Thursday, July 31, 2008


one of the faculty just walked in as I was winding down for the day and stopped and said with utmost conviction "you're beautifull". what do you do whith that? I've always struggled with peoples well meant comments of that nature. I'm an all or nothing type of girl and most days I feel like an elephant in heels. I'm also highly amused by that image. Part of it is having no butt (thanks, dad) and just a little to much going on in front. it's an akward combination. I'm quite content in being (and let's see who can catch this quote) "Tolerable, I'll admit, but not enough to tempt me"
Some days I rage against the silly rules that made some people with a metabolism that keeps them looking adolescantly thin late into their thirties. Some days, I suck in my stomach all day and hope noone notices. Someone always does though.
Those are the days I feel like a overdose of jello in a small cup ("I've got a piece of loose Jello, ok?")
But then when people stop me and comment on my "beauty" I am seriously taken aback. I wait for the favour they need, or the bit they're going to sell me. Not the best of reactions. I don't believe in the feel good crap that everyone is beautifull. I think every one is intreguing, but ultimatly, some people just have the crap end of the deal. I'm not saying that's me. I'm just tired of the whole "everyone is valid in exactly the same way" line. It's not true. Some people are ugly, and you love them anyways, cause it's not features that matter.
Some day's I hope desperatly that my other talents make up for my lack of beauty.
Some days I just put on the biggest, brightest earrings I own and hope it blinds people.
I'm not having a bad day, I just am tired of keeping up the facade of a well rounded, put together girl. The tired old lines that say " I know I'm special, and that I have my own unique type of beauty" I don't. And I'm fine with that.
I'll be smart instead, or creative. Things I can choose to invest in. Things I can take pride in being, since I worked at them.
ok, rant over.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

new york in the summer

It's been two summers now, living in the big apple. And each summer I forget completely about the absolute styfling heat. The old buildings have the window airconditioners humming away in the window sills, looking like so many beehives attached to the brick outer walls. They drip water on the unsuspecting passing pedestrian.
This summer, however, I'm not just visiting the city in a futile attempt to do something meaningfull, but I'm actually visiting friends.
We went to a small senegalies restaurant where the food was very reasonable and quite african, not the strange mix you can get other places. The waitress herself exuded an air of being in a different place, wearing the cultural outfit of some african country, but she wore it familiar like. This was her clothing of choice, her comfort clothes. I guess she wore them like a t-shirt and jeans.
T and I havn't seen each other since she got engaged. She's married now, has been for a year. What a strangely long time to not see a friend. Luckily we picked up right where we left of. She and I discussed our changes, and our sames. I got to talk to E also and pick his brain on life and future plans.
The City was mostly a blur to me as we wandered around, looking at tourist places, which have become old friends to me.
You know, things are never worth seeing just once. They can't speak to you on just one quick visite. IT's the repeating vieuwings that create the layers and familiarity that cause admiration and understanding. I've seen the statue of liberty, and the staten Island ferry, I've been on one of them. But to wander past it and look up to see it and to feel not excitement, but a quite knowing, and an enjoyement of the fact that I knew what it looked like before I looked up, creates a different exitement, a much quiter one. and deeper
I am enjoying the idea that I am getting to know this city, that there are places that won't dissapoint.
we spent 3 hours in the Met, and I had a better time than all those times I felt like I had to rush through to see it all. we stuck to the modern wing and speed walked through a turner exhibit. over rated. But could that man ever produce!
One of my favorite songs, by Rufus wainright, is about a poor little rich girl who fell in love with her art teacher over a Turner, but I don't see much to spark the romantics in them.
We also went to a belgian frites place, found a belgian beer place and a belgian waffle cart, the only one in New York! real belgian waffles too, not just diner variety limp waffles but the luikse wafel! I could smell it from a block away. Needles to say, we grabbed cards and made them promise they would be in the same place next time we were in town. We also found a hooka bar, that was a first for me.
We own a hooka, but I've never been to a place where they set them up for you.
It was beautifull. The entire weekend was very enjoyable, especially since I was able to convince T to come home with me, and we wandered around my little town for a morning.
Once she left, I understood how much she's meant to me over the years, and how much she and I used to work as a team. I am missing her like crazy now, but she's only a plane ride away.
I am trying to make plans to visit next summer.
such a versatile person... visits from all over and to all over. It's how I was raised I guess.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

La Pucelle* - (“the maiden”)

The flames that lick my feet are cold
As once the flames that fired my heart
Were warm. The starting fire reflected in the
Red robed monks. The soldier’s mocking cry:
“Jehanne, where is your Michael now?”
Careening off the courtyard wall
-Fear of riots kept me from burning in the public square-
centers me, for so they mocked my Lord
As he clung to his tree.
But no lord can match the torment, I think, of
La Pucelle, a woman and a soldier.
I sacked great cities, I the Maid,
I humbled them before the Lord, their walls to rubble
Their wives to widows, all, all fell before me.
And now I succumb at last
By a trick delivered in the dark of night to
My enemy.
The Lord most high, who can know his ways?
I served him well, through lonely wandering
I served him better crowning France a king
And sallying forth to battle for him.
Who knows, perhaps I serve him best with this,
My death.
Who knows, I’ve always been a firebrand,
My faith a hot and searing torch to warm my soldier’s hearts
And burn the English as they sleep.
My standard alone released the longed for patriotism
Dormant then for years in France.
My angels guided me and I the men to fight for
Orleans and Reims and Paris.
Lord, the pain! A crucifix, oh please!
If any here of tender heart, take pity on me-
Let me slake my eyes on a cross before I die.
Before the smoke and flames succeed
And crack this shell of a body,
Thanks, good priest, please, raise it higher?
The smoke is hiding His sweet face from me.
Such yellow smoke I have not seen since
The walls of Orleans were burning.
The smoke smudged like charcoal, obscuring
Foot soldiers, its fingers drawing smudges on the armor.
The arrow winged its murky path through the billowing grey
And struck me. Glory to God!
His angels staunched the blood
As I, screaming, pulled it out.
Now I am screaming again. O God!
Where are your messengers now?
The strength of my right arm
Cannot deliver justice to those Burgundians
-Dogs, licking English heels- tied to the stake.
Lord, if you let me die, what good has my fighting been?
The king is crowned, but weak. My death may topple his fragile rule.
These bishops reek of English bribe, my crime
A trumped-up charge. Three days, and three months more
Though they searched in every crevice they found no heresy
My God, death if needed, but for a lie? The voices spoke of more than this!

Thin tendrils of smoke rising from the strands of wood,
Twisted into a makeshift cross and hung around my neck
By a poor man, his last offering to Jehanne, remind me
That The Maid is more than simple me, she will not die
As I will.
My funeral pyre will light the nights to come and then
One night I will be given to the river and disappear.
That will be the end of me.
But the fires lit for la Pucelle will be passed as batons
Down the centuries, blazing a path through the ages
By campfires in the snow, warming soldier’s hearts, and
Firing the souls of patriots.

* Joan of Arc, called Jehanne, fought for French identity and sovereignty from the English and Burgundians. She was captured and sold to the English, who convicted her of being a witch for wearing men’s clothing after a long trial where they tried to prove her a heretic. She claimed to hear from angels concerning battle strategies and such.


Long leg flashing out, taxi door ajar,
She leaves him standing on the curb, watching
The rain-freckled light of a moving car.

Three years since first he’d seen his fading star
She had stopped, had spoken low, excusing
The long leg flashing out, taxi door ajar

She had the look of an unfamiliar
Animal, wild and dangerous, hailing
The rain-freckled light of a moving car.

He loved her, the fool, (young men often are),
And frivoled precious years in following
A long leg flashing out, taxi door ajar

Now, on the worn steps of a rundown bar
He throws his dreams at the disappearing
Rain-freckled light of the moving car.

The sky bleeds water as he takes his place
At the bar, nursing his drink and musing
on long legs flashing out, taxi door ajar
The rain-freckled light on a moving car.

The winter of the soul

The swollen water winds its way around
The frozen flowers dreaming they yet lived
and danced, by spring and summer’s kisses blessed.
Trees in dark, funeral cloths, clutch the ground

The cold, it seeps like rot inside the bone
It slows the pulse of Gaia to a whimper
Gray skies allow the naked earth to shiver,
Shriven, for its warm summer to atone

The ground needs cleansing from the summer’s sin.
Its joys dug deep into the forest floor-
Princely spread- requires purification

So the soul after intense delight turns
Introspective and seeks forgiveness for
Living in momentary abandon.

Tree Learning

A poem is a tree with branches that point
Skyward and prick the air, its bulk and weight
A point to pin thoughts on and roots that dig
Down deep below and drink of silent, dark
And swirling streams. It sips its meaning,
Sharp as needles, straight from Gaia’s bone and marrow;
Cold and piercing, truth is sent up, veining out
Through bough and branch, leaf and fruit, ever forced
To finer points till, blossoming out
In many hued grandeur, facing the world
Bold and candid, forked lightning in reverse
Trapping the mind and teasing with answers, it leads
You to look for the root in the fruit in your hand.

The corset

Bright red it circles, like a serpent, around my waist
It encloses, tail in mouth, the center-self of me
It sets a boundary line, this far and not one breath
(Bursting bounds)
It rams me up, straight as a rod
Forces posture upright,
Smiling, smiling, upright
It delineates,
It defines me,
It silhouettes me up against the light
It emphasizes hips-waist-chest, cinched tight,
It validates my Eve-ness
Hard against my softness
Unyielding to my skin.
A red fist wrapped around the trembling soul of me.
Pain provides definition,
Uncomfortable dilemma:
To live unformed and free, a huge amoeba floating,
Weight-of-world discarding
Or to live looking full (outward-beauty)…

I look damned good in a corset.

The world’s a stage, and we but actors on it.

They glued me into time, they dressed me up
They made me act a part, life’s jailhouse keepers.
Wrote a script, translated it into three languages
Sent me to two different continents to play the role
Three different countries saw me walk the planks,
And dazzle crowds with lies.
I did it once in costume, once in drag
And once with a gun to my head.

The glue begins to dissolve (I can feel it give a little)
They did not mean for it to hold a human
To existence, let alone this human
Or to keep a person, this person, i.e. me,
Prisoner to existence, tied to time’s ticking metronome
Each day I feel it sag a little, bend a little, stretch some more
Like tar on a hot day.

But what happens when the glue, the stage makeup,
The part become unstuck?
What happens when the mirror of reality turns upon itself?
Will all the shattered shards of me
Splinter, splay, fray and fling themselves
(Spring loaded by long repression)
To the very ends of being and
Lodge them selves in, what, the stars?
Or will I fade like the body from the cross,
Fall slow-motion and folding to the floor
To be done with all of it,

Ipsi Dixit

Ipsi Dixit

The girl with the flowers in her hair
Sits by the big open window in the hallway.
The flowers died on all hallows day,
Sacrificed in memory of the olden days,
The flowers withered and faded away.
The lilies collapsed and the roses are drooping.

The bombs fell on London,
The bombs fell, wounds gouged into collective memory.
The bombs fell on Sarajevo,
The bombs fell, small children watching then, will remember as they grow old.

The girl sits with yesterday entwined in her hair, thinking of air raids.

In the dance hall the dancers warm up for their routine
Their bleeding feet bound tight, pointille.
The stage is set, the crowd awaits
The tour de force, forged on disciplined footing.

A stream of strangers drift past her feet, encased in sensible shoes,
Like petals adrift on the water, each leaf a swirling new pattern of life
Bright and crisp and new in the morning, new every morning.
She reaches up and touches her hair
The dance is pauses, the ship is boarding.

And the newscaster reads his reports from the screen
Africa and AIDS he says.
And Bono in his shades, he says.
Then businessmen and corporate scheming and
Businesswomen and this years dreaming
And local color and touching story, and
Take long walks and
Don’t forget to change the world tonight.
Thanks for listening and goodnight.

And she sits there and ruminates on presidents long dead,
And books over-read,
And heroes and their downfall,
All the while,
Dead flowers in her hair,
And a note in her pocket that reads:

“I shall walk into the roaring torrent of life
With stones in my pocket
And lose my bearings in the roiling waves”

For the rush of existence in her ears is so loud it threatens her with drowning.

* she herself has said it.

Judah muses in his tent alone as his father mourns.

Many hues instead of one.
Oh brother mine, such hatred had my heart for you
The youngest, but for one.
Oh Should-have-been-first-born, I was made to feel the guilt of birth
I was the first fruit of my father’s loins,
You the first-fruit of his love
I the product of distraction
You the pinnacle of many years devotion.
He loved you, and I loved him, and in my great needy love
I could not see you loved him too.
Blind fools, we.
All feeling about in the dark of emotions,
Yet you were naïve to believe all his praise.
Innocent, you appeared brash,
Trusting, you forged deep-rooted enmity between us.
Our father’s fourteen year passion and pain stood between us,
And you, who had not ever known rejection,
could not fathom the depth of the separating chasm.
Born of a second best mother,
Her sons could not both love and resent you
Though, I did come to love you in effigy.
Not till the blood of the goat stained many-colors red
Did I realize that I, who’s life was spent courting his approval,
Had in my blindness killed my father.

On Climbing the Lion at Waterloo

On a sunny, sunny day
Bees buzz in the clover, bright white spots of clover,
Brilliant in the light.
Flowers nod in the sun, blissful, quiet and at peace,
Hands lay in the green, green grass, grasping, holding peace.
Birds chirping in the sun, circling, perching peace.
Peace has settled like a vulture to the feast
On the green, green grass


Screaming, fighting, blood-noise disturbed the peace
Violent interlude on a sunny, sunny day.
The sun poured down so liquid soft,
Kissing the face of the fighters, blessing.
Between the shuffling feet, the scuffle
The rifle’s crack and the thud of impact.
The cannons saluting across the field
The ripping and the rending
The groaning of the dying.
The flowers strive to see the sun,
The light so bright and clean,
Beaming over bloodshed
On the green, green grass

Green is always greener by contrast.

The sun’s rays touch a face, on that sunny, sunny day
Sweat drips from that face
On that sunny, sunny day.
Sweat and blood, sweet tasting on the lips,
In the sun, on the grass, hands clasp
In the green, green grass.

There is a lone tree in the green, green field.
Its branches framed in sunlight.
A bird sits and serenades the tourists.
There are two hundred year old bullets
Embedded in the trunk.

The Selfish Giant

The day is filtered slowly down in this dark place,
The walls reach out in the gloom and hoard it up,
The iron bars block all but the most persistent beam.
The table sits beneath the window, and catches a patch
Of the evanescent light, a single sunbeam steady pounds the stack of paper.

You were brilliant, you really were, my darling Oscar
You smote the very heart of convention, with your sparkling wit
Shaking the old whore’s confidence on her throne.
You came with thunder muted in your every footstep
And rattled all the teacups in the room.

An oldish seeming man sits bent over his paper,
Jealous of the pooling light. A pen is scratching
History out into examination booklets.
Venomous jabs and plaintive pleas, bloodlike,
Bleed from the stripe clad arm of the prisoner

You did all this, and yet, what had you actually done
But bugger the son of some rich aristocrat?
What great mountains of disdain, you could have scaled
And snubbed your nose at those crawling ants below
Yet you could not deny the siren call,
The sumptuous and decadent bait dangled before you:
The parties, champagne, the art, the boys.

The gaoler carefully counts the sheets and
Files them away. Wilde, a genius, sits and plays
At Peek-a-boo with sun dust in his cell. Three years of hard labor
Has ruined him for polite society;
Like a diamond, they’ve bent and crushed
The devil from him and he emerges a broken,
Gleaming man.


The kiss of a lover enfolds like a flower
Well, then a lonely bee is soon ensnared

A stranger, passing in the night, can cast a wandering eye
Through a dining room window and be altered, past knowing, by the view

The touch of a hand leaves an indelible mark
On some plant by the road, never to be erased

So, leave no deep footprints as you pass by
And touch only what you wish to keep.

Invocation of the Muse

In early morning, at first light, sing the praise
Of coffee. Let the song be fresh and bright
To lift the spirits from a sleeper’s daze.

Oh, grinds, infuse the day with smells so light
And burbling sounds of bliss, percolating.
Awake the courage needed for the fight

Against the doldrums caused by the maddening
Repetition, wooden and precise, of rites
Performed by day, bracketed by evening.

Oh, coffee is the only thing that bites
My mind, starts my morning meditation
It sends my faculties flying, high as kites.

So sing, pajama clad, battling exhaustion
As you greet the world through a sleepy haze,
Of its soothing, total, sweet dominion.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I am so absolutly stoked at this point. Yes, I use that word with care. As in the stoking of a railroad engine, burn those flames HIGHER! Adrenaline and nostalgia and a wiff of some strange strain of home sickness are making me slightly lightheaded as I throw back my inner head as it is proppeled at giddy speeds through the inner landscape of my excitement.
I am going to see one of my closest friends, my sister who never quite moved in with us.
I havn't seen her in three years, in which time she has married a childhood friend. I missed her wedding, because it was a few days after my sisters and I was a broke college student. Paltry exuses now, I know.
I didn't know I had so many memories connected to her, and they are all flooding back. back. back. And oh! the smell of burning in the air.
My eyes and nose are burning, paradoxically with water. I am crying.
I am excited. I am ... so very blessed at this moment.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

sitting at home on my sofa, with it's cover on ( I love living in community, but little things do begin to irk me after repeated conflagrations over it. The sofa has a cover, both mine, and it seems like building a wall out of melting butter to get my roommate to keep them both together.)
So that opening statement contains a vast amount of satisfaction only available to me.
anyways. so we didn't get the house. Which turns out is a good thing, since I was, surprisingly, the most financialy stable person in the bunch. I hadn't expected to hear that, so it was rather a shock to have people pull out at the last minute.
And what does I do when I get a shock?
Correctomundo, I do my whole fainting routine. I've been functioning on sub-normal sense levels.
I know I'm making up terms here, but sometimes I feel like that's what my life is all about

vaak heb ik dan het gevoel dat ik mij termidden van een ocean bevind. maar ik zie de ganse wereld rond mij zich tegoed doen aan lucht. alleen rond mij stroomt er water, maar doorzichtig, zodat ik weet dat ik mijzelf heb afgezondered, dat de wereld rond mij nu alleen gezien kan worden door water, wat alles een beweging geeft dat het niet in zichzelf heeft.
Als mensen soms met mij spreken moet ik mij dubbel zo hard concentreren om hun te horen.