The TouristShaved legs,
blown glass cracked on the edges
two for the price of one
sell away all our liberties
and let them speak for us.
Play out the wrong card
the captain salutes a sinking ship
and a hurricane winks at the corner of our eye
pulled in a whirlpool.
Tornadoes suck themselves in
paradox in a pillowcase
and you wonder what's keeping you up all night
(no, I can't sleep, either)
the monster under your bed
or the monster laying there
inside your mind all the time
and making your hairs stand on the ends.
Life playing on repeat
sinks clogged with secrets too painful to keep
so hard to settle and slow down
rushing head, losing pace
merciless when you beg to finally collapse.
Shave the ashes from your legs
you're fragile like glass
so easily blown and shaped
so easily swallowed and cracked
(and it's not just the edges this time).
UnrequitedThere is a congregation of stars in this sky,Unrequited in Free Verse More Like This
as if the dew fell up this morning and stuck,
caught in the filaments of a web woven
by a moon too round and white,
too distantly delicate.
Down in the wet green by your white skin,
your still-life arms wrap me in a cold embrace.
Your fingertips are daggers, cutting up
my insides, my insides twisted up in you.
I shudder and bleed little loves.
I swallow you up and pretend that you dissolve,
wishing you didn't writhe inside my chest
like an angry child's tantrum. The taste
of sweat on my tongue turns my stomach;
I suffer through it for the chance to be near you.
You're whispering something to me,
but I don't want to listen. Those words
you didn't say are licking at my ears
like serpent's tongues, singing sweet
lies to me in someone else's voice.
A Sonnet CallA Sonnet Call in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
No anger fills me, though i'm rather pissed
as here I stand and testify with drawl
(by stand I mean I'm propped against a wall—
I conquered seven vodkas with a twist).
My call is for a woman I once kissed;
the girl back at the bar that stopped the brawl
and told me that I had one lovely call!
As firm as metal clasped around my wrist,
her love has grasped my heart and won't let go.
My lawyer said I should not say a word,
but I must tell the world about this treat!
Inebriated glee from head to toe
that frees my heart and makes my vision blurred…
oh officer, you make my life complete.
ThreeIn the dusk-yellow sunshine of the desert, the morning wind is crackling like static over the sand. It breathes salt, breathes sore throats and raw skin against the red mountains. The crows are croaking again, low and harsh and rattling like the final breaths of a half-dead man.Three in General Fiction More Like This
This man is alive. He crawls spidery and long-limbed against the dirt-rimed cliffs, lost now in a patch of purple shadow. Now here he is in the sunlight, new and watery, and his skin is red and peeling, and the snatches that have fallen off flutter to the dunes below like snow. This man is alive
(alive for now)
alive for the hot cruel scratch scratch of the sun on his back, on the back of his skull and dry in his hollow cheeks. This man drinks water like
life dripping past his tonsils and curl-purring deep in his belly. This man is alive for now forever and alone.
22-23-2222-23-22 in General Non-Fiction More Like This
A loud rumble pushes its way in among my turned up radio. It doesn't complement the music well, so I pull off the side of the road. Sure enough, my right rear tire is shredded; a mile and a half from the school board meeting I need to cover, too. And my cell phone? Taking the day off at home, because it knew today would be the one day it'd be needed.
I limp the car to a nearby house, where thankfully the woman there knows me. As she goes to find me her phone, two little girls--I'm assuming granddaughters--run straight up to me. Haven't they learned not to trust strange men in slacks?
"What are you doing here?" one asks straight-out, surely a future journalist in the making.
"One of my tires blew. I need to use the phone to call for help."
"My name's Kaylie and I'm 6!" the other says.
"My name's Alison and I'm 8!" the first says, not to be left out.
"My name's Tim and I'm 22."
Both jaws drop. "Whooooa..."
I laugh. "Yeah. That's
Dream-Nightmare-RealityDream-Nightmare-Reality in General Non-Fiction More Like This
I honestly can't remember his name. It had a B in it.
I had met him while volunteering for a festival in the middle of Niagara Falls; something I had signed up for to fulfill a class requirement. He was tall, heavyset, with glasses and a Brooklyn accent.
Setting up stands and cleaning trash from the street, we talked all day about video games and books. He became my first friend in college.
One evening we were in the dining hall, he telling me of his Puerto Rican hertiage and how he had once served as security for J-Lo, which I didn't believe but never told him. Suddenly he looked at me eye-to-eye across the table.
"Do you ever wish you were someone else; that you could go on some great adventure?"
He kept staring at me, intently. "Yeah," I said, and lowered my eyes to my chicken sandwich.
I remember her first name: Alice.
I had met her at the on-campus poetry club the guy with the B in his name introduced me to.&
Teachers to the DeadWhile we slept,Teachers to the Dead in Free Verse More Like This
you strapped your arm around
my chest like armor and possession,
like this one belongs to me. Together, we are
teaching the things that haunt us
to lie down in their graves.
Here, like this
your demons say to mine as
they demonstrate the art of behaving.
Together, we secure their
broken bodies and set them into six feet of
(but we do not follow
we cannot go in their stead)
They do not know theyre dead. Its
always a blow when we break the news.
They find themselves jealous of our
human skin and our inhaling
(we are too kind
to show that we are more alive without them
that losing them
Idiom: ThoroughlyIdiom: Thoroughly in Free Verse More Like This
"You said you wanted the reverse stripped out of you,
and that's all I left you with."
V. Kingston Upon Thames
How do fancy it? And do you fancy it at all?
Does it have geography and are we grey? Do we have
a time, do we have
(I am turning British corners and you are there,
I will hear our language drown in their heavy tongues. I
will search for their consonants in vain, and they will call
me foreign when I hit mine
too hard. I will search for you, middle-
We will not look like writers then. (We look like
hell; we look like
authors.) We will be worn down like the effects of
wind or harsh water on certain surfaces.
Speak to me in this language- we've only to open
our mouths a little wid
unfoldI. unfoldunfold in Free Verse More Like This
We loved (oh god.) like a diagram-
both withholding and instructional.
There were three lives there.
The first and second were slipping-
the third wasnt really a life at all.
Lanky, they hinged upon the other and
were triumphantly linked
in their ruin.
It was an attempt
at re-working fate, at recovering
a forgotten meant-to-be thing. We set
the spin of our days
to the different tick
of your pocket watch.
A fault in you
noticed the same
face in me;
and in dark places
we chose the other as delicate and
Sand and CementShe dreamt in the morning, the bed half empty with the sheets harnessing her body. In the dream there was only a street corner, the rest of the street a white mass, yet to be sketched. Her face wasnt her own, but she could feel each tendon move and the sensation follow. The bicycle rested against her thigh, a replica of the one her dad bought back in 87. She ran a hand through the two-tone streamers as she waited for the newspapers, and turned her face just as the wind smoothed by. In the white basket laid a baby wrapped in newspaper, its face woven red, but when she tried to pick the newborn up, her arms changed. They merged to thick scales and she suddenly felt a falling sensation. The only thought shed had was how shed land without limbs. There was no way to ease the pain upon impact.Sand and Cement in Short Stories More Like This
Patricia woke, the din in the kitchen rising to a clatter. She untangled herself from the bed sheets and shuffled, still dream-drugged, across the threshold.
Good Morning, WorldTheres noise lots of it and my ears strain to hear the excited shrieks. I roll over, groaning as the sheets knot against my body. An illuminated 7 AM greets me and I turn around, as if refusing to acknowledge the passage of time.Good Morning, World in Short Stories More Like This
Its Sunday. The words vibrate against the walls. My heart thumps. I can feel a patch of my skin warming from the sunlight screaming through my window.
Sunday, Sunday. His little feet patter down the hallway and I can hear his fingertips grazing the wall as he goes.
Yes? I lift my head to see his eyes level with mine. Hes jumping with excitement, his hair fuzzy, tufts of brown spiking everywhere. Christophers hair has always reminded me of a mane, as a baby hed had the softest hair and now, at the age of six, it was still vibrant.
Sara. Sara. Sara. Guess what day it is!
Sara! He whines, raising his voice an octave high
splitting micasplitting mica in Typographical More Like This
Uncloud the borealis of your eye, show your iceberg secrets
on an axis that intersects the surface
an axis that Greek geographers established as a reference line
from pole to pole. While Greece preserves the memory of itself in Rome,
its philosophers deduce morals from the nature of man
rather than from God
and baize of whitened-green mouldering
from the pews-sides
leaving naked wood
to the disturbance caused by a water droplet,
that will be smoothed out by gravity.
This complex folding over cannot be drawn, though its properties
can be specified in full mathematical detail.
∑ 2398 a & b (put > zero as quantum) α 161
True StoryMy proudest day yet, and to top it allTrue Story in Free Verse More Like This
you wrote your first poem.
As I drove, you told me our car was
a beautiful white horse
without a name.
And to think, you do not even know that song
or that this is a desert.
We slipped on slick oiled streets,
and you soothed my nerves with a gentle,
and the tires gripped.
I pulled up beside a sedan
turned dapple grey by the weather
and we stepped out onto a badly drained lot.
You closed your poem, saying simply,
"The rain turned into glass."
the conversationalistthe conversationalist in Free Verse More Like This
slit-eye winter sun-
rise buried to the hilt
as if you
'd answered my every fucking
question speaking french-
it's October again, my darling
for pity, oh. for pity's sake, this
talking in morse or
semaphore is getting
by the day.
these icy fingers
are not persuaded by my plea of self
defence, the jury's
out, the cock has crowed,
the books are
falling from the shelves
like dodgy tape recordings of
conversations overheard in dreams,
what I want to know is why,
I had my mouth ajar as if to speak,
as though the distance between my
tongue and lip
was suddenly too far.