PetrichorI walk without an errand for the mind.I must be homeless.Neighboring enclaves separate our spaces,belie their builders’ mirthless exhaustion.Not even necessity can be blamed for these mud-struck, brittle gourds,these quick nests of vasculous organspulsing with their peculiar tyrannies,briefly scuttling from their hovelslike sun refugeesdarting into gleaming storefrontswaffled in concrete misery all to forestall the end of their souls.Where can we go when we only want to breathe?Sitting in a park bench,trillion-visioned, crowned with galaxies,I can rest my weary invention.I sense the weight of an unseen player,a secret stratagemas she moves her piece into the glade.I’m set in place, yet unopposed.Uncombined with lovers, children,the slow parade of trees and heat,I lay beside these stalwarts,at once, still and hurtlingthroughout the travesty of time.I assemble a cumulus intelligencenear the playground,threatening Summer with three days
flowerstoo longi’ve held watchover slovens in my chrysalisrooting in my diaries,in toiletsand in traffic.i dream of razing their genitals.if not for this ugly sycophant . . .no,if not for limestonesweptinto mudhow would i knowwhat instincts have been rewarded?if i hadn’t made thingssacrosanct,tree lines as noble architects,a face, some godly panicthen i’d just see a headless corpsesome cat had tornfrom shallow burrowsinstead of this: an Algernonas stilland as holyasthe flowersthat you left.
San FranciscoGood lord, how long I've slept this time!And from what undiluted dreamfull of free space and meadows,brickless and feral,uncounted, unneeded,lost in terrible infant whims,streaking from trees to the hazel in the dusk,have I come creaking to this ancient face?If I ever find le sens de la viewrithing underleaf in a crooked line of ants or rippling in a koan made of cigarettes buttsthen I’ll go back to San Franciscoand look her beggars in their pupilsand talk to her gypsy witch doctors,listen to uningestible trumpet masters,commiserate with the legless street congress,revisit the subterranean shrine to urinethat sifts through the walkers at 2nd and Market,and make love to some lost pearl of the Orient.I’ll interrupt her philosopher queens as they serenade their oracles,crawl in wretched street machines, carousel coins in rusty slotsthat screech down to the wharf of the seal paparazzicommuning with dead architects of gleaming concrete miraclesas the
windstorms and labworkafflatus, inflatus, my morning globe,as lithe as your impermanence.and home! dread homes! are rabbit dugs,spoonholed piles of mexican brickwhere nothing ever touches down,nothing here alive receivesthe plains’ poor offering of gypsy light,the ugly wind that meets the mudline.[metaphors]1. a mottled fence2. and how these storms hold faceless teeththat slat their eyes through butter-woodthen purge their guts on wintered florets4. some freshly headless nativities,their polyethylene skirts upturnedfrom violent sacks5. and knowing i’m a soulessspeck i lick at what is manifest beneath your hair each poison taba colouracidfire or lake a brothel and religious studiesi know, i know you never meanto murderor completemebut do not say “live for yourself”.i’ve come online to see the godthat came before me.we are so poorly marriedlike bookend spines of Plath and Hughesup on the shelfare somehowsynon
DivorceBefore that day,Sunday mornings had never occurred to me.I must have slept through their every summons:I never knew the time sensitive ritual of finding matching socks,forcing “nice” shoes over misshapen toes,the silent pact we would share with the warm cushions of the divanwaiting for Mother to ready us, memories that settle in the gutslike a madstone, which I could then pull out of my old cadaverto save myself in the next life.There were a few moments. Like that time, in the garage,basking in Father’s sunrise sorcery as he fired his magic timing lightinto the fluttering lungs of an engine, or when he let me aimthe water at his bucket, poorly, while he carved somethingotherworldly into stubborn dirt.I held nothing near of Sundays, nothing sacred, nothing dreaded,save for the occasional shameful confusionI would coax from my belly with dogged chimesof christmas bells haranguing the church congregationwith their infernal sequence, hanging like nervou
Blackbird Pupilsdont look at mewith those eyessunlightburnspeckled brownbluebird green and hazel-achemine, already hollowed outtapetum breachedand daily leak-ingi cannot bear yourknowing glance)/ocular-saw)(/intelligence(youd see all those wax demonshadesyoud know the clockworks runonpain-delaytoday,i read some other poet,his words were blackice bludgeoners, soundless suturing socket spikes, hammergods, each one,the last cicada to flee the moult.but he hasnt the orbs to ruin me.almost no one has|them|.
forget about medon't listen for it, anymore:the ugly balladist, the poète mauditunbosoming his delustrants,strangulations and subglossal annulments.i want you to find my secret life, the arrhythmiaof spoondrift oblivions.open out your palms to me; i'm over-swelling with octonaries, octonaries!that is where i've been these years,shimmering flushin the night between kneeholes.
new officei emptied my old officeinto the unknown egressgathered up my paintingsmy files of old informationpictures of everyone i lovetheir faces younger than the dust on themmy precious objects in their precious placesand i am not among them.
immediacythis new little truththis robin eggbluebrooding in skies'dull deciduais beggingblack spacefor a mercymurderingdamn this featherbrainconfuterwith its wilding silver blood tongue licking for obsequious anticipants'till they burnto a soft nilpotency -i'll make a bed inarmageddon gray paper craneasheshere's my nirvana: the ache of the ramrod'sslow dreaming deathin the waist - ohi hope i'll be replacedwith pure eraser whitein a comfortable beheading -there's no tellinghow muchbetter offthe world'snext beginningwill becomewith one lesssilhouetteinterveningbetweenthe sunand the partingeyelessSoul.
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic. But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed? My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
The big feelingWhen you realize you are feelinga moment fading into all the momentsthat preceded it,and you must try, impossibly, to describethe big feeling,a thing apart from your self,or, perhaps,as close to it as humanly possible:like when looking through a microscopeand realizing that each magnification showswe only know so much of anything,The big feeling that is life's disappearing,into the many echoesof each moment, somehow touchingacross the vast expanse,the one that lead you here,Where you stop to witnessthe minute spectacle of time's expression;the familiar creaking of wind against wood panels,branches whipping in those gustscasting wild shadows on your wall,The big feeling coaxing the world towardsa surreal stillness, tentative and aware,flooding through all the chances, that through the guaranteesof your quantum existencethe marvelous truth rises:that this is all so beautiful you will dieif you do not try and express it,but if you try and express this momentit
The Great RaceI crack my knuckles and touch the ground, stretching my calves the way Olympic runners do before a race. The gravel spikes at my palms; my muscles burn from the stretching. Jogging in place, I breathe in short bursts that form into clouds in the chilly air.Max paces back and forth next to me, holding a clipboard and waving his pen like a conductor. My body is so full of electricity from the anticipation that I want to slap him as hard as I can just for the sake of letting go of the tension. Instead, I crack my knuckles again, making Max cringe in a satisfying way.Shaking it off, Max checks his watch before pushing his glasses to the top of his head. “Four minutes,” he says, reading off the clipboard. “The race starts at the fifth period bell. That way, you won’t meet any teachers in the hallways who are running late, but there might be some girls still rushing to class after lunch.” He looks up, scrunching his eyebrows together. “Although I really
here's to losing youhey, wow,you look...great! you do!I'm well,and you?good, good.are you happy?great!am I? no, but here, have mynervous laughter, see me turn myselfupside down when we runinto each other.while you are shaking handsand kissing babiesstill smiling for smiling's sake,I've seen the real youcrying into wine. I've felt youstain my shirt black-streakedwith hidden away thingscreased things, folded and-tucked-under-heavyupturned-lip thingsand in the process, yousoaked my soul in everything you.spooning your vulnerabilitywas better than exchanging virginitiesin one blind night,better than the electric joltsyou sent burning up my armswhen you grabbed my handone day, out of the clear blue,better than that first kiss when both our tensions dissolved into each otherlike butter in a hot pan.nothing has quite matched the nightwhen I saw you naked, saw youemotionally undress for the first time:I'm fine,
we shouldn't be so afraid of deathi waited for death to wrap hisfrail hands around my neck andfeed me to the unknownbut he just took my hand, fingerslaced between my ownand smiled
CandaceI have named the lumpin my throat Candace;and she is what her name means-penitent and contrite,remorseful for every word that slipspast her because they all havecome out misshapen and wrong.
Passing ShipsIt was just like you to show up late. Honestly, it was just like you. It was the hottest day of the year so far and every green space was full of people trying to get their fix. Daylight junkies. When you live beneath grey clouds for most of your life it starts to take its toll and you take your highs where you can get them.I was a bundle of nerves, as I always was when it came to you, picking at grass and trying to pretend that the fact you were late was totally cool. Instinct told me differently and I knew as soon as you graced me with your presence that things had changed. It was written all over your face - guilt, guilt, guilt - but I was naive and thought you were just shy.I can't believe that it's been so long since you cracked me open under star spangled skies. I can't believe it's been almost a decade yet I'm still just as aware of you as I was before. They say that time heals but I still feel the wound, fresh and bleeding, beneath my skin. I still can't resist picking at it
The Man with the Gaping EyeThe dusty air of the courtyard never seemed to settle,invading the lungs of those passing by.The hot afternoon sun bakes the stone roads black,light tinged orange.The man with the gaping eye,his empty socket a crinkled web of scars.A blank face looks upon me,unseeing.His once strong jaw,now loose and misshapen from days he wishes he could forget.He still knows their names,they have long forgotten his.His leathery fingers,gnarled and twisted,appear like the roots of an ancient oak tree.Knuckles many times larger than they should be,are cracked and worn,weathered by both sun and time.His calloused feet,tucked and curled beneath him,bear the scars and broken bones of times when he forgot,crushed under foot and hoof.He has long lost count,it now hurts too much for him to walk.His only eye,it tells the story of his past,whispering tales about the years of joy he used to have,days so long gone they became legends to him,legends he no longer believes in.But legend
dead dog julyI.the summer heat lays limp in the city’s lap,breathing long oppressive breaths.it does not even lift its lolling headto bark out hoarse indignancywhen a strange man brings the mail.II.there might be heavy rain today,they say,brought by some swollen, murmuring cloud.so what?the world will whirl and howl,then settle down,to die a little more.III.o, quickly, love,press your back against the wall in fearas the universe spreads her arms andshuts her eyesand starts to summon the end of all things.o, quickly,come with meto the place of windows full of speechless afternoonhot windy whispers of half-formed solutions and resolutions,sweltering sunlit meadows we’ll wander and then forget.o quickly, love,let’s to the season of forgettingand unwind all of our harshest memoriesand fill the universe’s mouthwith mute cotton.IV.i’ll whisper these words to you some eveningwith all my exigency in the hand i rest on your arm—and you
Paradigm ShiftEmerging flash of starlight papbetween sunset and ocean capcolliding spang into my eyesfor once to have me realizenot everything becomes a song,and I shall sleep before too long.
Small TalkIt's dripping with logic and reasonthe question you let gently droponto the table between us,“So, tell me about your life.”And I'm watching it carefullytelling myself it won't biteit's more scared of me than I amand I can capture it with glass.And I can't rest the answer therebecause it's bigger and scarierand this one will bite will sinkwill tear apart the careful stitches.It's too big for this tableand I can't put it onto youso it weighs heavy on my neckand the silence stretches further.
how to get drunk and not mean itfirst:lie.say you’re just looking to have fun.don’t tell her about the last time this happened.plan on staying away from beds and grabby hands.plan on forgetting for once.next:lay in bed anyway because you trust her.debate if that’s wise.contemplate the universe and what dying feels like.decide it sounds like her laughter.feel like dying.then:let her hold you.try to decide if you want to remember this tomorrow.whisper into her mouth that you love her.let her shakily toss it back.lie to yourself.say you’ll forget.don’t.lastly:wake up with her in the other bed.complain about the headache.don’t complain about the lack of warmth.she’ll ask if you remember last night.lie.be hurt when she does too.write poetry about how you don’t care.do.lie anyway.
FFM 23: The Lady in Black She knows. The thought had crept in quietly and festered in the back of my head like a corpse. When I finally noticed it there, I managed to write it off as paranoia for a time, but at some point it had transformed into a certainty. I had been so careful, too. I deleted my text messages, encrypted my emails, and changed my Facebook password weekly, just in case. I never took calls while we were having family time, and I had developed a list of fool-proof excuses over the years to explain my long nights, or the occasional odd scent of perfume or cloves. I had never intended to hurt her. The world is a screwed up place sometimes. Things had been fine for the first few years, during the dating and courting. I was allowed to be aloof back then. And then, after the wedding, we soared on the warm winds of love for a long while, and nothing could come between us. It wasn’t until Lisa got pregnant that I met my Lady in Black. Sabella. So innocent at fi
Abandoned ChapelThe parish waits now,the loneliness of cornerscrawling outward on wallschipped away by the wind;cobwebs align themlike the membranes of memories,the cut of a jewel in a broken window,(raingathering in a mesh of strandsa new Mosaic)My eyes seek out the sermon,paint no distancebetween headstone and cloud;elegies topple each otherin their climb to heaven(beneath nick and scratch)as light needles the shade,breathes new fire over candles,measures the weight in these empty rows,breaths that haven't ceased being prayer.
Blood From a Far Off PlaceQuiver full of bullet tipped arrows.The bow of aluminum my dad made in high school.I step into the sunlight on the south side of the house.I'm 12.I don't know why I pull the bowstringback to my eye, aim upward, and loose.Straight above my head.And the voice said, "You are a most common creature,though of a peculiar people."The Sun glints off the arrow's shaft.I shade my eyes and wonder how longbefore the arrow hits me. How long beforeI step aside. How long to decipher a riddlefrom a lipless voice.Now I'm 16.These days, I fire two arrows above my head.Wondering. Hoping.Bring back that voice.One arrow. Two seconds later, another.But the voice is silent.Those stone breasted marble menwho plunge deep the trident andlightning bolts heave, those armless maidenswith hoary teeth and frog's feet,the top-heavy eagle with a monkey's face,the knowers of vast things,the grayness of the vicious mountain crossing,the jury-blanketed understanding ofthe staff o
grouse magic.the birds & the butterflies all fighting & fucking like the bees back home, my toes browning under florida sun, my heart all fluttering & aching & pulsing purple gold & green, & I'm learning to let go. still, I look for pop-pop down each orange grove dirt road, knowing pop-pop is dead. & I reach for you in the passenger seat, knowing you're not there. this knowledge makes it hard to breathe until I dance, my heaving limbs throwing themselves into the beat with abandon, a ballsy balancing act. baby, bye. I drive, make temples out of muddy pastures, spend my last dollar on a music-man just so I can stop searching for your hand & I am howling with the wind, & when she howls back I am taken aback, as if in my search my breath stirs hers, as if I've tapped into the secret language of the world.
five hour energyi supposelast week was only an aftershockof the earthquake you were before.this place used to vibratewith metal strings and melodic,off-key shouting-testimonies to life,emitting coffee-scented moodsand the burn of it too.i had memorized thesounds of silence,a cacophonyso despisedi couldn't help but relish it.no longer had i knownthe sounds of folkand scent of mocha-you became nothing morethan an echo of the laughteri so desperately needed to hear again.then the echoes got louder,bouncing ferociously off the wallsto be made manifestand dissipate.i walked into your roomexpecting exactly what i found-an unmade bed,bare desktops,and an empty beer(the one that you insisted you neededjust days ago).i pressed my noseinto the pillowhoping desperately,begging silentlyfor incense and cologne and starbucksto penetrate my mindand thinking fervently"you bastard,i already knowwhat a clean sheet smells like."it's amazinghow strong an aftershock can be,but st
carousel of lovewinter creeps in on quiet feet, as do i; watching carefully from the lobby as the man i've come to love enters with snowflakes in his beard. he pauses for just a moment to shake some stray flakes from his jacket and wring out his scarf. i see and take note, but don't let him notice--i am too shy to face the consequences.he is completely unlike my ex; pale skin a far cry from the freckles of fantasies past. he is tall and slim with sincere eyes, and a beautiful set of thin lips that have never lied to me.he smells like mint and trees, scents that have occupied my car since the day he let himself in as i lost myself, wiping tears from my face with all the care you'd bestow a toddler.i had felt so stupid then--still feel small when he looks at me--but i'll never forget the fingers that flexed gently around my ribcage as he cradled me above the center console and whispered that everything would be alright.i'd have never believed a man could be so patient, except that i see it ev
if i hadn't had the drunk luck to meet youi’d have married every bedside witch from here to east dallasi’d have glistened like a worm to their mescaline psalmsi’d have mired in sinuous wineskin, repentant spectrai’d Om along in cooing groups, babble with freethinkersall my endeavors would be gas station derelictsall of my wrongs would be quasi-continuouseven the over-sought moon would protestand i wouldn’t recognize one half of the universe
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And back yet again to do what I had forgotten to do 19 hours ago: to fave your piece, which holds such lucid moments for me with a cornucopia of artistic grit.