Our dog Luna gets ready for the great journey into the sky


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Our dog Luna is on her last legs. Literally.  She will not see Christmas.  If I were a better poet or a different poet, I would try writing a poem about her.  I would write about sitting on the floor this morning feeding her a small can of wet food with a fork.  Of adding in raw egg and Tramadol.  Of giving her cheese.  Or the way she eats very carefully mostly with just her tongue.  She licks the food carefully off the fork. 


Tobi needed to take her out for a walk so she laid pillows in the red wagon and pulled Luna along with the Radio Flyer.  The other dogs came along too including Tobi and Molly’s dog Zooey.  Zooey did not show Luna the proper respect and Luna snapped at Zooey.  Almost at the end of her life, she still established herself as the alpha female. 


Luna is dying and nothing will change that.  I have no poem for her and even if I did, it wouldn’t help her.  Everything is supposed to die at some point, everything and everyone.  Even our dog Luna.  We have two other dogs.  Our American Eskimo JJ is pretty distraught about Luna and stays close to her as if to comfort her.  She is clearly concerned.  The boxer Ginger seems completely unconcerned.  If she’s upset, it doesn’t show. Ginger is making plans to be the next alpha.dog.


Animals know what is happening with other animals.  They are smarter than us.  They feel the heart beating.  They feel the life energy of other animals.  It’s odd that we don’t feel each other’s energy as well as two dogs feel for each other.  We look at each other and we don’t know what others are thinking, feeling.  We don’t know what makes each other happy, sad or even afraid.  We choose what masks we wear.  We go to work pretending to be happy when we are sometimes angry.  If we wear masks in our private life, then eventually, we don’t know who anyone is.  Hopefully we know our own friends, our family, our lovers.  Hopefully we know ourselves. 

Luna’s been a good dog and she will be missed.

Published in: on September 2, 2014 at 10:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Home to Los Angeles

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The Sequoias are all about cool wild air. It’s about peace and clean air. Big trees. Beer. Cooking over a campfire. The coffee you drink when you’re camping is instant coffee. At home you would never drink this stuff but when you’re camping, it’s great. Ditto for hotdogs. Why on earth would you eat something like a hotdog? Even the ones we were eating which were white turkey. If you’re aiming for nutrition, hotdogs are not high on the list, to say nothing of catsup. What is that? Stepped on tomatoes. We had Mexican food the first night which was good; the second night was hotdogs and the last night was spaghetti. In the morning I made pancakes or biscuits. At home these would have been called a bit irregular in size and shape but on a camping trip, they were a big hit. There were eight of us on this camping trip. We hiked, we drank beer and tequila, and we slept under the stars. There’s nothing like mountain air to clear your head.

We came home Sunday night and then Sally and Harper showed up and Mark went out and bought a barbecue and then the party got started. Eight people spent the night at our house; who knew our house slept so many? The party kept going on today with more people showing up in the middle of the day and my friend Susie came with her baby. William is the cutest baby in the whole world.

Tomorrow—back to work. It’s been a nice little break and it was great seeing everyone. But it is time to hit the books. Vacations are great, but work is what leads us to more time to write and go on more vacations.

I have a long list of jobs to do starting tomorrow, judging contests, reading manuscripts, editing manuscripts, etc. It’s very exciting. Next week NY and then DC to teach a workshop at Walter Reed. The life party rolls on.

Published in: on September 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Off to the Sequoias



Big trees.  Great family time.  

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Published in: on August 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thoughts for today

We spend too much time on the freeways in Los Angeles.

My brain is crowded.

Vacation is long over.  

I like to have jelly beans in my office to sustain me, but I don’t have any.

Jelly Bellies.

There are many things that are not good for you. Like chocolate cake. 

But so yummy.

Or sleeping instead of getting up early to exercise. 

Sleep is yummy.

I do Pilates at 7 am on days when I am not teaching. 

And I run and go to the gym.

Still, I’m not skinny.

Which brings us back to the problem of chocolate cake.

I never eat cake. We never bake except for holidays.

It’s just that I eat. 

Los Angeles is hot.

We are always on a diet.

It hasn’t rained here in forever.

The fig tree seems to like the drought but the avocado tree does not.

We go camping in the redwoods tomorrow.

With seven kids in their twenties.  So there will be nine of us.

Not very restful.

When I’m there, surrounded by trees that have lived since Christ was born, I think there is a God.

When I am in Los Angeles, there is no God.

Published in: on August 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm  Comments (1)  

I want to breathe more

But it isn’t easy. It’s crazy here. I’m working hard. I’m hanging on to my health. I’m saying to people around me, don’t drink too much. Breathe. But they never listen.

When I wake up I see light coming through the grilled curtain. The sun is rising. If you live with very few people, it’s easy not have anything to be embarrassed about.

It is in our private moments that we are craziest.

If alone you eat tongue and fried onions. Have you seen tongue in the store? Have you thought about what it means to eat a creature’s tongues or loins or belly? It’s enough to make you a vegetarian. Good bacon comes from little pigs.

Something is coming apart here.

I can’t see the end of it and there is no snow. Or rain either.

Today I went to the doctor. He wanted to go to Barcelona because he’s never been there.

Tonight there was broccoli. Every time I go to sleep I tell myself stories. Every time I go to sleep, I wonder.

Published in: on August 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

let’s go fly a kite!, why I love kites



You don’t need kites.  They’re completely useless as an object to get you from point A to point B.   They’re really impossible to play with indoors.  You have to get out to some open place or the kite is not happening.   They’re not really useful in getting you exercise which you need if you are going to stay in shape for all those dates you are going to arrange through those online dating sites.  For all these reasons, I like kites. 


There are lots of things you can spend money on that get you from Point A to Point B.

  1. Cars.
  2. The right clothes. Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.
  3. The right purse. (I don’t know what this is but I know lots of people think you are more important if you have the right purse. Do not try to impress me by having the right purse, I won’t know it when I see it.)
  4. The right coat. Keeps you dry/warm.  Gets you noticed.  Again, I have no idea what coat.
  5. Having a house. If you’re a single guy and you have a house it’s easier to attract females.  A castle is even better.  A castle with a moat is the best.  And turrets.  I love a good moat and some turrets and parapets just make my head spin.
  6. The right dog. Many a man has gone for a walk in the park with the right poodle or hound and gotten a girl to sidle over to “ask about the dog.”
  7. A boat! Never underestimate the power of being able to invite females out on your boat. There are few sexier questions you can ask than, “Would you like to go out on my boat/yacht/clipper ship?” And once you have the girl out on the water, you’re halfway there.
  8. A plane. Even a little plane will definitely get you some wows from people.  Seriously? You have a plane?  Is it a Cessna or a Gulfstream?  Either way, owning a plane will not only get you from one point to another but it will also get you some respect.
  9. A horse. Okay, not everyone likes horses but having one can get you around, plus, horses are cool.  I love horseback riding, so if you have a horse, let me know, we can be friends.
  10. An island house—it’s nice and can get you to a relaxed state of mind.


Which brings us back to kites.  They aren’t important. They don’t have a purpose; that’s what I like about them.  I like the magic of something that floats off into the sky.  You hold it by the end of a string and imaging yourself to also be floating at the end of a string and someone you love is holding the other end.  I like the idea of kites.  I’m leaving here and going to the Seal Beach Pier where they have an amazing kite shop.  I’m going to check it out.  I haven’t flown a kite for a very long time.  A kite is a dream at the end of a string.  Up there, it’s wet and the air is cold.

Published in: on August 25, 2014 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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We Will rock you ran for twelve years in London, but it can end in LA any time now


We saw it last night and it was good times especially the sushi before hand in Little Tokyo, and there were a few songs that were fun but the whole show was a miss. Mikael Wood said it best in his LA Times review when he said it wasn’t just the lame plot for the musical, or the trivializing of rock as a genre but the whole thing. Ruby Lewis is a great singer and all the singers were amazing so it wasn’t that. It was just a tragically badly written musical. What we wanted it to be was Mama Mia which was fun and each song sort of surprisingly fit into the whole fun musical. This had a weakly strung together plot and too many one liners that fell flat. My favorite one liner was, “Oh, I’m a groupie and a roadie, so I’ll have to have sex with myself. Well, no change there.”

The musical was about an escape from a dystopian world of Facebook and computer generated music back to the time when rock and roll was king but there was also a lot in there about how sexist rock and roll was. I think sexism is alive and well today too and feminism is still a bad word in most circles. Most of the time when I have a conversation with a woman we both talk and when I have a conversation with a man, it’s mostly me listening and I’m a chatty one. I hate to think how few words I’d fit in there if I were an obedient woman. I know very few feminist men my own age. Wait, I can think of two: My husband and my friend Lisa’s husband. I meet more feminist men the age of my kids, but men in their fifties and sixties who grew up with rock and roll? Not so much.

Well, we have no upcoming tickets to plays for a while because the semester is starting and it’s time to buckle down and work. That said, we are all going to the Sequoias and going camping this weekend. Which will be super fun. I’m going to try to stay relaxed this fall amid the travel, Red Hen stuff, getting back to running, keeping Pilates going, finishing another book and getting enough sleep. That’s the plan anyway. I’m getting a little tired reading the plan. Onward.

Published in: on August 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Beatles at the Bowl

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Dave Stewart has ridiculously talented kids. His fourteen year old daughter Kaya could give Miley Cyrus a run for her money just in dress alone. Kaya was in tall slick slutty boots, but she has a ridiculously amazing voice. It’s crazy. And Django is so talented and good looking, it’s like, get out of here. Stop it. You are twenty-one and Kaya is only fourteen. Stop it both of you.

They sang Beatles songs and the crowd seemed pretty sedate and to be quietly enjoying it. The Bowl was completely packed. The only song that got the whole crowd going was Billy Ray Cyrus doing “Hey Jude,” and instead of lighters everyone holds up their lit cell phones. Very twerky generation we live in.

And Billy Ray Cyrus in Los Angeles? We are not a country town but he had the crowd going and he made the Beatles sound country and down home.

Tonight we go to Queen. We’re on a mission. I’ll let you know when I figure out what the mission is.

Published in: on August 23, 2014 at 6:53 am  Leave a Comment  

This is TOP SECRET! I just received this email! I kind of love the poetry of this.

Hello, Beloved One

I decided to write you this proposal in good faith, believing that you will not betray me.

My Name is Mr Alhassan Andani, a Banker (Manager Foreign Remittance Department in Standard Charted Bank Ghana.) I have a financial transaction that will benefit both of us. On the 4th of August 2009,a foreign prominent Oil consultant/Merchant by name Mr. Chris Peppers made a fixed deposit of Six Million Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United State Dollars ($6,850,000.00) in my bank. Upon maturity, I have been sending notification letter to him as his account Relationship Officer via his address but got no reply. After a month, I sent a reminder and finally discovered that Mr. Chris Peppers is dead. He died on a ghastly motor accident after few months he deposited this money,and late Mr. Chris Peppers did not mention any Next of Kin/ Heir when these account was opened because he was not married and no children and since then all attempts made to trace his relations were fruitless neither has anyone shown up as his next of kin to claim his money.

My proposal is that hence nobody has showed up as a next of kin to Mr. Chris Peppers, I will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin to Mr Chris Peppers to claim this fund since your a foreigner. There is no risk involved; the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. I will give you all the detail information on how you will officially Claim the Money without any financial risk and by the help of a Legal Attorney who will assist You,I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds accordingly, 50% for me, 50% for you that is equal,Hope this is a fair deal for both of us, My share will assist me to start my own company which has been my dream.

Let me know your mind on this and please do treat this information as TOP SECRET. We shall go over the details once I receive your urgent response strictly through my personal email address (alhassanandani76@gmail.com) We can as well discuss this on my personal phone No;+233230761855 In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely. I’m awaiting your urgent and positive response. Please do keep this only to yourself as top secret,do not disclose it to any person. There is no risk involve, provided you are honest with me.

Thanks and regards,

Mr Alhassan Andani

Manager Foreign Remittance Department, Standard Charted Bank Accra Ghana.
Sicher dir jetzt dein kostenloses E-Mail Postfach. DeinName@Jo.de

Published in: on August 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lots of music in my life

The Bowl last night was great. I had this idea of catching up with Nicelle but there were six of us and it was kind of melting thing with the Mozart and wine. It was so great to hang with my San Diego poets. San Diego is a more relaxing place to live than LA, I’m pretty sure because they didn’t seem uptight.

My son and his girlfriend are pretty relaxed in LA but they’re kicking back, playing chess and checkers and riding the bikes. Waiting for the piece of crap car to emerge from the garage with a set of working brakes.

Luke, one of my San Diego poets was already there with Aimee when we got there. He announced immediately when we brought out the dinner that he’s a vegetarian, kind of like we should have known that. I don’t think he ate dairy either. I like that kind of forcefulness that is so hard to achieve if you’re female where you just enter a party and say, You should know, I like champagne. You should know, I don’t eat meat.

I don’t have the moxie for it but in my next lifetime, I will put my needs out there right away. They were all so much fun to hang out with even if our food selections were far from perfect.

We are going camping next weekend in the redwoods. I think six or eight of us are going. It’s a good thing because LA is already making me tired and I need a little vacation.

We’re going to the Bowl tonight to hear Beatles music. Billy Ray Cyrus is going to be there. Country music is not my thing so hopefully he sticks to the Beatles music.


Then we are going to see Queen the musical tomorrow night. Mark hates musicals so I haven’t stressed that word with him. I’m using the euphemism, “music by Queen.” Margaritas first should help. Spoonful of sugar or in his case salt.

Rocking in the free world.

Published in: on August 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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