I miss you, Tumblr.
I want to wish everyone a most wonderful Thanksgiving! Upon reflecting on what I’m thankful for, I realized that I have a whopping list that could fill the pages of a novel (as per usual) and I am so grateful just for the sheer magnitude of how many good things I have been blessed with in my life. I will name a few: the scrumptious spaghetti my mom made last night and the delicious meal I anticipate eating and re-eating today; my unswerving-ly supportive family, who is always rooting for me even when I’m far from achieving perfection and providing for me beyond what I deserve or even ask for; my parents especially who work tirelessly to make sure my siblings and I are happy; my friends: the new ones from school who are exceedingly kind to me even though I don’t always find time in my scholastically-engrossed schedule to hang out; and the friends from home who always embrace me with undiminished fellowship when I return, making it feel as though I never left. I’m grateful to all the people who have unknowingly helped shaped me to be what I am today but are perhaps no longer actively in my life: including old amigos, teachers in high school and elementary school, and authors of books that inspired me deeply. I’m so immensely lucky to have the opportunity to be educated in a place where I feel so welcome and I am challenged as well as validated. I especially appreciate the way my education has opened my eyes to some realities I wasn’t previously aware of, which aren’t always comfortable to recognize because they shatter certain illusions- but I feel lucky to get to feel my mind expanding with the introduction of new facts into my schema. I’m thankful for my wonderful job, which is extremely rewarding and is populated by the coolest co-workers and administrators. I’m so lucky to have transportation- thank you mommy for letting me borrow the car- as well as other material things that help me navigate this life (especially this beautiful house that my dad built), but are certainly not at the core of it. I’m so thankful for my wonderful pets- especially Toby, Meezer, Xango, Spike, and Gene- my lovebug boys. I’m immensely grateful for all of the support I’ve been given for my creative writing- on Facebook and Tumblr and in the classroom. That means a great deal to me. I feel so blessed to have someone in my life who dedicates time and effort to take care of me- and does so in a profoundly amazing way, bringing me immense joy and deep contentedness- thank you Joseph for being the hilarious, brilliant, and loving (and endlessly deserving of positive adjectives) person that you are- and for accepting and loving me back in a way that makes my every step feel lighter than gravity would normally allow. And thank you to his family who are always so insanely generously kind to me! I am grateful for the freedoms I have- especially the ones that allow me to roam nature and be awe-stricken in its beauty, which revives my soul each and every time. I’m grateful for changes made in the country- like allowing gay marriage- and for the fact that I have the freedom to lobby for others that are far from being realized. I’m grateful for the chance to be home and be with my family. And I’m immensely thankful for anyone who took the time to read this! Have a most splendid day everyone!
Driving home in the rain was quite frightening today; I very stubbornly stayed under 60 mph and caused a great deal of road rage with my turtle-like progress. Several times, I got washed over with spray from eighteen wheelers barreling by as well as all the other speeding passerbys and the entire time I was straining to see. I wished I was driving in a secret underground tunnel lined with fleece, mattress pads, cotton candy or something that made me feel more safe. It took me a half an hour longer than the GPS originally predicted, but it was worth it to get home without any sort of serious complications besides some precipitation. It comforts me to think that the same falling drops that were soaking me through with anxious were going to pool into puddles and slake the thirst of animals who have not yet packed up for hibernation’s winter-long hide and seek game. And I was motivated to keep pushing by the reward of getting to see my family I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving tomorrow
“Just say no”
first graced my eyes
with its phrasal elegance
at the age of eight;
it was the cerulean-suited policeman’s
chant in leading the D.A.R.E.
program to protest against something
evil he called “drugs”;
and not the kind in the waxy, almost
see-through but not quite translucent bags
they hand out at the pharmacy.
Drugs, he told us,
that make you sick instead of better.
I felt my head tilt with the
weight of swift footed confusion,
darting here and there in my still
The more videos I watched through
the protection of my jail-cell fingers
the heavier the word felt;
the more taboo the pronunciation tasted
on my tongue: forbidden
to be breathed into articulation,
especially in the cheery classroom
with the boarder of grinning letters
personified that paraded around
the topmost face of the wall.
Look at “H”s big innocent eyes;
someone cover his soft, bunny
rabbit ears; this is too much,
too soon for him.
We were dared not to try
"drugs" by the very embodiment
of tautly uniformed authority.
It seemed a simple enough
request to me and my glitter-infused Sketchers-
1 syllable in exchange for a life free of legal
repercussions: like the concernedly stern brow
of this ambiguously threatening man,
whose individually spiked hair boasted
threat level porcupine
pockmark making abilities.
So I wrote it with loops of Evening Plum lipstick
I found in mama’s top drawer after she had just said
"no"; the small word fit nicely on my two slaps
of Swedish fish pucker-ers.
And through the fog of some unarrived realization,
I decided I’d try it out now and then,
and maybe if I used it right, it could taste
as sweet as a strategically placed yes.
I’ve always chuckled about how resolute
daddy’s lips are when he forms the word,
two letters that slam together, like
most violent kiss of the door frame
and the close-ward swinging gate itself.
“NO” erupts from his volcano venting
mouth, into the phone, and slides
through the auditory canal of someone
who I can only assume
and hope is a telemarketer.
(I think our culture accepts that these
unwelcomed beckoners are the only
beasts that merit such an unabashedly
rude telephone performance).
He says “hello,
how are you,
what are you selling?
in that one spittle-propelled syllable.
And then his hand does
a synchronized swimming routine
with the long-time companion of gravity;
together they sail through the
I ask, “who was it?”
just so that he can spill out
the contents of his temporarily inflamed
anger, collected like too-heavy coins
weighing heavily in his holey pocket.
I wondered from behind the guise
of sleep sealed eyelids,
couldn’t he utter that same
of carefully crafted rejection
when his weathered
ears are beckoned by that
nightly knocking from
inside of the frigid fridge?
Why is it always “yes”
encrusted beneath the fingernails
that exchange a hard day’s work
for a swig of intoxication that makes
his singing voice sound a little more
in tune with the crooning
of the Counting Crows;
but also makes it resonate
more boomingly than his ears
can hear- they’re too much
filled with “yes”; or maybe it’s more
like “I guess” or “I surrender”.
These are words made not
with the careful craftsmanship of
the tongue, but instead are birthed
sporadically in the outstretching
of digits. But not just any digits;
fingers that harbor some untamed-
hunger; or thirst.
No one has ever beat my daddy
at anything before this; he’s thee
smartest, thee bravest, the most reasonable.
But I’ve seen him discard the same
New Year’s resolution year after wilting year
and it breaks something in me every time
to see that crumpled sliver of hope face up
on banana peel row- that reads
“I will stop the madness”.
No, maybe not this time around;
and around and around and around.
Amid the bustling halls of university,
ripe with lab-coat-less experimenters
trying on a different chemical equations
every night and closeting away the favorites
in the enclosures of their organs,
I flinch at the phrase “Thirsty Thursday”.
I know someone back home is plagued
by Thirsty Monday,
I Need It Wednesday,
Just for One More Night Thursday,
It’s the Weekend Friday,
Hush, You Thoughts Saturday,
and I’m Lost Sunday.
Hello, I’m the only alcohol-phobic
twenty-something year old
in the history of
alcohol and twenty something year olds.
But with good reason; or at least
some flecks of poetic justice mixed
into my goosebumpy skin.
And so I practice saying no for him.
Every time I make the sound,
with a little more politeness
printed neatly on my tongue
than he uses receiving and rejecting
a call from an over-the-wire
salesman, I walk the tightrope of
n and o unraveled into twine,
navigating the vibrations of heads
tilted with slanting questions marks
after the inquiry of
“you don’t drink???????”.
No, I drink; just not alcohol.
I’m predisposed to like it more
than I would like to like it.
So no thank you,
but thank you for asking.
I wish I could say it in his place;
I’d spare no postage expense and
send my every “no” into the caverns
of his mouth, with a little canary to
make sure it kept singing out that same
tune each and every time.
But I know that is a word he has to make
for himself or else it is an empty promise
to the world of no.
And that is simply not allowed.
But I’m always going to be proud
of him for trying to wrestle with
that bucking bronco of a yes, YOU WILL.
And even though I might have
“yes, please” etched into my cellular blueprint,
the fear-shaken re-write reads
“no thank you”.
"What a cache of carcasses, this battered slab-
this strand, a grotto for flotsam or jetsam
ebbed and jettisoned by the sea. Here,
even the most lackadaisical of looters
can exhume a grainy death graying with salt
and a creed the neap tides know by rote: custom
is lunar, slips by like an unstrung bead
of sand, more grit than golden, no matter the angle
of light. What the shore lacks in luster
it amends in shrine-a reliquary for the elusive
nautilus and the more stock amulets alike,
oyster and cockleshell, the ghost-crab’s claw.
Luggers of buckets may unearth a treasure here.
But the sea is no strongbox full of lockets;
its remembrances are pretty and gentle
as the wake of a wrecking ball. Breakers billow,
bellow wrack in tones like finely sifted thunder.
Who could abide to beggar a presence
with this? Safer to fathom an icon,
give it sanctuary from the depths
as a mantelpiece or paperweight;
safer to seek refuge with a sprinkling of blood-
worms, a sprig of rotten kelp: a collection
to quell the currents’ quaking in the body,….