some things about you

you were uncompromising
  about politics (don't bother arguing)
  about religion (always and never)
  about grammar (are you listening, George Will?)

you were passionate
  about baseball (the Pirates)
  about music (real jazz)
  about Lebanon (and war)
  about bridge (and your friends)

you left the kitchen door open for the beer man
you brought me a stuffed bulldog from Copenhagen
  i named it Schmidty, after your beer
you served fancy shrimp cocktail on Christmas Eve
  and gave lottery tickets as prizes
you wrote me letters when i went to college
you hoped i would become an ACLU lawyer

you would have claimed Jon Stewart as one of your own
  and been proud to vote for our President
you would have pushed me farther when i faltered
  and loved me harder
you would have adored your great-grandchildren
  and shined your words on them.


rock star

you told me i was a rock star.

i knew i was a rock star
i thought we could hold hands
and fly
and do anything.

because we were rock stars.

but soon enough, i did not please you
i was a disappointment
there was something wrong with me.

why was i not bold?
why did i not soar?
why did i not trust?

who hurt me?

you had my back.

i did not wait for the next question.
i will not entertain you with my tears.

you will not bang your gong
to cheer my conquests.


out of nowhere

So Lizzy Danger showed up last night, with her new groove on, demanding a line. Happy to oblige, I suggested to her: "We can just walk around all day." Here is Lizzy's poem. Glad you are back, Mizz Lizz! She gave me the line, "Her red cheeks made me remember." And you know where I went with that. Enjoy!
out of nowhere
she came into view

i said hello
you okay?
running late she said

nice to see you

flash of memory
her face above me
her hands inside me

nice to see you

out of nowhere
her red cheeks
made me remember.


farm haiku

last farm day, i'll cry
sustenance, community
now what do i do?


fall mood

cold wind
leaves down
month's end

box wine
shirt riding
full belly

autumn red
fading brown
far away



thank you, anita hill

let's talk again
my skirt
my stockings
my hair
my mouth
my tits

i'll get your coffee

you can tell me
raping your wife
your anger
your rage
your violence

let's talk again
my cunt

i'm young
i can take it

i'll take a letter.


gram & ed

an afternoon

i would
bring your tray
with sectioned grapefruit
and a bowl of sugar

we would
watch music videos
and then baseball

i would
ask you
about your children
how it was
why you wrote
what you did

to take away the pain
to protect your children
from the pain

what you did
to protect yourself
from the pain

at four o'clock
i would
bring your beer

we would
toast to the pirates

i would
ask you
about your husband
how you loved him
how he loved you

i would
tell you

i love you
i miss you
i ache for you
i crave you
i would.


your flavor

your flavor


waited for me
to find
within you

your flavor


no longer
on my tongue.

indian summer

In addition to her poems, I am lucky to possess many essays written by my grandmother when she was in college. This one seems to have been written on a day just like today. Enjoy!
We went hiking today--Bill and I. He's such a wonderful companion to hike with--not as good at walking, for he was tired long before I had decided that it was time to turn back, but just right so far as a partner goes. He knows so well that when I'm tramping briskly along with my hands in my pockets and my eyes straight ahead that I don't want him to say anything. He notices the unusual things along the road--I know he does--but he always lets me mention them first; he knows he's helping my pride that way. He understands that I want to be independent--that I don't want to be helped over fences or carried across puddles, but just the same--sometimes--I don't mind if he does give me a little assistance here and there. That's to help his pride, you know.
The woods were so gorgeous this afternoon. We kicked up the soggy brown leaves covering the ground to find half buried acorns, and sank almost knee-deep in the mire as we missed a slippery log stretched across a two-foot stream. Even though the trees were almost leafless, they didn't seem lonely or desolate, but flaunted their bare arms courageously against the bright blue of the sky. I think they were determined to bid a cheerful farewell to Indian summer, in spite of the bleakness of their own outlook.
Away up on the topmost branch of a tall oak tree, we saw a little ball of fur swaying in the breeze. When we had watched it for a while, it resolved itself into a squirrel busily shelling acorns in preparation for the long winter. Below him, a deserted bird's nest drooped raggedly in a crotch of the tree.
When I finally decided that we had walked far enough, and had done justice to all the beauties of this last Indian summer day, we turned and made a new trail back to Meadville and dinner.

me & my gram

This is me with my grandmother, whose words and spirit grace these pages, circa maybe 1985.

small moments

Aw! Friends, I wrote a poem for Nichole over at In These Small Moments, as part of her Small Moments Mondays series. Please take a look. Seriously, I'm all verklempt over here just thinking about it.

My poem is called Small Moments



enter the skinny kid in skinny jeans
puffy silken letter jacket
i laughed out loud

a lens focused to view you

as the afternoon waned and chilled
i began to see you

your eyes
your voice
your laugh
your manner

as i loved you at fourteen

my fierce wish for you

a chaise lounge
a good woman
the warm sea air

your beloved ocean.



erstwhile lover
drive my mother's car
into my dreams
take up residence
behind my eyes
betwixt my ears
between my legs.


three generations

Love, love this photo. That's me on the left, my mom on the right holding my sister's hand. Sister, typically trying to cause some trouble. My aunt with the bandana, my mother's younger sister, for whom I am named. And my grandmother in the background, inside, hands on hips, looking out over us. At a summer rental cabin, I'm guessing 1974.


poem for cindy

(don't swing at me here)

my demons
i feel scared

you are a soft place to land

send me in reverse
to a similar place

this is it

it's what you are

you make people think
and feel
and express

(like me)

(i love you)

the magic
that you have

is miles in the sky.


haiku for free

released from service
suffering differently now
free to get a job

freedom illusion
get up go to work come home
day in and day out

free, do what you want
no restrictions, make mistakes
you'll regret later

free to be you, me
grow up strong, kind, be yourself
don't get beaten down


limerick for technology

I have a hard time with email
Worse is a message in voice mail
If you need to get me
It's better to text me
Or twitter or facebook your details.

limerick for getting older

There once was a woman with crow's feet
Her love found her wrinkles just so sweet
They weren't from crying
But a lifetime of smiling
Evidence that she is complete.

rosebud in meilles

Long day, way too tired to think for myself. Perfect time to share with you this jaunty little number by my grandmother. Enjoy!
There was an old girl in Marseilles
Who said, "I'll go downtown todeilles
To get me a hat
That will knock 'em all flat
For I'll look like a rosebud in Meilles."
(I may even get a toupeilles.)