Sunday, November 30, 2014

pick it up

A/N: Thank you to S. for putting in the line breaks for me. 

she dropped a beat somewhere early in this slate sky early late winter day

and forgot in all the chaos to pick it back up

half eight and she's banging down on her boyfriend's door,

man, don't you know this kid ain't gonna drive herself to school?

and the beat pulses in her pocket like a dead man's missing heart

while he shuffles sleepy and sheepish looking for shoes

one two one two one two and

the way the world spins turns whirls

(faster than men's heads when she come by in those jeans)

drops her from where she was dropping off her daughter

pico de gallo burrito warm kiss on cold air

at tzaricha cama devar?

ken aval ma?

and she hit the ground,

less like an egg hits the floor -

with all the urgency and bruises of a lockdown drill -

and less of the shatter of glass on pavement but more like

one two one two one


one two

and can't shake that sick feeling of something lost forever

she's choking on her own thoughts by four

like they're dry swallowed pills,

dry heave at the bitter taste and constricted throat

and the world, it don't care if she wanna get off

the cold is forever, she says

because in hell even permanence be some comfort to the damned

cold is forever, she says

gulps down ice like ocean death like nicotine like that kiss she can't have

one two one two

slam of horns slam of breaks loss of light loss of life

spin like you want a simple gift

spin til you outspin the sick stomach and spin again until you drop break fall

on your knees with your hands in the air the only way the world gonna take you

don't bother

don't even front

ain't no other way

and don't say that hard cold gravel pavement frozen ground wet grass don't feel

a little bit like redemption soakin through your stockings don't don't even


like a dropped penny it's there

in the grass

on your knees

hands up

only way you take the world


one two

one two one two one two

pick it up child


one two one two one two one two ...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

personal ghosts

she asks me
if my house is haunted
and i think,
my house is not haunted
but i shrug
i guess,
i say
you could say that

and i pretend
i'm not looking sideways
at the way her breasts
are perfect
and her shirt is thin
and maybe my sunglasses
reflect her innocent amazement
back into her wide open face
and protect my reputation
like i have one to protect
but probably
i am as transparent
as the ghosts that drift around my bed

did they come with the house
she wants to know
and i shake my head
no, i say
they are personal ghosts

i like the way that sounds
coming out of my mouth
'personal ghosts'
it sounds
like a girl with more tattoos than sense

who drinks soco when she's drunk
and bourbon out of the bottle before
a girl whose eyeroll
clears a larger personal bubble
than brundhilda's ring of fire
and who only dates
married men

they came with me,
i say,
not with the house
and i buy her a pack of cigarettes
and leave it at that

and she thinks i am dangerous
and interesting
like the knife in my purse
and the ghosts follow us home
and laugh when she doesn't notice

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


my heart is oceans
love for you
easily pulled under
drowned in dark
and icy depths

Friday, July 4, 2014

summer rains

in the august heat
i sit, shirtless on the stoop
drink cocktails
beer from the bottle
and watch the summer rains

they come down like no godly thing
sky split and split again with lightning
sounds greater than the human mind
crack me open
skull to cunt
and while i spill onto the flooded pavement
my spirit sees things
that would have driven even ezekiel mad
even daniel to the point of madness

blood, red and thick and dark
splatters over and over onto the blacktop
and i watch
until the parking lot is slick with all our sin
punished and cleansed
all at once
a butcher's floor and
isaac on the alter

continents blur like blood clots
edges losing definition
melting into the swirl of bloody brine
and i watch
africa swirl into america
swirl into nothing but swirl
as a great whirpool pulls it all in

i see the blood
pools and puddles on the pavement
deep puddles, out of which
you can only just see the bare bones of children
exposed in the rain
which washes it all away
and yet cleanses nothing
until it's only water
bitter salt
at all this waste
all this wrack and ruin

until he dries his tears
and looks away
from the one puddle
this one bowl of blood
to a myriad of many puddles
splashed across the parking lot
shiny clean and new
a million million witch's worlds
to try again

Saturday, June 14, 2014

a prayer for greater rains and smaller floods

with thanks to S & J for editorial advice 

oh Lord of great waters
mighty King
riding mounted on many storms
You who consumed swirling chaos
who thunders like a river freed

loose this day Your cascade
justice and mercy, molten and alive
healing pouring down from heavy clouds

grant peace oh Lord
to the worms on the pavement
the crushed petunias
and the picnics
give them rest in Your light

grant peace to my soul, Lord
in the hiss of traffic through rain
the beat of water on window
fresh wet asphalt smell through an open door

remember to us, oh Lord of the deluge
Your terrible flood
Your wonderful destruction
remember to us, oh Lord
Your cleansing fires to come
in these
Your great rains and small floods

Friday, May 9, 2014

cassia and crocus

He held me
pressed close against him
the smell of char
cassia and crocus
the sun warmth of skin
He showed me eternity
all He had made
“look what I have done for you,
my child, my sister,”
He said
and i,
forever a girl
saw all things
that which came
that which was to come
and thought only of Him
the warmth of his body
the places blood rushed
the ache of my own skin
for things unknowable
and so known

Saturday, April 19, 2014

after john updike

A/N: This was co-written, but is primarily by my beautiful wonderful girl.
this girl is wearing purple
it's kind of like maroon
and linda is knitting
made from a sheep
that there is luggage
too much luggage i think
maybe you should have left some of that at home
that's the hungry boy
you gave him a snack bar
i don't think
the capacity of this bus
is 26

Saturday, March 22, 2014


i imagine shrapnel
that twisted metal
wrought in heat
and pain

but here and safe
in beautiful america
it's only a metaphor
even in my mind
i see shrapnel
as the mangled body
of a child, of a girl
from the blue eyes
of the boy on the bus

you can't forget shrapnel
trapped in tissue
urging out
but never

there like the shadow
the knowledge of returning
to your empty bed
the secret stone
now turned

dull throb
constant ache
blur in the side of my vision
faerie friend i can't quite see

even in laughter
in love
in every consequentive
steel rail
one on another
pour it out
sink a shot of gentleman jack
drink it down

even in sunshine
even in the bath of blood
the movies, the music
the every single stone
that builds your every day
peanut buttering bread
goodnight kisses
every dirty dish

shrapnel, always

war drums

i wait
oh Lord
i wait

with this throbbing between my legs
like the beat of the war drums
pressure of blood
pushing too hard against
veins too fragile

hands on the table oh Lord
i wait
hands upturned in prayer
hands upturned to catch the rain
not yet falling

in the beginning oh Lord
You created the rain
falling through nothing
like a girl from the beams of a bridge
one drop oh Lord
one drop
the girl hits the water
and her soul never stop falling Lord
never till Your arms
but that one drop oh Lord
never hit the water

from Your rain came all things
the second days and all days after
and You Lord knew their number

now in the desert
i hold my hands upturned
i know not the number of Your days
oh Lord
only that they are running out
and soon the rain comes
like on the first day

Thursday, March 13, 2014

trying to shake the night

i dreamt you died,
and woke up, crying
my first irrational thought was to call
half three on a winter morning
you were probably awake,
working, muddling over some
problem only you see
but still, it seemed unseemly.

I went back to sleep
to dreams streaked with blood
and waking again to my alarm
I tried to shake the night

strong coffee
and watching as
daylight makes its feeble attempts
on a winter horizon
half seven and there's
no light
as the song goes

in the end, I guess
I hope
that's what we're all doing
waiting for a morning
of spring too soon to feel
and trying to shake the night

Friday, January 3, 2014

tide washes up

like an undertow
december drags us down
into the icy dark

come february
we'll be corpses
washing up in winter storms
half rotted out
on someone's cobble beach

salvaged fish food
to fertilise
an old man's tomatoes