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for the information age



These bite-sized stories chronicle my efforts, both pitiful and successful,

to navigate the rapidly-changing world.


My hope is that they help you do the same.

christmas motive - cross section of red

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Sleep deprivation was, allegedly, one of the tactics employed to torture detainees at Guantanamo Bay. To get them to squeal. We can do one bad night. But three or four medium-bad nights of sleep in a row begin to eat us alive. A worm, called Not Enough Sleep, is slithering round in my brain, nibbling bits of it away. The edges of my mental capacity are blurred. My eyes sting. My body is heavy. And I am on edge. I cry easily, I honk my horn at clueless drivers, snap at my children. Each day arrives and I’m unsure what its contents will be. Emily Dickinson said, “in dreams becomes reality”, and indeed, dreamtime and daylight time have fused. The day is one long night.

The only thing that makes me feel better is dear, sweet bedtime. When I crawl in to bed with my screen. She comforts me, she coos at me. I fight to keep my eyes open and on on her. She’s so understanding in the deep of night.

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Sometimes my husband, smartphone in hand, will turn to me in bed and say something like, what is soap?

I will look at him. The book I am reading in bed is beauty, is depth, is meaning to me. What is soap? is a factoid and, frankly, a ridiculous thing to consider during the poetry hour.

What is soap?, I say. It's is the stuff we clean things with. What do you mean what is soap?

He begins to type fervently and I know he is googling the question. And then tells me, slapping the pillow between us down so that he can see me better, soap is a salt composed of an alkali metal and a mixture of fatty carboxylic acids. The cleansing action of soap comes from its unique ability to surround oil particles, causing them to be dispersed in water and easily rinsed away.

You see, he says. That’s what soap is. It draws things off of us.

I do see, I say, nodding.

What is soap is a question with an answer but also a reminder that we know so very little of how things work, that mystery and our smallness in the vastness of time and space is always present. And any poem we may read is just our attempt to understand maybe one small thing for one small moment, in the expanse of existence.

Therefore, what is soap? is indeed and after all a poem before slumber. And my lids, weighted down by the finality of the answer and the infinite possibilities of the google factoid poem, begin to fall.

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

It’s busy-ness I’m after. So that when I sit in the dentist’s office waiting room, I take out my phone. I’m checking. To avoid just sitting. People who just sit are what? Pointless? Purposeless? Losers? It is for appearances that I am checking. I am pretty sure the receptionist notices how busy I am.

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