OlderTime is a lonely bastard child. I know
how it feels.
I explore the spaces inside, moist hollows
where the angels once worked
their mischief. Strange
what you can grow accustomed to. I probe
the old scar tissue: smooth, numb
in places. I imagine I can feel
their shades, tactile afterimages: a zombie
reflex, a longing
for a longing. It pulls
at the center of my chest.
I miss the certainty of need.
I examine new possibilities, take
steps, show interest, craft a proposition,
cut a book deal. I have always been honest,
for others, even at my worst. I read. I write.
I observe, offer advice. Business is easy
to come by.
I have my way with words.
I nurture the spark, zap
it with alternating current, breathe life
into the old girl. She gags,
stutters for breath, settles into a ragged
purr. Obsolete and in need
of a tune-up, but serviceable. Not so nearly
i said, "it's alright, i stillTo know completely in yourselfi said, "it's alright, i still4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that you have love inside of
you like a clamorous reservoir-
and to know the pressure of
inner space reluctant to
explode like light from
to know the only neck
your fingers will ever
articulate with is
that of a
I will reside inside of your
boyishness like an ever
darkening sea ready to
coagulate like the
blood that stirs
within my guilt.
Winter.As he talks, I imagineWinter.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the words are tiny icicles,
falling from the awning
of a late afternoon
to pluck holes in my eyes
all over my retinas).
"All the better to smell you with, my dear,"
I'll say to the girl he's remembered
when he leads me to drink from
her trough of tears;
"All the better to hear how we harmonize."
No black lace or lillies
stargazing from the sidewalk
of her bedside, no books
enscribed in braile or the
bent knees of leaving;
just smoke and stale breadcrumbs,
guiding her frail understudy
through cold evening
snowbonesholding my hands over the kettlesnowbones4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the skin on my fingertips peels back,
like dated wallpaper,
like flowers blooming.
they're burning from the inside out,
nails turning to varnish, turning to steam,
bones click-clacking their way out;
spreading like wildfire.
the whistling stops, and
and my fingers are just fingers,
ink stained, bitten nails.
sunlight streams across the kitchen,
my fingers warm and
slightly damp, i trace patterns on
fatefatalism stalks me.fate4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
its chalky finger-bones
scrabble at my windows,
greedy to pry panes
and rend gaps—
to vent its algid breath.
like a voodoo zombie
of the bayou,
by pious disciples
to the temple of matter.
they strain to evade
the burden of their choices,
worrying at the knots of destiny
and scattering dust
to fill in our footprints.
in a sly reversal of legerdemain,
they entice hands from rudders,
with their relentless mantra:
"free will is illusion!"
but illusion is smoke,
and stars still burn in my chest.
not nebulae, but hard points and brilliant.
I pass through them,
burning the fog from my eyes.
and the keeper of moments floats
exhaling the froth of promise.
snail-shell bubbles cling
in a filigree of paths—
potentials erupting in eternity.
and see! we are there:
perched at the cusp of the moment,
where only the genius of souls
can weave that formless foam
into the intricate lace of history.
I was Eros once.I stuffed my throat,I was Eros once.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and pockets full of roses.
I tied myself up with heartstrings.
I set myself on fire.
Ocean's SongForgive my weakness, woman,Ocean's Song6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and my albatross-hands that roam
from island to island, in search of rest.
Forgive me also
for my fish-school eyes, they dart from side to side
in search of something that glitters - prey
or the great white Kraken, or both:
"I have wrecked too many ships, and seen
them scream, I have held them like a lover;
come, my children," it tempts, and lies
softly at the bottom of the sea, singing.
Forgive my oceanic absence,
and the lapping and the lapses of my tongue;
it writhes in my mouth like the Kraken -
a treacherous, twisted creature
is love, and I do, make no mistake.
HitchhikerI am counting cars the same wayHitchhiker4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I count fishes in my sea.
But it is murky like suffocating drains
choking words I can't take back
a lonely side puddle on the road.
I don't look at the metal bodies
but the warm breathing ones
from rolled-down windows, carefree lollipop wrappers
bobbing mainstream music.
I count the drivers and passengers smiles
and theirs is more than the ones you give me.
I guess your car and try to find it anyway.
Is it ferrari red?
Like a horse with electric hooves
thundering my loose earth
with ridge muscles
fearless mane hair?
Is it a monster truck?
Like an armoured hunchback
banged up front-gate grin?
I'm beginning to think whatever it is
As your leather jacket that collects nightmare sweat
hands too young to belong to
As your pencilled past that
colours both our lives.
Baby, I have washed-up nickels.
I'll take the bus.
Chin UpAnd sometimes, coated and layeredChin Up4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with tens of scores of others' eyes
we forget the word 'lonely' -
so when it flings ashes
we blink, and are blinded.
291010early autumn is spreading her legs for winter and2910105 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
my breath reaches the stale air
like celtic knots, writhing in shapes of
there are subtle clouds
shrouding the sky
and hushed rosemary wind
time spent on wondering which words exist,
peach blossom in a sky of tapering velvet
we both look above
in search of a god, or stars which belong on your teeth
she was is could be a sunset and
he is the sunrise
blissful history, sheltered and surreal
a spine which kisses shower
pupils like a eclipsed moon
arrowed by cupid,
misanthropic and so sudden,
can you talk without it breaking glass?
soothed and sullen cheeks, ribs
attached to a sphinx laying
like stray cats, fingernails wander
blunder and bludgeon
bruises of rhubarb and custard
prey on pretty bones
Elbows UpElbows up, I could fadeElbows Up4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
into this bar and disappear.
Then my ghost would haunt
the oak and sweet whiskey,
leering at the flies slung low,
breasts exposed, slurring
perfumed lines to the nearest
warm body. Then your tears
could not move me to sympathy;
I would wriggle free and writhe
adrift like your lovers, cast
in bronze memory, immortalized
by absence. Instead I'll drink
to the musky human air, sing
off-key so they will remember me,
return to where you are not waiting.
Almost As Perfect As...We tied our promises toAlmost As Perfect As...4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Like ribbons so that we
And we lay in the grass
Calling the black ones Nevermore
And the white ones Odette.
Because if we could pretend we
Were in the same park
Then we could pretend anything.
And remember the fountain,
The bridge, the single tree
We'd sit beneath.
And remember the sea,
The house, the intellectual air
Which I never saw
But which you told me
So earnestly about.
Like a bracelet of silver
They are wind-chimes
When I breathe.
And the scent of
midnight, minus threewinter comes to beijing like an old coat,midnight, minus three5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
or perhaps a threadbare tide;
not a hurried cold--no, not yet so old
as an angry man--but careful, slow,
and weaving herself from wind after wind,
snow after snow--
like a shroud for a warm corpse
laying itself out on the street
at last to rest,
then, tugging like a baby at her own sleeve
she sees to them, the hot potato women,
the quiet men crying corn,
to the dusty coats and supplications,
and the sparrows blown like buttons
in a storm.
On Ariadnethe loom of lust:On Ariadne4 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
In the heart of your ears,
and till your outstretched feet
the spinner of mad red has corrupted,
her fingers like dragonflies threading
bark and twined grass into your hair
around your sure wrists, your angled feet
'this is love, my shining bride-to be,' you whisper,
and disappear with her among billowing black sails.
the abandonment of Ariadne:
He wooed you in a labyrinth of spinners,
and wed you in black sails, beneath jealous skies.
'Sleep and tomorrow you shall be Queen of Athens,'
Ariadne, sleep, tomorrow the sun will shine,
and the sea will ebb sympathetic away from
these deserted sands.
the death, or descent:
Spin, my hanging nymph,
sleep and let the dryad-tree's shadow
ease your descent.
The spinning nymph for our mad lord,
the gentleness for the grapes of wrath
and the delight for the madness,
come. Drink, be it ambrosia or wine,
be it mother and son, or nymph and lord.
Spin, lady, and drink, lord,
and I will breat
When God Sleeps.I. So it comes to this: pangea tearing itself rawWhen God Sleeps.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from our throats to pour into squares of newly open sky
where the stars grew aches and darkened lakewater
once bloomed into bruised winters. Somewhere
beyond the thick of snow, prayers are strung
on moon-rattled winds
and birds' teeth tear apart the poetry
of our hands. They will raise something beautiful
from these ruined words.
Continents shift slowly. They are
dirt-bound titans, these beasts;
rootless giants that mold themselves
to fit the vision we hold inside our heads. Oceans sigh
and their tides crawl ever upward.
II. Our shadows become umbilical
in certain light. Unknown children cast
dark shapes of water
to nourish the gardens springing forth
from the dirt's wrist like a eulogy for lost sky.
Morning doves sing because they see what we cannot:
the years between us laid out like miles and our feet
that never mark the reddened earth and
the passion-trees birthing flowers of such cold, untamed souls.
We are walking in the wombs of
.SetIt is Akhet, the season of sorrow and silt, and Set.Set4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
must tense his sandbreath against the slick of wet
once more. It's always the same: though he's unsure
who started the game, or whose face he wears,
he knows he must prepare for the beginning of the end,
the bite of night and all the slippages in the inbetween.
And he swore he'd bait their breath,
but they'd rather choose death than fear,
with their tombstone legs, arms pegged
in sockets and their locked ears,
burying themselves beneath blocks
built to the sun. They outrun him, every time.
It's a crime. He remembers what his mother said:
do what you're able to keep them faithful,
to keep them grateful under the table.
He wonders where it all went wrong.
So he must sink into the long light, fight wanderlust
for blighted floodplains, and try not to ask why.
There are no answers, only questions.
Even his name is disguised by the way they collide in the dust.
He won't look back to watch the waters rise,
or the blackening of the swallowed
HoudiniMy brother killed a cat today. There was a famous Chinese general who once said that you would truly discover a man through his torture. I have come to disagree. When are we more exposed than when we are in sorrow, ridden by guilt?Houdini5 years ago in Emotional More Like This
My brother killed a cat today. It was a little cat, a black one named Houdini with long fluffy hair and a sweet face. I'd heard of Houdini before when his owner pinned a note to our door when we were out asking if we would like to take him in. She had mistaken us for our neighbor, who has eleven cats. Her name was Holly and she sounded like she was between jobs.
My brother killed a cat today. It was a little cat, a black one named Houdini with long fluffy hair and a sweet face. He hit it with his car. It's a white 1997 Toyota, an Avalon. Our grandparents gave it to us in mint condition (practically), despite over 100,000 miles on the odometer. He put a NASA sticker on it and a sticker that says, "+5 Car of Driving." Before my brother got it, my dad had it fo
MatthewThe silhouette in the back seat seems to say,Matthew5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what's a few more miles per hour?
Jesus, there ain't any cops around at two AM.
The needle on that glowing green dial shivers, taunting.
After forty days of temptation in the desert,
I turned his breath bitter and blue from nicotine.
The illuminated cone of open road chokes the windshield
And he cranks the gas, feeling his back press against the seat.
A rush of lines and blue-grey pavement.
His fists were scarred, probably thought even Behemoth
was wary of his mirrored sunglasses.
And he thinks: bitch, you're gone,
You're all gone.
Bet you didn't say your prayers right.
He grips the cracked leather steering wheel
Cranks up the radio,
His feet brush crumpled cans
Of beer and Diet Coke
And he feels them holy.
I made him proud of that stain on the wall;
Made his fists bruised from scrubbing and scrubbing.
He stops when it gets light,
Wheels kicking up dust under the dead tree,
Bone-white, like fingers in the sun.
The dust scratches his lungs t
PortraitHis dimpled cheeks,Portrait4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
carved like a candle's wick,
speak of decades;
and somewhere in the hallway
I can feel my grandfather's ghost
slip off the canvas.
You look like him
she says -
that Roman nose
off fighting wars
in places we can't pronounce
and your clipped jawline
like long lost family.
I bet you wear a jacket like him,
as the new world
and focused like a poet
on the future.
I'll bet you even smell
like him -
leather warm and humid,
and the apple tint
left on your sleeves.
summer poemyou used to say it wassummer poem4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the only time of year
that actually deserved to be called a
sweat on our faces shone like
sticky cellophane, and we
ran through sprinklers if
no one was looking.
with damp undershirts and
ice-clinking glasses and
asphalt smoking heat
and dust - you said
everyone's eyes were a little bit brighter,
like we were
borrowing something [life]
from the sun.
you walked around your little apartment, smiling
in thongs you changed twice a day, when you could -
about how funny
the AC chose right now to break,
and you'd look outside and smirk at
crossing the street just to walk in the shade.
and i'd spend all day just
waiting for a shower
i'd feel dirty again half an hour after taking.
then i'd lie there at night with the
windows wide open and
your hot body draped
and i'd wish i didn't
have to share that bed with you.
you'd snuggle closer and whisper
and i'd pretend i'd fallen asleep.
Me and My Shadowi.Me and My Shadow4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
My shadow slips to silence among the aquatic acacias. Even here, leaves abound, draped over the fuzz-curves of his figure as he soaks up the moonlight. Papa's soft voice turns my gaze to the moon. Remember, Carlos, our shadows are but imprints of the moon. Remember the Eclipse. I shiver and hold onto an acacia branch. I'm careful not to let my shadow near the shoreline where sea meets sand. That's why acacias are aquatic; they drowned their fate with the sea, Papa says. We cannot, we must not let it be our shadow's fate. We are nothing without our shadows. And yet the tide sweeps towards my toes as the moon charioteers across the silver nightscape. I leap back onto the thorns, onto the blue leaves and pray my shadow seeks dry ground. Sometimes he doesn't pay attention.
My shadow ripples to the privacy of the umbrellas. Some aquatic acacias were born like that, shaped like the human plastic as though it would dispel their liquefied sin. I think about joining him, bu
the cricket and sailour.there lives a man in a desertthe cricket and sailour.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with cracked skull and lips.
he is broken and feeble hands;
his back where the deer-antlers
roam to graze.
with the winter winds he is
calm. the sea foam swelling around
his ankles feel like honey, and he is
dragged. dragged through the sand,
dragged until he is salt. salt in a
the clouds give way to bitter ships.