DAY 30! DAY 30!

This feels a lot more like a beginning than an ending. I’ve accomplished a thing I wouldn’t have guessed I could (though, now I really have my work cut out for me with nearly 7,000 words of new poetry to edit!), and while my eyes are newly opened to the enormous specter of how very little I actually know in this life, I’m feeling eager for the next lesson. I am so humbled by and grateful for your interactions and support this month here on WordPress! From the bottom of my heart, thank you all!


Letter from the Other Side of Halfway 

…Taking a tip from the meadowlark, I head for the high
desert, my flight path crossing the sagebrush-dotted,
red earth, hoping I’ll soon look down & see you floating
in a sea of ten gallon hats, just beyond the convection
columns braced against the electric blue sky.
I don’t suppose your self-claimed exile looks anything
like I’ve imagined? It’s not with a small twinge of jealousy
that I seek consolation in your brand of solitude on the other
side of that horizon line…

The above is an excerpt. Read the whole poem (and catch up on Days 1-29) here!

Western Meadowlark



Sour-apple-flavored candy

The team color of your alma mater’s rival

A jacket that never gets misplaced

The labial-nasal fricative of choice

for cicadas & fire-flies on a summer’s night

The vaguely perturbing chortle

of that quintessentially hip grandma

who reclaimed her youth through Yoga

The tinkle of that crystal bell

you long ago purchased in Prague for a song

An herbal cold remedy’s fizz

Key-lime pie’s tang

The fizz & the tang of a Midori Sour on the rocks

& the fuzzy socks

that     of course     you wouldn’t be caught dead in

The vinyl stool you still covet in your mother’s kitchen

& the satiny ribbon you once got for honorable mention


In other words

the dessert menu’s less lethal option

for the lactose intolerant on a date

Wise at Thirty-Five, Revised at Forty


          “Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more.”             William Shakespeare

Yes, those two, distinct ages of mine
pulled off quite the elaborate spectacle—
circling one another in yin-and-yang-fashion,
gurgling toward a neurotic crescendo,
then sputtering into oblivion.

In relishing the living left to do,
I relive the living that can’t be
redone—today’s waterfall of yesterdays
spills over into the uncertain basin
of tomorrow.

I once believed I was unmovable,
a boulder’s crest in a rushing stream—
but soaked as I am to the bone in cold humility,
I now glisten my own, trembling shadows.

“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow”—
the tomorrows do keep their “petty pace”—
and regardless of how we spend, squander,
mete out, or justify them,
we eventually forget their order,
and lose track of which ones were real,
and which were dreaming,
or whether any one’s disappearance over the cliff’s edge
is quantifiably different from any other’s.

I have tried and failed to live up to
the tomorrows’ skulking expectations
performing the scenes from a moral composition,
which I now get that I had scripted for myself:
I’ve faced pink-nosed and dreamy-eyed
into an icy, winter wind—to look exotic,
like the cover illustration for Eloise in Moscow,
and I’ve lapped naked at the river banks
beneath a sun-streaked summer sky,
only to discover
no dance of mine was ever beautiful enough
to move the seasons.

I’ve sulked in self-abasement,
practicing absurd, measured detachment,
surrounded by strangers in trendy coffee houses,
making sure to be seen there
with my lattés, huddling, frenetic,
filling in crosswords with mechanical pencils.

One windy, winter morning,
swathed in a café’s doughy warmth,
I watched through the window
as a leaf flapped in the street,
as if it were some creature curling in its death throes,
the lifeblood ebbing from its wrinkled veins.

For an age, it darted in and out of traffic,
calculating each of its narrow misses,
so that it could leap anew—yet for all
of its clever tail-spinning

it could not stop being be a leaf.


An earlier version of this piece made its first appearance in Sixfold magazine, Winter 2013.