Monthly Archives: April 2016



Loneliness is one of the hardest things. I have friends I talk to everyday, but it’s not like someone being here with you. I knew when I moved to Vermont I would be lonely this far from home, but I thought I could handle it. I know I will deal with it, but it still brings on a major sadness.

When I first moved to Mississippi in 2000 for graduate school, I was lonely then too, but that loneliness lasted only from the time I moved until classes started. I quickly found friends and had people to hang out with on a regular basis.  Yes, there were still lonely times, but I handled it because I knew my friends were close by.

Here, it is different. I have friends at work. But beyond work, they have families and I understand that. They have their own lives and their own things to do. While l enjoy living close to the museum, I’ve considered moving to a more active town. I could live in Burlington and have an hour drive to work, or I could live in Montpelier which is only 15 minutes away.

I don’t think those moves would actually relieve my loneliness though. Plus, it would mean driving more each day, something I don’t want to do. You see, when I first moved to Mississippi, driving alleviated some of my loneliness. It took my mind off of being lonely. Driving doesn’t have the same relief it used to have.

When my friend died in a car wreck, driving long distances especially in Vermont where nearly all roads are through mountainous terrain, my anxiety rises considerably. I’ve tried driving around on Saturdays or Sundays, but at some point the anxiety usually strikes. Its severity is lessening over time, though, as I try to face my fears.

I know people are going to suggest I join some organization or another and meet new people. That however, is easier said than done. I am a shy person. It takes me time to warm up to people. That makes people think I am standoffish. I get nervous and I try, but I’m just not very good with people I don’t know.

When you are single, I guess loneliness is part of life. It will get better as I get used to being alone again. Honestly, I just wish I could go home more than once a year. It might also help if I had my cats with me. At least my cats would provide me with some companionship.

In the immortal words of Britney Spears:

My loneliness is killing me (and I)
I must confess, I still believe (still believe)
When I’m not with you I lose my mind
Give me a sign
Hit me, baby, one more time



by Nick Flynn

You do know, right,
that between the no-

longer & the still-

you are being continually
tattooed, inked

with the skulls of

you’ve ever loved—the you
& the you

& the you & the you—you don’t
sit in a chair, thumb

through a binder, pick a
design, it simply

happens each time you
bring your fingers to your face

to inhale him back into you . . .
tiny skulls, some of us are

covered. You, love, could

simply tattoo an open
door, light

pouring in from somewhere
outside, you

could make your body a door
so it appears you

(let her fill you) are made
of light.

About This Poem

“A parenthetical appears in the last couplet of this poem, an aside I have no memory writing ‘(let her fill you),’ interrupting the hermetic seal of the poem, a wind blowing through an open door, just before we leave.”—Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn is the author of My Feelings (Graywolf Press, 2015). He teaches at the University of Houston and splits his time between Houston, Texas, and Brooklyn, New York.


I had a headache all day yesterday and fell asleep last night and forgot to write a blog piece. Sorry.

23rd Psalm


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 

     he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: 

     he leadeth me in the paths of 

     righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the 

     valley of the shadow of death, 

     I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; 

     thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me 

     in the presence of mine enemies:

     thou anointest my head with oil; 

      my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 

     all the days of my life: 

     and I will dwell in the 

     house of the Lord for ever.

Psalms 23
Sometimes we just need to be reminded.

Moment of Zen: Nature


Blue v. Gray

I mentioned to my coworkers that I was trying to decide between the blue or the gray suit. One of them said I should definitely wear the blue because with my accent I might get dirty looks wearing gray (though my suit is darker than Confederate gray, it was funny nonetheless). So the blue suit it is, though I am going to wear the blue shirt with checkered tie instead of the white shirt and the striped tie. Hopefully, I will look nice enough to impress tonight. For the ceremony we are attending (it’s actually work and not all play), I will be seated at the front with other special guests. I’m not sure who the special guests will be other than me, one of my colleagues, and the wife of the speaker, but there will be two tables for special guests and I assume my colleague and I will be at the same table, at least I hope we will be. At least we aren’t being seated at the head table.

Because I will be working late into the night tonight, I won’t be going in until 1pm, so I do get to sleep late and I will have more time to get ready. I’ll take my suit with me and change once the museum closes for the day. We will have about an hour to get ready and then be at the parade grounds for the beginning of the ceremony. I’ll have my equipment set up as soon as I go in today to record the interviews and then all should be set. Wish me luck and let’s hope that everything goes well.

This and That


Well, my visit to the dentist went well. I had some pain once the numbness wore off but not too bad. Also, the tooth looks great. I was expecting an ugly amalgam (silver) filling but he did a composite filling to make it look like there was no filling at all. I wonder how my insurance will react to that. When I looked at my policy, they cover composite fillings only for anterior teeth and this was my far back tooth. He didn’t ask and I didn’t mention it because I’ve never had a dentist do a composite filling on a back tooth before. I trust this dentist knew what he was doing, since I’m sure he deals with my insurance company the most. I do work for the town’s largest employer. I will worry about that when the bill comes.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions about Montreal. While this will be a one day trip, I plan to come up by myself and at least spend the weekend at another time. I’ve been waiting for winter to be over before I did too much traveling.

I’ve gotten better about driving. Since my friend died in an auto accident, I’ve had several panic attacks while driving, but that has slowly gotten better. When I drove to Massachusetts and Connecticut for work, I did just fine, so I’m hoping that’s one side effect of that awful tragedy that is getting better. I think it also helps that I am on an anti-anxiety medication.

Friday night, I have a special dinner to attend. It is one in which I am required to wear a suit and I can’t decide which one I should wear: the gray one or the blue one. I’m leaning more towards the gray, but I also like the blue. Which would you pick?



In July, my mom is bringing my eight year old niece up to visit me. One of the things we wanted to do was to drive up to Montreal for the day. None of us have ever been to Canada and I’d love to be able to take my niece somewhere and let her see something new. I know that I have several people who read this blog that live in Montreal, and I’d like their advice. We will only really be in Montreal for the afternoon and I’d love any suggestions on a place to eat lunch and things we should see.
In other news, finally my dental appointment is today. I don’t think I’ve ever been so ready for a tooth to be fixed. I hate going to the dentist, but I’m tired of the pain and being careful what and how I eat. So, as much discomfort as I feel going to the dentist, I’m glad it will soon be taken care of. 

Unusual Way


Unusual Way
by Maury Yeston

In a very unusual way one time I needed you.
In a very unusual way you were my friend.
Maybe it lasted a day, maybe it lasted an hour.
But, somehow it will never end.

In a very unusual way I think I’m in love with you.
In a very unusual way I want to cry.
Something inside me goes weak,
Something inside me surrenders.
And you’re the reason why,
You’re the reason why

You don’t know what you do to me,
You don’t have a clue.
You can’t tell what its like to be me looking at you.
It scares me so, that I can hardly speak.

In a very unusual way, I owe what I am to you.
Though at times it appears I won’t stay, I never go.
Special to me in my life,
Since the first day that I met you.
How could I ever forget you,
Once you had touched my soul?
In a very unusual way,
You’ve made me whole.


I came across this song the other day when listening to John Barrowman songs. The music video below is scenes from the movie “From Beginning To End.” The song itself is from the musical “Nine” by Maury Yeston.

I don’t often post songs for my poetry Tuesday posts, but this song really gripped my heart. It reminded me of the friend of mine that I lost. The first thing I thought when I heard this song was to send it to him, but of course I couldn’t do that. We had an extremely close but somewhat unusual friendship. So much of this song described our friendship. As the song ends:

How could I ever forget you,
Once you had touched my soul?
In a very unusual way,
You’ve made me whole.



I can’t believe this but I am homesick. Well, I guess I can believe it because the main reason that I am homesick is for my kitties. When my old cat Victoria lived with my parents while I was in Mississippi, I got to see her every four months or so, but the way it is now, I won’t get to see my girls but once a year when I go home for Christmas.  They will barely know me when I go home. If they remember me at all.

Also, my tooth really has been hurting today. If I was in Alabama, it would already be taken care of. I don’t like having to wait on a dentist like a normal person.  I like getting my dental work done when I need it done and not having to wait. I have a close family member that works for a dentist, so I always got in quickly for emergencies, with very little time waiting, if any at all.

Every once in a while, I do get to be just plain old whiny. It’s the kind of mood I am in. Work has been a little awkward lately with some things going on beyond my control but it still makes it awkward at work. When it’s awkward at work, it makes me not even want to go in, and I really love my job. I hope things get back to normal soon. I also dread that one of my coworkers is going to be gone for two weeks.  She’s the other southerner at work and the one I can relate the most to.

Anyway, things will get better. To prove it, I posted the picture above. I absolutely love this picture. It came from the blog Another Country, which is one of my favorite blogs for pictures.  I use his pictures quite often. If you speak French, and I know some of you do, you’ll get even more out of many of the posts than I do.