syracuseListen to the audio version for the full effect, pretty please.cloudshot sky like an oil painting and i am watching theseagulls. i--darling, i will swim for youand 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 achein my bones, the hollow--the clawing out for unseen sunsets and unturned tides.i hear you, lovegive me time.i will always listen.
with thanks to frost Now with a reading.two roads diverged in a soulless dawnand you pull over,idling on the shoulder of route 50.it's a polaroid morning andthe world is as grainyand sleep-heavyas your eyes,and one million milesis not far enough.it plays back, filmstrip,blurred along the length ofoptic nerves,and here you are:facing a choice betweenonandout.and this?this loosejointed, hollowbodiedweightless ache--this is whatgonefeels like.
hallelujah .:commish:.Storm--and the desert inhales,inebriated on an atmosphere thickwith electricity and promise.Each tiny daylight isa new rapture.They tremble.
letter to a little me1. these are the anniversaries that will stay with you,for better or worse:september twelfthjanuary twenty-fifthaugust fourteenthdecember twentieththings go up in december, as if the coming of a new yeargives the old one a kick in the pants.look forward to decembers.time likes to tie weights to your collarbones with silk ribbons.right now i am two years into a subdued grief,five years into a wild regret. but don't be scared;just as many feathers balance out the iron.i am three years into something trulywonderful.2. you will get better. the words on the page will eventually come a bit closer to the pictures in your head.by the way, you think in pictures--you don't see that now,but look for it. use it to your advantage.stop with the heavy moralizing. you try too hard.you will abandon false modesty and snobbishness,as you will find out that they are not attractive qualities.you will, however, trade them in for navelgazingand perhaps a bit of haughtiness and pre
lucidityyou were all dead ends and flypaper,so when she had her tenthnightmarethat week, and woke upsweat-drenched and howlinglike a dying creature, you cursed down thoughtsof thirty-day notices,and you packed upand you left the front door wide openand you started driving.a state and a halflater, the sun rose,and she was loose and soft in the backseatand you could rest easy, makingtiny movements of the steering wheelto compensate for that littlemagnet twitchbehind your ribs,anchoring you north.the first time you stopped for gas,you had this impractical fantasy ofditching the little blue Fordand walking—but you looked at herand you smiled,and there would be time enough for thatlater,anyway.state linesare such feeble constructs.one night she leaned close into your side,her hand tracing patterns across the ridgesof your shoulder blades,and she whispered,"let’s go home,"but she held the wheel still when you tried toturn it."home."north.when the oc
summer somewheresomeday sweetheart,we'll settle in slow with the tidesand the salt,letting the ocean in through thewide open windows.someday we won't refill the tankand we'll roll up the drive on fumesand let it sit;let the paint peel instead.somedayit'll all be a watercolor wash ofblue and yellow, and the whisperedrunwill leave my bones.
stockdesperately we cling to smoothstocked guns until they splinter in our palms, and we know the smell of steel, yes, and it is an old friend. between the split lips and the bruised hips somewhere we are defined, distilled like whiskey and rougher yet and beneath the hunter's moon we smile.
inhale, inhalethe birds are singing in the deep haze of dawnand your bones are loose inside your skin.you learn gratitude from the trees.
the beauty's in the leavingRead aloud here.sweetheart, let's head out. let'sdrink up the desert asphalt and that last bottleof johnny walker blue--one last toast to the copper sunsets,to the good earth. a pair oftailgate stargazers, you and i:roaming curves across the glove compartment map, untilevery foldline is worn flannel-softand it'd rather stay openthan closed.let's forget route sixty-six. let's forget the numbersand pick up terra cotta dust--breathe in the mojave. let's pretendthat the world's already endedand it's just us.let's leave the door unlockedand gowest.
.grievingmother,a full moon;fit to burstwith silvermilk,weeping
.i dug up thepast again, thosememories viciousand snarlingi set them looseinside the houseand now we haveto leave
Mollusca1.Find whatever it is that is your treasure.Bury it alive.2.I wrestled the guardian angel for my birthstone,just a pearl like some full moon risen from a mollusk's growing pain.I counted the sheets of nacre like birthday candles,peeled away each one until I at last rememberedthat what I treasure is an infection.3.It was a gentle kind of wrestling,not Biblical, not even assertive,more like the way two sprite wolf cubs play,a light lunge, a jovial snarl,a fight over nothing in particular.The guardian angel renounced itselfas a guardian angel, saidI am a siren.I lie in the tunnels of nautilus shellsand sing until I collapse with the echoes.Then it hurts, like a shard of the wrong songembedded in my skin.4.It never healed the ache of adolescence,just buried it under a fall wound's nacre.Said one day, it'd show up in my smile.5.On the day of the dewinging:bury me alive.I want to see what I can agitate the earth into.
A Grave Digger's KissesI fell in love with a gravedigger. His hands were rough and calloused; no matter how many times he cleaned them, grains of soil remained rattling in his palm. It should have been a warning – dirt nestled in his love-line, but something about the way he held me, how he always seemed surprised that I was warm, that I was alive, was endearing. He once said that in winter, when his fingers were like ice, he couldn’t feel the difference between the coffin and the bed. But he refused gloves, scoffed at them; said feeling the earth part under his feet was the only way he knew up from down.And his eyes were like shovels, constantly burrowing through me, dragging up fossils, the skeletons dancing in my closet. He lived with the dead, only understood the chattering of skulls, would unearth forgotten secrets, examine them as if he were a mortician, a pathologist. Then those eyes would silently begin again, reburying them in perfectly square holes, in perfectly straight lines. H
because i'm like a relapse (of you or youth)baby blues cannot cure suicide agendas.all these poets do is wither, wither,waste - decomposing bones justenough to trade them in forwords & kill themcell bycell &conversations bloom between my tongue &teeth or two choice vertebrae; thoughtsburst like blood vessels,like self disgust(i am more catatonicthan i am catastrophic).
rusty mirrorsthe decay of champagne on your breath tasteslike salt and fire, a fever dancing to the rhythm ofbroken glass. you and i are ghosts haunting ruinsin a poisoned ocean -- composed of marble, smokeand steel, we are prisoners in this concrete universe.
denial and uglier aftermathi drink to you, raising my glass andchoking down the things you left,ignoring my gag reflex and waitingon the buzzing in my head, white cottonlullabies for the weak of heart.it kills me that we are just acollection of vignettes, that sooni might see your blossom fingersand bleeding sunset smile butonly as a memory gone static with neglect;this summer, i became a rebel. amartyr in a child’s game, a vagrantwith boxes of dead poetry to calla home, and when i asked you to want me,it’s only so you’d take the sanity and consciousnesswith you when you left. i missthe days when personality disorderswere not graceful.do you even remember taking me to the moon?you were so fucking tripped out on acidand weed and love and other drugsthat you thought we were a portrait.midnight blues and sober graysbreaking even for a story,but every planet we landed onwas already dead.and trust me, i know you wish life wasa one night stand, because youcan’t keep
my oceanso we are this side of one AMand we are heaving in a quiet sea.the press of your skin is my anchor,and i navigate by the shifting of your irises;seagreen,seablue,seablack.
.he told me prayersare uselessand if i really want hisforgiveness, i should get onmy knees and beg
.I don't need ghosts, I'm already haunted enough by the living.
following the colossussome days i forget my existence -lost and writhing and twisting my wrists in someepileptic search of the cosmos for lonely gods andtheir shadows hidden among the dying stars.with one finger one brushed my face and spoke to mein ancient languages of the tree lords and flying kingdomsbelow and told me of how he longed for the feeling offleeting time and of the stars that were birthed inside him.he sobbed and crouched and the earth moved and trembledwith swift movements in unheard-of dimensions and directionsand he whispered of winds and sandstorms filling his lungs,"i am disintegrating, i am disintegrating, i am disintegrating."and he told me the secrets of the galaxies and of the warsand peacetime shrouded in fallacy and lost loves whowithered away in his hands, blew away from thought, eyes,and fingers.yet in his tears he smiled and screamed and screeched thebooks of centuries and millennia, gnashing his teeth inrhythm with his heartbeat and sang death songs until hed
I am the wayward childI wish I had something more to offerwhen your joints ached and your bones creakedand you wept dust; (the cobwebs aroundyour tongue were a comfort once)but I am three times screwedover backwards and turned right around,breathing in gravel and praying onthe only consistencies I know likeon Sun-day we are in the house of Godand it won’t rain and dad won’t speakand mom will sit with pursed lips countingall the times we didn’t kiss her goodbyeand everyone will call it normal,everyone will look at the way I write wordson cracked pavement and get glassy-eyedwhen they speak softly and forget the soundof my own voice when I’m afraid; all those times Itripped over my own feet and walked awaywith wounded knees, and they will call me normal.I’m at it again, building barricadesfrom ashes and calling them friends(this here is fear, he visits me nightly;and that stale stain in the corneris actually anxiety, recuperatingfrom the moment it caught a
On Love UnconditionalSow your wild oatsand roam;I'll leave the light on.
Things I would Tell Her--C.I want to tell her the thingsI'll tell her when she’s older,but the information terrifies her.In order of importance:she has luna moths in her head,monarch butterflies in her stomach,and a feral fetus in her womb.Her handsare collapse-clasped and foldedin her lap;she holds her elbows like wingsaway from her ribs,ready to flap,to flutter,to fly.I want to tell herto keep one hand in her purseso she can always find her keys,to keep an eye on the doorand the door always openso she can run if she doesn't feel safe,but her cheeks are rorschach-splotch redand the tension in her shoulderswarns me she's not readyto hear this.And there is the possibility thatmaybe I’m not ready to tellthis fourteen-year-oldnow woman,I’m just as devastated as her;that she is surrounded by friends and familywho are violated by a communitywhere no man can say yes all men.
a string drawn tautthere are so many blue stars in your skinbut i can't believe each neuron is a universealight with planets,gaunt aliens signing godin the absence of your name,dim cars on the street,beneath an awninglike a glowing orange wombyou shudder saying,god,i just had a chill, is this room coldor are we in the gut of a giant who's strung outseven days lifeless,biting the apple,a dragon,wishing for his mother,mijo, dioses magno,the earth is spinning in the eyesof a turtlewith a red shellwho swims in the flowers ophelia braided, who swallows supernovas and they pass through his kidneys,oh god,we could burst any minute,a fly's nerves twitch,tectonics shift, a city laid,babel screechesbetween microscope lenses, clutching wife to child,do you know my name?do you know you're shivering? do you know i'm the son of your nucleus?i live in your cheekand die at your
tiny vesselsgod cried for us that afternoonon the rocks, if I could be soselfish; you had your handsgrasping at my empty vapors beforeI’d had the chance to whisperto you. I see you shaking. I know you’re hungry and I know the temperature of your eyes when you lie. you said you were lonely.half-truths are the essenceof symbiotic relationships, yourfingers trailing along my hips,glacier blue eyes holding mestill. the rapids churned. godcried for me that afternoon.he was selfish, too.
i haven't forgottentell me, boywho is your god.do not say itis the limbsthat spread youbetween knowingand comfort;do not tell me it ishands wrapping a headboard, nor a mouthtugging your namefor salvation.i want to know who it isthat makes you lucent,bent beneath the dark,weeping,because there is no divinitylike the one that makesyou bleed
.it's the kind of winter nightwhere the cold stays in my bones, no matter how highi crank the heat
empty, fullthere are stars at the bottomof this bottle.in your head,there are other bodies--breathing.