Sunday, February 11, 2024


Pain eases
its grip on my spine,
when I feel
you spilling your heat
on my throbbing flesh.

If your mind jumped head first into the gutter, after reading my tanka, then your sense of humor and mine would get along just fine. You see, I did an indecent amount of snickering and giggling and chuckling while I wrote this poem bit. Still, it was inspired by a more literal kind of heat: my heat pad.

At first, when my sweetest and dearest Rommy asked us to “write about our favorite modern convenience or invention”, I thought about my smartphone. Then I felt the soothing warmth of my heat pad relaxing my back muscles, while I wrote, keeping my glute and thigh and calf and foot and toes from total sciatic agony, and I realized that there was no competition: my electric heat pad is my favorite modern convenience. Nothing against hot water bottles--I have one of those, too--but not having to refill your pain soother with hot water over and over and over… is pure magic.

So, what’s your favorite modern convenience or invention? And what makes it so?

borrowed from the Alpha School of Massage
(Not exactly a heat pad, I know. But I love my electric heat pad
in the same way I delight in heat therapy after a deep tissue massage.
Hm… delicious!)

for Poets and Storytellers United (Friday Writings #113: Modern Marvel)

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Violently Cheery

not-quite Journaling, 65

1/16/2024: Winter has spread a snowy blanket over New York City. Inside my home, an amaryllis gets ready to spring. Don’t you just love how Nature balances herself?


1/25/2024: New York City has been stuck on Stephen King weather (thick fog and wet gloom) for a day or five. Things are supposed to stay that way for about another week. So, here is a violently cheery Montauk daisy (blooming in self-defense). Climate change? What climate change? *cough *


Neglect is a sickness,
and it spreads.

1/29/2024: I spent some time with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. We ran into one of her relatives, and the person told her that she should “stop wasting time running her mouth and go home”. At first, I thought the other individual was joking. When my friend just lowered her eyes, I was shocked at how little of the strong woman I used to know remained in her.

Since tact and I barely exist in the same reality, I asked her: “What happened to you?” She sighed and said, “I get more peace when I let her have her way.” She grabbed her bag and left, so I didn’t have time to contradict her statement. But the whole thing left me thinking about how self-neglect can tear the spirit to bloody pieces. And after the spirit is crushed, dreams, confidence, joy, hope, and self-love begin to die.


Art is
not just for show.

1/31/2024: Right after my mastectomy (some years ago), I was craving fresh fruit. My surgeon was of the nasty jello-and-even-more-disgusting-hospital-food school of thought. Since my Piano Man knows me better, he smuggled some of my favorites: lychee, longan, strawberries… so fresh you could taste sunlight in every bite. The green ‘flower’ in the blackout is the calyx from one of the strawberries. The memory still leaves me smiling (and craving strawberries).


30 extra pounds:
my own gym of flesh and bone
for calisthenics

2/1/2024: Some silver linings are difficult to appreciate. So, I wasn’t surprised that a workout buddy failed to see the benefits, when I told her, “Look on the bright side, these days I don’t need dumbbells for strength training--my weights are built-in”.

for Poets and Storytellers United (Friday Writings #112: Silver Lining)

Thursday, January 18, 2024

A Closed Mind Is a Threat

I love how youve cracked
and spread your ribs,
to let me in.

Touching your heart makes me feel
almost safe. But

I need more: share what lies inside
your skull. Whatever you are
keeping caged screams to me,
a closed mind is a threat.”

I overheard someone said that “When two people really love each other thought isn’t a necessary part of the equation.” I was so shocked, by the ludicrous statement, that I turned to the speaker and totally gave them my unfiltered WTF? face (which according to some of my friends *waves at Rommy*) can be rather off-putting. But what can I say? Even the idea of a thought-barren relationship makes me shudder. 

 for Poets and Storytellers United (Friday Writings #110: Fascinating!)

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Hibiscus Has Rizz

not-quite Journaling, 64

1/5/2024: New York City is about to get some snow, so the locals are puffing up their coats. It’s either that, or this pigeon is making itself look bigger in order to intimidate the wild woman who keeps stalking it with a cell phone *cough*.

The dark can be delight.

1/9/2024: The opposite is true too: delicious delight can be found in dark things--in dark personalities, in dark stories, in dark situations, in dark poetry… Also, being able to enjoy one’s own darkness makes even the tiniest glimpses of light feel like a treat (particularly these days).

Oh, promise me,
an elderly lady is up to no good.

1/10/2024: Because sometimes, funny book spine poetry writes itself. Those two books have been stacked that way for a while, and I hadn’t noticed. It was a giggly surprise (and I’m always extra thankful for giggles).

You have enough
rizz (charm, allure, sex
appeal) to entice any
bee with a pulse.

1/11/2024: I wrote this in response to a “Bad Flowery Poetry Meets Worse Pick-Up Line” prompt. We had to recite the poem to the person (or in my case, flower) that inspired it. Yep, I stood in front of my writing group giving dubiously sexy looks at a picture of a hibiscus. It was absolutely ridiculous (and so much fun). I laughed until my face hurt.

- for Poets and Storytellers United  (Friday Writings #109: Rizz).