the crack in my heart: for ZW

for the first time
in many years
I heard sorrow in your voice
the other night
as you said you wished
I was there
but more than miles separate us now
there are those years
and the hurt
we both inflicted
if only you spoke that way
before I left
maybe I would still be there
but now the only sound louder
than the pain in your voice
is the crack
my heart made
in my chest

The Curse: a parable for M and a few other people I know

So there was this frog who hopped out of a pond one day as a lovely young princess was walking by. Because he could talk, he convinced the lovely princess that a curse was upon him. It seems this wicked witch, the frog explained, had, out of jealousy and spite, condemned him to this ugly shape until the day a lovely princess, like herself, would lift the curse by kissing him. Then, and only then, would he be restored to his original shape: that of a handsome, rich, well endowed young prince.

The lovely princess, having been raised on fairy tales, buys into the story, takes the frog into her soft, lily white hands, and kisses him with a passion even she did not know she possessed.

Lo and behold, nothing happens. The frog remains a frog .

The princess blinks, confused, and asks the frog what happened. He shrugs, hops down, and goes back to the pond from which he came.

The wicked witch, though, who is not quite as wicked as rumor has it, does appear to offer what little comfort she can to a disillusioned lovely young princess. She pats her on the head and says the curse is on our own eyes that we do not see the value of what is before us and cannot recognize a frog for a frog, and a prince for a prince.

And that is not so much a once upon a time tale but a tale of this, and all, time.

from Haliz

Only great poems can capture the hearts of those who don’t read;
So poets, sing! Let the God-of-Oceans fill your mouths with pearls.

O Haliz, if you are seeking the pearl of union, do this:
From tears, make yourself an ocean. . .and then dive!

translated by Thomas Rain Crowe

Dorothy Parker on her writing method

Q: How do you actually write out a story? Do you write out a draft and then go over it or what?

Parker: It takes me six months to do a story. I think it out and then write it sentence by sentence–no first draft. I can’t write five words but that I change seven.

Q: How do you name your characters?

Parker: The telephone book and from the obituary columns.

Q: Do you keep a notebook?

Parker: I tried to keep one, but I never could remember where I put the damn thing. I always say I’m going to keep one tomorrow.

Q: How do you get the story down on paper?

Parker: I wrote in longhand at first, but I’ve lost it. I use two fingers on the typewrtiter. I think it’s unkind of you to ask. I know so little about the typewriter that once I bought a new one because I couldn’t change the ribbon on the one I had.