Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ellen Gilchrist Quote

"We cannot get from anyone else the things we need to fill the endless terrible need, not to be dissolved, not to sink back into sand, heat, broom, air, thinnest air.

So we revolve around each other and our dreams collide. It is embarrasing that it should be so hard.

Look out the window in any weather. We ae part of all that glamour, drama, change, and should not be ashamed.

- Ellen Gilchrist

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


a scare
the edges of a bathroom
the sweet rhyme of a paper hospital gown
flattened, padded with everyone’s unease at your unease

let’s pretend to be honest

this is how you pretend it didn’t all happen
but it did
and now there is no going back, only forward
marching in place
one, two, three, four

this condition is not like dying or death
it is like a white flower
something to get lost in
something to bury the flesh of your desires

this condition is more like the guilt
you carry in your mind
like a schizophrenic
puffing up and pushing against the inside of your skin
except no one knows what their own skin feels like on the inside
until it hurts

Thursday, July 26, 2012

random words that came to me while riding the bus

Everyone admires my boyfriend
because he gets stuff done
himself with no help
from anyone.

I've always been attracted
to that sort of man;
the one that gets stuff done
with his tongue,
his hands.

The scream in his throat
and the fear in his heart,

that's my man,
my heart

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

5:30 p.m.

The office empties
and the sun
shines brighter
through the open window.

The wind
breathes fall
through the leaves of the trees.

A train caws against the rail.
A tree swallow calls out
to the clock that tick
tocks away time.

I finger my button
in a circular motion.

The time has come.
The time has come.


The sun got lost today
This day in July
This day that is summer
This day in Portland
Everyone wears shorts
Or dresses
In the rain
This summer day

Monday, May 21, 2012


And pin numbers
Secret questions
And answers
There is so much
You don't know
About me

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I sit comforted in my spanish harlem room. The gray rainy skies compliment my pale blue room. The breeze feeds my need for coolness and solitude. The heat from the last three weeks brought with it a mania in me. I went out every night doing nothing and everything. Now I rest my tired feet and mind. My manic state collapsed. It all began on a Thursday night....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

pillow tree girl

Swinging lips
Fall from trees
And hips
They arc upright
In the night

We talk
That's what we're
Supposed to do

Friday, May 4, 2012


you see
these words
they mean so much to me

the words
are the only
true for me


My tears are dry like the desert
Tumbleweed gifts
For the strangers I meet
The Russian man
At the corner bus stop
Every downtown morning
We share secret smiles
We breathe our hellos

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

two peas in an edamame pod

I ask you again about the dog today
To see what you will say
To remind myself
What it is exactly that we are telling ourselves

We make a tent with our sheet
And watch our legs
They look the same as they did
Five years ago

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Getting There

The fat man with the French accent behind us taps the white exterior of the plane as we board: Do you think it’s good? We can hear his voice above the quiet hum of the other passengers. Don’t move. I’m not as fat as you think, he says as he straddles his way across hips and skirts to the aisle to adjust his bags. We smile, but we don’t laugh. We are clouded with anxiety. We just want to get there.

Long, winding electric rivers pulse like hardened arteries. No water, only cars pass by strings of strip malls that swallow up any sign of life. The hospital - an oasis of potted plants and grass and warm sun and vendors selling food that smells like carnival. A scene that conjures happy thoughts – a trick.

Your face is hollow and your left side droops and you talk like you have a cigar hanging from your mouth. Your lips unable to make words that sound like you. But your skin is smooth like cream and your hair as white as pearls and you are beautiful. You hold my hand and say: so glad you came.


From my friend Mike:

How many wake up calls have you had?

I know I've had plenty.

How many did I listen to?

Not nearly enough.

Monday, April 23, 2012

secondhand viewing of what was mine

You want to stop at that store. You are looking for a pair of work pants. We have been through this before. I paw through the racks of secondhand shawls and you sweep the store for Carhartt pants.

I watch a woman with a child pick up a sweater I sold to this store last week. She holds it up and makes her decision. That sweater of mine has lain across my bare breasts sometime between summer and last fall.

I stalk this woman with my eyes as I finger t-shirts and scarves. I try to get you to look as she puts my sweater in her bag, but you don't really care.

I am happy to see someone want my sweater; the one I purchased from a local girl at a tiny store in Wisconsin.

This has happened to me before. At a bar New York, in the bowels of Chinatown dancing on a drunken summer's night, I saw a girl dancing with my mint green leather hand bag. In my disbelief I confronted her.

In her Irish accent she confirmed where she had purchased the bag and asked me why I gave the bag away. For a second, I had no idea.

I was happy to see that bag again; the one I purchased from a souk in Fez.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Is it a poem?
I don't know
I guess
I really don't care


There are five poetry books on my nightstand table. Two are independent publications, the kind I think of myself as liking. One is a book of poems by an author I admire for a single poem. Another is a book of "erotic" poems that bore. The book I turn to night after night while the others collect dust are the words of Tomas Transtromer.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Night Nothings

One cloud passing
My kitchen window
I stand getting water
Midnight black April eve
Passing thoughts ribbon
Through still irises
Seeing tomorrows
Their smiling promises
That lie beneath
Sleeping souls

Restless for a moment
A feeling affirming yes
This cup you hold is real
Tonight is the night

Thursday, April 19, 2012

random thought #864

We are all obsessive creature beasts at heart doing the same things over and over again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Feather-like depths of the heart
Like sticky steps
Shoes and feet get stuck
In the act of stepping

Burr-like memories bristle
Hooking consciousness

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

thinking of my sister

"Children of the same family, the same blood, the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply."
-Jane Austen

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wake up call

This is your life.
Wake up!
This is your f'ing life!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our World

It brings me
such joy
To hear you laugh
Really laugh
Your head tips backwards
All your chompers showing
Eyelids closing
Eyelashes dancing
Strange pecking noises
Rising from your throat
And to think
All I had to do
Was play for you
Biz Markie's song
"Pickin Boogers"

Monday, April 9, 2012


The second day in a row that we have not turned the heat on. The breeze from the window settles the dust of winter in this house. A reminder that spring is here. You smell of bath salts and the candle smells of lavender. Spring joy. Joy Spring.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Strings of sleep catch us
Wrapping fingers along
Dreaming thoughts

Thursday, March 1, 2012

office banter

I say something
You say something
I say something more
And, then so do you
It's a game
That I wish I didn't
Fall for
So easily

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


House whispering
Rain pattering
Wind blowing
Legs entwining
You breathing
Me squinting
At this phone
Through vitamin e-oiled
Deciding what to write

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh hush

The river of your smile lines kept me going
Neither backwards nor forwards
Just marching in place
One. Two. Three. Four.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

a thought

In a speech Amy Poehler gave to Harvard students she said:
"Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Exiting the subway and crossing 14th St., I headed to Veselka on First ave. I met you for lunch. I remember it well. I was hurried. It was Wednesday. Ash Wednesday. I watched those around me; the ones with ashes on their foreheads.

It was our third meeting. A New York afternoon in February. The middle of the day; a nice day- seemingly sunny. A moment in time. You looked hungover and I tried not to eat too much.

After we ate, I got a coffee and we walked. We walked through Greenwich village, Little Italy and Soho. Your eyes on me, we talked. We smiled.

And then you headed downtown and I headed back to my harlem haven, where everything was grittier and I felt so belonged.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the day laslow the snake shed his skin

Yesterday Karin's sunset-orange snake shed its skin. Whole. In one big piece. It looked like a giant condom sitting there on her bedroom dresser.

I don't know if I've ever been as close to a snake as I was yesterday. Karin has six snakes. Three boys and three girls. They were all beautiful.

Karin says that snakes can't really hear, but they are sensitive to all vibrations, including sound vibrations. She says they can sense your energy. She says that if your are calm when you hold the snake, then the snake will be calm and go limp in your arms.

All afternoon Laslow kept slithering around all over himself. He was feeling up his new skin while all the other snakes slept.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: The Best Year Ever

I have decided that 2012 will be the best year ever. Not only that but this will also be the best decade of my life. Hello thirties, I am very pleased to meet you.