yesterday: i didn't sit in my office to write. or at my kitchen table. or in any of my other usual writing places. instead. i sat in my dining room. on the floor. beneath the window. in the warm blaze of sun rays streaming through the curtains. back straight up against the wall. legs bent at the knees. journal and pen in hand. and i wrote. and i wrote. and i wrote. and when i had finished writing all that my thoughts were willing to give i cracked my knuckles and made a conscious decision, as i always do, to go back and read what i had written. and as i read. i realized: where we are affects how we receive. how we perceive. and what we deliver.



last night
i winked
at the stars
and they
(oh stars
how could
they not?)
winked back



manipulation is as old as creation
and how vibrantly it still survives!
powerful, not by its own devices
but by those who keep it alive

though the tragedy is not that manipulation lives
but that it believes itself a winning card
or maybe those who manipulate
believe themselves the winners
the scorers, the smart

insults to the intelligence
i don't appreciate them
i don't receive
i don't indulge
i don't oblige

without a moment's pause
without a second thought
i discard



night dreams come 
in unexpected inhalations

i swallow them
i choke on them

they impose

i bow down
i don't rise

they are my jailers
they hold the keys


daydreams come
in expected exhalations

i propel them
i expel them

they oblige

i lift them
i drop them

they are my puppets
i pull the strings



sit down
rest with me
inside a silent moment
and let your soul
rest and linger
in silence



explosion of thought
eruption of imagination 
a peace… yes, peace
that’s it... that's it
a peace that is 
here one moment
but broken the next
the disturbance of dry days 
parched... yes, parched
like desert sands 
when the mind is blank 
or lacking stimuli
those things that 
pull. trigger. shoot. 
a thought into existence 
out of the stagnant womb 
where it rests. and lingers.
and festers. and rots.



it’s immediate 
this desire
this urgency
this pressure 
to create
it’s perfect 
i see
i feel
i write
i manipulate



last night…
i opened a silver box
filled with old
black and white photos
yellowed by time
there were no digitals
back in the day
i went through the box
photo by photo
but there was one photo
of you and me
a photo so old
and bent and torn
about the edges
and almost sepia with age
a photo where you were
doing something funny
because you wanted
to make me laugh
and i was laughing
because the laughing
was good
and innocent
and real
and i held that photo
in the palm of my hand
like it was a holy relic
and i thought to myself,
that was a moment
in which i loved you



i lodge myself
between your ribs
beneath your heart
inside your gut
can you feel me there?

you might not know
that much about love
so let me tell you this

if i don't hurt
like a blunt blade
thrust into your vitals
then what you feel
is not love, my love



today. i came home early from work. intentionally. maybe it was an act of rebellion. i like to think of it as an act of self-preservation.

i came home. removed the dress pants and the heels and the earrings and the rings. jumped into my comfy clothes. went into my kitchen… my safe haven. because in my kitchen… i can hide from anyone… anything.

even in writing... i can’t hide.
even in fiction... i can’t hide.

everything i write comes from inside my mind, imprinted with the breath of my thought.

my thoughts… my words… are truths. but bread… is something else.

take one glass bowl and add warm water. sprinkle some yeast into the water and wait until the yeast foams. add the flour and sugar and start to mix the warm slop with your fingers. roll it up into a ball and knead the hell out of it. put the dough back in the bowl and drizzle it with some olive oil. cover the bowl with a towel and wait… wait... for that dough to rise. and while you’re waiting… you can read a silly book (only a silly one)… or take a nap… or watch a chick flick. and every few minutes… maybe… you can peek at your dough through the glass bowl and see how much it’s risen. because the sight of that dough inflating is almost… almost… like having a handmade bonbon inside your mouth. though you don’t want to peek too too often… because a watched pot will never boil, right? at any rate, do what you will while you wait but at all costs… do not write. do not make your mind work. the whole idea is to give your thought some rest. and once that dough is as big as a beer belly… go to town!

and a few hours later… you’re at your dinner table… chewing and gnawing on those parts of your soul that you were discarding when you were kneading that dough… when you were killing your arms… your hands… your fingers… killing the thoughts that needed to be strangled. because… they were trying to strangle you.

i write… to examine my mind.
i cook… to purge my soul.

and the more there is to purge… the more food ends up on the table.

and so, tonight: crusty bread… arugula salad… fennel au gratin… braised mushrooms… spatchcocked cornish hens… rise pilaf… and strawberry tarts.

but… back up. while i kneaded and stirred and chopped and split and diced and rubbed and stuffed… and purged… the hour grew late… dusk arrived… and then night. and in came my husband jingling his keys and saying, what smells so delicious? aren’t you cooking up a storm! and when we sat at the table with all the food laid out in front of us, he said, what are we going to do with all this food, nevine? and i said, we’re going to eat it. because food… especially food consumed in the company of loved ones… is solace. not only for the belly. but for the soul. the purged soul. purged… and empty… and needing to be refilled.

and given that so much purging had needed to be done, today… one short afternoon following a long day of work would never have sufficed. so, i told them… at work… i said, i have a personal emergency to attend to. and… did i lie?

ME is a personal emergency.
and ME will not wait, anymore.



if i wait for you 
to make me happy
i will be waiting... 
and waiting... 
and waiting... 



there are days
where happiness
from nowhere
like a pulse
in my vein
and i walk with it
as it leads me
i don’t know where
i don’t know why
my surroundings
and i am
inside a golden moment
of molten joy
that drowns
the black-rimmed doubt
in the shadows
of this
my glimmering place



my eyes are glass windows through which i see… and they are large… wide open… and clean.

but... someone comes along... with a handful of rocks… and an intent to shatter my windows.

and i know that if my windows were to shatter… i would see no more. 

but… just because i can’t see… doesn’t mean that what’s there to be seen... no longer exists. 

and if it exists… but i can’t see it with my eyes…

i will hear it in my ears…
i will taste it on my tongue…
i will smell it in my nose…
i will touch it with my fingers…
i will clasp it in my hand… 
tuck it into the empty sockets where my glass windows used to be… 
and i will say to the one with the rocks… 
i dare you to come and take what’s mine.

and i will laugh inside myself… because they do not know… nor will i tell them...

my glass eyes were cloistered rooms… but my empty sockets are open sky.



do i want to be a man?

this question was on my mind all day, triggered by a situation i observed in the hall between classes. picture this:

a girl is speed-walking to her next class. she drops her binder. and papers… pencils… photos… are scattered everywhere. a boy stops. puts his binder on the ground. and starts to help the girl pick up her stuff and put everything back together. i join them. and, a sharpener… a couple of pens… a couple of sheets of paper later… the girl has everything back inside her binder… and she’s ready to head to her next class. she starts to stand up… loses her balance… and the binder goes tumbling… again.

the girl begins to cry. the boy stops… frozen. he stares at her face… rapt. he has a look of such anguish on his face. and the girl is crying… with abandon. what’s the matter? i ask her. i’m gonna be late for my next class, and this will be my third tardy so i’ll get detention again and my parents are gonna get me in real big trouble! yes. a dilemma, for her. besides... who wants to stay after school for an hour and a half with the ogress from outer space… the one with the beady eyes and hair that looks like it’s been held in place by fluffed up egg whites? not me, for sure. don’t worry. i’ll write you a pass. now, stop crying. leave your binder here and go wash your face, i tell her.

and that was the end of that part of the deal.

but the boy. he’s the one who really caught my eye… and my mind. the look on his face was… beautiful. it’s not that i reveled in his anguish. oh, no! it’s just that he stopped what he was doing… didn’t think twice about being late for class and getting into trouble, himself. he automatically did what he thought was right.. he stopped to help a girl with her mess. and that… to me… was… gallant.

gallantry is almost non-existent, nowadays. in fact, i think the word probably sounds archaic to most people, and i really think it’s on its way to becoming obsolete. but, i like a boy who’s gallant… because… he reminds me that i'm a girl.

in this day and age, where women talk about wanting to be “men’s equals,” i baulk at such statements! i don’t want to be a man’s equal. sure, i want to have equal rights as a man… in terms of work… and social dynamics… and pay… and all those other things we have rights to… but that’s not the same thing as being a man’s equal. underneath the straight-lacedness of a business suit or a collared shirt and dress pants with my badge being my jewelry… i… am… a… girl. i beam inside my heart when my husband opens the car door for me… or pulls out my chair at a restaurant. i burn with love and joy when he comes home with flowers… not because there's an occasion… but because i was thinking about you. imagine me coming home one day with flowers for my husband!

i’m quite content with my husband washing the cars while i cook dinner for the two of us. no, i don’t want to get my polished fingernails all busted and grimy with car oil and mud. but i’ll stick my fingers in dough, anytime!!!

in moments of desperation, i feel like some women are losing their grip on their femininity. like i said, i can have my rights and my entitlements. i have a job and an income and i am independent and successful and happy. but still… because i’m a true girl… if you’re a man… i’ll always want you to be gallant… i’ll always want you to open the car door for me, thank you very much. and i will never forget you if you do. because a man who's gallant... is a rare gem!



i caress you
like the sun caresses a lake at dawn
you kiss my lingering half-smile
and the shy wrinkles around my eyes
they were not always there, i say
and you say, we gave them life together

and now, like two teenagers
we giggle about our impending age
as though it were a hidden blessing



this morning. a vivid memory: when i was six, my parents took me to paris for the first time. we checked into a very chic hotel on the very chic ave. victor hugo, and the first thing i wanted to do was explore. my first stop in exploring a hotel room or suite is always the bathroom… because i've always loved baths.

i walked into a nice and inviting setting… large white towels… small bottles of colorful liquids on the sink and by the tub… and two large terry robes. i decided that i wanted to enjoy a bubble bath using some of the enticing-looking gel sitting in a basket on the edge of the tub. i plugged up the tub… turned on the hot and cold water taps… opened the bubble bath gel bottle… and poured the contents into the tub. and i sat there and watched as the mirror began to steam up… and the bubbles to rise… and then… dip!... i was inside. yum!

afterwards, i wrapped myself up in one of the too-many-sizes-too-big-for-me robes and went back into the room.

i sat on the edge of the bed. i remember feeling antsy… like any child of six would feel… antsy and wanting to do something with my idle hands. i noticed a wall-mounted radio… basically a speaker with buttons programmed to play different stations… nailed to the wall. i turned on the radio. i don’t remember what was playing… the singer… the song… i don’t remember. but i do remember this: bending down to look through the slotted front of the speaker… and seeing… in a childhood fugue of imagination… the singer… the band… the stage… the glimmer… the glamour.

i realize, now, that it was the dazzling effect of the expensive wallpaper… seen through the gaps on the speaker. but when you’re six… it’s all about the dream that’s sitting behind your eyes… waiting to be released. and you can’t deny that dream… because… when you’re six… it's all about the fantasy.



and today.
and tomorrow.


for fire.
and darkness.
and passion.


for lust.
and insanity.
and sanity.



it happens almost certainly. almost. that the very qualities someone admires in you when they first meet you... become the very qualities they come to despise in you. if a certain person likes... let's say... the way you tilt your head slightly to the left when you laugh... they will come to hate that very slight gesture in you... more eloquently... more fluently... when the time for the hating arrives. if that person... let's suppose... admires your intelligence... they will begin to loathe what they will call your cockiness and presumptuousness. they might even question why they ever thought you intelligent, in the first place. and that... when the time for the hating arrives.

but, then. must the time for hating arrive? isn't it possible to keep liking and admiring and enjoying forever and ever? why must it begin with, oh, i so like the way she shuts her eyes and curls her shoulders when she's happy, and end with, and that stupid eye-shoulder thing she does when she pretends joy. what a moron!

how do we go from admiration to detestation? are we that erratic?

it's easy for us to say, well, it's her fault for being such a fake. but isn't it a bit of my fault, too? for falling for it? or how about... let's say... maybe... that i am the one to be blamed? oh, no. not i! we're so quick to say. we don't want to be at fault. we readily... so readily... reject blame.

maybe we are products of our environment. but are we really victims of 'the circumstances'? those circumstances that always bear a THE before them rather than an OUR - our very first step in the process of rejecting them. a sort of 'wash my hands clean.' a sort of... denial.

are we victims? i often wonder. but do i really want to know?