Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Again

It's National Poetry Month again. I think it's time to get writing. We'll see how many poems I can post this year.

April is as predictable as ever in Reno in that it's unpredictable. It's snowing on and off today, but not sticking. It's cold and windy. Occasionally the sun peeks out and teases us.

The poem below was written for a friend who told me he felt like he was disappearing. The form of the poem is a sestina and it involves repetition of the final words in each line in each stanza in a specific pattern.

I added my own spin to the form by limiting myself to a certain number of syllables in each line. The first stanza's lines have 16 syllables, the second stanza's lines have 14 syllables, the 3rd stanza's lines have 12 syllables... and so on. This gave me a nice way to meld with the title of the poem. Plus it was a great way to choose words carefully.

Anyhow, here's my poem for today. Enjoy.


you bury yourself in words, hoping to become invisible
you hope we see you, not as you, but for what the background will lack
thickening your emotions until they become your armored skin
mystifyingly tiny in that emptiness you call your space
no one, not even tenuous conscience, can claim you as their own
so you wait in cloying ennui until sorrow becomes that wall

and the sun drops behind it, that right-angle-shadowed wall
nearly suffocating in its thick and invisible
comfort, making sure you have false hope shadowed on your own
brickwork, knowing it may only be yellow-ness you lack
yet leaving pastel nestled in its cozy back-drawer-space
no longer peeled back and vulnerable under that skin

facades become mastery over toughened skin
precipices are camouflaged beyond that wall
it is your own reflection you fear in that space
you go to when hope becomes invisible
you can concentrate on manipulating lack
embrace the sweet unknown until it is your own

something -- anything -- that is all your own
not seeping out from gaps beneath your skin
only palpable in what closings lack
backing anxieties against that wall
smudging ashes of dread invisible
and you can once again claim amber space

expand until you fill that space
remember, dear: your heart's your own
I'll wait inside, invisible
curled inside your close, waiting skin
stillness crumbling that blackened wall
giving those forging tools you lack

I hope you see that lack
and find a yellow space
seep through gaps in that wall
widen them on your own
let brightness touch your skin
forsake invisible

invisible, you see your lack
bring back your skin, expand your space
you aren't your own, erase that wall

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I really should be packing up more stuff.

I stopped by Bibo Coffee Company on Mt. Rose Street for the best coffee in Reno. (A side note for those of you who know me as a tea drinker: when I want coffee, I go to Bibos (and they make a great cup of tea, too.)) I know I shouldn't have picked up my book, but I am an incurable book-a-holic. I am reading The Pacific and Other Stories by Mark Helprin and, as some of you may know, Helprin is (in my opinion) one of the best writers ever.

Anyhow, I find that when I read Helprin's stuff, I want to write. But this blog entry will be all I write today. I am back to packing up and throwing away stuff.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day

This is the first Pi Day in many years where I didn't bake, buy or eat pie. Ah Well. I'll make plans for next year.

Happy Pi Day, everyone.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Friday nights in March

Another Friday night tending bar at Bruka Theatre. Another fun evening of pouring drinks and flirting and smiling. I love that I get to step out of office mode for a while and forget that I just spent a week with financial statements, forms and spreadsheets.

The theatre atmosphere is so different. I’m not just talking about the obvious party feeling and the dramatic conversations (in all senses of the word). I am talking about the group effort in putting together an artistic creation. The camaraderie and the sense that something beautiful is being created.

Life outside of work and theatre is getting full. We have to clean up and move out of the house we’ve been in for a little over three years. I do think it’s a good thing in the long run. But the work! Time to enlist the kids…

My creative life is confined to working on jewelry in between loads of laundry and writing haiku between cups of tea. I want to do more, but life, as always, intervenes.

My mood is lighter these days and I’m not sure why. St. John’s Wort and my fabulous friends seem to help. But finances continue to be tight. Having to get another car and moving and teenage boys seem to suck my bank account dry on a daily basis.

Ah… responsibility. I don’t want to be a grown-up some days.

Okay. Enough whining.

The weather has been cold and grey-ish. The thermometer says it’s in the 50s, but the wind on my face says it’s a lot colder. I find it comforting for reasons I can’t explain. Winter isn’t over. Spring keeps threatening to be.

Conversations seem to lean towards the wistful. Friends ask how you are and really seem to want to know. I am staying up later and wishing, most mornings, that I didn’t.

I’m reading Haruki Murakami’s lovely novel Norwegian Wood
and feeling its wistful spin on youth and sanity. The perfect novel for this March state of mind.


On another note: The coolest machine ever! I want one! Totally useless yet philosophically jam-packed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February attitude

In January I felt the winter blues set in as they always do. No matter what I do to try to avoid it or postpone it. January sets in like cold concrete poured slowly over the soul. You just wait for the thugs to toss you in February’s river to await spring.

Like so much in life, it’s a cycle. Sadness, that is.

I find myself, lately, wedging on my positive attitude with a mental shoe horn. It doesn’t go on easily or comfortably, but, somehow, by the end of the day, it fits. And I hardly notice things are any different.

I have noticed occasionally that my outlook on life gets dreary. And I struggle to figure out why. In the end I just put on my smile and, well, it sticks!

Someone (I think it was my mother) told me once that, “If you THINK you’re happy, you ARE happy.”

And so it is.

Thanks Mom.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Tea and rain

Happiness is found in unexpected places. Okay. I know it sounds trite (as trite as unexpectedness can be…), but it’s always a pleasant thing to discover day after day.

I got to spend a few hours trading stories with good friends, new friends and new acquaintances at the Hi Point Coffee Shop here in Northwest Reno. And I got to hear the lovely vocal stylings of Michelle Pappas and sip some dang good tea.

Now I have a deep relationship with tea. I drink it daily and am not really picky, but I do love a really good cuppa once in a while. I find few coffee shops that also happen to have good tea. And the few tea houses we had in Reno are now gone. So if anyone knows of a good place for tea in Reno, I’d love to hear about it. I’ll buy you a cup of tea!

January is always such a flurry of activity for me. Thank goodness I haven’t had to deal with bitter cold or massive amounts of snow this year so far. In fact, it's raining now. Always nice to have rain once in a while.

Happy Birthday, mom!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

I’m going to keep with my tradition of not making resolutions and not resolve to blog more. But I do miss it.

Life trudges on and only approaches boredom when I stop to think about it. But I rarely do.

I’m reading a delightful book called The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón that I got from my brother for my birthday. A good mystery about a book, so far. I’m only a few chapters in.

I am also making my way through the “Firefly” series on DVD. Wow. I’d actually watch TV if I knew it could approach this caliber. Amazing writing and story-telling with fine acting and cool (yet understated) special effects. Good stuff…

I spent New Year’s eve watching “Avatar” just to emerge from the theater at 11:45. Just in time to catch the fireworks downtown. Lovely. No champagne, but at the turn of the year I passed my cool new hip flask (a Christmas present) filled with good cognac around and toasted the year in style. I love this town.