21 December 2006

still true

12 December 2006

boose bed-eh ; or tall dark and handsome

I had a dream that he
came to my house and I wasn’t wearing underwear
and we made love in the stairwell
and everything I touched was turning purple
purple walls
purple stairs
he lifted me up
and he looked like
I mean amazing
like amazing
when I woke up I was so sad because
my bed was empty
only me and the
cat clawing at the door

and when I told beth she said ‘ew’
but then again
she didn’t see how amazing he looked
Oh god those persians
there are no persian men in new Orleans.
begou desperate?

01 December 2006


kitten is so passive: wishes only for that sparkle when dangling,
hardly outside reach of his playful little bat;
lay it down without a battle and
y a w n : goes distant

Each fresh cat knows the play which is a play, after all.

26 November 2006

how un-characteristic

I see lollipop laughing light little petticoats, giggle giggle giggle and you wear that shirt so well. I see wind in the trees (all leaves, all leaves) and books upon books upon your faded leather jacket. You strut, I know it, I know you, page 576 lets study over drinks. At the risk of being lame, I claim comparative negligence the way you’ve been pulling me, on the pull, not pulling my hair but pulling my cliché. Bottom line, footnote time, you’ve turned my brain to mush and I’m an instant gratification kind of girl.

I was never one to hang on to nothing: I’ve just got to kiss you before Christmas.

11 November 2006

candid curry

We were supposed to be at the restaurant at 7:30, but Sylvia, Lane, and Eugene rolled up to the Plex around 8 to pick me up. I had been watching wheel of fortune and reading Elizabeth Cady Stanton, killing time and not studying.
I had asked Sylvia if she wanted to go out to eat Thursday night, told her I needed some curry in my blood and have you heard of the great Indian place on magazine street? She more than agreed, needed some korma therapy, but said she had to break a date with Eugene to do it. I said ‘tell him you had plans with me and you forgot, invite him along even…’
Sylvia, Eugene and I all have something in common, lack of wheels. Transportation. Vehicle handicapped. I had told her I would meet the two of them at the restaurant by scooter, my Babette. But nights in New Orleans by scooter are chancy-- the potholes could swallow you whole and the drivers and martinis… so I was happy when she called and said Lane was coming and he had a car.
Its like 1950s bohemia, the way we covet the cars.
Lane is blond and curly and has a light southern accent that makes me feel comfortable. I had met him at the barristers ball, I know, but I don’t remember a word I said to him because I had been friends with gin that night, trying to get the most of my $200 dress. Eugene is quick and funny, he’s got a look like a candy cane.
We went to Indian curry and split dishes and talked about the dems taking the house and senate, pedagogy and small southern towns. Weekends. Clubs. Life in excruciating general.
Lane is from Louisiana. Eugene’s from California. Sylvia is from Boston. I’m from Atlanta by way of the world. Afterwards we dropped Eugene off at someone’s house, for him to continue the rest of the night in reckless abandon no doubt. Sylvia just glows. Like always. She is so beautiful. Everyone falls in love with Sylvia. And you can’t even hate her for it, because she is so genuine.
Lane said he has some friends that I could meet. I ask him if they speak a second language. I don’t usually sleep with guys that speak only one language. He asks if this has any connection to me asking him earlier if he remembers any Italian from his year in Florence. I tell him I don’t date law students. He says it isn’t too late for him to drop out.
It’s a good night.

05 November 2006

everyone deserves a twenty-second chance?

late night calls from the ex
I miss you I love you I will always love you I’m sorry

So, what are you wearing?
[ Rinse, repeat. ]

23 October 2006


i sit in the big big room
watching paint become wet
he is cherry kool-aid in every possible sense.
every possible sense he is.
cherry kool-aid.
i’m sitting in the big big room
drawing sonnets on the inside of my thighs.
sonnets for no one
no one to read them.

autumn series (working stages)

[Autumn I]

I lost it in autumn
Those corduroy pockets made my freshman head spin
You played me ditties
On your glitter guitar
And we made love for hours on your little dorm room bed.

[Autumn II]
The bus stop
End of the road // other side of the earth
Autumn winds send crunchy leaves flying;
my brother and I would run to catch them,
Dropping lunch boxes and notebooks in passionate lunges before the bus would come,
where Luke would sit next to the boys who would
pull my hair , laugh too loud-and
A few years
and bus routes later,
ask me to the homecoming dance.

[Autumn III]
And those yellow van gogh trees all around.
But mostly I remember
Smelling fall in the air
walking to get a beignet, a café,
And waxing WWI in the dingy, damp computer lab all day when I could have been in it.
19 year old hearts are like peanut brittle,
broken and devoured by indifferent little boys.

[Autumn VI]

Our bicycles were magic and my backyard a plantation
I’ll be Melanie and you’ll be veronica
our little hands will be frozen,
from escaping down hills, bike tires spinning like little girl madness;
Or from washing mud pie pans
In the chilly pond water.

02 October 2006

devastating crush

You’re pretty dreamy

so can we just skip right to the stage where we are laying naked together on Saturday morning listening to NPR?

23 September 2006

when did i love you become hard

Helena found Sam on the side of the house, sitting on a rock and smoking a joint.
-What are you doing? I made macaroni and cheese.
-Shhhh, he said, and motioned across the lawn, to a lit window. In the window was a woman, late 20’s or early 30’s. She was facing away from the two of them, standing in front of a mirror and concentrating hard on lacing herself up into a black corset. She tugged at the laces with red fingernails, then twisted to try to see her back in the mirror. Tug, twist. Tug, twist.
Helena sat down next to Sam and they watched together for a moment in silence.
-That looks difficult, said Helena.
-She’s been at it for 10 minutes, said Sam.
The woman was pretty, as far as they could tell. She seemed nervous.
-Have you spoken to Pierce? Helena asked.
-Pierce. Pierce. Don’t you ever talk about anyone but Pierce? Said Sam.
Helena turned to look at him, his profile lightly lit by the streetlight. He put the joint to his lips and took a long drag, making the tip glow bright like a lightening bug. Then she followed his gaze back to the window. The woman was in the corset now. She put her hand down the inside of the front and pulled up her breasts, adjusting and pulling until she had two perfect half circles spilling out the top.
-I just thought you might want to talk about it, she said.
- Well, I don’t. He’s not interested anymore. Meesha said she saw him dancing for hours with some undergrad, then they disappeared, said Sam, between puffs.
-That doesn’t mean---
-That’s enough, ok? Please? Sam reached down to the grass and pulled out a clump, letting it slip through his fingers back to the soil.
The woman disappeared from the room for a moment, and came back with a big glass of dark red wine. She stood in front of the mirror with the wine glass in her hand, leaned forward and said something to her reflection. Then she leaned back and laughed a little, took a sip of wine, and posed with her hand on her hip.
- I’m going to Nashville next weekend, said Helena. I’ve got work there. I won’t be back for a few days. Can you water the plants?
-Do you love your plants? said Sam.
-Love? My plants? said Helena.
- Yeah. Do you love them? Sam chuckled a little at the corset clad neighbor, who was frantically fluffing her hair.
- You are being ridiculous, said Helena. Why are you watching that poor woman?
-Why are you? Sam asked.
- I asked you first.
- It makes me feel real, he said.
- Don’t give me a film school answer, she said. That’s such shit.
- It does, he said. I think I love her, he said.
-Love her? Said Helena. That’s news. You’re changing sexuality by the day now?
- I didn’t say I want to have sex with her, he said. I said I love her. I don’t want to have sex with everyone I love. Do you want to have sex with your plants?
- Umm, I -
Helena didn’t finish her sentence because a car pulled up in the street and a tall, lanky man emerged. He had a grocery store bouquet in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. He walked to the door, rang the bell, and the woman jumped. She had been alternating between talking to her reflection and putting on mascara. She hastily threw on a short black dress over her corset and stockings, and ran to the door, disappearing from view.
- I think you should know that Pierce called me, said Helena.
- Oh, said Sam, who couldn’t think of anything else to say.
- He misses you, she said.
- Oh, said Sam, who couldn’t think of anything else to say.
Suddenly there were two people in the bedroom. The man had removed his jacket and the woman was pulling him by the hand. She went to her dresser, where she had left the big glass of dark wine. She lifted up her glass to him, other hand still holding his, and said a few words before he leaned in to kiss her. He reached his arm around her waist and put his other hand behind her head. She dipped. She stood back up, secured her wine glass on the dresser, and unzipped the back of her dress. The top slid off to reveal her carefully laced corset and carefully positioned chest.
Helena reached for the joint.
The man looked at the woman, took a sip of her wine, and then turned off the lights. The room went dark and so did the little pool of light that had shown on the grass in front of the glass. Helena sighed.
- Fucking romantics, said Sam. They spoil all the fun.
- I think the macaroni is getting cold, said Helena.

the only living girl in new orleans

Everyone is really unhappy when they are drunk.
Dot felt sick in the car and Anne said “I called the Christian hotline once when I was drunk. They said $4.99 to pray for me. They asked me for my credit card number.”
by the way he had looked at me I know he is thinking about sheets and pillows.
and casseroles, and flannel pajama bottoms and late mornings.
The bouncer told me he has a masters degree in sociology
And Anne called the Christian Hotline, so we know…
The kids. and me. Hookah café. friday night. grumbling and black heels and french quarter frustration. And sadness in the cockroach cracked streets.

At the german party
It was 4 AM
And one of the hosts told me ‘someone threw up in my sink, brandy’
The look on his poor face.
-‘I’m sorry honey. It wasn’t me.’ I was sober. (the only one)

Lovers making out on the balcony but I want to leave. I tell her five minutes and go back inside.

And in the living room
No furniture but a futon and folding table with a laptop
Wobbly disco ball and sappy love song
It could have been atlanta or paris or stuttgart
The beautiful two are slow dancing, pressed, high heels on big toes, kissing collar bones, oblivious
Not everyone is sad when they are drunk

11 September 2006

old poem new language

La robe courte

des baisers humides

Mon corps trahit
ses hanches :familier

cheveux tordus draps blancs
un désordre négligent

08 September 2006


“I’m just looking for some understanding” she shouted across the parking lot, at the man walking away away away. Apathy. Her own Kitty Genovese. From him. From everyone. From the women with the lettuce heads and chocolate bars. She should have known. His hair swished toward her. Waving. The lights glared on her. Harsh. Restrictive. She cried by the car, hard. She felt it. In her hands and her ankles. It was hopeless. She cried by the car. Hard. Hard. He didn’t even know who Baudelaire was.

06 September 2006

on my voicemail

"i'm glad that the
butterflies came.

28 August 2006

law book poem

25 August 2006

all grown up

He said
Well Bran
I have news
I am getting married
And want you to be the best man.
Of course, there is some dispute over what to call you…
I said
Call me
the best man
[and does this mean I don’t have to wear a bridesmaid dress?]
He said
Something black
To match the tuxes is alright.

-I’ll be conservative, I promise
But you know I’ll have French lingerie underneath.

17 August 2006

undergraduate infidelity

I took the elevator 3 floors up in my freshman dormitory, and walked down the boys’ hall with its oh-so-recognizable smell. I knocked on your door and covered your peep-hole with my hand. You opened up in 5 seconds, with that goofy grin on your face. Your hand tucked awkwardly behind your back, you said
-I have a surprise for you…
He doesn’t know I’m here, but then again he doesn’t know I’m not here.
You pull out a pint of ice cream, half melted from your sub-par garage sale minifridge, and present it to me. It’s soupy and I have to eat it out of a cup, but it’s perfect. I return your exagerrated smile and offer a little squeak as barter.
-It’s my favorite.
- I know.
I go into your room and we sit on the too-small futon; I start eating the ice cream with a plastic spoon and you start playing with your watch. It’s dark in here, because I like it that way. It’s light enough that I can see you looking at me with your clear eyes. It’s light enough that I can see what is going on, what is really going on. It’s dark, because I like it that way.
-Where is your roommate?
- At bible study.
You put your arm around me, and who cares what the conversation is? He doesn’t know you are holding me, but then again he doesn’t know you aren’t holding me. I feel comfortable, and happy, and safe. You tell me about your new poems, I tell you about my geography exam. We don’t talk about him.
Its getting late and I have French in the morning, so I say I have to go. I stand up and toss my hair back over my shoulder. As I turn to the door, you say
-If he asks you where you were tonight, it wouldn’t be lying if you forgot to mention the ice cream.

12 August 2006

a completely unnecessary poem

Summer having sex with mirrors
the only thing worse than a man who can’t give an orgasm is a man who can’t have one
(really really have one)
with mirrors is clean/dirty fun
did I say alone? I meant to.
Oh hell, the kid gloves are off.
start the races, boys, I’m moving up in the world.
I better hear it from you. Say it like you mean it. Feel it this time.
Whats my motivation?

If my life were a ride at Disney World

The sign would say
Warning: not for the faint of heart, those suffering from stability. No pregnant women.

I think its about time I febreeze my large vascular organ
(I think the most terrible phrase ever invented is ‘alienation of affection’)
oh spite, oh gracious.

29 July 2006

canvas\\ vessel

a little inspiration

a long way

13 July 2006


i've not been proud of my work lately, since being back in atlanta. feeling distant. uninspired. detached. censored.

but guess what kids? i've got a new lease, in a new city.

(so who can tell me about the literary scene in new orleans?)i need to start drinking again.

07 July 2006


He drew the line. Fat, purple, solid. He drew the line and showed it to her. “This is the line.”
She looked at the line. It was ugly. It didn’t match the furniture. When people would come over, things would be awkward. They would look at the line. ‘What’s with the line?’ they would ask. “Oh, its nothing.” She would say. She would serve more wine.
Sometimes, when certain people would visit, she would be embarrassed by the line. She would try to cover it up with carpet pieces and fancy lighting. But it would peek out. In the corner. The rug would slip. The light would glare. “Oh that old thing? Don’t we all have a line or two in our lives?” she would laugh.
“Did you put the rug on the line?” he asked one day. He was sweeping the line. He liked to take good care of the line, keep it shiny. “Why would I cover up the line?” she asked, too quickly. “Good,” he said, “because this line is very important to me. And you. I made this line for you. For us.”
“I… love the line…” she said.
The line started to distract her. She stopped writing. She stopped speaking. The line was getting bigger. The line took up a whole floor now. It was getting impossible to get around the line. Get past the line. She had to yell even to speak to people who were across the line. It got to be too much effort.
“I can’t take the line anymore” she told him one day. “The line is in the way of my life. Why does it have to be there? I can’t handle it any longer.” He was scrubbing the line. She could tell he was exhausted too, always worried about the line, watching the line, thinking about the line.
“I love the line” he said.
“You love the line more than you love me.” She said. And she crossed the line.

27 June 2006

old fashioned

on any corner you can find any kind of

you want; try something new
(a new husband?)
110 reasons to shop

this is my letter of resignation
(she might be a little lazy)

take another

the world needs another self-absorbed person
(incredibly vapid)

25 June 2006

falldown/ downfall

Stumbling/running down Peachtree Street in a pouring down hot summer storm. Half an hour late to the play at the Fox (where I used to see the symphony when I was a girl). Belly full of curry and lemon drops.
Who needs the first act when you have Johnny Dollar and raindrops as big as maraschino cherries?

24 May 2006

saturday sprawl

This is America. Saturday night in a grey cinderblock basement. Bright yellow plastic cup and I smell like saffron risotto because I’ve come to the party after slaving for the man (my wallet is full of tips about to go straight to the Citgo)
the band is loud loud and shaking the bumpy walls right up to the lightbulb dangling precariously from a wire over the bass player. I tongue my cranberry juice and bob.
God I’ve known these people forever and that’s the good thing about being the one to leave, you can find the stability where you want it and when
The boys do an encore though no one calls for it. The frantic drumbeat fills the tiny room and people wander in and out from the backyard, kissing and talking and nodding to the girl in the blue dress and curls. And a light glares in from the door and the music cuts off. An officer with a southern accent thick as my ankles says
‘we need to get those cars out of the road
you’ve already got the weed going, lets clear it out’ and everyone heads for the door
on the way home its 75 miles per hour and my speakers tell me to go to vision and wake up with a stranger. I turn the radio to hip hop. because I can. and I fall asleep alone to the last five minutes of saturday night live.

23 May 2006


whoever said
you can't
go back
to the past
was certainly not from a small southern town

but he was
most definitely

15 May 2006


we made love in berlin on the his-and-hers down comforters, your dimples bigger than ever (like my smile)
i imagined bilingual children running through heidelberg
i was hurting in more ways than one
(i could tell you could sense it, the tension in my hips)
but yourfingers felt it all out
and when i left you for paris i
give myself to anyone, still lost in the dream of you
and those fucking dimples

god- those dimples, how that boy smiles...
when he smiles...

i'm sorry to say the bruises are still missing
my skin feels better when its blue

05 May 2006

06 April 2006

L’île de la Réunion

Goodbye my little island.
Goodbye bohemia.
my tummy is full of rum and love and foreign tongues.
(I hate airports)

29 March 2006

peshee-eh man-eh

Shila joon
you are my rhythm and blues
in your red cowboy boots
and goddess eyes
from lola leigh to lola laa
make it up pick it up
where’s your passport?
my Atlanta lemur
only one
remember when we drank habibis in the bathtub?
(that was the best night of my life)
i’m lowering the rent in my shoulder blade,wanna
have a look?

Oh Story, you’re a story
and the only one with more identities than me.
I’ll always be your Persian party trick
you make it happen
there’s magic in your flase eyelashes.

16 March 2006

i'll never be jack kerouac

i'll never be jack kerouac
no matter how
much cheap wine i drink but

i think he would agree
that the red port fills the void
but can never fill the empty.

13 March 2006

le weekend // flash (non?)fiction

So its sunday morning and I am getting back into 'bed' with a cup of peach mango tea in front of a badly-dubbed lifetime movie about another bulimic middle-class white girl, when I look up to see Nachos in his boxers on the terrace, surveying the scene.

I say 'bed' because these days I've been sleeping on the couch. My room is on the mountain side of the apartment and when the sun starts to rise (4:30 island time) the rays slither through every slit of my shutters and slowly heat up the room like an unsuspecting cattle ant under an 8-year-olds magnifying glass in early August. By 7 AM my skin in covered in sweat and I'm in a cold shower by 9.

So I'm sleeping like a scorned husband in the salon nowadays, which led me to witness, as I said, Nachos -boxer clad- on the terrace. The famous Nachos is a friend of Rapheal (AKA meathead). He is so-named because both me and Anna agree that he vaguely reminds us of movie theater nachos, in the way that they are sinful and irresitible but also a little repulsive. I thought I had seen the last of him seeing as a week before, Raphael, in a bout of guilt or responsibility, told me that we could be friends but not sleep together anymore, in a move I can only imagine was inspired and initiated by his girlfriend- this being a week after he was in my bed lecturing me on 'la révolution sexuelle'. Where's the sexual revolution now?

I guess I should have known better than to believe him because Saturday night around midnight thirty he called me. Apparently it was his birthday and he wanted to invite me to join him, Nachos, and any number of their rugby-playing, massage-giving meathead friends for a night out. He asked about his birthday present, which he was certain was waiting for him chez moi. I declined seeing as I was already sleeping because the night before, friday, there had been a Spanish party down the street.

Spanish parties are infititely cooler than French parties in that the food and music are better and Spanish boys are adorable. The night was too long, however, ending in a sangria-drugged tryst with Vincent from Catalonia, who is writing his masters thesis on some spanish literature hullabaloo. Not to mention that the little sleep we actually achieved was in the bedroom, where, as I mentioned, people from the Sahara come in the summertime to get a little sun.

After the midnight phone call I slept sound in the salon until, with tea in hand and dressed only in my pink polka-dot underwear and matching tanktop, Nachos waltzes in from the balcony, giving me a sly smile with one eyebrow barely raised and grumbles a 'bonjour' on the way to my bathroom where I am sure he used my towel. By this time I am thoroughly confused, knowing that Anna, just as tired as I was, had also fallen asleep after the birthday call.

Minutes later Anna appears from her bedroom, and after dropping Nachos off at Raphael's house, later relays to me that he had called her at 7 AM. Apparently he had fallen asleep at a club in St Pierre and in the meantime meathead and co. all left him there. Finding himself alone and drunk under the rising sun, he figured it would be a good idea to call Anna, finding the temptation of a combination of a ride and possibly sex too good to pass up. So Anna found him in the supermarket parking lot around 8:00 and brought him to the apartment.

She said, 'you should have seen him wandering around the parking lot. He looked just like a lost puppy.'

You can't make this stuff up.

05 March 2006

23 is the year of trench coats and berets and shaking hips in seamed stockings, miss mohito says hello and how are the kids? (22 is so apocalyptic)

tu peux m’appeler ta Clara Bow
et je peux t’appeler mon Fred Astaire
si tu porte ton tuxedo,
je commencerai à fumer
(mais dans une façon très féminine)
nous pouvons se disputer comme des américains
tant que nous nous embrassons comme les français.
j’ai envie de mettre les mains sur ton ventre….
enfin, ici, tu veux me montre ?
avec mon accent, c’est un peu difficile de comprendre,
en plus
autour des mecs très charmants,
je deviens nerveuse, mais c’est évident,
non ?
danse !.
je peux pas non plus,
j’ai mal aux pieds, trop d’années en pointe
si tu m’appelle Grace -- je reste
ici, notre royaume, mais danse ,
je t’attend, nue,
enfin, tu….
tu peux… répéter s’il te plaît ?—plaît plaît
je suis pas très forte en langues étrangères.
(mais les mensonges, c’est une autre histoire)

02 March 2006


Lilla hates the kind of humor that is dredged in misogyny and violence, those kind of jokes that are too ‘cool’ to not find funny. Nazis-gangbanging-a-nun type humor, it’s obligatory to laugh otherwise you seem uptight and too politically correct. “Aren’t we already desensitized enough?” she tries to explain.

She saw a volcano when she was 15. The dried lava flows looked like elephant skin, piled up together, with Lorax trees randomly dispersed. She likes to think the world used to look like that. She dyed her hair black the next year so that people would take her seriously.

Lilla lost her virginity to Tony the same summer that she saw the volcano. He was 19, and she didn’t realize it at the time but seeming attractive to a 15-year-old was scores easier than getting laid in his own age bracket. They were under the boardwalk and Lilla had half a bottle of peach schnapps. She was trying to tell him about elephant skin, and an elephant skin world, but he wasn’t interested.

She thought a lot about elephant skin and Tony’s skin and after a while the two became one memory, especially after he skipped town to do some illegal work in New Mexico. She wanted to show him her black hair, and ask him what to do about the baby; one was just as difficult as the other. Later she thought he wasn’t even that cute.

She moved to New York and always keeps the shutters all closed. Marc, the latest, eats too many boiled eggs and never dusts, but he has nice arms and a nice apartment. He tells racist jokes- she never thinks they are funny.

01 March 2006

our place; or- affairs in st pierre

“you are beautiful” he says, Mathieu is his name

i am in the club where i first met you

“are you german?”

you had asked if I wanted a drink, even though I had been checking out your friend

“American” I say

I took a vodka and coke and left christophe to fend for himself

“I can’t believe my eyes” he said.

I can see the chair that we sat on.

“My horoscope today said I would fall in love with a foreigner.”

there is where I first looked into your eyes, your sunken cheeks, your crooked smile.

“How old are you?” I asked. “21” he said.

I told you I teach at the university. you asked what I was studying.

“I don’t believe you” I said. “you can’t be a day over 19.”

I said it again, I don’t take classes, I give classes.

“Horoscopes aren’t always right” I said.

I have to get out of this place, your taste is still in my throat.

20 February 2006

[*label maker*]

the label maker in my hand I attacked the fridge.
sour cream: bad
apple: good
water: good
cheese: bad
diet coke: bad but good
yogurt: I’ll get back to you on that one

I spread to the sink. taptaptap print.
sink: clean me
tap: don’t drink from me
coffee cup: happy mornings
tea bag: one use only

the hallway said walk on me
my doorway said knock please
the television screams distraction
billy Collins and rilke stacked together say uh-huh
this labeling is getting out of hand.

on the balcony I put ‘mosquitoes stay away!’
then again in french
and creole, so the mosquitoes understand
anna’s door says ‘roommate’ and ‘hellohello!’ and ‘I love you’ just for reaffirmation
my flip flop says go to the beach
the toothbrush says I’m Lonely

my shoulder heavy/ my fingers stretch/ my forehead YES AND THEN>?
the words aren’t coming quick enough so
on the bathtub I just put brackets [[[[]]]]]] and on the mirror a percentage sign%

my cell phone says briiiiiiingggg which can be momentarily confusing
car says kitchen table; kitchen table says car; cartchen table says the toaster

alarm clock: Wednesday
candle: Martha
picture frame: I have a right to a trial!

anna comes home and wonders why all the popsicles say Take That.
maybe she won’t notice the quote marks on my earlobes.

18 February 2006

bath water

the bath water is black and
my knee is bloody like a
little boy fresh off his bicycle
another failed adventure


his friend (the cute one)
tried to kiss me on the beach
he asked
what is the difference between French and American men?
I told him that
the lies sound prettier
in French.

14 February 2006


everyone knows that the opposite of love is indifference.
last year it was my philosopher lover, and how he drove me crazycrazycrazy; wanting his kisses and wanting his want. now its Raphael, the Parisian masseuse, and he’s got a girl (wants a little on the side). he’s got ten years on me – his ten years on me [just call me miss midlife crisis] he pretends his friends don’t know but he parades me in front of them, right up the stairs.

I tell him I need a massage therapist; I have a hurting in my heart, to which he just kisses my forehead and says ‘tu mélange tout.’ but I’m not mixed up, I know exactly where this is going- straight to hell in a handbasket as the southern girl in me would say.

09 February 2006

les étoiles sur mon nez


can watch the southern stars and you

can count them

(my freckles too)

31 January 2006

boob tube

i was never allowed to watch talk shows
which made them endlessly appealing to me

I would stay home sick from school with diet cherry seven up, liptons chicken soup and paperdolls, all I needed spread out on the coffee table and the princess bride in the tape player
but as soon as my mother left the house I would flip on the television,
scan through the channels,

the screen would glow bright with
longlegged lolitas, ball-breaking jailbirds, incestuous cousins,
I would stare wide-eyed as oversized drag queens paraded across the box
shaking what god didn’t give them
the aphrodites would raise from the audience, born in the waves of excitement, screaming ‘how can you live like this? you are a disgrace’
Aphrodite the hermaphrodite
which garnered responses of hiss and blur from the pink and turquoise stage.

girls in short sequined skirts would dance on imaginary poles, shouting, can you believe I was a geek in high school? a thousand pound woman would brag about her lovers
or a punk rock goth boi would be made under into mr republican 1993

the phone would ring, and I would answer, exaggerating the weakness in my voice ‘yes mommy I feel ok, but I wouldn’t say I feel good.’
‘are you watching television? what are you watching?’ she would ask
‘just price is right, mommy.’ it wasn’t any use, she always knew the truth, even if she didn’t hear the audience screaming ‘it’s a man! no it’s a chick!’ in the background. ‘they are talking about a blender’ I would say. ’12 dollars!!! $12.50!’ I would add for affect.

she could tell I was eating up the 12 year old Mexican runaway, the Saturday night latex model/ Sunday school teacher. my eyes devoured the salacious titles,
‘I was fat but now I’m all that!’
‘my man will stay and you will pay!’
‘don’t be crazy, you know its your baby!’

I learned the terminology of daytime tv, like ‘cross dressing’ and ‘paternity test’, ‘three way’ and the perfect way to drag my words when saying
that just ain’t right.’
and it just wasn’t right. but it was perfect
it was the world outside of my cul-de-sac, a world bathed in neon lights and techno beats, where everyone has an opinion, an identity,
and a rhyming juxtapositional slogan.
some of those men were the women I wanted to be.

[the rainy season]

one day crawls the sky with black
and following are
Mississippi summers, but that is quite long
by me,
only me bollywood and the girls

all in the same place all
who we are in the same place,

no where
all being.

is and in
a londonite train small and clearly delicious

the Catherine
that smoldering scot which wins each French man
with his spirit
and a soft accent

the bottle precisely does disappear and not a responsibility
not No not a step No
required : the need the whole

30 January 2006

how a bad joke is born

i was waiting to be xrayed as part of my green card process.

my head was heavy because my boy hadn’t called in four days and I was convinced his car was wrecked in a ravine.

I went in the little room and the woman told me to take my shirt off and stand against the wall

“Are you pregnant?” she asked me.

I looked at her, paused, looked some more. I was a few days late, I suppose.

“Do you speak French? Are you pregnant?” she asked again.

I had understood what she said, and at most any other time in my life it would have been an easy reply. “No” I said, though it came out as more of a question than a response.

“the procedure is dangerous for the fetus” she explained. “are you sure you’re not pregnant?”

getting an appointment at this place had taken three months. “I’m not pregnant!” I said to her, with a stronger and more certain tone.

she carried on with the process, xraying my chest and then sending me back out to the waiting room. I was all white.

“whats wrong?” anna asked. “what happened in there?”

“well, I think I am pregnant and I just deformed my child who’s father hasn’t called me in four days.” I replied.

And that was how Lou Deformo was born.

24 January 2006

la fille des baobabs

Our second day in Morondova we decided to drive out to the Allée des Baobabs. It was sticky hot and my flip flops made sand cake on the back of my legs. The trees were larger than I had imagined them to be. Thousands of years were in their trunks. White and strong and thick, with the leaves brushing the clouds in spurts on the tops.

I walked along the sand path and almost immediately a little girl approached me, with the greeting I had become accustomed to, “Salaama Vozaha!” basically, hello white person. Her voice was sweet and high and matched her pretty face. She was wearing a dirty skirt that hung to her knees, and no shirt covering her little girl body.

“Salaama” I said, looking down at her.

“Comment tu t’appelle tu?” she asked, inquiring about my name.

“Je m’appelle Lola” I said to her.

“Lola” she mouthed. “Lola.”

She had asked so casually, as if we had been seated next to each other at a dinner party or were rubbing elbows at a bridal shower. She wasn’t afraid of me and wasn’t off-putting in her boldness. She reached her hand out in order to put it in mine, as opposed to the thin, bony fingers always reaching towards me, palm upturned, sad begging eyes saying more than the meager “Madame??” coming from tight lips.

I took her hand and we walked along the allée. I told her there were no baobabs where I live. She giggled and skipped, and I wondered if she even understood what I had said. Her short life had all been lived under these trees, these monsters. They were as natural to her as daisies or pines.

We passed by her village. A little boy ran up to me and proudly pulled the wings off of an unsuspecting butterfly, lifting the carcass up for my approval. The little girl brushed him away, she was possessive, I was her vozaha. Then she started singing.

The song was like little bells ringing. It was a French children’s song, and the way she sang it with her soft Malagasy accent made the notes dance in my ears. “Will you teach it to me?” I said. She did, and we sang it together as we walked back down the allée. I got back to the car and looked down on her big brown eyes. “I have to go now, ma petite. I’m sorry.”

I cupped her face in both of my hands and just looked, just looked at her. She was so beautiful. I had seen so many beautiful women, bent over in rice fields, two babies tied to their backs. Beautiful women had sent their children out to me on the streets. “Un petit peu Madame? pour partager?”

She lifted her hands back up to me but she was too small to reach my face. She looked at me with pure love and acceptance. I wanted to give her everything.

I wanted to tell her to be good and study hard in school. I wanted to tell her to be strong. She pursed her lips and waited. I bent over and kissed her. “Au revoir, ma cherie.” I said. “Valoom.”

23 January 2006


Dear Readers

I have spent the last several weeks clearing my mind and my bank account in the hills of Madagascar. Thank you for your sweet comments. I will reply when I have shaved and slept and drank tap water.

Réunion has never felt so refreshing. Madagascar is a strange, beautiful beast.

05 January 2006

i'm breaking your monopoly on my words/ breaking with a snap/ snap

you don’t have
morals like me lola,
you don’t even believe in god.
and (you’ll cheat on me, I’m sure,
when I am gone.
c’est pas toi, c’est moi.

I wore my brown dress (anna said you could never leave me in that dress) she was wrong.
when you told me you don’t trust me I cried mascara streaks all over your shirt.

(history- what a funny thing, I would have left you too)

is it that you don’t ever want to see me again? ever? I sobbed -- now is not the time to correct my French, professor -- he thinks I am pretty when I cry.

holding in the hallway (I think you should go) you wanted to take me to my bed (one last time) I almost said yes

just to have you around
just a little bit


02 January 2006

Diversity Essay

I am diverse. I contain layers and multitudes.

I do not fit in a box.

Unless it is a really big box.

01 January 2006

open letter to law school

Dear Sir or Ma'am,

This is a swiss cheese application.

I am somewhere right in between, in the holes [the wholes], in the voids. I am that smudge on the corner. I am the paper clip dent. This is a swiss cheese application.

Enclosed are all the minutes -ticktockticktock- of everynight that I have lay awake thinking of you. The dampness is my pain and worry. This application is my 15 year old child and I can't stop my neurosis. She is out of my hands now but I hope that all I have done for her will lead her home at night.

It comes down to this: I will work hard for you. I will make you proud of me. When I leave your fine instutition I will make millions of dollars and give them all to you; you don't even have to give me a library or dining hall in my name. Just send me that letter now that says

we want you. we believe in you.

Please. Please.

I promise you.

Look there. Look in the holes [the wholes]. This is a swiss cheese application.
Thank you sincerely for your 5 minutes.

Yours truly,
Miss Nobody

PS I was eating babaganoush at dinner parties when I should have been saving children from burning buildings and then drafting new preventative legislation. I'm sorry.