The Blue Pitcher

that which may be filled and emptied

Month: November, 2012

For Drowning

Dreams. I recommend them.  
The easy way to go. Tipped siren,
sip of Benadryl.
There are days I want nothing more than to
step onto the seabed. There, I lived
in the hollow of your throat.
Do you remember? (It was only
a day; it’s okay if you forget. Really.) Then nothing,
just the creekbed,
crawdaddy graves, Poprock husks.
Last week, I went to my sleeping baby
and reached for her. An empty crib. I knew
that they had taken her to Mexico, and I
would have to kill myself (gas)
or move to Paris. But I was still dreaming.
She was actually in my bed, had never been
in the crib. I sang and sang to her.
Louder. Still she slept.
A mistake, but I kept dreaming anyway.
In the dream: a strand of seaglass and you. I
was there too. It seemed like a punchline,
the slippery side of a gesture, end
of a joke: us, there, on the seabed,
too deep for the sun to reach.
Are we shells? you said. 
I tried to answer, open my little shell mouth,
but nothing. Only bubbles.

A river is a river is a river. Yes?
My student wants to write a story
about a man who thinks he is in love
with a woman but is really
just in love with the air around her.
My student is still young enough
to believe these are different.
And so I write on the board:
pools are pools,
oceans, oceans.


Thanksgiving: A Poem

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In honor of all I’m thankful for this year: a poem I wrote fifteen Thanksgivings ago when I had just moved to New York City and was still in the habit of chasing love by taking buses down south. Incidentally, it’s also the poem where I first wrote of my tenderness towards Hostess cakes. It was published in Washington Square in the Winter of 1997.


3 bags of pork rinds,
6 cans of warm Pepsi,
18 mentholated cough drops,
a couple of HoHo’s, a DingDong,
2 and a half packs of Marlboros,
and Dee from Louisville
pressing her elbow into my ribs,
talking her hysterectomy,
her 13 year old gone on birth control,
her 16 year old thrown in a Boy’s Home
south of Memphis for stripping butt naked
and flipping off God on top of the county library,
the 3 men who’ve beat her,
her 1 cup coffee maker,
and the turkey dinner
she’s packed in her suitcase, all boxed up,
so the jackasses won’t crush it.
We talk about the stars
‘cause I don’t get many where I come from,
and she teaches me a song about bumblebees.
Waking up alone’s the hard part,
we agree till Nashville rises too soon,
sticking up sore-thumb style on the horizon,
and a man without flowers awaits my arrival.
Yesterday I could almost love him,
could almost hear him breathing,
but today, I’m afraid,
my ass isn’t the only thing gone numb
above the roar of white walled, greyhound tires.
So we sit at the Waffle House,
careful not to touch for fear of nothing special—
coffee weak as rainwater,

jukebox blaring Blue Christmas.

The Cupcake Story

[poem was here.]