Intimacyhere, a quake, so I name your fourth abdominal afterVenezuela - that landof tectonic plates that slide so subtle belowthe ocean floor, and just now,with my fingers featheringyour hip bone and your mouth adjusting the tempo of red rivers under the surface, I feel like a new mountain birthedby the shattering of old growth:bold, eager, desperate to possessthat soft blue sky.
Accidentat the corner of boone trails and owenshe learned the brevity of flight:glinting bumper for launch padtrajectory approximately 5 feetacross the median.she pirouettedas proud, as swiftas any prima ballerinabut the landingproved rough.this I keep for her -the listless weight of limbsdefying gravity, the beastly beautyof a body bouyant beforeits death.
Birth of PoetryI tangled my fingers in the curls of the universe,pulled. The earth fell out: round, warm, spinning.Awkward and shy, she wondered how she got here; howa rock that got wet and grew moss could be significant.So I scooped her up in my fingers, breathed her scent:(lilies and oceans and ozone and forests and fish and birdsand whales and rain and the empty elegance in wolf howls)death and life. I found chaosand knew beauty.
There Are Always AlternativesI looked up the synonyms -pang, throb, anguish, miserynone quite adequateaffliction is closer, better definedproviding shape to the problempsychologists don't want to solvebecause, as popular opinion holds,grief is precious, makes us humanand we can't dull it awaycan't forget to mark the movement of planetsin a universe lacking pertinence,can't smash all the clocks to avoidthat truculent tickingno, the psychologists say,we must suffer through itmust bear the herculean weightwith neither pills nor promise of reliefso we seek comfort in Johnnyor Jack or José, sometimesa Captain named Morganwe substitute addiction for attachmentand defy any to rectify the errorand when it comes againthere's the thesaurus to offeralternative avenues of addressfor the deep and abiding ache.
Dear Teen MeDear Teen Me,Too often, we lean toward writing to the general audience. I've rewritten this very letter at least three times, and had to scrap it each time because it did not accomplish what it needs to accomplish. It needs to be a letter to you, not to every teenage girl in America. It needs to speak to your heart, your dreams, and your faults. It needs to be about you.Since we were able to comprehend compassion, we've used it as a shield to avoid ourselves. We've sympathized with the plights of the starving in Asia, the trafficked in India, the raped and tortured in Sudan and Burma. We've given to the Red Cross on behalf of hurricane and earthquake victims. We've spent hours coaxing the mentally ill out of suicide, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. We've given everything we have trying to help others. And it is noble and just and right and selfless to the point of being unhealthy.You are a person, too. You need time and attention and care and space just as much as the
LeviosaThere once was a witch named Katwho wished for the pointiest hatthat any witch had ever wornas straight and sharp as a thornso she could place it where the teacher sat.Then our Kat would giggle with gleeas into the air like a rocket shot he!Ah, the irony his criticisms would carryas the class watched him flutter like a fairy.Maybe it'd be enough to set Kat freefrom the levitation lessonsthat felt like torture sessions.If only Kat could make the wand workso that droopy tip would perkupward, like a prayer to the heavens.
ObjectI prod the sticky skinbetween your ribs,find air lacking.there are words for this.I do not wantto know them.ten years ago you said that a humanwas more than an accumulationof bone and liquidbut here, with a cloth squeezedbetween the few fingersnot touching the objectthat you've become,I cannotagree.
b. 1954He was born to Elvis' first dreamy hit& a mother who preferred it to the softthumpthump heartbeat of her infant.He was born to a world sufferingthe high-pitched paranoia of racism,the tight lows of war ad nauseam,the slow slaps of McCarthyism.He was born to a family familiarwith the thrilling thwack of ringedfingers on flesh, to a fatherwho fled the frenzy in favorof that mellow bass at death.He was born the first sonand assumed the lead, progressedfrom child to man at percussive speed;Papa was a father long before me.But seventeen brought new birth:old guitar instilled young hands with worth.Those first strings were steel teachers;they taught him that blood forces to lifeimmutable love.Born to the timbre of darkness meeting light,to the cadence of right versus might --my father survived jittery discord,and unwound the melodies only a heartlike his could have found.
Desolateif you are parched tonight,the pale of your lips crackedwith thirst for that whichwill not claim you;if you hunger -the deep and shallow collapsinginto slivered vibrations;if blindness rejects you, saysno, watch now.this is the way of it;if you are breathing the worldinto cinders, inhaling each poisonon purpose, strivingtoward an apocalypsebecause that is chaoswe can categorize,then you may understand.
fidelic whore-- this is appropriationmy sweet synchronicity ,i have downed your appetitein a bed of front teeth (it is morning in perthmidnight in dublin, and the noonsun has been lost behinda dress of mothy curtains)do i taste ofyour forethought of love making;do i reek ofthe weeds that have infiltratedthe posture of your spine?-you bend overmy lap a curve of guiltand weep all night.i collect each knob of your bodylike a gift. press it to my mouth.swallow, spit.
adamantine AtlassometimesI think I used to be an architect,in a past life or adrug-induced hallucinationor something.I know itthe way you know things in dreams.I have this urgeto make things exactly perfect,straight and angled and curved,every line clean and directand pointedas a functionalist fantasy.but my armature's tired ofholding the weightof the world on itsshoulders;my cast-iron limbsare shaking,vibrating,trembling.no structure can perfectly embodydesign:form does not alwaysfollow function:all the concrete in the worldwouldn't match upto the pillarsI've placed myself on.
we watch too much internet pornblank, online eyesstaring through each otherssighsthat mean everythingand say everythingat near imperceptibledecibels becausehe's a claustrophobic,chainsmoking cityboy who whispers with rustledrestless dysphonia,hushing her to restful bradycardiaon secret wishes likeall i wantis for the landto stretch like thesands of timeunder my feetbut most days she is too busy listeningfor the train rattling the trackswhere his mind raceschild-like alongalive(though the only train she's heardwas faint steel staticon a youtube video)and her eyes are looking for his eyes full of all kindsof natural, youthful stars she ain't seen before(with strong, bright names like Orion-- not paparazzi-burned Angelina)but it's all in their headthe walls they need to climbto live and love and beand learnthat power outagesare not quite the end of the world
fathomand since you asked,yes, this is howI always see you:grinning, unchaste,eyes abright toxic viridian,like a bowlful ofMediterranean sky;like an oceansliced open at themeridian,baring its frigid depths,each tentacled squid,each sucker and fin andpoisonous thing,parted for meas if I were Moses,as if you were the Red Sea,as if I could seeevery wild thingthat teems within you
the invisible wounds of warhome is so different when you'restanding behind the wall;i wonder of the people wholive/will live in that house now as istand yonder on the neighbor'syard,my face illuminated in a yellowlight.i wonder if they'd listen to my windingstories; the nights i'd screamback at my parents as they screamedat each other -the tornadoes and storms that rippedthrough the back yard, leaving us untouchedbut devastating others -the christmas and easter mornings, goodtimes and bad, dreams and heartbreakand so much cigarette smoke stainingthe walls and my lungs.(we were a good american family withgood american values and traditions,weren't we?)i wonder if they'd listen to my twistingroots, sitting calmly as i'd tell themof the horrors of standing nakedin front of my mother to have her tellme my body was wrong.i've always been told that peopleabuse in myriads of ways, but neverthat the walls of my old homewould abuse along.
Going NativeGoing NativeIn your absence, the poems have gone into hiding,tucking themselves into indiscernible cornersand folding themselves into your spare socks.Monday, before dinner, I opened the oven to see a few verses slipping against the back metal,rolling over old stains and exiting quicklyout the front like steam. In a flash, they scamperedacross the floor and under the refrigerator. I haven't seen them since, but I know they'reback there rolling around, having a merry time.I heard them last night, scurrying and scrapingtheir hanging dashes and musky punctuationacross the floor, leaving sticky couplets clingingto the corner baseboards. Just my luck –no poems and extra cleaning.Changer de campEn votre absence, les poèmes sont allés se cacher,et, se repliant dans d'indiscernables recoins,se sont nichés dans vos chaussettes de rechange.Lundi, juste avant le dîner, j’ai ouvert le four
on self-assessmentThis is a poem for all the people who stillhave something to see in me. I couldcut myself on the sharp edge of my thoughts,bleed out a saturated river ofsomething sweet; I could be like a millionother gifts from mother nature to preservein glass cases and scientific journals andbuzz words, to picket and fight over andeventually forget. I couldwrite a million stories about the universein my stomach, and my lack ofa gag reflex and the irony in that.I could write about the blooming stormsin my head and about how I’m addictedto bad weather, and how I can’t hear myselfover the static waves rocking me to sleep.My best friend is the most beautiful hurricaneI’ve ever seen, slow motion wreckage who says things likewhat does it even mean, where arewe going, maddie, what am I even here for;My first love wasn’t special. It wasignorant and narcissistic and orbited around melike some neglected planet, like Iwas finally the center of a universebesides m
k.n., ii7 9 13 he took a bow overlooking interstate 680: car-comets in full spin, orbital lights his dreams planetary, saturnian - he almost sprouted wings that night and i cannot say it would not be beautiful; the palpations of downtown pumping luminous cells, coursing through highway veins and he, standing in the heart of his world visions galactic mind ecstatic - his feet began to lift just a little.9 20 13a few phone callsand a pair of
After a Blue Sundayi.The week slips hardrolling in upon itselfto pull me under;hardly a victim, more so:a participant lackingii.I clutch at taupe walls,boring walls that do much morefor occupyinga hangover than breakingthe monotonyiii.The after-break, break:realizing my solitudeundoes me quickerthan your infidelity;than her scent on your body
I'm glad you are aliveI’m learning how to diein every way;leaningon my skull,cradling my stomach,touching for the spacebetween the motionand the skin,feelingafter absencefor a shadowon the wall,unbuttoning the vialsthat elbow out likesprawlingstubble on the world,arising from an ancient sleepin my little corner street,all to ache againwith life,her ministries of moments,with heat beneath my toespushing down upon the planet,expanding like a cloudescapesitself. And after all, it is finethat I have known you.
denial and uglier aftermathi drink to you, raising my glass andchoking down the things you left,ignoring my gag reflex and waitingon the buzzing in my head, white cottonlullabies for the weak of heart.it kills me that we are just acollection of vignettes, that sooni might see your blossom fingersand bleeding sunset smile butonly as a memory gone static with neglect;this summer, i became a rebel. amartyr in a child’s game, a vagrantwith boxes of dead poetry to calla home, and when i asked you to want me,it’s only so you’d take the sanity and consciousnesswith you when you left. i missthe days when personality disorderswere not graceful.do you even remember taking me to the moon?you were so fucking tripped out on acidand weed and love and other drugsthat you thought we were a portrait.midnight blues and sober graysbreaking even for a story,but every planet we landed onwas already dead.and trust me, i know you wish life wasa one night stand, because youcan’t keep
we are not a fairytalewe are not a fairytale.I am not the strong lead with a heart of fire,bones of steel, and eyes of vapid curiosity;motivation seeping throughmy every last intended action becauseI was written this way(the heroine falls only to rise again:proverbial phoenix, burning outbecause it is the cycle of mylife) and you, you are notthe beautiful travesty, perfectly composedto strike me where I’m weak and[almost]human, delicately wovenlike the tapestry of my dismantling—a subtle irony where somewhere, a writerchuckles softly, understandingwe are blinder than church mice, bornin a makeshift world of darkness whereI’m not sure whether or not the sun willrise again tomorrow, because it won’t existuntil someone breathes life into it,but no. we were never so luckyto be carefully orchestrated,a composition rendered foranother’s satisfaction. I am not theclimax, nor the resolution, but a lambwith Stockholm Syndrome anda tendency towards peoplewith
dragonfly wingsi. There is an entire generation of humans who grew up learning how to be murderers,learning how to wound creatures for an audience and a laugh, and oh how they love to laugh, pigtailed executionersand torturers of all that frail lifethat could be contained in a quiet garden.ii. They take spiders by their bellies and put them one each on two ends of a stick,and they poke and prod and push until one decides to eat the other,for there must be a duel, there must be a death, or there is no fun,and the children will race off to find new things to hurt.They take dragonflies by the wings and stick their jewel tails into electric sockets,playing god in their pajamas, leaving peanut butter fingerprintson the little pockets of heaven they find and fight over,keeping the pretty pieces for their scrapbooks, like you could trap lifebeneath scotch tape and label it between lines red-blue-red.iii. Well maybe they know better, if you want to believe there's a muted brilliancehidd
Lately, the waitHighway traffic, seamless like the skiesof October; distant lights foretella visitor.A gush of wind, a magnolia laden threshold.Another blackout.We sharethemuch sought afterlunacy.[Lunar/lunatic]
the arrangement of astral cordsThis is how I'm built up, you see;stars trapped in the linings of mystomach andthe regurgitation of meteorsthunderingthe chambers of a heart--deconstructs of kaleidoscope-stainedglass.This is the reason why my throatbubbles like witch's brew--the insides of my body form monsoons thatscratch my lungs anddisintegrate my windpipe,an off-pitched dissonancelike wind chimeswhenever I try to shout or speak oreven whisper. (and they tell me that you could sing the moon to sleep when you cast your faithful nothings on a star)[and, no, I'm not some kind of genietrapped in an expanse of dustrather than a lamp]Darling, I was never caught betweena collision of star-crossed galaxies,nor an accident between the big bangand a black hole.I was born a star-child.and, no, they could never be beautiful.Yet, I could never be as graceful.I could never carve my face the way gods do, and