(Day 10)

there are things i could not have anticipated
when i signed on for a stint as editor at a
wisconsin based literary magazine.

who would have thought i’d get tired of reading
poems written from the perspective
of Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother.



a new place to be stored when you sleep:
space that makes skin taught,
air-broken flesh shade of stop sign,

you do not stop.
I am kept inside bathtub drain
when you eat, chin familiarizes with knee caps,
toes with glutes fingers to shoulder blades
chest thighs introduce yourselves –
like a paper crane creased to stiffness.

once you left me sitting stove-top
pink-soft skin needing days of licking.

There are six drawers beneath counters,
insulation spills into your closet shelf,
leaves me glittered with glass.
Your thumb smears shards above my eyes.

A number can always be cut in half.
you say, one body should be no
different, feeding me
down the neck of your beer.


Not yet —

Her voice cuts late summer wind over the ankle-tall waves.
The air smells like lake-water.
A familiar rottenness and small things
not yet dead.

This is a show for people in love: heat fattened geese
skim their bellies, the woman plays with a loose wrist,
gray skinned couples dance hip-to-hip.

I read my Sylvia Plath novel until it is too dark to read.
Keep my collarbones bare for the stained sky,
picturing the singer tracing them with a broken string.

She shrieks a familiar line
missing sentiment and note.

I imagine Otis Redding rising
water-logged skin splitting like fresh fig,
cracking the surface of lake Monona.




Leaving home

I have been legitimately terrible about posting anything on here in the last two weeks. Normally, I would be beating myself up over this a little bit. Constantly reminding myself that I need to be writing, I need to be creating, I need to be keeping up with my commitments (like this blog). 

But I really haven’t been this time, for some reason. I think it is because I have given myself permission to relax, to turn my brain off for a while. I’ve been keeping myself busy doing art, journaling, being more social than usual, and watching the Olympics. Oh. And packing to move into my new house Tuesday. That too. I’m not sure I give myself permission to fully mentally relax as often as I should – these past two weeks have been really rejuvenating. I think I will keep that in mind for the coming semester. With 18 credits, it is going to be more important that ever to allow myself mental breaks.

This past week, I had a free afternoon where my best friend and I trekked up to the mountains for some chill adventuring time. We saw a beautiful water snake sunning itself on a rock in the middle of the river, and a bunch of giant (and terrifying) water spiders. We also found a beautiful little waterfall, and almost got swept away in the river trying to get to it. Here are a couple pictures from that afternoon. 

Tomorrow morning I set out for Wisconsin again. In some ways, I really don’t feel ready to go back to Wisconsin. – I like being at home. I love my family, I love Knoxville, I love being so close to the Mountains. But I also start to feel the need to resume my own life. Im excited to get back to Wisconsin, get back in the flow of things, and see some people who I have missed a lot over this wonderful summer. 

Busy with Summer

It has been quite a while that I have posted anything. Last time I wrote, I was sitting on my Grandma’s couch in Junction City, Kansas. Since then I’ve been back to Tennessee, then up to Wisconsin, and now back down to Tennessee (and I am leaving for North Carolina for two weeks, tomorrow). As a result, I haven’t had all that much time to write, either on here or inside my journal.

Even with the ongoing feeling of being constantly in motion this summer, the past two weeks or so have been great. In Wisconsin, I was able to go to two nights of Dead and Company at Alpine Valley. I hadn’t seen Dead and Co before, but they really were excellent. As someone who has listened to a fair amount of Dead for my age, I had some things I really liked about John Mayer as lead guitar and some things I wasn’t as fond of. Regardless, they were great shows. I had a ton of fun being surrounded by people who made me feel comfortable, eye-balling everyone’s outfits, and dancing my butt off. It felt good. Also in Wisconsin, I was able to go sailing for the second time. I love being out on the water – the hot sun, Wisconsin-cool lake – time disappears.


Madison from the sailboat.


Alpine Valley!

Since I have been home, I have been doing typical “Knoxville” things. In July, there is a wildlife/park where there are just fields and fields of blooming sunflowers. I spent some time there, goofing around in between the rows, taking silly pictures with my best friend. I ran around downtown, looking around all the little shops and having lunch with my Dad. Knoxville still really feels like home.


Little baby bee!


Bestfriend lookin’ good.


downtown ramblin’



Bus #6, from Mineral Point Road to East Towne Mall.

On February 9, I rode it end to end. It began heavy with book-learning. Surrounded by University students and encompassed by the warm glow of unencumbered intelligence, my eyelids were weighted. Lined together in rows like volumes on cheap shelves, I was packaged with the rest of them. Expensive shoes, rounded backpacks and a disproportionate number of four-eyed people pondering the qualities of academia and dining hall food.

At the edge of campus, the throngs unloaded themselves from the sides of the bus, spilling into the snow drifts like spilled coffee, blackening the white ground. Hoisting backpacks high, they brushed shoulders and knocked knees with their headphones plugged firmly into their ears – a necessary precaution when surrounded by deep thinking. To protect from the imminent threat of knowledge spilling from their ears, they plug them with beats and trite lyrics – made to keep old knowledge in, or to keep new knowledge out?

The bus is emptier. At the first stop off of capitol square, two men in baseball caps climb on. The bus sways beneath the weight of their entrance, the heaviness of unemployment stretched across their backs. Mutters between their cracked, graying lips, its the first conversation I’ve heard. They talk about the snow. It’s been a warm winter. They are bound in disheveled layers of dirty cloth, hoods draped sadly across the brims of their caps, settling into exhaustion around the lines circling their eyes. With their windbreakers parting at the seams and thrift store boots beaten in by a long line of ownership, I am thankful for heated buses and “warm” winters.

Along Washington Avenue, people are expelled onto our bus from the safety of tattoo parlors and used car dealerships, pierced and inked, squinting and wiggling their eyebrows at motor-less trucks they can’t afford. Heavily lidded women carrying metallic purses, straps wrapped in the posh silver of fraying duct tape fall with their thick, bare ankles into the rough cloth of skinny metro seats. Too-close houses painted in neon colors turned ragged skim by my peripheral vision, children sitting with frozen toes too close to speeding cars. The omnipresent buzz of human existence: the whine of the newest hybrid-electric buses accompanied by the displeased grumble of pistons misfiring in 1994 fords, held to the earth by planes scraping their bellies on the shingle-less roofs.

At the last stop, the two men in their baseball caps finally climb onto stiff knees. One man bends at the waist, curving his shoulders to half their broken-in size as he coughs from the bottom of his lungs. Shoving air from his mouth with drops of spittle as if trying to cough out too many years of being poor. Outside the bus, they huddle beneath a droopy overhang, pulling their caps down over their eyes and putting mouths to ears to exchange widely grinning words. Two buildings down, they hug through layers of bulky jackets and unwashed skin. Start to finish, it began heavy with book learning, it ended heavy with an unnamed learning and stories the untainted intellectuals might want to unplug their ears to hear.