WhyHow do I verify your presence
By the unease which canonizes the air
By the irreligious sunspots in labor
A startling ate a cat so I knew you were here
I hid among sterofoamed images
So you could not read my pale spare sweat
I scattered bees among the grapevines
So you cannot hear the pressure of my steps
The moon will still flake its anger
No light will debase our faces
Fireworks, the color of death
I love you
I would not listen to the warnings of goat herders
I love you because we both bleed
I hide the winds among the weaving of a sun dial
You cannot smell my callous sweat
I scattered bees among the grapevines
So you cannot hear me stumble
I flaked away the moon so no light will debase our faces
We will have fireworks the color of death
Stars which faced like yesterday laundry
I love you even though we both bleed
I will have words while you have sentences
By the stubbornness of a flaking moon
I was stubborn, I would not listen
To the warnings of morning
Rorschach's BlotRorschach's BlotRorschach's Blot3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Spiders and bears and misshapen trees,
when the swollen fruit drops it bursts into wren wings,
salamander tails shivering, the color of bruised plums.
It tastes so sweet, the tip of a beak.
With a straight pin, I peck at my arms,
a Pollock of blood, swarms of carnelian bees.
Sweet sweet stings. The poison sings.
They say hallucinations, the saints said visions.
"Ollie ollie oxen free," they call running through orchards,
the evening air loosening, a grace note of despair.
There was once an apple and it was bitten,
poor thing, all hell broke loose.
"Tell me what you see," he asks.
"White," I say, hospital sheets, sea gull fluff, porcelain doll faces, albino snails
You must not slash, you must not smash.
"White means purity," I say.
A good, good girl.
"No look at the dark thing."
But I am the dark thing.
Ollie Ollie oxen free.
Going, going, goneGoing, going, goneGoing, going, gone3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Three dollars, three fifty, four, the bristles
of Daddy's hairbrush, a handful of porcupine quills
rough as his unshaven face. In the trees,
moths roost like hens, their wings so still
as though Daddy had painted them.
The auctioneer, his black felt hat drooping
with the heat, strides across the snow of their wings,
Daddy's wristwatch nesting
in the palm of his hand, a raven. "Nevermore,"
Daddy would read to us. "Never again,"
Mama said bundling up Daddy's things with prickly twine.
He painted everything: house, barn, yearlings, tractor. "Sold,"
yells the auctioneer, a weathercock in his arms,
wings rough as the hides of Daddy's painted calves.
"Death is too smooth to paint," Daddy said.
But the faster he painted, the faster he died.
I cut the bristles from his brushes,
but he simply tied horsetail hairs to sticks.
Daddy even painted himself, skin translucent as moth wings.
I would sit on his lap. "Paint me, "I would ask,
patting his stubble until my hand stung.
ExhaustionExhaustionExhaustion3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wake, swollen with noon heat.
Half dressed, I stumble,
elbows and toes catching
on the clawed feet of chairs,
the blunt holes of open cupboards.
I sometimes forget my name.
In the kitchen, I pepper the rice
instead of salt. Black flecks surface
in the boiling water,
sea turtles migrating.
If I knew where you went,
I would follow. But all you left behind
was an old sweater, an empty notebook,
complete and infinite
as the space around a closed fist.
Not FleshNot FleshNot Flesh2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
He wants to paint the virgin with skin blue
as a stillborn child, as blue as his wife's eyes.
Around their cot in the earth, their seven babes
wait in line for the opening of the sky.
Christ will come back, the priest intones. But this time,
he will not enter through a woman's flesh.
How would he paint a Christ not flesh
the painter wonders? Will he be stone, the bitten skin
of a plum, a fly's wings, threadbare flaxen cloth,
or a white canvas, so white there’s no air to breathe?
"Blue skin," the painter thinks,
Mary's face pooling beneath his brush.
An angel caresses his back until feathers fret
and knot beneath his skin, wanting out.
EndingEndingEnding3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I dream, the earth splitting like a cracked egg,
Light thinning like dye in water.
Air hardens until we burrow.
I wake wanting to know if we will fall.
An apocalypse is an ending
This is a becoming.
MoonMoonMoon3 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.
DullDullDull3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Your voice falters,
your hands chopping
cauliflower, parsley, grace.
Saint Theresa felt the love of God as an arrow.
You don't know what to say.
Adomni Christos, her stigmata is an open mouth,
articulate with blood.
"We could try ...." you start to say,
the knife slips, a pale bloodless cut.
"Let me see," I ask, even though
there is nothing I can do.
This thing that has caught us
is dull not sharp.
PluckingPluckingPlucking3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The table between us is a moon.
But the air is heavy. It lies
on us, muffled heat stilling
our breaths. You drop your fork,
but I still won't look at you. Even angels
would crawl if they were here.
"Why can't we be friends?"
I am thinking of a Flemish tapestry
I once saw in a white stone house,
walls dense and prickly with roses:
a line of stiff scarlet soldiers,
a rearing horse. The soldiers' thick fingers
grope at the blank cream cloth,
seeking purchase, gravity.
"What are you feeling?"
"I want to be a Flemish soldier,"
I tell you. Only my fingers
would constantly pluck at the expanse,
searching for the thread
that will unravel everything.
FallingFallingFalling3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The body is weightless,
bones hollow as flutes.
They sing startled crescendos
beneath the world distant and harmless for once,
a map of what was.
"Here lie monsters," they warned.
Here lie creatures luminous, grotesque, incandescent
beyond anything you might know.
StoriesStoriesStories3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Green pills, yellow pills, white pills. I wonder if they color code the pills to match the malady, green to soothe, yellow to wake, white to purify evil thoughts, black like ravens who peck and caw, Jezebel's bones, sodden red tulips, dogs lapping, tongues so black, black holes that like eating novas and girls like me that just happen to see the testifying of bricks. "Here someone was murdered", fickle neurons, scandalized hieroglyphs of blood, constellations of wolves such bloody tongued dogs.
"Open," the nurse says checking to see if I have swallowed her pills. I always do hoping such sacred behavior will loosen me of this place. If I promise to believe everything they say? But Nurse Mary is quite contrary, maiden's breath grows in her garden, clouds of crushed stems, pollen and powder. Maybe she sees the wolf. My flamingoes feel the unease of rhyming couplets and badly played croquet. What would Alice do? What would the Duchess do? What happened to Jack and Jill after they s
Before The Stars FadeThe world has grown smaller, more insignificantBefore The Stars Fade3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Little men run about in the darkness, screaming their inanities
Quiet listening is abandoned in favor of shouting louder
over the top of one's neighbors
Dreams once soft and sweet have become meat for them
to tear apart and grind with their teeth, demanding recognition
But no one is ever fulfilled, untiringly grasping at shadows
The world shrinks a little more, and children grow up fast
I can hear the screaming and shouting from my bed, through
closed windows, all want to make their presence known
Seeing like a cat, hearing like a bat, I feel the need to go out and
shout with them, to howl my existence, to
eat fresh dreams
Dying is no way to live, but its all we seem capable of doing
Last one on earth, please turn off the lights
Maybe we can remember one dream that hasn't been mauled, one last time
One smile before the stars all fade and we're left with nothing
and become nothing
AfterthoughtAfterthoughtAfterthought3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The blood will come. When the first knife cuts,
a red thread to be spun into a hood of garnet grasshoppers.
He has had so many, young throats, tender fingers.
At first they cried for mother and father, maybe God.
Who knows whom their father was.
There was always the blood, that was the grace,
a family of stick figures, a father, a mother
and nine little girls salvaged from prairie grit,
tumbleweeds rolling like chrysanthemums.
The mother was the first, a prized bauble, a trinket.
Just to keep things proper.
They did things right,
the blood was an afterthought.
Does It Bother Your Mind The Way You Bother MineIt could be defined as this unintelligible sympathy, refinedDoes It Bother Your Mind The Way You Bother Mine4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and infinitely describable. Words are a feeble comparison.
My speech is slop, fecal matter. Repulsive residues spew from ineffective
communication. And you're speaking, but what the fuck are you saying?
To be wrong.
It may run deeper than that, an invasive core crowding the marrow of your bones.
Humiliation in strength, pungent structure uniting beneath sinuous muscle and
skin. Imperative awareness skittered across paranoid psyche - psychosomatic ridicule glorifying nausea.
Illness; festering determination.
You are difficult in your footholds.
ShortcomingsShortcomingsShortcomings4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
A shortcoming of mine is to flinch
Before the uncertainties of bone and flesh
When moonlight screens the iron cot
I chain myself and wait
For feathers to hood a slurring face
Oh grandmother what a big nose you have
Once upon a time men could become monsters
Fingers coalescing into hooves
Bloody with revelation they knew the root
They are horrors
When Beauty awoke she found her beast
To be fur and feathers once again.
Vie NoirYou were the promise of regret,Vie Noir3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
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
ListsListsLists3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
We bask, the sun weak as watered milk.
We create lists of things we remember,
stalling on artichokes, "green" long forgotten.
Basilisks have returned.
They gather around the bird feeders,
clumsy wings batting away sparrows and hummingbirds.
Even honey water excites them.
Pathetic really. Until you remember
it was us who brought them back with our lists.
There are still people
who think money is worth something.
Their lists fill with numbers, denominations.
Paper bills swarm thick as locusts.
They are rich
until our dragons eat them.
We all have our distractions.
We thought it would be more exciting,
the apocalypse. Instead this slow unraveling,
edges blurring into pinpricks of color
becomes old after a while.
Then we found we could create life.
But ours aren't stiff horror movie shambles.
We're more like dilettantes
copying Mona Lisas and dissolving water lilies
into grimy notebooks until no one can tell the difference.
We could have left with everyo
To Mix Gasoline and MatchesHer solar scars were aching for the aquafina kiss of relief.To Mix Gasoline and Matches5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
But who among them would soothe her charcoal freckles?
Who withheld the capacity to repair such a scorched surface?
He said it like it was the first rule of life,
like it should be so fucking obvious.
She clasped singed vocal-chords,
tattooing questions into chest crevices.
Stifled lightning ignited organs,
highlighting silenced thoughts with neon importance.
The thunder rumbled through her pores,
infiltrating the epidermis,
seeking her innards.
She felt it shivering beneath her bones,
whispering within her ribs.
It spoke of the culpable, the guilty.
A fork-tongued reminder spewing honesty.
"Ignore the ashes, Pyro Girl.
that once they've bathed in flame,
people all look the same."
I only pray you're able to stare d
SacramentSacramentSacrament3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Her belly hangs full and heavy, a sack of potatoes.
The painter's wife grabs at a pew to steady herself when she stands.
The priest glares, his vestments white, the words:
"Fornication, serpent's tooth and Whore of Babylon"
lie like uncoiled strings inside his mouth. He knows,
she will drag them down to sin, her mouth a peddler's pack
filled with combs, bodkins and prickly heresy.
"Eat and you shall become as gods." But Ann only smiles.
The knife unfolds like a bird's wing. When she cuts her palms,
the Xs are red cross stitches.
"Drink and it will become wine," she says and it does.
The angels napping in the church eaves wake.
They remember Mary's blood. That is where it began.
They lapped it like cats.
Ann spins graceful despite her bulk.
Miriam the sister of Moses danced with the timbrel
when she saw the Egyptians fall into the ocean,
horse, rider and spear. They could not hurt her anymore.
She raises her arms above her head and laughs.
Serendipity and SnowfallI am la vie en rose,Serendipity and Snowfall3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a newborn with as many mini bones in my body as possibilities.
I am potential waiting to be tapped into.
I am a spectrum of light,
serenity in the symmetry of a snowflake.
I come veiled in lace from everlasting love's womb with my budding,
goose-flesh tucked tenderly underneath.
I spread my spirit wide,
outstretching my feather-tips &,
supplicated by twizzles,
I catch my ballerina's foot & fly.
In these fleeting,
finite moments of ubermensch suspension in multiple salchows comes clairvoyance,
a kindness beyond the absolution of mundane minds.
With the key to perfection being repetition,
I pray you watch me as I molt my flaws away under the wondrous,
I shall soar,
from my axel I shall spiral sublimely on the outskirts of onlookers' smiles-
as well as my own,
& I shall skimpily,
glide through the snowflake strata unto the star-studded shangri-la.
I find my freedom in a winter only world.
Let me lease into my
Marie AntoinetteMarie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
They gave me shoes, velvet heels that spun like windmills,
dribbles of satin, laces gossamer as imagined spider threads.
They designed me shoes to be orchids, bees drowsed around my feet. I give them names.
But they took my language, words shaped in my own tongue,
familiar as milk and bed.
The language they gave me, I never exactly knew what the words meant.
I pouted, smiled, fluttered my eyelashes until they were hummingbirds.
They murmured of people starving, bakeries hollow of flour,
echoes of the rights of the man. But they said not to worry. Silly things.
So we dressed as shepherdess, lambs washed until they were pillows.
Our crooks hooked the sun. They gave me extravagant pastries,
almond, cherry palaces in my mouth. I could not shape the names.
Then they showed me the cards that were circulating of me, the crowds howled when they saw them.
My face was a false moon on some other body.
This body was on all fours, someone thrusting inside into it.
I heard other wor
SOMETHINGWhat smoky poltergeist has lit outSOMETHING4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
across the dusty plains of my mind
and left no footprint?
A contrarian alchemist turning
my gold into lead and taking with it
all my illusions of clarity
Those wizards and sorcerers hawking
their false incantations and last right lies
I sense another curve in my future
Something just up ahead
Margaret Pole 1541Margaret Pole 1541Margaret Pole 15412 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
She refused to lay her head on the executer’s block quietly.
Instead she ran screaming, clawing, knowing it would happen anyway.
It took 11 swings of the executor’s ax to behead her.
Her sin was to support Catherine first wife of Henry the 8th.
A silly thing to us, he simply wanted to marry another woman.
When I first died I was four, an operating table.
With the swiftness of a falling ax, they opened my rib cage,
felt my heart even though it lacked passion.
17 children went on the table that week, 11 died.
I lived in a jungle of IV tubes,
I lived in an oxygen tank, the luminous belly of a jelly fish, no working brain.
My mother noticed piles of rotting food trays outside my room.
Pears swollen until they might give birth.
Meat blossoming with green as though swarms of moths were slumbering on them.
The nurses didn’t bother to suit up to enter my private plastic bellows of a belly.
The air rippled around me with each breath as though the universe fe
Hamburg, GermanyHamburgHamburg, Germany3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Seven years ago, on a street in Hamburg Germany,
angels told you things, their eyes unblinking
as a lizard's flat stare. You were fixed on the apocalypse, bits of sky falling.
You didn't tell anyone, no need to warn.
Instead you stood and watched as tulips of beaten sun filled your outstretched hands
until they towed you away and strapped you tight, sleeves tied in back.
Eventually the crystal in your blood dried
and flaked like old paint. "I was really crazy then"
you told me once, your hands quick as a lizard's tongue
as you stroked the inside of my thigh.
But now as we sit in this cafe,
angels once again buzz around you like gnats.
"Can't you hear them," you ask,
your own eyes flat as glass. I simply sit.
You can no longer hear me. Anything I say
will be eaten by the angels' voices: tangerines, apricots, cherries
dark as ink, old habits, the branches of the trees
hang so heavy with fruit. They bend then break.