About Me

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I am mundane and magical, Silly and serious. I am an underachiever who suspects that someday in the eternities I may yet blossom and even fruit. I am a collector of spirits and essences, a studier of mood and nuance.I have many many faults and yet I've always been loved. I am a good friend, but I will let you go if you so desire. I believe in Somewhen. I laugh easily and cannot often cry, which I know is a Flaw. Like You, I am a work in progess.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Shake the Box
(with gratitude to Bruce)

For desperate days now I’ve petitioned for poetry
All I get is the image of my Grandma’s strawberry smile-
The one that rivals Mona Lisa for mystery, but twice as impish

So I say,
 “What about you grandma?
Shall I tell the day you packed us up in The Grey Ghost,
old silver Cadillac with the showy fins
and like a shark in pursuit
followed that biker with a fishing pole sticking up
all the way to the beach and left us there,
me, barely pubescent, and in a tank top?
I burned to blisters shunning the smelly leather jacket offered
by a kind Hell’s Angel.”
I always wondered how you spent that day.

How about the time I splinted my lover’s spectacularly broken finger
with a quarter teaspoon and a yard of ripped up rags
in the middle of an anonymous night
after he really punched that guy
for saying something nasty to a street woman he cared for.
For days, he discreetly searched the paper for news of a body,
But she died first.
Antoine. That was her name.

“Shake the box,”
my current lover says.
And he plays Burroughs and Bukowski,
Ginsberg and Kerouac for inspiration.
I think, Baby, do you really want me darker than I am?

My box has a rich tumble
But it’s all stuck inside
Not wanting to be shared.
Not now.

Unrequited love laps up against
the joy of driving an old green schoolbus
on deserted Wyoming roads- making love and pie-
and Pink Floyd, the flamingo, not the band.

Disney Eyed Dudie, my most loyal dog gazes adoringly at me
from a bed four pads thick to ease his old bones.
He’s shrinking and most steps cause him pain but neither of us wants to let go.
Certainly a poem in that.

But not now my recalcitrant brain voices say.
I have nothing I can get on paper
But plenty in the Swirl around me.

Last night, I asked the Muses and do you know what I got?
Dream of a one legged mummy
In the ordinary opulence of some American house.
A mummy who knew lighting.
What kind of dreck is that, I ask you?
My Muses are only rarely serious.

Roll the bones, shake the box
Just live.

LeAnn Cole

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's almost 5pm and I am so groggy! I attribute this to what felt like an all night dream last night. Do your dreams ever feel like physical labor? Not just physical either, but emotionally harrowing as well.   My person centered dreams are usually about one person. Occasionally, other people, sometimes people I have not physically met, so I  should more correctly say my ideas of people (but even with people I have met and know a long long time is it ever more than my ideas of them?) anyway occasionally other people come in for starring or supporting roles but by far the most regular person in my dreams is someone I have not seen since I was 21. Since it was a primary relationship failure that made me wish, and past wishing, think I should have died when it happened, considering the felt impact to my life then and the subsequent assessments... I wish I could just, as I see some people do, "get over it" I am particularly impressed by one friend who recently broke up with her boyfriend of 8 years but stills lives with him, preserved the friendship and is happily dating. That astonishes me.
I have approached my pain from every perspective I can think of.First I wondered why this is the event that defined the high and low in my life in such an ironclad way. Other people would, I think, be more deeply affected by other things that have happened to me such as sexual molestation of me by my father, the tyranny he imposed on our family, his total lack of meaningful positive interaction with my brother and my mother's condoning of the molestation and the tyranny and the way he broke her. Those would be more normal things I think, to be broken over than simply not being valued by the person I loved most. Commonly, people say young people in love don't know what they are doing, that they need experiences to grow, there is plenty of reasoning, some good and substantive reasoning, to expect young relationships to be temporary and to be learning experiences. I accept that. It just wasn't that way for ME and when I finally (FINALLY) saw the difference in valuation and understood that he wanted to move on I tried to do that with the minimum of pain to him as possible. I however, felt mortally wounded and have walked like a zombie ever since. I've had just two meaningful, real relationships past that time (I expected none, was amazed to find myself in the first one after 15 years of nothing to do with anything like "romance" ) But the second of those subsequent 2 I am in now and this is with a man who loves me and is loyal and I am sort of permanently emotionally reserved. I can't get close to him really. I hope this relationship lasts till we die but if he were to precede me in death I would not embark on another relationship with a man. The perfect image for it hit me  while I was trying to think up a poem for my poetry class but I have not been able to write the poem. My grandmother was a wonderful gardener. I remember this from her years in CA and when she moved up to Santa Clara I came up to see her and we planted some fruit trees for her orchard. She had a peach tree and those peaches were the best I've ever had in all my life! I would go pick them and eat them there in the sunshine, peach juice running down my arms and chin like a drunk person in a swoon of ecstasy. The were unforgettable.  After she died, this house was vacant for a couple of years and when I moved into it I went out back only to see that a 40 foot pine tree had crashed down on the peach tree and broken it about 2 feet from the ground. It would send up attempts at branches and those made me sad. When Bruce moved in he cut it down level with the ground, but then it would send suckers up. One seemed promising and I dreamed that with a little time and care I would have those same good peaches again, and it would bloom and form tiny fruits and I pinched them off to give it time but after years when I left some on they never became ripe whole peaches and the sucker never became a tree. So I feel like a sucker. Some impulse of Life sends out little runners but really they are ghosts. I remember, when I was "with"" Miles so wanting a child, his child. There was no commitment between us, but i did tell him my wish and I would spend time with my legs in the air after having made love hoping and hoping. I never thought it WOULD happen though because there was the time when I was with that first love that I thought I WAS pregnant and he adamantly did not want to be a father then. I did not know what to do but finally decided i should have an abortion because I had no independent way to raise a child and was still under parental control (which seemed a lot more serious then) After i made that decision i prayed with my whole soul to the same concept of God that I prayed to give me a forever connection to that first love that if I did not have to kill my possible child (You just magically whisk it away more or less) that I would give up the right to bear a child in this life. I've always thought it amusing that a God I don't really believe in granted me these two wishes, but I did not have to have an abortion. And there was no child with Miles. Sadly I had given up on the idea of a child for a whole slew of reasons. My current love (who I think would be a wonderful father) does not want a child. And I really do think a child deserves 2 committed parents. Also we are poor and neither of us have the energy for a child. So.... of course it would be that one day in the bathroom my body expelled this pure white packet the likes of which I had never seen before. I believed it was a miscarriage, but no insurance so I didn't pursue it. Why? Too late in any case. But i mourned that possibility. When I took my phlebotomy course we went to the lab and saw all manner of things. Cancers and body parts and then a progression of ended pregnancies preserved in jars. That pure white shape was exactly what i had seen in the bathroom. I lost all strength right there and literally slid to the floor where I had to sit with people murmuring concern for several minutes.
I know I've written about this stuff before. Probably ad nauseum. But it keeps on coming up and up and up and i spend nights in dreams like last night that leave me wondering why? Have i not processed this in every conceivable way it can be processed? Have I not understood that it is not a cause for anger and since that decision of "no" was the most honest wish of a honest heart (just a heart constructed very differently from mine) there WAS no better way for this to have gone. It's not a matter for anger, though certainly for pain. Why again did this event make the top and bottom measures of my emotional life? (And it has, nothing has hit the high of it and nothing has even approached the low, not even the deaths of people I loved very much or the end of my relationship with Miles) And nothing ever will. I know this in my bones. But, since there is no closure or healing or any of those things possible I wonder why I spend these nights and many many many many daylight hours going over the same thing. Inasfar as acceptance is possible i think I have accepted. Why the self torture? That I do not understand. why didn't my parents mark those boundaries? I was able to move past anything they did and while not to the degree previous, still love them. And ah that brings up another question. Do I still love him? I do. It was like a permanent amendment to my soul on sight. Would I ever choose to be in a room with the dynamic, living person again? Oh I think not! I would not want to find out that that lower limit might indeed be expanded! And I have the little composite living inside me which is more real to me than most people. But the parents? I think that was healable because underneath it all I believe they both really love(d) me.
Mostly I don't even understand the dreams. I can't remember most of them eve the very long intricate ones like last night well. I know they WERE long and intricate mostly by the exhaustion I feel afterward. But if there is a soluable mystery in my life i would like to know WHY I must somehow still seek some sort of connection. That i don't get. People's personalities direct their experiences and I know that if some parts of my personality were different so would my experiences be. For instance, when the Eternal Sunshine of /a Spotless Mind came out I thought, aha! there is a sliver of hope. But I am who I am and I soon learned I wouldn't choose to erase the memory. ( I have, in the event of reincarnation should I ever encounter this soul again, PLEADED with myself to run like hell!) but I wouldn't erase what already transpired. Nor, can I even say he wasn''t worth it. And that would be worth another night of troubling thoughts right there. Hope it's not on the menu in the near future. I really need to SLEEP.

That said and all this silly, murky yucky stuff written for unknown reasons I will now take back the Redbox movies and go get some doughnuts for my Sweetie Boo. And feed the cat. No poetry was written today. I was just too tired.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


At three years old
you decided not to be a Sunbeam.
Somehow, you escaped the class and the whole church,
made your way,
 through the LA streets,
skies full of jets screaming toward LAX
to North American Rockwell.-

The parking lot guard was crying as he
phoned for Dad
to come get your small, defiant self

In the good years,
when we thought we were rich and happy,
we’d sprawl on those orange mats by the fireplace.
Mom brought hot buttered popcorn
and mugs of coke in those matching multicolored bowls.
Dad would tell stories about the Slime People,
More lurid by fireglow.
All the neighbor kids were home before dark if they’d heard

We spent our summers at the cabin.
Baby oiled at Lake Gregory,
renting red paddleboards and chawing on frozen bananas.
Hunting with butterfly nets at Lizard Rock
amongst the giant stones that were somewhere near the old dump.
Mom always burnt the hotcakes,
but milk was so good and cold in those tin cups.
You and I built resorts among the pines, always stopping to say hello to
Toenail, who was our tree

One time, coming home from the cabin you fell asleep in the car
and, uncharacteristically, Dad carried you toward the house.
We went in through the back, past the pool and he thought it would be
to toss you in. It was unheated and you woke screaming and thrashing in that
cold water.

When I went to Utah for the first time,
Uncle Tommy driving so fast on those deserted roads,
I came back sure that I would live there -
with rivers and rhubarb pie and
Prince, who I could ride whenever I wanted -
I gave you a green Tonka truck and a big bag of M&Ms.
You gave me the

But when I was sick you would rig up that box with the pulleys
from The Big Ball of String and you’d bring me a bell to ring
if I wanted anything.
You’d come with that big lime green cup filled with ice water.
If I didn’t ring the bell, you’d come anyway.

In those days I danced -
leotards and everything.
How I laughed when you were pressed into service
In that neon ruffled Spanish shirt for some boy dancer who didn’t show,
or when they made you wear the Lederhosen –once-
that Grandma brought you from Austria.

Then there was wrestling!
Oh we loved it!
To try the moves or to watch
Mel Mascaras, Man of a Thousand Faces,
Kenji Shebuya,
Freddie Blassie,
John Tolos – T O L O S.

Our family knew it was broken after that one day we watched wrestling
You and me and dad on the bed,
A slip of the tongue and the house of cards came down.
You and I – we always remembered when.
So, then we were to move.
To that big house being built.
I always hated it.
And Raggles-our good dog
Who came everywhere with us and so, when she was left
dug through doors- they had the vet kill her,
because she loved us.
It was you who remembered they took us to Disneyland the night they
did it.

I remember the time
Dad marshalled us all to the high school track,
He announced, if I could run a mile without stopping-
We would go get my long promised horse that day.
I jogged onto the track.
Ran perhaps a quarter of a mile before I slowed,
a stitch in my side.
I was so mad, so embarrassed.
But you loped out and ran backwards ahead of me
the whole rest of the way- chanting
There was no horse.
Our family just walked home,
To that house in Meredith Woods.

That house had so many secrets.
You went wild there,
 and I- after the Love of My Life
taught me I was as disposable as cum wiped Kleenex-
well, I was no longer a goddess.
You were the only person with a penis I spoke meaningfully to for fifteen years.

We drank together, you seriously, me companionably.
I remember the year you begged the $50 I was saving for a Christmas tree
and bought a bag of bud.
But you brought me a big tree on Christmas Eve.
I think you stole it

You got wilder and wilder, and I got sadder and sadder.
After enough times of calling the police,
I refused to see you.
Eventually I moved.
But you’d call me at 3 am and make me laugh and laugh.
-That time you told me you sang Iron Man in karaoke
with Ray Liota at some pizza joint!

You only spoke to the man who has loved me now for twelve years
and then you promised him Magilla Gorilla DEATH if he should ever hurt me.
He was stunned. He’d never met you – ever- and you were serious about the threats.
But then you flipped like a switch and started belting out some
Judas Priest tune-
right on the phone.
I guarantee he will never forget you.

One day I got the call
that if I wanted to see you alive,
I had to leave then.
I got in the car and drove to California,
found you tied to a bed, with a block in your mouth to keep you from chewing through the
respirator, which you’d done before.
“No hope,” the Dr said.
You were the color of an anemic carrot,
blood cells self destructing willy- nilly in your dying body.
Your eyebrows were gone.
And yet you lingered and lingered and finally,
after days, I left,
went back home to wait for the call to tell me
you finally passed-
fifteen years to the day after Dad died.
We took it that he finally for once showed up for you

I went back once, thinking of you- to tell Toenail-and he was gone.

Meeting of Monsters

By the time I was
it was too late for prevention.

There she sat, the maternal dragon-
scourging me with baleful, hooded eyes.
Sucking voluminous lungfuls of
sour, fulminous smoke,
 incubated to that delicate point just before loss of consciousness
 in the poisoned passages of her airways.

Writhing wreaths spat forth at the velocity of venging arrows,
to  penetrate the small defense of my flesh and shrivel me outright
- her assessment of the idea that
I was “The One”.

That idea (dressed in summer clothes and unprepared)
could no more cross my mind than it could the Antarctic desert

That idea,
wholly unanticipated,
yielded an instant perfect image-


And I wanted to hug her and
 whisper that not in a million years
 would I allow her precious son
 to bite and dissolve to gonads in my flesh.
But that seemed rude to say,
So I just wiggled my lure and tried to minimize my mouthful of dangerous dentition.

I don't post a lot here though i like it here. But I am far busier than I would like to be and so I usually content myself with Facebook. Here's some news, in case I haven't said it here. I lost my position in the nursing program due to bad communication. I had everything in but thought the background check and the drug test I had submitted for earlier classes would suffice. They didn't. And it would be a simple matter to reapply but I only got a B/C+ in chemistry/ chemistry lab. I could re-take that but a matter of much more concern to me is that my joints, particularly my hands have developed what I think is either arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis just in the last semester so I don't feel confident i can do the work of a nurse. This semester I am taking no science classes (well, an Environmental Science lab, which consists of going to Catalina for 3 nights.....) I am taking Humanities, Interpersonal Communications, CIS, History and a poetry writing class. I am pretty happy! But I do need to figure out what I might be able to do to make a living.

I am particularly enjoying the poetry class. I have no illusions about my writing skills. I took the class because I miss thinking a way I used to, I used to think in poetry. I could never get it out right and I still can't but at least I am having some of those sublime-to- me moments again. I've been having such a need of beauty and simply to be!

I'm making some tacos now and they are starting to smell good, but I thought I'd share the poems I have written in class so far.

German Potato Pancakes Before Class

Standing in her sun splashed kitchen
mood high and happy from the Scottish reels
we chatter like morning birds.
She lifts the little pan off the burner
unconscious that she’s dancing

Coincidence has made us friends,
she’d left a broomschtick on the shuttle.
Bought it in Germany,
just the stick, and wrapped just so,
and she wondered if someone might bring it to her

The Teutonic music of her voice
and those “ne’s” inserted here and there
charmed me.
“Where do you live?”
I was hungry for the story
of this broomstick from Germany.

It took forever to find her house.
She cautiously answered my ring
but her eyes lit in radiant
open blue wonder
when she saw the flowers.

I think of Heidi-
that after Johanna Spyri
wrote her young adventures,
she bounded off the page
with a jar of milk and some goat cheese
and just continued living.

Only she is called Erika now-
Her name means heather and
she exudes an air of innocence and edelweiss.

She moves the pan back to the heat.
I thought she’d forgotten it,
but now she scrutinizes these potato pancakes-
the color is not perfect yet.

Catering for the big fancy corporations
In Scarsdale New York
may have honed her sense of “perfect,”
but I think it was really the flowers
she plonked into a vase
when her flower- shop relative
considered training her to his trade.

His gentle suggestion
-that she try something else.
I can hear his regretful tone
and feel her heart fall
from half around the world
and decades away.

Now, in her sun splashed kitchen
she is making me pancakes.
She’s been up for hours
grating potatoes.

The table is all set,
pretty and precise.
She stores each pancake in the oven
and when they all
are finished

She brings them to the table
with a bowl of applesauce
and we taste the crisp, tender perfection
She has made for our breakfast.

In the Wake of Them

One black brown feather jutted up
teased by a breeze, it moved
as if that airy kiss might tempt the still form
to one last flight.

In winter grey brown grasses,
she numbered small, spotted corpses-
five beneath the tree and
peppered ‘round the ground
as if flung by some
discreetly violent predator,
gone mad with killing,
then quiescent in the morning frost

She filled a bag.
Black plastic crinkle sound,
the deposit of each stiff- soft starling body
received into its maw.
Each removal left a blank,
felt like a silent screaming vacuum

When they lived,
it never seemed this crowd
thronged within her fence at once.
She wondered at the area grown glutted
with gruesome manna.

Her eyes cast questions,
sweeping her perimeter,
taking in the somber yard art.
“Was the freeze as bad as that?”

Someone later told her
“They poisoned them.”
And, unlike me,
 she thought she felt better
at least knowing what happened.