We Are Older; We Float, We Sink, We Sleep When We Can (poem) (mine).

We Are Older; We Float, We Sink, We Sleep When We Can

I’m nearly thirty and capable of commanding my body
inside a vehicle. The car and I, we go places together.

I drive south and then west, four hours plus one coffee
stop, to see Scott and his brand new baby. We meet

at a French cafe with “vintage gas station” as its theme.
The baby is strapped away against his chest, silent

and unseeable. We drink white wine and eat Frenchly
-titled meals by the window. Scott covers the baby’s head

with a napkin while he eats, which I both notice
and don’t notice. He is exhausted & he is a father

& I’m so proud of him. He looks natural with a baby.
He looks like someone related to me. Maybe this is why

I love him, or maybe it’s his excellent taste
in wall clocks, or the sandy fields & shifting days

we survived together in laughter. His husband is away
that day, working in the city. When he arrives home,

his face is nearly yellow from exhaustion. I want to feed
them both: applesauce, keffir lime leaves, matzoh ball soup.

At Scott’s birthday dinner party the next evening, there is wine,
deeply chocolate cake, and lentil soup with a pad of floating butter

on top like the raft we each contain inside us, each of us
the fat, the proteins, the flavor, the impending melt.

A marriage poem for abundance (mine).


for Scott & Josh


There will be days of singing & days of silent throats

There will be days of bouquets & days of empty vases

There will be days of thirst & nights of drinking

There will be raspberry days & days of stale crusts of bread

There will be days of nails in the wall & artless days

There will be harvest days & long nights of winter

There will days to gather & days to await the gathering

May the thin days make the days of fullness all the sweeter

May your fruits be many and your backs be strong

as you launch together

into your days

of abundance


July 5, 2014


scott and josh first step

(photo of the couple’s first steps toward marriage by Misha M. Johnson)

The past month or so in photographs.


This is one of the farms that will not be our home.


This was at the farmers’ market in Montpelier, when Ellie was visiting, and we met up with Kenzie, who is also a Suzie’s Farm Person, and she had those long fabulous dreadlocks.

ellie scott misha in a crown

This was when Ellie and Scott and Josh were staying over. I made Misha wear my happy wreath because he was happy, too. And we drank that whole bottle of bourbon. And life was sweet and Scott jumped in the pond and Josh ended up getting a free Suzie’s Farm hat.


This is my favorite photo of my friend Andrew, because the sun is all up in his face.

IMG_0122Those ladies? Oh those are my ladies.


These are some bodacious poppies and some pretty Unidentified Other Flowers that grow beneath the grapes in front of our house.


This is another farm which we won’t live on. But boy, was it pretty.


This is my pen pal, Shannon. She’s even better in person than written. Plus, she’s married! Also, a poet!


This was the fourth of July. Misha didn’t even mean to wear red white and blue and we had sausages for dinner.


This is Misha with flowering mullein on Cape Cod. He really loves that plant. And in this photograph, he even matches it!


This is my family in the early 90s. I don’t think I’ll ever be as baller as I was that day on Cape Cod, with that stance and that minnow net and that belly-bearing bathing suit. Also: how cute is my sister. Also also: notice how all our bathing suits match!



This was leaving the Cape just today, admiring the font of the Sagamore Bridge, admiring structure.

Why not: a birthday collage.

Dear Scott,

I made you this internet collage comprised of (beautiful) images that remind me of you. I really hope you like it.




































coffee and whiskey













































Happiest of days to you, friend. I hope your weekend is full of even better things than Ellie giving the sneaky middle finger to you in a photo, though it’s hard to imagine what’s better than that.


Joyful poem of New York City (mine).


Scott in the Guggenheim’s whorl

stared at a Picasso with both eyes

forward, said to me “I see the Eiffel

tower, a saxophone and some boobs

on a plate.” We laughed in the museum

and got in trouble for photographs

and got kicked out a closing time

and talked right up to the stop

where we split off from each other

in the underground undergrime

of the subway. I zoomed to Kathryn

with her foster dog who did not

love me but he loved my thigh

and dinner at a tiny restaurant

where we cried in the moment

in between dinner and dessert

when the cook in the kitchen

right behind us began slicing

tomorrow’s onions. Eyedrops

and overdue birthday presents,

hummus scooped around, wine

and wine and a whiskey, a bouquet

and a beer and asleep in Sam’s

bed with the lock fully bolted.

And so much to eat every day,

scalloped potatoes by Kath

in the sweet lowdown space

where she’s made her small home.

And Andy so tall that we hug

like a tree and a sapling. And Max

even taller, so full of face that I’ve missed

since last winter in Bushwick when

the cabs were all taken. Awe of piled

trash on every street, awe of the ease

of jokes and jingles made around a small

wooden table. Only three tiny pills

twice a day for Sam. Schiele for free

in a gallery uptown. The subway running

as if the storm never blew. Sean lives

with Scott and they’re both my true

friends. Poems and lentils and The Strand

and more whiskey. Running down 12th

like a bat outta barn. Coffee in mugs

and coffee to go. Dancing in honor

of a liver restored. And back on the bus

to my home in the country, fat to the gills

on signage, on sweetness.



Brunch Sonnet 6: Patti Smith at St. Mark’s Bookshop (mine).

Brunch Sonnet 6

Patti Smith at St. Mark’s Bookshop


Patti kicked the g’s off the ends of words—thinkin’,

fryin’. She had long dyed hair with undercurls of grey,

no secrets there. She arrived on time in a black beanie,

her voice skidding out of her throat like wet feet on sand.

She was amazed to have her name on a New Directions book,

she waited fifty years but it happened. Fifty years isn’t so long

for a dream. Her neighbors in Detroit used to spiff up her lawn

while she was gone on trips, she hated that, she wanted

those flowers for tea, for wine, the dandelions. The worst thing

about Detroit wasn’t the lack of a coliseum or museum, but

the lack of a café. She said she’d sit in some whitewashed

corner at the nearest 7-11 and try to read, pretending  herself

at the Café des Poètes with a mug, a watch, a bit of time,

a few sips left, a cigarette, the table wooden, stained.



Friday night (mine) (it’s a poem).

Alight with all the essences


I call this Rain Diego, rain for one minute in San Diego


The only thing a Fanta and a persimmon have in common is color


On the bus Scott looks gorgeous with the night moving black behind him


The martinis have back-up olives & back-up gin


You know him in the biblical sense




There’s something about knowing someone in the biblical sense that makes it okay to take sips from their drink


I should’ve stolen that tiny tiny decanter when I had the chance


There’s no such thing as practice floral arrangements. You don’t waste flowers!


An empty Dr. Pepper bottle in my greenleather pocket


Green leather red leather three friends in leather would be better


I feel like such a GIRL when I’m with you


This tiny red can of champagne. This tiny red can at the Tin Can Alehouse


That girl’s got a wind machine


That tiny dog just pooped on the bar room floor


-We just danced in circles around thrown-off shoes, you missed it

-Oh I didn’t miss it/I was just waiting/for you to finish doing your thing


You’re doing something wrong, without a doubt, but it’s not that you’re wrong


I’m goin’ down to the bus station baby with a suitcase in my hand


In circles on the bar room floor


Walking up 5th is not nearly as hard as Main Street in Pittsburgh


If you know someone in the Biblical sense you can lean on them and whisper (the music’s loud)


If you know someone in the Biblical sense they might be asleep in your bed against the floor near the ground that will be rained on


I’m goin’ down to the bus station baby with a suitcase in my hand


Those girls are too skinny for girls


Those girls are too SKINNY for boys!


A chile relleno burrito/

and sauce/

Hot sauce