Monday, March 30, 2009

This is not always fun.

Some days the words are right there,
floating in front of my desk
illuminated by sunlight
dancing between the dust...

Then all I have to do is open my palm
and let one or two of them fall,
and the rest follow,
wanting simply to continue their waltz on my page.

But most days,
they are impossible to find.
There is no sun and there is no dancing,
just allot of sweat and tears and

And when I drag one out from under my bed,
or steal one from the woman at the bus stop,
they don't typically sit still very long.
So we fight clumsily, late into the night,
until we both quit out of sheer exhaustion.

Is this the writer's life?
95% of one's days spent wrestling
with the air? With things that don't
yet exist? A tiring hunt for the
perfect way, the perfect phrase, the perfect

If so, I suppose it all seems like the perfect formula for insanity...

But then there are the "some days"
the other 5%,
when words come tripping in so sweetly
through an open window,
allowing glimpses of secrets and distant lands
and deeper thoughts,
that make the madness worth it,
at least for a moment-
A moment long enough to make you forget the week's pains,
and renew your monthly contract.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I can think of very few surprises in my life
that surpass the one of finding you.

Finding you was better than finding money in the pocket of an old winter coat

better than hidden tracks on a favorite album

better than handwritten letters amongst the bills

better than a secret garden in dark green woods

better than a great pair of heels...on clearance

better than underwater caves and electric blue starfish

better than hole in the wall coffee shops with free refills and free wireless

better than old love letters between the pages of older books

better than the band doing one more tour

better than post it notes on bathroom mirrors

better than waiting arms after a long day

better than it being just the right size

better than grade school diaries

better than the same sense of humor

better than more room in the waistline

better than the perfect driving road

better than a friendly neighbor

even better than finding the hidden stash of chocolate chips...

In fact,
Perhaps the only other surprise
better than finding you,
is the one in which
I was found by you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

On Friendship

There is nothing quite as lovely
as the exquisite understanding
of a dear friend.

For such knowing eyes,
that see the world and all its splendor....

For such adept ears,
able to recognize vast genres of rhythm and rhyme...

For such skilled hands,
capable of turning the ordinary into extraordinary...

For all these gifts
to so graciously turn towards sisterhood,
and simply offer:

"I see you.
I hear you.
I'll take your hand and walk with you".

...this is artistry at its best...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Point of Views.

So we are not much different then, you and I.
You sleeping in laundry baskets on kitchen tables,
and I dozing in sun spots on passenger trains.

I recognize this now,
because I recognize that knowing gaze.
The one mixed with the groggy pride that comes from
good rest, good dreams, and good love?
The last of which of course you rarely admit,
(only just before dinner and perhaps in the early hours of the dawn).

Yes. My eyes have seen the world through those same narrow shutters,
have known the same good things,
and have perhaps too often maintained the same silence...

We are secret holders,we two.
Watching the world from countertops and rooftops,
always thinking,
and sometimes sleeping,

but never quite resting...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


We’ve all encountered them before, whether in that local Seven Eleven “closet” they have labeled a toilet facility, or even at times within the walls of our favorite department store. You step up to the sink to wash your hands and fix your make up when all of the sudden: BAM. There it is. The face and the figure that you so appropriately deemed that morning as acceptable…(and yes, perhaps even somewhat enjoyable for the rest of the world to view), have been brought up close and personal to a particular kind of mirror under a particular kind of light, that ends up sending your confidence levels crashing to schizophrenic new lows.

Take for example this dis-heartening, reflection conversation with myself in a local Subway.

"Ms. Jensen. Dry your hands and look up here please. Yes. There you are. Well Well Well. It appears you are a growing a national forest over your upper lip. In fact, we have taken the liberty of re-assigning you a new gender and namesake: Senor Hose is much more fitting.
Also. You were very wrong. That sweater is not your color. In fact we highly doubt that “death vomit” is anyone’s color.
Lastly, you could very well be the first human marsupial. It seems there is a pouch on your gut that could carry around a baby walrus."

Seriously!?? Apparently when the abstinence mirror hits, it hits hard. Who INSTALLS these things?? And why do they always seem to appear right before a hot date, an important interview, or a large public speaking event???

Now what exacerbates the situation with the abstinence mirror, and what I feel is the sole reason for confusion when it comes to a healthy view of self image, is that JUST when one is convinced by a Dunkin Donuts pit stop, that they are the ugliest of all ugly ducklings, one will automatically find herself just days later in front of a strategically placed, “kiss me now” mirror. A new kind of reflection that not only removes doubt and self-loathing, but quite frankly seems to perpetuate the viewer into completely false ideas of uber-hotness.

“Kiss me NOW” mirrors are most often found in places like The Cheesecake Factory or some obscure little bistro off of Damen and Clark. We walk in to re-apply some Lip-smackers Strawberry Blast, and suddenly find ourselves captivated by the woman on the other side. She smiles playfully back at us under dim wattage and convinces us that we are wearing a size 2, when in fact we know darn well we are a 12...

Here is a second dialogue with my psyche, one that took place just a week after aforementioned visage of horror.

"Why hello there Jessica darling.
Were you aware that you are in fact a walking goddess?
Your dinner will be free. You can eat dessert and you won’t gain a pound.
Quit your job. Now. Go into modeling. Tyra will love you. Oprah will interview you.
The stars are in alignment because of your beauty.
This evening waits on your every breath, you gorgeous gazelle you.

Woah. I'm all for self-confidence, but there are definitely limits...
limits that this particular mirror seems to overrun completely.

Conundrum then: With such polarized views of our appearance at every turn, how are we ever to gain a sane and healthy perspective of what we actually LOOK like??? Are we to go about our jobs, social engagements, and daily errands eternally doomed to the ever-changing perspectives that these patronizing mirrors seem to throw haphazardly our way???? Or perhaps we should just give up looking in mirrors altogether and always rely on the honesty of a good friend...

Heck if I know.
But what I DO know,
is that I always carry around an extra sweater,
and a paper bag,
just. in. case.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rebuttals of a mild nature.

Your honor,
The accused has heard it stated,
by several well-intending experts on the matter,
that once a young artist finds herself void of cynicism and disdain
regarding matters of the heart,
that she may as well pack up her pens and call it a day.

Such claims hold much validity (as there are countless aisles
of romanticized drivel to uphold such an accusation).

However, I stand humbly before the jury and offer up this necessary distinction regarding my client and the charges brought against her:

That while a lack of quality is most certainly indicative of blind emotion,
a lack of quantity speaks of quite a different matter.

She hasn't given up. Her silence is simply the product of a poet quietly observing a new in particular that she has never quite had the pleasure of exploring...

Neither has she forgotten the words. Rather her absence is the outcome of hours spent carefully retraining each one. Teaching them to translate all that is before her, under the soft and glowing tones of respect and adoration.

She does not beg for your just pardon.
She simply asks for your gracious time,
and assures you that all will be as it was,
once she has settled in,
and filled her pockets,
with all things shining.

Your Honor,
If it pleases the court...


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Unconscious Prayer

"The soul accustomed to directing herself to God on every occasion, like a flower at the sunrise, spreads and dilates toward him in thankfulness for every small blessing he sheds on her. This soul, like a flower at sunset, gathers into herself as though she had received a blow when she hears her Savior maligned in blasphemy. This soul, whatever chord is struck in her, is always tuned toward God...

and this soul prays sometimes when she does not realize she prays."

John Donne