Saturday, March 31, 2007

Enough About Me, Let's Talk About You...What Do You Think of Me?

In the past two days, I've learned about 2 websites that both compel and repel me. (And I heard about them both on MPR!)

The first is called Twitter, which is an instant messaging site -- sort of. Members of this site leave messages for their Twitter friends about what they are doing that second. The members only have about 140 characters to describe their activities. You can access it from any wireless device or just log on.

The second is called Future Me and it takes the idea of time capsules into email. On Future Me, you can send your future self a letter from your past (or current) self. Still with me? You have to pick a day at least 30 days and no more than 50 years in the future. Then, it will be emailed to you. Any person can also read other people's public Future Me letters, and they range from the banal to touching to mysterious to funny and depressing. Readers can also rate the letters. The more I read these letters, the more intrigued I get.

All of this makes me wonder 2 things. First, is this any different than creative writing? Obviously, I would call blogging creative writing, and this seems to be an extension of blogging in its own way. And you can say that blogging is an extension of confessional writing, poetry and journals. So, to make a logical leap, can we go from Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and May Sarton to Future Me letters and blurbing about yourself? Is this the new wave of poetry and journal writing, stripped bare for the public for all to see?

Second, why are we so obsessed with ourselves? I know, I know, Time Magazine asked this question in a really didactic and old-fogey way a couple of months ago. But this obsession with ourselves is starting to weird me out. (She says on her blog.) The more that I think about this though, the more I wonder if this is our obsession with ourselves or an obsession with each other. While reading the Future Me letters, I was more interested in finding out who these people were and what their goals were. I wasn't as concerned with what I would say, but what has already been said.

All of this leads, of course, to the future of this type of writing. Will it die out or will it grow? Will we be blogging and blurbing and contacting ourselves in the future forever? Will it turn into a meta experience where we describe the act of blurbing while blurbing and read other people's blurb experience? I think we're already on the way to that, and I don't know what that means for us as a culture.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My 15 Minutes

As soon as I read this week's Poetry Thursday prompt, I immediately thought of the Marilyn Monroe series by Andy Warhol. This is strange, because I am a Warhol fan, but not obsessively so. And I have really no true feelings about Marilyn. But something in these called to me.

The day I wrote this, we covered "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks in my literature class. They really struggled with it, because they were reading it with the periods, not the line breaks. So, I demonstrated how to read it correctly and then made them all stand up and recite it as a group, to hear how it would have sounded if 7 or more people recited it in unison. (One of my students said he felt like he joined a cult. ) Hearing them recite the poem with all the "we" sounds, made me think about the plural first person voice of the Marilyns in this poem.



We twenty-five lie
side by side, smooth
as a line of Rockettes
each identical to another.
Why not thirty six? We

have often wondered, whispered
among ourselves. Then, we
could fold face to face,
touch nose to nose, red
pout rubbing red pout. Then,

we could fold ourselves again, back
to back with no one else
lurking behind us. Now, we
cannot conform to this simple
and elegant division. Instead,

there is always one of us
stuck in the middle, divided.
Now, we know we have differences,
imperceptible shifts in light
and tone. Can you see us

as we truly are -- a slight smile
spread across our lips, our eyes
half closed and sleepy? Or are we
only an image to you, blond curls,
pink skin, blue eyeshadow hiding our eyes?

Black, White, & Gray

Honey, I am so damn tired.
Stretched thin, to tell the truth.
I have tried over and over to reproduce
that same smile you saw in me
yesterday. Believe me, I tried

wet my lips in the same way, lidded
my eyes just so. All I can muster
is this thin and vacant stare, this
barely perceptible smirk. Do
what you can while you can, that's

my motto and it has pushed me
this far for this long. Its left me
blurred along all my edges. Sometimes
I feel as insubstantial as a ghost
hovering over you, watching and waiting.

Other days, I feel as though a thick
inky black stain has smudged
across my insides. Does it show
yet? Can you tell the difference
when it does? Each new day

I mutter a futile prayer
that you will notice as I vanish
right before your eyes. That you will lift me
out of my monotony. Or at least, you'll recall
how I was, not how I seemed.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Weekly Word Count, March 19-March 25

This was an awesome writing week. I added 400 words to my article, I wrote a poem and I wrote a first draft of a haiku that I'm still working on. So all together, that's 95o this week. Woo-hoo.

11486 for the year. And it's only March -- yay!

Poetry of the Future?

Way back in the day, Walt Whitman wrote his polemic on what he feels poetry will be in the future. He wanted it out of the drawing room and into the wilderness. He wanted it to be of the people and for the people. He wanted it to represent life. That was good for the end of the nineteenth century. But what about the end of the twentieth century, beginning of the twenty first century?

One of my classmates from my online teaching literacy class sent us a link to a web journal based on teaching media literacy in the class room, called Kairos. Within an issue from 1999, they have a hypertext poetry project by Cheryl Ball. It is a series of poems linked through images. You click on the images in order to progress the poem. You can, if you choose, press them in any order and create new poems.

When I was in grad school, we had to read Marshall McLuhan and I was all about the changing of media to fit the message. But seeing this little early glimpse into a web poetry project, I wonder if there is a new genre out there that I have missed out on. Surely, we have enough technology to create truly web interactive poetry in a way that can be artistically interesting and unique.

So I did a little researching. Apparently, the term hypertext poetry is passe. It is E-Poetry now. Anyway, there is an E-Poetry Festival, this year in France. There is an E-Poetry Center out of SUNY Buffalo. I am going to continue to research, because for me, this helps me to see the possibilities in what I write.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Spring Day, Finally

Today, we went to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis and hiked. (The falls, by the way, get their name from Longfellow's poem, Song of Hiawatha. The Minnehaha Falls are off of Hwy 55, Hiawatha Avenue.) I took my crappy digital camera with me and spent some time collecting images. I felt pretty blessed to be alive, holding hands with my husband, and watching nature wake up again.

As we squelched through the mud, I was reminded of e.e. cummings' poem In Just-- , when he calls spring mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. No balloonmen at our park whistling wee, though. Just families with kids and couples with dogs.

It would have been nice.

Thought this was fun...

You can try this out with your own website, by going to .

Thursday, March 22, 2007

They Hang Above My Desk

These two pictures hang above my writing workspace, and have since my mom sent them to me 5 years ago. I've never really thought very deeply about them, but as soon as I read this week's Poetry Thursday post, I immediately thought of them.
Please excuse the quality of the first picture, that's the best that it would scan.

Woodland Hills, California, May 1985

You were six and I was eight
and you were already bigger
than me. This must have been taken

before everything changed,
but I don’t remember that time.
I wonder if you do.
I remember bike rides in the park, endless
summer barbeques, our parents
on opposite sides of the lawn. Even this
is a lie, something I tell myself

to fill in the blanks. I want
to call you, ask Do you remember?
Did this really happen? Were we ever
this close, my arm crooked
around your neck, my hand swatting
your forehead? The pictures are yellow

and grainy, but they are all I have
to go by. I try to remember
details, but even they seem wrong.
This was our kitchen, our counter,
our ajar cupboards, our ill-fitted
swimsuits. This was our childhood, still
and flat, burned into this precious, warped paper.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mentor Me

Our local literary non-profit, The Loft, has announced the opening of their annual Mentor Series contest. The Mentor Series selects 12 emerging writers, 4 from each genre, to study with 2 experienced mentors. You get to study with the mentors over the course of a year.

Of course, there are guidelines: you have to be a resident of Minnesota, you cannot be a full time student, and you cannot have published a book length manuscript in your genre. You have to submit a statement of purpose and a writing sample.

I applied for the mentor series 2 years ago, after leaving graduate school. I didn't get in and I had a helluva time trying to write my statement. I wouldn't have even considered applying for the mentor series, but once I saw who the mentors were, I'm probably going to apply.

Heid Erdrich, a Minnesota poet, is the first mentor. She is the author of two collections of poetry. Her first book, Fishing for Myth, is amazing and I read it during my thesis year, because it was so connected to my own artistic intentions. She's also the sister of Louise Erdrich, who is pretty rockin' as well.

The second mentor is none other than Rafael Campo. He is the living, breathing definition of a working writer. Besides being an amazing poet and author, he is a doctor at Harvard Medical Center. I read his first book in graduate school and was devastated for weeks afterwards.

So I don't know if I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting a mentorship, but with the opportunity to work with poets like these, I have to try.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekly Word Count, March 12-March 18

A big old goose egg in the poetry department. I could come up with an excuse, but basically, I just got busy with other writing and the online class. Looking ahead to my next week of homework, it is rather light, so I plan on writing more poetry this week. *Fingers Crossed*

I did, however, write 967 words for an upcoming article in a neighborhood newspaper. In fact, I just finished it. Whew!

That brings my yearly count to 10536 for the year. Inching up there!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

OMG, I Met Jodi Picoult!

I am not of those Jodi Picoult fans. I had never even heard of her until recently. I was vaguely aware of My Sister's Keeper, but she truly entered my radar after her most recent book, The Tenth Circle , came out. I devoured it. It was heartbreaking, surprising, and groundbreaking. I immediately lent it to one of my students and we started one of those fun you-have-to read-this book chains.

My husband, a former bookstore manager, always warned me that The Tenth Circle was different from Jodi Picoult's normal books. He described her typical reader -- soccer moms -- with a sneer. But I ignored him.

Jodi Picoult gave a reading at a nearby bookstore to support her newest book, Nineteen Minutes, so we decided to go. I'm glad I went. She is a fantastic reader and she had a lot of interesting things to say, from a writerly perspective. Which I'll get to in a minute.

But let me just say that true Jodi Picoult fans are scary. I was elbow to elbow with women in high waisted acid washed jeans, whose daughters (with equally low waisted dark blue jeans) hung on them like they were furniture. Their haircuts were all the same -- spiky and highlighted in three different colors or iron straight and wheat blond. While waiting in line to get my book signed, I had to listen to one of these suburban mommies review Jenna Jameson's memoirs. I am not kidding!

But on to what the reading was like, without the frightening audience stuff. Jodi Picoult is a one woman marketing machine. In her acknowledgements to her latest book, she thanks her publishing company for making her a brand name. She works it and she knows it. She read from her new book for exactly 12 minutes then took questions for another 20 or so. She anticipated every question that would be asked and provided genuine (and genuinely rehearsed) answers that were insightful and funny. She also pimped her next two books in a way that seemed naturalistic, sort of.

As a writer, she says that she works from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on her novel. A audience member gasped and said, "It's like a job." Jodi replied, "Yes it is a job. I love it, but it's a job." I think the audience member was disillusioned. Jodi says she knows the ending of her novels before she writes the first word and that every novel takes exactly 9 months to write. All the mommies in the crowd chuckled, and she likened it to gestating a child. My favorite part of the discussion was when she said, "If I'm doing my job right as a writer, I should feel like a dishrag at the end of the day." I can slag on her all I want for her audience, but she is a writer who is emotionally invested in her art.

Overall, I'm glad I went. But after waiting 30 minutes for a signed copy of Nineteen Minutes (scribbled with a drying out Sharpie), I ran from the Borders as fast as I could, before the housewife cooties could rub off on me.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Reading into It

Poet with a Day Job tagged me with this challenge -- to create a list of 35 books that anyone could read to get to know me.

This is a great and difficult challenge, because I think of my library as a chronicle of who I've been. Each book I've read has nudged me into who I am now; every book creates a movement in some new and unforseen way. So here, in no particular order, is my list of 35 books. Warning -- ask me again on a different day, and this list might change.

Top 35 Books I would recommend to a friend or enemy to get to know me -- I also put, in parentheses, the time in my life when I first read the book.

Weetzie Bat Francesca Lia Block (college)
Tropic of Capricorn Henry Miller (college)
Inspiration Sandwich SARK (high school)
Mother Love Rita Dove (grad school)
Tender Buttons Gertrude Stein (grad school)
Collected Poems Emily Dickisnon (grad school)
The Lives of the Muses Francine Prose (a year ago)
On Lies, Secrets, and Silence Adrienne Rich (college)
Loose Woman Sandra Cisneros (college)
To the Lighthouse Virgina Woolf (grad school, faked reading it in college)
Go Ask Alice Anonymous (grade school -- freaked me out)
On Writing Stephen King (in between college and grad school)
Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich (grad school)
Race Studs Terkel (college)
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison (high school)
Fear of Flying Erica Jong (middle school -- yikes)
Memoirs of a Beatnik Diane DiPrima (in between college and grad school)
Ishmael Daniel Quinn (college and grad school)
Einstein's Dreams Alan Lightman (college)
Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller (college and once every 12 weeks now, b/c I teach it)
Wild Iris Louise Gluck (grad school)
Firebird Mark Doty (grad school)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl (grade school)
Ariel Sylvia Plath (college and grad school)
Collected Poems Elizabeth Bishop (grad school 3 semesters in a row)
Sweet Valley High Series Francine Pascal (grade school)
The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty Marilyn Chin (in between college and grad school)
The Life of Poetry Muriel Rukeyser (grad school)
You Just Don't Understand Deborah Tannen (high school)
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis (high school -- was told by a dumb jock that I wouldn't be able to read the whole thing. I did and he didn't.)
Aurora Leigh Elizabeth Barrett Browning (grad school)
The Hot Zone Richard Preston (college)
The Language of Life Bill Moyers (college)
The Oddyssey Homer (faked it in high school, read it in college)
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name Audre Lorde (grad school)

I'll be tagging a couple of people with this, but if you want to add your own, please do!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Not a *Real* Poetry Thursday Post

Time got away from me this week, so I'm not going to be posting for Poetry Thursday. This week's optional prompt is about writing definitions to words we don't know the definition for. I wish I had the time to attack this prompt with the attention it deserves, but I don't right now.

So, instead, I'm going to provide a link to a book review of Harryette Mullen's amazing book, Sleeping With the Dictionary. In this book, Mullens engages in a lot of dictionary word games, including alphabetical poems and S+7 Poems. She really gets to the root of a lot of our language quandaries in a funny and whimsical (not in a bad way) way. If you don't have it in your collection, you should now.

By next week, I should have a PT post again.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Anyone Need a Job?

In Minneapolis, we have a pretty amazing non-profit literary center called The Loft. It's run in a beautiful, spacious meeting hall called "Open Book" and it provides many services for starving (and working writers.) For beginning writers, The Loft offers the opportunity to take classes with accomplished writers and make connections with other writers. For intermediate or advanced writers, the organization gives scholarships, mentorships, and brings "famous" writers from around the world to provide instruction and guidance.

It was just announced on Friday that the director of The Loft, Linda Myers, is stepping down. The organization is beginning a search to replace the Ms. Myers, who has been director since 1994. She helped to orchestrate The Loft's partnership with Minnesota Public Radio and Star Tribune to create a statewide reading club called Talking Volumes. (I saw Robert Bly as part of of Talking Volumes five years ago, when he came out with The Night Abraham Called to the Stars.) She also has been a vibrant leader for a growing organization that serves a diverse literary community. I think her presence will be sorely missed.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekly Word Count, March 5-March 11

I know that I'm going to rediscover my balance, now that I have this new class. But this week, I was not feeling it. I wrote only one poem, for Poetry Thursday, so that's 500 words. 9569 for the year. Next week will be more fruitful.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Walking My Path

This week, I have been feeling incredibly overwhelmed. My schedule has been, to say the least, in transition. A couple of weeks ago, I started an online course in order to learn more about teaching reading to students and to get a certificate in advanced literacy. From the outside, it made sense.

Now that I'm on the inside, I am being swallowed by a mountain of work. Last weekend, I had a long weekend due to a snow storm. I got ahead (or so I thought) in my homework, but didn't do any 9 to 5 work, which was so relaxing and deserved. This week, though, was a killer. I had to make up all sorts of administration work, not to mention all of the grading and teaching reorganizing I had to do. So, while last weekend, I was in my PJ's surfing MySpace, this weekend I'll be in my PJ's grading and doing next week's homework.

To top it all off, my younger male cat, has decided to reclaim his territory. He has taken to peeing on our bed. With us in bed. Often right on us or next to us. It's disgusting. We've had to wash our sheets and comforters dozens of times. In fact, one night, he had peed on all 3 of them, in order, and we had to sleep in sweatsuits.

On Thursday night, I was feeling especially overwhelmed. Over the weekend, I had signed up through my grad school, for a two hour workshop called "Walking the Labyrinth" with an instructor named Julie Neraas. This was back when I wasn't stumped on my response paper and saddled with a stack of personal essays to grade. I thought I was going to be done for on Thursday night. But, I went anyway, because I already paid 10 bucks for the event.

I am so glad that I went, despite the stress and extra work it caused me. First of all, I saw a couple of my old classmates, including someone who took a travel course to Greece with me in 2002. But most of all, it was an effective workshop. Julie led us on a discussion of vocation and calling. We discussed what it means to find meaningful work and how we can balance work with being artists. Then, she initiated a guided meditation, where we would find the question we wanted to answer in the labyrinth.

After all this, we walked a labyrinth identical to the picture above. It took about an hour to walk, because I was journaling and walking at the same time. Not to mention that there are 34 turns in the labyrinth, and that's only going in one way. You have to walk in and out on the same path. How's that for a metaphor?

While I can't say that I had any epiphany moments, the experience really crystallized some questions for me. It's funny, that when I'm searching, I only seem to find questions, rather than answers. The specific questions that I was asking myself had been burbling to the surface for the past couple of days (years), and they all centered around what my path really is and what things I need to do in order to find it and walk it. I'm often so tied down by obligation and responsibility, which I create in excess for myself, that I forget to ask if the task is necessary and if I have to be the one to do it. I also really wondered why I am so task driven, rather than relationship driven. I always choose work over joy, fun, and friendship.

Of course, all the stress came rushing in the moment I returned to my car. But, now I have some questions to ask myself and think about over the next couple of days (lifetime.) I don't know if I'll ever answer these questions, but at least I know that I can consciously ask them now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Marilyn and Madonna Wore It

When I read Poetry Thursday's prompt for the week, I immediatley thought of red lipstick, since I wore it for a little too long in high school. I decided to attempt a rewrite of a poem from my manuscript about my high school life and this totally unexpected memory came through. I know that this is really rough, but I was happy to finally be able to write about it.

Self Portrait, 1991

Red Lipstick

Each morning, I painted my lips dark red
with Wet N Wild 99 cent lipstick, number 516.
I dreamed myself invincible, as I blotted and pressed, powdered, blotted
and pressed my lips together until
I had a thick brown-red stain

seeped into my skin. I cranked
my music loud, listened to Rage
Against the Machine, and thought
I could, listened to The Cure
and waited for it, then skipped
breakfast, to avoid red marks on my teeth.

In school, I was invisible
next to all the other girls with blue-red
war paint smeared across their lips,
black kohl eyes hiding their true
intentions. I was just another one
skinny enough to squeeze through the crack

between the chinks on the high school fence,
while the police officer was busting kids for pot.
Instead of sleeping through Geometry, we
broke into our parents’ houses, with keys
hidden in secret pouches in our Pic N Save purses,
punched in the alarm codes before it went off.

My house had Bud Light and nosy neighbors, Elena’s
had a liquor cabinet with Sharpie lines drawn
on the bottle’s sides. We cracked open Cokes
and poured in whiskey and rum, vodka and peach
schnapps, and filled the bottles back up with water.
We invited the boys over after lunch

to watch them slam beers and mosh to Metallica.
One guy told us he went to juvie for assault
with a deadly weapon, pulled back his bangs
to show us his forehead, where he bashed the guys
skull open with his own. We sipped our drinks

from red Coke cans, whispered to each other.
One afternoon at Elena’s, her dad came home
early, found us curled on the couch, drunk and watching
MTV. Elena picked up our garbage and kicked
us out. Her father screamed at her in Russian
as we left, his face turning red and swollen.

The next morning, before school, she answered
the door, slowly, cringing as she moved. Her nightgown
slipped to show her shoulder covered in red welts.
Her father stood behind her, hand on the door frame
pushing the door until it clicked shut
and I walked back to school, alone.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Dear TV Executives,

While getting ready for work this morning and trying to hear the headlines, my morning news program spent 10 minutes interviewing a radio personality about American Idol. I'm as into cheesy reality shows as the next American, but enough is enough. If you are going to spend valuable news time, forcing this show down our throats, can I make a programming suggestion?

I humbly suggest that you create Poetry Idol for your new fall lineup. It's true, reading poetry is in decline in some segments of our population, but it is no less intriguing than cooking or modeling or designing. While poets are not always photogenic, we are prone to depression, theatrics, and on occasion, embarrassingly bad poetry.

Please, at least consider my suggestion. And, if you use it, I will wait outside in the rain with all the other aspiring poets, waiting for a celebrity panel to thrash my sonnets.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Weekly Word Count, February 26-March 4

Only 600 this week.

I say only, because I did have a lot of time off of work this week. However, I feel like I used my time wisely. I did what we call in our house, filling up the well. I took walks, I read books (mostly Natalie Goldberg's Thunder and Lightning), took photographs, and relaxed. I even cracked open my book manuscript and started revising and typing it.

I feel like I've reset myself, in some ways, so that I can be prepared for a full week of work and for some writing next week. Call it procrastination, but it felt necessary, when I was given that gift of a long weekend.

9069 for the year.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.

My husband and I took several walks during and after the snow storm yesterday and we got some pictures of the accumulation. I have this little $20 digital camera that I bought at Walmart that is a little hard to use, but it served it's purpose here.

I forgot how much I love taking pictures. In some ways, I get the same feeling of hyper-awareness as when I'm looking for images for haiku. I need to find that one fleeting image and when I find it, I need to be as steady and still as possible in order to capture on my cheap camera. The results aren't always perfect or what I expected, but they are a captured economy of image and time.

Friday, March 2, 2007

#6 -- Today

This is the second of many posts, I'm sure, over the next weekend. Love the snow days -- I'm actually planning on being bored for once. Boredom, of course, breeds writing. This is a very Minnesotan haiku. After almost 15 years of living here (on and off), I think I can now finally, identify myself as one of them.

This picture was taken outside of my building this afternoon. So far, we have 9.5 inches in my city, and up to 11 out in the 'burbs.


We unbury our
selves, shovel burdens and
pray for them to melt.

A Snow Day and a Half, And Now This...

This could be the best week ever.

We have had a snowstorm to beat all snowstorms -- 12-18 inches by 6 PM tonight. Normally, my school stays open during all inclement weather, because, hey, we're Minnesotans. But, we closed at 12:00 on Thursday and we aren't opening at all today. This gives me a 3-1/2 day weekend. My husband's work also closed early yesterday and didn't open today. So that's 3-1/2 days off with the husband. Woo-hoo.

Now, as I'm whiling away my morning in my p.j.'s, when I should be battling the commute to work, I find this. SARK, one of my favorite writers of all time, has a new book coming out. She hasn't released a new book in a couple of years, not since Make Your Creative Dreams Real. She published the paperback in 2005! (Hardcover came out earlier, naturally.)

While I enjoyed this book, it was a bit of a departure from her unique style. Normally, her books are handwritten and they included black and white and color doodles that illustrate her ideas. They are idiosyncratic and funny and a great bathtub read. Her last book, however, was more of a traditional self-help book that was typeset, with little to no doodles. There was plenty of good information, but it didn't feel like a SARK book. Of course, I devoured it anyway, but I have yet to go back to it. Her other books, I read over and over.

Her new book, which releases on April 24 of this year, is called Fabulous Friendship Festival: Loving Wildly, Learning Deeply, Living Fully with Our Friends. As the title suggests, it covers how to develop and maintain outside friendships, the friendship with yourself, and how to create new friends. As someone who can be a little shy, I know I cannot wait for this book to come out.

If only I could have a copy now and spend the entire day in my bathtub. Hooray for snow in March, or Smarch as my husband's been calling it.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pretty Riddles

5 Fragile and Beautiful Things


A syrupy, soapy slip of nothing
blossoms on the plastic wand. My lips part
as I breathe life inside. Delicate walls
stretch into prisms. Then, it floats away.


Clear spears of ice dangle on eaves like teeth,
a house becomes a hungry animal.
Once the sun shines, rivulets of water
trickle to the tips, loosen each tooth’s root.


Each day, I struggle to find the right one,
the kindest combination of clauses.
My mind clicks, tumblers in a lock, as I
catalogue all of my fleeting choices.


We are surrounded in layers too thin
to see, covering each other until
we are protected. Take one sharp edge, quick
slice and we are open for all to see.


She dodders past the door, cheeks round and red.
Mittens and hat unwrapped, she scrambles through
the store, giggling and grabbing glasses
off the stocked shelves, crashing them to the floor.