Sunrise off of McDonald Road

February 23, 2021By Focal NomadPOETRY, SUNRISE SERIES

Photos taken + words written January 2019; Town of Onondaga, New York.

It’s negative one degree’s out.
I don’t know why I thought, even the few minutes I’d be out here,
I could handle this with kid gloves on.
My chest feels tight; I was holding my breath.
It’s hard to stay present when the temperature is killing you.

I read yesterday that all that is not “matter”
Is nothingness;  and in that nothingness
We can connect with the unmanifested.
That is to say, by paying attention to the 
Space between things, between walls, between us and them,
We can find our soul.
But an hour later I was in a sauna wondering,
“What about temperature? What about oxygen and carbon monoxide?” 
What about the very things that allow us to BE
In these bodies as manifested in solid matter?
Are these nothingness? We can’t see the space
Between these molecules, because we can’t see the molecules.
Therefore, if space is the portal into the unknown, 
and matter we can see represents the known
What about the known matter, that we cannot see?

I know I am sad and scared and nervous to get back to Los Angeles,
Yet I cannot see these emotions. Perhaps
They are just chemical: a physical
manifestation that my soul wanted to experience
Through the sensitivity of humanness.
I try to trust that this is what is supposed to happen.
That I signed some contract many lifetimes back
That would hex me against technology and lovers where I
Would in turn get so used to it that I would
Hex myself. So what I’m still trying to figure out is,
Am I meant to somehow fight against all this?
Claim that I deserve better,
It doesn’t have to be this way,
Break my back to overcome every obstacle
And actualize my life into one that my soul and ego were proud of?
Or do I surrender into what is? Surrender that 
Maybe I won’t ever get married or have a family
Maybe I will have to move back home
Maybe I’ve made my family’s life worse by being in it,
I keep seeing myself make mistake after mistake.
I try to do better, yet the resistance is powerful.
I try to overcome every self-destructive tendency
Until pleasure wants to take over and
Just run the show.

He was going through this same battle. 
He surrendered.
I was still fighting. I am
Still fighting.
But I no longer blame him
For breaking our contract. 

Sunrise Over Denver

February 16, 2021By Focal NomadPOETRY, SUNRISE SERIES

Photos taken and poem written in November 2018. Denver, CO.

Thumping to a count of 10
My heart pitters then jumps
It’s often overwhelming
When I look outside in Denver.

The crisp of the air, not killing me,
But chilling me. Strengthening 
My ability to handle the changes.
For if I’m braced for winter, I can
Handle any weather.

If you don’t like what’s happening
Wait. It will change. It has to. I 
Used to relish this knowledge:
Knowing if I didn’t like where I was
I would never stay there.

What about now when I don’t want
To go anywhere? When the changes are
Rapid but I don’t want to go on tonight’s
Plane? What if I wanted to slow down
The pace of the day, so I could 
Spend more moments in pure

Every day taken off, hand held, sacrifice,
Gas pump, Late-to-bed followed by
Early-to-rise… every time I said something 
Fear-based that was met with understanding.
Every little action that adds up to love
In action. I’m seeing it. I’m feeling it.
I’m trying to believe it and want it to stick
Around to see if it stays.

I don’t want to stray; I’m just scared of
What will happen in this city without
My influence. What will happen when
I’m in a position that requires faith?
My heart is thawing. I’m melting in
Wonder. I give myself over to the
Unknown. I give myself over and let go.

Sunrise Over Grassfish at Mendocino Magic

July 11, 2019By Focal NomadPOETRY, SUNRISE SERIES

Photos taken and words written in July 2018. Mendocino, CA.

Pulling my left then my right lids down.
I can’t vouch for my creativity when I can’t see the lines I’m writing between.
Feet out, lean back,
The sun will crest over eventually. Let it be your alarm clock.
Nature had a different tone. When you get the call you have to go.
From bronze to gold to bright, bright green. It’s all relative and irrelevant.
When you plan to cheat,
Take the work, less healing
When the sun is further
In the sky.

These are extreme conditions.
Big love, four nights, one tent.
Seventy-five burners. I know no
One. Social stamina muscle
Is built, voice is broken.

It feels so good to listen,
Especially since everyone
Has had a wild ride
So far.

The Art of Not Giving a Fuck employed.
Grab that tambourine, feel the beat, or miss it, pick it back up again.
The point is to have fun trying.
To show people that you’re not afraid of your ego dying. Make a big mess of yourself now. No better time to let those fucks go. No one can do you like you can – and it’s needed here and hey – it’s needed everywhere.

The more you try to fit your gifts to what you think other people want, the further away you get from doing just that.
Yourself is what’s needed.
Sing a song and trail to a tangent then click away knowing that you can take the shifts and changes within and without you and it is always going to be needed, whatever your gifts so happen to be.

Sunrise at One Love Fest

February 9, 2019By Focal NomadPOETRY, SUNRISE SERIES

Photos taken and words written in October 2017. One Love Fest, CA.

I wish I was a bird
Their mating rituals are so simple
And with my love song
I’d know damn well when
He was calling on another.

Love the people in these photos
But everyone wants a perfect time
Let’s stop teaching the myth of “ready”
And instead replace it,
With the reality of choice.

My necklace that contains
Sodalite for self-love
Rose quartz for unconditional love
And amethyst for healing
Went missing last night.
But my bet is my stones’ called on another
Cause for me they’d done all they could do.

I listened to myself.
My body, my need
For boundaries.
I’m not ready for a good time.
I’m ready for a real time, or a nap
Whichever comes first.
It’s been one real of a week.
I put sparkles on my cheeks and
Cat ears on my head.
To feel like my life
Was some time else.

Either in the past where
My trust was still
As low pressure
As my playa tires
Or the future where
I love myself so
Much, that I
Listen to myself
And give me what
I need against peace.

Sunrise at my Audition in the LES

October 26, 2018By Focal NomadPOETRY, SUNRISE SERIES

Photos taken and words written in October 2017. New York, NY.

I didn’t get picked again.
He didn’t even touch my hair.
Doesn’t he know that it’s virgin hair??
Not picked, rejected, the idiots.
Idiots! Sounds familiar.

If he had only touched it he would have known.
I look at their choices and feel pity
for their stupidity that who they are
looking for is me. I am that girl.
I have that thick, luscious hair, with
High cheek bones, eyes that will
kill you with their stare; I am Medusa
Look at me and risk your life.
You don’t know what you want
You don’t know what you want
You don’t know what you want
Look at me: I will hold
you with my hair, I will encapsulate
Everything that thrills you and terrifies
you with one stare.

I’m every girl you ever wanted in one.
Why is it taking so long for someone
to figure this out? I can chill with you
on your couch, then fuck you in your car.
I look good on your arm and get your weird
humor. You can say weird shit like “I
want to chew up your eyeballs and spit them
out” and I will get it and love you for it.
Your desire for me scares you because it
has taken you over. You don’t know if there’s
room for anything else. You know I’m the
end. You know this is a mudslide.
You don’t want me to hold you because
you know once you succomb to me
your will is useless. It’s over. The rest
of your life is in my hands. Idiot!

I never gave myself that power only you.
You will hunt for the forbidden fruit
only to look back years from now, see that
I’ve hardly aged, I’m exceeding you in our
Careers and that I’m ridiculously happy
without you.
You will feel sorry; you will realize how stupid you
were. You were realize you were such a
goddamn idiot for not even trying,
not even touching my… hair. Not even
seeing what could be possible with this
beauty, this body, this mind, these eyes,
these arms, these hands, this heart, this smile.
Coward. Step out of your own way and stop looking.
I’m right here. Focus now, readjust that focal length.
You need a more shallow depth of field because I’m
RIGHT HERE. Stop looking. You’ve found it.
Don’t be an idiot.

Self-Destructive Heat

October 15, 2018By Focal NomadPOETRY

Bathing myself in this heat
I let the air pressure renew me
Off of Spring Street

Those ICEE’s look delicious
Been craving a frappucino
Both make me feel old and gross

I refrain from the sugar
Trying to find something sustainable
I chug water and cocao

I stare at an empty stage
My to-do list is long but all
I want to do is sit and sulk and drink

Too hot to get high, and the polarity
Might kill me. I’m so mixed up I’m
Broken. All pieces of myself scattered
Across the dead lawn of a place I once
Wrote many poems on.

I want to run away from typing
I sit with the discomfort of this heat
Hoping someone will text me back
Rescue me from having to sit with this

Tapping on dating apps, hoping to loose
Myself in another so I can offer a big
Middle finger to those who tell me I’m
Not for them. Not now, unavailable.

Perhaps they think I’ll always be around,
Waiting for that day when circumstance will
Align with desire. Life doesn’t give us perfect
Timing. All it gives us is choices and feelings
We don’t always have a say in.

If I had a say in my emotions, I would be
Robotic with steel walls as boundaries.
But I’m not, I’m as penetrable as the wind
But my gusts come with force, a fierce funnel
Of dust and my particles are fine, they get
Inside of people without them even realizing
That weeks after I’m gone they’re coughing
Me up. Choking on me, because I’m hard to
Get rid of. Pretty and powerful
Powerful wind, I’m an intense experience
That I’m always trying to transcend.

Imagine existing as the cyclone, where
Everything that you love gets blown
Away when near you. In awe of your
Force, but can’t stand strong with you
So maybe humans weren’t meant for me
Maybe humans are too weak
Maybe what I need is steel that I can’t
Damage, skin that won’t chap even on
A good day. Robots do their best to feel
But it takes a lot to get through to them
So maybe I’m what they need. Something
Strong to move them, even if it’s subtle –
Two opposing forces, not right on paper.
Two opposing forces, that need each other

Imperfect Shapes

October 3, 2018By Focal NomadPOETRY

Don’t make decisions from your pain, love.
It may feel like you want to take the scissors
and cut up all the shapes to shreds.
It may feel like none of your circles were perfect,
like your hearts were all lopsided,
that your squares were only trapezoids
and your trapezoids were more like stars;
but don’t cut them into confetti.

The world needs the imperfect shapes that only
you can create. So take that glue stick and create
a mosaic because when you put it all together
what comes out of you will only fit together
if you cut it asymmetrical.

Confetti may be great for a party;
scattering your pain across a room in celebration
of our flaws. Flaunting our need to forget with
every blunt that we smoke and drink that we sip.
You can dance and sweat it out as much as you
feel it in the techno but the beat won’t make
your heart more even. It won’t make your
nose less deviated. It won’t take the air out
of your stomach and sharpen your hearing.

When the party ends, your need to destroy
what you are just becomes trash; moop
that gets in the way of everyone when
the high wears off. So cut it as perfectly
imperfect as you can. Your shapes can
create art that others can appreciate.

Some will approach from a distance to
understand it in totality from afar. Some
get in close to understand what materials
you used, the method upon which it was cut,
the binding material and the foundation it lays
on. Some will want to understand the whole
journey of how you created it. Some will
want to take it home. Understanding it’s worth of
having as someone’s own. Also understand that
Mosaics aren’t everyone’s thing. But just wait…

The right buyer will come along.

They will have a place for you that’s been
needing to be filled. They will be ready for
a large and heavy, colorful piece of art.
It will fit in with their colorful and large home.
They will see your art on the wall and know
that it belongs on their wall, right above the
couch, where everyone can see. Proud and happy
that they found the piece they’ve always been
looking for. Something they see everyday that
Makes them smile, that makes them think,
that challenges them on their own journey.
Someday this buyer will come, and they will
know it’s worth. They won’t hesitate, they won’t
Question the imperfect shapes. They will understand.
So don’t cut yourself into confetti. There is nothing
wrong with you.

Celebrate yourself by being yourself.

A City of Shifty Eyes

April 18, 2018By Focal NomadPOETRY

Where do I start

I’ve been afraid to write
For what I might uncover
From my time under another
I wonder if it will ever get better
Than it was with you
And I’m ashamed to admit
That I even miss a little bit
About what we were because
If I admit that, it means I
Still haven’t found any better
And how is it so difficult
To find someone who wants
To go there with you, who can
Listen to every little squirm of
Your big toe and push you to
Your limit with every little flick
Of your neck and other places
And why did you have to come at
It with all those false promises
I know you wanted to keep them
At the time but they mean nothing
If you don’t resolve to keep them
When it counts. So now every shifty
Eye, every second date, every second
Guess I take as a sign of poison
Not to drink from that cup but
Pour the elixir out, empty the glass
Completely and set it on fire to
Make sure no residue is left over.
I know alcohol is all ready poison
And im taking a risk there but it masks
The smell and taste of something much
More foul, especially when my go-to
Is a stiff scotch like a vampire trying
To reduce its urges to seduce, suck,
Bleed out and shred. I drink to keep
My demons at bay, to get to the point
Where I care just a little less about
The risks that I’m taking because
Every time I kiss another I’m afraid
That secretly they are you, or you,
Or maybe even him. Because I’m
In my thirties now and I don’t
Want to repeat any more mistakes
But I’m in my thirties now so a
Woman should be able to responsibly
Get her licks, right?

Spring on the Horizon

March 15, 2018By Focal NomadPOETRY

Cheese Borek at Barnsdall Art Park

Spring is coming
I see it on the horizon
As the sun goes down as late
As 7 o’clock
I embrace the later darkness
The illumination of the sun
Of giving into more daylight
They say the full moon
Illuminates that which we had
Been pushing beneath the surface
But the moons light is only a
reflection of the sun
So it’s time to cut out the middle man
It’s time to say yes to the sun
Say yes to the dawn
Say yes to things bright and shiny and
New. I realize that I am not
The same person I was a year ago
I realize that although I went my
Own path, and even from that
I sometimes strayed, it was still
My way – and that’s okay – that’s
Grand that’s just divine because
My journey can’t be like his, or his
Or yours or hers. I can expand and
Become more clear at the same time
Tunnel vision never got me anywhere
I really wanted to be. It’s fine to take
Sideways glances. It’s grand it’s
Divine to experience all things.
Mixing the old with the new. I keep
The things I love like this sunset
View and try it on with a cheese borek
An Armenian bakery that’s been
Around the corner from me that
I never stepped inside of until today.
Maybe it’ll be my favorite new pastry,
Maybe I’ll get indigestion. But how
Will I know my favorite foods until
I’ve tried them all? How will I keep
Growing outward if I limit myself
With assumptions? How will I learn
From advice if I don’t first listen,
And try it on for size?

Sunrise from Flight 24

December 8, 2017By Focal NomadPOETRY, SUNRISE SERIES

Photos taken (on my iPhone) and words written in October 2017. LAX to SYR.

I thought we weren’t going to see it.
I was sure the light would hit the pilots
Eyes and we would just get a magnificent
Casting of orange over the mountains of
Clouds. But sometimes when we think
We’re only being given a glimmer
The skies surprise us.

Facing just east enough to catch it in
The top left corner of my oval window
I feel a rush. Bright, neon orange crescent
Peaking over peaks and valleys of clouds.
I almost forgot to shoot this one, hence,
The iPhone. My smart device doesn’t really
Do it justice but I’m proud of myself for
Showing up. Most often, that’s what counts.

I’m exhausted and can’t figure out how to
Sleep. My heart is finally back in its chest again
Because it took getting up here to find it again
As for the past week I’ve been bathing in the
Sunsets I’ve shared and remembering them
In the reflection of these icey blue eyes
Eyes that sat above lips that were always primed
To be kissing mine. I found my heart –
And my head – again; back in these clouds.

I look forward to crimson and rusted leaves
Biting into tart and sweet Empire apples
Drinking cinnamon-spiced hot apple cider
Wrapping myself into a long navy blue dress
And standing there in the family dirt surrounded
By my favorite senses, alongside my whole family
to wish my sister and her husband a life as
full as my heart. The only other person in my
life to know what it’s like to pick the biggest
apple at the top, to have dad carrying 2 massive
bags down the hill, to not be able to have just
one fried apple fritter. To know that
some days the apples are too sour, sometimes
we can’t get to the top, sometimes it’s muddy
but we’ll always find each other connected by
our traditions, and our showing up for them,
and that, is love.