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Jordan Rowan Jan 2016
I slept a little last night
But I don't think I closed my eyes
I'll tell you I'm alright
You should know I'm good at lies

I'm tired and terrified
And I'm sick of being scared
My brain is kinda fried
Maybe I'm just unprepared

Maybe a change of scenery
Will cure my misery
I'd like plane tickets but I can't afford 'em
So I'm going to Portland

I had a drink last night
And I was nowhere to be found
I'd like to think it was one drink
Only if the whole bottle counts

I'm a servant to the rush
And I believe in laying low
But when someone says to hush
I like to give it to them slow

Maybe I need to leave
So my mind can finally breathe
I don't need no beach of sand
I'm going to Portland
Last night I could not catch a drop of sleep
My head was pounding and slippery
I forget what it means to feel concrete

The afternoon is smeared by fog that creeps
Baby blue hours are dense with meaning
Last night I could not catch a drop of sleep

Past lives weigh on my shoulders karmically incomplete
All these cups of coffee seem to wash down gloominess
I forget what it means to feel concrete

You wrote a poem about me and that is so sweet
I pulled you back for a kiss after you said goodbye
Last night I could not catch a drop of sleep

I tap my foot to an unpredictable beat
I know there will be safety in your sheets
Last night I could not catch a drop of sleep
I forget what it means to feel concrete.
a villanelle about insomnia and catching a feel or two
Cingyeng Vang Aug 2018
Days were short, but nights were long
While I was with you, I drew my dreams in crayon
Messy sketches, missing puzzle pieces
But adding you, it felt like it was coming along

It didn’t matter if the sun was asleep
We danced in the dark like we could still see

Sweaters on cold nights and warm talks that seemed to last forever
Undercovered from the after-rain at coffee shops
Walks that were in summery weather
Always waiting by the max station by the Moda Center
Our destination didn't matter, we were on an adventure

The night was young and so was our love
Memories were long, but moments were short
I feel childish to hold on
This is why my dreams are still in crayon.

1 Corithians 13:7-8
Old Love, but was young.
Lawrence Hall Aug 18
Who can tell the Faw from the Aunty Faw?
CarryBOO herds in ballcaps, tees, and tats
Outlaw-scary-masks and gas-station shades
Parachute-pantsies and designer sneaks

          You write no books, you sing no songs – you shriek
          You do no work, you make no art          – you shriek
          You do no good, you help no one           - you shriek
          You make no thoughtful arguments      – you shriek

And all of you dressed like corpses-in-law:
Who can tell the Faw from the Aunty Faw?
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is: Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  THE ROAD TO MAGDALENA, PALEO-HIPPIES AT WORK AND PLAY, LADY WITH A DEAD TURTLE, DON’T FORGET YOUR SHOES AND GRAPES, COFFEE AND A DEAD ALLIGATOR TO GO, and DISPATCHES FROM THE COLONIAL OFFICE.
Portland bridges to Seattle salmon
I try to opt for God and not for Mammon
******* to fascist Steve Bannon …


                                 Northwest beauty fest
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2018
the earth is curved - sure y’all knew that.  
but to get to the Northwest,
Interstate 84
ain’t le route plus directe

nope curve north to Ontario,
wave to Bex as I cross over
London and Toronto, also can’t recall
which poet from Rochester hails,
or did they shuffle off to Buffalo?

Crossing Erie, Huron, and Michigan Great Lakes all,
brings to mind
my mother’s birthplace,
Last of the Mohicans,
and the three years I did in the Cleveland Penitentiary,
where sun was illegal and baseball was a pretend play
of cowboys and Indians
but by god, it made me
the penitent fella I am today

Look skyward to Montreal,
yes, there he is, the Leo Priest,
the baffled king,
blessing this poetic meet ‘n greet trip
with a smiling unsurprising
hallelujah

Apparently some US citizens still can traverse O Canada,
even if one forgot their passports,
and are not PNG’s (Persons Not so GREAT)

over Minneapolis shed a tear for Diane,
a poet- gone-missing, and wonder if you reader come from
St. Cloud, Fargo or Duluth, Bismarck or Aberdeen,
surely they still speak poetic English there
in a twangy metering methodology  - well, message me asap

wow there really is a Saskatoon!

the pilot asks us to lean left in our seats
to help turn the plane
so we go to Portland and not to Vancouver...
me thinks he might be a touch Rockie Mountain High,
considering we are at 30 thousand something Imperial,
as he walks the main cabin with an oxygen mask and a
huuuuuge grin

see the distant Cascades
through a crack in the shuttered windows,
must be close to “the coast”
(as if, harrumph, there were but one)

ah, words in the clouds, ripe for the plucking
must be getting close to Oregon,
where poets grow on trees, woody words like ****,
and log-float poems down the Columbia to the sea

gonna drink me some poets
under the table cause this
trip I ain’t no driving and I am already
“flying” ‘n scribing and arriving
on a high tide and a good wind
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2018
Songs of Oregon: No 5 no general impressions specifically

For the Poets of Oregon, each a unique travel guide

no salt n’ pepper shaker of general impressions for the offering,
for now, ubiquitous generalities means inclusionary which means
likely accidental to be exclusionary,
so specifically,
no ‘all in' clauses

just a few specific eye-sights, hoary words, new birth canals,
to be either eaten, resurrected, van-slaughtered, backyard buried,
all are filed nearby in the seed cabinet or the garage freezer,
or on the C drive of your brain

awaiting ideal planting conditions, and the rest,
a series perhaps,
Songs of Oregon?
Someday

someday, when all the big brief poems are fully formed,
earth ripened, mind fomented; oak barrel aged,
harvest-reading-ready,
green trees shoots busting thrusting through
misleading sandy looking soil,
needy for quenching from
aquifers that are gold geyser plentiful,
a hundred feet deep, needy only for a
“please sir, may I have some more,"
they’l be writ

but for now, these below are,
some easy to be specifics,
reveling and revealed, useful takeaways,
specifics pacifics
for those who might be traversing upon
Lewis and Clark’s Oregon Trail:

them multicolored redneck
full bearded boys
and those of the
vinnie, millennial hipsters and aging ex- hippies, also,
full bearded boys  
are indistinguishable!
many of both wear matching bib jeans,
so be careful who you be calling
a hillbilly in open carry country

the forever refilled coffee mug still exists though the price
is now $2 but the coffee is sustainable (I am evidence)
organic, from a rain forest from Timbuktu,
so it gets planted in your bloodstream and then replaced
in the soil & land,
the loam of the soul
by you

in Milwaukee,
they know how to spell Milwaukee but
not in Portland

don’t be shocked at the town naming,
these borrowers got no  i-magination,
that’s surly lacking in Oregon; mthey’ll steal your
Nor’easter or Indian
town or city’s name
with no shame
or comp-unction,
claiming it’s different cause
they made it organically and
then misspelled it,
correctly

think that pointy poem point well made,
god made only one coast (theirs) and
just forgot to put Shelter Island NY  upon it;
threw it up randomly skyward, landed on some
atlantic backwater body

getting there or anywhere in Oregon traffic
about the same as in NYC traffic, thus
the heavens balance the scales of justice with
dramatic automotive irony

in some counties, the school week is a
four day affair, for the children need to repay
their parents birthing labor, by laboring beside them
in the vineyards, on the tractors, learning from
the book and look of their parents
sun aged faces and hands,
life learning
that man must earn his sustenance
with the sweat of ones own brow
and that word;
week,
can be spelt in contradictory ways
but only one is acceptable
out here

do be careful though Oregonians are very willingly to lam it,
(Willamette) if you ask nicely,
pick up normal looking weird hitchhikers
and drive many a mile
in yours, not theirs, but sure,
“going-the-same-way direction”
if you ask polite with just a smile

and the river salmon have hired their own governmental advisors


like I said,
no general impressions
just a private’s brief recollections
from his first tour of duty
abroad
where he was purple heart medaled shot
through ‘n through with
Oregon kindness

some juicy real specifics to follow eventually
someday
songs of oregon No.5
I miss someone in Portland
I was there once leaving for
Berkeley having said a long
Unwished for goodbye- to one
I loved.  It was an inhospitable
Place-I recall a down town hotel
Called The Roxy Heart probably
Long gone.  It is cold and rainy
There in the Pacific Northwest
And I guess the people come to
Deserve it,  and really the one I
Miss lived elsewhere then and the
Places where I knew her best.  They
Say she is rich now but I don't know
About that only thatiss her and she  now .
Lives in the P C Northwest.  and  "Not
Even death changes us as much as life"


From Dickens {The Old Curiosity Shop}
Amy Borton Nov 2018
Impulsivity, I am hopelessly in love with you.

Buy the shoes.
Ditch school.

Kiss her.

Drive 30 minutes
for french fries

Kiss him.

Buy 18 pet snails.
Eat the octopus tacos.

In acting class they told me
to follow my impulses.
At home they told me not to.

A blessing and a curse
might land me in a hearse
But I’m living

Today I wrote a letter to someone I love and I’m going to send it

Tomorrow I might stay home and cook pasta,
or maybe I’ll drive to Portland.
Pack only a few T-shirts and my terrifying
overabundance of freedom

Are you proud?

I’ve been told not to be so impulsive.
To think more rationally.
To weigh the consequences.
“You’ll regret it!”

But the greatest regret I’ve ever felt
is having not done anything
about something that is my everything.

I know I’m not an idiot.

I’ve told myself this for years and I’ll stick to it,
but there will never be a day
when my mind defeats my gut.
Sometimes it means I’m

irresponsible.
Unpredictable.
Messy.
Slutty.

“Who are you anyway?”

I have a secret
-I don’t know who I am

And if I’m lucky, I never will.

You, my impulsivity, are to blame and to thank for that.
Jen Sep 2018
We danced
In your kitchen-
You lifted me up,
Then we tried to
Walk a straight-line…
I laughed the whole time,
While listening to
A hip-hop song
Circa:
Our college times.

You took me in your arms,
And we danced, and you
Spoke of trips to places:
Spain, Portugal, Italy,
Portland and Ukraine.
Passports ready…
I wonder if we are just
Pretending,
Or will we be
Dancing there
One day?

The places we could go…
Maybe never,
Maybe so.

No matter
Where we end up,
Together or apart;
I’ll always hold
Our memories
Here (Heart beating, still),
Within my heart.

To me,
It doesn’t matter
As long as you
Are here...
Now.

It still beats for you.
My love, no matter if we end up together in the long run; at least we have here and now.
Where Shelter Aug 25
lay this body down, where shelter is..

<>

maybe you’ve been here, HP, awhile,
faintly remember the nook of poetry,
the four old soldier chairs, worn to a gray shade indescribable,
facing the merge of the river and the bay, lookin out southwest,
today, in nearly summer over Sunday best,
wearing a new old navy lime t-shirt,
ancient Champion grey cotton flannel shorts,
summer uniform of the generation that went boom and bust

as the sun escapes through apertures of now and then,
interrupting the partly cloudy forecast,
lazy me risking an end of summer skin reddening chastisement,
but life without danger, no life at all, especially poetry danger

the windy breezes jabbering quite excitedly,
deep in conversation with the waves
that loudly enough are washing the shore,
beneath my feet sitting in the poets nook

the gulls are squeaking their point of view,
at will, saying to me,
who asked you poet?

discussing they, the day, when the humans will be leaving,
they tell day and season by the degree of temperature reductions,
knowing full well it harbors hints that our departure sooner,
till next we poetry nook

the Adirondack chairs, with no cushions, are now described
as “scratchy,” by the Wendy of my life,
two and something granddaughter, who returns next weekend,
with new insights and open to opportunities to “use her words”
to teach me anew how to see the loveliness that is my blessing

sometimes a human takes an inventory of life’s stuff,
the ex and in-terior terrain, wades through the moraine
that his glacier has dragged behind, the coarse detritus of his course,
de icing/deciding what to keep, what stone skip throw into the bay

I could sail from our dock to the Atlantic,
meet you over a pint or a pinot, or head down to the Panama Canal,
north to Portland or Seattle, cruise the Willamette,
go as far as Vancouver,
before the spring winter runoff,
show you my shock, the shock of well past gray,
now the white feather of my head, signifying...old warrior, as it
falls over my forehead, a new signature of my ever changing body,
the city doormen see, shocked, now call me honorifically “abuelo”

read a story from a harvard doctor who believes living past 75,
makes little sense, cause we use up more resources
than we could ever add back

no, not saying go die, but give up the meds,
the artifices to extend life
once you pass past the inflection where you’re nothing but a taker,
which maybe explains why wrote a dozen poems this weekend,
trying to expel what resources I can add to the world before I

lay this body down

the cloud bank covering the southern fork of long island,
thickly viscous like fresh honeybee secretions, after which,
some will

lay their body down

next weekend is labor day, and maybe I’ll labor more,
disgorging poems too long and too varied, perchance you will
enjoy one or two, as we both be closer to the day when labor ceases,
and we can unhurriedly

lay this body down, sheltered at last

from wind waves and gulls jabbering,
the alternating current of cloud and sun



8/25/19

3:40pm
SI
again the little poems
again the gentle rain

softdrops on the pool’s surface
then thunderstorm insane

my memories make me woozy
ah! my miserable brain

born long after Bob Cousy
but I’ll ride that Boston train

all the way to Buenos Aires
then Norte to Portland, Maine

I loved, and lived, and lost
lost love like life in vain

still my sons tonight are sleeping
as Don Quixote sleeps in Spain

                    La Mancha!
                     (the Stain)

— The End —