About My Mother's Business

I have never been about my mothers’ business.
She sat starving while my father fed me.
It was he who painted on my lips one Halloween
and told me I looked like Bette Davis,
and I went around the house screaming “WHAT A DUMP!”
What a dump.

I learned to curse like my father and bit the hand that fed me.
I flipped my silver Zippo for anyone who needed fire
and changed the spelling of my name
because she said I was just like him.
No one called me hers.
Sometimes, I see my father's belly, swollen, with me inside.

And now I reach for my mother's part in me.
I ask her to hold me but her arms are indifferent.
The defection was completed long ago, hers
and mine.

I have never been about my mothers’ business,
and now I am the hungry one.


Adamo Incindia

"So tell us what happened last night."
"Last night?"
"Last night I hiked up to the top of the ridge and climbed out to Eagle Rock and sat there and smoked a whole pack of cigarettes and watched the sun go down."
"Watched the sun go down?"
"You watched the sunset."
"Yes. It was like watching a movie of a sunset. The clouds, the colors, all of it looked computer generated,…you know, not real."
"So you watched the sunset. Then what?"
"Then, when it was completely dark, I crawled back up to the main path on my hands and knees with Harry's lighter stuck out in front of me. It was so dark and the air was so thin that I was afraid to stand up."
"So you watched the sunset, then you went back to the campsite."
"What then?"
"When I got back to the camp site, the fire had gone out. I stumbled over Harry's body and landed in the embers. They were warm but not warm enough to burn. I had to scrounge around for more firewood and restart it. I used pages of the Atlas Harry had in his pack. It made me feel good to light the pages with the silver Zippo and watch part of the world burn.
When the fire was going good, I took off my T-Shirt and jeans and underwear and threw them in. They almost put it out but I stirred it with the barrel of Harry's gun and they caught and burned almost as good as the pages of the Atlas.
It was a warm night but there was a breeze so I went to get one of the blankets from the tent. That's when I noticed that sparks were landing on Harry. They smoldered for a minute and then went out leaving little black spots on his bare back and his bald head. I think I stood there for a long time watching him. I couldn't move. I kept thinking any second he would feel one of those little sparks and jump up, yelling and flapping his arms.
He had a carton of cigarettes and two fifths of Wild Turkey stashed under his side of the foam pad under the sleeping bag. I couldn't figure out why he bothered to hide these particular things. Anyway, I grabbed another pack of Camels and one of the bottles and a blanket and went back out to the fire. It was dead quiet. The only sounds were the crackling of the fire and an occasional owl or mockingbird far off.
The breeze had died down but I was shaking really hard so I opened the bottle and took a big gulp. It burned going down but I held my nose and took another one. That stopped the shaking. For the rest of the night, I sat by the fire, stirring it occasionally and getting up sometimes to add more wood. I didn't think about much of anything and I didn't drink any more of the bourbon. I kept the bottle in my lap though, just in case I started shaking again.
When the sky started to get light, I got up and went down the trail to the water pump and washed. The cold water felt good and I stuck my head under the pump and let it run over my head and neck. I knew that I shouldn't have burned the clothes, shouldn't wash myself but I couldn't help it. I could face having to tell what happened, you know, how stupid I was, but I couldn't stand the feel of his handprints on my skin for one more day."
"Go on."
"Let's see,…then I went back up to the camp. I thought about putting on some of the clothes Harry bought for me at the truck stop on I-80, but I couldn't. My backpack was still in his truck parked about a mile from the fire road and I figured I could find it. I wore the blanket and grabbed the last apple and the half-eaten bag of Doritos and took a last look around the camp.
Harry was still laying exactly where he fell when I shot him. I knew better than to move anything. The Wild Turkey bottle was still sitting by the dead fire. The gun was propped against the log I'd been sitting on all night. The tent opening was unzipped and flapping in the breeze. I started walking down the trail toward the fire road where the truck was parked. Then I remember thinking, Whatever happens from here, I'll probably never stop at another Seven Eleven as long as I live."
"So after you shot him, Ms. Harman, you went to Eagle Rock and watched the sunset, is that correct?"
"And then you went back to the scene, made a fire, drank some whiskey, and waited for the sun to come up."
"I'm sorry, what?"
"Bourbon, it was bourbon."
"Right, bourbon. You drank some bourbon and waited for sunrise."
"Then you found the truck and drove back to the Seven Eleven."
"To get your car."
"Ms. Harman, where is your car now?"
"I burned it."
"You burned your car?"
"Yes. I burned the car and the house."
"Your car and your house."
"That's the house at 451 Aduro Road and the 1968 Pontiac Firebird owned jointly by yourself and your husband."
"Yes. That's the last year they made that model."
"Uh-huh. The Firebird, you mean."
"And, Ms. Harman, how did you start the fire at 451 Aduro Road?"
"With pages from the Atlas and the Zippo."
"The same Atlas?"
"Yes, Harry's Atlas. I brought it with me."
"From the campsite."
"And Ms. Harman, why did you do that?"
"I told you, I liked watching the world burn."


i'm thinking what to say next.

for the time being, ponder wendell berry.


I would not have been a poet
except that I have been in love
alive in this mortal world,
or an essayist except that I
have been bewildered and afraid,
or a storyteller had I not heard
stories passing to me through the air,
or a writer at all except
I have been wakeful at night
and words have come to me
out of their deep caves
needing to be remembered.
But on the days I am lucky
or blessed, I am silent.
I go into the one body
that two make in making marriage
that for all our trying, all
our deaf-and-dumb of speech,
has no tongue. Or I give myself
to gravity, light, and air
and am carried back
to solitary work in fields
and woods, where my hands
rest upon a world unnamed,
complete, unanswerable, and final
as our daily bread and meat.
The way of love leads all ways
to life beyond words, silent
and secret. To serve that triumph
I have done all the rest.

from A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979–1997


The Barbie Thing - Rickie Lee Jones

Cool Bananas

and herewith begins the chronicles of the coolest of cool bananas.
and none cooler than the original banana yellowitz.
made in LA and seasoned in San Francisco,
twin issue of G-Daddy Agron and Paulette Carmelita,
this half lights up the room like a kliege light on Oscar Night.
give it up for Diaaaanah!!!

stay tuned for future Cool Banana features :D


set list #39

was thinking about some of the songs i've played in bands. thought i'd start a series.

the set list

bonnie - runaway - no nukes version

did it with campbell's gang and at the gypsy jam i think, too.

Ramsey and MC. i had a blast doing this one with Campbell.
i have a slide now. i'll practice up. *wink*