Wednesday, December 21, 2011

several breaths of composure

a fedora cannot fix the second world war
but I cannot wear one, so I will wear the other
my candid, simple life of flowers and lattes
compresses my nerves and steals my nerve
suddenly every day is sunny days
when my wrist bears tattoos instead of shackles
when my waist is round with booze
instead of shackles
fucking curse words that don't mean a damn thing
sometimes we're just really mean
sometimes it's a crapshoot and the house laughs and smiles
and says that's alright, this never happens, I'm not afraid
let's not worry about it
everyone is rich tonight and sometimes everyone should feel this way


I wait on people for a living
as they make up their minds
until they smile back at me
for my cue to say you are welcome

I write down thoughts as words
as I sort through my mind
until the words smile back at me
and take orders like script from God

I believe in muses and the divine
I know
a life isn't composed of skin or bones
A poet
isn't composed of words or thoughts
We are
the muse and the divine, we are composing

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Poem: A Mantra

I hurt for those I have hurt
But as they heal, I too will heal
I pray in thanks to those who pray
And accept forgiveness
From those who forgive

I find strength in their strength
I know love through their love
I can see myself in their path
I can find my own path
Knowing they have led the way

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Everything at Once

Last night she dreamed her mother was murdered
She realized it was not her mother that gave her unrest
as she woke again and again, alone in the bed
It was love that was dead

This town is small but she had a knack for finding hiding places
She found herself in exactly the place where she had begun
before this town knew her name, before her father had died
She dug around for that feeling that would make him alive

She knew he thought we would all live forever
in that impossible and reckless way
that killed him when he was much too young
Kills so many in the same way but saves some

It hurt to think this way, to make him a Jesus
to pretend that piety would make him return to her
He was a man who made her laugh and then broke her heart
She decided he was just a man with a broken heart

She couldn't cry
because her hiding place was out in the open
She would have cried
but nobody had died

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Consistently Inconsistent

I used to think bruises were pretty

but blood is better left in the vessels that carry it

We never deserved to see under our own skin

not in the way you captured it on film

We deserve

I deserve

You deserve

better than manufactured indifference

to War and Violence

Hey, Hey, Hey, Look at me

I'm not mad at anyone

I'm not mad at you

I like the way you pray

I can't even say that I believe in peace anymore

peace is the new villian

But I can say

that I don't believe in bloodshed

I know we are bleeding

But I would rather cry

than spill your blood

I would rather be poor

than empty your pockets

It scares me that the people that are pulling the trigger

are not holding the gun

It scares me that the people being shot

are paying for the gun

It scares me that I'm always talking about things

that I don't know about


If I did what I wanted to do
I would go curl up in my car
and fall asleep
until I was supposed to wake up
and the day would go on as planned

but probably someone would find me there
and fine me there
for some kind of public atrocity
and I would be an embarrassment
again, I guess I can't do that

If I had more money
I would rent a hotel
and sleep in a made bed
but that would make me sad
because no one makes my bed for me

And believe it or not
I'm not one much for
escaping reality
Passing the time is not my forte
I'm much better at decorating it

Quote, End Guote

The problem with being a medium is
you don't know how far the middle is
from everything else

The problem with extremities is
you have to be one
to know one

The problem with balance is
everyone wants you on their side
and balance doesn't understand different sides

The problem with sides is
they're always opposing something
that's the beauty of balance

this is shit, reorganized

my whole night was this
one big build up towards
me shitting my pants
and then consoling myself
with the idea of running away
and the thin memory of
the smell of roses

I like the idea of humility

whatever was attached to this has broken away
most likely from persistent aggravation
or maybe it was curiosity
And my only question now is what is one without the other

I like when things change

The most beautiful people grow up

The rest of us grow older

Sometimes you just have to forgive yourself for shitting yourself
or whatever else it is that you did that doesn't make any sense

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oh, Just Something

I don't know if you've noticed
(oh, I hope you noticed)
I haven't been writing as much
(oh, it must be obvious)
It's not that I don't have anything to say
(and surely I haven't said it all before)
It's just that I'm not so sure anymore
(but I'm still sure about us)

You see, my thoughts go 'round and 'round
(oh, and sideways and up and down)
You don't know what it's like to be me
(oh, I would die for this town)
You're every piece of every puzzle
(and all that's left is to put us all together)
You're that thing that makes us better
(but better still left underground)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Abstract Absolutism

I'm thinking about saving up a bunch of money
and buying a bunch of heroin
and shooting up in tiny increments every day
and more
and more
Little by little
until I can't get any higher
and then I'll just shoot up some obscene amount
That seems like a good
way to die
Or maybe I won't
Maybe instead
I'll just work really hard
and work harder in tiny increments a day
and more
and more
until I can't get any harder
maybe I'll be a heroine
I'll be funny
my whole entire life
that seems like a good way to live

Gut Feeling

My sweet darling one
you are perfect

My aching heart knows
you are perfect

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The seriousness of friendship
and the madness of lovers
confronts us everyday
A postcard
wild flowers under windshield wipers
set against
Tuesday's junk mail
or today's parking ticket
There are some that ignore it
All of it
every good morning,
goodbye and God bless you
or maybe
they just don't notice it
The subtlety of friendship
the meaningfulness of love


We braced our bodies against it
The wind that stirred the fields,
the sleepy truck drivers
and the highway patrol men
It carried the debris of the earth
the shucks of over-ripened corn,
the tumbleweeds and the ash
unable to settle
As horsemen would for battle
in my heart
like the light of dawn
pressing towards high noon
And we found ourselves
given to the plains of each other
in a place like home
bracing our bodies against each other

Friday, September 30, 2011

We Get Away From, From Ourselves

He welcomed her third person addresses
She was afraid of him, piety,
angels, the end, and forever
She was afraid of penalty
He thought she might be perfect,
beautiful, and between them there was no sin
or wretchedness or pity for the world
In a word, they were pure
Anyone could witness their love,
or find them in a palm of
a prayer, or in the petal of a rose,
or on the other side of the world
Him, her only measure of beautiful

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rule of Thumb

If you catch me

you will find me

so completely in your regard

that I have to untangle you from me.

So get mixed up with me

because it is safe.

And if you are afraid,

that is fine.

Because fear is a response

to most everything

and that could be you.

Responding to everything.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Explain the World To Me

While you were explaining the world to me
my mouth twitched over and over
and I thought
how nice
holding back smiles
instead of tears

Not that I didn't shed tears
the night you first made love to me
I'd cry then I'd smile
one before the other and then over
again because you were so nice
and occupied my every thought

even that sad thought
that cried those sad tears
and made me regret every time I wasn't nice
to someone including me
because that's what pain is over
everything that does not smile

and I am that happy smile
that thinks that happy thought
of the world as one twice over
that bears the scar of tears
and introduces itself to you and me
at the reception of everything nice

Wouldn't it be nice
if all of those smiles
and you and me
and hope were one thought
that prayed that tears
will one day soon be over

You were the one that turned me over
you are the one that is everything nice
you are the one that mends all that tears
and ignites all that smiles
in a gesture and a thought
that repairs me

I will be nice to you if you are nice to me
And if you read over my every thought
You will find less tears than smiles

Monday, September 12, 2011

What I really Meant was Acrostic and I'll Never Rhyme (On Purpose)

What bends your knees in the other room
I meant as a distraction for us
Really, a distraction
Meant for me to imagine the things I thought I
was expected to do
Acrostic, oh yeah, seems interchangeable
and I'll lose my hearing
I'll listen to the ringing in my ear instead
never confessing to knowing
rhyme in slanted verse



This Is Where I Found My Home

This is where I found my home
In the small space that contains your chest
Nevermore will I ever roam

It is with you in mind that I write this poem
and with abandonment I cast the rest
This is where I found my home

The valleys and hills I once did comb
Are left to those who are still in quest
Nevermore will I ever roam

For you my heart is rid of ohm
And our bed has long been blessed
This is where I found my home

For you my shape becomes an om
And with you in mind I give my best
Nevermore will I ever roam

And next I'll write you a palindrome
That will read down and up: you are my address
This is where I found my home
Nevermore will I ever roam

You are My Address.

Years have passed since I've known this
ostensible happiness
unshaken by otherwise

and unable to feel lackluster
ready to explain beguiled
every time some one else is more loud

Maybe I should contain my inertia
years passing without activity

And maybe I should contain mayhem
direct every ugly thing towards me
distance myself from the subtlety of splendor
ruminate on disfigurment and dimentia
erase every beautiful thing...but then there's you
sweet and divine and, and just so
so convincing that all I think or know is pretty

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Fix It Shop

her face was perfect

and I knew her body
had posed for the same hands
that had captured the infinite

her hips would brush against me
and I would want them to be mine
but instead I would apologize
and she would apologize

and in that moment we were great
the two most sorry girls in the world

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stumble Upon

Sarcastic is the overrated black sheep of ironic

evading purism and illuminating the ills of propaganda

revering itself in the ego and the trivial

Even the saints served their time in this realm

nervous to believe in their destiny of iconic

I bet they wondered who they were praying to

They probably romanticized the places they would go

Yearning to know something they could learn to tell

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Self and Thought

The symptom of loneliness
is not unique.
It is the human condition.

is to be unique,
in self and thought.

The reward of freedom
is to know
you are not alone.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's You

I went home and I cried and I begged

"Please tell me what I'm doing wrong."

because I thought I was doing it right

and I need to know why it didn't work

"Why didn't I fix the world today?"

and I thought maybe it's me

so I looked up the word "apathy"

because I've been hearing it alot recently

But it's not me

Monday, August 22, 2011

Insider Information

important words are repeated


let me know
when you are ready
to start
the repeating

and, while we're on the subject
there's the matter of the bereft
so we should be sensitve
to that

because there is no one in this world
that has felt loss
of love or words
without first feeling

something for the first time

Sunday, August 21, 2011

my thoughts on sarcasm

My Thoughts on Depression

depressed people always seem to be doing more interesting things

as if their sudden unhappiness

somehow lends itself to seeking out things to do

someone really happy probably does

like going to museums

or on vacation

or to a hokey bar

with friends

or something...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

magic is the new charming

I remembered that thought about illusions
and magic
and had to remember which one I believed in
and which one I was better at
and I felt good knowing
that there was no such word as
because there is no opposite to
and you cannot explain away
things that are real
so I took a deep breath
and concentrated on thin air

Thursday, August 11, 2011

10,000 representing something outside of me

it is August and it is cold
in the way thirty is old
when you are ten
or moreso
it is an air-conditioner on sunburned skin
but the summer as a whole
has been an illustration of an arsonist
with a bottomless pocket of strike-anywheres
and a happy hand of lighter fluid
standing beside the car he just stole
from his ex-girlfriend
who slept with his best friend
but it's cool now

Saturday, August 6, 2011

diamonds are dinosaurs

sitting cross-legged on a piece of carpet

I studied prehistory in cartoon photographs

matching names to body parts

in the afternoon, light would spill into the room

and change the way the pictures looked

I had to memorize them all over again

the letters spelled things that I couldn't read

so I created days in their lives

taking extra care to consider the one I thought was me

it was on that carpet that a friend lost an earring

she said it was important

and all I knew was that I wanted to find it for her

I remember how the setting felt against the side of my palm

how the diamond glinted and then lingered on the faded rug

it was heavy and I knew I was doing something important

as I stood up and carried the sparkly thing to her

I felt like a dinosaur

Monday, August 1, 2011


We watched as her feet passed over the cement

she wondered who laid the road
and what the ground looked like beneath

She hurt for the grass

She hurt for the things she could not see

She hurt for the the hands
the decrees
the machines
She hurt for everything

We wondered if she only thought of herself

She wondered what to do with hurt
because she could not contain it
and no one could relive it
and it only hurt

And her feet passed over the cement

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fast and Slow Down

you step out into the day
and you're not running behind
so those extra minutes find things
graffiti, bodegas, and gardens
grinning back at you and saying
thank you for seeing me

you go somewhere brand new
do something you've been meaning to do
and are not washed with fear
instead you feel lighter
and sit in that feeling
of why did this weigh on me

you come home for the first time
in a long time
to an empty house
your belongings just how you left them
and you don't feel abandoned
you feel like you belong to yourself

the rest of the night is yours
the small adjustments
you make to inanimate objects
the easy way you breathe
the easy way it could be
if you wake up a few minutes early

Sunday, July 24, 2011

everyday I'm rustling

it is hands
and bodies
and the exchange of words
and currency
it is motion
and the crossing
and uncrossing
of hearts and legs
it is mountains
and rushing water
cattle pressed together
birds in cages
it is splendor and pain
of the bending
and unbending
of joints
it is the soft sound
a brush makes against a canvas
or as it untangles your hair
touching and changing the atmosphere
it is the past
pressing against the future
and the permanent fixture
the two make of our present
forever separating

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I spilled my beer trying to hold on to that feeling
that two-fold feeling that validates everyone
and self
the feeling is hard to hold onto
comes while ordering a round
and leaves you as soon as the company is gone
if not before
when the glasses are empty
and everyone knows
no one else is buying the next one
but it's about more than drinks on the house
or coffee or ice or water for charity
it is self
it is everyone
wanting more
and working harder for it
honesty our only companion
whether anyone else knows it or not

Thursday, July 21, 2011

another Fairy Tale story or Unfolding

I was naked under a gray silk dress
as the sun hit my skin like a ceremony
our likeness bent you towards me
you listened to my thoughts bend my voice

and you kept telling me you liked to look at me
but I always knew people liked to look at me
my breasts that bend my back
my back that bends with the memory of cheerleading

and my face is still young for my age
but old in its knowledge of unnatural bends
and everytime I notice someone looking at me
I want to bend out of view

but if you want to bend one knee for me
I will bend over backwards and collapse into you
and cry like I am crying now
I will unfold for you

the right place

yeah, I get sad and my friends are dying
we are all dying
and there is this cave
that was built to shelter the homeless
and everytime I walk by it
I think
we should save this place
for the hopeless
because all these pretty girls
and interesting boys
are crawling inside of themselves
while their parents put away money
for college and weddings and emergencies
but there all these violated girls
and all these battered boys
that enter into their adulthood
with the memories of rape and abuse
and some of them still find happiness
I guess, I think, you should just stop
stop feeling sorry for yourself
or at least, stop thinking
that your boredom is worth feeling sorry for
by God, or for you, by the right of intelligience
be glad for yourself
fate and circumstance were kind to you

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I love you with every piece of me.
There is nothing inside of me that doesn't want for your happiness.
You are a reason to confirm belief;
in love and beauty and hope.

I am yours.
Forever and for always.
With all of me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the ten minute poem

we made love quickly
with a chair leaned up against your door
because our bodies and hearts
were mad for each other
and I had always wanted to
lock a door with a chair
like I had seen in so many movies

you asked me not to move in such a way
said you wanted it to last longer
but there is only one way I could move
closer to you
as close as I had ever been
and you pulled away
and took my body with you
until I told you I couldn't take any more

we kissed and we laughed
and I let one of those thoughts
about one of those boys
that didn't know how to love me
crawl into my head as I fixed my hair in your mirror
and I could see you behind me
and a piece of me felt sorry for them
and closer to you

Sunday, July 17, 2011

to: Robert Hass and Marilyn Monroe

everything I showed up to say
reminds me of my hands
the way they look old and young
and resemble charity

then you showed up with your elegant words
wearing your youth like a hangover wears last night
and I wished I was your age
or that I had spent last night with you

the book you were reading was one I had read
and everyone has read so I began our conversation
easily with a tease of the ending
all the while hoping you were a hopeful Holden

and some really smart and beautiful people have said
that no one can ever really love another person
but I'm sorry Robert Hass, I'm sorry Marilyn Monroe
I'm really in love with someone and he's in love with me

Monday, July 11, 2011

today I am going to do some good

some of us question
is there a good?
is there a bad?

and because I think like I do I say yes

and I will qualify my answer with a question

what does the number 13 mean to you, exactly?

and I answer my own question with a prime statement

it is a lucky number and unlucky fridays

and lucky and Fridays are both a good thing to me

so you should believe in good and the number thirteen

it's just that simple


the only thing harder than
being the example
instead of the mirror
is being the example
instead of the reflection

she thought

as the light bounced around the room
and her lists begged at her, they begged
just be done
or just do one
in a voice that sounded like mine

Saturday, July 9, 2011

before he died and when we were born

I was almost eighteen when I started smoking
my mother was almost the same age
when she had me

and my brother can drink with the best of them
so I guess it's ironic that mom was twenty one
when she had her first son

and five years before that
around the time most of us start driving
Kathryn Jolene found out about her first baby

that was back when she was fifteen
then she had a birthday and adoption papers were drawn
and somehow she still managed to drive Jacey home

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

abusive behavior vs. peaceful demonstration

eight years
three months
twelve days
goes by
an end
and the
just keeps
the same

other times you stump your toe once
and remember it forever

maybe everything I write ends so abruptly
because everything I don't understand
starts in the same manner

I don't know why the price of gasoline has risen
anymore than I know why we are burying children
in the same fields we dig for oil in

I don't do any research or raise any funds
for the country that bleached our fatigues
or the war that depleted our reserves
I just know that we are tired and we are spent

and I won't speak for you
but I will raise my voice higher than yours
when I say
I don't believe in war
and I don't believe in your kind of prosperity

I believe in people
I believe in wishbones
I believe in urgency
I believe in humility
and a freedom that permits admitting you are wrong
even after it exhausts the possibility of bowing out


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm All Out of Ideas

what a terrible way to feel
overwhelmed and over it
like I don't want to write anymore
like maybe a word, this hour, or this minute
is spent
without a summit

my journal is a progression of poems
most as forgettable as the day that produced them
as vague as the answer of anywhere
but I study each of them carefully
and weigh them on a scale
of halfway or almost there

this is what god must feel like
overwhelmed and over it
like I don't want to be responsible for this
like maybe there is no truth
because you ignore the goodness
and you think it has nothing to do with you

my old journals sing songs
of young girls with old thoughts
and I remember that ol' girl and them young thoughts
and I want to be her, hold her
it will all be okay

Monday, June 27, 2011

quotation marks

You said
I think I left the keys

I said
They're in your pocket

You said
You're right, you can hear them can't you?

Right then the church bells began

And I remembered the word, again

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Said Free as The

this one
time I


I know
we are


and I
still think

the idea
of freedom
is meaningless
until we believe
that we are


the idea
of community
is pointless
until we all
agree to be

that speaks
and sings


one voice
for us


way it
should be

Monday, June 20, 2011

little satellites

we are all parents
fathers and mothers
we are teachers
mind readers and healers

when an infant cries
we hug them, we coo
we do not cry back
we do not insult their pain

children are parents too
they will come to you
in your time of need and say
I love you

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I feel broken down
composed of moving parts
that can sing perfectly
when every gear is in line

I'm out of line

but I saved a little wine
in the bottle I bought
to get me to midnight
and noon all over again

somewhere someone is playing music
and they probably invited us all
in a quick tempo tap
that sometimes mentions Arkansas

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

small reminders

love is a gesture
and i want to give it to you
because you deserve it
and i deserve to know
that you have it

Sunday, June 12, 2011

false alarm

may I have your attention please
a fire emergency has been reported in the building
upon receipt of being verified
please leave the building by the nearest exit
do not use the elevators

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kara Bibb

It is almost my birthday and I almost believe
so I sent out secret messages to everyone
including me

Oh Kara Bibb,
do you remember that time when you never felt guilty
and there were only two things


and because it could be more simple
you ecstatically agreed
that you were me

and because that was fair
you decided to believe
in remembering

Friday, June 10, 2011

June Tenth

i feel old in your arms
i feel small in your arms
i feel helpless and delicate and fragile
in your arms

in a few days
I will try to fall asleep
I will notice that my hands curl and rest themselves
on the chest that holds my broken heart
it will be my chest and i will want for you

Thursday, June 9, 2011

book ends

i wrote it all down once
on a piece of scrap paper

but you said it best

"what we need tonight
is something beautiful and bright"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

shrapnel art

sometimes I think I'm ridiculous
always so seemingly happy

I've got two hands
and they fold or they clap

or they're fists
but I am happy

look it up
just look up

there is nothing holding you
to the ground

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Wheels

I'll be damned

if it didn't work itself out

Monday, June 6, 2011

bring. your. own. mountain.

everyone is someone else's first glance
oh he's pretty
or she's plain
and that's the way we sound in a photo
or in our songs
to the ones who only see us once

you should look a different way

at the girl with crimson lips
and the boy whose words whisper timeless
on stages built of wires and W's and K's
on air and saying I am awkward and I love this
while ladies sing songs that sound like sparrows
and thank yous search the air for artists

you should bring your mountain

to the sleeping bed of jesters
where beauty juggles itself and comes to terms with
flesh stretched against the surface of bones
and delights and dismays in the catch and the fall
of lovers and disbelievers as one audience
who hold their breath and wait for the next spectacle

you should hold your breath
a spectator would

Sunday, June 5, 2011


When I moved away from home the first time
I never considered going back

the bedroom we tried to grow up in
the family traditions we never kept
the friends whose secrets I forget
I can't believe I went back

but I did once
and I paid the rent
watched a child and a mother in unrest
watched a day unfold and let it go again

and you judged me while I tried to keep myself
in a simple repose

maybe you can come visit me next New Year's Eve
I will kiss your cheek and play you songs
and your son can come and he can sing along
while we toast to the years that are to come

I'll forgive you now
in the home in my head
if you get a job and give yourself a good name
I will be your friend again

Saturday, June 4, 2011

nap time

a child is sleeping
it is summer

his arms are stretched above his head
his fingers twitch
his leg hangs off the bed
his knees are bent

a child is sleeping under a blanket
it is colorful

he is peaceful
he is worryless
he is natural
he is dreaming

a child is skating in his dream
it is Saturday

he counts his wheels
he tightens his straps
he stands on his heels
he bends his knees

a child is skating
it is Sunday

his mind goes round and round
his head is a roller rink
his dream takes him to a roller town
his sleep is a skate without a stopper

Friday, June 3, 2011

8 years old once

for lack of beds, I slept next to him
I listened to him whisper to himself

happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday
dear Jalen
happy birthday to me

I thought about summer camps, swimming pools, and superheroes
I thought about him and how he waited all day for a party and me

to show up with the presents my sister had promised her son
to show up with a rite of passage in the form of an orange bicycle

that was last spring, and then winter came
when I hid his presents under my small sink

Jolly old Saint Nicholas, lean your ear this way, don't you tell
a single soul
what I'm going to say

the next day he cried at my kitchen table while I tried to explain
why he should wait and make his gingerbread house with his mother

the next month someone pawned a present I had bought him
and I explained to myself the difference between money and love

and I felt sick, and I felt noble at once
a Romeo holding an empty vile and Juliet

ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies, ashes
we all fall down

as April ended this year my nephew turned eight
and I spent the day planning an escape for everyone

I thought about how he laughed at his own jokes
and how I cried when I first heard about him

and I prayed, please let him be a good man
over and over and over and over again

Thursday, June 2, 2011

free chairs

my favorite chairs

I found on the side of the road

the first one seemed too perfect

so I put it back on the porch

of whomever it was that left it

on the side of the road

with a little note that read

is this for me?

it took the better part of an hour

to get it into my car

I was so proud

of my new pink chair

but you hated it

I don't understand hate

The green chair
(oh be still my heart)
I may as well have stolen it

how quickly it became mine

in one swift motion

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Silk is Always Appropriate

One morning

after a flight

I woke up

on my friend's couch

She wanted

to take me

to brunch

I was

wearing the dress

from the night before

I was worried

I said outloud

I can't go

My friend wondered


I told her

I can't wear silk

to Saturday brunch

She laughed

and glanced

at her wall

There she was

Miss Holly Golightly

in Givenchy

I forgave everyone

on the spot


Tuesday, May 31, 2011


my knee resting against yours
I studied your profile as you spoke
and stared at the honeysuckles
when my own voice rasped in response

a few nights before I marveled from my window
as the rain beat down the grass into the earth
but the small white flowers that decorated the lawn
were still, unmoved

and I remembered the night when we stood there
in my courtyard
listening to sirens
while the rain passed through us

Saturday, May 28, 2011

there you were, so sweet and able

you held me
while we shared our secrets
and crossed bodies of water
you held me
when we celebrated our fortune
and when we stood in the parlor of our losses
you held me
when I realized you were the only one who knew me
and I wondered if I was worthy of knowing you
and you never held that against me
you asked for my hands
and held them
by your side and against your heart
you hold them still

Friday, May 20, 2011

pieces of paper

we are
the chemistry
of lips against liquor
only touching
then moving away
until hearts part ways
with hurt
and introduce themselves
to strangers

we are
the shine
and knowledge of light
but without
absence of darkness
it is the night
that begins to
forget and remembers
the sun

we are
a piece
of paper tucked away
left there
to be found
at a later date
a tiny note
meant to be
a reminder

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I am crying and it is raining
I am disappointed
thinking about the words I love
the ones you use to help you lie

I was crying and it was raining
I thought about your hell
and all of the drugs you take
to take you there

I am breathing and praying
and thinking of then
when I was young and I didn't know
that there was a difference

fleur de lis

it is hard to stand up and walk straight
all of the time
sometimes it even feels like
it is going against nature
but we have to do it

Monday, May 16, 2011

fire bombings

you tortured my dream last night
destroyed my neighbors' homes
one before the other
far away
and then closer to me
I began to pack my bags
while my sister started doing drugs
and if it wasn't a bomb
it was a tornado
I parked my car in a safe place
the first round of officers showed up
but they started doing drugs too
and in the dream I was grateful
because it gave me more time to gather
every little thing
that I thought
was important

that's when the helicopter showed up

reinventing the will

i just think you shouldn't be an atheist
you're the one who insinuated
god has a beard

Sunday, May 8, 2011

my mother

there is nothing
in this world
so wonderful
as you by my side
your palm
my world yours to have
she said

back when her hands
were fuller than mine
but not as small
as they are now
i would line up our pointer fingers
and wonder when my reach
would be as far as hers

be good do good
she would say
every single morning
and that made sense
 i would still correct her though
but we both knew
there was no better way
 to say such a thing

this morning I noticed
how young she still is
made a wish and did some dishes
while she tried on different outfits
could see my mother
ten years ago
and thought about the irony
of all the shoes she has given me

mom has this way of showing up
in the middle of places
you would never expect to meet her
she says hello and laughs
and somehow doesn't get
any of the jokes exactly
and suddenly all of the jokes
are funnier because of her

a man will see her and turn around
fall so madly in her direction
she will politely catch them
let them down nicely
everywhere she goes
that same thing the entire time
you kind of want to be like
what? you've never seen a pretty girl before

mothers must see
us the same
way the light
sees the day
body of weight
releasing the passenger
they were carrying
creating a you

daughters and sons
my mother says
be good
to the ones who you love
do good
for the ones who love you
so there's nothing left to fret about
everyone is happy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

two lips

my life has never been taken from me
but it changes everyday
I reset my alarm clock often
wake up when the spirit moves me

last night I cried myself to sleep
this morning I gave myself to you

you can have me
I am yours

then we sat in the sunlight
and spoke of dandelions and rabbits
magnolia trees and weeping willows
and I remembered it was May

so I stopped asking for permission
instead I am asking for providence

where the flowers bloom
it is yours


a madwoman and a saint
the difference between the two
the madwoman knows not what she does
a saint do

Monday, April 25, 2011


you're in the next room, I miss you
and think of secret thoughts
that I would have told you
except I forget them when i see you

we make love like teenagers
our hearts too young to know better
but old enough to know
we will never know anything better

I had a thought out loud
about how we would never raise our voices
you voiced the circumstance of a fire
and I said, no you have to promise

so we planned our escape route

Thursday, April 21, 2011

practically yesterday

my grandfather burned up in a house fire
when my dad was twenty four years old
we inherited ten thousand dollars
and a renovated house
so dad quit his job and mowed the lawn
every sunday
his vision of his father

my grandmother was a blonde and never died
a black box of ashes bears her name
and currently lives on my dresser top
beside a dog named skippy
and the portrait of her former self
my version of her
with an emphasis on her

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

blood line

the blood shed and held
by every survivor
is coursing through our veins

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lucid Dreaming

Yesterday I woke up half asleep
and couldn't shake the image
of my father
unnatural in his coffin
Somehow I knew his skin was cold
but couldn't seem to remember
reaching out and placing my hands
on his corpse
I thought this should feel disturbing
this should feel like a disease
this should be proof of something
But it was none of those things
And soon all I could think of was
the word, daughter

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On/Off Switch

there is a current
that if you trip
it shuts out the lights

there are surges
that must be grounded
or they'll do the same

Monday, April 11, 2011


the whole picture is a rabbit hole
that works in progress
but i keep telling them
if they would just dig straight down
they'd get to the other side
in much better time

it's an awful good thing
that the machines
aren't digging it
because once a machine gets going
all you can do
is bend for it

one time
i told myself
i'm just going
to keep showing up
until everybody
knows me


sometimes people

are put in a position

of having to choose

between their own freedom

and the life of another

so we shut our eyes

while someone else

pulls the trigger

open your eyes

look at your hands

today we are free

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


it's all the same to me
the way we're different

in the middle of the night
we wake up
uncomfortable in our skin
in unmade beds

our flesh warm
beneath goose feathers
exposed to conditioned air
our limbs numb
wrapped around syndromes
lips repeating the name of love
oh god oh god oh god oh god

for some it is a battle cry
and for most
a cry
some sort of loss
but for me
and for you
it is a thank you
and someone whispers you're welcome

the bed disappears
our lips find each other
my fingers trace your spine
a piece of me dies

your fingers strike a chord
and love and fear become the same word

Thursday, March 31, 2011


the birds build records of their lives
they measure it in twigs

while the bees pay no attention to history
and sacrifice themselves one by one every spring

to the flower who keeps an open diary
of loves me and loves me not

unlike the tree who protects his story
hiding his rings like secret promises

Monday, March 28, 2011

Attention to...

the difference
between walking
and walking on air
is the ground

pay more

it's a happy thought

the one that shakes my voice

and invites me to look away

shakes a feeling of not wanting to share

i want to share everything with you

i want to tell you about the time i lost my virginity

the time someone slapped me square across the face

i want you to know i am editing my journals with messages to you

it's easy

everything i've written

has been

about you

Saturday, March 26, 2011


i have

i still

i have

moving forward

an atom

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I can comfortably sit eight in my living room
not counting the friends
that are comfortable on the floor

if i tell you this
you will think
i am crazy
but i think
you should know
i am crazy

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And that's o.k.

the first day of spring was warm in my memory
and the only thing we could think to toast to

we woke up early like morning people
unsettled by the night before but free

that day was longer than we could remember
so we pretended we were watching the sun set

and said every little thought that came to mind
except for the one I didn't tell you

the one that started when you placed your hand
between my pillow and my head

Saturday, March 19, 2011


i say we not be the hibernating breed
i say we start campfires
in the middle of the steet in the middle of the afternoon

in the middle of your depression

arkansas is this special place that remains
artifact is history and proof of resistance
alchemy is what we are doing

in the middle of your depression

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nobody Will

i like the way
it takes an hour
to disengage our thoughts and bodies
and say goodnight

the lulled way we move
away but closer to each other
words parting lips
tiny miracle
repeating itself in slanted form

i know my heart
knew you before me
and every thought i had of fate
beauty and truth
is proven in you
in the way you play your vocal chords
in perfect rhythm
against my ears
in perfect unison with my drum

Monday, March 14, 2011

In Reverse

a moment ago when we kissed
while smoke was still in my mouth
because my cigarette suddenly seemed
less important than you
i hoped you wouldn't mind the haste

before that i set myself in your lap
and said you could make yourself at home
as i explained the ways you could trust me
with a look and a smile
that sincerely said I trust you

while i was waiting for you to get here
i made this conscious effort to forget you
because i love surprises when they're pleasant
and i love the waiting
even if it means forgetting

today i kissed you before sunrise
in full dress and an attempt to tell you
sometimes i sleep through tentative plans
you seemed relieved
i just needed your kiss

because kissing you is more
important than poetry or prose
kissing you is more like sex than sex
kissing you is more
than what happens next

Vertically and...

i used to think
love began
and ended
lying down
as if my submissions
were somehow
proof of
my intentions
then there was you
and today
when we
stood still
together in the mist
and i
realized this
love begins
when you stand beside
some one
who stands
beside you

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


if my empty wine bottle collection
was my wine selection
i guess we'd be about ripe to celebrate

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Right Now

the space behind my eyelids feels heavy
and noise becomes distorted
as a buzz begins to fill my chest
and no matter where i feel this
the only remedy
is quiet breathing

your mind is a machine operator
that often lets the machine
do the hard work for it
the machine doesn't know the difference
but was designed with
an automatic shut off switch

i see it but feel it too
this hysteria to just end it all
and my prayers call for nothing
to remind the conspiracy theorists
that they could change their mind
maybe the world won't end at all

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sing A Song

i've been working from forward to backward
for as long as i can remember
that's the thing about memories
they always start in the past

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Heart

i waited for
forever once
last night
when you said my name
i responded in slang
and looked towards you
until i buried
every piece of me
that wanted for you
next to the person
i used to be
the same way
i buried my face
in your chest
this morning
as you were leaving
with absolute abandonment

Thursday, March 3, 2011


other people's words are knives in my back
or salve on an open wound
there is no in between
it hurts
or it feels better

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

You Are

hopeless romantics are the most hopeful of all
their chest turned inside out
no cage contains their heart
no net can catch their breath
after an unexpected fall takes it out of them

they look forward to sunrise and sunset
a horizon with a crush
watching for the sun to arrive
the sun a pretty girl
that always seems to slip pass them

Sunday, February 27, 2011


last night
i made a list
of the boys
i had slept with
once i was satisfied
that it was complete
i fell asleep
and made a list
of the boys
i had slept with
in my dreams
it was you
and i could feel
my mouth
as i kissed
your shoulder
my tongue peeling
pieces of you
away from you
closer to me

i woke up
the same way
i fell asleep
in my underwear
but i was naked
in my dream
and the mirror
that catches me
every morning
doesn't undress me
or make me look
towards reflection
or anyone
if i don't want to
but i want to
and that's why
i put my bed
where i sleep
where i wake up
next to where you will find me

Thursday, February 24, 2011

period or the end of a sentence

i hurried home to my vices
and looked up the word truth
while we waited for a storm to come

i thought about the symbolism of a bath
as the sky began to brood in its saga
the lightening, the thunder, the clouds

tell the story like an opera
the only players in the theater of rain

one happens in response to the other's drama
delayed and i can't help but wonder if
the lightening knows it is what thunder is made of
or if thunder will use lightening as an alibi
do clouds understand they cannot hold what they contain
do the elements recognize they constructed a you and an i
if the answer is no then how did i come to question why not
if the answer is yes then how did you come to question why

i suppose that's what a good story is made of
unforgettable characters and questions asked long ago
a series of events more convincing than the answer

but that's also the difference between you and me
same as the difference between build up and climax
mundane carelessly cast amongst a stage of epic
a summer's day held against a full, wet, orange sky of literal
a monument to bleak built beside confessions of euphoria
i am windswept and thoughtful because I am
void of skepticism and without fear in the face of dilemma
i am windswept and careful because i am not an effect
and the elements respond to you and i
with a song and a secret that whispers who
who are you and who am i and who holds the reigns of a siren

i think my vices are like heels in the stirrup
and symbolism is a free ride to anywhere i want to go
and this storm was a good example of you and i
because it stirred up more sensation
than a rumor or a cowboy counting to eight
and i don't know the difference between rain, you, or horses

Competitive by Nature

you can't win them all
but if you want
you can hurt a little
for what you lost

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Today took me back
Here I was last year
Etching out a word
Refining language
Every word I spoke

Well now I speak
In pun and trance
Let it bee means
Let's start a buzz

Breathe deep
Each breath

Forever is melody
Lulling winter with a song
Of long days and resonance
With every ear it catches
Etching memories like code
Responding to infrasound
Suggesting something untold


who are you
what face are you wearing
when no one is looking
where are you now
why say so
how did you get here

Thursday, February 17, 2011

cast and release

a fish out of water
remembers water
and suffers
in its absence

the world is a fish
love is water

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

oddside in insight out

i understand how i don't care
can be
a true statement

what will they think of me?
i don't care

what if they don't like me?
i don't care

i understand how i don't care
can be
the worst thing ever

when are our troops coming home
"i don't care"

what's going on in other worlds
"i don't care"

what i don't understand
is willingness
to surrender freewill

"you can't speak against your government"
yes i can

"you can't speak against our religion"
yes i can

what i don't understand
murder and suicide

i don't want to kill you
i don't want to kill myself

i don't want you to die
i don't want to die

i understand
we're all going to die
and i don't care

so long
as it's not
against our will

Monday, February 14, 2011

clichés and aphorisms

some words are said

because they sound clever

or melodic

or pretty

or to the point

or all encompassing

some words are said

it doesn't cost much
to look expensive
and i'd take a cheap apartment
and clear conscience
over dirty money
any day


"and time
goes by
so slowly
and time
can do
so much"


the drum
the heart
the harmonica
the ache




the things you should do
the things you shouldn't do
are easier to swallow
you practice everyday

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mister. -mister

Are you in love with me?

-in a way

Don't be.

-but i am

Don't be.

-i already am

Then don't break my heart.

-i already did

No you didn't.

-yes i did

No you didn't.

-has your heart ever been broken


-that was me

Monday, February 7, 2011

energy created by space

space is stillness
a corner collecting dust
spotless middleground

space is preconceived
it existed before you
is made up of you

matter as a fact
proves everything we do
and disproves nothingness

matter as fiction
is thinly veiled
because there is an overabundance

Saturday, February 5, 2011

uncatchable flights or radar





pretentious is a trapeze artist
or reaching forward and hoping for
what happens next

Thursday, February 3, 2011


i balanced my check book
so now that i know
that i can't spend
any money
it's all i want to do

i arranged my living room
and now that everything fits
i feel a strong urge
to throw
a new chair in the mix

i accepted someone's old clothes
i have nothing to wear
to places i don't go
but my
closet and drawer space is overdrawn

i decided to count words
of syllables or a freefall
and i'm still really bored
so bored
i'm not going to write anymore

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tall Tales

i am as dumb as an ox
i have no idea what is going on
why am i so blue
and who the hell is paul

if i were sluefoot sally
and you were pecos bill and we were hindsight
i would pet your horse
and sit right where i stood

Cynic vs. Optimist

life is a series of other people's deaths
death is proof that i am alive

i drink by myself because i am lonely
i will toast to anything, cheers

die a million deaths
live a million and one lifetimes

you broke my heart
you made me stronger

you are ignorant
i don't understand you

i hate you
i forgive you

why are you doing this to me
patience, patience, patience

Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Ending

i remember when we lost your brother
it was Memorial Day and your skin was tan
my heart was young but it hurt for you

i tried to imagine losing my brother
and sat in the sun all afternoon
until my skin was red and hot
and spent the next four days
peeling it off

his wake was a three hour car ride north
when we used to go visit him
we would take the long way through the mountains
and would stop by the river for lunch
but that day we took the highway
i was worried we would never see the river again

he was young and everyone said so
i remember thinking i should always be crying
so i cried
and when the tears would leave me
i would walk back to his casket
and look at him
and continue to cry

when we got home
i looked up the word autopsy
and hugged my mother
and she told me she was sad
and i said
i know
and then she told me
don't be sad for me

today when you called me crying
i wanted to suspend
what ever
that you were going to say
i wanted to push it so far away
that it didn't exist
and no one would ever speak of it

Sunday, January 30, 2011


tomorrow we will wake up
so tonight we should feel

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Very Specific Idea

I believe that I can change the world.

I refuse to spend time on things that only contribute to the chaos and the unknowing. I know that love is true and real and I release myself to the falling of all beautiful things into place. And that which is a hopeless reality or that which is viewed as a meaningless reality is cynicism and holds no grip in my view of the world or love or peace.

You can hold it against me, you can hold it against me.

Hold it against me, I dare you.

In the end it is the things we let go that set us free.

And the things we hold on to, the grudges we carry, the hatred we harbor, are our own misunderstandings. Our inability to accept or allow the possibility of something better. Of something more real than pity or piety (the passing of loved ones or the parting of seas).

I feel pain. I feel it deeply and completely, but that is not all I feel.

I feel we are capable.

Remember when we called for change.

and remember the time when your heart was broken

and remember the unfairness of mortality

and remember when the hurricane drowned a city

and remember when a plane changed the course of history forever

And remember that these are the reasons we change.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

out of character

i don't know
i don't know
i don't know
i kind of remember
i think
i think
i think
maybe i remember
some thing
so me thing
now is to remember
something good

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

sterling silver lining

don't cheapen me

you can tell me it wasn't worth it

but don't cheapen me

forget me sometimes

remember my finest hour

i remember yours

jewelry and clouds

have something in common

they imagine themselves

Saturday, January 22, 2011

when you used to

you're not missing anything
i reserved missing for me

Thursday, January 20, 2011

then now soon

four years ago someone asked me what i wanted from life
i answered quickly
i want to be rock and roll
i was wearing black leather boots that buttoned
up the side
dark blue jeans
and a self-edited shirt that read condemn bullets

from the outside someone might think i'm simple
colorful but dim
sweet when i say hello
with my pastel finger nails and ruffled sleeves
light blue jeans
and braids alongside
one pearl and one feather earring

on the inside my life feels like a peaceful demolition
a wrecking ball
that rests on pillows
and apologizes and asks permission as at swings
back and forth
destroying a structure
that will eventually be rebuilt

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


rarely do i consider that i am poor
an heir to nada
crude and socially barbaric
excessive in gesture
cautious of stoic
and at the crossroads of an era
rarely do i discount the value of a dollar

karma is a clean break
absolute is the opposite of hysteria
you is an abstract form of my
abstract is a word of academia
kindness is not an act of dumb luck

loyalty is a rebel
ever the pusher of the rule
vulnerable with a v
except able
layman or professional


when i can walk to work
i do
it takes five minutes flat
i take it in long strides
or otherwise saunter
i cross the street five times
and have more thoughts than i
can say

when i must drive to work
i take one of two ways
directly as i can
or be there soon enough
maybe it is friday
maybe i washed my hair
maybe it is raining
maybe i'm excited
to take
the long way any where

i choose my mood and way
same as i put on clothes
here i go here i am
this seems appropriate
just happy to be here

on time

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

no worries

the thing about charming people
is they have no idea they're charmed
because their treasure chest
is this painful place they rarely visit

and those beautiful people
with features and flawless profiles
understand beauty least of all
because nobody understands what they are

it is cold in my apartment now
earlier i turned my purse upside down
and now i am staring at the contents
knowing i will clean the mess up and then make more

Monday, January 17, 2011

Easy, Fast, Gone

i am a walking advertisement
for the natural effects
of wanting for love
wanting to say
sometimes it's the people
that deserve it the least
that need it the most

i am a walking confessional
for the afterglow of sex
and the end of war
neither of which fix me
but after sex i feel free
and postwar is peace

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

stood up

the most painful part
is that my friends knew
and lingered
even after i mentioned they could leave
how did they know better than me
that someone they didn't know
would hurt me
once it was abundantly clear
that i'd spend the night alone
my friends
left me
with their bottle of wine
the gesture saying
you're going to need this
more than us
I'm holding myself
an arm's length away from me
what is wrong with you

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


i don't clip my fingernails
as often as i should
because i like the way they sound

and showers are easier in the summer
when the night starts late
and you've worn the sun in your skin all day

some things are just easier when no one asks questions
this just makes perfect sense
and everyone agrees

Titles before Poems

you could call it method
or practice
or dumb luck

i call it religion
and prayer
and practice

i make it up as i go
word by word
line by line

i am always counting
i am rigid that way
not soft like i am

the snow comes on like day
with purpose
but slowly

soon as it settles in
you might find
yourself stuck

or stranded from your home
so you pray
for more snow

maybe think to yourself
let my try
it again

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Axis, New Orbit, New Spin

if you were ever going to spill something
spill it now
there is a rush forth
that your kind of spill
could get into

Johhny and L.A.

woke up unfuzzy
woke up earlier
than i had to
woke up in time
to alert my neighbors
to the snow day
but my neighbors
were already awake
so i poured them
a cup of coffee
and accepted their gifts
and let them drive me home

Thursday, January 6, 2011

the future in the past

i've had thoughts before
that were perfectly
and i didn't tell anyone
not even myself
and then i stumble
upon them
those hidden thoughts
somehow made pretty
or hellbent
or home
in plain sight
somehow made pretty

sleeping alone

it's strange how strongly I believe in a knight in armor
every night
I convince myself

every morning
I wake up
to white noise or gospel on the radio
and throw myself out of bed

out of sheets that have barely moved
blankets still settled
so i press sleep more
until every sheet is ruffled

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Full Time

my dreams come back to me in rampant fire
all day long
all day long
and i bid them to sway in my direction
and they do
or they don't
and it's those times when they don't that i get stunned
get a slap
in the face
well okay now that you've got my attention
what did you
want to say
then i just listen
and hope for the best

Sunday, January 2, 2011

explicit directions

It's funny

all of our quiet demands
microphones and dark corners

all our starstruck or bloodshot eyes
name one person you do not know

anyone worth
vying a word from
is a pleasant
distraction from from

do me a favor
read each letter
in a downward direction
notice how it spells other words
keeps me

clutter p.o.v. minimalist


Saturday, January 1, 2011

As New As It Ever Was

just be yourself
just be yourself
just be yourself
just be yourself

you're so pretty
just be your self

i live in a bubble
i live in a bubble
i live in a bubble
i live in a bubble
i live in a bubble
i live in a bubble

i think we've met before
i live in a bubble

i understand and i appreciate thought and
you should look up the words exponential and grace

you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace
you should look up grace


i feel like a personal invitation
is the difference between
a long sigh
auld lang syne

the world is a countdown
that i would sometimes
rather sleep through
than go chasing after

out of pocket
out of sight
out of mind

seems there is always a reason
to start with a clean slate

things move slowly this time of year