Tuesday, January 10, 1989

Dream Journal

 (Before I went to the USSR, a pre telling dream)

1/10 I’ve come from across the fields. A bay horse stands in the bushes. At first I thought it was dead. A group of us—mainly teenagers— returned from an event on the beach below the cliffs. I don’t recognize any of them but I’m friends with them. Some are from another place. Some live here.

Green tableland dropping to the blue Pacific. Alluvial rocks. Jasper. Chert. We’re in a hurry & didn’t stop to browse though I wanted to. Turquoise fell from my ring. We walked along the gravel road where I gathered long yellow four-sided crystals buried point down in the mud. Yellow, golden & brown. Not topaz, not citrine, nor sulfur—not in my rock/mineral book either.

There were other crystals but the yellow ones were for me. They were important talismans. A significant source of power. I point them out to my friend. It wasn’t until they were freed from the earth prison the color appeared. I give her some, saving the biggest one for myself. Phallic beauty.

Small peninsula. Out buildings. A barn. I crawl into a deserted shack with an icon of a Madonna on the wall. Who lives here? I’m trying to escape Point Reyes. Men load alfalfa hay around me. Am I trapped? Am I trespassing? All these men working around me as if I belonged here. Where am I?

A large man and his heavyset sandy colored wife behind me. He’s interested in me and he’s kind. He is a farmer of the sea. Restores offshore sea beds. I’m swimming in the waves. Tide pools. Hundreds of empty shells. Pink & white coral. Small starfish like lace. I point them out to a student. We collect shells and coral but we’re in a marine preserve or a park and it’s illegal.

Tractors in the sea soften the waves until the beds get established. The whole coast needs replenishing. North—a long stretch of coast. Dead shells. This beauty is that of death. Iron pipes parallel the shore. In a room with old-fashioned wooden furniture he makes advances toward me. I’m not interested but am hungry for affection & kindness. She is not his wife. I’m waiting for someone else.

You can move heaven and earth but you can’t move the sea. The sea is the mother where we all began. In the shed, my head becomes an anvil. Someone places another woman’s head on top of mine. The men extract her tooth with pliers and a nail. They are doing this to save her life. They treat her like chattel. Dairymen save the cow because she gives milk. Gore drips onto my face. I run to wash it off. Trouble breathing. Allergy? My throat swells.

I go swimming with a svelte golden young man. Strange sensation of coming home but not being home.

1/13  A man and I practice cooperative gymnastics—doing body flips. I have to trust him. There is danger but we don’t fall. We were wrestling, laughing, then tired. I want to crawl into the shelter of his arms but am afraid to. He’s non-committal. My head on his knee.

Cats everywhere snoozing & purring. I rub his back like a horse. I’m on a steep rock cliff. The man leaves, goes north, says are you coming? No way down. I walk to the edge and slide down. Not so bad after all.

My house is a tent without walls. No ceiling. All my possessions open to the wind, trees and sun. The bright leaves intersticed with the sky. Why was I living in this lonely, lovely bare windswept place? Red sweater. Tiny starfish hands. A fire-pealed flower—imprint of a hand crushed beneath the burden of symbols. What was the question the child asked?

I can’t tell where the ocean stops and the land begins. Inordinate mouth. Ceolocanthic fish singing of pre-history. Volunteer islands made from the backs of whales. I lost turquoise stones and found a good teacher. Yellow stones without names. Thin boundaries. Plate tectonics.

Technology is what separates us from ourselves. There is no Eden. When the last condor dies who will strip it clean? Yellow stones for purity. Genetic ladders unzip. On the crest of a hill, the names of horses. Connections between words. Squeeze fault. Serpentine, blueschist, granite. Earth banquet.

Three dimensional words. Time/space continuum. At the center of a bird’s back Einstein sleeps. I make paper cranes to heal the earth. Feathers fall back to the earth as leaves. Leaves turn into flocks of birds. Birds become fish. Yellow is the color of purity, Not flames. I have lost turquoise & found yellow stones from the bowels of the earth.

Earth eaters dine on rare fuller’s earth. Burnt wings. Energy is equal to Mass condensed. What fractions come to mind when Einstein’s fish escape to the final sun? Chambers of exploding light. Gills, scales. Crushed beneath the burden of air, fish drown. Star fish— folded technology. Who will tell the moon?

Never sleep at the foot of the bed or catastrophe strikes, a Japanese woman says. The universe appears in the eye of a fish. I have lost my fish—birds of the sea. I have lost citrine, the sun. The honey topaz of my birth. A lake in the center of the eye I could drown in. Where will I find turquoise? How shall we heal the earth?

1/14  A tall woman carries smoke-blackened pots big enough to feed an army. A camp out. She does things that don’t make sense. Throws them back into the garbage when she’s done. They’ve served their purpose. A journey. A relationship. Nourishment.

1/17  At the wedding party I couldn’t find the food. An old Indian still in native garb. A white dress with red embroidery. A shack. A mudhole. A reed boat. I can pay money to take a photo but don’t. I ask the Indian if the long flexible tube is for eating or inseminating cows. He’s shocked. It makes music. I eat the reed boat on my plate for the bulls.

I’m with two men named John. My uncle John? Not John Oliver Simon. Foreign people talk to me. An old house. A tilting floor. A central pillar. Danger. Ochre & rust. Watch every step. I have to lie in the center of the floor or we’ll all fall into the lower depths. Holding onto the source. No room for doubt.

In a mirror, the ends of my hair have turned white. With my camera I record a past way of life. The Indian knows no other way to survive. A mud puddle, a reed boat, a shack, native dress. A small change is needed in order to survive. Risk. I eat small delicacies while he sells bits of his soul to tourists. My fork bites into his reed boat & I destroy his livelihood with my appetite.

1/20  A blonde woman & I send post cards of a nude Polynesian man. The erotic message I send is not words but a piece of my skin from my right calf.

We try to reason with the gunman. He shoots my friend/lover in the left breast. I see the exit wound. I watch my friend who I don’t know fall. I can’t hide behind him. The gunman gets me in the womb. There’s a row boat wrecked on the gray living room rug. Who is the blonde woman I’m competing with & why? Who are we writing to? Where have we come from? What of my friend? Who is he? I know him.

Snow bridges. Deep ravines. We risk falling. Amid ice floes it’s warm. What am I doing in a place like Alaska? We hike inland on a trail at dusk or sunrise looking for something to the eat. Red tennis shoes (Lynn?). We’ve come from the west. we’re supposed to find something here. Geologic expedition? Mothership? Why can’t we talk? The gunman was driven to action—any action. The execution of desire? Longing death, I’m shot in the womb. The man I’m with, shot in the heart. Two messages.

1/21  Near Point Reyes we’re at a resort driving on dangerous roads. Pieces of road slipping away as we climb. A black-haired woman driving north. I’m a passenger. We cross the creek. The jeep, like a horse. Wild cotton. Other plants I wanted to identify. We stop at a house. Someone asks, do you remember sleeping here as a child? Indirect light. Many river rocks. Potted trees. White walls. Alcoves, beds. I said no. On the other side of the fence there was a pool where I wanted to swim but there wasn’t time.

1/22  In the mountains at what seems to be a CPITS poetry retreat, the ocean below beckons. I’ve lost my snorkel but dive for sand dollars. Treasure. I’m teaching poetry to teenagers who are unruly. I have trouble maintaining control. My voice fails me. Someone passes out several pairs of blue jeans including shorts that John gave me. The blonde girl & I struggle over his pants. She doesn’t want to give them up. I let go.

We go to the ocean and play. Sharp rocks puncture the sky. Utterly beautiful. Later we walk in the redwoods and read poetry. I awake to a knocking at the door—death?

1/26  I sit where the muddy water meets the green with a boy who tells me about springs. Hilly, windy road near the beach. I’m driving kids to a church in a van. Hard to keep it on the road. An older man with sandy-gray hair dozes on my shoulder. We sit at the back of the church. He says, I haven’t slept for years. Don’t have long to live. And goes back to sleep. I’m in the cabin with no walls laying sheet rock. By my bed, an empty bassinet. The rains come.

1/30  We’re in a boat transferring to a smaller launch. Trouble with cameras again. A sky diver & raft fall out of the sky. He tries to sail the ship like a kite or airplane. I take photos of children & herons. I find red rocks with red gems. Fire opals?

We drive the van up a dirt ridge. It gets stuck. I walk back. We can’t turn back. John Oliver Simon steps out of the bushes, says, We aren’t done with each other yet. He’s still seeing her. I say: Yes we are finished. Our boat is as slender as a shoe. It is my shoe! Capsizable. It escapes in the reeds. How to get to the other side now?

Someone hands me a post card from John. Frida Kahlo. He writes: I dreamed I wanted the baby to live after all. Too late now.

1/31  I brush my hair with razor blades. clumps of hair at my feet. A man watches me dance in this room of many tables and hardwood floors. Why can’t I ever see his face? Who is he? He sits in a chair with white pillows. For whom do I dance so sensuously? No need of a mask to hide.

2/3  I put my backpack on top of the car. it’s gone. My grandmother says, it isn’t here. I’ve lost my cameras. She reads the newspaper. Something about my truck spinning. (Later, that morning I get into a real accident) I’m cold. Someone covers me with a plaid throw rug. It’s white & black. My grandmother’s is green and black.

& what of the man who seems to go everywhere with me? Is he my spirit guide? We’re clumsy & keeps tripping over each other. Sometimes he’s younger than me. He runs interference for me but I’m uncertain of his attentions.

2/9  I’m waiting in line to purchase an old book. The illustrations are real oils by a man named Galvenez? Was I supposed to have the originals? A forest setting. People speaking in a language I don’t understand. Portuguese? “Zhuh” sounds. The bookseller doesn’t have the book I want. I can’t remember his name.

So many horses. I catch the brown mare. A young child wants to go riding. We don’t have bridles. He has trouble with the halter and is thrown because he pulls on both reins at once. I tell him even if the horse threw him it’s his fault because he’s in charge. It’s hard work. The pony runs away and turns into a young girl at the auditorium. Someone signals, they give them a rousing cheer.

2/14  I find an arrowhead while waiting to get to the train station. I’m having trouble with the schedule & packing. He wouldn’t help. They tell me to throw out the white couch so they can stack the mail. It’s the PAPER office.

My grandmother who was to drive me to the train station is gone. With my arrowhead in hand, I run to the shore. They said she probably went swimming. I said, you don’t understand, she can’t swim. I dive underwater. The car’s there. She’s gone. How would I get to the station? All was lost. But I had a jasper arrowhead and a flat white rock in my right hand. I put back the rocks carved into Janus heads. I didn’t want to be greedy—only take what I believe to be for me.

Things happen for a reason. Accept the gifts offered. Why the arrowhead? Delicate thin shape. Superbly crafted. A talisman, a power object. Alders, a grassy knoll. I return the small white stones with faces on them.

Take what you need, not what you want. Without spirit there cannot be art. Where does the arrowhead point to, the sea? Why is the sea always in my dreams? & my grandmother? The teacher—wisdom. Always she sits patiently. Be patient. Do nothing. Wait. All will be revealed. The sea is our mother. The soothing turquoise.

1/10 to 2/14/89

Sunday, January 1, 1989



The silhouette of a bird on a telephone pole
a raven, a vulture, a hawk? Too big.
I swerved and braked the truck—
in the sunlight, a golden eagle,
too close to civilization, and I understood
why they're called golden; they are luminous.
Spotting eagles within city limits
isn't reason enough to write a poem about it.
What am I supposed to do now?
Tell the world I hang eagle feathers
from my ceiling to keep away bad dreams?
We feel compelled to talk of more human things
site-specific, but now I've seen rare eagles
where they're not supposed to be.
We've come to expect vultures and crows
with whom we co-exist so beautifully.
The raptor who faced near-extinction
isn't reason enough to celebrate;
our sights are limited to an occasional red-tail
on the fringes of society, and we are satisfied.
We always have trouble imagining
anything beyond our own limitations.




The white goddess/witch
She said to me, you have nightmares
because your cabin is haunted.

She told me to invoke the four directions;
the eastern air, the shining ones,
the southern fire, the flaming ones;
the western water, the flowing ones,
the northern silence, the earth.

As you dance counter-clockwise toward the east,
cast out the evil ones from the sacred circle,
always remembering to touch the earth.
Burn sage by each door, window and mirror.

Chant: avanti, avanti,
maleficium defance.
Honi soit que mal ye panse                    (pense?)
to push them back into the earth.

She said put eagle feathers, quartz, ice, and clay
at the four corners of the bed.
And so I did. The nightmares continued.

She said the man of your dreams
has stolen your horses. Unfortunately, 
there was no quick exorcism for that.


date  86-88? 
But Order of the Garter Chant was from John , post 86  Post John 1989?


The white goddess/witch
said to me, you have nightmares
because your cabin is haunted.
She told me to invoke the four directions;
the eastern air, the shining ones,
the southern fire, the flaming ones;
the western water, the flowing ones,
the northern silence, the earth.
As you dance counter-clockwise toward the east,
cast out the evil ones from the sacred circle,
always remembering to touch the earth.
Burn sage by each door, window and mirror.
Chant: avanti, avanti,
maleficium defance.
Honi soit que mal ye panse"
to push them back into the earth.
She said put eagle feathers, quartz, ice, and clay
at the four corners of the bed.
And so I did. The nightmares continued.
She said the man of your dreams
has stolen your horses. Unfortunately, 

end is missing
date? 86-88?
missing ending
thank you so fucking much, ASCII code



In the sacred circle of Pachamama
time itself is transparent.
Temporary islands of whales
rise and fall like tectonic plates
or reed houses on Lake Titicaca.
At Machu Picchu the wind says
we're connected on a deeper level
than this earthly plane.
You say one doesn't recover from old age
but we are on that great cosmic curve the double helix.
The intihuacana is thirsty for chicha and flowers.
I dream of one rubber boot to cross the water,
and eyes painted on the bedroom of the sky.
Out of the debris, transformation.
Basements of the dead
turned into statements of the living.
Something is brewing in the five corners of the world.
Pachamama is crying but we are listening
for translations of wind in the ceiba trees.
The Cold War is ending with the children
reaching across borders and singing.
A golden eagle keens in the wind.
How quickly the night comes.


1990 Green Fuse
1993 Mother Earth Journal

this is a completely different poem

Lately, I’ve been touching the spines of your books
something speaking to me from afar
The wind says, the night sighs
we’re connected on a deeper level
than this earthly plane.
This thing called love
we never said in my family.
That the man killing me with his blue eyes
the way the glacier pulverizes stone
in its undertow of blue light called it love.
I am a mover of small rocks. 
I prefer the way of sky.
Is there nothing but emptiness ahead?

Outside of this grammar I write patriarchal nouns, verbs.
I don’t know how to pull the circle around me.
You say one doesn’t recover from old age.
It’s nymph cancer we all have
but we are on that great cosmic curve the double helix.
Invisible worms eat the rose at noon.
I don’t know how to crawl inside the structure of language.
The phallus I write with. 
On this earth we are the goddesses.
Man will destroy even himself for an idea.
Men lose their dreaming and forget why they’re live.

I dreamed that eyes were painted 
on the blue wall of the bedroom of the sky 
and the earth dam burst. The only way out was down.
I fill my house with food I don’t eat
and he hands me chocolate in a a broken bowl.
One rubber boot to cross the water.
Iguanas purring like cats.
Out of the debris, transformation.
The basements of the dead
are turned into into statements of the living.

I have been to Machu Picchu and left white stones.
On an island in Lake Titicaca
I lay in the sacred circle of Pacahmama
and understood time itself is transparent
Something is brewing in the five corners of the world.
Pachamama is crying but we are here listening
for translations of the wind.

I am on the brink, going back to Russia
to find something that was lost.
The Cold war is ending with the children
reaching across borders singing
We Are the World
We are the children on this coast.
Temporary islands of whales at Fort Ross
rise and fall like the tectonic plates.
No more otter. Just abalone and the salmon.
A golden eagle keens in the wind.
The coyotes howled.
How quickly the night comes.

rev. 1/11/92



It was first recorded
on a Paris boulevard in the fall of 1838,  
a man stopped for a shoeshine,
the horses moved faster than the speed
of silver on sunlight.

Here in America, manifest destiny
focused in on silent, grim poses.
Metaphysical stealer of souls—
all we have left of entire nations
is recorded on gelatin plates.

Obscure rooms, the heart of darkness,
the mercurial greening of plants—
art and science wrestle under bedcovers
with the names of war—
the battle of Gettysburg,
the Japanese woman bathing
her hibakusha daughter,
the running Vietnamese girl,
napalm on her arms—
these images burn into the cornea.

You prefer to do it in the dark,
then wait to see what develops.
But this is not a negative image—
every lining has its silver cloud.

date? Saved date is 1/92 was I in Holland?
it was ascii-ridden (the hearbreak of ascii)
so lines are approximate
Hard copy lines are similar except stanza 3, with 6 lines. I was forcing it into shape.

hard copy notes that this was for Duncan McGarrett, I must've rewritten it for Jan Bogaerts


 (who told me a story of a photo)

I don't remember being there on a boat
at the lake, my mother telling me
how it sank. There I am in the picture
looking up at the camera
wearing a life jacket, sitting in the boat
before it sunk, leaving me here
to tell this poem to you.



                                        for Alistair Ingram
                   I don't practice. If I don't have it by now, it's too late.
              It's like going out with a different woman every night.
                                          Stan Getz
Feeling blue because my man left for no good reason,
I crawl out of the hills to hear John Handy play jazz solo.
In my head I write poems without words, pen or paper
to every riff, growl and squeeze of his saxophone.
The music pours into me, fingers of rain on the sea.
We are shipwrecked in a blue room seductive with smoke.
Embouchure and altissimo—open octaves form a river
of birds spiraling home to the nascent shell of our ears.
On the ceiling balloons undulate, bull kelp in the waves.
John Handy brings me a purple one—the color of sorrow.
He says, I got a cabin up in Cazadero. You know Clive Hawthorne?
I say, I'm the bearer of bad news. He's two years dead. Alcohol.
He flinches. Puts his hand over his heart. Says, He was a good man.
We started out together in this business a long time ago.
He points to my name-tag and asks where I've been.
I say, measuring a passage of time on the other side of the world,
celebrating New Year's Eve in Moscow with Gorbachev via satellite T.V.
John Handy flutter-tongues and bends a few cool notes—
a sweet school of fish ah-uhm for Charlie Mingus and Auld Lang Syne.
Sequinned women in stiletto heels sway, charmed snakes
in front of the mellifluous sax. Sub-tones. Overtones.
Circular breathing. I tell him his music is poetry without words.
Perfect intonation. Harmonics. When you hear one note,
you hear every single note in the universe.
He asks for my name-tag as a souvenir, puts it into his pocket.
It says what I am—Poet. For a moment I'd almost forgotten
why I was alone.

Café Resalles, San Francisco

bay tree
jay bird
blue tree

 1993 We Are Not Swans, with Cecelia Woloch
1992 National Poetry Competition, Chester H. Jones Award, Honorable Mention
1989 Outerbridge