Internet dating

I tried to write an “online dating” sonnet

But the meter was too civil and the rhymes were too rude.




When I think of all of the things you never

.                 .           promises   .                  .

.               .         actually.  .                     .

Broken forever?


I have to admit
though it is hard to explain:
Cornbread makes me blush.

This Theme Is Not So Actual (spam poetry)

I like it topic.
There are other variants?
We can communicate on this theme.

Excuse, that I interrupt you, but, in my opinion,
this theme is not so actual.
In my opinion. Your opinion is erroneous.
You commit an error.

It is very a pity to me, that I can help nothing to you.
In my opinion here someone has gone in cycles
Well! Do not tell fairy tales!
Do not despair.

YES, this intelligible message
It is remarkable, rather amusing idea
Yes, logically correctly
Neither it is more, nor it is less.
It is improbable.

Pirate Song, by Mike

I am a Corsair on the sea of information!
I unfurl my sails to steal thoughts off the breeze.
It’s “Anchors Aweigh!” and there’s no litigation!
I can (email my mother, download a movie, etc.) with ease…

Dress Blues Blues
— Mike Gibson wrote:
> you crazy flake-maker!
> tomorow they’re inspecting our dress blues
> tonight i’m polishing my leather shoes

Gonna wake up in the morning
Polish up my shoes

Gonna wake up in the morning baby
Polish up those shoes

Cause don’t you know baby
They’re inspecting our blues

Gonna polish up the buttons
really make em shine
Gonna polish every button baby
really make em shine
But I’ve got the blues so bad honey
Cause you ain’t mine


Heels together, upright stance
Toes just this far apart
Hold my breath in a trance baby
Hair too short and fuzzy to part

You could cut yourself on the sharp crease in my pants,
But that don’t even match the crease you made in my heart


I’ve got the hat just right on my barely-there hair
I’ve got the glance just right, yeah my military stare
But ain’t nothing right honey cause you ain’t there

Yeah I don’t care if the man be impressed honey
Cause you don’t care


Come inspect my blues mamma
I wear ’em everywhere.

A long time since my thoughts came out in verse
except for mopey, miserable stuff;
perhaps the odd haiku for now and then.
My meter’s better when my moods are worse.
I hadn’t had a feeling strong enough
to make it worth the time to find a pen.

But lately I’m delighted by small things
and springtime seems like it will last forever.
And in my garden I’m surprised to find
how many things I planted are alive.
The thing inside my heart that still has wings
and the aspect of my mind that can be clever
the part of me that’s strong, and the part that’s kind,
found water for their roots, and might survive.


The Ballad of Stringthing
Now Rebecca makes good on her promise
to write the whole Update in verse:
She cannot quite do it as epic
and fears that a sonnet is worse.
But later when things are much quieter
all she’s required to do will be
Note down our plans and accomplishments
neatly in tidy haiku.

So now it’s time to update all the ‘Strings,
And tell you all the Things the Strings have done:
The “hatted” dead have started baby hats;
The winners of the Hat Attack have won.
By subtlety as well as speed they… wins!
If you now want to play the larger game
Go to the site and register your name.

Oh – and I still have Teresa’s plastic bins. :)

The Swap-o-Rama got rained out but still
We showed off our amazing recycling skill
With t-shirts cut in slices and then knit,
Buttons made from little fabric bits,
And yarn made from a schoolgirl’s uniform,
In spite of ill-timed inconvenient storm.

Our festive week of holidays is here!
Each Santa works in Secret on their gift
The Fiber Loft gives all our hearts a lift
And Kelly wants to go and get some beer.

we meet next week in th’usual Broad Street space
Then move the party to Rebecca’s place.
Bring ye a gift of silly-swapping kind
Whatever crazy thing that you can find.
We’ll play some carols and we’ll play some dreidel
And eat as many cookies as we’re able.
And since we’ve neighbors who for food are wishin’
Please bring canned goods for the Durham Rescue Mission.

{Sorry for the lines that don’t quite rhyme.
Be glad that I don’t do this every time! }

Hey! Now’s your chance to be in Centerfest
From now til then, there’s only weeks between
So, of your crafts bring forth the very best
And if you have some questions, ask Juline!

As our first anniversary we reach
We all would rather be down at the beach.
Stay tuned for details further Updates bring
And we’ll celebrate the Birthday of StringThing!


Arma squirrelumque cano

J has been getting in the way of my writing. Now, though, he’s looking out the window, probably at squirrels….


In his head he is composing an epic poem about squirrels. Oh, now *I* want to write one. Much more than I feel like working. (sigh)

Julian wants to compose a Homeric account of the Squirrel;
now, on the couch, he is napping and dreaming of dactyls and spondees.
Soon he will wake and begin, like a Greek, to declaim from the futon—
I will ignore him, and try (sans the Muse) to prepare for my conference.


I totally hate you.


Found poems – email spam

underhanded waif

single-handedly buzzard

no more than a fish loves

McNeile had been recommended to him by Lady Brunel…

You don’t want to keep company with a shepherd anymore.


Things not to do list

not my monkey
not my job
no rescuing
no pretending
no moping
don’t be a snob
don’t slam any doors
don’t make things up
don’t borrow trouble

don’t be a doormat

don’t push buttons
don’t eat cookies
don’t make promises

Dorothy Parker’s avatar
Thank God for Libby
Who always calls me just when
I really need her
a sword
a spade
a rusty thought
refilling is progress

refilling is progress


Oh Lord
teach me not to forgive
help me hold a grudge
make me angry; harden my heart
keep me from the easy path of live and let live.
Let me not totter aimlessly about in someone else’s shoes
keep me from stumbling compromise
and I will knot my laces
and walk through the desert towards your shimmering city.

Oh Lord
teach me to be discontented
not to be beguiled by the charms of every day.
Teach me to want
teach me desire:
let me only glimpse your potential beneath the husk and I
will leave the wheat and beat the chaff to gold.
Oh Lord make me ambitious and I will build you a tower
I will love some of my friends more than others
and I will profit from the labor of my enemies.

Oh Lord teach me to lie
to ignore the mean and little truth
teach me your Word
and the alchemy of wishing
and I will destroy what you have made and make something else that I like better.
Teach me your spelling and I will be your editor.

Oh Lord I will bargain with you
for you dwell in my heart
so you had better do what I say.

Haiku on going deaf

Although the doctor

gave me antibiotics

I still can’t hear you.



Nothing is certain but change.
Most things are generally strange.


April Fool

I hope that April will be honest with me.
I thought we had agreed to trust each other
But lately – and far too often – I find I
feel a bit foolish

classified ads
where is the kinky niche market in which
a late night call brings someone to your bed
who takes your covers
or snores in your ear
and turns in the night to put his arm around you
without even waking
and when the crickets have chimed the minutes into morning
brings you coffee with no strings attached
The first time, he said
we might as well get married
we live together anyway.
But I deferred a while
because it was not what I’d had in mind:
I’d scripted his proposal in the backs of my school notebooks,
practicing my married name,
so the letters of my adult self would hold straight, strong spines,
tilted as if moving, not leaning
not falling
and with curves in all the right places.
The second time it was only a lover’s jest, a dare;
in a moment so bright that I can still see the outline of each leaf on the branch above us
and I said probably and laughed and
I thought that being certain was enough.

Now my lovers tell me to gather rosebuds
because commitments are too hard
and loving one person cannot be enough
and marriage is a sham
and children are annoying.
So I keep the petals in little glass jars
Like the shells of beetles
dusty and fragrant.


The third time was a charm

You asked me once, and twice, and again

And every time I said yes

“I would rather be a fool for love,” I said, “than wise for the sake of anything else.”

And I was.



If I showed you the back of my heart so you
could see that there aren’t any strings hiding there
no expectations or regrets – could you still
love me a little
A young lady who would persist

in worrying during a tryst

was sad to discover

that an anxious lover

is not high on anyone’s list.
stupid question

Are we not speaking
Because it is too soon or
Because it’s too late?
It could be worse.

Think of the wanderer, sitting alone in his boat in the cold without oars.

Might as well be eaten by whales.
Evidently it runs in the family…
email from my grandparents, as transcribed by my mother

Our thanks for the slender blue kitty
It is most remarkably pretty
It sat on the sill
And is sitting there still
(The last line should be something witty.)

Or how about a haiku?
How many syllables in a haiku? 5 in the first line, then 7, then 5.
Oh. OK. Here goes. I love the blue cat….

Shall we do it in French?
What are the French rules for haiku? Does it have the same pattern and number of syllables?

Well, why not?
Haiku is Japanese.
The rule is Japanese. If it’s 5-7-5 in English, it’s because it is 5-7-5 in Japanese, so it has to be 5-7-5 in French.

J’adore le chat bleu.
Je te remercie mille fois
Ma chere Rebecca.

My dear Rebecca
A thousand times I thank you.
I love the blue cat.

Shall we try it in German?
I don’t know if we can do it in German.
Well we ought to be able to, since we just ate at a German restuarant.

What’s German for “blue?”


Ich liebe das Katz blau.

Nope, that doesn’t work. Let’s try it in Latin.

Go for it.

Amo, amas, amat.
We love the blue glass cat.
Cattus vitrum caeruleum.
Now she sits in our museum.

OK, but it isn’t haiku.

Well, who ever heard of Romans doing haiku?



I do not honestly recall
whether my parents were the types to say maybe when they meant
or later when they meant
or I’ll think about it when they meant
forget it.

But I have noticed
that maybe usually means no
and later has still not arrived
and I often think about things I probably ought to just

And that the click of a door closing quietly is more deadly than a slam
And the way my heart still lifts when the phone rings makes me ashamed.
And I’m not really sorry for what I did
Even when consequences line up like marbles in a chute
where the weight of each sphere drops the next into orbit
making the tin clown spin and spin
with the white lead paint cracking in the corner of his smile.

I keep a journal now
with perforated pages
where each hope that lifts a leaf above dry ground is
carefully chronicled before it wilts.

Each wrinkle is pressed out for viewing,
worm holes and decaying edges cradled in bits of tragic satin,
And each agonized little tear is gently folded back on itself
so as to preserve the original rip,
no further.
Until I get tired of it and tear the page out completely.

Not even I would want to leaf back over a record of my days.
Lemon Tree
The flowers are a surprise
So are the thorns
And after a long time
A long time
The fruit
Heavy, wrinkled
Poets and Philosophers
Red wine and sad music make a dangerous
combination. I am sure that it doesn’t
help much, and I’m sure Boethius would say
something about it.
Alone in the empty lot – I froze –
the darkened windows; dreadful sight:
Oh why would the coffee shop be closed at
nine o’clock on

Sentence structure and
Logical sequence of thought
Evade my students

A dormouse is nocturnal, storing heat
And brightness for the winter. It builds a
globe-shaped nest, inside a knot And sleeps there,
tightly curled – so fast asleep it won’t wake
up even if you roll it. (!)
The dormouse sleeps in teapots at parties
And wakes up thinking what it might have said.
The dormouse in the summer shares its nest
With mate and young, but hibernates alone,
Dreaming of doorways.
Sonnet Practice

There was a time when you would say that I
Should tell you what I want and what I don’t.
I hate to spoil someone else’s joke,
But this joke seems to be at my expense.
And if you think that bossing me around
And making fun of me is “what I need,”
You are confused.

I will not do some stupid kinky show
in public with a woman I don’t know
just to amuse you.
And if you’d asked why not, or asked at all,
Then you would know me better than you do.

There isn’t much I wouldn’t do for you,
But I won’t wrestle in meringue with Kate.
Quick Swirl
Not the rough silk of the sand
Nor the smell of salt
Not the pull of the tides
Nor the siren song of wind and wave and gull
Not sea-worship
But shell-greed
Ganesha arrives in the mail, unexpectedly.
He rides on a tiny but powerful mouse.
God of students,
of tests, and of new

When I opened my eyes this morning I found
that I had written a poem in my sleep.
It was another sad poem – a good one –
probably sapphic.
Dulcina gets exactly what she deserves
in love at noon, a twilight fool, wise too late
a perfectly good thunderstorm was wasted
in sobbing and sighing

Foolish, spoiled, ungrateful little hussy –
There’s nothing to cry about, and it won’t help.
Quit wasting time, and get your act together.
What is your problem?