eyeliner, black

i need eyeliner, black. like any teenage girl with an ounce of self-respect, i steal it from the drugstore. under the watchful eye of the pharmacist, Mr. Greenwood, i edge past the magazine rack, read the labels of shampoos before arriving at the heaven that is drugstore makeup. apply lipstick, red, redder, reddest. pretend I’m … Read more

a response to John Ashbery’s Abstentions

not the shy tourist, hopping up the salty steps of Rome. the shy man, sitting on the steps by the Piazza di Spagna, waiting for your Lothario. transparent feelings stream, stream, stream past: curiosity, desire, a wish to know it all. but all of it as it is not. not tall enough, not strong enough, … Read more


on the airplane, my husband befriends a guy from NJ with two sullen teenage boys. later, at the ferry, we meet them again, only this time the wife is there. she arrived a day early and has bought copious amounts of groceries now piled in a plastic wheelbarrow. she advises us to get a golf … Read more

the boys at the good luck club

the boys at the good luck club. the boys at the good luck club are setting up for the Friday night dance party. they’re lugging in the record players, plugging in the speakers, checking the connections. they’re decorating the tiny room with balloons and banners. the lights are pulsing to the beat. the boys at … Read more

small town girl

outside Lukie’s store, the pay phone rang. at the checkout Mrs. X, in her slippers and curlers, grabbed me by my ear and tugged hard. “Thief,” she hissed. she thought i’d stolen scratch tickets and there was nothing i could do to convince her otherwise; i had not choice, i moved where she tugged. fortunately … Read more


  blind black-and-blue blueprints to be or not to be bustling blindfold battle battlefield bottle-blond boobs bruises baseball first-base second-base third-base home-base baseball bat blue truck bearings bastard blank black blacked out black mascara running best friends blabber assault and battery baseline borderline blue, blue, blue burning oh boy boys bad boys barking dogs bad … Read more

hot box motel

3 a.m. i’m in a hot box motel in Merritt. the lights in the bathroom don’t work and i lie awake and wonder why. the kids are asleep directly next door and i wonder about a serial killer who vanishes them in the middle of this night. construct a narrative. i turn to the window. … Read more

the airport (resurrected)

the airport has the weirdest carpets. i don’t know where you source a length of carpet with these big graphics. so abstract. the triangles, the edges and misshapen dots. the pattern is so big i cannot focus on it in it’s entirety. i fight the urge to lie down on the carpet of travelers, feel … Read more

rainbow cleaners

rainbow cleaners is demolished and blue metal fences mark the perimeters of the construction site. soon the earthmoving machines will shove down the concrete foundations that remain, scrape away layers of contaiminated soil. and i wonder what fluids have leaked through the floorboards after 50 years of cleaning service? rainbow cleaners is demolished and there’s … Read more


12-years-old, long, clean brown hair, and pouting lips rouged scarlet. she’s pushing a baby carriage down the boulevard and the baby isn’t hers. a sister, by the looks of it. her dad is trailing in her pubescent wake, head swivelling as he checks out the action on the strip. there are people everywhere, on the … Read more