not an actual poemHow long can I sit politely on their couch?
He gets me a drink. I get myself
slowly ruined by the shifting of her thighs
and the way she gently touches
what is hers -
coffee table, fridge door,
Broad-mouthed, slim-throated queen,
I miss the days
when neither of us
owned a thing
architecturethere are poor draftsmen who distill sound
in forty-two proof and forty-nine hundred decibels
that will always sound like wingbeats maybe heartbeats too
whirring around the scaffolding at three hundred feet
where the men hurl their lunchmeat over the steel beams
far beneath where the airplane will land one day
and they all chant together "THESE ARE THE DAYS
OH YES THESE ARE THE DAYS" in a trembling baritone
fit through the skeleton of the city that shudders
like a violin shudders all night long
if it has to like one of the lonely women
shuddering in the pale light of her living room
cuddled up with her lung disease and the dog
that wanted to be in the circus but settled
for the couch like she settled into her armchair
one day and tried not to get up ever again
even when the ice cream man wanted to love her
and the mail man wanted to buy her a drink
or two when all she wanted was a forty-five
playing in the background like baptism water
or strawberry ice crea
lightrub your eyes,
in your hands
in the sugar
in your coffee, sprinkled,
ego torn and locked in your hair
do not feed it,
it is already
obese, on the verge of dying
sleeping. I never closed my eyes,
wrapped in vertigo,
I fell towards you
our foreheads touched,
our minds opened and then it was just.
The Southern Land Not Yet KnownDecember can break you
when you live in this
neck of the woods.
The sun is a tyrant, pressing his
blistering fingers on the mother-of-pearl
and the milk of my thighs, probing at the silk
behind my knees.
Filling up my eyes.
And every summer I feel a little more
like roadkill, hot and bloody
and splayed. The aching pulse
is too much to bear,
the spilling, the rotting,
the rigor mortis knotting up my spine.
I can worship this.
I can make this mine.
Faith comes from the scream first,
and it comes from the stillness second.
I see the lapis lazuli of the harbour’s curve,
cold and bright-filled jewel,
and I think I could understand this.
The summer storms, their dark and frantic rise,
the sharply swollen smell in the wetness of the dirt,
the deepest richness of the crumbled earth –
something primal snapping in the sky,
like puking or coming or finally,
starting to cry. I can understand this.
Salt on my teeth. Salt in my blood
and my sister’s hair. The snak
is my verse alive in amherst?solitude bred ingenuity while safeguarding innocence
Bird's eyeAn orange cat
elegant and frank
with a slim Egyptian face
dabs at a wounded bird
in the grass.
I bend low
and wave him off
with a gentle shove
and he relents,
showing me the crook
of his tail,
in his walk.
The bird has
tiny beads of blood
between its wings
and under its beak
but the damage appears
to be minor.
Its eyes are wide and gleaming,
wild and deep and black.
They pitch something
off balance when I
look at them.
is alive and unknowable,
as if the original darkness
of things lay in there,
the ancient darkness
for which the first light
I pick up the bird
and carry it off.
The cat licks
as if nothing
boys dont cryand the way
that your hand
holds onto mine
feels like the noose around my neck,
i'm trying to hang myself
i'm not dead yet.
but your thoughts
and your words are guns
and when they shoot me in the head
you cure it with a band aid
because you don't have
a medical degree yet.
your kisses have left me
black and blue
while i still use
the mug you gave me
as an ash tray.
and i'm holding on
to the lip stick stains
on the dresser
wearing them around my neck
to hide how you took
my breath away.
the observant curator will notice...the observant curator will notice...
softly, mocking the rain, and
horses shuffle, shy
of what could kill
or sustain them
slowly dissolving, diffusing
into the earth
of how people curate
their lawns instead
of their families
#3 (my love was born still)i remember the colour of your hair the day that you were born
and the way that your eyes gripped like vices,
refusing to see anything more than your own inner sanctum;
i can still hear the first, curdled cries you let loose into the world.
i remember holding the talisman of your birth against myself
and hearing your gurgling as we drove,
desperate to find relief at the end of yet another road.
i remember the curve of your mouth as you ate softened apples,
the way you struggled to fit your fist between your gums
and the saliva that coated your fingers when you finally gave up.
but mostly i remember the ways i tried to love you,
and the ways in which i managed to fail.
the writing on the walls.tonight would be
a damn good night
to fall in love
one of your cigarettes
it will taste like you.
let's have a shot
of cheap vodka
and chase it
with shooting stars.
if you fall asleep in my bed,
i'll wake you early enough
to see the magic of golden sun
on my bookshelf in the morning.
Heidelberg, 2011Heidelberg, your streets run
with the blood of philosophers -
roses and rubies cascade
where they once meditate upon
the river Neckar, the pink stones
of fallen castles to be spat upon
by the people. Heidelberg,
your history outweighs the secrets,
it catacombs through snow
like coffee grains wedged
between wrinkled stones.
The Altstadt is your legacy,
an anachronism; the Hauptstrasse
rambles through like a goatherd
beating a path for sheep; The Universitat
boasts arches and sandstones enduring
on history's pedestal - now lost
in the squall of market stalls peddling bratwurst
in the rain.
Heidelberg, from the Philosophenweg
I can see autumn's shadow collide
past and present, when summer leaves
brown in fainter sunshine, curl and whisk away
to dust the crimson rooftops, the pebbled paths
that once inspired scholarly thoughts.
Under my feet they promise of snow
sleeting from the peaks
of gingerbread mountains, white
and sugary, clumped
and rolled by human hands. I stumble,
and the earth c
ghost watersher tongue spins tales of poison,
lacing sailors with her forked lies
the ocean rises and falls
with quick, bated breaths from her chest
as the sails of her haunted, bowing ship
billow across waters of lost souls.
she pirates the never-ending seas,
and whispers siren songs
directed at youthful, wide-eyed sailors
lingering along the salted shore.
underneath the carcass of her ship
lies the eternal cemetery of her prey.
their cries echo in the icicle wind
while she laughs at their misery.
bruises and tattoos line her jaw
with one lone scar scraped across her right eye
a haunting symbol that she is
that even the huntress of the seven seas
can be vulnerable at times.
she’s forbidden from dry land,
a wretched curse she cannot escape.
she tricks souls aboard her boat
to gather tales from a land she mourns.
her eyes are glassy and her touch is cold.
the gag is still folded across her mouth,
and the bloodstains decorate her throat,
beside the nightstand sits a suicide note
004.a flannel shirt
those downcast eyes
your damn regrets;
your skinny frame
the moleskin book
i really miss
your classic look.
Early WinterThere's just one Earth, but I can't breathe with the others.
I'm not meant for them—
whether ordained by god
or tossed forward, into each other, by the raging indifference of nature.
Until they stop talking about weather
and the old men— what they wouldn't give for this misery,
wasted on the miserable—
I had said I will love you,
even if you don't love me.
tuesday nightsthe full moon aches.
tuesday nights are always full of statues.
i wonder what it is to be dead. do you remember
the mother? the comedown from the other, write
as an animal, as a breathing piece of fabric--
the fabric felt in the lines.
you are the main event. hold still.
disengage. you are no mercury flower.
imagine imagine imagine. the airplane
coating of skin to bone. all flesh is concentrated
on your ankles.
so much has happened and will happen
before we can respond to this as an end. epicenter.
the spider-work of lines.
the gas station attendant wondering
if he did the right thing.
the sky holding its breath, beware, beware.
there are no other answers.
there is never anything but light,
and light on light never told us anything about what
we needed to know or be or wear or be wary of.
catch the clouds in your hands.
call me miracle, though i am not
a thing of wonder, i am still
i am still a being made of sticks.
watch me fall apart.
exhaustion makes the most beautiful s
throbbin' the hoodthe garden, to be clear, means drone-stained and yonder stands,
and the guerrilla medium with its impression of white, dying horses.
And this, of course, is the body,
the tattered moon hung between rocks to protect the forest fire from the wind.
Now comes the part of the poem where I say something specific about myself
so I don't look completely full of shit.
So here it is: The garden is a crowd
in my dream, and my dream, the fragile panic,
and an excess of power-lines and their buzzing,
and a thesis on the institution of marriage-
How you can fuck senators and still be in love with a deserted house,
And the garden is duality,
how one person can exist in two places at the same time,
or be two people at the same place,
and its me the way the santa ana river dries to a valley of stones
and come find me and I miss you and how we're all different people and sometimes we're rooms and sometimes we're oceans and sometimes we're gardens.
snippetsi. your hands are maps i wanna memorize inside and out
so i'll always know the way home.
ii. you're dead to me but i keep you alive
on paper and black text.
iii. i will weave stories out of the lines on your skin.
iv. joke's on you: i made my heart out of nothing but brittle plastic,
good luck finding a home in there.
v. empty like a hollowed out pumpkin.
except not as scary,
just more pathetic.
vi. i have secrets that no one knows that i'm scared i will end up
taking to the grave.
i don't know if my soul can handle all that baggage.
vii. i want to hold fire in the palm of my hand
Basically I went through the first twenty-something pages of my favorites and sought out things I feel deserve more recognition.