Shut Up and Write

We all come from broken childhoods

neglected, tormented, lonely, discouraged.

We’ve all lived through certain heartbreak

tragic melancholy, hope irreparably shattered

We’ve all suffered through loss and

inundation. Life is too much, often,

and disproportionately.

Yet this doesn’t make us average,

or even mundane.

Most people find the strength in themselves to

conquer these mountains,

but we summit these experiences

and feel compelled to tell the stories

until the hurt seeps out of us

and we can write

our own new endings.



As she lay dying

I understand

that I can’t be

the reason she lives for.

She has to fight through

this on her own,

finding her own reason

to keep those old hands working,

that weary heart to beating.

And I, too, must search

now, to find my reason

to be here.

One that doesn’t include

spending my life

seeking her love,


False Icons

That night, we were holy.

Bathed in incense, leaking out the window

of your fifth story walk up

in the East Village, the

summer breeze carrying with it the

sounds of sirens and deep bass,

river breezes: the warmth

surrounding us, baptizing

us with the sweat of humidity

and being too close; enough to

feel our breath and deep surges

while we made vows to one another.

whispered at first and

then proclaimed before

the congregation of candles, for

just us. alone.

That night. Divine.

resurrected in memories

and when the nag

champa smoke mixes with

the smell of the East River,

processing in faintly through the

tiny place in Brooklyn I’ve

worshiped you, forgotten,

all these years.



The New England

When the children are in bed

and the dishes are clean

the porchlight dims to

hush the neighborhood,

snow falling in darkness

and the windows getting


Grandmother turns off her light

downstairs after saying her rosary

and the work is all done,

for the time being.

Even the dog and cat lie

curled up together in a peaceful

oval, mimicking the braided rug

beside the bed.

And there’s no one left

to care for.

tonight, instead,

pray for yourself,

and that life isn’t spent on

one more moment of simply

filling time and obligation,

but for forging boldly

into the forest of fate, fears, and

foreshadowing. If you don’t

pray earnestly for your own

deliverance from boredom,

then it just may be possible

that no one else will either.

and neither will anyone check to see

if you’re taken care of, too.

Ginger Snapped

Sources claim that it was a combination

of starvation and syphilis that brought

the red hair among the Celtic nations,

not the Viking conquests, which was

the previous rumor. So I suppose

the end result of going home

at the end of the night with the red-headed

fiddler from the Irish pub will be the same:

conquest or maybe syphilis,

but least likely, starvation.