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


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 --
Then I get
lost in thought
about them --
why they're done,
how often
and by whom --
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
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:

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
for a
in my mouth
---- moving
on to the next one, like
of creme brulee

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!