the numerology of foodit's not myth. i once
no, many times interrupted
myself & spit it out: pegasus
flesh, dinosaur chicken nuggets,
rice & beans, into my cup while
my parents discussed acupuncture,
the housing market, family
members who only call
when they need
i heard her last night.
you can tell how she's feeling
by the way she walks
today, dragging her less-than-self through hellos, words
that say nothing
at all, androgynous frame making lines
on the day, a series of negatives
superimposed on air: the dying horse
in motion. maybe
you don't think
give fifty for one fourth cup
of pinto beans, one hundred for a half cup of brown
rice, maybe thirty five
for nine baby carrots maybe
easy give eighty for
an apple, depending on size. the numbers
there was a sound & it was
of coughing & it was a piece
of something that i
recognised. she walked out
of the bathroom & down
the hallway & i believed her & i ate
all of it
how to claim your birthrightshe moved constantly & never unpacked the boxes, like she'd fly away any second & watch the city unfold underneath like a lit-up bruise, with all its looping strands of streetlamps & cockeyed rivers & highways dangling jauntily from the face of the earth.how to claim your birthright4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she spun a symphony beneath her, hung a spindly bridge across the womb harbouring all the world's cigars & half its barren fish.
you could send her a package & never be sure that it would reach her. she never left by plane because it meant she couldn't change her destination midflight & she listened exclusively to bob dylan & sundance film soundtracks. she sent christmas cards in march unapologetically because she believed in proving things & no one knows when jesus was born. she moved constantly & counted on everyone else to stay put so she could show up unannounced at their door at three am with blueberry muffins.
or so she said
she also once seduced a chinese god (or his son) who proposed to her in mandarin with a fortu
hey seattle slew,baby girl or boy,hey seattle slew,4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i never planned on you.
i am seventeen years old and i want to adopt children because i'm afraid of bringing you into this world, i'm afraid that you will end up like me and i'm afraid that you won't. i might have named you elías. i might have named you nothing at all and let you choose.
i am seventeen years old and terrified, for you, for me. i hope you will have the chance to do the things i never did before now: read every last one of tolkien's books, bake a giant cookie cake, whelp a howling dog in your basement or backyard, tell a stranger your complicated and unadulterated feelings or thoughts on a whim, eat a whole jar of nutella in one sitting, turn an entire wall into a chalkboard or whiteboard for doodling when you can't sleep, stay awake for forty-eight hours, travel to another country to help disaster victims rebuild their lives. i hope you will be so much more than me; i hope you will have the best parts of me and i hope you will have some of the wor
ambiguous addictions& there was a nightambiguous addictions3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
ran me a bath. and he said
if he put in
he stay in the
room. he watched me
in the mirror. he
was changing the
we were alone
that night. the house
cinematic lighting &
and he told me
that he liked
my smile. and my
but nothing else about
it would take five
months, & a few
for him to say that
he always loved;
that he lived
i inhabit new
skin. and smoke
longer joints. but
bathroom, he explored
my makeup case.
he put on my mascara.
and stole my
lipstick. if you kiss
me you get it
he said. and i
he imitated my
inflections. & took
i had a thousand
out of body
he asked to join
me in the
bath. like knights.
i refused him. a night
he put his
hand in the water. and
he threatened to
pull me off. i could rape
he said, covered in
he gave me a towel, later,
whoever isn't youcould have made you a mixtape but i curled up on the toilet seat in my brother's brown sweater and chewed my swollen lower lip so the cut wouldn't heal. watched the pieces of my hair fray in the corner on cold tile like a nest for ants or roaches.whoever isn't you4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it's the kind of day where i screw the crackers and eat nutella straight from the jar.
epiphany #019: pulling out your hair is never as poetic as it sounds
mercy no mercymy mother sings lord have mercy. she wearsmercy no mercy3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
glasses, she believes, she has moles on her neck
& none of them shaped like jesus. she cooks
red beans & rice for the potluck, she glares
at me when i'm not singing. i fake it until she turns
her eyes back up to the cross. i fake it for
a while, for her. my mother sings lord, she stands
up a little straighter, lord have mercy. while
everyone else is praying i imagine she cries
like i sometimes see her doing. i can't ask
for mercy, i don't deserve it. & then she holds
my hand, rubs my back, i hope she can't feel
the bones there the way i think she might. she says
nothing, squeezing my hand, gathering the tears
with her thumb. lord have mercy. she leans
into me, that woman's husband passed recently.
she always puts it that way. when she stops
forgiving me the world will end. if there isn't mercy
for her i have no hope. when she believes
in me & i keep breaking her heart a little at a time
i know i don't deserve it but she keeps
on anyway. univer
the future is for gypsieswe are all twenty three point five degrees shythe future is for gypsies4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of even, a people off-kilter and invariably prodigal, timid
as our buffalo. you have a hometown, i say out loud
while driving in it, and you murmur something about murder,
the dusky war over your head. you say those birds don't
even know about the obliquity of the ecliptic, and here
they are, trying to change it with all their weight in the sky.
twenty three point five, you repeat, your mouth around it
gingerly as a psalm, as a lioness with cubs, and we keep driving.
there are sights: a stripped-wire cherry tree, its fragile arms tipped
with ravens, their children unstrung and clinging to
the window screen. people here grow thin and taut as their
nerves, hysterical with sedentary fear. we've stayed too long,
grown roots, become as player pianos too comfortable in
our tilt. twenty three point five makes echoes in the canyon
of your mouth, awake with heavy birds, bloody with desire
for symmetry. we pass our house and we keep driving.
unknitting the ars poeticai am acceptablyunknitting the ars poetica3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
“interesting,” a vegetarian, & i “drink”
nyquil because i am “nocturnal” according
to my mother & the “paediatrician”
i refuse to see anymore. my family
is a collection of “individuals” all with their own
“unique” opinions & voices that stomp
along the ceiling.
i have determined
the “meaning” of meaning & i will argue
with your “poems” & make you “uncomfortable” because
isn’t that the “point” of poetry anyway? we generally
hijack debate questions from fox “news” because
my uncle thinks jesus has enough time to
care about “politics.”
i’m a “girl”
standing with “other” girls
& i’m a girl in a “dress” & i look
like “alice” & we all
look like “seals” in barefeet on
black black “rocks.”
from carousels, from glassyou are a romantic thing much like tapeworms.from carousels, from glass4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the inside of your mouth edged with photographs, a dust jacket. when you laid on my bed i felt something
solid, the very small sound of tapping your foot, i became tangible but only
for a second. this is you on fire.
this is what you would be on fire,
an electric-hopeful kind of time bomb, there that is my bedspread with the
blood on, there that is my belief in
this world and you are trampling it. and dragons also, they touch you without and i
allow myself to be unglamourous, it's this part i know so well. you touch me
and i begin to spit up spider legs in your sink.
epiphany #472: the cookies you gave me are stale and misshapen but they still have the sprinkles on and i keep them in my nightstand drawer
if you need a place to stayone kayak & a lakeif you need a place to stay3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
full of clouds, or stars, or reeds
that tickle your feet when
you dive in.
one kayak & a voice
that fills the lake, catches
the corners of a room, raises from the dead
old debates, while in the basement reigns
the sound of bare
feet & concrete, the unshelving
of teenage doubts, a thin wash of
smoke we shut outside. &
life jackets litter
the floor, faded
out of the shape
of bodies, & the west wall
shelves cluster with
coffins labelled in vavo’s
handwriting (the only thing
he gave to me besides
a love of
solitude & card games) – quarter
inch screws, masking tape,
miscellany (my love of
words too). &
a television set that
shouldn’t work, the way
bees shouldn’t fly but it does
& they do. then
we tracked damp footprints
indoors in spite of our mothers, shook ourselves
dry like dogs, began experimenting
with our half-selves. now
we creep down-cellar
& whisper to each other: i am afraid,
i am a fountain of self-loathing, i have been
I wish I like Tarantino Moreyou never saw my jacksonI wish I like Tarantino More3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
pollock or the rubber duck in
we never showered together. or sat
in my room
listening to bob dylan or simon &
garfunkel in central park
live; or the silences
that frost up my windows. we could
have spent months
in the silent noises of night. they make
you are always handsome.
we had moments in space. cosmonauts drinking
bourbon. these golden days
as lightfooted adventurer. you made my mascara run. and
i believed in god
i still dream about you most nights. dressed in
red or in my imaginary bath robe. and
i can smell you sometimes on
my clothes. in my hair. my skin
absorbs you like
you have seen a lot of my body. and heard
i wish you had seen me watching
television. and running late for
school. every morning.
I wish we had been mundane together.
on murray streeti am rehearsing (you & i in myon murray street3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
me without my peroxide tips or
panties. and you trying to
seduce me over
it is tonight. somehow.
it could have been a wrathful moan.
or a dylan verse.
we are another side. that was our
album. we had more than
we had our own vengeful alphabet.
and we invented our own
and both refused to paint, at least
our own company.
and we might have meant it when
there could have been genuine
shivers along your
and we never fucked.
and we never made love.
and we never shagged.
and we barely kissed.
and you were scared of my breasts,
and the way i could
glide rooms and shyly
anyone i chose.
you could only last two minutes with
me, you said when you laid your
quietly on my chest.
we could have loved
each other, one day
if i was taller or thinner. and you less
of a prick.
and i'm rehearsing tonight. my breaths.
the arch of my
the way i hold my beautiful
wrists in your
cask wineon thursday we were in lovecask wine3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
now; and you won't
here is my box, in my
i'm a whore, perhaps. just
a model with a
there. i'm a feather.
it is a new season.
a new war, but i'm
not a virgin
martyr in your
no esctasy. no rapture.
a silken glove.
if i was
cask wine would you
it is saturday. a new
one. full of blood
my hair is blonder. & i'm
fur. i'm hating myself
and kilojoules. maybe
i'm fat or too
maybe we were
reprinted lily ponds. restructured
that mean nothing.
not rembrandt after all.
yatha-bhuta nana-dassanasatori becomes her. of the timesyatha-bhuta nana-dassana4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when she'd pick up twigs we say little,
or nothing. she would say they dreamed too
of being trees.
she felt the shock of alchemy
as seeing a sunflower for the first time.
i never knew what she was to me. on the eighth day
after my grandfather died she committed herself
to sky. loved it savage.
she'd say another twig dreams of being a tree, and
spread herself across the ground, and she'd say
gravity will give me up yet.
that was her grand plan. sprawled over the earth, becoming a twig.
planting herself, saying gravity will tire of me.
on the seventy-third day after my grandfather died
she came to me with her left foot suspended in air, flushed triumphant.
how much closer she would be
to the migration of sky. soon her right foot followed
vague in its twiglike nothing-weight. a hazy silhouette
of migrant girl, this too was her grand plan. for self-conquest,
sated by starving of the world.
glutted on atmosphere and dreams of being a tree.
on the ninety-seco
where you go when you die.in every story, there is a plot. this is called what happens. what happens is usually someone dies and someone rebuilds, someone buys a wedding ring and she eventually says yes. what happens is we lose touch. what happens is we stop at the laundromat, and i dont know if i am inventing the men smoking cigars on the porch, or if it is really thursday. what happens is i am nine and you are a few years older and we are in the laundromat with three baskets full of clothes.where you go when you die.5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what happens is my parents are waiting in the car and we have quarters weighing down our pockets and we are grown up as we press coins into the slots on the washing machines. we giggle because we are the youngest occupants of the store, its one large room lined with washers and dryers, and we giggle and we wait for the buzzers. we grow unsteady, confused, younger as we realise that the dryer does not live up to its name.
perfect crimenaming is the oldest thing we doperfect crime2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to each other. i attach your name to
your body just by speaking it out loud.
i do evil to your body with syllables,
poison you into your bones, make scales
of your feathers if i want. i burrow
into your body, find a series of false
names, the lie of your marrow. i feed you
to my human power, hunt you with my pen,
dig deep into your neck with it & let
no air through, a no trach saviour
i call myself today, falsely but without
pretence. i lay my body down beside
a humming maggots' nest & feed
their anxious children my apple core.
i won't bury a body that isn't yours.
ataques de nerviosi did yoga forataques de nervios3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
forty minutes. he kept saying
two breaths. two breaths. i breathe
a lot faster than that.
find the end of the breath.
i sank into every
pose like i belonged
in the dirt. relax, he said
you've earned this pose.
i breathed and breathed and
cried and thought about crying
and about the depression
commercials i couldn't stop replaying
in my head. he said the end
of the breath is most important, so i
breathed in and in and thought about
my lungs exploding or filling with halogen
and i breathed out
and out, all the light leaving, to a whisper of
my life and waited. eureka, i
am a genius, prescription pills
can fix me, i have
finished my novel, moving on
to end hunger.
lying on my living
room floor, how
failing to breathe
the right way. where is my
moment of enlightenment, my satori.
my alcoholic cousin says she
thinks of inhaling
a ball of light. so here
on my living room
floor in the pose that i
could not have earned,
chasing the end
of the breath.
it's raining in our hearts.four months ago, the weather was warm but the sky was dark except for little glowing drops of light that sliced through the darkness and pounded on your cracked windshield. the wipers were screaming back and forth cutting the comfortable silence we sunk into. your knuckles were white on the steering wheel as if the bones were begging to get out and i swear, i could hear your heart beating from my seat eighteen inches away. your eyes kept straying from the road to my face as i stared decidedly out the window watching the storm build and calm in the reflection of my eyes as the sky poured color infused water droplets on us. i wanted to pretend like this wasnt the most beautiful thing id ever seen since that would never count for anything. i wanted to pretend like this wasnt perfect since that tends to be so short-lived. but it was beautiful and perfect as you parted your lips and let your heart sing. it was raining outside when you said you loved me.it's raining in our hearts.5 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
a week a
too much britpop "too much britpop"too much britpop4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we are disconnected telephones or piano
solos. we are both irregular french verbs. we are dope.
we could lie on each other consensually in conditions
of dry & wet. we should never be
I want to spend months of afternoons
you; I want to be pretentious in your company
drinking soy lattes & discussing proust or wittgenstein. you hate
most of my friends, but that's fine because I do too.
I want to catch buses with you. And trains. I want to
catch trams, trains buses, taxis & never feel
you remind me of noel gallagher.
the part of me that listens to Britpop with no irony tells me I might
love you. maybe. you have the perfect height for heartbreaking.
being without you is like inhaling without
I can live without you I just don't want to.
i smoke when i am anxiousmy back troublesi smoke when i am anxious3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
literature. i spend
most of my time
on buses with
and the world. i spend most
of my time saying
making the whispered coo
of expelling smoke.
i'm at art school,
i count things. important
can be counted
one to ten, one to
one hundred, one
to infinity which
at art school.
i give a stranger
a cigarette, i
am told, you're
a pretty girl.
but there aren't
or strangers in
for me to believe
a woman with wallsthe queen realised an empire. she conjured it straighta woman with walls4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to the sky and said sunshine. and said be happy, and said
harbour yourselves in the existence of trees and sand
and moon. she wore a blue polka-dotted bathing suit and
a wide-brimmed hat, solid with belief in everything. she opened
her arms decisively and made room for entropy under
the glass. the tide came in and she dug out the walls.
her breath caught in the capacity of the ocean when she tried
to sing sunshine. her sterling crown lay wrecked upon
the coast. she said dissolution is an element of legend,
and said atlantis is the triumph of chaos, and said smile. smile.
this uselessness is fundamental to the system.
a queen realises her patient empire. she smiles and
autographs her laundry lists. she smiles and she pretends
that the organisation of disorder
makes it okay.
for those who want to be in loveyou want to fall in lovefor those who want to be in love7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
hard enough to break your bones and
lighten your feet
lighten your heart
so softly that the butterflies you feel
pattering with their gossamer wings
beneath the cage of your ribs
and the breath,
blue in the summer,
can kiss you and the monarchs
as sweetly as your love
and her lips.
you dream of them at night.
silken like clean bedsheets,
familiar as your favourite chair
when you curl up with
a mug of herbal tea.
you feel at home
with her body curled in yours,
only able to sleep
with her skin under your fingers
scenting the blankets
with something no perfume
could ever mirror.
you write love letters
you dream emptily
unless she is there.
you want to fall in love
the way the gods drink ambrosia,
you want to treat her
better than their nectar,
sweeter than honeybees
and their summer-sticky feet.
you want a love beyond poetry,
from winter flurries
to springtime rosebuds
to summer sweet lemonade
to autumnal red leaves u
leave my heart out of this.so i recycle the past, compost your coffeeleave my heart out of this.5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
grinds and wear your work shirts to bed.
i try not to notice the lines of dirt
on the backs of my hands, the spindly
crimson streams in the whites of my eyes.
so i imagine electric fences beneath
my temples, surging lightning breakdowns
in every synapse. seconds cannot split
fast enough, i pull away before
neurons start to translate pain.
so i reinvent the sting every other
breath, i redesign my grimace for a
studio audience, i rethread needles with
camels inside. so i understand
biology but only in theory.
so i deconstruct the wheel, lovingly carve
the d from all our verbs and i stop
trying to love the whole world. i bake
pumpkin seeds and remind myself that my
heart is just a misshapen muscle.
love poem.she is sick into a poem, shelove poem.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on desert elbows, the tracks of her
bones swearing gashes in wool blankets
she bruises fingers on
string butterflies, fashions mirrors
of their twisted wire torsos
she is streets, foggy or
hell-sacred and almost ready to be
left, she some butchered queen
she is a sometimes mechanism,
she an eight-minute record, excessive
and muddy with feelings
she violates the chrysalis,
she a cream-skinned queen yet
child, she waits and waits.
from edear,from e3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
i am not miserable, i am sad- for the beauty in the world, for the poisoned lungs and minds fluttering like one-winged butterflies in dizzying circles in this world.
i am listening to your music. you sound so sad- you sound like me. i want to hold you in the fold of my arm, a pen for a sheep, a comfort, protection from the world so sharp on your skin. i could write you a hundred letters, but it would be much clearer to show you if i could hold you in my body of glass, knowing i'm holding the only thing worth saving.
with you, i am not infatuated with thinness any more than i am with money. it would be nice to have both, but it dims in comparison to the heat radiating from my core, the fire behind ribs. the satisfaction from your joy, your acceptance, your anything-but-hurt, is electricity running over my skin. it is more than enough. i do not need romance, i do not need sex, as long as i have you, i will