Thursday, August 17, 2017


Who is this who claims to be you? Are you that rushing fire and ice? That knot in the back of your neck? Those loops and chains of inaction? What defines that mess and magic that is the organism, the body, the brain of you? It is the witness of the cacophony, beloved, that defines who you are. The watcher, the one who can detach and then direct is the one you look for. Don't be fooled or swept away by the fears that you will never have enough. That is a vestige, an ancestor. It is he who is bold, calm, direct, and soft but unyielding in strength who defines you. Listen to him, the one who listens. Be the one who watches before taking the wheel of the being they call you.


Clouds within clouds
the cat leaps into a lap as thunder
toads bleat like sheep
tarantulas dance a tango

A wave of green
breaks across the yard
rivers run chocolate
pools waterfalls flooded roads
creosote scented air

Through the window of a coffee shop
the urbanite
power out
fresh salad

Words peek
like gophers from hiding
so much life
so many mesquite beans

Time to eat
and mate
and leave a mark
gather while you can
so they will
know you were here

Not so hot
steamy streets
search and rescue helicopters
drop a line
hoping to hook a memory
clouds within clouds

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Terrible Quiet

The air has gone dead still, quiet, and oppressive. One storm has passed and another is building, but right here, things could not be more empty. This moment is the final gasp of my summer freedom from paid work. Starting tomorrow, it all starts again: the meetings, classes, grading, schedules. My little platform of calm is beginning to tip and will soon dump me into the hopper of full-on, semi-gainful employment. Not that I am not grateful for a way to pay off all my extravagances of summer or anything. I need to work if I want to play. But this last moment of calm is both wonderful and terrifying in its imminent crack of the whip, the call to evacuate my private dreamland.

Monday, August 14, 2017

601 and Anniversary

Yep, I have reached the lofty heights of 600 blog posts. If the sum total of them is an ocean, the amount of writing that I consider to be beautiful and true enough to be worthy of a reader would not fill an eye dropper. That's they way it goes with writing, for me, I guess. I write a lot to find the nugget of what I really want to say with the best words to say it. I don't know if this is the best use of my time, given all the duties wanting attention and energy, but it's what I do. Now the rest of this crazy life opens up in front of me, with today as a reminder of how quickly things can end. Fourteen years ago today, I was bitten by a rattlesnake in my front yard. I thought I bought the farm that time. But here I am, still upright, juggling words, waiting for alchemy and magic and a life lived in love. I'm taking that to the bank.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


He was an angry child of a man and tore through hearts like they were paper tape at a finish line. To quiet the harpies of his pain he looked for comfort where he could find it -- smokes, tequila, hot sex. He was headed for a cliff but he didn't care and hoped the end would come quick. But then she got pregnant and he met responsibility, a thug who carried a bat that he would use if the young man ran. The music was there, full-frontal, and he turned to face it. Shit. He reigned in his impulses and did what he had to do. Mentors were hard to find. He had to read and write his way into the calm that would make the hard work possible. He had to scrape up the remains of his broken life with a broken and rusty tool, and work them into something that might give instead of take. It was a gauntlet. This will take a long time he said to no one in particular as he turned to the overwhelming work ahead. One piece at a time.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


After three months of construction on the New Mexico place, it's hard to return to the world of letters and teaching that is my other life. Gold screws, tub saws, and belt sanders have been replaced by cursors and clicks. I find the digital directions of how to compose the new improved syllabi baffling and have trouble locating required materials on GoogleDocs. For some reason I am denied access, as if my time away has pissed off the machine in the same way it did my cat, Simone. But I have to crack the code out of necessity. Time to suck it up, chill, get my ass in gear, gird the cyber loins, and join my colleagues in the march toward foundational literacies. To do so, I may have to knock on some doors and speak with someone face-to-face. How irretrievably old school, clunky, and rusty I have become, tin man frozen mid chop.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Love in Late Mid-Life

It will come as a surprise that you still feel sixteen inside but that you look your late-life age on the outside. It will burn a bit to realize that what you hoped for will never be, that the world you imagined is just that, an illusion. The contrast between the way things should be and the way they are will sting sometimes, and the longing that wants expression will push at the edges of you, make you feel like you will pop from the pressure. It is love, dear one, just love doing its damnedest to infuse you with the will to continue. No, you cannot possess what you most desire, and you can never give enough to the beloved, for that is boundless and eternal. You can only find peace in losing yourself, even though that is not the way to survive in this world of form. You can transform your love into something beautiful and true, can craft affection out of loss. You do have the opportunity to persevere, old though you are, ugly though you have become. You have to let it go, that thrill of achievement, recognition, and consummation that you crave. Lust for what your soul does not really need does not die easily. You have to learn to keep the fires inside, to guard the secret of what you can't help but desire. Carry on for just a bit more, beloved, for you are almost done.