Life has been good for a while, almost too good. I know, that’s not really a problem, but there are always things that are less good, there are obstacles and blocks all over the roadmaps of our lives.

Falling in love with someone from another country has brought all kinds of happiness, and the insurmountable task of the green card application, so he can stay here and start that long path toward citizenship and being here with me.

I’m poor, and probably need a co-sponsor for him, and so far, no luck on that as it bears a fair amount of financial responsibility for that person. My family, what little is left, had to decline, and there I was yesterday, driving right past their home, which is in Sacramento, about an hour and a half from my lovely Oakland, on my way to pick up a carload of bad records.

And so the sadness started, an underlying sadness for a bunch of things, all that relationship with relatives lost through the years, that distance that made their decision inevitable, and that I had some crazy hope of bridging, knowing that is a bridge that doesn’t seem to be able to rebuild.


The last year of my mother’s life she was moved up to their neighborhood, and I was driving past the sad chain of places she had ended up at, from the assisted living facility to the awful nursing home where she only lasted 12 miserable days. That was over a decade ago, but in my exaggerated state, it could have been the week before when I stood with my sister in law listening to the manager of the place tell us he would never leave his mom there.

I went to the bank, then to the Grocery Outlet, because for some strange reason, since I discovered that store, and since I discovered it with my awesome husband, it’s a happy place. That worked for a little, and I stood in the parking lot, sorting through the awful records so I could give some of them to the Goodwill down the street.

Sorting and donating done, I began to drive home and stopped at a bird refuge on the way back. The quiet of nature and the earth always heals, always calms me down. Sadness became melancholy, and I began to realize that it was good and healthy to have this day. I needed to feel some sadness, to understand the depth of the roadblock, so I could get my act together and hopefully figure out the next step.

rinds use

I like to take pictures of nothing, so I did that, then went to In and Out, had a grilled cheese. Went to junk shops in Davis and Fairfield, and continued home. I felt like I had flown away, and returned sadder than when I left, and found that was fine.

A few days before, we had wandered around Ocean Beach in SF, which was lovely. Life is wonderful and it sucks, and I’ve learned I don’t know what is really going to happen tomorrow, so no matter how steep that mountain of crud is to climb up, keep climbing and hope for the best. This morning, I woke to my husband, somehow not sad and somewhat renewed, and we held each other for a few minutes before starting out on our days.

And if that isn’t awesomely wonderful, I don’t know what is. I entered the day cleansed, and ready for the fight, to rise above when flattened, when the punches hurt, when world the turns, which is always, always turning, always.



and some poems, hey, it’s poetry month…


warm coffee on an overcast morning can
mask the violence of life.
the landlord cut the weeds yesterday, the smell
calms. and i am in a heightened state today,
both sad and exalted- what is it when
i shy away from the world like this, and
as the liquid breathes, chills,
the bloody fist of life waves and says hello.


and there he is shining, one minute an orange cat, the
other a fragile puppy, not
ruined by the world yet. like i sometimes am. the
notes float around the room; he’s quietly creating
something unknown for breakfast. i learn over
and over that unknown lingers all around, and
that is fine.

a couple of giant boxes of boxes arrived today, which i will cut
up and turn into filler for more boxes, and
life continues here on piedmont avenue, the

breeding ground of us.


turning up the trout quintet, and
the piano wanders. i go out and walk around the block,
run into homeless phil. i had forgotten, i got the title
the unfucking from him. he didn’t remember saying it, and
music is here, swimming upstream and down. down my throat like
the coffee, in my blood and feet, something more than a body, more than
a circumstance. here, there’s a feather on the ground, and where
do the strings find the strength for the player to shape their vibrations.
the fist vibrates, the flowers bloom, and i think we’ll open the cheap bottle of
wine tonight, and it will be good, very good.


and of course, we’re always pushing the music thing:


xoxo- yserba, kevin, the plants and highways and