Tag Archives: writing

― to the Sharp-faced Boy
Ryan’s house, when I was sick

The light from your cigarette
looks good on you,
but I’m not sorry when you put it out.
It is too cold for smoking
and the stench enters my lungs
like a mad dog barking.

You give me blankets and a choice
Soul Caliber or a movie –
which movie? Start ‘er up
and settle down in the cold room.
But your smile and your eyes are friendly
and those are more than enough reasons to stay.

I’m sorry for being somewhat worried
every time you open your mouth,
but your clever head has a habit
of spewing boiling water at me.
How many times have I had to look for aloe
after a conversation with you?

But I have missed this person who
talks and laughs and listens with an
air of interest. We’ll stay away from
God, though. Dangerous ground I wish
I were brave enough to attempt. Wrap
your smarts around something else, please.

Movies and music and books – you
are avid and opinionated (that O’Neal coming through) – spark a
debate littered with swapped insults and mock offense.
I will have to learn better slurs
if I want to keep up with you – your mind
leaps ahead of mine like a loosed kite.


Did you start that fire to show me that
you care? That’s what I’m thinking, but you
never say it, and these little gestures are
almost too sporadic for hope. But you let me borrow
your movies and ask before you smoke in
my car – is this a brother’s way of saying

“I love you”? Well, in any case, come over here
and give me a hug. Smart boy that can’t keep your
brains to yourself and dotes more on a cat than on
any person I know. Don’t look at me like that –
stand up straight, and try to remember,
however sappy it may be, I love you.


This is a poem I wrote a couple years ago for a poetry workshop at USM. Found it tonight going through some old files. This was the first draft, and I’m pretty sure there’s a rewrite floating around somewhere. Didn’t look for it, though.

I should work on this poem again. I mean, I’m one of those horrible (and very occasional) poets that gets stupidly attached to their first drafts, and don’t ever try very hard to edit/rewrite. And changes I do make tend toward the superficial – a word here, a word there. Rarely anything of substance. Bad Charity.

But even I can see that this poem has some problems – awkward lines, jarring sounds, super sappiness. Definitely gotta cut back on the sappy.

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– – –

There is a stranger,

his back towards me-

curved like a bow

defined strong shoulders

and spine – and

I am crazy, crazy

for wanting to rub those shoulders,

to kiss the base of his neck;

to run my hands down

and down smooth skin

then up to count

the naked bones

with my fingertips;

to lean into the curve of him

and never see his face

never hear his voice spill

over me, drown me, wash me

away from him;

to hold on to his

broad bare body

tight and tight

muscles move beneath

my hands and they

move smooth and

powerful and I will

curl against, sleep

next to him and forget

the world in which

this back did not exist.

The title of the poem is “Impulses.” The title of this post is “Courage” because I feel like I need a lot of it right now.

I wrote this poem a while ago, when I was at Southern. It’s actually one of my favorite poems that I’ve ever written. It is also perhaps one of the most personal poems I have ever written. It scared me to submit this poem, along with five others, to the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention the same way it would be scary to submit anything for judging and possible rejection. The people reading and judging it in that case were very impersonal.

It scares me to post it on this blog because this is a very personal space.

Perhaps it is irrational, this fear of allowing this part of me to be seen by people I know and love.

But then again, I really do think this is one of the best poems I’ve ever written – it’s not perfect, of course; I know that. But it sits on my hard drive, asking why I’ve hidden it away. Daring me to share it.

And so here I am, trying to be brave. It has taken much longer to write these few short paragraphs than it decently should have. Really, these paragraphs are me psyching myself up to hit the “Publish” button, which has never looked more menacing.

Ah well. Here I go.

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Ramblings aka Blogging instead of reading “Moll Flanders”

Tonight I have been struggling with an affliction I believe common to writers of all varieties – the desire to write but a lack of enthusiasm for any subject that presents itself.

I thought perhaps I might relate the events of my day – it was a perfectly lovely day, a day I believe I will remember with fondness. However, I bore myself writing about that sort of thing and would rather avoid boring the minuscule number of folk that wander past my blog and so I thought I’d best avoid that subject.

At lunch today I remembered my anger towards The Adjustment Bureau and all the reasons for it. I considered enumerating them here, but reconsidered when I considered my lack of skill at reviewing movies/books/comics etc. in a concise and clear manner.

I next planned to introduce my growing scarf and hat collection, but my camera’s batteries having given up the ghost, I’m afraid that is a post that will have to wait. For the same reason I cannot show my dear bettas (who love me even more now I’ve finally established a fairly stable water changing schedule).

My lovely best friend offered a number of worthy suggestions such as the changing fall weather, the upcoming holiday seasons, or various bookish subjects. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with these proposed topics, none of them spoke of posts yearning to be written by my itching fingers.

And so, with the compulsion to be writing something, anything at all, I began this very poor excuse for a blog post listing the potentially much more interesting things I could have been writing about. I am sorry. But I have homework to do, and I believe I will be able to give Altick and Defoe the concentration they deserve now I have quieted the impatient writing-beast.

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Incrimination and heady elation, cutting capers in the misty vapours, havoc and ravage hurrah for the savage life precarious, life so various, life nefarious and temerarious, pulling faces, fierce grimaces, leaving traces in rocky places, pieces and faeces all over the fleece is that a yow’s shoulder they’ve left there to moulder stuck up on a boulder? Much to learn, Rowf, in the fern, of great concern, for this is the point of no return. Those who kill sheep should mind where they sleep, when there’s nothing to hear the shot-gun is near, the curse of the farmer is likely to harm yer, a scent in the morning is sent for a warning, at a cloud on the sun a wise dog will run, it’s the sharp and alert who avoid being hurt and a dog that’s gone feral is living in peril. Those with blood on their paws and wool in their jaws should heed these old saws.

~from Plague Dogs, by Richard Adams

That’s pretty good, no?

I love the rhythm and the speed, the urgency and excitement, the sounds and cadences.

This paragraph is the subject of my application project in my Structure of Modern English class. I hope I still love it by the time I’m through analyzing it.

A Quote I Quite Like

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My Feet Smell Like Grass!

They do! And for some odd reason it makes me really happy!

We played football and volleyball at the Youth Safe Haven tonight, and I played barefoot. It was, as always, a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I even caught the ball once during the football game! And I’m a pretty good server, so that’s what I did in volleyball. Except for the couple times I hit the ball in the completely wrong direction I did pretty well, if I do say so myself.

This evening was a much needed breather. Most of the day was spent in the library writing a research paper on The Kite Runner. At first, after I had all my sources and everything I needed before I actually started writing, I liked the paper and what I was writing on. Then once I started putting it all together on paper I realized that I hated writing it and that it sucked balls. I guess that it was just the topic.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I really like The Kite Runner. But I was writing about the political aspects of it – it being a political best seller – and the wars and Taliban and stuff in Afghanistan and how all that stuff pretty much drives the plot of the book. Yeah, it just sucked.

Now I have a John Donne paper to do over the weekend. Well, Sunday. I doubt I’ll get too much done tonight or tomorrow. Tonight I need to do laundry and get some sleep; tomorrow the youth are having a rummage sale at the church which I promised to help out at, and tomorrow night I’m closing. So that pretty much leaves Sunday to get it done by. Hopefully it won’t suck as much as the one I did today…

And now, I will leave you with these two fine thoughts:

“The thing that is incredible is life itself. Why should we be here in this sun-illuminated universe? Why should there be green earth under our feet?” ~Edwin Markham

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” ~Kahlil Gibran

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