Tuesday, December 28, 2010


You need to get out
Take a walk to the grind
Grind is closed
Go to that other shop that is in the square
But is not the grind
The essay is fine
It's you
Stop obsessing
Start attaching and filing
Funny how love comes out of love
Interesting how far a text message can go
Poetry may have a renaissance now that everything is under fifty characters
Lets freak out and cut our bangs too short with ghetto grade school scissors
That's my idea of a good time
Also a bowl of hot salted nuts
And twenty four hours of Oprah
Seven days a week
Silk on flannel
On beautiful gay interior decorations
Pip publishing company now accepting submissions
Kitty is in good spirits
Except every time we look at him we feel like crying
Cause we're scared or something
He's different
His body is growing in crooked around the pieces they took out
What a trooper
The people around me at square tables all their own
All of them They
Speak of movies
The ones that are playing across the street for a good price and a bottle of white cheddar Seasoning
Hope that's not their only source of stimuli
Hope they wandered into the cellar
And bought something other then a Cosmopolitan Fair
Hope they had a Merry
And a Bright
I need more butter for my bagel
I need a dumpster to catch my breath for a second
I need a plan to carry me through the next five minutes
I need some putty for my midget bangs
I need a tip jar screwed to the side of my back like a thermos
I need a tall glass of wont you please see it my way
My nails are also too short
Everything else is a desert
Obama is coming home to get some checks
Isn't that what the holidays are all about?

Yours in Skin and Toast and keep the change close

Monday, December 27, 2010

That Went Well and Dry

It's safe to say,

That the holidays,

Don't suck anymore.

That's what the kids call progress,

It's also something you might find underneath a Snapple cap.

Taped a tree to the wall.

Took a drive to Grandma's.

Not the Canadian grandma.

She's dead. Like a cat, she died.

Ate meat with our hands.

Drooled over Natalie Portman's back muscles.

Dragged a pink rocking chair through the snow.

Got loud with family over trivia and dark glass.

Went to late night service with the family.

Only cried once. On the futon.

Decided not to call the East.

Swept the floor and checked the grades.

Kissed the dog and locked the bag.



Love with the sleep sound, six pound, dripping, dribbling, baby, girl.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Highly Recommended Me


And he came to the show on Sunday and gave me a hug.
He's a supporter.
He goes the last leg.
Takes it one more valve to the street.
Even at this level.
Must have found him under an inner city pre school rock.
Must have just found him.
And tenured him right.
Must he be surely
Doing a service.

"I was impressed."

Got the letters confirmed/working on the essay/compiling the best ten poems in a folder marked/ready/to/submit/life goal/to blur the lines between prose and poetry/to support/and nurture/one/room/at a time/to submerge the rest of the calendars in words/in practice of stringing/and arranging them/on pulp/on loose/on purge/on cat/

We, people like us, we don't know what's next. We just see steps, and buy protective gear on sale at the Carson's. And when it gets weird, when you've done too many light sources in one day and you can't stop tapping your leg, and smiling nervously at the people eating cheese and mustard on cloth napkins, then you simply take a bus home and update your to do list. They wont mind. They understand that some people can pursue doctorate degrees in fitness while working fifty hours a week as a personnel trainer all while writing plays on Tuesday morning that will be performed on Friday in a loud voice. And I am far from that person. I bruise easily. And I did not make your latte correctly, but I did make it damn good. And I have learned by now that the minute you settle for good enough, the even more excellent and frothy your next square in your next excel box turns out to connect with a smile and a thank you. And what's wrong with that? My surviving parent is a corporate lawyer and we are very close. But, so thank the strand of empathy in her that relates to the breadth of transcendence, or, at the very least, the that was fucking awesome, and so hail the nerve in me to fill out the teaching portion of the application. Because we owe it to ourselves to try to one day be members of Cosco, although we vow never to stop satirizing it to our dabbles, and post marks, and contests, and highly, highly,

Recommended mine,
Skin and Toast

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dear Plugs,

Hold tight.
Seal the cracks.
Don't let the snake bite you in the camel toe on the way out of the panty liners and ramen dinners.
Raise the pen on up to the she
And the devil.
The power is hers.
The trip is costly affecting all of us.

I wonder if that convenient store is still there.
The one in Shrewsbury.
It had a wood floor.
You could get a lot with a dollar.
The milk was in glass.
There was a pond and some trees behind the what was it called?
Lundgens? Maybe?
I found it romantic that you could walk to a pond with a dollar in you pocket and no one would bother you.
I liked the crunch bars.
I think Tony liked the butterfingers, although I could lay down and die for not being one hundred percent positive that Tony liked the butterfingers. Maybe I liked the butterfingers. It was so long ago.
I remember climbing trees.
But, having nothing to do, really, once we got to the top,
Climb down.
And then sometimes we would kill frogs.
They sat so still on the rocks.
Huge white bellied toads.
We would scout out the biggest rocks we could find,
Creep slowly towards the hundred penny marsh,
Raise our weapons,
He would point out the blood in the water.
I would pretend to see it.
Years later he went to war.
He was in the rear with the gear.
Now he sits in a tie and enjoys shaking deals.
I sit in my socks and--

Skin and Toast

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Food Related Play #28

Goblin’s Rainbow

Pressing into my muscles

And sucking into my teeth

I dropped my stomach to the floor


Age of five

On Saturday




To floor your pedaled jaundiced breaks that wake to wind

Perfection canned



For the God of you mother

You keeper of sky

At five you took me to our father

To soak my head in sins for

Gifts to make you better

Narrow in your looking glass

Forever on your paper’s edge


Myself christened in guilt

Reduced to

Mouth of blood


Lungs of heat


Nails of grout

Splashed to believe


This was my bed


You were my sheets


Take me

Folded in the molded forms you made for me

You said you’d be my parking lot

You said the pounds would feather down

I stayed inside all day for you

I whittled knees to bow to you

I harnessed backs to carry you

I Matted hair to goats with you

And froze the milk in cubes for you


Played the games on gagging pipes

On seven floors

To tip the scale

To wrong the way

To gram the crust

In countless chews of circus breaks

In waves to wake the song that’s caged

In ink to draw the strings that bind

The words to find it’s bigger now

Stronger in the giant land

Wide in the butter dish

Drained from the purge on the swing of your curse

Trail of hips good night


I’m the moon good bye

~Skin and Toast

There's a lot going on right now.

That is an ice cream cone in my vagina.

That is a bright calm in the spot of my lull pressure cook off.


Remember to take care of yourself,
Skin and Toast

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crunch Time

Just one more of everything,
All curdled and hollowed and sliced into palms of hearts, and sticks of meats.
And then we're out.
Kitty is doing just peaches.
Now all we have to do is fatten him up.
Kitty's have one job to do,
Really exciting.
Kind of.
Mostly just something you have to do.
Like gasoline.
The smell is so nice.
I'm not supposed to like it. But, I want it between my sheets, bad.
Like a punch in the face.
Hitler was a child you know,
A bundle of joy.

Hold on,
Skin and Toast

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Perfect time to defrost the freezer.
Scrub the base boards.
Prepare mayonnaise based salads in bulk.
One for every day of next week.
Stalk Craig's list.
Want everything.
Reinvent yourself.
Create a new Pandora station.
Call everyone half way related to you.
Inquire their left over quality.
Don't understand how one could not live for mayonnaise based salads.
Change status.
Pile the articles in order of relevance.
Start with the bibliography.
Annotate it.
Work back.
First eat fifteen chicken nuggets dipped in A1.
Trim the bikini.
Crunch the abs.
Crack a window.

Mount the memories of you.
Imagine us driving back from Iowa right about now.
Tom at the wheel.
You at the smoke.
I etching the sketch.
Too young to worry about what I have caloried, saturated, not enough fibered.
Proud to be acing the middle of fourth grade.

Crumble under my seat.

Snap back to the making,

Of myself,
Skin and Toast

Friday, November 26, 2010


One of my favorite indy bands.
Home owner's must get wasted on the power.
The internal switch power.
I declare it,
Every fall is a holiday all it's own,
When's the old lady in the basement gonna yank that magic cord that's a gonna pulley those hot buckets of steam-- and string-- and wind-- and long john's under cotton-- up to our player Layer.
Santa is a woman in these low income parts.
There I go comparing myself again.
We're rich.
I get it.
It's just easy to point the lens back.
Easy for you that is.
Saves you a trip.
An annual trip to the soccer and the one--z.
Hope you had a thankful.
Hope you were serenaded with whichever androgynous zyphoid process you're into these days.
Hope it was warm on your corner of the island.

Had tickets and itinerary mapped out to take us both to MD and MA and back again.
Then the little kitty got hit with a block of grit.
He survived the surgery nicely cause he's a giant in the guts.
Remember when his eyes used to be crossed?
They straightened right out didn't they?
It'll be the same with this little bladder bladder chicken chicken little honey bunny in the funny chair with you and me and shorn-ten shorn-ten. Aw. Make way for the cutest Matchbox...!
Scuse me.
But, see he's recovering slowly, like a turkey brining for two weeks in a bucket on the porch.
He has a cone, and a couple medicines that you have to shoot down his face with a syringe, and then there's the catheter not attached to anything, so you constantly have to wipe his little leg, and change his little towels.
And, I wouldn't feel right asking Ernestine down the street to do that nice as she is.
This is love.
So, me and Matchbox snowed in.
Muffins too.
He's here.

I myself was in the Tylenol once the temperature dropped.
I was reduced.
All I could do to keep the towels rinsed.

But, everyone seems to be on the up and up and a hiss pop crank now finally.
It's a purr city.
Thank goodness for the lil' miss claws downstairs.

We sure miss friend boy though. He's our trunk. He stands in the middle of our parkway real stiff while we dangle off his branches till our hair stands up and people start to look. Without him we're just a couple of guppies flappen in the weeds. Come home soon.

It's for the best. Kitty needs around the clock, and I get a head start on my paper; tears, and their relation to the early monastic dessert fathers. Fascinating, makes you want to put some sweat pants on and turn it way up.

I will not say I am good at a lot of things, but administering liquids to the helpless, I could teach a class on it.

It's easy, time management.

You can't just put down the lady lovely lock tea set and say, OK, time for a dose.

That would be a melt down.

You say to yourself, OK, in forty five minutes I have to squirt this purple stuff in, Disney! The little pumpkin will want nothing more then to view a furry classic, get her comfortable, chocolate milk and a blanket maybe, and right when she's just about to fly off into never never, Can you open up for me real quick, please? Ump, there we go, all done.

I am CPR certified.

Matchbox is snoring in his cone.

Clank hiss.

We can do it,
Skin and Toast

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Lovers,

Matchbox has a little needle in his little paw,
That's how we left him last night in the Kitty ICU.
He was pretty sick looking in that incubator thing.


He's in surgery right now, as we speak, that's a good thing, progress. Last night he was too sick to have surgery.

I just want to take him home.
All things need homes.
All the time.

I'm not a freak. But, I love my kitties with my whole heart. I understand that there are different kinds of loves. Don't talk to me about love. I'll out smart you in loss, I eat sentiment on my eggs, I'm a poet, I need little lives on my feet like a man needs a cave on his face, we can't loose him.

I'm not yelling, I'm fine, I'm eating my sandwich over my text book.

Say his name on an exhale,
Skin and Toast

Monday, November 15, 2010


Sometimes the kitty looks like he can't walk.
And then the other kitty licks his face.
And then you write this short story about a wheel barrow,
And a pile of leaves,
And a woman with a broken nose.
And the sound of the flashing lights.
And your spirituality teacher talks about sexual sins,
Like you've heard that term before,
And then you really lose it.
And it's that time of year when the chest gets tight,
And you have to stalk up on those generic inhalers that match the wheel barrow exactly.
In snap shot and mileage, in staple and moisture.
And how would you describe a lamp shade?
Could you spend three pages on a lamp shade,
A spider dangling from it's light?
A drunk matriarch in the dark corner?
Or is that all wasted on the truth?
The kitty with the infection.
The every night tea.
The Ikea lamp on the hard covered Lammott.
Into the night.
Into the how does she do that?
The thanksgiving tickets.
The dropping degrees.
The ginseng that bookends the teeth you already cleaned.
The vet appointment in the morning.
The ol' familiar in and out,
And down and through.
How does such a small chest get so heavy?
How does such a nice kitty get so nice.
Even when something is clearly off.
I could do with a tight lung.
But, my kitty,
If he's in pain,
The terrorists have one.
Should you keep spinning the facts down the back of your unlucky pocket, but put a best selling leprechaun in the middle of your based on actual spine?
Should you bedazzle your grocery lists onto a canvas,
Shine your twenty dollar lamp up the ass of em',
And call it artifact?
Or should you pull it all out of the air all around,
The air that can't get to the chest, or the cat.
In the mean time,
Just do it.
Puncture that virgin skin.
Tell William Williams the plums were meant for him.
Write what you know while there's life in your flesh.
Have we learned nothing from Our Town?

Every Every,
Skin and Toast

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Just when ya think ya have a handle on the tea pot,
It slips out from under you and burns the little baby,
Kills her,
Oh, she was so cute.
Well, we all die.
Ah, so nice not to have an agenda.
Got some writing jobs this week,
Which was cool,
I can't be caged.
Well, I can.
But, something will suffer.
Friend boy reads over my shoulder and comments.
I can't write a letter without him, never could.
He says I've gotten a lot better at spelling and grammar.
I say I've gotten a lot better at not crying during critiques.
And by crying I mean,
Nailing my amputated arms to the kitchen wall.
That's where I work these days.
The kitchen.
It seems to be the most finished room of the two bedroom second floor.
I don't know what it is.
The rocking chair?
The only one who sits in it is the kitty.
My grade school best girl had a baby recently.
I bet she has granite counter tops.
The tea pot?
Maybe it's the most equal room.
The kitchen.
Maybe it's the widest table
Of all the elephant alley tables we own.
I've been drafting so many audience worthy stanzas lately.
It's nice to scroll like Moses down this ether sea of Amazon weeds.
The truth is there have been some not so nice people this span of ten day or so.
But, I promised myself I wouldn't platform that stuff in this place.
Humans are weird.

He's sketching something in orange right now. Thank the stars. What would I do?

Hard to notice the Saints sometimes.
And poets? Get the right set of glasses, the tightest pair of tote bags, and a pocket guide to silence--
And you too can be a gift gifted smith trader.
Have we learned nothing from Our Town?
Sometimes people ask me about the genius,

Oh, the stories I could tell.

Anyway, there was a nice dinner with the fakes, and my poetry teacher gave me a ride home, and the fat kitty licked my toes, and someone peeled an orange at the desk next to mine, and suddenly it was seventy degrees for no reason, and a piece of water on a shirt, and there was like three servings of bacon, and two Superchunk tickets.

If you can make it to act three, you've made it.


Thursday, November 4, 2010


Found out his oldest daughter attends Columbia,
The New York one.
He must be so proud of her,
Doctor Un Rooley.
Wednesday before Thanksgiving is cancelled,
Always is,
Not at Columbia.
My daughter goes to Columbia.
How's she supposed to get home?
It's just ridiculous.
Take out a half a piece of paper,
These nuggets fascinate me.
Like Emily Dickinson,
It's the biography,
And the letters,
That really get me.

Always for an audience,
Skin and Toast

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Knobs and Switches, Break downs and Build ups,

Get in,
Check the mirrors,
Check the locks,
Slide the seat,
The white lines,
See, the yellow lines,
I'm not going to die,
I'm not going to kill,
Motionless-- for a good-- forty five,
Sign the cross,
Check again,
Between these hours you can do this, you can do this, you can do this.
This is something that people do.
You're there,
See that.
It opens up like a mind, to banners, babies, brass bands, familiar hymns, and not alones.

Our hands were empty and you filled them,
Skin and Toast

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Abandoned Issues,

As soon as I understood that there was a dead brother,

I became obsessed with finding him,

I must have learned about Erick

Around the same time I learned about reincarnation.

And hypocrisy.

And statistics.

Edgar Cayce.

And religious war.

Not to mention Dr. Spock and jelly jars.

Expectations drinking wine.

Charted life goals digging diamonds.

Jim dear, Darling.

Guess who’s coming?

The one’s who suffer, wrap in water,

Soft sculled best friends sharing blood banks.


Over there.

Antique drum circles propped up sideways on mahogany buffets for decoration,

Never to be played.

Just filling a space,

For other people to look at and say,


I sure wish that was me.

I was much older when I learned that Erick was part of the reason my parents couldn't stay.

And older still when I learned that I was part of all these reasons and swan songs.

And scoured pots and missing keys.

What do they do with their wedding rings once it’s all over?

Just rattle it around a sock drawer?

I’m sure that everyone regrets having children at some point.

I’m sure that everyone turns around and says,

Now what?

I’m sure that the hair stops growing under the band,

Like the bald ankle inside a man’s sock.

But there’s no registration at Target for the marriage of the stillborn and the born.

That role is left undefined as I am left undefined.

Holding Jem’s hand over piles of chilled bones,

I’m Scouting the trenches for possible big brother candidates.

Knowing full well I’ll never get him to stay.

I’m not searching for daddies.

I never wanted a daddy.

I could do without a mother.

And the sister’s have families of their own.

Even their very own suicide,

Immortalized quest,

And levels of wrong.

Maybe we’re all alcoholics.

But, if we’re looking for the first thing that we lost,

The first thing would have to be the blue baby with the Viking name.

And the half brothers are solid









I want an older all mine

Tyrannosaurus Rex.

It’s not fair what I do to these poor innocent born people.

They’re just trying to fill out their own rabbit black holes.

I have always been guilty of loving too much.

I call it eczema,

It’s really organs worn on the outside.












I have to say it takes the wind

It takes the dog

It takes the car

(Down the stairs, and out the back, bye bye, be safe, don’t fall, don’t grow, for that)

It wears moccasins, and calls me names, and rides me home. It wets the grapes, it’s never mad.

My Heart,

Skin/Toast/Mockingbird Killed

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I would prefer not to stay up all night.

I would prefer not to be tricked or cheated.

Just cut open my skull, see that it's all there, and show me to the dark room with the low to the ground cot, and the burlap sack.

I'm trying,
Bartleby the skin toast

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


It's funny sometimes the life that spreads out over a city.
Sad how easy it is to slip by one another in the crowds,
But nice to think of us all contracting in each other's rooms at separate times.
The kitties.
Shame walks,
Puppy trots.
Next door aprons tied to knobs.
Marbled lobbies filled with yous.
Sticky wagon bike patrols.
Corner crushes found on bridges.
Pink haired freshman all grown up.

I like the idea of all of us rubbing up against each other
Just missing each other

There's a liquor store in Pilson run by cats
Two huge white kitties
I know that
One is named Picasso
I think that
Both are doing fine
Seem healthy enough
Not that it was ever my turn to watch them

But walking up those three weathered wooden stairs to my six pack of Tacate, my bag of limes and pack of gums, and orphaned eyes; my chest implodes a little, and my eyes puff out, and my ears buzz back down to the south side, your side.

It's just that one has some black smudges on his cheeks, and I don't know if it's dirt, or second hand smoke, or liver disease, or what. And the other one, he just cries and cries, and scrapes against the leg of who ever happens to be at the register. Like he just needs to be loved all the time. Is that so hard to understand you colorful people of Pilsen? That's what makes him different, that's his lemonade stand, that's his fifty cents.

That's to be respected


And the man who holds up the threshold is yelling, barking,

"Come on Picasso, cross the street! time to go! Picasso! Picasso! Picasso!"

I know that man he'll never leave.

The liquor store is dark, and carpeted, and wet. But, Picasso loud, and Picasso shy, they thrive in there like cubes of sugar soaked in instants, swirling through the blackened grounds, Entombed in water hot as hell.

And I wonder if my Buster ended up in a strip club on Lawrence.
A book store in Hyde Park.
A thrift store on Belmont.
The basement of the Chopin.

I hope that's him behind that post
There's my bus
I have to
Have to

Skin and Toast

P.S. And the cop who fucked my mother, I see him everywhere.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My pores are so wide they can hold up to five days at a time

You get me every time.
Had a test this week that's still dripping down the middle of my chin.
I'm not as young as I once was, when I stay up all night it takes my knees forty eight hours to snap back into place.
I was in the conference room for this one.
Chairs plush and lean, like the ones they have in Germany, or Uranus.
Table wider then the bed I share.
Six open windows.
Soft light.
Door locked.
Large coffee from Dunkin Donuts with sugar only.
large bottle of smart water.
One blue book.
Two number two mechanical pencils.
Exam number one, English 2030, American Literature.
Three hours later the pages were filled with at least half right.
Hopefully more.
This semester I'd like to get my first A'.
Last semester my goal was not to get any F's.
Friend boy says he's proud of me.
Fake mom too.
In her own way, she still doesn't understand why I'm not perusing Broadway lights.
This English teacher is a new character in the series of people who correct my posture.
In the series of people who steady my breathing.
Who make me want to keep my eyes open just a little longer each day.
His name is Doctor Un Rooly.
He has leather hands, dark jackets, and two daughters.
He talks about them all the time, calls them his girls.
I put a lot of pressure on myself for this exam, because I want him to be proud of me too.
He's the spirit, I'm the flesh. Attendance is mandatory. Partial credit is given.

Me a chance,
Skin and Toast

Friday, October 1, 2010

Macaroni Neckless,

Hold on,
Just stop tilting
And going
And slipping
Just wait.

I doubt he's packed yet,

But, my little Ajax is going north, this time, to rest a while.

Sometimes the mean kids steal his paint and string. And he gets very upset.

Sometimes he stays up ungodly late at his desk sweating and shaking, he crawls into bed, into birds, sobbing that he just can't get it. He's trying, but he'll just never get it. It's on the tip of his finger, outlined around his secret system like a deflated car tire around a second cousin's broken english, but he'll just never get it.

No, that's me.

The truth is I don't know what he's feeling, no idea.

I guess there's lots of things I'll never figure, aid, string in bands around our crown of years, and snacks, and ways we used to talk.

He has a mole under the right corner of his bottom lip, if you see him, give him a big hug for me. And give him all the things I made for him.

And signed to bigger things like moms and pills and last resorts.

Give him a dry cloth in case the roof leaks where he's going.

Give him this Katherine Hepburn movie in case he has any questions about where I go on Monday mornings before he wakes up.

Don't go on and on about how genius he his, when he's in a state like this, that just makes things worse.

Remember he has an identical twin who's very in, and out, and proud, and on some list, and drives a car, and makes the grades, and lives with her, so, there's always that.

He likes his books on the floor, all around him, piled high in orders that skate and swivel storms of neon, reversible rage around that father we share in merciless tandems of tales.

The father who leaves him each morning in sweats on the couch.


Just make sure his colors stay separate, and give him plenty of string.

So he can find his way back.

Fix it,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dearest Jughead,

You must have been tapping your leg a lot,

Must've gotten really into the one,

That happens to me when my juices get bagged up and stored like banks of blood,
Waiting for unthinkables,
Just waiting for the tragedy of a death time.


Some people live for the end of it all don't they?
Not you.
Not my little square brother.
You're about the process; the taps, and ticks, and beats, and numbers, and scales in between all the amps and jumps.
The part of the sock folded into the pant, that's the good stuff.
Everything else has holes, and dangles, and grays.
So you might as well, well.... Fall down inside of it and make your way out.
Survive like that baby that fell in the eighties down that headlining, jug lining, pastorical accident. That unthinkable sake of my name.


Got a message from east coast half #1.
Voice message.
The Shrewsbury twang gets thicker and thicker, sets quickly like meringue in porcelain.
Linda's doing well.
Better even.
Not fair, even.
Revenge. Revenge for something I was born to fall for.
Rhymes with Eden.
Smells like, well,
A combination of two different yadda, yadda, language, jargons.
It's the better, even, judgement updates that really fill my veins Kiefer.
The dying once again's let me eat whatever I want, comfort me, familiar me.


Because it doesn't scan properly, it snags.
It pulls me under.
Gives me asthma and huge eyes.
I can't always remember the lyrics,
But they sound a little something like,
You can walk you hairy vampire!
Get up!
Off the couch!
Buy a plane ticket with all that money you stole from all those native Americans!
Put one foot in front of the other and come home!
You can talk can't you?!
Speak, woman!
I'll take you to the theatre.
I'll introduce you to my brothers.
And all the other brothers I've picked up along the way.
One of them will go bat shit crazy and purge for you.
For all of us.
For her.
For him.
For the words, and symbols, and bodies, and lives.
For interesting stage pictures.
For the friend with the crooked strings.
For the process.
The experiment.
For whatever happened to this girl, and my girl sitting there on the stairs with our arms around each other, sticking and holding. Our breath.
It's a process!
There is no clear end you blood sucker!
Life, ever heard of it?


Oh my god I thought you were actually going to do it jug head.
I mean, I knew you weren't, but you know, like, that was so cool.
Dead on.
It was like watching someone die of cancer, but they weren't sick at all, they were in complete control.
I have a lot of experience with that.
You looked completely different,
Lost the ability to speak,
Lost all the fatty tissues,
Couldn't pack any wounds,
Needed a lot of help,
All of it hand picked by you, for you, that's suicide!
Good theatre with picnics, and bean bags!
Even touches, brushes against the night gown of respect that one often catches from the disease,
It's brave to take a walk in the river.
Pour me a glass.

Keep those lungs puffed,
I love plays,
And aesthetics
That keep us
living lightly.

Turn it up,
Skin and Toast

PS: Good show. I'm OK, I just cry when people get skinny fast.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dear Ani, it's me, your biggest fan,

Been thinking a lot about inspiration,
And where it comes from,
And how to bottle it,
And if it works.
And if it could run down the middle of me in pink ribbons and stay aways.
And if it could give the rest of my organs the royal Buffalo finger tip and rip van winkle some highly educated midsummer laurels'?
And what's it to them?
And who are you?
My poetry teacher wears really cute clothes, but I wish she wouldn't eat bagels while I'm proposing, I mean, um, what is it?
I guess the stakes are much lower then I'm used to.
Wow, that's really, totally; special. I like it.
Could we blast some Not A Pretty Girl and do some jumping jacks real quick?
I need to clear my eyes for a second.
Kids these days blanch their margins so white, I have a hard time understanding the words.
Good thing I have your lyrics threaded through the stone black lips of my clitoris.
I used to have myself convinced that you rode subway trains to your own concerts, and on my way to the Aragon I would most certainly find myself on the same car and pole as you. And it would be packed, and pushy with judgers, florescent and straight lined like the hallways at state schools, hard schools. But we, Difranco and I, we would lock eyes, and I would play it so cool, cool like the q-tips that twirl on those fields I never had.

I know you get this all the time,

Your music really got me through some really rough times, and I just can't thank you enough, so I wont even try, so, I was wondering?

Is there any way, on this crowded subway train, you could, I've been thinking about this a lot, and we're not getting any younger--

And then she would shove her folk singing girl powered tongue down my inspired throat so hard, and roll it around so deep--that gold fish would have memories.

And I would get discovered, and lived in new York at the top of the cellar, and continued on the back flap without even trying.

The water would meet the rocks, Iowa would knock on my door, and frustration would plummet.

Oh Ani, I got my fist in the air and I'm willing to fight.

Thank you for having a van, I need my fantasies right now.

As is every Napoleon,
Skin and Toast

Monday, September 13, 2010

Paper Girl,

I know,
Me too.
I'll get an assignment that's like; start with a metaphor, say something outrageous, alternate between five and seven words per line, stop at twenty lines, end with the same metaphor you used in the first line.
And, whoa, hold the phone Nelly Bly!
Why would I sleep outside in a refrigerator box lined with garbage bags, when I've made a nice bed for myself right over there on the screened in porch, it's downy and original.
Oh well my friend.
The check's already in the mail.
I'll just pretend it's a Joseph Cornell box.
The dove is bleeding.
Be home soon.

Love, Skin, Toast, fresh out

Friday, September 10, 2010

Daily's Done Undone Today

Dear Bike Path,
This is what happens when it's time to go to work,
First of all, I don't wake up in a panicked headache,
And, the sun is also up.
It's not 3am, it's 7:30am,
And I have to be at work at 8am.
And I get there on my feet.
And cars, and whistles, and humans are buzzing around me,
The world is on my side.
Or at least my community, my safe neighborhood.
My Chinese restaurants and my second hand boutiques.
I don't have to strap flash lights to my forehead and snake through tunnels to get to work.
I don't share the last car with bus boys and exchanging stocks.
I just walk ten minutes in the sun to a building on a corner, and watch out for the bikes on my left.
All the people I serve have the same blades of grass that I have on my patch of land, they have roughly the same philosophical climate and cuisine.
They wear clothes not unlike mine, they smell faintly of strife over come.
They want to be with me in the building on the corner.
They work with me to make the experience durable.
They didn't wake up already deciding that I was put on this Earth to disappoint them, and their family, and all the things that make them happy.
They don't even order, they ask, and then they get comfortable, and then as soon as I get the chance, I politely do what they asked.
And they say things like thank you, and how are you? And please take your time.
Sometimes I have to get out the glossary to look these words up to the heavens.
When it's time to go home I'm already home.
I don't have to share the last car with the charter school trips.
My feet might have a dull thumping, but they don't throb up to my knee caps.
I don't collapse onto my pile of dirty laundry and sleep for nine hours, I boil water and look out the window for forty five minutes.
Then I set my pages up next to my tea and read the literature, and scribble the poetry, and google contests, and google submissions.
And take it all into the grain and the now.
This semester has actual writing classes, actual pens and jars of ink.
And circles of critical, long legged, youngsters.
And I have to say, I definitely, how do I put this, notice-- a-- difference.
Not in talent or ability, no, no.
Acting college taught me that those things don't exist.
And if they do, they're so obviously fabricated, and manipulated into lies and deceit, that you'd have to reduce them to a crumb of dust to get them to shine.
I'm just saying, that even though I have just as much to learn as the next Christian liberal artist, I definitely notice a difference in experience, and voice.
I like the teacher, I like looking at her curriculum, seeing how she maps it out, adjusts it, commands it lightly.
I like that she has her life absorbed in this thing that I'm also passionate about, I like the mold of her days, I like that, I want that.
Honestly, folks, a writing class is not that much different then a Too Much Light rehearsal, if you can conduct one of those, you're just one step away from orchestrating a syllabus.
I have this distinct memory of being in the Art Institute with east coast half number two, you know, the sister with the secure marriage who makes art that hangs on walls.
She was in town visiting me and my mother who is also her mother, and we were all dressed up for the opening of a Monet exhibit.
Number two and I had gotten separated from the dragon somehow.
And wandering through all those hay stacks at different times of the same day was a bit on the overwhelming side, plus we had probably been in the company of the dragon for at least seven consecutive hours, in pantie hoes, which means, to say the least, we were ready to go.
And I remember this so clearly, she stopped at a pink and yellow impression, turned to me, and said, "I can do that".
Now don't go flooding her in box with accusations and bible verses.
She wasn't saying she could do it better.
No one's saying that.
She wasn't even saying she wanted to do that, landscapes aren't even her thing you guys.
My point is; I can do that, in whatever context you choose to interpret it in, is the perfect string of words to stitch onto the backs of your eye lids.

Simple Strokes,
Skin and Toast

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Everyone Sleeps,

We all get tired and have to take a break,
From being sad,
Or wanting to be sad,
Even from being ecstatic and frantic,
The girls with legs have to stop and lean against the walls that lace up the backs of wild parties, I see them, they pause,

To wipe it away,
before going back to the fields,
to combing the Earth,
to treading the tides,
Their heads bent in hopefully nothing,
Just heat and exhaust.
But most likely something,
Statistically anyway,
Everyone sleeps.

Everyone has some innocent process of preparing for bed.
Some simple routine of enamel,
of rinse,
of snuggle,
and breath.

I remember the last time I took a bath.
It was also the last time I felt attractive,
Worthy and ready for the mystery of pleasure,
Sexy, like the girls I would later hate at wild parties.
Girls in lean, and drag, and shot, and safety, fishy nets around their fully developed legs.
I remember the last time I took a bath.
I was four.

I remember I wrapped the towel around me extra tight once it was all over,
Tight like the dresses I saw on TV when I stayed up too late,
Tight like the cup you make with your hands when you're whispering a secret.
Tight like the seal on the coffin you're paying for,
Tight like the things you keep even from yourself,
Tight and deep for only so long until it seeps through to your day chores in odorless forms of acne and bulimia.

I slinked passed the threshold that supported my father in my cute little terry cloth number,
I paraded and modeled my way out to the couch where my oblivious, absent, mother sat reading.
And I could tell by the shade of grey in her left iris that something was wrong,
And I could tell by the slope of her nose that she was jealous, and wounded,
That something had been going on,
You think she's reading architecture books,
But, tapped inside those hard covers are pamphlets on how to be the most selfish person in the world.

He poured my last bath down the drain and put me to bed.

She did what she does best, nothing.

I remember the first night I prayed,
Something other then the usual now I lay me down,
I prayed that I wasn't in trouble,
I prayed that my kitty was safe,
I prayed for a miracle to bring him home,
I prayed for fields to plow,
And water to tread,
And grace to save.

A wretch like me,
Skin and Toast

Monday, August 30, 2010

Funny How Quickly Life Changes

Dear Clothes Line,

Last night while my head was in my crotch,

And the pizza was wafting,

And the fire codes were busting,

And the stakes were pulpy,

And the stakes were high,

And my clown nose was wedged between my spreading thighs,

And my one and only was on sound,

And paper girl was there,

And my T--Rex was scratching his voice on the booth,

And my twisted elf was contorting,

And Ernestine was rolling,

And our Buddhist nun was also,


And Sticky was beaming,

I promised,

To come home.

Leave a light on,
Skin and Toast

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Goodbye Rocky, whom I affectionately call the professor, grande cappuccino. Exact change, elderly.
Goodbye Elizabeth, venti nonfat latte with a tall cup of non fat foam on the side. I remember when you were pregnant with Libby, now she's a person, she talks and goes to school.
Goodbye Anne with the venti one tea bag zen, one honey, and easy ice water. Thank you for talking my ear off every morning, thank you for taking such an interest in my life, thank you so much for that one time. Thank you for holding up the line three times a day, that was liberating to watch.
Oh, Bernie, you could be my favorite with your doppio machiatto to go, stale madelines, two eggs sunny side up, and the blond in the corner.
Ladies and gentlemen; Joe! Put your hands together. Somehow I got in the habit of announcing you each and every 10am, really loud, shame you leaned towards the racist side.
Walter outside with the street wise, you could gossip circles around any one of my Croatian girlfriends, solid my brother, solid. Don't steal.
Andy with the Venti unsweetened no water easy ice black iced tea. You stopped coming in suddenly, I was worried so I asked the other guys from your office if everything was OK. Turns out your husband died. I'm so sorry. They say you're doing better.
Pat, tall iced coffee with milk. If we forget to sweeten it you get your headaches. You retired last year. It's not the same without you.
Grace, tall red eye with ice, you moved to Texas, I will never forget you, you always looked so confident, I imagine you're a pediatric heart surgeon; kind eyes. Thank you, thank you.
Random guy who said he'd be back in three hours with his girlfriend, we'll order tea and take a seat by the window, would you mind bringing this Tiffany's vase containing a dozen long stem roses out to our table? Sure. Thank you, I'm proposing tonight and I want to make it special. No problem. You tipped well, most I've ever gotten in a night.
Rado, you were in the second world war, I could see it, you called me your friend and I believed you.
The freaks.
The blue collars.
The Christmas spirits.
The blind.
The after school punks.
The new moms.
The hopeful screen writers.
The lost.

It's been a pleasure.

Everyone else,
I hope you get what you deserve.
I live to prove you wrong.

Just hired at the local independent, get insurance through school, don't need your commute, or your tone, it's your tone that really got to me,
Skin and Toast

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Lamott-- says not to make any decisions after nine thirty pm.

Good advice.

It's five am after a hectic night at the theatre/followed by forty five minutes at the aggressive bar/the one that coughs the last call onto your neck in a ball/a wad/of molten flem.

As soon as the friends turned the corner towards their Subaru I was given permission by friend boy to, how do you say? Break, the levies?

It didn't take as long as I thought. A few hours had blistered over the burns, I had enough clarity from God, or my dead brother to gather that worse things had happened, and it was starting to rain, lightly, which always puts things into perspective.

I was a bit shaken up by a run in with some of my sperm donor's trixies. But, it is well past nine thirty pm. And I haven't decided whether or not this is the place to disclose the particulars. I was quite shaken up. Caught off guard. Robbed of my knees.

Don't worry, between the chat with paper girl in the dressing room, and the ride home with friend boy, it's totally purged, and licked in the wounds.

We even sat in the parked car for a good twenty five discussing the preposterous nature of the kindle, truly at a loss as to how that device could ever be an improvement on anything.

At this point the rain was poring, and we had no choice but to run, to streak through the hail, pleading and soaking forgiveness from Anne.

Split a bottle of raspberry lambic and popped in a hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt DVD, something pocketed from the back room of Starbucks, something starring that Paige chick, shhh! This is a public forum.

Now we have only the sound of my typing, the sleepy gurgles of a friend boy who admits he will never completely understand, the light patter of an early morning rain meeting the tin shell of our air conditioner.

I think it's safe to say we can call it a night.

More later,
Skin and Toast

Thursday, August 19, 2010

End of an Era


Is it true?

Is it really closing? OUR Our Town?

I promise never to see another production as long as I live. It's true what I said, that when my reflection smears that monologue across CTA windows, I only want to see your face and your tears staring back at me.

It's also true what they say; I love New York. I wanted to go so bad. I wanted to carve out a tiny plush perch on a weathered Brooklyn address. I wanted to wrap my four favorite things in a purple handkerchief from Eloise, and go. I wanted to go.

I wanted friend boy and kitties to go too.

I wanted a photographer from National Geographic to take our picture as we stepped on to the grand central platform. I wanted to go. I wanted to land. I wanted to wear old fashioned boots with laces and hooks. I love New York. I knew exactly where to go, and what to do, and how fast to walk when I was there for the audition. I just knew, my feet took me there. I was confident in ways I'm never confident in this city I've lived in for twenty six years. The people on the train looked like pictures of my parents when they were young, the crowds squeezed me in the appropriated cardinal directions, and everything was clearly labeled.

At the bar with the fire places back in Chicago, the night before you left; you whispered in my ear that I would always be your favorite Rebecca.

You're my favorite, and my only Emily. At the very end of my life, when I slip into comma, I'll turn to the fake trees and hanging lights, and I'll say; Oh yeah, I had almost forgotten.

And the fake trees and hanging lights will say; shh! It's almost over.

And you'll say; I can't, It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. Take me back.

Alright, alright, lets say one day I have a daughter. And one day she's in the school pageant. And it happens to be Our Town. Then, and only then will I risk loosing the placement of your inflections-- The folds of your ribbon-- Our silent air traffic communication across the chairs on tops of tables at the end of each first act.

You never know. Last I heard I was technically still on hold for the role. They could call me and ask me to come in for the final four weeks.

I wont hold my breath.

Take care of George for me.

Break all your legs.
Your neighbor,
Skin and Toast and Bacon and February

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh Buster,

Sometimes I think I have a remembering problem.
The sun will hit a building a certain way,
And there you are purring and drooling inside my grade school ears.
There have been many kitties through out the years.
But, you were the first.
You looked like Matchbox,
Younger though,
Just a little baby.
I was never mad at you for crapping on the rug,
Who needs carpet anyway?
-Makes me itchy.
I loved you,
You looked just like Matchbox,
Younger though,
Just a little baby.
She can't help her temper,
As far as I know,
It can't be helped.
Math homework can be helped.
Tempers, they need to be scraped out like a tumor.
Except, not by the hand of a hot Nicaraguan specialist,
Maybe under the guidance,
But, the actual surgery,
led on horseback, with white flags, and scarlet letters,
By the hands, and sticks of the patient herself,

But, that would imply that she is not a victim,
Or that she's tired of being a victim.
I suppose,
It would have to lead down that muddied road anyway,
Or out that window.
I remember that window.
In that itchy living room above that corduroy couch,
It was a basement apartment on the corner of Sheffield and Armitage.
It was cold,
And when you looked out those windows you saw feet,
Or terrified flashes of orange and white.

In a fit of rage,
She picked you up by the tail,
And threw you out that window,
Sounded like a pig being slaughtered,
Or like a baby being abandoned,
Like hell on earth, on Wednesday, on sidewalk.
Poor little guy,
Just a baby.

One minute you were there,
The next minute the sun shone sideways on the concrete blocks above us,
And the next minute,
You were gone.

Poor little guy.

I can relate.

East coast half #3 can probably relate more,
She was very young.

They said you would come back.
Don't worry,
I'm not mad that you didn't.
She's mean.
I wouldn't.

She doesn't.

Here we all are,
shopping for curtains on opposite ends of the world,
Trying not to look back,
Swallowing our own inherent rage.
Knocking on doors,
Squinting at the memories that slip in through the cracks.

Hoping this finds you curled up and cozy on the lap of your fake mom,
The couch of your green room,
Or the foot of your brother.

Skin/Toast/Fresh Milk

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peaks and Valleys

Dear Pebbled Streams,

America's Next Great Artist?
What next?
Isn't that a little broad?
Broad like Jonathan's shoulder's,
Even after the dramatic weight loss.
Let's be honest, Jonathan Paul is my sperm donor,
And the diabetes have left him thin, svelte.
Now they're both shrinking.
Help us.

I mean; the Chef's, and the runways, they could benefit from some exposer, it seems, but the art school drop outs? That's a stretch. Oh, I don't know, I don't follow that one.

But, the kitchen, and the shop; those surfaces seem naturally competitive. Am I crazy?

We do it,
And then give it,
And then do it again.

Well, I can't speak for all of us.
And aren't the cooks and milliners,

Why is this perturbing me?

Probably because I live for PR.
And, it might be getting out of hand, I carry them around with me.
And if I get sucked down another bravo rabbit hole I'm doomed.
Friend boy's mom is in the needle and thread business, and I love her, and she loves me, so someday I too will be a top chef master.

We watched it tonight,
Then friend boy had to go to the theatre to turn something on,
at 10pm.
That's how we roll the bobbins around here.
He's designing the sound for the next prime time, but on a system he's never worked with before.
And that's where I get lost.
Lost in the headphones and scratch paper thats confettied the office.

I have to get eight red clown noses for tomorrow.

He's started to collect drawers, so perfect.
Like that candy crust that hardens on the tops of fresh brownies, perfect, still warm.
He has many projects, they get on the floor, they stay on the floor.
When I clean them up, things get lost, I disperse, like the jews.
Thus, his collection of drawers.
I'm not kidding.
Honey, check out this pink file cabinet I got for two dollars at the brown elephant!
So, when I'm straightening up I'll just put everything in here!

Honey, I need a rubber chicken, a sharpie, and a flash drive.
Drawer 3 from the top.

Some double Decker stainless steel's appeared last weekend.
Lifetime together.

This time always gets me cause I'm a sap.
You know the time,
The tech time.
It's like water breaking.
Like how on Tuesday during home show rehearsal,
The balls brides were on the other side of us painting flats,
And jughead was in the kitchen building his fountain,
And there's a box of posters in the office.
Love posters.
Love a good poster.

Lindsay is a free woman,
that was quick.

Tech time at the Academy was blindingly awesome, a chariot on your tongue.

Don't really remember tech time in Dekalb.
Only the lights-

Of Laramie-


And the web of incest that chain smoked other people's butts/and huddled against the cute girl/me/ in vintage coats/and crayon hair/said they were going to McDonalds/but really ditching you to go buy hard drugs from a dark Attic/but finding you later to have their way with you before you took your skirt off/hard to eat/ pray/ love/ your way out of that one/

Thank you now of now. I knew you'd like me. Julia Roberts is a vision.

Young president/Even younger theatre company,
Skin and Toast

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Paperless Wads,

I have to say, the b-b-q's can be tuff.
Chicago yards equal tight spaces, I like tightness, but I also need a way out, if there's no way out, there's no way.
It was going well until the woman with the monosyllabic last name and the fat eyes was suddenly facing me, looking right through me like I was a television.
She's worse then the bald guy.
Just when I think I can handle it, I can't.
I hate naked children.
Little boys with their shirts off make me want to die.
Ridiculous isn't it?
I'm supposed to be the one who prays, who for gives it all to something higher.
I don't know-
How to sit in the grass and eat a brat.
I don't know how to forget.
How to understand that it's something else entirely, clearly.
Clearly ten centuries ago in a pit of snakes.
I guess knowing is half the battle,
But, if you're the only one with a weapon,
It seems fruitless to fight,
Try the cantaloupe,
Next time.
That might sit better.
But, points for trying,
Half credit for bringing a present and a six pack to share.
Gold star for slipping out before you caused a scene,
A climax in the last act scene with ribbons and masks.
You have your friend boy,
Your three girls,
And your mentor.
That's rich.
You don't get lots and lots of teams of tribes.
That's not how it works.
So, know that.
That you don't ever have to be her friend and call her on her phone.
But, you can't hate her.
You can't cancel plans because of her.
You must exist together on the same planet, without violence, and able to aid in times of need.
You like equality.
Over and out,
Skin and Toast

Friday, August 6, 2010

Knee Deep in Stencils

Dear Linda,

Your birthday was the other day wasn't it?

I forgot. Then I remembered. Then I didn't feel anything at all.

There's a new veil between us isn't there?

There used to be a string, it was too long, and too tangled; but you were on one side and I was on the other. And for a while that was something, we had at least full range of motion, we could let go, and run, and fly to opposite ends, and use our hands to see how our faces had changed, and then lunge to re-claim our respective places on the line.

Well, that's unraveled now hasn't it?

Now we're stuck with these veils, like the kind you wear when you're catching bees, or avoiding bees to catch bee's honey, I don't know I've never done that.

And in this sea of gauze we've gotten turned around, there's no more direct flight, only infinite distance, and the monotonous buzz of a queen and her army.

Well, at least I always knew I was loved. Just like Chelsea Clinton always knew she was loved, just like that.

Happy Birthday,
Skin and Toast

P.S. How old are you anyway? Hmmm, you were forty when you had me, now I'm twenty eight, anybody got a calculator? Fetal alcohol syndrome is a bitch.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dear Poppy Seeds,

You know, going to the financial aid office is exactly like going to the psychiatrist. You say two words, you hand them some papers that will never make any sense, they swivel around to their computer screen, they look something up in a huge binder on a tall shelf, ask you some personnel questions they should already know the answer to. And then the situation is totally fixed, well, for now, hard to believe considering they had their back to you the whole time. Then you go down another hallway to talk to the person who really understands you, but who can't really fix anything at the moment, but promises he will, just hang in there.
Then life finds you soaking wet in the parking lot, and friend boy is sleeping soundly in the four door civic. "Hi".
And those charcoal chicken delights taste so good in a storm.
~Skin and Toast

Monday, July 26, 2010

Like The Dance

To The Captured,

Used to sink inside when the car pulled out even for a few minutes. Even if he was just picking up sandwiches and sodas.

Now I float like big girls in deep ends.

And it's the last week in July, so the cherubs are out. If I stand still enough I can hear them breathing under the lights. I can feel them squeezing their toes into glass slippers and skinny dips.

That's where we met you know.

I knew he'd come back, not that he ever left.

The cherubs are out.

Skin and Toast

P.S. Learn your lines, verbatim.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hot Eyes

Dearest Hairballs,

Ajax called to say that "the rock of depression has lifted".

Then we went to the tobacco stores, bookstores, and diners of his choice; my treat.

I was like, take me to the hot coals, I feel like walking little man.

Bought some Edgar Cayce books because I was feeling particularly intuitive.

One fine day.

Paid some bills and sobbed, not because I didn't have the money, just because.

Rotated my hips a few degrees to the left, oh my god it's so hot, the fans make it hotter, I want to ride a bike down a hallway.

Baked moments in confused breaks from deadlines that still the blood, the man sitting next to me on the 22 asked me if I was OK, the woman on the other side of the counter told me there was no way to duplicate what I just threw out. Go blow dry your hair a little longer why don't you? Don't talk to me. Someday you'll be able to major in stream of consciousness, and then I'll get that Guggenheimed PHD I always knew I'd never have. I'll wear aprons in Rogers Park and teach two days a week, and own a small bookstore, and friend boy will have his studio in the back. And the basement across town can keep brewing all night, and we'll be there early to help bottle. Volumes two through six now available in paper back, get em' while they're hot, can you toast the breakfast sandwiches? Yes, I can, not going to---do it forever---can't. I can survive the rest of my life without central air so long as I don't have to put your equal in your latte for you. I'll rather wipe your ass with my tongue. I'd get off on that. So would you. I'd take you to the theatre after you came all over the sugar free vanilla, something at the Steppenwolf. That's where I got my start you know.

Oh, I lost my head for a second there, that was un-lady like. Excuse me while I finish this embroidery on my maxi pad.

Pebbles in the shoe. Blueberries in the pants. I don't mind if you smoke, my mother smoked.

Catching waves in the middle of nowhere, and jumping to surf with you,
Skin and Toast

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh Yeah OK


So the rumor current is that she's gonna be in his Broadway production of Picnic.
And, this Our Town thing is just to get her feet wet.
Well, it's nice to know there's a plan.
I like plans.
But, I hate making them.
She was on Lifetime yesterday.
That Helen.
Some movie about Chinese babies.
Remember when that was the fad?
I prefer sit com actors on Broadway,
as a fad.
If you're going to time travel I recommend doing it on a Sunday.
If you're buying a news paper, or simply asking for a glass of water,
You have to stand in line.
We all have to wait in this world.
And sometimes,
If we're not psychotic bitches, we'll get exactly what we want.
And no, we don't need anything.
I mean, nothing out of the pastry case that is.
If one is at a point where one needs a cinnamon swirl coffee cake,
One has an unhealthy relationship with food/reality,
And one should seek professional help immediately.
Oh, you don't need a cinnamon swirl after all?
Then use your words.
Please may I have a cinnamon swirl?
Of course.
That'll just take half a bloody nano second you miss quoting rolling stoned hamster.
Yes, I just put your newspaper dollar in the tip jar.
Yes, I don't hate you.
It's just a show.
Silly show.
But, sometimes.
When you're coming up on two decades of painted stages.
One after the other, after the other, after they cut your solos in the eighth grade pageant,
After they wrote you up in considerable vocal crisis sophomore year of acting college,
After you made the speech at the Cherub banquet,
After they cast you as the messenger in Iphigenia junior year of high school,
When you wanted Iphigenia so bad you spent the night on the roof of your boarding house.
It gets hard to not take it seriously.

I want it to be good so bad I scratch my thighs to a pulp.
I heave over every dropped line and missed entrance.
And then I say that I don't care,
But I do.

That seems to be a pattern lately.
Saying one thing, but felling, and implying something entirely different.
I'm not mad.
The acting dragons would love that.
It doesn't really work for apartments and frozen pizzas though.

OK, the truth is I had a bad day.
The truth is I still don't know where my talent is, what I'm supposed to do, what one thing.
The truth is I don't like my face most of the time.
The truth is I'm afraid you'll move back to Ohio.
Or Jersey.
The truth is I have bad days.

And I miss you so much. I keep a picture of us dancing in the courtyard scotch taped underneath the shelf that's attached to my desk. When no one's home I lye on my back and stare at the two of us dancing. Me with my home perm and you with your lip stick. I usually prefer candid, but we knew.

I dream that you'll come to the show on a bad night and hug me hard, and tell me I was awesome, and no one noticed. And the we'd go out to eat.

I dream of no bad days.

I dream you'll find me on this tiny corner of the Internet, and know enough to still not dare to call or write.

I wake to forget you, love you.

Skin and Toast

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Body Image Check In


Still there.
No further developments,
Also strong.
Spreading rapidly.
Ongoing battle.
Still freckled.

It's like the sprinklers at night,
How you know they're there,
Because the sidewalk's wet.
But, it's too dark to avoid attack.
And then it feels good.

But that group of boys on the corner, most certainly trouble.
And then they're gone.
Just in time.
And they can't hurt me.
That group of boys.
On the corner.
Listening to my I-Pod without me.

Where fake mom lives,
All the houses are nice and the sprinklers on timers.
But, here they have to walk outside to turn their water off.
I like seeing them in their shorts and varicose veins.

I like that my body gets me home.

Not bad,
Skin and Toast

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In case you were wondering

Open Letter To Helen Hunt,

I don't mind that you are now playing the stage manager in Our Town.

David's busy.

Why not?

I know you once played Emily. You're a stage actress. At least you were before he was mad about you.

I have no reason to hate you.

I would probably hate you if you thought you could replace Jen. But, we don't have to worry about that now do we?

But, why the one month?



Like it's a breakfast cereal.

Do you have any idea?

When was the last time you rode the Greyhound bus from Chicago to Dekalb?

I'm asking.


Letting Go,
Skin and Toast

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back to Back in

Dear cities I've only ever driven through,

Oh, well. Let me tell ya.
It was like awesome.
I wore tights.
I had the best time.
Thank you so much.
Oh, my God so much has happened.
Then, we went to see The Chunk at the taste of Randolph of all places.
Oh, golly.
That was the next day and that was like so awesome, it was like oh my god.
I jumped.
I never jump.
I'm afraid of looking like a sack.
But, I did some jiggling at the love fest.
Because I was wearing tights.
Well, actually fish nets.
Oh my God, like, you have no idea.
They say ya'll in Maryland, ya'll.
So, I jumped.
It was fun.
The whole weekend I was determined to have a good time.
Something that doesn't always come naturally.
Not when tights and moving are involved.
Friend boy cried because he was happy or something.
He's a sensitive dinosaur.
It's so hot.
Like, Oh my God.
Because it's his favorite band.
And he wasn't at work.
And I was jumping with him.
Which meant that I didn't have a weird look on my face.
Which meant that he didn't have to worry about me.
Which meant that he could jump extra hard.
Which meant that time had bleached my arm hair so musk rat white that I needed ear plugs.
Then I went to math, and it was like oh my god.
And then my phone kept going off.
And I was like oh my god.
Then I went to the bathroom after he cut our cords for the day.
And I was soiled like a can of coke.
And you know how I like coke.
And periods.
Oh, my God. Anything period related I just love.
It's a hobby.
Then I was like, check that phone girl.
Then there was a picture of a little tiny little baby with a little tiny little hat and a little tiny little puffy eye ball. And I was like oh my god. It gets me every time. It's like so cool.
Anna Gloria Walsh.
Eight pounds.
One ounce.
21 inches.
Just fine.
That's what the phone said once I scrolled down.
Then my inbox was flooded with pictures and moments.
And the new person was hooked to all the old people.
And I was like oh my God, be careful.
Don't get too attached.
And then I was like,
And that was like so awesome.
Like so the thing to be chanting over and over.
Like, oh my god.
Then I went to Lexington.
With the showsy whoasy.
And it was another fun fun fun.
Except for that one little moment with the bald guy.
And the one other little moment at the bookstore when the guy behind the counter told me I was stupid.
Oh my God.
The show was the show.
But, the big news is that friend boy was there.
There had been a rule that we couldn't tour together.
I made that rule.
But, when this tour came up.
It was a short one,
And I was like Oh my God.
And then we had the time of our lives.
We stayed in an attic.
And I liked being on stage with him for the very first time.
That only took two years of crying in the green room.
Told you I was slow.
This is getting personal.
Oh well!
Oh my God.
Now I'm back in the home show,
So, it's like Oh my God.
Gotta go!

Skin and Toast

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Always Fun

They usually happen around this time don't they?
It's a good time.
School holiday.
But, not always.
I've heard of ones happening in the winter.
In the mountains.
There's a lot of polishing involved.
Scrub it good.
It's gotta be the nicest it's ever gonna look.
You are a tomato, and this year in your life is a giant tooth brush.
Shine that skin girl.
Twist those bristles around that shit.
Crate and Barrel.
It's all very nice.
It's a lovely weekend.
I really mean that.
I actually mean that.
I don't see any vampires.
I didn't get any assignments asking me to prove anything.
Actually, even better, this has nothing to do with me.
Oh, Jesus. I knew you were black.
I love black men.
It's a community.
A hand picked community.
All coming together for one day.
With one thing in common.
Never to be assembled again.
How cool.
A flash
In the
Of your
A tiny
On the
Of your
Pointed to reference.
A sunny, pleasant reminder.
And the idea is to only ever have one.
So, naturally it should sparkle glow.
I get it.

When I was seven I was a bridesmaid in my Father's marriage to my fake mom. It was huge. It was Cinderella on steroids. I had never felt more beautiful. Or confused. Then for reasons too complicated to blog about on a Friday, they went to Paris for a month, and something happened in that time, something that forbid me to have any contact with them for the next four years. Gone. When I was twelve I rang them up cause real mom was dying for the first time since I had known her, and the first time is real scary. Ask the grandkids. Dad and fake mom were now living in Highland Park. I had twin brothers. Sixteen months old. It is a tragedy of epic proportion that I could never, can never, will never hold them in my arms, I missed that whole thing. But, it is a miracle beyond comprehension to hold the memory of those two little bodies waddling right up to me and saying hello. And they continue to amaze me, walking, and running, and soaring into their eighteenth year.

Oh my God, my little pumpkins are huge! And that sleeping beauty on valium thing was all more then twenty years ago. And it's so over. I'm a big girl now. Very smart. Good at separating. And being happy for my dear friends, supporting them, congratulating them, wishing them, supporting them, holding, and holding, and holding them. Once you get the hang of it, it feels great, natural, much easier then dwelling and wallowing.

Nothing but love, and balls,
Skin and Toast

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To Think, All Those Times I Cried About Oily Skin.

I don't know either.
I don't even know how to defend myself in bars against conservative barista friends.
I also think you got it right with the walking, and the nature, and the wild.
Which is part of why this never makes sense.
Like something very big is very mad.
And I'll do anything, anything you say.
I like his voice.
I like it over spaghetti, Perrier, and rain on roof.
Then I feel guilty for having the courage/time/blindness to even prepare a meal.
Then I stop and listen hard to everything he is saying.
Because he is addressing me.
Because I am an American whether I like it or not.
Whether I ever understand what exactly that means.
If I could just once,
Just one instant of one day,
Stop wondering why my pants are snug around the hips,
But loose around the waist,
And long at the bottom,
Then maybe I too,
Could do,
After I finish my dinner,
And my listen,
And my kiss.
I'm learning that there are times when it is indeed appropriate to walk into the blood shot eyes of the storm to save the future of a friend, or plunge down the side of the mountain to save a dog, or dive naked into the Indiana quarries for fun, or just get in the fucking car and drive into traffic, three damn miles to the neighborhood church, or God forbid; Dominick's. You know, whatever might be scary, or accomplished only after unyielding amounts of faith, abandon, and love.
I'm learning that not everything is about or because of my mother.
I'm learning that the world is sometimes just as sad as I am without ever knowing my mother.
And that that would make me, at times, stronger then the world, and in a position to help.
I'm learning that sometimes it is right and good to do nothing.
To bask in the absence of this plane, and float effortlessly onto the next.
But, even that takes effort.
So, grow up.
Sometimes they and it are blood sucking vampires to stay away from.
And sometimes it's time to stop sleeping in coffins and trust your own ability.
I love you Anne Lamott.
Most of what I write is learned from you,
And thanks to you,

Skin and Toast

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Missed Calls

It's true about the sadness in the world.
It's true about the nothing we can do.
It's true about the old,
And the friend,
And the fame,
And the special,
Who have moved,
And hiked,
And stretched,
And crashed,
And raised,
Into beautiful,
It's amazing how plans can change,
People, not so much,
Though they do try,
And try,
And fail,
And don't,
But, sometimes,
For the good.
And about the Guy,
The candy,
The diamond,
The cancer,
The show I shared,
I served,
I swept and mopped,
For, and,
I am now one of many, many,
Who have heard and stumbled,
And on
Your on line notes.
Who is so very, very,
Like a letter,
And paid,

Skin And Toast

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From the inside out

Dear Matchbook,
I like the way you follow me everywhere I go.
I like that.
I like the way you sleep, and snore, and dream, and wake yourself up all inside the twenty minutes it takes me to do the dishes.
I like the way you sometimes lick my toes for no reason and it kind of tickles.
I like the little snip out of your right eye, makes you look tuff.
I like the way you can't stop crying every time the shower's running, you sit on the toilette and cry, and cry, in agony until I'm done with my legs. I can only assume that something horrible happened in some bathroom somewhere before we adopted you.
I like the way you drink ice cold water out of ceramic coffee mugs sometimes as a treat.
I like the way you kind of choke when I pick you up, and squirm until I release you, and then run right back for more.
I don't like war.
As a concept.

Ugly Protective Blisters,
Skin and Toast