Wednesday, April 23, 2014

He is Risen, We are Here

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” --Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry
In my brother’s car
on the way to the airport
for Easter Sunday mass,
and then in the chapel
on the Mezzanine level
at O’Hare. No, before that,
on the row of hard leather chairs
behind the Starbucks kiosk--
four of them--welded together
and pushed up against a wall,
facing the kiss ‘n’ fly lanes outside.
That’s where we ate pastries and drank our
morning beverages (coffee, chocolate milk)
before the service.
Sometimes we turned to each other
to make conversation,
other times we spoke towards
our reflections in the windows,
telling our stories and remembering
what it’s like to be together.


This poem was meant for Easter, but it had to tumble around my brain for a bit before I could get it out. I might need to put it back in for another spin, but here it is for now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Life

At this point in my life,
Earth Day feels like
pretty much any other day:
biking and recycling,
turning off the lights,
keeping showers short--
I’m no more celebrating
than merely living on
the planet where I was born.

Monday, April 21, 2014


AtonementAtonement by Ian McEwan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm glad I finally got around to reading this book, which I've had on my (physical) bookshelf for a while. I watched the movie about four years ago, and enjoyed it. The original didn't disappoint. Much like the movie, the middle war section was my least favorite/most forgettable, and the opening, while only lasting several days, took some time to get in to, but by the end I was sold.

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter by Jill Alexander Essbaum : Poetry Magazine

A (sad) Easter poem. Because that's where I'm at right now.

Easter by Jill Alexander Essbaum : Poetry Magazine


is my season
of defeat.

Though all
is green

and death
is done,  

I feel alone.
As if the stone

rolled off
from the head

of the tomb
is lodged

in the doorframe
of my room,

and everyone
I’ve ever loved

lives happily
just past

my able reach.
And each time

Jesus rises
I’m reminded

of this marble

they are not
coming back.

(Poetry, January 2011)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bucktown/Wicker Park Public Library, Friday, April 18, 2014, 2:25 pm.

Bucktown/Wicker Park Public Library,
Friday, April 18, 2014, 2:25 pm.
First Floor:
The tables are nearly full, so I
camp out at the edge of the
one nearest the meeting rooms
and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Outside, the fresh grass peeks
through last fall’s dead leaves.
My nose starts to run and I
turn back to the quiet bookshelves
in this corner of the library:
Test Prep and Careers.
Their shelves are filled with titles
like The Princeton Review guide to the
Job Search Letters, Resumes, or
Interviews for Dummies
Postal Exam Preparation
How to be a State Trooper
Get Your Captain’s License!
No one else here is concerned
with any of that, just
How do I print this?
What’s the wifi?
Where’s the nearest 7-11?
or my favorite overheard conversation,
between a mother and a son:
“Can I go up there?”
“No, not now.”
“But I asked!”
“Yes, and thank you so much
for asking respectfully, but my
answer is no.”
Followed by the stubborn
stomps of a child who’s asked and expects
the answer to be yes.
Because what’s the point in
asking otherwise? Aren’t we
all just asking to go “up there,”
wherever that may be,
not for actual permission, but
just to be polite?
And when the universe answers
no, we stomp around anyway,
like children in a public library
on a Friday afternoon.


I wrote this (mostly) at the library in honor of National Library Week. Visit your library! You never know how it might inspire you.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Contradiction

This is not a poem, but a contradiction.
It’s how it can snow on Tuesday
and I can sunbathe on Friday.
It’s the cultural ignorance I seek
to separate myself from, all
the while knowing it’s in my skin.
It’s ice cream trucks and late
night sandwiches. Hovering
parents and absent bosses.
Going to bed when it’s light out;
waking up in the dark.
Stomach pain, noisy neighbors,
spiderwebs, dirty piles of laundry
stacked next to the bed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.
Chicago, pregnant with spring,
still clung to her Siberian chill,
blowing through April’s sunny days and
windows-open, grilling-on-the-patio weather,
like the woman in labor, scared
of what the new season might bring.
Spring seemed hesitant to emerge.
It hid in the last bank of snow,
now mostly dirt and icy rocks,
like the baby being born, not ready
for the traumatic change.
We held our breath, like family members
in the waiting room, praying for a
speedy delivery, a healthy baby.
We let it go and watched it
condense in the frozen air around us.