the
universe.

When does it stop?

The more I stay alone, the more I become
this old, peculiar doyen. Step out, smell
the air, let it waft through my lungs
and hair, wonder at the flight of the
gulls -- inland again for the storm,
warning us

to stay indoors,

fill up the hu, water will be needed
when the hurricane passes. Sixty
million thirsty mouths upward
-- and the rain, yes it comes
in Seattle, too.



RUMI TAUGHT ME XLII

#497
11-4-12

Again the blankness, nothing more.
The time has changed. The window is open.
Fresh air in my airless world.
I don’t know what to do with my slipping brain.

Margaret helps me with my papers.
Maybe my papers all belong in
the dustbin. Why waste valuable
life on their collation? Maybe I’ll

see the end of my fascination with writing
now that I have acknowledged its “importance”
by having Margaret get them in order.
Do they need to be ordered to

throw them away?



RUMI TAUGHT ME XLIII

#498
11-5-12

I get up slowly this morning --
been awake for hours
intermittently listening to
the BBC -- the only place
in the radio sphere were you can
actually learn anything anymore.

And then, half blind -- my eyes
are failing -- I walk bent kneed
to my ladder, pause to think of the
momentous things of this world
before I descend, the millions
who wake again to no power, still

inundated by the flow of the waters
displaced by Sandy the Hurricane,
the problems they have to solve:
the no or water-logged house -- “already
beginning to mold” said Martin about his
friend who lives where the floods

came -- and luckily could move
to her cabin in Florida. I nod, too,
to the candidates, in the most important
Presidential election ever --
about to take place
tomorrow.

I stand there for a moment
at the head of the stairs ‘til I’m sure
I have my balance, then step carefully
down, one rung at a time -- conscious
of my small problems: eczema, itch,
dim sight, aching (not too badly) legs

and back, and think of the cosmos
where, now,
almost daily,
discoveries are made
of its extent and content.
All this focused here, in one vulnerable

human mind, where I spend my time,
wanting to shut it down, to bring
everything to a conclusion, lie
peacefully
asleep in the dirt that supports
all these outrageous stigmata.



RUMI TAUGHT XLIV

#499
11-6-12

Well, it’s here -- it might be called
Fate of the World Day,
Election Day in the USA
with all its corruption and imbecility.
How many hours?
How many days to wait to know our fate?

Tomorrow I hit 500 poems for
2012. Today I looked up Roman Numerals
to find that “L” comes into play
at 40.



RUMI XLV

#500
11-6-12

We, the United States of America,
are about to enter the greatest era
in our history. Tonight, President Obama
was re-elected to a second term,
and I think it will be found in history
books of all subsequent centuries, if
he fulfills his promise, that this will be
the greatest era ever known to America,
and, unlike the many Empire building
eras that have gone before, it will be
of the people, by the people,
and for the people as unknown on
the earth until now.

*  *  *  *  *  



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA I

#501
11-7-12

Well, it may be a fact --
that the vicious rampant
politics of the election
campaigns caused my
eczema. For though
I have been putting
Bag Balm on it for
days and noticed
some improvement,
this morning I woke
with a whole new
feeling of ease,
ease of breathing,
ease of waking,
ease of thinking
and the eczema
rash on my legs
seemed less.
Not gone
(that may take
more days)
but less.

For a moment I felt
like a sylph in the
wind: light, light-
hearted,
floating like a
cloud of silk
chiffon,

the confidence in
my country, my
safety, my life
returning.

Let’s see if we can
find some poetry to write.



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA II

#502
11-7-12

Most of it gets
written in my head
now and preserved in
the wind.

Poetry -- like everything else --
one begins to question: Why do it?
But, then, again, what else is there to
do? I feel if I tried to go out and help
with the polls or the protests or helping
the poor that I am too old and would
simply be in the way. So I try to stick
with my little, individual ways: just
doing what I do. And every once
in a while, lift up mine eyes for
some light.

I can’t tell if I am pretending
or not. When I got to my
MASA appointment to-
day, I was so physically
exhausted I almost
collapsed. The needles
helped refresh me enough
to say I felt better and,
very very very very,
slowly I walked home
-- and again feel its
almost beyond me
to move.

I forgot to take
my pills; I’ll take
them at the end
of the poem.

I told Donna and Susan
and MASA that I had
got so tense over
the elections
that I almost
couldn’t breathe.
MASA understood.
It’s like I’ve been
holding my breath -- for months.



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA III

#503
11-8-12

Tormented night
right through to dawn.
The desire, not quite over-
whelming, not to be here.
Where? O where should I go?

No place on earth appeals to me,
nor the space station, nor the stars.
At night I hide in the too warm bed-
clothes, by day I hide in my mind. I
stay without conviction or invitation.

My mind is blank, my thoughts, like
bricks on bugs. Nothing can live here,
but it does. In no space live termites of
the mind, endlessly gnawing, regurgitating
in sopping saliva enough to build, perhaps,
a bridge.



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA IV

#504
11-8/9-12

Envy is one of my essential components -- envy
of the 1996 guys congregating on the peninsula.
Where was I? Passing through from
San Rafael / San Anselmo to Seattle,
way down deep desperate, underneath it all,
to not be the last to put my fingers
on the keys and know what I was doing,

while still being unaware that the future of the
world was being strung out (html) across my path --
right there -- right within the compass of a protractor
and I, lightly informed, was moving north --
for a temporary reason: my father’s
health. Unaware that Seattle was the
next decade of my destiny while
Silicon Valley matured.

And what have I done since arriving in rainy city? --
which I used to loath for its moisture and mildew
but -- given global warming -- is now more beautiful
by the year. What has Zuckerberg -- whew!
what a name to wind up in a poem -- done?

Donne sounds like a loaf of bread
nearing completion, but Zucker------? It must
take courage to go through life with a moniker
like that, along with the appetites of a tween-boy
and, from that unlikely material, construct
the future -- no matter how horrible --
of the world.

And here we are, deep into Century 21 --
with the nonsense, idiocies, beliefs of medieval
Republicans controlling our future, our present,
our past.


Tear everything down, blocks and blocks,
monuments, bridges and throw up those
computer-generated cubes, those stand-ins
for buildings, composed of the ephemeral
future, having discarded everything
envisioned as architecture, order, design,
beauty, ornament, illusions of permanence.

And what have I done? -- while they have
been constructing The Cloud? --

O, maybe two or three thousand poems
(made of ephemeral air) while digging
around in my soul, trying to find what
it’s made of -- if not molecules, what?
if not mitochondria -- what?

Never satisfied, always wha whaa whaaing,
excruciating unhappiness, because I was
not there, was not that invention, knew
nothing about it, certainly didn’t desire
to claim time to understand it. Modern
invention -- its very definition is “just
use it” -- who cares what it is, how it
is made, who’s to make the next one.

And a Black man in the White House --
if not the son of slaves, at least the son
of all the black humans trampled underfoot
by the white world-destroyers
slavering all over the earth.

I have lived to see Obama re-elected
in the face of money money money --
the greatest disregard of money men
in this century, ever. Let him stand,
let him do what he wants. He’s angled
history from-to a new direction.



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA V

#504A
11-9-12

Tension ripples across my shoulders
and the land. For minutes I feel
relaxed, better, inflammation dying down.

Then for hours I feel the high tension
again, sick in my stomach, fatalistic
in my mind. If it were easy I would die

tonight. Flashes of hope and lighting by
Obama cross the land. Either this
is the beginning of the grand shift, an

upheaval into the perceivable greatness
we, this century, could be, or it
is the beginning of the end for the earth.



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA VI

#505
11-10-12/10-16-13

Foreign Aid is the oddest concept.
While we have starving people in America,
we send hundreds of thousands, indeed
millions of dollars, off to foreign countries

to keep them from starving, to keep them
from dying of exposure in a disaster, to
aid their economy to flourish. How come,

if we have this passion to aid people,
we don’t first aid our own people
from whom all this hospitable money is
derived -- in the form of taxes?



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA VII

#506
11-10-12

I didn’t want my life even then
when I was a child.
I used to bargain with god
to take my life away
and give it to someone
else, like
Picasso
or Jeff Chandler,
someone who could
love it and use it,
but mainly so I wouldn’t be
bothered with it anymore:
the pain, the torment,
the unhappiness, the anguish
I felt ever since childhood,
maybe 12.

Some people wonder why
teenagers commit suicide.
I don’t have to ask.

It’s a cultural phenomenon.
And it lives with you right
into old age -- wondering
when you’re going to have
the courage to follow
your heart.



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA VIII

#507
11-11-12

Poems keep getting pushed
back as if I were trying to
eliminate them from my
life. Perhaps I have had
enough of writing. Turning
all of life into words --
my great joy for 78 years,
but now it seems less
reasonable, less needful
of accomplishment.

But then, the question
remains, What will I do now?
If I don’t write
What will I do?

I never had anything to say,
I still don’t now.
But out of that nothingness
from time to time came
some pretty good poems
and certainly
a magnificent collection
of thoughts about
what it was like to be
a woman in 20th and 21st
century America.

At times worth the fight,
at other times just
blah and depressing.

Like today.



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA IX

#508
11-12-12

I enjoy the itching so much
I’ll never get rid of the anger,
the crummy feeling of the lanolin
covered body, the annoyance of having
to touch the wanting-to-be-scratched nose.

The body didn’t irritate so much when I was
younger. -- Or was I just more controlled?
“Don’t do that!” -- the mother’s swift
discipline.

Must I once again reconsider my
stance in the world? The mind
is more tired than the
body.

Scratch. Scratch.



OBAMA
WINNING
AMERICA X

#509
11-12-12/10-16-13

If I don’t fill my own life by writing poetry --
or whatever these words might be --

I fall prey to the intrigue of scandals! the Petraeus
scandal, and the sexual harassment of women
by men -- like so many randy dogs in the street.

The only solution is to acknowledge
that this is "human behavior" and stop
making ridiculous “religious, honor,
spiritual, decency” rules about it.

Nothing’s wrong with sex, until we
outlaw away its manifestations, ruin
people’s lives for indulging in what is
perfectly natural.

(This was the message of my JOCASTA.)

or

Do we know deep down
that life would be less interesting
if we deleted such scandal-making
parameters from our vicarious lives?

How content would we be without
gossip or murder or sexual scandal
to sweeten our mundane lives?

Live and let live may be a little
bland for those raised on
Hollywood and Washington.



MEN: THE DESPICABLE GENDER

#510
11-13-12

Men: the despicable gender.
After 5,000 years of submission,
I, like so many women now emerging
into their own lives, their own
will, their own talent, ability
and beliefs, am just
tired of watching men being led
around by their penises,
that funny little thing that hangs between
their legs or rests in the folds of their
crotch.
I guess it is harder on them than on us,
but maybe they should look to the past
for their guidance into the future.
Consider the court eunuchs of China.
Was there ever such a powerful cliche?
Or the beauty of the voices of the
castrati, the grace of men who dance
and men who sing.
Let them build lives on something
more inspiring then a funny dangling
appendage internalized and having a useful,
beyond-two-minute, purpose
in the female body.

The scandals are rampant today.
Now it looks like at least 2
four-star generals, Allen and Petraeus,
are coming down; and two
lusty not risk-adverse women: Broadwell
and Kelley, plus the
the whole Catholic church and
hierarchy, starting with Ratzinger,
old popes and new popes
lusting, with consent
after little boys (Jimmy Savile, et al.).
The world is apparently one big lust!
Not a word about love.
But, recognizing this, you would think
men in the past and now women
in the future would be smart enough
to recognize this untamable drive,
and make rules to accommodate it.
Stop crucifying men and women
for au naturel behavior.



SO SLEEPY

#511
11-14/15-12

So sleepy, I may die of it.
Lovely sun today.
Maggie has come and gone.
Enjoyed Diwali with V
yesterday.
Now I run hot and cold, itch and
non itch, and feel I’ll drop dead of
heavy tiredness. Wouldn’t that be grand
if one could.

Looked at the FRONTLINE program on assisted suicide --
so relentlessly doleful (enhanced by relentlessly doleful music)
that one might think they didn’t
know that we kill hundreds of people everyday --
some of whom don’t even want to die.

Helium, apparently, is the perfect medium.

Back to bed.



SEMI AUTISTIC

#512
11-15-12

I have never defined myself this way.
Before it was always half-jokingly that
I was “becoming autistic.” Now I see I
am already halfway there. I listened on

NPR to a kid (diagnosed) saying he didn't
want to be around people, didn’t like them: I
couldn’t be more sympathetic -- for the past 70?
something years. No wonder I couldn’t get on as a

youth. I simply didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to
even try liking those terrible people -- especially kids
in school. I suppose, by then, I was more or less used to
my brother and sister, my mother and my father. They were

just a constant annoyance. On the other hand, there are certain
people I like a lot. I wonder if they are, throughout my life, mostly
my teachers. Those I could hear, tune in on mentally, without having
to “share” any physical space, contact. Friends always hurt me more than

I can ever detail here. No one ever wanted to do what I wanted to do, nor
liked what I liked, so an area that appeared to be wide open for others was
always, already relentlessly closed.

I get up, I walk across my cluttered eyrie, delighted by everything I see: the papers,
the plants, the boxes, the whole mess -- with the furnace heat blasting up -- and I love
it. But bring even the person I like most in the world here (V, possibly), and I choke-up,
get nervous, sweaty-palmed, silent. I guess I actually want to communicate with people like

I communicate with myself, i.e. silently, also by this endless writing of words on paper, by
making agreeable shapes, and by making sense (most of the time), i.e. by being alone and
having the illusion of communicating with other people via communicating with myself.
Who could ask for anything more?
Or.
There isn’t anything more.
Is there?



SEMI AUTISTIC II

#513
11-15/16-12

The first title of this (assigned very late in its life)
was “78 FRAGMENTS.”
But, as I proceed, I see just ”78” is better:
my 78th year, and hopefully my last.

My mother died at 79 and I wonder if she
had the same hope. Though in her few terminal
utterances she didn’t seem to want to leave -- yet.
Perhaps children are the anchor one needs

to stick it out (happily) through life.
Otherwise
I find the pull of “creativity,” “to record,”
grows less and less. Though I will, with any luck
fulfill my vow of “at least one poem a day for the
year 2012: good, bad, indifferent or nonsense.”



SEMI AUTISTIC III

#513A
11-16-12

Late in life I became semi-autistic.
I had nothing more to say.

To write -- yes. That goes on.
But to speak? -- what’s the use?

It’s from spending too much time alone?
Being severely depressed by the state of mankind!

No, not necessarily -- womankind is doing fine.
And I’m all for that. It’s just that speaking

is like writing on the wind -- or even the fog
as it is bright curtained white

and the gulls are crying this morning.
Storm at sea?

The overwhelming lack of any storms in my
heart. C’est la vie.



SEMI AUTISTIC IV

#514
11-17-12

Strenuous day. Too broken down to
enjoy the bus over to Ann’s, and then,
too many poems. We chat and chat and
dig and dig but nothing seems to penetrate
and shift that weight of “depression,” sorrow.
No reason for it. I just find nothing moves me
anymore. “Weary, stale, flat and unprofitable seem
to me all the uses of this world" -- Shakespeare, if I
am correct, ends his list like a capitalist. Is life truly just
a systemic breakdown of all the idealism one husbanded
into being in one’s youth?

All has changed and I don’t care.
But it’s as if a ghost lives over my shoulder,
in the white fog of an earlier beginning of winter’s
dawn.



TUT TUT

#515
11-18-12

It may be about time for America
to grow up. People, indeed practically
everyone you know, do have affairs

and the news stories are just one degree
more off base and salacious based
than the public who wants to read them.

I myself wanted to read about Paula:
What a lovely marvelous woman
and a handsome husband to boot,

and an affair with the top military man
in America -- who could resist?
and she’s done it just right, not a

word, not a comment I can find, even, in fact,
the news media has for once calmed down --
maybe because she says nothing

so you really have to browse the net
to find anything, and you hardly find
anything except for just the facts

(What an indecent surprise) so there’s
nothing to do but hear the chat between
David and Paula, giggling over the marvelousness

of the affair: “What’s it like to make love with
the highest ranking general in America?”
“Oh, hummmmm. Fun. Almost as good as you!”

And Jill -- has she succeeded with Allen yet?”
“Hmm, don’t know.”
“Wicked of you to e-mail her.”

Flashes of jealousy. You know something
about that, don’t you.
“Well have fun, I’m always here for you.”

“Thanks, my love, it’s almost as good as living alone,
getting to live your fullest, do what you want
and come home to rest.”



REREADING CC

#516
11-18-12 --- 4:04 PM

Just finished reading thru the CC stuff 1-25-10.
Puzzled now, though I wasn’t at the time, why
I never heard from him again.



REREADING CC II

#517
11-19-12

Good God! and the rains came down.
I’m here on my island working with a woman
who wrote one of the early manuals for Digital,
reading TUBES, the origin of the internet.

One looks outside and sees 70 billion raindrops
and knows the internet was more.
I couldn’t write the second of yesterday’s
poems -- so puzzled was I by the remainder
of what was left in the final e-mail or two re CC.

Hmmmmmmm,

And now, if I was a molecule, I’d be drowned in the deluge
going on outside. I haven’t heard any alarming flood
warnings because of the rain, but I expect them soon.

In the meantime, I’m drowning in my own lassitude, my inability to
wake up, to move, to begin thinking again. I can eat, and I can
quietly muse, but more than that...?

The Internet, the Collection Of All,
a concept, on whose about-to-bloom earth
I was standing at the time -- to one side
to be sure -- but anticipating! -- knowing
it was something I must do.

1996 I started janhaag.com.
I haven't kept up with the technology,
but I am still writing the poems.
CC is way in my background

and I wonder if there is any more foreground to come.



THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF THE WORLD

#518
11-19/21-12

It now makes me sick to my stomach
to watch the news -- or anything else, on the Internet.
Via computer, nothing
can be seen anymore
without enduring an ad or two:
usually stupid, distasteful, loud.
But, even flamboyant and intriguing,
even seeking to find how many
human beings were killed in Palestine today,
first, they try to sell you a car, a luxury car at that,

or anything/everything else --
a plethora of insults to one’s senses.
Not only does this perpetual sales pitch
make my stomach queasy
and heave vomit into my mouth,
but the continuous “coitus interruptus”
of the “news” being chopped
into 2 and 3 minute segments, forcing one to
continually decide
between myriad mislabeled segments --

bits of reportage that go nowhere before
-- again --
they are interrupted by multiple choice visuals
likely to lead you off into new,
unexpected, unwanted directions,
giving you
no way back to hear/see the rest of what was
interesting,
leading you to the single solution of
shooting the messenger

or, in this case, the neon-bright, shiny screen.
Shoot it!
Silence it!
Return to the peaceful
musing on the nothingness in one’s head.
The Internet,
which was once meant to inform,
has become a prime method of systemic
confusion, total distraction from
reasonable, coherent thought.



THE WORLD I

#519
11-20/21-12

Stressed out, angry, bit by cat this morning. Don’t know what to feed him.
The god damned rain went on and on and on and on and on
and finally stopped.
So I am viciously angry and out of sorts.

Wish I were dead --
on the way to a nap
and maybe a further read of TUBES.

Might wake up sane.

Later:

I lie awake at night, terror in my heart,
longing to get out of here --
so sick of minor skin diseases, and now the cat bite to worry about.
I wish death were as easy as closing my eyes at night --
and never waking up.

I wonder if it was like that for Linda -- who, also, didn’t want to live
but didn’t actually want to die.
Bless her for the years of peace she has had
while I still go on
and on and
on.

One thing that delights me each day is to see Margaret grow prettier
and prettier -- with friendship and a job to do.
A treasure of a person, now if we can just get
the whine out of her voice!
Shiva?
-- and lighten the burden of unnecessary details in her stories.



THE WORLD II

#520
11-21-12

It’s getting to be:

almost I cannot think if the radio
(the soundtrack of the computer)
(of reality)

is not blaring at me,
as if it has become some new version of silence,
all pervasive, threatening:

about the increasing number of deaths of Palestinians
at the hands of the Israelis:
by now, 142 Arabs to 5 or 6 Jews.

And our president, via the media,
continues to assure the Jews of
our unquestioning support -- all the way.

Hmmmm.

There are some bits and pieces of knowledge
I can not relinquish, even though
I fully comprehend I will not be here to look at them again.

Well I got up with the sunshine, but
here it is raining again, drizzle, drizzle, drizzle.
This was my third trip across the room

(one room, furnished, obstructed, to be
a computer room + a living/dining/kitchen room)
to get the 3-hole punch and the stapler.

That’s how quickly I forget these days,
1 iota of a movement or 2 iotas of a thought,
and the mind caches out.

What should I do? What should I do?
A far more compelling (personal) thought
to reckon with than the guilt of the once

world-supported, guiltless Jews.



THE WORLD III

#521
11-21/22/25-12

The wind is out there hooting like an owl:

“Who!” “who!” “who!” --
or is it some crazy child
caught on earth,
lost to the heavens,
hooting for succor
or success,
wending its way back,
-- winding back --
“whoooing”
to the wind
for reassurance
or
for no good reason.

The bitter skin of the white potato tastes
as if it’s eager to make me sick,
but, though I may die of many things,
I shan’t, I’m quite sure, die of a slightly
green potato skin.

Nonetheless, the potato is
a deadly nightshade.



THE WORLD IV

#522
11-22/25-12

The itch and the scratch,
it’s almost impossible to know
how to balance the two --
or maybe it’s one.
Eczema itch may be
the most erotic,
exotic state of being --
more intensely annihilating than
sex.



KEEP BUSY I

#523
11-23-12

I’m probably not the only one driven mad
by this “keep busy” society --
though it’s hard to tell, of course, among
the 7 billion -- especially from “the news”

which seldom strays from its 7 (more or less)
selected subjects: sex scandals, murder, wars,
financial scandals, trivialisms re the rich and powerful,
storms of nature and storms of temperament.

Do humans do anything else? You’d not know it,
even from the BBC, best of the lot. But always,
the advice is “keep busy” so you don’t have to think
about it, don’t know, don’t care.

Anyone who slows down (like Plein Jan)
inevitably begins to see the fissures, the cracks,
the un-see-able blind spots, the unheard explosions,
the uncared-for cries of the sad

frightened lot who inhabit their beds at night,
alone or in tandem. Sure the landscape is
beautiful and, when the rain stops, the
sky, too, is enchanting, but keeping busy

for busy’s sake? I’d rather map my despair
through a world too busy with beauty to see
the blank despair of its most vocal species.
We can build rockets to the moon,

but we cannot deal with the blankness of
doing nothing in the glorious night under
the crescent moon’s beauty. Leave it be.
Leave it be.
Let it be.



KEEP BUSY II

#524
11-23/25-12

I guess the imbalance is because we can choose
to run for prey, like the lion,
but are incapable of sitting still to purr
for more than 10 minutes.

To live is to move, to live exuberantly is to move fast!
But, when desire deserts one, then what?
I’d rather inhabit a coffin then play bingo;
I’d rather suffer hanging than go on pretending flirtations

with our subspecies -- men -- who, for the most part, are less
interesting, less attractive than we, the dominant (the world is just
scientifically
finding this out) species.



KEEP BUSY III

#525
11-24-12

Russell Means -- he died last month,
before I ever heard him.
This morning it was: “Knowing who you are.” (1993)
Best expression of why I should listen to the Indians ever.

I get up, eat too much (buckwheat), until I feel logy enough to go
back to sleep. Cross-purposes -- like the white man.

No need to keep forcing it. Go back to bed.



KEEP BUSY IV

#526
11-25/26-12

At a quarter to 12:00, my heart began to sing.
The cat sniffed my toes.
The sun poured like honey gold through glass --
chasing the blues away.

Where to go this day?
The Waltons of Walmart, if they had a heart,
could up each of their 2.2 million employee’s pay
to 25 thousand a year, without pain of their own.

Thus, with a pen’s stroke and a little unselfish love,
could they save the world economy -- the lives,
the living present of their fellow
humans.

Imagine sitting down to dinner where,
of 2,200,000 people, only you were
served a sumptuous
dinner.

You might choke -- unless
you were a
Walton.



KEEP BUSY V

#527
11-26-12

A distracted day
given over to “living.”
Pleasant, but who needs it?
The sun’s agony of brightness,

beauty, the last autumn leaves crashing
down silently to the golden heaps beneath

the trees. Watch a bit of film on Hugh Everett
-- an early, indeed the earliest, proponent of understanding

the dual nature of reality, parallel universes -- and recognized
for it, too late in life to make up for the disappointment of offering

unwanted gifts. The sadness! The sadness! of what should always be
joy, rejoicing. Even his son did not know Hugh had done well. C’est la vie.

Is that what we’re here for -- to learn disappointment? “Get over it kid!” Get over
the seemingly unnecessary cruelty of the world creating you, then not wanting you.

Or is that “the spice of life”?



KEEP BUSY VI

#528
11-27-12

Another distracted day,
but not quite so bad.

Keep too busy to think
as my sister does

and all will be well.
Or

all will be exactly the same
except you’ll have knitted

three blankets no one wants
viewed two movies you don’t,

can’t, want to remember.
And contemplated the fact

of human creativity -- it goes
on and on and on and on and on

endlessly, as does universal
creativity. Build the mountain,

explode the mountain, dry everything
with a drought, flood everything

with periodic great rains.
Plop plop plop.



REVIEWING I

#529
11-28-12

Watching my mind,
heave ho, passing images
by, scanning for the one

to spark a poem.

Ah ha! it beckons forth like
a high register of city lights
from the pervasive
fog’s

grey blanket wrapped
across the world.
Go

get
the laundry --
judgmental!
about doing something and
doing nothing.

Laundry is nothing.
Poem something.

But not much.

Shattering
light
traces

the trajectory
of an
unfolding.



REVIEWING II

#530
11-29-12

Listening to some of Leonard’s
Odyssey Through Literature tapes,
#’s 17 and 22, leaves me neutralized.
Oh. Hmm. Do I miss our sparring, our
wit-matching? Not at all. I seem to have
entered a state of blankness, all enveloping,
like a featherbed, pleasant, warm, drowsy-
making. Yes? Where to go from here?

My chest rises and falls -- even breathing,
relaxed at last, indifferent, yet interested
enough to sit blankly only for an
occasional time. Why?
Read about the jellyfish
Turritopsis dohrnii
in Nathaniel Rich’s NYT
article.

So we are immortal -- if we choose.
Would you choose immortality
or an easy peaceful death
sleeping in an urn
forever?



REVIEWING III

#531
11-30-12

Listing about like a drunken sail boat.
I can still walk upright and swiftly
if I try hard, tighten
the muscles,
pull up tall.

It isn’t easy, but I feel good after
a good walk with some weight
and resistance. My
anger arrives
with jar lids
skipping.

I’ve been resisting doctor visits
lately, nothing seems to
help. Why go?
Except to
support
their
over-charging

life
style.



REVIEWING IV

#532
12-1-12

I’ve not missed a day yet.
But I can’t remember from
day to day if I wrote
my poem.

In bed all day,
mostly sleeping.
Amazing how much I
can sleep.

This is the third day,
I think, without the Prednisone
and I itch, but not
that bad.

Finished reading the Armenian
article in the 1978 Geographic.
What a people!
Making sculpture in the eye of a
needle. Literally.

So M it appears, her
heritage, is just
as special as I think
it is.
She is.



REVIEWING V

#533
12-2-12

Don’t put the grapes in a sealed bag.
Too close, they’ll challenge each other.
Give them room to breath, lots of air
and no slime.

Reading Lessing’s THE FOUR-GATED CITY.
Did not read it before -- though
for years I thought I had. Like
the Proust so

many years ago. A few paragraphs
enough to set one up for a lifetime.
But here I am, still able to read,
though it’s become

an annoyance to see little black
squiggles across a page and slow
down to dwell on each page to
derive its meaning.

Lessing, too, got more and more
fond of playing with the language,
trying it this way and that way and
often it works.

Vivid images with the slow pace
and puzzling word order. She, as
I have always known, is a genius.
Bless you, Doris

Lessing for mapping so much of the
territory for me and many others.
It’s an honor to follow in your foot
steps -- turning ankles

unsuspected,
but always worth it.



REVIEWING VI

#534
12-3-12

Though I am still as red as a sunset,
my legs, one thigh, my arms, my eyes,
especially my ankles, I feel better this
morning, well on my way to the last
thirty poems of 2012.

At 534 I wonder if I will bump into 600,
likely not. That would be almost 60. I
haven’t felt much like writing lately,
but that makes no difference. Each
day I must

and I do write a poem -- plunk plunk
plunk, it’s there. No thoughts about
it. My life has become a vast almost
neutrality, almost peaceful, except
for the

constant almost morbid worrying
brought on by the news (Amy
Goodman -- the best of all).
However, I frequently
remember:

IBG, YBG.
I’ll be gone, You'll be gone.
So. So what. When the final riots
break out, neutrality will sustain me.
Earth’s peoples will implode and I with them.

Or I’ll have gone before
to explore.



REVIEWING VII

#535
12-3-12

Slowly slowly,
deliberately and inadvertently
I am destroying and discarding
everything.
If everything works well,
there’ll be nothing
left of me but my
writing --

and Shiva-purna.
What a phlegmatic
and perfect companion
to see one out of this world.

Jim will take care of him,
I assume, and he’ll have
a grand time -- with a man
at last!



REVIEWING VIII

#536
12-3-12

What will it be like? No more dramatic
than falling asleep, I hope.
In bed
warm
cozy.

Then possibly waking out there,
a molecule, or many molecules
among the stars,

ready to team up with whoever
or whatever
is next.

Oh immoral particles!



FROM NOW ON
TAKE THE TIME TO THINK

#537
12-4/5-12

Reading a few pages of Lessing’s
THE FOUR-GATED CITY,
every day -- just starting
Chapter 3 tomorrow.
Unlike most books, it’s already
deep into sex, Martha enjoying it,
delicious (often) and
terrifying/stupefying,
but not the answer --
a whole book to come.

Like Lessing, I have to return to
walking the city -- both the city
of my mind, and rain-soaked
Seattle. If I’m still alive I will
take V’s class DERURALIZATION
next term (this term ends today)
at night, in the dark 6:00 to 8:50 PM,
an excuse to be out in the glittering
wet streets, the bright lights,
alone, walking,

thinking my thoughts about death
and life, trying, most of the time
without success, to catch (in my
outstretched hand) the evanescent
“meaning” or at least the “desire
for meaning” that constipates
my mind day after day after day.
Started posting the 2012 POEMS
yesterday (there were already 20
up there -- not yet indexed.)

Index! my dear, and go on, there
may be 600 by 2013. Almost always,
as now, I do not write from the vortex
of thoughts swirling through my mind as
I rise. The surface trivialities dominate;
the “deep” thoughts I let go. C’est la vie,
c’est la poetry. Distilled in the mundane,
c’est the poetry. Do not be discouraged; others
may find in it what you cannot. Somehow, the coffeed,
intermittent mind understands, performs, what you cannot.



FROM NOW ON I

#538
12-5-12

Stepping into the zone of my mother’s death:
I’ve felt for some time that I shan’t outlive
her, don’t really want to, 79 is enough!

Even 78 was a bit much. Ah, to get out of this
disintegrating body which itches and scratches,
aches and pains, and with its mind that works

overtime -- at certain glorious times -- beautifully!
-- a source of infinite delight, but, too frequently,
it just churns on in a melancholy mood about

this and that: the great mysteries and minutiae
of being human, with its horrifying knack of
looking outward, to see what fellow humans
are up to.

Not only has the climate, as in climate-change,
gone wild in this last year, with unbelievable
floods and wild storms wreaking havoc here,

there, everywhere round the world -- glorious
in their thumping mights: hurricanes, typhoons,
floods, quakes, famines, droughts, sea-rises

and sea falls. Animals get to die along with
us but, supposedly, only we get to be
conscious of the maniac storms

and, as a bonus, get to know
(via media) earth’s unstable past
and predictably (via media)

dire future. While I, for the most part,

sit in beautiful
sunshine (for the few
minutes it is here each day)
with windows open, cool air
thrilling my hot, nude body: happy
and self-sufficient as a cat.

I take care of my cat Shiva-purna and God Shiva, so they say, takes care of me.



FROM NOW ON II

#539
12-5/6-12

Lucky Linda. At times we’d walk
across the Golden Gate Bridge as it
accrued more gates and fences,
railings, doors that eventually
were locked at a mandatory time,
to wall, to cordon us off,
as bridge-walkers strolled,
spoke, laughed
about suicide.

Most people (creative people) I knew,
probably because we weren’t among the most
successful in 20th and 21st Century terms,
talked, laughed, immensely enjoyed
the contemplation of just jumping
off, getting out,
just not being here.

Who needed to stick around?
We weren’t kids. Though I
understand kids may be second
to old men (and women)
in the statistical tables

of suicide.
The Golden Gate Bridge,
if I remember correctly,
was the favorite jumping off place
in America, at least on the West
Coast -- toward the city side
(not the open ocean).

Did they want an audience?
or were they afraid of floating
off to China, before eternity claimed
their mortal remains?
City, County or State Officials spent
all that money and time, relentlessly trying
to hem in the suicidal populace.

I live in Seattle now, where the Aurora bridge
became the most
popular West Coast jumping place
(when the GG was closed off)
(except at inconvenient hours).
Now it is madly securing
its jumping points
with fences,
gates, rules, regulations --

The people below get bored (offended)
with squashed bodies on their
houseboat decks, roofs, picket fences --
for the Aurora bridge
spans only the Canal, which isn’t wide,
-- even though the adjacent “cliffs” are far apart --
allowing for quite a few buildings, yards, flower pots
within landing distance.

But Lucky Linda didn’t have to jump, she was (I’m sure)
a fairly willing victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest --
(it kills 325,000 U.S. each year),
its causes, origins remain
as mysterious as that of Eczema.
or
Suicide itself.



FROM NOW ON III

#540
12-6-12

Half frustrating day, and half
good -- sister as always helpful,
but her “dumb” act drives me crazy,
as usual. She gave me two beautiful
roses for my birthday, and a jar of
blackberry jam.

AM sent a note -- at the very moment
I was thinking he hadn’t -- thinking he
had forgotten. Margaret worked hard
on the great tome of the Desolation
Poems -- into the night.

What would I do without her? -- though
at times its hard to convince her not so
much work needs to be done so exceedingly
neatly -- but it’s glorious when she does it and
hopefully looks toward her sticking with the
archiving even after the papers are in Texas.
It really would be a rest-of-her-lifetime job,
which would be so fabulous -- and she could
agent the work through to publication.
Working with AM,
Working with Vikram
to
choose the work most worth bringing to public
attention.
We’ll see, she’ll see on into the future.



FROM NOW ON IV

#541
12-7-12

I get so fucking infuriated with me because
I won’t allow myself to do what I want to do,
sort of want to do, what I should do.

Like when I begin to boil, I want to take a
walk outside, but I don’t let me do it.
Why!!!! Just go!

Instead of exploding all over the world.

1:54 PM



FROM NOW ON V

#542
12-7-12

What did I do today -- at 79?
What will I do tomorrow -- at 79?
Shiva-purna accepts his new cat food,
sleeps content.
His anus and anus fur are almost clear
of hard feces
from his recent bout with diarrhea.

I, too, am more stable
upon erupting an overreaching pill.

The day creeps by.
Falaah not worried about the kittens.

Maggie is doing the hall floors --
the perfect solution.
Let the day go and go on.

Everything is so beautiful, so fully seen,
it distresses me.

A rejection of the beautiful soars.
The anger savors.

An abundance of coffee
induces jitteriness.



FROM NOW ON VI

#543
12-8-12

Okay, it may be time just to sit back
and enjoy the view.
Again and again, The News brings
tears to my eyes -- the terrible
losses, the shattering events,
the glorious small touches of what
humanity is capable.

Who needs to do more, anymore, at
79, but sit back and enjoy the view.

Not try to change anything, not do
anything special, just hear the news:
they’ve found sprouts of some of
the oldest trees in the world,

going to plant them at Port
Orford, Oregon, great giants
the largest in the world,

see if they take hold, send out
their atmosphere-saving
needles, leaves, sprouts.
Maybe they’ll survive,
maybe not.

Sit back, enjoy the view.
They did.
They do.



FROM NOW ON VII

#544
12-9-12

In another rage this morning!
I can’t tell if its a “dropsy” sickness
I suffer from
or just impatience.

But I do get furious when nothing I do
seems to “work” any more.
If every thing you do is done wrong
no wonder you want to die.

Trying and trying to run uphill is really
not my style, nor my desire.
Missed TUC Radio this morning.
My timing is off -- another symptom.

Hot and itchy arms and legs --
surely there is something more
important, more interesting
to write about,

to live for.

Looking forward to January 1st.
Maybe I’ll spend all of 2013
editing, rewriting 2012 POEMS,
posting.

But I doubt -- if you are still alive --
that you can keep yourself from
writing another 1000 poems.
C’est la vie.

As for the rage, I think of the rage
James was in, Toni was in
before they died.
Was Linda --
in a rage?



FROM NOW ON VIII

#545
12-10-12

Getting rid of stuff has finally kicked in:
books, articles, clothes, flower pots,
ring binders, lots of ring binders
as
thousands of poems and would-be
poems get put into manila folders,
medical records, other people's

scripts and my own, study notes
from several hundreds of classes.
remembrances, novels finished
and unfinished;

everything but the poems being
readied for Texas, Margaret
devoting her considerable
skills to the organizing.

And now,
today or tomorrow, I begin in
earnest to post poems from
three years back, back and back
way beyond the beginning of the
Internet.

Wow! have I been busy these
17 years! -- and for the
62 years preceding:

probably started versifying in
the womb.



FROM NOW ON IX

#546
12-11-12

WHAT IS was an early philosophical
dialogue between Nick Frangakis and me
which we just happened to record, on
1/2 inch magnetic tape and, a bit later,
transcribe.

Its whole raison d'etre is really to simply
state What is. Is. Big deal. Simple, Obvious.
We were young and, intellectually, adventurers.

We were going to make a movie.
At that time MY DINNER WITH ANDRE
was a box-office talk film. Well, we
never actually made ours, but we used
to talk for hours and hours.

This single tape is all that is left
of what we said, our voices, our enthusiasm,
our eagerness to define and to be defined.

It actually turned out to be a splendid attempt,
worth preserving now -- for what?
40 years? 50?

WHAT IS


WHAT IS IS


And today, reading old newspaper clippings,
I come across an April 9th 2007 article

which leads me to ITIS -- A GLOBAL PROJECT
started back then to catalogue every living species.
Make a list of all animals, plants, fungi, bacteria,
protozoa, weeds, berries, fish and jellyfish, etc. etc.

Then, they expected the list to top 1.75 million
and be finished by 2011.

However here we are (at breakfast with some
green mash and baked potato),

and I don’t know where they are today
but, I would guess, far from finished.

Indeed, right now, in regard to breakfast,
I’m being a kind of echo-chamber.

Eat WHAT IS; become a version of ITIS.



FROM NOW ON X

#547
12-12-12

We may or may not come back up here,
we can explain it that way --
as an indecisive thing.

Slow moving in the early morning hours,
grey, drizzling, weather not inspired
enough for a rain.

The sky as blank as fog, the mind in
close harmony with it. What else
can one expect?

Salt and pepper and almost nothing
under it -- the morning begins.
Breakfast? Lunch?

How much of the day will pass before
my eyes tell me I am awake?
Did you sleep?

It’s squash this morning -- after coffee
has lifted me minimally up.
Where do words

come from? Dark alleys of the mind
where John refused to
travel -- and I

wanted the adventure. Not a basis for
marriage. The first engaging
symptom of wanting

to be alone!



FROM NOW ON XI

#548
12-12-12

Wanting to be alone, as
inert as a planet
-- which is not --

but teeming with bacteria,
microbes, some
poisonous,

some not, down at the electron
microscope level, beneath
molecules all

moves. Is. Probably has a better memory
than me -- with all my coagulations.
Maybe I can find a

snugger fit if I stare wide-eyed into the vacuum
of memory -- and its loss. Farewell
consciousness. Wake!

Get with it! None of it is due to your will. You’re just an
incidental on the road of creation. Long ago
and far away,

you began. To do what?



FROM NOW ON XII

#549
12-13-12

THE HUBBLE ULTRA DEEP FIELD
UDFj-39546284 -- the seventh galaxy


Trying to make the old brain behave
and work at the speed of a normal
brain -- (damn near impossible) -- to
record a few facts about

UDFj-39546284
the seventh galaxy (observable), placing it further back in time
than any other galaxy previously identified,
seen when the cosmos was less than 3% of its current age,

having formed a few hundred million years after the Big Bang,
which, according to current cosmology occurred 13.77 billion years ago.

There’s the facts. Where’s the poem?

Up to now the estimation of when the BB occurred has been about 4+ billion years.
Now its back and back and back and back.

Hoping for a picture of the Ultra Deep Field from Suzanne,
to go with the photo she sent me of the
Hubble Deep Field -- already many years ago.

Who can go on doing anything at all surrounded by such
inestimably older and bigger events?

How would even Rumi relate the ever escalating knowledge of the cosmic
to the dailyness of a human life?

Difficult.

What else are we here for?



FROM NOW ON XIII

#550
12-14-12

The fabulous gray clouds tumbling across the sky...
It’s 8:24 AM and the city is dark -- no early morning
lights, no more evening lights either -- I think they,
the city folk, are now into conservation.

The diamonds sparkle northward on the freeway.
The rubies going south are almost imperceptible.
Nonetheless, the freeway is packed, bumper to
bumper, trucks and cars and

who knows what all. There’s less heat in the
building. Are they, too, conserving? I think
I shall call this
Collection:


THE 2012 POEMS
78


For, as Margaret and I continue
through the papers, I am reminded
that early chapbooks
bore numbers for titles.

So, this is a late one.
Where am I today?
18 poems from
the end
at 1 poem a day
for 1 year.

Amazing! --
I haven’t missed one
yet.

Indeed, way ahead of the game!
550 today. What next?
A year of revisions?
Can I resist tapping out new treasures
and concentrate on correcting,
posting?

I wonder.



FROM NOW ON XIV

#551
12-14-12

Hmmm -- we don’t know where we will be
on the 31st.
Will we be at all?

I seem to be cheering up a bit lately.
At last!
Or just a false alarm?

There’s a split in the sky to the southeast,
light shimmering through

but above, dense, though roiling
grey.

And then a bath in tepid water,
Vaseline to hold in

the moisture.

Shiva-purna crying plaintively.
If I’d been smart I would
have taught him to talk.

Or
he talks enough already in cat-talk.
Spoke with Ann --

who never gets to be alone now,
with sister and care-giver sharing
the lovely large apartment.

I treasure my aloneness
even my
dense-headedness.

Alone.



FROM NOW ON XV

#552
12-15-12

No, I don’t really feel like talking to anyone.
I have a few friends left this side of the grave,
but not much to say to anyone, me included.

One gets older and older and has less and less to say.
What’s there to talk about? The days go by, and if you
live in Seattle, for the most part, the sun doesn’t shine.

The moon shines once in awhile, bright, twin pronged in
the night. Beautiful. But once you have said that, is there
more to say? I think not. Purr and at times the cat will purr

with you. But no words. The contentment of a cat doesn’t
take words to express. I have no words to go on expressing
the emptiness within. Not a bad, negative emptiness, just a

mild neutral emptiness. Pleasant, vacant, keeps me sleepy
enough, just enough awake this evening to write my poem,
to shiver, to know in half an hour I will switch the laundry

from the washing machine to the dryer -- and wait again until
the buzzer sounds to take it out, toss it to the loft, maybe break
out a puzzle, put in a few pieces, read just a very little, go to bed.

Think about the dead children at Sandy Hook in Newtown.

CHARLOTTE BACON
DANIEL BARDEN
RACHEL D’AVINO
OLIVIA ENGEL
JOSEPHINE GAY
ANA G. MARQUEZ-GREENE
DYLAN HOCKLEY
DAWN HOCHSPRUNG
MADELEINE F. HSU
CATHERINE V. HUBBARD
CHASE KOWALSKI
JESSE LEWIS
JAMES MATTIOLI
GRACE MCDONNELL
ANNE MARIE MURPHY
EMILIE PARKER
JACK PINTO
NOAH POZNER
CAROLINE PREVIDI
JESSICA REKOS
AVIELLE RICHMAN
LAUREN ROUSSEAU
MARY SHERLACH
VICTORIA SOTO
BENJAMIN WHEELER
ALLISON N. WYATT

NANCY LANZA
PRINCIPAL DAWN HOCHSPRUNG
MARY SHERLACH
A TEACHER THRILLED TO HAVE BEEN HIRED THIS YEAR;
AND A 6-YEAR-OLD GIRL WHO HAD JUST MOVED TO NEWTOWN FROM CANADA.



FROM NOW ON XVI

#553
12-16-12

The dreadful loyalty of listening to the state of the world.
Tuning in on the news.
Hearing about the murders, the wars, the rapes, the greed!
Yes, the greed that predominates!
Causes.

It overburdens the mind, makes the eczema itch,
the body scream for consolation, the kids -- 20 of them --
to spring back to life, which they never will.

Too many kids anyhow.
What were we given minds for if we can’t control
our bodily impulses -- ever?

I over eat,
he over murders,
she doesn't know what to do.
Who’s to stop this careening into madness,
reported faithfully and in detail on the news to all
that will listen? Why do I listen? To fill up the silence, to
have a little lively jumping up and down of the airwaves.
The cat cries.

What does he want?



FROM NOW ON XVII

#554
12-17-12

The sun is out, and there’s a ring of white clouds
around as much as I can see of the horizon,
like a feather bed around the neck of
the planet, keeping it warm under
the dome of the sky.
The wind howls
with a some-
what
modest
moaning, which
doesn’t exactly match
the gaiety of the shining sun.

It’s blue up there, with dissolving-edge-
white clouds wandering around. It all looks
unified, and yet, as I name its component pieces,
it doesn’t seem to add up. I’ve been sleeping most of
the day (until 3:15 PM) and then, at last, woke up awake.
I guess I wrote some e-mails this morning -- an answer already
from Eva who comes to visit America in February, but probably
won’t make it to Seattle. Shall I say: Just as well. Or should I make
an effort to break my long no-traveling streak -- since 9-11-01. I wonder.



FROM NOW ON XVIII

#555
12-18-12

Still thinking of the 20 kids killed in Newtown,
between 6 and 7.
Even more than the kids, the parents:
Young mothers and fathers
who said: “Bye bye” one morning and never saw their child
alive
again.
20 scars, as deep as a gash can get.
Pitiful grief.
Empty.
Filled only with pain.

I think of our drones and bombs around the world
creating this scene for children and parents
the world over.

Will humanity ever develop compassion?
Will we ever be humane?
We invented the word, can we invent

ourselves to be humane?



FROM NOW ON XIX

#556
12-19-12

“Titan is the only other world we know of that has stable liquid on its surface.”
from: http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n1212/18titan/#.UNISyLbRfFx


It grows late in the morning and I itch.
The grey outside is complete.
“Snow on the ground,” says sister, who lives
a bit north of here. “Melted, by now, probably,” says she
on the cell phone in the grocery store.

“You’re still with us,” say I, having not heard from her this week
nor last -- during the fog and the rain and the wind, the
entire grayness of it all.

Who knows what Titan’s liquid is?
Does it make any difference?
What difference could it make?

There are no other worlds we know of that have stable liquid
on their surfaces.
My fingers tap trippingly on the keys, and when I look up,
the screen contains
somewhat, a little,
sometimes
a lot --

a bit of a jumble. Unless I slow way down to the pace
of liquid honey in ice cold weather,
my fingers are glad to tell me I am
not as agile as I once was. No way, no how.

It interrupts my thought processes.
Who knows where the words come from
or why they decide to be non-literate
when the brain trips along (seemingly)
at speed?



FROM NOW ON XX

#557
12-20-12

Happy 106th birthday, Doris.
Miss you.
But certainly understand your leaving at
79.
Everything gets to be too much.
Ah, for a good long rest in eternity!

So difficult to throw away old
favorite
clothes.
They linger on the closet floor,
year after year after year.
I never wear them,
I never think of them,
but comes the time to toss them --
I can’t do it.
The silk is too unctuous, the clothes too intriguing,
as if the soft cloth and the faded blues and blacks
held all those events that passed by them.

Now, today I’m getting the eyes checked.
They, too, are getting old and dim and
register odd things,
but
I will keep them up to death
no doubt!

The storm, a few days ago,
brought the tide as high as it’s ever
been (in recorded history -- starting 1910).
Suzanne and Jim were on Camano and ordered
to evacuate their cabin.
The climate is a changing.



FROM NOW ON XXI

#558
12-21-12

Almost ran out of time today --
and inspiration.

Though a thousand possibilities crossed my brain,
I didn’t reach out to catch one -- or maybe caught a few, but
let them go before they converted to
inspirations.
Discombobulated, and anger rising for at least half the day.
Down to DSHS to finish the interview for Food Stamps,
and home again, the washing machine fixed.

Wasted ooodles of time. Little to do when the brain says:
No!
Itch violently most of day.
Angry!
And wandered about most of the day -- in a bursting cloud of
anger. Steady Anger!

I do not speak the language of music.
Watched maybe half of the bio pics of Glenn Gould.
Then it's too cold and now it’s to bed,
stuffed with one whole can of jellied Cranberry Sauce.

Picking at the belly button -- but
one can see only the engendered
default. Do not examine too closely
where you did come from. A nobody
with an amused, soothing, fancy box of bon bons,
as if they were time set to water music.

I little envy, knowing I could teach kids to like
what I like, but having found
the delight of not
playing, they arrive here
-- somehow and we treasure them -- now.



FROM NOW ON XXII

#559
12-22-12

Been to the eye doctor in the meantime,
and the eyes seem that much worse.

Do you suppose his “drops that
won’t hurt you” really do do some

damage? -- or probably not,
just more conscious of the eyes
for a few days.

Fuzzy.
Don’t know what to do with my

weariness. Every-once-in-awhile
there seems to arise a spark of
what it used to be like -- you know,
just interested in things, anything,
many things. The world amused me.

Well it still does, I probably laugh more
with more people now than in the past
79 years.

Tee hee, tee hee, ha ha, tee hee.

Thick with Vaseline on the eczema,
off to Ann’s.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE I

#560
12-23-12

I found Rumi after years and years and years
of trying to understand the relationship be-
tween the exalted, too beautiful to contem-
plate universe -- out there -- and the mundane,
washing-dishes, plodding-off-to-work, or
staying-home-with-nothing-to-do,
between the wild, enchanting
thoughts of paradise, beauty, eternal-life
and ecstatic-death taught by religions of the world.
Between the awe-inspiring, beauty-provoking, en-
chantingly mystical, occasional soft-focus-point-of-
sexual-bliss, between all the mundanity of daily life,
day-by-day-eating-and-shitting, being-bored-to-death
by one’s fellow humans, torn apart by their suffering
as their children are killed. But I no longer wonder
about this, nor cry about it, nor care. Rumi answered
it for me with his many poems about cooking
chickpeas, his voice singing centuries later
through Coleman Barks.

Now what bothers me is the beauty of the world out
there, its ease even here in my eyrie, where, short on
sight, short on money, short on interest, passion, full
of despair, angst, anguish, depression, both lingering
and momentary, hurts, old wounds, new wounds,
stabs to the heart, sickening realizations, still all is
peace and calm, as long as I am peaceful and
calm -- which is seldom. The beauty of the
world out there, the autumn leaves, now
passed, the sun-filled skies, now seldom
-- how all of it can be so beautiful, un-
changed from glorious summer, and
half the world starving, 20 children
6 and 7 shot dead, and their teachers
executed by one just-past-teen-aged
boy, how we US shoot drones into other
countries daily, kill kill kill Afghans and
Mexicans, and I can’t even think of the
name of the people whose land we just left
after killing, maiming, destroying thousands
and thousands and thousands of their people
and their children on the pretext of weapons
of mass destruction. The only weapons of mass
destruction I can see from the height of my eyrie,
are other human beings. They kill and kill and kill and
kill until sated, like pigs splashing about in a trough. Life
without parole.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE II

#561
12-23-12

Was it? or It was? the potato famine
that drove the Irish from their rocky
shores to the garden of America,
where they still died, from prolonged --
and are dying still -- from prolonged
malnutrition.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE III

#562
12-24-12

It’s an unmistakable time of life
when you pause before phoning
some (dear) one you haven’t
heard from by e- for an unusual
time -- having sent 3 unanswered e-‘s.

A thoughtful pause.
Will they be there?
Will I be able to take it,
if someone else answers,
tells me they’re dead?
If so, then,

how do you spend the rest
of the day?

You punch in the relevant numbers
(which have taken you a week to find --
you never talk on the phone if it can be avoided.)

Her husband answers.
They’ve just (both) been writing:
deadlines, concentration,
urgency, articles, reviews, etc. Don’t worry.

So I shan’t.
But I shall, at last, put her number
into my phone.

Half my friends are gone; I don’t worry about them anymore either.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE IV

#563
12-24-12

It can’t be terribly different
than sleeping on the veld
or waking in the twilight
when it’s hard to tell if
it is dawn or dusk.

It’s still Christmas
eve, and somewhere
off there in the Rift Valley
something more than an animal
is born, formed of the dry earth and
the clay where the water oozes from the seam
stitched by time into the shapely ball forming to be
the home of humankind -- who are not only going to live --
like the plants and the trees, but think about it -- the drawing
of breath and the oozing of sweat, not unlike the casual stream
where life has begun. There never was a time that was not the potential
for the oozing of life. The warmth, the fire, the blazing volcano -- which
may kill you or me, but which was the beginning -- in the beginning was
the word and the word formed the valley, the rift, the beginning of
time. Hello, hello! We’ll sit with a flask of wine, recognize each
other, sign with a new gesture called language,

sit beneath a palm, eat a golden mango --
created prior to us, yes -- a
sweet, piney mango,
our predecessor,
our goal,
our
nourishment,
far into the future --
odd you think, and you are right.
So be it, the itch was too intense to be denied.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE V

#564
12-25-12

Getting toward that last day of the year,
I’d guess My Project is a success --
366 poems required and, even today,
have already 564 on the books.

Happy Happy.
The oddity goes on: my life is so what
I always wanted and,
having more or less forgotten the wish,
it’s difficult to realize my
personal bliss in this world
gone to -- well I can’t blame it
on the dogs, they are mostly happy --
but one can blame it on the Republicans,
terrifying our could-be country to pieces
for their greed, their will to rule,
their insane prejudices against
a black man who rules,
better than they could ever
dream of ruling.

Soon we’ll even discover that we
all have enough. If the Rich could bring
themselves to stop scraping off the top,
we could all eat nourishing food, sleep in
safe warm places.

But as long as They want More
we all live in peril.
Everyone could have enough,
if the greedy backed off
their possessiveness!
Today.
Truly.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE VI

#565
12-25-12

Been too afraid to mention it for years.
Been, for years, too afraid to mention it.
But I live in a blissfully happy-making
situation. Where I have always wanted
to be. I have a beautiful place to live,
enough money to do what I want --
which is almost nothing, except write.

I want to write. I write. It makes me
happy.

The only thing that makes me unhappy
is the old superstition that one must not
mention when one is blissfully happy, lest it
all disappear. Say nothing, lest THE GODS
be jealous. But gradually, inch by inch I
am overcoming that primal fear.

I look around, I have every reason to
be blissfully happy -- and I am,
I can almost get beyond that fear
of “the gods.”

For this five minutes, for this day.
Why is that superstition so strong in
humans? Be afraid. Don’t mention
your happiness or contentment,
lest the gods swoop down
and take it from you.

Time to change fear to
happiness.

So be it.
Namaste.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE VII

#566
12-26/27-12

Long long ago I learned that burning the toast
was an event as significant as winning a war
of attrition, as by-passing the salient fact.

I do know I live each day, each hour as if,
once achieved, that hour, minute, will signal
the end of time, the completion of the world.

It’s like holding your breath, but not quite --
and on you go typing, composing, peering into
your mind, wondering what comes next,

while the grey maintains, the rains go on.
Winter is here, a cold draft circles
my shoulders,

and I miss the comforting, warm, mess of my bed.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE VIII

#567
12-27-12

Formerly we (in England) grew oranges in the Orangery.
Later, it was any exotic plant. Now (in America) the term is
never used without a touch of grandiosity.
Who has Orangeries? Nobody. The nobodies of this earth. No,

the nobodies who love plants growing indoors, glass houses with
vines tangled around the ceilings, a vast array of exotic smells: the orange
blossoms and the lemons, the gardenias and, for you in particular, the nothing-
ness, the at times freshness of “can’t smell.” Nothing to smell -- the flowers might

well be cut of iridescent plastic, gaudy shades of blue and red and orange, yellow.
The bird-of-paradise no bird at all, but thirty feet tall if untrimmed in the languid
air. Other slender branches push against the panes. I sent my father’s grapefruit
there, the shattuck, which, in his care, was never allowed to get taller than me.

Now, who knows that size it might be, unlabeled: “Who put this common grapefruit
here?” But it’s what you didn’t have in your Orangeries, the oranges, the grapefruits,
the lemons, the limes, the half million other citrus, indeed, the Buddha’s Fingers which
we discovered the other day, pointed, arched, between beautiful and haunting in

their distortion. What are the tiny ovals called? Kumquats?
All odd things to see on a tree. Phillip Smith spat out a breakfast
seed in, perhaps, the 1980s -- (already it sounds like a century ago).
Later on, he or his daughter planted the seed in a pot.

Decades later she gave the tree to the Conservatory.
Hopefully they nurture it. She is too old to go
there often now. He is dead.
The Orangery without oranges, thrives --
searingly beautiful Epiphyllums grow.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE IX

#568
12-28-12

The wits grow dimmer, like Christmas-tree-lights,
one by one, and much of the time you don’t miss
the individual dud(s).

But when the whole tree goes dark (which you can
anticipate), that will be noticed by you and everyone
else. Like the sun not shining.

You notice it. If not today, then tomorrow. A dark tree
in your living room. People will think you odd. But a dead
Christmas tree, that’s not so unusual.

You can probably cope with whatever gossip that might provoke
in July.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE X

#569
12-29-12

I am still reading
THE FOUR-GATED CITY -- for days now --
the eyes,
the brain,
the reaction time itself,
of delight or not-understanding,
takes longer
and longer --
weeks.
The slow walking witty
bats her wings a thousand
times -- hovering,
to remain in place,
while,
again, she waits
for the sunshine's
dagger
to stab --
pierce her heart, with brilliance.
(Another word for yellow
is brilliance -- or
vice versa
-- we have time --
another word for brilliance is yellow.)
So,
not finishing THE FOUR-GATED CITY,
I’ve begun to read
BECOMING ANIMAL
An Earthly Cosmology
by
David Abram.
His list of topics makes me gasp:
“...shadows, houses, gravity, stones, visual depth...”
with recognition.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE XI

#570
12-30-12

The sun is out --
illuminating my milieu and
my brain, rising, as I do, from
reading the “Shadow” chapter of
David Abram’s magical prose,
introducing me to
BECOMING ANIMAL.

I guess I’ve met my match,
no point in going on, no point
in striving.

Now, I begin to wonder what I have
been doing for a year -- living in limbo,
waiting to read Abram’s prose.
Pecking out my Plein Jan
variety of poem.

Like a Turkey-bird next to a peacock,
a patch of drab; like shadow in
a burst of color; like my
version of “cerise”
in a landscape
drab with
winter.

Come here, “...kitty kitty kitty...” Here, come.
Illuminate my life with your charm and your
beauty, and I will fall back to sleep, dream
of waking into light.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE XII

#571
12-30-12

So much stuff!
Another 15 boxes+ are full
and almost ready to go to Texas
to add to the 100 already there,
and still there seems to be no end
to what wants to leap from my mind
to the paper.

An addiction, no doubt, encouraged by
this year of “at least one poem a day.”
Now there is just today and tomorrow,
and today is already dealt with
and of the 366 due, this is #571.

It brings a smile to my face.
Did it!
In whatever fashion, I did do it! --
a poem a day for my 78th year
on into my 79th.

Poems seem to come from the
same source in me that leaves
come to a tree --

all there, turning bright colors,
inspired by the breath in the air,
transforming all thought,
all action into

a vessel to contain words,
words to contain,
thought,

or that precursor to thought:
the poetic
impulse.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE XIII

#572
12-31-12

Last poem,
or maybe 2nd or 3rd
to last poem,
depending on how the day turns out.
Thinking again
about the mushroom vision
of, not last year, nor
even the year before,
but somewhere vividly in the past:
the diamond crosshatch filling the whole
room, between me, beside Jim, on the floor,
and the bathroom door.
(As I recall, it wasn’t in the bathroom.)
And I stood up,
thinking I might not be able
to get through,
but I could. I simply
walked through all that lace-like cross-hatching.
It was there,
and not there.
I almost want to say
I dissolved through it,
but it was
seemingly
as substantial as
our garden (metal) gate.
C’est la vie.
Substantial enough
for me to have never forgotten it --
for a moment,
and yet,
no desire to repeat it --
the vision,
the other world I nodded in on
for that little while.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE XIV

#573
12-31-12

The two greatest gifts of this year:
Margaret and BECOMING ANIMAL.

Margaret, for her disguise behind boring,
whining, mute, plain, and her intermittent
emergence into flowerings as delectable and
exotic as David Abram’s
Earthly Cosmology --
his great prose regarding that
which I want to read about:
house, stone, rock, wood, shadow,
reciprocity, depth, mind, mood, and
The Discourse of Birds.

The two beginning to open up, to fill up again,
my emptied-out universe.



LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE XV

#574
12-31-12

I have absolutely no patience with the force
of gravity anymore, or any other force that
gets in my way, obstructs my path, trips me
up in pursuit of what my intention is of
doing -- anymore.







APPENDIX


Earlier poems referenced in the 2012 poems


GEORGE COLUZZI

9-3-89
He was bad, big as a mountain, and he was lonely --
from Boston, they say, old George Coluzzi --
living out there among the stars
in a cave, for many years,
like a Cliff Dweller.

He got rid
of his money.
Seemed to have a lot,
not a little, because he sure gave
a lot away, seemed to want to get rid of it --

living out there, lacking water, not washing. He stank, old
George Coluzzi. He was so filthy he died of a scratch
from his cat. Dirt fell right in off his leg, into
that little nick of a cat’s clawed wound.
He died of infection in just
a week or two.

Now I don’t mean
to lash a small perception
into a continental theory, but he
was an odd man. Does money make you odd?
Or solitude, or pain? He never seemed to be in pain,
always had a friendly word, and food to give, if you wanted

to eat from a kitchen of dirt, from a dirty man, in the depths
of a cave in the earth. Cats and wild boar and birds eat
right from the earth. Nature doesn’t seem to mind.
Now what old George Coluzzi seemed to do
for a living -- not for eating or drinking
mind you -- but to stay and be
alive -- was cut rock.

He was big, you know,
powerful, probably ate bobcats
and rats -- things you probably wouldn’t want
to touch, even if they’d been clean. Nobody ever saw
him at a store. But to stay and be alive, he cut rock. He’d climb
up the side of Mt. Truchas, where the Penitente live, and get one helluva
great big boulder and shoulder it down, or roll it down in a kind of rawhide

harness. Holding it back, he’d make it go slow so as not to create an avalanche
-- didn’t want everything coming his way at once. Taking his chosen boulder
he’d haul it down to the cave. Sisyphus found it hard going up hill,
but George restrained his rock coming down. He’d haul his single
boulder carefully -- sometimes it took days -- down to his cave.
Sometimes his cave wasn’t big enough, so he’d stand
it out on the lip -- and carve. He’d knock
away at that rock, and you’d see

gods of the sun and the rain
and the storm, the day and the night
and peace emerge, sometimes pink, sometimes
white and sometimes a soft rust or copper-tinted green.
He’d cut and polish these colossal things -- What could you call
them but things? -- out of bits of the landscape from above Santa Fe.
He’d carve them out of the Sangre de Cristo, then haul them back to the land
where he found them, and leave them there for the wind and the rain gods, for the storm

gods, under the crimson sky -- in the yearning for peace. Then he’d choose another to go on
making a living in his cave, on his mountain, until he died of filth and a scratch.
He didn’t have any money on him then. Now, every-once-in-awhile
some museum or archaeologist finds a bit of “prehistoric” carving,
lodged upon the mountain out there above the city of Holy
Faith, carved from the Blood of Christ. They sell for
over a million by now, if you happen to
find one for yourself, but I haven’t
seen anyone get one lately
and give the money
away.

Inspired by a story in Winfield Townley Scott’s “A Calendar of Santa Fe”



CHOICE

1980s
I

In the beginning was wo-man.
Then, due to a temperature
change during gestation, came man.
His pistil outside, he could plant
seed, but he couldn't reproduce

himself. He made things. Frantically
filling up space, everywhere:
taking the air that had been used
for breathing as breath for his things,
he left the world gasping. For some

time the people, while they lived and
reproduced, left man to play with his
things. But, soon, men made things too
dangerous to be allowed to
continue with their violent/

foolish/destructive games. People
hadn't minded men wanting to
hack at each other with swords, or
shoot each other with guns, but when
nuclear bombs endangered the

lives of the people, laws were made
restricting and regulating
their play.


II

Attempts were made to civilize
men. To make them more gentle, kind,
intelligent, like the people.
But, because of something deeply
askew in the nature of man,
few could

learn to be loving, nurturing,
as people could. Few could be taught
control of their anger and their
egocentricity. So the
people, having learned how to breed
and clone

themselves to produce only true
people, restricted men's breeding.
Nonetheless, pitying man as
an endangered species, some were
allowed to copulate. The best
seed sires

were kept in posh zoos where people,
who wanted to risk their lives (or
sanity) in heroine-ic
attempts to breed gentle men, could
volunteer. Once or twice a strain
would seem,

for a few generations to
stabilize. Civilizing seemed
possible.



III

But even those few men allowed
to sow seed persisted in their
insatiable necessity
to make things. They kept littering
the world. Therefore, an old-fashioned
custom was

revived: the Potlatch. Each year the
people took the things men made and
burned them so that the cities, fields,
woods would not be cluttered. Men wept
at this, but the people could not
bear the mess,

the plastic bottles, the gewgaws,
the "necessities". They thought in
time they could teach men to delight
in simplicity and beauty,
but weak strains would not allow the
desired

characteristics to firm up in the genes.
For a time, however, the Potlatch worked
well. Even the people made things to
burn. Then one Potlatch eve there was
a great hullabaloo. The men
sent a delegation

to the people to beg them to
let them preserve one of their things:
begging on grounds of usefulness,
beauty, mostly on grounds of greed:
how much thought, effort, cash it had
taken to

build a supercomputer. But
the people stood firm, knowing the
brains of the few in the zoos thought
far too much, invented far too
many things already -- without
computers.

They knew it was unhealthy to
calculate so much. It fed a
restless, insatiable fury,
just as power drills and ringing
cash registers bred violence
in those who

spent all their time in building or
selling -- as if there were nothing
on earth to do but con, build, shop
and kill. So the people said: "Burn
it all. Keep the earth clean. Look at
the crystal.

Admire the stream, the earth below
and the clouds overhead. See the
world. Enjoy it."



IV

But always the men in the zoos
attacked each other. A vote was
called. It was decided to let
them eliminate themselves. This
distressed the volunteer mothers,
because many

had grown fond of the male children.
But in the end, finding the genes
hopelessly contaminated
by auto-exacerbated
psychosis, the people voted
to let them all,

like the dodo bird, flightless and
fearless, forgettable, goose step
into history.



V

Now, as in the beginning, peace
and harmony reign on earth,
the people, serenely, bring forth
only after their kind. The whole
paradisian universe
sings hosannas to

the Goddess for the elegant
lack of things. A few people make
a few beautiful things which are
burned each year at the Potlatch. Fine
artists, like the peaceful people
-- as plentiful as

leaves on the deciduous trees --
live their lives graced by nature's strict
temporality,
joy.














INDEX OF TITLES


About 4:39 pm, #61, 2-14-12

Aches And Pains, #126, 3-30-12

A Door Dimly Seen or A Bottle Precariously Balanced, #63, 2-16-12

Again, #22, 1-15-12

Aging, #60, 2-14-12

A Human, #389, 9-4-12

Airs, #42, 1-30-12

All, #5, 1-5-12

A Madness, #439, 9-30-12

A MORE PERFECT WORLD, #241--#273, 6-12-12 -- 7-1-12

An Arm And A Leg, #53, 2-7-12

And Ask Again, #231, 6-7-12

And Now I’m Left With This, #232, 6-7-12

And The Rest Of Us, #436, 9-28-12

Anger Hangs In The Air, #418, 9-20-12

An Hysterical Frightenedness, #440, 10-1-12

Ansel Adams/Jackson Pollock #69, The, #442, 10-2-12

Ass Backwards, Why? How?, Parts I, II, III, #36, 1-24-12



Bang, #30, 1-19-12

Becoming A Portrait Of The Artist As An Old Woman, #261, 6-24-12

Becoming Aware, #237, 6-10-12

Becoming Aware Enough To Stand Alone 7, #236, 6-10-12

Becoming Aware I Begin To See Myself As, #244, 6-14-12

Becoming Aware I’m Beginning To Imagine A Better World, #243, 6-14-12

Becoming Aware I’m Not Ready To Imagine A Better World, #242, 6-13-12

Becoming Aware It’s Time To Imagine A World I’d Like To Live In, #241, 6-12-12

Becoming Aware Of A Gift, #245, 6-14-12

Becoming Aware Of A Gift II, #246, 6-14-12

Becoming Aware Of A Gift III, #247, 6-15-12

Becoming Aware Of A Question, #250, 6-17-12

Becoming Aware Of Being Farm Raised, #270, 6-30-12

Becoming Aware Of Constant Anxiety In The Pit Of My Stomach, #259, 6-23-12

Becoming Aware Of Extinction, #263, 6-26-12

Becoming Aware Of Incapacity, #248, 6-15-12

Becoming Aware Of Inspiration’s M.O., #238, 6-10-12

Becoming Aware Of Listening, #249, 6-16-12

Becoming Aware Of Mount Rainier With Clouds, #258, 6-22-12

Becoming Aware Of Night Soil, Disintegration, #268, 6-30-12

Becoming Aware Of Quiet, Overcast, #255, 6-19-12

Becoming Aware Of Summer, #256, 6-20-12

Becoming Aware Of Surgical Precision, #266, 6-29-12

Becoming Aware Of The Anxiety Hole, #239, 6-11-12

Becoming Aware Of The Night And Night Thoughts, #267, 6-30-12

Becoming Aware Of The Sounds, #257, 6-21-12

Becoming Aware Of The Way Things Are, #240, 6-12-12

Becoming Aware Of Thoughts, #265, 6-28-12

Becoming Aware Of Thoughts About The “Necessity”, #264, 6-27-12

Becoming Aware Of Unchosen Choice, #253, 6-18-12

Becoming Aware Of Unchosen Choice II, #254, 6-18-12

Becoming Aware Of What Writing Is, #252, 6-18-12

Becoming Curious -- Who Are They?, #251, 6-17-12

Becoming Stirred Up And Breathless, #262, 6-25-12

Billed Again, #408, 9-15-12

Blank Mind, #415, 9-18-12

Break With The Past, #400, 9-11-12



Call And Response, #88, 3-5-12

Can It Be?, #429, 9-25-12

Catchall, #4, 1-4-12

Changing, #59, 2-13-12

Choice, 1980s

Churning, #7, 1-5-12

Clowns, The, #34, 1-22-12

Coercion In The Kitchen, #6, 1-5-12

Columbus Day, #450, 10-8-12

Commercialization Of The World, The, #518, 11-19-12

Consider A New Way I, #285, 7-9-12

Consider A New Way II, #286, 7-10-12

Consider A New Way Of Doing, #284, 7-8-12

Consider A New Way Of Doing All Things, #282, 7-7-12

Consider A New Way Of Doing Things, #283, 7-8-12

Considering Chernobyl I, #301, 7-22-12

Considering Chernobyl II, #302, 7-23-12

Considering Chernobyl III, #303, 7-24-12

Considering Chernobyl IV, #304, 7-24-12

Considering Chernobyl V, #305, 7-24-12

Considering Chernobyl VI, #306, 7-25-12

Considering Chernobyl VII, #307, 7-26-12

Considering Chernobyl VIII, #308, 7-26-12

Considering Clumsiness I, #354, 8-14-12

Considering Clumsiness II, #355, 8-14-12

Considering Clumsiness III, #356, 8-14-12

Considering Clumsiness IV, #357, 8-15-12

Considering Clumsiness V, #358, 8-15-12

Considering Clumsiness VI, #359, 8-16-12

Considering Clumsiness VII, #360, 8-16-12

Considering Clumsiness VIII, #361, 8-16-12

Considering Clumsiness IX, #362, 8-17-12

Considering Clumsiness X, #363, 8-18-12

Considering: Coursera I, #331, 8-1-12

Considering: Coursera II, #332, 8-1-12

Considering Friendship I, #344, 8-6-12

Considering Friendship II, #345, 8-6-12

Considering Friendship III, #346, 8-7-12

Considering Friendship IV, #347, 8-8-12

Considering Friendship V, #348, 8-8-12

Considering Friendship VI, #349, 8-9-12

Considering Friendship VII, #350, 8-10-12

Considering Friendship VIII, #351, 8-11-12

Considering Friendship IX, #352, 8-12-12

Considering Friendship X, #353, 8-12-12

Considering I Did More Than Most VII, #318, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night I, #312, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night II, #313, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night III, #314, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night IV, #315, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night V, #316, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night VI, #317, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night VIII, #319, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night IX, #320, 7-28-12

Considering I Was Too Happy To Sleep Last Night X, #321, 7-29-12

Considering: Just Do It I, #324, 7-30-12

Considering: Just Do It II, #325, 7-31-12

Considering: Just Do It III, #326, 7-31-12

Considering: Just Do It IV, #327, 8-1-12

Considering: Just Do It V, #328, 8-1-12

Considering: Just Do It VI, #329, 8-1-12

Considering: Just Do It VII, #330, 8-1-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance I, #364, 8-18-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance II, #365, 8-19-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance III, #366, 8-20-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance IV, #367, 8-20-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance V, #368, 8-21-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance VI, #369, 8-21-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance VII, #370, 8-21-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance VIII, #371, 8-22-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance IX, #372, 8-23-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance X, #373, 8-24-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XI, #374, 8-25-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XII, #375, 8-25-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XIII, #376, 8-26-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XIV, #377, 8-27-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XV, #378, 8-28-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XVI, #379, 8-29-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XVII, #380, 8-29-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XVIII, #381, 8-30-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XIX, #382, 8-31-12

Considering My Lack Of Remembrance XX, #383, 9-1-12

Considering One’s Greatest Fear In Life Is That, #322, 7-29-12

Considering Hillman’s Alexandra David-Neel Script, #323, 7-30-12

Considering The First 19 Pages Of Hillman’s Alexandra David-Neel Script:
Alexandra’s Dream -- Part I, #309, 7-27-12


Considering The First 19 Pages Of Hillman’s Alexandra David-Neel Script:
Alexandra’s Dream -- Part II, #310, 7-27-12


Considering The Hawaiian Pineapple, #271, 6-30-12

Considering The Music I, #297, 7-19-12

Considering The Music II, #298, 7-19-12

Considering The Music III, #299, 7-20-12

Considering The Music IV, #300, 7-21-12

Considering The Results Of Writing Poetry, #311, 7-27-12

Considering Those Who Have Died I, #333, 8-2-12

Considering Those Who Have Died II, #334, 8-2-12

Considering Those Who Have Died III, #335, 8-2-12

Considering Those Who Have Died IV, #336, 8-2-12

Considering Those Who Have Died V, #337, 8-2-12

Considering Those Who Have Died VI, #338, 8-2-12

Considering Those Who Have Died VII, #339, 8-3-12

Considering Those Who Have Died VIII, #340, 8-3-12

Considering Those Who Have Died IX, #341, 8-4-12

Considering Those Who Have Died X, #342, 8-5-12

Considering Those Who Have Died XI, #343, 8-6-12

Considering Shiva-purna, #292, 7-15-12

Considering Shiva-purna II, #293, 7-16-12

Considering Shiva-purna III, #294, 7-17-12

Considering Shiva-purna IV, #295, 7-18-12

Considering Shiva-purna V, #296, 7-19-12

Consider The Disappearance Of Craftsmanship I, #272, 7-1-12

Consider The Disappearance Of Craftsmanship II, #273, 7-1-12

Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time I, #274, 7-2-12

Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time II, #275, 7-2-12

Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time III, #276, 7-2-12

Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time IV, #277, 7-3-12

Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time V, #278, 7-4-12

Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time VI, #279, 7-5-12

Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time VII, #280, 7-5-12

Consider The Possibility Of Feeling Good All The Time VIII, #281, 7-6-12

Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World I, #287, 7-11-12

Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World II, #288, 7-11-12

Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World III, #289, 7-12-12

Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World IV, #290, 7-13-12

Consider Winged Things Trapped In Our World V, #291, 7-14-12

Course Of Years, The, #38, 1-26-12



Day, The, #451, 10-9-12

Despair, #456, 10-12-12

Discouragement Time Of Day, The, #453, 10-10-12

Divorce The Body, #412, 9-17-12

Door Dimly Seen or A Bottle Precariously Balanced, A, #63, 2-16-12

Dow, The, #83, 3-1-12



Ears, #40, 1-28-12

End Of March, #127, 3-31-12

End Of Reason, The, #406, 9-14-12

Enough, #14, 1-12-12

Eon’s End, #15, 1-13-12

Escape, #430, 9-25-12

Even A Cat, #3, 1-3-12

Exhausted Beyond Caring, #23, 1-16-12

Eyes, #68, 2-20-12



Fears, #39, 1-27-12

Fire, #31, 1-19-12

5:24 AM, #57, 2-11-12

Fog, #431, 9-26-12

Francesco, #28, 1-19-12

From Now On I, #538, 12-5-12

From Now On II, #539, 12-5-12

From Now On III, #540, 12-6-12

From Now On IV, #541, 12-7-12

From Now On V, #542, 12-7-12

From Now On VI, #543, 12-8-12

From Now On VII, #544, 12-9-12

From Now On VIII, #545, 12-10-12

From Now On IX, #546, 12-11-12

From Now On X, #547, 12-12-12

From Now On XI, #548, 12-12-12

From Now On XII, #549, 12-13-12

From Now On XIII, #550, 12-14-12

From Now On XIV, #551, 12-14-12

From Now On XV, #552, 12-15-12

From Now On XVI, #553, 12-16-12

From Now On XVII, #554, 12-17-12

From Now On XVIII, #555, 12-18-12

From Now On XIX, #556, 12-19-12

From Now On XX, #557, 12-20-12

From Now On XXI, #558, 12-21-12

From Now On XXII, #559, 12-22-12

From Now On Take The Time To Think, #537, 12-4-12

Full, #10, 1-9-12



Ghastly Night, #85, 3-3-12

George Coluzzi, 9-3-89

Gita, #46, 2-2-12

Gita II, #47, 2-2-12

Gloomy Weather, #422, 9-21-12

Gluten, #123, 3-28-12

Green Grasshoppers, #434, 9-27-12



Habits, #86, 3-4-12

Having Written 6,000 Poems, #235, 6-9-12

Hillary Clinton, #407, 9-15-12

Human, A, #389, 9-4-12

Human Life, #385, 9-3-12

Hysterical Frightenedness, An, #440, 10-1-12



Icons, #20, 1-15-12

Ides Of February, The, #62, 2-15-12

I’m Now, #384, 9-2-12

Ings, #73, 2-24-12

Intensity, #391, 9-6-12

Internal Idiocy, #433, 9-27-12

Ion, #19, 1-15-12

Is This?, #104, 3-18-12

Is This? II, #105, 3-18-12

Is This? III, #106, 3-18-12

Is This? IV, #107, 3-19-12

Itch, The, #428, 9-25-12

It’s All In There Someplace, #124, 3-29-12

It’s Going To Snow Blood, #17, 1-14-12

It’s Hard To Be Objective, #122, 3-27-12



Keep Busy I, #523, 11-23-12

Keep Busy II, #524, 11-23-12

Keep Busy III, #525, 11-24-12

Keep Busy IV, #526, 11-25-12

Keep Busy V, #527, 11-26-12

Keep Busy VI, #528, 11-27-12

Known, #393, 9-7-12



Led, #51, 2-6-12

Legacy, #54, 2-8-12

Legal - ity, #55, 2-9-12

Levity, #56, 2-10-12

Life Changing -- Party Reunion, #58, 2-12-12

Life Without Parole I, #560, 12-23-12

Life Without Parole II, #561, 12-23-12

Life Without Parole III, #562, 12-24-12

Life Without Parole IV, #563, 12-24-12

Life Without Parole V, #564, 12-25-12

Life Without Parole VI, #565, 12-25-12

Life Without Parole VII, #566, 12-26-12

Life Without Parole VIII, #567, 12-27-12

Life Without Parole IX, #568, 12-28-12

Life Without Parole X, #569, 12-29-12

Life Without Parole XI, #570, 12-30-12

Life Without Parole XII, #571, 12-30-12

Life Without Parole XIII, #572, 12-31-12

Life Without Parole XIV, #573, 12-31-12

Life Without Parole XV, #574, 12-31-12

Like Music, #12, 1-11-12

Loves or Men!! #397, 9-10-12

Lull, #11, 1-10-12



Madness, A, #439, 9-30-12

Men: The Despicable Gender, #510, 11-13-12

Missing, #414, 9-17-12

A MORE PERFECT WORLD, #241--#273, 6-12-12 -- 7-1-12

Music, #13, 1-11-12



Neutrinos, #76, 2-27-12

No Bang, #29, 1-19-12

No, I Won’t Be Coming For A Visit, #16, 1-13-12

Nos, #77, 2-27-12

No Sun Today, #420, 9-21-12

Not Unlike, #398, 9-11-12

Nuance, #91, 3-8-12

Nuance II, #92, 3-9-12

Nuance III, #93, 3-10-12

Nuance IV, #94, 3-10-12

Nuance V, #95, 3-11-12

Nuance VI, #95A, 3-12-12

Nuance VII, #96, 3-13-12

Nuance VIII, #97, 3-13-12

Nuance IX, #98, 3-13-12

Nuance X, #99, 3-14-12

Nuance XI, #100, 3-15-12

Numb, #75, 2-26-12

Numbers 2012, #74, 2-25-12



Obama Winning America I, #501, 11-7-12

Obama Winning America II, #502, 11-7-12

Obama Winning America III, #503, 11-8-12

Obama Winning America IV, #504, 11-8-12

Obama Winning America V, #504A, 11-9-12

Obama Winning America VI, #505, 11-10-12

Obama Winning America VII, #506, 11-10-12

Obama Winning America VIII, #507, 11-11-12

Obama Winning America IX, #508, 11-12-12

Obama Winning America X, #509, 11-12-12

Obit, #108, 3-20-12

O Little Green Grasshopper, #386, 9-3-12

On, #27, 1-18-12

On Becoming A Belle For Liberty, #234, 6-8-12

On Becoming Aged And Furious, #184, 5-12-12

On Becoming Aware, #180, 5-9-12

On Becoming Aware I Can Still Calculate, #182, 5-11-12

On Becoming Aware I Have Less And Less Desire To Make Sense, #233, 6-8-12

On Becoming Aware I Really Am, #229, 6-7-12

On Becoming Aware Of Adventures Personal To Me [Part I], #205, 5-25-12

On Becoming Aware Of Adventures Personal To Me [Part II], #206, 5-25-12

On Becoming Aware Of All One Fight, The Whole Plan, #162, 4-28-12

On Becoming Aware Of A Slight But Delicate Pain, #163, 4-28-12

On Becoming Aware Of A Strong Desire To Commit Suicide, #177, 5-8-12

On Becoming Aware Of Awful Feelings, #193, 5-17-12

On Becoming Aware Of Awful Feelings II, #194, 5-18-12

On Becoming Aware Of Being In Flagrante Delicto, #178, 5-9-12

On Becoming Aware Of Being In Flagrante Delicto II, #179, 5-9-12

On Becoming Aware Of Chronic Dissatisfaction, #173, 5-6-12

On Becoming Aware Of Compression’s Joys, #186, 5-13-12

On Becoming Aware Of Crumbling Fury, #191, 5-16-12

On Becoming Aware Of Heart Pounding Substitutes, #176, 5-8-12

On Becoming Aware Of How Suzanne Sees My World, #192, 5-17-12

On Becoming Aware Of Impossibility, #187, 5-13-12

On Becoming Aware Of Liking Some Poems, #190, 5-15-12

On Becoming Aware Of May Day, #166, 5-1-12

On Becoming Aware Of My Particular Form I, #159, 4-26-12

On Becoming Aware Of My Particular Form II, #160, 4-26-12

On Becoming Aware Of My Particular Form III, #161, 4-27-12

On Becoming Aware Of Nancy Carter On May Day, #167, 5-2-12

On Becoming Aware Of Other Things To Observe, #164, 4-29-12

On Becoming Aware Of Possibilities And Impossibilities, #168, 5-3-12

On Becoming Aware Of Steps Closer To Death, #185, 5-13-12

On Becoming Aware Of Subtle Pleasures, #188, 5-14-12

On Becoming Aware Of Terror, #181, 5-10-12

On Becoming Aware Of The Dangers, #170, 5-5-12

On Becoming Aware Of The Function Of Poetry, #169, 5-4-12

On Becoming Aware Of The Heart Pounding Louder Than The Computer, #175, 5-8-12

On Becoming Aware Of The Noisy Stillness, #207, 5-26-12

On Becoming Aware Of The Sounds Of The House, #174, 5-7-12

On Becoming Aware Of The White Spot Growing, #200, 5-22-12

On Becoming Aware Of Thoughtless Peace, #208, 5-26-12

On Becoming Aware Of Vision Erased, #189, 5-15-12

On Becoming Aware Of Work Done, #203, 5-24-12

On Becoming Aware That I Feel Devastated, #202, 5-24-12

On Becoming Aware That I Felt Good Yesterday, #201, 5-23-12

On Becoming Aware That My Brain Has Stopped, #158, 4-25-12

On Becoming Aware That Prednisone Does Some Good, #195, 5-19-12

On Becoming Aware That Prednisone Does Some Good II, #196, 5-19-12

On Becoming Aware That Things Go Frenziedly Wrong, #197, 5-20-12

On Becoming Aware That Tomorrow Is May Day, #165, 4-30-12

On Becoming Aware That Yesterday Was A Glorious Walk, #198, 5-21-12

On Becoming Convinced I’ll Never Be Well Again, #183, 5-12-12

On Becoming Half Awake, #209, 5-27-12

On Becoming Lighter Than Air, #171, 5-5-12

On Becoming Lighter Than Air II, #172, 5-6-12

On Becoming The Stillness, #204, 5-24-12

On Beginning To Being, #228, 6-6-12

On Beginning To Consider, #227, 6-6-12

On Beginning To Look / Act Like, #226, 6-5-12

On Being, #138, 4-9-12

On Being Afraid To Live In This World, #140, 4-10-12

On Being A Further Meditation On Silence, #221, 6-2-12

On Being Alarmed By My Right Leg, #134, 4-5-12

On Being A Misjudger Of Distances, #136, 4-7-12

On Being Angry At The Molecules, #145, 4-15-12

On Being A Recognizable News-A-Holic, #149, 4-18-12

On Being At Sixes And Sevens, #223, 6-3-12

On Being Aware, #156, 4-24-12

On Being Aware I Can Stand Up For Myself, #152, 4-21-12

On Being Aware Of A Cosmic Shift, #218, 5-31-12

On Being Aware Of Having Been Made Piecemeal, #157, 4-25-12

On Being Aware Of Living, #216, 5-31-12

On Being Aware Of Miscalculations Of All Sorts, #154, 4-23-12

On Being Aware Of One More Morning Shouting Rage, #219, 6-1-12

On Being Aware Of One More Morning’s Sadness, #220, 6-1-12

On Being Aware Of The Fear, #225, 6-4-12

On Being Aware Of The People, #217, 5-31-12

On Being Aware Of Wasting The Day, #153, 4-22-12

On Being Aware Of What I Said/Thought, #155, 4-24-12

On Being Aware That The Chip Has Fallen From My Shoulder, #151, 4-20-12

On Being Aware The Fear Is Beginning To Disappear, #224, 6-3-12

On Being Aware Women Were Meant To Rule, #137, 4-8-12

On Being Beneath The Jungle, #130, 4-2-12

On Being Breakfasted, #131, 4-3-12

On Being Filthy Rich, #135, 4-6-12

On Being Informed Of The Beacon Food Forest, #222, 6-2-12

On Being Mystery Absorbed, #133, 4-4-12

On Being Nonplussed, #132, 4-4-12

On Being Open To The Flight Of The Candle Light, #211, 5-28-12

On Being Power Full IV, #144, 4-14-12

On Being Released From An Ability To Think, #214A, 5-29-12

On Being Released From A Pacific Northwest Winter, #212, 5-28-12

On Being Released From A Pacific Northwest Winter II, #213, 5-28-12

On Being Released From Thoughts, #214, 5-28-12

On Being Thought Full, #141, 4-11-12

On Being Thought Full II, #142, 4-12-12

On Being Thought Full III, #143, 4-13-12

On Being Tuckered Out By Too Many Possibilities, #147, 4-16-12

On Being Unable To Concentrate, #215, 5-30-12

On Coming Out Of Vikramaditya’s Class, #150, 4-19-12

One Day, #101, 3-15-12

One Piece Missing, #413, 9-17-12

On Imaging Every House In Seattle Painted Yellow, #139, 4-9-12

On Meeting With The Dermatologist, #148, 4-17-12

On/Off or Off/On, #26, 1-17-12

On Reading Reed’s 100th Anniversary, #129, 4-1-12

On Receiving Communications, #210, 5-28-12

On The Empore Of The Large Kuhn, #128, 4-1-12

On Trying To Remember My Many Alma Maters, #199, 5-21-12

On Understanding The Built In Negative, #146, 4-15-12

Or Ghosts, #424, 9-24-12

Or Ghosts II, #425, 9-24-12

Oughts, #1, 1-1-12

Ounce, #90, 3-7-12

Owns, #35, 1-23-12



Par-ing The Course, #37, 1-25-12

Perhaps, #435, 9-28-12

Petition, #25, 1-17-12

Phone Call, #87, 3-4-12

Playing The Puzzle, #33, 1-21-12

THE PLEIN JAN POEMS, #128--#159, 4-1-12 -- 4-26-12

Pluck The String, #401, 9-11-12

Poltergeists Or Ghosts, #423, 9-23-12

Pounce, #89, 3-6-12

Pre Car I, #66, 2-18-12

Precarious Eczema, #64, 2-17-12

Precarious Eczema II, #65, 2-17-12

Prediction, #18, 1-14-12



Rachel Maddow, #82, 3-1-12

Reader, #404, 9-13-12

Red, #52, 2-6-12

Repetition, #24, 1-17-12

Repetition or Learning Late In Life, #70, 2-21-12

Repetition or One More Thing, #71, 2-22-12

Repetition or What Gets Me About Life, #69, 2-21-12

Republicans, #387, 9-3-12

Republicans II, #388, 9-4-12

Rereading CC, #516, 11-18-12

Rereading CC II, #517, 11-19-12

Reviewing I, #529, 11-28-12

Reviewing II, #530, 11-29-12

Reviewing III, #531, 11-30-12

Reviewing IV, #532, 12-1-12

Reviewing V, #533, 12-2-12

Reviewing VI, #534, 12-3-12

Reviewing VII, #535, 12-3-12

Reviewing VIII, #536, 12-3-12

Riddled, #50, 2-5-12

RUMI TAUGHT ME . . ., #457--#500. 10-13-12 -- 11-6-12

Rumi XLV, #500, 11-6-12

Rumi Taught XLIV, #499, 11-6-12

Rumi Taught Me XLII, #497, 11-4-12

Rumi Taught Me XLIII, #498, 11-5-12

Rumi Taught Me Enough XXXIX, #494, 11-3-12

Rumi Taught Me Enough XL, #495, 11-3-12

Rumi Taught Me Enough XLI, #496, 11-3-12

Rumi Taught Me More XXXI, #486, 10-29-12

Rumi Taught Me More XXXII, #487, 10-29-12

Rumi Taught Me More XXXIII, #488, 10-29-12

Rumi Taught Me More XXXIV, #489, 10-30-12

Rumi Taught Me More XXXV, #490, 10-31-12

Rumi Taught Me More XXXVI, #491, 11-1-12

Rumi Taught Me More XXXVII, #492, 11-2-12

Rumi Taught Me More XXXVIII, #493, 11-2-12

Rumi Taught Me Much I, #457, 10-13-12

Rumi Taught Me Much II, #458, 10-13-12

Rumi Taught Me Much III, #459, 10-14-12

Rumi Taught Me Much IV, #460, 10-14-12

Rumi Taught Me Much V, #461, 10-14-12

Rumi Taught Me Much VI, #462, 10-14-12

Rumi Taught Me Much VII, #463, 10-15-12

Rumi Taught Me Much VIII, #464, 10-15-12

Rumi Taught Me Much IX, #465, 10-16-12

Rumi Taught Me Much X, #466, 10-17-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XI, #467, 10-17-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XII, #468, 10-18-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XIII, #469, 10-19-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XIV, #470, 10-19-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XV, #471, 10-19-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XVI, #472, 10-19-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XVII, #473, 10-20-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XVIII, #474, 10-20-12

Rumi Taught Me Much But Maybe Not Enough XIX, #475, 10-21-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XX, #475A, 10-22-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXI, #476, 10-22-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXII, #477, 10-22-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXIIA, #477A, 10-22-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXIII, #478, 10-22-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXIV, #479, 10-23-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXV, #480, 10-24-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXVI, #481, 10-24-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXVII, #482, 10-25-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXVIII, #483, 10-26-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXIX, #484, 10-27-12

Rumi Taught Me Much XXX, #485, 10-28-12



Sea Ears, #45, 2-2-12

Seasoning Fear, #44, 2-1-12

Semi Autistic, #512, 11-15-12

Semi Autistic II, #513, 11-15-12

Semi Autistic III, #513A, 11-16-12

Semi Autistic IV, #514, 11-17-12

Sky Ride, Parts I and II, #49, 2-4-12

Sleepy, Unable To Keep My Eyes Open, #441, 10-1-12

Slowly I’m Learning, #67, 2-19-12

Snow Is Falling Again, The, #21, 1-15-12

Soaked In Olive Oil, #395, 9-9-12

Someplace, Sometimes, #125, 3-30-12

So Sleepy, #511, 11-14-12

Speculations On The Weight Of Beauty, #260, 6-23-12

Spiders Are Moving In, The, #417, 9-19-12

Stressed, #409, 9-16-12

Suicide, #80, 2-29-12

Suicide II, #81, 3-1-12

Symbiosis, #432, 9-26-12



Tears [I], #41, 1-29-12

Tears [II], #421, 9-21-12

The Ansel Adams/Jackson Pollock #69, #442, 10-2-12

The Clowns, #34, 1-22-12

The Commercialization Of The World, #518, 11-19-12

The Course Of Years, #38, 1-26-12

The Day, #451, 10-9-12

The Discouragement Time Of Day, #453, 10-10-12

The Dow, #83, 3-1-12

The End Of Reason, #406, 9-14-12

The Ides Of February, #62, 2-15-12

The Itch, #428, 9-25-12

THE PLEIN JAN POEMS, #128--#159, 4-1-12 -- 4-26-12

The Snow Is Falling Again, #21, 1-15-12

The Spiders Are Moving In, #417, 9-19-12

The World I, #519, 11-20-12

The World II, #520, 11-21-12

The World III, #521, 11-21-12

The World IV, #522, 11-22-12

Things, #72, 2-23-12

Thinking, #416, 9-19-12

This And That, #390, 9-5-12

Three Thoughts, #399, 9-11-12

Time Of Day, #454, 10-11-12

Time Of Despair, #455, 10-12-12

Time Scale, #78, 2-28-12

Time Scale II, #79, 2-28-12

Today, #102, 3-16-12

Today’s Itch, #121, 3-26-12

Today’s Poem, #2, 1-2-12

Today They’re Doing The Parking Lot, #419, 9-21-12

Traveling, #403, 9-12-12

Traveling Here Traveling There, #402, 9-12-12

Tut Tut, #515, 11-18-12



Unknown, #394, 9-8-12

Unreasoning Fear, #43, 1-31-12

Unstressed, #410, 9-16-12

Upon Counting The Plein Jan “A More Perfect World” Poems, #269, 6-30-12

Uprising, #84, 3-2-12

Urning, #8, 1-7-12



Waking Up, #443, 10-2-12

Waking Up II, #444, 10-3-12

Waking Up III, #445, 10-3-12

Waking Up IV, #446, 10-4-12

Waking Up V, #447, 10-5-12

Waking Up VI, #448, 10-6-12

What A Concept, #438, 9-29-12

What Day Is This?, #103, 3-17-12

What Is That Grand, #437, 9-28-12

When Did We Arrive?, #411, 9-16-12

Which Causes Me To Ask, #230, 6-7-12

Who Am I?, #426, 9-24-12

Who Are You To Choose?, #452, 10-10-12

Who Is She?, #427, 9-24-12

Who Knew, #392, 9-7-12

Winding Down, #405, 9-13-12

Wine And Ire, #32, 1-20-12

Winter’s Obit, #109, 3-21-12

Wislawa Szymborska, #48, 2-3-12

World I, The, #519, 11-20-12

World II, The, #520, 11-21-12

World III, The, #521, 11-21-12

World IV, The, #522, 11-22-12

Writer’s Obit, #110, 3-22-12

Writer’s Obit II, #111, 3-22-12

Writer’s Obit III, #112, 3-23-12

Writer’s Obit IV, #113, 3-24-12

Writer’s Obit V, #113A, 3-24-12

Writer’s Obit VI, #114, 3-24-12

Writer’s Obit VII, #115, 3-25-12

Writer’s Obit VIII, #116, 3-25-12

Writer’s Obit IX, #117, 3-25-12

Writer’s Obit X, #118, 3-25-12

Writer’s Obit XI, #118A, 3-25-12

Writer’s Obit XII, #119, 3-25-12

Writer’s Obit XIII, #120, 3-26-12

Writing, #396, 9-9-12



Yearning, #9, 1-8-12

Yes, Mitt, #449, 10-7-12







[BACK COVER TEXTS]

[Book Summary]

ASCESIS contains the 574+ poems written during the 366 day year of 2012 at the rate of (at least) a poem a day -- at times, more.






[Author's Bio]

In 1933, I was born on the kitchen table of a daffodil farm near Marysville, Washington, and began, almost immediately, to dream of living everyplace in the world -- to write. After many years in academia: The Art Institute of Chicago, University of Washington, Reed College, Pennsylvania State University, Southwestern University School of Law, etc., I wandered America, Europe, China, India, wrote some plays, novels and, perhaps, 10,000 poems. My most interesting day job was 10 years as Director National Production Programs for the American Film Institute. Before and beyond ASCESIS, portions of my life and work are explored at janhaag.com.