Monday, May 3, 2010


A new poem of mine just went up on Night Train. I appreciate that my husband let me send this one out...

Old stuff I'm just discovering ('cuz I'm a little behind!): the poetry of Denis Johnson. Check this out from Incognito Lounge:

Surreptitious Kissing
I want to say that
forgiveness keeps on

dividing, that hope
gives issue to hope,

and more, but of course I
am saying what is

said when in this dark
hallway one encounters

you, and paws and
assaults you--love

affairs, fast lies--and you
say is back and we

blunder deeper, as would
any pair of loosed

marionettes, any couple
of cadavers cut lately

from the scaffold,
in the secluded hallways

of whatever is
holding us up now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Poetry for people who want to feel stuff.

Nate Slawson is a poet to pay attention to. He's got juice. here. here. here. And in the partial poem below that showed up recently in TYPO.

                                      When will our fucking hearts cease to riot?
                                                                                           -- Superchunk
I know I promised you
I wouldn't make a scene
in front of all your friends
but is it so wrong if I write
your name across my shoes
& sit by you at lunch
is it so wrong if I want
to stand next to you in gym
class O your legs remind me
of a river bed I would do
a hundred sit-ups for
you & whisper your name
& kiss my knees pretend-
ing they were you

Lifted from Abjective. Watch out. You'll need a drink of water after you read this by Anne Marie Rooney. And more. She's wonderful!

This very small
by Anne Marie Rooney
         Secret in my. Am I a round wet
         O? Or am I something lower. He does not know
         what. I show him the place to. And then
             and    and   O. What is an O made of.
         And if I am. Do I gold myself? Is there another
         pocket to press? Preverbal O and licking
         O in my O God. Do I rain on like this is
         a very small? And if    then    and hotly O ing
         back to it and. I bite into this very small. And his mouth
         opening. Outside the window. I am a gold. Sachet
         of morning. The O is not. And his shoulders opening.
         In my mouth is a. I    and        unwiring and just.
         Is he folding    into a letter? Is    preverbal and am I.
         I lick the. The glue sticks to my.
         And when I bite I am hotly.
         When I leave I am hotly. I go out in a brown dress
         to tell. The smell of gingko on his. The absence of. I grow.

And Gregory Sherl. Rock on, big guy. The one below is from The Nervous Breakdown. And another - this time from Eclectica. Enjoy!

The Oregon Train in the Last Moments Before Dusk

    When you unbutton your blouse I think
    flawed perfection. I hunt like a martyr,
    begging the forest to take me for what
    I am, somewhat of a good man. I strip
    down to nothing, less than nothing I
    have shed my skin, hung it from a tree
    like an idea I was too scared to write
    down. We always ford the river, the
    water the color of toothpaste, the water
    too far to touch my skin—it’s still
    hanging from a tree, a ghost in love
    with being a ghost. While your mouth
    is on my mouth, we are robbed. The last
    minutes of light welcome the first
    minutes of fear. The robber at the end
    of the world rubs his lost apprehension.
    His gun is lost shrapnel from a war
    I’ll never fight. He wants to know why
    the river’s the calmest when you’re not
    looking. He wants to know if the stars
    will tell on his lack of social skills.
    I tell him I don’t know. I tell him
    Tonight we’re just trying to get off.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    A poet to watch: Andrea Cohen

    I've been following Andrea Cohen's work since I heard her read this summer from her new book Long Division. She's worth a read. Here's one of her poems that showed up in the recent edition of Diode
    Click through the link to see more of Andrea's work.

    Self Portrait with Forgiveness
    by Andrea Cohen 

    Maybe forgiveness could take
    the shape of a fish

    I place in the heel
    of a clear, plastic shoe

    filled with water.
    There would be one

    fish in each shoe. They
    would be in love—

    with each other, not me—
    but eternally divided.

    They would be brilliant
    and orange and I

    would walk around on them
    all day and every night

    they’d tuck me in,
    repeating: it’s alright, it’s alright.

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    There’s a good chance I’ll smack the next person who says this

     You’re a saint. That’s a typical response when someone hears for the first time that my husband and I adopted three children when they were 8, 9, and 12. In fact, I’ve already heard it once today.

    And I wonder – are saints the only people who love children?

    Is it that my older three were broken when they arrived and to some extent, are broken still--does that make them harder to love?

    If a car hit your dog, would you love him less because he couldn’t stand until his legs were mended?

    What You are a saint really means is I don’t understand your choice. Sometimes people even follow it up with I could never do that. To which I think, Who’s asking you to?

    Not everyone is suited for parenting, much less parenting a child who has been abused and abandoned.  To them I say – party on, man – in whatever way life makes sense to you.

    Not everyone is suited for accounting or anesthesiology either. Is my accountant a saint for following his nature? (Well he is when he chooses not to smack me in the head for the mess I bring into him every year, always late)

    That’s not to say that adopting three children at the same time when I already had two younger children wasn’t shit crazy. Sure it was. But that’s my nature.

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    A few pleasures from this year

    1) The poetry of Dean Young
     Here's an excerpt from a recent poem by Young. You can read the whole piece on the Poetry Foundation website.

    Human Lot
    by Dean Young

    I’m amazed we haven’t crawled off by now.
    Later we could go back and cross things out,
    that way we wouldn’t know where we came from,
    the shapes we asked to be bent into.
    Sinatra’d be okay again,
    mother the same distal approximation,
    the sea still trying to spit it out.
    Sometimes your sleep is different than mine.
    I can’t catch up.
    I don’t know—there are voices tangled outside.
    Wind wants to make me correct something,
    the refrigerator says something needs to be pushed
    further from the sun.
    2) The poetry of Bob Hicok
     Here are a few spots to check that out: Scythe and Diode 
    3) The music of Brandi Carlile
    She's not new but she's new to me. Her album "The Story," well let's just say I've looped that so 
    much my hair should be able to play the guitar tracks on their own. 
    4) The movie Zombieland because some days require nothing less than a fresh ankle
    5) Friends and family who put up with my whimsy
     Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year to all!

    Monday, November 9, 2009

    Scolded by a Buddhist

    Has it happened to you? I can assure you it is not pretty - especially when the Buddhist is your own fourteen year old son. This child who needed to lie on my body for the first three years of his life and lies on me still though he has passed me in height, is the most compassionate and patient and indiscriminately loving person I know. But he threw down the gauntlet this weekend (is that really only a glove? If I was going to throw down a gauntlet, I'd like it to be something that made noise when it hit the floor).

    You are not home enough mom!, he insisted, tears in his eyes and everything.

    Hey, no fair, is what I was thinking. Come to the coffee shop with me, is what I said.

    So he and I and my nineteen year old daughter (who apparently also thought hanging out with Mom for a while might be a decent way to pass the time) headed out to the coffee shop and spent the middle of the day reading and typing (we took turns on my computer) and chatting about things like how anyone could possibly love a hairless cat.

    At one point, a 30ish mother and her three young children sat near us. All four were clearly enjoying each other's company. Past days came rushing back, days when toddler hands searched for my legs and face, when eight and ten year olds ran up the stairs to tell me how their day was at school. And I thought how lucky I am that my children still want to sit at a table with me even if all we do is read our separate books and occasionally wonder how Victoria Beckham can walk in those shoes.

    No writing got done, of course. There's always today for that.

    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    There will be swearing (post formerly titled "Trying something new")

    I might as well just dive right in to what I'm thinking about today. No Hellos. No lame justification for why you may or may not be interested in reading this blog.

    I'm a writer of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and any other random crap I need to write at the moment. (There will be swearing in this blog - in fact maybe this blog should be titled: Mother of five, trying to carve out space for herself, there will be swearing. No, I'll just change the title of today's post). So that's the second thing - I'm a mother of five children who currently range in age from 14 to 23. (Who's idea was that anyway? - shit, that's right, I think it was my idea - there's that swearing again).

    So I haven't figured out exactly what I'm going to do with this blog but I think it's going to be a random mixing of my thoughts on writing, publishing, motherhood, where to drop my teenagers off so they can't find their way home, and whatever else is caught up in my spin and burn.

    Well, - I guess I provided a lame justification for reading this blog after all.

    Enjoy or not as you will. I'll be back in the next day or two.