Saturday, December 26, 2015

I'm Not Done Yet


I never took a break from you

Maybe from your hands

Maybe from our phone calls

but did we ever say anything

besides, I love you, and good-bye


Then, of course, there is me

So sure that I don’t need anybody

A heart that remembers every Good Morning

that remembers every single orgasm

The body you once fell asleep on

Maybe you do not miss me, I do

I miss me being naked in your kitchen

I miss me having a key to your apartment

I have this stack of type-written poems about you


it is gathering dust, it is incomplete


You could have this extra key of mine

it lives next to my bills and keepsakes

and no matter which side of the bed I crawl out of
my feet keep pushing one in front of the other
and it feels like I'm running towards you

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Stopschild

At the intersection I put on my left blinker
and remembered my passport

Wilco was playing, I tapped the gas
"Just remember what was yours
  is everyone's from now on"

We locked eyes
The pedestrian waved me on
 we conspired a plan
I would go
Then they would go
No one was hurt
There was nothing to worry about

but Vonnegut said it best

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt"

I'm just here to be next to another heartbeat
Welcome to the slaughterhouse
I hope your feelings are intact

Monday, November 23, 2015

Intimacy

My breath doesn't prove anything
A pulse proves even less
I'm sure if I put my head on your chest
you'd prove your heart is beating
   (I'd convince myself it's intimacy
   imagining your heart is a god
   that hits snooze
   every time an alarm goes off
   because there is no god 
   where you sleep.)
I sigh and kick the dirt
afraid to tell you what I believe
I patch the ground I uncovered
hoping you notice how hard I worked

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Erin

I noticed how she sharpened knives
She offered warning
in the same breath
she watched my palm bleed
That woman is out of place
She lied about commonplace things
and excels at being captivating
 She is pain
 She is everything

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

great esca pe.



My delusion, ice water,
countless chairs (12) and
falling asleep
court me

it is more than that too
It is space I can breathe in
stillness that begs for silence
and results in unsteady,
erratic,  soothfast celebration

I learned that word today
the archaic one
the one you did not know
it felt uncomfortable
so i used it in a sentence

This is how I feel every day
If I am lucky
the soup is cream and butter
or a rich, chicken broth
with hints of lemon and rosemary

otherwise I am sad
it becomes
one
or
the other


Monday, October 12, 2015

Balloons and Other Things I Cannot Explain



I just want a balloon
I don't have a reason
I just think I want a balloon

The same thing goes for
Love, flowers, and autumn
It doesn't seem like much

I want to fall asleep next to you
I don't have a reason
I just think I want to

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

R U OK?

My dad was a Sooner fan
I am too
The first vanity plate I remember
was his, RU4OU2?
Every Saturday this time of year
he would light a candle
in an OU tin, right at kick-off
We cheered at first and touchdowns
He would pay attention to
the wick, the flame, their efflux 
By halftime he would know
how it would end
He was cursed with superstition 
He taught me what IOU means
He thought the sooner the better
I thought you can never know
how it will end
until it is over, I still do





Sunday, October 4, 2015

No Ghosts to Keep me Company

There are no ghosts
to keep me company
Rattlings stir me
I blame the trains, not bones
My sheets aren't white
They are blue and empty
Things are misplaced
It is not poltergeists
We are disturbed
Afraid of our shadows

When will the light shine through us

Reality wins
Loneliness is scary














Friday, September 25, 2015

Antique Remedy (Fodder)



That blue typewriter has taken hold of me
I bend and avoid it (like a wordsmith
who has lost his tongue in a knife fight)
The funny thing is
      that typewriter isn't blue
      but my sewing machine is
Maybe I should have learned to thread a needle
      maybe I did

This poem is called Fodder

In the city
the sun sets in the east
against the mirror of office buildings

At our table
You read me someone else's poetry
quietly and deliberately

The cattle chews on the thread
I replace all of the buttons
because I am missing 
one










   

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

While You Borrowed My Pen: A Couplet

'I have to finish this thought, the one about depth'
She said, as an anchor of words formed her last breath

Instead of pushing the chair closer to her words
She pulled the table closer to the lap of hers

She squinted as she composed a life work for them
Juxtaposition her only friend and then, him

And I was unnerved because he was somewhere else
Some body borrowing my attention and self

Friday, September 18, 2015

Chlorine and Why I Never Swim

Swimming pools remind me of him
I can see him stooped over the deep end
placing small drops of chemicals 
into tiny test tubes, waiting patiently 
as the captured pool water turns different shades 
of yellow, pink, and blue
He explains what each color represents 
and claims that the balance is
once again, perfect
I think he's a genius and wonder how 
he learned to figure out those colors,
and hope that one day 
I'll be able to do it as good as he does. 
It's a few days before Memorial Day 
He lets us splash in the water 
behind the "POOL CLOSED" sign
under the condition we help clean
the rough, concrete steps and sides
He investigates the thorny red flowers
that swim up the vine outside of the gate
As we pretend to scrub
he picks one for my mom 
and I can't wait to be old enough 
to pick my own roses

Tap Tap Tap ...

I see him standing in our living room
Golf balls placed intentionally behind his 
putter, huddled together at his target
He grabs an iron from his golf bag 
flings a dimpled, white globe into the air 
catches it steadfast on the side of his club
We begin to count as he bounces the ball 
up and down, up and down
waist high and almost to the floor.
Our voices become shrill 
two hundred eleven, two hundred twelve
tap tap tap 
The ball finally hits the carpet with a soft thud 
We groan and we cheer in the same gasp
He beats his own record every time 
Soon, I can't just watch him anymore 
I get up and try it for myself
and laugh as I clumsily fail to recreate 
what he did so effortlessly, with one hand
in one swift motion

Monday, September 14, 2015

When The Tracks Are Empty and Still

I was wondering what it would feel like
to hear you say you've memorized
the freckles on my chest and declared
them a constellation 
I am trying to remember what it's like
to fall asleep holding a body hold me
I am holding a beer
As the train passes I watch it through
a camera lens, tonguing the crooked 
spaces between my teeth
I'm sweating but only notice because
my pen slips between my fingers
I am pressing too hard, I press replay
and listen to the same song again
I empty my ashtray and it reminds me
of everything that I should do
 cut the grass, mop the floor,  or
figure out why steady, rumbling of trains
meets me with a calmness that worries
when the tracks are still and empty

Friday, September 11, 2015

I Was Here

Fall blows into Capitol View
It almost smells like fire pits
Feels like a memory
I almost put on a sweater

I keep forgetting to breathe
It's probably the cigarettes
I keep writing the same poem
It is definitely the wine

Where was I?
I was hungover in bed hoping
I wouldn't have to work again
when the collisions began

They haven't stopped since
The teasing of the seasons
Their smokes and mixed drinks
Theories of conspiracy

None of us are getting out alive
The only way to avoid death
is to breathe and be life-like
May as well try




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Come Have a Beer

By noon on Monday
an early September rain pressed
the temperature down to 68 degrees
The window opened
The ceiling fan pushed the air around 
The conditioned air was set to off
Your hair was short but longer than before 
when we met
I fussed with my new wine collection
finished off the the beers in the fridge
You offered your favorite gin drink
I held back tears once, you cried twice
We promised each other we were good
We made two trips to the cigarette store
I wanted to take your photograph 
as you let the petty things go
suffering that thing that always hurts
I resolved to keep the air turned off
until there weren't enough blankets
to keep us warm

Monday, September 7, 2015

Blank Document

The fairy tale showed up
without postage stamp or expectation
and it wasn't happily ever after
it was a land far far away
where the best of times unfold
and the worst of times shout at me
and say
Remember when you weren't you?
I do

I wish I could leave it at that
but I am who I am
and in my wildest imagination
I assume you are the muse's tool
heart meant to be wrenched
washer buffering the load
metaphor explaining the world
Instead we are exactly as we were
strangers

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Swimming

My happy place is rocks, seashells, and crystals
that have long since forgotten their story
but were kept because I found them

My happy place adorns my window sill
or travels in a box adorned with flowers
I build temples around their decorum

And the easy way I use my words
makes Buddha laugh and Sheba cry
My only point of reference is you

You, coming in and out of view
Rocks, seashells, and crystals skew
the matter that is my window sill

I guess I still want to be with you








Sunday, August 16, 2015

Engaging Poems

The first thing that comes to mind is poetry
I write that down
It is an exercise
It is an excuse
The ink catches at the edges of the letters
as I remember what you once told me
You wished my penmanship was a font
This is when I began telling you
that I love you
And every time you leave the room
you say
Me too

(stanza break)

I fell in love with this poem in an instant
before I knew
it even existed
It was always here
waiting for me to catch it at its quick edges
And I remember the time I told it
I am going to write tonight: thank you
Me, the muse, and my writing table
have moved in here
Forgetting we had ever been misplaced
My page
Our home

Meeting Minds

You really must chat up the people
if you want to find out who has something to say
In the minds where great thoughts are kept
there is little room for small talk
and conversations are null
if you are not hearing more than you say
I remind myself
as I slip into a room and smile hello
Tonight the room is empty
Except for that fly on the wall
I could kill it in a single swat
But it doesn't pester me
Instead I am thinking about
how the poets believe
that their thoughtful gestures
are extinguishing reckless living

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pass by Planets

I could probably
put this puzzle
together
faster
if you'd let me get to know
the pieces

Said the professor of
wait right here
I'll be right back

to the probe
that hoped for
any sign of life










Friday, July 10, 2015

lr_artist or I'll Forgive You if You Want to be My Boyfriend

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry
the line had been drawn
and I couldn't tell who drew it
Is this irony
Or mean spirited
For the rest of the night I searched
For truth or the culprit or answers
Even though it had nothing
to
do
with
me
And I wondered
If you knew
I forgive you
If you
would make yourself
Known to me

Friday, June 26, 2015

Will You Help Me Move? (There I said it.)

Poetry is on hold
I'm moving
Every thought that decorated my wall
every chair that  I repositioned every day
every corner that decided
how every other corner would look
is dismantled
Junk and gifts disassembled
temporarily homeless
purposeless

I almost want to start all over
but I haven't in a long time
so instead of trashing everything
I just start relocating it
and think about pride for a while
until I break and reach out
For three days straight
friendly hands moved me and I realized
I would much rather be grateful
than proud

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The first time I woke up I felt bad
for not making you coffee
and I waited until you left
to crawl into your bed
and go back to sleep
I woke up for a second time
and was so excited
that it was still early
so I started to read the feed

The current events were telling me
that everything is irrational
and only some things are holy
And I couldn't bring myself
to do the things that serve me
Instead I daydreamed
about holding hands with him
and understanding ignorance
in a way that would change circumstance

I can't think of a single time
while sitting in the total darkness
that I  didn't let my eyes adjust
I can't think of a single time
while witnessing total injustice
that I didn't feel crippled
while peeling the crust of decency
off the eyelashes of my rose-colored lens
I don't even know where to begin

I only have questions
How dare you
How dare you make great assumptions
about what is wrong with the world
without first being a source of goodness
How dare you sit in the greatness
of history and grace and endurance
with hate as your only remedy
without first being kindness

How did you not know
that people are good
except for when
you are the exception
to that rule








Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Calming the Girl that is Always Excited

I was thinking about right and wrong
while I was reading the weather report
It smelled like rain
and my anxiety was at bay
It all made perfect sense

My anxiety is mostly in my head
Though sometimes it curdles
the cream in my coffee
And my stomach hurts
Or turns the espresso in my milk
against me
And the chest that contains my heart
tenses with all of me

Deep breathing

I guess I have gotten good at calming
Maybe all those thoughts I had
while the panic attacked 
have finally rested in me
The ones that said
It's fine
Stop 
Stop worrying
are now me

Earlier it was about to rain
and I knew it
so I walked right out to my car 
and grabbed my umbrella 
I wasn't sure if I would need it
But there wasn't a damn thing wrong
with planning for it 












Monday, June 8, 2015

Counting Coins and Other Things That Remind Me of June and Not You

The Magnolia trees are blooming
The honeysuckles are perfuming
but I haven't tasted one since last June

All year long the unlucky pennies are worrying
if I will notice them
as I gather tokens for my pocket collection
I think next season I will resume
turning them over and leaving them
for the next lucky fellow looking for change

I keep catching my reflection in the window
and have to remind myself to sit up straight
and I narrowly captured an opportunity
to just sit here and be me











Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Weather Report


Muggy and overcast
it's five o' clock
I am drinking Common Sense
on a patio called Stone's Throw
I am describing the atmosphere in Arkansas
or your most recent hangover
when the sun peeks out
and makes itself known
telling me
summer is coming
My dress, wet hair, and sweaty palms
confirm her witnessing

The earth is approaching
that space in its revolution
where it resided
when I was born



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Prelude to the Weather Report

On the way home I had to pull over twice
I parked in a complex of apartments
and walked to the side of the road
I stood there, stared
stirred by the pull of the moon
Before then I sat in a thought
nothing is set in stone
the stones are only stationery
temporary love notes and lists
shifting and repositioning
at the whim of celestial bodies
the third rock is a gracious hostess
we are guests
The moon told me this
And I have to admit
I am still at my second stop
Waiting for the moon
to steer me home











Monday, June 1, 2015

June First May As Well Be...

In two weeks
exactly
I will turn thirty three
earlier tonight
I was telling her
what it's like
to be nineteen

All I know
is what it's like
to be me
and
all I think
is maybe
just maybe...







Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Twofold: Part I & II

Part 2

I lucid dream
When I was practicing
I could get up out of bed, open the front door
walk down the street
and change the scenery as I went
Most recently,
without any planning
I wake to lucidity
knowing, thinking, knowing, this is just a dream

The First Part

I remember every siren
every time I hear a siren











Friday, May 1, 2015

Three Arbitrary Words

I chose the word arbitrary over random on a whim
and was thoughtful when I omitted the quotation marks

this reminds me of a poem I know
I'm sure it is about flowers

May has this ethereal, thoughtful, overly hopeful
effect on me
The same way wine takes ahold of me in the winter
but my smile isn't stained and I wake up easy

Last night I was dancing alone when this man mentioned roses
he was standing on the pulpit,  he was singing to me

this reminds me of a song I know
I'm certain it is about me

I think this prologue is sweet, here is when the poem begins
light happy guest
Three arbitrary words plucked from May's day-patio
I eavesdropped with my eyes and tried to be unbiased

But I am biased, I am seeking love, infinity, grace
those words, the divine, are the writing on every wall I see

I am reminded of gravity
everything hangs about us

Me and some simple beast howling at the moon when it's full
blue loose devils
picked at random for the sake of posterity's god
Whatever we choose to believe must be something good








Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Waiting on the Blue Summer Sky

My expectations are high, unnegotiable
and bring to mind such words as
kind
affable
approachable

I don't expect much though, this is Sunday morning
it is easy, we are free
plain
just like you
eager and glad

I mean this in the most complimentary way
You are the blue, Summer sky
Rain
on Mondays
is Spring's cleric

This all seems very reasonable to me, wise
This is the blue summer sky
Wild
Endless
forever perfect





Friday, March 27, 2015

Soapbox Poetry

I'm either gonna climb up next to you
or stand taller than you
There is no in between
and no time to be wasted on small thoughts
Tonight I am writing
Soapbox Poetry
and praying
for the people
who don't know how to pray
Yesterday I remembered
we are the only witness
By tomorrow
you should realize
today
is the last day of your life
Every day is.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Unknown, the One, and Cool Hand Luke

The unknown is more inventive
   than necessity's mother
And she prefers her own handwriting
   to her name in print
That seemed unlike her, even to her
   That is why I am journaling again

March is a strange time for Winter,
   in season but old news,
the people become unhinged, unmoved
   frozen in their ways
They get the news they need on facebook
   And the sun keeps spinning around the earth

I stopped believing in the one
   instead I am waiting for
The next person who loves like I do
   it is that simple
The silver lining will beckon you
   We will speak in broken riddles and truths

Here's the part about Cool Hand Luke
   That film is a passion play
Once you see that, you can't unsee that
   There is this bright light,
that once you see, you cannot unsee
   Everything's the holy trinity
  






Sunday, February 22, 2015

Can't Stop. Won't Stop

Chemists get ready, because the small people think you made it all up
and though they like your remedy and want to take two     
not everyone is convicted of the evolution of an element
they want to believe that Jesus invented adderal and quaaludes      

So stop it right now because there is no cure for lent
there is no cure for old money or new money  or bad religion
or maybe I'm getting excited in my words and your bravado    
perhaps I am a symptom of the wealth you should know

Instagrammatically Correct

You are every breath
and thump thump in my chest
Every time I laugh but don't mean to
is you
This is all very important
but is not rare
Some diamonds are unpolished and set in their ways
others twinkly

I want to sit next to you
in a comfortable place
And hold hands
while I rest my head on your shoulder
And doze off
before I realize what is happening

And the sun doesn't know
what the moon sees
The moon thinks
he is remedying everything
I have been trying to get the two of them together
because I think they could be best friends

Am I doing this right?

solve::loves

If you give me a group of letters
and ask me to spell them
I will figure out a way
to make them say
I love you

If you give me a set of numbers
and ask me to solve them
I will figure out a way
to make them add up to
212  

If you hurt my feelings
break my bones or heart
or kill my friends while I am sleeping
I will figure out a way
to forgive you

The thing I will not do
is
figure out love
for you
x's 2






Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Journal Review

I pulled out a handful of notebooks from the last year and a half
looking for inspiration in the form of some forgotten scrawl
hoping maybe I wrote it down and I just forgot
I discover my doodles are as reoccurring as my dreams
little butterflies and an assortment of flowers and smiley faces
A half-sun shining from the top corner of most of the pages

I'm surprised how often I break character in my secret thoughts:
Hello starts with Hell, And it seemed desperate and maybe it is,
Hi typos! Let's make amends,
When people fall in love they do so violently,
I reach for my phone and I feel lonely
It would be rude to tell you that I love you.

It is not surprising
that all of these scribbles
are in different ink
Purple, black, blue, and green
 countless different pens
are collecting my thoughts
 in countless different spins
Some spring, some bruised, some Zen
 clearly written to me
or meant for someone else
 if illegible: to him

Feeling satisfied,
I put those old thoughts away
 place them
in no particular order
back into the milk crates
I store them in
But I am not satiated
I speak my peace
 but no one is speaking to me
in the language I speak
or maybe it's just me
If that's the case, now I'm listening...






















Monday, February 9, 2015

Cheers & Waking Up

Cheers to the poets and their words
And every yarn ever spun by all the storytellers

Cheers to godliness and the devil's advocate
And our willingness to expose ourselves and be part of it

Cheers to the broken-hearted remedy of the bards
And the sleepless, wakeful love that compels us

Cheers to Rumi and Hafiz
and everyone that wears their heart on their sleeves

&

Waking up isn't as easy as it used to be
My alarm clock goes off
and I just sleep
and it's not because the sight of sunrise no longer soothes me
and it's not because the task at hand no longer behooves me
I can feel my toes wiggle
and I want to hit the ground running 
It's just that my sheets and body are wrapped up in this perfect dream