Monday, May 17, 2010

New Poem - Composition


when the sun is orange and low
squinting into every inch of road
and a song’s notes
play their way past Monday’s wax
and down into a full chest

the scent of your eyes
in green mountain air
thuds and thuds and thuds

and i sing

and i write inside my fingers’ skin and i gotta get this down i gotta get it out

and i sing

and i sing to what could have never happened and i sing to the fear that if it didn’t and i sing to the memory of thinking i’d never touch your lips again and i sing to falling into your arms each night and i sing to “when can i kiss you again” and i sing to the day we breathed air as one

the first time

and i sing to every mile since then and i sing

and i sing
and i gotta get this down

down and out into the fleshy part
where no one else can see
where everyone will see

that part that makes us whole
again and again

that part where parts become particles and every solid square fits into a space
a space filled with

a place to sing
a place to stay

our memories
our constant

within and around and through and amongst and into
every note every stroke
of ink

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Following My Heart

Currently listening to: "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" by Elton John.

At the moment, I could really use a cigarette. I don't want one. I don't need one.

But, ultimately, I could really use one.

I'm not all about publishing other people's business. It's not my place. So, I'll try my best to follow my heart here and NOT get anyone else pissed off by saying too much.

I will place "you" or "him" or "he" or "she" or "her" or "it" to the side, and, instead, use the lovely pronoun, "I." Afterall, pronouns are my specialty.

I can't expect to not be helped. I can't expect to not be worried about, especially when I'm not following the best path. I'm following the only way I THINK there is. Why do I think this? Because withering away into nothingness is the way I should live? But there is nothing else for me, is there? That's the most ridiculous way to think, and I need to snap out of it.

I may think I have snapped out of it by doing this or doing that, but I HAVE NOT. They can still see it in my eyes. There is no possible way to place a forcefield around myself without ANYONE noticing.

I am not that good at this. I think I am. But I am not. I am not fine. I can't fake it. I can't be looked in the eyes by all of them and tell them that I am fine and ok and taken care of.

Seriously, who am I kidding?

I ignore pleas. I ignore the hands, thankfully regretting that it's just not me to take them. I will stay here in misery and act as if I am the happiest person alive. Or the happiest person I can be.

This is no way for me to live my life. This seems to be the ongoing theme here. Life really is NOT supposed to be this hard.

I need to stop shoving it all down into the pit of my colon and breathe. Breathe in the air of those who love me. If not, I am sure, that they will all face me at once and I will be in hell. Then I will really have a choice to make.


My mother, Becky, is a little woman. She's blond and everyone finds her pleasant and sweet. She is, usually, until she isn't.

Anyway, my mother loves to say the sayings that get the majority of the population through life. They are predictable and cliche.

Like this one: Don't throw stones when you live in a glass house.

Typical, but it's one that I try to live by and one that I push onto others. If I am to push any message (since we Christians are so well known for doing that), it is this.

There is no time or place for hypocrisy. Don't offer help if you will not accept it when someone offers it to you. Don't love and worry and not expect to be loved and be worried about in return. Life doesn't work that way.

Granted, I may be only "almost" 27, but this I know.

Cut the fucking shit out. It hurts like hell. It hurts me. It hurts everyone that loves you and cares about you.

Don't run from it. Just accept it.

This will make you a hero.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We will start with a poem...

I think I wrote this when I lived on the hill above Beaver Falls, PA. When I had a husband, and he had a lesbian for a wife.


I wonder about the time it will take for children to tell stories about rock salt that transforms into lime over red-bricked pathways to doors we no longer know how to open. It was a trip I had to take. Down blue highways of the Midwest. Into the South where people sing because that’s all they know. I needed to go to places where people sit on porches for a living. I had to see the carbon copy of my life. Different colored eyes. Different voices. To hear the voice so like mine that there was no use in recognizing it. It was time to drive. It was time to let children stare at old ladies. It was time for days to become weeks. Hours into years. To sip a bit of gin. Rock back and forth on the swing. Feel the ridges of a steering wheel. Let muggy wind into my pores.

If there’s a story in it. Maybe I’ll find it. Maybe I’ll find out about nature. Sleek pavement, potholes, dead trees growing higher. Maybe I’ll find my story traveling fifty miles over the speed limit watching grandmas shake their heads and mothers running, screaming from front doors.

Oh, how the look of God’s eyes frightens the hell out of me.

There are no names in this untold story. There couldn’t be. No characters in time. No protagonist nor antagonist nor round nor flat nor sound. Writers are too generous to themselves when they create people out of reality. Writers are really too self-involved to not put something of themselves in each character. Maybe this is just a poet’s epiphany, but every character has a characteristic of you, of him, of her, of me. Maybe not the dog, but maybe not the cat either. That is why this story must be about place. Every story must be about place. The place I never see. Writing only what I think I know. My other reality. And then I bleed.

I wanted my next book to be a political one about that fucking male-dominated Texan. Maybe I just need to write a little shit before I take a drive down the interstate. I’ll stop in Lexington, Birmingham, Little Rock, what’s left of New Orleans. Still big cities. What I need to get the fuck away from. I want to see houses without siding. Torn paint. A 90-year-old black woman wrinkled by sweat. Letting the imitation-Chinese fan rub away at her eyes. Her butt sticking to the splinters of a wooden step.

Then there are dirt roads. Dust, I think. Not quite sand. Never soil. Lots of rock.

I get thirsty on Saturdays. There’s enough tea to go around. Where has all the bourbon gone?

I’ve seen Kentucky. No blue grass. Merely tinted by sun. I went there once with a friend of mine to become one with horses at Churchhill Downs, but I thought I was to write about places I do not know. Like the inside of a Utah polygamist’s home. I was supposed to read Kerouac’s On the Road for a college class. I never got past the first chapter.

There’s nothing in middle earth they tell us. I don’t even know what my neighbors look like. Twenty feet away on both sides. I hear them whistling, fighting on the grass sidewalk outside my home.

Sequence is for the talented. Dismay is for the real. Imagination is for all the little children of the world.

So I must write poetry. If nothing else. A poet can sing all she likes in air meant for men to breathe. But this is not to be a feminist monologue. A-sexuality is the key to my existence and cliché runs the world.

Seven is a scary number. Even the roman numeral of it creates turmoil. The big V belittled by two, skinnier, vertical slashes. Slash one, slash two. Come get me V. For I’ve taken your children out from under your skin. Your womb embeds itself into mounds of salt.

I stop at a diner where they serve poached eggs and greasy toast. Gallons of coffee sucked by men in dirty baseball caps. A sticky, red, plastic stool with a rusted stem. Oils spread over a black oven top caked with singed pig’s fat. A young child. A boy. A girl. It looks to be something more than that. Brown hair cut just below ears, sleepies in corners of eyes, blue mesh shorts, orange juice stain on a white t-shirt. It eats a bowl of cereal and stares at its mother smoking a cigarette. I look down at my eggs over-easy, sausage patty, cup of tea. The child eats marshmallows. I wish for Captain Crunch.

I leave my plate untouched. It’s arrangement too delicate for a water-washed fork. Cautiously squeaking the stool around, I find rest for my feet on soiled tile. White beneath stains of nicotine and bacon sweat. The child looks over at me. I cannot smile. Its face has highways written all over it. Its stare like pupil-covered eyes. It raises its left hand while mother reads The Star.

The child is great with letters. The child lips the number of soggy marshmallows left it the bowl. I slam a glass door on a brick wall and sprint to my Chevy.

What are we to do when clouds move that fast when the body of a dead doe drowns in a God made puddle on the interstate. Her head submerged her body and hinde legs disgraced by hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline. Archery season brings out the dead more so than rifle season. It’s harder to shoot when a bow’s off target. It’s harder to pull that string. It’s harder to pierce the soul of earth with an arrow.

Then we mark our spot.

~A.P. Greco

Listenting to: "Kostantine" - Andrew McMahon

"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." - Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

It's not dramatic. It really isn't. To say that the end is what matters most, that is dramatic. Because the end, essentially, is death.

What you look back on at the end is what you took for granted. Then it's too fucking late.

Ok, let me stop being so dramatic and bring it down to something personal, something smaller. I have three main goals in life (and they are in no particular order): 1. Publish; 2. Teach; 3. Have a family.

I have done all three, in one way or another. I have "sorta" published. I have "sorta" teached. I have "sorta" had a famiy.

So, I'm not completely there yet. I have not published any of my finished books or chapbooks. I do not have a full-time teaching gig. I have a family, but I'm not married, am not raising a child that is, essentially, my own with my partner, and I do not own a home, and so on and so on.

There are all these end goals that I have. All of these things that, sometimes, I wish I could just snap my fingers and they all become true in an instant.

That's not how life works, and it shouldn't work that way. Here are the things that I know.

I am not a full-time teacher because I chose my writing before my "career." I am not published because I then focused on "work and money" before my craft. And, I chose the wrong people to begin relationships with in my past.

Here's what else I know, I'm GLAD I did all of these things. This is called living. I haven't wasted anytime. No one wastes their time. It's life. One day. Then the next. And then the next.

The only thing that has changed for me is that now I am completely focused on all three of my goals. And, instead of following impulse, I am following my heart. Instead of going right or left, I'm headed forward.

And guess what, I'm still going to do everything I can to enjoy every single minute of it. Even if you believe in reincarnation, we really only get one conscious chance at this gig.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This way on me.

Today is day 4 without a cigarette. I have yet to have a really intense craving. That's probably because I am not currently stressing. Or, quite possibly, smoking would mean that I have failed to control an impulse. I don't want to be controlled by something like that. Nope. Not me. Not any fucking more.

One thing that keeps going over and over in my head is something Julia said to me last week. Of course, I'm horrible at remembering anything verbatum (im?). To paraphrase, though, she said that it's going to get harder and harder to quit smoking, to quit addictions, to change habits and behaviors the older I get. She, herself, is going through issues and wishes she could go back 10 years and slap herself silly.

Instead, she gets to slap me silly (which I think she may enjoy, and, I can't lie, I like it too).

It's true, though. I'm leaving cigarettes behind me. They are part of the life I don't want to have in my late twenties. I'm going to be 27 in a little over a month. I have a family. I have cats and dogs. It's time to grow up. It's time to set aside the vices of a young adult and get on with getting on.

The thing is...

I can have fun without cigarettes. I can have fun without getting hammered every Friday and Saturday night. I can have fun without the five new pairs of skater shoes very six months.

The other day I had a blast sword fighting and kicking the soccer ball in the yard with Mas. It was a fucking blast.

I have found, for myself, that it's not so much about the distractions being distractions, but that the distractions actually turn into a way of life. A happiness I didn't know before because I was too busy puffing away at tobacco or rationalizing why I bought a three hundred dollar bike.

Do what feels right. It's harder than one might think, but it's also the easiest thing in the world to do.

And, baby, I'm with you. Right now. Forever. Hold tight. We have a long (and sometimes shitty) road ahead of us. Lean, baby. Just lean.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's not about failure; It's About Honesty

That's what Julia just said to me.

Today I have had two cigarettes.

Yesterday I had several. I didn't count.

The day before I had three.

I fell off the wagon, or got back on it... whichever one it is. And, I will tell you, I don't feel too good about myself. But, that comes along with my personality. I'm self-destructive and hate to love my self-pity. It's sick and twisted, and I'm working through it.

I just started reading this book about healing the addictive personality. As I stood in Borders staring at all the "How To Deal With Recovery" books on alcoholism, drug addiction, quittng smoking; this book caught my eye. I read through the table of contents and flipped through some of the Zen views the author doctor presented.

Self-help books make me laugh, usually. This one, though... this one has some truth in it, at least for me.

Essentially, it is all about love and the self. It is all about the void a human makes in themselves and then adapting the habits and addictions to try and fill that void.

It talks about working to remake the personality into a truth-based on, as opposed to an addictive one.

It is, literally, all about trust and love and changing one's perception about oneself.

It's about everything that Julia and so many other people in my life have been telling me about.

Simply love. Love simply.

It's such a foreign concept for me, and I have no idea why. And it's my responsibility to figure this out.

I have to take responsibility for my actions, my perception, and my addictions. To nicotine, to drama, to intensity, to misery.

My action plan for the cigarettes: Stop, eventually, and STOP binging RIGHT NOW!

There is no need for me to have a cigarette right now. There is no need for me to have a cigarette after I eat lunch today, after I eat dinner, before I go to bed.

We are snowed in. Two feet and it's still coming down. I have nothing to stress about. No worries. I'm in a house with a lot of love and a lot of laughter.

Here's a poem to keep you company for the day:

I wrote this a couple years ago when I first realized how stuck I really was.


I am homeless. A nomad in limbo. I walk into my parents’ house. I say, “Hello, Dog.” Mother is watching “Days of Our Lives” – taped from the afternoon. I do not know what she will do when VHS no longer exists. She’s only 53. There’s still a lot of time left. There’s still a lot of tape to use and reuse.

I drag my writer’s bag and my duffle bag through the narrow doorway, up narrow stairs and I find more silence before 10x10 walls. Fabricated with birdhouse border and paintings they only sell at craft shows on muggy August mornings in the middle of a street in some unmarked Midwest town.

And I have not been able to eat more than a couple pretzels or a bite or two of a dry pork chop in over 24 hours.

I started smoking a pack of cigarettes yesterday. I quit months ago.

This is the first thing I’ve written in months. And everyone is facing me. Always there in the mirror before me. The crowd. I’m losing this dodge ball game. They feed into my temples, my reconstructed knee, my acidic stomach, my empty chest cavity.

“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” plays loudly through 10-year-old speakers. A muffler bellows, deafening every note for the dog walkers down a cobble-stoned street.

But that was earlier. That was before I spent three hours staring at dead trees. That was before I caved in and called the one person I know who gets it. They never get it when you are lying right next to them, but after, after it disappears—the clarity surfaces. That’s when they let you know how well they can see beneath your skin.

But it’s always too late and it’s never enough.

I am homeless. I have no one to blame.

I stand naked before you and show you absolute surface.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Crash and Burn

I have cramps coming outta my ass.

Today is obviously not the day to fuck with me. I'm pissy and ragging. I'm exhausted.

Gaia was a bitch last night. Ruke cried and scratched at her cage.

Fucking animals.

The kittens got fixed yesterday. We didn't go to the gym this morning.

I smoked a cigarette. A nasty, two-month old Jack. BLAH!

It tasted like shit and made me feel even more like shit.

I have no idea what I'm going to do about this whole job thing. I really am trying to be the good Zen student, but right now my uterus is in control of my brain.

I've applied to both the Baltimore City Teaching Residency program and the PG County Teaching Fellows program. Both, if selected, train you to become a certified teacher for publich schools in MD. Both, if selected, put you in high-need schools. Both, if selected, require the Praxis II exam. Both, if selected, require a 5 1/2 week training program of 12 hour days during the summer.

If I did this, it would mean two things: a total career change commitment and missing out on the Roundtable Conference.

Yea... I don't think I'll follow through with this.

I've applied to a few other admin jobs at some colleges, but who fucking knows if any of those will work out.

Ruke has been up my crampy ass all morning.

She is a doll baby, though. Chip is still acting weird. Gracie is hiding somewhere downstairs. Hawk keeps sleeping on Mason's bed.

Ok. I'm done bitching.

I think.

For now.

Shower time then grocery shopping and other honey-do-list items.

I need a nap.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day Two, Listening to Vampire Weekend

I miss you. I do. Oh so very much right now.

My veins were so happy when I had you rushing through me.

It's day two day.

My veins are twisting and tightening.

I've been a thousand places today. The gym. The train station. Boy's Latin. 7-Eleven Bank Kiosk. Yahoo Mail. University of Phoenix online. ETS. The sunroom. The Baltimore City Teaching Residency website. Confirming my precense to the BCTR information session this evening.

Getting one of the little crying kittens inside the bedroom.

All the girls in the house at the moment are here with me: Goober, Gracie, and my Rukiebaby.

I'm the crazy cat lady. The crazy cat lady without her nicotine and sweet scent of tobacco.

Good thing is, my GRE scores are just high enough that I don't have to take the Praxis I exams. Nope... I only have to spend 400 dollars on Praxis II tests. Ok, I'm exaggerating. I'm only going to take two, which will be 180 bones, but fucking christ; why do I spend so much money on a test I will most likely do horribly on?

Side note: these cats are nuts. Gracie is staring at the wall with such inquisitive determination that I'm afraid she thinks she can somehow become one with it.

And my cat, Ruke, is an obssessive licker. She takes after her mommy quite well.

That's Ruke and me.

I was happy in this photo. I was an active smoker.

Ok... I'm done with the fucking rant bitching.

You want some poetry? Here's some poetry:

To Compose the Perfect Type of Poem at the Perfect Time in the Perfect Pace of Place

“all truth must conform to music” – Richard Hugo

she asks for words
that’ll show

no way to stray
no way to fall out


without the absence of solution

that beat
and beat

the muse changes, my dear
with every second spring

or fall
or winter
summer’s haze into words

medusa’s hair each strand a pair of eyes

needs words
words inside the muse that falls or fails
the internal
of me

the fingers that spit
the fingers that touch
in that space
only words know anything about

such is the beauty
as you know
of music

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tomorrow is Doomsday

February 1, 2010 is going to suck some royal ass.

I'm done with the cigarettes. Or so I hope. I have this deal with Julia. I'll quit smoking and she'll stick to her diabetes diet.

We may end up drawing blood by the end of the week.

I've quit before. A few times. I always turn the car back around, though. For one reason or another. A breakup. A stressful day at work. A family member dead.

Why is it that I cope with life by putting smoke into my lungs? Does that even make any sense? I get the whole nicotine is more addictive than cocaine shit, but, essentially, all I'm doing is dealing with my issues by breathing in smoke.

And I absolutely love it. LOVE IT. God, it feels amazing to light up that cigarette and just breathe, watching the rich orange coil burn at the tip and into my cells.

When I say it like that, it doesn't seem so disgusting, does it?

That's just the brooding poet lurking inside of me.

It's going to suck. Suck ass, as I said above. Royal. Fucking. Ass.


How am I going to do this? I have no fucking idea.

5:30 a.m. is gym time. Then drive Julia to the train, Mason to school, and back to the gym at 11 a.m. for my free personal trainer session.

Then what the fuck is my nicotine-craving, aching veins going to do?


That's what I've heard is the best way to handle the screamies, the crazies, and the dummies. Cuz that's what you get in the first 48 hours. You go crazy. You scream. You become completely DUMB.

No diggity. No doubt.

The thing that lasts the longest: the dummies. I will be, literally, a fucking mentally disabled human for at least two weeks. I will have to relearn everything. Relearn how to think and write and breathe without the act of smoking a cigarette.


I need a cigarette.

A bit of my sound


So, I write my first post and as soon as I go to publish it, the fucking thing decides that it doesn't want to connect its electrons with the other electron or neurons or protoconicalfuckingpiecesofshits that it needs to in order for the fucking post to post.

So, all I'm doing now is posting up a poem as opposed to a poem and a rant. Oy. Yinz'll get more more rant later.

Blame it on Gravity

There is a graphic violence in that stare of hers. So, I stare back. Elbows on the island. Palms cupping my chin. “What?” She sings to me as she chops the shitake mushrooms, lips curled up or down or sideways. I smile.

I turn to the family room that I will always call a living room. I don’t give a fuck what Emily Paste or Puste or Pissant dumbass bitch, thinks; it’s a goddamn fucking living room.

Fluffed pillows. Vacuum streaks. Dustless. Centered. Re-centered. Censored.

Fox News continually pelts out nonsense on my love’s new 52-inch flatscreen.
Something about the Korean prerogative and Chinese authorities and pedophiles on Twitter.

I cannot breathe and I cannot listen. I roll my eyes and shake my head.

“What?” I raise my eyebrows in that way that gets her going. “What was that look for?”

There is never a look. Just a looking.

Sometimes it’s so fucking hard being in a love with a republican.

“Nothing, dear.”

I find the clicker and click up.

“… in It’s A Living, starring Ann Jillian in the original episodes. But those were the days leading up to her battle with breast cancer. She did bravely return to help push the show towards syndication before…”

It didn’t take me long to learn how to hang my shoulders and walk the other way.

when i dream i dream subtly and there’s never an ounce of reality but the mixings of real aspects i hate the goddamn number 11 and i fucking hated life when i was openly heterosexual i don’t understand why anyone would want a life openly and to be openly forever openly naked and openly

fuck that shit

i will give you a dream about dreams of becoming

that sexy dyke was in that sexy car and times got lost on Blackberry Road so she turns to me without a face without a name with only existence she tells me to do this and that and of course i fucking like it that way without faces and without names so i entered 40° 40 hours 0 minutes North, 74° 7 hours 4 minutes West into the GPS which are of course the coordinates for…

my dreams prefer the ellipses at the beginning of things

i would have fucked her

fucked her

teased her

felt her

tasted her

but i can’t be a douchebag in this dream not when i cannot even see her face and Casablanca plays in the background and then back to back to back commercials on flame retardant facial hair dykes can buy in porn shops and how to get doped up on Red Bull and 5-hour energy shots without crashing down into a river and she disappears and i’m on a corner in Rochester, PA where football is played to win bridges and the hobo the thumber from my childhood is walking outside of his grave in a new French cuff shirt and he’s waving a crushed pocket watch in the air and he’s screaming down into the water and he’s screaming up into the rusted bolts swaying with the wind and he’s screaming as lines break and he’s screaming

white space

and that sexy dyke without a face is staring at me
with rings in her eyes


is in
its place

The First Draft of the First Post


So, it didn't work.

I tried uploading a file of me reading the poem that is published at the link above.


I hate computers. I've heard this before...

Fucking hate em.

I just finished up reading a teen's book by Sherman Alexie. He's a cool dude. Way fucking talented in the poetry realm. He blows me outta the water. He's a Native American writer and totally needs to be given more props than he does. I hate it when the talent gets squashed by the shit that numb (notice, I didn't say dumb) people read.

It pisses me off.

Read Sherman Alexie.

If anything, read at least SOMETHING of his. The Business of Fancydancing is amazing if you like poetry. If you want to read a book, read The Indian Killer. Fucking isanely good.

On all fronts. Storytelling, theme, plot line, imagery, metaphor. Even the numb folks in the world can appreciate it.

Shit, if my previous students who read it thought it was amazing, anyone can read it. And they don't read. No. Correction. They didn't read until they had to be in my class. Now they'll never read a thing the same way again. Ha. Now they actually read.

Here's Alexie's site:


I'm trying to get some pictures up here of his books and Explorer is deciding not to work.

Anyway... that's a funny picture of the man himself.