Monday, May 31, 2010

I don't Know

I don’t know who she is
That’s the truth
I do know her better than I know myself
But that may be simply a question of desire
Or a matter of circumstances
She is the movingest of moving targets
Only knowable one moment at a time
Which is a perfect match for my mind
Only interested in any one thing for a moment
And always a half dozen steps too far ahead
Which is why I’m worried about more than
Moving targets
And knowable moments
I know she will get ahead of me and
Be perpetually on the other end of some communication device
That is now only the faintest of thoughts in the mind of some scientist to be
And I know that all of what I fret about now
Including what I don’t know about her
Will be but the faintest of memories
In the head of a scientist who could have been
And I won’t have anything
And I will long for the person I don’t know now
And all the unfathomable promise that has appeared with her
And now goes everywhere with me
I don’t know who she is
That’s the truth
For now and always
May it be that way

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Help with baking

Dribbling off fingers
Like a melting daffodil
Onto shell fragments


The kids are asleep and the wife is cleaning the toilet
I should be looking for a job
Or grading papers for my on-line course
But I don’t want to
Sunlight is streaming in the window, and
I’d rather just lie down in it
Than grade a paper
Or prepare a writing sample

This is one of those moments
That I wish I was a cat

There aren’t many of them,
But sometimes I do think it would be nice if
The world could end and begin with light streaming in a window

In between there would be carpet covered platforms, catnip filled mice, and lots of yarn
And love
Love and yarn
That is really all I want

It’s not hard to be happy
It’s never been hard to be happy
The challenge
At least for me
Is to be happy with just being happy

It has never been enough for me to make a fruit pie
I always have to try for the meringue
And I always over beat it into a thin

Once in a while it should be enough to make store bought brownies
And eat them in a sunny spot

And then go on a walk in the woods
And try
To notice something

And be inspired

Of course a cat wouldn’t be looking for inspiration
But for birds
To eat

I head to the kitchen for something to eat
My wife is in there cleaning
And I should feel guilty
But I don’t want to

Cat’s don’t feel guilty
When they lay down on the floor
In a ray of sunshine

They also don’t feel guilty
When they piss on my computer case

They certainly wouldn’t feel guilty for not looking for a job

But I’m not a cat
I’m not lying on the floor in the warmth of the sun
And it is Saturday
Which could point either way
Or right back here to my computer
And the student’s exams
And the job sites
And my cat Jordan
Lying on his back in the sun
Asking me to join him
And bring a ball of yarn

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I got the kids to laugh today
But it wasn’t at the children’s museum
As I‘d planned

It is a great museum,
So it’s a shame we didn’t make it there

The Please Touch Museum

My mother-in-law calls it the
Please Touch Me Museum

This is where I should insert a pregnant pause
But I’d be too afraid that whatever is yet to come will call me dada
And enough folks call me dada already

Both of those dada wielding folks had a hearty laugh today
A hearty laugh at my expense
Whilst I was kneeling in front of the toilet
Throwing up

Actually, only the 15 month old laughed
The almost four year old didn’t laugh at all
There were far too many questions to ask for her to waste any time on laughter
She had to know what I was doing
Why I was doing it
Why her brother was laughing
Whether I was all done
And whether I was going to wash my hands again

I washed my hands again
I washed my hands a lot today
By the end of the day I wasn’t the only one throwing up

I only threw up four times
But it was enough to put a fitting end to the week
Spinning down into the toilet
To join last week
Two bowls of rice crispies
A boysenberry yogurt
And last night’s basil chicken

Tuesday, May 11, 2010



When we have more money
I hope to be able to buy things at the thrift shop
Things like furniture
And maybe even a mirror in a wooden frame decorated with elephants, giraffes, and lions

For now, however,
All I can do
When I take my year plus old son
While my daughter is at pre-school
Is window shop
And dream of the day
When I will have enough disposable income
To buy more than a twenty five cent used kid book that originally came in a box of cheerios

My day to dream this impossible dream has to be a school day
And today is a school day
And today my wife
Who likes to shop
Has not purchased a non-essential item
Which I Who likes to save money
Has to return
And today I have cash
Which is essential
Since the thrift store doesn’t accept checks or credit cards for purchases of under fifteen dollars

Maybe if I get a job
I can buy an old desk
Or a bookcase
And use my credit card

Sunday, May 09, 2010



Sometimes I arrive right at 9:15
Sometimes I’m a minute early or late
But always I drive the old person’s car
Or in my case
The poor person’s car
Old Buicks are either driven by old people or poor people
Never poor old people
They drive old Chevys
No one my age with a college degree drives a Buick Park Avenue
No one but me
I’m not old
Which means
That at least I don’t drive slow
But occasionally I do have to slow down
My daughter can’t jump out of a car at forty miles per hour
And she has to get out of the car in order to go to pre-school
So I have to slow down when I pull into the driveway
Three days a week
And on each of those days
We spend a good deal of money we don’t have
And I park in line with the Land Rovers, Land Cruisers, and Excursions, and
Wish my JD was framed and hung in the rear window
I suppose it is framed
In my home-office
Where I spend every nap
Perusing the on-line job sites
Hoping not to find anything
So I don’t have to waste time applying for jobs I’ll never get
But if one is there
I apply
Because I have a dream that one day
I will be judged not by the color or make of my car
But by the content of my character
Or at least that my car will more correctly reflect my character
Until then
I pull into the drive
Three days a week
In my baby blue Buick Park Avenue
At 9:15 in the morning

Friday, May 07, 2010


Tuesdays are like a second date
Where she lets you hold her hand
But you still haven’t kissed
And there hasn’t been more than the passing hint of the possibility of sex
And it doesn’t bother you
It’s all possibility, promise, and potential
And none of it has been pissed away

For me
Tuesdays hold more than a passing hint of the possibility of sex
But not much more
And it does bother me
A little
But I’m married with two children under four
And on Tuesday
Other than sex with my wife
Or talking to her about anything more than what the next day will bring
Everything else still seems possible

I might be able to really look for a job
Brush my teeth
And not lose my temper with the kids

Or even better
Actually have a good time with them
Play a game
Do a science experiment
Teach them new words and concepts
Share a quiet moment
Read a story
Get outside and let them stretch their legs

And make each one into a teachable moment

Write a poem
Work on my novel

And get a job
And live in a house with a fireplace, a porch swing, and a midnight blue 1969 Camaro in the driveway
And make the world a more peaceful, poetic, and analytical place

And never have a need for first dates ever again
Whether real
Not yet

Thursday, May 06, 2010


not alone
reading want ads
i’m wearing a wig and an eye patch
as I sword fight with a fifteen month old
and stand all day,
at the other end of the stream of consciousness that comes
uninterrupted out of the mouth of an almost four year old
and by the end of the day
i feel like a leftover fry
red, soggy, and left behind
waiting to see whether
my fate is
the trash can
the garbage
or the

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Five After Four p.m.

If I didn’t have children I would be
But I have children
And only one is asleep
The other is moving slowly away from me
Crying and
Crawling backwards
He wanted me to hold him and
When I didn’t
He began to do his best crab impression
Turning red and backing away
The further he gets away
The more I began to think I am witnessing
An exorcism or a scene out of poltergeist
As he is pulled into the kitchen and out of sight
The whole thing is really beginning to freak me out
Then I hear laughter and see the cat’s water dish splash into view
I give one last hopeful wipe and
Follow the trail and
The peals of laughter
Steeling myself not to join in
Knowing it’s too late
I do have children

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Forty After Two p.m.

Only the crackle of the monitors fills the air
After almost nine hours
All is still
More or less
The occasional grunt, moan, or shriek is the noise that proves the silence
Occasionally it is so quiet
That I forget and
I relax
Allowing everything else to melt into the static