From Whence She CameBack down to the sea-floor she goesFrom Whence She Came4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
back to the coracle-clusters and starfish that
clamour, cling to her heart too tight,
walking barefoot towards where she
came from. It is too hard walking on
earth, the way she wears pain like a wedding ring
Back down, down, crawling on her belly
on the forest-floor, alive with the buzz and crawl
of worms and bird-prey. Back where she belongs with her
crazy palpitating wolf-heart, her bloody
deer-throat leaking in the snow, her yellow
eyes in the dark.
Back down, beyond subway trains, piano lessons,
falling rain, from whence she came, to the snow-covered womb
where she first gulped air.
Back down to a place before wildflowers,
fish on land, back to a locked box
full of old souls, from whence
.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
ToastStraight up, my friend:Toast4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
that's the only way to drink a poem.
I raise my glass,
I know the drink, I know the game.
I don't want
your fancy blends,
a wine that doesn't know how to touch my mouth!
I raise my glass
and when I drink I understand.
My poison knows its purpose
and if you offer me your cup,
yours had better know it, too,
'cause I don't want to die confused,
straight up, my friend,
BoyMany women will write poetryBoy4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from you. They will translate
your nose into an apostrophe
your smile to the front side
of a parentheses, the back
to tears only once admitted.
They will filter your father's ashes
into adverbs that define your fingers
quaking along skin and sin
toward fibrous paper.
They will dismiss your flaws
as improperly placed commas
or periods born before their time.
They will inspect, perfect
& infect you with emotions
you never learned to muster.
But none of them will know
you as I did: a boy, bent
beneath the waves of love
and glad for it.
the living is easya tin man, white sheep rolled in dustthe living is easy4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
wears a grin, swisher sweets clinging
to his lip. he swirls seagrams 7 in a cracked
lowball, painting the side of my grandmother's
house with one eye closed & the other
laughing. he cannot speak the language
so i stare at him instead, his penny
loafers, his peeling skin, his snowy hair.
so i stare at his photograph on
the fireplace, wondering how anyone
who loved my great grandmother so well
could have died before i was born.
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
renga tree- hangoverjust before dawnrenga tree- hangover4 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
the hunchbacked moon
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.
A Handful of MothsThe mountain is a pincushion for cactus. It looks like some irritated desert deity just threw saguaros like spears at the hillside until s/he ran out of spears.A Handful of Moths4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It's movie night, and that means that tires crunch through the gravel at the drive-in to see the latest stars-and-explosions movie. It's robots tonight, great city-wrecking things with Hollywood voices and gears spinning behind their ear plates. That means that we pile into the cars and go, plaid rugs flung over the backs of the seats, plaid shirts over tank tops, team bumper stickers. Go Team! It's cooled down to seventy-five degrees and the condensation on my soda cup drops down to gather between my skin and the plastic.
We talk and talk and pay our dollars and park. The blanket gets tossed out like a bigtop tent and flattened in the bed of the pickup. The bed door falls down on its chains with a clunk.
The screen looms in front of the cars, cream-colored and silent. The logo of the drive-in dances around it like a screensave
Poem Translated...Listen to the caw. He calls in fearPoem Translated...5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
for his mother, shouting: This is my voice
being put to rest. A whole. A breve.
lay your cupped hands around my waist, kiss
the bones no one cares to kiss? The scraped
elbow, the pinky. My tenor cleft chin.
you cannot hear me from the way you swing
the jib, catching this light breeze off Erie. Already
BlewI could never dream of EnglishBlew5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
rains that lashed the slabs of Cornish
paves, as a wild clawed cat paws
waves into boats onto rocks
unto death. Hear the slosh
slosh slosh of Mousehole harbour's
bathtub slop; see the gulls flying
backwards, the rainbows as warning
flags, the white horses blowing
up the cliff and over the heath,
taste the wind-nipped salt
drying on your lips. Once I felt
the lightning buzz before
it cleaved a nearby birch in two,
once saw the eye of Men-an-Tol
winking in the storm, and fish
jumping for their very lives
straight into the mouths of birds.
The sea is everywhere. It bites
at our ankles, gnaws at the crags
in cliffs until the whole world
tumbles into its steaming maw.
It rises and falls, rises and falls,
hailing into the flanks of miserable
animals on the storm-sodden tor.
Do they pine, as we do, for one
last breath of stagnant summer?
SubductionWe drip into OctoberSubduction4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with the silence of spiders
heavy in our chests,
our hearts curling in
on themselves like
leaves in autumn.
Lungs unfurl into the
there is a breath, a whisper--
This dying wind whistles
through empty throats,
as if to murmur a warning,
perhaps, that we threaten
along our hipbones.
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.
Our Meaning and PurposeIOur Meaning and Purpose4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
All of death is death. Life,
too, is like death.
The way it erupts over you
laughing and spinning.
I was confused
so I asked God: What should I do?
Move your body and have emotions. The birds were dancing.
Could you be more specific?
But now God was busy arguing with Moses.
All of life is life. Death,
too, is like life.
The way it erupts over you
laughing and spinning.
Tomorrow is the sound
of a question falling
on a bed of questions.
Today I hold out
your name, God,
in the public square.
Yesterday reason, the slayer
of song, wended its way
into our will.
All of light is linking. Dreams,
too, would see us separated.
The way it erupts over you
laughing and spinning.
All of God is God. Dark,
too, is like God.
The way we usurp it
laughing and spinning.
illuminate my heartSeptember falls outside his window and the two-story house feels June. Time tilts here, the days canted to the left like the apple tree their grandchildren planted sometime last winter. It hasn't grown much since then, a few leaves on dry branches but no blooming flowers when spring arrived.illuminate my heart4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Today his fifty years seem like thirty. Sitting up in bed is easier. He doesn't feel as weak as before. The Pacific breeze touches his hair, chills his pale face and he thinks, Maybe Anna and I could drive down to the beachfront today.
He rolls to his side. She's burrowed under the covers, a blue blanketed lump, white hair poking out over dark blue pillows.
John reaches his hand out and presses down.
The lump rolls over. The lump doesn't breathe.
The lump deflates like a balloon.
The lump is blankets and no flesh.
"Mmm, good morning," Anna murmurs in his ear.
Cold lips kiss his cold cheek. John frowns.
There's nothing there--
Anna squeezes his hand, drags him out of bed. "Breakfast?"
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.
you've been gone findingyou come back hailing smokeyou've been gone finding5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and raining moss, hair unwilling
and a little crazed -
you are rifling through all the impossible questions
making philosophy professors chairs creak -
i can almost hear the pages
you've been gone finding
telling us This is how the world works
are laying thick
and clock sure -
you swipe at this wildly
you are saying
with the life in your eyes,
study with me:
the raining copper tongues
and frogs croaking bulbous
the furl of bark when it is stripped
you are asking
with your heavy wet sleeves
stitched in water-rust
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.
Progesterone.you should ask,Progesterone.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
if one could die from bruises
or pressure, sub-
marine and ready to tip
an ancient bell-curve.
naseous, I am full
of textbooks, upper-layers of
but you'll come down south
with me, after our bones
ache and stretch and I
told them, I did, that
all I needed was comfort,
at night, and I don't
care about doors.
please, please let your
31:12N, 121:30Emy Dear i just noticed31:12N, 121:30E4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
my balcony is shaped
and the wind is billowing
the moon up, up to-night
in her dusty purple garb
and i think
no Dear i do not want
to leave here: where men
build bridges over oceans
and live inside of mountains
like river dragons
where the sun shines
not at all at noon but gleams
like an orange at sundown
where the moon walks home
surefooted to where my neck
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.
for exit 165.in the outstretched wingspan offor exit 165.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
tuesday night you'll find them:
the foothills slumbering jagged under
sixteen inches of loose sand and
the city hushed and glowing, lines
of porchlights strung together in suburban rows like
beads on a chain
your house was cavernous hollow like a lung
the colors were dim and
jaundiced, a quiet rush of tepid water
bent the silence while thirty years of
smoking hung ownerless
in the air like the cling of a dead moths to a wall
you tell me of a dream that's vague like
clouds in the sky like
clouds in the sink with
your body limp and damp like
hot tea bags and
your face like spilled milk
all of my angles bisected by your limbs you say
you're frightened to nightmare
of rotary telephones and roadkill and
of a morning where there isn't any water left
to fish or bathe or drown in
of birds that
hang all over the mazarine sky like
tiny perforations in the
infinity of the skyline.
Even ThoughThere will be no caged fingers,Even Though4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
no tendons finely tuned to A from tension.
There will be no clenched teeth, gritting rosin,
to make the final singing note growl.
There will be unwinding bed-sheets,
hands slowly releasing the tuning pegs.
There will be slowly sliding scales
as the four limbs loosen past playing.
There will be a simple, quiet exit,
not to ovation, but to a hushed audience
who anticipate an encore,
even though it is uncertain.