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
SeashineSacred skinSeashine1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
where heavens and ocean
an imprint on salted lungs
of aching, of
a moonlit yearning upon the
Going, going, goneGoing, going, goneGoing, going, gone1 year 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.
Marie AntoinetteMarie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette5 months 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
Rorschach's BlotRorschach's BlotRorschach's Blot11 months 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.
Not FleshNot FleshNot Flesh4 months 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.
Vie NoirYou were the promise of regret,Vie Noir1 year 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
juvenilerocking dolljuvenile1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
strung up tight:
your lips are
bright and bittersweet
slim cunning wedges
with dark orange
your juices plush
your chilling skin.
when they cut you down,
come back to the nursery;
wistariawistaria blooms oncewistaria1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
and then again,
rotting sweet on trellises,
nursed at the breast of clouds
pregnant with filth,
and their stately gardens,
choking june's gentler flowers
with lilac facade,
petals whispered twice.
Of Lost Causethey say every lonely sigh gathered from children in that cityOf Lost Cause2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
pours through her body and redolent skin, read through
the ink of vines on veins and restless, small leaves- torn with
tired hands and god's lost smile.
they say our days are numbered, like the
creases between your skin and the break of waves on charted oceans. maybe
the fallout of a country drawn by prophets with cracked chords and
an endless list of listlessness.
they say happiness is glorified by the example of science: the reaction given
and reduction taken in a stretch of paradoxical lies of paradoxical truths-
sounds of simplified silence and their tenuous strains of recognition
of the pale likeliness and dreams of a setting sun.
they never mention the beauty behind
a dying elephant.
WatchingWatchingWatching1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I watch you again
and again as though
you are demonstrating
resuscitation ... resurrection,
pushing air back into
dying lungs, the needle
sliding so slowly
into your skin, your
body into mine.
Paradésio en tierre.
"A fuckin' perfect high, man."
My body is imperfect,
an euphoria balanced
on a pause, the pressure
of mouth on a breast,
between a thigh. They say
I should save you.
But how can I? When all
I can offer is an
earth on earth.
DullDullDull2 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.
Another Informal Case StudyWhite male. Approximately nineteen years oldAnother Informal Case Study3 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
with two pierced ears and Maverick brand cigarettes.
He rocked forward whenever he spoke,
drawing shadows under his cheeks
and other bones.
A ship inked on his left shoulder,
fingers spread like sails, he stilled abruptly.
His pupils were dilated and he smiled at the table.
"Everything's a fraud,
or at least an act of narcissism.
You need a certain degree of sociopathy
to maintain success, so anyone in this system,
home owners and schoolteachers, who cooperate
and flourish deserve to suffer."
the lunatic, the lover, and the poeti. the lunaticthe lunatic, the lover, and the poet1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
restless and pale, they stretch translucent,
little more than spectres
that deepen—placid—as the sun swells orange
and the noon bell tolls.
ii. the lover
in frantic lush,
the snow begs its beauty from the barren,
and reflects dawn's grandeur;
when night falls, the frigid air prevails,
iii. the poet
the desk is strewn with photographs
of dead birds, dissected;
his hands, piano fingers and soft palms,
wring their blood to soak synapses
and other tangible things.
DustThe stairs are creaking underneath,Dust4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
and echoes of steps
ring through distant singing.
It is a wonder that this has not
passed by, long since:
a smear on glass,
a cloud in the eye;
a bruise on a lithograph.
Longing for a broken quiet
wears me like a sigh
wrapped in moths and must;
tired of crepuscular games,
tired of dust and boxes.
Tired of these dragonfly wings
stuck on crumpled paper
and a pin
pushed through your sternum.
Be careful with this clockwork heart;
the key is small and fragile,
to keep it ticking.
A Walk with ButterfliesSeptember is violent.A Walk with Butterflies3 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
It keeps its mild weather
beneath bled clouds and branches,
some splitting pears on sidewalk
sweet like dumpster water,
a brash disillusionment
then red then brown:
sixteen pinpricks of ooze
sliding off rubber.
I am violent: compressing image
into seeds and imagining laws
of creation, squeaking
behind the name
or maybe it was a fly
but he is violent: and September
leaves to come again
with a color,
one I can't fathom.
The Day After the FuneralHer Husky arises every few minutes,The Day After the Funeral2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in order to expose different parts of its mottled coat
to the flickering fire,
the dog turns in a lazy stop-start orbit
of fur and slurry-jawed yawns.
Beside the same dying flames,
a leather-bound Bible rests
on my Grandmothers lap,
an hour or so ago
the old rocking chair creak
now her head of silver hair
slouches to a side,
bifocals searching for escape
from the tip of her wrinkled nose,
the slow purr of her outward breath
makes a comforting sign
of late-evening life.
I should really venture out
to the dark dewy fields,
out to the open night stars,
to gather more wood,
out to the cold midnight breeze
that chimes the patio flutes
and scratches the screen doors itch,
but not before I finish this job I started,
listing the names
of the dead I know, (or once knew)
on old writing paper I found today,
in my Grandfathers study,
a list far too long for a boy my age,
a list whose names now include his.
StiraboutThe ghosts of a thousand CeltsStirabout1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
haunt where you lie, heavy as time,
dream-quiet in ochre and grey.
Warm as an October moon,
soft in a pink-cheeked dawn,
you wake to honey and cream
under my hand, butter melting
into a strawberry kiss,
Painter's WifeThe Painter's WifePainter's Wife2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Whenever she sees the virgin's face,
her mind smoothes itself into a blank.
Her husband thinks it's grief. Rather it is grave recognition.
She hears the hiss
and scratch of angel wings. When she sleeps,
the angels curl up against her like fevered damp children.
They never console her for the dead child
that floats in her belly. Whenever she forces it
out into rough being, it swims back
into her huddled emptiness again and again.
Her husband has painted a multitude of virgins
as though by painting a woman with a living child,
he can give her a living child.
But she knows better. The virgin bore a child
for those who want never to die. She bears the messiah
for those who want never to be born.
ataraxiai swear by these unworldly thoughts, a sinataraxia8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
that i bore witness to time murdering me within.
i swear by these strange, shifting bones
a neophyte of answer to the call of sorrow,
will seek god’s eyes in the offering stones
that built this life by transient morrow.
i swear by the lonesome abodes of clinical stars
to unsex un-navigate these tides of space
to free skysign intimacies as is ours,
and rid the cadence of this grace.
i swear by this internal, wicked flood
this beat asks for one: just and graved blood.
The Growing Seasoni.The Growing Season1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
we slipped between each other's flesh,
intoxicated on the nectar
never careful enough
to avoid the bitter seeds
of a previous commitment.
each night the pregnant ache coaxes
wicked acts to replay
along my nerve endings and synapses;
each night, the gardener's
were I to untether myself,
to prune the growing stillborn
from my chest,
you'd have no secrets
conceived of sin;
no reason to carry my face,
my voice, my touch,
in a painful miscarriage
of our unprotected actions
less than a weed.
each morning my stomach rejects
the early hour
into my utilitarian bathroom's sterility,
spitting out the insomnia
of the night before
like pomegranate seeds
in the least.
sadists are people, toothis sun has found its nihilistssadists are people, too1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
on cold curbs,
on concrete roads.
everyday, one of them guards the subdivision.
i thought, “a sphinx, a totem piece, an angel of death.”
whatever, my sleepy projectionist.
it’s on my way anywhere.
it’s on my way home.
silver-brown maw, it’s at its ugliest
shriveling inside of possum flesh
in a slow taut hug
of the last empty
i won't be caught up
just lay there
Dandelion Winethe dandelion has made its appealDandelion Wine1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
to wine and whimsy,
but it's plucked-- regardless of nostalgia.
[i am that lion's ragged blooms, and you are the strong winds that blow my meek seeds away, and he-- he is the brawny child pulling me like another weed passe. and there have been other gardeners with hands mortared in black veins by fertile soil, savaging between tame dalmatian tulips and mums the color of fat tabbies embellished by aureate mornings; there have always been these potted plants prettily set as if all of creation planned them so.]
and its roots remain tucked
In the good earth,
flirting with raindrops and shelved reverie.
[i am the pariah's cure-- tisane caught in the red dragon's talons and resting in the part of feathers bright on a charm of finches as their form shadows their flight overhead. i can be opium, and you and him are but another pair of flared-nostriled, flushed fools. the crescent moon lives in my eyes to cause yours mist. i am the apparition-- damned, as a sou
Stick-MenStick-men with blazing matchheads march across the table, single file, towards a glass of water. Latin incantations are said by a sole stick man by the water. It's a mass suicide. One by one they scramble up the slippery glass and jump in, their flames extinguished. This is the way of the world. Someone has placed lilacs on the table. I don't know why. This is the way of the world. I am their god, yet I only observe. It is not for me to determine their end, only to watch, and keep from getting splinters in my fingers. The lilacs smell good over the smoke. It smells like rain outside.Stick-Men1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This