Saturday, July 31, 2010

Memories in a Teapot

of sun splashed cafes in Paris,
andouillette sausage in a medieval town
that didn’t match our palette,
we laughed as we rushed out
of town away from the angry
waitress, summer mornings at
the dinette watching the lone fish
circling the tank; he loves company
and then he kills them as we all
so often do with the things we
love.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Language of Love

non-linear and chaotic
laughter at no joke in
particular, wet sidewalks
and secrets.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parlons Francais

we sit across the table from each other
discussing yet again, one might say, arguing,
about cable versus DSL speeds,
the politics of organic foods, how people
can be so dumb or so lazy; the words trip
off our tongues so easily, too easily,
in English;  quand nous parlons en fran├žais,
c’est tellement plus difficile, nous parlons
plus lentement comment c'est bon, notre diner,
ce qu’on aime dans la vie, des amis, la famille, les voyages ;
les mots sont plus faciles..parlons en fran├žais
pour une vie heureuse

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Of Utmost Importance in this Moment

the freedom to write
anything; that of utmost importance
in this moment must be the sweetness
of vanilla ice cream and strawberries
fresh from my garden.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Examining the Garden

Weeds were the
main crop,

she surmised,
scrutinizing the
vegetable garden
after a week
away,
where she had to dress business casual
instead of dungarees and dirty knees.

weeds,
a few tomatoes, a handful of beans,
surrounded by towering flowers, all
the right plants in the wrong places.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One Couple, Two Beds

they used to sleep like two spoons
after a leisurely dinner;
pot roast and mashed potatoes,
apple pie from the local market and
vanilla ice cream, a decaf coffee and
a few episodes of I Love Lucy. 
He put on a few pounds and
developed sleep apnea; she
tried wearing ear plugs and
still hugged him as he struggled
to sleep with that contraption over
his mouth until he finally told her,
oh so lovingly, that he knew she
would sleep better if she slept
in a separate bed so he could
toss and turn and not wake her.
One couple, two beds
together.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Letter to a Waitress working in a Hotel Restaurant

Don't ever forget you have the nicest smile
No matter the others, with their fine clothes,
their fat wallets; no matter that they sleep in
on silk pillowcases, or that framed diplomas
from the best universities hang in their offices
that look out on the grand cityscape while you
look at starched white tableclothes all morning.
It is your smile which brightens the day of
all who are lucky enough to bask
in its glory.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dreaming

dreaming in a alcohol daze
of thirteen dollar hamburgers
ten dollar margaritas and seven
dollar ice creams arranged
on white plates in noisy
restaurants; it’s all ok when your
stomach grumbles and it’s raining,
when you’re lost and the nightclub
signs flash across your retinas.
you finally sit down and the dream
is reality.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hotel Lobby Late at Night

he staggered down the hall,
half leaning on her
high heels clicking on tile floors
just washed by a tired looking Chinese
woman in blue pants and jacket,
no longer clean
she will be back
tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Untitled

(we are tethered together since birth
in spite of the inevitable cutting of the
umbilical cord by which I fed you,
you breathed through my lungs
as you swam inside me and when
you cried out at first at our separation
I promised I would never leave you.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Greek Feast

lamb cumin spice on grill
browned edges, soft sweet inside;
grape leaves jasmine rice
pine nuts the cost of gold,
currants, fresh oregano,
crunchy from oven,
tzatziki cucumber Greek yogurt
a mouthful of rich lusciousness
eyes bright with delight.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Night

a margarita can cool down the hottest night;
this one at one hundred degrees is surely one
of those as we watch girls walk by in high heels
and miniskirts on the sidewalk, heat waves
ripple over their bodies, sweat drips down their
backs leaving behind dark meandering trails.
the ice feels good in our mouths, we lean
back in our chairs to watch the moon rise
on this lovely, hot night.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Words on a Page

it’s 11 p.m.; the screen is blank,
my mind is blank; the fish bang their
heads against the tank wall;
there is nothing of significance in my life
to write about; I wonder if those brown bugs
under my sink are cockroaches; we had those
growing up: I would be horrified if my
house had cockroaches and are there
really mites in my bed or rats in my garden;
how awful to think of these things.
he told me my name was his password;
and my fish, Isabelle, died today so I can’t name
anymore fish Isabelle; now it’s just Arnie the Tank
and Sylvester Stallone Junior; he’s not going
to die with a name like that; and when he gets
in the shower and I have finished my frozen Snickers
bar, I’ll finish this poem.
This is how I write a poem.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Last Hurrah


and so they wandered away from each other
in body only, their words crossing each other
in winds which blow across continents, oceans
and seasons, from such far flung places, in winter and
summer, from mountains, desert, into the
sides of cliffs where houses hang perilously
and no one believes in central heating.

Three of us, located in New Zealand (Karen), Andrea (New Mexico) and me (Colorado) are writing together three times per week.  Each of us provides a prompt one of the three days and all of us write to that prompt.  It's an amazing experience...I highly recommend it as a way to stay close in spirit to those you love.  You can find it at http://thelastmonthatharvard.wordpress.com/.  (It is called that because it started between Andrea and Karen, classmates at Harvard, their last semester.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NaCl

salt,
“when it rains, it pours”,
with iodine or without,
Dead Sea Salt, pink, grey or white,
Morton, Fleur de sel,
a salt shaker nearby transforms
the blandest plate into palatable,
accompanied by a large glass of Cote du Rhone,
a nice sunset, good conversation,
a memorable meal,
the best meal ever.
salt.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Advantages of living Lopsided in a Lopsided House

books stack neatly against each other
without bookends, without having to be part of a full shelf;
it takes less effort to push your boyfriend off the bed
when he’s annoying or should get up to walk the dogs;
shelf space in the kitchen can be fully used;
people find you much more interesting that their
straight friends and your work place cannot fire
you since you’re “different” and protected by law;
you wake up in the morning and the world looks
different somehow and pots of gold slide down
rainbows into your yard.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shopping for Shoes



She was searching for the
perfect shoes, not
black high heels, yellow and
blue sneakers or purple flats,
a pair of sparkling red shoes. She
smiled at me through the shoe rack
and disappeared with a smile on
her face.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Death in the Family

only one was there in the morning
and not even greeting me, his overstuffed
white belly distended, his companion nowhere
to be seen, hidden under a rock, dead as
a doornail, after eating large chunks of
flour tortillas dropped into their tank
in a fruitless attempt to broaden their diet.
and tonight there is only one, Arnie the Tank
swimming listlessly around missing his
dear Isabelle left floating in the toilet
bowl this morning all alone.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fruit Flies Beware!

he wasn’t too sure what to make of
her fascination with YouTube videos,
enraptured by fruit fly rap songs,
women with blue nails assembling
traps made of Evian bottles,
her careful notes and comparisons,
going so far as to empty out bottles
of coke and ginger ale stored next
to her refrigerator over the last five
years, followed by hours of assembly,
waiting for this moment,
this moment when fruit flies tremble,
knowing their hours, their minutes
are numbered.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Attack of the fruit flies

their tiny wings beat against
our brainwaves, irritating those
tender synapses so easily
disturbed, distracting us from
eating, drinking, conversing,
obsessing only about their
destruction, our hands clapping
overhead, a roar of triumph
with every small dark stain
across our palms.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reunion

she was still a cheerleader up at the microphone,
in her blue silk dress, a slight paunch,
blue eye shadow and eyeliner, standing up
there with Brett, the football player, now
balding and slightly stooped.
Andy walked up to me, claiming to have been
best friends in high school; I had no recollection
of ever knowing him, but graciously accepted
his offer of new friendship.
The same cliques hung together, those of
us who were alone were still alone.
As for me, I only came to see my twin.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Green Carpet

soaking wet, stained black
by many years back and forth,
hanging clothes, seeking
screwdrivers and lightbulbs
hidden by darkness in
unsteady shelving, broken
drawers, or strewn across
the carpet, which is still green
behind its dark filthiness.
this morning we roll it up,
he hefts it up onto his shoulder
to take it to the dumpster,
as quickly shedding his soiled
clothing in the washing machine,
removing all memory of the
green carpet.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

river of tears

the basement flooded
a river flowed in from the corner
where the gutter didn’t quite
reach the pond forming around
the house, we are an island
here and I walked out in bare
feet to lay plastic sheet
hoping to lure the rising
water from my darling house
with the flooded basement
we cried together, the basement
and I, lifting soaking carpet
and moving boxes, their
bottoms falling out from
the dampness
we cried until the water
dried, promising to each other
to prepare the next time
for the water to flow around
the house with both of us dry
inside.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Evening before a Wedding

swan boats twirl in the lake
in celebration of the girl in
the flowered dress who is laughing;
blonde curls dancing in the breeze
sparkling eyes smile at her
beloved.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Poetry of Misunderstanding

in the finest light of an evening
swollen with possibility, of the imagined
good, the most intense rendez-vous
she found herself discombobulated
while leaving a voice message for
a beloved neighbor, whose love was
tightly wound around her, all held
within a single shawl, as we are all
poor in this world of much confusion,
of too much work, in our attempts to
sound as deep, as intelligent as
the other, although not meant to be.