Monday, February 25, 2008

Christina's World

Crawling uphill’s the hardest.

Left fist, right fist, swing them round.

Junior calls me The Sidewinder, on account of this poor dance of mine, but I will keep my peace about the boy. Polio might have taken my legs, but my thoughts still soar among them starlings.

Left fist, right fist, swing them round.

The Maine winds do shake these tawny grasses. So why can’t I hear the music no more?

Left . . .

Mama told me that my legs stopped working altogether when Charles stopped writing me. But Pastor Goodrum would call that a wicked sort of embellishment. My legs stopped working when God dried my nerves up as rough and black as that tree I’m fixing toward.

Right . . .

‘Course, Pop always says the devil’s in the details.

Swing them . . .


Breath comes harder up here, more ragged-like. I sit my forehead against the trunk’s scars.

C.O. + C.S.

I stop shaking when bark draws blood.

When the tree gives up its music.

“Boston’s not so far, Chrissie.”

“It’s farther than my arms.”

“But I’ll come for you next spring. When our tree here is all color and scent. When the starlings are building their nests.”

“Show me how you’ll come, Charlie.”

He laughs.

He shows me.

Left arm, right arm, swing me round.

Sometimes, sitting against our tree, it’s like he never put me down.
Because once, when swaddled beneath its branches, I did believe the world had legs.

[This piece was written for Jason Evans' "Whispers" contest at The Clarity of Night, which you can enter through 11 p.m. on Feb. 27th. I love Jason's photo, as seen above, and it immediately reminded me of Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World, which I've shown below for comparison. Thanks to Jason and Aine for a great contest!]

Friday, February 22, 2008


So, so sick.

Just wanted to let you guys know that I haven't forgotten about you. My body's just unraveling.

Even my elbows ache.

Does anyone want two kids for the weekend? Something can be arranged...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winter Rain

Click. Click. Clickclickclickclick.

“What are you writing?”

The boyish frenzy of hair swirls her step.

“I don’t know.”

Clickclickclick. Click.

She claims his shoulders.

“You don’t know?”

His muscles sharpen. A warning.

“It’s a complete, fucking mystery is what it is.”


She places her chin on his head. The wet fingers of her hair cup his face.

He leans into her.

She shivers.

“But you always say this . . .”

Click . . . click . . . ?

Her hands stream down his chest. Particles of water duped into mist.

She reaches for his belt.

His hand fires.

Skin gasps.

He locks onto her wrist, following its warm promise, awakening to her damp bareness, her shocking otherness. The apple of her shoulder. The wings of her collarbone. All this sweet terrain.

He stirs.

She rounds the chair, sliding his lap between her legs.



“I just thought you should know.”

Her lips are plums.


“That I’m falling in love with you.”

His hands halt their dizzy progress.

“Only now?”

She advances her curves into his hard lines.


She kisses him.

His elbow recoils.


He pulls back.













She traces his lips with her thumb. He follows.

“But it just came upon me again. Like a spring day.”

He places his hands on her shoulders to study her.

And shrugs.

“You’re a complete, fucking mystery is what you are.”

She tucks her chin down, mostly smiling.

The light from a computer falls silent.

Two hearts twirl into warmest, wettest rain.

[Art: Lovers in the Red Sky, by Marc Chagall]

Monday, February 11, 2008

Abandonment Issues

I have started, and stopped, so many projects during the last year. Abandoned stories, and novels, are strewn like carcasses across my Word folder. Part of the reason for starting this blog was to slip past all that mold, all that guilt, and just write. I would concentrate on shorter pieces, until that next big story grabbed hold.

Of course, I didn't anticipate how much I would love writing those shorter pieces, or how my writing style would change. And I didn't realize how much I would enjoy all of you. :)

But now a new novel has grabbed hold. And the blog has retreated a little into the background.

Nope, I'm not abandoning it. Just acknowledging that I have limited time for writing, and I can't do justice to this site the way I might like. Maybe when both kids are in school (a time and place I fondly refer to in my head as Oh, God, Pretty Please?)...

I will try to post here once a week. And I still look forward to visiting your blogs. All of you bring something special to my day.

But for now, I'm downgrading this blog to mumbles.

It's like the crotchety, old-man incarnation. Every story comes with a life lesson, and a throat lozenge. Get used to it, you young whippersnappers!


I think I hurt something.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Shameless Filler

I'm sorry I've been so absent lately from this blog, and from all of yours. This has been a very busy week, but I hope to start posting again soon. In the meantime, and because I love you all enough to query "monkey funny" on youtube, enjoy this utterly tasteless clip:

What makes a monkey swoon?

That guy looks familiar...

(When I said I was busy, I may have been exaggerating.)

[Hilarity courtesy of Spectre124 ]