DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I keep diaries in my head
at night I write on sealed pages
in dream codes, a sort
of dot-dot-dash Morse himself
couldn't read, keeps them private
old loves recur, taller than they were
twice as bold
dressed in dimestore suits and ties
I never saw them wear.

And my father
who never heard of Neruda
Gu Cheng or the Cultural Revolution
rocks calmly on the porch
and speaks to me
of bread and milk
I'm sick he says
and wants to say goodbye
as if he were not already dead.

This is a book
my grandchildren will never read
the key is not in my hand
not even in my pocket
never will my children say
Mama tell us of Olden Times
and turn these pages that open upon
old houses, old rooms that suck me in

like Alice through the glass.
This world is mine alone
where the voices and the windows
the old mingling of bodies
and the landscapes are buried
what's here is one raw nerve, exposed
and aching to go where I never can
to grasp the fleeting things
that would disappear.

(This is an old one. Sorry if you have seen it before)


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1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.