Verbiage

I am working very hard at my writing.
my verbs are sweating and begging for mercy.
My adjectives are colorful but exhausted
Every once in a while an adverb
will appear quickly, panting hard,
and then ruefully disappear . Continue reading

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Nora Says

[Note: This is a short essay about her granddaughter’s language acquisition, followed by a poem that may or may not have been complete. I think it’s still good enough to share, but then again, I’m biased.]

Nora says, “Nora crying.”  This narration comes as I am  holding her and trying to comfort her after a little tumble. It may seem insincere for her to take time out from Continue reading

Poor Housekeeping

She heard him coming up the stairs, fast, as she climbed, her heart beating in her throat.  He stumbled, cursed, and reached up for her ankle.  He was only a hair’s breadth from touching her.  She made it up the final two steps and swung around through the doorway to their room.  In only 3 more steps, he would reach that same door.  She threw the door shut, her hand already grappling for the bolt that would buy her a little time to get out of the window onto the porch roof.  From there she could scream and be heard by her neighbor and the police would arrive quickly from the station down the street. Continue reading

Billy Collins and I in Paris

He leans over Ponte Tournelle searching the Seine
for inspiration.  His balding head reflects the sun
as it begins to set behind some gold-leaf dome or other.
And I am a tourist, too, but enthralled now,
not by Notre Dame on my right, but by this miracle of gender:
a man who loves women the way they want to be loved,
a man whose poetry comes right from my heart,
who tickles my mind with his words, who has rescued the phrase
“English major” from infamy. Continue reading

I Told You the Secret of Life

I told you the secret of life.
I said, “Here is the secret of life.
The following is the secret of life.
What I am about to say at the end of this sentence is the secret of life.”
And then I told you.
And you weren’t paying attention?
You were talking amongst yourselves?
You got up to go to the bathroom and missed it?
You dozed off for a minute? Continue reading

My Funeral

I want a closed casket.  I probably won’t look very good dead, my jowls stuffed with too much cotton to keep them from sagging, my skin too perfectly made up, my eyebrows drawn on in a way that would have embarrassed me.  Not to mention my body in that black dress.  I normally look good in black, but really… gravity is not my friend when I am lying down.
Continue reading