• Experiment,  Ho, Earthling!

    Just like an ordinary day

    I have lost my pendulum, or it’s conveniently misplaced, so instead I decided to use a pendent I wear sometimes (when I can remember to put on jewelry). It’s a ceramic disk that hangs from a black cord. The disk is green and blue in a Celtic design and I can almost remember where I got it. Ireland? Maybe. Anyway, I asked it if it would stand in for my pendulum, which I rarely use anyway but prefer to use over my Tarot cards, which I never really got into despite having the beautiful Robin Wood deck. The pendant said yes. My questions tumbled out in a heap, and the…

  • Magical

    Not alone

    The room was spare. The single bed, covered in a mauve quilt, was pushed against the wall. A gray and white stuffed dog sat atop the nearby dresser. A single, empty chair filled the space next to the bed. The woman lay on her back with eyes closed and mouth open, her body slight under the quilt. Her breaths came hard, ragged, with spaces in between. The sound of her labors filled the room. We quietly arranged ourselves on chairs we had brought for the occasion, facing the woman in the bed. She kept on with her breathing. One of us whispered. “We’re here to be with you on your…

  • Magical

    Dead boy emerges

    The boy looks at the woman lying ragged in the hospital bed, her breaths coming like rocky chunks of asphalt, filling the room with the out and in, out and in. You are not of me, he said. I never came from you. The woman, restless, moves her legs from side to side in her sleeplike state. Can’t keep a sheet on her, the nurses had told the boy. A chasm yawns in the space where her legs met. Sagging flesh swims there, shapes and color. The boy looks away. I never came from you. A nurse bustles in with some supplies. A breathing treatment, she says. To keep her…

  • Poetry Slam

    Longing

    I long to travel where my body cannot go; through doors and walls and windows to unseen worlds of dizzying possibility. I lie awake, willing a single silver cord to emerge from my body like an astral umbilicus. At the mirror I chant I AM and wait for the reflected worlds behind me to unfold like petals after a spring rain, worlds that will swallow me into nothingness. One day I will scream for an hour so shards of my shattered heart will break my brain into halves and I will disappear between them. Float away, Self, I whisper in my dreams that follow me like twisted shadows. Float away…

  • Blame Canada

    Vancouver redux

    Late last year (snort. I crack myself up) I went to The Land Up Over, also known as Canada. The Great White Something-or-other. (NOTE: There was no snow. None. Also no polar bears or igloos. Damn.) I hadn’t been there in FIVE MONTHS, which is odd considering its ridiculous proximity to me, something like 30 minutes. From my house. To the border station, where I get (politely, because this is Canada, after all) invited inside to discuss my “situation.” This time, I was helped by a 5-foot tall guy with a French accent, who shrugged Gallically at me when I said I might be staying there 10 days or so.…

  • My Brain On Crack,  Time Machine

    2009 in the rear-view mirror

    A year ago I had just moved from a country that didn’t want me to a bare echoey white place hidden under a stifling canopy of tall dark trees. I adore trees, and loved lying in bed looking at green branches, but the bare echoey place had an inner emptiness that rang loudly in my ears. Plus it had weird carpet. In the spring I discovered forested trails and alternate universes. I sat, motionless, sometimes for hours, staring out through a skylight and eventually emerging into a giddy, childlike state, a person who thought lakes were oceans and wondered whether she should be driving real cars. A year ago I…

  • My Brain On Crack

    I can smell you

    I was born with superpowers. My birth was heralded by the trumpets of a thousand blowing noses. A thousand throats cried, “Ah!” I can smell you. As you approach and before you even walk past me, I have already decided what you smell like based on your appearance. Dryer sheets in the grocery store, sweat on the hiking trails. I know this with the inner sense we all share. We lift eyes and greet one another kindly, or nonchalantly, or not at all. We continue our separate directions, you one way and me another. After you pass I am bathed by a wafting of your being, an air current bearing…

  • Rants

    People with big heads freak me out

    I’ve often wondered why human head size isn’t more standardized. After all, we can be pretty sure that head size isn’t related to brain power, so what other reason would there be not to base natural selection on head size? Getting your head stuck in the neck of your sweater is a serious and life-threatening condition. Smaller heads use fewer resources and are more environmentally sustainable. Big heads need big hats. How many sheep does it take to make the wool in just one big-headed hat? I can imagine that three or four sheep devote themselves full-time to the making of just one hat. This is tricky because sheep are…

  • Write Like You Mean It

    Transition

    A hospital bed stood in the center of the room, once a living room. Now it was a dying room, its walls covered with loved ones’ artifacts and memories. The man in the bed was tiny, shrunken, his body barely visible beneath the sheet that covered him. Only his feet and one hand created small hills in the otherwise nearly-flat landscape. His face was turned to one side and his eyes never left mine. Hold me, they said, I know everything. Hold me. The skin of the man’s face was surprisingly smooth, as if all the cells of his body had ceased their normal work and instead concentrated on making…