Thursday, December 20, 2012


the dark shadow of God
in your face
your eyes
and i dare not look away
not blaming
lot's wife
as the world spins
to darkness, and pain
my last ragged breath
remains a prayer


this place
God bound like a demon
the minotaur in the maze
i dare not be that man
i (dare not)
risk the centre

Thursday, December 13, 2012

astral pickup truck

the girl
with the astral pickup truck
might be kind of a redneck
because she says 'y'all' a lot
and she thinks those jeans
are an outfit

but her exhaust
sinks down to earth
as fog
rolling off your bay

and she drives on roads
even satellites can't see

there's an angel riding shotgun
and nowhere she can't go

you sleep

they park
their red pickup truck
over your dreams


they fuck in the bed
regardless of the shovel
and salvaged stars

Monday, December 3, 2012


the mirror is a two sided coin
showing me, as i dress
(up, like the girl i'm not)
but this parody
of someone else's woman
isn't all i don't want to see

behind my lipstick
up-do, pearls
lurk worse things
than prostitution

the shadow watching over my shoulder
spares sardonic sartorial remarks.
it knows where i sleep,
where my children sleep

and i, i am half grateful
for my knowledge
for the dirt beneath my nails
my impatience
and the inelegant wobble
of my heels

half wishing it all away
so what i see in darkness
i could call a nightmare
so i could pin diamonds
without seeing blood 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

amensia 2

each morning new
free from the days before
and clean
what i have learned
i give to skin
not memory

Friday, November 30, 2012


my mind sifts sand like a sieve
searching for gold
finding nothing in the dust
it lets my thoughts fall free

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

intentional sin

thank God
for the small miracle
of intentional sin

for you

though you never were Saint Peter
for you,
i had copies made
of the keys to the kingdom

Friday, October 12, 2012


your maiden name,
they say
as if perhaps
you once possessed innocence 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

always Dylan

He says,
don't cry child
there's faith for that
and if that don't work
there's always Dylan

intent unspoken

here the breaking of the bread
veiled in context of their stark hotel room
as she undoes her belt
he his buttons

he a poor and broken god
coming to her
in the shedding of clothes
the wary looks 
quiet gestures 
intent unspoken 

this is my broken body,
for you 

take this 
for the forgiveness  
of whose sins? 

Thursday, October 4, 2012


the girl who sees the rain
sees your death in the steam

sees the turning of the wheel
the clear note of a bell

the steam
not having risen yet
tells the story

while the wheel turns
putting you on the bottom

the bell
tea's ready

the heat can burn
her tongue
the pain away

Friday, September 28, 2012

haiku in monochrome

black car pulls in
leaves a wake across
the rippled parking lot
(i wait) 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

that light

God how I yearned for you
after the floods
how you haunted me
breaking under the waves
night after night

the tears cried for you
knees aching on the hard stone floor
the beads said
cold under my fingers
light perpetual on your face
no consolation

but God is merciful
(tainted with irony, but merciful)
and you were my gift

brought back
in the long watches of the night
to walk through my door like Elijah
and I had set you a place

it would seem ungrateful to complain
with you under my hands
under me

in some sick way spared
consigned to my desperate kisses
corn bread
all my promises and praise

(when none of it
could hold a candle
to that light)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

two fingers and a promise

i cannot tell you
how we speak
without words
and as a poet
should deny the possibility

it came from her
like water from a rock

blessed are you, child
a maker of peace

she spoke without quotation marks

the metaphor she used was sexual
like peace could be some sticky secretion
staining my sheets
like i could coax it out
with two fingers and a promise

the light swooned around her
and clung to her
like she'd pulled down the sulky luminescence
of an almost rainy day
for her gown

blessed are you
whose blood spills out on the ground

the angels were so high above
as to be irrelevant
holding up the molding of the sky
grey winged as clouds

but their falling feathers burned
still hot to touch when they fell
ashy, on my shoulders

Friday, June 1, 2012


there is nothing to say about the people and places left behind
only to wince and look away
only that with every break
my heart grows closer to dust

north country

and i am something of a north country girl
tannin stained from southern sun
bled and bound by others than you
heading north again on this skyline
with someone other than you
who smells of musk and flowers

my divided heart is keening already
for the over saturating southern sun
warm beer on warm nights
the relentless lap of cursed waves
confederate jasmine and palmetto bugs

mourning the places i left i lose my tears to the virginia wind,
and grieving for the arms that held me
to the soft patchouli fabric of another lover's shirt

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


it's meth hour
and grace and i stand
in our respective doorways
shouting trivialities through the rain

everyone queues up
down the block
backwards baseball caps and board shorts
while their kids play ball

waiting on a fix 

the guys twitch
they'll be twitching after, too

no one seems to see the rain but us

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

night, no stars

the girl lays back on the pavement
staring up at the sky that was her name
obscured in cloud

drags on a cigar
embers falling like stars to singe her sweater
exhales the fog
that swamps the city

Saturday, February 4, 2012

the easy out

and just when
you thought you'd failed

lay in the ashes
of your own apparent ruins
putting embers out
on the pads of your fingers
and searching for
the easy out

redemption comes swelling

courses through
like the tide over sand
swells through your body

leaves you
now truly destroyed

on the brink of strength

Friday, February 3, 2012

velvet fog

she tells me she had a poem
velvet fog, she says
and it sounds like her cologne
rich and soft and sour
on the tip of my tongue

she lost it over the accountant
inhumanity and bad city planning

i think about the fog
hanging low over cursed water
until it drags itself in the drink
a drunk girl's sleeve in spilled
three olives cherry vodka
moisture sticking the pile together
like a wet cat

she would have said something
more picteresque
more romantic
would have tucked the fog around me
for rest and sweet dreams

but lost it
to the accountant
the chihuahua
the traffic

i smear a drop of her cologne
on the inside of my wrist
and the smell curls around me
like my blanket fog

like a cat

Tuesday, January 24, 2012



after her wife is gone
her husband
the stranger that was in her bed
after the first bus has gone
carrying the children
more coherent than her own
white light flashing a rhythm
more steady than her heartbeat
in the fog

and before she remembers
to take the next breath
the second bus has come and gone
and the girl
leaving her to wonder
if she made it all up

she puts a load of laundry in
turns on the blessed cool
of winter air conditioning

slips between sheets
unstained by sex

Friday, January 13, 2012

chipped paint

she looks
at the power
under her broken fingernails
and the chipped paint
that was silver

at the broken world
she could mend

fuck it
she says
putting out
someone else's cigarette

she goes back inside
turns on the tv

today she'll be like you

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

last years

"there are no more last years,"
he tells me
"we're all out."
but he promises me
a hundred more new ones
after this

"last year."
she's obsessed
"remember last year?"
she asks
"we came here last year."
(last week)
"i remember," i say

"remember our wishes?"
she asks
"all last year's wishes are gone.
our last wish was a Christmas wish."

she doesn't say
if we get new ones
for this year

jasmine blooms

i imagine
God at His kitchen table
staring down
at universes spread like cards

seeing nothing good in His reading
He shakes His head
and with one deft magician's hand
sweeps them back into the deck

perhaps He'll try again
after tea
after His jasmine blooms