friday 29 july 2011



beyond myself somewhere, I wait for my arrival.
                        ~~~ octavio paz









read…   Scealta liatha…     Shadowpoems…

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.


leaving, along with april

thursday 28 april 2011

On my way to this blog, I saw a WordPress feature with the line: Can you write in coffee shops? Of course such a question made the mind of a lifelong writer wander over my own personal answers to that question. In my life before the internet entered it in a big way, which wasn’t until 2008, I wrote and wrote, since nine years old. I wrote, for years, in notebooks in bedrooms, or at picnic tables. College years expanded my writing-process horizons: I wrote in bars (in those very long-ago days when I drank), restaurants, cafés, parks, and more. Besides the usual notebook-in-a-bedroom scenario, I began writing on napkins, paper towels, Bierdeckel in Germany, and on any ink-absorbing, portable surface I could find when no notebook was to hand. Poems for many years, and journals. But later I added short stories to the practice, beginnings of plays, beginnings of novels, and one novel that actually got written to its end. The person who is compelled from childhood to write, if I am any testimony, can write just about anything and just about anywhere.

But, a lifelong writer with PTSD who gets yet another trauma foisted on them, the worst one of all of the traumas, gets changed. At least this one did. It’s no longer possible for me to write fiction, so there go all the unfinished short stories, plays and novels that before 2008 I had vague plans to return to someday — when I had got myself and my animals to a reasonably safe place with a reasonably safe/sane landlord. This never happened. Instead there was destruction, theft, death, homelessness, secrets and lies. No fiction can come out of me anymore. Even poetry, the genre I’ve been writing the longest, is most of the time too difficult to read and too difficult to write. All I can write now is the truth. The truth about people and events in my years, and how they affected me. The truth about my animals.


I came to this blog today, or so I thought, to write about my newest loss, and then saw that feature that took my mind down the byways of my writing life, such as it has been. What did I want to say about the newest loss? That I’d feared for several months that it was creeping up in ways both subtle and not? That I’d hoped the moment would never come (as I always hope) when some word, or action, or lack of same, would shut me down to the point where I wouldn’t be able to go on in the relationship? I suppose I wanted to say all of those things, and others.

In the past, for I don’t know how many decades, I would stay in certain relationships for years. Years that I waited and waited for certain issues in those relationships to end, to be dealt with and dismissed. Finally let’s just get past this particular thing… but the getting past never happened, ever. Now I don’t wait years anymore. Not even two years. If a certain little monster in a relationship keeps rearing its head and that monster is never sent into its little cave forever, never to be seen again, then I go. The mental weariness from the appearance of human stuff that is hurtful to me, and heavy-handed, and that I don’t deserve, isn’t something I can take for years anymore. I can no longer take it very long at all. I look back over life and wish I hadn’t ever put up with such gunk for more than a couple of years before walking away and saving myself many more years of mental and emotional assaults.

As always, at the end I am confused. So many mixed messages come from human beings. What was I in the life of this person with whom I now seem to be parting? As always, I had hoped to be something good in a person’s life, an asset. A flawed asset, of course, as every person is flawed, but on the whole an asset. Was I an asset for a while, and then did I become something else? In my constant losing battle to figure human beings out, at least the ones I get close with, I think this is the thing that usually happens: people start out with me wanting something from me. I am penniless, so it is almost never anything material that people want from me. They have wanted things like my brains, my wry humor, my shoulder to cry on (I have no problem with this, as long as their shoulder is there for me too), or my free rides or free babysitting or free advice about their sick animals. Many people have wanted to be entertained by me, both intellectually and in other ways. They have wanted such intangibles, and I have usually been slavishly willing to provide them for people I like and care about and hope to keep in my life. But what they also often want is for me to “get better” in the beatific light of their friendship, that they deem should heal all wounds. Magic will somehow eradicate depression and PTSD and physical illnesses and poverty. Some people want this miraculous healing to a greater degree than others do.

But people want what they want for free. At least in my life they do. They want whatever they want from me without having to give in exchange the things that I’d like from them. Or if they launch a campaign to give some of those things, they soon tire of it. They don’t want emotional obligations to me, they don’t want the obligation of behaving honorably in the context of the particular relationship we are having. They don’t want to discipline themselves to remember, and this is especially important since the events in my life that began three years ago, that I have lost much more all in a moment than they have ever lost in the same space of time. That I was thrown out on the street, and this has never been done to any of them. That they live in houses and I live in a ponystall. To remember how much I’ve been through these last three years, and how much stinking luckier they all are than I have been. That when we part after a visit or a phone call, they return, for the most part, to their houses and their cars and their hubbies or doting children, and I return to a ponystall and no car and no person at all to be a daily companion and support for me. I return to the emptiness left behind after the stealing and killing of the only beings who did give me daily companionship, and to the shuddering memories of everything that has happened in the last three years. I return to things I can hardly bear anymore, and I need people who profess to care about me to remember this. To remember that after our phone call or visit, I will return to the same deprivations and nightmares every single day, and wake up again in them the next day, and that daily contact with some other person who cares about me —- something all of them get —- is something I need, and it is not weird or freaky or too demanding, since as far as I can see all people need this.

And I need to be believed, and believed in, as I think most people do, by the people who profess to care about me.


When any relationship ends, it leaves behind a hole, at least for me. The hole where the good things about the person and the interaction with them were. This time the hole is deeper, because this particular person had more significance for me than anyone has had in decades. And then there are the precious vestiges: the letters, the gifts, the photos. These things to be poured over and touched when the hole aches, pathetically, I suppose, enshrined as sacred artifacts of a person and a time that were so important to me, and in which, for a while, I felt safe. Why can’t the safety hold, is one thing I’ve always wanted to know. Why do the knives and thorns eventually have to be wielded, little stabs here and little stabs there, until I can’t stick around and be stabbed anymore. Why can’t the fact that I feel safe with them move any person to refrain from pulling out sharp instruments, from taking from me that safe place that I need? Why does there seem to be some kind of salacious enjoyment in the cutting, in the slicing up of safety and gratitude? Are human beings just that universally energized by exercising the power to hurt?

(women are clippings)

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the properties of soil

satyrday 12 march 2011….   turners pervs

and a greenfield satyr as well, yesterday… we know him as Matthew.                                       

just meandering again. it’s almost the ides. but I and mine were wasted before the fifteenth, so what are the ides to me.

am in, as periodically happens, an intensification of the chronic, monopolar depression. haven’t felt like doing much new writing, and so what. there’s plenty of old writing to organize. haven’t felt like doing much of anything.

am on Twitter, since last summer, and have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. some of my followers are engaging, both their tweets and their interests. some are much less so. I now have some foreigners in my mix: germans and dutch and aussies and turks and greeks. this makes me feel a little teensy bit like a less ugly amerikan. some animal people and autism people and atheist people and science and book people are among my little group. I have a doctor, and a dentist, and a veterinarian. some come from the lunatic fringe to follow me, and I block them. haven’t I had enough lunatics destroying everything that mattered to me? don’t misapprehend: compared to just about everyone else on Twitter, I have almost no followers, and follow almost none. but even the small number I have is beginning to be hard to manage. because I’m a weirdo who actually likes to read the tweets of most of my followers, and perhaps retweet or reply to them. and you really need to keep your gang manageable if you want to do that.

today there was a tweet from one of my autism people, called Andrea. she put up a quote I’d never seen before, and it is absolute truth, and I wanted to have it somewhere on my website:


                 People are like dirt. They can either nourish you
                 and help you grow, or they can stunt your growth
                 and make you wilt and die.
                                                                              ~~~  plato


as if it weren’t already abundantly clear, many of the humans of my years decided to stunt and wilt and kill me, rather than nourish. I’ve always liked Plato.


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zwarte maart

wednesday nine  march 2011…    turners liars


The second Wednesday in March… again. How can it be three years already? How can it be only three years?



































                                    nemo nobis pacem donavit 


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the size of the inner self

Page One hundred eighteen                                                                                                       

Friday 11 February 2011

My father was a small man, when you measure in terms of physical size.  Small men, I think, often feel they are less masculine and taken less seriously than taller men — they have this extra little stab to the male ego that taller men are spared. Even as a child, before I became a small adult myself, I could see that taller adults didn’t treat the small adults in my family quite the same way they treated other, taller grown-ups. This is something I’ve talked to short people about over the years, and I’ve found many who’ve noticed the very same thing: we short folk are not real grown-ups, and don’t need to be taken very seriously. We are not granted the same adult status, and all of this happens in the bigger folk way down there in the subconscious. We are patted: on the back, on the shoulder, on the top of the head. Perhaps we are akin to poodles. We are chuckled at when we’re upset. So many more examples there are of short people being infantilized. And if I have found that attitude extremely infuriating and demeaning as a woman with no fragile male ego issues, how must harder must it be to be a short man.

But on a different level, my father was enormous. His enormity is one of the reasons I’ve never married, though I’ve always wanted to be married. Yes, it’s Freudian, and yes, it’s also to many a tiresome cliché, but I’ve witnessed it too many times to deny its truth:  many people seek out in their spouses a lot of the qualities of their opposite-sex parent. And I fall into that category, though I didn’t become aware of that until I was in my thirties. I was seeking in men the very best parts of my father, and to this day, at this cronehood age of 58, I haven’t found them. Not enough of them in one man to make him someone with whom life could be shared.

Of course, not only the great things about Dad were huge. Some of his flaws were pretty darned big too, and certainly I haven’t been looking for that in prospective husbands. I’ve wanted the flaws to be much smaller than they were in the proto-type. Well, I think anybody would.

Inside, at the part of the self that can’t be measured with a yardstick or shot with a camera, my father was a huge temper, at times. Hugely spiteful and mean, at times. Hugely afraid of certain things, but did anyone but me ever see that? Enormously insecure and in need of ego-boosting, which he mostly didn’t get. Remorse. One of the things I wish I’d been able to do differently while he was still here.

But if he was terribly afraid of some things, and never spoke directly about these “unmanly” fears, he was as brave as Heracles in many others: Physical pain, hardship, deprivation, discouragement, the guns shot from ships’ decks in battles at sea. He wasn’t afraid of hard work. Often when we were young he had his full-time job for the defense department, as well as one or two part-time jobs. In addition to all this he did most of our car repair, most of the remodeling and painting and repairing in the house, took care of the yard, grew a vegetable garden every year, and still made time for many family outings, and to come to our little school performances, and to play baseball in the yard. He had a prodigious memory and a penetrating intellect. In his forties he finally got his GED, and was the top scorer in New England for that particular sitting of the exam. He was devastatingly (to me) musical, could pick up just about any instrument you can name and learn to play it by ear. As a little girl, I thought this was nothing less than amazing. I still think it’s pretty damned great.

My father was a small man. And he was also a very big one. Twelve years gone now, and so much business that was never finished. As with all humans, I cannot have unequivocal feelings about my father. I find people extremely mean and difficult to bear, and he was no exception. All that is truth. But so is the rest: the large excellences of the man who was my father. I wanted to tell him these very things before he died, but wasn’t allowed. Because of the particular nasty dynamics that go on in my family, I was shut out from his dying and from his funeral and from his burial two months later. Shut out of all it. I didn’t get to say those things to him, and now never can. So I say them here, at the twelfth anniversary, to micro-chips and html.code and faceless shadows who might read. Say them, perhaps, to nearly nobody, but to fill, in at least a small way, the need to say them.


(tapestry & elf at   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(the text is green because this Greek man was born on St. Patrick’s Day. in March he liked people to call him O’Nakis)

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.



Page One hundred seventeen

Mozart’s birthday (i.e. Thurs 27 Jan), 2011

The Snowflake…. text by Libbrecht, photos by Rasmussen

I mentioned in a post last week — and at the moment I’ve forgotten which one — my failed attempts on Jan 18, 19 and 20 to see some really good snowflakes with a magnifying glass. Most of what I got to see were small ice-clumps with ice-needles sticking out of them. Turns out that wasn’t the fault of my equipment. It was the kind of snow we were having. All we got on those days were the needle flakes, and in their early stages of melting they clumped together. Also saw a number of teeny hexagonal ice plates, evidence of a six-pointer that had already deteriorated. I was very disappointed at the time, and feared that this would be all I’d ever see.

It was in the book noted at the top of the page that I first learned I could look at details in snowflakes with nothing fancier than my reading glasses and a drugstore magnifying glass, and I only learned it last year. Way too late to have this particular kind of snowflake fun with my dogs and cats. Total cost for this fun: six bucks for eyeglasses and ten for the magnifier. This book is full of nothing less than dazzling photographs of snowflakes, and great scientific text that’s written in a very reader-friendly fashion. If you like snow at all, you should really experience this book. I couldn’t read all of the text, of course, because I have such a hard time reading print books now, but I did get through some of the science gems here and there.

Two days ago, on the birthday of Robert Burns, I had the snowflake experience I was waiting for. We had the perfect weather conditions, finally, for nearly perfect snowflakes. These crystals that were falling Tuesday morning were so nearly perfect that as they drifted slowly onto the sleeve of my coat, I could already see with just my reading glasses, before I ever plied the magnifier, wonderful dendrite formations. And when I magnified them, they were as amazing to me as the photos in the book. Maybe even moreso, since these weren’t photos. These were the real, living snowflakes I was looking at, just fallen from the sky.

And in the midst of this great adventure that cost me all of $16, there was sadness too. How much I would have loved doing this on my winter walks with my black dogs, on whose black backs the snowflakes would have shown up beautifully under my glass. Body heat would have melted them quickly, but I could have had some great sights before that. And I can imagine the grudging tolerance that my very good dogs would have given me. Stand still now, Mommy wants to look at your back. And they would stand still, casting me this look of weary but longsuffering patience. Because as any dog knows, when it’s the dog’s idea to stand still, it’s a great idea. But when it’s the human’s idea, it’s merely another human idiocy that a good dog has to endure.

And as always in these thoughts, in these imaginings: what if I still had Mishi and Brainse today, and we were doing this together, the way we did so many things, and they were casting me those looks. What if despicable, viciously aggressive humans had never done the things they did, and my dogs and I were under these snowflakes at this very moment. Where did my dogs get taken to? The people in Turners who know still refuse to tell. How long were they allowed to live before they were given the needle, and where and when did their deaths happen? What became of their bodies? Those certain people in this cesspool who have those answers steadfastly refuse to give those answers to me.

As much as I love those crystals that I saw with my glass, in equal measure do I abhor these humans. As much as I loved those two dogs, and love them still, in equal measure am I sickened by these humans. Give me a dog, give me a snowflake, give me a firefly. But a human being in Turners Falls is a rancid, poisonous thing.


(snowflakes are clippings)

read…  Mugsy’s book

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fervor and faith

Page one hundred fifteen

Friday 31 December 2010….      turners tricks


              We twa hae run among the braes
                    and bracht the garlands hame,
                         but seas atween us hae roared and swelled
                               sin’  auld lang syne.

                                                                  ~~  rab burns


               “Tis not only while beauty and youth are thine own,
                      and thy face undisturbed by a tear,
                           that the fervor and faith of a soul should be known,
                                 to which time would but make thee more dear.
               For the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
                    and as truly loves on to the close.
                          As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets,
                               the same look which she turned when he rose.

                                                                ~~  thomas moore


                My haert is saer, I dare not  tell.
                      My haert is saer for somebody.
                            I would walk a winter’s necht,
                                for the sake o’ somebody.
               Ochon, for somebody.  Oh hae, for somebody.
               I would dare what would I know,
               for the sake o’ somebody.

                                                                ~~  also rab burns?


read…   Scealta liatha…   Shadowpoems

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.



reveries of snow and ice

Page One hundred fourteen

tuesday 28 december 2010…    turners flails

This new winter is eight days old today, and on this very early day of the new winter we have our first snow, having begun on Sunday and continued into yesterday.  Words and pictures and sounds come into the memory today, things from that life that was my own. And among these things, part of a winter poem written in my late teens, and part of a song written in my forties.


When in winter I no longer reach the ground;
when the snow lies dense and heavy,
muffling all the harshness out of sound,
I pad about on silent winter feet,
depositing my prints in crooked chains
along the street.
In the day’s light that shines short                                                                                               
and then is gone,
I recall the heats of summer,
stifling in the games I never won.
Analogies of winter soothe, I know.
The wounds of seasons past are
drained and dry dead brambles

under dense and heavy snow.


I will be winter’s queen.
I’ll remember snows I’ve seen.
Etchings on the wind-blown white.
Frosted ice-face after night.


On snow the moon’s light glides and grows,
birds stand bright, and bravely.
Sun rejoices into blindness:
winter wants to save me.


I will be winter’s queen:
snowdrift singing deep and clean;
wade the waves of crystal rain;
wander wonder once again.

I practice ice, I reach for chill,
the cold, blank face of power;
waiting for the sun to face me
in an honest hour.


Well, in my teenage years, there was still the future spreading out in front like unseeable acres of possibility, and it was easy, then, to believe the wounds could be bandaged in white gauze and never raise their voices again. But later, in the thirties and forties and onward, when the future was growing steadily smaller and wounds were piling on top of wounds like snowstorms, resiliency dwindled and post-traumatic stress disorder swelled. And as to the song… today, and many times before today, I’ve had grim occasion to realize that then, in the 1990’s, I didn’t practice ice nearly enough, I didn’t reach nearly enough for chill; I didn’t succeed in freezing out human beings from my life. Not then, not ever. And in my case, with my particular make-up and my particular self, freezing them out was the only thing, lacking money, that would have protected me from much of their venom.


read…   All my stars…    Mugsy’s book

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2012 byanne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

another christmas carol

Page One hundred twelve
monday 6 dec 2010…   turners tightfists                                                                               


It’s very early; not yet 5:30 a.m. I’m listening to one of the Public Radio shows that my animals and I listened to for years. It goes on for two hours: I won’t be able to stand it that long without them. I never can.

This is the wandering blog, the one I’ve singled out for that concept.  And yet wandering, of the body and of the heart and of the memory, is there in every blog I’ve made since April of 2008. Haunting – ghostish, wraithy – came up new this year in this blog.  Haunting is what I very often do, and haunted is what I mostly am. The ghost of Christmases past, and only the past, because that is the only temporal place where my own life now lives. Where fourteen stolen, executed friends now wait for me, who waited for me for years and more years, every time I went out the door. No words describe better who I am since the day I saw them for the last time than ghost, wanderer, haunted.

Today is the sixth day that I’ll wander these streets in search of our Christmases in this poisonous town. Twenty-two of them. I’ll listen to journal cassettes of a very few of those Decembers. I’ll try to feel us. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not. This is the only deep and real thing now when Solstice and Yule appear on the calendar again: to feel us. Gifts are bought and wrapped for two human beings, only two. Gifts are bought for the guinea pig princess. A few decorations exist, but no tree. No more trees. No more the daily playing of the season’s music, which for us was a daffy, elcectic stew of baroque and renaissance and folk and classical and all the old standards. Silent Night in how many languages? Oíche chiúin.

Will I ever fry bacon again? So far I can’t. In 1999 I started a new yearly tradition of bacon on Christmas morning. Bacon for me and for cats and for dogs. We lived at 59 L Street then, Nookie’s insane asylum for drunks and druggies, he himself having been a member of that sterling club. Will I ever listen on the 24th and 25th to The Nine Lessons and Carols, sung by boys in England? So far I haven’t. Those nine stolen, lethally injected cats will never bat ornaments off the tree again and roll them under the furniture. Those three stolen birds will never chirp at the top of their little voices to their own particular favorites in our Yuletide musical canon. The stolen dogs, those two who remained, one half of what had been my pack, will never drool over the bacon and beef and lamb and turkey and pork again, or have their Christmas walks with me again, or lie down beside me for the Christmas day nap. So I wander around past the places we once lived and the places we once walked and wait to feel us, a ghost and an exile who can never step into those yards again, walk through those doors and take a look at those rooms we shared again. Barred, and barren, and a baleful little wraith.

Oíche chiúin. Yes, the nights are silent. Christmas Eve and Christmas night and Solstice, and all the nights of the year. There is an ocean of silence, a jabbing abyss of absent sounds that were part of my nights for fifty-five years: snoring dogs and breathing cats and nocturnal trips to the food dishes or the water bowls. A bird suddenly waking up and speaking in the dark. And breath, breath, breath: beside me, above me, around me: my friends, my children, breathing and sleeping in innocent peace. There is a huge chasm, a great ghostly vacuum. There is, having been brought about by the viciousness of unholy christian human beings, an endless string of lonely and grieving and murderous silent nights.


read…    Being toward death…    Stolen stars

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Page One hundred eleven

Tuesday 23 November 2010…       Tiresome Turners Fails


Line by line,                                                                                                                     
the song of lamentation seeks its chords.
Word by word, a river slides to its waiting sea.
To the harp, sing the song?
To the theremin, sound the end?
To the wind, to the warp and weft,
to the grey-waiting sea?








 Or to the former stars, now letting bloods of eons?


How large is emptiness?
How dark is black?
Who will avenge the breath of truthful eyes?
Who will eat up the thieves of love?
Who will burn off  the poison and leave the snowflakes


Let the stingy djin come back (say dreams, say screams),
come back with double-open hands this time,
to stand a lightning tree
with kindled justice in its hands (this time, this fiery dream),
on a scorching and relentless plain of sand.
Christmas roses fall from a hand, land on the current,
run far and further from hand, and eyes, and heart.
The Christmas roses are for you.
They are for us.
(to follow, to follow)
Silence rains on the heart’s picture-book,
rains in the spaces where the music lived,
on homely objects clutched out of debris.
Silence reigns; queen of the landscape of 
the clasp torn apart.
Let the stingy djin come back.


(part of the book Being Toward Death)    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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