Shedding PoetryYou stuffed the pagesfrom your favorite booksinto the cracks of your walls,dialoguesand climaxesand epiloguesbeating back the chillof a black-and-white world.When I peeled back the paint,fistfulsof happily-ever-aftersand tragic goodbyesfell into my lap,a tidal wave of emotionsyou strove to shedfrom your fingertipslike poetry.
The Ink-Dark MoonThe next timeyou feel self-conscious,just remember:once a month,the moon gets out of bedwithout her face.
Living MementosKnotted bonsai barkentwined with mementos--lovers branching out.
In Dark Silencea pile of exiled leavesand a grief-stricken moonsetcapturethe secrets of fireflies.A stranger to gravity, sometimestrees know how to be brave,standing tallwhere the stars collide.
Broken StillnessThere's a stillness to missing youthat creeps up, a stalking phantom,in silent moments. Breathless and whispering, the night is yourshadow--alive, it scoopsthe secrets lining my ribswith clawed hands. You told me,once, that watching me flitaround the room was the best part of your day.I put googly eyes on allmy pictures of you; maybe tomorrow,I'll find the strength to admityou're gone. Lost. Never cominghome. For now, I talkto these faded print-outsand tap the glassto watch your eyes move.
Monarch MorningsMistress Monarch spreadsRorschach-splattered wingsover white-capped mountains,a new dawn seen throughthin antennae masksand yellow-trimmed lace.
Ocean-Floor Crop CirclesWe met in the heart of an aquarium,thick glass curved like a bowl on all sides.I was studying the currentand trying to forge my own path in life;flashes of scales and swooping tentaclespounded like my pulse--too quick,too hard,too much.Your voice echoed off the windowslike the ripples of waterafter a stone's been skipped;"Most types of seahorses,"you said,winking at me with dark-ringed eyes,"mate for life."We watched just such a pairgive birth beyond the tempered glass,the male clutching tight to seaweedand rocking back and forth,spewing baby flecks like geyser-ing water.In the hour you kept me company,I forgot about your too-dark nailsand your almost-greasy hairand learnedthat you were three-and-a-half yearsinto a BA in Physics,that you hated how often poets waxed onabout the beauty of sunlight on swimming koi,and that sometimes,late at night,you wished you'd chosen to majorin Art instead."Numbers are easy to manipulate,"you whisper
Shy TruthsI spilled a cup of oceanand opened my handshoping to catch the truth.Empty seashells,broken clams,and a palm-fullof worn pebbleswere all I caught.I guessthe truthis shy.
Marlboro WishesI watch pebbles send ripples dancingacross the half-congealed sludgeof a gas puddle left behindby a nondescript driverin a badly painted pickuppicking cigarette butts out of the ashtraysin this abandoned parking lot.You study me with steady eyesover horn-rimmed glassesand lips lined a working-girl red;in a fit of inspiration,I let the puddle settleand tell youI've been skipping wishesacross the aurora borealishoping for a break.Before you drive away,taillights red beneath a red light,you strike a match across the dashand hold it to your Marlboro Red.Take a drag, working girl,and leave it still-smoking for me.
1,001 NightsIn a land ofdreams and dust:the curve ofa half-hazed sun,devoured.
He Came to Me in the Grocery StoreAt the end of aisle thirteensurrounded by tin foil, saran wrap, parchment paperand Ziploc bags--everything requiredto make a life filled to burstingwith overdue student loan billsand bimonthly paychecksthat can't be savedjust a little easier to handle--he appeared."What are you doing here?"I asked him,the floor beneath my kneescold and unyieldingthrough denim jeans."Tell your mom hello,"he replied instead,smiling,and then I blinkedand he must have walked away,though I could almost swearhe faded out.When I opened my eyes,the alarm was ringingand the husband was asleepby my side."Hi, grandpa,"I thoughtas I drug myself from warm covers and a heavy arm."You look good."
Moon MothMoon moth fluttersopalescent cloud antennaeacross a dust-speckled sky.
the stained masqueradei have a red-line-rash from scratching too much;you always rubbed me the wrong way, but i guessthat's what i liked about you, wasn't it?you could go on for days about how girlsshouldn't wear powder foundationwhile you dabbed it on your own nose.i hated the way your rain boots would squeakafter you jumped into a puddle of mud.you never cared about "intended use," andi guess that's why you liked me. you could useme any way you wanted and i just wouldn't care.the ballroom inside your mind is cracking, though,because i took off my mask when i wasn't supposed to.it's not time to play make believe any more:"you need to grow up, earn your own bread and butter."but you couldn't take the reality of the worldso you hid inside your mind and used me as your puppet.i'm leaving marks on my arm again, as i lie on your bedwithout pajamas, because if i turn updead i want the world to know what happened to me.i want them to know that a girl acting like a traincrashed into my life an
Chalk OutlineA chalk outline waits for mesometimes it slips into bed with my shadowand I can do nothing but roll my eyeslike a mis=abused and weary parent,but every night when my shadowmerges with the edges of the day's pageand blurs into a dirty midnight orangeI lie in bed and shudder;without my shadow's protection I feel it,a chalk outline waits for me.
The End of the WorldI didn't prepare for the end of the world.I somehow thought that we, reclusive in a hardened bubble-shell, would survive it.I didn't brace for impact, I didn't even consider it happening to us. Why would I?I didn't prepare rations, bedding or bunkers.It didn't occur to me to imagine a post-apocalyptic world in which our love wasn't enough.I didn't see it coming. It destroyed me nonetheless.The end of the world doesn't care for your readiness.
Things I Would Tell HerI 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.
SynestheticSometimes I taste test names;Anita – sharp citrusand lemongrassfor the ann-i,a tortilla for the taa.Brad – I likeits weight; a slabof marbled chocolatemelted on my tonguebefore the last letter.Charlotte – somethingsavory, but sweet; porkmarinated in honeyon sweet rolls.Doug – vanillatinged cheesecake;a dusting of grahamcracker shavings;an Oreo with no filling.Elena – spiceand heat radiate –eh-layne-ahh – a coronabursting fromthe second e.Fletcher – it’s syllablesmesh like mashedpotatoes, lumpy yetconsistent.Gladys – driedlemons and staleSpree candies, rattlinginside and empty pitcher.Hawthorne – brackish,the leftover remainsof a magnificent feast,the apple still stuckin the boar’s mouth.Imogen – leanand stringy. Greenbeans and chickenbroth at a small,weathered table.Jules – red velvetand hot peppers, a weekold cake with hardfrostin
Cyhydedd HirDost thou ever hearA voice in thine earSpeaking loud and clearThrough each season?Doth this voice so boldSpeak of doubts untoldOf spirits grown coldWithout reason?Dost thou know the lightShining ever brightFrom the moonless nightWithin the shade?Can thy poetryOf melancholyFrom deep within theeBegin to fade?
SENRYU THREETears of joy and painNo matter which one does falleach will taste the same...
Transmission LostThe transmission doesn’t reachhere, past snaking gravel roads undermountainous shadows; the voicesin the static are corrupted, shortcircuiting in and out of focuswith each click of the dial.We are similar, you and I,nameless voice in the void –you, invisible, intangible, inaudible;and I, imperceptible, inarticulate,hibernating under mountainsuntil brain waves become words,and words become
UnderappreciatedA moth is beautifulbut none choose to praise it.Instead, monarchs flutter, and suddenly,twenty-four lines are written about howits amber coloring reminds you of autumn's heartbreaks and winter's futile approach, seizing the broken vessel you tried to tape together, but to no avail;its black outline reminds you of the eyeliner she wore day after day, all perfect and pristine, until one day, you found her among rosebushes & lilacs crying out "Why does it always rain?" Where is her sun?its slender antennae reminds you of stilts, splintery and all, tall, magnificent, and so easy to snap and watch the performer fall from
Being Okay Is The Hardest Thing We DoBeing Okay Is The Hardest Thing We Do because being okay is expected,if we’re not okay, that’s not okay,what can we do to be okay?we can scribble illegible wordson a canvas made for by paintersmasquerading as notebook paper,and hope that we can sell the burnof stinging emotions for some paper.but the funny thing about that thought?is that american money isn’t paper,it’s 75% cotton and 25% linen fibers.so even the money you'd earn from your misery,isn't anything you can write onwhen you realize your money isn't made to heal. even if it does talk. but it never really ever says enough, does it?But that's okay...being okay is the hardest thing we dobecause sticks and stones do break bones,but you can hide the scars with a jacket or longer sweatshirt.or put on pants as opposed to athletic shorts.words kill, words heal, and words are so much more.and you can't hide the scars that riddle your face,the way your
Ode To A Pair Of Hiking ShoesA pair of well used hiking bootsRest beside an open doorwayTheir leather no longer stiffAs the first day they were appliedA couple holes decorate oneStains of white paint splatters on bothAnd a faint whiff of sweat lingersFrom each hike, brisk walk, and paint jobThat has provided them with useAfter years of being beatenBy cement and the burdened feetOf the morbidly obese manWho chooses to utilize themThey have developed characterThat not enough people strive forAnd too many, through foolishnessAnd with fervor, claim to possessWhat kind of a country is this?
The Morning Star Concert HallGod’s favorite concert was a ‘98jam session in a hellishamphitheater downstairs.The producer bookedthe big ones – Hendrix, Cobain,Joplin, Johnson – one nightonly, fallen stars rise again!Saints they ain’t, but Godhas one ear for prayersand one for souls wailingsoul into a void with no echo,no applause, no expectationof anything more than their ownrelief.And when you’re top billingin the Morning Star Concert Hall,the fans are the only comfortyou’ve got left.
AsphodelA beckoning:watercolour sky shrinking,too late, teeth fall; pearlsfrom a broken string.Blink and the moon ignites—but the sheets are stillenvelope-stiff.
DuskCrowning glory aflame,a golden QueensurveysJeweled ladiesrevel in the comingof night.
philosophy has lost its appealYour absence isn't the elephant in the room;It’s the invisible parasites lounging in the floorboardsJust writhing for a taste of lonely flesh.My repaired left half is gone;Without you, I’m faulty once more:The half-blind broken wind-up doll is here again.There aren't words to describe the emptiness:just return soon.
Catching WishesYoutalkto thestars like theyknow what you're saying,but I think you've forgotten thestars cannot hear--all your wishes get caught by the moon.