December 30, 2007

Meesa back!

A brief game of tag to flex the turtle muscles. I'll save the meaningful end-of-year discourse for later.

1. What is your favorite flower?
The iris.
(I put the plural in here and it seemed strange. Irises? Does that seem right to you? Shouldn’t it be irisi or something?)

2. What word in the English language do you wish you had invented?
Irisi. Just kidding. Give me a second. Verisimilitude. That’s a good one.

3. What do you miss about your childhood?
Shoes that have cartoon characters on them available in my size.

4. What is the main fault in your character?
I hold grudges. I try not to but they do climb in.

5. Describe how you kiss in one word.

6. What in the world do you least desire?
Debt. The monetary kind. The other types aren't so bad.

7. Finish this sentence. "Happiness is a thing called..."
Monkey pants!

December 19, 2007

Christmas 5x5

5 Favorite Christmas Movies:
1. Her Majesty’s Secret Service
It’s Christmas Eve and James is on the run from Blofeld and his skiing henchman. He huddles near the ice rink sure the end is near. With a wonderful whoosh, a mini-skirted angel glides to a stop in front of him. He looks up into the glowing face of one Miss Diana Rigg framed in the glowing lights of an Andes Christmas.
She saves his ass, he proposes that night, because - well, wouldn’t you?
2. The Thin Man
Nick: “Did I buy you that fur coat?”
Nora: “Yes you did.”
Nick: “I spoil you.”
3. Love Actually
I stole this one off of Murat’s list, but you’ll never see a more lovable Liam Nissan.
4. Die Hard
This one is a quick shout-out to my Dad. Nothing says Christmas like blowing away Euro-trash terrorist thieves.
5. The Bishop’s Wife
This one is a quick shout-out to my Mom. I love Cary Grant’s sly take on angelic behavior, most especially the gift of wine that never runs dry.

5 Favorite Christmas Songs:
1. Ave Maria
Song properly by a trained opera singer. Otherwise it’s just wrong.
2. White Christmas
The Drifters version, Bing’s take always makes me sleepy.
3. Santa Baby
The Eartha Kitt version is the only one. How I wish I could purr “the deed to a platinum mine…” like that.
4. I Saw Three Ships
I grew up with Nat King Cole’s version, but I’ve recently come to love Sting’s.
5. The Little Drummer Boy
Don’t know why, but I’ve always loved this one.

5 Christmas Memories
1. Lighting luminarios
The softly glowing light in everyone’s yards leading down the road to St. Mathew’s with Mt. Christo Rey behind.
2. Frosting sugar cookies
Once my brother hit college, the cookies took on a decidedly post-modern feel.
3. Rearranging the Nativity
My mom has a gorgeous, extensive one that is displayed every year. She and I disagree on the best placement of the wise men/holy family/guiding angel/shepherd/etc. Pretty much everything except the baby. Consequently, the attendees to the Christ child move around quite a bit during the holiday season.
4. Shooting with my Dad
You have your traditions, we have ours. Nothing like plinking cans to bring a family together.
5. The stacking of Christmas presents
For quite a few years, my brother and I would awake on Christmas morning to discover the elves had stacked the presents like cairns.

5 Favorite Christmas Cookies
1. Pecan Tasties
2. Sugar cookies swathed in sugar frosting
3. Chocolate peanut brittle
4. Peanut brittle
5. Fudge

5 Favorite Christmas Specials
1. 007 Days of Christmas
So I like James Bond. A lot.
2. Charlie Brown’s Christmas
To this day I feel the need to rescue scraggly pine trees from the lot and decorate them.
3. Food Network Christmas
This one is new this year. I’ve become enamored of the Food Network and there is just something delightful about Rachel Ray telling Bobby Flay to stop trying to add the prosciutto so soon.
4. Rudolph
In days of yore I couldn’t get enough of that claymation.
5. Muppets’ Christmas Carol
It’s always better with Muppets.

December 17, 2007

Quote of the Day

Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work. — Gustave Flaubert

December 14, 2007

Bones Remembered

(Murat’s clouds reminded me of this poem I’ve been fiddling with for a while. The first line may seem familiar. I’m still not convinced it’s complete, but this is the latest iteration.)

Under the bones of the sky
she splinters into inadequate words.

Her sun-baked terracotta heart
only beats when its broken,
only bleeds when it rains,
only skips when she doesn’t
hold it tightly in her hands.

She draws dots and calls them stars,
she draws zigzags and calls them tears,
she draws swirls and calls them life.
The dust changes the color
of the quickly drying paint.

The wind smoothes her edges
and the bones drift away.

December 7, 2007

Ode to a Headache in E

Mental sediment
collects at the top of my neck,
microscopic elephant graveyard
for the detritus of the day.
Accrual pain it is.

November 29, 2007


Two minutes past twilight
he re-returns from the
outer reaches of the
upper peninsula
of the windward shore
of the lower river valley
of the repositioned
Southwest New Hebrides.
He collapses deliciously
with a half smile
showing no teeth,
spiky hair,
a new tattoo,
and wrinkled pajama bottoms
stuffed deep into a
navy-colored knapsack.
“Hey,” he invites, and,
with no effort on my part,
he ends up with
a beer in one hand
and in the other
stories from his latest
venture to Guatemala.
“The girls there are something else.”
In totality.
Most absolutely.

Nearish dawn,
as he sips on his twelfth
and finishes his description
of a late winter sunset
over the Cuchumatanes,
he looks at me,
in the eyes.
“It’s a big world you don’t know little girl.
A big big world.”
Like I was raising wolves
out of my houseboat
and my only
romantic encounters
were sewing shadows
onto the soles of
sarcastic young sirs.
“Yeah,” I concede.

He laughs quietly
like it is just
a particular way
he has of breathing.
I can see his teeth briefly
and the breath escapes.
I wander a bit more
into my misgivings.
He stretches luxuriously
and resumes his latest tale.
I close my eyes and listen
as Saint Anthony
shivers slightly.

November 27, 2007

Well, I am Hitler...

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Eigth Level of Hell - the Malebolge!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

November 26, 2007


Two names you go by (besides your given names)?
1. Auntie (Only two small girls in Austin can get away with this.)
2. Queen Anne the Judgmental (An undeserved nomenclature, I can assure you. I think Duchess Christina the Wack Job is just too sensitive.)

Two things you are wearing right now?
1. Stripy socks
2. Redder than red button-up top

Two longest car rides?
1. El Paso, Texas to Grand Canyon to Disneyland to Yuma, Arizona and back to El Paso
2. El Paso to Boise, Idaho by way of Salt Lake City and return route through Las Vegas
(Just guessing here. My family is big on the road trips.)

Two of your favorite things to do:
1. I have this Sunday morning ritual of sleeping in past 10. Then, when I do roll out of bed, I stay in my p.j.s and drink coffee out of my favorite coffee mug (one in particular that I save specifically for the weekend) while flipping through Us Weekly and watching some really bad movie on cable TV.
2. Write.

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. A new car
2. A chocolate malt

Three animals you have or have had:
1. Speedy, a non-ironically named turtle.
2. Ginny, the world’s best Boxer. She was mine for the two years her parents were stationed in Bahrain and then I had to give her back. Le sigh.
3. Darth Vadar, the cat from the dark side. He resides now with Amy as he was always aware which of the roommates spoiled him most.

Three things you ate today:
1. Banana (Yesterday, today, everyday.)
2. A sandwich made with leftover turkey (One of the best parts of Thanksgiving.)
3. Pretzel sticks

Two things you are doing tomorrow:
1. Working for a living
2. Some much needed yoga

Two favorite holidays:
1. Christmas
2. San Jacinto Day (This day coincides with my mother’s birthday, Earth Day, and the apex of Fiesta in San Antonio—three of my favorite things.)

Two favorite beverages:
1. Coffee coffee coffee (Coffee.)
2. Coca-cola
(For those of you who might be concerned, I work very diligently to control by caffeine addiction. My cokes are far and few between these days and I try to limit myself on my coffee intake. I am not quite the vibrating ball of energy that these answers might imply. No. Really. I have it all perfectly under control. Really.)

JS’s added question—Two favorite words:
1. Quagmire
2. Ambidextrous
(Well, maybe not favorites, but two really good ones.)

My added question—Two ways to goof off at work:
1. Turtle wrangling.
2. Online crossword puzzle.

I tag Rae-cho. Whatever happened to Motochica?!

November 18, 2007

So, which movie am I?

With the recent quizzes and the bemoaning of results, I’ve been thinking about which movie I would have preferred. As I stated, I would love to be a sci-fi action flick featuring a kick-ass leading woman who beguiles as she shows the alien baddies what-for. Oh, how I wish I could say I was Alien (or Aliens, but none of the subsequent films). If some uber-hunter species from the outer realms climbed its way out of one of my coworker’s abdomen, I would like to think that—after an appropriate amount of freaking out—I would grab my flame thrower and go. Then in the sequel, I’d do it again while catching myself a Marine boyfriend and revealing my mothering instincts to a lost little girl. Alas, when I take a long hard look at myself, I must confess that I am no Ripley. If I play a role at all the Alien franchise, I am the cat or at best Newt. I spend the movie hiding from the aliens until the Ripley character finishes off the bad guys and gets me home. And it just takes a little cocoa to win me over.
So if the Ripley’s, Lilu’s, and Leia’s aren’t really who I am, but who I aspire to be—who am I?
Lilo and Stitch. (That’s right. I went Disney.) I love this movie. It is funny, heartwarming, and chock-full of Elvis tunes. I identify with both of the main characters. Lilo the incredibly brilliant and artistic child whose vivid imagination and sense of self helps her cope with the fact that she does not fit in. Stitch, the amusing to the point of obnoxiously annoying blue guy who spends most of the movie not speaking until the key moment. Yes, I can see myself as the little girl who locks her sister out of the house, flings herself on the couch, and morosely sings Elvis. I can also see myself in Stitch as he builds a replica of a city, just so he can walk through the streets and destroy it. Plus, the running mosquito joke in the film is really funny.
Well, there you have it. In a way, I’m still sci-fi with a strong female lead. I’m just a bit cuter and a bit less mature.

November 15, 2007

I'm Not Taking Anymore of These Fucking Tests

Okay. So I took this twice. I am still the father of the Nazi party. Fuck!

Movie Me

Err, fuck.
I was sure I was Fifth Element or, at the least, Fantastic Voyage. Ah well. Hmmmm, I suddenly have the craving to fling bananas at errand boys. You know, the type sent by grocery clerks.

November 13, 2007

If My Uncle Was Danish

The was going or the could have been
—that goes without saying—
when you’ve got dodgy Viking credit
and ginseng pills thrown into the blender,
who the fuck turns it on?
A little ginseng, a little melatonin,
some of the chelated stuff from
HEB’s aisle of wellness
—it goes a long way in the ongoing
battle against the domination of sniffles.
Blenderize that, what have you?
Most precisely and again, what have you-ooh-ooh?
Get back, funky Jack
and take the high road to Tipperary.
Worry, whine, and wait some more,
because there’s no call to ruin
a perfectly fine blender.
Think of the daiquiris man!
Those alone are worth suspected murder
and incestuous intrigue.
A margarita on the rocks?
In this weather?
Save your Geronimo’s
and securely fasten the mask to your face
and then place one on that of the child next to you.
More precisely and again—take your parachute-oot-oot
cause your gonna get wet.
In summation,
if the house is going to win,
you don’t double down.
Another? You’re a sweetheart.

November 11, 2007

Joke of the Day

—Jasper Fforde

November 9, 2007

Quote of the Day

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

November 7, 2007

The Onion Song

as sung by Rowlf

I’ll admit I’ll split bananas,
take Easter eggs and make them dye,
but I never harmed an onion
so why should they make me cry?

Once I saw a salad dressing.
My face got radish, my oh my,
but I never harmed an onion
so why should they make me cry?

Potatoes I’ve mashed,
and berries I’ve crushed,
I’ve made an artichoke,
and that’s not all,
I’ve also whipped cream,
and beaten an egg,
yes, I’ve even made a melon ball.

Of all the things above I’m guilty
if punished I would know just why,
but I never harmed an onion
so why should they make me cry?
Oh, why should they make me cry?

November 6, 2007

Paragraph 1

The Great American Novel, Chapter 1: Onions

A few years past the apocalypse, during one of the twice-yearly times when all the clocks are set correctly, our young heroine was dismayed by the contemplation that she might be developing an affinity for onions. Resolution of the predicament was immediately hampered by her indecision as to whether she should initially react to this conflict by declaring, “Egad!” or “Jumpin’ jehosophat!” She was initially drawn in by the more alliterative one but then hesitated as it implicated a certain amount of quaintness that she was loathe to invest in considering she was to be everlastingly hampered by a first and middle name combination that immediately drew to mind the image of a young girl in a gingham apron baking pies. Oh, how she dreamed to have one of those she-spy names that at once conjured the sensation of enticing danger and the image of female genitalia. Our heroine did realize that she-spies most likely also began their early lives with humdrum nomenclature that evoked Iowan baked goods, but later changed their names to something more likely to catch their male opponents off guard. Our leading lady did not feel that option was open to her as her first name came from her great-grandmother and her middle from her aunt: a Nordic homemaker and manic-depressive respectively. Also, our heroine was always distressed by the needless destruction of vases, which she assumed would be a hindrance should she ever take up a career in espionage. None of this, of course, would have anything to do with how she would solve the predicament on hand: onions.

October 31, 2007


On TV, Janet Leigh
prepares for her shower
as I prepare Jack
for his personality.
I poise with knife—
I’m ready for my psychotic
break Mr. Hitchcock.
Music cues, you call.
It seems Norman and I
aren’t the only ones
up for carving.
“You coming?” you say
as though embossed
stationary had been involved.
A couple of eons and two seconds ago,
my mother asks what I’d like.
“Can I have star eyes?” I challenge.
“Do you want both eyes to be stars?”
my mother replies uneasily spooked.
You’re singing over the phone.
“Seems someone got an early start.”
Two minutes later,
Amy lobotomizes
as I size up the patient.
“He seems a smug gourd.”
Haneen, with Palestinian patience,
prepares pumpkin seeds.
Mom goes for sharpie
while I choose to freehand.
Norman just overreacts.
“You can meet us there.”
“I don’t have a costume.”
Lies and damnation.
My knife slips
and Jack looses a tooth.
“What about the nose?”
“A triangle.”
Back to basics,
I blew my shapely skills on the stars.
“Regular or upside down triangle?”
My mom’s the coolest.
Poor Norman.
“If I’m not there yet,
just introduce yourself.”
I don’t need a haunted house
with the apprehension of
that first un-rung doorbell before me.
“Whatever you want,”
Amy says and pops a beer.
Her goopy work is done.
“Fine. Square. Nose.”
Were you ever misunderstood, Mr. Hitchcock?
“I’ll just say I’m Margaret’s friend.”
No rejoinder.
The seeds are all they should be:
warm, crunchy, and way too salty.
Pass the Almond Joy.
“Two teeth on top and one tooth on bottom.”
I’m sick on dulce de leche
and X-Files marathon.
You call again.
“I’m running late.”
Vera Miles lets her rip.
Star-eyed and smiling,
clean-cut and satisfied,
snaggle-toothed and trepidant.
Wouldn’t hurt a fly.
“Trick or treat.”

October 26, 2007

Variation on a Theme

Bruised, black-eyed,
and occasionally splatted
Perhaps a dog would help
or some other form of crutch.
It might be alright with a cool pair of shades
and certainly the senses seem fine tuned,
but avoid the driver’s seat
same also with shotgun.
Is it a birth defect
or the result of unnatural uses?
(I heard bootleg gin.)
Whatever the case,
love is blind.

October 20, 2007

Type A Love

I haven’t forgotten about you,
I’ve just pushed you aside
onto list three, item four
before flossing
but after buy bread.
So you see, you’re not neglected
just prioritized
in a life carefully boxed
on well-dusted shelves.
So, clearly, there’s no need
for your emotions to get messy.

October 14, 2007


Word association exercise/game: Write in response to five words.

Original: Vineyard, Root, Rescue, Perseverance, Divided

Vineyard: The great all-American consumerism handbook of magical adjectives assures me that the most convenient affordable marketplace for me to purchase fine brushed Egyptian cotton 300 thread count sheets in the shade of parchment is, in fact, the Vineyard and not the Quarry nor the Forum.

Root: The regular practice of root lock ensures that I am right, tight, and ready to go. Cha cha cha. My chakras open all the way up motherfucker.

Rescue: Puppies, shelters, firefighters, men in uniform, calendars, gay bars, disco, chick flick movies with inevitable dance scenes…

Perseverance: Did you know that people that climb Mount Everest don’t just climb up? They climb up and down between the base camps for like a month or something to acclimate to breathing on the oxygen tanks. Nut bunnies.

Divided: A heart divided against itself cannot possibly beat with any sense of rhythm. (I wrote that a long time ago but still haven’t found a home for it.)

Murat11’s: Jam, Uptight, Flimps, Cloister, Jicama

Jam: I like strawberry jam and raspberry preserves but I’ve never particularly cared for jelly. (It must be preserves because jelly don’t jam like that?)

Uptight: What are the cool cats in Denver after the second pitcher of martinis?

Flimps: I spend a lot of time telling development experts that words they have used in their writing should not be used because they are not actually words. They spend a lot of time responding that it’s okay, they’re common industry terms. I also sigh quite a lot.

Cloister: At 22 Haley Mills starred as a strong minded teenager who gets into all sorts of high jinks with her best friend at the Catholic girls’ school St. Francis Academy in the film the “Trouble With Angels.” In the light-hearted farce Haley transforms from a petulant selfish teen to wistful novitiate right before the audience’s eyes all amongst swimming, smoking, and Plaster of Paris shenanigans. Her transformation is so sudden that her costar June Harding accuses the Mother Superior—why yes, it’s Ms. Rosalind Russell—of tricking Haley Mills into joining the order. In her final emotional outburst you can almost hear her say, “But it’s such a contrived plot twist!” Whenever this gem of cinema appears on Turner Classic I must admit I find myself compelled to watch particular scenes. I blame Ms. Rosalind Russell as the same thing happens to me when they show “Auntie Mame.”

Jicama: I leaned across the yellow counter and watched my mom slice and eat jicama as she put away the groceries. She unpacked until she found the jicama and then sliced it straightaway so she could continue to munch on the unadorned raw pieces as she continued to put things away. I watched her with a certain amount of envy that she could enjoy the itchy bland vegetation as though it were something wholesome and wonderful like a cucumber.

September 29, 2007

Writing is to Love

My love comes sputtering
and faltering like an
engine that won’t turn over.
I throw myself at the problem
and bounce off its side
as it lumbers toward some
elephant graveyard.
My love comes quietly
and temperamental like
lightening on the horizon.
I dither in a low sung
protest to the universe
that fails to convert even me.
My love comes contrived
and overwrought as a forced metaphor.
I donate two dollars to light the candle
and contemplate Darwinian plumbing.

September 25, 2007


The smiling face of the Bounty man
looks up at me from the bottom of my trash can.
I’m sorry, I only loved you
for your super absorbent towels.

September 22, 2007

Quote of the Day

You have to talk to people and uplift them. It is not enough to be a saint. Now is the time to make others feel that way. Become a forklift.
—Yogi Bhajan

September 15, 2007


I’ve recently become fascinated with the “Next Blog” button at the top of the screen. If you click on it, the magic little button sends you randomly to other turtles in the Realm of Blogspot. It’s like cultural roulette. So far I’ve seen a lot of pictures of kids under five, much self-involved whining (prolly wrt in txt spk), some porn, and more knitters than you would think. I’ve also found quite a few turtle wranglers who resemble my group of compatriots—artistic types shaping a little corner of self-expression in the great online universe.

This is nothing new, of course, I just happened to have discovered this new spin on channel surfing and feel I must share. My favorites tend to be the sites in a language other than mine. I’m convinced there is brilliance to be found there on the other side of the language barrier. Perhaps it’s just because I can’t immediately pinpoint the misspellings and grammatical flaws that leap towards me from the English turtles. I don’t judge, I just can’t help but see.

Anywho, my turtle safari has led me to add three new links: two sites of photos (one a solo effort, one a group) and a site that I believe is in Russian and appears to focus on the art of tying knots.


September 11, 2007

The Missing Forty

Unbidden, unwieldy,
lugubriously begotten
Slip-shod and heavy
more sidling than falling,
pressing, murkily compressing,
‘tween twilight’s doorjamb
and fantasy’s frayed hem.

September 4, 2007

It's not easy...

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.
While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.
Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.
You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.

August 30, 2007

How to Change the World

Step 1. Change yourself.
Step 2. Do what you can.
Step 3. Tell other people.
Step 4. Together, complete Steps 1–4.

If at any point you should feel lost, confused, hopeless, or overwhelmed, go back to Step 1.

August 15, 2007

Little cleft box

Little cleft box
Miss Keeper of proprieties,
sinful perspicuity,
and innocent inactivity.
Ivory rimmed suede lining,
I rescind said lying,
that devout little muscle
just swirled astray.

August 8, 2007


1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies.
Most recently, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It’s a clever, funny, alternate universe chock full of literary jokes. I keep lending it because I want to talk to people about it. It’s the first in the "Thursday Next" series, and each book I’ve read so far is just as purely entertaining.
On my life’s list of books you should read…well, there are too many. Though everyone should read the Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett—sensationalistic plot described by clean sparse words. Oh, and if you are a writer, Ray Bradbury’s Zen and the Art of Writing: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Oh and…no, there are too many.

2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music.
I suppose there was a time in my life that I was not aware of Frank Black’s existence, but it is not a time worth remembering. I love Frank Black. Frank Black is a supernaturally magnificent musical demigod. Teenager of the Year is the first album I really came to know him. (Yes, remarkably, I was introduced to Mr. Black before I first truly began to inhale the work of Black Francis in the Pixies.) I defy you to listen to “Freedom Rock” and not crave for more. Years later, listening to Frank Black’s Honeycomb and the musical ravishment is still there—“…hold my heartstrings and have yourself a strum…”

3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue.
Were these meant to be essay questions? Do you have any idea my capacity to watch series like Star Wars, Matrix, Lord of the Rings? My geek abilities are very advanced. I have purposely watched movies multiple times so I can memorize dialog. If a movie is worth watching, it’s worth watching six times.
I’ll go with “Clue.” Been watching it since my early teens. Can quote every line in the movie. Like to do so as I watch it again. And again. And I think I’ll go watch it now. All three endings.

4. Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief.
Anything Cirque du Solei. I just love that crap. I have seen four already and I’ll see them again and I’ll see all the rest. Crazy gorgeous artistic sensory overload. Clowns are walking upside down on tightropes while singing in French. Sweet!

5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with.
A couple of museums just flashed through my mind. I have a poster of “La Pistoloa y El Corazon” by George Yepes on my wall. I love it, but it is nothing compared to the original painting as I first saw it. I wouldn’t mind having the real deal. Take a look:

6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life.
I’m going with Star Wars on this one. No, stay with me on this one. I’ve never met anyone who couldn’t make conversation around the topic of Star Wars. Countless hours of my friend’s and family’s free time has been devoted to meaningful deliberations on good versus evil as portrayed by a shiny sci-fi series. Use the force; don’t give into the Dark Side; let the Wookie win; try not, do or do not; don’t get cocky; refer to everyone as your friend. Got it.

7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh.
Mmmmmmmm, chicken.

August 2, 2007


I sniff a little at the implications:
Two days journey back
to those saturated hours of self
for a group photo?
Surely this is more of a looking glass affair
than a panoramic view.
Sure, the beauty of erosion,
the healing hot springs,
the masterful upheaval of tectonics,
but is that the reason I’ve gathered me here today?
I’m hunting jabberwocky.
Open your eyes a little wider,
I want to see how I look there.
Oh, I know all about me.
The selfish minutes of mourning weren’t wasted.
From the shit I grew flowers
and the dead fish, wheat.
But can you see that?
Can you see the iron core,
can you see the antenna straight to God,
can you see the army, thus far unimpressed by you?
Am I just half the vaudeville act, now,
or am I the woman’s arm you
are compelled to keep brushing?
I connect the dots,
often forgetting the re,
and am no less windswept for it,
no less featured in the picture,
no less serious, no less crazy,
no less, no more,
than I need to be.
No jabberwockies here,
just fish,
soon to be a bumper crop.

July 24, 2007


“They have names,”
I wanted to say to him
—as though he were my child,
as though he were my own and new,
as though I had to tell him such things
and he would have been captivated
by the sweetness of my ageless knowledge.
“They have names,” I nearly said,
and once spoken they would seem
closer to us as if naming were nets
that gathered the stars in,
slipping and writhing in our arms.
My gift to him
—the anointment of celestial nomenclature—
shared between him and I,
if I had spoken.

July 1, 2007


I am, become,
B-movie villain;
victim to the whims
of campy dialogue
and a lack of subtle nuance.
Forget you my friend!

The Japanese have to go
Paris to feel this way
—a focalized weltschmerz.
All the world’s not a stage,
but we do seem to spend a lot
of time in the limelight
or apt at handling the ropes.

Shall I grow gills
to illustrate the point?
No way else to effectively
demonstrate a dull ache
in the lower left jaw,
a hollow spot in a full stomach,
the empty clang of a phone ringing.

June 3, 2007


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May 21, 2007

She Dances With Big Hat

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Something something something

She don’t write no more
it gone
out the window like a
something something something
She don’t sing no more
one ear tone deaf
tonsils out the other
tra la tra loo tra lech
She don’t bleed no more
dripping four weeks
forecast calls
for two days more
She don’t talk no more
hoarse as a beaten joke
tongue on strike since the thing
with the tonsils
She don’t don’t no more
no where to go
map ends here at the page border
pleasantly blank

May 5, 2007


Hands press down
passing downward
with a gentle strength
like sowing paper
into books
that smell a little like nature,
a little like man,
and a little reluctant to be written upon.

Dough rises
unperturbed by
the cacophony
and her quick movements
like a bird’s
efficiently purposeful,
and living brightly colored in the south this winter.

The clock chimes
wanting to be
a player in the
diorama that
unfolds in
the kitchen of our family
as we gather to
memorialize our love in the most ancient custom.

Sugar blessed,
made pecan proud,
honored as coffee,
cinnamon true,
and surely
vegetable venerated:
all that we are comes
to the table, is acknowledged, and is passed around.

April 24, 2007


Discontent splashes around
like rain on the pavement;
the cold cuffs of my jeans
unable to dry before
I brave the weather again.

A nagging something,
somewhere towards the back,
something I should have written,
bought or brought or made new,
a game plan for get going
time’s a’wastin’, make it now,
make it happen,
leap, swallow, and fake it till.

It’s a should have said
more than hello
and four best friends
slipping through your fingers.
Don’t see much of you anymore.
You don’t get to,
cause I’m at healthy now,
and you're not there yet.
Unvitation inrequired.

Give me a sec’, I’m saving the world.
Now, from top to bottom,
how can I make this situation better?

What more?

I made an Easter egg that looked like the Earth.

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April 7, 2007

A Preponderance of Conversational Topics

The universe says go.
It says God is in Connecticut,
it says fame is in New York,
it says abundance is in India,
it says prosperity is in Canada,
it says possibility is in Austin,
it says everything is in San Francisco.
It says I’m wasted here.
It says go.
But God is in my bookcase,
fame is in the mailbox,
abundance is in my gas tank,
prosperity is off Henderson Pass,
possibility is in my back pocket,
and everything is close at hand.
Yesterday I leapt the abyss,
(two days after lasik
she sat outside smoking and reading
in pollen-heavy wind;
windows to whose fucking soul?)
perhaps I have further yet to go.
I spin again.
Patience personified:
let the universe come to you.
Ambition introduced:
put in an application.
I have trouble pronouncing banal,
but I’ve scheduled to push my
boundaries next Wednesday.
Aren’t the little sinkholes enough?
Must there be landsides?
She sits after the riot,
the silent air between us.
Two million miles would
have been closer.
Fine, I’ll go to San Francisco,
prairie dog holes or no.
I’m a fucking cosmic transmitter.
Just let me check the mail.
“I found God,” she says.
“I found God,” she says.
“I’m beginning to understand the prophet’s voice,” says I.
It’s deep.
Get it?

April 3, 2007

Quote of the Day

Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition.
–Eli Khamarov

March 22, 2007

Some St. Patrick

I twist in the hangover
of my most recent imprisonment—
a time spent telling stories
to no one but me—
and critically observing
the finest details of fauna:
this is you, this is me,
this is us under the sky.
I walk the oft-named wilds
and watch my muscles
move beneath my skin
as I determinedly preach devotion—
the way and the world it would be.
This is the thing,
this is the where,
this is me
—some St. Patrick flailing at the pagans,
a path uneasily taken.
The fool’s sacrifices are
bravely made in stubbornness
(but I wanted to have
meaningful relationships
with those snakes!);
still, at some point,
even a lost disciple must realize
the Druids are too absorbed
by their stony calendars
to find sustenance in the sun.
This is the light,
this is the dark,
this is where they both reside.
My hands are bloody,
my feet are scarred,
and in the weeds:
the infinite,
—and, if I’m lucky—

March 15, 2007

First Impressions

In some other lifetime,
I smelled like you the next morning.
My heart beat the extra for the walking away.

Once another fall,
the sunlight felt like this,
as I listened to me move within your house.

In a parallel universe,
you leaned in,
and I followed thinking we were going somewhere.

March 10, 2007

Even better than…

When I meet him, there he’ll be
the big him with the little “h”
for the capital “R” kind of relationship
—a boyfriend by any other designation.
We will have survived our second and third impressions,
slogged through the realities of us,
and successfully emerged in a world
where I can wear that shirt again
and he can introduce me without U.N. translators.

March 4, 2007

Quote of the Day

“You’re a woman! We shouldn’t be enemies!”
—Wonder Woman

The Cold Front

A slight shift of kilter,
unable not to touch.
Inexpertly turning away—
pads press through paper,
fingernails carelessly scrape—
A forced acknowledgment
in banter obliged,
yet sincerity unacknowledged
and rejection implied.

February 16, 2007


Girl sees orange.
No more little heartaches,
she’s got ambition baby.
That’s a new type of accessory.
Gonna save the world?
Gonna right the wrongs?
Gonna make it right?
Gonna have it all?
Gonna, gonna, gonna,
gonna try?
She arches up into life
one arm extended outward,
one holding her steady—
is, is, is, is.

February 10, 2007

Waking Up

What’s it with supermarkets?
The car started to pull backward into traffic…
And that’s the third movie star,
who do you want to be?
The car slid back into traffic…
He laughed,
“I’ll tell you later,”
but he didn’t.
Where are you?
In bed.
Are you asleep?
If I was asleep, I’d hang up on you.
What are you wearing?
Let’s don’t.
What wouldn’t Margaret do?
Obsess about insignificant details in what is the overall purpose of life…
Well, actually that seems a pretty accurate…
Alright already.
The car was backing up into traffic,
but no one was driving.
He wasn’t driving,
he was sitting next to me
and aging as I spoke to him.
But I was trying.
Is there a why now?
The autistic girl organized her songs by color.
She’s really into scent.
Oh. Yeah.
That was,
will I again?
Just to prove the other one wrong.
Why did she say that?
She didn’t get it.
I wanted the real experience.
Why not?
You’re right, it’s appropriate,
our first time having sex
and I’m alone.
Just get up so you can brush your teeth already.
Where was I,
was his brother in this one?
I was in the supermarket again?
Then the car. Sitting in the backseat,
backing into traffic…
Call one, call two,
that smell.
Things like that soak into my skin.
Maybe they’ll mention me by name
when they call.
Call one, call two,
get up already.
Money, food, drugs,
get up.

February 4, 2007

The Image

I’m flushed.
Is the wind howling?
Did I stumble over my words?
Did his hand brush against mine?

My lip stains the napkin red.
Was it the excitement of the hunt?
Did they use too much novocain?
Did I forget to block?

My eyes are framed in black.
Am I descended from pharaohs?
Is my spirit guide a deer?
Am I someone’s doll?

Away from the mirror,
but still in the image,
is it my face or my life
that’s made up.

January 31, 2007

I, Meme, Mine

My fellow turtle wrangler (Influx Transposer) has tagged me. Apparently some literary game of blog tag has landed on my linkable doorstep. The tossed gauntlet in question is being called a meme, or a story encapsulated is six words. Below are my attempts at brevity. I can’t resist throwing around my trivial knowledge at this point: The story goes that Ernest Hemingway wrote a six word missive and declared it his greatest short story. And so the meme began…
Oh, and to perpetuate the madness, Valley Ninja, I’m calling you out of retirement. Tag!

Earth found unworthy—ooh wait, iPods!

Monkeys steal prosthetic thumbs, rule world.

Cancelled World of Warcraft subscription: Life!

Lonely girl, impotent boy invent cuddling.

Email deleted. Number deleted. Heart hardwired.

She walks labyrinth to find herself.

Random is a hillock near Gibraltar.

January 28, 2007

Saturday Night

Sitting near the fire,
surrounded by various
shades of love,
I watch and listen
and wait to be fed.
Two votes for,
two votes against,
a handful un-cast.
The only eyes to find mine
are a lifetime too late,
and there only for
the joy of remembering,
not the pain of possibility.
My eyes flick away.
I’m here for the pain.

January 21, 2007

Me and the Plants

Sunlight is an amazing thing. Yesterday was the eighth day of uncharacteristically icy weather for my little part of the world, and I was awash with depression. Today, the sun is out, the sky is blue, and I’m downright chipper. Yesterday, I dwelled on the distance between myself and friends, obsessed on the people who have hurt me, and thoroughly reviewed my lack of significant love interests. Today, none of those circumstances have changed, but they now seem like the manageable, albeit shaded, aspects of what is an overall happy existence. Yesterday, I told myself that’s all they were, but today I believe it.
Is it really that simple? The weather?
Am I really that simple? Me and the plants—bi-solar?
Perhaps it was my good self-esteem self-assurances coupled with a good night’s rest that did it. Perhaps all I needed was yesterday’s one good cry, the simplest catharsis, to face the world again at full self-reliant strength. Perhaps it’s me after all; I’m not afraid to face my darkness and I’m not afraid to be happy afterwards. I am a well-rounded individual—a little yang, and little yin. Surely, my emotions are as much my fault as the season’s.
All the same, I hope the weather holds.

January 15, 2007

Texas Sunset

My Shoulder Hurts

My shoulder hurts.
I carry too much:
what was, what wasn’t,
the things that get in the way.

Which old hurt should I cry about?
Which new love should I toss and turn for?
Where should I store the people who fall away?

My mind spins.
I think too much:
where I was, where I could be,
everything that’s not today.

January 6, 2007

New Year Irresolution

I have a good imagination. It has allowed me to create completely unreasonable expectations for life.
I haven’t written a screenplay yet, but I do have my Oscar speech ready. Unfortunately, I’ll trip walking up the stairs to collect my statuette, suffer a concussion, and miss the entire thing due to coma. I haven’t published my book yet, but I know what I’ll call the series. I can already see the fan sites now and how they’ll use my cherished characters in their nasty little porn stories that have nothing to do with the integral storyline and have horrible grammar. I know where I’ll go shopping when I win the lottery. I also know which relatives and friends will turn ugly in their greed and plot my murder. I’ve planned the award-winning video, but I’m not sure if I’ve written song or someone else has. I think, this week, it’s going to be written by my future rock star husband who dedicates the song to our undying love. Once he dies in a terrible plane crash (the pilot will be woozy on allergy medications) I’ll refuse to ever listen to the song again and strike up a comic, yet still meaningful, friendship with Courtney Love. I’m assigned to a project at work and before I know it the CEO is shaking my hand due to its success. After he promotes me past everyone in my department, however, their bitterness and envy leads to the end of my friendship with them. One even commits suicide which I have to learn how to live with for the rest of my life. That is, if the apocalypse doesn’t take place this week. Though, if it does, it’ll probably be on some other planet. I start a karate class and am quickly beating potential rapists into apologetic pulp. Then I break my arm right before my test for the black belt (damn prairie dog holes) and never realize that dream. I see an interview with an everyday Joe who saved some endangered child and I’ve already figured out how I would have done it better by the end of the show. I never do get comfortable, however, with the sudden media attention and adoration of the masses. I meet a new guy and he is already doomed to never be as romantic as he is in my head. Within a week of knowing each other he’s already stood me up at the alter, helped me conceive three beautiful little boys, and been killed in Iraq. There is no suggestion I can’t blow out of proportion. There is no intimation I can’t turn into past tense. There is no ending I haven’t rewritten so many times, so many ways, that reality can’t help but taste a little bland at times.
This is to say nothing of the created population in my mind of people and creatures I torture day in and day out with love, hate, boredom, defiance, and the other plot devices of life imagined. Their stories twist and twine as quickly and colorfully as mine tends to in my vivid imagination.
A good imagination can take up a lot of time. It can waste a lot of time. I’m not sure I could stop my imagination if I wanted to (barring pre-Oscar acceptance speech comas). I enjoy aspects of it and it has done wonders for my writing, but I hate the times when it seems like it supersedes reality. Life, the real one, isn’t all beige details after all. Reality can explode unexpectedly in ways that my imagination hasn’t gotten around to conceiving yet. Though I don’t want to exorcise my imagination, I do need to control it enough so that I can live my life happily.
So I’m a good little yogi; I sit quietly and try to clear the clutter of my mind. I do my best to live in the now, not the now if we had laser guns. And, for the beginning of this New Year 2007, I have no resolutions. I’m trying to cut back on unreasonable expectations.

January 2, 2007

Cloud Gate

Why a pet turtle?

I am a writer. Forgive me for repeating myself, but, I am a writer. I had to practice saying that. I am a writer. For years it was, “I want to be a writer.” That was my response to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and its taller equivalent, “What are you planning to do next?” At some point the “want to be” seemed silly. When do you cross over from the “want to be” to “am?” I’m not sure, but in the years of journaling, the hundreds of college papers, the newspaper articles written freelance, and the smattering of poetry throughout it all, surely I crossed over. The first time I was paid for something I wrote, the first time something I wrote appeared in a publication people had to pay for, the first time someone I worked with said I was a good writer—was that it?
I remember feeling like a liar the first time I said I was writing a novel. The responses were fairly standard.
“Oh,” from the non-writers.
“Yeah,” plus a half laugh from the writers, followed invariably by a page count, “I got to page 32 on my novel.”
When I finished mine I felt so justified. I had done what so many others didn’t really think I would get around to doing. I must have been a writer at that point. The sense of accomplishment slowly evaporated, however, with that eternal question, “What are you planning to do next?” Sometimes I say, “I am an unpublished author,” rather than “I am a writer.” It raises fewer questions, though the same amount of eyebrows.
Having done both, I can honestly say that I prefer writing to the trying to get my writing published. So, why do I bother? Why not just write for writing’s sake and leave careful instructions in my will that all the journals should be cremated along with my body? It can’t be money. If I thought I could make money from clever wordplay, I wouldn’t drive myself to cubicle land five days a week.
There’s that nagging need for someone to read it. If someone writes a note in a forest and no one ever reads it, isn’t it just paper? Someone else has to read it. They have to read it and respond. They have to love it or hate it or walk away perplexed by it. They have to take the time to acknowledge its existence and then pass judgment. That’s writing. I never felt like a writer so much as when I held my first rejection notice. A major publisher had read my first 30 pages and deemed it, “not what they were looking for at this time.” Ah, validation.
I still send out my first little novel that could. I occasionally work on its sequel. I write in my journal once a week. I write down the nonsense phrases that collect in my head and call it poetry. And now, due to the influence of other writers I know, I keep a blog. (Egad, what a word. Perhaps I’ll call it something else more poetic, like “pet turtle.”) I am a writer. I’ll keep writing and occasionally force myself to send my little words out into the world. Someone might see them. Someone might acknowledge them and pass judgment. I’ll keep writing. If not for glory and fortune—though I won’t turn those down—then for that elusive sense of accomplishment from knowing I wrote something worth reading, so someone did.