Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Retired Poetess

And lo, the heart doth open on golden springes,

Oh how fucking stupid. Lo. Really? Lo dee oh doe. La la la. Down shoobee doo down down. I wonder what Neil Sedaka's doing these days? He might be dead or something. Never mind! Write!

The heart, bedded neath its blanket of care, opening on golden--

No! It sounds like a burrito or a pill dispenser or something. I can't work hungry. What's in the house?

~one trip to the store, and fixing lunch, and eating lunch, and a nap, later....

heart cart fart part K Mart

Maybe if i walk the dog, my head will come up with something. Don't forget poop bags. 

~one dog walk later~

Lo, the

I wonder what's on Face Book? Ha! Talking cats, I love those. LIKE. Oh here's that silly woman asking to be friends again. She actually posts pictures of her bunions. That's low...

Lo, the springes of the heart open under Psyche's...

Psyche? Circe? Mars? March! I'm gonna march you down the aisle! April! You're the Easter bunny when you smile! Yeah, yeah, my heart's in a whirl--

Spring-ed heart, lo the ...cart? chart? Convenient Food Mart?

I'm hungry again. Then bed. Zac's tired. Wait, there's an "ER" re-run on. Oh wow, the guy's in a coma. That's rough. They say that waking up is hard to doooooo, I know it is, I know that it's truuuuuue... What about the poem? *yawn*


for Metafiction with Kerry at Toads.  




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Old Woman & The Sea (Of Mail)

A bit belatedly, here are 3 pix of some old bat leaving to deliver her mail route for the last time, 3 weeks ago. ;-)

Bye! Bye! (Won't she EVER leave?)

Yeah. Byyyyyeee. 31 years to get rid of that chick, jeez!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Rotten Fruit

Here is your rotten fruit
taken from a gorgeous vine--
the lush one, the lovely one
in its season--mine.

Roll the dough, crimp the crust,
spoon the rotten fruit inside--
bake it well, then go to hell
where with these sweets you may abide.

for Poetry Pantry #358.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hates Haiku , Flies Solo

This is the sort of thing that has those bitches snickering behind their hands--
I burned the bed, including the one in my mind,

but I took one of them outside first,
so I'm not as rash as they say.

I have shelves and shelves of poetry--
my own and everybody else's.
"My love is like a red, red rose," like this, and like that,

What a load of crap.

Now I sleep on the couch, in case there's suddenly something good on,
or I feel like steeping myself in a trash novel all night
like some sort of nocturnal tea bag.

I'm always brewing something.

So fuck you, you with the soft lips; you with the strong arms. 
Here's the list, you're on it, get lost.

At 3 a.m. there was a show about dinosaurs.
They had shrimpy brains and big spikes and some had clubs on their tails.
Half of them were girls, all they cared about was
laying eggs and eating.
I watched that shit until the sun came up.

My friend says, "You could still meet somebody."
It's true, I could.
Here I am flying through space with my big bright tail.
Here I fly, with my shitty track record and my poems and my passion.
Here I come, down through the atmosphere, 
not looking for you, but on my way anyway.

for Sunny's "sleep and insomnia" prompt at Toads. I love to sleep. I never have insomnia.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Witch's Instructional

This is what it means to be La Bruja, the witch--
(swab honey on your ears before I speak, or they will curl like dry leaves.) 
It isn't like people think,
from storybooks and bullshit they've heard.
It's like this--
a candleflame-colored Moon rising 
through dreams and trees
into night sky, and not nearly so distant as it seems.

If you are La Bruja, you must barter with every wild thing-- 
taking some of each, as they keep some of you.
Sorters appear,
you know the ones...
made of hair spray and bibles, scared of the dark,
rattling on about their birth right.
You will kill them,
whether you choose to or not; whether you feel good about it or not.
Ah well.

There will be those who come into the trees,
even into your dreams,
to avenge what you've done while you were sleeping, 
walking the stick path,
or baying at the moon.
All I can tell you is, wear a long cloak,
keep moving to the stone-feather pulse inside you,
and know the Moon saves her favor for you, not dwarves or fools. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

What I'm Made Of

Sugar and spice
and all things nice;
red strawberries and
shards of ice.

North wind, south wind,
night bird's call;
prayer and peaches and

Some from the heart and
some for show;
wouldn't you, honey,
just love to know.

for "I Am Made Of..." at Toads.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Minutes of The Marvell-Herrick Society

Everybody talks about
mass death
like it's a bad thing.

Gray skies are gonna clear up--
put on a bird-mask face
with roses 
under your noses--
yeah that's the way.

Everybody talks about
heads with crowns
like that shit really matters.

Kiss me, honey,
Old Time is still a-flying.
It's not love
but it's not bad,
and what's the dif if we're dying?

Gathering rosebuds while I may, for Mama Zen's "Words Count." And yes, I really drew the Death card. You expected I would get the six of cups?



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bell The Cat

Bell the cat, bolt the door, burn the welcome mat.
Shade the sun, don't tell anyone, and when you're done with that,
Tongue the bell as magpies coin the language she'd have licked
the honey from, til day is done and drowsed and silly and sick;

Promise her you love her more than Terpsichore and then
her fading scent will pay the rent when she has gone again.




Sunday, June 4, 2017

Emilie Sagee's Complaint

I was framed.
I don't care what fifty people said--
that I marched right up to the pulpit and kissed the priest;
then laid one on the nun as well.

I skipped Mass that day and took a nap.
Why do people lie?
Besides, no twin would bother 
aping one so very dull as I. 

for flash 55. 


Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Ambitious Waste Basket

The ambitious waste basket perhaps read too much into it
when it was given a clean white scented trash bag to wear.

"He's going to marry me!" thought the waste basket, mistakenly.

Instead, every time he filled her, he emptied her.
He attached a miniature basketball hoop and did not desire
her molded plastic body at all.

The ambitious waste basket grew bitter,
and took to leaving itself in the hall and on the stairs.
Finally, her anger set her waste paper contents ablaze.

Her prince arrived and, calling out the most endearing obscenities,
splooshed a bunch of white foam into her, delighting her.
"He wants me to have his child," she concluded, erroneously.

Her heart and body melted, the ambitious waste basket could not even react
when she found herself inside a larger container and felt them both being rolled to the curb.
The trash truck arrived and she fell into it without a thought, because

The trash truck clearly wanted her, and held her tight,
though he smelled pretty bad and didn't talk much.
"It's just l'amour fou!" said the ambitious waste basket, quite correctly this time. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Other Hand

They tell me--I mean the throat clearers in their white coats--
that my extra hand is a blighted twin,
and that its presence on the right side of my back is not threatening.

The fools.
Hungering for love like anyone else, I gave in
to someone's touch. In mid-declaration, he found the hand
and jumped away as if electrocuted when he saw what he'd touched.

In church, wearing my customary black,
I pray, and in my prayer, I lie, giving thanks.
The horrid hand crosses itself at the moment of deceit,
and my skin crawls so badly that I nearly scream right there in the pew.

The worst part is that I can't really see it.
I twist painfully, my back to the mirror, but it curls away 
like some unholy creature avoiding teeth, or fire.
I curse it, sobbing with frustration, the hand mirror smashed.

At night, the hand traces letters against the skin of my back,
but the language makes no sense except to devils and Gypsies.
My mother brought the doctor, then the priest, upon finding me
blood-drenched and wheezing on the floor in the morning.

Who could blame me, for the knife?
Who could forecast that the thing would defend itself,
at cost of three fingers, one of them mine?

The same doctors performed surgery that afternoon,
pronounced the thing removed and benign,
but I know better, and carry the scars to prove it.

for my own Fireblossom Friday challenge at Real Toads: "It's Only A Paper Moon."


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's My Last Day !

It's my last day schlepping the mail after 31 years of "through sleet, snow, avalanche, alien invasion" etc. Yay!

A little music to exit the building by.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Book Review: "A Great And Terrible Beauty"

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book starts out really well. It deals with a young woman who grew up in India attending an English boarding school and is up to its crumpets in wild goings-on. I liked the first half very much, dealing as it did with the social politics of a group of girls. I also really liked the narrator, Gemma, who is fiery and independent but not sure of herself for all that.

However, the second half of the book veers--not without considerable entertainment value--into a world of runes, caves, magic, other realms, etc. etc. Unfortunately, that kind of fantasy stuff isn't really my thing. Still, I give the author kudos for snappy pace and skillful storytelling. On the whole, not bad, but a bit too magic-themed for me.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Busy Oak

Here is the street door to where you are not.
The red bricks remain--
together they make a wall, a building, 
The old Busy Oak restaurant and the apartments above it.

Here are the winter cars out in the street, the noisy buses
sending up dust and old leaves, none of them carrying you.
Here are the mailboxes, none of them yours,
no way to fold in a note; here are dark stairs leading up,
but they lead to curt strangers in your place.

I'm not sure I miss you, but I miss being young,
full of desire and hope, uncertainty and kind intentions.
I miss the way your walk made me feel to see it,
something like being drunk in church, naked and faith-struck.

Here is the place I lived to find, then found.
Here is the Busy Oak, turned realtor's office and recruitment center.
The places we love come and go, the young come and go,
it all passes and fades, but something brought me back here

Once more, today, to this place
and you.


for the mini-challenge: people and places.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Deaf Angels

"He's an angel, not a saint." --Michael

Deaf angels aren't much for music.
No matter the beauty of the harp, 
they're oblivious
and bored.

Deaf angels aren't much for prayer.
Unaware of kneeling priests in robes,
lofty Ladies, 
loquacious Lords.

But when you find you cannot speak--
the break too ragged, raw and deep--
Deaf angels come with silent arms
and balm not found in notes nor words.

For Rommy's challenge at Real Toads.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Bloodorange, the Big Boss,
assigned me to report on my own death, 
presenting a ticklish situation, both logistically and ethically. 

Cockrobin, my first journalism professor,
wrote "REPORT the story" on a blackjack and let me have it.
I saw stars indicating the edition with my byline on it, Chickpea, girl reporter.

Now, Bloodorange and I used to be a thing
until he undrowned his wife and family, up from the river, reborn.
I'm a loose end, an extra column, and the new ace of a dying profession.

Bloodorange is as crafty as he is cheap,
with two dicks that duel each other constantly, resulting in
his slightly gassy, somewhat bemused expression, commented on by all.

Concerned for my career, not to mention my mortal flesh,
I went to see Cockrobin, down under L Street where he lives in a funeral urn.
I kissed him by way of interview, and he bade me live just to spite his rival.

Like any good reporter, I wrote what I could long before deadline,
plumbing the morgue for basic bio stuff about myself, all news to me.
Then I composed several endings and demises, stored in a cloud like akashic records. 

Oh how Bloodorange and I used to dance, but now
one of his brats has killed me with a ball peen hammer, emerging from a high cupboard
to bash my brains in. How'd the little darling even get up there?

(Bloodorange hates vernacular, that's why I used it.)

The next afternoon, the newspaper folded,
journalism died, and Bloodorange became a Hindu,
reincarnated, single again, and using my skull for a doorstop at his ashram

Where the ideals are advertising revenue, and survival of the fittest.

for the weekend challenge at Toads: the news.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review : "Lone Wolf"

Lone WolfLone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some things about this novel bugged the heck out of me, first among them the seemingly mandatory shifting point of view. Does anyone write single POV anymore? This book changes POV every time there is a new character, doing so well past the mid-point of the book (and even at the end, but that was okay. You'll see.) There were several times when I had to flip back to remind myself who was the narrator of the moment.

Another thing I hated was the silly names. Helen Bedd? There's one chapter where it's Stupid Character Name Jamboree time. I didn't see any point to it, just Picoult amusing herself or something.

However, all of that said, there is a reason why I keep returning to this author even though she makes me nutty sometimes. She is really good at portraying families in crisis. In addition, when she chooses to write about animals, she obviously does her homework first and the result is both fascinating and enlightening. In "Leaving Time" it was elephants; here it's wolves. Luke Warren is a man who leaves his family for two years to go into the wilds of eastern Canada to insinuate himself into a wild wolf pack. What happens there, and what it ultimately means for everyone who loves him, is top drawer stuff. This novel is also about making an end of life decision. Who makes the call, and what guides them?

All in all, I liked the book and do recommend it, but with reservations if, like me, you aren't a fan of continually shifting narration.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 12, 2017

New Banana Town

In Old Mango City,
I wore the thrift shop jacket you like,
and the big shades.

I wore them up, in my hair
as if I were trying out for Queen of the Produce Stalls.
You dissembled, became incorporeal,

And slept with my better nature
behind my back. Remember that tune we liked?
Neither do I. I wish I could.

Here is my black top hat,
and my white gloves. Here is you, appearing again.
Ta-da, I say. You kiss me to make me shut up.

The buses are all out of service
on the road to Old Mango City.
An urchin brought me an orange soda and said it was voodoo.

So, sit here. On the curb with me.
I bet you never knew we were a post card; I mailed us,
addressed to our ghosts, postage due.

Don't be sad. I'm not.
I just always cry at beginnings, arrivals, being here in a new place:
New Banana Town--population you.

for Out Of Standard.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rope 'Round A Heart

Rope 'round a heart
and the bell swings one--
a kiss like that isn't fooling anyone.

Rope 'round a heart
and the bell swings two-
one for the beggar man who watches you.

Three bell, four bell, five bell, six--
Nuns in the alleyway say mox nix

To you and your seven rope,
you and your eight--

Rope 'round a heart
and the gibbet bell prate.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I Got Interviewed.....

....this time not for my poetry (though that's in there, too) but for my hobby. You can find it HERE.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Every year, robins nest at the side of my house,
They keep the world on its axis. They raise babies. That's it. That's enough.
This year, they began,
but were fooled by a warm February.
Now it is May and there were never any babies.
Something went wrong, though there's a heartbeat inside the wood.

Non-robins that never were
fly out and erase what is. Worms survive, but who cares?
Spring is here, with all its renewal, but it isn't right, the world has tilted.
Next year, will the robins try again?
Or will non-robins nest and create negation?

Wait and see.
By this time next year, I'll either be right here
or gone, under ground, in the teeming roil of things that are, are not, and never should be.

For Bjorn's prompt at Toads. His treatise on physics was just blah-blah to my poor brain, so i wrote about a thing that expresses itself dually, and I hope that is enough.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Review: "Once In A Great City : A Detroit Story"

Once in a Great City: A Detroit StoryOnce in a Great City: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book about Detroit at both its strongest and its most vulnerable. Detroit is my city; I grew up in its suburbs and have lived there all my life except for my 20s. And so, this book has a personal resonance for me.

Maraniss, also a native Detroiter, focuses his book on the period between late 1962 and early 1964. The book has a lot to say and reveal--at least to me--about such local figures as Henry Ford II ("The Deuce"), Lee Iacocca, Berry Gordy Jr., Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, Governor George Romney, Walter Reuther, and the Reverend C.L. Frankin (father of Aretha), as well as national figures such as Martin Luther King, Lyndon Johnson, and John F. Kennedy. The book is stuffed with politics, labor, the Motown sound, mobsters, sports stars, religious leaders, and all the movers and shakers of the time.

I turned 8 years old in 1963, and remember so many of these names and places, but through a child's eyes. I grew up hearing these names on the news, or around the dinner table--my father was a newspaperman who loved to talk about his work and current events--but after reading this book I finally understand who some of these people really were; they're no longer just names.

I found two aspects of the book particularly fascinating: the rise of Motown records, and the secrecy and planning that went on for years before the unveiling of the famous Ford Mustang. Naturally, there is much about race in this book, because it is at the core of the city's story. From my white suburban childhood, I remember well the adults around me being adamant about keeping the blacks out, and now I have read about the other side of that coin, people denied jobs, housing and education based simply on race. There is also much about cars, of course. My brother, nine years older then me, was a big "car guy", and because of him, I remember his enthusiasm and excitement about cars like the Mustang and Camaro.

On a personal level, perhaps the most poignant scene in the book was the description of the fire at the Ford Rotunda, an extremely popular tourist destination of the time,featuring cars, displays, and a huge Christmas bash which included live reindeer. I vividly remember going to what might have been the last Christmas event held before the place burned to the ground in November of 1962. I went with my parents and brother, and my brother bought me a little futuristic car. How could any of us have possibly known what the future would bring to the Rotunda, to the auto industry, or to the once vibrant and powerful city of Detroit? What a bittersweet read.

View all my reviews

Friday, April 21, 2017


I chatter constantly
inside my head,
but to you I must seem silent, as remote
as a wild animal, distant by instinct.

All day it never stops,
continuing for half the night.
How I deluge you, and myself,
though my lips stay as still as a rock in a stream.

Leave, then, shaking your head, 
thinking "why doesn't she even try?"
I do nothing but talk, confide, confess,
but even as you go, I stay feral

and shy.

for Magaly's "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream" prompt at Real Toads.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Softer Heart

I cannot find my softer heart
by wing or dusk-light call.
I cannot find my softer heart
by barter or by broken bell.

I know you. You're the one I looked for every day.
You the face from miles away, you the wrong face anyway.

I cannot find my softer song.
by trick, by dawn, or water pond.
I cannot find my softer song
but still I whisper...on and on.

for my own Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads. "Corvid and sit a while."     

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Space Heater

Well, it's April,
but not so long ago you needed me.
I came to you when you were a fucking moon, and I rented your chest
so that I could warm it like a real heart. 
I just wanted to get that close to your skin, your breasts, your every breath,
even though now I couldn't give a shit less, and sit on the shelf like an unread book.

Every volume contains what it contains, whether eyes share it or not.
Never mind. I'll pretend I never cared when you framed me with your perfect hands
and charged me red and utilitarian as hell. I'll lie lie upon lie,
and deny the cat rumble my throat devised on its own.
Or, I could admit everything, that I loved you, that it thrilled me,

That I would have done anything you asked just to hear the 
satisfaction in your slightest sigh.
It's April, though, and old biddies who bored everybody with their reminiscences 
have kindly died and shut up at last.
I'll do the same, just don't expect me to be
here on the shelf next time your fingers get itchy and something seems missing

under your ribs, in that immortal Novocaine blizzard.

some of my usual bullshit for Sunny's prompt at Real Toads. "Write about love using a common everyday image."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rain (An American Sentence)

I'd rather freeze my ass off in the fucking rain than read your haiku.


For the weekend mini-challenge at Real Toads. An American sentence is 17 syllables in linear order.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Babies In Prison

Babies in prison
become a problem.
The government is demanded upon
to show what they've got on them.

Meanwhile, infants behind bars
lie next to teddy bears with records.
The President arrives, with the skeletal warden
to investigate, harrumph, and mouth some several prepared words.

So young!
By a jury of diapered droolers convicted.
So done!
Like dinner, so some schmoe can get elected.

Babies in prison 
sit in swings for ten to twenty.
And politicians who admit their own crimes?
Sorry, we couldn't find any.

for Get Listed at Toads.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Book Review: "I Liked My Life"

I Liked My LifeI Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maddy, a wife and mother, appears to have jumped to her death from the roof of the local library, leaving her husband and teenage daughter to wonder why she felt her life was so unsatisfying that she would do that. The novel is written in shifting point of view--an almost inescapable trend anymore, and one I'm not particularly fond of--between Brady (the husband), Eve (the daughter), and (surprise!) Maddy herself, looking on from the afterlife, a la "The Lovely Bones."

The characters were believable and sympathetic, and there were several bits of real wisdom scattered along the way, so I have to say that this book was readable and pretty good. BUT. While I am not a fan of ambiguous, unclear endings, I also find books that end too neatly and sweetly a little off-putting. This one is like that.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Short Fingernails Rag

With white Mickey Mouse hands, I disguise my touch along your railroad bones.
If you feel a little goofy, ginned up, off-balance,
it's because I'm directing traffic inside your ears--
cartoon buses with walking tires jive to Cab Calloway, 
on a highway where I goon the intersection with my Mickey Mouse hands--

One finger for stop,
one for go,
and one for vo vo dee oh doe.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Here is a loaf which is mostly nothing,
to put in your mouth, described the same.
When you feel empty, fill nothing with nothing
and be satisfied with such legerdemain.

Give me back words which symbolize something
but are, in themselves, nothing at all;
aren't we lucky, drenched in such 
a trove of quicksilver wherewithal?

a flash 55 for Toads. "extremely close but worlds apart."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Paperless Office

I saw her once, months
ago. Thought she was cute. 
Now she's back around.
She told me, in the morning, early
about the ditz where she's a paralegal
shredding all the hard copies cos "it's a paperless office."
There's people too dumb to live,
but it made a funny story.

My original heart is just a memory,
but talk to me, girl,

56 words for Mama Zen's "Words Count."  Yesterday morning at the bus stop, my friend told me this story about some chick's major dumbass moment where she works. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Miss Lonely

She asked me where I live.

I said, I live in the sewers, and come up at night.
I live in a shoe box that rides on top of a train car going through a tunnel. 
I live on the bottom of the ocean. Bluup, bluup, bluup.
I live on the sun, and the appliances keep blowing up.
Where do YOU live? 

She made a weird face and walked away down the block.

So, I answered for her:
You live in a graveyard, and lick the frost off the tombstones.
You live in a dog's mouth and bite mailmen with your own teeth.
You live in a jar of jam that got old and had to be thrown away.
You don't live anywhere because no one likes you!

Then the street was so quiet
that I bent down and scraped my knee bloody on the sidewalk
on purpose. 


for the "Home" challenge at Real Toads. My title is taken from a Bob Dylan lyric "Like A Rolling Stone." 

 Ahh you've gone to the finest schools, alright Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street
And now you're gonna have to get used to it