Writer

Mamela in Maine, July 2016

To the dog that hates karate
To the dog that could outrun the entire dog park
To the dog that loves Diet Coke bottles
To the dog that makes crazy alien noises when she even glimpses a Chuck It
To the dog who chased her ball into the waves
To the dog who loved Chrissy Field
To the dog who loved Fort Funston
To the dog who loved Laguna Beach
To the dog who loves Provincetown
To the sheriff always on patrol
To the dog who comes running every time she hears the popcorn machine
To the dog who loves to eat watermelon

Mamela at the Provincetown Beach

I feel like you wish
that I would rhyme
Like it’s not a poem
if not in time
So does this one count
my little friend?
Give me a head nod
snaps at the end
Nah, just joking you
those paws can’t snap
Don’t worry yourself
lay down and nap.
You’ve known me so long
you sweet old gal
New York from SF
SF from SoCal.
My darling best girl
Just you next time
You’ll move on; I’ll stay
death a sharp line
I love you so much
warm heart cold world
My baby, my old lady,

Rooftop Wedding in NYC, way after 1995

Look at that girl, fifteen and full of hope
slash anticipation slash anxiety slash bizarre dreams.
Her dreams are always unusual
like she learns it is not normal
to remember multiple dreams throughout the night
she takes pride in her dream recall.
Her mother blames the Stephen King novels
on her antique nightstand the flashlight under covers.
But in September 1995 a different sort of dream,
a boy and an upcoming night a school dance.
Paul Keller a senior to her sophomore, tall and gangly

A couple of months ago I joined hundreds of New Yorkers in celebration of Margaret Atwood’s birthday. I sat in the audience, by myself, as Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman engaged in witty conversation, running the gamut from books to politics to film to America. Something Ms. Atwood said resounded so poignantly, it moved me. Mr. Gaiman told her that he counted her as one of the few role models he could look up to, for she was a poet, a screenwriter, an inventor, and an author of speculative fiction as well as historical fiction.

When I was younger and I thought about being a writer, I envisioned myself at my desk, with the sun streaming just so through my tall glass of orange juice, and a tree branch occasionally brushing against the window in a melodic fashion. I did not see myself as someone who needed a muse, wanted a muse, relied on a muse to inspire the flow of words. I would be my own muse, gosh darn it!, and I was proud of this plan. When I was younger, I dreamt of writing a novel that would grace the shelf of the local used bookstore, with a little sign proclaiming “Local girl makes it!

If I were someone who used profanity on a regular basis, I believe I would be cursing at least twelve times a day. Yes. Twelve. Twelve seems to be the average number of times my strength is tested throughout the day. Not my patience, not my physical prowess, not my intelligence, but simply the strength I possess that keeps me from breaking into tears.

It's like this. The weekend before the hurricane, I watched friends and colleagues scramble in preparation. I don't mean that they were stocking up on water or batteries or candles (though some of them were responsible while others regretted not taking the prep more seriously), but rather they were scrolling through their little black book.

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