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



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gift of Music



Some people recycle
because they know the value of a note,
more so, of several
strung together just so....
like this....
ba dum pa da dee dum.

Yes? You know it?
But of course!
It is globalized, somewhat.

Some realize it is never born
twice the same.
It is always a newly opened event
(oh yes, an occasion -
all your realities, dreams, and regrets invited to gather
as this
audience of one)!

Do you hold the presentation
out, a distance from your body
grateful, by God!
Someone has thought of you
by way of a melody,
less dissonant than your own.

Or do you make chaos of the packaging
ripping paper, bow, shredding skin
bleeding into your effort,
desperate to wear
such a thing as was designed, for you
only
at 6:45 PM on this...
...the devil's night?


(October 30th is referenced as Devil's Night, or Hell's Night. Thank you Marion, for the beauty you sent into it!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

No title

I disagree.


What we write is an expression of what needs outpouring, release, or clarification. It is so beyond us, that we look back on it in either repulsion or awe. Rarely do we say, "I did that", but rather "It needed doing."

(Reposting this poem from my dragonfly, Marion...)

Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End? By Mary Oliver
There are things you can’t reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.
And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.
The snake slides away; the fish jumps, like a little lily,
out of the water and back in; the goldfinches sing
from the unreachable top of the tree.
I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.
Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
as though with your arms open.
And thinking: maybe something will come, some
shining coil of wind,
or a few leaves from any old tree–
they are all in this too.
And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world
comes.
At least, closer.
And, cordially.
Like the nibbling, tinsel-eyed fish; the unlooping snake.
Like goldfinches, little dolls of goldfluttering around the corner of the sky
of God, the blue air.

~ Blessings

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Through The Cracks



In the fracture of so many pieces
it's amazing how light still manages to shine
between them, a type of binding.

No human effort could hold such shatter together
into a functional shape
yet a divine power gathers elements of chaos
into recognizable form.

We easily accept the dimension we are in.
We accept it as the only reality.
But we are changed by the light we allow through us
each new crack projecting the kaleidoscope
of something that never used to exist.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Construction of Indecision



I keep my hand on the knob
clenching and unclenching with fearful muscles
tired ones,
an emotional spasm if you will.

I want to slam the door.
I want to lock it.
I want someone else to lock it...remove my choice.

I want to fling it open
so hard that the latch is incompetent
nothing but decorative hardware to a swinging door,
removing my choice.

I want to assemble a deadbolt
that can only be opened from my side.
I want you to screw in a hook & eye
that I can easily batter through from my side
when I wish...
so that finality is not really
final.

I want to leave this door.
I want to run so far that I am unable to return,
unable to find it when resolve wavers like a hiccup,
those quick ins and outs,
Lamaze breaths with no birth.
I want temptation removed.

I want to become this door.
I want my molecules to fuse with it
so that there is no possibility of separating myself
and temptation is mythical.

I want to destroy this door...
every scratch, dent, and warp that showcases my handiwork
and yours.

I want to reconstruct this door
additional panels
glass panes
antique knob from decades ago
and new squeak free hinges.

But I am not a carpenter
and this is not a door.
It is a bridge.
And even though we are on different sides...
I will not burn it.
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Smith - Unplugged



I saw a dragonfly waltz above your voice.

You never knew how the sound drew wings...
how hearts soared and memories danced
on the floor of fading proms.
I watched old women lose their frailty,
middle age men grow hair
and children frolic as if you had brought them the meadow.

I tried to tell you that angels had chosen you as home
to anything they wished to sing,
but your father kept plugging your ears
and you let him
because obedience has a similar pitch to flight
until you're actually mid-air
and finally out of bounds.

You stood in your own regard,
which is always a mistake,
and let it transform your opinion.

I tried to tell you
what the dragonflies know.



HSS Concert September 2012

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hello Lonely



Your loneliness spent the night,
having arrived for dinner
only to discover it had been less than known.

Do you feel better today
knowing I went so far into the heart of it
that I tapped out?

If there were a way,
I would carve that stone
until my fingers ran bloody.
But it would still be faceless
having gained its immeasurable ground at the work of a foreign hand
gathering as a boulder that retires heavily, remote and stoic
as if it had never moved.

I am weaker than I ever imagined
and stronger,
the brows of both
lifted in surprise.

Loneliness is a fog.
It is not the blanket that some poets romanticize.
It is just cold.
But it motivates us towards warmth
and inclines us to see.

We swipe at our eyes
and wave our arms like windshield wipers.
Where is home?
Why has our shadow gone missing?
We look comical,
but here in the loneliness
we no longer care of hecklers.

It just is what it is.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cutting An Orange



I am just a woman cutting an orange.

I could be the woman getting a divorce,
faith rattled
and no longer reliable,
or the girl without a childhood,
the child without protection.

I could be the one whose knife quivers
as anxiety mounts an attack worthy of all out war,
or the one whose e-mails hail her like Paul Revere
needing and assuming,
and whose work calendar overflows its daily boundaries.

I could wear the colors of past Spring
or the hues of coming Fall.
I could sing a swan song
or whistle a new aria that would lessen my impact
on those I hold dear.

I could be the woman who has neglected family
avoided friends
and hibernated in the disillusional safety of a foreign land.
I might even be the flesh that was not touched
in ways that made her cringe into her sunflower sheets
at too tender an age.

All of these things gather in the blade of my knife
as my breath swims a shallow stroke
that never reaches the shore of my lungs.

I teach the hand to tell the blade to steady the knife...

This moment I have not been harmed.
This moment I am not hurting anyone.
This moment is not the accumulation of misdeeds
and their consequence on the future.

I am just a woman cutting an orange.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tripping Up




We forget to look up,
focused as we are on the path
and how we might trip.

Ahhhh...
but even so doing,
our clumsiness comes to the rescue
and us now, flat on our backs.

Suddenly
we are outside the box of our feet
and the whole world
is a cushioned place
without border.
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Birth of Dead Words





She writes, thinking that beneath the paper
she might find something tangible.
The tremor of her pen
shakes the page.
It looks alive,
but the words will either breathe
or they won't...
their lifespan having less to do with birth
than endurance.

Some words are so hard to live.
They wear down the epidermis
until she is all nerves.

Her words flutter wildly about the page
attempting to gasp...
to do something audible...
the buried alive, vying for notice.

I am here I am here
way
down
here.


(No, I'm not sure what I'm saying here. The first two lines came piggy-backed on the last poem I wrote. That was a week ago. I saw them in my journal and started typing them in here. They added on to themselves, having something to say.  We can speak truth, but it has a short life unless we live it out. Difficult though. Living it, we'll find it truer, or less. In just thinking...we are never really sure.)
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Step Aside



Kids have it right most times, until we feed them something different. Remember when he said, "Mommy, why is that lady so old?" and you leaned down to whisper, "Oh honey, she's not old!" but she was, and she knew it, and you knew it, and she wasn't as afraid of it as you were.

Oh...and the time she said, "Daddy, why is he all crooked?" and you took her face in your hands and directed her gaze from his wheelchair to the candy counter, deflecting your insecurities. But he wanted to explain his malady...even to a five year old...because they were the only ones who really paid attention.

Children would not consider any of it odd, because it wasn't until you made it wierd. I remember the beautiful man in the wheelchair. I was 30 years younger, but not young by far. He dove into a pool...just right...at the exacting angle, and that cool delicious water you like to plunge into, well... it snapped his neck and swallowed his basketball career. "Why would God change the laws of nature just for me?" he would say when we asked, "why why WHY"? It's physics. We like to make it so much more, so that we have our judgement and our reason firmly in hand.

"Why" is a circular question for adults. It has no landing page. There are no analytics to square off against expense. "Why" is a finger pointed against the circumference, waiting for a target at which to pull the trigger. It's a big word though, and tends to muster all your energy towards an unsatisfactory end. Children diverge in this respect. They ask a repetitive why about inconsequential questions, such as "why are your legs hairy" or "why do frogs croak"....and hell, have you any idea?  But if you let them ask the question of people bound by circumstance....well, they have an answer, far better than your bullshit.
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dulling the Edge



It is these evenings I wait for.
Heavy air, a waning heat
like the kitchen, after a good baking...
the fruits of which, cool
on a windowsill with white lace bangs.

The pool is so deserted
that the ghosts of its waters beg me come
and I oblige
sitting on the edge, leaning in
as if this were the precipice from which I might fly
or drown...either choice
inconsequential to the movement.

Beneath the surface
an unseen force circulates the waters.
The Praying Mantis has crossed me twice...
frozen in repose
but for the leg bent
unimaginable wrong.

It is a good place
for gentle restoration 
and an edge removed
from that which sharpened the day
into a blade.
..







Monday, July 30, 2012

The Unpublished Heart

Hidden beneath the predictable veneer of the expected
and a sincere desire
to have televised and authored emotions,
the kind that resonate with masses, win awards,
sell books...

beyond the frontier, behind the curtain,
above the strings of the marionette
pulses the unpublished heart.
It would not gain popularity,
nor would it be asked to prom,
or even marry.

By God, it is a heart though!
There is a universe sized hole through it,
and yet....
inconceivably...
it still labors with every agonizing beat
to feel something
within the bell curve.
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("10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel different from other people. The feelings of isolation you had as a child make connection with other people extremely difficult. You longed for the connection but could not effect it. As an adult you find that these same feelings persist. I'm not sure one ever completely loses the sense of isolation. I'm not sure anyone with this kind of history ever feels wholly connected." - Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed. D.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Super Cell



It was just energy
with the impetus to move you
from where you were, to where you needed to go.
It had form,
an almost human shape,
so much was blamed on its birth name
thereafter spat out with such vehemence
that it no longer rolled off the tongue,
but burned.

People, 
flesh and blood people in particular,
like to have someone to blame
for course changes that bleed
outside their lines.

"You let her out of your sight!
She drown! She DROWN!"

It is not satisfying to yell at the ocean.
It does not defend itself, cry, or apologize.
But it was the tide that took her,
and moreover....
the energy that drew her to the sea.

You cannot capture the ocean,
jail it, or remand it to therapy.
Funny though...
if you sit alongside it long enough
secrets are revealed.
The energy does concede some ground, 
though long after you desire it
and way before you're ready.
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(Mmmmm, yes, I hear you. "What the hell is she talking about?" Well it is really a psychoanalysis discussion about events in our lives...how everything happens for a reason. If we need to be so moved, so healed, so cleansed, so informed....the perfect storm somehow manifests. I believe it is God. You may differ and call it something else. But I am learning to lean into the storm. It has many painful swells and at times I wish to succumb. At times I wear a life jacket of denial or numbness. At times I let the waves take me and that is where teaching begins. Do not hold to an emotion. Do not reject it. FEEL.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pot of Bastards

Michael and Marie met in the middle of their names
as unexpected as any surprise ending,
especially for a beginning.

She, there then
when someone loosed the ties of their lips
and let slip the cat
which ran straight for his legs and stretched languidly
like a tired truth
      "you were a mistake"
which she also was
and understood how the 's'
hisssssses out
like a deflating balloon.

And she was there
when her void
pulled the truth from him, hand over hand
reeling the marlin in...
only it wasn't that difficult,
from an observers point of view,
he gave it.

He owned up to the boy,
baby hand in a mothers fist
hearing the words reverberate through a cavernous bank
of marble, wood, expanse, huge word
BASTARD
the oh so tiny plea...
       "please mommy! never say it again!"
and her arterial apology spraying across his sweet
fallen face...

      "Never again love. Never again!"

He already knew...
the deep down knew
that gets hooked with a word now
hauled to consciousness, gasping, half dead
and brave heart...
he faked it.

I think we spiraled from there,
the pot of us bastards
and some un-named spoon
stirring.
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Note To Self



Wake as if you have somewhere to be. Curl your hair and paint your face as if you might meet someone famous, or better yet infamous. On second thought, you might meet a nobody who's a somebody and will bump into your grocery cart with their uncurled hair and sheet creased face. You will laugh, knowing she woke with nowhere to be, and she will know you made up a schedule when you had no errand. You might be new best friends.

Say something between the walls of your rooms. It is strange to go five hours without a spoken word. How do you even know your voice still makes sound? How will the couch know that you are still of an opinion? Say to the guitar, "Do you miss my fingers?" It will reply from it's dusty orifice and cobwebbed strings, "What do you think?" You will scowl in reprimand for such a sarcastic and sassy reply. Apologize to the withered plant, your words like a snake charmer coaxing something out of nothing. Realize the plant and the guitar have every right to feel neglected and pissy. Apologize to the guitar also.

Clean up your spaces as if a guest might arrive, a surprise guest, a surprise guest who may be a brother, or a stranger, and each will need the same care and feeding. Where will they sit if you leave your laundry unfolded on the chairs? Play Adagio For Strings, Op 11 because it is long, and you have the time, and it cuts through silence like mourning. Hug the lost parts of you, watch them wandering through the score, alternately sweet and sad. Change the music before a guest is greeted at the door with your wailing.

String together beautiful beads to rid yourself of the collection. A collection is just the accumulation of things that once had homes elsewhere. They grow along your emptiness and feel important. This is how hoarding begins. It begins with emptiness. Wear eight of your bracelets on your wrists and walk through the streets with your gifts brushing against your hips. Seek out recipients as if you are a philanthropist wearing your charitable foundation just above the hands that shake it loose. Know it is not charitable. It is just you not being a hoarder. Perfect motive is elusive.

Say a prayer. Speak it while laying on your back and playing with your curls. Feel small so you know your place. Grow wings because you know you're loved. Grab your shoes. God himself may send you on an errand. Be ready. Round up your purse, your keys, a sweater, and set them next to the screen door while giving thanks for the breeze. It cools. It makes sound between the blinds. It rushes through the room, from south to north, on a mission it seems, having woken with somewhere to be.
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Monday, July 2, 2012

The Stroller




The women all have sundresses and strollers. A stroller comes with a husband and a baby. If you have a stroller, then the husband it came with has a steady job and affords you holidays. If you have a stroller, then you have a sun hat that matches the print on the baby's onesie, and the baby has little baby sunglasses and little baby shoes and everything is small and manageable.

You walk your stroller, with baby and husband in tow...your straight back saying "Look, look! I am really a writer, but just now I am managing my stroller!" There is no time to think outside this managerial occupation. Doing so creates a perilous environment where the wheel might come off the stroller. You might lean down to fix it and your sun hat would disengage itself from your head, and the wind would take it into another life where it will sit atop the head of a woman you never became. You will hardly notice its absence as your hands fidget apologetically with a broken stroller you do not know how to fix.

The baby cries because you have been still too long and the sun is beating down like the sun always does. Looking up, you beseech the sky, but it is what it is and there is no powerlessness like you against the sun. You reach to pull the canopy down, provide shade for him and obscurity for you, but he is wearing a suit and tie, and was actually just requesting a little help with this months rent.

"Ask your father! Can't you see I am busy with the stroller?"

He gives you a quizzical look that lets you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your husband is dead, and you are old, and the stroller should have gone out of focus a hundred years ago. The canopy down, you drape a blanket over that. It is freezing, and seasons have passed behind your sidewalk workshop like freeway cars. Woosh! Woosh!

Somehow the stroller is fixed and you are not, and nothing is small or manageable. You straighten your back and push forward with your hatless head advertising silver hair. Your grandchild stops crying and begins to coo. "Look, look!" you tell her. "I was once a mother, but just now, I am managing my stroller."
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Abba Father




I sit rather gingerly on the edge of a lap I did not know was this comfortable. One hand holds his, and I feel awkward. Looking at his face, I see ancient and ageless mixed into an incredible beauty I fear I will never possess.




"Yes you will."




(How does he know my thoughts?)

"I see everything. You've hidden nothing, though I see you've tried," he smiles.




"All of this?" I ask, my hand leaving his to pantomime the warped human I inhabit.




"Yes."




"Even that?" I point behind me, incredulous!




“Yes."




"Even.........this?" My eyes spill over as I tap my heart with a shaking finger.




"Especially that. I know why it's there...ALL of it."




"And yet you love me?"




"Without question."




"Beyond all sense or reason?"




He laughs. "Child, you are not so hard to love. With every sense and reason, I love you. You are mine."




Acceptance branches out through a slow, giddy smile.  I take my hand from my heart and place it back into his, feeling the beat between our palms as if this heart is home. Leaning back against his expanse, I sigh into all that space. "I love you too Daddy.”.



Happy Father's Day to all you Papa's.
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Needing My Friend

Yes...we're gambling!



We’ve only our hearts to guide us this day,
where once we were more form than substance
now some kind of strange piƱata
the bones of us covered in paste, held as body by crepe paper.

But no matter all that. Our hearts have GROWN
in equal measure to our deterioration and they have become
the governing force.
It is our hearts that beat us through those daily walks
to grease what’s left of our bitching joints.

Beneath these sagging breasts
beats the warrior child, the gator’s jaw
     fighting for
           releasing not
all that remains. We will
reach for our face to face moments...
two old souls, coming ‘round to a new innocence.

Our playground awaits.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"With Sympathy" is not sufficient...



A blogger (a friend) I know, have known, since before...
Oh man...to say it
BEFORE

Since before the world became a incoherent swirl
since before there was a name spoken
not yet engraved

Oh GOD
I hate this part of life...
release, without consent, to
to...

More than death
what startles me is my sorrow.

We've not met
I've not held your infant
but he grew beneath me in the words you cradled him in
and I knew him
well...I knew him through you
well...I knew you through this
and I knew this through many

And the same avenue that brought him to life for me
takes his life.

Words.

And there are none.


I'm so proud of him, you, her.
So little
and yet so much he became...
becomes...
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bits of Missouri

I watched you come into the bar 
alone, 
sit at the stool 
as if it were the saddle of a lover. 


From the trough you drank with an unquenchable thirst, 
eyes scanning. 
Rocking like a baby in want of attention
the frenzied movement  of your feet
skipping from one rung to the next, 
was indicator enough 
you lacked hope.


You looked to God, 
and held your need out like a plate.
I watched as the helping served up insufficient to the hunger 
and wondered again, which was contraindicated....
the desire or the denial.


_______________________


Saint Louis is full of holes,
the buildings are thoroughfares to a river breeze
no shutter, no shield, no glass.
With abandon they welcome trespassers
as if brick after brick were once laid as a foundation
for birds and insects
an eco-community so self sufficient
that emptiness
is absolute fulfillment.
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(I was in St. Louis for a week at a business conference. Can't seem to write anything worthy of posting, so just posting tidbits anyway *shrug*)





Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Fading Portrait



(For my friend P. You have always been so vibrant and alive to me. I will remind you every chance I get.)



When did my colors start to fade?
The first time you overlooked my dress
and the care I took to turn you on, only you weren’t
and aren’t, and can you believe I still try?

When did my paint peel, like a weathered door
that you no longer cared to enter
and I, the gauze ghost behind a pane of cobwebs
stuck between life and death?

When did I become an outline of a woman
all women, any woman
and too soon thereafter, just a frame
so long without my nuance
that I lost my face?

Was it the first time my desire tired you?
Was it the last time you took my energy and rolled your eyes with it
or when you tamped this rambunctious spirit down
with the toe of your sensible work boot?

Honey, draw my portrait.
I have so long forgotten the space between my eyes
and how you once traveled the distance.
Were my lips full, or just swollen with kisses
that once came without request?
I am fading, and who will conjure the me you met?
Who will remind me that I was once a masterpiece
screaming with saturated color,
excitement, and possibility…like a traveling van to Woodstock?
(you hitched a ride… don’t you remember? You stuck out your thumb and said “take me with you.” And I did.)

Sweetheart, do not age me so soon.
Do not pull me into a gray cinched bun
with these tresses still so unwilling to be tamed.
We are not old.
I am not done.
I cannot be the empty frame you just look through
to the chair, where the newspaper holds your eye
and the television, your ear.

Paint me with passion
Leave nothing to memory.
I need to see it all.
Do you remember?
Show me
PLEASE show me
before the mirror has no face.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Separate Wonders




You hold your hope out
like the eigth wonder that it is.
I see the light of it dim
cupped in the cage of your hands
panhandling for care and feeding.

You are a single parent
and the long night has been sleepless...
a series of same.
In the dawn of unreciprocated work
a thought wavers in uneasy release
dips and bobs like a mosquito that cannot find a landing
for such sharp teeth.

You reach for it
but your arms are full of pyramids, temples, walls, and coliseums
structurally burdened.
Wet dog....you shake,
uncontrolled patterns in arcs like arterial blood
and yet
you are still wet.

You are the sole provider
the runner with a torch.
It is yours to carry.
It is yours to drop.
There is a meter running, and I have no coin.

There is a ninth wonder.
I carry it beneath the wing of my arm.
No one sees the light
a child unnamed, waiting for a personality.
My hands hang open
from the surrender of my arms
wild things
requiring no care or feeding...
only time
for a course to expire.




(There is a hope, as brave and bold as any soldier, and yet it too, cannot self sustain forever. How long can it remain unrewarded? You consider releasing it, but it has its own life span and will not be hurried. There is a hope, as timid and unsure as any awkward teen, tucked away until it fully knows itself. You attempt to rush it, only to stumble like a new colt on weak legs.  We acknowledge our lack of knowledge, and we wonder.)
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Breakfast On My Mind



is it a man, a woman? filthy pajama bottoms. the cement must be cold. hard. i shouldn't look. and yet a person sits disheveled here in a public place. a cigarette for breakfast? it's 7:30 am. a cigarette for 7:30 am...and barely a layer of flannel on which to sit. I will buy a coffee. a bagel. what kind of bagel? possibly allergic to nuts. hates raisins? doesn't do cheese. fuck. *sigh*. "Plain bagel please"...."and a coffee." cream? will creamer be wanted? sugar? certainly it would be uncomfortable to be so disheveled and standing at the condiment bar. i have to provide these accouterments to coffee. what if the only cream is in a pitcher? do I go out there and say 'how would you like your coffee'? it doesn't feel right. thank goodness, there are packets of creamer, packets of sugar. four of each should cover it. a stir stick. a napkin. plain bagel in a plain bag. it's going to look like i didn't give a shit. *sigh*. do i put the coffee on the ground? do i say something? how do i make this less demeaning? it is a he. the bruise beneath his eye screams for attention. he is reaching for the coffee i hand him. his hands are filthy. i feel stupid in my dress and high heels. he says nothing for a time. i guess i will just put the bag beside him. i hear 'thank you', but my tongue is swallowed. i think i say "happy breakfast." really? happy breakfast? i ignored his eyes. i missed his name. i lost his story. i am close to tears because i can never seem to get this right. i imagine myself casual, yet confident.

I say "Hey! Good morning. Can I join you for breakfast?" I sit cross legged on the cold hard cement and my eyes form a tunnel toward his reality. I touch his hand. I ask his name. I hear his story. "Do you feel invisible?" I ask. "Not anymore" he says.

Monday, April 23, 2012




Simplicity is not something
known to me.
It is an element
in a table
likely periodic
that has been lost between printing
of this version and that.

To even say such a word is a mind absent
of anything truly recorded...
but rather digital.

All the hiss and scratch of a pure album
is lost in translation
and complexity tries it's hand at management 
on a board of dials.

Simplicity is for children
and we have, without consent,
moved to a place where such hibernation
has come fully awake.
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stumped




I can't seem to hold on
I can't seem to let go
I've lost my hands and the stumps of my arms wave
as goodbye and hello
and neither the coming or the going or the bald end
knows the damn difference.

Can you see these incomplete appendages as they war
to pull and push
almost comical in their inability to do either
without a grip?

I am tired of watching them.
You must be too.
All that flailing.
A bad dance by a worse dancer
in the throws of this tryingtryingtrying
and you, with season tickets!

If I could just come into myself
push through the tight ends
fingers filling a glove
thumb...index....
opposable
I could hold something long enough to know.
I could release something long enough to know.
(at least in theory)


She said she had reached the middle of a lake
the shore lined with her many children.
She could see us waving, and she tried...wanted to...
but couldn't seem to make her way back.

I scoffed then.
'Selfish' I might have said.
'Weak' even.

Oh, I understand it now.
In the most difficult of all battles
(that being self to self)
she lost her hands
and we lost her.

I keep trying
to swim with stumps.
.
.
.
.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time Travel



There are only so many miles in a day.
She watches them click by
flipping over like a pre-digital electric clock
fwap - fwap - fwap!

To curb hunger costs four miles.
If you want to eat downtown
you starve for a couple days
to gain ground.

Her body is shaped like eternity
hour glassed
and the miles run like grains
through the narrow opening of allowance
building as they do,
in steady accumulation.

There are twenty miles left to the month
and everything is drawn in
to a balancing act,
hands weighing options as if they were fruit
this orange?
this apple?
Which is more miles per pound?

She knows her miles are numbered
and that the favorable ones roll quickly
while the painstaking take too long.
Yearning for  coffee
she decides the three miles just aren't worth it.
Tomorrow she may need to take a detour.
Detours are costly.
Damn riot cost her eight miles today.
Tomorrow she'll stop time.
.
.
.
.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Egg Full of Baskets

(SPOILER ALERT: This is a work of fiction, born of a dyslexic idiom my mind spoke. I think it turned into a metaphor about feelings, their origin within our issues...how they cycle, how we try and decipher and categorize them, devoid our mind of them, or hold them close. Maybe we stop trying to organizing them, train them, exercise them to be stronger, and just give them a break. This writing reminds me of my dreams...all worry and angst with no clear place to land or rest.)



She put all her baskets in one egg and carried it deep in her cleavage. It seemed ridiculous, but at this point ridiculous was far superior to sour. Ten years ago it was a real egg with a Sharpie face that she protected. Poor infant "died" when she let fate guard her backpack while necking with Billy Joe. There was a brief funeral and real tears, 'cuz Billy Joe's clumsy hands weren't worth the failing grade.

Wicker handles reached up from her pheasant blouse and switched at her chin like dry brush, but she didn't mind. She was taking these baskets to the quarry, and all their contents too. So many baskets, and all the cargo leaking and yelling and vying for attention. When her hands cramped last Spring, she thought about all she held, longing to spill it along the road like a broken yellow mile of highway, yet knowing it was treasure. So she hung on, until the cramp gained ground inside her mind. When your brain squeezes like that, it makes you loose your hands, like bowels after a meal of mystery meat turns suspect. All the will of holding eventually gives way to natures call. "Shit for brains" was coined after such a time. She was sure of it.

The quarry spread out below her with a toothless grin that labored under the lips of excavation. She worried at the buttons of her blouse. She worried at the handles of each basket. She fingered the smooth shell holding all the baggage that had worn grooves in her palms.

Years later, covered with the sediment of weathered cycles, she tore the last button from the tattered white flag of surrender she wore. The egg was carefully removed and the baskets plucked from delicacy, one by one. She lined them up like a broken yellow mile of highway and faced them towards a terra cotta moon.

Her last thought as she hit the cement surface of water was a good one. The baskets were hitch hiking their way to promise, and the egg...well...she took it with her.
.
.
.
.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Poetry Wall


It came in sections, as most things do...donated from there, purchased from here. Drilled, painted, squared and hung. And what I thought was going to be the most comforting and beautiful thing, looked rather helter skelter, and my mind just cascaded around the edges with no intent of joining in. So I uprooted anchors, and hauled it down the hall, where it is in a somewhat more manageable chaos. It beckons without imploring. It rattles, but causes no deafness. My poetry wall stands at my entrance and exit, which just about sums it up.




Sunday, March 25, 2012

What is Strength?

What is strength?

It is a candle from which both ends might be lit.

Is it strength to show pain, or to hide pain? It is strength to pretend, or to tell the truth...to protect, or to inform? It is strength to move or be moved? Is the surgeon who cuts, stronger than the patient who is cut? I wanted to be strong from both ends. It takes strength to face giants. It takes strength to be a giant. It takes strength to be a disappointment. It takes strength to be disappointed.

If I'm doing the best I can
and I burn up in the flames
how will you label my ashes?




"Before the Truth will come to fill our eyes
The wool comes down in the form of fire
And when the the answers and the Truth have cut their ties
Will you still find me
Will you still see me
Through smoke



I was born in a house in a town just like your own
I was raised to believe in the power of the unknown
'Cause when the answers and the Truth take different sides
Will you still find me
Will you still see me
Through smoke"
 - Needtobreath

Monday, March 19, 2012

Intelligent Design




I crossed Dallas twice in one night.
Sometimes strange things happen
surreal things
like Dallas in the middle of California
and my stride stretching across state lines,

like that night the rain
pounded its tiny fists against the windshield
and somehow
at the height of midnight
went silent.

It made no sense
to see the rain lose its muster,
and all it took was one degree
33
32

such a delicate balance...
we forget
there is Laminin
and one misappropriation of the chain
will cause our structure to fold.

In all that is unknown
and questionable
outside the norm
as if ever there was such a thing...
there is this glue that keeps us
together enough
that a silent rain
is not an oddity at all.

It's just snow.