Friday, January 24, 1986

At Peter Nabakov's cabin in the Carmel Highlands

John says that I sat up last night in my sleep and I said an eloquent, polished paragraph on why I was afraid. I do remember sitting up and what I said as being lucid and clear, but I can't remember what I said. John doesn't tell me.

I remember seeing the orange juice container in the semi darkness under the full moon and the color, like the edge of an oil pastel stick, seem to float right off the bottle and come out past me. That's when I leapt up and discoursed theories on this deep subconscious fear that I have. But what is it?

I remember talking about the universe, traveling to constellations, well etherized. John asked me if this fear had anything to do with relationships. I said yes and no.

Yes, a deep fear is surfacing, and yes I'm afraid of the outcome, because of my mother's madness. Logically, I know her insanity is not congenital, not inherited, but tell my psyche that. 

Was it because I wore pearls to bed? Ah, the moonlight on the trees. Distant sigh of the ocean.

The last time I was in Monterey I was with sweet old Bob, an ex-boyfriend. Being here again with John has loosened some of those fears from their moorings. 

January 24, 1986

CPITS workshops Asilomar, freewrites

The magician of the North
pointed past
the industrious planets
snapping in a hungry rage.

1/24/1986 Asilomar
from word cards
workshops with JOS and MH

during the steep night
the owl shift seasons with the moon
the ruddy sky seems to slip up
from the western faces of the equinox
when can we pass this way again
calling out names like cattle
in sunlit meadows
tearing at grass
as if it were the last handhold
left on the sliding earth?

Who is this beast breathing beside me
like a long forgotten ancestor
coming up for recognition in the night
to give me new colors for dreams
to shake me from the cradle
where breathing came from beneath
the skin of the ocean?



Sunlight surreptitiously
slips out to reveal the age of green.
Tattered cannibals
devour the darkness.
The beast arises from the swamp.
Dust beneath, dust above,
pale green blooms on leaves
like fragile green,
like a rough tongued cat
or a satisfied roundness
in the palm of the hand.

We need half moons
in symmetric repetitions.

Why so sweet
why so yellow
why so sun
why so moon?

Civilizations rise and fall
by the edge of this fruit.


Under the banks of the river
silvered with the coinage of fish
Who can ask the gypsies how not to line
the edge of the moon?
Who sobs for untold fortunes
and greased lightning
to increase the weight of the sky?
Dreams crackle like freshly minted bills
hot off the press
rubbed between the palms

sounds like it's another take on Tengo Dinero

Tuesday, January 21, 1986

Dream Notes & Fish Boxes

Dreams I haven't recorded

Last night I realized that the goddess of green light came to stand up my bed it wasn't just the dark menace. Once I saw myself there, I was no longer afraid.
When I put my hands out to touch her, they went through the grass green substance. I slept better the rest of the night.

That night, I realized I never told my dream self that I had sold my ponies in real life. That's why they never appeared in my dreams of horses. So many dreams of horses.
Sometimes I ride them
Sometimes I can't find them
Sometimes they die in my dreams

I dreamt my horse dropped out from under me, having pushed himself too hard, and he died. I was afraid to tell the doctor who owns a horse, that I had killed him, because I didn't pull him up to rest, as we went to the top of the hill to the spring.

John says write your dreams always – they hold the keys. I've done little writing other than revision and art projects. It seems hard to write poems when I am revising or making art.

I've been making fish boxes out of Morilla Board watercolor paper. Tropical fish rendered on cubes suspended from fishing line from the ceiling. So far, I have five boxes. The turn in the breeze and remind me of the sea.

I also made two valentine fish heart postcards for the Sonoma State Valentine Art Auction, and signed them With love from the Tropic of Cancer. I scribed my poems on the surface like cuneiform. Years from now, someone will puzzle over it. (William Babula, the Dean of Humanities, bought it.)

I played around with poem and visual art with plastic typewriter ribbons. I took a red light bulb and wrapped it up in the Canon Typestar typewriter ribbon upon which I thad typed a poem of mine, Lighting the Electric Fire. You can unwind the ribbon and read it too. 

The second poem/art piece was Merwin's Inlet also typed on typewriter ribbon film wrapped around a broken conch shell. 

The third typewriter ribbon piece, Ascent of Man, was wrapped around the bleached leg bone of a cow. I hung all three pieces from the ceiling like a mobile. The ribbon was like a black mummy shroud. 

I don't know the significance of it all, but it pleases me to see the poems on the plastic tape. Something that would otherwise be discarded.

January 21 1986