Edited to add: I hadn’t heard of the school shooting on this day when I posted this or I wouldn’t have been so cavalier about things.

These don’t really count towards my weekly total, but I’m on a roll and having fun. I adapted this first one from an older short poem (I was calling these day poems at the time) so it’s a rehab rather than new:

roads, the world unwinds,
my sighs release the chains that bind
my heart.

The second cinquain is by Adelaide Crapsey (an unfortunate name for a poet if ever there was one). Ms. Crapsey “invented” the American Cinquain back at the turn of the 20th century.  I really love this one:

November Wind

With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.



*For a definition of what constitutes haiku, tanka, and cinquains, and for an explanation of this poetry project, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

Random quote of the day:

“[The way I work] is like driving a car at night: you never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

—E. L. Doctorow, The Paris Review, Winter 1986, No. 101


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.


The moon was a miracle last night. A common miracle, but a miracle nonetheless. As I drove the elevated section of the 105 heading east to pick Mom up from dialysis, it rose large as a golden ghost galleon, floating along the bridge at the Hawthorne Avenue Green Line station. Nestled in amongst the lights of flights coming in to LAX, floating gold amongst their bright white, every once in awhile one of the planes crossed its face, entering movie cliché time as they became silhouetted against it. Beneath the moon, the lights of the Los Angeles basin spread out like a host of firefly fairies, glimmering off to the horizon before disappearing at the backdrop of the black San Gabriel mountains.

The Metro Green Line runs down the center of the 105 at this stage of its journey. On nights with a hint of moisture, the electric lines flow with little lightlings hurrying ahead of the trains as if to declare with joy, “She’s coming, she’s coming! The Great Mother of us all is coming!” Once the train passes, they rush in her wake, “Wait for us, wait for us!”—electric ducklings following Mama back to swim in the great lake of light, away from the shore that is not their true home.

My heart lifts when I see those little guys. For a moment, I am somewhere else, not driving that freeway, but watching the play of some separate existence intersect briefly with the mundane world. And for a moment last night, the moon became my buffer, my salvation, my miracle of the moment.

1. When I heard that WFC would be in San Diego in 2011 I thought, “Oh hell, for sure I can go, even if it’s just to drive down for a day.” Life had other plans, unfortunately. And, truth told, I might not have gone, despite my optimism. Every year I plan to go to Loscon, which takes place about 10 miles from my house on Thanksgiving weekend, aaaaaaaand…I don’t go. I should never underestimate the power of my own sloth.

2. Mom had some scary issues this week, but the doctors think they were due to water retention (always a hazard with dialysis). Since they’ve up the Lasix, the problems have improved.

3. I have injured my knee. My good knee. I pulled a muscle along the side of the knee, which has happened before, but now the joint is stiff and swollen as well. The bad knee, ironically, is doing much, much better. *sigh*

4. I’ve been studying Native American gender identity issues for some time now, but my interest has revived over the last couple of weeks as I’ve worked on the research for The Numberless Stars. I’ve been poking at the cultural mores of different tribes regarding attitudes towards the third sex, the berdache, as anthropologists have labeled them. In the kind of synchronicity that often occurs when I start seriously poking at some research, this popped up on LJ’s little_details. Very helpful indeed. I’ve already ordered the Williams book and one other. Both cheap used copies, of course.

5. TGIF. Putting a hundred extra miles (or more) on the car per week is rather draining, but today all that is required of me is to be at work. Tomorrow I actually get three hours to myself while Mom is at dialysis, and Sunday, the blessed day, I don’t have to go anywhere at all. Chores, sure, but I don’t have to drive anywhere. I try to keep that sacrosanct about Sundays.

1. There has not been much to report except the same old same old so I haven’t reported.

2. I continue to poke at The Numberless Stars, my Old California fantasy. Not really writing. I’m poking online research, specifically about the El Camino Real and the Los Angeles River and stuff. I’m obsessed with learning as much as I can. Considering that the bulk of the novel has nothing to do with these things, it seems a bit excessive, BUT I maintain that knowing that stuff, whether I use it or not, enriches the story.

3. I’m the girl who once read three books and countless partials on Robert Clive’s India for what wound up being one paragraph in my novel, Blood Geek. BUT, I do think all that informed the character of Jeremy Jones, the hero, so it wasn’t a waste.

4. I did a trip count Monday on the miles I drive on Monday and Wednesday when I come to work, go home at lunch, pick up Mom, take her to dialysis, come back to work, finish my shift, go home to feed the cat, go to pick Mom up at dialysis and thence back home. 52.4 miles on these days. I knew it had to be significant because I really notice the difference in my gas tank. Thank the gods it’s only twice a week.

5. I really must stop waking up at 4 a.m. and not being able to get back to sleep. I’m usually a champion sleeper, but things have been screwy this week.