GAWF 2016!

Last night at the Greenfield Annual Word Festival: 6 stages of spoken word wonderfulness, presented by Paul Richmond of Human Error Publishing. The goodness!


A Girl's Life

A girl’s life
     is lived
        in clouds
           like mountains
         behind mountains
  in browns
         behind reds
                used to be
  on rungs
atop stairs
  to catwalks
      run by dogs
      hands up
                  her skirts
                      her mouth


Reading in Emily's House

I was privileged to read my poems for an audience in Emily Dickinson’s house last night.

Yes, that Emily Dickinson.

Still pinching myself this morning. Which resulted in this:

And this:

So much love for my Florence Poets Society comrades.

Thank you to the Emily Dickinson Museum for the opportunity to read.

And much love to wonderful poet and friend Maggie Butler, from whom I received quite a shock (as I thought she was across the ocean from Amherst, at home in Dublin) and several hugs.


Hot Water

that poem in the trash
the one that makes your lip curl
like it actually stinks
rancid words radiating
off you so intensely
just from spending a little time
with that damn poem
that you’re compelled to strip down
and launder its words
in hot water
which is where that poem came from

Flash 55 Plus for Real Toads!


Rocket Ships

Rocket ships
are exciting
but so are roses
on a birthday.
      -- Leonard Nimoy
Roses deliver
but so does a chicory spray
by a toddler

Diamonds excite
but so do love songs
scrawled in chalk
across blackboard sky

Love's lyric
needs no byline
when adorned with adjectives
tattooed above the heart

The etymology
of our love affair
can be traced from the air
like cropmarks

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek original series! This is cause for celebration at my house. I wrote this poem a couple years ago, I think before Leonard Nimoy passed away. It is published in my most recent book, Heart Container. Live long and prosper!



Shriek of blue jays
and a good ole American crow
woke me on Labor Day
dropping the flag on next season.
I could cry.
It’s just too fast,
the passing of plays. Just unfair,
half-time of my half-century
arriving as I still resist adjusting.
Not ready yet for cheerleaders,
courting by a chorus of crows.

Flash 55 in the Imaginary Garden!


The Big Picture

thru sigh-lenses
blurs edges
convexes centers
like funhouse mirrors
bloated without context
It would be kinder
taking the long view
as you
despite protestations do
Maybe try
a wide angle lens

Music day in the Imaginary Garden: LITTLE TINY by Brandi Ediss


Hoodie Heart

I pulled on
your blue sweatshirt.
Zipped up, it fit well!
I wish I could capture
forever your reaction,
beaming at me, recognizing
yourself in grown-up me,
           your mother
beaming back at you,
           wishing this would last.

Late entry for Kerry’s Micro-Poetry prompt in The Garden.


Bobby the Lip

All day Facebook admonished me to help celebrate my friend Robert Lipton’s birthday, so I share this poem written in his memory. It was published in Silkworm, the annual review of Florence Poets Society, last year.

Sharing this makes me think about a lot of things, including (1) I wrote a poem with a word I can barely pronounce (paean) in Bob's honor (guffaw), (2) I hear his words in my head "Death, the great poetry prompt" as I listen to this, and (3) I miss Bob.

I pulled this fortune
the day you died:
  What is the distance
  between the eyes and the soul?
You know the answer.
How did you learn to pronounce
the hard words, which goddesses
are whom, the rhythm of line breaks?
We all listened. Did you know?
Your paean to women made me wish
such words were strung together
and hung on my limbs.
Now you travel that distance,
somehow we expect you to report back.
We will miss your soul, your lip.



When a space opens
in your heart
myriad soul-squatters

rush to occupy
Sorrow’s muse deploys
a kitten-topped roomba

spreading distraction
to every corner
No room for reflecting

when every imagining
is an exercise
in deft deflection

Hiding in shadows
real memories hole up
joined by assessments

in emotional siege
It’s no wonder
you are easily convinced

of an alternate world
with dusk-brimmed battles
waged behind your eyes

Read & share poetry today at The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden!


On Holiday

looks good
on summer
unplanned sorrow
twining like garland
round the solidest pine
deciduously backward
engorged with acid-twinkly light
whitewashed birdbath needs little water
in end times no one sings Christmas carols


Summer 2016, Encapsulated

No poems today
no reflection
on how light
follows darkness
how the sky feels
how a body opens
like a flower
how I love you
no words
though still true
it does
I do


Untitled, July 2016


of the day





Athena Shakes Her Head

There’s a throne
in this morning’s clouds
from which I imagine
Athena observes
skirmishes with no purpose
olive trees rot roots up
war with no end
She knows
there’s no slowing this march
no wings can lift us
above inevitable despair
The mind of God is blank
and no blue remains
even above the clouds


On the Nature of Air

We breathe
the same air
cologne & sweat
til fear seeps in
blood & death
in the end
we breathe sweet air

*Monday note: I've edited this and like this version much better!

Kerry called for short poems on the subject of Death and Night. This is also responsive to Izy’s prompt to write from a recently received text message (my first line here).


Nice Cage

Am thrilled to have a poem in the inaugural issue of Nice Cage, a new, gorgeous, very cool literary magazine. Fairly prescient that the issue's theme is Predator/Prey and the magazine's tagline is "Enjoy Being Human." It's awesome to be published alongside comrades Kerry O'Connor, W.K. Kortas, and many others excitingly new to me. Hearty congratulations and thanks to editor and co-founder Isadora Gruye.
Take a look: Nice Cage


For My Husband on His 40th Birthday

I’m thinking
of demanding spousal rights
to your gallbladder
when the surgeon takes it out,
bringing it home in my purse,
one stone for an earring,
one stashed
in the locket you gave me,
the last one under my pillow
for dreamkeeping,
your name bile-tattooed
across my heart,
flesh of the precious organ
buried deep in the dirt
of the old angel-wing begonia
that’s flowered our marriage,
spindly reaching for the sun.


Except the Memory of You

Sometimes I feel like
some sad old goddamn song
that everyone knows the words to
but just won’t sing along

        --Charlie Chesterman, "Mister Blue"

Laughing girl
tugs her beater over her belly
earns a stage shout-out
is easily amused
seemingly cheerful
like baby’s breath
in a carnation bouquet

She is rain on Sunday
bag of kittens in the river
last call banjo
at Nico’s Recovery Room
stumbling down Highland Ave
three flights up
to an empty bed

Flash 55 for Real Toads!


This Is All Leda's Fault

in the marvelous
incongruity of May
with her rages
and jewels
mixed with catastrophe
She is a rare gift
on hemorrhaged lips
taciturn yet stylish
syncopated and swanlike
Best make tracks
or tumble headlong
maybe both

(OOAK ART doll by Lina Macijauskiene.)

I learned about the fantastic art dolls of Lithuanian artist Lina Macijauskiene from my friend Jori, who owns the one in this photograph. Isn’t this doll wonderful? I love her.

More dolls at Lina Macijauskiene’s Etsy store: LinaMacijauskieneART
Jori’s cool blog: Shivers of Delight

Sharing this at the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.

P.S. I turned FIFTY on Sunday. What!?!