Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The rain makes the roads swell lately.
I can't compare the sky and the ground
to anything else.

I've always lived here and here.
I know the Northwest.
Sometimes, when the moon would rise over
an Idaho ridge, I would imagine that forever
is only the state you live in

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

all the bricks are layed for someday.

on high strung lines
i've strung lights that burn out
and get replaced with seasons that change
with barely a whisper of

more rain
more wind
and a bounty of what we see as good days.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Perch

Sitting on a porch,
a perch for a better view
of the instant tense,
much better than the present,
Of course, it's not the words I say
but the ones I don't that sting
a little. They aren't meant for you,
you see. They are meant for the
the vent pushing out a draft of stale air.
Staying for awhile, suspended,
until it's pushed out
above the atmosphere,
waiting for wind.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Inside Eleven Two

Could you ever,
turn your voice in to a song?
I hear falsities,
a persistant kick drum,
a recording played backwards
until the words are a drill.
Proclamations broken in hours,
and excellence in bullshit.
It could be ten years ago,
the way stories are told, retold, told louder.
I don't care.

The story you write for your self will
have one ending, same for all your friends.
I'ts not a whiteout I see coming, but the sound of the
phone that eventually stops ringing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


It's the siren song
in the view of a harbor
and clapping concrete
make shift shoes
battling hills
in the view of the

I live here.
I do.
This town, connecting through
phone lines and food lines,
bell ringing, service coming and
banshee screams of the
ghosts on high streets.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'll Follow Him

Jerry Lee Lewis and The Rust College Quintet from the 1971 Jerry Lee Lewis Show. Never shown on TV.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Was it spelled out
for you that day?
Was there a crescent moon,
crows on the fence
a lamp light extinguished?

It seemed so rare
a curve to take
with two lives rattling
behind him.

They say it was a pedicab,
which was coming down a hill,
and simply could not stop.
I'm inclined to believe that
you knew it would end
and I can't help but think
the pounding of feet as people
ran to you and yours helped you
shrug off the coils
and the fear
and sent you off
knowing something about
pure love.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Palm trees at shooting station
Fresh water lake
NARL / DEW line relics
Satcom Array
Point Barrow

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The road out of here
veers in the sway,
that's the way it
looks as a road hugs water,
holds on to a cliff,
makes the promise
that the ending
will not repeat its self.

We are we

We are we.
You and me and the animal
make three. There's not
much more for anyone else.

I give my voice away
everyday, and at night.
I praise that folly
to every listening ear,
to every bad pretender
and to the mechanical
terror in the back room

Don't call out too loud.
I can't wish your birthday away
in a time when all the ghosts are
hitchhiking and all the dust
settles on more dust.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Interstate

No one is listening
to that sound we made
that played on the brief
and tender under-belly of the
FM band. It goes with a thud
and waves goodbye, making it's
exit in a beaten up van of
the most middle quality.

I'm not going to say goodbye to
the interstate veins that lead me
to you and you and you.
I want to see the inky darkness
of Donner Pass and the open
dawn spill out at the bottom.

It's good thing, here,
with all our friends.
The yard is the same
with them crowding in.

It's the sound of wheels
approaching, air settling
around the structure,
gravity making its point.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


In this sleepy place,
news travels at a violent pace.

Every night is a carnival, an ongoing funeral.

Street corners make an empty landscape
light changes colors to an empty curb
Sunday morning settles down
on a high mountain desert town.

A heavy head and a chest of regret,
The last thing you remember
was making a bet that you could follow the
meteor until it hit, but it was just
truck lights reflecting on the side of a house.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The New Old Way

This is the way,
this is how we go.
It's not different
and it makes sense of the cold.

I'll hold your hand
as the moon makes us tired.
I won't let go as the sun
starts us over.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Of Course

I have a friend,
a good friend,
who told me recently that the
show doesn't have to go on.
But he knows, the way language is known,
that that's not true.
The way R. Davies words said what we couldn't say,
to a father and a girl
from the friend that will do anything for all
if his excitement doesn't best him.

I got the message today
and I say, "Of course, of course, I'll do this show, how could I not?"

I do it Because my heart goes out to you and your wife.
Because I could never stop screaming if my baby let go of this world.

I'm sorry,
I'm sorry.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Whenever you're ready.

Heat has a smell.
The turning over from dawn to day
like workers changing shifts.

How was the night shift?

Have you ever smelled manure
from a freeway in the parched southern
portion of Idaho? At 6:30 in the morning?
With weak filling station coffee?
In the middle of August?
While rewinding (until it eventually breaks) over and over,
Need Retrograde Orbit.

Have you ever eaten at Cowboy Oil?

Even in a high mountain desert
the eerie calm before a
heavy heat tells
you that this day belongs
to the air
and the brown hills
and the irrigation ditches
and sideways looks from
heat stricken Overland

Friday, June 13, 2008

Here you Go

I want to leave this week with a piece I love by Anne Sexton-

The Starry Night

That does not keep me from having a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars.
Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother

The town does not exist
except where one black-haired tree slips
up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.
The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die.

It moves. They are all alive.
Even the moon bulges in its orange irons
to push children, like a god, from its eye.
The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die:

into that rushing beast of the night,
sucked up by that great dragon, to split
from my life with no flag,
no belly,
no cry.

The Over Under

You glass eyed
backyard bandit,
patrolling the fence line with
awkward ease.

I can't go where you go and
the history I have with the
tree is an uneasy one.

You are a restless watcher and
a live ghost at best.

Should I see you close to me
or mine, remember this:

I see the ancient moving film rolls
in your eyes (replaying treaty battles, reflecting the half lights of a cold summer day) and I can study
the pace you keep, but I will never
forget that you hold the deed to my back yard.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The 45th Parallel

We used to make our way
in the great December
across the Blues,
through Powder,
sleeping in Pendleton,
and aiming ourselves at
a sideways horizon.

The rumbling truck lulled us
both in to thinking you were here

You were the victor of the north slope,
an Alaskan bar room magician
and the envy of all western men.

To say you choked
in your sleep in Montana
defies what I know about night
and sunrises.

But here it is
and what's left
is this:

Falling asleep
in the truck in La Grande
and needing Idaho after so many
snowstorms, I realized the whole
of what I could learn by staring in to
your hazel iris.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

1994 Idaho Library Doors

There are days
when light makes chaos
around rooms and buildings
and the sky, flickering
like christmas lights
outlining the incoming storm.

It was 1994.
What a brave year to have your
light burn out on us.
(I smashed my head on the
punk rock. I thought i wanted
to join team dresch. )

When the call came in and your
brother told me you were gone, i fell down.
See, I worked at the library.
Mostly I would hide in the
stacks rereading passages.

When one light burns out
the other ones get brighter.
Wind felt hard that day in October.
Shadows went the wrong way.
I wanted to call you and tell you exactly how
I missed you.

See, you were wrong! I do miss you!
OK, now come home. It's alright and we can
get this shit straight.

But you were gone
to a place with no
t-cell counts
or AZT or soma dreams
in an apartment with no windows cracked.

While i waited for my uncle to pick
me up from the university steps, i began
realizing that it wasn't your dark
hair disappearing around corners
darting behind cars
escaping the Indian summer
in to a dark lecture hall
in the plain liberal arts building.

i didn't dream of you that night
because i know you sat on my bed.
you were pretty and you loved me and you were elated with
the lack of pain.

i came to on the bathroom floor and
screamed your name at the towels.

Fourteen years later i wish i could
tell you to hold out your hands for my
friends mom. I want you to gather the
dead troops of my family to welcome
the new friend who turned out the lights
in their brave year of summer/winter
and Indian summers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oh. My. God.

After spilling my guts in my last post, I ran across this in The Onion today.


We'll welcome the stars with wine and guitars

Last night I re-watched "Be Here To Love Me," the documentary about Townes Van Zandt. What a truly devastating set of circumstances he encountered in his abbreviated life. I feel like a late comer to his music. However, when I first saw this film two years ago, I was immediately taken in by the sturdy yet transient nature of his songs. He reminded me of the delapidated houses I would see in the middle of fields in Idaho and Montana. Though they were no longer inhabitable, the basic strucure and the stark beauty remained with them long after everyone had moved on. I got the sense that he could either roar or fall over. When I heard lines like, At my window/ watching the sun go/ hoping the stars know/ it's time to shine, I understood that I found the songwriter that put in to words what I'd been striving to articulate and never could.

His relationship with alcohol and his partners resonated with me pretty deeply at the time. I first saw this film while housesitting for a freind who was away at sea for three weeks. At the time, Nick, who is now my husband, and I were seperated. This is pretty untrue, really, as we were still living together, playing in a band together, and generally tooling around together ALL the time. There had been some deep, unresolved anger that had caused the "seperation." When I drank, which was often by myself at the time, and it was often red wine, I would be hurled out of my head in to a foggy void of wine and id-driven expectations. My limitations were erased. I could too easily imagine tossing myself, as Townes did, off of a deck four stories up just to feel what it's like. Every night there was a possibility that I would feel like the line from his song, "Rake."

"My body was sharp,
the dark air clean,
and outrage my joyful companion

The other line that rang true was just as possible:

"The sun she would come and beat me back down
but every cruel day had its nightfall

The mornings are what I remember as a cautionary tale. To extinguish despair with wine makes explosions that are at once cataclysmic and boring. Noone else can feel (nor should they have to) the fucked-up drama of a well earned hang-over for you. Feeling like you have been bruised from trying to crawl out of your own skin? What was I, fifteen? I said "no thank you" to that.

The warnings everyone gets when their young about time going by so fast are absolutely true. As Issac Brock from Modest Mouse sings in "Heart Cooks Brain," The years go fast and the days go so slow.

It seems like a million years and a lot of kicked cans from who we were then. Watching the film last night helped me understand that the beauty I find in these songs or in the telling of his life don't have to be a reflection of how I'm living. I don't think his songs are sad. As Steve Turner of Mudhoney said in the DVD extras, "he's not sad, he's well rounded." Despite having beers now and again, I know I can keep shit between the lines. And, more than ever, I can relate to these lines:

?If I needed you would you come to me,
Would you come to me, and ease my pain?
If you needed me
I would come to you
I'd swim the seas for to ease your pain

Thanks, Townes.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Checking In

Oof, it's been awhile.

The wedding was amazing. I no longer play with Junkmail.

Thanks to my housemate, I've also had "Junior's Farm," from Wings in my head ALL DAY.

Take a listen: