Photo, author’s own.

Once I was autonomous,

a whole person,

standing straight-shouldered,

with attitude,

complete in my own skin,

within my own four, one-bedroom,


A surreal and moving moment right out of the pages of IN SIGHT OF STARS

Try The Pull of Gravity for a contemporary spin

screenshot from internet of first edition cover

Of Mice and Men on your kids’ summer reading list? Try “warming them up” or following up with THE PULL OF GRAVITY for a “choice” read. And maybe this little essay below written with the help of my friend, and extraordinary teacher Paul W. Hankins, might help.


People often ask why I incorporated John Steinbeck’s OF MICE AND MEN into my contemporary young adult novel, THE PULL OF GRAVITY. …

9/11, Pandemic & Shared Trauma: Coping with Our History through Story

photo credit: D. Cassidy with permission to author

This September 11th marks a staggering 20 years since many of us watched in horror as the iconic twin towers fell, and our nation was under attack.

Many of us still grieve the shock and trauma of that day even while students in desks become ever more removed, not yet born in 2001, and, thus, without any first-hand understanding.

Now those students are experiencing shared trauma of their own: constant gun drills and mass shootings, political unrest, and, yes, even quarantine and a pandemic.

How do we cope with…

(What I Wish I’d Said)*

The author with her sister, circa 1967. Photo credit: my own.

That time you came to visit and

we walked the streets of Boston

holding hands,

me in my new

drop-waist denim blue dress

(one of the few

pieces of clothing I pine for


At Newbury Street,

we meandered in and out of all my

favorite shops

me, so happy to share my

stomping grounds,

you, with more money because you’d

gotten a

Broadway show.

A Mildly Sad and Desperate Idea from the Front

I have a love/hate relationship with social media, especially twitter, and the hate side keeps gaining ground. It’s not just the usual: the ugly politics, the righteous opinionated rants, the stupidity and falsehoods. The endless gifs and memes (ok, fine, I like those!)

A screenshot from the author’s private facebook page…

For a writer, it’s the goddamned comparison.

And, every day, there it is, right in my face:

The Thief of Joy.

The comparison.

The comparison to other artists, other writers, that I can take. That is bearable. I’m always wishing for their success.

The comparison to — or within — the industry — from my very publishing…

(Villanelle #5*, with luck and love on your first LA release)

In the hospital, the day you were born. Photo credit, author’s own.

My baby boy, a breath — now taken off on wing

3000 miles, a far, far way to go

I miss him so, but man, that kid can sing.

The least I can do is write you a poem

photo credit: Polisner (image is the author’s own)

I find myself in the city,

in my building (in this particular


I have the keys,

don’t have to ask for them, use the

a small one to collect mail that



take the elevator up (which I rarely did)

let myself in the apartment door

but inside are all



Still, I make myself

at home.

Inside my Mind Lives Kafka on the Shore

gae polisner

Just another writer trying to stay afloat in a sea of words. Author of several novels. Wannabe mermaid. Mother. Trying to age gracefully with no grace in sight.

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