Blondie and The Six year old

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is very much a work in progress. I’m not sure how I want the stanza or the mood or anything for that matter. I was doing some imagery exercises and this game out of that, but there is a lot of work to be done on it.

Almost midnight,
Ten minutes till the Debbie Harry Interview.
mother is in bed
pressed against the boyfriend,
the one with the black beard, like a pirate’s.

The living room, my new bedroom,
holds the key to my mistress of music.
I crawl from the sheets, flannel,
pj’s spark blue and crack,
soft palms press against tweed plaid
couch, hard and rough on my skin,
but I’m young I can handle the couch.

White ghost feet, toes spread
to slip into the brown shag carpet
like sand slipping between my toes
and to my knees and hands
as silent as a cat on the
kitchen counter, I crawl
breathless to the black stereo.

The record player with the Am/FM radio.
I pinch the dial and carefully,
slowly, slowly,
turn the black metal knob.
The click is like bones cracking
and the rooms echos
like a scream into a cavern.
I lie still listening
to the sounds in the next
New boyfriend does not
find my behaviors cute
and does not spare the rod, but she is worth it.
Crickets orchestrate classical melodies from behind
sealed glass, but there is no other sound except the exhalation of the house and my breath.

I slide closer to the speaker,
the hiss and crack of airwaves
tickle the hairs in my ear
as I press my cheek into the
soft but scratchy fabric that
stretches like a band over the
speaker. It is like a seal that
separates her from me.
I know if I could peel back the fabric and climb inside that I
would fall into the studio, like
Alice fell into the rabbit hole,
I would fall to her white pumps
and she would kneel down to
smile at me
her platinum blonde shag
falling about her delicate cheekbones.
“Why hello. I’m Debra Harry. Aren’t you up
way past your bedtime?”

I close my eyes at the first sound of her voice
and fall asleep like
a content serpent around a hot stone.


When I spend too Much Time at Work…

January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I spend too much time at work,
I forget I am a writer,
I forget that it is words that feed me
not dollars,
but the necessity causes me to forget.

When I spend too much time at work,
I forget what my work really is,
craft, poetry, learning, reading, ascension
to language,
it’s easy to forget.

When I spend too much time at work,
I am lost, and my heart aches,
why so blue? “At least you have a job.”
Yes, yes, I have a job,
but I keep forgetting my true work.

Mary Oliver certainly pulls me back into the light.

Thank you to lannanfoundation for posting this to youtube.

Poetry Re-writes

November 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been working on a couple of poems to get ready for a reading and because I am collaborating with other artists on their projects. I’ve gone through some of my earlier poems and have re-worked them and I’ll be posting the re-writes for the next few posts. You can read the original here.

Remain Seated

Please, Remain seated.
Do not raise up your arms

Do not lift the bar.
The warning signs
Are bright, red, white,
old, old, and old.

The ride
Is about
To begin:

I’ll tell you a story
A boardwalk tale
The Great Dipper,
The oldest roller coaster
(On the West coast)
White planks of wood
Arched lattice

The kind used in June Weddings.

The time: the forties.
There was a sailor and his girl.
They rode that Great coaster.
It roared like a 1908 earthquake,
Spitting like a Chinese dragon
Crimson train shuddering the white tracks.

To impress his girl,
To show how brave,
To prove,
To give,
To love,
So she would know, 

Just how far he was willing to go,
He stood up.
Arms high, exuberant, free, and
He surrendered.

The train dropped,
Dipped and turned
(Like they do)

Under a lattice arch and

His head popped,
Like a bottle of cheap champagne

On a hot day, and
Soared into the air, like
A bride’s bouquets
Of coordinated flowers,
His smile still pressed to his face,
And landed in the lap of a lady
Sitting in the last car
(the head always lands in the

Laps’ of ladies in the last car).

Oh how I feel when loving you

Like this Great Dipper rattling. 

The entire world shaking.
Put your arms down
There will always be some
Fool that wants to impress.
Love is blind
Unable to read
The red, white, old, old and old signs.
You’d think by now
They’d write the warnings in Braille. 

Let’s keep our heads.

Of course, I can’t help
But feel bad for the
in the last seat
All alone,
And covered in a mess.



October 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

I wish I had married him.


I wanted to find the ways
to love myself
without his help…

This is a Repost

October 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am collaborating with this artist Jen Smith. She is creating three drawings based on my Let my girl out poem. The title was 1973, and I had posted it a few months ago, but I am reposting it with one of Jen’s drawings.

I let my girl out-
She rose like a lion
From behind a great rock-
Mad as hell
At the adult in me.

She pulled down her knickers,
“I ain’t afraid of no snakes.”
Made ribbons in her hair
Of grass and flowers.
Tore her Gingham dress,
Fine shreds of printed fabric
Dropping from her shoulders,
Like water on a ducks back,
Till she was thin bare.

Naked she climbed
The blue oak
and swung out from sturdy
Yipping and yeehawing
Till she plopped into the

Climbing out
Of green mud,
Tendrils of clumped
flowers and grass,
mashed dreaded locks,
like a rasta child.
Her teeth glared white
Belly flop,
Into the dark
Pool of water.

She was an animal.
A Beast-
To the very core,

And I wept
For forgetting her.


The Bend in The Road

September 18, 2010 § 1 Comment

The Bend in The Road

Let’s try this again.
I’ll meet you at the bend.

There will be roses and
other flowers in bloom.

The dust will be high,
to challenge the mood,
maybe, we’ll have smoke
or a thick misty fog
something for drama to
build the suspense.

I’ll stand in the road
you stand at the fence
both are at the bend in the road.

The scent of the roses
will hit first
and memories of walks
and talks and passion
will return

“oh, I remember the
park when we laid in
the grass.”

“I remember the
rain as it fell
on our heads.”

“The smell of the
douglas trees in the woods.”

At the bend in the road
when the dust settles
the mist blows away
and the smoke dissipates

We will see each other
standing as we promised.
You will know me but
I wont know you.

I had two loves
both walked away
commitments not meant for me.
Who was the real one
I never can say
but one will show
at the bend in the street.

I wanted you most
to be by my side
but it’s the one with
the courage that decides to arrive.

I don’t know you
but you know me
and its at the bend in the road
where we finally meet.

Thoughts on a Reading

June 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve reposted, I Am Not Your Syliva, once again with a few modifications that came from preparing for my reading. I wrote this poem about four or five years ago, and I feel like I can say with as much humility as possible, I think this poem kicks ass. I really like it. I like it as if someone else wrote it because most of the time I don’t feel like I wrote it.  I think it stands separately from me. I don’t know if that makes any sense, yet even with it being separate from me I am fiercely prideful of the work, and I think if someone doesn’t like it then they can just go to hell. I wish I felt that way about everything I wrote.

I performed this piece and two other works at a fundraiser that I organized for myself. I am working to raise money for a Masters of Writing program. The program is almost $3,000.00 for a year. This is amazing for a Master Writing program, but it might as well be $10,000.00 for the amount of money I make on a daily basis. It is not accredited and is a certificate program so there are no government loans, but I don’t want a loan, I want to pay for it myself so I had a fundraiser. So far I have raised $1,040.00 and I will make my first payment ahead of time. But the fundraiser isn’t what I am writing about here, I am writing about what it was like to read this poem out loud for the first time to an audience. It was probably my most powerful piece and my most uncomfortable. It is the right kind of uncomfortable. I know I didn’t read it the way it was written, not how it is meant to be read, how it originally tore onto my paper. It tore onto my  paper, I was pissed off.

I had three comments: One was from an acquaintance who thinks he knows me, but doesn’t know me at all, “I liked your angry one the most,” he said, “I like the dark stuff.”

He only caught the surface stuff.

Two: A stranger

“I appreciate how willing you were to show yourself up there how honest you were.”

The poem is not really me completely anymore, a lot changes in five years, in fact the poem has, but that is performance. It is difficult to separate the author/actor from the words.

Lastly: My friend’s mother who has only met me one time before, she is probably about 63. “I wanted to let you know that your first poem really resonated with me.” She stopped and looked at me for a second then said, “My first husband was a writer, that is how he made me feel, he forgot I was an artist too.”

That was the comment that struck me, she understood the poem.

It is funny in an age when it seems that people have cameras attached to their bodies, I never get any recording or footage of any work I do. I was lucky that someone brought a still camera. I am technology toy impoverished. Maybe the next time.

I hope to get a chance to read it again and I hope the next time I read it with the defiance and fierce confidence it requires and demands.

Sylvia Plath.
I am nothing like her,
except the blonde hair.

The men, the pain, the education
All different…

“Crazy girl, crazy is the muse,” You said.

I was supposed to be honored that you wrote me in a poem.
Your words painted me
an exquisite portrait.
A masterpiece! A museum.

Muses are like children, silent till spoken to.

“The woman sits on the edge of the poet’s bed
she is putting on her bra as he teases.”
You sang,
against your guitar.

You were the poet. I am the woman.

You wrote this late,
hiking solitary mountains,
pen in hand,
whiskey in thought,
writing of our last evening together:

My warm legs wrapped about your body, my flesh pressed to your (notion of lovemaking).

Come to me,
to me…”

Scribbled in pencil.

(I’m thinking about sex,
the way it drives everything. The way it controls—
everything gets complicated
once you get naked.)
Naked— nude— fuck…

You said:
We can’t do this anymore, you said
because I become too attached.
Attached? To my body?

Yes, my body that held a part of your body.

A moment.
Perfect material for the next prose.
(I kept expecting something more,
some incredible release.
An inner body experience
my flesh folding in, on, and over you.) You wrote me in a poem

immortalizing my white bra,
and my bare ass
on your cotton sheets.

I left,

and this was poignant.

With each fresh letter you loved me more.
Yet, the taste you imagined to be mine
was something else rising out of the pulp,
like wet paper.

I felt a pulling, a taut thin string— no shit.

When we are rolling around tied in a knot of skin
and liquid am I the only one in the room?
Why is it that I feel like I am in this game alone?

(It is not as romantic as all that)

I told you once—
I was drawn to Tomas, Kundera’s character,
his dark eyes and face
his desire to be with every woman he met.
He wanted to know their secret,
their secret smell.

I felt so heavy.
I wanted to know what it was to be light
even if it was unbearable.

I told you this once—
Across the table with coffee and later beer.
You locked the door
trapped me inside with language and lies.
You said you were like Tomas,
My Tomas.
It was how you identified yourself,
you said
You were light and I was unbearable.


When we were new I wanted to peel your skin back,
slit you open, step inside and wear you—Wrong thing to say,
you said,
too intense,
too serious,
too afraid that I wanted to steal your soul like a succubus.
Or would I be an incubus?

And where were you, poet, when I crashed?
When I was drunk,
hallucinating, hearing voices?
Calling me a train wreck I suppose.
Writing about me in your bed,
Running an imaginary finger down my translucent spine
loving my memory?
Holding your pen tight,

Ready—for the muse?

Here I am!
I’m the one who punched the glass and walked over wet train tracks gripping a piece of two-by-four wanting to smash your face, my rage like an engine:
“I think I can,
I think I can—
make it to the other side of this mountain.


For a second I fell in love with a bi-polar boy,
he suffered from psychotic episodes.
I wanted to ride his nightmare. (Such a pretty horse to those of us watching outside the fence.)
I didn’t want to fix him I liked him broken.
Like all the sick romantics, but I knew the danger.
I let him go.
But here is the clincher in this jugular confession:
I was hoping to take a little bit of his madness
and make an excuse for my own.

I am not your Syliva, not your muse.
But, I am something like her.
I too look into mirrors and carry stones in my pocket.
Where are the tape and rope? The gas? The children?
Not this time,
I’m taking myself back,
stripping the canvas,
smearing your paint,
and leaving my hand prints.

Where Am I?

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