about bliss

Saturday, April 21, 2012

poetic bliss: day thirteen

you open your arms
your heart to the lowliest
lambs and we leap—

poetic bliss: day twelve

i believe in poetry
the divine heart body soul
within and beyond.

Friday, April 20, 2012

poetic bliss: day eleven

sometimes poetry isn't pretty, and sometimes it's provocative, and sometimes it's political. 

they want us to think
pregnant possibilities
every single fuck

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

poetic bliss: day ten

To the Sharpie-wielding Women in the University Bathroom

Where someone has scratched I ♥ Sex
on the blue bathroom wall, you print I ♥ School
in wide tip exuberance, your boldness shining through
the white-out I ♥ Sex, the wall a chiaroscuro of
conflicting desire. In the next stall, you witticize grammar,
pondering the proper use of the semi-colon. You explain,
plainly, and provide an example, erroneous, and then
provide corrective notes. In the last stall, you quote
Bob Marley, urging us to swap the love of power for
the power of love, and I believe you, in your permanent
black ink voices, in your civil disobedience, in your reclamation
of this wall, the space, for something positive and true.

poetic bliss: day nine

The Introvert Professes

In front of class, I ask questions
they stare at desks, windows, wrists.
The bold ones meet my exasperated gaze
and say nothing. We play this game
twice a week and my soul recoils, dreads
the energetic tugs I must now make. I
stifle sarcasm, disappointment, ridicule,
tears. I try to be my best encouraging self.
I call random student names until predictable
hands spike and wave, brains engage, words
tumble out of unhinged mouths. That moment
of silence, before these machinations, is everything
I dread, and nowhere I want to be.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

poetic bliss: day eight


I wake with Cat Stevens' words lilting
through my mind morning has broken
like the first morning and I remember
those Easter sunrise services, the voices
joined in song, the pervasive hope, and,
after, the pancakes, chocolate, eggies-I-
can-hold-in-my-hand. This morning, I
walk along a pine needle strewn path
with my parents, watch the tightly held
blueberry buds sway, hold my fiancé's hand,
the thrum of transformation, possibility,
and love radiating everywhere.

poetic bliss: day seven

Holland Spring

Chartreuse leaves unfurl
across the Midwest, and
pollen swirls through the air,
ending in a collective sneeze.
We sit at a high-top table,
sipping beer and watching
the tourists stop amid the tulips,
snapping pictures, thawing smiles
backlit with pink and purple,
yellow and orange petals,
opening to the sun.

poetic bliss: day six

beautiful morning
afternoon of endless road
forgotten poem.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

poetic bliss: day five

Today was the last event for the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars group I've been privileged to be part of this year. We had a full day: we met, shared stories and posters, ate bad hotel meals, presented at a formal poster session, and then celebrated with a drink in the hotel bar. I believe it was P's comments about the dreamy Mr. Darcy that started a good 20 minutes of multidisciplinary "hot or not," in which my friends named key authors, musicians, and social scientists and I searched google images on my phone and we declared them hot or not. At some point, M reminded me that I still needed to write a poem, as I had announced this poetic bliss project earlier in the day. I recruited their help, another M decided the topic/title, and in the true collaborative spirit we've developed over the past 11 months, we wrote the following poem.

Hot or Not

I'd take the road less traveled with Robert Frost;
Orville is the Wright brother for me.
The whole month in High School that we read the Scarlet Letter,
I was dreaming about Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Viggo is the true Lord of the Rings.
Melville can call me "Ishmael" anytime.
Did you notice Charlotte and e.b. in the corner, touching?
Without Ernest, I bid farewell.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

poetic bliss: day four


The yoga teacher demonstrates
the mudra for grounding, hands
framing a triangle just below the
navel, but I want the mudra for
above this terra firma,
this body.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

poetic bliss: day three

for Trayvon

I pull you over my head, escaping this world,
these glances. I focus: the path ahead, where
I am going. Safe, secure, warm, dry, home.

Monday, April 02, 2012

poetic bliss: day two

Free to B
for B

Imitation is flattery,
and I wanted your pink
pumps, your wardrobe,
your car: white, fast, turning
heads of young boys.

My whole life, we've loved
pretty, dresses, words,
photos, flowers. We've run
distances, towards and away
from something.

Herbivores, seekers, teachers.
Almost sisters.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

poetry bliss: day one

in celebration of National Poetry Month, I plan to write and post one poem each day.


These clothes don't fit—
winter wool weighs,
denim waistband gaps.
I cannot be contained.
I long for floaty, flirty,
floral, feminine—young
and dream, not this 
aging exhaustion, these
feet grown tired, the
aching arch in patent
peep-toe pumps. I stare
at 40 and quake, 
barefoot, naked,