Friday, December 24, 2010

Love Fast

"I had to squint to find you there,
my eyelashes broken ,
venetian blinds fluttering in the wind...
and then
there you were...
skinny legs and
yesterday's beard,
drenched in sloppy beerfoam spray,
the Ocean's last kiss ...
barefooted and climbing the dunes...
back to me,

the girl in the sandbox."

I stumbled on this tonight.
Remembered the very day I painted it.
The sudden claustophobia
of fat babies and tourists,
week-end surfers,
sun goddesses,
scrunching in closer to me,
running from the tide.

their make~shift fear
of the deep deep waters
tents and towels rolling,

sand buckets and sandwiches floating.

And tonight,
I know,
what it meant all along.

I'm not afraid of the murky water at all,
the knee splashing,
breath taking,
roll me under,
kiss the earth tide....

It's the low tide,
the quiet wave...
the waiting waters that scare me...

The Peace.

I'm afraid
that without
the struggle,
toes scrunched in the sand,
seaweed choking me,
stripping me
down to
skinned knees
breathless last moments,
Peace won't be all I dreamed of.

Then again,
I'm tired of dreaming...

I'm ready to live...
to Love...
And I don't have a lot of time to waste.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Eraser Lips and other secrets

I haven't been hiding. I haven't been busy. Or tired.

I've been learning.

I've been shedding skin. And sunning naked in my new colors.

And I haven't been alone.

I've buried a friend. Kissed 17 years of laughter and mischief, crooked smiles, and secrets good-bye...I've been waiting for her to answer me, to visit, to rock my world...waiting for her to cross over...waiting for the teensy weensy sign that she's OK. That it really rocks over there. I've been listening to a newfound silence. And suddenly, I realize, that not all my friends will be ghosts...they won't all trip me in the kitchen, haunt me in my sleep, follow me into the corner store. Sometimes, they'll just disappear.

And that's OK.

When I go, I'm gonna snatch a knot in her ass.

Because I miss her.

I've been camping out at The Men's Center. Visiting on Sundays. Sending care packages that get rifled through, and edited, and recorded. I've collected quarters. So that on Thanksgiving we could buy a Coke for a dollar twenty five from the vending machine. And share it. We can't touch, but we can share.

I've watched my 5lb 2oz baby boy grow. Into a man. The hard way.

And I've prayed.

I've had an affair. And called it off. And started it all over again. I've confused comfort with Love. And Love with memories. And yesterday with today. I've settled, and rocked the boat, and tumped it over upside down. I've tested it, and driven it, and painted it every color, including wrong. I've feigned happiness, and forgotten that what I was faking didn't make me happy.

And I've learned that to be accepted, sometimes, you have to accept. To welcome open armed the difference. That there will never be the symbiotic sameness that I thought was karmic. That perhaps, in our difference, we can build a bridge...And we can carry each other...

And that, in that very need...

We are the same...

I've fallen. And blown out my tattle~tale arm. My drawing arm. My tell~tell arm. I can't paint colors without an extra set of hands to twirl the paper. I can't buy beer unless someone I know and someone that loves me will tote it to the car and pop it in my fridge. I can't shift gears, zip my jeans, or open the pickle jar.

I'm lucky.

I've learned that:)

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm old now....

And I revel in it...

My skin is saggy, a little loose,
and Mick Jagger and I have a lot in common....

I finally have a beer belly.
A pudge.
A little love handle, or two.
I can still suck it in, but rarely remember to.

I snore.


Or so I'm told.

And I'm my Nana's grandchild.

I can't see to put on make~up, and didn't wear it when I could.
I only date men who are as blind or half again as I am.
And in our blurred up, trailing world, where oak leaves are green smears in the sky, and clouds are marshmellows....
I'm beautiful.

Or so I'm told.

The music comes on and I shimmy.
I swirl.
I twirl.
I pretend I'm a barefooted ballerina making love to the Blues.
I'm 17 again....
and tipsy,
barely balanced on Chris's coffee table.

One day I'll fall off, and break a hip...

Break the magic...

But until then,
I'm old...
Loving it....

I believe in butterflies and beer.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The White Shoes

I hated to do it. To run the Ad. To field the phone calls. To sit one on one in the lobby and listen to list after list of ' I can do this' and ' I can do that' and 'I could even do your job if you hired me'. I hated to say yes and I hated to say no. I hated hiring someone new as much as I hated losing the old.

And when she walked up to the glass door, skinny knees touching, white pumps, scuffed on the toes, and bare legs laced with goose bumps, I groaned. It was 20 years ago, and everyone knew you wore pantyhose on an interview and nobody, no~one but little girls in Sunday school wore white patent leather shoes. And she didn't look like no Sunday School Girl to me.....

She crossed her legs, wrapped them together like skinny snakes buckled at the ankles, and smiled at me. I smiled back. Crooked teeth to crooked teeth.

And I interviewed her. 'Have you ever done this? This? That?' and she answered in color. Elaborate stories, embellished , I knew, with a twist of lime.

Finally, I tossed out the inevitable punch line. "Why do you want this job?"

And when she looked at me, blue eyes tearing, swelling, gobs of fat mascara running and answered me, I knew she was hired.

"I don't. I don't want it all. I need it. "

On her first day, I was late.
I don't remember why.
I forgot to feed my children breakfast and had to stop at McDonalds,
I had to check the coffee pot,
I was running on empty.
I don't remember,
but I do remember her starkly blue eyes, in shock and grimacing at her newfound profession, and her chalky brand new K~mart tennis shoes. She was officially a 'podiatric assistant'.

For a gazillion years, we laughed.

We shared.

We hugged. We hollowed down. We hunkered down. We celebrated, cried, and wrote our names on freshly poured concrete.

"I don't know how to dance' she said. And I watched her teeter in high heels on a dance floor, a newborn grasshopper leaping, learning, stretching....until she was free.

"I can do it" she muttered. Cigarette dangling crosse eyed from her lips, combat boots on her teensy feet, lugging bags of concrete into my backyard....building a haven for a friend.

"Just call me Cinderella" she whispered, cleaning up everyone's mistakes and wiping the soot off her face...

It's been 20 years now. She's seen my naked behinny, held my hand, held me up by the armpits when I couldn't take another step. I've passed her paper bags when she couldn't breathe, two more dollars for a lotto we'd never win, and my hand~me~down clothes because they looked better on her. We've laughed til we choked, and cried til we laughed, we've spent money we never had, and had moments together money couldn't buy. We've birthed babies. And babies that had babies. We've raised hell and a whole lotta children. We've worn a lotta shoes.

And today I pray for peace. For a martini moon. And her eternal smile.

Today I pray for the girl that never ever judged another human being.

Because she knew what it was like to walk in their shoes.

She wore a lotta shoes in her lifetime. Dirty shoes. Ill fitting shoes. Hand me down shoes.

White shoes.

No shoes.

Angels are like that.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I sat indian style,
in tattered cut offs,
dirty bare feet tucked under
opposite ankles,
and I colored in peace...

It was hot
and the rusty ceiling fan rattled
and tattled,
the incessent chirping of yet another thing broken,
hanging on,
hanging in there,
doing it's job.

I smeared colors.
Smudged them,
blobbed them
into irredescent
and muddy puddles,
convinced that when I stopped
an image would appear.

Mother Mary,
a Peace Sign,
anything that meant something...

I dipped the paint brush to my right,
in the stupid plastic Tiki Bar Cup...
and leaned towards the blue...
tainted water dripping on my knee...

and then she
crab crawled,
out from under me...

The Tarantula.

Just give me peace.

And if I have to live with bugs...
send the butterflies
the dragonflies,
the praying mantis....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Gift

I say.
I tell.
I spill,
blab on and on and on.

I don't keep secrets.

My heart chitters, my palms sweat, and I close my eyes if you drive fast
and I'm sure I'm going to die...
And then I laugh with my mouth open when we fly around the corner and


My eyes twitch when you poke me in the eyeballs with the Truth...
and I have to swallow it...
And I make the 'universal choking' sign...
just before
I get it....
and the universal Peace Sign when I understand...

I dance in the dark,
to liquid lyrics
drum beats
and the lazy casual smell
of honeysuckle on a tumbling fence...
not to your
recited words,
aftershave lotion,
or five o'clock shadow.

I cry.
In between commercials.
In the arms of my wayward son growing strong.
On the empty porch buried under colored crayons...

I talk to strangers.
Women with budding baby bumps,
homeless men with shoes I could have walked in,
dead dragonflies.

And I tell you how I feel...

It's real.

If you listened,
it would

Be brave.
Feel the love...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I always wanted to be a good girl scout.
And when I wasn't...
when I wandered off on the way to meetings to stare at the Tinker Man...
scribbled on my sit~upon...
burned the house down on the way out the door to my first camp out...

I gave up.

And then I always wanted to dress up like one for Halloween.

Pretend to be a good Girl Scout...

To be prepared...

I wanted to parade around in my little green dress, and my anklet socks,
earning badges I was proud of,
and melting Smores on an open fire.

I dressed up like hookers, and hippies, and David Bowie....
zombies, and witches, and a Box of Frosted Flakes...
faeries, and cinderellas, and neon bumble bees,
cowboys, and drunks, pregnant football players and butterflies...

I woke up every halloween and pulled a new face out of the chest of drawers, and wrote pretend Frank Kafka novels...
rang random doorbells...
And held out my bag for candy...

I don't have a sweet tooth anymore...

And I don't want to be a Girl Scout anymore...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


I know you're there,
just on the other side,
rattlin' my chains
and tap~tap~tapping on my spirit...

Silly little ghosts,
phantom pains,
wayward boys...

You can't rock my world.

I wake up with lazy legs,
leftovers from dancing to the Black Eyed Peas....
with a new found smile,
courtesy of my latest tumble and another dip into the mayo jar and visit to The Man
with The Big Red Smile for a calling card.
I wake up to the cool hum of air conditioning still purring,
the filter, a cardboard mosaic I made myself,
to the sound of redbirds frolicking in
what used to be bouganvilla..
to the smell of yesterdays coffee,
run twice through,
and all the better because it's still brown...
and this...

irredescent butterfly trapped forever in my kitchen window...

Sometimes even
stray shots
in the night...
Are accidental pretties...
I have to live with it forever...
I hope you can....

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Sometimes you have to...

Chalk everything up to experience....

And run away...

Find Sunshine in places you'd never think to look...

you just have to

Saturday, May 01, 2010

At Sea

I've been wading....
britches pulled up passed my knees,
toes bristling in ice cold water...
the waves
slapping me
straight again...
I'm not drowning yet...
but I've wandered further....
knee high,
neck high,
way over my head...
Sometimes when I look back,
I can't see shore....
don't let me tire of treading water....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Midnight in the kitchen.

The 99 cent bubbles
cascaded one
right after another down the drain,
each one another hopeful contestent for the Miss America Pageant...
savoring her moment of fame,
bottom lip quivering,
then disappearing forever...

Tiny little Hungry Man Dinner carrots
but pretending for a moment to be orange buoys in a silver sea.

I turned the water on harder.
Hot and Cold.
Everything at once.

I splayed my fingertips under the spigot, water splattering, spraying, splashing everywhere.

I cried.

And then I saw them.

The butterfly wings.....

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Peace, Love, and Passion, Please...

I like to drive slow....creep along and daydream, sing really loud, to Primal Scream and Led and Stones, chain smoke until the ashtray looks like a Blooming Onion, and flash two-fingered peace signs at the folks cussing me in silent screams as they zip past me.

I like to ride in fast cars. To pitch my contacts out the window in an act of littering defiance so the highway is a blur. To feel my hair madly tangling with every mile we fly, blonde speghetti in the wind.

I like to dance to make believe music. To dip low, and long, and pretend I'm a ballerina on top of a vinyl jewelry box. To dance in the street barefoot, under full moons and pouring rains and streetlamps sweltering in the heat. I like to dance really, really slow to fast music, and lightening fast to so~slow~it's~a~lulabye~music. I like to be asked to dance. And sometimes I like to say no.

I like to laugh until I cry, choke, cough, spew beer everywhere. Until I can't remember why I'm laughing and have to cross my legs so I don't accidently tinkle. Hell, I like to laugh so much, I don't really care if I wet my pants, send my gum richocheting into your lap, get the hiccups. I just like to laugh.

I like to Love. Hard and fateful. Ridiculously comitted to the moment. Wreckless and silly.

Forever can be a really, really short time...

You gotta make the most of it.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Urban Myths and Mich Lights

She told me dozens of times, the colored yarn twined between her fingers, crochet hook zipping up and down...."How you bring in the New Year is how you spend the year"....fingers flying, eyes down.

I laughed.

Smudged out another cigarette, and told more stories.

She meant it.

I brought it in upside down, sideways, sound asleep. I burned up the old year, sent it ashes to ashes into the wind in the middle of the tiny paved street. I buried it in the back yard, stuffed it in a suitcase and set it out for the garbage man. I danced to Stones. Danced with fossils. Danced by myself. I made resolutions, promises, threats to an empty sky. I cha-chinged it, cheered it, clinked it, feared it. I tried it everyway but right.

And then I put on my cowboy boots and that damned dress I had to have and sashayed it right in through the kitchen door...

Sometimes you've gotta put on your kickers to get that dust off of your petticoat....