All Up and Down the CoastAll Up and Down the CoastAll Up and Down the Coast10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The weather ballons have shut down
out of boredom. The sky is the exact opposite
of an exploded circus. I'm feeling let down,
thinking I would miss you more.
Puddles are even leaving town
in search of something more famous to reflect.
I could go for a walk through the streets
you've left behind but I know they will someday
open up, swallow everyone who trusted them.
I think I will stay inside instead
and rummage through empty wine bottles,
hoping to disturb some hungover genie
and ask him if he's ever had any wishes of his own,
maybe a pleasant sunny day to himself
on top of a water tower,
some grapes and cheese to nibble on
while he calculates the chance
that it will never rain again,
then writes it across the sky
in a language no one understands.
Passion FishHolding you I jumpPassion Fish10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Into the spectacle of the sea
Sinking into a school
Of vermillion grouper:
The day-star strikes a path for us
Deep into the swelling rhythm
Of the ancient blue,
The somber cool;
Above the surface,
A vanilla sky;
From the inside
Of a flower;
Our hands explore dark waters for treasured touch;
Separating seaweed with fingertip scythes
Of poignant flesh;
Being with you is like floating for the first time
In my own personal ocean,
Or standing barefoot in the wake
Of a tsunami, unafraid;
Or holding a jewel
Girl Alarm ClockGirl Alarm Clock11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the sun sets unasked
and rises again without the
But I do not
girl alarm clock
timed in the heat of dreams
that make moan and flutter
quiver of over-warm flesh
smooth inseam of thigh
wake me in the morning
she just barely breathes
pull at her eye strings
make short lashes quiver
a back that reaches for me
while fingers fetal curl
towards the face
and her lips twitch
on hot mornings
I watch her naked sleep
EucalyptusEucalyptus8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
her skirts are so thick
if you spun her upside down
she would open up like a rose-
violent yellow pumps
and bubble ankles on
lanky blue legs, waving like stamen in the rain.
she's pollinating all over the room
a good thing to ask would be
why have I waited so long.
Do you remember burning me around your neck? I singed your hair, but didn't say anything.
It just curled from my fingers.
I sit far away now-
wrapped around my new love like a cat,
telling ghost stories and missing your shoulders,
flicking back and forth against the subway walls.
I got a letter today
a train schedule
another reminder of my
residence in the wings.
why have I waited so long?
I remember the day
you sat in my livingroom
somber, surrounded by fruit,
while I ran back and forth
miserable and sweating, trying to
find something appropriate to wear at the funeral.
you played at his memorial
and I watched
leaning back on the carpet and forgetting
entirely where I was.
A driftwood Essayforever and flawlessA driftwood Essay8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
those un-plucked flowers
pressed in poetry volumes
and the ocean.
oddities of memories
as river stones, well rounded
in their patient education;
as punctuated coffee stains,
those discarded sutras
by accidental monks,
who learned calligraphy from
what clever lines
the cipruss roots, embroidered
with lichen 'nd worm trails.
how fertile those monks are now,
as love is recorded
diligently, in chronicles
of a child stomping in
HeldWe loved like arson:Held8 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
glow floats around like smoke, and distorts us,
restless, and tangles around the rafters,
the room imbued: remnants of star-fuelled lust.
We loved like fireworks, comets and fireflies.
We traced paths through constellations for hours,
across freckled skies, tasting the stars
with every kiss. The night went on for miles.
Now a cathartic still whispers, lingers
as the room burns orange in the morning's
luster. The carmine light bares a warning:
To keep my distance, or I'd clash with hers.
I leave her to draw the blinds, casting shad-
ows like prison-cell bars across the bed.
drowning out westdrowning out west10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It has not been so bad here -- warmer than home and they call the place differently than we do. You know how we always said Mizzery?
They call it Mizzera.
Auntie J and Uncle Agner have made the attic comfortable for me. From my window I can see hills fattening in the distance and the river veins away from them -- winds right through the pasture.
Tell mother I wear the cardigan she crocheted and no one can tell yet. Auntie looks hard, cause she knows I should be blowing up, but she's disappointed. She tells me eat right cause she wants her new baby healthy and she heaps enough food for two grown-ups on my plate; I eat as much as I can, but it all comes up anyway.
Give everyone my love.
Mother is still too upset to write; I hope you understand. I'm glad you're settled in.
Agner only owns the pasture,
he hasn't a breath of livestock
His job is on the road,
so I'm alone with Auntie
and the boys most days.
The phone rings
P.C.PreachingI just spent 30 minutes on a bus staring at a wall;P.C.Preaching8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
someone wrote in Japanese, English, French
after dinner, afterlifeafter dinner, afterlife8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
After Dinner, Afterlife
If it were you and I,
both of us
bearing crosses on our backs,
and lifted high upon our crimes
(like a Bible story
or a fairy tale from some
damned, banned book)
we'd surely be honoured
at the gates of Saint Peter,
with medals, wine, wings
and songs of praise
for our lives within fables
and our ability to conquer
with only a blind mule -
and a switch.
Your hand against mine in theYour hand against mine in the9 years ago in Scraps More Like This
The look of a child witnessing rain
is a kind of awakening. The way
his eyes go wide and get that
awe-struck reverence that's never achieved
on Sunday mornings when the pastor preaches
Noah's Ark and the pews are more uncomfortable
than the gynecologist's waiting room.
I'm reminded of our second date
(it was raining then too)—
your father's jazz blaring in his 1950's Corvette
as you drove us to see African Queen
at the theater in town.
When I reached for the popcorn,
you gave me your hand instead,
and even though I was no Katharine Hepburn,
you said I was pretty enough to be a star.
The next night you took me out again,
and the night after that.
We were like two children
standing in a rainstorm, rapt
in each other and in the flooded streets.
That was when hands touching
still held significance
and you were Humphrey Bogart,
sailing us away.
The Fifth of JulyThe Fifth of July8 years ago in Scraps More Like This
All night, disturbed
by the whistle and bang
of leftover fireworks, we
found ourselves unable to sleep.
Beneath the sheets, your toes
traced little circles on the insides of my thighs
as you told me a story about a man
who lived by the sea and the woman
obsessed with him. She collected shells,
you said, and left them at his doorstep.
She washed his feet with saltwater.
When he said to her "go home,
there is no life for you here,"
she beat her chest and wept
because she knew that he was right.
In the morning, there was ash
on the street outside of your apartment.
We rose early, anxious for day,
and both fell silent
with the suddenness of emotion lost.
The Dress She WearsThe Dress She WearsThe Dress She Wears8 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
It rides the slow curve of her hips
pulls tight against them as she walks
her gait confined to conscious steps.
Not long enough to be lady-like,
too long to be whorish, it falls
heavily over tired thighs, licking
the tops of her knees. The neckline
plunges. A greedy vice, it squeezes
the bulk of her heavy breasts up
until they spill out for all to see.
Its coarse and jealous-green fabric
scratches her most delicate places
rubbing them raw, I know, until
her skin weeps a salty pink.
Made before we were born, it is
given us by our mothers and theirs
before. It suits us just the same.
The dress she wears is thin as skin
and frayed beyond repair. Lined
with fear and trimmed with guilt,
I put mine on each morning, as if
it were the only one I'll ever need.
Sometimes I have nightmaresset in familiar locationsSometimes I have nightmares8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I've never been to.
I play hero roles
and don't care about anyone
Smoke and Mirrors.Possibilities and eyelidsSmoke and Mirrors.8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of love or something similar
Effortless and seamless
of something similar
while pseudo lighting glistens
on the rain outside.
trapped in cages of
wearing bruises and screaming
"I hope I die on this, this day
release me, the Saint
they called Valentine."
Charcoal streaks and trickling down rivets
in faces and the lonely
hearts tonight will be worse.
Ugly beauty queens will dine
with a wolf
and the fiends tonight.
gently sketching music notes and whispers.
The Death PoemsThe Death Poems9 years ago in Scraps More Like This
The Death of Starfish and Submarines
By noon, the coastline reeks of it:
rotting fish, rotting soil,
and all the little shorebirds hopping,
hoping to find free breakfast,
maybe brunch. The tourists
infest the scene quick as flies,
drop their oversized towels,
open lemonades, complain how loud
the gulls are—those rats of the sky.
The Death of Grandmothers
She lay broken at the bottom
of her cellar stairs for eight days
before the neighbor wondered
and called the police
and they wandered in
and carried her out
while the dogs protested
and the house protested
and even the limp dead body
protested. Then it was lunchtime
and they left her in the trunk
while they stopped for cokes
and gasoline and talked about
whose wife was prettiest.
The Death of the Butterfly Bush
This year the early frost came unsympathetic
and silenced all the life of my garden.
The monarchs fled to Mexico
and all the little pink flowers
withered from the heartbreak.
The Death of Presidents and P
Panacea, or thePanacea, or the9 years ago in Scraps More Like This
Even Newton practiced alchemy.
In his basement, behind the boxes
and the empty bottles, even Newton
thought of silver and gold, of turning
these lead dreams into something useful.
Last night again I dreamt of fire,
of burning down the house
which we were to share. When I awoke
I swore I saw you sitting
in the middle of the bedroom floor,
and when I tried to touch you
Of Li PoLi Po, they tell meOf Li Po10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
trying to embrace the moon,
your lungs drank too quick
and had not,
the strength of your liver.
Yet you drowned,
much before Yellow River
a smiling immersion,
your death, a life
and well placed.
Even the moon hums
like it's forgotten the words.
Thoughtful Transit FlowersEach minuscule silken petalThoughtful Transit Flowers8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of the orchids cried romance
unto each passenger's ears.
They were not for a particular occasion,
but simply to convey love.
I held them tight,
seated on the transit bus,
as if they were my children,
and I their compassionate mother.
White curls of age
and a soft maroon floral dress
held the elderly woman together.
She, seated adjacent to me,
and kneaded her wrinkled hands.
"For your girlfriend," she told me.
"What a lucky young lady."
Fleshy lips curled
into the gentlest smile
I could muster.
"For my boyfriend."
Those words seemed to pierce
the old-fashioned woman,
like an arrow,
and she nodded.
Slowly, the blood rushed
to her wrinkled cheeks,
and she seemed to have been pained
by this, or confused even;
yet she spoke again:
"What a lucky young man."
A Man Mourns His MuseA Man Mourns His MuseA Man Mourns His Muse7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
We were all paired on Parnassus.
But when the city sank
under the howling water I left him.
Snap. I caught him old
on his deathbed. He spoke
quietly. I leaned in, deftly:
Once I dreamt
of flickering elms
the dancing cars
O I chased them till I wept.
I could not match them
for speed. They threw
spooling loops of light
as though they knew
I would not catch them.
In another dream
the wafer of light
between evening and night
until the moon rose
and I fell. Today I felt
I'd slipped into the space
between terraced houses.
He could not have known.
I dreamt and he could not
have known to wake me.
He died and now I am free.
MistressMistress10 years ago in Scraps More Like This
Long before our flame was lit,
the ocean was your lover.
Her greens and grays had formed
the foundation of your dreamlike existence,
and her beaches drew you in as if by some
You spent your summers in her tidal pools
and even winter could not drag you away.
The little blue crabs reminded you
of ballerinas, and their strange movements
made you laugh.
On the worst of days—
like when your parents told you that
their Joy had died,
her gentle lapping smoothed all your
Once you tried to lose yourself in her depths—
you swam hard until your body collapsed with
exhaustion and screamed with frustration as
she spat you out again.
She knew it was not yet your time.
As you grew, the world shrank until
the ceilings almost hit your head and
unwinged, your mother was no fairy queen.
Silent reassurance was found in the always-endless seascape.
She nurtured you through heartbreak
and in those toppling moments of desperation,
the consistency of her tides gave you balance
After DickinsonThere is a Queen all clad in silkAfter Dickinson11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Whose cloak is purest white –
She lives atop a tower of green
And outshines Moon by night –
Her crown is of the purest gold,
And golden is her spire –
And when the lowly leave this earth
She visits at the bier –
She mourns without opaque remorse –
But rather, lays her head
Below the corpse's whitewashed face
And shares his final bed –
And when her consort rises up
And leaves her on her own,
She gives up all her worldly grace
And fades into his bone –
MerHis bare feet pad along the strandMer8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of warm beach, on dazzling white sand,
kneeling now and then to gather shells
and take in a breeze of ocean smells.
Comes a moment when he isnt sure,
in the brightness of the sun
on an endless sea of azure,
and lifts a hand to shade his eyes
while he tries to discern a figure
that lies, supine, at the edge alone,
where the breakers fade and die.
Upon approaching he looks down
at a young woman, a mere girl
perhaps, by the look of her breasts,
and is mesmerized at the
tiny bubbles of foam that caress
a fishtail of aquamarine
where human limbs ought to be.
Transfixed by this feminine pearl,
he longs for the world that delivers
to him this creature of Mer.
And thus she meets his gaze with hers
while he cries, overwhelmed and grateful.
Like the pull of the tide when a
spent wave coils around his feet.
He knows, in his heart, she feels him
as her fingers, like slender seaweed
slip away, beckoning, "Come in... come in".
antebirth antebirthantebirth8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I. the thump of my
blood began as a nervous twitch
my heart beat up one vein
capped like a straw, pressured
no arteries, just a thimble of blood
beating on a string
II. the growth of my body hair,
little buoys on a sea of skin,
struggling to build distance
III. (from the embryo)
a rhetorical prayer,
i can feel it in the air pocket beneath my tongue,
a flat empty lung
from mom's pregnant tongue, gentle kicks
like a frog breathing beneath a mouthwhite sheet
remember that day on the horse farm
you found a feather frog, its soapskin
flaked, its skeleton forewarned
the coming of the translucent wood.
the jewish daughterThe dispatched current ofthe jewish daughter7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the greater twin daughter - his relish -
divides an entire nunnery
between her legs.
And it's almost mean -
that antic dress,
that endless body,
richer than rancidity;