lovely lemon birthday cake


I made this cake for my son’s 15 birthday after he requested a lemon cake. Saved a bunch of time by buying a jar of lemon curd at Publix, too. It was good and reallllly on the sweet side.

Do you have a memory of a birthday cake from your past?

I remember a coveted ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins in the shape of a train. And a fun fifth grade birthday party with a homemade yellow sheet cake from mom that my friends and I got to decorate ourselves, thanks to food coloring and different frostings.

I like how a celebratory cake shows up in poet Natalia Diaz’ poem No More Cake Here. The narrative turn she takes at the end is especially compelling. She is remembering a cake from a celebration (we can call it that) that possibly never happened.

Diaz holds the memory of her brother in two hands, with both a firm and a loose grasp. There lies love and anger side-by-side, at once asleep and blowing up balloons. Our families will celebrate and mourn, many times together. We hold each other loosely when we have to.

how we let go


a lot of my work explores leaving religion in midlife. i expect it will be that way for a long time. this video from Anthony Magnabosco and artist Rebecca Fox resonates. i’m especially glad it is narrated by and prominently features a woman. the secular community is in dire need of women’s voices. i suppose i am one now, at least within the poetry community.

who’s poetry blogging in 2018?

Female Poets, Uncategorized, Writing Prompts

Poet Tour Blogging 2018I’m part of a cadre of poets who are resurrecting or creating blogs about poetry in 2018. Poets Kelli Russell Agodon and Donna Vorreyer recruited us on Twitter (a great place for poets) and I thought it would be a good use of my new “me as poet” website. Lord knows I don’t need another commitment right now, what with trying to churn up clients for a consulting gig that is (supposed to be) paying the bills, taking care of three kids, and beginning my fourth semester of grad school night classes. And feeling so very 46. So very midlife. So very everything. So, I’m not going to make this a “must-do” space. I’d much rather

bless the fact that it exists at all

essay, motherhood

I’m on Literary Mama’s After Page One blog this week explaining my harried writing practice. It’s frustrating not being able to focus on poetry full-time. I know I am not the only parent who must put children first for many years. I hope it’s making me a better writer (all the great material! the constant humbling!) so I try to count my blessings and breathe slowly through the longer days. My thanks to Literary Mama for printing my piece and for providing a wonderful space for overwhelmed writer mamas to congregate.

What gets in the way of your artmaking? How do you  harness it and make lemonade?

pushcart 2018 nomination

Galveston, Puschart Prize, Texas, Uncategorized

The good poetry folks at The Museum of Americana emailed to say they chose “Ferry Boat Line, Bolivar” as a Pushcart Prize nominee for the 2018 anthology. What a thrill. I’m feeling giddy about it and plan on spreading the love all around my house and neighborhood all weekend. Keep writing poetry, friends. In fact, submit it to The Museum as their reading period is open until December 31.

You can read more about the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas and the free ferry boat ride that takes people and automobiles back and forth to the island of Galveston on their Twitter feed. The beach house referenced in this poem, as well as most every other beach house on the peninsula, was sadly washed away in Hurricane Ike on September 12, 2008. Bolivar is no stranger to hurricanes.

this poem is about to have a panic attack

Anxiety, Mental Illness, Uncategorized

I’m very happy to have a poem selected for inclusion in Rattle mag’s special issue on mental illness. “Long Car Line Prayer” was written just prior to my having a debilitating panic attack, brought on by many things I did not know were about to turn my life upside down. I think you can sense some of the anxiety I was feeling in the poem. I still feel this way sometimes, but now I am able to stand the symphony of words in my head without assigning any kind of judgement to them. They are just thoughts- not positive, not negative, not good, not bad, not weird. Just words I am thinking.