Health Class

Haven’t written a poem in a hundred, apologies in advance:

Health Class

Do I seem new?” I ask a sixth grader, for whom I am substituting teaching.
When I heard “health
class” i couldn’t help but wonder/hope
that I would be teaching something potentially embarrassing/sensitive/explosive
That i could be one of the few
who have/get to suffer/survive the challenge of saying with a straight face:
Dental dam
Vaginal discharge
Stretch a condom over a banana
or perhaps I would choose and more challenging fruit,
a large cucumber, a pineapple maybe, if only to demonstrate the extreme
resiliency of latex. Sex
I feel prepared to teach
in a revolutionary way, I’m ready to be real,
to save this group of children from STDs, unwanted pregnancy and of course unnecessary awkwardness.
I think I will find an appropriate way to tell them
I have dated both genders and both experience similar newness/nervousness/ignorance/surprise/delight
I picture myself making a difference, making an impression.
Instead I make copies of 28 packets with blanks
for them to fill with words like
“generic” and “prescription”
“drug misuse” and “addiction.”
I chastise them for talking too loudly.
I bribe them with behavior points.
I threaten them with negative points.
When one talks back I merely ask him if
I seem new and perhaps it is the tone of my voice that makes it clear
that I don’t require a verbal answer.
I don’t tell them I’ve clean for seven years next week.
I don’t tell them how easy it is to become confused/dependent/lost.
They learn the difference between brand-name and generic drugs.
And my job here is complete.
These kids will save money at pharmacies for years to come

Awkward date, new blog!

That’s right, I have a new blog, over hizere!


Was that the correct use of the word hizere?

How sweet!

In follow up to my okcupid messages yesterday, I have received two more today. The best one is below:

“I am willing to have sex with you.”

Willing?  Willing?!

Thank goodness.



As a recently single person, (without going into too much horrible detail) I have become bombarded with okcupid messages.

Here are the last five: (All from different people, all received TODAY.)

1) “Hello.”

2) “Hi. I’m greg.”

3) “Do you suck a mean dick?”

4) “you seem funny.  let’s have funny sex.”

5) “Hay wana cuddle?”


No, I will not jar the fireflies between us and call it light.

I very rarely reblog, but this line caught my eye:

No, I will not jar the fireflies between us and call it light.


Verbal Pyrotechnics Reading

For those in the area,

Come see me read for my piece in the launch issue of Verbal Pyrotechnics, an online literary magazine devoted to teen literature and the people who love it. Issue One features work by Molly Gallentine, Seth Graves, Bernard Lumpkin, Emma Komlos-Hrobsky, and more!

(I’m the and more)

Postmark Cafe- 326 6th St Brooklyn


March 18th, 2011

After Party:
Park Slope Ale House- 356 6th Ave Brooklyn


I made my mother cry in public.

While the woman at the next table cut her bagel with cream cheese and tomato with a plastic knife and fork, I made my mother shed big wet, snotty tears in the sandwich shop where we bought deli trays for my father’s memorial.

And my brother told me I did the right thing.
And his girlfriend told me I did the right thing.
And my fiance told me I did the right thing.

And still, as she cried, I felt as if I was speaking the wrong language.

And I thought about all the times that people say, “I don’t know what to say” and “There are no words…”  And maybe it’s not that there aren’t any words but that there aren’t the right words in YOUR language.  Like at that moment, the word “heart” seemed to stop, stiff on my lips, but a broken corazón seemed so sad and wet and bloody, and correct.  And I wanted to tell my mother that I felt the same way, but I didn’t know that she would be able to even hear it if I said it just then.

Because after I told my mother to have faith in my brother and let him fight his own way through this life, she opened.  And when she opened, it wasn’t to say something about my brother, and it wasn’t about his girlfriend and it wasn’t about this moment.  It was about her and her corazón.  And the awful pain, and the way it feels when it seems that your heart is beyond repair.

My mother sobbed, “I will never have someone who I share that history with!”

And we won’t.  But hearing it said aloud, in any language, I think we all felt this huge relief and slow healing start, even if I wasn’t able to say it back.