The Beat Is On Fire, And So Are My Pants

Greetings!  A very busy summer here in Arkansas, but I thought I’d stop by and drop a few poems from my latest batch while I prepare new ones for future blogs/readings. Also, it’s (past) time for the annual Summer Playlist…but better late than never, right?  And it IS still summer. So as the members of Modest Mouse sing in their song “Dashboard”:  Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh, now here we go!…



As has happened many times before,
a feral cat materialized

on my doorstep one balmy evening.

He eyed me cautiously,

assessing what type of human

I might be,

then he slinked into the darkness,

a mysterious passing visitor.

The next night, he appeared again,

apparently interested enough

in my being

to have a second look.

He sat for a while in my presence,

easing into a sphinx position,

eventually slipping into a light sleep.

Soon, my new feline friend

was visiting me with regularity.

We shared intimate moments

in each other’s company.

I talked and he listened

as we watched the moon

rise and fall, grow and shrink.

He would strut and charm,

circling and seducing me

as he inched ever closer.

Then came the moment

when he mustered enough courage

to graze my leg,

sliding the length of his body

against the white softness of my calf.

My heart melted, and I decided

to offer him a treat,

the prize he no doubt

sought all along.

Once he was finished

with his meal,

I reached down to stroke his back –

a generous offering of my affection.

He turned and bit me with ferocity,

then darted into the void

and out of my life,

leaving me wounded

and wondering what had happened.

And so it has been with men.


Upon Hearing Two People Having a Conversation About a Siamese Twin Who Attempted to Sever Herself From Her Other Half

I tried to imagine

what misunderstanding or calamity

could cause a person

to attempt such a violent separation,

to reach for the nearest knife

or hacksaw?

Could they not reach an agreement?

Was the one on the right a Republican

and the left one a Democrat?

Did one sister dream of a cottage

on the rocky northeast coast

while the other wished to set up camp

in the wide-open west?

Did one turn her head –

already so close to the other’s ear –

and whisper,

“I know you are, but what am I?”,

and it was just the one time too many,

the last straw,

the one that broke the bones in the

back they shared?

Or maybe it was the simple truth

that being in the constant company

of the wrong person

feels more lonely than being alone,

more terrifying than

the risk of freedom?


The Fray

I stand at the edge of a lake
and faintly remember

how I saw it in my youth,

when no body of water was

too cold, polluted, or dangerous

to be enjoyed.

Through the magic lenses

of childhood,

I was able look upon any set of waves

and behold not the grit or the slime,

but the shimmer,

and a trip to the Taj Mahal

couldn’t have held more

beauty or wonder for me.

In the time before my feet

learned to fear the earth,

we were poor, but there was

splendor in everything –

even a stick of chewing gum,

which my brother turned

into a game.

The mission was to stretch the piece

from one end of the trailer to the other

without breaking the sticky string.

I failed at the task,

but my sibling could expertly knead

and pull the polymer

until it resembled a silky pink thread

woven by an otherworldly spider.

As we played our game,

our mother had her own challenge –

that of stretching a budget too tight

for a family of five,

forever doing the math of the desperate:

How many eggs, cans of oats,

and boxes of pancake mix

can we get for twenty dollars?

She set us out into the world,

children with stomachs full

of cheap breakfast foods and

hearts not yet discouraged.

Those were the days before

failure and insecurity

introduced themselves,

then invited themselves to stay.

Before the years of

You’ll never be chosen,

That’s for others but not for you, and

Time is running out.

How did it happen –

my becoming one of the millions

who were stretched too thin?

Which was the terminal blow

in a long line of disappointments?

Who was the final clumsy, careless person

who strode through

the cobwebs of my heart and

snapped the last delicate

gossamer strand?

Today, let me look out on the water

and dream that we can repair

what has been frayed.

Let me feel again

that I am enough.

Allow my eyes to once more

see the sparkle,

and not the muck.


Last but not least — many of you have asked about it, and here it is:  the 5th annual “Jenn’s Hot Summer Playlist”, the 2016 edition.

DJ Jenn-X has whipped up over an hour of music for you to chill or shake your booty to as summer wraps up and slinks into fall.

This year’s list includes The Ocean Blue, The Clash, Black 47, The Thompson Twins, Django Django, Hammock, Kasabian, Modest Mouse, Peter Bjorn and John, Supertramp, The Sisters of Mercy, Foster the People, Family of the Year, The Killers, and my favorite tune by David Bowie (still can’t believe he’s gone :-/ ).  I hope you enjoy, and here’s the link…


And so we wrap up a blog and another season. I hope you are all well, and as always, I encourage you to create, create, create…a beautiful cake, a scarf, a photo, a story, a poem, a short film, a beautiful moment with a loved one.  Each day is another chance to add to the world and create something uniquely YOU.

Until next time,

Jenn 😊


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