Friday, December 28, 2012


the muscles under my scalp are stretched too thin
they crisp and buckle when I turn my head
the sun sneaks inside my closed eyelids
miami blue shocks of electricity dance across
the field of vision of a closed eye
I turn, strain my neck and push against the world

I stand, short but firm
and stand against the world

a prayer for the skeptical

to be grateful, from your core

to wish for peace
peace in your ears, peace in your home
peace in your bones

stretching out to search for
this is the blessing of grace
to seek out to reach for
in this way I thank

delicate bits of language
guttural vowel boggles the mind

how then to praise
alleluyah, they will shout
getting it all wrong
hallel is the song of praise
that's what they say
they've said
for centuries
this is the way it's been.
It is glorious, if not dusty
It is heartfelt, if just a little wrong

getting it right is impossible
so many ways to do it wrong
my God
I try, then I tire of trying
 I am tired
but I believe that morning still will come

there will be a day, when I miss that sunrise
and I know that day is no where near

I can't carry them all over, every day
some I let slip away
some I reget the slipping
some I calculate it up and reckon it right
sometimes I wonder what I could've done different
could've done to get it right
then I remember
right is impossible, really

either you bounce back, or you don't
you might lay there for a while
not bouncing.
then a spring appears
like the magic of Miriam
Because we have no idea.
Beautiful magic.
Thank you, source of beautiful magic,
of times that seem to work out just right
of moments of incredible beauty
Thank you.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

candice christine

usury capricious
flourishing fighting
caps and stock, fraught with naught
captain cattle, head steer
all glory, no balls

structured strained yet cemented with
centuries of dust
mites molden into thy veins
Would you prune an afflicected finger,
or sever a weakened limb?
or would you care to heal heal
strive against what is surely a sisyphian system

your struggle cuts orange stripes across my shoulders
your sugar fairies dance lightly on my tongue
but the fire of your wrath stings still

I am the ogre
come to tame the tamed
uncover their writhing and say:
you could cut this off.
You could sever yourself from this cancer
or you could try to heal it and infect yourself in the process
I am the hammer, come with force and brutish foul

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On Why Life Is Not Fair

It's not fair, to be writing only at the beginning and the ending.  There was so much inbetween.  A heaven sandwich, with a bitter nut hidden in the cream.  She said she knew at the beginning, when she was trying not to start.  That's what she said.  Maybe if we had had this conversation then, instead of the one we did....  Maybe if things had been different, things would be different.  Maybe I never woulda had that sandwich.

Maybe that's why.


So, post-mortem details of the cream are: hours at a bookstore, reading and talking excitedly; walking in the cooling air amid trees beginning to turn; reading more and more talking, good discussions; drumming; a lovely assortment of passion-filled encounters; luscious days in Hershey, full of patience and sweetness.

That sweetness, asked for again instead of the pushy drive, got the response about "my needs too." "Really? Really?" I thought driving through the rain, taking her home for the last time.  I was appalled at the assumption, at the entitlement.  Let me introduce you to the idea of My Body and also What I Say Is What I Mean.

This vicious streak was a raspberry syrup to my delightful creamy heaven sandwich.  I hate raspberries.  It was new and now it is gone.

Ah but the nut, the nut of truth (what is truth?) and justice (is there ever justice?).  I didn't care about the American way, but I am committed to the Jewish way.  Like, directly, purposefully, this thing I will care for, I will not give it up.  It's the basis for my breath.  It's my guide, with whom I argue and question, to whom I give thanks. It's my reason for loving, the reason I can love. I have the ability to fall in love so so quickly.  I'm easy like that.  I give my love away for free.  And having decided that alone is not so bad, I am ratcheting up my selection process and filtering out what is not good for me.  I gained this super power directly after my first and only mikvah.  True.

Yes, my reality is woven together like this.  Yours may be different.  And that is awesome.  I would love to hear the story of your weaving.  When we try to make a cloth out of us both, and maybe add another, we all have to give -- in order to weave you have to go under.

But my reality, my underpinnings, what I believe -- there's gotta be room for that.  And yes I will choose my faith over passionate love for an individual, if that's the choice I have to make.  That's how I roll.  That was easy.

It's easy to fill in the gaps in the story.  Even what I write isn't complete.  Making whatever assumptions you're making in your mind right now not true. There is another side to the story and I can hear her protesting now.  I can see her in my mind and the vision makes me smile.  I know her like this.  It's not all bad, at all, even really a little.  It's just not going to work.


Tell me the story
Of my people, your ancestors
Speak their truths
And let me run my hands over their smooth stones
Tell me talk and teach
Worrying wanted wanton souls
Weary, they are

Sing me a song, tell me your story
Whisper it
Dainty and droll
Wing me a wonder and whisk me away
Take it, take my wanton soul
Sacrifice on your altar
Let the smoke rise, a faint gift for the missing prayers
Wing me wantonly, wind my soul
Ratchet me up in a tree
Sing me a song of yearning

Wearily, wretchedly, lurching along this path
An ogre, an eyeball, a humped back.
Five hairs sprouting on the roof of her head
Six rolls wiggling, neck to knee indeed
Six spoons spitting sugar and candy and weed
Six strings singing
Lost in the sound the light from above
Six maids a milking, as they always were
A particular sound

Brief the potter, prepare the store
Brief the messenger, tell her more
Set siege to the city
From the tombs down below
Sing the sweet city to sleep

Sing the sweet city

Monday, October 8, 2012

(something old, left unpublished)

Oh a kiss of words! A delight.
Finally from a love
From one who knows how to stroke me right.

This, this nugget of me from old
I dusted this off. It's of you
Your family those folk you know.

To me this is how I am loved.
Seems strange. And quickly morose, denied.
I wonder

No, it's fabulous to get that
But wanting is pure hell
Waiting... I should practice waiting.

I do. I try to find LONG stretches of time.
Hang on long moments.
Always alone.

There's something to that. This thing.
I would like to be alone, next to someone. To get that space

Monday, June 25, 2012

By Request

time being not of the essence
I work my way through work,
largely thinking of last night
replaying each scene

do you do that?

the initial meeting -- full of fright and delight
a handshake, a shock
lips, glossed and luminous
eyes, big and bright
I was immediately in.

Awkward, yes, but there
leading you down the sidewalk
buying beverages and sitting in the shade
starting the talking

Slightly afraid to look directly into your eyes
an intense woman stared back
and smiled
with every cell

talking people talking concepts
telling stories
Was I talking too much?
I left worrying

You took notes:
words you hadn't heard
websites, names
You insisted I correct you
when your English was too English
and I was delighted
for so many reasons

You talked about "working on the bench"
and spending all your time in the lab.
I imagine ueber-focused you in a long white coat
unaware of an untied shoe or a half-eaten lunch

We talked translation and knowing
And perspective
When I stopped talking you didn't squirm

We dined and talked and laughed
We walked and talked less and touched
palm to palm, fingers entwined then not
I became both more comfortable and
more insecure.

What next? What next?
No idea but I'm flying now.

Blisters bubbled on my foot.
I drove you home, worried about my driving
and giving you whiplash with a gear shift.

You insisted on icing my blisters
and I let you touch my funky feet
embarrassed about untrimmed nails.

I remember: playing your electronic drums
and asking you to play.
I remember standing behind you and you leaning back into me.
The touch of you feeling like a memory
The top of your head and your hair
coarse under my lips.

Am I going too fast? Too wild?
Too close too soon?
Maybe not enough!
The options are endless
and I ask for information:
what are you thinking?

a brief tour of the house and then I'm leaving
Too sudden?  My timing is off and my heart is racing.
I'm awkward in my head but barreling through.
Porch. Front door cracked open.
Your face, luminous
and I don't think I stopped at all to think before
pressing my lips to yours

Sweet softness with response
Kiss and then a deep breath
that may have been the world moving under you
More, I want, and so I take
You kiss back, with passion and reservation

You shut the door and I walk to my car,
always wanting more, but I feel you hold back
"What?" I ask.
"I don't really know the neighborhood."
I'm boorish, I realize, and pushy, frisky and grabby.

Yes, I would have loved to go back inside.  Take back my
departing phrases and take off my hat.

I'm a greedy little bugger and maybe too much
would have loved to
make you stay up too late

Actively Forget

(this is an old one, written in the fall of 2011)

Specifically to actively forget, to move on, to keep going, just like I said I was. I never stopped.
Don't do it, friends said. You'll get attached.
Of course I'll get attached. I loves me some attachment, I do.
Metered, please. Controlled, but oh! Not that much.

Shopping for soulmates never works. I would that I could be silent with someone. It occurs to be this should be a prerequisite and perhaps an addition to my various online dating profiles. "Must be able to be still and watch." That's not it, either.

The stop-start of conversation is different with different people. And indeed different at different times. So sweet when it seems to flow naturally, mutually.

Ah mutuality! Where have you been? Why do you live so far away?

No, nothing is perfect. Cracks and fissures emerge no matter how solid. I believe that. Which is why I relish in being able to watch myself, alone.

I try to find LONG stretches of time.
Hang on long moments.
Always alone.

There's something to that. This thing.

But then there's this compelling thing about some people. What is that? What is that bell that gets rung in my head. It happens immediately, for the most part. Seriously. I know in five minutes if I'm going to fall for this one. Less. Two.

What is that?

Programming, let's say. And that's true for sure. Trying to resolve a relationship of the past. Trying to work past the point where we wondered "why can't I make this work?" And I wonder why. And how I can know so quickly. But I do, of this I am sure.

Oh that bell, that sweet sweet bell. I don't hear it but I feel the vibration go all through my body. And then I can't help but stare. Talk. Open up. There you go. Were you looking for my heart? Right here, hon.

Yeah, I know. Trying to win the attention of someone, that's my Achilles heel. I am relentlessly the six year old, doing a cannonball into the pool, picking out a tune on the piano, singing a Helen Reddy song by the slide tucked into the wading pool. It's good, I promise, and I mean earnestly. It's the best I've got and all I have and it's for you.

(brakes screech)

Right well, it used to go that far. Now I am relentlessly paranoid and guarded. Except for those internal gong moments, and then all bets are off. Pavlov's motherfucking bell, man.

Somehow I know that the initial attention is temporary, and I decide somewhere that I will prove myself, once and for all.


Secret unlocked. Sim sala bim!

Now, out! All the madness and sadness and what the fuck are you CRYING about now? Huh? What you need, sister, is a good dose of Actively Forget. You need to open your eyes and look around. Never mind that Gong Sister you spied tonight. Keep it moving. Yes yesyes.

Come on. To bed. Your ass has to be up in the morning.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Must I Make a New Year's Blog Post? Yes? Fine. Jeez.

All right, I've been thinking about it for a while now and here's what my new year's resolutions are for this year:

-- be me, a little louder: I think it'll be okay. And the stuff that pops outta me is sometimes amazing. It's worth it to get to the good nuggets to deal with the flotsam that will also surely come

-- push the Columbo effect: That is to say, long awkward silences followed by weird questions. This works for me in terms of time needed to think. Might mean blocking out voices until I know what I need to understand, and then probe for more. Also, it's a fine meme for me. Work it.

-- get rumpled raincoat: It doesn't have to start rumpled, it'll get that way eventually naturally (re. the rest of your clothes) Also, get the stuff you need, dude, like socks and underwear. Handkerchiefs. Throw away the shit with holes. You make money: stop buying food and start buying clothes.

-- keep up the fight against fat: A great segue from the last, but true. I will ALWAYS have to be vigilant if I want to be successful with food. I love food. And food loves me. But we need some serious boundaries in our relationship. Love yourself. Love your body. Take good care of yourself, as you would your own child -- Lord knows someone needs to, finally.