Monday 28 February 2022

6 days

six days ago they had a good job in the city

friends and family all around them

now they test homemade molotov cocktails 

against a wall in the back yard to fight

the occupation   #katyamills

Sunday 27 February 2022

faith alone

when mala fide
in cloaks of red
extinguish the light
the allies on bona fide they
vanish from sight

hands clasped in prayer
soldiers young and old 

the off beat
of broken hearts
when the shelling

send ammunition!
for our freedom
we will fight

sola fide is not enough
to make it through
the night


after war

they are rediscovering the land

looks different than before they

went through war but there is war

no more. the scars cannot be seen

only felt. my friends got married

before they planned. called up by 

their country. honeymooned

on the black sea 



Friday 25 February 2022

march 4

listening deep into the night to the radio 
reports from Poland Romania Moldova

the only invasion i know
by ants after a heavy rain
the only shells i know
pasta. the only oppressor
bad memories and nightmares
and an occasional ignorant 


Thursday 24 February 2022


i got some lucky floating colored dehydrated charms. the old raisin bran didn't cut it anymore. i rode my bike ten miles after walking one. it's like pressing depression on the carotid artery until it passes out. f-you, depression!  #katyamills

Wednesday 23 February 2022

what we have

what cannot be mass produced what 
cannot be replicated

this is what 
you and i


book of poetry (new release)

hello friends! this is Katya. i am happy to announce i released my first book of poetry yesterday. Up From the Downtrodden. thanks for all your feedback here as many of the poems i chose to include came by looking at my wp statistics and finding the poems that you all loved the most over the past several years. i have been primarily an author of fiction and creative nonfiction, and all of my 6 published works on (and are either novels and novellas. i am fully independent and do all my own editing and self-publishing. i use beta readers to ensure the content is highest quality.

i took every poem through additional edits over the past year as i built this collection up, so poems you find in the collection will be more fully realized versions of themselves. the only way i've been capable of publishing a poem a day for the last 9 years (the promise i made to myself for a daily spiritual practice and meditation) has been to work quickly yet carefully, revisiting each poem 1-4 times, before the commitment. this process has left some room for potential and actualization. i believe you will not be disappointed if you choose to purchase (or, if you have amazon prime, you can read the ebook for free) the paperback. thank you for supporting independent authors like myself!

 - Katya Mills

Monday 21 February 2022

Navalny 2022

the trial to extend his time in the labor camp was the great joke that was not funny. Russia concealed it masterfully behind the useless war with Ukraine. forty miles of tanks! all the newspapers across the globe would have had him in the headlines otherwise, to display this Kafkaesque affair. one thing calms Navalny's frayed nerves is to study the curve of the muscle in his arm as he extends it to help a weakened comrade. working day and night for so long now he knows he is as strong as any man his age and could easily knock VP to the ground and maybe some sense into him, too. 


on the front lines

they dig the trenches and play cards they 
wash in the river and hang their cottons
on a line to dry swap stories to stay warm
cooking over a stove they lock load and shoot their rifles
at the likeness of Putin. shouting
when they hit between the eyes
long live Ukraine!


Saturday 19 February 2022

double torture

opposing the old upset that comes with life not going according to plan, deep into a saturday we forged. we joined up with natural order and made winging it fun. we shared a double torture from Dutch Bros and got our guidance from highway signs. 9 years to the day of our last major meltdown. a voyage to Alameda to see our friends. there are treasures awaiting if you can hold out to the end.


Friday 18 February 2022


climbing the walls of our will, numb and detached from purpose, deep in despair, entertained to near death, technologically baffled, compulsively obsessed, imagination fraught from lack of use, cut by seven blade razors, telemarketed, stuck on stupid, shot at by solar flares, inundated by cell rays, frozen in synthetic fear frostings, sucking on substitute sugars, dipped in electromagnetic confection, infected by ad campaigns, propped up by pharmaceuticals, shuffling whole food aisles, storage wars won at auction, amassing detritus in space to the gills ... modern life can get pretty blasphemous. i gotta claw my way out of it. chaos toppled by order toppled by chaos. i gotta go deeper. below the muddy quicksand of modern life lies firm and solid virgin ground. bedrock. you cannot see it but it is there. resplendent as the throats of bullfrogs in spring.   #katyamills

Thursday 17 February 2022

what are we in love

undefeated by the horrible racket coming from the flat next door, i double down on intent. white as a sheet you turned, the lip service gave you form not substance. black was the ink not knowing what to write, gone for a day without nourishment. how can i tell you, it is only in your head? the tattoos we got helped us endure. comprised of particulate matter. just like me you're unreal sometimes. it's complicated. today i won't stand behind you. no. the splinters of our lives they glint in the sun. what are we, in love? 


Wednesday 16 February 2022

serenade @ safeway

singing while stocking the grocery aisles, a young man makes work a little joyful. unintentionally serenaded i get a little anxious picking up my root beer. the case slips from my hands. the cans they pop off and shower us with foam. under the lights he lifts up my chin. don't cry. runs his large hands through my carbonated braids. this was meant to be.    #katyamills

Tuesday 15 February 2022


i was on the couch with milk green tea. a book resting its wings on my chest. my nerves were playing hard after one of those days you wanna forget. what was left of the light, deflected off the silver ring you gave me, and found a home in the flowers. they say when a planet gets too close to the sun, its atmosphere begins to burn off and leaves a smoky trail in outer space. after countless years it is stripped down to a scorched rock. culture. dedicated to breakdown and cracked in the teeth. well well, i thought, earth still got its atmosphere and i got one, too. i don't give a damn what they say when they don't know what they're talking about! the thought of this calmed me and i drifted into peaceful sleep.  #katyamills

the true leader of Russia

it was hardest to have to go on 

without a comrade on any

kind of battlefield

everything was too much 

these days. even ceremony

they went to pay tribute to Navalny

the true secret leader of Russia 

because that's what you do

starting strong the voices began

to crack. tears and decency



Sunday 13 February 2022



as a kid
i prayed
as a way 2 feel better
about myself

now i pray
how 2 give 
all that i got

and give it all


star free remix

i am star free i am
overcast sky

all the bad habits i
traded them in 4 something more predictable
something more certain


i blackened Hollywoods
digital rolling

you are blue you are chaos
you remind me of my old self   
gripping hearts between  

no longer unmoored 
i am star free cloud-based

i am grateful
i shot myself out of
the sky


broke not broken


i gave up
they cut short
so many lives

i gave up
myself and
the world

some romantic

i gave up bread
to the ducks 
in the pond

i fed
the ugly

i gave up
retail therapy
that’s a lie

i just ran out
of money


Thursday 10 February 2022

midnight remix

shakes with thunder


for the

      of lips


sudden breath (remix)

in my mid-twenties
typewritten pages all around
bottle of whiskey in the freezer
telephone. stereo. Chicago winters creeping through gaps in the window frames

in my head
took a sudden breath i
had forgotten if you don't
it's death 

spotlight of the swinging arm lamp in its antics 
hair on my head frazzled
feeling frantic

would the world ever cosign my imagined


Tuesday 8 February 2022

watermark '97

it's 1997
gravity's a bully pushing me down 
won't let up

lost in words i
drop a forearm on all the keys 
metal arms rise up from a stadium of seated iron letters
and stick together 

like you and i 
just shy of the watermark

i pull myself up by the spine and 
hammer out something born of pain 
and misgivings

throw a dart at the white pages
seal the letter
mail it off


one way to live

expect nothing

work real hard

listen well

keep your word 

speak honestly

admit mistakes

honor silence

question the many thoughts

endure the pain

feel your feelings

care 4 those who cannot 

care 4 themselves

show kindness

show courage

be you


Sunday 6 February 2022

drafting the steam (remix)

out from within
i am burning
a reverse
shot of gin

i patch nightmares
through clothes
mending sorry
lost souls

i am incendiary
a solar flare 
cannot handle 
with care

from samsara
i dream to awaken 
from thanatos 
to you holding me 

i am the steam 
though life 
i do love


Saturday 5 February 2022


on a winter morning i

fixed my bed head with scrolls rolled into 

curls from all the earth's wisdoms

any sign of trouble i

reach up 4 them 

if you've lived long as i have

you know life is chess. think

before you move


cloud for sale. sags in the middle

what with all going on in the world i began to think it a rather scary place and even alexa or siri or the music i streamed could hardly make me feel less insecure about our fated obvious future. i asked google to tell me jokes and laughed for a diversion. then i bought this cloud online for a supposed great night sleep well it jumped out of the box and laid down. later that night it tossed me into my boyfriends arms which could have been seen as bringing us closer together. our insomnia kicked up and my boyfriend got up and left me lying in the center composing an ad. it read: cloud for sale. sags in the middle. 


Thursday 3 February 2022


her disenfranchised hair chopped
draft copy

the lens
through which she
saw was

wraps of scarves
continuity of thought

in those unlucky lost days
we enjoyed a vodka and maybe a smoke
or ten or never enough

traveled by jeep
through tunnels

the light 
what was left of it

the fabric
my friend
the dawn


Wednesday 2 February 2022

Book Review: The Idiot by Dostoevsky

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Read 2 times. Last read October 27, 2020 to February 2, 2022.

I love the way this book wraps up, it was well worth it, after having struggled somewhat through hundreds of pages of half-drunken petty vainglorious power struggles within the web of social strata in 19th century Russia. [No spoilers here]. Traveling home to 'the fatherland' from the Swiss sanitarium by train, our prince makes the random acquaintance of Rogozhin, the second point in the tragic love triangle, to start the narrative. They have a lively conversation and there is little concern that such a well-meaning and honest/transparent man as our beloved so-called 'idiot' could get tangled up in such complicated and dangerous affairs. But the saying goes 'if you hang around a barber shop long enough, you're bound to get a haircut.' And he is noticed by those who wish to take advantage, as a clear and easy mark. Everyone's hoping to get ahead. Everyone but him. The prince only uses his royal stock to survive, as he is close to destitute at the start, and becomes quite naturally embedded in society circles in and around St Petersburg. He welcomes it, seeking out the company of not so distant relatives, the Epanchins, upon coming home. A wise thing to do back then, if you hoped to survive. He is in fact much wiser than they give him credit for. Most write him off for an idiot the moment he offers up a single honest remark in their company, making the judgment that he is oblivious to social cues and cannot know his place. The younger ones, however, like Kolya and Aglaya, can cut through the bullshit and know him for treasure and gravitate toward him. Even the madwoman Nastasya takes him for a gem amongst the innumerable sharp pebbles that make up her circles. He has the gift of a loving and compassionate nature, and the curse of falling spells at the worst possible time aka 'dinner parties' (known all too intimately by our beloved author who had epilepsy). Witnessing him navigate the world is a bit of a heartache for this reader. I confess I may not have completed the text were it not for my familiarity with the other great texts of our beloved author. One of my favorite characters was Nastasya, another Lebedev, and a third would be Ippolit, the 18 year old boy dying of consumption who knows his time is up. If you read Dostoyevsky's biography, you will find a lifetime full of tragedy: the loss of 2 of his children (one just after birth, the other from an epileptic seizure), his first wife, and both his parents when he was just a teenager. He himself was sentenced to 4-5 years in the work camps in Siberia for the terrible crime of joining a literary circle and reading banned letters! Could anything be more Russian? He himself was condemned to death by firing squad and was already out on the square trying to make sense of his own life and untimely death before the Tsar called it off last minute. True story! Ippolit and the prince to me represent the tragic figures who sound out the author's own strange and terrible experiences in life, and then let us listen to the voices as they echo through the canyons, trying and perhaps honestly failing to make sense of them. Having read the final page of this 600+ enormity, I am left with a sense of relief and gratitude for life, which comes without clear instructions for how exactly to live it, yet here we are provided a stern and dire warning: don't ever think you can escape the influence of society.

Tuesday 1 February 2022

the idiot

in the year of the tiger

i promise myself to hunt down good books

in the protagonist i see

myself. awkward at the party 

inflated with passion of they convictions

breaking the matriarch's cherished vase

i laugh and go to bed