Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Black T-Shirt

Dear post nap,

Read Acts 1-24 of the NLT study bible.
Metropolitan wheat bottle.
Late night talk shows.
Check the tabs.
Click the tunes.
Fuck acts 26-28.
Take his coat.
Kiss the cat.
Folk the music.
Talk about Bloomington.
Hard day.
Me too.
Not that bad.
Sink into the navy blue couch that we've affectionately nick named old brown.
Watch his eyes slam shut beside you.
Turn down the music.
Peel the cat off the remaining hummus.
Go way back.
They say to just go back when you can't get to the rest place.
When you're procrastinating moving us to the bed because you don't want to clean the hummus.
All the way back to the incubator.
Wonder how much you felt.
Or if it was invisible like Freida's bus ride.
Just lie still.
In and out.
Out and down.
Lungs without pressure.
Plastic boxes without fathers.
How long was I in there?
Just me, my in, my out, my down, and my through.
Linda says two months.
So, I'll never know.
She was sent home, but I stayed.
And she says she visited me every day for a few hours.
So, I'll never know.
Wonder if I thought of giving up.
Clearly didn't.
Come far.
Skin and Toast

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Watching Them Sleep

Dear Anne Lamott,

I tried.
I waited for the bus.
She sat down.
And I waited for her to say something.
Someone had to say something, we were the only two people in the world.
Sometimes God is in the bathrooms you always say.
So sometimes the garden is in the campus,
And the temptation is in the charcoal chicken delights.

Oh, something something weather weather fifteen twenty yadda yadda yadda yadda, oh sure.

Then she handed me the usual Jesus pamphlet, and I folded it into the Southwestern earth crafted lady purse that hung like a shield across the breath and the depth of me.

I decided to listen to her. She was talking about the war. And I opted out of the palm Sunday service this morning. And we were the only two people in the world.

Then she asked me if I went to school here, North Park's back drop was stapled behind us unevenly and two toned, in banners and score boards.

Uh, oh.

Don't ask me to quote the bible with you. I'm not like that. I'm more Anne Lamott then John the Baptist. I'm here to listen.

Close call. Dodged that one. She was out of literature and JUST wanted to know what I was studying.

Creative writing.

Yadda Yadda good for you honey you a freshman? yadda yadda. Oh I see yadda yadda.

What do you want to do? Or where do you see yourself?.....Picture?......It was that question......But, the wind was picking up and it was hard to hear.....?

Be a writer.

Declarative statement for a change.


Oh, OK, you JUST wanna be a writer, OK.


They have the best chicken over there! (She said). (With a smile).

It's true, Charcoal Delights is sinful.

Grace (eventually),
Skin and Toast and Gumption

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Dear so far today,

5am, Bucks.
12:30pm, end Bucks.

Then up until now, rapture.

Coming up right now, attendance of Sacred Heart Middle school's production of The Wizard of Oz.

Much later, full reflection.

Thank you so very so,

Skin and Toast and Pettest of your pets

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Wish I Knew

Dear Linda,
You know,
I think,
In some ways,
Children need their parents more at the age of 28,
Then they do at the age of 8.
Am I wrong?
Completely wrong.
Spent another afternoon in the college bathroom, stuck, so to speak.
The teacher wanted to talk to me.
That's never a good sign.
Falling rock.
Dead end.
He did that thing that people do,
That lip thing, that thing that makes their lips tight around the corners,
But, slightly parted in the center,
And it usually involves a shaking of the head,
A shake of despair,
Of waste of time.
I would have rather been at the gynecologist.
The first time.
When they took my blood.
And gave me an ultra sound.
And told me it wasn't the child of God.
And laughed.
They laughed at me.
They laughed so hard I felt their breath on my exposed genitals.
When did I ever imply that I ever thought it was the child of God?
Did they think I thought it was the child of God?
Or were they actually making a joke?
The teacher asked me if I was trying to be funny.
I'm never trying to be funny.
That's why it's funny.
I'm hysterical naked.
Scoot down.
By the way,
Jenny, the neighbor, was in the waiting room.
In your place.
In seventh grade,
when my periods were regular,
You used to brag to sister #3, over the phone,
"Josephine works so hard,
She starts her homework at three in the afternoon,
And when I get up at three in the morning to go to the bathroom,
She's still working"!
First of all,
you were vomiting in the bathroom,
Second, the other kids finished their homework before dinner time.
And third, they ate dinner.
Anyway, I've been working on a paper all day,
And I feel much better.
Just keep working and never give up,
Just like you never told me.
Friend boy's been helping me all day with the footnotes and the hot totty "t" crosses,
Egg frys, and floor sweeps,
Not in your place.
In our place.
But, I do like Joan Baez. Still. Oh! Follow the bouncing ball. Please come to Boston in the spring time-- the night they drove ol' Dixie down la la la--
gets me every time.
Almost time to switch over to iced coffee.
But, not quite.

On my back,
Skin and Toast

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Fling

Dear Showers,
Oh my God,
You'll never guess,
Oh my God,
You're gonna flip out!
Oh, my, Gawd!!!!!
Wash that mud mask right off of your phat lil' face cheeks right now, oh my God!
I mean, the hair,
and the shoes,
and the music,
It was like,
Oh my god,
And the flowers...! Don't get me started.
I know, it's amazing.
Sit down.
I had some left over potato soup from the middle eastern bakery,
and three wilted carnations in a milk glass vase were catching the afternoon sun.
And some promising merge artists were wailing from the free standing Sony device.
And he was watching his adult cartoons in the next room, at an appropriate volume.
And I was wearing jeans,
and muddy chucks,
and an ivory tank top that accentuated my Germanic profile.
I heated the soup with the one working burner. And the one wooden spoon.
It was UPS yellow,
and vampire garlic.
It took like, fifteen minutes to get it, like, piping hot.
Oh, my God!
Then I poured the soup into two bowls,
and in the process I spilled a little on the counter and decided not to clean it up,
I stared at it for a moment and thought about how much money I had in my checking account.
Then I took the two bowls of soup,
two spoons,
and two napkins,
out to the coffee table for the two of us to share.
And then,
get this,
he looked right at me and said:
"You shouldn't have".
Can you believe it!
Oh, my God.
It's what we always dreamed of!
Peace Out,
Skin and Toast

Monday, March 15, 2010

Half Of Me

Dear Kool,

We were so cool with our American Girl dolls and our side pony tails.
We made so many promises long dissolved into the bright red sugar tumblers.
We played war with cards and polished with nails.
You wont see me with a manicure this side of life ever again.
Some where a long the spectrum a switch went off inside of me,
I don't think I've worn high heels since I was nine.
of time
and school
it would
to be
a judge.
I don't judge!
Now you have an American helpless kicking you in the ribs.
Now you have a house.
Presumably with windows.
I just like to see it in word formation.
There's no subtext.
I swear on my pinky you precious lipstick secret.
When you crawl through tunnels under Massachusetts
public parks
with someone every summer away for the most of under fifteen,
It becomes rather noteworthy,
rather down the spout of those ricola contraptions,
rather something to stop for,
and count to three completely before accelerating for.
It's big.
It's an extra breath on the yoga mat tomorrow.
I promise never to compare.
I promise always to be different.
And there.
Not that I ever noticed you were only half of me or anything,
I never cared that my dad wasn't your grandpa.
Or that my brother's have never met you.
I swear none of this ever mattered or married or carried away the way you hugged me that night.
Or helped me with science.
Sometimes my arms got tired holding it all up,
but I also should have eaten something other then the clear Pepsi your father,
my brother-in-law,
kept locked up under the sink.
I have to give a poetry presentation in one of my lit classes.
I wish I could just play pearl jam and describe your hands,
how even though the hard parts lacquered pink sparkles,
the sand from the box still pours from the tips now peeking through blazers and cuffs linked
to eggs without shells
that hatch
in the heat
life/tunnel/sugar bowl.
kiss it.

Skin and Toast and Lunch Money

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This is where they met.

Dear Dorothy and Abraham,
Thank you for taking care of me all those years.
I can't thank you enough,
I can't thank you,
Every time I try, you press finger's to lips, and pass the dumplings.
And flip the record.
And tune the Yuke,
And face the something on the red and blue tapestry to pray to something in another language.
That's why I picked Bloomington as my favorite vacation spot.
Because I know that that's where you met,
And fell in love,
And married,
And had a baby,
Right here,
On this soil.
And you still,
Live in a house,
It hasn't crumbled,
It hasn't sunk into the ether of too young,
Or too tired.
I know I know nothing is perfect.
It's epic.
Everyone should go here.
Hall ah french toast and clean sheets.
Girls in skirts with dirty bags.
Dwellings with chimneys.
And napkins with unincorporated butter pads.
Live music and breweries.
NIU was not like this.
NIU was the seventh floor of Michael Reese compared to this.
I should have listened to you.
On all other subjects I had my drinking glass glued to the thatch of the roof.
Next time.
By the way,
My next idea is to be a speech pathologist.
If you approve.
This is a universe.
This is my parents when they were young.
This is the scene in the kitchen.
This is the absence of poetry.

Yours across the courtyard,
Skin and Toast.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Road Trip

Dear Spring Break,

We're going to Bloomington, Indiana right now.

We're staying at the Scholar's Inn.

Skin and Toast

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I don't know

Dear Paper Girl,
I miss you too.
I even miss that orange dress.
Damn you brown elephant.
I give to them more often then I take from them.
When I'm time traveling,
I clean,
Like a rabid dog
Of Israel.
And cleaning for me means throwing just about everything away.
I don't pretend that I'm normal.
Oh, please.
(Get over yourself Josephine).
Time traveling is a term coined by myself and friend boy.
It's a code word.
It's a shield.
A feather that could be magic if the elephant would ever wake up.
It means that I'm freaking out.
It means that I can't breath.
It means that I need help.
It means that I'm stuck.
I can't get the Internet to work for example on some idle Wednesday,
And also my biological clock is ticking rather inconveniently because I don't have a career.
See where I'm going with this?
Something small, like I forgot to pay the Com Ed bill or take my birth control,
And then I'm a terrible writer and nobody loves me,
like in the same micro nano second.
And the effect this realization has on me is not meant for blogs.
And that's where the time traveling comes in,
remember the last time you time traveled?
It was nothing.
And sometimes I don't know that I'm time traveling,
because the nature of this thing is such that it can convince you that it really is monumental,
something to cry and die for.
So friend boy can say,
You're time traveling,
And no matter what, I have to listen.
It's a code.
A pact.

I miss Paper girl.
Sadness is different then Time Traveling.
And I don't know why paper girl ended up at the top of the time traveling letter.
But, we don't have to know these things.
I think I realized recently that Paper Girl is very very wise.
I always knew she was my girl and she was sublime.
But, recently I've noticed something new.
Something mountain top.
hope she doesn't mind me going on about it here.

In conclusion:
For the record:
As a tip:
Wear some orange today.
You may think you don't like orange.
That is crap.
I don't understand when folks say they don't like Christmas.
Or kitties.
Or talking children on television.
You can't just not like the whole blanken thing.
That is limiting to all of us.
Just wear some orange.
Or EAT it.
Or look it up in a book.
It's not to be ignored.
It's a star.
A real one.
My heart,
Skin and Toast
P.S. I know, right?

Monday, March 8, 2010

past times

Dear one tree hill,

A perfect day would consist of sleeping till 8:30am

Pouring the hot water over five cups of coffee

Drinking all of them next to a kitty and a screen door broken

With soy creamer and sugar in the raw

Reading something that I had to read in high school, that now means something different.

Not more,


Then the modern wing of the art museum.

Then some soft serve.

Then a phone call from sister #1.

Then a slow walk home from the brown stop with a new song,

So loud that it kicks up dirt

under cleats

under good

under games

and the setting

Skin and Toast

Saturday, March 6, 2010

OK, Just This Once

Dear Afternoon Sun,

You cast a spell on this Ravenswood apartment.

The living room is currently soaking at the bottom of a glass of white wine, so I took my macbook out to the tree house, no boys allowed.

And there's a man from Colorado playing a banjo in the other room.

I've heard that some people get nervous when there's nothing to do at the moment.

I'm the opposite of that.

I like to stretch out on the marble floor of a Grecian bath house, and stare at the voided out patterns that ornament the space between the tiles on the wall.

Cobalt blue.

Windows instead of outfits because it never gets below nice.

And wide strips of fabric hanging from the vaulted mahogany wood beams next to lanterns next to pineapples.

And you only ever have to work just hard enough so that you enjoy the breeze on your neck.

Skin and Toast and mini blinds

Friday, March 5, 2010

spring ahead

Dear case,

Suddenly this is about my "disability",

My multiple syndromes,

It took me six hours to complete three mid terms today,

It was rough.

It was dark. Beloved in the grave before she was born dearly beloved kind of black cafeteria.

At times it was not that bad. Like when I knew the answer.

When I really know the answer it's eighth grade all over again and they just posted the cast list.

Who are they?

The kid on the bus had an orange hat as florescent as the day is long, and the kid next to him had a poster board as neon as the Craig is clown. And the lights that said Ashland were as flowing as the milk and the honey.

OK, that was impossible, OK, this is what happens; I show up at the library, and they hand me an envelope, and I do whatever I have to do, and the next thing I know it's six hours later. I don't pretend to know what it's like to be looking for a fix that you can't have, but it might be something like that. Those six hours might be the first forty eight hours. Touch me by an angel you sexy sexy thing.

The guy who checks in on me could tell.

He said next time we'll stagger em'. Even get the tutor to take em' with me. If it comes to that.

He's nice.

Spring break! Fat cat! Take it off! (work more hours at the Bucks).

Linda always used to say:

In a low tone:


Through frosted gloss:

"This too shall pass".

And I was always like:

Why did you just say "shall"?

Bloomington Bed and Breakfast,
Skin and toast

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Dear Dickens,

Is writing about the weather just as bad as writing about writing?

Do you have to be dirt poor to be kind?

Do you have to be sad and beaten in order to master the hook of the comma?

Is there a difference between story telling and Neo-Futurism?

Do you have to be a teacher before you're taken seriously?

Do you like John Irving as much as I do, as much as he likes you? He really likes you.

Is a memoir a book?

Is a politician a writer?

Is a writer a performer?

Why would you put Post at the beginning of a new movement? Eventually isn't the idea to be old, to last? As a writer, wouldn't one avoid the danger of becoming Post Post? It doesn't sound right.

They all wanted people to read their journals some day, right? Everyone wants an audience.

Could I hire someone to produce my memoir? Could I write my own memoir via a series of interviews?

Where, without feeling sorry, do you see me in ten years?

If you were alive, would you subscribe to the Believer? Contribute?

Are you alive? Like, in the form of a poor Mexican immigrant in the Bronx, struggling to make it as a cutting edge beat box operator?

My mentor gave me "Great Expectations" on my eighteenth birthday, and that's why I chose it as my favorite book of all time, then I realized I liked the book, a lot. I like the commas, I like that you can always say more, I like that one sentence can go on for pages; lifetimes, weekdays, tech rehearsals, Christmas parties, therapy sessions; the sentence is an air tight leather couch that I could lye down on, except I never do that, that only happens in post modern movies depicting life on the North Shore, I sit right up in those sixty five minute debates, I have to be ready, poised, curled only ever so slightly at the tip of the ankles; for more, if there's twenty two point five different ways of describing something--then by all means, go at it. Pip, Pip!

That last one was not a question. And I wish you were the president of some university that would have me for graduate studies, I know you wouldn't charge me anything, and we would just sit around and talk all day, while drinking hot totties, and wearing argyle sweater vests. And you would produce my memoir, and get me hooked up with McSweeney's, and This American Life.

Well, I was out of questions a while back, and it's mid-terms, so I better skey-daddle!

Bye for now Chuck.

Your chandelier flaming,
Skin and Toast

Monday, March 1, 2010

Modge Podge

Dear 1970's appliances,

I can't tell you how hard it is to replace the sponge that cleans the plates we eat off of. Even if I write it down I forget. It's a slap stick. It's a one act play about a green and yellow dobie. And at this point it's hanging together by a prayer. I think I'm actually making the dishes dirtier by washing them. And in turn, I'm literally eating off of the smell of scum and mildew. Lovely. Really great for my body issues. Never create a logical excuse not to eat. Never be a vegetarian, never play wheat allergy. It poisons the people around you. It puts led in their forks and they're dead within the week. Speaking of forks, I constantly feel the need to explain my religion, also apologize for it. Also put a price tag on it and hang it makeshift from the gate outside my apartment, barter it from the throne of my lawn chair. Use the money for the sushi that's not included in this year's full time student at North Park budget itinerary excel power point place mat. The other day I happened to walk into the theatre with my study bible still in hand; suicide. Well......Ummmmm.........You weren't supposed to see this......My religion is a green and yellow blanket that Linda crocheted for me, that I still bury my face in, that still smells like her Obsession by Calvin Klein even though it's been washed so many times it's neither green nor yellow. Feelings that shouldn't introduce themselves until the first time that skinny carrot top maggot ass prick mother fucker breaks your heart and you steel his football jersey and wrap it around the pillow like a freak, except actually it's some thrift store button down because that's your type if you were to have a type, but now you finally have simply a one. The Linda blanket is probably the most comforting and familiar and true corner of my life, it's a shroud of nothing but love and light. It's all that is good and right. I love it with my whole heart. But, there's so much I don't understand. So much intricate puzzle and pattern, so much. So much. So one of so many other functioning blankets. Yet, I always come back to my Linda blanket, especially when it's dark. But, it's not pretty. There are definitely one too many period and wine vomit stains spackeling it's frays and fold over's. When company comes I have to put it away. And the pastor's a lesbian. And I was never confirmed. I'm really into past lives. I also get that from Linda. And I'm not a Republican. And North Park is the only Christian college in the country that doesn't make you sign a letter of faith. I was raised Lutheran, but now I belong to an Episcopalian church. But, we all know by now that I wasn't really raised. So we have God to thank for that blanket. And if you haven't read the book of Job you're missing out, it's some of my favorite writing ever. Up there with Maya and Alice. And if you want to talk about books, Anne Lamont. Holy. Holy. Holy. Sometimes I read her "Some Thoughts On Faith" when the Linda blanket is stuck in the wash and wont be dry till the morning. Thank you and God bless.
Skin and Toast and Service
PS: gave up coke for lent, drinking a lot of sierra mist.