Sunday, July 13, 2008

challenge me...i dare you

the wall i discussed earlier is tricky, one brick at a time reconstructing its form. it appears stronger, as if it has learned from its previous deconstruction to create distractions allowing the mortar time to set. those distractions weave themselves into the cracks left behind furthering its stronghold.

Eric issued the challenge: write a children's story before the end of July, it does not have to be long and he will illustrate it. i agree and with the following breath inhaled resentment, pride, and fear.

there are times i choose the wall. i even, after trying to wage war against it come to a certain acceptance of its existence and relevance in my current station as mother and wife. at the moment before the challenge was issued i had been out with Atticus laying on the damp evening grass watching with amazement the volume of fireflies that flew among my garden. i wanted to write about the fireflies, i wanted to construct stanzas with flippant rhyme & meter, void of reason and now was tormented by the countless echos of 'once upon a time...' !

a few days later Circe was asleep as i sat with Atticus, his eyes fighting sleep and voice little looked up and said "Momma tell me a story". i have waited for this moment for his whole life. why now after the reconstruction, i don't have a default story...breathe, don't forget to breathe.

ONCE UPON A TIME...(that is how all stories that children ask you to tell them begins isn't it, or at least a launching line) unfolded into "The Tunnel in the Tree that was Laying Down" and that night it was told three times and for a week after. there have been three or four others that have been requested, told, changed by the respective parent, but more importantly remembered and soon to be written down.

i saw his challenge and raised the stakes. i realized in the breath before 'Once Upon a Time' that i have misplaced the ability to focus on nothing but the cohesive (or not) flow of words, abandoning any order of operations and trust the _______. i forget to begin in the middle or even the end to get to the beginning.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the little one

she is her mothers daughter,
feverish and full of angst her only solace being held under a darkening sky,
the wind of the impending storm tickling their flushed and exhausted faces.

Friday, April 18, 2008

labor, delivered

the cord was cut, half remained kept
in the freezer for a year and a day.
the internal pulse toked and ticked, the telltale
of forgetting time.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter visitings

the following is a glimpse at my day with the family...both good and bad...

i miss potato salad

atticus enjoyed hunting for eggs, and the fact that the easter bunny brought him a transformer, he ignored the fact that there was a chocolate bunny...we could have just put the transformer. "that was a good easter bunny, he brought me a transformer"

circe does not like the fact that the plastic eggs are not in fact shaky (musical) eggs as they appear to be.

the kids looked cute in their easter clothes.

if you are 3, chocolate and jelly beans are an acceptable breakfast, oatmeal be damned!

now for the shit.....

why would you get a lollipop for a 1 year old? the ingredients read as follows "sugar, corn syrup, corn starch, less than 2% of: dextrose, EGG WHITES, mono calcium, food coloring etc. ALLERGY INFORMATION MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUTS, SOYBEANS, TREE NUTS, MILK AND WHEAT" a one year old that is allergic to 80% of that list, ok benefit of the doubt, we'd give it to atticus anyway but i doubt that was the thought.

even after i told her how to make the sweet potato's they still SUCKED

atticus was "difficult" at the dinner table, and they pressure, pressure, pressure, guilt, pressure, "leave him alone and just let him walk away, he won't have any pie if he doesn't eat. perhaps he'll eat some of the cheese" i say, dirty look, silence. he returned to eat the cheese and some ham (overcooked and dry), and later some pie.

the dog was barking from her crate and she brought atticus into their bedroom to give the dog treats and she started playing a musical catholic liturgy...i imagined she was regaling him with tales of christ on a cross, that he has risen and even with that heathen bitch of a mother he will save you, i save you. i in fact saved him with the transformer and promises of pie and chocolate.

i am, as i have suspected an afterthought (i also include circe in the afterthought). i made a lemon meringue pie, expecting as the last few visits have unfolded at dessert time that there would be something vegan (it would suck but at least there was an effort), she made pizza duche (eggs, sugar, ricotta), kristookies (cookies with eggs & cream) and coffee. as they are sitting down circe and i are in the living room playing with a bus and she asks if i maybe wanted some grapes or an apple. the verbal tyrade i wish to unloose upon her weighs as much as an actual bus if it were sitting on my tongue, i reply that i am fine, no thank you.

she pouts when we have to leave, and sends us home with all of the dessert, cheese potato's and ham.

hollow easter bunnies are not worth the mold they are formed in.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

dreams undone

ensnared by a lullaby,
slowly the stasis of the subtle snowfalls gentle rhythm calling forth
that place between death and light; a purgatory
of possibilities thought and not spoken unfold as time
standing, still waiting for the reflection
of _____; returning yet again, perennial as grass.

coursing our journey the stars tell lies;
the unknown ,with its beckoning call of echos
land ideas, stoned and martyred bound like Prometheus,
teetering on an existential ledge awaiting the Sirens call
of true loves last kiss before light,
the resurrected laborer unloosed upon the day.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


to quote Jane's Addiction, "i was standin' in the shower thinking." showering has become the only time i am really alone with my thoughts; needless to say they tend to start somewhere and travel through time and often times end abruptly somewhere completely different when the water runs cold and reality hits me like a nuke. my recent trip along the hygiene express had me reflecting on the actual act of showering/bathing over the course of my life, how the art of getting "clean" mirrored the different stages and events that have transpired over the years. to be perfectly honest for most of my life cleanliness has been an afterthought or a reward for being so completely filthy i was offensive even to myself. i had numerous justifications for not showering...water conservation...water quality or pressure...time...sleep, i am sure there were more but those are the most memorable. i do however remember a time when showering was an everyday event, almost a necessity.

i was probably 14 or 15. my teenage years were mostly horrid with the exception of the months spent at summer camp; Appel Farm was like two months of Shangrila amidst ten months of hell, there i was surrounded by like-minded folks living the experience each day provided. at camp the teenage armor i wore daily at home was placed on a shelf and each day i felt truly free, cared for and valued by my peers. we lived in converted chicken coops, 8-10 girls per bunk...girls for the most part are concerned with physical cleanliness...i surrendered to the positive peer pressure. each year there always seemed to be the same catalyst for the bunk to become aflutter, the showering schedule. for whatever reason everyone wanted the helps with waking up... to wash off nigh sweats brought on by the humid summer nights New Jersey offers as relief, the need to wash off the prior nights "date" and base jumping that adolescence affords. if you were the first or second in the shower (10 minute time limits) you were happy with hot water, third tepid at best, frigid by the fourth.

this particular summer i was fortunate to be bunking with my closest girlfriends, and wanting a morning shower and growing tired of the morning rotations and cold water Amy and i were lucky enough to stumble upon a "secret shower" with enough hot water to take 15 minute showers and shave our legs! it was located across the camp from our bunk in the conference rooms and would mean a groggy walk through the morning dew and waking at least half and hour before we normally would. we weighed our options and decided in favor of the excursion...memory fails me if we enlisted others or if it was just us. The walk there was quiet, the camp still under the spell of slumber, the mist rising through the rows of corn. in each of our possession was our bag of toiletries, towel and change of clothes...with the exception of the time we forgot our clothes and walked back towel clad much to the delight of the boys of bunk 13. for whatever reason after a week or so of our clandestine shower we were told it would have to end, much like that summer my return home ushered in the decline of my happy hygiene rituals.

as previously noted showering became more of a personal reward for most of my life, primarily an event ( lover...class), when i was in a new relationship i would scrub before and after coupling. if it lasted in would fall into a flippant routine of every few meetings or co-bathing encounters proved practical and fun. i suppose it could be over analysed as an act of self-deprecation and low self worth reflecting on my physical appearance. i rationalize this even now, i am a punker and most folks i knew were all pretty crusty so it went unnoticed.

i still enjoy being filthy from time to time, my hair so oily it stays in the ponytail even after it has been liberated from its elastic confines, when the water first hits it there is not immediate saturation. once it has been shampooed the feeling is incredible as if i had been baptized by bubbles and i feel exhilarated once more. i can not offer any self judgement, clean it seems, is quite subjective...on my cleanest days the filth seems to exist anyway despite my best efforts to prove otherwise...on my dirtiest i remember the joy i felt walking to the secret shower and crave the hot water. my happy medium is this, i meditate on the sound of the falling water and the moment of stillness i am privileged to know.

Monday, February 11, 2008

the nurseling

breast or bottle? i can count on both hands the number of times Atticus successfully latched on and nursed; i was literally and figurativly the "mom-cow" and expressed milk for an entire year, breast in the bottle. as a new mom i was regaled with the glorious stories of the bond that nusing fosters and shuddered at the horror stories of cracked nipples, pain and time consumtion of breastfeeding. i was feeding mothers milk in a bottle, would we be lacking that psychic bond that nursing was supposed to bestow upon us? in short, no. i still held him when he had a bottle, he was happiest napping on my chest (still to this day, his favorite location to rest) and i remembered that i had felt bonded to him while in-utero so why question, like my milk i went with the flow.

Circe, while gestating must have heard me stating that she would never know a bottle. i knew that i would not have the time to pump every 2 hours for 20 minutes each while contending with a newborn and a toddler. shortly after the four pushes it took to liberate her from the abyss she took to the breast and stayed there all night, suckeling and savoring the small reward. my milk came quickly and she was a great eater, often times when her cries of hunger first began and the breast unloosed a fountain of milk guided her mouth towards her reward. then came the allergies, she would nurse and scream as if she knew she was ingesting evil. after the diagnosis i was offered two choices, give up the foods myself and continue nursing or feed her formula. i was free and plentiful, formula would stay on the shelves, she on my breast. all offending foods are foods i love(d), while nursing this critter who i initially was thankful for her appitite i now had resentment for. it was more of a sacrifice than time, or even duty; she was taking more than the basic nutrients she was taking things that made me happy and turning them into forbidden friut. gradually as her body healed my heart followed suit, she was happy and nourished and i became grateful she wasn't allergic to soy.

for a few months Circe remained a contented nurser, foucused on her task of extracting the milk my body was more than happy to provide. i survived four bites during her first teething and then came mobility.

my breasts became an afterthought, there was so much to do, so many other things to put in her mouth. each noise is a distraction and whatever breast shes on is yanked hither and tither in order to find out what is happening in her surroundings. age and development are fascinating, she has traced each contour of my chest and face with her little soft hands, plays peek-a-boo with my shirts and has developed her own nonverbal gesture of raking her hand across my tattoo and placing that hand into her mouth. she nurses best at night in a dark room with an extended hand waiting for my finger to hold onto and i whisper to her that this too will end.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


i never dreaded parent teacher conferences when i was young, it was always the same; "your not working to your full potential" my mother would reply to my query about what the educators said concerning my education. truth be told, it was done deliberately, (my not working up to my potential)born out of boredom with the confines of the public education i received. i played into the stereotype of my "potential" brand and dropped out of high school when i came of age,i was in two AP classes. i gave into the inner bohemian, took lovers and consumed spirits and found a need to cure the restless boredom i once again faced. i was ready to be taught, to fulfill my potential as i understood it.

my mind undulated under the sheet of academia, i, for a time found my place, my voice and my true passion. there was the added anticipation of the end that made my experience feel often times like forbidden stolen kisses. i graduated and the kisses stopped. i did so with the belief that i would find the same satisfaction, and that i could, intellectually, connect myself to potential. i was seeking lifelong passion on a "professional level". clearly i must have been drinking.

every day i have a parent teacher conversation with myself, and it is a terrifying scenario; am i living up to my potential as a mother. i wonder about equal time and dialogue with atticus and circe, am i providing the proper nurturing and comfort, are they learning the correct processing of emotions, can i process their emotions (i can't even process mine all that well)? i console myself with the understanding that i will "mess them up" somehow and that our parents did the same to us. in them i see limitless potential while reflected back is my limited potential, another wall i have constructed. i don't like being limited, but for now this is my bed and here i will lay.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

get to work

i have a spoon, you a mountain.
digging or pushing we are always left binding
the ever unraveling spool of sadness;
threading the needle that pierces our heart.

heave heave heave

there is light at the bottom,
i saw it once.

Friday, January 18, 2008

blinded by the night

night has stirred the conflict stew i seem to be dining upon. i love the quiet darkness interrupted by the hum our house has; often when i find sleep a luxury outside my pay grade, i take stock of the sounds and in those sounds find the solitude that i lack as a mother/wife. it is at night that i have no accountability, no pawing hands, no stream of consciousness list of what i am doing, what needs to be done, and what may happen to tip the scales of harmony out of my favor. i could be considered a junkie when it comes to isolation and solitude, i have survived the withdrawal and am now learning moderation.

i hate moderation. i love my children.

they interrupt the fix.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


so here goes...what is a writer, a person who puts pen to paper and creates documentation of thoughts or an essence of being that even without the act of actually writing forms a sense of self? i think on some level i have always identified with the latter, but after giving birth to Atticus (my son) found myself cocooned by the former. once in three years i have dared to expose a weakness in the chrysalis and put pen to paper, only to retreat back to inaction. Circe (my daughter) arrived and screamed cracks in my safe of thoughts like an opera singer cracks crystal. i found my self flooded with fragments stored in the cranial filing system under "for future use"...certainly the future had not become the present, i did not feel ready.
i have said that the birth of Atticus was so chaotic but that his presence in the home brought a sense of order to my life that i have never known. Circe's birth however, was so calm and focused, yet she brought home chaos and a few other friends. while in the recesses of my own thoughts i pondered writing again, the desire to create was strong and yet i remained stagnant. i thought about order, its nature is contrary to any prior understanding of myself as a writer and person. chaos proved the catalyst into the dark place my fragments reside; under the most comfortable quilt slept Fear dreaming the fragments into a cohesive form.
i decided to do battle with that demon bitch Fear. two sleeping children, a bottle of wine and some paper, something is missing. two sleeping children, a bottle of wine, some paper and a husband who was working late...something is missing. I HAVE NO PEN
Fear stole my pen (actually it was probably Atticus drawing on the dining room table and i took it away and hid it...but for dramatic purposes...) after some frantic searches i found myself on the dining room floor drifting in and out of thoughts dripping with the answer of why i couldn't write. i had taken the proverbial block and built the great wall around my creative cortex, when a fragment is born i place in behind the wall (Gaea anyone?) because i an afraid of partnering it with others, because i am afraid of what it may end up saying, and what that says about me.

i smote Fear on the banks of the mighty Delaware.

if i do not do this i will go insane, who cares what i say, think or believe...i will be an exercise in contradictions.

welcome to my luminous interval