Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not Thing In Excess

I want a rope, a long colorful rope I can use for anything:
belt, fishing line, clothes line, tow, tie down
One that will-oh god did you hear that?
That sound which coiled in and distracted me
took me from whatever little arc of hell I walked along
with a babushka pulled down over one eye, pirate purdah,
protecting me, marking me as ghost, apart, not quite there.
As far from the mouth of the world
as John Lennon's killer was from reality.
Yeah, shoot me. Go on, just do it.
So your bitch will love you.
Just like that, I take this rope, this long bit of string and swallow it
with two shots of tequila, hands sticky with lime and salt
hands too numb from what I have to do, as intense as Chernobyl,
as bright as meltdown orange glo in the sky.
I want rope to bind me to all these places,
like a ballerina's jetes waft her across the stage,
fluffernut light, a sweet sticky confection smeared over matzoh sinister truth:
rope will wrap around and around your neck, searching for autoerotic ecstasy,
looking for ways to justify killing you.
I'd take the rope, this rope, with a bit of vintage soul,
and I'd follow it, bits, bytes of long ago, and try to sleep,
not caring about the long lists that remain undone.

The Cyclist 12 days of Christmas

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a GPS with integrated mapping

On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a wireless bike computer

On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
rechargeable lights

On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a helmet video cam

On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
two sets of wheels

On the 6th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a hydrapak with reflective tape and velcro pocket

On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a frame mount pump

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a selle italia saddle

On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
replacement cleats

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a new racing kit

On the 111th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a large box of CO2 cartridges

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a pinarello prince with all upgraded components

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chop-a-matic! An ode to Ron Popeil and Billy Mays

They're Bright! They're New! They're Creepy as Hell!
But Wait! There's More!
With voodoo, you get eggdrop
and Styron doesn't crack, chip or absorb odors
Safe and Machine Washable
Non-toxic if consumed by pets or small children
Multipurpose-the more you use it, the more you'll like it!
And the more ways you'll find to use it!
Handling various thicknesses with elan and an upward thrust
Includes a safety guard to ensure that there will be no contact
between fingers and flesh dissolving anal fluids.
But if you prefer dessert,
spelled with two ‘esses' because dessert is so sweet
as opposed to desert with one ‘ess' an arid lonely place,
this little faggot cookie press will do the shaping and squirting for you
with precision and just a flick of your Bic.
Where's Martha?
Jail is such a happy place for some of us.


Life is precious. To some.
As for me,
I've let go.
I am fine with the end.
Life has no talons.
Letting go frees me to let it go
to forgive
even myself.


Until you accept your ugly
have faith to let your guard down
Until you know you can let the one
see what you bury under the broken toys in the garage
Until you stop inflating, glorifying, lying
trust the mirror in his eyes won't slit your veins
until then
until then
until then
you will look, try to stay above the high tide mark
and pray no one sees the clay feet inside your Armani shoes
when you stop
when you let the demons out of the box you call your heart and know
that the one will slam the lid so Hope stays,
then you'll have truth.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lies My Parents Told Me and A Few Truths, Too.

Your face will freeze.
Keep a $20 in your bra.
It's never too early to make ready for Shabbos.
For this, I stuck my hand in the toilet?
A little knuckle blood improves the flavor.
If you don't wash your ears, potatoes will sprout in there.
Never wear white pants, unless you're late and want to bring it on.
Do what you want today, you could be dead tomorrow.
Do what you want today and you could be dead tonight.
Give the other guy the right of way.
Ask me later, I'm busy.
I stood up for you and said yes, you were fit to live with the pigs.
Carry an extra pair of underwear in case you end up in the hospital.
Go ahead, I already have a foot in the grave.
You want to do what?!?!?

All these homilies and the loudest is the silence.

Lament of the Broken: Cyclocross Haiku etc

I want to lick the
mud from pink polka dotted
cyclocross skinsuit.

Grass berms climb the stairs
through mud over obstacles.
Urban assault boys
kick the crap out of
sissy tire roadies.

I have to try it.
Grab my mountain bike, clip in.
Take off after them.

My deductible
is met. Future injuries
will be paid in full.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

thing i wish would work for me

i'm a lousy typist. i'm reasonably fast, but inaccurate. and i'm an email addict, so i've lost the ability to capitalize. which is all fine. i write in longhand. i like thick pens with heavy black ink and lined notebooks, cheap 70 page college ruled notebooks, pack of 10 for a dollar at target. well, used to be price is now 7 for a dollar, still an amazing bargain. i'll also write in small notebooks [purse or car] on the back of shopping lists, margins of the newspaper, stubs of papers, whatever is in the console of my car, paper napkins [fermat's theorem? is that what was written on a napkin?'s_Penultimate_Theorem]
et alteri.

thing is, my handwriting is abysmal. it has deteriorated to the point that i rival my left-handed, dyslexic brother for illegibility.

and i'm prone to tendinitis in my right wrist and have a permanently dislocated right thumb. well, i think that's what's wrong with my thumb, i REFUSE to spend any more money on MRIs or x-rays [2007 and 200 total: over $2,500 out of pocket for doctors to look at my insides and say nothing is wrong, it'll heal itself. that was my out of pocket. none of this was covered by my medical insurance, if i'd gone through the insurance company it would have been $3,800 out of pocket. go figure.]obvious solution: get a mini-tape machine, talk into it.

only that doesn't work for me. i need to feel the ink, be moving my hands, my fingers.

okay, rant over, back to work.

New Project 8

Once upon a time, there were seven deadly sins: gluttony, lust, greed; the sins of wanting things. Sloth or apathy, the sin of wanting nothing. Wrath, envy and pride, the sins of wanting intellectual superiority and triumph. The greatest of these, the source route of all the others, was envy.

Envy, thwarted, discouraged, gave birth to apathy. Envy of property gave rise to the bearing of false witnesses, theft, embezzlement. Envy of relationships resulted in coercion, adultery, rape disguised as seduction. These and myriad variants pepper our world: wanting what isn't yours, what can't be yours, what shouldn't be yours. There are so many ways to try to get around it but unless it's root is killed, it comes back, bigger and meaner.

Was that the real reason she kept secrets, so no one would envy her? Try to take the crumbs she hoarded, the pebbles she used to find her way home? Was that the real reason?

She frowned, turned off the kettle and poured the boiling water over the freeze-dried coffee powder. Convenient, tasteless and still containing the caffeine punch she craved.

She wondered at people who made coffee properly. It was a skill she'd never acquired either by natural born talent or accumulated knowledge and practice, despite its seeming ease. With some people, coffee making was as easy as breathing. Take the pot, measure the beans, boil the water, et voila! Coffee. Grinds, whole, drip, perc, some people had the knack. Even her neighbors's kids knew how, but she preferred living in a state of ignorance, taking the simple solution of purchasing pot, filters and grinds instead of instant to be unnecessary and unworthy of the space it would consume in her brain. It served some purpose in her psyche, keeping this need unfulfilled or gratified in only the most cursory way possible. Some need.

New Project 7

She reached into the closet, all the way in the back and pulled out a folding screen. Snicked it open and transformed it into a narrow bookcase. Not very sturdy, it was decorative by design, not functional, but it would have to serve. They needed something to hold the statuary which had accumulated in the past year or so and were too cheap or lazy to go shopping for something new.

Moving it from corner to corner, the prayers frowned. It looked wrong everywhere. Perhaps they'd have to go out and buy something after all. Even if they bought raw wood and wall brackets or braces, at least it wouldn't be visually intrusive.

She shook her head. "Think inside the box, just once, just give me a chance." She opened the closet door wide and replaced the unit in the closet, closed the doors on it. "There. It fits, it serves and we don't have to look at it."

The others nodded in agreement. "It'll do. Let's load it up. We can sort through what we've got later. For now, being neat is good enough."

The small statues smiled, bellies full of the ashes of strips of paper. They liked the idea of being in the dark, behind closed doors.

Behind A Steamy Mirror, Look.

Awake, but by choice
Tonight avoiding sweet dreams
for sad memories

A relationship?
Versus having relations?
Act honestly? You?

I know you. Inside.
Hear what is behind your words,
selfish child; bully.

Learn some compassion
You can't come into my life,
break my toys. No more.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pop Tart

Pressing down the lever to the toaster, waiting for the smell of sugar and warm jam to fill the room with morning sweetness, she frowned. Pop-tarts were the only real sweetness she ever found in this kitchen lately, in the morning. In the afternoon and evening, too, most days. Sweetness here was forced or Splenda fake.

Used to be, steaming pots of tea scented the air. Measuring cups of flour and milk, eggs and a dash of cinnamon, all beaten together, puffed on the griddle. But that was then and this was now. That was the way Saturdays used to be, before she had to move in with Clueless Aunt Shari and all those annoying stray cats she fed, before Mummy went away and everything fell apart. It felt like so long ago already and so forever coming up, even though she knew, KNEW, it was only a few months, maybe a year or two, and in the meantime, they had internet and webcam sometimes, snail mail or phone calls now and then, so they'd manage, they would, her and Clueless Aunt Shari, they would, until Mummy came back and everything would be okay and they could live together again.

So for now, she had an aunt who bought her every damned microwavable, single serving, convenience food they advertised on TV instead of cooking, even something simple like mac and cheese in a box or canned soup, or even just plain asking, ‘What do you want? What do you like? Are you hungry-hungry or would you rather just have cinnamon toast?'

Her aunt knew how to cook, she just didn't care to do it. They'd eaten at Shari's lots of times, dinners and lunches and cupcakes and fancy colored drinks in glasses with umbrellas and olives for the grown-ups and flourescent cherries for her. Only thing, each of those were special occasions or holidays or sorta specials anyway, not everyday. Everyday was work and hurry and homework and school and feed the cats and no time to do the laundry, ‘I'll just pick you up another shirt on the way home', and pages to turn and trying not to be fussy but it was so hard and she missed Mummy so bad.

"I miss her, too."

Well, she had snaps because she was just a kid and a kid missing her Mummy got snaps over a lady missing her sister.

The toaster popped and she put the charred around the edge pastries on a plate, poured a glass of water, no milk again, no juice either, and sat down, flicking on the TV. Mummy played CDs in the morning, ‘nothing good on, nothing we need to see this a.m. Let's just listen to some... some... How about this, it's zydeco/Japanese/French/creole? Yeah, that's good. If we can't understand whatever it is they're singing, we can really concentrate on the music, right, honey? Hey, is that a zither/calliope/hurdy-gurdy/shawm? How often you hear one of those, hon?'

Another repeat of some stupid, perfect, packaged life, kids show where everyone had a nice haircut and house and real dinners and money for whatever they wanted and it all ended in a happy free-for-all in twenty-two minutes or so. She clicked the power button on the remote. If it was a weekday, she could go to school. Today, she'd have to be cheerful, anything Aunt Shari suggested, she'd say, ‘Sounds good there, Aunt Shari. Let's do it!' even if she'd rather have needles in her eyes.

Shari walked in, grabbed a mug from the cupboard and leaned against the counter. "Hey, honey, you up so early? It's only 8:15, what are you doing up? You eat? Good." She glanced down at her plate, surprised to see that both Pop-Tarts were gone. She'd eaten them both? When had that happened?

Shari scooped out coffee and poured water through the coffee maker. "I am so glad I don't have to perk coffee. I remember when your Momma and I were maybe your age, perking coffee for your grandparents. It sounded great, smelled great, but drinking it, well, that was something else again, always a surprise: strong, weak, grounds all over the place." Shari patted the stainless steel appliance. "This thing, same taste every single time. It's a miracle."

She tensed up, here it comes.

"So, babycakes, what you want to do today? We got the whole weekend ahead of us, lots of time for fun and yeah, we got some chores, gotta get some of that special diet cat chow, but we'll have time to catch a movie or go to the library or do puzzzles or or or"

Or anything at all except what she really wanted.


How can I get shoes like that? What they say about her, her skills, interests, abilities, income level, all the socio-economic crap we get buried under, as opposed to my cheap generic foot coverings, multipurpose plain which means that they are good for everything but really good at nothing. You cannot be all things to all people and a shoe cannot be all things on one foot.

What leads a person to make the moves, choices in life that allow her to afford those?

Why do I end up making the wrong choices or what feels like the wrong choices certainly, over and over, looking back, all shot to shit, my lifeview widening as I move away from the now, all the choices I rejected, by design or misinformation or hidden agenda or need for approval, a river of choices, and back to the now, tunnel vision staring at a pair of shoes on someone else's feet on a sad, foggy evening.

The Shoez: The Mighty Have Fallen Arches

We're sick of this, of being locked away in the dark. She never does anything, goes anywhere anymore. Our lives are just so much drudgery, so drab. How do we get her out? It's not that she's being recalcitrant or in a state of flux or surly, it's just that... It's just that...

Aw hell, we're bored.

We can't go anywhere without her and she doesn't take us with her. We'd be happy even if she threw us the proverbial bone by throwing us in a bag and in the car, took us out of this box, out of this closet, got us closer to the light of day or maybe please, please, oh please, the dark of night.

We live for dark of night, seeing the headlights reflect off our gleam, watching cars come to a screeching halt at our glory, and then, when Venus and Mercury rise, sky tips from ink and turns us diamond bright, we live.

We want out.

After all we've done for her, ungrateful chit, how we protected her, advised her and avenged her, what do we get? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Which proves we have to take charge, take care of us same as we take care of her, remind her we are here for her, all she has to do is look down and we'll take her out of herself, kick open the gate on that new life she's been mooning over. All she has to do is look down.

Only if she looks down now, she won't see us, not hidden in this box behind a stack of other boxes and bags and reject sweaters and gifts from pricks who aren't worthy of being stilettoed by our perfect heels.

Why? Why are we buried? Are we more demons and memories she can't acknowledge, another Bad Place she can't revisit? Why?

Only way to know is to get out and confront her. She never liked confrontation, but it's honest, it's true, and it's so much easier on the heart than avoidance and duplicity and sarcasm. If we wiggle a bit, a bit more, a little bit more, more.


oops. Damn. Still buried. Well, she sees this mess, she'll have to clean it up and once she sees us again, we'll slide onto those elegant painted toes and figure out what's what. We will. She won't deny us, not after all we've done for her.

Now, we wait.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

idle thoughts or perhaps idol thoughts

anagrams: have you ever played with words? noticed tonight, again, that sacred is scared. does that which awes us frighten us?

guess so.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Midnight Oil

The copter flies over again.
Past midnight, is it looking for my life?
The real one, not the one I'm leading.
It's back, wondering what I'm doing and what's going to happen next because
I don't know.
I didn't write the script.
I didn't even see the chapter outline.
Too silent now, whirring blades sucked the night noises after them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Project 6

Maybe the disarray was a warning. Yes, that was it. He'd sent her a message.

"Why do you keep them like that? It makes no sense and it takes so much time and you need a bigger case the way you sort them."

"You know I need everything ordered for my personal feng shui."

"Feng shui is room arranging, not jewelry or sock arranging."


"Say what?"

"They're alphabetic."

"By what? Color, designer, by who gave it to you? Because I swear, it looks way random ass to me, on this side of the equation."

"By stone or metal. See, the jade and next the onyx and the topaz. The metals are gold, silver, rhodium plated, titanium."

"Oh, I see! Amethyst, beryl, coral, diamond, I get it! That's pretty cool, now that you explained it. I bet no one else in the world does it like that."

The stones, they were grouped by color, and the plain hoops by size.

"Only you! That is so hot. You're a demented genius."

"Thank you. It's a carry over from my day job. I alphabetize my files, too." She winked at him.

"Yeah, but you do it by source, not by client."

"Works for me. Means no one else can access my files without me knowing."

Without me knowing. He wanted her to know.

"Suppose I put the garnet over here and the jasper over there? Then what?"

"Don't you dare! It'll freak me out."

"Just messing with you. You know I'd never hurt you. Ever. I know how you get when things are mixed up, how you have to put them right. I love you. I love your crazy brain."

He loved her crazy brain enough to warn her. She paused. Was the mess a warning or was it a message, too? Was there a second meaning in the disorder or was it just telling her to get out? How did he have them? What was the pattern? She had to remember how he'd mixed them.

She had to go back. She couldn't, but she had to know. She circled the lake and headed back to the home she used to know.

Flamingos? Why Does It Have to be Flamingos?

One flamingo, two flamingo, three flamingo, four...
How many flamingos does one person need, particularly if that person lives north of the Mason-Dixon line and not in a trailer park?
How many flamingos, indeed?
Please sir, I want some more.
Some more of those slim, long legged pink things, so sexy standing there, one foot twined around the calf of the other, rubbing it suggestively.
How many flamingos does it take to satisfy a craving for kitsch?

True Story:

We wandered the carnival, sun still up, ground not yet muddy, baby wide-eyed in her stroller.

"C'mon over here, win the little lady a bear! C'mon over, gentlemen, you can do it! Getcha little girl a bear! Just five dollars for three shots, getcha little girl a bear!"

C and G walked over to the barker. The counter held four sets of milk bottles, each set consisting of ten bottles stacked in a pyramid formation. The barker waved an air rifle at the guys.

"Only five dollars for three shots! Knock the bottles off the counter and win the baby a bear! Getcha little girl a bear!"

C looked at the pyramids and picked up the air rifle. "Three shots for five dollars? Gotta knock all the bottles off the counter and then we get a bear? Which bear? That itsy one?" He held it to his eye and checked the sight, aiming the front down.

"Or anything else the momma sets her heart on! I don't have no ordinary prizes here. Gimme a minute to get the rest out. This is a quality booth, great stuff for the little girl! I got here a penguin and check out this horse and I got a flamingo and a whale..."

Flamingo? Did he say flamingo?

"Lemme see the flamingo." He reached under the counter and held up a fix foot tall flamingo, bright pink, wearing a top hat, red bow tie and black high heels. He set it on the far edge of the counter and put a clip on it so he could hang it. I love it.

I took the baby out of her stroller and showed her the stuffy. "Look honey, it's a flamingo!" I turn to the guys. "I want that flamingo. Baby wants that flamingo. Get us that flamingo."

The barker smiles and lights a cigarette. "Ya gotta play to win, men. Which one of you gentlemen is going to win the little ladies that flamingo?"

C pulls out a five dollar bill and puts it on the counter. "I have to knock all the bottles off? All ten? Not just down, but off?"

"Yessir, off the counter. Win the baby a big flamingo! You're a big guy, you can do it!" I put the baby on the flamingo's back. She pats its head, grabs the bow tie and sucks on it. "Win the baby a flamingo, sir! Go on, do it!"

C settles the air rifle against his shoulder. Blam! He misses.

"Honey, I want the flamingo!" C shrugs, picks up the air rifle again. Blam! Nothing.

The barker smiles. "One more shot, guys. You gotta aim at the bottles, right at them. Don't worry, lady, they'll get you that flamingo. He just has to get comfortable with the gun, get his balance so to speak. One more shot, gentlemen."

C picks up the air rifle, sights it and sighs. He passes it to G. "Here, you take a shot. I just can't get it. Besides, it's your kid."

"Honey, baby really, really, really wants that flamingo. I want that flamingo. You have to win us that flamingo. Please, pretty please." I put my head next to baby's and flutter my eyelashes.

"It's tough. C already missed twice. These carnival games...." G shakes his head. "They're all rigged anyway, you know that. Why don't we just go down to Wally World and I'll buy you one?"

"I want that flamingo. That one, with the top hat and the red bow and the heels," using my most murderous, ‘you ain't getting anything else for the rest of your life tone'. "That one. You understand me? Capice?"

The barker smiles even more. "I have specials. Since the lady has her heart set on that flamingo and I know it's tough, not just getting the bottles down, but you gotta get them off, too,I'll do you guys a favor. I'll let you have eight shots for ten dollars, instead of six, or for fifteen dollars, I'll give you twenty chances. That's double! What do you say, gentlemen? Wanna get some insurance?"

C frowns. "We still have one shot left, right? It's okay that I give it to my buddy here? I don't seem to be having any luck, that's fer sure."

"Absolutely, sir, you let your friend go ahead and take a shot."

G lifts the air rifle and lays it across the palm of his hand. He runs his fingers along the shaft and grip. Flips it around in his had and points it down, narrowing his eyes as he checks the truing. He steps back and shakes his head. "I dunno, honey. This thing... Hell, instead of wasting money here, it's gonna cost a hunnert dollars easy, we could just go across the street. Besides, don't we need to do groceries?"

"I want that flamingo. You hear me?"

"Okay, then, here goes nothing." He raises the gun to his shoulder, closes one eye and then the other. "Here goes." He squeezes the trigger.

The bottles roll off the counter. All of them.

The barker stares. "But, but, but..."

"The flamingo, please." He pushes it towards me. G takes baby off its back and kisses her. I take the flamingo and put it in the stroller, upside down. I tie the feet up around the handle. "What my baby wants, my baby gets."

C pats him on the back. "Good job, guy. What was that championship pin you got last year? Or did you get two?"

"Last year, two. First in handguns, third in rifle. And I was top ten in black powder."

"You the man!"

"Get the fuck out of my booth," the barker says and slams the curtains down on the booth.

"Can we go home now? This thing is huge."

"You wanted it, deal. Besides, the carnival's only been open for fifteen minutes, we can't leave yet. We gotta have us some funnel cake and one of those big ole onion things. Us boys is hungry from all that shootin' and huntin' and killin' we had to do for you."

"Okay, then, we'll stay." Baby grabbed one of the flamingo's feet and chewed it.

New Project 5

"We go over hills, too."


"No, really, the sum is greater-"

"Stop it. Enough."

"The sum is greater than the whole of its parts," she finishes quickly and sits, quiet, for a few minutes. "I'm hungry."

"That's because something is eating you. What have you done now that it all pours right back out of you? What do you have that isn't yours, that you can;t keep?"

She doesn't answer, just gets up and goes to the lavoratory and locks the door.

"I know you're hiding something. I know you're not telling me the truth. It'll eat you and it'll keep eating you until you come clean. Lies are a tapeworm." He hears her vomit and flush.

New Project 4

Only a few more days and then it would be over. She'd get to pass the baton to the next unsuspecting victim. She was so tired, but the others, who had carried the burden for so much longer, for years even, who'd slept with it, ate it, endured it, without complaining, so her little piece, insignificant except to her, although they'd told her every piece was significant, each piece as important as the others, the sum greater than the total of its parts, so tired that armageddon, it all come tumbling down, boom, tra la la boom, didn't scare her.

There! By the back door! She hurried over and the gnarled fingers of a clown grabbed her wrist, nails biting into it. "Where is it? I want it."

"You? You're not the one."

"Like you know who the one is? You wouldn't know the one if he kicked you in the arse. You wouldn't know the one if he kicked you in the teeth and branded his footprint on your forehead. Gimme! It's mine."

"No, can't, go away!"


"You had your chance, now scat!"

"Mine! Mine!"

She kicked the haggard troll in the shins, but it wouldn't let go of her wrist. It pulled her closer, clasped her other hand and twisted her arm behind. It smiled with only half its mouth, the smile made even more distorted by the red lipstick smears on its face. Hissing, split tongue-surgery? accident? god's design alternative? tickled her nostrils, then licked her jawline. Caffeine breath choked her.

"Bitch. You'll see. You and your precious. Think you'll turn into a princess, all turn out happy ever after? You think it's all good, that you'll get your big, fat, just rewards? Oh you'll get rewarded, bitch. Fool. You'll get what you deserve all right, you will.

"You'll end up like me." It let go of her hands and disappeared into the foliage. "You'll see, bitch. You'll see..." echoed after the clown troll.

New Project 3

She looked up from her supper. "You know, the real reason I never told anyone about you, about us, is because if it turned out you were just make believe, that I was the only one who could see you, like I see the bedbugs, crawling things all over my skin making pretty patterns like Maori tattoos, then no one would laugh at me just because they couldn't see it too."

"But I am real."

"So you say. Can you prove it?"

"No. Proving it is just more make believe, I expect."

"Yes." She took another bite of her meatloaf. "Yes, just more make believe, more Alice through the looking glass. Poof. Smoke signals only I can see. Poof."

"Huh. well, can you pass the ketchup anyway, even if I am a figment? This meatloaf is awful dry."


"No, just the ketchup. Thanks."


"Do they itch?"

"Does what itch?"

"The Maori bedbugs?"

New Project 2

"Don't be angry at me. I can't keep up, but don't be mad at me about it. It's not my fault, it's just the way I am. I can't help it. The world is made up of people like me, people who can't keep up no matter what they do and people who wear the wrong necklace but won't change it because the chains are blowing on the hangars and most of all, people who hide under the beds because they're afraid to poke their heads out or they're too afraid to get out of bed even to get under it or turn on the light because whatever it is that's out there is just to scary even to get out so they'd rather lay there with the covers up over their heads until they suffocate but don't hold that against me, it's just not my fault!"

She stood there, hyperventilating, and stamped her foot again. "Don't blame me, I can't help it, I can't, if the light is out somewhere and it makes monsters on the ceiling! I can't, I can't, I can't, I tell you!

"There are so many layers of fear in this onion we inhabit and when you pick one layer off, there's another layer, ready to stink up on you and send you right back to whatever misery you were trying to escape, right back there!

"Besides, my bed smells funny. That's why I don't want to be in it, that's why I don't want to sleep anymore ever. So can I come with you, while you look for whatever it is you're looking for? I'm not brave at all. I'm afraid of everything. I'm even afraid of the sparks from the telly, but anywhere, anytime has to be better than here.

"I'll trade it. I'll trade it for a new fear, I will. Yes, I know I've lived with these fears for years, for my whole life even, they're really old friends, familiar fears, but they're getting worse. They're trying to climb in now, at night, and I'm too scared to shut the window so I guess it might be time to trade them in for a new fear.

"Please take me along. Please. I won't be any bother. Please.

"Don't leave me!

"Don't leave me!

"Don't leave me! Don't, don't, don't..."

"Alright then, fine, you can come along, but you must be quiet. We're on mission."

"Until we find Ekaterina? Until we find out what happened and why?"

"We don't talk or sing or name names at all. We don't laugh, either. If you can deal with that, fine, come along. I'm not going to leave you with the tree shadows, not when you're like this."

"They turn into things, into snakes and binders and things. Don't make fun of me."

"I'm not cruel. I said you could come. Okay, maybe a little cruel, but not much. Oh damn, that's why your bed stinks! You pissed yourself! Damn! You didn't even get up for that?"

"Too scared. And that's not true, I never wet my bed, not since I was a kid."

"Look at your legs."


"Your problem, not mine, except you can't get in my car like that. Come on, change up."

"I'll be fast. Thank you."

"Don't thank me. I don't know where we're going."

"Anywhere is better than here."

New Project

Her first time at this kind of event and it wasn't going exactly as she'd hoped, but then, she hadn't actually been at the event, she'd only been at the final gathering to collect the notes of support for the lucky recipient.

She'd even written one herself. "So sorry for your troubles. It'll all work out in the end. You'll see. Have faith. That's why we're here. That's why Prayer exists." And she'd signed her name. Just a scrap of paper, the words stark as tattoos on a virgin's backside.

Then she saw it.

Gathering the notes which had been laid out across the whole room, each individual prayer on ledger paper, business card, torn margins from shopping lists, covering the floor of this converted chapel, the single and double masked forms joined in one last hymn. They collected the prayers carefully, which would be passed on to whomever it was that had requested Prayer's assistance. She looked down and saw that familiar handwriting, the ultra-fine Rapidograph ink harsh against the lined notebook paper.

"I understand. I've been there, too. This will help you achieve in your own multiverse whatever you are meant to achieve, and then you can transport it over to this version of time/space. If you didn't endure what you did then, you wouldn't be learning what you are now." Ekaterina.

Ekaterina. That wasn't his name. There was no way she could be wrong about that handwriting, but that wasn't his name. She had to read it again, sneak the prayer out of the chapel and reread it, be absolutely sure. Closing her eyes, slipping the prayer into her sleeve where it burned her arm, she took a deep breath and blinked. Ekaterina.

Quiet does not make the heart grow fonder

Where have I been?
Not to London to visit the queen.
Not just playing Farmville.
Not just out, riding my ass off, watching the odometer click away.
Not just hondling, trying to raise money for MS.
Not just dealing with the IRS [Have you seen all the changes?]
but working on this...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Assorted Haikus

One: First, do no harm.
Easier said than done. It
bleeds touch, breath, sight.

Rule two: All else is
commentary. Smoke, mirrors
tricks and slight of hand.

Three: It will all work
out. How? When? In my lifetime?
Clock is tick, tick, tick....

In all this, silence.
Refuse to engage, answer.
Guilt, wisdom or fear?

Can I borrow a
cup of sugar, book, scissors,
someone else's life?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Rime of the Ancient Bicyclist

See! Here! I have an
albatross upon my head.
Not only there, but
around my neck, too,
squeezing the breath out...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vera Told Me...

Small. Ordinary. But that woman promised it would change her life,
remove the worries, prevent the clenched teeth marks on the calendar, soak up the fears.
Oh yes, soak up the fears.
That woman promised.
After the last time, never again.
He promised, too, but he lied.
“It’s my right.”
“You promised.”
“I’m your husband.”
“You prom-”
A black eye settled that discussion.
She fingered the innocuous foam cushion.
Insignificant. Soft. How could it?
Would it?
Would he...
Dear God, let it be so.
Dear God, I’ve tried and I’ve tried and the priests can’t help or they don’t help and I’m doing what I can. I’m doing my best, God, every day, just trying to get by, I am. I swear I am.
Dear God, how much can I thin the soup before it’s not soup, before it’s colored water and salt?
Dear God, forgive me, but it’s a smaller sin, much smaller, it must be, isn’t it, God?
Dear God, please don’t let it hurt.
Dear God, please let that woman be telling the truth. So many lies I been told, lies and lies on top of lies, rubbish piled up where the trash collector don’t go because even he’s scared of being here long enough to give it a proper sweep.
Dear God, how can this be wrong?
“Momma? Momma, you alright in there?”
“Oh, sweetie, momma’s fine. Just give me another minute or two.”
Dear God, let this cup pass them. Please let my girls grow up safe and whole and, dear God, may they never know what I’ve done.
“Momma? We’re hungry, momma. Can I make tea?”
“Right, love, put the kettle on. And take out the jam. We’ll have a bit of jam on our biscuits tonight, won’t we, lovey? Yeah, that’s a good girl. I’ll be right out. Thank ye for minding the little ‘uns. Now, let’s all have a wash up and then we’ll have our tea. Yes, you can put a teaspoon of jam in the tea. we’ll have us a little party, now, won’t we? Just lovely.”

It’s Better to Light a Candle than Curse the Dark-Or is it?

She’s lost time. Here, in her box, her special place, there is no clouded noon or sequined night, no visual clue of the natural rotation of the Earth, no calendars with little boxes filled up in runes and hieroglyphics, then ‘X’ed to note another day completed. Not that it matters, how she, herself, marks another day down, another day counted out in this latest cycle. If she doesn’t count, does she count? If she stays in here, where there is no time, does it stop?

There are signs any passerby could remark on, verifying that time has passed, that she’s changed in these months, but not how many or how few grains have trickled or whether the grains running through that narrow opening are salt, sugar, sand or nuclear pellets.

Only her Master knows that.

Master knows everything about her. Master tells her on a need to know basis what day it is, or if it’s time to sleep or eat or drink the luscious soup exclusively prepared for her. Master controls her because she is inexperienced and ignorant of all things and she likes that, not having to think, only having to react. As long as she listens to Master, everything will be fine.

That’s what everyone tells her: listen to Master and it’ll all be fine, it’ll all be okay.

So why did Master leave those matches? This box was her dark place for resting and being, just breathing. In, out, in, out, breathe breathe breathe. Are they to tempt her or encourage her? She can light one and see, but does Master want her to see? Besides, what is there to see? The only thing in the box is her. Does Master want her to ignore the matches, continue in her self-imposed darkness?

She turns around and wraps her arms around her knees. She rests her head on her forearms, trying to find a spot where the pressure on her ulna won’t hurt. When she had hair, long, thick strands of hair, it padded her head. Master took away her hair and flesh, leaving her bony and hairless, spare and beautiful. A distillation, granite after the artist chisels away the parts that impinge his vision. Master is a laser perfecting her every cell.

She lights a match, but blows it out after she sees the bruises, the purple splotches that never heal. Did Master want that, want her to see? The box helps her pretend them gone. It’s easier if she waits in the dark. A few more months and the pretending, the box, the rules will all be gone.

She smiles. She is so tired. Master wants her to sleep. She lights another match. It burns where she used to have fingernails. Master took those, too, because she used to scratch and gouge herself trying to get to the bugs crawling underneath, fire ants and beetles and even tiny lizards frilling their throats and swishing their tails. They lived in the fat layer between her muscle and her skin.

Better purple bruises and naked fingers and bald scalp than the vomit, oh god, the vomiting, and the nasties and the trails of hair falling behind her like breadcrumbs leading her to a place that is no longer home, outside the box, a place her body visits while she waits for Master’s voice to say, “It’s time, Aimee. Come.”

She lights a third match. It flickers. She pulls it close to her face, trying to focus, then puts it out in her mouth.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


It's still there.
Over two years and the markers are still there.
I know. I see them, get that queasy feeling when I pass and see fresh flowers teddy bears ribbons
on those three little white crosses lighting up the median.
Not everyone sees.
Those flashing lights, they saw too late. More flowers next week.

please see earlier posts, click on the labels below

Tears are Salt Rain

When you cry, voiceless
How can I? What do I? [deep breath]
You rip my heart out,
Chasing yours, trying, wanting
anything to be your net.

Monday, August 31, 2009

RCA Victor Warning Label: Caveat Canem

Beware the blunted needle- beware the Jabberwock!
A blunted or chipped needle
a chipped tooth? A needle already used? Draw the blood up, into yourself
can permanently damage your can permanently damage you
most valuable records lock box! lock down! safehouse!
A worn needle no sharing, please
will impair what won’t impair? What substance abuse won’t impair?
the quality of the sound reproduction
quality of life, corrupt DNA now infinitely spiraling off
you hear you hear nothing! You can’t even hear your own heartbeat-
Make sure your needle is in good condition how? How if you don’t test it?
Put the point to flesh and prick skin? How? Drysuit contaminent biohazard fears
before you play just pass the j, pass the blow, pass the horse
the record there are no records subrosa no trace no shadow man following
If in doubt all there is, is doubt have it checked
by the hatcheck girl who holds the bag for the puppet chest of wannabees in their fedoras
by your dealer NUFF SAID
or buy a new needle.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

They banned kites.
‘Too distracting to vehicular traffic' as it careens down onto the Belt Parkway.
But once upon, the sky was a crayola pastiche.
Laying here, at the end of nowhere, two Japanese box kites dance,
the cherry blossoms framing their tails, sky so close.
Smaller here, at the Gardens, bits and pieces of scent hover, gardenia, roses, rot, heavy.
How do the kites stay up in the hevy air?
Before they had an ocean. Swallows, diamonds and yes the ubiquitous Japanese box kites,
elaborate flying machines lost in a blue so big the steamers passing underneath were toys.
Curlicue tails tickle me, wrap around my big toe and sink their teeth in.
I hold the tendrils, up here, where I can touch the roof of the world and mourn the finite space below

Grammatically Incorrect

They string together as many adjectives, adverbs, helping verbs, subordinate clauses as they can, hoping to make something, anything, that looks like something, anything from the hollow insides, polysyllabic language and twisted metaphor masquerading as truth justice and the american way.
Obfuscation is cellophane, reversed order and pronouns unrelated to any noun, proper, concrete, common, abstract or otherwise, earlier or later mentioned.
It's the emperor's new clothes.
If they read it, can they understand it?
If they can't understand it, will they give it an award?
If they give it an award, will it go in an anthology?
If it goes in an anthology, will it be revered by the ages?
If it is revered by the ages, will they read it? Does it matter if it says nothing?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Ellis Amber-Eyes stares out,
little girl lost in a bed of poppies
perchance to sleep, perchance to dream.
The Scarecrow and the Tinman
Brainless and Heartless, leave her there.

How could anyone be so stupid, leaving a child alone, unprotected
in a world of backed up sewage and mold encrusted corners?
How could anyone be so cruel, leaving a child alone, unprotected
trails of candy and lost kitties to be found?

But Ellis Amber-Eyes, smooths the grassy knoll, lays herself down in the poppies,
thick scent cozy tucked up to her chin.
She won't remember her dreams.

If she's lucky.


I wonder. Is that arrogance, for me to wonder?
Is it?
Am I so self-important, so self-righteous that I dare to wonder?
Because I do not wonder
quaking in my seat
tongue buckshot riddled to useless
arms and hands and fingers spasming in envy desire to hold their own
legs tense, feet squelching invisible mud in glee.
No, I do not wonder, feeling any of that.
I do not wonder ‘awesome'

I wonder, what's the point?
Are you trying to con me with gussied up plastic filigree flatware?
So yes, I am presumptuous, insolent, puffed up.
I am proud, drunk on my own oxygen laden blood cells.
I'll hold my words against yours, raise an eyebrow in disdain and walk away, thinking,

Every Breath You Take

Hummingbird heartbeats,
same beats as mine, that's word count.
Four, three, two, one. TIME!

My Right Foot

My third toe, right foot,
It's name is Bill. It still moves
any way I want.
But one day, maybe
soon, or not, it won't.


He struts, shakes his pompadour back, preening, I think.
I can't be sure because he's so far away
but it looks like preening to me anyway.
Last time I saw him,
He was biting her neck, hard,
while he bent her over, spread her legs with his knees and fucked her.
She didn't say a word, just stared out into nothing,
and after, staggered away, numb, perhaps bemused by the experience.
Now, he preens,
makes himself pretty for another one.
"Hi, have we met, you sure are cute, anything you want, I can get you.
Why don't you come over here?" and wham!
Another one. Another notch in his asshole belt.
I sit here, sipping my tea, watching out the window.
Ducks aren't so different from people

Thursday, August 6, 2009

so i started ANOTHER blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Poster Poser

Hamelech glitters
but is really just a piece
of painted cardboard.


The world is becoming a ghost town
jobs families homes towns,
all sinking back into the sand that castles are made from.
Moon comes closer, pulls waves high onto the shore and steals it back.
Holding flotsam, praying for salvage treasure, praying to be salvage treasure,
out and out and out.
Dreams turn into chum,
sharks chew the last little bit of flesh and crunch the bones.

Biting the Apple

It's a cold feeling, not knowing, a cold that starts in the marrow,
leaches out through the skin and leaves a glistening stink of ‘maybe' behind it.
Holding the unknown between two fingers, holding it like a rattler,
just below the jawline,
so it can't bite but close enough to count the venom drip drip drip.
It spins, clicks against the table,
so small it fits comfortably in the palm of a hand.
Deceptive size.
How can anything that tiny, that insignificant, that disposable
take away everything you thought you ever knew about anything?
If it disappeared, sliding between fingers,
coming out of ears and pockets and going in again,
suddenly flying across the room to bury itself in the trash, abracadabra,
could time turn back into before?
But it boomerangs, bringing evil ignorance and the end of bliss, and now,
genie out of the lamp like a long overdue electric bill,
everything is dark.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer of Our Discontent

She is bronze, no not the color.
The age, the age of bronze, more advanced than stone,
needles and fishing baskets and barley and survival,
and less so than iron,
steel tools and sharp edges and brittle armor and violence.
The curve of her spine,
that indent where the sweat pooled when she lay there, prone,
summertime, the sleek, sweet saltiness of her flesh,
contrasting with the advanced synthetic scraps
which kept her from being arrested on charges of public nudity.
That was bronze.
And I loved her, loved my bronze age girl,
with her pinniped roughness made to cut through waves with minimal resistance to touch,
occasional brush of my arm, hairs erecting as they come near her,
electric hungry for congress.
She is bronze, melting copper, beautiful tooled leather and horses pulling rudimentary ploughs,
settlements, overseas trade in the hot Aegean sun, bronze.
Bent over her drawing table, rulers, pencils, t-squares and protractors at hand,
all simple tools, or weapons, depending on how you looked at them,
smudges of charcoal and cray-pas on her cheekbones and brow, entranced.
She is that in-between age which is all things possible, 360 degrees available,
no roads shut and she takes an eraser and removes a fractured line which is me.
She is bronze
and now, I am invisible

Fragments of the Future

She could see it, staring up at the sun, fragments of a future silhouetted against the swirling orange light.

Not a waltz or a promenade, how trite those would be. Everyone saw their future or past as moments of glory or fame, but not her. Instead, she saw them turn, walk, reach out with splayed hands, their fingertips close enough to feel the air currents pass between them.

Nothing special. Her visions were ordinary, routine, every day mundane. Kissing her shoulder while she washed the dishes, the search for keys lost in a pile of mail or putting down his hex wrench to watch her type, oblivious to anything except her own words.

Fragments of a future they were cheated of by an oil slick and a rusty 92 Civic.

She saw it until they shut her eyes and zipped her in.

Watching a Train Wreck

I try not to look but it draws me in like a train wreck draws EMTs and polyester wearing lawyers looking for a quick buck. My eyes pass over them. Keep going, I say, keep going, it's not your place, it's none of your business, just keep going and SNAP! They're back, wondering what the hell that woman is doing for that $100 bill tucked in her shirt pocket, sitting there with her hands on his hips and his pants around his ankles.

Maybe she's taking his measurements for a new pair of trousers, a custom made suit, neon green with pink checked accents to offset the lines of his mohawk just so.

Maybe she's rotating his arms, legs, torso so he'll achieve the perfect stance in his Pilates series, balance and breathing aligned to optimize the transfer of oxygen to the blood cells and increase muscle strength and flexibility.

Or maybe she just finished blowing him and she's going to wipe her mouth on the hem of his shirt.

I dunno, but I can't stop looking and I'm afraid my eyes are going to freeze there and shatter.


Silent ‘I love you's
so many. You follow them,
shimmers and shadows.

They might as well be
crumbs eaten by birds,I sigh.
That's fine, you tell me.

I already know
my way home. I know inside.
The crumbs are extra.

Going Down

"We consistently have more job openings than graduates to fill them."

She put down the newspaper and sighed. She consistently had more openings than graduates to fill them, too, these days.

Orlando's contracting economy and rapidly rising unemployment rate had hit the ‘sin market' as hard as it had hit everything else, if not harder. When money was tight, people became tightfisted and if that fist was tightly holding onto some guy's own dick, then he wasn't going to let go to reach into his own pocket and pull out a C note for her services, was he?

Well, it wasn't the first time she'd made a career change and it probably wouldn't be the last. Soon as she filed her continuing education credits, she'd renew her license and, if she wanted, go back to her old job at ORMC as the ICU head nurse. Her mama didn't raise no stupid chilluns.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heritage of Ashes

Once upon a time, there were two little girls who had little curls right in the middle of their foreheads, past their shoulders, streaming down their backs.

Once upon a time, but that was then, this is now and the birds took the curls to insulate their nests and make them beautiful for the baby birdies,

So the little girls wore wigs of blue and orange and green and red.

Except when they didn't, when their bald heads got too hot or itchy or they wanted to make a fashion statement of some sort or other or they just didn't feel like it anymore.

The little girls grew up to be just like their mommy with long necks and sloping shoulders from too much grief and jutting hip bones where the fat melted away, Holocaust thin.

Just alike.

Except one little girl had deep shadows between the breasts the doctors built and the other had just one, she didn't care if she was lopsided because to her it was a truth not stranger than the fiction of her sister's perky, youthful-for-eternity, what will the archaeologists of the future say about the silicone sacks nestled on her ribs, tits.

Once upon a time, a BRCA1 gene was passed down...

Crowns and Kings

He'd worked on the molding for months, selecting the trims, miter box, glues, stains, prepping the walls and joins, measuring twice and cutting once. His deft fingers slid the last few pieces into place as smoothly as they'd once slid into her.

Standing in the empty doorframe, empty despite having lived there for over two years, empty despite her entreaties for a door, a door with a proper latch so they could shut the world away for a few hours, empty because it wasn't a priority for him, not like the molding or the wainscoting or the inlaid parquet flooring, empty because it just never got done. She wondered why he bothered wearing the gold band on his fourth finger where it sometimes snagged nails, springs, wiring and long ago, her flesh.

He leaned back, tilted his head to check the alignment of the trim and nodded, pleased with his handiwork. "Look, honey, the trim's done. Could you get me the sealant? It'll save me having to climb up and down. Honey? Please? Honey?" But the only answer to his entreaties was silence.


I want to see you
fall down mountains, climb valleys
simply being you.


Fingers down the throat
He vomits dreams, wants to lose
one more pound. Just one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome Home, Love

May 18, 1993 at 2:18 am Emily Alexis

June 17,2009 at 10:15 am Luke David

Welcome to the world, sweetheart.

Shards of Glass

Walking on shards of glass
walking to the end of the world
the end of all worlds, end of time, end of ends.
Walk on broken feet, lacerated flesh, bloody stumps on naked bone
and then crawl on flayed knees, shredded hands, suicide wrists, supoku belly
inch by inch, go on until you stop.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Size 5-1/4

My fingers are bare.
Last ring, one I gave myself, passed on, leaving a sun mark
other ring marks faded, the callous of my wedding band long gone
only ring left, a toe ring given by my three year old, to hold while she used a Phillips head
so long ago my flesh has grown over it, sealing it to my foot
I wear gloves to cover my nakedness.


Full moon shadows me
Ride the stairs, spin, spray mud. Joy.
Gear up, climb the light

Connections Lost and Found

You never forget what you were doing
forget date, time, place, even actual event
but the personal peripheral brands into synapses, distorts them
I thought I was in love
when the Challenger exploded, raining microscopic debris
Mt. St. Helens ashes
Martin gunpowder
Treblinka dust
I thought I was in love, standing there, trying to catch snowflakes on my tongue
but they were soap bubbles, sour on my palate.

Tic tic tic

Eight thirty-seven
Plane so close. Why? That's not right
Still coming in. It's

Time Bandit

If I could capture color or time or anything at all, anything
every bucket is a sieve, tighter mesh, faster gone.
If I could hold just one thing, a shadow, hint
fences trap the outside out
If I could remember something, one true thing, before it left me
I'd blow the sands of hope from my palm to join dandelion spores as they spiral away.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season. Here in Central Florida, where hurricanes never hit, it's a phrase that provokes yawns and perhaps some gloating over the coastal inhabitants who routinely are evacuated to the general environs of the Happiest Place on Earth.

Until I moved here and my life fell apart.

For more than forty years, no hurricane had traversed either I4 or the Turnpike, but that year, the year I realized my carefully constructed world had crumbled, a Class 4 hurricane flew right up I4, detoured onto 417 East and blew the roofs off homes within an eight-mile radius of the house I lived in. Not my home, not even my house, but merely "the house I lived in" and please don't argue semantics with me. Please.

All around, there were trees uprooted, power lines down, pool screens adrift like giant dragonflies, buildings turned to rubble and the house I lived in, that despised place which had seen the apocalypse, that place built to the latest hurricane code, circa 1998 post Andrew, even that new construction sitting in the eye of the storm, suffered obvious damage.

Let's not discuss the damage inside, which was just that, inside and invisible. But the external, well, there is no such thing as coincidence.

The walls separated from the floor, the house tried to rip itself off its moorings, disown the earth, and join the merry mishmash spinning skyward. The northeast corner of the house flooded, water seeping, flowing, gushing as the crack grew.

That corner? The master bedroom suite sits in that corner, the northeast corner.

It flooded and became unusable, which was fine, as it hadn't been used for anything except fitful sleeping, hugging the far side of the bed, as far away from possible accidental contact with anyone else who might be there as possible. The only lovemaking in that bed was between me and fear.

Hurricane season spun me around and spat me out the other side.

For which I am grateful.

Because years later, during another hurricane season when there were no hurricanes but only a symphony of tropical storms and lightening strikes, so much wet in that not-hurricane season, I found myself in a new home with a bedroom in the southwest corner, facing rosy coral sunsets, a room which seems destined for everything except sleep, a room where the torrid nights are inspired by the maelstrom outside and not the other way around.

I rejoice in that room which keeps me close, encourages me to dance in the rains, the same rains which poured down my prison bars years earlier and then blew them apart. I stand outside, now, stand there in the downpour, counting the seconds of the flash, wondering what this year will bring.

I'm not afraid now.

I'll never be afraid again.

Hurricane season: it destroys. And I rebuild.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Separation Anxiety

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder
Well, perhaps, for some, for persons wiser than I
Not me
Too many absences from my life to add another
Expect I'd be used to it, absences
Gaps in my life like spaces in a bookshelf,
where the adjoining books fall over, spread out, trying to fill in
They don't
The shadow is still there, pulling me, reminding me something once...
How do I ignore what isn't there?

Maybe they were talking about absinth

Modern Art

They were your typical, pretentious, artsy-fartsy devotees of the oeuvre, given to hyperbole and polysyllabic vocabulary such as senescent, canard and effluvia, which they used but didn't necessarily know the meaning of, nodding their heads in agreement or cocking them to one side to show deep consideration of the opinion expressed, before either nodding or arguing the opposite most vociferously, even if they didn't sincerely hold that view but enjoyed the questionable glee of playing devil's advocate or dogged supporter.

They drank double espressos, smoked cigarillos, not cigarettes which kill [besides, cigarillos cost at least three times as much as Camels, so they must be better], shopped at Zabar's, Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca but never, ever set foot in a regular supermarket or mass market retailer. They had the nanny or the housekeeper pick up toilet paper and canned goods at Target, pronounced Tar-jay, and carry the purchases up in a recyclable bag with the bull's-eye logo.

Milling around the gallery, sipping Chardonnay and nibbling brie encrusted with cranberries on multigrain crackers, snatching rumaki [so retro it's chic!] or spanakopita from paper lace covered trays, they exclaimed, gazing at the epiphanic work of the exhibit:

That streak of white-it speaks to me.
So evocative of Pollack.
The whole scenario, it's, it's, it's the Vagina Monologues writ loud.
See where the artist channels Gentileschi right there.
I can't get enough. Sweetheart, do you think it'll fit on the library wall, if we clear all the furniture out so there's room for the piece to be properly appreciated?
I've followed her since she was a student at Pratt.

Buzz, buzz, buzzword. The critics were in their glory, pandering to each other, upping the ante with each glowing phrase.

Then the artist entered, frowned, and removed the buckets.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Even after it's fixed, there's a scar.
She'll always be aware of the scar
betrayed by it
afraid it will reopen.
She knows there is no logic to this
every scar she's ever had before healed imperfectly,
leaving fissures which caught on hangnails and velvet nap.
She crawls closer to the edge, then turns around.
Balm in Gilead might not complete the healing, might only soothe the pain
push it down to where its not slapping her in the face.
For now, that will do.
For now, that is a beginning.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dearly Not Yet Departed

sss sss sss that soft rasp...
Do I know you?
Do I know you any longer?
Grey tinged, hairless, curled,
skin breaking away in pieces, bedsores.
In the olden days, before medical interventions of extraordinary measures,
I'd have held a candle to your lips, waiting for the exhale, the last exhale,
the exhale that leaves the light burning.
In the olden days.
But now, I watch the monitors, blip-blip-blip, etching you on thin strips of green paper.
Kissing you, cool, dry, kissing you goodbye last night, tonight, and I think, tomorrow night, too.
The goodbye kisses will go on as long as there is paper to feed through the machine,
writing your long agos and maybe somedays and most of all, your nows in ink
that will be stored away, protecting someone somewhere from possible future liability issues.
I carry you, inhale your exhalation and the blue flames rise, guiding a chisel on granite.
It writes your name, but it doesn't write you.
I write you. I write you inside me. I write you.

Leaky Elbow

He stared at the notorious plumber's butt crack protruding from the man's jeans. The tattoo above that crack, rising from it, more common for a woman to have a flowery tramp stamp, but not unheard of for a man, shifted. He wondered if the flower snaked around to the front, and if it did, where it ended.

"I'll just give this another twist and you'll be all set." The man adjusted the wrench? plier? tooly-thingy-ma-jigger? and turned it gently. "Okay, that should hold it. Let me see here." The man wiped the join with a rag, then rubbed the rag on his cheek.

He wished he was a rag on that cheek.

"Nice and dry. No more problems with this here set of pipes. Now, it'll take me fifteen minutes or so to get that wall sealed back up and my tools packed away and you won't even know I was here."

He died a little then. The last thing he wanted was to not know the man had been here.

"You have any problems with this or any other fixture, you give me a call, here's my card, you stick that on your frigerator, I'll be over ASAP. Anything else you want me to look at long as I'm here? You're already paying for a service call." The man puttied the wonderboard back into place. "Rio, 1963-1987" danced on his bicep.

"You wait an hour or so, you paint over this. You want me to write it up now?" The man pulled an invoice set from his folder, entered a series of codes, totaled it on a pocket calculator. He ripped the top sheet off and handed it over. "Here. You can make a check out or call in a credit card. We take all the major cards."

The man bent over, revealing the flowers again, replacing his tools in the case. "You remember, ‘Trojan Plumbing Satisfies Every Time. No Job Too Big, No Job Too Small. We Clean Your Pipes and Fix Them All.'" The plumber extended his hand. "A pleasure, sir, a real pleasure. You have a nice day now and thank you for your business."

"Yes. A pleasure. Thank you for coming. Thank you." What he wouldn't give to see all the tattoos and piercings hiddden under that "Trojan Plumbing-No more drips, leaks or breaks!" tee shirt and jeans. What he wouldn't give...

That Smell

The shirt smells.
Clean, from the drawer, but it smells.
Chemicals, sweat, sulphur, decomposition.
Is it the water? The detergent?
Or the pack of animals with full time run of the house?
I slip it on and choke back bile.
Cigarette soaked hair smells better than this,
this not-scent of wet fur but something worse, far worse.
I scrub with bleach, but the damned smell won’t come out.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monkey Song

O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!
O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!
O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!
O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!

Guards chant.
The monkey priests process, swinging censors.
I look up at my friend, high up, hanging there.
Sun hurts my eyes.
Incense feels like bugs under my skin.
Greenman bleeds away, fertilizes arid land, dried up rivers.
Meat is butchered, doled out.
Pass it to me!
I want my share! Mine!
Smell of roasting meat, mouth waters.
The others, they glare at me, holding their skewers at the pit,
while I, starved, chew raw blessed flesh.
For another year, I will live.
Next year, it will be my turn.

Nota bene: Wizard of Oz, 1939: winkie guard chant

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Assorted Haiku, staring at the sun

Sun explodes. Eyes burn.
Soon, it will be dark. The sky
never light again.

Beloved, hold me.
You have to pull me because
I can’t push myself.

If I told you... If.
You say, “Your actions tell me
all I need to know.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rainbow in Drab

If there could be a worse choice, a sadder selection, she certainly didn't want to know what it was. Infinite spectrum beckons and to be forced onto the one path she dreaded, well, perhaps there was an ironic justice, a karmic balance in it, if she looked deep enough, but she didn't want to go there, remove the first tendrils of scab cheeseclothing across her wounds. Too much of her life had been wasted in sucking mud, paralysis a function of the plethora of ‘what ifs', everything coated with a thin layer of bleak, just enough to turn it to drab.

Drab is a color. It really is. It's a sort of greyish khaki, not a green or yellow khaki, a greyish khaki with goes with nothing, not even itself. Drab is her life.

She blew a smoke ring, watched it halo the moon. Angels have halos, so she'd been told, although she'd never seen one. The closest she'd come to seeing an angel was the man in the moon wearing a smoke ring, harbinger of death. Some people refer to nurses as angels, but she couldn't see the connection. Nurses dispensed pain, not painkillers. She blew another ring, another mist of drab.

Not making a decision is also a decision because, at some point, options disappear.

Can't find shoes in drab, she thought, unless you get them dyed to match and if I'm getting shoes dyed to match, I suppose I'm a step closer to dying, aren't I? Which isn't the worst thing in the world, not by far, not compared to what else is out there, to what she had already seen, felt, endured. The cigarette scorched her fingers and she stepped on the butt. Smoke danced with the dust motes, then seeped into the dark behind the moonlight.

Her only vice. Why give up the only pleasure left? Liquor made her heave, most foods did, too. Sex? She couldn't remember the last time she'd had anyone other than herself or her doctors manipulating her crotch. She pulled another out of the pack. My perfect friends, never asking, demanding, criticizing, a hot comfort in my lungs, the only part of me that isn't cancer riddled.

It was back. Or perhaps it had never left, despite what they'd told her, done to her. Back. Another full moon closer. She marked time by the moon, sun cycles were too long for her. Short term goals only now, no point in long term. Setting a long term goal was another sort of smoke ring, another fantasy she'd never fulfill.

She looked in, eyes closed, looked in at herself, at the only choice open so that it wasn't a choice at all, but a fait accompli, a non-choice, looked in to see if she could salvage anything from this shipwreck life that had been seized by Somali cells.

A tear leaked. No Navy SEALS coming to her rescue, no UN peacekeeping mission seeing to her comfort and well-being just like they'd inspected Terezin, making sure everything was A-OK. Nope. If there would be any rescue, she'd have to affect her own.

If you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.

The moonlight streamed down on the path of most resistance. The trees had backed off, the usual cathedral of leaves open to the mirrored sunlight, spots of bright drab on the path like pebbles leading to a somewhere else. Reflected sunlight doesn't register with the rods and cones, doesn't recognize hue, tint, intensity. Just drab and brighter drab. She sighed, looked at the unlit cigarette in her hand and wondered how many were left in the pack.

Every journey begins with a single step.

Drab. She hated drab. She wanted bright. She wanted purple hair.

And wings. She wanted wings, dragonfly wings, larger than herself. Multicolored dragonfly wings with four segments on each side so she could fly high enough to see the top side of the clouds and the moon never blacked out, not ever, maybe even see the sun. Fly high as Icarus, but instead she got drab.

She reached into her pocket for her lighter and pulled out a ten dollar bill.

She could buy hair dye, even if she couldn't buy wings.

No matter how bad it was, no matter how much worse it was going to get-and she knew it would get worse, the moonlight end and the drab eat her-she would go down with purple hair, or at least the dream of it.


Silence opens my eyes.
Downstairs, the HVAC stops. No whistle, hum, quacks. Quiet.
My leg shifts over yours, ear presses against the pulse in your throat,
ka-thump, ka-thump, lulls me back to sleep
You kiss the top of my head, arms tighten around me
fingertips skim my surface to dream state.
In a few hours, our restless skin will wake us.
Not the silence, the silence that opened my eyes, no.
It opens them again.
The silence of your absent heartbeat
cold under my leg where your heat should be
the nothing around me.
I swear I feel your hands...
smell your ghost in my sheets...
The HVAC clicks back on. Outside, it starts to rain.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Why I Ride...


Because i didn't get beat up enough last year, to the point that i was 'off-bike' for 6 weeks recovering.


Because i don't have enough work to keep me out of trouble in the off season.


Because the sequel to 'mastermind' is still in infant stages.


Because i don't have enough tsuris with my girls to keep me awake at night.


Because i've seen what MS does and it scares the bejeesus out of me.


Because the more people i talk to the more links i discover i have. i started out with an amibition to 'go the distance' and ended with an epiphany.


Because my legs, arms, eyes, move the way i want them to move.


Because i've already registered for the North Florida MS150 on Oct 3/4 and that is just too far away!


I've registered for the 2009 Bike MS Ride because I want to do something for the people who have been diagnosed - and because I want to do everything to prevent more people from learning what it means to live with this disease. Today, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and with diagnosis occurring most frequently between the ages of 20 and 50, many individuals face a lifetime filled with unpredictability.

Why You Should Sponsor Me-

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society will use funds collected from the 2009 Bike MS Ride to not only support research for a cure tomorrow, but also to provide programs which address the needs of people living with MS today. Because we can fight this disease by simply riding a bike, because we have chosen to help thousands of people through a contribution to the Bike MS Ride, we are now getting closer to the hour when no one will have to hear the words, "You have MS."

and because you think the idea of a 50 year old woman with purple hair is REALLY COOL!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Don't Sleep Alone

I take my phone to bed, sleep with it clutched in my hand
Curled up, thumb almost in my mouth
[or perhaps, phone almost in my mouth. A substitute?]
so I feel close, closer to someone, anyone, everyone,
to you.
Lying here, waiting for the ring, I fall asleep.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

19 years, 17-1/2 hours ago

Happy birthday, Leebo. Your dad and I didn't want to go to that party anyway.

Sleep is Elusive

We fall asleep
making love. Wake up. Take up
right where we left off.

A Rose by Any Other Name is a Rock

You can't hate a rock
for being a rock instead
of a frying pan.

Things, people don't change,
not intrinsic, not inside.
Except when they do.

I'm not weak sick deaf
stupid blind silent. Not now.
All of me is here.

New me? Same me? More.
Body craves sleep. Go away.
Truth hurts. Tears come back.

It doesn't have to be
like this. It can be easy.
Huh. You won't let it.

You can't justify
cruel. Your heart is a rock,
breaks my windows.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream


I have nightmares, but
I wake up. I'm already
awake? Dear god, no.

and now

If this is a dream,
don't wake me. Please. Monday will
be here soon enough.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bubbe

Oh, Andi, right on your due date! My mom would have been so happy...

Thursday, March 5, 2009


The motorcycle's buzz woke her. Her ear followed it, wondering where it was going, where all the cars were going, with a flood of envy.

Almost time to get up. Her cellphone, clutched in her hand all night, was quiet. Changing her number had stopped the barrage, the daily, then hourly, then almost constant onslaught of calls she'd dealt with by not answering. They couldn't reach her now.

Time to get up, maybe get back in the car or maybe not. It was a luxury now, not a necessity, being in the car. Now, she could choose, decide each day if she was getting in the car or not. Now, she had options. No more running.

Turning to the body next to her, smiling, she kissed the back of a damp neck, the spine, the small of the back, the firm butt. Rolled closer and held it against her, nuzzling her bedmate's ear.

"Wake up, sweeting. It's Valentine's Day, love. We've got things to do!"

"Hmm? What? Is it time to get up already? Can't we stay in bed today?"

"Oh honey, maybe for a little while longer, but we have things to do."

"Just a few minutes..."

"Okay, fine."

"I love you, mommy."

"I love you, too, baby. I do."

Grey Sky in Mourning, Sailors Take Warning

She stared at the phone. Silent. If wishing could make it so, it would ring, and she'd hear that familiar voice, that warm greeting.

But wishing couldn't make it so.

She was grateful for small favors. Right now, if she wished...


She could, of course she could, pick up the phone herself and dial, key in the number long since deleted from her speed dial.

She wouldn't.

Not pride, sense. Been down that stupid clinging to a dead dream road too many times, now she beat it into submission. It was just a dream, another bad dream in a series of bad dreams and she wasn't going to let the pang of familiar resurrect it. She recognized this sudden ache for what it was: the vain attempt of a frightened psyche clinging to the past.

Rereading the letters, examining the artifacts of a non-relationship which melted at the first sign of rain, looking at it head-on, no frills, cold truth looking to see what?

That it was all in her head.

The enacted reality is reality.

Until it isn't.

She'd stopped, stopped without even realizing she had stopped, it had been so gradual a stopping, a little bit less every day, weaning by fits and starts, detours, backtracks, and one day, she'd given it up, startled that it had been weeks since she'd even had to think about forcing herself to stop thinking, stop treading that old road. It was over, but now, this minute, it was back and had to be beaten down again. She had to be strong, not give in to the status quo.

Do you remember your last kiss? Can you remember if you don't know it's the last one?

She looked at the handful of trinkets, things which had seemed so precious at the time, tawdry, painted tchotkes, no particular thought in their purchase, as common as their drugstore origin. Pushed the pang away and dropped them in the can.

Sighing, she tied the trash bag shut, put it by the door to go out later. New interests absorbed her, filled the void. What started as anything better than alone had morphed. Indeed, they more than filled the void, they filled parts of her she didn't know were hollow.

The no-longer black morning sky made her smile. A day and a night and a day and a night and more, many more, not empty and not filled with cotton candy, either. The tears surprised her, rolling into the corner of her grin with each blink, and she wiped them with the hem of her shirt.

Tonight, she'd wish upon a star, a new wish, different. If you always wish for what you've always had, you'll always get what you've always got, but if you wish for something new, something different, well, anything can happen. Anything at all.

Now, she'd watch the sun rise.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cannondale Quick Essay

Living in a household with multiple adults and one car can be a hardship in Central Florida,where public transportation ranges from poor to non-existent. When I was hired as the branch manager of a business a few miles from where I lived, I couldn’t justify the expense of buying, fueling, maintaining and insuring another car. So, after not being on a bicycle for thirty years, I grabbed my daughter’s $80 department store special and pedaled away.

Fifteen minutes on that baby helped me transition from “mom” to “staff,” while the ride home decompressed me back to “mom.” On weekends, eight to ten mile jaunts on the local bike paths, waiting for the rest of the world to wake up, waving to the dog walkers and joggers refreshed me. Errands were combined or eliminated depending on whether or not a place was close enough to ride. I changed my shopping, banking and work habits, switching to electronic banking and sending work out on the internet instead of by mail. Every expedition became multipurpose in a conscious effort to conserve time and fuel. Biking also increased my awareness of what I ate, the effect various foods had on me, my body, and on my children. Laziness had replaced my love of cooking over the years, but fresh vegetables and alternative whole grains resumed their rightful prominence, pushing out the packaged and fast foods that had crept into our diets. Red meat, which is so costly in the amount of grain and gas it takes to get from hoof to table, was eliminated. In fact,
two of my children became vegetarians as their awareness of the food cycle increased.

Improving on my riding skills, pushing to see what my body was capable of, what mountains,real and metaphorical, it could conquer. I started to proselytize the joys and benefits of biking. I learned to trust me, my body, feelings, senses and made other life changes, too numerous to list as a result of that one small decision, to bike back and forth to work.

Monday, March 2, 2009

oh wow....

i won.

i wrote an essay. i rewrote that essay. i rewrote that essay at least five times.
[how biking has impacted your life, your worldview and the environment]

i entered the contest.

i won.

i said exactly the same thing i said when the royal palm was announced: oh shit!

i am impressed, amazed, astounded.

my ass is going to be so happy in the saddle of my new bike.

[see the nov/dec 2008 issue of road magazine,]

now i have to sign up for the MS150 Citrus Tour

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Today... Solipsism Returns!

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
I'm finally fifty
maybe it's about time I grew up.

Synaptic Retreat

He thinks I love him. He thinks so.
He says it, says it all the time.
Says it enough for one two three, a whole heaping of cozy
So it must be true, right?
While I, I say nothing
Lips move, brush ear, neck, flesh, but no sound escapes
Waves his hand, magic spell, as if that makes it so
I, scornful, want to rip that smile right off but when my nails touch...
finally say, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
Shakes his head, smiles so soft it's a caress, replies,
flesh tells me all I need to know. Horde your words. It's fine.
I cannot hold him tight enough.

Memory and Politics: Sept 11th Revisited

Memory is short, too short.
You wanted this.
You really wanted it, begged for it
Blessed god that we were doing this, taking this stance.

We're going to bomb those fuckers right off the face of the earth.

Well, we got it.
Look around.
Look real good.

Happy now?

Yeah. I thought so.

Pond Scum Redux

"I'd love to see you again. I miss you so."
Trying so hard to seduce the girl inside that wants to believe
Oh! She wants to believe!
It's her. She's special. Different. Her.
She knows the truth. She's just another port.
Easier to cultivate the weed and call it a flower
than to actually tend a garden.

Cold Snap-Revised

Sprawled in my bed, face down. If you were here
if you were
I'd be warm, too warm.
Strip off clothes, blankets, skin, strip them off, throw them off. Pull me close.
If you were here
There is a pile of pillows in your spot. I huddle with them
‘Are you warm now? Are you warm enough? Come closer,' your leg thrown over me.
Touching you on the computer screen, pixel DNA, not you, just bits and bytes and smoke and mirrors
smell of lonely makes my nose frown, bite not-your-ear, just polyester fiberfill
hands grasp the mattress. They hold empty.
The world sees empty, but me?
‘Come closer. Sleep. It'll wait til morning. It'll keep. Let me.'
Tighter, pull me tighter, don't want morning to come.
I can touch you. I can.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Bat Mitzvah Speech

It is standard operating procedure for the bar or bat mitzvah person to make a short speech about their faith, the torah or the haftorah reading, a favorite charity they'll be donating to or, for adults, why they have decided to become bat mitzvah. Hazzan Laurie told us we'd each have to do this. My five classmates demured at first, needed coaxing, but I'm used to public speaking as I participate in open mics or critiquing groups almost every week. I got very naked. I shocked people. My speech follows:

My section of the haftorah discusses destroying and building. You can't build unless you tear down. You can't tear down unless you have something there. My favorite Latin word, you know, if anything, I'm a Latin scholar, certainly not a Hebrew scholar, is tollere, to raze [r-a-z-e] or to raise [r-a-i-s-e]. That was me, destroying everything so I could start over. I left my spouse, I left my family, I lost my job, I left my home. So there I was. Homeless, unemployed, alone. Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it?

There was no structure to my life, no anchor. The only thing I had was me and I wondered where is there a rope to pull me out of this mess of my life? And is it a rope I can climb or is it a noose? Quite frankly, I didn't care which. Both would have served me equally well. So my friend, a retired therapist, gave me an assignment: list what you are, where you want to be and how you want to feel. He expected me to list my usual intellectual ambitions, no emotional stuff, I cringe at touchy-feely. Well, the first thing on my list was to light candles every Friday night. Small step, very doable. The second was to be bat mitzvah by the time I turned 50. Big step, very improbable.

I looked at that list, surprised. I don't know where those came from, why I put them on the list, but I knew without them, nothing else was possible. I came here for High Holy Day services last Sept, and lo and behold, you had a new hazzan. Hazzan Laurie was going to lead services every two weeks. She started Adult Ed classes and then, a b'nai mitzvah class, too. All I could think was, oh wow, there is no such thing as coincidence, or as the Hazzan says, co-inky dinks. I saw this road open before me, a road with lights, smooth, clear, straight. No more phantom trees pulling at me, breaks and creases in the asphalt tripping me, or semis trying to run me over.

Lighting candles and being bat mitzvah are still items one and two on that list, but the rest has been revised. Goals and wants aren't stagnant, not if you are living as opposed to just going through the motions. James Barrie wrote that all you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust: heart, mind and magic. It's here.

Thank you, Hazzan Laurie, fellow congregants for making this possible. Thank you all.

NB: My torah section was Sh'mot 1:5-7 and my haftorah was Jeremiah 1:6-10.
I replied: Oh, Eternal One!
I do not know how to speak, for I am still a child.
And the Eternal One replied: Do not say 'I am still a child.'
But you will go wherever I send you and speak whatever I command you.
Have no fear, for I am with you.
From them, I will keep you, I will deliver you-thus spake the Holy One.

The Eternal One put out His hand and touched my mouth.
He said: Herewith, I put My words into your mouth.
See, I appoint you this day over nations and kingdoms;
To uproot and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.

Assorted Haikus

Have I told you my
fantasy? I wake with you
every morning.

Duck calls, loud, angry.
Alone at 2 a.m. Why?
It's family gone.

Car sounds on wet roads
bikers' rumble. Door clicks. Voices.
They laugh. More rain falls.

Say it. Can't? Won't?
When words, actions disagree,
remember: mouths lie.

That's it... run your hands
over me. Make me feel loved
or at least wanted.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Is every night going to be like this?

Glances up, holding a book, and smiles.
Can't know what I'm doing, working on, at the other end of the room.
But he smiles.
At me.
Because I'm here.
And he's here. With me.
That's enough to make him smile.
I keep on working, hide my smiles inside my papers.

Is every night going to be like this?

In the Dark

I write in the dark. I'm used to it, writing without looking.
My handwriting is so bad it doesn't matter if I can see it or not.
No one, including me, especially me, can read these odd scratches that go up and down and round and round and sideways all over the page.
Besides, I don't have my glasses on, anyway.
I write in the dark, by feel.
Words pour out, ink blobs, in almost quiet, skritch of nib in a cheap notebook.
Lying here, ankle clings, calves press tight.
Toes stroke the arch of his foot, his instep, curl in.
But my hand stays here, at the far end of the bed, while the rest slides closer, closer, closer.
I write in the dark, wondering when we will make love again.
Does he hear the pen moving?
What he would say if he knew what I was doing, thinking?
Will this hand, draped across my back, move into a caress?
In the time before, I wrote in the dark, hiding, to avoid a fist.
The dark was my friend. It's still my friend, but I don't hide there any longer.
Dark brings the tocsin whistle when the ducks are quiet.
Let him sleep. I'll wake him when the sky turns to a color not so black.
For now, I'll hold each breath tight to me.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year, Readers

It's been just over 18 months since I started this blog. Life has changed in so many ways. A friend commented that my work no longer reeks of anger, of fear. I hate to disabuse him, but they are still in me. They will always be in me, a part of me.

But he's right. I have changed. They are no longer in the forefront. They've moved to the back, to a manageable place. I take them out, look at them, inspect them, wonder what was wrong with me that they were my best beloved companions for so long.

Not now.

I have other traits to keep me warm, not the illusion of dry ice.Every step takes me closer to where I need to be. They are not the path. They are not the goad.

They are the memory and I don't live there any more.