• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Either We Lovin’ or I’ll See You Tomorrow

index card

Two-episode night. McNulty fucks two prostitutes while on the job. There’s a flow chart of criminals that resembles my bulletin board except I’m looking for narrative, structure, plot points. Let’s talk about index cards: salvation or desperation. When I put my poetry MFA manuscript together, I put all my poems on the floor and circled them a hundred times, ordering and reordering. I had a green kimono and a pack of Marlboro Lights. I was twenty four. Smart and stupid. In love with line breaks. Great to see all of you.

When I meet writers now some ask me if I’m still writing poetry. Stopped trying. Gave it up. Lost it. What about you?

20 Responses

  1. You’re like Julia Roberts’ hooker friend in Pretty Woman, when Julia offers her money to go to beauty school. “What? And give up all this?” she says. Poetry, screenwriting, memoir. You’re hooked. And fucked. Embrace it.

  2. Two nights in a row??!

    Are you flirting with me?

  3. I used to write poems constantly but decided that I wasn’t growing. I am now focusing on long-form fiction.

  4. I’m keeping poetry as something I can try later in life. I’d like to write poems for children, full of made-up words and life lessons. A wannabe Dr. Seuss. To me, that seems the most difficult writing of all so I’m saving it for last, when hopefully I’ll have a few things figured out and some old-lady wisdom to add to the mix.

  5. I wish I were 24. Nevermind, that’s a lie, I don’t. I wish I were still writing poetry. Yes, there is that. When the poems stopped, pretty much cold turkey, dead and buried now underneath a thousand trillion fluff of papers, they scattered like stars, the day the music died.

  6. The Wire vs. Poetry? Or, The Wire is Poetry! Challenge to BL: A book of Poetry about The Wire. Haiku only? Or, direct quotes only? Don’t let the name fool you — Poetry grows like Language or Consciousness.

  7. Poetry?
    Like gymnastics, something I like to watch every couple of years. To much dedication, too much discipline.
    I fell off a balance beam once. That was enough for me.

  8. I stopped writing poetry for a couple years so I could focus on The Fucker. But I’m back. After a few weeks of trying, you remember how it all works, the line breaks, the hour spent putting a word in and then taking it out, the gorgeous endings that are entirely unsupported by the rest of the poem. Good times.

  9. It’s great to see you too, Betsy.

    Here comes me, the misfit. I don’t write poetry. I can’t write it. I don’t get most of it. I’m not sure I even like it.

    Like religion, I envy those who are and can be faithful to it.

  10. I love seeing posts from you again. I love The Wire. I hate writing so much at this point I can’t imagine trying poetry. Now index cards – I’ve been flirting with them. Not getting much action though.

  11. A world
    Formed of dreams
    Time a clock
    Retreating from hands
    Stained with age
    Holding a mirror
    Upside down

  12. The closest I come to poetry is screwing up the words to popular songs, but it embarrasses the children, so I persevere.

    I’m still writing my stuff, though.

  13. Pistols at dawn. Xoxo

  14. Doggerel and yeah made up songs for the kids like SarahW.

    I hope I do see you again tomorrow Betsy.

  15. So great to receive Betsy’s missives two days in a row. As for me, after slaving away at prose for eons, I’ve returned to my first love, poetry. Though still striving to finish my novel, the poems are flowing. Just sold one to a storied journal for $30. No, there will never be a six figure advance in this genre, but that’s ok. I know how to be poor. Let’s all go to Starbucks when my check arrives — the lattes are on me! — and talk about how the The Wire is the best show in the history of television. Oh, Bunk. Oh, McNulty.

  16. I’ve lost it. Whatever it was. I’m reading more than ever though and that’s feeling way more satisfying than writing ever did. Oh, You Pretty Things made it to the top of my reading pile and I just got busted sneaking a few paragraphs of it on my phone’s Kindle app during a pointless staff meeting. Totally worth my bosse’s face like thunder.

  17. The last time I wrote poetry was in the Intro to Creative Writing class that I now teach (same school and everything). I think of what I turned in back then, and then everyone’s grades get a lot better.

  18. The last time I wrote poetry was in the Intro to Creative Writing class that I now teach (same school and everything). I think of what I turned in back then, and then everyone’s grades get a lot better.

  19. I have only one left to compose. But for it, I’ve stopped.

  20. Poetry comes over me like a viral flare-up. Herpes verseplex. Shingles of stanzas roofing a rhymeless wreck of broken lines. Lately I’ve kept it under control through healthy doses of prose rewrites and photographic manipulations, and a daily regimen of military history readings, quotes from which I “share” in the Book of Faces, and which unrequested generosity on my part has cost me a cool 11% of my Faceless “Friends.”

    I can’t help it. I think I’m on to something. I just don’t know what it is. I took a dive into the tunnel of mass and pointless slaughter and look to be rooting around in the War Trash for another year or so. I’ll send up some flares. You people organize airdrops. Chocolate, whiskey, and Band-Aids ought to see me through.

    It’s a long way
    To Tip-Me-Over…

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