God Somewhere



I don’t understand people
who refuse the hope
that there’s a God.
I mean
kind of God.
It doesn’t have to be of formal conjuring.
Forget all the epistemological arguments.
At the very least there’s got to be a Something that knows more
and is more
and is more able than I.


If I thought there really were
no God at all, well…
why wouldn’t I just slit my wrists?
Look at this world
and the institutions
and the people
in it.
Live long enough and you’ll see.
It’s. Fucked. Up.
There is no one
and nothing
to trust
even if you wanted to… even if you should.


Friends fail
Lovers fail
Parents fail
Children fail
Teachers fail
Priests fail

Governments fail
Churches fail
Courts fail
Banks fail
Cops fail
Lawyers fail
Dictators fail


                                Wives fail
                                Husbands fail
                                Heroes fail
                                Psychiatrists fail


Planes fail
Cars fail
Boats fail
Elevators fail
Dogs fail


        Cats don’t even fucking try



















So, the only thing I’ve really got going on is this hope,
this hope,
that there is a God somewhere
Who has not
Will not

In The Big Bed, Sleeping.



This is another excerpt from the book of letters I am writing to my daughter…


Dear Esther;


You are lying next to me in the big bed, sleeping. I am up late, getting stupid stuff done, winding down, and happy that you are next to me. I’m not sure what it is, but I love the sight of your little body in the big bed. You look so cozy, you look so small; you are at peace.


We have had some hard days lately, you and I, and perhaps you lying close to me reassures me that we are not yet approaching the end of our long goodbye, that our worries and our struggles and our battles are ephemeral; that we are still inseparable.


As parents do, I worry about losing you sometimes, and oh to my dismay there are so many ways of being lost. You are a sensitive girl and so different from your peers. There is an innocence about you that many of your more already-hardened contemporaries will not suffer too much longer. The world doesn’t like innocence. Oh we pretend to like it. We long for it in a wistful kind of way, hoping we might touch once more the sweet, forgotten someone we once were. But really, out in the world, we aspire to sarcasm and quick-witted repartee. We aspire to wisdom, and expertise. We aspire to the answers even before we’ve earned them by our stripes. We fear ignorance and incognizance. We fear being shamed for not knowing, and we fear that shame showing up in our eyes lest someone we want to love appears one day and decides to look deep. We hide behind cunning and detachment, self-sufficiency and cynicism. Oh goodness, the clever ways we hide. But you, my love, are as guileless as an afternoon in early June when school lets out for summer, bouncy and free. And when a person is as bouncy and as free as you are, it makes the not-free people nervous and uncomfortable in their hard, bound skin. So they start looking to find fault for their discomfort, and they look everywhere but in a mirror. They look in the boardroom and the classroom and the bedroom; at the dinner table and birthday parties and on playgrounds at recess. And when a friendly and disarming girl like you needs help with spelling, and you’re a little behind in math, and you’re the new girl at school, well… you are about as easy a target as they come. And I worry, with all that pixie dust in your eyes, you will believe that little shit Kate who says you’re stupid and no one likes you. And I worry that three years from now you will take the pretty pills she offers you in the bathroom after 3rd period just to prove to her and to yourself that you are likeable and cool, and that you “know better.” Oh, how I worry.


I woke up with a start at 1:56 this morning with an awful thought. Esther was not meant for this world… Esther was not meant for this world… Esther was not meant for this world… One day when you have kids of your own, you’ll know how terrifying such a thought is and you will badger God for some explanation. “What does that mean?” you’ll beg. “Does it mean something bad is coming? Is it literal? Figurative? Do You mean in the spiritual sense? What is it? What are you trying to tell me? Answer me please!” And then you’ll realize it is no premonition, it is no sign. It is one more imploring expression of hope from your own heart that you can keep your child safe and well and innocent. And there is no answer except to hold tight while you can, stay close while you can, and keep your arms open.


You are lying here next to me in the big bed, sleeping. You look so cozy, you look so small… And for a moment, I am at peace.

The Moss of Emily Dickinson



This is a poem I want to write.
But it’s just a disguise.
What I really want is a kiss.
What I really want is to collect my two hundred,
buy up the boardwalk,
and flip the fucking board off the table.
What I really want is a get out of jail free card.


This is a poem I want to write.
But it’s just a disguise.
What I really want is absolution for my most mortal sins.
What I really want is adulation for my brilliance.
What I really want is a pair of eyes to swallow me up
and shake me ‘round the ice ‘til I’m nice and pourable
for the cherry in the glass.


This is a poem I want to write, but the poem is fighting me.
It wants my blood.
It wants my flesh.
It wants the lava in my bones,
and threatens to cover my mouth with the moss of Emily Dickinson.
This poem wants me dead
and it’s time I surrender.


This is a poem I want to write.
But it’s just a disguise.
This is a poem I’ve written.
And this poem just saved my ass.