Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It is the stuff we buy.
It is the need that is not quite a need.
It is the hollowness filled with chocolate.
It is the landfill on which I build my playground.

The plastic bag reads,
"Caution: Keep away from small children.
The thin film may cling to the nose and mouth and prevent breathing.
Atencion: Mantener alejado de los ninos pequenos.
Se puede adherir a la nariz y boca e impedir la respiracion. "
But the Spanish version adds,
"Esta bolsa no es juguete,"
a fact not given to English speakers.

No es juguete.
No es un chiste.
Se puede adherir e
impedir la respiracion
even for adults.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


White, smooth, weather polished stones.
My grandmother and I collected them in the park
behind my house. Or rather she watched me
as I chose each one, somehow instinctively,
and placed it in my pocket.
I’m not sure on what merits I made my choices,
which to leave by the gnarled oak tree
and which to plant on each side of me.
I felt sorry for all the orphan rocks and wanted to take them all.
But choosing one means leaving another,
and perhaps they chose me anyway.
Some were tiny like bird eggs.
Some were larger like the cobblestones
used as ballast before paving the downtown streets.

With these, I would fill my pockets until I could hardly move,
almost doubling my weight with rubble.
I would sway with the weight of the mounds.

I have kept these stones since that day,
lining my pockets with their heavy affection.
Sometimes they have kept me from floating away.
Sometimes they have caused me to drown.

Wedding Blessing

This is a blessing
on all the forgotten days,
the normal days,
the Tuesday in January days
when nothing is really happening and
there is nothing springing eternal.

This is a blessing
on all the angry words,
the “you’re just like your parents” threats,
the fleeting “I should have never done this” doubts,
the fear he will never understand her,
and the horror when she does him.

This is a blessing
on the bad breath moments,
the haircut mistakes,
on the time when her hips grow as quickly as his belly,
when hair recedes or relocates,
when the back is stooped and the grasp shaky.

This is a blessing
on the “we can’t afford that” moments,
the loss of money or pride,
the denial of self
that doesn’t feel like denial when the two are one,
the nights when holding is the only touch desired.

This is a blessing
on the weeping so strong
it shakes the body
and matches to the beat of the heart
of the one you are cradling,
on the fever at midnight and the glimpse of final goodbyes.

There is much to be treasured in romance
and the candlelight specks in sparkling eyes,
but this blessing is on the deepest roots
that burrow far below a kiss
through sickness, sin, and madness
to the nurturing of tears.

Friday, July 3, 2009


This is the spot where SL and FL meet.
For those of you who have followed my FL blog, jefpeeples.com, you have put the pieces together and discovered that I struggle with mental illness, specifically depression and an anxiety disorder. The thing that has helped me tremendously has been my medication. Lately, I've developed some difficulty tolerating the medication. It's a lot like having a friend that suddenly drives you crazy. :/ Because of this, I will have to figure out exactly what to do in that regard. I'm already feeling the old struggles creep up again.

Poetry-wise, this may be a good thing because the creativity increases slightly when the episodes do. Personally, it's a nightmare. Since this blog is mainly about SL, I guess the reason to post this is to say I apologize ahead of time for disappearing for a time.