Monthly Archives: September 2012

Other: Coffee? Caramels?

Wow, hey, great to run into you.  How random was that? Cities always seem so big, but then. Anyway, you really need to check out that academic tumbler thing. The gifs are hilarious. It will definitely remind you of our seminars and Dr. Xena.

Maybe we can meet up and get coffee or whatever. It’s really been a while. Let me know when you’re free. Man, fate, right?

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You have a knack for disasters –
an absolute gift for setting sail
on pleasure cruises destined to capsize.
You pick the least seaworthy vessel,
I think, knowing it will never reach port.

You specialize in shortcircuitry –
in abnormal connections, forced voltage,
too much energy expended in too short a time.
You let the charge travel a path different
from the one intended…just to create sparks.

I’ve learned to be a spectator –
to have no vested interest in the destination,
nor in the inevitable explosions. There is an odd
comfort in the cyclical, of knowing I
couldn’t stop this no matter how hard I tried.

The Cricket Indoors

After much investigation
Of the window screen ajar
With a leap he is soon inside

His heartbeat
Racing, counting
The sound of wings

Like a concerto
Every verse, chorus
Bridge about a woman

And the heat of the night
The sheets where he reads
With antennae cricket music

Atop foreign land
So new his song pauses
He pounces! Glides!

The cricket indoors

Afoot rich textures
Turn calligraphy
For the mind

Carpet a kingmaker
His tales absorb
Back outside

He says,
“Freshly vacuumed.”

“I am the forest,”
He declares,

And forever

Lucky Me

I forgot to wake up white this morning,
but by happy coincidence
my skin does not wait for a warning
to put up this basic defense.

I forgot to wake up straight this morning
but slowly got there by degrees.
My faith is strong, but some are worn—sing
to the Lord! You’ll beat that disease!

(I forgot to wake up godly today,
but thankfully I set aside
my weekends—or at least the one day—
to let Him know I’m on His side.)

I forget to wake up rich some mornings,
but when I tell them I’ve gone broke,
my friends, acting like I’m lowborn, fling
change at me; it’s our little joke.

When We First Met (excerpt)

The second time he met her is the first time Mark noticed that her eyes were the same color, an almost silvery grey with specks of emerald green, and he immediately began to wonder if it was possible to fall in love in the wrong order. Not that there’s ever a wrong way to do anything when you’re in love, he reminded himself, as he looked back at the class roster and continued with attendance.

“Allison…Jherek?…” he called out to the classroom, his voice trailing away as he tried to pretend that he hadn’t already seen  noticed her, that he hadn’t already known that she would be here.

“Alli’s fine,” he heard a familiar voice say. He turned his head to find her sitting in the back of the lecture hall, looking not much younger than the day that they first met. Or, the day that he might her, to be precise. She had her hand raised, with a look of sheer disinterest scrawled across her face. He looked into her grey eyes for the very first time, hoping to find some small moment of recognition within her, but of course, there was nothing; she hadn’t met him yet. He’d already lived a life time with her — he still did, for that matter, though he knew it wouldn’t be for that much longer — and yet she’d never seen him before.

“Right,” he said, finally breaking from his stare. But the awkward tension in the room had already elevated past the point of typical first day jitters. ” He looked back to the roster sheet. “Alli it is. Glad you could join us, Alli. Welcome to Intro to Quantum Physiology. Is, um, is Adam…King here? Adam King?”

* * *

The first time that she met him he was younger than he was, a thought which at first struck Alli as obvious though she knew that wasn’t exactly what she meant by it.

“…Mark?” she asked tentatively as she watched him from the doorway. He was tying off a trash bag, bulging over with bottles and cans. A sickness filled her stomach and her head began to spin.

“Sorry, party’s over,” he said casually without turning around to see who he was talking to. He groaned softly as he hoisted the heavy  bag over his shoulder. She watched him carry it across the room, trying hard not to let the strain show on his face, and finally deposited it with a heave next to a similar pile of tied-off trash bags. There was a loud crashing sound as the bottles hit the floor, almost certainly smashing apart as they collided with one another against the linoleum. Mark looked up at her and smiled, finally acknowledging her presence in the room, as he absently started to dismantle a folding table. He returned his attention to the table as he forced a rusted pair of legs to fold back underneath it. With a swift kick, he was finally able to tuck the legs beneath the tabletop. Before he could finish with the other set of legs, he took a brief pause from his work and then he looked back in her direction.

“Do you have two different colored eyes?” he asked curiously. “Sorry, if that was rude, I just noticed –”



If I waited too long
between pauses,
I couldn’t breathe.
Couldn’t see through
the streaks on my glasses;
tears caught in my lashes.

If I thought too long
about taking her
to the last appointment,
to the Big Sleep, to
end her life that was
three-quarters of my own,

I couldn’t drive.
Couldn’t get her there.
And I remembered
reading a character
who fell asleep by
counting doubles.

So I tried it.
all the way to
four thousand…
something. I
could breathe,
finish preparing.

Stopped and
started the sequence
so many times, kept
getting stuck at
Got to 12 over and
over and over again
before I realized

I couldn’t even count.
My cat was dying,
surrendered, almost
at peace, and I
couldn’t even
get it together
and count.

A Haiku After A Long Day Of Pretending To Write

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Send texts.) Now, where was