Wednesday, 30 August 2017

survive and cast shadow (white metal rabbit)

There's no world of all smiles, unless invented. In the real world we have rabbits we grab by the ears and make lucky feet for a keychain. We stuff them in hats and make them of chocolate. The white ones we want for a symbol of purity, and photograph them next to an egg.

Some of us tune our instruments to metal, find the harmonics, amplify them and get bent. I wanted to be one of those, but I didn't have an amplifier or an instrument or a room or a friend. I prayed to god for a fireplace where I could burn for you. I would. I had become inflexible like the white metal rabbits and within the realm of being bent out of shape.

I was far from worn thin with love. I followed ideas tangentially to distant and unrelated ends... my younger self had grown old and retired. Typically far from inspired. I must have committed some literary felony, for soon I could no longer read. I had a curious relationship with speed. It's a crime to torture a soul with words made from sounds of a cacophonous hole.

The ground I laid where I buried myself, the part of myself that was offensive. Myself who had been distasteful, rebellious, irreverent, and smart. My shadow now missing, a lack in the heart. The part that was human and fell down a lot. The part that refused to connect all the dots.

This is what i offer you, I told myself, dying. The black sheep's fleece. To warm you like Kentucky's finest. The past? no worries, shes fallen behind us. I urge you get waxy, let flow... the degenerate benevolence of liquid smooth language. One spirit, survived anguish so deep it near killed you.

I languished well near obscurity, until i found a little peace in letting go, to take with me down that long hall back home, the one without shadows or light. Water, laughter, a kind word, awaited me. Even prayer would be welcome there. These words ahead of me are here to be written. To describe all our likeness in ways and intangibles, to know with a knowing that cannot be described.

If you know what i mean, if you' re grateful like I am, if you've survived and cast shadow...then go ahead and read these words I have trained to be and be still. May they bring you all out like flowers by the sun. I need your devious smile, your shadow, your light. Before the rabbit turns metal, then white.    - KatYa, 2017


I got out of simpatico when I began to speak the plain truths. It was useless trying to be liked all your life long. No one who liked you would make it to your funeral, anyway, due to the inconvenience. Find a way to be helpful and get out of yourself. You don't have to like yourself, either, I discovered. Self-deprecation was less static and much more fun. There was a dog bit me while I was running up over the rails to the river, yesterday. A little brown Pekingnese with a seething growl rolled up on me and bit my ankle at the joint. I coulda started yelling at the river rats who owned it, about a leash and tags and sorta legalese. But I already was detested enough by their dog. I checked for blood, and there was none. So I kept on running and started thinking how long it had been since I got bit by a dog. Maybe twenty years or more? About time.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

type.writer -xv

one morning you sit down
to your work with your coffee
beside you and

the tides have been broken 
they have turned on the ocean!
this is what you came for
so suddenly

disciple to words
the reading
the writing

the sea and the healing
fresh atmosphere replaces
the ceiling! an absence of the world
you recollect so unfeeling

your voice is upon you
you've found yourself! finally
the struggle is gone
you no longer push into page

strangely awakened
enveloped by an undercurrent
you sing the song you were born to sing
you come thrashing to surface!

like faith
you cannot see it
you only feel it
you know

these are the moments a writer lives by!
when time loses interest
appetite gone silent
and the sentences form on their own

full of spirit!
making meaning
full of feeling!
with rhythm and rolling

you collide with the page
like a strike
when you're bowling

thank the stars
thank the gods
you got lucky

Monday, 28 August 2017

type.writer -xiv

My younger self reminds me not to forget my shadow, not to leave it out of the story, for without a shadow what are we? Nothing of substance, for anything of substance casts a shadow. The world needs a recluse, the world wants a freakshow, some deep failure, fatal flaw. So they can see themselves through it, otherwise they cannot often look. And when they see character lost in its shadow, well, contempt may turn to stone and break, and inside the contempt may we find our humanity in another's vulnerability. And find our compassion again. Toward others and toward ourselves! In a book, on the silver screen, in a play, in the news, at an opera, on the streets. We all are born into lives with our limits. We come abbreviated! Short-changed from the start. Getting alienated and thrown out of the womb, severed, the umbilical cord. What awaits us are further separations: from family, friends, community, self. From shadow. We need guidance to negotiate our way back into relationship! May books be always our guides. To the one who you know who knows you, too, I tell myself, may you steer your pen and the keys, to help and relate, not to please.

type.writer -xiii

Day old adherents
keep pressing and pressing
free press makes a difference
but truth falls again
to the floor

nothing sticks
in a day. a month
not even a year

your expressions are painted
to resemble the real
the artwork's on sale again
imitating a steal

unless you step out of your comfort
and into your twilight zone you
cannot be credible and
that's how i feel

find out what you care most about
what you believe in
and share

at the end of every night
lie down with your work
to wake up with it

the cards are the same
they get dealt and
we deal

we suffer. we feel
that's how real gets to real

make friends with your fear
have tea with anxiety
have courage to say what you believe

let your island of opinions
into the weave

type.writer -xii

The traveled stares of tired faces
hung out off wood chairs
watching the story

they wondered where
had i been was
i there?

far from auspicious
my roughshod room
papers struck through with words
scraped up wood floors
the devotion of the place
toward suspicion toward

being seen could be tiresome
something bland and

being unseen held a promise
i thought
like a single candle
its trembling on the faces
of the walls

i tended to let the world inhabit me
so i might inhabit the world

Sunday, 27 August 2017

type.writer -xi

they stared at you
they stared at me
get lost! i thought
you said it

i wrote it
i typed it up

one day
i got up off a bar stool
liquid courage
and read it

in 1998
i believed
in you and you
in me

i moved
thousands of miles away
in 2003

i'm not broke
i realized
i'm broken

oxygen starved
the urban air

i don't smoke
i thought
i'm choking...

doesn't mean
i didn't

type.writer -x

I was a proud twenty and five and wasn't gonna grieve some misspoken awkwardness in a common beehive. The world then was an accident before it got taped off, a natural intoxication, a Dionysian dream. How could I turn away? I wanted to be out on the streets and not miss a thing. Only when confronted by the sadness of financial insecurity in a large American city, would I submit myself to a nine to five, pushing papers like a mule. I was young and full of pride. I skipped down the sidewalk, afternoons away from work. Whatever I witnessed I either photographed or wrote down in my journals, then took home to type up -- only that which had captured my heart.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

type.writer -ix

i carried paper with me

in a knapsack
or an overcoat pocket in the winters
of west side chicago

my back against bricks
i held them under weak hanging
lights threading open mics

the Appalachian trail
did not stop me

the subway trains
the bars
the libraries (of course)
into parks where the sky
opened up all my thoughts

often i lay them out
beside my jack

i felt the social
around me

dead air

i didn't
so alive
was i

type.writer -viii

a time before cursors. a
land before chrome
paper journals blue and black
our future unknown

i am walking the beach
early morning barefoot
unblinking at dawn
not far

loopy cords
fall off an old

cloth covers
worn off
spines broken

        no space
is safe in these books
in these thoughts
between oceans
and lines

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

type.writer -vii

the irons
the letters
rise up slicing
the gunmetal

striking definitively
marking indelible
paper thins
wet with ink

forming words
forming sentences

pages replete
with ink dry now

gather up your work
in a bundle

tie with twine


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

type.writer -vi

the voice of the machine
unmistakable. a whole room listens as
the natgeo journalist in the forest of my mind
takes a tentative step forward

that night
the ritual

a quiet preparation of the scene
the placing of a sheet
rolling it into view

the smell of oiled letter arms
placement of the fingers
for some thought momentum

the ringing of a bell
the end of every line

i slap the arm to sweep the barrel
down the rail again
hit the block and then recoil

writer's block...
deus ex machina

carry on

type.writer -v

Soon you're sitting in some chair 
with your preponderance your
pool of feeling untranslated

unreckoned with...

now you got a Royal. glints
black beneath a gunmetal sky found its way
through the windows

stands there stern
with her keys
won't make a sound until
you touch her

Saturday, 19 August 2017

type.writer (archive #K) -iv

we drank coffee and squeezed oranges
in the morning. canadien whisky
at night with milk. smoking
4 finger lids

the letter c
started to stick
i had to find oil
and take arms
she was essential
to my vocabulary

tuning our guitars together
swimming out past the
sandbar to the lone buoy
the hammerheads liked to

type.writer (archive #K) -iii

the bluefish dissolved when
the devil rays flew in
and the sea disseminated
into sky

a line no

what a solution
now nothing would never
make sense

type.writer (archive #K) -ii

We rented a small house on the Gulf of Mexico
for 800 bucks a month
me and my friend
we got lucky

I must have typed 500 pages that year
on my little drab postbellum s.corona
to the rhythms of tide
and jazz...

type.writer (archive #K) -i

I had a Smith Corona postbellum typewriter
the war was for the world
so very wide
no.2 and sharp as a pencil

The body of the typewriter was a solid drab green
like a soldier

Millions were filled with lead

Thursday, 17 August 2017

how sorry you are

the rain fell ona slant and i imagined they were all my tears i could not bear to cry. i raised my face to the wind and felt the sheets strike my skin. i stayed outside all morning long with you, reading the paper. we drank coffee without any intention other than to be helpful. lord knows we had once been thoughtless and unkind. you make mistakes. you demand more of people, places and things than you ask of yourselves. now i wanna grab hold and empty life of all its discontents. someone expects an apology outta you, and hunts you down. they may never know how sorry you are. the remainder of life, pushing and pulling those notifications, needled with predicate .coms and .orgs. comradery relocated to social media. if we subscribed it would be too soon... gimme the shelter of the rising sun, full moon. all these things we hope to have eternal, here and gone, then come again... to the faithful, pulled and pushed in the tug-of-war of a life. how sorry you are proclaimed deep space, to the star.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

mid august melody

you were space
you were operatic

i was listening
but could not hear

like a potted plant i
needed time to take on
water. once i drank
i was full

i need to paint my nails
a soft shell blue
to remember me
with you

you are angry
i am yelling
you are pacing
i am telling myself
not to cry

i believe i'm gonna
sound the pitch of railroad tie
a'buried in the ground

locked in there. to stabilize
a nation. split in two

i am crying the earth away
so i can see you
again. next to me
saying your sorries

they mean nothing
they mean nothing

i am space
washing saucers

you are history
you are gone

i am thinking of you
i am typing

you are reading
i am writing we are
dreaming we are

summer's gone
and come

you are dreaming
i am typing we are
reading in the


all life. nothing escapes the pattern.
patterns by k

Friday, 11 August 2017

belly full of life

dear magpie. you told me of the seals and why they come up river all the many miles to Sacramento from the San Francisco Bay sometimes, to feed on spawning salmon in the autumn. i ask you: the spawning fish are dying, are they not? coming up river and back home to die where they were born?

yes, you said.
then why? dear magpie, why not let the salmon swim home and die in peace?

the seals, they are not interested in the carcass of a dying fish. what they do as they swim upstream, diving underwater for several meters at a time, dark and slick, wet coats shining in the sunlight; what they do is find the belly full of life, and sink the teeth in there.

midtown patterns by k

three books. audiovisual

Good news! All three of my published books are now available on my youtube channel -- Katya Mills -- in audiovisual format. You can watch or listen to me reading them as sequential playlists in 5 minute increments. If you enjoy my work, you can find them all in paperback and ebook formats on and other e-booksellers. I am an independent author with profiles on both Amazon and Goodreads, and a Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

Grand Theft Life
Girl Without Borders

indie author katya mills 2017

Thursday, 10 August 2017

magpie valley summer

i bent down by the river and cupped water to cool my face and hair. the summer was hot as ever and not letting up. you flew down and hopped over to me, where i could admire you in the half-light. little magpie of the valley, what have you seen and where have you been? your tail feathers long and dark, of blue and purple hue, your legs like twigs and feet splayed. cocking your head to one side so i can meet your parrot eye. what can i do for you, brave bird? 

you told me of the coyotes and their dens above the levee, and how they walk the rails to get from town to town. you told me of the river and how it made its way. you told me of your kind, long gone from here...and yet, you stay? there is an old man comes from the city to see you, he cracks a beer and lies down with a jacket rolled up under his head. you look after him. he speaks to you in a calm and gentle tone. you climb upon his shoulder where he takes selfies with you. then feeds you shavings of turkey and ham...dear magpie, i am hot and tired and wish to rest for a while. what more do you know? would you share with the likes of me? 

death by MVA

There must have been 4 tons of car coming at you with a green light letting us through. Me in my Volkswagen, an old man in a Chevy, and a lady sliding off the highway in a Subaru. The time was 2pm, the city drenched by waves of heat. I saw you riding your bicycle slowly into the intersection ahead, and wondered would you stop? You kept pedaling with an icy stare into us, 3 lanes of traffic against your perpendicular. I'm not sure if you wanted to die, but you sure knew what you were doing. The physics, the mathematics of the equation, did not at all look promising yet you kept a steady pace, a mane of black hair falling behind your tan face. You looked maybe Latin or Native American, and ready to die by MVA. Why? Did you lose someone close to you? Were you socioeconomically starved? We all pressed into our brake pads, and the old man in the middle lane lay on his horn.

We were long gone when I wondered; were you laughing in the aftermath of an adrenaline rush? Or were you disappointed? Or had you gone on to Broadway, indifferent to us all, searching for cool water, a smoke, friends, and some shade.

the open sea

Underneath the surface all is well. Don't let life get you down. Don't listen to all those people who are waiting to be discredited before they will finally open their eyes. Beneath the surface all is well. The waves are only growing larger and more threatening where the sea meets the sky. You may be up there in your sailboat trying to stay alive. All the worries and troubles of your life making you feel them so. All the people demanding you understand. Underneath it all, nothing has ever changed. All was always well deep in your heart and you know you can go there. Have faith over fear. Go there now and be the calm that always was, and let them believe in you like you believe in your god and yourself.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

forty years ago

i wanna go back to the world the way i remember... is it because i was younger or life was less complicated? or have i forgotten i felt the same way about the world then as i feel about her now? i wanna walk in ona sun, rising this morning, and see if it's the same it was as forty years ago.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

we watched westerns

people struggling
people gettin' angry gettin' loud
everything burnin' in the sun spell
people in the city park
wading into the fountains

people gettin' high
people gettin' drunk
staring at the sky
hittin' a goldmine
hittin' a vein
barely gettin' by

people bein' offensive
mistakin' themselves 4 radicals
people bein' abusive
mistakin' themselves
for anarchists

everyone wants a headline
even a recluse

late at night
other times
middle of the day

bottom of the first
tagged by heat
hash brown
eyeballs yellow

ready to steal

sunny side staring
up from the

after a spell
feelin' so done with it all
we watched