If many remedies are prescribed for an illness, you may be certain that the illness has no cure.

A. P. CHEKHOV The Cherry Orchard

When I was born, you waited 
behind a pile of linen in the nursery, 
and when we were alone, you lay down 
on top of me, pressing
the bile of desolation into every pore.
And from that day on 
everything under the sun and moon 
made me sad -- even the yellow 
wooden beads that slid and spun 
along a spindle on my crib.
You taught me to exist without gratitude. 
You ruined my manners toward God:
"We're here simply to wait for death; 
the pleasures of earth are overrated."
I only appeared to belong to my mother, 
to live among blocks and cotton undershirts 
with snaps; among red tin lunch boxes
and report cards in ugly brown slipcases. 
I was already yours -- the anti-urge, 
the mutilator of souls.
           2  BOTTLES
Elavil, Ludiomil, Doxepin, 
Norpramin, Prozac, Lithium, Xanax, 
Wellbutrin, Parnate, Nardil, Zoloft. 
The coated ones smell sweet or have 
no smell; the powdery ones smell 
like the chemistry lab at school 
that made me hold my breath.
You wouldn't be so depressed
if you really believed in God.
           4  OFTEN
Often I go to bed as soon after dinner 
as seems adult
(I mean I try to wait for dark)
in order to push away 
from the massive pain in sleep's 
frail wicker coracle.
Once, in my early thirties, I saw 
that I was a speck of light in the great 
river of light that undulates through time.
I was floating with the whole 
human family. We were all colors -- those 
who are living now, those who have died, 
those who are not yet born. For a few
moments I floated, completely calm, 
and I no longer hated having to exist.
Like a crow who smells hot blood 
you came flying to pull me out 
of the glowing stream.
"I'll hold you up. I never let my dear 
ones drown!" After that, I wept for days.
       6  IN AND OUT
The dog searches until he finds me 
upstairs, lies down with a clatter 
of elbows, puts his head on my foot.
Sometimes the sound of his breathing 
saves my life -- in and out, in 
and out; a pause, a long sigh. . . . 
           7  PARDON
A piece of burned meat 
wears my clothes, speaks 
in my voice, dispatches obligations 
haltingly, or not at all.
It is tired of trying 
to be stouthearted, tired 
beyond measure.
We move on to the monoamine 
oxidase inhibitors. Day and night 
I feel as if I had drunk six cups 
of coffee, but the pain stops
abruptly. With the wonder 
and bitterness of someone pardoned 
for a crime she did not commit 
I come back to marriage and friends, 
to pink fringed hollyhocks; come back 
to my desk, books, and chair.
           8  CREDO
Pharmaceutical wonders are at work 
but I believe only in this moment 
of well-being. Unholy ghost, 
you are certain to come again.
Coarse, mean, you'll put your feet 
on the coffee table, lean back, 
and turn me into someone who can't 
take the trouble to speak; someone 
who can't sleep, or who does nothing 
but sleep; can't read, or call 
for an appointment for help.
There is nothing I can do 
against your coming. 
When I awake, I am still with thee.
High on Nardil and June light 
I wake at four, 
waiting greedily for the first
note of the wood thrush. Easeful air 
presses through the screen 
with the wild, complex song 
of the bird, and I am overcome
by ordinary contentment. 
What hurt me so terribly 
all my life until this moment? 
How I love the small, swiftly 
beating heart of the bird 
singing in the great maples; 
its bright, unequivocal eye.

-Jane Kenyon

Busy weekend.

After black metal on Friday, I went back to PDX Pop on Saturday just in time to miss Josh. Who had been playing with a fucking theremin, no less. I’ll have to convince him to do that again some time & place when I can be there. Hopefully not in a basement sauna this time.

The only band I got to see Saturday were Swim Swam Swum, whom I really liked – nice indie rock with stacatto beats and kids dancing jerkily.

I ended up out until rediculously late, though. Post-dinner and getting just hustled at pool while having great conversations with Deeanna, I get completely turned around in Forest Grove after dropping her off. Like driving from Forest Grove to portland via Highway 8/10 to 217. So I’m not home until about 4, which means I’m up again on 2 hours sleep and decided against calling in. I did stop to grab cans of starbucks at a gas station, which made me 10 minutes late. Which we’ll get to later.

So I get let go from work early thanks, I believe, to studious prayer on my part, and so I get to go home and double up on sleep and am up again at 7. Now, during those amazing covnersations with Deanna, one thing that came up was a story I’m not writing. The story got hatched when I picked Rick up in Denver and gave him a ride home to New York, it was something we did to kill the time and make him stop wanting to walk into traffic. That part didn’t end up working so well, given what was going on in his life, but we did start writing this killer story together.

Which we didn’t touch until he drove me out to Oregon, at which point we seamlessly revisited the story, touching up the parts that needed work and really wringing a fucking cool, gutwrenching story about these kids’ lives and goals changing.

Which, again, we stopped writing a month or so after the trip.

So after talking with Deeanna, I realize how much I love that story, and that I actually feel a sense of responsibility to the kids in it, and so when Rick calls me the next day to check in, I let him know we need to start spending face time with blank pages. I let him know I’m going to be writing for the next hour, and I fucking do. Write. Which is great, and which I haven’t done since I don’t know when.

After writing, I went back to PDX Pop, and caught the totally amazing Laura Gibson. I don’t really like singer songwritery stuff, and wish Ryan were still playing with Stage and all, but Laura was just incredible. She had this totally witholding thing with her voice, where it felt like she kept restraining it, keeping herself from letting it go and clipping every syllable until she was so moved by the song that she forgot to stop herself from letting us hear just what a rediculously timbred and enveloping voice she has. Plus, she was playing with a saw and a trumpet, so the sund had that great sepia-colored roadside americana feel to it.

(i’m working from the concert schedule at this point)

The Nice Boys were somehow betrayed by the sound system – I’ve heard their recordings and was really looking forward to it, but either because Laura Gibson was so electrifying or because of some fatal error in mixology, their set sounded tinny and washed out and just really fell flat. So I went out to get food, and came back in time for KT to show up.

We were sitting and talking when the really boring and dumb oontz oontz beats from around the corner got more and more interesting, until I decided to see what was going on.


Oh my god – totally my favorite new band since I don’t know when. What The Faint are to sleazy depeche mode riffs, Dat’r are to Prince and spiritual lve songs. Namely, sleazier, funkier, and more danceable versions of the same. Plus, they hd the most overwhelming stage charisma I’ve seen since I don’t know when, were playing with Atari Joysticks and Ps2 controllers, and flailing around as though possessed by the groove and banging on drums and passing out cowbells to the audience… they’re on Hush Records and I need to remember to pick up some of their stuff.

They’re also playing in September.

Then the Shaky hands, which KT’s ex arrived for, and who were pretty good – I saw them before and it was more fun to see them playing by themselves when they had more songs and more of a chance to freak out. Their set was a littl emore apocalyptic-Dylanesque than the summer’s fun yay Allman Bros sound I was expecting. Still, they’re really good and it was great to get a chance to see them.

So, home, bed, alarm, work.

Shon, who I love dearly, walked out on his job today since he starts a new one tomorrow. Then I get a note to meet my Temp Agency supervisor and I am literally walking in with a smile, thinking it can only be good news, that it’s probably news about getting hired on full time, or if not just a general ‘nice turn around on that whole punctuality thing’ thing. It was not.

So I’m kind of spun out around work and all, but at the same time totally excited to get back to writing about those kids and the voodoo stuff.