Dominique Larntz * May 20, 2012
No different than many, it was a morning
when I ran into each red light on San Mateo–
but the guy at the garden center said,
“Ma’am may I take your cart back for you?”
after I silently heaved huge bags of
the potting soil I bought in bulk
to save money from cart to car.
Wow, that is so nice.”
He was just the guy
from the van next to me,
not an employee,
joining my returning cart
with his wife.
A gesture like that is simple
but so profound
in a complicated life.
For a long time I feel
I have been paving
an easier road for others
while driving my own gravel
and glass-strewn path nervously,
wishing sometimes for someone
to supply a smooth surface.
Giving and receiving arrive the same
in the brain’s chemical composition,
and mindless expectation
is a young person’s mirage.
But the relief of the moment
when the wheel turns and
I can allow myself to open
to the traffic flow of grace
from strangers as they freely offer
what they are able–
feels so good,
it is almost a secret.
Dominique Larntz * May 19, 2012
The Social Lab
Three times he lingered
at the end of my driveway,
his handsome brown eyes
could not seem to stray,
and finally I said quite out loud, you’re a beautiful brown lab,
and we will get better acquainted another day.
Dominique Larntz * May 11, 2012
Is our chemistry
if I love you
like cake batter
at three hundred
and fifty degrees
for an hour
you will rise
to meet me
so that a tooth pick
inserted into the core
of our union
will come out clean?
Dominique Larntz * May 10, 2012
They propped up his vein
and I keep wondering how that would be–
to have the most tender pathways
inside me opened up by doctors and devices.
I trace a line along my sternum with my finger
when he is not here and when he is beside me,
run my fingers along his chest, trying to feel it.
I place my right ear against his heart,
feeling the gallop of it inside him,
grateful for his life, grateful for mine,
feeling him as intimately
as I feel the inside of my eyelids.
He is the resolution of my life’s projections
and almost losing him to a heart attack
helps me know love the way you see space
only by the things that fill that space.
Dominique Larntz * May 9, 2012
There’s no one to blame
but my stress started in the womb.
I have only begun to mother myself
and I am amazed at how much more
nurturing I still need to receive
from the wiser parts of my life.
The rush of scheduled achievements
has been a distraction—a stoppage—
from true growth.
Dominique Larntz * May 8, 2012
Conversation with the Corporate Manager
“Well, what did you do?”
“Did you try this? Did you try that?”
“Did you call him? Did you call her?”
“Did you follow the procedure?”
“The procedure is unclear.”
“What could be unclear about it? It’s right there in writing?”
“You could read it two different ways.”
“Weren’t you in last week’s conference call,
when corporate said we would read it the way they say?”
“I think I recall.”
“You should remember. That’s what we pay you for.”
“What do you want me to do about this broken thing now?”
“Can I use my corporate credit card?”
“Of course not! There’s a freeze on credit card usage!”
“How do I get a replacement then?”
“Fill out an equipment request,
and I’ll run it up the food chain
to see if I can get it approved
by my manager
and my manager’s manager.
Once I get it approved
we have to order it from our special
vendor in Costa Rica.
We have a contract with them.
Finally, what’s the cost
of the replacement part?”
Dominique Larntz * May 7, 2012
My desire to grow tomatoes is so deep
that I wonder if they desire me too,
if the tomato seed dozes and views
the arising images of a farmer placing her
gently into the soil, and how the tomato seed
experiences love in its swaddled dark
arid bed just after it is tucked into
the dampened dirt and dolomite
so that it feels safe to respond to the sunlight
in the days that follow.
The dormancy of the seed,
the dormancy of that desire
and its potential that will build
from a rigid tiny thing you could have dropped
from your fingers before it was ever planted
into the fragrant desert blossom that will feed
and fulfill the entire lush autumn season
reminds me that spring is anytime
you can find the environment
to feed it.
Dominique Larntz * May 5, 2012
My tears ran with the shower
while I contemplated our conversation
about the environmental scientists
who committed suicide because they’ve
deduced an impending cataclysm so hopeless
they decided they did not want to live through it.
These small droplets of compassion from my naked body
during its daily ritual that feels like rebirth to my mind
each time I hear the faucet engage
will end at the same place all water ends.
Tears will travel through pipes provided
by people who have achieved such wonders in
engineering that even I, with a tiny house
and a small schedule, can take for granted
a shower in the desert this morning.
Dominique Larntz * May 4, 2012
Such a pregnant moon holds the souls of last week’s suicides
and I can hear the earth whisper that she misses them.
What hopeless creature attaches itself to the backs
of the type who cannot still themselves to wait until it passes?
Suicide is a pest; a spiritual species that travels around
waiting for a host body to identify with it. When it moves through,
if you feel its claws take hold of your anxiety like you might
take hold of a puppet–just rest and wait.
If it doesn’t kill you, the rule seems to be
despair and hopelessness must move along,
like the moonset and sunset.
Dominique Larntz * May 3, 2012
A cat purrs
not only when she’s
but when she’s
My heart flourishes
not only within the wet
landscapes of youth,
but during these desert years
when the next visit
to a full well
Dominique Larntz * April 30, 2012
The dry soil absorbed me as quickly
as the drops of Lady Gray tea
slopped from the side of my cup
while I leaned the opposite way
to feed the lemon thyme Shauna
gave me for my birthday–
the perfect fit to replant
in the stands we made
just outside our front door.
My eyes kaleidoscope
on the radiance
of the escaped sky.
In its heated airways,
Summer is sending its missives
each day now, announcing itself
by thrilling our skin into moistening
and making intimate embers
where we are bare.
I know Summer will bring baking heat.
I will tend the garden,
tend myself and my frailties,
the skin that burns too fast,
the sense a transplant has
that it wants to wind its way
back down to sea level
and find a way home to the ocean.
I am as impermanent
as anything else
and the desert
is one of the most
to plant the idea
that we all root
in foreign soil
for a while.
Dominique Larntz * April 29, 2012
Crater Lake Blue could be bottled
and then I could hold onto stillness with them—
my grandfather and my uncle.
When I talk to my grandfather now
through the gauze of Alzheimer’s,
I am no longer asking him if the travel
trinket I am buying is too expensive.
When I talk to my uncle through
the twisted lips of drug arrests
we don’t mention when we see
each other once per decade,
I can only thank him for teaching
me how to drive stick-shift
in South Dakota parking lots
when I was sixteen.
My moment with them was at Crater Lake,
swirling my sweaty hair up into
a knot at the center of my skull
and I felt safe with them on the road north
through California for a few days
in the middle of a chaotic childhood
but I was probably bored
and I had no idea it was important
to the forty-two year old woman I would become
who needed to know that at the heart
of each fractured person—
of each person who falls beyond cliffs
from which they can no longer send us
words we can decipher—there is a deep crater
of being that is as alive as the earth.
We don’t have to communicate in language
to love our families; we can sit together or
if we can’t sit together we can use their
illness as an opportunity to ask for help
or to help others whose faces remind us of theirs—to
widen the very concept of family
until we learn that there will be no saving
ourselves or each other. There will only be
a deeper, an ever deepening, cratering, caring
that pools in our spirits for us to gaze into
when we need space.
Dominique Larntz * April 17, 2012
It has been loud for too long
I invite quiet into our space again
for a long visit.
Imagine him walking through
our curved front door with his
traveling bag that holds
the tender smell of silence.
He eases open the clasps
so we can pass it around
with the smiles loved ones give
to sacred treasures as we enjoy them.
You can feel yourself enter silence
like you slip into cotton sheets
or into wonderful sandals.
Let profound peace be my brother
who knows he is welcome in my home;
who knows he is loved here.
Dominique Larntz * April 12, 2012
On this birthday, death exhales his musings
into my carotid pattern and I wonder
if it is as stable as ever. I am in the middle–
this precipice point where I have let go
of the potentials of birth and I have begun
to embrace the vague details of death.
I care less and less about celebrating
the day of my entrance into this body,
but the fact remains that it is still marked.
I know the date, the time, the year
and the desert place in which my small fist
leaked out into this mortal blossom.
The date of my demise is unclear.
I might celebrate it in some sort of heaven,
dancing between layers of golden scarves
in a semblance of whatever my spirit
will know to be naked abandon in the afterlife.
There may be appreciation
for this sort of visceral joy.
We may gasp ourselves
into death with a breath
we do not yet know.
We might work ourselves to death
because we are in some sort of
reaching to grow into something spectacular
so that death is another birth.
In the womb of death’s wooing of me,
I am comfortable with the outlines of my mortality today,
stretching into the sky with fingers
that are large to my pupil but tiny to the moon’s eye;
exploring with legs that are huge
compared to the models of my culture
but small compared to the waves of an ocean;
kicking with hips that rotate open
to uncover a chakra base
tunneled into an earth
to sustain me for a long curious life
that for the sun is only the time span
it takes to glance around at its planets
and assure itself they are still there.
Today, I am thinking about people I care for,
primarily the people in my blood family.
I can feel them in the pulse at my neck as I breath.
They are as close to me as my carotid artery
and as far from me as the nearest stars.
I have been writing them secret love letters,
knowing I may leave first.
I hope they arrive.
Dominique Larntz * April 2, 2012
By now we glimpse blossoming colors
opening into the sweet morning air.
May you delight in their dazzling array–
even in this desert, while the dew
sticks to your shoes as you walk from
your front door to your car door,
if those are the only moments you have
to observe them today.
May you rejoice as Winter’s dormancy transitions to renewal.
May you love as the flower opens–
fully, sun-facing, extending trust.
Time again for rebirth, fragrance, eggs, and colors.
May Spring enter your life wholly.
Dominique Larntz * March 29, 2012
I felt like tree bark this morning,
peeled off and left rotting on the ground.
I could not connect to anything,
no light, no finish, no sparkle, no replenish.
Walked around moving stuff from one place
to another in my house. Not sure if I was
cleaning or replacing where the mess was placed.
Felt overburdened by the tiniest responsibility
because bark has no roots, man,
has no way to sink itself
into the softness of soil other than
through decay and decay is long.
Until at one point I realized this
ink of an emotion is my sentient soul’s
pivot point: I can choose to sink further
and that is a beautiful dark surrender
to depression or I can choose to do
some small act like laundry or invoices–
an act no one but my inner witness
will see and applaud.
My pivot point is so tiny and so daily
but that is the point
where I choose to live or to die.
Dominique Larntz * March 19, 2012
Why I say nothing publicly:
So you are not caught cold in your mindless mass
of a mess, where you slashed the pad of skin
from the thumb of my outstretched hand
at the end of my arms, slowly curving
together to hold you.
Why I wait long and lovingly:
So you will have the opportunity to understand
and to try to make this right with me
and I may have the chance to help you heal;
therefore I will know my anger with you as a friend
and I will keep my lively conversation stable.
Dominique Jones * March 8, 2012
All we do is stay still
in New Mexico and the light moves.
On one March morning I have seen
stillness shift into a hurtling
aluminum zia plate.
And then some trash that blew into
what I call our backyard
(because i live
and take seriously
this time frame
of a human lifetime
and i wave my language
around like tiny wings
in the big wind
and our economics
are like flocks of birds
crying out in the skies
together and my mortgage
is my flute note in that song)
became part of a blizzard flurry
dusting and dazzling the xeriscape like feathers
that squeezed the breath out from my eyes
and for a moment my muscles needed to stop
before the coffee cup reached my lips
and I needed to do nothing but look.
Look at the marvel
of the sudden morning storm.
The power went out and the sound of the wind
touched my ears as it wound
around the house like a ribbon.
I remembered the reports from all the watchers
who reported that the sun has sent excessive flares
today and I imagine its solar arc infecting
my body, my cells, my being
the facebook post I will offer
if I die from the storm
but not now–not now–because
the power is out
and I am writing by hand
I am watching the evidence of the wind
I am swirling with birds
I am sudden and curling in the March
desert snow against the rocks
and concrete and zia covered steel
that we blanket ourselves with.
Still, I have done nothing.
Dominique Larntz * February 20
Passive Aggressive As I Understand It
When aggression supplants moral conscience,
we discover alien life right here on this planet.
O secretly, haven’t you wondered if the enemy
isn’t a different species? Our media croons
to this part of our evil soil, watering the seeds
of our hatred because they say it sells. Our
sellers say that selling is what supports us
because making money is how we survive.
Our money makers make money out of nothing
and then make nothing out of our soil and water
leaving us destitute when before all this aggression
at least we had soil and water. O poison, at least
we have the sun even if our species spits its last
breath in aggression, opening its own stomach
to prove it has been victimized.
Dominique Larntz * February 19
Taken in the morning,
my vitamins and peppers crown
the feeling of this congestion
with interlaced leaves of fire throat
and coppery chest woven between
a bouquet of nose linens
I wish I could unfold
and wash clean.
Dominique Larntz * February 10, 2012
I love to listen to the morning–
the rush of thoughts in my mind
like a tide that builds quick footsteps
and then quiets into silence
in the shower.
Then the coffee grinder
along with the bird that shouldn’t be
here just after Candlemas.
I wouldn’t expect him until Spring.
Dominique Larntz * February 9, 2012
Take your hand
and the rest of yourself
and hold me here
where I am mortal.
Tell me again
that you know
the same truth as I.
In youth, we have glimpses
of our singularities.
However, these injuries of age
engage a handsome brake
in our soul’s engine, giving us
our own acceleration rate
and there is no speed limit
I can finally slow down,
ignore the lines,
get off the road.
Dominique Larntz * February 8, 2012
I Am Moss
Tempted again to exacerbate my need
to reach heights I was never made to reach,
I would like to remind myself
that moss’s weathering process is what
made our earth’s atmosphere cool,
absorbing a planet’s worth of carbon dioxide
and cutting our temperatures in half.
In case I think I need to be seen from space
instead of cling to the solidity of rocks, let me
turn to the truth of what is right beneath me
and when I wonder why I can only breathe
at a lower altitude and why why I have to be
so low in this life when I would like to believe
I am as cherished as a begonia or a sequoia,
let me remember the security in being
close to the earth.
Let me hum quietly with
this feeling that forms
an intimacy with life,
more solid than a bloom
and more withstanding
than a tall tree trunk.
So it’s not attention I need to complete this mossy feat;
what I need is the transformation of heat into coolness
to form an atmosphere for evolution. We moss are making
the future environment with each of our small reactions
and our grounded and giving florescence.
Dominique Larntz * February 4, 2012
He’s not thinking; he’s just working.
In the late middle of his shift,
he waves his hand and doesn’t look up
and a symphony of technology erupts.
He’s deeply inside his task
and does not appear to hear and see
the elegance or beauty or magic
in his newfound capabilities.
He doesn’t compute the trade-offs
from magical maneuvers like that.
He keeps the books abstract,
like the rest of the world,
while he depletes resources
without fully accounting for them
or understanding them
or listening to them.
After all, if you take them up
another taxonomy level,
aren’t cows and water
and silicon and human effort
all mere resources?
It’s that abstraction that allows
corporate man to lie to himself.
Pretty soon he will take off the smock
and the smirk that helps form the mask
that hides the constant limbic fear
that drives an existence spent
working working working
to dominate the efforts of others
so fully that he cannot even appreciate
total surrender so he has to kill off
even those who hold onto nothing.
Someday, that man will end his shift.
He will look up at the time, stretch and yawn.
He will gather up his things
and leave his workstation.
You have to wonder if he knows
what he’ll go home to.
Dominique Larntz * February 3, 2012
Less is not more
The implication imp flutters around my day like cutting raindrops telling me I should, I could, I might, I would do more more more. There is something in me that is so simple, an umbrella of laziness, that is something other than peace–a defense mechanism of too many hours of television to fight this imp. Only the smallest tasks are done today. it is a mystery, because I am happy to do more.