Monday, 30 March 2020

book review

EileenEileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am excited to have found Ottessa and I very much respect her as a contemporary. She has a unique voice and her characters are so flawed and human, all of them. I found this story to be incredibly compelling out the gate! I was happy to be inside Eileen's head, as she has some wild imagination in her train wreck of a life. The characters around her were no less compelling, especially as she sized each one of them up. I will be reading more books by this author, the next being My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I'm currently reading this book in paperback, which is a pleasant change after so many e-books. Only problem is I have to use a headlamp after dark. Anyways, it's the kind of thing I could see Eileen doing. Wearing a headlamp while reading in the attic, and her dad coming up there to call her names and her wishing he would get struck in the head by a falling icicle. The only major disappointment of this story to me was the ending. I don't know exactly why I was disappointed. Something about the use of the narrator as an older woman looking back on her life didn't work for me. And just the outcome of the story didn't work for me. It wasn't really credible or natural an ending. Nevertheless, I was left feeling happy I picked the book up and for sure would recommend it to some people but not my parents. They don't like the stories I write, either. So that's a real compliment.

View all my reviews

pandemic 2020 day 13

March 30
Global cases = 734,000
USA = 142,000
Sacramento = 164E (3.27)

One thing I learned is the covid19 may affect different blood types differently. They are suggesting blood type A may be more susceptible to the virus. I am searching my memory to recall my type, I think it's AB. I am happy to say my hero brought me a thermometer he got at Walmart yesterday. I can't believe it took over 2 weeks to find one. Now in the event I test positive I will be able to quarantine and have all I need to make it through on my own. Some of us will be really really lucky and never contract the virus. Perhaps a small minority get vaccinated a year from now and never be infected. The majority of us can expect to contract the virus, experience mild to moderate symptoms, and get through it safely at home. I have a teledoc and my Kaiser doctor to help me walk through the illness online. Then of course there are the 3% ers who may fall seriously ill and god be with you. Yesterday Dr Fauci, who is the bread and butter of the latest update on covid19 here in the States, predicted 'millions' will be infected and '1-200,000 Americas' will die. This news sent shock waves through my acquaintances. In my humble opinion, the number of fatalities is a great underestimate. There is no way he would be allowed to step up to the podium and give a candid appraisal and be completely forthcoming. Trump finally extended his wish for life (business) to go back to normal to April 30th (previously he wanted the churches packed on Easter, April 12th). I completely understand and do not fault him for pushing for the nearest possible moment to get the economy going. We are looking at a deep recession at best in the coming year. It could get a whole lot worse. Dan Rather was back on the news last night, crying, calling upon the courage our founding fathers. Few are alive today who were old enough to remember the Great Depression. You would have to read a book. Expect poverty and starvation for your average man. Most Americans don't think I could get so bad. But it could. On a brighter note, I personally am hopeful we will get through this and come out a better country. If history is any precedent, we will.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 12

March 29
Global cases = 679,000
USA = 125,000
Sacramento = 164E (3.27)

I realized yesterday not all of California's counties are updating numbers daily. Sacramento and Los Angeles are only providing accurate infection numbers every 3 days. The covid19 transmits through saliva so those little paper masks people wear apparently are useless, as they attract and absorb saliva droplets. I also realize that in grocery stores (where the aisles are not very wide and the goods are essential) people are almost accidentally disobeying the CDC recommendations. Example would be acquaintances running into one another within one aisle and trying to cognitively assess the exact distance between them while simultaneously being fully present and compassionate with a fellow human being they may not have seen in a while. We have a natural inclination (which we must now fight) to abide by our life long training in social standards! So it takes a real conscious effort to distance ourselves at ALL times from others by 6 feet or more. The best way to make this happen is spontaneous communication. Listen, we care about one another so let's be sure: are we six feet away right now? Find your own chosen words and start using them. The two navy hospital ships have now situated themselves on the respective coasts. Mercy on the Pacific (Los Angeles) and Comfort on the Atlantic (NYC). Governor Cuomo is fighting Trump to keep his state from being quarantined, and has described this in language which hearkens back to the Civil War! This would be a declaration of war against the state of New York. As of this morning, Trump has backed off the quarantine. They say such an order would only cause pandemonium as residents of New York would likely start to flee the state. Once again, Democracy as a political system is a funny thing. Any leader has to take into account peoples mobility and, like the stock market, has to take the pulse of public sentiment, which is often a far cry from fact. You have to legislate with people's feelings in mind, because you only have so much influence over them. Personally, I wouldn't want it any other way. 

Saturday, 28 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 11

March 28
Global cases = 597,000
USA = 104,000
Sacramento = 164E

Xenophobia can become a real problem when a nation's leaders are labeling a global epidemic by the region of its apparent origin. There have already been cases of Asians and Asian-Americans being mistreated and assaulted since the onset of covid19. We need to all unite and do what we can to defeat this enemy. Ignorant people will react to ignorant statements made by powerful people. This is an equal opportunity illness! It has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. To those who are authority figures, I urge you: use your words carefully, compassionately! I was happy to learn that both my colleague and the client who went to the ER this week tested negative for the novel coronavirus. It took 4 days to get test results! Abbott Laboratories has developed a 5-12 minute rapid test. Today the FDA approved it. I don't know how long it will take to roll out, but this is great news. American automakers, including General Motors, are supposed to start producing ventilators. Again the timeline is fuzzy for how quickly these can go to market. Vaccines may as well be light years away. Survivors have reported a feeling like 'drowning on dry land' and  'six days all alone' in isolation wards. The saddest thing is how people must die alone, family and friends unable to be by their side to comfort them. In Berkeley the students set up a socially approved distance from one another and gathered together to sing songs. We are social beings! The longer we are forced to go without one another, the greater impact this may have on our mental health. I am fortunate I have my colleagues at work whom I see face to face. Teachers and musicians and artists and therapists are using the internet to stay connected. Any creative way we can find to be together is most welcome! 

Friday, 27 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 10

March 27
Global cases = 529,000
USA = 83,000
Sacramento = 120e

Los Angeles is getting press, New Orleans is getting press. I haven't heard much from Chicago or Atlanta or Houston or Boston or San Francisco or Miami. The largest cities are projected to go through what NYC is going through now, triple cases every day into an exponential nightmare. India is a country of a billion plus. As the largest democracy in the world it is expected to experience possibly the greatest loss of life of all nations. Democracy is proving to have less defense against the virus, because citizens typically have more freedom and mobility. Today the FBI busted a two bit actor in Hollywood who tried to sell some pills to an undercover agent and who has been banging his own drum to a 2.5 million Instagram following about his purported 'cure for covid19', seeking million dollar investors at 'the ground floor'. He may serve up to 20 years in the federal pen for being a dunce. Meanwhile a friend of mine was waiting in line with seniors early morning at Costco when a woman in front of her fell back with her shopping cart, unconscious. Call 911. It's Friday and I'm burned out by a stressful week and looking forward to a mostly isolated weekend with my cats. Working on my novella. Reading Eileen. Watching Netflix, jogging and cooking. Maybe I will file my taxes so I can hopefully get a refund before the US Government runs out of money.

pandemic 2020 day 9

March 26
Global cases = 463,000
USA = 64,000
Sacramento = 100e

The Sacramento County jail is releasing 400 prisoners to the streets so they can make room for potentially infected new inmates. The reported number of citizens infected cannot be accurate as only people who are symptomatic and have been exposed to others who have tested positive, and have underlying medical conditions, can make an appointment to test. We should but do not have the capability yet to test everyone who is symptomatic. Once we can, we will surely see a spike in the numbers. I am very busy at the mental health clinic because 2 other managers are sidelined, and lately I'm helping to develop telework plans so my team can work from home. These plans were approved today and everyone was cheering. They can work from home for up to 24 hours a week. It still feels like the calm before the storm at our clinic and in our region. The way I figure, the medical crisis will happen first and the mental health crisis will be fast on its heels.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 8

March 25.
Global cases = 433,000 
USA = 55,000
Sacramento = 88

I find peace in my routine in the morning. Getting up before dawn, making coffee, listening to classical music on NPR, writing, stretching, praying, talking with my cats and my love. Driving to work without traffic. Around me is a feeling of 'calm before the storm' as everyone's been watching how events unfolded in Italy, and expecting similar mayhem in the States. NYC is already in trouble. I have had several brushes with local cases. I have friends in recovery who attend meetings regularly at a church in Greenhaven, Sacramento. Two among the congregation have passed away from covid19 and many more tested positive. I had a client who had sxs and then tested negative. As of yesterday my colleague went to get tested, as she supported a client face to face last week who was admitted to the ER two days ago with sxs consistent with covid19. We are awaiting results of those tests. We serve vulnerable populations. Work is getting busier and busier as many employees including my fellow managers have had to stay home. Others have chosen to use PTO and stay home to 'flatten the curve' of infections or whom are caregivers for loved ones who are at greater risk due to age or condition. I have found my mood shuffling from courage to fear to anxiety to leadership, from heavy to light-hearted. Laughter is indeed the best medicine and my inner comedian has arrived. When under pressure I have discovered I am somewhat able to step up and rise to the occasion. If you think you need to get tested and want to arrange to get tested at a local testing site, you can utilize Verily, a medical offshoot of Alphabet (Google), which has a questionnaire you can fill out online or on your phone and it will set you up with an appointment if you meet the criteria (exposure to someone who has tested positive, underlying health conditions). The sites being set up are tents by hospitals and you can drive through. The trillion dollar economic stimulus package got approved last night and the stock market rose 11% which is the largest single day jump since 1933. Trump is dying to get the bull market back because he sees it as a reflection of his ego. All the medical advice contradicts his interest in having people go back to work by Easter. April is projected to be a painful time in the States, no matter how well we follow the CDC guidelines. My family has coalesced somewhat in the face of the crisis. It's hard to stay optimistic. I keep sane by being useful. When home I am focused on reading and cooking and writing. I keep calm at work by using my small authority to demonstrate kindness and leadership.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 7

March 24. The reported total 384,000 have covid19. 16,000 have died. The more i learn, these numbers cannot be trusted due to the limited availability of testing. And, even in places where tests for covid19 are available there are so many more who either are asymptomatic (therefore would not yet seek out testing) or whom are experiencing the virus as something akin to a common cold or flu. Cases range from mild to fatal. So how many are truly infected and carrying the novel coronavirus? Likely 100x the existing data. That's what i have heard. So that would be 38 million and project out to 1.6 million fatalities. And certainly not peaked on most continents. They say there's not a single case on Antarctica. If the last pandemic took 50 million lives and the global population in 1918 was 1.8 billion then covid19 could be expected to take 200 million with population currently around 8 billion. This ratio (and i'm no math genius) approaches 1 out of every 36 people dying. Or approximately a 2.8% mortality rate, which is consistent with the data thus far. i know all this seems morbid and depressing, and i'm not trying to fan the flames of hysteria, i swear! i actually find the math comforting. imagine we are standing in a row of 36 randomly selected people, and god or the universe tells us one of us will be chosen to leave the earth?

Monday, 23 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 6

March 23. Truth is indeed as strange as fiction. It's ironic how taken the USA was by the zombie apocalypse movies in recent years. Watch out! They look like us, they walk among us; if they touch you, life as you know it is over and you become a zombie, too. Some better known celebrities and figures have been testing positive without realizing they were exposed, including a US Senator from Kentucky, several sports stars, a renowned opera singer, and the doctor of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, who recently administered her a pneumonia vaccine. Germany has now banned socializing in groups of more than 2 people. The next mandate will have you bumping up against yourself and your reflection in the mirror. You will only have your multiple personalities to embrace. None of this is funny but we need a sense of humor. Someone who's infected need only breathe on you, cough or sneeze toward you, and you've caught it. And you may not know for days. Yesterday I hit the local Raley's and got 100 caps of tylenol, nasal spray, more canned soups, chili, and multivitamins. In 5 days I have been unable to locate eggs, tp, or a damn thermometer to check myself in the event of a fever. I went online and Amazon appears to have a backlog of orders for thermometers. Last night I had some crazy dreams which reflected my greatest underlying subconscious fears like the world falling into complete disarray. I am about to put my face on and go to work. We shall see if my company has developed a solid telehealth plan over the weekend. I'm more than happy to stay busy and I can basically isolate myself in my office unless there's an urgent walk-in. I feel I have come somewhat to terms that 40% or more of the population will be infected. The 1918-19 pandemic came in waves and killed off 50 or more million people. They say it sourced in Alaska among an Inuit tribe, and was easily spread through the military ranks in the first World War. Clearly people were not as interconnected 100 years ago as they are today, and the 'wave' concept spells doomsday for the global economy. The Great Depression may not have been caused by the pandemic, but it sure timed perfectly, coinciding with a stock market crash and the industrial agricultural movement which was to blame for the Dust Bowl in the west. We are guaranteed a recession, they say, and if there's a second wave of COVID-19 in the late summer or fall, we may see a second Great Depression. I have a few things keeping me steady in a time of greatest uncertainty. My family. My work. My cats Bunny and Mouse. Running out on the river. Cooking. Reading. And working on my #WIP : Trouble'99.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 5

March 22, 2020. USA has jumped up in infection cases to become the 3rd highest behind China and Italy. Northern Italy is having a hell of a time. NYC looks to be in trouble going forward. China has been successful in containment, which I have learned relates to the infrastructure they have in place to contain people. So there are some hidden benefits of a Communist system! Today I will be going to the store in search for some of the items that I looked for last week and could not find. Mind you, I could have searched harder and probably found them but given that we are not supposed to move around a whole lot, I did not. A thermometer, tylenol (fever reducer), pasta, nasal spray, garlic, frozen vegetables, vitamins. I have been watching youtube videos of covid-19 survivors. It appears the virus can come on quickly with fever and cough, tightness in the chest, body aches, headache, and within 24 hours of onset of symptoms one may need to go the ER due to cardiovascular issues (racing heart and/or difficulty breathing). Call first if possible to alert them you are symptomatic! This will limit the potential to spread the virus unintentionally. We have to be unselfish no matter how panicked we may feel! Once quarantined, this 48 year old woman in Ohio testified (a year older than me), they gave her antibiotics and tylenol for 3 days than was good to go home and self-quarantine. She had no underlying health conditions. A younger woman reported how she got sick after going to a weekend party last weekend, and she was able to recover at home. She did not experience any cardiovascular sxs. Only through Facebook did she discover that several of her friends who were at the party got sick, too, and had tested positive for covid-19. So you can see how we can be conduits of the virus without ever realizing that we had it! For some it can come and go like any seemingly innocuous experience of cold and flu season. I want to continue to urge everyone to consider 'facts over fear' and stay calm. The only point of terror that resides in me, is the idea of having to go for medical help at some point in the future, and requiring a respirator and treatment for pneumonia, and not able to get one due to lack of supplies. I am excited to learn that the Governor of California is putting together a team of brilliant people including Elon Musk (founder of Tesla and SpaceX) to help shift our economy toward producing the equipment we will need in the coming days.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 4

March 21, 2020. Over 300,00 infected. 13,000 died. The streets are full of life today in Sacramento because it's a beautiful day and understandably, nature is a grounding force for us. I am going out for a run after writing, because I know being alongside the river in the sun will lift my spirits. Provide me with some peace of mind in an otherwise unrecognizable world. Businesses closed. The economy tanking. People wavering between states of fear and anxiety and unable to get together to comfort one another. Services moving off the bricks and into peoples phones and cars and computers. Delivered over flooded broadband internet connections, apps crashing, trying to gauge the load our e-commerce system can handle. Everyone staying at home. Deep in my heart, I am confident I can not only get through this alive, but that I can become a grounding force for my friends and clients and family. This is my hope.

Friday, 20 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 3

March 20. I have scared myself thinking i may have symptoms of covid-19. i have a history of asthma and bronchitis and have compensated for shortness of breath by long-distance running. the past couple of mornings i have felt short of breath slightly, and i have been sleeping extra hours. hopefully i'm fine. i ordered more inhalers just in case, on advice of my brother. i still cannot find a thermometer in local stores to check my temperature. the part of me that gets scared amps up and then i come to place of acceptance to calm down. so i may get the virus like anyone else, and then i just need to get through it. i have faith that i can. i have an autoimmune condition but i have kept myself in very good health and i am only 47 years old. my plan is to continue running the river and doing yoga at home to stay in good cardiovascular health. as of midnight last night the city and region of Sacramento put into force a shelter-in-place law, which can be enforced. this follows the Bay Area and SF which did so monday. a colleague told me her friend who lives in SF actually got a ticket for venturing outdoors for something other than 'essential services'. so this is martial law. Governor Gavin Newsom indicated in a letter to the President that he fears in 8 weeks time, half of the 45 million citizens of California will be infected with covid-19. This to me was an astounding statement! We have been told that the virus has stopped spreading in its epicenter, in Wuhan, China, no new cases are being reported. And they topped out at 80,000 infected. So i figured if they can stop it, why can't we? I am curious to learn more. I cannot let myself be terrified. Only curious to learn and understand and take any precautions to safeguard myself and anyone i come in contact with. The distance between two people has been set somewhere between 6-10 feet. Essential services include mostly anything you gotta do to meet your basic needs. Healthcare appointments, exercise, walking pets, grocery shopping, post office, etc. No social gatherings for leisure activities. The mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio just had a press conference and railed on President Trump for not having yet mobilized the government and 'the finest military in the world' to battle. Hospitals are going to run out of the necessary equipment in two weeks. This is the first domestic leader to really come out with a strong statement against the current administration. NYC has clearly become the new epicenter of covid-19 domestically, and it has millions of people crowded into several square miles. So the potential cost of life is extremely high.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

pandemic 2020 day 2

March 19, 2020. This is too unusual an event in the history of planet earth not to record. covid-19 global pandemic. here in the states we first learned of the coronavirus in january 2020 through social media reports of
Li Wenliang
Li Wen Liang.jpg
Born12 October 1985
BeizhenLiaoning, China
Died7 February 2020 (aged 34)
WuhanHubei, China
Cause of deathCOVID-19
EducationMaster of Medicine (MMed)
Alma materWuhan University
Known forRaising awareness about the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic

Li Wenlianga doctor (ophthalmologist) and Communist Party member in the Wuhan Province of China, who had been reprimanded by Beijing on January 3rd for having expressed his beliefs in a chatroom, in efforts to warn friends and family of the existence of the virus, as he was treating people who were getting sick and dying. In many cases the virus started as fever and progressed to respiratory failure. The W.H.O. was alerted of the virus on New Year's Eve, 2019. Ultimately covid-19 was traced back to the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, though it is still unclear if this is where it originated. China and USA are now fighting over origin stories. The good doctor was telereporting to the world how he lost 5 patients in his ward on one single night. He himself became infected in early January, and by the time he himself succumbed to the virus and died, he had become a folk hero. and rightly so! people turned off their lights in 5 minute tributes, spread glitter and blew whistles to honor his memory, and shouts for freedom of speech became louder. The censors could barely keep up removing hashtags. He passed away at age 33 on February 7th. Since his death, entire cruise ships were quarantined on the west coast of our country and the first USA death from covid-19 was one of the passengers, who lived in Placer County, which borders Sacramento County where i live. There are now 200,000+ cases globally and close to 10,000 have died. The studies and projections of cases in this country are predicted to overwhelm the hospital and healthcare system, as they will outnumber beds and access to ventilators. Our president, Trump, has declared war on covid-19, and is utlizing the military and Army Corps of Engineers to try and setup field hospitals in every major city. The projected peak of infections in the USA is an estimated 45 days from now, and we will be overwhelmed. Yet Sacramento, the capital city of California, has only recommended people stay home. Schools indeed have all been closed. Martial law has not been invoked. Yet. It's a strange time because nobody seems to know exactly what to do other than hoard supplies for long potential stretches at home, and socially distance themselves from others. In a few minutes I myself will get ready for work as usual, and drive into the office. I feel i would be better served if i were working from home, but i will do my duty and go in and support my 25+ colleagues in serving our 1,000+ clients who are mostly vulnerable populations dealing with both economic insecurity and mental illness. My hope is to keep the faith, pray to god, and otherwise listen and respond with creative intelligence to a dynamic and emergent public health crisis.

pandemic 2020 day 1

March 18, 2020. These are frightening times. covid-19 outbreak across the world. here in the usa we do not have testing yet available for the asymptomatic, test kits are slow to roll out. i have spoken with acquaintances who have been either in close contact with someone who got sick and tested positive, and yet because they are asymptomatic themselves, they cannot find a way to get tested. statistics are showing 2-3x jumps in the number of cases in major cities, as tests become more available. god knows how many people are carrying covid-19 and spreading it without realizing. though the sacramento region has only had 16 estimated deaths and 150 estimated cases, we know these numbers are not accurate. i myself could be carrying the virus and don't even know. the grocery stores have been ransacked for basic things i need now, a thermometer for instance, soup, bread. i am still going to work as a mental health clinician for an outpatient clinic, and most but not all of our appointments are being conducted by phone. i am trying to keep a positive attitude and a sense of humor so i can help my friends who are scared just laugh. the streets are mostly free of people. going to work is now a welcome escape from the fear and hysteria. traffic unusually light. city unusually quiet.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

responder. mh

i am a mental health first responder
ina public health crisis i am
hiding my anxiety behind
a facade. no. i am transparent with you
i want you to see you are not
alone in your stress your worry
your fear and anxiety

let us put it out there where we can
see it. address it. change it. not allow
it to run us or run us over

Sunday, 15 March 2020

ii cokes

ii cokes (published by k on wordpress)
i bought two cokes one for
me one for you. some lady came in and barked do you have this? 
do you have that? no we do not
people can be so demanding
a kid in the backseat of a car hung out his head along
with the dog in his arms both of them
smiling panting happy to be alive
some pop song driven twisted through the lot
drinking malt liquor on a saturday
afternoon. i’m sure thankful
it’s not me

con.cert.ed -i

con.cert.ed (published by k on wordpress)

the world looks different when
your standing beside a friend
central american eyes. back from nicaragua because one
in her family passed on

breakfast at dennys photographs stories emotions
forefront:  i have trouble trusting, do you, too?  you
gotta let someone in

i went to seven eleven
thought about it
turned in my winning poker card for two

one for me and one
for you

thanks for the flowers

Saturday, 14 March 2020

3 stones

a plot of land in Oklahoma came to my attention through a mailing, it was a speculative situation my grandmother got into years ago and i was surprised to get this letter. attached to it was her will and testament! dated back to March, 1981, which must have been when she realized she had not long left on this earth. she died in August, 1983, when i was only 10 years old. i remember her as a creative and expressive person. i was excited by a few details i read in her will. the special inscription she asked be engraved on her own stone (where she was buried, in Independence, Missouri) to honor a brother who died at birth in 1913. and a provision about the disposition of 3 precious stones which she had among her jewelry: Onyx, Emerald, and  Lapis Lazuli.

what fascinated me and draws me closer now to my grandmother and her spirit; the most important stones to her are green, blue and black. my 3 favorite colors. the one that i knew least about was the LL. i wish to learn more! the lapis lazuli i discovered is found in limestone in the Kokcha River valley of Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan, where the Sar-e-Sang mine deposits have been worked for more than 6,000 years. this special stone stands as a metamorphic rock prized since antiquity for its radiance in blueish purple, the color which comes from electronic excitation of one electron in its cellular makeup. it is a universal symbol of wisdom and truth and has been mentioned in the old testament, and been used by world-renowned artists in their paintings. it is used to make ultramarine. it has been part of Faberge eggs and King Tut's resting mask. it is the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision. and can be worn on the middle finger of the right hand (laid in silver or gold) to help foster self-awareness and protect one's energy, by transforming darkness into light.

Friday, 13 March 2020


3pm. i am alive and well. i can smile
i can work i can care for what's worth
caring about. what more can i ask?
i am in love. despite the mass hysteria
reality as is cannot be any sweeter.

take a train to nowhere

a tidal wave of fear took you
i don't have the energy for it
i watched you carried away

too much to do. what i would
do if i were you? eat a banana
go for a walk listen to the wind

rattle around a head of palm
and take a train to nowhere


i gotta case of rockstar
dropped myself into the coin slot
for play
you cannot escape the totality of a moment
no matter how hard you try

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

wonder bread white

i was wonder bread white and knew nothin
of my history until i got my ass kicked
where i came from was a mystery

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Trouble'99 #wip

Excerpt from my #wip:

"I sat next to him, freezing, and he asked if I could sing and I said no. Great, he told me, you got the job! When you recognize the song I want you to sing along. I started humming along at first and then of course I did know the lyrics and begin to whisper them, then my whisper got a little louder but I still got quiet and shy with all the people rushing in and out during the heaviest of the commute times, and he told me I was great and my voice sounded lovely next to his tired hatchet job on the guitar, so we were a broken record of a different kind, and if we could just be a little louder we might make some bread." - Katya Mills


was my middle
name. anarchy is over
rated. revolution will
occur naturally now and
then peace a precious


the big F you

ONE used to hear the big F you
outta me. i took the F from
my diet. and feel the world
with thank you
Katya 2020

i stretched so hard i touched memory

the visions were transverse mixing with memories until they were infused. they came from some old scratch on a disc in my 14th vertebra from the top of the column down. i probably got it playing frisbee in 1992. a tree pushed a root up and tripped me in an old growth forest. i had just broken up with my third best friend. forever wasn't as long as i had imagined.

Saturday, 7 March 2020


what really happened
memory clouds it
feelings color it thoughts about it
change it
what it really was what
you guess it was
just don’t go thinking
pretending you know
the facts are closer but alone
they are meaningless
that’s why it’s fun to write

published on wordpress
by Katya Mills


a wordpress poem 
by katyamills 

the first day of february
i am reminded

the ground as stiff as my spine i force
myself indoors the whole day my
back is winter and will not
make a sound

not just muscle
and heart
and soul. no
we are made also
of bones

i cannot survive indoors
my neck cracks when i look up

like trees
we reach
for light

Tuesday, 3 March 2020


"When we were up and tumbling through our days, trying to figure out what to do with ourselves, we forgot to be frightened." - Trouble'99

i dream

i dream my words may help
you through rough

i dream

Sunday, 1 March 2020

squirrels revenge

i was going about my day with the best intentions when the squirrels started to chatter, telling me all kinds of things none of which were true. they were gnawing on acorns and leaving the shells scattered around my mind. i was gonna have to commit to a deep clean, sweep and mop. they almost had me convinced i was no good, and the world a terrible place. problem was i live in the world, and i live with myself twenty-four seven. so i found a nice tree to sit under for a spell. i lay my head back against my hands with my elbows and arms butterflied out around the trunk, closed my eyes and prayed to god. i stayed in that position for several days, and the squirrels they finally jumped out from the crown chakra and clung to the tree, testing their little claws and flicking their puffy tails and gnashing their teeth. they took off chasing up into the high branches. when i finally stood up, my thoughts were peaceful and friendly. you gotta make the most of what you got.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

+ a flash +

they are falling in love
they are working
they are raising the children
from south carolina
to china
the sun looks the same
the moon looks the same
from hong kong to warsaw
they worship the same gods
under different names
drink the same wine
the stars appear
no different
only the moment makes
the diverse feelings arise and fall
beneath the diverse flags
we come and go like
the wind

Thursday, 27 February 2020

(minute) outlier


everything which ever
came to be once was
nothing but a thought

a feeling
set off from the

our little universe

this minute outlier speck
someday may be the very dead
heat center of it

cannot help it

i write these words
i cannot help it
i gotta tune my voice

to silence

thrown off a little
by the world every
katya 2020


california state university. sacramento. i got lost on the campus again, after dark. i asked for directions no less than three times. eureka hall. the moment i found it i felt that way. the kids were packed in the classroom and florence gave me a big smile and i took my place on the panel in front. the three stories came before mine were nothing short of inspirational. i hoped my truth could keep the spirit alive. about halfway through my story i found the pulse and saw the smiles begin to light up. these are difficult memories to draw up from the past. i told them how i owed forgiveness. around 2001 my dear cat Raccoon turned on me and slashed me in the face with his claws. that's when i knew what an asshole i was, deep in the heart of my addiction.

social work

i saw you and spoke to you and you gave me a lukewarm response. you were with a friend and preoccupied. i was on another mission. i hope you know i care about you. i was trying to say so with my eyes. you have been through some fire. being a social worker is a lucky way to live. they find you or you locate them, in their darkness, and you have a chance to make a meaningful difference. then you detach and they become just another star in the firmament, and all you gotta do is look around to see the ones who made it, and they light up your life.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

the focus + shifts

How the narrative has changed in the States. just one month ago all the rich were becoming increasingly paranoid about the aging senator from vermont. what a surprise. they hadn't expected anything threatening to ever come out of a part of the country known for covered bridges and maple syrup, ben and jerry's ice cream, the latest practices for organic farming, jam and jam bands... democratic socialism? he was halfway toward securing the nomination. what if he made it to the big stage and found a way to beat the king? to the dsa (democratic socialists of america) their concerns were elemental and elitist and typically egocentric; being separated from one's money. the whole point was not to make the rich miserable, but rather to forge a path towards social justice, fair labor practices, healthcare for all, and other socioeconomic equalities. it was a divisive yet electric moment in the political arena. now covid19 has arrived and the world has turned completely upside down.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

the consciousness

i saw you less and less then
there was the accident
i hoped for you to heal
i prayed for you
what happened to the kid
to turn the thoughts against
them? how sometimes we 
cannot want the best
for anyone? 
may we become
the consciousness of caring ina
time of urgent need!
if i falter the old ways
resurface like the deepest
hurt striking out
the consciousness turns
drawn up off the 
bottom of the 

Friday, 21 February 2020

so you cannot agree so what

you wanna share something make your life richer, you feel like the wealthiest one alive, really, and you wanna share it with someone who love you, they say they love you, they don't need to say they love you because they raised you, they gave birth to you, you would not have arisen from the dust without them, no, and now you grown and you wanna tell them what makes your heart beat, and you hope they will listen, and you finally get the courage to write it out in a letter and you send it, and it's okay, it's okay you say to yourself, knowing full well it's like playing the lottery, you ain't never gonna know exactly how it's coming back, could be venom, could be spit, could be vitriol, or something kinder, and this time, this time it happens to come back softer or kinder than before, maybe, and definitely better than silence, pure dead silence, so you are grateful for that at least, and no, they will not abide by your request, no way, but they want you to know they may be happy if you happy, yes, everyone deserves to be happy. you call them the next day just to say hi. there won't be any rehashing what was written. you want them to know it's okay. so you cannot agree. so what.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

notes on writing

i no longer wait to be inspired to write. one need not wait for rain, to irrigate the land. i block off time every morning to string the words together in a way that captures how i feel. might be 5 words. might be 500. keep digging, you will ultimately find water.

then i turn to some larger body of work - #wip - occupying my every day mind and heart. focus on the immediate work in progress brings me back in alignment with the gods.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

+ 7 +

you were always a little bit laughing at the end of your sentences. i was in the kitchen working up a goulash, juggling pots and pans. some days are busier than others and that's okay. this is the seventh anniversary of not being up to no good. i had to ask you to repeat yourself. you barked at me and i purred back. being nonbinary i gave up on normalcy long ago.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020


the spirits. in the spaces between
 apart and far from
 hemmed in

 they sway in unison
with and out of synch

pressure to force it came upon the fooled
and forgotten

the spirits. they swayed in the fields
like tomorrow as was

february 17

you go without sleep. you cannot stop talking about it. you push aside those things that matter to most people. sunlight. the outdoors. lunch. they think you are crazy. obsessed. sometimes you believe them. your heart has been inspired to tell the world a story.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

a little action

 they was runnin red lights and not killin nobody so they thought it was a joke. they couldn't say they wasn't old enough to know better, because kids been forced to take on the whole family at not even eight years old, after some sorta tragedy, and did! you could grow up anytime and maybe by circumstance. irregardless, they had not. so they went around young and stupid and reckless. people be laying on horns and vocal chords in protest all the time. and that just made them laugh a little harder. they had whole congregations praying on their souls. funny. how one man traded for peace and serenity, while the next would give anything for a little action.

they was runnin red lights and
not killin nobody so
they thought it was a joke they
wasn’t old enough to know better
how old do you have to be?

other kids been forced to take on
the whole family not even 8 years old
after some sorta tragedy 
grown up by circumstance

they had not. people laying on horns and vocal
chords in protest made them laugh they
had whole congregations praying on
their souls

funny how one man trades
4 peace and serenity
the next would give anything
4 a little action

Saturday, 15 February 2020


the world looked different. maybe because of my friend. she came back from nicaragua to visit, someone in her family had passed on. she gave me central american eyes. we had breakfast at dennys and shared photographs and stories. emotions were forefront on her face. i have trouble trusting, do you, too? but you gotta let someone in. i went to seven eleven and thought about it. turned in my winning poker card for two. one for me and one for you. thanks for the flowers. reruns of the streets of san francisco. karl malden tore it up. thanks for the love. we came together just right. i bought two cokes. one for me and one for you. some lady came in and barked at the guy behind the counter. do you have this? do you have that? no we do not. people can be so demanding. i saw a kid in the backseat of a car. he was hanging out his head alongside the small dog in his arms. both of them with their heads out the window. smiling. panting. happy to be alive. some pop song twisted as they drove through the parking lot. someone's drinking malt liquor on a saturday afternoon. i'm sure thankful it's not me.

Friday, 14 February 2020


sixteen knew what they

not how to
get it. not what to do with it once
they got it

sixteen was restless
craving living

let's find someone
and fall in


fourteen was pushing the body
not yet filled in

bumping into stuff

this way

who you could
or could not

fourteen was open eyes
still not afraid of nothin

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

made this way

i was made smilin
enamel chippin off the tombstones 
of my teeth

turnin slightly tangerine
when you pinch
my bottom

i was made silent
feelings mixed up inside me
not one has found
a way out my 

not because i think im better
but because i do not at all fit

i was made this way
if you don't like me
so what? it's who i am
and i don't like you

Monday, 10 February 2020

give in not up

to the playful
to the hunger
to the boredom
to the laughter
to the weakness
to the cat calls
to the warmth
to the strength
to the comfort
to the ease

never will i
ever will i
give up


the streets of sacramento changing
new apartment buildings
restaurants and shops

my back was achin i
could not get to sleep

ten years ago was an empty
warehouse waitin to be

now shes all grown up like
the cost of living
getting high

someone who could not believe
pushed out into the country

Sunday, 9 February 2020


nine and let us go
two forever
life that ends and never

making sense of
the past. we never really
knew what we were doing
but we made it

nine and let us go
you never know

the two of us

Saturday, 8 February 2020

put me away. they

all the pain in my body i was
talking to myself they won’t put me
away i seem to be okay i
gotta full time job the only chemical
in my system is caffeine
they won’t put me away

i gotta therapist i
got a yoga class a bunch of misfit friends
and family though they live so far
away they won’t put me

i got an imagination that’s my favorite part my
greatest strength my best asset my one
talent i think i’ll write it
down and make it

prose version: all the pain in my body could not stop me. i was talking to myself and giving myself encouragement. hopefully they won't put me away. i seem to be okay. i gotta full time job and the only chemical in my system is caffeine. i gotta chiropractor and a therapist. i got a yoga class and a bunch of friends. i gotta family though they live so far away. i got an imagination and that's my favorite part. i think i'll write it down and make it real.

Friday, 7 February 2020


i may not feel ready but i get out of bed and fire up my engine with some coffee and water. it's friday. i don't know what will happen but i love an adventure. i'm gonna take it moment by moment. bring it on!

Thursday, 6 February 2020

broke the dial on the contrast

i once got more into socializing than books
the writing and reading
when you go blind like that there’s no sure thing
you gonna come back

i spun around that way for years
comparison shopping
broke the dial on the contrast

now i got my vision back you
can be damn sure i’m deep
into paper

you need no contrast to believe
in yourself

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Trouble'99 (excerpt wip)

Everyone but Aden thought little about the future and investing in it, and even he was beginning to get derailed. I was protective and discouraged him from going out with us, stay and do your studies. Sometimes I stayed back with him and we went to the library or a coffeehouse to work. These were special moments for us. Fetching machine made coffee late into the night, talking about medicine and the life of a surgeon, cutting people up, dreaming about our great future. When he got into a zone, I dismissed myself and took a detour over to the fiction section to find something by Burgess or Borges or Burrows or Bukowski. I thought, if god or the head librarian told me the funding was cut off for fiction and made me choose one letter of the alphabet which we could keep, sorted by authors last names, I would likely select B. Then I would jump off the Navy Pier wishing I might drown.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020


thank god for this
winter morning
counteracted by effort and
shower and coffee
i cut and paint my nails
the tigers alongside the
i scrub the pots and pans
the tea kettle
today may i be
with words
with efforts and

Monday, 3 February 2020


unlike who you
are and what
you do

you cannot trust what
you think what
you feel

to be real

Sunday, 2 February 2020


you wanna tell a story of what really happened but you cannot because your memory clouds it and your feelings about it colors it and your thoughts about it change it from what it really was to what you guess it was, and that's all right... just don't go thinking you can or pretending that's the real truth because it's not. it cannot be and it's not. no one has the real truth not even the facts. the facts are closer than you or me, but the facts alone are meaningless. that's why it's fun to write fiction.

Saturday, 1 February 2020


the first day of february and the ground not as stiff as my spine. felt more like spring and i refused to accept it (on the grounds of my fear of global warning). i forced myself indoors the whole day. it was saturday so i had to go out for the obligatory errands, and stopped in at my friend the chiropractor. she asked me a couple of vague questions and demanded i use real ice in a ziploc not peas. eat the peas! she said, eat the peas! that was about the only inspired declaration i ever heard from her. doctors don't go to med school to become life coaches. though she pounced on my legs, my back was winter and would not make a sound. my neck was springy and cracked loud and easy. i am reminded we are made of bones not just muscle and heart and soul.

Friday, 31 January 2020

tea 4 the workers

get out upon a friday
dawn. lost inside
the fog 
when the end comes
you will be tired
feel it in your 
feet your 
knees your
walk proud into your weekend
have tea read the paper
the leaves and
you put your 
all into it

Thursday, 30 January 2020

iiii iiii ii

i cannot imagine life without
first a commitment to be helpful

i left all the jobs i ever had that did not feel so
clerk, salesperson, broker, messenger, banker, waitress
i found a way to make a living by helping


this is my practice
this is my devotion

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

the signal

back in the forties, during the world war, if an american sailor got steak and eggs for breakfast a day of battle lay ahead. for many it would be their last meal, downed with coffee. the torpedo bombers were lethargic and pilots realized they would be easily cooked by the zeros. the dive bombers went out to sea in squadrons with compasses, pencils and the sun to guide them. they kept their cockpits open and dropped at impossible angles to meet their targets. often a painted red sun on the deck of a japanese carrier. insanely they dropped full speed into the anti-aircraft fire, to drop their ordinance and pull up at the last possible moment. dreaming to make it home alive. many were shot out of the sky. many ran out of fuel and got swallowed by the sea.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020


all the popular songs
penned on club napkins by 
wasted wannabe
looking back 
they say i just wrote 
whatever to dispel 
the journalists
the craving
for deeper meaning
and they aren't often lying
a song never needed 
a lyric like a lyric
needed a song 


the talk was diluted
so i dropped the decimal

a moment of silence


think before you

Sunday, 26 January 2020

time like a fossil

the cold mornings
wool hats and long johns the
nights beneath layers

the bite in the air the
freezing and thawing. a silence
summer would never allow

will winter be up
for extinction?

like a fossil
burns fast

Saturday, 25 January 2020


you say you don't got nothing to do
i don't understand

read a book bottle
the boredom

you was not who you say you was
i was me

Thursday, 23 January 2020

good & effin gone

the apartment was messy
we liked it
spilled coffee beans everywhere
leave em
ain’t got time
gotta move along
apply the foundation hold
steady at the mirror
heels hit the wedge
bangles ringing while you’re singing
some good effin morning
open the door wide take in the world
spin around a few times
stamp the ground and knock
you under the chin step
on the gas hit the freeway feelin
good and effin

the apartment was messy and that's the way we liked it. we spilled coffee beans everywhere and did not gather them up. what you gonna put those beans under the sink and rinse them? nah. we ain't got time. gotta move along. push fingers through hair. pull boots up until the heel hits the sole. open the door wide and take in the world out there waiting. it's no different than jumping into a pool! to step into earth's atmosphere and spin around a few times, click your heels and knock you under the chin. step on the gas and hit the freeway.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

despondent at 22

despondent at twenty two 
 where to go
what to do

classes had ended she
needed a job. she
broke up with

she smoked and walked the streets
feeling ditched

filled out applications until
a market took her in
a waitress

wasn’t tryin to get rich

her best friend moved
away. the rent she
could not pay

is there hope for me?
she asked the sky

happiness came in
little bursts like sugar
out of cloud cover

a sun ray

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

the mission

we were in the hall, many strenuous faces all about. here and there one was found pacing, another breathing deeply through the nose, another actually fell to their knees for a prayer. outside a crowd had gathered, shoving and yelling, and someone had got behind the security and climbed the roof by a rope. her voice was punctuated by the underlying emotions like a sky pressured, holding weather, letting the first bursts of rain. you don't know how long it can carry before it breaks. we were listening through the walls yet thinking of ourselves. there were people shaking fences and fists in the air. one could only be touched by the energy and i was, too. beneath all the emotion, the anger, the efforts to draw attention no matter the cost, i saw a movement that reminded me of my past. i had fought for a similar cause in my own life. if only we could open these doors and open our arms! collect that energy, i dreamed, like water in a reservoir, and come to terms, and put it toward our mission!

Monday, 20 January 2020


the clock struck five. the sun was eye level and had turned the bridge gold. i was in a fight for my life. i ran as fast as i could. he was standing there trying to look bored, a blade taped to his ankle, roll of cash in his pocket. just in time. i had my tights on beneath a canvas jacket. we walked along the homeless encampment with its tents and bicycle parts and indigents sitting around a smoking fire. i won't take nothing if you're not done yet. i told him i was. i had spent the last four weeks chained to a desk writing several thousand words a day. i pulled the manuscript out from under my jacket. he tried to stare at the cracks in the sidewalk because he didn't want me to see his eyes light up. i took the money and bought myself a room for a week at the Citizen. i asked for a window to the park so i could look down upon the high fountain surrounded by benches...the cafe. Cesar Chavez had his back to me. i remembered when i was down and out, too. i situated my desk just so. it wouldn't take long to tell the honest truth.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

notes on a (writing) process

i do not wait to be inspired to write. i block off time every morning to work on something original, often flash fiction, prose, poetry... you know, just words strung together in a way that makes sense to me. might be 5 might be 100. i do not wait though yes, i can feel uninspired. if so, i let go and step away for some time, breathe, drink some water, walk around, talk to the cats, do the dishes, stretch, whatever. just changing channels can do wonders. then i may work on #wip edits as i always have a single wip occupying my every day mind and heart.  focus on the immediate work in progress will bring me back in alignment with the gods. or if it's a really bad morning or im exhausted past the point of coffee making a difference, i may read a few pages of Nabokov, some classic or even a contemporary, or some flashes on wordpress and find my way back to inspired. i like to listen to a little jazz or classical in the background, soft, helps me get there. going out for a walk. prayer. if my wip really is taking off and im getting excited towards finishing, i may devote entire nights or weekends to the work. i have been known to take a week's vacation from my day job and devote the entire time to writing. for me it's mostly practice, the writing process, practice and devotion. i will be reading my work at the Sacramento Poetry Center via Jennifer Pickering this afternoon, and she asked me to talk about writing process for a little bit so im cutting it up here first.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

january 18 meditation

Today i prepare some words for a reading... i am fighting... i am grieving the loss of a spiritual teacher... i am celebrating what's left of winter in california... i am breathing... i am thinking and trying to stay in gratitude... i am in the past... the future... i am breathing... i am curious... i am noticing how sensitive i am... i am noticing how angry i can get... how easily i can give up... how resilient i am... how i fight for my right to be fully awake and alive... i am lucky... i am fortunate... my life has been funny... tragic... almost monotonous at times with repetitions... life is a reality worth facing not running from... full of things i love and hate and have to accept... fear and anger and sadness are various forms of energy... i breathe into them toward some truth...  with a wish to live and love and be loved.

jammies from deedees

How could i harbor ill will toward you in your panda bear pajamas? i asked you please take them off so we could go on fighting. you were making the funny sounds only pandas make. you refused the burgers i cooked us for lunch. i found you terrorizing the plants. thank god the kid was at school. i shoved you in our pet carrier,  drove you to the sanctuary and released you deep in the forest. you bounded away. i was at home reading the newspaper days later when i heard and saw your paws on the glass. you were staring at me, head swollen with white hairs growing heavy on your face. such dark circles under and around your eyes. fortunately the kid was at school. i opened the door and you bolted in. you climbed the staircase by the banister and went to hide. i found you in the laundry basket with our clothes. i spoke to you softly. the basket started humming and i knew you understood. all my anger subsided. i could tell your heart was happy. i made a foolish decision, they say. i got myself tiger jammies from deedees, our favorite thrift. the kid was at school. thank god she's learned the computers so she can pay our bills online, and order all our oats and seeds and plants in bulk from south america. how else would we survive?

kiss my toes

For a time we lived in squalor before we won the lottery on a simple scratcher that made us two hundred dollars which we fought about how to distribute, then agreed to use half of it to pay our landlord back, took the remaining hundred to the casino and made a thousand, fought some more after the champagne toast, and paid off our credit card with half of that, took five bills to the race track and made five thousand on Lucky Sinner, invested in a multi level marketing scheme and doubled that on diet pills, took a trip to Hawaii and made love on a beach of hot lava while tripling our profits on bitcoin, bought a Tesla back in the States, drove it to Reno and lost a quarter of our earnings on blackjack, stayed with it, switched to craps, sold our souls to the devil on a payment plan, made it back to black and then some. we saw our luck was yet alive. we sank all our profit into the dark web for a windfall, flipped a few houses in the city, and now we live like kings and queens and pay someone to clean up after us and our drone armada which takes up half our six car garage. i like to watch you race them on the weekends. i have my yoga studio on the mezzanine floor. i can now stand on my head for five minutes and kiss my toes. funny how we still start our day like we did before we had anything: a pot of coffee, cigarettes, and our defiant kinda love. i suppose that’s something hard living gave us. that’s something real and coded with a tang pushing off the aura. i love you. let’s never let it go.

(this story, by Katya Mills, originated on Wattpad).

go on

this trying time

the window
left open. sullen faces
walking by

i want to see the best in you
back to books
until i find one

maybe prayer

i foster the light i
castigate the shadows or else
to be subsumed

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

the 14 twenty

your fingertips might really start pressing
playing the keys and then you know you’re telling the truth
don’t stop. let it all out. don’t answer your phone

for god’s sake don’t go near social media! keep typing
don’t censor your thoughts no matter how awful they may seem to you
they are only thoughts

the magic dust is the truth you are telling
people will be outraged. people will love you and hate you for it.

don’t stop! keep on. your truth 
is more valuable than 

Monday, 13 January 2020

the classics

they say there is life outside but i do not believe them. it's been twenty years since the last tree stood down on earth. get your tickets, don't be left behind, join the migration to mars. we really burned this earth. only photos remain of whales and lions and elephants. by last measure humanity numbered under five million. the oldest among us have memories of forests and birds and snails. electricity long since failed. i have not enough money to travel, i guess this is my fate. i burn these books but only to stay warm. i've long since exhausted titles by climate change deniers. biographies of pop culture icons. poorly written ghost writer crap. god forbid the day i have to tap into my classics.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

+ cross +

speak my heart i
may not cross
hum of the engine faded we
could see the tea
a season of
upsets a family
of misunderstanding
beat my heart
speak my heart
what be true
may i not
cross you

Saturday, 11 January 2020


the lies was digging a hole
like a soft and harmless bunny

the truth
like a wild rabbit
jumped off

Friday, 10 January 2020


yes this was the being and yes this was becoming and yes this was remembering all the stuff you hoped i would forget and all the things i hoped i would forget. coming back to me now. in deep sleep or fully awake opening and closing my eyes. believing.

yes this was the being yes

this was the cellular


you hoped i would forget i hoped

i would forget

the pain

go into it, my darling

go in!

the moon is full becoming

back to us like




the inflections
broadcast on
national radio
fatigued she lay
on the bed and he
in the chair

boots long kicked
to the floor. hallway sniffed about by cats

turn themselves before a
stove. volumes
ona bookshelf

sun’s last light
dead. on underbellies
of palm fronds

Thursday, 9 January 2020

i was in florida and depressed when i discovered prozac and prozac nation. i liked the film as much as the book. then it jumped off the screen, off the page and into my life. my therapist referred me to a shrink who asked me questions, looked me over, took me for a ride for proper diagnostics, then wrote me up a script for prozac. i never got it filled because i refused to stop drinking. five years later i ended up on SSRIs. intermittent psychotherapy alongside antidepressants made it easier to get out of bed but it wasn't powdered sunshine and it didn't solve any other problems. it's a cast. to be held together pharmaceutically until you can handle life without it. for two years i was in the sunshine state and i never saw the sun.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020


coffee and water
cold nose of a cat a couple
 jumping jacks
 ina lamp lit room
old oak desk
i have had for a quarter
century this silence
amid brief blasts
of furnace

Monday, 6 January 2020


not even nabokov by the light of a coal miner's headlamp can deter them. the child prodigy. blindfolded. paraded all around europe by those who wish to profit. these tumultuous nights and dreams...i am paraded around the same. i awake to cry my heart out before sinking back reluctantly into sleep. there are a couple pieces left on the board. cat on a windowsill. sentry. the tea candle has burned off. the lover. answers my call, day or night. take me. i am your queen.

teas cut with

black and green teas cut with banana and chocolate and herbs. opened into the air from large glass jars. i called their name over the busy morning store. someone i had not seen in a year. the class would start soon, exercises and sun salutations. i brought my friend. she's early on, expecting her first child.

i will run the river until i strike gold.

after tea, we said goodbye. i pulled out on broadway. i was in such a state of calm i didn't get rattled when a car heading east drove up on the median. a palm tree lost some skin today.

it's easy to lose your balance in the world if you let off the pulse.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

isolate 4

our huddled loneliness of years past
income fixed
far below the surface
of want

we had one another
and even then

 love moved
like science after death
we were for us what no one
knew or could

electricity of being caught
living this way
   otherwise isolate
  left 4 lost

then came masquerading in wax
taxing the spirit fallen

 the heart of ink we smudged
 tore in diverse ways

     barbed wire knifed
 squeezed like cash
touched to fire

pinned on the arm
to fade

Friday, 3 January 2020

off a drag

tired of being picked on
he ducked out of second period
and never came back

it was quiet you could hear
the birds and squirrels
chasing round
an old man ona bench on
a hillside road off the main
gave the boy an orange
they dropped peelings
like flower petals
on the ground around

happy god crossed our paths

the boy
smiled and thanked him
for the orange

bumped it off his
then offered his
blade for the cutting

Thursday, 2 January 2020

what the sun was up to

the sun was up and stretching its light across the sky and land. there was a concert on the radio, the vienna philharmonic. i spent the day kicking around the house, my papers and books everywhere. i wrote a couple of cards out by hand and started but could not finish them. i had pale pink paper and ink the color of an oak barrel. it's not that i don't have much to say. a winter morning. the sun acts cool. the cats are nosing behind fabric to stay warm. every few hours i stand at the stove preparing coffee or tea. i am hunting around for action in the story. the sun is looking through my window. writing requires patience and every word counts.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

January 1, 2020

Reminiscing on the year past, I see how I had a great adventure and achieved a lot. After publishing a book at the tail end of 2018, I took a couple months and focused on youtube readings. Then I started working on a new project, a novella, based on a piece I wrote in my twenties, and got into the groove of an early morning writing ritual before work. Usually awake by 5am to write until 7am. I published a poem or brief prose piece daily on my website. I got promoted to supervisor at the nonprofit where I have been working for 6 years now. In management for the first time in my life. I kept a therapy caseload. I was told by many clients how I made a difference in their lives. I volunteered all year at the GHC clinic doing therapy with couples and kids. Two thousand hours towards obtaining my psychotherapy license. I see clearly how my biggest obstacle is myself! I sometimes fall off into a negative frame of mind particulary when stressed or fearful, or triggered by some past trauma. I am working towards bouncing back quicker from these setbacks and maintaining my optimism, which I believe is the gold standard for success in this world! I hope to continue to strengthen my relationships, give more to my community, and persevere with my creative projects alongside my professional life and career. I hope to read more books this year! I hope to complete this novella and stay close to the communities I have come to love in Sacramento. I wish you all the best in 2020! May you believe in yourself and, god willing, press on!  - Katya