Good evening.


Come sit down.

No. Thank you.
I’ll stand.

here we are.

Did you want to-

Okay. That’s fine.

I’ll start.

Are you-


Are you okay?

I don’t know.
Doesn’t seem…

I’m okay.


How are you?

No. Thanks.
I’m fine standing.

I’m still
and I’m happy
It’s a lovely stand.
And I don’t want
to go anywhere now.
But I know
you’re not one
to sit.
Unless you’re
and I’m afraid

I’m not entrancing.

And I’ll stand with you.
But I’m not good
at standing.
Better at standing
than sitting.
Not a sitter.
But not good
at standing.

I need to move.
I like a path
sprinkled before me
to find me
And I see too much
to find the straight line.

You’re a sprinkle,
a splatter,
a far and wide,
see what you can
where can you spread
your colors.

I want to spread
and I can’t
keep up
with your chaos.

A gift to watch
a joy to inspire
to muse
to see
as the first spectator
past the ropes.
But there’s a rope
and that means
I stand on this side.

My colors aren’t
ready yet.
Where we stand.

Where do we stand?

If I can’t get beyond the rope
I’m standing alone
at your beauty,
careful of
the taped-off edges.
at descriptions,
I don’t understand.


I stand.

Staring across the rope.

Applauding on my feet.
Begging to be seen.

From where
I stand.



My novel Drowning Above Water is now available through Amazon. 



Money where your mouth is.



In the seats, she sits
muscles close,
covered with
layers against the fright
of exposure.

She can’t do what
they …

Where do they hide
the view inside
from the back of the room?

The seams are all
she has
for protection
behind her seams
she seems

She holds the words
and directs the steps.

She says when they

And she pulls her knees
as the other she arches
from her
and they both
wish they had the words

to take away every word

she’s piled on
on top of
thin on top of
that isn’t deep enough.

Not enough to hide.
Not enough to…
Don’t take that off,
don’t take that away.

She moves like that
in her mind.
she gathers
the tokens,
the flattery,
the anxious
for the brass
she knows them to be.

She’s cold.
Her mind
She stops moving like them.
Starts not moving
like her.

She binds herself
constricting love,
breath, belief, trust;
where those dig in her ribs,
but al least she’s the one
pulling at the stays.
And that won’t hurt
as much as
a vacant chest.

for another dance,
another chance,
to care enough
to let even one
see her.


My new novel about vulnerability, exposure and regaining ownership of ourselves Drowning Above Water is available now through Amazon. 

A Fortress

Him: Mom, let me get under your blanket. I’m cold.

Me: It is no degrees outside. Put on some pants. 

Him: (Crawls under the blanket with me, rubbing clammy feet on mine)

Me: (Aw. And ew.)

Him: Pants are uncomfortable and I don’t like wearing them. 

Me: (Endlessly hugs the now-warm, still pantless child, who is clearly mine, and who tolerates the affection for one more second before he scampers back to his fort because sometimes too much mommy is too much. 

And we had a day in the fort with snuck-in food amongst the many pillows and too much TV. 

It was a glow of heat in the dark cold. 

And I remembered how much brightness there is. 




I had every intention to handle this like a warrior.

A paint-covered, ladder-climbing, putty-knife-wielding warrior.

That’s not exactly how it all went.



Yes. That’s the after. I couldn’t do any more.

It looks like a preschool class painting their first flat for a school play.

But it was the best I could do. Multiple trips to fetch supplies I couldn’t afford. Almost as many panic flushes. I was done.

My best is not much. Obviously. I can write you a poem about patching a ceiling but I can’t do it in practice.

Was this mess at least better than when I started?




I don’t know anymore.

The biggest hurdle was that I was going to handle this myself. And by handle, I meant just getting on with it. Not whining and whinging and lambasting my self-worth with the same enthusiasm that I used when wielding the blade of a paint scraper and the sanding block.

That hurdle, I instead smacked and took down with me as I tumbled to the ground. I sent endless texts begging for encouragement. To the point where I was disgusting myself, so I can’t image how pissed the receiver of my depressing messages must have been. I was so furious at myself that I didn’t know how to do this, how to fixed this, that I failed at something else. I

I do this every time. Every time. No matter what bobble or hardship or uncalm sea I encounter. Every little thing. Every time.  And this wasn’t even a crisis. When I came home to find this, now that was a crisis.

(For texture and amplification, it was -2 degrees Fahrenheit at the time outside the house.)

Did I handle both of these problems?

Sort of.

The heat now works and there’s not as much of a crater situation on the ceiling.

Did I beat myself up about my complete buggering of these projects?


Did I deserve that?

No comment.

Did I then beat myself up about my weight and my complete lack of musical or artists talent and my shit parenting job and…

Fine. You bet your sweet ass I did. Gave myself a proper run down.

I really need to stop this. It helps no one. It makes me feel worse and by doing it again, and again, and fucking again, I will push away the precious few that are willing to support me when I have legitimate crises, not just a few floating flakes of glossy enamel.

If I can kinda fix paint and more or less manage a broken furnace, why can’t I give myself a break?

That should be the easy part. Just taking away the labor I swing day in and day out that effectively chips mw down to a rubbled pile of nothing.

Even if I have nothing good to replace the absence.

A  wrong act continually enforced to the detriment of all is worth the struggle to repeal it.

The floor is open to motions.


Floor…does that look like a hole in my floor???

Peeling Away


I don’t make resolutions.

I have trouble enough keeping my head above water without a list glowering at me, smirking at my inability to achieve any item scratched there on a late night in December.

Once I made a vision board. Five years ago. I still have it. I realize now, this isn’t a good supporting paragraph, as I actually achieved most of the things on that piece of cardboard. My whole thesis could be flawed and maybe I should shush, stop writing this and make another vision board.

Maybe later.

The paint on my living room ceiling is peeling. Has been for a while. I haven’t fixed it. I don’t know how to fix it. One of the troubles being the only grown up in a house is that shit breaks and you’re the only one doing the fixing. Another of the troubles, is when you don’t know how to fix shit, so you just try whatever comes into your brain for whatever YouTube says and those results range from fair to middling to disastrous.

My ceiling debacle is no exception. I’ve never repaired paint. Painted, yes. Repaired nicks in a dorm room wall that we covered with a homemade fix of Colgate and mid-spectrum foundation, yes. Actual wall repair in a room where actual people might sit?


That’s for adults who know things. Capable, stalwart, accomplished humans. But, none of those  live in my house.

I tried. I scraped. I mixed. I dripped. I dripped some more. I blended. I swore. I managed to get paint everywhere in the room, including my mouth.

My mouth. I got paint in my mouth.

I’m learning to draw. (The verb learning is a stretch. Despite excellent instruction and demonstration, I now am responsible for a  handful of skull stretches that could only have a place in an Itchy and Scratchy episode.)

It makes more sense after that comparision that those skills did not translate to the ability to paint a ceiling.

I tried. I failed. I didn’t cry. (I really, really wanted to.) I didn’t send a self-deprecating text where I flagellated my self and ran myself over with my truck of personally directed hatred. (I really, really, REALLY wanted to.) I didn’t break.

That’s what I do. I get upset. I direct that sadness and disappointment back onto myself. My anxiety builds. It crests and relaxes. Then the depression gets its boots on and I deal with that for a while. Until the next metaphorical ceiling needs painted and I do it all again. It’s gleeful fun for everyone, I assure you.

The new year is made-up. Completely random selection with no consequence delegated by a pope. Probably slapped on top of a pagan holiday to ease the transition and soothe some disenfranchised group. I’m guessing. But that seems to be how these things evolve.

Old layer of paint off.

Let’s try something new.

Yes. I fucked up the ceiling.

But, it’s not broken. There’s not ice rattling down onto my couch like a freezer-built living room. I learned something. Someday this week, I’ll go back to the store and try something else. Maybe I’ll learn something else.

What I don’t want to do, is keep this pattern of bruising my spirit and drowning my soul with my own kicks and hands. It’s not fair. Not to me. Not to the ones I love, who sit under this fucked up roof with me.

If I can do that–a single choice of  kindness and forgiveness to the little chubby-cheeked blonde-haired girl that turned into this bigger, chubby-cheeked, blonde and brown and streaks of white-haired girl– a single step away from the instinct to hurt and instead looking to learn– a single instance of giving myself a god damn break…


That’s better than any resolution.

Want more stories of peeling away and looking for a better layer? My novel Drowning Above Water is available at Amazon. 




I break things.

I’m not careful or

I thunder and plod.

I get bruises.

I get hurt.

I drop precious
and cry over the broken

There’s never enough glue.

I see to that.

So, don’t go in the

Not until I’ve swept it.

You’ll get cut.

I should probably mop too.

And vacuum.

Maybe I’ll just move.

Help me pack the plates?



Making Space for New.


How do you make something new

if all you have are yesterdays and
last years?

What you’ve always had,
and told
and been

lying there,
looking at you,

And you knew.

You knew you shouldn’t have said that.

Shouldn’t have left.

Shouldn’t have had that drink
or that one
or that one

but that one,
you knew you needed.

Like you knew you shouldn’t have come back
but you knew
new was not what helped.

There’s not always a place
for new,

or time
or forgiveness enough.

As soon as a second is new
it’s dead.

And you knew better.

Until you didn’t.

And there it was


never seen or touched
but something
you knew.

Is there anything new,

or is there only more and more

and more

of what there’s been every time,

disguised in new hair
new clothes
new job
new togetherness
or loneliness
in the same bed.

Because new can be awful.

But it’s safe and known

and it’s there
and it’s been there
never new.

And you go back every time.

To a new face
new hope
new hurt
same you.

You have the same
and the same moves
and the same dread.

Because you know
the new won’t last for
more than a few more
good morning, babies.

When our hurts are as comfortable
as our old bras
elastic stretched
so you know you’ll sag
and sweat
but you won’t pinch
and you won’t bleed.

Is new even possible?

When you
refuses to
leave behind.

A new day seems
extinct before conception,
let alone a new way.
which drops like an abortion.

But what if you knew?
Knew that new could hurt
but that it wouldn’t kill you?

What if this could kill you?
This old, known, comfortable

What if it already tried?

If you are hearing this,
it didn’t.

You are new.

There is new.

Maybe you knew
Maybe you old
Maybe you didn’t.

Now is new.

Knew is what you got
for surviving yesterday
and new
is who you are
for daring to step outside
step onstage
step away
and step toward

New hurts.
It blisters
and pinches
and soaks your skin
with the slippery fluid
of cells learning
to trust.

This is the birth fluid
of the new knew.
the next ‘look at these’
the next favorite
the next one that makes you smile
and dance.

we’ll look at all we knew,
so much of it we didn’t,
and if the goddess smiles
on us.
we’ll have a reason to ask for one more new.

And one more new, could be the last.

So make it last

Don’t wait for knew.

My book Drowning Above Water about letting go and gathering the courage to look for new is now available at Amazon.