Friday, December 9, 2011

it rains

the pink pills washed down with the bottom of
any bottle
the dizzy dreams they induced
the way the white lines on the road
seized and twisted, looping back
to trap you in the tracks you took

and still you went on

peptobismol and monster from
was it a kangroo or a couche tard?
maybe it was an irving
but the buzz didn't clear your head
still your drove on
into a dawn that renewed you
a little

more coffee?
there's a woman that could
be your mother
but she's probably not
watches you with worried eyes
sets a plate in front of you and you
look away
but it smells better than you'd
imagined it would

thanks, you say
you look at the clock
with the birds
gotta hit the road soon,
you say

and you do

a pier, and salt wind, and sea
you're really dying this time
or maybe that's a hangover
you're really dying this time
but you don't so much mind
rotting seaweed and brine
this time this sunrise won't
save you
and the rotting salt stain wood
comes up at you
fall down
and it tastes like 
kissing a mermaid

someone far away sees

the bed
doesn't sit right
but maybe that's just so many nights
on couches or
asleep in the driver's seat
your skin cracks
twist, toss, turn
too hot and too cold and
the light changes too fast to
derive any meaning from it
laying still spins faster than moving
ever did
always thirsty
the glass of stagnant water's
almost always empty
not even half full

the stars on the ceiling glow
the sheets always smell clean
one day
it rains

Friday, November 11, 2011


and know
there is a black place
with stars
and it is your heart.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

swallow don't spit

and when
it tastes like sadness on your tongue
sinking in and staining -
swallow don't spit

Friday, November 4, 2011


Oh man. So tired. Far too tired to care about my sad little characters and their sad little lives. But no worries, I'm only say 5000 words behind. Maybe six. No big!

I keep having great ideas for poems though... 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


my hair once famously swallowed an entire continent
back in the day, when it was long and sun streaked
and i wouldn't let anyone wash it
locks of cherry stain auburn hair like tentacles
reached out to pull atlantis in,
engulfing it before they'd even seen the sky grow dark

its appetites grew tamer as i grew older
and it confined itself to snacking
earrings, family pets, keys, and homework
until, tired of perpetually picking my own locks
i cut it off

it's growing again, slow but steady,
like jungles spreading out to reclaim abandoned earth
lately i find my hairpins disappearing
ten today, lost to the dark depths
soon it will have moved on to cars and bicycles
and maybe states,

but i am resigned.

it's worth it if you'll tug the tangles out
and knot your fingers through carnivorous chaos

we didn't need nevada anyway.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


My darling readers. Sad news for you poetry enthusiasts. Next month is National Novel Writing Month. Yes, I do that too. And since it takes a wee bit more effort to write even a baby novel in a month, poetry may be a little short on the ground. Or I may write it as I procrastinate, who knows. But please forgive me. I love you all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The 99%

My words are on strike.
They say they will not longer express me.
You're too convoluted, they say.
Too complex and too bittersweet.
Say something nice, they say.
Something simple but resonant.
They say they are the 99%.
They are dissatisfied with this administration.
They would rather scrawl slogans in sharpie
and wave them at passersby
then involve themselves with art.
You're being a romantic again, they say.
There's no time for that in this economy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

her petunias

the flowers miss me when i don't come by
fall, and fade to lurid smudges on the sidewalk

i am nowhere near as elegant as her petunias

without you i dissolve
to mucus and salt water
and dry into the bedspread

easily forgotten,
the hollow smell of it
gone in one wash

Friday, September 16, 2011

open doors

the girl you knew
gypsy child you found
wasted on the wayside
who took all her comfort
from the storms she chased
and loved you only
in her backward glances

what happened to her?

the girl you know
has nothing to say
to freedom or to highways
but opens like a door to your touch
and offers up her wrists to bind

Thursday, September 15, 2011


the candle on the altar flickers
making even Our Lady's face look wary

while it sends my prayers to heaven
in the heat and smoke,
i stay firmly grounded
in this bed alone

while the silence drowns out
the hum of the air

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


mixed metaphors
like mixed drinks
will sooner or later
give you a headache

Thursday, September 8, 2011

cloud cover

clouds cover the moon
cut the girl off from her gods
on a still night
when the only sound is cacophony
of the ritual storm
brewing in her back garden

she's listening
yowls and clatters
more she's hearing silence
no sound of salvation

the darkened moon
leaves no light
and the shadows slip in
entirely invisible

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


i'm sorry, vermont
never meant for you
to be caught in the deluge
never meant for the floods
roads washed away
brattleboro under water

i'm sorry irene
never meant for you
to take the blame

for the utter destruction
of a girl turned to rain

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

warning signs

when the sign said
'road closed'
i stopped the car,
got out
and walked

hurricane days

my heart has swollen up like the river
left me in a state of perpetual anticipation

i check the mail, every day, early
clearly expecting something
more than change of address notes
more than coupons

i wait on floods that don't come
tie down lawn furniture.
at the supermarket,
we buy water and endless breakfast bars
but really, i'm not drawn to the canned goods aisle

hurricanes and earthquakes.
i could watch the world burn
and believe it's the end of days
but i'm too busy waiting

Saturday, August 27, 2011


i miss the bruises
where tiny stars exploded
under your skin

Thursday, August 25, 2011

cabin fever

winter comes early
here in the north
i think your body
lent me all my heat

and now you're gone
the flush has faded
left me cold

cabin fever, left untreated
spreads soon to the heart

which is to say,
i am freezing,
and afraid.

(please love me)

three a.m.

yes, you're right -
i have a heart.

and maybe
you're right
and it's broken

i'm afraid you might be right
a third time
and that
my heart is cold.

that being the case,
i can hardly ask to keep you warm

three a.m is unkind
the same old circling self doubt
and i don't call

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

the wrong choice

the witch's deck lay,
on the edge of a shelf
the faded cards
blue and white
casino pattern
no holes
and held together
with a stretched out black bauble

she watched them
too practical to think
that they watched her

and eventually made the wrong choice

the witch's cards
lay, spread
across the cherry stain floor
of her room
a horseshoe
pointing in directions
she didn't care to go


impregnated with black ink
my skin began to bloom
and bring forth fruit
truth like ripe pears

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011


the sun has kissed your breasts
left them touched brown
my pencil too, has kissed them
mirroring the sun
i envy neither

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

two can play

i'm no angel
still i believe in them
the only explanation for the feathers
i shake out of our sheets each morning

nor am i a rose
despite the thorns
but i planted a garden full
mismatched riotous splendour

you however,
i imagine clinging to the warm brick
of the wall that gives you all that solid strength
and tilting your face towards the sun that gives me mine

you know how i feel about roses
my garden has room for one disparate flower more
pick any colour you want to be
i don't see a problem here

we know
what butterflies and flowers do
with their free time


unwieldy metaphor aside,
i'd turn the pages of your heart
lick the still beating blood of it from my fingers
turn again

(if this was your poem,
there wouldn't be any blood
but i don't doubt
love writes in blood)

and yes, i'd smile
don't i always smile?
smile, and turn away

but what is it
you always say?
(besides 'don't hide from me')
you always say,
'you know'

i know.


in the aftermath of last night's storm
i sit, smoke, survey the damage
in a world now so sun-drenched
it defies even the existence of rain

lots of branches down, trees
but it'll be okay
none fell on the roof this time

even if one had
i have faith in our insurance
thanks but no, state farm
i'm doing okay

Friday, July 15, 2011


i want to kiss
the seagulls
that hover on your lips

they want to fly away

but i say,
just wait
one moment

just one moment

i want
to kiss you

Monday, July 11, 2011


you brought me roses, she said
worth it, i replied, for your smile
and felt like an idiot
so trite, so cliche

so many, she said
and with the thorns still on
it seemed apt, i said
and felt insensitive

she wove herself a crown
her fingers bled

Thursday, July 7, 2011


i have this problem
that when we fuck
and your hand is right there
(oh God, oh God, oh God)

i can't help thinking
of the first rain

all those perfect shapes
perfectly falling
in a perfect void

and it's so good
i want to scream

Saturday, May 28, 2011

no roses

and we, we don't make love
no romance and no roses
not here

because when we fuck
(we fuck)
love manifests
athena, fully formed
too strong for any
two word verb

when we fuck
God burns in the space
no longer between our skin

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

this is not

this is

not because you sent me more love letters than i could ever burn
not because i stretched my world across your too stable frame like a tent
nor because i have the love to forgive your sins and love you still

this is because when i see you, i soar like a soul to God

Saturday, April 30, 2011


if it ain't broken
well i guess
you better break it

and if she ain't crying
what's your smile for?

they only put that door there
for one of you to walk out

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


ave maria,

full of grace


the soft skin

under her knees

the tears on her lashes

melting mascara

trailing like exhaust

over the sky curve

of one cheek


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


turn up the lights in here baby, extra bright*

lights so bright they bleach me bone white

bare every stretch mark blemish scar

strip us down to muscle and tendon

void of all the things that keep us safe

the walls and barricades and labyrinths

of skin and ward and silver

in the stark exposure of the overheads

you'll see me for who i am

that, not the fat on my thighs

may destroy us

*kanye west - all of the lights

Monday, April 25, 2011


such a pretty girl
always hiding from my camera
i carried memories of you
in my wallet instead

the bruises on my lips
were the best gift you ever gave
if only they didn't fade
so damn fast

Saturday, April 23, 2011

in defense of mermaids

all my life i've been watching people drown

my name on their lips as they swallow down salt

what's the point in trying for a rescue?

they'll only dull your razors on their wrists

still swearing they love you

i didn't lure them out onto these rocks

i'm only watching

always bridesmaid girl

funerals bring roses enough

Friday, April 22, 2011


of all the explosions that happened today
or could have happened, or didn't
this was the most trivial
casualty - one girl
blown apart by the view
and a promise you never made

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

mariology 3


would you say that mariolotry is sapphic?


well maybe, but only because i'm a girl

and well, i don't see you

kissing the ground under your lover's feet

do you sing her a thousand perfect songs

do you see the grace on her eyelids?

wear stones smooth and the treads off your fingers

murmuring her name, over and over?

you just sweat on her and pretend you don't know

she fakes it every time.

i don't know dude

do you think mariolotry is sapphic?

Monday, April 18, 2011

aftertastes 2

i'm not sure how you love me

don't i leave a bad taste?

(the taste of a girl in your mouth -

it always made me think

of long nights with vodka

and chicken nuggets)

the taste of death

and worthless oblivion

with that in your mouth

how do you look at me in the morning?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


if you really loved me
you'd have given me the damn poem
which would certainly have been better
than this one is

Saturday, April 16, 2011


after all the wine
and worried laughter
the world don't seem no brighter

Friday, April 15, 2011


time just stopped

stop drop and doll

i think you're beautiful

girl stop crying

(like my opinion

could stop this


your too fast

heart beat breaks

my heart your


beats my heart

all my candles

are inadequate

even as metaphors

the wind blows them out

Thursday, April 14, 2011

afternoon light

in this city the sun doesn't fall down like honey

doesn't ooze from our perpetually overcast sky

slide damp and congealed down the thigh of a girl

there's no angels' outreach on the skyline

and for all our pretensions this ain't really an island

but in this city when the cloud cover

clears enough to let the light come through

that light cuts, cuts mist and air and dust like a diver

as it shoots straight down to and through

the too polluted water of the harbour

and i imagine bubbles rising up in clouds around the bridge

as the light sinks searching for a sandy bottom

sorry, a bit late i know.


i should really peel myself away

from the pages of this swimsuit cataolgue

but like every wanna be poet before me

i really like half naked girls

much more than poetry

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

house of dull blades

'never trust a man whose knives are dull'

her mother told her that

so now, standing at his kitchen sink

she runs a thumb along the blade

and realises this won't work out

Monday, April 11, 2011

free monostitch!

april 3

today the daffodils bloomed, as though making a point.

*quoting saul bellow's 'henderson the rain king'.

an excess of rain

perpetual rain, yielding perpetual baptism

a perpetual reminder that forgiveness is perpetual

and righteousness not first required*

walking out into the deluge

i inevitably ran into you

storm drenched and untouchable

'pray for me' you yelled,

across the parking lot

i do too much of that

but am forgiven, perpetually

for all my excesses

i forgive him too,

for this excess of rain

Saturday, April 9, 2011

mariology 2

bending to kiss her

i left a smear of lipstick

on her pristine foot.

an offering,

symbolic perhaps

(of what?)

as the bread and the wine.

bending to kiss her

i left the silence

that had weighed down

both my heart and my tongue

in her keeping.

i know what that meant.

Friday, April 8, 2011

fortune telling

my worst mistake -

playing at bibliomancy with your love letters.

who knew what hid

between one account of a restless night,

and your tender prose

to the scars on my skin?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


coming home from a long day / she's the one waiting with your whisky and a kiss / the one you missed through every aching agonising mile minute / girl that lights candles even at the kitchen counter like the fickle light will bless cold chicken / and consecrate even this soulless day to the love of you

our lady of incessant rain, of damn that was my last smoke

candle burning by your side and the single red rose

who could deny you your romance?

you have me heart and soul

(you're the only one i want to kiss)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

a caveat: i don't really like tonight's poem. but nita said it was good. and nita is the boss.


when your name means bitter

with an aftertaste of salt

you have to wonder:

are you the tequila shot?

or the unfortunate liaison

that came after,

the taste that was still

in her mouth

in the morning?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

bad decisions made at parties

standing at the buffet table, she reached for a blackberry off of the fruit plate, and didn't seem to mind when the juice of it soaked through the fingers of her lace gloves, but sucked at her fingertips, leading him to wonder whether she made the gesture delicate, or if he should look away

later, she was laughing, having found the red wine

she had the virgin's name but that didn't seem to help her any

as the night progressed, he watched her take the darkness off her wine stained tongue, and tease it out into a blanket, or a shroud, to wrap around herself, and knew then that he should have looked away

Friday, April 1, 2011

national poetry month GO.


in the winter i get sad, and sleep a lot

cocooned in pages of pornography and prayer

dreaming my saviour is orpheus in the cave

(we all know how well that went)

she sends me flowers like no man's ever sent

cut fresh from her more optimistic dreams

slipped into envelopes and mailed with warm air

little bits of spring to soothe my sleep

for all her hope i still suspect her

does she believe in butterflies?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

marie celeste

on saturdays you fall apart

well into a bottle of gin

you fragile sobbing thing

clinging to me like a cobweb

shattered sea glass

i can only console and comfort

drowning in the salt of this ocean

my words are dead when they reach you

you, a girl like a wrecked ship

so gone twisted rotted dead

no love can resuscitate you

we must be content to plunder your ruins

sunday morning and you lie across my bed

hair gold and silver on the sheets

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

winter blues

i cannot crave your body
as much as i crave the summer sun

xanax kiss

i remember when

every breath i breathed

i breathed for you alone

and now you're gone

i have a lot of panic attacks

and hey, i didn't want to be the girl

breathing just to blow up your balloon

but this pain in my chest is just as bad

as anything you ever caused me

my heart beats fast from adrenaline now

not the sight of your smile