Wednesday, February 1, 2017


In the end, no country can sustain you
no friend can lend you enough money
so you can feel like somebody who has made it.

In the end, you only have your story, raw
and shameful in its nakedness and flaws
due to birth size, color, contacts, simple provenance.

You did not wish you had friends in high places
invitations to balls
dress designers fighting for you to wear their work,
only that your work was just that simple to show off to
those who thought you didn't quite say words right, for their taste and
their compass, at that time, when the compass was stuck in
one place and you could hardly know where North or True North was
or had been, a year before, or right then and there in that office.

It comes down to you and me, as sometimes we call each each other US
as in us friends, us mates, us of this neighborhood, us women, us immigrants
us transplants, us upstarts, us all speaking with the feeble voice of slaves
who have the audacity to raise their voices
to speak all the words they know
and shout out: JUST. JUST BE JUST!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beyond the Pacific

Beyond this berm
an unknown universe
toward comprehension
bordering on romance.

The finite cycle of life
and all its cousin corollaries
stretch on a single wave.

At my Funeral

At your funeral, my husband said as we drove to the doctor, I'll share
your writings with everyone. If they show up at your funeral, they have known you. I plan on saying a few words then, but will encourage them to read your stories slowly and often if they wish to hear your thoughts.

My thoughts in my words? Words are invented. We'll celebrate our fiftieth next July. You know me from my deeds. You know more of me than anyone else.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Back to Basics

Dear readers
Thanks for the attention, the feedback, the camaraderie you have shared with me so generously. I have decided to go back to writing longhand, in notebooks that will remain private and familiar. Thank you for your encouraging words.
They were salve to my wounds.

post script: i'm doing fine, after a year of writing with paper and pen, after a long year of medical traumas and political shit keeping me up nights. I do hope to return to blogging with a new energy. Soon.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A straight talk about fear

You don't have to have faced death to know
the paralyzing slow motion
of  minutes
face- ripping- drowning
of senses
slipping into an ocean of nothingness.

Just read it in the faces of the survivors.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

When I stop talking...

Hands, without
knowledge of
night and day
and seasons too, elevate and
drum each tune
and each sequence of discourse
without any consciousness.
They tell
an immediate truth
woven in the language of survival.

Unlike eyes that hide behind shades
maintaining the illusion that  everything is fine, that
this or other diseases
will be conquered,
hands pull the curtains down
as we sit side by side and pretend
will see each other, again, soon.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Of life, and fishing, and things we remember...

At a memorial last month, of a neighbor who walked these shores
to and from her house,
to and around town,
at rivers' and ocean's  edges
people counted the way they had come to know her:

Her grandchild almost drowned fishing for the big
salmon with her, how the love of fishing took her grandmother
to other states
to major and minor rivers
catching, cleaning, canning salmon.

She played bridge with younger women
and didn't mind losing, they all said. She just
loved playing the game.

I knew her as the beauty queen of Thomasville,
a small detail she shared when I told her how
I had come to teach at Thomasville
decades after she had left it
and how I had two beauty queens in my freshman class
two beauty queens who had to get A's in their classes
to be able to transfer back to the college of
of their choice.

I would have said, if I had spoken, that she still
walked like a beauty queen after all those decades
the one detail  I would have contributed
knowing her as I did,
a woman with beauty, and pride, and by chance
a title that connected the two of us.