Today we went out for a walk and passed the governor’s mansion which is not far from the state capitol and midtown, where I live. We looked up and into the highest windows to rooms visible in daylight and I fantasized aloud oh wouldn’t it be lovely if we saw him there today? This routine I go through every time with you, I think, since I discovered last year that Jerry Brown would be reclaiming the mansion for a residence. No governor has lived there for decades, and Governor Brown is the only governor of California I have been fond of, since I moved here from Chicago fifteen years ago. He’s probably out of town, fighting Trump over the sanctuary laws somewhere, you reasoned. That’s when my wandering eyes caught movement down by the porch, and a figure was stepping down toward the drive, then concealed. I cried out there’s someone there! What if it’s…? We both followed the iron rail a few yards and saw the black SUV and the bodyguard and…and… by golly there he is! You said. I was spellbound and could not speak. You called out Mr. Brown! Hey Jerry! Down with Trump! A smile came over the bodyguards face, and the governor turned to greet us and waved an arm. Finally I found my tongue and hollered we love you Jerry Brown! There’s nothing much like a governor in his mansion.
Having dressed the walls and my wounds with classical music tonight, my thoughts now alight upon the exclusivity principle rooted to our being. The marrow starts to gel in the bones then vaporizes and shrieks out – a veritable night train whistle, forewarning us of the onslaught of the millenial generations. It’s nobody’s fault. Life just steams and marches on, stepping carelessly over the carcasses of the formerly treasured, the loved. Some of the more rock-like formations hold out a little longer. Consider the St. Petersburg Conservatory, one of only thousands of imperial-strength monuments in the world which could sing you impossible tales of a century ago, hemmed in at the waist by a sea of concrete.
|‘Highway#1. Bodega Bay by helicopter’ – KatYa, 2016|
One cannot have a delicate stomach for change. We must all harden our arteries to the passage of life, for it will divert its path from us and our microcosmic runs, either way; tastes will change, schools will shift, culture will replace itself, rejecting, celebrating, denying, judging, appreciating, dismissing, cherishing, banning, engorging, ridiculing, savoring along. I think the best you can do is love it while you last, participate in the push and pulls, and when your very own consigns you to your residue, the dripping-to-seal wax of human history, you take your place and hold there, never giving up, whilst the populace cartwheels over your back and pushes you deeper down by soft and sure palms, to the world beyond the light-wind-water-fire, into a quiet and dark place inhospitable to your past, where you may again flourish with a nitroglycerin glow, vasodilating in the belly of the heart of an era.
The river came to us and met us at her banks, midday and summer hot, we had only to approach her like disciples with our faith in her and find our place (which seemed designed for us, divined for us) where she came flush with the land, a mossy patch of soil leveling there with the freshwaters. we laid a thin blanket down and had submarines for lunch with cuts of avocado and alfalfa and cream cheese on bread. we used the sub wrappings as plates and we talked. there was my older brother, m&m (my niece), Skipper the dog, and me. they were on their way to Tahoe from the Bay, and thought of me and stopped by for lunch. i decided on the river cause i had not seen my niece in so long, and i wanted us to have a peaceful place to reconnect. besides a few river rats around us (i mean locals who were mostly friendly albeit boisterous), we were all enfolded there into the pastoral scene as if we had been painted in by a master, in oils and acrylics on canvas. nothing here could or would speak to the frenetic city behind us or the insane politics of the world. we had shade from the heat and a chance to show one another the kindnesses of a decade ago. i cannot believe i lost her for so long, the greater part of which I can attribute to life’s path, problems and poor choices i made. while they were trying to raise a family in the twenty-first century, i was literally falling and climbing and slipping and reinventing myself and trying to manage in a world which i didn’t think really wanted me. i seemed to have marginalized myself, but it wasn’t all my fault. it was just my life. and nobody was really blaming anyone, but the river between us could not be forded back then.
now we found ourselves on the same banks, reunited, and i had my lucky break after several years of remedying the mischief of my life and lifestyle, involved in many decent and useful causes these days, full of purpose these days. i got the chance to speak my truth, and m&m got hers, and i had a wonderful listen while my brother her father sat between us and the dog at our feet, panting in the heat. my brother and sister (in-law) have done a fine job parenting as anyone could do. i am grateful to them, not having made that commitment myself. anyway i can be a part of the family, is good enough for me, anyway i can help. today it means not being demanding or complaining or selfish, just staying open to any opportunity may come along, for i love them and that’s all i know. i was not so attentive to my family in my twenties or even in my thirties, so overwhelmed was i by my own life. and unhappy or depressed some of the time. vices and habits and poor choices in company. you know the story. i may be at fault for many things, but not for becoming who i am today.
so here we are, the past behind us, making what we can of our moment together. i didn’t seem to think we had much in common anymore, me and my family. but i learned in truth, by my experience (such is truth) that when you have blood in common, that alone is the mark which oughta draw you together; blood alone oughta bring out the best in us. to be there for family no matter how incongruent your aims, how varied your pursuits, how rocky the terrain of your individual temperaments. you show yourself (when welcome) and give of yourself as only you can. i may not be any great success of any kind, yet i have survived a sometimes cold and callous world, city life, and the effects of an often misguided sense of my place in it all. so i am blessed to reach out and be received. we had a nice lunch. we had a nice talk. we saw a sea creature surfacing every half minute for air, as it plodded upriver. it was unusual and mysterious. My brother and niece were both worried that it needed salt water to survive. Skipper the dog met a friend. the river rats began splashing about just down from us. the sun reached the top of the sky and looked down. it could not quite find us. we packed up to go. i believe this is as good a new beginning as any. my niece she seemed unsure at first, and i was a bit anxious, but walking back to the car beside her i felt the good feeling with them, knowing we are blood, we have good history, and there’s hope – the sun has found us now – and nothing means more to me than this.
7AM AND THE CITY PICKS UP
The colombian brews up in all the moms. all the pops. all the scragey wooden boxes with names carved and burnt in the pantries. dried blood years old stains the wood darker than darkness. the damn kids who work these floors, button the old cash reggie buttons, deal with constant cobwebs cause its a sin to kill spiders here. ask the old man if you got questions. (you dont wanna ask the old man nothing!)
The colombian drips its black molasses over yellow white teeths of the mashing local masses. every fuckin morning, y’all! 5am scrubbin the floors for 6am skillets firin for 630am stand tall for the regular steppin into the hall. between old sacks of basic shit and new ones. potatoes, flour, sugar, whatever the fuck! by the basics. buy american. fit in if ya can. dont and deserve what you got comin’. (maybe a big mouth of colloquial jam).
Ya. its cruel out there. its real though, its really real. guess what? you gotta deal! we got clocks run outta time…hands groping for the light, time wont stop motherfucking moving. the toxins ull purify her, the river of the street.
Was hard to even downtempo out of the colloquial expressed here and there and afore. hard to shut the door on it. the artist rendition was poor, sadly drawn out, she was bad at drawin’ it. Maybe it was the fifth bombay, no more tonic. just gonna water her down, said the poorly conceived logic of this dirty down home skinny ripped jean locally loved chick. drunk and every guy became a prick. drunk but not yet sick. get ready she’ll rip your heart out only to take a generous lick of your ticker, get the old bitch to quicker tick. that cool kinda hip synonymous with sick! Thats madre mad maddy. know her name, laddy. know her name if you know anythin at all!
On the streets the homeless, friendless of course the gps locates maddy on a skid row corner at high noon working chore in glass cylinder. mad addicted sometimes! episodic! got shown up, really most of the days, all of the nights, mad madre she believed she was showing up, we believed, for someone to believe in, yes it was her. she inspired faith. goddess touched. maybe the eighth.
Well she saw us through lines endless before city agency doors. This citys dropouts would fill floors and floors. Then the lines saw mad maddy…this time shown up by metrosexual bluetooth blackberry boygirls blown up. Yup. Sorry to say, they took her stained glass away. Poor maddy, sad saddy. But she dont care, they can just stare, her world continues to spin, spin spun, the tales, the fun, anything we had not done she had us do, we had it done.
If only we had her still, #8 child of light we say, cause if only would save lives. Pick up the streets, its a washout! Madre back in our lives, in our faces. Poverty of spirit, she erases. There by the federal building so many cops out in force, passive in their aggression, of course. Within seconds bust some dealer long overdue on the corner where the Hondurans claim territory. The Hondurans (that’s another story).
Yet all is not so clean, not so neat. Be afraid. Mothers flick cc’s. Houses raided, feel the heat. Children learn street science early, sisters they wept — they weep! Fathers look real strong or tried during shoots, for local papers. Later tied off and overdid it and died off. Uncut hit the street again like it does, like it did, like it always will, once in a while.
Some just got along but truly hated, felt hate incoming, vented hate outgoing. Others no showed or showed and were hated. Doors were gated, communities walled off. Still others loved madly behind these walls. Madre herself got back there and fell in love with a junkie, sadly, became half-mad of her original madness, got numbed small by suffering and sadness. Only for a while, dont worry. Madre maddy is radical, shes fucking savvy. She knows how to dodge a bullet, a boyfriend fronting steel rims before weak game. Ill be the one rolling out on steel, maddy assured herself. Like bigger-than-life madre by little children, painting half their nails while they slept, they would sincerely miss the kind of presence and house she kept. He would make bitch his mantra. No telling how many times. Predictable, mundane, hiding behind the pain.
Collect all the tears that you can, if you will. Please. So to offer toward healing of hearts. We need them! Remember all this shit happens for a reason, whether painful insane. We cannot measure it by days necessarily, but if we work together there may still be a chance. Maybe the sun made it possible? while the wind blew right by. while the tide got influenced. Got forced.
You stood by my side. By choice, not by force. Colombian brewed all night. By itself i think? We have locked and loaded the coffee grind so long it has come into its own natural rhythm, brews itself and a goddamn good cup at that! Working overtime all night, maybe could use the human touch again. Observe. Experience the texture — more like molasses or jellyfish extension to half your energy, sapped and unaware, might find yourself sitting half of every day, watching mindless TV foreplay on black grounds of roasted earth.
Whole is not too much, rounded out, no doubt. Maddy madre reappears, realigns us from our fears. Fast! she races to one tree (up on hill). If you dont blink twice, you might see her through the window sill. What a goddamn gorgeous pole dancer, drop dead hot for romance. Culturally felt, honored, unified melt. Down her strong soft thighs a true natural tone she set so clear so dear so fresh young thrill! never marked for the kill. Too swift, mad maddy. savor (the flavor of murder). take a picture. you cannot capture her all of her. you must anyway, with your trademark call out. Hold it now, hold still, thatta girl…
To you we are devoted. 7am in the city.
My impressions from an article about a murder of a young girl in my city. The trial started yesterday, but the outcome is only certain in one way… a child is gone — http://www.katyamills.com/2015/08/on-murder.html