Showing posts from December, 2011

Exes and Oh's

The other day I met a guy. “I’m a widower and a single father,” he announced. “This is usually the part where women run. Let’s see if you do the same,” he challenged.

I would bet that most women don’t run because he is a widower or a single father, but because his attitude inspires flight.
Issuing a challenge is really not the best way to inspire me to break the pattern. I’m not that competitive.
While I knew we weren’t going much farther than the ‘getting to know you’ stage, I kept the conversation going as long as I could.
“So, how did your last relationship end?” I asked.
Now, I don’t read people’s looks at all well—truth be told I don’t really try. I’m enamored with words: I don’t study expressions unless they are expressed through them.
But I could read his look.
“She died.”
I think it was the tone that annoyed me most.Not the ‘I already told you that’ but the malice with which he uttered the words.As if he was challenging me to again do what few had done before me: date him.
I’m a div…

Learning to Speak Me: Part II

seduce me
do not squander silences
create of words a cassock
sway me gently
do not write poetry.
do not speak poetically.
do not ponder in meter or philosophize in line.
do not brood in rhythm or contemplate in rhyme—often.
don’t speak
tell me what my words say to you
know this
if my tone offends you, you aren’t listening

There Are Words: 1971

They say there is a word for everything. By they
I mean me.
There are some who still believe it.
By some
I mean those who still endeavor to transcribe teardrops
Those not yet fluent in goodbye.
There are words.
One thousand intricate ways to say goodbye.
There are some who live
in laughter
in music
in art
in moments
dying too soon,
too young,
By some
I mean you

Goodbye, etc...

If you are reading this message in response to a text, IM, email, voicemail, telephone or face to face (highly unlikely) exchange for which you need clarification, these are the things I probably should have said. 1. I am intentionally vague.
2. Despite what you may have been led to believe: very seldom does something slip that I didn’t want you to know.
3. I am commitment challenged: in a relationship (at least right now) the only thing I’m really committed to is changing my mind.
4. While whatever you did is annoying, irritating, frustrating, inappropriate and/or asinine: if it was not this, I would have left you for something else.
5. Despite the implication, I really don’t want to be friends. Maybe is so big and so broad and so wide a word that while I may have said, “Maybe we can be friends;” what I meant was we are not friends.

Learning to Speak Me: Part I

Words seduce me
I do not waste them
I do however squander silences
Despite my passion for creating of words a cassock to sway me gently at night, I do not write poetry.
That is to say, I do not speak poetically.
I do not ponder in meter or philosophize in line.
I do not brood in rhythm or contemplate in rhyme—often.
When I think: you hurt me. I say, you hurt me. I mean, you hurt me.
I try to say what I mean in a way that I find pleasing—I realize you don’t always speak me.
I speak me—fluently
It is not necessary to tell me what my words say to you
I know this.
As surely as I know, if my tone is what offends you, you aren’t listening to the words

Advice from an Infrequent Reader

This Friday, the Writer’s Center in Bethesda hosted an Open Mic Night for members and nonmembers. The reading drew a crowd of about twenty five people, most of them readers, a few were supporters: all were supportive, well almost.
Many of the readers were members, some were avid readers, some had not read in years and for some, tonight was their first reading. There was a pleasant sense of camaraderie and a surprising hint of animosity.
First, the camaraderie: All readings have etiquette.
1. Food and drinks were to be secured before the reading, during breaks, but not during changes in readers.
2. Cell phones were to be turned off.
3. People who did not adhere to item number 2 were to be immediately shamed by the turning of heads of all who had conformed and the silence of the reader. The ending of the shaming coincides with the reader’s continuation of the reading and the silencing of the phone.
4. No laughing during anyone’s reading, unless the writer waits awkwardly for said laughter…

Random Acts of Random (fiction)

It is not the sort of place one typically finds me. But, it is where the people go. I had decided to wander amongst them. I had been told by the wife of the man who tends our gardens that of the markets of Florence, Piazza S. Lorenzo boasts the most delicate swatches of intricately hand-woven cloth of all Italia. For his birthday, Roberto’s mother had sewn, day and night, a table cloth of many colors and fabrics. Mama G—saw poorly during the day and even worse during the night. Two nights after her death, I gave the table cloth to her maid for her years of service and sent her on her way to make her fortune elsewhere. Finally, after two years of marriage, I am the woman of the house.
So, I needed a new table cloth for the main dining room and knew of no better place to find one suited to the task. When I arrived, it was barely dawn, yet every beggar, hag and orphan had a bauble to trade or a story to tell. Upon every rickety table, within each dank crevice, and across each wobbly thres…

Sent: Sun 1/12/08 9:10 PM
RE: Tonight
There’s been a change of plans. My beloved wife is so tender and fragile these days, and though I do not deserve it, she has forgiven me, at last. Just last week she could barely look at me. Her speech brittle, words chosen painfully, as if we were in-laws, she talked around the weather, the day, but rarely directly to me. Weeks into therapy, Charlotte had not forgiven me our affair.
I emailed you last week because I wanted you. Living here then was like living here before—you. She was characteristically cold, distant. I was reminded often of you. Not of as you are, but of as you are not. The depths she went to avoid me attending all-day conferences and workshops–why a writer needs conferences, IDK–would have been funny, if it were not happening to me, to us.
But, tonight she smolders. Her short brown hair whipped around her face as she turned it this way and that. Her long, sensuous lashes could …