Letters to Geographer

Current Writing Project:

78+ emotional and humor filled poems, songs and short stories created as I followed San Francisco-based, indie band, Geographer as I learned to overcome my fear of dancing alone while leaving a long-term, abusive situation. 

After winning a mixed tape from the band, Geographer, I started a series of letters and poetry written to the lead singer, Michael Deni, in hopes that he would be able to help me escape my situation and meet me for tea and a walk in the city. After seven months of online communication with the band over Instagram and Twitter, I sent emails and imagery to them as they went on tour, which presented an imagined love and creative life as a "virtual muse". This helped me to escape and finally move away from my difficult situation. I lost 35 pounds, dancing at concerts from San Francisco to Las Vegas. I took an online musicianship class with Berklee and practiced piano. I shared iTunes songs with Mike as I was educated by Apple Music. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and I fell in love with the music, which has saved my creative soul despite my current lack of employment. 

There is no Common Law Marriage in the State of California, and I spent my money on attorney's fees for several years, only to learn that custody support is a wash due to loop-holes in the way the law supports the person who is making most of the money. As the primary caregiver for fourteen years, I am left with no funding as I choose to leave. I have been seeing my sons 30% of the time, every other weekend and two nights a week. It has been a nightmare. I miss my sons, and I am praying their father decides to finally work with me financially despite the custody law being in his favor. California needs to help unmarried mothers that want to make this kind of change to better their family situation.

I lived for almost five months with a hosting family in San Rafael, and am currently visiting my own extended family, trying to return to the Bay Area to set up my own space where I will have my sons 50% of the time. Please feel free to read the poems I have posted, below. (Use the Blog Archive to the right to find individual titles) Oh, and of course, you are welcome to purchase a painting if you'd like. Thank you!

White Blossoms of April

The sun came out
and I was drawn to the place I remember most when you arrived
the white blossoms in April
full of sound and scent
busy bees
birds and insects aloud in chorus
how could I expect anything else
would come but a delicious duet
Filled with song and dance
like this remarkable tree
full of the sounds of Spring
----
for my sons

When I Can't Paint

When I can't paint
God takes over the skies
Leading me back along a path in heels, 
riding my bike, by two women, three skunks
An orange moon rises over the river, so large it swallows me whole, drowns me in it's juices
as drums beat into the night, a clock ticks, 
angels sing and there will never be another moment of confusion and hope as colorful as this ephemeral doorway to tomorrow

Young Coyote of Lucas Valley

Tiny moon floats in pale blue
high above dark rolling pines
pink clouds spun by wheels
As I watch you sit down beside
But I must send you away
Running into darkness
on this sweet colored night
as you, small coyote, must live out of sight

Drive, Dance, Write

I write to preserve the colors of you
shining through darkness
rendering you heroic, larger than life, intangible
brushed blue and black with sweet silver sap
sucked from an early morning maple
I could not bear to forget the fire
you lit inside my skunk-stenched soul
how it made me backflip from bottles spilling over sleeping rattle snakes
Dancing then flying away from the mundane misery of chronic madness
A cycle repeated as wheels spin endlessly
Trying to reach an unknown destination
But forever lost, with no static map
You must let me drive now
Navigate the waves, asphalt lanes,
foggy bridges and country roads
You must allow grace to flow into light

Larkspur Bike Path

Leaning, drifting rolling along
Lonely lovely shadows drawn
Stopped on the bridge to share golden light
A mountain and a friendly bike
Boy busy flying kites
Dark beauty of slender might
I stay far out of sight
Lines to the left, lines to the right
Sounds of summer fade into night

The Curse of the Tiny Feather

Three sided rainbow prism that floats beside the Bay
Tell us the story of the feather
What does its mystery say?

A curse so black and devilish
There's no one who can escape
Not a soul named Mary or Michael
Will leave the same from this place

Who cursed who?
You might wonder, now...
The truth is far from simple at all

You see, this story started with a bike and bar festival,
A bearded musician, a mama, 
and twins fighting for survival

She followed his face, his feather and his voice
To the place where clowns rode around an obstacle course
Food trucks gathered all around the scene
A climbing wall for children,
coloring pages,
t-shirt makers and tambourines

Wheels arched over the entrance
to the lagoon designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
The weather was epic, 
the heat hot, 
the sun bright

Michael wore a tank top
Mary wore a guilty heart
He sang for his supper
She listened for a better life to start

In the dirt by a family food truck
She ordered Italian food for three
Pizza, Bruschetta, Pasta and Sicilian Arancini 
They had enough leftover to share with others in town
She heard his voice from a speaker
While they were siting down

Mary had to go and see him
His sound was calling her towards
the stage
Beside the racing cyclists
Where Cow bells were being waved

She took so many photos and posted them to Instagram
How would she ever know this day that she'd become one of his wildest fans

Michael was a singer from Hackensack
With only a guitar and the hair on his back
He started forming crowds in every small town
From San Francisco to New Jersey
His band would soon be highway bound

Mary gathered her sons together
Like a diligent Sheppard
At the end of the day
They were tired of grazing
And needed a manger for their heads to lay
Without screaming fans and cow bells playing

Mary got a glimpse of the spirit in black
His arms cradling the guitar
strapped around his neck
His voice was a spirit
calling her to fight,
hold up her head on this hot September night

Her boys were cranky, tired and complaining
The tent with organic energy bars
Wasn't doing a thing to stop their whining and waning

They had six miles to ride home on their bikes
And the sun was going down
Darkening the night

Mary was sorry to leave with
Michael's band on the stage
She felt a longing she'd never expected in middle age
Her heart suddenly open
Her eyes wider than stars in space
But this magic disappeared too quickly, 
as her wheels spun away from his grace

But Mary had seen the light
She'd heard his siren call
She knew he had a tiny feather
tattooed upon his left arm
She thought about him always
From that day and ever more
There never was a feather 
That Michael's sweet voice did not explore
Every time Mary saw a piece of wing  left upon the ground
She heard his voice and it flew her away
Her spirit was heaven bound

Sing on Michael, and your band
Sing of ghosts and lovers throughout the land
Carry us away tonight
Move us through the night
For every feather lost on earth
Is now a sign of your angel voice in flight
Every feather lost from a broken wing can be mended with your siren voice tonight

Mary flew home and nested her twins
A long flight ahead for her did begin
She shed the pounds of suffering
She lightened her load and turned a few handsprings

Michael journeyed away to the East
A new album made and records released
He didn't know Mary was following him
Learning to fly, trying to sing
Mary was shining in silver light
She couldn't get his silhouette out of her sight
She was lighter, more graceful and glowing with life
She migrated with the flock to keep Michael in her life

A year has passed, and Mary is alone
She rests her head on a mattress of foam
She sees her sons just once in a while
She can't find enough work to keep the glow in her smile
But when she walks in the woods
or on a crowded beach
A feeling comes over her
Her heart starts to see
A ragged shape in the sand or resting in the leaves

The tiny feather tattoo refrain, 
the curse of Michael's wing remains,
She'll never rest without his geography on her brain
She'll always imagine his open arms,
and his victorious voice taking away her deepest pain

Michael thinks of Mary too
He worries she might not find her way through
The world with out following his map
Trying to lay her kisses upon his lap

Who cursed who?
You might wonder, now...
The truth is far from simple at all
So remember this tale from which a feather always falls

Where I Saw You

Maybe you are not in love
but I am stuck
tangled in branches
knots of thin white string
wrapped around wood
by night winds
high in the top of a thick
bushy cypress
pining for you to climb up to me
Cut me free with your knife
Let me fly again into the clouds
As you sing out in joy
the beauty of my colors
against the endless blue sky

Wearing Your Ring of Gyges

The secret ring
you give to me
it's magic instills the power
of thought, song and word
a way to love you
through the music
I put on the ring
and disappear into your world
I am suddenly wide eyed
alive
stalking the next connection
to your heart
Searching inside where the ghosts
chase me
I run after your words
Is this real?
Is this a dark realm
Should I take off the ring?
Will I miss a secret world
a message from you
a beautiful phrase
in time
a metaphor that makes me cry
out love into the dark
empty night
stretched fingers to the sky
trying to reach you
like a lovely longing lady
curving as she reaches for the players in a band
on stage in colored lights
I know it must end as the light comes
to my window
The ring slips off
falls to the carpet below
sinks into the soft fibers
an alarm rings
she thinks of getting to work on time
back in the other world
she has lost her prince of darkness

The Big One (Pop Song)

I am up too late
God I hope it's fate
I asked you for a song
you sent one to sing a long--to
worried I will faint
scared I will be late
dreaming you're beside me
touch, touching my body
I don't care any more what they'll say about me,
I don't care any more cuz I got it all for you,
And I'm gonna give it,
I'm gonna sing out,
I'm gonna dance and scream and shout,
Baby I want you,
I'm Shakin like tremor coming out of no where
I'm hoping you'll be my lucky 7
The Big One In San Francisco
We can shake together
sing this song out loud
baby there be aftershocks 
that hurl us to the ground
singing
You are my 7.0
you are my fear
you are the whole wide world 
crumbling as you whisper in my ear
I want you so bad
I'm wetter than the sea
I'm only scared this crazy
old fool is dreaming
and you will not want me.
ooooo.......Aftershock
oooooo baby, aftershock
You are the Big One
You are my 7.0
Duck in here with me
Cover me with kisses 
Hold on tight
Don't let go
It's a wild ride tonight
It's the time of our lives
Baby, I love you
Scared as psycho
Loud as feedback screeching in my ear--
Let's shake it up in San Francisco
Baby, be my Big One tonight.

Ghost Dog, As You Sleep

Smiling dog
at my feet
your feet moving to the beat
as you sleep
as you sleep

where are you dancing tonight
where do you run
how can I join you
for a walk or a run
let's go together
let's go explore
even though your not here
Anymore

meet me at the forest
or maybe the lake
our favorite spot
where we took a long break

Mesa angel dog
how I miss your perfect heart
I miss your perfect heart
little feet dancing in the dark

We Tried to Tell You

You shut down the wifi
You hide my car keys
You lock me out the back door
You tell me not to come home
It's nothing new with you
So many years abuse
and you still think it's cool

We tried to tell you
We tried to tell you
We tried to tell you
But you won't believe us
You won't believe us

I found someone new
Who's so much better than you
I walk around on fire
I smoke 
I smile
But it's not for you
I'm not for you

You saw me melting on the couch
Ecstasy of new love 
dripping from my mouth
You sat down and tried to touch me
But it's not for you
My love is not for you

Abuse is cruel
it breaks your heart
I'm a shiny new jewel
made clean by another start

Why don't you help me out
why don't you let me go
I know I'm too good to be true
but I'm not in love with you

We tried to tell you
We tried to tell you
We tried to tell you
But you won't believe us
You won't believe us

When is the Bed just a Bed?

When is the bed just a bed?
and when is the bed our palace?
When is it the place he used to fuck you?
and when is it the place I madly love you?

How can I help you
fragile child of pain
How can I help you
Run away today

When is the couch just a couch
and when is it the place you escape to
When is it the place he falls asleep drunk, mouth open, bottle in hand
When is it the place you come loudly, singing songs with the band

When is a kitchen just a kitchen
When is it the place you show him new love runs over breasts,
like tears
When is it the place he cooks up madness
When is it the place you find solace late at night, dancing to my words with beautiful light
shining in your eyes

When is a house just a house?
And when is a house the place I spend learning to love you?
When is it the place he force-fed you?
When is it the place I hoped you'd come away from to dance with me?

Song of Understanding

If you feel I abused you
I never meant to hurt you
It was my playful inner child
trying to befriend you

If you thought I yelled at you
I was not yelling at you
It was my inner rage against my past
Coming out as confessions so true

If you thought I wanted you
I did not want you
It was my heart reaching for the moon when I'd been trapped inside too long

They say if you reach for the moon
You will at least land among the stars
Well I reached for you
And it rocketed me so far
Deep into space
Infinity and beyond
through two black holes
Never to return to anything there was

for
Kindness is silence in space
Your kindness was silence in space

I can hear it now
I hear the silence now

But I am still a loud, brash child
A crying, running kind of gal
So I just want to shout out loud
I am so sorry if I hurt you
so sorry I might have abused you
but I am terrible at transitions
better at positions
that put me in a place of loneliness
I must confess
Because I live like a lone wolf
That can't fit into your circle
of fourths
But maybe someday
I will learn the music
heed the silence
and use well tempered force

Maybe there's still hope for understanding
Hope was all I ever wanted to hear
Actually, no
I didn't even want your words
I just wanted your arms around me

for
Kindness is silence in space
and
Arms circle an eternal embrace

Under Covers

Under
Inside
Dark
Small
Alive
Dreaming I sit beside you
In a room filled with harmony and rhyme

I'm peeking out at the light
strained through the blinds
there's a hole in my blanket
with colors and bird song rhymes

I feel like such a child
thrown back in time
broken heart heavy
lusty passion inside

I found him
but he says he can't be mine
I've fallen back to quiet time
Napping under covers
Sadness in my prime

Help me pull the covers off
like a matador
puffed proud and confident again
Show me like a Geographer
a map will be my friend
Lift me like a dancer
I'm up on shoulders
Soaring into sky
Pull back the sheets
Smile away the night

Under
Inside
Dark
Small
Alive
Dreaming I sit beside you
In a room filled with harmony and rhyme

Weak in the Knees

Googled weak in the knees
saw a picture of bodies
They looked like trees
scattered in a forest of disbelief

You've made me change
you've made me rearrange
pretty much
every single day
since I met you

So, the legs on the person
Struck with love
Are blue, with all the blood
running up above
up in their head and heart
with nothing left for a quick start
no way to escape
being in love's like date rape

You're stuck in another frame of mind
the world stops and you're transfixed in time
your knees get weak
and you fall under a spell
go ahead and google it yourself
There's nothing left to do
Cause my orthopedic surgeon says
I must be into you

Divisadero Ride

no reason to stay trapped inside
just fly
get the car keys
drive into the city tonight

go, just go
the music's on so dance
hips moving in the dark
it's a perfect time to start
loving your life
so just dance on into the night

they can't know how far
we are apart
I drive across the bridge
your face singing a la cart
industrial orange lines 
burn against blue green sea
sing to me
let me go
drive me to San Francisco

iMap says take Lombard to Van Ness
f*ck that boring traffic mess
turn Right on Divisadero
Go
go
go
up into the hills, climb, climb, climb
Crest the top and rewind time
City lights melting away pain
from my mind
Downward drive
rollercoaster ride
I imagine you beneath me
and we're feeling fine
oh so fine and swaying in the night

Passing The Mill
what a thrill to imagine 
eating there with you
only tempted
but not fullfilled
I crave this world
I've only glimpsed into
a Presidio working girl
Divided by a street, me and you

Where was that dart board bar
the Vietnamese restaurant on Clement
why do I want to go everywhere
you have been
I'm not sure we're even real friends
you've teased me so everywhere I go
that my mind's spinning like
the Church
8 wheels and Disco
lights flashing all around
Fell Street Bound

Tell me, San Francisco
where's a single loner girl to go
when all she knows is this hipster music fellow
this tempting man
with indie band
sharing stories with so much glory
intrigue, mystery
All she wants to do is escape to you
follow your feed
until she bleeds

she climbs to the top of Twin Peaks
On his scent like a mad dog
roaming the city in heat
she cries out into the night
help me God
I'm alive
Bring this smart Middlebury guy
back right now and into my life
cause I know I can't survive
with out his Divisadero ride

Spirit of Courage

I said I believed in you
I said I heard ghosts too
Then when I came to you
You ran like a train coming through
Express tracks
No looking back
You nearly gave me a heart attack
and I cried
oh, how I cried
I really thought I'd completely lost my mind

But you were an Imminent Haunt
You had me hooked right from the start
there in the music even as I dreamed
Driving my Spirit of Courage
Bringing back a heart that couldn't Breathe

A silver coin with a moon
I mailed it off to you
With poetry and a card
Sent into the dark
Will he ever write back to me?
Will he ever call?
Letters to Geographer are like letters to God...
But I want it to change
I want the change now
You've given me courage to write
All of my songs down

My teacher, my Spirit guide
Just as Hellen had Anne
I am a simple, local fan
you show me all the music I've missed
And now I just crave to be kissed by your smile
Spend a while
With you dear, sweet child

You were an Imminent Haunt
You had me hooked right from the start
there in the music even as I dreamed
Driving my Spirit of Courage
Bringing back a heart that couldn't Breathe

Tonight I couldn't sleep
and questions had run deep
I stood up from my bed to find relief
When I returned
A coin with tails turned
Upwards in the dark
I looked upon it's mark

2003
Alabama State
with Helen Keller overcoming frustration and hate
She rose up to learn from Anne
A river running over her hand
From out of a fog
She suddenly could see
The Spirit of Courage
You've come back to me

Who put this coin upon my bed?
A ghost? A roast? A coincidence
What do I do now
please just tell me how
what should I feel?
Are you for real?

Is it Emmy Lou Harris
or Joan Baez
Is it the singing painter
Joni Mitchell who once said
"All good bands need a muse"
I didn't get to choose
but was just tossed to the wolves

Saw you in Santa Cruz
Gave you candy and lube
Your smile burned through me
for days
Oakland bar
Under the Stars
Felt like New Orleans
You played like the devil
Touched all their hands 
But skipped right over me 
Smiling again
Burning love right through me

Then I lost my job
My knees were weak
I could barely speak
and I was Vegas Bound

I couldn't wait to see you again
I craved the driving force
the music
the dance
the voice
I was blown away with heat
and Wished so desperately to meet
but you ran away again
you ran through the crowd
like Moses parting the waters
So you wouldn't drown

I drove down to LA
Like Joni also sang
I visited a friend
Who thought we should begin
And after Returning home,
I started to bleed
I started to bleed.

You were an Imminent Haunt
You had me hooked right from the start
there in the music even as I dreamed
Driving my Spirit of Courage
Bringing back a heart that couldn't Sing

Now it's up to you
We have a lot of things to do
to make this dream see the light of day
I'm glad we're both ok 
I'm full of gratitude
all feelings protrude
because of you
Imminent Haunt,
bring me back through you.