Thursday, December 17, 2015

Untitled (1975-1998)

There was a softness in the curves of your face
Nose lips chin brow
Even that impish smirk
Softened the blow of your insular soul.
Did I even know you at all?

In knew, intimately, your car's contents1993
Primus Chili Peppers Nirvana
Listened to murmurings
Against the girl attached like Velcro
To your grungeflannel shirt.

My mother's voice sounded the knell
Shot Toby dad dead 
I don't remember our last
I remember sitting by the sink, knowing this.

There are things you'll never know
Hashtags downloads smart phones
That would have made you laugh.
Such a soft laugh, that held secrets
Drawing my mouth into a smile.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hand-quilting in America

We are linked, my sisters.
Spools of simple thread bounce down the stairs of time.
I see the tiny stitches made from that same rocking motion.
We have callouses that withstand fire.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Next to Me

There is a wall next to me.
It grows. 
It crumbles. 
Tendrils of green find their way through the gaps, 
Hope's Breath blooms. 

Some days, I forget it's there. 
Breezes fly through this valley
as in days disappeared. 
The mighty oak's branches rub against the stone.

Some days, the wall is the last anchor I have to you.
I lean, back sore, neck twisted
For there is depth below
That cannot be ignored which I must suck from the soil.

Some days, this wall is everything I fear
And other times it hides all I cannot face. 


So, this what it feels like. 
Not every day,
But in the slick-sweat stickiness of this moment
Or that. 
You dare to peek in the keyhole 
Of Pandora's black box
And as with an accident causing disruption on the road
It is an effort to pull your eyes away
From the disaster inside. 

The mind plays with architecture:
Bridge the gap,
Building walls,
A door closing. 
I stand in the doorway
While my foundation shudders around me. 
I don't know where I should stand. 
And after this moment...
What then? Where do I build?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I don't always carry my load
in this community of humans.
I can't. My grip falters.
I fall over my laces. I lose a shoe.

Somehow it seems as though I could put one foot after another foot after another foot
But it's as though you asked me to ascend a wall of this house.
The air gets heavy.
I can't breathe.

Today, someone held my heart in their hands
Working and working,
And with the skill of an artist encased it crystalline webbing,
Making precious, the fibrous pulsing inside.

I performed near-miracles yesterday,
Flicking problems away like displaced ants,
But the universe craves balance, you see,
And the winner's platform is pulled away and I fall.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Chickens and Goats

Movement in the barnyard
Under that storm-green sky
To anything but the grass
Anything but the grain

Are we playing Hide and Go Seek?
Again, little muse?
I feel you in my sore wrist.
Are you sitting on my shoulder?
And there you are...

Sitting by fence post
Barbed wire, your canopy,
Twiddling your thumbs, some string
Or just words?
There. Your brown head bobs again.

No, it's just a goat among the chickens.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Your blotchy skin is mine.
So is your small form curled against me for a lullaby.
"I wonder when..."

You have my heart of strong bricks.
My love for you as tender as the skin grafts on your forearm.
Inextricably intertwined, are we.

My willow girl,
Bending and thin, swishing with the wind
There is something right between us.

I am never more worthy
Your eyes know me, hold me, and I won you with a quarter.
Your sap feeds my heart.

You give and you give
You break down walls to breathe the fresh air
You are cloud-stepping, full-hearted

Sister to my soul
Sister of my body
Daughter of my heart

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How Can I Get to Where You Are?

It was late.
 It was night.
I glided on a car made of skateboard wheels and twine.
 Street lights twinkle like faraway stars,
But the road below me shone black as an underground pool.
Passing lights overwhelmed my sight
and the black of the road left me blind.
 I reached out for the painted lines that curved and swayed the road.
I could only trust my fingertips to steady me on this sooty path.
Gravity pulled me toward my destination.



My descent grew steeper.
I called for you, fear pitching my voice higher.

Hear me.
Help me.
Stop me.

My eyes are plucked out.
The surface is too slick.
Night's maw is open.
I fall and she smacks her lips.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

She Shall Outdistance Calamity Anywhere She Goes

When she comes back--
    into the world, red and slick, re-
    incarnated she will not wait--

She will squall without the spank--
    Warrior cry,  Pen poised--
     to mar the blank slate--

New life, new woman--
    New dress? Perhaps--
    Yes, to be sure.

Trouble will come to call.
     She will have her track shoes on
     before the knocker can sound.

Bus, train, car or fleetest foot--
    Speed boat,  aero plane--
   Leaving Trouble in the dust.
I chose the third choice, Kenia's Wednesday challenge, for my inspiration.
I had written off Marianne Moore a long time ago (the HYPHENS!!!) and it was nice to revisit her work. She was a lot better the second time around. I could even see a similarity of style between us.

I took my title from her poem "Diligence Is to Magic as Progress Is to Flight."
I also chose to follow her style and see if I could make those confusticated hyphens work for me.
Her original poem : here

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Head is a Pitcher, The Nose Its Spout

 I was weeping in my closet.
(Do you weep inside yours?)
I cracked the spine and wrote
(It was a dark and stormy face)
A list of the things I knew for certain
(choosing buoyancy over drowning)
 Skills were noted, faiths testified
(And I wrote I look good in black)
I closed the book with determined snap
(then I put away pairs of shoes)
 I filled three pages with things I knew
(I could've eaten my feelings instead)
 Emptied my heart, cleared my head
(cramped hand and a pain in the neck).


Her curls blend with the swirls of the sea
Eddies swish 'round the pedestal
The tides call her home
But down flutters o'er her heart
As her fingers stretch to feel
The tickling of the breeze
Feathers sprout, wings unfurl, she rises
She rises with a cry, bright thing.
A sail from a distant vessel waves her farewell.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Two Sisters

Two sisters
Daily chores
Work to do

A small request
A tiny sip
Of water from the spring

Younger girl
Yes, of course
Diamonds from her lips

Older child, refused
Had only vipers
She could spit

In the looking glass
Haunted by the tale
Which sister do I see?

The Fairies by Charles Perrault http:/
is great tale that rewards compassion. This is my wish for myself. This link is a short retell if and worth the visit.
The moral is retold in two different versions by author Robert D San Souci in The Talking Eggs

The Well at the End of the World. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Haunted (When the Minutes Drag)

I still miss you.
Holding your hand on the damp subway platform
And hearing the clack of your heels.
Never loved a woman that way before.
Never felt so overprotective, stupid, naïve
Before I spied you, post- interview, face a mess.
I can smell the piss and hear the hiss
Of the air brakes.
I turn without looking and leave.
I leave for what I know,
Where I can see the ground
Before my foot can land.
My first fiction piece is the subject of this poem, inspired by the title of Love and Rockets' "Haunted (When the Minutes Drag)."

Tuesday, April 7, 2015



Away from the house
Under the clothes line
Down the short ridge
And over the lawn
Go through the plum trees
That sprout round the ditch
Boldly step into your own primitive country
There are hills, but you can't see them
Grass and growth so tall, you can hardly see
You can wear many hats,
Any hat, here
There is the skunk tree
And the bush that can be hidden under.
The skunk tree has a mysterious x
Carved right there on the trunk
What does it mean, but that your hat today
Belongs to a buccaneer?
When you come back the way you came
You can stop in the valley
Build a nest for me and you.
We will be birds, feathered and safe.

My great-grandmother's home had a large back yard but after the back border of tangled plum trees, in the center of the block, there was a wilderness of imagination. I tried to put my feelings about this overgrown and protected place in this poem.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Nevada Stars

I climbed the wooden ladder
Lay on wooden beams
When I opened my eyes
A gasp caught in my throat.
Stars, so thick,
Like stew,
Were smeared across the sky.
I could taste them,
Seasoned with the desert air.
Nevada stars are closer,
Not to the Earth, but to each other.
Here they dance on the glistening ebony of the sky.
Kiss, flirt and spin away.
These stars stick in my mind's eye
If you want to see them too, avoid Sin City's neon glow
And take Hwy 95 to the middle of nowhere
Then turn at the bend.
You'll know you've made it
when you can see them through your tears.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Out on a Limb

Been morning for hours.
From gray to green goes the scent on the breeze.
Up here!
Scraped knee.
and book.

The tree we thought banana,
Ugly in winter or spring,
Holds me high.
Thick, pliant arms.
This tree.
Dried pods burn like needles in the sole.
My perfect.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Velveteen Châise Lounge Smashed on the Side of the Road

I draw my finger slowly through the dust
This is how I send through the message
I love to watch the small particles rearrange
Like metallic filaments moving with a magnet.


There is creation and there is decay
Forced upon us like the abandoned chair
On the side of a busy highway
I can see the broken luxury from my 50-mph glance.

There are days thick with starch
And I drink them down slow,
Love the weight flowing in my chest
I will it not to choke me.

Why are some days heavier than others?
What changed in the atmosphere
Or in the atomic weight of the metaphysical
That leaves me feeling like this?