Forty-Something Years in Ninaland


Say Anything


I feel like I can’t say what I’m going to say. I feel like I can’t be the person who says things because people will talk about me. But who am I? What the hell will anyone care about me? Maybe I’m like this Indian puritan.

I want to talk to myself, to you. I want to say things you don’t want to hear. Things that will bother you. I want to annoy the shit out of you. But then again I’m only doing this so someone will love me. Who is someone? Someone love me, please.

I’m tired of the old sad love stories. I will tell you the story of myself. I’ve never had real love. Men have loved me, and I didn’t love them. Or I loved a man and he didn’t love me. I have never seen what they call the truth in love. Is there true love? It’s sad that I have to ask that question. Is there truth?

I think there is both. That is why I continue living. Because something exists, something called love in it’s purest, realist sense. You know I have eyes, I can see this love thing all around me. But I have never found it. I don’t know where it is for me, but I still believe it is there.

I really want to ask the age old question: what is love? Sometimes I think I am love. I think you are love. I think we are love.

Does that sound cheesy? Does that sound lame?

Love is not here. I am here, but there is no love in this corner of the room where I sit. I want to cry in your lap and I want you to kiss me. Whoever the fuck you are. I don’t care. I have my period and I want to bleed all over you.

I can’t own this room, it still owns me. This is not mine, none of it is mine. Sometimes I’m dead…no one give me space, I have to make it. How do I make my space? What is space? My physical space, my sexual space, my emotional space, my spiritual space, my intellectual space.

You interrupt me when I know nothing anyways. I know nothing about how to be here, not any more than you know. There is so much more I want to say, but what is there to say after all? You want meaning. I have no meaning. You want life and I’m telling you what death smells like. Sometimes it’s scent is prettier than a rainbow. Rainbows don’t smell a certain way, you say. I do not make sense you say.

Tell me why you came here? There is something in you that is similar to what is in me. You came here because you had to, something called you. I called you. I’m hanging up on you now.

I think I’m better than this. This person who reveals too much and worries too much and sees too much and ignores it all. I can see you. Maybe you can see me. Is this a poem, or a piece of something. Some kind of piece. I don’t know, maybe it’s a piece of shit. Maybe I am as well.

Don’t worry I don’t really hate myself. I don’t hate you either. In fact, I think I may be in love with you. You, whoever you are. I think I know you. I’ve seen you before around here.

Love is funny, isn’t it? Maybe it’s a big joke, it’s taking us for a ride A merry go round. The world is spinning after all, in a circle. How come I can’t feel it moving. I can feel my heart moving, though.  I know the earth is revolving around the sun because I’m revolving around the earth.

That’s not even scientific. What am I saying?

Please hear me, even when I have nothing to say. Hear my silence for it is louder than my song. I’m singing all the time, this is my song. It’s not tune, is it?

I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I’m alive, I’m dead. I feel. I always feel. Will you at least hold my hand, I need this. Come with me and I will show you. I will show you what nothing really is. Nothing is really something. There is no nothing, and there is no something. What?

I sip my coffee and say my lies to you. Or are you lying to me? Maybe we are all lying to each other. The biggest lie is our silence. When we don’t speak up, we are not acknowledging our truth. Speak up, speak out, for me. I’m weak. I’m small. I need you.

What’s happening in the world? So much hellacious shit. I don’t like it. It makes me sad. Why aren’t you doing anything about it? Don’t ask me the same question, we just keep blaming each other. Whose fault is it anyways? Blame god, because he can’t talk back.

His silence may be his greatest truth.

Who are you? Say something.

I can’t even read this over. That’s how I feel about it. But it’s the only way I’m not invisible.

You check the spelling in my head. I don’t pronounce words right in the privacy of thought. I think I might not be stupid. But I’m not much more than that.

I am, I am this.


 September 23rd, 2016  
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Sister Acts–Repost


Jessica Drawing as a Kid

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sister Acts

My sister is going to kill me for mentioning what she was like as a kid.  I’m planning my own death as we speak.  But it’s so funny because every time we went on vacation she would get deathly ill.  I mean once we had to go to the hospital when we went to Sue Saint Marie and she cried her eyes out because of extreme pain in her stomach.  We got her some tests and were worried sick.  We thought she had something like appendicitis.  Then of course we would found out it was just constipation.

She will claim that I spit on her when we were walking home from school as kids.  I will neither confirm nor deny that accusation, all I can say is: she was a brat.  She would cry so hard on the way home from school the neighbors thought my friends and I were beating her or something.  I mean I loved her to death, I would cry along with her when she was constipated.  But generally she had this habit of crying all the time.

One time when she was little she actually laid in the middle of the road of our subdivision and started wailing her eyes out.  I dragged her inside, I mean literally dragged her home by her hair like some cave woman.  She had scratches on her but she would not get up and I could not pick her up.  Then I got in trouble for being bad.

We would have these scratching, pulling our hair fights, it was crazy.  I may or may not have pushed her off the couch and caused her to break her arm when she was like five.  In my defense, I didn’t know her arm was that sensitive.  I think it was an accident, OK?  It’s not like a planned on committing assault.

I remember little things she did as a kid.  Like she would randomly get up in the middle of the night and put toothpaste on the bathroom walls. There was no reason to do that.  My parents and I confronted her about it once when we tried to have an intervention and catch her doing it in the middle of the night.  She just started giggling.  That’s weird right?

I mean I’m not the only weirdo in this family.


My sister trying to be as fabulous as me!

One time my mom came in the living room and noticed that there was some blood on my sister’s neck when she was about five years old. She looked closely at her and OMG she broke a bunch of tiny decorative glass bottles and put them down her shirt.  God only knows why.  My mom started crying but my sister was laughing the whole time.  We had to clean up her wounds and she cried as the alcohol stung.

Again she cried a lot as a kid.  That was her way.  I hated it.  But I was the only one who I allowed to make her cry.  Once some kids were making fun of her on the bus and she came home crying.  I went in my room and cried.  I never told her that.

When we went to summer camps she would just start crying and some fool would pick her up and she would tell her what a bad sister I was and how mean I was to her.  That makes me feel kind of bad.  I mean I didn’t mean to be a bad older sister as a child, I was just a stupid kid.

I mean we did a lot of things together, although I didn’t let her play with me and my friends.  Especially when my best friend and I started a band.  Yes we did.  We used tennis rackets as guitars and started writing and singing songs.  Oh you better believe it.  I actually still could not sing anything but I can still remember one of the songs that we sang.  I wrote it myself:  “I’m gonna let him know, let him know…that my love for him is true.  I know he’ll love me too.”   I kid you not, those were the words of the song.  I kid you not we pretended our tennis rackets were guitars.  We sang so badly out of tune on my porch and my sister clapped and told us we were great.

I didn’t let my sister be part of the band.

I never wanted her to play with my friends and I.  I mean she was adorable, but I never noticed that.  I saw her for her true colors, which were based on the fact that she was my annoying little sister.

The irony:  she’s waaay cooler than me now.  I’m serious I want to play with her friends now.


Now she is a beautiful nurse practitioner!

But we did some stuff together, like we would watch “The Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles” over and over again and it never got old. She was the only one who understood my obsession with certain T.V. shows like “21-Jump Street.”  She watched the reruns as I taped them and watched the show over and over again.  That was my life in the eighties.  Johnny Depp was my first love.

Now the both of us watch “Sex in the City” reruns over and over again and analyze our own lives.

I think I may have scarred my beautiful sister when we were kids, and this is my formal apology.  As you can see in the picture I may have always been a bit of a ham, but she was always the wind beneath my wings.  Seriously.

But now we are true blue sisters.  We watch out for each other.  We shop together and talk about men together.  We don’t tell each other everything, but we tell each other enough.  We are not exactly the Kardashian sisters but we are better I think because we see each other for who we really are.

Some people say blood is thicker than water but I don’t just care about my sister because she is related to me, but because she can relate to me.

Now my sister is an extremely put together brilliant and kind woman. I’m done spitting on her and pushing her off the metaphorical couch.  I look up to her and she is younger than me.  I think she secretly thinks she is now my older sister, but I retain authority over that title.  She’s still my little sis.

I love her.  I probably don’t tell her that enough.


 September 22nd, 2016  
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It’s a Bittersweet Symphony…



Mostly I think of your face

in certain lights you look like my man.


I’m not one to cry, but you make me cry

when you tell me that love is not a real feeling.


The door is open

the cat walked out.


You are sitting at your desk

watching the pornography you say you hate.


Is that a real feeling?

The feeling these fake lovers give you?


I can barely breathe

when I look at your arms and your neck.


Hold me until this picture fades

and we are old and full of death.


I once sent a nude picture

to someone I hardly knew.


Now it’s out there

staring at me from the interwebs.


Does that make me a whore or a cunt?

Don’t use those words, for me.


I am just a girl,

after all these breasts are real.


But not this face I make

when I meet other faces.


This face I make has your face in it.

I know the difference in your toothy smile.


You only smile when you need something

you forgot you put it in someone else’s mind.


You put love in here, I try not to waste it,

but I stopped giving it away.


Where are the wild horses

you said you could tame?


What’s your real name, in this play?

What part do you want, will you stay?


Can I be you and you be me,

Let’s pretend this is destiny.


We are all trees with colored leaves, giving each other

oxygen, I can only breathe when your mouth is on my mouth.


Give me my next breath

be my best friend, by killing me softly.


Your song was always the one,

it was always your song.


Were you singing for me?

Or are your large feet ready


to climb over me

to step on my dreams.


Don’t tell me there is such a thing

as reality, when I know there is no real you.


Sing to me, tell me stories.

Write your favorite fantasy on my face.


There was a small bar downtown

where you said they knew your name.


Why is it they know you better

then this person who is playing your game?


I can’t win here, can I?

Waiting for the phone to ring, I don’t sing anymore.


I never made you those chocolate chip cookies

that you said reminded you of home.


Please say something

even if you don’t care.


I like to play pretend

remember you put your hands in my hair and you said:


I wish you were someone else

I think of her when I look at you.


I’m not pretty enough,

to make you look any longer.


This picture of us I want to put in a fire.

Today I’m on my knees.


It is a bittersweet story,

these are the days of our death.


We are pretending to live

I brush my teeth with your tongue.


If that isn’t death

I don’t know any other life that I can borrow.


Can I borrow your dreams

and try them on for size?


You don’t fit me

I am too small to reside in your memory.


Remember this: us standing under the streetlight

saying each other’s names as if we know them.


Will you remember my face?

the birthmark on my cheek


the cut of my chin

the way my lips say your name.


I will keep this moment

it’s mine don’t you dare try to steal it.


This was never yours.

We were never a we.


You didn’t want to own me

even though I gave you the instructions


on how to find my heart.

Sir your screwdriver missed the whole.


The hole in my words will tell you

we are innocent bystanders to these feelings.


You never experienced love for me,

you only witnessed mine.


We need an eyewitness a crime has been committed.

The serpent ate my apple.


Now I’m on a pedestal as mother mary sings.

And eve descends with her wings.


I thought I was in the garden of eden with you,

But tonight we stand in my basement


The floor has never been dirtier.

Either have my dreams.


It’s three a.m., you are lying on my couch.

I’m not dead enough, please kill me again.


While you sleep I look out the window

and see nothing but blades of grass


If only you could have brought me a daisy

from the dirt.


Now our hands are not clean

there is blood in this room.


I don’t know which one of us is bleeding

since all blood looks the same.


So I taste it on my finger.

We say we are not vampires.


But you took my blood from me.

I want it back.


Stop using it.

It is the only reason you are alive.



 September 21st, 2016  
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I Would do Anything for Justice, but I Won’t do That!


My dad asked me yesterday why I don’t become a politician since I have such strong liberal views. Because I might be crazy, but I’m not that crazy. I would do anything for what I believe in, but I won’t do that. What I told him was that what I would rather do is be a person that revolutionizes the people. Gandhi and Martin Luther King were not politicians, but politicians had to bow down to them because the people demanded it.

What do politicians really do? They do things for themselves, to uplift their own egos, very few are truly committed to causes. I don’t want to be a politician, I want to be a game changer.

Now, I by no means think I am the female Dali Lama, nor have I ever done anything in the name of justice and peace. However, I dream about it. It’s not about me, though, it’s about a revolution that I truly believe needs to happen in this world. A revolution of kindness and love.

Is that hokey? Does that sound like a fairytale? Every revolution seemed impossible before it happened. It would not be called a revolution if it seemed doable. However, people still did it. We “ended” slavery and other unfortunate historical behavior. (Although some would argue that putting every black male in jail is just another form of modern slavery.)

That is not the point. The point is: I want to change this world. I think you do too. It’s ugly. It’s nasty. It’s time. It seems to me that no one else is gonna do the dirty work, so I’m willing to pitch in.

I can’t really watch the news anymore, especially the real international news about what is happening to the little people around the world. I am a little person. I was watching a documentary by Michael Moore called Sicko. In it, someone says that the difference between Europe and America is that in France the government fears the people, but in the United States the people fear the government.

Are you afraid of the government? Is there anything to be afraid of?

I also just saw Snowden in the theaters. It became clear to me after watching that, that there is no such thing as privacy in this country when it comes to phones, computers and possibly even life itself. The NSA and the CIA have records of every single phone and electronic action or thing you have ever done. Even that time you tried to buy pot over the phone or talked about how you engaged in ‘sodomy.’ There is a ‘security’ camera in almost any public building you go into. Someone can bug your home, without you ever knowing. The government can and will use this information against you in a court of law. if it ever comes up.

Why would they want to bug me, though, you ask? Because let’s just say Donald Trump becomes president. Let’s say he does an Internet query that shows everyone who has said the phrase, “I hate Donald Trump,” in an email. He then uses this data of people who hate him to torture them in some way. Perhaps he has the IRS audit them, or the DEA find them with a joint. What? You think that’s impossible?

Think again.

The government knows who you sexted with five years ago, before you got married and had a kid. Your kids could actually find this out if they became hackers or the government wanted them to know. Anyone can know your business.

You get the point.


Are we free?

If the government can use all this information about us, our phone records and our Internet browsing habits to control us, who are we? If someone doesn’t like our radical ideas, we could be threatened and possibly harmed by the government in the name of ‘security.’

What’s going on here? I thought America was the greatest country in the world?

Perhaps the problem lies in that very statement that we are the ‘greatest.’ People around the world hate us because we so arrogant that we think there is no better place than to live in a country that uses up more natural resources than many countries combined.

You know why ISIS hates us? Because we think we are all that.

Are we all that and a bag of chips?

We are more like the bag of chips with extra salt. We are killing ourselves. I’m not sure we are all that. In Europe, people get six-week vacations and unlimited paid sick leave. I missed teaching a class last semester and I got a letter explaining how the University forgot to rob me of my pay for that day and I owe them money. I was actually sick and not even faking it. I will fake it next time. I will not pay them back, they will have to deduct it from my next paycheck. That’s my little protest.

You are not allowed to be sick in this country. Nor are you allowed to have too much vacation or too much fun. You are honored for working more than one job. The less you sleep you get and the busier you are, the better you are revered and respected.

Is slavery really over?

Look, the reason I’m not going to become a politician and you are probably not going to become a politician is because one person alone cannot do enough. We need to ban together and do something about this shit show we call a world.

No, I am not anti-patriotic. Don’t get me wrong, I love America. Not because I love the government, but because I love the people. That is the reason I continue to live here. (That and I don’t really know any other language.)

Yes, I am a hippie. But it’s not a joke. When I say “Peace Out,” I’m not really joking. I actually believe in peace. I know it’s an alien concept to us as a world, but world peace could be real.

But who am I? Little old nina, sitting in little old ninaland? What could I possibly do?

The only thing I can do in this moment is to encourage you to wake up and realize that perhaps you are being controlled, and not for your benefit or safety, but so that others can use you.

If you are a good American you work too much and sleep too little and complain a lot. Those complaints are real. We need to put them into action, together.

Now you think: What can little old me, Joe Schmoe, do?

I will tell you what you can’t do. You can’t do nothing. We have to all examine our lives and ourselves to see where and how we can make a small difference in the betterment of our society, our world. We don’t just live in a country, we live in a world.

If that means something as simple as writing a little blog about how you have big ideas, then do it. For you, if it means joining your local city council to make sure your kids get an actual education, then do it. If it means voting for the underdog, do it. Write a letter to the editor. Every letter you write to the President, they assume that like 100 people believe the same thing as you. Write a strong Facebook post. Speak out. Cry out. Write a song. Start a protest. March on Washington. Say something to someone. Read.

Just do something.

So you say you wanna revolution?…Well you know…We all want to save the world—The Beatles.

I’m saying this to myself just as much as I’m saying it to you.

We can’t sit on this one. Big Brother is sitting on us, crushing us.

If the people got together, we are stronger than the government. Gandhi didn’t use guns to kick the British out of India, he used peaceful protest. I urge you to peacefully protest something. Anything. Protest this blog if you want to. Just exercise your rights.

Because honestly and truly, I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that. I won’t do that.

What won’t you do?


 September 20th, 2016  
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Multicolored Pain


What is normal? Am I? There is a fine line between pain and happiness. I’m happy but I’m in some kind of pain. All I can see is the multicolored silk pillows on the couch. I want to live on this couch, maybe forever. I want to die on this couch, with these pillows hiding my face.

The vase on the shelf is not broken yet, it’s blue bird design still lives because I have not broken it, yet. I want to be in this room, really be here. I don’t want to think, think about how badly the wooden elephants want to be free.

I have been in this room before. I have been in here with you. You were all I could see then. I am alone now with the maroon velvet easy chair and the windows, so many windows. Where to look out to? What is the world anyways?

Without you?

I remember your shoelaces, they were not any particular color, maybe they were white. You started running in the mornings, I thought maybe you were running away from me.

Do you remember we spoke on the phone on Christmas Eve? You were alone, you weren’t totally drunk , you weren’t sober either. You were weepy. I was there.

What was that Adele song you played for me when you made me a pork chop dinner? You said it sang to your heart. Did I ever sing to your heart?

You were never driven by sex, you were the alternative to the men who tried to rape me. I asked you what your dirtiest fantasy was and you said you wanted to fuck a ballerina. You deserve a red rose for that one baby.

You mentioned once about a garden you wanted in your backyard where you could make love to your wife. You said the word wife. Who will be your wife? Will she be your wife?

I knocked over my glass of beer and shattered the glass. You got angry for a second. The next time I did that you laughed. These are the things you should remember. I remember the scowl on your face, then the smile.

You don’t make me happy. You make me sad. That’s what I think I want: to be sad.

Are you mad?

Because I am.

I’m lonely. I am alone.

I need you to be me for a moment.

When there’s two of us feeling this, it won’t be as real anymore.

The ache in the back of my throat.

Where are you now? Are you happy with her?

I look at you, in the mirror, which one of us is me?

Only when I don’t cry do I not know myself.


Me first thing in the morning, sans makeup.


 September 19th, 2016  
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The Patient Sikh: Part Four—Song Lyrics



This is an excerpt from a novel. For reference read the following posts: 

The Patient Sikh—Part One,

The Patient Sikh: Part Two–The Wonder Years,

The Patient Sikh: Part Three–Sonny


I waited for Sonny at Espresso Royale, right across from my Biology class. What do I like about him again, I keep forgetting? He has a pretty face those cheekbones from heaven, etched into the side of his face. He has a good nose too, it’s nice and slim, not too long, not too short. Who am I, the nose police? What’s wrong with me?

I stood in line waiting for a latte. A man standing behind me told me that I had a tag on the back of my shirt. I was walking around so proud of my new magenta top, and all the while everyone could tell it was only $8.99 from T.J. Maxx.

I see two men embrace like you rarely see men embrace in public. It seems that they may be father and son, the father wearing a maroon baseball cap, about 40 years old and the son with black tennis shoes, maybe around 20. I see you, I want to say. I see you.

I sit down at a table next to the window facing State Street. It seems like the worst blind date in the nation is happening next to me. I assume it’s a blind date because they introduce themselves awkwardly. The man looks like he’s a Hell’s Angel with tattoos and snakes all over his shirt and a scruffy beard. The woman looks like an actual angel wearing a pink cardigan, her hair pulled neatly back into a bun. He says he’s self-employed then they start speaking Spanish.

Sonny walks in with a certain sway in his walk that I find very cool. He wore sunglasses as the sun hit the left side of his face. We were getting together in order to come up with some good song lyrics for him, he was having trouble with creating original music. He found out that I wrote good poetry from a close friend of ours.

I told him I don’t know anything about music, but I could help him with the lyrics. We were originally going to meet at his garage so he could play the guitar and set the words to some music. But I couldn’t make it out there, etc. So we decided to meet here and try to come up with some lyrics and then he could set them to music later.

We said our hellos and started.

I looked at Sonny closely noticing the tiny pores on his skin. “Do you want to write a hit or do you want to write a good song?” I asked.

“Both.” His voice was smooth.

“That’s a tall order,” I replied.

“I’m tall,” he said and we both laughed at his terrible joke.

“Songs are funny,” I said and stared at the purple clock on the wall. “Some songs are so simple like umm…” I thought of a stupid simple song. “Like ‘Lollipop, Lollipop.”

“Why do you think that worked as a song?” he asked.

“I think because the words and the music jived,” I said and looked into his pretty eyes, they were very dark, dark brown, almost black. “But then there’s songs like ‘The Wind Beneath my Wings.’”

“I think I’m more of a Lollipop guy, more than a Bette Midler guy,” he said and swept his hair to the side.

“OK, you want to write a love song?” I asked as if I writing songs was my business.

“Maybe…Yeah, a love song would be good.” He grinned slightly. A woman peeled an orange next to him. A woman with slightly auburn hair. I always wanted hair that color. She was pretty, I wondered if Sonny noticed her.

I could love you, I want to say to him. “How about we start with, ‘I could love you.”

“OK, ‘I could love you,’” he wrote it down on lined paper with a black pen. “’But I don’t’” he said and wrote next to it.

“I could love you but I don’t” I said. “It has a good ring to it.” I looked over at the orange peel the woman put on the table. “How about ‘I will drink your Sangria if you won’t.’” I laughed. “Is that funny or is that poetic?”

“I think it might be poetic, let’s go with it,” he smiled. I made Sonny smile. My songs had all been sung.

We went on like this for hours and came up with some possibly good, possibly cheesy song lyrics:

I could love you but I don’t,

I’ll drink your sangria if you won’t,

You smell like a strawberry daiquiri

I just want you to come sit next to me.


There are those who say

You will fly away

But I know you’ll come here today

And once you are here, you’ll stay


Where are you in the middle of the night?

You mean something to me,

I have to make this right,

Don’t talk like that, let’s not fight. ….etc. etc.


“I don’t think it’s brilliant,” I sighed.

“Maybe it will sound better with music?” he looked up at me sheepishly. I wanted to kiss him right then. Maybe the words will sound better coming out of your mouth. I forgot about the bad kiss with that other guy, the other night. I forgot about everything.

“We should have done this with your guitar,” I sighed again.

“Don’t look so sad, nothing is written in stone, we can work with this.” He took my hand in his as he said this. I think my hand was shaking slightly as he did this.

“O.K.” was all I could muster up to say.

“It’s O.K.” he laughed and held on to my hand. I noticed as I looked down that you could see slight cleavage from my shirt. It was not intentional, but I was happy about that. He seemed like a guy who would be happy about that. I was worried about the bad song because maybe he wouldn’t ask me to help him again. Maybe I wouldn’t give him what he wanted.

It never occurred to me what I wanted.

“Let’s a drink,” he announced and stood up. It was four o’clock in the afternoon but I was too embarrassed to tell him that I never drink in the day.

“Sure,” I said and stood up next to him.

We walked outside in the unseasonably warm October sun. I wanted Sonny to hold my hand again. I wanted his hand in my hand and the hands between us to be one hand.


 September 7th, 2016  
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Nina Nina Nina

meditation girl


Remember the Brady Bunch? Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. Sometimes I feel like that’s me. Only I’m the one saying my own name. I sit cross-legged on my maroon oriental rug I bought from Ikea fifteen years ago; it’s still pretty. Am I? I try to remember god’s name but he doesn’t say it often and doesn’t say much anymore.

A jar of peanut butter is open on the table in front of me, I can smell the rich buttery peanuts thick with an essence all their own. Tiny Dancer by Elton John is playing on the radio. Blue Jean Baby.

The plant I killed, hasn’t been buried. I plan on keeping it as a memento of my inability to keep promises. Yo, yeah you. Hello. The red and gold silk sari blanket I put over my couch is wrinkled. I have too many pictures and statues of Buddha in my living room.

I ate salmon soaked in sriracha and honey last night. I can still taste traces of it. I’m in my black lace panties and a blue t-shirt that is wrinkled from sleep. It’s a daytime shirt but I wore it all night long. It’s sexy underwear and I am alone.

There was love here once, on my face. Now it’s washed clean with a French soap that wasn’t bought in Euros. I don’t know if it’s worth the dollars I paid but my skin stays fresh and I smell like summertime, all the time.

It’s a little bit funny…I laugh to myself a lot. I wish I wasn’t alone, but do nothing to change that. I’m afraid of being touched by hands that won’t understand the hollow place on my neck. The part that can’t talk.

I don’t want you to look at me. So I draw you these pictures. Like a kid making a drawing with colored pencils, I’m drawing me and my life. This is my house. This is me. I would have preferred watercolors.

Most of the time, I feel invisible. I’m not wearing socks, I should in this weather. I don’t wear socks until October. I thought of wearing lip gloss to bed because it tastes minty. Don’t laugh. Don’t cry. I’m OK.

I say the word fuck more than I say my own name. When does anyone say their own name? I don’t address myself formally. I’m thirsty and the coffee I finished has one single drop left that I try to sip. Shall I have another cup? Shall I get up and dance?

Stevie Nicks is screaming on the radio, the Internet radio Spotify. I consider becoming a chain smoker so I can lose weight. My thighs are not the right size. Neither are my arms.

I want to be held.

I try not to sell my soul, but if you pay me to say all this, I will repeat it again. I’m singing with Stevie, her tough voice overtaking mine. I’m only in the background.

I can see a pink Barbie corvette outside my window. I keep thinking the pink color is a bed of flowers. It’s a plastic toy. But if I make it blurry with my eyes enough it looks like petunias in the morning sun.

Asian kids play in my backyard most of the day. They are probably still sleeping as it is before nine on a Saturday. Some crazy looking man who is slightly attractive is stalking me on Facebook. He’s from Islamabad, Pakistan.

I should limit the people I accept as friends, but I’m trying to promote my work. The work is sitting here, sitting next to me, as I work on not working. Can that be my work? Emily Dickenson wrote hiding in the attic, I’m hiding in a basement. But I’m not Emily.

My Creative Writing T.A. in undergrad said never use the word soul. I asked him why Emily Dickenson can use that word. Then I asked him to fuck off in my head. I think I have a soul still.

All any of us can say is that we are getting older. “I’ve built my life around you…” Stevie sings. Her hoarse voice wakes me up. There are windows all around me, I can see trees before they turn into colors and all sleep for the winter.

I should get Spotify without commercials, it’s cheap. I’m cheap. It breaks the mood to hear a Taco Bell commercial when you are in a zone. Although a breakfast burrito doesn’t sound so bad right now.

There is a treadmill, an exercise bike, and an elliptical machine in this room. But if I were to move off this floor I would dance. I tried to do yoga the other day. I don’t think my body is enlightened enough to do it right.

My telephone is on silent because I owe money to a couple places. I ran out of money for a hot minute this summer and I have some credit cards to pay. I’m stupid to avoid them, not deal with life, but I can’t this early when all I want to do is close my eyes and listen to the birds I can hear even through the music. I want to ignore the silent calls from 1-800 numbers.

I should put on pants so I can sit outside on the cedar deck that’s withering away before it breaks entirely. Before summer officially ends, I should sit out there, and be. I should do a lot of things. But I will sit here.

Some people say meditation is nothing but sitting. They could be right. There is a huge influx of sunlight suddenly through my window to the left. North, South, East, West? As if I know the difference.

It is September. That much I know. I cannot be sure of much else.

I know I will emerge from this room one day. Probably today. Give me time. I just started being me.


 September 3rd, 2016  
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Untitled Unrelated Poems


On the white swing on the porch

there was a firefly in your hair

And a daisy in my lap

As I swang on the swing

your roommate made with his own hands

And the beer bottle

you drank with your own lips

with the same tongue you

met my tongue with

My heart hurts for your hands

I want them in the strings of my hair.


While I watch you in the evening sun

as you clean the last

piece of dust

off the mirror on my dashboard

and I want to cry until you dance

How simple life was when

you told me you wanted to learn

how to dance with me.


We walked together in the rain

and my eyelashes would flutter

so would my heart as you sang

under your breath the songs

Of our youth and we are still young.


Which one of us holds the hand

of the other first

we don’t count such small

gestures and for all appearances

we seem together…


No one knows, I am leaving you.

After the day you promise to care

about the way you say friend

you love my lashes and you said

the way my wavy hair covered

my left eye, you said it took your

breath away. You took my life away

so I said goodbye.


I lie here now twenty years later.

your screaming wife on the phone

I heard about the crazy divorce

kids crying and lawyers

I thought I might call you then


and tell you I’m lonely

not for you, but for your songs

and the dances you promised

me you would dance in my room.


i’m lying between cold sheets

the window is cracked open

and after all these years I remember

the firefly that almost went in your ear

and the broken wooden swing

a splinter in my finger


and the taste of beer

on my lips.

How would we know

How would we know

about life’s small adventures

in all the years it rained after

and all the years it will rain still


I will always flutter my wet lashes,

And think of your rough hands

on the steering wheel

driving me to my death.






You said you are a seer and I’m the one you see

and I called your bluff about the universe

while we ran through the rose bushes,

with blood on our hands

from thorns we thought would be

like whiskey in a bottle that is broken

giving us sweet yesterdays

we thought the blooming of our perennials

would keep all the people in today

There is no tomorrow, you promised

you saw, there is no way to walk away from this day.






I saw you in the fog

you looked like a blur

and I saw your hands move up and down

and I wanted to kiss the nose

I could not see, in depths of the mist.

We are, we are, we are invisible

in this morning breeze

for once I don’t exist except as a

Footprint in the dirt.

stand next to me

See my red toes as I

want to be noticed

even when the clouds

Slip through us.






Mama please don’t fret

this isn’t going to last

I’m only lying to you now

because my eyes are tired

and my foot makes no sense

when it falls out of my shoe.


Daddy you know how much

life costs, you know all the

wicked tastes of empty boxes

that you gave to the man

on the street who handed you

a towel, a wet towel.


Don’t thank me for noticing

your small intimate memories

your perfect shoes, mama you wear

them with the posture of a goddess.


Dad you gave the shirt

on you back to the man

who said you were a genie

in a bottle of wine.


Standing in back of people

spitting in your face

your turban they called a towel

and you still prayed for their



You two are the only love

I’ve seen last, I’ve seen through

I’ve seen the wicked nature

of life in your home

you showed me that love is a gold shoe and blue towel

With no one’s name engraved on it.


How can I, how can I, thank you for

your humanity.






I don’t want to be that kind of woman

who makes you stay up all night

to harp about things that happened

thirty years ago, or thirty seconds.


I just want to shout at you

for not noticing my need for a hug

or the smell of the garbage you didn’t take to the curb.

But instead you swept up my

hair and kissed my neck.


I asked you to wash my hair.

there was a madness in your eyes

yesterday. You took water

and splashed it in my face

as if, as if, we are water and hair

and a small dollop of strawberry shampoo

spilling out of your hands.

This is all we are.



 September 3rd, 2016  
 1 Comment

Don’t Mistake my Kindness for Weakness

strong image

So I have a question for the world. Do I seem very delicate and vulnerable to you? I mean I’m vulnerable in the sense that I reveal a lot of sensitive information. I am in fact sensitive about it. But I’m not a frail or feeble person who cannot stand up for herself.

Or so I like to think.

For those of you who know me, I have a sweet nature. I’m nice. I will be unconditionally optimistic about your ideas. That is how I am. I’m like that with my students as well. I encourage their ideas. For my friends and family, I like to affirm not only their ideas but their very existence.

For example, I did this exercise with my students where I had them talk about an issue that was important to them personally or an issue in the United States or in the world as a whole. They had various responses that varied from, I am going to lose my house to the problems that Black Lives Matter’s face. Each one of them had a valid and important issue. I let them know that. One kid even said he was worried the most about the Lions losing again; I thanked him for bringing humor to the table.

I am an enthusiastic person who will most likely make you feel good about yourself. Not because I’m a people pleaser but because I genuinely find most humans to be amazing. Call me crazy.

That day I affirmed that the issues my students brought to the table were not only important and unique but also that they were important as people. That is part of my job in the classroom. To encourage kids to open up and give their own insights and opinions and be themselves.

But I think this is my job in life, to tell and show people that they matter. You matter.

strong quote

However, it has come to my attention that maybe people think I’m a ‘pushover’ that I’m ‘too kind.’ This frustrates me beyond measure. Now don’t get me wrong, it is better than being perceived as a wretched bitch. Yet, is not as good as being perceived as a good strong woman.

I’m not sure how or why I am nice. I think I was born this way. It’s not like I don’t have a bad bone in my body, like a few people I know (my father to name one.) But I don’t go around being rude or mean to people, although I might swear a little too much. I won’t swear at you unless I know you really well and we are joking around.

Sometimes I wonder if we are the way other people think we are. Does it even matter how others see us? I am what I am. I should be secure in that. But it bugs the living shit out of me that people assume my generosity of spirit is some kind of proof that I can be taken advantage of. That I am fragile of spirit. That I’m in the end, let’s face it: weak.

I used to be naïve and rather innocent in my twenties, but on other hand I was also very wise and thoughtful my entire life. There is an innocence about my persona, but am I really innocent? I mean I’ve been through quite a bit. If they didn’t take my innocence that may be a testament to some kind of beauty and resolution to stay simple. However, along with being simple-minded, I’m also sophisticated.

I am complex just as we all are.


What do people assume about you? How do they see you? As you really are? Do you care? Should you care? Because if this is about me, it is also about you. What you think of yourself, how you really truly are, and how people perceive you. How do we make these things align, our true self with our outward persona? Do these things need to be the same? Is it OK that nobody knows what a real bitch I can be?

Those who have been hurt by me, they know. Just ask them.

I would like to say, for the record that I am not weak. I have witnessed and experienced so much devastation and ugliness in my life, if that didn’t break me, your perception of me as a sissy will not even touch me.

You think you can walk all over me? Try it. And watch me walk away. I may not always fight, but I will always leave.

I will admit there was a time I was to put it in a colloquial language, always someone’s bitch. I had friends or boyfriends who would try to control me. Now I like to think I’m the bitch in control. In control of myself mind you. Not other people. I am not a controlling person, at all. Can I be controlled? Not anymore.

Can you? What are your weaknesses? Do you think people are mistaking you for someone quite different than you are? Do you fear that you have traces of weakness and innocence in your nature that others have taken advantage of in the past? I know I do.

Yes, I fear that I am too nice sometimes. That I am too weak and let others take control of situations that I should have control of. I fear I can be controlled.

But I remain resolute that I no longer prescribe to a state of mind where other people come before me.





 September 2nd, 2016  
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The Girl with Turquoise Hair

turquoise hair

I saw a girl with turquoise hair outside the Original Pancake House today. I’m going to be honest, I don’t think it looked that cute even though turquoise is my favorite color. I mean I’m not a square, I think, I’m all opened minded and stuff. However, non-natural colors in the hair doesn’t do it for me. To each their own and everything, but honestly and truly it doesn’t turn me on.

If I dyed my hair green, like Kermit the Frog green, I think I would look like a fool. If I did blond even, I might look a little like Ms. Piggy. I mean, come on, I’m not gonna look like Ms. America, no matter what color I dye my hair. I’ve never colored my hair. I want to wait until I go grey. (Is it grey or gray? I will never know.)

Did you read Fifty Shades of Grey? It was a really bad story. I’m pissed that mediocre crap like that became a bestseller when there are great stories and writers out there that can’t get their work published; i.e. me and some of my writer friends. So here I am watching the world go by and thinking about writing the great Indian American Novel.

fifty shades of grey

I’m at Panera in Birmingham, Michigan, looking over at these old cronies who seem to all know each other and talk amongst themselves about, well I can’t hear what they are talking about, but they are busy being with each other. I love that, they have a community. I almost want to join in their convo, but I’m not old enough or man enough to disturb them.


The dilemma of the day is I have to go to the bathroom and there is no one close enough to me that I can ask to watch my computer. It is seven-thirty in the morning on Sunday and it seems like everyone who is here is over the age of sixty. Which is fine, I have nothing against people that have a little age on them.

They are very unlikely to steal my computer. But nevertheless, I’m packing it in my bag to use the ladies room. This computer is going to die soon and when it does I will have a lovely funeral, flowers, particular hymns. I love this thing so much. So I go to the bathroom with my old computer in my brown animal printed bag.

I sit back down, and while I’m imagining singing love songs to my computer, I’m also watching Birmingham people go by. This is a rather wealthy little town, with cute little shops that are extravagantly expensive. People who are rich enough to buy things from these places seem to be walking around, with their fancy strollers and well-bred dogs.


“I’m just going to sit down here for a while and contemplate great things,” one of the old men says and he laughs. He is wearing a beige hat and a blue and white Hawaiin shirt. I wonder what great things he will contemplate. Was he in a war or does he hate war like me? Does he miss the good old days, or does he realize they were only good because he was young? Does he hate how fast technology moves without caring about the user? Does he think the gadgets are using him at this point?

Some woman who works here yells, “Dark Roast Coffee!” breaking the peace in the air. The quiet early morning is almost over. I want to slap her for not realizing she works in a sacred place. Me and these old men sit here to contemplate life. Sure we all like dark roast coffee, but it’s just an accessory in an average looking cafe in the middle of a mediocre life in the suburbs.


Birmingham, Michigan

A very good-looking gentleman is walking towards Panera, he’s wearing a white baseball cap and a navy blue shirt, he has two Starbuck’s cups of coffee in his hands. I see a shiny metallic colored Mercedes Benz drive by. I wonder who is in there. Do you ever wonder what other people are thinking in cars while you are driving by them? Do you ever wonder what’s going on their lives? What hurts them? What moves them? What makes them laugh?

Sometimes I don’t even know how I drive because I’m thinking of all these people’s stories.

Everyone has so many tales inside them, in our memories is a collection of books that have no title. I like to hear people’s experiences, these elderly people probably have great stories to share. I’m too shy to talk to them right now. I suppose I could interview them, but I don’t feel like socializing or talking at the moment.

I just feel like being myself in this place, at this time. I want to see who I really am while I stare at the slight morning fog and runners run by the window in fluorescent tank tops. I’m one of those people who believes she can’t run. I know it may not be true, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I’m going to start doing yoga, like today. The reason I choose yoga as my form of movement and exercise is because it fits in with my whole need to be enlightened. It’s an ancient practice they say will elevate the mind, body, and soul.

But what do you care? You came here, instead of a newspaper, to read something new, something exciting. Something different. This is all I can offer you at the moment.

Me sitting here sipping raspberry acai unsweetened iced tea. I kind of want to go back to sleep, and I swear I saw someone I know through the window. He’s a husband of my friend, he has this uniquely styled beard. But maybe it’s not him, and I don’t know why knowing if it is him is so important to me.

Sitting here, in what seems now like a party in an assisted living facility is interesting. I’m definitely not a part of this party. I look more like the hired help. In any case, a bunch of old white men and me. Where are the women? I wonder what these men think of turquoise hair, they must think it’s ridiculous. I bet they would think my thoughts are pretty inane as well.

That’s OK, I’m still here, whether you like me or not. Whether you are reading this or not. Whether you care or not. The sun is finally coming out. A biker wearing a red shirt and a helmet is riding by this café. I think he somehow needs me to be sitting here while he rides away, he needs to see this scene through the window. He needs us and we need him.

For what?


 August 29th, 2016  
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