Monday, February 24, 2014

Coming Home

I have lived in many rooms in many houses in many places, but I have only had a few homes - places where the heart feels open, art pours out, and life unfolds in a comfortable, enjoyable way. My parents' house, my childhood home, is one of those places. Mom knows how to bring memories and possibilities into the same room, intertwining both with beauty. She has the sharpest eye for home décor I've ever seen, and has the rare gift of turning her vision into reality.

Here's a little collage poem inspired by that:

Coming Home

Return to familiar turf:
the way things feel to the touch,
vacant reveries,
the best musings in the land:

You belong here.


Happy birthday, Mamabear!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

That Tune

“I know that tune…”

I play time
like a flute –
by adjusting the tensions,
the wrinkles and valleys and
deaths and dementias,
by tweaking my tongue,
and wīnding my fingers
the whisps of the world
and tremble
and weave
into waves
of wandering awe.

I can bring you back.

I believe.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Carbonite Compressions

My life is a compressed can of whoop-ass: I reel among graduate class readings and papers, teaching, student government, conferences, writing my dissertation, preparing for prelims, pets, partner, and family. Some things fall by the wayside, like cleaning, friends, and reading and writing for fun. I don’t write much that isn’t research-based these days.

So what you see here, on this blog, are the remnants of the last few years – the bulk of what little me-time I justified taking. This isn’t my core, it isn’t all the important stuff, but it is what lets me keep chugging along. It gives me enough peace to focus on academia.

With any luck, a year from now I will have less to juggle. I will have three little letters after my name. I will be on the job market. Life will be better. I will be better.

Something’s been nagging at me, though.

One of my graduate friends once told his advisor that he was looking forward to starting his career and his life. His advisor leaned back and cut straight to the point: “You’ve already started your career and this is your life.”

I guess this blog is a small step toward reclaiming a part of myself that’s been sealed away for far too long.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

(image by Seung Mo Park, found at

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Searching for...

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” – Margaret Shepard

This must be the passage of fabled lands.
Every artifact is evidence of
haunted landscapes we touch to capture,
but there’s nothing we take
that will forget time.

We are places of remembrance, keepers of the myth.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


In the rain,
concrete rivers

where they’ve been
where they go, the
holographs, the
puffs of breath,
splash of boot,
squeal of cold.

Iron currents

All your eyes
my dagger


Friday, February 14, 2014

The Rope Bridge: A Lovers' Poem

(poem inspired by this image of Sapa, Vietnam bridge found on Pinterest)

My Beloved,

the rippled calluses on
my feet trek
the grains of this plank,
rove - up, over, a full moon-month
and on to the next.
The creaking is a
lullaby, a whispered kiss,
a moment caught.

Each familiar

When the fog rolls back,
you stretch behind me,
stretch before me.
Your breath regards me,
mingles, melts through
the draught.

Below us, white waters
buck, rage, race,
golden, crowns of sunlight
come and gone.

My Beloved,
you stretch
between the rocky clefts,
befores and afters -
the spirals of history,
the Scyllas, Charybdes,
binary basilicas.
From this line between
the swirling sky,
I am rooted.

-for Ian, my love

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Cracks in This Fine Social Scene

Darkness hides
Sleep the fluttering wings of
circling bees.
A futile journey, so
you rise and walk
to make water
and boil it.

This, the motherland
the fatherland
the wooden floors
the plaster walls
the stuff that shifts around
like shadows.

There are cracks.
You can feel them as you trudge
from room to room.
But when the light comes up,
they are nowhere.

You smile at me
as we share a cup of coffee,
black, burning
my tongue,
but you drink anyway
and keep

The drive to work
is littered
with errs.

Holstering the scales
of justice,
kept cocked in your head,
every step is weighed,
and every breath.

The dark-bowelled verbs


[Playing with Dylan Thomas’ “dark-vowelled birds,” this phrase popped into my head: “dark-bowelled verbs” and I immediately thought of those things we do that darken the world: conform, hate, and judge. We give ourselves up to the whims of the world unquestioningly. But there’s another layer to my poem: You and I are the same, we are both the judge and the witness, but until we become one in our thoughts, how can we change?
Also, the title of this post is taken from the Zero7 song.]

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Little Ghosts in Windows

Remnants of them collect,
dust shards on spider webs,
Little words, face crinkles, depthless iris planes.
What ghosts wrap their
mystic kisses in my fate?
I hate these little deaths,
regress into the lesser being,
feral child. Dagger eyes
alone are sharp
‘midst shreds of ruined grace.
I covered her face
with funeral flowers
that followed the sun.
The little ghosts tagged after.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Tea Party

What time has come
upon this place
that calls for champions
to fall from grace
and delve into the

Alleys, gutters, metal bins:
these are our labyrinths.

My hope is pinned
upon your chest,
my breath is neon
carving space
through chiaroscuro

You’re dressed in white;
I’m draped in black.

Your arm in mine,
the good, the bad –
a swirl, a twirl, a bend…

A dip, a nod across a room
a dainty sip,
a cuppa.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sage and Honey

I heard her voice
like sage and honey
so powerful it wakes my
dark metabolism.

I am the moon's child.

I know the power of
Creation lies
in discovery
and transformation.

I know how to cast a spell:
it's about reading the tea leaves
and seeing a state of wonder.

It's time.

I will watch
the moon rise
and I will
never be
the same.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sheep and Rain

I dream of the gorse
and the tufted cloud-
the wobbly young
to the ground.
but the sky is
a mother,
who gathers her own
and the rain rolls down.

(my photos and poem, inspired by several Northern Welsh adventures)

Friday, February 7, 2014

David and Goliath

"Clever Ways"

Caged by hills,
from mountains
a reproduction of something
that already existed.

How to engage David to Goliath?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Do More, Be More.

Like oil-slicked gears, we are urged to do more, create more, buy more, work more efficiently, work faster, more like machines...

And like synthetic organs, machines are tweaked to be more, to be more resilient, more encompassing, more user friendly, intelligent and flexible, more like man.

We are all of us caught in the storm.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Collage Poems

Tactility –

the malleability of words
and the mindless
crafting of them, snipped
from pages
and stitched
in a brand new way.

“collage poems”

[yes, the title’s last. A braver writer would add, “Fuck off” or “So what?” I simply let the sparkle come into my eye and the words “poetic license” slip through my mind.]