Driving During The Pandemic

My first drive during the pandemic is

Into a ghost town

Onto a ghost highway

Around an empty corner

Filled with crows 

Pecking invisible road-kill

Because the killing’s all taking place

Inside the home

            In the kitchen

            On the stairways

            Over the hedge

            Between the clotheslines

And when a car does appear, 

Partnering up for a cozy dosido, 

A sad duckling line of two, 

I suddenly curse, and think, 

            “No! You’re too close! Get back! 

6 feet apart, now…”

Forgetting that’s not for car lengths, but arm’s lengths

body lengths…

body bag lengths,

The lengths we all must go to survive this.

Bisexual Invisibility

I came out many years ago, when the HIV crises was peaking, and when a person still had to cull hard-copies of encyclopedias and the DSMV to see what the word Bisexual even meant – and it meant different things in different resources. I knew I was simply attracted to people. It didn’t matter what their gender(s) were. It didn’t matter what society said – or maybe it mattered more that I didn’t like what society said my being a woman MEANT. So, when I started to work on poems for my MFA in the late 90s, I had run the gamut as a community activist… letter writer, support group facilitator, marcher and button wearer, columnist in Out in the Mountains (our then local Queer newspaper) and the national Anything That Moves magazine (Now sadly defunct, and I hear worth about $20 a pop on the Bi circuit). . .

Here is one of the poems I wrote during my tenure in graduate school in an effort to articulate my identity, both as a woman, and as a bisexual (read: someone who was interested in people – whatever their gender identity)…

I Dared not…

Mother, I dared not ask you

Why I could not seem

to love only men,

to swish my square hips

just so, to leave behind

my favorite boots for a pair

of your immaculate pumps.

You would not listen

if I told you I don’t

believe the skirt

makes the woman.

I’m not attracted to

that great harry lump

of muscle across

the room that winks

and calls me sweetie

when he orders a drink.

I’m intrigued, instead,

by the small-boned man

by the piano with

the delicate fingers

who plays the cello and

smiles sublimely.

I’m all aflutter when

the waitress at table five

with a shaved head and

combat boots winks her

pierced eye at me and

says she’s dying to taste

my dull, unpainted

lips after hours.

I know you don’t believe in

my search for the perfect hybrid

that you don’t want to release me

from the grip of your ideals.

I find myself covered by each bit

of praise you ever gave. Each nod

or no has stuck to me like starfish

splayed over my cheekbones until

your portrait was complete

and only my frightened

eyes peered through,

reflecting your identical face,

until now.

Now, I have gone out to pick

the parts of my gender from the air

Like great bubbles. They float

just out of reach as

I climb out of


in a twisting dance, and

Each piece might burst

as the soap dries or

solidify as the glass cools into

Victorian witch-balls so that –

if I place them in the window –

I know they can deflect the worst of the storm

while still calling down

the lightning I long to feel on my skin.

Poetry Slam Success!

Last night, I joined in the Poem City Open Poetry Slam at City Hall in Montpelier (Vermont). There were 25 readers of all ages, and it was an “anything goes” line-up with songs, pianos, guitars, dancing, and more. I was excited to get 3rd place with this poem! Though I was nervous to read it due to the fact that it’s so controversial for a white person to speak on racism these days, especially here in the US.

So here it is, and tell me what you think. I’m going to work on memorizing this and editing it. A stronger performance with some rewriting to the poem could get me a 1st or 2nd place at another show… or that’s my hope.


Open Poetry at Bear Pond Books, Tonight…

So, I’m hoping to get in on the open poetry reading tonight at Bear Pond books. It’s all done by lottery now, a policy which seems to have lowered the number of participants, since its institution a couple of years ago. Crossing my fingers… Meanwhile, here are some new poems.


Jackrabbit sits

On your breastbone

Skitters across ribs

Does nothing to bring solace – alone

You press sweaty palms to cool linoleum

And cry…

Black out poem from a page in “Summer Girls,” by Mary Alice Munro

From the west

Across heaven

Straight to the edge,

Her heart




She almost lingered there,

Stopped at the edge,


Called out,

She said,


Time for Sleeping Beauty to Wake The Fuck UP!

I’ve had Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’ signed out from work for a week. I’m only supposed to sign books out one at a time, and only for a week. Yet I haven’t cracked the cover. I’ve meant to read the book since I first saw it in the bookstore. I began reading her new book “Moranthology,’ today while at work. I’d finished a new post for this very blog, while on lunch and thought, “God/dess I’ve got to work on my blogging skills,” when I discovered Moranthology on the shelves. She had me at “People like people who bring cake!” And I had to finish the book. So I bought it. So I’m halfway through it. While her book, How To Be a Woman sits languishing, whispering, “I’m do back at the store, Sweetie!” In a creepy Poltergeist-y, ‘there here!’ voice. I’m hooked.

Is it the allure of consumerism that made me buy the newer book while the free signed-out book sat languishing? Or was it just my frustration at my own prose and the fact that I usually want to crack the cover on something escapist when I go to bed, and so avoid nonfiction in the wee hours of the night?

So I was supposed to go to the house of some friends to see the last episode EVER of Downton Abby tonight, an invitation which I have habitually blown off the last two seasons. The only excuse I could come up with for not going has been that it’s cold in winter in Vermont, and DARK… <petulant foot kick> and I don’t feel like going out once I get home and comfy in my chair with my cat shedding in my lap… All of which are true. This weekend, I was determined to go.

“See you SUNDAY!” I said with a pointy gunny finger and a wink, but the time came and – yeah, nope.

So I was watching a documentary “Winter on Fire” on Netflix when the time came to go. So I’d been struggling to write all day with some kind of – ANY kind of – clarity and feeling like it just wasn’t happening. So I had a wicked headache as I watched the Maidan Square in the city of Kiev in the Ukraine burn and the police beat the shit out of people who had been protesting peacefully and was feeling a bit like – really? We’re going to go watch a PBS show about the dying aristocracy in England circa 19th century while the Ukraine STILL continues to burn? (At the time that I am writing this, the body count for the Ukraine Civil War is 9,000+) while Donald Trump gets more and more popular here in the US even though his speeches have been paralleled to Hitlers? (And yes, let me say I am not unaware of how many comparisons to Hitler have been made during the five decades since WWII ended and how often they’ve been conflated.)

And it dawned on me that I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t indulge in escapist television tonight, even though the main goal was socializing. I feel so strongly that our society here in the States has gotten further and further anesthetized to the realities of the world – I’ve been likening the US to the last days of Rome for a good many decades – since college – and I just realized THAT 30 year reunion has come and gone recently – that I couldn’t spend the night imitating the country we broke from over 20 years ago – for good reason.

It’s time for Sleeping Beauty to wake up. Perhaps she needs to be willing to be pricked by a few needles. Perhaps she needs to just put on some chain-mail gloves and just spin the fucking spinning wheel. Get out there and DO something. Kill her TV.