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Friendship is full of give and take...
Like sometimes one friend is super into chickens,
but the other friend is super afraid of having her eyes pecked.
You just work it out.


Earl and Lester asked me to perform with them constantly,
and yet their recordings are mysteriously void of my playing.
Foggy Mountain Unplugged


Capote and I hung out for awhile,
but I got tired of the constant argument
over who was the Mary and who was the Rhoda...
also I got tired of being the Rhoda.

This is me with Thomas Merton,
if memory serves me right,
just after our Captain & Tennille number.
Oh T...you are my favorite funky monk.


You know Bev...
she always be like, "Yo bitch, lemme take you to my salon 'for we go out for girlz nite...getcha hair done rite!"
And I'm all, "No thank you and no thank you."
That Cleary, she don't take no for an answer.


This is me hanging with Sylvia Plath.
I feel like if it's going to be a "reading hang" instead of a "chatting hang,"
a person should tell a person beforehand so that person can bring a book too.
But I mean, it's fine.  Whatever.


This is me hugging Teddy Roethke,
and him acting like he didn't need it.
But he did, y'all.
He diiiiiiiid.

C'mon, Char!  Put your book down for a week, amiright?!
[She was more fun after the porridge shots, but I mean, who isn't, right?]

Here's me with Walker Percy when our painting first came in.
I remember beforehand I was all, \
"Walk, Walk - we not black and white.  We need some color to make it POP."
And he was like, "Trust me, Pam-a-lot.."
Gotta hand it to him, he really knew his over-the-mantle self-portraiture.


like NEVER.  it was insulting almost.
they seemed super into each other though.
[Me, Kerouac, Ginsberg]


Man, those were the days...
Sometimes Ernie and I'd get going and it was like being on stage
at a Crocodile Rocks.
And in our vests.
Always in our patchwork vests.  Hemingway loved his vests.

You know how it is...
Sometimes you run into an old friend,
have a few absinthes, and wake up with matching tattoos. 
Then that friend goes into hiding, and you're stuck with DMC on your hand.
What am I saying...it's an old story...you've been there.

"So if I'M not married in 10 years, and YOU'RE not married in 10 years..."
[The day two friends decide to go into puppetry,
is the day two friends should start to plan some safety nets]

I don't remember much about my time with Bukowski except... well, nope...nothin'

No, Em - see that's why it's funny.  They're like YOUR arms.
Emily Dickinson always wanted to PLAY the arm game,
but I feel like she never really UNDERSTOOD the arm game.


bird treadmill

"Anxiety" by A.R. Ammons

The sparrowhawk
flies hard to

stand in the
air:  something

about direction
lets us loose

into ease
and slow grace.

When I read this, I picture a bird trying to fly in place in the air.  I am no bird scientist, but I think that's impossible unless you are a hummingbird.  I like the image though.

I think old A.R. is reminding us that it's harder to stand still, stymied than it is to have direction and take steps towards it.  However, if you're anything like me, when anxiety is at its max, stymied and deer-in-the-headlights is your default reaction. 

At the liberry, I have a tiny note on my desk that says "ONE THING."  Yesterday M and I (M is my liberry coworker and friend) got overwhelmed with the tasks before us.  We were entering the stymied zone.  I could tell I was in danger of freaking out and accomplishing nothing all morning.  However, because it was happening to both of us, we could nudge each other into a direction.  We asked each other, "Okay, what ONE THING are you going to do to get yourself unstuck?  Let's stop freaking out about the future and pick ONE present thing to do."  Then we each chose a task and started moving.  And just like that, we were unstuck, even if only temporarily.  (Some days, I have to go back to that ONE THING note after I complete any single task or I get stuck all over again). 

Anyway, ONE THING at a time, people.  Don't be a bird on a treadmill.  Also, having a partner in dysfunction is beneficial - I highly recommend it.

i can't stop daydreaming about that damn lead apron

i can't stop daydreaming about that damn lead apron.

The hygienist placed it on me briefly for x-rays, and for those two minutes I felt perfect.

From a distance, it looked ugly and awkward, but looks are deceiving.
The material appeared stiff like canvas or some scratchy manmade fabric, with thick ropish piping around the edges.
The apron was a large black square with a "u" cut at the top for a neck and face to peek out.

I could tell it was heavy by the way she struggled to carry it from the hall to my chair,
and I remembered vaguely dreading this part as a child,
so even I was surprised at the difference when she placed it on me.

The weight inside of it, and the material outside, were flexible and draped to cover me perfectly.
It didn't stick out on the sides like a cardboard table like I expected, but fell heavily to cover every inch it reached.
I felt secure, warm, anchored and well.
Not a wisp of cool air from the vents touched me.
Wisps of cool air touching me are my least favorite things.

For two minutes I knew where and what to be:
biting down on that plastic square.

It felt like receiving a hug from the front (from the top?),
or maybe a giant hand covering you gently like you'd cover a caterpillar or lightning bug,
not hurting it, just carefully holding it in place for a bit
because you cared for it and were keeping an eye on it

or a baby sleeping on it's belly for that balled-up cozy feeling
except having that feeling while you're actually on your back--
which is almost like magical science when you think about it.

But once she finished taking the pictures,
she whisked it away just as quickly.
All the cold wisps returned with a vengeance.
Twice as cold and twice as wispy,
snaking up my sleeves and the pants of my legs.
And for a moment it felt like a personal attack that she'd stolen it back.

For the next several minutes, I used one part of my brain to ask after her family, while I used the other part to debate whether I could ask for the apron back without sounding like a psycho.

Why couldn't I wear it during the cleaning?
No one was using it.
Would asking be weird?  And if so, how weird was I willing to be?
Surely that would be something that would come up in the office break room later.
Maybe not even forgotten in the next six months before I returned.
How much plaque scraping would it take for them to forget the woman who wanted to wear the lead apron during her entire appointment?
By the time I finished debating myself, the moment had passed.

Later that day, I remembered hearing about those weighted vests for anxious dogs,
and I felt reassured...not as crazy...okay, maybe a bit feral, 
but at least not unique.
The vest seemed almost like a lead apron strapped onto you.
Even better.
Also I felt encouraged, because I realized that if I had to have one someday (hypothetically of course, I mean, it's not as if I've Googled this or found nearby locations within three to five miles of my home),
the vests are available at pet stores.
I bet I'm golden retriever sized in the torso-
Maybe a lab with a penchant for table scraps.

And I bet the vest could be hidden under clothes (hypothetically of course, I mean, it's not as if I've checked the top two shelves of my closet for bulky sweaters, or checked Chris' stash for backups)...

But I mean, if it came to that...

You know, if it comes to that...

If it just comes down to something as simple as that,
I'm covered.

don't believe the lie, okay? promise?



That you are a liar is the lie.
Remember that horrible say you said?
Remember the awful do you did?
Doesn't matter that it's only a few who know,
Doesn't matter that only a few saw,
because it's out there, baby. 
They saw you act -- no, be --shitty, mean, selfish, crazy
and you
The lie is that you are a liar now.
You can't do anything but lie.
Every single time you try to say good,
try to write true,
offer up any kindness...
you will be lying.
They know the wrong, and the wrong is wronger than any following right.
We know.
Don't act so good.
We got the goods, sister.
And they're time-released
Always on deck.
Can a spring give both salt water and fresh?
Can a mouth give both praise and curse?
No? Really?  Shit.
Okay....well, we mean it shouldn't.
Oh.  Well, that's totally different.
but with that Hrumph,
the lie starts to unravel.
the Hrumph makes all the difference.
we already knew we shouldn't.
that's not news.
but if you tell us it's impossible to do both good and evil
and still be capable of any good,
we will always believe the evil.
Easy now,
Don't get all mixed up,
God says.
The lie is to keep you still.
The lie is to stymie you into paralysis in your dark fear-cave.
The lie is to still you stiff as a stone until you are afraid to speak one bit of anything in your heart.

But Honey, oh Honey,
don't believe the lie.
Every single person has done the evil.
Maybe you're just surprised it was you this time.
Maybe you're just surprised someone saw.
And you don't need anyone to tell you that you're a liar anyway,
you already believed it.
What you need is someone to tell you to press on.
Keep moving, little fish.
I didn't say it would be easy.
You are not a liar.
Or if you are,
so is everyone else.
But if you give up,
if you get quiet,
if you don't offer any bit of right, true, good, beautiful that wells up in you...
maybe I won't either.
and neither will he
and definitely she won't - she wasn't that sure about it anyway
and it's going to be awfully quiet out here.
and the quieter it is,
the louder the lie seems.
for all of us.
if you have to hide,
hide for a bit, but not in that fear-cave

but don't forget to come back out after awhile,
because we need you.

"Come out, old troll, Come out of your dark hole, old troll, Come out into the sunlight with us and Let us put daisies in your hair . . ."



from Silverstein's The Giving Tree.






camping again, because...marriage

things are afoot.
mr. adventure is looking for more to pack.
I hope it's a bottle opener.

the best part of this camping trip was that I received my first smart phone in the mail the night prior.
I was able to plan activities on the drive to nowhere.
don't bother giving me that one-minute-warning light;
i'll stop when I'm finished and not a moment sooner.
"You're like a totally different person since you got the phone, Mom. You're like addicted," said my offspring as she snapped this picture WITH THE PHONE.  What am I holding?
actually, I really like camping...
sort of...
in a way...
but it's never been any mystery to me why mr. adventure likes it better.
one hint:  he's the one on the far right.
I'm the one with 3 of the 5 mammals in my 14" cot.
red areas indicate comfortable beds being disregarded.


Oh I'm picturing it,
And I'm picturing you with a major candy shortage on your hands, Circle K.

We hit this place up for candy and icees several times a week, because school is hard and I have liberry money to burn. 


"Now is the time to say what you have to say.
The room is quiet,
The whirring fan has been unplugged,
and the girl who was tapping
a pencil on her desktop has been removed....

...the trains are motionless on the tracks,
the ships at rest in the harbor.
The dogs are cocking their heads
and the gods are peering down from their balloons....
and even Beethoven
is sitting up in his deathbed,
his cold hearing-horn inserted in one ear."

[bits and pieces from Billy Collins' poem Silence]

He looks a little intimidating.
I'm not sure I feel like speaking anymore.

I read through Facebook, Twitter, any of the Internet really...
and I see a billion people wanting to be seen and heard: 

See me.
Hear me.
Understand me.
Know me.
The outside does not match the inside, and it's killing me that no one realizes it.
There's more to me than anyone knows.

I'm not criticizing.  I get it.  I'm the loudest and the neediest.
And that's okay.
We were made to be known.
The need drives us toward one another, and I'm glad.

The need drives us toward something and someone larger than ourselves.
That is the reason he made us.
The only reason.
Why do we think he has so many rules and hidden agenda?
Why are tracts so long?
Just come.
Be known.
Be liked.