Nov 19

Bottle of Sand

It drives me crazy, getting old. 
Somewhere when we were young
dozens of memories were buried-
good sticking to them like flower nectar, 
bad insisting on staying 
like an unloved, unwelcome uncle-
and still in the deep sand they sit, 
growing gritty and rough, 
aging faster than we can keep up with. 
If we were to find them,
buried like pirate treasure, 
the sand would sear our feet,
grilling the soles of our younger selves. 
I could let each grain of memory
sift through my body like an hourglass, 
and pick the ivory-colored moments
that nestle into the grooves of my 
palm perfectly. 
But that would do nothing
to the slow insanity developing
within me-
it drives me crazy, getting old. 
Nov 04

Descent: A Lyrical Performance by Kinetic Light

Before the performance, the stage is set: a giant 6-foot tall ramp specifically designed for the group, with two wheelchairs stacked atop each other like orbs. The background is dark, with dozens of stars and comets. It feels like the audience is staring straight at the Milky Way. The performance begins and the audience is confused. The performance is about two dancers who use wheelchairs- we had expected them to be in the wheelchairs the whole time, and move around with them. Instead, the dancers start without the chairs. They move around on the ramp, rolling, tumbling, sometimes perching on their knees or feet lightly. Their arm movements are the most expressive- wide, lyrical, sad and otherworldly. 

The background gives the feeling that the story takes place somewhere between, or in, the star-filled sky and ebbing waves. 
Oct 29


I can tell I'm your 
new obsession. 
I can tell by the way
your eyes- green, yellow, 
waiting to catch your
glaze over my body. 
"Your hair,"
whispered near my ear. 
"It smells...
just like cotton candy."
You breathe me in, 
your new obsession. 
I know you're 
thinking of
hiding me. 
Somewhere dark, musty,
perfect for brushing my hair,
untangling the cotton candy strands. 
I know you would. 
You said I could 
come back to your 
house anytime-
you said
I could look at 
your library and browse the books. 
It would have been harmless, 
except for the 
yellow eyes
staring at me, 
contemplating how I
should be killed. 
Maybe you would 
have grabbed my hand, 
then, and pulled me inside. 
Maybe your fingers 
even started to twitch 
in my direction, 
as you leaned in, 
right before my 
Oct 29

If I'm Being Honest

Forgiving is as suffocating
as making friends in
high school. 
Why not give it a chance
people say. 
Why not try- you'll 
probably be happier

I'd rather fall 
downstream in a river, 
slithering down the 
slippery rocks
than forgive those
who have hurt me. 
I'm fickle like that-
sometimes when I'm angry
I say to myself, 
"I'm not angry anymore,"
and suddenly I feel like 
my normal cheery self. 
But then, when it
comes to conflict, 
acceptance, or forgiveness, 
I dodge away. 
Nimble on my large feet, 
passing others who care
less than I do, 
glancing backwards only
to make sure the 
issue is behind the horizon. 
I don't like addressing things 
that are thorny-
I'd rather swim around
space without a helmet,
as if the universe is
one giant piscine
It feels like
Oct 29

Guest Room

There's a stranger
in my house. 
She takes a seat at an 
invisible chair and 
stares me down. 
"You're lonely," she says, 
twirling a piece of hair around her 
hazy fingers. 
Smoke clouds around her collarbone 
and slips past me like 
"How did you know?" I ask, 
then shake my head. 
It's obvious. 
By the way I stare
for a second too long out
the windows, by the way
I leave little scraps 
of paper strewn about 
my bedroom- notes on my life, reminders, 
a sentence or two that came to me
and seemed poetic. 
She laughs, the stranger
in my house. She laughs
as if this is all a 
great and fascinating joke. 
"I'm here to stay," she says. 
"I'd like the guest room 
with an extra chair inside."
She twinkles, knowing that I'll do 
anything for her, my lovely,
lonely self. 
"I'm expecting a guest or two."
Oct 29


I feel smudged, 
like blue words highlighted in pink.
Your unapologetic ink. 

I feel sketched, 
like the lily in my notebook. 
Blurred lines in lead. 

I feel wobbly, 
like my letters trying to 
stand straight on the indigo lines. 

I feel rambled, 
like poetry on index cards. 
Oct 07

Anyone in Burlington

While walking through Burlington, 
I imagine myself as anyone. 

I could be a single mother pushing
a stroller with one hand, 
headed toward Lake Champlain
to find at least some solace
in the way the thin veil of light
hopscotches off the water. 

I could be an old pianist, fingers
long-tired from lightly moving across
the keys, ears perked relentlessly, 
searching absent-mindedly 
for melodies in the wind
and overheard conversations. 

I could be a college student, 
exploring the new city I call home, 
ignoring my sudden-onset insomnia 
and the rows of missed phone calls
from Mom

Or I could be just another teenager, 
confidently placing each foot in front 
of the other, chattering to a friend about
how my driving lessons are going. 
("You know, it's not even that bad. If I had
to describe it, I'd say mild road rage. 
Oct 07


My suitcase is beginning to claim
a layer of dust on its surface, 
and I hate it. 
I hate that I haven't pulled on my shoes 
and jacket and marched to a new place in ages-
even though I despise security lines, 
I still love the in between of airports.
You're neither home nor away. 
It's a wonderful feeling knowing that 
you are about to see an entirely new slice
of the world in mere moments. 
It's almost as wonderful as
stepping into your closet,
brushing the dust off your suitcase, 
and filling it with clothes once more. 


Oct 07

"Hey, Iris, How Are You?"

I'm in the mood to pour gasoline onto
lit matches. And by that I mean 
I'm in the mood to scream my lungs 
out, to feel the tears on my face evaporate
into salty air. 

I'm in the mood to destruct a 
carefully built tower of cards-
5 of spades. Was that yours?

I'm in the mood to smash a bottle of 
champagne against a brick wall, like
an actress in a silent film,
splattering fizzy alcohol all over 
her mink coat. 

I'm in the mood to stick my head out
into the world and watch
other people as they struggle and 

I want to watch the way their brows
almost hit each other in focus, 
and the way they grin after
winning the fight. I want to talk to them-
to say, "I feel the same way on 
Friday afternoons."

I want to watch the greatest sunset 
from the highest peak- yet I'm still in
the mood to dump gasoline all over your
Sep 10

Fifteen Countdown

The Challenge: CJP-Teens: What do adults get wrong about teenagers?

Counting backwards is never fun, 
especially when you're fifteen. 

Ten friends who misplaced their true selves, 
relentlessly searching the Lost and Found
which they find in the form of drugs. 

Nine contradictions of being a teenager:
you hate your family, you love your roots, you