Thursday, February 28, 2008

(Being Grownup): So Fuckin Hard

So Fuckin Hard
to ignore my own postponed adolescence, blooming
like crazy in Los Angeles when i was 40.  Vermont Avenue
from Griffith Park down to  8th Street was my exercise track,
avoiding eyes and looking all the time at legs, wearing
hand-me-downs that labeled me with the wrong
label but that was an advantage as was later another
costume altogether, my thrift shop uniform:  Black
pajamas and a cone hat, what fun
that was and when my daughter, still
a baby really, asked me "Why do you always wear
black  (others would ask her, and she would hear them
tell me, Honey, black is not your color)?" I would say what I
believed, that I was mourning
Vietnam dead, but there was more to it than that, I was
mourning a lot i didn't even really know about, including
my own delayed teens, my permissible horniness.  Happiest
when accidentally in tune with the musics flowing through us
as the times were changing and we were too, walking up
Western above Franklin through Griffith Park to the
Observatory with toddler in stroller, sometimes through the woods
and sometimes on the path, once in a while face to face with
wandering deer, but stopping along the way for the
Diggers's soup line, sometimes with another child, Amy,
in tow too, Amy who screamed at the word "Police" which to her
meant someone was coming to take
her mom away, but
with me she didn't have to hear it except when an older boy
in the building would say it to hear her scream.  I had not
read On the Road yet so couldn't follow her mom very well when
she described herself in the book, her daughter called me
Mortissue because of my black pajamas and skinniness, I
tried to grow up.

Monday, February 25, 2008


How he whined and complained about the
cop who gave him a ticket for a safe but
illegal left turn, saying that
California law allowed safe moves whether
strictly legal or not, as it did, I believe, at that
time, so finally I said well, do you like
getting these tickets and having to pay them?  Of
course he snarled at that and I said all you have to do
not to get them is not to make moves a watching cop can
find illegal.  That's not so hard.  What did I mean?  Just
drive to the satisfaction of that imaginary cop in the
back seat.  You might have the right to make an
illegal left turn but he has the right to give you a
ticket too.  Just drive so that he doesn't
have a chance.  If you do that, after a while he will
leave you alone.  Not too long after that he ended up in
jail again for a traffic infraction; I forget how that worked, maybe
if you couldn't pay the fine they jailed you.  Anyway I think he
asked himself, "Do you like
going to jail and having to call people and beg?" and when he
answered no he quit getting
arrested.  For good.  And kept on writing and going to work
and practicing his schemes while I wondered almost without
hope how he could keep on writing the way he did.  No matter
what else that typer was always going, recording his
days and his vision.  When his doctor and his publisher
convinced him he could no longer keep on at the
Annex he got drunk a lot and ran scared for a
long time but he made it through and now when I
laugh at people who ask me if I make my living by
writing I realize at the same time that if I had to
it was obvious that I could; he did.  I took note
then of his example and also of the work of
Diane Wakoski who made a study of it
and passed her results on to her
fellows.  Still,
I never
made money at it until now, with this
little book; that's
going to pay for itself and then for
the next one, already visible in the river
of words flowing by my window.  Even so, not my
doing but that of Ste. Anne Marie, who knows how to