Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Mom and I Have a Dinner Conversation, Dec 30th

Background: The table has been cleared and my mom and I are drinking a nice syrah from somewhere in California. My dad is doing the dishes, and my brother is at the table listening to us. Somehow, we are talking about the chef Cat Cora. I am attracted to Cat Cora, so what follows is a bit confusing and has a very weak plot. Here, I'll start in the middle of the action:

Me: Mom! You really don't think I'm more beautiful than Cat Cora?!

My Mom: Cat Cora is beautiful. Haven't you seen her?

Me: Yes! I'm attracted to her!

My Mom: She is so naturally pretty, she is just beautiful.

Me: People tell me all the time I'm beautiful, Mom! They ask if I'm French or Swedish. Cat Cora is really cute, but she's Disneyland! I look royal! I'm almost like a greek goddess!!!

I think my brother agrees with me here, as he raises his eyebrows and nods.

My Mom: What do you want me to say? You have some royalty in you, but Cat Cora is really cute.

Me: So, you think she's cuter than me.

My Mom: But, it's partly how she acts.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Stockings: An Objective Compare and Contrast

Stocking Appearance and Contents at Age 10:

Overflowing, mutilated, misshapen due to heavy volume of presents of a variety of shapes and sizes. Contents: a large candy cane-shaped tube filled with flavored lip balms, a bag of Swedish Fish, two GameBoy games, a New Kids On The Block T-shirt, four neon slap bracelets, a bag of gummy colas, a six inch chocolate Santa, a Venus fly trap, a bouncy ball with glitter snowflakes, three packs of Bubble Yum, a crystal growing kit, a pencil with a Koosh ball on top, a tube of green lipstick that turns pink when you put it on, and a piece of paper with a hand-written clue to where the "big present" is hidden.

Stocking Appearance and Contents at Age 30:

Languid, enervated, misshapen due to a lack of inner volume of presents and the gravitational pull on several small solid gifts in the toe. Contents: two Mac eyeliner pencils, a pocket-sized digital recording device to help you remember things, 8 black uni-ball pens, and a twenty dollar bill stapled to a piece of computer paper with the typed message: "Since you refuse to go to Starbucks, consider this your coffee card to use at an independently owned store of your choice."

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21st Observations

My dad stepped on the dog's squeak toy today and said "Oh, jeez-US!"
He is now officially old. 
The other day, he waved to me from down the street.
He was wearing a flannel shirt tucked into his jeans, and he was trying to tell me 'Over here 
is where I'm parked. Come get in the car.'
I looked at him standing there under a tree, one hand in the air, and I got sad thinking about how 
one day this stupid scenario will be impossible. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Polite Thank You Letter For Twelve Days Of Christmas And A Pragmatic One

My Darling, 

What a lovely and interesting twelve days it has been! I had to take the partridge out of the pear tree because I thought he looked a little silly there, but that was before I had seven swans a'swimming in my bathtub. But, the pear tree is beautiful, and it should grow nicely where all those geese are a'laying and a'pooping! The UPS guy has tried three times to drop off two turtle doves and three french hens. Hopefully, I will be here next time as I don't think he will be able to just leave them on the porch. And those pipers piping and drummers drumming, I wasn't sure where to put them, but the drummers refused to share a room with the pipers, who they called "those queer faggots in tights," and left. Well, first they stole the five gold rings you gave me. I would've called the police, but one of the ten lords a'leaping landed on my cell phone and broke it. And did you mean to bring me nine ladies from Lansing? Lansing, Michigan? I'd check your receipt because these are all octogenarians who were on a tour of the Great Lakes when they were given $100 and told to get in a van. Anyway, their invoice says "nine ladies dancing" but they all assure me their fox-trotting days are over, and five of them even said it hurts just to stand. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but please get them out of here. It breaks my heart to see them come downstairs everyday confused and dressed in layers and carrying cameras. I hope you understand. Your gifts were certainly extravagant, and I don't deserve anything as romantic as all this. Also, I'm not really sure I'm completely set up for eight maids a'milking. 

Yours Truly, 



Thanks for the 23 birds. They flew off when the drummers arrived, but they'll probably be back because the milking maids brought all these cows, and I know birds like to sit on those. I've arranged for the 30 other folks you gave me as gifts to stay at the youth hostel until I can figure something else out. I had to sell the five gold rings to make this happen, but I'm sure you'll understand. The pear tree won't grow in this climate, so I tossed it, but kept the plastic potter it came in because it can be used to store tennis balls or turned upside down and made into a stool. Thanks again. 





Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Historical Romance

You are so cool toward me,
I try and melt you, 
but you are so cold,
it's like you were born
in a different century.

At least be Annie Oakley.
I'll be on my couch in jeans and Chuck Taylors
looking at a black and white photo of you.
I'll kiss my fingertip,
put it as close as I can to your lips,
drag it to your rifle and say "Bang!"

This way, I won't mind so much 
when you stare back at me 
all grainy and from a long time ago.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stuff I Wrote On The Back Of Southwest Airlines' Drink Coupons

Today sucked. I accidentally killed a lizard and I lost my prescription glasses. You don't know any of this because you have a girlfriend and it's not me.


Nothing makes you feel less vital to the world than flying above it at 33,000 feet and staring down at the intricate geometry of thousands of lives. It's the kind of thing that makes you order a scotch "neat." And when the stewardess pauses and says, "So... with or without ice?" it makes you just stare back and say "neat."


Great, if this plane crashes, there is no one here I want to hug while crying hysterically. Since when did trying to fall in love have so much in common with falling out of the sky? 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Eating Alone, a Funeral

What no one tells you in home ec or anyplace else, is that when you're an adult, you're going to have  a lot of trouble making dinner for yourself and eating it. Tonight, I opened the fridge. Could’ve had a salad, could’ve made my own dressing, could’ve put soup in a pot, stirred it up and got it hot. But, I couldn’t find it in me to cut a cucumber, let alone peel it (in stripes, like Mom did). It’s unbelievably hard to eat by yourself. Sure, there’s the trick of turning on the TV, loading CDs in the 5 Disc CD changer, and catching a glimpse of yourself in the microwave and saying "Hey, you..." But nothing ever escapes the feeling of eating alone. It's the black hole of your kitchen, stretching you until you snap apart at your weakest point. Just getting out one fork is like being at a funeral—but at the beginning, when you still won’t admit you’ll end up crying, but can feel it coming on.



Monday, October 26, 2009

Los Angeles Observations, Oct 26th

A 12 story apartment building
is getting a bath, and a homeless man
shuffles past without having showered in weeks.
Life is full of bad decisions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Advanced Problems

1) If A = B, and B = C, then A = C

I think of you, 
and you don't think of me at all, 
it's getting creepy on my end. 

2) Sharon has exactly 6 quarters, 5 dimes, and 10 nickels in her pocket. She pulls out a coin at random and puts it aside since the coin is not a quarter. If she pulls out a second coin at random from her pocket, what is the probability that her childhood dreams are worth less than ten cents?

3) If Jim's penis is four inches long, and he leaves the train station at exactly 4:30 p.m., how many marbles does it take?

Every Time You Lick A Stamp, You Consume 1/10 Of A Calorie

And this was her excuse 
for never writing me. 

And to think, 
I drink beer
so I can write 
and put them into bottles 
and throw them into the Pacific.

That's how many calories I'd consume
on the off chance
of reaching her.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Around Your 30th Birthday

Around your 30th birthday

you will discover that your body 

is not a temple.


It's a den

full of predators.  

And you'll be trying 

to make friends with them

the rest of your life.


Or, at least, trying to keep

them in a deep sleep

by sneaking quietly around


With Xanax and alcohol.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Maybe This Is Something

A young girl is systematically tearing the fur off her plastic pony leaving it a cheap looking black plastic mold of a pony.  She is at the DMV, seated a row in front of me and four chairs to the left. The horse was chestnut roan with a black mane and tail. Her father keeps getting up from his chair and pacing around and her mother is reading something. The girl only has the head left to do, but it looks like it's going to be hard because there are too many small contours to really get a good tear going. 

Friday, September 11, 2009


Whenever anyone I love dies
I stop and stare at the ground
and try to figure out a pattern.

How long I do this
depends on how much I love them. 

Once, someone I really really loved died,
--That's it. I said my goodbyes. I said my hellos. That's it.--
and I was trying to figure out 
how many total squares some triangles could make

when a woman wearing a tracksuit and big shiny hoop earrings
pushed her grocery cart into my my ass and said, 
Honey, either move forward or back.

Monday, September 7, 2009

California Dreamin'

We were holding hands walking right down the middle of Hollywood Boulevard.

The holding of our hands started to have it's own heart.

We looked down at where our wrists met, and there it was, beating, red and growing warm. 

Then you stopped to tie your shoe, and I had to hold the heart all by myself. 

It slid out of my hand like a fish, then turned into a kickball and started bouncing down the Boulevard. 

I ran after it, but each bounce got higher and higher. 

Pretty soon, I was at the rim of the Grand Canyon, and my father was being chased by a mountain lion.

I started to run after him, but a band of wild horses circled my mother. 

She was sitting on a foldable camping chair, shaking.

The horses were kicking and biting and closing in on her.

I had now had a rope.

I  tried to lasso them, but my teeth began falling out. 

I kept lassoing them, and collected my bloody teeth with the other hand,which turned into a sieve. 

Every time I yelled to her, I threw up bloody gravel,which used to be my teeth, and my sieve hand could only catch one or two pieces.

I worried that by the time I got to the dentist, I'd have nothing to give him.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

One Definition Of Loneliness


One definition of loneliness

is learning that your favorite author,

the one you really understand,

the one you’re sure would’ve really gotten you,

the one that took your stupid happiness and your boring depression

and made you underline it -- even put a star or exclamation point next to it --

killed himself because he decided it wasn’t worth it.


His death turned a great writer into just a dead body in an instant

but was recorded as approximately

between the middle of September and October


because no one called or came over.

He rotted in front of a window for weeks

until a police man found him.







Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Signs This Film Is Not Your Big Break

You auditioned in your bikini at La Salsa.


You’re the star of an updated version of Little Red Riding Hood and have fallen asleep while on the phone with the director, who is running through the script, when you’re startled awake by him saying, “…and then the wolf’s cock piercing gets caught on your tongue ring.”


The director comes to your house and takes a loud smelly dump in your toilet.


Your first scene is a night shot on someone’s roof. When you question why there are no lights, the camera operator asks if you think the 7-11 down the street has flashlights.


Your character breakdown is: A bitch that dies.


You’re at the director’s apartment sitting in front of a stiff pour of Jack Daniels and discussing the script when he tells you how much you remind him of Jodie Foster. On your way to the bathroom, you discover his Jodie Foster “room.”


You’re running around Griffith Park barefoot wearing a bed sheet and dumping fake blood on a man in his boxers.


The director folds your headshot into fours and puts it into his back pocket.



Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm In Love With You

I'm in love with you.
That's what I'm trying to say
when I say 
your girlfriend has a horse face.

Lonely Woman Transcribes Things She Hears A Lonelier Woman Say To Her Pomeranians

Get out here! You want to go for a walk? You want to or not?


Don’t you dare pee there! Bad doggie!!! You’re not…you’re not….you’re not paying attention to your mom!


Mama says you’ve been a bad boy. Come on, Honey. We’ve got stuff to do out here.


Where are my fucking papers. I can’t fucking find anything. I HATE MY LIFE!!!


C’mon Sadie, Isis, Elmo; let’s get this over with.


You wanna spank? Mamma’s gonna spank her little girl. No barksies!


Holy cow! I gotta open all those packages….see what I ordered. Usual thing -- I get all the presents, give ‘em away. Nobody gets me anything. Wow. C’mon, get in here, Sadie.


Sadie, quit! Someone’s going to end up with a big spanking. You know that, big boy? C’mon, let’s gosies.


Don’t stop at that corner cause I told you before, you’re going to get hurt. Fucking damn fool!





Sunday, July 5, 2009

An Aviophobe’s Flight Manual


Place right palm on fuselage when stepping off Jetway and into the cabin.


Make certain to get an aisle seat in the back of the plane and memorize how many rows you are in either direction from an emergency exit.


Look around and consider whether your fellow passengers seem like people who would die in a plane crash.


Admit that anyone can die in a plane crash.


Begin drawing circles on you chest with your index finger when the plane’s engines rev for takeoff.


Continue making circles on chest as plane speeds down runway and add silent chants -- either “I’m not done, I’m not done, I’m not done…” or “I’ve got more things to do, I’ve got more things to do, I’ve got more things to do…”


Stop chants and circles when plane clears runway and ask yourself real quick if you are okay with your own death. Try to give an instinctual response, not an intellectual one, and try not to judge that response.


When the wing slats retract, look out closest window and mutter “Whatever happens happens.”


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Funerals For Dummies

Do you have the ashes? 
Yes...No! I grabbed...wait, which Whole Foods bag are they in? 
Hold on, this is the wrong one.
Okay, here she is. Oh, here she is.......

A Stellars Jay lands on a bush, a car honks
Everyone goes to the bird feeder, so does the Stellars Jay

Is the camera on?
Yes, of course! He says irritated.
Well, it looks like you might have a branch in your way. 
She says slowly.

I don't! He says, having been married to her for 40 years. 
There is a branch.

She puts her hands inside and feels the small plastic bag.
Undoes the twist tie. Looks at the ground beneath the feeder. 
Her mother had laid her in her arms, took her to the doctor everyday to see if it was polio and if it would go away,
braided her hair. Here was: birdseed, cracked mud,
and was that dog poop five feet away?

She loved birds. Remember how much she loved birds?

She puts her hands into... ground up shells? 
She brings it up to her face. 
He has the lens cap on.

Hold on a sec...Okay, whoops. He frowns at the camera.

What do you mean "Whoops"?! This is my Mother!! Oh Gawd.......

Well, hold on, Jeez. I'm sorry, damnit!  
How do you turn this thing on?

She loved birds. Remember how much she loved birds?

What do you mean you "How do you turn it on!!!"

Okay, got it! Ready?

What!....On three?!

The bird has left the feeder. A feather fell off on it's way to the bush, but nothing else too bad happened.

One. Two. Three. They finally both say, mad and sad and a little loud.
Grey dust flies in the air. She remembers a picture of her 
as a toddler in Germany in tall boots you had to lace with hook.

She looks down at the dry ground below the feeder, where all 
the birds she had loved so much all her life fed from, 
and the dust seemed to have disappeared. 
Maybe some was on her lip.

Then her husband, unwittingly starting the next stage of their lives, 
said: Wait a sec, why is this flashing?
She, feeling abandoned (in so many ways!!) suggested calling the kids. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Worst and Best Places and Times to Realize You Stepped in Dog Poop:

Worst: Right as you bend down to unlace your boot and put it in the bin to go through airport security and are tightly flanked by people on all sides.

Best: When you wish you had shoes to match your dog poop shirt.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


If you laid out a scale model of our Solar System so that it fit onto the Center Court at Wimbledon, with the Sun at one end and Pluto at the other, you need to find something else to do with yourself. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mortuary People, a Romance

They come into your house in business suits at 2:14 am. 
Of course you don't want to trust them,
or believe any of it. 
They glance around real quick at the living
to see if any of them are good looking.
Then they explain what the options are
for the dead. 
You look at the tile on the kitchen floor 
and try to figure out how many total squares there are.
When they walk into the back room,
you go sit in a chair and pull the draw stings
of your hoodie real tight around your face
and stare at the "Field Guide to the Birds Of North America."
When you hear them unfolding something metal,
you start writing down everything you know.
You picture them taking off the dead's
shoes and putting them down carefully on the floor
like rose petals for a bath--it's all part 
of their repertoire for romancing people to death.
You picture the toes of the shoes pointing toward 
each other.
Then, you hear them pull a zipper, 
and you concentrate real hard on those shoes. 
The left one says Now what?
The right one says I guess we don't have to go on those hikes anymore.
The left one says I guess it just comes down to this.
In unison they say Just us shoes.
You remember every time you said you didn't have time 
for a hike.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Missed Connections

Where are you? 
It's me, your stalker. I can't reach you
with my words or by throwing bark chips
at your window. Need to connect with you!
I've tried watching you in a different light,
but the bushes always seem to be in the way.
You looked so pretty doing your laundry 
and dropping that DVD into the mailbox. 
God, it's going to be hard to commit suicide
outside your house when I used to be able 
to do it inside.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Missed Connections

Always: Brown hair and eyes and lies,
told me you never wanted to be with me
that way. Actually, you said it looking
into my eyes at Lake Tahoe, after we 
both agreed we understood why people
wanted to keep it blue. I guess we only
agreed on one thing. But, still, love for
you grew stupidly in me like a tree
planted in a temporary pot. I'm the dumb
housewife who didn't know you needed 
space to get roots to get something at all.
You just looked so good in my door, 
I didn't have that kind of time.
And when you came back around,
I've pictured our wedding. I've pictured
how you'll yell at me when we're old,
a new branch launched green forgiving
into my gut. Every new geometry of living
with you flowering with your slight touch:
Pulling me back from traffic.
Demonstrating on my shoulder 
how she touches you in public.
You hate it. You brush an eyelash
off my cheek.