Insomnia Loves Me – A Collection

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Sleep is an illusion


This pale sea offers broad horizons

The static expanse of ceiling white void

narrows its eyes

twists its mouth at me


Rest is unsolicited advice


I hate television more all the time

From people’s pixelated mouths

spew diluted melodrama

and hyperextended definitions of



From the tops of auspicious coifs

arise and burst the bubbles of


And they make me hate people

for loving them so


[I hyperextended my knee twice in the same year of high school, which wasn’t the year I got mono and sacrificed offerings to the library gods and the Dodge ram’s head for small mercies upon my wretched boredom]


Repose has never lived here


I keep coming back to that same quote…

Some tragic Greek philosopher or other

will always invade my bumper-to-bumper mind, I suppose

Or at least Bill Watterson.


There are so many books

full of devastating ideas

I just don’t open because I am afraid

to wear them out

to break them down

To somehow take them from their shelved alters

and for granted


[I don’t think the movies ruined our lives. Romantic ideals are born of lazy imaginations]


My quiet breath and I

pass the minutes into hours

the hours into words

the words into morning

and coffee and August come early




I can’t stop, can’t sleep

can’t sleep

all this hot soup in my head

won’t sustain the morning


Can’t keep from staring into the black

that doesn’t allow for shadows

Can’t stave off militias of disappointment, miniatures of greed

Can’t hide myself in false dismissiveness

Can’t help the chill bumps

of the first familiar “Salome” notes

which, after all these years, should be relaxing

comforting, and aren’t


I can’t sleep, but my mental red pen does

In its absence I cannot abide

to let the pages go on feeling unappreciated

The sedative someone slipped me when I WAS sleeping

has worn off

How convenient it would be to blame

Decades of environmental plunder

for the things I now uncensor

But no


I just got used to being seen

on less mentally unstable terms

and tried to transplant all my organs there


I think the rejection is saving my life




Maybe it’s the way my thoughts spin

counterclockwise in the bed

Maybe it’s the way my feelings show

in growth throughout the evening

Maybe it’s the way I need

the words in my mind


I can’t keep these trains of thought

from running the rails

any more than I can keep

the clouds from swallowing themselves


Sometimes moments come and go

with little comment

Sometimes time compounds inside my chest

Sometimes every eyelash

spans eternity


I don’t mind mountains of truth

backdropping my dreams

so long as truth and I

can recognize each other


Still the night excoriates me

in silent places

Still change happens

while I lie paralyzed

Still I sit and conjure possibilities




Dogs make for poor pillows




Note: All poems will now be posted on The Poem Is The Thing( here on WordPress. Thanks for reading!


Gravity and Inertia, As They Pertain to My Week (Plus some other stuff)

2013-04-28 20.48.43I have, for as long as I remember, been an insomniac, while secondarily suffering from sleep inertia.  It takes a long time to fall asleep, but when I do, I am in the tight clutches of slumber to such an extent it is nearly impossible to disturb me.  In recent years, waking has been an earlier and earlier occurrence, but this week has found me a returning victim of dreaded bed gravity, wherein no escape seems possible.  

I have rushed out the door for class five days straight.  Time is a tricky thing, indeed.


School has moved us to the food of the Americas, and a more confident classroom. It’s interesting to have excuse to ponder the wide variances of cuisine across the U. S. alone. And, in my southern reversion, to be reminded how important the reign of food is over the demeanors of its consumers.  Every region has some good offerings, but some just can’t compete with the simple, grandma’s garden, or out of the boat meals I’m used to.

  I am spoiled, having grown up in a passionately food-centric part of the country, where nothing can happen that isn’t culinarily associative. Weddings, funerals, holidays, sure.  New neighbors? Make them a pie.  Fifth Sunday?  Potluck. Quitting your job? Let’s hit the local BBQ joint.  Your kid is potty trained?  I’ll drink to that!  And when we’re all stuffed to the gills, we’ll STILL be talking about food.


My excitement this week was attending the Lumineers concert at the new amphitheater in town. 

2013-04-26 19.22.13 Jack Wilson, an Austin native with serious 70s influence, and the Tumbleweeds – a swampy New Orleans based band complete with triangle, keg drum and mouth harp – opened the absolutely packed venue. Between the Tumbleweeds covering Woody Guthrie and the Lumineers paying homage to Bob Dylan, along with all their cool, simple, skillful originals, it was a flawless musical experience. 

Along the way, I sighted some mondo mustaches and fringed tshirts, circa 1986.  Dear cultural universe: It’s ok to let some things die.

It only took 2 hours to get out of the parking lot, after 1am, and the town still raged on.  This truly is a city that never sleeps.


One last thing –

I am not a tactless person, by any means, but somewhat unedited in my commentary and responses. For me, it is mostly because I don’t like not knowing where people stand, and I have no intention of leaving the question of my take for others on things affecting them.  (Also, it’s my defective internal monologue at work, with which a lot of you are familiar. I make no excuses). This week, someone commented to me that they had never been able to do that.  It led me to wonder, what would life be, if we all just said what we really meant? Manners exist in order to provide comfort in social situations, to be understood guidelines for conduct. Some are silly, outdated, baffling.  Some are useful. Still, I question whether so much self censorship is counterintuitive in some contexts. In others, it is not as well enforced as it needs to be. Those lines are drawn so differently in individual minds, in cultural practice, in private self rule.  It’s something I think on from time to time, but rarely does it dictate in me regret for my choices.  I am a believer in saying what needs to be said rather than what I think someone else wants me to say. Nevertheless, I am not deluded into thinking my opinions and feelings are the only valid ones. We all have our own inertia to weigh, our own gravity to consider.



Tell me your thoughts.




Of Baseball, Beer and Baking…

2013-04-21 14.15.59Today, I road tripped to Arlington to witness the Rangers massacre the Mariners.  It was the perfect day for baseball.  If you aren’t a fan, I can’t fully explain the sheer joy of being in a stadium in person. The thrill of every sight and sound. The negation of crappy food and beer by the wonder and history of the sport, by the community of the crowd.  It is a thing of beauty.

But I ramble.


Earlier in the week I purposely parked myself at a nightmare college town sports bar counter.  They always, always show the Braves game. I know when to choose my battles –  Except…

This happened –


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Beer foam art. Who knew?

Were it St Paddy’s Day, I would have found it funny.  For some reason, that particular evening, it came across as far too kitsch.  Maybe I’m just a cantankerous old lady.  Either way, I’m talking about it, so it worked on some gimmicky advertising level or other.  Even more annoying.  (Heh). 


Quick mention – Not only did I troll my favorite music store for Record Store Day yesterday (support your independent stores, people!) but I also caught the Meat Puppets this week. And yes, they still rock like crazy. Their new album is worth a listen. And then another. But no time for reviews here.

I’ve been remiss in reporting on things educational as of late.

“Bread is the paper of the food industry. You write your sandwich on it.” Dwight Schrute

  The gist:

Last week was the end of the general culinary introductory block, which meant our first kitchen practical. 

Cooking tests are interesting beasts. In preparation I grocery shopped specifically for the dishes on which we were graded, including three deceptively normal looking whole chickens to practice fabricating.  Once unpackaged, I discovered I had brought into my home overgrown foul of supervillainous proportions.(The quality of store bought chicken is often truly shameful). I stored most of the giant slabs of chickenish flesh in my freezer for future use.  Test day,  I found myself questioning everything I did, being gun shy in regard to seasonings, and (maybe over?) simplifying.  It didn’t help that we were being judged – I mean, graded – by an instructor who had not taught us in the block.  But we all survived and no one seems to have been poisoned. We moved on to this week’s intro to baking, during which we learned how to make fourteen million different kinds of bread, some pastries, a cake, and on Friday – a baguette practical and {eek!} cake decorating.

Ladies and gentlemen, why I’m not a pastry student, Exhibit A:


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Passersby had so much clever commentary on my choice of frosting color – Grinch, Oscar the Grouch, banana leaf and guacamole green. All fitting.
I personally called it snot green.  The strawberries didn’t look quite as boogery as I’d imagined though –  As a classmate of mine recently observed, they’re called the culinary arts for a reason.

{We’re all friends here – Confess something at which you’re less than skilled. It’ll be painless, I promise}

Speed of Life


1108 feet per second

Bare feet and back roads

Windows flung to the afternoon

Decided din announcing mischief

Nostalgia racing vinyl grooves

to mind’s core


1215 kilometers per hour

Melancholy curl

tucked behind an ear

Prudent, fetted, evolutionary

Oh, what becoming

in the possibilities of strings


741 miles per hour

Keeping time in our minds

somewhere between proximity

and valance electrons