It had been a rough week for Angie Everglade. Monday’s job interview disaster with some young pup who seemed to equate rich life experience with imminent dementia. Wednesday’s OkCupid date with a man so full of himself she feared he might actually burst, splattering her new outfit with his ruptured innards. And now lab work that suggested a new incurable malady of which she already enjoyed several. After having a ripshit tantrum in the privacy of her own apartment, Angie pulled herself together. Read the rest of this story »
so long and varied as to comprise a statistical impossibility
I cling to the tenuous hope that
my life cannot get worse
then my computer crashes
and I am plunged headlong into a canyon of despair
deep and unfathomable as string theory
landing with an inelegant splat, I am an upended bug
flailing fruitlessly and beset
by larger insects who gnaw greedily on my exposed viscera
there is no point trying to resurrect this heap
rogue elements in my brain disagree
they concoct an army of lively
drum-beating, cymbal clashing, sword wielding
cruel thoughts in crimson uniforms, shiny gold buttons
Very insistent that I obey
that I worry my ass into a perma-pucker
about everything else that can possibly go wrong
when did I last back up?
how many poetic gems did I lose?
how long will it take to reconstruct my digital life? Read the rest of this poem »
Despite a generation of sensitivity trainings and multicultural studies, an astonishing number of people still feel emboldened to express their misbegotten bigotry in very public arenas. Cops and vigilantes alike are caught on tape throwing down racial slurs before they kill, Rush Limbaugh has no compunction about “slut-shaming” for a national audience, and classroom bullies drive a steady stream of gay youth to suicide. In the face of such madness we may be tempted to question the wisdom of the old nursery rhyme:
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.
That’s what we were taught as children, but as adults we’ve learned a more nuanced understanding of the power of words. We recognize that to call an African-American a nigger, a woman a cunt, or a gay man a faggot is not only insulting and bigoted, it wounds the psyche of the person who’s been verbally accosted.