suffocation keepthis city suffocates so we don't
no, at best
we sing in sign language:
the hushed glances, the solidity
of shoulder blades
let's leave the choking crowds
and chase out somewhere
where the wind blows
wide and rich--
where the knotted songs in your
to take these beartrap ribs
and let us
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.
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
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.
caring for p(o)etsscribbling down vicious verses oncaring for p(o)ets2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
tissue napkins while seated at
the corner of a sidewalk cafe is
about as romantic, raw and
honest a p(o)et
-outside of the four corners of your bedpost-
if you've got that person dreading over
drafts and dreams on end
-of you, for you-
consider yourself a new owner
it is now time to
tame this p(o)et's perverse mane
you've got your hands on
a fragile purebred
which can be very tricky for
4 Traits of a Damn Good Boyi. drive4 Traits of a Damn Good Boy1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
buddy, you were a throwback. you had a lot of wolf in you,
a feral soul.
i hope heaven has eased the stiffness in your joints
and brushed the gray from your fur
and left you sleek and gorgeous,
a solid pack of muscle with the kind of determination
that can never be taught.
i hope there are lizards for you to chase,
doves for you to launch yourself after
and catch out of the air with a finesse that would make professionals weep.
buddy, i hope someone's up there throwing a stick for you every now and then.
i hope you give 'em hell when they want it back.
buddy, it seemed like the world was a very scary place for you.
i'm not sure why,
and maybe i laughed at you a little--
at the neurotic puppy inhabiting the commanding form
of a hunter--
and sometimes i got angry at you
and your insistence that the world was out to get you
and i'm sorry for that.
it took me years to realize that something must have happened
to plant a deep and unshakeable fear
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
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.
rapid eye movementi am jealousrapid eye movement2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of my birdwinged half-sister.
later, birdwinged reapers--black,
looming quiet in every doorway. they
followed me from my hemmed-in waking terror
to the free reign of my subconscious.
far better suited to their purposes.
thunderstorms like supernovae out at sea, and
empty little boats tossed on emptier shores.
it rains, and the sea advances,
cresting the saguaros. someone is lost.
i don't know who. i don't know why i
care so much.
cliffs and skyscrapers. tightropes. sometimes
i am afraid of heights, and sometimes
afraid for those who are not.
the skinny girl
with the long dark hair is
always worth dying for.
sex. i am in turn
bemused, and indifferent, and bored, and
frustrated, more often than anything.
i like that i still remember how it felt to hug my dog,
right down to the cool wirecoat
and the warm fluff beneath,
and his immense
sometimes i wake up with misty
recollections and the overwhelming thought:
i wish it could be like this.
jungles with ancient
(c)loves and (c)loversi am no artist's muse,(c)loves and (c)lovers2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i am no ship's harbor
i am no hero's weaker heel,
i am no good earth's flower
i have never been your lover
nor have i ever kissed you,
- not even once
though i dream of you (c)love-scented,
with lips shaped like a lucky (c)lover's-
kissing you and to be kissed by you
i can never profess,
not even confess
even to myself
i stay standing, (b)raving the cold nights,
pretty much batty and bootless
the absence of you weighs metric tons on my
shivering nape, and
you dam(n) me with
you are my river's boulder,
and undefined border
Almost-Buoyant Credence Dear ocean childAlmost-Buoyant Credence2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
born from the escape of drowning suns,
I have longed
for your halcyon-woven hair
and lucid, lyrical gaze
for the longest while
Let me trace resting eights, lemniscates
along each inch of your holy-grail spine
swimming toward the sea snakes
embedded in your sacrum
Harbinger of kismet,
I want you to condense
all my joys and my sorrows,
confiscate all my grays,
lacunae and lagoons
as if chrysalises
caught in amber, illuminated
though lost in the span of days,
you need to have a plan...so here's toyou need to have a plan...2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to some forgotten shore.
2. fall desperately in love with
i. the ocean
ii. the sky
iii. the honey sunrise and
iv. the steelgray winter dawn.
soul-deep into the water and
4a. search out the requisite words
i. from behind white and blue curtains
ii. and underneath clam shells
iii. and in the wakes of fishing boats, and
4b. pluck them from the ceaseless
scrawls of sunlight
against the slopes of waves.
5. make time for
ii. and other
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.
sirensAudio version here.sirens2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sometimes the mermaids will watch the sailorboys, and green ocean eyes will take in the powerful shoulders and the instinctive sense of balance, and sometimes one will fall in love. and sometimes this love will fill up her chest so much it hurts, and sometimes it will make her reckless--make her swim silently up to the sides of the boats and reach up (carefully, with just the barest sound of water droplets tumbling back into the depths) and rest her arms on the wood that's long since been worn smooth from salt and sun. and sometimes the sailorboy will turn, but he'll see nothing--but when he hauls in his net it will be brimming, straining at the seams, and he will look out over the ocean for a moment, all the way to the blank horizon, and sometimes he will wonder.
and it's easy to love the girls that swim up from the bottom of the ocean with nets knotted up in their
the beauty's in the leavingRead aloud here.the beauty's in the leaving2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sweetheart, let's head out. let's
drink up the desert asphalt and that last bottle
of johnny walker blue--
one last toast to the copper sunsets,
to the good earth. a pair of
tailgate stargazers, you and i:
roaming curves across the glove compartment map, until
every foldline is worn flannel-soft
and it'd rather stay open
let's forget route sixty-six. let's forget
and pick up terra cotta dust--
breathe in the mojave. let's pretend
that the world's already ended
and it's just us.
let's leave the door unlocked
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.
walk on your own, into the sunDear sad people,walk on your own, into the sun1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I was raised to believe that the sun turns purple when humanity learns to glow
but lately, the warm wooden library I sat in turned cold.
In the summer I'd pick up the heaviest explanation of evolution and smile at it like a proud amphibian,
in the winter I'd write thickly about praying to a stagnant universe.
In the winter, I'd forget I'd evolved.
I once dreamed that Jesus gave me a tour of the Old Testament heaven.
The ocean water slapped itself onto the course sand,
which rose into brown dripping bones that stood tall like the rod that cracked open a footpath.
"It's up to you," he shrugged with sluggish eyes.
I wondered if I belonged in your world.
Why do you write so many letters
to your pills and lovers and priests and ghosts?
In one deep sleep, sloppy Jesus gave me a choice,
and I chose to write my own letter to a raised razor nightmare, running and raw
that peeled down a woman's cheek as sh
feast, feistwe, the scavengers--feast, feist2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the foxthroats on the fringes.
we do not
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
Aurora (Borealis)The vermilion sky melted and slippedAurora (Borealis)2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
into a barely muddied, ruddy hillside
powdered-sugarcoated, vanilla ice-whipped
The vivacious glory-of-the-snow
sabotages the dead silence of the season
with its vehement, blue-violet glow
Know that I see the gleaming aurora in
your laugh lines, life lines
in the palms of your hands and
pads of your feet, unfurling the unsaid
The north star becomes
a cardinal bindi on your forehead
Know that I feel you are heaven-defined
prophecies pressed into my spine
You want to whisper across my tips and capillaries
breathe in sky-blue butterflies, out sea-green envy
I want to compass through your crust and marrow
with every very ounce of streaming sanguine in me
To keep burning bridges and breaking-off roads
marooning our mauve mere of melancholy
To reclaim yourself under new wintry dawn odes
finally, fathoming the worth of the word, 'free'
The vermilion sky melted and slipped
into a half-baked, chocolate hillside
asleep in sleet, numbed and tight-lipped
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
Stay Dreamingyou are pale in the half-light;Stay Dreaming3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
all the fire you carry with you in the waking world is doused in the sweetness of your hair across the pillow & your frame insinuating itself in the sheets, in pockets of weight & pools of shadow that say "i am a body", "i am a girl"
(vulnerable yet terrifying)
& in life you are larger than you seem, thunder & lightning inside colored glass. you are cruel-mouthed but soft-eyed, & brittle queen (you would rather break than bend for me), you are all the lovelier for your frail-boned pride.
it is strange how much i see of you when you are not looking back, how i feel as though it is only in moments like these (in not-quite-daylight, in dreaming) that we are truly at peace. for is it not that our natures may be likened to those of sea & sky? were we not born to crash & storm & shriek & boil against one another? (what is the nature of the place where we meet? for i do not believe in the horizon; blue on blue, it can only be an illusion
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
An Unhealthy Lack of Vanitythere's an interruption in our dimension;An Unhealthy Lack of Vanity2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i found it in the hallway where i became aware
of seven billion perspectives shaping occurrence
into pattern: from nothing, is the hallway where i saw
a line of crooked overlapping fluorescent lights yellowed,
beckoning to your eyes so that your feet must follow,
and they told me: life is the most nauseous pill you swallow,
a blood-thinning laxative that will always lead you here,
where you become aware that the hallway is invention:
and everything is invention, at once.
I am the wayward childI wish I had something more to offerI am the wayward child2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when your joints ached and your bones creaked
and you wept dust; (the cobwebs around
your tongue were a comfort once)
but I am three times screwed
over backwards and turned right around,
breathing in gravel and praying on
the only consistencies I know like
on Sun-day we are in the house of God
and it won’t rain and dad won’t speak
and mom will sit with pursed lips counting
all the times we didn’t kiss her goodbye
and everyone will call it normal,
everyone will look at the way I write words
on cracked pavement and get glassy-eyed
when they speak softly and forget the sound
of my own voice when I’m afraid; all those times I
tripped over my own feet and walked away
with wounded knees, and they will call me normal.
I’m at it again, building barricades
from ashes and calling them friends
(this here is fear, he visits me nightly;
and that stale stain in the corner
is actually anxiety, recuperating
from the moment it caught a