All day I write, edit. Write
emails. Edit. Write
some more. Edit. I
quit to make tea.
The cupboard is empty.
Out of tea. Too cold
to walk to the store
for more. I drink coffee.
Grind more beans. I drink
more coffee. Later
I won’t sleep, so I bathe.
I read, finish a book
of fiction. Disgusted, throw
it across the small room.
Read some more
poetry, then an essay.
I bathe again. Later still,
cut my finger on a tin
of oysters. I’m alone.
It bleeds onto the keyboard.
I will bleed all night, red
seeping into my panicked dreams.
In these, I give birth to a stranger.
She will arrive before midnight
but after breakfast. I don’t
usually eat, except
when I’m hungry.
She sells my house
to pay her gambling debts.
Then the baby. I wake
the next morning in red shoes.
Turn the computer on,
watch the screen. Write
an email. Edit a poem.
All of this, just a line
I feed myself.


  1. Sounds like you need to listen to a little Klingon Opera. Really. I’m an addict now. Google it. The stuff on the net isn’t as good as Lia’s improv stuff, though. It might be even better than primal scream therapy. I think I might know which book of fiction you threw across the room. I’m off now, to pour another bucket of water in the backyard.

  2. Hey Bernie: I will look it up. My butt is getting sore. My sentences are getting shorter. Yes. You know the book. Are you building a rink?

    • Yes, A it is! It started as a regular blog post, and then after working on so much poetry, it moved into one on its own, so I made it a line. Silly, but fun.

  3. Yes, a rink. The second annual. This one has an iceberg and a baby seal slide. Short sentences are like shivs (sp?). I’m reading the book for the second time, understanding it more symbolically, understanding why it fills me with rage. Keep dancing in those red shoes. This reminds me of the M*A*S*H psychiatrist who said “Ladies and gentlemen, take my advise, pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.”

    • A baby seal slide! You’re too cool Bernie!! My brother used to make rinks in his yard all the time, but he bought some plastic form or something like it and filled it then peeled off the plastic (shows how much I was really paying attention). They were small, but so were the kids; they didn’t mind much as long as they could skate.

      Maybe we’ll try the without-pant slide on your rink later this month. I don’t know though–pulling the pants down can have rather the wrong results sometimes. Sometimes.

  4. I’ve got a pair of red shoes on my feet this very minute T.
    sharp, pointy,
    ready for flamenco…

    I think there’s an anthology in waiting in this T…

    the red shoes

  5. I love the uneasiness this poem evokes (“sinister” might be a little too strong a word for me, but I think I know what Ariel was getting at). Like most (all?) good poems it’s strong on both imagery and that ability to evoke emotions—ideally, mixed emotions, as is the case here. And the ending is wonderful—referencing the beginning; finishing with a perfect line.

  6. Hey Sznn: Red shoes rock!

    Pete, thanks for your words; it was working so much as a poem towards the end that I let the poem be a poem. If that makes sense. For me, and my notion of poetics, the poem begins at the oysters, and this is where it becomes a poem–where it starts to bleed into the emotions of the reader. Which leads me to Brenda. And yes B, I agree. More oysters please!

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