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
lovesong for sailorboyRead aloud and explained (somewhat) here.i have always loved words as you love the seabut i have grown to hate prepositionsbecause i have always had wordsabout youwith youto you--but never for you.words for everything except you.but i have words for this, soi'll take them one by one.about.the ocean was your first love andi could always see it in your eyes.most would call them blue--justblue like a swell over a sandbarblue like the spring sky over a poppy field.but i don't think anyonegot as close as i did and they're not bluenot shorebound andsafe--they're gray like the steelbellied sea itselflike the horizon at dawn as itencircles youhems you into an impossibly vast canvaslike a demarcation lineor a promise. one you always chased.with.maybe i had a streak of ocea
rosemaryyou licked your lips when i walked insmelling of woodsmoke. there was a weight in the air, and the empty spacefelt unusually antiseptic.somehow i wasn't surprised to find you perched on the oldrocker granddad had built,your fingers tracing a labyrinth of grain.retracing.your voice surprised me.i sat on the floor,spine rooted to the doorjamb.i let you talk.my eyelids were branded; when i blinkedthe plasma echoes of the flames licked over your sharp edges.cheekbones,jawline.the moon hung low and weary and it seemed too light, still,to ask you to leave. hospitalityhas always been measured in lumen. so i heard not your wordsbut the erratic rise and fall of inflection,and remembered the way the fire sucked through the perforationsin the washing machine drum. feeding.there was a brief insistence in your tone, and istarted paying attention again.the question you swore you'd never ask.'can i stay?'i looked away from you then,through the window,and all i saw was a sto
suffocation keepthis city suffocates so we don'tspeak.no, at bestwe sing in sign language:the hushed glances, the solidityof shoulder bladesand judgments--the smotheredeyes.hey.listener--let's go.let's leave the choking crowdsand chase out somewherewhere the wind blowswide and rich--where the knotted songs in yourthroatunravel.somewhereto take these beartrap ribsand let usbreathe.
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.
you need to have a plan...so here's toconventional wisdom.1. relocateto some forgotten shore.2. fall desperately in love with i. the ocean ii. the sky iii. the honey sunrise and iv. the steelgray winter dawn.3. sinksoul-deep into the water andbreathe.4a. search out the requisite words i. from behind white and blue curtains ii. and underneath clam shells iii. and in the wakes of fishing boats, and4b. pluck them from the ceaselessscrawls of sunlightagainst the slopes of waves.5. make time for i. poetry ii. and other selfish pursuits.
sirensAudio version here. sometimes the mermaids will watch the sailorboys, and green ocean eyes will take in the powerful shoulders and the instinctive sense of balance, and sometimes one will fall in love. and sometimes this love will fill up her chest so much it hurts, and sometimes it will make her reckless--make her swim silently up to the sides of the boats and reach up (carefully, with just the barest sound of water droplets tumbling back into the depths) and rest her arms on the wood that's long since been worn smooth from salt and sun. and sometimes the sailorboy will turn, but he'll see nothing--but when he hauls in his net it will be brimming, straining at the seams, and he will look out over the ocean for a moment, all the way to the blank horizon, and sometimes he will wonder.and it's easy to love the girls that swim up from the bottom of the ocean with nets knotted up in their
hallelujah .:commish:.Storm--and the desert inhales,inebriated on an atmosphere thickwith electricity and promise.Each tiny daylight isa new rapture.They tremble.
field notesi read some poetryjust for the sound--for the words lilting up and downand the thick, honeysepiapolaroids unmisting in my head.those are the poems i never understandand the only conclusion i can draw is:there is apparentlysome supernova poetic awakening that comeswith the loss of virginityand basically i need to get laid.
AsphodelA beckoning:watercolour sky shrinking,too late, teeth fall; pearlsfrom a broken string.Blink and the moon ignites—but the sheets are stillenvelope-stiff.
deconstructing in your sighsiit’s not like they said it would be easy.when you look at meopen-mouthed and dewey-eyed,negligent; and your laughterslurs together like runoff sewage,and your voice is drowning ina certain kind of sadness, the onereserved for the faultswe never asked for; and you sigh,heavy, like I am back sitting inyour throat between your adam’s appleand the truths you dare not speak;you pity me.iiit’s that very same weakness whichdelivered me naked and tremblinginto the skin of a personI never was; pitydoes not require action, disappointmentdoes not take away from the burning human needto overcome oneself. I’m sick of livingtomorrow regretting the person I am today;I drained her all out in a fit of desperation,and filled myself through with vodka gigglesand scribbled lines and you, darling, you,who fears nothing but the skeleton girlsleeping quietly in your closet.
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.
zeroi sworei would never number the poemsi wrote about myself because thatwould be like ticking off the daysuntil my breakdown;i was a moth, unapologetically throwing myselfat any gleam of hope; wasting my wingson industrial promisescolors always felt much moreappropriate for the purple boilingbeneath my heart and the pallidpurposelessness of my head,but i was born into a colorless world--no one sees me behind the metallic scarsof my skin and iron grating of my voice againstthe grain; no one sees me as more thangray regret or monochrome mistakes,no one sees me butall i ever wanted was for afallen god with feathered heelsto believe in me: to pray uponthe monuments i built forbroken dreams and to baptize mein his tainted tears,i just want him to be real. morethan anything, i want to be real, i wantto be more than an imaginary friendto various mental limitations; i wantto trade my liquid skin [evaporating]for a chance to bei am a moth and you are the lighthousei
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
scraps and sacramentsyou,beautiful siren girl with melodiesentangled in her hair: you areshell-shocked and sea-struckeven though you cannot standthe sensation of sand beneathyour toes.you have fingers for prying, picking,pulling at your skin and nestingin that hollow space betweenyour bones. and if anyone asks,you will swear there are monsterssleeping in the concaves of your ribs;there are ghosts beneath your tongue,embittered, and you are not the wordsyou speak.they say there is an answer, little girl(sometimes you begin to believe you area scarecrow on the border of realitybegging people to turn the other way;and the mirror will agree)how far have you gone? a feather inthe breeze who won’t promise to returnagain; there is a wandering warmth inthe hesitation of your harbored fear.where will you be in six months whenthe future has become itself and youare still astray? little one, no one is like youin the way you sway to the cadence of adissonant night. no one knows your
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
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.
it's the little things that follow you to sleeplately, i’ve been wasting every minutechoking on inevitabilities; wonderinghow many times i’ll promise myselfthis year i’ll be different untili move on to something lessunattainable. truthfully, i’m just sorryfor the ones who still thinki’m tryingand i have been waiting anugly amount of years for myprophetic completion-- a love likei say you’re beautiful when really i meanyou make my heart stop, likei was born to meet you or perhapsi’m actually breaking some universal lawof equilibrium; loving somethingso unnaturallybeautiful.i want a love like that:napkin poems, handwrittenand tender and accidental collisionsigniting a thousand forest firesbeneath my skin; me,blossoming like a wildfloweron a california highway, baskingin the sun and ignored definitionof earthly limitations. i want to believethat somewhere, there’s a boybuilt of summer sunsets and shooting starsfor every homesick girl who neverquite fit in, t
PSR J1311-3430this is how I quantifyyour removefrom me: ladders ofcosmic distance,angles ofinclination,our minutestellar parallax.you, my standard candle,pulsar heart,the scale by whichI measure everything:you creature of precision,neutral butso thoroughly magnetic:you are bright and beautiful andunaffected, andI am left to ponderthe geometryof longing
Sleeping Beautyshe’s in love with a character whonever existed but in the labyrinth of her head:a patchwork composition of beautiful, lengthy wordsshe’d heard in her catatonic state; coma livingday in and day out, reliant on the salvationof a man made of foreign wishingand imperfection and necessity – an ignoranceof the less than ideal perception of self she’dcome to fear, absention stained romantic to the pointwhere daydreams were a standard for survival(real living is for the purposeful of heart,he loves her in her sleep)
symptoms of red a materialist inside of you unknitting your sweater & in your dream you are a wolf eating a flower in an orange field. the world is ending. an unnamed girl stains you as if she were tea giving up to a foaming ocean. she writes a story: the unrequited blurry visions of two visionaries
enduring biopoiesis getting over it in quick gasps of rabbit fur and valley tangles we would have had such darling alcoholic babies together swilling burgundy, strung out on fake roses floating on our sun-striped backs but we're so happy like this, remember? some world-children cutting out, tuning in yet nothing happens
something lacking this way comesshe smells of smoke, tastesof cheap dreams and cheaper makeup,sounds like someone who's usedto giving; her eyes are twoglossy sunsets out of a fewtrillion that have set before--when she shuts them, no oneblinks.
nakedness and heavy lungsand now, I’m defined by theconfines of my body, the faultsI carry like misdemeanors againstthe ones who translate me inlines and curves and scars that readlook, but don’t touch. now, I’mbusy catching up in revolutionsaround the sun and laps withinthe indignity of my own mind;swallowing travesties and memories alike—the sun in your voice, brighteningme inside as I wake up and breathelike an eclipsing star, my bones clankingtogether like wind-chimes, my legsgiving out like ghost peoplewho’ve given up. this is beautiful, thisstripping of layers upon layersof reality and pretendingI’m not ashamed to stand naked andquivering before those who judge mein impersonal numbers and figuresas though I were irrelevant, that I’m notholding my breath in hopes I willfloat away like a balloon, beyondhuman comprehension, light and fadinglike the handwritten notes and promisesscrawled across every inch of me,just so I could be forgotten
a different explorationwe talk aboutastrology and ex lovers. the raspberriesdying in the heat, the way the waterbit our skin, the homeless man set outto buy California, the center of our universe,you. that feeling labelled “blah,”and the notion I am not my own.we leak questionslike overrun rivers, excess spillage,draining curiosities about that tragic skeletonballed up beneath your clothes.and for you,I’d travel the length between heartbeats,shallow and vain like your promises,your liquid eyes.above all, we were lucky.miracle children. one in ten,one in a million, a pair of stragglersin seven billion exempt fromclarity and unclaimed skin.-I know this guy who hadsorry lips and scars down his spinewithout a story. we didn’t havea thing to say so we talked abouthow the stars were our newest horizon,the undefined, and how we’d escape to themsome day.
I Didn't Buy CherriesI licked juice from your lips to your sandpaper chinpungent as desire; our mouths and fingersstained each other purple-reduntil we stroked our bellies, satisfiedbut now,the ruby swell of promise out of season, nearly done.
Loving a WriterWhen you read their work –and it is work,and you will often come second to the job –it’s best to know which pieces are fictions,which ones are wishes,and which parts are for you.
love and sundry beasts .:commish:.Churchbells ring twice and everywhere--in the echoes there are whispers,sliding quiet along the edges oflogical fallacies. Thisis how the world will end:lovers and lies,and a suddenlongnight.