Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It was Christmas Eve, Babe...

Some friends of ours put out a Christmas CD every year. You can listen to and download the songs for free at The Musician is the Elvis Costello voice on Dave Mussen's song "Reindeer Power", which offers a solution to the energy crisis. (TM is also about to finish up some of his own holiday songs, which I hope to share soon.)

Meanwhile, the weather keeps changing, from snow to blizzard to slush to rain and freezing rain with high wind. The east side of our street has never been plowed, and can't be parked upon, though I did call today to request a plow.

The wind is howling at present. I am steaming from a bath, have wine and brie and brownies. Hope you are happy and warm, too.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Herbs on Sunday

I made an Etsy shop, where you can purchase my book, Letter, or my many herbal tinctures and oils. Thanks for looking.


The very cold, dry air made my lungs ache today--I must say, I often feel the ghost of the bronchitis I had last winter. I self-tested and then took a few (less than 3) drops each of elecampane tincture and New England aster tincture. The distress eased; I was inclined to take a few deep breaths.

All day since, my lungs have felt the need to expand--like muscles which long to be stretched. I'm doing as much deep breathing as I can, to satisfy them. It's an odd, but not unpleasant, feeling.

After getting off work at midnight, I made myself an herbal foot bath. It featured salt, chamomile flowers (which I grew myself), lavender oil. Perhaps best of all, I rubbed my warm and rested feet with ginger oil (which I made myself). Feels terribly nice, especially on this brittle cold day (-4 F windchill as I came home tonight).


Thinking a lot about making things. I have been cooking a lot, but I miss gathering and working with plants. I feel drawn to sewing, as I often do in winter. Is it time to get a machine, take a class? Perhaps.

Remembering my childhood dollhouse and all the ways it inspired me to create: making clothes, furniture, other things for it, and years of writing novels about the characters, years before I heard the word fanfiction.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I grew the oregano myself.

Crusty Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Onions, Baked with Olive Oil and Garlic (from Jeanne Lemlin)

This gets caramelized and so good. Great cold in a tortilla with salad dressing, too. Zamfir thinks cheese should be added. Feel free! Serves 4.

6 medium (2 lbs) potatoes, peeled, halved, very thinly sliced
3 large onions, halved vertically and very thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz can plum tomatoes, drained & chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup fruity olive oil
3 Tbs water
2 tsp dried oregano

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. In a small bowl, beat together the tomato paste, olive oil, water, oregano, salt & pepper. Pour over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat well. Spread the mixture in a 12 x 7 x 2-inch baking dish or other 2 1/2-quart ovenproof shallow dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake
30 minutes. Remove the foil (carefully!) and bake 45 minutes longer, or until the potatoes are tender.


I grew the oregano myself. I will grow more next year.

Herb Patch, July 2008Indoor garden

I really yearn for a garden which is permanent, which is mine, where I can have a perrennial herb patch. And maybe grow some asparagus.

It was truly wintry here today and I am full of green dreams.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Milk vs. milk

I am looking forward to seeing Milk, which comes out here next Friday.

Yesterday at breakfast I said to The Musician, "I wish Milk was out." And he got the milk out of the fridge, sort of disgruntled, and said, "Your wish is granted."

We didn't understand each other for a full minute, and then we laughed and laughed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tinctures for sale....

I have many tinctures and oils ready to sell or trade. Tinctures, $10 for 1 oz; oils 2oz for $12; $3 shipping. PayPal is okay. Email or comment with questions.

Tinctures (in vodka)

New England aster
Rose petal
Violet flower
Violet Leaf
Yellow Dock

Oils (in olive oil)

Ginger salve (ginger-infused olive oil, beeswax)
Elyse salve (comfrey, plantain, SJW, calendula, olive oil, beeswax)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Day With A Monster

That was my 400th post!

Sometimes I remember that blogging can be fun.

For your reading pleasure, here is my book, A Day With a Monster.

A Day With a Monster cover
I learned a new word today: lagom. It's a Swedish word which encapsulates the concept "just the right amount". A precept of mine.

Life is not in balance lately, because so much energy goes to working. There's no question that I require the income, but there's also the empty feeling which comes from being on the clock so much. A lot of the time, I stay home and cook.

Pasta with red pepper, pesto, squash tian

This past week, I did get out a bit. I caught the end of Cold Turkey, the John Lennon tribute at Nietzsche's.

Party Squad Experience

Since I had to work until midnight, I did not perform, although I thoroughly enjoyed the sing-along after. I heard Brian Eno say recently that singing with other people is one of the best things you can do.

"Well, there are physiological benefits, obviously: You use your lungs in a way that you probably don't for the rest of your day, breathing deeply and openly. And there are psychological benefits, too: Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness. And then there are what I would call "civilizational benefits." When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That's one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue."

On Saturday, after a wild-goose chase through BECPL microfilm for a non-existent obituary,

Party Squad Experience

The Musician and I went to the Grand Opening of the new Burchfield-Penney Art Center (warning: sound), a 31-hour event (PDF). I was pleased to go, happy to be part of such a sweet move up for Buffalo and art. As I felt about the new Erie Canal terminus, it was well-done, feels like something from another city. (By which I mean, I think, easy to navigate, pleasant, not worn in yet, not broken, not rusted.)

Burchfield-Penney inside

It also felt rather like Wegman's, where you see everyone you ever knew in your life, but don't really chat with them. I saw folks I knew from probably every decade of my existence. It's my town.

And then it was time to get the hell out of there and have a Manhattan at The Place.

Tom & Jerry party

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Backward poem: Haircut at 14

Tears leap from the floor
back into my eyes,
long tresses of hair
re-attach to my head
I step away from my friend
with the hair cutting shears,
I step back into my girlhood,
where I don’t have to worry
about how the world sees me. Eyes dry,
clear, full of hope.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumnal Equinox

Egret on Squaw Island

These first fall days are some of the best "summer" weather there is. The sky deepens its blue, the air gets nippy at night, and I love it all.

I woke up feeling groggy and crampy today, but I have to acknowledge that today was indeed a day of many blessings from the Goddess. And I honor Her.

Today I did some end of season gardening. I clipped age to make wands. I dug and tinctured yellow dock root. There's a few more peppers coming, and a little more broccoli. My second sowing of spinach is growing slowly, but it's healthy. I collected some elderberries the other day near Squaw Island, and saw that egret (heron) there.

I renewed my library card, and got a present from Smitty. I was supposed to teach 2 classes tonight, but only ended up having to teach one. I sometimes dread library instruction, because it lacks creativity and because one only meets once with a class, there's little opportunity to get to know the students. Still, tonight's class was good, and I got a rush from the connection I was able to make.

Wednesday night, I'll be hosting the Buffalo Pets in Conversation event, along with poet Douglas Manson.

With: Celia White, Michael Sikkema, Gary Earl Ross, Sherry Robbins,
Alex Mead, Douglas Manson, Jimmie Gilliam, Nava Fader, Michael
Basinski, Ansie Baird

Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 7pm.
Bon Vivant. 1862 Hertel Avenue

Doug Manson and I will foster a conversation which will explore the
following areas:

--making a living
--identity (in activity)
--favorite stories

Come if you can.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

On the Back on a Szechuan Eggplant Recipe from Vegetarian Times, 1994 or so

(it was not quite a poem, still is not)

I live in this city and never stop moving except to write things down. I live in tis city & it’s making my head hurt today or maybe it’s just the season. I feel stoned & anxious but I don’t miss anybody. I don’t. Separate conversations. I live in this city and the red leaves a good luck. The sirens don’t surprise me. I wanted my head to be cleaned by the wind. I want all change to be for the better. I live in this city & I feel less safe than usual, as if it were a sign of age. I live in this city and the kid at the next table is just learning what a street person is; she has never seen one before. Why doesn’t he get an apartment? Doesn’t he sometimes sleep in a store/indoors? It is time to go home. No one is (cut off) don’t say hello to the people I actually recognize. Having this choice = home.

Coin in the cup. Belly up

at the bar.

What time is it.

Conversation, Celia.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where the Urban Dream Life Is Going Cheap

If you live in Buffalo, or NYC, you maybe have seen this New York Magazine article already: "Where the Urban Dream Life Is Going Cheap: What could possibly make someone want to leave New York and move to Buffalo?"It tells some stories of New Yorkers who bought the dream of life in Buffalo, and a snippet about my neighbor, Newell, who is pure Buffalonian. It's good reading, and reflects a lot of things I've lived and seen.

I do love it here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008



There was outlet mall day: I got belts and shoes, and Mighty Taco.

And there was bike ride, park, Up Series day. I made pizza with sausage, onion, mushroom.

Today was errand and chore day of staycation, and totally lovely. I did laundry, gardened, got groceries and wine, ad the car washed, and read half a book. Smitty came over and gave me a copy of her new book, which is dedicated to me, in words which...well, make me cry. It's...a testament to our friendship and mutual understanding. And I'm honored by this gesture.


Oh! And I got a lead some sweet plans/dreams I have...more later.

I made pesto, I watched the sun set, and I have a case of Checkered Cab on hand.

It truly feels like a blessed day.

School starts next week!

hi my name is

I got some Tupperware and some almonds and I'm ready for reference! I snuck into work today to check out my ILL and CNY books. Library life is sweet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lighter than Air

I got my hair cut:

And I have things to get rid of: some calico (swaths big and small) and fabric in starry/astrological themes, bedding for a twin sized bed, some crafting supplies (fabric stiffening stuff, 60 white pipe cleaners, barrette clips, googly eyes). Do you need these? Email me.


Summer seems suspiciously over. The garden is raggedy, basil is bolting, and I bought an aster for fall color. I planted some spinach seeds for second crop. Fall library hours commence in two weeks. A cool tingle in the air pleases me.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Things I've Been Eating and Enjoying

Last week, I made this and could not stop eating it. I will make this all year long; a new favorite.

Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad

- serves 4 -

Adapted from Pork & Sons by St├ęphane Reynaud


2 1/4 cups green lentils, preferably Puy, the French green kind
2 links Italian sausage, about 1/2 pound
1/3 cup chopped bacon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Balsamic vinegar to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Slim bunch of chives, chopped


1. Simmer lentils with sausage in plenty of water and a bouquet garni (French for "garnished bouquet"; optional), for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through. (Other types of lentils will require less cooking time.)

2. In the meantime, saute the bacon over medium heat until browned but not crisp.

3. Combine the Dijon, olive oil, shallots, chives, and bacon with its fat in a small jar or bowl. Shake well or whisk, then add the balsamic vinegar little by little to form a vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Once cooled, slice the sausage. Toss the lentils with the vinaigrette and top with the sliced sausage. Finish with a little chopped shallot, chive, and the hazelnuts.

Right now I have this in the oven, and it smells heavenly:

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

To shred the zucchini use a box grater - most micro planes are too fine, you want shredded zucchini, not mush. Feel free to play around with the "add-in" ingredients - for example, use whatever chopped herbs you like. I had dill on hand, and I like how it tastes with summer squash, so dill it was. I suspect anything from chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or chives, to spices, chopped spinach, or corn could work here. Also, when I have the time and inclination I'll drain the ricotta through cheesecloth to get even more moisture out of the cake, but to be honest, most times I won't bother. Lastly, I use a springform pan here, but you could use an equivalent baking dish or deep tart pan as well.

2 cups zucchini, unpeeled & grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
zest of one lemon
2 large eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
drizzle of olive oil

Preheat oven to 325F degrees, racks the middle. Butter/oil a 7-inch springform pan.

In a strainer, toss the shredded zucchini with the salt and let sit for ten minutes. Now aggressively squeeze and press out as much moisture as you can. Set aside.

In the meantime, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, shallots, garlic, dill and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and continue mixing until well combined. Now stir in the shredded zucchini. Fill the springform pan with the ricotta mixture and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for sixty minutes. If there is any moisture left on top of the cake at this point, carefully use a bit of paper towel to dab it off. Now sprinkle with the goat cheese and return to the oven for another 20 -30 minutes or until the goat cheese is melted and the cake barely jiggles in the center (it will set up more as it cools).

At this point, if the cake is baked and set, but the top isn't quite golden, I'll zap it with the broiler (just about a minute) to get a bit more color on top. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes, then release the cake from its pan. Cool completely, serve at room temperature drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a few sprigs of dill.

Serves 8.


I've also been eating homemade tollhouse cookies (I like the texture from shortening, but I do think butter's flavor more profound), zucchini muffins, purslane from the sidewalk, frozen gyoza, and halvah.

I also ate a variety of on-the-road food on my way to Michigan and back, nothing spectacular. I went to Auburn Hills/Oxford for an herb conference, where I got to hear herbalists (Althea Northage-Orr and jim mcdonald) in action, which was all I wanted. Very inspiring. I'm not sure yet where I'm going on this plant path, but I am on it for sure.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Local Poet

I biked across the Peace Bridge today with Heather, following her lead all the way.

On the road home

We went through big winds, customs, and windy peaceful bike path up to Crescent Beach. We were blessed by butterflies, free lemonade, Crescent Variety. The wind made the water choppy and the sand time chilly, but it was completely great.

Buffalo in the distance

Home to Hendricks and homegrown cucumber (thanks, Denise), pesto and aloe, chat and blather.

Light on Lap

And I wanted to share this, a profile that Buffalo Rising published of me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shine a Little Love

The rain has paused and the birds are singing. It is 7:20pm.

I am getting prepared for my Journal Writing Workshop at the Ellicottville Women's Weekend Saturday. 4pm. Come on by!

On Hulu in another window, I am playing The Original Latin Divas of Comedy, which is excellent. Do you know Hulu? I hang out there and watch The Daily Show and The Addams Family (snap snap). It is good web.
The Original Latin Divas of Comedy

My camera arrived today and I have been having fun discovering it.

Zucchini blossom

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Slice of June

Nobody I know seems to be going to the Allentown Arts Fest this year.

My camera died and I am awaiting the arrival of my new Sony DSC-W120. Excited!

I dreamed last night that Nietzsche's had been whitewashed and turned into an ice cream parlor, linoleum counter replacing the gorgeous dark wood bar. I woke myself up crying.

Today is a year since my father passed away. I spent time this week making Cornish pasties and listening to Anthony Newly.

Besides the camera, I also bought a TLC plant light, and I am interested to see what it will do for the few things I find challenging to grow.

It is very hot today and the garden seems to be loving it.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Plastic table bouquet

My camera is not working right now, and I really miss it. I've been envying The Musician's new tiny Canon, but my clunky Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-P72 has been a true pal. One more memory stick for the road....

Today I would have photographed the bouquet I made from yard flowers this evening: lunaria, buttercup, sage flowers. My book, Leap of Faith, by Queen Noor of Jordan.

My bangs and eyebrows, and the sort of bruisy look of my eyelids.

My first ever batch of hummus, with romaine lettuce I grew myself.

All my garden needs documenting--the cold Spring has passed and everything is raring: jalapeno pepper starting, dormant chamomile sprouting, transplanted yarrow taking root. I started some yarrow tincture, bought brandy to do skullcap, and tossed the violet oil (for tinnitus) which got murky. Zucchini are huge already, broccoli stronger and stronger, and spinach seedlings crackling along.

Funny to miss pictures so much, poet me. Poet me reads with Kazim tomorrow at Rust Belt at 7. Poet me re-read typewriter poems from 1983 and was horrified. I kept them though. I realized that I read even poetry and definitely fiction for its emotional content, and because I really wanted to know what peole experienced and felt and thought and how this changed. Also for information I could use every day.

It is strange, as librarian and novelist and poet, to admit I get all of this from the internet now.

Now, please put up more pictures and thoughts and experiences and changes on the web for me to sip, please.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New Erie Canal

"We now have a worthy, history-themed, downtown public waterfront space that will get even better as shops and restaurants follow the crowds. Folks strolled on the boardwalk Monday, lounged on the grass and read signs explaining the site’s history." Full story here.

Erie Canal Commercial Slip

I was very impressed with the place. It reminded me of Jack London Square in Oakland, and I even learned some new things about the Erie Canal, no small feat as I've been teaching about it for the past three years.

Erie Canal, Scott and Marine Drives

Bike racks were available. Parents and kids were wandering around. The Sahlen's hot dogs sold at a nearby stand were a treat, too.

A job very well done.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A few literary notes....

Just Buffalo has fired up a community literary calendar, which is great on its own, but best of all for me, it now boasts an RSS feed! Enjoy.

Jack Shifflett, former Buffalo poet, was in town this week visiting from Missoula, Montana...

And Kazim Ali, who also graced the poetry scene here ten years ago, will be launching his second book at Rust Belt Books on Saturday, June 7, at 7pm, and I will be reading along with him.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm pleased to announce the fruit of a long-awaited collaboration...Michael Morgulis has made a broadside for my poem, "If I Were."

These will be for sale at my reading at Tru-Teas, 810 Elmwood, on Sunday, May 4, at 4pm. (There will also be an open reading for those who wish to participate.)

Please come!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Make your own at Speech Bubbler.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Well, thanks.

That award I mentioned being mentioned for? Apparently I won. I couldn't attend the party to find out/receive my plaque, because I was busy training for a new job and generally freaking out with stress, but it is nice to hear through the grapevine.

Thanks, Artvoice readers and poetry fans everywhere.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Best of Buffalo

Everywhere I go today, I've been greeted with, "Congratulations!" For the third year in a row, I've been nominated by Artvoice readers as one of the city's best poets. Truly, it is an honor to be on the list. Winners will be announced at the party Friday, and in next week's Artvoice. (I won the award last year.) Thank you, Buffalo!

Sunday, April 06, 2008


My poem, "Letter" appears on today's poetry page in the Buffalo News. (Please note, the online version does not attempt to preserve original line breaks of them poem. I've complained about this a few times; you can, too!)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

GNE coverage

For me, truly, this is wish come true. I just wish I could get my old handle (RedWitch) back.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Butter Lamb Meme

I hereby note the emergence of, I think, the first significant Buffalo web meme: The Butter Lamb.

Buffalo Rising (see comments, and comments, and keep looking) and Flickr (last year)

Do you know the butter lamb? It comes in many guises.


Tonight I've been enjoying the Anne Waldman and Tina LeMarque Denison interviews at Future Primitive, and geeking out over my Google Map of Asheville, NC, making my plans to visit there more detailed.


Definitely in a period of reassessment, particularly in regard to work and money. I have a Master's degree and live very near the poverty line. I miss using some of my deeper, more elaborate, more technical skills. I am looking around for a direction.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I bought a flower for my hat.

New flower

On Leap Day, I took the dog to Front Park in a light snow, and we ran into Beaufort there, with her Willy and her Sam. The dogs perambulated B. and I talked herbs, gardens, dreams.

Since the bronchitis, I've been staying at home, pondering, more than going out. I long for Spring and long walks. Will start seeds soon.

I read Cormac McCarthy's The Road, blocking out Dumbo showing on tv for the Pearl. I just can't handle Dumbo. Post-apocalyptic story with sad ending? Yes, as long as I don't have to see elephants crying.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine (for J.)

in late winter wind
on branch, bark rubbed raw,
sparrow waits and shivers.
in day's single shaft of light
comes friend, flying,
to warm sweet sparrow heart.

they sing.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Lennon tribute videos are up!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Books for Sale

There are only a few more copies of Letter available: 3 at Talking Leaves, Main Street, and a couple at Rust Belt Books.

However, I have discovered that some of my out-of-print chapbooks are still available at Talking Leaves: Lit(1999?), Fevers (very early work), and Cusp (1992).

Next, I think I'll publish some fiction.