Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two [Oh! Oh!] Eight (in Formalist Poetry)

While I find lists deliciously erotic (oh sweet, reductionist powers!), I have decided that 2008 will be recapped in poem-chunks. Largely, these were rediscovered in bookbags/purses/wallets that found themselves in my favor over the last twelve months. I love giving people triolets, so there are several :)

A Triolet for James

Despite the fact that figs were out of season,
He lifted one and put it in my hand.
"A gift," he grinned, providing me no reason.
He could tell I knew that figs were out of season.
I tried to pay, but in the end he won
And watched me as he went back to the stand.
Despite the fact that figs were out of season,
I laughed to find one lying in my hand.

10 May

Curtain pull swings like a noose. I start
talking beauty and see the Death's Head. Sweet
taste of your flesh too much, I turn to
the walls and breathe deep. I never.

(One of) Jarek's Triolet(s)
Remember pouring wine with me, offshore?
The sailors passing by became our friends.
Impostor in the fancy clothes I wore,
I remember drinking wine with you, offshore.
The docks grew dark; with only seconds more
until our days in Szczecin aimed to end,
you poured more wine. ("Remember!") Just offshore,
the sailors passed us by, our distant friends.

On Expensive Outbursts

In pieces just an hour before the show,
my violin unwinds itself across
the backstage floor. It’s bridge beneath my boot
becomes like dust – a faint, or mocking, sign
of angry whim. Perhaps, I hiss, my lips
in string-tight lines, you ought to consider
this high-light the end of the band.

Convinced that nothing here is still intact,
I collect my wrath and now-empty bags.
They’ll have to find themselves another girl.

Los Angeles Limmerick

A bird has decomposed beneath the bridge,
An event the cars above have surely missed.
Its beak and wings and bone
Have formed a garden of their own.
By now I'm laughing: Only bums and I know this.

White Elephant Triolet (Regifted to Maxine)

I write these little fugues for when you’re dead.
Who else would ever think of such a gift?
In lieu of when you sang to me in bed,
I write these little fugues for when you’re dead.
The notes, I hope, will dissipate some dread.
In just the way you made my nightmares lift,
I write these little fugues. For, when you’re dead,
Who else will ever think of such a gift?

Goodbye, '08, goodbye! What a year you have been... I realized today, though, that my bloodstream feels like SPRING is just around the corner. The onset of that season always leaves me feeling electrified, and my current excitement over the beauty of things as they are, and the things to come, is the same. Oh, I am happy in this place! Shocked and different and wiser and happy.

I love you already, 2009!

-The Silliest Receptionist

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Sonnet for My Security Badge (Upon Drowning Slowly in a Toilet)

Amidst the paint-chipped walls, I heard you drop,
And, woeful, watched your face submerge ‘neath scum.
I tried to catch you, tried to cry out “Stop!”
But slow I was, and now I’m e’er so glum.
Oh loyal Badge, I miss you at my side,
Dangling lightly, nymph-like in your sway.
I’ll mourn the way you lightly slapped my thigh,
And how you rode to work with me each day.
Without you, can I ever be complete?
Or lonely Admin will I always be?
Have you gone on to sleep a blessed sleep?
Or will you still give ghostly gifts to me?

Do not feel afraid, my long lost friend…
For you shall be reborn when I push “Print.”

R.I.P 12/5/08

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A City Girl's Guide to Moving Out and Moving On


Has your current residence begun to feel like a passive aggressive minefield, an agro terrain that you must breathlessly tread across to use the toaster oven? Does your roommate party until 4 AM on school-nights, aware that your vile alarm will arouse you a mere two hours later? Has a sense of Janus-style two facery become The Norm chez toi? Is your personal space riddled with strife, distrust, and a newly discovered ritual of starting the day off with a steaming cup of discord?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, then girl, it's time to move out and move on.

Living in a big city with uber-competitive housing, you will be tempted to stay, a subconscious last-ditch effort to avoid more difficulty in these tumultuous times. After all, it's going to cost you a LOT of money. (First month's rent, last month's rent, security deposit....) And, after all, you have moved four times in the last 15 months...


That's right. Get on Craigs List. Immediately. Click on EVERY single opening for a roommate within a 30 mile radius. Write the best damn piece of self-promotion in the history of the Mission District. Tinge your honesty with some sparkly adjectives, dull that desperate edge, and charm you way into the hearts of some fabulously sane potential housemates. *

*This process will need to be repated on a daily basis. Responses will be sparse, as nearly everyone in your proximity is a)equally as quirky/fabulous as you certainly are and b)potentially much more cutthroat in their attempts than you are willing to be. So either start baking panfuls of pot brownies to get the Bribe Train rolling, or respond to Craigs List posts until your wee little fingers are mere BONE.


Make a spur of the moment decision. Trust the kindness in the singular email response that works its way repeatedly to the top of your inbox. Have a cup of coffee with the new potential sharers-of-your-life-space, recognize that they are neither axe-murderers nor faux Artistes Elite, warm to their utter lack of pretention and their genuine requests for radical honesty, and shake hands on it.

The house doesn't matter. It just so happens that it will turn out to be fabulously romantic and filled with fun, attractive people, but even if the place were a hovel.... shake hands on it. Remember, lady, you have got to stick to your guns at all costs. Remember that you only want one thing from people: The Truth! The Whole Enchilada of Honesty! This has been wildly lacking in your former casa, so spring for the Backbone Implant and march on out Guevara style.


You've moved before. It's a personnel issue, every blasted time. People are going to say shit about you when you're gone. Whoever (rapidly) steps up to fill the role you were hesitantly trudging through will learn of your strange habits, your moral shortcomings, your quirky and slightly disturbing collection of Found Objects. Assumptions will be made about your choice to leave. The chips will fall, and your sweet little anachronistic photograph will fade to nothingness, after having been graffitied with self-important words like "Uncollaborative."

Let not the whisperings distress you, you well-dressed warrior of the urban jungle! You've got the tenacity to keep up your quiet brilliance. And while you do not engage in the Obnoxious Trumpeting of Achievement (via egregious Facebook Status Updates, mass emails, or sneaky behind-the-back whisper sessions), the people who know what's what will provide you with an unshakeable support group and flourish alongside you.