Friday, August 29, 2014

Old Friends

Jeremy and I are engaged in an apartment renovation. If you keep on reading my blog, you're going to learn a lot about this project. You are going to see before and after pictures. You are going to hear about instant successes and unfortunate roadblocks.

At this moment, Jeremy and I are busy going through our possessions. We are throwing some things away. We are giving some things away. We are keeping some things. We are carefully packing up the stuff we are keeping in an organized fashion and bringing most of it to a storage unit. That is because we want to make room for the electrician, painters, builders and apartment renovation consultant to do their jobs.

Once our apartment has a cohesive color scheme, beautiful shelving and reflects our current lifestyle, we will bring everything back. We will put books and CDs and sculptures and treasured items in their rightful place. Right now, it looks like the rightful places will be a combination of built-ins, IKEA hacked creations and repurposed existing furniture. When I have more information, I'll let you know.

This was part of a series I shot for
Brides Magazine in 1989.
Each photograph represented
a different china pattern.
There are situations where I predict what will happen and that prediction turns out to be very accurate. I like to think I'm perceptive and reflective. So a lot of times, my predictions play out very much like I think they will.

Then there are the other times.

I recently unearthed a box full of my old photography work. I was a commercial still life photographer from 1988 until 2002. Then I stopped being a photographer. Someday, I will write about what it was like to be a photographer and then not be a photographer.  I'm not ready to do it now.

I approached this box with some trepidation. I made a prediction about how I would feel going through the box. I got myself ready to have an unpleasant experience. I felt that something was being exhumed and was going to be looking at items that were dead and buried. Stuff I hadn't looked at it a long time. I expected to see a bunch of crappy, dated work. I'd look through a few pieces and then throw the lot of it away.
1991 was off to an amazing start
with a once in a lifetime opportunity-
a creative collaboration with
Carbone Smolan Associates!
I mailed the resulting calendar to
my favorite editors and designers.
The rest was history.

The reality of it couldn't be further from my prediction. The reality took my breath away.

This wasn't a photography graveyard. It was a captivating treasure chest, perfectly saved, lovingly organized and exquisite. I was overcome.

The box I happened upon contained the artifacts of a photography career. It took place before digital technology, the Internet or social media. It was like going to a natural history museum and seeing a prehistoric fern perfectly preserved in amber.

There were C-prints, beautifully crafted. I remembered myself as a master printer and I saw that my memory served me well.

I fell in love with the young version of myself, who doggedly employed the same 35mm camera that I used in high school, the same camera that my stepfather paid for half of once I'd saved up enough babysitting and birthday money to pay for the other half.
I learned a lot about healthy eating
from photography assignments.
This one was for an article about
B vitamin sources for Health Magazine.

I used that camera to launch my career and no one could believe the images were not of a larger format. Much the same way I use my iPhone camera now.

Many of the images were timeless. Some were prophetic of what would later be. That surprised me. It floored me that photographs of fine china and expensive shoes had so much in common compositionally to the pictures I take now of trash on the sidewalk and fruits in situ at the farmers market.

Some photographs of globes and maps that I shot for a lavish annual report, in the days when annual reports were lavish, looked disarmingly like the collages I make for this blog.

I found that's quarter century of time and life experience had changed me less than I thought.
I've loved pasta all my life.
Naturally, I was excited to shoot
a layout for Food & Wine
elevating my favorite food
with my artistic style.

Sure there were some dated pieces. They were funny and sweet and in another 10 years will be worthy of a vintage new life. The pragmatist kept an example of what was good and threw the rest away. The occasional results of a bad day, a bad client or a bad subject were tossed.

I began handling the prints with reverence and attention. The dots were connecting. This dot connecting turned into a very good thing. I'd been prepared to slog through this box with gritted teeth and determination. What I found was whimsy and beauty and color and fun. What I found was something to take care of.

I hadn't been a fool. I wasn't one now either. As organizing sessions go, this one was pretty awesome.

There was no social media or even email in the late 80's and early
90's. I worked hard to make sure my snail mail promotional
pieces stood out from the rest.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Day I Forgot My iPhone

I left my apartment early in the morning to go somewhere with Noah. After getting on the subway, I was dismayed to find that my iPhone was missing. Then soon after, I became dismayed that I was dismayed to find my iPhone missing.

I told myself to calm down. For one thing, I still had my iPad. I wouldn't be caught for the next four hours with no electronics.

The iPhone probably hadn't been lost or stolen between home and the train. I'd have to be seriously out off it not to notice a phone dropping out of my bag. No one had sidled up beside Noah and myself. There were no crowds or diversions. The opportunities to steal my phone were non-existent to anyone but David Blaine.

I took a few deep breaths, stopped rifling and started writing a blog post while riding the train. I also used my iPad to email Jeremy about the iPhone as soon as there was WiFi available.

Soon Noah and I reached our destination. I prepared to go through the metal detector. Noah and I were not at the airport. We were not visiting a family member in jail. We were going through security at Noah's new high school. They want to make sure that people aren't trying to bring knives or guns into the building.

It was annoying how I kept feeling around for the iPhone when presented with the little basket. Finally I put my keys in, and fit the iPad in as best I could.

I dropped off Noah at his Flash Animation summer workshop. Then I went to the post office to mail Hannah a care package at camp. Finally, I proceeded to Starbucks.

It was striking how many times I was reminded that I did not have my iPhone. I was excited to learn that Noah's mid century school building has a mosaic created by Hans Hoffman in 1958. I was unable to photograph this mosaic. Additionally, I was unable to photograph an interesting tangled web of machinery and materials being used for street repair. I was unable to photograph some fetching peeling shutters, weeds covered in dust, trash piled at jaunty angles and a quirky display at the post office.

This experience was less stressful than I would have anticipated. Noting the beauty around me without capturing it became a kind of meditative experience. Notice. Let go. Notice. Let go. And so on.

I was unable to text anyone, which forced me to think about how often I text people. It forced me to email or Facebook message folks. I did not miss the capability to actually speak with people, as I did not want to talk with anyone anyway.

As I parked myself at the Starbucks near Noah's school and noted that it is very spacious and nice, I settled in for some work. I was somewhat annoyed to notice that Jeremy had not responded to my email yet, even though it had been almost two hours since I'd sent it. I composed the following twitter update and posted that from my iPad:

 My family is extremely plugged in. Scrabble, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter. Except when I'm trying to reach them. Then people are off the grid.

As it turns out, this was unfair. That is because Jeremy was very much on the grid when it came to me. He had emailed me back in a very timely fashion. Although the Starbucks was beautifully air conditioned, had ample seating and a lovely vibe, their WiFi was a tad slow that day. I heard some customers talking about it. I then joined in the chatter about the slow WiFi.

I also participated in a discussion about a New York Times article about potential ethical issues surrounding doctors displaying photographs of their patients. The other customers and I all felt the same way. We do not care if other people know that our children go to the pediatrician or the orthodontist. When we send our doctors holiday cards featuring our children, we would like to see these holiday cards displayed along with those of the other patients.

Once the chit chat was over and the email received, I also learned that Jeremy had used the Find My iPhone function to determine that the iPhone was indeed at home. This meant I could stop thinking about the possibility of a magician stealing my phone.

Once finished with that, he then decided it would be fun to use the same app to track my movements with my iPad. He was able to locate me walking about the area previously known as Hell's Kitchen but now called Clinton. He clearly saw me in the vicinity of a Pret A Manger, a fact I was later able to corroborate.

Noah finished his workshop at noon and the rest of my time without my iPhone was a mixture of inconvenient and enlightening. I was able to photograph the Hans Hoffman mosaic as well as the construction site the very next day. There were opportunities missed, but others gained. For one thing, the light was a lot better the next day. Also, some things that had looked interesting the day before had lost their luster. The wisdom that comes from being one day older will do that sometimes.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Apartment Renovation Manifesto

We are setting out to create a beautiful, welcoming haven for our family. The main creative premise is mid-century modern warmth filtered through the scrappy innovation of 2014. We are a part of a growing small home movement. Vertical space will be our mantra.

We feel passionately that living well within small square footage is the way to go for us. Here are three options we have considered but ultimately rejected.

We will not be moving to a three bedroom apartment or combining two small apartments to make one larger one in our community. For us, the combined mortgage and maintenance of such a venture would bring on a phenomenon that I like to call being house poor. We would be space rich but house poor. We are choosing not live outside of our means in this fashion.

We could get a three-bedroom apartment we could afford in Riverdale. Our resources would allow something quite palatial in Syracuse or Detroit. We do not want to live in Riverdale, Syracuse or Detroit. We have set down roots in this community. As real New Yorkers, we are not interested in being further from the epicenter of things than we already are.

We could simply move our bed out to the living room, transfer the kids into their various rooms and leave things much as they are. That would be depressing. We are looking to create a lovely sanctuary. Our overall budget for this project will force us to economize for some things and allow us to throw money at others. It will also be a fraction of what we would spend moving to a larger apartment in our community.

We know that there is something crazy about what we are doing. So the first thing we will be asking the renovation consultant, the architect, the carpenter, the designer of the entertainment system and the IKEA hacker is this: Are you on board with our kind of crazy? Because before getting on this particular train, you will need you to be.

The Apartment Renovation Manifesto was written after re-visiting a wonderful book called The SevenHabits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. One of the principals is to Begin with the end in mind. For me, writing the mission statement, which later became the Apartment Renovation Manifesto, helped me define the big picture. Previously, I was becoming wrapped up in the details and feeling stuck.

I will be chronicling the progress of our apartment renovation in my blog.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What's Good For Us Now

The salmon I'm eating
Once swam upstream, strong and barely stoppable
He died for my sins
Cleaning my arteries, basting my brain

The kale, flax seeds and walnuts faced a similar fate
Their higher purpose realized in my Runner's lunge,
my beating heart, my pliable and beautiful mind

The lush Mediterranean warms my pantry
Rogue cells that don't belong in this temple
Are obliterated with a gentle artillery
Of berries, greenery and roots
The clock doesn't stand a chance
With all this olive oil around

I'll die one way or another, whatever I do
But in the meantime, this midlife creature
Scales flight after flight unassisted
Stepping lithe as a dancer and spritely
If I get any lighter I'll grow wings
And flit about, ageless and barely visible
Soft as a whisper yet almost immortal
You won't have to bury me
I'll just evaporate

There are times when I miss the days
When kids drank their milk
And meat made strong muscles
We'd run in, hot and breathless from playing outside
Gulp our Kool- Aid in a gorgeous haze of laughter and cigarette smoke
Flawed, like tiny chips in fine bone china
Nothing that a little St. Joseph's Baby Aspirin couldn't fix

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Have More Than One Thing Going at the Same Time

If you are focused, disciplined and ambitious, I'm talking to you. I'm no expert, but I'm going to give you some advice anyway.

Have more than one thing going at the same time. Continue on with your big project. By all means concentrate on that.

But splitting your focus can be useful. Here is what I mean.

You are a painter and are working on a large commission. Have something small and personal going at the same time. A tiny painting, or better yet, a sculpture comes to mind. Something people won't pay you to do. Work on that when you need a break. Do that instead of checking your Facebook feed. Do that instead of over-working your painting.

You're in training for a marathon. You are disciplined and have a regimen. Remind your sporty self that you are capable of more than one modality. Do something slow. Tai Chi or yoga.  Better yet, go to a diner and linger over the book you don't have time for while you're running. Order a cheeseburger and fries. It won't kill you. And if you're worried that it will, you may want to re-think that marathon.

I'm not suggesting that you do this daily. Once in a while, shake it up. That's all I'm saying.

When I was a still life photographer, having a part time job on the weekends turned into more than the sum of its parts. The job had nothing to do with photography. That was the best part.

If you are a Stay-At-Home-Mom or Dad, you're really busy. I'm going to suggest something else anyway. Even though you're not getting enough sleep and haven't had a shower yet, squeeze in something else. Start small.

If you are already blogging about being a SAHD or SAHM, then you need an additional something else. At least one more something else. If you are crocheting darling baby booties and making a killing on ETSY, you too. One more something else.

It should be selfish, smart and not family friendly. Volunteering at school doesn't count. Your kids are growing fast and someday they will be adults.

You're in business. You do business type stuff every day. Wheeling and dealing. Raking in the bucks. You're confident and hitting your stride.

Your something else should be something so new that you don't know what you're doing. It can be anything, as long as you start out crappy at it. Do it a little at a time and get a little better every time. Knock yourself down a few rungs. Start at the bottom. Let the other people doing it shine. You don't need every accolade.

I don't want to bash Gwyneth Paltrow. I wouldn't do that because I happen to like her. I like Goop. I'd really like bargain shopping to be her one more thing. That, and a sense of humor.
I suggest that she shop exclusively at the 99 cent store and then decorate some rooms.  There are some real treasures there if she would just look for them.

If you've been laid off and are looking for a job, have more than one goal for your period of unemployment. That piece of advice was in the 1994 edition of What Color Is Your Parachute and it stuck with me.

One cautionary tale: don't let the other thing that you cultivate get in the way of your big goal and become your license to procrastinate. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Stephen Covey said that in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. That stuck with me too.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Two Smart Dogs I Met Recently

When I was a kid, I was a dog person. I had dogs growing up. I loved my dogs. Then I stopped being a dog person.

My not being a dog person anymore roughly coincided with my becoming a mother. All of the things I didn’t mind before bother me on a visceral level now. Dog mouths are snarly and slobbery. Their teeth are large and sharp. They can be unpredictable. They jump on people. Their barking is really loud and hurts my ears. My kids don't like the barking either.

Then there is the cleanliness issue. As humans, we are expected to be clean and not smell bad. I realize that things were different in the 19th century. People didn’t have the indoor plumbing we have now. The laundry situation was onerous. Even rich people smelled bad. That’s why people carried perfumed handkerchiefs. But things are different now. People shower and bathe all the time. We are supposed to smell nice.

But humans seem to have different expectations for dogs. I also suspect that when you live with a particular dog you get used to the smell and don't notice it anymore. But I notice it. Many dogs smell really bad. I feel like people should either bathe their dogs a lot more often or bring them to the groomer. In addition, there are the dog's bathroom behaviors all over NYC sidewalks. Even when people clean up, it's still really gross.

There are exceptions of course. I have a friend who adopted a dog recently and she posts pictures of her on Facebook. For whatever reason, I fell in love with this dog at first sight. I'm over the moon whenever my friend posts pictures of this dog. I might be one of the dog's biggest fans.

In all of my years of being grossed out and very leery of dogs, I sort of forgot certain things about them. I was reminded of these forgotten things on two separate occasions recently.

I had just finished jogging and I was outside photographing some weeds growing out of a crack in the pavement. They were making an interesting pattern in the craggy cement. The leaves were very lush and green because of a recent rainfall.  I have a photography series I've been working on called Hardscrabble Plants. They are the plants that grow and thrive in spite of everything. There is something very appealing about that.

I'm fully cognizant that I am an unusual person with unusual interests. I realize that leaning over on the sidewalk to photograph weeds with my iPhone is unexpected behavior. As I am working with this little patch of sidewalk I am also aware of my surroundings and the people around me.

This part of the residential street is pretty quiet. It’s the middle of the week and people are at work. At first, I barely notice a man out walking his dog.

The dog is on a leash and does her business near a fire hydrant. The man is completely cool about what I was doing. He seemed very laid back and was minding his own business. I could not say the same thing about his dog. The dog made eye contact with me. She looked at what I was doing. And she looked askance.

I'm going to tell you right now that this dog was very judgmental. I know the look she was giving me, and at first I looked back at her with a slight attitude. At least I'm not using a fire hydrant as a toilet.

Then I remembered that this was a dog.  For the first time in a long time, I was impressed with a dog. This dog was smart. This dog knew I was doing something socially unexpected. And although I didn’t’ particularly like this dog, and her snooty, judge-y attitude, I had to respect her emotional intelligence. I figured that this dog might have more social savvy than some people.

A few days later, I was out for a jog again in a park near my home. When I was finished jogging I noticed some twigs and leaves that blew down from the wind, and were scattered across the grass. It made for a very interesting collage like arrangement. I sat down on the lawn to get as close as possible. I wanted to capture the textures.

I got into some interesting positions in order to keep stable and get the angle just right. What can I say? I'm flexible.

Two women were out walking their dogs. They stopped to talk with one another and compare notes about their dogs. This is very typical dog walking behavior.

One of the dogs made no notice of me. If I had to guess, he was probably thinking about food.

The other one made eye contact with me, and as I continued my artistic and eccentric behavior, he took on a very quizzical expression. If he were in a cartoon, he'd have a large question mark over his head.

In what was becoming a pattern, I realized that I'd been underestimating the appeal and intelligence of dogs for several years. It was humbling to realize how this dog was noticing my behavior as unusual. It was interesting to get reacquainted with something I used to know when I was younger.

As I brushed myself off and got up, I noticed that the dog was still watching me. Our eyes met. He smiled. He wagged his tail. He still had the same quizzical expression, but unlike the first smart dog, this one was more open-minded. He wasn't all disapproving like the first one. His personality was more to my liking.

I began my trip home and walked by the women and their dogs. The smart dog was really friendly. He wagged his tail and came over. I gave him a pat. He licked me and I was able to tolerate that. Fortunately, he didn't do any impolite sniffing. Even when I liked dogs, I hated that.

The other dog was busy licking his private parts.

The smart dog's mom and I started talking. She told me a little bit about her smart dog. She also mentioned that pretty soon she was going to have to run him around or he'd be hard to handle for the rest of the day. He was kind of pulling at her while we were talking.

He reminds me of one of my kids, I told her.

Since meeting the two smart dogs, some things have changed and some things have not.

What hasn't changed is my general avoidance of dogs. If I can skip riding in the elevator with one, I will. If I never saw another dog at the farmers market I'd be happy. That’s because dogs behave very badly there, but the people who bring them think the growling, jumping and territorial behaviors with other dogs are all very cute.

I have married a wonderful man who is not a dog lover and also happens to be allergic to them. Sometimes things work out the way they're supposed to.

But I've begun to like individual dogs again. I like them enough to say hello if a nice, smart one is greeting me. The ability to hold eye contact is hard to resist.

A friend told me about a couple they know who really love their dog. They give the dog a bath daily. That is the kind of dog I wouldn't mind meeting. That's my kind of dog loving couple.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Doing Nothing

There is this concept that most people have heard of. It's in the bible. The basic premise is that God created the world in six days. He was extremely busy during those six days. But on the seventh day he rested.

Observant Jews mark the Sabbath. If you are very religious you won't work from sundown on Friday night to sundown on Saturday. If you're running a household, you have to be very organized.

When Jacob was in the hospital at NYU medical center, we learned about this from the orthodox families whose children were inpatients at the same time. Their definition of work was broader than we anticipated. They weren't allowed to push elevator buttons, so they got in the Sabbath elevator, which automatically stops at every floor. Jeremy and I made the mistake of getting on this elevator once, and it took us forever to get to pediatrics.

The families would ask Jeremy or I to microwave meals for them because they weren't allowed to push those buttons either. At first, this made Jeremy annoyed. At the time, he thought it was ridiculous and antiquated. Then later, once he got to know people better, he became more open minded. He also started identifying as Jewish, something he had difficulty with previously.

I was raised to work hard. My mother, my grandmother and the man who became my dad all had strong work ethics. My sister and brother are like this too. It's part of the family culture. I also married a hard worker.

If you hire me, you'll get a good hard day's work out of me. At the moment, I'm not working for a paycheck. If you are thinking that you are sick of lazy employees and could use a person like me around the office, I'm not available right now. I'll let you know when that changes. You wouldn't be sorry.

I mentioned before that I am not employed in the usual sense of the word. But I still work hard. In a nutshell, my not working for income right now is so that I could stop being busy with one kind of thing to focus on and being busy about something else. There's more, but that's all the writing I'm going to do about it now.

Last week, I was whipping through my to do lists like nobody's business, getting all kinds of stuff done. I take good care of my time. There's hardly a moment that's not spoken for. I'm a planner.

Around Friday, I noticed that I was feeling tired and irritable in a way that didn't feel quite typical. I could feel a sense of burn out coming on. I was surprised by this. That's because every day before bed I take some time for myself to do things that I enjoy that are not work. Besides that, a lot of the work I do is very enjoyable and gratifying. A significant number of things I do are so aligned with my strengths and interests that they don't feel like work at all.

I wondered for the first time if something more substantial than the time at the end of the day was in order. I got a little biblical in my thinking. I reminded myself of the creation story. Notably it didn't feature God creating the heavens and the earth in seven days along with an hour or so of relaxation at the end of all seven days. No. He worked hard for six days. Then he took a day off.

God and I are different. For one thing, I believe in evolution. But putting that aside, God worked harder than me because his job was much bigger. Even so, we have a few things in common. Anyone who has taken a rigorous summer homework packet and broken it into color-coded, manageable chunks for a child with ADHD can relate to someone who has turned water into wine.

After deciding to take a page from the Good Book, I shifted my attention to another book. A really good book. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. It's been my bible more than the bible. If you want to know more, read my review.

If I was going to take a day of rest I was going to need to schedule it. I'm very literal. If it isn't on the schedule, it doesn't exist. So I went to an app on my iPad where I keep my lists. Each list is named. I located the one called Weekly Planning.

For Saturday, I typed the words, reading, creative and relaxing. This is my version of doing nothing and having nothing on the agenda. That's because these are all extremely enjoyable activities.

There have been rare occasions when I have truly done nothing. When Hannah and Noah were toddlers, there was a period when they were both napping in the afternoon. I distinctly remember a time when I'd put them both down, have some lunch, then spend a few minutes staring at a blank wall. That was nothing.

I did not feel that it was necessary to look at a blank wall on Saturday, although for a certain level of mental exhaustion I highly recommend it. What I had in mind was an overall sense of leisure that stretched out over a day. Not the kind of leisure that one enjoys on a private island. Not the kind of leisure that can only happen when kids aren't around. Not the kind of leisure where one decides that they are not going to touch a pot or pan. To be honest, that was not the kind of leisure I have a fondness for these days. That is not the kind of leisure I know how to participate in.

The leisure I had in mind was just as special; maybe more so because it was inexpensive, takes minimal planning and is utterly accessible. I would still go grocery shopping with my family. I would still cook and clean up from meals and care for my children.

What I wouldn't be doing was a list of things that take more discipline and are attached to an accomplished outcome. On this particular Saturday, we were going to be in the Berkshires. Jeremy's family has a house there. We are very fortunate.

On other Saturdays, I'd been ambitious at the country house. I'd spent time cleaning the screened porch, washing sheets and towels and vacuuming. I might bring files of work to do from home. But on this Saturday, I gave myself a break from all of that.

So when I wasn't marketing, caring for my children or cooking I had wide swaths of time to do whatever I wanted. I stretched out on the chaise lounge and read. I to went for leisurely strolls and took pictures. I socialized with extended family without pressure to be somewhere or do something else. I ignored parts of the house that could use some attention. It's okay. I said to myself. I'll get to it another time.

This was my kind of leisure time. I didn't have to go somewhere far way. It was fully and seamlessly incorporated into my everyday life. It wasn't exotic. It was me.

The next day, I was back to my usual accomplishing stuff. I really enjoyed my day of leisure. But the ambitious part of me couldn't help but notice a fringe benefit.

The lying around in the chaise, the reading, the strolling and the relaxing with a custom list of activities chosen by me, had revitalized me more than I anticipated. I was not only energetic and fresh the next day, but unusually patient and creative.

I was able to do work with a renewed enthusiasm and efficiency. It felt like I'd hired an assistant, only I was that assistant.

It has been over a week since I took my day of rest and I am still feeling the positive effects now. This experience has been a true eye opener.

It's interesting to wonder why a person such as myself, who is not a workaholic and has read about the benefits of leisure, took so long to discover this. Maybe I thought I was in a special category of person who didn't need to consider such things. I guess I had to be ready to experience it for myself.

I've already set up another similar day on my schedule. Jeremy and I are taking Hannah to camp on Sunday. There will be bags to take to the car and last minute jitters to help with. Noah will need some TLC with his sister not around. But my neighborhood of NYC with its coffee shops and restaurants a mere stroll away will be a lovely backdrop to my day of leisure. I have a teetering but tantalizing pile of books by my bed just waiting.

Jeremy doesn't know it yet, but he's joining me. He'll do a fair amount of driving and may need to bake some pumpkin bread for Noah's breakfast. But in between those moments, there is music to listen to, cocktails to mix and scrabble to play.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Leave Me Wanting More

The encyclopedia that longs to be a pamphlet
A magnificent idea in want of an editor
The earrings are enough, the necklace is too much
The poor old suitcase packed to overflowing
When it comes to the drum solo, less is more
No one wants to tell you no
You wouldn't listen anyway

God bless the one act play
The novella, the children's hour, the appetizer
The paragraph, a sentence
The sentence a kernel, the kernel a whisper

There is artistry
To the page turner, the knee slapper, the blockbuster
I didn't know there was an edge to the edge of my seat
It could have lasted all night, but didn't.

By all means, write the opera, the manifesto, the tome
Knock yourself out, have some fun
Leave them in the drawer, admire their heft
Get them out whenever you like, they're yours

When it comes to me and you
Publish the sparkle, share the good parts, cut to the chase
The song, the chapbook, the lightness, the lilt
The cream that rises to the top
Make it snappy, keep me with you
I don't have all day, but make me wish I did