Tuesday, May 24, 2011


slow roll of belly fat
to protect my organs
the space between my legs
from marauders
like that one who stood above me naked
possessed by the dark demons
he saw in my bedroom
asking if he could come inside while i lay drugged

i need a pack leader with a soft voice gravelly in his throat like river rock and quieting firm hands
that know what to do
i need a friend who is not simply desiring of the glamour brought by my poetry
and publication
or afraid of the demons who have been stalking me
someone who won't call them demons, just bad luck or chance or life
i need a hunter, a woodsman
someone who thinks in solutions and then crafts them
who outwits the bad luck
who points his arrow at me and when i fall in the mulch and moss and violets
runs over on the legs of trees and bends and gathers
me up

Sunday, May 15, 2011


pretty blue eyed girl with perfect calves
tossing words like veils and petals
smiling in every picture and though sad, believing
in love like i used to

while now i sit here with my eye sockets full of powder and buckled by a physician
not believing in much anymore
even though there are a lot of young women who read my words to help them have faith

i've given up praying even
for that restoration
i sit typing in a windy house with shade leaves pf bougainvillea rustling across
the walls
can't do much except work and eat my mung beans and rice
waiting for my children to come home
the only story i want to write
the only thing i believe in anymore

Saturday, May 14, 2011

there's no such thing as the zombie apocalypse cont. unedited

once we watched that zombie movie together
but i couldn't see the screen very well and i was on antibiotics
and my body was saying "don't let anyone touch me
"i have to heal for at least a year"
and you got a little hurt
and said you felt lonely when you were with me
but in the end you understood
and you still sent me flowers when my mother died
and chocolate vegan hearts on valentines day
you love patti
and you read all my poems
you walked my dog
and fed my children
and took us to the beach among the wildflowers
you planted in my garden
and fixed my pond
and advised me on business
and invited me to stay with you
in spite of what my heart-forsaken body told us
one year ago

but it's been a year now
and although i write about the walking dead
without hearts of their own
i know there is no such thing
as the zombie apocalypse
my patient and true friend

Friday, May 13, 2011

heart break. for jasmine and sam

who made up that term?
so apropos
it really feels that way sometimes
like little shards
like the small pink and white china bunny
that cracked into lots of pieces

but when my children touch me
i can feel their fingers picking up every single tiny dangerous piece
and putting them back together
so they almost fit

Thursday, May 12, 2011


the expensive facial serums unopened
the olive oil half used
the glass jars of black beans and barley
the tissue packs and lip balm in your little crochet purse
the scalp treatment that smells of coffee and chocolate
the cloth doll you made for me when i was a child
with blond yarn hair and green embroidered ct eyes and small pink felt shoes
the velvet throw pillows with tassels
the fragments of old lace and linens
the carved bone cameos
the moldy leather bound books you treasured (they were from your father)
the journals filled with secrets i 'd rather not know
the photographs of you always more beautiful than i was am or ever will be
the love notes to me
the wooden toys and stuffed bears you were saving for my children
though they are now too old for them
the boxes of articles on disease prevention that didn't help at all in the end
the drawings and paintings of you by all the men who worshipped you
reminding me of this lack in my own life
the date book that ends abruptly on september 23rd, 2010
some of these things i cherish
or sell much too cheaply
or give away
some, destroy for lack of space or because they hurt too much
but when i pat my skin with the thin film of cream
i can feel your fingers
and i do not want it ever to be finished
and when i hold your date book i want to write in it every day
for the rest of my life

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

there's no such thing as the zombie apocalypse cont (i have no idea what i'm going to write here goes)

One day Catalan found something strange in a field.

It was a little plastic thing with arms and legs and eyes that blinked open and shut. She tried to remember the name for it. She thought, baby, and girl, and little sister until she finally got to doll. She tore a piece of material off her golden dress and wrapped Doll in it and carried her under her arm as she trudged along beside Romeo who had under his arm the wooden box that had contained Catalan's heart.

At night the skies swirled with hot black winds and ash and by day the air was thick and still and red and they often slept then, under rocks and trees to hide from the sunlight that was not good for their dead skin and from the poachers with cruel teeth and little flashing eyes.

They had stopped holding hands somewhere along the way, although Catalan was not sure when this had happened. Maybe after Baron took Romeo, and then her, and doubt was introduced into their previously pure dead minds.

Catalan held onto Doll instead. clutched, actually.

One day they found a cabin in the woods with a little wooden table and three chairs and a cot. Catalan sat Doll in the littlest chair and pretended to serve them all some dried leaves for supper. Then they all tried to lie down in the cot but it was too small so Catalan curled up on the floor with Doll in her arms.

In the middle of the night she felt hands and her body jammed with fear; was it another poacher?

But it was Romeo. He picked her up like a dead kitten (not a dead cat for that would conjure a less sympathetic image somehow) and put her to rest gently in the cot with Doll beside her. Then he curled up on the floor near by to keep watch. He never closed his eyes

oh, only for a few moments, just a few.

And that was when the door opened and they heard the roar of animals with dark fur and teeth who had learned, since the disasters, to speak.

Monday, May 9, 2011

shapeshifting daughter unedited

one pale gold curl on the top of her head
has spiraled down into dark gold and sun-streaked waves
they tangled once so badly during my eye surgery
that we had to cut them short
now they flow again
and i can still see them

soft features soft curves soft skin everything about her
she doesn't like the way veins show through her translucence
but if your skin is made from fairy wing that is what occurs
slowly it will become more human

she has learned to hide her grace just enough for self protection
walking with head a little down, arms close to sides, hips motionless
but the sugar plum who walked on tiptoe
and can break dance like a youtube girl
is there beneath

braces and pimples serve the same purpose
under them she glimmers sun and shade
still my little
begging for sugar and needing arms

i see her shifting shapes to woman very slowly and yet so fast
as she shape shifted into this implausible girl from that baby with a single curl
no teeth
no word
except my name

Saturday, May 7, 2011

fear of flying unedited

you wouldn't think it would be that hard to get on a plane
or that my fear isn't really that much about crashing
i can't read the signs very well
and my feet hurt when i walk
so i'll have to bring sneakers
but theyr'e so scuffed and dirty
and they wont go with my one cute outfit
and what will i eat i'm on this special program
for my joints
and what about my vitamins
can i bring them?
how much liquid is acceptable
becuase i need my skin products and shampoo
and i hate transferringn stuff into those little bottles
everything spills
what about my dog at home?
will he pee on everything will he pine who will watch him?
can i stop working for even a single day?
will my home be safe?
there are girls who leave the kettle on and attach too many extension cords

i can't even think about air that doesn't smell like cars
and cozy little restaurants and someone to take me to museums
and someone to listen
and no one asking me for a snack or space on a shelf
or clean underwear

mostly there's my kids
and being away from them
every day they're at their dads they seem to grow farther from me
in little ways in spite of how tight they hold me when they return

and, also, you know, what if the plane does crash?

but at least
for once
i'm not afraid
of you

Friday, May 6, 2011

empty space unedited

when you died it left an archetypal space
of mommy
and i cannot keep weeping and reaching inside of it
trying to find some remnants of that feeling
i got when you smiled and the world spread out a field of golden lilies
like a wedding dress of thinnest mesh and jeweled petals
when you said , "i love you passionately"
when you held me against you
before you were so small and brittle
i was afraid even my light form might crush you

no i can't reach you
but i can step into that space
catching spiders and changing diapers and tending blemishes and making sandwiches
for my children and now, suddenly, other people's grown children
i'm too busy and overwhelmed with bills and stories and reading students' papers
and telling them their strengths
to bother with my girlish scars and sense of diminshment

this is how we grow up
after loss and loss and loss
and then the greatest one of all
that feels like being buried in that dirt and wood
and ends up being us becoming that which we cannot live without

Thursday, May 5, 2011

there's no such thing as the zombie apocalypse cont. unedited

It was Romeo, looking at her from the other cage where he had been cowering from the light of the TV and all those shiny ladies in bright dresses. He still had Catalan's heart in his chest. With long, graceful, dead fingers he reached out to her.

Catalan said, "I thought you left me," but it came out as only a plaintive groan.

Romeo said, "The man is a poacher," but it came out as a wail.

Baron, the man who had captured them, did not like zombies. He thought they weren't aesthetically pleasing to look at, they smelled bad and you could not have sex with them. So what the fuck was the point? He wanted to study them, do a little research. They were his black holes.

"When will you trust me?" Romeo whispered to Catalan, though it could have been mistaken for a soft whistle.

Then the silence that precedes disaster. Then a low rumble like a zombie's protestations. The earth began to shake and crack beneath them. It sent the cages crashing to the ground and rolling down the free standing staircase and into a pile of rubble under which Baron lay, soon dead. Romeo was able to reach the key hanging from Baron's belt with a bent metal hanger on the floor, and release himself and Catalan.

Holding hands they shambled past the ruined dining table where Catalan had been seduced, through the wood of ashen trees and back onto the road where their walking dead lives waited. Catalan trusted Romeo, she supposed she did. He was carrying her heart around. But it did not beat and it left her without one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

baby karma unedited (obviously) i'm empty today

i used to only want babies
then, when i finally got them, just one grown up man

now i have two kids with eyes like water moons
one crazy pup with dreads
one tiny pretty naughty orange kitten
two glorious young women
and one thirteen day old baby
in my little house
playing squalling barking fighting laughing crying
among dust bunnies and weeping rose petals and chirping trees

and there's no grown up at all

just me

Monday, May 2, 2011

i still love you unedited

when we met i didn't feel i knew you at all
sitting on the lawn with your baby in your lap like a cream and peach madonna
then you read my books and everything changed
you fed my baby and played paddy cake with him
you brushed my girl's tangles
and cleaned a dead possum out of my shed
you even nursed me when my eye tore in half

so what happened?
i said the wrong thing one day
and apologized a few days later
you were telling me about great sex with your new love
and every part of me hurt too much to listen

i just said that one thing
but it never really is just one thing, is it?
when i myself have shut down
it's usually after a whole series of affronts
conscious or unconscious

is that what you felt?

i should ask this to your face
but just like your facebook status of engaged to that same love
i post it instead

we only communicate through these strange machines
and just like when we first did meet
we one another do not see
at all

at all

Sunday, May 1, 2011

there's no such thing as the zombie apocalypse unedited

After Romeo vanished, Catalan wandered heartless through the land. She came upon a forest glade and there she saw a table laid out for two to dine. A chandelier of iron flowers painted white hung from some branches and rose petals were strewn across the torn and faded damask cloth upon the table. Broken mismatched china plates and two precious wine glasses shone in hazy sunlight.

Catalan sat and pretended to eat rose petals and drink the gold colored wine.
Then a man appeared. He had a small beard and was dressed all in black, with formidable biceps. His eyes were too cold for her to remember what color they were and he had something biting and cruel about his smile but this she ignored. They spoke awhile; he told her she had a lovely smile and eyes. He said he was a scientist and that he had built a telescope to study the electromagnetic forces between black holes.

"Would you like to see my telescope?"

She would.

Man's name was Baron and that night he brought her to a gutted house with a free standing stairway that lead to a small attic room with a telescope. As Catalan was looking through the telescope at blackness she felt the man's hands on her waist. He lifted her up and put her in a cage. She hardly struggled; she had been through too much. He took the cage downstairs to the basement where others like Catalan were imprisoned. A show called Sex and the City was playing on the TV. Catalan scrambled to a corner of her cage and watched the women in pretty colored dresses and shoes and she was glad that she had left her heart with Romeo.

Then she heard her name being called and turned to see who spoke to her...