I perch atop the ornate and fragile cathedral

let the storm pour through me

All hollowed out innards and the will to fly free

One day


Squint into the sun

The old woman (who once was beautiful) pondered what to say to the young, hypothetical, and inevitably naive bride and groom.

After 30 years it came to her–allow yourself one

Magnificent affair

Beyond this rickety and impoverished union

With the One who made the sun

Crumbs and stones

I think about the citizens of fictional worlds I have lived in, how much like real people they disappointed me upon sequel or adult reflection, Atticus Finch a racist? Quentin a bit of a coward? Jem gone when Scout and I both needed him the most.

Dill, who I loved so dang much as a child, turning to the ethically ambiguous lost-boy Truman. And don’t get me started on Holden Caulfield! When I was eight I thought he was a fascinating older brother, at sixteen he seemed a soulful friend, and now he is just JD, impersonating a child, which feels narcissistic and creepy.

So I try to see my own fictional clan. Bits and pieces of them are vivid and quite wonderful. But I could not stand to see them become me with a bit of makeup and shading. I want them to have a life of their own, and be someone my kids would like to hang out with. People who could heal our wounds.

Community. That mirage just beyond reach. We, the children in the woods, making a path of bread when all the stones are gone.

Gladys Who?!?

I got a salacious email from a lady named Gladys Something. I say “something” to protect all the innocent Gladii out there, who are, I must add, spry old ladies. I did not do the hard stats, but the soft ones suggest that if your name is Gladys Something you may live well over 100 years.

Unless there is chicken-n-waffle scandal involved…

The Night Squeak

here is what is known:

  • The squeak sounds tinny, electronic
  • As though it came from the bottom of this
  • deep historic stairwell
  • Only heard at night
  • It pings the depths in either a randomly-assigned, diabolically-complicated algorithm of beep-short silence-beep-long silence
  • As though Morse code and a squeaky sneaker had a love child
  • Love child, not exactly a fact, but I can see myself rising like a cartoon effigy of Scrooge, antiquated nightcap and tallow candle in hand and
  • Searching the building for you, squeaky electronic ghost
  • Is your battery loose?  Why do you emit these little beeps
  • So like a telemetry monitor only 
  • In this case the patient is 
  • Wide awake, thoroughly alarmed by what has to be broken-
  • Monitor or heart