To Pee or Not to Pee


-For Gavin Grimm, who took it to the Supreme Court


That is the question.


My government now tells me where—

In a private stall, on the other side of the school,

By the nurse’s office.


I make the walk of shame to be




I am not unisex.

I am a boy,

Not a hazard or a threat to you.

But maybe one to the status quo.


You know,

I just want to be me.

I just want to pee.

She Persisted


“She was warned.

She was given an explanation.

Nevertheless, she persisted.”


-U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell


She persisted.


Binders full of women—

Latina, African American, white, transgender, gay.

Hole-punched all of us,

Paraded for your agenda,

Served up for your pleasure.


Scold bridled in an iron mask—

Padlocked, depressing our tongues.

Crazy emotions and shrill voices,

Bite at the bridle.


Sweetie, you’d be much prettier if you smiled.


Silence need not equal silence.

We have choices.


Oh, we nasty women,

Centuries of us—

The smell of us in our words,

Our sex, our power, our voices.


Strapped and dunked and sunk we rise.

We nasty.  We trashy.




We persisted.


Those words,

May well be my first tattoo.

After the scars heal,

It will be pink and perfect.

Belltown Drugs


I remember the variety store
Where Daddy bought his
New York Daily News

and how he tucked
the Necco wafers in his pocket
for me
always in a different place:
the hip pocket of his pleated best,
up his sleeve, behind his ear.

But always for me…


The comic books cost 12 cents –

same as a Hostess cupcake.
I always got both.

I peeled away,
the sticky chocolate layer,
its curled white icing lace,
smearing messy fingers
on my pink Sunday bestdress.

Daddy, he lit a Kent Gold,
and babygirl climbed into
the baby blue Chevy BelAire,

You, daddy, and me.
we partners in crime.


Tournée du Chat Noir

It is a suitable night for lost souls.

The Swiss Guard, clad head to toe in gold

Lead poets and painters into the smoky fold,

Of those who fear water, and drink only wine

The sociopolitical, the atheistic, we hedonists—

Barring infamous priests and the military

From this salon of incoherent arts.

The absinthe flows.


Wandering in from the dirty rain.


Shadow plays dance on dusky walls,

Beneath Byzantine iron gaslights—

Shadow flesh curls into its own peculiar heat,

While sleek black cats hiss in the mist

Under the skull of Louis the XIII as a child,

Presiding from his marble mantle to chide

The Prince of Wales, who arrived late.


Finding ourselves in the dark abandon.


The world we choose,

Fixed in these two rooms.

The life we choose,

Awaits beyond the tin piano,

The cabaret songs and the ghost of Rodolphe Salis.


We leave but shall always return,

To our home, our tribe.


I am humbled. . .


This  evening, I was testing the search terms I created for Peggy on Amazon.  One was “confessional poets.”  I was shocked where I came in the random algorithms.  It may be arbitrary, but it just made me happy and humbled.

Day One


We pull on our pink caps,

Hand-made woolen symbols of our flesh.

Armor for the storm.


We take to the streets,

A powerful sea, defending our right to be.


This is not about women,

Immigration, religion.

It is about our humanity.


You will not tell me who

I will love, or not.


My health will not be legislated

My body will not be legislated.

My beliefs will not be legislated.


My right to be

Will not be legislated by dark men in stiff navy suits.


What I hear and see,

Is not my country—


If I am angry,

Then so be it.


I have words,

I have breath—

My sisters and brothers stand with me.


You will not

Make America hate again.




Peggy Sue is born!


My first volume of poetry is now available on Amazon!!