Thursday, July 30, 2009


[edited to add]

I like technology most when it helps me do something timeless – like create poetry.

While watching The Good Shepherd the other night, I saw a scene in which the main character and his love interest were dancing at a night club and the band leader interrupted the music to share the news that France and England had just declared war on Germany. “But please continue dancing and enjoying our music,” he said, “I’ll update you as information comes in.” The protagonist’s love interest held him closer – tighter – for as long as she could. And continue to dance they did.

Even after I turned off the movie and went to bed, I couldn’t get that scene out of my mind. I didn’t want to get up and grab my notebook, but there’s a memo app on my BB. So I opened a new memo, and wrote the following: (tentatively titled, “Peacetime”)

Hold me close;
we’re on the brink of war.

Let’s keep dancing.
Soon enough there will be no music,
and we will ration smiles.

But tonight we can pretend
that our hearts are light, our spirits free.

And the only bloody Marys
are the ones served with Sunday brunches.
Not the ones with futures and families.
Not the ones named for the mother of Jesus.

I question the line breaks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Are you talking to me?

As I rushed through the halls at work yesterday morning, a building maintenance gentleman with a huge cart stopped short right beside me. Then I stopped. He said, "ladies first", and I almost tripped standing still. "Thank you," I said. As I scurried the rest of the way back to my desk, I had a flurry of feelings and thoughts. I’ll try to illustrate them:

“Ladies first” => was he being facetious? => Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” => I wasn’t offended => it seemed genuine => race/class/gender (minus class in this instance) => should I have insisted that he go first? he was pushing a heavy load… => (so am I – Rimshot!) => is this chivalry or decency? => is there a difference? => was taking his cue an anti-feminist act? => maybe he wasn’t in a rush? => when did I become a lady? => woman, yes. lady? I don’t know => it was a nice gesture, at any rate => sometimes a cigar is just a cigar => I don’t smoke

Yep. That's pretty much the inside of my head at any given moment.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

poetic license...

Yippien.  a term used to describe the young and upwardly mobile who despite their education, professional careers and relatively affluent lifestyles persist in expanding consciousness through nonconformist, unconventional and free-spirited behavior; a cross between a “yuppie” and a “hippie”; ex. It’s good that she’s buying local and handmade items, but that yippie spends way too much!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bighead

Dear HomeBoy,

I know you don’t really celebrate your birthday, and that’s fine by me.  But I do.  So, how can I satisfy my need to recognize and your request to keep it quiet?  I think a post will do the trick.  Here it goes…


“Twenty-Eight Endearing Things About You”

28.  You look like a child when you’re sleeping – totally unassuming and peaceful.

27.  Your search for humor is relentless, and you always share your findings with me. (Whether I find them funny or not – that’s a different story ;)

26.  My friends love you, and my family respects you.

25.  You’re a rather good impersonator; your Nas and Mos Def are pretty good, but your Elijah Muhammad is the best. 

24.  However, your impersonation of my dad still leaves much to be desired – keep working on it. ;)

23.  Your competitive edge is pretty funny.  Phase Ten has never had such an intense interpretation before you started playing, I’m sure.

22.  You love your friends and family with steadfastness and intensity.  I admire that.

21.  You introduced me to Aesop Rock, L’Roneous and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  How can I ever repay you?

20.  WWJD – What Would Jay Do?  If I'd had you as a math tutor, maybe I'd remember a few things.

19.  I love to see you and your sisters together; you have a beautiful relationship.

18.  You don’t buy me flowers, you bring me ginger snaps.

17.  When you get into a hobby, you REALLY get into it.  RC Cars, boxing, MMA and jiu-jitsu… need I say more?

16.  You are the reason I know anything at all about the UFC, and I really do listen!  BJ Penn, Royce and Roger and all the Gracies, Tap Out, Affliction, Sherdog, arm bar, triangle choke, oma plata – see?

15.  You may single-handedly keep afloat the protein powder industry.

14.  I see a tree limb, a doorway, a set of monkey bars; you see a pull-up opportunity.

13.  Somehow scaring me as I walk into dark rooms or turn corners is still funny after all this time… to you.

12.  You, in a most beautifully articulate manner, defended feminism to my father.  While I observed in absolute silence with a smile that could rival the Cheshire Cat.

11.  Your pragmatism and frugality can be irksome – they also come in great handy.

10.  You research EVERYTHING, from laptops to what’s the best method for making coffee.  (I love our French press, by the way.  Thank you.)

9.  You’ve relinquished any creative control in the interior design of our home, but you help me carry out the ideas.

8.  After only 3 years, you’ve nearly mastered the art of dishwashing. ;)

7.  You are kind to all animals, and even pet the strays.

6.  You have high school memories of me from before I even really knew who you were.

5.  You never hold me back from anything I want to do.

4.  You make me question myself, which ultimately results in a stronger resolve or a clarified perspective.

3.  You were a soldier, and you are a scholar.

2.  You’ve pondered a multitude of ways to embarrass our future children.

1.  You are who you are all the time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ways to Keep Busy While the Power's Out (in the morning)

(Besides the obvious - gutter!)

- Call the electric company and report it, of course.

- Wash dishes by window light.

- Make shadow puppets.

- Wonder if I should have spent that extra $$ on a backup generator instead of interior paint.

- Listen to the rain fall & remember when that used to be a soothing sound.

- Count all the things in the refrigerator that could spoil. Do this in my mind, of course; don't open the fridge and let what little chill is left escape.

- Write a letter, like they did in Olden Days. If I really want an authentic experience, tie my letter to the foot of a pigeon.

- Write my blog post by hand and laugh hysterically at the irony.

- Marvel at my dependence on modern amenities.

- Meditate on gratitude. My situation is only an inconvenience - a discomfort at the most - and it's temporary.

- Be Still. (Seriously, when was the last time I did that?)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Truth is,

I hadn’t been listening to you recently.

You were like milk –

fortifying me in my youth,

but less tantalizing as I got older.

Sure you were still important,

but I needed you less and less…

Still you were a part of me,

as familiar and requisite in my world

as the building fund, alter prayer

and aluminum foil at the tips of cornrows.

Maybe I should have

shook my head in defiance

instead of in shame

because maybe you didn’t do those things you were accused of?

Should have been more vocal

instead of lending my silence to the swell

of rumors, cruel jokes and accusations.

When the news came, I didn’t believe.

But when it was confirmed,

I retreated into my catalogue and let the whole thing play.

You never miss the water…

or in this case, the milk.

I’ve kept my sadness to myself, mostly.

Not really wanting to join the throngs of mourners

whose sincerity is only outdone by their amnesia.

Could a little more kindness have saved your life?

Yes, you have Gone to Soon.

Yes, I Want You Back.

Yes, those are very clich├ęd things to say –

I guess that means I’m just like all the others.

But you are not, and you never were.