Fiction, Poetry and Havering

Gammelor Goodenow

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Note to Cindy Sherman


You don’t know you ever met me

years ago at school in Buffalo.

I, an edge-clinger:

art events, photo labs,

sleeping at Essex Street.

You gradually

building your vision

out of thrift shops,

makeup counters,

dumpster diving perhaps.

Creating not snapshots

but whole lifetimes


Long-form documentaries

in a single frame—

All your characters more alive

than I know how to be.


Gammelor Goodenow


Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Today’s prompt is “Voyage”.




As stars become suns

then fade again to stars in passing,

I imagine a deep velvety blue

where eyes tell only dead black.

The nothingness we can see

belies the rich stew of motion

bubbling beyond our grasp:

particles, Higgs energy giving mass.

Our course is entered for exploration,

yet heavy the temptation to steer

into a black hole with hope

for stranger revelations.


Gammelor Goodenow


Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, and I’m participating in a poem-a-day activity on Writer’s Digest’s poetry blog.

Today’s prompt is “Beginnings and/or Endings”.



You ended as you began.
Early spring
when flowers and chicks arrive
and you
on your aunt’s kitchen table
during Passover seder.
Part of the Promised Land
a new generation
without threat of pogroms.

Ninety-four years
of science and learning
research and teaching.
And gently pulling sand burrs
from tiny bare feet
splinters from fingers
comfort from fear.

Fading, fading into darkness.
Giving up on

Gammelor Goodenow

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Line of the Day, from Rites of Passage, my SpecFic novel


Still, the library looked like a refuge to her, a house of dreams, just as it always had.



Monday, March 17th, 2014

Oneiri co.ii


I could not cry,

so you cried for me.

Each slow drop glistened

with forgotten memories

then fell on the withered clay

turning it into gold-veined porcelain

that glowed from within.

I turned and kissed

the crinkles

around your wet eyes.


Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Suggested Readings on the Topic of Whiteness:



Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Social Justice by Paul Kivel
(most of the text is free on google books, just google the title of the book and it should pop up)


The Heart of Whiteness by Robert Jensen
(listen to his NPR talk here:


Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s by Michael Omi & Howard Winant


How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev
(read an interview with Ignatiev here:


The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics by George Lipsitz


White Like Me by Tim Wise

(watch him speak via youtube:

Articles, Essay, Excerpts


“Something about the subject makes it hard to name,” by Gloria Yamato


“Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh


A recent blog post challenging the class privilege in McIntosh’s piece, “Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person, ” by Gina Crosely-Corcoran


“On Being White…and Other Lies” by James Baldwin


“Holding My Sister’s Hand” by bell hooks
(if you google it there should be pdf’s available for free download, the link wouldn’t paste here for some reason)


“From White Racist to White Anti-Racist: the life-long journey,” by Tema Okun, Change Work


“Race, The Power Of An Illusion”

Thanks to Lilly Padia for this excellent resource.


Monday, February 10th, 2014



Lanes closed.

Stuck in traffic

going nowhere but crazy,

the bridge is a gap

between jammed up

and arrived.


Have you arrived?


Vengeance.  Sweet

like antifreeze

spilled in the gutter.


Friday, December 13th, 2013



Your wild hair

flies behind you

long and straight

as you pump


down our street

never minding

the gravel and breaks,

daring your friends

to catch up.


Taunting the rules

but not the laws

acting cool

when questioned by cops;

aflutter inside.


Born too soon

or perhaps just right;

foster care

when your father died,


Mom got clean

took you back


to our street.


Now she’s dead.

And you

on the cusp

of womanhood…


Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good

Dans ses écrits, un sage Italien
Dit que le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.


(In his writings, a wise Italian
says that the best is the enemy of the good)

Despite the more concrete difficulties I often struggle with, the biggest obstacle to progress in my writing is my insistent fear that nothing I am about to write could ever be good enough.  The fear can paralyze me.  Once I have something on the page, it may need polishing, revision, rearranging and so on, but it’s always better than I thought it was going to be.  Based on existing evidence, I’m a decent writer, often quite a good writer.  But it always feels like the next few lines of my fiction will be the worst words ever written.  Too often I sit there struggling and do not write them. *sigh*

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Haiku Novels?

Haiku feels like a natural form to me.  I want to encapsulate the world in seventeen syllables, distilling infinite existence into a dram.  Which makes it difficult to be a novelist.  Why not just tell my entire story in one haiku?  (Or my two stories in two haiku.)


too many victims

predator’s wet dumping ground–

finally gets caught

Urban Fantasy

girl loses it all

must solve problems of others–

the lost don’t return


There!  All done.

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