May 31, 2007
First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral:
Little girls shouldn't wander off
in search of strange flowers,
and they mustn't speak to strangers.
And then grant me my generous sense of plot:
Couldn't I have gobbled her up
right there in the jungle?
Why did I ask her where her grandma lived?
As if I, a forest-dweller,
didn't know of the cottage
under the three oak trees
and the old woman lived there
As if I couldn't have swallowed her years before?
And you may call me the Big Bad Wolf,
now my only reputation.
But I was no child-molester
though you'll agree she was pretty.
And the huntsman:
Was I sleeping while he snipped
my thick black fur
and filled me with garbage and stones?
I ran with that weight and fell down,
simply so children could laugh
at the noise of the stones
cutting through my belly,
at the garbage spilling out
with a perfect sense of timing,
just when the tale
should have come to an end.
Agha Shahid Ali
May 31, 2007
May 27, 2007
My body spoke to me today.
Popping in languages forgotten,
Red in anger that I forgot her,
In plodding one foot in front of the
The other is the myth of stress:
Cure it, fix it, soothe it.
We forget, living is challenge;
We forget we are fragile in flesh.
This flesh, my flesh, your flesh,
Tender in all its survival,
Has words louder then our mouths
Could ever invent. imagine, expunge.
Can you hear them?
May 25, 2007
Route 66 Wiwam Motel Holbrook Arizone
I am struggling with incredible work conditions. Construction for the past month at work dominates my life. I drown myselves in aromatherapy. I rest. My garden is not even planted, but then, it is soggy and I am not my neighbors! I have mysteries to read so I rest my mind from my neurotic thinking thang.
I am struggling with some physical discomfort that feels like a message more than anything. I hurt. I have hives and it may be all the different pain rubs I used on my stiff neck or it may be words speaking through flesh. Or, all of the above.
May is from hell, graduation, registration and as my co-worker Angie superbly put it: Construction Purgatory. When one of the construction workers says to you, “You will be sick by the end of the week working in these conditions.” you do more than pause.
Usually I do not share myself with anyone in May. I kept my commitment to Kara and spent my one weekend a month with her and the boys.
I also had my nephew over who is currently being investigated for child sexual abuse; he is 15. This is complex and demanding and I needed him to be with me because of this and he needed me. One would think I would just believe: “I did not do it.” I do not believe or disbelieve him because I have lived with his emotional and spiritual injuries since I met him. I met him when he was 6. He has a brother in jail for inequalities of this nature too.
The initiator of the report, despite my general optimism about the human being and healing, is almost certainly a budding sociopath. A deeply, deeply, chasmitacally injured boy of 9. (Yes, I had to make another word up to describe this indescribable feeling.) This does not allow me to dismiss the accusation in any way. But, I know how powerless this boy feels in his life. It is wrenching to see him alter himself radically to meet each situation I have witnessed him confront in an effort to regain a sense of power in his life. And, the adults find themselves disgusted despite themselves. I have never felt this disgust, only witnessed it in others.
I think I gave the women in Seward, Nebraska something to chat about today. I was busted for the second time due to lack of car registration. My answer to the fiscal frazzle is to put one foot in front of the other and cope. Not a dream boat method but mine for now, maybe someday I will understand this part of me and find respite. A second bust means you loose your car; it is impounded, or you park it in the driveway. I parked, waited and drove back roads to work for 3 days. So, I did my survival dance, borrowed $1000 from myself via the kindness of a paycheck advance from my workplace and paid the dues. The woman said to me,” You bought this car in July 2206?” “Yep.”
I hope it gave them some laughing chat once I left! One should always leave something of themselves with others!
On the flip side! I received a gift card for Target from a friend and Turtle Mix was on sale! All those vitamins: Chocolate, Grains, Nuts. Life is good! And, the Dean told me to file for mileage for all my graduation travel! I did not even know I could do that! Hot damnee dootee! My 23 year old dog, Sami, has found new life in Doc Foster’s adult canned dog food and lives for her meals. True joy is never ignored in this life! And, she still twirls on her ass and banks the house when I get home. I also received a gift card to Starbucks and bought a humungous mocha espresso orange frappe yesterday. Watch about baby!
I also have a deep philosophical question for the universe: Why can’t EHarmony offer me a 3 for 1 discount on pay day???!!!
In the smiling struggle,
Blue Muse Too
May 2, 2007
I have a fairy in my life.
Her name is Mary; she is 11, tall, thin, with a face like truth. We fell in love a year a go and over time our connection flowers. Any time her mother comes to the college she promptly tells her, “I am going to see Kim.”
She thinks like a soul of infinite years. She is direct, flighty, is not a morning person but once she awakens she never stops expressing. I have to tell her to stop talking when I know I am not listening or have to do something in that moment. She cooperates and smiles as she does it.
She is an imp. I took her home after she spent her first weekend with me and we took the grand tour of her neighborhood. In the middle of intersections she said, while pointing, “Turn here.” Looking at her, I said, “Is this the grand tour of your neighborhood?” “Yes’, she said.
I then said,” Mary, repeat after me: I promise I will never be a navigator.” “I promise I will never be a navigator Kim.”
When it was time for me to go home her mother said to me, “Now you know how to get our of here, right?” “Hardly”, I said looking at Mary laughing.
I have a habit of stating my age aloud, as I wonder about myself and how to coalesce time with thoughts, perceptions and actions. I often hear, “You are not that old!” While drinking our hot chocolate and espresso, walking to a performance, somehow it was logical to ask her how old she thought I was. “52”, she said. I said, “Excuse
me? No one has ever said I look older than I am!” She promptly said to me, “ That’s because you pressure them by asking!” She never hesitates. She is a miracle, human, fantastic, fallible, brilliant, exceptionally visually creative, and down right whimsical in a way that only speaks in love.
Today I was out in the courtyard taking a break. I looked left and there she was, running to me, her family behind her, and without hesitation she hugged me.
This is living.
Gracious Galileo Smith
Photographers: Her Parents