breathe in experience, breathe out poetry
Unveiling the Writer
Lara holds a degree in English literature from The University of Notre Dame. She is a recovering attorney, novice nurse and mother of four amazing children. In 2009, she started eating vegetarian. She enjoys practicing yoga, meditation and speaking Italian. Her poems have been widely published, appearing in Cholla Needles, fra\kture, The Transnational Magazine, Word Fountain and elsewhere. She resides in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania where she must perpetually answer the question "What's for dinner?"
Portfolio of Work
a sample of recently published poetry
Things I Didn’t Put on My Nursing Résumé
after "Things You Didn’t put on your Résumé" by Joyce Sutphen
--published by Cholla Needles
How sometimes I wake because I think
I hear an IV alarm so I stand in the starlight
watching a truck back up in the alley, and I don’t
mention holding a dying person’s hand wishing
I were anywhere else, and who would suspect
I can eat Jello with a tongue depressor or know
a trick for getting blood out of shoes and clothes and hair
and it is, now that I think of it, rather remarkable
that I can go twelve hours without sitting
or a lifetime without forgetting
those few miraculous patients
who changed my life forever.
--published by frak\ture
Between the matinee and evening performance
of my two-dow shay, I wander down Shubert Alley
to the flea market and take my place
at the autograph table next to actors too young
to remember the AIDS quilt. If you had tried
to convince me in 1991, that year of eulogies,
that I would outlast those red ribbons,
those needle exchanges,
that I would beat back this rare cancer
to an undetectable nothingness
and sit taking selfies with gushing fans,
I would have thought that you were putting on a show.
American Politics Enters the Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum
--published by The Transnational Magazine
If you are in the mood to learn something,
you might learn that the dumb bastards on one side
of the aisle and the dumb bastards on the other side
of the aisle will never get on and not even experts
at the Belfer Center can tell you why.
You might think it would be nice to live in a country
where proponents of gun control and the Second Amendment
or supporters of legalized abortion and the right to life
are equally right, but it makes for a very dangerous place indeed.
And though you Veblen me and I social justice you,
what is gained is more than what is lost. So in this indifferent age,
take care of your fellow Americans while the politicians
take care of themselves and know that in a meaningless universe
full of hollow victories, there is room enough here for us all.
after "Blessings" by Ronald Wallace
--published by Word Fountain
Some days I find myself
making my bed but
not having to lie in it.
I have a leg to stand on.
I have a penny
to my name.
All around me people
are asking what the country
can do for them,
sweating the small stuff,
crying over spilled milk.
Words hurt me.
There’s a will
but no way.
A good man is easy to find.
Presence makes the heart grow fonder.
Love means having to say you’re sorry.
Love sees clearly.
Love comes when you expect it.
the ink is dry.
The dust has settled.
Your ship is in.
There is a time like the present.
You can put the toothpaste
back in the tube.
You can get there from here.
Lost in L.A.
--published by Short Edition
There is no worry of wind or snow
or time or place in Godot’s Hyperloop below
sidewalks where children run and play
near streets where out-of-towners lose their way.
No trains, parades or fire trucks
no snapping turtles, no safe of ducks
will slow the traffic as it flows
to listen, for what, no one knows.
Where cars sail by on electric skates
and no one sees and nothing waits.
--published by Former People
Talking through texts, seeing through
screens and faffing about in HD I forget
what reality feels like until an evite that says
wear all white pulls me into the world toward
a starting line among friends who tell me I’m late,
no time to pee, but they’re glad to see me.
Unrelieved, I propel myself into untimed madness
when suddenly colorful cornstarch comes flying
from all directions. My hot breath collides
with the cold air sending a rainbow of drippings
out of my nose. I wipe them happily on my white sleeve
and run, no dance, toward the finish.
--published by The Bangalore Review
On a quiet Shanksville farm, I finish
bucking hay then set a frail of peaches
in the dooryard.
There is no relief, no getting over this heat,
so I settle down and stare into the sky
past the clouds through which
you could not see your way.
I fold my hands and speak to God.
Your souls could not be hijacked.
They go on forever like a summer’s
garden growing wild in a place
where autumn cannot reach.
--published by Halfway Down The Stairs
For three friends on a playground
no swing equals no fun.
Likewise for square dancers.
Without plucky actors jumping
into parts at a moment’s notice
the show cannot go on.
Without a running back
releasing toward the sideline
what other option
does a panicky quarterback have?
Deprived of unbiased voters
and impartial judges
politics would be pig-headed
and the law locked up.
Frankly, if you can’t change
with the times, move
with the moment, then
it just don’t mean a thing.
Work in Process
--published by Sblaam
Change into your last clean bra,
the one with the janky underwire.
pull Spanx over your Thinx,
put on a power suit and grab a chocolate breakfast bar.
At the station, wait
looking up at a sky the color of the sidewalk.
In the reflection of the train’s window,
notice wrinkles around your eyes,
but because all the good plastic surgeons are out-of-network,
consider a crowdsourcing campaign for your Crow’s feet.
On the train dream of artisanally-named, CRISPR/Cas’d kids
designed to like vegetables and do well in math.
At work get along with Matt until
he shushes you in front of your boss’s boss.
Give him your trademark sloe-eyed, side eye
before heading back to your Dilbertian cubicle
to calm down with an adult coloring book.
Spend lunch rebunking the claim that a woman of a certain age
is more likely to get killed in a hoverboard accident than get married.
At the afternoon meeting, think about your loser boyfriend
at home on the couch drinking beer and pulling 360 no-scopes.
After work, hook up with Ahmed in his food truck
but not before scarfing down an order of bitter melon fries.
Give The Moroccan Paradise Grill two stars on Yelp.
Later get squiffy painting sunflowers with friends at Cocktail & Canvas.
When it’s all over, Uber home screaming for
your life as a pony-tailed grad student
auditions to be the next Stig.
Back at home, crawl under the covers,
hit RESUME WATCHING on Netflix and realize that
you get to wake up tomorrow and do it all again and
that is not nothing.
"Re-examine all you have been told . . . dismiss that which insults your soul."