Monday, November 30, 2015


It used to be about the little doors
Numbered and impossible to prise without tearing
But now it is about waiting
And thinking
And thinking
And waiting
And wanting to know the past and future
What is meant and what will be
Who is right and what they mean
Watching the light and knowing the good
Listening for the truth
And hoping to know it when it comes
It is opening a door with more than chocolate promised
It is having the door opened
And wanting to step through

Tuesday, November 24, 2015



I went to Home Depot to make myself feel better.

My dad used to take me there when I was little, when I had broken my arm and had to go get the cast looked at before they freed me from it. This trip to Home Depot-after-the-doctors thing might have only happened a few times, but it always made me feel better about having a caste from my wrist up past my elbow.  Aisles upon aisles of not-yet-made things, tree houses and play props and PVC pipe for miles. Dad might remember these trips differently, might remember Elementary-School-Maria getting bored and pulling on his arm when he would enter into an hour-long conversation with literally every employee (he’s a carpenter), but I remember those trips fondly.

So, I went to Home Depot to make myself feel better. It was a weird day. All I needed was a watch battery, but I happened to be near Home Depot so I thought ‘why not?’

Even just driving up to the store transported me, but not where I thought. A few years ago, I was staying with three of my best friends in England, spending the final days of my three year tour in their spare room, hanging out. In exchange for the rent I should have been paying my friend that month, I painted the room I was staying in. I spent a few weeks painting a white room a different shade of white, which involved a few trips to the Home Depot-like store. It was the same feeling, same smell of sawdust, concrete and possibility. From Virginia to Oxford to Baltimore, these stores will always feel the same.

But this is not Virginia or Oxford.

I went straight for the batteries, thinking I’d get what I came for and then wander around and see if there was anything else I did not yet know I needed. I found the right one just as a middle-aged man to my right started talking to me.

“Are you going to be alone for the holidays?”  he asked.  His voice was high and soft and friendly.

“What?” I asked.

“Are you going to be alone for the holidays? I will be.”

I can’t remember what I said, but I know it was not the right thing.

“I could give you my number,” he continued, “and maybe I could come with you.”

“I’m sorry, but I won’t be around,” I said, lamely.

“There is something special about you, I can tell.”

“Oh I’m nothing special, that’s for sure,” I said. “I’ve got to go, have a good day.”

I walked away a little faster than I normally would, feeling much worse than I usually do in Home Depot.  The portcullis of possibility lifted, the plywood and PVC pipe no longer looked like tree houses and time machines.  The world smacked me in the face and not for the first time reminded me that I actually did grow up.  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Only words (or Considering a Retort)

You know those words are waiting
Dancing on the damp curve of your tongue
Abseiling your tonsils, desperate for escape
Imagined letters rattle your gated teeth
Ordering the portcullis raised though judgement protests

You know you should keep quiet
That it is none of your business
That once you open your mouth
The words will not conveniently reverse

You know there will be no orderly queue
Of words to march back into thought's safe space
Where they shimmy, swill and swell
Until chance whispers maybe it is a good idea to let them loose

After all, how much trouble can they possibly cause?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Once, you knew me.

Once, you knew me. 

Once, you knew me.
Small, shy, hardly there.
I made my own impact,
did my own thing.
And you were there,
you knew what I was up to.
But that was then,
and this is now.
And things have changed!

I've cut my hair,
short and sleek.
I threw away all my clothes
the moment I got back here.
I only bought new ones
when I needed to.
I moved somewhere new,
found some friends on the internet,
and slowly made them real.

Once, when you knew me,
I didn't like to talk on the phone.
Once, when you knew me,
talking in front of people made my ears red.
Once, when you knew me,
I thought I was unintelligent.

Now, on occasion,
I would love to chat on the phone.
Now, when I do presentations,
my ears still glow, but I smile through it.
Now, I accept the things I don't know,
and ask a lot of questions.

Once, you knew me.
Now, come meet me again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Response to a reunion

Once, you knew me, so you remember me
Now as though I was the same person still,
But I was pretending then, hiding me
Behind that girl you think you remember.
I know this because I don't know you now
And I never did so stop pretending,
Keep your memories to yourself and go.
Run riot with your school friends and move on
Leave this girl who was not your friend alone.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Will It Matter At All?

Will It matter At All?

‘Can’t come- too many babies.’
‘Have a drink for me! Wish I could make it.’
But you go- it’s been ten years and you’ve kept up with everyone you liked, but you go anyway.
They all group at once, as always.
Sociably Popular
Those really are the only groups.
You are all a quilt with only two colors, sewn together by the Socially Popular: those who can transcend all perceived barriers with conversation.
You could be one of them- you are different than you were in high school.
Your job is to talk to people- you can talk to anyone.
Now anyway, but never back then when these folks knew you.
Everyone’s-first-crush takes pictures.
Someone made a cake.
Beer flows like blood through everyone’s veins.
Of course there is venison- this is the country after all. You're in a barn and outside, all around are stars and November darkness. 
Lots of eye contact made and avoided.
Lots of familiar faces and names lost in indifference.
But, in the end, you don’t hate it. Not as much as some people will when they wake up the next morning.
You sort of wish you had talked more.
You wish Zack had recited the Raven.
You wish you’d eaten more venison.
Mostly, you wish you’d talked, tried a little harder. As always.

But in ten more years, will it matter at all?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Response to Maria's poem

Decisions, decisions, what will I make?
A mistake or a wild leap to the stars?
A hit, a miss, will it matter at all?
Such a tiny moment, as the world spins,
Dissect that step, move back again and then
Wobble as you make thejump and scream loud

What Will I Make?

What Will I Make?

Decisions, decision- what will I make?
Graffiti? A poem? Patience to rhyme?
There’s more than just love baked into this cake.

When you’re a kid, it’s easy to fake-
older you get, it is harder to climb.
Decisions, decisions- what will I make?

So we try a few things- try not to break.
It’s hard when you don’t have even a dime.
There’s more than just love baked into this cake.

When you’re lying in bed, still wide awake,
the paths that open are covered in slime.
Decisions, decisions- what will I make?

You try to be smart, for everyone’s sake,
and your childlike ways help you to mime.
There’s more than just love baked into this cake.

And now I’m afraid to make a mistake.
What I don’t have is a whole lot of time.
Decisions, decisions - what will I make?
There’s more than just love baked into this cake.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Crossing over.

Tempted by the bridge
It waits for your decision
Into the future

Or stay in the past and walk
Now dusk falls there is no talk



Across this bridge, now:
enjoy the view all you want. 
Falling makes bridges. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Time to be part of it all.

Image result for rainbow

Look at that
Get out of the house
And look
Don't look.  See.

As an honoured contributor to this fine blog, I'm responding to Maria's piece on Gladys yesterday.  The girl needs a reason to get out of the house (Gladys, not Maria) and I thought a rainbow might just do it.  Nano 2016 day three!



Gladys never liked being invisible much.  It was interesting, she’d give it that: it was, after all, something she had always wanted. Now, whenever she tripped into a room, no one noticed. Now, she would never have to meet new people. Now, clothes were optional and less stressful.  These aspects lived up to the hype and more. The box didn’t lie: she did feel like a completely new person!

It was around when she realized it was permanent that she became less satisfied.  The panic one would think would squeeze your heart upon the realization that you will be invisible forever did not hit, however. It was more of a slow burn. But Gladys always had been a level headed and logical person: she knew it was no use to lose herself, especially now that her physical self was no more.  But, it turns out being invisible is not all it’s chalked up to be. Now, whenever she tripped into a room, no one could catch her. Now, she would never get to meet new people. Now, what was the point of getting dressed anyway?


In response to Rebecca's poem in the comments:

Girl invisible
Blood beneath the street
Breath in the wild air

Run now, hard and fast and free
Grasp that shadow - it is you

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy NaNoWriMo!

Best Valentines day ever, 2015. 

Happy National Novel Writing Month! As much as I applaud everyone who has set forth on the personal quest to write 50k words this month, I will not be joining in the fun. It's a nobel pursuit, and I know from experience that it is equal parts fun and terrible, however I just don't have the time. Good luck to everyone giving it a shot for either the first or five hundredth time! 

So in honor of NaNo, I am going to do something entirely different. Along side my poetic partner in crime, Rebecca, we are going to do a simple call-and-response sort of thing here on my blog, consisting of photos, poems and/or short fiction/non-fiction. Nice mixed bag. This photo is the first one- now Rebecca needs to respond to this doughnut-face double exposure in any way she sees fit. I even threw in a caption for extra inspiration. 

Have a wonderful November!  Whether you are writing a novel, planning Thanksgiving or recovering from a Halloween candy-coma in this dark, post daylight savings world we now live in- whatever you are doing, I hope it's RAD. 

Maria xoxo