Archive for the 'love' Category



In a room lit by stars, your arms, gentle, insistent, draw me in to nestle against you.
The moon arches its back and the midnight sky
Curls around it to enfold it, pulling it close and holding it there.
A night breeze ruffles and lifts my hair;
Your soft sleeping breath against my shoulder stirs my heart.


Admission Essay

This is a tough one and will make or break you. You must do this work with love or you fail. – John Muir, “How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive”

My grandpa sang while he washed the dishes – Rock of Ages, Tiny Bubbles, School Days- and if you were in the kitchen he’d hand you a dishtowel and invite you to join in. And then one day the singing stopped. It wasn’t because Grandpa died; it was because my folks bought Grandma and Grandpa a dishwashing machine and had it installed.

My family meant well. Of course they did. Most people don’t spend several hundred dollars with the intention of making a beloved elderly relative less happy. But that’s what happened. And they weren’t the only ones to make the mistake of believing that mechanization equalled more happiness. A friend’s nana received a food processor one Christmas so she’d have an easier time making her famous cinnamon rolls and the plan might have worked if she’d ever been able to fully comprehend the instruction manual and to conquer her fear of the blades in the machine.

This problem has only increased with my generation AKA the Baby Boomers. We’re the ones who dreamed of and worked toward automating everything- a house that regulates its own temperature and vacuums itself, cars that drive and park themselves, weapons that will aim, recalculate, arm, and fire themselves. The goal of socks knitted by machine and pre-packaged food was to free up more time so we could pursue leisure activities and learning. What my generation has actually accomplished is distancing themselves from the people involved in and the pleasureable kinesthetic experiences derived from the creation of these products.

I’ve spent the last few years *reintroducing*(?) myself and especially the younger people around me to the joys of repersonalization and unautomation. Run your fingers through some yarn then wind it around them to see how the colors work together. Cast on for the top of the leg and follow a path blazed by millions of knitters over the years who created socks for their families that kept them warm with wool and love. Dig a hole in the ground and poke some seeds into it. Water them and watch and wait until the vines are tall enough and the fruit is red enough that you can pull off and eat… a tomato; something that tastes of dirt and sunshine instead of shrink-wrap and cardboard.

Returning to my grandpa, of course he sang while he washed the dishes. He was surrounded by people he loved who loved him back, warm soapy water feels good on your skin, and he was using his hands to do a good and useful and- yes- loving thing to make his home and I would say by extension the world a better place.


A drop of blue

at the corner
of your mouth. Is this the
excuse I’m longing for to touch
your lips?



Glitterless cards.

Denuded velvet chocolates boxes.

Kewpie dolls with their curl-

Like the final filip on a soft serve cone-

Bit off savagely.

(Who does that?)

Cardboard cupids nurse hangovers.

Red paper ribbon winding its way across the floor,

Through the pool of rubbed off glitter,

To a chair behind the counter.

A woman is sitting there faded by life

Like the silk flowers in the window.

It’s mid-June not February;

Are you too lazy to care?

Or is this what you think of love?

The woman sighs, reaching for her flyswatter.


sounds the same

They say seafood is an acquired taste but
By the time I turned thirteen I knew I loved muscles.
Some folks like to stick with local producers.
Provenance is no impediment to me-
Imported? Domestic? Artificially stimulated?
Hell, they all look good.
I’ve heard that you should stay away
From oysters in months whose names lack an “R”.
This rule does not apply to muscles
Because summer is when they’re at their best.
Squeeze on a dollop of oil, heat then add salt to taste.
I’ll eat ’em up with a spoon.
Damn. My mouth is watering already and
It’s cloudy and still early June.


grace sufficient

You were always so good at awkwardness.
Always so good at dealing with awkwardness is what I meant to say.
All those little moments-
Forgetting someone’s name
Introducing them by the wrong one
Beginning to tell an anecdote that was never to be shared
To the person who had secretly been gossiped about-
Little moments that get remembered much bigger,
That become bricks added to a wall of misunderstandings
Or planks removed from the sub-floor of a friendship.
You were so very graceful in handling these things
And I could have used your grace, could have used you
Standing beside me at the wake
Greeting the visitors, making them welcome,
Making them feel comfortable, smoothing over the awkwardness.
Because there was so much discomfort, so much awkwardness
With no one knowing what to say to me
About your death, Most of all about the way you died.
Platitudes fought for tongue-space with statements and statistics:
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Most accidents happen at home.
The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house.
Forty-two percent of those who slip in the tub hit their head, slide underwater and drown.
I soaked in the tub at the hotel the day after the service.
I showered at the gym where they hadn’t seen me in six months.
I tried to convince myself no one needs to wash more than once a week
And after all in olden times they did it less often than that and carried flowers.
Now, at last, though here I am, in the sunny yellow room we painted together years ago.
Thermostat turned up high to fight my chills;
Soap positioned just so, in the dish at the far side of the tub;
Cell phone at the ready, on the counter;
A pile of fluffy towels, on the floor at the end where my head will be.
I cross myself one way then the other.
I ask Mary, Joseph and Little Baby Jesus to watch over me.
Put one foot and the other into the water. Grabbing both sides of the tub, I sit down.
I slide a little and the water comes up
But only to my chest. I’m going to be alright
And I can breathe again.

[This poem was inspired by an exercise by Maura Stanton called “The Widow”. The goal is to write in the voice of a woman whose husband has drowned. She hates the water but is forced through circumstances to confront it. I like the poem I wrote as a result. It’s dark but at the same time it isn’t.]


and how do *you* know?

How can I tell if I am pregnant
How can I tell if my dog is pregnant
How can I tell if a guy likes me
How can I tell if my phone is tapped
How can I tell if my cat is pregnant
How can I tell if a girl likes me
How can I tell if my transmission is slipping
How can I tell if a nit is dead
How can I tell if my fish is pregnant
How can I tell if I’m pregnant
How can I tell if all circuits are dead
What if it’s only a test and I’m an illusion?