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.

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.