Poem for a MotherWhen I was four
I'd follow you into the bathroom
on sticky feet,
press my little bird hands
into the back pockets of your jeans
while you were washing dishes
at the sink,
babbling on: Mommy, Mommy,
I love you.
Then there was the youth
who played Simon Says
to your aerobic routine.
I took jumps to your steps,
laughing as I tripped,
I wanted to go
where you went
I practiced to be
who you were.
The world split sideways
and I stumbled out
a teen traumatized
by the gory birth.
I'd've sworn you did it to me:
the red plague of my face,
the inexplicable serrating rage,
I beat at you as an extension
These years are quieter
and the miles between us ache
for your back pockets again,
to be in my adolescent womb,
that dumpy-brown carpeted house
with the over eager rose bushes,
all those rooms where I'd scream
Mommy! I love you!
Bad Mouth Habitsi.Bad Mouth Habits3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I carry God around in my lip like he's chew,
spitting his name out in poems like potholes,
I make everything a simile
for the hold he has on me.
When it comes to men,
I've the appetite of a Roman housewife,
I take, I taste, I tear,
swallow and then then toss up
for the next course.
I don't kiss anyone so dearly
as the glass pipe bridged between lips
Jameson, you're an Irish Lad,
a young ram of bucking proportions,
I let you rattle around my mouth
til I herd you in
Sometimes there's nothing so sweet
as the jack-hammer of angry words
or the steel trap clamp of silence.
I exercise my oral rights in
New FaithOf course it would be foolish to assume that the relationship between us is linear:New Faith2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I touch your skin.
to meet the meaning in your eyes.
Of course it would be foolish to resume the old ways of believing:
There is no pain
that this moment
cannot bend into beauty.
Atlanticyou were the ghostAtlantic3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
who made the apple fall.
it's not you,
sometimes the seeds
turn into trees
or flowers, strange
the strangest force,
and, at other times,
the wind lifts them away
so they never
touch the ground.
there's nothing left but course.
of course you are, but i must know;
do you go door to door,
knocking on the stars?
an architect's answer
to a philosopher's question.
over the atlantic you sing
like the end who just learned
he was a beginning.
over the atlantic you sing:
"god is an ocean,
and you can only pray
by kneeling on the ground."
Before You HowledI had forgotten for so long why I sang,Before You Howled1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
so many, my song turned into tumbled
bedsheets, bodies strewn,
nectar of a kiss overdone.
The lonely hoot low and languished,
I loved, My Love, I loved strong
and solid, the hollow notes,
the lonesome bones.
Crow, she came and whispered in my ear,
said your song is lovely dear,
take a feather from my wing, we beat
somewhat the same.
But the song, it was the same,
beneath the shadow of the bat, as
the love of a man
I nearly slew.
When she would call, month's later
the chiming at my ear, o' my heart
my little heart,
I heard her and she was me,
and I, without us, her little
black wings, my greedy perch, months
I'd call back, filter through the poems
I hear your notes in me.
Some nights she whispered love stories
of a girl, small-handed
across the mountains, a candid song
of love and loss
and loving loss, that which learns
to rumble after. She wrote of you,
far across, the distance
a somber color.
O, I listened to her song an
The WitchesThe witches speak a languageThe Witches6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
clearer than my mother's, the edge
of a blade, crack of broken glass,
silky slide of sin, come in, come in, in
my ear, a soft patting drum, the
spell bound lullaby
they croak and coo, all manner of
tone and it is sweet as the summer
tongue growing fat on hand cart ice cream
pops, brisk as the Boston cabbies,
neither here nor there, they are
ever here evermore. They are
inside me, flapper dancing
the pelvis bones, acutely out of
style and carefree, they have me,
the potion's daughter, their invitation
sheer formality. I am in, I am
in, I am deep
at the bottom of the cauldron.
Do you dare consume me? The woman
who gives cancer out freely and lives
to die yet never dies, the sick
anomaly. Can you hear them?
Press your ear
to the flat of my skin. I am
the cast-off shell of the sea,
hollow and rustling – that, there,
that is them – their greedy hands
are chanting, come in, come in,
Southern Belle - 2I want to sing you songs on the low notesSouthern Belle - 21 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
for hours. Comb your hair behind your ear,
gentle and lingering. Slip into your eyes-
anything. You are
a ripple spreading across me. You are refracted light;
slickness of an abalone's back. The soft pearl.
Idle thought of my afternoon- always, always
I imagine. And Bourbon's not so far:
nineteen hours through a day,
then I could see you. Will we ripen
Ryan's PoemHow many times did you save meRyan's Poem1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
The quiver girl,
strung tight and shaking,
self-nursed at the end
of a whiskey bottle;
shuddering off to sleep
a sick bat wrapped up
beneath your bed,
if you were lucky.
Good nights I curled up
against your broad shoulders,
as you palmed a bowl,
taking in air
to request records
and savory things
to eat - and then,
I nested on top of your pillow
as any girlfriend
yet never quite
I was hard on the heart, Darling, wasn't I?
we never speak.
Happy Birthday"This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we'll tell them that we love them, and we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight..." ~ Barack ObamaHappy Birthday1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Next year I will wrap you presents
and you will not understand the need for bows,
but will reach towards them for days
I will fret my wardrobe decision: do I dress you
for photographs or in a pattern that will hide
your smudgy fingerprints? Or maybe the floral one
your grandmother, your father's mother,
will surely buy you to match her couch.
You'll have to wear it sometime, anyways,
to appease her.
You will laugh, pressing slobbered fingers
into sticky cake, and scowl at the flash while I sing you
Happy Birthday; whisper in your ear:
it was the happiest day of my life.
In Connecticut, a former mother will spend the week crying.
She will wonder what flow
AcquittalWon't you leave me? I will love youAcquittal1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
more than if you stay, transfixed
to the point of reference, our bodies
melding a sad, soft sublime, the back
spine of a little universe blown out
like a crafter's hot glass, the growing
moment, the wonder, the expansion
before a chill.
pentadactylismpentadactylism2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and in so doing
you deign to make
some unknighted landfall
in a mime
of an irreversible
all this time
when we’ve gathered up the last
of roadworthy flowers,
touched our final
in the skull
on leaving . . .
we’re still together
hungering in underboards
dog-fed on blood slivers, whiplash and improvidence.
do we pick at moments
to unlock their gnashing
i have no reason for what i want
just . . . be my collaborateur
be everything that is outlying and forbidden
the cavus which cannot bear the weight of waterweeds
and i promise to keep you
ever since our funeral
in that godless hollow
of a mind
can't take my eyes off of you.you are the warmest tidecan't take my eyes off of you.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in the midst of an indian summer
pulling me in deeper with every word;
every whisper and quiet breath
from your flawless lips.
there's a language on your face
that i can read like no-one else
will ever be able to
the lines fold and curve and your eyelids
shiver and twitch so i'm able to read
into your dreams and tell whether
i need to kiss you awake and
out of danger.
i want to take all of your nightmares
and toss them under the bed
so you'll never find them
between the dusty old books
and forgotten papers
you don't remember putting there.
and i want to shut your cupboards
and rip of the locks.
in fact, why not get rid of them all together?
just live out of boxes
like when we first moved in,
as monsters could never fit in those tiny
cardboard houses with the mice
and the dishes.
count sheep with me tonight
and i'll tuck you into bed
with a kiss goodnight
and an untouchable story
of how two monsters
fell in love
and count my bones
in the morning as
you strip me
hint: these are wordsi am lethargic. my arms are sticks and my knuckles stone. my bones hurt to work. they are only placebos lying to me under my skin. but my skin is not so deceitful. and neither are my nerves.hint: these are words2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but my spine holds too many memories. i wish i had two- one for myself and one for you. one can be to touch. it doesn't mind the feeling of sticky appendages or ghost kisses. another can be to feel. it can let me forget. it can let me be strong again, a girl with thick backbones and healthy things honest under her skin.
sometimes i wake up with a sore chest. i wonder if my organs are beating me in my sleep. they feel glued to the bid of my ribs like serpents' tongues. my eyes are so dry i can't see. it hurts to see. but i can still see under my eyelids.
and all i see is your back.
Loving AustraliaYears like bilbies--Loving Australia1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
days like kangaroos.
Want lives in a pocket womb
(salt suckle; scrape
of your grey-brown curls.)
you shape your words.)
dredged in red dust,
sprawled across half a world,
by wrong stars.
graveyardthis is not a resting place:graveyard2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the decay is neatly trimmed back
with the hedges each day
and is not suffered to spread.
the dead are shaken from the dust
in which they lay
while officials rush about like gnats,
there is cement, gleaming marble,
bright, carefully tended flowers:
no dust, no chaos,
they cannot close their eyes.