Long Division: Presales Have Begun

My chapbook Long Division is available for preorders until June 23rd. I get reports from the press about how many orders and from whom my book has gotten – so far, I’m about halfway to the required minimum for the book to go to print. If you requested an announcement postcard, they should be arriving this week (if you’ve not gotten one already); you can also place a preorder here. Thank you to those who’ve done so already!

If you want to hear me read a sample poem (my favorite in the collection) and see me stand on a table in a bar, this is the video for you!

How to Be Healthy: The New Uncertainty Principle

plastic-spoons-and-forksI’ve been doing a fiendish amount of research into health lately. Many of the people I’ve encountered in the irksomely named health and wellness “space” got there because of a personal health crisis. They had a crash-and-burn-level health problem that forced them to quit their sugar-laden, sleep-deprived ways and start respecting their bodies. I started this journey (another irksome word, sorry!) because I was freaked about getting sick after the second of my two parents was diagnosed with a serious cancer before age 60. And, in the process of discovering some pretty great resources that have been able to answer some of my questions, instead of getting well – or, better than I was, which wasn’t catastrophically ill – I got sick.

Continue reading How to Be Healthy: The New Uncertainty Principle

Trump Called Fake News an Enemy of the People

enemy of the people
Trump’s use of the phrase may be unoriginal, but it’s pretty strategic

Trump called fake news “an enemy of the people.” (He said it in a tweet, of course, and the obnoxiousness of his childish and gaslighting tweets is a post for another day.) As a Washington Post article explains, this phrase actually started out being used by oppressed people to refer to the extremely evil emperor Nero. Incidentally, the article also demonstrates Trump’s pathetic but not surprising lack of originality in his use of the phrase. The phrase was, of course, co-opted eventually by Hitler to refer to the Jews and Stalin (in Russia, being accused of being an enemy of the people under Stalin was a death sentence). I say it was co-opted ‘of course’ because that’s all evil can do. It cannot create anything of its own; it can only pervert the good.  Continue reading Trump Called Fake News an Enemy of the People

Defeating Trump and Trumpism is Defeating Fear – It Will Take Sincerity, Part 2

vote-jumboPicking up where I left off yesterday, these are scary times, and unprecedented ones in our national life. One presidential candidate has narrowly avoided a major investigation. Another candidate is temperamentally unfit for the office of the Presidency and facing his own serious legal proceedings. Their respective vice presidential candidates are, it could be argued, infinitely more qualified than their running mates in terms of character. The news and media make little mention of the other presidential candidates to be found on the ballot (for all this “get out and vote, get out and vote” pressure, I’ve been shamed for even considering voting third-party) and the public, largely, is either too awareness-fatigued, overwhelmed or unskilled at discerning the universe of information to be trusted to do their own research. Continue reading Defeating Trump and Trumpism is Defeating Fear – It Will Take Sincerity, Part 2

Defeating Trumpism is Defeating Fear – It Will Take Sincerity, Part One

elections-ahead-26432065I’m taking a break from my new focus on vulnerability to say a few things about the election. I have a really hard time with people encouraging everyone to “get out and vote” without also encouraging people to become informed before they vote. Personally, I’d rather you not vote if you’re not informed. Not voting doesn’t increase the value of some diehard’s vote as much as voting without knowing what you’re doing does. And it does take time. You can’t really just show up at the ballot box and expect that the little blurb on the bill or person or proposition is going to tell you everything you need to know. It took me four hours to fill out my ballot. Here’s some thoughts on the most stressful choice on the ballot this year:

Continue reading Defeating Trumpism is Defeating Fear – It Will Take Sincerity, Part One

Jealousy, Revisited

Jealous heart“Then I started to write about my envy. I got to look in some cold dark corners, see what was there, shine a little light on what we all have in common. Sometimes this human stuff is slimy and pathetic – jealously especially so – but better to feel it and talk about it and walk through it than to spend a lifetime being silently poisoned.” Thank you, Ann Lamott.  Continue reading Jealousy, Revisited

“I Will Leave This Country If…” Part 2

Tear down the wallJust like “the most powerful factor determining a company’s performance is the condition of the marketplace in which it operates,” as Joshua Rothman writes, so, too, is the most telling factor determining a president’s or presidential candidate’s effectiveness and reach of that power is the demography in which they operate. Trump isn’t the problem, he’s the latest, most serious symptom. Just like we need people to somehow stay behind and rebuild not racist walls but a system that actually gives a damn about life and doing it well together (with each other and all non-human life that exists both now and in the future), we need people who are going to say no to self-interested power, to megalomaniacal racism, sexism, ableism, to fear-based governing. Continue reading “I Will Leave This Country If…” Part 2

Wishing Well

Wishing Well

First published in Ballard Street Poetry Journal in March 2012.

 

Wishing Well

Every morning, we all go to the office.

We pull up our roll-y chairs and wait.

We’re working, of course, but we’re waiting

More.

The e-news reports increased hunger in the Horn.

Also, they’ve shot another probe deep into space.

Deep. Do we really need to know just how small

We are?

We can feel it, here in our creaky chairs. At least

I can. It’s with me like a toothache. My smallness.

My weakness. That I have to practice how to feel loved.

Wait.

The last time I spent so much time waiting was for something

I’d whispered while flicking pennies I’d found on the sidewalk

Into a fountain at a park in the downtown of my childhood.

Hope

Was in the perfect ping of penny from the tip of my thumb.

In the arch of otherwise worthless copper toward a tiled

Floor. In the glint of many pennies who’d gone before.

Deep

To the bottom. Tiny round relics of wishers past – but they

Are only so small as their wish. I heard one girl at that fountain

Wish for world peace. Another for food for her family.

But me?

I wished to be at the bottom, with other things my size.

Maybe I could learn how to make a wish come true. Maybe

Just how to lie still. Or maybe, with enough waiting, how to

Shine.

Responding to the Crisis of Suicide

music“If you don’t know at least three people in crisis right now, you need to have more coffee dates.” This was a line from the best sermon I’ve heard all year, preached at a lovely Presbyterian church in Yakima this past weekend. It turns out, I may need to have more coffee dates. But even more importantly, I need to know how to respond to those in crisis. We collectively need to know, and, at least for one crisis in particular, we seem to be especially non-informed. Continue reading Responding to the Crisis of Suicide