T.A. Noonan

On Trading Music with My Husband

He says he’s glad he waited to listen to Disintegration — If I’d heard this at 17, I probably would’ve been an emo kid — isn’t keen on “Lullaby,” thinks “Pictures of You” is lovely, has no opinion on the title track since I forgot to copy it. Introducing him to The Cure is a triumph. He would have gotten to it, eventually, but he doesn’t know the album like I do. Has no memory of a boyfriend’s kiss during “Plainsong,” the push past no through “Lovesong,” the fuck you of “Fascination Street.” How I couldn’t listen for years, how the opening of “Prayers for Rain” made me vomit. When I finally bought the album, I declared myself cured. The pun is nauseating now, & when he calls — You should write about this — I know it’s worth it, the filling of a hole. Because we can talk without comment on taste or sex, because he promises to find the music I’ve lost, because he’ll listen to every song I play at least once.


Where’s Vegas When You Need It?

It’s in Nevada–right where it’s been since 1905.
Sandborn & glitterraised, it peaks the Mojave

about two thousand miles from home. I’ve heard
you can get married on a pirate ship, that there are

almost as many churches as poker chips. Which one
will hear my confession–that I’ve been dreaming of Cher

impersonators who pluck Swarovskis from their armpits
to dazzle my throat–& not laugh? Or, worse,

understand? There is no secret to its neon, just
coincidence–its atomic number the same

as my month and year of marriage.
As for the future, no mystery: Saturday will follow Friday,

rum will follow cards. I’ve never been to Vegas,
& I can’t hold on to what is merely a maybe.


Proverbs for Weekend Daredevils

Leisure was invented for you

No one questions a spelunker

There is more design in nylon than loess

You might as well leave the saddle in the stall

You might as well eat another twinkie

Better to chew the husk than suck the seed

Women love mosquito netting

Everyone loves a headlamp

Compasses are for brownies — so are maps

Nothing stays dry

You will hate yourself

Those in search of water will drink bourbon

Those wanting sleep should dream of air

Those seeking rescue should pay the goddamn pig


Never Slow Down

for The Stig

I only know two facts about ducks, and both of them are wrong.
I drive stick with my left foot. Mr. Sulu is my mate.

Bells scare me, stairs confuse me, my right hand’s magnetic. Some say
that’s why I naturally point north, why I never blink,

why I invented November & the curtain. I once punched a horse
to the ground. My tears are adhesive; they’ve glued

my visor shut. I speak to stars, if only to keep them safe. I have terrible
plans for the moon. As for my opinions,

they’re rubbish, like my paisley-lined ears, like my name.
Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had one. All I know is this.


Looking For a Few Miles of Adventure with Dear Abby

Dear Looking, you not only have an impressionable personality, but also a bizarre sense of humor. I suspect you enjoy your crank letters to advice columnists. Still, you’re not doing anything wrong, so please don’t give it up yet. Regret is the cancer of life.

Before you commit to marriage to someone who may not share your spirit, you owe it to yourself to see more of the world. Get it out of your system. That might be the encouragement he needs to clean up his act, not to mention adult fun for both of you.

As for your son, what he did was unfortunate, but his attitude is appalling. At 12, he’s not frozen into any role. However, since you feel he is not ready to date, he did the right thing by saying no. This girlfriend may not be as interested in having sex as she may be in doing what she thinks you expect. Think about it: her husband is away. She is lonely, vulnerable, and pregnant with her second child. What would you do?

While some couples argue that swinging opens new doors, I see it as slamming out what should be a precious, meaningful, mutual demonstration of love. However, you have more control than you think. You can stop seeing people, so you will no longer be tempted. You’re a wife now, and it’s important that you stay strong for your husband. Keep yourself occupied. Write. Fill your time so you can’t dwell. Look for little blessings. Smiles make people feel good and open many doors. Personally, it makes my day when someone holds the door for me.


T.A. Noonan is the author of two hybrid-genre collections, The Bone Folders and Petticoat Government, as well as the chapbooks Darjeeling and Balm. Her work has appeared in Verse Daily, Ninth Letter, RHINO, Phoebe, Harpur Palate, and many others. “The Trouble with Correspondence,” her essay on the intersections of witchcraft and body image, was named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Currently, she lives on Florida’s Treasure Coast with her husband and serves as both the Associate Editor of Sundress Publications and Managing Editor of Flaming Giblet Press.