2019-11-22 A Love Letter for Today

A Love Letter for Today

 

My words are a love letter.
To love is a verb which doesn’t always mean
the same thing as it did the day before.
The bible says that it is patient and kind but i find
more often than not, it can also be lonely and wanting
and hopeful and full and sometimes stomping it’s foot
in defiance, not wanting whatever meaning is given that day.
What do the men that wrote the bible know
about anything really? How can you trust an ancient mirage
someone might have seen or heard
and language so new in the mouth
not everything had been named yet?
We can only know of love what we experience
in brief existence. And we can only know our thresholds
according to what came the day before.
And we can only learn the capacity of our cup
if we dare to let it run over once or twice
and can never know when or why it’s bigger
or smaller than the day before.
My words are a love letter to all who might listen
for a moment, in the morning to the birds
or gaze out a window, steam rising from a warm cup in their hand.
Those who allow themselves to be mesmerized by the dryer vent
pushing heat into the cold
or their breath as they wander out to get the mail in December
and also those who hold the importance of a moment up, in wonder.
Or a lifetime. Or a life.
Or each other. For all things fragile are a wonder.
I thought once that pain made me feel alive
and believed that what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
Now I believe only that what doesn’t kill me, leaves me alive
to try again tomorrow.
My words are a love letter to myself. To my future self
who will never read them, just as so many others who love me
and will never read them.
This love letter is just words.
Some of which don’t know the meaning of themselves yet
Or might mean something different
tomorrow.

2019-11-01 Friday Toy Boxes, Writers Blocks, and Botox

I’ve been kinda going through a dry spell with regard to my writing. Some would say that’s just a cop out. Some would say you just have to write everyday and the words will come. Some others might say that it’s ok and when it comes again be ready. I’m not sure what camp I’m in. I guess I’ve always had commitment issues.

I guess it’s a good thing I got married when I was too young and stupid to realize how daunting commitment can be. I guess it’s lovely to be young and not so broken by life that doubts dance all around and pop out from behind corners and couches when you least expect them.

I swear I was once a hopeless romantic but reality has a way of twisting that princess dream, folding it into a childhood treasure box and closing a lid on it. I suppose it’s good fortune if it’s still in the closet somewhere and didn’t get hauled down the driveway for some random garage sale like the rest of my childhood treasure. Yeah, at lest some peace from my past remains. Safe and Tucked away for another rainy day.

Where is this going? The Universe only knows. What other secrets have yet to be revealed? I sure as hell don’t know. I don’t think anyone does.

Another week is coming to a close and another month begins. It’s really easier to be a the beginning or ending of anything than somewhere lost in the middle. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling good today despite my so-called writers block.

Im reading Terrance Hayes’s book, “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin”. The latest assignment is to attempt my own set of sonnets which I have so far failed miserably at. It’s a block I’ve had with other assignments this semester and it always seems to work out OK so I’m hoping this is no exception. I guess time will tell.

What about Botox? Yeah.. I’ve tried it. It’s like holding ones forehead facial expressions hostage. People always tell me I wear my emotions on my face. I never mastered hiding my surprise, disgust, or joy. Perhaps botox will make me appear mysterious in some way. And level the playing field somewhat; I’m not great at reading people.

That’s it for todays alliterative drivel.

Happy November!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-01 Yo.. It’s October! 🧡🧡🧡

Wowza.. how the hand-baskets did we get HERE?!!

Hold up yo. Rewind. Yesterday was such a transition funk. I literally just sat there not knowing what to do with myself all day until people started arriving home and I had their needs to attend to.

First I did this mad dash to get all the Monday things done and when that was over, I just sat down and sulked. Then I got mad at myself for wasting time I could have been exercising (kinda slipping off that wagon lately). But did I make a move to change it? No. Then I had this internal argument with myself about it being ok to be lazy sometimes. Seriously! Why is it I can’t just be lazy?

I checked my bank account and paid my credit card bill online. I resisted the other bookmarks, a depressing set of rabbit-holes. I downloaded a meditation app on my phone and did “lesson 1”. Even when trying to meditate my mind wanders to the question of productivity.

He said in a calm and pleasant voice “your mind has wandered away and that’s ok. When you notice this, bring it back and focus on your breathing”. THAT is easier said than done.

I’m like whoa! How did he know that? I know it’s because the human brain can be really predictable in this scenario. Especially an untrained one. Fast forward back to now.

October 1st and it sort of feels great to be out of September. It’s the stupid month everyone holds on a pedestal, toasting pumpkin spice lattes to autumn and fire pits and relief from the heat of summer. The reality is that September is just a poser. It’s tricks don’t fool me. It’s still summer, hot as balls outside and nothing has really changed.

But October.. is the real deal. Take a look at the extended forecast. Look at the natural shriveling of garden vines. The air outside smells of change and the winds are shifting. Notice the birds flying like nature’s arrows to a place they can call home while winter blankets the Midwest. Nature knows.

Today it’s going to be rainy and dark and I’m just gonna snuggle down. I’m going to let myself feel October sinking in my skin. And make a promise to not be too hard on myself when tomorrow comes and October 1st didn’t amount to anything. All I can do is try. Right?

On that note.. it’s time to lean into that thought and make it happen.

Cheers to the Real Deal, ☕️

~Miss PumpkinSpiceLatte

2019-09-26 The In-Between Place 🌍 ☀️ 💚

It’s no secret I don’t care for air travel, but something about a solitary journey through the sky changes my mind. Not about the flying, but a shift of thought, deeper, more clear. Brighter perhaps.

Lifting off the ground I’m physically detached from the me that exists on the ground. The mother, daughter, lover, friend, student ceases to exist. Suspended briefly in not existing. Unburdened. This freedom from ties to a life creates within me a space where other things bloom.

If I was on the ground, I might call this a daydream of sorts but here, in the air, the definition of it eludes me. I like not having a word which means how I feel right now. That too, is freedom. Freedom from words and definition and rules that govern language. It’s just me here with nonsense and it’s ok because there is no we or him or her or them or us, except us, in this in-between place.

I can wonder about the river, overflowing and how beautiful it looks from here and how magnificent it is to see whole cottonwood trees swallowed in it. From here it’s a child napping. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s a marvelous gift from Mother Nature. And I can wander around this, like the river and splay my mind in so many directions and it doesn’t have to mean anything. Tragedy doesn’t have to be tragedy. Pain and loss can be sweet cotton candy rolling across the sky.

There’s no consequence of thought in this suspended dimension. This existence is a wide angle lens. Here, I may even be able to admit that I do believe in God. Or not-God. Or the infinite formulations of atoms and sub-atomic particles that travel between God’s not-dimensions, like bees communicating in their bee language, beyond our comprehension. What secrets and predictions they must have.

And with this lens, I can see the earth from space, a tiny blue orb, tied to the sun, like I am tied to it by a man made word – gravity. And I can see her shine In the glow of the sun, with her cancer eradicated. In Remission for a time, let’s call it, a man-made ice age.

A beautiful planet, magnificent and overgrown with new life now that the human beings have all gone. The particles of their souls dispersed to other universes and so she turns. A pirouette around the sun that is no longer a sun because the language of man has been extinguished too.

The whales have their songs again and such joy in the freedom to roam. The birds, too, rejoice in song, and none lament the end of an era. The river swells and turns into another nameless ocean and in it, the most beautiful coral not-man has ever seen!

***

That’s probably enough nonsense and not-thought for now. I will be returning soon, to the good ground and the reality of language and people and communication and, yes, responsibility. Though, I’m going to try my best not to worry about all those ties too much while I’m in Texas. I’ll exist, but I probably won’t be as tuned-in as I normally am.

Peace and love,

🌏🐝☀️💚🐳🌺

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-23 Skiddle-de-Do

The assignment due today? Pour the worst time in your life into a poem and make it linguistically beautiful and tragic and don’t forget to turn all the abstraction to concrete image. It’s the toughest assignment I’ve ever had.

How do you turn all that black out drunk grief wailing near the top of the stairs because you don’t have enough left to take on one more step? How?

It started with writing 3-5 sentences of moments that had been burned into the brain, so deep, you can still conjure how your body felt. Then mold it to fit the tiny space of one piece of paper.

The last instruction.. end mid movement without a conclusion. Thank the universe, as I will never remember what happened after the black out. I mean, of course I remember parts of the next day, the next month, the next year, as I clawed my way, agonizingly, back to sanity. Most of it anyway.

Still, I find it a challenge to recall with clarity what visceral movements were involved with the end of 2016. It’s a distant memory tempered by time and the healing that comes with support from someone who wants to see you, know you, be with you.

And where does one start or stop anyway? Life is so complicated that it’s not ever one thing that’s involved with the downward spiral. How could I possibly explain that not only was I broken hearted, but also drowning at work, struggling as a parent, and hating the world for what it had become? And limit myself to one page? And make it all make sense? That’s the challenge. Reach the reader and pull them into the swirl.

Good Grief!

Anyway, I wrote some words and they are getting turned in today and then I’m turning my attention to packet 2 feedback which was received incredibly less than 36 hours after the packet was submitted last Friday. I have an in-person meeting with my mentor for this semester tomorrow and I have to be prepared. I need to show up to class, be on-point with my peers there and then continue to ride that wave through tomorrow.

This one calls for purple hair I think. I’m feeling all right right now despite the fact that today was day 1 of my cycle. Funny thing I didn’t have any noteworthy PMS this time. Perhaps my left ovary has been taken over by apathy and every other month I’ll get a break from the usual drama (a girl can dream).

I’ve only got a short bit before I’ve got to get ready to go. I need to jet. Yeah, that’s my Monday

Peace In and Peace Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-18 Words.. The Lost and Found Edition

When I was at residency I had a flood of words to work with. It’s always an interesting experiment in immersion and the impulse of spontaneous thought lingers for a while after I return home. This time around I was given an extra push and had some strong emotion to propel me forward and keep the words coming.

Now, miles away from that and approaching the halfway point in the term (yes already), the impulse is gone, the topic seems to have exhausted itself and though I know I have a few more in me, they just won’t come. It’s been blurred with all the assignments with the other class I’m taking which is moving way too fast for my taste.

Yesterday I did some reading and some critical writing, but it was all starts and stops and so slow going. I also tried to free write but got nada. One line. Ok, I got one damn line. (Btw I don’t think one line is a poem.. perhaps a title.)

I tried to build on that one line and it just never materialized. I mean, you have to have a message or what’s the point? What’s my message? What’s so urgent? Problem is, there’s not a lot that feels urgent right now. Urgent in the sense that I get sometimes when something in me wants out. The post on Monday was a giant shrug and that seems to be the theme for my week.

I guess I’ll just press on, with Mario at the wheel, reading and critical thinking and attempting these assignments. What else is a girl to do?

In other related news, we did an exercise in class where we were put in groups and told to behave like we were editors of a new literary publication. We had to choose our genre/theme and the title of our mag and then review poems anonymously submitted by our classmates. We had to choose the one that was a good fit for our genre, the one we would accept. It was an interesting exercise that consumed a lot of class time.

One of the groups came up with the name “Pumpkin Spice Confessions” which was advertised as “basic bitch” poetry appealing to the masses. They chose my poem. Ha!! I mean, an acceptance is still an acceptance no matter what the pub is right?! And believe me, I know my poetry is pretty basic.

I’ll never be like any of these great writers I’m reading. Just now I wrote “I don’t have a traumatic childhood”, then erased it because, well, yes I do. I would say I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, but I have. I might confess that I’m just a layer of motz cheese on top of a pizza with nothing underneath, but yo! I got spicy pepperoni and artichoke hearts and red onions and some savory tomato sauce. Yeah. That.

Or maybe I’m just hungry because I’m starving myself to fit into a heavy white dress. It’s not white though.. it’s ivory because you really only get one shot at white and that was wasted, because I was already wasted at 19.

I was already rehearsing lines of white pages, a script handed to me before I could read. I toddling tot with my baton in a purple sequin leotard, with matching skirt.

My mom pierced my ears before I could talk. It was a botched job by a family friend that left me with puss filled ears my entire childhood. And you know that line in the script, “if at first you don’t succeed”, when I was finally healed we tried again.

On my wedding day I wore pearl white earrings that belonged to my paternal great-grandmother. Something old.

I followed all the instructions in the brigade handbook, a recipe book with clear descriptions of ingredients and exact measurements. Recommended Process and procedure for best results.

36-24-36

I checked again this morning, my numbers haven’t changed.

***

Ok.. that went somewhere weird. But, that’s just Luigi stretching and flexing.

I really need to do Jazzercise today.. I haven’t gotten to it at all yet this week. And for clarification, it’s not needed for the aforementioned numbers, but is needed to get my heart pumping, and because dance, and also… the current theory is that the free-weights and activity are helping with my tennis elbow situation.

More on that soon I hope. Until then..

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-14 Leaps and Bounds of Faith

I don’t have a religion. You might say I’m areligious the way an asexual has no need for sex or an aromantic has no need for romance. All three of those things are real words with definitions attached, I just checked.

But, just as an aromantic can still have and want and need love, I still have faith. Sometimes it wanes and changes the axis it rotates around, but it exists.

And that, my friends, is the most educative and creative way I can introduce the fact that in one week, I’ve Come face to face with this faith of mine, in not one or two, but three different ways. And like everything else in the universe, it’s all connected.

The first is an extension of yesterday’s post which was about making sense of nonsense. I have an assignment for my current poetry studio class which has three options with very specific requirements. I stared at the descriptions more times than I’d like to admit. Then, multiply the time I spent doing that and you have the number of minutes I spent thinking about them. Of course I wrote a little too, but it was a struggle and most of it had nothing to do with these assignments. It was just more free writing, you know, to get the machine running.

By Thursday I had a lot, but it wasn’t in the subject or form and didn’t have the requested lenses. I wound myself up about it (no surprise there), but deep down I knew it was there somewhere. I trusted that it would work itself out.

Then, on Friday morning I had a huge breakthrough. I pulled some notes from residency and used the details from a generative session about place/rivers/bodies of water and went with that. Once I started to put the pieces together, it all just floated into place. That was option 2. Then, miraculously I also found the connections for what I had written for options 1 and 3 as well. It was freaking amazing!

I spent almost all of Friday on all that and this morning did some final edits for turning them in. Of course these things are so new that my emotional attachment to them is strong, so it could still be garbage or nonsense to everyone else, but a little twinge in my gut says “naw, it’s good shit”.

That’s me having faith in myself and my abilities. It’s there. It hides sometimes and gets overshadowed in fears and doubts, but it’s there. It’s the part of me that won’t let me give up on these writing pursuits. That’s one of three. Are you still with me?

Number two came on Wednesday which also brought a storm of other events all happening at once. I was writing through the aforementioned assignments (there’s the connection), the meet and greet and reading for the students and faculty at UNO (for the folks in undergrad fine arts/writing programs) was at 4pm, it was the first meeting for a new local writing workshop group I’m participating in at 7pm, I had a meeting/conference call for work-Work at 3:30pm, walking campus at the same time to get my student ID, not to mention that it was also 9/11 which always has an impact on me.

Rewind to about 11am though, and what shows up on my freaking doorstep? A wedding dress. That’s right, I went wedding dress shopping a while back and that was an interesting experience, but I threw up in my mouth a little looking at the price tags of all those fabulous gowns. I ended up shopping online and found one that I really liked, with a price tag I could swallow. It’s atypical I know, and anticlimactic as hell, but whatever. At the end of the day, it’s just a dress.. right??

I opened it and put it on. It mostly fits, perhaps is a size to big, of course it’s too long and will have to be altered. I looked at myself in the mirror and it was like that moment.. it’s really happening. We have a date and a place and now we have a dress. Yowza!!!

Anyone who really knows me knows I have so many doubts about getting married again. At one point in my life I vowed to never do it again. Then I met Jim and in a whirlwind so much changed. But Gawd, I’m still unsure at times and terrified. This dress is proof that I do have faith that it’s right, that it’s going to be all right. I don’t think I would have pulled the trigger on ordering it if I didn’t have that faith. That’s proof number 2. Are you still with me, good Gawd there is still more.

Number three is so closely related to two, they are hard to separate but, selfishly, I want to write about it anyway. It’s not about the wedding but the marriage, and life after the big event that’s happening on 02022020.

Last Sunday I received an email from Z Publishing that the latest installment of their “Emerging Poets” series has been released, which includes 5 poems from yours truly. What’s that got to do with faith or my pending marriage? Well, to submit work and have it published you have to have a bio and, of course a name. I’ve written about this before. It’s a conundrum for me.

I’m a girl in transition. I don’t have a last name. I have a maiden name I haven’t used in 26 years. I haven’t been that girl for a very long time. I would still go with it to honor my grandfather but my relationship with my dad is so fractured, it wouldn’t feel right.

I just refuse to use my current, married name. That would be like looking back and staring when what I should be doing as looking at the future. That name led me to the place I am now, both the good and bad parts, but as I build my new life, I can’t use it. I don’t want to.

So that leaves me with what’s to come, my future name. My soon to be married name. I’ve written it, seen it on the copy for editing, and now.. it’s been released. Other people will see it. It’s out now even before it’s actually mine.

The book is available for sale on the Z website. My poems are in the 2019 Nebraska anthology, which includes work from 10 Nebraska based writers.

Z Publishing Featured Products and Collections

Submitting with a name that isn’t even mine yet was a huge leap of faith. Things could still go horribly wrong somehow. That doubt still lives in me too. I guess they are just buddies teaming up inside of me to wreak havoc.

I tell myself that if it all goes wrong, I can just say it was a thoughtful pen-name which I changed when I got real serious about all this writing business. Not that I’m not serious now, but I gotta have some exit strategy ready, you know?

That’s it. One two three, easy peasy (10 pages later).

It’s Saturday now and I’ve exhausted my hour on the treadmill and have to get down to some other business.

Ciao for now,
~Miss SugarCookie