Showing posts from October, 2011

Not Your Children's Vampire

excerpt from Dracula by Bram Stoker

Hitherto I had noticed the backs of his hands as they lay on his knees in the firelight, and they had seemed rather white and fine. But seeing them now close to me, I could not but notice that they were rather coarse, broad, with squat fingers. Strange to say, there were hairs in the centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine, and cut to a sharp point. As the Count leaned over me and his hands touched me, I could not repress a shudder. It may have been that his breath was rank, but a horrible feeling of nausea came over me, which, do what I would, I could not conceal.

The Count, evidently noticing it, drew back. And with a grim sort of smile, which showed more than he had yet done his protruberant teeth, sat himself down again on his own side of the fireplace. We were both silent for a while, and as I looked towards the window I saw the first dim streak of the coming dawn. There seemed a strange stillness over everything. But as I listened, I…

Saturday in CinCity. The Ghost Story Edition.


"...cause sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead." Poor Giselle, if only she'd had an IPod to listen to the wisdom of Adele or read some poetry.

Sometimes, I Am Startled Out of Myself

by Barbara Crooker

like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking,

flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek

across the sky made me think about my life, the places

of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief

has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling,

the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place.

Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold

for a brief while, then lose it all each November.

Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst

weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves

come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields,

land on the pond with its sedges and reeds.

You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find

shelter, wh…

A Cat's Life

by David R. Slavitt

Her repertoire is limited but fulfilling,

with two preoccupations, or three, perhaps,

if you include the taking of many naps:

otherwise she is snuggling or killing.

On the Wards

by Rafael Campo

I pass you in a hurry, on my way

to where another woman who I know

is dying of a stroke that in the end

is nothing worse than what is killing you.

Same gurney, same bruised arms and mute IV—

you wait for what might be a final test.

It's something in the way you look at me

that makes me realize you have your own

mistakes you think you're paying for, your own

ungrateful kids, your own unspeakable

pain. Yet you look at me, still desperate

for just another human being to

look kindly back at you, to recognize

in you the end is not far off, is not

so unimaginable. Years ago

I watched a patient of mine say goodbye

to life. She was alone like you, alone

like me, she was in agony. She looked

at me, and I, afraid to be the last

thing here on Earth she saw, twisted my head

to look away. I almost do the same

to you, afraid you might imagine me

as later you lay dying, but I don't.

Instead, I look at you remorselessly,

the way I hope that someday I…

Almost TGIF


fare thee well, fireflies...

A Lover

by Amy Lowell

If I could catch the green lantern of the firefly

I could see to write you a letter.

Saturday in CinCity. The Full Moon and the Neuro Unit Edition.

Letter from a Mental Hospital

by Kim Lozano

From the heart of an old box of letters

I lift a small water-stained envelope.

Inside, a note card as thin and brittle as a frozen leaf

bears a message written fifty years ago

by a woman who shares my name.

She delivers no greeting, no sorry to have been away so long.

She leaves no record of visitors, rationed cigarettes,

group art, or the barren iceberg of treatment.

I imagine her listening to the ping of the radiator

on a snowy morning, seated in her nightgown and socks

by an open window. A bell rings in the hallway

but she doesn't move toward her robe or her slippers or her brush.

I see myself sitting beside her, reaching

toward her dull pencil to place my fingers over hers,

hand on hand, gliding over the words, moving

like two skaters on a lake tracing the solitary line—

Please come get me.

Wednesday in CinCity

It was a grrrl's weekend at the lake. Pizza, beer, thrift store shopping, farmers' markets and girltalk. A nice break for all of us and a new way to reconfigure ourselves with 2 girls growing up, up, and away. CollegeGrrrl shadowed at BigFatTeaching Hospital, first in the Burns unit, then with me. That was fun to have her there and explain some of the details about nursing that can't be learned till you're in the thick of it and equipment that makes much more sense in person than in a lecture.

HoneyHaired--our new collegegrrrl--made up for lost sleep. You'd think there was a magical sleeping potion in the backseat of the car.

But, they're off and running again. Hubby is off working at winterizing the place before the season passes. I'm here on a day off with the remaining animal boys who could also sleep all day and night and then some. Must pull myself away quickly. I'm convinced they release some pherome that entices all humans around them to nap the…

Living Things

by Anne Porter

Our poems

Are like the wart-hogs

In the zoo

It's hard to say

Why there should be such creatures

But once our life gets into them

As sometimes happens

Our poems

Turn into living things

And there's no arguing

With living things

They are

The way they are

Our poems

May be rough

Or delicate


Or great

But always

They have inside them

A confluence of cries

And secret languages

And always

They are improvident

And free

They keep

A kind of Sabbath

They play

On sooty fire escapes

And window ledges

They wander in and out

Of jails and gardens

They sparkle

In the deep mines

They sing

In breaking waves

And rock like wooden cradles.