Monthly Archives: August 2009



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What We Did In Italy

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 After reading Homage to Calvin Spotswood by Kate Daniels

Because I couldn’t be the daughter they wanted

The one they should have had

The one that liked the smell of collards cooking,

Fatback frying

The sound of billiard balls banging

Because I liked to read, to pray, to ponder

Because I liked to play in my good clothes

Because of was tired of having people drop me off at the corner so they wouldn’t see where I lived

Because I was tired of watching my mama slowly dying over her ironing board

Because my daddy never talked to me

When he almost asked me

I ran away with him.

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My Vade Mecum of the Infinite

….I have found the suitcase open, collecting snow,

still holding your vade mecum of the infinite,

 The Lost Suitcase by Carolyn Forché

It would be nice to have a handbook that contained everything I ever needed to know about anything. I once had a Brownie Scout Handbook. Then a Girl Scout Handbook. Then, much later, a Big Book. But the only thing I could carry with me all the time was “a great big Brownie smile” and I often forgot to put that on. It’s amazing how much stuff I carry around now. This morning, for example, I carried 

  1. Kindle
  2. cell phone
  3. iPod
  4. shampoo
  5. soap
  6. towel
  7. lock
  8. lotion
  9. deodorant
  10.  face cream
  11.  make-up
  12. hairbrush
  13.  comb
  14.  wallet
  15. keys
  16. clear nail polish
  17. toothpaste and toothbrush
  18. eyeglasses
  19. sunglasses
  20. bills to pay
  21. checkbook
  22. stamps
  23. return address labels
  24. Oxford Magazine
  25. Advil
  26. Scrunchies
  27. Gym entry card
  28. Diet Dr. Pepper
  29. Knee brace

 John left with his keys and a wallet. Why is my life so complicated?


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