stolen dog-eared mapsAudio version.
we will run
directionless but on
until the sky recedes before us.
we will outlast the horizons
sink teeth into every sunset
until we chase
what chases us--
until the oceans below hold no demons
the galaxies above
we will lose ourselves
until there is nothing left of us but
summergirlNow read aloud over here. Do give it a listen, won't you?summergirl2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are crowthroated and tumbling
through the aspen grove
hair on fire with sunrise, lungs
full of sky.
eyelashes like wildflowers
and every morning brings
a new spray of freckles
and a sharper curve to your collarbones.
the cornfields hold no shadows
for your lighthouse eyes
and there are no endings in that
ii. you have grown
autumn finds you with broken ankles
leaning on an oak branch
and watching the skies.
crow to sparrow--you are quiet.
summergirl, there is peace in silence,
fallen antlers in your hands.
you will come to mourn your deer.
keep them close.
iii. by winter you have paled,
and like the streams
your eyes have frosted over.
you feel the chill--
there is no need for sight.
syracuseListen to the audio version for the full effect, pretty please.syracuse2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
cloudshot sky like an oil painting and i am watching the
darling, i will swim for you
and swallow every whitecap.
i will pluck myself a coat of pelican wings,
sew them up with salt and spray--
become icarus for you.
you are calling me across the waves, love--
but you pull against the ache
in my bones, the hollow--
the clawing out for unseen sunsets and unturned tides.
i hear you, love
give me time.
i will always listen.
lovesong for sailorboyRead aloud and explained (somewhat) here.lovesong for sailorboy2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i have always loved words as you love the sea
but i have grown to hate
because i have always had words
but never for you.
words for everything
but i have words for this, so
i'll take them
one by one.
the ocean was your first love and
i could always see it in your eyes.
most would call them blue--just
like a swell over a sandbar
blue like the spring sky over a poppy field.
but i don't think anyone
got as close as i did and they're not blue
not shorebound and
they're gray like the steelbellied sea itself
like the horizon at dawn as it
hems you into an impossibly vast canvas
like a demarcation line
or a promise.
one you always chased.
maybe i had a streak of ocea
with thanks to salingerAudio version.with thanks to salinger2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it's on those cold mornings
when you are nothing but indrawn breath
swirling and knitted up inside too-big
skin and weightless bones--
when the horizon arches up against
the half-thawed tendrils of sunrise
with golden teeth,
and smiling, begs--
it's on those cold mornings
when leaving is easiest.
the car will be cold, and you will
shiver, and the engine,
much too loud,
will smack of blasphemy
but you will find peace in the steady roll
of tarmac and the yellowing light
spilling across it,
with dust motes kicked up and carried
like fish in the undertow.
when you come to that first
crossroads, it will shock you:
the way the decision hangs there
trembling and desperate--
but there are no right answers and you will not
hesitate. and each successive choice
will be made of its own accord,
and you will roll the windows down,
and draw down the scent of ear
lightsdon't be fooled--lights2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the sky is not static.
there is an infinity between any
infinite hex codes
between the bounds of the spectrum--
this is the great secret of the universe, this
cosmic light show
we can't detect--
the changes too small for our
perhaps there is someone out there--someone else
even if he cannot see.
is not my blue--perhaps it all comes down
to the chemicals
the spin of individual molecules that all add up to become
our own blue.
maybe it's all on us.
the cosmos isn't trying because, really--
if i were the cosmos
i would have better things to do.
maybe there is something
in our ability to overanalyze
and oversimplify--our ability
to realize we know nothing
and try again, anyway.
the cure for everything is saltwaterand my voice is choked with pebblesthe cure for everything is saltwater2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and my veins are thick with ink
so i'll bleed out all my lovesongs
wash them down the kitchen sink
and i'll tell you that i'm leaving
and i'll flee this soulless town
for the silent sea is calling
and i'm not afraid to drown
and i'll search out quiet islands
let the blank horizons be
drench my soul in every ocean
sink my heart in every sea.
the song of a roamerAnd darling, I've been gone for a long, long time. Your eyesthe song of a roamer2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
are still that steely gunpowder blue, but your hair has grown long,
and there's a softer curve to your waist
and freckles on your shoulder I don't remember,
and I think,
What have I missed?
You tell me about the weddings
the divorces. You tell me
about the babies
and the losses, and how last year
your dog died--easy, in his sleep--
and there is a hollow lack in you,
a space reserved for things that won't come back.
Long ago, was there a space like that
When did it collapse--when did it
fold in on itself
under the weight of things that matter more?
I tell you about Cambodia. I paint
the jungles for you, breathe the crushing wet heat
of it into your lungs. I tell you
about the kids in Africa
and how the heat is different there--
belligerent and fierce.
I tell you how much you would have liked Barbados,
and how much you would have hated Rome.
And I remember all the things I
can't tell you--all the things I don't hav
driftListen to this aloud here.drift2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sometimes we move like glaciers.
slow sliding continental shift
one particle at a time--
our vantage point unchanged for years
and years will pass with more years behind
and we will remain deceptively still
we carry things with us,
pebbles and twigs we rest on
for years and years--
but we can cast back
explore the ages we contain,
kept safe inside ourselves.
each grain of sand held close
whispering of ages long since returned to dust--
ages we have seen grow and die
ages we carry
we move like glaciers
quiet and assured
and years will pass with more years behind
but when time has grown tired,
we will remain.
we will have tales to tell.
longhornmojave.longhorn2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
empty eye sockets stare out acceptance
and bleached grins pin you--
beetle on a card.
because sand-choked winds will polish,
but not before they leave you raw.
there are no hunters.
only the lucky and the scavengers--
living off the dead.
waking upand imagine my surprisewaking up2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when my insides bloomed
into so many dandelions,
and in a single breath
pyrite girlNote: Pretty please listen to the audio version for the full effect.pyrite girl2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
you noticed things
little things that came sneaking slyly in
smiling crooked like good children
with bad deeds freshly done.
of course you loved her all the same,
your little lighthouse among the tendrils of east coast fog
she tasted like mineral water
and you lived in soft, sweet depression
gazing out at a broken world from a tenth-story window
and breathing in the cigarette smoke.
your little pyrite girl
bright eyed and dark mouthed
a tiny dirty moon, dragged through the gray city snowmelt
and left to dry in the glare of rooftop suns
"who would live here?"--
musings from the tenth floor
and you knew the answer.
broken cities feed on broken souls
and even they need angels.
with thanks to frost Now with a reading.with thanks to frost2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
two roads diverged in a soulless dawn
and you pull over,
idling on the shoulder of route 50.
it's a polaroid morning and
the world is as grainy
as your eyes,
and one million miles
is not far enough.
it plays back, filmstrip,
blurred along the length of
and here you are:
facing a choice between
this loosejointed, hollowbodied
this is what
travelersthis silvertongued landtravelers2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is fit for strange adventures
so we will roam as the city
sleeps, and the soft
of the camera shutter will lull the crickets
we will leave our trail
in incandescent flashes--
the negatives seared and crackling on
and drag our hearts on
moonshine wisps behind us--
gathering fog and scents and
strains of music
carried in on night-thin air.
all that hasn't happenedPretty please listen to the audio.all that hasn't happened2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i want to remember
the rumbling piano baritones
high notes like hailstones--your hands
running soundless scales.
i want the summer seas
the vineyard overlook, the olive
trees and sunwarmed coasts.
we filled the empty pages
with whole notes and halftones,
oceans and lovesongs.
we lived, we live
inkstained and drowning
through nights thick with words
and days shot with sound.
page onethe waves are calling.page one2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
watch--stormbound, the breakers
arch up to clutch at the unyielding stones
with a roar and a hiss and a sigh;
gather themselves back and
the sea is patient, and your limestone fear
you will be
you will be beautiful.
the waves are calling.
into the deepAudio version over thisaway.into the deep2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the world will crumble, darling, but we will watch the stars--
watch the coasts curl up at the edges and the foam-slick sea drag them under
and history will bloom in brass and copper nebulas,
untainted by the tortured earth and its pleading
flecks of ash below.
but we will watch the stars
watch the galaxy unwind, spirals stringing out
the taste of ozone and plasticities.
the heaving sea will recede--the glaciers
pour their hearts out
the dunes rise up to the sated horizon.
will watch the stars.
and the hungering infernos hold no sympathy.
we are not a fairytalewe are not a fairytale.we are not a fairytale2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am not the strong lead with a heart of fire,
bones of steel, and eyes of vapid curiosity;
motivation seeping through
my every last intended action because
I was written this way
(the heroine falls only to rise again:
proverbial phoenix, burning out
because it is the cycle of my
life) and you, you are not
the beautiful travesty, perfectly composed
to strike me where I’m weak and
[almost]human, delicately woven
like the tapestry of my dismantling—
a subtle irony where somewhere, a writer
chuckles softly, understanding
we are blinder than church mice, born
in a makeshift world of darkness where
I’m not sure whether or not the sun will
rise again tomorrow, because it won’t exist
until someone breathes life into it,
but no. we were never so lucky
to be carefully orchestrated,
a composition rendered for
another’s satisfaction. I am not the
climax, nor the resolution, but a lamb
with Stockholm Syndrome and
a tendency towards people
terminali.terminal2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we landed in oklahoma
and drank cheap martinis in the terminal;
you carried my guitar and fell in love
with my voice but not my tongue,
not my hands.
there's a man with a garage
that looks like a plane because nothing
meant more to him. will you make a model
of that bar? will you make a model
of my red cheeks? or will you live in a townhome
with her and three children?
the problem was you're not gay.
the problem was there was feeling
but it wasn't for us. i had you but
it wasn't for us.
i'm not sure if i resent you,
but i remember that bar and every pockmark
on the stool you sat on while i played
the song that parted your lips;
you remember every pockmark in oklahoma
like they were ours.
ChloeChloe was born in the pouring rain and blinding dark, under a thunderstorm that cut power to five counties and lingered for days. Her first memories were damp and earthy and fresh--watercolor paintings of wildflower fields, thunderheads, and pale yellow dawns.Chloe2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She grew up with summers swimming in lurid heat and trembling cicada calls; in winters soft with snowfall and tree limbs upraised to the icy light. She was a tiny sun in herself, glowing effortlessly. Plants reached up to her, swayed with her voice. Given enough space and enough time, her hands could have delved into the earth and come back up trailing with trees and vines, with berries falling from her fingertips and thick pale roots curled around her wrists.
I met Chloe in the middle of one electric summer, when the heat was aggressively breathtaking and I had to continuously swipe sweat from my eyelashes. Chloe was a breath of undying spring--cool to the touch. She tasted like almonds and cinnamon and clean, wet dirt, and like
she had a habit of making stars cryprobably could've settled forshe had a habit of making stars cry2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
less than mine, but there's
a tongue-tied night sky
crying to the moon and
its narrating defenses
against my remarks, comments
never too dark to notice the spark, dead
shooting stars have been
trying to prove. to me, it takes
more than will to move
the north to the south, no field will
help you, no power will allow you,
no words will let you.
should've stuck to rhyming for
catharsis and, let the night cry to
a fraudulent sun and
found comfort in anonymity to
hang on some more; should've quit
being a witness before i
fell to the floor. should've opened
before popping those pills and let
drag reluctance until it
swam into ripples too perfect for
the moon, and stayed to hold the
stars when they fell
into our lagoon.
probably could've lied about
discovery and the Nile, probably would've
granted every wish worth the while. could've
said the day was too dark for the
night, could've stopped the moon from
settling to surviv
lovely flying stinging thingswasp to the face, and lo!lovely flying stinging things2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
oh my hell holy jesus christ
my god what the hell!
did not spark forth like sacred lightning
upon the offending
The problem with writing poetry.The problem with writing poetryThe problem with writing poetry.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is that real life doesn't write nice poems.
Your budget is not going to
inspire anything but stress, perhaps,
and the unwashed linen won't
make hearts soar.
To write nice poems,
you have to take real life and
twist vines into its hair,
set its bare feet down on the forest
floor and call it free.
ghosts of the border townsRead aloud here.ghosts of the border towns2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the desertgirls all wear their white dresses,
braids cinched with ribbons wilted
like the crops.
they walk barefoot, and they have learned
how to keep from kicking up
the sand--they have learned
how to be perfectly still.
the scorchwinds start up, and they
stand beneath the rattling ocotillos,
dresses curling and brushing against
calves dark with dust and
they stare such betrayal, such trust,
as though you are the devil
or salvation--as though
they haven't made up their minds.
say what you like.
they won't smile, only
until long after you are out of sight
and the horizon has