the lost and spellbound

he comes to you unafraid

dyslexic softly stabbing

wood all day with a

blade


humming

like a bird to feed

plants hanging around

awhile. dripping with smile

Childish. he dips into you

spellbound. a man he

gets his fill and

gone

you

spellbound

#katyamills

harvey. god of the sea

we took some shots you 

caught me in transition on 

a silver disc. years later we 

met for dinner. i was lost

a cat back up hurt and poor 

you gave a royal fanfare i 

found out you’re gone by 

internet. i will never forget you

my god of the sea and

to the sea you return

Transgender flag

#katyamills

PTI and Don Hadlock

Don Hadlock, co-founder of PTI: the Process Therapy Institute in San Jose, passed away in January this year @ 77 years old. I wanted to tribute him as a leader and teacher and mentor and all around wonderful human being. I was blessed to encounter him within a year long Group Process Therapy series while I was enrolled as a Master’s level student in Holistic Counseling at JFK University in Campbell, CA. He and his wife Carol founded PTI 40 years ago, he said, after having had a revelation while driving through the Santa Cruz mountains about the difference between content and process. Content (in the context of therapy) is the words a client speaks. Process is what they are doing while they are speaking; essentially, any other ways they may be communicating through their behavior. Maybe they are biting their lip or laughing when they mean to cry. There is a wealth of information which may be overlooked by talk therapy focused on content. By holding space for and calling attention to process, one can guide someone through present-moment interventions, deepen the therapeutic alliance and cultivate both self and ego awareness. Process therapy is also trauma-informed.  The ‘pain body’ as Tolle refers to it, encompasses how we hold our history of trauma in our body, which naturally extends to how we relate to the world: ourselves, our friends, family, and community. Mr. Hadlock taught us how to help a client interface the pain body from a gentle and invitational spirit. I am indebted to him. I believe my ability as a psychotherapist to create space and facilitate process and group process in my clinical practice, sources from many of his teachings. I think of him often in my work and I miss him.

loss three

another loss -iii

I was in
between pages
a book without
binding

You let me stay
with you
one night
a moment’s notice

we were friends
our lives derelict
unusual

the music
the midnight
oil

bands like us
cannot make it
no more

traded street level
stories

left out
again. in the sunlight
soon to be
exposed

before dawn

you were kicking
back. i was several back
packs deep to and from
Magnolia street

several unsavory characters
wanted a piece
of me they
could not catch
me

thank god
for this
bicycle…

Jennifer Mendiola

in memoriam – Jennifer M.

You were my friend. You had reached out to me in January of this year, randomly, and I was so glad to hear from you, I don’t know why I did not follow the way to see if we could hook up for a moment in this life, one last time? Life gets chaotic and there’s nothing much you can do. Suddenly starts, suddenly ends, and gradually you realize you never know when. We can try, though, and that’s exactly what I forgot to do, about you. Jennifer Mendiola aka Alana Kane. I will miss your enduring smile. I cried very hard tonight when I discovered you sailed out on a Ghost Ship and never to return. The clock struck midnight and you and your lover, you were dancing, you were gone. I remember back in 2009 when I met you South of Market, San Francisco. We were counselors at a painful place. Sixteen beds for sixteen lost and homeless souls. I brought my desire to help. You brought your presence and your smile. We got along easily, though the work we had to do was hard and brutal. Just outside those double locked doors in this sanctuary city, people were driven to desperate intoxication and suicidal panic, and all the time. I could not believe you at first, I wondered how could you smile all day long like that? From dawn to 3pm when we got out. There were times I thought you must be faking it, I confess. All the methadone nods of sixteen souls all around us? The cutting scars and track marks? The lonely vacant stares, up and down the carpet stairs. But we knew we could make a small difference in a semi-safe space. Listen to them tell us their stories. Hold them if they cried. Teach them simple skills if they wanted to learn. Laugh like we were family, and for a time we were. Everything about it could be cold, day by day. Yet you smiled. I guess you had just recently been married around then, I didn’t really know or maybe I forgot. All I know is we worked well together and kept the place running, which was the best we could do with phones ringing, doors buzzing, and sixteen souls in need of something all the time. I really admired you. I knew I could trust you, you worked real hard and really cared. If I walked in the door and saw you, those early foggy San Francisco mornings, some of that tension, that burden a social worker experiences inside, fell off of me immediately. I could take my earbuds out, warm my hands with breath, take a deep breath and look to you. Talk to you. Get willing with you toward the day ahead of us. I will miss you my friend. I will think upon you when the work gets brutal, and try and smile through.

cold. the purple rain

Cold, cold, the rain when you got a million fans and you’re gettin older and life is painful, seems it always hurts as god is your witness. Cold, cold the rain as you set your jet on target for the sun. I saw you there, once, dressed in black and white. Caught in the electrical storm, can-not-rise-a-bove-the-pur-ple-rain. The pills make it a little easier and won’t take you down, no, nothing can. Nobody can tell you what to do, your music heralded all around the world and god has blessed you, we held you here on high. Cold, cold the rain and you gave away the umbrella. You always liked it raw. Any stage any auditorium any stadium, the people they lined up for you. Cold, cold the rain falls in Minnesota. You gave us hope and power and free-dom-to-cre-ate-our-loving-selves. You gave me power and hope. Cold, cold the rain, the purple rain, tonight it falls for you.     – 2 Prince. love KatYa

hong kong song

they would not they
could not contain
the iron the
train

as traveled
the trax of
desire

the furnace
the fire
turned red

and blew through
the stead
of the home
of the old

selfie

katya by katya

ragged
guard

Acker … a tribute

The photo caught her in black and white.  1984. Her hair all chopped off, like her stylist relegated the cut to a blind man with a chip on his shoulder. Or more than likely she cut it herself. Looked pretty good, to all punks everywhere.  And this punk here.

She was an experimentalist.  She was an inspiration to many writers anywhere. And this punk here. She took her freedom by the you know what,  and shook it. That’s how experimental writers like it: shaken. And stirred. She was much more than any polaroid could capture. She was higher than your average .jpg image IQ. Americans anywhere could celebrate her, and did. And this American here.

How do you celebrate a great and enduring writer, postmortem? Hopefully the same way you celebrated her in the half-century of her life, if you were lucky to know of her, then. You read her shit! You read her alone, by candlelight. You read her before you go to bed, and after you wake up. You read her between sunset and sunrise. And then between sunrise and set. You read her in the backyard with the dogs. On the couch with the cats. Aloud with friends. In your bookclubs. In your cafes and open mic venues. In your classrooms.

You cannot wait to read her, if you’re anything like this one here. You thirst for her kinda message. Just like you thirst for your own fucking freedom.  Visions of fireworks and red and white blues. Visions of what has been ours for centuries now, thanks to a bunch of dudes wearing wigs in Pennsylvania. Furrowing their brows in their graves, at the crack in the great and enduring liberty bell.

We cannot wait for our freedom. Not then, not now, not ever. This is the quality I think most strangers to this land find so magical about us Americans. We will stop for nothing, for our freedom. The Mexican-Americans and Latinos in our cities are rising to majority status in population. You can take off the hyphen. These are Americans now. You think the border dogs and barbed wire stopped them? Nah. Think again! They are like us.

Like this one here, born red hot aquarius on a cold winter day, in Hartford, Connecticut. Forty years breathing. Forty sheets to a gale force wind, fastened with all our might to hold the mainsail in place. So the wind can come up under and uplift me and you. Comes out from under us and into the sail. Natural born energies harnessed for a moment. To take us out through heavy, rolling seas and foam, over the course of each coffee-powered suntanned ragged weathered,  leatherbound day. From the opening to the bookend. Known in the fix of an veteran stare, a survivor’s buddha half-smile, thereafter in the calm radiating through the cove where we find ourselves. At the end of the day.