Keegan Jay, or how to beat writer’s block seventeen syllables at a time


I haven’t been writing — because shit is hard. There’s too much to write down, to get out, and unless I become a fiction writer soon — that is just start making things up… I’m going to have to get past this writer’s block.  I’ve written a whole lot of haiku in the last few years, like, a whole a lot, a lot.  And really, if I can’t manage seventeen syllables a day — well I might as well start tossing the writer’s notebooks.
So for my baby, on his birthday —

Five years past, and you,
were just an idea, But now,
always my sweet Keegs.

Confession, or where I start telling the truth.


I’m trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across—not to just depict life—or criticize it—but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me you actually experience the thing. You can’t do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Because if it is all beautiful you can’t believe in it. Things aren’t that way. -Ernest Hemingway

The thing is — I didn’t know how to do this — I’ve written through so many things in the past — but not — Well I just haven’t known how.  Tonight — the bad and the ugly, and after that — everything else.

Dear Writer’s Block

Da Fuck?!

Look I have done ever mode of writing exercise to ensure the words would flow in some manner that assembled presentable – Not good mind you but presentable order-
But instead,
all modes of ill contrived poetic nonsense comes for from this pen.
Come on muse,
where you at?

I imagine people whispering —
Doesn’t she have anything new?
Oh sure 42 pages of absolute shit —
Not new shit
just bad shit —
that talks about absolutely nothing

Poetry I imagine happens as you peel back layers,
onion skin thin,
perhaps as stinky.
And to be almost honest,
I dear blocker of writing, have piling the layers on.

Because otherwise,
I would have to uncover more than even I have been able to let go  on stage.
Because there would be verses crafted of the
“I know you hate me,” let go from my, just four years old’s mouth — or the,
“I wish I wasn’t here any more,” the crushing angst of a six-year-old,
who after being calmed by the warm water of a five-minute shower — breathes,
“Mama, I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me.”
Oh sweet child of mine,
that my synapses run in you, I am so, so, sorry.
And then – then if I got done with the heartbreak of being a mama,
I would need to proceed through the litany of other broken heart fractures.
The failure of a marriage that I had vowed,
under a large oak tree, that stood in for god,
to stick with forever and a day–

And there is the hurt, that is friendships changing.
Those dear ones will always occupy puzzle piece shaped soul moments

And then, when done with all that tragic verse-
I would owe stanzas to fear,
couplet after couplet of —
I am not brave enough,
I can not go on  alone,
I can not be my myself.

But writer’s block –
You have made all of that impossible.
So now, I dwell in the could-bes of the page —
the should-haves of the lines.

Sylvia I am not,
But confessional poet I am.
This mic is  what I need,
and I will beak with out poems for you.

So Dear blocker of my muse –
kindly go the fuck away.

The kinda night —


The kinda night, where the clouds roll in with a storm, just as you thought you were going to lose your mind to the heat and the sun.
The kinda night, where a poet gets on stage, and reminds you, that if you want to get better, it is about damn time you took pen to paper.
The kinda  night, where friends tell you they will cook pizza with you, and you know it is more than calories that will help build layers around  your broken heart.
The kinda night, where you drive home in downpours that wash away dust, while the Goo Goo Dolls remind you that “everything feels like the movies, and you bleed just to know you’re alive.”
The kinda of night where you get to the top of your stairs in your apt, and get down on your knees to thank a god you don’t believe in for reminding you, that if you want yo get better,
you have to write.


With more eloquence than I have been able to muster


To be honest,
I had no intention for this night to be,
What this night became.
Had no intention to hear the words I have meant to say.
Repeated back.
Except they were just eighty seven million times better than I would have ever managed to put them together. 
But then.
It happneed.

Stop it.


My brain is melting a little bit today — because today the book that I am a contributing writer for — A book that contains a poem, a poem of mine, a poem of mine that a legitimate editor at a legitimate press thought  was legitimately good enough to go into that book –  well now, that book  is now on pre-sale from effin’ Amazon.  I mean, I know, I could sell a gallon of milk  on Amazon — but oh em gee people, this is for real, and I can barely hold in my squeals of delight.

The book, The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality, is a collection of essays put together by Avital Norman Nathman. Avi keeps her own blog at The Mamafesto, but also has a regular series, “The Femisphere,” for Ms. Magazine’s site, as well as a regular feminist parenting column, “Mommie Dearest,” for The Frisky. 

This collection of essays takes a realistic look at motherhood and provides a platform for real voices and raw stories, each adding to the narrative of motherhood we don’t tend to see in the headlines or on the news.

To say I am thrilled to be part of this collection is probably more than obvious to those of you who know me, my politics, and my academic background — But you should take a look at who I’m in the company of — and then I’ll let you know that besides thrilled – I’m pretty freakin’ humbled.  Psst – did you see how Christy Turlington, founder of Every Mother Counts (and ok, you know, a super model), is doing the forward – did I mention the part where I am squeeing like a little kid right now?

Oh and hey, if say your politics don’t align with amazon and its selling practices (I don’t judge y’all, I’m in so in bed with the amazon devil), you can actually pre-order the book from an independent book seller.  Yay indie book stores, you with your ambient music and nooks and corners –I love you too.

So – yeah, I’m going to be in a book, and it’s for pre-sale on amazon — and I would be pleased as punch if you picked up a copy. Now excuse me, while I flounce around the room in my pink tutu giving out little crazy shouts of joy. What? Not your image of a radical feminist – ahwell – it’s mine- radical, mama of two, sometimes poet, sparkly t-shirt wearing, public school teaching,  tutu having, twirly, humbled as hell, feminist.

I am sick and tired (excerpt)


. . . And I’m sick and tired of rumors.
You know what honey, you know nothing-
and your sad and lusterless life needs light-
so you think-
talking about my,
or someone else’s dark spots
will light you up,
But baby-
this little light of mine,
I’m going to let it shine,
let it shine,
let it shine,
let it shine.