Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I know, I know...

I'm actually still really upset about Elephant. I'm silly, I know. But I am.

Max seems to be doing okay, at least. He carries around Elephant 2 plus either Binky Dog or Bunny Bear. He seems to want two things. But he's asked for Elly a few times. I just give him Elephant 2 and try to act like nothing's wrong.

Ah well.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Watch out, He Might Blow

(Something less serious and depressing than the last post)

Watch out, he might blow

That little man in the corner over there...
I've been watching him.
The party swirls on around him,
conversations ebbing and flowing,
punctuated by the silver peals of laughter
of our hostess,
the inestimable, the esteemable, the powerful:

And he,
the husband,
so quiet and unmoving.
The lines on his face settling deeper and deeper
into a roadmap of stillness.

His eyes, though,
so much more alive than the rest of us,
darting and fleeing around the room
to stop, to settle, to hang
so heavily on his wife
and then start the pendulum back,
touching always on
that dapper gentleman over there...
the one who hangs on our hostess
so gracefully, so tightly, so singly,
with every bon mot and every glance,
even from across the room.

There's an undercurrent of tension
here, among the frivolous joy --
And I cannot help but wonder
whether cocktail weiners can be
used as weapons of mass destruction.

Epic Fail

I feel like I've had my first big Mommy failure. Max lost elephant at the mall today. Elephant #1. I've been careful lately to not let elephants out of the house, but Tony picked up Max to strap him in the car and he still had elephant. I thought about saying something, but I didn't. We've taken him out before (sometimes both of them) and it's always worked out, though we've had some close calls (left behind at a couple of stores, but I've always managed to find him). This time it didn't work out.

I had to get some new glasses because I lost my old ones somewhere in the house. Or maybe Max did; I don't know...they're just gone. And since Tony is off to London again this week, I really needed some new glasses so I could drive while he was gone. So while I was in VisionWorks at Hawthorne Mall, Tony was on Max duty. They played around the store for a while and then went on to the playground area. Me, I had my eye exam and looked for frames and got my eyes dilated.

On the way back to the car, I said "Where's Elephant?" assuming that he had wound up in Tony's pocket like he usually does. But Tony didn't have him. And he wasn't in the car. We got home and called iHop (where we'd had breakfast) and I called the mall where (prophetically) they told me that they didn't have Elly in the lost and found box but that they "threw away any dirty stuffed animals" that they found. Which, by the way, is evil. Because the loved ones? They're the dirty ones. If they are sparkling clean and new? Those aren't the loveys. The loveys are LOVED.

I also called the bookstore since Tony had gone in there and Delia's, since Tony had said that Max kept going in there because he liked to walk through their sign. But no go.

We had to go back to the mall to pick up my glasses, so we did that on the way to the airport. We drove through the parking lot slowly and checked out the aisle we had parked in and two more for good measure. No Elephant. The Max was asleep, so Tony stayed with him out in the car while I went in to pick up my glasses.

While I was waiting for my turn, I saw a security guard standing outside the store (and, according to the people on the phone earlier, mall security is in charge of the lost and found), so I asked the fellow if anyone had turned in an elephant. A guy who happened to be standing nearby taking surveys goes "A floppy grey elephant?" and for a minute I was very excited. It turns out Max must have left it on the post right outside the VisionWorks store while he and Tony had been playing around. The guy had propped it up on the post and left it there, but then later had seen a maintenance worker pick it up.

So I cornered a maintenance guy who was nearby, but he had no idea (and it wasn't him, anyway, but some other taller maintenance guy). The security guy was also no help. I had to get back to the car to get Tony to the airport, so I left. I was also, honestly, a wee bit of a wreck because a) I read The Velveteen Rabbit far too many times as a child and b) Max had already had one major meltdown at home when he figured out he had not two elephants, but one and the elephant he did have was not THE elephant. Backup elephant has always been backup elephant, even though he's loved carrying both around. Tony can't tell the difference, but Max and I can.

Tony doesn't get why I'm so upset, but he calls the mall again on the way to the airport but just asks if anyone has turned in the elephant (a question I already know the answer to) even though I tell him the new info. He just thinks Max will "live" and be fine. And, yes, I know that's true but that's not the point.

When we get back home I call again and explain to the concierge desk lady the situation. At first she tells me there are no maintenance people working today and then she's just confused. Ultimately, they say they'll look again and call me back. They do, about five minutes later, and no elephant. Which I expected by this point. They obviously threw him away.

It pains me to write that. Maybe I'm silly, I don't know. But Elephant has been there for Max for his whole life and has comforted him through bruises and bumps and nightmares and who knows what else. His trunk and hands were turned yellow from Max sucking on them when a binky just wouldn't do. He called him Elly, when the two elephants together where "Ants!" -- but Elephant was always Elly. I thought he'd have Elly his whole life and be able to sit him on a shelf someday and chuckle fondly at how raggedy he'd grown over the years. Maybe sneak him off to college because he just couldn't bear to leave him behind.

Elephant just wasn't something that should ever be thrown away.

I'm sorry, Max. I'm sorry, Elly. This time I failed.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Staring into space

I'm in the writing stage where you spend a lot of time staring off into space. I think it's the stage that most confuses my husband. He's a do-er and this part of writing looks like a lot of nothing.

It's kind of like cooking, if your ingredients were all invisible and stewing in one giant pot. You stir and stir and stir...some things splash out and you clean them up; other things meld together and become yumminess. And after awhile, it's time to put it in the oven to bake and then you really get started.

Almost there, almost.

Though compared to these authors, my writing process seems downright calm and collected.

I'm trying to be fairly organized -- so I'm thinking, then outlining, then writing. I pretty much go from chapter one on down the road, periodically with brief detours into little snippets. But other than that, I'm pretty straightforward. No writing in the tub, though I do think of stuff in the shower.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sometimes Happier

I'm happier sometimes
and sometimes not...
be happier still
if I were better...
but I'm not.

Don't think I haven't tried;
it just isn't in me
to be better...
but happier, that I could probably do.

Friday, November 06, 2009

So There.

Okay, so I'm all caught up now. I posted all the poems I had on Facebook and put them here. Some with dates, until I got lazy and just posted the poems instead. Ah, well.

I'll try to be more regular now. At posting, that is.

No Editing

I used to be a poet...
wrapping my teenage self in poetry
larking about with words, o glorious, vain glorious words...

a long time now,
since a poem
has sprung forth
fully formed, half-assed, or otherwise
from me

perhaps my soul has become stilted
and steeped
in the mundane inanities of the life that lives in my head;
that endless stream of things to do, things to be said

checklists make terrible poems

Some Days

Some days,
I'm just not there
not here, not there,
not anywhere

Living in my head
can be crazy wonderful &
desperately dull
and everything inbetween the lines

Some days,
I'm just stringing together
one piece of me at a time
endlessly reaching out for that future I can't see

Trying to be
that me
everyone else seems to think I am
and everything inbetween

Some days,
I should just shut up.

One a day

One of these a day
will surely do some good...
Opening up the silly gates
and letting it all flood out

After all, I'm awash
in mismatched metaphors
and synonyms I don't need...
Not to mention all those adverbs just lying around

Mommy Day

I'm going to have a good day today
damn the torpedoes
and all of that

nothing will get done,
no decisions will be made

there will be hugs
and kisses and that irrepressible pitter patter of Happy Max Feet

Oh Sleepyhead

Before I was a mommy,
there was this thing called sleep
I knew it -- and loved it, really,
(don't tell the husband)
but I took it for granted;
stopped bringing it flowers,
didn't look up from what I was reading
when it came calling.
And now, look at me now,
the baby has stolen it away
and I'm begging at the window
for just one more taste
from that sweet slumbering wellspring.
One only misses a love affair
once it is over.

I don't like to rhyme

I'm not a rhyming poet;
heck, I'm not much of a poet at all.
but I hate to rhyme...
it makes me feel silly
and inadequate
and stuck...what if I want to talk about oranges?
Or pickles?
I'd be trapped making references to Don Rickles
(not that there's anything wrong with him;
he's funny in his own way...
but a poem about him? No, no...I'd say 'no way'
but then I'd be rhyming again
and let's not go there...)
There are poets out there
that can make beautiful rhymes...
twisting their stanzas into
intricate little works of art.
But I am a clumsy poet--
and lazy, true--
So I am quite happy to leave
all the rhyming to you.

Some Days

Some days,
I wish I drank coffee.

Today, I wish
I had a double espresso
with an extra shot of caffeine.

Unnecessary baggage (I've reached the weight limit)

there's a lot of chaos
inherent in every life.
I feel surrounded in
a maelstrom of
...stuff and things

too much

I want to purge
and diverge and
shed my normal skin
get rid of baggage...
the weight of which
holds me earthbound
and gagged

I need to lose myself...
lose myself to find myself
such a cliche
but so true

I want to breathe free

The opposite of deep isn't necessarily shallow

I wish I had something
to say
but I'm really not that complex

There's nothing on my mind
(save the usual, as per usual)
not today

I suppose that means
I'll leave saving the world
to you

Just for today

You Cheat

I felt like cheating today
(after all, who would know?)
and pulling out an old, unpublished, unpolished
bit of poetry. Some bit of skulduggery, that.

Instead, here I am,
late in the day
but intention intact:
another little ditty on display.

Don't you feel better now?
Ah, me too.

Originally posted May 16, 2009

The Title is Untitled

Every day, the same thing--
that blank screen staring back at me...
that cursor, so insistent,
sitting there
blink, blink, blink...
demanding words and sentences and paragraphs and chapters

I sling nouns and verbs
adverbs and prepositions
(too many, perhaps)

and still the damn thing sits there blinking at me

Take that,
you silly thing,
I'm nearly done.

originally posted May 17, 2009

On the Spit

"Eh" might best describe
how I'm feeling today.
It could, perhaps, be worse
but I haven't the energy
to work myself into a tizzy
or even a slow fizzle.

(And here's the day,
half gone already.
Wither do they go?
Heck if I know.)

Sometimes, the life of a hermit
sounds so appealing and quiet...
and restful

But then I think of doing without
(toilet paper, mostly, let's be honest--
how would I live without the Charmin?)
and I stick where I am.
Today is a just a slow burn.

Originally posted May 18, 2009


During the day,
with Tony gone,
the house used to be quiet and still

Sometimes there was music
or the insistent meow meow
of a fat cat overly concerned
about the state of her food dish

But, as a general rule,
there was silence

there's always a quick
mysterious bang, bang, bangs
terrifying whumps
and incoherent but sweet
babble boo bub blu blah boo bee

the soundtrack of my life
has changed

(originally posted May 19, 2009)

Poor Tippi

O how I hate the little birdies
with their chirpful morning ablutions
(that seem to start earlier each day)
Such a joyful annoying cacophony they make
...right outside my window

(originally posted May 20, 2009)

Blustery Day

There's a breeze blowing
in from somewhere
could be anywhere
could be here
maybe there's change
carried along
in the arms of this windy fellow
Perhaps the name is Mariah to some,
but to me,
he's always been an adventurous sort
never one to stay in one place for long
and always willing to ruffle some feathers

Originally posted May 21, 2009

Full Tired

It's late now
after a day full of
and I,
I'm tired.
nothing more
to say
than that.

(originally posted May 22, 2009)

Why Anyway

I'm glad I'm not a writer
on one of those television shows
where someone always dies
in a horrible fashion
and the characters scramble around
solving murders and cracking jokes
around the blood and guts
like there's something
inherently funny
about intestines
out and about
where no intestines should be

(originally posted May 23, 2009)

The Drive In

We went to a Drive In last night
(neither of us having been
in more years than we care to admit)
It was a doubleheader
and double the fun
--so much more exciting than a
movie in a theater
People talking, football throwing,
the smell of popcorn in the air.
Interactive rather than singular--
more a coming together than a going out.
And little Max, so excited
to be out and about;
he fell asleep
fifteen minutes into Star Trek
once the explosions died down

(originally posted May 25, 2009)


Having a kid
is a little like
having a second childhood

(when did they come up
with all of these
really cool toys??)

or maybe it's
more like watching
a replay, but through the distance of time

(and why are empty Coke bottles
and boxes and corks and junk
still his favorite toys??)

every day is a new discovery
a new moment of "Ah ha!"
every day a triumph

(what will we learn
about tomorrow??)

(originally posted May 26, 2009)

Cabbages and Kings

Hardly logical
and full of nonsense
...that would be me.
I talk to myself
(and my characters;
they're lovely conversationalists)
more than I talk to anyone else...
except, perhaps, for the cat and Max--
the one merely meows or gives a baleful glare
(she is, after all, a cat),
and the other is happy to answer
with a five-toothed smile.
There are ships and sealing wax
in our future;
I can feel it.

Originally posted May 27, 2009.

Never Enough

I have this problem
with time.
It's always running out on me,
like it has a pressing appointment
with someone
far more important than
little old me.
Someone, apparently,
who can give it
better gifts and prettier clothes,
perhaps a baker's dozen roses
for good measure.
Leaving me
always trying to hold on
to those fast disappearing
coattails of time,
promising it more and more
that I can't give.

(originally posted May 28, 2009)

Do I have the time?

Once upon a time,
I might have waxed philosophic
or quibbled over the various merits
of Kant, Proust, or Nietzsche
(Men are Evil, but Women are Mean,
so he said and few have argued)
adopting, I'm sure, a supercilious air
(it would be hard not to, would it not?
-- such rarefied topics as these)
But now,
I merely wonder
whether or not
I should take a nap.

(originally posted May 29, 2009)

Pound of Flesh

I should never make promises
--really, I shouldn't--
especially those where I say
"okay, I'll write a poem
every single day"
Or those haphazard bargains with myself:
"If I get in 1,000 words today
I can have that piece of cake"
because, inevitably,
the promise becomes a noose
and the bargain...
oh those bargains...
they're always a deal with the devil
and the devil is in the details--
we all know that.

(originally posted May 31, 2009)

Cats and Dogs

Distant thunder rumbles rattles the window panes
punctuating the stillness before the rain
begins drumming the walls
a staccato concert
livening up a day gone gray
like the back beat to a song
you can't get out of your head

(originally posted June 1, 2009)

Blech-y Day

Sometimes it feels like my life
has been reduced
to meal times and nap times
and cleaning up inbetween
trying to catch up
but never quite getting there;
frustration my dearest friend
(the kind you'd like to keep at arm's distance,
but who nevertheless clings to you at parties
and drones on and on about that last
wonderful vacation they took)
and monotony
some strange bedfellow you wake up to
morning after morning,
wondering how you first met.

(Originally posted June 2, 2009)

Up Next...

the last chapter
is a bittersweet one
so good to be done,
like bringing something to life
but it also means
our time is over
and the story is done
(except, of course,
for the revisions,

(originally posted June 3, 2009...when finishing up Still Sucks to Be Me)

Here it is

Here it is
the end of the day
and me,
all poem-less--
like a song
without rhythm,
a rhyme
without reason,
a picture
with no one to see it.

And there you go.

(originally posted June 4th, 2009)

There are notes and there are notes

(originally posted on July 16, 2009, over on Facebook)

I'm always getting
some song
rambling around drunk in my head
like that last party guest
you just can't get to leave

and, oh, it's always the one
with the bad taste
and the terrible stories
about that wonderful trip they took
to Boston that one year
when the weather went so crazy
and the swans all froze

you know that song
that's the one
the one yah, yah, yah
that stays with you all day
and just won't leave

and there I am again
humming along
no doubt annoying
anyone else who comes along

My Best Poems

(originally posted on Oct 15, 2009, over on Facebook)

I haven't written a poem down in months

(though before that,
years -- let's be honest;
I am a poet of little stamina
and only the barest of intentions)

even though rare bits of
mismatched stanzas and
utter silliness
drift through my mind
at the strangest times
but always,
without a pen to be found.

Had a nice one in my head
all last night --
Oh, it was a beauty
how those words fit together,
waking me up
with their brilliant finery
but not enough to
actually get up out of bed,
out of the warmth
and the snuggle of the boy
...not to mention the electric blanket.
And then morning came.
Not a stitch of it was left.

My best poems,
I suppose,
are only for me.


(originally posted on 11/4 over on Facebook)

There's this thing every November
called National Novel Writing Month
or NaNoWriMo for short
(or for those who like to say

But here's the problem--
I am, by nature,
a most curious beast--
and both willful and backhanded

As soon as I'm told what to do
and when to do it...
I don't.

I'm sure there's a reason.
Some psychological
You can certainly analyze me if you wish
(though I wouldn't wish it upon you).

It's not that I can't hit a deadline
or sling words around like mud
and see what sticks
...and what stinks

But I'd rather have a story
than 50,000 words.

Itchy Fingers

I have itchy fingers tonight.
I need to write a poem...
but this won't be it.

I need to say those things
that can't be said
or unsaid

So I will whisper them
into my pillow

and pray it has patience with me.

(Okay, so where have I been? All over. Mostly at my main author-ly website and somewhat on our family blog and also wasting gobs of time I can't afford to waste on Twitter and Facebook. So why am I here now? Because I've been posting poems randomly on Facebook and it occurred to me that I do have a better place to put them. This was always my personal blog full of randomness and disconnectedness. Which rather perfectly describes my poetry. Above was tonight's poem--I call these little poem-lets brain dump poetry because they are a) unedited, b) written within the space of 5 minutes or less and c) intended not for publication or show, but just to...well, be. I'll probably post the others that I've been posting on Facebook [also for peace of mind, since you never know what they're gonna do] too, over time. I suppose I could just file them away on my computer in a folder labeled poetry, but they seem so lonely that way. And besides, it's been so long since I posted here that I don't think anyone actually ever reads it anymore. And that's fine. If you -- whoever you are -- do happen upon these random musings, please as Puck says, do forgive.)