Monday, December 10, 2012


Two winters ago, a few days after Christmas, I found a Fulla doll in the trash of the next-door neighbors.

Though the post-Holiday garbage cans in my area are always full to overflowing, I have never seen a new toy still in its packaging make an appearance like that amidst the crumpled wrapping paper and empty toy boxes.

Fulla kept her smile, though she had so obviously been rejected.

My treasure wears the hijab, bright blonde hair peeking out of the headscarf:

She is minimally accessorized, accompanied only by this pair of standard teetery Mattel heels:

And being the 70s girl I am, raised in the fetish of Barbie, I had to peek under her garment: no knickers, not even molded ones, and a pair of freakishly long Barbie legs:

I won't weigh in on the subject of traditional garb for Muslim women, though I have many thoughts on the matter, some of them incendiary. I will just say that I have an intense, protective fondness for my Fulla doll.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

In a Dark Time

In a Dark Time

(by Theodore Roethke)

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood—
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is—
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

We Wrote Our Names Down on the Sidewalk (a short love poem to my city, which has been brought to its knees twice already in my daughter's lifetime)

We wrote our names down on the sidewalk

but the rain came and washed them off

so we should write them again on wet cement

so people a long time from now will know what we meant

("Together" by the Raconteurs)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dream of the Soft Look Your Eyes Had Once

The bits and pieces of my October wedding day, so long ago that I can hardly remember it, except for one thing: my aunt, now dead, taking me gently by the shoulders, looking me in the eyes, through eyes very like mine, and saying: Try to stop and look around you for a moment, take this day in, because sometime, many years from now, you will want to take out the little details and look at them and think back...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I look at Eleanor and see her sometimes
She isn't exactly clear, but she's bright
a little self flashing behind the veil of soapy film.
Bits of her held in bubbles,
blown out on the exhale of baby breath,
rise fast skyward on unending current
gone long before I have the chance to pause