Vie NoirYou were the promise of regret,
destiny wrapped in an egg shell,
something that temperance would not allow.
And you looked at me with cloudy eyes,
sipping your excuses while choking on tomorrow.
(We were the privileged few that God chose to endure the hopeless)
And you cursed my name while confessing every lie.
My borders grew as you clawed for the limits of absolution.
(We were the privileged few whose skin was hard to pierce)
And you loaded that gun with false bravado and ill intent.
The world was watching as you aimed it at the future.
(We were the privileged few who never forget to empty the chamber)
And you stared into the nothing, hoping to find me there
There's Something Wrong with Norman BatesLoving you was like seeing absent color,There's Something Wrong with Norman Bates2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the unforgiving grays of a poet's December,
waking from a nightmare to a sky devoid of
stars and the moon sunk in the ocean.
The moment I laid eyes on you was the epoch
of my detachment the collapse of all serenity.
You told me that your parents were dead and buried-
But sometimes they called your name from the wine cellar.
I begged you to haunt me when the lights were off;
"Ghosts won't bother other ghosts." I said
You went to the other side of the room and stared
at a fly dying on the windowsill. When the creature finally
stopped moving, you looked at me with empty eyes and said;
"They only talk to me during the day. Can't you hear them moaning?"
It was then that I knew you were something I could not save.
In our shower scene, I patiently waited for you behind the
curtain. I chose not to feel your blade slide under
my ribs, over and over again.
I knew it wasn't just blood that covered the ceramic floor.
It wasn't jus
I'm All That's Left of MeI’m All That’s Left of MeI'm All That's Left of Me1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
She put her lips on the fountain when we were kids.
I've kissed too many people to still be mad about it.
The first time she slept in my bed I had visions
of my grandfather decaying in his coffin.
(The scuttle of tiny legs and a far away buzzing)
I woke up to a thousand pairs of eyes staring at me.
Hers were closed, but her mouth started moving.
“People who dream about the dead often attract flies.
I’ll tell you my nightmares if you tell me yours.”
It was winter and the windows were closed.
There are flowers that bloom once in a life time.
The things I see during the day prepare me for the night.
A family moved into her old house.
They don’t leave beer cans on the front porch.
For some reason that makes me sick.
The only picture I didn't burn is of her
looking past the lens and straight into my eyes.
Everything else about that life is gone.
Sometimes even me.
This is the worst day to tell me I’m blind
The Last Lie of SummerQuiet days, the overcast sky keepsThe Last Lie of Summer2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to itself, ignoring the living for weeks
at a time.
From half a state away-
you could hear trains roll through
towns like mine.
There is peace
and it can't be trusted
given to the first
This was the calm before the calm.
The man that is seen, but
"Tomorrow I will say hello to him."
But we are all too busy dressing healed wounds.
MyiagrosYou went quietlyMyiagros2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Like granite with finesse
Days and nights
The come down monster
I had a drink
Six, seven, eight more
Always and sometimes
The weeks of illness
Before it pulled your eyes shut
No small talk
Just plain, empty time
I walked to the store for smokes
Struggled not to howl
There was fly paper nailed to the register
Legs still moving
And I knew what they were buzzing for
Hell had found you first
CruxI’m only sure of two things:Crux2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I still carry pieces of your cross on my back and
lilies were your favorite flower
Those last three months-
A silent drive home from the mall
purse full of stolen makeup
Dinners with my family where no one
bothered to make the conversion
Endless hours spent looking at paint samples
and I was smart to not buy the brushes
The line at the liquor store blended
with the lines on the road
At the same time with you
Then it was summer and you talked me into a country drive. We stopped on the side of the road to watch a cow giving birth in the center of a pasture. But, the calf never rose to its wobbly legs or felt the heat of the Indian summer….it never tasted dandelions.
The mother stood by the calf’s body
long past nightfall
and I stood by yours
long after that
Was this what we meant when we said forever?
Acid Girl 04She once told me that Mexican nights were shorterAcid Girl 042 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
With enough pills, October can be one long day
Those eyes never promised calm waves or Novocain
There's tequila in our mouthwash
The problem is I don't see this as a problem anymore
Nine out of ten dentists recommend swallowing the worm
An air conditioner is smoking somewhere downstairs
I breathed in the cold second hand and the minute stopped moving
We're only alive part time- cashing our rain checks in rubber boots
On the weekends, she doesn't know that it's the weekend
I'm always aware of footprints in the mud and snow
If they take the trash, it's Thursday
The puppy calendar on the fridge says 2009
Someone drew dicks on September's golden retriever
But this way, it's always three years before the Mayans ruin everything
The kitchen ants drown in the kitchen sink
One sheet of fly paper hangs from a horseshoe in the doorway
The stove can only been used to light roaches
A needle in the night stand makes a guest appearance
The liquor cabi
Nude Pictures of French GirlsWhispers lingered, premature like an Indian summer;Nude Pictures of French Girls5 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
heavy on the leaves and heavier on the lungs.
Until even the wall flowers began to wither and die.
The wind brought with it dust and unkempt secrets.
Reversed burials where words tasted endlessly like bones.
We stared down at ourselves, drowning in rivers of drought.
And as our tongues carried us to the headwaters of this
mechanized plague, we at last saw the architect of betrayal;
A mirror, higher than the mountains, with two unhappy statues
standing far behind it.
Drought-Thunder-Drought3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
There are no stars tonight. The sky is
alone and my skin waits
patiently for the rain.
Our roses withered and died that summer.
You blamed God, but He did not let
dust gather on the only tin watering can
The day you left me in a flower shop,
I decided to put what was left of my faith in an old
man spouting clichés to his granddaughter.
"If you don't like the weather here, wait a couple of minutes."
Half a year and I am still praying for a storm
to cool me down.
Bricks and MortarI’m fully aware that I’m alive.Bricks and Mortar10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
And in this life, I find it hard to believe
that I could allow so many nights to
pass unnoticed and unaccompanied.
And in this world where seven billion
souls crawl over one another,
being alone is something of a miracle.
The Stroke and the Over DoseIThe Stroke and the Over Dose3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
This is the second time that I have ever been in an ambulance.
It is sickeningly winter outside. This time the roads are too
icy to speed on and the siren is off. This time it is quiet.
The paramedics are noiselessly saving my grandmother's life.
I'm riding up front with my ear pressed to my cell phone. There is
no room for me in the back and the driver just laughs when
I ask him to turn on the radio.
"We're so proud of you. You did the right thing."
Nobody knows that she begged me not to call 911.
Nobody knows how slowly I dialed those numbers.
Your spirit materializes next to me and you take the steering wheel.
We drive through the snow storm and talk about our nights
spent on lake Erie. Your dad had a boat and I always got sick
in the water. I preferred throwing you down in the sand.
We took a bus to Presque Isle State Park in early September.
Fall was on the horizon and we had nature to ourselves for one day.
The sun pulled away fro
PersephoneI fed herPersephone2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and she cried
at every frozen sunrise
for 180 days.
With cracks in my heart
caught in my hair
I counted 180 more.
When the Mountains Turn BlueThe nights you spend alone feel theWhen the Mountains Turn Blue2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
most familiar, but you can’t define it.
Intangible, like the way a field of cotton
breathes before a rainstorm, or those
pieces of yourself, left behind on the
far away sidewalks of your childhood.
One day it will be the hottest summer
recorded in fifty seven years.
Your wife and children will be somewhere
without you so you’ll sit on the porch and
sweat out the memories.
You’ll think about the time your father
took you on a road trip to the Rockies.
The only time you ever spent alone with the man.
You’ll also think about the nights when he slept
on the couch and how your breath
smells like his…completely.
You can’t remember if the mountains were
blue back then, but they are now.
The day forgets you as you pull back another tab.
ThursdayRumors of tumors, chatty neighbors, the grateful deadThursday2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
A broken swing on a deserted playground
And bones; oh, the bones that pile up, more everyday
Thursday I had nothing to say
A weak and pale moon glares down at the snow, impotent
Stars in motion whisper my star-name, calling
Tiny spiders build homes in my beer-soaked brain
Thursday I had nothing to say
Pizza or Chinese for dinner? I can't hold a thought
Craftsmanship went out on a three-hour cruise
Through the swamplands of South Carolina in the rain
Thursday I had nothing to say
A brass-toothed journeyer shines a light in dark corners
Nudges and pokes at the beasts sleeping there
Scraps of re-arranged words piled with the bones rot away
Thursday I had nothing to say
systemhe said that one day I,system2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
who have grown accustomed
to accumulating moons,
drawn like moths
to my Venus-brightness,
would meet my match.
he told me I would be
captured by the brilliance
of a star,
a Betelgeuse, a behemoth:
supergiant turned supernova turned
supermassive black hole.
he informed me, peeking out
from under my gravity,
his erratic elliptical orbit,
that one day I would be
and that it would be poetic justice.
MoonMoonMoon2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
You left the knife on the drainboard,
bits of lettuce scattered like green rice.
We should get married, you tell me,
this house tight as a ring around us.
In every room, sleep waits for me.
Sometimes I wake sprawled on the wooden floor
not remembering that I fell.
Things blur, the copper pans
hanging on the wall swell in tight glowing bellies
woven rugs flow like rivers.
At night, your face flowers into an open moon,
filling our bed with light
There is no place left to hide.
High WaterIt took eleven weeks for my stomach to stop turning.High Water2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
White water reality, broken hands, splintered paddles.
If you ever felt inclined to place your head against my chest again,
you wouldn't hear a heart beat over the roar of water in my lungs.
If you ever desired to wrap your arms around my waist,
you would find that there is far less warmth to hold onto.
For now, we drown in the perfect darkness of canyon waters.
Like infant gods, we chose to carve these wounds into
the very foundation of our fabricated universe.
Deeper than the initials of youthful lovers.
Further inward, past yellow bone and soured marrow.
We've been forever spoiled by the idea of our own greatness.
(But when my body washes upon the shore, I will always try to find you.)
He Remembers 1961He always puts extra steaks on the grill,He Remembers 19612 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in case the neighbors stop by.
It’s not that kind of world anymore.
The wind was the only visitor that night
and it assumed an odor of burning leaves.
He thought about all the funerals he had
attended and he thought about Hurricane Jenny.
The sun’s last breath felt like thunder.
A child yelled “Olly olly oxen free” but
to him it sounded like “All your friends die in Spring.”
'Lenore' (debt of bones)She is the raven at my door,'Lenore' (debt of bones)2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
unmoved, her eyes are hard as stones,
crying never, never more,
collecting on my debt of bones.
"Never!" she screams, hands in my skin,
the woman whom I call Lenore.
Her accusing fingers tighten
around my bones; she whispers, "more."
"More is due me, you must pay more,
there is no hope now to atone.
You left me nameless on a Plutonian shore -
never can you pay your debt of bones."
stillyou lust to make his long legs quiverstill2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like two blades of grass
heavy with morning dew
but you're the first frost of november.
Love and Her Father's Liquor CabinetBecause the ocean was half a world away,Love and Her Father's Liquor Cabinet2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she almost always put a little something in the lemonade.
We would pretend that the suburbs were Paris all summer,
but my feet refused to leave the still frames of reality.
There were secrets the street lights could never reveal,
promises that the girl next door would break.
We were all in tears by September.
She often put a little too much faith in the lemonade.