Zawmb’yee Nuje Writes a Poem, Actress Waxes Poetic

The Season After Winter

by Zawmb’yee Nuje

To walk
the beat of the beating sun light show
beat metered by trees
light tune for strollers and lovers
warm for sitters and babies
babble day in the park
parked at a joy spot
spotting a squirrel
squirreling away memory
ripples and fluttering birds
of a feather tickle day, is to
spring up, jump
hey there

there above the wall, still see
the street in chatter-walking glory
as we saw

and we drank in the day
springy stepped and steeped in joy
walking by

by benches flecked with
picnickers carousing, singles,
double-troublers, troubadours
some at ease, one at an easel
painting scenery
of us

Thus
to be warm

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Zawmb’yee Becomes High Priestess 91, About Chapter 8

Zawmb’yee continues the blog, Chapter 8

ENTRY 91

     We went down the corner staircase to the fork where the rocks rest in front of The Big Pond. A guitar and a saxophone player were tuning up while people climbed the rocks behind them, and people to the right in front sat on the grass behind the benches that lined the northward path.
     We took the westward path, along the pond, the water and ducks on the right, a lawn, trees, and the border stone wall on the left. Above the wall we could still see the street in chatter-walking glory, see the hotels across the way, and we drank in the day, springy stepped and steeped in joy.
     The benches were flecked with picnickers carousing, singles, double-troublers, troubadours, people, some at ease, one at an easel on the grass, and a bearded man washing his face at a water fountain.
     We walked along until we could choose an interesting path that led into the interior of the park. At a short distance in, I felt an inner commotion. An influence swept by us. I said, “Did you feel that?”
     Doug said, “Yes, I felt something in Utd’mbts: something about ‘Runaway Horse!’”
     “Yes,” I said. Just then, a figure in a purple dress, far up ahead, ran across the path and up a rocky hill so fast that it seemed just a flash of color that froze at the top. Two others in purple flashed right behind.
     Doug said, “Another word: it feels dire, but I can’t understand it… ”
     I pulled Doug over behind a tree. I said, “Duck down and stop thinking — meditate on nothingness.” One of the figures pulled out what looked like a weapon of some kind. A beam of light flashed and the figure at the top vanished in place. Doug was not focused and reacted. I said, “Doug! You spoke to them in Utd’mbts.”
     “I did?”
     “Yes, we’d better run.” We turned and ran back the way we came, and then across and up an outcropping of rock. We could see the two figures go under a pedestrian bridge, open a door and disappear. “Watch what you say!”
     “I don’t know what I said.”
     “Exactly.”
     “What? Um, is it safe now?”
     “I think so. I don’t feel anything.”

Zawmb’yee Becomes High Priestess 90(revised), About Chapter 8

Zawmb’yee Continues the Blog

ENTRY 90 (revised & finished)
     We made our way towards the corner of the park. I think we passed the building with the trees on every terrace, and the buses faced us at every stop with their unloading commotions and their boarding confused hordes looking for cards and change. But mostly I didn’t notice if there were gems in the din, or new fashions in the store windows, no, mostly, I listened to the music of Doug’s chatter because I love the sound of his voice — it comforts me and I know when the song of his voice turns tender, when I laugh, that he loves to be with me, and when my word of acknowledgment makes him smile and pause, I know he loves me like the humming bird loves the flower however fast the flutter of his wings. I think perhaps I dress to be his nectar.
     Doug said, “Could this be a Phthalocyanine Blue sky?”
     “Huh what?”
     “I mean, it seems like a god has lent you his brushes, and you’ve painted my sky. Is it you who paints my world?”
     “No, it is you who shines on my tears, penetrates the rainbow of my feelings and I show you the canvas of the world as I see it. I look in your eyes and pray they will see every color that makes you happy and if I would be on your palette, brush me.” His hand brushed my cheek and touched my lips, but we nearly collided with a passerby who said, “Idiots!”
     Doug said, “Maybe we are foolish to speak poetically. I mean, if we don’t speak colloquially or idiomatically in English, and develop such bad speaking habits, then how will we blend into the up-top world?”
     I was a little insulted — I thought I was flowing and in tune with a romantic moment. I said, “No we’re not foolish. A little blend, a little metaphor. All things in moderation, as they say, but I say, except in matters of love, and then, and then, um…”
     “Um, uh, and then the silent blend,” said Doug as he kissed my hand, and then we crashed into a hot dog stand.
     Doug said, “Um, we’ll take two with sauerkraut.”
I said, “Mustard and chili.”
     “Look, there’s a hansom cab parked up ahead and someone is giving the horse a carrot, and see over there the portrait artist doing someone…”
     “Dougie wougie wougie, yeah, why don’t we cross over to the hotel side and then cross to the park? Yeah…”
     “OK. You’ve got mustard and chili dripping down your face.” The vendor gave Doug a napkin and he wiped my face clean with love, patience, and indulgence if I may speak in such terms — I don’t know if I know the words for this moment.

Zawmb’yee Becomes High Priestess partial-90, About Chapter 8

Zawmb’yee Continues the Blog, About Chapter 8

ENTRY 90 partial Part 1
     We made our way towards the corner of the park. I think we passed the building with the trees on every terrace, and the buses faced us at every stop with their unloading commotions and their boarding confused hordes looking for cards and change. But mostly I didn’t notice if there were gems in the din, or new fashions in the store windows, no, mostly, I listened to the music of Doug’s chatter because I love the sound of his voice — it comforts me and I know when the song of his voice turns tender when I laugh that he loves to be with me, and when my word of acknowledgment makes him smile and pause, I know he loves me like the humming bird likes the flower however fast the flutter of its wings. I think perhaps I dress to be his nectar.
     Doug said, “Could this be a Phtalocyanine Blue sky?”
     “Huh what?” I said
     “I mean, it seems like a god has lent you his brushes, and you’ve painted my sky. Is it you who paints my world?”
     “No, it is you who shines on my tears, penetrates the rainbow of my feelings and I show you the canvas of the world as I see it. I look in your eyes and pray they will see every color that makes you happy and if I would be on your palette, brush me. (I’ll continue this ENTRY later — I’ve had to stop. I just can’t seem to keep recording everything fluently, and I am so intensely happy-sad and I fear a rain is coming)

Zawmb’yee Becomes High Priestess 89, About Chapter 8

Zawmb’yee continues the blog, About Chapter 8

ENTRY 89

     I decided that Doug and I are too obsessed with our projects and we should just go for a walk. He’s right about one thing: I should finish unpacking the seven chests of the Nipusindi. But I just dragged Doug into my bedroom, threw open the lids to all the chests, and started pulling things out and piling them onto my bed. I said, “Which of these do you think I’d look best in?” Doug seemed to point to one at random.
     Doug said, “That one. The Royal purple dress with the gold trim or whatever…”
     I stripped off the plain green dress that I had been wearing and I looked over at another of the chests. I threw a collection of colorful bras onto the bed. I said, “Which of these?”
     Doug said, “First take this one off,” and he unfastened my plain white bra. He tickled his fingers over my nipples.
     I said, “I’m getting dressed, not undressed. Remember?”
     “Oh yeah.”
     “So which would you choose?”
     “Um, the one with the metal breastplate — the warrior princess look or um, whatever it’s called…”
     “OK. But I’ll do it. I’m putting it on, not off.” Yes, I thought, we do need a walk in the fresh air. I slipped into the Royal purple dress. I said, “How does that look?”
     “Great.”
     “Does it fit? It doesn’t bulge anywhere?”
     “No, no, no. It fits perfectly. Your body is perfect.”
     I pulled out some other dresses. I said, “Maybe this one would be a better color?”
     “Well, um, uh, that whole bunch looks like the wrong size?”
     I said, “Uh, yeah, those seem different.” Then something weird happened: I found myself saying, “Of course those are different. They are the slave uniforms.”
     “What did you say?”
     “Oh, I don’t know why I said that. Um, OK, I’ll just put on some make-up and we’ll take a walk. OK?”
     “Fine.”
     I rushed around and quickly got ready. I took Doug’s hand and we were out the door. “You know, I’ve been meaning to ask you…”
     “Yes?”
     “Whenever I go in or out from your apartment, I never see anyone… ”
     “Uh, well, actually the whole building is empty except for me. All of the other apartments are just there to provide addresses and false identities so Utcoozhoo can launder money. He sells precious metals and other things from the Tzalbihuki under different names. The wealth that the gods brought us is what gives us a source of income. If an inspector comes, we put someone in an apartment for the day.”
     We walked down the clean well-lit hallway with the gold carpet and plain white walls. I said, “Well if this is your building, maybe I could practice painting murals on these empty walls.”
     “Sure. Why not.”
     We arrived at the elevator with the car ready. “Oh, well, now I understand why the elevator is always here.” We stepped in, and I pushed ‘L’. “But if there’s no one here, what do we do in an emergency?”
     “Oh we have double backup.”
     “What do you mean?”
     “Well, the original building plans don’t show it, but we took out several columns of apartments and we used two of those columns to make two extra elevator shafts.”
     “Huh? How would we get out of here?”
     “Well, see the handle on the side panel that says, ‘emergency only’?”
     “Yeah.”
     “That opens to a parallel shaft that has a hand operated pulley system with multiple shelves that fold at the top and bottom of the shaft to make a continuous loop.”
     “Sounds complicated.”
     “No, you just open the door, pull down the nearest shelf and hop on. You can hoist yourself up, or let gravity take you down. Wanna see?”
     “No some other time.” The elevator opened onto our opulent lobby with the red carpet, blush couch, and the fish pond. “You know, maybe you should invite someone, and make them wait down here just so someone can use the couch.”
     “I suppose, but its really just a front.”
     “Ah, it’s a sunny day.” Doug opened the door for me and we walked to the corner. The sign said ‘WALK’, so we did — across the street into the honking, dodging the cars that had trapped themselves in the intersection at the change of light, and we swirled around the line at the hot dog stand. We pushed our way to the pedestrian flow that was moving in our direction. I said, “Let’s walk to the park.”
     “Look at that tourist over there coming towards us: She’s wearing your purple dress.”
     “No. It has a different collar … How do you know she’s a tourist?”
     “By the way she’s looking up at the skyscrapers and looking everywhere like she wants to take in every sight.”
     “Nice heels…”
     “…yeah, stands tall, struts confidently with proud marching breasts…”
     “What?”
     “Never mind…”
     The woman smiled and passed us by, but I became worried. “Did you feel that?”
     “What? I think she said something but I couldn’t make it out.”
     “No, I felt an upper Utd’mbts word.”
     “I could have sworn she said, ‘Yes, I’m a tourist of sorts.’ ”
     “No. She didn’t speak. She pushed an Utd’mbts word into your subconscious and you allowed it to bubble up into your consciousness, though a little distorted.”
     “Hmm. Now that you mention it, it did feel like upper Utd’mbts. I haven’t tried using that in years…”
     “I saw ‘Old Faithful’, the geyser at Yellowstone National Park, a plane to the city, a car to her hotel room, and her walking here… and she thinks you’re cute…”
     “Hmm, um. Her life story in a second?”
     “Sort of …”
     “Wow. Great. cool.”
     “No. I’m not so sure it’s benign. I’m worried.”

Zawmb’yee Becomes High Priestess 88, About Chapter 8

Zawmb’yee Continues the Blog, About Chapter 8

ENTRY 88
    I told Doug all about the Kmpamew and I said I thought maybe he should come to live with me there during my interim appointment, just until the new Council is sworn-in in the new year.
    Doug said, “you know, they lied to us. Didn’t we always think the caves were barren and underpopulated, especially after so many moved up-top to live? They didn’t say anything about a palace and a secret city.”
    “Yeah, we missed an entire world. How could we have not known about an isolated and secret society in our midst?…”
    “And did you ever see any workers coming and going from there?”
    “No.”
    “And these people are not any of the crowd in the main cave that we saw on the day of the last crisis?”
    “No. They don’t dress the same and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before.”
    “Speaking of dressing: you were organizing your closet and you were going to finish unpacking the seven chest of the Nipusindi.”
    “Well, yeah, but I’ve been busy…”
    “Well now that you’re part of the upper-upper strata of society, you may want to wear some of the clothes from the chest.”
    “I don’t know what to choose or where to put it all and, um, how to organize…”
    “I would think they have endless closets in a palace, and some kind of servant who can help you. Didn’t you say there’s a large staff?”
    “Well, I just met the Gavicte and I wanted to study some documents before seeing my Mieta … Oh damn, oh Kievifkwa!”
    “What’s Kievifkwa ?”
    “Oh hell, it’s just our general all around curse word, or expletive… you know how I am with definitions…Oh Kievifkwa! And damn, how am I going to remember all these rules and stuff…”
    “What stuff is that?”
    I explained to Doug what little I knew about the weapons in the armory and about the rules for intruders. I said, “There’s a possibility that James Ziohat might accidentally drill into the ceiling of the Kmpamew.”
    “What?”
    “It’ll never happen: the little twerp just talks big. His grand plans never go anywhere… but I’ve got better news…”
    “Yes?”
    “I get to paint on the ceiling of the Kmpamew.”
    “Really?”
    “Yup.”

Zawmb’yee BECOMES HIGH PRIESTESS 87, Zawmb’yee Continues the Blog, About Chapter 8

Zawmb’yee continues the blog, About Chapter 8

ENTRY 87
     Now I’m really starting to worry: I think I’m having blackouts. I remember after leaving the Kmpamew that I gave Utcoozhoo my report on James Ziohat, and then I went to my old sacred quarters in the old main corridor that I was familiar with and that Doug had been to.
     But something major is happening because I woke up in the morning back at Doug’s apartment with no memory of how I got there. Other than the missing time, I woke up in bed with Doug, feeling wonderful, but something is missing. I think I’m back to myself, but where was I and what did I do? I got dressed quickly, had some coffee to wake up, and went back to the bedroom. Still a puzzle.
     I kissed Doug and he woke up smiling. I said, “Do I seem normal to you?”
     “Normal?” he said, “When have you ever been normal? You’re extraordinary…”
     “Yeah, right … um, how is your novel going?”
     “Well, being absorbed in the world of my characters, feeling as if they actually exist and are real, I wonder what is real. Do we live in a dream? Is everything we perceive just our imagination? How do we know this is real and … ”
     “Evewapei! ”
     “Huh?”
     “It means something like, ‘Philosophers can say the world is unreal until reminded of pain, chocolate, and sex.’ ”
     “One word for that?”
     “Actually, it’s more than that. Most Utd’mbts words are symbols for concepts. There are different levels of sophistication for the Utd’mbts language. Utcoozhoo says I’m mostly at the baby talk babble stage where a symbol stands for a sound, but higher forms of Utd’mbts have nothing to do with sound. There is the ‘thing’, the actuality of what is referred to, and then different levels of symbolism which are to re-trigger the experience of the ‘thing’. ”
     “Huh, what?”
     “Oh, I know, I don’t know what I’m saying exactly. I’m just bluffing. But now I’m supposed to do better.”
     “What do you mean ‘now’. Now what?”
     “Uh, well, the whole Grand Council can ‘speak’ the upper levels of Utd’mbts and they’re probably maneuvering behind my back to keep control. I think only Utcoozhoo is watching my back.”
     “OK. Try this again. The highest level of Udt’mbts is what?”
     “A word is a push-dream. The word is a trigger to a two hour movie that occurs in a second. It doesn’t have speech but it has music, vision, smell, and flavor. It has a meaning and a taste. To speak, one would push the vision of the singing pigeon that is to be eaten without remorse… you devour the thing and you can ‘have your cake and eat it too.’ ”
     “This makes no sense.”
     “It is a word for a thought as complete as a dream.”
     “Oh?”
     “You have to do it to know it.”
     “I tried a little but didn’t get far. If Evewapei then after death when the reality of the world stops for the individual, is there nothing? And if there is something, isn’t that more real or,… or, um, more permanent? Is anything real beyond the self… um, you’re giving me a headache…”
     “Utcoozhoo always says, ‘Jipacy!’ ”
     “Which is?”
     “Only love is real.”
     “That doesn’t sound like what Utcoozhoo would say… he’s never definite.”
     “OK. That’s what I say.”