Wednesday, December 31, 2014

(Miles Davis on tap)

Miles Davis on tap
grape juice in the stereo
a New Year's Eve day

Thursday, December 25, 2014

(Christmas cat)

Christmas cat –
bedside greeting
begins with a pounce

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Interview With Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco

One of the highlights of my year was the opportunity I had to interview the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, Richard Blanco, for Out & About Nashville.  Blanco's work and life inspire me.  It is with great pleasure that I share the link to the product of that interview.  What a gift!  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bathroom Poems: Great gag gift on sale now!

Looking for a unique, affordable gift?  How about a gag gift or lowbrow literature that will bring you to rears...I mean tearsMy latest poetry chapbook, Bathroom Poems, is available now!  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 or Landmark Booksellers, while out-of-towners can place their orders directly through me.  Sneak a peek at Bathroom Poems, as well as all of my poetry books here!  Contact me at hall_amy_e@hotmail.com to place your order or to request more info.  This year, give a gift guaranteed to make them guffaw.  Bathroom Poems...it's a gas!

Monday, November 24, 2014

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.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunflowers and Birch Trees (Let It Be)

Just as there is
a myriad of
flower varieties
on the earth and
a host of tree species
in the world,
there are countless
types of women
on the earth and
innumerable sorts of men
in the world.
"Flowers" are not
confined to "lilies"
and trees are not all oaks.
The earth is a beautiful space,
thanks to the
vast array
of flowers and trees
on display.
A world which awakens
to the full spectrum
of femininity and masculinity
is a glorious place.

Monday, November 17, 2014

(Proof that you’re having a bad day at work:)

Proof that you're having a bad day at work:
You look forward to
your doctor's appointment that afternoon.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

(the leaves mimicking)

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Once

What do you do
when you spend
YOUR WHOLE LIFE
trying to
please your father,
make your mother proud,
be a supportive, protective, generous sibling,
serve as a kind, loving, thoughtful grandchild,
operate as a steadfast, reliable, dependable friend,
achieve the status of "gold standard" as a
model citizen, good person, shining star, and friend to all,
put everyone ELSE before yourself,
do unto others as you would have them do unto you,
and FORSAKE YOURSELF
in order to make everyone ELSE
feel good about you,

but you're still not "good enough"?

What do you do when you've given
YOUR WHOLE LIFE
over to other people to
critique, disapprove, discount,
gossip, slander, discriminate, and

DECIMATE

but, like vampires, they are never satisfied?

Your blood sacrifice is never enough.

What if -- after nearly 40 years of sacrificing
YOUR LIFE on the altar of THEIR approval (or lack thereof) --
you decide to remove yourself from their altar,
WALK AWAY
and begin to learn how to live
the life that was given to YOU
to live
once?

Monday, November 10, 2014

(cat in a frenzy:)

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

Saturday, November 08, 2014

(eyes widen:)

eyes widen:
brilliant, cranberry-
orange-colored foliage

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Attuned to the View

My latest piece for The Space Between arts blog is up, featuring my brand new poem "Attuned to the View."  I am still on a poetic high after my recent interview with inaugural poet Richard Blanco and felt the need to write a "sappy, silly, sentimental" poem about the beauty of life.  Take a look if you like!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Richard Blanco Interview

I had the great privilege of interviewing the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, Richard Blanco, last evening.  Stay tuned for my forthcoming article for Out & About Nashville!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

John Franklin Award

I am pleased to report that my poem “My One Wild and Precious Life” has been named the winner of this year’s John Franklin Award.  I am equally honored and humbled by both the nomination and the designation.  More details to come!

Monday, September 22, 2014

(First day of autumn:)

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My One Wild and Precious Life

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

-- Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

My one wild and precious life
does not belong to my
parents or predecessors
nor to my
pastor or priest or preacher or pope.
My one wild and precious life
does not belong to my
president
or to my
principal
or to my
peers
or the
privileged pillars
of my
patriarchal society.
My one wild and precious life
does not belong to
politicians
or to the
"pretty people"
or the
power hungry
or to my
pocketbook, property or prosperity.
My one wild and precious life
does not belong to a
painful or problematic past
or to
perfectionism
or my
propensity for people pleasing
nor to a
profession, promotion or pursuit of prestige.
My one wild and precious life
does not belong to
purveyors of prejudice
or to
peddlers of propaganda
nor to the
principles that someone else holds.
My one wild and precious life
belongs to me
to protect and preserve it,
to pursue peace,
to practice compassion,
and to progress as the particular person I was put on the planet to be.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

My One Wild and Precious Life

My latest piece for The Space Between arts blog is up, featuring my brand new poem "My One Wild and Precious Life."  The work of Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets, inspired and informed the piece.  Take a look if you like!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

(Just as my fart makes)

Just as my fart makes
its way out, my co-worker
makes her way in to the restroom.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Twenty-year-old Tweens

My first kiss that counted --
the first pair of
lady lips I latched onto --
was stolen.
We were both good
little Christian girls --
young adults, really --
who had accidentally
started to fall in love.
She drove seven hours south
to spend seven summer days with me,
with my parents' blessing.

Little did they know --
little did we know --
that the previous months of
late-night, collegiate
cuddling and snuggling
would culminate in
lesbian lip-lock at last.

Interwoven on my twin bed
like a French braid,
I leaned in closely
and whispered,
"What would you do if I
kissed you?"
Half taken aback
and half titillated,
she returned my whisper,
"I don't think you should do that."

A split second later,
in my childhood bedroom,
I snatched a kiss
from her full, light brown lips,
as soft and as supple
as a baby's hand.

I leaned back to read
her facial response.
She looked
half shocked and
half pleased.

"You're a good kisser,"
I reported, as the
endorphins surged through my
twenty-year-old tween self.
"You're not so bad yourself,"
she admitted with a sly smile.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

(The tomato: A)

Although I did not claim a prize in this year's Tomato Haiku Contest, I enjoyed creating entries like this:

The tomato: A
veritable fruit salad --
grapes, plums and cherries

Monday, August 11, 2014

(tomato ballad:)

Although I did not claim a prize in this year's Tomato Haiku Contest, I enjoyed creating entries like this:

tomato ballad:
rejected from fruit salad
rosy to pallid

Sunday, August 10, 2014

(Banned from the fruit bowl,)

Although I did not claim a prize in this year's Tomato Haiku Contest, I enjoyed creating entries like this:

Banned from the fruit bowl,
Music City heartbreak fuels
new material

Friday, August 01, 2014

(bracing myself for the smell)

bracing myself for the smell
that will, no doubt, result from the sound
I just heard from the stall next door

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dealing With Death

My latest post for The Space Between arts blog, "Dealing With Death," is up now, featuring my poem "Some Things." Take a look!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Hall Sisters: Circa 1994

My little sisters and I have been enjoying some much-needed reunion time over the last week or so, as the older of the two recently flew in from Philadelphia to vacation with us.  Our time together has caused me to reminisce and remember the experiences we shared growing up.  This week, in honor of my sisters, I will post three poems celebrating our terrific trio.  Installment no. 3, The Hall Sisters: Circa 1994:

We knew our
whole world
was about to change.
I cried the entire
four-hour trip
to campus
and the two of you
held each other
in the living room
all morning.
We were
letting go of life
as we knew it,
knowing that we
would survive
the changes ahead
but not knowing
exactly how.
We had been together
all of our lives --
through every move,
in every new house
and every new city.
We shared friends and
hobbies and teachers.
Now we would be
in different states
with 207 miles between us.
I opened your letters
like beautifully
wrapped packages
and read each one
between nose blowing
and cheek dabbing.
I think I used
an entire box
of Kleenex
driving up to Michigan,
thankful that I didn't
decide to go to school
in Portland.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Passing Gas at Ponderosa

My sisters and I have been enjoying some much-needed reunion time over the last week or so, as the older of the two recently flew in from Philadelphia to vacation with us.  Our time together has caused me to reminisce and remember the experiences we shared growing up.  This week, in honor of my sisters, I will post three poems celebrating our terrific trio.  Installment no. 2, Passing Gas at Ponderosa:

My little sisters and I were
eyeing the bountiful buffet
when it happened.
I tucked my head under the
overhead glass to get
closer to the cantaloupe
and grabbed a slice
with the plastic tongs.
Attempting to back up
and place the fruit
on my plate, I
bonked the back of
my noggin on the glass,
dropped the orange
melon on the floor
and cut the cheese,
all in the same instant.
Humiliated in my
preadolescent state,
I tried to slink back
to the table and
join our grandparents
unnoticed, despite
the unexpected
backside blast, as my
baby sister yelped:
"WAS THAT YOU?"

Monday, July 14, 2014

Grade School Glories

My sisters and I have been enjoying some much-needed reunion time over the last week or so, as the older of the two recently flew in from Philadelphia to vacation with us.  Our time together has caused me to reminisce and remember the experiences we shared growing up.  This week, in honor of my sisters, I will post three poems celebrating our terrific trio.  Installment no. 1, Grade School Glories:

We did it to
amuse ourselves
during the ride to
my community
softball games.
My little sisters
and I played producers,
creating makeshift
movie stars out of our
afternoon snacks.
We tore our thinly
sliced lunch meat
into strips and gave
them each a name
as we cast our own
mini musicals,
starring Miss Piggy,
Mr. Angus and
Mrs. Gobblet.
Somehow the
dancing pieces of
ham, beef and turkey
kept our attention
until we reached the
ball diamond, where
I would trade my
sandwich meat
for a glove.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

(Golden:)

Golden:
A grandmother's love,
like the arms of the sun

Friday, July 04, 2014

Holiday haiku:

the cardinal
sounding off
like the Fourth of July

with gratitude to Rebecca J. Davenport for a spectacular ending

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Dealing With Death

My maternal grandfather, Lindell Lee Jarrett, passed away a week ago today.  Since then, my mind has be occupied with memories, reconnections and recollections with relatives, the big questions of life and death, and (mentally) climbing the family tree -- up and down and back again.  It's amazing how full one's brain can be and -- at the same time -- how empty one's mouth can be.  Sometimes some things silence even those of us with the "gift of gab."

Some Things

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

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.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Presents From Dad

He was so excited to bring "surprises"
home to us, whether it was a $5 movie
from McDonald's, Sam's Club chocolate
chip cookies, or a two liter of Dr. Pepper.
My sisters and I would laugh at him
and try to downplay his "treats," but it
was his simple, silly, contagious joy
that made the best gift of all.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Water Works

I basically have
two good weeks
a month.
The other two
are spent
tethered to
some form of
feminine sanitary
product or another.
The former
of the two weeks
is spent feeling
(and functioning)
like a leaky faucet
dripping rusty water --
which, at any moment,
has the potential
to burst into a
high pressure
water line rupture.
The latter is spent
trying to control
a situation akin
to a gushing
fire hydrant,
waddling around
with layers of
cotton wedged into
uncomfortable places,
and shaking my fist
at the great plumber
in the sky.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

(He is offended)

He is offended
when misogyny is found
to be offensive.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thank You

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

Sunday, May 04, 2014

You are invited!

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

Sunday, May 11th, 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.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Miss Misogyny

What if we gave
patriarchy a breather
and placed women
at the helm
of the world --
mostly large, loud,
"girls' club" cronies
with inside connections
who view men
largely as pieces of meat --
regardless of their
intelligence, experience
or finely tuned talent --
women
who snicker to each other
when a man enters the room
and verbally rate his hair,
face, pecks, crotch,
rear-end, weight and
sense of fashion
as soon as he
leaves the room;
women
who value the
opinion of other women
over any man
nine times out of 10;
women
who, as a matter of course,
assume that women
deserve to be consulted
and considered before
any man's opinion is ever suffered;
women
who appreciate a
good-looking, fit, fashionable
man as a means to an end --
flirty ego booster,
Playgirl playmate,
sperm donor, or,
maybe, if he's lucky
and hot enough,
a trophy husband --
women
but who deem all
men who don't pass
"the pretty test"
as nothing more than potential
back-room assistants,
ghost writers
and support staff;
women
who openly mock and belittle
any man who gets
"emotional" after
being treated as less
than a woman or simply
a sex toy or merely
an annoyance
to be endured;
rude, harsh women
who -- no matter
what they look like --
are only interested in men
who look like
fashion plates,
models and personal trainers;
women who base
their opinions of
a man solely on numbers --
bust, waist and inseam --
women who dismiss
any man who challenges
them with a genuine
concern or thoughtful
comment or genius idea?

Oh, but wait!
That would be
disgraceful,
disrespectful,
discriminatory
behavior,
wouldn't it?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy National Poetry Month: Week 4!

On this, the last Monday of 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.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Presenting

I can present myself
the way society
deems most "appropriate":
pretty, cute, feminine,
"standard," primped and polished,
made up with moisturizer,
mascara and mousse,
tightly bound
in claustrophobic couture,
slanted and perched atop
high heels
by way of the most
uncomfortable toe tyrants,
in getups that make
me feel confident
and comfortable
only in the moments
when I measure myself
against the female
"standard" of beauty --
the template
that is not necessarily
prescribed in writing
but is nonetheless
plastered all over
every imaginable media vehicle.

I know how to
play the game.
I know how to pass.
I know how to succeed
in that world.

I can play the part,
but I'm tired --
tired of pleasing
everyone but me
and satisfying everybody
else's needs
but my own.

Don't get me wrong.
I understand the value
and importance of
conveying a professional
image at work
and "putting your
best foot forward"
in social settings.

I realize that every
woman is different
and that some women
may even enjoy
priming and preening
and prancing.
My question is: do
we actually enjoy
the work
of primping
(or pimping, as it were),
or is it only the
acceptance, admiration,
adoration, affection,
affirmation, approval,
or attention resulting from our efforts
that we truly enjoy?

I am not suggesting
that we all stop
bathing and
fill our wardrobes
with rags and tatters.

I simply wish that
we -- that I -- would
release ourselves
from the prison of
patriarchally prescribed
"passability," when it
comes to female beauty.

I'm tired of
asking for permission --
from myself and
from my society --
to be human --
to be a real-life
person, rather than
a prototype or
protege or protagonist
in a man-made story.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Begin With a Buzz

My latest piece for The Space Between arts blog, "Begin With a Buzz," was posted today, featuring my poem "I Am Abuzz." Take a look!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

(Top executive reportedly)

Top executive reportedly
sits on corporate toilet for 45 minutes every day
playing Tetris

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In Honor of Earth Day:

Saving the Planet, One Saturday at a Time

I set out on a Tennessee August morning
with a strong mug of black tea and
four plastic bags of recyclables. The
15-minute drive didn't seem out of my
way at all, on a leisurely Saturday with
the new Over the Rhine album spinning
and the beautiful houses lining the roads.
When I drove up to Granberry Elementary,
I saw children, parents and grandparents
in the parking lot emptying their bags
and bins into the large, green dumpsters,
each wearing a silent smile on their face.
I unloaded my car and placed two of the
four bags on the pavement next to my
Corolla and went to contribute my
glass-bottle and tin-can offerings to the
green gods. When I returned to the
Toyota to empty the other two bags,
I noticed that they were gone. Looking up,
I realized that a young mother and her son
had seen my bags and volunteered to
empty them, without a whisper. On my way
back home, I couldn't help but feel good,
knowing that I made a small dent in the
refuse relief effort that day, on a Saturday
morning in a matter of three minutes.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy National Poetry Month: Week 3!

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.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

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.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Record Store Day!

In honor of today's international celebration of indie inspiration: 

If Melody Is Nourishment, Harmony Is Healing

Do you ever wish you could
drink music – first in soft sips,
then steady swallows, and,
at times, greedy gulps?

I need consistent installments –
like doses of medicine
carefully measured out
by the hours, days, and
weeks of the month.

It moves me like the
majesty of a mountain,
the splendor of a sunrise,
the openness of an ocean;
like the moment you know
that you're home.

Friday, April 18, 2014

This hairy haiku happened:

Gross(iato):
Finishing the last sip of your caramel macchiato,
only to find a small, curly hair in the bottom of your cup

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy National Poetry Month: Week 2!

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."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Women's Work 2014

I've been invited to present my poetry at the eighth annual Women's Work festival on May 11th. Stay tuned for more details!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Happy National Poetry Month: Week 1!

During the month of April, I will be posting a poetry-related poem every Monday, 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, April 06, 2014

Thank You

Thanks to all of you who attended my Bathroom Poems performance this afternoon.  Special thanks to Debbie, the Hardins, the Harrelsons, Joan, Karen, Lyn, Randy and Rebecca for your support!  A VERY special THANK YOU to Jessica and Howlin' Books for hosting the event, as well as Rebecca of B's Bakes & Cakes for the fantastic brownies and Randy Foster for opening the event with his very own "poo brew" poetry!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Prepare to howl with laughter

Sunday's Bathroom Poems reading and book signing event was previewed in this week's Examiner Arts & Entertainment piece.  Make plans to join us at Howlin' Books Sunday afternoon for a stinkin' good time!   

Sunday, March 30, 2014

You are invited!

WHAT:
Join me and special guest Randy Foster for our next poetry reading and book signing!  Randy will be opening the event with his humorous musings about "Civet Coffee" -- a piece that appears in our co-authored poetry chapbook, Sugar and Spice and Nothing That's Nice, and I will be reading from and signing copies of my new chapbook, Bathroom Poems.  Copies of Sugar and Spice and Nothing That's Nice will be available for purchase, as well.

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

WHEN:
Sunday, Apr. 6, from 2 to 3 p.m.

WHERE:
Howlin' Books
1702 8th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN  37203

Howlin' Books is located and operated in conjunction with Grimey's Too (new and preloved music) and features a Frothy Monkey coffee bar on site.  After the reading, feel free to browse for records or grab a beverage!

We promise it will be a moving experience -- full of wisecracks and flushable fun.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bathroom Poems Performance Booked

I am thrilled to announce that my next Bathroom Poems performance has been scheduled for Apr. 6 at Howlin' Books.  The reading will be opened by the dry and humorous musings of my friend and fellow poet Randy Foster, who will present "Civet Coffee" -- a piece that appears in our 2011 poetry chapbook, Sugar and Spice and Nothing That's Nice.  Stay tuned for more details!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Letter to the Predator

My latest piece for The Space Between arts blog is up, featuring my poem "A Letter to the Predator."  Take a look!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Foul Danglage

There's nothing like
being trapped in a public bathroom,
forced to inhale someone else's
pre-fecal farts and foul finale.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Days Like These

It's taken me 16 years
to play this record again.
I didn't dare
to play it before
because I was afraid
of how much
it might hurt.

I selected it --
like a curator --
18 years ago
in the dark
on an adrenaline high.
I dashed out of
my roommate's room
and quickly -- but thoughtfully --
handpicked the album.
You were waiting for me
in the recently vacated room
and I wanted to be prepared
for what I hoped might happen --
what did happen,
thanks to Robert Deeble --
that and the months of
heavy make-out sessions
that led up to that day.
I was so high
on endorphins and young love
that night
that I didn't even care
that my body was
temporarily dyed blue
by my roommate's
deflowered futon.

Today, I play
the disc without pain,
thankfully; surprisingly --
except for the ache
that resides deep
in the corner closet
of my heart
that wonders what
may have happened --
and how different my life
might have been --
had we been allowed
to fully fall in love.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

One Shot

Sometimes it takes
funerals and surgeries
to remind us
that we are not simply
co-workers and clients,
bosses and hires,
employees and employers,
customers and providers.
We are not corporate machines,
lifeless clones or drones
devoid of hearts and hopes and homes.
We are
sons and daughters,
sisters and brothers,
mothers and fathers,
husbands and wives,
partners and friends,
guardians and grandparents.
We are humans
each with one shot
at this brief
and precious life.

Monday, February 24, 2014

(not exactly appetizing)

not exactly appetizing:
spoiled leftovers
on high in the microwave

Friday, February 14, 2014

How My Sister Discovered That I Was in Love with Her Best Friend

"You would NEVER
do that for me," she said
in a huff, half shocked;
half outraged after learning
that I had treated J.J.'s
soup bowl like an underwater
hunting expedition --
navigating around the
diced carrots and potatoes,
green bean cuts, petite
peas, navy beans and
conchiglie to fish out
the kidney beans
that J.J. despised
so much. I shrugged
my shoulders, smiled
and stared at the floor
for a few seconds until
J.J. changed the subject,
wondering if we would
see snow that night.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

(first love)

first love --
hard to forget
difficult to remember

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chem Lesson

I smooth my palm into
the dip between your
rib and hip bone
on the side facing
the ceiling. The tip top
of your big tip toe
makes my index finger
smile. The two interact,
as if old friends meeting
for the first time. Sometimes
there’s a connection
that happens between
body and soul, like
DNA at work or
the saving chemicals
that form antibiotic.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snow Garden

Our yard was a garden
of snow and our father
was the gardener. He
made snow forts and
an obstacle course of
sorts for my sisters and
me in the front yard one
winter. It was an exciting
adventure, and a little
bit scary, but I felt safe
knowing that Dad was
guiding the sled and
guarding the fort. I still
remember his laugh
that day as we squealed
with delight, holding tight
to the orange, plastic sled.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

One Fine Day

Note: I wrote this on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last year -- a triply historic holiday.

On MLK Day,
inauguration day,
on the day
that a gay
Cuban-American poet
read a poem
to America,
I am moved
to tears
in the sunlight
of my study,
thankful
for the sunshine,
my books, and
the partner
our dog, cat and I
await, who will
join us after work
on this fine day.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

(Neighborly birds)

Neighborly birds
congregating atop the
Neighborhood Market sign

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

(I’m too sad to take)

I'm too sad to take
the Christmas tree down; it looks
too sad to leave up.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

(last glass of eggnog)

last glass of eggnog
on the last day of the year
last sips; last seconds