Friday, September 13, 2013

New Chapbook: The Kind of Beauty that Has Nowhere to Go

The Kind of Beauty that Has Nowhere to Go, a collaborative chapbook that I cowrote with Kathleen Rooney, is now available for purchase from Hyacinth Girl Press. Look how pretty it is!

My friend Katie Caron is responsible for the awesome cover art. It's just $6! You can buy it here.

You can read some sample poems from the chapbook at The Collagist and Hobart. And here's one more:


Beware of people whose motto is “No regrets.” They are violent innocents. Ravaged by love.

I want a point of view that isn’t mine to tell me that what I did wasn’t wrong. And permission to be sorry for the outcome, but not the event.

If you can’t feel remorse, you may be a sociopath. This isn’t all bad. If you feel called to live your life like a dirty free-for-all, you can.

They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but you make me wish I’d never been born.

Guilt is associated with the sound of bells tolling; remorse, the sound of wind through trees.

I would never say I’m sorry in a dream. However, I might set my most regrettable moments in the sky like a starry galaxy, and try to detect a pattern.

To show more remorse, lower your eyes. To show less, fix them up and ahead like an equestrian statue. In general, be blue-eyed and statuesque.

Don’t even try to tell me that swans mate for life. Do swans seem normal to you?

You may be sorry now, but you’ll be even sorrier if you get tear stains all over those satin sheets.

I was working my way up to an apology when a songbird lit upon my shoulder. Something in his tune made cruel jilting sound sweet. If my present self is the sum of my past actions, how can I be sorry?

Remorse smells like tallow soap and agony, but you can never wash it off. It does get fainter over time, like an exceptionally tenacious perfume.

To express remorse you must compose a detailed account of whatever offense you committed. Choose your font wisely; serifs are more emotive.

Thanks for the sympathy, but “buyer’s remorse” doesn’t really compare. Unless what you bought was from Satan.

We name our daughters by the traits we hope they’ll possess; she chose to name hers Rue.

The mental compartment where I store my remorse is the haunted garret in a mansion full of otherwise pleasant rooms.

Some people say there are five languages of apology.

I’m sorry you feel that way.


  1. "Guilt is associated with the sound of bells tolling; remorse, the sound of wind through trees." I love this line.

    I followed the links and read the other poems also. In one of the poems (the second one, I think?) in the Hobart page, there's a line that talks about the difference between sexy-talk and sexy-thinking. It got me started thinking about Mae West.

    I've long admired Mae West's skill with sexy talking. She could say almost anything, and (though carefully times pauses and subtle modulation in her voice) make it sound seductive. (Maybe humorously seductive, given the context, though there's not always a clear boundry between funny and serious, it seems to me).

    "Want me to .. replace your carburetor?"

    "Want me to .. change your batteries?"

    "Want me to come over and .. clean your oven?"

    I'm not aware of Mae West ever saying these actual lines, but if I imagine her speaking them, well...

    One of my favorite quotes by anyone is from Mae West (or attributed, I don't positively know the original source): "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."

    Whenever anyone has said to me "I'm sorry you feel that way," it's always a hot-button moment for me -- I'm ready to keep arguing about it all day and all night. I always want to reply, "What else are you sorry about?"

    That's maybe a bit removed from the context of the poem here, but just one of the several dozen places the poems took me as I read them.

    1. Thanks Lyle!

      The character I play in The Designated Mourner is kind of stiff and cold, so I try to channel Mae West to bring more looseness and sultriness to her lines ... it's hard, but I try!

  2. Congratulations to you both! Add this pretty book to the list of delights I anticipate enjoying this spring. (Also, I love the poems on Nailed Magazine.)