just so you know

i want
to curl
my fingers
around you
in ownership
& ecstacy

right now

i can't explain
the things running
through my head
but it seems
if you understood
the value
of a moment
this moment
i wouldn't
have to explain
at all


I want to trace
these words
with my fingertips
across a blank canvas
of heat and nerve endings
spelling out a story
too hard
too long
too complicated
to ever pass
these lips


when I wake to the ringing
of the telephone
I imagine it's going to be
you on the other end
I'll hear the smile in your voice
as you hear the sleep in mine
and the slight rasp
will work itself out
and become perfectly smooth
while I bask in the second best
start to a day a girl could ask for
it's this brief respite
in the flickers of a moment
before I pick up
that make it easier to handle
the telemarketer on the other end
foisting a bill of goods at me
like they're too heavy to bear
any longer


it wasn't skillful
or lovely
it was filled with
the mediocrity
you'd expect
when the only thing
you could truly say
was that you felt

Jolly Green Tango

there are compounds
and chemicals
pulsing through my system
backed by all the velocity
of a heart amped up
on caffeine

I feel
only slightly cliché
as I take trips
without ever leaving home

product of a prompt: two

his voice is gorgeously resonant
it's more cherry than mahogany
still deep and quite warm

there's nothing quite so intimate
as that moment when the vibration hits
and you're wrapped in the glow of recognition

he makes me smile
every time that moment is mine

product of a prompt: one

A Lesson in Masochism and Superstition from Barney & Friends

Given the size of California, it would seem the hazing rituals for those cradled in her bosom vary depending on where you manage to land and plant roots. Two generations in, it seems these roots were determined to be planted in the San Joaquin Valley.

If you know of the San Joaquin Valley, it may be because of its reputation for agriculture (produce, dairy, nuts). Or it may be because you love Barbra Stanwyck, and one of its other names is the eponymous inspiration for The Big Valley.

A childhood in the San Joaquin Valley can mean many things. But it's likely that fruits and veggies and cows will work their way into the tapestry of your life somehow, even if only by fieldtrip. Tule fog is likely to waft in, as well. But you won't be able to appreciate the magnitude of this fog unless you get rural, which isn't hard to do in this great big valley.

I managed to evade the mythic qualities of this infamous Tule fog for most of my childhood. However, one of my earliest encounters with a less potent version of it is still the stuff of family mockery. Despite being only forty-five minutes from the Sierra Nevada mountains, and so I had seen real snow, I still managed to mistake freezing fog as my first snowfall. I also managed to mistake my first hail storm for my first snowfall. But that was earlier, before the freezing fog, and when I'd learned that snow wasn't supposed to be hard. Or in summer. But when you're five, weather still holds the ability to be amazing and miraculous, defying impossible odds.

It wasn't until we had moved to Tulare that I was wrapped in a cloud of extremely limited visibility for the first time. It was also when I learned about a glorious thing called the foggy day schedule.

The foggy day schedule consisted of Plan A and Plan B. Plan A meant that school would start at 10:30 in the morning and get out at 2:00 in the afternoon. Plan B meant school was cancelled, and the children would rejoice. Plan A also meant a different bus driver. This bus driver held the not-so-secret identity of the school nurse. And she had crazy eyes and a short temper. Plan A brought a conflict of emotions every time. As did any ailment that held the potential to get you home, but meant a trip to see her first. But I digress.

Plan A would get declared at 7 am, if it was necessary. Plan A always got called first. Always. Despite the fact that at age nine you would hold vigil and pray they see the error of their ways and start with Plan B for once, it never happened. The call for Plan B was left until 9:30. It was an excruciating ninety minutes, the last thirty of which were made even more torturous by the regularly scheduled airing of Barney & Friends. This was back when Barney was just getting his start. So, thanks to the mythical Tule fog, I witnessed the introduction of Baby Bop (you have no idea how sad I am that I still remember that name). You might think that since 9:30 was when it was determined whether or not Plan B would be enacted, I would spare myself the agony of learning a variation of the Knick-Knack Paddywack song, or the numerous other children's songs that are now forever burrowed into my brain, by changing the channel or playing Nintendo or continually running down to the end of the block to stand by one telephone poll and see if I could see the next one (I actually did that one quite a few times), but I didn't. I didn't do it because, sometimes, before Barney was over, and more like three minutes before Barney was over, [Spanish for 'green stick'] school – Plan B would scroll across the bottom of the screen and those three minutes were the sweetest three minutes a kid could ever ask for. Unlike the five minutes between 9:30 and 9:35 where you're crossing as many appendages as you can between bouts of running down to the end of the block to perform the telephone poll visibility test, and weeping hot, salty tears, and hoping that maybe by the school it's still the thick cloudscape that will get you a free day and they just haven't realized it yet, and so you will give them until 9:35 to realize the error of their ways. And then 9:40. And then 9:45, when you have to admit defeat and head for the bus stop.

It turns out that foggy day schedules can cause one to develop as much superstition as following a sports team, or being on a sports team, or just being insanely superstitious. As though punishing yourself with the viewing of Barney can bring about a Plan B. Just like running down the street every ten (then five. then three.) minutes to make sure the fog is staying where it's supposed to holds the same magical powers of persuasion. And at least Barney is more hygienic than an unwashed jock strap, if equally annoying.


you have the air
of a dog
sniffing around
for a bitch
in heat
humping anything
that'll stand still


I favored my right
he did, too
forcing me to move my purse
and I'm not sure which
felt more awkward
wearing my purse on the left
or holding his hand

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