Tax Season Tuesday

Winner: Honorable Mention in the 2020 Carolina Woman Magazine Writing Contest After one kid brushes her teeth, tucks in by 9:10 p.m., I rush to clean four dishes before my tax accountant husband returns to our unmopped kitchen at 11:07 on April 13 while the guinea pig...

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Bottom Drawer

Published in Kakalak 2018 Bottom Drawer Dad tore into my room without knocking—drunk? I’ll rip that book apart if I see it again! It wouldn’t be the first or last time he dad-handled anything he didn’t approve of. He saw the photos of dogs and marchers. So I hid the...

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Put Some WD-40 On That Bad Boy

Honorable Mention in the Franklin County Arts Council Writers Guild Carolina Writing Contest  For only four dollars get rid of bugs, squeaky hinges, and your social anxiety with this yellow can of aerosol miracle that’s small enough to fit into your pocket for any...

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Hunger Is

2nd Place Winner in the 2017 Carolina Woman Magazine Writing Contest a plastic bag in May waltzing across bare parking lots. The neighborhood’s tarred up telephone poles drenched in sepia and creosote trap famished flies. Can hunger be strength; a willful dance of...

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Split Level

Honorable Mention in the 2016 Flyleaf Books Poetry Contest I’m five years old; Mom talks to me because of the dress-up dress I wear. Yanked from a box in our basement, the one-shouldered drape smothers me in damask. A black rosette bursts out in moiré on the single...

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Domestic Duties

This poem was selected by Poetry in Plain Sight, a program in Winston-Salem that displays poetry on posters in over 20 locations throughout Winston-Salem’s Arts District and downtown, as well as in transit buses. The goal is to bring poetry to a wider audience and to...

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A Six-Year-Old Reads The Watership Down Film Picture Book

Third Place in the Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award (Judge Shaindel Beers) Sponsored by the family of Sallie Nixon Poems written by adults for children 2 to 12 years of age At the end of the thick book I find bad rabbit General Woundwart’s blackened-blue bloodshot eyes and...

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My Spiral Staircase

Second Place Winner in the Bank of the Arts 2015 Juried Exhibit The scrub brush holds tight against Highway 17’s medians as billboards scream “Free T-shirts” and “All U Can Eat Crab Cake Buffets.” Fog lifts against my red, spoiler-free Mustang as I escape the blue...

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Rogue Tissue

Pilcrow and Dagger Aug/Sept 2015 The twisted tissue loves to turn inside her back and jump into the soft jelly between degenerated L-4 and L-5 discs. Press, pulse and pound on the nerve root— what fun to play outside the jelly mold; to emerge from the bone spurs like...

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Entreaty to Young Editors

Forthcoming in Flying South 2015 Remember, folks, the delete key is your whacker against acyrologia. You’ve killed a roach before, right? Same thing. Mr. Fornaciari, my sixth grade English teacher, grew up poor in Boston and watched I Love Lucy re-runs every day after...

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How to Remove a Carpet Stain

Published in Carolina Woman Magazine The Big Dipper splotch mocks me at the top of the stairs guarding the bathroom, delighting in permanence. Not coffee, tea or dirt. Motor oil perhaps, but how the hell did a member of my household spill fuel from their hands or a...

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Always on Sundays

Published in Pilcrow and Dagger Next to the Safeway where Dad got his Washington Times, we graced the doors of the Church of Marvel, aka Joe’s Books. No speaking allowed in the dusty sanctuary where the congregation gathered by the racks of fresh comics out every...

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Cooper River Bridge

published in Broad River Review Alongside thousands of other bridge runners, our bodies block the clear Charleston sky and sea, as the eroding marshland curls green beneath. This pylon of silver, its rivets like buttons on an old man’s plaid shirt. Billed birds cry to...

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Chorus: The Hero of Acheron

Kakalak 2014  Against our constant warnings, You have 5 minutes to evacuate! she descends in the elevator, shedding her blue jacket, shedding her mind-killers— always watchful with her duct-taped pulse rifle and flame thrower to rescue the girl, her Persephone from...

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LBJ Takes Off

Comstock Review Fall/Winter 2014 Goddammit, all I want is a cigarette. Everyone else is smoking, what a sweat lodge, all shades closed up tight. Boil at the back of my neck’s gonna explode. No one leaves Dallas till I say the word. Our tents’ve been raided and our...

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Boba Fett at the Chick-fil-A in Hickory, North Carolina

Published in Quantum Fairy Tales Fall/Winter 2014 My spent leg drags over the brown tile, as graceful as a Bantha. Sure, the Mandalorian body armor holds my knee together, but I’m getting too old for this shit. Tired of the nights camped out in my truck, waiting for...

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Meeting the Devil in Myrtle Beach outside Woody’s, Hwy 17

Published in Referential Magazine Nominated for a 2012 Best of the Net Award Buy the Track from CDBaby Aren’t I the one you’re looking for? he greeted me at the restaurant door. I should have done laundry or zoned out to VH1 instead of meeting friends for beers. Who...

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August 31, 1997

in After the Steaming Stops      Thanks to the front page, I found out like most people did: how she lay dying in a Paris tunnel, how the impact raked her in like soft hay in a baler. With Binky the Siamese cat plopped on my lap, I stop spreading strawberry jam on rye...

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Ice Cream Party

Enjoy a taste of Alice’s award-winning poetry! Award Winner, Poetry Council of North Carolina Pale plaid dresses brush against pink walls, patent leather Mary Janes kick white tiles. Two balloons escape into rafters, and I haven’t tasted even a teaspoon of ice cream....

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The King of Cool Looks at Fifty

published in the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, April 2012 I idle my bike in this empty field, dry as a Southern Baptist wedding. I cough from the exhaust and the scorched wildflowers on the edges smell wasted, me on pot. Don’t smoke, don’t drink anymore… My...

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Ode to Hamburger Helper

Honorable Mention Winner in the 2012 Carolina Woman Writing Contest Come to me my enriched pasta and rice, packaged cheese and red powdered sauce— I pull out the milk and water for you on school nights when the kids are starving for Beef Pasta or Crunchy Taco. My...

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