Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Random Access Memories

I wrote a poem years ago, about a dead boy whose bones are found by a dog on some gloomy fall day. It's an image that still stays with me, that hound dog nosing at a ribcage, the dead boy happy to see a dog again.

Some things stay with us all through the years, and I don't know why. Sometimes, in the moment, I think, will this be one of those moments? It can be the most mundane thing, a wet sidewalk I've walked a thousand times, and years later I can see that patch of cement as if I was standing over it right then. The pockmarks and leaves stuck to it, an earthworm writhing sightlessly.

If I had a way to control it, would I? Which moments would I choose to recall with perfect clarity? I remember my feet out of my Keds, on top of them, squishing them down as I stood by a lake. But I can't recall the last name of the guy who was with there with me, or what he wore or smelled like. Why wouldn't I want to remember that?

A patch of corn by the side of a trail in a state forest, with two crabapple trees at one end, and yellowing grass as high as my waist in between them. It was strange to see that corn and the apple trees, and I realized the forest management people had planted it there for deer. I don't remember anything else of that hike, but close my eyes and I can be back on the trail, looking at that corn. I could almost reach out and touch a stalk.

That small cornfield was, oh, twenty-five years ago.

I worry that I will get Alzheimer's, like my grandfather. All my other grandparents were lucid until the end. But I have one grandfather who got Alzheimer's and couldn't remember hardly anything, or anyone. And no little bit of fear shadows me, that I will get it, too. I hope that if I do, these weird, bright moments are the ones that will stay. Maybe my brain knows what's coming down the tracks, and it's been snatching moments at random throughout my life, so that when I start to lose the memories of all my dogs, when I can't remember my sister's name, I'll remember that patch of corn, brown and yellow in an October long past. I'll think of dead boys with a smile, and not know if I made him up or if it really happened. Maybe I'll marvel at things I did long before, glad I did them, without knowing the consequences of them--I'll be young and barefoot beside a lake, the sunlight glinting through tall reeds a few feet away, and I won't remember at all that it was the last time we had sex, both of us a little desperate to recapture something that wasn't so much diminished as completely cold ash.

Maybe I won't remember the mistakes or the lessons learned, but those bright moments when I was alive. I think that's good. Those are better to remember, the beauty I witnessed, the air I breathed.

Wish me luck.

PS Yes, I totally stole the title from Daft Punk. Hopefully I remember that whole album, too!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

School Salad

I've only just heard of the Waldorf School, and if you've got a kid and loads of money, you probably already know about it. If you're rich and have a kid, your education choices are Montessori, private (day and boarding), and Waldorf. If there's another one for rich parents to send their kids to, I haven't heard of yet, having never had more money than Jeff Bezos leaves for a tip at lunch at a fancy bistro (I assume he tips; even the Devil tips, he assures me, so Bezos probably does too) (god, am I going to have to quit my Amazon habit someday? not right now, please, not yet) and also, never having had kids.

Today a toddler spoke to me several times in the library while I worked. They asked for paints and a paintboard first (a paintboard? canvas, I assume), then Legos, then to play with them on the color and shapes toy, then to help them move the giant checkers around. At all times I was seriously invested in these exchanges, which I showed by continually telling them they were doing a "Great job!" and "Look at you! Wow!" So there you go. Not even the cool Auntie. Just a nerd in the library thinking about the coffee she left upstairs which is now probably cold. Also, the kid's mom came over and I said, "I think she wants paints, but we don't have paints," to which I received a dirty look, and I felt bad about not having paints for toddlers, but belatedly I realized the kid was in a blue shirt and grey pants and black sneakers, so is probably a boy, and I wanted to go up to her and say, "Oh hey, I use she/her pronouns for everybody because The Imperial Radch Trilogy." I'm sure that would've got me an even dirtier look, because then I would've been just a crazy person, right? Like, maybe I don't even work at the library. Maybe I just walk around spouting gender-nonconformity stuff randomly, and what all this really means is: Example 2,185,467 of why I can't be trusted to interact with other humans in a way that doesn't make them back away slowly.

I don't, by the way. Use she/her for everybody. Official RS policy is: Whatever pronoun you want, babe. Let me know, and I will use it.

I wish the Waldorf school and the rest of these high price schools had been available to lower-middle-class RS as a child. I've often thought about how my life could have been different if I'd started out differently, with a different education. Don't get me wrong, I did well in school. National Honor Society, Gifted (I think they don't do that anymore? which is sad because I enjoyed the outlet and hanging out with other weirdos), that kind of thing. But I always wished for more art, more going at my own pace, more self-directed stuff.

There's an $80 recorder that those Waldorf parents have to buy. Like, in first grade. In first grade, my mom took us to the Salvation Army and made us help her look through the tables piled high with kids' gloves, to find matching pairs. My bell-bottom corduroys were floods. Why I continued to beg for a horse every single year for birthday and Christmas is beyond me; how blithely indifferent I was to our financial circumstances. Although, I honestly did think it would just eat grass, so it could've been less expensive than the dog.

Maybe if I had a time machine, I'd go back and send myself to one of those fancy schools. There's a lot of mistakes I've made, some regrets, but those might have been avoided if I'd had a different education. Am I saying I still would've slept with four guys at the same Olive Garden when I was 23 if I'd just had a Montessori background? Maybe it would've been six and one girl, and they would all have been at the same Textile Artists' Retreat in upstate New York, and I could've accomplished it all in one summer. That's a remarkable difference, and it deserves to be explored further.

Give your kids art if they want it. And for fucks sake, rich people, let poor kids go to the same school as your own. Make it available. Please.

Thursday, October 24, 2019


Cold crumbs of humiliation fill my socks
An itch from heel to ankle, between guilty toes,
Creeps up my calves. Jeans and thermals, armor
Against the shame. Bind me with toasted seeds and
Roast the delicate arch of a left foot gone wrong
My mouth is gaping, I’m koi, tightly spinning circles in a pond
The size of a manhole cover, choking on air
It all scratches too much.
“Oh yes, I saw it yesterday and was going to ask—“
Done, already. How mighty are you? Socks sagging with crumbs, spill over
I crunch on self-pity, roll my shoulder in dust made
From a thousand-thousand crumbs
And still the tip of my tongue wants to lift each one,
Withdraw, retreat, eat, swallow

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


I am not a conversationalist
It’s been one long lie
Both here and outside my ribcage

At a special witching hour, I can pluck and jitter
Until I’m blue in the face
Which you’d recognize
If you looked from underneath your own bones
Once in a while.

How darling it is, how pervasive
The thought of myself as perched on
Your arm
Top of a sofa, feet on the cushions
Scarred butcher block of a kitchen counter
Where thyme and orange peels were chopped
And made into syrup
Leaving stains in the wood
For no one to notice but me, eyes down
Searching for the next line in my throat
Ready to shout
Hoping shards of bone, the pointed ends of ribs
Will stop stinging my lungs
After this custom cocktail confection:
An Old Fashioned for the unfashioned.

I’m not your conversationalist, I’m not
Your friends’ friend
I’m not even mine.
It’s been the longest lie, and I can’t put it on the block now
Some things stain without ever having been cut.
Drink this.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


101 Fiction is at it again, and I've got two pieces of micro-fic:



The theme this time around was "unicorns." Not a single fluffy, pure and innocent creature in the lot, can you believe it? The theme did bring me back to my childhood, when the best time of the school year was the Scholastic Book Festival, held in our little basement cafeteria (I went to a very small elementary school), which was also where the PTA held meetings. I loved the little bookshelves and stacks of books, and my mom was always great about letting me pick a bunch. She also brought us to the library every week, and read a boatload of romance novels herself. Tote bags full. At any rate, my favorite were the Stephen Cosgrove books. Remember those?

I loved Serendipity and Flutterby and oh my gosh, Morgan and Me! I had all of them, I think. 

At any rate, the unicorns I wrote about it weren't pure and virtuous, either. Adulthood, bleh! 

Happy day, everyone!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

In the Valley of the Devils, a Deviant Art Daily Deviation!

Completely chuffed to find my werewolf short, In the Valley of the Devils, is a featured Lit Daily Deviation for today on Deviant Art. This joins my other three DDs, including An October Birth, which you may enjoy if you like horror.

It's kind of funny that this happened today, as I was just sitting down to rework a story I started a few months ago, a space werewolves in Walt Disney World short. LOL, yes. Because, Why not? And also because I love all those things: WDW, space, and werewolves. So we'll see how that turns out. I have this idea for a series of interrelated books and short stories, all set in WDW but involving crazy stuff. For instance, each book would be set in a particular resort, and maybe aliens are living under the bridge at the Carribbean Beach Resort. Etc etc etc--cue wide-eyed skepticism and people backing slowly away :) I have most of the first book written, but it's a hot mess. I can say that it takes place at Fort Wilderness, and involves the Illuminati, or more precisely, the Disney Illuminati.

Make of that what you will. X-Files in WDW? YES PLEASE, I say.

Anyway, moving on, I just started a new job yesterday, working at my public library as a page! Yes! To say it's a whole new world for me would be an understatement. I'm slightly overwhelmed, but I'll sure I'll manage. It's exciting and nerve-wracking, both.

I hope everyone is having a good day, or has a good book in which to lose themselves if it's not :)


Friday, June 16, 2017


Summer's here, and so is another beautiful issue of 101 Fiction. "Demons" was the theme this time around. 

A little girl's tea party: Tea

And a bit of revenge on the devil: Veiled

The Devil and his demons fascinate me. 

Yeah, I'm a huge "Lucifer" fan, too :) A total guilty pleasure. Every episode, my partner says it's "jumped the shark," and I'm like, Nope! Not yet! My favorite character is Maze, of course, but I *adore* Trixie! I can't wait for Trixie to grow up and be a badass, demon-fighting cop.