a tiny fire you can hold in your hand

matchbox press

my debut collection of poems and drawings “the silhouette inside” is almost ready! since i decided to opt for self-publishing (i am indie woman, hear me roar, and all that) i have been tasked with creating my own publishing house…

if you know me, you know i collect matches. one matchbox swiped from the bar of a hotel by a new friend who would quickly become my best friend. another box taken with buttery fingers on the way out of an old-school italian restaurant on the north end of boston. a long matchbox from a seaside teahouse in watch hill, a short stack from a small jeweler off of wickenden street. to me, they are like time in a bottle. a sign of hospitality, of care. a bidding token to remember that moment. a pocketable piece of a place, a souvenir.

a sucker for graphic design, i take joy in comparing the typographies on my matchboxes as the world changes. my stumbling upon these little cardboard boxes and books is becoming more and more rare. but i’ll keep collecting, holding on to these outdated relics. each tellings it’s own story, each one an author. a coin-sized, weightless memory from a trip- just a blip- but enough to spark a tiny fire you can hold in your hand.

my book “the silhouette inside” is coming out September 1! stay tuned for preorder details on my facebook author page here.

all rights reserved. matchbox press illustration by kirsten evans.

a book, i hope

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Sweaty afternoons spent illustrating my book on the porch, punctuated by my usual seaside summer jaunts to York and Newport. Trying to retain some semblance of normalcy in a world turned upside-down…

C and I have taken to an evening stroll down Blackstone to stretch our legs and get out of the house, even if behind masks. Lately I find myself craving a disconnect from the all-consuming screens that seem to have taken over more and more of my awake time as connecting with the world in a physical way has become so limited. I will never consider myself an extravert, but as an artist, I certainly glean inspiration from the sights, sounds, and yes, those mysterious people of the outside world.

A few nights ago, we took our walk at the height of golden hour: that magical time of night where it feels as though the clouds have touched down to the treetops and your head floats up high enough into the branches to meet them. Everything seems just a bit more special…even your routine walk around the neighborhood. It hit me then- as I saw the low sun flare through fat, happy July leaves and felt a poem coming on- that I had written most of my book on this very same walk.

Almost every day last summer began with a walk to Wildflour. Between my home and my favorite café, words appeared in my mind. Sometimes one at a time, other times in hoards that clogged my ears and threatened to spill out my mouth if I did not sit down and write them out in time. Some days I would rush frantically to my café, so as not to lose a single syllable. Other times I let the words steep deep in my skull. Marinate before serving.

Pushing through the café doors, ordering my usual Providence Breakfast tea, finding a table on the coveted back wall, all of these keeping my words tangled somewhere behind my tongue, until finally, the release. An open laptop, a half full notebook, an outpouring.

One day, as I walked up with my empty teacup to ask for “a bit more hot water when you get a chance?” the barista (taking my cup before I finished, all too familiar with my daily re-steep request) posed a question toward me instead: “What are you writing over there?” She smiled graciously through orange-red lips and admitted to noticing the way I stare blankly into the coffee-scented air when I’m thinking. “A book, I hope,” was my optimistic reply.

Twelve months later, a new July has found me, with a very new set of summer routines. Kept from my café, I’ve collected the poems I wrote there; Remembering a past me and her previous tea, sipping in the day and exhaling words on a page.

My debut book of poetry and drawings “the silhouette inside” is coming soon.

 

we bought a house

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on a windy monday

at the end of september

we all shook hands

and signed legal tender

 

with shiny new keys

and dusty cake toppers

turning box after box

into cardboard door stoppers

 

surrounded by trees

and a block all our own

in a little blue place

called fourteen gorton

 

we’re hanging our shirts

and stacking our glasses

making plans to stay home

while this autumn rain passes

 

gooey pumpkin loaf

in our fancy new oven

and a purring dishwasher

keeping all of the suds in

 

we’re warming the hearth

and decorating the rest

two birds flew the coop

now we have our own nest.

un rêve à retenir

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greeted by her eiffel highness
midnight mark
historic park
rumbling, rolling, romantic, righteous

bite for bite on a sweet, cheap crêpe
across the seine
sneaking then
to a quiet bench, we two escape

noses close, we chat and laugh
minutes pass
french rats dash
la lune illume on your cheeks abash

with a tuck and a roll, you’re on one knee
brown eyes wide
some dreamy ride
I watch my body float up over the trees

madame Tour winks and twinkles on repeat
hands clasped
running fast
we rush to recieve her blissful bonne nuit

along the river, smiles bloom and steep
bartered bubbles
foreign doubles
who look like us, but with a promise to keep

strolling towards “home” in the middle of the night
this living love
hovering above
the greatest hour of my favorite flight.

11:04 pm — on a rainy porch in providence, one week later.

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goodbye broom

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Flying coven.

Plunging fall.

Morning birds.

Hopscotch pumpkins.

Broken witch.

Enchanted broom.

Sweep, sweep, sweep.

Chop, chop, stop.

Growing fondness.

Scheming neighbors.

Cultish fervor.

Human fire.

Ghostly woods.

Packed bags.

White paint.

Family dinner.

Soaring tango.

Happily Ever After.

 

photos of Saturday night’s “Widow’s Broom” by Ty Parmenter.

 

a b&b tour of the Berkshires

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white horses and red lions cradling our heads

striped walls

antique-scattered halls

baked french toast and four-poster beds

John and Naji and Sylvia and Steve

teapot shelves

helping ourselves

to hidden matchbooks as we leave

buttered mussels and english muffins

double kale

unsent mail

crispy dolma with thick rice stuffed in

monument mountain surrendering to our feet

poolside tunes

quarter moons

goodbye sweet Berkshires, until again we meet.

-from the fondly reminiscing brain of a wait why am i still awake right now?

10 days down under

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as we touched down in Queenstown

island vegetation and mini eco-system formations

welcomed us to a land down under

avo toasted plates and brekkie bowls

dark fruit breads and savory scones

skyline hikes to starfish dives

winding drives past brown beehives

by rocky vineyards and cold Sound rocks

then cute salads and long bird walks

sweet TimTams and fijoa fruits

just Keds and my trusty boots

exploring a world upside in and downside out

leaning left in round abouts

now a fat stack of boarding passes

sits in my home like wasted ashes

artifacts of our 40-hour days

and proof of passports so well played.

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-from the weary mind of a NZ traveler

boat house love

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blue glass

blue china

blue sky

blue sea

a long weekend for lobster

and a fluffy dublin tea

late night whisky scrabble

leaks into breakfast babble

sticky griddle we will dabble

breakfast for dinner, dialogue for dessert

warm wood surrounds us

empty space confounds us

still this young love abounds us

drowns us, pouring over every day

with

nutella lips

ginger sips

goosey quips

my person sticks

to yours like beans 

bean legs

soda breads

looking out

where the ocean ends

tiny hands

frozen sands

perfectly aimless

weekend plans.

to the moutains

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rising up before the sun
with fuzzy stardust eyes
through sherbet-tinctured pink webs we blink
to wake the sleepy sky

a cozy Coffee Pot sign
says “celebrate everything!”
so strawberry waffle, pockets all full
my REAL maple on the side

out and up the mountains now
towards the clouds we climb
we sneak and peek and dare to swim
in the veil of a marvelous bride

on the road we snack and sing
over lakes we row in time
these hearts a part of the same blue chart
under stars our two combine.

 

 

photos of me by Michael (cutest) Collins.

tracing our tracks

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with the chill of an april night in may,

we march out again to float above the river.

365 days dustier, our train tracks seem only to have magnified in magic…

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so too has my aversion to such height-induced adrenaline,

but now we are we, and together we walk free.

clutching your expert hands I tread since-vanquished coals with care as if they still burned.

I follow your flippers, tracing your tracks and placing each velvet slipper on the rail behind yours.

someone else’s mother’s leather floats across the divide and I trail…

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it seems 12 months time has erased my subtle cool completely, and I freeze.

please.

please wake my feet that they may flee in tidy take off,

incite my knees that they may ensure a steady landing,

and oh please, leave my racing mind at peace that it may not tempt curious eyes to seek the water below.

a shaky leap and at last I meet you for the first and five hundredth time…

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we turn to face           a searing sky.

burning hearts pressed together,

now above the train tracks

over the river

we fly.

 

5.24.16. written on a cool tuesday morning, dreaming of the past weekend…week…year…and all of the painted skies to come.