Sunday, May 16, 2010
After a Cold Morning of Patrol Duty Police Officer Shearer and Chief Allec Enjoy Hot Coffee at Mac's Cafe, 01/1973
Originally uploaded by The U.S. National Archives
Because it's the time of year for spring cleaning, I've decided to do a little spring cleaning on my own body and quit my coffee jones.
I started drinking coffee when I was 13. It had been an old friend for many years, but recently I felt the friendship has gone sour. It had become an annoying and overbearing co-dependant relationship. My coffee 'friend', like all addictions, continued to insist that I stop what I was doing and do instead what it wanted me to do, ie head to the nearest Starbucks, or it wouldn't let me proceed with full attention to the task at hand. And if I tried to ignore its persistent demands, it would punish me with exhaustion, fatigue, and'oh-I-can't-possibly-think-straight-without-my-cuppa-java.'
So I threw the bum out. Just a little over a week ago. Yes, I did have the classic
Coffee Withdrawal Headache, but it was pretty mild. More than anything, I just felt tired, one day sleeping in two- to- four hours shifts for a total of about fourteen hours.
I am replacing it with a decaf green tea Chinese herbal concoction. Already I feel better.
Monday, May 03, 2010
I was inspired by watching a documentary about the poet Gary Snyder at tonight's San Francisco Film Festival to return to my poetic roots and post a poem instead of prose.
(Originally published as "The Visit" in So To Speak, George Mason University, Winter/Spring, 2002)
The Sidhe have visited
my room again, moved the pieces
of furniture, left footprints
all along my floor and walls.
Petals from a strange and sudden
flower still float on the water
in my sink of dirty dishes.
It is morning and I
press my face against the air
trying to see in. The room is quiet.
My great-grandmother was small
and dark, and nobody knows
where she came from. Learn
from me, she says in her night voice
the web of moon cast
upon the earth. Feel it
trembling in your fingers
like a fisherwoman's net, and pull
the silver fish upon the shore.
They are heavy,but they are all
yours, every one of them speaking
an undiscovered language.
There is singing, the Sidhe said
brushing their lips against my ears.
It is all
Around There is a symphony
of wild sound beneath the surface.
Unmeasured and chaotic, the river
is always longer and wider than
you thought, and the bridge is never
where you expect it to be.
The Sidhe have come and gone.
They have rearranged the night
taken off my skin
and folded the difference
into my bones.
My great-grandmother lays the fish upon the sand
the ones with torn bellies and gaping mouths
the ones with knowing eyes
the ones already turning into flowers
She moves her tongue behind her teeth
and names them, one by one.
It is morning, and I am full
of forgetting. I drain the water
from the sink and begin to wash
the dishes. A single petal clings
to white porcelain. I leave it.
The rushing water sings. And I
in my waking slumber hum
the dim memory of an aching
The ocean breaks.
My great-grandmother with her muscled arms
pulls, and hauls the net upon the shore.
Silver scales still luminous in dark waters.
Learn to cast the web of moon upon the sea.
And bring the fishes home, she says.
They are all yours.
---Lisa Gale Garrigues
Image: "Sidhe Queen" by Angie Bowen.