Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I am from the two children
kissing in the basement
and warbling sopranos
with pink nails.
I am from you, from the deep red
of you, from the caves of your heart
that wanted me,
that kept me.
From the asbestos to the linoleum,
I am from the basement and the bed,
from your jeans that widened,
from your hair that whitened,
from your arms still strong,
smelling cold cream.
I am from the maple tree
that was doomed to fall
but never did. The tree lost
a limb, soft wood inside,
drops damp leaves, is
a raccoon bed at night.
Its voice is the ocean
in autumn windstorms.
I am from mourning,
from bowls of cereal spilled
on the floor and crunched underfoot.
I ate, I destroyed,
and you cleaned the floor
with a wet cloth.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Bea is a woman and
I mean WOH-man
with curves aplenty,
with vast pants and
Her kitchen floor
is cleaned by me,
thanks be to a check
where she writes my name
down, still misspelled.
Down the shelves,
dust bunnies hop into cloth
suiciding at the smell of lemon:
Bea, I pledge to keep
your books to shine.
Evident she reads:
I spell out down the line
with titles like
Sensual Massage and
matching CD, Understanding
God, My Name is Red,
Three by Annie,
every poem Collins wrote,
people he read,
dead people, sick people.
When we first began
she told me, Once a month,
she dates someone,
Through the internet.
Come later this Sunday.
Chris and I like to sleep in
Her back door unlocked
I make sure to knock
in case they are naked,
full and waking.
This morning her man
walked out without,
de-shirted, left tiny hairs
on the bathtub tiles, and
her laugh was round.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
If I were to write something serious
if I were to ever do a thing
it would be to make note of the fact
that I've never seen you comb your hair,
more of how it roars
around your serious face
and purrs down each night
into deep pillow creases.
Monday, June 27, 2011
we are four:
four pairs of feet, the
occasional callous or blister
where one sits
on the sidewalk of her watch
watching it all
the gravel skidding,
up for her rights like
her boss man told her not to and
o she stands, with fists pumping
a fire building
behind the bricks of what she sees;
with a wide pink tongue,
profligating the word of the future
the words found hidden
in bread crusts,
in dust crumbs
in wainscoting, job hunts.
I cut off all their crusts today
garnished the air with them
tried to drown it in beschamel
and whisked the dried skin away,
watching it fall
onto the shoulders of my sweater,
into the pan of melted butter and rue.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Bloom, rest there,
simple and soft, sink down
with petals open for my neighbors to see;
the flower on the balcony
wearing no clothes but its stamen
staining the skin under my nose, brushing
its fair white hair, damning me to hell
each hole I bore through the swell
of those five fingers stretching, bending
in the stillness, in the breeze.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Here travels the night
breathing a welcome on the ten-o-clock train
its throbbing lit windows, watching
homes with a chair for you,
offered up for you.
There must be a Hank Williams song
playing softly on the piano in that back room,
the tune remembered,
the words mostly gone,
as train tracks drum their clacking teeth,
the murmur of night,
nothing but dark, white noise.
You are drawn to lists:
moths to garish light,
middle-age men to pissant beer
hookers to their electric lipstick
deep in clutch purses,
like cats to cream
and by the time your similes run dry
so do your eyes run wet
with something deep at your burning core:
red hot ash,
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Blaze me on your jacket,
boy, the little finger tickles you send
up my spine and cerebellum,
they kill old antebellum skirts
in their eager largess. Enough
definitives, stress, unstressed
feet making time and sense
of the nonsense I make.
Why do I wear lace
when I long for rip free denim hardware,
rip-free and non tear
caked in clean brown mud?
See the curving belly roll
each jean fold
the pucker of sultry jean that calls
every hour or two
it asks if you made it home safe
if you need a ride
did you have that other shot of whiskey,
or did you need to stay the night.
I’ll kiss you on the cheek and tuck you in
The sofa beds down for the night
having loved on people like you.
Here travels the night
whispering some vague welcome to me
through the windows of lit village windows.
Of homes with a chair for me
offered up for me.
There must be an old country song
playing softly on the piano in the back of the room,
the tune remembered
the words mostly gone,
train tracks drumming their clacking teeth
and the whirr of the night
nothing but dark white noise.
I am drawn to lists
like moths to garish light,
middle aged men to cans of beer
hookers to their plastic pink lipstick
in the bowels of clutch purses,
like cats to cream
and by the time my similes run dry
so do my eyes run wet
with something deep at the burning core:
red hot ash,
Sunday, April 10, 2011
My sleepy papa slept on, piecemeal, lightly;
how, when I waited, when I picked up stones
I didn't break his still pond surface, soft and mossy.
He scratched me with his beard all rough, unclean, and gray.
He couldn't bring himself to shave, left himself messy.
And so I tell you, over and over, your face
is open, smooth, deliciously wrought on corners,
a dot-to-dot of spots, freckles here and there
handing me a pebble, to let me in
the algae dark and deep, till I fall.
My eyes, open underwater, see there
skeleton fish tails, roaming
orange duck feet treading water,
concrete and naked below the surface plankton.
Monday, March 28, 2011
hills, mountains flat and plateau
East to West. Wait,
West to East.
through Idaho, once, a trip
of there and back again,
this time no stout ponies, no
we're in a Volvo this time
gliding over terrain I knew
in the cinema screen I keep
on the back of my skull. This land
had to be, and I see you, but wider.
Hello wide open,
hello barn doors. Frost and froth trees.
Hair that freezes,
makes dusky crystals to break wide open
my heart pouring out in headlight mist
Eyes to the tilled earth
slow turn the furrowed chocolate.
It closes its eyes each winter,
whispers away bye and till
the ground bursts spring.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
on the cusp but never in one place
skirting the edges of ponds like dragonflies
avoiding the roots and tubers because
Come spring I shed my scalp, my skin
proclaiming to you a sign of all things new
but asking for the same green-eyed answers
at every new year and
now my tattoos are razor sharp
but I fear the day when they will fog over
my bellybutton dandelion fuzz blown off
and I reply:
It just is.
Trace them, she shows ink into inky night.
Space them with your fingers;
I might tell you what they mean
in the darkness
followed by the sound of rain.
If you're lucky. You might kiss my lips, you know.
The world is iron fist
I hope my body becomes a soft cushion
for all I know;
stroke my head, it's a porcupine making love.
Our eccentric mother will reply at the end of the day,
it just is.
Oh for more.
Monday, March 21, 2011
the rain came indoors,
through basement drains;
water clung to the wet neighbor dog.
Bones were cold and clueless
Now my lips lack moisture,
white ash and dust
shrivel round the red peach skin red
that used to be, but now isn't
Friday, March 4, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I climb up tree drainpipe,
drip honeydew in summer,
sweat down the small of my hide.
And all the moonlight hippie titties,
naked if they want to,
nip off diamond droplets,
disturbing the water
our strings long plucked,
the wind shakes branch buds,
sends browned petals down
to their death, to their drowning.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
chilly wind and snowy weather.
It is difficult and words come slow.
The brain has an uncanny way
of being able to hold itself
gray mass pressing outward,
so outer pressure pressing fissures open
encounter innards pushing back
I have not written for some days, but that does not mean my eyes
examine wet mulch any less
than they did last week,
that the green buds are not doing their best
to shed dead skin cells and rejoice
like they did last year
and the year before.
That year was the year bees were going extinct,
at least, the year the press cared.
If I tried to help all the bees
trapped in all my jars,
that love would be volatile.
Now I don't own a single jar with a lid.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Not yet. Until I do
I flirt at the wide eyed little girl,
hand in her pink mouth,
sneakers pointing up from the floor
and out the foggy windows.
Her sneakers have shark teeth on them.
She's cooler than I am.
I don't know why but
the american poetry I read
and the Neil Young they play
are better early in the day;
I read places the I haven't been
into rolling scapes
invading the little shop,
crowding red-eye patrons against walls,
the breezy dry grasses doing their thing
in front of me.
The barista with his tribal tattoo
changes the CD and goodbye:
John Wayne and Neil Young vanish.
Now Bjork complains through the speakers.
Icelandic whining and piled high black
hairdos do music. The people grunt disgruntle.
I note the nearest exits.
I like my land made
not of fire and ice
but of rain and fog
made of misty fabric
that evaporates when it turns corners
A place with piles of wet paperbacks that can't sell
with old Norwegians and Swedes in sweaters
where I kissing your chapped lower lip,
licked up the blood I made.
I like the land to eke outward,
expanding from the earth's core
up and in, out
eating us up because it can,
not because we want it to.
Monday, February 7, 2011
ringlets going round unsuspecting freckles
that didn't know but to attach to your face.
Structure you may have,
the iambic lines of your body
carry you up and firm, straight and strong
the shutters to your blue
eyes close their blinds sometimes
open for a few
close shut again
the curl upwards of a brown lash or two,
the brow rippling sand dunes,
making the dotted waves of your ginger skin
unsettled, earth shattering. Quaking, though
I just said hello.
Friday, February 4, 2011
You're always friendly and maybe
Tyson is on the floor, all brown
I'm on the top stair
the wooden stairs, oak,
with knots from past lives.
Sometimes we end the stairs in joy.
Mary Oliver buried her kitten.
I bury the past
with its mossy overgrowth
covering my apartment door,
its thrones without dictators,
no kings or queens
but serfs in the field.
My face turns to the sun to feel it
while I knead bread.
But for now I climb the stairs.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Nor will it ever
The foam is white
all right, take it
and run with it, in your hand
on the land, the tan sand (no, too much rhyming there)
and I hate great white sharks, anyways.
But if I say "thought":
I think, he thinks, you, she, me thinks
does each wave lap
a dog at his water bowl
trying to remember
what you had for breakfast?
Saturday, January 22, 2011
So that I don't assume who she is
where she's been
what she's done,
the men she's done and left
since no one—no, not even I
—admit fully to what has been
behind closed doors.
through the front door of my house.
We invite you to wipe your feet, but
keep the dirt to yourself. Please,
we might break if we heard just
That's why, my dear friend and enemy
watery woman I love to hate
transient as the wind inscribed
into the pages, made concrete:
see my assumptions made hollow, not
Stepping on old sand patterns too
like you, I’m
fucking up, mucking up my words,
sending them raining down in darts.
Please forgive me
and the inadequacy
of my words.
This woman is not my mother
did not feed me her breast,
but Lord what if she had?
Sunday, January 16, 2011
stared into it,
good and hard and
using German fricatives,
his mind swears:
there's so much taupe
on these here walls.
Don't answer the phone.
Don't do it there
it is again, ringing the
hook off the wall
till the paint chips
chips chip chip chips
and you pick picks pick
Sometimes I'm so perky
when I talk about
what is me, what color
this wall needs or what
you need, me, sometimes.
It's just as good to get:
get some air.
Monday, January 10, 2011
you look, straight ahead, when
the lights are light pink against city dark, who
are you tonight, why are you tonight, with me, this one?
Rows of houses are stacked, a color box of waxy crayons
glowing orange, fluorescent blue, grade school glue white
all of us living
on top of one another
like a carton of eggs,
next to one another, each of our shoulders touching ever so closely
feeling the warm breath of our neighbors next door
from underneath the covers
where we play with the fuzz
between our toes.
Here the stories grow.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
there was nothing left to do
but to hold
my hands out, red staining the fingertips
dripping onto the sheets
from someone who had stabbed her
not meaning her any harm.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The pressure, there it hides
in your brain, in your brain
a growing feeling slowly driving you
over quick asphalt on highway 101,
driving you insane.
All that pressure.
All that build-up, they say, hush.
Too much at the nape of the neck.
It's no wonder
he felt the need to go this way
one day in sun-filled ice-chilled January.
It's that time, they say
checking the wrist watches they don't have
on naked arms under cotton.
better get that checked out
tapped out, looked at.
Sometimes this feels like a black grab bag.
Not all hands that stroke shoulder,
press fingerpads into soft wrist skin,
reach out for a body to hold it
Just because her skin is warm
doesn't mean her heart is, too.
Now it is a tomb froze over.
When she runs her nails up and down
the fabric of the spine of the woman
icily seated next to her
what does she mean?
Perhaps they are friends.
Perhaps they could kill each other.
Is her victim a scratching post,
or is her long forefinger spelling into the back
"all will be well tomorrow"?
And will it?
Write in groups of threes for completion,
for the circle to let us breathe,
for the stiffness of her spine up
down to the relaxation of bones deep into the chair
the tension's been gone a few hours
all will be well with my soul.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Last week I lost my brain in a quiet dark room:
there it is,
in the corner.
When my eyes are gouged out I grope the walls.
No shapes but gradients,
shades of black.
Cracks of light under the door frame.
If midnight could breathe it would sound
A touch wet.
This is the room my mind goes to
while it thinks,
debating when to open the front door
or to wait till next Tuesday.