September 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
Eyes follow lines that laced wings beat
Into the wind, making changes
Across scenes hiked by your two feet
That couldn’t even manage
To dance nightly with my mother
When these arches can’t stretch
For one more mile of rock
This wanderer’s pack rests harshly
Complaining of burdens and memories
On knees I once bounced on
I know the name “father” makes stark contrast
With the yellow cups the laced wings drink from
(It’s the color of mom’s old house dress)
But those arches couldn’t stretch
For one more mile of rock
My ears feel with green needles
From there across the gap
My face blends into cold mountain sides
My feet stretch out into damp grasses
And my body blends
Into one more mile of rock
March 15, 2014 § Leave a comment
The rhyme forms no verse of which to speak
My astonishment is no less for that
That you can make words from my fingers sing
More than my falsetto scolding rings
When I catch you, again, in heat
February 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
I am surprised when I surface
Gulps of salted air
Rasp in my mouth
Grained tongues coasting
On waves of bitter water
I am surprised when you surface
Your face crests over
Peaks of foamed ocean
And smiles despite currents
Dragging you to sea
November 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
Vaults! Lurching starts
A trembling arc, higher
Until it leaps into blank sonic
Spires, streaking wire notes behind me.
Sneaking down, slinking
Back into linear disorder,
Where my music now has
Borders, dismissing the tune I’ve been
Hissing, dear disarray, I’m now missing
October 14, 2013 § Leave a comment
There’s a swell in me. So often do things relate to water, I think there must be a connection in my sign to surf, but I am a only a Ram. Rams do nothing but drink and dispel, sucking up lifeforce like marrow. I’ve seen no other writing like mine, I fucking suck and my fly’s down.
I think of things passed before us, the things we don’t speak out against. How sorrowful is the melt into passing time. Children hurt and neighbors die, isn’t that the way of it? I read my husband a poem once; he cried and held my hand in a sunset. I haven’t seen him since. The endings of some movies are true.
I just ramble and I just type and the words amount to nothing, they see no one or they see ghosts of faces pressed into screens and I think hooray, I am honest. Because no one sees me, I am alive and I drink freely, brooding silently over the welfare of my sister’s children. My son is nine today.
Sick, and feted and wasted are the roots that rot untended in my garden. I should check them now, but there are rules, aren’t there? We shouldn’t garden at night, we should mind our own fucking business, and now isn’t she ranting and losing it and doesn’t she weigh less? I am beautiful in my new dress, although I am losing my demographic. I’m mad and I’m a parody.
I should scream. I should open my mouth and scream. I should break glasses and dishes and stomp into them until someone takes notice. Who will notice? A screen, behind a screen, we’re immune. And then, then we fall into clotted lives that suck us into ourselves until we don’t see into the eyes of others. The contact, ugh, to look into sun spotted eyes, I shudder. I let him take a part of me.
How does love fit into a box — are we dying in our fucking boxes and sweating into nothing?
I bleed into flowers and land that doesn’t belong to me. It blooms deeply and thrusts blossoms at me; I vomit into flowerbeds and they produce beautiful, unspeakable things that no films capture. They make me weep in violet and I count out rhythms in 4/4 time to make them rigid. The crooks in their stalks disgust me and I sleep again and I work again and I mother again.
Captured into a burgeoning life and mind and smell that contains everything I’ve done wrong today. I smoked and I drank and I lied and I failed, every small failing of the day told and done. I sweat and groan ecstasy into today. There is another morning tomorrow.
May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
She always barged in, half-dressed and drunk, flinging herself on my couch and my mercy. I say that with my tongue in my cheek to indicate there is no mercy here… she’s incapable of accepting mercy. She is, however, capable of looking like a heaven-raped starlet, flung over my beige flowered couch like a housewife finished with her chores. Her lips bloomed brightly in the worn pattern of the sofa, and the petals of her mouth seemed to make the fabric more limp than before. I looked busy with the curtains instead of the upholstery of her skirt, rough like the tongue of a cat.
“Let’s play cards,” she demanded, reaching under the couch to retrieve the deck kept there for her predictability.
“Not tonight, Angeline.” My heart is already thudding under my thrift-store shirt. I’ve worn holes in the armpits, but she says she doesn’t notice.
I start here not because it is our beginning, but because it is the eventuality of our lives together. I know a story ought to start with the beginning of things, the creation of a character leading with his occupation and his life’s work. But instead I feel it only serves the purpose of this diatribe to being in the middle, in the wear. I’m broken in and there are holes in my shirt.
This isn’t to say I didn’t still feel the bite of newness between her stinging visits, but to say that it is a half-life, a life spent waiting for her to fall into my doorstep again. I wish furtively that she will be swallowed into the relics of my flat’s sagging belly. I want the florid landscape to become a portrait of a her, as unreachable as the surrealist wreaths of fragrance on that sofa. But she only trails vapor, whiffs of a torture.
At intervals in her absence I huff the scent she’s left in my bed and my shower, wandering her trail’s lost luster. I think about her hair and the strokes it makes in the soap of her back. She’s washing her hair before leaving me, depositing my scent in the drain with those amber strands. I don’t clean my drain anymore. I can’t bring myself to yank out the clots of her, spray disinfectant on those strings which, with any luck, contain my particles and hers pressed together.
I see her again and again, her hair a dark cloud under the glass surface of a porcelain lake. I started for a moment, just after her eyes burst with red clouds. Angeline’s eyes are now exactly like her lips, red reminders of a drab furnishing.
And so there is where we begin, in the middle.
She smelt like smoke and drink when she leaned into me to make herself heard in my ear. The brush of her was exquisite.
And there it was, in the beginning. We were in the beginning of things and the feeling of love wracked me into her. I lusted in my heart and my mind and my tongue was swollen.
And now, a million miles later, outside her window, it didn’t matter that she blushed and closed her eyes for long blinks. It mattered that she arched into him in increments which felt tailored to me in the night. It mattered that her hands found his hair and there it was, the thudding of blood and burned promises.
I dropped my keys into the gutter. I stubbed a toe on the subway steps and I sat next to a talkative woman on the train.
The woman looked momentarily hesitant to extend me the courtesy of her conversation, but after a pause she launched into the reason why she moved to the city. The city, the city. She’d come to the city, so her story went, to make something of herself. At 40, her brown eyes held a trace of what she once was, ambitions she’d misplaced along with her children’s socks at the laundry. She’d wanted to be a star. I didn’t want to know her name.
Names make life more complicated than it ought to be. The convention of naming ascribes value to items which really deserve no nomenclature. Who cares that a tub is a tub, and that somewhere in the world it’s not even a tub. It’s some equally made up word with etymology traced back to the time and point in which someone discovered vocal chords and had the bright idea to trace words into them. An entire race muttering grunts incognito as society.
I ended the train ride with a nod to Crystal (of course she’s named Crystal), and started back down the streets to my empty flat.
“Eat it! Eat it!” my best friend screamed in delight when I put a snail to my mouth and, with my eyes closed and a big gulp of air, sucked in the mucus and muck of a gastropod.
It wasn’t the anticipation of the taste and the texture, as with some things, that was worse than the reality of an act. The act itself was unforgiving grotesque. We had been, as it happened, studying the French Revolution in school , which led to the eventual suggestion of sampling what French cuisine had to offer. Of course upon maturity I realized my folly, that French cuisine can’t be boiled down to the raw ingredients of the making of one dish. But with the naivety of child, and with a child’s imagination, a snail plucked from my mother’s garden was a French platter as good as any.
Through my repulsion, through heaves of my stomach, my lips formed a seal around the opening of the snail’s home and found suction. I felt a wet motion in my mouth, and the bitter bile bit into my taste buds and stomped signals to my brain. I made it perhaps two more seconds with the writhing garden creature in my mouth before I redeposited him into the dirt, unaware of the finality of the fate he was spared thanks to my repulsion.
Do you understand now?
The rain eventually stopped. I looked at myself and wondered where my flesh went. The face in the mirror looking back at me was a vague reminder to eat more.
The end of things. I settled into the sofa cushions and rubbed each palm slowly and intentionally over the barbs and balls of my least favorite reminder. I stroked the edge delicately, remembering the feeling of the fingers I brushed over her, wanting to savor her lines but also impatient, eager to press her into this pattern. I’d push into her deeply, with each retreat checking her edges to see if I’d had success or gained purchase in my dreams of art becoming art. She crept no closer to becoming the inanimate portrait I so desired. I’ve made do with the loneliness of longing for such companionship.
August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Long in tooth it happened then,
I found my gloved hand stroking her
She looked long at my aching knees
And saw me riding side saddle there
Her coat lay in want of grooming
And never wavering, her ghastly gait
Trotted in my imagination and my want,
To be a horse, myself untied
My thirst for adventure took me there
Into the swamp of June’s damp heat
Where I lay in a mattress of wet bugs
And wanted to be near to her gallop
I met her on the road from the town
Wandering Bahlatha, her bleeding gums
She was unpinned and was not tame
To her master there was no answer
We spoke to each other through apples
And I thought her too keen to hold
To sly to trade food for ownership
Even to the likes of my chained spirit
Yet I mounted her unfettered neck that day
We rode together into muck of June
Be it filled with stars and wanting things
We passed for gods flying over them