Life Quacks and Dogs Poop

I’m a huge fan of the artist Amanda Palmer. I bought her most recent album, and not just an online version – i had to have the actual CD and sleeve and artwork and her notes and thankyous and all of it. I wanted it in my hand, to touch, to have for realsies. One of the songs is called “Runs in the Family”, and it resonates deeply with me. This verse of, i don’t know… Whatever it is, i wrote it to the rhythm of the verses of the song. It’s stream-of-consciousness and sort of poetic and maybe (i hope) funny and uplifting. If you want to get a better sense of the patterns i patter at (because there’s definitely syncope at play here), maybe give it a listen. Of course i recommend her most strongly, but art is in the ear of the listener, isn’t it?

Hold on, hang in, stay safe.
Love and Peace,

I look out the window as i wash the dishes
and i see the water is SPARKLING! so it has just
broken through winter’s hard crust and now i can see
small dots of movement and their QUACKS! reach up to me
letting me know that they and life has landed
and soon they will fill up the BANKS with their babies!
as geese and great swans do the same as the ducks do
the frogs start their ribbeting WHICH they will keep up!
until all their noises fade into my background
as i become transfixed by ALL of the green things!
that push their way up through the just melted crust
of the earth that surrounds me and FILLS! up my nostrils
with glorious smells of its living fecundity
unlike the fetid and SOFT melty dog shits!
that pepper my yard and make me glad that i have sons
who live at home and must TOUCH! them to please me
i picture my land as i finish the dishes
how it will look in just a PALTRY! few weeks of time
lush with green grass and the trees will be bursting
with big juicy leaves for the BUGS that will torture me!
but i won’t mind too much cuz i am walking with my
dogs and we won’t be STAYING! for too long
in one place we move fast we’re onward and upward
the sniffs make them so happy TAILS wag their butts right off!
but right now the driveway is muddy and squelches
around my boots as i take SCRAPS! to the composting
bin that we have around back for our garden
that last year went fallow cuz MY ASS was crazy then!
this year we maybe can have some tomatoes along
with the flowers that GROW! in the front of our house
that is crooked and little and perfect and we are
all safe and sound out here in SPITE! of the sickness
that rages around us and hurts other people and
makes me feel fine about BEING! a hermit
which while i am sad and my anxiousness threatens to
swallow me whole i know I AM so fortunate!
that i live in this piece of world with this man i
love looking at life i KNOW! it will always out
so i look at the water and hear the damn quacking
and smell all the poop that wafts UP! through the window
it fills me with gratitude for what i have while
the quacks gird my loins for the CYCLE of life! that
is winding down in me and cranking up elsewhere and
it is so beautifully REAL! and transplendant
my eyes fill with tears that are not ones of sadness
and sparkle like water like DIAMONDS in paradise!


I am a tree
Tall and strong
My great limbs bend into smaller branches
I’m covered in rough bark
But underneath, the wood is green and fragrant
You cannot easily break off a piece with your own hand
You must wind it round and round
Cursing its soft strength
The branch splits apart yet still holds
You curse and twist
And while some wooden strands give way
Yet others hold fast
The green and gold, like oats at harvest
My leaves are a story
Some yes, are curling
But look at the rest
Full and lush
Verdant and heady
The crispy and dry make way for the vibrantly shaking and whispering
Singing leaves and tawny wood
I set my roots deep and dare any comers
Try to move me
None shall move me
I grow here and stay
Let birds find shelter and insects feed
I thrive
I give shade
I am life
My roots are deep and i remain
Stay awhile and rest underneath my canopy of greenery and love
I am a tree


I looked for you and you said, I’m here
So i followed the sound of your voice to the place it was coming from
I leaned down and whispered Hullo?
But you weren’t there in the brackish water, or at least
You chose not to surface
I slept that night and dreamed of you in the forest
Beckoning me, Come
In the morning i eagerly dressed and ran outside
I heard your voice on the wind
It tinkled through the leaves like living bells
Oh please, is that you?
I climbed some of the trees there, hoping to find you
After a while the bells seemed more like brittle laughter
I fell down and scraped my knee on some bark
The blood marked it with my passing and i was glad
Next day it was scabbed over and i picked it
Wanting to bleed again
I’ve written you letters but there’s nowhere to send them
I seal them with my tears that drip like wax on the paper
And my heart
Leaves my body while i sleep and tries to deliver them
It returns every morning, grey and empty
I kiss it long and deep as it buries itself back inside me
I ask others if they’ve seen you and they tell me
Oh yes, just yesterday!
Their stories burn my skin and i smile while it blisters
They don’t seem to smell my flesh cooking
Can they not see my bones?
I bake you a pie and go where they tell me you’ll be
I’m wearing tight clothing to keep my flesh from falling off
I sing with them and listen to their stories
I’m putrid and dying but yet my heart beats
In my best mezzo soprano i tell of my love for you
Hullo, are you here?
They all love my pie and ask me
Aren’t you amazing, aren’t you grand?
My heart climbs out of my chest and carries me home
We eat my flesh together, and i cannot hear your voice


This is not my garden,
i’ve tarried here too long
I cannot keep it,
it does not rise to my touch

This is not my garden,
its fruit does not sustain me
The taste is bland and unripened,
the sun too rare

This is not my garden,
nothing here will grow
No verdance, no smell beckons me,
It’s time for me to go

This is not my garden…
It never was

Image: Gardens of the Dying Light, by QueenOfRohan


Today i’m low
Oh, i’m so low
I can pretend i’m not, but can i not pretend?
Dear Ms. Therapist, i am trying
I thought i had it rough, but now i know i didn’t – not really
My brain can do this amazing thing where it takes me out of the shit and fills my face with someone else
I float
I float up here and watch some actressrobotclone do me for the masses
If it’s too much to watch, the door in my belly bids me come
It locks onto me like a tractor beam and pulls me in and slams behind me
I am nothingness
Was it all that bad if i wasn’t even there for it?
I inch my way slowly past the beckoning door, pressed flat against the far wall
I take the stairs down into my guts
It reeks down here. Like the smell of their fear that i could never scrub off me
Afraid of a little girl
The air tastes like salt and metal, like his hands when he pressed them over my nose and mouth
Shh, be quiet, shut up, stop fighting me!
Why do i have to come down here with these old ghosts?
I cleverly escaped their filthy clutches – why should i return?
They paw at me, and they stink
I don’t need anything down here
I look up and see my heart, beating blackly, shivering with pain
Reaching up, i place my hand firmly on it, the muscle quivers like a horse’s flank after a race
I pet my poor heart until it slows
It stops twitching and warms beneath my fingers
Stop running Dear One, i whisper
The race is done
We won a long time ago
I’m going back up the stairs now
Still tired and low, and this didn’t change me
There’s a light at the top that bids me come
Going carefully up over slime covered stone
I look down and say I’ll be back and that’s funny
The bilge water needs to be pumped out
My shoes are soaked and my feet, ice
I’ll bring salt when next i come, to dry up the fine, slick crust
I wave from the last step, and hope it doesn’t take me as long to clean the basement as it did the attic

Tea With A Friend

Some days i feel warm and expansive and guileless
I see the light underneath the closed door
But there are days when everyone’s ugly and everything smells bad
And the door leaks a shadow that runs out like blood

Most days it’s both, as it is today while i bash away at my keyboard
The sun on the snow in the window behind, bathes me in white light
Sylphlike shadow on the cold, black television screen
I glow in the nothingness, angel of endlessness

Grief is due for a visit, in fact long overdue
She’s been busy with other obligations and i have been, too
Lately i’ve felt her absence distinctly, the chair where she sits keenly empty
My list of topics for conversation grows longer and the words gather weight

Anger and Pain have been at me for months now
They want to pop in for a chat, and they promise “Just 1 drink”
I might as well get it over with, as they won’t stop knocking
“Hello hello, it’s been ages, can we come over?”

I won’t shirk my family obligations as i have so few now
It won’t cost me much to have them over for dinner and i love to cook
They’ll rant and they’ll rave and pound their cutlery on the table
But it doesn’t bother me, i know they just need to be heard

And once they’re both gone, staggering down my front steps
Because of course they both had a few more than 1 drink
I’ll clean up the table and put on soft music while i set the kettle to boil
I know she’ll be by soon so i put on my jammies and grab the tissue

Some days it’s all rainbows and ice cream and hope
Some days it sharp claps of thunder while lightning sets fire to my house
Then there are times when the pit of my stomach opens wide and swallows me
I sit across from her in my rocking chair made from old bones and i weep

She listens and sips while she knits me a sweater
Her needles click rhythmically in time with my sobs, her eyes soft and wet
My heart thrums and pumps out its low dirge, dark and heavy
She hugs me goodbye, kisses my cheek, and promises me she’ll come back soon

I miss her already


The loose-stringed bass, surfing guitar, and wind-up monkey drums remind me who i am

Large and enraged
bashing my lips together like cymbals
Words racing out of my mouth and crashing into everyone

Drunk on pain
hands curled into fists save 1 pointing finger
Take a good long look at what you’ve done to me

Violent head-bobs
my feet kicking and stomping to the beat
I’m mad as hell and i’m not gonna take it anymore

Sudden hard shove
careening across the floor and smack into the wall
Come on back because i’ve still got more in me

You aren’t them
but you’ll do as a stand-in and so will i
We’ll trade hits until they ask us to sit back down or leave

We bail and play chicken with friends and shopping carts in the parking lot of a Safeway

There isn’t one
Get it?