was, for several years, an Umbrella
contributing editor. She has published three collections of poetry, including the full-length collections Earth Lessons
and Femme au chapeau
, and a chapbook, Another Circle of Delight
Her new collection, Gods of Water and Air
, is forthcoming in 2012 from Kitsune Books.
She has published stories, essays, reviews, and interviews, and her poems have appeared in Atlanta Review
, Many Mountains Moving
, Prairie Schooner
, and other journals.
She lives in Walnut Creek, California and works as a grant writer and fundraising consultant. Visit her web site
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I like how you amass angles all day,
then sketch dentil work
and eyebrow windows
as if a city must have rows of faces.
I like the way you pediment
and corbel, raising dimensions
from the flat field—and how you origami
our habitat while I fur
life’s edges and feel my blind way
through the dark
emotions. I like your sunlit bent
for necessity and how you collage
towers from the what’s-around—
how you never stake your making
on cloudy concept.
Pharaoh of the built firmament,
I like holding the measuring tape’s
other end while you fill in
the as-built dimensions.
You make home nothing like
the movie architect’s.
You beam and cantilever
life over the rifts. I like how, when I despair
over the last-minute lack of ribbon
for a package, you divine
in plain twine a native curlicue.
You see what can be, facing
outward while I peer
into the past’s dusty windows.
In 2000, Mountain House was the first new American town of the new millennium. Eight years later, it led America in home foreclosures.
A thousand tiny homes. Apron lawns.
A flying god, I could have made them mine
and reached to wink the streetlights off, or on.
Mountain House, my husband said
on flying over his grid of grand design,
a thousand tiny homes with apron lawns.
Creator’s awe: to see what once was drawn
animated now, cars, streets,
and lines reaching to converge. Lights wink on.
They blink unique at the town’s Day One,
a town that borrows at a new rate
by the hundreds of thousands. Long
horizons curved. Our plane turned and dawn
carved the night’s flatness and defined
each streetlight winking off. Then on
came sprinklers spewing water funneled off
from distant mountain streams, now consigned
to a thousand homes’ apron lawns.
Each street and year a wink. Lights on. Lights off