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Meeting my Favorite Author- Jeanette Winterson


Let me tell you a story.

I didn’t know what to wear to meet you.



Dressed in your memoirs.

The writing hard as steel shod hooves

Of course paper shows softness, throat and fat too

It gaps.



I’m naked.

Only a line for cleavage,

Paper white shirt, and non-descript jeans,

Trying to cover myself with a poem


What does the ideal reader wear?

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Alone on an Island

With buttered popcorn

See heat melting windshield ice

Winter Nantucket

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Toe Shoes (X series)

Like knives he sharpens

- his wool clad toes, too far

from crackling fire

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Hagerstown, MD

“There wasn’t a lot happening in Hagerstown, Maryland, you have to remember that,” I told my sister, Willow.  “It’s a glorified transportation hub, the junction of two major highways and an airport.  Throw in a little Civil War history, an outlet mall, and you have it.  A town too quiet for a coffee shop.”

“Why would you go to such a place?” she asked.

“We wanted somewhere halfway between West Virginia and here.  I wanted to go to Baltimore.  He didn’t.  He found out that the local Super 8 had a suite with a hot tub and was sold on it.  The room was very expensive so we agreed to make it our Christmas and birthday presents to each other.  I felt simultaneously relieved and mature, “ I explained.  “There wasn’t any trouble until the third day, New Years Eve.  We had exhausted the town; there was nothing left but civil war history and gentlemen’s clubs…”

“I’ve never been so desperate that I went to a strip club!” my sister exclaimed.  That surprised me coming from a lesbian surfer with a degree in mycology from Humbolt State.  Willow is the adventurous sibling, not me.

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Loving a Writer

I wrote

Kill zebra here.

Was it hunters? Or natural causes?

Your metaphor, my notes


Aren’t all zoo animals strippers?

Bodies for pleasure?

Our absurd stripes

A binary.


I miss my bookmark

Dog-earring pages is a bad habit.


But I haven’t finished the poem,



Happy Valentine’s Day!

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How I Wish I were an Artichoke...

How I wish I were an artichoke!  This wise vegetable protects its heart with layer after layer of leaves and hair.  It is not the vulnerable rose, just waiting to be be-headed.  A red rose is the Romeo and Juliet of plants, rapid happiness. 

In order to appreciate an artichoke, one must invest time.  Peeling away each leaf and savoring its butter coated fibers is a pleasure all its own.  I like to eat my artichokes in front of the fireplace, as a popcorn alternative.  The journey and the destination are a joy. 

But third base is the choke.  It is oral sex; tongue out of place and eyes tearing.  Is there anything beyond this epic failure of social graces?  Who makes it to the heart of the vegetable?  Where is the interpenetration of throat and heart?

Who might eat me?

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She is flinking

Tail in the sea, head on the rocks



A man spies her

He has serendibian blue eyes; he

Is a different species, foreign as a zebra.

Sweat beading on his head feels familiar.

She is touched by his baldness;

Her arms about his neck

Reading his body.


This reading is sexy

But it isn’t retelling Ariel’s story

Because a book is different than a baby. 

The biology of a mermaid

Giving birth is?


Now imagine

A mermaid writing.

Withdrawing from the water,

She scrawls her tale across paper after paper

The merwoman is a writer;

The poet is a merwoman.


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Of Syllaships

And reading lists

It is safe to say a paperback

Weighing more than a water bottle

Is not a beach read,

But an odyssey.


She sweats sentences

As the sun rises to its zenith

Heating her barnacled bench. 

The ocean scales her body cobalt,

Bellbottom jeans make a mermaid’s tail

Slapping the sea instead of laughing.


The sea is salt and plot

More than reader response theory

Thoughtless she slips into the water:

Tank top, tale and all…

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Paper Cut

My father warned me about writers, but

My lover is a zebra.  Fingers galloping

Over typewriter keys clacking.


I keep his sheets of paper worn soft with

Marking my place within a novel. 

Vertical black stripes running

Through my books. 


At the heart of every story, I read,

Is poetry.  Sorry dad. 

Mom loved minor poets too.


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You are Not an Easy Person to Sleep with Dear Zebra

In a gross act

Of anthropomorphization

A biologist learns that intellectuals and

Snails alike, have penises close to their brains.


Cupid evolved from Helix Aspersa

Yet this scientist would be pierced with gypsobelum

That potentially fatal dart of yours


Dear snail


During six hours of foreplay

While admiring your radula and chestnut whorls

Our squelching bodies possessed bilateral symmetry.

From this pair of feet, whose foot is whose? 


Calcareous shells clink. When I steal the covers,

I am not an easy person to sleep with.  Why?

Would you cuddle with a snail?


Because we were both once prey

For the carnivorous of our species feast on cardiac muscle.

Now, meet me in New Haven where we will be

Just another pair of garden gastropods


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