I Don’t Count

pippi come home
pippi come home

I did the open stage at Noir Sunday without my trusty Kindle (now replaced.)  I have to confess that I took to using it without compunction. I thought, somehow, that’d I’d be missing the feel of paper, of speaking out on behalf of the higher aesthetics of the book, but frankly I don’t miss ‘the book’ at all. Having, as I do, the entire Zola to read but without the shelf space needed to contain I’m more that happy.

Using it on stage has been a blessing as well. Small, light & black it doesn’t pull focus the way white paper does. I can bump font up for easy reading & not feel like I’m depleting the rain forest.

snow mask
snow mask

Here’s one of the pieces I read at Noir. A recent one, it started with the first line kicking around in my head for a day or so. First draft was a fast ten minute dash. Early versions were more of a list poem

Lines that I cut, reluctantly, were ‘I no longer know/ how many holes it takes to fill/ a display case at Tim Ho’s.’ It’s a great line, right, but I felt it didn’t add to the flow of the piece, it was way too funny (to me) plus I wasn’t sure how many might get the Beatles reference – a reference that didn’t add to the flow of the poem either. Then there was the whole Tim Ho’s product placement thing. If Timmie’s sends me a gift card & I’ll put it back in 🙂

red in white
red in white

I Don’t Count

I don’t count anymore

I used to know how many steps

there were up  down every subway

from platform to exit

then I read that counting is

a sign of deep emotional problems

the need to hold on to numbers

was the need to hold on to a fragmented mind

that the awareness of the sum

of the numerical values of the letters of a name

was a way to avoid personal interaction

so I don’t count

and when I catch myself

I turn up my iPod

do whatever it takes

I don’t retain numbers anymore

I don’t know which subway station

has the most steps to which exit

yet I still know the number of steps

from your bed to the bathroom


I don’t remember your phone number

I am so over you

you don’t count anymore


City of Valleys now removed for prepublication work.

snow shoes
snow shoes

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