I want to publicly pledge to work on my writing more, and not neglect it as I have been doing recently.

Therefore, I here resolve to take myself to the library or out for coffee at least once a week, and to always have a notebook and a pen with me.  Or perhaps I should be pledging to take my notebook out for coffee.

Dear notebook, I promise to fill you with words and scribblings.  I promise not to keep you lonely at the bottom of my purse.  I promise to let you out into the air.

Love, E


a litany. just so you know where I’m coming from.

sometimes I feel that I have no right to speak, having never been silenced

I have never been beaten with a shaft of metal.

I have never been raped.

I have never had my skin torn open with an explosion of rusted nails.

I have never been splattered by another person’s blood.

I have never pumped my blood into another’s hands.

I have never gone hungry.

I have never lost a toe, a foot, a nose to frostbite.

I have never watched my parents murdered in front of me.

I have never seen my children taken, screamed after them, held out my empty arms.

I have never been locked away, left to rot, confined to silence.

I have never been drowned or half-drowned.

I have never shot a man, a woman, a child.

I have never stood thirsty in a world made only of dust.

I have never turned to sniffing glue to numb the hunger pains.

I have never watched my house burn down.

I have never been burned to death inside my house.

I have never been turned away from my own land.

I have never been a prostitute just to make the rent payments.

I have never been denied education.

I have never been in a land at war.

I have never had the door of the hospital closed on my bleeding face.

I have never had a number tattooed into the delicate skin of my arm.

I have never lived in an apartment that smelled of nothing but urine.

I have never been gunned down for my beliefs.

I have never been decapitated.

I have never been gassed.

I have never had my body stacked, naked, with thousands of other dead.

I have never been a refugee turned away from safety at the border.

I have never been dragged to death down a sandpaper street.

I have never sat in a cement cell, waited for the electric chair, the lethal injection.

I have never been wrongly accused.

I have never been addicted to powder or needles or pills.

I have never been pushed to the ground and trampled in a crowd.

I have never leapt from a seventeenth story window.

I have never had my tongue cut from my mouth.

I have never been trapped deep underground in a collapsed coal mine.

I have never spat blood.

I have never sipped blood.

I have never sickened and wasted in the midst of an epidemic.

I have never stepped on a land mine.

I have never been touched where I didn’t want to be touched.

I have never been kidnapped.

I have never disappeared without a trace.

I have never been silenced.

crow hill

Where do ideas for poems come from?  For me, it’s almost always something very small.  An image, a phrase, a brief moment in a conversation–I call them seeds.  It’s when I feel an opening inside my head, a fascination, a connection, the potential for growth.  Then I try to save that feeling, to sort of incubate it in my head until I’m ready to plant it, I guess.  Sometimes nothing ever comes from these seeds, of course.  But sometimes it does.  Yes.

So, the other day I was visiting my parents at the house where I grew up, and I happened to notice the name of a road near their house: “Crow Hill.”  This name has been common knowledge to me since I was a kid, but I never really thought about it as an image.  A hill.  With crows.  Yes, there really is a hill there.  The road goes up quite steeply.  I don’t know about the history of the crows, though.  Crows are fairly common birds, aren’t they?  Maybe they used to congregate there.  Maybe someone with the last name Crow used to live there.  Who knows.  My grandfather used to feed dog food to the crows near his house.

Whatever this history, though, I have this image jiggling in my head now.  A jumping-bean seed?  There’s a swirling of the words, my childhood, my grandfather, black birds, a road, harsh cries, landscape.

So perhaps a poem will come.  Perhaps it’s even now putting forth roots, underground where I can’t see it.

in town

 peace rock

I wasn’t lying when I said I like it here

in this gritty pretty town.

Sure, many people around

float dangerously close to despair,

flatten all expression from their eyes-

I’ve stood behind them at the grocery store

as they counted out cash

for cigarettes and dog food.

I smiled at the cashier when it came my turn,

paid for my rubber toilet plunger

with my own exhausted,

wrinkled one dollar bills.

There are hardships in any town,

the beat-down of life, the plumbing,

the mud, the dry cough of the homeless man

sitting on a stone half-hidden

by weedy bushes, the graffiti slogans.

(Some lovely philosophies,

some spit and drips and anger.)

And sure, someone stole our birdfeeder.

Sure, I’m adrift and unemployed.

But the spring comes running into puddles

as I walk across the railroad tracks,

and my head is overflowing with poetry.

another somewhat Valentine’s post

the rose

every time I open the refrigerator,
there’s a cold red rose there
in a purple wineglass

milk and carbonated water
and that bulb that only lights
when the door’s pulled wide

a floppy raw chicken breast
submerged in salad dressing
marinating on a dark glass shelf

and yet a flower can wait for me
and claim this deep red beauty
with its stem clipped so short

classic car

toy car

Originally uploaded by yellowlens

S and I were sitting on the couch with the dog, reading our Sally Lockhart books. Then the dog started digging around under the cushion. I looked to see what she was after, and found this little model car. I dusted it off and started taking pictures of it. S said, “Are you going to write a blog about that?” I said that I hadn’t planned to, but that I would now that she suggested it. I don’t think she meant to suggest it, really, but I’m easily influenced sometimes. I told her that I would write a poem for her about the car, and post it on my blog. So…


Let go the wheel. The vehicle is empty,
and you can’t move it, influence it, lift it
until another time comes.
Underwater, under weight of earth,
it waits in warmth and vibrations
with its windows wide open, but asleep.
Something we touch
until the shine of newness goes off,
then utilize daily thoughtlessly,
finally slips away unnoticed
to become tomorrow’s artifact.
A rusted axle protruding from a riverbank.

knitting poetry

I wanted to put a link here to a post I just added to my craft blog. I posted this item over there because it’s about knitting needles, but I’m linking to it here because it’s a poem, and this is my school blog, and school is writing. Yes. Also, if any writing chums have suggestions or comments on the poem, I am of course always appreciative of your wise workshopping and advice.

The Link: