Thursday, February 11, 2016

From a new piece

My job as a mother is simple: I’m raising my son to best prepare him to leave me. That is neither hyperbole nor future-tripping. It is simple pragmatism.

On nature’s dictate, we separate from our parents even before the moment of our first breath. It was an occasion I’d imagined many times while pregnant, shedding tears in the shower as I shaved my legs. Come on, Allison, my obstetrician said in her New York accent during this fantasy. One more push. Then my child would emerge with the requisite tears and joy, my husband cutting the cord with ceremony if a slight amount of squeamishness.

It didn’t exactly work that way. 

Edgy bitch

Part of what I plan to read tomorrow night at Lip Service West:

No, my heart didn’t break then and still hasn’t. It maybe just chipped a little, the kind of splinter that flows into the bloodstream to cause covert damage along its path. My mother warned me about splinters, but I never listened. Remove it, she’d say while wielding a sterilized sewing needle above my skin, or deal with infection. 

Earl’s splinter is that of memory. Memory, which fills in that which we don’t currently see. Memory, which takes the exact shape of our desire, the chronology that charts our purpose.

Curious? Come check it out, motherfucker!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feb. 12: Lip Service West

It's always a pleasure to read for Joe Clifford's Lip Service West, which takes place Feb. 12 at Pegasus Bookstore in downtown Berkeley. I'm writing a new piece, briefly excerpted here:

I wasn’t even experienced enough to be a Girl Scout. I was a Brownie with a driver’s license. 
An entirely other life, but in reality how much? The Beatles once sang: The further one travels/the less one knows. Old Ringo and friends were onto something.

Are you thinking that you don't know what the fuck I'm talking about here? Join the club, chump. I'm less than 500 words in and I'm thinking this is going to be some good shit ... if I can figure out exactly what I want to say. Show up and enjoy the free hot dogs!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

One year

A year ago was the last normal day of the Old Life. A year ago was the last full day before I realized that I was pregnant, before I took the test and watched the double lines almost instantly appear. It was  Jan. 29, 2015, around 2 p.m. I remember walking into the living room in a fog of shock. Then getting Yogurt Park. Priorities.

I could never have predicted how my life has changed and will continue to do so. I can only embrace the wisdom of sometimes going with the hard right hook.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Baz is with Uncle Jon and Auntie Courtney today. Sitting here at Philz, I watch a woman pull her baby from his stroller. I can feel the sturdiness of that little body, the pride at how well he holds his head. I am changed.

Writing From the Edge: LIMINAL, Feb. 21-March 27

I'm excited to announce that I'm going to be teaching a six-week workshop at The Liminal Center in Oakland. "Writing From the Edge" runs on Sundays, Feb. 21-March 27, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. For more info, go here; for tickets. head over here. Also, don't forget to check out all of Liminal's offerings here!

The two-bit sound byte: Life proliferates at the continent’s ragged edge, where sunlight illuminates the water and a wide variety of species flourishes. Such is the case with writing, which grows most vivid at the roughest spots. Over these next six weeks, we’ll explore ways to connect with what lies within and bring it to the surface through the power of the written word. This will take the form of reading assignments from diverse authors including Persimmon Blackbridge and Mark Doty, handouts, writing prompts and feedback from me as well as from your peers.

I hope to see you there!