Sunday, May 27, 2012


i am a ventose ventriloquist at times --
i blow wind through others' tracheas
and move their mouths like muppets.
my imagination served me well in childhood
but these days it's just as likely to betray me.
obviously there are other gears in motion
though i'm not sure if mental illness
or hormonal disturbance is to blame.
i suppose the pills for one cause the other
so who's to say which side of the bridge i began on.
there are so many planks missing between
a photographer from a higher altitude
might develop an advertisment for a dentist
(the "before" picture, of course) .
who's to say how i got here
but i'm here and i've got to
find another path to sanity
because neither side of this bridge lands there.


ventose / VEN-tohs adjective;
Given to empty talk; windy.
The young representative fought the urge to roll her eyes as the most senior member of the assembly slowly rose to his arthritic feet. While he might have something worthwhile to say on the topic, the ventose elder would inevitably say it at least five times during his speech.

Monday, May 21, 2012


The humming from the microphone echoed and Kristen's shaky legs threatened to give out on her. How was it possible that she could spell twenty-letter diseases and speed through the lexicon of French cuisine yet flub a simple "i before e except after c"? Sweat had already begun to bead up on her forehead when the grating buzzer sounded to signal her failure.

"I'm sorry; that's incorrect." The facilitator stated simply. "You may return to your seat."

Eyes focused on her feet, Kristen made her way back to her folding chair. Part of her was shocked by the cold of the grey metal seat, but it was buried so far beneath her disappointment that she her body didn't react to the stimulus. How upset her would parents be to rece-ive a loser from the bus stop that afternoon!

She struggled to raise her eyes to the imminent spelling champion as he approached the microphone. As he began to spell the word that was to become her terrible legacy at Shady Elm Middle School, he turned a glimmering eye to her and gave a simple wink. "Receipt. R-E-C-I-E-P-T."

The boy turned away from the microphone and began to walk back to Kristen before the buzzer had even sounded. Kristen could barely breathe -- he had thrown the game! She didn't know whether to be elated with her renewed chance to win or angered by his actions. What could have been going through his head to motivate this young boy's self-sabotage?

When Gary returned he selected the chair directly behind her own and managed a few words before Kristen was invited to stand once again: "You're welcome."

Saturday, May 19, 2012


phatic / FAT-ik adjective;
Denoting speech used to create an atmosphere of goodwill.
His supervisor's phatic speech could not have been more out-of-place; George was moments away from being laid off and no words could make this into a good situation.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

" ... "

She studied her face in the mirror in lieu of more expensive amusements. Why spend half of her paycheck at the movie theater when she could admire her own enviable bone structure for free? Sure, a night at home wouldn’t get her any closer to the pedestal of celebrity, but at her pedestal sink, she could unabashedly pluck stray hairs from her face! She ran her fingertips over the curve of her jaw and lamented her inability to capture its beauty on canvas. Shrugging off what could not be remedied, she loosened the cap of her mascara and began to hum. She stopped the applicator wand midway to her lash pondering the lyrics beneath the tune – What is the hipbone connected to?

" ... "

Jane clutched her leg and bit her lip to keep from crying out in pain. Her friend, Jessie, was panicked enough without adding four-letter words to the mix. It had been stupid of them to think that they could skip third period without consequence. They had spent weeks planning this day, but deep down Jane knew that they couldn't get away with it. They'd made extensive plans to ensure Jessie's sister's rusty sedan was available for their escapade and its owner far away on a field trip to the city. They'd brought changes of clothes (even their swimsuits, just in case Mother Nature decided to gift them with a preview of summer by the lake). They'd packed enough food to feed half the football team (because who could say for sure which of three sandwiches they'd be craving at the end of their long day). But they hadn't anticipated any broken bones. Nor had they fully considered the double-edged sword of an escape from civilization -- their phones were merely expensive paperweights this far into the woods. As she watched her friend generate new phrases to express her escalating frustration and anxiety, Jane knew that she would have to take matters into her own hands. She winced as she manually extended her injured limb and braced herself for the pain that would come as she dragged herself back to the car -- once their savior from a boring day of school, now the symbol for their failure -- forever linked to torment.


moving moving always moving
my mind more than my limbs
my limbs more than my mind
can i truly move both simultaneously?
i forget what i am to remember
when i move my mind elsewhere
i stumble when i am to dance
when i mistake one foot for another.
i can only prepare for missteps
because they are inevitable
and i cannot anticipate everything
or even the smallest fraction of things.
my admission of flaws is flawless
and i do not omit my tendency to omit
the important nonsense in my life.
can i exhale everything i inhale
or will i always hold back a bit?


i try to cripple your strength
by talking circles around you
talking with my pen
as my vocal cords cannot compete
with the muscles in my fingers
and those in my mind.
despite my strength of mind and digits
i cannot confine you to a space.
most days i feel that this intangible fence
has fooled me into ignoring you
just long enough for you
to escape through the barbs
and just long enough for me
to stop caring so much.
but other days,
when noise is insufficient to shut out
the incessant emptiness
i hear you again.
i know it's not truly you --
just my imagined you --
even so, i am transported
to a place where you are central
and i cannot stop wondering
who you really are
and why you had to leave.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


i have the wind to spruik
but do my words hold meaning?
i often become lost in my own embellishments,
never coming to the X on the map.
do i live tangentially,
never fated to collide with my point?
i float in a universe of stars
eluding their gravitational pulls.
it's a peaceful life
but what good does it serve?
an astronaut's birthplace becomes irrelevant
when home is light years away.
do i need to reconnect with myself
to disconnect from myself?
or would a step backwards lead to a pit?
surely i cannot stand still
or if i do i will green as a sloth.
i like green but not that kind.


spruik / sprook \  , verb;
To make or give a speech, especially extensively; spiel

In my adolescence, I rolled my eyes during my father's lectures. These days, we exchange minimal words -- what I wouldn't give to be beside him as he spruiks. I can't say I ever truly knew my father, but I haven't had the opportunity to try and decode his cipher for years.