Posts for June 4, 2019 (page 2)


Such Is Life

There was once a time when . . .
Today would have been . . .
How was I to know . . .
It somehow didn’t . . .
Right then it seemed . . .
The possibilities were . . .
I always wanted . . .
Perhaps I could . . .
Maybe I should . . .
I know I ought to . . .
If only . . .
To be true to myself I . . .

Such are the entrances and exits
     on the roadway of life.

Regret   –   Recovery   –   Rejoicing
    are all part of the journey.


Now I Lay Me Down to…Wait! Grab a Pen!

Flattening my rear
I stare at the page
Concentration and yield–
a total bust

Yet I’ll go to bed later
get comfy and warm
Bam! A creative goddess!
Timing sucks


things I was told at twenty-something

Don’t wear your lip liner outside the natural line, 
     it means you’re trying too hard.

If you’re short, never wear horizontal stripes,
     vertical maybe, but not too wide.

You must get your colors done,
     if you’re a winter you can’t wear yellow.

Older women shouldn’t wear their hair long,
     it pulls their face down.

Don’t Never Must Can’t Shouldn’t
     Tough love building blocks to my fifty-something almost-satisfied self. 



My whole house is a petri dish
Of things I’ve done before
Things I did
Things I tried
Hearts broken, an left by the door

Stacked to the ceiling
Full to the brim
Like a fine cup of coffee
Or sardines in a tin

Dishes piled high
Books bred in the night
I’m through with it all
Want it out of my sight

Doesn’t hurt anymore
getting rid of the chains
those moments were lived in
the stuffs all been drained

Soon no one will know
By the cut of my jib
That inside a petri
dish I once lived.


Safe to Be Me (Part 2)

Every time my female self
tried to emerge throughout childhood,
she was scared back inside.
The princess finally freed herself
from her tower
in her late twenties,
making herself known to me
playfully but forcefully.
For the first time,
it was safe (if still scary) to be her.

And now she’s the bubbly monkey on my back,
introducing me to music I never thought I’d like,
leading me places I never thought I’d go,
making me want things
that take courage.

Her world has slowly gotten bigger and bigger
as she has figured out
where she can and can not go,
who it is and is not safe to reveal herself to,
where to find community.

But a lot of her world is still one of deprivation,
of hiding,
of waiting,
of hoping for someday,
a day where she is safe to be herself
whenever she wants to.


Remember the Phrase “Lit Off”

Such a sweet
boy. “Like puddin,” Auntie would say,
herself like pudding, sweet as pie.
He drove her second car,
a blue Subaru with it’s safety features,
blue cross hung forever
on the rear view mirror. He took it to college
and every month he’d call the family and tell them
about the city, how different it was away
from the small clump of homes.
Our family usually perched together on a hill
past the old rusted trestle out on the highway.


Here I am again

behind in my life, floundering
in an awful rut, so exquisitely raw
waiting for something to happen
like an alarm clock all wound up
ready to go off.
I’d like to paint the world
and I don’t want to be careful.

The emptiness of the space
ahead is appalling
feeling around in the dark
in my nakedness.
Pieces of what I want to say
yanking at me,
a high pile of tumbleweeds
twisting in my mind
until, wading in this slime,
something boils over—

a kind of permanent shape
growing in meaning
a lush dream of vermillion
soft green, deep butter yellow
dirty lavender.

I feel like the wind
breathing so deep I’ll break
so full I’m drunk
smothered with the pull
of the steep places,
kicking holes in the world
right through to the crust
of the earth, the hot part.

I am lost you know.
It’s hell and I like it—
to work like a tiger
enjoying the muddle
the holiness.

~ Cento of lines/phrases found in Georgia O’Keeffe’s letters.


Mad Dog (From: Earliest Memories)

When we lived on Jones Street
I had the run of the place:
three older siblings at school
father with his long-hours job
mother looking after infant brother
grandmother (Ma) cooking,
              kept an eye out for me
              playing in the sandbox
and crazy Aunty rocking on the porch
              and wringing her hands;
in 1952 Paducah four-year-olds could 
              cross the street
              to get treats from old neighbors.

The wind was blowing, a storm was coming
the day mother dragged me inside and bolted the door…
someone had called about a mad dog.
We all looked out the front window
to see the big blond canine staggering,
frothing at the mouth, biting the air.
When the gunman came I went to the bedroom
and put a pillow over my head. The killing
was a mystery but the lightning and thunder
stayed with me.


The Wonder of it All

The Wonder of it All:
The doorway holds our
Delicious captured kisses-
Never to forget
our pink minuets-
Humming, glowing, rock and psalms,
Palms pressed in and up,
Vibrating past time.


Happy where we are

We unwound the 
tapes, stretching them 

around trees and whatever 
else was left standing.

Boot leg tracks and
conversations I recorded

from the AM radio. Preachers
that screech, gag; talks shows

where strangers commiserate 
abduction experiences.

Broad brown bands of VHS plastic,
my sister’s first birthday, tethered

to musty hollowed-out Pontiac
and an aluminum drum,

packed with the garbage
that was our life.

Ragged scotch tape covered plastic
divets on empty cassette cases.

We sectioned out squares where
our rooms once were,

and we did so in silence.