Thursday, April 25, 2013


I'm taking the rest of April off from the 30/30 because I have two huge deadlines coming up, one of which is an application for a MSW, and I'm terrified.  I hope to pick back up with the missed days in May.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Today is the 24th.

Back on the 18th I wrote four poems.  I figured that didn't put me ahead, as I still wanted to write every day.

I got a little behind on the weekend.  Been working on an application for a master's degree.

So, I still want to write for the days I missed.  I'm two behind, plus today I haven't written yet either.  

I'll post two tonight, and we'll see what happens tomorrow, as I work a double then.

I’m not excited about tonight’s quality, but then, the April 30/30 has never been about quality, I don’t think, as much about writing every single day no matter what.  Or, missing a couple days and then writing two afterward ;)

She Dreamed of an Old Shoe:
Comfort, said her daughter.
Shedding layers, said her friend.
Your childhood, said her therapist.
You’re tired, said the quiet voice within.
It’s me, her tired husband.
The urge to run, said her lover.

From this prompt by Nicole Homer:
First, she lost her comb,
the one her mother left her.  “You must not have really
loved it,” said her husband.  How quickly the flames
consumed him.  Out of the ashes crawled a spider, carrying a song
her mother used to sing, and faster than light, she realized
she had to swallow the song.  When the comb reappeared,
she did not cry, said only, “I knew you’d come back.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

listen i may be a little drunk (20&21)

because i went to a super awesome groovy slam with a super awesome groovy after party and anyway i still managed to write two poems at the slam beforehand the first of which i used in the first round and totally managed to advance all the way to a win only using stuff from april which was extra super awesome groovy because it was the last one of this scene's slam until theydono when because they're gonna try to rework the running of it and they're gonna see how it turns out anyway the first one was this one:

statement of purpose:
the fact of the matter is simply this:
i have got to stop fighting my destiny.
i've been groomed for service since birth
my hostess mother continuously creating events
     dinners, parties, dinner parties,
     this serving dish with that utensil,
     the theme, the wine, the gifts
through to volunteering - the animal shelter,
     the pet therapy with people in rehab,
     the teaching Spanish to homeless kids,
     the activism the feminism the antiracism
     the working in a job whose title is literally
it's ridiculous it took me this long to commit
so okay sign me up, here i am, committing
     supplicating - accept me to your program
     this service is my purpose
     i'm proposing we partner - take me, teach me, mold me to the cause
but first you're demanding i state mu purpose.
so here it is:
     i am here to be a queer woman who through those lenses
          sees farther, sees more, sees
          my whiteness, my able body, my cis gender
          and privilege is a fucking real thing, y'all.
     i am here to intersect, i am here to connect,
     i am here to learn and listen and respect
     i am here to change, create, within and without
     i am doing this because the more i hear about the military's response to sexual assault
          the more i need to Go Fix That
     i am here to doubt the status quo, to dream about where we can go together, i am here to be
my purpose is service my purpose
     is to do what my father taught me when young
          to return things better than they were lent to me
     and this world is not mine
          and someday, sooner than i'd like
          i'ma have to return it

the other one was a haiku and i am not ashamed of that now i am caught up until today when i need to scribble out another at some point also i am very impressed with all the typos i've managed to correct thus far i am a little sauced:

you have to choose your battles, she said
okay, said i
i choose them all.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

day 19 last minute haiku

Forgive me, I just finished watching Silver Linings Playbook.

So, yeah, I'm crazy.
Diagnosed SMI. What?
I still deserve love.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dear Russia and Germany:

When I look at the statistics of my blog, I see that many of my readers live in Russia and Germany.  Can I ask how you found this blog and why you read it?  I'm super interested in how I got readers outside of the U.S., let alone countries that don't primarily speak English.

18/30: The day I tried four poems and didn't really love any.

the clap can be cured
even a cold goes away
but depresson?  oohf.

This prompt, which gave me a ghost line from Tara Hardy.
She wants to hear the bees in your chest
which is why she buys flowers
every day, new ones all the time.
She's trying to entice them with
fresh flavors, call it a buffet
of bribery, she keeps the sheets
sticky with honey sketching out
sacred circles, drawing honeycomb maps,
why she wears netting to bed,
to be ready, just in case, blows
smoke in your ears, why you wake
to find her, the side of her face
pressed to your heart, whispering,
"come on, you beauties, i know
you have secrets to tell."

A Poem About The Doctor Who Gives Me Meds:
walk in to the circus.
greet the other freaks.
step up to the counter for my ticket.
get called back for my 2:00 with the man
     i was told was a lion tamer.
as it happens, he is not a man
     at all, but a pony
and now i am the tamer.
here, pony, step up, step pretty, show
     me your one and only trick.
open that horse's mouth, say:
     "well let's try increasing
       the dosage and you can come back
       in two months."
bow for the applause.
here's your treat.
the crowd is leaving.
get back in your cage.

Somewhere I Found A Prompt That Said To Start With A Quote Of Advice And Then Work Backward Through Lines That Sounded Similar Until You Had A 14 Line Poem But Now I Can't Find The Prompt To Link To It Anywhere:
All towns are full of the same things.
Brown liquids cool beneath steam.
Frown at the fool while he swings.
Down in the pool he's swimming.
Now will you please kiss me?
How damn full these mixed things.
The cow and bull are fixing
calibre and marine
calipers on machines
Call the person with wings.
Wall off the parson 'til he sings
all of the parts in tall rings.
Swallow the start; it still stings.
Follow your heart in all things.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

17/30: In which the wolf is not so big nor bad

In the video, I am almost in
my mother's lap, but not quite.
She is holding a book with one arm
around me; I am not yet four.  I struggle
to read the words, letters leading into
syllables climbing into words, I sound
it all out awkwardly, aware that there is
a camera and pretending I am not.
My mother laughs with love when I get
a whole sentence out.  She is proud
as a whole mountain, and in this moment
I can believe that there was once a time,
however brief, that she loved me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I see you two.

Somewhere out there I have two very dedicated readers.

I have been eyeballing my blog stats.  They're interesting.  For example, I'm huge in Russia.  Who knew?  They're reading me in Germany and Latvia and South Africa.  How does this even happen?  By accident, I'm sure, but apparently I was featured on some Russian site once because I get a lot of redirects from there.

Yes, the stats also show me where the people click over to my blog from, which is mostly facebook, and I assume that's from me posting individual entries over there from time to time.  I can also see which posts were read in the past day or week, and it's interesting to see what I imagine is people coming to read one post and then poking about and finding interesting titles and going back to read about my time in Taiwan or Mexico or some political ramblings.

But one thing I noticed is that whether or not I promote an individual entry, within a matter of hours of posting, I've always got two views.  Even on the ones I think no one will see.  Who are you kind, magical people who are willing to listen when I feel I have something to share?  You make me feel valued and worthy.  You make me feel like I'm enough.

Thank you.

16/30: Questions I want to ask my grandmothers

Tell me your favorite shade of lipstick.
What was the weather on the day my parent was born?
What did you dream of becoming when you were young?
How close did you get?
Where were you when they told you they were going to have me?
What were you wearing when they told you they had me?
How many countries did you manage to see?
How many lovers did you take?
How old were you the first time you made love?  To whom?
Did you lose your virginity or did you gain experience?
When did you first vote?
How many regrets do you have?  Where do you store them?
What one thing could you never do without?
What would you change?  How would you change
yourself?  Do you forgive me for being queer?
Do you forgive me for being feminist?  Do you forgive me
for cursing, for fucking, for marching in the streets,
for holding signs, for supporting immigrants
and all sorts of things you never heard of, never
thought about?  Do you forgive
that I will never be a grandmother nor even
a mother for that matter?  Did you create
any art?  Where did you leave it?  How can I find it?
Why did you leave me so soon?  When
are you coming back?

Monday, April 15, 2013

15/30: social media and friendships

Verily I say unto you:
We live in some technological times.
Social media - a phrase
nobody had even heard a few years ago -
is now this Thing, this whole business -
the internet is fucking weird, y'all.
Point to the internet on the map.
Tell me what color it is, what shape,
how much does it weigh, how does it feel
to the touch?  It isn't even real, it's
ones and zeros and electricity and wires
and what would we do, at this point,
all of us, if they took it away?

And now, because of it, friendships
don't have to fade.  We cling to them
like the wisps of so many dreams upon waking,
trying to keep hold even as they slip
through our fingers.
My friends have children
that I've never met, and yet
I saw their first steps, haircuts, saw them fresh
from the oven without ever going near
a hospital.  Jeff and his family, who gave me
sunshine in the tundra, and I've seen their engagements,
weddings, children, but haven't been to visit
in years.  This friend with whom I wrote songs
is still playing with his brother and father,
their perfect patchwork family making music
together for us all.  Linda who lives
on a mountain and before her mother died
had four generations of women up there.
Linda who grows her own vegetables, takes walks
in the sunshine in the woods with her dogs, Linda
who, with her daughter and granddaughter, hold
a piece of my heart on a shelf, will I ever
scale that summit again?  And Melissa, sweet
Melissa, who saved me in Mexico, kept
my dry heart beating, shared food, shared dances
shared stories of lovers, shared drink and smoke,
my sister, my love, and I think of her and there's a wisp
of a memory I'm grasping tight, refusing to let go,
the day we went to the grocery and bought
bocadillos, tomatoes, meat and cheese and they forgot
to charge us for the carafe of wine cheap to some
but a splurge for us and we made sandwiches
in her sunshine apartment and snuck it all in
to the discount student theater and watched
a French movie with Spanish subtitles and we ate
and we drank and in that sacred moment
our friendship was forever.

14/30 My favorite shades of blue

My Favorite Shades of Blue:

·         aero
·         air force
·         anguish
·         aquamarine
·         arsenic
·         azure
·         baby
·         beau
·         bleakness
·         blue bell
·         catalina
·         Catawba
·         celestial
·         cerulean
·         cornflower
·         cyan
·         dark
·         dejected
·         denim
·         depression
·         despondent
·         dismal
·         doledrums
·         down
·         electric
·         forlorn
·         fresh air
·         gloomy
·         glum
·         got the blues
·         grief
·         heartache
·         heartbreak
·         Honolulu
·         iceberg
·         independence
·         lapis lazuli
·         light
·         medium
·         melancholy
·         midnight
·         miserable
·         misery
·         moonstone
·         mopey
·         morose
·         mournful
·         navy
·         periwinkle
·         powder
·         robin’s egg
·         royal
·         sadness
·         sapphire
·         sea
·         sky
·         slate
·         somber
·         sorrow
·         steel
·         the dumps
·         tiffany
·         true
·         turquoise
·         ultramarine
·         vivid sky
·         wild blue yonder
·         wistful
·         woe
·         zaffre

Saturday, April 13, 2013

13/30: The Pill Bottle Tells the Truth

The Pill Bottle Tells The Truth:
I am not making her better.
I am making her less worse.
Call them diamonds, call them footballs,
call them stuck in the dry throat after too many
gulps of water, call them lies;
my contents carry promises that one day
she will feel the sun full on her face again;
call them lies.  

12/30: a day late, a poem for yesterday

A poet uses metaphors when she’s afraid
of direct honesty.  A poet never fears honesty,
do not misunderstand me, it’s just sometimes
she’s been forced into such small spaces
while the rest of the world sprawls out around her
that she’d rather tiptoe in curves than stride
straightforward to the truth.  She calls you a tattoo,
something exciting when fresh and new but also
something that fades, something that needs
touching up.  She calls you a puppy, adorable
and great for cuddles when young, but something
that grows into a sleepy old dog, carefully avoiding
any metaphors about training.  She talks about
daybreaks and opening chords to songs, about unwrapping
gifts on birthdays, talks about birth, then moves
into death, into disappointment, fade outs and sunsets
and even now I am using the third person to talk
about myself because I cannot say directly
without first writing a whole poem in metaphor
how terrified I am not only that this love could die
but that perhaps its song has already reached
the final bars, and I’m still standing here singing
but the crowd has all gone home.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Portrait of the Artist's Abuser as a House

“I know that his punishment is that he has to be himself forever.”
                                                          – John Paul Davis

These bricks, these strong, difficult bricks,
are the sort you cannot look at without remembering
the rusty clay they came from.  Walk up,
through the trees, low hanging, shadows their only fruits,
and stand on the low front stoop, covered
in Astroturf, faded and balding.  Knock
on the wooden door, painted moss, and it will open
unto you.  When it closes behind, you will not notice.
The house will always be just

out of focus, in the way of the memory of a house is,
the house of your friend from fourth grade, you remember,
almost.  Try to focus – you never will, something in the periphery
always grabbing for your attention, keeping you from remembering
why you want to leave.  When the walls start to sing
it will seem so natural, singing that you’re pretty, please stay,
have some food, take a nap, you deserve this, you can never leave,
you must never want to.

                                                   Beige walls, tan carpeting, no music, just
singing that you’re ugly, you have to stay, if you leave no other house
will have you, sparse furniture but a kitchen full of food, and outside
a storm has started, warm wind blustering, knocking trash down the road,
occasional thunder but never rain, only the threat, only
cloud-to-cloud lightning, never touching down, the fear
of the storm is worse than the storm itself, you know,
and you realize the house

                                                    has done all this, grown the trees,
started the storm, turned in on itself, begun wilting like a plant
removed from its soil, like a fish taken from its sea, like a brick
stolen from its clay because it wants only you, forever,
and no one else must see you at all.  This is why there are trees,
a storm, a song, nothing else can live here, no friends,
no visitors, no roommates, no pets, just you, the song,
and a kitchen full of food.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

10/30 O G Will

Shakespeare doesn’t give a flying fuck
if you like his sunglasses.  Doesn’t care.  Wears them
cuz he wants to, cuz they feel good, cuz he knows
he can rock some fukkin pink.  Shakespeare
likes to wear his pink wayfarers
down to the market, lean up against a wall,
leave everyone wondering whether
he’s looking at them.  Shakespeare likes
to stare at people with his head turned away
so they’d never think, likes to dissect
their characters with no repercussions; this way
he can stare as long as he wants.  Shakespeare
can’t write without his sunglasses, can’t fuck
without his sunglasses, refuses to come to the door
if he can’t find them.  Shakespeare never wore that collar
until he got them sunglasses, and even then he only got it
cuz they looked baller as fuck together.  Shakespeare wore
his sunglasses to meet the queen, no lie, spent
the whole time face tilted toward her perfect shoes, his eyes
burning straight into hers, unabashed. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

day 9 pome 9 / 30: the feminist cooks

Writing this poem is a feminist act.

This poem starts in my mother's kitchen, the way she showed us to cook
from scratch, to set the table, to host, to care
for and about every person's needs.

For unrelated reasons, I had to divorce my mother.

Divorcing my mother was a feminist act.

Picture me,
5'11" broad shoulders long feet
standing tall and strong and proud
barefoot in my kitchen at home.

Because damnit, that's how I like to be.

I still cook from scratch.
You want soup?  Let me get some bones
and roast them for stock.  Ravioli?
I'll get the pasta mold and roll dough.
Moussaka?  Don't even threaten me
with a good time.

I like the food you got to put your love into
for it to come out right, I'm about that
cook all day type shit, the kind of recipes
that leave your whole kitchen covered
in trails of flour kisses.

And while there may never be
pitter patters of smaller bare feet tugging
at my apron strings,
I do still have apron strings.
My grandmother's green checkered apron
is my habit, my holy robe.

My grandmother was not a feminist.
My grandmother was a racist.
Speaking this truth about her is a feminist act.
I thank goodness she died
before I realized I was queer.

My grandmother wasn't even as open minded
as those people who say, "Oh, I believe in equality,
but I'm not a feminist."
"Oh, I can't be a feminist, I don't hate men."

Definitions are fucking hard, y'all.

Define love.  Define orange.  Define space.
Define feminist.

Dame Rebecca West said:
"I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute."

My man gets hungry, y'all.
And I show my love through food.
He's having a tough week, I'll pack lunches to go in the nighttime,
leave them on display in the fridge,
pizzadillas, chicken salad wraps, sandwiches
that would make Dogwood cry, mother fucking
fruit roll ups, y'all.

Feminism, to me, means doing what the fuck I want
how the fuck I want
when the fuck I want
and may any preconceived notions about what it means in relation to my gender
fuck themselves right off.
Feminism means caring for others, too.  Others' needs, others' rights.

And when I stand up here tonight and say goddamnit, yes,
I cook from scratch for my man barefoot in my kitchen,
because I choose to,
because I love to,
that's a feminist act.

Monday, April 8, 2013

day 8 pome 8 / 30: feetsies

at night
in bed
in your sleep
your feet
hug mine:
toes wiggle,
heels nuzzle,
arches cradle;
you moan-
but never wake.

in this moment
i listen
for the words
i don't hear;
the mouths
in your heels
to the ears
in my arches:
i love you
i love you
in my sleep.

7/30: ghost line from Melissa May

The day I killed my mother, I got out
my Sunday best, washed it again, just
to be sure, pressed it with starch,
curled my hair, flossed.  I wrote her
a love letter and wrapped it
around the blade.  I ate well,

two eggs over medium, bacon medium,
toast and gravy, orange juice, coffee, hot
and black.  I went to the chapel and prayed
for the first time in years.  I kissed
a stranger and stared directly
into the sun.  The day I killed my mother,

I went to her house, rang the bell,
placed the love letter directly into
her heart and then left, cut off
all my hair, didn't cry, burned the clothes,
didn't cry, tore the pages from the books
she'd given me, carved her name
into the soft flesh of my belly, didn't cry.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

6/30: It's Okay.

It’s okay to eat nothing
but cookies, or boxed macaroni
and cheese; you’re grown now,
an adult, as they say, and now
you can stay up late, you can watch
all those films your mother said no to,
you can brush your teeth or not
brush your teeth, you can have dessert

You can take candy
from strangers, you can go home
with strangers, you can fuck strangers
until they are no longer strange.
You can confess
intimate details of your life
on the public transit
or on the stage, or on
the blank page.  You can cuss
to yourself, or in front of children,
you can still

dream about becoming an astronaut,
a mermaid, 
You can find sneaky ways to get
on top of buildings, you can stand on the roof
and scream at the clouds,
I am here, look at me,
you gods and devils;
I am arriving
all the time.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

5/30, just before midnight, from an accidental ghost line by Sonya Renee

I love that there is an answer to all things.
Look long enough, hard enough, look
in the closet behind the box of your father’s
ashes.   Look inside your father’s ashes.
Under  the graduation cap
and gown, try flossing, who knows,
it could be tucked inside a popcorn kernel.

Answers like Of course you can and No,
it will cost too much.  Answers like blue and tomorrow
or never, answers like thundering rivers,
like the smell of yeast bread, like drinking
to forget, like oak.  And so, I know, there must

be an answer for me there, somewhere, I love
that there is, I search when you’re sleeping, peek
between your knobby toes, the chaos of covers
twisted around you, a shelter of turmoil, run
my fingers through your hair, search behind
your earlobes, sift through the smoke
of your dreams and find,
just there, in the right corner
of your primal,
godly mouth:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

4/30: To The Coworker

To The Coworker Who Said, Loudly,
In His Man Voice In His Man Body,
In The Kitchen When Her Song Came
On The Radio, "Rihanna Deserved
To Get Beat," And In That Instant
Became My Abuser:


You do not get
to hold our names
and our fates
in your great
and terrible mouth.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ode to the Scar on my Hip

(after a prompt by Jon Sands)

In these ways you are like myself: you are obstinate
and ornery, slow to heal and forget, a survivor,
victorious, particular about when and how
and by whom you like to be touched.  You
are a beautiful testimony of survival, you,
so like a tiger, a dragon, a snake, your softness
and hardness, your teardrop shape, the way you perch

on my hip like a lover, as raw and pink
as a baby's first wail.  Do not be afraid
of lasers, I would never threaten you with them.  Do not
be afraid of reopening.  You, so like a medal,
a ribbon, raised like a ridge, a mark
of exclamation.  You talk shit on oceans
and riptides and rocks, your makers, you tell them
then will never take you down.  You drink tequila,
neat, no salt, no lime, no
back, while you do ballet stretches in front
of a mirror.  You paint.  I remember

the days and days it took you to heal, as you lay
open, stayed open, shining like an overripe strawberry,
still pregnant with the ocean's salt.  The world teaches us
we should hide our scars; instead, I framed you
with a tattoo, you deserve a frame, a parade, a star
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a star
in the sky, maybe that one there, on Orion's belt,
just at the hip, a cake, defiant
with ten dozen candles.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The atom bomb apologizes (2/30)

I am a song of death never meant
to be sung.  I did not write myself
into being, I was collaged, Frankenstein-style,
by men with minds
like sunshine, angry and not angry.
I am a rain of ruin, a crash
of becoming, a ballet of regret.
I am so hungry all the time.
I only meant to breathe and now
there are entire parts of the world
in which you must not stop the car
or even drive it at all.
Give me your hair, each precious
twisting strand, your white blood cells,
proud soldiers, one by one.  In return I will give you
cell clusters like constellations, exploding fast
like supernovas, like myself, will give your children
extra legs to run.

Monday, April 1, 2013

1/30: Telling jokes with the moon

If you want to tell jokes to the moon, you must
abandon all your old tricks.  She's heard them.  Knows
the one-two-jab, the dance and punch, knows
them all.  You'll have to be clever, but not quick;
the moon does not like sudden.  Her changes
come on slow and heavy.  She is an expert
on fear and patience.  Tell her a joke
that is mostly sad.  Start with sorrow
before you move in for the laugh.  Finish
with something sparkling and she'll love you
forever, call you her favorite, promise never
to turn her face from you, and her laughter
will ripple like the waves she's always moving
and she will never let you drown.