The first time I went to jail.The first time I went to jail10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The first time
I went to jail, I remember waiting
I worked in the laundry,
stirring orange jumpsuits
and white sheets
in cauldrons. The colors of a
I read the bible
in the library and memorized
the first three words of
a black man from St. Louis,
traded me a carton of cigarettes
to read a letter from his daughter,
I made up the words so
he would never know
how little she cared that he was dying
a young man. How little she knew at all.
Jack and I always sat in the first pew
at Chapel. I'm not a Christian, or anything,
but it's nice when
somebody else speaks about the goodness of
and they can still believe it,
even in a place like this.
Jack held my hand
when we lit our candles.
He said each flame was like a birthday wish
I said that I didn't think that was quite how it worked
and later that night, he hanged himself from the top bunk.
I didn't really like him that much,
but it got me out of bathr
takes her lessontakes her lesson11 years ago in Open More Like This
The buildings were bowing as far as their lightning rods would allow them,
laying their pot plant leaves before my feet,
amidst the donkey's traffic grunt.
I had been given my messiah,
wedged between two glossy slips of cardboard.
I'm too shy with strangers to say no;
I gained faith thanks to the selfless persistence
of a ten year old.
Except when I closed my eyes
I saw only momentary multi-hued memories
on the back of my lids.
But that's okay, that's okay,
I had a smile on my face
and god in my hand.
I opened my eyes to:
eager profit prophecies dangled as neon halos,
perched to guide imprudent eyes
- since when were inanimate objects so attention-needy? –
and I had stumbled
But that's okay, that's okay,
because once I coughed it away
I was still there with my glossy book
burning like money in my pocket.
(Maybe when there are only overly ornamental churches
built as architectural feat
rather than practical rock foundations built for bodies rather than brains,
DangerousDangerous11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wish for
words that leap
like poison frogs,
words that creep
words as colourful
Layin' the tracks.Layin' the tracks10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
There's somethin' about jumping
Wind findin' hollows on your body
you never knew were there.
Livin' right, right-side up,
Lookin' forward to back where you come from.
Standin' room only, watchin' the
watercolor desert wander by
flickin' cactus smiles and roadrunner
like that southwest sun,
pregnant and risin', whore for
the blue sky.
Then there's the traveler's
She's high and sensual,
wakin' me in the night, tuggin'
my blanket, rubbin' my thighs,
"Don't stay too long,
cant stay too long."
Restless, she's got me coming,
every hour on the hour with
her wail and moan.
I ain't so ready to leave yet,
Losin' people's faces, track of time.
But I figure,
you come into this world with nothin',
go on and leave with nothin' just the same,
and everything in between is just fun and games-
if you're livin' right.
God, there's just somethin' about
freight trains in the middle of the night.
Ground spinnin' so fast, could be the sky,