in lieu of flowers

the doctor asked
if i wanted a death certificate
i said yes
proof of life
that she existed

as you can’t bury
lost hope
in a tiny white casket


Commit To Something


80 years

doesn’t seem like much to ask

of the broad expanse of time

80 years

that’s all i need

to make sure

my sons are taken care of

for the remainder of their lives

what is my mothering heart to do


i won’t get it


holding up the world

motherhood is

equal parts




elbow grease







just look at any picture

of a woman smiling

holding her firstborn

as if her hip is

holding up the world

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

i know not of saint ubald

when both of my sons
are raising hell on a
full moon afternoon
raging at me about
a teenage heartbreak
call home from the principal
or the fact that i made good on the promise
if you don’t clean your room
i will

my mind swims to sacred waters
evoking the image
of my twin baby boys
at age two
little pot bellies
in yellow terry
paddington bear sleepers
clinging to their lovies
through tears
because mommy had to go to work

to remind myself
this is why i am in the fight
this is my life
i was given this task
because i am capable
enough to tackle it
and survive

every parent who battles
and god or the lack thereof
for the sake of their spectrum child
and still manages to make miracles happen

(capable of understanding
buttoning a shirt properly
can qualify as a miracle)

that parent
is the patron saint of autism

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

a little shop of kinks

when i was 15
i had my belly button pierced

my cool ass mom
took me and my best friend renee
to permanent productions
a tattoo and piercing shop
owned by
the da vinci of body modification
in cincinnati

down on hamilton avenue


the little rainbow flag bedecked

where my brother
would die of aids
three years later

my mom signed for me to get the piercing
she watched with delight
as mike pinched with triangular forceps
then shoved the needle through my skin

but my mom is where i get my wild

this was long before the aerosmith video
with alicia silverstone getting pierced
in a grunge plaid shirt
with her long white girl hair
that spawned a million
middle class girls to emulate her

i found this little boutique downtown
on race street
after i started to drive

a little shop of kinks

it was a gay clothing
sexual fetish
and art deco antique store
with the best selection
of body jewelry in town

sometimes renee and i
would take mom with us
when we went shopping there

we would peruse
the sex toy
side of the store

ball gags
a trapeze
sex swings
leather daddy
and bondage apparel
and the biggest selection
of dildos you’ve ever seen

one day
my mom held up
a giant natural skin dong
approximately three feet long
and ten inches in diameter
at eye level

and queried loudly
in her southern kentucky accent

“Well, what in the hell do you need a root that big for?”

we died laughing
and i had never loved her more

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing


my thursday morning
slippered feet
made their way
down the driveway
of the doe
eating flower bed blooms
in my neighbor’s front yard

i froze
coffee in hand
stooping for the paper
when my eyes found the majestic deer
so robust and noble

standing slowly
stifling a giggle
as she seemed to know which plants
were the priciest
and had taken the longest to cultivate

her brazen way of saying
your quaint little cul-de-sac
is in my field and stream, fuckers

she allowed me to watch her
because she knew we were both just girls
trying to find our footing on another morning
our babies needed to be fed

there is a light within females of every species
the wonder of creation
giving oceans inside us

it makes me want to tattoo my stretch marks
to my fertility statue frame
to make my warrior scars more visible

after all
i am a red indian

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

mustard stains

he is able memorize
everything he is interested in reading

he can tell you upon what page
frankenstein’s monster came alive
in the storybook when he was seven

he has never forgotten
one word ever uttered near or to him

he has a mental list of every real and perceived
slight or transgression
ever committed against him

yet at 18 he cannot remember
to clip his fingernails or bathe
without being told

he will not clean his room
fold or hang his laundry properly

he is my son
i am his mother

we have autism

and our life together is a perpetual struggle
over mustard stains

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

for the color blue

yesterday was a perfect day for traveling
to a mother’s day luncheon
at a lakeside restaurant
with my family

the excursion will be remembered
for the lush rolling hills of velvet grass
on which the spring calf
were feeding

sneaking behind mom’s house like a kid
to smoke

how the kentucky red clay beneath our feet
nosy bumble bees
and swimming-by surly bass
seemed relieved
i forgave my father
for his death

but mostly

for the color blue
the sunshine turns my sons’ eyes
when they’re smiling

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

thank god it’s christmas

this is the night
i must forgive you

not for your sake
or mine

i’m endeavoring to do this
for my sons

they don’t deserve
to have their mother destroyed
a woman laid to waste by poisonous contempt
numbed with bourbon and burning stakes

but see
i know you won’t get that
a mother loving her sons
and i’m sorry
it seems to be causing you a bit of trouble

but i’m tired of mourning you

i have somehow become
your unmarked grave

i dig deep
i dig so fucking deep
nails scraping dirt and jagged stones thrown
to remember

your sweetest
words spoken

to make me smile
in the darkest hours
whenever i was full of agony
distance or fear

even in mid-July
especially in mid-July

bright side ironic
you would say,

“Thank god it’s Christmas, eh?”

yeah, baby

thank god it’s christmas

i wish you endless peace

now i can walk away