Thursday, December 29, 2011

Well That Went Well,

Twelve days later,
It's safe to say,
That went very well.
The at home life is pretty much exactly the same,
In case you were wondering.
But, see that's the point.
We looked around at our home one day,
And said, hey,
This is a marriage.
Lets be publicly in love.
Lets do this.
With the best of intentions.
So now,
We have the same ol' familiar package of bacon,
And the same drawer of underwear,
Now resting on the basement of this one particular weekend of awesome memories to have and to hold till death,
And not really even death,
Personally, I'm promising all of eternity.

We've enjoyed sleeping in,
And drinking whisky,
And having Christmas,
And breaking from the grind,
And singing hilarious original songs,

Tonight we're thinking of driving to Rockford for dinner.

I love, and love, and love,
Skin & Toast

Friday, December 16, 2011

I love my friends.

Dear Grandma Miner,
I am sorry that you are not here tonight.
I am sorry that your daughter is not ever here.
I apologize with the depths,
the deepest parts of my self,
the breath, and width,
and depth,
of me.
I know that I have said some very mean things,
I know that I have been very immature,
and I'm sorry.
I didn't mean them.
Any of them.
I don't know what happens when you die.
I don't know what happens when I die.
But, I think that I might have loved you once.
On a lake in Canada.
And I know that I would like to take harmonica lessons at old town.
And I love my friends so much,
With the breath,
And width,
And depth,
of me,
Skin & Toast

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Remind me to get my eyes checked.

Thank You Secret Santa,

There is a plate of soft cookies on my table that somebody else took the time to make,
For me,
There is an orange kitty on my bath mat,
My kitty.
There is a jug band at the Grafton tonight,
And I'll see my ol' friend,
And I'll blink my eyes,
And I'll take as little time as possible in the bathroom,
And I'll put the front of my toes on the tops of my feets,
And pay no never mind to the polar bears or the forest fires.

Bless the students in Virginia,
My prayers.

Got the license today,
No lines,
Its off season,
Had a lot of fun getting up early and getting the coffee and taking the train,
I'm talking painful stomach fun,
I'm talking people looking at us fun.

Number one most awkward question in the universe: What is your occupation?
Despite our writer/performer/waitress/painter/free lance/child care/barista/teacher answers to these questions;
Self employed is typed in black ink on lines seventeen and eighteen of the certificate.

Did I mention I plan on wearing combat boots and a jean jacket?

Did I mention this is all that I am and all that I have.

Skin, Toast, Humans.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I have to say

just like they tell you in therapy,
this is not my fault.
Sure, my anger always gets the better of me.
But, I love my anger,
I don't want it to have the worst of me.
And its all very ironic and strangely timed
Tied in tune with the step of a mere ten days before the linens are rolled out and pressed into
Plastic marbles and bubbly stem cells, staircases, lashes, really great lashes.
At the end of the night you always meet the back of the toilette and kick as hard as you can.
Just like they tell you in therapy,
They say,
Don't speak out, you have no proof and you're not strong enough.
So it all manifests into small voices and acne, Paul Simon and tall buildings.
And non linear monologues with very clear endings.
And isn't it funny when the bald headed polar bear retreats slowly away,
Completely and utterly free as a Scott.
And we're the ones left.
Doing the work.
For nothing.
Barely even the tightly wound Lebanese tortilla that got me here in the first place.
Here I am drinking whisky with my friends till its all the way out.
Into the minutes.
The pajamas.
The parking space.
The next day phone talks.
The early bird cinemas with pops.
The playlist.
The ghosts.
The jeep.
The long houses close to the ground,
Spiraling back at you,
Winking at the blades of grass on the corners of your eyes.
Chanting into the tin cans around your heart,
You can have one some day promise.
Promise all that you are and all that you have.
And the women. Women. Women.
Free parking,
Skin and Toast

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Like

Violins playing on hard wood floors.
Pretty girls in leg warmers.
Flat bread with drizzles.
Kleenex with lotion squirts.
Muddy hand prints.
Hugs from people who know how to poach eggs.
Book stores that sell coffee.
Suite cases with combination locks.
Three legged cats.
White musk.
Keys turning in doors.
Chapped lips.
Bundles of wheat help together with bright red yarn.
Kind eyes.

~I have seen at least three of these things today. I don't mind the cold front.

Skin & Toast

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dear Dr. UnRooley,

I know you have two daughters.
You talked about them all the time.
It was awesome.
"Your girls."

But, I have to tell you, no matter how much you've sacrificed.

There are days when after an uneventful day at work,
You stop at the grocery for three bottles of your favorite water,
One jar of banana peppers,
And a box of dried kale.
There are days when you pray to the self check out contraption.
When you sit on the El platform for an hour,
Watching half a dozen trains go by, perfectly accessible trains that you can't seem to board,
Rather sit on the bench.
And when you finally do decide on a train, you sit all the way in the back,
With the candy wrappers, and the backwards motion,
You have a wonderful conversation on your smart phone with your step mother,

And you feel you are in the throws of happiness.
But, your landlord hasn't yet kicked on tonight's furnace, and
You can't find the space heater,
And everything tastes bad, and none of the Cd's are in the right jewel case,
And you can't sit in one place for more then five minutes because your jeans are too thick, and You're sick of your home and you want to go home.
Just for a night.
You want somebody to fill the fridge with your favorite snacks.
And have just the thing that you want waiting for you on your old bedroom floor.
A new printer.
That sweater in the window of the Anthropologie that's across from your restaurant.
Stupid Lakeview.
And she'll tell you how pretty you look.
And she'll put on your favorite episode of John Laurequette.
And you'll fall asleep to your old petty desires and wake up forgetting all that you are and all that you have.

But, you can't. You just can't. (Sally Field is screaming in a cemetery).
"She never could!"

You dig the green and yellow striped blanket out from under the radiator.

And you just want your mom.
Nothing else will do.

Sorry Rooley,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

If We Could Talk About Me For a Second,

I have a mole on my back,
Just below my left shoulder blade.
Well, it could be a birth mark.
Because its not raised, I can't smooch it between my fingers like I can the ones on my neck.
Its light brown, like coffee with too much skim milk.
I know from my many trips to the derm that it is in no way cancer.
And I've had it as long as I've been able to reach my neck over the front of my medicine chest.
And its never bothered me before.
Until now.
This transitional time.
I can't stop thinking about it.
I feel like there are twinkling Christmas lights all around it.
It is a perfect circle by the way.
Not fetus shaped like normal back moles.
Its a stamp.
A glaring perfect imperfection.
An eye sore.
A heir lip on a middle ton.
So, I just thought I'd tell you.
So that you know.
So its not a surprise.
So we can all eat plenty of frankincense that day.
So we can get our minds out of our bra straps and play nice.

Skin, Toast, Nooks, Crannies.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dear Inside Of My Body,

It's just that these transitional periods have really put some sand in my shoes.
Did I mention that I'm still writing two minute plays for high schoolers on Fridays,
Football fans on Saturday,
And match dot coms on Sunday?
Still going strong for close to six years.
In the same apartment for two.
Finally planning that wedding that's been in the back of my mind since we were seventeen in sweat pants, in a cafeteria in Evanston.
Never thought I'd be one of those people who gave two wooden nickel licks about catering contracts and strappy shoes.
But, then you decide you want to mark this time in your life with this community of folk,
And one thing leads to another,
And although you never had a perfect day on the agenda,
Still you want to take care of your guests,
And guests need plates to eat off of,
So there you go,
Oh, my god,
Fishnets and Jambalaya,
Oh, my God,
Totally awesome,
I'm dying,
You're dying,
We are all totally dying.
If this were like a competition on Bravo, I would so win, I'm here to win.
Just kidding.
You know and I know that the best day of my life was that day in the cafeteria,
Plus all the ones that haven't happened yet.
And, this is nice, but, its also a flagstone, and you can't have a flagstone without a yard.
So, yes, I'm excited to be getting married, but I'm more excited to be already married.

And then I taught my brains out of an eight week workshop.
Seriously, I didn't know how much brain power teaching took up.
I'm used to working with my hands.
Confirmation: students are more rewarding than pancakes.
But, also more pressure.
It's one thing to ruin a breakfast.
Another thing to ruin the soft skull of a young writer.

That said, it's not my appetite, and it's not my eight weeks. This is about you. So do the work.

I'm a working artist who teaches. I'm one part facilitator of feedback. Two parts challenging assignment for next week. Three quarter liaison between you and the professional world. So lets arrange the chairs in a circle. This is fun. We're all in this together.

But, then of course I have to mention yet another adventure in brunch. Just a mention. A stop on the Brown line for brisket. You know how you catch a glimpse of your naked body in the prongs of the fork that someone left on your bedroom floor.


Is what it is.

With this current arrangement I can work less and make more. So, make it a cup cake pancake I guess. For now. I can focus on getting hitched, re applying to those feathered institutions in the sky, submitting the usual best three a month. And in general evaluating the placement of the next step.

Because I can't perform broken words to Velcro shoes for the rest of my life. Life above a funeral home gets heavy.

Not that I don't love my creative projects. I could make movies with deep eyes, stalk Grover's corners, and stream my conscience with T-Rex until I'm forty one and expecting my first batch of lesbian Cambodian triplets.

I never thought I'd be one of those people who wanted a mahogany coffee table.

Funny how the perspective shifts.

Funny how its easy to get tired of the same wad of twisted cotton sheets.

Transitional times.

Mulled wine and wheat cereal,
Tattoos and blistered gums

(I can't see what's on their napkin)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Its always a pleasure

And a privilege
And a wide leg
And a tight squeeze
And a fresh seal
And a free choice
And a new day
And a good night

In the dust of my bones
I know,
Skin & Toast

Friday, September 23, 2011


For the neck.
Old Style for the office.
High for the concept.
People smoking on the sides of things.
Banners hang Octobers.
Learning lines in sweat shirts.
Forgot to register.
Down a well.
Skin & Toast

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And Sometimes

I look back at stuff,
And I think,
Maybe I should go back on medication.
~Skin, Toast, & Writing rut

Monday, September 19, 2011


You meet people.
Girls in low tops from the same side of your city.
Sometimes the deadlines never end.
Sometimes you have the color grey on your porch. High pitched and squaking. Goose. Kitty. Babe.
Sometimes they smoke from the sides of their mouth.
And they speak of your neighborhood like panels in centers.

Last month I spoke to the pink haired lady.
About why, and for, and settle.
We are the opposite.
We are different hallways from the same exhibit.
Doesn't matter cause the gift shop killed. Like diarrhea in the snow.
Then we danced like it was the end because it always is.

And the gay man in the flannel shirt gives me rides.

I don't do well in groups.

But, on the rare occasion that I do my fingers go numb and my eyes turn to dust.

I have always been taunted by magic, my section; occult.

The smoke eddies up, and the blue under scores, the heroes, the class. Boy. Friend. Cheese.

I have to stop.

I only ever wanted a store front and a

Black out,
Skin & Toast

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Few Minutes Late


Like bugs

Between the mop water

And the milk chugs

The cabinets

And the crinoline

The imports

And the napkins

The punch cards

And the lunch breaks

The swiffers

And the hand bags


Like vermin

On loafers

In the back

In the alley

On the phone

On the break

On the crate

For the ten

And something

An hour


In service

For ever

It seems

In the heat

With the bugs

To get

To the night

To the work


Like dragons

In mountains

Down streets

Between jobs

In the rapture of commute

She almost

Makes sense of things


Skin And Toast

Started two new jobs. Nothing ground breaking, but exactly what I wanted. And the class is flaming awesome. For me anyway, can't say for sure if I'm changing lives, but there are moments when we feel like they're actually listening to us, and that my friends is a win.

Friend boy also has a day job change, we're rearranging our new schedules around our well deserved leisurely mornings. I love transitional periods. Its almost fall on many levels right now.

And I miss school, and I want to go back.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thank You Fake Mom

For the burgers and wine
Alex and pop songs
Snap shots and strawberries

You've started cooking
And wearing head bands

I met you when I was seven
You were wearing red

You were allergic to my kitty

Your hair was in a french braid and you kissed my dad

We've come so far

People should study us
People should paint our faces onto ceramic cups and attach our names to decades

Happy Labor Day,
Skin and blunt bangs

Sunday, September 4, 2011


The edge of her bed

On a phone call

To Los Angeles

She almost makes sense of things

And the cat licks her toes like its his last night on earth

Skin And Toast

Monday, August 29, 2011


Dear Sugar Crystals,
I'm only going to say this once,
And then never again,
I'm only going to remind you of,
The people outside
Of this city
Baking under bridges,
Wailing next to gem stones,
Floating on their backs like guppies in bath tubs.
Upon a flowering vine.

Nothing is more healing then a plastic zebra mask tied to my ears.

Pinching my cheeks like a granny.

I turned to him and said I was ready.

I turned to the bricks behind my head and whispered.

You don't scare me.

My anger is a statement. If you don't get that by now. Then you are a robot. Then I wasted my time. I cut you into coupons. Pink. And brown. And blue. And red. Opposite ends of the wheel. Dangling off the tip of my fork like a sausage in a dungeon.

The dogs came a running.

The dogs licked my eyes.

I can't tell you how lucky we are to have a Brita and a can of Old Bay.

The breath, and width, and depth of me,
Skin & Toast

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Politics aside
It's still an honor
To be positioned
And full of body
Like a shampoo commercial for the underprivileged.

I left my notes inside my shoe box

Now I'm on a wing

Interviewed today for the same ol' waste of Jessica service.
But, trust me I have a plan.

Whatever you do, never tell a girl what to do.
I made this choice.
I tucked these sheets into these corners.
And I'll meet you at the intersection of McSweeney & Roosevelt.

September I Remember,
Freckles & Whipped butter

Sunday, August 21, 2011

She danced.

She held us all together with macoroni
And deep shdes of purple.

We twireled, not really knowing where exactly we were headed.
That's the point.

I have to say I've reached the point where I enjoy these things.

Fish nets and berry compote.

Many thanks.
Home safe.

SkinToast&Packaged Liver

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Know

That I often refer to that place as the killing school.
That it was by far the darkest hour.
But, somehow,
I made some lasting friends,
Fiends that continue to connect despite infinite cross country moves, breakups, and calloffs.
I meet them always often in the middle of Indiana, the day before their wedding to a man named Chuck who I've never met but can see is very nice.
And Nathan and Heath show up just before it gets dark. They're the live music. And we hug like its the last time because it probably is.
And they look the same, except their beards are longer, and their arms are darker, cause they work on farms now. They grow organic produce somewhere way way up there where Dave Mathews and Phish used to play. Probably still does.
They're no longer an item but still harmonize nicely.
Picked up the harmonica and banjo.
And still know the music that goes to the lyrics I wrote on bath towels when I was 21 and barely hanging from the shower, on the train tracks, sipping cleaning supplies.
Songs about plastic bags and cracked hands.
Every once in a while they shout over the tiki torches,
"Jessica, you wrote this one!"
Not really.
But, not bad.
I do remember writing.
I remember people calling me a writer.
Pointing at me hunched over that raggedy side table with a crayon and a roll of recite paper.
I remember being confused.
Extremely baffled and bemused as to what could possibly happen next.

And we hug the bride and we hug the bride's best friend and we hug the bride's half sister.
And we thank them so much for the burgers and the beer, and the invitation, and can't wait for tomorrow, going to be just perfect, oh, thank you so much, how special, how lovely, good jobs all around, how nice and how lovely.

And then we pile into the civic. Just the two of us. And we cruise back to the hotel with the windows down and the humidity laughing at our cheeks. Doesn't take more then twenty six hours to establish a routine in this town.

And we spoon to the crickets.

And I think what a difference. To have someone to go home with. To have a person to home with. To know a person who homes you.

Got it.


Love Always,
The Writer


Thursday, August 18, 2011


Days Inn Indianapolis
Maybe should have traveled with a bottle of febreeze
Nevertheless having the time of our banana pepper lives
This is our thing
What we do
Here's the plan
If I'm not back in twenty minutes
I'm dead
And the plane never crashed
~Skin and Toast and Dry Cleaning

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

And we're off

Big week, eh?
Sometimes what you need is just a push.
It stays sweltering in these apartments.
Long after that late summer breeze has peeled the slippers off the Grinch.
My landlord has a 15 year old cat named Charlie.
She says he's dying.
He's all spine and dander.
The porch was built with him in mind.
When I look at him I wish I could scoop out a piece of my brains in his name.
A quarter cup of warm ground up grey matter oozing down my wrist.
I want him to eat my mind out of my hand.
There's so much I'm not using anyway.
If it bought him a day?
Peace on the Pacific.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Its Not That I Can't Do It Anymore

Its just that I don't want to.
Like that time I had to memorize the I have a dream speech.
Third year.
Killing school.
For me it was no problem.
To them it was ridiculous.
390 credits later.
I call myself a poet.
I got tired of sad monologues about my mother.
And started ranting.
And now I can't take it back.
Because I don't want to.
Because I'm over the whole thing.
I just want one person to have me.
And the rest of em'?
See em' around,
Push em' a down
Baby Jessica sure dried up.
I just want them all to understand that their babies will get big.
And not as cute.
And then sure enough the babies wont be wanted anymore.
Too quiet.
Raccoon in the eyes.
And they'll all leave their babies and replace them, watch.
So you better thank me when you're old.
I had a dream differed.
Does this make sense?
Give me a break,
Skin and Toast

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


The sudden realization that you're going to have to try harder,

Comes the sinking suspicion that you're being constantly watched,

By a woman in a pencil skirt,

Dusting her pumps across the glass surface of her state school,

Wiping the lipstick off her teeth.

Pulling the chains from the earth.

~Jam and Tarp

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Breech Of Consent.

Things I hate:
Staged Readings
Child actors
Children doing anything that is meant for adults
Like keeping blogs
Or having sex
My father
The Internet presence that is Ada Grey and her controlling mother
I don't know them
But, I disdain their hype
I loath the "project"
I want to not only expose it as meaningless,
But, explore the breech of consent that is taking place
I believe very passionately that children should be nurtured
In all their interests
This is the opposite of nurture
This is interfering with growth
This is taking something from her she doesn't even know that she has
Much like rape
Very different
But, the same breech of consent

Things I love:
Advocates for them
My opinions
The opinions of people who disagree with me
My apartment
My ensemble
My partner
My Support
Peach rings
My blog
Alice Seabold
Susie Salmon
My recovery
My survival
My mother


Monday, July 25, 2011

Dead Lines

I'll be done with college on Wednesday.

I am accepting cakes.


Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm Working On Something, Caution, Long


Actually I Just Changed The Names

My name is Amelia Cake. And the thing about me is I don’t understand a lot of what is going on. I spend an awful lot of time confused. Terribly confused. And I don’t know what is true, I don’t own a microscope, my sister does, but I don’t. Me, I don’t know if I ever got the full story of myself, or my behaviors, or my gumptions, or my size, or anything really. But, the thing is, something happened. My name is Amelia Cake and I have to tell you something. Sadly, most of it is true. But, some of it is fake. Some of it is left out, or changed into shiny coins from Canada, or Vermont. And then some of it is hanging in loose ends from my ceiling.

For example, my name is not actually Amelia Cake. It’s something else. Something very early eighties. Something ordinary. Catholic. Of green gables. But, I’m not going to tell you my real name. Because, when it comes to my story, and my name, and the numbers that stack me up, it’s best not to worry about things like real, or speaking, or image. Just let yourself go kind of soft. And help me figure it out.

My name is Amelia Cake and I am writing to you from behind a closed door, somewhere off the coast of Massachusetts. I have a lamp, and a bed. And I wish to be independently successful someday, long after I am dead and cold. I wish to tie everything together with string. My name is Amelia Cake and I am having one of my good days. I want to tell you something quickly. Before I get confused and furious about what is true, and what is dropped like a diamond down a well.

First, some context.

I was born three pounds, seven ounces, on a cold February afternoon. And I don’t know why, but for most of my beginning the only thing I wore over my purple, asthmatic body, were thin cheese cloth looking nightgowns. Not exactly the rape victim kind of nightgown, but more along the lines of a neglected, only child who talks to herself kind of nightgown. But, now, twenty-zillion years later, I’ve been to hell, obviously, and back, and back, and Tuesday, and river, river, cry, cry. And the flames have eaten the fine linens, and stupid lace collars. And I don’t really care anyway. Because I’m much too big for nightgowns.

My name is Amelia Cake. And you can’t trust me. To put it simply, I am sad. I have green eyes, and I am looking at the wall next to my sheets. It is so hard to go on.

I guess the story starts the day I accidentally lost my mother. She’s been bulimic for three decades or so. But, she doesn’t understand, she thinks she has cancer. I was sixteen that morning that everything stopped. But, I don’t like the way sixteen sounds. I want you to hear six, ten at the most. A tender age. An unfinished age. And I was so small, if you had seen me you wouldn’t think I was a day over Velcro shoes. And if you had heard me cry you would have thought I was an owl, you would have picked me up. I still wore nightgowns, and my voice was even smaller than my body. I was pale, and good, I had braces, and a boy friend that I was scared to touch. I had long hair and good grades. I didn’t eat much. I was a good girl. My name was Amelia Cake. Grown ups liked me.

And we, mother and I; lived in a castle. Well, it wasn’t a castle, it was an apartment that looked just like a castle. I used to call it the golden age, before I was a writer. Mom was healthy looking for like four years in a row. She managed a job downtown. She had her teeth fixed. She had a lover that wasn’t already married and could be with us during the day, and act as that token male super hero thing, I think. He bought ice cream. And wasn’t embarrassed to play twister. And we lived in a castle. Nightgowns came out of the faucets. We had tea parties, and grammar schools, and bath tubs, and vacations, plush carpets, radiators, cable, and pussycats. We ate our meals on the fire escape, but we were usually too happy to be hungry. I was a budding actress, and she wore high heels to work. And the flowers were purple, that shimmering, sandy shade of purple that’s in things like Texas dirt, or maybe that dead brother’s head stone, and possibly grandmother’s wedding dress, and that’s it. The flowers were purple, and giant, and one of the neighbors had planted them all over the courtyard. And I think they were called four o’ clocks, because they slept during the day, and then bloomed in the evening for a couple of hours. And then that was it. I was small, and there were certain things I had to count on so I wouldn’t go crazy. My mother would come home every day, before it was dark, while the purple flowers and the stove top stuffing’s were still louder than the street lights. And then that was it. The two of us all alone at the top of three winding staircases. No doctors, no screaming, no fathers.

And then one day strange men were cleaning asbestos out of the basement. And mice crawled up through the pipes. And it was never the same. They slowly, over the course of a year, took everything. I swear those mice were evil. I choose to blame the mice. I hate them. I want to cut them up in little pieces. I want them to suffer before they die. Sometimes I still have nightmares that they’re crawling all over me. A thousand bony, beady eyed creatures; all breathing into one puss bubbled hour. Pulsating, and writhing, and throbbing like a bed of maggots in the Chicago heat. They cover me. I’m wearing a nightgown made of half dead mice. And there’s nothing I can do.

I remember the first time I saw one. It was in the morning, I reached for a box of cheerios, and there he was, staring at me all empty like, like an undiagnosed second cousin, soaring through the air, tumbling through liters of diet coke, and jars of peanut butter, and chips of paint, onto my bare feet. I screamed like a whistle in a story book. My throat opened as though it was going to be closed for repairs, and needed to stock up on oxygen and blood. I felt like Neil Armstrong, or King Lear, or Ani Difranco. But, my voice couldn’t kill it, or trap it, or stop it. It was bigger than me. It was a tiny mountain, and it galloped like a folk song into the home- of my home- of my mold- of my demon- and rapture- dropped- on the head of my penny- off the kitchen- up the stairs- on thanksgiving day- with the window open- and the fingers bleeding. That mouse was a piece of smoke on my face. It’s hard to describe, but I swear. It shut me up and got me scared I’ll tell you that. I didn’t eat the Cheerios. I wasn’t hungry. And I don’t really think I’ve been hungry since. Milk gives me a rash by the way.

Call me by my full name please, Amelia Matilda Cake. I’m not finished. I have cramps in my legs.

The three older half sisters took turns flying in from the East Coast to set traps and plan a funeral. Our mother supposedly had a terminal disease that she wasn’t going to fight. She was dyeing. She was ending her life. And she needed her four daughters to come help her shop for coffins. She wanted our opinion on the flowers. And the music. She was curious as to who wanted which pieces of furniture. There was a lot of furniture in the castle. Furniture suspended in time. Dark, priceless, gaudy, pillars of antiquity. As soon as her fingers started to swell, she took off the gold and the diamonds and presented rings to each of us. Rings that had always been on her fingers. Her cracked, dry, paper thin digits. Her flawlessly manicured horse colored tips. I don’t think a child ever forgets the contours of her mother’s hands. The face kind of narrows into the museum hallways of loved ones we keep on high security in the corner of our minds. But, the hands stay close to our pen, to our ink, to the down stage side of our trying trying cheeks.

We met with a lawyer at a coffee shop. Something had to be done with Amelia Cake. My mom said I could just stay in the castle. I could get my driver’s license early, and have the car, and the apartment, someone would pay for it, or I could get a job. Just kind of support myself. I didn’t have to go to college in three years. I didn’t ever have to go to school again. I could be famous in six months. Win an Oscar as she breathed her final breath. Thank you so much. What an honor. First of all I couldn’t have done any of this without my psychotic mother who never should have had children in the first place, I know she’s watching the awards right now, she’s with me to the end, her support knows no bounds, too bad she can’t remember my name through the morphine and the Adavan. Thanks mom. Thanks dad. Thanks the Academy of motion pictures. You guys are the best.

I remember the lawyer was very pretty. I liked her. She was eating the biggest mountain of corn beef on rye I had ever seen. I didn’t understand how she was doing it, how was she opening her mouth so wide, and didn’t she need to be alone with that? I was picking at my muffin and listening, but I knew it was worthless. I knew there was no way this corn beef lady could make me an “emancipated minor“. I knew I couldn’t go and live at her house either. I didn’t know where I was going to live. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me.

One thing was for sure. Mom was definitely leaving. She was hemorrhaging, loosing way too much blood. She was retching up bile and dark pieces of her liver. She was weak, she couldn’t make it to the bathroom. She was loosing her breath and her mind every time she stood up. We lined up the pills; morning, noon, evening, bedtime. We used that bottle of morphine that was always in the kitchen next to the vitamins, I don’t know how it got there, it was there years before the disease and the hospice. I think she brought it back from one of her trips to Mexico. And then there were also these boxes of pills that came all the way from New York, for years. I think this was the most elaborate, selfish, cruel suicide ever attempted in the history of girls and castles. Her eyes just rolled to the back of her head and stayed there for days. Her skull became soft and deformed from lying there motionless. Her tongue started to rot and mold, I could smell it from down the street. She weighed about eighty pounds. I was afraid to touch her. I thought I would kill her if I touched her. But wasn’t that the point? Didn’t she promise to die quickly? See, before she lost the ability to speak, she showed me where she kept a loaded gun. She explained to me that she was involved with a police officer who was married and had a child. (She was over the moon ape shit obsessed with him, I knew he was a bastard). She explained to me that she liked to have a loaded gun smiling back at her on the nightstand while they were making love. And one day because he was just the nicest man in the world, he gave her one of his guns. Like as a present. A naughty little surprise. And this was very convenient because the disease was going to get really bad, and she would need to be put out of her misery. And I was going to have to shoot her like a good little girl. And it would be ok because she was going to die anyway. So I wouldn’t be in trouble, I wouldn’t get kicked out of school. I wouldn’t go to hell. And nobody would blame me either, She would write a suicide note and I would put the gun in her hand. And I would be so happy to have the castle all to myself and live happily ever after.

There was one night when I woke up because someone was screaming. And I thought oh my god that stupid gun. Somebody did something with that gun. And now I have to mop up her brains and re-paint the walls. But when I got to the bathroom I was just in time to see her naked body come crashing to the cold tiled floor. There was a sister there too. She saw it. But, she was already old. She had glasses. And on the way down, our mother’s face met the porcelain sink of course, not that they hadn’t already talked and cried together at the block party, at the Irish beer garden on Western Ave. I’m telling you, there are so many lies, but, it’s all true. Anyway, two of her teeth rolled out of her head and shattered to the ground. We watched.

I don’t remember what came after that. And I always remember. I hope I went back to sleep. I hope I didn’t sneak mayonnaise out of the jar.

But, she was alive. Barely hanging on to something none of us will ever know. She didn’t kill herself that night. She wanted me to kill her I’m sure, but I was a rebellious teenager, and there was just no way I was going to do anything she wanted me to. It was bad enough I had to sweep dead mice out the back door every morning. Every day a mouse died and every day she went further and further away. She stared into cups of water and had lengthy conversations with her miss carried children. She read letters to her stillborn son. She went on anthropological digs in the rainforest. She insisted on smoking her menthol cigarettes, except she was always lighting the wrong end, and then falling asleep with three-foot flames in front of her face. But, probably the most hurtful thing was that she wouldn’t shut up about her lover’s daughter. She had erased my name; Amelia Cake-- from her memory, as well as all three of my sisters, but she was very concerned about Christina I think her name was. That seven year old little cunt. Poor thing, mom was just so concerned about how that sweet girl was holding up during all this. I’m really a nice person, but if there’s any justice in the world that little bitch grew up to be fat, ugly, homeless, and dead.

My name is Amelia Cake and I write letters from the edge of my bed.

Well, there were friendly faces everywhere, lots of priests, and nuns, and therapists, and people from the office, ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands. All coming to say goodbye and talk to me about the final stages of death. The community shepherds actually brought bread and wine, and gave us all communion, right there, in front of rotting tongues and buckets of vomit. The friends and neighbors all brought loads of groceries that I couldn’t eat. I just couldn’t do it. It was too much, too high, to foreign. We never ate taco salads. Gross. Please don’t make me. I had to throw it away. I didn’t want to loose weight, I didn’t want to look like my mother. I just wanted to maintain. I just wanted simple things, just crackers and bananas. And I wanted to eat it alone. I wanted to be alone in my room. These people were nice, I liked it when they hugged me. But, I knew eventually somebody would just take my mom away. I knew this couldn’t go on forever. I knew my sisters had to go back to their families. I sensed that it was taking too long for mom cake to kick it. I knew things weren’t going the way we planned, just the two of us, mom and I. Too many people were involved. And I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. It was out of control.

And one day two ladies dressed all in black showed up at the door. They were enormous, they were larger than life. They had huge black boots, and thick padded black vests, and baggy black pants, and greasy pony tails. I recognized them, they were the people who came to put my cats to sleep a few years back, and now they were coming to get rid of the mice. And then they asked for her, they said her name, they said MerryWeather Cake, they said we’re looking for a MerryWeather Cake. And I know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers, I know you’re not supposed to let them in your house. I know I should have used that gun on them. I should have shot them about ten times in the heart, claim temporary insanity, claim self of one to none, claim all my riches, and all my bonnets, throw mom over my shoulder, and run like hell into the streets, crazy with love and rage, all the way to Mexico. Mexico was nice, we went there once, we danced on the roof of our hotel as the sun set, it was nice.

But, I didn’t. I just pointed down the hall to her bedroom. I was at the dentist loosing my virginity in that moment, I couldn’t feel my body, I couldn’t talk. Something was keeping me very still, plastered inside my own skin. I couldn’t even cry. I heard them talking about how she was eighty pounds soaking wet, how it would be no problem getting her down the stairs. I wanted to tell them that she was actually seventy-five pounds at this point, and I could do it, I could carry her, let me do it. But, nothing came out, nothing anybody could hear anyway. Maybe the whales. For all I know I wasn’t even there, and none of it ever happened.

When the three of them came out of the bedroom I was appalled at the sight of my mother. Someone had dressed her in clothes that were obviously way too big. And someone had also put make-up on her, she hadn’t worn make-up in years, but she was still beautiful. She looked terrible. And she didn’t say goodbye. They carried her away in this weird chair, they walked right in front of me, or the ghost of me, something. It was all too quiet and simple. I watched her spiral down the winding stairs until she was completely out of sight. And as I locked the door behind me I felt something pressing into my chest. Something was sitting on me and suffocating me, I don’t know if it was an elephant, or a monster, or an unborn child, but it pressed into me, it crushed me. It made me small forever. It’s still sitting on my shoulders and pecking at my pencils. It won’t go away. It’s heavy and sad. It rhymes with pain, but it’s not pain at all, it’s simply something I have to tell you.

My name is Amelia Cake. I’ll be back. I have a lot to say today. Always tired, but having a good day today.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dumb Doors

So, I gather this is the end of it.
The last movie comes out this midnight.
The books have been done for like three years, right?
Maybe that was actually the end.
And this is just fluff, tease. Glitz.
I'm not really one to say.
I was never on this train.
One summer in Jersey, I remember reading a chapter out loud to my bros.
Cock sucker and fake mom were out for the night, I read a good fifty or so pages before they got sand bags on the face.
But, then the next morning I walked into the living room with a wait a second.
Cock sucker was re reading it out loud to them.
And I was like, is it that important?
Actually I think I got pissed.
Like, what, you don't trust me?
You're jealous?
Oh, right, I just hate you no matter what you do. Even if it's really not that big a deal.
Then, like, lots of years later I tried to read them my self.
My, peers, quite a few of them anyway, some of which I greatly respect, as commanders of the english language, they really read them. They buy them in hard cover, or they did. They'll probably even read them to their children. They're true fans.
But, me, no, couldn't crack it. Don't think I got past page thirty four.
Maybe it's just a style thing, fantasy doesn't really do it for me.
Unless it's just right.
Just nuzzled just enough, like a mulching duck.
Like the Lovely Bones.
Time Traveler's Wife.
Read it.
Found myself getting into it.
But, ultimately didn't linger on it with the rest of the planet.
I just didn't see the point of telling that story, I didn't see any investment, any true belief.
Nothing was in it for me.
You can get me to time travel with you, I'll do anything, but time travel is not my normal, so if you put it on the twelve page, where does that leave me?
Somewhere deep in the buckingham tasty hot crowd, stroked with heat and more interested in my snow cone then the mortality of your alien characters.
But, I liked that it was set in Chicago, I got all the references, and that made me feel special.
And then I saw that Audrey Niffenschmaker at some event, and she was so odd, the oddest of birds, I couldn't stop looking at her, it was like, oh, of course you wrote that. And that made me want to read it again.
I remember her royal Oprah interviewed dame JK, it was interesting hearing her talk about everything, I appreciate writer's as celebrities, I think, but I also remember thinking, wow, I just lost an hour of my life. I could have written a lot in that hour. Too late. Did I clean the litter box today?
But, I know kids, that generation just below, they love it, love, true, puppy, sacred, magic.
And kids reading, can't argue with that.
And magic, secret earth magic, give it to them.
Of course.
The thought of young people doing exactly what they're supposed to do, curling up by a water hole with their first chapter book.
Thank you to all the writer's for young audiences.
Rachel Wilson.
But, kids, don't stop there, I can show you some stuff that will blow your mind, go up a floor please, OK, yeah, it's cool, I know you will.

I think the only thing that pisses me of royally, to that daddy level, is when we get to things like theme parks. Come. On. Does Dave Eggers have a roller coaster? No, he tutors, he sets up writing centers across the globe, se where I'm going with this?

And I keep hearing things like the most famous popular rich enterprise million of all time.

According to who?

T-Rex is in my top three. He's my third richest writer. And I'm not even talking dimes or words. I'm talking dead birds and sun chips.

All I'm saying is people, keep your minds open. When someone says look over there.

Always ignore them.

And I just heard some reviewer compare JK to DICKENS. Do not get me started.

Nother day at the table,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It's 1:27am and we just got home from rehearsal.

My legs are solid oat meals.

Don't know what took so long.

The strobe light gave my head a rattle.

Lots and lots of cokes.

New blood.

Old tricks.

Any clown today?

Ouch. Just broke my thumb.

Skin & Toast

Monday, July 11, 2011

First Image

A curtain rod
Second image
A kitty with a little fire man hat
Third image
Something lame, like a table and a piece of fruit
Then we smoke some coffee
Witty banter
Fourth image
A trust fund
Cleaning supplies
Or is it a rafter?
Deep understanding.
And then it got to be too much.
One too many doggies gives my wife a rash
31 vignettes in a short amount of time
Ding Ding Ding went the trolley
Third image
A banjo played by a white man and a flute
Ukulele uncle pants
Double barrel
Picking time
And the winner is
I think I got you up against a wall against a giant spoon to feed you better with
You mommy boy with padded knees and yellow teeth
I will let my people go
Seventh image
Gymnasium where the devil plays
To your decide
Paint that shit any color you want
Obviously the color don't matter
Ninth image
Wicker Park, 2005
Bad art on the walls
See how quickly it can turn
Skin Toast

("Lets lay down and look into each other's eyes for play ideas, are you writing this down, are you asleep?")

Friday, July 8, 2011

Back Seat

Home safe from the three days of sunny LA.
At the table counting tonights lines.
Some day I will have reasons and time and worth enough to spend months on end in these lives.
These not so private sandal touting no no no mad lives.
The sublet seems nice enough.
Although a distant roommate perched on the edge of the big screen can seem, after ten plus years of one bedroom isolation, I don't know, lots of things all at once. Like an over heated, very cute dog. So I'm a little worried about that. But, then again its all part of the deal. And the lesbians have a hot tub on the other side of the hill to remind us all that there is such a thing as paradise. The black and white bookends made it through the final cuts and we do all really get to come home. And our feet wont feel like this forever. And friends don't usually all see the same shapes in the poppies. The favors behind the curtains propose a variety of packaging options. Those characters exist for that time to help out with that time, and then the balloon snaps and you can't figure out where that noise is coming from. Like a tap dance on a lot, that time seemed iconic before the numbers even figured.

This will always be sad.

Heart Brain Home Put Em' Up,
Jessica Anne

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Know

These things break like sticks on a football field.

They snap like dreams between large buttons.

They turn on you like snakes.

Jogging down a canopy road.

Beating the dirt like a lamb.

Thinking what,

What is it?

~Skin & Toast

Thursday, June 30, 2011


His eyes are blue as salt.
The rest is toasted silk.
His voice is waved like soap.
The tank.

So, you're teaching a writing class.

Yeah, you should take it.


Stack it up.

When fascinating folk safely my senior listen to me with their whole face, I feel grateful. I feel the unholy holy string of lights flash like a dragon on water from here to San Francisco. Bloody. Caked.

Skin & Toast & Hats


Dress in the dark.

Fingers and forks.

A convent filled with stockings.

You might like my neighborhood in the morning.

~Skin & Toast

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


When I was in college
The first time
I had a friend graduate
Good friend
Talked with her hands
Looked at me when I talked
Bought me beer
Took me to horse farms
Put make up on me before shows
She got a job right away working with puppets in Romania
Someone died
She found God
She was that girl that a million people loved in a million different ways
We were the same size
She left nearly all of her clothes in garbage bags outside my door
For the next couple of months every time I walked into a room
Someone left crying

Threaded deep,
Skin Toast

Monday, June 27, 2011


I have to post more often.
Because T-Rex is moving to LaLaLa next week.
But, if I publicly write just about every night,
Then we can still muse each other.
We can all connect our little dynamites across the country like field mice in a war.
It's always war.
It's how to war.
It's about the millions and billions.
I get so close to these people.
It's the best job in the world.
It's a quilt.
Red bracelets,
Skin & Toast

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Like A Figure Skater, Why?!

I got the orange pills with the long name.
I'm taking them like I'm supposed to.
And, my throat feels better.
But, the other stuff still cripples my entire day(s).
The sinus pressure is numbing.
Like an elephant on the face.
Like a can of stewed tomatoes in each shoe.
Also some cramping and nausea which I gather is a side affect from the orange drops.
You guys, I have never been this immobilized for this amount of time.
Starting to dig my fingers into the tiny holes in my head.
Called work to tell them Friday is a no go, no way, can't lift my head.
And one manager says don't worry about us honey you just feel better, and you call me if you need anything honey.
Only to have another manager call three hours later to say I got your shift covered, but, you know the protocol yadda, yadda, yadda shut up you stupid cow.
Yeah if there's a movie I want to see I get my shit covered.
But, hello brown cow, if I can't lift my head I call that shit off like a safety seal.
Especially if it's more then twelve hours notice.
I've read the hand book plenty of times on the occasions I forgot to stick my literature in my nap sack at three am.
Oh, corporations.
Oh, transitional assistant manager positions!
Oh, living hell at eighteen hours a week.
Guess what I didn't call off to.
The six shows I'm committed to drumming in three hot little circular days.
Just gonna have to.
Normally I'm of the philosophy that life is more important then a silly little show.
But, when it comes to children, and pride, and hot lesbian screen writers flying in from LA.
Well, wild horses couldn't.
Plus, you know the aesthetic by now, all I have to do is get on the voice over and explain my disease, and promise to give it my best 65%.
Pass the knee socks.
Mama's going out.
Skin & Toast

Monday, June 20, 2011

Me Too

The disease has moved up to my eyes.
Something is ejaculating out of my eyes.
It's green.
And it adheres to my cheeks like honey on a spoon.
I have an appointment tomorrow.
Make sure I go.
Pull a string out of my ass.
Tie it to the clinic door knob.
Please make it easy to swallow.
Black tea.
Whisky in my hair.
Talked about nuptials. Slid the details past our molars like old people talking about cars.
When I'm old I'll take up tennis, and home brewing.
And I'll keep scribbling and jumping my best though it hurts to breath in.
Have to.
Have to.
Many, many projects right now, folded like a deck, unfinished yet functioning not at all visible from the front lawn.
Worried he might not win the second one.
What would we do?
Who would be left to fuck?
Drive long distance, riot the west.
God bless the skin toast,

Friday, June 17, 2011


Dear Viewers,
I'm much better than I was,
But still a little one foot in the mashed potatoes.
I was so sick these past couple days.
I felt like Linda.
Curled like a crispy creme on a conveyor belt.
Hot like the Texas who eats it.
Being sick makes me really crazy.
On a good day I feel handicapped.
On a day with the flu, I'm like a less attractive version of Nell.
And my poor husband to be,
He takes it like a champ, with my feet in his lap and my brains oozing over to his side of the bed.
I don't know what's worse, the irritable idiot I turn into,
Or the paranoid freak of me who calls him at work the next day and apologizes in tears for my mucus behavior.
I had to do things this week like,
Say no to things I had said yes to,
Call a doctor,
And swallow big pills.
All hard.
Yet here I am,
At the theatre,
Ignoring that blob in my throat,
Setting props,
And stretching.
Just kidding.
I never stretch before a show.
Too method.
Skin, Toast, achy joints

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ladies And Gentlemen

My mother knows that I am betrothed.

Had lunch with east coast half #1.

I'll have to tell you all about it,

As soon as I get this American flag adult diaper fitted to my genitals.

And the betrothment came up over the salad.

And she brought those beans right back to mama.

And mama sent me a three sentence message via the social network.

And maybe now she will finally kill herself.

Wasn't that the plan?


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Long Showers.

Just transitioning back into writer/performer/director/barista.
You know what that means,
Long showers.
Tart lemons.
Salt on shoulders.
Medium amounts of pressure.
Steaks up to my waist.
And a lot of hair on the bed.

We all have to work.

There is one class left. One class. One lone little class. You know how there's always that one class. Guess which one this is. I'll tell you. Playwriting. Yeah, I couldn't get out of it. But, lord knows I tried. So, myself and two other students meet at my teacher's apartment every Wednesday. And we talk about a famous as balls play sack. Each week it's a different one. This week was Hamlet. Hamlet. How does this happen? That takes about an hour and a half. Then we read our dumb little scenes. You know, the prompt is like, A wants to get something from B, but A wont say what it is. Heaven help us.

It's OK. The teacher's actually a peach. And by August we're supposed to have a ten minute staged reading kind of thing. Maybe I'll get back to that solo show.

Stretch Pants,
Skin and Toast

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just This Once

I'll allow myself to wonder what I would look like in a pretty dress.
Should I practice for December?
Should I purchase some cotton sun dresses from the boutique on Clark and Berwyn?
Should I?
Should I spray perfume in my eyes?
Should I smear lip gloss on my wand?
Should I make outfits for cute little mice named gusgus and jackjack?
Should I click my heels against me emerald city and dye me eyes to match my mom?
Or, maybe I should just ask you if you'd be willing to pass the salt?
Remember the salt?
I forgive you for the salt?
There was one time when someone else was having one of these self indulgent love celebrations. These sparkly Mark Twains of life.
I wont name any names, but I'm sure you remember, I think it was the last time you wore a dress. I opted out of the dress that time. I just couldn't do it. I was already the maid of honor drop out so I had to lye real low. Low and slow. Like a beauty sleeping soundly in a wet spot.
By the way, all dresses make themselves known to me as the dress. I don't have a collection.
I have an occasion, and then that occasion calls for the dress of that occasion, and then once that occasion has cried itself to death by pregnancy in the handicap stall I then make my way to an open flame and burn the sucker like a witch by the first name of goody.
I'm not mad.
But, at that rehearsal was salmon.
I did not RSVP so I wasn't planning on eating.
But, after a sketchy cab ride through the rural racism of Massachusetts, what's a girl to do?
Salmon, yes, and baked potato, thank you. Oops, I'm wearing jeans. C'mon, it's a rehearsal, I left my corset and character shoes on my other island. Deal with me people, I don't make money. Not on purpose anyway.
Anyway, your high school aged son whispered into your ear that he would like some salt.
So, you, the devoted mother, asked the other end of the table for some salt please.
Your son salted his fish.
he must be very smart.
Now, that looks good said my soaking liver.
My fingers curled around the glass.
And I'm not mad.
But, before the force of the table was even lifted into salty negative nine point eight,
Pointed right between my eyes,
And said,
I'm not mad.
But, if you really want me to grow up,
Then, just pretend I'm dressed like the big girls.
Just ask yourself,
Would I say this to a big girl?
I was drunk.
And I ask for things all the time for your records.
And when I don't, I don't, that's between me and my sodium intake.
It's OK, I'm pretty sure you stopped reading this blog,
And furthermore you have no idea it's you.
But, if you do that's OK too because no body's mad.
I just missed mom.
I guess.
If everything had never changed we would have been sitting shoulder to shoulder in our cotton weaved dresses whispering low bout how everyone looks ugly but us. We would have put lots of cream in our coffee. We would have asked each other for gum and left early.
Out east I still feel king of awkward without her. A colt with flutes for legs, and carrots for eyes. A butterfly in a box in a classroom. Penetrated it's cocoon over Christmas break. Trapped. Dying for an early flight.
You should see me in my element.
I'm just like you.
I speak in full sentences.
And don't get nearly as angry as I used to.
I even have a corduroy blazer with patches on the elbows.
Graduations and Jewish rights of passage love me.
You should see me.
I should invite you.
I love you.
~Skin and Toast and Pardon My Reach

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh, I Wonder Where I've Been?

I'll tell you.


Ever heard of high math?

Nobody panic. I heard a rumor you can't not pass these two week summer classes. Like, if you're the weirdo who decided to take physics of roller coasters, then your punishment is a guaranteed c-. Does that make sense? Oh, well excuse me while I look up the equation. Excuse me while I transition from high powered non-profit community out reach to lab with Owen Meany.

Thank you professor, see you tomorrow.

Blog by procrastination,
Skin and Toast

Friday, May 13, 2011

In Conclusion

And to the point
Skipping to the
Of this
Most certainly
And incandescently
Devotedly conclude
That I

But the water looks so still

And cool


Dispersed and unsentimental

Like a season in a folk song

Ladder's that way,
Skin and Toast

Oh, fuck you! Fuck you and everything in your pantry, how dare you fray the edges of this list of insecurities I stick onto my fridge with my do's and my maybe' s. I've seen your closet. I know your skeleton. I know what makes you ugly. I tried on your shoes long before your stupid little disease crept it's way onto your bony fingers. How dare you have an opinion about me you childless poet. I'm not afraid of you. You're the problem, you gypsy fucking wino, go home to your pack of wolves and say one for me. Leave a light on. I'm on to you. I will walk right over you next time I see you in the back alley, begging for money, warming yourself over crack pipes and missing manifestos. That's right, I can rage with the big girls. I have girth in my cheeks, and there's no telling when I'll crack.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Oh My Goth.

I just wrote 21 fake journal entries.

You know, the secret ratio of faking it, to applying it, to handing it out on the street is written on the bathroom wall.

But, I'm not in the bathroom am I?

No, I'm urinating blood into empty coffee cans.

Empty like the cobwebs in my buck naked brain temples.

Call me, It's raining in this phone booth, and the yellow trench coat is a sexist republican butt munch, he reads Jodi Picult and listens to jazz.

I probably spelled her name wrong, I went to elementary school on the south side,

Skin and Toast

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hey Mister,

Are you really going to put it right on me?
The devil knows my name,
My full name.
And the load is so blazingly right up on me.
Up against my ol' china dolls and crystal deco trays for ash bout' time.
I bet I could pluck a violin if I had too.
Oh, Moses,
Why can't you speak?
Why can't you just tell me what you see?
I forget about these songs and then I listen to them over and over again.
And it's not like I ever thought of myself as unattractive.
It's just that I really really never wanted to be beautiful for anyone.
I only wanted to sit cross legged in the attic sneezing and wheezing my way through the spotted full length glass.
Got a mass thread of information about step grand dad's trip to the sick.
Haven't seen him in a decade or two but wish him ease and sunny flutter what you will go I.
There is so much step and half in law gone by, even I forget, I, your dutiful preservationist.
Oh wait, that's the other one, she has a child, full blood, two easy branches, no apples yet, just crust and carmeled sugar.
What happened to those hiding places?
And you speak about your disorders so eloquently once the sheets have turned themselves down and the men have left the room for the night.
And it's going to take a while.
But, you crave some sort of peace down in your bones.
I look damn fine in cowboy boots with ribbons.
I won second place this Saturday at the Haymarket.
Two drink minimum writing contest.
They called my name into a microphone, and the one little devil in the corner of the Kentucky Home Derby raised his head to nod.
I have gone this way.
I have led myself to this pile of cotton, and nails.
Call me sir.
I don't believe in the mam.
I can be so dramatic, especially once I have set a deadline on my table.
Don't fail.
Dr. Un Rooley is depending on you.
Counting the petals on your floor.
The way you long for Dempseys and Toms and pedestals on loafers until you can reach the net yourself never never will cause you are not just small but girl tired girl waiting for the men to come back into the room with their listening eyes I will tell them what happened before balconies and fanned out fans of Atticus! Atticus!

Did they kill his mocking bird songs? Or was he born that way? Tell me



It's time my little cannon balls/Only hurts for a second/All over me/Have some special guests with us/Nazareth is a beautiful name for a place/Dum/Dum/Hummmm/Ummm/Um.

~Medicine of skin on toast

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


What's worse then hot lettuce?

Thomas Aquinas.

If you could just coast me through this week,

I promise never to get that look on my face ever again.

And, Mother's day in my house was always one of those stupid Hallmark holidays,

Like secretaries day.

Have you ever noticed I'm not much for spectacle.

Ceremonies make for nice theatre,

But, I'd rather see a play then a queen.


Take me back to my hotel and help me with my zipper Daddy.

Skin and Toast

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chin Hair

And then sometimes I pull these things right out of my ass,
How would you describe your writing?
Invent a term.
Makes perfect sense.
The pink symbolizes the innocence,
The Elizabeth Bishop influence,
The Waiting Room,
The narrative.
See, if we could talk about me for a second,
I am a storyteller.
That's what I am.
I'm at an A and
I have a B to get to.
I have an oar, a wooden oar, right?
A canal.
I have somewhere to be, but am never in a hurry.
People ask me if I need a croissant all the time,
I just ate.
I had to.
I had to stop for waffles at the zoo,
I had to because I was three hours early.
Remember that book where the kids slept in the museum, remember?
Were you there?
Did you steal the pennies out of the fountain so you could afford those sandwich slots at 1 o'clock in the Mad hatten pussy whipped stone pavement fox trot?
Did you sleep on Lincoln's bed?
Did you smother the penguins in relish?
I know I did.

Skin, Toast, Hawk, Water

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Match Box

The little kitty is having a little hiccup.
I think it's fine.
I don't think he's in pain.
But, he might be in some mild discomfort.
But, we can't know for sure, because he can't tell us what it feels like.
He just stares at us and cries.
Little muffin.
We got some antibiotics, and they disappear nicely into his little treats, and he gobbles em' right up.
Thank Theresa and everyone on her bus.
I can't operate a syringe right now,
I mean I could,
But, it might suck the marrow from my entire belief system.
Little muffin.
He looks skinny.
I hate when people suddenly look skinny.
I would never hate Match Box.
You know what I mean.
I despise lean, as a concept, or a destination.
All things deserve to be sturdy, to walk out, to lean is to depend, and we don't do that here.
Not as an end result anyway.

He'll be fine.

We all have our weak parts.
I have my asthma.
Friend boy has his jaw aches.
Chi-Chi has his residual effect from his respiratory infection.
And matchbox has his sensitive little bladder.

Skin and Toast

Monday, April 25, 2011

Heat Behind the Eyes

I'm going in and out of pressure/comfort/revelation/meditation/dairy/sleep/and panic

It's just that it's that time of year when one page behind on the reading means an hour in the bathroom.

And bravo is at a constant very low decimal.

And that puddle of grease wont leave the left side of your crown no matter how hard you scrub. Must be all the hair nets and name tags. I mean you're twenty nine for Christ sake. That stuff builds.

But, yesterday's ham melted in my mouth as usual. And my not so little friend was sporting some blue patent leather seventy five inch high heeled wings of paradise like a champ of all champs age 14 and counting. Don't ask me where it goes.

I always liked Easter. Most people can appreciate that moment where everything dies, and everything lives at the exact same instant for only an instant. It's like those unitards in Cunningham's piece of the pie. Like how they keep dancing, even when they can't. Even when he's gone.

Holy week gets heavier every year. I swear. I blame the real house wives, the banks, the Bethanies. I wash my hands too much.

Then there's the champagne and the bonnets.

Then there's the meal with the folk; most sacred thing that there is.

Holy hug, biscuit of life, milk of salvation.

~Skin and Toast to Lamott

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And Then It Was Summer

Dear Gumption,
If everything goes as planned I'll have a BA by June.
That went quick.
So, the moral of the story is,
I have no idea.
I wanted to do it.
As simple as that.
On the bus.
Off at Kedzie.
Books on back.
Coffee in hand.
Step down.
Cross left.
Through the lawn.
In the door.
Click Keys.
That's why.
Sometimes you wait and wait for these big moments to erupt.
And then they never really do,
Not on the right side of the dotted line anyway.
But, a long the way, in the upper room,
You pick up reasons and people to do it for.
Not people depending on you,
Not even invested in you,
But, watching you.

I'm in the middle of comps.
I have to say this place is no slouch.
It takes three hours to fill a blue book.
That's three hours you could have been watching re-runs of everybody loves raymond.
See what I mean?
I turned in a rough draft of my manuscript yesterday.
It's weird, all the writing I've done for the show, but never have I sat down to write twenty pages of myself, creative meant to be read not heard self.

I'm here to win.

Oh wait, already did.

(even that is a little too dramatic, I'm done with drama, kind of, I make theatre, widle it from scraps).

Take it from me, they're not going to call, put your head down and work.

See you at the stables,
Skin and Toast

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Oh Baby, When I'm in a Coma I Want You to Pull the Plug, Only You

After five weeks together
Six years apart
Six years together
A drawer full of hand written letters
Each of them signed
Your biggest fan
One apartment
Two little kitties
One theatre company
Long drive to Montana
Short flight to Boston
Lots of late spicy take out
Some pretty spectacular fights
Countless weekends in Bloomington
Hilarious original songs
A Pulitzer prize winning family
A bunny
Our nation's capitol
Learning to drive
Mornings at laundromats
Evenings in meetings
So many bars
Back to school
Lots of help
Live music
And tapes
And project after project after project
Roaring fits of laughing screaming AH you're in trouble now make it stop UNCLE UNCLE

Why'd you stop?


Texas Lexington Good friends Ground rules

I said
He said
We said
I said

And then I swaddled your eye lids in a thousand kisses
And at the very end of your life when you count all of your blessings
I will be at your side counting each of them as my own,
Skin and Toast and Jess

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Followed by the pound sign.

Sat down to stack of Williams and dug myself out finally.
Funny how the slightest bit of productivity can cure what nails you under.

The always banana guy from my old store came into my now store and I was so happy I scared myself.
He looks the same.
Did I ever tell you I really like people?
Not all people, I hate all people.
But, banana people off the street,
They really get me.
I like standing in lines.
I like being one of five hundred migrating short people crowding in dust to the Buckingham light show.
I like that bridge over the highway that goes to the beach.
I like orientation day.
Name tags.
Bathrooms in public.
I saw one of those Iowa people.
You know how they're aliens?
I went to a poetry reading and he was introduced as an Iowa graduate.
And I was like,
They come here?
They go outside?!
Let me see him, sniff, sniff.
I think his poems were good.
I was too busy sniffing him.
Actually, he was really sweaty.
Really, it looked like someone threw a bucket of water down a hallway, and he didn't know where the bathroom was, so he just splashed around in the suds because his mentor had said to him before he died that he missed the innocence he used to have in his poems before he got poured into workshop.
He read a longer poem about an ice cube, it was meta.
And I was like, somebody get this man a street to walk on, the standards are so high these days.
And we could all stand a bit more potassium in our lives.

Like it, Love it, Gotta have it, just kidding, watching my weight and yours,
Skin and Toast