all that we cannot change

my son chases sunrays that filter in and

dance across our living room floor,

and my heart is heavy.

 

in all those late-night conversations

let’s have a child, let’s move mountains, create miracles

there was a should we? that lingered on my husband’s lips,

always.

 

life, I said. it happens all around us. it stops for nothing.

not even for the darkest of days.

we still love, we still create.

 

we chase sunrays,

shape happiness with shaking hands

 

drive cars and drink wine and laugh

and laugh and laugh

 

and then we cry for all that we cannot change.

 

but then we sigh, take another sip, compose ourselves.

hug our children and whisper I love you and watch

our favorite television shows and drown out all the badness.

 

I touch my son’s cheek

I dream of his future

still, I regret nothing.

 

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we still love

sw-04

(http://abduzeedo.com/surreal-world-igor-morski)

she spies love

like a hurricane in her thin chest.

 

he holds her with rough hands,

makes use of his photographic memory

when he holds her and she turns away.

 

but remember this, she says:

we used to love in the dark,

when love was a good sunrise,

when our bodies understood one another,

 

before time made us love just a little more quietly.

 

we still love, she says.

 

only this way:

with each gentle sway of our son as he falls asleep in our arms

in fingers interlocked across the console after grocery shopping

at the dinner table, covered in conversation and pureed carrots

in sighs of exhaustion and mumbled goodnights

 

and sometimes

 

still

 

in a damn good sunrise.

 

**Hi from the parent side of things!!! It’s been WAY too long….but I’m still trudging along with this chapbook and raising this absolutely amazing little boy (who is almost ONE, by the way).

I’ll try to show my face around these parts a bit more often. I hope everyone is well.

 

xo,

Nicole Marie

 

 

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One Year

Three hundred and sixty-five days

Of life and death, my body swelling

Then returning – partially – to its original state.

All the while my insides are in a state of panic.

 

I bury my face in the crook of my son’s neck and

Somewhere in that small space I smell you.

He runs a fat finger across your photograph and you whisper to us.

 

I tell him all about you, this mythical creature, his great-grandfather.

He stares at the slow unhinging and hinging of my jaw, a mystery itself.

 

He smiles and I think the creases at the corners of his mouth could be yours.

You would laugh at his curiosity; you’d lift him even if you felt too sick.

 

If I could say it, say I believe in somewhere other than here,

I’d say you’re still sitting at the dinner table, watching the

incoordination of his small hands.

 

**

A huge thank you to those who continue to check in and follow my blog! I am still trying to balance my two loves: writing and my sweet baby boy. Of course, baby boy wins most of the time.:-) I am also hoping to begin work on a chapbook, focused on the loss of my grandfather (just over one year ago), and the connection I feel he has to my son, who shares his birthday. I will continue to post on here, although my posts may be scarce for a while…and of course to follow along with all of you.

xoxo,

Nicole Marie

 

 

 

 

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“Find Me When You’re Starting Over” by Nicole Marie

My friend Christy was kind enough to re-share a poem of mine, originally featured during the start-up of her page, Words for the Weekend. Please, give it a read and check out her page, Words for the Year; there are so many influential pieces waiting to be read.

Words for the Year

I twisted into me
into knots and threads of darkened memory
like tree trunk rings or strips of film
of jagged time.

There are shards of light there
in those tied up corners
and those softened edges
of flesh and bone.

Hold me up to the sun
and study the maps
that run through my veins
they’re all places I have been.

The signs along the highway
have turned a jaded green
but I remain a brilliant
shade of transparent gold.

I can guide you at night
I can teach you
spread out on the hood of your car
one finger on some tiny destination.

I am a breathing mess of
sun down and sun up
of abandoned buildings
and new beginnings.

Find me when you’re starting over
I have been everywhere
I have grown rings
twisted into the depths of me.

“Find Me When You’re Starting Over” by Nicole…

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Mother in the Dark

splitface

 

I have built a respectable home

With all the muddy flesh of motherhood.

My son nestles in and dreams with small hands

That cup the treasures on my chest – his now,

Soft and modest as they are but dripping

Liquid gold into his open, expectant mouth.

 

I mourn for a body that is no longer mine

Yet is strength without muscle. I run tired fingers

Along all the fullness of me and knead shapes

Into the flesh like some sort of amateur potter.

I throw words at my reflection: nourishment,

Goddess, humbled origin.

 

In the dark I belong to me, to my husband’s

Large hands that cup the two soft, pale things

On my chest he claims to be in awe of but I am

Heavy as the ocean once again. He hovers over me

Like molasses, whispers gentle reminders into

Every inch, every gentle curve.

 

 

 

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Eat Clean, Train Mean, Drink Lots of Wine.

teambeachbody

Hey guys!

By now most of you have probably heard of the 21 Day Fix, Insanity, P90X, and other Team Beachbody programs.

Well my friend Nadia has had amazing results using the 21 Day Fix and is now coaching others to stay motivated and fit, and I’m just helping to spread the word. I’ve done blocks of Insanity and I’ve never hurt so good in my life.

So please, if you’re interested in any of the Beachbody programs, give Nadia’s personal page a look, and contact her for more information.

You can also LIKE her on Facebook, for more info, motivational posts, recipes, and workouts.

I’d also appreciate if you could social media the crap out of this post. Any little bit helps (and gets Nadia more clients)!

Thanks, guys! Now let’s all run a few laps. And drink wine. Lots of wine.

xo,

Nicole Marie

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Ain’t That a Shame

 

at night I unhinge
my bones in moonlight.

maybe I dance
a little

maybe I remember him

I have ritualized dear grandfather
into my agnostic bedtime prayers.

Grandmother says she’ll
sleep through Christmas,
sleep right into next year
holed up above the awkward
holiday wishes

up where he slept, too.

and how

how has nearly a year
snuck up as quickly as

death did?

I can still smell the
cigar on his breath

the way his chest

rose
and
fell

with that rusted laugh
always the
ain’t that a shame

it is,
grandfather.

It is.

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Mirrors

Your hands are your father’s

Only smaller, smoother like

The glassy sunsets of uncommon

Jewels. You raise life to your mouth

For inspection, you drink it in like wine.

I imagine your world in the prisms of

A periscope; you are seeing things I am much

Too jaded to see. The first hint of light that works

To wake me is your hundredth sunrise. Each

Morning you open your eyes and dream.

***

Our beautiful baby boy certainly keeps me busy and unable to post here as often as I’d like to, but thank you to those who continue to stop by and read my words. I truly appreciate it!

xo

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The Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry: Open for Submissions!

Calling all poets!

As most of you know by now I work for Philadelphia Stories, a literary publication that “has been serving the writing, reading, and art community of the Greater Delaware Valley since 2004.”

Our annual poetry contest, The Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry, is now open for submissions! The deadline is November 15th; first place includes a $1,000 cash award, an invitation to an awards event in Philadelphia, and publication in our Spring 2016 issue!

So pull out all your best work and click here to submit!

Please like, share, submit, and otherwise social-media the crap out of this post. I’d truly appreciate it!

xoxo

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Even when abuse doesn’t leave a bruise, it still leaves a mark

“…we must be the example of what it means to value, respect and appreciate those who we say we love.” An important read.

Ned's Blog

image As many of you know, I’m a firm believer in the power and importance of humor in our lives. I think of what I do as a columnist as more than just trying to get a laugh or two; it’s contributing what I can to others in the best way I know how. Let’s face it: If my contribution was something like medicine instead of humor, a lot of people would die. But from time to time I get the privilege of sharing a more serious side of myself. Today, I’m joining other men in my community who have been asked by to write about Domestic Violence Awareness as part of a special publication by our local shelter for victims of abuse. I join our police chief, chamber of commerce director and others in supporting victims — in my case, particularly those who are too young to understand that love…

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