Monday, December 15, 2008


Running my hands over
your chest and feeling the
flaws. Not knowing
if it is your skin
or my fingers.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Butterfly On My Leg

Butterfly On My Leg

It was when I sat in the darkness
of my own anger at my loss
that I suddenly noticed the soft and subtle flickers.
White wings came together like an angel's hands in a greeting.
The black eyes studied me.
She moved with steady steps on my calf.
Could I not feel anymore?

I did not move as I looked down. I could feel each footstep.
The wings were translucent, shimmering with
silken fibers. Yet they were opaque.
I wanted to see.
I wanted to feel.
I need to hear.
I strained and did hear the little one's words to me.
Fly with me.
I explained I couldn't.
I must remain to guard my losses.
Her voice beat consistently.
Fly with me.
I told her I could not.

She flew higher and floated to my ears.
She told me of succulent lavendar and heathers,
the inebriating scents of the green grass,
and being quenched by the dew warmed by the rising sun.

She said she understood. She knew.
It was only when she left her cocoon
was she able to savor the lushness of life.
The dark confines were cozy and safe.
But, hunger raged. The fatigue.
The desire to break out, stretch her wings and senses.

She began with a tiny punch.

This was a writing prompt in my poetry journal - "Imagine a butterlfy lands on your leg."

Tribute to The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World

I've been reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez lately, and it's impossible not to be inspired and in love with his stories. Here is my interpretation of his short story "The Handsomest Drowned Man"

Entangled in Seaweed
Somehow, in the course of their normal days
without anyone realizing, they lost their
dreams. They were simply tossed
over the cliffs
with all the other loved and spent objects.
It was so uneventful. They didn't even know it.
They slept hard sleep, awakening to remember
only what was not done.
The women lost their softness,
while the men packed away their strengths
like wool blankets found in June.
Their bodies blurred into continuous days.
When the dreams happened to wash onto the shore,
the children did not know how to greet them,
as they had never been introduced.
Though the dreams lay entangled in scales and seaweed,
everyone took a risk to welcome an Unknown,
but possibly familiar.

They revived embers that barely glowed
and gave them a place to nestle, breathing into the fire.
A light of brilliance,
of all things enormous, wondrous and lustrous,
shone upon them. They wallowed
and followed in a sensuous and ethereal world,
that promised a Tomorrow.

They held their new found dreams above their heads,
allowing themselves to be lifted.
Their feet no longer touched the ground.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl - What the..!?

I finished Phillipa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl" and was just irritated throughout the book. I only finished it to see how far she would go with this story.

I splurged on this book a few months ago - I find my literary treasures on the clearance table or at the library. Since I have such a Tudor obsession, let's go for it! Plus, there's an Eric Bana movie and I wanted to read it before the movie. (Wait for me, Eric!)
Within the first few pages, I was running to my Antonia Fraser book to look up timelines and events. When I checked online, I was happy to see that I wasn't the only one who spotted all the historical inaccuracies.
I can appreciate Phillipa Gregory's desire to bring alive a person who was forgotten by history. However, in trying to elevate Mary, the rest of the family became caricatures! Anne wasn't smart and strong, but extremely manipulative and heartless. She added modern sentiments to Mary - such as the desire to be with and raise her own children, much like Princess Diana.
I haven't seen the movie, but my father had. He was shaking his head about the story and how the Boleyn family had manipulated and used Mary and Anne as pawns. However, this was part of the author's artistic license. And, to your average viewer/reader (i.e., someone who is not going to check biographical references from 16th c.), these portrayals and stories become "factual." This novel also glossed over all the political and religious upheavals in the country.
To close with Dorothy Parker's famous words:
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bubbles (My Poetry) Eclipse

I had a great reading at Robin's Bookstore last week where I was one of the 3 featured poets in the Philadelphia Poets Journal's Annual Ethnic Voices event. It went really well and I was inspired to share more of my poems on this site and in future poetry events.
Here are two new poems:


When the moon finally
asked the earth to dance
he gazed into her oceans as
she locked her eyes upon
his marble beauty.
They leaned in closer
and blocked the sun and stars.


Moonlight just happens.
It's a naughty, decadent light
that breaks the rules.
There are brazen lines of blue and silver
luminescence where there should be shadows.
Not the clear yellow light of the sun,
but droplets from the wanton satellite.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Annual Philadelphia Poets' Ethnic Voices

Annual Philadelphia Poets' Ethnic Voices

This will be my first public reading of my work. I'm still trying to decide what poems to select, since this is a multicultural event. Most of my work isn't related to my ethnicity, but to other influences.

If you're in town, please come and be part of my cheering section!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Building Grass Huts

I have a bit of writer's anxiety these days.

On one hand, I have one creative nonfiction and two poems that are due for publication in 2008 and early 2009. I've been through this before and until the book is in my hand, I won't believe it. So I will let everyone know.

On the other hand, I've received a few rejections last year. To make me feel better, the editors send me a complimentary copy of their journals. (Gee, thanks!). They send this to you so you can learn what they're looking for next time. When I see the work that's being written, it's not like mine at all. It's more structured. I feel like they're writing skyscrapers and I'm writing grass huts.

While grass huts have their charm, they lack durability. I'm not sure how much of my style I need to change. I send my work hoping editors will see me as a "fresh voice," free of the MFA commanded styles. One editor suggested I refine my endings a bit. I reworked a few points she had identified and I agree it's better; those points always bothered me, but I left them. I would love feedback on my work!

So, I'm willing to refine, but I can't change my voice. Poetry is so personal and I write as it comes to me. My confidence wobbles when I read the bios at the end of my complimentary journals and see the MFA and other academic credentials.

Poking around on poetry sites, I came across a letter from Ted Kooser, the poet laureate. He wrote the following correspondence:

Your statement: "So many writers I've talked to refer to office work as the enemy, as if it's impossible to be anything except poet and teacher at the same time" engages me.

Where, I wonder, or at what juncture in history, did we get the idea that work would be our friend? For many of us, it is essential that we be writing against something, rather than for it. The writers who are teaching and going to the AWP meeting, etc., are in this sense writing for, or writing in support of what they're doing. Their writing is an extension of their livelihood, teaching, and the writing supports the work. And if this follows, where among these writers is the writer who questions this way of life, who writes that we should not be teaching creative writing, that we should not be encouraging people to consider careers in support of the creative writing industry? Every year there are hundreds of jacket blurbs that suggest that this or that poet is "courageous," but where is the courage in working as a poet on a university campus? Where are the dangers in this? The fear of not getting tenure? OF getting assigned to teach a class in composition? (For that matter, I'll admit that a poet need not be courageous anywhere. It's far more courageous to work the night shift in a quick stop.)

I wrote about the poet laureate Ted Kooser and how he's inspired me as someone who kept a day job and sustained his poetry. From the same site, there is another great blurb from Kooser:

You asked what I'm working on . . . I never feel as if I'm working toward the next book. I just keep writing poems as I come upon them and eventually, after maybe sixty of them have been in magazines, I start looking to see if they'll make a book. My books are getting further and further between. The last one was nine years in the collecting. Things are hectic here at the office, so I'd better get back to work.

Thank you! I will hang in there and keep collecting the grass for my huts.