Tuesday 31 December 2019

attunement 2020

all what you have been through
you are still you

and all
you have been through
see this in you

the loves
the mishaps
the times you felt alone

you need not always be

if you were. when
you are

- katya.20

Monday 30 December 2019


get out on the road
if you can. lose your map
away from them
they play out the decade on
the news

a quarter century collected
oil dripping off the undercarriage
burning rubber on the

enough standing aside
enough watching enough

go! get lost
in your life

Sunday 29 December 2019

i am

i stretch i breathe i let my feelings arise
i am saturated i have too much to do
i am talking to a friend
i am

Saturday 28 December 2019


our hearts located
a drip away from 5

your crow foot eyes

the past got nothing future
got nothing on you
on me

we got each other
in the city feel the kick
of life

hit the latitude
with attitude over dry and barren highways

not one degree short
of circling
encompassing the

Friday 27 December 2019

water on ice

the wind whipped through
made sense of the calm
they got so tired they
fell asleep walking

the sky turned blue long after the dawn
they forgot to remember they
had not stopped

when she finished the sentence he awoke
with a yawn and asked for two eggs
over easy

she fried the eggs by the sun
in the palm of her hand

the sky turned white long after the blue
the end of the day long overdue
washed down with water on ice

Thursday 26 December 2019


I've been writing this piece called Trouble '99 since late spring of last year. I read it in its entirety a couple weeks ago and found it several shades darker than i expected. Which corresponds to one of my three beta readers' critique. Writing is not unlike painting. You add layers until you find an image that best represents what you wish to portray. Yet with fiction you wanna let it be its own honest creation, which is often outside what you intended. Mixing conscious and unconscious elements. Let it be what it is. My characters may have fallen into a hopeless situation as they walk through the pages, but there is always hope. I think my work is often threatened by an existential mood. I have wrestled in my heart with this since I was a child, one day in the backyard when the limit on life first struck me. So words naturally come out of me that reflect that disappointment. Implicit in my sadness, is how much i love life and all its intricacies. How badly I wish to live on!

Wednesday 25 December 2019


she left the city swollen
sometimes with her way of certain
self-righteous. inflammatory
happenings surrounded her
creating a greater family
wherever she go refuse to be
predating the baby boomers'
babies on
the evolutionary timeline. USA

attention: not to mention
she considered herself the luckiest
one alive

tv watchin girl

she checked herself
against another morning
of dutiful obeisance
renting heads out for free 
on an episodic wave of programmed 
perry mason would take her 
unfulfilled potential white
and black past
subject and object 
a murder mystery
is watching


i spoke to you by phone long distance
before the call i was collected and after i was
hurt again

i believe
the space i made the contact
with god was what allowed
me to

survive underwater deep
breathing inside the

holy day

there was no newspaper on the holy day. plenty of fellowship and coffee at the church of aa. there were not any usual stores open but seven eleven. a woman stood barefoot in the cold in front of the store as people came and went. she appeared dissociated and did not respond to any caring voices. what can be done? in a couple of months the sacramento bee will be phasing out newsprint on saturdays. times change and yet i hope for things worthwhile, that they not fall off the margins.

Saturday 21 December 2019


the harvest of satellites
from station to

 appellation of meteorites
chemical analysis
of stardust

don't fuck with
the usa

Friday 20 December 2019


whatever you are doing
be willing to give your utmost
no matter how petty
or trivial

give a damn
when you are doing

with all your heart and mind and spirit

cultivate this practice
and no one can ever
fault you

Thursday 19 December 2019


super motivation for

you say i saved you
cannot we both be one another's

my trail is shorter than yours
i see you far ahead and what
has happened

weeks i was catatonic mired
in depression. could not write
my verses

we were meant to be
to resist to
fight this morbid tendency cannot
we read the story

something about
being worn down and off
and out
so bad you become

Wednesday 18 December 2019


i was calling out to you
i think
   i think
          i hope
   i pierced through

the dusk was blue
the dawn

a candle trembled
the fog horn

all was muddled outside
a circumference and
that's how i
how i

i kept calling

calling for

Tuesday 17 December 2019

go where no one has been

we are pressured in many ways in this life. we live in an atmosphere rims around the world. the condensation builds up by the heat, the clouds form and the rains come. the pressure and heat build up some more. how do you respond? you don't have to be intimidated! go ahead and rocket across the boundary. go where no one has ever been before. laugh out loud! the way you interact with your environment, your community, your greater family and yourself, is unique in time and space. keep the faith! we need you!

Monday 16 December 2019


the ghosts of poets

arise from the marshes they
trudge to their post

abandoned cabins moored to the foggy

portraits peel off
the walls. unread books crestfallen
to the bare floor

how much life was lost

here? to honor the word

may i conjure you now
at your most glorious
to speak?

to help fight this

useless feeling

Sunday 15 December 2019


when i live
crafting these poems of words i
forge my peace with

the sun burns on
imprinting shadows
and the dreams oh

the feelings anchored to thoughts
keep me dreaming

as i type across
our time and

memory of a friend who did not make it out

we were living out of motel rooms back then and only a couple of people we could trust. pumping air into bike tires and patching them up, so for some freedom out on the streets. you had to be able to get out of a tight spot fast. someone was always having a breakdown or a meltdown except for the lifers who kept calm and had an eye for any advantageous situation. swoop down like a buzzard and pick apart the meat and leave the bones to sink into the earth. socioeconomics pushed a nasty current downtown and hung a red tide. they marked up for resale whatever they could not themselves consume. the players threw a party to look unselfish. many swam off into eddies and lost touch with reality for days, then, when it hit, let's hope you could hit the ground running to make up for all that lost time. kids were kids and lost time lost money for every adult who had no fixed income or paycheck. outside of the clear specifications of sanctioned work or disability in a capitalist society, lay the gray zone. lots of marginalized people in the mix. try to discover what you had of value then stir up some demand. could be a skill. could be a quality you carried yourself. you had to get creative and put yourself out there. try not to resort to the least common denominator. plenty of good boy and good girl gone bad scenarios. some who could not recover from loss or trauma. god! i'm so fortunate i got out of there. i wish you had, too.

Friday 13 December 2019

peel session

my version of aromatherapy was dropping a grapefruit peel down the sink and turning the switch to obliterate. i met someone like that. her life like a grapefruit peel after she lost her daughter to suicide. i did a lot of deep stretches. i wrote a letter on greenish colored paper with a pinkish colored pen. i had an assortment of vivid dreams and got up easily every morning at four am. prayer got me through a couple rough patches. the rain materialized and cleared into sunshine. i got to feeling so very alive.

Thursday 12 December 2019

creature of celestial tongue

i woke to voices sung high in some distant land. they touched into my subconscious and drew me headlong into the world to carry out this mission. to build a creature of feathers and cotton and infuse it with such love that, when called upon by a touch of the paw, it may invoke these celestial notes, opening its half-sewn mouth for to give us all we need to go on another day.

Wednesday 11 December 2019


the kid was cold. damn cold. they already had three layers what with an undershirt, a tee shirt, and a hoodie. they wanted to adjust the thermostat but it was off limits. to save money is why, they reminded themselves, i guess i will have to put on a parka. they did exactly that, and ran around the apartment building exactly 4 times. the old lady was out there with the old man. the old man shouted some words of encouragement on the second lap. their breath rose towards the clouds. the old lady clapped through her mittens. they put their arms in the air and made fists in the sky.

Tuesday 10 December 2019

we gen x

we gen x in the shadow
of the boom

we subjected to vietnam era
rerun documentary
our own stories gunned
down with jfk

they got so worried
during the second war
they waited for victory
to procreate
the grandparents
in shell shock reverie
of d.day

we gen x in the shadow
of the boom

we eat astronaut ice
cream and toy with the key
hung off the neck
by a string

mtv lashes out lovely
by light and sound so
we paint the basement walls
all night. under
the influence

bumping our heads
on the deep cut
we gen x
in the shadow of the boom

our thumbs blistered
by joysticks inside the impossible

hidden in the slant
of the attic and papered

Monday 9 December 2019

novella. sneak peek

Here's an excerpt from my WIP (work in progress): "The night hung heavy and winter would not wait. The days grew shorter and colder in Chicago. We haunted an apartment wedged between others on a long city block not far from Division, the four of us. The whole block seemed to shake every time a train passed by. Factory chimneys exhaling smoke, incessant sounds. What I loved about the city was how it’s so alive. There was all kinda weather coming through, winds blasting across Lake Michigan for days. Early snow subsided to rain, and all the kids on their way to school pushed gleefully through the puddles. Skyscrapers stood tall among the trees. The vertical life in Chicago in obvious contradiction to the system of streets and rails. All diversity of people caught up in all diversity of things, twenty four hours a day. Altogether it made for a life you would not wanna miss."
- Katya Mills

Sunday 8 December 2019

say the things

the kick back sunday, cooking a simple breakfast for you and someone you love, listening to a game on the radio, when you get the call...and you take the call...and cannot say the things you need to say. left with that sinking feeling. how can we stick up for ourselves? we must find a way to speak our truth. then continue on with the kick back sunday, laughing and carrying on and not haunted by the omission.

Saturday 7 December 2019

something from nothing

i know how to crash and burn. it's easy to live reckless, to not pay attention on purpose. what's hard is the reconstruction era. coming to a clearing and realizing there's nothing left, even the foundation may be scarred. how terrifying to start from scratch. but you can make something positive out of negative space. creating something out of nothing is one of the greatest joys of living.

Friday 6 December 2019

december 6

today will be like most days and i am content with the lot i have. out of bed without an alarm just before five am, woken by the cold nose of one of my two kittens in our little family. i will take my single pill and put the coffee on, do a couple of jumping jacks and make a single phone call. then for the coffee and water in an lamp lit room at an old oak desk i have had for a quarter century. i still don't always know where to situate my feet what with the outcroppings of two crossed wooden legs in the way. there will be this silence amid the brief blasts of furnace and sound of keys tapping. i used to write on paper as a kid but i am a late gen x and got my first mac plus, and what a dream, on my 17th birthday, and never really looked back. i don't often know where to situate myself in my writings, for every author will, but i do try and be honest about life and these days i am working on telling these stories in a more linear fashion, so they can be read without so great a confusion folks give up right early.

Thursday 5 December 2019

against the shadow of trauma

when i was younger it was easy to be welcoming to strangers, not having had too many awful experiences. today safe shared spaces may be harder to come by. you never know who’s packing heat. so long as we are all able to respect one another, not judge and condemn, powerful things can happen. when people are willing to listen, speak, and challenge without devaluing one another, it’s like the sunlight carried in and turned out of someone’s pocket! i still believe in being welcoming. i try to foster willingness in my heart to let my shoebox apartment, despite the risk you find my home shoddy or small or wonder why i’m not able to afford better. it is an honorable thing to do against the shadow of our collective trauma. i can offer a spirited smile and prepare a nice dish. i am grateful for those who have done the same.

Wednesday 4 December 2019


when we were kids a raspberry was a scrape you got running around rough. the kid with the biggest raspberry was honored for a warrior. i remember once when i was 8 i injured myself on purpose, jumped from a real high spot hoping i would break my leg. i ended up landing on my hands and sprained my wrist. i wanted a cast for kids to write their names on, and all i got was a sling and a bag of ice. i went on to hurt myself in decidedly dangerous ways in life. driving too fast in the rain, age 17, i hydroplaned and rolled my vw. i was known to put a cigarette out on my arm. i had a lot of one night stands with strangers. hooked up with randoms. addiction was my tried and true. i wanted to numb the shame that came of hiding and fighting my identity. that was my biggest secret. i was trying to protect myself. i ended up in jail and rehab after rehab until finally i had to face myself, take my medicine, and face the world. my lease on life was renewed.  today i have learned to let the feelings rise and fall. be true to yourself no matter what. today i like my raspberry red. i pack a peanut butter sandwich for my lunch with jam.

machine 4

we all get drawn down and nothing left to give
coffee can only take you so far in a capitalist society
which would be happy to work you to death then
take your bones and drill holes in them and use them
for machine parts to keep on working towards what
only god knows

Sunday 1 December 2019

book review

's review 

liked it

Katya Mills comes on like Douglas Coupland's pill-addled street scion in this skid row helter skelter psychic tumble through a downtown United States of Imagica.

Ame & The Tangy Energetic rails against the sheen and shite of corporate pop culture and captures both the hyperreality and the blur of the high, the bleed-out of the sidewalk comedown.

Mills will dose your soda with her magical, druggy, otherworldly cocktail when you ain't looking.

A tale of getting clean, with washing machines.

(Also well worth checking out are Katya's YouTube readings of 'Ame...')

december 1

first sunday. last month of the year. up at dawn. i listen to the heater ignite off the pilot while drinking coffee from my union jack mug. the heads of the palm trees are bobbing, dancing. i see them through the window, signaling the storm. i think back on what i have accomplished and ahead to the challenges i face. working my first year as a manager for a nonprofit organization based here in sacramento. i am responsible not only to my staff but also my therapy caseload. stressed and tired i come home looking for calm and rest. while i wish i could be building community, i cannot always summon the energy. i tend to devote more time to my writing projects at home. i have to strike a balance to sustain physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial health. there's only so much you can do in a day. i am trying to spend less time online and more time reading books...considering how life has gone this year and what lies ahead, i guess what i hope for is to keep a spiritual core. what i mean is move away from self-criticism or comparing myself against other measures, and towards acceptance of my life, as is. there are plenty of ways i feel disappointed. and while i want to allow myself to feel, i also want to check it against my reality, the context of my life, and show myself some love for staying on the pulse, and going after what matters, courageously moving forward in the proper direction. i am lucky and blessed to be alive and have my family and friends, food and shelter. i have enough cash on hand to navigate a capitalist society, and a fair amount of freedom to roam around and position myself in the places where i feel useful and valued. i am grateful for the gift i have to outreach to my community in ways i see i can help make a difference. thank you for visiting my site today. i wish you all the best. keep the faith.   - katya w. mills

Saturday 30 November 2019

inside out.side

i am inside and i wanna get
out. i gotta go
get into a fix

gives no sanctuary
but in the
  living. what i got
i created. i gave it! your will
was mine! i snatched it back
i clung to it

then it disappeared
i was alone. i was older
and could not believe
so much time had

i wanna go out! get lost in
a cloud i am
inside. i'm not afraid to run barefoot
cut up alot in a city

i oughta. this whole scene is dangerous
soft factory air makes me. i
am inside out

fuck it. gimme a map
the closest emergency
exit. i will take it!

break the controls off bad
and i gotta get out
of my head and the news
is so terrible

not another screen
i need something to believe
in. the sky

the give and take

my tired eyes tracked the screen for some intrigue on

the only holiday that had the guts to tell you what to do

i was thankful

for the day off and some time to myself

a film tapped into the part of me

wanted more outta life

you’re excellent when you’ve

something to prove

i asked my phone
 remind me in 2 hours

to call somebody i love


saturday was fast moving winds, burning thighs and push through the pain. friday was calm and lazy like those chocolate chip pancakes flopping on the plate. the front was still picking up over the pacific and tryptophan made for sweet dreams. wake up your life! hissed a surf of foamy salt whip cream. we put ourselves out there for whatever it was worth.

Wednesday 27 November 2019


i had to learn how to live all over again, after the trauma. i didn’t completely lose my ability to write or speak or communicate, but it did something to my nervous system, and i could not think clearly. my thought process was fragmented and tangential. my moods stood me up and walked me into altercations. my thoughts put on a show, racing recklessly into the night. i lived this way for several years. 7 years later i am doing well. i am calm and charged and can talk to anyone and look you in the eye. i am not easily triggered into fight or flight or freeze. i give thanks. i dedicate my life to communicating some hope to those who feel hopeless in the world. with love, from me to you.

Tuesday 26 November 2019


the rains came today
at long last

thank god thank
god the rains

finally the world looks like
how i often feel


Monday 25 November 2019


the color red
the heat in my fists
transforms when
i wait it out

what is left?
little heartache
it's not so bad
come we can live


Sunday 24 November 2019

force 5

the 5th force has been discovered she
is afraid
of light
as she decays she

the 5th force has been found
in Hungary. they are coaxing her and fixing her up
under a microscope

she recedes into darkness

soon she will be widespread and universally
loved. they dream. the latest force! in her prime! just

she tends to avoid the spotlight. your
music is not my music how
can it be ours?

like a light in the dark she matters may
never go out.
hold her close now! how
she appears!

Saturday 23 November 2019

feeling u belong

2 feel u belong is
a blessing...

to anyone who is inside
the pain

listen 2 me

there is a place
u belong

i swear

there is a place
4 u

Friday 22 November 2019

found a friend

i found a friend who was out there ever since i met him when i moved to Sacramento almost 7 years ago. He has entered a program at the VA and has found recovery. i am thrilled to know he's makin his way out. every time i visited his profile i worried he would be deceased. appears to have hit that spiritual rock bottom place i know so well, where your life is so low there's no further place to descend to. gosh i can relate. one day the pain is so excruciating there is an opening. an honesty. and a willingness to do whatever it takes to recreate ourselves and heal. hopefully to walk again with a purpose and become useful and able to love ourselves and our communities. i told him, i can only wish this for you as i have experienced it myself. and you remind me of myself. remembering the past. thinking of you. wishing you well.

Katya Mills
20 November 2011

Posted 2011 [a FB memory hit my timeline]: "Though the circles of my acquaintances and even friends is full of the bad, the ugly, even wickedness among us... i find a dialectic, a contradiction in it, for these same people are capable of love and sweetness beyond measure and I am at times grateful. For there are glimpses of the compassionate! crazy! empathic! sensitive! and sometimes even mature and responsible. the locus of overlap may be small.... yes! we are immigrants passing through your mainstream ! fyi....our intelligence runs deep. intentions pure."

Thursday 21 November 2019


When faced with our personal demons, from trauma to social anxiety to depression, insecurity, prejudice and fear, can we escape the diverse traps of escapism in a technology driven world? can we recognize when we are hiding in niche markets and pockets that insulate us from harm, the circles and titles and roles and degrees that fit our personas so comfortably well? how do we move from our comfortably numb microcosms and social media spaces into something more vulnerable and maybe terrifying? let us arm ourselves with mindfulness. let us push toward self-awareness and awareness of those around us. let us appreciate differences of opinions and perceptions, which are forged from differences of experiences. let us be curious rather than defensive. following the paths of those before us, whom we hope to emulate, whose stories provide outcome studies we can see and touch! that to be vulnerable...to step out of our comfort zones...to let ourselves go into process and come out from behind our narratives, into space where we can feel and change and grow... may we drop our guards, our personas, our designated roles for a sec...let us stand a chance at a greater authenticity. a greater connection with something bigger than ourselves, and a stronger relationship not only with our community but our society, our humanity. The outcome may prove irresistible! A greater personal sense of autonomy and spiritual freedom in an increasingly material world.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

yesterdays news

the wind picked up this morning and blasted all the spaces, rolling recyclables down and into the street, carrying yesterdays news away. i am awake and listening. community some dream at dawn. i cook up some oatmeal and brown sugar. high speed internet and a chance to reconnect. living well can make you soft and vulnerable but not necessarily weak. that depends on you.

Tuesday 19 November 2019


wild sockeye salmon
broiled with sprouts potatoes and stuffing and
she liked it. we talked about our lives. i got caught up
in the story of my past and overshared. i could
not retreat

you got a real friend when you
decide to stick around despite the urge to run
shake the salt and pepper and
it only brings you

Monday 18 November 2019


i dusted my guitar yesterday and pumped air into my bicycle and rode the river for a while. god willing i might meet some old chords and new friends and find my way back to source. a dusting off may not go a great distance but i'm telling you...every creative effort makes a moment a little brighter for me and you. and that's something to love about life.

the self sets the limits

the spirit and soul is shining underneath, waiting to break out of the rock that conceals it, out of darkness for us to see and believe. meanwhile the world goes on waiting for you to arise. will you ever? the tarnished lack in a rusty controlled mechanical sort of perfection with an intellectual hook demands a miraculous effort. most are pulled out of the path of life and retired, subservient to other forces, equally bad as good, fenced in by unnatural designs. oh! the self-set limits of life experience. the adventure lies in potential and may very well be worth living and dying for!

hk. we love you

i cannot turn my eyes from an honorable cause
collective awareness forever half-whole

 the internet
a consciousness blender. unevolved practices
pulled to the surface

we cannot turn our eyes we
get up at dawn to see
unsavory brutal old things hiding inside the
lobster traps while the hull rises and falls off the swells
like a breath
the waistcoat of mature regimes sweating the heart
suffering the people to a punishing
high blood pressure and panic in the

hk. never give in. never
give up
our hearts beat alongside


the quiet ones they fall back they
patronize the same magazine

the cafes the street corners rocking back and forth on heels
toe to toe with the headlines the
bodies dashing past the salesmen
and women selling

it would not take an act of war
to draw their thoughts back from their concerns

they may hold your hand a moment longer than others
if you give it. do not underestimate this to be true
the quiet ones know
what you are going through
means as much as
much can mean. philosophically if necessary

sometimes that's all may take
i mean
to realize you are not alone and
someone gives a damn

Sunday 17 November 2019

tra.nce join.t

no right no wrong simply colorful everything simply
all night long

roll tight trance joints 4 the crowd
2 feel

no. the future's not cold
computer. still

clouds pressured by
fronts to tears are
woven and rolling are feeling and warm
are driven are crying and living
are dying and rolling
are woven into
the life

here a rainbow gone

remember those who silently made their way through city streets
adorned with semi-delusional ideas. visual blended them in with countless colors the 
nuance the canvas of urban elements 

what if what
they saw then

got medicated for
got laughed at
discredited by
disenfranchised from
marginalized for

years later

i stayed away

all the way back to ancient history, i mean my personal teenage daydream, i stayed away from the opportunities the crosswalks the celebrations the teachers the smiling faces. i could see them but i could not approach them. they were there waiting for me all those years but i harbored social anxiety and a strong feeling i did not deserve anything good in my life. so it was personal justice i exacted on myself, the better part of my twenties. then i hit the thirties and got a taste of freedom from my vices and moved to california. then the question of owning my identity arose. this would require courage and resolve. i could not conjure it up. i needed a plan and i got online and got with community and developed one.

i put together a career move that fit my strengths and values. i was working so hard full-time school and job with a serious commute two hours each way. i still hadn't put it all together, i mean, anxiety and depression and dysphoria were my lot. i had a few friends but mostly isolative. the pressures grew and i got heavy inside my head and i slipped up. you feel like all is lost. it can turn you against yourself. i was lucky to survive. i made it. i finally got it together. prayer and meditation. running and writing and self-publishing. finding my queer community. social work and therapy. giving and receiving. family. friends. owning all the narratives of my identity. reaching out to help others. dialing into my life again feels so great. i thank god.

Thursday 14 November 2019


we put our letters in a metal box and in the 20th century it was the number one way to communicate in a nonverbal, confidential and intimate fashion. it was only 2020 and the post office and the library and the climate were endangered. i found all my documents. i looked them over and shredded them. i used the shreds for a nest for my endangered species. i am defiant. i will protect them. you cannot locate me in my inbox. my inbox may be convenient but it's no fun. driving my car helps me calm down, despite a history of accidents, but i may worry about my carbon footprint. you cannot touch anyone anymore in a carefree spirit. you must ask for permission. personal space comes at a high premium. we are self-isolating with our phones. our tablets. our laptops. our desktops. pretty soon we won't be talking anymore, and the word friends will be incomprehensible.  they will be singular. i will be plural. will we ever know a love like that, again?

i was a vape

you were vaping peanut butter cups and blowing smoke into the space above our heads, while i argued for books over any other form of entertainment. nothing beats a paperback with its scent of undiscovered ideas. do they make a juice for that? you found newspaper print vape on google and we laughed all the way to the store.

i was a vape

you were vaping peanut butter cups

and blowing smoke

into space

i was shielded in the cradle

of a book

nothing beats a paperback the scent of adventure

and undiscovered worlds they

cannot make a juice for it

i boasted

then you found newspaper

print vape juice on


we laughed our asses off

all the way to the


Wednesday 13 November 2019

silent crime

some days were all traffic
no let up

it was hard to even
get up

so many screens
so little time and who would believe
a moment of silence...

could feel
  a crime


you were stunning
they were gunning
to meet you

if only they knew
what they were walking

wanting to believe

if i could help you i would. maybe i can by being grown up and not so easily hurt. i guess we all struggle with wanting to believe we are loved.

impossible math

in the city you may find her
weeknights back of the lot
expanse of sky just above a fenced
square of earth to breathe
eyes full of sunset and
impossible math ruled out in
her forehead

tired of moving
cannot afford to stay
how can she tell
the kid


the grapefruit ice you stir
upon the delta breeze
while summer lost
the spark

calm down you need not

the leaves to turn and

softly fall upon the crossing


time to sit and talk

all the cell phones gone and what a world
would be. what a world


was and how we got along you

fingered my blouse i cried to think so

soon you would be


outwitting the grammar police on the outskirts of dot dash city

Lynn P. Penner
I'm the typo queen. Sometimes I look back on messages and wonder how I survive the writing world lol

Did you get your work done? Was it worth working your ass off to miss a pretty day? lol Have a good day tomorrow. 🙂
Lynn P. • Tue, 6:06 PM
the typo queen enlists apostrophe charles to fight the evil dyslexics riding around town in their supercharged semi-colons on the edge of dot dash city

Thursday 7 November 2019


i had a nightmare and woke up and drank some water and when i fell back asleep it turned into a dream. you can try but you cannot force things. if i'm feeling discontent, like i'm selling myself short or worked up into some resistance, i try to locate what i'm fighting and stop. you can allow things to be the way they are and still want to change! just be present with yourself and work on it a little every day.
katya selfie 2019


i was so looking forward to your visit, seeing you for the first time in 15 years. my blood. my cousin. the only one i've got, i mean, the only one i get to talk to anymore. i saw us roaming up to tahoe and down to san francisco, maybe over to the ocean. they had us pinned for black sheep all those years and we survived. i am closer to you for it. how my heart breaks to know you cannot come. what a crusher. okay. so i'm angry, so i'm sad you called it off. these are just feelings. the most important thing is your health. it's god's will.  i am close to you, all these miles and miles away.
author at home

Tuesday 5 November 2019

song 1 nov

the song of summer has ended
and we nest inside our city

these dawns thaw out long
after the sunrise. i cut most
my hair off and dive beneath
the complexities

i can smile waking up again. i
can find myself again
in the winter. i

can see my breath

Wednesday 30 October 2019

the seconds

will you stop for a moment, dear sir, madame?
please for a fraction of
my soul

hk is special

the west and east have always been mirrors. one
sees its autonomy and corruption by the
other. sees its purity and constriction
by the other. sees its integration
in the rare and magical city
where reflections dissolve
and berlin may be

hk. hong

aka, psi.

pressures got relieved when you
weren't so full of air. there was always the threat
of surface area being

territorial pissing
this high psi life has
to go...     

          gimme a bicycle
two wheels and a pension
and an endless path
through a forest


limitless hours over and under ground. writing
and what 4. to sustain the hope that someday
one could craft a transmission
would be well received?

let me get up
drag a comb through the hair
pull on the boots
button up the shirt
draw the belt firm across
the waist

step out on the landing
and live! 4 this is worth
the risk


my thoughts spoke for themselves my
 feelings could scarcely be

anytime of triumph of the spirit
looked rather sloppy and

photo by katya

Tuesday 29 October 2019


the insecurity of youth has passed

its hunger for identity
and dearth of belonging

oh! to feel this much

(closer to

journal 10.24

i am older now and not without aches and pain
and i can feel what i've been through in them
so it's not so bad.

kinda tells me what i'm made of

lost with you

staying up late into the night and still
early for you. i am listening to the world series
fills the room with sunshine in the muted

waves of sound

the away team has won every game and my heart
can still hear yours. you would laugh at me

for sure, to call the hour

we would be just getting started

out looking for videotapes and alleyway treasures
and trouble

in five days we turn time back again
will we remember, you and me?
we strung out different images

off the same
perspective and
none of it looked real

all i have to say is that i cannot forget
what happened. getting lost
with you

getting lost
changed my life

october. california

fall the fields arid
dry. the vineyards patched out
from the sky

we worry the wind
we worry the skin of earth
and tree. shed out
and sprawling free

end of night

i follow the arc of the tip
of your cig. you damned drunk!
and quietly stamp out
the berry

the screens

when the screens are off i
speak to you and
you listen

our feelings fully

thank god
we have a chance

readers take on my latest

i have shared my latest novella (not yet published) with three of five chosen readers, no nonsense folks (not all of whom are writers) whom i felt would give me an honest appraisal. i got a call from the only one who finished and held my breath awaiting the truth...

they really liked it!

they liked the rhythm and lyricism of the writing.
the setting was clear.
they cared about the protagonist and anti-heroic quality of her friends.
 the character development was solid.
 the plot kept them interested.
the end left them wanting more.

one of the areas i could work on, they suggested, is by limiting the time i spend in the headspace of my protagonist. they found these extended daydreams much less interesting and wanted me to get back to the storyline.

i am grateful for this critique!

Wednesday 23 October 2019

the haunted 10 and 24

we rode a haunted train with skeletons
hanging off the engine for what i
thought was fun. i
did not know i was alone i
turned to smile and share the season and. you
had a distant look in your eyes partway
unmoored. the other passengers i asked
for help but they. they were lifeless in their
seats moved only by a rumbling
on the rails a hand fallen down off the elbow
and. and. and an upturned forehead.

 somewhere behind us
the terrible sounds the. the wailing of the winds
the cracking of some glass or why. why. why the sky
was dark now the steam streaming past
the glass and my heartbeat bumping up against
the ceiling. a lonesome solitary feeling as we long since
left the station to nowhere headed

chicago. summer

this energy has welled
pulled us into the hollow

this energy has shifted
can we trust it?

let's get up and go to the store
together. look at the clouds!

giving us all and the
trees a glow

i have fifty cents
i will buy you a

like a control freak losing control

like a control freak who lost
control you could not
hold on

you had to
let go

scared you are

you see things you
never before


it's better
this way

origin story

if you disentangle them
from the sweetest

the roughest elements

you can fashion your
origin story from

and uncover who you

      and have


they still search for you

the grainy black and white
footage close to a century

i have found
you in my

Friday 18 October 2019

12 going on 21

why you were left alone so long 
only the spinning world 
would know

it hurts looking back. you made friends easy
 and what friends. a formula 
for trouble 

and trouble looks like anything
 but trouble at


used to be hotels and nightclubs
 concerts and restaurants
 shots of light and whisky in the dark

 now i find the glam 
in silent early mornings cooking
 coffee ona stove

suck free

on the street the other day
a kid told me

people suck

i wanted to yet i
could not deny that they do
what if we all sucked up to 50% of the time 
on average? could we still have faith? 
we could dream of being 
suck free some 

friendship combo

what if you became we 
would the disparity between our worldviews 

no more blame game

let us try making somethin outta what we have
 then if we succeed

we can celebrate our friendship

what made you. you

what made you

i thought how our lives would 
look without it

i would organize
i would protest
i would risk arrest and a violent 
reaction and a drawn out

without what made you
what makes me me
 and us — we


we see our flags in your streets we see
   your movement like ours
could not
     cannot be 


love hk. 4 what will not cannot be assimilated like you love your own uniqueness. love hk

Thursday 10 October 2019

try me

try me on a winter morning
try me in the fall
try me when your heart is yearning

something so familiar
what you thought was gone
what if it returned to you?
like some forgotten song

catching you unexpected
barefoot on the tile
sunlight found the shadow

its been
a while

Tuesday 8 October 2019


4 were the ways
got us across the days

4 were the winds
altogether kept us

4 were the fires
could not be

4 were the reaches
at the ends of
the earth

2 times
did i call out
to you

2 circles

the birds 
upon the wire
they fell
took flight

the sky
the sky
the sky


Sunday 6 October 2019

yesterday. october 5

we rode on out to see the cousins down along the river road, into the delta and god was it beautiful, America on an autumn afternoon. we paid respects to your mom along the way. the sun would leave the cemetery sky red hot on its descent in the west. i never knew your father was an artist until you showed me his studio deep in the lot, behind the garage. there was a portrait of a beautiful woman on the easel, maybe the beloved in the beloved years? he is 94 now and lives with sofia the cavalier. they are pulling up the carpets now. the orange tree what with its lime hybrid is beginning to bear fruit. we shared baked beans and fried chicken and i listened to the story of his coming to this country, up from Mexico, hoping on some work and a couple hundred dollars to take home. a man convinced him to hop the freight train and go north, to Indio. from there they decided on Sacramento. the man got drunk one night and disappeared. that was three quarters of a century ago. old sacramento was a community of migrants. i wonder about the spirit and where does it go when somebody is no longer around?


the sun below ground at 4 o’clock

the sky could feel her

runnin in colors off a


some kids got sent back to aisle 5 at the safeway

tryin to buy single coronas off a


i was searchin for my simple honeybee

bear and asked around. we found each other

in lucky no.7

across the street turned up 8 ounces

coffee. hot and fierce. not a bad start

for a day

not a bad start at all

stay present and you can handle


Saturday 5 October 2019


I turned up the aisle with counterbalance of grocery baskets and indecision about toothpaste brands. I put my baskets down as you pushed a plush goofy into my hands which i figured you grabbed off a shelf. You told me you won it for me and pointed at those impossible machines, glass container full of toys and mechanical claw. I didn't believe you. But it was true!

Thursday 3 October 2019

lost to devices

cell phone city. 2019

eyes glossy and

smile like an upside
down sunset

we could not reach you
were lost to

upside down sunset by katya

Wednesday 2 October 2019


morning coffee and oatmeal, and the cool autumn air seeping through the screen to wake you up. today i will be out of the house from 8am-9pm. i have been sleeping well with the cool nights though my cats wake me up frequently but i'm used to it. my novella is in pretty good shape and hoping to send it out soon to some betas for a test read before i complete the next and possibly final draft. now that i have published 5 works under my name, i learned to stop forecasting the finishing, it almost always takes longer than i expected. the new novella has ZERO fantasy elements in it, as its grounded in turn of the century (millenium) action, circa 1999. this seems to be the time and place i gravitate towards. if i am ever to be known as an American author by a great many people, i can only hope they will appreciate my reflections of this era.

Tuesday 1 October 2019

digital stitches

no more flying or driving we
leave it to the machines no
more surfing the oceans gone
plastic no more cash no more
paper we're all caught by the
web. no silence do not think
for yourself. creation is an
algorithm god is an intranet
dropping digital stitches ina
biodegradable post-colorful
world. amen.

Saturday 28 September 2019


what's left of the bonds we once had are traces. friendships never die. even when we no longer speak we always have the shadow traces.

color of mud

sorry we don't accept your currency here, it is awfully divisive. we might take bitcoin though insecure and often inflated. you can have anything you want -- guaranteed -- no shoes or shirt, feet and hands raw, the color of mud


drink more of 
water and
 air and prayer

downtown sacramento by katya

journal. september 27th. 2019

i seem to always be working on the residuals of my mental illness, sweeping them up and out of my life. this is a maintenance thing, i mean, i have to radically accept the eternal presence of anxiety and depression. they no longer stop me from living my life like they did before (and after) i got clean, six and half years back. yet they are like a snake and threaten to constrict. i have to maintain and keep building. thank god i have a career that enriches me. i have a home and can cook my own food. i have my health and no longer take psych meds. the recollections of traumas have subsided though they sometimes resurface in nightmares and an uneasy mistrustful and guarded relationship with both internal and external worlds. i am working on self-discipline. my stress levels fluctuate but are more manageable when i eat healthy and exercise and stretch (yoga. asanas) with greater frequency. this requires mindfulness. i am drinking more of water and air (deep breathing) and prayer. i am devoting more time to reading and writing. i read at night, before bed. on weekdays i get up before dawn and write, more and more frequently. it is hard to build the life you wanna live but it sure is worthwhile.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

autumn thank god

who knows what would have happened and it's autumn thank god the summer has broken and we held it together so well

far past when holding it together was cool

Tuesday 24 September 2019

drowning of sorrows

I am grateful you take care and look out for one another. of course like you said I am the same spirit and soul never changed and I remember trying to tell you that but no one wanted to believe me. Not back then. But of course I had a drug problem so why would anyone believe me then. I'm just happy I had the courage to transition and find my new life. I'm glad you and I are able to have a friendship, we wont agree but still love one another. I'm proud of X for all his successes in life and keeping the family going into future generations. It can look different for anybody. For me it's not wealth or kids it's just who I am based on what I've been through. I have wisdom I am trying to pass down. I have a man in my life who loves me. Two cats and several books to my name. My success is not measured the same as yours, but I'm proud of you and Z and X, I will never have those victories but God wants it this way, God has brought me to a place where I can see and make a difference in other people's lives, where i can be home, after many years of selfish living and drowning of sorrows. K

Monday 23 September 2019

kill it with truth

the ring has gone i lost it and did not know. then i worried about you and had anything happened. touch up auto paint covered my fingernails the pumice could not kill. and how had we died. you killed me with kindness and i. killed you with truth

Sunday 22 September 2019

try the world out

take a vacation to planet earth
it won't be paid you 
gotta earn your keep 

won't be fair cuz life on earth
ain't fair. you could get lucky. guaranteed pleasure 
and pain in almost lethal doses

come on
sign up at the mall
see how long you can survive

Saturday 21 September 2019


i once was so very
alone if i encountered you
and we went sideways
the moment would burn
for days


anyone who thinks
it selfish to claim
your identity

must have not
once questioned
their own

a lack of curiosity
is sad and scared and
cannot be trusted

for who does not
wrestle with


i string words together
not for nothing
that I can find myself
when i get lost
in the madness of
this world

take refuge

how do you protect
your heart

if you really loved
you cannot

at least you
really loved


our best work comes
when we are not conscious
when the passage of time
cannot be mapped
the best is so often
a surprise

birds mia

one day
when all our birds are drones
may we remember what we are
grateful for

Wednesday 18 September 2019

journal sep18.19

when you work hard long enough you will discover a cadence a value in it nobody can ever deny

Tuesday 17 September 2019

all the years

forty six to be exact
i treasure each one for all
it taught me

lazy summer fun

we plucked the worms from the earth and pinioned them on hooks on strings and cast them into the lake for the sunfish to strike and get hooked through the gills then fight and flight and make it worse and we reeled them in ona pole and plucked the fish from the waters and let them gasp for air while baking on the planks of the dock in the sun until dead then put them in a crayfish trap tied to a clete and threw it overboard for three days and nights and pulled it up full of crabs cannot get out then boiled a pot of water ona stove and threw all the crayfish in to boil red and cool and break the tails off suck the head, all in the name of lazy summer fun. we were kids. i won't be upset if i never go fishing again.

wish upon a screen

she gave me a soda
these were better days she
got her boyfriend out
by calling the cops when
he beat her up

let's sit ona brick and concrete slab  drinkin sugar water outta green aluminum cans

who knows how long
this will last

back 2 back

i had my same old prayers and back to back they matched the breath

sunrise and

same old prayers and all the bullshit in between we must attend for such

is life
is life
is life

how did i get there

in the
niche the pocket of the

like a planetary system
dependent upon

my sun

the least visible
most pressing

pretending we
are free



a fine attribute if
you're a

Saturday 14 September 2019

systems and service

I live inside a certain closed system wherein one is not trusted, one is held accountable to high standards which are enforced relentlessly by teams chosen based on work ethic and other high quality merit marks, to oversee the delivery of services to the general public. Sometimes I question my decision to live there for it is not always a friendly place. What I love is how I am challenged and pushed to my limits, and not one day ever looks like the next. It is an exciting and dynamic environment, and because I have earned rank and respect over time, I do have freedoms and work is creative. I care for my team and am aligned with the mission.

Friday 13 September 2019

star 5

no one was alive
on star 5

not since 1515
when life was unsettling
on earth

cats black

your voices and my voices met in the middle under a bright cat black

cell 2

one cell says
to another

walk your human
over here

untitled cell

the moon stared us
in the face put us in
our place

looking up from our


Tuesday 10 September 2019


you got me disinterested by your tone of voice. seeing you i have a choice and paint the world around you cannot help but drop out without color not even close to an impression until the absence stands out clearly

Saturday 7 September 2019

where was where is your world

you found a place where you clicked you could go and be known you could go and belong you could go and now you're aching to be there

to go there again

the lightning strikes the storm thunders so violently like it did back then you know you never left you are there it is here and its real

Thursday 5 September 2019

soft fall

the grapefruit ice you drink upon the delta breeze with summer lost its spark. calm down. you need not rush the leaves turn and die and fall upon the crosswalk. time to sit and talk. all the cell phones gone and what a world it would be. what a world it once was and how we got along you fingered my blouse as i cried to think so soon you would be gone

Wednesday 4 September 2019


you can get all the rest you want but you still need to find your rhythm in the world. if you lost yours, it can be a real bitch to get it back. you may need to stab your fears in the heart with a dagger and bleed out the yellow poison. then do those things that scare you, inject yourself back into the bloodstream and let go. feed your faith and starve your fear to death. i promise you an adventure like no other!

Saturday 31 August 2019


i wanna wear my life out
like any true fighter who
took the talent god
gave them

and made the most
without regard for pain
of it

giving the world the
very last of all
they got

i wanna wear life out
like any true fight

take the talent god

make the most
without regard for

pain or 

give the world the
very last of all
i got

change of heart

i was frightened by an accusation in a nightmare, it nearly broke me. i woke up pained, unwilling to return to bed. i called my father three time zones ahead. we shared our memories of late nights listening to the loons, the wonder of the call. one moment mournful and stops you in your tracks, then ascends nearly in laughing. what a change of heart.

response to mikulova

i remember how we met last year, a hopeful time for us, our mutual friend turned me on to your work. we were closer than friends really and had never been acquainted. up late the night before i read what you wrote then drove, me and my guy, down to alameda to see daniela, her daughter and you. memories of life in oakland flooding through me. the party was great though a little too much. you were tired from traveling the world and camped out in a big chair, anyways, and i came and sat down by all of you where we exchanged smiles and made eyes. the music and laughter and smoke. of course your words, the ones you wrote, i thanked you for them. this is how it can be with us writers.


you touch the sapphire eye for solace
without looking when

come to this country never been
here before

the ones you meet either like you
or dislike you for no good reason

a period to end all the sentences running
and running away

a pitch turning colors displaying a royal
flush of feathered tails

have another vodka sapphire eye sees
you home


i once envied you

could give
a fuck or less

see what has become
of you and

your thick skull

i am sensitive and was
bullied for it for

now i see this as my
greatest strength for
i am woke

you get all your groceries

you think no one
gives a damn
and you’re

journal august

the sky was a peach at sunset and a fire at dawn and we ate lemon ice and prayed that the city's electrical grid would hold up. the number of homeless had risen and not all could not be housed, and caring citizens were combining forces and giving away tents on the weekend. others were cold complaining to cops and assemblymen: get these sorry-ass derelicts off of my street!

Wednesday 28 August 2019

do a few lines

i got going early. two hot mugs of coffee with hazelnut. shredded wheat. did a few lines of Hemingway. to have or have not. rather full of booze and game fish and racist, too. i got outta there quick. back to my own stuff. maybe less charged or controversial, but at least i'm not washed up and over. edits for an hour on the manuscript and up and hit the interstate in my '04 GTI. the sun was burning hot and i got something to lose.

pace of life

the pace of life runs along with or without you. setbacks make it harder to keep up. sometimes you need to stop and talk to someone. share your feelings. then pick yourself up and carry on.

i delight

a single cricket found his way into my home and hides on the vine. i delight in his courage to make music in this strange and dangerous land 

Tuesday 27 August 2019


telling was the night upon the day long and hot and humid until the end

the night and
     like a shot it shut
                         you down

i took you to the spot
where all the revelry
was muted


the interplay of
telling you how i
truly felt without
a word

the science

the science was a whisper
held against it
up against the
wall the

Wednesday 21 August 2019

the sameness

Any need to explain yourself by your heritage was obviated by the sameness. Whether you liked it or not you would be classified by your skin color, initially. Even the ones classifying you would insist they were not. Sadly, some might not even know they were, such was the state of lack of self-awareness.

Monday 12 August 2019











Tuesday 6 August 2019

excerpt from my yet-to-be-published novella

Katya 2019
There may be hope for me, I thought, rolling the smoke between my fingers. How different everything felt. The box, the stem, the lighter, the cig. I could sense the tobacco leaf inside the paper. Crunchy, resilient, it bounced back when you pressed it. I set fire to it and watched it burn and glow. I felt the smoke hit the lungs and exhaled at the top of my breath, I can breathe. Maybe I will last, after all, I thought, relaxing and getting used to myself again, taking drags. Aden looked worried, huh, I suppose they all did. I wish I could tell him...I still see things that turn me on. The barber shop cylinders have gone dark, the neon lights are lit, the end of the night far away, the dance floor naked and ugly without a dance. I paid the check and smiled. - Katya, Trouble '99

Wednesday 31 July 2019

july 31, 2019

this morning i did my jumping jacks and boiled the coffee to mix with cream. this morning i called my dad, today is his birthday. my kittens are alarm clocks and get me early out of bed. i did the dishes and prepared a salad for later. i rang the tibetan bell and listened to my heartbeat. i called the love of my life for he is on the road again. i cannot count my blessings. i can sit here at my desk and beat up the old english language for a while. all what makes life at 46 worth living.


she swims alongside the current
she follows the sun into the sea
after many days of searching
they presumed her drowned

they knew nothing of the changes
or how she made it through

she may as well have died

she cuts through open water 
she moves the breath of life
she has come awakened
to meet the deepest sea

Tuesday 30 July 2019

por favor

please. do not become tired of life. work it hard and that's a lot. someone always gives up. let them. giving in makes not giving in stand out. what once was commonplace is super rare and meaningful. 

i love how you approach me

the talk died down and i cherished the absence of it, lay myself down and still beneath the windowsill. my eyes blurred out to the jazz and i felt you coming like long fingers rolling up the keys. my head fell dead to one side where I could see you and know of the utmost precision of your tender love and care.

Wednesday 24 July 2019



    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Girl Without Borders by Katya Mills



          Girl Without Borders

          by Katya Mills


            Giveaway ends August 05, 2019.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

    Enter Giveaway

Sunday 14 July 2019
















Sunday 7 July 2019

expiration date. sadness

one day you woke up feeling lighter. this was different. this was hope. it made no sense and could not be denied. the following day it was gone. the light was shining and the birds were singing but all you saw and heard was dead again.

still what stood out for you now was the recollection of yesterday's hope. wanting another taste of that.

so you got out of bed a little earlier. you saw the slightest smile at the edges of your lips in the mirror. you were able to sing some morose song by the Cure in your head.

- Katya Mills, 2019