A poetry stand

Poetry Stand: “A young man in horn-rimmed glasses who said he majored in English at Princeton challenged someone to write a villanelle. ‘On what subject?’ asked Kate. He thought it over a bit and said, ‘Monkeys.'”

The kids in this article totally amaze me with their poetry prowess, and I have such a soft spot in my heart for angsty teenagers.

This article also made me realize the only poems I’ve written since high school have been of the dumbass fake variety — i.e. pumpkins (see below) and couches.

the gourd is my medium

tiny saw
tiny tiny saw, with the plastic orange handle
and mystical book
book of pre-printed jack-o-lantern patterns
you tempt me;
o saw — your teeth etch such delicate
lines in orange autumnal flesh
o book — the possibilities
unfurl like
vines in a pumpkin patch
shall my pumpkin wear a skull face?
shall my pumpkin wear a vampire face?
shall my pumpkin wear a pirate ship instead of a face?
yes, it shall wear a pirate ship instead of a face.
and with tiny teeth
and tiny saw
and orange goop underneath my fingernails
art will prevail.


My show last weekend could have been better. Eliza Skinner performed right after I did, and her one-woman sketch show totally brought down the house. The house meaning seven people who were lucky to see her. TimeOut NY says: “Lingering onstage during most theatrical performances is the silent scream of actors begging, ‘Look at me! I’m pretty! Love me!'” And mine had a definite wiff of that going on. Go see Eliza if you’re in NY. Go.

Show show show

This past weekend, I performed my one-person show about floundering as both a teacher and as an idealist, finding ground with a student and then losing it the next day when I was let go from the job. It’s the story I told at the 2nd Story Festival in April, but it was re-worked and re-tooled for a stage and a bigger timeslot. I worked with an amazing director and a hyper-smart sound designer. The venue was a converted storefront that the good people who organized Around the Coyote had to scramble to build at the last minute, thanks to the original venue shutting down for good. We all put a goodly amount of time into rehearsals, especially for such a short piece, and I was frustrated only by my own lack of acting chops. I kept feeling like there was some mental button to push that would make it all sparklingly perfect. But I remembered that I love to write, and I love the immediacy of connecting with an audience in real time and real space. Thanks to all who came out for the evening– seeing your faces made me feel truly supported.