Instead of Writing

i.
Instead of writing
I could take a nap
Stare out the window.
Download a productivity app so I can waste more time tracking my time.
I could start a new project
Or stare at an unfinished one
like the wall that needs a final coat of paint
Or finish the front door repair, do the detail work.
I already walked the dog…

Instead of writing
I could unload the dishwasher or use the new vacuum
Check my social media accounts.
Masturbate.
Do a load of laundry
Research trips to Costa Rica.
Conduct an image search on the pantsuit my daughter wants for prom
Start dinner even though it’s 10 am.
Text someone I should not.
Get a flu shot
Run an errand.
Brush the cat
Talk to the dog.
Meditate
Cry
Eat
Read.
Pluck the chin hairs the laser missed
Clean up my eyebrows and then sit on my hands so I don’t pick at my fingers.

ii.
Instead of writing
I could thank the guy on Instagram for answering my question about the vase he posted a photo of this morning. I could let him know that, ‘Yeah, I do want the signed and numbered, open-top Scandinavian Kosta Boda vase.’

And if I had any doubts about buying it, I really should get it because out of the 17 or so pieces, my eye went to this vessel. Because of course it did. It looks like a skyscraper. And it is, the artist named the work, “Metropolis.”

I’m not surprised that among the Blenko, Murano and Millefiori glass, I like the chunky, blocky one. I feel nothing for the red, hand-blown piece with the neck of a swan and a Georgia O’Keefe opening; I am immune to the brown bowl, that despite its thickness, is somehow still transparent; nor am I moved by the thin, green vase flecked with red, its edges fluted, like seaweed lettuce washed up on the shore.

iii.
The vase is a sign. Today marks the two-year anniversary of the day my father and I met for the first time. He lives in the city, the only city, New York City. I knew he did before I knew him, before I knew who he was. I felt it in my bones.

The City, much like the vase, with its determined lines and straightforward approach, draws me in, pulls me toward it with purpose; with the force of an unseen magnet.

Like the pull of a nothing-special bar on West 63rd I’d sometimes frequent when I was in the City for work. There are 18-thousand bars in Manhattan and some of them are pretty amazing. This particular bar was not.

Yet it was. I didn’t know it at the time, but this bland and basic bar with only blended scotch, no single malts, was attached to the building my father lived in. Still lives in.

IMG_4817

The Glow

Remember when the house was new to us still?
When we returned our final offer on our first home, I had wanted the thrill of a deal.
To ask for something more exciting,
more mogul than a 12-month home warranty.
So I asked that the garden ornaments convey.
All of them.
Never mind I liked none of them.

Remember when the yard was unfamiliar to us still?
You stood tall and young, looking out the window filled with night
Your hands in the kitchen sink.
I saw you look twice.

Eyes big, you waved your hand and called me over.
(How I loved it when you said my name.)
Pointing, ‘Do you see it? That glowing, do you see it?’
I did. I saw it. But had no idea what it was.
A small spaceship? The eyes of an animal? A piece of the moon?

I didn’t venture out alone to investigate
Or send you into the dark by yourself
Nor mumble, ‘It’s probably nothing.’

We went outside together,
Tip-toeing around the catawpa tree, its limbs so low you had to duck.
Closer now, giggling.
‘You go.’
‘No, you go.’
‘I’m not going. You go.’

We approached the glow together, an army of two.
You nudged it with the tip of your shoe.
Nothing, no movement.
I bent down and poked the mystery on the ground.

‘Oh my god,’ I said, no more whispering.
The glow was from an extension cord set outside to power the small lily pond,
it’s illuminated end, once hidden under the mulch, now exposed.

The glow was nothing we expected it to be. Like so many things that would come to the surface.
Glowing multi-plug extension cord

The Baldest Hour of Want o’Clock

I want to write all the things for you
Search for all the songs
Carefully mine all the lyrics
All the verses
All the passages.
Package them, deliver them all at once
Trot them out once a day
For all the days.

I want to stop stealing what is not mine
Accumulating you piece by piece
Adding to a stockpile that doesn’t grow.
Each day at the baldest hour of want o’clock, the grains slip.
A sieve, the finest holes through the ventricles all the way to China.
A carpenter ant through my belly
Around the stalactites that intersect my breastplate
Around the bunion on my right foot out the tips of my toes.

I want to bury all the hatchets
Mend all the holes
Remove all the blinds
Dust all the shelves with only my bare hands.
Finish off the cornichons and toss all the olives
Stacked, treading oil in the jar
Trapped in an underwater chicken fight.

I want to add not subtract
Yet I most definitely do not want to divide.
Canned beef stew an actor’s fake vomit sprayed over the walls
A dog’s breakfast that you can’t eat but are served for years
seated in a folding chair at a folding table, the surface covered in spots of paint
Splatters of pink white blue yellow
Red
Memories so pure and true and good
You’d eat the folding table you really would –
Screw by screw nut by nut
Each plastic-coated aluminum leg including the hinges –
If each swallow would erase every lapse.

That’s not how it works.
At least not from where I sit
In a wooden chair at the laminate-topped table that I got to keep.

It’s not possible to nibble around the good times
and gobble swill smoke and chew the rest.
Something’s got to give and it’s me
I’ve got to go.

IMG_4385

Coffee cups. The good, the bad & the real.

I’m not sure why I’ve not just thrown it away yet, that offensive holiday coffee mug. Each morning, it mocks me from the back row of the cupboard. All fat and stupid and in poor taste. It offends me.

IMG_0589

I’m going to toss it today.

I’m not a coffee cup snob, just particular. I loved the mug my ex-husband gave me one Valentine’s Day and mourned when it broke. A thick, white mug that proclaimed, ‘I like everything hot,’ punctuated with a sexy little red heart and lipsticked kissy lips.

When Tinder was still permitting Moments (the little photographic peeks into your life you could share with your matches), I posted that picture. A colorfully composed, ‘I’m not trying too hard but look how cool and possibly easy I am’ shot of that mug artfully placed off-center, in front of an equally cool potted plant or two against the backdrop of the graphic black-and-off white, indoor-outdoor Greek key rug on my sunroom floor. – Keep reading!