27 Powers

Friday, November 17, 2006

muffle me
can't breathe
hard on the chest
bad things
no space
no reprieve
can't breathe
muffle me

Sunday, June 04, 2006

All Pure

Stepping off the plane and walking out that front door
The winds brush my face frozen
The thoughts of living here once, but no more
Her car pulls up and I get in

All Pure

The dog whose nose is wet on my face
The bark, the muddy paws

All Pure

And I am, just as I am

Freedom, dreams, wanting, yearning for that freedom to run away

Jump on the next plane to Italy
with her.
Could I? I wonder...
Could I really? Yes. I think I could.
And all the thoughts that follow...

All Pure

To wake up as the journalist who photographs around the world

A flat in Paris
A man in Italy

Or the Hippy who lives in her van at the beach who paints her dreams

Pure desire

As pure as my mind and hand that writes this
As pure as the music blasting in my ears
As pure as the crazy imaginings that flow through my heart

All Pure

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Stef - wild write 3.16.06 - Dream or Reality?

I found myself up at 3am, he wasn't there. I searched the bed, the living room, nothing.
Where was he. Was I actually awake? Was I dreaming?
Walking throughout all the rooms. No where.
Wake up! You're dreaming. He's not really gone.
You hear her cry again. Where is she? Why can't I go to her?
I lean against the sink; darkness.
I turn on the light quick, my eyes squint.
Wake up! Wake up!
Did he leave? Did I know he was leaving?
Wake up!
Cries again...go to her.
Silence. Did she really cry?
I think so - quiet. Don't go yet, maybe she'll fall back asleep.
Does she know he's gone?
Does she realize it's only me?
I want to cry.
Did something happen? Did he really leave?
I go to her. Ear on door; waiting to hear the cry, the breath.
She's sleeping.
Did I really dream this? Am I awake?
I pinch myself because that's what they say.
I look to the photograph on the wall, are the 3 of us there?
Yes, still there.
I stumble back to an empty bed.
4am. Lay awake - my head racing.
Should I call? Did something happen?
I can't remember anything. Did he tell me he was leaving? Is he gone for good?
No, can't be.
He'd never leave her.
4:30am, here I am still awake.
I turn over, cold in bed with flannel pajamas, a sweatshirt and wool socks.
I can't get warm.
4:45 awaken, the door lock is coming undone. I must of fallen asleep. The door opens. I lay still, not wanting to breathe.
Why? Why am I so afraid? Afraid of what?
The dark. The darkness holds so much. So much of the unknown.
He creeps in, clothes off, slips into bed. I lay still. He rolls into me.
Minutes go by. I whisper; "where were you?" Nothing. I wishiper again; "where were you?" Heavy breath on my neck.
I exhale. Breathe. Breathe.
6am alarm goes off - awake.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

snowsparkle wild-write 2-2-06

Leave your house naked
don't pause at the door
there is no hesitation when
skin wants the sky

My son and i shared a short-lived new year's tradition. When i turned 50 a couple years ago, it felt like instant permission to do things i'd never done before. On that new year's day, when my son and i saw the rain dancing on the wooden deck in our backyard, we tore off our clothes and joined in the dance. I tell you, the feeling was unexpected. The heat of my body floated outward to greet the cool rain. Body, hair and breath caught the scents: fresh, wet, morning. We danced, feet and arms flailing like some crazed vaudvillean dream. Our laughter frightened the cats and my husband. Then, falling back into the house through the open door, we wanted nothing but the whole day to carry this peace, this reckless peace, armloads of "yes you may's."

This new year, my teenage son couldn't find a way for it to be ok to dance naked in the dawn with his mom. So we danced our separate dances with less joy, less exhuberance, less recklessness. It seemed the faintest wisp of what it had been before. Still, it was something.

Being in the writing space and wild writing with all these women sometimes feels like leaving the house naked. Self-acceptance and the way things are held lightly invite me to walk the walk of naked words. Lift things up to the light, never mind the sagging breasts and jowls.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Last night I was sad. I felt it coming on early in the day, that sad, sad feeling that everything is wrong, that any other perspective is nothing but an illusion, that I am defective—that I have an internal defect that makes me this way, makes me sad and wrong eternally.

I fought back.

"I'm sad because I'm sad," I said, "and it doesn't mean anything. Tomorrow may be different. Five minutes from now may be different."

Today IS different. Not happy, not sad, though I've had moments of each. But yesterday—all that—I know it was about Life of Pi, about the hyena killing the zebra by tearing open its belly and eating its guts from the inside. I know it was about the hyena beheading Orange Juice, the orangutan that was rescued as an infant and raised together with Pi like a sibling. I know it was about Pi stranded on that 26-foot lifeboat, terrorized by the hyena and the tiger, and about feeling sorry for them, for Pi and especially for the animals, who didn't ask to be put on the ship, who weren't willingly moving to their new zoo homes when the ship sank.

I know its just a story. Its all just a story--you, me, the whole thing.

Yesterday I was sad. Really, really sad. The kind of sad that wants to transform itself into despair. "I'm sad because I'm sad," I said. "And it doesn't mean anything."

I fought back.

Friday, November 04, 2005


See what you do.
Take the blue from that painting over there and wrap it in something—words, phyllo dough.
Bake with color.
Take a play day.
Reel in a golden fish, melt it down and cast another shape.
Hike up Mt. Kilmanjaro—first you will have to find the trail in the foothills.
Milk a goat.
Milk a sheep.
Feel the warm teats, the warm liquid, the wool warmed by sun.
Hear the bleating.
Sew up your lips.
Sew them together to keep the drivel inside, to avoid saying something you'll regret.
See what you do with a little self-direction.
So much time at the beck and call of others.
See what you do.
Make some spaghetti with codfish balls in a sorrel sauce.
Make chocolate spaghettini with currants and a caramel glaze.
Think about whether there's actually anything out there to pray to.
Feel silly for praying.
Pay the bills on time with online bill pay, free from the credit union.
It's great.
Try some other limited time offer.
Whatever you do, don't think of Alicia.
You don't need her approval.
Think of desert sands shifting, the scent of heat that looms in the air, the motorized drone of a passing Winnebago.
Think about how you are great and perfect.
Eat a maraschino cherry.
Think "yuk".
Remember Villa Italian on Sepulveda. Or was it Overland Ave?
Wish you could go there for a square slice of pizza.
Remember how your family always called it Villa Italia, dropping off the final n.
Remember the two large fans in the wall that looked like some kind of World War II submarine turbines.
Really see those big metal blades and the dust strands that decorated their cylindrical mounts.
Remember how you loved them best, how you thought they could save your soul, like those fans were your own personal Jesus made of steel.
Think about how weird that is, and also how normal.
Multiply that type of thinking times all the people in the world, because people do think that way.
There's a lot of bizarre imagery looming in the psychic space of our species, all wrapped up together: tangled gods in the shape of boats, mechanical pencils, suede shoes, an alligator handbag.
See that tree? That peach tree over there?
The fruit is ripe.
Go ahead, pluck one.
Eat it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

your pink lips

didn't anyone ever tell you
not to play with fire?
what are you thinking, putting your hand
in the flame like that,
watching the skin bubble?

a soft snowfall in march
your pink lips kissing a white rose
the outline of your figure in a doorway

why don't you surrender,
lay down your heart?
true, you risk losing it forever
a skulking coyote could make a quick snack of it

but if you said, i'm helpless
if you said, i'm out of love
if you said, i'm emptier than zero
lonelier than god

a nymph would touch a bird in the forest
a wing would flap
you would feel a fluttering in your middle

why don't you retire yourself,
your storytelling?
tell your own story someone else's way
then you will see