Word Perv
(noun): One who takes delight and is skilled at constructing, writing or saying naughty phrases or dialogue.
March 2, 2015

Dangerous

Written by Posted in Poetry Comments 1

I recently bought this shirt, it’s rather awesome.

I am DANGEROUS!

I am DANGEROUS!

Let’s be honest – feminism is still needed. When idiots still feel the need to ask women what designer they’re wearing but would never consider asking a man that, we still have a way to go before we’ll all equal.  Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, was once asked what designer she liked – her answer was amazing:

So we’re not there yet but we’re still fighting the battle. And feminism is one reason I love my new shirt. There was a time when it was considered unnatural for a woman to be educated. They also said we couldn’t run marathons since we were weaker than men. I’d like to see any man I know try to keep up with Shalane Flanagan – that woman is my running hero! But I digress…

I bought this shirt because I am a huge book nerd, I read constantly and tote a book everywhere I go so I can fill any spare minute with reading. Since I read 117 books in 2014, I’m aiming for 120 books this year. I started January off with a bang by knocking out 18 books. Here are the books I’m currently reading:

I read ALL THE BOOKS!!

I read ALL THE BOOKS!!

I usually read only one book at at time but right now I’m actively reading four books. Chang and Eng is a historical fiction book and it’s quite engrossing – this is my daily reading book, it’s what I read on the metro while I commute to/from work. 1971 is a nonfiction book I’m reading. Bangladesh is one of the countries I work with and so I wanted to learn a little more about the history of this country, unfortunately the book is written much like a textbook so I can only choke down about 20-30 minutes at a time. It’ll take me a while to slug through it. Gentleman Practice is a book of poetry by Buddy Wakefield. Some books of poetry I can read straight through but this is not one of them. The last book is Poetry Daily another book of poetry that I’m working through. As you can see by my list of “currently reading”, I’m a huge book nerd. And clearly, I’m a dangerous woman. ;)

***

What are you reading?

February 23, 2015

Books for Baby

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I’m not really a baby person. I don’t want babies and so other than holding a baby for a few minutes, I’m not particularly interested in them. That being said, a lot of my friends have had, or are now having babies. I’m excited for them because it’s what they want. And as they’re all getting pregnant and having children I’m invited to their baby showers.

If babies aren’t my thing then baby showers are definitely not my thing. I don’t like the games – especially that horrid guess-what-chocolate-bar-we’ve-smashed-into-the-diaper game – whoever thought that one up is truly a fucked up individual. I’ve even been to baby showers where alcohol hasn’t been served. Look, I’ll come to your shower, and I’ll honestly be happy for you, but if you expect me to sit through three different games and two hours of you opening gifts that I can’t even identify (a boppy? WTF is that used for?!) then please be kind and provide a few adult beverages. It’s the only way those of us who are child-free by choice can get through some of these events.

My friend Kristin is the latest to get pregnant and last week I received the invite to her shower. It has been, by far, my favorite invite yet. The envelope was handmade from a page in a children’s book! When I opened it up the invite just kept getting better and better:

The front of the invite

The front of the invite

Inside of the invite

Inside of the invite

Inside the invite

Inside the invite

Inside the invite

Inside the invite

A label for the book!

A label for the book!

So while babies aren’t my thing and baby showers aren’t my thing, I love the theme of this one and I’m looking forward to it. I found the perfect book to give – a children’s book of poetry. And on the off chance there isn’t alcohol at this party I’m planning in advance – I’ll be bringing a bottle of wine along with the book of poetry. ;)

 

I personally don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, I think it’s a silly, invented holiday that holds no meaning. It’s fine if others want to celebrate, it’s just not a holiday that speaks to me.

Ted Kooser, former Poet Laureate, used to send some 700 people a poem on Valentine’s day. These were people he met at readings, friends, random strangers who asked to be included in the mailing. Eventually  he stopped doing it and published a book of these poems called Valentines. It’s not really my kind of poetry but I know it appeals to some people.

I don’t write a lot of love poems. I’ve written my fair share of heartache and heartbreak and go-fuck-yourself-I-don’t-love-you-anymore poems of course, but those aren’t the ones you want to read while gazing into the eyes of your beloved. So I figured in honor of Valentine’s Day I’d try to write a love poem. And this week’s poetry workshop was titled LOVE POEMS. So I figured I’d better dust off my cold, stony heart and write some pretty words. ;)

Love is a Lesion on Your Brain

When the headaches started again you offered

Ibuprofen and water and drawn shades.

When I woke in the middle of the night sobbing

you broke out the Valium and Percocet

and told me not to cry because that makes it worse,

then held me till I fell into a drug-induced stupor.

In the quest to make the pain stop

prescription bottle lines the bathroom sink

like dominoes, knock one down

and watch me fall deeper into the pain.

When the neurologist said, we found something,

you sat with me and when the neurosurgeon

photographed every slice and angle

of the lesion I would eventually name Napoleon

you offered to shave your head if I needed brain surgery.

I walk in the door and you read my expression,

knowing if it’s a night for wine or a night for quiet darkness –

you’ve learned to read the foreign tongue of my headaches,

the Braille of my unsaid expressions.

I can’t furrow my brow because of the Botox

they’ve injected under my skin

but I’m worried what this stress is doing to you.

My head hasn’t stopped screaming for six months

but at least it’s screaming I fucking love you.

I’m dizzy from the drugs,

I stand and sway,

you steady me with the calming presence

of your  hand on my back and I realize

I feel drunk – your love spinning my senses.

 

After I wrote that poem I turned to Jay, who was sitting in the next room and said, “I wrote you a poem.” He replied, “You wrote me a poem?” I smiled, “Yeah, it’s a love poem about my headaches. Because that’s what love is baby, it’s a lesion on my brain.” And that’s where the poem’s title comes from.

And then, whilst perusing on the interwebs, listening to poetry – yes, I really do this – I found this poem, which I found touching and heartbreaking all at once. Lines #8 and #13 are my favorite, but it’s a wonderful poem in its entirety. Give it a listen.

And then there’s this famous poem which is apparently the most watched poem on the internet. It’s about love and madness and how they intertwine.

****

What’s your favorite love poem? What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

 

February 11, 2015

Music as Muse

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I’ve talked about using music as inspiration before, having words and lyrics move you to pick up the pen and start writing. I’m not sure I’ve shared some of my favorite music with you which seems silly, especially since I’ve talked about it inspiring me!

Perhaps my favorite musician is the folk artist William Fitzsimmons. The man is amazing. Seriously. I’ve seen him live three times and will see him every time he comes to my city. I’ve also met him twice and he’s kind and cool in person – even though I got flustered the last time I met him…

William Fitzsimmons & I, all smiles

William Fitzsimmons & I, all smiles

William Fitzsimmons takes my nervousness in stride.

William Fitzsimmons takes my nervousness in stride.

Getting flustered...

Getting flustered…

One of his songs, Candy, contains a line that I used as an epigraph for one of my poems. Here’s the song, it’s worth a listen.

Here’s the poem:

Consternation 

“She faces me with consternation / in her eyes / though she’s facing some direction / I can’t find…” from Candy by William Fitzsimmons

 

Lying with you,

your rooftop and the dark sky

vacant, save us.

 

Glass in hand,

sipping burgundy red

and your lips.

 

Spying our majestic capitol

in the distance,

its white dome shining,

my eyes never leaving you.

***

What musicians inspire you? Who are your favorites?

 

February 9, 2015

Freemasons & Poetry

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Last Thursday I did a poetry reading for the Freemasons at Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington DC. It was a reading open to the public so in addition to the very well dressed Masons – all were in suits or tuxes, there were a few women in the crowd.

We paired wine with the poems which is always great – wine and poetry definitely go hand-in-hand. I read 15 poems and they were paired with five  different wines.

The Wine Offerings

The Wine Offerings

 

Here’s a couple of pics from the reading:

Reading a poem!

Reading a poem!

 

My good friend Danny is the Worshipful Master of Naval Lodge No 4. Don’t ask me to explain what this means exactly, I only know he gets to wear some cool bling around his neck and he’s in charge for the year.

Worshipful Master & Poet Extraordinaire

Worshipful Master & Poet Extraordinaire

 

After the poetry was read and the wine was drunk we called it a night. I got a ton of positive feedback from those at the reading and I even sold a few books. All in all, it was a successful night!