Saturday, October 10, 2015


You gave me a lock of your hair,
and said--

Well, I can't recall. Something about love.

From the lock of hair,
a head

began to grow, but with lips no one could kiss.

The gray skin, the eye askew, the wild black hair,
half dead--

it spoke in the night and told me you don't care.

Your body is sweet, but the head is there
when you are not,

and honest. Oh, the things you kept from me!
and so much
it has to say.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review: "Fin & Lady"

Fin & LadyFin & Lady by Cathleen Schine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There is a pretty good short story here. Unfortunately, it's a novel. In 1996, I read a book by this author called "The Love Letter." I loved it. This one, not so much.

Eleven year old Fin, having lost both parents, goes to live with his charismatic, beautiful, but capricious and flighty half sister Lady in Greenwich Village in 1964. A lot of reviewers didn't like Lady, but I did, despite her flaws. Lady keeps a trio of male admirers strung along for years as Fin grows into a teenager. One wonders why they stick around for so long, or why Lady keeps tossing them crumbs. Two hundred pages of it is just way too much.

A big problem I had with the book is the mystery narrator. One doesn't find out until way near the end of the novel who this narrator is, and it annoyed me so much, I went to the spoilers at Goodreads to find out ahead of time. Stupid device, in my opinion, to have the story told at a remove by some unidentified speaker who occasionally intrudes with "Fin told me later" or such like.

The end of the novel IS kind of sweet (for the most part), but isn't worth plodding through the rest of the book to get there. If I could give this two and a half stars, I would. It isn't awful, but the fact that it took me nearly a month to make myself finish this short book speaks for itself. The characters are sort of interesting, but not interesting enough. Read "The Love Letter" instead.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Black Walnut

The moon shows through the filigree
of my black walnut tree's

All summer, the boastful sun 
kept after her, one
day into the next,

And though she did not love him,
she needed him. She thinned
by degrees.

The moon paints my black walnut tree silver
where the thick green of her
is gone.

The sun comes less and less, bored
with his conquest;
the moon stays, but is mad, 

And my walnut tree lays her beauty down
upon the earth cold and brown,
indifferent as a grave.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Incident In Little Egypt

After the crash--
so bashful, nothing to say
with your proud head
in the windshield that way.

I told you not to let Cerberus drive--
there are cats everywhere
on the center line 
with their nine lives.

I am made of cream; you of dust--
Who's queen now?
Me, alive, nonplussed,
switch-tailed, not sorry much.

For Flash 55 at Real Toads, with inspiration from "Oh, Fortuna".

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

30 Years

For ten years, I drank. A lot. Enough to destroy my tolerance to it, enough to start seeing stuff that wasn't there, enough to turn me into someone I couldn't stand, enough to want to die. 

But part of me didn't want that. At my lowest ebb, and after trying everything I could think of to stop, and failing, I prayed for God to override the overwhelming compulsion to drink, to just get me through to the morning without drinking, because I could not do it myself. 

I stayed sober that night, and as of today, I have been sober for 30 years continuously. If you think miracles don't really happen, I'm standing here to tell you that they do, and I am grateful every day.


Friday, September 25, 2015


A snake fell from a cloud
and was eaten by a bird
who then hid in the bush.

I found the bones of a snake
hidden in the bush
and took them home to make a necklace.

I wore the necklace to make you love me
to make you kiss me
which gave me the gift of flight.

Night wrapped around my necklace
which fell from my throat
whole again, escaping,

Mocking me with my own stolen voice
from the bush.

I was inspired by Sina Nkosi's fantastic poem "The Snake." Written for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads. 

The Kraken

"It pulled me back, it is a monster" --from "A Bright World, Darkened" by Charne Williams

The Kraken in your coffee
doesn't wait for the end of your cool story,

The Hydra in your headphones
sends nine notes across the three bones
of your ear,

Please fill out this questionnaire:

1. Do ordinary objects seem to rear up? Posture? Speak?

2. How long has this been happening? Just today? All week?

3. Do you get the feeling you're in a movie? Playing a part?

4. Does the role involve broken dialogue/ bones/ heart?

Sit down.
Quit making that noise,
Stop hugging your knees.

Tell me about your earliest memory.
Does it have anything to do with me?
Do you see things that aren't there? Any idea why?
It's all right to make something up. It's all right to lie.

Good luck with the Kraken.
Who knows where it might be hiding!
Good luck, you poor loonbat.
Good luck with your writing.

Find Charne Williams complete poem HERE. This poem written for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads.