The Way In

Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
Sometimes the way in is a song.
But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, wounding,
and beauty.
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.

Linda Hogan, “The Way In” from Rounding the Human Corners. Copyright © 2008 by Linda Hogan. Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press.
Source: Rounding the Human Corners (Coffee House Press, 2008)


A Quote for your Thoughts.

Mindy Nettifee:

If a man is only as good as his word, then I want to marry a man with a vocabulary like yours. The way you say dicey and delectable and octogenarian in the same sentence — that really turns me on. The way you describe the oranges in your backyard using anarchistic and intimate in the same breath. I would follow the legato and staccato of your tongue wrapping around your diction until listening become more like dreaming and dreaming became more like kissing you. I want to jump off the cliff of your voice into the suicide of your stream of consciousness. I want to visit the place in your heart where the wrong words die. I want to map it out with a dictionary and points of brilliant light until it looks more like a star chart than a strategy for communication. I want to see where your words are born. I want to find a pattern in the astrology. I want to memorize the scripts of your seductions. I want to live in the long-winded epics of your disappointments, in the haiku of your epiphanies. I want to know all the names you’ve given your desires. I want to find my name among them, ‘cause there is nothing more wrecking sexy than the right word. I want to thank whoever told you there was no such thing as a synonym. I want to throw a party for the heartbreak that turned you into a poet. And if it is true that a man is only as good as his word then, sweet jesus, let me be there the first time you are speechless, and all your explosive wisdom becomes a burning ball of sun in your throat, and all you can bring yourself to utter is, oh god, oh god.”

I would say

I would say
That I’m not surprised,
But I am.
I would say that I’ll swallow my pride,
But at this point in my life, I don’t have any.
I would say “next time”
But there’s never been a ‘next’
To look forward to.
I would say that I saw this coming,
But I didn’t.
I would say that I didn’t get my hopes up,
But I did.
I would say that I’ve learned my lesson,
But I’m afraid my heart hasn’t.
I would say that I’m fine,
But I’m not.

hand type by Raul Alejandro

Grinding Gears

Keys in the ignition.
Turn keys-engine.
Inhale, exhale.
Nowhere to go but forward.
Look behind you, but don’t dwell on the past.
Focus forwards, where you want to be.
Second gear.
Faster, gaining momentum.
Make your lists.
Plot your course.
It’s okay to be nervous.
Third gear.
Don’t slow down.
Keep going.
Things are falling into place.
The gas tank is full.
Highway is approaching.
Steel yourself for the inevitable.
No distractions.
Fourth gear.
Faster, faster.
Pass some.
Get passed by some.
Everyone’s pace is different.
Everyone has their own style.
Automatics tend to be impatient, less focused.
Sticks are patient, aware.
There are four different things running through your mind- running parallel.
Fifth Gear- overdrive.
Full speed ahead.
Some cars seem like they’re standing still.
Others still pass.
Inhale, exhale.
It’s your car. Your trip.
Mile markers increase in number.
Roll the window down.
Roll your shoulders.
Turn the radio up.
You love this song.
It’s just you & the highway.
Lose yourself in the zone.
The wind whistles past the window.
The engine purrs like a content housecat.
You’re driving.
You’re in control.
Mirrors- just for good measure.
Back to fourth.
Exhale, inhale, exhale.
It’s okay to be nervous.
You traveled a while to get here.
You & the road.
You were certain back at mile marker 247.
You’re certain now.
Just one foot in front of the other.
No turning back.
You can only go forward.
Inhale, exhale.
You’ve come this far.

No Going Back

My mother has always been the bearer of bad news.
but no matter how dark the news is, she bears it with such grace and love, 
the first thought to push through the screaming and wailing in my mind is

“I love you.”

So when I heard my mother bear news with sadness that had latched onto her very bones, 
I broke. I wept. 
She stood, with tears in her eyes, at more funerals than I can number on both of my hands, 
but never let a tear fall. 
So when I heard her, 1,209 miles away, gasp for air in between sobs,
I knew it was different. 
She was different. 
I was different. 
Our family was changing. 
And there was no going back.