The last fragments of happy memories are now turning a peaceful silence into shouting matches. While it's a wonderful view from here with a blind and full heart, all I ask is for a temporary deafness, so that I can listen to peace sing it's way back to me.
Poetry, above all, has taught me how to communicate, how to listen - effectively. How to enjoy silence between words, until that moment the words end. To extract meaning from emotion left between the lines. Poetry has taught me that relationships are made without words, without language, without sound. Relationships are built of the communication that poetry leaves behind. Poetry, above all, is not communication - it is love incarnate.
A young girl once planted seeds, where most had sworn the soil barren. She lived her life as though the seeds bore purpose, nurturing them at moments, but mostly carrying about in suspenseful stillness.
The girls name is Hurt, some know her as Pain. A precious and delicate blessing, we should all allow in our lives...once and a while. She'll dance under the faintest moon and quietly escape as the sun rises. But let her plant some seeds before she leaves, and eat from the fruit it bares; it might turn out to be the sweetest you've ever had.
"On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.
Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?
These ways of thinking -- cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on -- have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power."
-- Howard Zinn, July 4 2007, "The Progressive"
I can only hope that it's "respectful" to celebrate the idea of Independence Day independent of what this country represents, and instead with the ideology that the people we choose to surround ourselves with will help make this country 'better' through acts of kindness, creativity, and compassion. A moral compass doesn't come with a flag, a cross or an anthem...it's in our hearts, and it's to be celebrated on this day, so that tomorrow we can gain the courage to fight for what Independence Day was meant to celebrate...liberation, freedom.
...in pursuit of pleasurable things and condemned to a mind touched with fire, we fill holes to narrate our purpose...
...we feel holes when the narration is mistaken.
Why are most writers lured into the linear story line? Does it make it easier to create these seemingly wondrous worlds that don’t exist? As we read in real time, we share experiences, as if they once existed. We forget to understand that these are people, heroes, lands…worlds without memories.
In our realities, we rely on memories; a nonlinear recollection of an experience that relates to whatever is happening in the present. We’re attached to these existing recollections in our mind that force us to live in the past, jumping back and forth through time. And we pile on to that any daily challenges we choose to not confront. We attach, detach, and reattach only to remember, rely on and recollect.
The linear system is easy, logical and accessible. We can press pause, and carry on when ready. It’s our realities that are magic. We live life in locked strait jackets, at the bottom of pools of water - only to escape for a brief moment, take a breath, and then jump back in and try to figure out how to escape all over again.
Living honestly, naturally, fully and wildly can open the mind to ideas of greener grass. And sometimes it’s not so green, but it’s not real…so it’s worth exploring. Where we go to escape is usually where we find ourselves.
“My brain is the key that sets my mind free.” - Harry Houdini
There hasn’t been a month in my life when I didn’t think about Ray Manzarek at least once. That organ was a staple in my family home. I was a little girl when I found poetry, I was even younger when I discovered The Doors. My father would sing their songs to me on the long drives back home after spending the weekend with him, just outside the city limits. Repeating the words,
“I see your hair is burnin’
was his way of telling me that he loved me, and that I was his childhood version of Los Angeles incarnate. I wanted to become Los Angeles, I wanted to make my father proud. More as a child than now, I understood what embellishment meant, and I understood what it meant for a soul to be on fire, in a city of lights. When the music played, I felt my father’s heart through his eyes.
But then, I’d go home. Home was where my Mother and Stepfather raised me; another version of Los Angeles, within the cities’ limits. My stepfather was a musician, with an ego to match. The nine year old version of me wanted to be Jim Morrison. Wanted to move like him, to be free like him. I wanted to make music through words, just like him. But my stepfather had none of it. He tried to make certain I knew from early on, that Jim Morrison was “garbage”. “Manzarek was the sound behind the music, and the music is what we’ll always remember,” He tried to convince me. “Manzarek is a genius”. Of course I’d argue, “but Jim is soooo cool,” so as soon as we moved into a bigger house, my stepfather bought us a Vox organ that he found at St. Vincent de Paul’s .
I was nine years old when I discovered that a band didn’t need a bass player. But as I grew older, I realized no one else made such powerful and transcendent music without one. Manzarek was one of a kind.
Jim Morrison crept into my thoughts often, as I’m sure most LA poet’s and “musicians” can relate to. But, I always felt guilty for not mentioning Manzarek first, when talking about the Doors. It was his sound that brought the words to life. He created a venue for poetry to dance in. Manzarek provided the soundtrack to a moving mind. He was able to not only catch up to a rip tide of words, he made sense of them, through colors and waves of sound. Such inspiration. If it weren’t for Manzarek, Morrison would have been heard in mono.
“Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything; it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through anyone that suits you.” -Jim Morrison
(I noted this on a facebook post yesterday, after a wonderful afternoon at a poetry reading, and today I thought about the magic behind music and poetry collaborations. Morrison, Densmore, Krieger, and Manzarek’s keyboards made that shit real. )
Let me begin with --
I’ll be your mirror
Within my circle of friends, watching films and having dinners usually surrenders to conversation; mind-bending, lengthy and worthwhile conversation. And up until recently my happiness was beginning to surrender to feelings of compromise, doubt, weight and worry. So naturally this means busying the life with more dinners and playtime -thus conversations- with friends. Eventually the settling happens, and thoughts are no longer restless, and feelings of comfort begin to create the foundations of harmony. We sit in gratitude, from a distance.
And of course, at times we reach the crossroads with some of our other friends. The ones that might have wronged us. The ones we wronged. We wonder. We regret. And we question. This always leads me to…
The Three Kinds of Friendships…
(Boston Marathon bombings took place on April 15th 2013)
Looking over facebook posts, realizing there’s a deep sense of sadness amongst some of my friends, because of ongoing national and worldwide tragedies. Going to two funerals in one week kind of forces me to look for a reason to smile, for a sense of balance, though its perfectly alright to feel no need to smile (considering). I think society has forced us to respond in ways that create burdens on our psyche. Smiling, laughing, and breathing, help us to alleviate some of that burden. I hope that my friends can find a reason to smile, even if only briefly, if they want to.
long past the timeframe they’ve told me is acceptable.
I wanna laugh
until I’ve drowned out silence,
or until they tell me to grow up.
I won’t listen.
I wanna ask
the easy ones with answers like,
“Because he thought no one loved him,” or
“we’ll never have the answers.”
And the tough ones, with answers like,
“Because he thought no one loved him,” or
“we’ll never have the answers.”
I don’t wanna know
why and when people stopped listening, stopped caring.
And because no one ever thinks they need a hug,
I wanna hug
everyone I meet.
That moment of letting go together,
when we feel emotions dancing.
And I’d rather dance
then grow up.
I want my heart to smile,
in a room filled with unbearable darkness.
Adult eyes piercing me with curiosity, longing to be
in my shoes, once again.
To grow up, in my shoes.
I’m 2 years young,
5 years old.
I’m that kid you once knew.
I am hope.
Love is what fills the softness
throughout my bones.
There are no options
for anything less.
I am what I want to be,
when I grow up.
To sit and think and write of the agony and despair of being tortured by endless supplies of surrounding loss - is to wallow in our weeping. To place grief on a pedestal, and press pause. Our tears slowly turn to clay, sculpting endless supplies of surrounding…words. Our frowns struggle to lift us to places forgotten, to avoid falling into the still of life’s estranged but necessary other half. When it’s not planes, trains or hugs that gets us there, it’s the pen. Retreating to now, the moment that leads the way to those forests -where all sides of trees are veiled in rusted moss- those cold and heavy forests, where we begin to connect with nature, and rustle through a sense of being nurtured. We’re forced to embrace void and fear, our long-lost siblings. Soon we’ll say goodbye to our Winter in Spring, knowing that as long as there is life, it will come again. And Summer will come to burn the shade off the trees. But for now, we weep. Wallowing in the moment, until we can put the pen down and allow the clay to become dust.