Sunday, September 12, 2010

There's nothing like cooking and baking on a cloudy, cool day.

Ham, bean, and potato soup.

Cinnamon streusel coffee cake.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July the 13th, 2008.

It is not the event of your death that I imagine - the shattering of the windshield, the force of the steering wheel against your chest. Rather, it is the way you walked, the sound of your voice, that goofy smile that I recall.

And maybe more relentlessly than hearing the life still left in the remembrance of your laugh, my mind wanders to a vision of your mother walking into your messy room. I see the way she picks up your work boots to set them neatly by the door. I watch her fingers feel the bills of your hats. She opens the closet, heaped with clothes, and she finds a favorite shirt. She sits down on your unmade bed and she breathes in your scent.

This supposition plays over and over in my head. These three questions, ones that I will never answer, always follow: What does a mother do with her dead son's possessions? How could she ever keep them? How will she ever let them go?

--for you, rich.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The process of unclenching a jaw so long clenched is tedious - an act which requires conscious thought. Straining to clench is a habit almost like smoking. Something done so often it is no longer a thing you do. It is something you are. I am a smoker. I am a clencher. It is like thinking. I think; therefore, I am. I clench; therefore, I am. A person who clenches their jaw is akin to one who wears shoes that create blisters. They continue to wear their shoes because they were expensive or because they look good; because it's what they should do. They paid that much for their shoes; they should wear them. One clenches their jaw because it is what has always been. It is a constant in a world of change. It is familiar. It is what should be.

Once aware of the clenching, though, one wonders, "how long have I clenched my jaw? For how many years did I cause myself undue pain? How many headaches have I created that could have been avoided?" Once this clenching is known, it is abruptly stopped. Then one must constantly be reminded to NOT clench. Don't do that. Don't feel that. Don't bear down. Awareness is the first step in fixing a problem. You must be aware that you have one. The next step is to act in a positive way to fix the problem. But in fixing a clenched jaw, all one can do is hope to remember to stop. Hope to remember that release is so much better. Hope to be constantly aware that one never deserves that pain and one is only causing it herself.-----5/7/09

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Shakespeare Quoted/Emotional Neglect

Emotions run deep.
They pull you this way and that.
Sometimes you are where you are because you felt it.

But often, emotions are never felt fully.
Names are placed on them.
They are stocked and shelved somewhere in the abyss of your brain.
And when called upon, they take over.
Tears well up. Your heart pounds. You shake.

Here is sadness.
You need him now.

But how is the same sadness felt at the loss of a beloved goldfish and at the loss of a child?
But still, "I am sad," you say.

Is it sadness you are feeling? There is no anger? No alarm? No disdain?
To place a name on an emotion is to take away any other feeling you might have.
Your emotion is immediately made lesser.
You are sad and nothing else.

Shakespeare knew words were useless when expressing emotion. He gave names to thousands of things, and yet, he knew they weren't enough. That night, on the balcony, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love, Juliet says simply,
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Great Shit

During my sophomore year at college I took a course called Oral Interpretation of Literature. I read this poem. It's wonderful.....and it's by Ani DiFranco.


our father who art in a penthouse
sits in his 37th floor suite
and swivels to gaze down
at the city he made me in
he allows me to stand and
solicit graffiti until
he needs the land i stand on

i in my darkened threshold
am pawing through my pockets
the receipts, the bus schedules
the matchbook phone numbers
the urgent napkin poems
all of which laundering has rendered
pulpy and strange
loose change and a key

ask me
go ahead, ask me if i care
i got the answer here
i wrote it down somewhere
i just gotta find it
i just gotta find it

somebody and their spray paint got too close
somebody came on too heavy
now look at me made ugly
by the drooling letters
i was better off alone
ain't that the way it is
they don't know the first thing
but you don't know that
until they take the first swing

my fingers are red and swollen from the cold
i'm getting bold in my old age
so go ahead, try the door
it doesn't matter anymore
i know the weak-hearted are strong-willed
and we are being kept alive
until we're killed

he's up there, the ice
is clinking in his glass
he sends me little pieces of paper
i don't ask
i just empty my pockets and wait

it's not fate
it's just circumstance
i don't fool myself with romance
i just live
phone number to phone number
dusting them against my thighs
in the warmth of my pockets
which whisper history incessantly
asking me
where were you

i lower my eyes
wishing i could cry more
and care less
yes it's true,
i was trying to love someone again
i was caught caring,
bearing weight

but i love this city, this state
this country is too large
and whoever's in charge up there
had better take the elevator down
and put more than change in our cup
or else we
are coming

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Currently Listening/Reading:


I hope that our few remaining friends
Give up on trying to save us
I hope we come up with a fail-safe plot
to piss of the dumb few that forgave us

I hope the fences we mended
Fall down beneath their own weight
And I hope we hang on past the last exit
I hope it's already too late

And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here
Someday burns down
And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away
and I never come back to this town again

In my life
I hope I lie
And tell everyone you were a good wife
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow
I hope it bleeds all day long
Our friends say it's darkest before the sun rises
We're pretty sure they're all wrong

I hope it stays dark forever
I hope the worst isn't over
I hope you blink before I do
And I hope I never get sober

And I hope when you think of me years down the line
You can't find one good thing to say
And I hope that if I found the strength to walk out
You'd stay the hell out of my way

I am drowning
There is no sign of land
You are coming down with me
Hand in unlovable hand
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

Stranger Than Fiction - Chuck Palahniuk

On writing/writers:

"Okay, okay, so maybe we're headed down a road toward mindless, self-obsessed lives where every event is reduced to words and camera angles. Every moment imagined through the lens of a cinematographer. Every funny or sad remark scribbled down for sale at the first opportunity.
A world Socrates couldn't imagine, where people would examine their lives, but only in terms of movie and paperback potential.
Where a story no longer follows as the result of an experience.
Now the experience happens in order to generate a story.
Sort of like when you suggest: "Let's not but say we did."
The story-the product you can sell-becomes more important than the actual event.
One danger is, we might hurry through life, enduring event after event, in order to build our list of experiences. Our stock of stories. And our hunger for stories might reduce our awareness of the actual experience. In the way we shut down after watching too many action-adventure movies. Our body chemistry can't tolerate the stimulation. Or we unconsciously defend ourselves by pretending not to be present, by acting as a detached "witness" or reporter to our own life. And by doing that, never feeling an emotion or really participating. Always weighing what the story will be worth in cold cash.
Another danger is this rush through events might give us a false understanding of our own ability. If events occur to challenge and test us and we experience them only as a story to be recorded and sold, then have we lived? Have we matured? Or will we die feeling vaguely cheated and shortchanged by our storytelling vocation?"

Exhaustive thoughts

I'm not who I thought I'd be.
And I'm upset.
I'm not where I want to be.
And I'm frustrated.
I'm not doing what I really want to do.
And I'm fed up.

But, given these choices,
Being allowed to decide anything I want,
Being granted any and all things,
I'd probably still do it wrong.
I'd still screw it up.

I'm so tired of my indecision preventing everything in my life from moving forward.
I'm stuck.
So much so that I'm not even sure where to begin or how.
Why has this indecision overwhelmed me?
Why have I let it?
When will I decide to decide on something?