Wednesday, March 11, 2015

KNOCK WITHOUT ENTERING

The dog next door, the one who attacked my mother on her front porch, has stopped barking. The neighbors don’t pay attention to the relentless barking, so I have taken to going out in back and spraying water from the hose. It may not be the kindest thing, but it does shut up poor Kayla.

I’m not writing because I have anything to say, I am merely hoping to stumble on to what I think, or some level of connection with myself (and you?). You’ve heard me say before that I was (am) lost. Being back at the parental homestead has put me in some sort of shocked time warp. At this particular moment, I have no sense of who I am, who I ever was (if anyone), or who and how I am going to be.

Dislocated in my life again? At this point, I would question if I had ever actually been located in my own life or if all this time, these many years, I have been faking it or fooled.

There doesn’t seem to be much joy in Mudville or Santa Fe Springs, Casey.

Yesterday, in the midst of an emotional crises or acute reality calibration emergency, I took a bicycle ride instead of eating or drinking or bingeing on visual narrative. I am still getting the hang of the bicycle I “inherited” from Carl; the seat is neither at the right height nor angle and I can’t figure out how to adjust it. The gears are not as smooth as the ones on my trusty Aretha (1983 Nishiki) or my 1995 mountain bike back in Brewster. However, I was able to finally make it to the bike path along the San Gabriel River channel (thanks Army Corps of Engineers!).  

(My current ride and a blue bench.

The swingset in question.
I biked from one freeway made park (nestled in the leftover staging area when the freeway was built) to another. I stopped in the park to get on the swing set as that was an activity I enjoyed as a younger person. The last time I recall swinging was with Michael and my mom on our trip to Ireland.

The bike path and freeway overpasses as well as the channel are apparently home to many homeless folks. There was enough clothing and small appliances strewn along the path to open a thrift store there. (Not that you would want that stuff.) I saw several older men in various states of prosperity riding bikes and picking through the detritus. I saw no females. 

For a breather, I headed over to Santa Monica to spend the night with WD and help her organize her daughter's closet. I am so unused to and confused by who I am (not) that I find it a bit challenging to have a conversation to someone I haven't spent a lot of time with for a while. It was good to think about how to frame my story so that I had some perspective on it.  

The view from WD's front door.

And so it goes. Or how it is stuck. Two short poems that rang dim bella: as Chinese New Years' recently passed and Persian New Years', Norooz, approaches, the other initially echoed my own feelings of belonging neither one coast nor the other.

ANOTHER YEAR COME

I have nothing new to ask of you,
Future, heaven of the poor.
I am still wearing the same things.

I am still begging the same question
By the same light,
Eating the same stone,

And the hands of the clock still knock without entering.

—W.S. Merwin


BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

The stripped almond of the plane is gone,
veering against an anchored moon.
Cloud spews waste out over the red
tiles of Belgium. You beat a tympanum
of cloud; I drum deserted cobblestones.

Now into your moving star I toss
my calendar, the shadow of a house,
and normal days. We meet as two gulls
might, in a cinema of sky, the green sea
under, the green eye of the sea scanning
the alternate shores of night.

This starry field is ours to trace.
Between the hour and zero hour,
tideless as in an aquarium,
the virginal water clocks unwind,
the luminous frescoes smile and sway,,
and in that lambent medium
tomorrows bite off yesterday.

— Rosemary Thomas

This Rosemary Thomas poet is new to me (this is a cranky anthology, but in a good way.) 

In cat news, Emmylou jumped into my lap for pets for the first time yesterday. Perhaps she will evolve into a lap cat.






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