a love poem at the speed of light,
telephoned with fines
a casual passion of comfort
in a coffee shop
a bus stop,
in oceanless waves
this city is despondent to the
the pulp of emotion soft
like melon, cramping like
dead legs of a spider .
a disconnect into fractions .
Within the garden of mathematics
there is color.
It is the only place we meet
and it is one million miles away .
it is a cosmic lunch,
a reflection into
the eyes of another
for a cup of soup
it is to paint with light the portraits of nobility
that lie forever lost in the
dominion of suns
an ultraviolet rose
In the light of the moon
7/11 is brighter than the sun
it sings prettier too,
like a romantic kamikaze
it writes itself down on
loose-leaf, professes its love
to be sugary ice tea showing
to a man painting flowers,
so covered in flowers,
that one might miss his halo
as he sleeps in the park
of a Queen
and painting nails,
the strawberry rose–
With luscious hair weeping
in the sewage.
We wear the same boots everyday.
Hang upside down on playground structures
Talking about the Nazi school system and
How mustard is more hardcore then ketchup,
So we eat our sandwiches with mustard seeds.
We are the younger siblings of drug addicted older brothers–
Who have drove off the cliff in a tin can bug
While it was on fire and they were having sex
With their depressed girlfriends, and we were
Just little girls in the punk rock pit.
We are stripe junkies and monkeys in plaid,
Surviving off hammy downs from bands of the 90’s
Obsessed with photo albums and our only pair of jeans.
So cliché that it is hard not to give a fuck about
The things that some say, so we buzz and bleach our hair
Hang out on the rocks at the rock bottom
We believe in anthems and we will sing to the death
In the workers revolution,
We will parade and we will play and some of us will jump up
On the stage, smash guitars and wave the flags that
We have worn for years on our jackets, the ones we have listened to
On the CD’s of our dead older brothers.
We are often inside on sunny days,
The functioning dump
Making love to ourselves in the basement and
Writing philosophy in the garage.
We go to school
We go to work,
We are the Bourgeoisie eating burgers
The balding uncles–
Funny as we lank around with a history you never cared to know
But eventually found out, and realized we were the unheard poets–
the inevitable losers
The virginity lit on fire at the end of a lifetime
so lame that it’s sad
As we fail at life
And slip into our 40’s,
When I pull the pink
thread in your ear
your brain gets thinner
and hums. It sounds
like so many
in an oil drum in
my chest. Your eyes
water and soften and soon
you’re a long pink thread
My poems are made out of rock packed snowballs and rubber bands. Of shitty pants and hot tamales, twisted sexual fantasies and childlike punctuational decision making. They are made with the melted core of your grandmothers corgi sweater pin and the germs on the backseat of a colfax 15. My poems nap three times a day and they eat only swedish fish and meatballs, they sometimes talk amongst themselves but they mostly disagree. My poems are made with the overall wired jog through Jell-O on dayquil, dayquil on nyquil, and nyquil on 5 shots of espresso and seven hearty slaps to the face. My poems don’t listen, my poems are selfish. They require the patience of an elderly fisherman and they charge me 19 dollars an hour. How dare my poems, how dare they! My poems hate clouds and trees and mountains but they love when I inhale poison into my organs, because my poems love when I do things that remind them of filth but they hate the things that seem pretty. They never shower and they have oil paint on the canvas of their letters. some of them are dipped in craft glitter and others are tarred and feathered, most of them are hand painted by a street artist in Peru, but she doesn’t always like to deal with their attitude. My poems flake apart because they are made out of clumps of sand. They are fun to crush in your hands, and specks of them always manage to crawl their way into your shoes, so they can irritate you all day. My poems taste like a stranger’s fingers. they pry like a succulent plant growing out from under your fingernails. My poems are my g-spot.
It’s been a while since someone has ruined me but around you I am formless, tepid.
I could tell you that, too – step outside this paper fort because you told me to be more conversational in my choruses and I told you to stop touching me. When you called me the smartest person you’d ever met, was it your plan to make me the opposite? To ask me up to your room, watch as I followed in front of you. We sat on the edge of your bed discussing the routes of artistry. You told me the key was connection between artist and listener, but you didn’t even get that right and you laughed and called me adorable in a tone that said ‘you’re wrong’. I told you it’s not so monotheistic; connection is between the listeners. It’s the crowd agreeing with itself over a prompt that the artist provides. I could feel you imagining. My shoulders, chest, how you would reveal them. The dimensions of my waist, measured by your hands.
But I was still thinking about Seattle swimming in Maypole circles around Kurt Cobain. And the floors and walls outside these walls had dropped off and we were a tower but I was lead, cracking the carpet beneath me, escaping unsuccessfully,
while the sound of your false surrender just grinned
“it’s not like that, you mean so much more to me.”
I first titled this, “Industry Poem,” and my throat swelled because I knew I would have to admit it. I retitled it, “not Industry Poem,” but your name is still there, bruising the page and your face is still in my face in my head, skin pleated like a bulldog and huffing.
Six foot and full of liquor he goes
I am where he has left me in the farmhouse on the floor
Zeus and his bolt of fabric
Upon his return he will beat me with a frozen block of jubilance
Into the orchard
Dance with me like a black bear chain-gang on a hotplate
To fill his bandolier with corkscrew cages
Chewing pills of sick white light
He is trying to make me soft
By grinding me into small pieces.
you are on air mattress status
still sneaking off with half
empty bottles of war songs
poured onto mountain frontage roads
you are standing inside an empty suit
six months emotionally sober
a riot horse wearing blinders
moving towards anything that feels like a wall.
Let Her touch you, boy.
Filed nails clutch your
limp cock to Her not
to make you a man but
boy this is how we fuck with a limp
you let me touch you and you let me and let me
in here She can see your stumble
Tears fall in my mouth
I sit crying while I pee
The water cycle
It is a trip home for migrants
in two or more halves.
My thin straw has siphoned out
this coconut's life-giving juice: afterbirthy
The bellied man with the machete split it,
his hands fat with dead skin. His face is a handbag,
UVA-seasoned—thanks to the hole in the clouds,
he’s seared to a brown that goes with everything.
I was nine. But the bellied men
gathered the soft rubber above their shorts
to sit with a soapy beer and protest
machete-based working conditions. Too many a good finger
lost, you know—
I have these coconut halves
and I want this to be pleasing, for you.
Like scraping meat from this surgical patient,
tilting white flesh into the valley of your tongue.
so that this stuff—textured somewhere
between an egg and whatever it is, I don’t know,
around a wet chia seed—
would get there.
Sometimes the stuff is known to slide
past your teeth and slip into the hole
between your gums that is fleshier,
and more remote.
When I dream myself a gender,
I am more walking blob who tells knock-knock jokes than human.
I am woman and boyfriend,
I am fireman and flame.
When I dream myself a gender
I am shaved head and tights,
heels and red nails, sweet pink lipped
I am all the fun of society’s girl,
bath bombs and honey,
but I am the actor.
I am the hickey on rib,
I am the ribless man from whom Eve was born.
I am the man with the makings of life.
I am mouth breathing dragon,
the feminine flame.
When I dream myself a gender I am tall,
slender shouldered and thin hipped
Not transcending, but fully existing
I started to preserve what, to them, must have looked like a whole lot of junk. But we knew better. There were six straight weeks where I spent my nights peeling back candle wax because, I figured, if I could keep transfiguring their form, our lights would never dim. By the end of the third day, I’d turned them all into molten brown, their melded wax dripping from my shelves, etching into the walls. I began to collect marbles and rocks, instead. Something hard that I could keep steady in my grasp, feel in my palm’s center. I slid them in the liners of my pockets for luck, postured them among the windowsill’s gardens. I placed soft-corned glass, eroded fragments, where the sun would hit them best, between the stamps and pinecones and chestnut shells, an empty brass round. The day you brought the dinosaurs—six miniature ones, colored plastic—I realized, maybe I wasn’t preserving anything, but building something instead. Something of myself or of the streets. Of an idea of a place, in a time I’d never been. We began to collect with fastidious care. Loving you for stooping with me, our bodies flat against the sidewalk, (that day we prodded fossils of gum, examining them by our pens’ tips) was the easiest thing I ever learned to do. We became sacred by way of selection. Three, tire-flattened bottle caps, and I can remember your face in each one’s frame. The way our thumbs bled, picking through piles of chicken-bone. The snap of the wishbone, of our smiles cracking, again, and again, and again.
my parents gave me this Bible as a roadmap but
it keeps bringing me
to these old, dusty
in the old, dusty corners
of the forgotten mid-west
grass jungles grow through
cracked concrete sidewalks
broken windows house ten stale
cigarette smoke ghosts
the gas hoses spit blue-green cobras
into my eyes.
visions of ben carson eating
the unborn fetus of
mother earth & babe the blue ox
flood my mind & overwhelm my eyes
I stand there vulnerable
waiting for a solution
before we all drown
in nuclear insect death.
This is the beginning of an autobiographical obituary
written posthumously and
narrated from the third space where
nearness and distance meet.
There are five things I can remember
without wondering whether or not they are true.
I am two points on opposite sides of the same map
with a large crease running down the center
from where I ran my pencil one too many times
trying to make a straight line on blank paper.
A fortune teller once told me I was never born
because my mother lies dormant at the bottom of a lake.
This is why I can only breathe when underwater
and I sleep best on the surface of the sun.
Yesterday I slipped into a sinkhole
and lost my only pair of shoes.
Tomorrow I will fall into the same sinkhole
climb out, brush off, and
find a chute that empties into the sea.
I once tried to speak but
couldn’t decide on which set of vocal chords to use
because when I look in the mirror I see that
I am as withered as a pair of hands that
spent a hundred years tanning its own hide.
I want to be buried in a shallow grave on the edge of a marsh
knowing I had my tombstone commissioned by a stonemason
who works only with the laminate paper of ID cards
and it would dissolve in the murk and mire.
That is all I can remember about next year.
I predict yesterday will allow me to exhale safely
but I tend to lie.