I wanted to let you know that I just released my first poetry book, Away from Shore. If you’re interested in checking it out, it’s currently available on Amazon (where you can also get a preview of some of the poems) and CreateSpace. You can read the description on Goodreads.
Please help me spread the word! If you have friends, family, coworkers, etc. who might like the book, let them know about it. If you read it, leave an honest review on Goodreads, Amazon, and/or anywhere else people might see it!
The first challenge was writing the book; now the challenge is connecting to all the readers out there!
So far, it’s been a lot of fun.
(a love note,
April in Paris.
Over the moon.
A fern uncurls in the forest,
unseen in the night.
Blocks away, inside
the high school, a spring
The conductor cues
the flutes. Mouths press
to their seats, shed layers,
tuck purses by their feet.
One woman wears sequins.
She slips in, sits, eyes bright,
focused. Her body seems
attuned to each note.
All lights are on
the stage, but in the dark,
in the audience, an awareness
nothing to do with music
ripples. The woman lifts
her hand from the armrest.
A dozen pairs of eyes
fall on her pale,
Her stomach is taut, her breath trapped
in her lungs. She taps the beauty mark
on her wrist, but nothing happens.
Raindrops hang suspended from the eaves.
The cobblestone street looks as usual–
full of puppeteers in their wacky
green caps, the one-eyed vendor
who sells hot chocolate with peppermint or chilis,
the kids in bright swimsuits
headed to the seashore with shells cupped in their palms
like boats, great wishes tucked inside.
The girl stares at them all, and wonders
if they know. But how could they?
Pain laces through her, not dainty
like the frills on a fancy dress, but sharp
as the teeth of a saw, ripping through trees.
Her head has oceans inside, waiting to be cried.
How much longer can I go on?
A rabbit in a world of foxes.
A child lost in a happy crowd.
She stares a while longer, hoping for someone
to recognize her, to smile, to invite her inside
for a family dinner around a hearth.
She’d be content with the sun coming out.
When the sky stays grey, and the people
keep moving past, she steps inside a small
antique store, is comforted by the tinkling bell,
the shopkeeper’s voice, and a strange red and white rug,
in the center of the floor, that to her eyes
looks like a herd of wild horses.
Snow cloaks the stone lions
at the building’s entrance.
The little girl
stands next to them,
her dark brown hair and eyes
startling against the white landscape.
Lions don’t intimidate her.
She leans her head against one
as if it’s alive, and warm,
Cradled in her hands:
a box of chocolate mints–
a gift from her aunt.
The box, like the lions,
seems different at her touch.
She holds it so gingerly,
like inside is something precious,
with its own heartbeat.
Then she turns, skips
up the steps to her aunt, and joins
the adult world again, far removed
from such things as objects
coming to life in one’s hand,
and stone animals
who breathe their warmth
into winter air.
Between thumb and forefinger,
she grips a fragment of shell
rubbed smooth, an anchor,
a piece of something real
to keep her from simply
A leaf crosses the sand, puffs itself
like a robin sticking out its chest.
Usually, she’d smile.
But her eyes are elsewhere,
focused out over the water,
past the white-tipped waves,
past the sky.
She can almost see
the memories play before her
like children, wrestling
for attention. They tumble
in her mind, too fast to follow.
A child. A man. Laughter.
Eggs, sunny side up. The tickle
of a beard against her cheek.
Kisses. More laughter.
She stares so hard at the memories–
willing them back to life–
that everything else becomes invisible,
the whole ocean, meaningless,
like a word repeated over and over:
turquoise, turquoise, turquoise.
A woman drives by in a white car
with a white peacock in the passenger seat.
She smooths her fingers over its feathers,
gentle, as if touching each of its eyes to sleep.
Into the mirror,
I would escape, no need to explain
anything. I’d just vanish
into silver, the small suitcase of my past
gripped in my hand. I’d walk
my own reflection.
A small, bare plot of land rested
in the middle of highways
and gas stations, fast-food restaurants
and high-end malls.
The little square of earth
was nothing more than dried grass,
surrounded by fencing.
For years it passed unnoticed.
But then, one morning
as if Night had given birth
to Dream, the tiny square was filled
with trees, vines, bluebells,
and thick, thick brambles
of blackberries and raspberries.
You couldn’t see past them.
Everyone was curious.
Everyone wanted to know
what lay beyond the foliage
and thorns. Some people
tried to climb the trees.
All of them fell. They broke ribs
and collarbones. Some tried crawling
through the brambles. They tore clothing,
and scratched their faces raw. In the end
everyone gave up, and gorged themselves
on the ripe, ripe fruits.
When they woke, dazed,
on brittle grass, in an empty square,
to the too-bright
floodlights of police,
bodies bruised, mouths ringed
in red, they could have sworn
this place had been a forest,
the trees a mile high,
berries sweeter than anything,
that an enchantment
must have been placed on them,
that they’d been trying
to get somewhere, that no way
were they just drunks,
who’d beaten each other
to a pulp.
the sun’s last rays cast a gleam
on the water, a golden path
for us to follow
because such a lovely day
must not end, must not slip
past the horizon
where we cannot go
unless we float forever
two bodies lost in a dream
waves and salt and sun
the ocean’s murmurs
a lullaby, an enchantment
we stay, dreamers,
until the sun pulls up its ladder,
and the last gold is gone
until the sky is dark blue
deeper than blue, violet, black,
splashed with stars