Prayer for Us Daughters

Begin when our mothers call us daughters the devil. Lone shadows skitter across the wall between bookcases and all the things that should have been thrown out, including you; the detritus of corners and cobwebs, boxes piled high with canned food, laundry, years of newspapers and unpaid bills.

Begin when our mothers call us daughters the devil as you evade sharp corners and the door that opens and closes; the border between madness and our small, fractured sanctuaries. Belong to the small bed, the belongings scattered around the small bed, the junk we will denounce when we want to grow up like desperate things, when we say we will never be like our mothers.

Begin when every gift, every meal, every scrap of clothing exists in their individual moments as the opposite of a slap in the face. Take the gifts with a smile and the moment her back is turned, run like hell. Answer the phone with an offering of innocence, eyes down. Maybe she won’t bite. Sleep as if nothing is wrong, sleep as if you are in the safest place in the world and then try to remember how to breathe.

Make believe, when our mothers call us daughters the devil, eventually rain will fall from the mouth of the full moon into the eyelets of our bedroom windows and fill the cloven prism.

Past Life is FREE

General public service announcement: Past Life is free now. Past Life will be free forever.

Sadly, Kindle Direct Publishing does not give sellers the option to sell free books unless they are part of KDP Select, which I have no interest in, and I do not want to wait for Amazon to price match with the other bookstores and deal with Past Life for sale for 0.99 in one store and free in all the others so Past Life is no longer available on Amazon Kindle. HOWEVER, you can download a mobi file on and it will work on your kindle reader just the same 🙂

If you don’t like you can send me a message in the contact form in the “Ask Me Anything” button and I will email you a copy of the .mobi file 🙂

(Just in case you are unfamiliar with Instafreebie, all you need to do is click on the link above, enter your first and last name, and your email address and you will receive a link to download your copy of my book. If you already have the Instafreebie app the book should appear in your library.)

I have utilized the services of Draft2Digital to streamline my distribution links, click here to get re-directed to the bookstore of your choice.


How to Build a Nest

1. As a bird that has no hope.

Embrace the numbness in your hands, the writhing micro-fractures in your ribs as they grow into bright veins of quartz and agate, burst into winged fractals when no one is looking.

2. As a bird that thinks she has a lot of hope but really has none.

Choose the number of vertebrae you’d wish your favorite enemy to take out of your spine and treble it, if you are brave. That is the number of shiny things you must gather to attract a mate and keep yourself sane. Learn to make up the lines of poems you can’t remember. The dead won’t mind and the living are too preoccupied to care.

3. As a bird that has reached that powerful space beyond desperation.

Don’t be afraid to create with your teeth. Blind them with your claws, dive down their throats. This technique may not promise survival but in this way you can make beauty out of whoever tries to kill you.


A monstrous smile

moves in the wildness;

you said: get the quick

victory. Take me on faith.

Lost people remember

the fire, the starlight,

the luminous morning moving

in the darkness.

You keep talking; you

Need me doing like I’m

told. I didn’t

really think of

the subway, music

like red fire, the world

looking like the enemy.

Found poem. Source: pages 89, 146-7 of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

First published in The Found Poetry Review (as Jessica Otto).

Hotel Magic

pelvic bone


painkiller hotel

and hunger

cold coffee the

shattered lover




in the









Big Dipper



*Found poem. Source: The New York Times, April 2014.

Here and Away Chapter 9

Chapter 9: HERE

“So it’s the zombie apocalypse?” Away asked.

“And then—No! Have you not been listening? Babes expired and rotted away in their cribs. When did I say anywhere in my exposition that the babes came back to life and ate their parents after dissolving into puddles of goo?” Here said.

“People rot. Then they come back. It’s always how it goes,” Away said.

“Not this time. Not this story. Fire doesn’t bring people back. Fire destroys everything,” Here said.

“Except fire extinguishers,” Away said.

Continue reading “Here and Away Chapter 9”