GroveThese paths are lined with your twisted-root intentions,
growing up into twisted trees.
They grasp empty hands at astrological signs,
and shadow me.
The night breathes fullness into shadows
and steals the hanging dust from the light,
leaching everything from gold to white.
I don't know if this is peace within your mind, this stillness,
or a slow and steady rot from inside- oaks that survived
fire, only this way to die.
BipolarI.Bipolar5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
A dove into a mirror;
A crow into a tree.
There is a word missing.
EnvyMaiden.Envy5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The space between us is slant rhyme,
Burning-in, saturation, and exposure time,
Ink curves he drew from a lead line,
The way his fingers fit in yours,
Instead of mine.
You are difficult to hone, granite.
I am prone to severing.
You are a vestige made of stone
That I could never be.
Are you what is happening to me?
Rain and gravity have
Weathered the weaker parts
They leave you standing
Strong, a pyramid, a mountain.
I am haunted: a cliff, daunted
By the sea.
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.
MinutesI cannot speak to what liesMinutes3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
beyond the wall of knowledge.
Whether there waits a god
to commend or to condemn us.
Whether there waits a god at all.
I have faith only
that our minutes together
are atoms, elementing us.
I have faith only
that, though moments
may be forgotten, overlooked, or lost,
like matter, they cannot be destroyed.
These minutes are molecules
in our solar storm.
We may dance with them
out past knowing and into god,
or we may dissipate,
throwing them into time.
Yet, I have faith
that these minutes will remain.
BesiegedIf, while thinking of me,Besieged5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are overcome with noise -
Noise that causes
in your synapses,
disrupts the signals
Noise that hums
with electrical impulses;
Noise that stiffens your bones
by arresting your nerves
with interfering frequencies;
Noise that swallows your serotonin -
I release you.
If, while thinking of me,
you are overwhelmed with honey -
Honey that sickens your stomach
with sweetness and hardens there;
Honey that covers your hands
and works its way through your hair;
Honey that fills your mouth
the way you taste,
the way you smile,
the way you breathe;
Honey that leaks gold
out of the grey folds
of your brain -
I release you.
If, while thinking of me,
you have one memory
that incites you to movement,
that reminds you to breathe -
I was a Lover Once, and YoungI will not go through lifeI was a Lover Once, and Young5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Wondering what our daughter
Would have looked like
She would have had
Dark brown hair,
Wild curls, green eyes,
A mischievous grin,
And Cupid's bow lips.
She would have been
Tall, fair, and thin
I will not go through life
Wondering how we
Would have aged.
We would have aged slowly
With laughing lines,
White hair, grimaces and smiles,
Reluctantly sliding into years.
We would have aged with
My bones knitting over
And over again,
With scars that never left our skin
I will not go through life
Wondering if I had missed something
Loving the child bled out of me,
Tied to the man bleeding for me,
Bleeding for the man tied to me,
Will knot me up
Unable to live again
Unable to love another man
Body of the RevolutionTo depict you, I studied a pictureBody of the Revolution5 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Of Venus, the woman of women
Considered to be flawless of form
Like you. Yet, in her, I did not find you.
You do not resemble her nature
Though you are a woman.
Will you start a revolution, woman?
Would you commission a picture
Parting from the golden mean of nature
Perfection redefined, woman of women
Recast, a new excellence: you
A precision of countenance and form.
You are no ripe-ribbed Aphrodite in form,
No well-rounded Renaissance woman.
You are no twig. More than bone, you
Are no catwalk girl, no advertisement picture
You are not made like those women
Now the definition of feminine nature
Are you similar to them in nature?
You share a goddess-curved form
Like the marbles of antiquity; women
On catwalks strive for your strength. Woman
Of women, commission a picture.
Recast a new excellence: you.
What do I study to define you?
Should I try to describe your nature?
Would you commission a picture
That I might write, I might cast your form
the love affairlife slides under the door andthe love affair5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I think about you not knowing how to love
and touching a person's sleeping eyelids
to change a dream, to lie here with you
under a silent oak tree, the sunlight
has begun to breathe and I am digging you a grave
for your past and your future, I am
holding you here, the trunk of my car open to let the sweet
sound of a song rise into the
air, it is rushing by
and I have premonitions or
I just got lucky or everything
nothing vanishes without a trace
I hold despair in the palm of my hand and cannot dance
without spilling it onto the floor, it
seeps into the carpet
but you are holding out a towel and the sound
of your laughter is like paper birds settling on the branches of
the tree growing from my ribs
FlyThe sky bruises as easily as I do-Fly3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
darkening hues that give way
to bright yellow and white that
give way to black again.
I always had my eye on horizons,
and rebel cumulonimbus.
I rise and set, and rise again;
I boil, release, and then, emptied,
The sky is kin; this skin is constricting.
I'd rather be breath than be breathing.
LucyAnd in your bed, alone,Lucy6 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
I lifted my head,
met the lopsided grin
and the kaleidoscope eyes
of Lucy in the mirror, met
the bruised neck
of your former lover.
I joined those lines
of women perched
on your edge or hung
from your wall, and all cinched
tight with measuring tape.
And, jumping from your precipice
immolatethe first stepimmolate4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to sadness is to
punctuates the bruised
shorelines with broken hearts and
shore creeps up, kisses
my feet. sometimes he rips through
the distance between
the air here
vibrates to a fire,
sparrow's heart humming in c
major. it does scare
how i might love you
more than ibuprofen, or
the way the light might
through an ether storm.
the person i am now is
with who i
was before you. but
how do i scrape myself out
from under my own
we caught the
moon between our feet,
heads falling behind us.
things i will
you: how you can't stop wearing
lemongrass and how
the smell hides
away under your
collarbone; the way you wear
saturn on your ring
keep neptune's rings as
keepsakes when you come back from
the sky [to remind
my favorite colour
Love and MarriageQuincy was an awful letch,Love and Marriage4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
untamed and yet himself a tamer.
He broke those mild-hearted girls
like horses trained without a bridle.
He sold them off to other boys,
consignment, yet hardly handled gentle,
until the day he found a woman
who was difficult for him to handle.
And though you might believe
that the punch-line is simply that he wed,
ladies, I must confess, I know
an even sweeter ending yet:
Quincy wed a feminist.
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 Letter To Lillith Kellogg.Yes, of course you can borrow my white dressA Letter To Lillith Kellogg.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with the rope straps, and my swirly silver
peace sign necklace. In fact, you can have
them both, because what else can I do? After
all the glorious gifts you have given me, how
could I ever repay you? And of course I will send
your ex-boyfriend Kjel's graffiti guitar, so
perhaps the neon pink and green flower, and
the Milkman Dan comic stained faintly purple
and blue will be the last thing your eyes ever
see. I will give you two hundred dollars for that
beautiful thing, that girl with the blue face covered
in bubbles and stars, such a peaceful expression, such
color, such dimension. I will give you anything you want
for it. When you are sad, don't worry, I will send you a
few grams of pot in the mail, from all the sunshine states,
delivered directly to your cold dark basement. When you
are living in an attic in Louisiana with no money and no
food, I will send you art sup
Silence is a MirrorV.Silence is a Mirror5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I paint the air with
harmony and glance away.
Looking across the room,
I see wood and mirrors,
theatre seats and heavy curtains
marking tape- stage right.
Move down, stage left, bow.
The audience applauds.
Everything that falls
to the floor
shatters and receives
a standing ovation.
The curtains sweep across the stage
scattering little pieces like
jacks, and marbles.
The container is broken and empty
and I cannot take my medicine
I look up and into the
abysmal quiet and
I am not alone.
For AnasI would lay grass bladeFor Anas4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
end to grass blade, end over
end to the water,
if it would help me comprehend
just how much of a single thing
it takes to reach from here
to the maritime between us.
On reaching there, I would
lay driftwood to driftwood,
step across turtle shells
and walk the length of the Atlantic,
if it could make me understand
that the wheeling Earth under the sun
is just one world despite its size.
I would count the footsteps
left on the shore of the sea
at the middle of the Earth
until the beach of Tel Aviv,
and crawl through olive groves
to meet you.
But when I reach
the graffiti-covered wall
and its soldiers,
after my skin was tanned
and stretched taut
against my weary bones
by my repeated steps to you,
will I be able
to understand what it is
to be caged in?
Whales Made Us I paid and got on. A throatful of fumes followed me into my car, stapled with a tsunami of passengers. We sank in our seats and waited for the snack attendant. He came around with bags of emotion; 10 cents for Suspense, 20 cents for Laughter, 50 for Profound Melancholy. I took six packs of Nostalgia and sipped one when the train crawled forward.Whales Made Us4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The pace leaped into a frantic chase while the lights cut out and our bodies knocked around. The train rushed, our hearts rushed, we remained at ease. Eventually the tracks straightened so that we pressed forward hard like a tongue. At last, the moment.
Outside our windows, light spit images to the tunnel walls. The film was starting. Movie previews were substituted with commercials about suicide prevention. No actors, real masochists with real problems, gagging, injecting, and slashing themselves before our night's scheduled
Tu me ManquesThe pilot light is burning.Tu me Manques5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Replaying the interview, I hear your smile.
There is a subtlety of sound I can't quite place.
It adds a definition, recognition that this
is you. This is something that cannot be misplaced.
Over the summer we ran from each other like
frightened animals who had lost their senses.
We were in heat, but could we tell a lover from
a hunter? Is there any difference? Didn't we
just want to survive?
90 degrees Fahrenheit refused to let go of its
grip on the town. Everywhere else was gold
and we were still green. School started with
traffic and helicopter noise hanging in the humid air,
and we hated every second of it.
The troops deployed and stopped
the noise. Our nervousness had
left us. There was no contact for fear
of amplifying already abundant heat.
I was assigned an interview with
someone from a culture other than my own.
I chose you, so I could make you laugh, so
we would smile at my stutter echoing through
the recorder as we replayed the material.
The SilverfishThe SilverfishThe Silverfish11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Awkward on a metal wire mesh chair
In a restaurant's outdoor section,
I must have been forgotten.
When the café closed the night before
There were no nameless patrons inside
Needing a polite request to leave,
And the waiter, absentminded, locked up,
Leaving me alone to the quieting night.
My rainy city dawn wakes me slowly,
Cold and glistening with dew.
"Where is the crème brûlée I ordered?"
I demand sleepily to the empty gray streets.
Instead I receive crystal droplets
Rolling off the red and white awning above me.
An old man wanders by on cobblestone,
Entertaining himself with philosophical conversation
With the memory of his deceased wife by his side.
He stops by the cracked window
Of an abandoned and forgotten antique store,
And inquires of the dust through the glass
How business has been lately.
Two stories up, mutterings of the old man
Have awakened a newlywed couple
Shivering from the chill of the window
Accidentally left open, forgotten in last night's pas
House on my HeadI grew a house on my head.House on my Head4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I populated it with animals:
a mouse for a housekeeper,
a lizard in the kitchen cooking eggs,
a butler wolf whistling and saying 'sir',
a chinchilla to sweep rooms' corners,
a giraffe wiping windows,
a black Labrador pup to clear the chimneys.
The house is old fashioned but it runs to time.
A sloth winds the clocks;
a badger delves the vegetable patch.
Everyone gets on fabulously
and will eat eggs together at breakfast,
gossiping about the awful state of my head:
how the tubes in my brain need scrubbing out,
you can tell because the plumbing gurgles
and the lights in the attic flicker at unexpected hours.
The landlord, a snub-nosed monkey, is convinced
that nuggets of knowledge are lodged
in the mulch of my swampy mind.
He sends search parties of ants scurrying
down my ear holes, dredging the depths.
He thinks I'm a goldmine to be gutted.
I'm with the mouse. She says my taste isn't bad,
though for the carpets she wouldn't have gone with green;
and the journey
Apologies to LaoEach day is its own microstep--Apologies to Lao3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
since I woke from my mother's womb,
I longed to mimic new words, trammel
the sound until it blossomed
like a newborn, and oh how I birthed
stories--told them how I wanted
the author's sacrosanct title
once I've grown. But growing meant
learning the practice of citizens
and their due contribution: beast-slaying
nature of please, thank you,
an apology: sincere
or not. Then there is time--the first
breath of nine, exhalation
of five, the suffocating mandate
of overtime. You grow used to it:
the cyclical disappearance of parents,
pervasive need of sleep, a home-
cooked meal's gradual transmogrification
to a microwave's impatient beeps,
the drive-thru's static, monotoned voice
by a man who has already learned
what I am learning: to cherish
the alarm's morning hymn over my mother's--
now I'm rarely late for work--can navigate
those can-lined aisles, the cold-grey
of the warehouse with deep strides
until I lose track of every step within
my eight hours--my mind
Had I the MeansI hover, standingHad I the Means4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in the threshold.
I smoke and salt your silhouette,
tracing your shapes,
your shadowed features,
and your outline.
I wrap your monochromatic palette
in layer over layer
of photographs from
I compromise the tactile,
liken your sideways smile
to a bracket, a backslash,
or a tilde.
I resign myself
to losing your three dimensions.
I have not the means
to confine your way of speech,
your baritone croon,
your dialect, to my art.
I have not the means
of the complete capture,
whole and real.
Had I the means,