Poetry, Prose, Art, Photography, Curiosities



pavlov’s monday

she got distracted mid-orgasm

thinking about a situation at work

and cursed, baffled

that’s fine, she thought

the spacious hierarchy

and building structure will allow for

never walking through

that department again

The Secret of My Traveling Crystal Necklace

Back in 2012, when I had my first book release in Los Angeles, I had a crystal beaded necklace that pulled apart in my suitcase. It seemed wrong to rid myself of the estranged gems, and I harboured unlikely notions of restringing the beloved baubleĀ one day. As I was packing to leave, some of the beads accidentally rolled under my voluptuous bed in The Biltmore Hotel. I suspect they may still be there, as things seem not to change much there, except the sheets, and I liked the notion of leaving a part of myself behind in the City of Angels.

The beads remained in my suitcase as I drove and flew to poetry gigs all over the country for the next few years. In keeping with the precedent set in Los Angeles, I started purposefully dropping them in places I stayed. I would toss the pea-sized stones into locations they were unlikely to be found: down antique brassĀ filigree air vents in byzantine hotels, behind cabinetry permanently affixed, through imperfectly sawed holes cut for plumbing to climb and dive through plaster, beneath the loose floorboards of my friend’s apartment, into the chasms of airport elevator shafts. You get the idea.

There are pieces of my secret crystal beaded necklace hidden in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Redondo Beach, Berkeley, Venice Beach, San Francisco, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, Elyria, Canton, Nashville, Lexington, Dallas, Cincinnati, and even pitiful Little Rock, Arkansas, a place I didn’t care for at all. I consider them amulets to protect people and cities with whom I fell in love, and talismans to keep away those whom I didn’t. The faceted baubles keep me tethered, connected through minutiae, in the smallest of ways.

More beads remain in my suitcase to this day, an impossible amount hidden within the satin folds, certainly a greater number than my finite crystal necklace was ever originally composed of. It is as if the universe is telling me that I have more journeys to take, love to make, and fine people to meet. So, if you’re staying in a heat wilted hotel by the Pacific Ocean, enduring a vaulted matchbox overlooking the Hudson River, standing by a tuneless luggage carousel, or renting a beautiful two bedroom flat nestled near Lake Erie, and a magical crystal bead finds you, that’s just me…and I’ll be seeing you.


she takes a powder

a hard-boiled detective

would describe me all gum-shoe mickey spillane

as a serial passion killer

beneath a slow moving ceiling fan

swaying to a street corner saxophone

smoke unfurling through suspicious window shades

into a neon-lit city of perpetual night

feet propped on his overworked desk

waxing how this dish

she takes a powder

varies her modus operandi

jealousy mistrust stubborn convictions

yet what is unquestionably hers

are the exit wounds

she leaves on the guy


Uncle Etheridge

my Uncle Etheridge
was grace personified
a Kentucky horseman
of noble heart

my grandmother’s dear brother
who frequently had
a formidable pipe
clenched between his teeth
and from him plumed
rich histories in tobacco smoke

finely crafted stories
commanding our young attention

dignified in a way few men are
what I loved most about him
was his deep bass voice
a black velvet tide
rolling toward you
a gentle thunder
over a Bluegrass prairie

with interest

the passage of time

offers no absolution

for an apology owed

though the debtor’s heart

may forgive

a bill remains past due

gone over

into collections


my poetry waits quietly in my pocketbook

happiness is
turning my moments
of inspiration
Pinterest sessions
where one may choose
cakes made from edible flowers
lavender lovely
make wedding centerpieces
from hemp rope,
vintage coffee sack burlap,
and the discarded
quilt pieces of the
Daughters of the American Revolution
my poetry waits quietly
in my pocketbook
content in my joy
encouraging me
to be my own woman
a connoisseur of literature
a goddess of wine
Dionysus triumphant
a suburban expatriate
who refuses to put a rug
on her toilet lid
born to a people who do

My poetry is being held for questioning…

My poetry is irreverent, prone to sentimentality, and prurient behavior.

My poetry hates your mother.

My poetry worships humanity.

My poetry stuck a finger in your wedding cake.

My poetry made a blonde girl cry in Starbucks.

My poetry wants to overthrow the government.

My poetry misses her father.

My poetry screwed your sister in the back of a Chevrolet.

My poetry can’t sing, but she can dance, baby.

My poetry took a shit in your designer handbag.

My poetry is piss shiver art.

My poetry laughs too loudly.

My poetry thinks god has run out of excuses.

My poetry weeps for the dying world.

But mostly,

My poetry hopes

you’re enjoying the ride.

no elegy

no elegy

for me, please

i plan to die

with laugh lines

forever stamps

the longer we live
we learn that reality
is volatile
an inconstant lover

ah, but…
what would have been…
what amounts to regret
what amounts to loss
is god damned indestructible

iron ore into steel

& then forever

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