On movement


The paths we take though a city are laid out in asphalt and stone
in side-yard fences 
in restaurants and convenience stores known and unknown. 

I drove down the freeway today, took the less-than-predictable exit,
one later than I'd planned - 
paused in front of a neon land laid out 
on the vertical white walls of the nearest museum. It 
cast a red glow like the firelight of the video installation 
in the next room over. 

When will I pass this way again? 

I’m reading at Half Moon Bay!

So about a year ago, I started going to Coastside Poetry. I’d taken a memoir class the prior fall, taught by Kathleen McClung; she was Coastside’s featured reader one month, and I went along because hey, why not.

It was a nice vibe, friendly people, and there was an open mic signup sheet. I took a big deep breath and put my name on the list.

That was a year ago. And now, this:

So excited!!!

Twelve days until I’m one of those featured readers myself! Really looking forward to it (and hoping there’s an audience). If you are in the area, and looking for something fun to do on a Tuesday evening… well. Would love to see you there!

Nostalgia

I found my alter ego
walking naked through the desert
wearing combat boots and carrying a laptop with a half dead battery.
She was sunburned and grinning
said, Have you seen these cholla spines?
before spinning in circles to mark out a labyrinth.
It was back then the beginning of the nineties
and rebellion hadn’t found the internet
or headphones or streaming
so read books and smoked weed
when not inhaling glues meant for home craft projects.
This was back before knitting was ironic
back when dialup was a connection
and the cool kids with money broke their ankles
on the way back from skiing.

Miss me? said my alter ego.
Take a closer look, squinting.
You never know what’s coming.
You never know what’s still there.

The flight I did not take

The flight I did not take
was the flight that left on time, pulling out of the gate
at eight-
-oh-five a.m.
precisely
no delay or pause, no need to hesitate and reboot navigation.

The flight I did not take
was the flight where I did not spill my coffee
halfway down the jetway
where the entertainment system was filled with music I didn’t know
but loved precisely.
It was the flight with attendants handing out
room temperature water
no ice
no slippery napkin
no pretzels
just chocolates and caramels and a chaser of strong black coffee.

The flight I did not take
was the flight with three cute babies
all giggling, none crying
and one tiny dog that escaped down the aisle
and stopped at my seat so I could pet it.

The flight I did not take arrived twenty minutes early
and my hair was not tangled
and I arrived at the train platform just as the train pulled up
and I stepped on and was whisked away to my much-loved far-away city.

The flight I did not take
led me to zero jetlag
to afternoon tea every day at four
to sunny and non-humid weather
to cheerful and collaborative work meetings
and plenty of free time.

After the flight I did not take, I slept well
and woke, refreshed,
in a new and different city.

Morning flight

This morning at the flats the tide was out
the earth remaining watery-grey
with long-billed sandpipers stalking, bending low
seizing what they found.
In the channel nearby the pelicans swooped
practicing crash-landings, legs stuck out before
webbed feet braced for impact.

I ran past stands of fennel and sage,
eyes squinted in the morning light,
my own feet kicking up gravel and dust.
I paused to watch the sandpipers sweep their beaks
left and right
in swivel motion with round bodies
mirrored in the slick mud they stood on.

Twenty minutes out, and fifteen back:
not much time required
for grace.

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