Friday, October 28, 2016

A Realm

Was this once a kingdom? The traveler asked herself this question first. It may develop the character of the place in her mind, she thought. She was used to insulating the recursive nature of these thoughts, like magnetic fields holding fragile and deadly clouds of plasma. It was all she could do, and the traveler had spent the first half of her life learning how to think about her observations of the worlds in which she moved. Naturally, she also knew this last insight had only occurred relatively recently and for lack of any other milestone, she chose its appearance as a turning point in her life.

Within the Negative, she had been walking quite a ways. There was not much to see there and she often felt deprived because she could not fly through this void, or swim, or some other form of movement,  such as thousands of tube-feet springing up on the bottom of her own and carrying her along like a moving escalator in an airport.

“Still, it’s probably hard work. Starfish just make it look effortless.

The milestone of self-conscious observation and concomitant recursive knowledge appeared, but here of course she full well knew that it merely appeared over and over again in a continuum of observation so smeary and blurred with the pedestrian thoughts (she was walking, afterall) that the milestone grew closer, which was, of course, absurd. And when she considered that it was a milestone of self-consciousness that did not move, well, the paradoxical nature of the path became even more irksome.

The traveler herself was erudite and a firm believer in the power of expansive thought and logic—what this really meant was she was often rationally unsure of several distinct possibilities that were extensively thought out. That and whether she was a butterfly dreaming she was Hegel, only a woman-Hegel, here, and thefore something of a Wegel, or Fraugel, to be even more specific because the word-part of her mind was always wandering off the path to look at a rock or pun.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Bifröst touched down on Alki;

Today, I will indulge in magical thinking.

And pray that Freya stays out of my business.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ghosts in the Void

Teenage Angst in that Mode
Upon a time, I looked into the Nothing. But since I was so certain then—having just discovered surety—I did not see it for what it was. I populated the Negative with fragments of reflected selves and those outside me in the light that made the world: the Not-Ada. How certain I was. How everywhere it was. How much I made it me.

As they moved in circles of light and iridescent happiness, I remained in the darkness. You know who we are. We remain on the frontiers, occasionally letting the anger in our jokes flash out.

“That’s a good one…” may be forgotten by you in minutes, but I would hold onto it for a year, writing it down on college ruled lines next to the nascent work like this, borrowing—as all language does—from others. Sometimes your name and mine were written together, my last name became yours so sodden was I to be possessed: I was certain it was the way out of the void.

“You didn’t have it all bad…”

A few friends of mine say this and I agree with them. I’m far enough away to know that there is no competition in the Void. We only bring that nonsense there ourselves.

Ghosts in the Void: across all that lost time.

I didn’t fill the Void with wine coolers. Three men did not rape me like Heather at that party. I did not fall off the back of Tom’s motorcycle into the Void like Anna. I did not get pregnant and abandoned like Carmen and I never ate my mother’s sleeping pills to disappear forever from the men I loved like Kyle. I did not vomit into the Nothing until I died like Melanie.

My heart was not yet fully formed. I did not understand. These whispers waited in the Void until I was older and they haunt me now—a kind of eternal homecoming.

The Void is not hungry. It will not kill you. It does not look back into you and find you wanting for breasts, a perfect nose. The man who completes you.

The Not-You is empty and therein you will not find an answer.

So make one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

At what price

Die Nachte: Max Beckmann 1919*
Insofar as Politics is concerned this year...

...I will offer up a sample of the Max Beckmann painting above because it is a version of the America we are being promised by a certain candidate. Oh, he may say he is going to make it "Great" again, but I have heard that rhetoric before and it was used quite a bit in the place where the painting came from.

Half of my ancestry is German. My mother's father was German and my father (whom I have never met) was half German as well. This is important for me during this particular election because it means I carry that weight. What is that weight? That a supposedly civilized country allowed a narcissistic bully with one testicle and severe emotional problems to become its leader. For years afterward, the words Nazi and German were fairly synonymous. In the movies, German/Nazi villains were safe from the point of view of the screenwriter. I was often ashamed of my last name, even though it is Wendish in origin, going into that was not really an option in grade school. And what was the result of all that fear and self-loathing: the same sort that drives Americans to evidently support a fascist who says many of the same things?

It becomes the men invading the home in the Beckmann painting.

I have another part of me—the Latina part—that hears echoes of what the Nazis did to the Jews, the homosexuals, Roma, slavs, and developmentally disabled to name a few and she fears that the fascist dictator running for president—wrapped in the Red, White and Blue—will round up brown people like myself. Our stories, and our lives will be forfeit. Yes, there are other crimes of magnitude in other places, but few that I can think of that are consciously chosen, such as Hitler in 1932. What are we to make of the check-box next to the GOP candidate in the United States of 2016?

My Grandfather left Germany in the late 1930s because he knew there was war coming. After Kristallnacht, the family realized there was better work and better people elsewhere, so my grandfather left for work in a brewery in Mexico. He eventually eloped with mi abuela for Sacramento… but that is another story.

I simply ask for you to vote for a better world and not one of fear, brutality and bigotry. There is no 'greatness' to be found in a country ruled by terror and the promise of bread and circuses.

When I despair, I remember when I felt bad about being a Ludenow: part of a race that committed abominations. Grandfather would tell me about the other people who left Germany: the scientists, the artists, the musicians. These were the people who had made Germany great and gave the language and culture its dignity. I can still remember the Plattdeutsch accent in his Spanish:
"Aquellos que no podían salir murieron o se ocultó escondidos durante muchos años. Lo que quedaba no era un país ni siquiera una raza. Es por eso que perdieron la guerra. Eso es lo que sucede cuando estúpida, asustadas personas venden su alma al diablo. Ada, tienes que ayudar a la gente a aprender, pensar, y amar. Eso es lo que va a encontrar en la música de Bach. Y lo que se ve en el mundo es lo que llevas en tu corazón".
*Max Beckmann: Die Nachte Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. Max Beckmann was one of many "Entartete Kunstlers" or "Degenerate Artists" who were forced to leave Germany when Adolt Hitler came to power. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I write when I am running, but you couldn't really tell. I don't think of plots, or characters, themes, or query letters, or any of the aspects of writing that occupy my desk-mind.

The writing moves within me, just as the earth is moving, spinning—taking me into the sunset.

I stretch and consider. I have my litany, my agenda, my vespers.
I am a machine. I am desire, thought and memory. I am a ghost moving upon the waters when the Earth was young.  I am a woman. I am unrelenting. I submit to no one. I give. I am indefatigable and I know when to step lightly on the water or with force upon the stones.
The continuum of Space and Time is most subtly evident during the paradoxical dance of this moment—when the day bleeds into night because I know the safety of this place does not last much longer. I know when it ends and I run towards the sun and conveyance home. I search for danger. I look for my allies here. I stay aware and I am wholly in the present.

By now I know my pace without thinking about it.

The pathway comes to me. The sky and the water reflect one another but I shall not be dazzled by them. There will be another sunset. There will always be more running because that is what I do.
I am a machine. I am desire, thought and memory. I am a ghost moving upon the waters when the Earth was young. I am a woman.  I am unrelenting. I submit to no one. I give. I am indefatigable and I know when to step lightly on the water or with force upon the stones.