Notes on Understanding the Human Condition

Grandpa’s Elephant

I believe in education
The importance of education by means of experience
Experience of art
Sculpture, music, dance, painting, film, ceramics, theater
I believe in the participatory education of experiencing art
Moving around the thing with eyes, nose, ears perceptive
Moving in the thing mind, fingers nerves extended
Art is the physical manifestation born of an individual’s experience
Art is the physical manifestation of idea
Ideas turned tangible
Meaning turned outward
To educate humans, on the human condition

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Self-doubt can go fuck itself: Looking all fear in the face

Organically round

Pulling clothes off
Baring body
Fat pockets protruding

Interesting curves
Attractive lips
Daring to love me

Daring to touch the ugliest parts of me
See the shame, lick it up like melted ice cream
Buckets of hot foam disturbingly sweet
Bitter fruit blooming organically round

Palms sweat out pools on thighs
Breaking head open, pouring out the pounding
Cut deep into exposed chest, a preemptive bypass surgery

Pull ribs apart and allow heart to fly out like a humming bird
Buzzing, hovering, swooping,
Diving into all colors

Flower after flower sucking sweetly with phallic beak
Breaking into sunshine sonnets
Allowing myself to be self, embrace abnormities, sickness, potential, love

Not for a wine bar dialogue, not so I can feel clever, special, wanted
Not for a photo-op with fascinating folks, cleverly drawn cardboard cutout mustaches
perched on smooching lips

But for the humming bird, who, when trapped, flutters down to my stomach and creates pulsating rings of nausea
Then up behind my ears through my sinuses to my eyes, instigating tension, sets fires to                 be set free.

Prison cell ribs that stand as the physical manifestation of self-doubt
Like slavery
Cast out of so much fear

Palms sweat pools on thighs
Break skull open, pour out pounding
Exposed chest, cut deep

Retch ribs to the side
allow heart to fly out, a humming bird
Buzzing, hovering, swooping,
Diving into so much color

Posted in Creative Nonfiction, Feminism, Memoir, Poetry, San Diego | 3 Comments

A Need to Move Beyond Myself

Escape this heavy chest
A mind that worries and scatters
like so much dust


Displaced over stacks of books
By neon yellow swiping feathers
To gather myself
To make sense of thought
To understand love and anger, my own being
To feel honestly, to be able to convey feeling
This is to be an artist
It is the feeling that comes so readily when I take a moment to listen to my own heartbeat
Even when I do not, it thumps so fucking loud through my rational self
I can’t help but tap my foot and question
What is this flagrantly fragmented beat?
When it moves warm how do I capture it? Pen it to a page and send it to you to read?
When it feels unsexy, sharp, how to release it?
Confident in righteous abandonment
Pain of self comes in waves, disoriented it creates swirls and deludes linear idealism
A need to move beyond myself
Escape this heavy chest
A mind that worries and scatters
Like so much dust displaced over stacks of books
A neon yellow bunch of
Gathering self
Making sense of thought
Understanding love and anger
Honestly feeling and conveying feeling, to be an artist.
Release the unneeded, unsexy
Disoriented pain of self comes in swirls
No hint of linear idealism
Movement beyond self
Listening to this fucking thumping
Warm and beautiful to tapping toe
Posted in Feminism, Literature, Memoir, Poetic Fragments, Poetry | Leave a comment

.Finding Home.

.Finding home so close to where I was born so far from the homes I’ve made.  Feel myself dropping down into this space, making familiar out of constant new. Pulling in the open air and the yellow mountains and box houses with red tiled triangle tops. Finding familiar in the millions of palm trees standing like sticks pushed into sand, constant as weeds. Accepting the objects, ideas I see and giving respect to those things I would like to change.  Seeing faces again and again- studying their planes and moving from behind mine with passion I can hear pooling in my pulse. Letting go of solitude, finding peace, making love, waking up deciding to do it again. Forgiving myself for taking my time and crying my way through mind webs made by negativity and solitude.  Forgiving myself for the bad I do- for my misconduct and giving myself the opportunity to live again and try again, love again, do better. Believing that today is in fact better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better still- if not better, deeper.

Posted in Creative Nonfiction, Feminism, Memoir, Poetic Fragments, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Good Morning San Diego: A Prayer

Your clouds a bright white and your sky a lazy blue
Rocky green and yellow mountains are stretching out towards Mexico
Waxy leaves cha-cha, reflecting spots of white cloud light
Reaching to smell the morning
through coffee filled mouth
Your birds chirping out of sight
Palm trees joining the dance in the breeze
Struggling to turn off the critic
Focus on the French bread
the coffee seeping into bread and the smell of berries
Make living an act of love
Feed body
Fill mind
Stretch, swallow, breath
Purposefully understanding
deepen love for earth: her process of evolving beings
Extend this love to my family
to this family housing me
giving me San Diego love: with their good morning smiles
and carefully placed vitamins laid out on the counter, just for me
I deserve to have this love inside me
flow through me as breath to fill my lungs and heart
never to horde
Give out, love out, love forward
Allow things to come slowly,
enjoy the alones, the crowdedness
Enjoy the unique San Diegoness of this new experience

Posted in Feminism, Memoir, Poetry, San Diego | 1 Comment

A Strawberries’ Poem

Open windows, winding rode.

Z: Yum.

J: I’m going to eat all of them.

Boys in the backseat playing jell-o, moving with the car to and fro.

Aunty A: What is it that you like so much about strawberries?

Fields full of food ripening on the ground, surrounding rode for miles.

Z: The sweetness.  I like the fur on the outside.

J: It’s the loveliness, the sweetness.

Z: It’s the taste in the middle. The center inside is full of maple.

J: Yeah, maple. They taste like maple.

The sun is hot enough to burn, west coast April afternoon.

Aunty A: Sounds like a poem, we should write a strawberries poem.

Instead we talk about agriculture and bio-mimicry. J and Z take turns handing up strawberries to Aunty V.

Posted in California, Creative Nonfiction, Malibu | Leave a comment

You’re not in San Francisco.

You know you are not in the BAY when there are seats left open at the free Wi-Fi café.

You know when the cashiers at Trader Joe’s are genuinely surprised you brought your own canvas bags.

You know when you are the only pedestrian walking down a busy street mid morning. No sleeping bag citizens, a constant rushing stream of red-light-lit cars.

You know when the only things you can hear outside are airplanes and weed-whackers.

When the sun is shining and you’re the only fool in the middle of a big grass-green square park.

Haven’t seen a pigeon in weeks, just millions of palm trees.

Posted in Memoir, Poetic Fragments, Poetry, San Francisco | 1 Comment

Hips Lips Palms Pushing

One.Passion Fruit

Blue. The blue of your sheets when you’re looking up at me.                                         Longing for the feel of your hand interlaced in mine.                                                                   I’ve memorized the smoothness of your palms.                                                                 Replay the feeling, rub my two hands together,                                                                       close my eyes, see your fingers your palms rubbing back at mine.

Closed eyes, the feel of your palms pushing into mine,                                                                 above my head, hands holding above our heads.                                                                   Your lips pushing their way into mine and my hips pushing their way into yours.


Hips and lips and palms pushing.                                                                                         Dreams of blue waves, night after night.

My body’s memory of yours.                                                                                                       You take me over, float in a warm a blue violent calm.                                                     Where is the water warm                                                                                                             But in our bed interlaced hips and lips and palms pushing.


I am clearly not perfect.                                                                                                          Flawed. The same flawedness I love in you. You love in me.                                            Warm morning light, imperfections gleaming.                                                                      Sleep in eyes-blemishes and spots of red rubbed into flesh,                                                     by bodies moving in the dark.                                                                                                      My skin the color of the white of the walls yellowed like the walls with scars and marks  made by skin stretching with growing muscles and bones.                                                    Your skin the color of my breakfast tea before the cream, inconsistencies, blurred lines  where the sun has kissed you and where she has not.                                                        Marks and scars: a past visible.


Your imperfections taste like the feeling growing inside me and fill me with lovelongevity.

It was when I saw you as more than idea,                                                                                       as more than words, as more than handsome,                                                                               that I knew I would love you.                                                                                                             Love you with that face, your smile so wide and trusting with intelligence and humor.


Lips- like purple plums- sweet as mangos full as my hips.                                                 Move me, make me shudder.                                                                                                             Thighs tremble, anticipate.                                                                                                                 I know I love you.                                                                                                                           Better than words we show.                                                                                                               Hips, lips, palms pushing. Floating through warmth.                                                                   Blue wave sheets. Love building longevity.

Posted in California, Memoir, Poetry, San Francisco | 2 Comments

Good Morning San Francisco

Bitter espressoIMG_5310
Warm sun
Soothing clear water in a tall clean glass
Jasmine making its way up lattice this side of the café patio
Good music, something Latina, something with a strong beat
People ever so interesting to look at

Good Morning San Francisco

Posted in California, Memoir, Poetic Fragments, Poetry, San Francisco | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

If I had a Nickel

If I had a Nickel
For ever time you threatened suicide
every time we saw your face puffy
your thin white lips locked together
your head in your hands.
You yelling
voice shill, the sound of boiling crabs.
If I had a nickel for ever man who victimized you
every man who wronged you, every man you invited into your life, our lives
open arms, arms so open we fell out
made room for him, his needs, your need to fill his needs.
Until things gotget so much into chaos
we must pull you out by your-teeth your-hair your-fingernails
clawing with your right hand,  begging us for help with the left
your tears against us and for us lay side to side
mingle in dark damp smears on the cotton of your shirt sleeves.
on the backs of your wrists.
We fix it again
because we’re obligated
because we love you
because you’ve taught us how to walk
because you’ve taught us how to love
and how to give so much that we know how to hold it back-
hold it all back.
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