little red suitcase


new poem “Little Red Suitcase” published in oddball – this very cool magazine
I hope you’ll check it out. I kept a little red suitcase in my childhood bedroom closet for many years-
I was always ready to run away…

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butterfly lenses

butterfly lenses, in the The Paragon Journal – a thoughtful, artful, and lovely publication
this poem is based on a true childhood experience.
the first time I ever saw live crabs boiled I was with a friend’s family down the shore.
I was shocked when the crabs we were fishin’ out of the ocean were not bright red
this was the first and only time in my life I ever became homesick
“my mom and dad would never boil live creatures,” is what was running through my eleven-year-old mind
(cover and image belongs to Paragon Journal – I added cover blurb for WP image)
thank you

missing my sis

This is a photo of my lovely sister, Dolores. If it weren’t for her beautiful blue eyes watching over me growing up, I would’ve gotten into loads more trouble. I was quite the wiseass all the way into my 20’s. We had a lot of laughs together. I miss her dearly and wished she lived closer. 😘

a flat world where things sometimes roll off

sitting at my kitchen table–
a flat world where things sometimes roll off
‘thoughts’ cram my vapid head
never to disappoint, there she is my gooey, ‘Annie Oakley’
the incessant ‘creative’ cowgirl who rides my bulging brain every morning
trying her ‘Wild West’ best to lasso bucking words
working up quite a sweat she is, as I so often do trying to be ‘clever’
I’ve no chance of corralling these wild beasts
wax fences are nonexistent in my vacant mind
the most ‘insightful’ prose gallop directly out my right ear
wax that should be in my empty head is on the kitchen table–
a flat world where things sometimes roll off
here a tiny flame–cruelly trapped in a jar–flickers
–
like my tongue used to so many years ago
watching the singular flame burn, I imagine it raging
but the cold fireplace is empty like my head
outside the kitchen sliders, a tiny tufted .6 ounce titmouse
enjoys the seed I loaded in the feeder
others will be along
oh yes, here they come
the heavy snow is cascading down and these frail birds are stronger
than my slumbering two hundred and fifty-five pound son at the moment
when I was little
my mom and dad served as bookends at our rectangular kitchen table
their six children, incomplete chapters
now my parents have a round table too, with obligatory leaves for visitors
no more sharp corners for any of us
oh, a beautiful red-headed woodpecker has joined the snow-ladened feast
luckily for him his long chiseled beak is as sharp as it is
otherwise, he couldn’t reach the seed
life doesn’t have to dull everything down
it is glorious to have a point sometimes
isn’t it?
wildfire

brown

my eyes are brown, did you know
mud-weary at this point and still brown
brown like the polyester pants I wore as a child
brown like the earth
honest and foot-affirming
when my large brown eyes were bigger than my little face
I learned to aim high for the heavens and shoot purposefully for the stars
sky-colored eyes and sunshine hair made perfect sense 
perfect sense
every time I gazed in the mirror I wondered
do they know I’m aiming and shooting for things beyond my reach
with brown eyes and brown hair and brown polyester
I am not Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella
damn these wrong colors
blue eyes I do not possess
plastic eyes in ocean colors, sold by the gross, shipped on palettes
will be fitted into gorgeous dolls with sunshine hair
it doesn’t matter to a brown-eyed face that ocean eyeballs are synthetic
in her little mind, these things are more real than her own tiny heartbeat
and so the brown-eyed child grows up
dreaming
for all of us to be loved for
“the content of our character”
and the pure color of our caring

Glodian/oil

Glodian/oil

MLK’s actual quote, “…by the content of their character.” (not our) – thank you

As a brown-eyed child growing up, I often felt this way

a truth at ten

a truth at ten

I’m burning inside the confessional. I already know I’m lying. Always do. I hope God forgives me someday. Bread in the toaster has a better chance of not getting burned between heaven and hell. Can’t tell my truth to the wrinkled priest who is so old I hear his eyelids scratching against his pupils. He’ll never understand what I don’t. I’m hoping God gets me. God reminds me of Santa, except he’s much more fit and his eyes don’t twinkle. The priests’ eyes don’t shine either. There is nothing endearing about their silk garments or the weird mellifluous odors permeating my church. Why does it smell hot like hell. How can I tell the truth when I’m locked in a dark smelly box-like a demon trap. In blackness, where the best of me is at my worst. All the horrid things that tell me I’m going to hell. Don’t like myself in the daytime. Hate myself at night.

Jesus is stuck to the roof of my dry mouth. I don’t know what to do so I giggle. A nun slaps the back of my head. Can’t stick my finger in my mouth while wearing a Communion dress that makes me feel like a roll of toilet paper. I don’t feel very pretty in this white flouncy dress. I pictured feeling like a princess. I don’t look at all like what I imagined. I’m fat. I’m ugly. I look like squeezable Charmin. I wonder if Jesus uses toilet paper. Mary is so pretty and slender and doesn’t kiss anyone. No one slapped her on the back of the head. And now Jesus is stuck to the roof of my mouth. I’m parched. I fainted last week while my class stood outside in the blazing sun reciting the rosary. I remember my sweaty thick fingers trying to count the beads.

I won’t tell the priest anything. He has no right to know what’s in my head. I don’t care if I’m supposed to tell him the truth. Closing my eyes, I practice being in the dark on my knees pretending I’m going to divulge my darkest thoughts. The old smelly priest will tell me to say thirty Hail Marys so my sins will be forgiven. I know I won’t do this either. I wonder if devils can turn their horns into wings. I’m a slice of Wonder bread in the toaster burning on both sides. There is no holy peanut butter to hide my black thoughts. I prefer Santa Clause over God. I want to kiss boys even though they don’t like me. I look like toilet paper.

Angel Cone

Angel Cone

this writing is a combination of my childhood years – Communion is received in second grade – if memory serves I’d have been 7 at the time – the confessional reoccurred throughout my Catholic school years