Your death is an angry wasp –
a hungry bear –
desire turned on it’s side,
I always wanted to tell you
something meaningful like god.
As if words could summon a heart –
a tiny rainbow of hope –
taking its cue
from some other side.
You were a Diva who understood dying
well before you were sick.
I was a poet
who traded my name for numbers
and lost my death
in a life half-lived.
Both of us always running
to beat our own lovely fall.
Your falling was a quiet farewell –
no more talking our way out of this one.
I said good-bye like a broken drum
while you commanded that heart to stop.
It seems we are both still trying to speak –
Me – a mad pen, tired bones, an ache –
You, a deplorable sunrise
in the evenings, when even the bones are tired
and every bit of energy that could be conjured
has been -
there is still a young rapper in his room -
discovering the magic of words -
and another boy, taking a vacation
from the wonders of the cosmos
to play a video game with a friend.
the noises are absolute.
my dog curls up like a pinto bean -
his big ears on alert.
something inside me hungers.
so much of a day spent doing
until the heart has had her chance to rumble.
the fingers their chance to skip
across the black pavers -
at last awake.
for a minute i forgot you.
or maybe it was a week or a month
or any time really -
that is longer than okay -
until suddenly something leapt
from a quiet divot in my chest
i raced to tell you
that i am still
every minute and week and month
so much enamored with you -
my friend, my heart, my gift.
i spoke to an old friend today
who belongs at the beach
but lives somewhere else.
and i wanted to erase time for him
and destroy space
so he would be here again
in a town that loves him.
"they have no idea who you are, do they?"
i asked, thinking how absurd
you can be famous in one town,
and a total stranger in another.
"No they don't," he said
and i wanted to cry for what they're missing.
we are these little worlds to each other
meaning so much
depending so much
on each other for our rotation.
i think when you remove one of us
from the solar system -
all of the other planets wobble.
or, at the very least -
i mean to say -
i miss you.
when i was a child
i very much wanted to be famous -
so that everyone would know
how special i was.
at four i decided
when i grew up
i would marry johnny cash
so i could make him happy.
they seemed such useful goals.
now,as an adult,i only want to be more reflective -
so that the people who love me
can see how special they are instead.
and if i could -
i would marry my husband again -
this time not trying to make him
anything different than he already is.
i know i got a much better life than i deserve.
when i go to bed at night,
i try to think of new ways to pay it forward.
sometimes it's just shutting up.
i don't like mean people
as well as i like the nice ones.
kinda like it's better to be healthy
than barfing in a bush.
some things are simple like that.
still, life makes you suffer a bully or two
before you get your free slurpee.
eventually, if you don't let the bad stuff get you down,
you'll own the whole 7-11.
start with a few good friends.
my pen is broken
from too much thinking.
where without the soothing curse of love -
i might be bored.
someday my friends will find me
asleep in an attic at noon.
curled up in a pile of cards
they sent through the years.
there is a chocolate cake pillow
and a little a little cup of tea.
i dont drink but tonight
i wore a missile toe and mimosa t-shirt
with the arms cut off
to qualify for the ugly sweater party.
all of my friends are beautiful.
they donned their santa-riding-a-unicorn sweaters
and acrylic reindeer shells
and tried to neutralize their exquisiteness with Tacky -
but it is just impossible.
one friend showed me an app
where she could wipe her screen with her index finger
and she swore it was erasing our wrinkles.
i could not stop laughing.
not because i couldn't tell the difference
but because i thought it was so damn funny
that she would try to erase the wrinkles
on a photo
of something so imperfectly perfect already.
plus it was the way her finger rubbed back and forth
naive almost, the finger,
i could barely take it.
friendship cannot be measured in cocktails poured
or hors d'oeuvres served
or even sweaters worn.
but little fingers on screens
and white elephant re-gifts
and the magic of reading the bill
held out three feet in front of you...
one eye closed for squinting
the other shot full of love.
girlfriends are just the best.
there is no other way to say it.
Forty is a magic number
like 7 and 11 and 13.
Forty is when you are closer to fifty
that you are to twenty
and you just cannot believe it.
It is also when mean people start to not matter
and your real friends show themselves
and your occupation is only part of who you are.
It matters who you love when you are forty -
because you realize you may be half way home
or on the back nine
or however you say
to old to screw around anymore.
It matters who loves you back now also -
more than it did before -
because who has time anymore
for half-assed love affairs
and broken promises
and the greatest insult of indifference?
Forty is great because you really start to care
about things that matter -
differently than you could
when you were thirty -
and you've lived enough life to simply reply
"because i said so"
when someone asks you why.
At 46, I'm thinking 'hells to the yeah'
just watch me put in some crest strips
and hit Facebook -
i'll write a poem all about the life.
sometimes people ask you a question
and then get mad at you
because they don't like the answer.
sometimes you give someone your trust
and they give you back
a knuckle sandwich.
sometimes you think every little thing
is a-okay in the world
and then you wake up.
sometimes it hurts to laugh
and feels good to cry
and you have to ask
am i little crazy?
someone who really loves you
will say "no."
tonight i left a piece of who i am
on the dance floor
because Stefani Keys was playing
and i thought
man, i wish i could sing like that -
like god was walking
down an empty road
and someone stopped
to give him a ride.
that's a particular sound you know -
two lanes. one car. and god.
my friend Louise is little and cute
and i call her loulou because of it.
also she is a quiet somewhat sneaky
sort of artist
who splashes you with her art
instead of drowning you in it.
i admire that about her -
how she treads lightly,
slinks into a room unassuming,
but with a smile
that changes how the light rests.
loulou is one of those people i think
who would never expect a poem
but who sees the poetry everywhere -
"you don't need to rhyme" she tells the moon,
"no iambic pentameter needed here" she assures
the daisies -
"just speak" she whispers
"all your secrets are worth sharing".
the rain is back
this time like a no nonsense bag lady
and their passing.
i wanted to say something important today
but there was turkey and cranberry mold
funeral potatoes and green beans
crispy onion, corn and cream -
plus cookies and cake and pie.
that shut me up
like a million lazy minutes
and all i could say was
when we decide to age together
and i mean really age -
without all the trying -
i hope you will remember that i am cute.
i am trying to find a way
to say i love you
that sounds like i am saying something different.
because you are my special forever friends
and there should have been some words reserved
from before you were even born.
i love you because sunlight
and acorns and messy green trees
and the call of the wild and dangerous men
and sugar and heartache and pink.
i love you because old old memories
and new beginnings and broken dreams
i love you because you read and laugh
and argue and worship and regret and cry
and demand so much from life
that even life gets tired -
drops a leaf or two,
trembles when you roar.
i love you because you are kind and silly,
ridiculous and mad,
compassionate, cuddly, and soft.
you make me soup
and vegetables and cake.
you bring flowers and worry and trust.
you peel back decades of things that hurt
to let the sunshine back in
day after day
and you weep
beside me when i am hurt
as if there were no other place on the earth to be.
and you let me do the same for you.
i love you because there so many things happening
all the time, everywhere -
but when we are together
to be together
for real and forever
even if it only lasts a minute.
i love you because you care
about people who have less than you
and people who have more
and you share your beautiful inside hearts of hearts
with people who do not always deserve it.
i love you because when we met
we did not have to court each other
like lovers who would date -
but instead we were married
the moment we first laid eyes...
like the best of friends...
because you can
because it is possible
because it is okay even
to love someone the moment you meet.
i love you because you have made me full
of so much beauty and depth and good
that i am having to teach myself to bow -
so i look less crazy bent over -
dragging around this bulging heart
entirely filled with you.
the best part of friendship
is the friend part -
how every single other thing in life
for a minute or a day or even a week -
but then one real talk
with one good friend
makes the blue meanies go away.
when there is just enough good again
to make the creepy stuff a blur,
i feel like dancing.
sometimes grief comes out of left field
dressed like an angry bird.
steals your sack lunch -
makes a mess of things.
i try to hold your despair
like walls down an unlit hallway,
feeling my way through the dark
to your heart.
today a lovely stranger
gave me a plant.
she had grown a little tree
from a cutting -
knowing, just like magic -
how to do such things.
because her manner had moved me,
i brought my new friend a box of chocolates
and she asked
"how did you know?"
i think inside every single person
is a part of you breathing.
you should see how alive our tree is.
almost like a thief
the night crept out
in an afro on platform heels.
los dias de la muerte happens early
with lip-stitch scars, bustiere,sexy kitten cop
the convict and the donald
are the quiet ones.
what i love
is that you kept carrying the purse
even after you took the dress off,
your painted Flinstone toes
their own little shop of horror.
his bones were fancy
that's for sure -
while little red balls
dangle from her montera.
a ghostbuster, a hippy and a dancing queen
while i stretch across rock and stone
to count the stars.
all the matadors here are wrestling
Taurus from the sky.
sometimes i call you kitten
but really you are a grizzly bear
who only happens to adore me.
i wanted to leave a mark somewhere -
to make a difference -
so i could say thank you
for freeing me of the hollows i came from.
but there were too many people to thank
and i got so busy, marveling really
in everyone else's brilliance -
that i forgot to become someone important.
i hope you will forgive me also
for loving everything that is a little crooked in you.
there is something about the way that light bends
when we are together
and i am certain
this is how you've saved me.
I have been looking for a cure for as long as I can remember. First, it was for food when I was hungry and for something to drink when I had thirst. Once I realized I could get my needs met, by asking to be fed, for a glass of water, a blanket – it was as if finding something out there to fix what was needed in here
became the blueprint for my next decided action. I quickly began to look towards friendship when I was lonely, an excuse when I was mad, a party when happy, a lover when amorous, a bed when fatigued. Soon it was coffee when tired, aspirin when sore, hat when frizzy, diet when fat, and absolutely anything when bored. So that every feeling should be resolved or counter balanced. An antigen found. A remedy procured. But what if. What if I did not so rashly fill my hunger, sate my thirst, friend my loneliness, blanket my chill? What if tired were allowed to be sleepy, and chubby, plump, and frizzy, fro? What if lonely were lone, and mad just that? Would all just simply BE?