Friday, November 2, 2012


everything you need
is already within you
listen to your heart

Thursday, November 1, 2012

a writer's prayer

a writer's prayer

is an ink-stained tree


and back

      in the wind

the way the forest shelters

the way the forest shelters
unintentionally, unconcerned
without thanks

shelters the animals
the moss
the manic monkeys

the forest is one
made of many
like a sea
of faces only seen
as a crowd blurring

smeared then erased
leaving only fine white

the way the forest shelters
i cannot shelter you

i am too invested
curious too

taking a lesson from the forest
i lean back 
and fall knowing
earth will catch me

absorb me without a thought  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

little moon

half moon
of my face
slides off
and dances down
like wind taunting a leaf


we liked to think we were adventurous
trail mix
an apple
no flashlight or map

we drove out to the trail head
in your navy sedan
mid afternoon sun 
coaxing sweat from pores

this desert is something isn't it?

a couple hours in we wonder
Isn't This Supposed To Be A Loop?

the frantic man
noosed walking stick in hand
refused us direction and kept on
mumbling something 
about "losing the light"

that can't be good.

in retrospect
maybe we should have followed him 
instead we held tight 
to this "loop idea"

as the sun 
slowly shriveled
i told you to Run
Run after me
and you did 

until we no longer saw
to run towards

collapsed in dirt
and fear speckled
with coarse grass 
and looked up at the stars... 

from Brooklyn

ribbons of hair
defying orders
mocking you

all the way
from Brooklyn
to Portland, Oregon

there you worked in advertising
long days fueled
by coffee nights
by cocaine

just one screw
in a large timepiece
moving at jet speed

you only ate because it was easy
now the time
to cook makes your skin crawl

forgotten in this forest
anxiety a cheap date
cells reach out

shrivel and pop
like helium balloons

Thursday, October 11, 2012

when I was a child

when I was a child
there was a car chase

not suspensefully detached
like in the movies

this was Shove It In Your Face
Press It Into Your Eyelids

into the deserted parking lot

cacti stiff
catatonic stars

my father got out of the car
approaching the one 
containing my mother

containing her
like water not yet frozen
in an ice cube tray

leaving me as witness
as the car 
sped for him

his body splayed

as the car birthed 
and fled     


he can no longer play the guitar

fingers shredded
carelessly mended

tendons mummified
fibrotic artifacts

he brings his own music
lies down on the table

the micro system 
of his ear 

on the tip of each needle

I spin them in
kidney liver

I Felt That Shoot Down My Entire Body
his organs light up
like a child's keyboard 

be here now.

stenciled—spray painted
"be here now"
words confined on asphalt
pulling space and time like taffy

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I love art museums

the cold negative space
patient and yielding

paint and scrap
metal—fabric and
charcoal lurch
from the drywall

my stomach flips
backward grabbing
at the base of my skull
grainy, sepia ink
the face of an old woman

scalloped flesh
pillows around hollow eyes

I lean into those eyes
collecting stories 
clipped to strings

and in that moment
just before I am irretrievable 
a hand expands

over the back of my shoulder
and guides me
on to the next room

a crowd was watching

a crowd was watching
speckled infant bird
twitching in its final moments
stunned by Nature's
brutal honesty

the small beauties of ordinary things

ripped seams
must be reunited

disheveled flailing threads
reach out for the others

something like that scene in Titanic
icy fingers—"Never Let Go"
only significantly less tragic

responding to their cries
I sprint over with needle

and thread frantically
weaving back 
and forth

calloused fingers
the tarnished needle

a reluctant hero
panting out of breath


like outlines
of hearts
not yet colored in
the frame exists

yet fragile
like a ribcage lacking
its viscera

bones locked awaiting
the day
its soft peach-fuzzed
feathered fowl

and gazes
from the inside out

Thursday, September 27, 2012

playing with double dactyls

higgledy piggledy
symphony melody
berberine valentine
cautiously hot

busted yolks

busted yolks at the Hi Life—coffee black
yearning to eventually be friends
fingers numb—winds slice
unapologetically through to bone

five months later I walk your dog
it feels strange to be in your apartment

you still display that painting—
that one of the bicycle we made
on my birthday

but now it is accompanied by
a new painting—
something more abstract—messier

I did not stare at it long.

Friday, September 21, 2012

one week ago

her eyes
were achingly transparent
sheer curtain of tears
tried to conceal
simultaneous fear
of being destroyed
and her calculated 
to do so

Thursday, September 20, 2012

new old flame

the ones you're in
well they are big
burn the brightest

flare up
but extinguish quickly

scorched moths

my apartment
has a tiny hammer
at the end
of a chain

to break the glass
in these kinds
of emergencies


the toes of my shoes
are lucky

they are the first to graze
the fallen leaves

on my walk
to the record store

at first I am molasses
honey wax

savoring the cutting
crinkled air

swirling it against the inside
of my cheek

thoughts of summers
past holding the small of my back

eventually I reach
said record store

the owner strolls
out from the back

bits of pretzels hissing
through his teeth


i'm ready to
this conversation


skin merges
with the black trampoline

you look up
towards the stars

that stain the sky
you tell her just the threads

artistic license—but

it doesn't really matter
she will weave

her own stories now
whispering them back

like a twisted game
of telephone

Thursday, September 13, 2012


splintered clavicle
shards of bone
flaked off

like chipped porcelain
and strewn across
the ocean like ashes

into denim saltwater
echoed by stars

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


that was a commendable tantrum, Sir.
your terms were clearly stated.

The Pink Pony Please.


you turned tomato red.
fire-engine red.
rare. meat. red.

but ponies are for...girls?!
what on earth?!

i can get down with your cause, Champ.
keep that inflamed head high.

haiku, or something.

steady hands surround
specimens sworn edible

the bridge

men's feet striking
pavement in unison

understated night
sweeps stars

and city haze
across their eyes

breast pockets
carry scars of wounds past

they do not reach for them

their hands
delicate carafes

into each other's

Thursday, May 19, 2011

sap pumping

through ballerina legs

hairy like coconut

in twisted embrace

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


i am stuck
my mind is gum on my shoe
old gum
not that freshly chewed
supple cloud of spearmint
but that rigid
immobilized wad
of unimaginative big red
turned more pink
than red--
the red was so uninspired
it slowly slinked away
like your lover in the morning
inching closer and closer
to the edge of the bed
so they may roll off
nail the dismount
and score a perfect 10

dark willows

widowed by men, i married dark willows
climbing up their flaking bark
we promised to be together

until death
until flood
until disease and quaked earth

their leaves stroked my wispy hair
and my dry, mud-caked skin

i told them most of my secrets
the nuts, bolts, inner workings
and serrated wheels of my mind

they built for me
the most sought after canopy bed
sturdy, yet expansive and free

together we lay under it
sharing the sunlit sheets
slowly drifting
into dreams


you say there are no haloes
but i see them clear and bright
you say there is no hope for her
but you have never
seen her fight
trails of red
across black night
branches reach out to aid her
leaves gently plaster
up her wounds
for her journey somewhere greater

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

i write this poem out of

i write this poem
out of clay

the bars together
soft and sticky

madness into form

in my palms


i smash the sphere
and start again

not ever wanting
to finish this piece
for when it's done
it is frozen

paralyzed stiff
never to sprout


nestled in the knowing
lonely for life
i let the soft music play
as my daffodil hands
sew a pocket in your heart

i know i have been happiest...

spine pressed
into warm grass
gaze up
at the sapphire sky
"look for the truth
in the clouds"
you said

lights flashing
dancing ecstatically
sweat enticing
to curl

on the deck
violent breeze
hair like a swarm
of bees

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

awaiting the ruling

"accusing me of my life"*
thoughts stand trial
shoulds curl their fingers
around my throat
jagged nails
tearing thin skin
cells hyperventilating
the jury faces away
long dark hair tumbling in waves
palpable tension—
i slide my fingers over it
pressing into the pads
allowing it to penetrate my heart
viscous burgundy melting
down the sides of vessels
like ice cream on 100° asphalt

* quote from lucille clifton's "it was a dream"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"like tranquil fish glinting underwater"*
there is beauty there
to be found
nudging dirt
and fallen leaves aside
beneath the lethargy
the gloomy skies
those hazy eyes
there is anticipation stirring
impetus and children yelling
the sweet taste
of strawberries
bicyclists pink flushed cheeks
and pant legs rolled
and courage
yes, if you dig further
past the hail pelting
your icy skin
beneath the urge to stay
in bed veiled and still
lies new beginnings
forward motion
yin into yang
and spring

*quote from lisa colt's "prayer"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

getting unstuck
is exhausting
lub dub lub dub lub dub

but if i stop now
it may just settle

slowly tumbling
then gathering
in careless piles
at the bottom

a slow-motion
pinball game

i keep slamming
the sides trying
to flip upwards

but inescapably
it all slides through
the center and i'm back
where i started

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys Ocean-Zoo

but when will you 
thaw me out? 

curbed life processes
without termination

you call it
suspended animation

i call it

Thursday, February 10, 2011

yes, you

i like this song 
far too much 
to know the lyrics
for once everything 
becomes clear 
it loses its power 
something about bohemian
dancing perfect 
nipples and
passing out in 
your garden
we've been magnetized
for years and
i refuse to stop
losing myself 
in your infinite charm

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

sadness broadcast
thin lines connect
zig then zag
small fuzzy shocks
nag your shoulders
pesky gnats
coax them off
with your smooth
dance moves
michael michael
i'll change my hair
but inside i'll stay 
the same
i want to bless you.
do you think god
would mind?
little mouse sneezes
and sighs
come from you.
you in your
high-waisted sweatpants.

Friday, January 21, 2011


she zipped up
her sprayed-on skirt
the teeth gripping
snagging the tights
her ex-girlfriend loved
weeping an itch
out of every stitch

exorcising that thought
she walked toward the exit
in her excruciating stems
through the revolving door

at her favorite lounge
she whispered "french 75"
her fingers slithering
through his flyaway curls
exchanging confidences

for hours
although she couldn't
be exactly sure
she waited
swells raising
up and breaking
in the vessels
of her eyes

they finally splashed up
awakening her
and with that
she decisively
poured herself
back to the ground
for another night

Saturday, December 25, 2010


she woke up, reaching out for him
feeling the vibrations of his breath.
she yawnedpaused
rolled out of bed
slowly, methodically
as to not disturb him.
reaching for her red shawl,
a gift from henry,
she flashed back nearly a decade
ago– the brief affair.

as she threw it across her shoulders
she was swept away to that
evening, nine years ago, standing
on the dock, wet cheeks
and pitted stomach
watching the boat drift
further and further
until it was but a speck–
a distant memory of one
great love.

measuring one rounded
scoop, she poured the
coffee in. water up to the line.
a simple recipe, if you
could even call it one.
unlike the complex
formula that was 
her life.
she added another heap
of grounds with her
hand, letting them sift
through her
sinewy fingers.

eventually everything slips through
she thought.
like me lately.
 flat lining mostly
with an occasional heartbeat 
just to appease those 
counting on me...or myself 
what is the difference?
at one time there wasn't one
I blended all your hopes 
and expectations with my
forming understanding of the world

her recipe was written.
one part the things you would have
done differently, 
two parts the things you never did,
a dash of fear–
a cup of beaming pride, 
a drop of tears. 
make that two drops, 
the tears 
are really tasty, 
they're in season 
right now

now hit the buttons.

serve a taste to 
all you encounter
some will find 
they could drink 
it every day, it is their favorite
Where Has This Been My Entire Life?
for some its saccharine, 
they'd rather not
finish the glass
others will never have a drop
No Thank You, I'm Not Hungry

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

slumber-ation |ˈsləmbərā sh ən|

1 the action or state of dividing attachments, beliefs, thoughts, or events into distinct, detached elements in ones sleep; processing, incorporating, and releasing in suspended consciousness

last night 
pieces rocked me 
a verse reeling
so essential
i knew in that moment
that i must commit it to heart:

last i know i'll leave it 
 every day a second day
do you grasp yours?

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I sweep the corner up,
turning the page
and find you, 
Matthew Phipps. 
You have caught me
by surprise.
Here I thought
I was alone, reading quietly 
on a rainy afternoon, 
when all along you were 
here, silently passing the 
time in my book. 
Were you hoping I would 
discover you?
Realize our connection and 
marvel at the good fortune
that we both enjoy 
bubbling in our chests?
Or did you aim to linger 
unnoticed for a few more days–
weeks even–
until finally mustering
up the courage to spring 
up arms outstretched,
mouth wide, heart 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

not cool

I'm not walking 
like this 
to look cool–
my pants
just keep falling down.

I saunter side-to-side,
head cocked
hand on crotch. 
But no, I'm not cool.

I'm not trying to
look hip,
aloof or tough.
You see, 
my pants are just too big. 

The inseam is far
too long. 
And although I wear
this belt, they seem 
to slowly creep
further and 

as if once they reach
my ankles
they will finally
and wander the streets

into some sort of Blue Jean
Blob Creature,
and slink
into a nearby gutter

only to emerge 
20 blocks away,
apply for a job at 
Panda Express
and for a studio

so that they 
may have some 
steady income
and a place 
to work
on their novellas

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Ever since she was young, Dahlia 
about everything. She was 
full of wonder, yet 
somehow she felt less
than wonderful. 
Less than.
Those words often stuck
with her like some 
sort of treacherous taffy, 
clinging to the every corner 
of her mind. 
Corners. She thought. 
Why is it that the corners
are most easily cracked?
Like dried Winter lips 
or cuticles. 
It is as if the coming together—
the union—leaves them
that much more vulnerable.
This was a theme for Dahlia. 
Why was it that she always
felt this exposed weakness, 
this dependence, 
whenever she came 
with a new lover—
and then inevitably 
came undone?
Leaving her more fragile than
when she began.
A heap on the floor—small
and wide-eyed—like 
a child swimming
in his father's business suit. 
Sleeves pouring over tiny hands, 
so no one can reach them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


fall. fall back. 
fall back into yourself.
back into your being,
your center. scurry.
get ready for the brumal 
future. let go. 
let go of everything 
which no longer serves
you. remember
to breathe. breathe in the new.
breathe in the crisp cold change. 
be grateful. be open. 
do not close up 
your lasting warmth.
your warm heart. 
use this beating 
furnace and call on
loved ones to gather
around it. remember
to hold to the center
amidst the ebb
and flow.
this time is change.
this time is
the present. 
be present. 
know the beauty that is
to be found all around you.
breathe it in,
let it encircle your entirety.
then let it go—willingly. 
do not hold on—knuckles
white and fatigued fingers
curled. it will all come back
and leave again 
and again in new form.
just fall.

Monday, November 8, 2010


needles pierce the skin
she feels them on the left side
escape—for a time 

Sunday, November 7, 2010


basement of a 
coffee shop
sheltered from the 
the song comes on 
the song that grabs
me back 
two years ago 
walking in sheets
of rain 
"she took my heart"
listening to this 
tears escaping
the sweetest misery
"i think she took my soul"
in deterioration
and unrealized 
how to
but now it makes me
smile and ache
"baby where do i sleep?"
could it ever be
did you know
how i felt back then 
i dreamed of you 
my friend
"with the moon I run far"
your intoxication 
your dark beautiful 
pulling me in while 
simultaneously pushing 
me far away
you are the master of
coinciding contradictions
i know that now 
how long ago it all seems 
"from the carnage of the fiery sun"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

electric fences

the soles of my shoes 
kiss the rain-soaked
cement and torn leaves
leading up to my 

i look up
regarding the roof that 
welcomed your keys
that day when sun 
and anticipation
were abundant 

some parts of me know logic
they studied it extensively
with a focus in authenticity 

but others, little sparks,
break off
with different intentions

they are pulled to
my magnetic heart 
infusing me with 
romantic could-have-beens, 
theatric tragedies
and tortured visions

i imagine
in the distance i see you
full speed 
towards me

but wait
this would never happen
you would never run
you would come close 

but ultimately you could not 
pick up your pace
for fear 
of falling

your fist opens and
dried yellow roses 
are furiously 
released behind you

can you see me
from there?
the best parts?
not the mundane 
humdrum puttering
can you see my intent?

but then
the closer i get
the more out of focus 
you seem

and i question
it all
question myself

things are not
black and white
and these shades
keep expanding,

so perhaps we will glimpse
each other another day
from behind our 
electric fences

Sunday, October 10, 2010


abigail waited.
bundled in layers and scarves,
catching strangers' eyes,
doing her best not to think.
eventually she would give in,
forging visions and 
gallivanting around 
her visionary mind.
in just a few hours she would be 
jostling against fellow travelers,
kissing the rim of first class champagne, 
licking her lips, and 
making conversation with 
noelle, the french beauty seated
on her left. but  
presently she was  
questioning her abruptness and
reasons for leaving. remembering those
salty tears that had run down, 
taunting her cheeks as she
undressed the night before,
vowing to 
wander this journey alone.
XIImidnight. time to drift
yieldingly into the unknown
zero hour.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

blue-winged bird

blue-winged bird
spanned, blanketing the ocean
miles away 
a speck—a mini silver ship
fills with seawater 
as the rain spills down
bath shower

your eyes may be beady
but they are not small
i dove into them once
though i never properly learned how

as we picnicked, 
blades of green between
our toes, i listened intently
to your stories and 
passed you the jam

you made me promise
cross my heart and 
hope to die
that i would visit you 
in ever foreign country
you pushed me towards

i ached on that train
47 km to go
as the toddler in the next
row stuffed zoo animals 
into his already bursting 
cheeks as if he was
anticipating winter

just when i think i've
finally figured you out 
you crack open the latest
russian doll
revealing a more petite, 
ornate version
of yourself

i used to dream 
of fucking it all up
now i dream of 
holding it all 
though my grip 
isn't what it used to be

so farewell majestic
creature soar
on your way
they're expecting you

remember to always 
bring a gift
or at least leave
a thank-you note 
when you depart