Wednesday July 19, 2017
Why I Write
I told a bunch of people I didn’t know that if someone asked me what the best thing about life is, I’d say getting older. I mean it. What else is there in this existence aside from growth and love and mistakes and love?
I know a lot of people agreed with me. If that same someone asked me a year ago I would not have said this. I wouldn’t have said a lot of things. In the time between figuring some shit out and sitting where I’m sitting, I have out grown so many beliefs. So many stories. So many past versions of myself. If someone asked me even six months ago I would say, I’m sorry, but I do not recognize my own reflection. I wouldn’t have been able to point out what’s true over what’s not.
I keep thanking my bones for speaking up. I keep asking if anyone who lives in my skin is tired or hungry. I keep listening to the answer when it changes and changes.
Thursday May 11, 2017
from a quote by Louis C.K
Sunbeams of The Sun (May 2017 issue)
five years old, Nonna visits,
leaves her face creams tubed in the upstairs bathroom
curious, five years old, sneaks into the upstairs bathroom
counts the black tile, counts the white,
opens the cream, smears it on, five years old,
closes it, runs away to pretend that nothing is out of the ordinary
mother, thirty-five years old, yells at all of us
because one of us, five years old, left the tubes partially open
Nonna wants to know who would, since she wouldn’t
five years old wants to blame it on the upstairs bathroom ghost
thirty-five years old asks flame on lips for the last time,
shoots missile from eyes, no prisoners
five years old, scared, ashamed, caught, decides to lie
blames it on the upstairs bathroom ghost,
learns guilt, confesses
one hour later
Monday May 8, 2017
when the night is young and our bones crave fresh sheets instead of fresh beers, we are wondering, if we’ll ever need ice again
and some of us don’t look like age has visited but our joints know it’s here
when it rains
when the sky gets dark
we are wondering if we’ll ever laugh at the morning like we used to
if we’ll ever buy 5 cent candies from the corner store
we are wondering if knowing is growing and if growing is expected
we are wondering, if time will ever slow down so we can see it
Monday May 8, 2017
“Wise beyond her years”
she was also
the master of
the baby voice.
She shrugged her
at painted toes.
Adult body came
too fast comes
“This isn’t what
I wanted,” she
“Wise beyond her years”
a spell cast after
the wall fell.
“Wise beyond her years”
a blessing spoken
over dinner beeswax
“Wise beyond her years”
outgrowing jeans and
shoes seeing all the
Friday April 21, 2017
said by Q
I cannot tell you what it means to be needed so well that your bones warm.
I say I love you to
a child that does not belong
I do not plan this
nor all the joy I find in how easy it is to say
my blood bathes
I know this feeling
the one that makes us believe we are real
maybe because I don’t want him to go a night not hearing it before he sleeps while his mother is out there taking care of herself
I want her to succeed.
I want her child to be lifted.
Maybe I do love her child.
Maybe I have seen him.
wearing his souls’s clothes
Maybe he has laughed at every one of my jokes
with the same enthusiam and delight
laughing so easy
Maybe I wanted to.
maybe he was holding the mirror
Sunday April 16, 2017
We mourn each day past with a song-we both cradle our heads at the month changing places, on a mission.
How many nights as children did we spend enjoying instead of worrying we were running out of time?
How many days did we write the date and think just how much can happen in a year?
This time we’ll sing (misty-eyed)
about the seasons; about the natural curve of the calendar
April come she will
April come she will
Tuesday April 4, 2017
from The YouTube video Joe is watching
HashBrown slurps chocolate milk up through a licorice straw and refuses to make eye contact with me
I stand there with my hands on my hips like my mama taught me
I say “I’ll wait” like my mama showed me how
“I’ll wait” means You Can’t Hide From Me
Means Don’t Think I Don’t See You Avoiding Your Responsability About This
means I’m Older Than You In This Moment With Your Sleeves
Pulled Down Over Your Hands
Thursday January 19, 2017 at the VPL
I told myself I’d be married at 24 cause of my mother. She was married at 24 and that felt like the best map I could follow since she has never once said she regretted it. I also said I wouldn’t have sex till I was 24 either case of Jesus. Or the patriarchy. Save my sex for someone who loves God more than he’ll ever love me and believes in owning humans as property? Yeah, what a great fucking idea. I was young then. And committed to Christ (by choice, weirdly, I know). And in love with the idea that I didn’t have to make my own decisions cause life was already going to have too many of those in the first place. I told myself that I would have a child by 28 cause of my mother. She waited 4 years to have one after she got married and that seemed smart, and good, and completely doable. I have missed both of these “destiny numbers”(by choice, I know, I know). Somewhere along the way I decided I could trust myself to lead me through it. Sometimes it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. But it’s better than being married with a bazillion kids coming out of my ears. Age, I’ve learned, is just a number that you get to hold for a year. And then–we let it go, just like everything else.
Monday January 16, 2017
overheard on the 99″
I feel like I ask for help the way young me never could and so it comes out young me when I’m trying not to give away that I have lived but maybe just not out loud until now
I feel sorry that my vulnerability is showing through my tough smile and then when people guess my age they cant believe how many decades I’ve been alive because the kind of asking for help I produce suddenly weighs heavy like a lightening bolt
Splitting me and all my good sides into halves and then again and then again
My lightening is as heavy as my sorry is as heavy as my untapped rage, and all the revenge I’ve ever bled out over
Young me living through now me is so damn sweet it hurts
It really fucking does
When everyone looks at you like you’ve just shown them a new wound on your knee or bottom lip
Sunday October 30, 2016
from a Freshii sign at the airport
Things are slowing down
We are finding our breath and our hurt and we are letting them kiss
I know how to find centre
I know now I know now I know now
Yesterday’s self portrait is unrecognizable to me today. The shapes are the same but the lines are different. Different good, different wise. I think in the last few hours I have grown new lines or old ones have morphed into something that holds my skin in place better now. I greet the mirror with the kind of warmth reserved for reunion; homecoming to the eyes of my mother.
Saturday August 13, 2016
The Picture Of Dorian Gray
Mom calls me to tell me about her trip tells me all about the seaside
And how people don’t care
That North America has judgments about women’s bodies and women’s
She tells me that she bought
Her first bikini
In 15 years
And that she loves it
And that she’s decided
She no longer cares
About the rules
Mom tells me about her trip
How she listened to her body
Instead of punishing it
How she gave her skin a chance
How she smiled more than before
How people told her how good
And how shocking that
And how nice that is
And how maybe she has
Let herself believe them
Because they are right
Because she has put the hard work in
Because she has unlocked her heart
And freed her inner child
Mom tells me about he trip
About her journey to find
And how on the way
She found a whole lot more
Than she meant to
Tuesday September 22, 2015
from a calendar
Halle and I walk hand in hand down to the end of the driveway. Kristina is on her bike and she looks stupid in her pink helmet. Not because she’s wearing a helmet. But because her helmet has tassels like her bike handles do and it just looks like a the kind of bike a circus monkey would ride. Too many ribbons and too many balloons. Or so it seems. Kristina tries to stop her bike but she hasn’t learned that yet. She’s really struggling. She wants to come talk to Halle and me. Kristina finally gets off her bike and lets it rest on the ground. She also hasn’t learned to use her kick stand yet. Her face is round and rosy and the snot bubble she’s blowing never seems to pop.
“Hi Nathan, Hi Halle. What are you doing today? Want to talk about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ?”
Halle squeezes my hand. She’s 4 and she already knows that this girl is a quack job.
Monday September 21, 2015
from a dramaturge’s notes
I stare into the mirror, I am naked.
I hear myself say.
I am naked.
Am I ashamed?
Do I need clothes?
Paint me something good.
I hear myself whisper to myself.
I want layers of art. Not fabric.
Paint my heart, thumping.
And I do.
Paint my lungs singing.
And I do.
Paint my mind growing.
Paint my skin softening.
Paint my posture straightening.
Paint my arms strengthening.
Paint my smile more genuine.
Paint my eyes brightening.
Paint my worries lessening.
Paint my self-consciousness subsiding.
Paint my risk taking.
Paint my understanding.
Paint my learning.
And I do. I do.
Thursday May 14, 2015
From a story by Mikal Cronin
about ten years ago I was riding a horse across the desert and trying to remember the names of all my cousins eight five of them EIGHTY FIVE ~ about ten years ago I was stealing gum and wonder bread from the convenience store and blaming it on the homeless drunk ~ about ten years ago I was fucking every man I met not because I wanted to but because I needed to prove to myself and to God that I was worthy ~ about ten years ago I was trying to remember the eight times table ~ about ten years ago I was changing your mind about white chocolate ~ about ten years ago I stopped procrastinating ~ about ten years ago I fell in love with nutritional yeast ~ about ten years ago I got a disease that I’ll have til I die but I’ll never tell anyone but you what it is because I’m a stuck up prude ~ about ten years ago I bought a pink backpack and travelled by foot across india ~ about ten years ago I went a year without sugar ~ about ten
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
from a song on the radio
I’m ready for this age
wrapping paper cheeks
My grandmother’s tiny bird-frame lasted ninety seven years
These curves becoming rounder and these feet
taking me deeper into the red valley
The last time I saw my father I noticed the lines around his eyes
This blue like the party dress I wore to my sister’s wedding
I noticed the whiteness of his beard
Hairs like ivy
My sister and I talk
about our mother’s pains
spreading like a forest fire
Now it’s her knees
Thursday February 19, 2015
from a Facebook post
I thought she was younger than me when I first met her cause of the way she only talked about guys finding her attractive, which party we should go to on the weekend based on which guys would be there..and I mean, yeah, she was beautiful and she obviously had lots of guys interested, but it was the attitude of a 20 year old, and then all of a sudden, I find out she’s 32. It rocked my world. And I’m not an agist, you know? Because when I thought she was younger than me, I was still cool with hanging out with her. And then she was older, and the level of respect I had for her didn’t match anymore. So that’s why we stopped being friends, you know, not cause she’s not nice, cause she is, or at least she was or whatever, but it was me. I couldn’t get past it. I don’t know. It sort of just got inside my head and stuck around. Maybe it was also because she was a self-proclaimed “true artist” and I never saw her create anything.
Saturday December 13
Top 10 London
Remember those days when we were younger than we wanted to believe we were? We had some idea about age and power and coolness and artistry. We convinced ourselves we ran that town, that we made all the decisions, that we possessed a coveted charm. When Connie did her first musical we all showed up and supported her even though none of us thought she was particularly good at singing. We didn’t make her feel bad for wanting something different. We never let those things get in the way of our loyalty.
At the opening night party, she cried gracefully while thanking us for being there. She said it made her whole world feel more secure knowing we were in the audience. I think even Robbie was trying to hold back his tears. It was something special to see us all there, not worrying about anything else at all but each other and our happiness as a whole.
Saturday April 25, 2014
Revelation Must be Terrible
The smell of the rosemary is the same. The smell of the cedar is the same, a little damper, a little more fragrant. I’m more afraid of darkness, but that’s just because there’s less of it. I’m tired, but I know it’s because I’ve been eating too much chocolate and bread and some might say I’m allergic to both but I love them so I just keep trucking. My favourite blanket is dotted with marks of it’s history, and it’s rarely around my shoulders or gripped tightly in my clenched fist. It sits at the foot of my bed and only gets pulled up on the coldest nights. I’m no longer worried about grey hair at my temples, or bits of celery and broccoli clogging the drain of the kitchen sink. I’m no longer fighting for the last word.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I never knew a poet personally but I sure as the garden of roses knew those words of theirs. And that’s pretty personal, isn’t it? The first poem I learned got me through a backpacking trip across Europe and the heartbreak of leaving my dear old dog, Bruce. The second poem found me love and found me the best french kisses on this side of the equator. The third poem got me pregnant. The fourth saw me planting a garden and hauling manure into the back of the Daddy’s blue truck. The fifth, the sixth, the nineteenth, got me through childbirth. By forty, three kids, two cities and one Bruce-grave later, I knew over one hundred and three poems, all stored up there in the cobwebby corners that can’t seem to remember things like birthdays or taking out the recycling.