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!
The Farmers SonWe sat sipping grappa as the storm clouds rolled in from the ridgesThe Farmers Son4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like the smoke from some great unseen inferno,
the wood walls and shingles of the house complained to us
in low groans,
of the wind coming up hard, through the valley,
and there was flickering light from a candle,
and she told me how light from a prism dissects into different colours that correspond
in some way to our bodies and that all of life was a rhythm
and I believed that part,
and I believed there were stars beyond the sight of man on any grey day
and that they might hold some greater secret than prisms or rhythms
or any question a farmers son could ever mutter,
and the wind slowed to a stillness
and the rain moved in and our voices gave way
to what my Father would call The Lords Music,
the pitter-patter of water
on the dry and flaking earth.
ersatzyour wake is the warmersatz4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
languid whorl of a sachet-latté
gone when six a.m. rain swirls
pavement scents of whiskeysmoke
& a careless caress away
under cinnamon-sugar grace --
and it was only ever this:
you were lovely
by trembled halflight, when you almost had
my summer-boy's eyes.
janusstilettos are bad for my feetjanus7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but nice for my calves
underwires are rude to my ribs
but kind to my cleavage
corsets bully my lungs
but hourglass my waistline
so good to my body
but, oh, so hard
on my heart
I Cannot Forget.I am a modern girl;I Cannot Forget.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I debate complexities.
I get migraines.
I don't know, either way I'm used to the cold sterile
of doctor's waiting rooms
and the bitter bite of medication.
There was a time, about a year ago, now
when even the thought of a germ
made me scrub my hands raw.
I have no qualms about describing myself as such;
this is who I am, I cannot pretend to be my sister
with her proud, broad, sunburnt fisherwoman's face
or my father, and his hands that can soothe panicking horses
and create order out of metal chaos, make something
that moves out of piles of bolts and puddles of black
sticky oil on the floor.
But even so
there was a child once;
a little bob-haired girl, and that girl was part of the dust.
Her hair was tangled and she wore truly atrocious clothes
and even at the age of six she knew that
knotted trees and soaring stripes of ocean over hill
were her - they were owners of something that she owned too.
I cannot ever forget the heat of t
half-baked philosopher.That was the summer my father promised to teach me Greek.half-baked philosopher.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
He read Greek and Hebrew and his sentences rustled like the
browncracked wishingpages of his bible
i wanted to believe everything he believed
i wanted to absorb his faith like water
i trusted my roots.
We would start with Greek.
I remember trippingtwirling past Alpha,
slipping over a mass of unknown penstrokes towards the endgoal:
I romanticized it awfully
you know, the vocabulary words and verb tenses strained scholarly latenight learning creating a gravity behind my eyes,
the depth of a new language
and you would stumble at my glance,
and plunge into a maelstrom, a whirlwind of Me.
I planned to collect languages like postage stamps
Greek would be my third.
One year of freshman Spanish had left me swirling
in translations and conjugations. I thought in Spanish that summer,
and it was like being swept through rapids in a tipsy canoe, the rush of everything I didn't know.
But Greek was new and old, unique
grammar and or
motionthis is an essaymotion4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on the shared body;
a brief emission;
some kind of fragrance,
or gathering. this is
moulded into the shape of
ice cannot be sustained
and every angel
has ash in her pocket.
i have often wondered,
do dead men
refuse to speak
ill of the living?
time. time. time.
we follow the sun
snaking across the horizon.
if you put your ear
to my mouth, you might
hear the sound of the sea -
- because within the night
there are horses, and
within the horses there is
a lonely star.
This, TooI point to the hair on my knuckleThis, Too2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and you say, “yes, this, too, I love.”
It is longer than the year before, curling
a little farther from my body. I say so
and you say, "I know."
I pull it out to two options: am I angry
that you saw my body betraying youth,
that first little slide, and did not tell me?
Or, do I pat your rounding belly and say,
“yes, this, too, I love.”
PetrichorI walk without an errand for the mind.Petrichor1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I must be homeless.
Neighboring enclaves separate our spaces,
belie their builders’ mirthless exhaustion.
Not even necessity can be blamed
for these mud-struck, brittle gourds,
these quick nests of vasculous organs
pulsing with their peculiar tyrannies,
briefly scuttling from their hovels
like sun refugees
darting into gleaming storefronts
waffled in concrete misery
all to forestall the end of their souls.
Where can we go when we only want to breathe?
Sitting in a park bench,
trillion-visioned, crowned with galaxies,
I can rest my weary invention.
I sense the weight of an unseen player,
a secret stratagem
as she moves her piece into the glade.
I’m set in place, yet unopposed.
Uncombined with lovers, children,
the slow parade of trees and heat,
I lay beside these stalwarts,
at once, still and hurtling
throughout the travesty of time.
I assemble a cumulus intelligence
near the playground,
threatening Summer with three days
ConfessionLips met in clumsy haiku,Confession4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
against each other, pressed,
the way the earth touches the sky,
soft and whimsy as the dusk.
Tongues painted passion-
halcyon atmosphere, infused,
-upon every awaiting space offered.
Metaphors dotted the hallows of limbs and tasted like the seasons-
a bursting and vibrant spring,
a hot and passionate summer,
an adventurous and teasing autumn,
a cozy and comfortable winter,
-all at once.
Skin smelled like Frangipani, an offering-
blossoming with intensity as the sun draped itself in twilight's shawl,
-and felt like a brick wall crumbl
HollowdaysShortened dim days and long starless nightsHollowdays4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The wellspring, the windchimes, the starlings
Dreary tunes about razorblades, and ash, and bone
The lost man's song, the October sonata
The walkingman shoeheels clack empty sidewalks
Past blank storefronts and soapsmeared windows.
Summer is a distant fire, muted by mist, fog,
Hollow days are here again.
No Longer AnonymousNo longer can I remain anonymous, just another girl checking in for her doctor's appointment. The moment I tell them the visit is to be billed to the state, and present this voucher, which might as well be painted in bright red blood, dripping and leaving a breadcrumb trail for all, with a neon sign that reads "sexual assault," I become that girl.No Longer Anonymous5 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
I see the way their eyes change. I see how they look at me. The hardness of the day, painted in the lines on their face, softens, just a bit. Their eyes, normally cold and focused, now try to melt my heart with their temporary concern.
I sit in the waiting room amongst the anonymous people. There's the elderly couple across from me; the Hispanic family: three kids occupied by the mom while the dad talks loudly on the phone, his bulbous body exceeding the chair he sits on; the blonde woman with her adorable blonde-headed daughter in the white linen dress; and all the other an
Stealing WednesdayJust this once,Stealing Wednesday4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
let it be an angel plume
floating on the borrowed breeze.
Something living but also alive.
A bouquet of forget-me-nots nestled
in the arms of Alzheimer's
the hands of hatred.
We aren't asking for a field-
The strength to take back tomorrow
Just this once,
Give us something we deserve:
The hidden dirt road
this isn't a prayer.i love, but i am not.this isn't a prayer.6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and now the wind is screaming
and the lights are dimming
and i am losing
over and over and over
and i just don't know anymore,
i want to fall in love with a poet,
because maybe then
i'd learn to listen when i'm spoken to
and not just keep shouting to no one,
and maybe then
i'd learn to be listened to for once, too.
we're dying -
he's denying -
i'm just losing
they probaby think i'm crazy,
but love, i just need you
to be proud of me.
watch over me
and hush the screams
and kill these dreams
i need to breathe
to be free.
Hansel and GretelWhat kind of motherHansel and Gretel1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
sends her children out
without their shoes or coats -
nothing but a trail of crumbs
to find their way back home?
They all find their way here.
Maybe it is the scent of holidays
freshly baked inside my kitchen
or the sight of spice drops
glistering in the rampant dusk.
The children like my house -
my rich ginger carpets
so easy to get lost in
and the pink pillows
puffed and glossy with promises.
They do not notice me watching,
how my fingers slip around their wrists
to measure their meager lives
or how I can smell when
they last ate their supper.
They only smile at me
and beg for more chocolate
in greedy little voices
and ask if they can see
what's baking in my oven now.
Drown MondaysThe best way I foundDrown Mondays4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to catch my seven-twenty train
is to miss the seven-o-five, be late
and grow a glut of yin
from the corpses of yangs
drown mondays to breathe tuesdays
but I nibbled cake and kept it too;
I caught the seven-o-five
and the hands fell off the clock,
fell off my wristwatch
Plum FedoraI wear my plum fedora out into the vanilla worldPlum Fedora3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
A world so boring and tedious that I wish for lightning to strike
The pale sun shines on, no storms seem to be in the cards
I slink back into my apartment and hang my fedora by the door
I need a jolt of life, something to energize my brain
Ease my pain, kill some time, rewind the clock to better times
A drink, some medication, maybe warm arms around me
Something to make me want to wear my plum fedora out
Sick and slow and cold as snow, my tumor grows and grows and grows
Blacklung badheart too damned young to be too damned old
A black bicycle pedals across the horizon and I wish it were six white horses
If this is the world's best offering I'll never wear that fedora anymore
Try to GrokThe TV blazes orangeTry to Grok4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the London riots
in our living room
I eat sliced Packham pears
with my four-year-old niece
these pears are good, she says
yes, I say. These pears are good.
After TuesdayElizabeth,After Tuesday4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I will not live like this anymore.
There's a small Universe to the West,
that sits idle in Autumn,
I will be there.
Hinged on all sides,
by suicide maples
that fall from the trees like droplets of blood,
and that old Raven
(the blackbird that taught us Canasta
on the lawns by Cedars Lodge,)
he hovers quietly above me there, in the azure sky
like a guardian,
and those two shining moons Elizabeth,
the ones we happened upon
through the windowpanes,
between our screams and shouts last Tuesday night,
in this Universe, those moons weep misty vanillas
across a falling horizon and I am free,
yes, I will be there, in the West.
And when I am there, Elizabeth,
you cannot hurt me.
strangeryou came clinging to the grace of a summer storm'sstranger4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
underbreath, came cold hands and tired eyes
and a bruised lip i'd longed to kiss
when you stumbled on night listing
too far to the left
cross my thistledown garden by old dusks
that wilt between, i'll keep my door open:
your lady in sepia doesn't live here, only
the ghosts and i -- and Grandmother,
in the far-between wanders when she can
but i've a place where you can
lay your wayworn bones to dry, and
if morning should come calling, i'll not
tell her where you sleep. and stayed awhile.
No Oaks StandOld brick-and-iron brewery, borders invadedNo Oaks Stand4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
by brushes of fennel, by wildgrass
home to shipping containers,
to refrigerated units, fans spinning
only when the southerlies blow
the wildgrass doesn't mind
my father worked here
my father died here
and the grasses grow on, grow tall
as the brewery sinks, and the wind whistles
I pray for strong roots and liquid head,
I pray to become the grass
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 words4 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.