and still I fell

One morning state police
escort us to your grave
the next my flight is canceled.

Maintenance issues breaking
out all over. You would speak
of a “grand theory,” something

tying all this together, but
you had none yourself, none
that reached me then or now

as I drive your car slowly
into the tranquil streets
of my youth. Here is where

I learned to ride a bike, on
this high hill that is no
hill at all. And still I fell.

And now you descend and
still I fall. And here is where
I learned to doubt, in the chapel

where we donned black skullcaps
that meant nothing, I tell you.
If god speaks it is elsewhere.

And here are my own children
rooted and uncertain
watching me speak to you.

You watched the news every night
worried if I did not make “air”—
traveling, sick, useless, lost.

Now that you are gone—
traffic parted by the state police—
can I, too, disappear?

[Jeffrey Brown {1956- }, 'Succession']


only we two may interchange Each in the other what each has to give

The night knows nothing of the chants of night.
It is what it is as I am what I am:
And in perceiving this I best perceive myself

And you. Only we two may interchange 
Each in the other what each has to give.
Only we two are one, not you and night,

Nor night and I but you and I, alone,
So much alone, so deeply by ourselves,
So far beyond the casual solitudes,

That night is only the background of our selves,
Supremely true each to its separate self,
In the pale light that each upon the other throws.


you don't have to get it right the first time

  1. Song that always makes you sad? "You've Haunted Me All My Life" by Death Cab for Cutie 
  2. Last thing you bought? Christmas presents (from the first big craft fair of the year, a fundraiser for the local hospital)
  3. Last person you argued with? DG
  4. Do you put butter on, before putting the peanut butter on? good God, no
  5. One of your stuffed animals' names as a kid? Linda
  6. Have you ever owned a Barenaked Ladies CD? yep, a few
  7. Favorite day of the week? depends on the week
  8. Favorite sundae topping? raspberries
  9. Did you take piano lessons? no
  10. Most frequent song played? constantly rotating
  11. T.V. show you secretly enjoy? I'm not a secret TV-watcher
  12. Would you rather play basketball or hockey? hockey. I love the idea of being able to skate that well--and slamming someone into the boards sounds pretty sweet, too.
  13. Date someone older or younger? older
  14. One place you could travel right now? could? want to? should? 
  15. Do you use umbrellas? I own three plaid umbrellas
  16. Do you know all the words to the Canadian national anthem? the first verse, yes, thanks to The Simpsons
  17. Favorite cheese? the soft, mild whites: Mozzarella, Provolone
  18. The Smiths or the Cure? the Cure
  19. Do you prefer blonds or brunettes? brunette
  20. Best job you ever had? in A2, for Andy
  21. Did you go to your high school prom? nope. My first date was gracious enough to let me off the hook, and my second date was grounded
  22. Perfect time to wake up? 10:30
  23. Perfect time to go to bed? 1:AM
  24. Do you use your queen right away in chess? I haven't played chess in a long time. It doesn't appeal at all.
  25. Ever been in a car accident? not yet, thank God 
  26. Closer to mom or dad...or neither? both
  27. What age is this exciting life over for you? good question
  28. What decade during the 20th century would you have chosen to be a teenager? I'm happy with the one that I had--without it, I wouldn't have turned into the person that I am.
  29. Favorite shoes you have EVER owned? Kenneth Cole red velvet slides. They are gorgeous, comfortable, dramatic, expensive, and amazing. I also have the black ones--but the red are extraordinary.
  30. Do you have an article of clothing you have had since you were in high school? no
  31. Were you in track and field? no. As I explained recently, mine was not the physique for running (and my throwing is heartfelt but inaccurate).
  32. Were you ever in a school talent show? no
  33. Have you ever written in a library book? GASP--yes. Over 15 years, maybe 30,000 of them? Rough estimate.
  34. Allergic to? narcotics, Flonase, and Bacitracin
  35. Favorite fruit? raspberries
  36. Have you watched Sex and the City? never, not even a moment
  37. Baseball hat or stocking cap? stocking cap. I look like a ridiculous poseur in a baseball hat and a squirrel with the mumps in a stocking cap, but at least the latter has a practical purpose. 
  38. Do you shampoo first in the shower or soap? shampoo, body wash, shampoo, shave, condition, face wash, done
  39. Wet the toothbrush or brush dry with the toothpaste? ugh--wet
  40. Pen or pencil? depends on circumstances. Blue pen for most things at work. Brown pen for correspondence. Pencil for anything that might need to be redacted.
  41. Have you ever gambled at a casino? yes
  42. Have you thrown up on a plane? no
  43. Have you thrown up in a car? yes
  44. Have you thrown up at work? oh God yes. College!
  45. Do you scream on roller coasters? great way to avoid that: no roller coasters, baby
  46. Who was your first prom date? the first person to ask me to prom was a nice guy, had been my boyfriend for a while, and was profoundly intuitive. He realized that I'd met someone else, did some poking around, found out that I was wanting to be with the other guy, and very maturely and graciously called me and offered to step aside. I was WAY too stupid to know what I was doing and what I was giving up, and accepted his offer. My second "prom date" was not really a prom date at all. He was just a stupid crush who caught my eye on a chance drive through the hills. He was a fool, a user, an ass--and I was a fool, too. Youth is wasted on the young.
  47. Who was your first roommate? a couple of older girls with whom I worked at the grocery store
  48. What alcoholic beverage did you drink when you got drunk for the first time? vodka. It was a screwdriver party at my friend Andy's house, in high school
  49. What was your first job? bakery clerk in a local grocery store
  50. What was your first car? a little hatchback, well-used but in pretty decent shape. I had it for about 6 years.
  51. When did you go to your first funeral? when I was maybe 7, as far as I remember. My extended family is big, though, so there may have been others before then.
  52. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown? 21
  53. Who was your first grade teacher? a nice lady who had the same first name as my mom
  54. Where did you go on your first airplane ride? around town. It was a 6-seater owned by a high school friend's dad.
  55. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with? the 2:00-man, the summer before I got married (oooh, scandal)
  56. Who was your first best friend, and are you still friends with them? Jennifer--and yes, we are still friends
  57. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parent's house? a rented, and then sublet, mint-green house down the street from Shorty's (and, conveniently, the 2:00-man) 
  58. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? it depends on the reason for the bad. I'm usually more of the "stew over it on my own in silence" type, than the "talk it over with a friend" type.
  59. Whose wedding were you in, the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsman? my sister's first
  60. What is the first thing you do in the morning? shut off the alarm while wishing for a few more minutes of sleep
  61. What was the first concert you attended? I went to a few around the same time, and I'm not sure which was actually first
  62. First tattoo or piercing? I got a couple at the same time, foot and hip
  63. First celebrity crush? no clue. It's been a long time since I've taken anything like that seriously!
[from here; the title quotation is by Barbara Sher.]


all the ways we could get hurt

Embrace me so we imagine the hint

of our unhurried bones, the idea

of the beautiful flickering

in all the ways we could get hurt--

betrayed by the purity of light,

almost tender, the way a pianist

leans into the blistering keys,

staggering with rain, refusing to focus.

O my opulent marquee, my recipe

for shoes, bees, salt: stewed in a thimble.

Embrace me with candled crosses,

with the serious laughter

of symphonies, with the sadness

of harlequin hats. Embrace me

with the blowsy, minuet branches:

with the crumbling choreographies of chance--

[Sean Thomas Dougherty {1965- }, 'Embraceable You' from All You Ask for is Longing]


almost the real thing

It's a kind of perfection, like death.
If you want it, maybe you want death.

There is nothing as silent as a classroom
just after a question has been asked.

Snow is a kind of silence
when you can't hear it falling

behind a plate glass window.
The fire snapping in a cool room

is not silence, but nostalgia
for it, almost the real thing.

A friend suddenly went deaf
in one ear. He was given silence

as penance for years of not listening,
according to his wife. It makes her sad

how half his life stalks him,
how he turns away to hear.

[Ellen Kaufman, 'Looking for Silence' from House Music]


and he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many

  • Is this the best year of your life? not yet, but it could be. You never know.
  • What was the first thing you did when you woke up? drank tea and ate some raisin bran
  • The person you like is... ...out of state
  • Is anything bothering you? I'm getting a cold
  • Does anyone annoy you? yes. Mostly work, y'know.
  • Would you like things to go ‘back to normal’ with a certain someone? I don't know what normal is
  • What was the last thing you did before you went to bed last night? looked at pictures on my phone and thinking too much.
  • Is life good? good, yes
  • Do you remember who you liked on New Years? yes, I do
  • Do you still like them? yes, I do
  • Do you still speak to them? that's a matter of some contention
  • Ever told your parents you were going somewhere but went somewhere else? when it was their business where I was going and what I was doing, yes. Not all that often, but now and then.
  • Are you dating the last person you kissed on the lips? "dating" is the wrong word
  • Do you hate the last girl you had a conversation with? I don't have conversations with people I hate
  • Would you go out with someone right now if they asked? like, on a date? It would have to be a very special person.
  • Three days from now, will you be in a relationship? three days from now, I'll be in lots of relationships. The kind you're asking about isn't likely to change anytime soon.
  • If someone liked you right now, would you want them to tell you? it's always nice to hear that there's affection pointed in one's direction
  • Have you kissed anyone in the last month? no
  • What was the last reason you went to the doctor? follow-up on a treatment plan for a blood illness, and also a routine test
  • Do you like being home alone, or does it freak you out? I'd better like it, since I'm alone more than not
  • Would you ever kiss anyone you texted today? only like friends
  • Do you have any bruises on you? yep. I bruise easily.
  • How was 2011 for you? this is a pretty old survey, eh? It was tumultuous and dramatic. That was the year I moved from the 7-year apartment to the crappy duplex to the Grand Architectural Condo. I was winding down the mess with Ulysses and friends. Three years later, I would leave the place where I had been working for far too long.

    All in all, I didn't realize how good I had it.
  • How late did you stay up last night and why? it was probably midnight, which was essentially 11:00--last night was the end of Daylight Savings Time
  • Do you ever get good morning texts from anyone? not often enough
  • Do you regret anything you’ve done lately? there are things I regret not saying
  • What woke you up today? the neighbor dogs--again. I hate those damned dogs.
  • What makes you happy? conversation, attention, a touch
  • Ever kissed on a boat? no, I'm not a water baby
  • Have you ever been told that you are amazing? yes
  • Finish this sentence: The last person I kissed is… ...troubling
  • This time last year, can you remember who you liked? see above
  • Do you like when people play with your hair? not just anyone, but certain people
  • Do you plan on sleeping in tomorrow? I wish
  • Are you waiting for something? isn't everyone? There's always something on the horizon.
  • Was last night terrible? yesterday was, in some ways, a challenge. Nothing objectively bad (except some crappy weather), but some high octane social interaction. It was nice to have today to ease back into normal life.
  • Did you lose friends when you started dating someone? not because of the dating but because of the specific person, yes
  • Are you the type of person to make people laugh? sort of
  • Don’t tell me lies, so is the last person you texted attractive? he's perfect. Rockstar hot.
  • Is tomorrow going to be a good day? not likely
  • Are you missing someone? a thousand times yes
  • Has anyone ever tried to ruin a relationship you were in? I'm beyond worrying overmuch about what others think of my relationships. They're complicated enough as it is.
  • Do you believe in karma? to some extent, I do believe that we get what we earn
  • Do you sleep with a fan on? just today I had a ceiling fan installed in my bedroom. I haven't been in the habit of sleeping with a fan since college but I think that now I will.
  • You think anyone’s thinking about you right now? yup
  • Is there anyone you wish you were spending time with right now? I wish I was out for pizza right now
  • Do you go to school? nope
  • Is the person you last texted single? not even close
  • Who was driving the last time you were in a car? I was
  • Have you ever used the word ‘rawr’ in an actual conversation? Many, many, many, many times--with the last person I texted.
    via GIPHY
  • Are the blinds on your window open or closed? closed, since it's dark out and light inside
  • Did you leave milk and cookies for Santa when you were little? I don't think that we did
  • What were you doing at 11 last night? reading
  • What could you eat any day of the week & never get tired of? cereal
  • Is there someone you wouldn't mind kissing right now? the guy on the other end of the phone
  • Someone knocks on your window at 5 am, what do you say? I would tell the police where I live and what's happening
  • Would you change yourself for the person you love? love changes everything, and it's not something that occurs deliberately
  • Let me guess, your last incoming call was from the opposite sex? yes
  • What are you supposed to be doing right now? no agenda on a Sunday night
  • Would you have sex with the 5th person on your contacts? no, that is the wife of one of my high school friends. I don't think that hooking up with her would work for any of us.
  • To who did you last give the finger to? someone at work, though it was through a wall so no one theoretically knows about it
  • Did your last kiss take place on a bed? yes
  • Do you have someone who you can be your complete self around? not really. I'm selective about what I share with anyone, and a lot of what's on my mind now is either private or off limits to some of the people that I would otherwise talk to.
  • Do you talk in your sleep? doesn't matter
  • Do you have a good relationship with your parents? mostly, yes
  • What time did you wake up today? 8:15ish
  • What were you doing at midnight last night? just falling asleep, I think
  • What song are you listening to? no music
  • Has anyone put their arms around you in the past 5 days? MKB (a couple of times), and D&R
  • How do you feel about chocolate-covered strawberries? not a fan of chocolate and fruit
  • Do you have nice eyes? so I'm told
  • Is your current hair color your natural hair color? probably not? My hair has been colored for many years.
  • Are you texting anybody? off and on, yes
  • Do you swear in front of your parents? very rarely
  • Concert tickets or NFL game tickets? football, though concert tickets are more likely
  • Are you addicted to cigarettes? quite the opposite
  • Do you tell your parents everything? ha! no.
  • Do you have any tattoos? yes
  • If something was wrong, who is the first girl you would go to? depends on the something. There are several people in my life who I count on.
  • Do you have any nicknames? not that I know of
[from here; the title quotation is by J.R.R. Tolkien, from The Return of the King]


now a soft kiss - Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss

  • Three things I want to say to three different people.
    1. "Every time you tell me I'm worth less than a man would be worth in my position, you're another step closer to finding out how much you miss me."
    2. "Your refusal to listen to the secret in my heart is a tiny thing between us that will turn into a wall."
    3. "I love you. I love you. I love you."
  • One of my insecurities. I will never have another friend like Chris. It's been almost 3 years since he died, and I can't believe...anything. Nothing about him being gone is real. Our friendship was complicated and sometimes frustrating, but such a gift. I miss him enormously.
  • What turns me on. see photo...
  • One of my bad habits. answering work email before 7:30 in the morning. Always a bad idea. My fingers can move a great deal faster than my brain at that time of day.
  • Who I wish I could be. I wish I could be more like someone you wish that I could be...
  • Where I want to be right now. Vegas, baby
  • The last thing I ate. chicken and rice
  • Sexiest person that comes to my mind immediately. DG
  • What song I’m currently listening to. no music--watching CSI, season 10, episode 16.
  • The last time I cried and why. I was reading something sad that was hard to let go
  • Something I’m excited about. getting to move back into my master bedroom in a couple of days. It's been painted over the last week.
  • 5 things I like about myself and 5 things I dislike about myself. Like:
    1. design style
    2. taste in reading
    3. tattoos
    4. loyalty
    5. deduction
    1. handwriting
    2. impatience
    3. headaches
    4. overthinking
    5. shyness
  • Three things I want right now. suede flats, a decent scale, and a significant pay raise
  • Are you wearing a necklace, who got it for you, where’s it from? I am. It is a plain silver chain, fairly thick, with several charms. Some are religious, and the rest are personal and have no obvious meaning to almost anyone else.
  • How long was your last phone conversation? 48 minutes
  • What are you looking forward to? 9 days off in a row later this month
  • Did you get anything off your chest today? I do that, in veiled ways, all the damned time
  • How many rings do you usually wear? very rarely, I wear one
  • Would you rather go to Canada or California on vacation? Canada--though there's a sort of theoretical idea that California could happen
  • Are you wearing jeans, shorts, sweatpants or pajama pants? PJ pants
  • Do you call it fall or autumn? autumn
  • Are you an emotional person? very, but I don't share it unless I'm very comfortable with someone
  • It’s 2 in the morning and you get a text message, who is it most likely from? DG
  • Do you like long car rides? not really
  • Do you have an adult you can talk to about anything? uh, yeah
  • Last time you saw your dad? Wednesday (3 days ago)
  • Have you ever kissed someone in a vehicle? this makes me laugh; I have indeed kissed someone in a vehicle
  • Do you do your own laundry? sure. It's been a while since I had someone for that.
  • Would you like the ability to read minds? probably not. I think that falls under the category of "be careful what you wish for." Besides, losing the mystery also means losing some of the joy of life.
  • Has the last person you kissed ever seen you cry? no, but he's heard it. Under the circumstances it's pretty much the same thing.
  • You’re thinking about a certain person right now, aren’t you? of course
  • What will you be doing in five years? besides thinking of that person? I hope I'll be working a job that makes me actively happy (including making more money), and also comfortable inside my own skin.
  • Last 2 people to text you? my mom and the bff
  • Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? loved
  • Do you like to cuddle? yep, preferably with Mr. Bill-Pay
  • When angry, do you get loud or quiet? I'm very quiet...until I get VERY loud
  • Did anyone see you kiss the last person you kissed on the lips? no: no one knows that I kissed the last person I kissed on the lips.
  • Have you ever had a best friend of the opposite sex? interesting question, eh?
  • How’s your hair right now? overlong and an between colors. My stylist is on maternity leave, so I'm in "making do" mode until she returns mid-December.

[from here; the title quotation is by John Keats]