I am wondering about this work. I was driven to this writing by my absolute incapacity to live comfortably in my home, in my relationship, in my own damaged skin. If I am writing, I am not falling down.
I had to miss the poetry class on Halloween. This was disturbing. I should have tried to go. I could have made it. No use trying to reinvent the past. I had to miss out. I hate to miss out. I am easily disappointed.
Sad girls are responsible. They take on the tedious tasks no one else wants to do.
If I’m very busy writing, I won’t have time for tedious tasks.
But something’s wrong with my invention. My imagination is broken. I don’t get out much.
Working on the book, fixed a footnote flaw, but undecided on the title.
Appealed by doubt. I catalogued the EOBs, I set up a workplan. I saw the physician’s assistant. I photographed the broccoli rabe.
I have another appointment in
There is an ancient print shop on a hotel property that may have to be demolished.
This is a woman who has to come up with her goals. This is a woman who has to update her will. This is a woman who has to complete her insurance elections for the coming year. This is a woman with a secret life.
I could have a nervous breakdown at work, I could start sobbing, sobbing with frustration at the restrictions placed on me there. “Structural violence.” Yet I accept it, this solution to my insecurity.
So then last week was our last session—postponed until after Thanksgiving because so many in class were going out of own or otherwise couldn’t make it and it was my first day back at work in Jersey after the long weekend and the previous week’s hiatus because of surgery on my aching wrist I had to work from home. Huh—I was cutting everything pretty close, had some goods to drop off with Blair, not urgent, just his vest, his coat, his soap—well, what if he gets COLD, he’ll need this stuff, my drive to deliver it to him got the best of me and almost hyperventilating after leaving work at 4 pm under gloomy skies I drove with one hand down into Manhattan, 87 South from Westchester over the Third Ave Bridge, onto the FDR, 23rd Street exit just like usual and then I think I’ll turn on 7th Avenue and work my way back to Union Square along 16th Street—well I turned at 5:30 pm onto a street I shouldn’t have turned onto until 7—goddammit, do I really need such pointed reminders that somehow my timing in this life is really OFF?—red lights in my rearview mirror and I get two fucking summons, one for unsafe turn and one for not seeing a sign or something like that and my heart is pounding and I’m trying to hide my broken left arm because God knows the fines for driving with a broken wrist are probably more than Astronomical, but the policeman doesn’t really seem that interested in me anyway and this too hurts my feelings, thinking a different sort of poet would have engaged him, spurred an action, wriggled out of it, into some grace at the last minute, a reprieve, but no I limped away, now afraid to drive, delivered Blair his package, followed on to class and found a place to park in Queens and participated in the small group, just Josh and Lisa (and the cats) and shared some feeble poetry from the past and made it home and paid my fines plus surcharge within 15 days—$180.
Next day at work, Linda, who likes to try to be my guardian angel, asks innocently—how was my drive home last night—I stare at her for moments, at an utter loss for inspiration as far as what to say—I don’t even know if my own mind how to say how my drive home has been or if I’ve even reached home yet or ever will and can’t begin to explain why I’m driven to do things like tour New York City in a car one-handed delivering warm clothing and unwanted poetry on thankless nights where no one’s looking almost not listening no stars no shining and no stop for meals. Lisa offers to go get some negra modelo, me and Josh say yes. He has a new job, he’s a kid, he’s going to work for Wiley in Hoboken, just starting out, I say Good night Good luck we walk off in opposite directions.
Next semester—Finnegan’s Wake, Gertrude Stein, and the Cantos, oh my god, I want to take that, I can’t help it, I can’t justify it, there is no explanation, but I’ve been broken down sufficiently okay it’s insane okay I’ll cooperate I don’t believe in vengeful angels but I’ve sustained enough damage from the New York School and San Francisco Renaissance that I dare not tread toward giants of literature like that. No I won’t be jounced by Joyce, stunned by Stein, or pounded on by Ezra anymore it’s over I’ll stay here in bed contented with my diary and my jottings, what intact bones are left, sipping supplemental vitamins and breath, applying gratitude medicinally and daring any New York angel poet student policeman to come find me here in this suburban garden of post post post avant avant fragmentariantude.
Discs—Physical Earth energy
Grounded. Material needs. My body. Not being able to take care of myself. Not being able to defend myself from the demands of a project.
Priestess of discs—She’s doing Yoga! Can I still take my Tuesday morning yoga class? I would dearly love to be able to do that. Physical—trainer setup? What about a zafu/zabuton in this room?
Working can be bad for my health, bad for my mood. I don’t want to reach out, make connections. I don’t want to feel over my head again in an extroverted analytical culture.
Six of discs—reversed. Is about this. I don’t want to participate in the madness. I try experimental remarks with Linda, jumping outside the box of her behavior. When I think about healing/leadership, I think—BIG. I want to modify the whole extended team so that we can work well together. My intuition screams at me to modify other’s behavior in situations. I can’t. I avoid participation to a great degree because of this trap.
Son of discs—Goals. One of my fondest dreams is to improve the house. I would love to gradually transform this space into something that would feel good and livable. I don’t dare to wish for what. Seems materialistic. There are poor out there. I am no good at home decorating. Etc. First step—money. Could I feel good about this? I don’t know. I might feel like Michelle or Richie. I might be susceptible to Sam’s criticisms, bound/engaged with his actions or lack of action. I don’t want that.
Demons into Allies—
|->||sharing ->||Blair, Kiva?|
|->||saving ->||401K, pay off debts|
Buddhism really figures in here.
|->||don’t get involved in tempests, gossip. Step up to motivation. Spend time with the winners.|
|two days a week
|->||Discipline. Housework? Chores calling me? Exercise? Errands? I don’t think I can work 8 hours at home. Maybe that’s not the point.|
|Creative time||->||most rewarding projects have been in fragments.|
Sam deserts me often in the evening, sleeping. I can do a lot with a short period of time every day. The daily effort is my ally. I fritter away time on Tues and Thurs, flounder.
I know I’m going to do this.
I am afraid.
9 of swords (rev)
I am not raising kids anymore.
I can use Linda’s logistical skills and networking to make things easier.
When I feel in the grip of clutching fear or annoyance at work—I can take a walk. Take a breath.
I want to
- Read Moby Dick
- Gravity’s Rainbow
I want to
- Sew again—some elegant drapey tops
I want to
- Make meals in the crockpot
I want to
- Be in the CSA
- a Buddhist teacher ? ? ?
The Indra work tells me—my life has been quite diverse and varied, here, there, and everywhere—it’s a little dizzying to think that this was all one person and one person’s life. It is shocking.
I am interested in Artist’s Books. I really don’t want to publish an ugly standard book. I designed an ugly standard book and had it produced by Thomson Shore. That’s good. I learned a lot. I made some mistakes. It was good though. No way to teach you how to do this. I don’t want to be generous, don’t trust myself. I am not that generous. Not sure you have aptitude. I do not want to work with people without aptitude.
I feel a desire to “climb the ladder” at work. I want to show off.
I want to distinguish myself from the group. Some pain there. Might be a sibling thing.
I am not panicking.
Software engineering is the family.
What I wish and what I won’t.
The first signs of what to do with it.
There is Suffering.
I’m trying to write. That is suffering.
I am really struggling with a lot of questions—
- WRITING (I crave my eerie freedom)
- Relationship—how much is too much
- Dharma friendships (Batchelor)
- The coffee doesn’t taste like coffee
- and where to go from here
Maybe this is the tail end of my tenure working I am certainly chafing under all the structure I felt Linda closing the lid down on my dear chaos Friday and I wanted to cry especially since there was no way to explain EXPLAIN—
pressures pressures decompression after Eli’s birthday party yesterday my eyes my eyes my moon
Why struggle with this at all? I am insecure with anything that requires any level of resolve.
I can work a Program, show up, practice feebly on and off—I can read and write and work on software engineering. Fitness is not part of my routine. I’d let Sam work on his truck, the house, the computer, I’d let anyone do anything. There is very little I can figure out.
Holding Separate—here is where we are reckless holding ourself Separate—because there is a lack of dharma friends.
K—Starbucks and her husband—Burger King.
I am strained at work, straining to get enough time to concentrate on Next Gen work which is much improved with concentration. But now I’m in charge of training K and—hell, I don’t know—it’s for the best—but it hasn’t been that easy. I’m going to give her my work in duplicate and see if she does the same things as I do with it. Case studies.
Genres of note. Choking out syllables of gemshit. Murderous eyes on the sly. Poetry magazine induces epilepsy. I am relaxing into awful afterday of Security BRD—how unpleasant is your name Alleluia who is Shakespeare after all and what did he enable
Hark hearken harken herald
The back door of relief
the deck of equanimity
the roof of aloof
the sink of basin
the rug of rolling over
the kitchen of wishes
do not underestimate the pluses of poverty—I am seeking poverty, so wretched without you and what can I do about it—
yoginis in spiffy outfits
yoginis in stretch suits
yoginis dancing in rags
pale as rags pale as dust
ROWE! Excitement breaking through.
Sample. Oh yes. Sample started it all.
Poetry magazine destroys, disturbs. Don’t do it.
After all is no way to begin a sentence.
Ekphrasis—shocking tub of lies and self congratulate
- job description
- questionnaire (survey)
- formal note
- TBD list
- calibration powerpoint (7 slides per hour)
- knowledge base
No matter where I set my sights, your language cannot reach me.
Writing seems rebellious, especially when I’m taking a break from work. A personal agenda is a big mistake, a high profile error. Well, guess what, she doesn’t care (as much as she used to).
Inconclusive, in conclusion.
Abusive, people under pressure.
Sometimes I can take it.
Other times I start to have a breakdown.
Sometimes—no, not sometimes. Why vagueness?
It’s better to be March.
It’s better to be rain and snow in March.
It’s better to be best in class.
I have a huge investment in Perfection and in teamwork. Systems in the family.
Well all they have to do is Google me and then die laughing
not even sure they have the impulse to know more, being the oppressor
Happy to be so invisible
while in plain sight
Conceit. Can’t wait to hear the dharma talk on that.
That there could be a secret path
and I be on it.
Yoga isn’t so bad
Sam is awesome
I am paying off some debts
without killing myself
Something ready to panic about Monday. Someone wondering if she should ditch this project, jump ship, don’t come back. Well hell.
This wouldn’t be the first time.
Here I am 5 pm—New Canaan coffee at Zumbach’s. Excellent. Civilized day—work at home, yoga, and quit at 4:30. Intense yoga one-on-one with Chikeola.
So foreign I can only follow
challenge to my understanding
wall, a see-through wall—a screen
No comparisons are possible
Learn to use my body in completely different ways
Part of me will not go back
Pussy willow (weeping) in fuzzy yellow bloom, this is a first—
Struggling with documents
The shop is closed
Sunlight. The train lumbers in the opposite direction. Commuters. My secret commutation.
Soft—softness of her terms. The soundness of her structure. Building system like a structure of spun sugar, stained with drops of food coloring. Where do you want to work? On the page, on the screen? at some point, I let go of all that effort. That did fall away like husks. I envy Mister You, at his desk just prior to dawn, staring out the window at the frozen lawn, no meadow. Cardinals and bluebirds. Resistant to maternal comments, on the —Robins or the —Peepers. Like a metronome each spring drawing your attention. And yet I have to trace my way through boredom, I have to throw my mind a bone to chew on and make Money. It’s awfully hard to retain my concentration on this thin high music as though here I was up in the mountains in my hut.
Fast talkers. At work, an impulse, so intense, to slow down all conversations. Slow slow slow slow down. Make you repeat each word in line so the thoughts can be absorbed. So what is this phenomenon, this riffing disrespect? Does it hide ignorance or escalate frustration? Where is the mountain, where are the waters?
Egg looking for the riverbank. Eggplant seeking streamside.
Fucking iambics. Jesus Fuck—this comes to mind at work. And if I came down with Tourette’s, it would come out of my mouth. A human being cornered by complexity. And with my mind-doors blowing open, flapping in the wind… and with my sense doors numb, encased in these materials …
sudden urge to pay a visit to the Beinecke,
where the walls are alabaster
Her lines are very limited.
She takes pleasure in her documentation.
No, not working. The sense of distance, I am not there. I am paddling in the mud, pawing, clawing, mud between my toes. I have itching on my scalp, dry mouth, stomachache. I have to do my taxes. Vague sensation in the nipple of my left breast. Vague irritation in my rectum. Slight sensation of a single hair tickling my right cheek. Maybe there or maybe not. A welling up of anger that none of my co-workers are sitting in a library trying to clear their head with writing on a Saturday. A story. A gurgle in my guts. A restlessness in my legs—why am I sitting still? Sensation in my left buttock/hip, a sensation around the back of my left ear. Mother speaks sharply to her child. Ticking, periodic sound of wind—or is it air conditioning?
The vast sensation of quietude, not caring. The exhaustion comes from difference of opinions. Some humor on the side, but mostly black. There are no breakthroughs, only cash. Trying to compare my work with yours, the mental striving taking me away, destructive. Well is it destructive. Listening to you better angels, are you out there after all? Lifting up my hands for rescue. Lift me to a higher place.
And yesterday or last week I heard about a service, body washing. Washing the body. I want my body tenderly washed by my faith community. Nothing more beautiful than that. And here I chatted about inconsequences with co-workers and Margaret’s family, while her mother lay in state. I thought—at least there should be silence. We are so bereft. And Poland—what happens when you lose 3 million Jews?
Particles, particulate. I sound funny at work. Disturbing. At all disturbing.
Too much news, too much nonsense approaching the big topics, too much story leis around our necks.
People going on vacation—she’s close enough to practicing sympathetic joy. And—generosity.
Some of these explanations, some of this story-story- story-story. Trying to maintain some equilibrium as far as project goes.
Shocking in the office. Four seasons.
Been a long time. The project is red, as red as the buds. The questionnaire is purple. Disability and rescue. Caught between the acts. You could say caught but there is never any stasis. Rest in flux. The boredom of hostages. Involve your body, musculature, mind, and investigate. Investigate the virtues.
I will work with Inna. She is from the Ukraine and she has definite opinions. Sigh—I am—sigh—repulsed.
Morning waves of aversion rise like nausea where am I, what am I doing.
tenderness, an inchworm, a pea sprout, a thin stalk of asparagus, the tender impulse of creation, tenderness in documents at work, tender care with headers, footers, table of contents, extending tenderness, your ravaged leaves, your petals bruised and brown, still vines of tenderness, your tendrils, tendrils reaching out, there is a sun of brightness hiding in the data, there is a shadow of creation in the project, the sun is out, the bright light of discovery, the light is beaming from my eyes, my hands, my ears receive this light, I love the light, I am an instrument of the light, an Apollonian, with my seeking tendrils climbing high
just an image
I am—APPALLED. Are you walking? Are you walking on the trail? Audaciously? The words of men. The Buddha gotra means the buddha lineage, the Buddha garva means the buddha womb. Are you cranking? Are you listening to the music? Or are you playing it?
Anonymous harping. The effort to situate ourself I mean herself outsides the bounds, the grounds. Here I am—a Deity! a Diety of the Powerpoint! Someone rolls on the floor laughing —
A flicker in my toe. The obnoxiousness of writing the seethrough sheer. The obnoxiousness of writing, the impulsiveness. The retardedness. Someone has to be you and you are IT. Someone has to name the fashionable names. Someone has to translate. Someone has to have the skills. Someone has to be unresponsive. Someone has to serve the lunch, someone has to struggle in the office with a flicker in their left third toe and a stabbing pricker in their pinky and that one is me.
Some things I don’t have room for. Titles. Organizational structures. Some things I have a talent for. Some men are women, some women are men. I have my own clients now. I’m managing the project. This is my practice. Practice management system. What is manageable, what is unmanageable. What is your sentence? Linda saying. Job interview. I will ask you a hard question. Your job is to ask the hard questions. Change management. This and that. When are we on the same page.
Com mun i ca tion
Se man tics
It’s not just semantics. I will blurt. I will micromanage. I will be an addict. I will repeat the question. I will get the job done. Please.
Imperialist. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Global Entity Master Database. Master File Project. We insist on a Master File. A Rosetta Stone. The damage is not apparent. Evolution denied. Invalid principles. A style of agreement. A style of nodding. A politeness. A reputation for irritability. A command of your tongue. Here is the cycle. I will approach you. I will sign the deal. I will get organized. We will go into production. We publish libraries. We teach. We are flabbergasted. We flout, we fail. We make Powerpoints. We are adept. We are an accounting standards board. We are widespread. We are afraid of the floors. We deny the floors. We deny the presence. We ignore the presence. We are masked. We are leftover.
We do not cotton to that.
We exude mystery.
We frighten with your quiet.
We are a Buddhist.
We have a get-together. There is a relationship with the page. We have not shown that to you yet. More to be revealed. Discovery is suspect. Discovery process is pigheaded. Nerves are jazz. Music is the instrument. Tuning is resisted, this is discordance. This is the dance of discord. This is a sort of hyperbolic naming. This is a frustrated desire to name in an overnamed environment. This is afterwords. This is the wretchedness of the beach. This is me being me, and I won’t apologize. She says “Excuse me, everybody.” She says “Sorry.” She apologizes. Her voice is a snake and hers is a frayed carpet. A stalled carpet, crumpled in the infrastructure. A plan, a cornucopia. This is disaggregated. This is a collection. This is a hard time. This is opportunity management. This is a to-do list, a task list, a watch list. This is a water path. This is a box. This is a box of books. This is enjoying my handwriting. This is an addiction to form. This is a crusty rind of moldy sentences. This is an appearance. This is a disappearance. This is an over.
She wishes for answers, application.
She is a term of art.
She is a piece of work.
I thought I saw one of the many Scotts twenty years later,
twenty years ago.
Try to be direct, try to direct, the team, the leadership. The common, the committee, the approach, the aftermath. Amazed. I am amazed in grass in weeds in yard work. The root, the colors, the shapes, the tiny “M”, the way things are happening. A tiny phone in a tiny hole. Rhythmic remarks. The tiny mags, the page turners.
You are a zine, you are a zone, you are a megalith. The signs. Hiking to observe the signs. The craftsmanship of systems, we are in a monastery, we are monks in cubicles, with our practices our forms, making up our disciplines and our discipleship.
I am sleepy I am escapade I am trying and I am embroiled enmeshed in software wanting hard to order paper dreaming of a touch of handmade paper khadi paper and a morning watercolor made in the land of garbage and the land of smells.
Hot page cool breeze. Birds and juice. Death in the air, creeping. Suicidal Ideation. Nothing but pleasantries, a need to scan the lines. Rustle woods, the deer step, squirrel shuffle. Peculiar disconnectedness of individuals, editors, the edited smile, the censored speech. Pileup of phrases. The litter of prepositions, the punctuation of punctuation. Texture of voices and air conditioning noises. The bands and patterns of tension. Often I ask: what are you talking about? What does it mean, the transfer function?
Where are we going with it, what is the next step? The next next next step. The first step already taken. Words left out.
The Efficiency. The Effectiveness. Your review and my review of your review and my interim of your interim and intermediate does not mean interim and I would never not step forward to clear up that mistake.
Shock of Ron Ferguson’s reference to Gail Godwin’s novel what it was. About coalescing, coming together and apart, Monrad and Rob in trouble, what about Joe, what about Warren?
Timesheet. Front Porch. Armchair evaluation. Interim Patience.
Dreams of misbehavior in the presentation. Dreams of sexual arousal. Dreams of dreams. Dreams of washing, dishwashing a large green rubbery container, unwieldy in the soapsuds.
Resting consciousness and sparrow comes to visit. Sparrows are efficient. No timetables, no project plans.
after all there is no work
or is there only work
I don’t know my bowels need moving
I am obscured by my files
the most salient invisible
I am off tomorrow at 5. I am a.m. I am p.m. I have to leave at 5 p.m.
I make logic. I make alphalogic, betalogic, gammalogic, deltalogic.
Computer science, computer necromancy, data alchemy, a shifting science, a business logic, a failure.
It seems like a recurrent theme.
It themes like a recurrent seem.
It dreams like a recurrent cream.
It memes like a recurrent fream. I mean team.
The team is a recurrent dream I mean.
Learning to resolve, learning to dissolve, distort, depress, the discouragement of your name, learning about tanned skin, catalogs, and scans. How the coffee machine works, where you stand up where you stall where to stand up where to stall, how far to go, considering you are a hairy white man chubby belly straining plaid with ear phones and bewildered eyes—
and another difficulty walking pin stripe
squares with red tie classical you should be
retired tired tie and all
your silky light hair disarrayed and
off to work you go with stiffness and concern
this is a worthwhile occupation
even though I don’t have shoes
and looking trail
The Lord of Sad,
the King of Sad,
The Partner, the PIC,
the BUPIC, the BUP,
the Rump, the Frump,
I am a wall. 1600’s in my weekend. So I toil along, mud along, muddle along.
There is no so in so-so.
There is no song in sing-along.
There is no sun in Monday.
Who works hard and
who does not. Morning
example. Morning works
hard hard work raising
Explosions in the steam pipes.
Rigidity in the synapses.
Men are hard work.
Men do hard work.
Hard at work, hard workers.