26 February 2013

hudor, endure

We hold the same fears, the same troubles
washing up on the shore, rocks turned to pebbles,
smoothed by the waves crashing, the heaving, the sighing.
Secrets kept like broken
shells spit-up by the ocean--
we lie to ourselves,
and we have the misfortune
of washing up on the shore
all of our indiscretions,
our tiny hopes, sanded smooth.
Directly, we scope out
a safe place to lay our blankets--
not too close to the edge,
but not too far, either,
so that we can watch the sky meet the water,
introduce themselves over and over,
like forgetful lovers,
each creation
a rebound.
I am the sky
and you are the water.
I am the shell
and you are the sand,
brushing me clean and smooth.
How much of a flake am I?
Pieces of myself
flake off everyday,
and wash away.
How much of a lover am I?
I wait by the edge of the water
before I am clean and smooth.

25 February 2013

Waiting to Spoil

We broke each other's hearts,
cracked thin little shells over the heat.
It happened gradually, with clumsy hands.
We let each other down,
not easily, not intentionally,
but we let each other down:
our hands hard, our fingers joint-less,
holding each other's hearts
over the black gas stove.
                                                     We punctured the membranes
with our sharp little traumas.
When the insides cooked,
the scent filled our nostrils
and we questioned whether to feast
or to turn the heat completely off
and let the evidence of our failures
grow cold and stick to the sides of grief,
waiting to spoil.

21 February 2013


The problem was
she had a little black book
and my name was written on every page.

- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Little red frenzy--making fresh wounds,
wrapping tourniquets around dark hair, dark eyes,
all while healing the femaleness,
the blood fresh, arriving in pulses.
Somebody's daughter is missing,
her face blurred in pulses,
her hair on fire
in a little red frenzy.
Swallowing air, lungs swollen,
she floats, all dark and red and tired.
Her femaleness, all sterile and new,
dries in the sun
as she floats to the top,
the very top,
the very ceiling
of her prison,
the name of her former lover,
the name of her savior,
the name for her fresh wounds.

19 February 2013


My mistakes
engulfed in flames:
that, or my failures
plucked one by one,
each a rotten tooth in the dog's mouth.
Guilt never did anyone any good,
but here I am, after the fact,
writing letters, pleading my case
to unseen juries, my fate as cliched
as some other romantic's,
whose hopeless, blackened fingers glide across
the text of innocence, experience.

Dicks have it so much easier.
They owe no explanation.
They smoke in my car.
They flood their eyes with their own feel-good wisdom.
They welcome me, cardigan over their shoulder,
into their home,
where I feed their cat
and stack their junk mail.

My mistakes
etched on peeling wallpaper:
that, or my failures
written sloppily on foggy glass.
These are the products of my hysteria.
These are the results of my experiments:
a basement destroyed,
bricks projected, like teeth
during a boxing match.
Romance fails me; I fail it.
The toothless dog lies still, gums raw,
and stays clear
of the burning house.

15 February 2013


New Latin,
"little key,"
from its shape.

I am the star on your clavicle.
I am the air trapped in your throat.
I am your moonsign, your opposite.
I am the lavender on your pillow.

And yet, I am not here.
I am not here.
The pattern of steam left on your window
spreads to the corners of your heart,
and your large brown eyes
care not to witness the frost
I leave behind.

Maybe I can arrive.
Maybe I can be here,
and maybe I can stay.
Maybe it's safe, and I can
allow the star of your kindness to shine
on my own clavicle, where you decide
to plant your key, your kiss.

14 February 2013

Maine Dile Se Kaha

I'm trying to forget the poetry I wrote in my mind years ago, lying next to him, tracing the constellation of freckles on his arms. I called him my year-round valentine, and I folded the tiny piece of paper over and over before slipping it into a more conventional greeting card, whose delicate, pale insides mentioned nothing about private jokes using special voices.

Those voices, though special, are in the distance now, and they're no longer piercing. Canned laughter follows me, the shape I've become, the space I warmly occupy, solitary and safe. I remember smelling the cinnamon of his jacket. I remember our first fight. "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," he said, and I spent almost seven years trying not to,

and mostly succeeding, except when I failed, and he cleared his throat, and I wept. I'm trying to forget the poetry I wrote in my mind years ago, lying in bed alone, dividing my care between the cold space next to mine and the confessions brewing in his brain. I had wished I were his country, his school, his job. I had wished I were older, wiser, all healed-up. My eyes grew darker, and it was harder to distinguish his freckles from stars, his anger from worry. The constellations bled together, their wisdom now hidden.

Someone is playing an Indian melody as I write. Her voice cracks and strains; her heart breaks. I wash down the remaining symbol of my embarrassment and try to forget the poetry I wrote in my mind years ago, when love was new, its delicate, pale insides mentioning nothing about the private jokes that aren't funny, the special voices that crack and strain.

08 February 2013


- pills and metal for breakfast
- metal is always an accident
- thinking about salty kisses and avoiding Valentine's Day, avoiding metal, avoiding red and pink and other fleshy colors
- he said he feels like unclaimed baggage, even though it was a choice
- it takes a lot of time just to figure out lunch
- ordinary lives, shaped by unclaimed choices
- "unclaimed choices" is an oxymoron
- milk, milk for lunch
- intersecting research categories with lovelessness, divinity, footprints in the snow
- the cold ends life, draws new categories, fleshy colors from rawness, lovelessness
- avoiding, avoidance, staying in bed, rescheduling, redressing, addressing depression, avoiding circumstances involving humanity, reorienting oneself with animals, with snow, with copper pennies--dropped, neglected, wet and cold
- old tea for dinner, left in a cup in the fridge from yesterday
- plotting confusion in my diary, connecting each dot until a figure, a road, emerges, fragrant and new
- there are many roads now, where there weren't roads before: do I go to school, do I teach, do I draw, do I write, do I connect these thoughts with semi-colons, do I wait for someone else, do I wait for myself?
- do I get my shit together? which new road do I trace with my fingers, with my intuition?
- meanwhile, snow gathers, nestled between syllables
- more pills for breakfast

05 February 2013



Translucent, transient: if I were somewhere else, I'd be omnipotent, or at least some sort of nomad. Instead, I translate various graphs onto fucking sand paper and negotiate my invisibility with the cat. Is this adulthood? Or, more pointedly, is this womanhood?


Today, a brother schooled me on subjects that were already familiar. His advice and know-how wrapped themselves, tentacle over tentacle, around my small intestine. Do I not know enough about feminism? Do I not know enough about poverty? Am I competing with him, somehow?


There was no whipped cream for my hot cocoa. The focus, the concentration, was on chocolate. (Because I'm female? Fuck you.) Therefore, the ten-minute conversation about whipped cream did not need to happen. I'm fine without whipped cream.


Translucent, transient: if I were somewhere else, I'd be omnipotent, or at least some sort of nomad. Instead, I'm superimposed on a section of the straight male psyche, a small blip in the corner of some dude's brain, the white foam of my existence depending on how many times I allow myself to be interrupted, to be scolded like a child. Like a child, I'm feeling my way, my invisible fingers clutching hopeless ideals. Meanwhile, he speaks of liberation while trapping me in a fucking coffee shop.

01 February 2013


Confusion is a beautiful barrier,
a sound that's soft in the mouth,
but jagged just enough to notice.
Who wants to be held then heard,
heard then held, pain and triumph
cross-stitched so tightly, the seams don't show?
Who wants their fear to be seen whole,
then redrawn, shape for jagged shape, from memory?

I want to know who's whole.
I want to know whose thin fingers
are wrapped around my fear.
I know this is sloppy, but I want to know
whose time is stretched from my window to theirs.