Self portrait Un-numbered 1

DBM Self Portrain-068-EditAidan portrait 2016

This is a picture of me. They all are. I can’t make a picture, I can’t, that isn’t of me. I can’t say anything that isn’t about me. Everything I say is about me. Saying it sounds so endlessly self centered an..d there we are—oops, I am. Sorry. I am always in the midst of myself. Everything I say to you is part of this story I make amke kmae emak about me. But I make art, photos, bang drums to find another language so we can, you know, talk about you for a minute. This rhythm, this powm/poem/mope can be about you, or maybe this photograph, only not this one because it is a portrait, self.
In this one I am the tree, surrounded by minions of fallen faithful, maybe its Mecca, “maybe its their first time around” and they are the fallen and this pilgrimage is not what they signed up for.
Or I am the root stretching out from the tree, finally a stretch ,and stretching and reaching to the interesting and meaningless and pleasing, in its pattern, dirt, in the foreground. I could be that root and I would find that shout-out, that nod, to the dirt pattern good enough. And you can be the endlessly beautiful, perfectly contained and random enough so we are not bored and sunshine yellow co-creators in my portrait of me reaching to the dirt and being this tree in the Spring in the photo, all of us, at last.

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Still and Always and Again

2015-12-11 Troon House Interiors-1-Edit-Edit

The moon punches out a rim

of French-pedicured while light

familiar and elegant in her way

and under her, but not beneath her,

every imaginable dirty unraveling,

unwinding and winding, every

rushing importance and impotence, every dead

line runs itself ragged

unto the altar of morning.

And still and always and again,

like a languid lover,

she remains.

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At what point do I cross the line from being small to being me?  Am I ready to be all of me?  Am I ready to give up and fly free, to be all of me, to play big?  I am.  I don’t know how this will make itself known except that the photos lead me there. This bird flies this bird doesn’t know it is free it just is free.  Me too.

At what point do I cross the line from being small to being me?  Am I ready to be all of me?  Am I ready to give up and fly free, to be all of me, to play big?  I am.  I don’t know how this will make itself known except that the photos lead me there. This bird flies this bird doesn’t know it is free it just is free.  Me too.

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F l o w

2014-3-22 Long Exposure H2O  4753 - Version 2

Blood flows through me and I don’t know about it and I can’t live without it. Some people cut themselves to be sure about the living part. Feelings flow through me and I may not know about it. Is there a knife for that? Is there a third way? If I admit that I know they are there will faith be enough to make me know them?
I got no skills with this, but I can’t afford to ignore them. Apparently it doesn’t work that way. If I continue to ignore them them they take on a weird life of their own, coagulate into threatening clots and force themselves on me. This is my experience.
So I am saying that I am wanting the flow, putting it out there, in there.

I set my phone calendar now twice a day to hum to me at 9:30 and 2:30. The name of the appointment is “pause”. Just a little second, a gap, a wingbeat, to check in,
Find my flow.

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Deschutes River Noon

If what is dark and riddled now can
Give way to something gold
In a moment, once in a while,
I am more than ok. But if it never does and
Sometimes it never does and
Dark stays the same, can I swim
In those waters with any kind of humor?

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There’s A Thin Line Between

I sat in the hot pools at Breitenbush with various kind souls recently. The stars hid behind a blank, dark sky. It was comforting, the blankness. The moon was new and absent. It rained. I rested.  All the doing stopped; I dreamed.  I felt an assurance that what I don’t know now, that what I don’t get in this life, that what I  work to know but still only glimpse, is waiting for me beyond a benevolent white line of light.

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Battle worn and battered and rusted somewhat;
the rain affects me more than it once did.
All the fools I believe surround me are themselves
surrounded and I am one of those in the circle around the fools
who surround me. Who knows who the joke is on.
I, like they do, have the right to my worth
only because I am a soul wielding breath,
like it’s my sword, thrusting in and out, exhausted,
triumphant, relentless, until it isn’t, until it stops.
And then what of my worth and right?
Does my breath prop up my worth?
Or, does the last long exhale draws me with it?
I leave with that breath and ride it like a dandelion seed head
blown on the wish of a child.

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Untitled Poem

One time I thought one thing mattered
and that thing gave way,
gave way like a diving board pulled from the diver
when she was to spring to highest heights,
it gave way like that to
something else, this other thing,
and it was all that I cared about because it mattered more
and just when I thought I couldn’t think any
more deeply it fell through like an old attic floor and
there I was, falling
through the insulation again.
Even as I passed through the itchy glassy pink I found
my way to a deeper knowing of the thing that I cared most
about but when I hit the floor it left me like the dream I dream
when I say this time, this time, I will remember this
and then I don’t.

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Christmas Eve

I met a man in the ER. He has multiple sclerosis, which is a random marauder that targets the nerves. He was bed-bound, but more on that in a minute. He had belly pain which is what i was called for. He had a ruptured appendix. This is a disease for which Western medicine is designed. We are really good at mechanical issues where we can remove the offending organ and support the rest of the body while it recovers. It really is cool It works. In the past, ruptured appendix was a killer. The problem is that when the appendix gets hole in it, shit rolls out in to the abdomen. That is what my patient had. Off we went to the OR.That part is fine, boring, etc. He did well.

In the course of talking to him I learned that he lives in a single wide. Doesn’t need more because he can’t move. He has monkey bars installed throughout the place to allow him to escape a fire if one arises; or he can make it to his wheelchair for a doctor’s appt. He has a caregiver 4 days a week. The rest of the time, he is in bed with jars for his piss and no help if his bowels move and whatever he can get to read. The ambulance squad said it was desperate in the trailer–I rarely read such a poetic term from them whether “good” or “bad”. Jars of piss all around and open cans of tomato soup with broken egg shells. Desperate.

He is 71.

I keep him in the hospital for as long as I can, but it comes to an end, on Christmas Eve. His wife, deaf and helpless will help him home from his appendectomy. He can’t swing through the trailer for a few weeks because of surgery. This completely undoes his way to live in the world. He will read romance novels with his headlight on, with his legs useless under him, with the tree sparkling in the patient lounge on the fifth floor of the hospital. He is screwed I guess, but when I talk to him he asks for nothing. He wants out of the hospital, wants to go “home” and I can’t get it. But as I sit with him I realize that home is simply not here, in this sick person place. Home is where his deaf wife does her best for him while she can until she can’t and she leaves again for points south and he passes the days with a head lamp on to illuminate the tawdry romance novel he somehow has next to him and he turns the page and turns the page.

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Pretty Good Flower

The night falls on my time alone.
They are the same, the time, the night.
I have I take I request I make I demand I require
this time and because you know me I never get past “I have”…

It is a spaghetti bowl, your hair on fire, a flower.
I am pretty good with a flower, especially one dying.
I can’t deny the metaphor.
I am a surgeon
I am pretty good with a disease, especially if you
Are dying.
It is the living with it that gets messy,
Where the tendrils curl on the nice neat thing.
If you are terminal the conversation, the me and you part gets simple, like water, clear.
If you are having to live with something, long term, and I don’t have an answer for you, if even and especially if that answer is Death, then
we have a problem and it is then that Western medicine feels like algebra
in a world of calculus.
Heed this: Go find a shaman. Come back to me, the surgeon, if and only if you have a knife hanging out of your gut. Otherwise we are dancing around fires that have smoke but no flame.

You are dying right now and you and I both know that.
I will switch back to me in my mind, as I hold your hand, because me is all I can handle in the moment of your ending and yet, I don’t know why, I remain here with you.
My dying, because I have no knowing about it, is meaningless,
No matter how inevitable it is, until
chest pain or a drunk driver or a slip and fall or any damn thing
moves me one step closer. Before the slippy step that provokes the obvious,
death remains a theory.
From that step, after it, from any step that wakes me up, like an EKG, a colonoscopy, a swerve
it gets ridiculously real.
Until the fear arrives, I remain aloof from the timeline of
my own inevitability, proud, forever 21, forever asleep, but vibrant, and hoping.

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