Never-not-walking the three-mile loop around Seattle’s Green Lake. It’s where some of my ashes are; are they not? Then stepping over to Marymoor Park as a 1000 dogs turd the wetlands. Playing at the velodrome and climbing walls. Adventuring south to camp with mongrels both two-legged and four, under the stars and in the trees. Those not-so-distant-mountains echoing a chorus of coyotes.
And more dogs.
Pre-flight, the sprinkler goes ratchety on the rooftop to cool the house in unbearable summer heat. As I sit back, head-in-hands. Reflecting on the porch.
Smelling the earth after rain.
Snow on the hill as it chills. Mattering not, having let go long ago. Wishing you love, well-wishes : just moving on from all that has gone.
Soul magically, (tragically?) departing. Majestically commanding, the infinite twists and turns. Adventures away, these bursts from the urn.
Bearing-warped-witness-to-the-mystical-birthing-of-their-returning. As spirit scrams before the body’s gone. Too many times watched, not-once-wanting-to-see. You’ve no idea the many times this death! crazy mad!
Viva La Cascadia!
She used to read aloud long excerpts from “Ecotopia” when we were road-tripping California and Oregon and Washington and Canada. The reports and notes of Ernest Callenbach’s William Weston were intriguing and insightful; timeless concepts making us carefully ponder, really think. And wish.
Could one of you gentlemen please point me north?
Like rodents on a wheel we sped! until slipping into the perfect park. Discovering encaustic paintings in the lobby Modera. Pan-fried oysters at Higgins. The flan. Plated-perfection, not-one-evening-but-two. Blustery and balmy. Noses pressed to glass. Overdressing. Gloved-hands-and-a-magical-mattress. The trolley to Lovejoy. The bakery and The New Male. The weirdo in the haberdashery with children we felt sorry. Day passes! Scouting, scurrying once again. Drawings, paintings and a panel discussion in the Pearl on art-making; yawn, take-me-away-as-soon-as-we-can.
The bus ride to the Aladdin Theater : Eric D. Johnson’s Fruit Bats.
Returning to a familiar present I reflected upon the essential alignment of our being. Of our own, private Utopia. And as my insides began trembling, I gasped for air and forced myself to keep breathing.
The footage of film will often flash by when I am present but not really here.
Structurally hidden, these beams of faith. Cascading beneath a ceiling on fire as I drown in words and streaks of paint; living undercover.
Obvious these efforts to hide and reappear. Clamoring to the simple and formless, not only there, but also down here.
Elephant’s coffee in sunshine with kids in the pool. Lower-back-tatts-and-bangers, too. Aging hands traipsing through long(ing) shadows against stone walls, watching the marina glisten as we pull up chairs. Horseradish on fish; harborside.
Reading our books and then taking a ride. Up high. Viewing mountains; the French school on Hood Avenue. Where volleyball was played in knee pads both black and blue.
Memorable clips; most of them brittle, so fragile now. Others, blurred. Nebulous phrasings by multiple tongues, resting upon a cluster of hardwood benches …
… lonely and barraged by the soothing? banter and penetrating chatter and shrieks! of giddy children heard?
Along the round fountain in the heart of the square.
I was sitting with my father, Matt*, in the ballroom of his and Marilyn’s Third Street home listening to some Argentine tango music years ago during “The Art Harvest Studio Tour of Yamhill County” when a young couple entered with their two adorable-and-not-so-adorable-children and when I asked the little girl how old she was she pirouetted across the ash-wood-flooring to me and beamingly announced “seven-and-a-half”, and then she asked me, “How old are YOU?” so I told her “sixty-and-a-half” and then we all just looked at each other and smiled and took turns guessing when it is most of us stop including ‘the-halves’ when telling one another our ages.
*Matthew Louis Worrix
(November 11, 1929 - May 10, 2016)
“She tears at the sound of applause, the salty liquid smudging the dark paint decorating her eyes. To watch this kinetic portrait of sass and blood and fire and gentle weeping is to wonder if an eggshell shaved translucent could be more fragile than her soul.”
Excerpt from La Loca : Literary Fame Is at Her Door and Valley Girl Pamala Karol Is Still Indredulous : Itabari Njeri, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer : Special thanks to Dr. William Kielhorn
… so after we wake and bathe and share our morning hike, we’ll take a convertible ride down Oracle to Historic Fourth Avenue to BOCA Tacos Y Tequila where they offer morning coffees and mimosas? and chavelas. The kind of place where your tummy growls in anticipation of what’s-to-come. We’ll place their vast variety of fresh, original salsas over our cauliflower and calabacitas tacos strategically, methodically : just as we often dribble icings over our pastries and cakes. We’ll have servers who always wanted to be servers, so everyone will be pleased and joyous! and we’ll leave a generous tip and say “muchas gracias!” like they’ve never heard it before …
It is important to get some envelopes so I can send him one with a thank you note and cash in it. The trees have become leafless and he’ll make tidy the yard with his magical use of the rake and the other tools leaned up out back of the house. It’s good to know things are in his care. And hers. She’s spent time there before, but never alone. I’ll make certain the envelope has enough postage because it is square in format and will have money placed inside which will make it weigh more so I’ll plaster the-upper-right-corner-and-top-edge with SAVE VANISHING SPECIES stamps. The included note will be fancifully-printed-by-hand and read, “Thank you so much!” And I will make a special little sketch on the outside of the envelope because I miss the way we always greet one another, in person, with smiles and our middle fingers extended.
Cherish The Day
She arrived in the clouds, a spot lighting her dark, Nigerian skin; her white dress simple, stunning. Golden necklaces, layered up, up : thick, that band of gold. Human jewelry approaching, she sat and sang in bare feet for two hours that memorable summer evening. All those years ago; inside another-fully-detailed-dream.
Not all entrances double as exits.
Words scramble from six tongues streaming; tangling. Dense, compressed as an incessant pounding throbs inside head and chest : closed-eyes-strobing-flickering-brilliant-bright-red.
I’d reopened a door never closed.
Clarity glimpsed through unwept tears; manic, longing for rest. This horrific hush! Aware of our-pulse-searching as the portals shift : writhing, twisting.
Finally slamming shut.
At The Door’s Knob
“I wish you all the aloneness you hunger for.”
“And the night smells like snow. Walking home for a moment you almost believe you could start again. And an intense love rushes to your heart, and hope. It’s unendurable, unendurable.”
“We are created by being destroyed.”
“The long silences need to be loved, perhaps more than the words which arrive to describe them in time.”
“I basked in you; I loved you, helplessly, with a boundless tongue-tied love. And death doesn’t prevent me from loving you. Besides, in my opinion you aren’t dead. (I know dead people, and you are not dead.)
“There is only one heart in my body, have mercy on me.”
“When I’m in certain moods, a conversation will start up in my head, and suddenly I’ll realize that the language has reached a very high and interesting level, and then lines and stanzas will just kind of appear, full-blown.”
“I’ve always envied people who compose music or paint, because they don’t have to be bothered with the sort of crude mess that language normally is, in everyday life and in the way we use it.”
“I believe one day the distance between myself and God will / disappear.”
“The humiliation I go through when I think of my past … ”
Quotes by Franz Wright (March 18, 1953 - May 14, 2015). Wright was born in Vienna, Austria. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1977. An American poet, he and his father James Wright are the only parent/child pair to have won the Pulitzer Prize in the same category.
Ninety Minute Wonder
Is it true
that I’ve never
pondered nor wondered,
as the barriers lessen
and formats fall,
why in our worlds
the angels serenade
with their sweet,
Madness Of Two
folie à deux.
from a distant chill,
Tuesdays At Two
With an artist’s grasp
I fondle a tube of cobalt blue,
unscrew the cap
and watch the pigment
as it begins to ooze.
Reminding me of electric edges,
and magical doors.
Memorable discussions at a rapid-fire pace
Delightful potions, intoxicating notions.
And simple glimpses of grace.
If I seemed hesitant it was because I had thought that if and when our hands ever did finally touch we might catch fire and just erupt all over the place and yet in other ways we already always do as we fan hidden heat igniting sparks in need of being hosed and so we both internally explode every time whether the other knows it or not and whether we’re there or not so we might as well have just smoked that afternoon in flames you and me.
As It Rains
For BD, With Gratitude And All My Love
I’ve no idea
what or how
I might have been
had I not known you
as I did and as much
as I loved your
being who it was
you were to me,
I came to realize,
in the end,
that I would
have traded it all
for you to have been
other than what
it was you