Thursday, May 28, 2009

A turtle walks.

A box turtle walks across the parking lot.
It is going slow, slower than a jack rabbit.
A car drives by, barely missing it,
I scoop it up and place it on my front

I hurry inside to tell my sister, who is making
a pot of macaroni and cheese on the stove.
She says I should have brought it inside;
I tell her it belongs outside, in the sunshine,
where the children run, jump, and play.

I wonder if it belongs to them.
I wonder if it belongs to nature.

My sister stirs the macaroni on the stove.
She says "Be right back" and goes outside to
find the turtle; it is not there anymore.
I wonder where it has gone.

The Biscuit Maker.

I make biscuits every morning at the
bakery in Flint.
This has been my job for seventeen years.
Before that, I worked as a clerk at Payless
in Savannah, Georgia-we moved to Michigan
after my husband lost his job as a ups worker.

I was sad about that for awhile, sad we
lived off of food stamps and breadcrumbs
fighting for food like the pigeons
in the parking lot of a Walmart
when all I wanted to do was make friends
and eat good food.

Every day I go into work and counted my blessings,
even though shaping the flour is even harder
than dealing with the customers who came in,
especially the young ones who want things Now, now,

I wake up at six in the morning to go down to the
where Darius, the manager, just opened the shop.
He was forty-five, three years younger than me.
It was insulting that he had a better life than me-
a wife; three kids; a nice home and car.

I have to work for everything I get, and even then,
it just isn't much.

About Luck.

Luck will not find us here.
I have fought for hours with luck.
I have said luck is something we cannot
use-luck has fought us back.

Some people run out of luck.
Other people have no luck to give.
Some people use logic and cognitive ability
to get where they want to go.

Others use money.
And looks.

Sometimes, it has something
to do with timing.

Other times, I see myself standing,
standing on the cliff of the ocean,
looking down into it.

Sometimes, I wish I was someone else.

When We Forget.

My problem is with forgetting.
Everyone forgets everything-lunch; breakfast; an old grandfather
clock that was left in someone’s attic, years ago, a grandfather
clock that no longer runs, a grandfather clock that is ancient as
the French and Indian War.
My problem is with forgetting.
How Aunt Sarah forgets my birthday; forgets to send out Christmas
cards every three years; forgets the letters in her license plate.
She always remembers the numbers, why she forgets the letters,
I don’t know.
Sometimes, I refuse to believe I am smart.
That I am going nowhere. Every day I believe this.
I am going nowhere. I don’t have a car. My apartment is filled
with alcoholic nomads.
Every day I look up at the sky and see the darkness behind
the puffy clouds and wonder why God created a mess-of brains,
guts, and gills-well, not necessarily gills.
I, too, forget birthdays sometimes.
My Cousin William thinks it’s dumb.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For references.

I just started writing a mystery story and I am calling it "The Man Under the Stairs."

It is about an elderly woman who has to find a missing manuscript.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


My self-published book is now on


Look under my name.

I need to get crackin' on my fiction books, my scripts, and new songs *sigh.*

For references.

I was rejected by "Pure Francis" two days ago.

I sent one story submission to "Flash Fiction Online."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lichenberg, Germany, April 1978.

It was cold. I stood on the doorstep of
my house, and looked at the blue car
sitting in the driveway. It has not been
running for years-my Uncle Samuel
said he would fix it later, and never got
around to it.

I don’t know why I trusted him with it.
He’s an American, aren’t Americans supposed
to be efficient with cars? I never knew about
about that part.

My fridge is getting low on cold foods.
The cows are in the barn, mooing for attention.

Winter comes in six short months. I hurry down
the steps and wonder why I am hurrying.

The Sky Is Full.

The sky is full of corn flower clouds.
The wind moans
like a guest-beating
at the back door of
the summer house.

No more guests for the week. They have
all gone home due to the power outage
from the storm,
that rose from the west
and beat against the windows

like invisible hands.

Sometimes, things seem to change.
Other times, the wind stops blowing.

Note to self.

Note to self: Submissions for the "Thirty-First Bird Review" starts on June 1st.

I have five poems ready.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stars and a Pendulum.

I fling myself to the stars.
In the night, the stars shine down.
The universe goes around and around like
a pendulum-

my mind is in constant rotation.
Darkness enters my heart. I am nothing,
compared to the vastness of space
that is cold as my ego.

I am an iceberg.

I crash against the shore of a stormy sea.
I am a bird. I fly through the air and land
on a lone island, inhabited by men named
Darwin and Washington.

This is my story. I retell it to old men in
coffee shops and bookstores.

The Night wears down.

I am distant.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Story.

I finished writing my new story entitled "We Are the Furries." I finished the first draft, anyway, about a werewolf who lives with another werewolf who turns back into a human. I am probably going to turn it into a novel after I finish "The Horn of Neverwhen."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Stroke of Genius.

When I was two, the letters "B" and "L"
struck in my mind like a flash of lightning-
some say it was a strike of genius, my professor
says it’s bullshit.

I don’t really understand bullshit. Or why people
use it as an excuse when they don’t understand
how to do the right thing-the right thing is never
written in any books; it is stamped on your knee cap
like a badge of courage, or
wrapped inside your heart. It’s something you can’t see.

Some people say I don’t know anything. I think they
are right. How could a two year old know something
a grown up should know, but doesn’t?
How could
a seventeen year old? How could, how could-

How could the dash in a sentence have so many rules?
All the rules mean shit when you’re by yourself. All bets
are off.

I don’t believe in bullshit. There’s simply too much drama
attached to it.

Losing Faith.

He laughs at things that are intelligent.
He thinks the whole world owes him something.
I tell him they don't.
He insists they do-and decides to take it further
by having a baby with a dark-haired woman
with too much lip, whose intelligence is sub-par,
and whose tattoos are jaded, at best; she was
trying to impress him when they first met,
she wanted a husband, she says, not a lover.
She does not have faith in the system.

I, myself, prefer a lover, not a husband.
I prefer long walks on the
beach, talking about sweet sorrows and the
horrible killing of the whales
and the mating of the elephants
in long exhausted Africa, where the Rwandans and
Congolese people are trying to survive on little
or nothing at all.

I prefer making dinner at home to going out.
I prefer movies at the theater to a DVD player.
I prefer a lot of things. That doesn’t mean I’m
going to get it. I’m not loud, or boisterous,
or rude; that’s what men prefer nowadays.
At least that's what I read in an article in The New York Times.

I am a quiet woman in a room full of light and color
and the darkness is prominent. Nothing can be done
about this. No one says anything about anything.


I wonder if Stephanie Meyer thought of Chopin's "Nocturne" when she was thinking of the title for her stories.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just for references.

I sent five poems to a magazine entitled "Pure Francis."

A Home Divided: a short story.

Sarin, Alabama, 1965.

I was a child nearing thirteen and every day I became weaker and weaker. He said my vital signs were weaker than a little girl’s and I shan’t have much longer to live. This was not the news I was looking for. I sat on the edge of the hospital bed, my legs dangling over it like branches swaying in the wind and all the while my mother wept at the doctor with the big head and the glistening face and the ears that stuck out like a rabbit’s. It was Saturday, and I should have been playing outside with all the other kids but I wasn’t. I didn’t know why I couldn’t, at least not at the time.
Most doctor’s offices were closed on Saturdays and we took the bus ride all the way down to the hospital in Sarin, the one with the giant statues and the garden out front and the lake that shone like mirrors. While my mother and the doctor chattered on and on about my past medical history, I looked at the paintings on the wall and imagined I was somewhere else, maybe in the woods with a friend or fishing with my uncle.
My uncle Seamus had a condition, too. He had a broken hip and recently had to get a wheelchair. I told him he didn’t need one but he didn’t listen and spent his time wheeling around the kitchen in it because the living room is too cluttered with junk. He hired a maid-a black woman with wide breasts-to clean it every Sunday but she was slow and sloppy with her work and he liked to point his cane at her and yell out swear words I wasn’t supposed to hear.
When I heard this I always giggled behind my hands. It was very funny to me to hear an old man swear like that. He thought it was funny, too. My father would not think it was so funny. I did not know where he was. I wished he was with me all the time.
Dr. Smith was not an ugly man. He had a bunch of degrees on the wall and his stethoscope was cold and shone like the moon at night. He kissed my forehead and gave me a red sucker and said I should take it easy, that surgery wouldn’t be necessary. My mother asked me how long I had.
Dr. Smith gave her a long look over my head, like they were sharing some kind of secret, and said he didn’t know. She nodded, relenting. Grabbing my hand, she dragged me back down to the bus, carrying the prescription he wrote to me like a shield, and we climbed aboard and smiled at the bus driver with the scary eyes and bunched-up shirt that showed too much. The bus driver did not speak to us. He never did, but that didn’t stop my mother from trying to be friendly.
"Hello, sir," she said. "I hope you are doing fine. As you can see, my girl’s got cancer, please drive real slow. She gets sick easily."
He didn’t answer.
We sat in the middle of the bus. The seats were too high up for me.
My legs dangled over the side and my mother told me we were going to go to the store to get my medicine, she said it was medicine to make me feel better and the reason I was feeling terrible was because I had something called leukemia. She said it meant I was special in a way that was different from the other kids and that I shouldn’t worry and that God took care of special children like me.
She said I didn’t have to go to school anymore and that she would teach me. I made a face. I liked school especially this boy named Benjamin Thomas Reed, who liked to poke me in the back and said things that were supposed to sound mean but wasn’t. Once he said I was "resilient" and I looked up the word in the dictionary and it was a good word, not a bad one. I asked him where he got the word from and he said from some old man at Kern’s. Kern was the pharmacy downtown.
"What about Father, Mama?" I wanted to know.
Maybe Father could convince Mama that it was okay to go to school.
"Father’s in the army," she answered shortly, and stared out the window at the passing cars and the buildings that didn’t move. She didn’t like to talk about Father’s work. I suppose it made her jealous.
I didn’t know what to say to that. My father should be home with me, not in some stupid army that didn’t know anything about him.
Later that evening, after supper, I was tired. My mother took me upstairs and put me to bed and gave me medicine from a spoon. I made a face. "Yuck!" I said, and she scolded me, saying the medicine was given to doctors by God and that it will make me good as new. I said I hoped so. I said I wished I knew how to feel better.
My eyes closed.
I woke to the sound of the television downstairs. I climbed out of bed and ran downstairs to see Uncle Ben watching tv, his belly laughing with the comedian on the set. Our tv was in black and white. I climbed up on his lap and asked him what he was doing here and he said he was helping Mama mow the lawn. I told him the doctor said I had leukemia and he said he was very sorry and he brought Mama a pie. It was sitting on the table in the kitchen.
"I don’t feel like eating right now," I told him.
He patted my back. "There, there, baby," he said soothingly. "May God soothe your soul."
Mama came home from work and Uncle Ben cut the pie and gave me a piece. It was a good pie, with large red cherries full of sugar and preserves and crust that melted like butter in my mouth. I took my medicine again and Bobby Jones came over and we played in the backyard until dusk, when the fireflies turned on their lights to light up the night sky and filled the evening with shadows. They danced away my sorrows.


"The Sims 3" comes out in June!

I love that game. It helps me with characterization and story plots.

Statue of David.

In your garden, there is a statue
of David-a spectacular masterpiece,
a refined piece of artwork..

When I come to visit your garden,
I forget all about the flowers,
I forget all about the birds who flock for miles
to visit your bird house; they know it is the best
around, they’ve read all about it.

I marvel at the art of a living god, not the
statue of David,
but the very art of Nature, how it can carve
a single multiple pattern in a green leaf,
how the squirrel seems to know just where
he left his secret stash of nuts from last year.

Such wonders I have gazed upon
in this still morning; I can’t wait
to write them all down.
At tea time, we drink rosemary tea and ate
hors d’voures. A yellow-tailed butterfly lands
on the tea pot, searching for sweet necter of its own.
Far-off, we hear the drone of bees,
who chatter on and on about Michelangelo.
It felt like I could remember what
it felt like

To remember, to forget something
I could not see standing outside of myself,
Staring, blankly staring at the
Front porch, at the back door,
At a spot inside myself I just
Can’t reach.

(Written when I was 22, I believe-I don't have any new stuff yet.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Visit To California.

The sea lions sun on a warm rock in San Francisco.
I am on Pier 41, leaning over the railing, taking pictures
of the animals, the water, and Alcatraz-the place
that is haunted by too much pigeon shit. It costs one hundred
dollars to take a ferry over. I decline the offer from
a man wearing a black hat.

I can hear the sea lions calling me from where I stand-they
sound like the whirring blade of a ceiling fan.

This is my 49th visit to California. I live in Toledo, Ohio,
twenty minutes away from the turnpike off of
Denny’s farm.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Denny’s horses;
I’m sure they are still there, their tails waving lazily
in the warm wind, their nostrils heaving in and out.
All I own is an ant farm.

My Aunt Mary’s Quilts.

My father got another quilt from his sister, Mary,

She knits quilts day in and day out and sells
them for a small profit at the Summit Mall.
The new one is blue with yellow tassels-
it reminds me of the sunny sky. It reminds me
of daisies and good times with aunts and uncles
at picnics and Christmas dinner.

My aunt Mary is 59 going on 60. She is a skinny
woman with brown hair and glasses and
a quiet demeanor, as if she sees more than
the rest of us, as if she knows more than her brother.
She is making another quilt-it is halfway finished.

One day, she says, she hopes to quilt the moon.

I tell her this is a big dream. She replies that she understands.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Synopsis for "Forge of Magic, Bind of Bone."

Forge of Magic, Bind of Bone.

The Necromancer resorts back to being a more animal-like creature and takes shelter in a wizard's barn.

Torrance Interwell finds out he is a Lightweaver; not many Elves are Lightweavers.

Alira has the ability to see what the Necromancer sees. She does not like it-much.

Nerev is annoyed by his brother’s constant negativity spiral.

Sebastian begins to realize there is no middle ground when it comes to honor and protection.

More war in the Eastern Kingdoms. The winter months are harsh and dangerous & survival is cruel and demanding. Damsel tries to forge closer relationships w/ the dragons and is having little success; dragons are warm-blooded creatures and hate the cold.

King Herod realizes the entire castle was put under a spell by the Necromancer-by accident. He treks to the Tower of High Sorcery to reverse the spell.

Poetry Update.

I have not written any new poems because I am working on both my novels:

"Horn of Neverwhen."

"Forge of Magic, Bind of Bone." (sequel to "Wizard's Alchemy," which I sent to Baen Books.)

Writing novels makes me a bit tired-however, I did send out a few songs to Roadrunner Records, and I am sending out some country songs to a different music company.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

He said, I don’t.

He said, I don’t have time for you.
The wind said, We don’t want you to be witty.
I asked him what he wanted.
He said he wanted a public space.
The sky is large with the hugeness of space.
Tears smack in the dirt.
Gardens are growing. In Jackson, Tennessee,
I see you wandering in your backyard,
holding a trowel, digging in the dirt.
You look like you’re upset.
A deer peeks in through the trees,
its eyes round and large like the moon.
He said I wished you would write poetry.
I replied that I could.
He didn’t believe me. Asked to see some proof.
I showed him the garden; my trowel;
and the doe sitting like a statue in the trees.
He said that wasn’t enough.
I told him to move,
this was not the right lesson
on flowers.
I said I liked daisies.

i am not a genius.

I am not a genius-the professor claims-scribbling the words
on the chalkboard in the classroom,
students filing in and taking their seats. One student brings him
an orange instead of an apple,
and he eats it while sitting in his swiveling chair, spewing shit
about the temperature in Great Britain or Canada.
I only listen half-heartedly. I scribble other words in
my notebook-words like "molasses," "airplane," and "brigade,"
words that sound out of tune and not quite right.
It’s almost time to go. We write a paper on thermodynamics.
I pick up my books, and we gather in
the hallway like moths gather around a flame,
hoping for the warmth of another celestial body.

Just for references...

I sent a submission to "ugly cousin" today. Four poems.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Unrequited Bitterness.

The only movies you have are the ones in your head.
The bodies of mothballs litter the floor. My mother trips
over one of them on her way outside-there is no foolishness, only things
that are wrought, discovering the shadows that pinpoint each
star. In the sky, the pigeons flock, clouds move gently
toward broken meadows.

I have called myself out on a lot of things. Like licorice and
broken game systems. I didn’t mean the things I said,
the words were something I said out of anger. Bitter loneliness
flocks the island. I trip on my own two feet on the way
up the stairs. Love is in the air but I don’t feel it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

On Walden.

I think Henry David Thoreau only went to live in the woods (1845 I believe), because he lacked communication skills and was considered an outcast among his friends and family; he probably suffered from bouts of depression and malnutrition.    Usually people who write that much are considered outcasts and people are not very friendly towards them because they are educated and talk like a book.  It happens to the best of us.  I'm sure he fought a lot with his parents when he was a child-or he was rather obedient and got sick of it.  I sure would have.  Being obedient to parents who only care when they feel like it is not really the way to go.

Sent out another submission.

I sent out four more poems to "Rattle" magazine.  Instead of listing publishing credits, I sent them without it.  Maybe that is more professional.  We'll see.

Monday, May 04, 2009

On Pride and Prejudice.

I'm reading Pride and Prejudice.

I've never read such drivel in my life.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Emotional Rollercoaster.

you leave me tethered, entwined in a spiral.
I shake your hand-
you say that the night is cold.

I wake in my bedroom, now.

I am alone, sleeping next to a cold pillow.
The days and nights are burning
with the putrid smell of rain,
my hand moves in front of my face,
the dog awakens next door.
She said, The cornflowers are growing!

To make conversation.
I agree halfheartedly, but I am not

That flesh is flesh, and words are words.

As Much As I Love You.

As much as I love you, I have let you go.
The birds sing in roses and gardens.
The sliver of moon brushes across a midnight
I see you once every seventy years.
Your tears fall softly down your face.

As much as I love you, I have let you go.
You are quiet in your grace.
When you let the roses in,
you let in the whole wide universe.