Friday, October 13, 2017

Old Flames and Inventing Fire

I just want to know
that you thought it first
It is easier to love you
if you know what love is
just tell me

In case you are forgetting
Love is every word I speak
but mostly the drunk things 
I post when I think
no one is listening 

Love is my patio
and me asking you
What else do you want to talk about
And your blue eyes do not flinch
as I say something else about me

This part is easy
Let me open up to you
From here on out
everything is easy
Welcome to loving me 

I love you too
If you're looking for the fire escape 
I will show you all of the doors 
In case of emergency
just call me, I will answer

I have been writing poetry
to pass the time
I have been waiting for you
Take your time (but hurry, please)
I don't want to wait for you, anymore 


Friday, October 6, 2017

Formerly The Diplomats

One of the first things I learned
was that I did not have permission
to pick flowers
from flower gardens
but dandelions were free game
I would sit on the patch of grass
across from the rose bushes
my mother planted
beside the mailboxes
at the apartments I grew up in
and make wishes upon wishes
on the curb of East 24th Street

The mailbox was a prayer request
I would sit and stare at
Waiting for submissions, rejections,
or any correspondence to me
I must have blown a million
little circuses of fantasies
and picked the petals of every wildflower

He loves me, he loves me not
He loves me, he loves me not

And I am forever there
On that patch of weeds
Wanting so badly to pick flowers
instead of petals
To make plans, instead of wishes
Waiting for that letter
that says,
This is exactly what we are looking for.
Submission accepted.
We will be in touch with you soon.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Because I Am a Woman, Too


Because I am a woman too
I know how it feels to be a little girl
soft, with scraped knees and a journal
wanting my period so badly it hurt
writing my name in cursive like a mother
carrying an empty purse

Some women are born rich
maybe your house was built for you
your income included in paperwork
maybe your ceiling isn't made of glass
and your back never hurts
I hope you are happy

Other women are born poor
and your house is made of scraps
and lumber you did not pay for
I know your wealth was not made
on the backs of other people
Your wealth is the happiness of home

Some days I spend all day polishing things
countertops and floors and my rough edges
placing like things next to each other
buying things I hope someone else will need
organizing paperwork no one will ever see
It makes me feel like a lady

Other days I avoid everything I ever touched
pretend I do not own anything
daydream about leaving my body
sleep like somebody is watching me
stare out my window as the day becomes dark
It makes me feel like a human being

Because I am a woman, too
I know what it feels like to be unsure
but my voice doesn't quiver anymore
My heart speaks soft soliloquies to me
It says, the only approval you need is yours
then skips a beat because it knows it was heard

Sunday, September 17, 2017

God

It is still not autumn here

I rely solely on the changes
of the seasons
to console me
so rest assured
you have it on good authority
there is still no reprieve

Maybe you feel like me

And if you do
I am sorry
but I also want to reassure you
this is just something humans do
All those saints were lonely too
but were so close to god
that they just pressed through

Sometimes I worry
that talk of god will turn people
off
so I keep reminding myself
that I am people
and it feels good to be alive

The sky keeps a schedule
that changes shadows
and some of us know
about the golden hours
while the rest of us
worship our likeness
to heavenly entities in sermons
on Wednesdays and Sundays

I keep thinking about mirrors
and how I want to believe
that people are good
because I am good
but have started worrying
that I am a piece of shit
because everyone keeps talking
about how people are the worst

Maybe you feel like me

What I don't think about
is how I don't even believe
in myself anymore
nothing here to see, folks
keep moving
except in the back of my head
I am yelling
"come back"

Come back


Friday, September 15, 2017

Patio Talk

It doesn't feel like Friday.
It feels like exactly a week
since I fell asleep
on the last day
I was closer to my birth
than my death.
How do I know
that I will live to be seventy?
I don't.
But my path no longer feels
like I am calculating
how long it has been
since I set out.
I am counting the miles
and how long it will take to stop
at each of the roadside attractions
on my way back home.






















Sunday, September 3, 2017

Arkansas Summer and You

The eclipse was mostly like any day
except I bought rose gold bake ware
including two cookie sheets,
two cake pans, a muffin tray,
and pancake mix.
I'll never do any of this,
unless you ask me to...

While I was bargaining the worth
of buying honey in the shape of a bear
and maple syrup instead of
the obvious,
I found myself
with my arms crossed.

Why is this twenty extra cents
so hard for me?
Why does this dollar
feel like my very being
is put on display
in front of everybody?

I still haven't baked any cookies
You still haven't said
that you want to be with me
but this Arkansas Summer
keeps reminding me
that I should be prepared
for anything

Forgive the punctuation mixed with poetry,
I'm still not sure
how it works...
but that batter will be here
as I wait patiently
for pinto beans and collard greens
and you










Monday, July 31, 2017

Arkansas Summer: First Draft

The summers in Arkansas
are dangerous to the psyche
Even breathing is with great effort
It feels like liquid is on the lungs
Everything that must be done
must be done before noon
or after it cools off some
I make sangria so I can daydrink
until the sun goes down
It is hard to be in love
I don't even want my skin
to touch my skin
It is easy to make friends
Everyone feels the same way
Hot as hell and wanting relief
Hoping it will never end

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mema

"You get it from your grandmother"
But what?
What did I get?
Passerbys have been pulling me aside
my whole life
and they keep telling me,
"You get it from
your mom's side of the family."
Please, someone tell me,
what it is.
I have no idea.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

how often I think of you.

When dealing with people
that cannot to be taught anything,
let them learn everything
as if it they thought of it on their own.

Outside of this, I have no wisdom to offer

My body and thoughts move
instinctually and with great purpose,
like a frog in the same deep well
it inevitably dies in,
except there are no limitations
and I am not a figure of speech.

I am outside of this with nothing to offer,
except for my body and thoughts
that swell in wakes, sleep,
and in your absence.
I am unsure of how to bring you here,
so I am treating you like a secret.

I won't even tell myself

how often I think of you.



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Off Subject

My thoughts get tangled.
It is too easy.
I get it from you.
The way it seems as though
the only thing I have to do
is smile
and be yours
But there is something
wrong with me
I get it from you
I am incomplete
Whatever you gave me
took something
away from me
I am searching for it in people
Every one that crosses
my path is going to know
that I am here
I remember you
You will remember me too.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

White Moths (All Omens Were Created Equal)

When the white moth showed up
on Friday night I knew it meant something.
Everything I read about omens agreed,
I was being visited by the deceased.
(Superstitions are like horoscopes,
they're only real if you believe.)

On Saturday I started thinking about
that time someone told me
i am the way i am
because i need people to like me.
You were the first one to tell me
i treat strangers better than i treat family
I thought I was just saying "hi" in passing.
I had to dig so deep to remember
that I am the way I am
because I need me to like me.
This is how I think people should be.

Today I looked up and nine years had passed
along with you.
I started to believe that the flipped breakers,
thunder, and strangers in my spare room
were because of you.
It is scary to believe in heaven
and perfect places where everyone there
is someone you love
who loves you too
but I swear on everything that is true
that as I sit here thinking about it
another white moth visited me
and I just know it was you.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

We Were Both There

You were 18 when you
first met me.
I was all thumbs-up,
and you still brag about
how easy it was
to have me.
I actually don't remember
being 18,
but I remember Mariah Carey,
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony,
and breaking down.

Of course you were scared
when I up and left town.
You wrote me every day
and I had to interpret
everything you said to me
through the tear stains
that blurred the letters I'd get.
It was hard for me too.
I wanted to cry all the time,
but couldn't.

If there is anything
you have taught me,
it's forget everything
that hurts
and live completely
in the moments
that make living
worth it...
and cry when I want to.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Thermometers and Thermostats

My heart was set to 72
since before I was born.

I just want everyone
to be comfortable.

But that's not entirely true
because what I really want
is for everyone to be set
to my temperature.

This is not an oasis fantasy.
I am carefully understanding
how to set each person's degree
to exactly how it should be...

Mild, with a slight chance of
subdued responsibility

My heart is set to 72.
I can't be held responsible
for the cold in your heart
or the heat in your retreat


Monday, March 13, 2017

Taxes and Death

Death is easier to explain
than explaining how good
being alive is
When the general-general is
white on white on white
words stop making sense
Maybe money is important
Hey, Bank
Hey, Government
Take all this spending money I never spent
so I can sit on my patio
and listen to sad songs
that make me happy
I'm not going to pretend like
I never washed dishes
or played music or made beds
for strangers
I know that's worth something
Eleven percent on the dollar
Seems fair
I don't care
Whatever

Death is inevitable and does not come with an expiration date

Some people lose everything and still find a way to wrap their minds around how zero equals love



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Service Industry Part 1.

The dishwasher told me I look like Jesus
"Pareces como hermoso Jesรบs"
I know just what he means

The chef reassures me
"He just thinks you're heavenly"
as if I thought Edilberto was being mean

But I know he loves me

because he's never upset
when I put dirty dishes
where the clean dishes go
as a matter of fact
he never seems upset
at any one
for any thing

Edilberto is more like Jesus
than any body I know






Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tulips Tomorrow

I am crazy restless pacing my apartment,
moving baubles around and cleaning out purses
I would sweep but I swept yesterday
I would sleep but my fridge is full of beer
and nothing else
All my vases are clean but empty
That must be a metaphor for something
I think something new is about to begin
It's not spring
it is cold and rainy, but things are changing
Maybe it has something to do with me
I have to tell you
there is something peaceful inside of me
It can drive me to hysterics
if I do not make lists of the money I spend
It makes me uncomfortable to feel complete
So when I realize my apartment
fits perfectly together but there are no flowers,
I pull everything out of the closets
and write down: Buy tulips tomorrow

The Highest Road leads to The Mountain Top

Unsolicited advice:
take the high road
Do not simmer
in hate or fear
Be happy today
Show your neighbor
what happy is
It is a warm winter
and the gardens will
need tending to soon
Push the dirt around
with your bare hands
Push the wind around
with your own breath
If you think nothing has changed
than you are not paying attention
If you think we are not winning
then you are not breathing
Slow it down,
take it easy, baby

Friday, January 13, 2017

100 Pieces of Paper and a Stolen Typewriter

I tried to open the packaging with the tip of a quill
and cursed myself as the delicate catch,
meant to pool ink,
split in two and folded over backwards

Something consoled me,
some things are just for show,
so I opened the package with my fingernails
and looked up the word "bravado"

I made a promise to myself to forgive mistakes,
to be delicate and hard, free and captured,
to forget about loneliness
and the unfolds of being split in two

Something like mercy or hard feelings
split open me as my fingertips
pecked harder at the keys
It made me feel brave again

I began to reckon the big picture
and that thing that often escapes me
made itself known in black ink
The universe swallows everything


So when I mention you, me, sex, 
gin, escape artists and tight wires,
all I mean to say is, do the right thing,
None of this will be remembered






Fina China & Ceramics

It is the sublety of the soft blue
played against lustre

breakable figurines positioned behind glass
or wrapped in paper

It is the way eyes settle and hold fast
onto fragile things

delicate shapes meant to be touched and turned,
baubles and doorknobs

It is the way one cherishes their own
but still wants other's



It is fine china, ceramics, and clay,
the moon, sun, and earth

The simple pleasures of perfect design,
detail and balance

It is the way she wouldn't look at him
and the way she would

She was the pretty things put on display
and he was a bull

It was the reason he didn't want her,
the reason glass breaks


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Candid Blue

She described the color to me in epic detail
and I promised her
I would find it
and bring it to her

She squealed
she exalted
she was astonished
and said over and over again
This is perfect
as she ran her brush against
and with the wood grain
I agreed
ecstatically
It is the best thing
Before we knew it we were high on fumes
laughing as we cut in the edges
Listening as the other spoke of her body,
her once forgotten sense of self,
and ultimate affinity for painting

They both knew they were the only ones
who would ever see the mess they had made

They both knew
they were the only ones
who would ever see
the mess they had made