Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dark Matter: A film review

dark matter, the unknown which
holds the sky, the stars, that which keep
such blazing orbs from hurtling from each other
at yet higher speeds, the black,
the unseen, which must be acknowledged in
each of our hearts and minds,
lest it lead us to the ultimate
and final darkness.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting a Haircut

There was no going back.

I was in the hair stylists chair
discussing how much to cut.
I reminded myself hair grows
back and S fell in love with me
when I had a mullet and braces
so nothing too bad could come
of this even though the woman
yielding the scissors had the hair
style from hell, in purple, her lips
outlined in bright red, tweezed
eyebrows and bright blue eyeshadow.
Trust her, I told myself, she’s
been doing this for years and
gulp, she seems nice.
Afterwards, as I walked home
with K, she said, nice cut,
except it looks like a mullet.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Presents I: The Pink Kitchen Aid Mixer

The essential non-essential kitchen item,
the one you wanted for years, each year
telling yourself it’s not needed, it’s not,
you can cream butter and sugar by hand,
whip egg whites with the old hand mixer
that promises to detonate one day when
the beaters finally wobble into oblivion,
you really want the pink one, the one
that will match the trim on the kitchen
counter you finally got after ten years
of hating the stained yellow countertop
you swore you would replace as soon as
you bought the house 15 years ago.
Now you have the essential non-essential
kitchen item, in pink, on your counter top
with the pink trim and you’ve made waffles
and chocolate sugar cookies and chocolate
cookies and wonder how did you survive
without it for all these years.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

offensive, indeed

some are offended when asked
how much weight they have gained,
or that they look terrible in their new
dress; how it’s incredible that they
don’t understand how to solve
a set of coupled partial differential
equations even though they were
an English major, or reminded once
again how they met long ago, in
let’s say, non-ideal circumstances.
tonight, our hostess was offended,
although she solves differential equations
in her sleep, looks fabulous in any outfit
from working out religiously in the gym,
has a fascinating and charming husband
in her home town of Liege.
I brought my own knives, believing
that hers were not sharp enough.
Now, that’s offensive.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Good Day to buy a Christmas Tree

There's still a good selection at
McGuckin Hardware, and
not too many crowds.
The decorations are even 50% off,
or more and we could have a fine time
decorating the tree, since ours is
not yet decorated; the needles have
fallen to the floor and the fresh
smell of pine is long gone.
What a shame that we all march
to the same drummer, buying full
price and singing Christmas carols
in unison; how lovely to sing
throughout the year for peace and
harmony, good will towards all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


quite unlike the guy who
ends up with a beautiful girl
in the trunk, I am transported
from a busy world to the
quiet of snow drifting
down onto silent streets.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Found People I: Daughter

She showed up a few days ago
and hasn’t left, camped in the
downstairs bedroom, appearing
in the kitchen periodically to
make, and then gorge on,
chocolate cookies; disappearing
to see friends and then reappearing
to cook squash soup, squash and
barley mélange, threatening to
make squash mojitos and
squash cookies.
I found her at my house again,
sprawled across her bed at night,
as always, her arms crossed over
her chest, legs crossed as if
praying for a good night’s sleep.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Found Objects I: Plastic Hourglass

The children have moved out.
I’m gradually cleaning up the flotsam
and jetsam of childhood.
I pick up a plastic hourglass with
blue caps and I hear her laughter
in the distance as the last grain of sand
dropped into the bottom and I lost
the game again, the one she beat me
at many times over many years.
It doesn’t matter which one.
I turn it over again and watch
the white sand drizzle down
wondering at how time passes,
I hear her laughter in the kitchen;
she is done with such silly games.
In any case, now she would beat me
fair and square.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Driving with Glasses

I admit my driving was scary,
accelerating into turns I have
traveled many times,
S speaking to me in harsh
tones to slow down and
follow the road and did I
see that car up ahead, and I
was scared to drive to Denver
in a bit to pick up a sick kid,
me who never drives to Denver
even in daylight.
Walking out the door I spotted
my salvation, my glasses.
oh, how well I see with my
glasses on, and I drive with
confidence to pick up my
sick kid, who now sleeps under
five covers, with three corn bags,
all of us hoping he will wake up
tomorrow and smile at the world.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Babysitting Nemo

I am babysitting Nemo.
everytime i look at him, he
waves his orange fins and tail at me;
i wonder if this is how fish flirt.
(i hope i don’t get in trouble with
C; he is her fishy love after all.)
he has dumped his diet of one
pellet twice a day for six, or seven,
even then wiggling for more!
i am worried about my new fishy
friend who seems to gorge himself
and swim all day and all night.
i would never forgive myself
if he ate himself to death.
i hope that fish do not
do such silly

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Resting on the Rooftop

She doesn’t mind the rain,
or the sun, the sleet or snow
that drifts down gently onto
her back, her hips, her shoulders.
She always gazes at the same
spot in the sky, never complaining
that her hips are sore from the
concrete bedding or that
people stare at her all
the time in her beautiful

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Conference

like ants swarming an anthill,
we stream across busy streets,
interrupted by red lights
and rushing cars, we only pause
a moment before our beige coats,
our posters wrapped up in cardboard
tubes, our umbrellas, our badges
hanging from our necks, we
stream from Moscone West to
South, up and down escalators,
into presentation halls and out
again, congregating and dissembling
again, into lines spreading across
the city and into our hotel rooms
to rest before another day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Raising the roof at 7:00 am Sunday morning

a large truck wandered the street, a
small car behind stuffed with five Mexicans
that cold Sunday morning, the sun barely
awake; I was the only one on the street
until they poured out, three from the
truck, the five from the car, scampering
up quickly erected ladders, buckets
and shovels aloft, their voices carrying
over the still air as birds chattering
at the feeder, their breath hanging
as frost in the air.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Missing a Poem

I was defenseless,
she handed me a margarita
in one hand, guacamole and chips
in the other, followed by another
and home made sopapillas and
another, and well, I only
had permission to drink this way
because my home was across
the street and no one was at
risk, but myself.
I admit I collapsed on the
bed, eyes out of focus, a bit,
only a bit, but the headache
rolled in and my fingers, nor my
mind, work very well, so poetry did
not flow. I paid later for being remiss,
a worsening headache,
that middle of the night
tummy ache.
In the morning, I asked S why
he let me drink that much.
He just looked at me funny
and wandered off.
ok, I was in full
control and it
was fun.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Daisy and Me

she’s been my friend
for a long time, through
the various men who have come
and gone, through
childhood tantrums, the
empty nest syndrome,
through the loss of friends,
old jobs and into new ones,
she’s always been there,
from her early days of lunging
for food, growling and biting,
to her more mellow years of
following me around, her
toenails clicking against the
old wooden floors.
i love her for her bunny ways.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


to slip into a dream
while awake, that blurred line
that sharpens into focus only
when your eye opens and
a different world from a
a moment ago lies in
front of you,
of waking unsure of
if you slept or how long,
whether what just
happened was real
or just a dream

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


she marvels that she skied as long
as the temperature was above -20,
and now she shivers below 30, her
teeth chattering, her mood
plummeting as rapidly as
the temperature.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friday Night without Yoga

He didn’t go to Core Yoga after all
last Friday night, preferring to get
a life, have a date, drink a beer.
It was tough at first, his arms twitching
to drop down into Downward Dog,
a pose we all learn at Harvard.
After a few beers, fully relaxed,
a beautiful woman at his side, he forgot
what he loved about Core Yoga.
It must not have been important.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Flying Pigs

They were waiting at the front door
this morning, several of them in their
modest brown coats, a few in black
and white, demanding as usual.
I was looking for the NYT to settle
in close to the radiator, drink a coffee,
watch the birds at the feeder.
The thugs at the front door demanded
that another task be completed first.
I pulled on my boots and trudged
through newly fallen snow to the
bird feeder, under many watchful
beady eyes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Call me when you love me

she left me a message to
call her when I decided that I love her again,
is that love between the ten seconds
that pass when she is not on my
mind, in my mind, in my heart,
or when I am not writing
her before I leave for work, or at work
When would I call her when I
am not totally in love with her
as I have been from the
moment she entered this

Friday, December 4, 2009

Boy Movies

I can’t quite imagine a girl
coming up with this plot:
the ultimate heavy duty vehicle,
the armored truck doing wheelies
in a high speed chase after a
botched heist, where money
cases blow up, men jumping to
their deaths from bombed out
warehouses or from gunshot
wounds from the other deranged
It’s a boy movie, I murmured to
S, as we walked out of the movie
theater. The next movie better
be a chick flick.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

No One is Playing Basketball Tonight

No one is playing basketball tonight.
It’s dark outside, the ice lies in sheets
across the court, and it’s 16 degrees,
that’s Fahrenheit, not Centigrade.
No one is playing basketball tonight,
the court is empty, calling for his
companions, to feel the ball bouncing
across his asphalt, to see the
players jump up, touching the
rim as the ball swishes through
his hoop, hurtling downward
back towards the earth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Two Slices of Pumpkin Pie

there were two pieces in the Tupperware container;
they were both the same size and so I couldn’t eat
the bigger one.
i ate a piece of one slice and meant to keep the
rest for later; i did wait until later, about 30
seconds later, and then another 20 seconds and
then it was gone.
i wanted the second slice and i wondered if
i could neatly slice away part of it without S
noticing and decided it would be obvious.
i hid the pie in another room and told him to
come over soon to eat his pie, before it
disappeared into the unknown.

Monday, November 30, 2009

No Place Like Home

there is no place like home,
all the smells, textures, sights I
know so well, even the piles
of bills and newspapers greet
me like an old friend.
The plants are not yet wilted
from my absence, my rabbit
is still grinding her teeth and
sneezing, waiting patiently
for me to come back and snore
gently beside her.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jenny and Steevo Plan a Party

Will you help me plan the party?
What party? You did not put it on my google calendar.
I told you several times and it is on the wall calendar.
I do not face the wall calendar when I sit at your dinette.
You always tell me I must put our social events on your calendar. Why don’t you?
I am too busy recovering from my rigorous training schedule for such details.
You are just sleeping on the couch.
It is necessary to lie down with my head slightly elevated for proper recovery.
Will you help me plan the party?
I am currently busy, Excuse me..I must walk the dogs now.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Marie Curie in a Post-Feminist World

back then
she was probably the only woman she knew
at the time who was a scientist; everyone
knew she was an oddball, a six sigma, out there.
there were no assurances that the world was
her oyster, or that what she was doing was normal,
whatever that may mean, so she probably just
got down to work and figured her life was a
lonely one in the lab and that’s that.
No one told her any different.
If she were here today, working alone
in her laboratory, the only woman scientist
in this post-feminist world, she would have
to wonder why she is alone after sharing the
lab bench with her girlfriends during her early college years.
each of them dropping away with murmurs of
not being good enough, not understanding
well enough, and she would have to watch
them all fall away and stand there by herself
and wonder what is so great about this
post-feminist world.
They told her it would be different.

image courtesy of

Friday, November 27, 2009

Looking for Toothpaste in Texas

he was looking for toothpaste

without saccharin, nothing fancy,
no particular flavor.
down one aisle and up the next,
passing through aisles crammed
with Kix, Depends, Velveeta; Kraft
macaroni and cheese, Chef Boyaredee
canned pasta and Spam; past the Dove,
Shake n Bake and Dole bananas.
He kept walking past
three aisles of frozen foods,
finally arriving at the natural foods aisle,
where the communists
and hippies hide out; there he found
three tubes of toothpaste without
saccharin, not his favorite flavors,
but good enough, good enough.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Valiant Attempts to Write

every day the mother goes to the mailbox,

her heart in her mouth, hopeful
that her daughter succeeded in
her promised attempt to write, even
a small postcard, something.
no envelope there, she goes inside
and opens a small booklet on her
dresser that promised valient
efforts to write.
she smiles at the small note;
it’s enough for today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving with Sid

He’s a quiet man; he studies
you through his large tri-focal glasses,
tipping his head to the correct angle
to keep you in focus.
this year, he plans to have 30 guests
at his small house where he raised his
children single-handedly after his
wife disappeared one day.
Thirty guests that started as his orphans;
students alone on campus over the holiday,
wandering souls on the streets,
the ones which were not too scary looking.
regular folks who could help eat the free 28 pound
turkey a friend got from his work.
A smile crosses his face as he describes his
guests who believe that his house
is “home”, that place where you
head when it’s time for Thanksgiving.
Thank you, Sid.

Monday, November 23, 2009


My shift was over, the restaurant was empty,
even the bar stools had gone cold and they
were still there; two women nursing one glass
of wine and one cup of tea.
I brought over the bill and let them
know I was leaving soon and they still
sat there laughing and talking, in those
confidential tones that women use
when they are with each other.
I was hoping for a national emergency,
a fire, or a flood to get them out of there
when I heard a wine glass shatter on the floor
and saw smoke rising from over their table.
A menu was on fire; apparently this
inanimate object heard my distress call and
tottered over the candle; in the rush to
quench the fire, one of them knocked
over her wine glass.
The estrogen spell broken, they apologized
profusely, grabbed their coats and headed

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Conspiracy

he starts coming over more often,
breaking my solitary habits, so that
I no longer fall asleep listening to
my rabbit grinding her teeth; I
fall asleep cuddled up against his warmth.
I protest at first; he keeps coming
back anyway, two dogs in tow that
adore me no matter how I scowl
at them, forbidding them to sleep
on the couch or sprawl across
the kitchen floor.
tonight, I find myself alone all of
a sudden and it feels kind of lonely;
the house feels a bit empty.
I see it was all a conspiracy to
break this house of solitude I built
over so many years.
It’s about time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Missing Max

we had an arrangement,
Max and I; when the mister and
missus were away, we had our
own way of relating.
I’d walk in and call his name,
and he’d show up in the kitchen
in that lazy way he had, as if he were
always just waking up from a nap,
a bit put out to be awakened,
but moderately interested in
what I might have to offer.
I’d advertise
the treats as I loaded up his dish
with tuna fish and assorted yummy,
crunchy things that are supposed to be
good for his teeth.
He’d saunter up, stopping approximately
seventeen inches from his bowl and wait,
his back slightly arched, a bit
irritated that he had to remind me
again that even though he may recognize
that I was allergic to cats, that was my
problem, not his;
he was waiting to be stroked, his way,
the exact number of times he wanted,
and once he was satisfied, he’d
continue that Max saunter up to
his bowl and get down to business.
My tasks completed, I was
dismissed, as only a cat can do.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Wrong Street

my neighbor lost his fence,
and his cool, when a
blue Fairlane drove between
his Jeep Wrangler and my car,
convinced it was the entrance
to 20th Street.
the young man stumbled from
his car, walked up to the
front door, and

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Papier-mâché Soup

it’s dinner time after a hard day,

can’t decide between comfort food,
something warm and white, with
little nutritional value,
maybe a healthy dinner, a light soup perhaps.
I look for white in the cupboard.
Cream of Wheat.
I look for white in the refrigerator.
It will be warm and white.
Cream of Wheat soup.
It tastes like papier-mâché

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Construction of a Parabola

y = x^2.

i start the construction by
drawing a singular point on the page,
the focus, yes, well said, the focus.
next a line, somewhere else on the page,
the directrix, a smooth straight line;
what a lovely name for this line!
ever so carefully, i find that locus of points
where the distance between the focus
and the point is the same as that
between that same point and the directrix;
what a lovely name for a line!
that locus, shall we call it “y”, is
a poetic parabola, so much of its
rich loveliness concealed when only
identified by
y= x^2.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Searching for Sweet Potatoes

there is a note scrawled on the white board;
it says “sweet potatoes”, the ones S ordered
back when the leaves were lime green and
didn’t yet block the sun.
the heart shaped foliage grew in the
few random places we found that weren’t
overgrown with volunteers of one sort
or another.
as the cold moved in, the leaves died
and snow is covering the ground.
the sweet potatoes are somewhere
hidden in the dirt; we don’t
know exactly where.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Darn Lists

my list was seventeen items long
and at this late hour, ten and one-half
remain to do and all I want to do is
watch “24” in my pajamas, my feet
all cozy next to corn bag or two.
A mere thirty-eight percent of my tasks
completed today, and that’s kind of cheating
since I crossed off items that I did not do,
and did not write down some
others that needed doing, and I counted
getting a massage as a task; I wonder why people
write lists if not to feel a sense of
accomplishment; next time I will only
write one item on my list so I can feel
good, too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kitchen cabinets

My kitchen cabinets were emptied today,
the items strewn across the dinette, two
half empty bags of chocolate chips,
a packet of seasoning for gravy, three
different packages of salt, all half used.
Three sizes of cupcake foils, two
packages of brown sugar, some mummified
molasses all grace the table, reminding me
of the many times at the market I’d buy
another one “just to be sure”, or maybe later,
yet another, not aware that two were hidden
way back behind the condensed milk or masala mix.
there is no disaster so crushing as to realize
you have no chocolate chips on a snowy
evening when there are no cookies in the
house and you must have some, like tonight.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

at the end of the day we
wondered why airplanes
did not fall from the sky,
why dogs were not run over
by speeding cars driven
by reckless teenagers,
or why the waitress did not
drop the plate of spaghetti
on our laps; it was Friday
the 13th after all
so we tiptoed home and
baked bread, the kitchen soon
filled with noxious fumes from
the new “high temperature” pot
handle that is not so “high
temperature” after all.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saxophone Serenade

he is hiding behind the dishwasher
in the kitchen, this dog who normally

must have a direct line of
sight to his beloved master.

when there is a pause, he
wanders out from behind the dishwasher,

looking hopefully around the
corner to see if it’s safe out there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Talking with the Professor

he looked at me with that
vacant look that only a brilliant
professor can get away with;
anyone else would be deemed
stupid, staring like that, but
I was sure that he was pondering
how he might invoke Maxwell’s
equations to better understand the
molecular interaction of lunar dust
with the solar wind, or whether
his surface force apparatus might be
utilized in the study of nanoparticles
traversing single layers of proteins.
in any case, he made no eye contact.
He absent mindedly asked me if
I had come all this way just to talk
to him and I reminded him that my
son worked in his lab; I was simply
taking advantage of an opportunity.
oh yes, he said, yes, I knew that.
his eyes focused for a moment
on mine, and then he was gone

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


she meant well, to write
everyday, irrespective of circumstance:
travel, how many margaritas she drank, whether
she had to stay up late to bake bread,
wait for the dogs to finish looking for
raccoons in the backyard, or finish
washing the dishes.
meaning to do well does not equate
with doing well: the dogs want to
go to sleep, she drank too much to write
well, the bread is burning or the
microwave has finished heating up
the bedwarmers and sleep calls,
so the writing waits another day,
the counter does not increment to
610, and they are no longer
sequential by day, like soldiers lined
up by a little boy, their shadows
lengthening with every passing hour.

photo courtesy of

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wine tasting at Black Jack

we shared
three whites and
seven reds;
and discussed their
relative merits compared
with three buck Chuck,
(the wine I used as
drain cleaner).
my companion, being
less discerning, drank
Chuck with equal relish,
as these fine wines,
saving himself
money for surf
boards and other
such toys.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

if you have them, you know what this is about

they don’t follow instructions
very well, nor do they remember
what they were just instructed
to do, that which they did
so reluctantly
glancing back at me with
such sadness, a deep level
of incomprehension as to why
I don’t want their slobbery
caresses or to inhale the still
putrid scent of what they rolled
in so joyfully a few days ago.
such child-like innocence,
unending adoration in spite of
my mean hearted demands,
how can I not eventually fall
prey to their devices

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Craters in the Moon

in the dark conference room
i studied the lunar surface
as the speaker
discussed in her most scientific tone
of voice the possibility of water
hidden in the permanently shadowed
areas of the craters.
in the darkness walking home
my eyes were drawn towards the heavens,
moon-ward, towards that beautiful
luminescent orb hanging in the sky,
her beautiful craters almost visible,
they spoke to me more
clearly, more profoundly
than earlier in the day.

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baking Bread

the timer on the oven
defines my evening; there will be
no slinking off to bed, or
heading out for a drink with
my love, sure to ignore the
passing of time.
the timer ticks away the
forty minutes until the lid
comes off Le Creuset, another
fifteen minutes until the bread
is done, its perfect brown crust
a beauty to see.
only then can I wander off
to bed, head out the door
for a drink with my love,
or wield the bread knife,
jam and fresh butter at hand.

photo courtesy of

Monday, November 2, 2009

A lack of poetry

the keyboard has some peanut butter
on it, and the shiny surface is now marred
with thumbprints and scratches.
i’ve noticed that my desk is
cluttered with bills, mostly paid,
and papers, mostly unread, for
that proposal I am still writing
as the deadline was extended,
a mixed blessing.
it’s kind of chilly in this space
and my feet are cold, it seems
very late because there has just
been the time change and i
just want to go to bed and sleep
after yesterday, a tough day.
right now there seems to be a
lack of poetry in me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Goodbye, A

she came into my life with
a smile and we walked a bit
together; we laughed
and enjoyed each other.

she left my life today;

we will not walk together


Saturday, October 31, 2009

The odd couple

they were an odd couple,
sitting on the stoop tonight.
he needed dental work and she
desperately needed a nose job.
in the morning, the squirrels will
awaken and get to work, first
pulling his bottom tooth, then
the two uppers; she will watch
with that same look of surprise
until they turn their attention
to her, their tummies filling
quickly with succulent
pumpkin flesh.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Cookie Thief

she was the penultimate soccer mom,
four kids and a mini-van, blonde,
a body that did yoga four
times per week when the babysitter
was over and she could sneak away.
she had one dirty secret.
she never brought cookies to
the kids’ events at school, or
presents for other children.
instead, she carefully packaged
extra cookies at the end of every
event, the ones that other mothers had
slaved over, between rushing home
from their jobs, guilt driving them
to bake til the last moment in order
to bring something to the school event.
no, this mother grabbed the aluminum
foil from those mothers hoping to
bring their few leftovers home, she
wrapped their leftovers carefully,
arranging the left over juices, cake,
cookies and books in her large
plastic box and headed out while
the other mothers could only stand
speechless, watching their cookies
drive away in the white mini-van.

Merci a CH pour cet histoire..c’est vrai!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


he called to tell me
he received my postcard,
but he couldn’t read it.
something about my handwriting
being so terrible, not being able
to read more than a few words.
I said I wouldn’t write anymore
and he didn’t like that either,
so I promised to print, or
try anyway.
I’ve heard all this before,
but I can’t remember

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


she made all the appointments after
her friend told her his cancer was found
in a routine screen at age 58.
the dentist, the orthodontist, two
other tests that she would rather
keep private, she’s a modest woman.
all this poking and prodding is quite
unwelcome, but she knows
she has responsibilities and her
children would be quite annoyed
with her if she keeled over well
before her time should be up.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Run on Sentence Girl

she wrote to me asking me
for help editing her paper, that
was for an application to a
university she had spent the summer
at several years ago and she liked
the campus and now she thought:
oh I will apply there; what a good
place to go to graduate school and
after all, the weather is better than in
Massachusetts where she currently
studies climate science, but maybe it
is not as good a school as the
one in Washington where it rains a lot,
or even staying in Cambridge, and so she
reminds herself that such grand decisions
should not be affected by the weather, but
rather by where she grew up and did research and now
she is writing essays that her mother edits,
mostly by deleting colons and semi-colons
and putting
in lots of

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the dancer

so elegant
the skirt of her red
dress flaring
she twirls her lithe
body around him
lifting her towards
the sky her head
drops back
she smiles

Friday, October 23, 2009

but is it art

on the half hour
the docent attached a handle
to the gears and spun a
small aquarium round and round,
the heavier blue liquid
being spun out to the
sides while a video camera
captured the crowd gathered
around, displaying the images
on an adjacent white wall.
the aquarium slowed down
over the next few minutes
and we wandered off
wondering is this art

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Raking Leaves

sodden green leaves
carpet the lawn, now
turning yellow as
it suffocates underneath
the heavy blanket
i lift with my rake
this brisk afternoon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


every weekend for the next three
i expected to be working, laboriously
writing and rewriting, considering
and reconsidering the proposal.
now realizing i am free until January
i all of a sudden am so uncertain what
to do with myself the next three
weekends, ah, freedom.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shoes Hanging.....

In our neighborhood park, we
looked for shade, a tree perhaps
that might grow tall with large leaves
to shield us from the hot summer sun,
where the students might play beer pong,
we might sell our goods at our annual
yard sale, or sit and read a good book
watching the world walk by.
We look up wistfully at first, then
notice the solution, so many shoes
hanging from the telephone wires

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rain V

horizontal sheets, driving
east, then west, her umbrella
concave, then convex, fabric
ripping from the slender stays,
streaks of rain turning her
clothes to kaleidoscopes
of wet and dry.

Friday, October 16, 2009


she shows me her office where
she sits and writes her thesis,
her mind silently working the
theories of climate change,
one against the other,
her chair rests on the wooden
floors trod by centuries of
scholars, in this same building where
her mother, large with child, with
her, researched crystal growth
under pressures only found deep
within the earth.
and now her mother follows her
down the corridor through the
museum where as a little girl
she ran laughing between the
cases of rocks, wondering what her
mother found so interesting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Acrobatic Mouse

we came face to face, the mouse
and i, his beady little eyes stared
into mine, boldly, with confidence
of his jumping skills into tall glass
jars with no lids, apparently.
i promised him that his glory
days were soon to be over;
the pine nuts are for me, and me alone.
he scampered back behind the sugar,
knocking over a tenuously balanced
bar of chocolate on his way out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Colorado Public Radio Membership Drive

every time CPR has a fund drive,
i subscribe, regardless of whether i subscribed
six months ago since i never know when
i last did and i hear those poor pitiful
commentators begging us to support them.
i want to even though i’m probably committed
for the next 15 years to my monthly payments
that have all stacked up, and maybe even
i’ll have to let my children know that
they have the responsibility of sending my
payments to CPR, and if i have committed
for longer than their lives, to have my
grandchildren send payments as well.
perhaps next time NPR is fundraising, i
should restrain myself and let someone
else pick up the phone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sewing up a Proposal

do you think NASA would like
a red corn bag with a yellow floral pattern,
or the one with the black batik pattern,
i am partial to that one myself.
in between the pages about measuring
surface roughness using atomic force microscopy,
perhaps they would enjoy a photograph of
the corn bag i made for a friend made from
fake puma skin fabric, or the super-sized
corn bag i made for my friend who wants
to nestle her whole body within.
they may have thought they were interested
in quotes for vacuum chambers and rotating
drums, Faraday cups and turbo pumps,
but after a long day of reading mind-
numbing proposals, they may just want to
curl up in their chairs and fall asleep,
their toes nice and cozy warm in one
of Jenny’s corn bags ; )
These make great Christmas presents! Check out my website at!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Too Much Estrogen at Nia

the instructor began by
gyrating her hips and panting into
the microphone, her arms
spiraling skyward, occasionally
emitting small yelps and growls
for good measure.
the space seemed close now as
we warmed up; more women filed
in, pushing the rest of us forward,
crowding one against the other, our sweat
mingling, breasts and buttocks
whirling to the beat, I thought
I might pass out from an overdose
of estrogen.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

why do you wake me

wake me up by lifting the
brass drawer handles on my dresser,
and dropping them over and over
until I stir, or by shuffling
across the floor and then
just standing there until I wake
up with my hair on end, not
sure if it’s S., my love, who came
to visit on his way home from work.
annoy me by emptying the pine
nuts from my cupboard twice,
after I bothered to roast them,
making S. laugh at how silly
I am that I forget what I did with
them and no, they are not in
the freezer or in the peach jam
I put up a few days ago.
why do you wander in this house,
waking me at night, what do
you look for in the late afternoon
or late at night in the kitchen
while I sleep, until you decide in
boredom to stare at me and make
a few noises until I wake and find
that you are not the one I love.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

eat them quick

before the freeze
turns your garden's
tomatoes to
mush, pop them
in your mouth;
savor summers’

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Workout Partner

she drank a glass of wine
before going to the gym;
i could tell since she was
still dressed in her street
clothes when i arrived,
wandering around her apartment
aimlessly as if she had forgotten
where we were headed.
i was tempted to sit down
and drink a glass, too.
instead i grasped her arm
firmly and we headed out for
the gym to lift a few weights,
mostly chat, I admit, and do some
long stretches, while chatting,
before heading
back to her place for a
much deserved glass of wine.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rainy Day

She is wearing a place mat
under her helmet, blue with
white checks to keep her
head dry as she rides pell-mell
through driving rain.
Someone may find her silly
but no sillier than when they
saw her backpacking, almost hidden
under her black and white umbrella.
No one called her silly; no one else
was out there that cold, rainy day.
They were all inside warm and cozy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


around 2 o’clock or maybe 3,
everything slows down, thoughts
swirl into chaos, crisp steps
become stumbles, and smooth
temperaments become storms.
it’s nap time, in the broad
afternoon light, she slips under
the covers and the world disappears
for a bit and when her eyelids flutter
open and tumbles from bed,
a stumble is now a crisp
step, a stormy temperament has
become calm and chaotic thoughts
have transformed into clear insights.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Wedding

As I rushed
into the sanctuary
at the last minute before the procession,
I heard a giggle in the back
corridor; glancing behind me
I saw her in her sweeping white gown,
long bare arms, blonde curls contained
in a delicate crown of flowers.
She waved at me, smiling,
excited to bursting
as if she were going
to her senior prom.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lessons from Dogs I: Recovering from Trauma

she ran out of the kitchen,
her tail tucked between her legs,
hunched over, scared.
no matter that I assured
her that flies don’t bite
and she’d do well to
bite the fly herself.
no, she hid under my desk,
quaking until I assured
her it was safe, at which
point she ran out to meet
me, tail wagging, smiling,
as if she never had a worry
in the world.
If only we forgot our traumas
so quickly.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Uneaten Dessert

I ate my half of the peach crisp,
and saved the rest for S.; he was
so unhappy about the previous
desserts he missed.
The peach crisp sat in the
refrigerator waiting, when
he didn’t want it then, when
he had already overeaten, when
he didn’t feel like sweets,
until finally it wasn’t good
that’s the last time I save
the M&M desserts for him.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


the letters are not well formed,
the n’s are flat lines stretched
between adjacent vowels, the “o”
leading the word is a simple vertical
line and the “s” is a forward slash.
the words are mostly unintelligible.
those who receive these words
may complain bitterly about the
time it takes to decipher, to flat
out guess what the words spell out.
others may rejoice to see her handwriting,
visualizing her writing to someone
special, to them, by hand,
with a beautiful fountain pen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The unwelcome visitors

they tried to move in.
the screen blocked their
access into my house, the
house that I paid for.
i reminded them that they
did not pay the mortgage,
or the city taxes, nor the heating
bill, or even for the landscaping
that they seem to enjoy.
they were angry; through the
binoculars they looked like
angry scorpions, their pincers
working against the screen
which separated them from their
compatriots inside.
Finally, as the sun sunk low
on the horizon and the night chill
moved in, their energy dissipated,
no doubt tomorrow they will
return energized, as will I.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

they want to move in

they scratch in the night,
i wake up, listen and sigh
a long sigh, they’re back.
the days are getting shorter,
the nights cooler and they, too,
are looking for a cozy bed.
shredded insulation inside the
wall is certainly appealing
and so at night, they rearrange
the bedding to suit their
taste, just as we all do.
i go back to sleep, but not into as
restful a sleep as I had before
I was awoken.
there’s work to be done,
i am not in need of roommates.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday night

the young are out on
the streets, the girls’ shrill
conversations carry;
talk about this boy or that,
their mother, classes, not
much about the political scene.
the boys cursing, testosterone
broadcast wide and far to
those girls talking on their
phones half a block up.
the girls turn and look,
carefully, then turn back
and continue walking
looking straight

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A short fantasy based on "District 9"

Her manager came into her office,
removing her glasses she saw "the stack",
a one inch thick pile of procedures,
required certifications and work instructions,
She ran blindly from her office,
eyes bulging out of her head,
torso pulling ahead of her legs
until suddenly she is encased in
a steel body 15 feet tall with machine
guns as arms, her voice projecting
from a 10 MW speaker system and
she turns then, blasting fire from her
right index finger, and the papers are vaporized.
She quietly descends from her supra-invincible
body, puts her glasses back on, and
returns to her computer to
finish the analysis she was working on
before he had stepped into her office.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Big Drive

the rain fell, a mist of droplets
covered the windshield, wipers
squeaking in protest her eyes
squinting through the glare
of late afternoon sun, it’s
the big drive to her, the one
she felt anxious about for the
last two weeks, the drive that
thousands of people do
every day without thinking twice,
maybe they should

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Wall Waiting for Postcards

her empty wall is
waiting for my postcards,
the ones written with
a blue fountain pen
purchased at my great-aunt’s
bookstore in Neuchatel, the
one we visited together that
summer after we crossed the
lake in a boat, eager to try
on our new bathing suits.
these postcards she awaits must be
written in my characteristic
scrawl, yet be at least partially
legible. Most of all they must
be signed “Love you, sweetie,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The beauty of a faded rose

She’s the typical middle-aged woman,
likes to hike, garden, have a glass of
wine with her friends, an occasional
margarita with her boyfriend.
Her jaw has become a bit more
rounded and her tummy doesn’t
quite lay flat anymore, but she
is as beautiful as a fading rose,
holding so many shades of soft red,
pink and white, so much more
interesting than the brilliant red
you can buy in the local drugstore.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Peach Pie II

a piece of
peach pie packaged in
parchment, patiently
perched on a plate,
waiting for a prince.

Friday, September 18, 2009

No Vacancy

no vacancy at the loveless motel,
the one with the biscuits, but no
one to eat them with.
the women wear frumpy housedresses,
the men smoke cigarettes, looking
furtively out into the darkness,
waiting for the hooker to finish
with her last john.
the biscuits fill the stomach
but not the heart.

photo courtesy of

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Text Message I

the ultimate irony:
a text message asking why
I never call him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


it’s fall now, the backyard is
only green, the green of faded iris
stems, oregano sprawling across
the pathway, grass fading slowly
to brown; i go looking for
color, finding yellow and white,
orange and red asters. firmly
planted amidst the green, they protect
me from living a monochrome existence
in my backyard.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Three Friends

Three friends today, we
shared lunch, dinner, drinks and dessert;
mango goat cheese salad, pork green chili,
house margaritas and chocolate cake
with no icing.
On a diet after
all that

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Food and Life

you may think that my life
revolves around food, and it
does, for the most part;
for those moments when
I open yet another dessert
container left on my front
porch from M&M Bakery
next door, and this time,
the smell of still warm
peach cobbler assails my
nostrils, the crunchy nut topping
mingles with soft sweet peaches
on my tongue.
my life does appear to
revolve around food, rather
surprising; i guess i just
had to wait for the right
slice of pie, the most
luscious peach cobbler,
toasted bread with just
the right crust topped
with fresh pesto and
Gruyere cheese.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Slice of Pie

I got the message on the way
up the canyon, M and M had
left a piece of pie on my
front porch and I wouldn’t
be back until the next day.
I called S. to offer it, reluctantly,
but better than the squirrels
gorging themselves on the
pie, no doubt sitting on another beautiful
plate, like the one I still have
at my house from the last delivery.
Up the canyon, it snowed on me,
it rained, my black and white
umbrella shielded my face and arms,
but my boots and pant legs
were drenched and heavy,
my small tent looked
barren and cold.
The pie called to me,
no doubt sweet, the butter
woven softly into the pastry.
I left the rain and the snow,
the yellow aspen leaves
strewn across the forest floor
and headed home for my
slice of pie.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Childen for Loan

she loved her children,
but they were so tiresome
with their squabbles, the way
they left a wake of scattered toys,
markers with no tops and assorted
papers and dirty Kleenex.
she didn’t want to sell them,
but a vacation with her new lover
would be a welcome relief,
so she posted a sign in front
of her house advertising
“Children for Loan”, daily,
weekly, or monthly rates


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Congress

the white men in dark suits
sat quietly in their chairs,
their mouths working silently,
brows furrowed, as the
dark-skinned man spoke
to them, around them,
the vibrations of his voice
did not move them from their
stony silences.