For Yael, when you find me.

You search my name on Google and find it.

Everything I write.

All my heartbeats and songs and moments when I cannot speak.

And you hug me and look at me with awe.

How do you do it? you ask, and I see a fire light behind your eyes.

I do not tell you about this place where my words are too hot to bear my name.

I know you’ll get here one day and find me.

I know that when you do, you will see something you always understood and you will feel a tenderness you are too young to bear.

I want you to be ready for that.

So I shift a bit and let the curtain down to give you room to burn.

I see your words, filling up the space around you.

I see your words flying through your brain as you retreat to a place where thoughts are loud and muted in a kaleidoscope of feeling you are not yet familiar with.

I follow the arc of your heart as it expands too wide and shuts tight and cautiously learns a rhythm set to wonder.

You are finding something of your own.

You are authoring a story and I am a step behind.

Too far behind to catch you when your pages wrap around you and you can not breathe.

Too far behind to wipe the tears you dry yourself.

Too far behind to stop your teeth from pressing deep down into your skin as you scratch the surface, looking for more.

Too far behind to find your beat and fall into the story you are writing on your own.

How does she do it? I whisper as I wade through embers I used to flame.

And the answers whispering through the wisps are old and new and still too far away.

I am Writer

I have been pushing off my destiny for years.

I have been afraid of it – afraid of the walls that could close in on me if I ever drew a line around me – that I would somehow end up with wobbly ink straightening out to form a box that would snap shut and slowly compress me down to a shape I would resent.

I avoided my destiny because my seventh grade English teacher told me it was mine and she also criticized my hastily penned assignments and told me to take things seriously.

I didn’t learn the rules well so I thought I couldn’t play.

My commas don’t go in the correct places and my sentences run ahead of me almost as fast as the thoughts that spin through my ever-churning brain. My words read the way I think I say them: randomly strung together, coming off as less intelligent and definitely uneducated. I am a high school drop-out. We don’t become writers.

Lately, all I’ve been doing is thinking in text and I’m stuck with all these thoughts and ideas and words strung together and I have a burning desire to let it out all the time.

Writers are writers because they write.

Maybe I won’t get paid and maybe no one will ever recognize me as a writer but if I write; I am a writer.

I sit and I write and I don’t know what I will write before I write it.

There’s beauty in that.

Sometimes it is brutal and raw and makes me gasp when I read it back. Sometimes I surprise myself with something profound. Always I know that whatever it is I have written may be read and it fills me with a sort of excited dread that maybe someone out there will peer into my soul and see me.

When you see me, know that it is my destiny to be seen in this way…it is my destiny to rip my heart out for you to devour…it is my destiny to write and have my words soar out into the abyss for your amusement…your shame…your utter misunderstanding.

How I Stood Up To AMI

I can’t write about AMI magazine and the Weberman case.

I can’t go there.

But I wanted you to know – anyone who knows me and understands me – that I sent them an e-mail today.

Please remove me from your mailing list.  I do not wish to write for a magazine such as yours – regardless of your twisted bias on the Weberman case, it did not belong in a ‘family magazine’, was an embarrassment to you and an insult to countless victims of sexual abuse and molestation.  I will no longer be purchasing AMI and never want my name associated with it again.

I had mixed emotions.  On one hand, they published my writings…validated my skill…on the other hand….they invalidated everything I believe in.

And when I pressed send, something rolled over my chest and I wanted to scream but no sound would come out so I sat and I sank into myself and fell apart as I thought of what all this meant.

I know people think I am outspoken and open about things.

I know people assume I don’t hold back.

But I know what I can’t ever say.

And I know the stand I wish to take is denied me for reasons I WON’T say.

I know I am protecting someone.

That is my choice.

It is the right choice for me.

But in some ways, I wish I could have pointed a finger and accused.

So I can only take a stand for other people.

And I just did, in my own little way.

And it was scary.