Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Season's Greetings With Purrfection

Christmas cat –
bedside greeting
begins with a pounce

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Love Snow

for Julie

I remember
the Christmas
that you and I
mended our friendship.
You wore a
cool, retro
fur coat
and we walked to
the park across
the street from
Debbie's house.
That night we
laughed and sang
about snow
with the Christmas
lights shining
behind us
and the future bright;
ahead of us.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Muckety-duck

I wrote the following poem for the Civil Conundrum project last year, but -- due to the current Duck Dynasty suspension controversy -- I felt it appropriate to post "The Bible Says" today.

The Bible Says

Where do these Yankees
get off?
We have God on our side.
If those godless Yanks
just read the
glorious Gospel of Good News,
they'd know that
we are righteous,
God-fearin' folk.
If those pagan
Union soliders
would study
the sacred scriptures,
they'd see
that we are obeyin'
the God of Abraham,
Issac and Jacob.
If those arrogant SOBs
would just have
the decency to
crack open the hallowed,
holy Word of God,
they'd learn
that havin' slaves
is part of God's marvelous,
master plan for mankind
and that ownin'
men, women and children
is a sign of the blessin'
of a just and jealous God!

Heck, if we
let our slaves go free,
all hell would break loose!
That's blasphemous!
No, sir!
That's foolishness!
If we did that
what's next --
our women folk
runnin' around
wantin' rights --
to read, write...
VOTE?
GOD FORBID!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thank You

Thanks to all of you who attended my Bathroom Poems book release party and performance yesterday.  Special thanks to Ann, Brian, Craig, Greg, the Hardins, Jessica, Joan, Joanne, Joy, Lyn, the McCurleys, Randy, Rebecca and Rob for your support!  A VERY special THANK YOU to Chuck and East Side Story for hosting the event, as well as Lyn, Rebecca and Randy for your extra special efforts!  My bowl runneth over...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bathroom Poems makes splash at local watering hole

My upcoming Bathroom Poems book release party and performance got a mention in this groovy listing today.  Make plans to join us this Saturday for a humorous plunge(r) into the world of anal-retentive behavior!   

Saturday, December 07, 2013

You are invited!

You are invited to the release party/reading/signing/performance for my brand new poetry chapbook, Bathroom Poems!

Saturday, Dec. 14th, from 2 to 3 p.m.
East Side Story
1108 Woodland St.
Unit B
Nashville, TN  37206

Following my performance, brownies will be served, as well as your chance to win a crappy Bathroom Poems prize pack!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Perspective

My latest piece for The Space Between arts blog, "Perspective," was posted today, featuring my holiday poem "Thanksgiving Traffic." Take a look!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Bathroom Poems: Coming to a loo near you!

My brand new poetry chapbook, Bathroom Poems, has dropped -- just in time for the holidays!  The collection of crappy poems about bathroom business promises to make a splash at any family holiday gathering.  Folks in the Greater Nashville Area can pick up their copy at East Side Story, while out-of-towners can place their orders directly through me.  Contact me at hall_amy_e@hotmail.com to place your order or to request more info.  And stay tuned for details regarding my Dec. 14 book release party/reading/performance! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Traffic

Three miles in an
hour and a half --
bumper-to-bumper
interstate congestion and
stomach indigestion,
angry drivers with
hungry kids, no
exit in sight, and
no explanation.
Arrivals delayed;
hugs and hand-
shakes on hold;
dinners postponed.
It was easy to get
irritated and impatient,
until we saw
the white sheet
on the ground.
Suddenly, we were
thankful for the
fume-filled air that
we were breathing.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Painful Irony

Here I sit,
in my den,
reading Mary's latest book,
knowing that you,
five miles away,
are likely reading
one of Mary's books.
Though we may read
from the same books,
we are not
on the same page.
Though we share
much in common,
you allow one thing,
on which we disagree,
to keep us
from sharing
our lives together.
The irony is,
you likely feel
the exact same way
about me.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

True haiku: Vision violation

parking violation:
car parked in the middle of the road;
driver peeing in the street

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

(dude in the waiting room)

dude in the waiting room
picking his nose and flicking
his findings onto the floor

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A "color me happy" haiku:

eyes widen:
brilliant, cranberry-
orange-colored foliage

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A haiku for a crisp, fall day like today:

the leaves mimicking
the sound of raindrops in the
wooded autumn hills

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Everyday Holiday

My latest piece for The Space Between arts blog, "Everyday Holiday," was recently posted, featuring my haiku "(cardinal bathing)."  Take a look!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

(Outside my window)

Outside my window
a bluebird convention in
full swing, wing to wing

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Teatime on a rainy day:

a steeping black brew
my favorite morning mug
nectar of the leaves

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy National Coffee Day!

Taste of Adulthood

"Why do I like coffee
so much?" I wonder, from
time to time. Perhaps
it's because Mom and
Dad drank it routinely
while I was growing
up. It seemed like
such an "adult" drink --
a special, yet necessary
treat -- with milk and
sugar each morning.
Or maybe because it
reminds me of my
college years --
discovering mochas,
hazelnut lattes, the smell
of espresso and the cool
coffeehouse culture.
I was finally a grown-up
enjoying the taste of
adulthood for myself.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

(First day of autumn)

First day of autumn:
Reading on the porch with a
roast in the Crock-Pot.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Turning

There is nothing left
but bone --
no more skin,
no more muscle,
no more ligaments.
Just bone.

I've sat here
for nearly 40 years
bleeding
love,
joy,
peace,
patience,
kindness,
goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness
and self-control
while you --
slap by slap,
blow by blow,
year by year --
stripped away
my flesh,
my heart,
my soul.

Today, I realized
that the pain
will never stop
as long as I
stay here.
Gripping the back
of the pew in front of me,
I manage to
stand to my feet
and slowly
find the exit
as you shout
in shock and outrage,
"But I love you!"
as the sound waves
bounce around
in the empty cavity
of my second cheek. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Some Things

Some things
silence the
professional speaker.
Some things
stump the
international intellectual.
Some things
paralyze the
confident wordsmith.
Some things...

Monday, September 09, 2013

Detail Orientation

My mind is like
a vacuum cleaner,
sucking up
a million, minute details,
like particles of
dust, dirt and fiber.
The bits of material
spin around, colliding
into each other
in a volume
so dense and
at a rate so rapid
that they cause
my brain to buzz
like a tornado --
claiming, collecting and
wildly whirling
pieces and parcels
in a violent, possessive fury.
While my non-detail-
oriented neighbor
may have a peaceful, half-
empty vacuum cleaner bag --
with room for more matter --
mine is filled to capacity
and humming with heat.

Monday, September 02, 2013

A work haiku in honor of Labor Day:

startled by twin burps --
the secret belcher hidden
in his cubicle

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

(“Gee, thanks,” I thought,)

"Gee, thanks," I thought,
as she escaped her own stench
and left me in the john, barely breathing.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Simplicity

As summer begins to
close her eyes in
exchange for fall's
awakening, I want
to remember these
days; what it feels
like to slip into
sandals, and hop into
the car without a
jacket and drive to
meet some friends
with Tennessee's green
hills in front of me and
the sun on my back.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Letter to the Predator

Dear straight Christian friend,

When you post a picture of
a burning gay pride flag online,
I am not merely encountering
an expression of an opinion.
I don't simply see a person
making a statement
about an issue.
I don't view it as
an individual "deeply devoted
to a faith based on mercy and grace"
taking a stand amidst a culture war.

I see my friend
advocating -- and perpetrating --
violence against me.
I feel threatened
and frightened
and sickened.
I see -- with my own eyes --
my friend proclaiming
to me and the world
that I am worthy of abuse.
I witness my friend
declaring me fit for
gasoline
and matches
and burning flesh
and torture
and death.

I see that my friend --
my "loving, compassionate, Christ-like" friend --
is not, in fact, my friend at all.

-- Your gay neighbor

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Letting Go

My latest piece for The Space Between, "Letting Go," was posted today, featuring my brand new poem "Turning." Take a look!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

A rainy haiku for a rainy day like today:

The tree bark gleamed
with fresh raindrops as
the squirrel scurried home.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Knew You Enough (Your Big, Beautiful Brilliance)

In remembrance of Celeste

I didn't know you well,
but I knew you enough.
I knew you enough
to miss your big, brown eyes --
eyes that lit up a room
almost as much
as your broad, beautiful smile.
I knew you enough
to miss the fresh perspective
and lighthearted laughter
that you brought
to every corporate meeting
and every friendly conversation.
I knew you enough
to miss the strength and brilliance
you brought to the world
as a woman; as a minority,
and the sense of pride
and courage I felt
as you enlightened
and inspired us all.
I knew you enough
to feel the weight
of the loss
of you
and your big, beautiful brilliance.
I knew you enough
to miss you now.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

(Why poetry?)

Why poetry?
Because
moments matter.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

(cat dusty)

The last of this week's series I ran in memory of Angel:

cat dusty
from her romp
in the windowsill

Friday, July 26, 2013

(cat in a frenzy)

In remembrance of Angel:

cat in a frenzy:
from the window --
watching falling leaves

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My on-Again, off-Again Bedside Companion

In honor of Angel:

She doesn't like to cuddle
or be held.
She likes to be in control,
to call the shots.
She comes
when she's ready.
She comes
to get what she wants
and leave.
And she practices the most
peculiar positions.
She often prefers to rest her head
near my hips
and press herself against me,
begging to be stroked.
When I pet her in just
the right places,
she purrs with pleasure
and lets me know,
in no uncertain terms,
that she's glad to be
my pussycat.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

(the cat)

Remembering Angel:

the cat --
my second
alarm clock

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Between Catnaps

In memory of Angel:

Her silky, black paw
claimed a red circle
on the pillow
as if to begin
a silent, solo
game of Twister.

Monday, July 22, 2013

(cute:)

In remembrance of Angel:

cute:
a chirp from
my happy cat

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Girl

NOTE: My cat of 14 years, Angel, passed away on Friday.  The following poem is the first in a series I will run this week in her memory.

She knows how to be
cute.
She knows just the
right pose or look
to give me that will
send me into a
state of acute
appreciation --
the kind that seizes
me until I pet her velvet
coat.
She knows the cutest
ways to meow and
purr and stir her paws.

And she knows it.

She knows she's
cute.
And there's no way
I can help myself
from loving and
stroking and cooing
and thinking how
lucky I am to have
found her.

Friday, July 12, 2013

(After the funeral)

After the funeral
I searched my inbox
for any messages I still had from her.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

(Live well and love well.)

Live well and love well.
For today is all we have,
so far as we can tell.

Monday, July 08, 2013

1 conversation at work = 2 haiku pieces

$50 bill
floating in the toilet bowl.
Who will free Billy?

~~~~~(These are waves.)~~~~~

$50 bill
in the loo.  Rear admiral
to the rescue!  Phew!

Which one floats your boat?

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Haiku for a rainy day:

morning tea after
the morning rain
drop after drop

Monday, July 01, 2013

This week's holiday haiku:

the cardinal
sounding off
like the Fourth of July

with gratitude to Rebecca J. Davenport for a spectacular ending

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summertime Sandals

On this, the first day of summer, I give you:

Seasonal Criminals

There's something about
summertime sandals --
they're too much
to handle
when it comes to
the stench that
sweaty feet and
leather create.
My nostrils don't
celebrate or salivate about
the smell that emanates
from the partnership
that perpetrates
heinous crimes
against olfactory.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Soul Food

My latest piece for The Space Between, "Soul Food," was posted today, featuring my poem "If Melody Is Nourishment, Harmony Is Healing."  Eat up, y'all!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

(Just like clockwork, her)

Just like clockwork, her
post-lunch sewage dump fills the
ladies' room with stench.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thank You

Thanks to all of you who attended Women's Work this afternoon. Special thanks to Jessica, Joan, Liz, Melissa, Randy and Rebecca for your support!

Friday, May 03, 2013

You are invited!

I will be presenting some of my poetry this Mother's Day at Nashville's seventh annual Women's Work festival. Come and enjoy an afternoon of original poetry and spoken word presented by wonderful women wordsmiths!

Sunday, May 12th, at 2:30 p.m.
Z. Alexander Looby Theater
Looby Branch Library
2301 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Nashville, TN
$5

For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, please visit the Tennessee Women's Theater Project online.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

(Business casual)

Business casual:
Yikes...that dude must have a thong
beneath his khakis.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy National Poetry Month: Exhibit D

My fourth and final Sunday poetry post during this year's National Poetry Month:

Why Bother With Poetry

Why bother
with poetry?
Because you're
human.  And,
from time to time,
we humans need
to be reminded of
what's important
in life,
an invitation
to laugh at ourselves,
a spotlight on
injustice in the world,
and permission
to pause, reflect and wonder.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy National Poetry Month: Exhibit C

The Reason I Write Poetry

I notice things --
everything.
Then I get
lost in thought
about them --
why they're done,
how often
and by whom --
sometimes
at the most
inopportune times --
during a meeting
with a co-worker,
my tax advisor
or the dentist.
And then I feel
the need to
capture my thoughts
on paper --
so I won't forget them.
And, on most days,
I have just enough
arrogance
to share what I've
put into writing
with someone else,
perhaps to validate
that I'm, in fact, alive.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy National Poetry Month: Exhibit B

This post is a bit belated, but no less delicious than it would have been on Sunday.  Enjoy, as we continue to celebrate National Poetry Month!

Matters of Intake

I have a friend who devours
poems like she devours
sumptuous chocolate cake --
with a feminine fortissimo,
speedily savoring each serving.

I, on the other hand,
experience poems like I
experience creme brulee or flan --
slowly, deliberately,
careful not to overdue it,
knowing that too much
of a good thing will ruin
the power of the moment.

I do not think either way
is superior -- only that one
approach is better for
that particular partaker.

Even now I am closing
a book of poetry,
instinctively knowing
when to say "when."

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Women's Work 2013

I've been invited to present my poetry at the seventh annual Women's Work festival on May 12th. Stay tuned for more details!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Happy National Poetry Month: Exhibit A

During the month of April, I will be posting a poetry-related poem every Sunday, in celebration of National Poetry Month.  I hope you enjoy one (or all) of them!    

When I Read a Good Poem

When I read a good poem,
I hold
each
word
for a
moment
in my mouth
before
---- moving
on to the next one, like
one
bite
of creme brulee
after
another.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Poached by an Egg

Finished the last of
the hard-boiled eggs
this morning and
stabbed my thumb --
the shell shards
actually drawing blood.
I never knew
Easter eggs could
be so violent.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Prolonged Germination and Instant Revelation

My latest piece for The Space Between, "Prolonged Germination and Instant Revelation," was posted today, featuring my new poem "Operation Umbrella."  Take a look

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Crappy Poems About Bathroom Business

Production work on my next chapbook, Bathroom Poems, has resumed. I’m looking forward to releasing a strong batch of poop poetry in early May. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day!

real love: standing in
the bathroom while your partner
poops, just to catch up

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Operation Umbrella

I woke up this morning
to discover that
I had been living my life
under an umbrella
I was handed
years ago by
clergy, patriarchy and society
an umbrella that
limited my view of the world,
shielding me
from the sky and the sun,
sheltering me from
fresh air, free thinking,
free movement,
and my assimilation
with others
(and, ultimately, myself)
an umbrella that
I had been holding
above my head
with my right hand
for thirty-some years
an umbrella
I held because
someone handed it
to me
under the guise of
"instruction" and
"protection" and
"tradition."
That's what
you do when
someone hands you
something, right?
You hold it?

It wasn't until I
noticed the feet
of someone else
moving in a different direction
a different pattern
than me
that I dared
to peak outside
of the confines
of my covering to see
how that person
was able to move
so freely,
so functionally.
The umbrella
got in the way of
my view of that person
and it was then
that I noticed
the pole in my face
the handle
that had become
such a part of me
that I did not see
it
apart
from myself.

It wasn't until I
became aware
of the umbrella
that I realized
that I was actually
holding something;
that my view had been
almost entirely obstructed;
that I had the use of
only one arm
and one hand;
that there's a reason
I had felt so
tired and frustrated
and limited
along the way;
that I finally lowered
my arm, released
the umbrella,
and threw my head back
to an open sky
and the smell
of possibility.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Jack Ridl releases new collection

I am happy to announce the release of my (former) poetry professor Jack Ridl's brand new poetry collection, Practicing to Walk Like a Heron.  I received my copy in the mail yesterday!  Jack has always been a champion of his students, past and present, and I am thrilled to be able to inform others of his great work.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Poetry: Alive and swell

My latest piece for The Space Between, "One Giant Step for Humankind," was posted today, featuring my brand new poem "One Fine Day."  I wrote the poem the day before Alexandra Petri's provocative piece "Is poetry dead?" was published.  Unbeknownst to me, my poem was written in direct contrast to Petri's controversial post, an applicable commentary of my own.  Poetry begot poetry!  Take a look for yourself.  Heck, draft a rebuttal to Petri's pondering, if you feel so inclined!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Civil Conundrum coverage continues

I was thrilled to learn that our photography/poetry collaboration Civil Conundrum recently received additional coverage by The Leaf Chronicle.  Read all about it here!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Last Week of Civil Conundrum Exhibit

This week is the last week/end of the Civil Conundrum exhibit at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center.  If you've wanted to experience the exhibit but haven't made it to the Customs House yet, seize the day and make your way!  The show runs through Jan. 27. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Setting the Record Straight, Practically Speaking

Straight women who dress
comfortably and practically
don't dress
comfortably and practically
because they have
"let themselves go"
or because they have
"given up on men."
Straight women who dress
comfortably and practically
dress comfortably and practically
because they want to be
comfortable and practical.

Gay women who dress
comfortably and practically
don't dress
comfortably and practically
because they
"don't want to be women"
or because they
"want to be men."
Gay women who dress
comfortably and practically
dress comfortably and practically
because they want to be
comfortable and practical.

Monday, January 07, 2013

(Two of us in the)

Two of us in the
bathroom: One is grunting and
one is disgruntled.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Fresh Snow, Fresh Start

My latest piece for The Space Between, "I Love Snow," has been posted. I wrote the poem in 2005 for Julie, a close friend since 1993. Take a look!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Civil Conundrum Chronicled

I am delighted to note that Civil Conundrum recently received coverage in The Leaf Chronicle.  I was finally able to see the exhibit at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center in person last weekend.  What a joy to see poetry hanging on the walls of a museum!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

(finishing the last)

finishing the last
glass of eggnog with the last
book of the year