Schröedinger’s Life

It’s all about the cat, man

You know, the one in the sealed box with the deadly ionizing radiation?

As long as you don’t open the box

The cat is both dead and alive

It’s a lie to say you are born with infinite possibilities

I’m 5’5” if I stand up very, very straight

My curves have curves

Supermodel ballerina professional athlete was not in my architecture

But I could always do what moved me

If you do what you love, or love what you’re doing

Jump in with both feet

No life preserver

Get completely drenched

Failure is an illusion

It’s just falling, deeper, in passion’s grasp

And no one knows what’s really going on in the box

Except the cat

Proud Flesh

(Homage to Jane Hirschfeld)

Babies are boring to me

I’m aware it’s an unpopular opinion

I don’t thrill to the beauty of youth

Who cares about clay before the sculptor touches it?

No one goes to prison for the theft of young diamonds

It’s time and unimaginable pressure that makes gems

And seemingly endless irritation that forms pearls

Scar tissue may be beautiful

A map of triumph on our skin

A host of medals, for our courage

But young scars are open wounds

Bravery sounds better told in past tense

I miss my gall bladder and original esophagus,

my shoulder before two surgeries had sliced it back and front,

my ankle with its whole connective tissue,

and the bones in both my feet in mint condition, no titanium or screws there at my birth

I don’t remember my breasts or hips before the stretch marks,

or my arms & legs before the scars,

I don’t like my earlobe, torn from an old piercing,

and one tattoo you’ll never see, I got while drunk at 22

But if I believed in heaven, if I got there, I wouldn’t look 20

I earned every inch of skin I wear today

Though I’d hope it wouldn’t still hurt to have them

I like a happy ending for my heroes


This was a story my parents told frequently

It always completely cracked them up

My father ate wheaties and black coffee

At two that sounded really good to me

But my breakfast was already on the plastic table

Attached to the special seat for me

“Weesies!  Weesies! Weesies!”  I cried

My mother filled a bowl with wheaties and milk

Brought it to me in my high chair

And put it on my head


God isn’t fucking Santa Claus

No Nazis died in Charlotte, and so many died of old age, comfortably ensconced in shiny new identities, while all my foreign cousins are buried in a Lithuanian pit

Or they’re just ash in Poland, no way I’ll ever know

I had a test for asthma, performed in a lab by a visiting German doctoral fellow

Chatting while working, our American backgrounds were fascinating to him

He asked if I still had family back in Eastern Europe

“No”. I said, “I’m pretty sure your family killed my remaining European family a long time ago.”

The other lab staff paused, in silence, shocked at my bald statement

The chatty German laughed with me

An eye for an eye is no way to see our way through anything

I once loved a man who told me he didn’t believe in monogamy

“You’re going to break my heart, aren’t you?” I asked, not needing an answer

“Probably.”  He answered, anyway, our second week dating

He broke my heart a thousand times before we were done

Hate Me, Hate You

this is the way we began

single celled possibilities

a single cell has no detractors, no conscience, is not dual

I’m a big fan of non dualistic philosophies, as long as they’re not single minded about it

distinction is useful, for all living creatures

but a single cell has a quiet life, depending on the view

matter’s possibilities depend on group cooperation

molecules, atoms, quarks

cells, organs, systems

families, tribes, communities

we are not just non dual, we are infinite multiplicities

but every cell has a fucking point of view, progress a negotiation

we bury parts of ourselves like tumors, cells gone wrong

some, become our armor, invisible exoskeleton, our secret superhero costume

a familiar tightness, holding all the tender, broken bits in to fester

without which it seems we’d revert to puddles screaming for structure,

even if it’s a prison, a dungeon where no light gets in

sure, cells multiply in darkness, too, but there’s a reason we fear darkness  

some grow malignant, festering, hostile, carnivorous, poisonous

we cannot hide our own truth from ourselves and thrive

I am:  self righteous, defensive, insecure, impatient, undisciplined, lazy, selfish, thoughtless, unforgiving, unkind, biased, sloppy, manipulative, acquisitive, prideful, and sometimes filled with loathing, fear and faithfulness, lacking in generosity and compassion – a truncated list, to be sure, even as I try to list the elements hidden by my humiliation that they are obscure even to me

secret whispers in the dreams that wake me, sweating fear, forgotten

and the worst, most secret truth, how much I hate them, those qualities I would eradicate, were such things possible, and the trying twists, shame’s inquisition

a charnel ground, regrets, past and future a torture of paralysis and doubt

I hate myself then, and hate is a virulent, terrified toddler

I cannot hate myself, without hating myself in everyone

for weaknesses triumphant and defeated, and more for those who seem completely freed

but, the final, deepest secret, or at least as deep as my poor vision reaches

is that no horror is beyond me, borne of darkness or good intentions

and beneath every secret hides another, non dual creatures are we cells

living lives of small kindnesses and ignorant evils

denying the endlessness of cruelty, but worse, the generosity, compassion, courage, devotion and self-sacrifice, equal and exponentially more fearsome

than hate, buoyed only by our atavistic terrors

in other words, hate me, hate you

and of course the inverse also holds

New Cells

I don’t want to write about how I feel about my body or sex

vaginas cocks clits g-spots anal blow jobs threesomes moresomes

polyamory monogamy love loss boredom heartbreak crushing

New rushing oxytocin snatch smack and long-lost love

unrequited devastation, infidelity, jealousy, endings

I have been blind and deaf with new love

I understand the strangeness

of other people’s choices

a blinding beauty Tuesday, this week

a cringing embarrassment Friday next

every breath a chance to start over

all new cells in your whole body

every 7 years