Ojai

At seven o’clock we tempted our fatigue and drove some more after a day in both cars. The drive was short and awed very little but definitely calmed and probably inspired at least one of us. “Us” is in this case a both, a daisy chain with one proud link. Dark and the sweet smell of oranges and dust. We arrived at the wrong gate.

Virginia Petrucci writer in Ojai

A heat wave in Ojai is a depression of hope that one has found paradise. The town’s beauty is ground into the soil so that it is breathed in rather than noticed. Attending to one’s guilt in this air heals one’s past and erases the oppression of the future so there is only now and this.

Some lessons are scattered in the gait of a tortoise roaming around the grounds. Some promises are stuffed against the face of Topa Topa. A numb spark that one judges to be real rather than believes to be true; I’m an unlikely recipient of natural grace.

Virginia Petrucci writer in Ojai

Advertisements

Still

Some sort of solitary freezing. Some perfect in the dark, some fresh anger from the man.

There is a tomorrow I know. Today is an absent friend. It is tremors of pleasure that he seeks. I am through with motion as catalyst. I am inclined to still, supportive only of the rocks who soothe by reaching, reaching for sky and ice without edging on vibrate.

I am for the purpose of still. There is a greatness about the multiples. I am for no purpose but still.

The man often feels like alien. Part shadow, part child, I cannot help but feel that the prize at the end of this rope dangles on the end that I hold. Taught without tugging, an absence presents itself in the middle.

photo 3-6

 

Lightning Over Ventura

The night begged its own seat in the calendar of seasons. A warmth but a triumph over fire and a confusion over coast.

A frenzy, like lightning it was, like an invitational mystery with a jocular humor. For girls, such skies. Much like the girls I used to be.

The scenes I used to take to and the love drug storms I used to make fall short of this graceful math. This lightning with no wind, this rain with no reason. I am not for such delights. I am not for seeing what is already there.

He times a surprise and I shorten a tantrum. Evolve, is it? And without revolt?

A handicapped breath gives way to a kidnapped cloud; we are not alone, one hopes. I am ever alone, I spoke. My eyes only for ghosts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Required

You have an odd way of requiring “sir”.

Respect ground out of hurt, your status unearned.

A tremble of doubt, a flame to snuff out

a light like a feather, she’s hushed—all the better.

She’ll beg and she’ll bruise

The chamber you use

to hide all your faults

Your money: her vault.

 

JYip-Virginia-034
Photo by Jonas Yip at Jock Sturgess workshop, 2012

 

New Chapbook Publication

I am very excited to announce that my poetry chapbook entitled “Recipes And How To’s” will be published in November 2017 through Red Flag Poetry. To learn more about the press, visit www.redflagpoetry.com, and for more of my publication credits, please check out www.virginiapetrucci.com

And don’t forget to follow my blog to stay updated on more publications and other writings.

Paisley

I lie in my light-filled, love-filled upstairs bedroom on a long, body-conforming bean bag. The air I feel and somewhat hear has traveled from the ocean, over the Ventura valley and into the space that I occupy, unsolicited. A stranger to mirrors and at odds with nature, I have planned my return to the mountains from the city like a long-lost relative finally coming home. I am tranquil and unwelcome since my thoughts aren’t as smooth as the wind or as joyful as the light or as differential as this three hundred dollar adult sized bean bag.

I am suffering from a paisley boredom, where the things I need to do and the things I want to do mix with the abstraction of relaxation, I thing I never do. When my hours pass unplanned, my sense of self is questioned, my accomplishments are examined, my dreams are ridiculed.

There are my myriad writing projects–all of which have passed their self-imposed deadlines–and un-tracked hours lead to lost words. It is impossible for a writer to lie or sit and simply be. For we are born to delineate, destined to catalog. Even the tranquility of a luxury mountain home cannot bend a writer’s preternatural resolve to unravel the universe and her currents while fastening the truisms and trends of humanity to written permanence. Or whatever.

 

A Sunset

That precious, vocal horizon with its slender tide and little black islands, rare outlines that are usually bleached out by the chaos of sun and cloud.

I fell upon a sunset with colors partially hazed out by the coastal fog and by the tidal melancholy that flows during the exchange of light for dark, with only a creamsicle skyline to soften the blow. I adore dusk; I find myself in such horizons and distilled sadness. Having fallen into the colors and the peace of alone that I so rarely get to enjoy, I scattered my thoughts to the minimal wind and my limbs to the outskirts of the golf course. The 15th hole, I am told.

I am but an animal and my needs, when watered down from their human extravagance, are the same as the fluttering, everyday inhabitants of the brush I corrupt with my noiseless feet and screaming mind. Little animals—demeaned by their claws and beaks, and exalted by their innocence—speed then slow with irrational frequency. To occupy one of their minds, whose undecorated corners hold un-noble next to my own, is my solemn wish.

Boyspeed upon him, my husband climbs the hill of our little, gated street, full of his own special, jubilant emptiness (he is drunk). He brings friends in whose uncomplicated company he is happy; in his fellow beings he finds reward. I find solace in their absence; a solipsistic wish presently being fulfilled, I do not wish to be discovered.

I find a eucalyptus tree, porous with elderly grace, and crouch behind it, barefoot and unknowable, as I was as a child.

I take to breathing deeply and find a clear mind, proud and voluminous and watchful over the little orchard below which extends into the large orchard beyond, and the furtive skyline beyond that. That precious, vocal horizon with its slender tide and little black islands, rare outlines that are usually bleached out by the chaos of sun and cloud.

I take to reading, examining the luxury of my present situation and feeling only the grace of the mountains in my lungs and the established luxury of this man-made green. I encounter myself in the pages of my novel. I breathe and hush and fear, for my alone is limited and my presence will soon be required in the house whose vast newness makes me feel as though I’m living in a great English hall.

My 18671107_10100284943658096_7228718701803776810_nmind proceeds down its chosen literary journey when out of the quiet bushes comes an awful, halting shriek. Coyote vs. squirrel: I scramble to find a solution to this barking mystery when—shooting.

I scream—a proper girl scream—and roll with boy scout alacrity out of the way of the assaulting stream of water. Sprinkler hour with no warning bell. I jump up and whip around myself, trying to catch sight of anyone who might have heard or seen me in all my ridiculousness as I was mauled on a perfect Friday afternoon by a golf course sprinkler. No one—and yet, embarrassment floods my mind just as adrenaline floods my veins. I realize that it’s time to occupy the great new cool hall with its happy guests and human perfection, so at odds with nature and so aligned with comfort and dignity.

I gait away from my home, and towards my house.