lovely sunset day

August 21, 2012

I am giving myself a 10 day challenge to write a blog entry every day for 10 days in a row.

It is a lovely sunset day. I am sitting in my house and looking at clouds that are lit up all pink and orange in the west edge of the sky. I even made Remy look out the windows upstairs because it sunsets are fleeting and I wanted to let her know this is a good time of the year to watch them and also that this house is great for sunset watching.

Beautiful sunsets never get old. They never seem trite or cliche either, which makes me happy. I am really glad that sunsets and thunderstorms and rainbows and mountain meadows and sunflower fields and big waves and old trees and all the other small and stunningly large parts of nature seem immune from becoming corny or routine or stale. I say bring on the obvious and the beautiful and the impermanent.

I am working on some new poems, one is about self delusion and one is about cell phones and the end of the world and another is about being butch. We’ll see  what I end up with. In the midst of the the poems, I’m looking for titles in the body of email exchanges I’ve had over the last several year. It’s possible something you once wrote  me may get title-ized.


nothing much

April 18, 2011

April is half over. I don’t know why, but that seems strange. The way time has passed this whole year has felt weird. Everything seems to march on and then something happens and a little window opens up and time feels kind of suspended. It’s like how on a Monday or Tuesday I feel like I’m just getting through it with, but on a Friday or Saturday I feel like there’s something to savor.

I heard some good music tonight and it was exciting. It always is the first time I hear something I really like that I’ve never heard before. Plus, it seems like it’s been a year since I really listened to anything new. Or really listened to much music at all.  I think I’ve been listening more to NPR shows than I have to music, which makes me feel kind of old in a cliched way and cut off from myself.

I’ve been getting things done lately, which feels good. Nothing big, just lots of small things I’ve put off, like cleaning the furnace filter and weeding and clearing off the top of my dresser. I cleaned out the raised beds in the backyard today, which was very satisfying, and planted kale, collards, leeks and turnips. I’m hoping all this doing stuff will lead to me doing bigger things,like submitting for publication some poetry and the story from my chapbook and trying to sell some songs. I think that’s the first I’ve said that in public.

I stopped reading Anna Karenina, at least for the time being. Maybe I’ll try again this summer. I’m struggling to stay on top of my New Yorkers, but I’m hoping to get around to something more meaty soon. I feel kind of self conscious about not being a more prolific reader.

The days are noticeably longer. It’s nice. It feels better than short days.

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i prefer dreams. they seem to have the most obvious potential.

October 30, 2010

This is the title of a poem I wrote this summer thinking about my dad dying, which was when I began to get my writing head around the experience. I know I’ve written a lot here in my blog about what it’s been like for me to deal with my dad’s death and I’ve tried hard to do that without a lot of editing or crafting the text. My aim has been to get my feelings and thoughts documented and to connect with other people. The poem is more purposeful – put together in a certain way and the edited and laid out. It did come from something I mentioned in an old post, it just took a while to figure out what I really wanted to say.

Ever since my dad died

I keep waiting for him to show up somewhere.

It’s absurd

the way I’ve looked for hidden messages from him in

songs and poems and tv shows and things my neighbor says,

like how it makes her cringe

when she catches a glimpse of my cat darting

across the street in front of the bus. Have I noticed it’s getting

colder, she asks me and I nod that I have and then stare at the way her

bare feet look as though they’ve been folded into her slippers.

Her ankles are so red.

I have been wearing sweaters a lot lately, I almost say,

which means the tomatoes aren’t going to make it this year,

just like last fall

when the early frost got them.

I went out to the backyard one morning before work

and found them all split on the vine,

small clusters of seeds were spit out into the dirt,

and the Jays were chattering in the branches

that hang over our back door.

Everything dies. Oh, I

get it.

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book worm

August 19, 2010


Originally uploaded by proteanme

During my time off, I finally got a chance to tackle reading something more than the New Yorker and the New York review of Books. I finished off 3 books in a week, which felt great and gave me lots to think about. I’ll list them now and talk about them more later. First up was Alain de Botton’s “The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work” – a philosophical look at what work means in our lives and to our culture. Funny and smart overall and lots to think about. Second on the list was Daniel Mendolsohn’s “The Elusive Embrace.” This is one of my favorite writers. Part memoir, part cultural essay, he uses the classics as a springboard to to talk about the mysteries of identity and desire. And last but not least, Jhumpa Lahiri’s pulitzer prize winning “Interpreter of Maladies.” I’m a number of years behind of this one, but it doesn’t matter. Great writing and memorable stories.

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August 5, 2010

I’ve been writing poems this summer and I wrote this for a friend who is falling in love. It’s a rough draft, but it’s so sunny and warm out that i don’t care about the parts that don’t work.

This Is Going to Break My Heart, but Ain’t it Grand

She loves pancakes,

especially when I make them tall and fluffy

but not so big that there isn’t room

on her plate for two slices of bacon

or a couple links of sausage,

an indulgence I knew we both loved,

but I only just found out that she loves bacon more,

just like I do.

Before I even start mixing the batter

I take the butter out from her fridge

so it will soften up under the knife,

and melt beneath the syrup

I warmed up the way she taught me to.

It makes her smile to see the the glass bottle

bobbing in the heated pan of water.

I tend to pour the syrup more generously than she does

over the three or sometimes four pancakes

we’ve stacked up on the dishes I grabbed from her drying rack

and placed on the kitchen table across from each other.

“It looks just like a table for two,”

she says laughing between bites

And it’s so amazing to me

the way her mouth gets sticky

just like mine.

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from last week’s new yorker

August 5, 2010


by Alice FultonAUGUST 2, 2010


It’s just me throwing myself at you,

romance as usual, us times us,


not lust but moxibustion,

a substance burning close


to the body as possible

without risk of immolation.


Nearness without contact

causes numbness. Analgesia.


Pins and needles. As the snugness

of the surgeon’s glove causes hand fatigue.


At least this procedure

requires no swag or goody bags,


stuff bestowed upon the stars

at their luxe functions.


There’s no dress code,

though leg irons


are always appropriate.

And if anyone says what the hell


are you wearing in Esperanto—

Kion diable vi portas?—


tell them anguish

is the universal language.


Stars turn to train wrecks

and my heart goes out,


admirers gush. Ground to a velvet!

But never mind the downside,


mon semblable, mon crush.

Love is just the retaliation of light.


It is so profligate, you know,

so rich with rush.

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poetry + politics

July 21, 2010

When art and politics are mixed just right it’s a pretty incredible experience. I’ve not read this poet before, but she sure got my attention with the following verse.

False Documents

They ran the numbers twice for you
giving you the benefit of the doubt
but you knew the computer at the other
end of the officer’s PDA would not find
your brown number in its little black index.
You drove exactly one mile per hour below the speed
limit. You buckled your baby into his car seat according
to instructions. You signaled for exactly three seconds
before you turned left. You wanted to hide the Subway wrappers,
the empty box of Orbitz gum. Evidence of Big Macs.
You wanted to drink the Mountain Dew before it turned toxic
in the hot Phoenix sun as you asked, doesn’t this green
sludge make me American enough? But you didn’t
move because you knew the officer would have taken
that for gun-finding or drug-hiding or some other supposed
Mexican sport. You with your hands at ten and two
wondered how long the bus ride the officer would take you
on would last and whether they would provide any water.
You wondered, as the officer put hand to holster,
how dangerous it would be to down that Mountain
Dew then and there, in the wide-open American air.

Nicole Walker

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i like this poem

July 14, 2010

Cast a spell

on me
wrap me in

warp of words

come to
your mouth

until I gulp
them whole

of thought
whatever spin

we enter when
we so imbibe

what neither
had in mind

-Ciaran Carson

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poetry and rain

July 2, 2010

Sheez, it’s raining cats and dogs this morning and I’m missing summer thunderstorms. So I read some poetry.

A Color of the Sky

Windy today and I feel less than brilliant,
driving over the hills from work.
There are the dark parts on the road
when you pass through clumps of wood
and the bright spots where you have a view of the ocean,
but that doesn’t make the road an allegory.

I should call Marie and apologize
for being so boring at dinner last night,
but can I really promise not to be that way again?
And anyway, I’d rather watch the trees, tossing
in what certainly looks like sexual arousal.

Otherwise it’s spring, and everything looks frail;
the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves
are full of infant chlorophyll,
the very tint of inexperience.

Last summer’s song is making a comeback on the radio,
and on the highway overpass,
the only metaphysical vandal in America has written
in big black spraypaint letters,

which makes us wonder if Time loves Memory back.

Last night I dreamed of X again.
She’s like a stain on my subconscious sheets.
Years ago she penetrated me
but though I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed,
I never got her out,
but now I’m glad.

What I thought was an end turned out to be a middle.
What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel.
What I thought was an injustice
turned out to be a color of the sky.

Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;

overflowing with blossomfoam,
like a sudsy mug of beer;
like a bride ripping off her clothes,

dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,

so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
making beauty,
and throwing it away,
and making more.

 -Tony Hoagland


dear sugar

June 17, 2010

The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it . . . Don’t be strategic or coy. Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word love to the people you love so when it matters the most to say it, you will.

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