Saturday, December 13, 2008


Still hurting from the staples and surgery, which makes sitting at a desk and writing at my amazing and perfect iMac very difficult - especially after sitting at a desk at work, hunched over, staples pinching into my lower intestine, spilling coffee all over my self, brushing my teeth with fresh spinach dip, trying not to look like a rabid dog, crowing like a rooster, running with the devil, trying to help little kids win law suits against candy distributors; I mean it gets a little tough after a certain amount of time. This makes me sigh in awe and wonder how such amazing humanitarians like Donald Trump, Michael Jordan, Cher, the Headless Horseman and Ghandi could do it every day and teach the world a little lesson about the world and the burning compassion of the soul.

Just kidding, only two of those people had souls.

(One one was Indian and the other was black.)

See the next excerpt of From Here to the Next Mound of Dirt and forget what you've read above.


“Hey, Dad,” I say as I walk into the study. This was my favorite room of the house. It has the nice big skylight above the desk and I love the slanted wood walls, which are the color of caramel. I love it so much because it will always remind me more than anything else of being a kid. The mystery of the room, with bookshelves on three of the walls and Dad would come in here for privacy and you always wanted to know what he was doing in there.

“Daddy’s working,” Mom would say. But of course I didn’t believe her. Dad is sitting on his favorite chair with his feet kicked up on the ottoman and of course there is the bottle sitting on his lap, tilting forward onto his chest.

“Hello, Margaret,” Dad says.

“Oh, we’re being formal tonight,” I quip back and I’m very pleased by it. Dad is too because he gives one of his high-pitched laughs that he gives when he is caught off guard.

“You’ve gotten funny in your young age.”

“I’ve been trying to, Dad.”

We’re both quiet and looking around the room. Dad’s breathing is steady and as his chest rises and falls, I can hear the sloshing of his scotch in the bottle.

“How’re you doing?” I ask.

“I’m almost drunk,” he says and smiles. “Thirty years on and it’s the same as it was.”

“Except mom’s…”

“I’m talking liquor, Mags.”

I nod at him. I feel a little embarrassed about trying to point that out to him. I get up and walk over to the parchment colored globe that stands right in front of one of the bookshelves. I begin spinning the Earth on a completely impossible axis at an impossibly slow rate. But it’s my axis and it’s my rate.

“I bet you’ve been to almost half of the places on that globe.” Dad winks. “Imagine where you’ll be when you’re my age.”

“Hopefully at a little over fifty percent and living in a suburb.”

“Are you that smart?”

“I always thought I was.”

Dad laughs. “Well, then you’re not my daughter.”

I stop the globe with my hand. The tips of my fingers are touching China and Korea. I begin to cry. I don’t know why I’m crying and I can’t remember the last time I did. My face feels too hot. I didn’t even cry when Jake left the note for me in our apartment and then I noticed how big it was and that it really was meant for two and not as small as I thought.

Dad takes a drink. “I was only joking. You are my daughter.”

His arms are spread out. I walk over and he props himself up. I sit on his knee and he hugs me. I didn’t notice his stubble before, but now I can feel it. His hands stroke my hair.

“I haven’t seen hair this beautiful since your mother was twenty-two years old.”

“You like it?”

“How can I not? There’s so much to.”

“Yeah,” I say. “You’re right.” And now I’m speaking to so many things in the world that I’ve seen that I can’t even concentrate on crying. So I realize I’ve stopped and that I’m on my father’s knee. And for the first time in what seems like forever, I feel like a girl and not like a woman.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Sorry for the delay in between posts. What with the Thanksgiving holiday and my urgent hernia surgery (see above) I couldn't get a lot of posts in. But wow what a lot of things happened in between that time. I ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, watched Dwayne Wade continue his one man domination of the stat sheets, watched as the collision course for the Lakers v. Celtics NBA Finals rematch this June became even more obvious, Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg, Pushing Daisies may get cancelled(?), and "My Girls" from the upcoming Merriweather Post Pavilion just leaked. You want action, you got action.

I've got tons to say. I want to write my Red Rose Speedwagon review, I want to write a review of the Beach House show I will be going to tomorrow night, I want to talk some more NBA shop and post some more of From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt. But I also need to take my pain medicine and rest up so the staples in my stomach don't rip apart. I'll get all the posts up believe me - I'm getting better at this blog stuff.

Also, to the side, you will find a link where you can buy a hard copy of The Journey Forward my first novel. This is the first edition and there will be revisions as well as alternate cover versions so buy now or buy later if you feel the desire.

Below is a poem I wrote while I was knocked wasn't male maternity leave.

Off Your Feet

The hill rises with the church,
There is the pass of haystacks
And the sound of Diana Ross –
The persistent twinkle of the piano
Is the background of my faith.

Who will stop the post office brick?
The rattle of child-like market carts,
Which carry bags of green apples
And roll into the bumpers of big cars,
Hitting them as the radio hisses.

But you can’t tell me about letters,
Packages marked with black sharpies.
They’ll fall on your doorsteps by the wreath
Or next to your checkered apartment floors
By the door buzzers and white names.

I’ll make sharp turns by the lake
With the Vandellas in my ear
Thinking about rain in the lime groves
Where the clouds pass now black now white
And the Milky Way signals out God.

You’ll tell me with your bass,
That there is no God or Time –
You may be right, I’ll agree,
The unmistakable throb I feel at a stoplight
And the sound of Motown are not tied to heaven.

She’d be afraid to hear heaven too,
Instead of understanding her, I’d get mad.
What is heaven but a word? God too?
Something no different than the bread we ate,
The wine and my beef ragout at the table.

Not every word means blood and disaster,
Faith comes with a green apple,
The old pictures of pot-bellied little boys,
Grandmothers and mothers holding golf clubs,
Talking about how thin their husbands were.

When I talk to you of my grandfather,
He is dead and I never knew him,
But I speak his words and feel his heartbreak,
The constant addiction to love and desire,
The perspiration of the soul and its depravity for good.

You who are far away from me
Don’t put out that light for meaning
Because haystacks are objects made of air
And they can never be created or destroyed
Just like my mailbox, they just are.

So let Motown mean America
Just like Oprah and the doctor’s office do too,
And I’ll drive my car off a cliff for love,
I’ll let it soar by the farms and the limes
That I want to show my friends
So we can lean on the bark and know,
That there is no word or knowing,
There are just the things we see,
The things we try to know and put color to –
The colors we want to show the one we love.