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Up the Staircase Quarterly
La ventanai.La ventana by vespera
In my dream Grandpa My stands in the veranda
across from my apartment—as always, in the shade,
and his linen shirt shows no perspiration from the heat.
I believe we are in dry Madrid where I have not been
for years. He has been dead twice as long, yet here he is:
no death mask and his smile calm. Grandpa! I call.
From my window our eyes meet. Grandpa! It's me!
He remains smiling, but won't return my wave.
In the next dream Grandma Suzy comes to visit,
maneuvers herself through the door of my Piso.
Grandma, I say, hurry! Grandpa's here.
She gives a girlish laugh and comes to my window.
She is seventeen, as she was in Chicago, celebrating VJ
and sipping her first beer. She has no eyes for me.
Grandma, I whisper, why won't he say anything?
He's shy, she whispers back; he's so tall, isn't he?
THE DEPARTUREMomma, your daughter is dripping down the side of the world, dissipating slowly.THE DEPARTURE by vespera
I thought you should know.
At night I hear the police helicopter circling like a fat buzzard, contemplating if it
will kill- perhaps, not kill. It hums as it picks the city clean while I am a sieve,
howling hungry. I gape and gape and run right through the days, thinking: to kill
or not to kill. I thought you should know.
Tuesday rolled into Wednesday and I was caught somewhere between, slipping
through myself. I dreamt of orchards: tart citrus splitting my tongue and bees
working themselves through my hair. Grandpa was there, asking after Grandma,
his shirt, crisp from the iron, eclipsing the fruits. He was no more reachable than
the summers he spent under the verandah, his shirt, crisp from the iron, safe from
the sun. I was eight, treading water, and from the edges: bursting oleander. You
were coming to pick me up, Momma. When I dried off, my legs read: MEAN MEAN!
MEAN and I was balled
Glory Be! March 14th, 2014I smile as I unravel an e-cigarette from its plasticGlory Be! March 14th, 2014 by vespera
and cardboard. You've bought it for me
As if you could dam my mania, my titanic
movements, inside 4 inches of vapor.
Naïve lover mine; naïve lover, who knows me
so well, I love your love that believes
There's a tame me, more than a wildebeest
or the Jenga game played too long,
Ready to fall, you wonder if you'll be it:
that last gap
to topple all.
In April Jenner & I were in the process of getting ready to leave Phoenix to move to the Cupertino, CA for his job. I had given notice to work, I had sold my car, we had begun to look at potential places. & then bottom dropped out.
Dyan and three others went out in the bay for abalone and there was an accident. My best friend Jess lost her mom. They were incredibly close. I lost my teaching mentor and my second mom. I quit my job early and moved to Windsor, CA shortly after Dyan died to take care of her house while it was on the market.
When it sold and we moved out the rest of her stuff (and me) on the Sept 5th, her daughter and I went up to her dad Pat's house in Cobb, CA to spend the long weekend (and to stow some more of Dyan's stuff at his house for a while). It was a good, hard weekend. It felt like some closure.
I spent the following week with Jess, her husband John, and their daughter Grace in Sacramento. It was to be my final week up in Northern California before moving Sunday down to Thousand Oaks (Ventura county, just north of LA, because Jenner has a new contract now).
Jenner comes up Saturday. We decide to hang out as two couples for the day with John & Jess, before Jenner & I to go back to his place to spend a final night down in the South Bay.
Shortly after 2pm, we get the call from her dad Pat. Cobb is on fire. While he was out for a jog, up by the Cal Fire station he lives right next to (that I went up to the weekend before to see the helicopter pad), he saw the flames. He jogged back, called Jess to leave a message he was starting to pack "just in case". The fire was at 50 acres. No biggie. By the time she called him back, five minutes or so later, Cal Fire had updated to 300 acres on fire. By the time we got home, it was over 1000 acres and the evacuation was mandatory.
After running around to grab family photos, Pat, puts on the trailer to his truck to load up his beloved jeep (he's had it for decades), sees the fire down the road, does not have 10 more minutes to even put the jeep up on the trailer securely, so instead he unhooks his trailer and gets the fuck out of Cobb.A shot of Pat's street yesterday. They're not letting residents up anywhere near Cobb yet, so we can't confirm his house is gone, but the photographer told her brother that the whole street is gone.