pussies and pollys ho!

January 1, 2017 § 4 Comments

The year ends and begins I want to say in the same (and already not exactly the same place). And or with the faces of Janus and with a sense of dread if I’m honest as if already I’ve given it all over to the forces at play. As if the forces of recalibration, the equal and opposite aren’t built in. As if I’ve forgotten the push and pull of breathing. And underway now, the dread eases, on the way facing forward a wind at my back.
Buoyed in part by finishing in good measure what I’d started:
5 books in a series begun two years ago, exploring the vagaries, the moods and nuances of SELF: Who am I. What do I want. How do I know.
(Footing; self; name; place; hole in the grid).
And the projects along the way which include a few indices and lexicons yet to be pulled together
(RUST; index;)
And in part by a sense of next year’s work, the personal and public aspects, personal and public responsibilities, overlapping. The keen understanding of the need to protect our language, our vocabulary, our how do we know from the insidious force of not knowing rather than the ebb and flow, equal and opposite forces of unknowing already built in to how we come to know.

So under the rubric of syntactical drift, and the play of snigow (otherwise intended to have been mobius (<–you see the upside down and backwards of it, yes?) and working with lists of words already in play and words not yet brought into play I will go forward in mirth and good cheer, with hope, and my pollyanna in pigtails and ribbons on the one hand &, nasty pussy full of hiss and vinegar claws at the ready on the other.

Yes and all that said, in truth, I go forward with hope and equanimity in equal measure to my horror and fear.
And by all I hold sacred as I’ve said at least once before, if I’m going down I’m going down standing up, by Art! And yakking my head off.
On the mark. At the line. Pussy and Polly,  Pussies and Pollys ho!

the throes

March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

so as these things go, I finally decided on my four pages; have typeset and actually formed up three already; am midway through the last one, and even ordered them, important since the margins for verso and recto will be different;

and proofed but not yet ready to print they are—as has always been the case I don’t know why I’m so surprised—not having any part of just lying there…especially in the middle of the night where not only the order of the pages changes but so does the layout of each one, yup it’s part of the pr-oh-cess, mine in particular, not so much indecision as the appreciation of a certain fluidity (hmm) that defines, operationalizes it ain’t done till the fat lady sings, and even then you never know how long she’s gonna sing

important not to improperly name, and therefore succumb to the attendant feelings which feel like anxiety or fear or ambivalence, or like you don’t know what you are doing, it’s none of those, it’s just the throes, yes that’s exactly what it is, the throes…
dear gob.

oh for gob’s sake!
b-c-d-e is the way it goes i-s-f-g while I’m at it but the point is b-c-d-e, not that complicated really
and an interesting reminder of body memory—my hands knew the case before I did, still do—my hands, especially if I’m distracted know right where to go to find just the right letter, so as my father might have said, it was an erroneously carried out action and the imps and inklings certainly would second that, suggesting Gob and not God was just the word I was looking for

evolution of a poster; learning to talk back

October 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Who can even sleep, first it’s too many inklings
jammed all in a whirl, (twice I needed to get up jot down some of the formlings leaving room for the new ones not waiting their turn). By the time I finally got to the shop I was in full roar tilt and after a brief show&tell we were on the job having whittled all the cleverness and excess away leaving just the plain old ohmygodaha of it.


As these things have a wont to go I set it upsidedown in a manner of rightside up speaking from what we thought was the originally agreed on idea but by then I’d thrown away all the scribblings and whothehell knew, besides of course it was as it lay pretty doggammed nifty if we so did say ourselves, well except for the backwards B which in our muddle of not sure which way was to be up we didn’t immediately see which in turn (ha) was some part of the consternation and confoundment in discerning the which way of up

I thought it was the other way!

it was the newguy who said the B is backwards, but we heard him without actually listening so it was a while before we sorted it (ha again!) out  andthen it was simply a matter of which letters would hold the red which we tested (using a brayer) before we did the actual run, which of course was two, first the black and then the red


and last night for crying out loud I was awake with the oh hell typographic genius of it, and our small part of taking back the world we live in, or at least righting (or lefting as the case may be) it a bit


back talk

in the shop

April 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

so to speak

 OR WAS IT TIME (will be) a book of love poetry, (& an exercise in sniffy, AKA fine printing—with two colors of ink, proper measuring, and ornaments, and a fine binding—or as close as I can get it, with a hat tip ahead of time to Eric for standing up for the rules, and for the fine serendipity and timely arrival of Nicolas…)

started yesterday with LOOSE FLOWERS the longest poem to see how it would sit in the arms of Monsieur Cochin, alors, c’est mmmagnifique!

It has a shape to start, you think, I mean it starts with a shape for crying out loud, already worked more than once but to set is to reframe, by dint of default, as if there were such a thing, or as if it were not so much fate as fated but not a fait accompli and sitting as it is set lying letters one up against another it heats up strung up on the galley waiting its turn to be slathered in what color ink on just the right paper with or without the proper ornamentation and it will not be hurried
though I was, tiring at the end of the run up to only two more lines to go and you, or I have this brain air bubble and for the life of me all of a sudden going over to get some more spacers can’t remember if I’m using 3toN or 4toN as if I haven’t already used 100 of them and I’m sure there’s one line that’s if not wrong, odd, but then again, the flowers are loose, aren’t they, and we can after all justify anything, well except the dirty fork I left on the counter.

LOOSE flowers
LOOSE flowers; only makes sense don’t you think, with a ligature to boot!

In this shop
We can ju-
Stify any



March 9, 2011 § 2 Comments

the hummingbirds are starting to bunch-up at the feeder

and the damned jays are at it again 

doing that thing they do, trying to build a nest on the light fixture under the rafters,
the slippery surfaced fixture with which twigs do not entangle but simply slide off or blow off, nevertheless they bring twigs and strings and bits of paper and lay them up there and they fall down or blow away and undaunted the jay picks them up and again lays them down and off they fall or don’t until twenty minutes later the many of them closer than not to a nest slide off and undaunted the jays pick them up and lay them down again and down they slide. It is an awesome thing to watch, it breaks even the most stalwart heart makes you want to run out and do it for them, not that in the long run we (people) are doing a better job of keeping our nest intact…

paul planted the potatoes in the barrel out front

I am on a diet, losing those pesky 5 pounds

and though spring is nigh, it’s still cool enough to burn the fire, nothing in the world like the warmth from a wood stove, nothing

It’s been just a year now, give or take a week, that I’ve been at the shop. And somehow it was seemly, if not timely, and the perfect, oh for lack of a better word, ritual—though at once a fundamental part of the work—that I spend the afternoon distributing type. A perfect tribute if I will, and on Fat Tuesday, to boot, to make way. Decomposing. Deconstructing, dismantling, not to belabor the point, it was all of it. And if there is an ineffable but unmistakable quality to a finished work, carved onto, into, a piece of paper, which is dimensional and sculptural, there is an equal and not exactly opposite state that comes of letting it go you should pardon the expression. There was something about handling the words. And taking them apart. Distributing each sort into its proper spot in the case, (where they’ll rest until another job comes along,) that was, yes, freeing. Not only in terms of clearing the slate to make room for what comes next, but it is an unequivocating end. In a real sense. The end of the story. No more just dashing off another copy. Or changing it all of a sudden. It is a demarcation. And sorting the letters out, ending the extant relationship one letter to another freeing them from their bonds was, oh I don’t know, liberating and exhilarating, was Beethoven at his best. I was dismantling the poems from DRUM, a book conceived as an amulet on the occasion of a rotator cuff repair and as things went, I had my last physical therapy appointment and my shoulder is well on its way to good repair. Voilá!

I am finishing my second book, KNOWN PERIL, a graphic poem in the shape of a book; an exploration of nuance or the lack thereof. Interestingly, fleeting and ephemeral as that project was, I dismantled each of the forms after I pulled the last print. And no one of the 6 books in this limited edition will be like any other.

I printed a second set of cards. So different than the first one. A good measure of the distance I’ve traveled.

I’ve taken out my novel again. Another measure of the distance I’ve come. And have yet to go.

And I give thanks to the many who lend zest, and love, and wisdom, and hope and who add kindness and generosity and laughter and bring music







December 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

it seems somehow fitting that full moon winter solstice the repeal of  DADT and an extraordinary deluge in california all happens as the year wanes and the lame duck session of congress is not so lame after all 

with all this talk of marriage and who gets to, and the good president obama finally bringing to an end the masqued ball of this country’s armed forces, and endless fighting for god’s sake, and zealotry of every ilk, I’ve been thinking of rules, which of course there need be, a conversation if nothing else, of spans and edges, of standards of conduct, of monitors, and a place to be begin the interrogation when one steps over the line, which is to state the obvious rules are only the beginning, and at any given moment in that moment, at the line we each will do what we can bear, each master at that moment of our own right and wrong, and herald of our own interpretation of what the rules might suggest, which brings up the inherent, but doesn’t go without saying, consequence, and therein is the fine art art of decision making one way or another

which brings me to fine art so fine there is not a breath of fresh air, but by god all the rules are followed and on the other hand, speaking of doing what needs to be done I nearly was fired once for being insubordinate or no wait it was for being an anarchist she said hands on hip like she thought I was the antichrist, having taken the patients out for a walk without the requisite staff, having decided there was no risk and that the patients would never get out for a walk ever given our usual staff numbers if we waited for the day there was ‘enough staff’ she was fit to be tied called me in her office…ohdeargod…it was a near miss but my supervisor intervened, and so it was when I was la jeffa, insisting the nurses know the rules upside and down so that when they broke them they could answer for it, that of course being the saving grace…answering for ones action,

and love, I’m so glad still to be in love and love and even more importantly like my husband and so glad not to be lovesick which knows no rules at all, we were married for nearly twenty years before I was willing ‘to tell’ fact was you were treated differently as a ‘married woman’ back in the time of Mrs Whoeverthehell, and there was a fasttrack like it or not to motherhood, it seems my cohort, coming of sexual age in the 1968-69s as we did, was really the only one that simply, with the advent of available and trustworthy birth control, had a choice, no agenda either side of the aisle…funny thing was it was such a short window that when interviewed years later for an article on childless by choice the writer really didn’t get it and couldn’t get away from the facile substitution of dogs or cats for children as if they were fill ins…didn’t get that the default was childless and the question really was at that time why would I have children rather than why wouldn’t I, and simply enough I never came up with a good enough reason

and passion, unruly as it is, let me never be without one

and nuance, which is a whole other story, due noah tie mean

meanwhile, my fettle is fine I dare say it’s been a good year

house of games

August 19, 2006 § Leave a comment

feather in my cap
dead in her–cum–our you don
t understand war of the wits tracks she was stopped cold as if scruff of the neck grabbed starting from the well-practiced Ive got no one Im all alone I want to die rolling merrily into the leave me alone you dont understand full blown into the the nobody does headbutted up against a softly spoken what if I do how could you she countered because Ive got an imagination pop went her weasel inspite of herself laughinghootingsnorting finger pointingwaving that was good she conceded that was really good

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