As of today, I've visited 24 states and the District of Columbia. (For the record, I do not count states that I've only had a flight layover in. That doesn't count in my book.) I found this website that lets me see this accomplishment visually (it was the first option when I googled, "states i've visited"). Yay, me!
Create Your Own Visited States Map


If I think too hard on it
an ache forms behind my eyes and nose.
It drips down into my chest
and expands,
pushing outward,
trying to escape my body.

I don’t let it.

Maybe because
I want to hang onto the aching,
the dull, expanding pain,
the invisible presence that lets me know
that I’m still here.

I am alive,
however much I want
to disappear.


Not Lake Tahoe. 
© 2016 e.gosney

A quick write up of a dream I had in January 2016. 

Like a satellite crashing to the earth, my vision zoomed unfathomably fast from the heavens to the brown nothingness of Oklahoma. Just before hitting the ground, a gust of wind pushed me upward again. In the clouds I glided, surveying the almost non-existent typography below. My cell phone began to ring: video call. A face appeared in front of mine, sans phone. (Technology is much more advanced in my dreams.) It was Tony Stark and I was being briefed on my new role as part of The Avengers. “Finally!” I yelled to myself, keeping my cool on the outside. Avengers always keep their cool. Except Hulk, but we’ll give him that. I continued to fly while Tony Stark, who was at that moment getting geared up into Iron Man, told me that we all had to meet up in California immediately. And also, I would be at a disadvantage on our missions since I hadn’t earned the privilege of an earpiece yet.

The call ended and the possible consequences of the new information I’d just received began to form a list behind my eyes. “California, eh?” I thought to myself. “That’s much too far away. I’ll never make it in time. Let’s just jump over to Nevada to make the trip a little more manageable.” So jump I did, over Texas and Colorado and Utah, touching down near Lake Tahoe. “Much better.”

I’d strategically landed near an airport (smart), so now I could just make my way to the ticket counter to purchase passage to Anaheim (obviously we’d be meeting at Disneyland. This is The Avengers). That’s when the seriousness of my no-earpiece situation began to register. “How will I communicate? That’s HOW they communicate! Will they be able to hear me but I just won’t hear them?” Then I started questioning my identity. “Am I truly an Avenger? Who am I really? What is this life? Where did my cat go after we moved away? Did I lock the door when I left the house?”

By the time I had settled on the fact that I was, in fact, part of the Avengers and I would, in fact, get an earpiece of my own one day, I had made it to California. Images of the Hulk smashing up blocks of city streets and Hawkeye arrowing down enemies flashed in front of me occasionally, like a dream within a dream.

To get to the rendezvous point I had to snake my way through a minefield of kiosks in an average California mall. A jewelry stand stood out amongst the rest, the kiosk fashioned to look like an antique hutch painted robin’s egg blue and burgeoning with gaudy necklaces. The owner — a portly woman with a sour face and long brown hair — approached me as I tried to avoid eye contact. “Where do you think YOU’RE going?” she spat at me. I made a break for it, only to find myself and the kiosk transported to the top of a burned-out castle, encircled by blackened brick in a nearly-windowless touret. “You’ve destroyed our business!” the woman screamed at me, while I took in my surroundings and tried to find my bearings. “Are you listening?” Another woman spoke to me, appearing from within the kiosk. She was, no doubt, the owner’s daughter. “All of our necklaces are ruined!” the daughter shrieked, shoving one of the larger-than-life fake gemstones in my face. I could tell this was going to end soon and end badly. Avenger or not, I didn’t have an earpiece, therefore I didn’t have a hope.

Just as I was reaching for my cell phone, sure that there’d be an app on there that would help the situation, Iron Man burst through the door, blew up what was left of the kiosk with his hand-rocket-thing, and motioned for me to follow him out through the hole in the roof.

We were close to the rendezvous, I could feel it. We landed in the middle of a structure not unlike what I imagine a Russian prison would look like brand new and actually built in the 21st century. Huge gray walls made of concrete rose above us, jutting and turning in what I was able to picture from above as a human-sized rat maze. “Stay alive,” Tony said to me, “and meet up in 15 minutes.” He flew away, leaving me with a belt full of hand grenades, an assault rifle, and a machine gun. As soon as he blasted off, I started taking on fire. I ran for cover, finding the high ground quicker than I’d anticipated. Safe — for now — behind one of the concrete walls, I looked down at the labyrinth of wall-encased pathways to find my attackers. “There’s some!” Without a second thought, I propped my gun up in the opening and fired three shots. Pop-pop-pop! Three men down. I withdrew, throwing the gun around and onto my back as I sprinted up a ramp and away from where I’d just given away my position. More bullets came at me, whizzing past my ears and tearing at the edges of my sleeves. Dropping to my knees, I turned and fired behind me with the rifle again. Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop! Five more fell and I was still unscathed. Truly I was an Avenger.

As I turned back around to take out any other attackers who may have snuck up on me, I noticed movement in the distance. An overhang shadowed their identities, but instinct took over and I didn’t stop to consider if they were on my side. I pulled a grenade from my waist and lobbed it low and tight into the darkness. The explosion bounced off the walls and deafened me momentarily. Good thing I didn’t have an earpiece to worry about damaging.

I continued my hurried but calculated path through the compound, taking note of how good it would be as a museum if not for the bullet holes and corpses that would be sure to dampen the image. More bullets flew, narrowly missing me as I turned on the men from whose guns the shots were fired, taking them out with just one bullet of my own. I could not be stopped. The Avengers needed me. Then, just as I was approaching what I was sure was the rendezvous, a mortar skidded to a stop at my feet. This was the end. I could not run. I would not survive. I made peace with my 12 hours as a superhero and looked up to gaze into the eyes of my killer as I was blown to smithereens. But I couldn’t find them -- no doubt cowering behind one of those dang walls — but neither did the mortar blow. Once again I had escaped death. I would live on to be an Avenger for a little while longer. Perhaps even long enough to receive an earpiece and truly be accepted as one of their own.

©2016 e.gosney


©2016 e.gosney


It begins with a sentence
A word, rather.
A single syllable slipped out
between teeth and tongue

Wanting to be heard
but more to be understood.
Speech splices the already broken
fragments of silent resolve.

Pieces and bits
tumble over the lips,
finding too late that they will
never return to their secret solitudes,
their undiscovered hideaways.

The sounds turn to shrapnel
Cutting, piercing, wounding
as they shoot into the unsuspecting recipients.

Expecting, but all the same unaware.

Single syllables create words
create sentences
create emotions
destroy confidence
destroy trust
destroy what once was.

Needing to be heard.
Aching to find respite.
Knowing there is no welcome home
for the unwanted words
slipping out between teeth and tongue.


I don't care.

hooooOOOOOOLy CrapThatFeelsAwesomeToSay.

It happened seemingly over night. I just stopped caring. About certain things. Certain situations. Certain relationships. I stopped fretting. Stopped over-thinking. Stopped trying so gosh-darn hard. It wasn't a conscious choice, which made it truly awesome. I got distracted by the rest of life, I guess. Time ran short for all the things previously filling my day and head, so natural selection ousted that caring part. Not about everything. Of course not. But about things I should've been smart enough to let go of a long time ago.

I would love to be more specific. But the trouble with a public blog is that the public can read it, and the public includes people I'd like to write about that probably would not take kindly to being written about, and although I've stopped caring about some things, I rather like having only a handful of people that hate me. More specifics inevitably means more people to hate me.

So I'll keep this short, shall I? (Too late.) Not caring, as callous and selfish as it sounds, is the best. Well, to be honest, it is callous and selfish to an extent, but that does not negate it's best-ness.


There's something about the music that Deb Talan and Steve Tannen make. Collectively they're known as The Weepies and, I don't know, maybe it's because I've listened to their songs too many times while getting over another rejection or another move or another life change, but I feel like their music—not necessarily them—gets me. Like somehow it's part of me.

I guess, in a way, it is. It's become part of my experience. Or experiences, really. The melodies and harmonies—especially the harmonies—have intertwined themselves with the ethereal matter of my memories. Right alongside the images of that one guy I liked so much and that one autumn when my hair was on point and that other thing that I can't quite remember but it's fused into my soul just the same—there, alongside all those things and more, is the music.

You know those times when you get a whiff of something and all of the sudden, like that scene from "Ratatouille", you're back in your childhood home and it's 1997 (or '87, or '67) and you're wearing that horrible purple corduroy dress you're mom forced on you? It's like that, with me and this music. But for some reason, instead of being transported to another time and place, an invisible pair of arms reaches through my ribs and wraps itself around my core. I'm not sure if I want to laugh or cry or fall asleep.

Ah, man. Good stuff.


©2015 E.Gosney — Oklahoma City

Late Night Ramblings:

I live for the experience. Ah, but I have you fooled. I don't live for being in the moment. No, not for that part of the experience. I live for the afterward. For the time I can reflect and look at the photos and write about the highlights and the frustrations and the never-want-to-forget-this moments. Maybe that's a bad thing. I can certainly see people saying that. Well, I guess they HAVE said it. That life is about the journey, not the destination. That we should live in the now, and live like there's no tomorrow and on and on. But hey, in my experience, there actually is a tomorrow. And it's full of journal entries and blog essays and conversations with those who weren't on that trip or in that museum or driving down Route 66 with you. So I guess those live-in-the-now people could be right, but just not right for me. I soak in the images and tastes and feelings and I use them for fuel in the days to come. To give me something to create from. To relive. And not just for reliving the good parts. On the contrary, I often depend on the crappy parts of existence for my most satisfying pieces. Reflecting on those heartaches and angry outbursts reminds me how to feel. How I have felt. How things compare to one another and how rich and incredible this life is. So yeah, I plan and I anticipate, and I seemingly plow through those mapped-out days so that I can get to the other side, where the recording takes place and the storytelling can begin. Because, for me, that's what I live for. The stories. The remembering. And the looking forward to when more fodder will come for more stories, more remembering, more writing, more life.


You know those people — mostly women, I'm thinking about my competition here — who are incapable of taking a bad picture? For realzies, they're all like, "Ugh, I guess I have to use THIS photo to document day 17 of my yearly trip to Europe. I know, it's just so horrible." And you're like, "Ba--Faaa--jiggida--whaaa?" because it looks like they just got splashed with Fountain of Youth water and hit with sparkles from a vampire's body and their "messy hair" is like a unicorn's main.

Anyway, you know those women? I'm not one of them.

And so I have a way of thwarting anyone who would dare critique my baby-fat-that-just-won't-seem-to-leave-my-face-like-ever, or my hair-that's-been-struck-by-lighting-with-17-rats-nesting-inside-it. I just make myself TOO easy of a target, so then people think, "Why bother? She's gotsta know there's something wrong." You can't make fun of what I've already made fun of for you, suckas! Take that, Miss-Pegasus-Goddess-of-Perfect-Skin-and-Yoga-Pants! Sincerely, Ogre-Legs-with-the-surface-of-Mars-face.