Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grow a pair of something. Like sweet cloned kittens.

I WROTE THIS and I am sure the woman meant something nice like, "Grow a pair of sea monkeys," or "Grow a pair of cloned kittens." Love you all. Comment over at Single Mom at Work and let them know that I'm only off my rocker in the nicest of ways.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Spreading yuletide meh like an STD

Go HERE to read my new piece at Single Mom at Work. And comment wildly and deliciously. Oh please. And I will kiss you on your buche.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Good deeds, not words

Good deeds, not words
you write and I get a whiff of who you are, 
just a whiff, a tang of upper lip sweat and 
talcum-powdered armpits and generations 
of dustbunnies under the bed and Love's 
Baby Soft and urine, yes, I said, urine.
You are the silence that hangs in the air 
fifteen days after my last email to her, 
twenty-two months after my last email to them. 
You are the last pompom to 
descend at the pep rally, 
sliding down the front of 
a sweat-stained red-and-white uniform.  

It's always red and white, you see. 
Those two, 
they like to duke it out. 
The bloody and the prim, 
the flayed and the pure.  

Good deeds, not words. Yes,  
thank you, dear. I will surely 
keep that in mind 
as I navel-gaze, that other  
thing we tiresome writer-types do. 
You say.  

Blessed are those who use the term  
"navel-gazing," for they shall discover  
their own navels someday in the bath.  
The question: Will they dare to finger them?  

It is disastrous to write, not dance. 
It is catastrophic 
to articulate pain through pen  
rather than savage leap—or the jagged  
breath that follows.  

There is a statute of limitations, 
if not on grief, then on sharing one's grief. 
Do you still hurt? 
Enough to scrutinize the sharp?  
To nod at the solemn soldiers of 
pill bottles standing in regiment? To know 
you could swallow their strength!  

Save yourself. Say nothing more. 
Two, three, years have passed. 
Good deeds, not words. Prepare to disgust, 
dare to disgust if you tell the truth, 
if you keep telling it,
that you are not better, that better has gone 
on and on and on without you.  

Create a new life, if you can. If you can't, 
well, you will deal with that in time. For now, 
roll your eyes at the cat when you read, 
"Good deeds, not words" from a stranger, 
and wonder what Keats or Yeats or Piercy 
or Munro or Plath or Styron—
alive, dead, does it matter?—
would have to say about that.  

Back of the bus, apparently, 
for writers having a shit time, 
and telling the shit truth. 
Perhaps the truth is never a good deed. 
Is this the problem, my friend?  

I know a writer—guess—who showed her  
crying daughter a typo the music teacher  
had made: tits instead of it's. I'd call this 
a good deed, because the child stopped 
crying and laughed.  

Bad word, good deed.  
Don't assume that your favorite  
treacherous, navel-gazing,  
shiftless writer is without good deed,  
is deedless, is without action.  

Acts of valor? A child's birthday party. Balloons. 
A freelance job,  
writing about greeting cards.  

Perseverance? She opens her eyes at 6:48 a.m. 
and gently arouses her children from sleep, then 
lets her old red dog out to pee. Urine, friend. 
Salt and water, salt and water.  

Watch now: she leaps heavily, 
spins once, badly, twice, 
then tries to boil your  
words and her own away 
in a cup of tea  
when you, friend, 
are not there, 
and never will be.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hope is not the thing with feathers, y'all

Here's an excerpt from my newest Single Mom at Work:  

I told my therapist today that I can no longer in good faith believe in hope, because HOPE is NOT the thing with feathers, not for me. Sorry, Emily Dickinson. I could handle a plucked THING and probably even would, knowing my weakness for small to large, feathered, furred, generally stinky creatures. But I can't keep waiting around for the traditional definition of hope to kick in: a quiet serenity and faith that all will be okay. I haven't felt that way in several years. That anything will be okay. Not just for months. Haven't felt it for years. I wish it weren't the case. But as one groovy Chinese philosopher put it, "The wise man lets go of that, and chooses this." Even if my this isn't the stuff that fab holiday greeting cards are made of. The fact is, it's still my this. My true this. Ma, I know you wish I didn't hurt so much. I know you wish a lot of things, like I kept my kitchen spotless, and I believed in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or if I even still believed in rainbows. I wish those things too. But I'm tired of feeling around desperately in the dark for this elusive "hope" thing when I simply don't feel it...  

***** Head on over to Single Mom at Work to read the rest and leave some yummy comment lovin'. If you get me discovered, all famouslike? I can get a shack on Cape Cod and paint HOPE LIVES on the roof and you can come and visit and sign your names on the shingles and we can whoop it up and Ellen and Portia will DJ. But I need your help, yo.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

So I'm pretty sure I can't dance

The latest groovy post is up at Single Mom At Work:


Offer up comment LURRRRRVE, babycakes.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Remember when

Sophie, age 8: Remember when Hannah had an imaginary boyfriend named Bobby? And then they were totally passe.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Action, reaction

Action, reaction:
I wake up.
I close my eyes.

Action, reaction, reaction:
Teenaged boys grunt and holler
in the school yard, preying on
a leather ball with fist-fangs.
I wait them out.
Do they ever study?

Action, reaction:
"Why are you fat?"
one of them yells.
I retreat, inside.

Reaction, action:
The dogs sulk.
They have not had a walk.
(Blame: me, teenaged boys.)

Action, no reaction:
I call B.
She is not there.

Action, action, reaction:
A colleague left his wife ten
years ago.
He remarried, the old tale,
the young wife.
He has been happy since.

Action, action, reaction, reaction:
We divorce.
It goes on.
I cannot imagine happy since.
They tell me I used to know
happy well.

I can tell beauty when I see it.
But beauty is the cat who will
not permit herself to be touched.
Admire, let the tears fall, she is
not yours.

Happiness nestles
in your lap,
is pleased to bleed out
in your arms. You
can have her for as
long as you can,
no hard feelings.