Ziggy Stardust

was the album I played

every day

of the year I smoked pot

mornings before school

except when I had a French quiz

then I waited til lunch

I wore blue mascara and cover up

for the bags under my eyes

minidresses some days

other days I still clung

to the hippie look

always hiding behind my hair

I admired David Bowie’s

unnatural hair colors

face make up

disguises

but he was far too cool for me

to emulate

Lady Stardust sang his songs

of darkness and disgrace

By the end of the year

the people I hung out with

were going to court

and losing

going to reform school

getting kicked out of regular school

I was getting A’s

and doing synchronized swimming

David Bowie says he doesn’t remember 1974

The next year I switched groups

joined the theatre people

and he was alright

We had other ways of being in disguise.

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A poem by Kaylin Haught, one of my favorites

God Says Yes To Me

Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

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X

She wears an X behind her ear

like a stamp from Auschwitz

purple tattoo denoting rebellion

tattoos are so mainstream now

it only looks sad

like she’s put an X on thinking

put an X on being part of things

resisting by marking

with an old blue marker

a child drawing on her skin

out of boredom

X

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Wedding

Pouffed hair

borrowed tux with tails

not really their style

 

A lone classical guitarist

providing atmosphere

they didn’t choose

 

The clouds parted and dried

the wet grass

a half hour before the ceremony

 

A wedding in a rose garden

with an attendant chipmunk

 

She borrowed her sister’s vows

added something from a book

The sister is divorced now

 

But their cobbled-together

ceremony has stuck

for twenty years

two daughters

an unwieldy mortgage

the death of her parents

back taxes

and the requisite arguments

 

They splurged only on the wedding cake.

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Violation

If I want to write something angry, I can always write about V.  That usually works.  I can focus on her unfairness to me, or I can look at how she was violated, resist my urge to think she courted it, see her as a damaged girl hungry for attention and getting rape, calling it seduction. She lost her virginity at lunchtime to an unemployed man whose yard she cut through on the way to school.  I had gotten high at lunch alone, and in choir that day she laughed a secret laugh to herself.  I resented her and saw she was drunk and wondered how she had the nerve.  That was the day he seduced her and she was finally on the other side, a virgin no more.  I envied her advancement but not her method, stopping in on a man with nothing better to do than bed a teenage girl with no self-worth who happened to be in his yard.

Yeah, it’s cynical of me to hold a grudge, never mind how she hurt me, so hurt herself, struggling to come up to the air of a loving relationship, which she did find, she did find one, but that involved drama too because he was married and had to leave his wife of 20 years to marry her.  Soulmates, she said, it was meant to be and I, crass, said something about choice.

I never understood her.

I loved her, though.  We went through the crucible of teen years together, drinking a lot and getting high, seeking boys (her) or loving them from afar (me).  And I never told her about my pain because I knew it would be a competition.  Who was most damaged.  Who was most hurt.  She always won.

The fun part was watching her do Janis Joplin or Madame de Forniet or the librarian and laughing and laughing.  This was our escape, she entertaining, me laughing, in a place where pain was tamped down and barely calling to us to attend, attend to the hurt and heal it, girl.

We weren’t ready for that.  Gin and dope worked more quickly, and cars and boys and men.

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Undoing

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten, and my thirst is quenched as never before.  I look at the view of mountains upon mountains and the sun glints and the rocks sparkle and I am full.  I float off into the fluffy clouds and live out the stories I tell my children at bedtime where people live happily in clouds and look down on the sunny earth and the world is a safe and magical place.

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten, and my thirst is quenched as never before.  I look at the view of mountains upon mountains and the sun glints and the rocks sparkle and I am full.  I float off into the fluffy clouds and live out the stories I tell my children at bedtime where people live happily in clouds and look down on the sunny earth

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten, and my thirst is quenched as never before.  I look at the view of mountains upon mountains and the sun glints and the rocks sparkle and I am full.  I float off into the fluffy clouds and live out the stories I tell my children at bedtime

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten, and my thirst is quenched as never before.  I look at the view of mountains upon mountains and the sun glints and the rocks sparkle and I am full.  I float off into the fluffy clouds and live out the stories

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten, and my thirst is quenched as never before.  I look at the view of mountains upon mountains and the sun glints and the rocks sparkle and I am full.  I float off into the fluffy clouds

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten, and my thirst is quenched as never before.  I look at the view of mountains upon mountains and the sun glints and the rocks sparkle

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten, and my thirst is quenched as never before.  I look at the view of mountains upon mountains

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten, and my thirst is quenched as never before.

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired, where I’m strong and healthy but feel good aches and strong sore muscles.  The food I eat is the best food I’ve ever eaten

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired, or just the good kind of tired

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain without getting tired

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.  Climb a mountain

Here is something I’ve always wanted to do.

Here is something I’ve always wanted

Here is something

Here

The world is a safe and magical place.

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Trouble

That’s what we each thought when we spotted each other across the room.  Trouble.  Way too cute.  Better avoid that one.

But he inched up on me.  We had mutual friends so conversation came easy, and soon it seemed like we had known each other a long time.  One day he caught up with me on the street and asked me to get coffee.  Euphemism for a date.  He told me later he had been trailing me all the way down Main Street, but acted all casual when he sauntered up beside me.  I had on that long dark red coat and black beret that made me look so mysterious.

The funniest thing was when he turned around and looked right at me when someone was talking about how nice it was to have someone to take out the garbage.

I want to take out your garbage, lady, his smile seemed to say.

I did not resist the pull into his orbit.  I held back, cautious, but let myself be propelled forward.  And I didn’t want to resist this open hearted, sexy guy.

I plunged in.

The trouble I anticipated, the same old hurt I feared, never happened.  Other trouble happened, though.  Deep closeness.  Fear of a new and unknown thing.  Letting this unexpected person stay around.  He wanted to stay around.  I wanted him to.  So surprising.

Marriage.  Trouble.  Children.  Trouble.  Finances.  Trouble.  Life.

Scan-032

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