And then I will confess


And then I will confess everything with a pencil in my hand and a scrap of cheap paper on the table in front of me. This is how you do it, the books tell me. Beg all the words out onto a page.

The cheap paper has thin blue lines on it to show me where to put the words. The mechanical pencil in my hand, almost forgotten, is chewed, even though Sister Michaella promised a real eraser to any girl who didn’t chew the end of her pencil shut.

I beg myself and the words come, sometimes. They come so slowly that I am not sure if they are mine or someone else’s, those of a brighter girl who had her hand up before mine.

And this writing of words that comes with thinking about what I have or have not done is peaceful, more peaceful than the day I lost myself all the way into the words and tapped the rhythms of them out onto my desk until the whole room watched.

[crossposted to a night kitchen]

In which the poems get their new home


My friend Cathy has mentioned to me that my poems seem to be very well hidden on this blog. This was not my purpose. To fix the problem, I am giving them a new home on their very own blog: a night kitchen. The site gets its name from its very first post.

Thus, I post the poems there, and my usual nonsense here. Got that? Yup, good.



Calendars run too slow to wear on your wrist

You’d have to hold too still

Don’t move your arm or the sun won’t fall just right, and it has to —

The world will be disjointed if you move, the page not wide enough to hold what it must —

The page flips every thirty midnights, and fans your wrist as you walk by.

[me ashore]


The wave washed me ashore, my legs heavy with sleep.

The wave — the wave, not water but sleep.

I don’t move, so as not to throw off the last bits of it, until I remember the pencil within reach.

And fall back down.

Sitting with my back to the snow


Sitting with my back to the snow which starts at the
door to this table and this bench next to the altar that holds
a dish with money from Costa Rica and India in it
and from here, with a large rock holding it all down next to the
candle next to the
window next to the
door to the snow and the
footprints filling one by
one back to you
and now they are smooth and white.