Monster’s Coffin

6 March 2020 in Heather, Writing

When I was half as high as the door between the kitchen and the garage, I caught a fever for the world between the real and the imaginary. Each side of the threshold was familiar: On one side, in the kitchen, everything was clean and tidy, matching and spotless, useful and practical. ’Twas the pride of an A+ homemaker. On the other side was the garage, poorly lit from one small eastern-facing window, everything shadow and suspect, grime and dirt, mysterious and unknown. I hovered on the threshold, comforted by the orderly precision of my mother’s kitchen but attracted to the objects in the garage that could be whatever I told them to be. The woodpile, the deep freeze, the
read more


9 November 2019 in Writing

We’re kissing, but only because I initiated it. And is—is he cringing? Beneath the hardening wax stamp of our lips, he confesses, “I don’t like kissing. It’s the only reason I hadn’t … sooner.” We’re frozen in eternal slow motion, and he also tells me he prefers double time. “Double speed?” I ask, without yielding any flesh. “Isn’t that unintelligible?” He reassures me that listening presto to others dissecting the lives of others dissecting the lives of others is an insurance policy against dementia in forty years. “Anything to forge new pathways in the neural network.” I focus on the kiss at hand, but wonder at what point did we slip from the two of us, exchanging cells, to others
read more


17 October 2019 in Writing

She and I are friends, but we meet to share all the things we dislike about ourselves. We sit at the edge of the field watching the tall grass sway back and forth. “A thing I dislike,” I say. “How I bend to the wind, like this grass.” She agrees, “Not knowing what I want and letting the breeze crush me, exposing the brown soil at the seam. Yes.” We watch the grasses yield to the wind. The ones closest to us are turning to straw, but on the other side of the deep blue scar between fields, the reeds stand triumphant and green and the willows moan low and gray. “A thing I dislike,” I say. “How people call
read more

Ma Valise

15 October 2019 in Writing

At the end of their relationship, she packed a small blue suitcase, scolded her cat for biting the handle, and left Los Angeles for the convent. In the crook of her arm, she carried his brain in a jar. Ball jar. Rubber ring seal. The pickled eternal he always wanted to be. Together they took up residence in a small room on the second floor above the cheese cave. Every day smelled like a new age of cheese. She placed the jar on the corner of the desk where it could sunbathe from three to four each afternoon. After the sun passed, she pressed her ear against the glass, curious if he was still thinking. She swore she heard him
read more

Empty Things

1 September 2019 in Writing

She fills her house with empty things. Old birdcages found at Saturday yard sales. A wrought-wire townhome for someday finches, an expansive manse for two former lovebirds (they could not quench their thirst, though separate glasses had been provided). And a souvenir from Vietnam, in whose crisscrossed bamboo shoots, she riddles herself to sleep. She fills her house with empty things. Vintage perfume bottles arranged on a tray on her dresser. Frosted bodies in pink and blue, curvaceous “squeeze me” atomizers whose misshapen forms hardened long ago (she denies any likeness to her heart). And straight away, she dabs herself with one of the cut and polished stoppers smugly gossiping about how to withstand aging. She fills her house with
read more

Bodies on Stage

18 August 2019 in Theater, Writing

Superstition There is a skeleton me I rarely meet. She jangles and dangles through the farmer’s market and down the aisle to her seat at the opera, pieces becoming suddenly unhinged in the direction things are meant to come apart. There is the muscle and fat me that is always aware of her. My mimic, my delay. My repetition, my echo. Signpost This body is a signpost, like the one in my brother’s backyard pointing to all the places he and his family have visited. The foot slides forward, toward Tibet. The pinky finger escapes sideways, to that small bakery on the Rue des Martyrs in Paris. Palms flip up, returning to the San Francisco Bay Area. Shoulders twist, one
read more