1. sometimes when i draw his eyes follow me, and even while
in the dark they wrap me
with affection, desperate for a contouring god
to lay him on his back and define him where
he has molded
2. he tells me i was better off an
lucidi lie awake
until the back of dawn
unto the fore of night,
the chemicals of my anatomy
to release me
to give me
a fucking break--
i am not
the bed of bones
beneath my skin,
pour them from the opening
in my chest and
before the shadows
of the swallowed
jesepanouiscoring the thin lines drawn on me,
just making sure they are fine
just making sure
you can see them, sickly electrical stars
in the night like
the cherry sun of the fag, smoking
with red stop signs and
perfect symmetry to coo these pale,
willowy angles around
their infinite explosions;
they'll draw me
the best damn boardwalk the universe ever catered
over my body's strict
beautiful red ink pens.
indigomy mother knows a word for everything.
I could point to the jagged tooth in my mouth whose brother is missing on the other side; to the bones of my barb-like, womanly contours that convulse out of my heels and my hips, the ones my body forgot to correct. she would say:
when I was little, I would point to the clouds that hovered like gods above us in lazy, dreamy projections, looking like father's head.
"I want to be a sailor of the sky."
she would laugh and tell me:
(a cough; dizzy vapor escaping from the atmosphere in her mouth)
I read to her once while she lay in bed. a cigarette oozed from the gaping hole in her face while the asperous film of her lips kissed the shrivel bits of juxtaposed skin. her chest moved rigidly like land, up to the press of the stars only to collapse again like the beautiful, intricate structures of the universe; a heave of aspiration. she inhaled Marlboro like the air god forgot to give an
--though you tease the
world with your presence, like everyone's got you on
a string (or maybe you've
winding you up
waiting for your
ribcage boy, and show me how you
nicotinei watch as your
bud glows orange like
street lights and
your cheeks sink inward.
you smoke the
world, tell me
drug veins in
black coals that lock
themselves deep within.
you tell me to open my mouth
and bellow it away, you
want me to breath it
heirloom"you're just like your father," she tells me; eyes waning into half-moon spectacles, feasting upon my broken posture as i hang from the rafters. "always cowering from that which is bigger than you."
carnivore stainsYOU BECOME HUMAN WHEN YOUR CHEEKS
FLUSH AND YOUR GIGGLES ARE TRAILS
OF INNOCENCE ESCAPING THROUGH YOUR MOUTH.
before that you are a demon.
a purple bruise,
beating and wrinkled creature with eyes
cut into diamond ends that retract the light
placed on it in razor-sharp reflections.
you crawl forth into the world with an aching
squeal that could even make the heavens
bow to their knees,
make your mother bleed
like the first day of Woman.
your nails, nine months grown to fit that
of a clover's lucky leaf, sharpen like nails in the floor-
board, and your mother is a prune in which
her womb is lined with your exit marks.
your nails sweetly trim her bottom-lips
so that you will be the last thing
to break her, the first to make her,
the one to kiss her for
my heart is lawi called to you,
at the waterside.
the days we spent, in
trying to figure
out just how far down
the ocean really went,
just how many
bird-eyed creatures called the waves
and if our hearts and secrets
blended to the
defeaning, deepening blue.
i meant to write a letter -
i meant to write a letter
and send it to the proper address
and wait for a reply, like
the good girl that i am, or was.
i could blame the government,
a state-wide hurricane,
my dead aunt and her bankrupt
husband, my harried mother.
(perhaps you still loved
the concept i had left
behind, but we both knew i
could never get
We're all mad here.God's biggest mistake,
She sanded away
just to see her wishbones.
Calling boys peaches,
hoping they'd taste
just as sweet
Mad cats and top hats
had her questioning
her own rose garden reality.
Because upside down
is right side up,
and holy rollers think her
much too butch for her own good.
As she prefers lipstick kisses
over slithering tongues.
speculationand i felt like i did at the beginning, grasping at straws and hints and clues and god knows what else
carding the wool and spinning the thread and weaving the cloth of conspiracy
warp fact and weft speculation-fiction
i'd forgotten the adrenal thrill,
the external aural detachment
HeartMy heart exposed,
I remove the arteries and veins,
tie them in a bow,
and pin the heart
to the notice board above my bed.
Her soul bled from her eyes
into the pool of tears
at her frozen feet.
She is so pretty, they say,
made of plastic, as she is.
Like a real girl,
she can breathe and love and die.
eventually.i remember to use my voice only when i need it least.
stuttering, stammering, i am the suicidal yet soul bearing spitting out of syllables;
sputum and spokes of cilia heavily coat every word being uttered by a mouth- yours.
A gaping hole i have often found myself lost and found in,
time and time again.
the laundry my sick, cyclical psyche impedes upon itself;
bleach self-medication must be provided accordingly.
we want so hard to believe there had never, ever, been stains;
we live placebo li(v)es.
i am residue of a bubbling cauldron morphed into an epic (yes, heroic in deed and love),
i spill over; fire fazed, i finally face the cooling rigor mortis
ah! such affinity can be found in the word 'cooling',
it is what makes the rigor mortis palatable mind you.
as such is the earth's crust forevermore in need of cooling,
also is the heated passion of entwined souls and their capsules.
we become but a splatter of secret sauce- sweet, sour, spicy,
Chemical Attractions, Part IWe can learn a lot from salt.
The chlorine atom is fundamentally lacking, longing to fill that gaping hole in its valence shell, and those bright bits of energy dancing in amorphous clouds around a sodium atom are just too tempting for the poor chlorine to resist. Chlorine probably knows that it has no claim to those electrons. It might lie awake at night for days or weeks in a fit of conscience, seeking alternatives before sending out tentative feelers and inviting Sodium to join it for coffee... It's a romantic comedy in minature, and I think that we can skip over the montage of dates and dinners and late nights on the couch in front of a forgotten movie, set to some perky but meaningless tune of the early Nineties.
It's only much later, once caught in the throes and tedium of a borderline-abusive relationship, that Sodium begins to understand the true nature of an ionic bond, begins to search and grope in vain for those lost luminous stars that Chlorine stole back in the early days,
DelicateConcubines spill from fountain pens
the way a drop of blood dances in water
and skirts the truth
You wake up salty-eyed
and find men drowning in a wailing red sea
"It's cranberry bogging time," she defends
Slave ruins are called castles
It is past seven and there is a rumor that you are coming home.
When I saw you last, I found
that word in your mouth. It was
foreign, a small success for your vocabulary.
I stalked it all the way back to the house,
sucked it clean and dry and no longer holy,
hanging by a horrifying thread.
What will be the first thing you speak of tomorrow;
what wills your growth, what wills you to change?
If we are wanted,
if the earth swirls right, almost cloudlessly,
if you should find my hand and whittle out
a new word
If you hiss
like a turntable
as you try to spin me round and round
It is only seven; I trust you with the time.
MondayLines are not needed
but they were there
all the same.
Sunday broke the peace
leaving Monday uncertain
and I walked away.
Maybe happiness should be earned
or won in a game.
I feel I have been played.
I know you didn't mean for this,
your intentions honest,
you told me the truth.
The truth as always,
is a death sentence
and here we are at deaths doorstep.
Your mind scattered
when reality stepped in
we are too old for fairytales.
I fear the choice has been made
by neither you or I.
These are not our lives to lead,
But a hand or a stop sign
at a cross road,
you must decide.
All I can say is it will be ok,
I am not certain it is true,
but then I never liked the truth anyway.
I distrust open wounds,
too much of the pain is the surprise of blood,
the consciousness of fragility.
This wound you have given me is small,
it measures only finger to wrist.
Don't flatter yourself.
Others have opened me from throat to gut.
ArchitectureYou smiled over me as I worked
reading a birds-eye view of hieroglyphics
odes of love
mapped out in charcoal cities.
I let your hand guide the ceilings higher, higher
and we sliced diamonds in the sky
so that we could lay back and gaze up into our future
We planted our feet in marble columns
and carved quotes up our spines
Wind and rain beat at our sides
But we laughed and watched our nails turn green.
We loved bouquets, you and I
but I took a secret solace in permanence
in the wing I'd built in your name
until you used it to fly away.
Insomniacs This Way PleaseThe inbox in my head is full.
The secretary went home sick again.
I am as useful as the exausted mind.
I let my head hit the pillow,
as my body gives up.
Can I sleep, just for awhile, to rest, please.
The sign says no sleeping
or smoking, I'm never sure.
Just once, to escape for awhile.
No rest, no peace, no sleep,
just the nightmare waiting to happen.
I am so tired.
The pills never kicked in,
because I am still awake,
with my eyes wide shut.
I can hear the messages in my head.
They never stop.
I have to write them down.
Before I forget.
Before I sleep.
The Last DetentionI've spent too many years sitting
in the back of a classroom.
We see thousands of chalkboard faces
in the evening haze of rush hour traffic.
The nicest days of the year always happen
when our Teachers give us detention.
We can't be trusted to punish ourselves.
Grab a stick of chalk and begin.
100 times- I will not cheat on my husband.
100 times- I will not miss my nephew's soccer game so I can drink alone.
100 times- I will not leave smaller tips for the older, less attractive waitresses.
100 times- I will finally get the courage to kiss her tonight.
100 times- I will tell him it is over if he hits me again.
100 times- I will not be weak.
100 times- I will notice the sky today.
100 times- I will invite the widow in 5A to Christmas Dinner.
100 times- I will call my sister.
100 times- I will learn the difference between what is worth fighting for and what isn't.
100 times- I will ask my co worker how he is doing and actually care.
100 times- I will do more than just get by.
What if there
the last poem i will ever write for you.last spring
(after almost a year)
you lost me when
you fell into a venus fly trap.
there was even a sign saying
'THIS IS NOT A VENUS FLY TRAP'
and i believed it. i am so
sorry. you are a rose.
and what you couldn't say,
you spoke with your blood-shot
eyes leaking blood-clear tears
and i believed you because
you meant it.
i painted you turtles.
you pulled my hair.
we wasted gas and blew money on cigarettes.
we fucked like we breathed- erratic,
and savored. you held small
secrets that only i knew. we
promised to get married and
hump each other senseless.
we went hiking
and before we left
you had to have me on
your living room floor.
i had not seen you in a week
and all the messes we made were
cleansed in a semen-salty bath.
on the mountain-
we stopped at every bench for a
cigarette because we were out of
breath. we never made much sense in
the first place and i went down on you in the wilderness
because at that altitude you have to go down
somewhere. you hel
winter always reminds me of you.It never snowed last December, but it was always there on the horizon. Like a bad dream on the periphery of my vision, a relentless reminder that I don't ever have control over things the way I think I do. The way I want to. Recently, I realized that I feel everything a bit too sharply. The cold. The pain. The nothingness.
It's heart wrenching. It's stomach twisting.
The minute you were gone, the air in my lungs left too. It's amazing how long you can live without breathing. It's much longer than anyone tends to claim. Truthfully, it's not even the thing I miss anymore. I only miss you. I miss the feelings. I miss anything that isn't the slow crack and settle of this old building. Or the familiar beating of my heart. The sun rising and falling from the sky each and every day.
I don't remember what it's like to not wake up to a pattern, but I do remember that it was so much better than this.
I used to never know what to expect. Now I have no expectations at all. It didn't take me long t
confession to my most preciousyou're beautiful
you're a drop of perfection
you're so worthwhile and deserve only the best in life
and I can't promise you'll get it
but I can say you deserve it.
I dreamed of a door - EDITI wore the thread that slipped from my daughter's baby blanket around my wrist,
white against tan, bumpy yarn,
it's been four years since my mother patiently crocheted the stitches together
while my daughter rolled in my belly,
I dream and there are doors under my fingers
and I am alone.
I take my daughter down to the river.
The water ripples slowly past, carrying barges
for hundreds of years, my shoulders tan darker,
we are absorbing the sun, gorging on sweet cherries
and overripe strawberries.
I write a will and wonder what will become of you,
my fearless daughter.
I teach you to understand the majestic, eternal vastness of a river, then
spend the day skipping rocks out across the water,
to worship the sand between your toes, to pray
to the old Native American trickster gods,
the coyote trotting across the fields of waving grain,
the bright, crafty eyes of the fox, the sly, thieving crows,
to not see the world in black and white
or spend too much time waiting.