Sep 15 2015

costume party

Alice stood in the corner wondering why she’d come to this place filled with masks and math and prettied-up people.

Packages. That’s the word that kept winding through her mind, down dark hallways and out open windows. Packages.
She wanted to tear into them, rip through printed paper and agendas and falsehoods. She wanted to see their eyes, what they were made of, what lived below the surface. She wanted awkward honesty, or shy (mis)demeanor.

But no one ever tells the truth at a party, and secrets echoed through the room like a barely-there smell, perfume left behind from a visit three days ago, or mold climbing the wall in one corner. Fear, perhaps, and history, closed up too long in a closet of possibility.

She held her breath for a moment and stepped inside the circle.

There were cookies.

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Sep 12 2015

criss cross

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no matter

your path

it’s all forest

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Sep 3 2015

late bloomer: a simple fable

It was always there in the corner of her mind, and every room she’d ever been in: the power of words.

Some days she chose to ignore the sounds that rattled and clanged like locks and chains, and other days, the only thing she could do was listen. Every minute was a story, every hour a poem. And the nights, the nights were cacophony, which is why her dreams were always silent, like old movies.

Once she’d tried writing them down, every word she heard, every sigh that whispered, every sentence sailing past her extremely near-sighted eyes. But her hands were never fast enough, letters flew through them like birds and scattered across the ceiling in a murmuration of mockery.

Sometimes she caught an M on a finger or grabbed a Q by the tail, but they were never letters she could use, and she dropped them in a bowl that by now was overflowing with impatience, red and gold seeping out from a crack down the side. She wished she could hold them in somehow, or wait until she had enough for a story, but every time she tried with her glue and clumsy fingers, a question mark escaped, and she spent days looking for the answer.

When she got hungry, she tore pages from the books lining the walls of her house. It was never enough to fill her, and the only one left that hadn’t been tasted was the atlas.

One day she filled a bucket and started scrubbing. Her knees grew dark with ink and tiny commas kept catching in her fingernails. She didn’t stop until the floor ran black and the only thing she heard was her own breath.

She sat down then, and began to write.

 

 

 

 


Sep 1 2015

we rise with the hope
of redemption

and sometimes we find it
nestled in
between sanity and severance
leaf and litter
imitation and impostor

our hands
will always
get dirty
in the search

but that’s the nature
of atonement
and you know
what they say
about cleanliness

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Aug 29 2015

the inverted posture
of poetry at dawn

and we swam circles around each other
like shark or sunfish or skittering
pond skaters
because
neither one of us
heard ophelia singing
and what did it matter
so deep in the forest
of upside down
neverland
sky

 

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Jul 14 2015

drops of jupiter

in a sky mixed from paint and loose smoky cloud
sung by the song of ophelia’s left wrist
floating home on a river of chasm

we are built with such fragile temerity
says a poster on the wall of indifference

held in place with tacked-up tone diamonds
ripple-torn by the weight of overwhelm

it’s all too much and never enough

because cut glass and cold minded carbon
are futility’s intrinsic fossil

holding on to lost light with the fine-crazed frailty
of their own impetuous gleam

the stars will always hang high
in one corner of sky
but first you must swallow the darkness

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Jul 7 2015

why i married the mockingbird

in the middle of a day
laced with rain cloud
and robin

singing hymns to unseen
heavens

i found a grave
beneath
the tallest poplar

perfect circle
of blown-out feather

grey on white
white on grey

death
in the center

a ring to fit

a broken finger

a hole for grief

to tumble into

and the echo

echo

of eternal

narration

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May 30 2015

blue on black

yesterday my cat
dropped a grackle at my feet
alive, but injured

and i tried to save it
(to no avail)

i lifted it gently and
placed it beneath the yellow
lilies, offering shelter and
food and water and also
a projection of hope

and the bird looked up at me
frightened and resigned,
and then together, we waited

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later, i carried the body
away and noticed, in the way
humans do,
that it was heavier in death
than in life

as if its spirit had somehow
managed to counteract gravity,
at least a little

and i realized
we have it all wrong,
this thing called grief
our underlying fear
of being forgotten

because the world
always remembers

it’s just that we
finally

 forget ourselves

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I took this photo a few weeks ago, and it made me laugh, Mr. Grackle looking all fierce.
I’d like to think that’s the look he’s giving NaughtyKitten™ just now.

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May 2 2015

in the kitchen of my shadow

The crows and I have tea every morning, rain or shine, smile or sadness, awake or still mired in dreams. I am drawn to the world outside my tiny window, a world of birds painted bright on a backdrop of trees. The shape-shift of shadows as we pass through the seasons offers up a daily dose of impermanent art in one corner, the place where no one ever sits.

Soon, I will be out of doors as much as I am in, and these walls will talk to each other. I wonder, often, what they say behind my back. Sometimes I catch a whisper when I walk around the corner, or crash through the door with my arms full of groceries, and hush! becomes an echo of everything I’ve missed.

A house is always telling stories, but you never know which are fact and which are fiction, so you label them all tall tales and let them bob around up high, near the ceiling, and watch the spiders eat them for breakfast.

Late at night, sometimes, those same stories will drip down the walls like tears, and I’ll remember a day long past. I’ve lived in this house almost 30 years, more than half my life. There are words shoved deep into every crack and crevice, and all the dust is made of promises. It’s a tiny house, and someday I think it will burst with the memory of all the lives that have marched on through, in life and in books and in my imagination.

I never thought I’d spend all these years in one place. Never thought I’d still be staring out these same windows with the eyes of an almost-old woman.

We’ve grown up together, this house and these birds and this creaky laughing body of mine.

Beneath this sky that holds the sun that draws these ever-changing shadows.

It’s my job to sit here, to watch and to listen.

The crows and I have tea every morning.

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Feb 12 2015

the beautiful ugly

This is what I search for, again and again and again, the beauty in the ugliness, the pinwheel starburst of falling dead blooms, the light from a window reflecting nothing but snow, the pain in my neck and the crick in my back that reminds me how much I am alive.

The persistence of water, always finding a way. The cracks and wrinkles and fissures that speak of life. No surface remains unmarred, unless it’s perpetually hidden.

Today’s new coat of snow hides the old dirty version. Another layer of time added to the heap, a temporary stratum calendar.

Later, we’ll watch it melt and forget that it ever existed.

The river at our feet proving nothing more than motion.

Snow crystal transformed into sun glint.

Always rising.

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