To be continued…

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I haven’t written in awhile, not poems or stories, I haven’t worked on my novel. I feel as though it has been years, but looking at this site it hasn’t been. I have been stuck in this world of social work and single motherhood. I have lost myself and found myself over and over again. I have lost my husband but found the feeling of love. I have lost my faith in mankind, but found another daughter, who is 17 and now living with us. I have lost my own story, my thoughts and deep feelings, they are minuet. They are nothing in comparison and so I’ve left them behind. That was a mistake and one that many make. Although our lives may be to care for others we are still human, we still have dreams and aspirations of our own. I am not sure how far I will ever come as a writer, but I know deep down inside I am one.

I write this tonight because not too long ago I found Spotify. I have the app on my phone and I have been listening to music that I haven’t heard in years. The Slim Shady LP, more specifically, that made me want to become a writer. Marshall Mathers, who I swore one day I would be dedicating a book to. He said what he wanted to say, without any regard. He made my journals mild in ’99, “extortion, snortin, supporting abortion, pathological liar, blowing shit out of portion, the looniest, zaniest, spontaniest, sporadic, compulsive thinker, compulsive drinker, addict.”

I smile when I listen to him, every raunchy word, not only because I just love it but also because he still gives me that feeling that I am not alone. I can do whatever the fuck I want, still. I can be honest and open and I can be as crazy as I want to be because I fucking want to be. He gives me a breath of fresh air in a stale world. I am going to write, now. It takes so much time. More time than most think, but I can do it. I will have to literally put it on my calendar each day and I’m sure some days I wont have anything to write. At least I will take that time, each day. I will feel accomplished even if nothing comes out.

Although Marshall Mathers inspires me to be who I am and who I aspired to be back then, when I write, I have inspiring writers in front of me. If you have read anything of mine, you know I have a deep seeded love for Kim Addnizio and Sylvia Plath. My favorite short story remains Tobias Wolff’s Bullet in the Brain. Maya Angelou is always in front of me, whether it be I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Mama and Me, Touched by an Angel (which was recited at my wedding), of course, Phenomenal Woman, but my favorite:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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Throwing Glass Slippers

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She felt like Cinderella, before the evening

gown glittered or fairy godmother granted wishes.

Not the Cinderella with horse drawn carriage. Before

any tiara wrapped around that hard, hair sprayed up-do.


She felt like Cinderella, wrapped in rags

mopping grimy floors. Days spent on dreams, wishes.

Cinderelly, whom mice called mother. Slopping

soapy suds and handkerchief held hair.


The princess in house slippers. Worn, seams plucking

peaking bare toes. One true love

of laundry, heaping.

Yumm Short Shorties

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I am huge fan of short shorts. They amaze and inspire me. I strive to write so direct and passionately that a single page could touch a persons soul. There are so many magical short shorts out there, my favorites being by Anton Chekov and Kim Addnizio. This is another short short that I have been working on, tell me what you think..

 

Baked Goods

 

There she was, standing in front of the delicious skyscrapers. Snicker doodle, chocolate chip, and sugar cookie mounds devoured every inch of her counter and kitchen table. Kara liked her cookies a particular way – half baked—right on the line of completely raw and an oozing melt. She couldn’t get them right and refused to eat a cookie that wasn’t perfect, even if it took all night this time. She did this often, tried to bake her perfect cookie. She could count on one hand how many times they came out right in one try. She would usually just give up after a dozen cookies. Her husband always laughed at her if she attempted any more than that.

Kara was never a dedicated woman but this time, she wouldn’t let herself stop until she got exactly what she wanted. Thank goodness for the lifetime supply of cookie dough through first grade fundraisers. She did everything half-ass, when cleaning Jackson’s room, she’d kick little Hot Wheels under his bed because she didn’t feel like picking them up and didn’t have a place for them anyway. Maybe that’s why her husband moved out. Or maybe it was it because after they had Jackson her boobs deflated and stomach looked like it had been gnawed on by a wild beast. She didn’t look like the bartenders who served him whiskey on Saturday nights – double d’s and belly rings.

            With each batch that came out fully cooked, she’d put more dough in the oven. “Karma is not on my side,” she mumbled. Headlights glared into the dimly lit kitchen. Kara looked at the clock and sighed. It was already eight and she had spent an entire evening with baked goods while Jackson was with his Dad. She should have curled her hair or changed her clothes. The least she could have done was clean up so when he walked in, he would miss home and move back. She took a glimpse at herself in the dark reflection on the microwave. She quickly pulled the Scrunchie from her hair then, shook and fluffed the blonde mess with her fingers as the door opened.

            “Sweet,” Jackson’s little voice shouted as he flew to the kitchen, following the scent of sugar. Eyes wide, he looked through the cookies and monitored each one to find exactly what he wanted. Picky, just like his father.

            “Cookies for dinner?” Tom chuckled. She tried to ignore him but could feel the heat of embarrassment rising on her face.

            Jackson snatched the very top of the chocolate chip Tower of Pisa that was sure to fall into the sink “Only one, Jackson, please go put your school stuff away and pajamas on. Did you have dinner?” He ran off to his room.

            “Of course we had dinner,” Tom said. He grabbed a snicker doodle from the kitchen table and sat down. “These are close, nice and gooey,” he said, examining the cookie.    

“You look good,” she told him and immediately regretted the bottle of wine she downed during hour two of her cookie cook-off. Diarrhea of the mouth is what her mother called it.

            “Yeah, thanks,” he said. They looked at each other for a moment but he didn’t repay the compliment. Of course not, she was in grey jogging pants.

            “We should try marriage counseling,” she said. “A girl at work gave me this…”

            “I’m seeing someone.” He said it quick, it reminded her of the way she ripped Band-Aids off Jackson’s scraped elbows.

            “What does that mean? I didn’t know we were seeing people, I thought this was a trial separation, as in try it out. Jesus, Tom, it’s only been a couple of months.” She couldn’t help but think that there was so much more he was hiding from her in his little apartment across town. He has probably hired a lawyer, she thought, divorce papers on his coffee table.

            “I just met her and we’ve been on a couple of dates…”

            “A couple of dates?”  Her voice was loud and cracked. The lump in her throat grew bigger and she could barely breathe. Jackson peeked around the corner.

            “I’ve better go,” he said. “We’ll talk later, this was the wrong time.” She watched him say goodbye to Jackson. He kissed his little head and told him he love him. Tears blurred her vision. She wanted to hear Tom say it again, I love you but to her this time. He didn’t even look at her as he walked toward the door.

            “Will there ever be a right time?” She asked, careful not to let out the loud sob that she was holding in.

             “Good luck with the cookies,” he said. “Don’t give up.”

A bedtime story and glass of water later, Jackson was asleep. She had forgotten about the cookies that were in the oven, another batch, piled alongside the rest of them. She rummaged through the cabinets, looking for Tupper-Ware containers and trying to figure out what she would do with all the cookies. She found a bottle of Tom’s Jack Daniels hidden in the back. She pulled it out and poured herself a glass. Sip, after silent sip. Kara got up and put another batch of cookies in the oven.

WHat a NigHtMaRe

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Night Sweats

 

I meet him in a meadow. Once,

often twice a year. He is familiar

now, like a teddy bear from childhood,

forgotten until you see its withered fur again.

 

Darkness. Only a shadow, his face

never been seen. Tall, waist-length grass

surrounds us. Staring at the silhouette

of one another. He lifts the mechanical

 

blade. The motor starts, smoke clouds. I run,

run from the high pitch scream of the chainsaw.

Meadow turns to forest. Trunks to hide

but roots to trip over. The roar

 

is deafening. Exhaust fills my nose,

I choke, gag. Hot breath rests

on the back of my neck. I turn

and I wake.

InspireMe. Poetry. Love.

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What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

ICU

 

Body mounded in rough white blankets. Your neck

and face taped with tubes of yellow drip, mouth wide.

 

For hours, I watched you, a goldfish in a glass

bowl, waited for you to swim. No words.

 

Beep, Beep, Beep

 

you were still alive, mechanically. Your voice –

“Honey”—rang

 

bleeding my ears and your brain, artery rupture,

another chance to swim, slim. Normal life, they said never.

 

I said goodbye to your hands, perfectly manicured

bright red. Bright red like the lock of hair

 

peek-a-booed from the slit in the gauze. I waited,

watched for the slightest movement, none.

 

Swim goldfish, from this glass bowl.  Until white

is all that is left, from tubes and tape. Freedom.

 

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