1. Lay your floorboards with room to expand.
2. Learn at least seven new shades of green.
3. Buy wind chimes.
4. Less sugar in the morning. Take your coffee with poetry.
5. Acknowledge the spiders in the corners of the ceiling. Call a truce.
6. Pay more attention to the trees. Stand up straighter.
7. Worship the cracks in the sidewalk. Visit the liberty bell.
8. Go tougher on the weeds that fester. Believe in dandelions.
9. Plant seeds in unlikely places. Call them wishing wells of possibles.
10. Trace the wood grain on a park bench. Ask the stranger beside you to share their history.
11. Blink less. More grit, less guilt.
12. Use mirrors only for winking over your shoulder at your impossibly gorgeous detritus: the things you’ve dropped along the way and the driftwood that floated you here.
13. Feel the ground beneath you. Remember that to which you belong. Cherish every delicate, clobbering moment.
14. Say “Thank you. I am hungry. I am humbled.”
Hanging on the wall
was a photograph he took of a lion.
I asked him how he got so close,
and he replied that the lion told him
he could get really close,
as long as he took a good picture.
My mother asks me if I’ve written about Bruce yet.
I tell her “No.”
I’m not lacking in language,
muh solo from the fall show. video coming soon.
Barbara doesn’t recognize the aria
She whiskers her way through the living room, smiling
I keep an engine in my back pocket
crouch in the passenger’s seat praying spinning tires will find traction somewhere
Barbara reminds me why I prefer museums to country fairs
A room full of relatives, and relatively speaking I do not know them
they have Bruce’s eyes-
GIVE THEM BACK.
Moose is playing Andrea Bocelli in the car
“this is your favorite aria,” he says conducting maybe
looking for some footing Barbara tells me again how she played Mary Queen of Scots in college
And is visibly annoyed that my grandmother Adele still exceeds her in years
which brings me to grammy growing holes in her nightgown
thirst is a dangerous supplicant she is cranky and empty once
I told grammy that she and bruce fit like puzzle pieces
I’ll visit Arlington one day real soon
I remember shells firing Aunt Julie’s hip a muddled procession
my grandfather’s ashes a vase in the dining room
swirling dust mites, or memories stifling I’m fantasizing about living alone
with my moth-ishness
call solitude the sun reflecting off the moon an aching mirror that grandmother
watched from the back porch grandfather’s legs thickest at the knee his voice an empty hatbox dangling
on the other end of the phone line
asking for my father
I call my mother every time my guilt grows feet
the house I lived in replaced by
room for my children I am an empty
sugar bowl my hands are
not suggesting any metaphors
I sit in the back seat and tell Barbara
it must have been lovely,
playing the queen.
My best and favorite performance.
A big thank you to Anis for an amazing performance at Penn last night! EP had a wonderful time opening for you and bringing you back to Philly. Shout-out to everyone who came out to see the performance. You all are the best audience that anyone could ever ask for!
Thank you for the poetry. Thank you for the reminder.
p.s. opening for you was a dream come true.
Beauty has little to do with decoration. Much more to do with undressing ourselves.
I bought too much
chocolate I hoped
you’d eat it with me
I’m chewing round the raisins
and churning my pulp pit stomach into some sort of
bookend, if you’d lean on me I’d
it’s past your bed time, you’re
past holding you’re
Nigil says my eyes are ice and I’m beautiful when I’m just thinking and
he reminds me of a ghost mourning the forfeited present
but I don’t tell him that
I’ve been eyeing your spine for ages
thinking about shelf-life
thumbing your pages
thinking about taking you out to dinner holding
airport in my veins
I’m full of missed connections
I am a colander
this poem is
trying to catch you
a guilt-ravaged button
a spider-web of good intentions
I could cat’s cradle your strings into whimsy
but I can’t ravel you into anything lighter
some days I’m more pinocchio than flesh
more puppet than figurehead but
today can be a swimming pool
if we let it
I won’t be stones in your pockets
I’ll be floating
you this poem
as a paper boat
If nothing else -
I hope it makes you smile.