The Power of Habit


Emma wonders if any of the others are thinking of Macbeth and his witches. The kindling takes hold with a loud crack. Sparks flash, and rise into the night. Someone has thought to bring food this time: a pot of chili in a small cast-iron cauldron. Emma cannot imagine anyone will taste it. Their hunger is not for food. The pipe sizzles at the touch of the lighter. The itch of anticipation glides along her forearms. They all say they want to kick the habit. But, they’ve all been through rehab, at least once. It’s where some of them met.



For Tara’s 100Word Challenge… the prompt this week is Habit. So many interpretations… what’s yours?




Lowest Common Denominator



Dear Mary,

Thank you for the card after the delivery of my twin girls. I appreciate your congratulations though I somehow think a Good Luck card might be more appropriate. Already, I find the need to steel myself against the lowest common denominator of our society that seeks to undo all the gains our gender has worked tirelessly to secure. Have you read the Twitter comments on a recent Jeopardy contestant’s breasts? But, I must not despair. With luck, hard work, and fine role models my girls will not be cheerleaders, and will eschew every hue of pink.



For Tara’s 100-Word Challenge. The word is Luck. Try it… Join in the fun!


Thanks for reading!

Main Street in a Small Rural Town


2015-05-10 17.23.57



I want to do magic. I want magic to be done to me.
I didn’t say perform magic, but do it, make it happen.
Real magic. I want to shout, abracadabra!
And have the whole world listen.

Walking down Main Street in a small rural town
It doesn’t matter where, the Midwest, the South,
The Center of this vast country, I overheard a man
Talking to another man.

Fuck them, he shouted, grabbing the other man’s elbow.
I’ll take them out, every last one of them, if they try to tell me
What I can and cannot do.
It doesn’t work that way, said the other man, gently pulling away.

You’re either with me or against me, the red-faced man roared
Through clenched teeth, the sinews at his neck bulging
Like rope so taut it begins to fray, to split, to rip
On the edge of bloodletting when the capillaries burst.

Chet, the gentle man says, I don’t believe it’s as bad as all that.
I don’t believe anyone is coming to get you or wants to take what is yours.
I don’t believe what I hear on television.
And Chet replies: At your peril you dumbass motherfucker.

Hearing this makes me want to believe in magic.
I want to utter “open sesame” and open the closed mind.
To snap my fingers and part the clouds
And watch the light rinse the dark of intolerance.

I want to do magic. I want magic to be done to me.


OctPoWriMo – Day 4…. The prompt is “magic.” Will I ever lighten up? Maybe. Tune in to find out!

Thanks for reading!   Poetry5



Etymology of Paranoia



Hatred and fear blind us. We no longer see each other. We only see the faces of monsters, and that gives us the courage to destroy each other.  – Thich Nhat Hanh


Illogic drains me. Delusion, the madness in it. Without reason or cause a conviction that horror lurks behind every door. Fear in the perception of color. Raised voices. Rational discourse? As ancient a term as the Socratic method. It has ceased to exist. Poisoned by hemlock. A riot of aggressive, regressive states. A desire to return to the relative ease of a decade long gone. Instead of a chicken in every pot, guns in every cupboard. Blinded by the mania. Control your constituents through fear.

is the folly of men
in his ignorance
he shot himself
in the foot

OctPoWriMo Day 3. The prompt was “drain.” What drains you? I’m on the same topic as yesterday. Working it out through a tanka prose piece. I’ll try to be a bit more uplifting as the days proceed.

Thanks for reading!




Guns in the Classroom



Standing tall in front of them in his combat boots
and camo pants

His clothes stiff, unwashed, stained with the sweat
of anxious days

A golden beam of sunlight glinted off gray metal
blinding them

Stand up he commanded, if you’re a Christian,
and they did

Believing they might be safe from harm, from death
from bullets

They fell, nine of them, not from strict adherence
to their faith

But from the cold hard steel of a mental illness,
endemic in the USA

An evil malady of easily, legally obtained vehicles of slaughter,
of guns

We content ourselves, this time, that no one said:
he seemed like such a nice guy.

OctoPoMo – Day 2. We were prompted to write a cinematic poem. You be the judge. How many times have we witnessed this scene on the screen? A reality horror show.


Thanks for reading.