In the still morning air,
churches rise, stone buttresses,
the bones of saints.
You finger each of my words,
the click of rosary beads.
Outside our window,
wagons clack, sheets flap,
squares of white, windows to something purer.
We sleep curved around each other,
the cool taste of spoons.
Only there is no longer anything
for us to eat. I slip away from your arms.
But I can only give you this, a light so clear
we don't have to be who we are.
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.
Rorschach's BlotRorschach's BlotRorschach's Blot2 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.
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.
FallingFallingFalling2 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.
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.
DinnerTin cup rattle, see how the stars align tonight?Dinner2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Wooden table thunk, look, they're smiling!
Scrape of chair on wooden floor, one just winked at me
Meager meal by candlelight, but so happy, so happy
These are the days of wonder and love, the little days
The bright spots stitched in between work and boredom
Between births and deaths and catastrophes, these are the days
Leave the dishes for the kitchen elves, come to bed, she says
And the stars really do wink and smile
faithyou stay home sunday morningsfaith3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
folding the horoscopes page of the newspaper
into cootie catchers--
with every word you spell out
your hands press in and out of prayer.
on a day you thought uranus out-shined the moon
you met me first,
i tried to read your palms
but they were worn and ink veiled
and the lines around your mouth
laughed at my rabbit feet;
so eager to jump right in and out of things.
you tried to fold me
so that the words on my skin
would align out of nonsense
as though i were some galaxy
to be charted and given your name,
but i admit i picked you up like a penny
and crossed my fingers that
our wishbone bodies wouldn't break
but i guess the planets weren't on my side.
Euros' InfernoIn a smoke blanketEuros' Inferno2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
mistaken for overcast, he
wraps us –
the wind, undoing –
and the old gum tree writhes
against him, but
we sit inside
with our homes on fire.
someone's octobermaybe tomorrowsomeone's october5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i will lace my fingers through
my ribcage, or
lay pennies in the hollow of
my throat, just between
(i carved my skeleton
with my bare hands, so
leave a wishbone at my feet
& let it break)
maybe tomorrow i will
on the sidewalk, all skinned knees and
scraped palms, and become
someone else entirely:
i will unfold my eyes
and linger behind them,
warm as winter
locationlaughing under train bridges,location3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and kicking our emotions along the tracks like stones--
well, that is where i want you.
at the rocks of my spine behind
the waterfall of my hair
when i am conversing through the phone--
shooting away the flesh of
watermelons in the yard
when i am showering alone--
that is where i want you.
your lap beneath my head
when you're reading out a poem--
across the table, silent,
while i lick at latte foam--
by my side down by the lake
when all the geese have flown--
in thirty postcards when you've gone
to see things on your own--
hot and breathless on my lips
when at the edge of all your moans--
with a dustpan in the kitchen when
the plates have all been thrown--
on the front steps of my skin
waiting just outside my bones--
well, that is where i want you.
daedalusi. we are like birds,daedalus3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
birds without the wings
but with the song.
(icarus did not want for wings)
We did not want for chains we did not
want to flee
(he did not want to fall
I am without fear, and you are without blood,
and we could never hope to scratch the sun,
but perhaps we might endeaver to suspend it.
it's the hollow beat of bones on drums
it's a steady throb of pins on thumbs
it's a simple truth that
nobody wants to fly
ii. but they do.
MelpomeneHear her sing of sun-kissed,Melpomene3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
heavy-lidded tragedies that roll
off her tongue as sweetly as
sugared violets and as naturally
as nightfall; but bruise the lungs
of those who breathe them in.
She is no poet's muse, but
these summer-drunk revellers
will never know better.
when i am twenty fivei will have eyes fixed on the horizon,when i am twenty five3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
one foot in front of the other,
laughter spilling out of my ears,
nosediving into something wonderful.
where i dance alonei. I mistook a shy boy for a thunderous one in the days when I lived inside his lungs.where i dance alone3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
ii. I wanted your hands in the early morning, or in 8 o' clock light. (Does it matter? I just wanted you.) Hands like paper cranes, hands like wind chimes. Then we could've been like lovers in a parody: "I love you, I love youno, I don't. But you are beautiful." And while I was not your lover, neither was I your queen. Either way, you wouldn't hold my heart.
iii. Our fingers would've taken flight and then the rest of us, too. Then you would've known of the ballroom in my chest, the migrations inside my body, of the tiny secret nothings that make their way like monarchsas if by instinct, as if they have been here beforefrom ballroom to piano hands to the museum that is my mind to my stomach. But you are the only lost boy afraid to fly.
iv. I was a foreign land and you would not dare travel without a map. But I do not possess a souvenir shop in which to purchase one. I am a des
Poem: Hold OnHold OnPoem: Hold On3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I heard you crying last night
Did you stop trying last night?
You scream there is nothing left
You say there is nothing inside
You used to fly up so high
But you fell to pieces in the sky
You let go of your faith
And threw away your dreams
Try and find something left for us
I'll turn the lights out
Sleep for tonight
I have to leave,
You have to face this alone
You need to build your strength
You lost faith in me
And gave up
You know there is nothing
Left of us
You say it's too late
And nothing hurts
The feelings will come
And some will burn
But some will heal
If you keep strong
You won't hurt anymore
You can lay in the grass
And feel the sun
If you'll just wait for one
Keep shining darling
It's never too late
To turn your life around
Even if only for a day
You can reinvent yourself
And become someone new
Live a different life
And dry off your eyes
Just keep smiling,
I promise you it's not all gone
There is light at the end
All you have to do is hold on
To My Younger SelfDear Little Lili,To My Younger Self4 years ago in Letters More Like This
Never try to cut your own hair. God or genetics or the fates (whatever we'll eventually prefer) blessed us with many skills, but coordination is not one of them. For this reason avoid any sport that requires contact with others. You'll save a few broken bones.
Read everything. Books will be better friends to you than most people, but that is because they are humanity distilled - all of the beauty and none of the beast. Love them accordingly.
Touch the barbs of velvet-petal roses before you inhale their perfume. Get used to the way blood wells, then rolls across the ridges in your skin. Emotions are not so different. You cannot cross through this life without a few scars, but you can prepare yourself for the pain.
Love the people you meet. This will be so easy for you now, while you are young and see the world so clearly. With time, grime will slowly creep into your vision - a cancer of the heart and soul that medicine has yet to diagnose.
Hold on to the words from the
WaitingWaitingWaiting3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Pale willow girls wait by the river, brides of the water,
Guppies swim through their veins, silver darts of bright pain.
Their names are hieroglyphs of mist, frost and rain.
They walk barefoot in the snow, leaving tracks so they know the way back,
A tracery of breadcrumbs that the ravens will never eat.
Twelve princesses slip underground,
Dance in slippers of tattered frayed silk,
Corkscrews of ribbon, stiff with blood and melted tallow.
They inject themselves with music until their eyes hum like bumble bees.
Then they sleepwalk through the day in a haze of yearning
For fierce wet stone beneath their frenzy of feet, of bones.
When they kiss they taste blood.
They taste honeyed tears.
The brides walk by blank storefronts, by scraps of words,
"Joe's Dry Cleaners", "Nick loves Alicia", "Please, oh please".
The town huddles waiting for checks, food stamps and jobs,
In a boarded up movie palace, the wood charred by some great fire
Black as the ravens that feed Elijah rice,
OdiumBlack and blue,Odium3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
skin and sky
water down the drain,
as the red line of dawn
breaks over skeleton trees and
Hand and foot, Hip and breastHear the ever-wonderful TwilightPoetess read this aloud here!Hand and foot, Hip and breast3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And now I understand the depths
to which a woman must sink, must
dig herself into, must push past with hand
and foot, hip and breast. It is not light I seek
but solidness. Not spring air soft against
my cheek, but the scalding touch of lava
forced for so long to be silent and still
now worming through a cracked
and weeping crust. It seeks explosions
because affection must be dramatic.
But the sky will not love it
as thoroughly as I do.
And now I understand the impossible
permanence of night-lit words.
They linger in the valley between my wrist
and fingers; stow themselves in my freckles.
I cannot erase their presence, ignore
their weight -- only hope for a lover
who will burn away your shape.
But I understand hope to be a fickle
and most unfortuna
RieslingSparsely stardusted skies give way to another greycloud dayRiesling3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The color of sheetmetal, dishwater, old dreams dying
Thirty hours and fifty-three minutes away a woman bakes bread
I can feel the warmth of her kitchen, taste the Riesling
All the way here
Here in my small dusty apartment the lights are on
But I'm not home
She dances in a cageshe dances in her cageShe dances in a cage4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
trapped in this place
her destiny is spoiled
every night she reveals her body
in a stench of alcohol, and of nachos
she takes not
attention to customers
she makes the show on scene
as if the room was empty
as if she was alone in this world
every night she thinks
it's the last time
but the next day
she dances again and again
escape this reality
is a difficult thing
because dancing is her life
as a giftas a giftas a gift3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of sugar dreams
rolled under kitchen
lost in the cleaning
phase of responsible evolution
finding the idle rounded
bits of imagination
when the peak
of harried gloved handmotion
and bubbles subside
first you pluck
the glimmering granules
from the grout
you'd scrubbed devout
as though tiny invaders
once the glitter glint
you see raptured potential
energy beyond light
in crumble bits imagination
weary in chair
remove your feet from burden
ponder the morsels
planted in the midst of your efforts
to purge all that irrates
hold fast to them
moments of inspiration
creating salvation far beyond the antiseptic
memories of self
when fantasy ruled your world view
and dish towels were for bull fights you created
cherish them in your pocket
for all time
to never forget the joys