When our ship went down, there was fire on the water;
flames reflecting in your eyes, boy, for a brief instant,
before we were torn apart by an explosion on deck and found our bodies sinking,
along with other dead weights, such as planks,
gunmetal and unidentified dark and light matter.
There were no sailors left alive, no captain to put the blame on, squarely;
and truthfully, my mind went blank, shortly after,
but I can speculate that we must've been washed ashore at about the same time,
somewhere between a dying star's last teal spark
and the rising East-side sun's first amber-ray glow.
When next I awoke, it was to extreme discomfort,
It's New Year's Eve in New York City; and you'd think that
the dazzling and ostentatious party-scene, the loud and gleefully energetic,
hyped-up festivities, would have gotten to me already
with their glittering reds and golds, their slick navy blue
and silver tinsel; with laughter bubbling up in everybody's throats,
like apple-crisp champagne and hypnotic Euro Pop beats.
But contrary to popular belief, my friend,
I am not always in a celebratory and rebellious mood;
no, not always throwing caution to the wind and shedding layers of
northern winter clothes with unapologetic movements,
dancing barefoot in the light of a bohemian full moo
Love, you say that I want impossible things.
You claim that I don't know anything about true sacrifice and honor,
and blood spilled for family members;
with the fear of drowning almost nonexistent,
the idea of heaven and hell only a backstory in your mind,
when it comes to putting yourself in harm's way, without a second thought;
and you insist that I should not even have the opportunity to experience
these awful moments, these gory tragedies,
that I should not have the right to ask for more than just mutual respect,
distant gentleness, support and protection
that don't include holding hands like lovers,
but rather; fabled orphaned sibling
Under a crescent autumn moon, this city turned to liquid gemstone,
a brilliant kaleidoscope on the sandpiper pond's surface,
reflecting ripples of fire-truck red and denim blue, lime green,
mermaid water dreams, as we waded through the mud and moss
in the direction of our respective homes on the other side of the Jewish cemetery.
Yes, we were marching back through the late November slush,
like dishonored soldiers; with shoulders hunched, our limbs weighed down by
wet clothes and imaginary armor, after we had barely made it out alive, after
a failed quest for answers in a dryad queen's hazy smoke-and-mirrors court.
Boy, you trudged beside me
It was strange how it happened, how you left this world;
at dusk perhaps, not at dawn, though how can I be sure,
when the only one there to witness the dulling copper light in your wide ebony eyes;
the only one to hear the sound of your last breath, wheezing as it left your throat
was the very person who stuck that hunter's blade in your neck, who just happened
to hit the right artery and ended your short time on this savage earth?
Oh friend, how can I possibly be certain of your time of death now,
if your father ever asks me that, if we ever speak again;
and truth told, considering all of the bittersweet thistle regret
that I am already s
On my first night here, the amber candlelight flickered invitingly
over the village, and I was transfixed by the sight;
like a dream-like setting, a place where all forms of possibility
rise, like chimney smoke into the mulberry ripe air.
Oh but as I had predicted, you were not as impressed as I was by this
because you had seen this view, a hundred; maybe even a thousand times before,
I'm sure; in your tragically young and strong-willed,
noble-hearted, and yet, still stubborn-minded lifetime.
However, I was new here, having just stepped off of the dusty age-beaten dirt road
bordering the “lake of invisible mermaids and great green monst
You were waiting at the bus stop, with starfish clips in your hair;
with ear-buds tucked in your ears, through which
Sunset Boulevard melodies streamed into your memory,
but you weren't as broken as you appeared to be..
Oh no, my faithful Bliss, I hate to break it to you,
but you don't look nearly as invisible and inconsequential as you feel inside;
and who am I to say so, to know better, you ask.
Well, I'm just a guy who's been around, peering over the ivy and red-brick wall
that you've built up around your ego, your swift live-fast-die-young reputation;
a penchant for trouble, excitement and dancing heartbeats.
Girl, you never saw me com
I tried to find you in our old neighborhood, only traces, boy;
snapshots, flashes of your know-it-all grin
reflected on the surface of turquoise pool water,
in the alleyways, pushed up against the cracked walls.
I remember feeling resistance in the shadowy
rain-streaked outline of your arms,
hearing familiar whispers of “I can't”
in the sugar-palm and sea-brine breeze,
but it was nothing too crazy, I promise;
nothing too queer and hinting at obsession and regret,
unfinished business, a roller-coaster of emotion
more thrilling than any amusement park ride that ever
ran in circles, upside-down and around;
I pulled you out of the river, girl, as if you were a swan maiden;
shot down by some cruel and greedy archer, hiding between the juniper shades,
the tip of an arrow pointed directly at your elegant and curved, long, neck;
the beat of your Scotch Mist wings, the gentle fluttering of a near-death experience,
only solidifying his cold-hearted intent.
Oh I watched you fall, but I couldn't stomach the sight of your rapidly drowning form;
now completely human, now completely mortal and feminine,
so lackluster, as all of the natural color drained from
your cheekbones, your lace-trim jaw-line and tulip mouth;
as your breath caught in your throat,
Tell me, what do you think about when
the debutante moon has lost her charm
and there's nothing on TV to keep you up past 11 o'clock?
Do your eyes glaze over, remembering
how I used to hold your head on my knee and rake my fingers
through your yellow hair, baby?
Does your chest burn like a joint in the night
with the absurd memory of my mouth pressed to
your shadowy abdomen under turquoise plastic stars?
David, it was heaven, making you come undone!
You were dirty and beautiful; a clean-cut little
show choir first date gone wrong.
And I know I said you weren't my type when we met
but you've managed to get under my skin
and if I were being
Monochromatic skyscrapers held me prisoner
in a city of half-raven men and angels with boyish grins;
carnival sweets and baseball tosses vivid in their irises.
Here the woodland pixies shed their peridot robes for a
taste of urban lust, as if they'd been deprived for centuries.
It's funny and scary at the same time..
I wanted hope drenched in whiskey and sonnets,
mismatched puzzle pieces and friendship scars;
an escape from the tragedy of secret suburban life.
It was in this state that I found my answer,
standing in the smoky shadows of a club on Marigold Drive.
With firework highlights in his hair and limbs dove white
and sinewy like the
Loud voices bounce around like thunder,
damaging the beautiful silence of nature.
Townsfolk stand on the sidewalk with
comical scowls on their mean faces,
holding up signs spelling out hatred.
October rain poured down
on the tattered body
beaten dry by the roadside.
The boy whose character was
smashed and innocence taken.
His silvery skin caked with mud,
Matthew lay forgotten
in cowboy country.
You killed him senselessly
with ignorance and bigotry,
had a hand in creating fear.
But now the victim
becomes an angel.
Marilyn's diamond song moon,
his shale form unblemished,
he rises to full height.
She showed up on my front porch
at 4 o'clock in the chilly dawn,
wearing muddy jeans and a bloodstained jacket.
I recognized her immediately and
my throat closed up with choking bad luck tears.
This girl with vibrant teal
ribbons in her auburn tresses
was my serendipity partner in crime
from the group home downtown where
we spent our raging pre-teen years.
"I've been in the dragon's den,"
she said when I invited her in.
"The city's underbelly is full
of dead pixies but I'm happy we survived,"
she continued with a torn smile
on her lovely Eastern-European face,
squeezing my hand warmly.
Sometimes she could read my mind,
as if my thoughts we
Matthew, what can I say, lying here on the grass,
watching Ursa Minor and Callisto play tag
in the denim-tailored firmament?
You're probably a blond, blue-eyed bolt of light,
shooting across the Toronto skyline.
And I don't know why I could never make you stay
with promises of better weekends and ordinary happiness.
But you were always visiting the aquarium and
peering at the stingrays,
as if they held the meaning of all the lies
you were told as a kid.
Drawing fiercely in a cheap Wal-Mart journal,
you struggled to comprehend why your dad disliked you so much,
but few things made sense in your world, to be sure.
Matthew, the only answers
The football field is completely deserted at 6:30 on a Sunday evening. The washboard sky is stained a buttery amber and I'm perched on the dusty hood of my station wagon.
My best friend had asked me to meet him behind our high school and the nervous tone of his voice over the phone worries me.
I know for a fact that Ryder's dad has been on his case a lot about his grades lately and we haven't seen each other in almost two weeks.
My stomach flips as I recall the last time we met; at a diner on the other side of the highway. Ryder had reached for my hand across the sticky table while the waitress's back was turned. Although the memory is sweet
Sit down and uncross your legs.
Don't pretend you're better up
on some famous pedestal
because you're just like me;
a neighborhood-born poet with
raw insides glowing in
the pastoral sunshine.
So drop the star kid act, dear.
You're not selling me out today
with your lipstick stains and
California oleander blossoms
pressed to your magazine fake cleavage.
I can see right through the disaster
fabric you're trying to beautify;
it won't work here, Miss Never-
Beach serenades and Cadillac breakups;
it's too late to rewind this summer,
you've changed dramatically, girl.
It's as if you've got a root beer split
You claim she's making you restless
with her strings of costume jewelry
and celebrity perfume that reeks of
insecurity and family issues.
But despite all your complaining,
the way I see things, your heart
is just as isolated as this girl's
and you two aren't that different.
She thinks it's funny to call her
peers names that she dug up out
of her dad's expensive yard,
covered in undeserving soil
and pubescent bacteria.
"Dance with me," she says.
"So everyone will think you're normal."
And you make excuses as
disco balls throw cliches against
the rundown walls of a gym near
the Pacific coast,
letting the sugary
fruit juice infect your blood.
Though I'm not a heavy drinker,
that evening I downed three
plastic glasses of Arbor Mist
because I wanted my tongue
to taste like winter air and sin.
And a girl gestured for me
to sit beside her on the bench
facing the toy dragons where
people were pounding music
near the lake but I couldn't
focus on the seamless pop
because the navy uniform
heavens were stained with
burnt rose and soft violet;
fireworks from an insane artist's canvas.
This girl was exactly my type of tragedy,
though,with peach and satin flesh and long
bangs dipping into her clear water irises.
Between quick glances,
I realized she was deaf.
Pulling out a notepad,
The brainwashed sun sticks to my
eyelids in the pear drop morning.
Wandering down these shipwrecked avenues,
I wear a practiced smile.
But your name is something foreign;
a long-forgotten page
from my adolescent journal and so
used to flying under the radar,
I'm at a loss for words when
you give me a compliment.
Still, you seem comfortable in your thick skin.
And it's seriously intimidating,
seeing how you joke without
straying from the truth,
sipping from cool bottles
and staring unflinchingly
up at a moody sky laced with purple static.
I wish I could be like that;
not a sorry-ass coward.
June 4th was a night of graffiti,
palm branches s
red winter wheat
in a rainy afternoon
on the plateau of Winter
beside a door to the river
wrought iron scrollwork
elders in Rotterdam
smoke their pipes whilst their
in vaults of Royal Dutch
Lady R & Lady S
the dandy jacks of the
Kings of France and Spain;
they leer at guillotines
drinking their wine while
dark grey clouds
race over, race over
the idyll countryside
i like to count your ribs when you're not looking.
the hollow dips, the gentle pressure they put on your skin.
you're underweight by a few ticks of the scale,
so am i.
we both hate taking our medicine.
so my hands shake and your lungs ache,
but we just laugh it off because we're young and we have forever.
you like different books.
we rip the pages out of our memoirs and cry on your bedspre
you think you’re an enigma and maybe you are
maybe you aren’t. i think you laid out little road maps
to decrypt yourself. gave us photos of your veins and
waited for someone to bleed the colour of it in.
from the snatches of your life you’ve written
the person you were at seventeen
the journals and the blogs and the fire that burnt out
with its embers still whispering to you even if
none of it seems coherent, none of it is
the epiphany you were named for but you are
you think you are an enigma and i love you for it,
you need your “gotcha” moments, you spin out
ballads of beauty and then end the poem wit
and in a way,
you left us your own anthology;
and in our ways,
we will read and remember your words -
we light a fire for a woman so fierce
your crown of strength now laid down
and when we cast for words
to keep your heart ; your legacy ; close
we dare to make them magical,
as you were -
your presence in all we do,
your light in the night skies
your smile in the rising sun
your heart in the setting moon:
and until we see you again,
we will be with you.
She asked me to, while you were asleep
Waited with tearful eyes until i awoke to her calls
And i cannot deny my faithful
When they come so willingly
You had never made her scream before;
She wanted me to, while you were away
Offered herself upon my altar
She was paltry and universal
Tendrils of hair lay in my lap,
Oh how she wandered my fields with awe
I would keep that wonder for myself
She needed me to, to discard the emptiness you had left
Tucked away in the cage you had thrown away the key to
My dear, I would gladly grant your wish,
While she clamors into my lap,
I sink you to the beds below;
Do say hello to my nephew when you reach h