There is gold for me in Ghana, I got this letter

Hello Dear Friend,

This is to let you know that we are local Gold miners here in Accra-Ghana and we have readily available kilos of Alluvial Gold bar and Dust ready to be offered at prospective buyers who is interested in our products.Be well informed that our offer prices are lower than that of the world market and you can also negotiate price base on the quantity the buyer is taking from our company.If you are interested get back to me on my email at (  danssb01@hotmail.com  ).Hope to hear from you.

Regards
Daniel
Tel +233541132736

Published in: on September 12, 2014 at 2:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Seeing my mother and sister in two hours

We’re drinking wine from So Cal.

In a small hotel in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

I sang Mary gospel songs in English and French as we drove through the rain from Concord.

Mary has a cool swoop of car under the branches of thick wet green.  She drives fast.

Why do we go back?

So we can laugh as we go forward.

I was on a radio show this morning, an NHPR, Word of Mouth.

My friends wrote to say, Breathe! You got this!

Others wrote to say, Kate, what have you done for me lately?

Everything is okay.  There are pine needles falling onto the forest floor.

California wine in NH.

This is the way the world begins. Not with a cry but with full flight.

Published in: on September 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

In New Hampshire, The Problem of Entitlement

Steve Almond’s piece in Poets and Writers, “The Problem of Entitlement,” is something every writer should read. It’s spot on and brilliant.  Why don’t we stop bitching about other writers and just do our own work and do it well?  Read it!

http://www.pw.org/content/the_problem_of_entitlement_a_question_of_respect?cmnt_all=1

 

I read the magazine all the way from Newark.  Then I landed in New Hampshire.

Mary Johnson picked me up at the tiny airport.

Breakfast in Nashua.  Cheese apple omelette. Raisin toast.

 

Her house is adorable. Rugs, curtains, a window seat! Books everywhere.

And the sky is close to the ground.

She has an attic and basement. Fringe spaces. 

So Cal has no fringe spaces. Or it’s all fringe.

Tomorrow. I see my mother.

The sky is very close to the ground.

Tick tock.

 

Published in: on September 10, 2014 at 8:19 am  Leave a Comment  

It is now three days until I see my mother who I have not seen for thirty-three years.

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She is bringing her husband, my sister Shura and Shura’s husband. I do not know if I am taller than my mother or my sister. I think of myself as the tallest one in the family, but this may not be true. I do not know my sister’s birthday, but it is in October, days away from my daughter’s birthday which is on Halloween. They are coming to the reading and then we are going to dinner. I have not decided what to read. I have not decided what to say. I have not decided what to wear. I have not decided who I am in that situation. In that world. In their world. I am going backwards step by step into the dark as I think about this visit. Good things come out in the dark. The stars. The moon. Love and wild life. I’ve discovered the cave where light is built and I’ve come back to the surface and still I feel God rising in me.

Published in: on September 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm  Comments (1)  

Today the sky started piling up with clouds, maybe rain soon?

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Published in: on September 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Let me hand you an egg

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Here’s a story.  As good or as bad as any other.

 

A woman wakes up.  The light coming into the room is grey.  She makes coffee and starts her project. Which is late. 

 

She wants to do any number of things.  Mostly she wants to run and write.  She wants everything to be all right with her world. She wants the sun to shine but not to be too hot.  She wants to lose weight and figure things out. She wants to garden. Go to the gym. Go for a run. Go to the bagel store and buy bagels. But she doesn’t do any of these things.  She works on the project. Which is late.

 

The man wakes up. Gets his own coffee.  Visits the woman and the project.

 

Later the man comes out into the kitchen. The woman makes sausage for breakfast. Wants to discuss what each of them are going to do that day.

 

She tells the man she doesn’t know what she’ll do. 

 

What she thinks is that she is probably at the bottom of her career. Not the top, not the middle. Not even the starting place. The bottom.

 

She tells the man she has to finish the project.

 

He begins to tell her what he will do that day. Explains his plans for the patio which looks like shit and has always looked like shit. Its one crowning glory is a lot of Christmas lights hanging so it’s kind of like a fairy land of lights in the cobwebbed rafters and a mess of dog furniture down below. It would be a perfect patio if you were a spider and you lived in the rafters. But you don’t.

 

The woman starts cooking sausages so they can pick at food rather than sitting down to eat breakfast together.  It’s what she does on mornings when she has a project or a thing on her mind.

 

The man is explaining his plans for the day/patio and asks the woman to repeat what he’s said.

 

She repeats the half she heard before she zoomed off.

 

She tells the man to take it easy on her.

 

He says they can find stuff for the patio at yard sales.

 

The woman does not say that they never go to yard sales and probably never will and that yard sales make her sick.  They remind her of her own days of poverty and of being unwanted and plus she doesn’t like looking at other people’s junk.

 

The man stirs his coffee and waits for her to listen.

 

She says this is like the other night when you had too much to drink. 

 

The man stands up then.  He can see the conversation veering off course.  He pours himself some more coffee and tries the sausage.

She says it’s a bit weird, cheese is sliming out of it.

 

You like cheese he says.

 

On other days, she says.  Not these days.

 

What are these days? He asks.

 

These? She gestures at the patio with its dog run over furniture, its fairy lights, at the whole house full of mess and unfinished projects. These are the days I was supposed to be writing. I’m at the bottom of a well, she says.

 

Here, he says, if you want to stay down there, let me hand you an egg.

Published in: on September 6, 2014 at 9:20 am  Comments (1)  

What do you want for your kids?

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The Australian girl my son brought back is a smart one.  One of the things she comments on about American women is that American moms worry far more about their adult children than Australian moms.  She says that once the kids are adults, the parents like to stay in touch but they don’t worry about the kids any more.

 

Not so with American parents.  We continue to hover and trouble ourselves over the least details of our adult children’s lives.  We expect them to show up for holidays, for Mother’s Day, for our birthdays, we expect them to continue to revolve in similar orbits as we do.  They don’t always do as we wish.  Maybe we worry too much.  Worry never gets us anywhere, that’s a fact. But Americans spend a great deal of energy trying to control the world around them.  It’s what we do.  Perhaps the Australians have learned the important lesson that you simply cannot expect everyone to behave as you wish they would.

 

I do not tell my kids what to do.  I throw out suggestions, but I don’t think that it’s my job to tell them what they should do.  It’s my job to figure out my own life.  I don’t sit them down and tell them to go to college, to get different jobs or to start moving here or moving there. 

 

But I can’t claim to being completely hands off.  I’m thinking all the time. 

 

We each have our own life but for many of us, that simply isn’t enough.  We want to be the boss of what our kids are doing and eventually, we want to be the boss of our grand children too.  My friend Mike says that he doesn’t need to be the alpha male because he’s always been the alpha male.  That makes me smile because I think there are a lot of white males who like to think of themselves as alpha males.  America is full of them.  The country was founded by slave owning, white males who didn’t think women should be allowed to vote or own property.  It must be great to be a man. 

 

I want my kids to love their lives, and I don’t need to control their lives but I do want them to come home for the holidays.  I like hearing their stories.  Life is all about good stories.  

Published in: on September 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Change your story

I have a wonderful graduate student this semester who writes of the way girls talk to one another and how that conversation grows as we get older.  She writes of the myths of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella and how the myths talked to her as a child about finding men about waiting for men.  She decided to change the story, change her own story.  She writes so well of these new stories.  I like to read her work because like all good writers, she makes one question one’s own myth and one’s own story. 

 

I never read women’s magazines and thought I needed to be beautiful.  I always thought women’s magazines were for a different species of women than me and that species understood clothes, shoes, jewelry, stuff that didn’t matter in my world.  I have never done that planning that women do on what I am going to wear, never called another woman to give details of my date, never waited by the phone for someone to call. 

 

I am fascinated reading her work because she writes so elegantly and she draws me into her world while making me question my own world.

 

I like writing that helps you understand yourself better.   The myths that drove me forward were not the stories of waiting princesses or of handsome princes.  I dreamed of being the ugly duckling and turning into a swan.  I dreamed of wings. 

 

But I like hearing her dreams and how she changed her dreams.  She wanted a boy to love her. That’s not too much to ask.  But now, she is writing a new story.  I love her stories and rethinking who I am and why I dream.

Published in: on September 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

You will be given a lot more than you can handle.

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When I was younger, they used to say that the Lord won’t give you more than you can handle. This is patently untrue. You will be given a lot more than you can handle.

For example, I am quite a bit under water and stuff just keeps coming up. Nobody looks at you from some place in the sky and says, Oh she’s under water, I better take it easy on her. This never happens.

In fact what happens is this: You have more stuff going on in your life than you can possibly handle and then more stuff happens. I tell you, it’s a sight to see when you are flailing about trying to swim to shore and the shore moves away until you can’t even see it.

They told me all wrong when I was growing up. There is no shore.

You can’t write down all the stuff that’s going on with your life in a blog or on Facebook because your life shouldn’t be spread out like taking off your clothes in public which you shouldn’t do in most countries. Certainly not this one. I’ve got a lot I am thinking over and I can’t see to the edge of the sky.

I always say to myself, It’s not over yet. And the fact is that it’s never over. Not even close. I’ve got enough mojo to figure out what to do next, where to go from here. I’ve got heaps of ideas, but not too many good ones. I need more good ideas. I need brilliant.

Life is not at all like going down a slide into the water. That’s a child’s life.
Life is not like climbing a tree to get fresh bananas. That’s what animals do.
It’s not swimming or being out to pasture, that’s what horses do.

If I had to describe life, I’d say it’s much more like being at sea at night during a series of storms. There are times when the storm dies down and you start to think that it’s all going to be stars and dark sky and you think you’re going to sail forever slowly on a slow swelling sea, but it doesn’t last. The sky picks up again and starts throwing back water at the sea and there are sea monsters and sharks and the sea is not blue at night. It’s black and reflects the black sky and there is no moon.

When the moon does come up, you’re surprised at how big it is because you didn’t remember the moon as being that big. There’s a quiet and you’re there under the moon and you think what would make this scene perfect would be some whiskey. But you don’t have any. If you did, you’d have whiskey under the moonlight and wait until the storm picked up again. Which it is always sure to do.

I’m in the storm now. It’s a dark and stormy night. But later there will be stars and moonlight.

Published in: on September 3, 2014 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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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  
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