save it for the grottos

what is the experience of now?

what sensations do you feel?

where does the breath begin and end?

how many tears have you shed?

from where does joy emerge?

what does it mean to be free?

how many days until the new year?

how many hours before you’re near? 

from where does sorrow rise?


after the storytelling

a woman came up and told me how much she liked my story

i said thank you

she said she wouldn't have liked it if i wasn't such an odd person

and i believed her


Art School Teacher: Class Announcement

This week we finished our first bound book, a simple Japanese stitch. Everyone including me felt a bit awkward working with the needle and thread. Except Huachewh! We didn't have quite the right tools, which is my fault, I'm learning right along with you. And that's NOT something to be embarrassed about. That's just the learning process. How about this for homework: How about remaking the bond book. Now that you've done the process once, see what happens when you try it again. Maybe think of what kinds of things you want on your pages. Visualize that. And then start. And see what happens. Our next book will be a free choice micro-biography. Think of someone whose work you admire. It could be someone you know personally, or someone long dead. Do some investigation. A micro-biography reveals a few poignant details which illuminate a person's full character. So don't worry about the whole story. Really, all you need to know about Flannery O'Connor is that she raised peacocks. Search for the most interesting details. My favorite source is wikipedia. And browsing the nonfiction stacks at the library. So, make a second bound book, and think about who you want to make a micro-biography about. Feel free to post an observation about class.

sumo book made by Elyse Mische
Check out what Elyse is up to in Lubbock, Texas!


oh dears

i know there's been an endless amount written about this topic already
but have there ever been any satisfactory answers?

can the central dilemma be solved with something as simple as 
a change of perspective, a missive, a bone?

how much help can it be, sitting here breathing?

and if i choose to write about it, to fill these notebooks with this topic
will that solve anything or just make it that much more complicated?

maybe that's the point.

how to understand that my arm is not mine?
how to understand impermanence when i feel so permanent?


river poem #3

a river is a
a pinafore
an accord between
now and then
a mess of well stones
pouring forth
from mitochondria
and springs
the life force
the circulation
of ideas

the high tide brings
the sturgeon upstream
where we marvel
at our own
a river
a life
always moving
and yet always
at home


river poem #2

where is the river
if the river has no edge?

can a being be a river
can a being have an edge?

where is the line between
water and mud?

wing and air
wave and root?

what is the
definitive truth?

can you see me
when i disappear?

can you feel the
current when it’s calm?

when the river
churns and bellows

when the swallows
flutter at dawn?

is it true
is it true?

have the pelicans
moved on?


On the Long Prairie Highway

tad neuhaus, guitar
joanna dane, vocals and flute

it is gone through the city
late to the broken evening
dreaming of 6 bells chiming
on the long prairie highway
the past looming larger
then every scrap beside you
i never know to never wander
in the long mountains
among pastures in the doorway of heaven scent
over the long vast breath

on the magic carpet ride
finding me turning around turning round
breathing in and out
inside of you
never never wonder
why is love how
it has to be
beside you baby oh i
wonder never wander
inside beside child of high sky wide
i’ll be back
back inside
child child child child child
oh my my beautiful child

never never never never never
never wonder why
why love is how it has to be
why it has to be
baby please
never never never never never
wonder why love is how it has to be
beside you baby
oh i wander
never wonder
beside child of high sky why
i’ll be back back inside
i’ll be back back back back back
i’ll be back back back
i’ll be back inside


river poem #1

about rivers
mostly what i know
is imaginary
inventions of mind

mostly what i know
about rivers
is right on the surface
the wild mix of color
and ever changing
sky and willow
wave and hollow

rereading Siddhartha
it’s quite astonishing
to catch a glimpse
of the essence
of the vastness
but mostly
the river of thought
takes over
drowning out
the river at my feet


River Memories

When I was a child, there was a grand river nearby
on the far side of downtown behind warehouses and train yards 
and fields of junk and thistle.

We only saw the river if we drove the bridge to Iowa 
or hiked through Fontenelle Forest.  The Missouri flowed fast and brown.

We threw rocks we collected from the train bed,
our reward for hiking.  Sometimes a tree limb floated by.

Mostly what I know about rivers comes from books, from Mark Twain
and John Hersey, Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, Rumer Godden, V.S. Naipaul.

I lived at the mouth of a river once, during the months I worked in Livingston, Guatemala 
where every few days I'd slip into a kayak and roll upriver to explore jungle creeks.

And when I got to missing Andrew, I'd hop a boat
that motored up the gorge to Rio Dulce where I'd catch the bus back to El Estor.