Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Looking over my past year, I've just now realized that I've been to the West Coast once every month for seven months. It probably makes you think I don't love New York, but I do. So here are some New York postcards I made for you. I didn't get out that many holiday cards this year, I know you'll understand. But here, here are my cards. Merry Christmas. And peace. And light.

Here's my window I stare out of and try to be creative and, sometimes, try to breathe. When I'm blue, I pretend it's the cliff of a great shore and I'm pressed up against it in a small log cabin. And then I send you a note via the postman on a seahorse.

My train takes me to those I love. It's the Love "L" Train. I took this an hour and half ago while a whole brass band was wailing out in the subway echo. I gave them a dollar and so did this little girl next to me. We were both pretty excited.

I've taken this picture before, but this time it has snow. And snow doubles the magic. The first time I saw snow fall I was 17. Now I'm not 17, but I feel the same.

Bon Bon made me all my presents. And she makes lovely things. I'm bringing you things, or if I'm not going to see you I wish I was bringing you things. Mainly I'm sending you magic and light and these postcards sent by seahorse.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Built for Balancing

The first night he walked her home she thanked him and he said,
Sure ,anytime, absolutely. She thought of her mom's dog who, when
he wanted a treat, did all his tricks at once. Sit, lay down, rollover,
shake, bow, play dead. Treat. In front of her house, a streetlight
threw a shadow on a green Schwinn bike seat. It was a small heart
in the middle of the sidewalk. She stepped right in the center of it and
stood still. For a second she felt like she was really balancing—
doing stunts she didn't even know she was capable of.

The Thorn Birds

The television miniseries was on when she was just seven years old, the year her parents separated. She watched it from the beginning, when the young girl was so alone on Drogheda that she absolutely had to fall in love with the priest. And how God was so important and then how love was too. She was little Meggie and then she was a woman begging for something she couldn’t have. All this happened in a period of one week. When her parents came home to tell her the hard news of divorce, she didn’t understand how they couldn’t see her already grown. That their girl had disappeared, that she stood as a woman, clear as day, angry at God and convinced everyone dies unloved and unhappy.

Monday, December 01, 2008

When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women

What a joy. I've been stuck in with the stomach flu all day. Feeling sorry for myself, in and out of sleep and bad TV. Then just now I went to get seltzer at the deli and my mail was downstairs. In it was this anthology. I've got five (!) poems in it and it's beautifully done. So many amazing female poets: My wonderful teachers--Sharon Olds, Marie Howe. My wonderful inspirations--Mary Oliver, Jane Kenyon, Rita Dove, Jane Hirschfield, Toi Derricotte, Allison Joseph and so many many more wonderful gifts: Aimee Nezkhukumatathil, Tracy K. Smith, Naomi Shihab Nye, Maxine Kumin, Jan Beatty, Dorianne Laux and so forth. Anyway, I think I'm tucking myself in in hopes that I can feel better tomorrow and crawl into the cozy office. But before I sleep I'm going to read as much as I can of this lovely book.