Vision Board

Sunday, June 29, 2014

(a collaboration with Todd Colby)

I can't feel my fingers when the water gets cold, I'm soaking in it. As instructive as a grackle looking peeved on the sidewalk, by which I mean a starling, is how I feel on my better days. But there's also that pesky hum under my feet, encroaching upon my days in such a manner that I feel "not here." The kind of person who sounds better before they open their mouth is not the kind of person I am. Quite the contrary. I'm the most well-spoken person at all the Hollywood parties I'm never invited to attend. Meanwhile, I'm fashioning you a necklace. This stone stands for patience & this gold chain makes a sound like a bird if you twirl it above your head. There's no mistaking you or your kindness. There's a palliative whirr to it, like the leaves all alive in June or a cat falling asleep across your throat.

Banana Boats

Thursday, June 26, 2014

(collaboration with Todd Colby) 

We always knew you'd wind up the captain of a slew of banana boats.  Perhaps it was the captain's hat and the perfectly pressed slacks you were born wearing. We always knew we could count on you to navigate through rough waters or through that gelatinous mass you called "home." There were days we thought you'd never come back, and there were days.  The kind that make you feel like you've been put through a meat grinder, so that you just say, "That was a day." Your tiny captain's hat was always a point of reference for us. It soothed the nerves just to look over and see you checking your compass, polishing your brass bell, & seeming to mean more with each gesture than humanly possible. We hope you set aside some of your profits to pay your quarterly taxes. We rely on you to be the responsible one, as an anchor or as ballast for our days. Even watching you in your high chair arranging bananas into boats, we knew you'd save us, and perhaps, one day, even accompany us through the Straight of Gibraltar, over the Panama Canal, and perhaps even into the Red Hook Harbor where we'd celebrate your seemingly confident captain's demeanor by peeling the bananas you so bravely delivered to the city of our belongings. Ahoy, Cap'n!  Thanks for dropping by and delineating the factors that are relevant to your joy.

What Is a Domicile

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

My new book of poems from Noctuary Press, What Is a Domicile, is now available from Small Press Distribution. Below is a sample poem from the book.  (This poem originally appeared in South Dakota Review.)  

Also, I will be reading at Word Books in Brooklyn on Thursday June 19th with Leah Umansky, Elvis Alves, and Lisa Marie Basile.  I'd love to see you there.

On the Delicate and Non-Delicate Movements of Weather and Time

At 2 a.m. the humidifier sounds like crickets and then I know I should move to the country.  

I let my large gray yoga ball sit on my reading chair, even though in times past that would have meant something ominous if I woke up wrong.  But I know I’m undergoing a transformation because, when they do show up, the ghosts in this room keep me company now.  One will hang around all matter of fact and affable, like a wise old dog, before leaving again, and then I’ll just go back to sleep. 

My boyfriend tucks me in for the second time and tries to sneak away to do more work.  “Goodnight,” I say, then hold up my arm and make a beak.  Then I say, “Remember shadow animals on the wall?”  He laughs and turns to go.  He knows I’m always trying to start conversations about shadow animals when people are trying to say goodnight. 

What do you expect?  One lifetime is very short, but it’s hard to realize when it’s happening.  Except sometimes it’s easy to realize.  Sometimes you’re almost a year later in a room in Brooklyn waiting for a blizzard, when just a second ago you were almost a year earlier in a different room in Vermont sitting on a bed with a Vanity Fair, a pregnancy test, and an empty bag of M&Ms you don’t remember eating.  

My friend tells me there’s a word for this made up by a theorist.  She can’t remember the theorist’s name or the word.  My friend is very intelligent, but we like to half-remember things when we talk.  It’s just what we do.    

Physics calls it “everything happens at once and all the edges touch.”  I believe I read that somewhere or heard it on PBS and didn’t just see it in a movie.  

I will be the theorist and I will call it effleurage, which actually means “a delicate stroking motion.”  In my theory, it means that and it also means “the mind and body’s flagrant disregard for notions of the consistent forward movement of time.”  A delicate and non-delicate motion. 

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