After the razorBy now, my hair is long again,
and curls around my neck. It has
uncombed itself in grief,
and is thick and slick with oil.
At times, it seems to hiss
from mirrors, or from the edge of sleep.
Such are snakes: Split
from end to end, their tongues
are treacherous and whisper:
"She will be back."
I long for Fakirs, or a flute to soothe and stop
the simple, the snivelling snake. To sing
a song of silence, and of India,
its waters warm and ever-blue - O India!
To be far away, and warm.
I have never been to India, and here
the days are cold. My hair
is all that is here for me to bear.
The snow is cold, and the wind is cold.
From my nose, something presses at my eyes.
Snakeskin is cold, but I will not
go bald. A story is better than none,
a song of sorrow can still be sweet.
Ocean's SongForgive my weakness, woman,Ocean's Song5 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.
On conversationsIOn conversations4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
have upset the order
of things, birds
fall fast and featherflappingly from
shaken skies, and leaves
curl backwards into trees
from frost in summer, my heart
is a bell that rings until
glass shatters and frost falls
fearful on the ground and I
just do not know how
to tell you.
Letter to a former loverI wrote you lettersLetter to a former lover2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of these hollow woods,
perhaps your tongue was tied
or planing out your teeth with supple motion
licking forth a better smile
a brighter future, at least
you never answered or gave word
that you had seen the fog riding
from beneath the trees on grey stallions
or that the woods themselves were
leaning out and giving way and
turning grey, mist breeding
hollow spines on brittle branches.
A MeetingYou will notice first, the bone juttingA Meeting3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from my meat, it is called teeth,
These are my lips;
This, like so, is called a smile.
And then there are the fabrications that I wear
The layers of silk, of wool,
of iron air
(indeed there is an air that I am not quite there)
- And feathers I have wrapped into my hair
And Afghan pearls, and finally
My hands, hare-fleet, and meeting
of coffee and loveI have lived too long on coffeeof coffee and love4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and of sighs in coffee cups.
Powderdays are blowing
from night to night.
I have stained and strained
my heart, dear heart, with coffee
and with you. I have held
the sun off my nose, and known
there are no easy roads.
But if there were, here:
This is my hand, I am your man,
let us walk, or run, this place
has frightened me too long.
amphitrite IIif my lip will still be split when the austral summer starts,amphitrite II2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and, all wrapped in rising sun, we're coccooning,
if we're throwing all the good things into a bucket of riverness
(and lawn flowers),
will we want to wake up?
I know I'll want to pour
my slice of eternity into a bottle of coconut essence,
make my foreverafter sweet and tropical,
and if your hands are balsam I can
carve my song in stone,
and I will never die.
But don't you ask yourself
why paper boats always sink, in the end?
I don't think I care.
I think they just sail off to a land without horizon
deep in the underwater of the bathtub.
You'll know when, and
you'll hear me sing a sea shanty, maybe.
I want to take my ship until the end of the river.
I want to see the spring pouring down blossom offerings
into the ritual water, I want
our coast of muck and destruction to be aflame with
I'm a shellfish and my fingernails are painted green,
I'm silent-all-these-years and fallen,
I'm wondering where my watercolor
The dying of the fairies.We have been dying for some time. Some say it is the children, that they do not believe. They say they have forgotten childhood, that they have forgotten how to play in the streets with scrapes on their knees, like we did and do, still. Others blame the clouds of poison that roll across the earth, carried by dark winds across the country. Some blame the metal of the modern world, the iron that is everywhere you turn these days. There is even iron in the air, and we breathe death with each lungful of it. The flying ones among us say the skies are turning gray. They say they can see flames and blue sparks everywhere they go.The dying of the fairies.8 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
The truth is, we do not know why the gates are closing.
The birds speak numbers these days, and chitter air-wave nonsense. Their necks twitch violently from the strain of too much civilization. The squirrels are starved and dress in rags, and the foxes no longer trust us. They once had such beautiful red coats, and now they look like children wearing their parent's c
BrackishAfter the wet season, beforeBrackish4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the midsummer night's drought,
I flight for the floodplains, where
the northern downpour bleeds out
and sweeps its love to the mouth
of my lungs. I sleep in the crux
of an oxbow, let my dreams flux
and flow fractured, deltaic. For this
is the way I piece myself apart,
a resolution, my absolution
in a new avulsion.
During the day, I move south
towards the river mouth, picking
pebbles, coral fangs from the riverbed.
A loose tooth is a common truth
in these parts. Bones are febrile,
eyelashes are made of chalk, salt.
Tears turn brackish. They cake
and crack on the flats of my hands.
This is my Pangaea,
this swollen geography,
this slacken land.
The point of no return.
Here, all else ends.
By dusk I meet the saltmarsh
and dehusk, grow halophytic
in the nightlight. I pull out
my hair, my fingernails, and
fill the gaps in my spine
with reed rhythms, saline.
The final rite: turning flesh to grass.
Tomorrow, morning mist
will drag the whitewash back,
ashes to ash.
a narrativea crow,a narrative4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
perched on my shoulder,
on my shoulder,
and soon his crowing,
his gorgeous crowing
he turned his head from my ear
so he could point his beak towards a man
catching his gold-haired daughter in his arms,
and turned back to my ear,
that man, that man over there, over there, over there,
his is as filled with dissapointment
as the sea with water,
look how he drowns;
looking at the gold-haired girl,
a bundle of giggles,
a bundle of giggles,
in her father's arms,
I brushed the crow
off my shoulder,
off my shoulder,
and watched him go,
and crow, so beautiful,
and crow, so beautiful,
in someone else's ear,
I miss him so.
astronomer's anatomyi.astronomer's anatomy3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
so gracefully stepped;
exhalation of debt
owed to none
a miniature trek
of the tongue
laden with melodies
sung to the back
of the sun
there's a wonder in hearts,
a pull to the stars
from the oceans,
from the moorings
there's a wander to hearts
as sure as the stars
fill the oceans
till the morning
all held breaths
and all heroes
can you tell
is the fire
worth the burn,
worth the struggle
if you can
if you're able
trick the words
into stable forms
shapes ripped from wavers
torn straight out of air
I will answer
I can dance around
skim surfaces sweet
there's a blunder in hearts
short circuits the stars
fill with motions
of our mourning
can you call it adoring,
being subject to the spin of the system?
I took a stroll
through the orbits
let the gravity enormous
have its way with me
Fold Overi.Fold Over4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
across the vaults estimated by every milky tone
the curious whirl in old friends gather a surface
wholly between each divide of behavioral light
cones bend to placate our amass combustion
until her legs uncrossed absolving my repetitive
nature to forget what conditions a truth has also
to submerge and share in upholding closely
the uniqueness of love we each must extinguish
estimated by every
cones bend to
our amass combustion
my repetitive nature to forget what
conditions a truth
has also to
against the uniqueness
we each must
extinguish our self
mother, can you mendi.mother, can you mend4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
for those freckles to glide down
the bridge of her nose and
into a generation of fresh sunspots,
but the daughters got the sun's affection
through their hair, one wheaten braid
over another, sometimes
under the needle's eye of the wind
and sometimes split ends
were all there was to mend.
and mother tried to reteach
her Indian braids unity
on young heads,
she tried to get her worn moccasins
to move too-small feet into dance,
but they ran through rivers
rather than around them
and too often had they sinned
before the hands
trampled azaleas under bare soles
and petals between toes
but sometimes the land
was all there was to mend
and truthfully, Mother was
afraid of crossing bridges,
in her hand-me-down car
or on her own two feet.
she told them,
don't you ever lead traffic over
quiet water. You'll startle our world
into a change.
last time she had,
the current came in alto
with a dirge of capsized trout
and for once the surrounding willows
dove in after something
SoftThe rain comes inSoft6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from the mountainside
and the musculature
quietens. The birds, the beasts,
the slanting cliff,
the light, the restless
the bits of lava and bits
of heartbeat and bits of
racing animal mind.
The rain comes in like a slow blink.
on watching the night close its eyes on you1. I will not tell youon watching the night close its eyes on you2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are pretty.
How can the halls and angles of such honest humanity
be so pinched between sounds as elementary as these?
2. You need not be two stringent boughs of syllables
nor weave your viney bones abreast these five petty letters,
whirling in the fire of the river
Do not attempt to peel yourself layer for layer,
leaving all the disgust behind.
Do not tally your body six lines
too short, hemming the holes into
puckers red as those volcanoes of strength
bursting at the base of your hips.
3. Blood is not satisfaction.
Blood is not patience, waiting for the rooms to empty
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
DementiaThe old man sits with stooped back.Dementia6 years ago in Other More Like This
The room is cold, just like his hands.
Thoughts have wandered like small children.
He wonders if he will see home again.
Thoughts have wandered home again,
with stooped backs and cold hands.
The room sits with the old man.
Like small children, he wonders if he will see cold.
Back stooped with thoughts, he wanders.
Like a child the small room sits, wondering.
Home again is cold.
The old man will see with his hands.
Thoughts have wandered with stooped backs.
The cold hands sit with the old man.
He wonders if he will see like small children.
The room is home again.
One Day I Shall Lay Down And Dieone day i shall lay down and dieOne Day I Shall Lay Down And Die3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and so for now here is my kiss, my golden-ness,
my forehead pressed against yours
like two strange animals lost on a plain of
red sand. one day i shall lay down and die so
now here, let these birds pick me apart,
show you it all, the torn underwear
and the girl gazing at the soft glow
on trees, the ferocious lion-love
weeping under the kitchen table. one day
i shall lay down and die
so for now i feast on beaches, your breath,
the flutter of my dress sore against my skin
someday i will find that peace,
plant a spring-flower deep in my heart, land one last cool kiss
on the bow of your mouth and slip away, i know that one day
i will lay down and die but for now
feel your fingers spread across my heart,
feel my roar in the night
27 [I]274 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she cried 'transubstantiation' -
why don't you eat dirt and
feel closer to Earth !(?)
i slipped ,jointlessly, seemless
quicksilver ,going downdown
until I wrapped my serptentine form
around the core
, a cold static stone
/mornings are not sunrises,
and arenot accompanied by angels/donot
underestimate them they are
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.
earth circuitAnd when the sun sinks, the earth's skin crawls:earth circuit3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wonder if this awkward creature would notice me the way I notice him.
He's so tragic at his throne
I stare after him longingly.
He never realizes that I'm the one
Who forever basks in his brilliant beams.
If only he knew how much brighter he could burn
He'd light up the universe.
I heard him speak of thirst, once.
The quenching lust of the stars had run dry.
So that night, I brought along a jar of acid.
(And how it gleamed in his glow).
I handed it to him, wrapped in taffeta ribbons,
I wish curdling joy
On my gurgling boy
I love his eyes, now
Clouded white like milk from a poisoned tree
And his throat,
Swollen and clotted
And his lips blue as the
I try to get him to laugh but
His body is stuck and
petrichorNiobe weeps.petrichor4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
gold scattered rough across
cracked earth and the last
remains of summer - they fell
like leaves in the arms of the wind.
some scents cannot be captured.
the gods bleed onto rock,
and the stone sends her prayers
in return: petrichor.
listen - the heavy thud of
rain on parched ground;
the monsoon sealing life back in;
the sky bows and kisses earth.
unlearn the constellationsI may carry my voiceunlearn the constellations4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on white-crested wingtips
but I refuse to take the names of birds.
My throat is not a desert
with smoldered star limbs
in place of sand, not a stone
for you to overturn and mark
with gentle cloud prints
or leave in the mud
to be perforated by bright moss.
My song is not made
to be thundered like a body
on the wind, to be bellowed
by the jagged mouths
of some distant, forgotten jungle.
It is made to slide along the edges
of twenty burning suns and rise
like a halo of newfound breath
from the crevice which splits
earth and sea. To break open
like the young, wet-winged dove
born of a glorious mud
which cracks mountains with its beak.
My song is this:
your mouth pressed against my heart
and my heart unfurling like a fist,
like a tree which tries to speak
but finds itself without a tongue. It is
a sky for you to stand in. A cold, unknown
world which opens its mouth in peals of
thunder and cries teach me,
teach me how to sing
as if I were some heavy-handed god