Cosmology, for Open Link Night





The saltshaker disagrees 
with the notion that there is
anything beyond the tabletop,
any substance more important

than salt. It breathes the sharp air
inside its belly. It sighs in the
humidity; two grains of white rice
rattle in the depths, helping its

thoughts flow more clearly.
This heat. In this heat, who would
begrudge it two grains of rice?
The saltshaker pretends they are

salt, too—though oblong, not
crystalline. It is the only way to
hold a world together sometimes,
this pretending. These breaths.



For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.


Sad News Re: My Pinkie Ring

You might recall that I wrote about a comically large-stoned pinkie ring I got for my 10th anniversary at work (or workiversary, as I like to call these events). Well, as of Friday, it’s missing! I noticed it was gone while waiting for my train that evening. Did it slide off my finger, onto the sidewalk between work and train station? If so, wouldn’t I have heard the resounding thunk?

I can tell you where it’s not, and that’s: a) on my desk or b) in any of my usual spots at home. (I have a tendency to take my jewelry off a lot — especially this summer, when it’s so hot that my fingers are like Vienna sausages by the end of the day.)

I put out an APB over the intranet at work, and will continue searching in strange locations. I once found some beloved, lost earrings in the base of a candlestick on the mantel … so there is hope. I guess. I’m pretty sure I had it on at work … and then didn’t.

If someone else picked it up, I hope they have some summer fun with it. Maybe it will be part of some great adventures?

Cross your pinkies for me, friends …


Thumper, for Open Link Night


Hum hum hum like the
grinding of a mechanical
cicada; he is a machine
designed to bite my
husband’s leg, a sign
of affection, a tremendous
cross-species urge that
drives him around ankles,
between feet, hop hop
hop, pause to lick, then
to bite. What can be done
when the rabbit purrs,
bunches himself into
a moving picture of
desire, a heartfelt
connection meeting
at the teeth?



For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.


Back Porch, for Open Link Night

Back Porch

In this place of breezes
and naps, the spot where
birds begin, nothing can be
wrong, not when power
scampers harmlessly
through the line

and the cardinal
sharps out his message
about finding food,
protecting children.

His song pervades
everything; all the
leaves turn over
once, twice,

as our beach towels
flap where we draped
them, out here where
the phone doesn’t ring.



For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.


And Then Some Days, You Write 6 of Them

… and they all just suck (to put it frankly). What is going on? Did I jinx it by saying things were going well? And … will the magic ever return??? What if I wrote my last good poem ever, a couple of days ago? (Do these questions sound familiar to you, fellow poets?)

Or maybe this is just a Sunday night in July, and I am temporarily unable to see past some other things that are going on — like my son’s impending 4th birthday. Not that he’s to blame … but I do find I am often boggled by special occasions, financial obligations, and other “chatter” in my daily life.

Also, I had a Peep-roasting incident tonight … yes, in July. There were two left, so I fired up the gas range, and then I grabbed them to pull them off the skewer. Melted marshmallow tends to fuse onto skin pretty tightly — as I learned around Easter and relearned tonight.

On the plus side, a burned thumb (it immediately made a blister, and now there are some purple places as well) is a handy excuse for what I hope is temporary writer’s block. Perhaps I’m just distracted by the pain … and my own stupidity.

But wait — the first three lackluster poems were written before this incident. So much for that excuse. The upshot is that I’m just not feeling it today but hope to feel it again tomorrow … and will choose a less hazardous dessert next time.



Another Big Month

Last month was mostly about editing, and about entering two chapbook contests. Honestly, I didn’t write any new poems other than the ones I posted here and linked to for Open Link Night at dVerse. (And thank goodness for that weekly project — it really helps keep me from entirely checking out of the writing process during relatively fallow periods … or times when editing and submitting have moved to the center of the plate.)

When I made that deal with myself — that I didn’t have to push too hard and write a lot of poems in June — it was with the understanding that I would “really turn it on” again in July. This, I remembered on the night of June 30 — and immediately had a brief, silent freakout over it.

But guess what? I’m happily back to work, writing three poems a day. Not all of those have given me the feeling that is always my signal that things have clicked and that a poem bears follow-up attention, but some of them have. I have played around with different daily assignments for myself in the past during heavy writing phases, and I think it takes three poems a day to ensure that I get one really good one.

It is always so reassuring when I come back from almost a full stop and find that I do, indeed, feel like I still know how to do this. Isn’t this any artist’s greatest fear — that you’ll stop and never be able to get started again?

What about you? Does your process have wildly different phases like mine does (now, I’m editing — boom, a wall comes down — now I’m writing), or do you steadily produce new work no matter what else you’re doing? 

And what’s your greatest writing fear? Have you found ways to challenge it, or does it still keep you up at night? 


If you Google “Solitary Breeze,” for Open Link Night

If you Google “solitary breeze”

Bees, that is. I meant bees;
the breeze is never lonely,
how it cuddles your ear,
whispers into it, something

about flowers, pollen,
the baskets on your legs,
you. You, who live in a
nest by yourself,

no need to make honey,
just nectar in your veins.
Sun shines through your
wings; you are the sun,

the only one,
the only song
you know.


For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. Also, I got my contributor’s copy of Cider Press Review today! It’s their last print issue, and I really like how my poem pairs with the one on the page next to it.