A few of my pieces have appeared outside of this blog. First, a very short story I wrote called Attention has been published in Barrelhouse. Also, a poem appeared a few months ago in The Baltimore Review. Unfortunately, you can't find it online, and the magazine is rather difficult to find in bookstores. So, here it is, for those who might not order the issue. I'm fond of both of these pieces, so I hope you enjoy them.
Love Poem for a Boring Woman
You tell me about your job, your old dog,
your boss who is freaking out for nothing.
I watch the swirl of your hands, the movements
of your eyes – lively, dancing – as you talk
about your neighbor always making noise,
the roommate you had once who was crazy.
Listen! They are playing a song you love,
a song you could listen to forever.
It makes you think of winter, middle school,
the sad city where you grew up …
“God,” you say, looking away, “I’m talking
your head off.” No, I think but don’t say –
You’re talking my heart full. Don’t ever stop
talking, there’s nothing I don’t want to hear.
But you do. You go silent. You tell me
later you’re sorry – you actually
apologize, my god, for not being
more interesting. I protest (weakly)
but I don’t tell you my secret. I haven’t
told anyone before: I’m boring too.
I’m tired of telling jokes, watching people’s
faces, pretending to be fascinating.
It’s too much work earning attention, and
there’s so much to say with no one to care.
Listen: I had a cat once, a brown one,
and I tried so hard to grow tomatoes
but they all died. That’s it. End of story.
There will be no punch line, nothing to make
you care other than the fact that it’s me
and I love you …
But it’s too soon for that.
My hand moves closer to yours and I hope
you understand. “Your boss sounds like a jerk,”
I say, and you tell me all about it.