responsive pleading E-BOOK!

Gentle readers, the time has come! I have relented! Responsive Pleading is now available as an e-book! For only five bucks!

Here's a link to the book page. To get the e-book, click the "pay now" button. You can pay via PayPal, but you aren't required to have a Paypal account. A few quick steps and you'll be able to download the book as a .pdf file. If you use a Kindle or other reader, you can send it there. I am surprised how beautiful it looks on my Kindle!

Of course, you can still get your paper copy (featuring the gorgeous cover art of Max Germer) for only ten bucks by clicking through to Amazon. Or send me an email if you want an autographed copy, and/or if you are living outside the US and shipping through Amazon is too costly.

Thank you so much for all your love and support, my friends! Check it out:
responsive pleading


Like tea tree,
your essence restores
my prickly
heart, soothes inflammation, turns
soft what was jagged.

"Bee In Bottlebrush" by Jaime Clark

Kerry's weekend challenge to the Real Toads is to be inspired by the macro-photography of her talented daughter, Jaime Clark, to write a shadorma. Jaime's photos show off in intricate detail the flora of South Africa, where she lives; these fantastical blooms certainly can't be found in my neighborhood. Please do click through to take a look. Beautiful!


dog dreams

Let me write about your rat-dogs,
the ones you toss out at six-ay-em
to yap-yap-yap the early-walkers
and wake the neighborhood children.

Argh I groan, check the clock, drift
back into pillow-headed dreams, till
your rat-dog holler QUIET! stops me
from making a dream-choice I'd regret.


of a feather

I don't know how
copper turns to dust
must be a condition
of summer fade--
Settle amidst the green
the flora's different
every flavor--
Let it float over you
and take you higher. 

Photo by John Edwards/Scriptor Senex

Inspired by the photography of John Edwards, featured in the weekend challenge to the Real Toads. Please click through to see more of John's wonderful work.


raise the roof

Thank God I'm young enough and strong enough
And child enough to feel the urge
To sing.
They say, because I cannot have the griefs,
The sorrows, trials of the years,
I sing.
Please God, when I am old and know
The worst that life can give, I still
May sing.
(A poem written by my grandmother when she was a young woman.)


the escapists

Everyone else was standing proper, but we
lay on the tile, holding hands, gut-humming,
and speaking for myself, I was overwhelmed
by vibrating in my womb ringing out like
a flat rock skipped along the length of me.
Then, fingers crushed by death grip, breath
holding, the weight of clouds pressed down,
a kaleidoscope of greys like salt water
cotton candy, heavy with the sighs of ages,
swirling in the sides of our eyes, between
and along, isolating yet forcing us closer.
I could not speak, but only measured moments

by the pumping, the endless pushing around
and in, then out and back again, ad nauseam.
Sideways glance, your wink back; thus our
plan cemented, now escape! Light to the sky.


how to stay afloat

Reaching for the sky
like a lullaby,
hyperbolic sigh
stopped in its tracks.

Inventing despair
right out of nowhere,
not here, over there,
no turning back.

Remain in the light
above all, despite
overwhelming might,
frontal attack,

violence obscene!
Much better to dream
out loud in the green,
not in the black.

Kerry's weekend challenge to the Real Toads is to try this lovely Welsh form called Cyhydedd Hir. Love it!



The weatherman
calls for sticky to oppressive
for tomorrow.
I'll embrace tropical-like
when it arrives, 
as the night to come before
is so dark.


one-night corn stand

Shucking that bent ear of corn reminded her
of the time she had ended up on the floor
with her college roommate. It was a one-time-
only affair, by mutual consent, she thought,
involving much booze in multiple taverns,
as really only college girls can pull off,
followed by running mad through a rainstorm,
then by shucking clothes and common sense:
he was her friend, confidante, and champion.
She suffered rug burn; they never spoke of it.
She hoped he wouldn't read her poem, although
she especially enjoyed fresh corn-on-the-cob.


big & bad

the wolf was at the door,
he was at the door,
wanting more--
What do you do
but roll over & play dead,
dead as a doorknob
as they say--
But what do they say
about girls who invite
the wolf inside,
opening the door wide,
welcoming him in
for tea & a quickie?
take the love that you get,
even the big bad love,
& pass it around.

This week's music challenge to the Real Toads is "The Wolf Is Getting Married" by Sinead O'Connor.


the wolf is getting married

In which I fawn over Sinead O'Connor like a fangirl and implore you to join the Real Toads for the latest edition of my occasional music prompt:
the wolf is getting married