More on Formatting in Poetry


Concrete poetry is the practice of making a poem look, on the page, like its topic. In the days of the typewriter, this took a lot of time, but when published, it has great appeal. On the interwebs, where everything has to be left justified, concrete poetry is pretty much just a silhouette. But there are ways to get around that, if all you are going for is the idea of the topic rather than an actual illustration. Here is one from a group of poems I am trying to put together about the dailiness of my life.

7:40 a.m.


color    color

liner    liner

lashes lashes






coffee coffee coffee




Weather Reminds Us of Our Own Existential Helplessness


So a while back I signed up for a Meetup party that is happening this evening. Last week, Weather Underground was predicting 8-12 inches of snow for today in Boston. By Tuesday, it was down to 1-3 inches and by Thursday 3-5 inches and today it is back to 1-3 inches here, but apparently our friends down South have already got 31 inches and counting, and we have received a wet dusting. WHY DO THEY EVEN PRETEND TO KNOW WHAT’S COMING?

I will admit a tiny bit of schadenfreude for all those folks down South who didn’t share in our NINE F@#$%ING FEET OF SNOW last “spring” who might just possibly have felt a trifle left out. Well, there you go. Enjoy.

Facebook peeps have been posting amusing maps of the Midatlantic area, showing the areas in which inhabitants will need lots of books or yarn or just a few/little. The pictures of back porches are already in. And here in Boston, where I can still make out the colors of the cars in my street beneath their light dusting of powdered sugar-like snow, the stores are full. Now it makes sense to me that Trader Joe’s would be full. It’s the kind of place you can buy your booze and your bread and milk. But Sephora’s? It’s a ghastly cold day with Weathah about to come down on us and THIS MANY women need to get a blizzard stash of eyeliner? At least I have an excuse. I signed up for this party a few weeks ago and this morning woke up to realize I have never actually been taught to do my makeup, beyond the simple 1950s style my mom tried to teach me before my prom that I was way to nervous about poking myself in the eye to really absorb. And since, if you’ve spent a certain amount of money in their insiders program you can get these 15-minute mini-makeovers, I figured, go in, get them to make me look good and explain how they did it, buy the stuff, and go to the party looking a whole lot better than I would if I tried to do it myself without the practice. (One of the downsides of a girls’ high school and a university career: my whole life has been Mind Over Mascara. Sigh.)

So all I can say is that when Bostonians hunker down tonight or step out to the sidewalk and driveway to clear all the sh–er–shnow off their cars, they are going to be looking damn fine.


Illustration by Mike Allegra.