26 December 2005

April 16, 2005

I’ve been here before. Its ridiculously early to be staring at a dark ceiling. I think he’s passed out but its too soon to be sure.
It all started when he taunted me. No. It all started when he called and asked me to meet him at a keg party. Then he taunted me. “You think you’re too good for this, don’t you?” he said. Fuck him if he thinks I’m a snob (even though I am).
So I went. I followed his sketchy directions to the standard student apartment. Knocking on the door was a joke but I did it anyway. I know it’s a keg party but I still don’t know any of these people and I don’t want to seem rude.
Inside is so generic it should be on a shelf next to a cocktail party marked up $2 more. There are pretty girls in skirts and lots of boys in polo shirts and baseball caps. I walk straight through the apartment to the backdoor, which takes about 7 seconds. I am looking to find him but all the boys look the same.
He’s out on the patio. I tap him on the shoulder and he turns around and is immediately much more friendly than usual. He says hello, his hand gently resting on my ass. “I want to make out with you so badly right now. Lets go somewhere.”
He takes me to the parking lot and I feel like I’m 15 years old again. “I’m a fool.” I say to him. He smells like beer and I can tell he’s had too much. “Why? You look so hot…” he says as he buries his face in my neck and reaches up to grab my chest. I remove his hand and I say “because the only reason you called me is because you’re drunk and want sex. And I know this and I came anyway.”
“I really like you” is his reply.
“Do you want me to take you home?” I ask. He rubs his crotch against my leg and says “What do you think?”
We get in my car and drive to his apartment. When we get inside he doesn’t bother to turn on any lights. He leans into my back and reaches his hands around to my chest, kissing my collarbone. “Aren’t you going to offer me a drink?” I ask. “I will later” he says. All I can think is I might as well be back with Big John if I am going to deal with this shit.
Still I stay.
We go to his room and slip off our clothes. We wrestle on his sheets and kiss and moan. He passes out. I’ve been here before.
I stare at the ceiling, thinking about everything. I think about him, and me, and tomorrow, and the afternoon, and the generic keg party that I was at for 6 minutes. I think I wish he was kissing me and tugging at my hair and whispering dirty things in my ear. I think I wish a lot of things about him that aren’t happening and won’t happen. But I’ve only got less than two months left in this damn town, so I take what I can get.

17 December 2005

je t'aime, Marc Yenpong

Marc Yenpong is built like a creole house. Built to last. Marc Yenpong is a student at the lycée Rolland Garros, and damn he can’t wait to get out of there. Marc Yenpong is studying hard for his bac, but he would never let his friends know that. Marc Yenpong plays foot on Thursday mornings with Pascal, Thierry, and Christophe. He likes it when Pascal’s sister comes along. She’s pretty like hibiscus and he might even like her if only she didn’t surf better than he does.
Marc Yenpong worked washing dishes in a creole dive for 4 months to save up enough money to buy some new Pumas. His pride keeps him from going back even though he could use some more cash. Marc Yenpong is young enough that he doesn’t still calculate the euros into francs. His grandfather does that and its drives him crazy. Papa Yenpong. But damn if those pumas aren’t fly. Trop as they say.
Marc Yenpong hates Star Academy. That’s a lie. Marc Yenpong pretends to hate Star Academy but secretly lingers in the salon when his sister watches it. His vote is for Ely. He has a soft spot for Canadian girls. Marc Yenpong had a dream once he was in Canada, playing foot. Everything was going well until the ground dropped out from below him.
Late at night someone felt the urge to declare their love for Marc Yenpong on the streets of centre ville. Marc Yenpong doesn’t know what to think about this. His friends won’t stop making fun of him, but he knows they are just jealous. In the back of his head, Marc Yenpong thinks it was one of his friends who did it for a laugh. That’s not what he wants to believe though. He wants to believe that every pretty girl he passes on the street was the one holding that amorous can of spray paint and proclaiming a love that was too strong to stay inside. A love that had to be written in public semi permanence.
Marc Yenpong can’t wait to get out of there. He’s built to last, but this drama just wears and wears.

15 December 2005

interstate of mind

It’s a Cutless Supreme in baby blue and the back door is broken- held closed with a bungee cord. It’s an automatic. It’s huge. The road is black as centipedes and the steam rises up from it from the heat of midday. There’s a shoe on the median. We’re behind a Chevy with a boat. The radio cracks out: “Those of you travelling to Florida for the holiday weekend will want to let some air out of your tires, the roads are hot and you don’t want problems.” I’m in the backseat with my The Little Mermaid sleeping bag and a chapter book about an old house and a young girl. My brother is laying in the floor of the backseat, listening to Weird Al on his walkman. I know he won’t let me use it. His hair is so blond. The sign says “Now Entering the Sunshine State” but it all looks the same to me. And it’s not sunshine, its rain. Hard infrequent bursts, the kind you can see ahead of you on the road and then behind you when you’ve gone through. This is past the age when rolling windows up and down is fun, but too early to be comfortable just laying with feet on the dashboard. It’s hot cold hot cold hot. The billboard reads “Fireworks! Fireworks! Fireworks! Exit 5.”
I start to bug my mom about stopping along the way. “But I’m hunnnnngry momma” I say, restless with my sleeping bag. “Alright” she says and before long the car is not on the road, but along the side in the dust. I open the door and struggle to find my flipflops. My legs are all wobbly from the long car ride and I look up to see a man with more wrinkles than face and a wooden table covered in watermelons. He has no shirt on. There are two little boys playing by the truck behind the table, shooting each other with their fingers, both winning and dieing at the same time. The sun is hot hot hot. The next exit isn’t for another 15 miles. “Two bags of boiled peanuts” my mother asks. He scoops a large spoon into his black vat, lifting a mound of boiled peanuts into a white Styrofoam cup. He hands her two paper bags and grumbles “wanna melon?” My mother shakes her head no and hands over 3 dollars. We bend our knees up and down three times before climbing back in the Cutless. My brother hadn’t budged from the floor. The styrofoam cup is warm in my hand and I pull out the first nut to meet its fate. I put it in my mouth and gently suck the warm salty water out from within the shell. Then I hold it in my thumb and forefinger and pop it open with my front teeth. I use my little hands to open the shell, secretly hoping like every time that the peanuts will be in tact and on the same side of the shell once the two halves have been separated. They are, and I get a little thrill from it before using my teeth to pop the peanut out of the shell and into my mouth. It tastes like summer, and Florida, and festivals, and salt, and love, and little boys playing cowboys. Peanut shells litter the highway for the next 2 hours.

12 December 2005

vocabulary lesson for the broken hearted

brisé broken// tristesse sadness// manquer to miss// méprise a misunderstanding// amant lover// seul alone// terminé finished// le matin the morning// pleurer to cry// déconcerté confused// obstiné stubborn// peiné upset// quitter to leave// confiance trust// blesser to hurt//
regretter to regret// l'amour love.

10 December 2005

venir [prostituer]

he said he doesn't like to do it alone
he said it makes him feel empty inside, after
i said its erotic
to be alone
with your thoughts
he said he doesn't like to do it alone

he said when you are with a woman its better
you still feel empty but there is someone to hold you
to kiss you-- love you
empty? i said
empty. empty and alone.

then he said he loved me, after
i was the perfect size for his void.

its good to be alone.

01 December 2005

my news/ the news

boy shot girls parents
they can trace it all in texts.
who you tryin to fool?

buddha boy, nepal
bit by snake, still going strong
meditation rocks

why can't this island
have just one mexican place?
tortilla withdrawal.

star ac is on at 6
no more pierre or mullet
damn that is so sad.

roosters crow all night
we want cosmic justice now
but the stove done broke.

he is my Henry
Miller, misogynist but
oddly appealing.

you started the Crips
think you can get off easy?
write a book on that.

same lesson five times
I feel like an old rock star
tired stage banter.

21 November 2005

self realization through symbolism [pt 2]

burning incense is not meditation
making love is not revolution
the body is not freedom
the island is not freedom
the classroom is not freedom

scribbling is not introspection
ignoring is not prosecution
drinking is not medication
a photograph is not a memory

isolation is not preservation

today I stood in the kitchen in my salty bikini and ate an entire baby pineapple over the sink.
I don’t care what it wasn’t. I know what it is.

16 November 2005

self realization through perspective [pt1]

Elodie learned to swim when she was 4 years old. She said ‘I love the water, my dear. I love the falter and lull. I am Carolina crabcakes. Hot chocolate.’ She will not be afraid of knives falling on bare feet in kitchens. She will not be around for the aftermath. That is not her style.

Karmen danced until her toes bled. She said, ‘I bleed like linen. I am a notion.’ She signed her will at age 11, not without care. She knows who you dream about at night. Karmen is she, he I you and them. She is the green linoleum; the saran wrap to save the stuffing.

Brigitte has a sewing kit in brown paper. She is a present for the morning. ‘If only you knew’ she always whispers in his ear. Misanthrope. Megalomaniac. Melancholic. Cholic. Myself. Self. And so it is. To come is to go. For Brigette, time is of the gasoline.

Sylvie feels lonely on Wednesday afternoons. Her fortune cookies always tell her to be brave. ‘I’m not going to be swamp. I’m going to be infinite’ she says. Her Spanish lessons are going along like cake. She will be sorry to foxtrot into the ocean, but not for long. How Chopin in a Kate way. Embrace your pretensions.

07 November 2005


there exist cigarettes
this world therein are cigarettes and black coffee beans
daughters have problems with cigarettes, black coffee beans, and vodka.
wait, start again.
there exist cigarettes
in cafes and corners on buses up mountains
that’s it! phallic. cigarettes. sex.

ok back up
cigarettes in bikinis, that’s not sexy.

not sexy.
cigarettes a baby. romanticized. in a diminutive.
hips swing in blankets of smoke.

langue, not language. langue for cigarettes. long for cigarettes.
the longing, of course. the longing.
desire and tension, romantic.
cigarettes in September. cigarettes in December.
black coffee beans. vodka.
long sleeved sweater. pick your poison.

03 November 2005

grapefruit mentos pepsi max and jumbly slop of me

its all so quick and fast so
lightening speed all clichés of time [it is flying you know]
soon the sugar cane will all be cut down and I haven’t had a picture
it will be gone; ready to grow again the year after when I will be dieu-knows-where
these nights he says ‘do you think you could love me lo?’ and I say ‘I don’t know’ because I was never good with the conditional tense anyway.
these days have been heavy and so dense that when you look off the balcony you can’t see the horizon, just the thick blue of the sky meeting the thick blue of the ocean
[there are no straight lines in nature, right?]
the clouds dip down low, low
they don’t have the energy to stay in the sky
they don’t want to mark the end of the earth.
all the signs are spray painted with big red wings and underneath it says
WAKE UP, when I look at them all I can think is
I’d rather not, thank you, I like the suspension.

29 October 2005

night sounds

island cats are hopeless romantics
they spend the better part of each night singing
tortured songs to one another and making
love until
4 AM

The birds need to work on their harmonies
and their insomnia
no one would hire this band
not even for wedding or bar mitzvahs
especially with the bird who sounds like he is
gargling in the bottom of a tin bucket

island dogs bark at shadows all night,
and dust, and ideas, and trees, and
my window
they are mad, these dogs and when they
see me I imagine they envision a big chicken leg
in their minds like on cartoons with classical music

but the worst, the absolute worst,
are the roosters that crow from
3 AM until 6
as if lazy Réunion farmers
just can’t stop hitting nature’s snooze button.

28 October 2005

en boite

charles mézance charles le méchant
the night club was loud and your breath was heavy
I could feel your pretension a kilometer away
but somehow in the midst of outkast and French pop
we clicked glasses and talked about Kerouac
Kerouac! imagine that, I thought myself lucky.

charles mézance charles le professeur
we picnicked on the beach and you told me how
you are a French teacher by day
editor by night, spoiled catholic boy from the north of

so French he bleeds Bordeaux, and bleeds often

‘this isn’t serious this isn’t serious’ says charles
as he peels away my dress
he’s got the catholic guilt hardcore and a handful of heartbreaks to boot
I think I’ll be as permanent in his life
as the bite marks he left on my hip
but I must admit
I am obsessed with the idea of him.

19 October 2005

give me my green card bitches

18 October 2005
Subject: the act of eating an omelet for breakfast

Mlle BLUE:

We the undersigned hereby declare that under order of the French government you (formal) are in no way legally able to partake of omelet for breakfast until the following accommodations have been made.

The department of omelets (DoO) will need expressed written acknowledgement of your desire to have an omelet for breakfast. This will need to be signed and postmarked at least two (2) weeks before other paperwork can be filed.

The department of omelets (DoO) will need copies in triplicate of your birth certificate, your passport, and your working contract signed and notarized. One copy of your birth certificate must be translated into French by a certified translator, another needs to be translated into Creole and further another must be translated into twin speak. This will also need to be made into triplicates, signed and certified.

You will need proof of housing in the form of a copy of a lease, a copy of an electricity bill, and three (3) pictures of yourself (black and white) in your bathrobe at 2 AM drinking rum.

You (formal) must also schedule an appointment at a DoO doctor to obtain a certificat de médecin to prove that you are physically able to indulge in omelet eating. This appointment must be scheduled three (3) months in advance and must be requested in writing at least two (2) weeks in advance of the advance. The doctor will also need a translated copy of your birth certificate.

After this has been filed five (5) times in completion, you (formal) must have a signed contract with the supervisor of the department of omelets (DoO). You can schedule an appointment to see him on Tuesdays or Fridays. He has breakfast from 8AM until 11AM. His lunch begins at 11:15 and lasts until 4:30 PM. His office closes at 5 PM, except on Tuesdays and Fridays when he closes early for dinner.

Finally, you will need 17 original copies of this letter. If you so choose to eat an omelet before this paperwork is complete, you will be immediately deported and stoned with lava rocks by members of the French government. If however you are a member of the European Union, feel free to visit the department of omelets (DoO) prefecture office and enjoy a free omelet every afternoon.

Very sincerely,
the French government

13 October 2005

the hike

it seems obvious to write about the steep slope of the mountain
the scent of tropical flowers heavy in the air in the early morning

its poetry to describe the sense of humility in the center of a mountain so substantial
one small footstep on the ancient soil
the beauty of the clouds that seem to pass just feet above your head
a view of the blue ocean from the top of the peak
the heat so sticky like the curry in the towns in the impossible crevices of the landscape

but all I want to write is how we walked so high in the air
feeling euphoric, accomplished
only to be reminded that, even in the middle of the Indian ocean, this heavenly island is French:
as the other hikers took a breakfor coffee and cigarettes.

12 October 2005


today my brother is 24
because I am far away I will not be able to see him today
but I hope he is
somewhere warm
with food like lasagna and beer
plus a comfy place to sit where he can drift off to sleep
and dream of asian ladies.

if I could I would grab a huge Creole cloud from the sky
wrap it in paper and write
‘to luke’ in curly cursive letters.

11 October 2005

the first time i cried in Réunion

I had made it two weeks into the endeavor

I knocked on his office and I already knew
it would be dire
Monsieur L’Intendant
(he had the kind of cheeks that melted into his chin)

I had spoken with him two days before and
he had been callous
his voice was like gravel, very hard to understand
and when I asked him to repeat himself he would

sigh hard
look at me with disgust
and repeat what he had said in exactly the same manner, covered in gravel

at this point in my day I had already visited an apartment
that would mean suicide to live in
dark, dank, dead apartment
(the creole woman letting it smiled crooked and said
you are so pretty for an American)
I had called others, many
always problems; I just want to sleep somewhere that’s mine

so I looked at him
and I asked if he had something for me
he looked at me –laughed- and said
we had a place for you yesterday but you didn’t come yesterday so we gave it to someone else

I paused and said
I called yesterday and the secretary said there was nothing for me
and he laughed again; he grumbled
you must have misunderstood her

and then it happened.
my French ran dry
he knew and I knew that I did not misunderstand her
and he was laughing and I was at the end

my head filled up with water and the pressure it caused was unbearable
I couldn’t stop it, it started seeping out through my eyes
right there in his stuffy little office with one window for escaping
right there in the grey school in centre ville
right there in his territory covered in gravel for snacks and Americans

and he laughed again.

my suitcase

one poetry book, one feminist book, and one law school book is what I allowed myself
two white skirts
pink dress with polka dots
lotion that smells like sunshine
the lingerie I bought for alisan and never got to wear
four pairs of sunglasses (movie star, laid back, and pin-up); two pairs of shoes
one blank journal, black & white
a washcloth in bright yellow
5 by 10s of people I love
rainbow of camisoles and an old t shirt

I brought necklaces impossibly tangled
dental floss and liquid eyeliner
my new pink bikini, my old turquoise one
(ok, so maybe 2 books of poetry)
there is my perfume [light blue]
a slinky pair of panties
about 5000 bobby pins and no hairbrush
umbrella, Tylenol, and my whitetrash slip for sleeping in
-- the slip, that is, not the umbrella or pills.

05 October 2005

a conversation

So how old were you when you lost your virginity?

Well, I don't think that is any of your business.

Hmm. Well I was eighteen. Old I suppose.

I don't know. If you think its old then it is.

I've slept with 9 people since then.

Any Americans?

No, not yet.

23 September 2005

former major organ; or american love poem

he was smooth
he got me to the point where not only was i taking off my clothes
i was exultant to do so

then i dropped out of his sky like thisandthat boysandgirls shouldacouldawoulda

i can hear him now
laughing with his friends
how easy i was to get, second only to how easy i was to be rid of.

14 September 2005


Giggle surplus. Cannot the extreme hips, mottled face play the piano? write a poem? In love at the time of the fall of a hat. Does not call enough the questions of sex, fall from the questions of mother. Unexplainable narcissism. Pushed about faker can paint or plunges; forgets to read the newsloopas. Left but due to the surplus of the large banks.

12 September 2005

we could have been americana

we could have gone to mcdonalds and
had french fries no mayo
made love in back seats
steam the windows all up
“no officer—my father is a preacher”
we could have laid in grass up to ankles
listened to American pie
drinking jack daniels from the bottle
hey lets get platonic
no kissing (below the belt)
until you pin me (down)

08 September 2005

dear diary.... love, teenage angst

I am a chronic journal writer. Lately I've dipped into entries from my teenage years, and they are so funny I just had to share them. Can we say boy crazy? I blame my rhetoric on too many preteen novels. Yes ma'am. Here are some high points, starting with an entry I wrote when I was 13 years old:

January 3, 1997

Today me and Ceara met Sam and Brian at the mall. I got Beth a birthday present at
Bath and Body Works and one of those ‘Beanie Babies’. Its so cute! It’s a bulldog. When I grow up I am going to get a bulldog and name him Sergeant Pepper. Brian asked me out in Hallmark. He said it really loud and fast. It was hilarious!

January 29, 1997
Guess what? I got 100% on The Blueberry Bush. I love that story, I worked so hard on it! Ben is sharing a locker with
Trent now. They have no respect! They stand right in front of my locker! I worked on my pointe routine for hours today. I wish the instructor would notice me more. In our pointe number she put me behind Shannon. I hate Shannon! I wish I were thinner. In a half an hour 90210 comes on.

May 25, 1997
Its almost
midnight and I just got back from Chris’ house. I’ve been spending a lot of time there because Chris digs Ceara. I thought Zach liked me, but now I’m not sure. Well, Mom says I’ve been staying out too late. She’s always yelling at me for whatever.

July 20, 1998
Today I was talking to Patrick, and I couldn’t help but think how cute he is! He’s adorable, plays guitar, drives, and he’s smart. What more could a girl ask for? But anyway, for the record, I’ve decided to stay with Joe. I’ve decided to not involve myself with JP. He says its mean that I flirt with him. I think it is more mean of him to tell me we are perfect for each other when I have a boyfriend. I’m making a personal goal to seriously try and make things work between me and Joe. By the way, Micheal called today. He confuses me. He is a great friend but is constantly asking me to go out with him. Get a clue!

August 17, 1998
I broke up with Joe. I’m with JP now.
PS Jay just called me. He makes me melt.
What if I see Joe and JP at the same time when school starts? That would be weird….

December 8, 1998
Girls would not seem so complicated if guys weren’t so dumb. I’m in history and we have a sub today. She’s got some damage about popping gum; good thing I don’t have any. I have that Reel Big Fish song in my head. “Brand new song, just for you…” I wonder if our sub leads a really unfulfilling life and that is why she is so anal about popping gum. At least there is only 8 more days until winter vacation.

January 11, 1999
Bejean said “Do everlasting gob stoppers stop everlasting gobs or everlastingly stop gobs?” We are descending into insanity and need to come up for air, I think.

March 22, 1999
I just don’t know whats up with him lately. Its like we get together and make out and the oohs and ahhs are our only communication. My life is like an everlasting battle with my hips. So far they are winning by 8 points. I think all French teachers are evil. And its sad, because they can’t help it. Its like the French takes over their brain. I found this quote by this guy named GB Shaw while I was working on the literary magazine. He said “Music is the brandy of the damned.” And finally, if sucking was a state, biology would live there.

September 22, 1999
I skipped school today and I am sitting at the sandwich shop, watching all the customers. I want my husband to be a business man and wear suits every day. I think that’s sexy—kinda shows ambition, you know? I mean, these guys aren’t sexy, they’re old. But when I am old I won’t think they’re old, it will just be… normal, or something. Like Carrie and Big. And all of these jurors. I wanna be on a jury. That would be cool. I don’t see why teenagers don’t serve on juries. It seems like out opinions don’t matter, but you know maybe some cases need a younger perspective.

January 4, 2000
Back to school. No Armageddon. Last night I was thinking about French class and how badly I am going to do on this algebra test and I started crying and felt like I was going to throw up. Then all I could think was, “God, I am turning into my mother.”

31 August 2005


Anabelle Sue woke up with a bright white bandage around her head.
“What happened?” she asked.
“Why, you’ve been struck by lightening dear!” exclaimed her mother, happy to see her daughter open her eyes.
“What are the odds? What are the odds sis?” asked her brother. “Well, they’ve got to be about 10000 to 1, at least.”
Anabelle stood up and smiled for her family. “Hmm, I don’t know. I feel fine” she said and walked out of the hospital.
She called her voicemail and found she had 10 messages. Her boyfriend said “What are the odds baby? What are the odds?!” Her cousin said “I’ve never known someone stuck by lightening before. What are the odds of that?!”
She stopped listening to her messages.
The second lightening bolt stuck her three days later. She was walking through the grocery store parking lot to her car when she realized she forgot to buy some hummus. As she turned around she felt light and energy in her bones. She drove herself to the hospital.
“What are the odds!” said the doctor. “Well they have to be about 4.000.000- to 1!”
“Amazing” said the local paper. “Has this ever happened before ? What are the odds?”
“I really don’t know” said Anabelle. “I feel fine.”
The third and fourth lightening bolts came in the backyard playing badminton and at a toll stop on the interstate, respectively. Anabelle Sue felt the fourth travel from her shoulder to her arm, tingling straight to her fingers.
“I know you,” said the woman at the toll booth. “You just keep on getting struck by lightening! Golly, what are the odds?”
The fifth lightening bolt was what sent her into the national news. Soon talk shows were calling and reporters were lining up outside of her door. “It has to be about 10 trillion to 1” they would mumble.
Their eyes would open wide when they saw her. She had not a hair out of place. “I don’t know” she would say. “I feel fine.”
It was on Oprah, the day after the sixth bolt, that Anabelle Sue wanted to end it all.
“This woman has been through so much” said Oprah. “Struck by lightening 6 times? What on earth are the odds of that?”
“I…. I don’t…. I don’t know” said Anabelle Sue.
Back stage, a woman dressed in a black suit and polka dot scarf motioned Anabelle Sue over to the side.
The two women stared at one another, not knowing what to say. Finally:
“One in 3,000 for people who live to be 80, according to National Weather Service statistics based on Census information.” said the woman.
“I’m sorry?” said Anabelle Sue.
“The odds. Those are the odds. To be, you know, struck by lightening. The first time anyway” said the woman. “Are you okay?”
Anabelle threw her arms around the woman and hugged her as tight as she could. “Thank you,” she said.
“I’ve been attacked by a shark 3 times” said the woman.
The two held hands and exited the building.

30 August 2005

sex and haiku

Short dress with sequins
three martinis tonight
end in wet kisses

my body betrays
his hips are familiar
I cannot say no

Spinning ceiling tiles
where does your body stop and
where does mine begin?

The sunshine makes three
white morning twisted bed sheets
hair a careless mess

24 August 2005

the perils of being a waitress

two dollars
two dollars shoved under
my black paybook
the ones the other servers use
to do lines of coke in the bathroom.
I am not so naive
I know what goes on around here.
not a day goes by
without a man twice my age
looking me
asking me for my number.
I want to scream at them
‘I’m not a piece of ass,
I have two degrees!
I am going to teach at university
in a place you’ve never heard of
and then law school
without my daddy’s dime.
I have been halfway across the world and back.
I’ve made love in
and hong kong
do you think I care about your stuffy
law office or balding republican friends?’
but I keep my mouth shut
and take my two dollars.
after all,
at least I don’t have
a cocaine habit to support.

14 August 2005

loose ends

I’ve got so many loose ends hanging around these days I’m dropping words on the ground getting caught up in shoelaces where kiss and miss become mass devastation if anyone even bothers to look

they sizzle and pop when stepped on

my loose ends; his regrets my, loosen his regrets it all comes down to the fact that
I am completely
and utterly

12 August 2005


Nothing had felt as comfortable as the cloth interior of the car. She sank down into it, her hip nestling against the buckle of the seatbelt. She felt soft lips kiss her cheek and say “goodnight darling, drive safely” before the door slammed, leaving her another place to rest a tired elbow.
He turned the keys in the ignition and the windshield wipers began moving fast across the glass. He turned them off; he sighed as he sank into his seat. He looked at her and her false eyelashes dangling from one eye. “Did you have a good time?” he asked.
“Yes. I hope I didn’t act too stupid” she replied, eyes still shut, slouched in the car seat.
“Maybe one less black Russian would have been better for you” he said. “Things were going fine until you started waxing poetic about the difference between freedom fighters and terrorists and how Louisa May Alcott changed the world."
She fluttered her eyes open. All the streetlights were big blurry balls of fuzzy light, whizzing past in fast fury. She looked at his dark curls and then closed her eyes again. “It was fun though” she said. “It was really fun.”
She remembered dancing in the apartment, admiring the large modern painting in the hall. She remembered sampling the babaganoush and loving the hostess' new eyeliner. The boys were getting high on the balcony. She tugged on the top of her new cocktail dress, allowing the strap to slip down her forearm. It started to rain again.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“We are going home, kitten,” he replied. “I am taking you home.”

02 August 2005

:more work:

Charles never told anyone that the happiest he had ever been in his life was when he was 8 years old and spent most of his day blowing dandelions and searching for four leaf clovers. It was not that he did not want to reflect on such happy memories, it was moreso that he was disappointed in his lack of fulfillment since before puberty.
This is a serious moment. Charles puts on his long black tie and stiff black coat. There are no dandelions in the snow. They don’t grow when the cold comes. He is scared of getting older in the snow. It makes your bones weak, they say. He was built to be in the sunshine.
His father, before this devastation, had been a member of the Florida State Legislature. A law man, revered in his profession. His most famous laws concerned crab boats and licenses. He protected the sailors. People think about sailors when they are in the sunshine. They may not even think that dandelions are all around. Well, some people don’t have that luxury.
Just before Christmas when the school broke up for month, Charles had left Florida in a fit of desperation. Maybe it was the constant barrage of dandelions. Maybe it was the sailors and their families and the Christmas cards. Charles also had an affinity for prescription medication, and that may have had something to do with it.
“Any poet who does not know how many rhymes each word has is incapable of expressing an idea!” he shouted to his father who seemed healthy in the sunshine but would have been a sight in the snow. Charles respected his father but would never let him know it. His extremes showed vulnerability that the cold weather magnifies. Charles had never seen 20 below.
“He sees us waving” said Charles’ mother as he made his way. Charles saw nothing. He had the sun in his eyes. By the time he got there, the cold had made a home. Time ran. The snow never melts without sunshine. The phone call said it all. A day after meeting with the U.S security council ambassadors, Charles’ father was diagnosed with skin cancer. Straight to the black tie he went.
Charles puts on his long black tie and stiff black coat. It’s a serious moment. Will they leave the casket open? he wonders while he looks in the mirror. There was an awful pause. His boots were wet from the snowflakes and ice.
The sun is cold and unforgiving. The bouquet of dandelions is naked once he enters the southern states. Kneeling down at a truck stop near the Chattahoochee river he finds one four leaf clover.

.. meditation on higher education..

They say “look around, one of the people sitting on either side of you won’t be here in 4 years”. you look. of course you look. but just looking is your first mistake. because its not just looking. and that’s what you learn. you learn about how looking was a mistake. and you can’t fix your mistake. you can look again and see what happens. you can try not to look anymore. you can look for meaning in the bottom of a martini. you can look for meaning in the bottom of many, many martinis. you can look at her eyes and their deep deep spark and crack. you can look out your window and see the light pollution from the too-big round lampposts, and fast cars and corduroy pants. you can turn pages and pages without looking at all. it is looking that is your mistake. it is looking that you have to do. its not a choice anymore. “did you look” everyone asks. everyone just wants to know how you look and what do you see. what do you see. what do you see? what do you see.

23 July 2005

from here to there

Everything is in transit
always going from here to there
downtown midtown
peachtree vinings highlands little 5
west side south side OTP
buckhead and piedmont
this bar that bar
same beats same drinks same boys all over town

another movie about unfortunate
displaced british children and tina
blows her smoke out her car window so
it disappears in the hot hot air
my car my girls
play that song you know the one

I’m not gonna call you I’m not gonna write
I’m not gonna love you I’m not gonna cry
you’d be smarter than I thought if you figured out you’re not the kind of girl for me

so so sad when pop songs seem pertinent
a new kinda deep end

from car to bar in
three inch heels
rum and fashion just don’t mix
but everything is funny and funny and self destructive
and sad and spinning and the best time ever

and its moon- roof open to see him

north avenue

literally taking myself to be let down again
[sometimes I think I’m addicted to the
pain he feeds me with such nonchalance]
his kisses would never taste the same

driving again and its 2.25
but how am I supposed to get from here to there?
to my grandmothers house and she
hopes I don’t die in that island
where people have bones in their noses
I’ll get there soon zoom right over the sea

its easier to get to the
Indian ocean
than that place
my the boy wants me to go
what went wrong what happened? he asks
no way to get back to where
he loved me without inhibition or interruption
instead I’ll go see sarah
stuck sarah stuck sarah when are we going to run away?
no midtown no downtown no
riverside drive no medlock bridge

always in transit all
the time
going somewhere meeting
someone who won’t remember my fake name

but will kiss me like he loves me
its taxi all the way -home-

12 July 2005

What I Ate Where

My first meal at the school in China was fried fish head and chicken feet soup. The second, third, fourth, and thereafter meal at school in china was peanut butter and jelly. The grocery store had yummy pineapple and mango jellies. My students asked me why I was taking a picture of my lunch tray. I looked around and saw little Chinese children sucking on chicken toes. My kids would bring in junk food and candy in class and eat during the breaks. “Why don’t they eat the school lunch?” I said to my teaching assistant. She looked at me and said “Why don’t you eat the school lunch?”

I had a dinner party at my little student apartment in Avignon. Pasta and pesto and a million bottles of wine. Cheese. Bread. Laura brought pastries from the nice boulangerie with the gold foil. It was BYOP- bring your own plate. Wine was cheap but dishes are expensive. At the time I was the only one who had a television, having schemed it out of the program in order to ‘improve my french’. It made me very popular. After dinner we ate nutella with our fingers and watched Matt LeBlanc in a badly dubbed soft core porn on Canal Plus.

In Amsterdam we ate brownies. Then candy. Then more candy. Then we slept. Jason assured me that the ground was still below me.

In the
Bahamas we went out with a local to see ‘the real island’. We stopped at his friend’s stand on the side of the road and he bought us both conch salad. The woman grabbed the conch shell, took the conch out of the inside and chopped it up with some parsley, hot sauce, and bell peppers. She served it to us in little Styrofoam dishes. I thought the conch would be soft and mushy because it was raw, but it was tough and rubbery. The local told me “this stuff will keep you going all night, if you know what I mean.” Then he grabbed my ass. We went to a local bar and I ordered a rum and coke. The bartender handed me a can of coke and a bottle of rum.

I went to a café outside the school in China two nights in a row. The first night I ordered Chinese fried rice. It was very tasty. Fried rice with carrots and chicken and egg. The second night I went back. This time I ordered “American fried rice”. It was fried rice with ketchup and ham.

In London I subsisted on pizza hut, Pringles and vodka. Pringles are good train food because they can’t be crushed in your bag. Valerie put some pot in a Pringles container on the way from Amsterdam. I wouldn’t get near her on the trains crossing borders. Somehow she accidentally threw it away before we got to London. The vodka was a splurge.

In Paris I went to dinner with a man who made fun of the way I ordered my crème brûlée.

We stayed in Florence with the son of a woman that my friend’s mother worked with. He had a job taking American tourists on bike tours through Italy. He took us to a real pizzeria. They served three pizzas only: no cheese, just cheese, or cheese and anchovy. We drank two bottles of house white wine. Afterward we went to a small bar with bad music and ordered gin and tonic, which I promptly smashed on the floor while Kristen and our host discussed Outkast.

In the train station of Barcelona Shila and I bought candy bars called Cratch Bars from the vending machines. Three hours to wait for the next train meant lots of jokes about eating cratch.

In Brussels they really do sell Belgian waffles from carts on the street. Apparently there is a large Turkish population in Brussels. We went to a Turkish bar one night. Kristen had a Hoegaarden. I had fries and a whisky sour. The owner asked us if we were going to stick around for “strip tease soiree.” Then he started closing all the blinds. We didn’t stick around. It rained all the way back to the hostel.

07 July 2005

the news

or explanation.

later she found he had been eaten by bears.

27 June 2005


our love was like
slamming my finger in the door [repeatedly]
always leaving me
and feeling
for doing that to myself [again].


Todd and Sheila went inside for their 8 o’clock reservation at a local Japanese Steakhouse. They sat at the table around the large grill and sipped plum wine while the hostess took their orders. Sheila, always predictable, chose the shrimp and chicken. Todd decided on the salmon, which made Sheila’s nose crinkle a bit.

“I like your sweater” said Todd as the chef spun around his knives, catching the light of the fire on the grill in the reflection of his large spatula.

“I bought it during after Christmas sales last year” replied Sheila. She spoke to him but looked just above the head of the chef. Her smile was disappointing to the chef as he flipped an egg high above the table.

If there was one thing in the world that Todd hated it was unwashed jeans, and it just so happened that on this night he had been forced to wear the same jeans as the day before. Sheila had handed them to him, assuring him of their cleanliness with the same distant smile she offered the chef. Todd put them on but the second he sat in the seat of the Saab he could feel the dirt rubbing into his legs and especially behind his knees. Day old jeans seemed so low class.

The chef was cracking jokes as he scrambled the eggs into the fried rice. Something about carbohydrates that no one thought was funny.

“I was thinking Arthur” said Sheila, and Todd realized he had no idea how long she had been speaking to him.

“Sounds delicious” said Todd.

“Or Maybell if it is a girl. That was my great grandmother’s name” said Sheila. As soon as Todd recognized the conversation was about baby, he gave his now standard response “We have plenty of time to think about that” which had become introduced after his initial “Can’t you talk to your girlfriends about this?” had been proven to be a bad move.

Sheila disliked radio DJs. To her, it was the most useless profession to grace the Earth. The incessant interruptions in her top 40 hits by obnoxious voices clamoring on about the weekend’s hot spot or tickets to a show made her just red. Every morning on her way to work she would listen to her local morning show while she dropped by the drive thru for some coffee (no cream no sugar) and secretly plot how she would send a DJ to their knees after giving them a good talking-to about their expendable profession. The slight rage in the morning would get her through the day not unlike the caffeine filled Styrofoam cup.

Sheila’s shrimp was a bit overcooked but she nibbled it anyway. Todd ate his salmon too quickly. He ordered another plum wine and watched Sheila nibble nibble nibble. At another table a large party was laughing loudly at their chef’s carbohydrate joke.

After dinner Todd tipped the bar while Sheila freshened up in the powder room. He handed over a $20 when the host who had sat them tapped him on the shoulder. “Sir, is the black Saab your car sir?” he asked.

“Why yes it is.” said Todd.

“I’m sorry sir, but I think something has happened to it.”

Sheila exited the bathroom and then the restaurant to find Todd kneeling on the ground of the parking lot, staring listlessly at his car with tears streaming from his eyes. His windshield was smashed, CD player stolen, and the tires were gashed. “Why?” he said. “Why?”

Sheila walked next to him and stood, heels dodging broken glass. The reflection in the car door showed a man in a red sweatshirt and day-old jeans beside a woman with curls too restless to be pinned down. “You know its not your baby” said Sheila.

“I guess I should have known.” said Todd. His tears remained for the car.

14 June 2005

reveal: grocery store I

(after bruce covey)

iceberg: crisphead, $20 dollar call-girls make magic swivel stars sugar

endive: with cellophane aeroplanes one two three fork, sold!

romaine: romantic filler fellow, now at the bottom forever

cabbage: en francais chou chou and maybe me and you too

spinach: repent and be saved or else sex therapy with apples and garlic

red leaf/ green leaf: always quarrelling over the meaning of absolutes- everything, nothing

10 June 2005

.the past and the present make a monster.

I am trying to put it all together trying to make sense of it all
*Couple has conflicting personal beliefs
my very first kiss was on the stoop in my backyard
it was 7th grade, close to summer.
my parents were inside watching an episode of the X files.
there were mosquitoes all around
I remember he put his face close to mine
so our noses touched. he held there for a moment.
I knew he was going to kiss me and I wasn’t scared at all

*Cruel treatment
he twisted around his nose and I remember he said
‘you look funny like this’
I thought he was taking too long and I was growing impatient
the crickets seemed indignant that night

he finally touched his mouth to mine in a twisting wet not perfectly comfortable way
but I was already delirious

*Irretrievable Breakdown of some kind

I’m just trying to find some peace, trying to put it together

06 June 2005


I. to between
between isn’t something seen. it isn’t really anticipated. though I knew it was there I never bothered to acknowledge it; (one of my greatest talents is ignoring what I don’t want to exist). between isn’t something you can buy a map to. it isn’t concrete enough to stick old gum on or tangible enough to have a connection in your mind with an 80s pop song. I stumbled here some time with cardboard sky high and liquid hope cans.
II. in between
if I lived in the television chris martin would play songs for me. I can ride my bike here to the library like a character in one of the young adult books my little hands used to check out in droves. 4 words, or rather 3 words and one hyphenated: hong kong Chinese take-out. in between is sophomore year. have I actually stumbled upon in between or a time machine labeled ‘who called these the glory days?’
III. out of between
all I can say is rum rum rum. this plan has combusted but I promise you: its [going to be] coming up roses.

02 June 2005

some sort of [ars poetica]

This summer will be ann sexton without the tragedy
ee cummings but a bit longer
is this my ars poetica>
I would say the poem should be a painting
jump off the page, no reading involved
just words as pictures
and negative space.

roll off the tongue like patricia smith
la la la BANG
didn’t anticipate that.
so unexpected. extemporaneous.
but in the end,
fits like a cast
[where is plath and that little bird? prefer her prose\

this summer is noses and cheeks
I’ll say it again: in between.
I want red wine on balconies
and his hands all up my skirt.
too blunt? that’s not poetica.
all up my skirt. all. up.