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Friday, September 12, 2014

Moving to Wordpress.org

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Little As Living

Visit the shop and see what's up >>
Guess what?

My new (and very first) chapbook is up for sale. I'm super stoked and can't wait to share my poems with the world. I even did the cover, which I'm pretty ok with... but what pressure! And let's be honest, I'm kind of scared about my words traveling around in foreign hands: honored, excited, vulnerable, and terrified.

I think all of us have experienced a thing (a someone or a something) that has made us question everything, that has made us explore ourselves again—as if for the first time. That is what this book is. Realization (and the process of getting to it). Both of the self and of the tiny universe we breathe in: the mundane; the sleepy routine; the waking-up-getting-a-shower-going-to-work-eating-dinner orbit we spin daily. Finding the meaning in that.

I hope you all will check it out. It's only $7! Dancing Girl Press made this happen and to them I am forever grateful. Thanks to everyone, to those that believed I could do it even when I didn't. I'm so lucky to have you on my team.

Best,
mt


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

In all my nightmares, I'm wearing the wrong underwear

My mouth hurts. I keep imagining the look of gums, the redness, the swollen horizon around my teeth, that pink vulnerable skin scratching against everything. Yesterday, I had one of the worst dental experiences of all my 28, nearly 29 years: it was just a cleaning and exam.

Due to my god-awful dental insurance (one of few reasons why self-employment blows), I am only able to visit a handful of dentists in the area. I had to part with my former dental gang, which—trust me—wasn't easy. I love them. I really do. I know about their cats, their hobbies, their schooling... I've introduced them to things like My MilkToof, which just might be the coolest blog about clay-made teeth I've ever seen. Plus, they kindly humor my anxiety and kindly hook me up with dentist-goer perks like a free toothbrush and coupons for mouthwash.

I'm serious when I say that I leave Dr. D's office with a huge smile on my face and a reminder card for my next appointment, which I've already scheduled. Listen. Teeth might just be everything to me.

"For a smoker, you're really obsessive about your teeth," said the curt hygenist that nearly scraped my gums out of my mouth yesterday.

"You have to be when you're a smoker," I replied.

"Or you could just quit," was her retort. No shit.

Perhaps I didn't think of that. Maybe she thought she was telling me some grand secret, like the time it never dawned on me just to roll up the bottoms of my pants, instead of holding them at the knees as I walked in the rain... DUH! But chances are she was just being an asshole. Sit tight. This shit gets better.

My appointment was at 12:30 in the afternoon. Now that I work from home, I can do those sorts of things. Make doctor appointments. So I was told to come in early to fill out the paperwork. When I stepped up to the counter and conversed with the woman on the other side, she smiled big into her computer screen then looked up: "You're K's friend it says."

I was referred by a friend and someone had put it in the notes—hilarious. So from here, I expected special treatment. Maybe they would let me cut the line or put me in a special room—or better yet they were going to give me two toothbrushes. I was set for another six months with two toothbrushes!

"Hey guys, if you could let me know what this is going to cost me, I'd appreciate it. I have a new insurance and it's kind of crappy..."

My bubble quickly dissipated when the other woman behind the counter, a middle-aged blonde with a romantic croak of a voice, raised her head: "OH! IS THIS THAT OBAMACARE?" (Loudly.)

I felt like someone just pulled my pants down in a crowd—only to reveal I was wearing the wrong day-of-the-week underwear. But it's Thursday... I imagined the crowd murmuring, staring down at my two-day-old, "Tuesday," day-of-the-week underwear.

Ok. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to take offense to the "Obamacare" remarks; however, she's not the only one with which I've employeed my defenses. It makes me feel uncomfortable, like I'm getting something for nothing, or I'm cheating the government. I feel as dirty as the word "Obama" in this conservative, a-little-too-close-to-West-Virginia town.

"Umm... you mean healthcare.gov? Yeah. I pay for my own insurance. Myself."

About two years ago, I had no real concern about the healthcare industry. Sure, make everyone healthy and happy. Why not? Give those people without insurance some damned coverage already... the important word being them. Now suddenly, I am them.

I didn't get called back for my cleaning until 1:15, nearly an hour later, which is when I encountered the "Tasmanian Devil of dental hygienistry," or so I've dubbed her to everyone else. I'm sure there is a more fitting title, something funnier: The Edward Scissorhands of Teeth Cleaning, Freddie Whiter Smile (or Else) Kruger... Anyway, she RAVAGED my mouth—probably for the sake of hurrying. I was flinching, pinching my legs, groaning with my mouth agape. Was this happening?

photo cred: skymovies.sky.com


"Stay still," she said coldly, continuing with her icepick, plaque bits hitting me in the cheeks.

Five minutes later: "You have to quit jerking. Stay still."

After that, it felt like she was going at it harder, sadistically, and once more I was six years old being scolded with the same line over and over: Meghan. Meghan, don't jump down the stairs. What did I say? Meghan. Don't. Meghan Patrice... don't jump down the stairs. Walk down those stairs. Meghan Patrice, if I have to... I swear I'm going to... (I didn't listen as a kid—or now either, I suppose.) I actually broke my leg this way when I was five, jumping down stairs.

"It just hurts really bad," I tried to explain to Buffy the Gum Slayer, as she vandalized my face.

"Well, I can't do my job if your teeth are traveling all around the room." She pulled back with a frown.

That's when I noticed all of the blood on her blue latex gloves, my blood. I wiped the tarter sprinkles from my eyebrows, from out of my nostrils, and opened my eyes to see a bruiser of a kid, highschool aged, looking at me from a room from across the hall, half-grinning in his cut-off t-shirt. Had he witnessed the whole thing? Was he taping me with his iPhone and shooting all over the interwebs?! Why in the bloody hell didn't she close the door?

I walked out of that room to—I supposed—another room for an x-ray or an exam with the dentist, whatever thing came next. But I followed her... to the waiting room? Again? I waited for another 20 minutes among the unaware, pre-pain-stricken souls in the large lobby, my mouth sore and tasting of blood. I never left the dentist's feeling like that... cleanings were refreshing, pleasurable even. I left with a fresh coat of mint and silky smooth teeth that I rubbed over with my tongue for days. Really, folks, I've only had one cavity in my life, ONE, (humble brag) because I'm that cautious and thorough with my oral hygiene. I am so sure she didn't need to go all Kill Bill on my gums.

Best part... ready? Finally, I get called back for the exam, where I wait for another fifteen minutes for the dentist WHO COMES IN WITH HIS CELLPHONE IN HIS HAND going, "My wife called at 12:41 and left a message... Let's see what she has to say." Then, he leaves the room with his phone in his ear. WHAT?!

In total, the visit took a little over two hours for a cleaning! I just want to know what kind of treatment I would have been given had I not mentioned my friend's name. And you know what? I didn't even get a fucking toothbrush!

mt

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Here comes the sun

Poetry Month always comes at this time of year: April, when I'm weighed down with school work and coming out of (hopefully) the stark sad of winter. 

I must admit, I haven't been so inspired. 

This winter has been long and cold and snow-filled. I think we've all taken a beating, you know? Amidst all the funk of below-zero temps and incapacitating snow, my job shifted a bit and granted me more freedom to feel... that loneliness. 

I'm not trying to complain here, maybe just reminisce about the winter behind (because I'm only going on and up), but after last year's loss, I think there is a hole that I still haven't learned to fill completely. 

The good things have been monumental really: poetry readings with amazing friends and colleagues, a lovely partner who supports and understands, selling art and feeling proud for it, connecting with photography, beautiful skies and concrete, all of it. So much of it. 

The hope is in the weather breaking, the renewal of life and love and getting something back from the world. Always. 

So this note is just to breathe and digest. I hope you are all doing the same. Especially all my local peeps... We've earned it after this winter. Be solid. Hang tight. The sun is coming...


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The house across the street

I look. 

I can't help it. It's right across the street. It's a worn white house with ugly brown trim. Looking at it, I can't quite point out exactly what it is... why it looks as if it's caving in on itself. But it does. 

When I moved in, my roommate told me the story. 

A man lived there, a big man, with no family. Nobody really knew him. Middle-aged. He shot himself a year or so ago. Pretty sad. Could it be any sadder, really? And since then, it's quirks have haunted me. 

It's been only about five or six times, but sometimes a car will be there. On a Sunday. Once I saw a small gathering, a few men and a woman, purveying it from the sidewalk. Solemn. 

Sometimes, a light will be on outside. I'll run a few errands, come back, and it'll be out. I don't think it's motion-activated. I've tested that theory. Sometimes, and this is the worst, the screen door will fly open. It will stay that way for days, flapping. I don't dare close it. I've never come that close. 


A small driveway, severely sloped and stout, falls into it like an open mouth, a garage tucked neatly below. And, on a morning not too long ago (aptly during the deep freeze of this winter), I heard a gushing sound emanating from it's eerie cavern. Water line, I'm sure. And I had to call the cops.

"Who owns it? Does anyone live there?"

And somehow I was explaining my haunt to a policeman, leaving out all of my paranoia. 

I don't know what it means or if it will ever be sold or demolished. But it's part of my (nearly) everyday. And I just wanted to say it somewhere. I'm sure we all have these things. I've even dreamed about the place, the man inside who I've never met. 

Do you have something like that? Something that scares you, a constant reminder of your mortality? 

That's just one of mine. 

mt

Friday, January 3, 2014

Post-holiday meditation

The holidays are over. It's officially 2014. I know I said it last time this season rolled around, but I'm so ready for a reprieve from the bullshit. Was 2013 been good for anyone?

It sucks because there were so many good things and good people and good, good adventures to come in 2013, but it seems it was overshadowed by the worst: loss. I've abstained from writing about D, because I'm sure it is old news. But I miss her. And 2014 hit me like a bag of potatoes, square in the gut.

And then there's gram.

It is harder to watch those you love grieve than to actually grieve yourself, I think. This Christmas we spent at my uncle's—something new entirely. But it was ok. I mean, as ok as it could be for my family who desperately missed their matriarch.

On a bright note, I made many gifts this year. It wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be. I took my time and I really planned it out. Block printing is a new love of mine. I made this guy for my mom. I painted that frame too! (: I hope to get better at it... it's just so-so. But boy how fun is it! Abbie and I both have gotten into it.

...

I know you're waiting for my resolutions. Every year I railst on about all the things I want to change, how I want to be stronger, etc. Boy, do I have some resolutions. Everyone should, right? I think you have to keep growing, keep trying to grow. So by the time you're 80... you can be awesome. HAHA. I mean. (;

I did make a little doodle, but I have a real list to come. We're going to save that for another post. I still have some mad reflecting to do.

What are your resolutions? Have you reflected on the year?

Soon, kiddies. <3 p="">mt

Friday, November 29, 2013

Giving thanks and feeling cranks

In my adult years, the holidays are somehow always plagued by ailments, warring family members, work or my period. I've been secretly coveting a severe case of PMS this Thanksgiving. Good food and laughs have helped. The game Cards Against Humanity is like the devil's version of Apples to Apples... if I believed in the devil. So more like the naughtier, funnier, adult version. You can print it out for free, I believe.

To enlighten you on some of the shenanigins that took place this eve with Abbie's brother and dad and brother's girlfriend... some of the "answer" cards read as follows: "Justin Bieber," "trying to pick up girls at the abortion clinic," "Taint: grundle, fleshy fun-bridge," "Daddy issues," "inferiority complex," "Rush Limbaugh's soft, shitty body," ...ah. HAHAHA

So aside from those fun times, I've been slacking on the blog deal; honestly, it's because I can't say much on here. I refuse to speak about either of my jobs, because I mean... it is the internet and it's all up for grabs. Just frustrated with the state of things. I'll leave it at that.

About the Poem-A-Day November contest (with prompts provided by Poetic Asides on WritersDigest.com): I've been keeping up fairly well. I've been writing about strange topics that I haven't thought about in years. It's like finally realizing why your shoes have been a little sticky after miles of walking. Like you just noticed it. So you stop and find there's a piece of someone's chewed up Big Red stuck under there or something. Maybe it was time to stop and figure out what's been sticky for me—namely, things from my distant past. No one wants to confront that garbage.

Today's prompt is to write a "bird poem," whatever that might be. So, you know, if you like to write for any reason at all... consider this your reason to write today (whenever you stumble upon this blog.) Stop EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW! And write a damn bird poem, ok?

And, of course, I can't have Thanksgiving entry with some sap tangent on what I'm thankful for. There is so much to be thankful for; I wish there was more than one day a year to remind me of it. So... in the spirit of Thanksgiving:


  • I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my friends and my roommate. I'm thankful for my friends who have stood in as family, with whom I have shared countless holidays and meals and bonding time.
  • I'm thankful for warm socks and boots and soft scarves. I'm thankful for the snow that makes me feel cozier. I'm thankful for my bed and all the things in my room that I have been meticulously making and designing and "perfecting." I'm thankful for my tiny tree.
  • I'm thankful for my time. I'm thankful for the time with people that matter. I'm thankful that I got to spend time knowing someone super special, even if she passed away this year. I'm thankful that it's given me a new perspective, importance. I'm thankful that I ever met her. I'm thankful that I got to be a part of the last year and a half of her life.
  • I'm thankful for getting to know who is true this year—more than any year yet. I guess I realize how crazy my life has been, and always seems to be, really. I hope that it gets better and I can get better for everyone. I think I'm on the right track. This has been, by far, the worst year of my life, as far as tragedies and betrayals and ahhh. Just so much. And the people that you think will be there for you forever... are gone. Everyone needs to hug each other rightthissecond.
  • ...but you know what? I'm the best me I've ever been. And it's because of all this. So. Thank you. Thank you for hard times, somehow. And strength that I don't ever believe I have. And thank you for those that have helped me see things in a clearer way. My friend Kelly and lady Abbie in particular. And thank you, Mister Dexter Doots for supportive, understanding cuddles and soft paws and letting me dress you sweater vests and hankies.
  • I'm thankful for not needing anything material-wise, for being self-sufficient and for accomplishing so much in such a shitty year: finding a love, having an art show, getting a book published, sorting so much of myself out, not jumping off a bridge.... ah, for reals on that last one. I can't say enough: thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in me, everyone that has.  We'll make it through somehow. <3>


I'll stop blabbing. Maybe I had too much to drink... (;

Much love to you all,
mt
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