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