Throw-back poem: “Woman Ironing” (+ writing updates)

A couple of things to share with you today…

Thing 1: Big project writing updates, in brief.

  • Roughly 20% of the way done. Not as far along as I’d like it to be at this point.
  • In my defense, 50% of the work happens in my head, away from the computer. (Actually, a lot of the thinking work happens in the shower.)
  • Not using Scrivener.
  • Set up shop on our dining room table due to feline-related shenanigans, but sometimes migrate around with the laptop. An occasional change of scenery is helpful.
  • Made an 80’s playlist for related reasons, but only listen to it on breaks.
  • Need total silence while writing.
  • Afternoon iced café au lait greatly anticipated.


Thing 2: Honoring a couple of requests, I’ve got another poetry throwback for you. Like the last one, this was first published in a journal… because when you’re in grad school getting your MFA in Creative Writing, you’re strongly encouraged to submit work; the process is an unofficial part of your education.

LUNGFULL! magazine is a literary and art journal that’s especially interesting because they request a rough draft of your poem along with its final version. They print the two versions side-by-side so readers can see a fragment of the creative process.

I wrote “Woman Ironing” in 2000, and it appeared in LUNGFULL! magazine in 2001.





“Woman Ironing” was inspired by – and titled after – my favorite Pablo Picasso work. Picasso painted “Woman Ironing” during his Blue Period in 1904.


"Woman Ironing," Pablo Picasso, 1904

“Woman Ironing,” Pablo Picasso, 1904




That being said! Here is the poem, with my then-last name blacked out, as before…

“Woman Ironing” [Click on the images to enlarge them into readability]


["Woman Ironing" Kristi (now Garboushian) LUNGFULL! magazine number eleven]

[“Woman Ironing” Kristi (now Garboushian) LUNGFULL! magazine number eleven]

[2nd page - "Woman Ironing" Kristi (now Garboushian) LUNGFULL! magazine number eleven]

[2nd page – “Woman Ironing” Kristi (now Garboushian) LUNGFULL! magazine number eleven]


Happy Friday!

Throw-back poem: “A Garden to Tour”

Some of you have noticed that I haven’t posted haiku or other poetry in a while, and you’ve asked about it. Well, a few months ago, I decided to discontinue posting new poems here. Since you asked, though, I’ve got a throw-back to share today. From 17 years ago.

17 years. That is insane. The passage of time is just… creepy.


So I dug through ancient history and unearthed this poem. It was my first publication, published under my former name. I blacked out the name to protect the innocent.

A note on that: Several publications later, I married my X and took his name, then proceeded to publish more stuff under the new name. When I married Callaghan, one of my MFA professors strongly advised me to keep the name I had because of the publications (especially since one of them was major). There’s the answer, for those of you wondering why I never took Callaghan’s name.

My style has gradually taken new shape in the last 17 years, but even this poem was more narrative (I don’t at all mean that in a pejorative way!) than typical poems I was writing at the time. I do like this poem.

Have at it.

“A Garden to Tour”


["A Garden to Tour" Kristi (now Garboushian) cimarron review fall 1999]

[“A Garden to Tour” Kristi (now Garboushian) cimarron review fall 1999]

Backyard hibiscus who didn't make it.

Backyard hibiscus who didn’t make it.



Kitty updates in Haiku (Haiku 1: Cats)

Kitty updates today! I was feeling a pull toward something different when I sat down to write last night, so I went with it. What ended up happening was I wrote about Nounours and Nenette in haiku. It was a fun change of kitty-update pace, plus I’ve been thinking it’s kind of sad that I’ve written so few poems since getting my M.F.A. in Creative Writing with a Poetry concentration.

If you’re not into haiku or poetry in general, just scroll on down… I added a paragraph of non-haiku kitty updates under the last pic.


Haiku 1: Cats

(by Kristi Garboushian)


Bedtime ritual –

the voyeur of espresso,

wicker ball, a lyre.


Nenette cleaning her feet at bedtime.

Nenette cleaning her feet at bedtime.




His roaring soft self

to curl, melt the desert bright

in pastoral glow.


Nounours in the nest Daddy made.

Nounours in the nest Daddy made.




A swing, a feather

like a river marring stars:



Nenette deciding which toy.

Nenette deciding which toy.




The round vacancy –

morning routine, following

the feral other.


Nenette and Nounours enjoying a sunbeam.

Nenette and Nounours enjoying a sunbeam.


In plain speech, Nounours and Nenette have been happily snuggling down in their special nighttime beds that we put together for them: Nenette on her padded bar-stool (in the bedroom corner next to my side of the bed) that I’d swathed in t-shirts I’d worn, and Nounours in the couch nest that Callaghan made with a serape and random cushions.

Nenette still loves her toy corner in the living room more than anything! She studies her toy basket and paws at the toys she wants, lifting them out with her teeth.

On weekend mornings, I’m home to watch both kitties winter sunbathing in beams on the floor.

They’re doing well.