It’s Not For Lack of a Pen

I’m looking at pajamas online
Though I don’t need any.
It’s because I’m sleep-deprived
They’ll get my pretty pennies.

I buy pens and notebooks
When I don’t have time to write.
Beautiful jars of spices arrive
For take-out every night.

Whatever I’ve no time to do–
That’s where I shop and spend.
I don’t even have time to pee?
I’ll go and buy Depends.


That’s not even all my pens in that brand. It really is ridiculous. I long for more time to create, and the reality is always going to be that life will intrude. Still–I fit enough in around the edges to make progress. And, like the traveler who buys a seashell when she can’t get to the beach, I’ll stockpile pens and pajamas until my kids are more interested in where I can take them than what I will play with them.

Ps. I don’t think WordPress actually published yesterday’s poem, Knot for Me, on the WordPress Reader. Either that, or no one who’s following me thought enough of it to even read it, which seems doubtful. I didn’t miss a day. That is very important for me to clarify. For some reason.

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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.

I’d Like to Thank My Editor, Without Whom This Would Be Amateurish Crap

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“Have you thought about this?”
Well, no. If I had,
I’d have written it that way
Instead of writing it bad.

In fact, if I’d had a thought,
I’d have done that first,
Instead of the total rewrite
With which I am cursed.

“And what about this ending?”
I guess I’m not attached.
Though it’s in the title,
That too can be scratched.

I’ll write a new ending,
And it will be better.
But I’ll mourn for the old—
Every beloved rejected letter.

“It just doesn’t work.”
I know…I mean, I knew,
But knowing is different
Than hearing it from you.

I’ll start it all over,
Or better, it’s shelved.
Thank god for my editor
Who saves me from myself.


I have two editors, one for my YA fantasy books and one for my horror stories. Both provide me with something I can’t provide myself—objectivity. They also do something that your friends and relatives are reluctant to do. They’ll tell you when something is bad. I have been told (twice, at least) that my endings need to be redone on short stories. I am sometimes heavy-handed and clumsy with The Point. I very rarely make a technical or continuity error, but I WANT TO KNOW when I have. Knowing where the errors are allows me to fix them.

I’m poking a little fun at the language they use, but I enjoy conversations with my editors, even when their suggestions feel enormous and make me grumpy. Occasionally, I decide not to apply a specific criticism for artistic reasons, but the vast majority of the time—the editor is right. Now, if you’ll excuse me while I redo the ending that ruined my latest short story.

Ps. I know that the fourth line is grammatically incorrect. No letters please. You know who you are.

Pps. That’s a version of the first chapter of my fantasy novel, The Tiny Giant. If you want to read the final version, you can get it in paperback or on Kindle here. If you want a signed copy, you can get it from my online store here.

Simple

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Running should be simple,
There’s just one thing to know.
You grab a pair of running shoes,
Strap them on, and go!


This is a dumb joke, I realize, but it’s one of those phrases that’s silly in English. Have we ever “strapped on” athletic shoes? I did an internet search, but I accidentally used Bing. I am no wiser.

This is the 20th poem in 20 days, and I nearly missed midnight (it’s only happened once in the three years I’ve had this going.) This year has been tough. I could write you 31 poems about how tired I am, and call it The Exhaustion Cycle, but I don’t know how interesting it would be to read all that whining. Thanks for being here, is what I guess I’m saying. I’ll try not to cut it so close tomorrow.

This Socks

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I folded laundry
for ten straight hours—my hands ache
no poem for you


One of the things I try to do before school starts every year is tackle the mountain of clean laundry that accumulates during the summer. Mt. Clothesmore was especially challenging this year. I am down to about half a basket of things with no homes and the socks. I’m sure I’ll get to that tomorrow.

We also had some minor excitement today when some bark dust caught on fire for miscellaneous reasons that have been identified and will not happen again. Overall, this day gets approximately a 5.32 out of 10.

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.

Back to the F*%#re

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I mean…dam, Marty.

Hey kids! Let’s watch a show–
A movie your dad and I both know.
It’s kid-friendly time-traveling fun,
With a quantum-modified DeLorean!

Imagine my delighted surprise
At the potty-mouth on that McFly.
More education than we bargained for
With that god-damned f$#% capacitor.


I am the last person to get after someone for their language, unless I physically made that person. I firmly believe that there are no bad words, just inappropriate times to use them, but when you’re this many (holds up five fingers), every time is the inappropriate time.

We did not remember the extent or the creativity of the swearing in Back to the Future. Have my kids heard some of it? Sure. Usually not in a sanctioned venue that Mom is encouraging them to be a part of. I told myself afterward that it’s better that they hear it at home. Wait. What? Shit, that isn’t right, is it?