Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This poem came out of a discovery my husband made this morning in our garden: an old horseshoe. We suppose the horseshoe must be at least 100 years old, as this neighborhood has not been zoned for farming in at least that long.


We tend the garden,
Manipulate earth, roots, limbs
In desert sun we contrive an oasis.
The shovel strikes a rusty horseshoe,
A remnant of others who have sweated here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I Quit Facebook Today

10. Zuckerberg has still not added a "dislike" button. I thoroughly dislike him for this.
9. I now have one less password to remember - and one less account to be hacked.
8.  We are not really friends. If you actually were my friend, you'd know that.
7. I will never have to decline a Farmville invitation again.
6. I miss my girlish figure, and I swear I lost five pounds by simply clicking on the "deactivate" button.
5. I don't want to know that so-and-so from high school just ate a burrito, or that she has a nosebleed, or that she "checked in" at the bikini waxer.
4. I don't want others to know that I just ate a burrito, or that I have a nosebleed, or that I "checked in" at the bikini waxer.
3. Facebook just isn't a worthwhile addiction. I'd much rather take up drinking again.
2. I'm tired of fighting the urge to correct my friends' spelling.
1. My Number One reason is a bit of a long story. I'll message you about it later - oh, wait - shit.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I would write the story
But then I couldn’t hide
Beneath my tent of white paper
Keeping vigil, armed
With a sharpened lead spear
In soundless wait for provocation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The American Woman - Her life in foods with funny names

The life of the American Woman may be understood as a series of foods with funny names:
She begins her days sucking Similac from lovingly sterilized bottles left by Mom with instructions for the fourteen-year-old sitter to ignore.
Her first real trauma involves her graduation to pureed beets and Brussels sprouts. After her infancy she never willingly eats them again, except when she has her own child and tries in vain to convince her that blood-red beet pulp is “really yummy! Num-num! Get ready for the airplane!”
The American Woman’s happiest memories are marked with milk mustaches and palms sticky with the remnants of cream-filled friends: Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, Zingers and Whoopie Pies. When she is older, she abstains from those decadent, individually wrapped treasures that once made daily appearances in her Scooby-Doo lunch box. She is told that Little Debbie and that nameless Hostess are monsters who seduce healthy innocents with their trans-fatty S’mores and Zebra Cakes and steal their girlish figures.
 Yes, the day comes when Suzy Qs and Sno Balls lose their place at the table to more sophisticated foods with funny names. The American Woman’s shiny new chopsticks swipe and squeeze at insipid cubes of tofu and gaudy cylinders of sushi. She acquires a taste for quinoa and couscous, and only privately wonders why one should ever want to acquire a taste for something that tastes bad.
As fate would have it, in the twilight of her life, the American Woman would kill for bulgur-stuffed bell peppers or sashimi and tempura or – fuck it; it’s too late for her figure anyway – a delightfully squashy Twinkie. But she can only dream of delicious memories now, while she stubbornly purses her lips in futile rejection of the nursing home menu of pureed beets and Brussels sprouts.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I have missed you, dear blog. Husband and I recently moved into our new home, and in the chaos of the move packing, moving, unpacking, organizing, cleaning, fixing things, breaking things, fixing things, meeting the crazy neighbors, avoiding the crazy neighbors, searching fruitlessly for lost ties, right shoes, the dog food, the checkbook, the computer – I had little time to sit, think, and write. The move, combined with other various commitments, made me a mindless automaton. I worked all day and collapsed into my bed at night, never stopping to admire the sunset over the lake or read a new poem.  

This afternoon, as the madness subsided and I finally started up the long-lost laptop, I found myself thinking about who I am when I don’t have time to write or think about language. What do I do when I disconnect from my word-nerd alter ego? Are these activities worth it? When I fail to make time for writing, have I betrayed some critical part of myself, caused a vital organ to stop working inside me? I wondered what I had done in the last few weeks that could possibly be more important than writing. This list emerged from my meditation:

I worked to prepare a peaceful space in which I hope to write volumes of bullshit in the blissful years to come.
I reconnected with old friends and made new ones – the face-to-face way, not the Facebook way.
I discovered new writing territories, new objects for my musing.
 I remembered that in order to recreate experience with words, I must keep experiencing.  
I fell in love with my husband again.
I volunteered at a summer school program and helped children write their own ghost stories.
I tiled my shower. And then I sang in my shower.
I learned to appreciate indoor plumbing. One never notices the little things until they stop working and flood the bathroom.
I laughed. And I observed how my laugh bounced around me in the empty house, like a ping-pong ball against the naked walls. I laughed some more.
I rediscovered how alive I feel when I am in motion. As much as I enjoy spending hours tinkering with adjectives and adverbs, I never feel more present in the world than when I’m moving around in it.

I’ll write again tomorrow. Or maybe I won’t.  But whatever I do, I’ll be adding to the reservoir of lived experiences I draw upon when my soul needs watering. And living is worth a lifetime.