Archive for July 2nd, 2007

Offering, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reservedOffering, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reservedOffering, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved

Jim went to the Taos Solar Music Festival for the weekend; I stayed behind with the girls. I needed to get us ready for a week-long trip of our own. Besides, I enjoy time with them alone. We ate soupy spaghetti for dinner, and they slept with me. I woke up throughout the night, although nothing to do with them. We kept the window open, and all night I heard a bullfrog outside, his lonely vibrating call floating in and out of my dreams.

The last time Jim was gone I did the Pablo Neruda reading. I was relieved Jim couldn’t come see me read. One glimpse of him in the audience and I would have been struck by “inappropriate giggling syndrome.” As it was, when Christopher, one of the male performers, and I read the early love poem “Juegas Todos Los Días,” he had a smile on his face that looked like he was about to lose it, so I kept my eyes on the page or the audience from that point on to avoid cracking up.

I read “Solo La Muerte” with a woman named Enid; we wore black shawls and sat with straight spines in our chairs. The words came out in eerie monotone from somewhere deep inside. Later, someone in the audience asked us each which was our favorite poem from those we read. I told her mine was “La Muerte.” “Me, too,” she said.

We covered Neruda’s life from his early, tortured love to his exploration of existentialism, then political activism, mature love, and, finally, acceptance of death. A woman left agitated at intermission and we wondered if she was offended by the political nature of the poems. Each of us who read Neruda’s political works did so with passion. It was cleansing in many ways to assume Neruda’s fury at the corrupt governments and corporations of his time; doing so was an outlet for our own, current discontent.

It’s Sunday night; I’m preparing this post to publish tomorrow. I wish I would have written up something when it was fresh. Yet, it’s taken me weeks to let Neruda sink in. His voice (I tried to find a recording but couldn’t get one that worked) is haunting. I feel haunted, truly, but rather than him haunting me, I feel like I’ve crept into him somehow and am swirling about, sniffing him out for something I’ve forgotten to take away.

And now, I hear the sound of Jim’s Harley. He’s back from Taos. It’s always good when he’s been delivered home safe after a long ride.

Nace por Pablo Neruda
Yo aquí vine a los límites
en donde no hay que decir nada,
todo se aprende con tiempo o océano,
y volvía la luna,
sus líneas plateadas
y cada vez se rompía la sombra
con un golpe de ola
y cada día en el balcón del mar
abre las alas, nace el fuego
y todo sigue azul como mañana.
It Is Born by Pablo Neruda
Here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea,
and the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born,
and everything is blue again like morning.

Offering 2, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reservedOffering 2, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reservedOffering 2, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved

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Kendall from Splice Heretagged” us at red Ravine to share eight random things about ourselves. “Tagging” (aka a meme) is kind of like those chain letters you get via email — send this note to a dozen other people and you will get showered with joy — except without the prognostications of happiness, good fortune, or money if you follow through. It’s also a great way to learn about blogs/bloggers you didn’t know much about before.

The rules for this particular tag are: 1) Post eight random facts/habits about yourself; 2) Tag eight people who are to write their own blog entry about their eight things and post these rules; 3) Leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.

So, in no particular order, here are eight personal factoids about QuoinMonkey and me:


  1. I was in the glee club in grade school. I’m completely tone deaf.
  2. I was part of a Tri-Hi-Y in high school named the Zodiacs.
  3. In my early thirties, I went on a month long canoe trip in the Arctic on the Nahanni River in Canada. It was the first time I had ever canoed. We flew all our gear and the canoes in a small plane and landed on a sandbar in the middle of nowhere. There were five of us and I didn’t know what I was doing and felt like an outcast half the time. On the other hand, it’s one of the greatest things I ever did for my self-esteem and what an opportunity to see the rugged beauty of that part of Canada.
  4. I swore I’d learn to ride a motorcycle by the time I was 50. When I turned 49, I picked up the book, studied for my permit, and bought a purple Honda Rebel. The rest is history.
  5. I once owned a turquoise Ford Econoline van with shag carpeting. But my favorite car was my first, a ’63 red Austin-Healey Sprite convertible with a black roll bar. My step-dad helped me get the engine running (it had been stored in my uncle’s barn). My mom helped me fix up the inside. I wish I still had that car. It had a wooden dashboard with flip switches and a muffler that kept falling off in freeway traffic. I’d have to stop and wire it up with a coat hanger. It was all worth it. If I had photos, I’d post them.
  6. In high school, I was voted athlete of the year my senior year. I think Title 9 was still in the works sometime around then and Billie Jean King was on the Virginia Slims tour. We’ve come a long way, baby. But not far enough.
  7. I lived in Montana during most of my twenties. I loved it there. And have been saying I’m going to move back ever since. I never have. Turns out, I love Minnesota, too. And somehow, this place has held me.
  8. I knew I wanted to write in 8th grade. That’s when I had Mrs. Juarez, my 8th grade English teacher. I never forgot her and the literature she taught me, especially Dickens. A few weeks ago, after almost 40 years, I decided to look her up. I found her living only a few miles from where my mother lives. We met for two hours and I got to tell her how much she meant to me, and how key she was in shaping me to become a writer. She told me she never forgot me either. In fact, she said, “Did you honestly think I’d forget you?” We were kind of teary when we left each other. For a writer and a teacher, does it get any better than that?



  1. I married a man I first met at age 16 (even though we didn’t date until I was 27).
  2. I gave birth to both our daughters at home, with my husband and midwife attending. Em had the cord wrapped around her neck and was purple, but the midwife fixed that with no hitch.
  3. I have a tracheotomy scar from when I almost died of pneumonia at the age of 18 months. A female doctor from Mexico saved my life.
  4. My dad calls me “ma-di-nes.” It’s a word he made up.
  5. When I lived in Santa Fe, the land of second homes and the super rich, I joined a dart league called The Dancing Pigs just so I could meet regular folk. The only team we cared about beating was the one from Los Alamos, who all wore matching shirts with a mushroom cloud as their logo. We never beat them.
  6. My favorite job was working at Japanese bath house Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe. The owner and I dated after I quit.
  7. I’m afraid of heights, but to overcome my fear of heights I rode something called The Skycoaster at the NM State Fair. I still dislike heights.
  8. My mom played poker for 30 years with a bunch of viejitas who smoked cigarettes by the pack, drank 7-UP, and knew games like “Spit in the Ocean” and “Chicago.” I have three letters that Dad wrote 30-40 years ago pleading that she stop playing, threatening divorce, even. She wouldn’t stop, and now that Texas Hold ‘Em is so popular, Mom regularly beats the pants off anyone who invites her to a game.


OK, the bloggers we tag are:

Starting Over
mimbresman (mm, you haven’t updated your blog for about a month…)
jaggedeye (OK, Ron, this means you have to do a new post on your blog!)
Ritergal (Congratulations on the book!)
Anuevue Studio

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