Surthrival on Duck Pond

Even though I don’t want to think I really do this, tonight I spun each wine bottle on the very bottom shelf of the store until I could see the alcohol percent. I settled on a bottle of Duck Pond, which weighed in at a hefty 15.5%. I hope it doesn’t taste like the duck pond the cadets use to have to swim through in Texas on those hot early fall days when they were freshman. My friend Teresa, who was a cadet, told me everyone who swam would end up with an ear infection or the like. I think we called it Duck Shit Pond. It was clearly man-made. One afternoon, while I resided with anxiety on it’s banks, my neighbor Dan stripped down to his underwear and jumped in to rescue all the frisbees that amateur frisbee golfers bought and sailed into the pond in one afternoon. As I remember it, he sifted around in chest high muck pressing his bare feet to the bottom in search of the discs.

This is the close of my second week in the country. I live in the country now. Each morning I wander out the front door straight into the drive way and up it I walk staring into the starry sky taking deep breaths of air filled with the smell of cottonwood buds.


Leaving the house Pink

I do not want to leave the house tonight. I have changed my shirt from white to pink and still, it is not enough. I layer on my pink scarf from April hoping it will ward off whatever is bothering me, out there, but it seems thin. The weather is unnearvingly warm and I have waited months for it to be like this. Here it is and I am stuck inside, waiting to leave, wearing layers of pink.



I am undercover, driving down a dim lit highway towards a small town I have never been. In a flash, while I was talking to you I became intensely jealous of those who believe in a god. I do not believe, even though I think I've given it a shot. And - not to over think it - but I wonder what it is I do believe in. Are these the things, the people, the idols, the beliefs that people put hope and faith into? I do believe in a vastness that is going to let my tugs on it create something monumental. Sometimes I get a glimpse of this when I am frustrated with my heart - the feelings created therein.

I use to keep a journal but stopped when a teacher of mine told me, in passing, that journals and poetry were a ridiculous means of expression. I wish I’d had more of whatever it was going to take to keep me writing. It took me a long time to get over the need to put pen to paper every day and now it isn't so easy to pick up again.


The Other Blog


This is a blog I write on with a few other people. We prefer to remain anonymous in our writings, or at least some of us.

Some of us are just better at writing a piece than making a phone call or sending an email.


As Wranglers are to the Ranch

I traveled West in May. I wrote my friends in Nebraska just before breaking north to my old stomping grounds. The trip was easy. Five days in the Nissan with all my possessions and Fia. Towards the end of the trip though I had doubts about moving away from New York City, moving towards a space that had no center focus, no Mecca. Over the summer I pondered the existence of a cultural hub out here that would still spark the soul and continue the excitement and potential that both Philadelphia and NYC had started. I met with Kaia Sand and Jules Boykoff at Christian Bok’s reading in Portland this summer. Portland is a hotbed of poetry, the kind of poetry that changes views, and creates new ones. David Abel has dedicated himself to a strong community of poets.

I want to start a community here in Olympia. Leonard Schwartz has his great Cross-Cultural Poetics radio show on Sundays at noon on KAOS. Surely there are many people out there who want to find a community of supporters….

How does one begin? How do communities begin? Like Ann Waldman said to me, “start with a table and some pens.”


What dance do you like best?

Did you know the hoop dance is the most requested? And why? And does it matter why? The hoop dance could mean we are all connected. The dance could mean, as it is performed in all its complication (but seamless),that it is just as difficult and natural as the viewer is. How far apart do we stand from one another while we watch the hoop dance? Just a hoop's distance?

Sarah and I watched a hoop dance in Vancouver, B.C. in June. We stumbled upon it after all day walking around the city in a lot of rain and overcast. We had been down to the beach and were wind worn and giddy and the dancers were energetic and nervous and ready to dance. One man (the adult) was dancing so hard he was making the platform move. He was breathless after each dance, talking into the microphone to explain the dance or introduce another.

And then there was the hoop dance. Sarah's favorite. I'm sortof torn between the hoop dance and the jingle dress dance. A girl dances both. And we talk about school and hoop dancing and watching dancing and wondering whether we could do it, how it would feel, secretly imagining ourselves there, hoops wrapped around our legs, behind our necks. Or jumping with the tin sound of tiny cones falling ontop of themselves.


traffic at 5

Air Canada flies to Castlegar. However, to get from Olympia to Castlegar one must fly to Seattle/Vancouver BC and then over. In essence, much more of a trip than you might want. Out West, driving is over 50% of the day or the trip or the planning. Driving is the essential think time, the down time before the vacation destination arrives and the stress of vacationing hits.

My dad always asks, "Get a lot of thinking done?", when he knows I've been in the car for a while. The trip east or west of the mountains can be extreme even when there is proper distraction. However, when I was planning to show a love-of-my-life where I was from it involved the I-90 drive from west to east encapsulating the overcast moody metropolis of the I-5 corridor, the glacier cut and stuck mountains, the vast sage desert of Vantage and beyond and the dry but beautiful Ponderosa pine hills and valleys of the far east. Without this drive, how would anyone know how far they had come to lay eyes on such beauty (me and the land?)?

Recently a friend joined me in Colville (eastern Wa.) and we hopped in the car to drive some back roads in search of houses and land for sale. I was amazed when, headed out of town, we drove a road I had seen many times but had never been on. We drove up and down giant hills which were dotted with round pinwheels of hay. And ended up right back where we started.