Friday, December 18, 2015

stigmata



my lover, he don't hold my hand
no, he likes to see me fall
eat it on the wet pavement
dirt and rain and leaf debris
all up under my skin

(he laughs:
no child, he says
it ain't like that

child, i ain't never let you fall
not you
not me

i ain't like that, child)

he presses his hand to my back
under my ink
between the blades
where wings grow
and the heat of him
it burn there like a sign

he touch my cheek
run the line of it
like he's the wind
like he's writing the line of me
this girl,
this how she be
how i made her,
the lines i drew

and i feel hot hot heat
under his touch
his laugh runs down
my spine
all them lines he drew

and my cup,
well my cup runneth over

every time new, girl
he says
every time like the first
he break this open
over and over like it ain't
never been broke

blood runs down my thighs
the true stigmata
the burning touch

girl, he say
child
i don't never let you fall
don't be that way girl







Monday, December 7, 2015

morning haiku

another morning
sandy buys silence with coffee
ew: this danish is strawberry

Thursday, November 19, 2015

a nightmare in the morning

a/n: verse two is paraphrasing Tolkien in The Return of the King, or the movie the Two Towers. The poem and the first verse should be credited in part to S.


this was the dream my mother had,
a nightmare in the morning:
shallow waves washed over the lawn
casting dead men on the shores
of the parking lot

this was the dream a maiden had
a nightmare in the morning,
she stood on the crest of a high black wave
and its shadow fell on all the lands
and blotted out the sun

this was the dream the child had
a nightmare in the morning,
a wall of water, crashing over a toy town
killed the one real man inside
and the roar of water covered her cries.

this is the dream the woman had,
a nightmare in the morning
shallow waves washed up on the beach
and him, salt water kissing his cold skin,
on the hard shores of that cold land

water is a thieving god
and a trickster one

he hears our prayers
our unqualified cries for mercy
and gives it to us, indecently
throwing back the shadows
of what we used to love
with the driftwood and dead fish



Monday, November 16, 2015

not here

do you hear the bombs as they explode?
the cliff clatter of gun shot?

do you hear my crying?
these sobs shake the world
uncontained by my weak frame

there is no peace,
none but what's in my cup 

no freedom
none at all

no love
not here

Sunday, November 15, 2015

only that

if i die in all this violence
life lost among falling leaves and
burning cities
it was only life

and if my nerve breaks
if i flinch
among these bullets

if i stutter when stared down
it was only failure
only broken spirit

and if i recant
if my tongue speaks lies
if i deny, thrice or more
it was only truth
only faith

fires burn
cities burn
souls burn
and mine
may be among them yet

but to the bitter end
and the end will be bitter

if i am dead,
broken,
if i speak lies before men
before my Father in heaven

then i am dead, broken, burning
and it is only that

you,
you will still be in my mind

my constant thought
my earnest wish
always ever on my lips


Monday, November 2, 2015

mystery

let me tell you how it is.
She is to Me
as I am to you
and He to Us
as you to them

Thursday, October 22, 2015

land of hard places and stones

between a rock and a hard place
that's a special place to be
the certain comfort of the pressure
the roughness digging into your back
the air you gasped out of your lungs

maybe you, my love, maybe you were there
between a rock and a hard place
the knife at your throat and the crime in your hands

for blessings and curses,
this vision is mine
what is opened is not again closed

the rain was driving hard,
as it does, on our home island
land of hard places and stones
the water ran rivers on your coat
inadequate to the task
on your skin,
pooling through stubble like marsh

you could not do the task
your hand shook, holding that blade
you would not press it to the skin
would not cut

and failure seemed closer
than your lover's breath
than her beating heart

what did you see in that moment?
what drove your desperate words?

i do not know.

only what you spoke,
not what you saw
not what madness, blindless
lust for self destruction
took you when you turned that blade

i do not know.
i have cried out rivers for that madness,
but i do not know.

i only see with eyes
my heart is blind 

the grave was shallow.
it's the way of that place, that land
can't dig deep enough to plant a pot plant.
the grave was shallow,
but the spade wore blisters on your hands
already calloused though they were

and you paused, shovel cast aside
clattered to the cobbles
and turned your eyes to the endless sky
the endless grey of endless rain
like redemption came from there

Eli lamah azabtani?
whose help comes from the hills?

and no help came
none that any sane man would call help

the blade steadied in your hands
i could not see the handle
bone or steel, plastic even
that rough black military grade
i imagine it hard against the heat of blisters
but it did not shake
your hands did not shake
even as you turned the blade
with so much more conviction
the perfect certainty of one
who's made the wrong choice

a shallow grave
is plenty deep enough for a heart
yours lay beating as you kicked the dirt back down
strength not left to shovel
dirtying your boots

and after that,
the madness sinking like fever
to sit in your spine

after that, you had the conviction of your courage
an affinity for sharp stones
the insensitive wildness to grasp for me
and you did, then, the things
that were asked of you


prologue to a vision

who did i anger?
whose wrath comes against me
that the scales were ripped
from my blind eyes
that burning light might enter in

in older days,
girls had excuses
scorned gods and faeries
exacted cruel and exquisite vengeance
on maidens chaste and fair

but in this cold asphalt world
who can we blame?
who brings curses on us,
when our love is filtered
through the glass and blue light screens
and no gods know our names?


and yet
am i not cursed?
does it matter
whose spit cleared my eyes?




Friday, October 16, 2015

eternity

the path she walks is circular
trapped in the rooms of her heart
there is only one way
and that way is forever


milk and eggs

this girl
got bold eyes
and she hide them
behind cool shades.
this girl cool.

this girl,
she look at the men
and she look at the women, too
this girl don't care that they see
they see black
they see sky looking back
see their own ideas

don't see them bold eyes
but they know
they feel that
in their skin
the small of their back

shoot through them
that look
those eyes
bold eyes

this girl
she smile
she walk on

a thousand adulteries of the heart
twelve of the mind
milk and eggs
back home for tea 


the infinite rains of her heart

you cannot know
how infinite
the rains of my heart
no kings go to war there
not in this season
not in this rain

no girl shows herself to starlight
there is only rain
the sky is closed

from ages to ages
the rain spatters on the cold glass
and i look out
and no one looks in

i could fill buckets with this rain
buckets with these tears

why store water?
no drought will come

here there is only rain
the ground too soaked to bring forth green


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

scarborough fair

God and i
are playing chicken

(women are in the image of Christ.
we know where it's at.
men are in the image of Him
and He is just as immature as them)

He wants to see how bad he can hurt me
wants me to flinch first
wants to declare:
look - not even one was faithful to the end
not even one

He has sent plagues against my house
sowed strife, dissent, chaos
there have been speeding cars
truant officers
and He tried exiling me to the outer reaches of siberia

He has gone to the Wisdom Seat
the Lady wears His crown
while He goes walking in the garden
She wears it with some insouciance
She knows what that smile does
He has said, "the girl you gave me
the slave girl you gave me in your stead
that one is trouble"

and She shrugs
She smiles
She dangles the crown from one finger
"do you want it back yet?" She says
"i'm missing the sunset"

i do not flinch
i have the marks to prove it
i will stand between the salt water and the wet sand
i will dress my Lord in a shirt
all of one piece
and bleed on both the ocean and the beach
and in the end
He will see
that one is faithful
that women never fled the cross


Monday, September 21, 2015

the unspeakable silence of her heart

her heart was without form,
empty,
and darkness was on the face of the deep

h'lev shelha hiyitah tohu va vohu
(this is to say, it was wasteland)

and his spirit moved
over the face of her heart

v'ruachu m'rakhefet al p'neh h'lev shelha
(this is to say, there would be light)

in the beginning.

and in the end?

after the walls fell

biqqash'ti et she'ahavah naf'shi
biqqash'tiv v'lo m'tsativ
(that is to say, the walls fell)

the fountain is dry,
no matter what they say
rooms swirl with emptiness
imagined breeze shifts dust
long congealed on curtains like loosed shrouds

the guards are long gone
the last verse taken with them
no wounds heal
no walls stand






Thursday, September 10, 2015

star girl

They gave to me the strength of many nations
like ishamel, They made me
the cast off of great men and kings

my hand is my Lord's
he who i strike,
he falls dead to the ground
and it is on me
but he who i raise up
is lifted by a strong arm
to walk in light
and the glory is my Lord's

waking, my spirit wakes
when i walk in the sun,
it is the shadow of my Lord that is cast
all my good deeds belong to him

and yet
and yet,
an exile in this land
only the child chosen from among them
an orphan to sit at the table
to eat the crumbs of my Lord's children 

for i have done great things
and terrible things
marks were cut, into my skin
onto the brow of my head
that the world could look, and see
there
she is a slave,
and she has done terrible things

they put this star
here, on my forehead
that it might give light
and give warning

and though my hands have raised up the sick
enouraged the weary
given bread to the hungry
comforted the prisoner
my lips kissed only the dead
the lives i loved, i lost
though many times the stranger lived




Thursday, July 16, 2015

the most beautiful thing


men
are a hundred faults
to every word they speak
and one
to every kiss given

i waited my whole life
for that moment
like in movies
when the real world would become,
finally
better than fiction

i found it only on the lips of men
that rush, that spin
where at last the plot began
to rush towards climax
the inevitable meeting of skin and skin

i lived whole days like dreams
weeks colliding into weeks
of fantasy

just like movies
just like poems

my hair, the wind
the other woman
southern belle
adultery
looked better on me than lip gloss

now i see things slowly
the steeping tea as it diffuses,
fills up my cup to running over
and the air is thick with honeysuckle

colours, now, stay in my dreams
and a racing heart
and the wind is for clouds
while my hair stays bound
and the silk that ties it
is the most beautiful thing 


the far shore of another soul

here, my self, my world, my heart
words are inadequate.

for all i want to do
to break a piece off
a mirror segment showing sky
or cut a scrap of silk
night black and grained

to press to your palm, to say
here
this is what i see, what i feel
this was my day -
pray on this.

days do not break into moments
fit for the consumption of the one you love
nor do moments break into words
easily encoded and sent by air

there is only the whole:
one heart,
one life
and the dark tossed sea
stretching between it and the lights
on the far shore of another soul


Sunday, July 12, 2015

rosemary water

it falls on me suddenly
like bandits in the mountains,
like the dark you did not expect,
a bird of prey that drops like stone
eyes on a kill.
there are no gentle metaphors

the field stretches out in front of me
a lazy, languid meadow day
i sip infusion,
regret skimping on the apricots
bat away the buzzing mosquito,
think:
i could stay here, like this, forever
in the sun and shadow
reading books
drinking drinks

and it falls like an axe
heavy, sudden, definite
so that i set down my glass

'there are no more chances for love'

and that is that.
what falls is not again lifted

mirrors

the pond reflects the sky
wind in the maples
wind in the pear

my heart,
inverse mirrors
reflects only itself
into infinity

and while the pond calls forth prayer
my heart will only summon demons


Thursday, June 4, 2015

drink deep (II)

drink deep
womanhood becomes you
and you become it well
if only you drink deep
of the cup your lover offers

the table is set
the smooth iron white of cloth
candlelight murmurs in silver

and beyond some close door
bed waits
the sheets as flawless
as your skin 

rich eternities of burgundy
moans, roses

for love, drink deep

did poison mix with wine like water?
your place is not to ask
only to drink deep


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

the lips of liars

truth from the lips of liars
oh honey
like the bitter salt
licked off the navel of a beautiful girl
it burn you,
so damning, so sweet
and you can't look away
swallow it down
the blood in your mouth
bit tongue or split lip
but Lord knows you don't spit
pomegranate or semen
bad seed or green growth
you go down to the stone
come up like a weed
the salt and the sugar
the caustic sweet wrong

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

amnesia (v)

falling rain melts away snow
and all my thoughts of you
are gone to spring

Saturday, April 4, 2015

drink deep

drink deep
of that red tongue staining oblivion
no consecrated blood
sweet and hot split straight from flesh
but grapes, split and smashed
more rotten than even your intentions
and such a glorious red
that the candlelight renders it
more precious than rubies
drink deep
forget you loved
hated
forget cares,
beyond the next deep draught 


Monday, March 23, 2015

genesis

in the beginning, there was darkness
and a shadow moved over the face of the deep.

it was kind a of a fixer upper, honestly
but it had a lot of character

so the Lord separated the darkness from the light
the waters above had to be completely redone
but the waters below were okay

the Lord made dry land
and ocotopuses, and elephants
which were both pretty good ideas, honestly

the Lord had house guests,
the Lady had let them in in the dead of night
they were broken souls
they didn't have shoes
they didn't even have bodies
but the Lady said they could have the guest room anyway

(this was so that house guests would be sacred,
and Mary would have a place to stay
on the road to egypt)

the Lady thought butterflies would be a nice touch,
so the Lord made butterflies
and roses, as an anniversary present.
He also made stars.

the order was a bit messed up.

when everything was ready,
the Lord took clay
the red kind, that would one day make alabama
and He made bodies,
so that His guests could touch
taste the mangoes, and the blackberries
and feel His breath on their skin

He took them, and put them into the bodies
the bodies, which He had made for them

'here,' He said
'these are the bodies I have made for you
this is the garden,
and there is the sea.

you are broken things.
you came in the night, and were in pieces
this is the world
which I have renovated for you.

there is salt, and honey, for wounds
there is deep water and shallow water for your souls
all the things, here
these are the things that will heal you

because you came to Me in the night,
and were broken 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

ecce ancilla Domini

bow, and give over
be it to the harsh rains
or the blade that sunders skin

Friday, March 6, 2015

in the circle cast of candle light
the friday evening glow of so much shalom
so ancient and so holy
light from the first day

there is so much peace
the quiet still of children's babble
clatter of knife on fork
pop bubbles pop
and the salt cellar wends
ley lines across the table

i reach across,
the light,
the dark void
for your heart
and wish,
like candles are stars

when i imagine you
in candle light,
or breaking bread
oh
would that i saw peace
in your face
your heart



Sunday, March 1, 2015

haikus world cloud

Blood only appeared thirty four times. :(

the iron and the tears (I)

the unspeakable brutality of love:
my tangled hair wrapped round
his calloused hands
hot pain to the root of things

the first cut is the deepest
i feel the unseen blade
and flesh parts to a sea of red

he paints my lips
me, his scarlet whore
gory lipstick
like a slut to a dance
a vampire fresh from slaughter
and the salt seeps in
the iron and the tears
penetrate my pursed lips

until, drowning
and drowning
lungs and liquid
and there is endless love
endless brutality

the angle of the head,
the neck, the throat
the hand the holds
the burn, the throb, the gash

my chest aches,
will burst
go sigourney weaver
all over the carpet

drink, or die
his hands are rough
his voice
and i could live on it,
forever

i am coughing, choking
drowning and drowning
and the pain goes on forever

he caresses my cheek
you can drink,
or you can die, khabeebta

like there is any choice
any choice at all.




Saturday, February 14, 2015

black veil blues #2

the dark watches of the night
my neighbours party hard
shuffle thump thump bang
moan
gasp
nearly a scream

my scream echoes empty
empty words on empty rooms
you walked the floor once,
in my mind
walked rooms visible only to the heart's eye
leaving footprints like my soul
was wet cement
dark watches on a dark night

st valentine
patron saint of unmarked passings
yet i saw you pass
dark shade fleeing through a dark night
i marked you
saw you, reached
scorched my fingers on your shadow
til the pads were black with ash
pressed the prints to the wall
like it meant something

all i can say now is,
i am hear
stained fingers
smudged walls
i marked your passing
engraved you on my skin

look.
see:
the one i loved
he came this way,
and went again


Sunday, February 8, 2015

we are gypsies

we are gypsies
gone in the night
stole your heart and your sweater
left before the first light

folding laundry
making neat stacks
clean clothes
humming to the radio
playing housewife
she knows, looking out
snow, ice, parking lot
through a veil of condensation
she won't look out again
not out this window
not on this world

she folds
folds her childrens clothing
folds her hands together
folds her cards
she's out
and it's so easy

that girl
dark haired
raven skinned
gold and dust
folded as neatly as a shirt
she takes up less space in the heart

that boy
beautiful
and sweet
memories, tucked up like socks
trunk at the foot of the bed

if you fold the right way
you can pack your life
all up in cracker boxes
fill the bed of a pickup
don't even need uhaul
just go



nostalgia bites
wind blows snow
temperatures below zero
yet another day

we are gypsies,
she says it to herself
softly
no one hears

our life moves, she says
like the night moves
pack up the pictures
off the wall, off the fridge
there will be other walls
other fridges

she'll fall in love again
under the light of a different sky
shots called by foreign stars


Saturday, February 7, 2015

black veil blues #1

and her?
she was born a widow
pushed out into this world
bawling and broken

she was alone before you knew her
before she knew you
knew you body
blood beating
pulsing praying pushing
and cold
still
ash on her fingers
ash in the wind

before that, she was alone.
children played at house
cops and robbers
bonnie and clyde
she practised lonliness
until it was an art

after you knew her
she drew the curtains shut
let no light in
held the memory of it in her hands
smelled myrrh
let it run between her fingers
nails lacquered to a high black shine
stored it in enamel boxes
wept on fridays

she was born a widow.
the gift you gave her?
realisation of her self
blossoming whole
dead browning bloom