Sunday, November 5, 2017

Young, surviving was never a question. Never doubted ability to approach fire and aim right through. This is true. And reckless, and exactly as it should be. Cracking your own heart, easy as eggs.

Even back before that, when all I knew was my own daydream of what love might one day mean. Collaging in the CB room at my grandma's house, listened to Z93 and 97X on her silver boombox. Slipping a cassette in(scotch-taped on top) when I heard something worth recording. I was awkward and bored and full of aspiration to be the girl in the Noxema ad with perfect spiral curls. Typical puberty.

Some sore spots find their way to tenderness. Over time I've snaptwisted many memories into kindling. Wad of photographs depicting every bar/diner/curb I sat upon scribbling, getting the moment down thinking one day I might need it. I can't carry it all anymore.

What to do with all the heaviness? All things lugged through time in metaphorical mismatched suitcases, dragged through mud, passenger of canoe as I paddle an ocean of days. Burn it, bury it, drop it, tell it?

Finding flame, unpacking bags, clearing the gut.

I'm going to tell it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

poetry reading in pittsburgh, October 19th

I'm in town for a visit and as such set up a reading with some awesome poets including Renee Alberts, Becky Corrigan, Carrie Greenlaw and Karla Lamb. Jason Baldinger will host the event which is free and byob. Many thanks to 9 Stories for hosting.

October 19, Thursday at 7 PM - 10 PM

Nine Stories, Pittsburgh

Monday, August 14, 2017

This is the point of summer where I catch myself staring at leaves on the trees, thinking their season(s) are almost done. They'll drop and drift and come to earth again. Next spring I will give the same stare to newness on branch, envision their warmer days ahead. All they will see and go through. It's hard not to personify them, to admire this act of temporary life as bravery. Cyclical, incredible. All the sun, storms, and quiet. Another change is coming because it is our only constant.

Over the past few weeks I've taken part in wonderful conversations, a natural unraveling. Unexpected yet exactly what I ended up needing. All of the listening helped me reach out when I needed to(also a point in which I least wanted to). I can be extremely open but there are some things I keep for me--call it shame or uncertainty, privacy, whatever. It's not that I am ashamed to wrestle with depression now and then. At least I'd like to truly believe it isn't shame, but maybe. Maybe I'm not as accepting with my own stuff. In any event, when I struggle I get private until danger permeates the quiet--the molehill once harbored in my shadow is hulked into mountain which learns to bend me into it's dark. At this point in my life I can feel it coming. Animals and impending natural disaster. Something about depression has taught me to sense shift in environment.

Because I reached out, I'm doing much better. Nothing rusted. I had stuttered along with my writing until that comfort ceased altogether, but she's purred right back up and it is good. There is a list. Things to be done, plans I am making. There are hopeful things, despite the feeling of this world falling apart on a loop. I must read current events in small doses. Same goes for most people I know here--all of us a bit bewildered, shell-shocked, angry, trying.

At night I like to walk outside because there is a chill more often now. That and crickets, and an inky sky to stare up at, all that space junk I cannot see and stars I cannot name. The leaves on trees sound like hurrying fabric in the dark. My breath is my anchor. I take my moment and I keep on going.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

thick of summer

I've spent the better part of summer running from page and pen. As if they can't find me//as if what insists on being said isn't already pirohuetting in blood. You can numb entire acres of yourself and still get hurt, hurt more, hurt worse. Stagger back and slice through. I don't care to be scared anymore. This is the most wonderful and dangerous part.

I'll drive the same block, play the same song, turn wheel same way with half a hand if it means staying with the feeling. Sometimes I start to scrawl and get stuck in mood--whole day below sea level because what isn't pried open will fall apart eventually. Every minute without it forms a faultline until the shattered creates a dent. Press here. Press often. Writing isn't easy. Even when it feels better than breathing. Even when you know it's true medicine--shit gets expensive. I catch myself stopping between lines to cover my mouth in the quiet.

I ramble to friends about clawing surfaces. It's a process, catch and release. Carrying close this house full of cups and dust, broken bits of belief, half moons of cursive. Moments pickled, suck sour clean then burn them. There isn't a breathing being on planet that can do it. Stalk page like prey. Lick the bones til they glow.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

sacred places

A moment is a sacred place.

Eight years ago I listened to you start to write a song in my living room. What was I doing? Making food, forth and back in the kitchen. I still know the daylight through the window, the stumbling of guitar chord as its bones took on flesh. Layer by layer a magic that I was afraid to interrupt. Your elbow in the corner of my vision--strum, strum. Something born.

We are sitting at the bar and I tell you for probably the thousandth time that we are lucky to be creative. It's painful at times--we can be all nerves and pages but ultimately we are fortunate. I really believe this. Do you know when there is a point you want to stay on but the conversation migrates away? That's how I felt, in the moment. Not one to pound my fist for emphasis but wanted to, a moment. We are lucky to tell it, to have the tool to wrestle with, to be pinned by. I can go anywhere, be as quiet as stillness, and yet I'll continue to carry that obligation/need/desire. I rarely mention the times it keeps me going, the only thing.

We walk to the cemetery; it is night. A bat juts around in the air, and it feels like we are following it or being guided by this winged thing. Deeper on the path with all these graves around us until we hit the pond. As soon as we sit down, rain starts to fall. Since it is dark this change is weather is felt and heard first. Bullfrogs and raindrops. We stay put as long as we can.

A moment is a sacred place. So many that I don't know how my body hasn't broken apart unable to contain the true enormity of it. How are we not in a million pieces? If I write it down will I feel lighter? I will never know what it meant to you. I tell you memory because I need you to know.

And when we leave the sacred what becomes of it? Weather, briefly, contains her. I walked here, I stood until I couldn't. All belongings gone, I think of them silenced to landfill buried with other evidence. Or is that us, the clue of image, surefire proof? Are we what is unowned? My pockets protest; I bust their seams with it. Every moment gets a minute. A soft space, a familiar gait. Every one gets to let go.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


I am 36 years old. Thirty and six. How? When?

Of course there is reflecting. I skim all the lives lived like shuffling a deck of cards--the sound of them stacking is somewhere between a hum and a rip. Steel trap mind hugs it all. Sometimes I recall the most random-seeming things. An empty stage after I left it. The ends of my inksister's hair lifting with the wind. D insisting that I keep my eyes closed during my first time through Pittsburgh's Liberty Tunnel. The moment I opened them. Bagels in New York. Litter in the Nile. My friends dancing wild and free to music. Hauling my bike up three flights of stairs after the ride home from work. The last time I saw my mother. "Always and Forever" playing at the skating rink.

My life has been so incredibly full. Both joy and heartache overflows cups. I am endlessly thankful for all of it. All of it, you hear me? Even the shit that didn't work. Even the bits that tore me down, when concept of regret bobbed lonely to surface. Even depression and her threatened abyss. Without her the rest might not be so stunning.

There are little things. Like I wish my grandparents had lived long enough to know me as an adult. I wish fear didn't seize me as it has in the past, as it might threaten now. I can give solid advice but sometimes I think I could do better at following it. Little things.

I like to reflect, and I know the importance of it, but the older I get the more I find myself interested in now, and in what is next. Mindfulness reminds me that sometimes the most beautiful thing is to be moving and acknowledge the movement and nothing else. Or to catch my own wrist and tune into my heartbeat. These things save me. I feel twice the length of this age but my coworkers guess me at 27. One asked me if my grays were placed on purpose, highlights. I laughed. Oh no. These are mine, igniting since 25.

Thirty-six is a promise of exciting things. I'm in the best shape of my life. My writing is strong and honest. I'm still discovering songs to fall in love with, art that yanks my breath away. I am alive. I am loved. I am nowhere near finished yet.

Here's to my 36th year. I'm ready. Let's go.