Mourning Pages 5/31/23 – Time to vamoose

I am pretty much recovered from surgery and about to head out a conference then to Detroit for a concert. Honestly, after seeing shows constantly for decades, I’d rather have a cup of coffee with my grocery clerk and hear them talk about the history of their neighborhood than hear about one more rocker’s music collection. At least cutting up tapes of old organ & calliope recordings, throwing them into the air and then editing the bits of tape that landed on the floor together at random to create the middle 8 of “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” has a good story to it. But this upcoming show is a nostalgic one. Suppose they all are these days.

It’s time for me to get back to work and put streaming time into bigger stories. Honestly, I piled so much on that I can’t tell what’s next, just that I’m in a constant fast flow. It is strange how little I want to see anyone these days. Back in Chicago, when I had to rebuild energy, I could always find something stimulating like the Humanities Fest or a historic graveyard, hop a train to explore a new part of town, or just go read in the library at the Museum of Surgical Science.

Now I am feeling restless like there is nothing left to see here. At least I can retreat into imagination with the writing space. It is called HOWL, which stands for Hidden Oak Writer’s Lair. It is in a duplex I bought about six years ago though it feels like longer. I was pretty grief-stricken around that time after my dad died and got this place to house my sister. It had been vacant ten years and was a bit wrecked. We spent most of our time refinishing about every square inch of that it. About the fourth time redoing the yard and remodeling the interior, I decided that was enough of moving three steps forward and one step back. Coincidentally, it was apparent that I was going to lose all of my marbles if I did not get some silence and uninterrupted time to read, think, write, and just be on my own wavelength for a minute or two or a thousand. My husband is likely the kindest person I know, and having family has been good and stabilizing for me. But it also means that my constant stream of consciousness and blatantly unconscious to conscious stream of thought gets tucked away. And I get very tired of being so got dang entertaining all the time while trying to set aside pensive thought and deal with not being able to pick up a thread once a train of thought is broken. I cannot help this current and rather enjoy it than feel neurotic about it or deal with people who think the solution is not to think so much.

My father was a thinker and we always had a very easy and interesting flow. Writing is a lot like having a conversation with him. Anyway, I decided we had put too much love into this duplex not to take it to its full potential and I needed a place to go and just be me, so decided to make the place a short-term rental. We added many updates. And I spent a lot of time making it a place I want to be in by doing the DIY work to stretch the budget with carefully selected furniture pieces, artwork, cartouches and trim, soft bedding, and inspiration. I even found church doors and architectural ironwork, so it will get better and better a little at a time. I spent a lot of time on the yard which was originally a dead space full of poison ivy vines. Now it is a sanctuary with an eight foot tall privacy fence and both a gigantic sugar maple and massive black walnut tree in the back yard. It took time to understand what thrived with those trees in that soil and I spent many a day tearing at the roots and laying walkways. The ever-growing library is my favorite part of the place. It adds a official layer to my ongoing book search.

A couple of weeks ago I went to an antique sale and scored Updike’s Rabbit Run and Rabbit Redux, Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems, Writing Down The Bones, Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and Patti Smith’s Whitt. I was very touched to read Patti’s longing and wrote her a response piece that may or many not see the light of day. 

HOWL has been booked every weekend since February, so it has been a lot of cleaning. But that means I have to make time and get to write there while the washing machine does its thing. Then I’ll take a break and mow the lawn or weed, sand a door or stain. Now people are starting to dip into the weekdays and it was just booked for over a week straight. Not sure how I feel about that. Though I love that one guest lives in town but wanted some writing time. That was kind of the point and I am happy to share the sense of peace I get from this space. Also, I have a lot audio work to catch up on, so my time will come. 

Peace and sayanara

Mourning Pages – 5/30/23 OXTR

I have a visitor who likes to come here to collect my thoughts. The best I can figure is that this is payback for failed efforts to borrow my essence with a membership card. Fuel is expensive. You can starve if you don’t know how to generate it. Cannot see a world in a grain of sand.

Let me break it down now that I’ve seen the lament and nonresponse to direct candor combined with social media blocks. This is so he can continue to “muse” off of my work. I’m not a muse and not amused. And had enough triggering damage from trying to be his friend. Even if you are so careful, leaving references vague doesn’t work if you confuse which artwork or concept is known, like Albion, and which is specific to me. You could seriously damage a person struggling with mental illness with the degree of subterfuge I experienced, and it seems probable that this is why so many crazy lovers crowd the room and the landscape. If the door to the objective closes there could be no coming back. Read that again and tell me if you think you are creating mystery or magic for other people as a love addict.

Common manipulation tactics include inflating perceived market value, and framing oneself as a skilled lover, and inserting fear of other partners or options. That toxic bachelor stance of adults who live a little is literarily the serpent dropping down from the tree. If any of these seduction category tactics work, it establishes fast intimacy while the playing wanderer gathers intel like a vitiating scribe. The intel is leverage which can also be gained by going for compromised targets. Other classic power plays include love bombing, sharing too much too soon, coveting someone once you see that person has currency, ignoring their achievements, withholding admiration, isolating a person, and deflating their morale so they won’t share. For sensitized person(s), the confusion can trigger old trauma. If you can pinpoint that this person you trusted is not who you thought they were and you manage to escape the chaos, they might broadcast their lamentation in an attempt to garner sympathy from new unsuspecting women. This might look like vulnerability from someone who just really has a big heart and wants to love, which is hard to resist, so always listen to your intuition and know that healthy love is clear. It is not so confusing that you wonder if you might be snapping or enter some kind of protective dissociative state.

In this case that manipulating love addict is hurting and could likely feel all of these emotions. He’s not some kind of evil mastermind but follows a well-practiced pattern. This could be due to an aberrant oxytocin receptor and a non-normal pair-bonding pattern. Loop de loop. Oxytocin can surge with preoccupation on the uncertainty of relationships, while stalking bad relationships, during arousal, and during types of suffering such as isolation and high rumination levels. So lamentation on unrequited love or ruin increases oxytocin levels. In women, oxytocin drops from ovulation to bloodshed so that is when they will either cuddle with you or make a stew from your bones. Hold the marrow. The OTXR gene aberrancy has links to developmental insecure attachment bonding.

This is not the kind of thing you experience, struggle to understand, then keep to yourself. Identifying bad patterns and reasons means you can try to stop yourself in real time. Shrugging things off at the conscious level only works during high phases. Can’t escape that governing mind.

Oxytocin: figs, watermelon, avocado, massage, cuddling, yoga, music, love, intimacy, orgasms, touch (for some, that’s physical and emotional touch), lavender, jasmine, sage, sandalwood.

the cassia and the jackal

If you crush a cockroach, you’re a hero. If you crush a beautiful butterfly, you’re a villain. Morals have aesthetic criteria.

If you need a deep and poignant laugh, consider the Cassia fistula L, also known as the golden shower. C’mon, you know that’s funny. They sit valuable and innocuous, their little pinnate flappers eclipsed—you could almost say they are hiding—when the sun concentrates its long perpendicular smile and we feel the see, feel the shining; coaxes a bright waterfall of golden flaxen lemon blooms weeping from its arms that branch to enfold the spirits on the ground into its dilative physical range of glory. 

With such grace Cassia releases these offerings, attracting their companions in missive source of healing. The anti: diabetic, inflammatory, oxidant, and stagnant motionless and gastronomical space where wait is weight until you see Cassia and know pure bright healing love. Well this cannot be a bad world. It can only be an arbor of seering beauty and sheer grace.

Of course the container can’t be torpid. They tolerate a cold shoulder here and there but too much of that can kill them and why would one risk their own salvation. Even salt on it’s mighty shoulders is but dander of the environment: dry but but a humor and thirst is but to quench. Fistula is full of surprises with a heartwood more durable than yours or mine. 

One of the best—and I mean the very best—things about this golden shower is that the pollinating bees and butterflies have a strange and cunning ally in their fistula mission. Said ally is the golden jackal. I don’t know if I’ve ever observed a more beautiful river dog wolf, but I’ve asked it to come on in to a series I’m writing on our nation’s watersheds.  

This little furry tidbit is drawn to the fruit of the golden shower tree which it eats it with its soft wild fluffy mouth—whether the fruit just tastes good or there is a deeper medicinal need—then disperses the seeds.

LAFogle 5/22/23

A letter to Kenneth Patchen on his deathiversary

A few weeks ago, Erik Van Loon of LA Poetry Beach asked the poets of LAPB2021 to write a poem to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kenneth Patchen’s death on January 8, 2022. I had written a poem to him on his birthday with the theme of “Get Ready To Die” and felt that piece might be better served for a death anniversary. So instead of doing a second death-themed poem, I opted to write him a freeform letter. I think he would have approved:

Happy Deathiversary,

I imagine you’d like us writing poems for you. To shake the trees with the breeze of words read aloud. In this you never left. When the flowers return, I’ll pick a Tiger Lily for you. It is my favorite flower, as the symbology means “For once may pride befriend you.” Sounds sweet, but what of pride and tigers is nice? When respect teeters on arrogance, dignity on conceit; which angel became devil and how could that battle reward the meek until the winner was determined? Reeks of a propagandistic maxim to me. Behold! The tiger has no spots! Look on, Cheetah Lily. Look on, seed. You be the rain if we must cry. You be the thunder if we must roar. We be the laughter in this undead tragedy, watching trash TV, calling idealists naive and the hopeful prideful; but spare the stars not in the sky.

Ken, I like talking to you because what I just said was probably more freeing than odd. I too want to speak all the words; for the angels to be more than sightings of intrinsic phosphene firing from the mind’s magnetic sight. We ride in the hands of a godlike child flying ghost planes through a more visibly sick world. Each night, grown offspring fold their robe of slights in sackcloth palls and sheets of dread. Their causes have waned and with them go covenants…

follow the link to LA Poetry Beach’s website to read the full letter