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Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

dog in yard, chewing on a beef bone

bones used to be free from the butcher, now I paid $2 for one

when I lived in Kent, Ohio, all those years (1981-2000), there was a free-standing butcher shop

it closed before I got a dog, so I never got bones there

it is hot outside, 95 degrees at least

this is another change since my youth

it seems my kids will never know what summers were really like

I sit inside in my air conditioning and it’s not that I didn’t do that before, it’s that the stretches of heat are longer and longer

I dreamed my ribs opened in the front, at my sternum

they became a boat in which I could lie down, the boat in the cool water and me cradled by my own bones, floating

I remember how little my children were, how fun, how fast the time goes, how it couldn’t go fast enough and how tired I was, how I barely slept

Now there are wrinkles and gullies, eyes pushed back into darker sockets, lashes shrinking. I am as vain as ever.

Hubby made this for me for my birthday. I love it. That’s John Hodgeman and Jeff Tweedy and my whole family in the crowd at Solid Sound 2013 singing Happy Birthday.

I love the one where I’m smoking because it seems like another lifetime. I almost forgot that I smoked.

I also love that I’m in a bikini piloting a boat because that only happened once.

I also love the one where I’m with my Oma. That was her little balcony off of her little apartment. I really loved my Oma but I didn’t get to see her very often, across an ocean.

I like the ones where my kids are babies and the one with my old dog Aggie.

My mother will be 80 in December. I never forget her age.

I will not be making TACO BALLS (a recipe I saw on pinterest) any time soon, not even since I’m fifty. You have to please yourself.

I had the BEST birthday ever! I got the best presents and the most Facebook wishes and nice people have come to lots of little events I’ve asked them to come to in honor of my birthday.

I’ve gotten to go singing sea shanties and Sacred Harp, to read poems, to listen to poems, to go out dancing, to hear amazing bands, to watch live theater outdoors. Going singing some more tomorrow.

More More More

sometimes I remember how blessed I am, sometimes I piss and moan

I got to go out dancing with my beautiful teenage daughters and my hubby and, you know, my girls LOVE to dance. What fun we had. How fortunate I am, what a happy night with cake.

CAKE!

I have never played a stringed instrument in my life. Just got my first ukelele and since I love Hawaii, maybe it will work out for me.

Here’s a new song that I love. I would never have known it if I hadn’t gone to a sweet little Open Mic at a co-housing complex in Northampton last week.

Maybe I’ll turn 50 again next July 15. It’s been so fun.

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Seventeen days to Fifty

IMG_1485I am a Queen Divine and I don’t give a flying fuck

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Happy Birthday little bug!

Happy Birthday to my little bug!

Seventeen! Unbelievable

So glad I’m here with you

XO, Mom

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(ginger molasses cupcakes with whipped cream frosting courtesy of the 14 year-old)

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Happy 79th Birthday to my mom!

As her memory goes, I wonder what I am responsible for. Am I the holder and keeper of her memories and secrets? When can I tell them? What does my brother know? What does she remember? Is what I know true?

I do wish my mother happiness, but it seems an elusive wish. She says she has always been lucky, lucky to have come to the United States and to have found the life she did. But her childhood tells a story, not of luck, but of trauma. I wonder how this fits into her definition of luck; but I will never ask her.

I titled this selfish because I am not using my post today only for a birthday wish for my mother. I don’t really think I’m selfish, because it’s my blog and I want to use it just for that—for myself. But I do feel guilty a tiny bit. I think being a mother, a daughter, a wife, means I always have a tiny lingering guilt. I am sure not all women are like this. I wish I could shake it, but apparently I am not yet evolved to that point. Perhaps this could be my Christmas wish for myself or my New Year’s resolution.

I have snippets of writing lately, nothing coming out whole cloth like I used to have. I know, honestly, most of that needed heavy editing anyway.

What do I wish for? Better poems, more poems, dream poems, publishable poems, poems that will make you swoon, will make you weep, make you laugh, make you buy my books (what books, twinkly? oh, right), fruit poems, frozen bud poems, bloody blue poems, pink poems, feather poems, leaf-and-snow poems, mom poems, wife poems, marriage poems, sex poems, fuck poems, love poems, fucking poems, magical poems, clear poems, anatomical parts poems, important poems, a-political poems, no-more-guns poems, deep poems, no-murky-bits poems. Enough! This kind of thinking is so anti-Alexander Technique that I can hardly continue to allow myself its luxurious indulgence.

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Here are 2 recent poem snippets:

(SNIPPET ONE)

When Shall I Be Delivered

I begged for more from the world

It started inside
a pinprick
where I was once attached

You have not delivered me

With each bout
of bleeding
my density increases
alongside my insatiable hunger

My marrow
pumping erythrocytes
for every drop
that falls

Not much
they always say
a few tablespoons

If men bled
they would find
a more poetic measure
than cups and spoons
(a woman’s place is in the kitchen)

But I know the feeling
of the soldier
draining into the muddy earth
the sand with its greed
taking more than its share
pints and quarts and gallons for drenching

I am ready for the firing squad
or operating theater

I am ready for my uterus
to be yanked out by
its mooring ligaments

No scars
only
a virginal torso
left

I didn’t need you any more
anyway

But thanks
for the ride

(SNIPPET 2)

December 17

My mother is a husk
a Christmas walnut
cracked open

The meat of her
gone

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a beautiful sunset at Coronado Beach 11/10/12

Back from California which feels good. To run on one’s own neighborhood’s sidewalk, to hike in one’s familiar woods, to cook one’s own food, to eat one’s own mother’s famous spaghetti sauce, to sleep in one’s own bed, to see one’s own children in the flesh.

It is my father’s birthday today. He would have been a whopping 91 years old. Yeesh. What does that make me? Still a girl who lost her father too young is what.

I liked La Jolla, somewhat, especially the ocean and the pretty architecture and being able to ride bikes around and the beautiful plants, flowers, and trees and the birds one doesn’t find in the Eastern US and the art outside the museum and the food, some of the food anyway. I loved our B and B and Margaret, the innkeeper and chef. I liked some of the food in San Diego. I did not like Coronado, but I did like the pretty beach. It was so windy, the sand whipped at our feet and the stainless steel public toilet made our ass skin very cold.

Who says ass skin? Nobody, nobody but me. Try it, though. It is not as easy as it seems. It is practically a tongue twister. And I’ll stop right there lest you get ideas and think of any double-entendres.

Long ago, I thought I would chronicle my travels, no matter how humble and close-to-home, by taking photos of myself in the facilities (the “loo” in other words) of places I visited. Probably due to my restless nature, I did not stick with the plan, though on occasion, I do remember to take a picture (if I’m lucky enough to have remembered my camera).

I do not have a photo of the stainless steel toilets from the public restrooms at either La Jolla or Coronado, but when I searched google images, I found a lot of photos of fancy, $1200 stainless steel toilets, presumably for the asses of Romney-type voters (Koch, Bush, Rove, but let’s watch those double-entendres, plz).

We had the pleasure of yet more friends coming to visit us from further north in California, this time a couple who we already know. You may recall we met Ms. Coldiron for the first time earlier in the week.

We went to a little park just a block from the sea and we sat on a bench and we sang songs to a guitar and a banjo. It had been a long, long time. Seven years maybe, gasp.

When we were singing in the little park, freezing our buns off, a little wedding was going on. Sometimes I sang a little bit loud, what one might describe as enthusiastically, I think, and when we all realized a wedding going on (because we weren’t quite sure at first), we tried to be a little quieter. The amazing thing is that the wedding people never asked us to stop. It was all so groovy, but it didn’t really feel hippy groovy or California groovy like you’d think, but it was groovy nonetheless.

The song I most remember grooving to was this one. We sounded pretty good, but I think Susan and George’s fingers must have been about frozen. Amen.

Here is a photo of the handle in the bathroom on the Star of India at the Maritime Museum in San Diego

Of course it is not me peeing, but it is what I was looking at as I sat. The ship originally did not have modern toilets as it was an old ship, but even these “modern” pieces of hardware are more beautiful and solid than most of what one finds nowadays.

One thinks of other things one can describe as solid brass.

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Happy Birthday, Annie Rose!

We moved to Amherst, Massachusetts from Kent, Ohio in August 2000. Within 2 weeks of our arrival, Annie had her 2nd birthday. That seems like forever ago.

This week, she will be entering the 9th Grade.

When my kids were just little, I remember a grandfatherly man telling me don’t blink ’cause you’ll miss it.

Annie as one of Tatania’s fairies in Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Hartsbrook School, May 2012

Happy Birthday to our dear Annie Rose!

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