Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March, 38 Minutes Old

Today: A wet snow smothered crocuses flung wide under yesterday's sunlight. Overnight their thin violet petals had spun shut. I laughed at their angry little peaks.

Tonight I am just keeping my fingers moving, no real thoughts:

I was a kid yanking on a phone cord in a faded linoleum kitchen on my tip-toes peering down a hallway. Little girls were everywhere in pigtails and stupid pink party dresses.

My fingers slick with potato chip grease and tears, I clung to the mouthpiece. I want to come home, I told my mom. I want to come home. Cupcake icing was in my hair and I was a wreck.

I had not been there long, three houses from home in a strange kitchen bright with Saturday morning light kicking through flimsy lace curtains, but in a way, I have been there forever.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thoughts Under A Turbulent Dusk:

If I was a great poem I would bleed like sunset -- raw plumb blurs stacked on shredded peach over a city of potholes and garbage.

Charcoal smears cut through Tuesday night's sky that shined in Lily's frightened eyes. I watched dusk die in a blaze while I talked to her. Good girl Lily.


Nineteen years ago I wore the heels off my new black boots walking Albany's cold concrete with Catherine. I didn't like the guy she liked. I didn't like that she moved to Albany because of the guy I didn't like. What is it about guys anyway?

Years later at a rotten desk job with a grimy phone the supervisor said to me: you know, Becky moved to Florida.

Huh, I said, so what's his name? Another girl after another guy.

I never reached down past my shoes and tore out my roots to run after a guy. What have I failed to see? Or, maybe I just like my cocoon.

I never played with dolls and dreamed of a family. Guys? I never thought much about it. I would glance halfheartedly at the future and only see me.

I have to think that life is not just me, but about standing with somebody. Do you agree?

Premature spring blooms' paper-thin hues will be face up in an inch of snow tomorrow. Life just doesn't happen in the right order sometimes.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Through The Big Store Window:

Last night she dragged home a heavy heart, propping it up toward morning's lemon sky. She'll go back to the bars and sloppy beer with a jukebox rainbow washing ugly walls. She'll forget you.

A strange hopeful magic had waited. She smiled and he smiled -- a friend she'll never have.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pen And Paper Please

Damn you, electronic magic.

Thoughts I thought while my web was out: Love is a silly sticky thing clinging to my fingers and heart like honey in the sun. I thought of dwindling kisses mixed with coconut and candy.

I miss summer's lingering warmth, unlike a cold yesterday where the world spun along toward midnight and my thoughts lit with demon embers.

Witch hazel, snowdrops, and daffodil tips are here, pushing early through the ends of a frail winter. Orion has slipped from his high spot in the night.

Ashes To Ashes

I watched Ash Wednesday's people slipping into a season of penance while I kept my soiled soul hidden and stopped at the liquor store.

Genesis, is that you? The sinners angered him. Cast from Eden and suddenly carrying the weight of mortality, their days filled with thoughts of death. While leaving footprints upon the dust, they waited.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I was in love standing drunk in the wet grass outside his bedroom window at 2 am listening to my knuckles on the glass, but he wasn't.

In a surprise Long Island snow that fell wet and heavy across my shoes, I ran to the car and slammed the door. Barely 32 degrees in a salt-laden landscape, and I was eager to drive the empty streets with thick flakes flying at me as I tuned the AM dial to talk radio, scratchy old recordings, or callers asking the host about love while I drove a dark road past an undulating bay, remembering him. Should I call in next time and tell listeners that I drank too much, and often, and looked forward to nothing but night, when the day's pressures left me? Should I confess that I dreamed of nothing. Should I wish that they possessed the warm plump faces of people who do not frown upon morons?

I went home and sat alone with the hum of an old refrigerator, watching snow pile on the sill. A friend asked me about panic, and I think that's the day it started.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I was buttered in sunlight with my fingers in the milkweed last summer. Spittlebug foam drew the ants and a few feet away I found crumbling stones leading to the stream.

Visiting that shady spot with my bare toes under water by the pines I looked at the meadow. Wildflowers.


Through winter's hard ground I saw daffodils breaking the surface too soon, just another day in February. Later this month I'll wander to a lower corner of my rocky yard and poke at the witch hazel branches, begging its drops of gold to stretch into feathery yellow blooms.

I am not thinking about much today, or maybe I am, but mostly I am just keeping the fingers moving.

A thought:

From the darkness in a dream came his reflective eyes like ink as he stared. Whatever I was dreaming about was over as I looked at him again, trying to understand. It's the guy who sat nearby in my head while I dreamed my little girl dreams as a kid. I never gave him a name.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pucker Up, My Friends

We all got a paper bag for Valentine's Day taped to the chalkboard.

Just leave your notes in classmates' bags, our teacher told us.

I had a wad of Luv You and Sweet Thing messages to deliver, but I didn't want to be first. I had no idea that love needs you to take the first step sometimes, or not.

By the time the principal fetched us bus five riders, I was on fire. I wanted my bag full of meaningless notes. I wanted to read the bad handwriting from Dave or Joe or Billy or John above cartoon print that said, You're Cute, or, Pucker Up. I wanted to hold a guy's hand. I had never done that before. But what would we say to each other while we looked at our fat, kid fingers?

Love is an unflinching devotion that can grow tired, frustrated, and sad, but never thin. It can cling or let go, but won't fade. There was no informative note for that in the third grade when I prayed for ice cream or new shoes and had no idea that love was agony when it wasn't joy, and nobody ever signed the card.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Predawn's hues bruise a perfect black night on the wrong side of sunrise.

Tomorrow comes chasing spells away.

Fingers touch. Warmth lingers. Music fades.

Midnight shadows stain his cheeks and sooty eyes on the wrong side of sunrise.

His smile's moonlit curves fade under pastel clouds where she wakes to emptiness and nothing, drenched in sunshine.


Sometimes I don't write much and would rather tune out.

I skip the words on a page because I don't want to see what's in my head, and all our heads -- the piercing wishes and desires unbound from decency, running free. Don't we all carefully tailor our thoughts? Isn't good writing about trading that tight fit for passion?

Either way, I would rather drink wine tonight.

Lily is curled at my feet with her nose under her tail. She is warm, loved, and asleep. Good girl Lily.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No String Here, Just The Beads:

Driving home under a red heavy moon with an empty feeling inside, she was just another girl unnoticed, nameless and haunted.


It's something about his skin that keeps her lips turning back, drenched in gloss and parted.


I remember the smell of sweat and lilacs while we twisted on the sheets.

She never did it like you, he said.


He grabbed her up and curled her against him and she gasped.

For a thousand reasons she said, don't drop me. The night flew by in a circle before her feet hit the floor -- just another girl on just another night. Am I right?

I waited for their fantasy to pass and their footsteps to fade before I locked the door.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bits N Pieces Again

The earth swung under a beautiful moon hanging in a pink candy sky. Looking up at darkness coming, I groped around my insides for the empty spot: I want, I want, I want, but words didn't matter and I was lost.


We went to a Memorial Day parade in the rain on a Monday morning. Horns and rifles and cameras snapping. Later at the VFW he drank away the years since Vietnam and by the time we were home he was too heavy to drag from the car. I left him there, head back and dreaming of death and fear while I walked to the convenience store. I wanted and wanted and wanted then, too.

I wanted energy and sweat under hot lights. I wanted rhythm. I wanted to be flying.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That's February Two, To You:

She traded a cold Monday for vodka over ice in a rocks glass, two olives please. Rain on the window glass dripped in neon streaks. Her face shadowed -- a nighttime lean. Lipstick gleamed. A party.


Just sipping wine and wondering about my time

that I keep

that I spend

that I give way


how about you?


I dreamed.

He slowed to look at me. His hair messy on his cheeks, stubble. Curving jaw fitting my hand. A song with blue eyes.

Then he was in my past and years behind me and someone else was near. A body against me and warm hands beneath. I peeked through an open door, wondering if anyone would see.