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When he came back from the war, he wasn't the same. He didn't smile as much. When he did, it wasn’t real. He was a ghost in Bill’s clothes. Oh, I know that sounds dark. He always said he liked my dark. Now he just wanted my cherry. All(more)
“Your mother has a bad spot.” The funeral coordinator has blood-red fingernails and now she is fluttering them on the right side of her forehead, a cluster of nails like a cluster of blood. She sounds apologetic but not that apologetic. It’s all about sales. She wants us, my(more)
If letters could make love to me, I would be alright.
If the alphabet could forgive me of my sins,
I would feel better.
If punctuation could rest inside my chest,
I wouldn’t feel so empty, (more)
I lived in my friend Rebecca's closet once. It was not a big closet. She was kind of a hippie artist and had colorful tye-die dresses and silk scarves in all the major colors. At night, I would pull some of the scarves down for blankets and dream of(more)
I wanted you to love me.
I arrived on your doorstep like a mail order bride,
all my underthings stitched by my mother.
Was it my basic scent that put you off? The slightly snakelike thing I do with my tongue
when I concentrate? My chipped tooth? (more)
I shake on stage. I shake off stage. The shaking on stage is what interests me. I developed a tremor in my hands as a side effect to a medication ten years ago. Now, when I am on stage doing SLAM poetry, my entire body, at least from my(more)
In 1964, my family had just moved from Rio, where I spent the first five years of my life, to Lynnwood, Washington.

My report cards in kindergarden all said the same thing: "Naomi would be a fine student if she applied herself. She seems to spend a grea(more)
I have not visited my parents' gravesite in fourteen years.  I don't think they are rooted to that place. They don't hang out in lawn chairs on summer afternoons or huddle over barbecues in the rain. My dad was adamant about not being cremated but there's not much left of(more)
In Florida, I got lost for hours near the river where the manatees lived, watching them float to the surface, breathe, then dive down. "They have to be aliens," I thought, "with their gray fat pencil eraser bodies, their whiskers and their snouts." I loved the look of them.(more)
I keep paper in my typewriter at all times and type whatever comes to me. When I am typing, I feel linked to all writers who ever had typewriters. I could be Allen Ginsberg creating "Howl" in the dim light of his kitchen, his glasses owl-like in the dark.(more)
I went for a walk last night after Glen Campbell sang "Rhinestone Cowboy" at the Grammys and invited the audience to sing with him on the chorus. As many know, Campbell has early-onset Alzheimer's and is on his last singing tour of America. Initially, I found his song macabre(more)
My girlfriend is driving the way she does, with more than a hint of recklessness, as we careen down the roads of Whidbey Island in the green-blue backlit days of late August in a truck loaded with twenty bales of hay. I am on top of the hay and(more)
She typed sixty-seven commas on her Smith Corona 250. Sitting before the throne of mystery, she used her middle finger on her right hand to tap in morse code a message to no one in particular.      
You know, prompt, normally, I've been known to take you up on this, to serve apocalypse up on a Ritz cracker. But not today.
She walked out onto the stage in a dress that might have been a little too green, her feet a little pigeon-toed, her voice not good enough, a sacrificial lamb for a TV performance show. (The Voice). Who knows how much of her background story was real? Maybe he(more)