Monday, February 27, 2017

Today, this poem

Today I was reading through The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems, by Kim Stafford, again.

This poem, today, yes. The children.

Champion the Enemy's Need
by Kim Stafford

Ask about your enemy’s wounds and scars.
Seek his hidden cause of trouble.
Feed your enemy’s children.
Learn their word for home.
Repair their well.
Learn their sorrow's history.
Trace their lineage of the good.
Ask them for a song.
Make tea. Break bread.

photo from Guifford County Partnership for Children

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Burnt Tongue 19

I will be reading at this event on Saturday, February 25th. I am so excited and grateful to be invited to read at Burnt Tongue 19. Crush Bar here in Portland at 4:00. Some early for any hope of getting a seat.

I know what I'm reading but I don't know what I'm wearing.

And I finished editing the two pieces for the anthology today. And submitted them.

Writing is definitely going well right now. Which is good.

The WH continues the destruction of our country, and it was blatantly admitted that is the plan, well they said the structure - same thing. Continuing to keep up with what's happening and doing what I can and pushing my comfort zone in that area.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Issue of Privilege

... (spawned from a Facebook exchange and the news and.... )

FRIEND:   "One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago."  [quote from Andrew Sullivan

ME:            I love that quote, too... And believe in it; we should take breaks from what is happening, and care for ourselves, our families, our communities, and do what we love and what restores us. And I also agree with something else in his article - "Here is what we are supposed to do: rebut every single lie. Insist moreover that each lie is retracted — and journalists in press conferences should back up their colleagues with repeated follow-ups if Spicer tries to duck the plain truth. Do not allow them to move on to another question. Interviews with the president himself should not leave a lie alone; the interviewer should press and press and press until the lie is conceded. The press must not be afraid of even calling the president a liar to his face if he persists."

ME:               And I also believe a person who assumes they can take just a break at any time has privilege; I'm not calling that wrong, I am saying that we should acknowledge that as a truth. I do not think it is hyperbole to say that some people are unable to take a break because their lives are directly threatened. If we acknowledge that some people have the privilege to be able to step back and take a break, and some others don't, POC for example, then perhaps we can use that knowledge to change the dynamics. If those of us who have the privilege to say I'm going to disconnect from the news and Facebook and anything political for a week would also be willing to help a neighbor or a friend or a local organization who is unable to step back, we can start to change that. Start a dialogue. For example: if a family has immigrant relatives (right now Syrian, Muslim, Hispanic are being targeted, I know you know) then they most likely cannot take a break from what is happening with ICE - that affects every minute of their lives right now. There is another upturn in violence and aggression against POC, many or most of them cannot just take a break from the news, from politics. There have been some recent events related to people with disabilities; those people and their communities are on watch; these times things are moving fast. For those of us in the LGBQTIA community are waiting for the promised destruction of rights we have recently been granted, and aggressions against that community have increased, as well. 

My point is: I believe we should acknowledge there is privilege in being able to just say, "I'm taking a break from anything political." And I believe we should look to our communities and see where there is/might be need of support for those who don't have that privilege, ask what we can do to help give them a breather or a break. I believe there is danger in ignoring that some people do not have the ability to take a break and I believe in the break.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fatigue and Recovery

I noticed last night that everything I was writing, or starting to write or comment, about things I was seeing on Facebook related to the WH was sarcastic. Not funny, not humor, but pure sarcasm.
I know! Sarcasm can be good, but it isn’t always. What I was noticing was that defeated sarcastic. The what the fuck is the point, what the hell are they doing now, will do next feeling of uselessness and/or ineffectiveness.
So I stopped posting anything. Well, I stopped posting any of the news, and of the crying in my coffee stuff. I did find a few positive articles and stories and shared those. Those are good, too.
But my defeatism still existed.
It was still there when I got up today. So today I vowed to myself to keep (mostly) off of FB and the news for a little while. A few hours or probably until after the show tonight. Because I am feeling a rage exhaustion. We have been promised there is something coming about the Queer community. I want to be able to face that with my full rage, without exhaustion and without defeat. This all affects all of us and the people in our neighborhoods, country, the world, I know. I know. And all of that is personal. And this one will be extra special personal to me (see that note of not-funny sarcasm, still there; damn).
I want to take this one on full face frontal. Like I did when I made my call to Homeland Security today urging them to NOT confirm Bannon, who is not representative of the people and the values of the United States of America (that was probably the most nerve wracking call to a machine I’ve ever made).
But coming for the Queers is coming for me. I am already there for the other people who have been targeted and the outrage and the horrors being caused by the man who claimed the title. And this one is me and my direct community and if it is as bad as some have said, that it is as bad as the possibility of a person being thrown in jail/prison just for beeing queer – I want my full rage and power restored.
So I’m mostly avoiding the news for several hours.
This is where I am……
a stressed, exhausted owl I found online (from
This is where I want to be before I jump back into the circle of action….
Tim Roth as Dr Cal Lightman, in Lie to Me

And I just signed up for the #CorporealWriting offering "Writing About Class in America: A May Day Workshop " in April. Participants raved about the last session of this workshop and I'm glad it's being offered again. One star for me today. See? I am coming out from the funk. A few more hours and I'll be ready to jump back in. 

Thank you for keeping vigil while I regain my breath.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One Breath at a Time

What a month. I did not intend to go a month without writing here. Weather. Holidays and family and friends. And more weather. Stuck away from home for a week. Then coordinating a wonderful team of interpreters for the local march last Saturday. Getting ready for an upcoming play this weekend and another one in two weeks.


And distracted. And trying to distract myself from the distraction of the train wreck which became 'for reals' last Friday. I know it began before that, I know - don't think I'm that ignorant. And we can look back and back and back and see where it began and how it happened and so on.

But the officially recognized day the power ax wiped ink across pages and basic rights officially started being ripped away could be said to be Friday, January 20, 2017.

Yesterday, Monday, January 23, 2017, more pen slashing and reversals. Yesterday I said to a friend, "we'll be lucky if we survive day one." My friend reminded me that we've already survived day one - last Friday. And day two, Saturday and the Women's Marches. And day three, Sunday and we start into another week and watch as they carry out their burning as we sleep and wake and work.

My friend has started a countdown. We have so far survived five days. Meaning 1,456 days to go. Don't know if that's helpful or not - but there it is.

Today has been a hard day. I started reading the news before my day officially began and I need to not do that. Overwhelmed. Crying in the shower. Fighting back against hopeless as hard as I can. Kept my weekly writing date and got a little done on the story.

It's the story I started in the Fatalistic Fiction, Noir, and Dystopia class with Ariel Gore. Me! I'm writing a dystopian story. Not my usual, but that was my challenge to myself, To step out of the usual and write and do it new.

I can't live in hopeless. I can't breathe in hopeless. Today I will try to be easy on myself.

*   *   *

It is now a number of hours later.

My mood is darker. I am having intermittent problems focusing. I am enraged and I have to continue working.

The actions, the signatures, the blocks. This is crazy.

This is criminal.

This is the - I was going to say erosion of human rights, but erosion is slow (until the final crash?) - this is a word I won't even put here because it's not really that but it feels like that.

This is a huge stomp in the face and kick to the rights and


Hard day and it got worse.

I will make it through.

Wrote this morning. Dystopia.

Working tonight.

Trying to breathe. Trying to not go numb. Trying to not cry. Trying to keep aware/awake and not be divided not be crushed not fall under.


For now - sending this out.


Friday, January 13, 2017

It's 2017 and we have Snow

*from January 13th : This was in my draft file. I could edit it or delete it. Thought I'd go ahead and send it out there though for what reason, I'm not sure. [1/24/17]*

Short and quick update. No, not a belated New Year's Resolution post or a looking back post. Or a future casting post.

This is me saying, hey! It's 2017.

And we are in snow event #4 : two in December 2016 (early for us here in Portland, OR, if we get any at all), and two in 2017. Already, two significant snow events. The last one was barely done and here we are with lots of snow. Again, lots of snow for us, I realize.

I haven't been home since Tuesday morning and it's now Friday night. I was working when this snow hit and the roads and traffic were bad even when I got off work late. I was hopin

*update: 1/24/17 .... end of the draft. What was I hoping? I don't know. Maybe I was hoping to get home the next day. I didn't. I wasn't able to return home until after work until Wed 1/18 (off work at 1 AM; got home at 4:30 AM because I sat at Shari's, writing, waiting for things to thaw a little more and temperatures near home to rise enough to make it safe(er)).*

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Gut Punch

[This is new and raw.]

Gut Punch
by DS Hearn

The decision now done I wonder what the next blow will be. Not when. Because the when is tomorrow, unless it has already happened today and I haven't seen it. I've been working.

The punch to the gut of the confirmation that this is what will be in the government seats. The punch to the gut that people's rights will be violated; the proof is already in the works, each day more and more. And that They don't care.

That this country will be - or already is from several articles and comics I've seen - not trusted, not respected, mocked.

This is not about losing the vote or that the other dominant group members are in the White House.  It is not about the "R" and the "D" of this country.

This is about: The loss of rights. The loss of dignity. The loss of hope (temporarily). The trickery and lies and manipulations which led to the claim of "the win," many of which have already been proven a sham, a ruse, a mask to gain support then abandoned. The lack of knowledge and experience already witnessed.

This is about
land the earth
water air
the meaning of respect
going backwards
losing ground
slipping into chaos
struggling to breathe

step by step
not giving in not giving up

giving to each other not being divided uniting for the earth for people

dipping into the waves of sorrow and loss
dipping into the waves of strength and resistance
dipping up for air
dipping down for rest and recovery
dipping to rise again buoyant

and saying

Friday, December 9, 2016

After NaNoWriMo

The challenge after the writing frenzy of November is to continue a solid writing practice. It is one reason that I participate in NaNoWriMo every year, to renew my own commitment and to strengthen my practice of regular writing.

And, this year, to move a project forward.

There were challenges this November. One being that I had a little more performance interpreting opportunities than I usually take during NaNoWriMo; good opportunities and I was thrilled to be able to do them. The other challenge was the direction things are going since the election. This event raised fears and anger and more. But I decided to turn those energies around into awareness and into continuing to write.

I also registered for two online workshops with Ariel Gore. The first is a workshop I've wanted to do since she first offered it, but the timing hasn't worked out - personal essay writing. This time it falls across a time where another workshop I was scheduled for canceled - so I had already blocked the time for writing; seems a bit of synchronicity in the timing. The second workshop with Ariel is outside of my usual writing style, and that is good. The second one is a Noir and Dystopian intensive, something I've wanted to check out, try, but haven't yet. This seems like a good time to dip into that genre and especially with Ariel.

So I'm excited about the two new writing workshops.

The publication of the excerpt from my memoir steal beats warm in my heart. I've received some wonderful feedback from people who've read it at Hippocampus Magazine, words of encouragement and people who want to read more. I have been working on that this month. I have compiled all of the pieces into one place and am going to print it out. It's a lot of paper, but I am at a place where I need to see it in print and I need to mark and cut and move and paste. And edit. Parts of the manuscript at this point need some serious editing and revision. And I have some new pieces to put in to the document and the writing of some of the old and new is of a different style and I need to get more consistency. This is a good place to be in the book's development, but it is a slower process - at least for me. The editing process is longer and harder; I like the writing part better. Although I do want to say that I have some great editing tools I've learned from Ariel and from Lidia Yuknavitch which make the process feel possible and productive.

So, onward. My writing continues. I will get this Work In Process done. And I will continue to write other pieces, as well.