Wednesday, June 12, 2013

tap tap tap.

What happens when
You confine yourself
To writing a poem
With only one finger.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Without mettle...

Sometimes I hear a song, and it makes me want to make music so badly that it hurts

Music I must make because I am the next undiscovered thing who never will be

And if only I’d known it sooner in life,

Because now I have children:

If only my parents had loved me more I would be famous.

I start to scheme. Who do I know? Should I take piano lessons? I could sing karaoke in a restaurant and be discovered at 40…

Then I remember, oh yes, it’s just that I drank too much coffee.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This morning,

dropping the boys off,

I saw little Christmas trees in the garbage.

These trees have been in their rooms each year since the littlest was a baby.

It's a tradition I learned from my mom. Maybe she learned it from hers?

All of us were alarmed, the truck would come soon, we had to get them out of the garbage and into the car. One of the stars was missing, where was it?

Ezra looked inside, I looked in the garbage. We couldn't find it, but at least some of it was saved.

After that, driving to work, I thought about memory. It's not myth. You do feel it in the heart, hard to breathe, like a shock of cold air. My littlest boy, already 9, was in the back seat. At what age does memory get tied up with sadness, the way it is for adults? I thought about this and I remembered how confusing it was as a child, seeing adults cry when they claimed to be happy.

Passing parked cars. A man stepped out with an artificial leg. I thought, memory is like a phantom limb.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not yet please.

I saw Ezra playing with G.I. Joes last weekend. I wondered if he was blithely enjoying what I, watching, knew to be a last string of his life as a little boy. Or is he aware how quickly he is growing up, and was consciously holding on to this last piece of his childhood: Action figures. Years ago he called it playing with "guys." I secretly pray he will  become a nerd and never completely grow up.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Remember it.

Meredith and Ambrose playing stuffed animals today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The big drop off

We had a full weekend together, with an extra day since school was closed. Wednesday mornings, this morning, I drop them off with their other parent.

This weekend we put together models and watched Mr. Popper's Penguins. Monday, school was closed for the holiday.

The boys and I went to an MLK event with music and other entertainment, had an African drum lesson, ate soul food. Then four hours of "Laser Tag." Last night we ate reubens at the Jewish deli and then went dowtown, to tour a possible middle school for Ezra.

The school is a fine arts school with a modern building. All colors, not like the institutional schools I remember, with a big green staircase rising past three stories of windows through which you can see the downtown skyline. The classrooms are all open. They have a Mac lab with video and music-editing software.

Ezra commented on much of what we saw and told me he wants to go to school there. This was a good feeling. I've been worried. He asks about middle school a lot, and you can tell he's nervous about the change to multiple teachers and classes. Because of staffing, he and his class had the same teacher three years in a row at his current school, and they got to know each other very closely. That's changing, and he will likely go to a new school with none of those friends where he knows nobody.

After four days of really close time together, lots of exploring and discussing and laughing together at stupid jokes, I dropped them off at school. I won't have them again until Monday. It's coincidental that in the car this morning, Ezra asked me what was the saddest thing that ever happened to me.

I resisted the urge to tell him the obvious, the saddest thing is no longer seeing them every day. I resisted telling the boys about the feeling in the chest that stops your breath, and that a small part of the reason I yelled at them this morning was because I'm angry they have to go away. Today I thought I could write about that feeling here instead. That feeling is not a metaphor, and it's the real reason behind that bullshit expression about a broken heart. I want to plead with somebody for another holiday, today. Please, give us another day together.

I resisted because sometimes kids need to be protected from adult problems. Sometimes they need to know, yes, that I'm vulnerable to loving them, but that they are also safe. Sometimes when Ambrose, the littler one, cries, and tells me he misses me, I have to assume the stature of a compassionate parent, vs. just saying me too, Ambrose, me too. Later they can struggle with the contradiction, why would their parents choose to do something so self-destructive as get divorced? Why didn't the marriage, as divorced parents tell their kids, "work out?" Why couldn't we just have cooperated and used our words and have been respectful, like kids are told to with each other in school. Later they can realize how childish and not-together adults can be, in spite of always telling them, in so many words, to grow up.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Greetings.

Atheists:            Have a happy godless universe with no rules
Buddhists:          Have nothing
Catholics:           Feel guilty about having something
Protestants:       Feel slightly guilty about having something
Episcopalians:    Have a watered-down version of Catholic Christmas, minus as much of the guilt and even
                         if you are gay
Evangelicals:      Have no shame about having lots of things: God wants you to make lots of money (and
                         I can show you how)
Scientologists:    Have a happy Maiden Voyage Anniversary**
New Agers:        Have a solstice-gathering, or a drum circle, or burn some sage, or whatever you
                         picked out of context from the latest bestseller by "Starhawk"
Occupiers:         Have a drum circle, minus the hair-washing and much sense of a carefully-defined
                         political agenda
Republicans:      Have a good old-fashioned American Christmas goddamnit. What's wrong with a little tradition?
Super Right-
Wing Repub-
licans:                Have a Merry CHRISTMAS. That's CHRIST. MAS. Period.
Democrats:        Have a happy Cultural Exchange Day, fostering dialogue between people-of-faith
                         of diverse traditions in a non-judgmental but slightly patronizing manner
Left-Wingers:    Same as the Occupiers, but more bathing, and a Prius, which is actually pretty
                        expensive for someone claiming to abhor material wealth,
                        as are those gluten-free organic cookies you got at the co-op
And for
those of
us in
Minnesota:         Have a moderate expression of albeit stoic good cheer, and enjoy the weather

*Each year the annual Maiden Voyage event, commemorating the anniversary of New OT VIII, has come to be one of the most important gatherings of dedicated Scientologists and an opportunity for senior Church officials to meet and work directly with these parishioners to advance their religion. Scientologists who attend this annual spiritual cruise become “OT Ambassadors” and initiate programs to help Scientologists all over the world advance the aims of Scientology and to reach the top of the Bridge at New OT VIII."