Picking a Fight

I want to pick a fight with someone & win. My fists bloodied & successful. My rage delivered in a physical way. Where does this urge come from? Is it ugly or true? Am I just the only one admitting my urge to fight & win? I told my friend Peter about this urge decades […]

Dreamscape + Trees

The nights are noisy with my dreams. In the morning, bits and pieces flash before me until the quiet silences them. I want to be quiet. I let the loud crashing of my demons simmer down. It’s hard to talk when there’s so much grief in this world. All the stories held in ink on […]


              Incomprehensible News  by Nancy Schatz Alton I hear the news from you & I’m broken open even as I’m the one who’s supposed to hold you sometimes we hold each other.   I make tea & the dog sits with us we are us on the couch not […]

My Story

My Story * by Nancy Schatz Alton Put your stories down, they say— they are too heavy and they make you angry.   You want a prettier word for make. Furthermore you want the I.   The I of your stories to say, It happened to me.   Oh life, you gave me this grief and […]

Making Sense of Nothing Making Sense

Making Sense of Nothing Making Sense by Nancy Schatz Alton   Reds still dot my daily view. Yellows turn to ochre. Brown dried leaves litter our floors. Ground down to particles—fall lives inside our home. The molds live in us. We wake to heat clicking on, dried sinuses— a tightness across our faces. Nothing to […]

Real Love

If I love what is real, I love the trees outside my window in the same way that I love bad endings. The click of a phone line that ended a friendship. The way it opened me up into seeing what still surrounds me. My husband asking me if I missed my friend. My husband […]


November* by Nancy Schatz Alton What will I miss when I’m gone? The smell of my Grandma Becker’s house, her front steps. The run over to Grandma Schatz’s porch, her kitchen with the square of wood I stood on and moved by moving my hips, the ceiling decorated with homemade noodles, her over-sweetening my cereal […]


I read the news while I should be writing. As in social media and NYT’s and texts from friends. It’s how I find out a poet who I don’t know, that’s how I find out Anya Silver died. As I find out she died, I read a poem of hers. And I love it. And […]