Friday, November 20, 2009

Song of the Sea Bathed Siren

….aj ondas….

Love, along a mystical shoreline,
Where we throw away so easily these
(small) gifts-
sand. pebbles. deep, wondrous sea.

Where words become meaningless
despite my stretching, and
‘mystical’ and ‘love’ ever fast,
now approach the loss of
truth, as
symbols of my
heart (love.)

But breathless, now, my heart, my love,
let not these words fall in vain,
drop by drop against your hopes.

I beg of you, if you can hear me calling,
here on this distant shore,
close your eyes and feel the beating of my heart
pressed against yours.
I desire never your anguish,
Nor ever did I dare to cross the Sea of Faith
to prove I am but a cheat.

Hear me-

Where once a poet dreamed of sailors
taking first voyages to lands unknown,
dreams of beauty, riches, ritual attrition,
(Valhalla, I am coming)-

Now we have come, still wet
to a country neither you nor I have known.

I will not scuttle across the sand
which has worn away my shell.

I am here,
I am here,
and I lay in wait, soft upon the strand.

….aj ondas….

Each day, I linger in the rising of the sun,
watching infinite the waves
which called me to this foreign place.

Each day, I bathe in salted sea
and witness my legs, growing dark
beneath the punishing sun.

The walking. The crags. The inlet streams.

I am watching, I am waiting.

Penelope? I renounce that fate.
The churn of day by day by night by day-
The stories I have told
of star made heroes,
star made shadows round-

Where is faith now?

Where once, this poet dreamed of mermaids
echoing in sleep,
I have heard the mournful cry in truth, and
it was mine.

In the reflection of this molten tide,
she, the mermaid?
She was
me.

From my better makers,
I steal sounds which pierce my heart
that I might take from it
its healing juice
and revive your withered mind.

I will give you this heart, ‘though it has broken open.

But were you here-
your ear close to my lips-
your heat enclosing my sunbaked body warm,
your fingers untangling my white washed hair,
I would not cry.
I would tell you, instead,
my stories from the sky,
and sing you melodies
from sirens I have heard within
the echo of the tide.

I shall wait. I…

And see here, how fine my cerulean gem
which I have plucked from oceanic sparkle!
I wear upon my finger, here,
and there, upon my cheek,
at times, around my neck,
and in sorrow at my feet.
In hope I touch my lips to it
and cast it out
to fairer days,
that it might bring tales
of the sea of faith,
and the sailors calling,
alee, alee.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Film Log November 14th, 2009, with a new song





Just checking in with everybody in video nirvana...

I don't really have a title for this song just yet... but I really like it. I have been very creative lately, producing and producing and producing!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For Maggie, A Song

Dream, to make it worth waking from sleep
Plant the seeds, 'cause it's worth the dream
Winter covers the ground
So seeds might reach for light
and the great one turns the page,
bringing spring in its time...
Even if you don't know where it leads,
even if you may not succeed,
still,
you gotta dream...

Cradle your beloved in your arms.
Take this moment before its gone.
You know spring returns,
but you know so does fall,
So love it all,
love it all, love it all..
Even if it breaks your heart,
even if it takes so much to get back up and
start
again...

Now it is time to throw down your sorrow.
Find your breath and the promise of tomorrow-
Discover beautiful day...
Dream of greatness and stay
Here in your heart,
Come what may...
I will do it with you-
I am here, and I will do it, too...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

seven years of love songs

i have burned every love note,
every desperate scribbling on a bar napkin,
on a Post-It note,
letters written and labored over for three days' time,
drawings and comic books that tell of love between me and

oh, pick any lover,
for just as
whose lips these lips have kissed
and when and where and why
has been my (romantic) (swan)song

i have known only the thrill of the falling
and have come around to the deep seed of love
unfolding softly
as an ex girlfriend
as an ex "love of my life"
and never as
one who said yes to the ring

so i have many, many friends
whom i know SO well
and who come to my aid in times of deep trial
and who safely and wisely counsel me
on my own folly
and vice versa,
for we know each other SO well
in the safety of no future possibility
and no fear of loss of the love from the other
for we have already lost
and now can throw our hands up in laughter and
be here to help each other

men, lovely men,
with whom I have experienced seemingly karmic levels
of forgiveness and redemption

and with whom
i shall make never home nor child.

and the wind blows,
and the pages of the calendar flip
and a secret child is born and dies
and a career is rewarded and then denied
and the throngs of ignorant revelers
join a madness they never created,
only agreed to on accident...

and inside this bubble of insanity
an entire world of true love reverberates
inwardly and outwardly
every cell of every being

calling you, it is calling you as it is calling me
as it is calling every soul,

drop this lie
drop this madness.
now.

i, myself, am awakening to the unconsciousness of my own
hell pain rendering

so what a surprise this morning to find, tucked inside an old text book,
between the Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock
and
Sweeney Among the Nightingales

the last remaining love letter

a note i somehow never burned in ritual
(full of pomp and drama, i have
renounced my mistakes in romance
for the sake of finding a true love
never noticing the tender slowness
of partnership)

my first love,
secret, forbidden,
an obstacle built by age and position
and family relation
full of poetry and pain
that continued
an un bel di
for seven years.

now we are seven years past.
i do not love him and he does not love me.
i wish to have a partner, not a father, not a teacher.
he is long married to another.
and yet
as if it were the echo of some ancient dream
rounding the corner of this mountain
my heart aches to discover
his plain song to me,
a love song for me,
one written after seven years of trying
and failing

when my ship comes in...
my ship has come in, again and again.
i have always run to another shore too soon
to enjoy the unloading of the ship
i have just lighted to shore.


ah, ego. i temper myself
and enjoy the agony of love lost.

"Erin (I am in her so much"
by M

(Hope it's okay I put it here, my love,
and I am not sorrowful at our parting,
I am grateful for out meeting. By the way
I love this poem you wrote)

"I am in her so much,
that the tender brine
of the tears left behind
still pull
as she slides out form under me, forever.

I am in her so much,
that the slender spine
of the crimes rot behind
still ill
as she slides out from under me, forever.

I am in her so much,
that the slander sign
of the hopes shot behind
still shrill
as she slides out from under me, forever.

I am in her so much,
that the candor rhyme
of the love said behind
still thrill
as she slides out from under me, forever.

I am in her so much,
that the decanter wine
of the truth sipped behind
still will
as she slides out from under me, forever.

I am in her so much,
that the torture blind
of a world so unkind
still kills
as she slides out from under me, forever.

I am in her so much,
that a joyous time
of a world still divine
will shine
if she slides into me, forever.

...

Illness roaring in
settle over our fine dreams.
A crippled, dull fog mystifies me.
But you,
you,
you are a reminder
that God has not disappeared-
You are a reminder of Beauty in this world.

..."



the rest is too personal
even for me
to share
and already I am probably making M
mad at sharing his personal letter to me
here
on the other hand he may like it
if he reads it he will let me know

but

I like that poem
a lot.
I wish i had not burned all the rest but
they say
what every poem, every war, every tango, every ant says on the inside of its words
the seed of intention is
love
even inside fear
there is a deep love
drop down
drop in
find that word
and all the world becomes a lovesong.

Friday, October 30, 2009

moonsong

leaning over the bow, my chestnut hair/
flows into the wind as i sing unto heaven/
sweet, tremulous air/

for i render all as sweet, my love/
'though I am lost in a storm of faith/

i have witnessed/
with the sailors upon the water/
that the sea draws near the moon/
and back again/

this turbulent hope/
this succulent pain/

round the shores once more, my love/
embrace the mist of day

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Unfathomable, this life. Let's love it.

If I were to tell this story as true no one could believe it.

Well, perhaps it is not so unbelievable; it is me and my life.

I played the Ace of Clubs last night in New York. I was whisked away after my set and so didn’t get to hear the musicians on after me… but the adventure I did have! Getting a head of myself….

I must tell it in first person, immediate, now, so as to relive the experience… for at this very moment of writing it, I am hung-over and I may still be a little drunk and so the mind is less constricted (well, my mind is rarely constricted anymore, since I mostly have learned to ignore it. I don’t usually like to drink so much wine, but it was the moment and that was the time….)

Here now, Wednesday, October 14th, 2009. 7 pm.

Walking to the train and taking the train with Debbie, who is blooming so much right now. She is so beautiful. So very beautiful. And she is so much fun. She is so graciously letting me stay at her two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn just one train stop over from Manhattan. We bustle down Bedford where we spy records left on the street.

“Records!” we shout. She has the old school player, which I am adding to my wish list to buy. Someone had left a pile of undesirable-to-them-but-another-man’s-treasures, mostly Christmas albums, and we pick up some Mozart and jazz.

I can see why she left LA for NY. The energy is so open, so interested in all you out there and everything you are doing and driven, very driven. LA is driven but very differently. New York is basted in the juice of it and LA has tucked it inside, under the skin. Neither is healthy, per se. Both are exciting.

Get to the club, check in. Lovely Alex Cave and his song partner perform first. Acoustic Beatles and singster songsters tell of riding in cars and obsessive love. My energy, my nervousness, which I pretend to choose to ignore, converts into snapped strings and lost pics. That’s okay. I open myself up to the experience of it, and love it. And lo, a friend from childhood! The boy who grew up around the corner from me, who I used to play vacuum cleaner with, who, with his sister, we would roam the fields and woods and find little turtles and rabbits as pets… and then, another treat! My dear friend the violinist! He, the violinist, takes both my hands. “Are you nervous? Well, now, no!” He says. He wears a beautiful black leather coat and his silver hair is sleek. He introduces his friend, the artistic director of the Kiev Orchestra, who wears a beautiful red leather coat. His dark hair is sleek and dramatic as well.

None of us fit in at this club, we all look a little out of place. Everyone is wearing jeans and tees. For me, this is often what happens. I am always a little out of place. I apparently like it, because I never make much of an effort to fit in, visually. I just choose to listen to everyone instead. The other bands and the other club goers are amazingly nice, truly, truly.

I am wearing a low v-neck silver tunic. The v goes to just below my bust line, showing deep cleavage, and then the top is tight around my waist. I wear it over black leggings. I wear my mother’s cameo ring on my right ring finger and my friend’s Mayan Ruin ring on the pointer finger of my left hand, which I must switch to my right hand for performing. I wear a sparkly scarf and a lot of lipstick and smudged eye makeup. My hair is its natural auburn right now, loose and layered with bangs. I am five pounds overweight at the moment and I carry it in my tummy and my breasts. I am okay with it. I feel very womanly.

I take the stage. I play along with backing tracks for some songs, then give up the protection of it all and fly free. I go into my heart and feel the spotlight on me. I hear the people talking but soon they begin to listen. Is this boastful for me to write about this? I was recently called out by a friend for being boastful. But is it boastful to tell my experience? Is this my ego? I will tell you parts of the story that aren’t as flattering to myself to make it even.

I am a capable guitarist at best. I can never be bothered to perfectly tune my guitar and I know it is because I cannot believe I have to play guitar in the first place. THAT is ego. But after years of playing, I can handle a basic strummity strum, at least more than what Rita Hayworth plays (fakes) in Gilda. I should practice the guitar and become very good at it but I just don’t want to. I want only to sing, only to write songs and sing. I prefer to have a band back me up. I am a show woman. I like that. I am not perfect nor would I ever want to be. I want to inspire you. I want to entertain you. I want to move you and be moved by you. I want to have communion with the listener and I am a listener as well. I want to share an experience with you now here at this moment and I want it to open deftly, skillfully, some fiber within me, within you, made of light, which pulls and expands upon the tissues of our soul, be it physiological or energetic, known or unknown, hidden or apparent.

More flaws: I have been eating dairy and so my voice is very phlegmy. I feel we recorded the record in lower range that is slightly too low for me for performing live and I am upset with myself over it and yet like it at the same time. I have the ability to hold many conflicting emotions at once and be aware of some or maybe most of them and it is very confusing although perfectly normal and at the same time inspirational for songwriting, performing and acting. So while I am singing I often cry and laugh and appear to be a lunatic. I do not care. I must be truthful to me experience onstage so that I can be my nice, normal self girl off stage. Off stage I am a normal girl who wants to look pretty and be happy and hang out with her friends and pay her bills and volunteer and spend time with her family and get a nice boyfriend and have pets. On stage I open myself up to any experience that comes through me. I feel you out there and I will take that energy and share it, and share mine with you, and together we build that tower of Babylon, that tower of song.

I see my flaws as positives because I can learn from them.

I love, while I am performing, that Debbie films me. I love that people stop talking in between songs to clap. I love that I never know what to say but my mouth flaps anyway. I love that when I tell the audience that I am a die-hard member of the lonely hearts club, a girl that I do NOT know shouts out, “Nooooo! No you’re not! Don’t talk that way about yourself.” “You’re right,” I say. “Thank you for correcting my speech.” I think about Wayne Dyer and wish I were more like him. Only not. I love my life. So I sing another song. And another song. I sell two CDs. Life is beautiful.

I love, during the set, that the director and the violinist give ovation to the violin solo. They are classical people. They behave accordingly. I love that the other bands are drinking and merry making. They are rock and rollers. They behave accordingly.

After the set, my friends part ways but for the violinist. He and Debbie and I go to dinner at the Cooper Square Hotel. It is terribly beautiful in that hotel. We order salmon from the salt bar, and I eat way too much bread and butter. I will never be thin again if I continue to indulge and yet I am nervous and excited and I do not do drugs so instead I eat. My friend orders way too much wine and I indulge. I am not proud of how much I am drinking, but I am doing it anyway. The wine is, let’s just say, half my rent a bottle. I do not feel guilty, I choose to enjoy. I choose to live here in this moment, and pray to god to let me help somebody. Maybe that somebody is me. I pray to god to let me help whomever I should help. It is all relative. The night before on the plane, I bought a man a pizza because he had no money. I am no saint. I am just a singer doing her turn and her twirl. So my friend loves wine, and he shares it with us. I feel a little guilty. And not. See? Conflicting emotions at once.

We talk to the concierge about music. The violinist insists I give the concierge a CD because he is a producer. The concierge sends us to Zinc. My friend has a driver and a car on hire for the entire time he is in New York. Felix, the driver, is so nice. He is from Dominican Republic and has sons who are 30. He takes us to Zinc, this fantastic jazz club on Houston. The tables that are open are right down in front, where I always end up sitting. My friend leans over and asks me about my love life. I shake my head, “no,” and pout. He says, “You need an older man. That’s who can handle you.” “So I hear,” I say. “And so I write about on the record.”

I laugh out loud. I work so hard to NOT be too much for men my own age. I have never dated a guy my own age and I am told it is because I am too much. Too much. Too much. Either these guys gotta catch up or I gotta figure out some other way of existing. I do not know how to be anything other than myself. I do not want to be with an older man. I will be, if that is my lot. But I have only ever dated older men. I want to date a guy my own age- for once- see how it goes. I just scare them away too fast. Bummer.

Oh that’s not true. I dated Justin, he was a year older than me, and Jens, a year older than me. Those boys were fun. And probably if I had not been so crazy, they were very nice boyfriends. Hm.

I think the problem has been, until now, I am too much for MYSELF.

Ah.

Aha.

I’m backing off that. Now. How? By giving that to my musical life, to my writing life, to my acting life. As Candace says, give it to my r-e-e-l life so that my r-e-a-l life can be nice and normal. I wake up in the mornings. I run. I do yoga. I eat oatmeal. I run errands. I talk to my roommate. I wave to my neighbors. I go to my day jobs. I sometimes am exhausted but go to those places in me that are not so that I can do a good job for them. I am excited that I have two free days in New York. I am scared about the money. I cannot afford to be here. But for my soul, I cannot afford not to. I am dedicating the day to writing and then tonight my childhood friend and Debbie and I will go to CafĂ© Luxembourg. I am going out of my way to prove to myself that I am normal. I am not normal. I am healthy. I am not healthy. I am both and I am not both, like any woman, like any girl, like any person.

I look at my friend. I shrug my shoulders. He pats my back.

Then-

percussion!

Samuel Torres is playing!

He is an AWESOME jazz percussionist whose music is inspired by the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. WOW. One of my favorites.

We are moved. We are moved. And we are moved.

And now I am drunk.

I look at my friend.

“I must go now,” I say.

He nods. We leave. Felix drops him off at his hotel, and then shuttles me through the night lights to Brooklyn. I stumble up the steps, Debbie has gone earlier and taken my gear with her. I say good night.

And I dream.

I dream that my mother is driving me in a big van, my old touring van, only she cannot see anything anymore. She is driving us through the playground at my old elementary school. We are getting messages from friends in newspapers, they leap out of the newspapers to warn us of impending dangers. I sense that they are all living in fear and it is unduly affecting my mother’s ability to see. I take charge. My mother sits in back and I take over driving and take us to the sea. We are now driving on that highway that appears in my dreams, the lost space highway. We drive to the hospitals where I leave my mother to help heal the sick and wounded. The sick and wounded show me their hospital beds, Murphy beds that drop from the walls. I must go to the water now, I say, but I will return. I go to the water and there is a boy I had been dating and he is running after a bull, a great and giant bull, which is running into the high and treacherous waves of the ocean. The waves get higher and higher. The bull had been on a leash that this guy had been holding. But the bull runs out to sea and there are giant trees and jagged pieces of old ships that have broken apart and are being washed in to shore by the dangerous waves. A piece of jagged ship pierces the bull through the heart and a deep dark blood seeps up. I dive into the water, where, despite the night, I can see everything as if it were sunny inside the sea. I try to save the bull, to pull the ship from the heart of him, but he is dead. I return to shore, where this boy is crying.

And then I awake.

And I write this.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

About Poet’s Lovely Daughter, a few reflections

About Poet’s Lovely Daughter,
a few reflections


September 29th, 2009

I’m listening to Moon River, my favorite song of all time, over and over again through my ipod: Audrey Hepburn’s voice whispering in my ear, the orchestra sweeping clean my heart like a river washes away the silt, the integration of space and vibration and tones and rhythm sinking into my heart deeper and groovier and truer…. reminding me that there is something beyond my own awareness of life that calls me in to experience this moment, this breath, this song, this whisper, this love, here, now.

Today is the official release date of “Poet’s Lovely Daughter” and in the last few weeks, I have remembered details about the inception of the project that, in the hubbub of working with labels and publicists and booking agents and designers and marketing people, I had forgotten…

Before I ever went to India in 2007, I had retired from singing. I was way too broken hearted over the whole thing and it just killed me to sing. I realize now how selfish and puny and ego driven that was, but I know that I had to go through that to have my musical heart torn open. What I didn’t know is that the heart is broken so that it can be broken open, so that it can grow and expand, and instead, I got scared and thought it was going to shrink…

You know, things just hadn’t gone the way I thought they were supposed to. Nothing about my life had gone the way I had hoped. OH, to be SURE, I had a lot of success and everything, but just not… how I thought. And instead of being grateful for the amazing life I had led and was leading, I had gotten caught up in certain heartbreaks…

Hence, my decision to throw myself into a trip to India. I had tried everything else. Why not try this?

Lucky me. Trial by fire, the lies I had believed about life began to burn away and I was soon to learn to practice being present to here now. Not like a new age thing, not like a Buddhist or religious thing of any kind. Not like I’m able to do it all the time. But I found peace and joy and the ability to walk through fear inside the daily a practice of love, of heart, of live for life in all its shadows and light and the interplay between the two…

…and then, that day on the rafts in the Ganges river…

I had made friends with a wonderful woman named Julia who was on this trip to India with me, and we were on a raft trip on the Ganges River, through the heart of the Himalayas, north of Rishikesh. We had come to a very pleasant, lazy sort of flow, and I started to think about how, for me, in my life, Rivers are so important. I was born on the banks of one of the major rivers of the planet Earth, and here I was again, on one of the other greatest rivers on the opposite side of the planet, rediscovering who I was as a person…. and at that moment, Julia said, “Erin, you should sing something.” I said, “What would I sing?” She said, “Opera!”

So I stood up at the top of the raft, and I sang. I sang “Un Bel Di.” And I just opened up my heart and sang, and the sound of my voice bounced off one side of the mountains and then the other side, and the sun was shining down, showering a thick golden hue down upon us, and the people on the sides of the rivers were coming to the banks to hear what on earth was going on, and when I finished “Un Bel Di” (from Madame Butterfly), I sand “O Mio Babbino Caro,” and then when that was done, I sat down, and there was a proud and definite silence from all 20 people on the trip but for the sound of the river. And for the first time in years, I felt… what was that? Joy? Aaaaaah.

I remember saying something like,

“Oh, yeah! I’m a singer!”

And I think Julia laughed and said, “we noticed.”

That night, I sat on the foot bridge that carries people over the Ganges into the village of Laxman Jhula just north of Rishikesh, the green mist of the water spraying up into my face as the bridge, suspended by ropes, swayed back and forth as monkeys and cows and people moved about, the stars coming out, and “Moon River” on my lips. I sang it over and over again, watching the stars move as the people and cows and monkeys slowly disappeared and the chanting ended and the lights went down and the only sound at all was the river and my voice, a quiet whisper to myself….

Fast forward. I came home, then, and got back to routine life, writing books and acting and massaging….

Meanwhile, there is something else I have to say, and it leaves me feeling a little vulnerable, but that’s life, and I want to tell this story to the best and truest of my abilities, and so I will.

All my life, there has been this “idea” (fantasy, some may call it) of this magical other. By which I mean a man I love. Oh, trust me. I have had some amazing men in my life, amazing romance, amazing love. And yet, and yet, and yet. When you have an imagination like mine, it just kinda takes off and you just kinda ride it sometimes. Whether I invented it or it was fate or destiny, who can say… but I knew how he looked and how we interacted and I even invented a name for him (it’s a common name, and I have gone on dates with a few guys with this name…. I should have picked something like… Reynaldo… or something…. so that if this person was real, I’d know it more immediately…. ahhahahahahahaha!)

Anyway, so, I decided, on that first trip, that I would let go the idea of this magical one, and just never think of it again, and see what life would bring me- life on life’s terms. Not my terms. Life’s terms.

….Like I was holding myself back, or something, imagining this guy who didn’t really exist…. or maybe he did….. or maybe he didn’t…. and he wasn’t perfect, in my fantasy. No. I’m so goofy, I used to even fantasize about how we would fight and how we would get mad at each other and stuff. I’m such a goofball. No, not a goofball. I just had enough sense to know that people are people, the good the bad and the ugly, and I wanted to love it all, so I began to “pre” love the good, the bad, and the ugly about this imaginary man… well…. maybe, I began to think, maybe I kept rejecting the red headed boys who were very nice and might make very nice boyfriends because they didn’t look like this guy in my dreams…. maybe I was missing out on opportunities with other people…. etc.

So I let it go, in India, writing the name on a piece of paper and floating it down the river.

September, 2008. I went to Rome and Venice with my friend Millie on a writing/ art vacation. And the dreams began again, of this imaginary man. Hm. I actually had been sorta kinda dating a guy (same name, but I had let THAT go, for one, he had red hair) (ahahahahahahahahahahaha), but it wasn’t really working out, and I thought, what the hell. So I started writing love letters to “my love.” I started writing them and then leaving them places. Hotels, cafes. I started hiding them in secret hiding spots in churches and in the Colloseum and in canals in Venice and in Harry’s Bar inside a book about the Cipriani family and under mattresses in hotels and, one night, a rainy night in Venice, I went for dinner alone to this little restaurant next door to our hotel and the rain poured against the window and jazz was playing and I was eating pasta with mussels and drinking wine and I began writing a love letter that began “Under the stars of jazz….”

And instead, it turned into a song.

(Ironically, that song did not make it onto this record.)

But it didn’t matter about that, or it doesn’t matter to me now, because it was the trap door into the songwriting, and I FELL THROUGH!

…and I got excited and instead of writing love letters to this fictionalized anti hero/hero of the heart, (well, of my heart,) instead, I wrote songs. I wrote the song “Too Much“ next. Then they began to flow and I had song after song after song.

When I came back from Italy, I called up Bernie Larsen, my friend and a music producer, and said,

“I want to make a record.”

I intended just to make the album for me, for my own soul and my own heart…

And instead, of course, it has become something other than that. Oh, I don’t know who these songs will speak to, or what will happen to them. I know only that they are now something I am very proud of, and in love with, in all their beauties and in all their imperfections, in all their space and whispers and vibrations and synchronicities and dissonances and in that eternal heart beat of something that called me out of my malaise and into writing these songs…..

Inspired greatly by this song

Moon River, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style, someday…
Old dream maker, you heartbreaker,
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way
Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end
Waitin’ round the bend
My huckleberry friend
Moon River and Me


And by… love, and passion, and dreams, and not holding on to dreams or what they may mean, but letting the dream be the comet and grabbing onto the tail and letting it take you wherever you may land…

Saturday, September 19, 2009

another generation, then, another life (new poem)

another generation, then, another life


… the moon is barren and empty tonight
and we are following so, just so,
breathless, light, afraid to commit torrid acts of beauty
for dare we disturb this universe
in which we lie to ourselves
(not such a secret lie)
a perception of such words as functional
in which passion is death to health
and, oh, we will play close, so close, teetering on that edge
between art and death
and oh, we then play false, so false
we lie only to ourselves

only love
only love. love is the only way out and this
moment, this breath, this play, this
brush stroke, bow strike, strum chord, footstep
this moment of
passion before death
and truth before life
in side the feeling of dying
is the freedom to be


but we have conversations, oh yes. and
we
learn and we are
cordial and we are
healthy and we strive to
do what’s right and set up savings accounts and
quit smoking and quite rightly.

we
figure
it
out.

(but where are the ones who stand up for
what seems like lunacy!)

but I swear to you, I swear to you, I swear to you


drunk on
life
for life itself
and the breathing in all of what is just beyond these
plastic casings we have
placed so tightly over the
mirrors?

if that old saying is not yet too trite
then I will say again here: the eyes are the windows to the soul.
I have taken the death shroud off these windows
and will do it again and
again
and as ever many times as I must.

my eyes happen to be the color of the sky, and the color of the water, and
the color of the reflection of what is before me: the color of the ever changing
heart.

do not be upset if you think you cannot take off your own death mantle, your own corpse breath, your own fear. I could never know what that means to you. Whether any of us do or do not is not my concern, only my mystery.

There is always another generation, then,
another life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

running from is running to

Running from is running to

It begins with the primeval rhythm just below the city, a murky light sneaking into the cool darkness,

Then,
You, eyes opening, the half-drawn curtains,
in that dream between dreams,
where the the hum of the fan whispers seductively the heartbeat of the earth,
-a single bird song-
and a star hung low, throbbing in the east
from one dream
you are borne into another until

From that quiet night you slip out, tie laces, inhale, door opens, step quickens, pulse races, and the rhythm, the rhythm, the rhythm

Even in a land as squandering and sprawling as Los Angeles

the human world slumbers,
except for you,
and the rhythm
the rhythm
the rhythm

you and the plumeria
you and the sprinklers
you and the crows

you, entering a treelined sidewalk
cracked and bulging
high summer, flowers sickly sweet
breath
you and the sunlight spreckling your face

burst forth from that shade
breathe into this bright sun
find this morning

run

this running from
is running to

let the beauty of a city awakening
wash you clean

these words
they are always the same

this breath
it is always new

-eem

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Life According to Homeless Nathania

Fascinating rantings of a homeless friend of mine I often talk to on my runs around the park... as verbatim as I can get.....:

"Look, I'm not interested in the 'life of...' Know what I mean? I don't wanna know about the 'life of an artist,' the 'life of a investment banker' or the 'life of a homeless person.' I'm interested in life. And don't tell me life is this or that or isn't this or that and don't tell me it could be worse or better. There are people I will compare myself to and if I go competin' over who's got it worse, I'll go jump in front of a bus on THEIR behalf just to let them win. The question isn't who's got it worse or better or what does it all mean? It's deeper than that. The question isn't, is life worth living? Like, Life with a capital L. I mean, the question? I don't even know if any of us even know what the question is? And THAT ALONE makes me question the point of all this, I mean, if the point is, is MY life worth living or not living, that's a moment by moment thing. I mean the answer might be love or it might be procreation or it might be sex or it might be survival. How will any of us know if we can't even get the damn question right?"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Love Supreme...

Oh, man. We go to movies and we read novels (and these days, US Weekly and People and Reality TV) to show us love, love lost, love regained, pathos, ethics, passion, amor.

But if you open your eyes, it's all around, no different from you, for better, for worse.

I will tell a story not of REAL love but of two people who are struggling to define real love for themselves, and of a scene in which REAL love was NOT present... but the desire for love, for romantic love, is really a step toward that longing which creates the opening to life itself. What you seek is INSIDE THE LONGING ITSELF...

So, my upstairs neighbor, Zack, is an AMAZING songwriter. I actually had no idea how talented I was when he first moved in- two years ago- just that he was a cool guy and we got along and he was cool about giving me space unlike a lot of people I meet and how open he was to talk to. There was something about him that made me know he would make a good friend, and we became friends, of a sort... I knew he produced music and he asked me to sing on a project he was doing and etc.

So one day, we were talking, and we started speaking in such poetic terms that we realized we were speaking a song. (That was my experience of it, but I didn't know until Zack said, "now THAT'S a line in a song.") And we stared writing this - in my opinion- really honest, heartbreaking, sexy song about love that just didn't work out... each of us going through our own recent versions of that....

We started out with
"That night we went down in the pouring rain, soaking wet, to the skin... kissed me so hard I forgot my name, yeah, you were letting me in."

So, we had that much, and we had the chord structure and the melody for a bridge too, which we just couldn't quite figure out... when suddenly we realized we needed more verse....

so we talked about songs that were sexy.... and I remembered this one hot summer in Minneapolis

and everyone was singing Lucinda Williams... righteously.... which led right back to John Coltrane. So we added to the verses, and here they are:

"That night we went down in the pourin' rain, soakin' wet, to the skin... kissed me so hard I forgot my name, yeah, you were lettin' me in:
I thought I heard Lucinda playin'.... Look in your eyes like a hunger sayin....


V2
I was lookin' for a little calamity
to break up the monotony
I found you looking into the future like you were lookin' at me
Yeah, righteously and you had me burning... had no idea there was no returning....

Do you want, wanna be my religion?
Things that are gone, jamais encore. Makin me late for tomorrow
Lost in the day, wearin' them chains, and I'm trying to say
it's
really
okay
okay
really."




So, there's more to the song but here comes this amazing part where


seriously



Saturday night was one hot night. I mean, literally. Summer fever. Know what I mean? And hearts were afoul all over the place. I was out and about observing the people and by the end of the night I was in my own little passion flower dance myself. (another story for another time.) And i had a feeling about the next morning....

So Sunday morning.

Let's switch tenses, because it hit me so
IMMEDIATELY
I gotta write it this way

I am having breakfast with Nicole (who dates Zack's roommate Derek) up on the balcony when suddenly this little black sedan ZOOMS around the corner

and this man, maybe 30, comes running- RUNNING FAST! after it-

he's yelling,

"Come here, Cxxx (insert C word here)! Come on back here you Fxxxing Cxxx!"

And at first I thought, uh oh, someone's BMW got nicked.

Because it's Hollywood, you know, people get angry about everything all the time but especially their cars....

And then suddenly this man hops into a robin's eggshell BLUE old school Ford Truck, like OLD, and he drives FAST to follow the little black and Nicole and I are looking at each other like what the hell and he THROWS A CD OUT HIS WINDOW...

We turn to watch him drive on down the road, off to-

Nothing joyful, anyway-

And I say,

"what was that!?"

And Nicole says,

"I don't know!"

We ask Derek if he knows who the people were, but none of us knew.

So...

A few hours later...

I got the fever in my blood, you know? And I just have to get out of the damn apartment for a bit, so I go for a little walk around the block,
and

I spy the CD

that angry Ford man had tossed out his window

and I walk up to it

and I turn it over

and it's
John Coltrane, A Love Supreme






and it all comes so clear
and I weep

for who knows what loves was thrown away that day
if there was love in the first place
and I think of passion and romance and flings and sex and long terms relationships and friendships and songs and roses and bourbon and

sometimes

Life just Takes Over





Calamity. Breaks up the monotony, that's for sure.





Here's the funny thing.

I finally just got over being broken hearted. I mean, I have a lifetime believing in being broken hearted and.... I finally truly got over it (as far as I know) just like I finally ended the pneumonia that plagued me for MONTHS. And... now, who am I if I am not this literary damsel always with the sad look in her eyes? And do I even get to choose? But

the funny thing is

as much as I am looking I am not looking

and beyond that,

I'm open to CALAMITY
if it comes from LOVE of the deepest sort

NOT DRAMA

not the man in the Blue Ford who got so angry he had to throw out A LOVE SUPREME

but the potency of

I give up
and there is something better

and that longing for LOVE and whatever other passions come from that
life begetting life begetting life
love begetting love begetting love begetting love
and

CALAMITY
if it brings me to that point of yearning
in which all secrets unfold but no language, no intellectual understanding, no words could ever express
only
light
breath
breath
and the light from your eyes



THAT

LOVE SUPREME

THAT

RIGHTEOUSLY

THAT

that

that.







LIKE THIS,
said Rumi.




HERE,
say I.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

love in the time of national anxiety

there is a difference between an anxiety that sits in your chest like a walnut, waiting for the crows to swoop on in-

and-

feeling the fire burn in your heart as if you were the almighty phoenix alight in self-destruction not of a false pseudo psycho intellectual manner but in the way that clears the path for regeneration

i wonder if the difference between those two is

your opinion of where you are

because from moment to moment i am in the deep, fast moving current of a river carrying me to territory i have never even heard of, let alone have any kind of map for,

and

every time i find that walnut and see crows circling overhead

i just repeat to myself

the lines

this is how i am getting to be

the me i always held a secret dream for,

through the heart
of a phoenix on fire

and i am that phoenix

and i will always be that phoenix

as long as there is burning

and

as long as there is breath.