The Letter



Erica’s in a rectangular room with one-hundred and four strangers–people sitting in a semicircle, some in chairs, some standing against the walls, all facing Sobonfu Some, “keeper of the rituals” of African spirituality, traveling the world on a healing mission. Sobonfu talks for a few hours and people ask questions, discussing grief and fear and abuse and loss and pain and where it comes from.  Erica explains this in a letter, and she is getting ready for a grief ritual, a “transformative experience” she ”rites, and I am instantly sucked in.
Three altars were set up, she wrote, the grief altar with a black cloth, to the left of that is the ancestor/strength altar with red cloth, and to the right, in blue, is the forgiveness altar. [Read more...]

“The Basement”


Once again going through old stories and excerpts on my old flash drive and I found this cute little clip:

The basement is everywhere.  Water leaks like dark shadows on the bare cement, looking like silvery snakes streaming from the corners of the windows.  When it rains you can see the rivers pulsing.  Once the little trails reach the floor, they widen as they seep into the floor, heading toward the drain.  A corner houses shelves of limping cardboard, labeled by a thin marker zigzag that can’t be read because there’s no light over there.  We call this the dungeon and sometimes it’s where Barbie goes when she’s mad.  I give the pink corvette a push and she sails into the scary shadows.  In the corner by the steps, old sheets and sleeping backs are weighted down on ledges and chairs, or twisted in knots around the hollow metal poles, supporting the forts and tents of our imaginations.  We hear creatures in the jungle.  I feel the breath of wings.  The trees from where the wild things live loom over us in faded pencil scratches.  

Starry, Starry Night


It was a clear October night.  My sisters and I piled into the old red Chevy with our stepfather Dan, and headed outside of town for the hospital where my mother was in the mental ward.  None of us spoke; we hardly ever spoke in those years.  Dan kept his eyes on the road, chain-smoking Dorals.  I stared through the glass, street lights passing over my hooded eyes.  As we neared the outskirt, the sky suddenly opened out into space.  I thought of nothing.  I didn’t think of my mother.  I didn’t think of the speed of change.  I stared up into the stars where I didn’t have to feel anything.  It’s okay to be lost when you’re reminded how small you are, how little your voice is.

We swung into the nearly empty parking lot and walked to a group of picnic tables under a street light where we were told to wait.  It was chilly but still.  My sisters and I stood apart from each other in the silence until we heard Dan emerging, escorting our robed and sobbing mother.  She looked terrified and helpless, and she kept looking to Dan to see what to do, not once looking at us.  We said hi and kept our distance from her and each other, and I turned, pretending nonchalance as I stared up into the sky.  I thought about God, about how the earth was really just this round ball He had in a box and for our nights, He put a lid on the box and punched holes in it for stars.  In my mind, God was a giant old man forcing us to love each other in a darkness we couldn’t see through.



So I usually love winter, especially when it’s like this–twenty below and snow four feet high.  Why?  So I could hide, hibernate like an animal.  But for the last month or so I’m noticing changes in me–big ones.  I have a fire starting under my ass.  I’m waking up.  I’ve quit caffeine (and cigarettes months ago) and am eating healthier.  I’m walking, which is like, unheard of for me.  I’m getting (slowly) back into my body, and I love how it feel.  My senses are so much stronger too for some reason, almost euphoric-like.  I feel…really good.  This is not an impulsive “swing” or mood or anything, I thought that at first too.  But it’s something new and I’ve been waiting for years to get out from under this rock I crawled under when I first got really sick, but I’m sick of this cold, lonely and dark place.  I know and knew I was kinda caught up in that cycle of looking at the past and letting it override the “:situation.  What I’m trying to say is, I feel………hope.

And now, my favorite music find of the year so far: Damien Rice (live) “Hallelujah” :

A Space to Fill


It’s the coldest January I’ve known
the white light coming in
through the protective glass–
white, I think, like my grandmother’s
white sheets she’d hang in June.

The white light coming in
takes me for a turn and
I think for a moment in a slip–
is it color? Or space? Like
the space we can never fill

and then I remember where I am
and why I am here.
The emptiness fills me.
It’s hard when you learn
there is no God. [Read more...]

Alan Watts-The Psychotic Experience

just for you Doug

–something cool–the Islam tradition with mentally ill people that they call the village idiot is sort of extremely cared for and loved by the society because it is considered his soul is gone with Allah and they are to take care of his body and remember they have their soul yet.

Love, Your Angry Ballerina

In another language

you tell me I am only dancing

in your room for you,

you tell me I am a stamp

of a woman, elegantly abstract

across your stage of equations,

silly in my shoes.

I watch myself in your iris

and I shrink to pose,

turning for you I

want to say

See?  See

how I slip

behind the





published in Psychic Meatloaf, issue 3

A Poem by Sharon Olds


This poem by Sharon Olds comes from her amazing book, Satan Says.

Let me know what you think.  It’s probably one of my favorite poems out there; I’ll never forget it.


I have learned to go back and walk around

and find the windows and doors.  Outside

it is hot, the pines are black, the lake

laps.  It is 1955 and I am

looking for my father.

I walk from a small room to a big one

through a doorway.  The walls and floor are pine,

full of splinters.

I come upon him.

I can possess him like this, the funnies

rising and falling on his big stomach,

his big solid secret body

where he puts the bourbon.

He belongs to me forever like this, [Read more...]

A Quote

“All things splendid have been achieved by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance…”

Just So You All Know…


I wanted to tell you all that I’m not getting your posts in my email and I’m not happy about it.  If you’re wondering why I haven’t read and commented that’s why and I”m truly sorry.  Will figure out soon!

time lift


Amy Jo Sprague:

This is a beautiful poem reblogged from The Mirror Obscura, and I had to reblog as well.

Originally posted on from an otherwise sane perspective:

the lines between one thought and the next
when the air feels thick
a weighted misery
i wasn’t the best at anything
don’t expect it now
suppose there is more to life
than this odd sort of anticipation
come into your own
but mine always seemed borrowed
when all you can do is not share pain
desire doesn’t matter
hope spreads over larger areas occupied
by better souls
and i know how to give… don’t get me wrong
but to get was not making me humble
hoping for any vision
it’s like holding something down
because to fly is to fall
and forgotten roads go nowhere even if they are less traveled


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