the letter

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i’ve been waiting for years

to write this to you

barred at first by politeness

then the plague

and now, just plain resistance

but the time

the time

has come


i remember parts of the day clearly

a sparkly seaside

the dark hotel room

a dusty family bible, splayed out on your wrinkled jeans

pictures of him, ones i’d never seen

and your smile, covering


it’s hazy

but i think i remember

the brother leaving

you starting to whisper


secrets from long ago

as if needing to confess

before his ears returned


it’s funny

but not

how i don’t trust i remembered this clearly

did you tell me?

am i making it all up?

mirrors and mirrors and mirrors

of questions

of secrets

from so long ago


so i’m writing

to ask

once more of the hushed words i think i heard

hoping for one step closer

hoping to help me re-member

hoping to know if it’s real

or if i’m crazy

hoping to stop spinning

through these clouds of a dream


what you said

what happened

why the secrets

why the forgotten years

why the distance

i write this letter

hoping you’ll tell me

so i can just know

if it was my mouth

if it was his hands

if it was her neck

if it was only

a dream


I’m writing this letter

before you, like they

die holding keys

I’m hoping you’ll find it

I’m hoping you’ll tell me

what is real

cause she keeps disappearing

she keeps


and i want

her back



The Tower

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She built a Tower

Of someone with no needs

Of someone with no voice

Of someone with clouds and confusion

Keeping her wandering and lost

Of someone, who simply

Wasn’t there


The Tower kept her doubting

Of what she felt, what she saw, what she heard

Echoes and wraiths chanting

You can’t really think that you know

You can’t really think that you need

You can’t really think that you want

You can’t really think

That you’re real


This Tower shamed her inkling, calling it projection

This Tower shamed her receptivity, calling it emptiness

This Tower shamed her process

Of feeling the way through, a body’s knowing, calling it lack of vision

This Tower shamed her power of presence,

The release of personal desire and drive, calling it



Now somehow, the bricks, they started to crumble

Likely through diligent mirrors, hard-working gnawers

And the uncontrollable effectiveness

Of the electric bolt blowing

The top of her pretty Tower

All those perfect bricks







No stranger to the process was she

In fact she’d stayed in successive destructions

Watching her flesh dissolve along with the skin of her worlds

This time, however

She realized she did not want to vanish

This time

She realized she could jump

And watch the massive dismemberment

Of a Tower needed no more

She could watch it, standing

On loamy, fresh earth

Planting seeds with the electric fertility

Reveling in the rumbling

Shaking through her tissues

Allowing herself to be

As it all

Came crashing



Standing there

At the burning edges of her old realities

Looking down and onto a great mystery

A great risk

Not knowing

Never knowing

If she’d survive the fall

This time, however

She knew it had to be different

And stepping off the dissolving parapet

She dove


Finally laughing

From her Tower

Of no more





It begins and It ends

With Love

Wide-eyed babe

Born into arms of darkness



Heart’s beaming anchor

Finds no ground


Born into the seven tongues

Whispering, snickering

Sneering and wiping

The Love, the Love

It goes

She falls

She falls

She falls


She forgets, spiraling

Until one day The Hermit

Wolfen by side

Meets her in the Night

Deep in the darkness

His lantern revives


Floating, floating

Absorbing, absorbing

Drinking in the light


Death comes

And its great scythian teachings

Prancing in with the Tower

Demolishing the bud

Of re-memberance

Of re-membrance

Of Love


Hanging by threads

She passes Death’s teachings

Through the pillars and pylons

She rides

Riding with Emperor

Structuring and building

A life anew

The scent of Love flapping

In wake of pointed spear


Sure that she’d survived it

Sure that she’d found plateau

The hunger, the hunger

For Love, it returned

Scanning and seeking

Amongst her fertile kingdom

She could not find it

She could not find it

Here, amongst the green

It was gone


And as if responding

To growing emanations of despair

The Magician

The Shaman


Schooling her again

Re-membering her

With Love


On the wings of a dream

She travelled to far off lands

Following the traces

Following the symbols

Following the drum

Becoming shining babe-like Fool



And again

Invisible worlds

Of terror

Shook her hand

Filled her core

Infusing the crevices

With crazed imaginings

Shadow overloading

Feeling into pain

Of Paradise


Smiling eyes feared her

Drunken revelries urged her sleep

Mind murky

Mind murky

She stumbled


Death came to her again

Knocking, grinning, asking

This time? This time?

Do you have enough

For Love in the Darkness?

Sleep so easy

Disappearance a gift

This time?

This time?



She survived

The raking

Burned, shrunken and weary

Somehow she survived


A wizard met her there

In ineffable deepening layers

A magical castle appeared

He of great machinations

He, he reminded her

Of Love

While psychotic waters lapped

Begging for entry

The rushing river full of fishes

Soothed her

His hook and teaching of ways

Saved her


One day wandering away from the castle

Full of both aimless gratitude

And a growing gnawing desire

She stumbled across the river

Into the gates of a Grand Temple

There she was welcomed

The Priestess, smiling

Great cats pacing her sides

Even though hidden

In a gnarled knot of forked tongue

The Priestess met her there

The Priestess chose her

And said again



The Priestess beckoned

For a pilgrimage to hot waters

Nestled in canyons

Of dusty oak and soaring vulture

Although she trembled

The trek concluded

With deer and angelica calling

To the lair of The Lovers


How to be Mother

To the Wounded Son

She tempered, she tempered

Between the internal



Weaving bodies and minds

Slicing cords and sealing

Keeping silent

Keeping silent

The Lovers changed her

The Lovers broke her heart

But fueled the Dark Mother

To realize


How to Love

How to Live

How to Serve

How to Breathe

Light, Dark, and all Between

How to hold the line

And honor

Ripped open by teacher

Over and over again

She rose, she rose




Father Fire

Loosed her

From Lover’s Nest

To cold concrete

Again, again

Death threatened

Whittling her matter

Trying, trying her skill


Yet this time

She stared in those cold eyes

And recognized

The initiation occurring

She took up the blade

One hand grasping

The other embracing the cold bone

Of this Mother

A darker kind of Love

A darker kind of Love


It is only recently

She has made her way to The Chariot

The evanescent winds of belief

Letting them in

Stepping into the carriage

Holding the reins

Looking out, onto the vista

A field both fenced and wild

Her tigresses, waiting

Her center, alight

It is only recently

She has fully re-membered

What has been and always has been

Along the many meetings

Archetypal collisions walking

Testing, testing

Urging her

To Love


This time?

This time?

Death is never far away

This time?

Do you have enough

For Love in Darkness?

She holds the reins

She feels the soft leather, sliding

The bodies of force, pulling


They say yes

She says yes

To Love,

To the deep heart of remembrance

Waking and reminding

We are here!

There is a path!

Great forces




They have made us!

Wild and mystical tendrils

Webbing specific faces

And places

These gates, hollows, temples

Soul breath, we look into each other’s eyes

And exclaim

It is time

It is time

It is time

To go


Love, love, love

Through darkness, madness and fear

Great veils of self-initiation

We’ve walked

We’ve carved sigils into heart

Bleeding, gathering



Love, love, love

We do it all for Love

It began

With Love

It ends

With Love










In the Darkness


Image from The Tarot of The Spirit by Pamela and Joyce Eakins found on: https://www.elitarotstrickingly.com/blog/the-tarot-of-eli-minor-arcana-thoth-tarot-3-of-cups-abundance-tarot-of-the



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Like the smooth skin

Of the blind finger

Feeling it’s way to the message

So it is with The Grimoire


All she can do

Is imagine its thick leather surface

Rippled with gold foil

Balancing its heft

Upon palms of outstretched arm

In center of mind’s eye


All she can do is pull it in close

And take in the spectral aroma

Of woodsmoke and incense

Visioning what

Struggles and twists to become


Such a troubled birthing this has been

Starts and fits and ends

Over and over, trying to complete

Over and over, attempting to download


The message

Too large, whipping with tendrils

Of eons and voices and symbol

She can’t even comprehend



From long ago

This pen and paper attempting

As lightning rod

For a thousand hungry-ghost cloud

Looming, circling, beating


To enter,


To tell


Of hoping


Final release


Many lifetimes

Many medicines


They clamber

Vying for one electric stream

Attempting in such capacity

To fit into one tiny arm

It shakes, it aches

And mind trembles

Finally collapsing

Into blankness



Squeezing her Will

Under quivering hand

She feels, faintly

A loose form

Starting to rise


Perhaps, today


Somehow it will embody

Those gilded edges

That smoke-blessed page

Perhaps, today


It will make it through


But, she shudders

What be its cost, madness?

The price of birth, death?

Will body frame crumble

Leaving only book behind

Switching place of essence

Book to form, scribe to wind?


Only these types of questions

Soothe her while she stares at blank page

That such a channeling

Is really of grand importance

That only gods and demons and

Threats of death and annihilation

That only the battles of all lifetimes

And the resistance to Sacrifice


Can explain


Dinner With My Shadow

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I imagine Her

Not so hard, really

The one I’m constantly trying to forget

She incessantly sticks at my side

I imagine Her

Upon walking into a dinner party

Oh, the 13th Sister

Oh, the one who wasn’t invited


They’re embarrassed by Her

Nervous, prim and proper

Unable, really, to relax

Attuned to all the feels of the room

All the unattended forgotten ones

She fidgets, She fidgets

Short of breath and internally gasping for


But she stays


She stays

And she pulls out her measuring cups

Right there at the table

And she pulls out her calculator

Disturbing the frilly napkin

And she begins to tally the foods for possible consumption

This, this eases Her

This, this somehow distracts Her from the

Intensities of the unspoken she rides


She’s cleared off a part of the setting

She’s got her cups weighing

She’s got her numbers, calculating

She’s taking up space

Writing it all down

Before it goes inside


This keeps it all in order

Somehow this keeps it all in order


I imagine me, looking at Her

And wishing She wasn’t here, at the party

Knowing, everyone knowing She’s here with me

They stare at Her, and I, unsettled

Some even trying to tutor

Encouraging discretion

But still She counts,

Still She levels

The mashed potatoes

So the surface aligns precisely

And only then plops it onto

Her plate

She’s still deciding whether she’ll actually


She knows

How to push it all around



I hate Her

I wish she never existed

I wish she’d stop following me

And learn to chill out

I wish she’d know

How to laugh and eat and play

Choosing, tasting, adventuring

Like everyone else in the room

That she’d have other interests

Than the next meal, the next amount

The next possible poisoning

The next protective


That she’d be led by her hunger

And quelled by her fullness

That she’d speak with wisecrack

At the lurking phantoms swirling

Around the table

Changing the field

Trusting Herself

And not just trying to hold It all together

Until It no longer breathes


She haunts me

And I’d rather not go anywhere

Meals solitary, inside

Appeasing Her

Than to continually risk

The shame I feel

When she’s seen

When I’m seen,

With Her


But She, cups clanging

And numbers whirring

Doesn’t seem to really care

She just knows she’s got to survive

This madness

She does what needs doing

To keep us from drowning

In a culture, externally, showing no other way

In a culture, introjected, systematically brainwashed

And I stare at Her

Eyes focused and uninterested in small talk

And I begin to see Her

And what she’s doing

And start to understand

How she helps

How she is helping

Until the scene shifts

Until the evolved tools present

She’s holding out

For nothing less than The Truth

And I start to see Her

And I start to see



I say to myself, watching me

This crazed laced-up alchemist madwoman

Desperately trying to keep us in order

So we don’t just lose it in a world

Of no holding

I say to Her, myself

That’s pretty epic

In its own strange way

And I begin to accept Her, me

Seeing how She helps

Seeing how She’s needed


And I see Her

And I start

To maybe

To maybe someday

To maybe possibly

To maybe someday possibly


To love Her


Thanks for reading! This poem came from the following prompt–perhaps it will wet your whistle too?

What parts of yourself would you not take to dinner? What parts of yourself would you want to leave at home?


The Monkey

Inanimate surrogate mother

Made from wire and wood

Each infant becomes attached

To its particular mother, choosing


Bare wire

Or cloth-covered

In time

With tests of deprivation

Despite the milk available at the wire mother’s teat

The infant clings to the cloth mother

Only leaving when survival deems

To retrieve the milk from cold and steel


These experiments

Although primate-focused

Describe a haunting similarity

Between the mothers I was asked to choose from

Not a straight correlation

But the tendency

To favor machine-made meals


Of her cigarette smoke rage infused ones

This choice, reminds me

Of these grasping creatures


My odd preference

For the mechanically measured

Hermetically sealed

Thick and milky liquid

For the vending machine’s

Savory chemical noodle brew

For the gravy-laden chunks

Of distant crafting hands

Poured cold from freshly popped tin


These give me comfort


I am wary of anything made by someone who sees me

Suspicious of the homemade meal

I fear a strange possibility of poisoning

From the farm-fresh hands of the local chef

He, smiling to feed

I hunger for the package

To see the numbers, ensuring

To see the seal, broken open only by me

To have no idea who it was that made the food

To know they had no idea I’d eat it

To know that their spells

Could never be intended specifically for my destruction

Like her’s did

Like mine did

Although consciously huffing

At such silly paranoias


This gives me comfort


Inanimate surrogate mother

Made from wire and wood

Each infant becomes attached

To its particular mother, choosing


As usual, I am the odd monkey out

Whereas my brethren cling to the cloth

I seek the chilled, impersonal wire

It’s safer that way

~Image and topic inspired (and haunted) by Henry Harlow’s primate experiments: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow


Food Memory Prompt: Travel

I thought I’d do something a little different today and post a little Food Memory Prompt for your perusal and writing practice :}

–>What food memory from a trip you’ve taken comes directly to mind? How do you remember this, through your senses?

For me, I’ll share about “Cornish Cream Tea”– a scone basted with clotted cream and jam, accompanied by a cup of the strongest of milky black tea.

Way back yonder, a friend and I ventured on a trip to Wales and England to research ancestry and geek out on Beatles and King Arthur hotspots. After traipsing around the green and rocky crevices of Tintagel Castle looking for gnomes, we found ourselves in a small cafe in the village eating this delectable meal. I think there were doilies everywhere. I still can remember the feeling of my teeth biting through the cloud of clotted cream, into the layers of jam and finally sinking into the doughy denseness of the scone…heavenly.

I’d love to hear about a strong food memory related to your travels if you’d like to share :}

PS. Just a short ways away from Cornwall is Devonshire, where they have “Devon Cream Tea.” Basically the same dish, but they insist on the jam topping the cream vs. the other way around. Both factions are pretty serious about the “right” way to do this topping!

Rites of Passage

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This weekend, I assisted in a powerful rites-of-passage wilderness workshop for young women in the mountains of Santa Cruz. To see these 10-13 year old girls learning primitive skills, tracking, fire-building as well as inner strengthening exercises like facing fear, darkness, challenges was more than inspiring.

One night, we took the girls into the dense forest and in pitch black, blindfolded them and let them try to find their way to a distant drum beat. Their knowledge of listening, feeling the earth beneath their feet, grounding and calming themselves, and facing their fears helped them make their way through this darkness relatively unscathed. Adults were of course surrounding it all and there in case someone was going towards danger, but for the most part their skills got them where they needed to go. At the end we all circled by the fire, faces glowing, and shared how the experience affected us, and my heart was moved by the depth that these young ones shared amongst us all. We sang songs of embracing light, embracing darkness, we spoke of finding the “true drumbeat” to listen for and follow in the dense forests we must walk through ahead in life.

I wonder what my life might have been were I exposed to something like this before my journey with the eating disorder and depression began…would my psyche have taken me there anyways? Would it grab some of these young women too, initiating them in the ways I was? Or would it have prevented the need for such intense initiation? I’m so curious how these girls will turn out as a result of being involved in such powerful rites-of-passage work.

Today, sitting at my desk I faced my fear, my own rite-of-passage. I was inspired by these girls, walking so bravely into the unknown night, trusting the drum, trusting the journey it would take them on. Today, I wrote a letter to the professors of the study I mentioned last week, asking if they might be interested in connecting and talking about ideas, possibly in reviewing my memoir. I wrote the letter pretty easily, but it was in pushing the send button where I faced my own darkness–putting myself, my ideas, my relatively “unknown” status as a writer out there in the wider field. Putting these things out there to possibly get rejected, ridiculed, shamed, all the fears that a writer or any creative has in putting out their heart to the world.

My finger trembled above the enter button as I steadied myself, like those young girls did in that forest. I breathed in, sent my roots down, and listened for the drum–the sound of my heart’s desire to share my story–and braced myself for the unknown that may come of this contact. I have had much practice in self-soothing, in courage, in trusting and daring, but for some reason I really felt the energy of those brave girls affecting me, urging me, to hit that button. So I did, and with a whoosh it has flown into the interwebs to do its magic. We’ll see what happens next.

Publishing, Marketing, Dating and All That Jazz

I’m overwhelmed. There is a certain similarity to the process of research and sales necessary to pitch my book to publishers that reminds me of the process of dating, which I am also overwhelmed by. Here I need to primp up my words, sourced from the depths of my soul cauldron, to make it look presentable enough, attractive enough, to be looked at and considered by companies with thousands of letters and requests to ruffle through each day. Hrumph. I don’t like doing this for dating purposes, and I’m certainly not enjoying it for publishing purposes either.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I am enjoying the research process–looking at comparative literature, seeing how they market their wares. In fact, the other day I found a group of researchers that wrote an article basically calling out for stories like mine, the need for a new paradigm of seeing illness and “recovery” from Anorexia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5116854/. I even surprisingly found my thoughts and experiences mirrored in a book I chose for this process, one I read many years ago and was unimpressed by then: Wasted by Marya Hornbacher. Although I still think the mass of the book is triggering and not related to my journey, the afterword completely mirrored my experience, of Marya’s challenges with the ideas of recovery, at least the linear expectations of it, especially in hindsight after years away from the intense periods of her struggle.

These boons are making the process worthwhile, and exciting in a way, that there may be less of a need for me to completely strip my deep soul message to get “picked up” by a publishing house. That there are others out there that are “credible” I can refer to as having similar messages. That perhaps I can find a balance in representing my work professionally but in a way that doesn’t lose its message…and that a house will actually value that message, not look past it or ask me to make it more mass market friendly.

Yet it still reeks of the social game of dating, of looking pretty for attention, and it feels so ironic that I would be drawn into this process in my search to get my memoir out. My memoir focuses on the difficulties of extreme alteration to accomplish culturally popular goals, acceptance, love. How do I make this effort not that, which it basically is? I’m trying to see this process as a refinement, a conscious and balanced use of self-esteem and soul image to engender a pathway to expression in the wider world. I’m trying to see it like jazz–keeping my scatting, but presenting it in a way that makes its way into fine dining establishments and infuses the listeners with its real, raw and yet undefinable message.

Like dating, jazz is a hard genre to describe, full of complexities. Like both of these, so is the process of trying to market my book. Its uncomfortable, thinking of words I’ll use to impress publishers and readers to consider my book. Yet I’m up for it, mainly because I wonder if this process is exactly what my soul wanted me to engage in as I took on the process of writing and releasing this book. I’ve got hopes that I might learn some things, be surprised by some things, maybe even encouraged and lifted up by the experience.

I still refuse to shave my legs for it though.

What To Glean From A Stagecoach Robbery

Well, now I know what carjacking means.


a VERB meaning to steal (an occupied car) in a violent manner.

That’s where I’ve been for the past two weeks, dealing with the aftereffects of going through this experience. I missed a post in there, and surprisingly in the midst of all of the drama, I thought of keeping to my regular Monday posting schedule. I’m beginning to like this platform so much that I thought about whether I could fit a post in whilst juggling Oakland Police Department report filings, tending to bruised arms and cranium, and in finding creative ways to transport myself to vehicle impound lots hours and hours from my home!

The experience taught me many things, and this was one of them–that my commitment to writing is strong and that the urge pierces through the most intense of situations. I learned a number of other things too. I learned of my unexpected fighter’s response–although it could have gotten me killed, something in me knew I had to at least put up a fight to these buggers (and I physically paid for that, but am thankfully alive).

I also learned that there is support all around me (as long as I yell into the night like a banshee for it, lol), as a whole gaggle of women came to my aid as the bandits made off with my car. Two of these women invited me, a complete stranger, into their home, brewed some tea, made up a bed for me. They stayed up late into the night talking out the situation with me, and in the morning made me breakfast and drove me nearer to my home so public transport would be easier. The love and care these women provided me was beyond the trauma I had just experienced–although I was banged up and carless, I was just overtaken with their care, graciousness and concern. They also happened to be in the fields of rite-of-passage and intimacy counseling, two career paths I’ve considered for a while now, and it felt like on some symbolic level that I was being pulled from my old mode of getting around in the world (kind of wandering, somewhat purposeless) and welcomed into theirs. I am now exploring these fields with new interest and focus.

I also learned that once again, I can never really know what will happen, and that I have mainly two choices to make with that information. I can either live in fear or embrace the learning and rite-of-passage like energy of the experience. I choose to embrace the latter, and to keep writing.

Situation willing, of course :}