Fiction

Reborn — reborn!

Happy Monday, everybody! I know things have been a little different around here. Unfortunately, I came down with a bit of a nasty throat cold that’s been throwing off my regular update schedule. I hope you all have been enjoying the poetry!

Looking for something to read? In April, my flash fiction story “Reborn” was published on Fireside Fiction. You no longer have to have a subscription, so now it is free to read! Check it out and tell me what you think!

Fireside Fiction is a great publication, and if you can throw any support their way, it would be super appreciated. Take a look at their Support page to learn more.

Poetry

Language Barrier

One day
It’s a sunshine yellow block of clay
And there is hardly anyone there, foreign and
Even more quiet because you are the only ones
Speaking
Except for a child that hits a note over and over again,
Melody of discontent.
There’s food but it’s not what you ordered
And bullets litter the lot outside
Like wishes, like stars.
A car backfires
Says hello
And speeds away.

The next day
It’s a hard, black glass box
And it’s full and getting fuller, with expressions
That box you out and deny you your own
Silence
Except for when they have their noses in their coffee,
Discord of judgement.
There’s a breakfast plate and it is perfect
And the cars line up outside
Like knives, like bodies.
A door jingles
Says goodbye
And closes behind you.

Poetry

The Queen of Winter

When the leaves ash and the sun retires
As dark-tipped birds cross the threshold of forever
Sometime between when the moon speaks
And the quiet clouds open up to sing
And the chill air rolls across the glen
Between the charcoal black touch of burnt fingertips
Around and about the uneasy stay
Of northern light and comets
She will stand at the edge of tomorrow,
Holding fast her chariot of snow rabbits
Until they will conquer the world
With icy smiles and frosted glee.

Poetry

Tiny Heart

Before I knew anything about you
I knew that compared to the length of anything
The time we would have would be
A passing thought
A single hair
A dust mite suspended in light.

In our last hours
I traced the curve of your spine
The barest nothing of your leg
And under the thin veil of skin
I could just feel your heart.

Your breaths, slow
Your eyes, blink
And I am towering over and above you —
I am the world and you are
A stone.

And for all the might of a god
I am struck by the significance of
What would be a tiny drop of blood
Pumping through a pea,

Your heart
That I loved more
And miss more
Than a hundred like it.

Poetry

Between the Beads

Young, uncomfortable,
With jumper and blouse and plaid
Ugly and uniform
In the dim-dark, four-sided chapel
With forget-me-not blue stained glass
The plastic beads in tiny fingers
Speaking in unison.

Old, sick,
With busted jaw and hurt lungs and black
Unwashed and loose
In the yellow light, busted interior
With urine-soaked walls
The wooden bits between calluses
Calling out alone.

All the words are the same
But the seasons have changed,
Morning and noon and night
Each moon a shadow of its former self
Mother, may I? Will you be there?

When the words have changed from a chant
To a scream
To a whisper?

Poetry

Bubbles

I blow on the bubble wand twenty-nine times
And each string of opalescent considerations
Floats out and away
And while some catch in updrafts
Others head over to the neighbor’s yard
With whom I have had a limited number of interactions
All terse
And I imagine a police car zipping up to the curb and being told
From the sidewalk
“Ma’am, we’ve gotten some complaints about bubbles.”
And I say
“If people have so little to worry about in their lives
That they have time to be concerned about
Barely soap
More air than substance
There but for the grace of God go them.”

Speaking of which
As I’m standing in the gray evening of
Twenty degrees below usual
Milkweed drifts in
Following the same path as the crystalline orbs
And I can’t tell the difference between them in the fading daylight
So I feel a bit better
Knowing I’m not the only one trying to have a little fun.

Personal

Positivity Challenge

Over the last seven days, I have been posting three things every day that are positive or have made me grateful. I am archiving them here for posterity

Day 1: 9/10/14
1. I have amazing wildlife around my house, including Hobo Von Whistlepig, the groundhog that has taken residence in the woodpile. Every day I feel like I get to see something happening around here, and it makes living here fun.
2. I really have my shit together. Sorry for the vulgarity there, but last night, I was sitting with Josh for dinner and discussing my timeline for writing projects I’m doing and real things that I’m making happen. I am thoughtfully, intentionally making my life better. It’s all starting to fit into place and that feels good.
3. I have a super clean tub. I am really proud of it.

Day 2: 9/11/14
1. I have gotten a lot better at dealing with my anxiety issues. I am much more capable and able to handle bad situations than I was even a few years ago.
2. My mouse, Sylvia, brings me a little joy every day. She is old and shaky but she is still happy to see me when I go over to see her.
3. Today, I got to sneak into my office building’s presentation center during my break. I did my morning stretches and walking circuits for ten minutes while the wind and rain blew outside and David Sedaris talked about French dentists on my phone. It was a very nice break.

Day 3: 9/12/14
1. It was blessedly cool today. I wore my big, black, comfy sweatshirt all day. It was marvelous.
2. My husband. He is a handsome devil, and we went clothes shopping together. It was much fun.
3. It feels good to have a local restaurant at which we are regulars. We aren’t strangers to the people at Empire Palace, and they always go out of their way to make us feel welcome (and missed, when it’s been a while).

Day 4: 9/13/14
1. Awesome friends I can hang out with for hours, talking shop and just enjoying everyone’s company.
2. My family. I feel like I could end this with ’nuff said’ but I don’t want to. Despite every way I’ve evolved as a person and everything I’ve done over the past seven years and everywhere I’ve *been*…my family has been supportive and enthusiastic about what I’m up to. That feels great.
3. Saturday evenings — the lull between the insane Friday feels and the Sunday angst — always feel perfect. Even when there are plans, or stuff to get done the next day, or whatever. There will still be that moment when you’re lying in bed going, “I still have another day.”

Day 5: 9/14/14
1. I got to read at an event today and it went awesomely. I had friends and husband there to support me, and it was a great experience.
2. The feeling of deep gratitude when you realize that your car has not been stolen but rather you went out the wrong exit of Macy’s at the mall.
3. Puppies. Big and small, furry and less so, cute and derpy. I heart them all.

Day 6: 9/15/14
1. Getting to teach someone something. I really enjoy training, and I know that’s rare. I just really, really enjoy a person being like, “I didn’t get it before and now I do!”
2. Performing several katas and realizing I remember all the steps. Like, driving around your hometown, or hearing a song from when you were younger. It’s just there.
3. Clean laundry. It’s a little thing, but when you have a mess going on in your head, it helps to go, “I have options for what I’m going to put on my body tomorrow.”

Day 7: 9/16/14
1. My health — I went to the doctor today and everything came up good. A few things to work on, but my doctor was so pleased he agreed that we could just start meeting once every 6 months. That is a big step for me, and I feel like that marks the item on my bucket list: “Have a clean bill of health.” Check.
2. Josh and I scored tickets to see The Book of Mormon on Sept 25. Yay!
3. Ice cream. Life is better – sweeter, tastier, more joyful – with the presence of ice cream. We made Bailey’s ice cream tonight, which is my most favorite ice cream of all. Because sometimes, when other people stop giving you the things you love, you just need to make it yourself.

What was positive about your day today?

5 Things, Monday Doing

Monday 9/15/14: What Am I Doing?

mondaydoing09152014
Watching: Cutthroat Kitchen — Alton Brown is a household name in our home. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a game show for as long as we’ve been watching this one. If you aren’t familiar, it’s four chefs who have to make a dish with only 60 seconds to shop for their items. However, before they get started, they enter into an auction for items to sabotage their competition. Things like a dented pan or a teeny tiny skillet as their only cooking vessel. It’s diabolical and fantastic.

Loving: Halloween! — We have officially entered into the time when I can talk unabashedly about how excited I am about this holiday. I used to not be big on Halloween, but in recent years I’ve gotten much more into it. It sucks that we live on a giant house on a hill where we have gotten exactly zero trick-or-treaters in the six years we’ve been here, but whatever. More candy for me!

Reading: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris — This is a book I’m listening to again on my phone. I am trying to listen to at least one essay a day while walking around my office building. Does this make me look crazy? Maybe. Do I care? Absolutely not.

Hearing: “Rude” by Magic — I have had this song stuck in my head all day. And I haven’t listened to a whole lot of music lately, so…I’m counting it.

Doing: editing — My next big project is the 2nd edition of my novel, Cape and Dagger. I’d like to get this done for its two year anniversary, which would make it to be completed by next month. It’s not the most elegant of writing projects, but I feel like I would be much happier with it shined up and floating out there in the Internet literasphere.

It’s Monday. What are you doing?