Sunday, February 24, 2013


The marvelous SC poet, Susan Laughter Meyers, offered me the opportunity to participate in the NEXT BIG THING, so here goes...
1.What is the working title of your book?  

Do Not Fault the Mockingbird

2. Where did the idea come from for your book?

I used to say, unfortunately, blah, blah, blah but now I am not sure if the regret still exists.  But regret for the end of a long relationship, the loss of a dream, the hell you go through dissolving your illusions of a life, yes.

3. What genre does your book fall under?


4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

Feels odd for poetry, but this is a story of relationships, so… For the female: Emma Thompson or Meryl Streep and for the male: Kevin Spacey or Tom Hanks

5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

In a multi-voiced life, how one woman attempts to divorce illusions and delusions and not fault her own attempts in making that life or the next one.

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

How long does it take for a marriage to dissolve, even as you unintentionally refuse to hear it crumbling around you?   Years, in some cases and other poems were drafted in the midst of the final implosion.

7. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

In the final drafts, if there is such a thing, I finally went in search of other works that dealt with the end of a long-term relationship. I was searching for areas I might still be refusing to see, ways to address them, since I was emotionally depleted.  I found work by Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton, and Anne Carson influential and books by Ellen Dore Watson, This Sharpening, Erin Belieu, black box, Olena Kalytiak Davis, And Her Soul Out Of Nothing instrumental in my effort to wrangle out the rest of my story.

8. Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

The fact that I was in a meltdown leading to and including a divorce the entire time I was working to pull poems together for an MFA degree left me little choice.  I could not feel or think about anything else; I couldn’t not write.

9. Will your book be self-published or by an agency?

It is being sent to various publishers now.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? 

I believe the work breaks through rant and silences that alternately slam themselves around inside a body like a trapped bird, in spite of all efforts to save its life. Art, creating this art helped me, and maybe it could others, to find ways to say the unsayable, allowing us to be filled, once again, with love.

it is my pleasure to TAG the following writers for their chance to answer these questions about their own work and then to TAG others:)

Alyss Dison
Enzo Surin
Jodi Sh Doff

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Do Not Fault the Mockingbird

Good Morning 2013:)
Hiatus for life and an MFA is over and i am working on a new manuscript.  I look forward to sharing pieces of it as the poems are published individually.  I look forward to finding and sharing a new voice on what surfaces in me as well.  Thank you for taking a look.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It is possible

that you are the frame, thin and dark around the edges

and most would say you are not the mat, stark, plain,

except you do have a talent for aiming the eye towards

what is significant;

most people would say you are most definitely

the leaves that sway from tender stalks, suspended

in a westbound wind, red hair going green and gold

in becoming;

I, cannot imagine you

as a broken silver egg, but imagine you might see

yourself a casement for the winged wonder plucked

by the beak of an ancient mariner, its eyes open

to shifting sands;

an invisible potion inside a beaker is what you are though,

not the beaker but the liquid inside, and is, is what fills

a painting with maybe, pure research, suspended

feather, stirring each of us to belief.

---for Carol Peters

love, mary


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

what Kermit doesn’t say to the taxi driver on the way to the Met

this is for my friend Roddy from the SC BookFestival who reminded me how much he liked this poem--thanks Roddy

it’s not easy being
green, to always wear
the same outfit and yet
never quite fit in,

a greenhorn in a world
of know-it-all puppets
left with all the jobs
no one else wants,

one could so easily
turn into a green-eyed
monster that envies
all the rest

for parts more loved
than any held
by a swamp-singing
baritone on a lily pad,

even a greenstick fracture
could be so easily gotten
from slapstick falling
but gets no sympathy,

only a laugh
here and there, perhaps
for a common
green frog

trying to make a few
greenbacks, to put
a new bowtie on
his neck, just once

Saturday, January 2, 2010

a private reading

when the words drip from your lips,
I want to be standing under your chin,
open-mouthed, tongue to tongue,
feel the tips rub up against each other,
not like the grit of a cat’s tongue,
whose relentless sandpaper licking
scrapes a surface smooth, but ridge to ridge,
pulled to attention as if each notch intentionally
takes its time to find how best to fit
the grooves of sound together,
your bitter to my sweet, like tears of honey
slowly sliding through a maze of maybes
until a yes drops onto a rough patch
and a nipple of amber, heated
by the wings in your throat warms
the quivering of mine to a murmur
around the silent spaces, and then I want
to swallow you, lips and tongue and breath
from a fog that lies along a ridgeline at dawn,
to set my earlobes on fire, my cheeks to red coals,
my eyes to yours to beg for another taste

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Solstice

sits on the moon at a tilt,
like the tarnished spoon

left behind a woodpile
after it was used to dig a hole

to hide your mother’s brooch,
that lies quieter now

than when it was stuck
to her breast, the skin

beneath her blouse, loose
and raw from sighing,

the purple of her veins
unable to make ends meet

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the Co-habitation Dream

we read to each other all day and into the night,
even from outside the bathroom door
until the syllables run out and quiet
is no longer what we run from but lean into
like a palm in the small of the back, fingertips
on a forearm, a cupped hand to a jawline,
which is enough, except when it isn’t
and we hold hands, our fingers, beginning
with the smallest, test the heat of each other’s
need, interlace the cleavage between them
as each knuckle bends forward to embrace
its twin and that is enough, except when it isn’t
and the pillow under my head becomes dented,
warm and I have to turn it over to the cool side.

Friday, July 24, 2009


cannot see the thunder,
finds it when the hair
bristles on his ears,
tastes lightning through
a black nose, huddles
close to a warm thigh
his glazed eyes call home

Monday, July 6, 2009

the mountain

has carved its hills
and valleys into me,
rock by tree by waterfall,
the laughter of guitar
strings, the whisper
of words as they echo
inside my throat, the wind
picking up, carrying
fingers along steep curves,
the taste of memory
to the back of the eye.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sleight of Hand

I ask you to take a word
and hold it in your ear,
practice saying it in the mirror
with different expressions
on your face, accenting
each syllable up and down
a scale of notes, low to high,
from beneath the big toe
of your right foot to behind
the top edge of your left eyebrow,
listen to it hum from a stutter,
then watch it drop into a puddle
of milk, slow motion, bouncing
an echo off your tongue
to find its saltiness, its sweetness—
if it is a good one, it will have both—
then spit it into your hands
and roll it between your fingers
like a coin, playing music
on your knuckles, and if
when you rim it, it rings clear,
lay it gently on the window to see
if its colors blend with the rest,
and if it does, breathe deep
and if not breathe deeper
and then begin again.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Upstate NY

colder here than June
is supposed to be, blackbirds
seem not to mind, glad

for puddles in a driveway
reflections muted
by a sunless sky above

Saturday, June 13, 2009

on this road

i pledge allegiance
to dotted white lines,
the guard rail,
speed limit signs,
as 18-wheelers let me pass
going uphill, pass me back
going down, exit signs
for my entrance

Thursday, June 11, 2009


in time, we find each
other by the arrangement
of colors in a box, black letters
on a field of white, the sun
on the walls that surround us


we surround them, not knowing
their names, not knowing our own,
playing tic-tac-toe with all
the shades of green, the stems
broken in half at the water line