Foam Over Substance

coffee

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.

Advertisements

Ask A Poet An Abstract Question…

IMG_8123

“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

img_3597

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

IMG_9852 (2)

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”).

img_9403

Be burned by that nasty sun, you will not.

Microwaves of Nausea

img_3234

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.

P.M. S.nack

img_3194

you called me crazy
so I made myself crackers
you won’t get any


I dare you to tell me those aren’t crackers. I know they aren’t, you know they aren’t, but we really don’t need to say some of the things we think out loud, do we?

P.S. That deck rail is finally painted a nice gray color.  Five entire days, I painted.  I might be tired and a little short-tempered, but geez, it is nice to remove that albatross.  Of course, I wear albatrosses like an elderly maven wears Diamonelles, but one less is one less.

The F Word

 

IMG_1713

Today? I wrote for kids.
Fairies, elves and dragons.
Tomorrow, I’m writing horror
And this might sound like bragging–but–

I will use the F word
In so many creative ways.
Noun, verb, adjective, interjection…
I can F for days.

Some will get the vapors,
Others just turn up their nose,
But when you’re writing messy life
The underbelly has to show.

In my real-life conversation,
I don’t F this and that with ease,
But my characters F an awful lot
When faced with extremity.

I guess what I’m saying is
You can’t sanitize real.
My pretend people have to tell you
Exactly how they fucking feel.


It’s sort of funny to me how people extrapolate what and how you write to your own personality. They expect Steve King to live in some sort of Addams family monstrosity, when he’s really someone’s Grandpa and puts a sheet on his couch so the dog doesn’t get hair all over it.

The imagination is an amazing tool, and you don’t always get to pick which doors fly open in the middle of the night. I have these flawed people come to me nearly fully formed. It’s my job to put them in situations and see what they do–and it’s not always nice. *shrug*