Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Subject of the Ocean

is not dead.
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?
my skin is
dry, ashen it hangs on the
papery staying power of itself
to drop flesh off the face
of my face

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Taking Leslie Down a Notch.

So that I don't go crazy.
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


This wall needs staring
stared into it,
good and hard and
using German fricatives,
his mind swears:
there's so much taupe
on these here walls.
Frick. atives.

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
them off.

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

Neighbors I Won't Ever Bring Cookies To.

What do you see where
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,
varietal colors

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

To Have and Hold.

When she told me of the instability of the night
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

This is Sometimes How I Pray.

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
mean well.
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,
a chalkboard
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

Solitary Confinement.

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
like this
pulsing breaths,
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.