The Menstrual Ghost

To Sharon Olds and Pablo Neruda (RIP): Thank you for making odes amazing She lives inside me still, after all these yearsas quiet as a drop of blood sliding down a swollencanal. She wasn’t always so noiseless, so white, she waslush and screaming vermillion like a flycatcher caughtin a uterus. She’d stain anything that happy,... Continue Reading →

My Girls Premier “Girls in Serapes”

I am so happy to present this exciting project by the one and only sister team, my daughters, Bridget and Riana Johnson! Please enjoy the first Potato Taco Film, a stop motion animated short. August 28, 2020 "We are so excited to officially premier our first of SIX short films, “Girls in Serapes, or How... Continue Reading →

Slut-Shaming

Charged My daughters have each accused me of this: Slut-shaming. I didn’t really know the term, but I knew exactly what they meant the minute they said it. And they were right. Proud I was embarrassed, and this was not a case of someone calling the kettle black. I raised these smart feminists, and they... Continue Reading →

60 in 2020: The Backwards Bucket List

1-20-20 I cannot escape who I am, or forget -- Patti Griffin A best friend of mine completed 60 never-done-before things the year she turned 60. It was a pretty cool celebration. She didn't do 60 amazing bucket list things like climbing mountain peaks or deep sea diving or forging raging rivers. Instead, she ordered... Continue Reading →

Cardinal Directions

Cardinal Directions Once upon a time, at a staff meeting, a colleague boasted (was it a boast?) that she didn’t know her directions. She rolled her eyes as if she was too busy to know such a thing, as if it was below her. I was struck by her pride in not knowing, and struck... Continue Reading →

Thinks, Thanks, Thongs

Time for a little nostalgia, and I can't look back at one item, without reminiscing about the other.  Thongs, the kind we used to wear on our feet, that evolved into something else, well, the word did anyway, and blood. Bleeding to be exact. Menses. Messy menses. And the whole bit. So here we go. When... Continue Reading →

Glass in Our Tortillas

It made for a pretty sweet parenting pleasure to arrive home to a house where I could see the vacuum wheel tracks running across the carpet like directional signs saying 'This way to clean!' And to smell the fresh red chile pork in the kitchen. 'Are we at your mom's?' I asked the girls' dad.... Continue Reading →

Baby, It’s Cold Inside – or – Being Trapped by My Boss in the Walk-In

“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” So, on one of  the first nights of my first job, outside of babysitting or cleaning houses, when I was all of fourteen years old, I was trapped inside a walk-in cooler by the chef at a popular restaurant in Detroit. A... Continue Reading →

Consensual

Yes is never alone in meaning yes No means yes Stop means yes Silence means yes Go away means yes I’m sorry means yes Not again means yes I’m afraid means yes Maybe later means yes Please don’t means yes I don’t want to means yes I’ll call the police means yes I have a... Continue Reading →

Power Tools

for Susan Tweit It is September 15.  The sun seems to have hit snooze more often than I did. It is particularly lazy today, and has, perhaps, hesitated at the tree line across the street for hours. Not too subtle a reminder, let me tell you, that days are getting shorter, and worse yet, there... Continue Reading →

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