Unfamiliar, at first her own, its shake and slide. Then the others, seemingly in
opposition, but oddly reminiscent of her own. Strange gratification, this back and forth; tiny
morsels passed from hand to hand, then hand to mouth and finally tongue to lip. Sitting on
the edge of her ear in catches and whispers and sighs. And she tracing a finger up each
spine, her lap inches from theirs. Stirring. Like first kisses laced with hesitation and
intention; a distracting sleight of hand, depositing deep that which will spill onto their pillows
and sheets some night soon.
I read tonight.
It's best first thing in the morning.
Against my mother's wishes I reach up and touch the side of the tent, letting the dew
stream down my finger and into my palm. Now I've done it, I think with a smirk.
I turn to look at you, one leg out on top of your sleeping bag, zipper still taut between the
split, the pull resting cold against your inner thigh. Some people's eyes disappear when
they sleep but yours are just as full.
I'd said, "You don't put a drunk in a bar alone with only a wench to serve."
Every once in awhile I fire off an email that I probably should've sat on awhile longer.
Right now I'm stewing over a right to property and the mistake that led to it belonging to
someone else other than me because at one time I said it was cool. So there it is – not
mine anymore. And I get to be the one to sort through it all. And feel guilt. No wonder there
are so many control freaks in the world. If I'm going to be taken out of context, goddammit, I
can do it myself.
It's all fiction.
Some think music is the great equalizer; others god and fear.
Laundromats. You are forced to bear witness to things you couldn't otherwise
I dated a girl in Buffalo who used one. One late night an old woman came in and went to
the middle of the room. Just stood there. The reaction to her was quite violent but it wasn't
until my girlfriend elbowed me and nodded towards the floor that I understood why.
Steaming lava streaming heavily from her tattered, bell-bottomed, pant leg. People were
lifting their legs onto their chairs. I've never seen anything like it.
tocsin puissant aplomb opportune renascent cursory proponent fettle numinous evince
recondite pelf flagitious auspicious deliquesce prescient indigent palpable billingsgate
anodyne schadenfreude euphonious quaff ostensible recrimination malleable perdurable
onus triskaidekaphobia bravado littoral redivivus paladin bootless gimcrack munificent
hobnob fiduciary indelible fortuitous diktat boulevardier convivial leferdemain foment
concatenation parsimonious moiety venial accede portend chthonic mercurial ineffable
adventitious omnipresent gourmand crepuscular exalt contradistinction soporific deride
i know the only way i'll learn them is if i type them out. consider this homework; a rough
sketch of my busy brain trying to learn a new language. now, please, can I delete the
Frustrated and defrosting the freezer, I skipped ahead to the part where I became an ice
pick. Look at me go, a Superman of superhuman proportions, arms stretched deep into the
beast's belly, travelling blindly farther, farther; grasping a loose edge and prying it back in
one satisfactory sheet, freeing the small child/animal/hot dame caught behind its gleaming
Then the pain, oh, the pain. Yellow rubbered glove thrown off – I have delicate skin to
protect – and thick red spilling from fingertip. Why, oh why, must I be the heroine of all things
Tonight you get your own dinner.
I'm writing a story that's a little dark for this vanilla girl. I turned to nature but instead of
meadows and flower petals my pages are now filled with snails stabbing each other before
mating and male drones exploding their genitals into the queen bee and then sizzling dead
to the ground below.
Under cover down by the shore I was taken by all the evidence that Fall and a slimming
waterline exposes; branches stripped and held under by vines, little bits of bone cracked
along a bend where they tried to get to the surface for one last breath.
I'm on a pulled-out futon with another woman and her boyfriend squished together so
that I'm as close to her as he is. She keeps her face turned to me in deep conversation, her
lips brushing mine when another body pushes in and the quick flutter of tongues when the
lights suddenly dim, tips of fingers entwined.
We stood in the doorway where my mother waited in an idling car. We hugged heavy
and I whispered that I'd hold her like I wanted to if I could. Then I woke up. And tried in vain
to get back to her.
I'm so tired these days. Does this happen to you? Do you have insanely fitful nights of
characters and narratives and obsession? ‘If I don't get it down right now…' Just
Of course, it would help if I actually recognized half of what hits the page. I'm asking all
the right questions, surrendering all the old habits, teasing the words into new meaning but,
damn, if I still don't have a clue. I'm not that lost, I suppose. It's just…I'm so tired, you
know? The head. She don't wanna stop.
Thank goodness, only eight more words to go.
I feel fresh. The difference sleep makes - the difference being that I'm rid of a piece of
writing for awhile; waiting for feedback. It could be incentive to keep at it, get it done, always
be working towards the finish line. Or, I could just quit this nonsense and go to work for
someone else, let them make the decisions and apply my talents to saving the day, pulling
miracles out of my ass, scripting two clever lines for the cover of someone else's book.
Or I could just be tired and headachey and toothachey and angsty and fucked-upey.
I like the sort of night when it's raining and you're wearing the comfortable shoes and
the jeans that fall right and the cozy sweater that smells good when it gets wet. I like the sort
of night when a warm smile greets you, takes your umbrella and beckons you up the
staircase into a room of sparkly bits; a candle here, an oil lamp there. I like the sort of night
in which the cheese and olives and wine and scones have just as much to offer as the two
friends deep in pleasant conversation.
I liked last night.
I only held onto the book because it was given to me by someone who thought they
knew better. For years I stuffed it among the others until finally taking it out, prepared for
enlightenment. I resented it more than ever, thumbing the pages to a snapshot; an old B&W
from the early seventies of a crowd gathered tippy-toed and trying to see something we can't.
I thought it had appropriate meaning and tacked it above where I write.
I've only just realized that one of the men absolutely towers over everyone else, their
shoulders barely reaching his waist.
It seems I have a choice to make. It seems that writing and writing who I am are two
different things. It seems that my perspective, history, experimentation – my risks – are to be
valued in the voices of others but not my own. We buy watercoloured books not because
we'll read them but because they'll look nice on a shelf. Nice and muted.
Is it class? - growing up with food and clothes - that makes me stubborn? Makes me
think my voice is worth something? Have you heard me? You gotta love this voice.
Seems you have the choice.
The performance of a writer. The tools of the trade.
I only noticed them part way through the evening; and then only at loose intervals. Had
she been a post-op I would have stared relentlessly, comfortable in my curiousity, if not
awkward in my stir.
The words were impassioned, truthful, familiar. The mic traced a thick shadow from her
lips down her neck straight to her belly button, right between. I couldn't believe her luck.
And then it happened. I was aching milky white.
I've really enjoyed writing these words. Thanks for having me.
And, so, with that – the end.