Let Us Live in Truth.
We Know that Life
Can be a Lonely Garden
With Slow Minutes,
or a Sea that has Slipped Away.

My Wish: To Live With Open Hands,
To See with the Eyes of A Child,
To Celebrate the Fire Beneath My Skin,
To Dwell on the Rooftops of Love,
To Die a Small Death.

There are Unknown Colors
that can Alter Our Hearts.
Paint With that Palette.
Be as Weightless as a Petal.
Fill that Empty Sky and Dance.

Jillita-The Happiest Chica in the World

Jillita-The Happiest Chica in the World
Photograph by Rick Peterson

Friday, October 23, 2009


I have thought of strange things lately. How the Holy Men of Sengal seek out their ecstacy in complete silence, that in Indonesia you can talk to the dead if you speak backwards. There is an African Asante myth of how their tribe pleaded with God to stop death. This wish was granted for three years. In exchange, there would no longer be births. The people finally begged God to bring them darkness again because the absence of new life was too great of a price to pay.

There are primordial legends everywhere that strike at the heart of taboo's or moral messages that punishes our failures as human beings with magic, misfortune or some act that is attributed to evil spirits.

Life, and its decided opposite, Death, touches upon all the paradoxical elements of our existence in our Earthy Manifestations. In fantasy and its hard truths, the reality of our journey rests upon the wonderment of our humanity, its fragility and strength.

Nothing is as simple as lifting a flower to your face, taking in its fragrance, and touching its stem to understand where it all begins and ends.

Even springtime has its kinks.

We only pretend to live out in the open. Everyone has something to hide. How many times have you been stripped down to your bones? Head, hands, arms, foot, heart? Death is still there, drifting, shivering, a wind so strong that it can pull up your skirt.

There are precarious destinies, the gaps between the sheltered abyss and its imaginary bridge.
All these artifices are structurally unsound and emotionally impossible to predict or invent. Evens words like these just fill their holes.

Australian anthropologists tell another ancient story. Two men, Moon and Djarbo, traveled many miles together and eventually fall mortally ill. Moon wished to revive them but Djarbo believed it was trickery and rejected his friend's attempts. They both perished but Moon managed to bring himself into a new body every month, triumphing over Death. The tribe chose to follow Djarbo's example. The legend claims this is why humans continued to die while the moon still shines brightly.

The beauty of life is lush with forgetfulness. We do not have to recollect, move within a named reality or dance beside the eternal. We can simply sleep within sleep, put our shoes on one by one, and point our heart's compass in any direction. All those ghosts in the machinery, when we divide ourselves into a body, spirit or soul, are assumptions that can be argued either irrationally or scientifically.

I chose instead to let my memories glide. I have no patience for anything that is not my own Truth. I wish to wrap myself into a skin that is cut from both the darkness and the light. It is much like being a thief who cannot decide what to steal. Destiny seems to be emptiness and abundance all in the same breath. No one can walk all over my Heaven.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

la paloma

we were already sad
enough as we watched
a perfect blonde child
prance by the fountain
at belles artes.

did you see it,
she cried,
moving delicately
on her small
dancer toes.

you echoed
in spanish,
not once but twice.

you and i,
we were already sad.
it was too close
to goodbye
and a moon
that never makes
you smile.

and if there was
a beautiful white dove
soaring above
all the darker birds,
what did that mean?

i do not know why
adults do not listen
to children.
they see the things
we skim over
because we are trying
to cope with a world
that is less
than heaven.

we forget to fly,
we lose our wings,
our voices become mute,
and mysteries
turn from dusk
to dawn.

the young girl
called out again,
this time
with more exuberance,
pointing a slender finger
towards the sky.

the clouds rolled
towards us,
from horizon to horizon,
across the celestrial,
without a beginning
or an end.

in one long sweep
everything changes.
there is nothing
left to say.
the child swirls
with the palomas
below us,
both leaping
with joy.

the last line of life
is suddenly
within sight.
i imagine there are feathers
tucked inside our hands;
winged creatures
brush against us.
they are everywhere.

san miguel de allende, mexico
june 2006

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Blueprint

I have done mental calisthenics the past few days, moving from malaise to a cool detachment about my writing. It is an intricate craft, at times much like wearing stilettos heels while walking across cobblestone streets. There are threadbare principles between creativity and forensic truths. Writers are either Angelic Muses or Menaces. The largess we derive from blending thought into viable prose or poetry comes with a calculated risk. We can receive baubles for our efforts or a tempered flogging.

The realization that blackbirds do not always fly is the poetic version of any myth.

There is a blueprint to creativity, a pale reflection of our perceptions that begins with intention. Often we are in a strange precognitive state when moving our fingertips across the keyboard. Other times it feels as if I am in captivity. I am forced to pry open an inner door that is not always safe.

Why am I giving you a conceptual anatomy lesson?

It seems that my last blog moved many people to tears or anger. I received bouquets of red or blackened roses. I honor them equally, even if my premise was misunderstood. This is the reason why we write, to make fever's dance or blossoms grow.

While still inside the spin of my vertigo, I put on my best pearls and wait. A lover will come, my pear tree will bloom or someone will push me into bloodied waters. It is all the same. Poets sleep a different sleep. We cannot lose our voices if someone screams too loudly. Words have delicate arms but a strong embrace. There are echoes amongst the shadows. I will continue to create and somehow endure.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In Memory of Sunday: 11.14.1955-10.10.2009

Even a gust of wind becomes tired. Sunday, was storm-tossed and weary, ready to go home. In these somber moments when eccentricities fade and weaknesses are forgiven, cobwebs are brushed away from each windowpane. Between half shadows and light, she is fluttering inside of Heaven now, wearing veils of pure white and a ceremonial head-dress made from the moon.

Sunday lived her life in front of too many mirrors, always looking for secret things. She could no longer see herself once her wings began to pale. She still had an entire earth to walk, chants to sing, flowers to arrange, beds to fill, lips to paint. Her feet began to dance too quickly as she moved between her sadness and lost dreams. Sunday stopped hearing the music of the rain, thinking her bright, bright star had been seized. Her perfect green eyes became swords. That unforgettable smoky voice, an anxious wail.

Yet there was an immense tide of people who continued to love her anyway.

Liz Lane-McIntyre, who was Sunday's dearest friend, aptly named her towering partner in crime "Large". Living inside the "World of Large" was an extraordinary experience. Sunday was a true unique and left an artist's footprint wherever she walked. She was a seer who understood passion with wisdom. She could leave you upside down or convince you to soar. Her demeanor was tender or tough. She wore her enormous heart under an open gown. Every conversation seemed intensely intimate. There was always a look of longing on her remarkable face. No one ever looked more beautiful in cowboy boots, tight jeans and a hat. When Sunday glided across any dance floor, there was no other place to gaze. It was Show Time. We would watch in complete awe as this striking amazon incarnated, commanding the attention of an entire room.

The World of Large was one of magic and drama, spirit and demons. She loved full out and contracted her affections with an unsettling ease. She was often a fugitive from her own mystery. She was drawn towards the wrong men in her quest to feel safe. Her laughter was inviting; her tears were tremulous and unexpected. In the vast space between her need to escape clarity, she somehow forgot to embrace her own torrential power. Sunday floated through fragile doorways, knowing, not knowing what was on the other side.

And no matter how she tested the infinite waters of our collective friendships, we continued to love her anyway. How could we not?

It is a delicate loss when a girlfriend dies: a deepening ache, this love that rises and falls gentler than air. I began missing Sunday even before she fell into eternity. I think Large wanted just one word from life, for her wounds to heal without shame or to have a day when she did not have to push so hard against time. In the end, death seemed to be a chosen destiny, the only way to move the clouds from her troubled violet sky.

There are no longer vague questions to ask nurses or breathless hours to spend by her bedside, chronicled with the wistful hope that she would surprise us once again. Her legend of being the Comeback Kid was over. She had been dreaming inside of her eyelids for too long and the curtains were opened wide. Only a precious few could hear her wordless whispers and understand that Sunday was saying more than goodbye. With the rise of an eyebrow, a wink, or a fierce nod, the final chapter of her story was being told in a stark hospital room, a place absent of the beauty she created in everything she touched.

There were great sorrows to her last night. One by one, Sunday was gently disconnected from the machines that had sustained her tentative hold on life. I had whispered a prayer before I fell asleep, knowing that the following morning would not be an ordinary thing. I waited for the phone to ring, for Liz to call and tell me what I already knew. Gone. Gone. Our Girl is Gone. Anger had shifted to Compassion. Love was always Love. On this day of days, I feel only Grace and Gratitude for decades of sisterhood with this exceptional woman. I bear my lonely hands towards the sky and release soft silky doves to follow her home. I only keep the precious memories of my stunning friend, Sunday, whose willow finally bent and broke with just a scent of the wind.

Paz, Senorita Dominga, Paz.

Be love. You are finally free.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


As a creative writer, a wordsmith, I tend to poeticize my perceptions. It is easy to get lost in a zodiac of words, all those dark skies, ephemeral ice, or the pale hand of spring.

On this morning, I am thinking of more coherent things. Here is what I am waiting for as I dissimulate my desire: My fingertips wish to dance on a keyboard day and night, to
write something that will be scented with truth and a piercing light.

I enjoy my visual world, the twist of my camera, that miracle of making images. But writing is in my dangling DNA. It is my wild love, my nakedness, the echo of a lost Self that I have come to know over and over again.

So I am lowering my window and biting my lips. There is a near whisper outside but I must strain to hear its voice. Manifestation is a powerful tool once you come clean. I am ready to traverse every possibility. I am scattering my own wings and allowing the wind to shake me.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Tonight I think about the citadels of my childhood, those last days of freedom that marked the end of summer. My mother would hand us our books and take us away from the sea. It happened as rapidly as retreating water against the sand. We would suddenly sway closer to autumn and leave behind the soliloquies of a life filled only with air and song.

In the desert, change is a subtler thing. You must have a secret rapport with the earth to understand the difference. The shifting of seasons has its own truth.

Here everything burns and we become yet another thing.

These memories are as incoherent as my dreams. My heart drifts to unlikely places where thoughts are unfinished walls or eyelids painted with sleep.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Fortune Cookie

My fortune cookie from today's lunch: All the darkness in the world cannot put out a single candle.

Being of the Chinese Rabbit persuasion, and a Sag, I immediately took this auspicious offering to heart. My beloved friend from Taos called yesterday and mentioned that my writing lately has been revealing more than just my low blood sugar.

Amen. My Beautiful Sage is always right.

So here is my metamorphosis, post Chinese wisdom and ample chunks of chocolate:

White heat. Pale. Mute. Sweeping. Bare. Vaporous. Sheer. Ethereal. Sunlight.
Pristine. Breath. Halo. Silence. Skin.

Stretch of desert. Stillness. Billowing Clouds. Snowdrifts. Crystalline. Sheath. Reflection. Ice. Vanilla. Tears.

Softness. Open. Transparent. Whispers. Swathed. Shimmering. Stars. Simplicity. Frosty. Dust. White heat.