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lovesong for sailorboyRead aloud and explained (somewhat) here.
i have always loved words as you love the sea
but i have grown to hate
because i have always had words
but never for you.
words for everything
but i have words for this, so
i'll take them
one by one.
the ocean was your first love and
i could always see it in your eyes.
most would call them blue--just
like a swell over a sandbar
blue like the spring sky over a poppy field.
but i don't think anyone
got as close as i did and they're not blue
not shorebound and
they're gray like the steelbellied sea itself
like the horizon at dawn as it
hems you into an impossibly vast canvas
like a demarcation line
or a promise.
one you always chased.
maybe i had a streak of ocea
with thanks to frost Now with a reading.
two roads diverged in a soulless dawn
and you pull over,
idling on the shoulder of route 50.
it's a polaroid morning and
the world is as grainy
as your eyes,
and one million miles
is not far enough.
it plays back, filmstrip,
blurred along the length of
and here you are:
facing a choice between
this loosejointed, hollowbodied
this is what
summergirlNow read aloud over here. Do give it a listen, won't you?
you are crowthroated and tumbling
through the aspen grove
hair on fire with sunrise, lungs
full of sky.
eyelashes like wildflowers
and every morning brings
a new spray of freckles
and a sharper curve to your collarbones.
the cornfields hold no shadows
for your lighthouse eyes
and there are no endings in that
ii. you have grown
autumn finds you with broken ankles
leaning on an oak branch
and watching the skies.
crow to sparrow--you are quiet.
summergirl, there is peace in silence,
fallen antlers in your hands.
you will come to mourn your deer.
keep them close.
iii. by winter you have paled,
and like the streams
your eyes have frosted over.
you feel the chill--
there is no need for sight.
all that hasn't happenedPretty please listen to the audio.
i want to remember
the rumbling piano baritones
high notes like hailstones--your hands
running soundless scales.
i want the summer seas
the vineyard overlook, the olive
trees and sunwarmed coasts.
we filled the empty pages
with whole notes and halftones,
oceans and lovesongs.
we lived, we live
inkstained and drowning
through nights thick with words
and days shot with sound.
with thanks to salingerAudio version.
it's on those cold mornings
when you are nothing but indrawn breath
swirling and knitted up inside too-big
skin and weightless bones--
when the horizon arches up against
the half-thawed tendrils of sunrise
with golden teeth,
and smiling, begs--
it's on those cold mornings
when leaving is easiest.
the car will be cold, and you will
shiver, and the engine,
much too loud,
will smack of blasphemy
but you will find peace in the steady roll
of tarmac and the yellowing light
spilling across it,
with dust motes kicked up and carried
like fish in the undertow.
when you come to that first
crossroads, it will shock you:
the way the decision hangs there
trembling and desperate--
but there are no right answers and you will not
hesitate. and each successive choice
will be made of its own accord,
and you will roll the windows down,
and draw down the scent of ear
lightsdon't be fooled--
the sky is not static.
there is an infinity between any
infinite hex codes
between the bounds of the spectrum--
this is the great secret of the universe, this
cosmic light show
we can't detect--
the changes too small for our
perhaps there is someone out there--someone else
even if he cannot see.
is not my blue--perhaps it all comes down
to the chemicals
the spin of individual molecules that all add up to become
our own blue.
maybe it's all on us.
the cosmos isn't trying because, really--
if i were the cosmos
i would have better things to do.
maybe there is something
in our ability to overanalyze
and oversimplify--our ability
to realize we know nothing
and try again, anyway.
syracuseListen to the audio version for the full effect, pretty please.
cloudshot sky like an oil painting and i am watching the
darling, i will swim for you
and 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 ache
in my bones, the hollow--
the clawing out for unseen sunsets and unturned tides.
i hear you, love
give me time.
i will always listen.
PilkunnussijaHere's what I think:
There's a certain joy in not doing this face-to-face. For one, I don't have to leave my apartment and I have the quiet company of my goldfish and my goldfish alone. (I don't like people, which is why I love books. You can understand that.) For another, I don't have to see your presumably crestfallen and injured attitude when I tear apart the prose you cried and bled and sweated over for weary nights on end. But really the best parts are those uninterrupted hours alone with your manuscript and the shred of you that lies inside. It's a small shred, but an important one. It's the one that tells me who you are and what you think and how you feel and I never have to look at you and be disappointed when the real thing doesn't come up to scratch. As I sit there, un-tensing and re-tensing and tense-shifting and shift-entering (and damn it, wishing English were like German so I could get rid of those clunky space-wasting n-dashes--oh, damn there they are again) I feel li
lucidityyou were all dead ends and flypaper,
so when she had her tenth
that week, and woke up
sweat-drenched and howling
like a dying creature, you cursed down thoughts
of thirty-day notices,
and you packed up
and you left the front door wide open
and you started driving.
a state and a half
later, the sun rose,
and she was loose and soft in the backseat
and you could rest easy, making
tiny movements of the steering wheel
to compensate for that little
behind your ribs,
anchoring you north.
the first time you stopped for gas,
you had this impractical fantasy of
ditching the little blue Ford
but you looked at her
and you smiled,
and there would be time enough for that
are such feeble constructs.
one night she leaned close into your side,
her hand tracing patterns across the ridges
of your shoulder blades,
and she whispered,
"let’s go home,"
but she held the wheel still when you tried to
when the oc
Hardback TextbooksIn retrospect, Gender Studies wasn't the best class for a non-confrontational student. But it was too late to drop now; there was no way she'd get her deposit back. She pretended to study her textbook very hard, trying to filter out the class discussion going on around her. Why did the professor have to use discussion circles?
"I'm just saying, if a chick is, you know, wearing fishnets and a halter top, mini-skirt halfway up her knee, slinking around all skanky, you can't really blame a guy. She obviously wants it - if she looks like she wants it "
The book snapped shut. That was enough. She gripped the textbook in one hand and threw it with all the strength she could muster at the obnoxious misogynist sitting directly across from her.
Her aim was good right in the nose, and hard enough to knock him out of the chair. He grappled about on the ground, trying to hold his now bleeding nose and push himself off the ground at the same time.
"WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT FOR?!"
ISLNDSyou like the way
the i slants,
in a sea
in cropped crests
made to full-
in lost chests.
now a motive
and proceed greedily,
the leap's froth;
breath is only
as sweet as the
speech that breeds thought.
--though you tease the
world with your presence, like everyone's got you on
a string (or maybe you've
winding you up
waiting for your
ribcage boy, and show me how you
Cochineal and Beetle WingsI don’t love you
I was going to lead up to this. Maybe claim
there was something caught in my throat
about beetle wings, cochineal – you know,
they make that stuff out of flight. Lipstick, I mean.
I mean the truth is
I can only smile like an inferno because
something else isn’t going to be flying away.
And I was going to say I’m sorry but I’m not.
I was going to lie to you like you needed me to,
but pray tell me how to grace through three weeks I hoped
for some kind(ness) of hurricane, so we could recalculate
in the aftermath, and nobody would blame me then for judging
that we came up empty. I mean, I was going
to lie. It tripped off my tongue. I shouldn’t have
let it. I’m too weak sometimes. Couldn’t brace a hollow hulk
of sentence on my shoulders without crumbling, and
all the time you caught me when I wanted to fall
I was struggling to say:
I don’t love you anymore.
And I should end this poem but I c
i don't believe in jesusno one celebrates losing virginity like they celebrate losing teeth.
i don't get a dollar under my pillow for having sex with my boyfriend.
there are no doctors smiling at me when i tell them my cherry has been popped.
i am a whore for having premarital sex.
i am a tramp for loving someone enough to open my body to them.
no one celebrates losing virginity like they celebrate losing teeth -
but i slip mine under my pillow anyway, and in the morning when i wake,
there is a quarter and a tiny folded note:
"you are not a slut."
Accidentat the corner of boone trails and owen
she learned the brevity of flight:
glinting bumper for launch pad
trajectory approximately 5 feet
across the median.
as proud, as swift
as any prima ballerina
but the landing
this I keep for her -
the listless weight of limbs
defying gravity, the beastly beauty
of a body bouyant before
You have been all these things to me at one point or another.
Did my heart
Did my hope
Did my home
All this for the raking of an autumn kiss.
You hold as much of
God's divinity in you as does
the Angel of Death.
Every faltering leaf
fallsnowi remember when it began, a snowflake trapped in eyelashes
waking up to find my feet cold and buried white
the window menacing as crystal fangs grow
it fell faster, stalking, none the wiser but me
as the supermarkets grew slippery
and offices turned to caves made of ice
even under the sun, an avalanche
gushing like a river, the frozen powder covered all
children and birds became paper puppets in play
how odd to see the snowpeople alive
i walked, just a ghost
as it fell, and fell
but nobody saw
and nobody cared
it's not that bad
just me and the snow
and the blizzard finally blinded me
only winter left in my mind
we landed in oklahoma
and drank cheap martinis in the terminal;
you carried my guitar and fell in love
with my voice but not my tongue,
not my hands.
there's a man with a garage
that looks like a plane because nothing
meant more to him. will you make a model
of that bar? will you make a model
of my red cheeks? or will you live in a townhome
with her and three children?
the problem was you're not gay.
the problem was there was feeling
but it wasn't for us. i had you but
it wasn't for us.
i'm not sure if i resent you,
but i remember that bar and every pockmark
on the stool you sat on while i played
the song that parted your lips;
you remember every pockmark in oklahoma
like they were ours.
page onethe waves are calling.
watch--stormbound, the breakers
arch up to clutch at the unyielding stones
with a roar and a hiss and a sigh;
gather themselves back and
the sea is patient, and your limestone fear
you will be
you will be beautiful.
the waves are calling.
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