Saying Goodbye to My Home.

With a very heavy heart, I must leave San Francisco. The place I have called home for over 4 years. The tech industry has both powered and ruined this great city. The rent on my apartment will double the day I move out. Some high paid programmer and his girlfriend will likely be the only people to afford where I live now. Tech has sustained me for 18+ years. It has afforded me a life most would be very satisfied with. Yet it has taken my health and my sanity. I am very good at what I do. But ask me if I enjoy it anymore.

It only takes a few too many bad experiences and unemployment streaks to break a person here. I have had 8 different jobs in 4 years. The startup world can be brutal as war. I gave it my best. I worked my ass off. I put up with an overwhelmingly male driven career field. Unless you are a woman you can never understand what that is like. I have some amazing triumphs in Tech. Many of you see my work daily on various retail and entertainment sites based in Northern California. I am proud of what I achieved. And honored to have worked with some truly phenomenal people here in San Francisco. A few are my friends now and forever. I will miss many things here. Especially the dreams I had that were never fulfilled.

My future lies in my past now. I started off in this world as a full on creative doing production art in a small regional ad agency back east. I still have a piece of the artboard that covered my drafting table when I left as Art Director. I rocked graphic design and photo retouching. I drew constantly. I was deep into ceramic arts, even building my own kilns with another artist.

Now 48, I paint, draw, do photography and even record my music after nearly 15 years out of the arts, in preparation of a complete cold start back to a new old career. My brother asked to me to get back into ceramics last night. He is not the fist. I am amazing with my hands and I will when I land. I am not sure where I will land. For now I will be homeless and jobless. I will survive on a short sabbatical because of the support and love of family and friends.

What I can say is I will move somewhere more laid back, much less expensive where I can eventually have a yard and hopefully my own house and art studio. I will miss the mega conveniences of this most walkable city. But I will gain more freedom to create. I will not miss the near constant worry of how to just get by when most of what I earned went to rent, food, taxes and parking tickets. I will miss a few friends I have made up here. I will not miss the egotistical, ladder climbers that infest and gentrify this city.

I read almost daily about more and more people actually being driven out of San Francisco because of evictions by greedy landlords and a cost of living so high teachers, cooks, barista, artists, musicians, and even life long residents of the city can not afford to live in the city. As for the homeless that litter the streets, they say there are well over 5000 homeless living on the streets here. More daily. There are growing tent cities expanding under the highway around Cesar Chavez and Bayview Ave. Real tent cities of firmly encamped people with furniture and children no less! This is nothing short of a tragedy. The dirty underbelly of technology running wild making millionaires and ignoring the poor. This is a city of mass consumption too. It is easy to fall into that trap. Drugs and alcohol are the norm here. I have seen friends take it much too far. I have seen wasted wrecks of meth users convulsing on the sidewalks and drunks passed out face first in the street. This city WILL eat you alive if you let it.

I will leave this city in tears. Because it is a beautiful, eclectic melting pot of every culture you can imagine. Where it does not matter if you are gay, straight, bi, queer, trans, questioning, intersex, weird, artsy, scientific, nerdy, blue, tall, a bear, hipster, pony, unicorn or a furry. There is something for absolutely everyone here. I had so many hopes and dreams when I moved here over 4 years ago. For me I was never able to get that foothold I needed to make them all come true. That hurts the most. It will be hard to reconcile as I do not accept failure well.

But in some masochistic, ritual way I seem to have perfected, I will pack my shit and just leave as I have done many times before in other cities. I leave this city the same way I got here. Broke, unemployed and full of piss and vinegar and feeling much older. I will start completely over somewhere else with the same dreams and the same hopes I had almost 5 years ago when I decided, Fuck It! I am moving to San Francisco. And I will succeed one way or another. I am older and wiser now. I am experienced in “battle”. I can do this one more time. I just have too because that is what I do. I survive and keep moving forward no matter what.

Adieu et Bon Chance San Francisco.

Twitter: How it helps me as a writer and poet

I was recently asked to write a short comment about how Twitter helped me ( @NikkiDreams )  as a poet. My new friend Tony Riches ( @tonyriches ) over at The Writing Desk: Writing, thoughts and useful links for writers got more than he bargained for I think. Well simple request kind of turned into an entire blog. I have so much to say about this and to understand how it helps me you really need to know a little about my past as far as that is concerned and how I evolved to this point.

I first started writing about 3 or 4 years ago in my early 40’s. Before that I have never written or read much of anything. I hated English and literature all through school. In fact until 5 years ago I had not read more than maybe 15 books my entire life. As a Fine Arts major at East Carolina University in North Carolina I continued to loath English, writing and literature until I had one amazing and inspirational class during a summer session my “2nd” junior year. It was “Old English”. The teacher had a masters in it along with a few other degrees. Books like “Beowulf” and “Njal’s Saga” blew me away. I still have the books I bought for the class to this day. The teacher even spoke old English and read poems and stories from that period. That planted the seed in me that took another 17 years to grow. but I was captivate and truly inspired by what I read and learned in that class.

17 or so years later while going through a very difficult, painful and metamorphic period in my life, I started writing. Blogging actually. It was a cathartic and healing experience I started to enjoy immensely. My writing began to blossom and so did my appetite for reading. I have read more books in the past 5 years than my previous 40. I started writing more poetry offline. And eventually started posting it in between regular blogs. Almost overnight I found a new creative outlet that appealed to me as much as my other artistic pursuits in music and illustration. I posted and people responded. That fueled me as much as any visual artist receiving favorable reviews about their work.

Then came Twitter a few years ago. I went a year without using my account. Then I started cross posting poems and linking them on Twitter to reach more people, faster. Twitter is a hugely viral way to get instant feedback and provide expose for more people directly to to your work. I use Twitter more and more as a tool to get that exposure and instant gratification, as well as just make some great frineds online. Amazingly I have only recently realized and taken advantage of using Twitter to educate myself and find other resources. Connecting to other writers of all types has really been a blessing not only to see how they write but to find great resources. The first Twitter poet I satrted following is Samuel Peralta ( @Semaphore & his blog Semephore ). Jessica Kristie ( @jesskristie & her blog )  is another wonderful poet among several I follow.  One Stop Poetry ( @Onestoppoetry ) is also another really wonderful connection for Twitter Poets.

Interestingly enough the art of writing micro-poetry on Twitter is great practice for writers. You really have to think sometimes to get an idea across elegantly in so few words. And there is almost no better outlet for stream of consciousness writing. I do that all the time on Twitter and Tumblr with short poems and bursts of creative ideas. It makes you think in a much different way. If you are good you can successfully break with accepted grammatical rules that actually work better in poetic formats. While this is my opinion, I have found the best poets not only break with tradition on a grand scale they even make up their own words as part of the art. Fitting everything in that 140 character burst of writing forces you to do that more often than not. And it is good for creativity. The AP and Chicago style books and my High School English teachers may cringe and disagree. But what is art if it does not break the rules and create new ones.

All those micro-poems, lines of Haiku, creative thoughts and “Twitter Poems” have helped me learn how to write better. Often, those little bursts of creativity are seeds for larger and more complex ideas that grow into full poems. One of those little bursts on Twitter actually evolved into a full screenplay that I am writing. And the coolest thing is not only the instant feedback, but the reminder is always there in your timeline so you can ignite that larger idea on paper, in a blog and hopefully as a published work later on. They are like little notes to myself sometimes. If only my spelling and editing skills were up to par. Yes there is always room for improvement. My very first published poems on other sites were the direct result of using Twitter as my own creative outlet and yes, cringe, a marketing tool. But hey, nobody is going to read your work if they don’t know about it or how to get to it.

So that is my story and I am sticking to it. Twitter has been a major reason my poetry has blossomed not only in exposure but a catalyst or rather inspiration for my love of writing. I have connected with some very extraordinary poets and writers because of Twitter. And I look forward to many more great connections. You can expect to see me on there for as long as it is a relevant and useful way to get exposure and grow as a writer. I expect it will be around for quite a few years.

And the Inspiration never ends.

Suicide – Thoughts of – TDOR

For the first time in my life I have thought about being dead. I have never thought about actually killing myself. But I have weighed the consequences of the end. I cried so hard after realizing what I was thinking about. It scared me… it has upset me profoundly. For the first time in my life I think I really understand why someone would kill themselves.

Everything just keeps stacking up. Little by little. One becomes tired and withdrawn. One becomes trapped within the pain that is so great the ONLY way to stop it is to die. The outside forces keep beating and beating one down until there is nothing left but a corpse. Every person’s tolerance for emotional and physical pain is different. Everyone experiences life completely different. But what really drives someone to that ultimate moment. Is there one defining moment. Or is it just the weight of it all sitting precariously on the shoulder until that moment when the legs collapse form the weight.

She opened the drawer to her nightstand, the pale brown bottle of sleeping pills sit harmlessly under the child-proof lid. The long dried tears and runs of makeup down her face are the only signs of life once lived…. as she lies down a long forgotten calm quiets her breath. She comforts herself in the warm down comforter. The sun is shining and the sky is filled with blue… everywhere blue. But the beauty is gone. She sees only darkness. Her soft long hair gently spreads out over the pillow. She has put on her favorite nightgown. It is antique white silk with delicate lace and trim. It is old and worn but it is her favorite. As she closes her eyes, she gently and briefly smiles.

Something remembered?

She gently and silently stops breathing… her heart slows… it stops. Her skin goes blueish white and cold. She is gone. The pain is gone.


What pain is so great that one must die to cease its consumption of the mind and body?
Did she kill herself because she thought it was best for her?
Did she kill herself because it was the only way to get back at others?
Was being alive such a terrible thing?
Was her existence really meant to be?

I wish I knew why she did it. She left us all with no answers. No physical scars or bruises, her beautiful body shapely and soft. Only we can’t see what is inside. I remember her saying how everything kept falling apart. She hinted of the pain of all the hurtful words. The relentless torments. But they were just words right? They cant hurt you.

Or maybe it was something else. She mentioned her financial situation was bleak, jokingly saying she would be on the street soon then she would not have to pay that overpriced rent anymore. I noticed she had lost weight… had she stopped eating? The cupboards were bare except for green tea and crackers.

I’m not too clear on this right now. I.. I am still numb that she is gone. My own tears still drying along my cheeks. Her family and friends had abandoned her, but she had me. She had the others. Loneliness and depression were always a part of her life. I came too late to ease her pain.


On this day of Transgender Remembrance we honor those who have died, were murdered, for being different. Killed for being themselves even in the face of all those who apposed. But I can’t help but now think how many more were driven to their own end for being different. How far can a person be pushed emotionally before they snap?

It is often the dozens of little things that will bring down the strongest. A reed may bend in the wind. But pour over it grains of sand… in time it will fail too.