To Forget, To Remember

When my grandmother forgot how to brush her hair and twist it into a bun my grandfather combed her hair. Once he said it was red like fire. When my grandmother remembered yesterday and lost today my grandfather spread photos on their claw footed dining room table. They revisited the past, a tableau of scenes. Once he said we fished for silver bream in the Don River. For a year my grandmother forgot and my grandfather remembered. Day after day they returned to Russian words. Ya tebya lyublyu, he said. I love you. Poetic Asides prompt* ...more

Found on the Phrontistery

I admit to an addiction to arcane words and convoluted play on words. Once I adopted the word obrumpent and promised to use it once a day, to cleanse it of tarnish and rust. After two days of seeking where to add an adjective meaning bursting and thinking that balloons might work and soap bubbles and bubble gum I simply ran out of places without losing a sense of decorum. Poetic Asides prompt ...more

What to Eat

Do I want the lobster salad or the broiled fish? How about the scallops in olive oil and garlic, sopping, drenched with the taste of Italy where I ate fried calamari in an outdoor cafe and drank chianti while discussing Dante until desert obliterated all talk. Poetry Asides prompt ...more

The Trouble With Nostalgia

The Trouble With Nostalgia Hang in the past and you miss the now while hankering for what happened. Recalling isn't the same as lamenting for what went before, nostalgia is bittersweet-- makes one add layers to a memory, a pastiche of sentiments, shadows. Nostalgia can be a noose, a rope, a place where warts disappear and store bought glitter covers yesterday. Plaintive glances behind close the blinds on today. Poetic Asides prompt ...more

I Forgot the Treat

The neighbor's Siamese cat waits at my front door for me to return home, and then raises his back and lets me know he's annoyed. Poetic Asides prompt ...more

An Ace Ball

My father wore a black glove to hit a black ball against a concrete wall. Open handball where the ball richocheted faster than the speed of light and the men met on Saturday morning to continue the game begun the week before when Gus and Phil won for "the first time" my father said. I watched them run back and forth jockeying for position, for the right to be the winners for a week. "Old men, " the teen jocks yelled, " want a challenge?" I remember my father and Gus taking them up. They played the jocks back and forth to win points- with slices, fist balls, ...more

A Love Poem

It's fun doing the dishes, even emptying the garbage or discussing mysteries or wrangling over eschatology or whether the Red Sox pitching will right itself before it's too late— or succumbing to yet another frozen yogurt or hiking in Maine and scanning the earth for polypores, for sheep laurel or saying love you before sleep takes over ...more

Monday Morning

He flings the paper from the end of the walkway with a a single movement the way he once threw a discus. It lands in the grass. I put on a hat to cover my sleep tossed hair and walk outside. A sweatshirt, baggy pants and sandals make me presentable for another neighbor retrieving a paper. We nod. It's too early to discuss the fate of the world or whether the new crossword editor has resorted to arcane words and convoluted play on words. I glance at the front page and note that later I'll read about bike couriers making a comeback. It's a good morning. ...more

In Judgement

Art hurts. Art urges voyages - and it is easier to stay at home. —Gwendolyn Brooks Remember painting a tree, grass and a sun? Sun spikes surrounded a red-orange ball twice the size of the tree top. I remember painting purple leaves and yellow flowers shaped like tulips, or teacups on sticks. Later on I discovered that teacups have handles and flowers have petals and it's hard to draw a teacup that stays on the table and doesn't float through the air or a flower that looks like itself. Remember when only you knew what was on the paper ...more

The Visit

She sat talking to the social worker, explaining how she first began collecting hubcaps, then how she visited junk yards where old cars without tires rusted away. She brought home fenders and bumpers, steering wheels and shattered lights. At first, she said, everything had a place. A collection needs organization—hubcaps in the kitchen, bumpers under the bed, steering wheels in the closet. But you know, she said, when I began to separate the foreign and domestic I ran out of space. That's how the bathtub held shattered lights. The social worker explained with the patience ...more