Nap alm†††† Health†††† Spa:†††† Report†††† 2007






all the women in the world have mothers who have birthed them



my mother's mother's


cuba is my grandfather's grave


is my great grandfather's murder


is my great grandmother's new york staircase of protest


saying Don't Leave Me Alone, You're Too Young To Marry


and he married


he asked her to marry him


and she didn't quite say yes


and so he cried


and because she couldn't stand to see him cry


she said yes and they were married


my grandmother's new york city


is their dollar breakfast corner mornings


a rooftopa staircase mother's yella cigarette


a cigarette until there was no more


and then they burst into generations


and I am their generations


to come





bird poem

after Jolie Holland



the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


fall apart crumble into each other


a root digs an open aspen grove family


of all of the leaves of all of our wantings


all of our empty hands empty


I look for your invisible trickle


in this empty open palm of mine


I let you go so you can return


and all I can wish for


to still be here


for you to return to


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


it is true: I am closer to the woman I'll be at 30


than I am to the girl I was at 16


wondering if the baby I was at 6 would be proud


and now with London under my sleep


and my own hands under my longing


I see Saturn return Saturn rising


I am the deer that carries your arrow but never dies


and the Great Secret of us almost undone


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


I don't see us in cities but a forest  (the littlest birds)


a lake, something green, birds, hail storm (make the prettiest sounds)


worms, something soft pressed into (the littlest birds)


an enormous sky and my soft quiet sleep of open (make the prettiest sounds)


your wetness (the littlest birds) eyelashes raining (make the prettiest sounds)


a closeness beyond (the littlest birds)


wet breath beyond our names (make the prettiest sounds)


and my useless words (the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds)



the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds


the littlest birds make the prettiest sounds





where I once poured milk I now pour water



it is true


no itch lasts forever


yet thereís an otter living in my throat


and only recently did I learn its name


only recently did I say hello properly


with attention awareness and space


all the space that you used to occupy


is now filled with itself and all thatís left


is an itch but it is true


no itch lasts forever


it is up to you


no one can do it for you


to see whatís under the itch


whatís under the ache of space


a delicious pebble that isnít a pebble at all


but your heart


when asked where he came from


he replied Your Heart and then I learned to sing to Jesus


the great imaginary friend of all my ever after itches


because for the first time I realized


Iím stronger than a Jesus song


and this is still my throat


filled with Sanskrit otters


this is still my Jewish throat


filled with Green Tara otters


this is still my great unholy itch of throat


that no one can speak from but me


it is up to me to tell you hello properly


even if you itch


even if you wanted water instead of milk


but all I have is an otter


living in my throat









be brave be lonely be unique: you say


you say: if it inspires you it inspires you to be your unique self


and because of you I am now more myself than imagined


I am in the junk heap of history


with Jack Nicholson who is tiny in person


and Buster Keaton who is not so tall


and the lead is killing the artists


but we are survivors here


you are my teacher here


I have followed you



you say:


thank god we never voted for Nixon


thank god art is based on truth


that there are no two people alike anywhere


that our cells are like snowflakes are like Gertrude Stein


and we read between the lines dance between the lines


where peripheral vision is our only chance of survival


we are surviving on brain drunk and kindness


and the hypnagogic vision in my right eye is fading


we laugh when we're beyond screaming when there's nothing left to do


and so you teach in this mind field


and here you have helped people stay alive


here we have come to be with you



it is true:


poets when not writing poems


are more boring than most people


and if you're broken hearted you can become a poet suddenly


but be brave be lonely be unique anyway: you say



you say:


life is so wonderful


if you just don't demand the impossible of it:


that things should be forever


most people may not be heroes


but if I had a hero


you would be my lonesome grandpa guru


sitting in the aisle seat of a theatre


laughing loudly and not caring


laughing instead of screaming instead of sleeping




I wish you a happy awakening


where you don't need to write down those dreams


where magic markers are just as good as paint


and all your pockets are filled with poems







the sound of my mother

this bed and me never being quiet enough

is the same sound of cars stopping

and thirty women sleep moaning

in one large nightmare dreamed by each other

because none of us can figure it out on our own


i can't take the swami seriously anymore

his yellow walled orange covered laughter

at the feet of statue and photograph

of the swami's swami

and the swami's swami's swami

and the once upon a time beach of flower

and kindness and skins of animals to sit on


once i believed that every time i closed my eyes

my ancestors could see me every blink and sleep

they could watch me in sometimes appearing only for a moment

other times and when kissing they'd see me for hours

but since then i've learned to look my kissing lovers eyes open

i've learned to see something there

to blink as little as possible


when asked why the picture of her daughter is three years old

the photographer replied Because I Don't Want To Put Anything Between Us


when asked about refuge

the yellow replied Only My Guru's Feet

but my feet are everywhere

and my teachers are human

my rabbis are rude

and my mother's quiet afternoon bed

is me never quiet enough

to hear the things she doesn't tell me

and i am never quiet enough

to hear the things they want from me


i want expansion warmth and my nine year old mind of giving

turning dandelions into tea and weeds into dream spirits

of israeli hotel pillows and my abuelita singing Lean On Me

when walking while walking my summer mind of never ending

and my sister: grandmother watched between piano and rock, always leaving

my sister crying cobblestone of israel and reunion sobbing

my sister once upon a time telluride and midnight smoking the rain in stoner

and the girl gone hippy the quiche and the restaurant and me never sleeping

i believed that china dolls would eat me

and spoke to a cousin who ten years later would refuse to greet me

and now i'm further from myself than i am from that summer

but i know how to say Yes more often

that saying No to one thing is saying Yes to everything else

that lying to another is stealing from myself

that pretending is killing is opposite wealth

and yet i pretend all the time


is it true? fake it 'till i make it

is it true? wishes are manifestation

is it true? you are not my happiness

but a mirror for me to see my own bliss

yellow colored and tickling


i want us laughing curled and kissing

with all our ancestors watching

i want them to know us here

as survivors who love out loud

and are quiet enough to know

if the rabbi is right

if the guru is accurate

if the swami is laughing

and all of our mothers

have something to say


i am six

you are eight

and my wish for you is that it is warm and expanding

that you will be warm and expanding

that this is warm and expanding and calm

that what is known is not pretended

it is yours and complete and crinkling


my wish for us is turtle plant yellow window opening

square bed shape of cloud and spiral

white cloth india and sky bound

something moving and

yellow shining


my wish for me

is small and hopeful

quietly mine and all of it giving

to the twenty years later that is now

the sound of cars stopping

and quiet unending


i kiss you


you are the ground

you say You Are My Life

i say Yes and Look it is quiet unending

a dragon appearing my wish my wish

giving material to my own bright intention

my wish my mother my sister and grandmothers

my closed eye ancestors and unquiet

my kissing my mirror my wish

none of us quiet

all of us growing

the bed the car

the wish


and unfolding