2 Poems

It’s been awhile. First I was busy and then I was lazy and then I was too scared to write. I hate when that happens. Luckily, I have some pretty talented and inspiring people in my life, so the dry spells don’t last too long. I wrote this first little guy after clearing my head on a particularly grumpy walk.

South on Kinnickinnic

A humble, mahogany dachshund
rounds the corner of Linebarger,

an Olympic sprinter. I was still
so grumpy with you that I almost

let that be the end of it. But he
was so compact and stout at

the same time, and so I followed
him. I followed him for fifteen

blocks, and after every couple of
them, he would look back to see

if I was still there, and then
wondering why. I followed the thick

little dachshund to a house with
a man outside, painting a white

picket fence. He was as burly as
his dog, and looked just as glum.

After getting home from my grumpy walk, I wasn’t quite ready to head back inside, plus it was gorgeous outside. So sitting outside and continuing to write made the most sense.


Again, I love my people. I’ve been really missing some of them lately.

Ever Since You Headed West

I mix in a dab of your daily eye
cream with my nightly Hendricks
on the rocks. It adds just enough

orange that I’m reminded of your
smile and how it smells. And then
I blink away the truth of it all

and you’re here, and our laughs
match again and we do everything
while we still have the time. We

fix it all before it has a chance to
break. The birds are grateful. Their
wings get tired, but when our

laughs sing at the same pitch,
it makes the flight a little easier.

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Day 19 Nonsense

The Reality


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After the Diagnosis

He dumped the jelly
beans into a mug

and asked, “Who
even likes the

black ones?” It
bounced straight

to you, and so you
said, “My mother.”

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Day 17 in the Oven

I suppose this poem doesn’t need a whole lot of set up.

The Fever


I truly hope you are all having a fantastic week, and I appreciate y’all stopping by and checking out my words.

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Where Have I Been, and For Shame!

Hey all, sorry for the delay in poems. It’s been a busy week so far, and I’m really happy to have a chance to sit down and post the things I’ve been working on! The following are my three poems for the last three days, otherwise known as Poems 14-16.

I checked out the 30 Poems in 30 Days site, and the prompt for today was to write a poem made entirely out of lies. I liked the idea, but I only feel it fair to disclaim that I did involve a few truths in mine. I like the greyness it adds. (Though I hate grey areas and not knowing things. Irony.)

Some Lies

I never really notice my nakedness.
When I’m out for a walk with my shadow, I like
to turn to strangers and ask, Where are we going?
I was at a play once that got a standing ovation.
There was a man in a wheelchair in front of me
and I thought, That’s rude.
I’ve been the cheater, the cheatee, and a cheetah.
I cried when I found out that they killed
off Brian the Dog on Family Guy.
I have successfully cried my way out of nine speeding tickets.
Last night I watched myself sleep.
I was four blocks away, but I could still
hear you rubbing her back.
You’re not always on my mine.

Yesterday was my 2nd wedding anniversary, so of course I was thinking about my life with Sam and our wedding and our future and our blah blah blah.


After it was done,
we ducked outside.

Your shimmering
eyes gave you away

and I knew mine would
never let you go.

And finally, Wednesdays I’m lucky to spend some time with my nephew. The kid is awesome.

Truth in Youths


Y’all have been poemed.


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A Baker’s Dozen

That’s 13, right? I hope so, because today is the thirteenth day of National Poetry Month, and so I am posting my 13th poem of the month.

I love my husband. And I feel pretty lucky that I know him. The end.

I Don’t Know What It Is


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One Dozen


The Right Name

People like to tell me that
I don’t look like a Jen,
that I look like a Vanessa,

or a Laura. And that’s
okay. I tell them I don’t
really feel like a Jen, either.

In the morning, when my
eyes are open but I’m not
awake, I feel like my toes

could take me anywhere.
I almost believe they will.
Often, I feel like the cities

I’ll never see are race-tracking
over the streets of my
veins, just trying to get my

attention. Sometimes I feel
like Molly Ringwald in every
movie she’s ever been in.

Some days I feel like the
first drizzle out of a stratus
cloud. When I get a really

good idea (though normally
they’re all pretty rough), the
truth is that no one is safe. I

shoot them right out of my
fingertips. I feel like I need
to remind my heart that it

isn’t my master, but then it
reminds me that it is. When
I look at you, I feel like

fireworks made of Bay City
Roller Songs and unicorns
sliding down a damn

rainbow. Mostly, I feel that
Home Depot doesn’t make
enough paint swatches for
me to show you how I feel.

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Out With the Full and In With the Hungry

For me, there’s nothing more satisfying than filling up a journal from start to finish. And then getting an innocent, untouched, brand new journal to write all over. I just finished stuffing a thick, beautiful leather one I received from some bitchin’ pals of mine. So naturally, 6 months ago I already had my next one picked out.

Got it today:


I’m heart-swoony at the thought of all the ideas and nonsense I’m going to jam in this piece.

Exhibit A:



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Just Do It All Yourself

Here’s my poem for Day 10, as well as some unsolicited advice:

If you are feeling blue, you’d best start playing a kazoo.


DIY Therapy

Everyday after work, I like to stretch out
across my remaining dreams and sing,
lungs wide open. It would all be easier
if my husband weren’t such a dick. He’s
emotionally supportive, spontaneous in
a way Goldilocks cherishes, and comedically
romantic. But the real problem is the
internet. I can never remember that when
you step inside of the internet, you’re
entering the Swamp of Sadness. All I want
is the answers. All of the answers. But the
internet is too damn selfish and won’t
give me any. Those answers might as well
be genitalia, floating on a cloud. That
reminds me of the time I went downhill
skiing in France. The year was 1850, and
I nearly bled to death. And speaking of
bleeding to death, how can swans be so
mean, but still look so pretty? They tried
to answer that in my favorite Lifetime Network
movie. I never finished it though, because
I thought I was Jesus for awhile, but it didn’t
work out, because I’m a strong, significant
woman. I like to check the last page of
thrift store books, just in case they have
portals to magical worlds. Ah, that these
pajamas were time travel pajamas.

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I Am Possible

For my poem today, I turned to Mindy Nettifee. I am constantly flipping through her fantastic read, Glitter in the Blood: A Poet’s Manifesto for Better, Braver Writing. One of the prompts she has listed is to take some impossible things and make them possible. For some reason this seemed like a good idea today.

To Mindy, thank you! To the rest of you, go buy this book and then read it again and again and again.

And then another time.


The Day I Paid Off My Student Loans

I also drank a gallon of milk without throwing up.
Won a battle I’d been fighting for years, and
the most difficult man I’ve known admitted
he has a problem and asked for help.
Milwaukee’s poetry scene became
integrated,with all races and sexes welcome.
My nephew finally showed me where his nose is.
I sneezed with my eyes open.
My child was able to admire our first Madame President.
My husband understood my love for Amanda Palmer.
I stopped caring about what other people think of me.

In celebration, I let myself be in love with
whatever and whoever I please.
I invested in Sarah Kay’s new book of poetry
and sipped on a root beer float the size of a toddler.
I started tackling the remainder of my debt,
but only after gorging myself on some sushi.
I definitely cranked up the Amanda Palmer,
and headed for the moon for the weekend.

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