Mona Lisa’s Smile (generic title – in the first stages)

I woke up to winter’s last stitch effort, a stinging irony of a landscape. It is the very image of a clean slate; a blank canvas. It is everything that embodies my fears and desires together. The mirror is held up and all that returns is a flash: a Mona Lisa smile.

I take out my music. Drown it out. You are not ready. The loneliness will consume you. Ear-buds in, volume up. Drown it out. Don’t face it. Don’t think about it.

It doesn’t work.

Waiting for the bus, a tear waddles itself free from eyes neglected by mascara and masked by aviators. I mumble something incoherent and strain to hold back the flood building and threatening to overflow. A car passes and a man honks and hoots: “Yeah, baby! Woo-hoo!!” I laugh and throw a peace sign. The snow begins melting away, desperately flowing into the gutters. I concentrate on the sound. It is a torrent; it is the tears I do not have to cry, at least not today anyway.



I never knew what it would be like

to find one of your hairs

I saw a man on the train once

that had hair that took me back

to those languid days we spent making love

how I ran my fingers through your brown curly locks

and teased: O, you damn curly-haired Michigan boys!

It is not nearly as depressing as the poem I read to you once

where the husband can no longer distinguish

his dead wife’s black hair

between the women who have come and gone

untill one day while repotting her avocado

he finds a long black strand in the soil

You have not literally died

and my problem is not the comings and goings of new men

but the constant moving and flux of my life

Regardless, I was surprised

upon opening the journal

that roughly contains the span of our relationship

to find it tangled in the spirals

that holds the pages together

Utah Winter

I suppose the shock

would have been less

If I had thought less

of you.

I do now, of course

And I’m not confident the chill

will ever leave me

Utah winter reminds me of nothing.

I wondered for a while

if it would bring back New England

The snow plows of that tiny town

going down Main

and up Fisk

Walks past the River and the railroad tracks

These are commonplace memories.

I was hoping to recall

being alone for the first time

I was hoping to recall

my passion and innate sense of awe.

Delmore pleads with me

to “shake myself

and break the banal dream”

I am trying

I am working harder every day.

I am aware

of that “charged underground.. .

Caught in an anger

exact as a machine.”

the ineluctable modality of the seemingly invisible

When I was a young girl, I use to fantasize that I had been born into the wrong family. What would it have been like to be born into a wealthy family or better yet, one that wasn’t religious? I remember lying on my bed in the room placed in the far corner of the house, as disconnected as was possible. I am unsure what prompted these daydreams. I don’t think I was the only child in the world that ever daydreamed of such things. As I became more independent, my fantasies broadened by mysticism; I started to bide my time with what possible past lives I may have lived. It seems in my search to find out who I was, and to sort out my fate, I was chasing my own tail.

Tonight, while I lie awake next to my fiance’, I turned over in my head Decartes’ statement: “Cogito ergo sum.” I think, therefore I am; I am thinking therefore I exist. I fumbled over the thought that much of what makes us who we are, is learned behavior and extremely subjective. We are in a constant state of observation from our infancy, looking for what to do and how to act. We may be presumed to continue this past our infancy, always scrambling to identify ourselves with something and sometimes, someone. This having been said, it may be presumed that an infant child does not actually think independently, having nothing to think upon, thus, this child does not yet exist though it is irrefutably alive. This can only be legitimized by the cases of feral children which indicate that if a child is not stimulated, especially at the first crucial stages, it’s ability to function, understand or communicate are substantially inhibited if not impossible. I.E. if they are not trained, they remain quite like an untrained animal: wild.

What if the roles we play are not real? What if we type-cast ourselves? What if we stopped doing that?

Politics as (Un) Usual

I was sent this e-mail recently and it hit home for me.


Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund
Dear Tara, 

A few hours ago, the news broke that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been selected by Sen. John McCain as the vice presidential candidate for the Republican ticket.

As a Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund supporter, you are no doubt aware of Governor Palin’s dismal record, from her staunch support for special interests and Big Oil to her terrible assault on wolves and other wildlife.

As much of the nation wonders just who Sarah Palin is, I wanted to pass along my statement that I’ve just released.

Please read it and pass it along to everyone you know.

Thanks for your continued support,
Rodger Signature

August 29, 2008
Shocking Choice by John McCain
WASHINGTON– Senator John McCain just announced his choice for running mate:  Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.  To follow is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fu nd. 

Senator McCain’s choice for a running mate is beyond belief. By choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has clearly made a decision to continue the Bush legacy of destructive environmental policies.

“Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska’s coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration.  

“This is Senator McCain’s first significant choice in building his executive team and it’s a bad one. It has to raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about John McCain’s commitment to conservation, to addressing the impacts of global warming and to ensuring our country ends its dependency on oil.”

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund ( provides a powerful voice in Washington to Americans who value our conservation heritage. Through grassroots lobbying, issue advocacy and political campaigns, the Action Fund champions those laws and lawmakers that protect wildlife and wild places while working against those that do them harm.



I sent this e-mail on into cyberspace in a meager attempt to pass on knowledge. What happened, was it hit a little closer to home than I imagined. Thus ensues the banter between my father and I:


Hi Em,
Thanks for the info
I think the choice for Sarah Palin is a great one and I’ll tell you why.
She is for America being independent of foreign oil.  These countries do not like us and we are supporting them while damaging ourselves
Nature is resilient, it has been proven in the past that it can and will rebound.  Alternative fuels will not happen over night.  with the federal government lifting bans on offshore drilling with conditions we have a chance to buy time to develope these alternatives, I think we can compromise. 
I personally think our energy needs are worth the sacrifice of a few polar bears, if that is even the case.  The oil industry is not the major polluter it was a few decades ago, to think that they will go and strip the environment unbridled is ridiculous, everybody knows that.
This is just a scare tactic used by organizations (Democrats) trying to justify their positions, it does the American people no good… if we follow their rhetoric, we allow ourselves to go deeper into the clutches of foreign governments… that scares me worse than “losing” nature, which would never happen anyway.
The speaker of the House, Nancy Peloski, has shares in companies involved with alternative fuel research… can you see why she might not want offshore drilling? 
Oh by the way… I love you.
Well, Dad. . .  

I didn’t know you were going to vote McCain. (winks) 

Even if what you say were true about the Democrats using this as a “scare tactic to defend their positions,” I think that it is nothing in comparison to the scare tactics the Republicans have used to justify going to war. Not to mention that McCain choosing a woman as a vice president is such an obvious and cheap ploy to skirt the real issues. 

By the way, I had no idea that off-shore drilling would dramatically decrease the cost at the pump (which seems to be the majority of Americans soul interest). And, I wonder if your stance on the sacrificing a few polar bears for “the (doomed) cause” is a mere libertarian view or just an ignorant way of saying “Hey, what good are they anyway?” 

Nature is resilient, there is no doubt. Polar Bears may or may not survive. As we have learned about any otherextinct species, once they are wiped off the face of the earth there is no chance of them returning. Nature will forge forward and flourish, as it has the ability to take an imbalance or missing link and adapt. We seem to love this stance of “sacrifice a few to save many.” This helps justify the destruction of species of plants, animals, and even the elimination of Human cultures. Somehow this “greater good” theory seems to be a little short of compassion. The greater good for the few but, not the majority. I just have one question: Who are the few? Because I know it isn’t you and I saving a few cents at the pump.

Love you too


Well Em… 

I didn’t know you were a liberal (winks)

I agree with you on the war but at the same time I believe that we need to continue our assault on terrorism.

I would think you as a young woman would be thrilled to see a woman on the ticket, regardless of her politics.  It is political to say the least, but if you have read my latest post, you’ll agree that everything being done by the candidates is political… they are, after all… trying to get votes.

I believe in the next few weeks you will see the issues come into play, but I do not think personal attacks on ones family is taking the high road, shame on the Democrats for that one.

By the way, why don’t we take this conversation to my blog?  I’d love to share it with others…

I love you, and this is fun for me.

Pope Benedict XVI attacked false prophet Gore and religion of global warming.

The Daily Mail reported:

Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.

The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.

The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.


Well, folks. . .it’s been a long time. Just leave it to the Pope to get my panties all in a bunch!

After hearing this, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. The first thing that strikes me as amazingly ironic is, that the Catholic religion wrote the book on “scare-mongering!” Pope, don’t you know when you point one finger, there is three pointing back??

Then of course secondly, and probably the most ironic is, he wants us to base everything on hard science! The Pope! A religion that is faith based would like the international community to make sure they have hard proof the environment is in trouble! Are you sure we can’t rely on a gut feeling?? Maybe? No!? Why not??

Does anyone else feel uneasy about the Pope using words like: science, dogma, and ideology in the same breath?

It may just be me. I may be crazy! But, I thought one of the greatest proofs of God’s existence was the “environment.” From the swamps to the mountains and everything in-between, everything below, and above!

Every day the rain forest and amazon are in more trouble and with that, unknown amounts of species of plants, and animals. Every day more pollution goes into our air, our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Every day children starve around the world.  That is the most sad of all. However, that brings up a crisis even more dire. . . the human crisis.

It just makes me very suspicious. . . WHO’S POCKET ARE YOU IN POPE BENEDICT?

Well, that’s it for my ramble quotient for the day. Just wanted to give a shout out to everyone! Hope all is well! (I am doing fabulous… I actually just bought a Toyota Prius…(or maybe I will call it my Toyota Pious from now on!) 50 mpg!)

Oh wait, one more thing!

Revelation 9:4

“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree;”


Aubade – Do you have one?

An Aubade is a song of the dawn, usually linked with the motif of waking lovers and their reluctant parting.


I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.

Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.

In time the curtain-edges will grow light.

Till then I see what’s really always there:

Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,

Making all thought impossible but how

And where and when I shall myself die.

Arid interrogation: yet the dread

Of dying, and being dead,

Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare.

Not in remorse-

The good not done, the love not given, time

Torn off unused – nor wretchedly because

An only life can take so long to climb

Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;

But at the total emptiness for ever,

The sure extinction that we travel to

And shall be lost in always.

Not to be here,

Not to be anywhere,

And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid

No trick dispels. Religion used to try,That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade

Created to pretend we never die,

And specious stuff that says

No rational being

Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing

That this is what we fear – no sight, no sound,

No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,

Nothing to love or link with,

The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,

A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill

That slows each impulse down to indecision.

Most things may never happen: this one will,

And realisation of it rages out

In furnace-fear when we are caught without

People or drink.

Courage is no good:

It means not scaring others.

Being brave

Lets no one off the grave.

Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.

It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,

Have always known, know that we can’t escape,

Yet can’t accept.

One side will have to go.

Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring

In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring

Intricate rented world begins to rouse.

The sky is white as clay, with no sun.

Work has to be done.

Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

-Philip Larkin


Hark! hark! the lark at heaven’s gate sings,

And Phoebus ‘gins arise,

His steeds to water at those springs

On chaliced flowers that lies;

And winking Mary-buds begin

To open their golden eyes:

With everything that pretty bin,

My lady sweet, arise!

Arise, arise!

-William Shakespeare-


First minutes of morning.


about to call it a night, me

ready for another day.

The birds

loud, echoes in the stillness

of not-yet-day.

The neighbors’

shower water rumbling through walls

like half-heard promises.

Our bodies

stiff—yours too long at the computer,

mine from deep sleep.

We don’t speak.

So it is a surprise to hear

your deep “please,”

lips pressed to my ear,

to feel

water and hands cascade

down my body.

-Beverly Acuff Momoi


Not even the sky.

But a memory of sky,

and the blue of the earth

in your lungs.

Earthless earth: to watch

how the sky will enclose you, grow vast

with the words

you leave unsaid – and nothing

will be lost.

I am your distress, the seam

in the wall

that opens to the wind

and its stammering, storm

in the plural – this other name

you give your world: exile

in the rooms of home.

Dawn folds, fathers


the aspen and the ash

that fall. I come back to you

through this fire, a remnant

of the season to come,

and will be to you

as dust, as air,

as nothing

that will not haunt you.

In the place before breath

we feel our shadows cross.

-Paul Auster-


My joy is the same as twelve holsteins

Standing in the morning light

Ugly Ragged Not clean

Like the thin cry of a calf

Like an angel sinking it’s teeth into my throat

The long windows open

The sidewalks puddle underfoot

Black and white winters

The pace steady, undefined

Under a street-lamp and off into ongoingness

An irregular wind brushes my curtains aside

A whirlwind of rotten fabric

Bursting from the nostrils

To float

Before they fall.

-Emily Christensen (My Aubade)-