Thursday, February 24, 2011

Unsaid, While You Were Angrily Cleaning Up Dinner

It's been a while since anything poetic and not promotional has been posted.

So good morning:

"Unsaid, While You Were Angrily Cleaning Up Dinner"

I'm sorry I don't save words for you. I try to,
each morning, plug up and reserve something.
Mostly by day's end the best drain out.
The first of the day are barely worth speaking.
I croak them to baristas and doormen,
to women whose purses take up entire train seats;
sometimes, I practice on bosses.
Then "love" goes to my father, and "why" flies to my mother,
and expletives dart to tourists who halt mid-step
on the sidewalk. Loosed by noon,
phrases marked yours slide by. That joke.
That compliment. That piece of honesty.
They slip into the ears of others and I don't stop them.
Sometimes I pull a few to the side,
apples at the weigh station, perfect pearls for stringing,
but God, they age so quickly.
I wish they weren't so limp when handed over.
And of course the best ones--
the things I mean, things you need, the way I mean to say them--
struggle to survive in open air.
Written down on paper they seem trite. Which is best,
since I'd feather you in Post-It notes otherwise.
So read them in my face. Study the way I slip a finger in your palm
and trace avenues there.
Listen how I ask for nothing.
Let an egg, broken in a pan and poached in oil for you, speak.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Call to Save the Poetic Ta-Tas: Come for the Tit, Stay for the Lit

I promised in the last post more on the epic pseudo-Valentine's Day gift that landed at my feet on February 13. And I still promise to share that shortly...

...after this glorified appearance announcement posing as a blog post. (Look, I'm ashamed. Just please forgive me.) Today's shameful self-promo moment is for a mammary-heavy reading myself and poet Hannah Miet will be featured at this Sunday, February 20. The event starts at 4pm and runs just over an hour at 308 Bowery, NYC, with booze available before, during and after.

Promise: This week's event will include a poem about hating poetry readings, live banjo, a hipster-friendly piece about riding rusty bicycles through New Orleans, at least one poet on prescription drugs after minor surgery, one Tony-Award winning surprise guest and, by popular demand, the return of Mick Jagger's Shirts.

For those of you who hate poetry (and, PS: if you do, you must have landed here via Google Images while searching for pictures of Mick Jagger. In which case you must be really frustrated by now.), give us a chance to prove you wrong.

Back story: Last month, George Wallace and Russ Green of the famed/infamous Bowery Poetry Club were deranged enough to let an unknown writer with an un-notable blog take the stage at Beat Hour as a featurette. They rewarded my not falling off the stage, throwing up, or reading a poem about my uterus by inviting me back for the series' February installment as a top-heavy top-liner. (I feel obligated after titling this post the way I did to continue making breast references.)

Beat Hour's always a blast, but this one is particularly hard to beat because three of its four featured performers are women (a rare occurrence at readings not organized by womens' groups)--cheers to Wallace and Green for making room for the ladies. In addition to Miet and myself, Jane Rosenberg Laforge will also be at the mic spitting out vivid visuals, and there's an open mic for you soon-to-be featurettes. (PS: Don't forget Ed Stever, as well as George and Russ, holding it down for the men-folk.) With one cheap ticket and as many cheap drinks as you like, you can help fight the good fight for both tits with pens and the continuation of the literary world at large.

A closing promise: There will be zero earnest poems about uteri, ovaries or menstrual cycles.

Hope to see you there. More details here: Beat Hour at Bowery Poetry, February 20, 2011.

(**Note: No breasts were harmed in the making of this post. The Trouble With Poet does not encourage the baring of bosoms during poetry readings...though we do not necessarily discourage it either.**)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cupid and His Paintball Gun, or, Black Tears and Happy Apocalyptic Ballads

I don't do Valentine's posts (she says as she posts on Valentine's Day. For more information on bloggable hypocrisy see the original rules of The Trouble With Poet, specifically: "The Trouble With Poet reserves the right to be totally full of it at any time"). But I do have amazing little nuggets gifted from other artists recently that make me feel someone similar to Cupid is fluttering about, carrying a paintball gun instead of arrows. And I prefer paint splatters to chalky conversation hearts any day.

The first is the picture above, given to me by street artist M.F. Rey. Titled "Single Black Tear," the duo-tone stencil piece was inspired by my favorite Walk of Shame element: the single charcoal path of mascara that runs like a slug's slime-trail down one cheek during the cold trek home after a long, long night or a long, long fight. He's mounted a small version for me to keep in my room and that would be enough, but there are plans for it to be blasted before the sun rises on the side of LES buildings sometime in the near future, along with M.F.'s numerous other installations. For that I'm honored and touched. (I'm also on call to bail him out of jail when he inevitably gets arrested, as street artists sometimes do.)

The second is the song below. I mentioned to a dear friend from Desperate Times Call for Tangible Lies on a sad day that I wished I had a happy song for bad afternoons, a little uptempo ditty I could play like underscoring in a twee indie film to buoy me when I'm sinking. Within an hour this rough lovable popped up in my inbox. "The Ballad of the End of the World" may not sound all that romantic or optimistic, but in my twee indie film it plays while I wipe away a single black tear, buy a handful of colorful balloons, tie them to the back of a rusty old bicycle and ride down Broadway with warm breeze at my back. (I run over Zooey Deschanel as I go, leaving her mangled body and stained baby doll dress crumpled at the crosswalk behind me.)

Do listen. It's lovely. He's lovely:

Last is an epic gift given to me last night. It is so epic that I have to wait to take pictures, then post, which I will do soonly.

Thanks are in order to my various Cupid paintballers. I hope the rest of you have been similarly splattered.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shameless Self-Promo Moment: Be My (Abridged) Valentine?

Interrupting your regularly unscheduled programming to plug a genius story-telling event I've been asked to participate in this coming Valentine's Day at NYC's 92Y Tribeca. The event, produced by SMITH Magazine, is a Time Out New York's Critic's choice, made The New Yorker's list of notable goings on and is going to be an ever-loving blast. If you're in town, please come be my six word valentine.

Details: SMITH Magazine is famously known for its six word memoir project, an abridged story-weaving exercise that's spread like wildfire and spawned books, story-slams, party games, etc. The memoirs range from hilarious ("Married by Elvis, divorced by Friday.") to disturbing ("Dear Glee, you saved my life.") to gut-wrenching (Hemmingway, regardless of how you feel about him, was the master. His: "Baby shoes for sale. Never worn.").

The NYC Valentine's Day themed event includes live music, getting sloshed at 92Y's well-stocked bar, audience members sharing their own memoirs, and featured memoirs + their back stories from a panel of well-loved and/or up-and-coming writers. Here's the line-up:

Deborah Copaken Kogan ("Shutterbabe")

Elizabeth Wurtzel ("Prozac Nation")

Baratunde Thurston (The Onion & co-founder, Jack & Jill Politics)

Darin Strauss ("Half a Life")

Rachel Sklar (Editor-at-Large,

Michele Carlo ("Fish Out Of Agua: My Life On Neither Side Of The (Subway) Tracks")

Sara Barron ("People are Unappealing")

me, parentheticalled with ("The Trouble With Poet" blog and forthcoming book, "Delicate Fucking Flower: Sweet Poems by Sour Girls")

.... as well as Michael Hearst of One Ring Zero turning audience members' six word memoirs into short songs.

How I ended up getting asked to participate with this list of writers is beyond me; I'm out of my depths. My goals are to not fall down en route to the stage and to not nervously shake like an f-ing crackbaby while I read off my memoir and the story behind it. I won't post the memoir and set-up I'll be slamming that night, but I will post the six words I almost used:

"Next Station: Your Worst Date Ever."

 The story involves a potential reject from the cast of The Jersey Shore, a set of train tracks, a Ford Probe, six police cars and one wet, gold, snakeskin dress. Tickets HERE. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pippah and her Box, or, Septuagenarious Long-Form Love Part II: It Does Get Easier, It Seems

Snowed in back on February 1, 2011, I got bored and decided to post an intro to a fiction piece about Saul and Pippah, two geriatric lovies who start a cross-country affair in their late 70s. I'm not sure about continuing to post, despite very kind comments from lovely people asking what happens next. The lovies are wrapped up in an early draft now (edits, not cold breezes). A mentor told me once that nothing should be kept more private than early drafts. A different mentor says that advice is bullshit. I don't know who to agree with. What I do know is there's more story and some of you have requested it, so I'm putting it up. I can catalog facepalm regrets later. 

It's a bit long--read a bit, take a break, grab a highball, return if you fancy. Bourbon feels appropriate. Or vodka stingers. Old ladies love vodka stingers.

Meet Pippah. She just landed.

It Does Get Easier, It Seems (continued)

Pippah Allenson hated New York City. The lack of sky. The unfamiliar faces. Paved main arteries crowded with taillights, glowing day and night. Something vaguely sinister about it all. Little things in that city triggered hidden anxieties, crept over her normally squared shoulders like a heated straitjacket, pulling her in on herself. By day’s end there she was always an inch shorter, hunched over slightly at the shoulders, finding it hard to breathe. New York City took her breath away and not in the good way. 

The people there were kind enough, or at least more than how the biddies back in Boise frequently complained they were. New Yorkers opened doors for her, offered up their train seats. Kind eyes or a helpful hand when going up steep stairs. But she found their reckless speed distressing, as if at any moment she would witness some catastrophic collision, the kind one sees behind closed eyelids long after the event takes place. She especially felt it on subway platforms--that sucking pressure in the tunnels stirring dread into the air, the monster in its cave approaching, rats skittering around. From the safe distance of tiled walls or behind oversize public trash cans Pippah would watch foolish local prey creeping closer to the edge, flinching when they clamored over one another as each screaming train pulled in. She always worried one of them would topple over, spilling onto the death trap of track and toasting on the third rail. 

Or worse, knock her in during their graceless racing if she stepped too close herself.

Pippah found the city streets only marginally less distressing. The grid of midtown’s avenues were easy enough to navigate, but other sections of town, the insidious “villages” in particular, were as poorly organized as playing cards thrown onto the ground. Sometimes street signs disappeared under unsteady-looking scaffolding, rendering them unidentifiable without younger eyes or ladders. And their names, the layout, the lack of logical progression...they had been organized with no directional rhyme or reason she could distinguish. The West Village for example, where West 12th Street was not followed by West 11th; Bank Street separated the two, with Perry and Charles appearing after 11th but before West 10th. And there was no West 9th at all. Just Christopher Street and then Grove--which, if you walked in a certain direction, turned back into Christopher again. The city was a labyrinth designed to test her patience.

Just as autumn’s orange tinge officially set down roots in Ada County, Pippah boarded a red-eye flight from Boise Airport to JFK, exiting a terminal in Queens, New York, on the morning of her 76th birthday. She came alone this trip. John was, almost thankfully, unable to join her, due to his participation in a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament that weekend at their local Elk's Lodge. She was characteristically unsentimental about the day or its significance. 75 had been the big one. John and a few friends had taken her for dinner, passed around bottles of sparkling white while she tucked into veal. 76 was just another blip en route to the next milestone, which she levelly had reasoned was 80 or death. Given the reason for the trip she preferred not celebrating at all.

Pippah’s endurance began being tested the moment she arrived at baggage claim and found her suitcase had vanished, or at least failed to complete the trip as punctually as she. The day’s first little finger prick. A set of doors. A line. She read and reread the letter from the offices of Burrows & Corrado while she waited for an ambivalent customer service representative to provide the necessary forms. 

Sign here, please. 
Sigh there, please. 
Yes, we’ll do our best. So sorry for the inconvenience.

The cab she’d nearly fist-fought for to get away from JFK reeked of foul exhaust. The traffic crawled on slug-like until she’d missed the morning’s first appointment. By the time she climbed four flights of stairs to the filthy one-bedroom in a crumbling building under the subway in Astoria, Pippah’s bladder and midwestern confidence were already stretched to their limits. 

Using the key that had come in the mail Pippah opened the creaking door to apartment D7. The sound of her heels on uncarpeted floors as she carefully stepped around the space competed with the gurgling squeal of a radiator in the corner. So many boxes. Stained photographs. A brown couch and dead house plants. No one to come help her sort out the remaining mess. The cramped bathroom, which she used, had dark lesions from black mold. Resentment started gnawing at the morsels of her resolve, nibbling with persistence until she waved it aside. No time for this now. She checked her watch, looked around then headed for the door, locking the noxious smell of cat piss behind her as she exited.   

Four stops toward Manhattan on the N train--thank heaven for an elevated stretch of train, it’s little glimpse of sky--and five blocks by foot delivered Pippah at a faceless grey building next to an anonymous office park. Her breath made little vapor clouds as she checked and rechecked the address, again referring to the note from Burrows & Corrado. Inside, another line of people. She signed some papers, waited in a plastic chair and finally was called on. A girl with dark eyebrows behind the counter wished her happy birthday when Pippah passed over her driver’s license for identification. Pippah politely nodded and then the girl was gone, meandering into the maze of hallways and rooms half-visible from the waiting area. Pippah absently tapped the thumb of her right hand against the tip of each finger while she waited again. Pinky, ring, middle, index; pinky, ring, middle, index. 


Resentment nibbling at her innards again, grief tagging along with it. She reflexively waved them both away when the counter girl returned. 

The girl with the dark brows produced an average-looking square box, wrapped in brown parchment paper and tied tightly down the middle with a piece of white string, placing it in front of Pippah.

“And I’m the only one?” Pippah asked from her side of the counter, afraid that putting hands on the box tied her to an invisible contract.

“According to this?” the the eyebrows replied, furrowed from behind their paperwork. “Yeah, that’s you." Then: "Sorry for ya loss, ma’am.”  

Feeling it improper to put the box in her purse and worse about carrying it around in the paper bag the eyebrows offered, Pippah chose to hold the package right out in the open, clutching it closer to her tiny chest as each brutal piece of day sped on. Subway to the city. Cab to the west side to meet with people at Goodwill. Traffic again downtown. Thousands of bodies milling around no matter where she went. Soon careless nudges from passersby or failures to find a cab were worming their way into her throat, growing and swelling into a stubborn lump that Pippah could not quite swallow. With every errand and errant stop she focused strength into the parcel, until by noon it had become both battery and burden. Three days more, just three days more, then this will be over.

It was 4:45PM by the time Pippah left the offices of Burrows & Corrado, fumbling out the door in an overwhelmed daze. She had not eaten yet, still hadn’t checked in at the hotel; her cell phone hadn’t signaled any arrival of the missing luggage. 4:45PM and still so much to do...where to go next, how to get there, what to do with the box? How to make a plan for tomorrow and the next day and the next... 

Selfish. Pippah stewing, heated straitjacket tightening around her. Selfish, this whole request. Latch the sleeves into their buckles. A final manipulation at the hands of a relative stranger.

A relative stranger. She rolled the phrase over in her head as she raced up Madison Avenue, searching for the E train which would finally take her to the hotel.  

She was still rolling the words and their relevance when she smashed full-speed into Saul Silverman just as he was rounding the corner at 50th Street and Madison. The blow knocked Pippah Allenson’s package to the ground, where after a few unsteady steps she very nearly joined it.

“Where the Hell’re you going?” Saul barked out to her hoarsely, greying eyebrows furrowed into an arched line of disdain. 

“I...,” Pippah began slowly, disoriented from the collision. She was still looking at concrete, shocked by the sudden impact. Pippah collected herself and stared up at the strange, tall man. Silvering hair, steely blue eyes, sloping Roman nose. What sounded like a New Jersey accent when he verbally accosted her. Another unfamiliar a face demanding unavailable answers. She suddenly noticed the wrapped box laying on the ground between them, brown parchment scraped back on the corners where it hit the pavement. Something about the paper, how it looked like skin, seeing it on filthy sidewalk knowing what was inside... 

“I don’t know!” she barked at the man in uncontrolled reply, voice gone jagged at the edges. Half the corner turned to watch its latest confrontation. “I don’t know, I don’t know, Idontknow, Idontknow!” Her voice cut off entirely as Pippah sunk down her knees, reaching for the box as she dissolved into the first tears she’d cried in thirty years. 

(to be continued)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blog of Note Moment: A Thank You, and a Call for (Love) Letters

So that happened. Which blows me away. And I won't feign being too cool to be geekishly happy about it. I mean, I'll never be cool. I've chosen geekdom. Geekdom is my metaphoric sad-ironic-cardigan-sweater-closed-with-a-safety-pin-and-worn-out-of-season and I wear it for easy identification. So relative giddiness is appropriate.

I'm also mystified, since The Trouble With Poet started just two months ago and has had about 3 readers since. I never expected it to go beyond that. Poetry/literary/artsy-sneeze blogs are the pariahs of the internet...worse than child pornographers. Getting a nod is warm and fuzzy and exciting, like finger-painting with the reckless abandon of a hyperactive child who knows they won't have to clean up their mess. Or splitting open the perforated entrance to a fresh box of Crayola 64-color crayons (with the sharpener in the back) while eyeing a pile of blank coloring books. Warm. Fuzzy. Happy.

Thank you to Blogger for reading a non-traditional blog full of creative allergy symptoms and weird little poems and drops of fiction.

First, to answer a repeat question: 

There is more about our SEO Septuagenarian Lovers on the very, very near horizon. Saul and Pippah are spotlight hogs. They're loving the attention. I think Saul bought a new fedora in honor of the occasion. Pippah is more sensible--she had an old dress tailored to fit better in case anyone drops by to congratulate her and is now wearing mascara with semi-regularity, but that's about it.

Second, two real-life characters need thanking: 

1.  My dear friend Ramon Lopez II, who is a brilliant graphic designer and brand specialist who did my logo design. If anyone wants to snag him for logos, branding and/or identity stuff, I cannot give him a higher recommendation...the kid works for major brands like Levi's by day, so know he's legit. You can track him down at

2. Another person won the hearts of Blog of Note notable Hannah Miet and myself by going above and beyond the call of heterosexual duty: literal rock star Michael, who filmed us at Bowery Poetry for this post. Michael sat through an afternoon of dive-bar poetry instead of watching the NFL play-offs that afternoon just to film the reading, and that is a generous sacrifice to make.


I've gotten a dozen comments and emails about Saul and Pippah reminding them of their own love-letter days, or how they miss pen pals. So, I offer this: send me your own love letters--to friends, lovers, exes, family members, it does not matter--via emailed PDF, jpeg or good old fashioned snail mail and I'll post them here, with links to your own blog if you're so inclined. I'll do my part and respond. We need to resurrect the lost art of letter writing. If you're looking for a mailing address to become a snail-mail pen-pal, email me directly. I'll respond to everything from turnips to poems on post-it notes to grocery lists and beyond. It's nice to come home to something other than bills.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for following. Thank you for making your own words happen.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SEO Optimized: Septuagenarious Long-Form Love

Have been spending less time on staccatos, more on flowery sentence botany. For the moment. Since there's snow, ice, no where to go and nothing else to do but wait for the landlord to click the heat on, I'm posting the intro to the ongoing, old-timey story of Saul and Pippah, one of those works of fiction penned between office hours and factual deadlines that will never see the light of day because no one reads books anymore unless they're by Franzen. It's about two wrinkled old lovies who begin a cross-country affair in their late 70s. 

It will be too long for some, not zeitgeist-y enough for most and is guaranteed to be despised by at least one cantankerous amateur literary critic in Reading, England, but while snow's falling I like to fantasize that long-form fiction will not be murdered off by the 140, that love and the meandering bits leading in and out of it won't be erased by SKINS.

Meet Saul. And Pippah. They are old. They are in love.

(Intro excerpt from "It Does Get Easier, It Seems")

Saul liked to imagine the start of their correspondence was simultaneous--that two pen tips touched down on papers miles apart at the exact same moment, each respective owner perfectly in synch. 

Pippah was more practical. She usually wrote in pencil.  

Saul and Pippah were prolific writers of love letters. Neither could ever recall any formal rulings on mail. It was understood that emails required more technical savvy than either was willing to develop. Text messages seemed both unromantic and unrelenting on aging thumbs. So soon after their first departing both started putting pen to paper, doing so with such regularity that letters began crossing paths en route from Idaho to New Jersey and back, landing daily in each mailbox like doves gone home to roost. 
Pippah never worried about what to do with Saul's notes. Left to her own devices by John's commitment to online poker, she could pass his squeaking chair parked in front of their sleek computer, the youngest item inanimate or otherwise in the entire aching house, with a dozen bits of correspondence taped to naked windsock breasts and he would never notice, if he managed to tear eyes from the incoming river of cards flowing on the screen. John never really had any curiosity about the details of his Pippah’s life--those which did not pertain directly to him, anyway. Pippah had ceased feeling alienated by this shortly after their honeymoon.  
Each afternoon after the mail arrived, regardless of John's household whereabouts, she separated Saul's latest letter from the bills and magazines and placed it next to a glass of juice. Once the rest had been sorted through appropriately, she settled down at the head of the kitchen table to calmly read his words, sipping juice and swallowing intimacy in full view of the world. Sometimes John would pass through looking for a snack or to answer their only telephone, but he never asked what Pippah was doing and she never volunteered commentary. When her reading was done she'd walk the carpeted path to the bedroom with Saul’s pages and accompanying envelopes, each slit open at the top with jagged efficiency, adding them to a pile kept neatly in their closet. After the first two dozen or so made it through her door Pippah began binding them in orderly six-inch stacks, each tied with a piece of ivory ribbon and placed in a designer shoebox. Over time the stacks doubled, tripled, quadrupled and then so on, until a romantic army of promises, missives and proclamations living in Chanel and Prada houses lined Pippah's top shelf.  There they rested, lazy sentries beautifully camouflaged, whispering their contents to dresses and dusty purses.
Her lover, however, did not have the similar luxury of privacy. Iris had married Saul with pure intentions, blind enthusiasm and enough conditioned cynicism to suspect her husband would falter in exactly the way he did, even if it happened years beyond when she'd have felt it really mattered. It may have been woman's intuition, or a keen awareness of her shortcomings. Maybe it was the kind of self-fulfilling prophecy one summons with years of subtle doubt. Regardless, she was suspicious by nature, forever combing the depths of his pockets and back of desk drawers for insight into her husband. Iris rarely unearthed more than receipts and forgotten newspaper articles, sometimes old postcards or photographs from friends. Four different times she spoiled her own birthday surprises and twice ruined anniversary presents. Once she came across pornography, holding the yellowing pages of a nubile form pulled from a men's magazine between her fingers, but the prints were so old and irrelevant by then that she labeled them benign, returning the nudes to their original homes after glaring at the girl a moment. She never found anything, in fact, that painted Saul as anything but a stand-up spouse and otherwise mundane man, a beige carpet sample lined up among her friends' patterned marital narratives. Still she kept on digging, indulging sick curiosity like others do small children.
Saul always knew, of course. He couldn't pinpoint how, exactly--it might have been when one closeted birthday gift was found resting askew, or when a Playboy centerfold was crinkled at her edges after he unearthed her--but after many years, traces of his wife's covert investigations transformed into a dull awareness that, though they would never discuss it, Iris did not trust him.
Knowing there was no box, pile, space or spot that would or could go undiscovered, Saul initially considered shredding each of Pippah's letters, eliminating the potential land mines from ever being laid. But as he held each scrawled page from her hands, some laced with the sort of sparse poetry only he would ever know Pippah Allenson to be capable of writing, he found himself unable to destroy them,  superstitious that with their burning some piece of her would die--that the softest parts of Pippah would turn to ash with his hard deconstruction.
One afternoon early in the affair a stack of ten letters grew into eleven, a number too great to continue hiding in the slim space between the rug and his night-stand's feet. With Iris in their garden Saul paced their bedroom furtively, wondering where to stow them before she came inside. He put his nervous head in his hands and hinged his legs over the far end of the bed, taking a moment to think. Raking gnarled fingers through thick, peppery hair, he stared from shoes to mattress and then back at the letters next to him, stomach twisted with anxiety about his paper mess. As he sat a sudden flash jumped in the corner of his eye--a little spot of sunlight reflecting on a tiny trail of zipper, peeking out where the bed's dust-ruffle had accidentally been pulled back to expose it. Pulling the ruffle back further with a fingertip, he found the zipper ran a flat equator around the entire length of bed. Once undone it exposed two interlocking sections of memory foam bedding, the pieces of cushioning he and Iris slept on every night. With a careful hand and eye the bed's entrails could be zipped back up cleanly, the zipper covered with the pale sheets and dust ruffle again. 
And so began Saul's practice of placing Pippah's letters within the depths of his marital bed, the one place his wife would never dream of looking. In between the memory foam papers hid like desperate fugitives, more gathering in hushed solemnity as each month passed by, until one day Iris and Saul Silverman slept on a firm foundation of years of Pippah's posts