Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I had a horrifying dream last night about watching a black man being whipped, with actual whips, by a group of black women. I was sitting in a car across the street and just as I was about to scream, he faced me and smiled. The women were laughing and he was enjoying the whipping. I was confused. Then he was released and a black woman wearing a beautiful long gown was being tied and the crowd was preparing to whip her. Because the man seemed to...um...enjoy it, I didn't know if this was some s and m thing I just didn't understand and I couldn't tell if the woman was a willing participant or not. Her resistance seemed real but I couldn't tell. Or I was afraid. And I was stuck. I needed to see her face. After they lashed her twice she turned to me and saw me staring at her. I was frozen. Somehow time passed and she was no longer tied to the tree and she wanted to know why I didn't help her. I froze again. What was I going to say? Somehow Oh, I was waiting to see if you liked being tied to a tree and whipped, weren't the right words. I don't know what happened after that. Eventually I woke up and was all, What the...???

Monday, September 29, 2014

A couplet a day for September 2014 - for day 3 - My birthday

I was born on the third of September
A happy date I'll always remember

Friday, September 26, 2014

Special thanks to Vanessa Ayala who added more videos to my YouTube channel from Red Stories. I posted the rest of them on this blog with the others. I think the heading is Red Stories - September 2014 - Donny Jackson interviews Jaha Zainabu.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Free write

It's 12:03 pm and I am back at the car dealership take two of getting my oil changed. Yesterday I was told that my oil pan screw blankety blank blah blah part needed to be ordered before they could do it. No problem except the gas back and forth to Carson. But whatever. I'm looking forward to Jaha and Friends! this Saturday. Mostly I'm looking forward to driving out to San Diego by myself and listening to my playlist and all of the hype ratchetness on high volume. Yep! Thuggin' the whole way.

I'm staying the night and chilling in San Diego the next day. Gonna go to some beach and enjoy myself. Gonna eat and have a drink and enjoy my company and the drive back home. I'm looking forward to me.

Okay, the downside about this oil change experience take two is that I don't want to watch The Chew. Can we do something about this channel? Anyone? Anyone?

A couplet a day for September 2014 - for day 2 - Self care day

This lovely day I am very well rested
Taking care of myself, I am greatly invested

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A couplet a day for September 2014 - for day 1 - Mother

My mother is kind and beautiful to me
She is soft spoken and peaceful, spirit so free
I am off to a late start on poems for September but I've chosen a very easy form. Hopefully this will allow me to catch up pretty quickly. I'm doing couplets this month.

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 31 - Stories

                                                  Stories
                                             Past present
                                        Unveil and disrobe
                                   Remember to member today
                                        To yesterday again
                                             Tie rainbow
                                                  Ever

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 30 - Mind

                                                  Mind
                                             Free open
                                        Healthy mine gold
                                   Stories stored flying away
                                        Landing softly safe
                                             Pillow words
                                                 Protect

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 29 - Father

                                                  Father
                                             Missing you
                                        Your stories here
                                   Holding me safe until
                                        I am covered
                                             All of
                                                 Me

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 28 - Believe

                                                  Believe
                                             Justice truth
                                        Happiness and now
                                   Blessings raining ease peace
                                        Color and health
                                             Right now
                                                 Here

Free write

It's 4:39 pm and I am at the car dealership getting an oil change on my vehicle. My first time watching the news today and the first thing I see is news about violence in Ferguson again. If I heard correctly, five police officers are suspected and have been arrested for torching a makeshift memorial for Michael Brown. Come on now! And next on the news was a black man being captured today for kidnapping a white woman. I should have known this was going to be an awful day in the news because the first text I read this morning was from 770 - 733 - 6586 and it was a picture of a man's exposed penis. Nasty ass! Somebody please tell your stepfather to stop it!

Anyway, I'm going to find a way to enjoy myself in this free air conditioning and all this free hot chocolate with vanilla flavoring. I know you wish you were here.

Free write

It's 10:41 am and rest last night was relatively easy. I watched a DVD that I replayed a few times. Pills helped. The two glasses of wine at dinner helped more. Dinner conversation helped the most.

I did have this weird dream though. I was walking past a tall chain linked fence. On the other side of the fence was a white dog that looked like a wolf. The dog had blue eyes. A blue eyed white wolf dog. Out of nowhere I was carrying a baby. Where did I get a baby? I was afraid to pass the dog. I'm afraid of dogs. People who know me, know this about me. All dogs. Big dogs, small dogs, dogs that "don't bite," dogs that do. They're all the same.

So, I'm carrying this out of the blue baby about to walk in front of this dog wolf, and that there is a fence doesn't matter. Then, there suddenly appears this big black dog next to the white dog and I'm thinking, great! Fuck! And I'm still carrying this baby that is apparently mine. And I'm afraid but I keep walking.

Right now in real life, like not in the dream I am remembering a moment with my father whose wisdom I have grown to appreciate more and more each day. Once when I was a little girl and we lived on Cameron Street in Long Beach, I was walking home from my grandparent's house around the corner. I was one house away from being home when I saw a neighbor's dog on the porch. I, as my usual response to seeing a dog, was very much afraid. I started crying and screaming for my father to come outside. Thankfully he heard me and came outside. To my surprise and disappointment he did not shew the dog away and rescue me. Instead he calmly stood on the porch and kept his eyes on me and the dog. I kept screaming for him to come and get me, but he wouldn't. I didn't understand why. I knew he wasn't afraid of the dog and he knew that I was. This was easy math to me. Then calmly he said to me, in a voice just below my screams, "You have to walk pass the dog on your own, but I'll be right here." And he stuck by his words. He didn't leave the porch. He never took his eyes off of me or the dog. The dog kept barking at me. When I realized my tears were not moving the dog nor my father I began walking. Slowly. Slowly. Then I was away from the dog and ran past my father into the house. I remember being angry at him for not coming to get me. He let me be angry. He let me cry. I didn't understand then how important it was for me to pass the dog on my own.

Back to the dream. So, the black dog is on the side of the fence with the white wolf dog and he showed him how to dig under the fence and escape. I'm frozen. Holding a baby that I'm assuming is a girl because the baby is wrapped in a pink blanket. Now, in real life not in the dream, I'm thinking about Sunday night at Red Stories when Donny, who is a psychologist (in addition to being a brilliant poet) interviewed me on stage. He asked me about Robin (my given name) and I referred to and often refer to as being a child. So maybe I was like, protecting her. Anyway, I'm standing at the fence holding my baby self watching the big black dog show the white wolf dog how to escape and in seconds both dogs are free. The black dog disappears and the white wolf dog comes after me. I turn around running with my baby self screaming. Then suddenly I don't have the baby anymore and the wolf dog turns into a tall Nigerian man who is chasing me through a long hallway in a house with black women dressed in African clothes. An old friend of mine, Star, is in the dream and we are both running from the white wolf dog turned Nigerian tall man. One of the women catches him by wrapping some fabric around his neck like a rope. He is chocking and I do not want to see him die. None of us want the man to die but we know that if we do not kill him, he will kill all of us.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I told my 11th grade student that if he continued being a disruption in the class I was going to call his mother. He told me that was disrespectful and I was too much in his business.

Red Stories - September 2014 - Photos by Reverdia


Red Stories - September 2014 - Photo by Sandra Laraine Coleman


I thank all of you who showed up at Red Stories last night! Your support and faces and ears and love were greatly appreciated. Red Stories is not the same without you. I really love y'all! Thank you Donny Jackson! You did an amazing job. Your questions and comments were food! Thank you Nishati Vibrations! I love you so much! Thank you Frio de Pedazo for being on the team! Thank you Vanessa Ayala for recording! Seriously, I love all y'all!

Red Stories - September 2014 - Donny Jackson interviews Jaha Zainabu - Photos by Vanessa Ayala





Thankfully this was taken down before class ended. But still.



Say Word - Jason - What they say / What I say


Red Stories - September 2014 - Donny Jackson and Jaha Zainabu


Waiting


Free write

It's 9:11 am and I woke up easily this morning. Thankfully I had some left over sleeping meds. I took them last night to get some rest. And I did get some. Up until about three or four that is when my paranoia about rats and mice set it. I don't know why. I don't know if I want to know why. I only know I want them to go. I need noise late at night. I need words. Words, not music. So I listen to Ted Talks or my favorite authors on YouTube. Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, James Baldwin. Or I listen to books on tape or I watch Netflix. Lately I Netflix.

I'm afraid I will hear scratching under my bed. I don't know why. I've never seen rats or mice here in this house or anywhere I've lived. Wait, once. Once when I was a young girl I was in the kitchen of the house where I grew up my mom and I were standing at the stove and a rat or a mouse scurried from under the stove to somewhere under the washing machine. My mom and I froze then started screaming and running. Another time I saw a mouse at my grandparent's house when I was taking care of my grandfather. That time I didn't run and scream. Instead I waited until my grandmother returned home and I left.

Another time I was taking care of a client. Her dog was playing with a dead mouse. I was terrified of it. Eventually I swept it out of the house. Another time, with the same client, a mouse crawled in from the open back door. It freaked me out. I told the owners of the house and they responded as if I said a fly entered. I think that's all of my creepy rat and mouse stories. I'm only afraid of them inside of spaces. I've seen them plenty of times outside and I was all right. Walking the streets of New York mostly, in fields and other places in nature.

I don't know why I'm so terrified of seeing them in my sleep. Every night. But. I. Am.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 27 - Patience

                                                  Patience
                                             Resting easily
                                        Dreaming about sky  
                                   Becoming more clear ready    
                                        Inhale and release
                                             And again
                                                  Ahh
         

Free write

I am in class right now. This is my tenth grade literature class and my second class of the day. This morning as I was walking into the school I saw a police officer escorting a young Mexican student onto the campus in handcuffs. That made me sad.

This class is out of control right now.

5:43 pm

Now I'm waiting at USC for an interview that starts in an hour or so. Parking sucks here. Free parking is non existent. I applied for a writing program. I don't know if I've been accepted or not yet. Submitting a sample of my manuscript was the first step. This face to face meeting with the panel is the next. I can't imagine me blowing the meeting but stranger things have happened. Where the hell am I going to find change for parking around here?

Thankfully I had a good class today. Actually both of them were good. As good I was expecting anyway. One of my students called me extra today. He calls himself a blood. Everything he says is blood this and ck (crip killer) that. I wish he could see himself from my eyes. He is a beautiful young man who has no clue his gang life is going to get him nowhere. I want to sit with him and tell him to stop talking so L fucking A. I want him to know (that I know) that he is not a killer. He wants to know why I don't allow the word nigger (or nigga) in my class. His defense is that he should be able to say it because he is a nigga.

Telling him that he is not a nigga won't help. Instead I treat him like a human being. Today though, I had to kick him out of my class. He walked out without permission. I have a rule about that. If you walk out without permission you do not have permission to come back in. We can start again next class next week. By the way, this was the student who called me extra.

I have to go now. I have to see if this Taco Bell will give me change for a dollar without buying a nasty ass burrito.

6:33 pm

I'm sitting outside of the hall where I'll be meeting soon. I love being on this campus. I wish I saw more black faces walking around. There are all these bikes and trees. A car alarm is crying for its owner. Young men and women rushing by. A woman riding her bike with her baby in the car seat connected to the handle bars. There is a black woman. A student it seems. With braids and an accent from some African country. There are birds flying just above me. People jogging and an old Mexican woman carrying grocery bags. There are skateboarders and young Asian men smoking cigarettes. A black woman I think I know just came through the doors. Our eyes didn't meet. We didn't speak. Some white person could say we looked alike with our dark sandy skin and tired eyes. Our full hips and black woman lips. Only the white folks who think all black people look alike.

I write when I'm still. I just do. My fingers need to move. See, this is why I collect so many journals. I fill them so fast. With musings about life and my days. With stories about my minutes.

Do you do that? Do you write when you are still? Do you see a story in every moment? Do you make up tales about the strangers in your path? Do you pretend to understand languages you know you don't know? It's quiet now. And dusk and almost still. And another black woman came out of the building. Our eyes didn't meet either. I'm starting to think it's me.


Free write for Sunday, September 21, 2014

I'm at Vibrations right now. Today is Red Stories day. I'm usually nervous on Red Stories day. Today is no different. I'm here early for the writing workshop. We are writing about mental health. I don't want to write and share about it. I do enough of it already. I'm particularly nervous about my mental health these days. I'm afraid of what the medication is doing to my body. I don't like the way my hands shake. I don't like the way the meds make my body tick. I don't like the way the meds make me forget. I'm afraid of what not being medicated is doing to my mind. At forty-five I don't want to choose between my mind and my body. I will not accept that I have to. I write and post my stories in my blog partly because it's my way of communicating with others without having to say it in a conversation. I don't really want advice. I don't want the look. I don't want the awkwardness. I want to be taken seriously when I say I need time to rest when I need it. I want my time valued. Because dementia of some form or another runs in my family, I have a fear that it will not escape me. I am afraid of losing my mind. The hallucinations are getting worse. Rather the fear of the hallucinations are getting worse. I live with a fear of rats and mice. I fear them in my sleep. I fear going to sleep because I might see them. I look for them behind bookcases, in my covers, in drawers before I go to sleep. It's a ritual, like a child has her parent look for monsters in the closet before she goes to sleep. It is true that the medication allows me a much better sleep but over time I don't trust its affects on my body.

I've told this story before, the story about the ocean my father taught me. It was his last story to me before he passed away in 2009. He used to call me and just blurt out random stories. Often he was drunk and that made the stories take longer sometimes, but...hey. The story goes like this:


"Verily, verily I say unto you." My father started stories with verily, verily because "That's how Jesus started his messages to his disciples." Anyway, story continued: "You know, the shark got a bad rep." And then I followed the pause cue and asked how. "Well, because you will never hear something rustling through your kitchen in the middle of the night and then go check to see what it is and go 'oh! A shark! A shark!' No, you won't do that. You will never be walking down a dark alley and hear someone behind you and turn around and go 'oh! A shark! A shark!' No, see the only time a shark can get to you is if you go to the ocean. See, the trick to life is to know your ocean. So if you are a crackhead then you can't live by the crack house because that's your ocean. If you are a shopaholic then you can't live by the mall, because that's your ocean. Now if the shark does eat you it's not the shark's fault because the shark just thinks you're food."

Well for me, during my manic state, at best the meds calm me down, at worst, I don't notice the affects at all. During the lows, at best the meds lift my mood, but at worst, pills become my ocean.

So most of this was written before Red Stories. Last night for the show Donny interviewed me. I haven't written my notes for after the show yet. I will though. For now I'll say this, Donny asked me last night as his final question, "If Uraeus is the answer then what is the question?" Well, the question is why fight to stay on this planet and fight for my health? Because Uraeus deserves his mother.

Oh, and I got my laptop out the pawnshop yesterday, heeeeeyyyyy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I am in the Barnes and Noble bookstore at The Grove in Los Angeles. I am waiting while Uraeus selects the books he wants. Thankfully he wants books. I birthed a reader. He has been wearing the same pair of flip flops since school began at the start of this month. I have offered to get new shoes. He has refused. I need him with me when I get shoes for him. His feet grow so fast. His taste change. Thankfully it has been a million degrees so flip flops have been perfect. This morning he told me that he likes wearing the same pair of shoes until he loses them or they wear out. My first thought was, who loses shoes? We will get more shoes today now that we are here.

The Asian man in line cut in front of me while I was waiting to pay for my new journal. He stepped in front of me as if he didn't even see me. I was invisible to him. I was an invisible woman. How invisible would would I have been if I were stealing? I wonder. Not that I steal. I was invisible to the white woman at the hospital Thursday night also. I didn't say anything then either. I should have. Thursday though, with the woman, the white woman, I was so angry at her. Probably because I am losing what little patience I have for white folks. I don't care how that sounds. Sure, there are some exceptions.

This moment, tucked in a corner on the top floor of the bookstore with a new notebook, is giving me life. Few things give me life like new notebooks.

If I felt like it I could be stressed out about some bills due next week. But I don't feel like it. So I'm working and trusting.

I'm getting my computer out of the pawn shop tomorrow. I'm happy about that.

So far Uraeus has selected four or five books. If I can get each one I will. I try to support his reading habit as best I can.

I need to get an oil change tomorrow. But we will see.

I'm ready to leave the bookstore and walk around a bit but I don't want to rush him. Besides, I have a really comfortable chair right by the window where I can easily free write my heart out.

People watching is the best game ever. Making up stories about folks in line, folks walking by. I pretend I know which ones are in the witness protection program. In my stories, someone always is. I like to think I know which people are not choosing between four or five books for their sons and an oil change. Like the lady carrying the big red American Girl bag in the fold of her arm as three young girls gleefully skip behind her. One has a white bow in her blonde hair.

I watch the twenty something years old handsome black man with the box cut and black jeans as he is walking with an equally as handsome white male about his age. I imagine him, the black man, whom I have named Charles, coming out to his parents. Maybe on a Sunday just as his mother came home from church.

And then there is the Mexican young woman who keeps staring at me. What has she imagined about me? What name did she give me? I want to be a Raquel in someone's story. Not that I look like a Raquel. But whatever. I only half wonder. I don't all the way care.

Here are two more black men holding hands. I love them. Eden and Bradford I call them. Bold enough to live their lives out loud. Don't you fucking dare call Bradford, Brad by the way. Of course his given name is RayThomas, but...details... He is Bradford now and you better call him that you asshole. I have assigned Bradford all this YOLO, hostile ass energy. I don't know why. Probably because his cap and shorts and shirt are all the same print and really I hate that shit but it works on him.

Dear Uraeus, please hurry up. My son takes his time. He really does.

This might be my new favorite bookstore.

That woman has on a nice sweater. Just my style. What if I asked her if I could try it on? Not for real but just to see what she would say.

We are going to close this bookstore down tonight.

The second American Girl bag has crossed my path. Rather, my eyesight. Maybe I need to check that store out.

Oh! Bradford is coming my way! Eden looked me up and down. I think he judged me a little bit. Maybe he's used to black women judging him. I wasn't judging. I mean, I don't think that clutch purse worked with those Capri pants but is that a judgement? I'm all confused now.

Okay, so Uraeus just came to get me to pay for all of his books. I gave up my good chair and went up a flight of stairs for him to ask for five more minutes. It's not the time, it's that I already moved my meat and lost my seat! Somebody please speak to your nephew about this.

How interesting that I should end up in a bookstore all day when I skipped my women's writing group today. I've been skipping a lot of things lately. This fog in my head is fucking with me. Getting dressed and going to work takes more energy than I seem to have lately. I have been craving time alone. That's not a good sign for me. But at least I'm writing through it. Most days.

Dear Uraeus, five minutes has passed. Truthfully he could ask for an hour more and I would be happy to give it to him. We do bookstores well together. I'll take Barnes and Noble over the Nike store any day.

Here he comes.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Peace - haiku

Is the quiet way
I understand grassy paths
Back to loving me

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gratitude

I am thankful for this day
For love and peace
For my friends and family
I am thankful for a safe trip to and from Bakersfield last night
I am thankful for my son and our time together
I am thankful for work today
For food and shelter
For grace and mercy

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Gratitude

I am thankful for a great rest last night
For waking up this morning
For smiling with my son and mother this morning
I am thankful for books sold
For peace and ease
I am thankful for taking time today for myself
I am thankful for the time to spend with my son
For grace and ease and forgiveness
I am thankful for being thankful

Saturday, September 13, 2014

We send weird messages to our children when we go hard against violence against women, politically packaged as domestic violence, then we say "spare the rod spoil the child" in defense of beating them. I don't care that these words may appear in the Bible. What if the rod the author spoke about was the rod of our intelligence, the rod of common sense, the rod of patience, of prayer, of conversation? What's a rod anyway? Is it something like the gospel plow? I dunno. You know that part of the Bible about slaves obeying masters? We don't take that literally. NOTHING on the McDonald's menu is conducive to treating our bodies like temples. That's in the Bible somewhere right? Btw don't ask me how I know the whole McDonald's menu. What if we took the part about loving our neighbors as ourselves literally?
Totally ready to move beyond diamante poems. I'm boring myself. No wonder I got so far behind in August.

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 26 - Reach

                                                  Reach
                                            Beyond this
                                       Comfort I know
                                   Expand galaxy my familiar
                                       Because I can
                                            And know
                                                 Must

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 25 - Rest

                                                  Rest
                                            Just because
                                        Breath. Water. Free.
                                   Taking time to remember
                                       This moment now
                                             Is precious
                                                 Gem
I'm exhausted. I already had a nap but clearly not one long enough. I'm tired but not sleepy. Thankfully at my mom's home. Uraeus is comfortable. That makes me happy. I'm enjoying a really good book right now hoping that soon I will be in a space where I feel like talking to people. I'm just not there. That feeling doesn't include the family I'm with right now, but any effort of a phone conversation is a fail. Texting is easier. I can hide behind a text. One simple smiley face and there, I'm cool.

My blog is my favorite hobby. It allows me to see in glowing black and white how I'm feeling. Of course sometimes I have to read between my own lines. I'm running too much. Not like exercising, but moving. I need stillness. I need two days alone in a hotel with grapes and water and orange juice and no commitments for at least a week. I'm afraid to go back into the hospital. I'm afraid of a lot of things. I don't want the numbness from the medication. Ever again. Besides, I don't have time. I keep creating no time for my self care. Red Stories is the third Sunday of each month, which is Sunday after tomorrow and Jaha and Friends! is the fourth Saturday of each month. I'm teaching every day except for Tuesdays. I have a standing appointment assisting a friend on that day. I'm teaching a writing class on Monday nights that I am considering canceling. And I'm booked on outside shows. All of these are activities I love. But. But. I'm not taking any time for me. And I need it now more than I ever did. I know my body. I know my mind. It's screaming but I ain't listening.

I think on some level I created and accepted these responsibilities to keep myself occupied and with a big enough reason to not check in again. Maybe. Whatever the reason, hospital is not what I want, need? or will accept right now anyway. I am going to create some time and healing for myself though. I'm promising myself. Of course I say this as I just accepted two out of state jobs. But I am though. I'm gonna rest soon.

My friends are blessings. Old ones and new. Dinner and conversation with L last week was life. Was
vacation from my every day hustle. Was hours of easy and genuine laughter. Was fuel. Was what I needed then. Was no pressure.

The words and stories and thoughts fill up in my head. So I release.


Lucille Clifton

won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.









I love Lucille Clifton so much and this poem has gotten me through many a day.
My favorite moments in life are those moments like today. Driving from Bakersfield with my son. Sometimes we are all stories and jokes to share and then other times, like today, we are quiet and comfortable in the silence while his head is buried in some book and I am exhausted with the traffic. And that is okay. All moments are teachable. We learn from each other to appreciate the quiet company. And traffic becomes less and less annoying.
I'm not old enough to remember Smitty but he was one of the deacons at the church where I grew up. Apparently he used to say "help us, Lord, help us" a lot because my grandmother, in her stress or woeful or funny moments would often shake her head and say "help us, Lord, help us, as Smitty say." I don't know if said Smitty had a Patton on the phrase but she ALWAYS gave him credit. This morning I found myself deeply inhaling and letting out "help us Lord, help us, as Smitty say." Because Smitty and my grandmother might be listening.

Gratitude log

I am thankful for waking up this morning
For rest last night
For my son, mother, friends and family
I am thankful for ease in my head
For calm in my spirit
For light
I am even thankful for the fog that comes and lifts
For food and clean water and shelter
For clothes and a vehicle
I am thankful that my students were an absolute dream yesterday
And I absolutely needed them to be
I am thankful for art and stories and poetry
For another Red Stories fast approaching
For books and movies and all the things and people that/who make me laugh
I am thankful for being incredibly blessed
For my functioning limbs
For talent
I am thankful for dreams and ideas that come
I am ever thankful that my circumstances do not define me

Friday, September 12, 2014

And on a day like this, when my camera and camera accessories and laptop are in the pawn shop because of the last what seemed like was an emergency (though I don't remember the specifics now), and the doctor visit I cancelled for tomorrow morning because I don't have the money and even if I did I still need gas to get to Bakersfield and back and then to Bakersfield and back to Los Angeles on Sunday and where that money is coming from is anybody's guess and then there's the oil change that has been due and the months rent I'm already behind on and art that has been sold but shipping fees have gone up and the stress eating I'm doing and the exercising and sleeping I'm not doing and the two shows I'm producing and promoting and all the classes I'm teaching and papers I'm grading and my paycheck coming a whole eight days from now, I'm still okay. I still see light. And I'm thankful for that. Because I remember days when I could not.

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 24 - Please

                                                  Please
                                             Soften ground
                                        Mattress my landing
                                   Feather water this vacancy
                                        Make nice today
                                             Be present
                                                  Easily

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 23 - Abuse

                                                  Abuse
                                             Yelling fists
                                        Wailing arms words
                                   Whisper hate pinch flesh
                                        Deny victim voice
                                             Chains ties
                                                  Smile

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 22 - Words

                                                  Words
                                             Dripping wet
                                        Flowing ideas now
                                   Opening paths to beginning
                                        Forever to seek
                                             Ways new
                                                  Now
So Michelle Gubbay bought me this beautiful tiny journal to store my haikus. Now, even though I'm like weeks behind in writing my diamante poems for August, have already written my month of haikus back in, what was it, January? Haven't even begun or chosen what style I'm writing for September, even though we are like on day twelve. Whatever. The journal is too tiny and cute and filled with flowers. So, more haikus from me people. Here is the one for today:

Love

My heart resting peace
Existing calm and at ease
Taking next small step

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 21 - Laughter

                                                  Laughter
                                             Helping, healing
                                        Soothing, natural, lifting
                                   Life giving, necessary, survival
                                        Best medicine ever
                                             Prescribed to
                                                  Me

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 20 - Peace

                                                  Peace
                                             Is being still
                                         Taking the time to
                                   Breathe. Taking the next
                                        Small step knowing
                                             Ground will
                                                  Appear

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 19 - Happiness

                                                  Happiness
                                             Sharing, spending
                                        Creating, loving, making
                                   Gifting, crafting, cherishing, and
                                        Enjoying and being
                                             Thankful for
                                                  Time
Tonight I went to Bible class at church with my mother. Truthfully I went for the same reason I surprised her at Sunday School on Sunday, so that she would be happy. And she was. I like that. I don't plan to go back to Sunday School but I had a really great time at Bible class. It was taught by the pastor of the church. I appreciated his sermon on Sunday and other sermons I've heard by him. My mother speaks highly of his class and so I thought I'd join her tonight. I'm glad I did. I'm even looking forward to returning next week. After the class my mother and I went out to eat. It reminded me of the days when I was a little girl and we would get up super late and go eat breakfast food at Denny's. I wonder if she remembers that. Tonight I am present to how blessed I am to have loving friends and family. I am blessed to have my mother with me and have opportunity to spend time with her. I am thankful for our health and strength. I am reminded tonight, to be thankful, and I am.

Monday, September 8, 2014

When I talk about the Palestinian children being massacred I don't want to hear about some scripture talking about Israel being the chosen people. Because I'm talking about these children right now! So a scripture written a forever ago means we can't talk about these human beings right now? They don't deserve this! They don't! They, at the very least deserve a discussion. I bring them up and I either get a kanillion year old scripture or a sentence or two on that great gettin' up morning when Jesus returns. But these people, being erased right this minute, don't deserve this!


I'm just gonna write books. Like in cursive. And the ISBN is going to be my right thumb print next to my email address on the back.
Yesterday I got present AGAIN to how superstitious we are as a family. At least my mother and I. We won't admit it though. But the way we feel we can create circumstances by doing or saying... or not doing or saying... is interesting and deeply ingrained.
My diet was absolutely horrible yesterday. Starting over today.
I'm not in the space to take on new things right now. I'm not. It's only by God's grace I'm managing my commitments right now. I'm honoring myself with no these days. No is not always easy for me. In fact, it's often quite difficult. But these moments, these days, I'm minding my mind.

Dear Valerie

Thank you for getting me. Thank you for being so wonderful. Thank you for being you.
I haven't felt like posting poems, and so I haven't been. Oh well. I had some great breakthroughs yesterday. None I feel like talking about here, but I had them, that's important. Had a great evening with Laura last night. I have amazing friends. I really do.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Say Word

My students at Jefferson High School had been in school for two and a half weeks without permanent schedules. Shame. During a free write assignment this is what Jason wrote.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I don't know when I'm going to get caught up on posting the poems I'm behind on. But I will. I will.

Gratitude

I am thankful for waking up this morning
For my son
For being able to communicate with him
For communicating with him
For time with my cousin
For her new baby on the way
I am thankful for spending time with Zayikah
For my life and friends
For peace and ease
I am thankful for my mother
For my friends and family
For love

At my pre birthday dinner with my cousin Ursula Dillon


Monday, September 1, 2014

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 18 - Heat

                                                 Heat
                                            Sun shines
                                        Rays shower me
                                   Walking on golden path
                                        Brighten my way
                                             Show me
                                                 How

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 17 - Strangers

                                                  Strangers
                                             Sitting outside
                                        Beautiful jazz musical
                                   Underneath the green awning
                                        These stories rainbow
                                             Brighten days
                                                  Glorious

A diamante poem a day for August 2014 - for day 16 - Labor

                                                  Labor
                                             Work united
                                        Justice and equality
                                   Build community and hope
                                        Steadfast and ready
                                             Strong arms
                                                  Lifting