You don’t move
you red distorted blob
and I with my manuscript
don’t either.
Hard to say which of us
is more alive
in mind, body and soul,
I in my air, or you
looking through the glass
at the distorted, motionless
blob with the pen.
Only I could figure it into
a competition
or imagine this poem
might be better in French.
You water-laugh
no doubt
at my arrogance,
just because I feed you,
let alone scribble poems,
doesn’t mean
I deserve to win.

Boys in Packs

A perk of writing from home is being here when my son comes home from half-days of school with his high school friends.  I’m usually in the other room, out of the fray, but I like to pop into the kitchen to say “Hi!”  It’s not a bad idea to know who is in my house.

I can’t help noticing certain things about teenage boys in packs:

They tend buy provisions on the way over in case the house is short on key foodstuffs: grape pop, root beer,… Continue reading

The Shelves Paradox

Why do I have more books than can fit on my shelves?  If I want to locate Fahrenheit 451, (which surely I must own), after I look through the main shelves in our library and living room, I also have to check the shelf in my upstairs office, the shelves in my son’s and daughter’s rooms, another bookshelf and three more boxes in the attic, and one box in the basement.  Then I check my Kindle, too.

This is not a system.  This is a happy meandering… Continue reading

Prized Black Rice Soup

Readers tell me that Birthmarked makes them hungry.  They read about dark, crusty bread right out of the oven and their tastebuds swoon.  Unlike Harris’s Chocolat, that richly seductive book that makes me crave sweetness, (not to mention the even more troublesome movie version with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, (whose name, once you’ve become dessert-minded, invokes “ganache”)), my books tend towards the hardy and wholesome food groups: breads, soups, blueberries, and an orange.  An exception is the mycoprotein, provided as sustenance to people living outside… Continue reading

Window Gazing, NYC

She isn’t a mermaid, but she’s surrounded by enormous, silent fish made of blue and green glass, and her space behind the window could as easily be filled with ocean as with air.  I like how the window displays of Bergdorf Goodman are simply not possible.  How can a zebra be constructed of paper, or a polar bear consist of silk fringes?  How can a powerful, confident girl fly in the sea?

I love that otherworldly views are given to us unexpectedly, without explanation.  They do… Continue reading


Scary Dog

Honestly, I’m scared of them.  Just when I think I’m over it, one of them bites my daughter’s thumb or knocks down my ninety-year-old neighbor.  I get, rationally, that most dogs are harmless, and I’m happy to pet the calm ones I know, but that still doesn’t make me less fearful of big, jumping, lunging dogs.  I feel so helpless around unfamiliar dogs, and so confused that their owners don’t control them better.  They let their dogs come right towards me with their panting… Continue reading