"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Shenandoah Valley Winery Sculpture

I am adhesive
rolling into being
the way you stick to me, the tenacity.

We are adhesive
the way she sticks to us, permanent

All these adhesions
binding our tissue
such a delicate word....tissue
can we be made of something so fine?

We should shred, moving through the world
and I suppose we do
though rolling on
picking up adhesions

I've heard rumors of a whole woman
who had no need

She lived in a garden
and then she didn't

Monday, June 27, 2011

Silent Conspiracy

My Muse

I'm not sure
I'm not at all sure we haven't a mute existence between us that is conspiratorial.

The eyes have so much to say!
The slope of your shoulder is brethren to the tremor in my knee.

Together they whisper about the nature of our lives
and bat our wishes between them in the cloistered halls of our monastery.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Make Love To Me Now

quickly now
before our bodies turn on themselves
before I can no longer kneel between your legs
cat arched in supple curves
or bend into a position of acceptance
before time races from game show to game show
and we check mark the hours by our medications
before what drains from our bodies is no longer sweet

make love to me quickly
like a beast with uncontrolled temper
an appetite with a ravenous mouth
impatient hands, rough hands
scraping my skin with dirty words

make love to me slowly
the way I browse ancient books
fingers trailing along spines
cherished, reverent, sweet
young, as a stick against white washed pickets

make love to me now
tuck the scent into the album of our sleeves
to pull out like a tissue
gauzy in the dementia of our aging
dab at our eyes with the memory of twisted limbs
when our bodies lie flaccid and rebellious
against our pulse




Monday, June 20, 2011

Does Anyone Remember Four?

L-R: My brother Matt, Kimmy, Me

I guess it's been almost 30 years! Hard to believe. I still call her Kimmy. She still calls me Ann-marie. That's how we knew each other back in the day. Considering I don't remember much of the first twelve years of childhood, she is the largest portion of that, which ain't saying much. My memory sucks. I didn't remember she came to my wedding! (embarrassing) "I brought my boyfriend at the time" she says, chastising my memory, "...a horrid guy that talked and walked like a mobster! And....I spent $33.00 on a beige vase that looked like this (forming the shape of a woman with her hands). I don't know why I bought it. But I sure remember how much it cost. I couldn't afford it."  I look at her apologetically. "It's still sitting on my kitchen table!" I blatantly lie. She laughs. Knows it isn't true.

We order our food. Her daughter got to order the perfectly sized portion of Fettucini Alfredo because she's a kid. We have to order the overly sized-pay-too-much for it portions because we're adults...only we aren't. We are both kids...she still...me becoming. My polenta was disgusting. "Send it back" Kimmy says. I sigh. "I'm not the type to send food back" I say. "Well..." she says, "lucky for you...I am!" My food goes back and the price is removed from the bill. I am watching Kimmy's facial expressions, and the timbre of her voice...the way it rises and falls, the way her hands move across the table. It is all so familiar. I consider that she really was a lifeline for me at one time. A strong, immeasurably assuring, solid girl...firm in herself. We are the same age. She always seemed older. Even she thought she was.

"I don't remember any of the other mothers", Kimmy says, "...but I remember Lucille."  I ask her why. She thought, thinks, remembers, knows, my mom is "scary". She remembers always being in trouble at my house. "You don't remember us dancing around the bedroom with only our shirts on and singing?" she asks. No. I don't. I was four. Does anyone remember four? Kimmy does. "You're mom was just beside herself that we would do such a thing. She yelled at us and sent me home right away."

Kimmy remembers driving places with us. She and I would always be in the back seat. She said, "You don't remember how your mom would always look at you in the rear view mirror and say, "Smile Ann-Marie?"  No, I don't. I was four. Does anyone remember four? Kimmy does. "You would always smile obediently", she said. I say, "I have so many pictures of me as a child where the smile never reached my eyes."  Kimmy's daughter questions this, and Kimmy explains that you can tell when a smile is not genuine. Her daughter nods. She is almost nine. Does she remember four? Nobody remembers four. Right?

I do remember Kimmy and I singing on the swings in my backyard, legs pumping, arms straining, singing and singing and singing. We talk about this and wind up breaking into song: You Are My Sunshine....two parts. We finish a few verses and the whole restaurant claps. "Are you two sisters?" the waitress asks. We laugh. Kimmy says to me, "I love you, you know! I wasn't sure what you'd be like now. But I feel like we just picked up where we left off." I nod. It's true. I trust her. Hard to imagine that I do, but I sense she had my back at four. I sense I wouldn't have made it through those years without her. I sense she'd still be there for me if I needed her.

"We can't go another 30 years!" She says.

"No, we can't."

Me and Kimmy now

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Bird and The Bees

It's early morning
but the bees
are already thrumming Rimsky-Korsakov

He had asked me if I could run
were I chased...
and I looked at the bolts of his joints
similar to my own
father-daughter scars, genetic weakness.
I bend a leg which creaks in protest
...could I?

I am standing in the moment of flash flood
where the gully is worn smooth and the road depressed
and the bees
THE BEES have picked up tempo
like the quickening of desire

I see them coming like the waters

As promised, I am posting some things about myself.  For those uninterested parties, you've a free pass to move on.

1. I don't like bees (ya think?). I'm deathly afraid of  'em because it's a big deal. It hurts...okay, not like child birth or kidney stones, or Carl the workout Nazi...but still! I swell up and itch for weeks. YES weeks. I'm not just being dramatic. Same with those damn mosquitos. They LOVE me, the blood thirsty bastards!

2. I'm persnickety. It all stems from control issues, of which I have a full deck. But I try to reign it in. And I can laugh at it now. I can point at myself like the world's biggest ball of string. "Get a load of this!"

3. Pessimistic is too weak a word. I'd go Goth if I wasn't so damn old. I've a very negative side. A very dark side. I fight those too. But when I told my boss I was going on anti-depressents, he said, "Oh man...I liked you angry!", so I keep a truck load little. Can't afford to get fired :)

4. Weight gain is my super power, so I'm always on a diet and definitely have the workout bug. Eat little. Move much. But then there's pizza...my first crush. We have dates every now and again...me and my hubba hubba veggie combo!

5. I'm not a prissy chick. I don't like pink, or lace, or ruffles, and I definitely don't want a girl bike. I like guy stuff. But I have a little girlie head and a small face. I practically have to buy my sunglasses in the kids department.

6. Independent. Yep! And dissociation is my go-to defense mechanism. I guess maybe you might say a bit anti-social. Of course, if by some quirk of nature I have gotten to know you, then you can't shut me up, or shut me out, or not invite me to your parties. My co-worker is a little blonde bit of a thing (two reasons to shun her, which I did at first...but I was up front about it), and she told me the other day that I was the funniest person she knows. "Really?" I said..."then it's a good thing I decided to like you Kate!"

7. Which brings me to the very unpolitically correct fact that I am horribly prejudiced against blonde's and skinny people. It's just....well...it's a visceral thing. I try ignore it, I really do. But, nah....I haven't really gotten the hang of it. You can call it jealousy if you want, which is ridiculous only fair.

8. I have two dads, two moms, two half brothers, one half sister, two non-biological brothers and I've lost count of how many nieces and nephews. My niece Stephanie (no biological relation) looks more like my child than my own! Weird. But being adopted gives me an affinity for these look-alike connections. My son Jordan used to say, "I have the same color-a eyes as my mom, but the shape-a eyes as my dad." It wasn't true. His eyes are hazel. Mine are brown. But they are big and round like his dad's.

9. I get really mad if you tell me I can't do something. I'll kill myself proving you wrong. I get really mad if you try to help me when I don't need it or didn't ask for it. I get mad when something on my body falls apart. I get mad when they run out of Peet's Decaf at the store. I get mad a lot. But I'm Italian. It's what we do....and I'm only now learning to show it, which helps with the ulcers.

10. I hate silly stuff....like cartoons, Austin Powers, spoof movies. I rarely laugh out loud when watching movies, TV, or reading books. (I do laugh watching Modern Family. That show cracks me the hell up.) I laugh the hardest at myself. When I type LOL, or LMAO, I'm usually lying. And, as luck would have it...rare as it is...my laugh is one of the few things I really like about myself. I think it's beautiful.

Gwen (Stephanie's Mom), Stephanie, Me wearing the wings Marion made me :)

Friday, June 10, 2011


Muse: Shadow Of Iris

I think I'm breaking your heart
with my wings
the span casting aspersions
that knit your eyebrows
into tenets,
presuming each feather as a space in between
ligaments separating from your bones

My spirit requested
an exhumation
from a burial I allowed, yet not intending to
fly away
just dance on the surface
of an old grave


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

$3.99 per Dream

I saw a cast off hat
that danced upon a wall of scarves
and placing the fedora upon my head
felt silk fingers run through my ego,
seductive strokes with a phlegmy cough

Liza Minnelli passed by singing Judy Garland
her perfume as loud and long as her vibrato
layered with artifice
"Parts are posted for Chicago. Your name is on it!" she crooned.

My mirrored image bore black stockings
coat tails flashing Grable's gams
Monroe's pout covering Streisand vocals.

(the hat...the damn hat!!!)
and me all big in myself
breathing Hollywood life back into little girl dreams
hair brush microphone and oversized shoes
as if
now. pfffffft!

Discomfited by the power
the pull of a dangerous preoccupation,
self rescinding
tucking secret desires under the felt brim,
like a diary between the mattresses...

I place the hat on the head of my father.

He beams into the mirror with a lengthy "hmmmm" of self consideration.
It looks good on him. Suits his eccentricity.

"You think I should buy it?" he asks.

"No!" I say....taking it from him.

"It's perfect for me."


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ostensible Knowledge of You

I am a woman
of average brain
given to tiptoe after those of larger breed
watch them  e  x  p  a  n  d   images
with the whip of their pen
reach under their paunch
and pull dusty words from the foreign concept of their skin

I've squinted into your poems with conceit
and pretended to pretend I know,
my simple embellishment
a macaroni broach on your silk garments

My neck has craned to find you speaking in tongues
while I sit in an indigo closet
trying your prayer language
on another body

Sometime my arms shake
from holding up such mercurial truths...
the moths of curiosity
having gorged, for hungers sake
(I'm sorry. I pretend to understand sometimes, but I really don't know what the hell you're talking about. I want to. Desperately. But the veil of heady words, the cloak of multiple reference, the way you hide yourself....

I'm just a simple woman, in search of your truth. Lay it out Crayola style, so I can know you!)

Rise To Terms

I don't understand myself
have never...
truth be told, though it rarely is
(tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but...)
A small bird, with battered wings
trying so hard to be eagle
to soar....

I know most will tell you that they have come to terms
with their inner mechanisms, the gears, the drive, the lubricant
but I am so far afield of that

I'm only coming to know myself, you see
having so adeptly hidden
these workings that shift, drive, brake, speed!
Hell, I didn't want to look either
(click click click past the heinous show of why)

I told you I was broken
I told you I was abnormal
I told you of these dissociative disorders.
These I knew.

But they aren't attractive.
So a soft tell and a stong hide
was the best way to acceptance,
which was important, OHHHH SOOOOO.....
at a young age, but not so much, anymore.

If you could feel my intent...
if effort were a gauge you could see...
I think you'd be flabbergasted
at how much I can lift.

You'd look at the truck I'm lifting from your crushed heart
with two girlie biceps
and be thankful...(perhaps too strong a word)
appreciative that my adrenaline is in full gear
working, working, working

But effort drives a hard bargain
and hides it's agenda behind the bias of selfishness!
It is hidden and immeasurable
seemingly weak in comparison to results.
Oh bloody hell
I am trying
with the might of the hairy Samson,
of David with his slingshot...
I am fighting to know, with all I've got
but I wonder how many more
are fighting against.