Tuesday, 31 December 2019

you are still you

all what you have been through
you are still you

only you are also all
you have been through we can
see this in you

the loves
the mishaps
the times you felt alone

you are an instrument
does not need to be

though you may feel best
if you were. when
you are

- katya.20

Monday, 30 December 2019


get out on the road
if you can. lose your map
the new year arrives quietly
they play out the decade on
the news

do you see yourself?
five years a quarter century
oil dripping on the freeway
burning rubber off the

5 minutes revisits the past 5 minutes
plans 4 the future

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


please put the past away
where you cannot hurt

let us locate
our hearts in the living day
a drip away from 5

open your crow foot eyes
and see

the past got nothing future
got nothing on you
on me

we have today
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 of 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

ex.ist.ential love of life

I've been writing this piece called Trouble '99 since early spring. I read the draft from start to finish this week and realized it's a shade too depressing. Which corresponds to one of my three beta readers' critique. And I was discouraged when I got to the end: this is not my message. I need for hope to shine in the lines! Yes, my work is always threatened by the existential draught. I have wrestled in my heart with this since I was a child. I remember the day on the swingset in the backyard when the limit on life first struck me. So words naturally come out of me mournful. What is absent but implicit in my sadness? How much i love the world and all its intricacies. How badly I wish to live on!

Wednesday, 25 December 2019


chick was self-righteous and inflammatory
happenings surrounded her

she left the city swollen
sometimes with her way of certain

rebellious stereo-typed-out gen.x
predating the baby boomers' babies on
the evolutionary timeline. USA

attention: not to mention
she considered herself the luckiest
and certainly alive

tv watchin girl

she had to check herself 
against another morning 
of dutiful tv obeisance

why rent her head out for free 
on an episodic wave of programmed 

perry mason would take her 
unfulfilled potential white
and black past

december mood

i spoke to you by phone long distance, and after the call i was in pain again. i believe the holy day and the space it made allowed me to respond differently today. instead of running, i was able to breathe into the pain. i let myself experience the deep invalidation. there i discovered a raw sorta energy. was there nothing more? why, instead of letting the hurt break me up, i believe i will take this force and use this pain for good!

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


who can read
the mind of a maniac

seals the capsule
shot into space
with a letter

don't fuck with us
the usa

we find space
we find time to locate
the force there


read a book
bottle the boredom

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


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

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 together
to fight this tendency. cannot
we read the story aloud

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
a fog horn

all was muddled outside
the brilliant circumference and
that's how i knew

i kept calling
calling for

Tuesday, 17 December 2019


have faith in yourself. 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. don't be afraid! ball your fists! keep the faith! now go ahead punch through that atmosphere and watch the toxins vent. laugh out loud! for we will live another day.

Monday, 16 December 2019

the force that pushes

the ghosts of a poet arise from the marshes they
make their way slowly to their post

abandoned cabin moored to the foggy
coast. portraits peeling off
the walls books falling
off the shelf

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

Sunday, 15 December 2019

december 15, 2019

i may not be able to make a living
as a writer as a poet as
an author

who can?

still i make my living
and i write these books
while i live

when i live
crafting these poems of words and
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