Tuesday, November 06, 2018

america, the beautiful


here i am.

you look like home to me
       (whatever that means)
inviting as a slice of apple pie

built like the face of a cliff
the kind you wake up early to see
              (so why do i feel so high and tight)
all measured gaze and
marvelous geometry
efficient lines and 
seamless joins and 
sanded sharp corners and
some surprising sculptural soft and

oh the ache.

such a treat
you make my fucking teeth hurt
       i can’t even eat
       for the water in my mouth


your good news 
and your bad news
all wear the same clothes
and the hole in your ink is as tidy as you are
and you make me want to take out all your practicalities 
       clean them here 
              right on the table
                     see how it all fits together
                                          and make it go boom


       (we perch on a city 
       that came to work on time after a rough night, 
       because mom and dad raised it right
       and that's the choice to make
       the whole place smiling dutifully into the sun
       fingers sliding on strings and gamely slapping woodgrain
       sounds so good you almost don’t notice the eyes
       but i notice the eyes.)



i’m wondering more than i’m asking
and i’m seeing more than i’m saying
       so i turn back towards the skyline
       and return to a familiar conversation.

i watch your mouth
while you talk about war
with a smile on your face
       such a smile on your face
i think about the sign of peace
scrawled over the muscles of your shoulder 
       (i bit it, some hours ago)
worked in woodstock sorbets.
those colors don’t run.

i may know what it is
to love such a lover
as war must be.
       but i may fool myself.


i didn’t come expecting a fight
but here i am 
my head against my hands

       somewhat stunned
       i watch it escalate
       my hands came here to win
       c’mon sweetheart 
                     just nudge away the do not touch sign and give it a try
                            it’s probably just decorative

head wins
but barely.

you turned on every light in the house and 
walked out 
right out
right into the night
what will the neighbors say
what have i done.

here i am.

(god shed his grace on thee)
(god would you look at all that grace)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fiction Song


In this blinking diary we share--

Scribbling stories, passing it along--

Swooning for each others' tallest tales;

Raising up the right aside the wrong

We have baked from scratch our better selves

From our meager pantries, wracked with doubt;

Knowing they look better than they taste;

Somehow sure that we'll be spat right out.

In each others' backlit window gaze,

Mannequins designed down to the stitch,

We have held the world at distance, so to blend

Truth with act; the granted with the wish.


In this thick taxonomy of loves

Elbowing each other in the queue,

One can only hold a place so long;

Every love that's waiting there is true.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

An Open Letter

I don't want to go to Uganda right now, dude.
I don't want to go to Uganda.
We're not breaking up; we're not locked in a row
I just don't want to go to Uganda.

Thanks for your worry that I'm missing out
On the Instagram trip of the decade
And for your concern that I've let myself go;
That I'll sleep in the boring bed I've made.

I know that you think every woman should want
To be absent her paramour never,
And that every BASE jumper that's worth his free shirt
Should be jumping to jump from wherever.

But even if I had a visa to flash--
Or the bangers to show up without it--
And even if I had the armful of cash
For the ticket, I'd cheerfully flout it.

Because, just like I chose not to fly to Tehran
And to make myself Princess of Persia,
I'm just doing less laundry, this week that he's gone,
Yet unslain by the club of intertia.

So I'm not going to go to Uganda right now,
'Cause I don't want to go to Uganda.
As it stands, I have something to do in Krakow,
And I don't want to go to Uganda right now.

Friday, May 13, 2016


a walking promise, worked in suede and stone
and stormcloud eyes and forest-creature grace
that unmarked door I couldn't leave alone
those velvet hands to press me into place.

you set about the task of tuning me
as if it's very obvious indeed
to spin my knobs of curiosity 
and hover hands over my waiting keys

pulled taut under your salty sideways smile
the better to sing back your downpour beat
your wild moon river, wider than a mile
submerges every warning you repeat.

plucked wiggle-kneed and sharp staccato giddy
stroked as a sleeping wildcat, full of purr
then thumped to match the soundtrack of the city
and tendered to a wavering whisper

and there's my heart, retightening the strings
as my skin's ringing like a fresh-clapped bell
with every very honest unsaid thing
bass umbral under every sink and swell

i drip with sound and sigh beneath your bow
and fade with the crescendo of the sun
to start the waiting, even though I know
you'll smash me, smiling, when the show is done.

Monday, May 09, 2016

those part-time blues

Watchin' another thought of you drift by
Under another distant, stormy sky --
           There's that familiar sting.
I'm half a map away and babe, I know
You're one sleep closer to lettin' me go
           And I can't do a thing...
           And I can't do a thing...
So I sigh with those part-time blues.

           Shhh, blues.
Got a full bush and several birds in hand
Stockin' a high supply for high demand
           Sweet blues,
We’ve been singin’ from the start.
           Shhh, blues.
To and fro, ain’t no space to call my own
Outside the one that you and I have grown
           "Ain't got no reason in all this world
           To weigh this spirit down
           But I keep pickin' your sweet love up
           And carryin' it around"

Thump, thump, thump, fingers stumble on keys
Scramblin' to catch your slippery quiddities
           "I got these part-time blues
           Nobody taught me how to stay.
           I got these part-time blues
           Nobody taught me how to stay --
           Half of me's standing here
           And the other's far away."
There ain’t no better m├ętier for me
Writin' your winkin' hagiography
           In pen, between my ears.

There’s those part-time blues, baby
And I can't help but sing along

Bourbon Street Sounds 1

Thursday, April 14, 2016

dia de los muertos

this graveyard looks precisely like a beach,
so only i can see the crowd of stones
aged into pebbles, battle-worn and bleached,
so many markers, begging to be thrown.

i left them here; we left them here; these graves.
we knew the sand was gushing through the glass;
we thought that--in the burial--we'd save
this us-and-we in sculptural impasse.

but tide and tide and tide and tide and tide
tickled these tombs until they split their skins
and what we oh-so-tightly tucked inside
unknitted; monachopsial and thin.

the people who once dug these graves have died.
new residents now stretch between their bones
and fill with new desires the stolen hides
that watch the others, every one alone.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


i loved you in the worst way.

the way that wrote your elegy
as i looked across a table
and saw,
at once,
why everybody wanted you
the size of the space
you'd leave.

because of course you'd leave.

your beautiful bodies
so sanguine
your belltower laughs, clanging, unignorable
the din of your belief;
the sometimes-slurring sermon of the fucking faithful.
i bit my nails for you.

god, i wanted you to stay.

your faces perch on my shoulder,
one after another.
i can feel your smiles.
and your party looks bigger than my party
from here,
howling like happy wolves
and pushing each other into the Styx.

but i am not there.

so i scan this pumping purgatory
for a secret wave-goodbye

and try to place my cheek against that chest
before the earth does.