Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The 7th Year

my husband doesn’t want me
to leave this morning

he clings to my elbow, kisses my cheek

he didn’t let me sleep all last night
talking to me in my dreams
twitching and kicking the mattress

I dreamt I went vampire killing
again in the stacks of the school library
my husband always over my shoulder
muttering directions

sometimes we roll together in the grass
sometimes my hands at his throat
sometimes my lips at his ear

is this the dance our parents whispered of?

confetti in our hair
the band tired and playing low,
my red dress creased?

and still in this
side to
I smell his breath
and it’s sweet
always sweet
like marigolds
still bloom
inside him

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I have a feeling this one needs some work. Comments?

Letter #5

Dear Inmate,

Since you’ve been away, the machinery
and recipes have broken down. Your pick-up
got down on all fours and dug under the porch.
It lies there now, panting and whining,
rubbing its tail pipe against our cornerstone
and farting gasoline.

The eggs, too, misbehave,
throwing themselves at the back of my
head. The pudding mix clings to the
chandelier, the coffee drips into my
purse every chance it gets, oh inmate,
without you, electricity reverses itself
and the rooms darken every time
I thumb the switch.

But perhaps it’s my singing,
(a long wail, the neighbors say)
a perfect C, high and arching, while I
arm wrestle the vacuum cleaner,
water the can opener, throw
fistfuls of sugar at the willfully
jammed bathroom door.
Perhaps it is me, inmate, who has
turned inside out, crouched
in my silk dress in the tub,
burying the knives and forks
in the garden, singing until
all the windows crack into spider webs,
collapse, break out like a dam bursting,
like a prisoner stepping just past
the guards.

Sincerely awaiting yr. happy return,

Friday, June 23, 2006

I made a dirty picture!

Okay, it's more like I made a dirty picture STRANGE, since it was already a dirty picture -- porn circa 1870. I just combined it with a telling phrase and food images from the 50's. I'm thinking of doing a series like this and turning them into a color chapbook on Lulu.

This one here's real small so it doesn't offend you if you're not feeling porny. If you want to see the large version, click on the pic.

their hoses

My throat is still killing me and I feel my fever returning. Oh, great!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Home Economics

my gypsy mother clove scented
and stuffed with lemon she tied
us with scarves to the calf when
we moved from gulf to gulf
the sound of rain hitting the leaves
larva plinking from the sky
the nebula, staring, disapproves
a fairy in the name of a plant or animal
the easy find torches to make their fancy
and thus our hoses were too short
the potatoes froze that summer
our hands chapped with super glue
our minds pianos out of tune
in this procedure, the proper noun
for place is falling

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ode to My Boyfriend’s Wife

she holds my hand when we are
introduced at a neighbor’s party
her palm is light and dry as sandpaper
I cannot tell if she can feel my trembling
her eyes catch the candlelight, glow orange

I see her at the Quik-Stop parking lot
she is small next to the station wagon
she steps as if weightless
transferring bags of apples to the backseat
as if she is about to take flight
I wave but she doesn’t remember me

I taste her mouth on him, smell where her
small lotioned hands have tied his tie
ironed the crease into his pants
he doesn’t speak of her
I go through his wallet and find
photos of their wedding
she was a swan and he a black dog

when she visits my dreams
she is winged carrying a sword
as she floats above me I seize her
hair to bring her face to mine
she cuts me in half
and then sews the halves shut
with her teeth

I lay there and hope she will at least
touch me with her bare feet
she flies up a mountain and crouches
in a tree next to a gate of pearl
her eyes yellow and quiet

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Turns out I ended up "on the cutting room floor" so I was NOT included in the blogsday reading on NPR. Oh well. Thank God I didn't tell everyone to listen. Oh wait, I did...

It was interesting program anyway, although it opened with a horrible, soppy sentimental bit about God smiling at kites.

Not that I'm bitter.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blogsday on NPR asked if they could use my June 6th post as part of their reading/performance this Thursday. I was a little embarrassed (why couldn't I have written a nice poem that day?)but I agreed.

YOu can nominate another blogger who had a good post on the 6th by commenting on the Blogsday site (link above). Spread it around!

I already nominated Radishking and BitchPhd. I was going to nominate more, but I think I've already bothered them enough, what with my pleading that they pretend I posted a poem on that day instead of inspid preening about my reading.

Ah, well.

(Hi, Chelsea)

Monday, June 12, 2006


this private summer the bacteria move the liquid
OF THE TONGUE in practical mouths

machines for making the natural homes of chicken and bread decay
or refrigerating – a mixture of cold pork and Melissa

every St. Petersburg or Vacaville burns cream and other comestibles
the smoke a dissipating soup we will rub it on this utensil
handle, her skin, in order to make the inside of food

we must either make the flame disappear

inside your throat or you need to decay a little ice
with a hearty fork supplied with kerosene

the pipes inside have a small box or room, cool and
even, to make small fresh meat, to keep it illuminating

to salt this you need to evaporate very
rapidly in the rising streams

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Elegy for the Living Patriarchs

she said, he’s angry at you, and he’s building machinery

he said, there is no twin

She did not say, I have stolen the key to your locked door

he said, there is no twin, your dream was only an empty
pond surrounded by dirt

she said, I’d like to see what’s beyond that door

he did not say, in a nameless country he can do no harm,
all the pictures of him are underwater

she said, my twin is taller, one side of his head is flat,
he has ugly hands and he says his name is Michael

he said, go to sleep now

a cup of pennies from 1955
the sound of a dog trapped in a fence
her half-chewed crayons
a bundle of rusted keys that ring like a bell
buttons from shirts his belly outgrew
a gold locket with the initial “C” scratched off
various muted colors trapped in a jar
the sound of dog trapped

Friday, June 09, 2006

I just got a teaching job at Rutgers! Impossible happiness and joy!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Here's some pics from last night at the atomic reading. Okay, technically, before the atomic reading:

I'm like, totally 80's! And I don't think I'm ever wearing a corset again.

I will, though, wear a dog collar forever:

Atomic was great but a little intense. I managed not to mumble or rush, and I felt more relaxed than usual, so that was a personal goal! Also sold some Animal Husbands, several!

And here's some new visual poems -- these seem to be getting more visual and less coherent as the class progresses, but they're still fun:

More explorations of naming in my family.

Monday, June 05, 2006


my brother had no name the first two weeks of his life
my mother and father raged up and down the staircases
onto the porch and lawn shouting names at each other
my brother the tiny plastic bracelet on his wrist baby Hamm
listless and cold in his crib up in the attic I stuffed toys in
through the bars to keep him company until all I could see
was his tiny fish mouth moving the tiny plastic bracelet
on his wrist I’ve been told names attach our souls to our
bodies when I think of my brother now I remember those
first two nameless weeks he hovered upstairs from me and
I think that’s when the trouble started


The reading was fun and fantastic and the other readers were, wow, and ooh, and eek that's quite intense and makes my skin crawl (a little) and then I realized there's a reason women don't wear corsets anymore and started having trouble breathing and had to ... depart. Quickly.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

a reminder and lament

I'm so excited about my reading tonight! I've actually tried to print out every poem I've ever written, and pick the best -- but there are about 270, so it might take a little longer than I planned.

I'm bummed because I'm so bloated from the fertility meds, I probably can't wear my new corset -- I got a corset! It was great buying it too, from a little goth boy who kept wanting to help me "adjust my boobs" but was sweet when I said I can adjust my own, but thanks for the help.

It's lovely and black and it gives me great posture and a perfect figure. Waa. I wanted to wear it with my shiny purple skirt with the petticoats and fishnets, etc.

Perhaps I'll dress down this time.

Jean! I could wear jeans!

Here's the deets again:

I'm reading with fiction writers --Tony O'Neill (author, Digging the Vein)
and Michelle Wildgen (Tin House, You're Not You)

The reading is on June 4th and starts at 7PM. Sharp! Like a knife!

Here's the address:

At the Lucky 13 Saloon
273 13th (5th Avenue)
Park Slope, Brooklyn
(F train to 7th Ave,
walk down 7th Ave to 13th street,
then walk down towards 5th Ave)

And the link to the reading series is here: