Monday, June 25, 2012


homogenous is
being consistently good,
even when it hurts.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chai Tea

my best friend asked me out to coffee

and I decided to try the Chai tea

it was supposed to taste like pumpkin spice

and make me warm and happy inside

as much as I like to try something different

this didn’t settle well with me

to take this vulnerable moment to tell me something

so horrible instead

oh yes, tea to soften me up

to make me comfortable and secure as the

truth comes out like black, burnt poison

into my cup. I have to sit politely and hold it

because we’re in public and its not proper to

lunge across the table and strangle or stab

your lunch partner to death on a Saturday afternoon

so I swallow the news, and set down my drink

vowing never again to enjoy Chai tea

vowing never again to enjoy best friends that

construct a trap with coffee houses

my husband asked me out to coffee

and I decided to take it black

it was supposed to taste like bitter grounds

and it was at least as gritty as advertised

Halloween 1976

colonial brick streets

pave the way

to the wanderings

of the sugar zombies

pillaging every home for blocks

with the whitest sharpened hungry teeth

empty gum wrappers

fill the porches

pillow cases hunt

like empty pints in berry season

screen doors open through the darkness

Mrs. Blubaugh gives out nickels

hand-stitched hats

and hidden mittens

bats are flying

leaves are falling

Jamie Porter egged the alley

haunted hayrides in the square

go to grandma's

after looting

count the candy

dance about

have a special popcorn ball

twice the size of both your fists

The Dickensons

set the timer for thirty minutes

in the back of a frozen Chevrolet

rotate round Ohio hills

to Don and Betty’s Thanksgiving dinner

we knew we’d get to play pool if

we waited for the adults to finish

and after food and football

all the cousins could slip out for an

underaged smoke disguised as

wandering around in the woods

this is where girls could be honest

away from the parents and brothers

and find friendship and comfort

a few simple times each year

while everyone else was on the couch

snoring in a heap of cherry cobbler and mashed potatoes

my favorite part was hearing my father call

"GooBLEgoBBleGObblEgobblE" to bring us in

and then we’d get a plate or two to take home

which never really happened, as thirty minutes

is plenty of time to eat a hot plate of stuffing


pale to the bone

pale eggshells walking

to select you

my teacup

frail and frozen to be the chosen one

delicate blue suits

flowered corsage upon my wrist

scrolling silver patterns

gold rims shining

and handles ornate and plain

sitting along the wall

like a junior high dance


to be my lucky date for today's tea

orange and black and green

to drink and think

and be at peace

which one of you will I take with me?

pale to select the cup

that warms my hand and leads the dance

and finds a beautiful romance in

sipping mint and steeping leaves

gold watch clicking

silver sideburns peek

at how long it takes to be the chosen one

wanting for you to be everything

in this moment of honey and grace

it isn’t right that I expect so much


there is a saddened kind of shame

a name that’s cruel and thus demeans,

elementary obscene

a child can not reach deep enough

it started when I read outside

my third grade level reading group

and followed to my brownie troop

then fearful fighting, flight to home

and in defense I’d use my gift

to make up names and write mean songs

I’d teach the boys to sing along

and charge their chocolate milk money

with my moustache a poor disguise

with puffy, rubbing, teary eyes

I made myself apologize

though only choking squeaks were heard

Nicoleslaw Dickhead was my name

a name that’s cruel and thus demeans,

slimy side-dish shit for brains

a child can not reach deep enough


running home to catch

the last fifteen minutes of

after school cartoons,

so passionate in my belief

they were my happiness.

so quick to throw down

books and coats and mittens

to freeze in front of

the TV,

controlled by pliers and aluminum,

standing on a cardboard box

sitting in the hallway.

laying in my beanbag chair

to vegetate- I sit

slack-jawed in front of

trusted friends.

I silently cheered

for the brainy side-kick

who I knew was

most like me.