Saturday, December 31, 1983

Richard Salzman (drawing, 1983)

I was trying to get rid of the lined paper. Didn't succeed.

Photocopy of Richard Salzman drawing, 1983

Duane BigEagle (drawing ca 1983)

Not sure when this drawing was made. 83? 84? I'm surprised I didn't destroy it. He was such a dishonest shit at the end. Breaking up with me at a CPITS conference. I was humiliated. I had no idea he was playing the field. We'd been seeing each other for at least a year.




Four sketches (art)





four quick in-class contour line drawings (not sure of the year)

















































Poets of the Vineyard award, First Place, Free Verse (for what poem?)

Poets of the Vineyard award, First Place, Free Verse
(not sure for what poem, I've a note that it's for FEAST OR FAMINE, but I think that isn't right. They didn't list the poem on the certificate. I never thought to write the info on the back...)
Sonoma County Chapter, California Federation of Chaparral Poets
Winnie Fitzpatrick, President


Sunday, December 25, 1983

TENDING THE GARDEN (Merry Christmas Boschka)

TENDING THE GARDEN

My grandmother sends her love
She says you should try more carrot juice
made fresh. 30 carats a day.
Sounds excessive to me
but then grandmothers usually are.
That's why we love them so.
Their wisdom, prairie flowers of thought.
The buffalo robe is spread
on the ample laps of grandmothers.
This robe is your robe, my robe, our laps part.
She wants to know
how the gooseberry bush is doing,
do you need another?
She tends the garden like a robe
The garden is spread before us
like a lamb of hope, of love.
You're the mother-friend I never had
You are the love of grandmothers,
of mothers, of daughters.
Merry Christmas Boschka,
I love you.

She tends to the garden
she tends the garden
she tends the garden.

12/25/1983?
added 11/16

Wednesday, November 23, 1983

MOTHLIGHT

MOTHLIGHT

As you breathe in the light,
darkness,  
softly fallen 
from your face
reveals these burnt wings
rekindled 
in your eyes.

11/23/83



Tuesday, November 1, 1983

MORE FRAGMENTS: OROVILLE 1983

OROVILLE 1983

Waiters silent mouth cowboy songs
a silent croon, unintelligible, forgettable.
One of the good old boys
butters his toast up the local law,
the biggest, and the only game in town.

11/1983
added 9/2016

Friday, October 28, 1983

WINTER DOLMEN Only have Napa workshoped copies, not final v.


WINTER DOLMEN
 

I.  The old horse trails have merged back into the brush
becoming interlaced with the newer deer trails—
a netting thrown over the steep hillside.


The humanness of my scent 

will divert the night's deer 
and they will weave another path around my trespass.

The ground is bathed in red leaves.
At the Rock, I sit and watch bluejays dive
over rounded shapes of live oaks.
As they follow the shape of the tree down in their dive
breasting the top of the tree,
they sculpt the air along its side.


At the switchbacks,my mare would stop to catch her breath,
her soft nostril flaring, her softer eye blinking.
Sometimes I rode her down from the top of the hill
sometimes I ran on ahead of her.


At the switchbacks, her strong front legs would lock, pivot and turn
as the momentum of her hind end swung around
widening each turn. Sometimes, in my dreams I see her 

roaming free in the hills.
Now all that's left are subtle ridges hidden in the brush.
The foot finds a surer path even as the undergrowth 

beats back the body.

II.  From the steep height of the Rock, 

I take mental notes. Measurements without numbers, 
angles without degree or scale
and compare it with the sheer cliffs of Yosemite.
As a teenager, I hung out over the edge 

of El Capitán without safety ropes. 
This rock juts out with the same purpose. 
My legs dangle down into lush green space. 
Below my feet, civilization falls back 
revealing toy houses, woodpiles and cars 
scattered in the folds of the hills,
looking off into this vastness, the word becomes smaller.
 

III.  I always wanted to be a red-tailed hawk
because I understood how the curve of its beak matched
the symmetry of its talons.
When I fed the injured one yellowed chicken necks
the hawk's beckoning eye approved of the shape 

of its cousin's puckered neck.
After the meal, the hawk sharpened its talons
waiting to carve my cheek to fall away like softened butter.
I turn the other cheek too late.
 

IV.  The deer cross the burned clearing,
their coats the same shade as the burned grass stubble.
In the charred landscape, the movement of white legs
pinpointed against the grass
are like reverse shadows cast by a negative.
In the tall grass their legs cast no shadow.
Their backs dark against the gold.


 On the slopes of Mt. Barnabe, 
crocheted to the flanks and gullies, 
trees leave gold meadows encircled like jewels. 
The trees hid the Indian graveyard. 
My grandfather knew where it was hidden 
but refused to tell anyone, saying, 
they needed their place of the dead, too. 

I spent years in those wooded folds
searching for stone altars and moss covered ribs.
Under the soft bleached bones I thought I'd find
dark garnets winkling slowly in the mottled light.
Instead, great rib bones of Herefords pushed up through the rocks
along the dry creekbeds. Tufts of hair, sinew and gristle--
dried clean, hard like amber.

I'm still trying to follow the old paths.
My feet remember smoother paths but the newer trails
are clogged with the detritus of fallen trees.
The god I believe in allows me to measure
the free fall of a bluejay's dive, the height of a hill,
the color of grass.

Paths, like river packed with log-jams during spring thaw.
Living on the edge of this winter dolmen
is like the crisp wind blowing off fallen snow.
The years are the true movers of paths.

10/28/83
(an earlier draft–the final version was corrupted, no final hard copy. See below.)

Friday, September 16, 1983

7 POEM FRAGMENTS, no date, end of summer 83?


Music running across prairies
under milky trees and golden silence,
it roars across the evening sky
and shakes the essence of night from the trees.



On the hillsides, raspberry bushes
overlook the meadow. The birds sing.
Tonight, the moonlight shines in the trees,
last night of summer.

1983?


Seedlings push earth in musical notations
A violin breaks the glass
A worm dances to the music.




Spiders huddling
over corpses of the dead
wringing their hands





 Eating rabbit looks like a skinned cat
and taste like dry chicken
Tougher stomach muscles than the chickens
Eating rodents, Romans eating dormice,
sleepy mice kept in clay pots
for the fattening winter



Outside the quiet classroom
children yelling
floating sound resonates in the air
like the loneliness of a fever.



So sorry I broke into your glass house
but I fell off the stairs I needed a bath.
The door was open and the cat
hadn't been fed in three days
and it was a stone's throw away from the fridge.




Floral clocks of darkness
are singing to the rocks of love
and fish sleep out of the rainbow
and petals fall from the teeth of poetry
while I sit looking pretty writing poetry.

September 1983?
added 9/15/2016
I probably wrote these in class, teaching CPITS
(next poem is Her mask of attention slips...if that helps)


SHORT POEMS 81-85

MASK OF COUNTERFEIT HEIGHTS

Her mask of attention slips
as she turns toward the sun
Clocks of sovereign weight
sit in rapt attention
Through her open window
a radio blares
to the rhythm of flapping laundry
next door
The judge's mask slips
Who gave her reason
to tilt volumes of abysmal trees
on their sides
don't they know she is a financier
of earthquakes?

alas, no date.

Thursday, September 15, 1983

ELEGY FOR MARY WALSH

ELEGY FOR MARY WALSH
The atomic bomb was developed under the code name of the Manhattan Project.
Those involved with the project died within three decades of cancer.

—to Jane Walsh Reilly

Grandma said:
Julia took the kids:
Mary, her sister, and the boy twins
to Colorado for a better education.
There wasn't much in Nevada,
and there was some trouble with the marriage.
My grandmother's half-cousin Bill was a handsome man.
He was the number-one son
and ran the Home Ranch in Austin, Nevada.

Julia O'Leary came out from Bantry to marry Bill.
The family was deadset against the marriage,
They were first cousins, you know.
And Mary's sister was brilliant too
but she was institutionalized in Denver.

Darwin's parents were first cousins too.
There was something off about his sister as well.
It works that way with marriages between first cousins
genius and idiot: flip sides of the same coin.
Maybe that's the Almighty's way of keeping things separate.

It was during the war years, I remember,
Mary was chosen right out of high school
to work on a secret project for the government.
When they were testing for mathematics and science,
Mary got one of the highest scores in the country
and she went to work back east.

It wasn't until later we found out
it was the Manhattan Project
one of the government's best kept secrets.
No one knew anything about it.

We didn't hear from her for years,
and learned of her death announcement
when it appeared in the papers.
Here I was, first cousins to her,
and even I didn't know.
There was one short line about her work.
I heard, all who worked on it died,
but no one blamed the project.

The first time I saw Mary at Home Ranch
was back in the '20s the little toddler
standing by the adobe wall
and Julia talking, talking, talking
I was dazed because that child,
her voice was like a bell.
She was so perfect,
I thought I'd seen an angel.

And Julia, looking at me so quizzically
That was the pity of it. I didn't explain.
And her, Mary, clinging to her mother's skirts
as if she'd done something wrong,
crying hysterically,
Mommy, mommy, I'm not a bad girl. Mommy.

9/83

Thursday, September 1, 1983

drawing from Obligatory Hug


ARC Sept/Oct, 1983 4 photos front page: Mike Tuggle, CA Oranges, Ft Ross, kids, fence & rock







AMERICAN HIBAKUSHA

AMERICAN HIBAKUSHA
       —for Carolyn Forché 
         Hibakusha is the name the survivors of Hiroshima gave to themselves.

I.   The violin's slow scale

climbs above the slow beetle clicks

of the metronome,
patterning mountains of notes,
increasing in tempo.

II.   A child under the alders

staring up at the liquid leaves

that hide small cones—
brown like river debris.

III.    A sonic pitch
loosens the violin's strings.

The bow falls slack
and the hand falls silent.

IV.   A pulse of light quickens the sky
The leaves, robbed of their color
sizzle into premature fall. 
Ashes. Burnt decay.

V.  The acrid odor of hair burning
distracts the woman playing the violin.
Glancing at the mirror,
she watches fascinated,
as the mirror slumps off the wall.

VI.  Vast ridges of light..
No color anywhere—
only a drenched landscape
of saturated light
brushed by fingers of white noise.

 9/1/83
added 10/16

2 POEM FRAGMENTS, Napa


The violin's small scale 
climbs above the metronome, 
small bejeweled clicks 
patterning mountains of notes,
increasing in tempo, 
a sonic pitch invades,
the strings lose their time,
the bow loosens 
and the hand falls silent.

9/1/1983
Napa? no date


Ducks slip into births and sleep 
in the shade of trees at noon. 
I feed them raspberries. 
Ducks masticating raspberries 
in a khaki colored lagoon. 
They swim over rotted bull rushes 
the way birds fly over 
invisible boundaries of fences. 

The word trespass is an unintelligible concept 
we see the line fall short of the mark. 
Either we plunge into the murky depths 
shedding drops of light from our breasts 
or we cower silently in the tall rushes 
and listen to the cackle and skirted rustle 
of ducks, afraid of the depths.

9/1/1983
Napa


First draft

the ducks slip out of the shade of trees, 
awaken from their nap by the approach, 
I feed them raspberries. 
They're masticating raspberries 
in the khaki colored lagoon.

They swim away over the bull rushes 
and I am reminded of the way birds 
fly over invisible boundaries of fences, 
barbed, electric, or wood
it doesn't matter.
The signs of no trespassing are not read.
To trespass is an unintelligible concept for birds.

I read the lines and fall short of the mark. 
Even if we climbed into the murky depths 
drops of light from our breasts, 
or we hope her silently in the tall tule rushes 
and listen to the started rustle and clacking 
of ducks afraid of the murky depths.

9/1/1983
Napa
added 10/16

FREEWRITE

Death's feather-fringed angels

White like emily
more gold than gold

endless stream of raw wheat
in the eye of the poem

the same alarm clock stands
on countless night tables
back and forth
across the country
timing trysts. lecture readings
the same hands sweep
the same face unceasingly
like a sea lapping at the shore

9/1/1983? 84?

there's a reference to Mary Rudge in the first line, and Sappho in the third line. I have no idea what it means
added 5/2/2016

Wednesday, August 31, 1983

SLOW DANCE ON THE KILLING GROUND

SLOW DANCE ON THE KILLING GROUND

in the kingdom of the blind,
the one eyed man is a freak.

8/83?
Napa

Saturday, August 27, 1983

RETURN FLIGHT

RETURN FLIGHT

My grandmother, they planted lilies
at the foot of your bed
before I understood the meaning of loss.
A chill in the air puts summer to rest.
White against the moon, an owl takes flight
across the valley & the echo of his cry
scatters light from the stars.

To the dancers, we leave our feathers of return flight.
The small candles of barn owl feathers drift down
from the moon's edge to light the way for your feet.
The slow breathing of soil before the frost
leaves a faint trail like the undeciphered tracks of mice in snow.
This is why we dance on the graves of our grandmothers.

The earth spreads sonorous wings over you,
shakes rubies from her blood
& your long dark hair tumbles swift like a waterfall
until it turns white in the garden of your grandchildren.
& the night horses who pasture in your hair
all turned east, toward that softer danger, the sun.

At dawn the white rooster crows over sand dunes,
leaving an echo almost tasted on the tongue.
He crows, Gallo, gallo, gallo blanco.
The web that connects us moves slowly.
Wind in the cottonwoods marks a passage of time.
When my best friend was killed by a horse,
you said, “Think of all the death in the trees
and in the fields in fall.”
The rooster cried, “My insides return to earth
so that my life may continue,”
before the axe swung.

My grandmother, now I know the earth receives us.
She watches the flowers of her children catch fire in the wind.
She kindles our slow bones so they too
will send roots down deep & drink from the stream.
She stands at the lintel with arms open wide,
waiting for us to return home
so she can close the door.

The return to earth is a quiet song
when water trickles down after the storm.

8/27/83
rev. 86
this was from reading three grandfather poems in a New Mexico magazine, by Rudolfo Anayar, Estévan Arellano, and EA Mares. I later changed it to reflect my grandmother.

1990 Red Bluff Daily News, July 23
1988 Green Fuse
1986-88 Falling to Sea Level
1986 Under the Bridge of Silence
1983 Across the Generations


VUELO DE VUELTA/RETURN FLIGHT

Mi abuelo, plantaron los lirios  
al pie de tu cama  
antes de que yo entendiera  
el sentido de la pérdida.  
El aíre frio entierra al verano.

Blanco contra la luna, un buho alza el vuelo  
a través de la valle y el eco de su grito  
esparce la luz de las estrellas.

A los bailiadores dejamos nuestras plumas del vuelo de vuelta.  
Las velitas de plumas de buho flotan a la deriva  
desde el filo de la luna para aluzar el camino de tus pies.

El aliento despacio del suelo ante la escarcha  
deja huellas ligeras como rastros indecifrados  
de los ratones en la nieve.  
Por eso bailamos en las tumbas de nuestros abuelos.

La tierra extiende alas sonor as sobre tí,  
sacude los rubís de su sangre  
y tus cabellos largos v negros se caen rápida como cascada  
hasta volverse blancos en los jardines de tus nietos.

Y los caballos de noche, que pastorean en tus cabellos  
todos miraban hacia el oriente—
hacia ese peligro mas suave, el sol.

En el alba, el gallo blanco cacarea sobre la arena  
dejando un eco que casi se saborea en la lengua.  
Cacarea, "gallo, gallo, gallo blanco."

La tela que nos relaciona se mueve despacio.  
El viento en los álamos marca un pasaje del tiempo.

Cuando mi mejor amiga la mató un caballo,  
dijiste, piensa en toda la muerte en los árboles  
y en los campos del otono.

El gallo gritaba, "Mis adentros regresan a la tierra  
para que la viad continúe," antes de la hacha se cayera.

Mi abuelo, yo sé ahora que la tierra nos recibe.  
Mira las flores de sus hijos encenderse en el viento.  
Lentamente incendia nuestros huesos para que ellos también  
envíen las raices hasta lo profundo y beban del corriente.  

Se para en el dinltel con los brazos abiertos  
esperando hasta que volvamos  
para que cierre la puerta.

La vuelta a la tierra es una canción quieta  
cuando el agua discurre después de ia tormenta.
  —traduccion John Oliver Simon

1986-88 Falling to Sea Level









Saturday, August 13, 1983

Fragment MARGUERITES

Marguerites growing
amid the marble soils of Crete.
Amid the large columns of bones.
Marguerites strewn across the soil of Crete
blooming between marble columns
and the bones of the temples.
Marguerites holding the clouds up
and keeping the sky at bay.

8/13/1983
added 10/16
revised

Thursday, August 4, 1983

FIRST TIME

FIRST TIME
              —for Jim Byrd

Our canoe rounded a sheltered river bend—
collecting calm emerald water
'til it glistened in a slow, curved smile.
The towering trees punctuated its mirrored speech.

From our raised paddles words escaped—
unannounced as water droplets
spawning concentric ripples
in an undulating desire towards shore.

Who is naming these silent tremblings,
sneaking up, canoe-like along the river,
where,  coming down for their evening drink,
our hearts stopped,  afraid to slake their thirst?

Who will stand guard over them
so they can safely come down to the shore
and ask the river where the trees stop
and the reflection begins?
Through the trees the wind is trickling.
Only the shore answers in a slow, curved smile.

8/4/1983
added 10/16

Monday, August 1, 1983

VIRGO

VIRGO

In the moonlight,
naked,
I will cook fish

8/1983

TOBACCO

TOBACCO

From the campfire, flames leap and dance
as if the devil's fiddle were made of smoke.
A cigarette dangles from the gypsy's mouth.

The earth pushes up a cornerstone
in a slow rotation of silence.
The thin red wailing of a siren
heralds the dusk in another part of town.

She stops to light her cigarette.
The horses lean toward her,
hungry for tobacco.  

8/83


































Saturday, July 2, 1983

ODD JULY FRAGMENTS



Birds in random patterns in the sky 
bitter leaves buffeted by the winds 

9/18/1983?



Somewhere, deep in the jungle, 
an overripe mango falls. 
The almost perfume taste of a white peach 
and the bastard progeny of nectarines 
from the unnatural passion 
of plums and peaches
like  the acacia beating 
in the desert heartwood.

In the soft lavender dreams 
of your heart
what geckoes dream, 
what chameleons of thought 
rest there, unturned, 
waiting for respite 
from the long night of memory 
and language?

In the subtle home language of dreams, 
a steaming bear turd at dawn tells me 
more of the future
than the tea leaves of your cup.
This is a quiet place for remorse.
It's as if the feet of fallen angels 
made no more noise 
than crickets in the grass.

7/2 1983  or 84



A gopher has much reason 
to be the victim of thought.

7/2 1983  or 84



I am always suspicious of places 
where the tables are well padded 
and the chairs are not. 

7/3/1983  or 84







The sound of crickets 
or the shape frogs, 
the croak coming out 
of a bag filled with vertebrae, 
each croak demands 
one neckbone 
for its passage.


7/8/1983 or 84?
Wilbur Hot Springs



The snake carries the minnow 
from the stream like a dog 
with a bone and swallows it 
headfirst on the hot rocks.

7/13/1983



Invisible boundaries
These hills carry all their secrets 
with them to and from the sea.

Trees suspended from rocks 
for no reason whatsoever, 
it's like the next of giraffes 

7/8/1983 or 84   
Tomales



To cross invisible boundaries
What are invisible boundaries?
Our eyes travel into forbidden scenes 
to peer into a garage where someone 
changes the baby on a dirty carpet, 
where a phlemetic old man 
spumes in the gutter, breath in short supply, 
or to eavesdrop in on the conversations 
of others in restaurants.

Or the way the side of the building, 
painted blue, loses its constraints 
against the sky.
Outdoor windows mirroring back the room.

Within the span of three minutes 
a middle-aged man confesses 
the hospital a wedding, his daughter,
an affair gone wrong while his companion 
spreads butter and nods in silent affirmation.

I never thought of you as middle-aged.

7/30/1984



The plums on the table 
the soft burst of fruit 
against the platter 
too suddenly ripened.


Scratches on the outside of plane windows 
from the ash of Mount Saint Helens.



Clouds over Molokai 
flat tongue of Molokai 
rolls from the feet of Maui 
white boats and whitecaps 
Pacific lint. If you look 
in the wrong direction 
all there is is endless ocean 
where reefs break.

1983 or 84?

I can't believe I interleaved 1983 and 84 in the same journal. I think most are form 1983, and  I used up a page or two in 84...

FREEWRITE

FREEWRITE

I have found terror in my own thinking
I shall have dominion over my own thoughts
the dominion of fear, he said, I see myself.
An obsession of a dream
which becomes the world.

The heart can only understand
what it understands
because they're only the thoughts
of the corporeal body.
The terror of my life
is not like the fear of my own thinking
Speech – visits – the sleeping
I have in speech for love I see myself
The love I have of life.

7/2/1983, or 1984 probably 83
rev. 2/17



When the mind gets remodeled
 the residents of walking
with arms synchronized
with the stretch of opposite leg,
a crossing over occurs.
My mind frees itself of tangled debris,
the way Highwater floats the flotsam off the shore,
sweeping its meaning,
and deposits it on some other shore.

Unknown date says 730 possibly 1984



sleeping in the kitchen a.k.a.
David bricklayer
we are all friends in this double bed,
this is a submerged reef
in the middle rises as if in low tide,
a wall of bed in the kitchen,
you have long conversations with my best friend
and we fear over the fresh market
bricks like The Mending Wall
How does fear rise so quickly
our moods and consulates Unpredictable?



In your refrigerator
Three jars of jam,
One jar of butter,
a questionable cube of butter,
some birdseed
 (for the cats)
 Snowbird
a celibate interior
In the deep freeze,
amaretto and coffee,
ice cream, coffee beans
and the dope cookies crusted in frost.

I am hungry but it is too cold in the kitchen
You said you'd hang a door for five home-cooked meals.

We cross invisible boundaries
what are the invisible boundaries
our eyes travel in forbidden service
seems to appear into
a garage where someone changes the baby
on a dusty carpet

 tight says where philological man sings in the gutter
rest in short supply
or to eavesdrop into the conversation
of others in restaurants.

For the way I saw side of the building
slanted back loses its constraints against the sky
outdoor shadows mirrored back into the room
and then there's another section
within the span of three minutes

7/30/1984 

Friday, July 1, 1983

CHICO TO SF BY TWIN PROPELLER PLANE

CHICO TO SF BY TWIN PROPELLER PLANE

The Sacramento river wanders like a snake
through the great Central Valley,
leaving winter trails of oxbows, cirques, and disks;
serpentine shapes stranded amid the levees.
Fields run east to west to the mountains.
Rice levees, an organic mosaic. Earth artists.

The Marysville Buttes rise up like decayed teeth
disrupting the verdant velvet of fields.
We fly over the buttes. Inside the Marysville Buttes
are even more buttes and hidden jeweled lakes,
inside the decayed heart of an old volcano.

The Inner Coastal Range,
a scalloped shelf—like Zabrisky point.
Ocean sculpted by the great California Sea.
A spill of coastal mountains near Winters
disrupts the parallel symmetry of mountains
pushing against a sea of air and green caps.

Odd July snow on the coastal mountains.
Mt. Knocti, on Clearlake, pushes a black horizon,
bas relief of rice paddy patterns in the fields.
The rice farmers will never know that Mt. St. Helena
is pushing the sky up with her woman's body.

Dry washes of feathered snakes, dendritic memory
coming down the mountains to drink from the valley floor.
Napa Valley on the other side of the divide, an oasis.
Those dry hills hiding black gold, red gold, white gold;
hayfields, plowed earth, a valley of dust.
Then, the slate teeth of Mt. Berryessa gnawing the sky.
A singer in the fjord, Lake Berryessa laps
at the feet of the Mayacamas, like a cat.
In the dry regions, yellow pasturage,
the north slopes to the summit, open to the wind.

The lone thumb of Mount Tamalpais, guardian of the bay.
Point Reyes Peninsula, that island in time, a misty sentinel.
Home. I have full access to the plane, it only holds 12,
and there are only four of us, including the pilot.

Mt. Diablo, gatekeeper of the Bay's rivers.
Livermore, on the fault, the nuclear reactor, asleep.
So that's how the great Sacramento drains
into the Bay, over Diablo's feet.
Engulfing one half of the Central Valley
Lowlands—I'm surprised to see nothing grows
in the hills between Vallejo and Vacaville, except grass.

Cross currents in the Bay, a sudden insight,
the realization that the waves take turns
to mesh into each other like a massive weaving.

To the south, the Coyote Hills and and Mission Peak
barely visible beneath the morning fog.
A passenger asks if I take photos to remind myself of home.
He's late for his date with the US government.
He reads The Art of War. Off to the killing fields.

The plane plane doesn't want to land,
the pilot yells at the plane, Come on, land, goddamnit!
What you don't want to hear a pilot yelling.
The passenger thinks maybe he won't have to serve,
but the wheels reluctantly touch the asphalt.
We shudder to a stop, mere mortals again.

7/9/1983
minor surgery 9/2016 b/c I couldn't read it.



CHICO SF

the river wanders through the great central valley
carving a level journey leaving winter trails
ox bows cirques, discs serpentine shapes
fields outlined in even boundaries 
running east west to the mountains
rice levees
Marysville buttes rise up like a decayed tooth 
disrupting the verdant velvet of fields
Inside the buttes, more buttes
a hidden lake inside the decayed heart of an old volcano
Inner coastal ranges scalloped shelf like Zabriski point
ocean sculpted by the great California sea
Coastal mountains spill into the Valley near Winters

Thursday, June 30, 1983

A LEMONADE STAND OF NEWSPAPERS

A LEMONADE STAND OF NEWSPAPERS
At the Santa Rosa Press Club awards ceremony

And it's goodbye to Guttenberg,
the cradle, the incunabula rocks
for video games. Ma Bell
dispenses the news via silicone chips.
Print becomes obsolete,
like the round faces of the clock.
Eyes don't need print,
or clocks without hands,
digital newspapers terminally ill
succumb to the screen
while Ma Bell burps the electronic baby.

6/1983
don't know the day
added 9/2016

Wednesday, June 29, 1983

AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

Arte, my hand is in Madrid,
a rebellion calls for notations 
in the low constellation of the air.
The windows are a portal
for performers, a window on the whole day.
And all four directions, 
variations of a self-portrait. 
I dream of the air that explodes into grace.
A definition of birds shapes the shards.

 6/29/1983 
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
added 10/16  really odd bit

Saturday, June 25, 1983

FOR MARILYN

FOR MARILYN

Time is scented,
secret pearl hidden within the folds
of the oyster

The leaf of a blackbird
shaken loose
flutters down toward its own death

Corpses of flowers
rose petals beneath
Marilyn's staccato heels

    6/83