Shadorma 54, 59, 60, 64

These shadorma poems were published in Pink Chalk, 2018.

The baby
the book on the shelf
the baby
snatched it up
two-fisted. Started to chew.
The book’s a goner.

in whispers
the highly polished
black cashmere
styled up though
not quite fashion model looks
told off the store clerk

square and squat
lady fast-walks through
parking lot
red raised against short shower
on her way to work

The mirror
I stare into it
I revise. Unfrown. Then smile.
Hairdresser smiles back.

Clay tiles mean baby #2 12-17 small

Clay tiles, @ 4″, 2017.


Put On Your Old Hat

From the collection published in 2015, Autumn Opens a Door.

Put On Your Old Hat

The outdated carpet
pink and gray and green.
The pink upholstery
on the chairs and
the light oak wood
of the tables. The blue-painted walls
a color popular twenty years ago.
You notice this kind of thing.
It doesn’t make the room
any less useful but
time travel is not what I came here for.

Lady Wearing a Hat on a City Street 8x8 9-17 small

“Lady Wearing a Hat on a City Street”, mixed media, 2017, 8″ x 8″.


From Autumn Opens a Door, 2015.


Red pants. Long-sleeved white shirt
with some kind of printing on it
in black. Small gold earrings and
and wearing thin-rimmed glasses. She flips the pages
of the reference book in its stand
riffling them in her hurry. All of a sudden
she stabs a page with her pencil. Pauses.
Darts off into the shelves of books
off to the side
taking the pencil with her. Gone
like a bird just having heard of
a whole dead tree full of

Interesting dead tree closer view Lorimer 5-15 small

Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018, Week 42

The Marathon journey continues. Search under the category Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018 for earlier entries.



I did another split session of Marathon work today, October 18 – Montco and the grocery café. I arrived later than I would have liked at Montco – very bad traffic everywhere along the way – and was happy to make my way on to the quiet campus.

I set myself up and got to work.

PO 10-18 #307

For the morning I wanted to write more poems for my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018, and to work on my Minuscule book – I’ve got all the stories/poems set up, I’m working on illustrations, and today I wanted to put some of the scanned pictures on their pages.

PO 10-18 #406

After lunch I worked on Little Vines.

PO 10-18 #505

It’s been a series of disjointed weeks. For example, earlier this week, I edited last week’s work in the waiting room at the surgical center where my husband was having a colonoscopy. Yes. That kind of series of days! I’m hoping for a more routine future. I am glad right now that I am devoting my time to less thinking-intense tasks. My mind is full of fizzy bubble and mixed up flavors, let’s say, right now.

All right, here’s what I can show you from this week.

I only did two pages in my Sketchbook this week, because each of the pages contained four smaller separate drawings. I wrote a shadorma for each one. Here is the work for one page:

Cross the bridge
alone. The waters
rush below
The current
sweeps right to left. The city
waits in bright silence.

Street corner
the lure of the known
in one turn
gone foreign
in a quick flick of the eyes
a new-made stranger

The inopportune
of it. How
its consequences dismay
unwary targets.

Tables set.
The kitchen staff waits
for diners
for orders.
To fry. To grill. To sauté.
To send out filled plates.

Image 11


PO 10-18 #901

I did one poem from one of my cut-out phrase cards:

The night before the green-haired girl came to the door
I was sitting in my living room in a comfortable
forgot to ask for trouble kind of way
resting up after a big spaghetti dinner.
I have no lack of appetite
and arbitrary worry never dents it
yet soaking wet and covered in mud
I weigh 130 pounds (I checked). Relevant because
I was brought up not to make trouble
in fact quite the opposite
and I’m small so you understand that when
the following night
the green-haired girl came to the door
selling Mars ferns
I knew at once it was a scam
(Too restless for my usual early bedtime
I was thus particularly sharp in mind)
because of course everyone knows
Mars ferns are pretty and yet so dangerous
all the different ones have their idiosyncrasies
but to a frond they bite and cause hallucinations
fight like devils and spray venom
so of course no one sells them door to door
I was glad she at least had them sealed in
anti-molecular-plastic-retardant expandable gusset bags.
I recognize these little friends, lady, I told her,
surely if you’re smuggling you’ve got to take what you can get
but these are really tiny. Can’t be good for business.
They are, she said, I don’t know what’s wrong.
They have some kind of really weird rash.
Oh it’s scurvy, I said, Let me get you some orange juice.

Now I have
two hundred
grateful Mars ferns
living in my spare bedroom
soaking up
the ambient radioactivity
and gallons of orange juice
blooming in great big pink
pin-cushiony appendages
and not a hint of trouble
How this happened
I guess is because
the green-haired girl
gave me a great deal and
the house has seemed so empty
since the cat died.

PO 10-18 #802

Little Vines.

the third reason
nothing came of it:
eye contact.

oh sweetheart
I was invited to that party
I came out of it fried on a plate

inconveniently-located homicide in the kitchen
I wish I could just mop the floor
and then the problem would be solved

breaking glass
holds in all its secrets
until it doesn’t
guess what I’m not looking for:
somebody with cold feet
unwilling to wear socks

my client has nothing to say
a severe case of limited storage molecule syndrome
restricts his ability to remember anything about anything

as I got older
the narcotic
of willful forgetting

under a manhole cover
the leaky water line
burped again

the formula the equation
the pros and cons of getting married
on occasion I analyze
the length of the chain

look the other way
while I modify myself
with these dimensions I need to concentrate

one criminally good chocolate layer cake
the ripples continue to spread
a former pastry chef in jail
the whole town in a trance

the camera lied
my pale blue eyes
saw the lighted building glowing in the fog

so big deal
so no one called an ambulance
so the dead guy had to walk himself to the morgue.

So it was more complicated than that
A wheeze, a shudder, and a clang, you say?
Let me listen to your chest again.

About the reverse trip from heaven –
stock up on provisions now.
We need more ice cubes

you look exhausted
you need to uncomplicate things
stay off the pink asphalt highway from now on, OK?

they were not the only ones
not coping
they were the most obvious ones

you were eating breakfast
a big bowl of cornflakes
with your perfect little teeth

none of us found our way home
instead we climbed the flight of winding stairs
into the yellow buzzing sunshine

who better than you
wearing a lot of jewelry
exercising on the balcony of the apartment







Thanks as always for reading! See you next week.

Shadorma 52, 56

Published in Pink Chalk, 2018.

Lunch smells good
cooks French fries
my nose says.
All morning I think: French fries
A double serving.

The cold sweat
the upright posture
the stomach
sloshing ice
the inner self on clear view
Iced tea. Plastic cup.

Clay tile lady at a food cart 1-18 small

Clay tile, 2018. @ 6″ x 6″.


From Autumn Opens a Door, 2015.


The church members sit on the wood benches
in the picnic area at the park. The minister
speaks. Heads bow. They all say
though up to now the whole service
has been spoken in Korean
because this is the Friday morning group
from the Korean church.
They come to the park every week the weather permits
though soon it will be too cold. Today it is fine.

The sunlight
pours out of the sky all over the
bright jackets and sweaters and the pale faces
now relaxing.
Everyone stands.

The picnic tables are full of food
the grills fired up and ready.
A group of women and one woman directing
I cannot understand the words
she says but I know very well what she wants
which is that the other ladies would please do things
her way and do it a little faster. Lunch is waiting.

Neighborhood Picnic sign

“Neighborhood Summer Picnic” sign.