journal notes 1/9/18

I write, Sitting in the Vietnamese Restaurant

an astrologer worked my chart. tapped: this, this improbable lattice, where does this much go, taps the moon, jupiter – it shrugs my shoulders

brushed or bashed in transits. a fly on the neptune, moth on your moon — the fine trembling resulting. a consequence along the wire, numen or flare.

*raises vow* all my dreams are and always have been buildings houses or water.

Do you have to have the dreams. I’ve kept them, some days I guess I will not ever tell you.

How to accept, Pluto, Pluto in my pets, in my health, in my daily routines.

A truck passes: Rental Repairs. Motto: “Our name says it all.”

Don’t ask for anything else.

A sublime sun, just after the winter cusp, white golding off glass. I’ve gone so long without my eyes water back at it, grow the lazing strobe. My corneas prism a holy pattern, seraphic.

I know one dream is the water, your hand pulling me. Another, blue moths pulse.

I count up every patron, study first dates, the friend dates, all of us at the solo table staring, shooting lit information at our faces. Crow-like risings, one after the other off a line, kiting our bodies on the day.

In my favorite poems, women walk outside and see every color. They are given the spectrum and immediately cast it.

I see this. My child’s face veiled clear emerald and plum, marbled yellow. My skin polychromatic, gone kaleidoscopic, all verdance and grow back, rhizomes splitting shoots and everything pressing out now now now.

 

Niblet from last year this time when I realized my body no longer had the ability to chemically differentiate.

 

i slit my length 

button to hollow 

search the shatter 

hotwire it right: 

excitement to excitement 

fear to fear

season of good work

I doubt I am the only person to get out of the car and upon seeing a small slug and a feather at my feet inhale an almost soundless exclamation, but I doubt there are many of us. It feels akin to finding a small personalized sign: ‘you’re on the damn right path okay now keep going.’

Nicely, randomly last week, I chanced upon a parliament of peacocks in someone’s front lawn and spilling in the street. It was pretty remarkable. There were many. I posted a photo and an old Portland resident said: Are those the ones that were ejected by the zoo? Huh, who knew? I don’t remember that story from 10 years ago, but apparently it was a thing. Chancing upon peacocks in your path is a pretty nice feeling.

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I’ve been thinking about, and rereading, work by CD Wright, John Beer (specifically Lucinda), and Ocean Vuong. I’ve been trying to prep myself to re-collect and edit the manuscript, and change the name. It turns out something savage is the name of Dan Savage’s ig account, which leaves: asking for it. But I’m adding the Richard poems, which makes something savage the most correctly right name. So idk.

Looking at the book this round makes me appreciate again how difficult it must be for bands with one or two breakout hits to only ever be widely known for those. How hard it is to keep interested in something you made and in many ways, aged out of. I love the poems, they are important, I know certainly there are people who need them, but working there always feels like dressing in a uniform from a job you had a long time ago. Maybe it’s a lesson that my editing process should be a lot faster.

So far this year I have a draft for a children’s book, the beginning of a short story (modern gothic / metaphor), two shitty poems, one okay poem, twelve really amazing vignettes received in mediation I have no idea what to do with, and one long, rambling piece that might eventually be its own chapbook? And, about six essays sitting here that just need to be finished. I always feel slightly guilty making new work when I haven’t buttoned up old work in earnest. So many unfinished pieces and projects feels like a lot of half-dressed, neglected children milling about, growing feral.

And, I started a buzzfeedesque list, ranking all of the Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day soaps in order from pleasingly ideal, to suffering misery. If Iowa Pine (and wtf, Iowa Pine? Is Iowa really known for their aromatic pine?? Sweet corn, perhaps) isn’t in your top three, we aren’t on speaking terms. (Think of the sniffing research I’ve had to do in the grocery store… apparently this is what retired wine professionals do with their benched abilities.)

It’s a good time to discuss work because Saturn is in Capricorn (for a while so get comfy!) and so is the Sun, and depending on your system of choice, Mercury or the Moon. Saturn in Capricorn is a good thing. Saturn rules Capricorn and they can be like partners at an ethical, white hat law firm, like Strang and Buting, working within the systems, rules, and boundaries to make great things happen.

The only way to think of this time is how strong everything we are creating right now might be. If we don’t quit, and if vision is held, for work, for ourselves, for our process, growth, and evolution.

Saturn
Trouvelot planet illustrations… TLA 🖤. He even made Saturn look good! (J/k… Saturn is a mofo, but he’s our mofo and a useful one at that.)

Saturn can be like a slightly nicer version of Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life; all business suits, mothballs, and prune juice. You can see how when Saturn is visiting a sign that wants to enthuse, expand, seek, and laugh (cough, Sag cough), Saturn can be pretty miserable and dampen Sagittarius’ natural gifts. But, Capricorn Gets. Shit. Done. It plans, makes systems, builds, and takes intelligent steps towards the star Sagittarius identified and  took aim at.

You can see how Saturn and Cap can get along peas-in-pod like. Capricorn: Let’s make a spreadsheet to inform our planning for this project. Saturn: Yes and add 8 more columns for really specific information that we may or may not need at some point. This is going to be the most thorough and successful lemonade stand, ever!

Capricorn accomplishes, creates strong foundations. The shadow side is, it can also excel at self-undoing — mire in the planning, self doubtful, fixed on past misses, mistrustful, exclusive. But together, Capricorn season lends us the clarity and focus for hard work, and Saturn’s presence provides paternal encouragement to parent ourselves, with love and a reminder to keep growing, actualize… slugs, feathers, and peacocks marking the path. What’s built now, during this new moon and Saturn’s transit, is of deepest foundations — built to endure.

The house where Capricorn resides in your natal chart is the area that will feel Saturn’s presence. This is my 10th house of career. I suspect there will be good, solid changes and strong foundations built, as long as I use the transit well, work hard, and don’t shy away from discomfort or change, seize opportunities and remember my worth. Or, if Capricorn is your 11th house, look to build strong, healthy friendships. Weed out what depletes or is not mutual. Overhaul and work toward your deepest hopes and dreams, update them for this point and definition of yourself.

If it’s your 5th house of romance, creative expression, pleasure, and joy, get ready to learn the lessons about strong foundations that feed these areas of life for the long run. The gifts of a well used Saturn transit are meaningful structure, self-control, healthy boundaries, useful rules, deeply fed growth. Basically, it’s like your dad or a dad-like-person just showed up, pointed to the area of your life Saturn is currently in and is like: ‘You need to clean all this up, and then make it great. Make me proud.’

And good news, astrologically there is a lot of emerald green ‘GO’ energy right now. A little work can go a looong way. No planets are retrograde (that changes in early March). It’s not totally uncommon for all planets to be progressing forward, but it is a valuable window for manifesting and making strides.

Additionally, the Chinese new year is just a month away. The year of the earth dog sounds so much better than last year – the year of the fire cock (rooster) 😐. Personally, my wood tiger does much, much better with dogs than roosters, and I’m hoping for overall more grounded, congenial, companionable energies, across the board.

When I read these transits, see the energy and nature of them and their equivalent in other natural manifestations, often the pressure to capitalize feels too intense. It’s the student in me. I want to get it “right.” But that’s not realistic. Work and school are satisfying to so many (and can be addictive) because it can be done “right;” accomplishment in a way that can be controlled. Perfected. But, that’s not nature or the natural world. And I suppose that’s where faith and joy come in — the spontaneity and vulnerability of being seen in our growing states, imperfect (and how perfect that can be). Showing up and being present and not knowing what comes next, but remaining available to it.

A bit on the new moon last night from vedic astrologer ayana astrology…

Read More »

the new season

Reviewing everything I wrote this summer, it was pretty much just chaining fears about global warming, nuclear war, putting my child through change, and extreme weather. Here’s one in not its worst state.

I’m so grateful for the grey, cool, desperately needed rain. I’m already full-on with making squash and mushroom stews, thick soups, and warm breads. Give me wool, coffee, herbal tea, and excuses to hang out and read, and I’m good for half a year.

And in the past couple months, 3 people have asked me to give them tarot readings. 😍 I haven’t been brave enough to do it yet, but I’m gonna. Because everyone deserves a little extra guidance from the ether now and then.

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palms / chrysanthemums

Earlier this year, for a number of months, I felt like I had chrysanthemums in my hands. It was an odd, sudden sensation one day, both palms full, each with the soft weight of a chrysanthemum in the middle.

I hadn’t ever seen a nice chrysanthemum, just obligatory ones in grocery stores every autumn growing up, with brash harvest colors and struggling, spidery blooms. But the chrysanthemums in my palms were full, generous, neatly feathered. Some days they felt white, and some days they felt light yellow.

Sometimes I loved that they were energetically there, and some days I felt frustrated because I couldn’t understand what they were supposed to mean. Sometimes I would try to shake the sensation from my hands, but they just remained. They felt like being around people who know a lovely surprise that’s coming to you, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

I drafted notes for a poem about it, looked up chrysanthemum meanings, researched what it could possibly mean to energetically feel like you have chrysanthemums unfolding from your palms, and then then slowly, the sensation dissipated.

But today, in a florist shop there they were, my chrysanthemums. Or ones that looked like them. I chanced upon them on a day of my son asking if it was snowing, and having to say no, it’s ashes. He asked, from what. I said, Well, …everything. And then explained that sometimes things have to burn entirely to be renewed.

I can’t take pictures of each one in each of my palms, because I can’t hold the camera and the flowers at the same time.

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chrysanthemum bloom
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rough notes for a poem

A bad thing: A strange, extreme outbreak of house flies?! Eclipse energy? Last gasp of a very old, detrimental belief, symbolized? Who knows! But I killed between 70 and 100 in 3 days. I love having superior reflexes; If I were rolled on a stat sheet, I’d have a 19 dexterity (there is that one time on the shuffleboard court…), but only probably like a 7 physical strength so good thing they weren’t flying bears (leave me alone… I’ve been listening to a lot of Critical Role podcast). The pest man could find no reason for them at all. He just foam-sprayed some cracks around the foundation and said good luck. Of course, they seem gone now, after basically a horror film for 3 days.

A good thing: When I sent out a rash of 10 manuscripts earlier in the year, I did so with the hope that at least 2 would come back with a non-form rejection of: “We passed on this, but all really liked it and it went far. Please try us again.” And they did! And even getting that far is really hard! Imagine what would happen if I could really spend time writing and reading! How exciting.

eclipse season, cont’d.

The wildfires grow so that by the end of the day, breathing is difficult. I bolster my lungs. All light is rubbed-raw pink, or beige tinged, like the walls of a smoker’s home. Just ashes falling now.

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wildfire shower

 

Dreams and sleep and information have all been wild around this last eclipse. A few nights ago I had an epiphany while watching The West Wing (leave me alone, I’ve never seen it and it was Adam Arkin episode). It was a tremendous shift, posing as a smooth one, like simply rounding a corner in a familiar neighborhood or like stumbling upon an overgrown formal garden and its right amount of concept, and juxtaposed feral growth.

Before sleep I tug at my red grounding to the earth, making sure, clear blocks that look like burnt bricks, comb my green of white threads, frown at my weak yellow; not canary or goldenrod, more a thinned butter. But marvel at the saturated prussian blue, the plum-black purple.

A few weeks ago, in a not-yet-sleep-but-not-still-awake was shown: my own hand pulling a heavy brass knob closed behind me; a thick door closing off the before. My baby on my hip, my dogs at my feet in a new, lit, white and pink, all warm, calm, and possible. A relief and a *finally,* and the space expanding for us to walk in and be now… just this gratefulness, and relief. And promise.

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This lady closed a book. A sting on my arm, while sitting on my steps and then her insides expelling. I sat with her for her last, gave her honey, warmed her with my breath, a prayer of thanks and goodbye.

__________

Yesterday, a passing, but somehow it feels like a gift. This is just something else he crafted to share. If I think of Ashbery, all I think of is: permission. His work grants permission. Or at least, it has always granted me permission where I have otherwise not been able to find it. All personal space, and all clouding out, and filling in.

Some John Ashbery Poems

Late-ish

My Erotic Double

Some Trees

 

John Ashbery, Obituary

 

 

(she) bang(s) the drum

I went off about bees and pollinators… again. I feel like all of these quotes should wind up with me saying: “…and get off my lawn!”

It seems I said: “And finally,” twice… the ol’ bait & switch. You think I’m going to make my final point and then bam, one more point for your face! Thanks to Avital for… well… so much, but especially for including me here; really good company to be in.

Screenshot 2017-03-18 13.32.59