My Safe

A man carries a safe onto a moving van parked in front of my home. We place our important papers into the safe. What important papers do we carry inside of us? Which sentences do we cross off to make better sentences? Sentences that help us become confident enough to do what we want to […]

What Works

It’s 5pm on Sunday night, the only day I have no work this week. For so long, I thought I should be working more. Or working for pay more often. Now I’m working more, diversifying, switching things up, seeing what works. What works now: I really need that day off to feed me. I was […]


Today at the bookstore, a regular customer came in wearing two different tennis shoes. Well, they were the same brand, but two different colors, clearly from two different pairs. “You’re wearing two different shoes, well, different colors. Did you plan on wearing two different shoes?” I asked. “If you’re asking if it was intentional, yes, […]


She almost puts balsamic in the cookie dough. She calls out, “Mom!” and I use my woman eyes to locate the vanilla. Her friend calls her Car-o-line. Short but long like that, the melody of her full name—my chest clenches in pleasure. I want to write a poem. This time I have left at the […]

Sing It

Sing It by Nancy Schatz Alton   We are still young. Our amazement still plays like a favorite song on the radio. It’s hard to hold our awe with all the bulletins coming in: beeps, alarms, no more rotary dial sounds for us.   We are still young holding our young making new laps to […]

Love Song

  Love Song by Nancy Schatz Alton “An idea, too, has a surface, a skin.” – from “The Problem” by Noah Eli Gordon   The idea of you changes like the way my skin ages— more beautiful than I’d imagined the age spots like diagrams to shapes I’ve not yet explored like the triangle of […]


My past is so alive I feel like I can touch it. Sometimes I think it’s not that way for others. Or maybe it’s only that way for poets, who pull from every scene to make a new scene on the page. Time traveling is an actual pleasure of mine, too, because I think some […]


Sometimes I weep in my car, glad for an enclosed space to emote until I’ve cried myself out. Seldom do I think of people catching sight of me: weeping. But when I do think of that, I hope it gives them pause. Why is she crying? Oh, that’s right, everyone has something that makes them […]

A Drummer Drumming

A Drummer Drumming by Nancy Schatz Alton “I’m a deep kettle whistle” -Hannah Ensor & Laura Wetherington I want to be the drummer playing “The Obvious Child.” No, I want to be the drum being drummed. I want the tapping, the metal reverberations—snapping popping pushing lifting drumming—drummed right into me until I am the dance. […]

What’s Right?

What’s right? Right is Liz telling Chris she loves his nose when she says goodnight to him. Right are the pictures in my office: There’s my young self: laying on top of my dad in a lawn chair, the grass underneath us as endless as the horizon. Right: all the noses in these pictures that […]