Wednesday, December 1, 2010

everything you (right) sounds so perfect

I like being a customer
for once, irregular.

I'm making all these Christmas bears sing
Jingle Bells, there's probably over 20 of them and everyone stops
just for a second, feeling nervous

I once subscribed to National Geographic without permission
all because
I wanted to look at the pictures
I wanted the stuffed husky dog that came free with subscription and everyday,

I ran to the mailbox expecting an entire dog
until it was there
it was tiny
it smelled funny and had a weird looking face

I didn't know what it meant

6 years old, writing Christmas lists on pieces of lined paper with pictures
cut out from the Sunday newspaper,
poorly taped next to each number
I knew they'd never make it under the Christmas tree-
that's not the point

23 years old, I'm doing the same thing
only it's in my head
(I can't get out of here because I'm so in love with everything)

I'm worried everyone must know about the sour gummy worms I abandoned behind a box of Lucky Charms
-minus three

childhood guilt; bought a box of fun dip just for the sticks
because I can't stop thinking
about those sad worms

I'm all over the city just for the driveby
conversations, always staring at the ground,
hoping for the best. An invisible girl
she says: "I mean
I guess you kind of have to, right?"


Friday, November 12, 2010

I don't know I wasn't sure

But, there are always the things.
I asked Frank about being uncertain, how
does someone ever know, what to
think or even how to know which means
you had to
know how to do something
in the first place, right
(and how do you, ever).
He doesn't mention anything about how none of that really makes sense,
but talks about how a mailbox is really just a mailbox, and tomorrow
it will still be just a mailbox, and scratches his chin.

I’m already turning the whole thing into some metaphorical bullshit
the kind I'm learning to keep to myself. Also, fuck. What's that word again,
some other word for conversation that I
can’t think of right now.

I guess that lady with the cart who collects all of the cans in the city,
that's funny, because it's the only way either of us know how to survive.
Or that toad of a man who runs the dry cleaner
just around the corner, he forgot how to smile or maybe, he can't help it because
toads probably don't smile. Either way, his afternoon chocolate chip cookie,
I sometimes depend on that.

Of course, then there’s Frank,

and there’s Frank’s mailbox,
and the fact that Frank is sure of that mailbox,
which means there are always the things.

that’s something, right

no rest for the wicked sad

That coffee roll you like but more importantly, how you
have to pick off all of the toppings before you can eat it and how I never
knew how to tell you about how much I like the way
you are about food. And I guess
I've always hated that boys can be hairy, but there is
your chest hair and then, there are hairy boys and you
are two different planets. There is also
all three of your phone alarms, all three
I hated that out loud so of course, now here I am
missing them like that time we made so many mashed potatoes
that we fell asleep,
or how you left your clothes in
the kind of piles around my room that made me think
the only reasonable explanation was that you were abducted by aliens.
Or how you always fixed the bottom sheet when it came off
because you are good at silently
understanding things
such as how an exposed mattress can make me nervous.

Things, things to think about pretty much never
except when I get up to get a drink of water and wonder
if I should get one for you
but you’re never home anymore,

but really I am just worried because

who takes your glasses off when you fall asleep with them on and
who makes sure the blanket doesn't come off of you
and who are we supposed to be now?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

quality mart

a brief conversation about important things
somewhere else, you could take a sip of wine or even just blink
and forget which things to pay attention to,
wind up missing all of the most obvious ones
just because your stomach kind of hurts, and your hair
looks bad today and before you left for work you didn't even think
about deodorant. And somewhere two people are for just a second
using credit cards and alcohol in an exchange of more than
just money and some peace of mind. She says some bullshit
we learned in the 90's and he hears something he didn't know existed,
ways of living invisible to each other but on the off day when they
are forced into acknowledgment because of something like
a long traffic light or sitting in the waiting room for so long
that you feel like everyone's friend, a brief conversation
about something important shortens the longest day into something
to maybe write about.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The mathematics are that I can't write this one for the life of me,
it's got me thinking about what "for the life of me" could ever mean,
or about how our calculator minds are just adding up, adding up,
forgetting the numbers and more importantly about how that doesn't make sense.
Mathematics are always there to make sense, that's why we say "mathematics,"
instead of math (you have to sound important sometimes).
Adding and subtracting words, looking at them the way
I looked at sunflowers when I was small, so into everything all of the time.
Multiply them by Tuesday, divide by Wednesday.
I don't know anything about numerators but we have this common denominator,
you and I, we have the same faces for each other.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

nothing important happened today

feel special feel special feel special
a terrible phone conversation or,
shaving your legs too fast or,
even just a bad hair day
no, no no no.
"Not on your birthday."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

run, a way

A wet hair in the winter kind of thing,
wanting to leave, wanting to leave, watching the leaves.
Stacks of books, irritable cats, unopened bills,
postcards I can't throw away, trash I can't get rid of.
Maybe I will stay and laugh in the greeting card aisle for a while,
maybe buy heating pads during the other parts of the month besides that time.
A crying for no reason kind of thing because reasons,
like dads, say things like "I know why" and they do.
And then, you know, so do you.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Unsure, like baby sparrows.
"What kind of tomorrow will it be?"
Walking in circles, imitating our thoughts.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


they are in the air
little dandelion puffs, a tear
clinging to eyelash clusters
pregnant gray snowflake sky,
silent fragments with sharp edges
waiting to trip you
wet silence before morning sun
they just, are

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


What an awful, awful thing we've done;
mirror eyed, we reflect discontent in stagnant equilibrium,
your curtains pulled half down, your mouth slows.
A hesitant mourning dove, swooping low in a near motionless dance
with my own rhythmic upside down crescent moon, hungry baby birds.
"Everything is going to be okay," on repeat as we hold each other,
we won't look at each other because mirror eyes will never meet.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

attention definite

Word overdose, comatose, unsympathetically morose;
I find myself again and again a blank audience to the remains
of an
I am running around in circles getting dizzy like I am 10,
it's a jumble,
jumble of a jumbled jungle gym of thoughts,
zooming like a tiny swarm or letters,
buzzing like do you want to do something else?
thoughts, thoughts are wearing a pair of jeans into the pool,
you just can't shake the heaviness.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


In the yawn of the afternoon we must drift,
floating more like swaying from left to right
in what looks like a beautiful pirouette, but lies.
It is a plummet straight to the ground,
the pretense of a longing, I miss you kind of goodbye
when really we both won't admit to the necessity.
We both know that our proximity can sometimes burn,
and sometimes when it burns it leaves silence behind.
So we are getting better at it, this game of pretend
that we don't remember agreeing to but now
we're two tiny spiders silently weaving web after web
but never, ever talking about them as we sit amidst
their barriers, their sticky, sticky strands of distance.

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 1st

Piles and piles of dirty laundry speckling my room like landmines and the smell of all the socks you abandoned and the face you make when I make stupid jokes about it and how hard you try to make me smile when I am confused watching your life combining with mine like the colors being put in the same wash cycle as the whites I think it will be something terrible, something to clean up, but here you are snoring softly on my bed and it is something beautiful, you’re stretched like a stray cat that only stays long enough for a nap, and I can remember what it is like to miss you and I can remember all of the reasons why everything is always going to be okay because being around you is like the first day of the month.

Friday, September 10, 2010

walking, walking

Walking around the city, walking in circles,
walking around forgetting to call it home.
Instead of watching the people, catching their bits and pieces
as they float, dance, zoom around the city like dandelions,
instead of the circles I rotate my jumbled limbs back into place.
Directionally retarded, I confess.
The smirks smile it into a joke,
but the truth is that I am constantly in motion.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

it's something

Isn't it something that we are most beautiful when everything is okay,
like the apple cheeks of a wind kissed autumn pinching us into September,
or the two of us on a Saturday night surrounded by lists of things
(to do), and nothing but our flushed secret tellings and hands that know exactly when to hold each other on a mattress built for this kind of living, and mornings straight out of the shower with a yellow towel keeping me from the possibilities waiting beyond the front porch. Isn't it something that all of the makeup in the world can't fix
the absence of beauty, like mornings when the porch seems like a prison settle
in its place, whispering about going back to bed?

what happens when your dad doesn't know everything anymore

My dad says it's water under the bridge, but what my dad doesn't know
is that I'm still looking for that bridge.
To what, to where, to how? My dad can't even answer when.
Being small can mean so many different things, but for a long, long time
it meant MY dad is the strongest bravest tallest biggest
he can beat up your dad he can fix it he can always, he can always.
My dad keeps talking about that bridge, but now all I'm thinking about is the water.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

7 am

At 7 am there is absolutely nothing to do at all
except watch the tiniest things that you’ll forget by noon,
like the sunlight and tree branch dancing in a shadow
or the sleep bubble wrapping the city's breathing at least for a few more hours, nothing to do at all except maybe detour around the 5 o clock shadow
and remember all of the reasons why the tiniest things that I'll forget by noon are still much bigger than me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Good news, she said when she woke up that morning. I've finally written something down instead of the push pull back and forth up and down roller coaster of a train wreck car crash spinning in circles sinking and sinking all while holding every inch of myself completely still. Good news, she said without opening her mouth. Good, she said. How many people are there inside of my head? They all raise their hands, they've all got the answers. Good. She's not saying anymore.

I want to move forward I want to go backwards I want to stay here

I want to go back to the days when rainy days were cardboard spaceships and blanket fort libraries and none of the gray blanket sadness sprung from experiencing bad days, I want to go back to worrying about which color crayon would make the best sunflower and none of the worrying about whether or not it's okay to cross the street while a man in a drunk red car smashes a bottle out his window and whether or not your best friend's boyfriend likes you and whether or not you like yourself, I want to go back to reading about Harriet the Spy being the same thing as becoming Harriet the Spy and none of the wondering about structure and hints of post modernism and maybe she was a lesbian.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The boy that hates cats has forgotten how to love.
It’s too easy to believe that our wet mouths can love each other.
Love is not the loneliness of Valentine’s Day, or realizing
you have no one to call on the way home from your grandmother's funeral.
It isn’t writing birthdays on a calendar,
it’s being on an airplane and your ears bursting open,
tears drowning your baby cheeks while you wonder if this is dying.
It’s knowing that you’re not dead because someone is squeezing you,
reminding you to swallow and handing you gum.
It’s standing in front of your front door and seeing a cat
waiting for you to come home, never wondering where you were.
The boy doesn’t want to be loved, the boy doesn’t love himself.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Coffee For Here

Today, I asked you if I could help you.
I smiled like the last two bites of the best
hot fudge sundae that you ever had, and you glared at me
with the eyes of a million overdue library books,
the time you overheard a boy you liked calling you fat,
and the moment you realized you would never have children.
I really wanted to give you the yogurt you walked
all the way from your house in Coolidge Corner for,
but you think I ate all of the yogurt out of spite.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Porch Sitting

People are going off like fireworks in this neighborhood
Little bursts of energy, hissing and lighting up the sky
On Etna Street, the mom is mad at the dad
He's not very good at being one, and she's drinking beer
Two houses down, the Boston natives are in love
Embracing each other by dropping their R's
Talking about baseball, and the rain
My house buzzes with sleep
I know it's really just the sound of the dryer
The fans, the dishwasher, the humming of electricity
I used to hear voices in windshield wipers
Now I know you can turn just about anything into a song.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Mondays are when you find a pack of cigarettes
in the bottom of your bag when you're broke
but it's empty, or that feeling of hoping
no one you know gets on the bus so you can just sit there
staring and avoiding all of the eyes, but maybe
mostly just the way your cat looks at you
when neither of you can afford to eat dinner, that's Monday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Brains are houses, never homes.
Occasionally, eyes project possibility
Something about my eyes being beautiful
and I am tiptoeing back inside,
Thinking about the one eyed cat
Who never knew any other way of seeing.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sincerely, Frank

On Tuesday he picks the flowers in his mind sprouting from a more aristocratic existence. He holds them in his hand, sitting as dilapidated as the armchair holding his shriveled form. His eyebrows dance in unison to a weary fugue, a tune he no longer remembers as much as the pretty girls he forgets to ignore. Their faces are whitewashed with empty respect as fake as their tans, but they smile and the curves of their merry go round features twirl him into belief. He remembers himself with dignity, dedicates his coffee to the preservation of this memory with each sip.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nerdy Shit

This semester I took History of Photo for basically no other reason other than my own personal interest. Throughout the semester I put astericks next to the photos I liked the most so that I could go back and explore them more thoroughly when I had the time. Now that I have the time, I want to document them so I can remember later on when I undoubtedly lose my photo notebook.(Also, I got an A in the class yayaaa).

Man Ray used one exposure in a series of photographs telling the story of a married woman caught in bed with her lover, yet each photo can stand on its own. My teacher (who is a genius and one of those rare teachers that I will admire for the rest of my life) remarked that "The Prayer" (seen below) is symbolic of a holy moment that is usually considered noble, sincere, and uplifting, but rather delivers the exact opposite because "what kind of prayers are omitted from the anus?"-Raymond Liddell.

The Prayer

Alfred Stieglitz- not so much my favorite but I really loved the way he emphasized a peculiar property of photography, particularly in this photo in which the bumps of flesh react to the movement of the water in a way that is not romanticized or glossed over.

Ansel Adams didn't impress me as much as I expected him to, but there were a few images that stuck out to me because of the way he captured the darker sides of nature. Specifically his images that portrayed trees as foreboding, mysterious, maybe even dangerous.

Robert Frank was able to identify cultural binders because of his unbiased approach to American values as an outsider. He conveyed the dark side of the American dream in his images, the intrinsic value of Patriotism imposed by the attitudes of Americans and the way they were molded by their surroundings.

I admired his work because he painted a picture of America that didn't please Americans, targeting xenophobia and contrasting the way we would like to see ourselves with what we fear the most. His images are ambiguous until they gain importance from association with each other, and most prominent is the American flag in his photography, which obscures the identity of the people in his photos and makes a comment on the ubiquity of the American flag throughout our country.

Finally, Edward Weston, who found pure forms in repetition with a Modernist approach to the organic and erotic qualities of nature. Most extraordinary, I found, was his ability to capture the human form in a way that mirrored the sexual imagery in his natural photographs, particularly vegetables. The palpable sense of vitality and the harmonious correlation between the human body as a collection of forms and relationships and the erotic celebration of that same form in nature was what distinguished Weston from other photographers to me.

oh and also this photo of him with cats, taken by Imogene Cunningham:


Friday, April 16, 2010

CVS Greg

I've decided I need to write about more interesting things.

Today's topic: Greg from CVS.

Greg is my favorite kind of human being. He works in the pharmacy, leaning on the counter while Elton John and Shania Twain serenade the hunched elderly women buying windex and bunion cream. I can't help but wonder what it would be like to kiss Greg. He is nearly lipless, lacking so much emotion that I instantly feel the need to cry, scream, and slap him as soon as I see his painfully blank face. I am driven to crack Greg. I have had plans to drag him out of his white cvs cloaked shell for months.

Today, Carolyn and I went to purchase cold medication from CVS. I caught a glimpse of Greg's face as soon as we entered the store. I repeatedly punched Carolyn in an attempt to convey my mixed emotions for him. She didn't get it, but she did by the time we left.

We stood in front of the cold medicine, the kind that they keep behind the counter because they make you hallucinate and hear voices. Greg walked mechanically over to the counter. Greg: "Are you dropping off?" (We were standing in the drop off part). Carolyn: "No, we're looking at the cold medicine." Greg: "Do you want to buy some?" Carolyn: "Yes." Hannah: "No." Greg: " "

Eventually, we bought some cold medicine. Greg's face passed my test with flying colors and never changed throughout our interaction. My standard for him is high. He thanked us for coming to CVS. Greg (robotically): "Have a nice night." Hannah: "You have a GREAT night." Greg: " "

More updates on this situation as it progresses.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Today, Henry is espresso.
He presents the shopping bags
dutifully, caffeinated and vacant.
He asks, “How are you?”
his thoughts careening vicariously
into quantum physics,
sometimes even youtube.
Henry is a rewards member.
This kind of a Reward is capitalized.
Loyally, he offers this Reward
to the SUV‘s, the Louis Vuitton
purses, and the wet babies going home
to eat a better dinner than Henry.
Henry is a perky exterior
with a wilted interior.
He can’t question a woman
who has better nails than taste
in books. After all,
Henry’s shirts
smell like cat piss.


Soggy mustached gloom
sits like a chess piece.
Wise to avoid
eye contact, feet contact
and all the contacts
in between.
Yellow stained
fingers, dead against
the yellow strip,
he takes only his generic
transparent grocery bag.
A box of “feminine products”
signifies nothing
to anyone, except
to the daughter I am
and once was.
For five rainy
stops, I am sitting,
warmed by his checkmate.
If only you
were still around
to pick up my pieces,
the queen:
never as important
as the father figure.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


the kind of night where I am spinning
in my head, there are summer lawns
winter rain, leafy brown graves
spun around me like a spring hailstorm
possessed by the eyes of a frantic owl
in my head, I'm shivering with words
pregnancy, they say, does this to you
I didn't know about the cravings
I just want it out of me
cravings can kill you without a tongue

the fumbling gropes of morning breath
have taken away my appetite for youth
my leaves pirouette to damp ground
silhouetting sweaty dreams of gray hair
I wake up ripping holes in my sheets
forgetting who I'm pretending to love this time
in my head, I'm shivering with desire
to be a recluse, they say, is selfish
I just want it out of me
being alone can kill you these days

Saturday, February 6, 2010

5:35 am

I like digging little graves
miniature ash trays, smoldering brain cells
I rub my eyes into my mother's wrinkles
the faithful mirror sings a lullaby
I don't know any better
I'm doing my best
I didn't mean to
I don't remember that

stupid girl

Friday, February 5, 2010

chair corpse

That frozen mourning
All of the colors bled in unison
like the world outside your car window
you left your sweat there
and ignored your mother’s wisdom
Later you remember the feel of chilled glass
Against your baby cheek
You forget what she told you
About mornings like these

These mornings I sit straight up
Erect, like I remember you
You ask me to sit on the toilet seat
While you shower so we can “talk”
Dripping about how I’ve known you for years
I let the water dilute your memory, apologizing
secretly whispering hopes for its demise
you leak through my cracks and I put my bath
mat in the dryer, pretending it’s me

Dripping, dripping, dripping
the chair I left outside all winter
cracked open, weeping ice
The corpse is still in my kitchen
I remember you asked me to shave
your neck, right below your hairline
I can never refuse your nudity
This mourning is a stale bagel,
smiling, “I don’t really care anymore”

spider smiles

It all makes sense
when I eat lunch.
Dinner is cold,
I’m unraveling
all of the mystery smiles,
the fake opinions
and the good jobs.

I concentrate
on word relationships,
sneaky blind dates.
I think if I could get them out,
maybe they’ll slow down.
Those charming adjectives,
and their arrogant nouns.

Are we all this scared?
I want to see
if it’s not just me.
I think about the spiders
in the downstairs bathroom.
They’ve probably see it all
I bet they have the answers.

self portrait in underwear

Tangled in a knotted nest of curls,

I am defeated by the cold, pale skin

of morning’s icy hands.

Her fingers wring my sleepy neck

as my eyes burst free from weighted prisons;

thrust into the world

like a stillborn child.

Are you the same silly girl

who left the coffee pot on?

Burnt coffee smells like sin

and wasted potential.

You can’t just put it in the dishwasher!

Now this morning’s cup of possibilities

tastes like yesterday’s failures.


We sit in sloppy nests
amidst the eggs of education.
Shy hands flag down ideas,
cheeks tinged red and sticky with hand sweat.
We croak our uncertainties,
tracing our heads
through the wiring
of text messages,
and laptops;
emails and due dates.

Doctors notes excuse absences,
while teacher’s mechanical smile
forgets what’s absent.
The girl with the dirty hair
lost her nest,
she trembles in her nakedness.
Black veiled bullet hole eyes
rolling, she thinks:
there’s no doctor’s note
for a broken heart.

Mirrors should learn their manners,
white lies soften black eyes.
It was permanent, I whisper.
But the thing is
no one bothered telling me
about the nightmares.
I wash my hair these days,
my eyes are green.
They color me with potential,
but I don’t forget that girl.

car accident

That day you picked me up from school,

I knew you were mad. You flicked

the turn signal so hard that I cringed in its pain.

Your stop sign red hair warns,

you’re always mad, aren’t you?

That day you picked me up, you asked.

You said, "sometimes I feel

SOMETIMES…I feel like you

Sometimes…I…" But you stopped and looked

at me, eyes like those marbles

that I used to collect. The ones dad bought me.

Cold and glass and easily lost. You said,

"sometimes I feel

like you love dad more than me--"

I hate the way you drive so much faster

when you’re mad and I am

actually afraid. So instead,

I become a liar.

I hate when people say "no regrets"

Good feelings
are a dime
a dozen.

If I catch
your drift,

no promises!
We take
what we can get.

The next time
I chew my skin,

I remember.

You make love,
but you can’t

No promises,
but the thing is

I never take
what I

You laugh condensation,
brain freeze in
my glass head.

I use my finger to draw:
no regrets

you have to

It’s December, your rough hands crack with cold.
Slip on the city stained ice, tripped by the sinister cold.

You got on the bus, tapped your pass, it’s expired you’re told.
Get off the bus and hear your bones moaning “cold.”

Today the whiskey crazed scarecrow by the red line grew old.
He slumps, rasping “we’re all dying anyway” and smiles against the cold.

Lipstick lady sweats diamonds in her fur coat, feeling so bold.
She hands him a twenty dollar bill, not knowing he’ll still be cold.

It’s December, you’re so sorry but you need to put that one on hold.
It’s life, not a phone call! They scream. But all you think is it’s just too cold.

city flood

Puffy black coffin coats
Drowning eyelash clusters
Blurry feet hesitate
Then, squirming
Become one
With the mismatched
Polluted oceans
Spotting the city
Like tear stains
inner tube feet
Become sinking boats
Rain glazed strands
Of runaway hair
Line my complexion
With soggy worry
Like the withered worms
Making their way
To watery hell
I’ll squish back to you
Sigh, bite my lip
The bottom one
Red like your hair
My bloated notebook
Greets my trash can
At its overcast funeral
Before I say goodbye
I write
The city swims
In sadness
The words bleed
But so does my lip

road animal

The pavement snarls
vibrant shades
of stony viciousness

Sometimes a bitter animal
its cynicism sparks
my demise

Leaping out
dotted yellow teeth
black cavities

I surrender
my flailing body
as its casualty

The wheels
of my slaughtered bicycle
glitter with our defeat


Sweaty intimacy

and swine flu


surround us,

we are shuddering

to a stop.

We fell in

at Kenmore,

fell out

by South Station.

Tonight, we illuminate


The automated voice

knows everything,

so much more

than the wasteland

of multicolored letters

all screaming for Boston.

I said,

I better go home now.

You said,

I’ll call you later.


We begin,

born an oxymoron,

sitting parallel

in hazardous


We perched

on green thrones,

the cat

on my arm

caught staring.

We end.

Died a fabrication,

sitting side by side

from 385 miles