chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Monthly Archives: March 2016

found poem: If you say

found poem: to show

found poem: feel

found poem: this spring

a Sunday in spring

jik - Easter ValentineAt age 6, things didn’t get much better than hearts and bunnies. A girl could be forgiven if the excesses of Valentine’s Day overtook Easter. All these decades later, I can’t account for the red cross, but the bunny has everything a bunny needs on a spring Sunday — a fat, chocolatey body, baskets over each arm, exceedingly long whiskers, a pink blush inside each ear and love radiating in all directions. Happy Easter.

found poem: in the house

found poem: memories

found poem: to remember


Come on down!

INLAND POETRY invitation

Sure it’s a few weeks off yet, but that gives you plenty of time to get the Inland Poetry Prowl, aka Baudelaire’s Birthday Bash, on your calendar. Visit Ellensburg, Washington, and drench yourself in poetry on Saturday, April 9, 2016. See the complete lineup of poets, schedule, map, etc., on the Inland Poetry site and watch for updates on Facebook. Hope to see you there!

P.S. Found poetry craft talk, 2:00pm at the Clymer Museum of Art. Spread the word.

Before we smiled

1940s Tobias et alThe photo is not dated, but my mother’s hair style, her cigarette and her voluminous fox jacket suggest that it’s mid-1940s. This is Dorothy’s family: her father’s brother, Uncle Tobias, her cousin Goldine, my grandmother Elsie, Aunt Sally, and Sally’s sister, Evelyn. My mother’s brother, Bob, is probably behind the camera. No one is smiling. Maybe they all smiled for the next picture, but in this one they’re not quite posed, still talking, brushing the lint off the coat, waiting.

I’m glad for the dust-up regarding the candidate’s smile. It’s something I’ve thought about. Perhaps the epidemic of smiling can be directly traced to the popularity and portability of cameras. A century ago, a photograph was as serious and rare as a painted portrait, something that might happen only once in a lifetime. It meant sitting very still for quite a long time. No one smiled. But move closer to the present and more and more people are saying cheese.

Some people are smilers. My mother was one. I am too. I probably learned it from her. Smiles are a social lubricant, an encouraging mirror. What bothers me is the command to smile, regardless. The “you’re so pretty when you smile” that barely conceals its opposite message. What bothers me is photos of children with their pasted-on grins, knowing that an adult is demanding a smile from a child who might be uncomfortable, tired, angry, shy, unhappy. As if that unhappiness is unimportant, impossible, as long as there’s a smile.

We’ve learned to smile. Perhaps we need to relearn what it means.

found poem: flowers

found poem: the moon

found poem: to create

found poem: Remembering

found poem: lament

found poem: The electric

found poem: the word

found poem: to paint

found poem: being known

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