13 July 1985
- Dear unworldly one -
- You too, wonderful Michael.
Says if the baby stays in the pouch the whole time he doesn't get frightened.
I fly on the bike through the heat - it was he who moved near - to his hotel
- climb the green stairs amid red doors, hear the baby crying, walk in and
undo my breasts. And there's this unknown friend looking like someone who
lives in another world from most, the tall thin people with beautiful hands,
hard limbs, old clothes on the most distinguished frame. Dry-hair starved
face. I'm too licentious with him, starved, and he's an innocent who wants
it to be his mom and dad in love.
Oh quiet arrive -
Haze and cloud in opal - that northern sky now where we both can see
it - dear one I'm defending myself from our accusing - the calamity happened
I say I'm feeling the heart center open - he with tears squirting on
my cheek says That's what I'm working toward.
How different the world looks when we're - his images - am I going to
be without again - but the electric melt and little squeaks, I couldn't
refuse to find -
Further in love stiller with you.
Why Cupid is a baby.
An early morning in the streets with him. White flicker moths into the
green and shadow of the tops of the pines. The humming bird at Diana's scarlet
runner, grub body squirming, wing blur transparent and head stock still.
Materialized and then shot away
Hanging onto Jamila's distinction brought me into such poverty that now
my husband is a skid.
He returns some of what I lose with her.
Quickbeam, the quicken, rowan or mountain ash. Delight of the eye, namely
luisiu, flame. Rowen, regain. A second crop of grass or hay.
When he comes home in the afternoons his brown pink skin and clear interested
Michael woke this morning happy to be. Every morning a picture. Every
afternoon he lives with the baby. Some evenings we sit on the north porch,
the baby falls asleep in my arms or his, the sky colors. When it's dark
we lie down quietly. One time it was the true heart opening, the other times
are only limbs and trunks.
Sitting in heart's confusion, so much has come and gone. A costly failure
rewarded by happiness, catastrophe brought on, its consequences turning
over all down the line -
A frightened baby brought through the worst of it, and here's an unexpected
husband giggling in yellow shorts.
And then my friend Jamila crazy with how much she wanted to be a father
- who looked after the sickly end of the pregnancy, was there lying at my
back through the labour, roomed with us the first week, paid the midwife,
walked with the baby every dawn so I could sleep - was displaced. Thinking
of it is like screaming.
Rudha-an the red one. In the Highlands planted beside farm buildings
to ward witches.
10 weeks yesterday. When I sang into his face his body squirmed singing
too. Squeals came out the mouth.
Lying in the bath getting warmed from a journey in the rain, I fold down
from the waist to put my face near him and sing in the warm echo chamber
of the tub. M is kneeling on the kitchen floor peeling potatoes. Shoulders
and flanks. The white shirt. A trusting elation. Yesterday standing after
sundown on MacLean Park grass looking at children running like the house
martins. Not visible full moon. The beautiful smile of the nine year old
Chinese boy. A little girl standing to cry with wide mouth and arms hung
down "like someone singing the national anthem at a hockey game."
M watching the littler one in a long dress comforting her, four little f.o.b.s
standing in a group wherever they are. We stand like statues, I put my face
on the back of the shirt, feel warmth through it. The kids run nearer when
we aren't looking at them. The baby sleeps. The way the boy smiled when
he saw me see him skid, I felt I've come out of my wrongness, I'm not banned
anymore. I'm not ugly anymore. Looking another way. Jam in her dismantled
house. The appalling thing I've done. What I see is her holding the newborn
bundle - her baby. When I see it, at the end of the whole story, I stand
in shock like the little girl with her mouth open.
Garden invaded house invaded friend invaded neighbourhood invaded self
- She hardly ever goes out [Trudy living downstairs]. Your parasitism.
You invade and then you hate what you are invading in order not to have
to know your parasitism.
- You're not going to invade my child or my relation to my child.
- You invade my whole time. You invade my work.
- Who - artist, lesbian, black, urban, Jew, modernity, classic shadow,
power hungry. Long-married, observant, the only one who sees into, penetrating.
Competing for the same territory.
- Sees through. Jealous, paranoid, projective, opportunistic, sweet-talking.
- Refuses gifts brutally.
- Maintains hierarchy in every exchange.
- Spoilt demands.
- Fair and unfair. Generous and mean.
Telepathy, technology, has her own friend and takes mine. Keeps others
In the evening alone with small person. He's in the water. When he complains
I take him out. Get soap in his eyes washing his nose badly. Put him into
the thickest white jumpsuit. Lutch him. So sturdy and expansive. Sit in
the crib chair with him. He's lying back over my upper arm with his head
on blankets. I find him smiling nearby. Small voicing, mouth shapes. When
I suddenly begin to sing, corners pull down. Then a little waa. I
put him down on his stomach and he's gone without even turning his head.
Afternoon trek to Andy's for rye bread. The nice solid feel of him in
a bundle on the lower back squared off like a cockroach egg capsule.
At night I say let's try again. I'm very dry. (What's behind is fear,
if I fall into Jamila again.) He for once thinks to prepare, and then when
we're talking we're saying it's nice. Downstairs she's painting. Poke poke
poke. Stopped by pain that I'm betraying the women, who are the real ones,
the hungry and impeccable careful ones, not like this slovenly talker. A
professor overhearing us going to stand somewhere else. Agony.
Stopped in sadness. He begins a little. I see amazed that I'm near coming.
The glow getting darker.
And how it is, what I have: something I don't know from before: strong
easy and possible attraction in balance with deep shame.
What's this, the way it's rivalry, the key anyone can turn to demolish
M in the morning with wet yellow leaf in breast pocket.
- brite soft baby
- hows mows
- When he's dressed to go home is when it starts to take. What's different
is the palms are live and he in the lamplight opening again the flannel
of a mother with black braid whose head is laid sideways on the pillow.
An open spacey somewhere, I don't know it, a 17th century bed, a man in
shirt and breeches, wanton delight, but in a future space thin silver and
wide. Open one eye and see him with his sins forgiven, craven forehead
gone, this is the favored son.
I watch myself for willingness. Giving heavy mind to explaining what
she'd, anyone wd, know, what I adored her for knowing. Panic, how has this
mind got hobbled to this one. Humiliation more than welfare, strain like
nearly breaking, Incomprehension, why my equals aren't glad of me.
[with Joyce] Billy Budd. "There's a reason she moved into your house."
She wants to destroy what she can never be. "I think she is it now
more than I am." Wholeness.
"What they call the shadow. It's going to be very hard for you to
own all that."
"What was the lie in it?" What comes to me is lesbianism, not
that it's a lie exactly, but it was something we were trying to make so.
"Oh ..." - I think I know how to come at it from another way -
"they were goddesses to me, I saw a supernatural intimacy, that
was the lie." She's nodding.
Morning - oh this morning! Looking out at gold.
Destroying by training me to be like her.
[My mom visits.] Feed her, make tea, something wearing me out. She's
frisky. Feeling behind it, what's the indifference in this, I can't be anyone
I like. And she doesn't rest, pushing on in the social keeping-going, tirelessly
mindless until I go silent. The way she speaks with weights.
Meantime Michael at Carnegie waltzing with the baby.
In the bath finding the breasts are the space in front of the south windows
of the house, spring break-up, bare land in water and light. Further south
is the bush. Then the lake.
Wet darknesses after the time change. I go to the hotel. Baby and boy,
yellow light in the corner, dark picture wall. The old men in cells 3-deep
across the street. Graceful Michael. Lo bak, sin choy pork and brown rice
cooked in one pot. We pass the baby and the wooden spoon across the table.
Lying on the bed toward the lamp, holding the baby on my stomach, stroking
his head. "Duck fuzz duck fuzz fuck d- ."
I opened the door ... telephone wires were already
falling ... the noise was overwhelming ... mud and lava ran in through the
door ... I stood on the table and with my elbows broke a hole through the
roof ... I pushed my wife and three children through it onto the roof ...
a wave came, a big wave swept through the kitchen ... cuchina ... the kitchen
fell, and my children and my wife went down ... I fear they have died ...
so much struggle and hardship to raise them
Crying in a spotlight, the Canadian young man silent, holding a microphone
toward him. Behind them a deep black, like coal, spaced glitter off muck
How it is - how it is becoming - oh the baby still so fretting except
in the water (sweet singing tonight after he's been frantic). Robert, consideringly:
"If he's been there for the months with a crying baby, he's there for
the years." Let's not think about that. Mesmerized by my bum. When
he puts on the green pants for dinner bending over the baby on the bed.
Odd what I've been sent, there's a wrapping-up feeling to it, the powers
giving me someone so mending. "What have you been doing, your eyes
look sad." Always sees and usually knows why. His blessed freedoms.
This morning running up the stairs, cold whiskers, green wool toque, so
pretty, a tall little girl going carefully flatfooted on the ice, leaning
forward over the baby in his warm harness. Lashes dropping - are they -
as we cross to the sunny side and go back to the bun shop.
And knowing I've got this health instead of what I had been dying for,
the deep slight visionary (writing) I made in marriage with Jam, that she
has taken to buy her in with death and the devil. She where no one. Is it
really a ladder. She thinks so.
Squalling the way he does. Seagull fret, misery face. He'd slept, he'd
drunk milk, and then again clawing my face. Tiger hands wanting to pinch
his bum. The little claw on the side of my mouth. A tiny nip. Now he bursts
into real crying, angry, shocked. But then sits quiet in my arms, looks
quietly out. And later on my knee facing the twilight, carlights white and
red, plumes of steam, yard lamps of the carwash. Absorbed.
On the wild side, lost, so many times I've tried to find you. In dust,
cloud. You said, If there's any way to get through to you I will. I keep
Who is she anyway, someone I used to know? Dragging in the tide. Leave
In the aft willing to kiss. Banging foolishly. What I did was like seeing
him during the night, from his bed, he in the chair holding the baby straight-backed
seriously chewing a strip of bread. The two profiles. "Nice Michael."
You are just full of love and needing to find somebody. You're a third son,
who shares his sandwich with some ants.
Law-avoiding citizens. Buddha wake up.
Walking to M's in the afternoon, young tree leaned against school fence,
tinsel, popcorn string, crayon coloured pictures. Take hold of it at the
slender waist and carry it by my side through the streets to the hotel.
M when he sees it afraid he's expected to feel Christmas spirit.
Little boy in red and white sleeper with big white feet awake after nightfall
sleep, sitting on my lap tipping his face back to watch beets go into my
mouth, has a green bean in his hand.
- 2nd January 1986
What I want to know with you is what becomes of what we were after, what
we were there for - mind. The mind so close it can see in and the
gate that opens. Michael is true and sane and has the most beautiful bum
in the whole of the animal kingdom, but what I do with him is what I could
do when I was sixteen.
I'm furious that it was still, again and endlessly, the desperation for
mind companion that gets me slaughtered, first by you guys and then by Jam.
Her fabulous book that has my eight years in it. Why wasn't I working for
myself. No. Why wasn't she working for me as much as I was for her. Why
didn't she need it? Because she had it. Why did she have it? It's not
true there's enough for everybody. Anybody can have a lover but a companion
maybe not. Anyone can do work recognizable in Canada maybe. But the context
that will support the bravest realest least ingratiating of what we like
to do, very few of us have got. And we kill for it. Are killed trying for
it. Stop trying in order not to die. Die in order not to die.
I've got part of what I need, and to get it I've got none of what I need.
I like Michael and Rowen and am fat, do no work, read novels all day and
go to bed often before 8. On moon-stressed days I bang doors knock heavy
things onto the floor play AM radio in the room above someone trying to
paint her way to New York and at times let the sink overflow. Mostly I can't
sleep with M: heterosexuality seems perverse to me. Embarrasses me. No that
isn't it: what it is, is I want something else: depth. And am making do
with adulation. And besides that he's impotent.
The truth of uncertain welcome. "How did this happen?" It came
of four years of suffering so fruitless so intense that I did the only thing
I could to break out. I wish I could have simply left. That baby grew in
an unwelcoming body was dumped out before he was ready came into the arms
of 2 demolished berserk people and has been gradually rescued by Michael.
Morning has waning crescent, turquoise green eastern rim. Holding the
baby at the bathroom window to see it before I turn on the light and the
crashing of bathwater.
His second day in child clothes, overalls, shirt and socks, mashing bread
crust in his gums.
The baby is crawling.
Freedom. Laughing with Michael, imagining writing The waves.
Rowen's unrecognizable so unusual look at times below my arm studying
Now he wakes only a little before 7. Lay and talked till the clock beeped.
Then I keep my promise and come get him. He lutches what there is. We sit
in bed, he looks at the window.
Michael wrecked in the mornings. Says it's from dreams.
Imagining going to ag school, imagining making a useable front.
The way warring with T and M I'm overriding what also seems to be myself.
It's more intelligent to identify with the whole set, but the result
of this hardness is a bigger space. I'm not fastened in relationship pain.
In the bath he stands holding onto the side. We're in a warm pool playing.
This morning, sky colors because of the snow. When he woke early he lay
and talked. Happiness in a war calm. And I in my talking too between two
lights in the clean new blue room with polished floor.
Still everyday force and defiance with Trudy. Still peaky for Jam. Oh,
I could see you. So respectfully. Still hooting with Michael, proud of the
kid, liking the sort of warmth there was in his palm, like the warmth instantly
created between my hand and real silk discerned in a box of scarves.
Drought-stricken sub-Saharan region where women
are being pushed off productive land by male farmers who want to grow cash
crops for export.
Assistance in the form of training, advice or new
technology is primarily directed at men.
Development projects have also tended to place
land ownership into the hands of men.
To ensure women's equal opportunity and access
to land within land tenure and agrarian reform efforts.
Imagining Elfreda Salt, red thread of women warriors, green field clothes,
- The Boddhisattva vow.
- What is joy.
- The world.
No longer stopped by fear and doubt.
Knowing what is important, she is free to enjoy
Highly colored presence, liveliness to take on
anyone, congenial strength.
To love all created beings so much that you want
to become perfect so you can be of help.
Ghosted by RM's shadow face - a collapsed dark look, gibbon. So impeded
hostile around-the-corner down at the mouth black look and in it I'm the
silliest woman prepping my house struggling with his weight smi-i-i-ling
against his pomp, animating away incredulous and actually curious but not
allowing it. What is this.
The ghosting is his truculence, I don't like it he says unimpeded.
Tarot and babies.
What's my struggle. Mirror. Is that me. Then coming to M's brightness.
Hurling it - fury robot, thumping boots, bossy jacket. The woman and
her animal. She wants him. Actually not. She wants him. She comes to a turn
she's seen before. Getting quicker now. I'm going to slash him before he
has a chance to say no again. Just scram will you. Have I done it this time
so it stays done.
Did I slash him to get even and now we can go? On.
FIRE! I say to Michael, Is that the fire engine coming to put me out?
My desire songs, my siren. "Like a man walking in the water."
"Like a man ashamed intently."
Start with the beginning. Where are we. The blackness and all the directions
of suns. Earth awake and asleep, awake when she faces her world. Jam I love
you so much. Asleep when the sun turns her to lateral concern. You, I love
you because you're starving hungry. Here's the way having hurt him I'm in
the force of the gale of love again. Raptor's balance, wings like sheets
in a gale.