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
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
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.
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|.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Summer LoveWhen I was eight I hated summerIt was juice-box stickyand every day I scraped myselfoff my sheetsand poured my body into a glass.At twenty-two,I don't remember peeling my legsoff a wooden chair come June,but how our hands were damp with nerveswhen we held them,how the AC on the bus was too muchso my scarf became your blanket andwe ate curry with my parentsbefore I fell asleep on your shoulder.Or when you told me not to swim too far outand the ocean was too cold,how you got sunburned and I bit my tongueso hard holding back"I told you so"that I swear I bled,your eyes reflecting the fish at the aquarium,how you teased mewhen I couldn't stay awake through any movie.You bring comfort to the heat.I have forgotten other summers.
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Chapel WindowThe parish waits nowin wind-chip and scuff,the loneliness of cornerscrawling outward on walls;cobwebs align themlike the membranes of memories,the cut of a jewel in a broken window;through the raingathering in a mesh of strandsa new Mosaicmy eyes seek out the sermon,paint no distancebetween headstone and cloud;elegies topple each otherin their climb to heavenas light beams shear the shade,heave a new glow by candles,measure the weight in these empty rowsas if something came bearing downon the silence that never ceased being prayer.
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
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
VerbatimOn June seventeenth at 2:33 PM, Jacob Fantana falls off the roof and hits his head. This is the approximate time that Cory later gives him. It is a particularly nasty fall: The house they had been roofing is two stories, built on a hill. At the hospital, the doctors wreathe thick gauze around Jake's head and subject him to a series of tests. Rachel cries as Dr. Dubey explains that x-ray computed tomography has revealed a mild skull fracture and bruising on his inferior frontal gyrus. Jake stares without interest at the diagrams and fiddles with his bandages. He attempts to console Rachel, but he is embarrassed, and worried about his insurance copay.They keep him overnight for observation. As Rachel drives him home the next day, she repeatedly reaches over to touch Jake's hand on the armrest. He smiles politely and grasps her fingers in return. Through the window, he watches the bland streets of Sandusky pass by. The brakes on Rachel's Lumina whine quietly at every stoplight. Ja
Senryu Series 121.adjunct officeeven the printerstruggles2.patio naphe still wakes upin Iraq3.essay duehis grandmother diesagain4.cult documentaryanother gnatin the lemonade5.overcast,I choose not to roundher grade6.my renton the preacher's back,autumn wind7.corporate mergera new boss, the ageof my son7(b)corporate ladderthe boss graduateswith my son8.gossip blogthe same old batscircling9.turning 60even his shadowthins10.eviction noticeI purchase 10 acreson Farmville11.deep in loveshe invades my sideof the bed12.meeting her dada loose threadin my sweater13.newly weduntil debtdo us part
Flowers and RainA city full of flowers. A city full of rain.I watch over it through the gap in the crumbling brickwork. There's a little girl wandering in the street below. God knows how she got there. I can't see properly through the scope of my rifle, but it looks like she's crying.When I see her face I remember something I haven't remembered for years. I was her age when the evacuations happened. At least they started as evacuations. The word implies that everyone was following a plan, but it was just mass panic within a few hours. Still, we call those days the evacuations, because that was the word they gave us. That's the word my parents used.I remember I held my mother's hand all the way through the crowds. I remember the way I slipped out of her grasp on a bridge full of violent people. I remember being jostled and crushed by the rabble as I searched for them. I remember the taste of my tears.I brush my hair away from my eyes and watch her through my sights as she picks her way up the road.
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.