Mary Moon: she’s a vegetarian (song).

When I was sixteen years old I was the only vegetarian around—I lived in a small town and I guess everyone ate meat.


I had three best guy friends; we were a bit of a foursome. We once made a short film with my video camera where one of them, Eoin, turned into a cigar Indian while trying to thieve objects in a house (including toilet paper). The house was my house and we still quote that movie; it’s called “Sitting Bull” and my parents still have that cigar Indian.


The point is, I was the vegetarian of the group. They used to sing this song to me constantly. Listening to it now, I feel good about being compared to Mary Moon. She’s an intellectual, but despite this fact, remains quite sexual. I’m down with that.


This one goes out to Tom, Eoin, and Schnibbe, who taught me this song, to speed up at yellow lights, and the meaning of a “rusty trombone.” Gross.


Belated brunch sonnet #7 (mine).


I want to walk around Hastings but nobody lives here

anymore. Pretty soon I won’t either. My home will be

some yellow morning in a place with seasons, a couple

of strips of bacon still scenting the rooms near the kitchen.

Tomorrow I’ll show friends the spots on my tour of Hastings:

the tennis courts, the entrance to the woods, the back door

of the bar where you can smoke anything, the long lightless

road along Reynolds Field. I haven’t lived here for years,

proved by today when I tried to mail my letter in two mailboxes

no longer in service, painted brown but still standing, handled

mouths glued shut. When I come home, the cat relearns me.

I sleep under a mountain of blankets. My appetite is misplaced

and I get lost driving simple places. All this not-knowing

is a sort of exhaustion. All these knots have pull.


Brunch Sonnet 4 (mine).


The river was swollen. There were rocks

covered completely by water. We three stood

by the water. It was too cold for smells.

There is nothing so serious as each instant

occurring right after the last. Only this. Then

this. We unribbon. We peeled back, pulled open.

And from our mouths: sets of words. Laughs

of white breath. The story of a star. We are anything,

except that we are only this: this single minute.

One truth after another. My hands were in

my pockets. The river licked at rocks. All

that liquid, all that thirst. The temperature took

away my toes. I see some people twice a year.

There is a fullness to the sky, an emptiness.



Brunch Sonnet 2 (mine).

Brunch Sonnet 2


I hear you’re writing brunch poems again,

says Eoin. That’s very dangerous for me. He knows

anything he says or does may be used against him

in a poem. Last night I gave ten dollars to one person,

tonight to another. I spend my money on whiskey

and pens and paper goods and friends. They pay me

back. I wear my hair to the side and listen to Camus:

Today we are always as ready to judge as we are

to fornicate. It’s so easy coming home, yelling over

girls I learned to drink with, talking to boys I kissed

and afterward befriended. I get called by my initials

and thrown up into the air by someone who still

walks like a football player. We can’t escape ourselves,

not that we would want to. Not this holiday at least.



I now present to you…more brunch poems.

this year, I’ll call them

The Someday Brunch Sonnets

(poems of 14 lines

occurring some days

& written in New York

during the last days of 2011

& the first days of 2012)


Brunch Sonnet 1


On the Hudson line, the Hudson’s misty white

and Harlem’s moistened bricks are held in color

by the rain. Years ago, I watched an airplane puff

a message to a lover from a lover but missed the name

when the train went underground. Usually I’m anxious

for the dark of tunnel, a sign that city life is close, all

the art and outfits waiting. This year it’s Christmas

and de Kooning, who painted roads and months on canvases

the size of my apartment.  I won’t tell you that I saw

the Merritt in his painting called the Merritt Parkway,

but the expression of the tiny patch of olive green

that beamed itself in angles from a corner was enough

to tell me that he lived here once and thought himself

a minor sight in comparison to all the trees.



Poem about loving (mine).

Loving you is just as full of color


as stepping off the train from someplace north

into the streets of midtown Manhattan and goodness

all the business women in their golden spires

of hair and heel and midday men with navy pocket

squares, even the children stop to stare at my patterned

country dress, my weak-tied ponytail. My duffel builds

a crease against my elbow’s hook—somewhere

in there, laid along the clothing and the slippers,

a jar of honey for a friend tilts and leaks, and the hive

at home goes on buzzing, run by a queen and the laws

of servitude, oh even the unemployed are dressed

in red and ready in New York, and I am standing

waiting for my ride, eyed by a policeman on the corner

like a villain sent from someplace blessed with vaster

spaces, and the taxis throw themselves with vigor

at the color green, and the city sky is purpling to black

with neon signs winking sales in capitals and every redhead

in the city is out here walking, no wait, shoving, past.


Two Mondays later & it’s over…

We came by plane and boat, we beached

(he left), I danced in rain, I trained in along the Hudson, I saw Erwitt at the ICP and photocopied Sanchez at Poet’s House, I advised and pyschologized an entire closet, I lounged briefly in the 70s,

I quiched and coffeed, I dined and dozed, I family-ed and friended, I parked at Prospect, gave a gift, hugged tall men, ran in rain again, ate squids and octopus, shared kiwi chapstick and met two new boyfriends, hugged a crying friend and hot sauced a burrito, licked honey off my pinky and wouldn’t leave a restaurant, listened to my grandma’s birthday song and was dropped off in rain and sun, I bageled and I slept until I wanted to, I missed west people and wore a wide-brimmed hat…and tomorrow I’ll head to San Diego.

Malcolm X in Ardsley, NY.

Today Eoin and I visited Malcolm X’s grave. Or, the grave of Hajj-Malick El Shabazz, and Betty Shabazz. It took us a long time to find the stone even though Eoin had been there twice. He had made up a mnemonic device based on a painted X on the street to remember how to find the gravestone more quickly, but he couldn’t remember the mnemonic device. We split up and walked around in the sun, eyes to the ground. “I bet he’s laughing at us white devils, walking around in circles trying to find him,” Eoin said. I pictured Malcolm sliding around in socks on an empty basketball court, trying to thwart us but mostly in good humor. Afterwards we got Slurpees and our favorite flavor was something called “THOR,” after the movie; it tasted like creamy cherry Norse hunks. And Eoin smoked his beautiful black fake cigarette and my back was sweaty from walking around that graveyard full of flat stones. We left a hydrangea from my yard on Malcolm’s grave. It was blue-purple with tinges of age at the petaltips. Afterwards, in the car, we assessed how white we were: he in khakis and wearing a women’s hairclip, and my skirt was seersucker. “But we’re good readers,” I said, thinking this redeemed us. We both read the same version of Malcolm’s autobiography, which was originally my father’s. This is only the second time I’ve visited a graveyard for a specific headstone. The hydrangea’s stem was long and curved. It was the only flower on the grave.