On the death of Bin LadenWe are rough, all of us, and have lost
the touch and the feel of skin. We do not,
we do not cause friction, or love.
By now, we burn cigarettes on the arms
of children, if their names are odd.
I saw people dancing in the street,
the beat of their feet, their hollering,
humanskin drumskins, the bonfire bones --
they were drunk on blood.
O Babylon, you have made
monsters of all of us.
Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.
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.
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 lover3 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 Meeting4 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.
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
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
a narrativea crow,a narrative5 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.
BrackishAfter the wet season, beforeBrackish5 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.
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.
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
DementiaThe old man sits with stooped back.Dementia7 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.
mother, can you mendi.mother, can you mend5 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
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
Harvest MoonYou remind me of the harvest moonHarvest Moon4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
tugging the shore from beneath my feet, of
rowing out to sea in winter with empty nets
till spring, of catching every breath
in crystals on the same forgotten docks,
Where gravity knots my tendons into rope,
my teeth into chalk and ash, and my eyes
into searchlights scanning the horizon
for the first ship that leads to you.
AlterAllow me just this:Alter5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I fell into a deep forest. My femur
put forth roots. I did not say: oh Lord,
take me from here
like Rebekah, this is another
My mouth remained resolutely
closed. The moss
grew over me,
Oh Lord, I am scared.
Mother is reading, brows
at half mast. In the kitchen,
Father organizes sardines
on crackers. Home means
this soft quietude.
Five thousand six hundred
miles away, I am watching a donkey.
It stumbles on three legs; the fourth
is loosely curled, like a child's fist.
There are wild dogs in the fields beyond,
waiting. I am a dog, waiting.
The wind settles down
into the moor. The purple heather
lowers its head, then forgets.
It seems natural, as if the wind
was always there.
My neck bent,
I am lost in this.
Wandering, my hands
abandon their shape.
unlearn the constellationsI may carry my voiceunlearn the constellations5 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
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
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.
Uncoordinated LongitudeWhen I picked up the phone she told me that she missed the trainsUncoordinated Longitude5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the way the rain smelled in the summer.
I scratched a pattern in the table with my thumbnail. I stretched
the phone cord between my fingers and said I was sorry.
She asked what I had to be sorry about and I told her I didn't know.
I twisted the cord into a clover shape while I remembered
her laugh when we picked up the penny off of the tracks, tossing it
back and forth, watching it catch the light and throw it back.
She asks me where I am and I know she does not ask where so much
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.
6Either way64 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It is past seven and there is a rumor that you are coming home.
When I saw you last, I found
that word in your mouth. It was
foreign, a small success for your vocabulary.
I stalked it all the way back to the house,
sucked it clean and dry and no longer holy,
hanging by a horrifying thread.
What will be the first thing you speak of tomorrow;
what wills your growth, what wills you to change?
If we are wanted,
if the earth swirls right, almost cloudlessly,
if you should find my hand and whittle out
a new word
If you hiss
like a turntable
as you try to spin me round and round
It is only seven; I trust you with the time.