27 January 2010

Sell You, Lloyd

Somewhere amongst the creases and pops--
the fragrant past,
vagrant present--
there's a scene in vague technicolor
sometime after the big sleep
that reminds me of summer
and the crackle of expectations.
You quote James Dean or Lord Byron,
sweat in your bangs, eyes straining,
and I'm supposed to memorize along with you,
babble for Babylon.
Somewhere between the cells--the syllables--
of your words and the circumference
of your meaning, I find myself trying
so hard not to slap you.
I remember all of this so clearly, by accident,
tracing the veins you leave on paper folded
over and over, your arrogance a permanent stain,
word for word.

Buzz, Kill

Ideas, fermenting, isolated noises--
I pretend I'm caught off-guard, brain cells
evenly distributed, immersed in electric routine
instead of alight with new activity.
But I'm only kidding myself,
drunk all alone in a room half buzzed, half awkward.
By a show of hands, tell me who is soft and who is
ready to lay some goddamn plans on the table.
I know I'm ready. I'm dressed for the occasion,
combat boots laced tightly, cutting off my circulation,
but I know I'm ready. These ideas
are ready. Noises can only be translated when heard.

25 January 2010

Buttons and Pins

Cynicism is not insight, and arrogance is not confidence,
so put your damn feathers down. It's petty
to cater to the demand of microphilosophy, shaking our heads
yes while our wallets say no. This is the violence of ignoring
a country until two-hundred thousand people are dead.
This is the peace you're keeping, the piece tucked away,
crouched in words given more thought than action -- more "seem"
than "be," more "civil." Put your damn feathers down;
you're attracting no one. Meanwhile, I pretend
I'm unarmed. I feign this confidence, when inside, I want to yell
at you. You stole the smile in that picture, then the picture itself.
I hate you because I will never understand why.

21 January 2010


This tangle of voices won't
let me go -- all headaches and noir.
Fortunately, nothing is isolated, tangents aside.
Even the whispers make room. Even the yelling
streams over,
weaves under and over,
carries over
to make a connection.
Still, you won't even look at me.
Collected, we've sewn a tapestry of goodbyes so tender
it was never meant to hold together.
I'm not aloof; I just trip through shyly.

17 January 2010


Starved in public, I am
the paper
to move,
your hand over me,
under gravity's
constant spell.
I am artificial--
insect in amber,
a novelty trapped and adored.
Look at me--
Look at me--
frozen in place,
while you pluck
the gray hairs from your

15 January 2010

Out Last

Statistically speaking, we are outnumbered.
We are inconsistent. We are flailing
in front of traffic. Though we are few,
we are essentially hard to avoid, pecking
our way through crowds and cobwebs. I

repeat myself when someone talks over
me. I repeat myself when someone,
anyone, talks over me. My cells are
outnumbered by your cells. Voices scab
over other voices, other stories. Make way

for fresh wounds, statistically outnumbered
by old wounds, statistically outnumbered
by invisible wounds. I know that the sum

of these parts reflect the whole. I scribble
the truth, privately, because I'm outnumbered.
I am inconsistent. We ignore the flashing lights,
stare blankly ahead, still flailing. We forget how come.

11 January 2010

Soul Against Skin

The weight of decay is just shapeshifting--
what once was alive is now a different shape,

still enchanting. Color, shapes of lifeforce,
lazily puddle around what continues to be.

We distract ourselves with charts and graphs,
shapes tangible and raw, constant. Meanwhile,

the backlighting is all but forgettable;
we watch the colors drain through eyelid skin,

pretending to sleep, not peeking. I wish
I was more patient. I wish I understood.

When he said he was an orphan, I cradled
my own parents closely. We want to forget

that flies are attracted to rotting meat,
but we can't. Still, the rays bend over the form

like always, and behind the denial is something lovely,
shapes of minutes and seconds, pockets full of them.

10 January 2010

The Continuum

Heart line, head line, fate line
Phone line--
We are connected.
We are more than bubbles
escaping from a glass,
more than an irrational number
hiding in rationality.
We are connected.
I am the colors, the shapes,
the tongues of your people,
the freckle on the earth,
the rabbit down the hole,
greater than
the Great I Am--
We are connected.
I assume any energy,
any particle, any wave.
I assume the prickle
of gooseflesh on your arm.
I am the whir of the hard drive,
the engine, I am
the calendar year, I am any calendar,
I am the second between
the words you speak, I am
the treble in your song,
the inspiration for your song,
the muse in your dreams.
We are connected.
Whatever makes sense to you, I can be.
Your heart muscle keeps time,
keeps the rhythm--
the ultimate machine,
the ultimate portal.
Through it, we are connected.
The electricity in your heart, your brain,
the fabrics woven
to create you--
the ultimate portal.
Through them, we are connected.
The wind, the breath,
the ocean floor bathed in darkness--
the corners of each mind,
the secret of each child--
the unseen order, untouchable,
unbreakable threads connecting
all that ever was and all that ever will be,
beyond time, beyond measure,
beyond control,
beyond full comprehension and interpretation,
all mundane and significant,
all beautiful and overwhelming,
all fragile and alight,
all of them and all of you:
through them, through you, we are connected.

09 January 2010

Farewell, My Lovely

I seem to know
more about Dick Powell than
I ever did about you.

It's the opposite of goodbye;
it's as if you were never
there from the start.

I'm scared of seeing you now,
hearing your voice,
knowing you think I'm a liar,
insincere and troubled,
like the shadows
I imagine on your face.

It seems we have
too many
mutual friends. Sometimes,
what we believe about each other
is a matter of choice
or delusion.

I look behind me,
expecting a knife there.
I almost want to see it, because
then I would have an answer.
Instead, I'm blinded by gunfire,
and I don't know if
you were the one to shoot.

03 January 2010

Our Nature

My pages are perforated,
my time here
the ink
that stains the side
of your hand.
This is my guess.

When we are generic
we are also strange:
beasts in slacks,
dress shirts
gobbling up
dinner with our hands.

The poor animal
died by our front steps.
We'd seen him
that morning
not knowing he would be there
by the time we got home.

We run in such
tight little circles,
a universe
so small it's only a front yard.
We sleep
for good by those who love us--

warmth in
tight little circles.
We are all so strange,
edges perforated
in movable

A Christmas Wedding

I saved all the best
words, the best wounds,
for you. They became your decor,
fragile like winter.

I hesitate before these branches,
the weight on them equally careful:

We are all careful,
our bandages pristine, and you
are solitary, an ornament that clings.

02 January 2010

What's Carried

I realized my handwriting is starting
to resemble yours, eh-ches blending into ease.

We were talking about this when we heard the
glass breaking across the street: a burglar,

not genuine, as it was a drunk teen trying
to get back into her own house at three eh em.

We may never revisit the charm of identity,
the way I loop my els, the way I accidentally

cross them. I also sing more now, not proudly
or gracefully: I fumble each note; each verse

is a wobble. But I soon figure that it doesn't
matter. It's the will to sing that matters.

And I write that line down after I
say it, eh-ches blending into ease.