Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Poet's Life

The neighbor pays me
To plunge her toilet
It scares her
Touching food stamps
Standing in line
For refried beans
In a plain white labeled
Tin can
Son says
Please mom
Get a real job
One-quarter star
Three-quarters panhandler
Dorothy in Oz
Trying to get home

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Self Help

I am twiddling
my thumbs
Naming things
as if I own them
Ears listening
Words coming out
like dazed bees
My brain infested
with the knowledge
That I have left my body
My belly hangs
My back is stiff
I know more about
other people
Than I know
about myself

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baby Needs Shoes

Therapist wore Birkenstocks
I bought brown ones
The next one wore Army boots
I already had some
Another wore pumps
I didn’t like them

In Powell’s bookstore
A woman wears red clogs
I have to look away

Little girl
Long curls swimming on her head
Riding in Dad’s dirty Suburban
Wants to visit the bookstore
But they drive past
On their way to buy shoes

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rocks In My Pocket

I put up my Christmas tree three days before Halloween but, I still don’t think I have bi-polar disorder. I believe the things I do are pretty normal. Except that day a few weeks ago when I subscribed to 32 new online newsletters.
Now, I get up each morning to check my email and there are at least 35 new messages overflowing my inbox - green living, writing websites, gardening tips and feng shui.
That was the same week I agreed to become a board member of the regional arts association. It’s when I tried to learn to knit then changed my mind to crochet. I wrote seven poems and an essay about my short-lived career as a synchronized swimmer. I bought a cookie press.
I obtained two books on soap making from the author and set about to make chamomile/olive oil soap in the shape of the sun for holiday presents.
I wrote the lines: I am a chair facing the wall; I am a snorkeler, words are my fish; and; I am a wedding reception with a drunken bride on pastel colored 3”x5” cards.
I created 30 homemade holiday cards (each unique) and mailed them. I attended “Business Readiness Training” with a local job coach and signed up for a two-month long intensive workshop to start my own business.
I hosted one dinner of eleven, attended another with the same amount. I painted my nails and went to the podiatrist and the psychiatrist. I woke up four times each night and got up to drink Huckleberry tea at 2 am with my 22 year-old son one such time.
I checked out 67 library books and read 43. I drove to the store nine times in the snow. I checked Facebook five times a day. Then, I forgot to take my meds for three days.
I slept until noon. I could barely drag myself to my feet to go to the bathroom. I drank coffee black as tar. I stayed in my pajamas for three days and didn’t shower. I didn’t wear earrings, line my eyelids or apply triple thick mascara to my lower lashes. I used the same Kleenex over and over, wore the same dirty socks, didn’t put a brush through my teeth or hair.
The garbage piled up - newspapers went unread. I ate sugar from the bowl. I never checked my email or answered the phone. The rain poured and the river flooded and I wished I was Virginia Wolff with a pocket full of rocks.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Boughs, too, drooped low above him, big with fruit,
Pear trees, pomegranates, brilliant apples,
Luscious figs, and olives, ripe and dark;
But if he stretched his hand for one, the wind
Under the dark sky tossed the bough beyond him.

Homer, from The Odyssey

Give me just one word
And I will devour it whole
Then step away
Place my hands on
My belly

Dance with it
Dip it and twirl it
Nurse it
Teach it to read

When it’s like a blackberry
Nearly ripe
I will drink its wine
Until I fall

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hip Rant

I used to use them like shiny fish lures.

Sweet hips swaying singing rock a bye baby. Hips ride horses in dry autumn pastures next to hazelnut trees. Hips have sex in a yellow rental house at seventeen. Summer hips bodysurf Hermosa, Redondo and Huntington. Hips sing Hey Ho Hidee Ho, I wish all the men were pies on the shelf and I was a baker I'd eat em all myself. Hips at the 440 Disco in Killeen, Texas - belle of the ball. Hips making love to best friends during the month of May while tornado warnings cross the TV screen. Beer hips at the Oktoberfest in Munich. Tight jeans on hips, laying down to button them up. Twin bed mattress hips, feet hooked over the side, sinking into ticking, sheets shifting. Hallelujah hips harnessed to a table, ten centimeters gone. Lace hips hawking husbands. Hips fearing tight panties - control top tango. Hips knocking over coffee cups half full, making whoosh here I come sounds. Double-wide hips backing into a compact parking space. Seventy year-old hips at 49, closed for repair.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


There are M&M wrappers in my purse and under the seat of my car. I am the fattest mom at the park. I am the only mom who has brought food with me. I brought my own chair too. Those wooden benches are way too hard on a fat butt.
I am 5’6” and I weigh 265 pounds. I have been every size from a 10 to a 22. Right now, I’m a fat salmon swimming upstream from a size 20 to a 22.
I am sweating. The other moms at the park wear halter tops and shorts. It is 85 degrees outside and I am wearing jeans and two shirts. The longer outside shirt serves as something I refer to as my fat uniform. Long sweaters can be part of the uniform. So can black stretchy leggings.
When I take my clothes off at night, I have marks around my waist where my jeans hang on for their tight ride all day.
The roots of my fat are strong. They dangle and twist together so tightly there is no prying them loose. I water them daily with mean words, looks in the mirror.
It’s time to leave the playground. I can hardly get out of my canvas chair. A thin mom watches me strain. I leave with my plump pale breasts, my full moon butt, my thick thighs.
In my obit I’m sure it will say, We couldn’t fit her ass into a casket. She will be rolled into the ground at 3 p.m. Friday.
I walk by windows downtown on my way to get coffee. I see my head bobbing on top of a fat roll, a wide flat butt and hear thighs whooshing together trying to not be heard as the warm wind blows.