Tuesday, November 30, 2010

feeling the shittiest

You’re a hungry fool,
and I, the simple man’s psalm,
the prophecy of the utero-cave, 
the umbilical vines
in which I’ve trapped my pen and hands.
The next season that reminds you of
the closeness of your death
will be stuffed with blank holly
and cinderblocks.
But this...
is not a verse to make you think.

I’m hooked to this life, dangling from a doorway
Neither in nor out
a smoke signal away and yet I can’t start the fire
a simple leap up but this fatigued body holds me in place
this hairy slumping body holds itself together
the carpet set numbly against the floor
like my mother’s dinner on the table
the vapid lights of an aging city
again, again, repeat, again
I know not this language I speak.

How to begin the stories of my life. 
And then, how to begin the stories of others. 
Finally, if attainable, how to begin the stories of the made-up, the unreal, 
how to turn the empty space into life? 
It is the work for God only, 
to big bang this thing from question mark to pen. 
Smiling, bright, shining, blinking life has left me. 
I know you’re out there, friends, stripping your clothes off, 
while I pen you down but will never understand the precision 
you give to unraveling the straps that dangle from your shoulders, 
the halfhearted toss of a belt and shoes,
that comprehensive look you give to your lover, 
or to the mirror, or to anything that moves. 
I have resigned from the comprehensive; 
nothing can sum me up anymore except the curve in a cursive arc. 
I am a word in cursive, 
left to the uncertain precise emptiness of the blue line. 
I am the victim of white space. 
I am a thought monster. 
And you will never remember your drunken fits.

Monday, November 29, 2010

good stuff

"Interior with Sudden Joy"
[after a painting by Dorothea Tanning]

by Brenda Shaughnessy

To come into my room is to strike strange.
My plum velvet pillow & my hussy spot
the only furniture.

Red stripes around my ankles, tight
as sisters. We are maybe fourteen, priceless
with gooseflesh.

Our melon bellies, our mouths of tar. Us four:
my mud legged sister, my bunched-up self,
the dog & the whirligig just a prick on the eye.

We are all sewn in together, but the door is open.
The book is open too. You must write in red
like Jesus and his friends.

Be my other sister, we'll share a mouth.
We'll split the dress
down the middle, our home, our Caesarian.

When the Bishop comes he comes
diagonal, from the outside, & is a lie.
He comes to bless us all with cramps,

mole on the chin that he is,
to bring us the red something,
a glow, a pumping.

Not softly a rub with loincloth
& linseed. More of a beating,
with heart up the sleeve.

He says, The air in here is tight & sore
but punctured, sudden, by a string quartet.
We are! In these light-years we've wrung a star.

I am small for my age.
Child of vixenwood, lover of the color olive
and its stain.

I live to leave, but I never either.
One leg is so long we can all walk it.
Outside is a thousand bitten skins

and civilization its own murder of crows.
I am ever stunned,
seduced whistle-thin

& hot with home. Breathless with
mercury, columbine. Come, let us miss
another wintertime.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

well done, poem-a-day

"He who binds himself to a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise."

-William Blake


my lips withdraw
my tongue withdraws
my hands withdraw
my very fingers withdraw
my eyes withdraw
and my nose withdraws
my hair withdraws
my feet withdraw
my nails, too, withdraw
everything inside of me that
makes me a woman withdraws
half the things I own withdraw
except this pen,
this pen does not withdraw
as my heart withdraws.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


The dishes clatter and chime as
my mother puts them away in
their rightful places.
Hard porcelain plates scratch together in
a raspy lament as fingers retreat.
Glasses clink and mingle in the drawers,
behind cupboards.
Hissing legato water melts from
the tap to clean her working hands.
My father raps on his aging keyboard
as the images around him darken
in the glow of his desk lamp.
He brings together lines to fashion
houses that families
will one day inhabit.
His parents glare solemnly at
the moving screen in the next
room, the next dimension, calling
out for silent help with the
washing machine, with the phantom
remote control;
alone among their pleas.
My brothers, friends, gods slam
together party glasses and
shout of love;
real, or artificial, or forgettable.
And I, upstairs,
somewhere in the dark and frothy
edges of purgatory,
can hear the sounds of the working day
from beneath the clatter of
messy heavens crying and orgasming
as they mesh with new hells.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

last night

The stuffed panda is coming apart.
My internal organs are comping apart.
Walter is indeed coming apart.
You know something about the body.
Speak up, then.
Advise me on the rope dangling from my navel.
Advise me on the bleeding, on the white stuffing.
Last night I applied bleach to my whole body.
The splotches faded while all of me faded.
Everything around me faded.
Some dreamed-up villain held a sword to my throat.
And to think, those things could happen in my own bed.
But I need some patching.
Patching and coping.
Fall asleep to a woman’s voice, oh Focus!
I don’t breathe the way she tells me to;
I breathe my way, my huffy burdened quick way,
The way that comforts me.
But he should, because I’m a-comin’.

Monday, November 22, 2010

my story in school publication

so my story "split" has been published in our campus news magazine, the perspective.
there are also a bunch of great articles on the site.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

i love

mark ryden. and leonardo dicaprio. and a mark ryden picture of leonardo dicaprio. mmm yes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Sleepless Season

We took off our clothes as fall drifted into winter,
the opaque stockings floated from my shivering legs
like leaves, unsure which dirty plot of land would be
their hibernating home.

We lost ourselves to the dirt
and you fell into sleep so quickly and with so much
blissful weight that I wonder why the same wind
didn't carry me to the same subconscious nights.

Rather, I sit winking in the still air beside your glowing body,
a leaf full of holes and clinging to some branch.
I turn my lovely colors and pass on here
and it is a slow, deep, sighing season,
until the spring comes, the way it always does,
and we wake from the icy bed and dress --

I wrap the black stockings around my dirty, crinkled legs
and watch your new green body drift away
toward the trees.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

gorgeous french poem

"Déjeuner du matin"
by Jacques Prévert

Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec le petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler
Il a allumé
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder
Il s'est levé
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis
Son manteau de pluie
Parce qu'il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Sans me regarder
Et moi j'ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j'ai pleuré


[I'd translate it, but it wouldn't be the same]

Thursday, November 11, 2010


A gothic October had the courtesy to go
when we winked it away in the candlelight.
November stretched her frozen arms around us
and we all sucked in each other's heavy warmth
on the second floor
where we drove around to escape the cold fingers,
the breaking telephone calls,
each of us clutching together to make a giant, inescapable
centripetal force.
But I don't know science
and you were a gem for the word.
I put my fingers to the cracked glass without looking
and November passed.

And the kids hung to the trees and the stars,
making love to the harvest moon
and Peter shattered a pumpkin against the wall
quoting "shema yisrael" as the yellow guts
flew up and evaporated, the seeds
caught and sticking to our hair.

ramble ramble ramble on

A square box white shoes leather hands coiled around a fragmented body all the things in the air and what they mean no more glue on my abdomen no more messages from the air the doctor, oh how he looked like Jackie Chan and there are so many damned places to go but no, this isn't about boys or drugs or the festival of lights or arriving late it's a series of images a pale road made of ink a lead tablet mounting to the finish and I wonder if I've fooled you in the way my hands move on things need to be done not in the frozen air and away from tawny death my thoughts somehow progress and bolden stop and I wonder if you know the things I know of rejuvenation of spells and wishes of empty interpretation of many pages and sources and sorcerers I'll prize you if you tell me what I think.

This isn't something to jolt the senses. Rather, I'm in my prime and it is time. I'd choose classical music behind a nearby door, a sign of something changing, rather than waiting. I'd choose a brigade of heavy dark brown metal doors with the paint peeling off before I'd choose to do this myself. A firm opinion of mine -- we'll never really "know" each other -- what is it to "know" a thing? Rather, we'll be barred behind sensual imagery, thick doors cascading over our inner selves, stuck up against ourselves, ready to die because of a feeling, a whim. A beep, a buzz that you're on my mind thrice. And then what? Agitation. Knowing is immediate. I'll make more signs, you'll respond in your usual numb gestures, and nothing will be proven. Passive tense. Passive experience and relation in passive gestures. Eliminate the bodily senses, like an odd mucous, and get to the dry core of the feeling. Okay, what is it? Do you "know"?

i need more unity

burn off the residue of the former year --
the sticky substance between your fingers and legs.
you were so out of love that you quit politics
and they told you to send your thoughts down the river
like the newborn messiah,
just keep breathing and they'll grow great.

fall came like hot water,
melting ten fires inside you all at once
and you picked up the applebasket of your mind
and sprinkled its innards with thick honey
then you cleansed your hands but
the dirty soap smelled too much like semen

and your head -- the dirty stinking messenger
of an unknown god, boats floating ashore
you were all trapped with nowhere to go but
in, in, inside, deep within and in.

and that was a beautiful day
but now I count the hairs on your beautiful head
and they are burning out from the inside.