this is America

the rainbird cut the night in two
at four am, Oct. 1rst.
ghost clouds & the night wind
chestnuts conk the concrete like godsong

she’s not held at US Customs for the first time in seven years. she offered the officer her grapes “what do u think i am – a fruit cop?” but the young Latino officer said “you’re a snowbird,” stamped her file, told her to enjoy herself

she bursts down Highway 99 like a Zeppelin, her spirit cries for leaving

“i don’t want to be a suitcase!” skies out to southern hollers to catch some tunes

Rita Wong, preventing mass extinction of the human race, has been released from jail

Greta Thurnberg’s mural in Alberta has been defaced

blue sky in her eye, the sun cuts through trees, signs like dyke access & $100 fine for animal abandonment.

on oct 2, it is 5 am & black out. she prays like a bugger that she doesn’t run out of gas on the highway in the dark outside of Eugene. when she finally reaches the gas station, the attendant says “did you know the back door of your van is open?” she sees that a bunch of her bags have fallen out : her hundred dollar bills, her passport. at that moment, a fella drives up & says, if you’re looking for some bags, there are some out there at the intersection.” she found them stacked neatly at the side of the road, everything intact. this is America

while she retrieved them, her dog Gaia scarfed down her whole bag of teriyaki jerky

her rellies in Reno gleefully use paper plates & cups so they have no dishes to do. this is America. for much of her mother’s life, her mother did not know she had siblings here

they have shut down the recycling program in Phoenix due to expense

& in the dog park, at her new RV resort in Apache Junction, Arizona, her neighbor said he moved here cuz’ he didn’t want to be a minority anymore

in the hottub, she discusses getting dental work in Mexico. a chap said “Mexicans have worked for me for 35 years & if you seen where they put their hands, you would not want them in your mouth.”

putting her bathing suit on is like fighting with an elastic

and she’s lost her name tag

couples boogie by in golf carts, some tie on their flying shoes
cars must go 10 miles per hour, but the golf carts go much faster

her pal Peg dropped her, saying that they are ‘unequally yoked’ & she does not ‘approve of her lifestyle’ (after peg has been a lesbian for 37 years)

people are trying to set her up with older widowed men in the park. she is thinking of saying she is separated

Trilby’s cat Scout was taken by a coyote right in front of her

she writes this outside at 12 pm in Mexico’s stolen territory, pineapple for breaky, jicama for lunch. she sees who built this country, who continues to, right here in this gated community

on TV commercials, girls are holding tools like guns to rip down houses

in another commercial, a girl ducks & covers with her bulletproof backpack, the caption reads “preparing for the active shooter”

driving down Palo Verde road with her BC plates yesterday, a man held a gun out the passenger’s window of his truck at her

this is America

to quote her friend Jen Currin “But that doesn’t mean anything.”

guardian of a million thoughts

i woke up yesterday with this line in my head

gobbling jelly by shelley on my gluten free baguette
“feed my tochondria fat not sugar”

i love watching the Rock Shadows ladies fight for their lives
in exercise class like i am

i stop. look at it as if i’ve never seen it before, or shall again

in the memorial service for all the Rock Shadows occupants that have died this year, i overhear the congregation sing “i’ll fly away” while on the radio, a backtrack “wanted, wanted, dead or alive”

google will conquer death

nothin’ to slow me down more than pullin’ a rib out this morn
when i was hugging the dog

slightly grateful for the injury
and icing the hell out me arse

in the old days with endometrial issues
i could get stoned, miss school, read, write all day in bed
i would walk to the kitchen & think “what did i come in here for?”

now i can do that without a buzz

are you paying attention?

i’m finding it hard to write
keep getting distracted by the net
cuz’ when i write, i use the same machine

Betsy Warland doesn’t check her email
til she’s done a few hours of writing

but none of you are having that problem
or the glued to Netflix problem

if only there was nothing but beauty on tv
like Joni Mitchell’s 75th birthday party
& smart tv’s stopped spying

the prince and princess have left the castle
and the driver causing the Humboldt accident will be deported

in Starbucks, to get on wi-fi, one must give them one’s name / email

my memory of temperature began as a child
the air temperature in Apache Junction today is 61 degrees fahrenheit

it hit sixty-eight degrees during my favourite Easter at Nanny and Papa’s in Half-Moon Bay. Jane & i suntanned out on the front porch twenty feet above the eternal ocean

when it hits sixty-eight degrees in Vancouver, i calm down
Townes Van Zandt says the sun is burning out

at the pool, i pretend i’m alone
under palm fronds that lean my way like ears
clouds like lazy eyes ride the west wind, the sun
more powerful than Fukoshima

where is our ocean protection plan?

my daylight delight, wind on skin, ptarmigan (begin again) song
Joan Baez’ birds have flown

my face is dangerously poised towards the sun
in 1974, i’d skip class at Windsor
lay on foil in the snow on Mt. Seymour
to mask my pizza face

a skin tag fell out of my manubrium this week
(Nicole Brossard’s favorite part of a woman’s body)

& if you leave Canada for six months
it will take two years to see a dermatologist
where is our skin protection plan?

hands folded on my stomach on the chaise lounge
do i relax? no i write this blog. call it ‘doin’ nothin’

cactiMellow Mama ain’t doin’ nothin’ but doin’ nothin’. life with fibromyalgia’s like that. sitting, like eden robinson, with her feelings : old friends. trapped in her intestines : popcorn seeds

there is a lot she can’t tell you. won’t tell you. don’t tell you.

she is in her 60th year
in her vancouver bed running her lines
the whole world asleep & she pops up singing

“it’s the last time i will buy tp here
the last time i’ll make the bed
i’m goin’ back to Az with the rice i bought there last year”
& in the dream, her favourite romantic poetry prof. Rob Dunham asks her why she doesn’t work in India & her whispersecret is that Ellen D. was her gf all night long

Gaia the dog is disgusted with mama when she hears the “fff” on her lips, Ma cussin’ out the assholes driving. Gaia turns
her back to Ma, stares out the window. ma bolts for a buck
dangles her head in front of the AC. dries her hair

moody blue crows huddle on the road. not even god himself could blow the snow bright clouds that nudge the mountain tops away

a hawk above the US army freedom ranges. talons spread military choppers alarm the starlight pines & congestion relief projects but the scarlet sunset scores the sun-scalloped surface of the Superstitions. Ma sees herself spread out on the landscape like paint

bent over books
bent over boobs
boobs on tum
bob on top
on top of me
why i didn’t report
my SFU prof
on top of me
bob on top
#metoo

her groin is groan pulled
stuck at the entry point *
drives by Angel’s Ladies Brothel where the plane landed. Area 51. nothing else around for miles.

when she was just a little girl
dad told the anti-abortionists to “Fuck Off”
her mom had flowers for her, 7-up, popped-her-cherry-jello
Gramma meet her on the other side
days when it is easy to be alive

it is not hallowe’en but there are needles in the apples & bananas. she has spent most of the day magnifier on her head plucking micro-splinters out of the sides of her fingers
it could take a person down. one thorn at a time, finger at a particular angle place it, lick it, pull it, ouch! trust a must. upwelling. tears. colourless streams on a windshield

she dreams in full colour
is a purple prickly pear cactus
a rattler on the bank of the Salt River

now it is twenty degrees in her park model
narrow hallway to fold her body in
not pull her shoulders back
but hold her breath. she’s been holding it all day so far
newscasters asks folks to pick apple snails out of scottsdale waterways

a piece of fluff spooks her as it spiders across the bathroom tile & she sees faces in the kitty litter. strangers hobble by her trailer in walkers, buzz by in golf carts. ladies bob in her pool on oodles of noodles. she has become one of those gogograndparents with the tv on. she knows the authors of the books on her shelf but opens Netflix. the food party on. god bless her ‘lady of blessed whatnot’*

in the Redding newspaper: a beaver is struck by a car in Columba Park. a woman wrapped it in a towel, went for help. she will not tell us what Richard Delp was doing when she returned. the place where fire ravaged the earth this july. flames up to their doorstep.

what is that out of the corner of my eye?

girls in Tahiti don’t go to school cuz’ they can’t afford the tuition. in Target, a fella is taking a little look-see, pictures up a woman’s skirt. another woman, detained by loss prevention agents, switches the labels at Walmart. she remembers those agents calling the cops on her when she was eleven. Molson/Coors Canada are getting into the cannabis business. more people were killed in the settling of the US than in WWII. loomis trucks are being blown up in Johannesburg with the guards still in them. nothin’ really to write home about

are all the girls going to bed at night like beached
refer to the whaler’s dictionary.

there was an old lady who lived in a shoe
she blesses each swallow of water
peace is somewhere

where is home  bill bissett  time  p.160
fake poem  jamie reid  a temporary stranger p. 37
stuck at the entry point  jonina kirton  an honest woman p.6
lady of blessed what-not  amber dawn  sodom road exit p.10

social media’s shut me down. my writerly voice has gone into hiding because my audience has gotten too big. there’s so much now i can’t tell you.

whereas once my audience mostly consisted of canadian writers, musicians & close friends, now i have many facebook friends who may or may not share my political beliefs. as i approach sixty, one would think the need for approval would vanish!

the american government has flagged me at the border for ties and equities. they tear my van apart every time i cross the border. the city of vancouver want five thousand five hundred dollars from me for the empty house tax even though my house was not empty. facebook removes posts from my thread that they don’t like. google knows the minute i step out of the house; where i am at any given moment. i have become catatonic.

i went to a family funeral the other day in north vancouver. my mom’s best friend died & i was shocked at how i was reacting to folks there. i remember thinking when i was young, he’s tall, dumb & german so i didn’t talk to him. we knew dad didn’t like eastern europeans, germans included. what had happened in the second world war was plenty alive when i was born in ’59. when i tried to strike up a conversation with this fellow at the funeral, i wondered why he didn’t introduce me to his wife hovering behind him. maybe that’s how it is with some straight fellows talking to a nice looking woman who they are not suspecting is lesbian.

i suppose the racism in our household was not that unlike the racism going down in the other houses in north van. in the sixties.

i have just driven in from phoenix with my cat & dog & the renter has stained my grandmother’s duncan fife table and my coffee table ; the chance you take renting out your home to strangers. he left me a joint, three bottles of vodka in the freezer, japanese whiskey in the cupboard & a bottle of white wine open in the fridge. i’m glad the booze didn’t call to me. i called him & asked him to take them away. “pour them down the toilet” les said. that’s where the joint went. the renter looked like a rain cloud when he came by.

the boy i had a big crush on in high school just hung himself. there is no talk of a celebration of life. so few people know he’s gone. our april vancouver sky weeps.

& my friend laureen just suddenly died. i had always been jealous of her friendship with rola. they became closer because they had children of the same age & why wouldn’t they? laureen suddenly got pneumonia & a week later, was dead, at 58.

these are the few things i can tell you. there is much more of far reaching significance. i guess i am going to just have to write another book. if i could only get through my editor’s eight hundred comments on my current manuscript. wish me luck!

yet, i return home after six months to discover that the trans mountain pipeline is not a done deal. great balls of fire!

Jane Eaton Hamilton

65 Queer and Feminist Books To Read In 2018, a list by Carolyn Yates at Autostraddle. Look at all these lovelies. Why, you’d never have to read a book by any author on that idiotic UBCA list to be edified, shocked, enchanted, moved, transported, renewed, challenged, taught, expanded!

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Jane Eaton Hamilton

Jess Zimmerman at Electric Lit writes:

“The Paris Review publishes twice as many men as women; are men twice as good? The New York Timesdescribed Stein as “regarded by many as a champion of new talent, including some women writers,” but that “some” is poison. One can’t really make the case that Stein was a champion of women writers generally; under his auspices, The Paris Review went from one-third women writers to… one-third women writers. So who broke through to be part of the illustrious third? This is not to say that the writers who did make their way into The Paris Review’s pages aren’t worthy, but we should illuminate the hand that picked them, and the other work it cast aside. In short, if you weren’t already paying attention to the ways that whiteness and maleness determine what we value in art, you should be now.”

Electric…

View original post 1 more word

cat mac

ocotillo
palo verde

hohokam
agave

kestrel
saguaro

cat canyon
jojoba ramada

riparian corridor
back swimmers

water strider
fishing spider

parrot feather
paper wasp

damselfly
mayfly

columnar cacti
crucifixion cacti

whirligig beetle
sonoran lyre snake

spadefoot
rat kangaroo

screech owl
white-tailed deer

bats bees moths
coati

& one hundred thousand
for a rattler bite

i reach down into the briny pool of stingrays
chocolate, ivory, beige
& as if from nowhere
three or four of them
brush their angel soft noses & wings
against the backs of my hands

& the otter whips
round & round
behind the glass
returns always to meet
my dog gala’s eyes

& the puma
wild eyes of ice blue
whirls through his ochre cliffs
wide-mouthed yowls at gaia

the prairie dog who catches sight of her emits a fear cry
his mates rush into their earthen holes

& my totem, the Mexican wolf
seems the…

View original post 64 more words

ocotillo
palo verde

hohokam
agave

kestrel
saguaro

cat canyon
jojoba ramada

riparian corridor
back swimmers

water strider
fishing spider

parrot feather
paper wasp

damselfly
mayfly

columnar cacti
crucifixion cacti

whirligig beetle
sonoran lyre snake

spadefoot
rat kangaroo

screech owl
white-tailed deer

bats bees moths
coati

& one hundred thousand
for a rattler bite

i reach down into the briny pool of stingrays
chocolate, ivory, beige
& as if from nowhere
three or four of them
brush their angel soft noses & wings
against the backs of my hands

& the otter whips
round & round
behind the glass
returns always to meet
my dog gala’s eyes

& the puma
wild eyes of ice blue
whirls through his ochre cliffs
wide-mouthed yowls at gaia

the prairie dog who catches sight of her emits a fear cry
his mates rush into their earthen holes

& my totem, the Mexican wolf
seems the saddest
of all

wanders in circles,
returns always to the same spot
unaffected by the four-legged outside his pen

jill and i are lost
circle tucson
the violet sun flaming
seek the Oro Valley
to the north

she gets points for driving calmly
and i, likewise, for navigating from the suicide seat

a trip will never necessarily go as planned
no
it’ll go better