i don't know what i am doing. i don't have any clue as to how to be a parent. i get these ideas now and then that feel right, or sound good, or something, but then i'm sitting here, lounging on the internet for hours on end, allowing the children to run amok by themselves, exploring and creating and otherwise trashing the house, but is that just laziness? should i be more involved? is that what makes a good mother? someone who is hypervigilant, always ready for a new activity, a kind word, a kiss for a boo-boo?

i am not that person. i am self-absorbed and introspective, i like my own activities, which often include doing things for the children, creating new tasks to involve them in. and yet i always feel lacking. they don't do what i ask, they seem to have almost no empathy. the words i speak fall flat and hollow unless i have reached the breaking point and it all comes out a bellow. then, and only then do i gain compliance and not every time and not without force and coersion beyond what should ever ever be reasonable or acceptable.

i know not what to do with these boys. the energy level in aleks alone could spin the planet a couple of times - how am i to keep up with that? how am i to contain it or harness it or even funnel it to some good use? and what defines what is worthy, what is valid, what is righteous and good? who gets the job to say what is so?

my only goal is that they become whole, confident adults with a sore spot for social justice, if i can be picky. i want to have a relationship with them that is a dialog, but so far our life seems composed solely of several ongoing monologues running in different directions, at times intersecting, but rarely, if ever, merging. what do i do? what do i do? i feel so very very bad at this. i feel so questioned, so undermined and i don't have absolute answers, i have no solutions. i feel empty-handed. i feel lost.


i have committed myself to the tasks of too many things, too many contrived methods of creativity and community, too many modes of transforming the self by false self-help dictates, that masturbatory domain of moneyed guilt, too many expectations weighing me down. in my quest to do what i want, to become who i am, i have lost sight of the simple, the pleasurable. all is the uphill battle, the constant struggle. every minute of every day is a field of lists, a galaxy of things done and undone and more, always, to do. i have lost the effort of sitting still, what it means to do nothing. my nothing is a big distraction from the things i must actually do. my nothing is an electrified means of checking out. i sit at the computer, fight in stupid fights, arguments i deem intellectual, but which are ultimately hardly challenging enough to justify. i drown my boredom in alcohol in the evenings, label it the stress, which, for all i know may very well be true. i spend my days hitting the refresh button, thirsting for something new and the knowledge of what this despair is that i might escape it.

i am filled with so much longing. it has always been that and it may very well always be such. the only thing to satisfy the endless wanting is pure, unadulterated hope. it is not the satisfaction of having that fills the longing, but the limitlessness of auspicious possibility. i am left trying always to figure how to cultivate that. it is in the trying again and again the new thing. but i am left - always always always left - with the burden of commitment and the new having gone, the hope dissolving into responsibility and actuality. no longer is the promise of vegetables in the summer simply the sum of gorgeous photographs of food, of delightful meals fit for magazines - it becomes the rotting beets from the CSA because it is too painfully sweaty to cook and because beet salads with carrots drizzled with citrus glaze uses but one of the seven beets, leaving me to sip borscht, which i hate. the fantasy or the detached image (out of context, intangible) are, in the end, more satisfying than the struggle to realize my hopes.

where does the balance lie? i try daily to fill my minutes with the positive, the fruitful, the inspiring. they don't feel positive or fruitful or inspiring. i feel bogged down with the irrepressible urge to be better than i am, happier, more fulfilled and i have sought the external to sate this. the unfortunate truth is that what is out there does not succeed in filling the holes inside. i become only buried. entombed in the mountains of debt to myself - things to do, places to be, and the yearning, always, for connection, for space, for the actual and thus for wholeness, completion, self-actualization. i need connection with this planet and this life and to breathe...it has become painfully obvious that i am not succeeding at all.


there has been no excuse for me, for why i don't write. it is fear, procrastination, paralysis. and maybe it isn't bursting out of me with the weight of my experience that makes it easy or easier. or maybe i let it flood out at all times, my mouth running constantly away with what my hand could be writing. maybe there are connections i could be drawing between things that don't seem obvious right now. maybe i'm just waiting for the words to be obvious and easy, rather than work. my mind wanders, longs to make no sense of anything, longs to talk, think on small, simple things, not analyse and self-reflect in constant mind-motion, the neurons echoing forth and back, folding inwards and over, the unrelated topics of interest intersecting and making sense or, at the very least, beauty, out of what seemed like not much.

to be me is, at times, disheartening, though i suppose so is being anyone. i want and i want and i want and nothing ever seems adequate. my brain does not operate as efficiently as i'd like. my words do not come smoothly. the thoughts do not flow. i am distracted by my surroundings and by longing. longing for stupid things like writing lists, drinking coffee, sitting still, typing on the internet during the thunderstorm, the last few pages of a book to read, a hot shower, or breakfast. and at the same time, the longings disguise or coincide with guilt and obligation - the need to do things with my children who are stuck dumb in front of cartoons, the need to wash off my night sweat, change into new clothes, the need to fill my belly, the need to buy new underwear and pens. my brain distracts itself from its desire to read, write, and think with the necessity of letting not the laundry mildew in the washer, of drying out the boots, of emptying the sink, soaking up the leaking roof, eliminating the extreme humidity, remembering to call the wholesaler, retrieving the refund from the museum, do all the things that must be done for myself and my children and my family and my reputation as non-lazy, hard-working, et cetera. instead i stew, waste seconds, watch them float by unseen, watch the spider in the window, think on nothing.


i hate that i have expectations for myself that are ridiculous, but they are unyielding. they stick no matter what. i want to be better. i want to do it all right and get it all right and be the best me that is possible at all times and do more things and explore more things and focus and feel focused. i don't want to do the things i was doing. i want to launch a new project. i want to feel the energy of newness. and that is just absolutely stupid because i am already doing so much. growing up, i felt like i quit everything. a therapist once suggested that maybe i was just done with those things. it was nice to be given that permission. but now, i'm a grown up with grownup responsibilities and commitments to more than just myself, but also myself. and sometimes i just want to quit, refocus, do something else. it's not really reasonable though. i suppose what i really need is to rediscover my love for those things and the energy that was lost. but i come back and back and back, my whole life, to realizing that what i really really need to be doing at all times is thinking and writing and getting, dragging, a book out of me. but it doesn't come. there isn't time. it will be agonizingly slow and my greatest fear is that by the time it's happened, someone else will have already written it and maybe written it better. because it's coming, of course.

i neglect, as always, to think on or allow for the circumstances in my life that make it so the book doesn't come or couldn't come or maybe shouldn't at all even attempt a coming. this stupid phd is wearing on me. i want it over. i want to move on. i know that in a year, we'll be ready to move to a new city and a new job and new problems of finding and building community and struggling to be who i am at all times. i know that in a year, i'll have to leave behind, at least partially, the business i've started. sometimes i think that this business i've started is not what i ever really wanted to do in the first place. it was just something to occupy me, something to do. won't someone else come along and love it and feel the need to spread the word and save the world and do it for me? no. that will not happen. sometimes i am loathe to finish what i start. it's a shameful thing, fraught with regret and shaken, hanging heads, upturned palms.

and what of my children? lately i keep thinking that what i really need to do is to be satisfied wholly by being their mother and being brilliantly and creatively domestically inclined. and i've tried that before and grown bored and needing to break free from my shell. but when i watch others doing this and doing it so well and so beautifully seemingly without all the trappings of guilt, indecision, anger, and humiliating humanity encapsulated by flying into rages at home, frothing mouth spewing indecipherable streams of profanity, the children crying and scared, markers still in hand from drawing on the month-old sofa, i feel at a loss, like clearly i must be doing all of this so, so wrong. i must be too distracted by my life, by the commitments i've made to all these ridiculous and growing outside activities. i must have made a wrong turn, a wrong decision. and i must stop volunteering for things.

and yet, i feel ever so succinctly and have always believed that children need to witness parents and particularly mothers, doing things that benefit the world, that help others, and that fulfill their need for well-being. but with all these commitments and all this charming creativity and running about being busy for committees, businesses, and individuals, comes the insanity of stress and a decided lack of well-being. i am stuck in the perpetuation of activity by the activities i perform. i am stuck in the spiral of self-destructive tendencies and precisely non-beneficial choices. i force myself again and again, or not so much force as randomly desire or crave, to drink and smoke, as though forcing the relaxation i require and far, far away from my children. but couldn't i do yoga and drink water or breathe deeply like a sane, well-balanced person?

i set myself up for these expectations i cannot mentally or emotionally handle trying to meet and then fail and fail again. it is a ludicrous cycle to be stuck in and i am buried deep.


jon was supposed to come home tonight, but his flight was canceled. it's certainly not the end of the world, but i am not particularly interested in continuing to endure the agony of taking care of the children by myself. my dad left today and for the three days he was here, i think there was more stress than before. maybe that's part of it. i don't know. the days seem unending. being alone is so hard for me to do. i have no great grief, i suppose. just the simple mundane struggle of my relationship with my children and the needs of myself and the two of them. when i think about it, to complain feels stupid and pathetic because i am not always alone. i do not go day in and day out without the love and support of my husband. i do not toil at mere drudgery, but at meaningful, self-chosen work. and yet, it is difficult. it is so very difficult. things don't go right. messes get made. cupboards get emptied. stomachs fill and growl again. it all goes and goes without stopping. there is no rest, it seems. no pause in between. no time for breath. no time to reconsider and recalculate, which must always be done. the negotiations occur amidst it all - in the folding of towels, in the stirring of pots, the thinking of replies to emails and the negotiations of work and hobby. it is all always there, needing, wanting. and i am always lacking. i cannot even love perfectly. i am in love with the idea of loving and wonder, sometimes, what love even is, if i truly mean the love of the thing itself, or if i just invent it in the fantasy of all the good moments of the thing or those that are good enough. is it pure and unbreaking like light? or is it a story i tell myself about seeing hands folded just so, or lips puckered or dirt on a soft, round cheek? is it just a collection of ideas? is there nothing really there? or do i, in thinking of it, try too hard for the perfect glimpse that cannot really exist? without the struggle, does love come easily or does it perhaps not come at all? if there were nothing to press against, would my heart merely feel empty and small? could i even stand it?


jon has been in mexico for five days. is decompressing from a stressful year in school, writing and researching his dissertation. it will still be here when he gets back, but it will be summer and there will be no classes to teach and no other busywork to occupy him. i, in the meantime, am home with the children, alone. i was extraordinarily busy before he left and all those things i was doing can still occupy plenty of headspace. in fact, there was no decompression from my stress. i simply hit the solid wall of being alone with two children. there will not be time to decompress. there will be no time for me. i don't know how i am supposed to deal with my life. i feel pathetic to whine about how difficult it is to take care of my children with no partner and no respite. i feel pathetic that i cannot make it through a day without feeling rage from the frustration of children - their messes and their intense whining, their needs, their unreasonable desires. i cannot keep it all together enough to feed everyone and enrich them and fulfill tasks and clean and keep myself sane. i think of how history has shown that none of this was intended to be this way, that isolation is damaging. and yet - i watch so many people do this and do it far better than i am able and i cannot for the life of me figure why i seem so resistant to bucking up and dealing with my shit. we are not starving and things are together, but i scream and swear and we stay indoors and i do no cooking. it is far from my ideal.


treasure map 2008

i created a treasure map the last two years during the aries new moon on the suggestion of a well-respected woman on a message board i frequent. i am not into the secret laws of attraction and i don't really believe in astrology, but nonetheless i've been doing this exercise within the time constraints and with a lot of focus and gusto. mostly i just like the opportunity to think about what i want in the coming year and see it as a visual to-do list. i'm big on to-do lists. i love the act of crossing things off. this treasure map thing, though, is more of a psychological to-do list of all the things i want to do, be, and become. it's groovy and weird, but works quite well as a reminder to myself. i see it more like a process of personal manifestation than a universal or spiritual manifestation. at any rate, the unveiling (also on flickr, with more descriptions):

the abundance affirmation reads:
Everything I need or want I have and am. I live without stress or worry. I am prepared for the future and supplied for the present.
the fame/reputation affirmation reads:
I am admired and respected for my courage, honesty, and wisdom. I am well-liked and appreciated.

the relationship affirmation reads:
I am deeply in love with Jon. We share a profound connection which forms a strong foundation of acceptance, understanding, and respect. We live a life of mutual passion and devotion to core values.

the family affirmation reads:
I am a good mother and partner. I am gentle and caring. My family shares their love and vulnerabilities with me and we all support one another in our growth and endeavors.

the health affirmation reads:
I am strong and full of energy. I breathe deeply, move, and rest. I eat well, filling myself with the highest quality nutrition. My body is a source of power.

the creativity affirmation reads:
I am brilliant and energetic. My imagination is boundless and my projects come together well.

the self-knowledge and travel affirmation reads:
I love and respect myself. I recognize that my strengths and weaknesses are intertwined. I travel to new places that enlighten and inspire me.

the work affirmation read:
My work life is successful, stimulating, and profitable. My work fits well into my family life. Everything gets done with ease and grace.

the helpful people affirmation reads:
There are people in my life who offer unconditional love, support and encouragement for all my efforts. People I love come to my aid if necessary.


the frenzy of my existence goes on without end. one busy month leads to another and another. spring finally pokes her head through the snow and i am full to overflowing with the energy to do and do and do. it is treasure mapping time, a weird shout-out to the universe that i don't precisely believe in, but use as a way of seeing the future, of putting it down on paper. i find it really beneficial, actually. and my excitement floods me and flows and flows and flows. when will the crash come? will it ever? i don't at all necessitate the crash. i don't at all necessitate the falling off of edges for seemingly no reason at all. i hope to end hope that i am able, within myself, to dictate the need for pause and the places wherein it can exist calmly and silently without undue burden or tragedy. we will see. we will see.

in other news, this website needs a complete overhaul because i can no longer update anything but the blog thanks to my idiot decision to use frontpage. this has been true for about a year. unfortunately, i have zero time to do anything about it. it will come eventually, i swear. or hope. also, i'm doing some performances. i'll update more on that later. right now, i'm about to turn twenty-nine and must, at this moment, go update my driver's license. which i know is not the sort of thing i ever blog about, and i apologize.


I will be reading poetry and my six word memoir at Hot Geek Love night at the Cannery in Dayton, Ohio Friday, April 4th (see below), as well as at Visible Voice bookstore Saturday, April 19th at 8 pm in Cleveland, Ohio. This is to promote both my chapbooks of February poetry and my six word memoir which appears in Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007. For the record, I am one of the "obscure" writers, but I will nonetheless be signing books at both events. The main thrust of these performances is actually to promote my dear friend Patty Kambitsch's memoir Looks Like Howard, which you should all, of course, immediately purchase and devour and share with your friends.

Those blog readers interested in obtaining a copy of my chapbooks, February and The Agony of Weather should email me at annakissmm at gmail dot com.


i think and think on things i do, the proper way to live, work, breathe, and so on. i have no clue as to how to parent. i get in my head this ideal, based on a vision mainly, think and think on it, pound my head with thinking, then have a day of explosion where i can no longer understand my assumptions. what is the proper way of doing things? what is the right path? i can outline some basic ideas - to honor the emotions and autonomy of my children, to negotiate the needs of everyone in my home, to cooperate. for some reason though, i hold the vision of the martyr as what i am striving for. then i must legitimately ask myself if i long to be a martyr, if i truly believe that ignoring my own needs in order to serve the needs of my children is the best way. i must negotiate between what is a need of mine and what is merely a desire. i do not assume that my children can negotiate this for themselves. i am the one who must sacrifice. but what is a need and what is merely an inconvenience? at times it becomes painfully obvious because certain situations begin to no longer work. still, as i make decisions and try gentle transitions, i cannot know if it is right. i cannot know if another way must be better.

it is the same as deciding who to vote for in this election. since the ideal situation is entirely off the table, i must simply decide. i must find reasons, invent reasons, rationalize and contort evidence to fit an urge. there is no simple solution and no ideal outcome. it makes me hate how hard it is to have to think. it is so much easier to ascribe to a belief system and do what it dictates. the problem with being this radical leftist is that my belief system is based on negotiation of the changing needs and desires of everyone.

and so too, is my family. and i must question every interaction, every influence, every inference of power and authority. and then i must question why i must question all that and constantly and perpetually reframe it all. but how to measure it? how to know? the question becomes, "what about what i am doing is making me more in touch with my humanity and the humanity of others?" is what i am doing keeping me in touch with my humanity and teaching my children of their humanness? if nothing else, we have that to fall back on. that we make mistakes.



no matter the pressure applied,
nor the incentive entailed,
the wings do not open
the sail does not spread
and i am plunged
in free-fall,
sunk to my neck,
embedded deeply
in the cracked, barren earth
that having lacked,
perpetually after thirsts.


sweating bullets

anxiety comes in waves
the twitched and upturned palm
the frenzied rush through rooms
heartbeat all a'quiver
darting eyes and too lax limbs
the cornea cascading over everything
the brain a disaster
for anything but unease
there lurks no quietude or unsensed calm
just frozen flames
licking neural pathways
clogged with thought
and all becomes but
a head turned over shoulders,
searching for an answer
not knowing the question.


the violence of history

i measure my life by my traumas,
by the lines wrought on my face
by sudden tragedy
and everlasting
it is the story that tells me
and in many ways
forgets the telling
of in-between stuff
the filling of contentment
accounting for happiness
the dramatic bliss
of everyday
is not enough to stir me
it is always the struggle
and the intermittent
negotiations of imminent survival.


don't despair, organize

my notebooks lay splayed on the table,
baring lists of words in no particular order,
and dates numbered and forgotten.
as much as i long
to check things off
and write out every endeavor,
i have not set down
so much as a syllable
in days.
i have been having to forgive myself
my slow return to normalcy
from a suspended state
wherein it was necessary,
for a time,
to not do.

now the blank eyes
of my daily planner
stare at me
longing for the stroke of my hand
lifting the page,
for the saturation of ink
that spells the future
like a destiny
rather than a dream.


dammed mind

i am so very far behind
i have not yet found
that sweet spot
from which words flow
like so much water.
i cannot seem to settle
down into the parts of my brain
that clear and focus,
block out all sounds,
and form thoughts in brief,
alliterate words,
succinct and properly patterned.
i cannot seem to write.
and every day that
i do not do,
i wish to even less.


the agony of weather

the snow melts
weeping rivers
whose serpentine gutterflow
is determined by gum wrappers
and piles of exhaust-soaked slush.

the sun sets,
dropped degrees,
the waste water of so many tears
freezing over.
the sky clouds,
dropping new flakes
and starts to work
rebuilding the glacial shapes
of each city sidewalk.

it is a repetitive process,
this winter.
over and over again
the air warms
then freezes
we nearly lose jackets
then pile them on once more.

in february,
with all this teasing back-and-forth,
the shortest month
quickly stacks against us
to seem, in fact,
the longest.


inadequacy atoned

i must flagellate myself
i must agonize the show,
endure the ending
create the wicked bits of me anew
and exhibit this
the wrought faces,
the scrawled lips,
crooked cat-slit eyes and
askew tombstone teeth.
the punishment is
for naught -
i fail and fail again,
do not brace myself for failing
and must scrape
my melted skin and charred bones
off the floor
in the morning.


being done

the daily endeavor
occupies all
the brain ticks
and itches
full with lists for doing
provokes the motions
of laundering and dusting
scrubbing and scratching
and i try
hard as i might
to sense the poetry
in all this doing,
but the lens self-focused
cannot seem
to extract the words
from me
even in slow motion
on treads tight as tendrils
or sinewy ribbons pulled by inches
from out my mouth and eyes
my fingers sense no vacancy
fit for the literary occupant
they flinch and flail
the monday through friday
and a life full of traffic
and conversations full of pretext
of unwritten rules
and the under-written
of this modern life


fourth movement

the lines of motion
follow hands and arms
in intricate geometric patterns
which form history
the symphonic interplay
of the rubbing
of bristle against grout,
the rush of water,
the stroke of sponge on porcelain,
the shifting of feet softly upon tile,
it is the orchestral accompaniment
of this ballet -
the hand up and down,
side and forth,
back and fro,
thither and so on,
each gentle movement
that rustles fabric
or tilts the head
creates this rising and falling
civilization of domesticity.


month of poetry

everything is coming out all hideous -
gap-toothed smiles
and shrieking laughter
my quivering throat
in the face of expectation
draws vacant breaths.
and listless limbs
the subtle flinch
the chin points down
leading the face over the shoulder
such embarrassment.
this exercise
does not achieve
the desired outcome
the fear, the self-obsession,
the inner though
pulled out,
brought forth into
blinding birthing light -
the sub-consciousness exorcised
and slain for show.


the pregnant pause

every dream
grows red with
meaty blood,
full up in
miscarried globules
and heart-shaped placenta

the belly ballooned
steadily by degrees
up and up
fingers feel into flesh
the firm, rounded edge
which writes the shapes of
knees and backs and rounded crown

the babe blossoms
in my brain,
slowly unfurled
from tadpole
to floppy limbs
and too-flexible joints.

so it is a strange revelation -
this empty womb,
its depths feel too hollow
and too small
it is vacant
and lacking in space
for any sort of fullness.
nothing here.

and yet i rub
the skin below
the navel,
searching out the origin,
finding no one home but me.


a few weeks ago, i caught the baby of a doula client in the car on the way to the hospital. it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. since then, i have read jennifer block's pushed, and have spent far too much time thinking about babies. i don't know what it is i want. part of me wants to catch babies, part of me wants to advocate for women, change the world, and another part of me wants to have babies. i look at pictures of people who are pregnant, hear their stories, sense the hope that gets poured into reproducing - and want so badly to participate in it. at the same time, i'm gritting my teeth at the yeast devouring my breasts and at the way my son nurses. i can't keep my cool or my house or make dinner. i go out too much. i've been smoking again. there are so many things wrong with me and nothing is focusing me. i have not enough time in the day to accomplish everything and at the moment, not even the inclination. i feel, at times, so bad at this. i am starting my own business and that is slow-going and all the things i need to do for it are more than i want at any given moment to actually do. i commit myself to things that i'm not certain i want to enact. i may go to key west for a few days in march, but i'm terrified of what leaving my kids for that long will mean or how it will go. i'm trying to participate in so much. maybe it's too much. maybe i don't really want any of the things i seek to involve myself in. maybe it's a delusion i've crafted - that i can do all of these things and feel somehow like a whole person, tied to nothing and everything in particular. why can i not simply dedicate time to doing one thing and doing it well? why must my interests be so varied and chaotic and so decidedly not simple. my kids watch movies and play video games and eat junk. i sit in front of the computer and sleep until noon. i unleash fury towards bastian at my breast. i have a headache. i do and i do and i do and i know not why. i don't even feel like i am trying anymore. i feel at a complete loss. i have to go do more laundry. i have not gotten dressed today. that is not really unusual.

the smallish moment
halved and pruned
to nearly nothing
in a space for being
so minuscule
as to be obsolete,
no room for a squeak
the head of a pin
wedged in this crevice of time
cannot fraction even a sliver

so to you i exhale
all hope
from out my crushed interior
as it languishes and evaporates
into the emptiness
between the emptiness
where the fullness of love cannot permeate
where the starness does not shine
where the heavens expire
and the dust of dreams
can neither surge nor settle

it is here, in nothing,
where i will await the dance
on rims of black holes,
looking outward
as time shifts
the subliminal backwards drawl
illuminating for noneyes
the history of the universe:
columns of nebulaic planetary rubble
galaxies of triumphant moons
and witness as the sun swallows
my precious earth.


the heart wants and wants
and in wanting
forges patterns,
in the daily existence,
and follows them
again and again.
self-awareness occurs
and the question
why did this happen?
what was all this wanting for?
the head shakes,
the jaw slackened,
i do not know.
and do not know.


ground zero

the couch exploded
cross the living room
lies mangled,
the cushions strewn
by soft galloping bodies
tumbled from the arms
to the seat,
tossed about between
the back and its pillows
then the foam and cotton
brick for sitting
unzipped slowly
by fat two-year-old fingers
bursting out the entrails
from its cesarean wound
the belly bared.
they bore a hole
in the fabric lining the springs,
straight through
the muslin
covering the base
drop bits of
dirt, food,
matchbox cars
at times including
musical instruments
and rubber snakes,
five incarnations of
anakin skywalker
shining in plastic
with missing bits:
hands and helmets,
chewbacca's arm.
this all pools toward
the center,
in the fibrous
intestines of the sofa,
dangling haphazardly
amidst the wire frame,
its coils
suspending vader
and the others
like webbed flies awaiting eating.


hot geek love

hot geek
in search of
soul mate
must love star wars
differentiate between
hoth and tattoine
without question
carry 20-sided die
understand muggles
interested in anarcho-syndicalist philosophy
follower of chomsky
admirer of winona laduke
has tried
fabric arts
and web design
writes poetry
but not too much
love history
and herstory too
reads graphic novels
makes yummy samosas
knows a good ethiopian restaurant
and a good wine
enjoys astronomy
and sagan
the pixies
and the clash
especially the clash
celebrates national talk like a pirate day
and can make me laugh.
i await your email.


doing dishes as matter of reciprocity

the math of the moment
loses me
in calculation
the act itself
but a figure
to be
accounted for
in the
ledger of this life.


yeastie beasties

i have no discipline.

i consume what i desire
asking no questions
and giving no answers
i care not if my veins are
primed with lard,
if my lungs blacken
if my breasts catch on fire
and tiny organisms eat me
from the inside out.

let the tissue and muscle
fall off
in huge bloodied chunks,
my meaty insides
rotted green and weeping
flesh oozing pus

let my brain fall to pieces
my wisdom and
ability to reason
drained away.
let me be
lost for logic

what is here for disintegration
does not amount
to much anyway
the body is
so small
and so frail
and so
designed for this destruction.
i am made for mangling.

nothing heaves and sighs
or wears out
it is the twig made for snapping
and so it would seem
that even the most
microscopic of villains
is able
to exact
this execution.


nur ow

all night long
we roll in opposite directions,
his hands grope
open, shut, pull
in half-sleep
he whines, whimpers
tries again
cries out.

deep within my dream
i hear the tug
on my arm,
tightly turn away into bedding
my pinkened nipples
from his torturous sigh

we are both
pulled far enough
from sleep
that i bitterly roll over,
gasp at touches,
grit teeth,
growl at him
as he rubs his eyes,
his frown opened with a wail
then part my shirt
and pull out the
lesser of two burned breasts.


my overtired limbs
lay limp at my side
the list-making and
frantic rush for
dominion over dirt
have exhausted me.

my cheeks hang sallow
at the sides of my frown
the eyes drip

the hand slows
the movement of words
across pages,
coming finally
at the period,
to a rest.


super fantastic huge-ass tuesday

I stroke the pots,
scrub the ladle,
watch the shine
the hot water swirl
white with suds

it is a meditation-
the ceaseless

quietude lurks in
the rush of water
and the heat
steamed up the kitchen

there is space enough
for hiding
within the fog
of domesticity
where I needn’t bother
being anyone
to anyone

I can drift
and stand
and pretend
for a moment
that I am elsewhere.


home is where the horror is

there exists a movement
in this house
between the things
in the air
a fluctuation
of goodvibe badvibe

the heebeejeebees
inspire shivers down spines
and general fear-stricken
moments of paralysis
nothing moves at all.

I wish I could say
it were different
but truth
knots my stomach
and churns my bile

the heating ducts
blow dry
to curl skin up at its edges
creasing every fault line
deeply embedded in knuckles
it gusts the stale stench
of land-locked negotiations
so each moment of despair
leads each moment of happiness
along by the teeth

it is an unsteady existence
marred by the perpetual
wavering of design and objective
and held uncertainly
by fools.


"flames, on the side of my face"

i am pulled under,
pushed into tight boxes,
rooms crowded full of darkness, nothing,
aching bones and singed tissue
bridges collapse
beneath crashing fists
i move forward and on,
healing not

i become lost for words
can only slam doors.
there is no reason to it
your academic prowess
withers in the face of
seething, frothing vitriol
there is no debate
there is only the notion
of shattered glass
and great, echoing silences.


the birth

the thing to do
the fury of rubber and asphalt hum
rocking stirring
going -
it is all finite within the abyss
while out the navel springs the universe,
its stars suspended light in blue eyes
its scope immense and holy
the heart cannot beat its rhythm any better
than first kisses
and your tiny body bathed in moonlight
I can only walk each step and breathe each sigh
and live with hope
gifted me by babies
and sunshine burst from out the clouds.

I can only carry the weight of so much life
breaking from somewhere beyond me,
glowing your skull like a halo,
the sheer mass of so much bliss
is too much to bear,
it blinds me
creases the folds of my cheeks
well past their usual span,
crushes my hands to my chest in exultation

the ecstasy of your borning
is the obvious outcome written on your face
it is beyond plans fulfilled
and lists checked -
it is the purity of having done
and being not bound by earth
and its foolish gravity.



there is no warbling birdsong
from ‘neath the long grasses
of these subtly sloped mountaintops
unless it is a microscopic hum
that bacteria make while chewing
inaudible to this ear
and the deep painful drinking
of the two year old nearing sleep

we rise and fall our breaths
slowly and unknowing
of what munches just below the surface

these peaks are ablaze
the rivers are burning
and slowly spinning single cells
are consuming milk
and spraying ethyl alcohol
on the fire.


"Wisdom comes with distinguishing which battles must be fought in order to continue allegiance with reality."


no great thoughts in my head. only the noise of things to do and things not doing. the cold comes in the house through all the tiny cracks i have yet to seal and cuts through me, makes my hands bitter dry. yesterday i worked three different jobs and felt so angry to find the clean laundry piled in the kitchen. i receive no pay for any occupation. the poetry of my life is all doing and to be done. i have found there are not enough hours in the day and that this fact is the source of all my frustrations. my shoulders tense and my head aches. there is so much to do. always so much to do. i am now one of the mass of middle class working moms struggling to stay afloat and find the balance and where to strike it and failing failing failing. screams escape my throat and scratch it. all my anger is forced out by tiny unimportant matters like eggs on the floor and pee soaked into the sofa. what does the sofa really matter? how can i not see that what i must do is to savor everything and appreciate the perfections where they exist? i cannot. no matter how hard i try, i cannot. and i truly do not wish in any shape or form to be one of those lifeless automatons creating the whimsical fairy tale life for my children. truth is so much more messy. i live a life of truth and this gets me in trouble and also saves me.


again with the poetry. i have decided to write a poem-a-day in february again like i did last year. the difference this time is that i'm inviting everyone on earth who cares to to join me. to that end, i have started a new blog: http://monthofpoetry.blogspot.com/