Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Theory of Personality

There is a cat inside my cat; there is an orange
inside this orange.  I keep the lid on tight except
 when I'm sleeping, so I nap all day, under my
desk, in the ladies' room, on my boss's sweet
carpet when he is at lunch.  Then I arrive home
to hit the couch and sleep again, but I am too
hungry to sleep.  My commute is literally killing
me -- crossing the street is risking the loss of one
or two limbs, or even your head or ears.  The angry
bus drivers sit waiting on every corner, their feet
hovering above the gas.  I'm so wound up I grind
my teeth down to my gums.  I'm so eager to dream
I sprinkle plastic fairy dust on my cupcakes.  I
would keep the lid on tight if I hadn't lost it.  You
know what going "postal" means. Sometimes a letter
is just a random collection of vowel sounds.  I took
a workshop on filing off your fingerprints at the
New School. There is a story inside this story.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


The Backwards Map

shapeless and stained, how my sister gave the man with three burros
directions, what the girl with the red kerchief around her neck meant

when she smiled and pointed to the broke-down bus, the sky, a boarded-up
gas station, a pile of black gears the size of hands, a no-name country,

the absent smell of gas, the scent of oranges being peeled by sweating
hands, rocky streets with grey felt hats pulled down, eyes so dark

its-good-to-see-you and we're-not-speaking the same black look when lids
peel back, old women on stools selling peeled mangoes in buckets, tying

and retying braids as black as burnt fuel, hips spread like buckets
of rising bread, why the tourists in their go-carts forget what indigo and

come here mean, how commands and pleas fall into disuse, everything
reduced here to a simple statement: the man rode his bike to the river

and the store lacks eggs and peppermint, how, in street children's dreams,
a third language surfaces, multi-hued, prickly, for some the words

are feathered, for some underwater,  how, for my sister, the tongue
is stuck, sleeping under netting, in the heat and muck


Sorry for the neglect. I had my purse stolen (which takes sooo much time to respond to) and I've been ill. Quite ill.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


You call me
at one in the morning,
asking if we
can be friends now,
if enough time
has passed.  
You tell me you think
I'm a good person,
except the word
"person" has too
many "r"s.  I can see
you are making
an effort; you have saved
your last beer for the end
of this conversation.  
I know it's right
next to your knuckles
on the table-- you keep
touching it accidentally.
I have so little
to say;  I tell you
it's raining again
and the black terrier
you gave away
in June died
of cancer
last week.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Questionable Taste

What do you like,
he says afterwards.
They're propped up on
pillows, not smoking,
wishing they had
something to do
with their hands.  
Her eyes follow
the shadowed gap
between the ceiling
and wall, wondering,
once again,
what lives in there.