Archive for on-the-spot

The Mosquito

You thought of me for a moment,
a sort of passing, like the small mosquito on a less than succulent leg—
a flit, a flitter, then gone
into the clouds and ever-space of the out there,
more afterthought than present.

But on this moment, unlike others,
you chose to bite,
proboscis at the ready, elongated like a straw:

Perhaps an assemblage of moments formed into over a minute.
Perhaps guilt tugged at the skin so softly it started to itch.
Either way, you reached—
out, to, for what? I do not know,
but into ever-space you went a’reaching…

sending birds tweeting to the sky,
bearing news of great recompense,
yet words as empty as the second half
of the metaphorical glass.

And when more time has come to pass, you remember:
this is why I flit, why I flitter,
a world half empty,
wholly bitter—

and then there is forget.
The high of having tried,
the fear of being slapped away,
the reality of plucked wings…

Moments flash, leg after leg
into the great subconscious—
never to touch my skin again.

All it Takes

All it Takes

All it takes for you to be happy
is to admit,
that failing is just as great
as succeeding,
that unhappiness is fleeting,
and all moments
are learning experiences
wrapped in awesome,
wrapped in sad.

And when it gets so bad,
it’ll probably be so good, too.
All it takes is you:
Your outlook, your perception,
your reflection on moments
so minute to the bigger picture,
you find yourself changed in seconds,
the gong of hours past, the equivalent of a lifetime.

But to own the failure, this is key;
it wasn’t him or her,
it wasn’t we— it’s you,
caught between what you thought you knew
and what you’ll never know,
the future undecided,
the anxiousness growing tall like unkempt weeds.

Anxious is as anxious fears,
the culmination revealed in private tears
and moments where escape seems better than confrontation.

But in this situation, to be happy is to take the leap,
no regrets for plans you didn’t keep,
or plans never made.
Just go with the gut,
become the product of enteric intuition,
your final decision the work of you and you alone.

All it takes for you to be happy,
for you to find inner smile,
is to stay awhile,
bask in the glory of a choice well impulsed,
and pause,
take a breath to live a sentence without clause (i.e., simple),
and admit that success is just as great
as failing.

Something Old, Something New: Patience is the Key

Do you?

So I thought I was a pretty deep teenager, with an emotional hole so bottomless, even the tears I cried would be poetic. Or I just thought my writing needed to have some sort of meaning. That writing about zombies or arts and crafts would be seen as too lighthearted and lacking substance.

I can’t remember why I wrote the poem below. But I can definitely take a crack at a rewrite that’s less, I don’t know…trying too hard???

Patience is the Key by 15-year-old Alexa

Patience is the key
You never know
Maybe if patience never existed
The world would have fallen pudding snacks
From careless openings of the gushy, savory delight.
The world would have open wounds,
where impatient doctors pull the bandage
and large chunks of hair come with it.
The world would have less wide-eyed intelligent children
With impatient books to be read, ones that can be skimmed,
Not taken lightly for content.
The world would have less music, where impatient ears crave the busy streets
The sounds of car horns and estranged yelling being as a beautiful symphony,
Opposed to the romantic flavor of jazz or the rich vocal silence of the piano.
The world would have death, where anxious surgeons forget to remove a bacteria,
Or forget to replace a heart.
The world would have pollution, where pedestrians lose all hope of ever crossing paths
With a trash can, heaving its need for the sweet incense of decaying paper and moldy apples.
The world would have war, where people forget that they are not the only ones to speak, their eager minds not wishing to hear words of justice, equality, and peace.
The world would be a closed lock, steely grips upon its empty hole.
But patience is the key.

Losing Patience by 27-year-old Alexa

I thought that patience was the key to everything,
but I was wrong;
it dwarfs our potential,
feeds at the upbringing of our fear…

Just to be clear:
Change happens for the impatient,
the pushy,
the proactive.
Actions taken must be active
not passive—aggressively approaching our lives,
the patience only to pace ourselves still relevant,
to appease the inner drive at least enough to compensate for the waiting.

And if you find yourself hesitating,
Think of possibilities, think of fact,
but don’t let the world pass you by.

Because the idiom they say is true,
life flashes in a blink…

Still: Patience is an ally, not a key.

To know patience is to know the need to lose it,
to keep anxiousness tamed,
as if emotion were a lion, bear, or tiger…

Oh, my! The need to keep your soul at rest,
to let your heart decide if action or patience is best—
then the key is not in patience,
but in decision:

A skeleton key.
The universal unlocker.
Finding balance, your lock-pick;
choice, your tools.

Something Old, Something New: A Friend in Need

Lifehack Quotes: “To Help a Friend in Need is Easy…”

Going back through my older writing, I’m still amazed by how the me of over ten years ago loved to rhyme. So below you’ll find an older poem, then an on-the-spot version with an adult’s attempt at rhyme. It’s a testament to how craft changes as you age.

A Friend in Need by 15-year-old Alexa

It may be a cover
To hide just your face
But what you are hiding
You could never trace

It stands in your heart
And rests in your soul
And with its desire
It can burn through a hole

Your digging your mountain
Against all your wills
You make no more wishes
And share no more thrills

You tell us you’re angry
Then don’t tell us why
You say “nothing’s wrong”
But you sit there and cry

We try to say things
That will soothe your weak heart
But our verbal connection
Is miles apart

Just don’t lie to me
And say “go away”
I’m not leaving your side
Because I promised I’d stay

Don’t try to get rid
Of a person who’s there
I’m trying to show you
I actually care

Can’t you just get
that I’m trying my best?
I leave you alone
So it can get off your chest

But if it won’t leave
I’ll be there when you call
When you have everything
Or nothing at all

Friend Needed by 27-year-old Alexa

I know you,
lost between freedom and obligation,
in the notes and strums of life
that hypnotize as much as hinder.

There you wander,
among dreamers of the same band,
your band mates, sheep,
amazed you still have dreams with lack of sleep,
since you spend most nights in a state of ponder.

It’s beyond me how you work in waking static,
your actions more erratic than calculated,
more free-form than trapped in rhythmic verse,
despite the lack of rest or repose so consistent with stable,

but I’ve told you time and time again,
if you are able,
to reach out, in waking or in dreaming,
when life feels more like nightmare sans the screaming,
you’ll find me here,
a lighthouse when your ship is nearing rocky shore.

I beg of you to tell me more,
to let me be the beacon before the sinking…

to know what you must be thinking,
guiding boat without a wheel.

But do you think of how I feel?
To be a beacon with no boat?
To wait patiently, light spinning like the hands of a clock:


I know you,
lost between selfishness and friendship,
hypnotized by Sirens,
into the depths of the sea.

But as long as you have me,
despite it all,
your lack of conversation,
lack of calls,
I’ll still be there.
A sheep.
A band mate.
A beacon—
light spinning in the dark.

FWOB: Friends Without Benefits

What has surprised me most about getting older is how easily friends come and go. They’ll stick around when it’s needed, but once you have nothing left to offer, or they’ve found another outlet to find them the same benefits your friendship once held, they’re gone—lost to the many things they suddenly have to do; or they just disappear, brief whispers into the timeline of your life. And when they need you again…well, you know. And no, gentle reader, this post isn’t targeted. This has been happening to everyone. It’s just been a discussion I’ve had pretty frequently offline, in that locale we call the real world.

So I’m writing a poem about it.

Strangers with Memories

The Used

I’ll be honest: I thought this was for real,
the deal set that we’d be friends
at least longer
than Friends was aired on cable TV.

But take it from me: compared to those faux friends
from high school, then adulthood,
I was always genuine,
despite the occasional slip…
I was the kind of girl to commit—
the constant communicator.

So quick were you to “See ya later,”
that I was almost blindsided
by your inconsideration,
reacting to lack of conversation
that you’d hoped would wither,
like cliché rose petals or an old man’s skin.

And the situation we’re in!
You don’t even know it,
the expectations you build,
knowing deep down you’d blow it,
the birthday candles of our generation,
fires gone like they were never even sparked.

If you could remember,
if just for a moment,
would you have done it differently?

Honestly, I don’t think you would,
because the inherently selfish never could
and never can

unless you need something:
a shoulder, an ear, an expertise—

and I’ll be at the ready to give in,
because I’m using you
for friendship.

Straight Lines

I wish my life existed in straight lines
like in reporter’s notebooks,
graph paper,
plaid pants—
instead of left up to chance,
an unpredictability in irregular shapes and spirals,
paisley patterns run amok
on a very unseemly set of bell bottoms.

But there’s some comfort in curvature, of uncountable angles;
perhaps, in the idea that there is some semblance of variation
within the greater design,
that the pattern will reveal itself in time,
and that the life, once straight and forthright
will get so wasted it stumbles drunkenly,
finger on tip of nose,
ungracefully forward.

But despite the hangover it’ll feel tomorrow,
it’ll know it came from freedom,
the soul liberated from horizontal or vertical consistency
in quadrant or graph or diagram.

The need to be released from the 180 degree angle
so desirous,
that life becomes alcoholic
in its need for inconsistency and zigzags,
a real drunkard for unusual,
a true lush for radii:

A sober line is never fun.

No Time

He had no intention
to leave her
or her

because he had no time
to say anything, to do anything,
to decide who wasn’t worth
the little time he had
to keep the little company
he’d keep.

He wasn’t all bad:
sometimes he said he loved her
and her
sometimes they felt so special,
so appreciated
that he’d make time for me,
or me,
or me,
that they would waste time in thought,
while he slept soundly
in one bed or another;

a life so scheduled and secure,
so formatted and fondled,
that time made him its lover—
a caress of ticks and tocks,
a quiet murmur in the ear of minutes passed.

He could have told the truth,
if he’d had time.
He could have let them each down gently,

but for him, it felt like time instead wasted,
a practice in which he did not participate,

until fate,
intervening as it does,
would stop the clock:

a tick, one gone
a tick, the next,
a tock, the last,

finding they had the time
he didn’t,

and him,
forced to make time to see them go.

On a Scale of 1 to Even, I Just Can’t

It’s been too long, for the millionth time, since my last post. And the thing I hate more than anything, is that my friends, former bosses, etc., etc., keep asking me if I still write. I’m a writer, yo, is that even a valid question? Yes. Because it’s better to finger point at laziness than to call yourself a writer when you don’t write.
It’s not logic or science or exaggeration; it’s the gosh darn truth.

I can admit, I have gotten back into reading pretty frequently. Damned by Chuck Palahniuk, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and now The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker. I’m a readin’ machine when I’m not at my desk.

And about that little detail. My current job status: still employed. Current happiness level with type of work: Ultra High. Current Creative Level: +1. And what do I do for a living? Create names. Like a boss. For companies. All types of companies. For products. Corporate IDs. Clinical trials. Things. More things.

Yeah, buddy.

So a poem, for my tiny, itsy bitsy audience that reads my web of work:

The Lessening

It hurt a little less each day
once I figured out
that really
no matter what I did,
no matter how hard I pushed
or pleaded,
it would not change
or replace
the heartbang
that went
with lack of love.

Maybe she didn’t know
right from
the pieces of feels and fonds
all jumbled with white pills
and liquorish drinks
she thought more appealing
than dinner dates
with peeps who missed her.

Really though,
more personal than peeps,
more familial in their cut
like unclear diamonds from an old ring,
they wanted someone
to pick at the past,
a little kid
shoveling and separating sand with a giant plastic fork,
piling shell and salt and people dust into castles
that looked much more obelisk
than fortification.

The digging, after too long, sored the muscles,
ached the fingers,
until the digger felt no need for castles
or diamonds
or dinner dates.

They stopped missing her.

They stopped hurting.

And eventually:
they just stopped.

A pause. A memory.

Then hurt again.
Glimmers of hope
as fine as sand.

How to Deal with Everything


Some things haven’t changed. I haven’t posted since March, for starters. So here I go, already weeks then months, but the need to write down something is immense and necessary. I can’t contain syllables, letters, uttered grunts and sighs and inner need to yell and bang some table. It’s all downhill from here, I swear it. The uphill climb of stress and events has brought me to the peak, the apex, the precipice, and I can feel it, deep within the crevices of the joints between my bones, the need to write, write, to keep writing or unenthusiastically implode. The need to express, impress, digress, until I’m -ess’d out and relieved — like a star that’s just about to supernova, all excess and hyperbole and exaggeration that needs to be released in a cloud of light and shiny things.

How to deal with everything? Write about it. The keys listen to you like square-shaped ears, no judgment here but in the little clicks that break the silence. They tell you to go on, urging you like the pop of packing bubbles: the need to pop, then pop again, more instinct than necessity.

When it all feels like too much? Write again. There are poems for this. Lyrics for that. I don’t know how many times you can hear a song that feels custom made for your situation. You’ve been cheated on? There’s a song for that. You’ve left your heart on the doorstep of another lover? There’s a song that specific, I swear it.

And in these last few sentences I can already start to feel better. Dealing becomes a little easier.


ABOVE was written yesterday. And today…well…today I feel light.

How to Deal with Everything

Take risks, take risks,
that’s all it is:

If you love someone, tell them.
If you hate your job, quit.
If you want to be a pirate, raise your sword, your flag, and ARRRGH,

because, Matey,
you get one shot to say how you feel
infinite days to deal
and a heart so strong, it’ll take ten swords
to do it in,

and when you feel down,
there are people there
to lift you,

not like clouds,
but cranes, metallic and loud and…

all you need to know is that they’re there:

morning, after work, the occasional lunchtime call,
and to be fair, you’re there for them, too
despite the days it’s all about you,
because drama, dear,
follows you,
a Facebook stalker, when Pokes were a thing,
not murderous, but creepy as all hell.

But you know what you do well?

Those infinite days are smalling (new word, just deal with it),
your vents becoming summaries,
your feelings on your sleeve and not your Wall.

And you, my dear, you’re writing again. Feeling love between your fingers, like a violinist plucking strings. Because I love you. I love my job. I want to be a pirate:

my pencil, a sword
my feelings, the flag.


Goodbye Modesty

Look, I’m not going to go into some long diatribe about how tech has altered the literal face of human interaction (I mean, I’m on the Internet to write this post, so who am I to talk?)…but I figured I’d write a little somethin’ somethin’ about my perception of the way things have become. I’m a member of the transitional generation: I remember electric typewriters and beepers, VHS players and Facebook when it was only open to college students at a select few colleges. I remember little notes in my lunch, and post cards sent from Vermont or the postal museum in DC. I remember cursive written poorly on a lined paper, reading stories alongside my grandmother at night while she turned a literal page. I remember the darkness of the room, with the only glow the small green light from our new computer. And funny to think, I’m only 26 through all this. So much has changed so fast, I’m worried I might be losing that happy darkness for the sacrifice of something so much more…meaningless. Active wastes of time. Addictions. Habits. Selfies. It’s hard to believe a sense of modesty was more present in our lives only ten or so years ago. Now we ask the world to judge us. Now we ask the world to see how happy or sad we are. Leggo’ my Ego. It’s become so big it might burst. Like, like, like. Like, like.

So here’s a poem, you know, to further the cause.

Remembering Modesty

I knew you once when I was small,
a little girl of six or so
watching grandma in the kitchen make baked apples,
the smell of cinnamon so easy on a little nose.

I knew you once when I was bigger,
school a scary place then, but full of opportunities,
boys scared to call the house because my grandpa might answer,
his voice gruff with protectiveness.

I knew you, in the messages and wait times of dial up Internet,
listening to the music of connectivity
and the hope of four-hour conversations about nothing and everything,
a teenager who thought she knew the world.

I knew you when I told him no, I’m not ready for this,
and pushed his hand away like I’d swat a spider, even now.
You stood by me always, and I felt proud and shy and confident
that I was going to be someone worth something.

But like most friends, we started to grow apart.
With the social, came the need to be accepted;
with the need to be accepted came the photos of nearly everything,
the updates of nearly everywhere I went.

My Privacy, another friend, decided he couldn’t stay,
unable to adjust to change in necessity to keep private life,

And Modesty, you tried. You called me every chance you got, until one night,
I texted you,
fingers full of need to tell, tell, tell,
and you couldn’t stay.
You told me I’d changed.
You told me it wasn’t the same.

And years later, when I found how much liking had superseded love,
I called you,
begged for you to come back…

we chatted like old friends do,
as if it had only been minutes instead of days,
and laughed at the ways the world was mocking Privacy,
pretending to be friends with him,
the way friends do when they need something.


To feel like they hadn’t lost themselves
in public.