Thursday, August 13, 2009


Sometimes the weight of this rests on me
as heavy as the history of the world.
And I realize these ghosts
are more then just the dead I knew.
They are living and breathing fossils.
Bones of my childhood.
The wood and frame of that green house on Lawrence Ave
where I thought,
where I knew
you'd always love me.
But growing older has taught me
that knowing can be an illusion
and what a lucky student I am
to have you as a teacher.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hot Moon in July

you always brought the fireworks on the 4th of july.

in big paper bags

like they were groceries

packed in your corvette.

we'd start with the bottle rockets

watch them scream into the air

and pop

hoping the burning ashes wouldn't damage the neighbor's roof.

you lit cigarette after cigarette

until the roof of your mouth burned

and the sun went down.

on the 4th of july,

you always felt like living

so you brought us cracker jacks

and cherry bombs

and gave us sparklers.

we lit those and watched them sizzle
and we'd write our names in the air
and in the sky
because just for a second
it stayed there.
when the night got really black,
you told me to lay on the monkey bars and watch the show
and i did it for years
and the show never changed.
fire and gun powder.
and suicide.
I want to put all of this into the body of a rocket
and launch it out of an empty beer bottle
and watch it screaming towards a hot july moon.
we'd light firecrackers in the driveway
and you always made sure to tell me
"stand back, kate, you don't want to get burned"
i wondered if anyone ever told you that
because you got so close i could see the sparks in your pupils.
it would go out and we'd keep lighting more
until the pavement singed black.
it stained black
you burnt out faster then those fireworks
and you said you wanted the flames to eat your bones
so we watched your ashes
sink to the bottom of the bay.
i don't even buy fireworks anymore
i pay someone to light them for me
and i think it might have rained the last few years
and you can't light anything in the rain.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Guest Poet :Anna Ciferno

This is a poem my brilliant poet of a neice, Anna, wrote about my little 2 year old daughter, Scarlett. Or how everyone in the whole world refers to her as "Squishy Bumpkins".

"You don’t believe your own name.
Your birth certificate would be the
most illegitimate document
to you if the people you love
who love you
told you that your name was
something different.

My mom called you darling
on Monday & you cried.

I ran into you & you fell
into a pile of sticks behind the grill
& you told me you were so sorry
and continued to blow bubbles
with your lips covered in soap
from the little circle bubble maker.

You asked me how my day was
& I wanted to say it was horrible, Scarlet Rose
but you do not think that is your name
& my day was not horrible anymore,
you were smiling.

I asked you how your day was
& you told me to look at your jelly shoes.
They are yellow, you tell me
I know this, but I act surprised.

Then you tell me about mermaids
that live in my kitchen sink
& flamingos in the closet.
You deny reality to embrace imagination.
You paint thoughts bigger than the suns hands
could ever stretch with two year old eye lashes
& you don’t believe your name."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Getting published in Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology for 2009

I submitted three of my poems to this infamous celebration of the arts with a timeline saying I'd know by the 30th if I made it. Well, the 30th came and went, and so did the 1st,2nd,3rd, 4th, and 5th and I heard nothing so I thought I didn't make the cut. Usually, if I don't succeed at something, I think "well, I just wasn't good enough...". This is the first thing I've done where I feel I really am good enough so I was "wtf"ing for a week! Finally today I get an email saying I've been accepted and I will read my entry at Mac Books on Coventry on May 13th at 7! The top three go on to the stage at the art fair that following weekend. I'm so excited! It's my first published work! Its giving me the steam I need to really start this blog rolling and to get off my ass. Its called "traveling poetry" but it has only traveling once and I need to do it again. Hooray!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You're a hard pill to swallow
and I've swallowed a lot of pills.
I have to cut you with a butterknife into 4 jagged pieces
and gulp water and red wine until I'm drunk and drowning
just to get you down.
And I don't understand how you can talk about how you hate "the blacks" and "the Jews" with a smile on your face
but yell at my kids for wearing shoes in the house
like there's nothing worse then getting dirt on the floor.
You talk like your words are diamonds
but nothing you say is diamonds
just cut glass.
And I'm sorry I don't send "thank you"s
but you won't swim with black people because you say they make the water dirty.
You put bumper stickers on your car that say "Stop the War!"
and tell me not to eat sea bass because its endangered
But if you don't care about people,
how can you care about fish?
Well I guess you are an expert in cold blooded creatures.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Life is too short to live in Ohio

Today, it is snowing in my little Cleveland neighborhood. As much as I love my home, I'm getting tired of its moods. Thursday, it was in the 70s and I walked around in a tshirt and today its so cold, I don't want to walk to my mailbox. The snow is actually sticking now, which makes it more real. If it just discinegrated into the rain, it was like it wasn't REALLY snowing. I had a dream last night about San Francisco. All my dreams seem to revolve around San Francisco lately and I think "why does it have to be a dream?"
We always talk about moving.
Life's too short to live in Ohio
and maybe if the sun shined more,
our lives would be better.
It seems like the only roots we have here
belong to trees with no leaves
and whats a life without green?

If we had a house with more windows
it would make us into artists
and if our street was called "Haight"
there would be more love.

We always talk about moving
because Ohio is full of so many lines.
Big, bold, black lines
that catch people like flies
so they think "this is it."
When really, this is always it.
Our daughters would be princesses of the coast
and everything would always be growing.
We'd always have fresh air, fresh ideas and fresh tomatoes.
Even in January.

Maybe our lives would be fuller
if our neighbors knew what peyote was
and what God looked like
and how to get to the Golden Gate bridge at 5pm.
Because I'm as bipolar as a Cleveland spring
that cries with snow in April
and smiles with 75 on New Years.
So that there is no meaning in anything but change.

If our forecast was always orange
and we thought about the tide,
maybe there would be more hope.
But this gray dissolves everything around it
until all you have are memories of a sun with your life
We always talk about moving.
We always say that, but we never leave

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What St.Patrick Never Wanted

It's been almost a year

since he told her he was numb

and that she wasn't pretty enough to sleep with anymore.

She's been asking for honesty all this time

and he was sorry but he was "just being honest"

like it was the simplest feeling

.A feeling and an excuse.

What she always asked for

but never wanted.

So she sent her babies to her sister's

so she could be alone with the cold

and painted pictures of trees with leaves of purples and blues.

Trees you would never see in real life,but made beautiful pictures.

She searched through her months, trying to pick out the lies like they were berries

hoping all it would take were eggs, flour and sugar to bake them

and turn them into something sweet she could choke down.

Because her mouth tasted like metal

and every kiss before this hung on her lips like someone desperate to jump off a bridge.

He said he didn't leave for three reasons

the last one being he loved her.

But it was the last one and it was like it wasn't a reason at all.

The paint made her calmer and by the time he came home,

both the tears and the trees had dried.

They both said hello and he followed her to the bedroom.

Apparently she had gotten prettier in the last few hours

or he wanted to fuck out the honesty.

And its been almost a year since she took that picture.

That black and gray one where her eyes still stained with old mascara even days later

and she looked broken and sad.

But broken and sad makes great art so at least she could get art out of all of this.

It took a rusted city and a summer

to make her smiles come easier

.And he tells her he loves her

and its the first thing he tells her now.

His skin is warmer

and her hair is darker

and it seemed to make all the difference.

But she still counts the number of times they make love in a week

and tells him what a great man he is b/c all men want to feel like winners, she heard.

She makes his favorite meals and listens to his electronic music

hoping it all stops him from feeling numb.

Because she can't be a lie again.

Something he's settling for because of the mess it would make if he left.

A terrible mess.

Your Old Diary

My favorite nights are staying up with Anna, with music, with Southern Comfort and with adderall still coursing through us. Those nights made it seem like everything mattered. Everyone was beautiful and everyone was fun. And for some reason, those nights made us want to be with one person we never could. One person we've never met but we felt such a strong connection with. This is my Uncle Frank. He took his life because of the absence of love and the presence of drugs too many years before I was born to even be a distant memory, but we have his diaries and through them, we know him. So we stay up until 3 or 4 or 5, not worrying about how tired we'll be the next day. We read out loud his entries and talk about how brilliant and creative and how much like us he was. How his ideas and his brilliance should somehow live on.

I was sitting in Phoenix coffee shop with stolen moments for myself and I started to think about Uncle Frank. He deserves a great poem and this is a start, but I want to work hard to write a better one someday.

We read a dead man's diary

and thought about how we could bring it to life

so's not to waste his ideas

b/c we wouldn't want to be wasted.

Turned into nothing but ink on paper.

Nothing but the result of acid and a diseased mind,

they say.

But that night made me realize

that night the drugs kept us awake

and brought us tears and laughter and dreams but no sleep

that we are the same.

We are all the same.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Whole Foods Poetry

Another journey to Whole Foods. I thought about everyone shopping there and wondered what they were shopping for. Maybe just to stock up at home. Maybe an important dinner party or even a date. Food holds so much soul. I run into my best friend here a lot, as she and her boyfriend are always experimenting with new recipes and dabbing into different food cultures. Grocery stores (especially Whole Foods since its so extensive) always make me face a border. Going between being a busy career girl or a Susie Home Maker. Things I never think about when I'm at home. I get there and see all the different...ingredients...and my mind races and throbs with thoughts of turning my life around and being this Super Cook who always has something on the stove or in the oven. Soups and cobblers and roasts every Sunday. And how great that would be to be THAT together. But, the truth is, I buy the ingredients and they often rot in my fridge along with the dreams of me becoming that organized and I eat Ramen Noodles for lunch.

I hope I can remember the poem I wrote. I actually thought it was quite good for how fast I wrote it. I wrote it on the back of my grocery list. Crap! I can't remember it! Now I know to take a picture of my poems with my phone after I write them. Well, if someone found it and comes here, please let me know what it said!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Today, I went out in the freezing Cleveland cold just for a juicy cheeseburger (I find I'll do a lot for a cheeseburger) and was totally taken by just how alive and colorful Coventry is, even buried in snow. Even without people walking its sidewalks. It just really proves what I thought this summer; Coventry has an energy to it. I'm new to this place but am so excited not to be a tourist. Venturing to other hot spots along this city and coming back to Coventry that night, I take a deep breath and feel totally comfortable in my new home. Its just my scene. I never felt like I belonged to any place before. I don't think this is my last poem about this street. I hope someone found it.

I took a picture but, there is only so much justice you can do when its 20 degrees outside and you can't feel your fingers.

This winter
covering the street like some sort of hippy wedding gown
Mixing with ice
and lights
and people
and art
But never freezing Coventry's colors

Our Purpose

Welcome to the Traveling Poets' blog!
We are poets and artists who believe that there is poetry everywhere you go and anything can be inspiration. We leave our poems in places around our world, hoping someone finds them and is inspired too.
If you've found a poem, please feel free to comment and let us know what you thought and even write a poem of your own!
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words"~. Robert Frost