Poem in Your Pocket Day 2018

A poem to burn right through that pocket of yours: "Ode to Whiskers" by Sharon Olds.


Another Postcard I Failed to Send



This Bed Is on Fire

"We were watching TV, and we fell asleep with the cigarettes still lit. We woke up because the mattress was burning."
"We never had a TV in our room after that."


Letter 7

Dear Uncle David,

Thank you for showing me what it means to join another family. When we met, you were not yet Uncle. And to that Irish-Italian Brooklyn clan, an Ohioan might as well have been an extraterrestrial, so the old stories seem to me. Back then, Aunt Joanie lived in a townhouse on Texas Road. She likes to tell how Becky, scared to meet you that first day, slid a paper across the kitchen floor to show her, pushing it with a ruler from the safety of the hallway. Oh, but you won us over.

You designed and built the shed in Shirley, almost as large as the house. You built the apartment for Nana and Pop-Pop. Thank you for making things. They still stand.

Thank you for being my holiday dinner companion.  Thank you for excitedly asking me to sit with you to tell you all about the news when I came out; thank you for being happy for me. Thank you for welcoming J.P. in the same spirit.

Thank you for your friendship with Dave H. and his family.  Over 50 years! You worked together, wrote together, built together, and traveled together. He read poems dedicated to you last week. You in your youth, you and your passions (the root chord, the hearting of a wall), you in sickness. He wrote new lyrics to “Amazing Grace” to please you, and Connie sang them. She called you his soul mate and Tristen’s second father. Before all that, back in the E.R., I overheard Dave agree “I wish we had more time together, too.” Then you both were silent for a while.

Thank you for getting up every time the world tried to kick your ass. Maybe they’re not so different, Midatlantic scrappiness and Midwestern endurance.

Thank you for always pursuing whatever subject interested you over the years: construction, writing, then stone masonry, then motorcycles, then guitars and the blues, then framing artwork. Your reinventions inspire me. You were more artist than I noticed.

Everyone is seeing your signs. In salons and in shuffled playlists of music. In the downpour during the funeral and the sun after lunch. Thank you for letting us, whatever their provenance.


Schitt's Creek

Is what we are watching these days, like constantly. On repeat. Behold: Moira's Commercial!


Instead of Writing

I have been putting some art supplies to good use lately, including: black marker, colored pencils exhumed from my childhood desk in Whippany, markers, a water brush (a wondrous invention that I did not know existed but saw at the store) and a glue stick (c'mon collage of Christmas wrapping paper!). AND this weekend I'm getting crafty making a jellyfish costume, which I used as an excuse to make a pilgrimage to Mood. All this to say I'm deriving great pleasure from making shit.