Category Archives: cancer

gone to the printers

I think this might be like arriving at base camp at the foot of Everest

I know its an awful lot like being 37 weeks pregnant.

maybe you dreamed of it

surely you worked for it

but as the time nears

you realize, increasingly

that you have absolutely no idea

what you’ve gotten yourself into

 

and the dark clouds form and disperse

as you reckon the size of the leap

you have made

peering at the place you think you’re going to land

readying the things you think you’ll need

asking for mentors, safety nets

realizing that when you need financial security more than ever you are sloughing it off

to pit yourself against the challenge

of doing this thing

and doing it well

aprons and layers falling

revealing the dream vulnerable to the raw air:

 

I,

Writer

terrified, quaking, tired and certain

there is no perfect draft, there is no truly ready time

the story is past due

 

and gone to the printers.

finally finished, and only just begun.

Downwind: A People’s History of the Nuclear West.  November 2014

 

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Filed under art, artists, Atomic Bomb, basic goodness, cancer, Change, Civil Disobedience, coexistence, Colonialism, community, culture.society.anthropology., Desert, Family, History, Homeland, howard zinn, love, meditation, memory, motherhood, Nevada Test Site, Nuclear weapons, oceans and mountains, on writing, poetry, Pregnancy, stories, violence, Waitress, winter, writing

bigger than a blog post, smaller than a breadbox

I haven’t been doing much creative writing lately,

because this:

Fox_sketch-1

 

is coming out in the fall and contrary to what I’d somehow fooled myself into thinking,

my work is only just begun.

More to come lovelies, I promise. all sorts of things are moving and shaking.. a website, a video, events, travel. opportunities for folks to support getting the stories in my book out into the world. For now… disjointed waitress poetry will make an attempt to return, because learning how to market a book gives me a headache, and I need to write creatively again.

 

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Filed under Americana, As it Turns Out There Were People In All Those Little Communities, Atomic Bomb, basic goodness, blue collar, cancer, Change, Civil Disobedience, coexistence, Colonialism, community, culture.society.anthropology., death, Deep Ecology, Desert, Family, fathoming, feminism, Food, Garden, gathering, gratitude, History, Homeland, Hope, howard zinn, journalism, Labor, love, meditation, memory, migration, motherhood, Nevada Test Site, Nuclear weapons, on writing, Peace, Peacewalk, poetry, stories, violence, watching it all go by, wendell berry

15 august

They do not stop, the stories.
Just when you’ve had time to return to your ordinary life, finish the dishes, get caught up on the laundry, have a glass of wine with a friend, feel selfish,
they come cascading down on your shoulders,
rending your heart,
teaching your lungs and your pumping muscles
things they may have always known
loss is coming
death is imminent
the ones you love will perish too.
And you bend over the sink,
sobbing into the dish water,
tasting the truth of love
you cannot keep bad things from happening
even if you
curl around your core
keep the world from your heart,
or smother the ones you love under your wings,
you cannot hold pain at bay.
and your heart becomes a weaker organ
your skin loses its thickness
becomes brittle
and so you open
again
and again
and again
making yourself stronger through surviving
bearing witness doesn’t have to break you down.

it feels that way at first, sure.
and you think about your Jewish ancestors
who tore their clothes in grief,
and you lean in to the power of ritual.
learn that if you allow the grief to tear you open
it will teach you things

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Filed under basic goodness, cancer, death, fathoming, love, Nevada Test Site, Nuclear weapons, Ordinary, stories, unrepentantly unedited

Harvest Moon

for Brandy

Redgold sunflowers line the west border of the garden bed,
dozens of crimson crowns hanging heavy with seeds
every one a volunteer from last year
glowing in the slanting light
of early autumn afternoon

the firemen across the street are singing crude songs
while they wash their trucks for the umpteenth time this week
and the white sheet of the teepee in the garden
is flapping idly in the breeze

harvest a giant pan of tomatoes while the kid naps
tugging gently at their rounded bodies
to see if they are ready to give leave of the vine
cherokee purples, brandywines, sungolds and mortgage lifters
shape them into a heart for Brandy
and spend thirty minutes dicing them.
every time i lean on the knife
i mutter
screw cancer
and make myself smile
and each time the blade cleaves the flesh
it is a prayer
augmented by ten cloves of garlic
and a pile of basil.

freeze the bruschetta in bags
for some dark night in winter
when the sharpness of the garlic
and the ripeness of the tomatoes
and the spice of the basil
will, swirled together over bread,
remind us of what vitality is possible

in the meantime,
harvest moon tonight,
2nd night of luminescent fullness
make potato leek soup,
close times with the ones we love

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Filed under autumn weather, basic goodness, cancer, Family, Food, Garden, gathering, love