April is National Poetry Month. In honour of that, I’m digging through my archives and posting a series of poems I’ve written over the years.

You are Helen,
And charming,
And a paragon of what a woman
Should be.
Locked up in your ivory tower,
Lost without your worldly power,
Continue on your odyssey.

Odyssey—
Keep going.
You can never go home once
You’ve gone.
Sinking in your self-restraint,
You nurse your wounds without complaint,
And sing your silly siren song.

You are virtue,
And wonder,
And the girl you always wished
You’d be.
Would he love you violated,
How he loves the things you’ve hated;
You’re drowning in tranquility.

(May, 2006)

April is National Poetry Month. In honour of that, I’m digging through my archives and posting a series of poems I’ve written over the years.

I wear the smallest invisibility cloak.
I put it on
Whenever you look at me,
And I disappear.
Like when I left
To go run a marathon
Kitted out
In full bright regalia
And those bouncy Pippi braids I so love

Waving goodbye first thing
And toting the bag
Emblazoned with the name of the race
And you,
Blithely saying goodbye
Not noticing
Where I was off to.
Never realising that I’d gone.

I get smaller, too
Microscopic
I shrunk as you cut me from the frame
In those pictures of us
Skiing in Vermont
To use in your dating profile.
Or when you
Refused to be photographed with me
In the first place
If no evidence of us ever existed
Then no harm could ever be done.

But sometimes
It is cosier.
Insidious, almost.
Like the blanket I wear on your sofa.
Snuggled beside you
Like the whole world
Rests between your head
And my heart.
Isn’t this nice, I think
I feel your breathing and mine
I feel my chest lurch under the weight of you.

Between the beats
Your son calls
His face appears on your phone
Like a ghost or an angel
And you quickly rise
Hiding me from his view,
Invisible again.

(November, 2016)

April is National Poetry Month. In honour of that, I’m digging through my archives and posting a series of poems I’ve written over the years.

Sundappled Sunday on left and right coasts,
Beautiful from
Griffith Park to
The Staten Island Ferry;
Sunset strip
To
SoHo
I rode a painted pony in the sand.

Saddle slapping tender in-thighs,
I endured your stings.
Silent father shouting
At distant mother
Loving
Present daughter;
Riding roughshod on a tender mare.

Slow stumble upon whip-worn trails,
Round and round
We go again.
Carousel horses,
Sundappled Sunday ponies,
Perfectly painted; ready to ride.

(April, 2009)

April is National Poetry Month. In honour of that, I’m digging through my archives and posting a series of poems I’ve written over the years.

They don’t tell you
In the basement;
In the belly;
Of the Cathedral;
Silk-lace-beads-satin pillowed at your feet,
As the warm streams out of you;
Out of your marriage parts,
They don’t tell you what it feels like to have emptied yourself.

And years later,
They don’t tell you
In the silence;
In the tundra;
Of Battery Park City;
Surviving the simulacrum of seven years together.
As the life surges into you;
Back into bones and blood and complexion;
They don’t tell you that the belly-moment
Was the moment to say No.

(December, 2009)

April is National Poetry Month. In honour of that, I’m digging through my archives and posting a series of poems I’ve written over the years.

Wicked tongue
You have me lashed to you now.
Your vain voice,
The gentle rolling cadence
Lilting laugh,
Falling timbre.
Darling,
It’s a vicious, thrilling ride.

(March, 2008)

April is National Poetry Month. In honour of that, I’m digging through my archives and posting a series of poems I’ve written over the years.

Long hair
is for Young women
And short hair
is for Mommies
And grey hair
is for Matrons,
silver with
age and confidence

But my hair,
Flaxen
Grab-worthy
For cinematic streetcorner kisses
Lexington, Park
Uptown, downtown
My hair,
Gentleman-preferred
Is for you.

(August, 2008)

I am and always have been a reader – and in 2016 I resolved to Read More. I wanted to continue that through 2017, so I will update you quarterly on my progress through my reading list. Between December and now, here’s where I am:

  1. Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed – ed. Meghan Daum (a book of short essays about being child-free)
  2. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead (a brilliant, magical-realist interpretation of the Underground Railroad)
  3. The Light Between the Oceans – M.L. Stedman (a lighthousekeeper and his wife, after repeated miscarriages, rescue a child orphaned at sea and deal with the fallout of that choice)
  4. Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit (short, feminist essays)
  5. Bad Feminist – Roxanne Gay (longer, feminist essays and critiques in a style and on topics that are not immediately apparent as being “feminist”)
  6. Runaway – Alice Munro (typical Alice Munro short stories)
  7. The Broken & the Whole (a rabbi talks about family tragedy and healing from grief)
  8. Commonwealth – Ann Pachett (a brilliant, complex story of a brilliant, complex blended & unhappy family)
  9. The History of Love – Nicole Krauss (a magical, intergenerational love story)
  10. Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance (a memoir about growing up in Appalachia – and moving on)
  11. Why I Am Not a Feminist – Jessa Crispin (a short book about the state of modern feminist theory)
  12. Shrill – Lindy West (essays on love, life, fat acceptance, internet trolling, and death)
  13. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi (an intergenerational novel about Ghanaian families, slavery, and differences in the toll of time)
  14. Black Edge – Sheelah Kohlhatkar (a story about the rise and fall of SAC Capital)
  15. Hallelujah Anyway – Anne Lamott (a slim volume that seems to touch on the theology of mercy and happiness)

Some General Themes: I am reading more writers of colour; I am reading more about feminism; I am reading more essays. I am trying to challenge myself and my perceptions and get out of my Reading Comfort Zone.

Book Club: I had to quit my book club. Not because I didn’t like them – I did like them, a lot! – but the books they picked were universally So Horrendous that I couldn’t continue to read what they wanted to read. I liked their company. I hated their taste in books.

What’s Next: Poetry; some hefty non-fiction; and one or two really classic novels.