Here are my Mendo-feetsoes
And here’s my Mendo-face-o
I look so glad ’cause I’m with Misha and the sea is silver dramatics and we’re headed to dinner.
Also: I wanna drink a cappuccino in Mendocino. ‘Cause that’s too good of an off rhyme to miss.
San Luis Obispo Poem
for Rachel, who said I had to go to SLO
“Let’s just take in this purple
for a moment” and we do
as the line for meats grows
longer and the street fills
up. We thought we’d just stop
to café but we chatted to a stone
man who told us that the market
would be starting soon and here
we are. We types can’t miss
a farmers’ market. We gotta
see the squash and beans
for sale, we buy more apples
and some avocadoes and a pint
of Golden Kiwi raspberries.
A man named Rick asks to take
our picture and we say yes.
We eat our good brown bread
with cheese and talk to Rick
and watch the kids around
eat corn. Kindergarten gymnasts
do their flips and men in camo
are the band. A kid can bounce
in one of three inflated castles
and I want to. The jacarandas
haven’t finished blooming here.
We catch the purple petals
that fall and strew the ground
like rice after a wedding.
We keep our purple vows.
Wore a headlamp in Hollywood, walked to see
my only cousin in a one-room apartment
with blue carpet and a Yankees cap
hung on the heater
One parking ticket and four apples later
we got “the hell outta dodge”
as my father would say
or as my mother would say
They both say what the other says now
so it’s hard to know who started what
And now I say what they say too
and I say “bellicious” and “Why I outta” with a little shaking fist
because Ellie says it
And she says it because her mom said it
and a kid said it and it sounds
good to hear your mouth say what your family
and your friends have said
Just like it feels good to obsess
over a spider building its own home
anew every day
There’s a reason poets are in love with spiders
There’s a reason we’re not driving straight back east
There’s a web wet with rain that’s threaded north
We must wreck what we’ve built
so we may build the home again
We left San Diego yesterday. The West Coast Poem Project begins today. Stay tuned for poems written along the Pacific coast and photos as well. Here’s our tricked out truck, Egret the Egret, packed to the gills and ready for action.
And here’s us driving away after a hellish half week of packing. Flower crown by Wyndellen!
The map is on the wall. Now the packing happens.
If I’m gone from this blog for a couple of days, it’s because we’re packing and we’re leaving this home and we’re headed on the road. Roadtrip “updates” (poems, impressions, photographs, souvenir descriptions) will appear here whenever possible.
Apologies to Farmer #1 for the less-than-gorgeous portrait.
I went to Chicago last weekend, or at least I think I did. I got a cold pretty soon after arriving and as the days went on I got foggier and foggier. It felt like I was peering out of two small telescopes from inside my body. And now that I’m back in San Diego, where it’s 75 degrees…the whole thing feels even more like a dream. A dream where
I flew on an airplane with writers from San Diego and drank bloody Marys
then ate a pizza so thick it reminded me why they’re called pizza pies
then got picked up outside the pizza restaurant by Eric Suffoletto in a blue Lexus
and we drove to a bar with thick curtains attached to the ten-foot ceilings and drank cocktails fit for a princess at a picnic
and afterwards we drove through a scene from “The Dark Night”
then Katie Conway arrived and we ate green curry with scallops and bought tights and tissues at CVS
and I heard Nikki Giovanni talk in a big room with chandeliers and she reminded me about surrounding myself only with people who love me
and there were a lot of hip people selling books with confusing poems inside
and I ate French fries with brie and mushrooms on top
and it was my birthday
and everyone was calling me but I couldn’t talk
and Ilya Kaminsky sang happy birthday to me and it was a hilarious treasure
and I rode the el and took a taxi cab and wore a turtleneck and various hats
and named Katie’s boyfriend “the maestro of love” and drank wine in the hotel room
and it was flurrying and freezing and the wind was coming from every direction
and I met the woman who wrote the poem about herpes in the Beloit Poetry Journal and I told her she was doing an important thing for the world
and I bought books and journals or took them off tables
and Kate Gale was there and we sat in taupe armchairs and talked and she said hello to a dozen famous people whose names I knew but not the faces
and there was a secret present from Misha snuck into my bag
and on the train it was snowing and Dean was hungover and Jen had so many bags she looked like a vagabond Amazon with fancy belts
and the guy at security took my lotion away
and outside the airport San Diego was hot and over-bright as if lit by bulbs stolen from the rest of the country and there’s Misha in our car waving like he does with one hand raised up, not moving, just raised in hello
as stepping off the train from someplace north
into the streets of midtown Manhattan and goodness
all the business women in their golden spires
of hair and heel and midday men with navy pocket
squares, even the children stop to stare at my patterned
country dress, my weak-tied ponytail. My duffel builds
a crease against my elbow’s hook—somewhere
in there, laid along the clothing and the slippers,
a jar of honey for a friend tilts and leaks, and the hive
at home goes on buzzing, run by a queen and the laws
of servitude, oh even the unemployed are dressed
in red and ready in New York, and I am standing
waiting for my ride, eyed by a policeman on the corner
like a villain sent from someplace blessed with vaster
spaces, and the taxis throw themselves with vigor
at the color green, and the city sky is purpling to black
with neon signs winking sales in capitals and every redhead
in the city is out here walking, no wait, shoving, past.
We came by plane and boat, we beached
(he left), I danced in rain, I trained in along the Hudson, I saw Erwitt at the ICP and photocopied Sanchez at Poet’s House, I advised and pyschologized an entire closet, I lounged briefly in the 70s,
I quiched and coffeed, I dined and dozed, I family-ed and friended, I parked at Prospect, gave a gift, hugged tall men, ran in rain again, ate squids and octopus, shared kiwi chapstick and met two new boyfriends, hugged a crying friend and hot sauced a burrito, licked honey off my pinky and wouldn’t leave a restaurant, listened to my grandma’s birthday song and was dropped off in rain and sun, I bageled and I slept until I wanted to, I missed west people and wore a wide-brimmed hat…and tomorrow I’ll head to San Diego.