16 December 2009

stories i wrote in high school: a hitchhiker's hour

"The whole world looks different from the back seat of a convertible," she said as she slipped on her black studded sunglasses and shifted gears. Her words floated back to me. "Where are you headed, honey?" She lifted her hand just off of the steering wheel for a second to check her nails.

It was a huge old convertible. Canary yellow. The paint was chipping and the leather of the seats was cracked.

"San Francisco" was my reply.

She was old. Her face had wrinkled from years of tanning and dark roots peaked out from beneath her heavily bleached hair. It didn't look soft. Nothing about her looked soft- her hair, her face, her synthetic clothing... I leaned my elbow on my bag.

"Oh. Another aspiring actress, are ya? I see," she said, checking me out in her rear view mirror.

I didn't want to be an actress.

"Well, honey, honestly, you aren't even going to pull commercials with a nose like that." She waved around her hands when she talked. Her long plastic nails clicked together, her clunky gold rings twisted around her fingers.

I liked my nose.

"Well, one tip for ya- don't ever let them talk you into taking your clothes off! No matter how much they offer you. You'll never live it down. I know I haven't." She looked at me again. I could tell she wanted me to ask her what she had acted in and who had wanted her to take her clothes off. After a few seconds I humored her. "Is that so?" I said flatly.

"Oh yes doll. It'll follow you forever. You see, I played a stripper in a movie in the eighties. It was called Candlelight. I'm sure you've heard of it."

I had never heard of it. "Oh, yeah, of course," I said.

She let out a loud, short laugh. "You were probably a baby!" she snorted. "Well, let me tell you, people still ask me about it. I hear it still makes its rounds in the dorms. Just last week a young guy came up to me and said 'hey aren't you the stripper from Candlelight?' So I said 'yeah' and we had a few drinks..."

I could tell that was a lie but I smiled a little anyway. The dusty air was spinning past me and the sun was blaring down- I could feel it on the part in my hair.

"But you gotta be careful of people like that, honey. They think just because they've seen you naked in a movie once they can have you then and there! But that's men for ya... Gotta boyfriend, girlie?"

"No, no I don't," I said. I leaned my head back and let the sunshine bounce off of my cheeks.

"Oh.. Well... you aren't one of those... lesbian girls, are you?" She whispered the word lesbian as if it were a curse. "It is supposed to be hip these days, you know, to be like that. Doesn't make any sense to me. Crazy- these people are. Next thing you know they'll live right next door to you."

I just smiled. I was as much a lesbian as I was an actress.

"You running away, sweetie?" she then asked me, lowering her glasses with a fake expression of worry. "You look awfully young."

"I'm not running," I said. "Just taking a break."

"Who is it, honey? she asked. "Do your parents treat you bad? Hate your teachers? Bad break up?"

I just ran my hand over the weathered interior and sighed as she pulled over to the side of the road.

"I'll just let you off here, hun, but I'll tell you- I've run away before. Its no good. Just go find yourself a nice rich man, honey, someone who can take care of your pretty little face." She smiled a wide, toothy smile at me. I got out and stood next to the car. Her lips were an obnoxious shade of pink.

I pushed my windblown hair out of my face, and looked farther down the road into the distance. "Thank you very much," I said as I pushed the door closed.

11 December 2009

tragic

WHY do I drink too much vodka
and spend the night
with a guy I couldn't care less about,
the night before a date
with a guy who
I really really like?

My self-sabotage knows no bounds.

09 December 2009

new york/ paris/ berlin/ ect....

when I think of cities
I think of independence

you can never really be alone in the city-
that's the lovely thing about it, in the end.

that's why,
i think,
you should live in the city
and escape
to the country--

better to escape being overwhelmed,
than to seek fake companionship.

04 December 2009

eulogy to a failed relationship

Perhaps you can only be upset with the ones who pray at inopportune times and then take advantage, because at the end of the day I know it was I who was in control.

Thanks for showing me New York and your heart.

I miss you sometimes.
I miss something sometimes.

29 November 2009

haikus about men i have slept with, set 4


XIII.
It is funny how
We can share so much, quickly,
And then disappear.

XVII.
We were both lonely
And desperate for loving:
Guess you found too much?


IX.
In the hot morning
We kissed, went to the beach:
It was so easy.

25 November 2009

A Thanksgiving Story

The year I spent on La Réunion was the third Thanksgiving I spent internationally, and the first where I tried to make a real Thanksgiving dinner abroad.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I like that it is unique to America (pay no mind to the Canadian Thanksgiving, the designer imposter Thanksgiving). I like that there are certain foods that you eat at every Thanksgiving, making the tastes and smells unique to the experience. I like that there are no presents involved, just good food and wine and conversation. It is a pretty day, at least in the south, where the leaves have changed but the sky is still autumn-blue before shifting to winter-grey. And I like that it’s a day, when taken separately from its rather gruesome historic past, about evaluating life and being thankful for whatever blessings you have.

So naturally, even though I was on a little foreign island, I was excited about the 3rd Thursday in November. Of course, the turkey was the first obstacle. We had only two options for “la dinde”: we could go to the market and buy a turkey—a whole turkey, alive, or buy turkey cutlets in the grocery store. Carrying on the American tradition of choosing to completely ignore where my food comes from before it is shrink wrapped in my local chain grocery freezer case, we could not possibly buy a live turkey. But the cutlets also seemed so sad. So we went to the local Géant and bought the only bird that was intact for roasting: a rooster. A large frozen rooster.

My roommate and I were actually enthusiastic about this idea, since the island roosters had been terrorizing us by crowing at odd hours throughout the night. In keeping with the culture of the island, they had absolutely no sense of time. So we took a twisted pleasure in roasting one for our dinner.

We got as much Thanksgiving goodness as we could fit in our hands and our bags and hiked back up to our apartment, Le Chateau. It is not easy to haul a Thanksgiving feast up those island hills in the island heat, but we were determined. We invited all our friends: the Spanish teacher, the German teacher, my French boyfriend, and of course myself, my roommate and two others - the English teachers.

The day before Thanksgiving, tragedy struck. You see, we had in our little kitchen what I like to call our Easy Bake Over, a miniature stove with a gas bottle attached. Unfortunately, shortly before Thanksgiving I had chosen to make boiled peanuts for all my friends. As any good southern girl knows, boiled peanuts take many hours to cook. So many hours, in fact, that I depleted our gas supply in the process. Because hunting down our landlord’s maintenance man (who could restock our gas can) was a mere impossible task, prospects looked gloomy for the big day.

I was shattered! Not Thanksgiving! How can you have Thanksgiving without a stove and oven? I cried.

I didn’t have much time to lament the oven issue, because I had to work on the big day. I was excited because I got to share my favorite holiday with the kids at the university in their English class that day. It started well, with my first class. I laughed that when I asked them about Thanksgiving they immediately thought of the episode of Friends when Joey ate a whole turkey.

But, unfortunately, my third class was not in the mood to speak in English that day. And instead they decided to snicker and whisper for the whole class. Finally they broke out laughing about I-don’t-even-remember-what, and I lost it. My eyes watered up, and I stood silent in front of the class. The boys looked at me, still smirking. “Get out!” I said. “If I were home today I would be eating Turkey with my family and not working! I would be baking pumpkin pie and not staring at a frozen rooster!!” Of course, based on the blank stares I was getting I could tell that the slackers did not understand my English out-burst, so I just said “Sortez!” and shot daggers out of my eyes until they all left the room.

I walked home in the humidity and cursed all the stupid palm trees and stupid sunshine and stupid salty air and stupid hills. By the time I got to the apartment I was sad and homesick and ready to dissolve into the mattress on the floor that I called my bed.

But no! I opened the door, and all my friends were there. The table was set! They had made a raw Thanksgiving- with salad, and fruit, and nuts and packaged cookies and pretzel sticks. Of course we had lots of red wine and rum. We ate and drank and talked all evening, and everyone said ‘thank you’ in their native language.

Danke

Merci

Gracias

Thank you

And we drank wine in front of Star Academy until we all passed out exhausted, and it was a wonderful Thanksgiving after all.

21 November 2009

haikus about men i have slept with, set 3


XII.
Oh dear, law school boys
Are nothing but such trouble:
Booty call contracts.


XI.
You were my reward-
Your skin and long eyelashes,
Too pretty to last.


II.
I closed my eyes and
Pretended to sleep, hoping
That you would still stay.

future--what?

I notice nowadays that I don’t talk about the future anymore,
When it used to be all that was discussed- when we get out of here, when we really start our lives, when we are free and open and done and loving and moving and working and feeling...
Now when asked about the future
I shrug, usually, look around everywhere but eyes and noses,
I wish I could say it’s because
I’m living in the present,
But instead it feels more like time standing still.

17 November 2009

Jumanji- /2002/


I sat in front of
The class
In the muggy south of china
Little baby Chinese children
Smiling wide
And not
Realizing that it
Is so unfair
To be in school in the summertime
Jumanji was on
The rolling TV set and
I asked them to
Name the animals
In english
As they
Came up on the screen,
Like the elephants
And giraffes
But none as cute
As all the little faces
Screaming
“Monnnkeeeeeeyyyysss!”
In the afternoon heat.

04 November 2009

the substitute

Lulu was not feeling well at all. Her cheeks were not rosy- in fact they were pale. Her lips had formed a strange twisted look that was certainly not a smile. She decided to go see Dr. McLeen immediately.

"What is it, Dr?" she asked. "Is it swine flu?"

"No, it is not" replied the doctor. "It is an advance case of malaise and angst. It may be contagious. You had better get a substitute." The doctor wrote out a note and handed it to Lulu.

"For how long?" asked Lulu. The doctor advised a day or two.

Lulu sat on her quilt at home, sipped her bloody mary (another recommendation at the clinic) and glanced at her cell phone. Perhaps the physician was right: a substitute was needed. She arranged for one the following day, and left her white plastic notebook marked
substitute assignments on the coffee table.

In the morning the substitute arrived. As per the instructions in the notebook, she ate a small healthy breakfast and put on a cotton dress. After cleaning the kitchen and starting the laundry, she left for lunch with Lulu's best friend, Matilda.

Matilda looked surprised. "I'm the substitute" said the substitute. "Lulu isn't feeling well. The doctor says her misery may be catching." Matilda nodded in agreement and the two chatted about their weeks, their love lives, and their families. They argued over the check for a minute or two before settling up. "See you next week?" asked the substitute.

"Eerr, I guess?" said Matilda. She kissed her cheek and tottered off to her car.

The substitute consulted the notebook. Oh, dear. She picked up Lulu's cell phone and carefully scrolled through the address book.

Ring, ring... The substitute turned on the car and drove towards the coffee shop.

"Hello?" said the phone. "Lulu? Are you there?"

"Hello," said the substitute. "I am the substitute. Lulu is suffering from turmoil."

"Umm, is she ok?" asked the voice.

"She will be ok." said the substitute. "Listen, this is going to be hard, but I can't do this anymore."

"What do you mean?" said the voice. "I'm confused."

"I can't be with you anymore. Its just too hard." said the substitute.

"Umm, do you mean 'you' as in the substitute, or 'you' as in Lulu?" he asked.

"Me as in Lulu" said the substitute. "I am the substitute. The substitute for Lulu. I can't do this anymore. I'm sorry. You are a really nice guy but I need some space. I will return your things within the week to you..." the substitute glanced down at the notebook, "to your brother."

The substitute hung up the phone. It had gone easier than she had predicted. She did a little grocery shopping, sent out some resumes, and wrote up some detailed summaries of Lulu's favorite television programs.

At the end of the day, the substitute laid the notebook down on the coffee table and went to her home. Lulu sat up in bed and sighed- she felt rested and invigorated. Her consternation was noticeably diminished. She sipped her bloody mary and sat back with her television summaries.

Lulu breathed deeply and relaxed her face muscles. If only the substitutes weren't so expensive, she thought.

01 November 2009

maybe


a dress
a song
a little blue blanket...
I will find my happiness
in places like these,
I just need
to try harder.

sip the coffee and breathe the fall air.
let myself tumble and
spin with the leaves.

cool air and a cool head-
up up up up.

25 October 2009

escapism

sometimes
i miss paris so much
that my heart
literally
hurts.

(like tonight)

13 October 2009

haikus about men i have slept with, set 2

I.
Oh, young love is sweet.
Happily ever after?
Not in freshman year.

XXI.
We had cheap champagne
And one night of twisted sheets;
Kissing therapy.

XIII.
The parties were fun.
You were never very smart,
We called you meathead.

10 October 2009

haikus about men i have slept with, set 1


VI.
your poems: lovely,
the lies: pathological,
relationship: brief.


XIV.
Bonjour mon cheri,
then vespa rides in Paris,
Tears at a strip club.


XX.
Glowing computer
leads to naughty rendez vous—
suckers fall in love.

06 October 2009

my favorite stories

the princess and the pea

alice in wonderland

the twelve dancing princesses

the little mermaid

26 September 2009

connections

when i feel lonely i think
of when i was on the island
in the
indian ocean
at a picnic in the
foggy, gloomy mountains
surrounded by my friends
the germans, the brits, the spaniards, the locals...
we ate prosciutto and tortilla and cari poulet and sammoussas,

and all the spanish kids started singing the
'fresh prince of bel air'
theme in spanish


and i was reminded of how connected we all are in the world,
silly as it sounds...

19 September 2009

lucie bobs her hair

I will bob my hair, F Scott,
and you will
have nothing
caddy
or
nasty
to

say about it.
(Ha!)

nightmares and weekend melodrama (please disregard)


Melatonin,
Apparently,
Gives you nightmares.
As if the suburbs weren’t nightmare enough
I have dreams that men I am too good for
leave me
and some how
I get the short end of the stick.
I have dreams of falling into lakes
once covered with thick ice
Into the coldcoldcold water
and then I look for
my picture books.... I seriously dived back into the cold water for my memories. (inthedream)
And yet I still talk
with a translucent ghost
The professor who never was
never will be
who doesn’t have a clue...
I hold onto that stability like a life vest,
Apparently.
Ahhhhh nightmares
Such an archaic word
and still
in them
The world is all around (nohiding)
she is putting her life
up her nose
and there is me
watching
paralyzed
And I try to expel my body
get everything away from me
I do it
in every dream
and in every reality.
it leaves me sick and tired...
Apparently.

07 September 2009

honesty

i will love the doctor

i will break the professor's heart

(when i'm ready)

05 September 2009

Ms. Trudaline

trudaline
likes lemon cream
and tinned sardines
and movie screens

trudaline
has a golden sheen
and a sneaky scheme
to make martin scream

28 August 2009

disaster is relative

I promise to never be
the kitten stuck up in the tree
the smallest of calamities
everyone stops their lives to look at me

the whole neighborhood will soon know
when the firemen put on a show
to save miss kitten from falling below
(instead lower her safely down just so)

and no one says 'she got herself there alone
let her find her own way home'

focus// efforts

i'm focusing all my efforts on

finding a job
decorating my new art studio

saving up for student loan payments
buying acrylics and books about Bohemia

making professional contacts
champagne and retro movies with my old girlfriends

being the early bird
battling insomnia

being a lawyer
being lucie

27 August 2009

question

Is it human nature to be naturally happy and it takes effort to be sad, or is it human nature to be naturally sad and it takes effort to be happy?

21 August 2009

silly sally

silly sally ledbetter
sneezes when she drinks fizzy pop
and thought about shaving her eyebrows,
for a second.
she has a lovely gait and a mellow voice
and she
grows her own be bop cherries and licorice
silly sally
thems sellin' like hot cakes nowadays.
kiss your elbow and wink.

20 August 2009

my old home

beige carpet // potpourri // wallpaper // pledge furniture polish // doilies // curled rug // ceramics // dusty fireplace // clean linoleum// dark shiny wood table // puffed valence //

comfort

18 August 2009

positive thought of the day


is nothing
more delightful
than a tutu?


i wish the whole world was covered in tulle and organza

they (should) say

the road
to american
higher education
is paved
with
good intentions.

to do

go to public library to research millinery.

eat chocolate.

17 August 2009

shopping list

olive juice

my left shoe







chocolate

14 August 2009

stories I wrote in high school: "The Algebra Teacher"

I've decided that my algebra teacher is very unsatisfied with her life. Its because of her husband. He is very protective of her. She doesn't enjoy her job. She goes home and grades papers and dreams of beaches and sunsets and bittersweet breezes. She could be a doctor. She could be a professor. But no, she is stuck here in nowheresville suburbia. But she'll get out some day- she'll leave that worthless man and find real love: something that she can never configure with numbers on a chalkboard.

Its strange that I know so much about her, and yet she can't seem to remember my name...

01 August 2009

stories I wrote in high school: "She, her, oh"

(this was a story I tried to write from a male perspective)

She sat back against her pillows in her soft, dark negligee. He looked into her eyes as he buttoned up his shirt. He couldn't believe he had done it again. After all this time. After everytime he told himself he wouldn't go back again.

But Jesus, she was beautiful. Her body was a continuous line- dark brunette waves turning to soft slanted shoulders fading to the curves of her hips down the length of her leg. He could look at her forever.

She smiled her crooked smile and stood, pressing her body against his. "Lovely," she said. "Won't you stay?" She pouted her lips and leaned back a little, while gently entangling her leg with his.

"I can't" he said.

"Just as well," she replied as she slipped out of the lingerie and into a big blanket. "I'm going to Paris in two days."

He didn't want to know that. He didn't want to know anything else that she would do or had done. He wished he didn't even know her address. He resented all of this knowledge because he knew deep down that if he got that feeling again- the dark, miserable, empty feeling, he would have to see her again. He knew he would follow her to Paris if he could, if it got too bad.

There she would be waiting for him, with champagne and Vivaldi. There she would let him in and take him in her bed and eat toast in the morning. He just couldn't take it anymore. He loved her too deeply, too passionately to stand. Ecstasy was in her eyes and bliss in her blankets, and his heart continuously broke after each time. All his dreams were within her, and she didn't even care.

He went into the bathroom and splashed water onto his face. He knew he had to just go away. He knew that he had to ignore the dark feeling that came with being without her and eventually it would dull down. He promised himself he would not go back again.

He left through the window to avoid saying goodbye and feeling another kiss on his lips. The goodbye kisses were always half given: if he never received the beginning, he wouldn't have to return for the end.

stories I wrote in high school: "Indecision"

I sat blankly on my bed and stared into my closet. I had a taste in my mouth that was like I had been drinking flat coke. Of course, it wasn't true, because I had been living off of grape juice and poptarts for four days. I just felt like it, you know?

Well, anyway, I was staring at my closet wishing that maybe if I blinked I might open my eyes to something new and exciting, but every time it was the same old clothes. It made me think of the time when I was seven and I put on one of my mother's dresses, but I didn't fill out the top at all (nor the rest of the dress for that matter). I modeled in the mirror, pretending I had a figure, but everytime I looked it was just the same old boring me- so I cut all my hair off with the bathroom scissors. My mom says I get bored with things too quickly. I don't think that's true. After all, I was still eating blueberry poptarts, wasn't I?

One thing I was bored with, though, was Tony. Excruciatingly bored. The way he talked, walked, kissed, sneezed... All of it put me to sleep. So I sat in front of my closet with a clear mission: find a dump Tony outfit. Black... black... I thought, for mourning, of course. I put on a black dress that hung to my knees and added a pink sequin ribbon to hang on my hips that I had so craved at a young age.

One time I went to the mall with Tony. We were in his car, cruising through the parking lot. I saw a parking spot, it must have been about 6 spots back from the front door. But Tony said he though he saw something closer, so instead of listening to me he drove on. Of course, we lost both spots. And isn't that just like Tony? Always looking for something better than what he has right in front of his face. And it drives me crazy.

I took off the black dress and put on a pair of green pants and a black top, but the velvet swirls on the cuffs of the pants seemed too cheery for the occasion.

I remember when Tony bought me a lamp for our anniversary. He said he was trying to be different. It was the ugliest thing I had ever seen, but I put it in my room anyway. The base had painted fish on it that looked absolutely demonic. They gave me nightmares until I tied a scarf over them.

I exchanged my pants for a miniskirt and ankle boots, which of course made me change my shirt to a dark blue camisole. But it was too sexy. I didn't want him picturing me naked right before we broke up.

My mind flew back to our first kiss: It was in my backyard, late one humid summer night. He actually asked me if he could kiss me before he did. It was so dorky. So of course I was all ready for it, instead of it being spontaneous and wonderful, as first kisses are supposed to be. I recall the evening to be a disaster.

I threw on outfit after outfit, until I began to realize that I wasn't really worried about alligator belts and a-line skirts, I was procrastinating. And as I sat there, in my robe now, staring into the closet, the phone rang.

It was Tony.

"Hello dollface" he said. Oh, I hated when he called me that.

"Hi Tony" I said flatly.

"Well I was wondering if you wanted to go dancing tonight. The whole crowd should be there?"

"Well," I said. "Well... ok."

"That's great" he said. "And dollface, I love you."

Hearing Tony's amourous words across the line made my face turn pink and I suddenly and briefly forgot about all the previosly overanalyzed faults of his. So maybe he was a little over ambitious, a lot of girls like that in a guy. And so maybe he had strange taste in presents and sometimes he tended to get a little nervous. These things, I thought, are not things to lose someone over.

"I love you too Tony," I said back, smiling. "And puh-lease don't call me dollface," I said with a sigh.

"I'll pick you up at eight. Oh, will you wear that black dress I love with that weird sparkly ribbon thingy?"

As I changed back into my original outfit, I reflected on my problem. I sipped from my glass of grape juice and decided maybe I should go chopping all my hair off everytime I'm bored.

stories I wrote in high school

Seeing as I am (temporarily) squatting at my fathers house, I started searching for my old portfolio of short stories I wrote in high school that I used to send off to Seventeen Magazine- never had one published, though. I thought I could rewrite some of the stories to update them to a more mature perspective. I can't find my portfolio but I did find stacks of notebooks packed with (awful) poetry and scribbled with shorts. I thought I would share some here on the blog- there is a certain sweetness to the naivety (I had hardly been outside of my small southern town). Most stories are about escaping your life for something better, full of people I wish I knew in real life. Hope you enjoy them-- I'll keep digging for the portfolio...

(Ps I was in high school from 1997 to 2001, if you want "cultural context").

24 July 2009

apres-moi le deluge


It was my last night in New Orleans, and I went down to the French Quarter to have my cards read. I entered Jackson Square and it was muggy and heavy, the air closing in all around me. Scattered nearby were high school-age students in Jesus T-shirts- some sort of mission trip, I supposed. I avoided their hungry eyes. Wasn't in the mood to talk about my lord and savior, or whatever they were hocking. I stepped carefully over the cracked, uneven cobblestone in my high heels. In front of the church the sound of a single clarinet floated through the air- a street musician working late on a weekday. The breeze, when it was kind enough to rustle, smelled like red pepper and bay leaves.

I sat at the wobbly table set up haphazardly on the side of the park and leaned in: "How much for a reading?" I asked.

"Whatever you would like to donate." she said. She had an honest, calm face, and tattoos peeking from underneath her dress. She was maybe in her 50s. Her hair was a pleasant grey, swept up in a knot on top of her head. Her cards were very worn and slightly torn, bent from excessive handling and reading.

"I need it" I said as I offered my hand to introduce myself.

Jackson Square is a tourist trap. It's a pedestrian mall, park and church in the center of the French Quarter. Slaves used to be executed there if they disobeyed, back in the day. Its also where Bush stood and delivered his speech to a soggy and torn apart city after Katrina. He orated in front of the St. Louis Cathedral, lit by generator after generator, and said, "And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know there is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again."

The city was a disaster when I arrived, three years ago, almost exactly one year after the hurricane had done its damage. Though a year had passed since "the storm," houses were still falling in on themselves, the streets were stacked high with debris, and the mail and garbage services were dubious. On the houses you could still see the faint water line marking where the muck had reached and then sat for days. It smelled like Katrina. Houses were still stained with the big spray-painted Xs: each front door indicated what day it had been searched, by whom, and how many people, people no longer living, were found inside. Sometimes "1 dog" or "2 cats" was also scribbled alongside the macabre marking system. It amazed me that houses that seemed to be inhabited, with cut lawns and fresh rooftops, left these X's up for a long while. In Jackson Square some of these doors were being sold to the tourists, along with Katrina damage bus tours and kitsch t-shirts slandering FEMA.

At that time I was not a disaster: I was fresh from a year abroad after university graduation, wide-eyed and amazed and eager to soak everything in. I wanted to see this city grow and swell with people. But by the time I had sat myself at this unstable card table covered in cheap, metallic fabric, I was the mess. The city I had come to was full of life around me: you could tell by just closing your eyes and listening to that sad, low clarinet sing. I had neighbors on my street. The power would no longer randomly cut out. Tourism was back in full swing. This is not to say that New Orleans had completed its renaissance, but compared to the empty, dark, broken city I had moved into that summer, it was like a completely different world.

And now I was lost. Hopelessly broken and tired. I loved the city and I loved the people in it, but all my spirit had been washed away by my own storm water. I felt defeated, like a failure, and like a disappointment. I felt I had become a completely different person.

She shuffled the cards and then handed them to me so I could cut them several times. We held hands and prayed for protection over the table and the reading. By this point the sun was quickly slipping down over the nearby Mississippi River, giving a tiny relief to the seemingly relentless humidity.

"You have a destiny," she said, laying out cards in a complex pattern. "You have always known what you have wanted in life. But you have been very depressed."

I sighed hard. Depression yes, but if this is my destiny, I thought, the depression is not going anywhere. Her creased hands folded and unfolded the cards, sometimes slowly resting on one or another, adjusting them straight.

"But very recently this depression has had some relief; there is some happiness entering your life." she said. That very week I had decided to postpone the bar exam. I had never felt more free. "You are making the right choices," she said, giving me a reassuring look. "You are an extremely creative person and you are destined to make your living that way. You are optimistic, do not lose that in this dark period." she said. I nodded softly and waited for her to continue.

"There are two men in your life," she said. "One has a lot of issues. He is no good for you. You must get rid of him." This was all what I already knew and had been denying all summer. "The other, he is in control of a lot of things. He loves you and does not like this other man at all. He senses he is bad in your life." Hmmmm, I thought, my father. My father who I was planning on driving to see and stay with the next morning.

She looked me straight in the eye. "Get rid of him, honey." she said matter of factly. "You will be so much happier." I turned and looked toward Decatur Street and Cafe du Monde, where I would meet my boyfriend later to walk to dinner nearby. She saw my brow furrow. "He is a good man," she said. "But he is not good to you. Too much baggage. Is he divorced?" "Yes." I replied.

With two cards to go, she handed me a little good news:
the lover. "There will be a new man in your life when you make these changes" she said. "But be careful, you two will be extremely compatible and you must take special care to protect yourself in order to not get pregnant. You don't need that right now." She flipped the last card, the top card, the distant future card. It was the world. "You will travel," she said. "It is in your blood. You want it now, but you can't have it now. It will come. It is written for you."

"Do you see anything else?" I asked. My voice had an air of desperation. I didn't want to yet leave. I wanted more answers, more reassurance, more communication. She chatted with me for a moment longer before grasping my hand to say goodbye. I handed her my money and thanked her several times.

I tottered off towards Cafe du Monde and reflected. My forehead was already beading with tiny moisture from the humidity. I felt dizzy, overwhelmed, while at the same time strangely calm. I spotted the man-who-is-no-good-for-me waiting at a sticky table at the cafe, a large man with a tuba playing not far front him, next to the "beware pickpockets" sign. He kissed my cheek and asked me how it went.

"You don't really think I believe in that stuff, do you?" I laughed. She had made me promise not to tell him.

21 July 2009

close//open


They say when one door closes another one opens.
This is not a logical expression: one door closing doesn’t do anything to affect other doors (unless you are on an elevator, I guess).
When one door closes, you have to take action.
When one door closes-
Push it back open,
Pick the lock,
Ring the bell,
When one door closes-
Crawl underneath,
Dig a hole,
Get a ladder,
Or—
If you feel how I do—
Say “meh” and take a nap.
It will open if it wants to
When it wants to.
(I prefer windows.)

24 June 2009

bizarre

i had a dream my boyfriend was a dark-haired boy named daniel who had a pet meerkat and performed illegal cosmetic surgery on red-headed twins.

20 June 2009

saying goodbye


the house swells
with new orleans
humidity
and old passion
as i pack each box carefully,
and place them
outside.

16 June 2009

ode to the swinger

you are more complicated than a thousand piece puzzle, more perplexing than vegan cheese, and, strangely, more intriguing than a 3AM infomercial...

tell me more about your adventures while i curl my body up beside you. (you just like to be held, you said. i haven't had a night like this in years.)


enjoy baton rouge, playboy, and call me sometime.

07 June 2009

always making plans

will move north, have a son named Lake and a daughter named Dolores. and i'll make a cake for when you come over.

06 June 2009

southern

the saddest girl
to ever hold a
mint julep.

03 June 2009

stamp my passport

yearning, ache, ambition, appetite, aspiration, craving, craze, eagerness, fancy, fascination, hankering, hunger, longing, need, passion, thirst, urge, want

02 June 2009

his body


A glass of wine
with you
over cheese and
pommes frites at
a place filled
with “such an uptown crowd”
as you put it
was like a
flirting manual out of
some awful women’s magazine
dripping with subscription cards.
She:
Open, towards him
Head tilted
Legs crossed
Leaning in, laughing, touching,
Brushing his knee
He:
Leans back,
Open, strong
Looking right at her
Watching her hand
As it brushes his
Knee
We walked outside to your bicycle
and you hugged me so tight
I kissed your rough cheek and said
‘I’ll call you’
You pulled me close again
And said.... “promise?”
And when you touch me my whole body tingles with anticipation
But I watch as you head back downtown instead of to my bed.....
I like you too much to sleep with you.

30 May 2009

its a gamble





delicately place a shiny quarter in the slot machine
(the one with the wheels, the lights, the bells-- looks promising, no?)
say a little wish
please please please please please this is all i've got
place your hand on the lever and
wrap your fingers around it, tight pull it towards your body
and close your eyes

the machine gently shakes
the little lights are blinking
on and off and on

you open your eyes slowly, sit up straight. . .
tick tick tick and before you can let out a full breath
the spin comes to a close

one diamond,
two diamonds, three diamonds is it a winner? debatable

28 May 2009

motivation


White paper
Flashing screen
And yet
After all
The crazy investment
I don’t feel
Mo
Ti
Va
Ted
Why????
Because I don’t want to be a lawyer.
Jesus
I need to get through this

pest deux

the pest i take now is not the same pest as then, but the principle still applies:

What are you doing with yourself Miss Blew? What are you doing with your knife?

My knife is going just fine, take me very much.

It is not sublime! You have to take the pest!!

I am afraid to snake the pest. The pest is so daunting.

The pest is your knife now.

Is this pest the pest I am smirking of?

Yes! That pest! The Less Satisfaction Ample Temperance pest!

I don’t snow why this pest is so deported anyway. It is, after all, just a pest.

Without this pest, Miss Glue, you will not have a slaw office.

I never said I wanted to have a slaw office! I never really wanted to be a slayer. I want to glee the world. I want to see other pantries. I only want to snake the pest so I can go to slaw school and have a good exploration.

Regardless Madam, the pest must be taken. You can’t change the pearls. That’s just how knife is.

from here

15 May 2009

ode to the oceanographer

cheesecake
champagne
and a cigarette you smoke with your left hand

i
luff
your bachelor pad

you
have
SUMMER
written all over you

(and i think i looked
everywhere...)

13 May 2009

real estate dreams

outdoor fans with wide blades, gathering dust

white front porch with sheer curtains

vintage claw foot bathtub and lavender

recipes written on cards, kept in old library catalog cabinets

a glass for every drink, a flower for every room

10 May 2009

request









i will
make you
brunch
if
you kiss my cheeks
and call
me
sweetie pie

06 May 2009

quand je suis triste, je pense à


Marriage Numbers Babies Air_Planes
Pills Hips Telephones
Trees Decisions
Ticks and Tocks
Back and Forth
Over and Under
Looking but not Finding.

30 April 2009

still

still thinking of you
i
heard you
published
a new
book of
poems

congratulations

is your
girlfriend
catholic
enough for you?

i remember your picture
on the beach,
half asleep
in the sand (shells and coral)
glasses in
hand
after
half-heartedly tossing aside
a copy of
le monde

you had a tummy
like candy
so kissible
and delicious

your eyes were
brown and
deep and
your hair
was an inconceivable mess

i wrote
every
poem about you
when we were
together,

even my favorite ones
when you
left me (and i
normally hate
my poems when i'm
sad)

i guess


i suppose


i assume i am

thinking of you now
perhaps

because i am
in between

like i
was when i met you

in between
and open
and confused
and excited.

i suppose i am thinking of you
because
well,
not because of you,
but because of the
idea of you
and the



idea


of b

e
ing

free. free to make mistakes.



(FN see + and +.)

29 April 2009

c. love

when i was
in high school
you were a
goddess

you didn't give a flying....

you put huge sequins in your
styled
bleached
hair

i saw you
at a festival with
my friends, i was maybe
16

you played
hard
and long
and the
sides of the stage burst open
and glitter
fell like
magical snow
i felt like
i was in
heaven

at the
end of the show
you gave away
your guitar
to a guy
near us
in the front row.

then i called my mom
to pick me up

sweaty,
excited,
inspired
(today feels like that, a little)

future perhaps

a
saleswoman
in little pink thing
cracked red lips
at agent provocateur

or perhaps
no

sugar

daddy

is a weird phrase.

why figure things out
when
it is
so nice to be


confused// in between.



if it ain't broke.....