Contributors * more photos to appear soon

Contributors * more photos to appear soon
Christy Namee Eriksen, kim thompson, Jon Schill

Friday, June 25, 2010

ode to the south

re-posting from the past written: 19 Jul 08 Saturday 22:46

ode to the south:

there is
just enough
of florida left
in me
for the love of all things fried
to remain deep inside my heart
- to salivate for grits with pools of butter
and okra fried
to moisten at the mouth
for white gravy
mashed potatoes
buttermilk biscuits
chicken fried steak

there is just enough of southern east coast life
to wake dreaming
"hey y'alls"
howling long with
lynryd skynyrd
and don mclean

west palm's so deep seeded
that when i say i miss childhood
in there are the memories of
smashing coconuts open in the driveway
collected off the ground
beside the palm fronds
with my brother

we loved the dukes of hazard
cuz we liked to whistle
and tie our tee's like daisy duke
whilst hanging out with our good ol' boys

hush puppies were a standard staple
i love you minneapolis
but your hush puppies are wanting
as is your cornbread

there's 18 years of southern tropic living
where i can still miss
things like
blackened catfish fried just freshly pulled from lakes
driving long the bee-line and swampy canals
sugar cane fields standing stalk tall
orange groves for endless miles
conch fritters
and fresh atlantic crab legs the most kinda common
and dolphin served at potlucks and kids in squeamish fear of eating flipper till parents explained the two kinds of dolphin to them

and even though i was so glad to leave as soon as highschool ended
and have rarely if ever looked back

theres still enough of florida in me
to miss sailfish
boats pulling up to restaurants
the boonies
hibiscus and grapefruit trees
ponderosa lemons
avocados the size of softballs
catching scuttling sea crabs in paper cups

theres enough of the south in me
korean born
south florida raised
european lived
midwest middle age
to still wake


- kim thompson posted friday 23.52 seoul, s. korea

Monster Under the Bed

A friend of mine is going through some rough stuff, bad stuff, with her baby daddy and it's dredging up all this crap in my own heart. This poem's part my experiences, but it's a collage of other women's experiences, too, all of whom have been dear to me, and all of whom have also found themselves wrapped around a man (or several men) who was abusive - either physically, emotionally, mentally.... and, not knowing the real name, we called it love.  But it's really a:


If my son found the monster under the bed,
I’d say:

Some monsters are hard to kick out
so I let him live here.

On the plus side,
He has a great smile.

And he can cook!
Boy, when he cooks I could eat an army,
but I don’t.
Cause I try to set a good example.

But what I’d know
is that monsters have short term memories.

They can’t remember who punched those
moon craters into the wall.
Or halfway through a sentence, when
it got so loud, so goddamn loud in this house.
Why are you lying there, at the bottom of the stairs,
singing songs to your crimson tide womb.
Why did you make them choke you hit you pull you push you like that.
Who threw that lamp.

They don’t love you.
They love you. More than anything.

Minutes, days, weeks with holes in them.
I wonder how monsters keep track of time this way.

My monster,
he has all the time in the world anyway.

He hovered there like
A drunk angel
watching me
sink through the cement,
my knees so weak,
my heart so heavy.

He was on my back
as I limped outside,
parting a smile through my river of tears,
a joker,
a joke.

No matter how far I swam
to drown my thoughts,
throw the things I’ve said the things I’ve done
into the water like farewell ashes,
my monster was the end of the ocean,
calling me closer.

And I can’t get the sound of his choked voice
out of my room.
The sawing of his lips as he begged for forgiveness,
held me tight like his arms could squeeze me into
something softer,
cried kissed cried kissed
into my granite forehead,
and I broke enough
to let a little of his toxic hope in.

So he lives under the bed.

I don’t want my baby to know.
I hold him close,
closer than a safe boy wants to be held
kiss him more than strong boys want to be kissed,
tuck his feathered head into my chest,
and I never fall asleep before he does.

I curse the monster for being there,
for sinking his teeth into our lives,
for twisting my love into a boomerang bullet,

And I watch my son drift to dreams in my arms

as he should be.
as his mother could be.
if only she
could let him go.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Quick Note About Where I Work

No one smiles in the skyways--

though I suspect they are communicating

happiness and hope,

“I love you’s” through text messages

that sweeten blackberries,

make iPhones about the “me’s”

under the fancy clothes

we woke up early to iron--

the tie that weighs heavy in the afternoon

or until coffee is gulped

(or until the girl with coffee-colored hair

notices it).

A story above the sidewalk,

it’s too easy to sink into

a place where stories don’t live.


have you ever stared into a precipice
only to realize you're staring into a cruel mirror
that reflects contortions rather than confirmations
who knows how far
who knows how deep
who knows how much faith will leap
have you ever reached into a precipice
only to realize you're reaching at a slippery slope
that confounds rather than rebounds
what makes this so hard
what makes this so unending
what makes this so ultimately offending
have you ever given attention into a precipice
only to realize your attention-giving goes unheard in the abyss
that mocks understanding rather than false landings
when will i learn
when will i grow
when will i remember the extent of the low
have you ever inhaled into a precipice
only to realize your inhaling is but a fragile excuse
that deliberates rather than just liberates
where does this go
where does this mend
where does this find an end
have you ever spat into a precipice
only to realize you're spitting on yourself
that taints the soul rather than this black hole
why does the precipice call to me
why does the precipice feel so comforting
why does the precipice not frighten me as much i thought
why why why