Friday, July 31, 2009

It's a lie that sets you free

I have been spinning a conversation through my head. It started a few days ago on a park bench near my house next to an abandoned lot where kittens play. I love to watch the kittens darting out between the tall blades of grass. No, I am not taking another one home. Sitting there on the bench next to me was a guy just reading the paper. He could have been any guy. I would have thought he was much older than me just by the way he carried himself but I'd find out later he was 43 the age I was a few days ago. I forgot for a moment never to mistake shy for aloof. Hell people think I am aloof.

So he started the conversation asking if I was going to take a kitten home. Do I spit out my secret shame about having four? Hell no. I was considering before he spoke though that I could equate three cats to one dog and still have room for one more cat in the house and how I'd be doing the community a favor by rescuing an animal nobody wanted and then a flash in my head of me sitting on the sofa with four cats sitting all around me, on my lap, above my head on the sofa all wanting to be loved and how it freaked me out a little when they are all in the same room. No. No more cats.

We sat there talking for awhile. He was degreed could speak on things that were out of the ordinary and I just had this feeling that somewhere at his house there were star wars characters in boxes still in the "original packaging." I lived with one of these guys for three years. We even made love like Babylon5 characters. Yes, I was in love.

So this stranger tries to provoke me into a conversation about politics, even an argument. The GOP is pissed off because they lost and I try to temper that with how pissed off I was when the war started and I kept thinking even now, when we can microwave things and send up satellites we haven't figured a way around war and killing. I didn't go to peace rallies I just seethed in fear.I wanted to put my arms around him and say "don't be afraid. we lived through FDR and Reagan, oh gods, Reagan." I didn't say a word I just kept my mouth closed. I don't watch CNN enough to speak carefully, all my musings would be from the gut and a little piece of me smiling knowing I canceled out his vote. Besides, I love Republicans. My best friend is a Republican, I've had Republican lovers. David loved Reagan so much that we'd have little dinner conversations about the ten best presidents and when he spit that name out it almost made me smile in the end. If they love me for being a bleeding heart liberal or despite it, that's fine with me. I voted for hope, sometimes hope wins and even succeeds.

Religion is really like politics. Nobody wants to hear your personal views on this. Nobody wants to know that God is a living being if you let him be. Nobody wants to know who you voted for, not really. Nobody wants to know that when you have cramps, chocolate works. Nobody.

His attempts to draw me into an argument weren't working, I was too full of joy. Best Friend will be here soon. I felt free of some weight I've been carrying, I had a book in my head and a secret I've been carrying too. So, the war, taxes and this angry soul were the last of my worries. Tomorrow when I came here I'd wear a tie dye dress and a big peace symbol I'd wear like a talisman, maybe even a guitar even though I don't play.

We just chat and he says the most curious thing to me. He said if he found a good republican girl at the bookstore he'd give her a "shot." I was almost shocked at the idea of how insulting that word is. A shot. Shot. I suppose it's the same as saying I'd open my heart to that, I'd look at that, we'd have dinner, make all cozy, and I'd kiss her because it would be Friday and people should kiss on fridays. No, a shot. (at this point I am missing every charming man I've ever known, even the ones with hooves.) Why do people think that unattainable love is all that great? Seriously, Romeo and Juliet was special but they both died. Being apart from it, or aloof is foolish and let me tell you why. Nobody wants to work that hard to get to know someone who hasn't figured out that the word shot is horridly offensive. And if you make someone work that hard and you aren't everything they imagined in their heart that you better be the disappointment will swallow you like Jonah. That is simply why I'd can't really promote even my art. One time I listed a book I made on ebay. The bids kept going insane, $100 then $200 and I though Oh Gods I better stop this now or they will be horribly disappointed. We are our own worst enemy.

After sitting next to this guy for an hour I can promise you that anyone getting the shot here would be him. After she climbed the wall with her Uzi, after she pulled the brambles of fear from her legs, blood filling her shoes she'd be too exhausted to do the gymnastics it would take to get his pants off. Wait, he admits to being a virgin at 43. This topic seems to come up often anymore and I wonder why but don't ask, I don't want to crush his head like a bug.

"Well he tells me, it's the safest sex, masturbation." (Am I really discussing the war and masturbation on a park bench?) As Suzy would say, Ayup. He tells me VD rates are skyrocketing and there must be a 43 year old woman out there who hasn't had sex and when he finds her he's moving out of his parents house and running away with her. I made a mental note to buy a lottery ticket on the walk home and one of those candy bars with marshmallow on the inside. I blanked out at some point and was listening to James Blunt singing in my head:

I'm not looking for us
And neither should you.
Absolutely gorgeous,
Then nothing I say is true.
You won't find yourself
In these guilty eyes

'Cause I love anybody who's
Fool enough to believe
And you're just one of many who
Broke their heart on me
And so I say I don't love you,
Though it kills me
It's a lie that sets you free.

Love, love, love
I can't take your
Love, love, love

And so I say I don't love you,
Though it kills me
It's a lie that sets you free.

I will wrap my body
In other women's arms.
Make love in a hurry,
Feel better than I am.
Hope you find yourself
In someone else's eyes

'Cause I love anybody who's
Fool enough to believe
And you're just one of many who
Broke their heart on me
And so I say I don't love you,
Though it kills me
It's a lie that sets you free.

I wanted to nudge him in his glasses from 1982 and tell him that he wouldn't want a woman who is a virgin at 43. It would take him 3 years to get her to say yes. I've been a little easy myself lately because I didn't want someone to have to ask me three times let alone three years. (Yes, it was worth the yes) I didn't the nerve to tell him that women who are virgins don't take off their clothes for you, you have to nudge them off and their panties won't match their bra, not ever ever ever, I promise. I wanted to tell him that for a girl who has kept it until the age of 43, who has fielded those petulant demands to her bedroom, her golden mound that you will have to swim farther, jump higher, and sing a song of true grace. He'd have to get rid of those glasses, shave his head, look mysterious and when she kisses you it better be the kiss of a lifetime. You better have lightning shooting out your ass when those hips are moving like a jackhammer. It better be better than horseback riding and eat chocolate at the same time. I have been off sugar and when I ate a piece of my birthday cake it was SPECTACULAR. As it should be.

I have an Aunt Linda. Lovely woman. She waited her whole life to find love. At the age of 48 she meets a man, a curly haired fellow and marries him. Three months later he died of a massive heart attack. I was heart broken for her. As we approached his green, almost milk green casket that amazed me a little my father leaned in as we were praying and said, "let this be a lesson to you kids, he died of stored up pussy power." Two very different perspectives to the situation.

So if this guy's lie was about VD and taxes and that his parents "need him" there why would I care? I kept thinking that Richie once thought I needed him here and now he's sure he's intrusive. I am not sitting around pining for the next time I can make baby richie pancakes sure this motherhood thing is the be all end all. I've done this for 22 years, 22 years of darning things, coaching him along, showing up for football games and protecting him from the other side of parental heartbreak, explaining carefully that "daddy didn't mean to not show up, but you can come along with Auntie and I and we'll have fun, I promise." He knew being here put me out. Perfect. It should be that way. We are supposed to move away from our parents, have our heart broken, wish "he'd" call, love without fear, stand on the edge, let someone else run the day, trust a lie, hold your hand out ever so nervously and hope the other person has a stronger foothold, sing too loud, mail a valentine.

I went to dinner with Richie and his girlfriend Chrissy the other night and in the middle of dinner I reminded them that when they first met they used to wrestle all the time and how I'd watch knowing one day this will go bad. Well they were wrestling on the lawn one night and chrissy hit him in the sack with her keys. He comes hobbling in full of drama and she kinda giggles saying she didn't think it would hurt that much. He calls her a fucking dumbass and she runs out of the house speeding out of the driveway crying huge tears. He stands out on the front lawn until she drives around again and two hours later their hair was all messed up and their clothes a little "off." Lesson learned. Don't wrestle with a bully and if you do expect to lose. Keys and sacks don't work well together. Loads of lessons learned here. When they figure out absence makes the heart grow fonder I will celebrate with cake.

I wondered what I would teach this guy, this guy on the park bench who is sure I am insane. And then it hit me. I am done teaching anyone a lesson. I was here to learn. Open your eyes Carrie, I said to myself, pay attention here someone is talking to you and this is big stuff. I was reminded about why recently even embroiled in romantic drama I put it out there a little. Why I left the window open, why I take risks. I had some wonder in my head and even now as I am typing this I am thinking about him a little, letting him dance around the edges of my mind even looking for the key to my heart. He's off super heroing I thought and he'd be a little delighted by this, maybe even laughing, flying over head thinking "Jesus she is nuts." I hope he's having such fun.

God was here sitting on my shoulder, you see he was missing me and worrying about me. He was sitting near, watching wondering why he has to scream to me to get me to listen. Smooth Sailing. I wanted the God of all that is loving and patient and teaching to stand up so I could see him and put my arms around him and put my face in his gown and stand on his sandals and say thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me strength when I don't have any. Thanks for making the moon bright so I can sleep without the light off, thanks for making Richie joyful this visit, thanks for teaching me to live with my scar, scars. I could hear God's voice in the day and this guy on this park bench could be me, untouchable, so far removed from love and life and very very safe. I bet he doesn't have a scar on his whole freaking body. I bet he has never ridden his bike down the hill where I broke 3 ribs. I bet he has never cried in an airport, I bet he has never let someone push them so high on the swings that you were sure, absolutely sure you couldn't hang on and come crashing to the ground trying to figure out the three numbers you'd have to dial to get an ambulance there.

When I leave God will talk to him in kitten whispers in the tall grass. His parents are alive and he can go sit with them today I would have to call my father down from the skies. His parents are worried about him, you know they are like I worry about Richie when he's raging or lost, when he's supposed to get the car serviced and he won't, when he studies at the very last minute. My parents aren't worried about me at all. If I am sure of anything right now, its that they have no worries in my concern. The world loves me and I love them back without reservation. I will put my arms around suzy soon and I will whisper to her that I love her. I will leave the window open, trust my gut, brush myself off and get on with it over and over and over again. I like the whirling around too much to give it up.

I told Suzy recently, I am going to find some adventure. I am such a bad influence I thought. She'd follow along because we do that for each other. Even now in secret moments I plan my escape from here so we can move to be near her, watch her fix the government while I create. I even threw suzy a net, reminded her that hunting for adventure is fun. I kept worrying she'd get hurt, that I was always her bad influence and here I was risking again and I shouldn't encourage her to. Then, this morning she texts me (I really want Denny's Pancakes) I will worry when she texts me that she's feeling a little pang of heart ache, I am always the fun influence in her life and to be reminded fills me with joy. For a moment I was back years ago in bed with the guy so forgettable and she was trudging up the stairs to my room with a box of donuts telling him "it's time to go, we are going antique shopping. Have a donut on your way out the coffee is downstairs." If he only knew that antiques creep her out because they are full of ghosts. "why is she like that?" the boys always ask. My answer: "she has a sickness in her head, thank god eh?" We'd sit in a bookstore later, sharing little bits of this and that like we were gold mining. She'd finish a whole book in an hour and I'd walk out with a Bukowski book, one of a 100. She'd say "It's almost over this thing with the guy with a pony tail." "Why?" I'd ask. "Well he has a pony tail and he drinks too much coffee." Gods she was right and yes it was over. A guy who owns a car that never runs and $5,000 in sex toys is not the guy who is going to kill spiders and open bottles. She was being kind. I appreciate that of her nobody is kinder to me. Nobody.

I was headed back home and I could see God standing in the middle of the street by the house I wonder about, the green house with the broken windows and the giant splashes of orange lilies overgrown everywhere. I remember the day they took the old man out of that house on a stretcher on his way to a nursing home. Funny, I was sure the house had been abandoned weeks ago and he lived in there dark and alone and it made me angry with myself that I didn't check. God was just watching me walk home and I turned to nod to let him know it was all ok. I would be fine, no risk, no reward. I'd pray a little later in the night or early in the morning and yes I'd remember to do something nice for someone today because I am a child of God and I do love the tender mercies when they float this way. We can all be God, we all are. I can feed or kill someone tomorrow and in their life I am God for that moment. He smiled large and went over to sit on the park bench next to the guy with the paper. Let's hope he has his listening ears turned up. Maybe he'll be there next week with different glasses, his shirt messed a little and looking in the paper for his own apartment. Maybe.

I will wrap my body
In other women's arms.
Make love in a hurry,
Feel better than I am.
Hope you find yourself
In someone else's eyes

'Cause I love anybody who's
Fool enough to believe
And you're just one of many who
Broke their heart on me
And so I say I don't love you,
Though it kills me
It's a lie that sets you free.

Love, love, love
I can't take your
Love, love, love

And so I say I don't love you

'Cause I love anybody who's
Fool enough to believe (Love,
Love, love)
And you're just one of many
Who broke their heart on me
(Love, love, love)
And so I say I don't love
You, (Love, love, love)
Though it kills me
'Cause it's a lie
- James Blunt

If you haven't given someone your number hoping they'll call out of the blue, I suggest it. If you don't have a cat, shame on you. If I go get one of those kittens later I am naming it fluffy after the almost dead cat. If you think God isn't around all the time, know he's as close as your next thought. If you are worried about having a broken heart, then you'll never have one full of love. If you haven't heard James Blunt sing when you do your heart will be all a flutter. Text someone today and tell them you love them, that you miss them. They're waiting to hear it. Paint something in a few spare moments, put it out there in the world. "Cause I love anybody who is fool enough to believe and you're just one of many who broke their heart on me and so I don't love though it kills me. It's a lie that sets you free."


You can always find me at and my work at

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ipod Adventures


Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night
and wouldn't you love to love her?
she rules her life like a bird in flight
and who will be her lover?
All your life you've never seen a woman
taken by the sky
where would you stay if she promised to you heaven
would you even try?

And he says Rhiannon don't go
and he says Rhiannon, stay
and he says I still cry out for you
don't leave me don't leave me

she is like a cat in the dark
and baby she is your darkness
she rules her life like a fine skylark
and when the sky is starless

once in a million years
a lady like her rises oh no RHiannon
you cry and she's gone
and your life knows no answer
your life knows no answer

So I often ask people, what's on your Ipod, just random wonderings. I love my little white machine and when people worry about what someone would find in their house if they were hit by a bus, I think I'd be judged best by what is on my Ipod. I made a little deal with myself, when I sell an extender chain in the shop I am putting $10 of music on my machine. You can load books on these things, audio books and it's like someone reading to you at night. Oh Gods I love when someone reads to me at night. Only a few more days and Suzy will be here and she'll read to me.

So the texts start this morning:

me: You ever listen to Chris Cornell?
bf: Who the hell is that?
me: Great voice youd like him
bf: where did you hear him? Vh1?
me: Stuart recommended him
bf: for the music or lyrics
me: both
bf: Are you singing along?
me: yup
bf: there ya go
me: I am grumpy tell me the first three songs you'd put on an ipod
bf: wha? (Ok I am thinking she's trying to do the deaf thing in text messages)
me: ignore
bf: One more time? three what?
me: Three songs you would put on an ipod
bf: Well let's see how about the drops of jupiter from train, Crash by Dave Matthews, tribute to Tommy John and his thousands of hours of fun and Levon by EJ because when I couldn't find you today I was singing that to myself
bf: what first three did you load?
me: elton, all ej
bf: what's the last three
me: eagles; most are sad, the carpenters; rainy days and mondays, Rhiannon
bf: isn't that the chick who got beat up?
me: you need some sugar

and that's how it started. I could have lost the afternoon in music and almost did. I asked my brother what he listened to: Frank sinatra, Grateful dead and the stones. Of course the stones. Then Michael: Rider on the wind; the doors, American Highway, ventura, Woodstock; Joni Mitchell. Can't ask Batman, he's rescuing a damsel. The bossy republican of course picks Bob Dylan (what a fake ass democrat answer), the boxer by Paul Simon and anything by the Stones. Men love the stones. Jagger is a guy's guy. Richie would pick Usher (I like usher also), John Paul (gagging) and thriller by MJ. I love listening him to jam to MJ and hear him dancing up on the third floor.

If you found my ipod you'd find Elton of course, some James Blunt (gosh he makes me sadly soul full, Joni Mitchell, Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Nicks, Pachabell; the Cannon in D Minor, and Adelle chasing sidewalks. On quiet nights you'd find a little Willie Nelson and when I am full of power a little You Ought to Know. I listen to the same songs over and over again until they are good friends. I am intrigued with the theme from August Rush, the screaming violins, the triangle and a little moon dance hidden in there.

If you haven't tried the Ipod craze yet, I recommend it. Music soothes the pacing caged tiger in all of us.

You can find my me any time at and my work at Carrie.

Tender Mercies

I have been missing my father lately. What to tell you about my father? He was larger than life, not particularly tall, strikingly handsome though and full of personality. When you wished he'd tone it down that's when he turned it up. I woke up this morning and my throat was aching and I thought about my father. When we were children my father took care of us when we were sick. When I was 11 or so we took a summer trip to Missouri to visit family. Notice I didn't use the word vacation because nothing in Missouri ever felt like vacation. We caught frogs, went to Nascar like things and my cousins shot turtles off logs. My brother was sickly when he was little but I seldom got sick. I had broken bones mind you because I was out of balance and careless then but never really sick. So on the way home from MO in the back of the pick up truck with the cap on the top, sitting on lawn chairs that tilted to the side when my father would turn (yes, this was not a vacation) I was ill. My father took me directly to the hospital and I had tonsilitis.

For my mother to take time away from work was difficult as she ran the show and when my father took time off it was usually to work another job so we would have money put away for a vacation or a new car or something of that sort because my father didn't believe in running up credit. He made me paranoid about it also as I never have a running credit balance. As kids we had a Sears card that my mother would pull out if the washer broke or we needed new school jackets.

So my father elected to stay home and take care of me. This was so rare my brother was sure we were doing something secret and I wasn't sick at all. I can't help but smile thinking my brother will call me every day now just so we can laugh together for a few minutes. Soon he's going to be a father. Well, he's not bringing a child into the world. He and the pretty younger girlfriend are adopting an English Bull Dog named Mr. Smoochums (can you imagine what they will name a child?). You have no idea the preparation that has gone into bring this puppy home. I didn't prepare like this when we carted Richie home from the hospital. My brother who never emails me emailed me photos of the puppy, like someone sends out ultrasound photos. The first day this dog chews up an expensive pair of their shoes, the first time it craps in his arms while he's carrying it down the 5,000 stairs to their place it won't all be so cute.

In the rare moments I think of my father tenderly it was during the week I had tonsilitis. He was so excited to be home just doing little things around the house without my mother being there to nag him. He reveled in cooking family dinners, huge elaborate dinners to make my mother giggle, amazed that he attended to the little details. He'd bring me mashed potatoes and ice cream and we'd watch Bozo in the afternoon on the little black and white TV on the end of my bed. We played checkers and he told me things, life things he felt important for me to know. You are wondering now what those life things are. Well Charlie always had a wisdom about him that ran in two directions. In one direction, complete insanity the other such common sense that you can't believe he found the insight. It was even hard to put the thought process together, wonder of the experience to know how he'd arrive to the life conclusions let alone to share them with others. Charlieisms:

Never take a greyhound bus anywhere. People who ride on a greyhound bus either have lice or don't mind having it.
Always wear a hat. Ok, this didn't work for me because my head is too large for hats and I have never found one hat I looked good in.
The trick to good health was keeping your feet dry.
Men who work hard are never drunk. He didn't mention women, I assume he thought they should never be drunk.
People of color didn't really know how to swim. His proof of this? Ever see a really good olympic swimmer of color?
Men in the Marine corp are better men and they have brothers all over the world.
Children should never be heard past 5pm and he's home whatever he wants to watch on the tv is what we are watching even if that means the mating practices of any african animal on marlon perkins
Planet of the apes could really happen
You can always superglue a cut if you dont have bandaids

So he'd glide in, tool belt on, a pencil tucked behind his ear held by this giant flush of dark hair. He'd kiss me on top of my head and he was off again. He'd float by after my nap, feel my forehead and just my luck at 3pm all that week on wls, the planet of the apes movies. He'd make Stan come in and watch too but sit across the room in the big french chair my grandmother sat in while she watched Sox games in the afternoon. The three of us "holding down the fort" until my mother came home. This week he'd fix the dishwasher that she used to store pots for a year. He worked in the garden, worked on the pool filter and looked through the yard for snakes so my mother could hang sheets on the line without screaming like a maniac but mostly he was my guardian and my caretaker.

At the end of the week on Sunday morning while my mother was at church with my brother he'd come in my room, sit at the little electric organ and play swing low sweet chariot and sing loud, waking me. "hey your tonsils saved us from a morning of church wanna watch wrestling with me?" We cooked breakfast, I felt better, the fog of sickness lifting and tomorrow morning he'd be back saving the world. He ate the world. Richie hardly remembers him and he's like my father, a bull in a china shop. He's not as brilliant as my father but he's more tender when you aren't sick. I remember being fresh from heart surgery home,home finally. I told Richie I needed some chicken broth hot in a cup and he said "I'll have to check the salt content on that." I kept thinking how horribly had I screwed up that Richie was in charge and we had to think of the salt content of anything.Soon he will be back at school and my house will be mine again. When I floated through the house yesterday there were two tvs on, the stereo running on the counter and I ached for quiet.

take your head around the world
see what you get
from your mind
write your soul down word for word
see who's your friend
who is kind
well it's almost like a disease
and I know soon you will be

over the lies
you'll be strong
you'll be rich in love
and you will carry on
no no no, oh no
no you won't be mine

take your straight line for a curve
make it stretch
the same old line
then try to find if it was worth
what you spent
why you're guilty for the way you're feeling now
it's almost like being free
I know soon you will be

over the lies
you'll be strong
you'll be rich in love
and you will carry on
no no no, oh no
no you won't be mine - Rob Thomas

My father would like that I was writing about him this morning, this hazy lazy summer morning. We've had a rainy cool summer and those are the summers I like the best. Today I am making a bracelet for suzy's visit, something she will love with not too many beads. I am going to wander to the farmers market and find the perfect melon and some very ripe tomatoes to practice something wonderful to cook for her. I'll work all day because that's what I do and I think tonight I will watch the hulk. I could use a little mindless entertainment. If my father were still alive I'd make him lunch and take the kid over to see him, he always liked that best. We'd talk of life and I'd put my head on his shoulder and wait to hear him say, "this shit passes." Bukowski would say life is a "river of shit." word.

You can always find me at and my work at


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Red Red Wine

This morning I woke with the taste of red wine still on my lips
my head ached and my throat was dry, the throat thing again
I went out last night and when I smelled the fruit
so sweet and so dark, blood red grown with love, blended and then waiting
waiting to make your head dizzy and fill you with romantic notions
I had to have it flowing down my throat past the worries
past my bruised heart; down to my belly
I had to have another glass and another.

You see if you open the jewelry box there's the little ballerina
she's in a tutu and she's smiling (aren't they all?) and
she has perfect balance no worries
The truth though? That ballerina is dangling on a ledge
she's dancing to distract you
so you won't notice her screaming
and one day you will open the lid and expect to find her there
and she will being flying past the 25th floor

Someone careless will have opened the box
Someone will have handed her a bottle of red wine
and she will drink it from a plastic fish cup
knowing that if he has enough red wine and she's a little too honest
the emotional part will well to the surface and the glass may crash into the wall
someone will step on the shards,
bleed all over and she will be cleaning up the mess later.

But not tonight. Tonight I stopped
well I stopped when I couldn't get the other bottle open
try pulling out a cork from a bottle of red when you are sober
and then try it when you are sure you aren't.
I looked at the photo again and wondered
what keeps him and why
could the obligations of the world be more important
than showing up here now and opening this bottle of wine
and then stopping me after one more glass?

I have been dancing on a ledge for so long
I don't even know fear
When the worse thing that can happen is the thing that you crave
when you are too afraid to pull the trigger
when you are half way through the day and know
it will end like the day before

When you can't get the bottle open
you do without
When the spider is crawling up the wall
you learn how to kill it
When you have to get the piano upstairs
you hire someone to move it, a stranger
When you are worried you are lost
you drop bread crumbs enough for the birds to eat
and enough to find your way home
When you are tired and confused
you thank God you have a Best Friend who wakes up easily
she won't have an excuse
When they say, bring someone with you
you'll shrug it off and smile
Your boyfriend is off somewhere
he's at band camp

"Drink another bottle of wine tomorrow sweets."
She will say and it's easier than sitting across from a priest
and she'll forgive you anything
but tonight I called her to tell her a secret
you see when I was soaked in wine
feeling weepy a little and fragile even
when I was thinking of going outside
and breaking the top off the bottle on the edge of the fence
and down below the perfect casket sized hole dug
there for a flower bed and just sitting empty waiting
there was a shadow that followed me into the house

It wasn't a bird
or my child
or the thief in the night
it wasn't a cat on kitten feet
and it wasn't something I was sure I made up in my head

Batman showed up.
The caped crusader
not the one in the purple tights
the mysterious one
I know, I know wine can play tricks with your head
stir in a little lonely
fold in apprehension and you can make up most anything
this is a worry, not a passing concern
He didn't open the bottle
no spiders around
instead he made laugh and put me at ease
and told me stories turned that cape into a magic carpet
and we rode
we rode like Kerouac and in all the excitement
Somewhere Hunter Thompson was smiling laughing even
throwing his arm in the air, shooting at stop signs
I forgot to be afraid (I'll blame the wine)
and I drank his laughter instead of wine
and finally I felt tired
I could hear him say "you'll be just fine, go to sleep."

Well not yet.
"Hey wake up," I told her.
"You ok?"
"Yes, I am just fine." We laughed and I fell asleep.
Red Red wine, a river of it in my belly
and a life raft in my heart
It's mid day and Mr. Oh So Buzy will stop by
we'll kiss he won't ask me anything I'd like him to ask
He doesn't want to clean up the mess and I am too busy
planning my escape
past the 20th floor
One day he will open the music box
and dancing there will be a girl with darker hair
and her smile will be a little different
a stone sober hoping ballerina
he'll cut out her heart
and throw it in a brief case
off to a meeting of the 'I can't believe we have to discuss this.'
This is so far removed from my life
as I fly past the 14th floor I will raise the bottle of wine
a dead soldier of sorts over my head
and find that last drop
and let it slide down my throat
past the worries
into my belly, a river of hope

This is the part where I encourage you to read some Hunter S. thompson as he was a genius and let's not forget Jack. Jack wrote poetry and ate life, shouldn't we all?

Enjoy the day. You can always find me at or my work at


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Road Trip!

I was in the yard this morning looking for the long green squash to make some bread. One of the joys of having Richie home is cooking for him and having him cook for me. He's quite the little chef these days, learning as he lives on his own at school. I love to cook and make cozy and since he was little he was always so grateful, marveling what women do as magic.

A bee buzzed past my ear and I almost lost my balance. Those that love me know I have almost no balance and fall all the time and I stopped for a moment to glare at the little rock I slipped on a few days ago and banged my hip so hard it's still sore even though the bruise is gone, a little reminder to 'be more careful.' I could hear my father calling me 'Crash'.

This bee buzzed down my ear, down my throat to my bruised heart and just sat there buzzing. He sneaks in this little bee when no one is looking and then flies somewhere else cause flying is what he does. He sits there and thanking god I can speak and understand buzz talk we share our lives. He tells me about adventure and living life as though it would be over tomorrow and life is like that isn't it? In a flash, in a moment we are worm food or we own the world. The middle part is what sucks, the rotting waiting for the promotion, for love, for happier times, for worry and wonder, for anything good. I'll see Paris soon only a few more weeks, next month will be the start of my busy season and then I'll feel less restless. Summer is the time of wonder and when wonder doesn't show up you start to question your whole world.

So back to this bee buzzing away his stinger taking things I love about me and chewing on it a little making honey, the honey that will make sticky candy later if we are very careful and if we are careless at the same time. This little bee likes adventure more than I do. Can you imagine? It's like finding a child who likes candy more than I do and nobody likes candy more than I do. This bee is singing his song and today he was singing Daniel...Daniel is traveling thursday on a plane. I can see the red taillights traveling to spaaaain. I can see Daniel waving goodbye, Lord it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes. They say spain's pretty though I've never been daniel says it's the best place he's ever seen.

Meanwhile my heart is singing make the world go away, the version by Hank Cochran..Do you remember when you loved me? before the world took me astray? If you do, then forgive me and make the world, make it go away. Make the world go away get it off my shoulder, say the things you used to say and make the world go away. My father used to sing this song when my mother was angry with him, when he'd been out drinking.."i'm sorry if I hurt I'll make it up day by day just say you love me like you used to and make the world go away." I have been missing my father lately, mostly missing the magic he had when he had the world angry with him and with one look, one smile, one kiss on the cheek, the anger would melt away and all you wanted was to see him smile like that for awhile.

In all our singing we were exhausted this little bee and I and I sat on my favorite chair on the deck to look at the green oh so green from the rain the night before. The gentle rain comforted me while I drifted off last night and my last thought was writing this morning. He said write when you want, whenever you want this little bee when he was buzzing at my window last night. He wants me to step on a land mine I thought, and that was my last thought. I woke this morning pointing out the scars in the sun out the window in my sanctuary, all the scars from land mines when I was young and fearless. Now I am a day older, a year older, no longer a daughter, hardly a mother, not a wife, an where was the boyfriend today? Oh yes, golfing, meetings and obligations that had so little to do with me. "I held on to let you go and if you lost your love for me, well you never let it show." I was singing when I woke up, humming a little throwing a few words in here and there. I could hear best friend saying "I will listen for a few words that I recognize so I can figure out what the hell you are singing," shaking her head laughing. "and that he missed me sometimes when he's alone in his room, do I feel lonely too? You have no right to ask me how I feel, you have no right to speak to me so kind. We can't go on holding on to ties, so for now we'll go on living separate lives." If you haven't heard this song, throw it up on the ipod. Phil collins and the woman's voice I can't place will make your heart ache a little. "Well I held on to let you go and if you lost your love me, you never let it show. There was no way to compromise (how do you compromise the aching in a heart?) so now we live in separate lives. Ooo, it's so typical love leads to isolation. so you build that wall, yes you build that wall, and you make it stronger. You have no right to ask me how I feel. You have no right to speak to me so kind. Some day I might, I just might find myself looking in your eyes. But for now we'll go on living separate lives."

Life was waiting, toe tapping me.

I wanted to linger a little longer with the bee buzz, buzz buzzing. I needed to get the car serviced something I'm horrible with, the details that kill me. I dislike driving so much. There are days when I feel free in the car, feel free to be fast and dangerous but for the most part it's about being careful, watching, moving without fear all things I hate not dislike, hate. You see there in my garden the bee was on his way. He was coming to fetch me and he has maps and charts and we were leaving. The bee good at the details and I am good at fun. I was busy making cozy, packing a pic nic you could eat in the car. I'd made banana bread, asparagus wrapped in rare roast beef, little melon balls in the shapes of stars and flowers. I made tiny sandwiches with the most wondrous delicacies each wrapped in wax paper two at a time, one for me and one to share. Nothing ordinary as this is not an ordinary bee, not easy to impress and I ached for some smiling bee time. I packed them carefully in a cooler with honey drinks for me and my buzzing bee friend. I have packed endless pic nics like this for the Best Friend and I on hundreds of road trips and I stopped giggling for a moment as she always makes me giggle thinking of the road trip home, home to see her dad for the last time at Christmas. He was waiting there up for us late late into the night while we trudged through more snow than I can remember, eating an entire box of the little mini fannie mae chocolates. You could tell the pieces she'd eaten as there would be one bite missing and then throw back in the box.I remember being afraid to look at the weight marking on the side of the box.

After our pic nic was packed, a pic nic for lovers and bees and wandering women who mused of poetry and cool tea blended with the black tea from the African jungle I started on the fun part. I packed traveling clothes, things with pockets, sun dresses that wouldn't wrinkle some that would look sexy when they did. I'd pack a hat, a big floppy brimmed hat for sitting next to the place he'd climb. I packed a swim suit for a pool, not a lake, a pool with lights for swimming at night. And finally I'd pack the little dress I kept hidden from any eyes the one I imagined I'd wear to a wonderful dinner eating canjun rice with saffron, sitting in the corner, whispering wanting to tell the waiter to throw everything in one of those horrid styro boxes and finish it in bed.

I'd pack a backgammon board, knowing he'd win and not caring one bit. I'd pack old movies adventure movies like Out of Africa so late into the night we could pretend to be Dennys Finchutton and Isek Dennison on the farm alone at night surrounded by her books, drinking very red wine smelling of the african sun.

I'd pack two box kites for box kite fighting in an open field on the side of the road, traffic slowing to watch us. I'd pack my own mo jo necklace I'd made weeks before hoping to trade with some native New Orleanan who we be fascinated with my handiwork. I'd pack beads because I always have beads with me. I'd not forget the music, some books; one of short stories and another of poetry, an empty paged book to write notes; one of those books that looks a little mysterious and wraps with a leather cord. I'd pack watercolors and little things pieces of this and that to paint on and a book of the impressionists so we could match their paintings with the gardens of the south as we both love to plant. Of course we both love to plant. Later we'd talk of a water garden filled with monet's lilies and koi fish afterward finding one of those long lingering New Orleans light poles where he'd kiss me like I was 17 again and this was the first and last kiss I'd ever think about the pink lipstick on his neck, later.

When I heard the buzz and looked up there he was and when he saw these things piled in the drive way with no end he'd just shake his head and say "I thought you were packing light." That was for the trip to pluto, this was for a trip to New Orleans where the weeping willows would be ever so green and my heart ever so red. The blue was fading, yes we were back to red again. The cooler and quilt in the back seat with a few pillows for cloud pondering, everything else in the trunk and tucked under my arm a book of poetry I think Yeats, yeats had a heart full of summer, faeries and mystics along with some spatterings of wisdom and love.

When you are driving you have to look straight ahead and this would be the perfect opportunity for me to wear my dark dark movie star sunglasses and just peek out of the corners getting in some long lingering looks at his jaw line and his shoulders and his hands the hand he'd hold on my knee waiting for an answer, a secret. I wondered how he got the blood stains off. And with that we were off. We'd take a little detour through Indiana to Mt. Baldy. It was one of my surprises of the trip like the little thin square of dark chocolate I'd press to his tongue one night when we were kissing in a hotel room that must have seen a million lovers, a million kisses, moans that could fill a dark room.

I hadn't been to Mt. Baldy since Richie was little. Suzy, David (the oh too young lover who looked at me as though I had fallen from the sky), Richie and myself went for a winter day adventure. We drove to Indiana about an hour away and found this place. You had to drive down a canyon of sorts down a twisting road. At the end was a hill very high. I would sway a thousand feet tall, Suzy would remember it as about 300 feet. It was all sand a giant pile of sand that she talked me into climbing, cajoling me, one step up, would slide two back and was petrified the entire time begging her to end this trip and head home. At the top, an hour later an hour of me complaining and whining there was lake Michigan. It was something out of a sci fi movie, the lake water lapping on the shore carrying huge chunks of ice that would bang each other like a giant never ending car accident.

I wouldn't stand up, no way no how.I was sure a wind off the lake would take me, whooshing away and throw me down the mountain and perhaps not kill me but make me brain dead, a vegetable, like a carrot. I watched the three run over the ice chunks along the beach and point and laugh at me terrified starting to inch my way back down the sand dune.

Today I had other plans. Today I'd walk to the water, today I'd not complain, today I felt fearless and today Mr. Bee was driving all would be good with the world. We'd find a shaky bridge, we drive through the rain, we'd kiss without fear, throwing our cell phones into the lake. Today the world was full of possibilities and fear well i forgot to pack fear.

Enjoy the day! gas up the car! Don't pack light. Bring everything, write a poem, tell someone you love them because you do and leave room in your heart for more love because today may be as good as it gets. If the bee shows up, open your mouth wide. Let him guide you to thoughts of nothing ordinary. Listen to his buzz and know that when he's gone you will miss him terribly.

You can find me at and my work as always at


Saturday, July 25, 2009


I read somewhere that when you think there is no love in the world you should go to the airport. Love is all around us every day, we step over it, we misplace it, we even take it for granted but at the airport it's difficult to do that. Airports are places we say good bye and then places where we are reunited with people we've missed (and isn't seeing someone you've missed oh so sweet?). I can remember sobbing unconsolable in an airport long before Richie was born in LA knowing I'd never see the blond skiing lover again only to run into him years later in San Francisco wishing I hadn't. And I found myself at the airport, a kind of an airport, people coming and going, looking, moving on and finding adventure. For the past few weeks I have been struggling, kicking back the blues trying to figure out what is missing, I was negotiating a deal in my head sure that if I struck the right balance I could satisfy something broken in me and not risk the space of comfort I had established. I was a hunter, Artemis, again.

I will tell you that I can't remember the first thing he said to me to get my attention. I can tell you that the ease with which he shared himself was alarming. As a woman I tend to be more comfortable around men that are nervous or fidgeting or wary of me. I think the really brave women seek out those that are comfortable with themselves because they aren't going to be injured with a jab when we feel defensive, even the subtle jabs. He carried a log book so I surmised he was a traveling salesman or a pilot. He was a pilot and I was certain someone who had been in the service or was. They never lose the haircut. My father was a marine until the day he died. I remember as a child finding his uniform and putting it on, thinking I'd wear it for halloween only to be scolded and reminded that I hadn't earned the right to wear that uniform and that if I touched it again I would be very sorry I had.

Surrounded by people, by noise, by the comings and goings of life; he told me about flying. "aren't you ever afraid?" I asked. Driving a car was difficult for me, so flying seemed impossible. Best Friend is very nervous about flying, I love it. I didn't really give a thought until now how it had worked, only knew there would be adventure at the other side, a land unexplored, someone or something waiting for me, toe tapping. "The white clouds are exciting, it's the dark clouds that will break your plane." They wouldn't wreck your plane I thought later, just break you. You can fix a break, you can't fix a wreck and he was certain there was no situation he couldn't fix, you can break a leg you can't wreck a leg. Dark clouds are like dark men, they too will break you.

Behind every set of eyes there is a story. These days my story was sitting too close to the surface and if you poked hard enough a delluge of tears would show up, not out of sadness I haven't had a day of sadness in a very long time. The tears would be frustration, anxiousness and uncertainty. These weren't issues someone could help you through, merely distract you from. When he told me of the colors of the sun, the strips of light and the colors, I wanted to see them, give him another set of eyes so they could transmit the images back and let them sit in my head, to hold the beauty without the risk, impossible. And behind his tender eyes, that story just sitting there a puzzle piece wedged in around others that may fit, but if you closely maybe not. Sitting alone here? he wondered. What's the story? I'd quote the asking part but I can't remember he just knew like someone knows if it's raining. You can't tell someone you are dying just a little. "it's a secret."

We talked of our mothers, missing them. For a moment I imagined my mother arranging this, having tea with his mother, cutting her hair, the two of them baking bread. My mother would pick this one for the same reasons she picked my father years ago. I knew my father had no involvement, he would have picked a guy with a wonky eye to make me comfortable and laughed and laughed. When we were children, camping with my parents my brother and I had gone swimming only to arrive back and the campsite where my father had befriended a group of carnival freaks. He was cooking for them on an open campfire, a lady with a beard, a short man with some problem I did't understand at my young age, a woman large enough to sit on back of my father's truck bed, small people in costumes who flew through the air every night. It was surreal to watch him interract with them like he'd know them a hundred years listening to johnny cash music on an old 8 track player that looked like a stick of dynamite. You had to "set off the bomb" to change tracks. He'd feed them as he thought feeding people was taking care of them. My father was drawn to the unusual he liked the challenge of loving the unlovables.

"So when you are up there and there's trouble (Isn't there always trouble?)," I asked him, "do you have fast anxious thoughts or are you slow and careful when you are in a dark cloud?" I knew the answer before it fell out and of course I was wrong. I can't remember the last time I was surprised by an answer. He told me it was both, but there was a photo quality like snapshots, thinking through things exciting and yet careful at the same time. Sitting there with him was exciting and yet careful and the little snapshots of his life were sitting on my lap like polaroids, the images of his mother laughing wondering if her hair was dark like his or blonde and whispy. When he was talking I thought that if we left here we could travel up to the big lake where you can feel very small. We could make a big red kite, write all those little troubles that were biting at me, his oh so beautiful girlfriend, my oh so powerful boyfriend and what to do with them, to ponder the next step. I'd jot my fears of summer making you old, he'd write a secret thought he hadn't shared with anyone else and we'd let the line run out flying so fast through our fingers it would cause a cut, the blood tasting sweet like melted licorce.

He held out his hand
"If you put your secret here I'll take it flying with me and when I am twisting between the ribbons of white I will throw it there and you'll be free of it."

"It's fire and will burn your hand."

"No, it won't. You've made that part up in your head. Nothing you do can hurt me."

"How would you know that? I've caused hurt."

"You don't know me but you should listen to me, especially about this."

I thought on it over what seemed days. When you are figuring your life days can pass in an instant or each day can be a year and I could hear emily in my head she had the voice of an old librarian, slow and methodical (If you were coming in the fall I'd brush the summer by with half a smile an half a spurn as housewives do a fly. If you were coming in a year i'd wind the months in balls, putting them in their separate drawer until their time befalls) A few days I found myself sitting there again, in the same outfit, sipping the same diet coke, listening to my ipod humming a little thinking: some day I will be born.

This time his face seemed closer. Objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer but when they are striking the windshield they really are closer. We spoke of first kisses that tasted like lemon and the mysterious boy who would show up at my house late into the night not afraid of my father warrior, taking me walking until the wet from the grass made my feet ache in my white Keds a little. Oh to be that girl again, to feel lips brush my young lover's for the first time. I'd like to build a time machine and be in Kentucky watching him kiss this girl seeing him smile a few moments later when he'd walk away from her knowing it was the best day yet and being near the street lamp down the block on Mayfield kissing my first true romance and not wanting it to ever end thanking the night, seeing him in school the next day wanting it to be dark. I picked the home coming dress with more thought than that some women pick their wedding dress. A pleaser to the point of exhaustion.


Oh gods his hand was there again, this time balancing on my knee, palm up and I looked at each finger a few times.

"terrified." His eyes said, of course it's supposed to be like that, even a little bit of a smile that if we hadn't talked of mothers and kisses and the tender mercies of love I would have taken as a sarcasm.

"it's ok."

"I want to believe you."

I closed my eyes and could picture letting him drive in the snow, knowing we didn't even need to drive in the snow. We could stay in, I could make an excuse. I make excuses all the time not to be here or there and the people who love me understand or pretend to understand. The snow would melt in a few days and nobody would miss us. We could play scrabble and he could tell me about flying. I'd show him my scar and he'd tell me about longing. Or he'd show me his scar and I'd tell him about longing. There was no telling, no play book and if there was a log book he wasn't giving a hint. Play your hands close to your chest darling otherwise I will have figured all this out and the last thing sitting in that oh so confident hand will be my secret.

I went home and drew a map. From midway you drive south down Cicero to 79th street, west, a right to Mayfield, past the place I grew up until the end of the block a quick right and the street lamp, now older overlooking a new school but most of the same houses. I left the map at the airport, where I had been sitting. I waited until dark and went the house, sat on the curb, it belonged to another family now, another set of dreams. Out of the sky there was a whoosh that sounded almost like a storm. In the middle of the street landed a plane, certainly a surprise and quite out of place. I lived here almost half my life and nothing like this had ever happened. The most exciting thing that happened was the stoner girl down the block who fell out of the second story window or when I hit Jimmy Mandernack in the head with a lunchbox full of rocks because he bullied my little brother.

The door opened and he just fell out like he'd done this a thousand times and then some.

"Carrie, cmere" he held out his hand again and this time I wasn't going to hesitate. "You can't leave that here," I was pointing to the plane.

"Why don't you let me worry about that." this time his smile was large amused with my astonishment.

We walked quietly, I didn't lead. When we approached the corner he pulled me to him and he kissed me hard. I just had to close my eyes and let go. The ground opened up and I fell through for a few moments and I could feel the air flying through my hair and he caught me, whispered to open my eyes and see all the cloud cover. He carried me back down the block and put me in the grass and the plane was gone.

When I turn on the bat signal he won't show up right away. But when I am in the studio working, when the little gray cat is in my lap sipping an ice coffe; I'll hear the whoosh. I can glance up and there in the driveway with no end and there will be the plane. This will cause me to squeal like a little girl. Soon we'll be in my room at the top of the stairs. It will be quiet and in one pinch he will pop off my bra and every time he smiles he looks 17 again. We'll dance and make merry and he'll tell me something I didn't know, just leaving little footprints in the garden so I will be sure later that he was really here.


When someone holds out their hand you can look away.
When someone stands in helpless abandon you can look away.
When someone is hungry you can feed them or you can always look away.
Or you can be a hero.
The path you take is the way you will be rememberd.


You can always reach me at and find my work at


In Wonderland

Long before blogging and texting and twittering people wrote letters. They poured out their heart caught up with people they loved and they wrote and they wrote and they wrote. Letter writing is a lost art. Everything now is instant like cocoa. When is the last time you even knew someone who made cocoa on a stove? I am a romantic and love the idea of letters, the wondering, the way a handwriting will slant to the side wondering if when writing the writer knew someone would pour over the handwriting or just be lost in the message. It was a "revealing" of sorts, sharing yourself in a letter, something that had to be thought out.

So you would think that I'd be all over the text messaging thing. I am not a technical person. When Richie was 5 he had to learn to jimmy a lamp with a fork to make it work. When he's off at school and I want to watch the Moulin Rouge I will have to call him and ask him, "what do I do with the remote again?" at which he will always answer, "momma you are not a stupid person, why can't you figure this out?" Perhaps I could figure it out but then I'd lose the excuse to call him other than to find out if he gets up before noon away from home.

I purchased a blackberry for myself and was so thrilled when it arrived I had to get one for the best friend. You see we talk all the time, even more so than when she was here I think now that she's off in DC saving the world or making it more stylish. Our conversations never end, we never say "goodbye" it's always, "i'll call you later, call me tonight, or yeah call me when you figure that out." We have an ongoing something long (she doesn't want her age revealed of this I am certain) conversation that has never ended. I can't remember in all those years a day that has passed without hearing her voice, voices full of excitement, nervous energy, elation and sometimes tinged in a little sadness. Nothing happens until she knows about, not really. If I've seen a movie I know she will like (not lady in the water, she hated that one and the rant she has about why she hates it will make me laugh when I am alone throwing the cats into a frenzy.) she has to warn me not to give it away because in my excitement, I just may. Endless years of love, endless movies ruined.

She gets the blackberry, very excited because we have matching stuff. I love when we have matching stuff. A few years ago we were shopping together. I am not always a big fan of shopping, more of a get in get what you need and get out kinda person. She tries on swimsuits all afternoon and I am reading and poking at earrings and wondering about things. A few weeks later we are going to go swimming and I head downtown (it is very cool to swim on a high rise building) and we put our suits on and they matched. "where did you get that?" she asks me, not happy at all. "The bug of fashion." I was amused, highly amused. "Carrie, they fucking match. We look like a couple of bobsie twins." She wasn't angry with me because they matched, she was angry that when I was with her shopping I wasn't paying attention and when I went back along picked up three suits and headed home and had no IDEA they would match. Later she would shake her head and in an excited voice explain to me that I treat her like some husband treats his wife just nodding and "shining her on." So? I see her eyes glaze over at cat stories and I bet she could repeat maybe one of them, and she has been witness to the little gray cat I call "dog" stick her little arm in the big onion shaped vase by the door just to make sure nothing is in there. So it didn't come as a shock my dearest, youngest friend that I would shine her on about sending a text message. "I'll figure it out eventually." She'd send me messages and then ask later if I even bothered to carry the phone. Girls shouldn't have to be concerned with these insane little details. If I break down a boy oh so willing to help out will be along and the world will be just fine. No worries of plugging things in, keeping the charge (every phone in my house is near dead) and no worries about learning something new that didn't involved a new fingering technique (on the violin) or changing my breathing patterns.

So one day a guy asks me for my number. I thought about it and said I'd take his and text him my cell number. Now this wasn't a way to be coy, I couldn't remember my cell number that's how often I don't use it. I sent him the text and then one off to the best friend and it started. She was surprised and instead of waiting until she returned home from work to share the day's events we had a day long conversation that would stop depending if i was busy and start again when I'd be alone working, more than happy to put something down to pick her up. The random messages would be like our conversations a little like a Fellini movie
May 27, 2009 7:43 am
You up? Shaking out the cobwebs? Cuz it sure feels like Monday here :P

I am moving slow

Ayup. Happy freaking monday.

Duck the ham (ok, duck is blackberry speak for fuck and ham is suzy speak for anything involving much thought)

I could use me a little mario carts with an afternoon of duck the ham

me ducking too

Thank the lord you are 700 mi away then. Lol. Wed never leave the house because I am highly duck the ham suspectible today

you are playing too much barnyard pogo it's ducking with you

LOL go to facebook right now and sign up; then search for the farm town and get started you too will be ducking addicted in no time AND you could be my neighbor

Remember wehn elise (our niece) played with those stupid virtual pets, you are her.

In front of me right now I am working on a new layout for my farm sure makes the job go faster lol and I remember you playing with polly pockets

Hey, know what rhymes with chicken?

This conversation doesn't take the three minutes it takes to say it, it's hours and in that is the frustration and the joy. You have a thought, you share it. You have the need to take a photo and mail it off, its there in seconds. This morning she'd text me, working overtime telling me about chicken Lo Mein and some guy she met who likes role playing. She kinda liked being the teasing girl at the bus stop. Next time be a smurf and let him be pappa smurf, there's a REAL challenge. I know when she's giggling on that end, she's sure I am too because I always make myself laugh. She's in control there and she's liking it. Isn't life great? She'll find me later after she's rambled through some farmer's market on her way home and after I've put a few designs on paper. I've been considering shaving my head. I'll mention that later. I used to have the number at her office, when she worked here at the big law firm. I'd call her and we'd laugh for awhile pushing away the boredom. She'd tell me about all the characters in play there.

There was the guy who blurted out the strangest thoughts in the middle of the work day, the woman who told everyone about Jesus and his power and then the guy who worked there part time who taught at some university during the other time he wasn't there. She would tell things about him and I was a little fascinated by him. I like that he taught literature and that he took care of an ailing parent and that he was part of the world doing things I'd do if I had more time. So we are out in the car driving around her hair whipping out the window and yet so put together, we had lunch we were goofing off, being us. I casually mention to her that I wrote some guy a secret letter, didnt' sign it and just zipped it off into email space. "oh fun." she answers. "Who is it?" I wasn't sure how to tell her. When this guy introduce himself to her he called himself Gaylon Parker Jr. Best friend would be all over this, and from that day on only call him by his full name. I felt a little sorry for him because every single time I would mention that someone was deaf or hard of hearing or anything to do with hearing she'd say "what?" I'd repeat myself and she'd say again "wha?" and about the third time this happened I knew she was ducking with me. And then she'd whisper, "you always fall for that." So poor Gaylon Parker Jr was at the office being tormented by the oh so tall blonde who could rail on you straight faced even looking distracted. I had to tell her, couldn't wait a minute longer, "gaylon." It was almost the deaf routine turned on her. "wha?" she asked. "Gaylon." Best friend and I have nicknames for everyone we know. Richie is itchie, my ex is fat boy, she's goofy girl.

"I want to know him a little." I tell her. She's astonished. She really dislikes this guy and she figures in her head I've done this to torment her a little. Admittedly this is a bonus but was hardly my intent. "If I call your house" oh gods her rant will start. Her rants are few and far between but they make me scream in laughter. "If I call your house and that idiot answers the phone in his boxer shorts, tilting up and down on his toes rambling about baseball, I will drive there and kick your ass." Ha. This never happened. Gaylon (the name has been changed to protect the innocent) was paranoid because it appears the man in black has friends who had tormented him so horrid that he couldn't be flattered and took this all as some scheme to make him look stupid. I wouldn't do this under any circumstance. He doesn't know me though, how could he? We wrote a few notes back and forth and later I'd find out he's a 40 something year old virgin. What in the world is a girl like me going to do with that? Best Friend did call me later though making me swear on all that is holy that I'd never tell him how I found him, that I'd never make him fall in love with me, that I'd never toy with his heart a little, that I'd be good because the other day at the office, he gave her some "very knowing looks." The idea that he would have thought it was her, really does amuse me.

Bukowski once wrote that you couldn't write poetry if you were a virgin. There were some things you had to "know" and "feel." He said it was like describing boxing if you'd never been boxing. This is what I suggest today. I suggest you go out and get two phones. It's cheaper to have two than one. Give one to someone you love and during the day when you have a thought you'd like to share, send them off a text. Don't hold it, don't wonder about it, just send it off to the air and let it be carried on the wind and let them ponder it on the other side, this person with whom you'd share your thoughts. It will inspire you, make you laugh and if the other person is one tiny bit the fun my best friend is it will give you a new look at the world.

You can always find me at or my work at Take care of you and your spirit.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Ferris Wheels

Don't give yourself Away

Being a creature of the night I used to believe that the very late night was my favorite time of the day, but anymore I love the mornings. Summer has been moderate this year and while I know it makes my brother insane because he's a creature who almost eats the sun, for me it's been wonderful. I will often leave my bedroom windows open and the window in my studio so I can still hear the animals and birds and yet have the air conditioning suck the humidity out of the air and keep my feet cool. So there I was in bed this morning waking softly to hear the birds. I reached over for my ipod to listen to Joni. Joni was singing Both Sides Now and I was thinking about how many times I've listened to that song and the mix of comfort and sadness she's given me. She doesn't just sing the song she draws the words out so if you know the lyrics you wait for them to pour over you like sunshine each word feeding a bit of your soul:

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I've looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all


I had one earphone in and left my other ear to hear for the different chirps in the trees and looked for a cloud, not one today. I noticed the painting in the corner was moved a little because Fat Fat Leroy Brown, the fattest cat in this whole damn house was looking for a place to hide from Richie, his pounding footprints could scare a circus elephant let alone my tender fat cat. They'd come one after the other to see me in the morning when I am quiet and still, listening to Joni sing to me. I felt like Michael Corleone at his Son's communion party, each taking their turn to come lay beside me and let me love on them, kissing behind their ears and singing to them a little. When one would leave another appears listening to the birds and sometimes launching themselves in the air to the window above my bed to listen to watch for them. Last night before I fell asleep I could hear Richie and Chrissy taking the junk from the garage they had cleaned this week to the curb. They were dragging things because kids are lazy and they were giggling, like lovers do, like friends do and I wanted to hug them both and say, good for you. They laugh like Tricky and I do when it's quiet and I can say any one of 300 phrases that will make him burst out laughing. They laughed like Suzy and I do when we both see something funny or when she sees some nut job talking to himself on a park bench and nudges me to say "this is your last chance to save his soul and love him forever." Later in the morning she will text me to ask if I am feeling ok, as yesterday I felt wonky all day long. She loves me like that. And while I was counting the blessings in my head, Joni was still singing to me:

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev'ry fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all


It's loves illusions I recall. The cool gray light of morning was just floating there and I was thinking that if I died tomorrow I would mostly be worried about someone finding my ipod and flipping through it someone who loves me thinking, "what the hell was going on in that head of hers?" They'd wonder why I was listening to Dh Lawrence and know I had probably read Lady Chatterly's Lover, but I never have. Strange. Best Friend texts me from the office, "your mission today if you choose to take it." I was already on her mission and sent her a secret. She responded with "we should all get what we want." Oh hell who am I kidding, I called her last night when I was sure she was sleeping but she was awake and we laughed until I was sleepy. She still fights off sleep to love me. I am so blessed. I'll mention that if i run into him I will give him her number but hesitate like I shouldn't. She responds "don't hesitate hell give him all the numbers." She won't answer them anyway, she's clever like that.

Can you be surrounded in love and sometimes feel a little hint of lonely creep in the edges? When the pastor of my church says "be happy with what you have." I will feel full of shame, my mother would hardly be happy with me, she lived a small life and wanted the same for me. There are days when the world doesn't feel large enough and you think it will be an ordinary day. You go through the motions, find iced coffee, fill an order, white to a customer, hope the post office finds what's missing, keep the TV turned off (keep down the white noise), eat what's right, cheat and look for some mercy. I did that yesterday as I do most days finding joy in the tiny details that make my life what I've created. And then out of nowhere a really fluffy cloud passed by. I almost missed it as it was dark, dust really that gloaming moment of acknowledging the past day and wondering of the next. I had started a few new pieces, clipping away, and there this cloud showed and it wasn't dark or fluffy white, no shade of gray. There was a cloud of purple passion and it just parked itself over my door.

And when the cloud lingered there
I pretended not to notice
until it reached down mixed in summer breeze
and played with my hair
lingering there until it left again

"I am so tired of shades of gray." Sometimes you hope for something and time passes and you think hope is for suckers who sing about ferris wheels. Other times, it parks there and you think, I'm a fan of hope. Hope wins the day. He'll find me later. He'll use the word baby. He'll know I needed the rain not the rain that washes off the dirt but the rain that leaves your hair purple.


Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all
I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all


Joni was done. Best Friend was off saving the world for democrats. Richie was stirring he's taking me to the DMV today to change up my license, more proof that summers make you old. The cats are wrestling all over the house sounding like fallen soldiers on the battlefield as they fling their bodies to the ground. Morning is waiting downstairs, a few emails to answer and maybe today I'll find the salad I love with the little peas. If the purple cloud shows up at your door, pour it out, say what you must, it won't be around long, don't hesitate, or you'll wonder.

If you need to find me, I'm at You can find my work at I'm never far.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Do not give of yourself to the dead

D H Lawrence

My friend Tony introduced me to D H. I think lawrence is most famous for his line about feeling sorry for yourself. I've never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from it's bough without having felt sorry for itself.

A few days ago I was thinking about Wilde and his fairy tales, the story of the happy prince and the little bird that flew over the city, finding ways to make the prince happy while the prince's life was falling down around. The prince so unhappy with the way his life has turned out hardly noticed that the little bird had sacrificed his entire life without feeling sorry for himself for even a moment.

Lawrence danced with dark love. I was listening to Robert Polhemus on NPR speak about Lawrence and about women in love. Women in love was so progressive sexual for it's time that reviewers called his work "pure dirt." As with most of Lawrence's works, Women in Love caused controversy over its sexual subject matter. One early reviewer said of it, "I do not claim to be a literary critic, but I know dirt when I smell it, and here is dirt in heaps — festering, putrid heaps which smell to high Heaven.

Anyone who knows me know I have been attracted to older men my whole life. Even when I was a teenager I was drawn to older men, their calm cool, collected nature. I was drawn to them. Lawrence plays with that notion. Women in love is filled with extraordinary passages and now I am tearing them apart and then putting them back together again. I was taken by a passage where Ursula (the woman so interested) catching Birken the boy she was fascinated by standing in the dark under the moon throwing rocks into the water, angry, and talking to himself. It reminded me of Romeo catching Juliet in the night listening to her talk to him even though he wasn't even there. Birken threw rocks one after cursing the moon, cursing his life, decisions he'd made. Ursula was dazed. She had never been witness to an outburst like this. He'd always been so composed and there she was in the dark watching him come unglued and wondered how she'd carry this little secret around with her wanting so much to offer him comfort ever so certain that nothing about her would change this situation or make him whole. He'd throw more rocks as the water struggled against the agitation of the rocks and she'd wait for him to be whole and at peace again.

But like me, Urusla can't ever just let it go. She always has to know. It drives me insane, this piece of me that needs to know. Why oh why can't I just push it aside? Best Friend will tell me, men play their hand close to their chest and they will give over their soul to a woman who will do the same. They appreciate the chess match. For the most part, not many people matter to me really. Its not that I have a disdain for the world but I hold few in close company. I have learned to keep people at a distance but then...then now and again I will forget and I will just have to pose the question and I think that's why I love Urusla so much because she just needs...

Birkin lingered vaguely by the water. Ursula was afraid that he would stone the moon again. She slipped from her seat and went down to him, saying:

`You won't throw stones at it any more, will you?'

`How long have you been there?'

`All the time. You won't throw any more stones, will you?'

`I wanted to see if I could make it be quite gone off the pond,' he said.

`Yes, it was horrible, really. Why should you hate the moon? It hasn't done you any harm, has it?'

`Was it hate?' he said.

And they were silent for a few minutes.

`When did you come back?' she said.


`Why did you never write?'

`I could find nothing to say.'

`Why was there nothing to say?'

`I don't know. Why are there no daffodils now?'


Again there was a space of silence. Ursula looked at the moon. It had gathered itself together, and was quivering slightly.

`Was it good for you, to be alone?' she asked.

`Perhaps. Not that I know much. But I got over a good deal. Did you do anything important?'

`No. I looked at England, and thought I'd done with it.'

`Why England?' he asked in surprise.

`I don't know, it came like that.'

`It isn't a question of nations,' he said. `France is far worse.'

`Yes, I know. I felt I'd done with it all.'

They went and sat down on the roots of the trees, in the shadow. And being silent, he remembered the beauty of her eyes, which were sometimes filled with light, like spring, suffused with wonderful promise. So he said to her, slowly, with difficulty:

`There is a golden light in you, which I wish you would give me.' It was as if he had been thinking of this for some time.

She was startled, she seemed to leap clear of him. Yet also she was pleased.

`What kind of a light,' she asked.

But he was shy, and did not say any more. So the moment passed for this time. And gradually a feeling of sorrow came over her.

`My life is unfulfilled,' she said.

`Yes,' he answered briefly, not wanting to hear this.

`And I feel as if nobody could ever really love me,' she said.

Oh brave Ursula. He didn't write because he had nothing to say. He had nothing to give you, he had no insight, no power, he was nothing special. How do you write to someone, how are you? and guess what I'm a fraud? Ursula, you need a Best Friend who will take you to a park bench where it's very quiet and let you lean into her shoulder and let you say anything you'd ask him and she will give you the answers you don't want to hear. She will tell you he wasn't the man in the photo. Imagine that? He paints this oh so love picture and its not him. How does he tell you that? He can't tell you he's as confused as you are because then you'd never give yourself to him. The challenge will be over, the game finished, a stale mate. You will have your heart broken either way dear ursula and you get to pick now take your ball and go home. could entertain it for awhile longer, be like the Prufrock's love song and let the moment linger, don't force the crisis and have one more dance, make love one more time, and let it be over later. I've done both. Haven't we all?

Someone I know, knew, kinda told me this story once about a woman he loved. They were quick friends and he loved everything about her. They worked together, they slept together under under the watchful or not so watchful eye of his gatekeeper. Now mind you he adored the gatekeeper, she was beautiful (cover of cosmo beautiful) but let's say she wasn't the most compassionate woman, and of course not the sharpest tool in the shed, the brightest bulb in the box (feel free to mix those up as it drives best friend perfectly insane) and she knew going in she was "better" than him and would settle.

Now this man loved his secret lover. She was a good sport, she would understand when things were canceled and she looked at him in a way he never really earned. Hell when he gave the gatekeeper the diamond he wasn't sure he could afford she didn't look at him like this woman did. When she laid next to him she touched him like he was gold. She told him one night "you'll have to make a decision soon ya know." He laughed inside. Where would she go? All he'd have to do is whisper her name and she'd be more than accommodating. Love is like that.

A few weeks later she didn't show up for work. He looked for her, called her, and finally hours later wandered down to human resources to ask about her. "she's left, put in notice weeks ago." Imagine that. She's gone. He went to the apartment, key fit the door but everything was gone. Two days ago he was there with her, they were making cozy, the gatekeeper sure he was at the Jewish Guys get together and decide stuff meeting but there was with no pants on eating chinese food from a container, feeling so loved and wanted. Now, not a piece of furniture, no forwarding address, no note, nothing. The absolute pure fucking genius of this move. I have wanted to meet this woman since I heard this story, maybe more than my friend who thinks of her every day, who doesn't let a month pass that he doesn't punch in her name to some search engine looking for her and she's poof, gone. There's no letter to pour over, there's no ticket stub for the opera, you can't save that stuff when you have a gatekeeper. Nothing.

I need that woman in my life. I need her to sit Ursula and I down and teach us the musings of love and the chambers of a man's heart. I need her to show me how just to make a clean break, not just with the men you don't want around any more but with the men you think are tortured, sure you can fix them.

I am off to fix myself today, working while listening to a little DH Lawrence. My son is home for a few weeks, days or hours depending on his ability to be a human being. Best Friend will be here soon. I am working on some new pieces. You can find me at You can always find my work at Summer's moments are fleeting so I will try to put some sun on my face today, I hope you get to do the same.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Blowing out Candles on the Moon

When my parents were celebrating
my fourth birthday
men landed on the moon for the first time
Now this doesn't seem amazing
now in the time of ipods
and cell phones and text messaging
but this was the time of
post cards and maps you had to unfold
giant tvs
you couldn't pop popcorn in the microwave
and Lennon was still alive

Aldrin noted the moon smelled like ash, wet ash
like sticking your head in a fireplace after it rained.
He left his footprint there
and while looking down, down at us here
down where my parents where making
plans, buying cake one of those cakes
with the clown head in the center
While I was learning the alphabet
while my mother was making women beautiful
and my father working two jobs to buy a house
while my brother two years behind me,
my constant companion, was stealing some of
my limelight;
men were looking down
from the mysterious moon

There are billions of galaxies each with a billion stars
some days the stars collide and others
rot there for a million years like all of us.
Having been to the cemetery recently to leave flowers,
the grass under my feet brown from the heat
I thought about last winter with the piles and piles
of snow, frozen earth, ice over snow
shoveling every day, thinking about the next time
I'd have to shovel the driveway with no end
The burial place now littered with flowers and little notes
would be desolate, ice and snow so you couldn't even
find a place to put flowers and I knew that the bones of my parents
their parents, my uncles and even the little baby
my grandmother buried here were below me
and while the idea of being near was comforting
how I'd like to dig and dig and dig and just lie on my
mother's casket and whisper to her
it's been so long I don't even remember her voice
maybe down there an echo of her would whisper back to me

When I drove off from that place, I knew I didn't want to be there
even under the shade tree, near the towering
marble angel

I will donate my body to science
I want them to tear me apart, use what they want
like a thanksgiving day turkey
and when they've picked the bones clean
take the rest and make it ash
and Suze will take it with her where she goes
down to the Lake House by the river
where the logs bang up against the the rocks
where we held cigarettes in our lips
and pretended to be cool girls who smoke
and she can throw me to the wind
and I'd land in the water on a fish
and swim and swim and swim

She'd take me home, to the place where my
father and I planted trees that are now so big
you can't hug them so your fingers touch
and she'll leave some there
the place we drove by as a child with my father
our mother in the long black car ahead of us
seeing her garden for the last time
Suze will leave parts of me there so my Dad knows where to find me

She will drive up by Northwestern where we went a thousand times
when the world was overwhelming and she had a boy
she needed to tell me about and I had a secret to share with her
the place where she first told me she was moving
She will take the last pinch of me and toss me out the window
right where the turn meets the lake on Sheridan road
thankful the green beast we used to drive is sitting
rusted in some junk yard children looking for change
under the seat

That last part of me will fly up through the cloud cover
and maybe to the moon where the others are waiting
watching down
all us ashy souls watching and wondering
when the next brave man will enter our atmosphere
leave a step on the moon moving her in mysterious circled orb
keep us company as we stare down at the bright blue marble.

You can always reach me at and my work

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blue Wind Boy

I was thinking about Sandburg this morning when I was in church. The pastor was talking about loving something in it's entirety, not just a piece of it and being part of the madness in the world but separating yourself off from it and being an observer. Sandburg loved the city I loved. He wrote of the women in the mist and of the street lamps of the city.

OF my city the worst that men will ever say is this:
You took little children away from the sun and the dew,
And the glimmers that played in the grass under the great sky,
And the reckless rain; you put them between walls
To work, broken and smothered, for bread and wages,
To eat dust in their throats and die empty-hearted
For a little handful of pay on a few Saturday nights.

Sandburg was a social democrat and wrote for newspapers and wanted better for the world. I wondered this morning what he would have thought of the times we find ourselves in. Would he have taken up the political forum. Would he be Susan Sarandonish forgetting he was a poet or a writer of children's stories and try to influence social change. Father Michael Flager was on television yesterday as two more kids were shot in chicago, victims of gang violence. I wondered if Sandburg were watching from his quiet suburban post in heaven shaking his head looking down on us all wondering when we are going to figure out our lives. Flager's voice was shaking talking about his own adopted son being murdered, telling of how his church was a safe haven and even opposing gang members would dare not fight in those hallowed halls. Broke my heart. I know I miss people who have been through my life because of death and illness. I can't imagine needless violence.

Sandburg like Oscar Wilde wrote fairy tales. Sandburgs full of made up names and interesting fun scenarios. Reading them is like taking a walk through my Best Friend's head full of twists and turns. I often compare her thought processes to that of being a mouse on space mountain, twisting turning, sometimes dark and in the end enlightening and a little glad you got out with your senses about you. Wilde's tales are dark and sad and very telling, not really for chlidren. I recently felt very similiar to the story of the Birthday of the Infanata.

bella Princesa, your funny little dwarf will never dance again. It is a pity, for he is so ugly that he might have made the King smile.' 'But why will he not dance again?' asked the Infanta, laughing. 'Because his heart is broken,' answered the Chamberlain. And the Infanta frowned, and her dainty rose-leaf lips curled in pretty disdain. 'For the future let those who come to play with me have no hearts,' she cried, and she ran out into the garden.
******************************For the future, let those who come to play with me have no hearts. Wow. I am always looking for just the opposite. The best laid plans of mice and romantic girls.There are days when you consider having a tattoo of a golf club placed on your inner thigh. Best Friend introduced me Sandburg's stories for children.She loves to read to the little ones and they gather around her like pigeons do a french fry, even happier though. My favorite of his stories is the story I am going to share here with you today:

When the dishes are washed at night time and the cool of the evening has come in summer or the lamps and fires are lit for the night in winter, then the fathers and mothers in the Rootabaga Country sometimes tell the young people the story of the White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind Boy.

The White Horse Girl grew up far in the west of the Rootabaga Country. All the years she grew up as a girl she liked to ride horses. Best of all things for her was to be straddle

of a white horse loping with a loose bridle among the hills and along the rivers of the west Rootabaga Country.

She rode one horse white as snow, another horse white as new washed sheep wool, and another white as silver. And she could not tell because she did not know which of these three white horses she liked best.

"Snow is beautiful enough for me any time," she said, "new washed sheep wool, or silver out of a ribbon of the new moon, any or either is white enough for me. I like the white manes, the white flanks, the white noses, the white feet of all my ponies. I like the forelocks hanging down between the white ears of all three—my ponies."

And living neighbor to the White Horse Girl in the same prairie country, with the same black crows flying over their places, was the Blue Wind Boy. All the years he grew up as a boy he liked to walk with his feet in the dirt and the grass listening to the winds. Best of

all things for him was to put on strong shoes and go hiking among the hills and along the rivers of the west Rootabaga Country, listening to the winds.

There was a blue wind of day time, starting sometimes six o'clock on a summer morning or eight o'clock on a winter morning. And there was a night wind with blue of summer stars in summer and blue of winter stars in winter. And there was yet another, a blue dawn and evening wind. All three of these winds he like so well he could not say which he liked best.

"The early morning wind is strong as the prairie and whatever I tell it I know it believes and remembers," he said, "and the night wind with the big dark curves of the night sky in it, the night wind gets inside of me and understands all my secrets. And the blue wind of the times between, in the dusk when it is neither night nor day, this is the wind that asks me

questions and tells me to wait and it will bring me whatever I want."

Of course, it happened as it had to happen, the White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind Boy met. She, straddling one of her white horses, and he, wearing his strong hiking shoes in the dirt and the grass, it had to happen they should meet among the hills and along the rivers of the west Rootabaga Country where they lived neighbors

And of course, she told him all about the snow white horse and the horse white as new washed sheep wool and the horse white as a silver ribbon of the new moon. And he told her all about the blue winds he liked listening to, the early morning wind, the night sky wind, and the wind of the dusk between, the wind that asked him questions and told him to wait.

One day the two of them were gone. On the same day of the week the White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind boy went away. And their fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers

and uncles and aunts wondered about them and talked about them, because they didn't tell anybody beforehand they were going. Nobody at all knew beforehand or afterward why they were going away, the real honest why of it.

They left a short letter. It read:

To All Our Sweethearts, Old Folks and Young Folks:

We have started to go where the white horses come from and where the blue winds begin. Keep a corner in your hearts for us while we are gone.

The White Horse Girl.

The Blue Wind Boy.

That was all they had to guess by in the west Rootabaga Country, to guess and guess where two darlings had gone.

Many years passed. One day there came riding across the Rootabaga Country a Gray Man on Horseback. He looked like he had come a long ways. So they asked him the question they always asked of any rider who looked like he had come a long ways, "Did you ever see the

White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind Boy?"

"Yes," he answered, "I saw them."

It was a long, long ways from here I saw them," he went on, "it would take years and years to ride to where they are. They were sitting together and talking to each other, sometimes singing, in a place where the land runs high and tough rocks reach up. And they were looking out across water, blue water as far as the eye could see. And away far off the blue waters met the blue sky.

"'Look!' said the Boy, 'that's where the blue winds begin.'

"'Look!' said the Girl, 'that's where the white horses come from.'

"And then nearer to the land came thousands in an hour, millions in a day, white horses, some white as snow, some like new washed sheep

woo, some white as silver ribbons of the new moon.

"I asked them, 'Whose place is this?' They answered, 'It belongs to us; this is what we started for; this is where the white horses come from; this is where the blue winds begin.'"

And that was all the Gray Man on Horseback would tell the people of the west Rootabaga Country. That was all he knew, he said, and if there was any more he would tell it.

And the fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers and uncles and aunts of the White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind Boy wondered and talked often about whether the Gray Man on Horseback made up the story out of his head or whether it happened just like he told it.

Anyhow this is the story they tell sometimes to the young people of the west Rootabaga Country when the dishes are washed at night and the cool of the evening has come in summer or the lamps and fires are lit for the night in winter.


Sometimes when you disappear, the people who love you worry. If however they know you have a sense of adventure they let you disappear knowing that when you return you will be happier. I have felt like disappearing lately and may one day do so. If I do just know I am off having adventure and when I return I will be better for it. I may be sad or I may be happy but smarter and hopefully exhausted.

You can always find me at You can find my work at Tomorrow kids, we'll talk about Wilde and his exploits and I am working on a new poem. Carrie