Things Not to Say to a Naked Woman

Men’s Health magazine published a list of “The 30 Hottest Things to Say to a Naked Woman.” Advice for men, from men, about women is awesomely hilarious. And while a woman (say myself) could easily publish a similar-minded list of things I actually want to hear while in the buff, it’s too priceless to watch men fumble looking for the right buttons like it’s some kind of Narnia.

I’m sorry, Fine Writers of Men’s Health magazine, I have to put the kibosh on the following:

#10. “I’ll get the light.”

What have most men learned from men’s magazines? Don’t say anything that can be misconstrued because it will. You’ll turn out the light? Why? Because you don’t want to see me naked? Why not?? Am I not beautiful?! Am I FAT?? DO YOU NOT LOVE ME ANYMORE?! etc.

#8 "Hungry? Stay right here. I'll go make you a burrito."

If she’s naked, and she’s hungry, you probably just got lucky. And if you think there might be a round two in the anywhere near future, may I recommend NOT the burrito? I personally prefer ice cream, or if you really want to impress me- grilled cheese. And, babe, turn on VH1 when you get up? Thanks.

#15 Nothing. Total, deliberate silence. You can stare at her, grab her, touch her, but don't make a sound. If she tries to talk, place a finger on her lips.


While looking out the window at people not currently in bed with her: "Suckers."

…because we’re like 14 in this scenario.

17 While looking at moonlight reflecting on the ceiling: "What do you see?"

Grilled cheese and Real Chance of Love re-runs. chop chop.

#22 "Squeeze my hand when it feels really amazing."

Uh yeah, sure, dude.

The rest of the items on the list range from holy hell hot (“I love the way you taste”) to sweet (“Is it okay with you if I take this slow?”) to the yeah-that’ll-never-happen (“You sleep. I’ll go check on the baby.”)



I haven’t been home for this extended a time (7 days) in four years. I wish I had brought my camera to capture the things that used to be so ordinary that I forgot to notice them:

Two tuna cans and a Spam can full of cigarette butts on the rail of our porch- sorta covered in snow. A gargoyle on the stump in our back yard- also sorta covered in snow. One hundred and eighty four individual instances of lighthouses- on hand towels, on shower curtain rings, on paintings. An encyclopedia series from the sixties where all the facts are outdated because our population has bloated and because the lines of countries shift. Judy Garland overdosed.

A lopsided Christmas tree, each branch holding something from somewhere else- Cape Cod, Maine, Tokyo, the Paris of the South. There are three ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornaments. And a disco ball I bought in Mystic, RI and a sock puppet from… can’t remember. Jackson Five Christmas songs are playing in the background and somewhere my dad is feeling sentimental.

A gem-bedazzled pimp cup that says Sexy Bitch, and a sweatshirt for every day of the month. A rack of still-knotted blue, gray and green ties because my dad doesn’t know how to re-tie them. There’s a varsity jacket from ’61. A cheerleading skirt from ’00. Two empty dressers. A trunk of awards and pictures, movie stubs and love letters. Four identical toothbrushes (though two are hardly ever used)

A carton of soy milk untouched from Thanksgiving, seven varieties of Pop Tarts, an almost empty tub of cookie dough that has never seen the oven. Lean Pockets.

The closet under the stairs that smells exactly like the attic. A TV remote whose battery is failing but if you push the buttons really hard…


Ugh Season

Fashionably-speaking, fall has to be one of my favorite seasons. Though for some females, it is a time of confusion, resistance, and desperation. The not-so-elusive loose-dressing female is forced from the comforts of bikini and short short, and into something a little less revealing. Travesty.

The cold season boon for these females has been the unfortunate rise of the Ugg. Some words sound like the thing they describe- not quite like onomatopoeia- but say ‘clap’ aloud. Sounds like a clap, right? Now say ‘ugg’- it is a befitting name for the Neanderthal of footwear.

Oh, but they’re soooo warm, they tell me. So comfy, I am told. I want nothing more than to clothe the skimpily clad, and I’m all for warm when it’s cold, but it is the manner in which this primitive footwear is deployed that makes me shake my head. Here I would like to take a moment to communicate the appropriate and inappropriate utilization of the Ugg boot.

NO: The Slutty Snow Bunny
Jean skirts are an anomaly in themselves, but paired with Uggs, you get a slut-tastic outfit. The whole argument of oh so warm goes right out the window. Like other comfy articles of clothing- granny panties, thick high socks, sports bras- they should be hidden from public viewing. So why would you put your painfully hideous boots on display? This trend is not mitigated by the use of leggings (which should never, ever be used as a sole replacement for pants).

NO: The Viking
Sweatpants are for indoor use, or during fat-days exclusively. Some may argue with me, but I wholeheartedly believe that taking an extra minute to put on real pants and to brush your hair will project the message “I prefer not to look like a slob.” That said, pairing sweatpants (and god forbid, a sweatshirt too) with Uggs, screams “I want to look like a tank, even if I weigh 80 pounds.” This is the white flag surrender of self-appearance. You are not even trying.

Back to the not-so-elusive loose-female. Somehow this combination, usually with a stylish top and a full face of makeup, is an assuming next step from the simple skimpiness of summer. I’m not sure of the logic either, but I know you know what I’m talking about.

DOUBLE NO: The Gaucho
“The Viking” trend takes a far dip south when said sweatpants are hiked up to the knee leaving about six inches of exposed leg. This is a what-the-fuck on so many levels, and I refuse to address why this makes you look like a time-traveling hobo.

OK: The Completely Sensible Answer to Cold
Wearing warm shoes on snowy days is not an option; it is necessity. If they can be high, waterproof and faux-fur lined, the better. Paired with jeans, Uggs can be one of the greatest contributions to modern comfortable footwear, but the heinous misuse of these boots make even the most sensible women feel like an asshole. Thanks.

Just slipping my foot into an Ugg propels me to stuff my bra, apply liberal amounts of lip gloss and practice promiscuity.

OK: The Mugg
Uggs for men are so much more acceptable because they are a physical manifestation of those who sport them: a simple, function-driven solution to cold feet. Men would never wear Uggs with shorts, and if they do, it’d be okay because it means he’s probably on his way to take out the trash.

Author’s Note: Not all women who wear Uggs are sluts (but there’s probably a good chance).


An Open Letter

I took a book off the shelf. It’s a book that was intimately tied to a specific time, and a specific place. But we can forget that. I can even disregard the inscription on the inside cover. I mean, who reads the inside covers of books they already own and have read? I flip to my favorite chapter, the one that I have the first lines memorized:

Bring your ear down closer. Put your hand over the other ear. Think of seashells. There. Now you can hear me.

A photo falls of us, kissing in a photobooth. I studied each slide and how we looked, where your hands were, where mine were. We were younger then and it even looks it. Our brows were less knitted, our smiles much wider. I was wearing someone else’s dress. You were wearing someone else’s shoes. And nothing, not even the clothes on our backs, belonged to us. Not really anyway.

Did we dance that night? I can’t remember. With whom did we mingle? I forget all their names. I remember looking at a dodo bird. Not a real one, of course, because those are all extinct- dwindled off by their own stubbornness to reproduce for the survival of their own species. I remember penguin servers with trays of hors d’oeuvres. I remember your eyes when I took off my coat.

How did it come to this? My present arachnid state. I was young once, I was beautiful, I was sought after, I had picturesque robes and exceptional talents. I uttered portents in caves: there were lineups, there were waiting lists for them. How did I come to be so tiny, so translucent, so wispy, so whispery?

For all the times I’ve hid treasures in borrowed library books for others to find- train stubs, unsent postcards, little doodles in the margins- I never surmised that I would find my own. All at once, I am regretful, I am proud, I am rendered helpless, I am better off, I am missing, and I find myself, crying- for what I’m not sure.

Fear is synonymous with the future, and the future consists of forked roads, I should say forking roads, because the roads are forking all the time, like slow lightening. A road is a process, not a location.

I feel as if I’ve missed an exit, for the rest stop. A place where we can sip coffee slowly, and find relief when we’re bursting at the seams. And like most interstates, expressways, turnpikes, the further away from the missed exit, the harder it is to turn around. The less justified you feel. The further you travel, the more you hope there’s another comparable stop in the future, one that you surely will not miss, not this time. One that has a café that serves soy chai lattes, at the right temperature.

Regret will follow this open letter, a hurried mistake for which I will burn my tongue, but perhaps I’ll learn to wait. Or I’ll learn to keep my foot heavy on the pedal. Or perhaps I’ll learn nothing and instead always wonder. But for now you are a photograph, and a story whose lines I’ve memorized. We promised always.

We are both the kind of person who takes the corks out of bottles. Not bottles of wine: bottles of sand.


Autumn in New England

Friday October 17, 2008
7:56amEating biscuits, grits and eggs (over easy) in an unnamed restaurant chain fashioned after a country general store. As I spoon the last of my grits into my mouth, each piece conveniently finding a wedge between my teeth, I look up at the mounted deer head on the wall and below it, also mounted, the shotgun that presumably killed it. I wash it all down with some coffee. I think there was bacon in that hash casserole…

11:10am - Point Judith-Montauk Point Ferry to Block IslandMy brother and father are arguing over a dentist appointment. Dad reaches for cigarette, before he realizes there’s one already fuming between his lips.

I watch Montauk fade and think, I would have waited forever. I give up on coincidence and have another cup of coffee.

2:13pm - Mohegan Bluffs
Flashback to family vacation, same place, 13 years ago: Climbing the 80+ rickety stairs down the cliff seems less daunting. It’s either because my legs are longer, stronger; because I am braver and more adventurous; or maybe because, according to Daddy, they’ve been rebuilt.

When I was 8 and my brother was 6, we sat in the same place, near the water’s edge, in our matching Navy sweatshirts, picking snails off the rocks. It was especially gratifying for Justin when he was able to throw a snail and have it bounce off another rock. Personally, I thought I was saving them- returning them to the sea, to their homes and families. It wasn’t their fault that their undersides were sticky. My dad watches us atop a large rock, contemplative.

Now, my brother throws fist-sized rocks at larger rocks. It’s particularly gratifying when they burst into pieces. My sister is giving herself an oceanic Facebook photoshoot. I’m balancing rocks atop each other to make “fuckin hippie sculptures.” My dad watches from atop a rock, contemplative. His beard’s a little grayer.

I feel this is a good representation of my family.

5:00pm – BeachHead Tavern and Restaurant
Jen: I haven’t seen any cops here.
[Immediately I flashback to RA training, city tours. Of course I have noticed that there are not many cops. I’ve completed a sociogram of the hotel staff and shop owners we’ve met, I’ve proactively met my neighbors and I’ve done a demographic scan of my environment]

Daddy: There’s probably only one or two. Not a lot of people here in the off season. Fire department’s all volunteer.

Justin: What happens if that one guy gets shot? Probably just get another from the mainland. Oh man, that guy’s prob so pissed. ‘fuck, Block Island duty’

The gulp of Dogfish Indian Brown Ale I just took is fully expelled through my nose, into my hand. After realizing that our plates have been taken away, I let said expelled beer splatter on the table, absorbed by the paper placemat. I would have been embarrassed if we all weren’t laughing so hard and if my nose didn’t burn so bad.

8:30pm: The National Hotel, Water Street, with an ocean viewWe all shamelessly go to bed and immediately fall asleep. There’s a big orange man made of cheese outside our window, but the wind blows cotton over his face to make a fluffy beard.

In 13 years I’ll be back here with my children.


“Give me liberty” -or- “Give me death"

My ancestors lassoed a velociraptor
In funky wooly mammoth sweaters

In sweaters we don’t need right now
Because God, with a capital ‘G’
Is giving us an extra big hug
With just a little more smog

We walk streets glittering with the American Dream
-or- shards of last night’s Colt 45
(guess we forgot to recycle)

Passing beggars who don’t want your coins
They want

Can we?

Because I’m not so sure.

When we rear our own ugly heads
When someone else looks into our eyes
To see into our souls,

What will they see?

g-stringed pandemics when we can’t get food on our tables

slur gunslingers in cities supposedly built on brotherly love

where killing a man, makes you more of one
but where loving a man, makes you less

Turning our noses up when we peep into our neighbor’s windows
Coveting their mail order wives
We should ask what they see, just past our patchwork curtains

We have lost boys in our own backyard

We have men that beat their wives in the room down the hall

We build bombs in our own basements

But I’m not saying that we’re wrong
Or that we’re right

but “we are”
-or- “we can”


Grandma Voicemail

gooThis is an actual message left today by my grandmother at 2:37pm. I’m pretty sure she’s on drugs.

Heyaaaa kiddo!
I see you called me the other day and we weren’t home. You didn’t leave a message. I saw your number on the caller …ID. How you doing? Gooood. We’re ok too. Hahah


I’m cooking clams now. The guy across the street gave me five dozen clams. Sixty clams. Now I gotta figure out what to do with all these clams. It’s too bad you’re not here to help me. I think I’m gunna-steam’em. I’m just jibber jabbering.

[background: Joanie! Where’s Jake’s leash?!]

Oooh my.

I’m reading that book you’re reading now, the president one. We can read it together. So much dirty sexy though. Slut, she is [note the Yoda-like syntax] tramping around with that boy’s brother.

[something metal drops]

I love you hunny, take care! Call me!



Amid the dark procession, hands clasped, my sister and I sat in the second pew. We wore our family’s heirloom pearls and jewels. As the oldest daughter, I wore my great grandmother’s modest engagement ring, “I will love you forever” engraved inside. The parishioners all turned to watch the most able men bear the palls, my father among them, the only one without a jacket, without cufflinks, in a tie that’s hasn’t been untied in 13 years. A man who had bore Life on his shoulders now struggled to pick up the Dead.

It seemed ironic.

There had been an ungraceful gospel, a halting homily. Standing, sitting, standing, kneeling. The pew creaked under the weight of my cousin Cindy, the adopted one, the one who had half her foot amputated. Green won’t take over us though, because we don’t really share blood.

I very much did not want to receive communion, but in the midst of your elders is not the place to dissent. I looked at my grandmother, all puffy and red-eyed, I rolled the diamond ring around my ring finger, and walked up anyway. Is it your left hand under your right hand or the other way around? I skipped the wine altogether. More irony. Reformed to an eight year old, I challenged myself to not chew the Eucharist, to taste but not swallow- in the Christian tradition.

Mass used to be tangible, used to make me holy by the transitive property, but all this education makes it so abstract. My body, his body. His blood, our blood, my veins. Your sins, my sins, Eve’s sins, my unborn child’s sin.

The stained glass window depicted the coil-haired Angel Gabriel delivering the news of child to the Virgin Mary.

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.”

All around the glassy Gabriel and Mary were eleven cherub faces, with wings sprouting from their ears. Missing unknit masses.

We oldest daughters were tucked under our father’s arms. Our younger sisters were tucked under ours. And our brothers sat solemn and strong, as if to prove their shoulders broad enough already to bear life under our father’s roofs and under our family’s name.

As a good Christian family we rose and prayed- the Blomquists, the Murrens, the Barkleys-nee-Barcowski’s together, bonded by deviled eggs, Easter eggs and not infrequently infertile eggs. I wondered what I would do when my own mother dies, if in that church I could smell flowers, of peach roses she’s so fond of.

I thought about the children I would knit in my womb, and the tiny booties I would knit for their knitted feet. I thought about my grandchildren who would come home to attend the funerals of aunts they barely knew. I touched my abdomen and felt the pains of knitting needles, I heard them clinking out the seconds.

I can’t say I much believe in faith, but I paid two dollars to light a little red candle- palm to palm and on my knees.



You look beautiful in the morning. It always seems to happen that I’m awake just before, early enough to watch your limbs stir to life; to hear your vocal cords vibrate and groan, your knee and neck joints click; to smell the sleep still on your breath, escaping from a mouth like a fruit ripe enough to split; to see your lashes shutter open, to see your lens focus and shoot from the safety of a comforter shelter. You look beautiful in the morning, all the night’s façade streaked clean from your cheeks so that I can see your skin underneath. There are freckles only in the morning. I love the way your hair falls around your face unlacquered, wild and untamed. I love that I smell only you and not the things you wear.

You roll and stretch towards me. The sheets are unable to obscure the dip of your waist and the climb of your hips, wider than mine. Your browned shoulders are freckled too. There’s a scar on your right blade though I think you forget that it’s there. Skin pulled taut over your accented collar, like an emphasis in a language foreign, above a protruding bust that’s always warm. Two round breasts that know the calluses of my hands, that know the friction of my cheeks. Your form is more solid and more concrete than anything I have known. It is there and not all at once. I acknowledge you and I acknowledge what you are and where you are not.

We don’t say anything in the morning- just watch each other break into consciousness, break into the knowingness that our lives are fleeting and complex, that there is a parade of circumstance and we must march onward in step else risk tripping and scraping our knees, figuratively. I don’t care to sleep with you. I don’t care if you are there when I fall asleep or that you meet me in a dream-state Cairo. I care only that you open your eyes when I open mine.


Post Date Assessment: Copenhagen

Let’s review. He’s:
Tall, handsome, well-mannered and well-traveled, intelligent, established, educated and employed, accented and artistic

We met for coffee and found a bench at Rittenhouse, close enough to hear the Rastafarian music, but not close enough to smell it. We talked about dogs and the powerfulness of the Constitution (which he could passionately quote). About the Mediterranean (where he studied) and literary classics. He goes to church every Sunday and volunteers helping the homeless. He paints on the weekend and isn’t shy to sing a verse of a song I’ve never heard. He even forgave me for my Copenhagen Lie.

He suggested I go to church with him sometime, that he teach me to paint, to speak a little Norwegian. Upon hearing that my parents are still relatively young, he said that I would have to start soon to keep up. Yes, he suggested that I start a family soon. And talked about the importance of commitment in a relationship.


And yet I am so dissatisfied, because I am not disappointed. I dread that he might call again, and ask for more, for dinner at least.

This dating deal is like groping the bathroom cabinet above the sink looking for Dimetapp.

You drink it down because it’s supposedly good for you, because it’ll cure your malaise and make you feel better. But before you even bring the little plastic cup to your lips, you know it’ll throw your stomach into knots. It’ll make your body cower and stomach churn. It’ll feel…medicinal. But you do it, because they tell you that it’s good for you.

You do it because you’re hoping that you’re feeling a just a little cold.


Copenhagen, Sweden

Finals week is upon me, and of all the things I would like to be on me, this is the least preferable option. I woke up late Monday, and enjoyed the holiday from the 12th floor lounge in my pajamas. There I worked a feverish four hours of final-paper-writing. And to applaud my commitment to academia and my own personal integrity, I took the rest of the afternoon off, and spent it reading in Rittenhouse.

I wasn’t even there for a hot minute before a godly-looking man came up to me and asked me my opinion on his painting. I don’t think I even really looked at his painting because this man was fucking beautiful. A perfect smile, blue-eyed and light haired, which is totally not my bag, but I want it like Fendi.

(I don’t own a Fendi. I don’t have a bag in my possession that cost more than $15, but it sounded good so I’m rolling with it… like Mercedes)

I said that the lighter leaves painted in the background make him look almost glorious, that the details, though obviously difficult, were beautifully executed. I thought this was a very astute observation until he said:
“Well, it’s a woman”


“The statue. It’s a woman”

“Oh. So it is”

He tells me about the sculptor and we bullshit a little. I deduce that he’s Norwegian, which would explain his sexamaholic accent and he works for some Norwegian firm here (read: employed). And I say, “Oh Norwegian. My family is Swedish.” This is 25% true.

And he remarks how beautiful Sweden is and I say, “Oh, I know.”
This is about 50% true. I don’t really know what Sweden looks like, but 25% of my people came from there so it must be okay.

“I just got back from there”
THIS IS A COMPLETE LIE: 0% true. I don’t even know why I said such a thing. I was so mesmerized by this European-ness that I wasn’t thinking at all. The fitted shirt, the peeking chest hair, his canvas slip-ons. To boot, I think I started imitating his accent.

“That’s fantastic! Where did you go?”

And then I realize that I don’t even know the capital of Sweden, nor can I think of a single city, because I’ve never been there. Ever.

“Uh, Copenhagen”

“… That’s in Denmark”

“Yeeaaah, but that’s where we flew into and then we drove”

“To Sweden.”

“Yep. Swedish… countryside”

“I love the Swedish countryside!”

At this point, I’m mortified, but three kids on a skateboard roll into our legs, cleverly distracting him from my floundering. Looking back, I think this was an omen that I would have lots of babies with a successful handsome Scandanavian man, just like Daddy wanted. Besides, I’ve dated musicians and poets and those didn’t work out so well, and certainly no one’s ever painted me a picture.

He gave me his number and name, Arne (pronounced Ar-nay) and we parted ways. And he said something to me in Swedish, but I didn’t understand because, again, I’ve never been to Sweden.

When I got home, I consulted a map and it turns out that Sweden has lots of cities, including its capital Stockholm, and it’s right next to Norway, where he’s from. Also there’s a big fucking ocean between Copenhagen, Denmark (which is on an island) and Sweden.

A big fucking ocean you can’t drive on.


Chapter Three: Burma Hot Dog

On a sliding scale of bitterness, I would say I’m around brussel sprouts sans butter, which is actually not that bad for a Sunday. My grandmother called to tell me all about what she had for dinner with Jack and Jane, and Lew and Lynn; about her rheumatoid arthritis; that persistent bruise; about the creaking in her hip; about what she had for dinner with Jack and Jane, with Lew and Lynn.

After the Manchild woke up, I sent him out for cigarettes, because we’re beyond faking our addictions. Among our favorite vices now are: chain smoking, covert solo drinking, meaningless sex, and spicy chicken sandwiches, extra mayo. (The extra mayo part makes it a deadly sin. The pickles just make it gross). Oh, these are a few of our fav-o-rite things.

We made it out of our flea motel by noon and went to Disney for the day. I know we’re old. I don’t really have an excuse for going.

That’s the end of that part of the story.


There’s a reason why Burma only gets a hot dog cart in Epcot.

And that reason is rampant intestinal plagues.

When you are helplessly and hopelessly dependent on another human being for your survival, you know you have been humbled. This power is horribly abused when said Other is dangling a bottle of pepto bismol over your head bargaining the confiscation of your cigarettes because even smoke is making you puke. And honestly, they’re probably just tired of hearing your dry heave, but this person does not respect you.

But they probably do love you. As a girl, when you can finally number two in the same living space as the person you’re dating-but-not-living-with, it is love. They don’t even necessarily need to be home for it. Sure, it might be love if there’s a diamond ring, or poems, or sex where afterwards you really do want to cuddle, but the proof is in the pudding. (Emergencies do not count, though they are hilariously mortifying)

Example: in college I dated someone whose testament of love was the unconditional acceptance from his stepsister. I never really got that far, but I did poop while he was at work. Thusly, I can say, without shadow of a doubt, that I was definitely in love and if his sister weren’t such an overbearing cunt of a skank who can’t take even take a fucking joke, we’d be happily married with our retarded Shiva babies, and our white picket fence, and our dogs that we let piss all over the carpet.


Chapter Two: Patron Saint of the Retarded

We’re visiting Aunt Millie, Patron Saint of the Retarded, the first day of our vacation. Her house is a couple hours from our hotel, and he felt obligated to visit the woman who’s been sending him “Happy Birthday. God Bless You” cards all his life. I wouldn’t even so much call it a house as I would call it a petting zoo for the mentally impaired. She never married, never had kids, and when she found god at age 58, she started taking in foster kids: twitchy crack babies, the droopy downward faces of Downs, and the shifty-eyed crouching abused. You name it, she housed it.

In my late 20s I wondered if I would ever have children. Karma and all that college hash would have it that if I did, they’d have eight arms like Shiva or be retarded. Either way, they’d have a dandy time at Aunt Millie’s. I wanted them. Want them. Want one, but I’m already taking care of a big baby. It’s just that instead of carting a kid to soccer practice, I’m carting one to his AA meetings. For all intensive purposes, he’s pretty much useless. He repairs guitars from our one bedroom in New York. Our curtains, our couches, our sheets all smell like varnish like someone glazed over our lives in an attempt to trap us in that moment, just like that mosquito in Jurassic Park. And he pisses on the seat, which he doesn’t lift (goes without saying I guess). And he leaves empty ice cream containers in the freezer and leaves cold pizza on the counter, not on a plate. I’d leave him, but I like his version of me better than I like my own version.

It’s not like I’m barren. My mom had had 5 kids, would have been 6 if she didn’t abort the first one (but I’m not supposed to know that). My grandmother had 4 kids. The other one had 3. Heretically speaking, I should be capable of getting knocked up. If I fail at even that… well, I’m not sure what I would do.

Aunt Mill is offering us peanut butter cookies she probably made 6 months ago, and she serves them in a plastic container that has a macaroon sticker on it, with tea. Scotty, who has a lisp, wantsss me to puhlay Hot Wheelsss with heem, so I roll it around the table a couple times. I’m kind of hoping he has ADD because I do and I’m already bored. Fuck this. How can this be entertaining for you? Stop picking your nose god damn it.

Upon closer inspection, I can see that the driver of this tiny vehicle is a booger, seat-belted in by its own gumminess.

Aunt Mill must have done something awful in her lifetime to be doing this kind of penitence. Like awful, awful. I-killed-a-man-in-Reno awful, because watching Scotty with his plastic car, and Liz with her spandex pink stained leggings, saliva softened cookie plastered to her sleepy elongated face, I think

this must be hell.

I look over to see my boyfriend, the manchild I share my bed and life with, the man I come home to after work to make frozen pizza for, the man I’m actually faithful to, with smooshed cookie in his beard and another in hand. He offers me one.

I taste nickel and feel the flames lick at my feet.


“Thank god we’re fucking out of there” as I light a cigarette on the way to our car, which still smells like the entire McDonald’s dollar menu.

“Oh it wasn’t so bad. The kids are cute.”

I roll the half-lit cigarette between my top and bottom teeth. I don’t even care that the smoke will stick to my hair, my face, my teeth and tongue. It’s not like I showered for this. The only consolation to this day thus far has been the voluntary singeing of my lungs. It reminds me that I have insides. I would have lit up in Aunt Millie’s Petting Zoo, but I was afraid that if I accidentally dropped it, the carpet Margot has so often peed on would have gone right up in flames, Carrie-style. There are two types of people in this world: those whose houses smell like dog pee and those whose don’t. Millie was of the former group.

“Babe, I thought you quit”

Thought I quit smoking. Thought I quit? Really? Did he not see that the first thing I did when I woke up was go outside for a smoke. Probably not, because he was probably jerking off onto the shower stall walls. That’s how it usually works. I work on giving myself cancer, and he works on himself.

Idiot. I have to remember to take my pill when I get home because if this man procreates, the entire world will be at a loss.

I take another drag.


Chapter One of the 3am Novelletta

I don’t have the heart to tell him that I’m not an alcoholic, or have ever been. In fact, I rather enjoy drinking. Vodka martinis with those cute little olives when I’m feeling like Marlene Deitrich, Dewar’s on the rocks when I’m feeling like John Wayne. I let him think that I’m in recovery because it makes our relationship feel legitimate somehow, like we share something other than towels and toothbrushes. I don’t tell him that I frequent the happy hours.

But now sitting at this AA meeting I wonder even how much I can take. We’re on vacation and this is our time away, but the oh-so-fabulous thing about AA is that ex-alcoholics are everywhere: in Outer Bumblefuck, PA driving your kids to school, in Newark pushing your pot that you still smoke because it makes you feel young and rebellious, in Memphis cutting your grandmother’s head open to work on that tumor, in Florida your boyfriend who plays crappy guitar and cries writing lyrics about Asian genocide (but has never written a song about you).

Everywhere, everywhere- alcoholics, recovering.
And not a drop to drink.

Ohp, here comes the tears, and snot which will inevitably end up absorbed onto the sleeves of my tshirt. I love this tshirt. And I hate doing laundry. I’m not sure if I love or hate this person on my arm though.

“You are a good girlfriend. You are a good person who does nice things. You even donate blood regularly. You are going straight to heaven after this.” This is what I tell myself.

I wonder how his other girlfriends dealt with this. The last one had been a dyslexic stripper with fake tits and an underbite. This would be fodder for resentment, but there was the whole booze thing, and blah blah blah. Sure, I have a nervous tic where if people yell, I squint my right eye tight like a pirate who’s just sat on something I’d rather not say. The squinting usually pulls my mouth into an unflattering grimace and then the squint eventually turns into a fluttering ADD wink. I feel that’s pretty minor though. At least my tits are real. And I can spell.

Joel McHale would say this is an upgrade for him.

Though I can’t help but think he’d be more fun drunk.


After he rolls off me, I know I can count to 10 and he’ll be fast asleep. That’s just how it works. I lay there and “ooh” and “ahh” and the louder I say said “ooh”s and “ahh”s, the sooner I can go to bed. Let’s face it, we spent 8 hours in the car today with cramped knees in a sea of McDonald wrappers and rather then get the romantic walk on the beach I was hoping for, we were in a florescent-lit windowless room talking about strength and persistence.

Let me tell you about strength. When a 200 pound man falls asleep on you and you see the drool river a-comin,’ you find strength. And when you get snuggled in at last just as he finds himself with a hard on, you come to witness persistence.

I get out of bed, and put my sweatpants on. (Okay, they’re really his sweatpants but they’re unofficially mine.) I dig through all my fabulous outfits packed, now wrinkled, and find something to cover the stench of an unsatisfying night. Sitting outside of a cheap hotel in a plastic chair with 4 airplane-sized plastic bottles in your lap really puts things in perspective. Certainly, this isn’t Cinderella’s castle.

Not yet, at least, as I open a fifth.



Me At Work: what do you think about <"so and so">?

Skinny Gay Dude:
I’d hit it

Skinny Gay Dude:
split it


Skinny Gay Dude:
re-live it


Skinny Gay Dude: then ditch it

Me At Work:
and then roll it flour and fry it up with some okra

Skinny Gay Dude: and serve it with a side of two sticks of butter


Me At Work: dude, I’m lol’ing by myself in my office. i’m going to get fired.

Skinny Gay Dude: tell them you have ADD

Stuff White People Like

After reading through stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, I am convinced that I am the White Ambassador. See below:

#32 Vegan/Vegetarianism
“As with many white people activities, being vegan/vegetarian enables them to feel as though they are helping the environment AND it gives them a sweet way to feel superior to others.”

Case-in-point: Call it taking the higher moral ground, but the White Ambassador loves questioning peers as to if they know where their food is coming from. I mean, you like your dog, right? But you wouldn’t eat it, right? The fact that soy “chikn” is tearing down the rainforest and PETA objectifies women is an impossible dilemma though.

#61: Bicycles
“And of course, it goes without saying that white people who ride bikes like to talk about how they are saving the earth. If you know a person who rides to work, you should take them aside and say ‘Hey, thanks. Sincerely, The Earth.’”

Case-in-point: Hey, you’re welcome, Earth.

#28: Not Having a TV
“Though these people often fill their time by talking with other friends who don’t watch TV about how they don’t watch TV, looking at leaves, cooking, reading books about left wing politics, and going to concerts/protests/poetry slams.”

Case-in-point: Also add to that list watching documentaries about factory farms, Clark Park environmental movie night, and Sierra Club bike rides.

#6 Organic Food

“As seen by the image on the left - when faced with eating food that has been processed and loaded with nitrates, sodium and saturated fat, or organic rat poison, 10/10 they will take the rat poison.”

Case-in-point: Decision: Don’t eat at all. You’ll look less bulky in that sweater (#103) that you bought from the GAP.

#10 Wes Anderson Movies

“White people love Wes Anderson movies more than they love their kids. If a white guy takes a white girl to a Wes Anderson movie on their first date, and neither of them have seen it, they will immediately commence a relationship that is reflected in songs by Ryan Adams and Bright Eyes.”

Case-in-point: I know that Ryan Adams and Bright Eyes have never been on a Wes Anderson movie soundtrack.

“wigwam” – bob dylan

“needle in the hay” – elliot smith

“where do you go to (my lovely)” – peter sarstedt

“kite flying society” – mark mothersbaugh

“rebel rebel” seu jorge

ALSO QUITE RELEVANT: #17: Hating Your Parents, #58 Japan, #21 Writers Workshops, #90 Dinner Parties, #24 Wine, #64 Recycling, #88 Having Gay Friends, #12 Non-Profit Organizations, #55 Apologies, #106 Facebook



I am the Had, the Having, and Been
I am the Having Had and the Had Been
I am the Having Had Been

But not the Had Been Having


I swirled my wine in circles, more out of boredom than to catch undertones- whatever those were. I was thinking about a ten-card spread where I was the knave, of coins, living by the moon, just waiting for some fire. I’ve been a rogue all right, throwing all my pennies in fountain [drinks].


Ever notice how falling snow gulps up the train squeals, the distant grandma spills, the celestial twinkly white pills?


Today, I wore a new dress that everyone told me was quite pretty. It’s the kind of dress I would wear to someone-else’s-family’s party. And I found a dollar, crisp, on the floor. I told my baby sister how proud of her I was. It’s her birthday today, which seems like a good time to tell her. After I get out of work, I’m going to the market to buy a couple of my favorite things so I can cook for some of the people I love most. I wish I’d get some sleep but almost nothing can wipe this stupid grin off my face. Yeah, sleep would be nice.Icecream? Baby, I thought you’d never ask.


RANT: Chemistry

There’s a reason why they have business majors take a plethora of liberal arts classes like chemistry, and history, and English… I’m just not sure what that reason is. I’m not sure how my high powered job selling cigarettes and booze to children has anything to do with molecular compounds.

[Although I learned that many Asians are not equipped with the correct enzyme to break down alcohol and therefore, like every other substance we learn about in chem, it is toxic. So perhaps not the best market segment]

Maybe I’m just too pragmatic, but I have a hard time believing that floating hexagons are responsible for turning my bananas yellow. And if two of these hexagons combine, you get mothballs. So why don’t I have mothball bananas? Even better, if you get a hexagon orgy going on, you get cancer.

Supposedly, this is organic chemistry, and if Amanda has any say in it, I should thoroughly enjoy it, with a side of blanched kale and granola. However, sitting through the two hours of lecture, taught by a toothless troll of a man, is comparable to pouring nitric acid on my hand. And I only know that because of Fight Club.

Plus you’d think the labs would be awesome- like making fireworks or something. Yesterday we ground up aspirin and filtered it a hundred times to get something that resembled packing peanuts. Next week, we’ll weigh it and throw it out. Way to leave thousands of hang-over headaches without relief.

I want to believe that this will have zero relevance in my life, but perhaps if FedEx and the US postal office and UPS and every other mail service blows up, I can filter my Tylenol through some coffee filters and safely pack plates or something.

Boo(radley)Yah!So, that's chemistry for business majors, a subject only made relevant by Tyler Durden.

high school bunsen burner smores... relevant.



Post-Date Update: The Bloop vol. 2

The more I go out into the world scouting new people, the more I have the reaction of “what the fuck. They still make you??”

Case: I still talk to the Bloop Guy occasionally, or rather, he texts me while I’m out doing fun things and I just casually ignore it, because the truth is I’m neither available nor interested. I mean I did agree to see him again and I’m not dick enough to flat out cancel, though he was downgraded from dinner to lunch. (ouch) It’s true the real reason I don’t ever want to see him again is because my heart is elsewhere (though unappreciated), but still there are so many red flags for this Bloop dude that I can’t help but think RUN like DMC.

Exhibit 1:
He hates his dad, which is whatever, but because he hates his mustachioed dad, he also hates all men with moustaches. Does he not know how awesome the ‘stach is? Jesus.

Exhibit 2:
And his dad is Jewish. So he openly hates on Jews, right after I said one of my close friends is Israeli. One, his reasoning is ridiculous. Two, did you just listen to a word I just said?

Exhibit 3:
And then he accused my dad of “extreme faggotry” because he owns a Creed album. I’m sorry, you just told me that one of your top three favorite songs EVER was “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders. It’s an awesome song, but it’s also the song that Scarlett Johansson sang in “Lost in Translation

Exhibit 4:
And then this was the last straw:

Bloop Guy: im surprised some crazy muslim asshole hasn't tried to pwn that thing yet

me: so you dont like jews or muslims?
or guys with moustaches?

Bloop Guy: hahahaha
never met a muslim
they seem a bit off.
moustaches? unless your burt reynolds or tom selleck, lets take it easy

me: how can you live in a major city and have never met a muslim?

Bloop Guy: meh
mostly indian people
they're something different

me: and having not met them, how can you say they're "off"?

Bloop Guy: easy now

me: well i think you made a very brash statement

Bloop Guy: idk they don't seem to be the nicest of people. considering they move to places like europe and dictate how people should live.
theres a dog in that billboard! dogs are filth!
lets blow shit up!

me: and christians dont do that?
and jews dont do that?
and atheists dont do that?

Bloop Guy: i dont really want to get into this man
its not something i like to discuss
because of one thing i said.

PS this guy is an Atheist Republican from a single parent home. I know. Identity crisis abound.

I guess I can only blame myself because I went into this knowing that he was a “Cantankerous Conservative”. I was swayed by impressive vocabulary (wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last). This guy gets the pleasure of my company Saturday at the Pennsylvania Dutch Festival, where he’ll likely rag on Mennonites too. THE MENNONITES, who mind their business and make delicious bread. Ugh.

Bigotry is so passé.


40 Days and 40 Nights

It’s very rare we celebrate ourselves. We wait for others to remember our birthdays, and we don’t make our own cakes. We wait for someone else’s pat on the back to validate our accolades, and we raise glasses to everything and everyone else.

Today, I’m toasting the Collective Me.

On this day, August 7th, I am noting on my calendar that I have made 40 days and 40 nights of straight abstinence. It didn’t start as a personal challenge. I suppose it started as stubborn self-spite, but it has evolved into an experiment of self-love, minus self-love. It has not been easy, and it has not been fun. It is a mission comparable to Operation Desert Storm, though I think I shall deem it Operation Desert Panties. I could have easily let my fingers do the walking or I could have taken my bike across some cobblestone (or sit on a washer, or hit the gym, or ). I could have made a couple phone calls because let’s face it- it’s not that I’m cocky. It’s that I have a vagina and all 10 of my fingers. And even then, I know some guys who would compromise on those criteria.

And oh, there have been naysayers, those who promised I wouldn’t last a week, and in those faces of oppression, I flashed my chastity and flashed a smile, and then had a hot flash myself. Then there are the friends who have looked at me much in the same way parents look at their children before deployment- with love, with pride, and with concern.

A wise woman once promised that 6 months without sex would be equivalent to regaining virginhood. That wise woman was Samantha Jones, from Sex and the City.
Well, if you consider that you self-service about three times as much as someone services you, then that means I am but 3 weeks away from reclaiming what I once lost. (thought I left a breadcrumb trail…)

Regardless, tonight is for me. It is a time for me to look in the mirror and be proud that I still shave my legs. It is a time of reflecting, wondering how the girl once described as ‘kinda looking like a porn star’ ever refrained from one of the most basic and miraculous of god-given gifts. We erect our glasses to the power of will, and the potency of unrequited love.

Tonight is Forties for 40.




Scribbled Homebound

scribbled on a napkin, Newark Penn Station 8/1/2008:

God, these days are long and lolling. I have a cancer just skin deep, not quite in remission, but not willing to kill me either. The only consolation to this summer heat, are the subway’s dirty knave children on their white bucket drums. I’m waiting at the terminal [I wish this was terminal] at the bar sipping a little Sodom and Gomorrah through two thin red straws. Bring a little sunshine to my veins. Bring a little heat to my cheeks. I’m still wearing my sunglasses, indoors, because my future’s so bright.

The man next to me is on the phone with “Lise.” They’re going to bring the deviled eggs tomorrow and if there’s anything else, “Lise” can let them know. I thought at that moment I could smell eggs, their manipulated yokes spiced and smeared against the cellophane, scent escaped and spoiled in my nostrils. I dislike the way you write lately- so crude and tactless. Can we leave his asshole out of this?

I check the schedule, its letters and numbers flick-flick-flick-flick like a timpani staccato against the church garble. I stuff the last of my bagel in my mouth, wash it down with warm bitters, grab my bags and make my way to the platform. And on this platform, dear friends, I do my ditty. On trains heading North.

Post-Date Assessment: The Bloop

So I thought Jeff Goldblum was a safe bet for at least a couple hours of decent company, but alas. Seriously though, this one had a much smaller margin of error because I had been talking to him quite frequently for the last two weeks-ish and had at least a general idea of what this guy’s about. He sends me texts to say goodnight, and good morning, and ‘how’s your day going,’ and ‘hey I’m bored at work’ and here’s a cute story about me and my mom, and, and, and RED FLAG: Cling Alert.

He seemed nice enough- a CompSci major from Temple. Tall. Nice smile. Good posture. His music tastes are a bit spotty and we don’t share any socio-political opinions, but at least he’s working on a decent [boring] career. So you’re an educated 20 year old product of single parenthood aaand you’re a Republican? Huh.

His AIM speak is peppered with “omfGEEZ,” puns and scathing sarcasm. So middle school. So nerdy.

We arranged our “bloop” (as ‘date’ was too grown-up a word for him) at the art museum for wine and cheese. I brought juice box wine, because he’s not old enough to buy booze and he brought the cheese, the good kind. With expensive crackers. Points.

I only had to wait a minute before he made his way down the stairs as everyone else was pretending to be Rocky on their way up.

“Like the fuckin storming of Bastille around here”

I’m sorry. Did the first thing you ever say to me in real life- a French Revolution reference, as a joke? Whoa. Impressed.

We proceeded to sit on the steps with our little picnic and just bullshit. I think he’s cute. I dunno. His pants are a little snug, sexy? Can’t tell. I definitely dig that he’s a history nerd, or a nerd at all. He’s kinda funny. I think?

But let’s talk about baggage and the momentous amount of it that this dude has: Whaaa two bad break ups in my entire life! Girls are so mean. Whaaa my dad’s a douche with a moustache. My mommy’s so sad now. My big brother doesn’t like me. There’s no god.

Shh. Listen. Hear that? It’s the world’s smallest violin, and it’s telling you to shut the fuck up, because, dude, I don’t know you.

Ultimately, I agreed to a second “bloop” even if it’s because I haven’t come to a definitive conclusion. More research needed. Besides, he complimented me on my nose and my clavicles. Points for creativity. And the most important litmus test is the goodbye. So much rides on this single gesture. Hands down, if you try kissing me, I’m never going to take your calls again. If you suggest we go back to your place (or worse, mine), I’m going to kick you square in the ballz.

And what did this gentleman do? a decent hug.


July Status Report

Sticky summer heat lulls down my back like honey. It’s sugary for certain though sometimes, or rather often, sweaty too.

I’ve come to the burning realization that all my friends are artists. Every single one. They are the makers of melodies, the pens behind poems with the eyes like camera lenses. Life is a lot prettier when every conversation is a sonnet, and that’s how it feels. Even the weather feels like a song. The baroque heat and the whimsy of breeze. Mozart ain’t got shit on this.

Summer of Celibacy 2008, Abstinence Challenge:
My body has not known the feel of hands- neither mine nor others- for a solid 30 days. It began as an internal protest to love lost, then a personal challenge, but now it’s completely different. Often I feel my body tinge in wanting, but something tells me to be patient. The distance between will sweeten. And it’s not an impatient waiting and it’s not an expectant waiting. My head and my heart are open for what will come, whenever that may be.

All in all, it’s been a month marked by healing sans scar, of opening outward but reaching inward.

I think they call it making peace.



I've just finished two Ian McEwan novels, and I'm onto a third (Saturday). And yet I'm so deterred because they will all end the same. There will be a love story between two people so tragically flawed, so helplessly human. Then add the catalyst of some some mistaken identity or perception of what is not there, and voila! our star-crossed lovers are subjected to an untimely death, or a life of mediocracy, or worst of all, the sting of self-righteous martyrdom.

And I'll finish the last page, and cry, and wonder why Mr. McEwan can't write something that makes me believe that there is good in the world and that having loved at all is better than love lost. Why, Mr. McEwan? Why find the sorest nerve and prod it? Is it to counter all those pharmacy paperback love novels, so idealistic in their romances? Let the hardened lawyer have her coffeeshop poet. And let them die old together in their bed, like that scene from Titanic, while the world comes flooding in.

Like Maroon 5 says, "It's not always rainbows and butterflies. It's compromise that moves us along" and I get it. There will be heartbreak and there will be blood. And there will be pages tear spattered. This I know. But I would rejoice if ever Mr. McEwan followed this up with (again in the words of Maroon 5) "My heart is full and my door's always open. You can come any time you want." Can you leave the door open rather than nailing it shut like a coffin? Will you do it for me?

With Love,

"On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan:

"When he thought of her, it rather amazed him, that he had let that girl with her violin go. Now, of course, he saw that her self-effacing proposal was quite irrelevant. All she had needed was the certainty of his love, and his reassurance that there was no hurry when a lifetime lay ahead of them. Love and patience- if only he had had them both at once- would surely have seen them both through. And when what unborn children might have had their chances, what young girl with a headband might have become his loved familiar? This is how the entire course of a life can be changed- by doing nothing. On Chesil Beach he could have called out to Florence, he could have gone after her. He did not know, or would not have cared to know, that as she ran away from him, certain in her distress that she was about to lose him, she had never loved him more, or more hopelessly, and that the sound of his voice would have been a deliverance, and she would have turned back. Instead, he stood in cold and righteous silence in the summer's dusk, watching her hurry along the shore, the sound of her difficult progress lost to the breaking of small waves, until she was a blurred, receding point against the immense straight road of shingle gleaming in the pallid light."


Idiot Troll

“You know what? I am actually not that much into voting. I think it’s kinda crazy that a woman is running, because I think that women deal with a lot of emotions and menopause and PMS and stuff. Like, I’m so moody all the time, I know I couldn’t be able to run a country, ‘cause I’d be crying one day and yelling at people the next day, ya know?”—Brooke Hogan

Post Date Assessment: Jeff Goldblum

This is the first edition of post-first date assessments. If they’re all as hilarious as this, I think I might publish a book.

I pinned this guy for having some potential. He’s a professional musician (which covers the artistic outlet criteria), brews his own beer (yay, interesting hobby and free booze), and he wears cool glasses (style points). Granted I didn’t talk to him much pre-date, but he seemed nice enough and I dug his music. He asked me out to give me a beer tasting lesson and I gave in for a Sunday evening date. (but not before giving friends all possible details, just in case he roofied my drink and made me his house pet. Also I arranged for a couple escape route calls in case it was unbearable)

A friend dressed me, so you know I was looking... fly. And we got a big breakfast at the diner so I wouldn't vomit right away. (Although there was some weird licorice gravy that was questionable in nature) I got there 5 minutes early and he got there 10 minutes late, sweaty. I thought, 'well at least he ran and called to say he was running late.' I didn't take points off, but he didn't get any either. We sat at the booth and I let him order for me. I admitted that I didn’t like the first beer, a super heavy IPA, even though that was his fave. Conversation went fine. I smiled a lot, not because he was particularly funny, but I think you should be smiling when you meet new people. I dig that he teaches kids guitar, but doesn't dig actual kids. Plus he has two dogs, sorta. They're at his parents, so I guess not really.

The waiter came around and asked if we wanted another round. My date looked at me and said “yeah, same thing.” Uh, yo, dude. Didn’t I just say I didn’t like it?? So I had 3 (or maybe 4) more.

On our fifth or maybe fourth drink, he looked at his watch and said that he had to go feed the meter. So we downed whatever number drink that was, he went to the bathroom, I put in money for my drinks, and we headed out. He had asked me if I had paid and I said yes, but after we got a couple blocks away I realized he was asking me if I paid the entire bill, which I did not because why the fuck would I do that? I only paid for myself, and I thought that was a kind gesture. Essentially we only paid half the bill. Soooo, I'm never going back there again.

We got to his car (which was right in front of Woodys), and I gave him all the change from the bottom of my bag because he didn’t have any. We walked all over god's green earth (or Philadelphia's gross sidewalks) looking for this one bar, and eventually ended up at Nodding Head, where we had another drink- another IPA that I didn’t like. He paid, the entire bill this time.

At this part of the date I realized that he had really bad posture and girly hands. And god, that Jeff Goldblum mouth! And his hair was blah. What you do with your hair says a lot about you. Maybe I was being overly harsh. Or maybe all that walking sobered me some. I kinda liked his glasses and his shoes, but if I ever saw him naked, all he would have is bad posture AND THAT MOUTH.

He offered to drive me home and I accepted because nobody likes the subway and drunk driving sounded preferable. (don't worry. i wore a seatbelt) He pulled up in front of the building I live in, put a hand on my back as I reached for my bag and said he thinks he's going to call me tomorrow to ask if I would like to do this again sometime. I mean I guess he was still debating it at that point. And then he leaned in... and I thought "omg you're touching me. Jeff Goldblum is touching me. Jeff Goldblum is watching you poop. Bathroom stall. Poop. Kiss." So I quickly offered my cheek and drunkily made it to my room, totally forgetting and neglecting the fact that I had feet (and a sprained ankle).

I fell asleep fine (read: I was intoxicated enough to pass out in my clothes), but awoke to the smell of fried chicken. The cleaning lady was frying chicken at 6am this morning. what. the. fuck. Immediately, I ran to the bathroom and puked up milkshake and biscuits (or what I think was biscuits and milkshakes). And then I proceeded to lay in bed and think about Jurassic Park, as a music video, while scrolling through the progressively incoherent, hilarious texts I sent last night.



Alchemy: “spagyric art,” from Greek meaning to pull apart and put back together again. An art of sciences: chemistry and astrology, mysticism and spiritualism. We are deduced to parts- to hands and palms, faces- heavy eyes and mouths, sloped noses, ears, napes, necks, breasts and shoulders, tummies and hips, shins, knees, toes, heels… We are deduced to parts- to protons and neutrons, electrons, fermions, bosons, undulating photons shot at foil, not repelled but penetrated, gravitons, axioms, polaritons with their dipole-carrying excitation.

Sometimes I can feel the glowing charged particles spring from my skin like photons, bumping and bouncing off the bodies around me. The positives and negatives lounging their atomic masses towards each other until their forms overlap, electric shared, and at once something entirely new is made.

Call this making gold -or- making love. And in taking that gold, which so many men have died to touch- panhandler kings- we shape our rings around our fingers, part to part, while we're swirling, twirling those bodies apart, then together again.

How learned men can be so ignorant to search for forever in a cauldron, when by bed posts we stand so brave and so proud. Every answer to every question and every cure to every pain are held in hands not gilded, but guided. Our parts welded. We thought we were making history, making precious of base metal, aligning stars, but really we were just exploring those napes, those neurons.

We map the metaphysical, we pant the paradoxical.

We built an empire.

We called it El Dorado.



I looked up to find the moon-
Once again
an orange sickle poised


cutting oceans into
waves that
crashed onto shells that house Fibonacci.
splashed unto faces that beam Fibonacci.
carried flagrant flowers that bloom Fibonacci.

[1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21]

The fattened sickle
Now pregnant, full
coaxes the fetus from the womb

Inhale [pull]
Exhale [push]

The lunar father smiles
Lets flesh-and-blood fathers cut the umbilical cord
That tied us to our earth-and-mother

We passed cigars
And cheered
A boy!”


The white filter delivered
To chap sticked lips
And I
d r a g g e d,
left a greasy kiss behind.

Carbon monoxide tickles bronchioles
Then singes


Plastic Flamingos

Union Products, Inc., the manufacturer of pink plastic flamingos, after 50 years, is filing bankrupcy.

These gracefully tacky white-trash lawn ornaments are staples of American culture! Quintessential Florida trailer home flair! Their spindle legs and their creepy misshapen spray painted eyes (or sometimes unpainted eyes, which is way creepier) are looking us all square in the face and asking what kind of Americans are we if we let them go extinct. First polar bears and now plastic flamingos.

How can we let this happen?

According to the Boston Channel, "Union Products president and majority owner Dennis L. Plante said in 2006 that the plastics industry has hit hard times because of the cost of electricity and resin, a petroleum-based product that is a key manufacturing ingredient."

I'm writing my congress person to voice my support of the war in the Middle East. Bring home oil! Save the flamingos! America fuck yeah!

please save me.

Summer of Celibacy 2008!!

The abstinence challenge is well-underway and I am pleased to announce that my lack of endeavors has raised thousands for children living with spinal bifida! [not really]. I’m not sure why I started, but there was a definite beginning. Of this much, I am certain.

So what do you do with your hands all day?

Lately they’ve been up to the wrist in flour, as I’m trying out new recipes for the bakery that I’m going to open up just as soon as I have a master’s degree in something. I’m going to call it “Roux” and if you get the reference, yeaahhh. Also, I’ve finished four books since the beginning of summer and I’ve enlivened lots of coloring book pages. I’m into friendship bracelets.

As I much as I support (just about) anyone’s sexual habits, I have learned that the parents that have taught their children that ‘true love waits,’ hate their children.

Why are you doing this?

I like to challenge myself each and every day. I set out to master the paper crane yesterday. Do you know how aggravating it is to follow those god damn origami directions? Infuriating. Though I have made the crane, and if I make 999 more I can cure someone of leukemia.

Also my battement tendu could use some work.

What have you learned on this journey?

When will it end?!
A) when my willpower gives out
B) when someone worthwhile gives out
C) when the world comes to an end
D) all of the above

Now donate to spinal bifida.


Happy Birthday America

Happy Fourth of July! A day of fake-meat grilling, beer, volleyball and explosives!
Oh, and these:

Blast. Collision. Bang. EXPLODING CANDY TIP.


Oh, and these:


Della Primavera Trasportata al Morale

William Carlos Williams

the beginning- or
what you will:
the dress
in which the veritable winter
walks in Spring-

Loose it!
Let it fall (where it will)

A live thing
the buds are upon it
the green shoot come between
the red flowerets
curled back

Under whose green veil
strain trunk and limbs of
the supporting trees-

Yellow! the arched stick
Pinning the gragile foil
-in abundance
the bush before the rose
pointed with green

bent into form
upon the iron frame

wild onion
swifter than the grass

the grass thick
at the post’s base

iris blades unsheathed-


-the complexion of the impossible
(you’ll say)
never realized-
At a desk in a hotel in front of a

Machine a year
later – for a day or two-

(Quite so-)
Whereas the reality trembles

in that though it was like this

in part
it was deformed

even when at its utmost to
touch- as it did

and fill and give and take
-a kind

of rough flowers
and April


opened the door! nearly
six feet tall, and I…
wanted to found a new country-

For the rest, virgin negress
at the glass
in blue-glass Venetian beads-

a green truck
dragging a concrete mixer
in the street-
the chatter and true sound
of verse-

-the wind is howling
the river, shining mud-

it loses me

it supports me

it has never ceased
to flow

the faded evergreen

I can laugh

the redhead sat
in bed with her legs
crossed and talked
rough stuff

the door is open

the tree moving diversely
in all parts-

-the moral is love, bred of
The mind and eyes and hands-

But in the cross-current
between what the hands reach
and the mind desires

and the eyes see
and see starvation, it is

useless to have it thought
that we are full-

But April is a thing
comes just the same-

and in it we see now
what then we did not know-

I believe
in the sound patriotic and
progressive Mulish policies
and if elected-

I believe
in a continuance of the pro-
tective tariff because-

I believe
that the country can’t do
too much-

I believe
in honest law enforcement-
and I also believe-

I believe
in giving the farmer and
land owner adequate protection

I believe

I believe

I believe
in equality for the negro-


I believe in your love
the first dandelion
flower at the edge of-

taraaaaaaa! taraaaaaaa!

-the fisherman’s bugle announces
the warm wind-

reminiscent of the sea
the plumtree flaunts
its blossom-encrusted

I believe
Moving to three doors
above- May 1st.

I believe
ICE- and warehouse site

No parking between tree and corner

You would “kill me with kindness”
I love you too, but I love you

Thus, in that light and in that
Light only can I say-

Winter : Spring

abandoned to you. The world lost-
in you

Is not that devastating enough
for one century?

I believe
Spumoni $1.00
French Vanilla .70
Chocolate .70
Strawberry .70
Maple Walnut .70
Coffee .70
Tutti Frutti .70
Pistachio .70
Cherry Special .70
Orange Ice .70
Biscuit Tortoni .70
25c per portion

trees-seemingly dead:
the long years-

tactus eruditus

Maple, I see you have
a squirrel in your crotch-

And you have a woodpecker
In your hole, Sycamore

-a fat blonde, in purple (no trucking
on this street)


I believe



The soul, my God, shall rise up
-a tree
But who are You?
in this mortal wind
that I at least can understand
having sinned willingly

The forms
of the emotions are crystalline
geometric-faceted. So we recognize
only in the white heat of
understanding, when a flame
runs through the gap made
by learning, the shapes of things-
the ovoid sun, the pointed trees

lashing branches

The wind is fierce, lashing

the long-limbed trees whose
wildly toss-

Limericks are the New Haikus

There once was a girl named Jai
Who dropped bombs all night and day
Limerick rhyme feats
Haiku kept beats
I’m gangster, son, see NWA

Greater than X but lesser than Y
3.141592 equals pi
Oh academia!
Threadbare bohemia!
Love everything you are divisible by.

You have a face like a lunar crater
First lesser, then growing greater
Come, succumb,
Celestial alum
Twirl along your magnetic equator

Come over for a lesson in bodily geography
With hands on my warm flesh topography
You don’t need a map
This is a booby trap
Navigate me like the Black Sea.

“July 4th”
The sky is heavy, drip and drizzle
Arsenic flair, aluminum glare, tin fizzle
Fishes zoom
Illuminated bloom
Fleeting red, blue, amber thistle.

Stained blue-tongue kool-aid giggle
Strawberry blueberry jello shot jiggle
Kiss cheeks
Math geeks
Poetry notebook pen ink squiggle

“Black Eyes”
Sweetheart, baby, I’ll always be by your side
Or I’ll quietly pack and leave if you decide
I won’t ask whys
I’ll wear your black eyes
Darling, darling, I’ll be your porcelain bride.

Uniforms that sin, death in Berlin
Hand grenade grin, pulled pin
Mass graves
Atomic waves
Everyone everywhere, a small violin

“Thee Our Father”
Carnation bouquet for a passion play
We fast the day and together we pray
A book of psalms
Hands palm to palm
Father, forgive us for our moral decay

Our sisters’ sneeze, our neighbors’ knees
Our children’s uneaten peas, our enemies
The scribe’s pen
The brooding hen
Our given-word guarantees, written-word decrees.

Our lovers’ eyes, grocery store quarter prize
Our lovers’ thighs, grand orchestra finale reprise
Told attic stories
Fallen hero glories
Purple sky sunrise, lunar night goodbyes

Our fathers’ seed, our mothers’ knead
After school tricycle speed, wobbly indeed
Bride and groom
Forever I presume
Slow dance lead, slow mouth plead