Knot for Me

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my shoulders are oak
your hands chop and vandalize
the axe in relax


That’s an actual model of my muscles, before, during, and after a massage. I have suffered through them a couple of times, and I won’t be doing it again. For people who are relaxation-challenged, it does not make us more relaxed. It makes us in pain, and afraid to say so because clearly, we are the ones doing it wrong.

I would be much better served by an evening in a bar with loud music, good bourbon, and a little howling at the moon.

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Go Suspend Yourself

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Some like their entertainment
Containing only verified facts.
They quibble and they parse
When they should just relax.

I don’t like mistakes,
But bend truth with intention?
Your factual faux-pas
Is not even worth a mention.

So when the cat starts barking
And the dog climbs a tree,
It’s up to us to acknowledge
Your artistic liberty.


We watched “The Greatest Showman” last night, and man, does that not follow P.T. Barnum’s actual life. You know what? I DO NOT CARE. It’s a fabulous musical and I think captures a spirit he would have liked. A+, will wear the soundtrack out.

I like to be swept away. I like to believe in dragons and castaways and space full of life. I don’t like mistakes that take me out of the story (errors about finance and accounting do that every time), but if you need the main character to have purple skin and meet Robert Frost–you get down with your bad self. If someone does not have the imagination to follow you, well, they weren’t your audience, were they?

PS. The more perceptive among you may have spotted the subtle Photoshopping I did on that picture of my daughter. If you were fooled, well, I salute your receptiveness to the magic in the world.

Foam Over Substance

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there is no “problem”
just because I like to use
coffee as creamer


There was a period in my life where quad lattes and the occasional use of bottled Starbucks drinks as creamer was normal. I had a stressful job and I fueled my insane workload with more coffee than was really healthy for one person to consume. It was my own little corner of fatalism–I will do this job or have a caffeine-induced heart attack trying.

Now I drink about 3-4 cups of brewed coffee a day. That’s…less? Yay me? I would quit (I have several times, including two pregnancies), but I still have shit to do in this life and coffee is how I do it. Coffee makes my world go ’round. Sometimes a little spinny, sure, but still.

Ask A Poet An Abstract Question…

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“Mom, what is the meaning of life?”
Oh, it depends on which meaning you mean.
Sometimes it’s amorphous, ephemeral, obscure—
Other times it’s the spaces in-between.

I’ve glimpsed it in sunshine and moonlight,
Walked its beat in a graveside procession.
Been smacked by a smile, a laugh, a look,
Lost its trail in shrouding depression.

This question is too complex without context!
I could fill books with the conflicts I’ve had.
Saints and philosophers have failed as I—
“Umm…thanks, Mom, I think I’ll find Dad.”


My kids ask me a lot of questions, big questions, and I do go on. Sometimes I can tell it’s all rushed over them like a gust of wind, barely ruffling their intellectual hair. Other times, we spend an hour talking about cremation or self-respect or kindness, and I feel like I’ve made a little bit of an impression. I think we owe it to them to try, though, even if they won’t get it until they’re adults. Every bit of understanding of the human condition leads to self-awareness. Self-awareness plants the seeds that blossom into empathy, and good grief, do we need more of that.

I also use a great number of words my kids don’t know or understand–yet. How’re they going to learn them if they never hear them? Slap out those five and six-syllable monsters and then define them. It’s hugely entertaining when they work them into conversation later.

Signs of Surrender

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I watch from inside
as mortal becomes remains
finally, cede control


I am 44, and my multi-hued hair is turning from primarily dark brown to a sort of salt and cayenne mix.  Someday I imagine I’ll have some pinkish fluff on my head that matches the ill-mannered apricot poodle I also intend to have.  I don’t mean to dye my hair, unless I find some shockingly bright color appeals to me.  I suppose then I’ll have to dye my poodle to match.

Why such a morbid poem about gray hair?  Well, it’s not about gray hair.  It’s about realizing that I can’t control any of this, the riotous hormones, my once luxurious hair, the fluid shape of my middle.  I can only be kind to myself.  I can eat something because it makes me feel well.  I can take a walk because the outdoors sustains me.  I can see people, and write words, and spend several hours hand knitting a dishcloth, though my dishcloths have lives that are nasty, brutish, and short.  I can let go of the frustration of being stuck on the worst amusement park ride ever (Ride the MenoCoaster!  Money back if you don’t feel like screaming!) and just….slowly….breathe for a few minutes.

Just when that quiet wants to turn to tears, the school bus brings the circus back to town and saves me from a surplus of contemplation.  Maybe I should get that poodle soon, and teach it some tricks.

 

Underclouds

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When the flaming ball in sky
Squints my poor Oregonian eyes,
I shake my fist and yell real loud:
I wish you were behind a cloud!

Stupid sun, enough is enough.
Get thee behind some cumulofluff!
I don’t want to experience your fiery gasses,
And I can’t find my dark sunglasses.

Rain or not, I’d rather post a status
Of overcast with gray-bottomed stratus.
Nothing like some wispy cirrus
To keep that roaster from getting near us.

If you persist, you orb of glare,
I’ll take you all up on your dare,
Call lightning down like Zeus on Olympus
And banish you forever behind cumulonimbus!


I was made to live in an overcast world.  The sun makes me weary, gives me headaches.  I am energized by misty mornings and a sky that doesn’t make my eyes hurt.  I haven’t done the DNA, and my niece says we’re actually Scandanavian, but I take this as confirmation of my Scots and Irish heritage.  Gloomy skies and a taste for morbid stories and whiskey (though I drink bourbon, hence the “e”).

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Be burned by that nasty sun, you will not.

Microwaves of Nausea

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Permeating the walls and halls,
The fumes worse than bathroom stalls,
You thought you’d have a nice, warm snack—
Instead it’s a mustard gas attack.

The popcorn doesn’t need that long.
The smoke means you’ve done it wrong.
Last night’s curry should have stayed at home-a,
Now we’re sick from that aroma.

And YOU—with the leftover trout.
Pack up your things and just get out.
If nuking fish is your bailiwick,
Find somewhere else to make people sick.

Crimes against noses linger for hours.
I feel like I need a Silkwood shower.
My nostrils are thoroughly defeated.
Are you sure that “food” should be reheated?


I don’t work in an office anymore, but I cook lunch every morning for my sandwich-hating, food-allergic kid.  Fish sticks at 8AM, folks.  Takes me back to my cube farm days, and not in a good way.

The popcorn was meant to be the other child’s snack.  It only took eight hours or so for that to dissipate.