Tuesday, June 28, 2011

somethings -

I can’t say for certain that a few drops of rose geranium oil applied regularly to the dog’s collars keeps ticks away. But I can say it’s been a good week or so since I’ve had to perform a tweezer extraction and/or sighted one of the fatfuggers waddling around, drunk on blood. That’s all I’ll tentatively declare.

It seems that we’re one of the only few families in the neighborhood who subscribes to trash service? Which I find so odd. Where are all the other cans on Trash Day? Are we elitist for having pickup?

I wrote a letter today. And judging by the fatigue in my forearm, I really ought to hand-write more often.

I also did some work-I-love by setting up a flickr photostream. As an amateur. Who has no sights set on anything other than offering a view of the world captured through a cheap camera lens.

Mammoth sunflowers – they have buds. The tallest is *only* just taller than me, rather than the promised 7 to 12 feet. But I’ll take it. Next year, I want a whole field of them. A giant rectangle of former lawn-turned-sunflower-patch. Is this unreasonable?

And lastly: geese. I don’t know, m. How could one reasonably suggest to keep them as pets. They’re not all mean, I understand. They don’t all hiss and carry on. They do allegedly feast on ticks. But they are just so…grabby? Entitled? Insatiable? Honky? Yeesh. Their collective soul is like that of a teenage boy in your kitchen after sports practice. Except all you’ve got on hand is half a bag of bread crusts and no more. Which means you’re practically unarmed against the force of them.

Well anyway. Behold. The geese down by the river.






Monday, June 27, 2011

Mediocrity Revisited,

: of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance : ordinary, so-so

she reads
the girl explores worlds. She holds hands with make-believe. She is not a stranger to the imagination and she is a friend to mystery and maybe vampires. She skips to the end because the journey she takes means something and does not want to be betrayed.

she writes
the girl puts pen to paper. Her hands to keys. She has many whirling wild words that are powerful, mightier than a sword on the matter of love, on the matter of pain- life, friendship. She knows about things even gross things like ticks and beautiful things like flutterbies. She sees things in a shimmer and in angles of light unperceived and in the dark places too- she finds. There she is. There we are too. Bring us there. She's doing it now.

she bakes
the girl has a taste for things and of flavors. Of textures. She creates. She makes things that nourish, bring delight, savory mmms. She twines memory with her hands and imparts the good and true things without saying a word. We all need to be fed. She raptures us from an oven. 

she cuts hair.
She is as she goes like the bangle purse, the glasses, the boots—a bit of a badass. She has determined to mold herself into something creative and not necessarily in need of a box.

she doodles
as she says she must express.

she plants
to bring things to life, to add new fragrance and color to her life. She understands about living and the breathing and being of things. Of what it does for the soul and for the spirit. How it redirects the mind to glory, ever optimistic in it - there she attempts it, this simple exploration- tend to it.

she photographs
of late stepping up her game to capture the transcendence of youth, of her family life, and the sometimes zenith of herself.

she paints walls.
To bring order and mood into alignment. She is not immune to whimsy and the deep need we all have for the color red. She masters it.

she tends to children.
The little barbarians. She is after all a mother and that IS a full-time job. Why deny it?

she daydreams
and catches moments to herself. She watches clouds and flowers and grass. She is attentive to the humming buzzing universe and it's right at the tip of her senses. She loses herself there sometimes. The what ifs, could bes mind talking to soul and God stuff.

she analyzes
a mind that’s sharp and sometimes lies, is cruel to itself but also kind— the path networked at her skin.

she respects the need for rules (while at the same time despising the constructs).
She is Penelope after all- sometimes anxious and rebellious, but mostly a builder of life- she does not like to risk the stability of that simple and yet complex -- paradoxical? fact.

she wonders
worlds. Wonders relationship. Wonders tension. Wonders God. She vibrates.

she observes
takes notes, rolls her eyes. She is not immune. She nods her head in approval too.

she snarks
see above.

she calls bullshit
see above.

she demands
of life answers, of herself, her children, her husband. We would call this passion. We would call this fight.

she listens
and catches what she can.

she feels
and expresses when she’s ready.

she cares.

she has no idea what to do with any of it.

that last one shouldn’t be a talent
but it is
it’s not a boohoo
just a statement –
she’s a pen of many small trades
master of none.
I KNOW, but i need to say still,
It is not the parts but the sum total that makes a life excel. And you are. The whole of you says, I create. I bring into being. The whole of you says you hum with a life that is extraordinary-- full of fight and effort. It does not seem so, but it is true. The words and actions get lost against the judgment we confer upon ourselves. How small we make ourselves. I understand. I identify. I have my own list but i had to tell you anyway.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

the mediocre talents of pen

she reads

she writes

she bakes

she cuts hair.

she doodles

she plants

she photographs

she paints walls.

she tends to children.

she daydreams

she analyzes

she respects the need for rules

(while at the same time despising the constructs).

she wonders

she observes

she snarks

she calls bullshit

she demands

she listens

she feels

she cares.

she has no idea what to do with any of it.

that last one shouldn’t be a talent

but it is

it’s not a boohoo

just a statement –

she’s a pen of many small trades

master of none.

Friday, June 24, 2011


i got there thinking she would come out but she wasn't ready. she suggests in fact that things have become unhinged. instead of the park or a walk how about taking me to a drug test? random. calling everyday. averaging every 2 wks or so.

the place was less of a mess but the headache creeping up the right side of my skull was the same. i noted the new kitten. the beta fish. i stared at a new rug that had the astrology signs in place of the rug that said blessings... over the stain from where the junky had died. that one time. we made idle chit-chat and she dipped down unprovoked to complain about her mother. about the babydaddy. she still has the most beautiful burnish almond colored eyes. as they flashed at me when i challenged her on a point. her cheaks more sunken and the sores deep. the devastating fact that her daughter might not be home for christmas, or new years. a slew of missed holidays maybe. i said that they can come back from that. and over all the things lodged in her daughters memory that might not be the most hurtful thing. she might not even remember. i thought, compared to the other things. and anyway its for her daughter to heal and to come back from. to battle up and out God only knows how. i remember thinking i? helped talk her out of getting an abortion in the first place. i had said, you can't even abort your own cat's babies. think about this. and now she is in a flash on a trajectory away from her mother but not quite out of her life. not yet. and i think, would it have been better? and i think no.

and then out of the corner of my eye i see him- the villain, second only to her mother but surely the source of all that is mostly unholy. he gives me a quick glance and says, oh hello. startled. i say, she's in there (pointing to the bedroom as he darts past me) at which point over listening in i duck out and play with the kitten. he comes back out and passes me again outside, says, have fun. quietly. as if not to wake or anger me. i watch him go. she says he's been hiding out upstairs at somebodys apt. for 2 weeks. but he came in quite casually so... of course i hadn't seen him in 6 years until that moment but nevermind. something about a lojacked laptop and jail for a few days. and somehow even with 50,000 in a safe somewhere she's going to lose her apartment in a week. but i dont' know.

and then i said, looking through the gated door, are you ready to go. so we drove to get her subway. i wasn't hungry. and we went to ADARP.  it isn't quite clear if she'll fail though she says since HE slammed her foot in a? door? until the hinges came off? she's going to keep taking the hyrdroc/./.; something and she hasn't taken her medicinal marijuana in a couple of days to lessen the whatever but well maybe. i think as always none of this makes sense. but she says shes not a drugaddict. she doesn't have a limp. and then later,

i said, you cut your hair.
she said, yah it was this long -....-.
i asked, did you donate it?
she said, no i gave it to this black guy for saving my life. he was nice. he went away but i liked him.
i asked, how did he save your life?
she said, (with a pause) he found me "asphyxiating"... because of the heater.
i said, because of the heater?
she said, yah. the gas you know.
i said, huh, you said something like that happened to you in oklahoma.
she said, mmhmm yah, same thing. i haven't used the heater since.
i said, you should probably get the landlord to fix it.
she said, he won't.
i said, hmm....

i ask her to tell me the story again. i have her repeat everything she tells me and i watch how it changes or how it stays the same. how it never ever really makes sense. we get out of ADARP and we went to see bridesmaids at the $3. she paid since i didn't have cash. i meant to pay. i feel bad i didn't pay. she had a good time but there were a few triggers (the horrible f*ckbuddy calling her dingus, the drug references, the copcar maybe) and then the movie cut out in the last 6minutes. and another 6minutes they got it started but couldn't rewind it so i told her what she missed. it wasn't much. but it was the emotional heart of the bride and her maidofhonor but anyway. we left. we got vouchers. she lost her glasses but we were running late so she could visit her daughter. i dropped her off. she said she'll want to see you. her godmother. i said, sometime. i'm not ready for that today. as that meant her mother, the villain and her and the foster mother and who knows what. the goddaughter doesn't actually cling to me that much. except that one time... and anyway i know i'm the calm center but inside i'm blazing. i'm muttering to the heavens. she said well when can i see you next? i said, we can schedule something. she said, next week? she's going to be 32? i said, sure. she said, none of that 5months later. remember, she says, as she slams the door, i'm suicidal. she smiles. i smile too. i wonder if she means it. i think it's been 8 months actually. along way off. many moons and years. a decade maybe since i've seen you. there was that one time when we went to see September Issue. You were clear. You heard me. I can tell the difference. That was 2yrs. And me being with you now, in all of this-  i am not sure what sort of life line. But it must be something. I never offer anything else but my presence. So that when you call me between months and years it must be-- I drove off.

And Pen, then i went to call you but it was 3 o'clock. And i laughed at the timing again. About why I always want to call you at 3'oclock. And how i know at that moment you will never answer because its 6 to you and dinner time. So i went to starbucks and got a frappachino and the car colors (all sedans) black.red.red.lolly.black. And earlier today we turned left in a pack of SIX white cars and trucks.

And on home I went. But I wanted to tell you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

i broke, i caved -

I couldn’t grow out my hair anymore. After 6 months, I was suddenly done. It might have been impatience with the process, or the heat of summer, or serious doubts about the long-projected end product. Or a combination of all 3. So I got a haircut.

Except as mentioned previously, I don’t have a hair person here. And good hair people are not only hard to come by (and $$$), but once you find a good hair person, you have to build up enough trust for short hair. Because you can’t eff around with short hair. I know. I’ve been there. Once upon a time, I was haircut-scarred for life.

So I sort of cut it myself?

Um… I really have no explanations.  The back is perhaps a bit choppy and still not as short as I want. But. Considering how badly it could have ended? I ain’t complainin’.



Ignore that wayward hair.


I feel slightly badass, I admit.



penelope scissor-wielder

Thursday, June 16, 2011

notes from home,

i'm listening to a song by the cults called 'go outside' on satellite. i've finished my tea and chocolate and pondering another early bed, had too much fruit today and no greens... it is summer. blackberries with honey yogurt for breakfast, watermelon for lunch, pineapple for dinner, bing cherries, and yes fresh sun warmed plums in btw. i was about to say i resented the outside but now a song by bravery is playing called 'this is not the end'... it's hard to complain when song titles are drilling into the depth of your paralysis. when all the good things are there blooming in the sun, and even your lowered insurance premium of $644 is a breath of fresh air- even if you still can't afford it. even if i am still waiting for the ax to fall- for the now still continued insurance claim to say no sorry, your time has run out. but it miraculously hasn't. 2 1/2 years later. i wish i knew freedom in it, i wish it didn't suck me under in intervals. i pop back up with a renewed sense of resolve but the more time that passes, pen, the harder it gets to have courage of something else but what i know- which is interminable waiting. and yet change must come. and i think will i be ready for it. will it have beaten me after all and i'll have failed to look or see the escape hatch open. or failed to learn anything at all in the interim. i think Lord, given the state of things this is what the world will say about me- no, Lord, even, this is what I say about myself. what do you say?

the silversun pickups is playing 'the royal we'. and in the meantime what damage. is.

i'm reminded of that landscape i had from '05-'07 where i was floating in the stagnant waters of the amazon and now i'm in an overdone black victorian outfit, ok exquisite, and making my way down an endless flight of stairs with sheer cliffs and a black chasm to my right. presently, the world when i look out of my windows is a portal to heaven, but looking the other direction i just think of krietz in the jungle muttering, the horror, the horror. i know this is the common complaint of man. existing in the tension of being an immortal being on a mortal plane. of knowing hope and yet seeing despair so close.and as this old dude named dubay said, we are incarnate thirst. we grow slack and wane without beauty, companionship and light. dull-witted maybe, cavernous. i don't know what else he said about it because i haven't finished the cd yet, and yes in the meantime,

i'm too busy glossing my dry lips to scream much.

but that is what keeps occuring to me to do. but my soul as she descends is too busy with her footing and catching her hair in the breeze. my spirit maybe or is it my projected self, in the identical but gold outfit on the castle parapet- she knows, she's released doves in Gods direction. she asks from where does my help come from? she paces. she is relentless in her worry. she knows the supplies are low and she is mercilessly distracted. my actual self here and now- the last few days- is staring at the blue skies of paintings not yet completed. she is not sure how the days pass and all the flowers outside illuminate a world she is reminded, is just for her, but she won't go outside except to pick plums. there is nothing productive about her, but looking for things to throw away.

though i am trying to practice better handwriting. and maybe tomorrow i'll go for a walk. there is too much a war within to do ought else.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Would you believe Pen,

On Sunday I was attacked by a seagall.

Let me explain. The day started innocently enough. Wendy agreed to be a champ and come with me up the coast. We get breakfast. She is ever generous with gas money and wildflower seeds. We stop and taste honey. The one I bought of course mom explained is the one everyone buys. Orange. I have already in the first slip fallen into mediocrity. But we venture on. We witness a bmw bike being knocked over at a gas station, (As another man who had been having a dialogue with himself rushes over in loose fitting leather pants to help....) and the man not being able to pick it back up. I feel that should be a requirement of purchase, but nevermind. Up the coast we go. I am already having second thoughts, not having thought this through and already so far along. We pull up and I can't bring myself to pay $10. I haven't packed a lunch. It is already near to 12. I ask the kids at the gate about seaweed. She's like, um, we like, totally have seaweed. I say, can i go look at it. She's like, um... yes? She says, Just park in the 20minute spot. So we do and I'm already a little down at the sight of hightide and already drying out clumps and twists. But there is some- it is out there. Though not in mass quantity and cleverly hidden like black uninteresting blobs. I am sad now i didn't collect more- of course- that i didn't keep going down the stretch of beach but nevermind.

We head back down to ventura. We get gas. I pull up on the wrong side. I have to enter the transaction at least 3x. It cuts me off at $50 but i leave it at that. There's no bathroom. But there's an in/out close and delicious fries await. We make it to the beach, find parking close and bring our bounty to sit on the rocky shore. We are distracted by the seal, distracted as it comes out of the water and seems to be having a dialogue with the 2 young girls. Too distracted to see that one by one large LARGE white gulls are beginning to perch by us. One by one. Talking to one another. We immediately bring up Birds. Wendy confesses a fear of them since but she recovers quickly as one dive bombs her head. We think that was close. I think odd. Bold behavior. I take a 3rd, maybe fourth bite of my double double and thats when it happens. Swoosh. And the bastard takes my burger. But the meat insultingly tumbles out into deep sand as they rip apart the packaging. Never in my life have I had to take revenge on mutinous mineminemine birds. But there are enough pebbles and rocks close by as one by one i take aim.

Wendy even lets me have half of her burger as I still angrily eye the birds who dare to flap back. Toss.Toss.Toss. Thud.Thud.Thud. The packs of dolphins feeding nearby eventually turn me from my hurling rock enterprise. We read poetry. We grow cold in the wind and decide to go but not before I get a few more shots in. Never in my life. I shake my head. We drive back down inland. We get cherries which are sadly not that sweet. I get fizzy water. And wendy gets purple licorice. We make it back into town and she drives off homeward. And then i think, what a curious day.

My kitty cat Marley is holding steady. I think we decided to spoil him rotten with tuna and forgo dental surgery for now since the infection is gone, as we think he got into something which made him sick and just happened to uncover bad teeth. We'll see. Pampering may just continue into his future.

Also, I finished Hunger Games. It is a catchy read. I did find for all that the end dreadfully rushed and you know what I'm talking about. So SO rushed! COme ON. Kudos for plot twists though despite the somewhat  flimsy philisophical treatise on why war is bad and why peace is good-*duh*- BUT page-turner. I think it would make a good tv episodic on the sci-fi channel. I would totally watch.


The Progress of Shingles...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

dear one,

i'm going to write about the redemptive gift eventually. i wanted to write it today but i don't know if i have the headspace. so onward to more babbling stuff. like the awesomeness of bridesmaids. i started laughing at this one part when sookie is on top of the blonde girl and slapping her and asking her about her spark* and saying you're the problem, you're the solution. remember that part- i gawfawed? no one laughed. a teenager was overheard saying, why is that funny? i was like only the depth of more years will explain why that's funny. but maybenot. maybe i need sookie to jump on me and demand if i have some fight in me left after all.. so,

i've done yoga. which at the end there were too many forward bends and i had to stop as i still have intermittent- i dont know- discomfort? but then i picked grapefruit, put dishes away, fed some of the birds. perhaps my energy is truly rebounding? yesterday i even painted the base coat on a series of canvases. of course my engineering fgrade got the better of me as the clamps were ineffective- one crashed to the ground, another onto me. and oil paint is toxic and i can tell my skin starts reacting against it- its called gloves, i know. but i dont have any. not painting ones-- i just need some light fabric gloves maybe? eh. well anyway there it is. surely i warned myself against painting inside but i did it anyway and now the sheets on my chair have blue spots and theres a light blue haze on the floor/chair matt. alas. i dont have a plan b yet.

and marley is doing better. more irrascible but still costly dental work awaits him? maybe? mom has to decide. i would hope if we do it, it'll give him a couple more years he wouldn't have had otherwise. poor kitty. stemming the decay of the curse is expensive and mostly expected. the question is, will it resolve the issue or is it a shot in the dark? or 50/50? either way soft foods and pampering await him for the rest of his life. my pastor when i went to prayer walk with him on thursday wondered in a polite way if we were just going to go ahead and put him to sleep then? if he's that-old? i gave a sigh and thought certainly when my peer here gets to heaven he will not be allowed anywhere near the animals. he's never had cats. i dont even know if they own dogs. it makes me suspicious. there is something non-pet people just dont understand. i mean hello- SIXTEEN years. he's been around 1/2 my life yo. doesnt he deserve our best? anyWAY.

i've got to find some snacks to take with me before the prayer council meeting. perhaps a practice in futility but surely not? just raking the ground, picking up rocks. we don't have to be savetheworld productive. we do we do! you know i want us to be. but upside of coming early maybe i'll get to play xbox. so thats going to motivate me to cut this letter short and go take a shower- i woke up early again- itchy and hot? and uncomfortable. totally unpleasant. and another cloudy june gloom day- boohoo. poor california. lauds is just not my thing. but there must be something to it.

love you.

le lavender


Friday, June 10, 2011

good bad ugly

We’re talking about newhouse here. There are things. You know my environment affects me deeply. Here are my recent notes.

lavenderGOOD – lavender. It’s everywhere. There are 3 sizable plants out front, another smaller one that I successfully transplanted outside my bedroom window, and so many tiny volunteers that I’ve had to weed them. I’ve kept a few, or more than a few, because letsbehonest, I wouldn’t mind a whole entire field of lavender in place of a yard. But I do have to be practical and let the other plants live. P.S. Most of these pictures totally aren’t mine.

GOOD – mint. I’ve liked mint, always wanted to have some in my yard. It smells good, and the children like to pick leaves and put it in their lemonade as was suggested on a favorite TV show of theirs.

BAD – mint. Because it really is a weed. I wouldn’t mind if I hadn’t ripped a bunch to make room for oregano and tomatoes, but they’re trying to overtake them. So I have to rip them out, too.

UGLY – ticks. I live in constant paranoia of them, both attached and unattached.

mimosaGOOD – mimosa tree. Or in my world, Fraggle Trees. Because their flowers look like Fraggles. I remember taking a walk around the neighborhood last year and noticing these trees and thinking a) I have to find out what they are and b) I want one for my yard. And lo and behold, here at new house, there one is. God listens.

UGLY – ticks. I check the dogs every day and yank them off with tweezers. I’ve lost count how many sycophantic, brainless creatures I’ve extracted from their bodies, in various stages of feeding. Read: tiny to full. K.Lo desperately wanted me to look at something under Bailey’s chin and I begged off, completely in denial, and said, no, it’s just her cyst. It’s fine. I’ve seen it. But then she’s like, but Mommy, it has legs. And I saw the legs move. *EFF*

UGLY – ticks. I feel them crawling on me, even when they aren’t. And when they are, I practically jump out of my skin. Today, I felt something all of a sudden crawling on my face, near my eye, like an inch away from my eye, and I grabbed at it, and it was a tick. Which I flushed. But not before it knicked me. Fugging thing nearly latched on my face! by my eye! the nerve!

UGLY UGLY UGLY – ticks. As I’ve mentioned, I’m in a state of constant vigilance regarding this blood-sucking enemy. Especially the inevitable little trolls that I’ve missed on the dogs that feed for like, a week and fall off and there they are on the floor, all bloated with their legs wriggling. I’ve documented this before. We’re familiar with the saga. But one of my very, very worst nightmares is missing one of the fugging things and stepping on it. In my bare feet. And having it explode all over the bottom of my foot, leaving a deflated puddle of blood and squish. This happened this morning. It did. I’m traumatized for life.

GOOD – the rosemary. Which I’m sure I’ve talked about before, but I have to talk about something, anything else and it’s the first thing that popped into my brain. It’s evergreen. There’s a lizard living in it. We leave each other alone. Occasionally I thieve some rosemary to season chicken. I don’t think the lizard minds.

BAD – wasps. Hate them. K.Lo asked today, “Mommy, why did God put bugs like wasps here?” Exactly, my dear. They like to build nests under the deck and in the eaves and are generally everywhere.

100_0810GOOD – daisies. There’s a bunch under the deck stairs. I’ve left them alone while mowing and now there’s a big group of them blooming at the base of the stairs, in between the first and second step. They stay. (This picture is mine.)

BAD – ticks. Just one last, neutral observation. I had wanted to camp in the woods at some point. But I’ll pass, thankyouverymuch. Indoors next-door to the woods is bad enough.

GOOD – porchulaca. I planted these. Isn’t it the best flower name ever? Porchulaca! It’s like a song. What I love about them most is that a single plant will produce several different colored flowers. White, yellow, orange, pink, fuchsia. Every day’s a surprise. These spread as well, but they’re like the lavender and the daisies, not the mint, imho. I will keep them.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

funny you should say -

“let us both be comfortable wading in the tide for now. the sea is warm and calm and not too deep. maybe we'll float. and watch the clouds and see faces in them.”

Because in church this past Sunday – the non-boring class part, not the abnormally boring service part – we discussed a bit what motivates us every day, to get up and get going, which segued into a mention of our gifts. The two other people in class (summer and pre-summer Sundays do not apparently draw much of a crowd) were lucky enough to have not only recognized their gifts in their lives but channeled them into a practical occupation. And I, of course, have not. But said the idea of my gifts motivates me in life and in prayer; I just haven’t hit on that sure path, haven’t encountered the intersection of where gifts and practical purpose meet.

I thought of you too while I was saying and thinking all of this, because of course we’re sailing along in that boat together. Or paddling along in tandem on surfboards, as the case may be: the pastor brought up the metaphor of water and waiting for that perfect wave. How every now and then you might catch a wave, ride it for awhile, then it fizzles out. And repeat. And repeat. Until that perfect wave comes along and that’s the one you ride for a long while, sure and steady and soaring.

We’ve ridden some waves. They’ve fizzled. We’re waiting for the perfect one. And our faith says someday it’s going to come along.

In the meantime, friend – I’m with you; let’s wade.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

dear friend,

my mom found the head of a kitten on her property and its detached paws... i asked her where jesus was in this image and i can only hope the kitten is now romping around in heaven waiting for us to get there and its going to tell us how jesus brought it back to life and gave it a name. we have no idea what beast brought to bear on the tiny thing or why nature must be so cruel but there it is. i wouldn't mention it but it's one of those dark horrifying things that people don't talk about and yet there it is lingering in the mind. Like the young starling I 'saved' who was so panicked to be captive died in a stretched out mode of panic and fright looking frozen ever outward and crawling with ants... Whatever targeted the young weak innocent thing is probably at the root of that creepy guy in those posters- with that look and those eyes... we all know about. And if my life weren't currently grinding and tragical/comical i would definitely think my mom was in some sort of dark suspense thriller. and then in light of that the strange dreams, the wind- the large branch in the yard, the ominous background music, where else do you go from there. a curious footnote. you think, are those shingles a sign of something? a portent. some insidious thing.

and then go on talking about banal things like wii tennis and some xbox game called the hunter something. and a dvd compilation on contemplation you bought on amazon (i hope it doesn't suck) or being in love with the word codswallop. all of those trappings and fittings until the sinister twinge of the violin. but we go on. we read books on chaos theory. we think- pattern. we think jurassic park is a good example. we believe there's something stirring. we grow watchful. we worry about our own cat with nervous glances at his well being. we remember the word fractal but can't define it. we think- snap-out of it. we draw the blinds and think about the book we read about praying the hours. knowing we're nowhere near vigil but we grow tired. we grow exposed.

but we keep putting on ointment (the shingles which quietly annoy and grow hot) and burts honey lipbalm, distractedly as our foot arches and turns in place. checking our messages and finding the only thing to watch is antiques road show. but we don't hear a word. we glance up and some picture of the brooklyn bridge is worth 30,000. we wish whatever it was, wherever it is was worth a goldmine. we look for something to do now that the nails are done (pink sparkle) and the cuticles trimmed, 3 cut in, probably from that one day when i was dehydrated and drank nothing but tea and cranberry juice. 

but nevermind. and then you remember the neighbor. the one with the jesus sign and the fake flower story from a friend and you think unstable. you think unhinged and ungodly- are there bodies under there? it was in a story i read. but wait they weren't fake it was maryhigginsclark. nevermind. maybe it was really about the goatshead and the probably satanic rituals happening where you might have lived. and you hope for light to break and to sleep through the witching hour so you can sit in your garden full of flowers and think- no, no, everything is going to be just fine.


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Hello, m! I miss you. I’m currently immersed in the world of bitter hormones and magazine-deadline-meeting. No worries, I’ll get through. And I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend. We hope.

Anyway – I’ve been meaning to record a few in-town observations. Unfortunately, none of these have been – ever can be? – photographed. Okay, I’m sure we’ll make it happen someday, now that I’ve said that. But for now imagine through words -

Billboards for Creepy Churches. I’m a firm believer that churches should never look like store fronts and should never, ever feature the pastor/preacher/reverend/head snake-handler’s face in ads, no matter how important they think they are. But whatever – I understand different things speak to different people, even if an 8x10-foot glossy ain’t for me. Except there’s this one sign. It’s a newer one. Reverend Creepy McCreeperson wears a green shirt, black suit jacket and bolo tie – which let’s be honest is the first red flag. His smile is slight and most definitely sinister. His chin is tucked, his eyes look up toward the camera. Kind of like my back-from-the-7th-circle-of-hell-aka-the-DMV picture? Except this guy’s still in the 7th circle of hell. He lives there. You can just tell. Not the DMV but the actual, flame-enveloped home of the devil. And he wants you to go to his church. No! I won’t do it! Now quit looking at me every time I drive by, Reverend Creepy.


Not much further down the road – I’d conjecture it was Reverend Creepy’s house, but let’s be honest, we all know he lives in a ginormous mansion somewhere, likely with a harem – is an average-sized brick home landscaped with some flowers on the side of the house. White flowers. Low to the ground. Uniform. Very, very uniform. Do you see where this is going yet? No? Okay – in the cooler months, they had red flowers out front, same variety. But only for a day or two, and then they were gone. Fleeting beauty. Except not really beautiful at all, because the flowers are fake. And they are outside. In the ground. Outdoor fake flowers. “Planted” in the dirt. They’re the plastic carnations people use to decorate gravestones. I am so not kidding. That is their landscaping. It’s what they do. Sometimes I think it must be an inside joke or a prank or irony, but we all know that’s my own optimism in its most sweetly na├»ve form. They mean those flowers, every last tacky fabric petal.

Third and last (for now – I have a feeling observations such as these will crop up regularly in my letters to you), we head back to my neighborhood. Remember the house we almost rented? The one with the finished basement that I still sort of love, with the yellow walls and the black-and-white tiled floor? The one where the owners decided at the last second to be giant dick-faces about the fact that we own dogs and proposed we put down roughly $10K in deposits before moving in? I’ve thought about taking the dogs for a walk and encouraging them to do their business in said homeowners’ yard, but I never did get around to it. I guess I’m not really that mean in practice. The daydream is better anyway. But we’ve walked by on occasion, noted that the homeowners have left and new people – renters, apparently, since a sale was never noted online – have moved in. (Please. You know I’m nosy and can’t help the follow-up spy work.) And I hope those renters are everything the homeowners dreamed them to be. I hope they don’t have dogs, and if they do, I hope they lock them in the unfinished portion of the basement as was proposed to us in deal-making. And I certainly hope they aren’t super-sketcho. The kind of people who, say, don’t appear to have children, but have made some use of the swing set out back. Not by swinging on the bench swing – obviously that would be normal, expected, desired. But by affixing a dried-out goat skull to the platform hideout at the top. The kind you’d see on a creepfest altar worshipping who-knows-what entity. The aforementioned Reverend Creepy, maybe. Yes. Hope they aren’t that kind of people at all.


And I hope your journeys lately have been just as magical as mine. Love to you –


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Review Enclosed dear, pen-

having reviewed the footage of may the one strong force that kept me aloft was friends. they're not pictured. i am not sure why not. maybe this month i will have to make an effort of photo'ing you all. and i do see there were some good food things throughout. i can only wonder what the somewhat arbitrary designation of "june" is going to bring... we-shall-see. pen. weshallsee. oh and did i mention books and lifetime movies? those too.