New Memoir Snippet – the title is now Serotonin with a side of fries, please. Coming very soon! :)

Trying to get back in the saddle of posting on this neglected blog. Enjoy some new material. 🙂

Later in the evening, I jumped into the heated pool with my clothes on since my sun-fried brain forgot my bathing suit. By that time I moved on to my aunt’s Busch beers since the White Zin was gone. The beers were terrible, but I took what I could get. Call me crazy but I love the smell and the feel of chlorine in my hair almost as much as my big-breasted bouncy. Even though the pool was heated, the water still had a slight coolness, and the lights on the side turned on making my own blue and white heaven. It’s not like it was an oasis, but I couldn’t have imagined a better place to end one of the hardest and best days of my life – a day of regrets and gratitude, a day of despair and hilarity, of guilt and acceptance – a day of discovery that wearing pantyhose in July sucks something awful. I don’t care if I have a job interview at a publishing house in New York City; they are going to have to see the leg veins through my skin.
I can’t recall of how long I baptized the day away in the pool, but I knew I didn’t care about my fingers pruning the way mothers and grandmothers often do.



Collage on mat board – Tara A. Lesko

If death is an initiation into new life
then where can I find the sign-up sheet?
Hard copy?
Google form?

I’m ready to squash inner demons like grapes at the bottom of the bag.
The ones that never stay fresh for more than a day.

Shadows swirl through my lungs
like vapor outside a dank club
where no one tells the truth.
Can I get a coffin made out of Jenga blocks?

May my funeral be the one
where everyone must paint
favorite words on open umbrellas then line them all up in wet grass.


Then everyone eats coffee cake and nurses cheap wine.

On Celtic Poetry of Place

A total connection with the present is a difficult thing to obtain. Our worlds are shaped by our tumultuous histories, and our triumphs are often overshadowed by our worst enemies – ourselves. Daily planning and routine trumps most spontaneity.

As a result, many turn to myths, rituals, and metaphysical practices to gain a better sense of what it means to embrace the present and savor every moment in a significant place, whether that place be physical or mental. The poetry associated with the Celtic tradition offers boundless outlets for anyone seeking connectedness. Here is simply a taste of what the Irish have to offer.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

– W. B. Yeats

Despite a barrage of criticism from his English contemporaries, Irish poet William Butler Yeats poured out his love for place onto the page. Let’s face it. Most would not object to throwing their hands up and escaping to a little island in the center of an Ireland lake. With generously woven alliteration and nature sounds, Yeats takes us there. “Innisfree” is only one example of the many poems that celebrate the Irish landscape in short, rhythmical lines.
In reality, the actual Lake Isle of Innisfree is not much to admire. Most large, natural lakes have little islands that sit mostly uninhabited, and Innisfree is not unlike any other lake isle. Nevertheless, to Yeats, this little island was a utopia because he saw it the way most did not, and he immortalized that connection to place in his verse. Journaling, sketching, rock collecting, collaging, and scrapbooking are outlets you can use to help you return to your favorite place at any time of day. Like Yeats and other Celts, you may obtain a healing and uplifting connection to a place that is yours and yours alone. Also by Yeats…

Song of the Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Yeats and other Celtic poets thrived on using mythological allusions in their work. According to the “Celtic Fairy Poetry” page at, this vibrant poem leads us through the story of Aengus, the Irish god of love who, oddly enough, dreamed of falling in love with a bean sidh or banshee. A banshee is a female fairy in Irish mythology who is usually seen as an omen of death or a messenger from the underworld. Regardless, Yeats’ continuous use of imagery and setting stays true to another stand-out trait of Irish poetry – the love for nature and all of the sensory stimulation the natural world has to offer us. Take for example…


Undressed trees stand shivering
as flimsy shifts blew away;
the last leaves are quivering,
till they too will drop, decay.

Under bark’s rough covering
grow tiny cells in wonder-
blooms to be, still hovering,
kept safe from autumn’s thunder.

Dreams of spring are flowering
in darkened nights soft caress;
lovers cuddle, showering
moist kisses on skin, undressed

-Leny Roovers

Beyond Yeats, poets continue to harness the spirit of Celtic style and form. Celtic poetry is rich in celebration of nature and elementals. Roovers’ poem, published in 2004 and found on The Poets Garret uses an old Celtic form named Ae freslighe (pronounced ay-fresh-lee) – a poem with seven syllable quatrains that begins and ends with the same word. More importantly, he closes the gap between human beings and their place in the natural world, personifying the trees and comparing human intimacy to the cyclic foliage, a popular theme in more modern Celtic poems. For more on Celtic Literature and Mythology, visit “Irish Literature, Mythology, Folklore, and Drama” at


“Celtic Fairy Poetry”. 2015. 6 Jul 2015

Roovers, Leny. “Undressed”. 10 Feb. 2004. 6 Jul 2015

Yeats, William Butler. “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” 1888. 6 Jul 2015

Yeats, William Butler. “Song of Wandering Aengus”. 1899.

6 Jul 2015

When someone dies – a different take on funerals (memoir excerpt)

I don’t wear skirts. I don’t wear heels. If I haven’t made that obvious yet, then my apologies for losing you this late in the game.
But for some reason I felt compelled to wear a black skirt with black heels for her viewing day, which comprised of one afternoon and one evening show. I say “show” because when I think about it now, for some reason we should have had some balloon races or a magician. Instead, we had photo montages and pregnancy banter since a handful of attendees were sporting baby bumps – children who would never experience her pancakes or Duck Pond triumphs. I was fine with the standard socializing and grieving that is part of the process of a loved one’s departure from…whatever the heck we can call this plain of existence nowadays.
The morning of the wake, I was not okay with the black pantyhose throttling my gapless inner thighs. I was not okay with the dye from my Payless shoes rubbing off on my legs as I sat pretzel-legged on the floor, deciding what pictures to carry with me for the day. I was not okay with the fact that she would not meet the puppy I got two weeks later. I didn’t leave myself time to eat anything besides a granola bar, and I was surprisingly okay with that because I saw it as karma. I was getting ready to teach dangling modifiers the morning she passed, and I never once thought, “No, not today.”

Pictured: the Death card from Brian Froud’s The Faerie’s Oracle