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How to Stay Home from School

1. Have a slight fever.

2. Find out that one of your two classes is cancelled, and blow off the other one.

3. Proceed with housemates’ morning routine as contractually obligated.

4. Get gas station coffee.

5. Come home, pick tomatoes, bake a quiche.

6. Start hitting the hooch around 9am.

7. Waste time on the internet.

8. Write a list poem.

9. Run down the options for possible weekday lunch dates/booty calls.

10. Shower, get dressed, fall back asleep with clothes on.

Ode to the Internet

Sweet nectar

of intellectualism


know-it all


oracle of everything

ever said, felt, or thought:

You are my constant,

my all-pervading,



Rapt in torturous


hour by hour

day by day

time has no limits

while I slip contentedly

into your thrall.

Were there any

more intimate a gateway

to blissful oblivion, I

have not met its


Nor have I yet

stumbled upon

any banner, or

been alerted with

a pop-up


pastures promising

to hold me in

a captivation that is

greener than yours.

Point of Impact

Where it hits the hardest,

it feels warm to the touch,

rising up to fill a gap you didn’t

know was there. It blooms

deep iris indigo and grabs

your stomach by its crook-

neck trap and turns it

completely upside down,

letting you know that you are

still alive.


Long ago, sleep was solid, impenetrable. Over the years it’s become thinner, translucent. Sleep has changed states of matter.

Wake me as a child and I’d be the walking dead. Eyes stayed shut, as if they’d healed closed. Dragging down the hallway, feet scraped carpet in an ill sequence of steps that were mere consequence of the memory by the body, no present intention of movement implied.

Or, if restless, brush my hair to a hundred, read to me, wrap my toes in ribbons, and hum a lullaby as my eyes grow heavy, and I’d succumb to sleep’s hypnosis, being elsewhere until a new day. Such was sleep.


How do I convey 

how neat it was to fall asleep

on my boyfriend’s couch

with the TV on and dream

exactly what was happening

in that episode

of Law & Order?

When I woke up

the show was halfway done

but I knew what

going on!

What Disconcertment

It matters a lot,

the difference between

coral red, wine, burgundy,

raisin, berry, and brick.

A skirt’s length,

the height of a heel,

how much skin is showing. For me

that’s all part of the fun.

When the lights go down

and the band starts up,

I assume my star

standing as a part of the show.

Man, can they drive me home

with that hard-hitting

drum beat. Classic rock chords,

a catchy hook.

Out all night,

sweat dripping, all that’s left

of my money tucked in safely

below my left breast. 

Stupid drunk, I’d rather sleep with

someone else’s cat by my feet,

on the floor with my clothes on,

than call on you.  I think

you’d better understand

what I am like 

if you listened

to my music.

In Effigy

for G.S.S.

You were the feisty mom, so quick to fill up

my stainless commuter mug with fridge-cold beer

 hot summer days when we took long walks with all the

neighborhood kids. You confessed your affairs to me, lifted

your shirt up to show me your fresh ink hours before your husband

came home. Gave me first dibs on the bath when we all got back

from a day at the lake with our shoes filled with sand

after piling everyone into the station wagon heading out

seeking relief from the sun, sending the kids out ahead of us

to wade knee-deep in a silvery sea of alewives so we could

hang back sharing secrets and comparing our chests while

trying to get them evenly tanned, your two

little girls losing their tops playing pirate,

our collective brood swashbuckling,

slathered in Sunblock 69 and all decked out

in their drugstore inner tubes and arm floats,

wearing wigs of sand and seaweed while imagining

eye patches and peg legs, swigging sea slop rum.

Do you think they will remember these things?

It was our job to keep them safe somehow,

so damn you for leaving me

alone with the burden of remembrance

by choosing me to be your unwilling confidant.



I Took a Navy Shower

I just tried a Navy shower for the first time and I loved it. It made sense. I got totally clean in half the time, saving way more than half the water I’d usually use. Shaved my legs, etc. with steadier balance too. Since it wasn’t constantly being rinsed off of me, the soap I used had longer contact with my body and I used much less. The added effect of turning the water back on after having it off while I shaved and scrubbed made it a “Scottish” shower, since first I got the hot water that was still in the pipes then it switched momentarily to a cold burst. No, it isn’t the most pleasant thing being hit by the cold water, but alternating hot and cold is supposed to benefit the circulatory system. People pay good money to have trained technicians do this to them in spas. Anyhow, I liked it, and I wonder how much water I’ll save by making this my new routine.

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