In June 2005, I began a weekly poetry practice. The goal was simple: to write a 10-line poem every Tuesday. The purpose was to have a manageable deadline to create new work and a dedicated platform to share it. I sent my first 10-line Tuesday poem to about 200 people. More than eight  years and almost 4,500 lines later, I continue to write "10-line Tuesday" each week, and these poems now go out to nearly 1,100 people around the world. A backlog of poems from the past two years can be found here.


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March 25, 2014

In her apartment, a 5th floor walkup on the edges of the Lower
East Side, I could hear the whistle-hiss of the radiators. It was spring,
technically, but the forecast admitted, with a twinge of defeat, more
snow coming mid-week. She opened the door embarrassed, crying,
her body spent from the long season and a weariness in her heart
that she feared was permanent, a drought of the muscle necessary
for survival in this dense, relentless city. We said, “But this is what
it means to be alive.” How a certain retreat, structureless and shadowy,
lets the oxygen back in. How roots grow better in the dark. And we sat, quiet,
as heat flowered from the walls and the room filled with sounds of the busy street.


March 18, 2014

be the holy universe
If you exploded from the pressure. Left a comet trail of toothy rubble.
Blasted the sky with metal-hot planets and their icy twins. 
If you ignored the usual parameters of space.
If you let the edges shrink from the margins and disappear.
If you coalesced and dissolved in the same breath. If you carried the paradox
of change, the instruction to take in and let go. If you forgot the body
that brought you here, at the intersection of now and what next.
If you unremembered your winglessness. If you overlooked the signs
that said how far and how much. You can be the holy universe, too,
carving a map from scratch, shouting your prayer of new, indefinite light. 


March 11, 2014

salon tutorial

Last night on the phone, Grace asked "How do you write a poem?" I told her
I had to think about it, but this morning, I got delayed at the doctor's office and now
I'm at the salon, watching Donna roll foils on Amy's hair. Frankie's on the phone,
Nancy's waiting for her trim, and Stephanie's making small talk with a client.
It's Tuesday, a little before noon. The front door chimes and Grace's question walks in,
waving. I still don't know the answer, but then I see a poem come in behind her,
heading toward the back for a wash and condition, wondering whether she's
ready to go short or keep growing herself out or if she'll just let the stylist
make the decision. And as hot water pours down her forehand and a pair of new hands
begin their strong, purposeful lather, she thinks, Yes. That sounds good to me.




March 4, 2014

I’m holding on ‘til the last bud withers
When she waits until he falls asleep, lungs downshifting
from the day’s high dramas. When he counts back as the plane
descends, the number like a warm blanket on his shoulders
guiding this bird-beast home.
When my mother held Adrienne’s hand even after she slipped away.
When Kirsten clings to the thinnest edge of probability
that, at 46, a child might still be hers. Last night, I couldn’t get to sleep.
Maybe I was staying up for the weatherman’s guess at snow.
Or listening for instructions to appear like trail placards, directing the next steps.
Maybe I just didn’t want the day to end, watching for its final wink of light.


February 25, 2014

even the stars have anemia

and the sun, come winter, waves feebly from a dim noon sky. Even a mountain
sags under the weight of its long haul through history, and a trail 
through the woods blanches from foot traffic. Lizzie was putting on a brave face, 
despite the cough that kept her up at night, coffee barely
denting her exhaustion. My friend the musician works so hard
her vocal cords strain against the skin of her throat when she whispers. I see them, taut
but tender, like young soldiers forced into an early war. I don't know what keeps us
burning through our own reserves, insisting on performance long after
the curtain crumples to the stage. Even the stars have anemia, fading when
we look too close. Even rain evaporates. Even the moon turns its back.