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