Wednesday, June 26, 2013



Oh, Beck, how I love you.

shot gun stain don't believe everything, maggot mace yo cut it

soy un perdedor....

weasel string pigeon write relate wax splinter kill

bring it, feel it, baby, believe, baby

sprechen Sie Deutsch?

you know what I'm sayin'?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

night sun day moon

I had a morning.
Then I had an afternoon.
My evening is here in the middle of me
waiting for me to have it, too.
My daughter is off
to another graduation party.
I was invited but can't make my-
self attend. People will be there.

My house is not on stilts.

Many questions rise in dust motes.
The answers lie in shredded cheddar cheese.

I am a master of nothing.

Once, I sang a solo for an audition.
"Moon River."
Plaintive and weak.

It's time to plant the vacuum
in the third drawer down
where I keep my stash
of letters from old friends.

Vertile soil.

bye now.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

experimental typing the morning after a bad night's sleep

Can I tell you a secret? If I ask you if I can tell you a secret, will you find time to listen to my secret? If my secret bores you, will you pretend it matters? If I cry while I tell you my secret, will you hand me a tissue? If I decide after I ask you if I can tell you my secret that I’d rather not tell you because my neighbor is playing bad ‘80s music again, will you hold it against me for withholding, or will you be relieved because my secrets are so dull? Do you love me for my secrets? Do you love that I have no secrets? My secret is multi-layered. The top layer involves weight, my billowing, burgeoning body. And we'll stop at this top layer, this layer where my body becomes a houseboat. 

My body is a houseboat.

My body is a heavy burgundy drape.

My body left its ball cap in the mall.

My body is a sub-zero, stainless steel freezer.

My body is duck down.

My body is Stevie Nicks’ voice.

My body is a ladle.

My body requires sifting.

My body isn’t a kettle.

My body is the Impressionist room of an art gallery.

My body is a jar of Mediterranean basil.

My body has bird shit on its back window.

My body isn’t a fallen bird’s nest.

My body’s ring tone is the sound of a key in a deadbolt.

My body is not a mechanical pencil.

The wood of my body splinters.

The plastic of my body melts to the car cushions because this body's heat smells of aging funnel cakes.

This body is not my body. This body is a paint-chipped garage.

This body is not a push reel mower

though it could be

it should be

it will be.

Monday, June 3, 2013

transitional phase

My daughter graduated from high school Saturday evening. Because she is a 4.0 scholar, she was up on the special podium with all the speakers, class officers, valedictorian, salutatorian, principal, superintendent, etc. People keep saying, "You did a great job raising her!" I keep saying to these people, "She did this all herself. She chose to work this hard. We just fed and watered her and kept her clean."

OK. I haven't really thought to say that until just now as I write this post (directly into the window as usual).

I'm struggling today. I truly woke up Saturday a different woman. My role is shifting, and though I know my Girl still needs me, will return home often, actually enjoys my company, my day-to-day, hands-on, "Mom do you know where my blue shirt with the narwhal on it is?" days are nearly over.

I can hardly stand it, so I'm trying to think about other things including a performance I'm giving Saturday at the Columbus Arts Festival. First of the poets on the Word is Art stage (that I'm first indicates I came in last of all those accepted after auditions, though I'm not sure about that. That I'm on the stage at all is a great privilege. The other spoken word poets are incredible. I'm in awe and feel honored to be there). I need to select and time the poems I'll read. I'm also trying to go through the mounds of clean but never folded or hung up laundry in my bedroom, some mine, some my Girl's. I'm throwing away ratty clothes not worth donating, making piles of clothes that I'll never wear again to donate (because I've, er, grown). I'm trying to remember to apply for jobs, pay bills, move my body, read.

I hear my daughter sneeze. She stayed the night with a friend whose family has several dogs, and she's allergic. She's also raising dust in her room, decided it's time, finally, to clear out broken old toys and junk she no longer needs. This is something we should have begun doing months ago, but this last year of her high school was my last year of grad school, so, well, the house suffered.

This past weekend was filled with graduation party preparations, the graduation itself, more parties to attend. I'm not a very social person, so this all wore me out. Yesterday evening, I went to an outdoor band concert (you know, marching music, local musicians). The area high school honors band played, so the crowd was large and full of proud parents. My daughter was not in honors band (her choice), but I love some of the kids who played, felt the need to leave my house, and wasn't disappointed since the kids played beautifully.

I managed to sneak away at the end without talking to too many people.

Really, I think all the socializing is what wore me out.

This is an interesting time of year for me, always desperately busy because of end of school things. Added to that is the fact that my father's absence looms large. He would have turned 82 last Thursday, and tomorrow is the 14th anniversary of his death. Just before he died, my husband, daughter and I accompanied him on a cruise to the Mediterranean (he nearly didn't make it home). Our final docking point before we flew home was Istanbul. I'm heart sick about what's happening there. Istanbul was lovely to us, to my father. I want all the bad stuff to stop.

The thesis I will defend Aug. 1 is full of poems about my father's dying, death and my missing him (and my mother). There are other themes, too, but the father/motherloss theme is what I think of as the spine of the manuscript. That I've been spending so much time returning to 14 and 15 years ago makes these dates more prominent, I think.

In other words, the transition from full-time mother to mother of college kid along with the memory of my father's dying makes me


a part of one of my thesis poems:

I dream my father dies again

but this time
when he dies,
he's not alone; I'm in Texas

with him
next to his hospice bed, my hand
light on his chest,

a sparrow,
rising as he inhales, sinking
as he exhales, my fingers fluttering.

The air 
smells of fresh-mowed grass,
cigar smoke and feathers.

and it goes on and on or maybe not so on and on since the lines are short. It doesn't matter. This post doesn't matter. It's something I needed to write and put out into the world to help me shake off the sad that seems to be preventing me from being as productive as I need to be to survive into and through the fall.

Thanks for listening.