Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Here is a cake made from coneflowers and cut losses;
you have to eat it with the window open like a suicide.
My house is your house, and all that.
Anything wrong with the cake?
Something is funny with the lights, they keep flickering and exploding.
Why is your baggage still here in the kitchen
taking up space so unattractively?

I like samplers.
This one says things you'd rather it didn't. 
So. Tell mama.
Use all the usual Hollywood tricks.
Happy it up. 
Make everybody prettier, then have more cake.
It's from an old family recipe that calls for legal documents and collected dust.
Inside, you'll find a letter.
It's from the future and says the same thing as the sampler.

Don't come at me with the utensils. 
You called me, after the priest and the psychic threw you out.
Don't eat with your mouth full.
Now's the time to get it off your chest,
come clean, stop mumbling excuses, stop fidgeting and just say it.
Don't talk with your mouth open.
Don't waste my time.
Don't keep me from my daily rituals.
Of course I love you. 
I knew before you did that you'd come here,
with no preservatives, no animal flesh, no bread, no bone.
So, I baked at 375 for all these years.
Now eat your cake before it gets cold. 

For Marian's "November Themes" challenge at Real Toads. I chose "cake."

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Crow In My Eye

There's a crow in my eye
remembering you.
I could be smiling or
lying or
out of my mind,
but the crow won't forget
your face, and he won't be kind.

You frustrate him, 
by law of similars.
My crow likes trinkets, toys,
and fresh-killed love
or such like that my crow thinks of.

a 55 for my BFF.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I had a rock-solid alibi
and a gift for doubletalk and not losing the thread.
I don't do that stuff.
I'd rather not (again.)
I'd rather die.
I'm the talking dead.

Then, your eyes.
Your hand.
My carefully crafted alibi gone,
turned to sand.

for quadrille #45.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Remember This

Remember this,
When dolls start speaking to you from the nest stuffed deep
inside your own throat.
Remember vanity,
as worked by hand in the lace hem of a tiny dress;
Remember never to seat a Gypsy next to a mark,
and to preside with grace, charm, and engraved silver service.

Listen to this,
she'll say, from between the feathers of birds hooked by wires
to dying Christmas trees in burning houses.
Listen to this--don't be a ninny and ignore this warning
when she chirps in your ear like broken glass--
Baccarat or Waterford.

Girls love cats, horses, dolls,
and attics filled with bird cages and unexploded ordnance.
Listen to the water fountain my ghost animates the flow of,
and line up your darlings along the window sills.
Seat the priest with the diplomat,
Arabian with alley cat,
and remember this, as the afternoon wears on:
I owe no explanations as to what birds think about dolls that talk,
and the girls who take them to bed
like said prayers.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Randy Tulsa's Old Rugged Cross Mega-Church

There's a door charge to get in to Right Reverend Randy Tulsa's Old Rugged Cross Mega-Church. One tenth of everything on you, as well as one tenth of everything out in the car, back at your house (both the main and the summer "cottage"), and whatever you've got squirreled away in the Caymans. God sees it all, brothers and sisters. 

Come on. Come in. If there's a cover charge, you know there's a band! Check out Miranda and the Trinity! She's got the pipes, brothers and sisters.

You make me so happyyyy
such love makes my heart soarrrrr...
Jesus is my boyfriend
I could never ask for more!

How about Miranda, let's give her a hand! What a testimony! All right now, let's talk about prosperity a minute. God doesn't want His children scrabbling around without a nickel to their name. Would YOU let YOUR kids go hungry, have to sleep outside, or drive a three year old compact? NO! God wants you to be prosperous. Here's Tiffany to talk about how tithing leads to riches!

(Tiffany does her thing. Miranda sings Ripped Jesus Is My Strength. Then Randy Tulsa takes the stage to wild applause.)

Yes, friends, God loves you, is proud of you, wants the best for you! And no matter what you've done, God forgives! Take this man over here! (Randy Tulsa whirls around and points at a pew off to the left, in front. Randy's finger is like Judgement itself.) The man he's pointing at is smeared with gore and is wearing a hockey mask. Randy thunders: Have you lived a life steeped in wickedness and sin, brother? The man looks around from behind his mask, seems uncertain, then nods nervously. Randy roars: Have you scorned the ten commandments? Have you forgotten The Lord in your life????

Hockey Mask Man begins to tremble, dropping the knife as his shoulders shake. Randy Tulsa strides with purpose down the steps to the man and lays hands on him. Randy, taken with a sudden ecstasy, sings out: Are you ready to repent, brother? Are you READY to be FORGIVEN by His almighty LOVE? The crowd is into it, swaying and shouting "Amen!" Randy Tulsa waves the nearest of the congregation into a group hug with the gore-soaked man. Randy beams and exclaims: You are forgiven, son! It's like all that sin never happened at all! You've been through the wash cycle of Heavenly Love! As an aide gets the man's address, cell number and estimated weekly pledge, Randy re-takes the stage.

But what is THIS???? Again he points like an angry Old Testament prophet, but this time toward the back of the mega-church as cameras swing around to capture it all. Heads turn and necks swivel, but no one can tell what Randy is pointing at. He resumes: Outside, the unsaved! Homosexuals engaging in behavior the bible tells us is an abomination to God! Devious foreigners slipping into our country to destroy it! Lazy welfare cheats living off of our backs, rioting in the streets! Will YOU pray with me now, brothers and sisters? Let's bow our heads while our wonderful Youth Bible Camp teens come around with the offering plates. 

Miranda sings:

Jesus has the kindest eyes
like a lifeguard watching over me
So powerful, but gentle, too
And Omg, Kimberly, he's set me freeeee

As everybody files out, Randy Tulsa stands beaming at them benevolently, thinking: Pay up, you dopes, I owe my fucking dentist a bundle! 

for Brendan's "doors" prompt.

and now, because I can, The Doors.

Friday, November 17, 2017

My Giraffe

My giraffe
s'got the down-nose look,
and those squinty rich-MILF eyes.
What a bitch.

Still, she got a sweet and useful tongue.

When you talk,
all the birds have heart attacks and tumble from the trees in shock. 
Fucking whales have more to say
than you. 

My giraffe
would cut you dead
in public, anytime.

for Friday 55 at my BFF's place.


Thursday, November 16, 2017


I dreamed of you last night.
(Yes, after all this time.)
Everyone was floating, dancing, flying,
and yet you were melancholy, 
and the world kept turning behind

Us where we posed. 
What does "I love you," mean?
Is it glorious in the morning, or as idiotic
as childhood pictures we cringe to see?
Still, who else has seen you

In multi-form, and been proud to say it?
Dreams are shadows, no matter how bright--
and I don't celebrate what's happened to us both.
Here is the curse of compound eyes
the dragonfly knows--everything is on every side,
never distinct, never absolute between blooms and motes. 

I dreamed of you last night.
(Yes, after all this time.)
On rising you were gone and not gone;
I saw all that I cherished about your face, your skin, your fire,
but also the ashes, the waste, the blight.
The curse of the dragonfly is to see ahead and beside,
but never clearly, and--in singular blindness--not at all behind.

for Bits of Inspiration--dragonfly


Monday, November 13, 2017

Jubilant Bob

Jubilant Bob
loves you 
and describes this love in tiny notes
on the backs of postage stamps which he then uses
to send you empty hatboxes.

"Within, infinity," the eeny little card reads.

Jubilant Bob
hates it
when you sleep with a boyfriend.
He hangs himself in the vestibule of your building,
making it awkward getting to the mailbox.
a minuscule note folded multiple times
explaining his despair.

You and your boyfriend look at each other, sigh, run upstairs, do it,
then hate yourselves, but not that much.
Love is strange.

Jubilant Bob
finds you with a girlfriend,
writes a best seller about his near death experiences, 
both from the noose and from you.
Bob requests his royalties all in pennies,
using some of them to weigh down roses
he leaves for you
on the stair.

Will you never have pity?
Will you never stop fucking around?

Jubilant Bob
gets religion,
forgives you as you stand there blinking.
"Oh for fuck's sake, Bobby," you say, stamping one boot on the pavement.
"Wake the fuck up."
He thought you were better than you are,
hates it when you curse,
and keeps a microscopic cameo of you under his tongue.

In the vestibule,
his fans,
your lovers,
and enough flowers for a parade or a funeral.
Go on, marry him.
File a sharp tongue on his stupid postage machine.
Let him feel you up every Sunday.

Feel free to regret all of it.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Two Rondelets


Tell me, doctor
about disease, about malaise.
Tell me, doctor
what your nurse saw that so shocked her--
experiments that left their trace--
then, after you arrange your face,
tell me, doctor.


Pretty daisies
and daffodils around the lawn.
Pretty daisies
soothing agitated crazies
their natures all to hell and gone
mad in evening, calm at dawn.
Pretty daisies. 

Rondelets for "Fussy Little Forms" at Toads.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Reincarnated Grandmothers

Reincarnated grandmothers
have had it with knitting--
fuck that shit.
Now it's our turn to not visit you.
Check us out.
Send us money on our birthdays
cos we wanna drink it up and to hell with thank-you's.
Watch us steal your bae,
troll your page,
lie, cuss, catfish.
You want cookies? 
Buy a bakery. 

A 55 for my BFF.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sonya's Tale Of Rasputin

My sister is older than me,
by over a hundred years;
Daddy a dynamo, prolific,
with new wives as often as new cars.

Sis's name is Sonya,
and she spoke to me, 
not a year after she died.
My tea had gone cold on the night table,
and so she brought a samovar and a tale to tell,
waking me with a kiss. 

Being kissed by ghosts may be a Russian thing,
like the men getting drunk, or the inevitable failure of the collectives.
I patted the bed and we sat together,
like reindeer waiting to pull the sleigh of a midnight fable.
Finally, Sonya began.

"I met Grigori Rasputin in a barn when I was 17.
He was asleep, slack-jawed in late morning half-light,
the motes spinning lazily around him like stars. 
The Russian cross he wore
and the vodka bottle he cradled
both shone as if they had souls of their own."

I propped myself up with an elbow and listened.

"There are ways and there are ways, little sparrow," Sonya went on.
"Labor is productive, prayer is powerful.
But sometimes the breeze stirs the leaves just as if they were barynya dancers. 
All I did was set my bucket down and join him--a breeze myself--
and he showed me how God created the world."

I said, "They say he stank. That he was insane!
How could you--"

"Pochemuchka," my sister whispered, 
"Madness is essentially Russian. Without that,
without hallucinations in our blood, how could we endure the winter?
And he smelled only of straw,
holiness, and masculine vigor."

Sonya smiled then.
"Little One, do you remember my oldest,
the sandy-haired one, my poet who died on the battlefield in 1915?
Of course you wouldn't. I forget how young you are."
She looked far away for a moment, even for a ghost.
"He had the gift.
The same one you have,
a closeness with the spirit world, and an appetite for everything."

The tea was gone.
Even here, dawn arrives eventually.
Sonya finished her story, saying,
"I warned Grigori to beware

of cakes, aristocrats, bullets, and wide cold waters. 
He laughed, his big bearded head thrown back,
a booming laugh like a fireball landing in a Siberian forest.
He told me he already knew."

With that, Sonya was gone.
Our old one-eyed rooster crowed outside in the yard.
I sat up, pushing my long hair back with my fingers,
and collected my coat, scarf, and ice skates.
Out, then, to the pond where a local fox keeps her den full of kits,
watching my every move.
I spread my arms out to glide, easy as branches in a breeze,
not needing to lay eyes on her to know, 
just the same, 
that she is there. 

for Out of Standard at Toads

pochemuchka--a child who asks a lot of questions

barynya--traditional "Cossack Dance" featuring the prisyadka, or knee-bend. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Nun Who Escaped In A Fish Barrel

The vessel is weaker
than it used to be--
the page thinner,
the lover gone.

The light is lower
than in summer--
but the angle sweeter
for its brevity.

Cats care nothing
for pointless industry--
and yet they
meet every gaze.

In stillness, in silence,
in age this fire--
consumes me and shames
youth, that boastful pretender.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Rapunzel's Hairdresser

Rapunzel's hairdresser was one lazy bitch,
with sporadic, unpredictable hours,
and a shop inconveniently located smack-dab center of a perpetual rain storm.
And so,
when contestant #15,383 said, "Great hair!"
and really meant "How desperate are you to be seen, 
loved?" and, more to the point, 
"Are you willing to fuck me to get it?" 
Poor Rappy lost her shit right there in the coffee bar. 

It's hard, if you've never tried it, 
to saw off ten years' growth with a plastic knife meant for
spreading cream cheese with,
but our Raps found herself filled with Messianic vigor, 
and, too, her cause was flat-out righteous.
Have you ever seen a perfectly normal girl with really unbelievably long hair
arch her back and hiss? 
Here was your chance,
and pity if you missed it.

Her girlfriends call her "Berry", which started as
Rappy, then Rappy Raspberry, then just Berry.
Now they say,
"Lookit YOU, sugar!" and rise out of their mid-afternoon drowse
and make all appropriate noises one makes about a girl with a fresh style.
So, when contestant #15,384 asked if she was a dyke,
out of jealousy or fear of female power or 
by way of eliciting a shame response or something,
she was Teflon,
she was made of gold,
gloriously side-shaved and in the moment,
too cool for fools and he walked out, hands in pockets,
back to his wife and the 
apartment above the empty shop in the never-ending rain storm.
And our Berry?
She does her own hair now. Word.

for Camera FLASH!


Friday, November 3, 2017

Marry Me When I'm Dead

Marry me when I'm dead,
with bloom-eyes of aster sockets.

Accept me as your fleshless bride in degrees of white,
your rock-bound toad with the sand-grit kiss
always emptying, dear--
betray me--I won't care.

Marry me when I'm dead,
and consider:

Asters are named for the stars they resemble,
which, similarly, require no air.

A Friday 55 for my BFF.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Orphan Bus In The Underworld

When the Orphan bus in the Underworld stopped
for Unhappy Meals,
the orphans removed the driver's brain and fucked with it.
Out, then, from the dark,
back into mayhem and political doubletalk,
the Occupied Zone their parents died for.

Power comes to the innocent. The Virgin sees to this. 

First, a fish tank for the Premier,
gills and a ceremonial sash trailing in the algae.
Then, a pencil in the eye for every perved-out fat man,
and their scion sons putrefying inside local dance clubs. 

From a book bag--the Sun!
Roiling, blazing, launching sunspot flares!
Snowman parents, gooshy as Christmas;
running in Church allowed.

106 Words for Angie at Toads. Is 106 more than 100? The Orphans say no. 

It's "Orpheus IN the Underworld", not "AND the Underworld." No wonder the stupid boat sank.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Friends, and a book review

One of the best things that can happen is to find a good friend, someone you can share your stuff with, the highs and lows, the triumphs, tragedies and trivia of daily life. It's even better if that friend becomes an old friend by sticking around through all of the twists in the road. 

I have the good fortune to have the world's best BFF, Joy Ann Jones, aka Hedgewitch. She has kindly written a fantastic review of my newest book, "Catechism For A Girl On Fire", on her blog. Please go read it HERE. Honestly, I am humbled by her kind words about my work. Joy, you're the best.