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Enter your approximate age/grade when you first read these female writers:

1. Jane Austen- 8th grade
2. Eudora Welty- 11th grade
3. Mary Shelley-7th grade
4. Amy Tan- late high school?
5. Alice Walker- 14
6. Nikki Giovanni-8th grade
7. Jodi Picoult- can't say I've read anything of hers
8. V.C. Andrews- 7th grade
9. Sandra Cisneros- 2nd or 3rd grade
10. Joyce Carol Oates- summer after 4th grade
11. Virigina Wolf- 7th grade
12. Aprha Behn-12th grade
13. Rita Mae Brown-13
14. Sylvia Plath-13
15. Edith Wharton- 12th grade
16. Madeleine L'Engle- 2nd grade
17. JK Rowling- some time in high school
18. Kate Chopin- 10th grade... but I didn't get it until I was a sophomore in college
19. Zora Neal Hurston- 10th grade
20. Gloria Steinem- 11th grade
21. Elizabeth Barret Browning- 5th grade
22. Harper Lee-9th grade
23. Anne Frank- 6th grade
24. Agatha Christie- whenever I went to New Mexico for SCA...
25. Jeanette Winterson- not yet Rissa
26. Margaret Atwood- 12
27. Dorothy Parker- 9th grade
28. Jaqueline Carey- nope
29. Audre Lorde - 6th grade
30. Mercedes Lackey- 13


Three things that make me very happy...

1. Veggie crackers with roasted red pepper hummus

2. Spending three hours wandering the bookstores around Dupont while drinking coffee, AND making it home before the rain got underway.

3. The techno-joy that comes from assembling shelving units that really are simple to assemble, even for those of us who really prefer to avoid those complicated "Insert peg A into hole D while holding shelf 2 perpendicular to frame piece 1b" kinds of directions.
(They're whitmor brand stacking shelves from Target and so far it's the most solid, easy to assemble, and truly adjustable shelving unit I've ever bought. Seriously.)



you spoke of your love in colors
always light creamy shades
that could be attributed to soft things
like clouds and babies

you don't know
that your kind of love is borderline gray
because you were never in knee deep
with an ocean of ice separating you
from your capacity to love

you like to stand only ankle deep
cuz you're smart like that
keep yourself where its hazy
thin with less skin to risk

it's my scars that prove i've been all in
that my love is always angry colored
like freshly earned frostbite
or a bloody nose
the birds, like women, have found their place here.

they've made lakes of fountains in traffic circles
rivers of the storm sewers
fishing holes of pothole puddles
gorging themselves on crumbs and trash
because that's what's left

The bits and pieces of moving...

contempt is building here:

he pushes her tickling fingers away
averts his eyes from her little frown
puffy pink cheeks flatten
jaw drops open to release a squaling
wail, high-pitched to the point of squeaking
to which
he pops his paper
crosses his ankles
then leans back to rest


someone opened the door
to set loose some of the heat
into the night with the street
sneaking in to lace between
bodies oiled with sweat that
mix to talk with the totality of
their lungs coming from lips
inches from touching because
most of them are little more
than wingless dragons: hot
heavy breath with clunky bodies
graceless lizards with tongues
that lap outward for the cool


The most difficult part of you has always been all that bravado.

Yeah, I know it's mostly a force field
built up against those who saw your soft cheeks as pillows to land on
who saw those curling yellow locks and thought you must be cloud-like:
Heavy enough to block out the sun but easy to slice right on through.

you tattooed your skin with iron and laid bare the baser parts of you,
putting the crude two steps ahead of all those cherub features.
You took care to always step heavily on dirty sandaled feet
that had virility and danger and power written with sweat drips
for ink in all that dusty dirt.

You ensure that you are always bruised and a little unsteady,
always fighting, giving off that look of a survivor with defenses,
the kind of body that you never really manage to get a good look at
because every muscle in it is nomadic and twitchy, itching
to be set loose.


you would have been perfect
except for your pesky price
because it must be paid
in experience used to guide
and i could lead you but
it would really only be pushing
because i'm ten years short
of useful.

failed accident rehabilitation

you never smelled the same
not after that night

months later
you still taste like brake fluid
acrid oils
hospital antiseptic

the wounds pucker
then scar
heal over with oozing sores
still sprinkled in glazed blue shards
of windshield glass

you smell like roadkill
a mix of asphalt
decay and battered flesh

i have to turn away
i can't watch the decomposition of you


we got the apartment...

moving day is coming soon... within the week.

i don't know how i'm going to deal with moving with all that's going on at work, but i'm so glad to be leaving queenstown apartments behind.


two fragments on an avalanche

you are an early morning warning
all heavy limbs and twisted cotton
i can see you have to fight for sleep
by wrestling it from consciousness
who is never one to give in easily
but the sprawl of you entwined
in bedding radiates potential


you are a charmer in truest form
earnest presentation of self walking
upright with big feet and short fingers
not really long enough to satisfy
but your eyes silently tout your prowess
while those plump lips sing sweetness
slipping up against the shell of my ear
redirecting  my focus to the promises
of poetry spilling with a deceptive flair
away from that waist down train wreck
that's had too much give and too much
take without reciprocation or cake
you've even developed a swagger
capable of precluding the shaking
that precedes the major quake
Tomorrow, I will drag my not-so-happy ass out of bed extra super early so that I can get to work, get my work done, and get out early enough to take part in all the craziness that will be going on all around both of my stores. It's the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and there are going to be protests in and around K St, the White House and the mall. I plan to take part.


Ani Difranco

It's been a while since I posted a video, but this was just pretty cool.

And if you're interested, because god knows her lyrics are at least half of why Ani is awesome, the person who posted this video also posted the lyrics on the actual youtube page along with the video.