Thursday 29 February 2024

film noir star

rain licking the drainpipes 
teasing the window glass
like a young lass
film noir star 
throwing shade ona honeymoon killing spree  
in nineteen fifty-three

#katyamills

Wednesday 28 February 2024

February

memories of you 

swim through

the time has run

it's all gone white and black

of the thousand colors 

in this palette

fifty two are shades 

of blue


#katyamills

Tuesday 27 February 2024

double fun

he had a day off and took us bowling. none of us were any good which made for great silliness. in my mind it was always a birthday if we went bowling because we didn't usually go unless it was. so having him there was a doubly. #katyamills

Monday 26 February 2024

tahoe. north shore


at the waters edge 
snowball burns the palm of my hand 
for you. a bird in your bright coat 
winged lashes 

a blue memory hits me 
like the lake between 
the eyes


#katyamills




Sunday 25 February 2024

your last day in the sun 

we played in the yard

then god took you and god

it was hard


#katyamills

Saturday 24 February 2024

life of ADHD

the morning ruined with rushing

body heat battling the cold you walk to the train 

blood in your face 

blushing


misanthropic for a moment

guessing you will be admonished 

by your superiors


yet when the clock strikes

you are there victorious

out of breath. no worse 

for the wear


#katyamills






Friday 23 February 2024

making it

You must you must you must and I will I will I will I cannot any longer hold back  and who am I who? Oh this is the way they talk when making love. [Sibling puts on noise cancelers on other side of the wall].      #katyamills


Thursday 22 February 2024

death of a burr grinder

four am

under the halogen 

ten years my trusted companion

your gears wound down to naught

surprised i was 

feeling so sudden sad 

realizing you gave us

all you had

and all you got i

almost cried beside

the lonely coffee

pot


#katyamills


Wednesday 21 February 2024

a fair reading

i came to pronounce 

my poems X

in their cherry wood reading rooms

expecting to be trounced by ivy

crests and emblems

Windsor knots on throats

death rays of stuffy condescension

slanting sigils of wealth and power

by and by 

my imagination proved wrong

like goats in fields

they did devour 

every word


#katyamills




oysters rockefeller

there was no costume 

could conceal the ill intent

of a scoundrel turned politician

pressuring with influence money and threats 

a capitalist play to sell the brand

behind the ego and eat oysters Rock

cooked off the backs 

of the workers


#katyamills 

Monday 19 February 2024

last kopeck

One sent him postcards while traveling the world. Another doing meaningful work and being paid handsomely for it. This one celebrated a newborn baby. Where was he in life? Nights at the bar, dropping his last kopeck. Then at his desk writing furious without any promises.    #katyamills

Sunday 18 February 2024

music made of words

this music limitless

made of words

body in park. facing screen 

IP address in the dark

could be Abilene

could be Lourdes

spirit in overdrive

knows no death

on a quest to uplift

any sorry soul's breath

and in so doing 

my own


#katyamills

Saturday 17 February 2024

accomplice

abstruse

the way he called out 

in the fog 

manipulating flashes

with his mobile

baying at the edge of a cranberry

bog


my gut cried: disappear!

into the liquid air

but like a dumb magnet 

i remained


shackled now. accomplice

2 murder


#katyamills







 heavy metal

something in him attracted 

me like a magnet





Friday 16 February 2024

#Navalny

This post dedicated to a rare man to sacrifice his own life to show the world that you must stand up against those who wish to silence you. "Founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, leader of the Russia of the Future party". my love to your family and children. who will hold Putin accountable for the death of the champion of the people? karma? fate? though your life has been snuffed your spirit can never be silenced. the spirit lives on. rest now, dearest Alexey.   #katyamills

Thursday 15 February 2024

digital hearts

digital hearts
printed on a tower
reminiscing on loves past
for an hour


they were done with wanting
lost many a morning cold rushing to get it
all you think you need until
you know you in the weeds needing
more


wanting can be different
to work harder
helping some
one

#katyamills

Wednesday 14 February 2024

sign



the sun rays made of
your fingers
the study hall quiet save a clock arm
tapping. save a pencil strikes
the oak floor
you were signing
the clouds were parting i
wanted to learn how to talk to you in the
silence save a voice through wobbly
windows calls out 2
a friend

#katyamills






Tuesday 13 February 2024

undercover

they were posted at a rest stop off of the highway. casually smoking tobacco in conversation. two middle-aged Chines-American men blending in with bleary-eyed truck drivers. anytime a sedan matching the color and make pulled into a spot, one would nudge the other and they would do a performative piece of cat and mouse. she was stretching her arms and waiting for her friends to get back to the car when she sensed it. she turned fully around and several yards away caught the guy staring directly at her. 

 #katyamills

Monday 12 February 2024

the last word

 she sunk

to the bottom
of a bottle
like a stone
alcoholic
skipped a gen
and rocked her
she took her licks
and got back up
and had the last
word

#katyamills

Sunday 11 February 2024

free radical

Reno

surrounded by players

on a Saturday night

he was highly reactive

a free radical 


over his heart

with love unparalleled

she placed her painted hand

to quell the impending

conflict


#katyamills

Saturday 10 February 2024

Union Square

the brave one diplomatically took seeds from our hands before we tossed them. a bustling afternoon in Union Square. we stumbled around the language barrier. after 15 years apart it's not hard to say i love you. a truck coughed up exhaust and a hundred pigeons abruptly took wing and encircled the square three times like paranormal.  #katyamills

Friday 9 February 2024

year of the dragon

the dragon
12 months to take it all down
with fire. agony. loss
ire


a smoky sun
heralds renewal
tabula rasa


all the hearts given
abundance

#katyamills

Thursday 8 February 2024

twist



they #twisted

avoiding the steam blast

early cat on the counter

beans in the grinder

soon they would be battling the winter

body heat and wool hats

scanning for black ice as they rushed

to the train to meet you

arms around the waist

kiss on the neck

#katyamills

Wednesday 7 February 2024

soft report

soft reports of hard news 

dripping out the clock radio

feels like a ruse 

spoon tolling the ceramic i

hyperfocus on this art

the sun behind endless clouds 

casts the land in an even light

the will is honest if not proud

inscribing the theft of

my heart


#katyamills



Tuesday 6 February 2024

reclamation of rhythms

I was upset. Unbalanced. You’re as moody as I am, she told me, and I’m bipolar. Have you thought about medication? All I wanted was to get out of here, and for a fast and uncomplicated transition. No submerging into my own introversions. No dizzying intoxications. Minimal stress and panic. Once settled I could go back to being unsettled. I tried to cherish the morning. I tried to read a book. I offered to watch over the kids of divorced parents next door. I tried and failed. Someone wanted my heart. To consume it. Jagged rocks ahead in the mist. She told me, you have no control over your life. She’s right. I don’t know how to say no. I drop everything important to me for nothing. Why? I have lost any cadence. I am in a sorry state. And this is why I am heading for the dead center of the city in the north where, inside its industrial rhythms, my own I may reclaim. 

by  #katyamills from [July 14, 1998] journals

Monday 5 February 2024

un.fashion

fashion or unfashionable it came from you. how you walk how you talk how you write how you sketch how you skate how you run how you teach how you fight how you give how you help how you see how you feel how you heal how you deal. the heist is 4 losers. be you. be real.  #katyamills

Sunday 4 February 2024

sunday am


sunday morning

all the protest

can momentarily rest

as we lie around in jammies

drink in all what is and not

the tea steeped and

hot


#katyamills


Saturday 3 February 2024

frontier made of palms

 the arc of a thousand suns

made of time stamped with light

the arc of tears over cheeks runs

from the sight

one day you fashioned a frontier

made of emphatic palms 

lit up like faces of full moons

which no one dared

cross


#katyamills

Friday 2 February 2024

arc of a thousand suns

anyone can hustle. identify what is it you want. go after it unceremoniously. you will be pushed around prodded and disbelieved across the arc of a thousand suns. don't let anything or anyone stop you. it won't be pretty or anything like the movies.  #katyamills

Thursday 1 February 2024

February 1

There was a freedom in being chained to the good routine. good meaning helped you align with a purpose, be your best self, and contribute to society in a way that society could benefit by your brief existence on earth.   #katyamills

Wednesday 31 January 2024

drops like that

Backs pale against the carpet. I knew I was getting close when the titles stood out. The Shining, his pained psychotic face at the door. American Dream I got from a yard sale in Largo, edged in blue, Mailer and his shotguns. She pressured the 20th Century Russian Reader with her palm and we came. I held her as we slipped down into cotton fibers. I turn my head to the side and face The Waves. They are breaking and rolling outside. Russian vodka drops me like that, blacks me out. Soon I will be far away. Another city. Another state. - by #katyamills

Tuesday 30 January 2024

love gone bad

shrapnel of moon in the sky
four rooms to pace
they felt like chewed to death gum
the stairs
stacked three cases high
a couple of lost souls on their asses hanging arms through bars
on the rails. names carved in a heart
in the top of a post
circling the well

#katyamills

Monday 29 January 2024

highlight

the darkness 

obliterated by the light

the rush of euphoria charted upon your troubled face

gave credence to our 

cadence


#katyamills

Sunday 28 January 2024

Royal. [8.16.1998]

The sleep would not come the ink would not run. Close to paranoia in paralysis on bleached sheets, drag off a newport, shallow lying on my side on this borrowed mattress on brown paint roses and thumbtacked vinyl on a slanting floor. And when i drop off a car alarm rebukes me, setting a dog to barking, a call gets a response, and now they all are howling like wolves in a forest. The sleep will not come again. the ink will not run though i try, opening up my journal to the blank page bookmarked. Without words so i sketched a poor rendition of your face from the side, the image vivid in my mind, too bad i am no good at drawing. I make up a wonderful imaginary eye. The following night made up for the last with relentless dreams. Riding around in cars. Running too fast down a hill with a friend and he gets close and crosses my leg and i tumble for a fall. A man walks confidently into my bedroom (plush and much nicer than the real one) to steal me away. My mother getting stoned and accidentally telling me i am beautiful.   
by #katyamills  on 8.16.1998

Saturday 27 January 2024

Royal [8.15.1998]

Exertion to almost dawn evolved into something effortless… the whole production seemed almost pointless but that’s what made it carefree… the later the night the heavier things got… the drinking, the smoking, the chasing… powder folded up with mirrors hide the life lines cracked like former factory floors, the pores like potholes clogged with oil and dirt… rising up from the basement of tax brackets into some starched shirt’s arms… lush Cadillac interiors rolling low on tired struts below the immense buildings… the money clean the language dirty. wanting it all. coffee stains the teeth like lacquered tables. a simple twist of a blind loosens tongues behind loveless lips. service workers bending backs for high tips. exhaust bubbles up over a line of pipes along the curb, a stone’s throw from a great lake, outside clubs with cathedral ceilings. sometimes life is a mess, empty pockets and hurt feelings.

by #katyamills from 8.15.1998

Friday 26 January 2024

suffer 4 not believing

Millions of phones ring simultaneously every second on earth. A couple side by side at the top of twenty stone steps. The relaxed lips of lovers before the heavy orange door. A car drives past, music blasts. Kids shouting out. Coming so close on a scratcher and losing. The one who caught the bouquet at the wedding again and still unmarried. Sunflower with a dark center. We are possessive, scared of losing, of who we are without it. Apartments and homes hopelessly cluttered beyond recognition. Drawn away from whatever we are doing. Tempted to drop the cigarette on the carpet and walk away. Life is simple and absurd. Breaking the truth to someone way beyond what they believed and having them stare at you tearfully wondering why you are unreal. Life is complicated. Now you are the one to suffer for not believing. Life is strange. with nothing to do you drink vodka and join in song home on the range feeling emotionally withdrawn.   #katyamills. 8.20.1998

Thursday 25 January 2024

Royal [8.23.1998]

It was mid August when he said goodbye to his friends and traveled north from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes ready for a different life. He had a small savings and signed a lease for a flat off of Armitage, three floors up from the ground, northwest of the city. The space was unremarkable. Surrounded by red brick factories. All four winds could travel through it and there was a slender view of the city skyline and decent light. He signed a lease on the trunk of the man's car. The week after he moved in a former tenant shouted up to the open window and reclaimed an oak wood desk he had left. Someone crashed a car at 2am into a telephone pole in the alley and set it on fire. This was no accident. He went back to bed while his cat watched the flames from the windowsill. A kind woman named Monetta shared a back porch with him and they got to talking. She was spiked on vodka, Stoli. He discovered her terrific laughter when she learned of his favorite drink. Seagram's whiskey with milk on ice. One lazy Sunday they walked down to Western Ave and had lunch at Lazo's Tacos while sharing art and literature.   #katyamills

Wednesday 24 January 2024

picasso version

to uplift a spirit tangled in some backward self-coercion they pressed their palms into the mirror cracked it with the forehead pulled back and looked at the picasso version of themselves... aaah! much better. here i am at last!   #katyamills


Tuesday 23 January 2024

planet

The music pounded into them. She was on the couch on a platform facing the long bar stubbing her Planet out on an ashtray.     #katyamills

Monday 22 January 2024

Gold Coast. Chicago

I drive my beat up old car fast with graphite and paper up and down these beat up old streets glass strewn everywhere factories looming heads specked with pigeon guano hair unwashed after a night drinking then downtown battling for the loading zone  

by #katyamills 
words curated from 8.29.1998 diary

Sunday 21 January 2024

sunday morning

the bells are ringing

sunday morning

the dead season come to life

the makeup we wear

made of wind made of shadow

of sunlight made of rain

these thick and heavy doors cannot

shut out the cold

the ivy has become the wall

a train thunders behind it

today we rejoice

tomorrow we rally

cutting to work through

the alley


#katyamills


Saturday 20 January 2024

Royal 9.14.1998 (#2)

They made me one fifty one at work. I am more than a number I am many numbers. They dispatch me calling out one five one. I can park in loading zones. I can tell the concierges to fuck off. You cannot tow me. I have met the great smiles of secretaries who seem to want more than a transaction. Walked out of a production company with two boxes destination Loyola University in my arms. She held the door for me, smiling, her tight thin black pants and loose thin white shirt up against the glass. She had a very nice ass. It was late in the day and I was tired and in a rush and I was grateful. There was nothing blatant like Rebecca who held an elevator for me for over two minutes after I passed her going to lunch or something, so I was slow on the uptake. They know I work for Velocity by the company logo on my shirt and it’s a respected outfit in downtown Chicago. When I got outside I realized I had not signed any delivery sheet so I went back to the studio and asked her, do you need my number? No, she said, smiling with that killer smile, But give it to me anyway… One five one. I’m sure I gave her the wrong one. With all these numbers I am, it’s hard to guess which one they want.

by #katyamills

Friday 19 January 2024

Royal #9.14.1998



Not trying to be anything other than you was beautiful the same way silence was. When I dropped the fear of precursory judgments it was easier dealing with situations in general: strangers and transactions, getting measured up to standards. I was in my mid-twenties and on my own in the world when i figured this out after so many fails. They saw right through you out there, the ones who were surviving out there by staying alert. They tested me less once I made it. Coming off capable if not fearless, not so awkward and green. You can feel it when you have entered this dragon. You are the city in its many expressions and the streets are within you. My eyes turned asphalt and my body to clay under a soft rush hour rain.

by #katyamills

Thursday 18 January 2024

Indian Rocks



Her eyes were the blue of the great lakes where she was from. She pulled her shirt down from the neck to show them the tattoo she had drawn and inked herself. She was living on Indian Rocks beach with her mother taking care of her grandfather and already planned to get out of town after he died. It wouldn’t be long. She was waitressing at a local oyster bar and saving up. She wanted nothing to do with her mom who was alcoholic and had started her on the same path early, age twelve, and now she was eighteen and already been burned. She talked to them about her dream of leaving, like her father had before her, and not looking back.


by #katyamills

Wednesday 17 January 2024

Royal sessions [9.13.1998]

The top of the back stairs looks over the string factory and the windows filter out all the sun’s colors excepting the blue and can barely be seen through. On a Saturday night the workers are wishing they found another calling trapped in this ball of yarn. The potatoes are ready to come out of foil after I go down three flights to give the dryer my washed and spun clothes. There’s a heavy Mexican in the apartment below stirring beans on the stove, door open, television singing over the baby’s cries. I can see the tomato cans lined up in the pantry. The canned goods they don’t embrace change, either, you have to shake and hit the tin with your palm, they don’t want to come out, it’s better in there than being dropped into a pot and cooked into another life and consumed. My cactus keeps dying and coming back to life. Same with my guitar. It’s my fault. I keep playing favorites and the typewriter always wins. I have to turn down my stereo to hear my phone ring. Lenny Kravitz is a romantic. I am paying attention and it doesn’t cost much. If your phone never rings you distrust people. If you keep your phone off or off the hook, you cannot trust yourself. A candle that is melting without a burning wick tells of summer in Chicago. A single word in any book is less trivial than any single image on all of television. Which is a demonstration of seeing the world through my values. The secret to happiness is acceptance of suffering. People living in a hard part of town are more decent and less frightened. Reality is scarier than fiction, but not as scary as not being real. This paper is thin legal. This is the best typewriter paper around.

by #katyamills

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Boston 1823


drunk

with impossible notions

he navigates the cobblestones poorly

scattering pigeons 

spitting feathers 

cursing god


#katyamills

Monday 15 January 2024

Royal sessions [8.30.1998] part 2

 8.30.1998 (part 2)

There’s always one you say I love you to but you cannot love because they make you suffer, and the more you love them the more you suffer. And you know you’re not easy to love by any means. The red sky and screwdrivers settled the tension in my head. Can you blame the vodka for the first kiss that started it all? Spin the rack and pick your poison. Early autumn air tickles the throat and we share a hot shower on a winter night, candlelight. Here I am again. How? Why? Cea Cita sits by the bathroom door in cobra watching the curtain ripple, jabbed by elbows, and the auburn dye is bleeding off my head and into the drain as you hit me with the sponge. Tonight you will leave the party with an old acquaintance of mine and I will have to wonder why, of all the people in the world I had to run into randomly, that fateful night in Wicker Park, when I was so wonderfully disciplined in avoidance, it was you. I could not resist the euphoria. The dangerous way our blood spiked in contact. It surprised me as much as you. Your eyes were so wide. What was I to do, say hello and goodbye? In the intoxication of a Chicago night in July? Maybe it’s time to change the locks. Take the silver key you gave me put it in an envelope and slide it under your door.
 
by #katyamills

Sunday 14 January 2024

Royal sessions [8.30.1998]

This night they called the lover they wished they did not love, broke off the call and got a call back, not needing to communicate to read minds and end up together, effortlessly, despite both trying hard to stay apart. They felt like they were running stop signs. About to play out another drama in the heat of a summer night in the city. They walked six blocks to her house with a bottle of red and let it breathe on the table next to the cork on the screw while they caught up. The Persian cat lay on the arm of her beat up old couch with a casted paw she had broken from the three storey fall. She was going on about an incident between the couple who lived below her and how her girlfriend had come up crying because he was out of control again. They poured two glasses and took in the bitter taste, cheap wine, and put their elbows on a window sill and looked down. Their was an abandoned school bus on the corner of Washtenaw and Division. It was a pretty rough part of town and the streets were poorly lit. A few glasses of wine and she was getting moody. They anticipated something popping off and sunk deeper into the couch. Division was a thoroughfare and steady hopping. Could it be so bad even the cat wanted out?

by #katyamills


Saturday 13 January 2024

Royal sessions [9.30.1998]

I searched the dials for intelligence and found none. I stopped at the Chicago Press to pick up a letter and took the bandana off my head. One woman stared at my birds nest. She was old enough to have given birth to me. I stared back at her and noticed a touch of fear like she was worried the untamed mess might reach out and strangle her in this antique elevator which was no more than a cage in a shaft with shiny buttons smelling of oil and grease. There are many of these in the art district near north of Chicago. Here was an attendant sitting on a stool who operated the thing and I imagine whose secondary role was to watch over idiots or children tempted to extend limbs through the collapsible metal gates in the back and front. As we ascended he began fiddling with a small battery-powered radio searching for intelligence or a clear signal. Sometimes I get a feeling like elevator attendants are one with the elevators over which they preside. I know it's fucked up but I imagine they never have to leave, they have no appetites no urges no homes; that they occupy a time and space curled back on itself like an eyelash with super hold mascara: a complete circle, inseparable, unitive. I loved being in there with them and my birds nest. For a sacred moment my problems went away. The lady who could have given birth to me didn't ruin it with words. Her perfume was pungent and as offensive as my head. When I reached my floor I followed the signs in the hallways and everything went black and white. I'm in a Perry Mason episode. The frosted glass. The long quiet halls of oriental rug. The Times New Roman fonts. The antique lamps lighting the way. Film noir. A lady at a desk had my letter but it wasn't a letter. It's an architectural firm and a blueprint safely rolled inside a cardboard tube. Hazel eyes. A streak of gray in her brown hair styled around her round face. She smiles. They are not alike. I would have said this morning they are all alike but they are not. She saw something in me which I could not see in myself. A becoming? How mysterious. I did not dare ask because like many things it's better not to know. I prodded the truth and it did not yet hurt, not like the white lies. Not like the black coals that taught cats how to dance. I will hold on to this smile because it's the only one I'm going to get on this ten hour shift which will end far out past the suburbs on a deep stretch of highway, inhaling midwest farmland.   by #katyamills

Friday 12 January 2024

Royal sessions [10.1.1998]

 10.1.1998

The cold front is here and I shut my windows which upset Raccoon who lost communication with the alley cats. Out of love for her I open one and she stretches down before me on her front paws with gratitude then leaps up to the sill. I had a cold but the cold front was so cold it killed my cold, swear to god. I am driving for a messenger company in my grandma’s Mercury Sable, may she rest in peace. I broke out my wool hat with the bulldog and pulled it over my ears and hit the road with my cell phone, pager, a boiled egg and green apple. There are leaves falling across my windshield and football on talk radio. I am waiting at a light on Ohio facing a billboard of a woman smoking Slims. I wave off a Chicago Sun Times salesman in a tan leather jacket and the junky asking for money at the gas station will have no luck with me today. The street cleaners left a neon orange ticked under my wiper blade demanding a fifty spot. You wouldn’t know they clean wallets. They don’t advertise that. Downtown a black man is passionate about how the whites are trying to put him down. A well-dressed woman in heels and a fur coat hails a cab. The modern art installments in front of the state administration buildings are eyesores to me. The sky high Amoco building gives me bearings; I am disoriented on Dearborn. I don’t get a lunch break but my mind wanders between deliveries. I am thinking of a guy I bailed out of jail in Florida last year. He called me again last night. Somehow the court has my address for him and sends letters about his failures to appear, and when he calls I open and read them to him. Are you wanted in many states? I asked him. This was meant to be a joke but he answered it seriously. Only two. He is a troubling glimpse at a chapter in an awfully frightening book. But when I think about it, he’s not that bad… it’s not all that bad. I am peeling and eating my egg. I’m curious about one thing… how did that nice guy who owed him money, die?  #katyamills

Thursday 11 January 2024

STAR 67

I remember the first time we fought. We were sitting in a booth at Mel’s Diner and he made a comment which offended me to my core, and I just got up and left him and my denver omelet behind, farewell to the fluffy pale sunshine masterpiece. When I get that stirred up it’s like a profound abandonment, someone completely misses me, it’s like all the long talks and understanding got wiped out and canceled, like painting watercolors in the garden in the rain. My blood pressure went haywire and I started to feel hot and freezing cold, I left because anything he might say could only further confirm my bias. I hate it when my armor goes up, the absolute worst because it’s the exact opposite of what I’m usually going for, the connection. Then the memories show up. They dive at me, engines blaring, like kamikazes, intrusive and blowing up my mind.

by #katyamills. (story opening)#WIP

Wednesday 10 January 2024

First Year In The Valley

She quit smoking and began running to teach her lungs how to process oxygen as they seemed to have forgotten. Being in recovery she was trying to be helpful anywhere anyhow. She stood on the Tower Bridge watching the starlings flit and spiral around the golden verts, exploding in color, showing their bellies to river and sky. Thinking back on her first year in the valley.   #katyamills  1.10.2024

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Royal sessions [10.2.1998]

What if it was premeditated what if it was orchestrated what if they broke in and attacked her what if she wasn't strong enough or fast enough to get a dough roller and crack it over their skull? The slightest movement or sound and she played it out to the fearful end. It took a precise and steady routine, a military exercise almost, to get herself back to baseline. She knew she was ridiculous. The dude was locked up in a max state pen and he was too miserable and weak to risk getting sliced into ribbons by barbed wire. Of one thing she was sure. She wasn't gonna let fear get the best of her. Bad things happen to good people, which explained why her grandfather was lying on his back in his small bedroom dying of a terrible and punishing disease. She got up and brushed her teeth until they foamed. She talked to someone with a big reputation without a voice without a face without a driver's license or an address whom she called god. She sang the most joyful songs she could remember at the top of her lungs.  

by #katyamills

Monday 8 January 2024

Royal sessions [10.3.1998]#2

Shadows, shadows. Sleeping on the mattress on the floor her head and feet were cold. The night before they went to the Montana for drinks. Someone told her she dressed like a common thief and she took it as a compliment. There were scratches up and down her arm where the cat thought she was a fish. She and her neighbor walked to a Costa Rican restaurant where they served up these phenomenal oatmeal shakes. Monetta kept her style big and loose to reflect her personality, and the many black curls were always reaching and playing and tangling. The world needs a good shake.


by #katyamills

Sunday 7 January 2024

Royal sessions [10.3.1998]

Her thumb under the shoulder strap she answered his questions as best she could. Questions wouldn’t elicit sex so they were to some degree harmless even if leading. He angled hard like the light triangulated on the floor by the door. He kept pulling his back up from the couch like he was being jolted from some reverie. Every answer she voiced seemed to wake him up a little more, he wasn’t invested in reality like she was. Not when he was with her. She couldn’t understand how you can turn it off and on.

by #katyamills

Saturday 6 January 2024

Royal Sessions [10.5.1998]

Storms carry clouds over Lake Michigan like a doomed zeppelin. They boarded up some of the many vents in the apartment to mitigate the wind and make it through the winter without too high a heat bill. The needles on the tops of the Sears and Hancock towers puncture the clouds and the yellow cabs slide on bald tires across the oily streets. Her oldest kid got a job in a hardware store making keys on weekends. Hands grip hammers and pliers and the sound and smell of metal being cut up into unique patterns, silver and gold slid on to rings with other older keys which makes your world seem bigger but really it's smaller as you leave behind the wide open spaces that most find unbearable as they drive into their garages as the final joints pull the door up and parallel to cement floors. I will survive was declared the best disco tune of all time yesterday and she was feeling it, gosh darn it, she got all her life to live, yes. She fucking hated disco for some reason but the song was great great great. It would be a busy day at work and she was loading up on coffee and getting ready to conquer. There would be no more sitting down at any kitchen table because who has time for that? She was always moving about, taking care of the kids, the pets, and herself if she was lucky. Gone were the evenings of saying prayers before meals and patiently cutting and eating one's food. Gone the breadwinner and patriarch, too. The kids were very little then. Yes she was irritable, anxious, stressed, and not so happy. But when she was happy watch out, you might not be able to handle it, she was really fucking joyful. A contagion of fear and doubt had swept over the land a long time ago. Everyone relied on keys and it was considered ridiculous and stupid to leave your doors unlocked anymore, which gave her son plenty to do at the store. When he came home he helped take care of his brother who spent long hours watching the world through the windows like a cat, the rain beading on the glass and streaming down into the rivers to the street. He wanted them to know where he was, he wanted to show them where he had been and make them guess where he might end up. One day to return to the anonymity of a cloud that learns to cry. He had lost the ability to express it but he wanted them to know. The sun would pull everything together some day.   


by #katyamills

Friday 5 January 2024

Royal sessions [10.8.1998]



Someone had broken the lightbulb in the hallway. Someone had been breaking into the mailboxes. Someone kept unscrewing the front door knob. Danger in the air but she didn’t mind. The landlord kept having to change the locks and the landlord’s helper slipping shiny new keys under the tenants doors. She would rather live here than in the wealthy part of town where people were often smug and pretentious and could be so entitled. She had to have another talk with the postal worker and caught him just as he was leaving. Someone’s been breaking in again. Let me show you. She keyed her slot and pulled it open and then gripped the metal with her hand and pulled and the upper metal rim that ran along the tops of all the mailboxes pulled out slightly from the wall. See? Anyone can access anyone else’s mail! Can you get this fixed? He had already lost valuable seconds on his route. Miss, I just deliver the mail. He pushed the row of boxes back into the wall. Please don’t mess with that. Yes! But who do I talk to? If I have a credit or bank card coming, it’s likely to be stolen. The man shrugged. He started to wonder if she was a thief. People were strange like that and would show you something just so they wouldn’t be fingered for a crime. You all have got to talk to one another. Find out what’s going on. Someone probably just lost their mail key, so they’re opening from the top to get into their own mailbox, not yours. But sir, she protested, the box is broken! He shook his head. You all need to communicate. Knock on doors. With that he walked out the front door and on to the adjacent apartment building. But it’s a federal offense! She yelled after him. She put her hands in her hair and sighed. She was worried less about the neighbors and more about shoddy careless government officials. The people here were kind and demure and often just trying to get by. Grounded in reality. She could hang her messed up head of hair out the window on a Sunday morning and scream at god and nobody would care.


In the drug store on the corner a two liter slipped from her hands. An older woman was pulling sugar from the shelves and the bottle was rolling toward her soft shoes. A nagging back ache prevented her from helping physically but she had kind words to speak which in her youth would have remained kind thoughts. Be sure to open that over the sink when you get home, dear … but if you put it back and get another, well, I didn’t see anything! She tried to wink but due to a faulty eyelid she blinked.


She smiled and picked up the bottle at the older woman’s feet. What, and let someone else buy it and get blasted by soda? That had happened to her before. She took it home herself and loosened the cap a little over the sink to let the pressure out. Then poured herself a glass over ice and lit a candle for company. Her face could breathe. She was tired of people and sick of being on television. Her life was a nightmare of giant human-operated cameras staring her down. She only had tonight and she would make every second count. Tomorrow it would start all over again. She would shower, make tea, dress, lock up, wait for the bus, take an elevator up the high rise, greet everyone, small talk, get made up, compose herself, become all business, sit up straight in her seat, deal with any and all last minute adjustments of lighting getting situated, check the clock, the teleprompter, look into the lights. This life was not the one she had imagined for herself but it paid the bills. At the end of every day she went home alone and, despite everyone and their mother prying into her love life or wondering why in her late twenties she wasn’t yet married with kids, it was her choice and this was how she liked it.   

by  #katyamills

Thursday 4 January 2024

Royal sessions [10.11.1998]

Like boiled water feels tea. Like rhythm it could not be seen only felt. Like empathy pervades a room of liquid bodies in cotton polyester and leather. Giving made it all run. Giving your all for nothing in return. Oils and canvas looked into the sun of a thousand thoughtful inspired faces and the artist long since deceased. Outsiders were not insiders though no one was actually excluded. The meaning seekers often ran with false narratives they claimed to be true. You can make money but you cannot actually exploit it because it could not be exploited. Yes, the newsprint in plastic at the dewy morning doorstep brought it to peaks and valleys of world eye watching, falling under scrutiny and misunderstanding to an unceremonious public death. It had a difficult sincerity about it. A paragraph in one of history’s tomes would do it no justice at all whatsoever. But this would not matter because it did not need justice or publicity or anything else. When the course of the earth was navigating too close to the sun, basements and attics would be frantically searched for it, so to bring the world back to some fantasized forgotten condition, it would not resist being rediscovered, mourned and celebrated all at once. Not at all.

by #katyamills

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Royal Typewritten 10.12.1998

As a child she was one of those angels. People who did not even believe in angels called her one. She flew into rooms with her singular dance, fingers stretching not for want but for joy, her arms wrapping around her father’s muscular neck, and she liked to lay on his shoulder while he read in his armchair. She gave herself freely to anyone she did not fear. In adolescence he passed away, her father, after an injury he sustained in a fall at work, and sadness of thoughts of him dominated her mind over anything like boys or hairstyles or makeup, or the girl who pushed her and called her a pig, an aggravation that quickly passed without meaning like any infomercial. She escaped into books like her father had before her. She became feverishly intimate with the written word, rubbed the many many ears and cracked bindings to the point where titles were no longer legible and pages fell randomly out. She kept them about, on her night table, under her bed, lost among the clothes lying around on the floor. She was known to bring single delicate slices out with her wherever she went and read them to friends. She did not tell anyone that her books were more important. She promised she would not forget them. She was quite learned by the time she dropped out of school which had been rendered useless. By this time there were men in her life who she met walking home past the factory where her father had worked. She must have turned down a hundred propositions before she did not. She found it strange that one liked to suck on her toes. He was otherwise a perfect gentleman in her eyes. Another found her tonsils with his tongue. She had sudden experiences with men who made her laugh and men who made her cry. It was unusual but there were second chances for those who were persistent enough in tracking her down, romantic enough with a flower between their teeth. She discovered if she had trouble breathing, this was a telltale sign that the relationship had run its course and she ended it, usually without complications. Factory men tended to be too tired and worked too hard to be difficult. There were one or two she had to shout down and run from. She gave herself freely to anyone she did not fear. The day she realized she was searching for her father in a man was the very same day she stopped caring, changed her number, packed a bag with a few cherished manuscripts she could not live without, took a bus took a train, and moved away.


by #katyamills

Monday 1 January 2024

Day One. 2024

Day One. 2024. Don't let this be just another day. Let it be an opportunity for you! I want to make some changes to my routine, starting tomorrow. Water before coffee. Yoga before writing. Writing before going anywhere near social media. Water. Yoga. Shower. Coffee. Writing. Then ideally a short walk before I start my work day. I think I can do it. I already get up at 4:00 am every morning and I do everything now except the yoga (currently 2x week). The key is to have a realistic plan!  #katyamills

Typewritten on my Royal (2.26.98)

2.26.1998

A fifth of liquor followed four days of anger and then I was done. Done drinking, done being angry. I uncurled my toes like a good boy and sat patiently. I did not look up until she was standing above me. She was awfully still which meant she had made a decision. Well? I asked, what is it? I prayed she might surprise me but my prayers went unanswered. Now I had to take her spoken words seriously and bring myself to believe, though I could not be moved by them, by anything.  I had next to nothing left after a hundred hours of basic misery, watching tv until tv was essentially watching me, locked in my house, seated in the center of a room, dangerously safe, talking to myself, lost in a language full of images only I could decipher…Wrap the dutiful land with sky and milk, the clouds round and full with the dimmest hope, waiting to be sucked. The side of my face presses into an interminable chain link fence. Blood dripping like a leaky faucet. The pastures turn green. Sweat off the iron palms. My fingers wrap around the links and my body goes limp. Inseparable against the sky. Do not care if we live or die. The ghosts within me began to wail, long slow and rising from the caps of my knees to the pupils of my eyes. I woke from semi-consciousness to the aching of my calves and feet in Japanese position. My arms were somehow upraised with a power I had not bestowed. I remembered her and what she told me, before she even told me. And after she gave me her decision I was unable to be moved, I was speechless. I was sorry but I could not apologize. The good news was that the air began circulating again and the oil began lubricating my pores and I was no longer suffocating, and I could bring water to my lips and the chain link fence was gone. God had carved our lifelines and the sky was still with us.  

by #katyamills