Scrabble Poem

When my husband  and I play scrabble we sometimes like to do different themes. Only dirty words, for example. Or only slang or proper nouns. One time he challenged me to  make a list of our words and write a poem with  them.  The following  poem is the result. I dredged it from an ancient folder titled  BadPoetry. Terrible might have been a better word choice. =)


After four, Wall Street

loans it’s suited clan

back uptown. Horny,

hungry, raw, they lurch

back to kip in flats

filled with meds and

bran and brand names.


They spend themselves

each day like common ore.

But for half-an-hour, lowered

into earth, they muddle with

those other, human voles.


The hag’s voice garbles

through the din of the

subway’s sneeze and choke.

She paces, puns, jives,

her aqua eyes stoned with rage

that she is, and they are here

not listening, not

thawing to her words.


Passing, foot by foot

they reascend the stairs.

She tries one last thought

to shackle arms and feet

with all she knows of truth,

“Remember when they

truss you to the beam,

thieves too were crucified.”

Scrabble Poem


Without teeth, without

even an armor of scales

you slipped into life

squirming slick and white,

in a body easily seduced by metal.

Blades often bite at you,

your fins are always tattered.


We try to make up for your fishy luck.

You try to teach me the allure

of lures and twine whistling

unraveling, traveling the length of the wind.

But my mind only prowls

the banks in restless pacing,

watching you in water,

unwilling to get wet.


I try to keep my knives polite for you

try to never swipe unsheathed,

to bat only with padded paws

and speak with a gentling mouth.

I love the thinness of your skin.

I marvel at the waters you breathe.


You travel in currents of kindness

and hover motionless and wise where

I would struggle and be drowned.


Yeah, But It’s Not Nearly As Good as the Book

I’m re-reading Fahrenheit 451 for the  first time in a few years.

Last time I read it,  I realized that one of my favorite lines from the movie is not in the book: “You’re not living. You’re just killing time.”

Likewise, there’s a lot about the book that I tend to think is in the movie, but which actually is not. The Hound for example. And Faber. Also, I always think of Mildred as Mildred. Never Linda.

Still, I love the movie. Maybe because I was raised on it. Maybe because the technology of the time forced an emotionally eloquent simplicity into the story, that beautifully echos Bradbury’s poetic writing.

We so often expect the movie to fall short of the book, that we don’t often mention the movies that are as good (if different) than the book they’re based on or that exceed the book in greatness.

Here’s my list of movie adaptations that live up to their books:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Last  of The Mohicans

The Great Gatsby (1974)

Fahrenheit 451

The Wizard of Oz

Gone With the Wind

The Princess Bride

A Clockwork Orange

The Shawshank Redemption

The Maltese Falcon

The Shining

A Muppet Christmas Carol


What would you add?

Yeah, But It’s Not Nearly As Good as the Book


(Originally published in Orbis International Literary Magazine, May 2008)


Finding selves alone lacking,

we traffic each other’s traits

with specious selection;


Love – prime ordeal,

a reckless leap of faith –

like a fish finding footing,

forsaking dorsal to the dirt.


Love – the blind belief we can evolve

into something without scale.