“Live! And have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.”

-gwendolyn brooks

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the way I held on
to five seconds of
an arm embracing me
near a cold window,
one stare;
red and in heat
all winter.

this demand grew
winding up my body
as I began to move furniture
in rave.
placed framed sentences
on every ledge.
all my items on sills,
every little thing I own,
to gaze at them
with gaped mouth,
blinds open under moon
if not hooded
and walking the three mile
perimeter outside.
rocks piled up on the table.
their effect on me terrifying
when glinting, silhouetted
or under influence of tincture.
at dusk, I was normally under
the influence;
and in loom.

every night,
the den was lit with 7 to
13  candles.
the place was pointy with
obelisks and shadow and
me, walking through
them, chanting.
repeating phrases.
burning pages
from a journal.

no recollection of what I
said or wrote
or asked for.
caged in my uncoerced
circle, tracing my finger over
cursive symbols
under the influence of
everything I touched
and everyone I once knew.
surrounded by 7 to
13 candles.

to an inky,
rising rage.

“the candles”

being obsessed with inequity
creates lines on
your face.
your teeth clenched
with scowl and stress,
mired panic, just something
so familiar about lack
and urgency.
empty stomach. subway,
one headphone working
so the sound is all the way up
to drown out the right’s tinnitus
and you’re eyeing her up and down,
pining for her jacket.
it provides a catalyst to
all movement.

 people are scared
to admit a big motivator
to success is
their unremitting desire
for vengeance.
and money helps.
takes away the change
of facial shape.
fills halls, fills
spaces with things.
little decorative things.
fills lips and
money assuages.

and money goes but
comes eventually.
or at least that’s
what you tell the
little tree you water
on the window every day.
what you tell
the little girl shoved
deep inside the well,
hands out, slack jawed
and frozen.

“The Money Tree”

I carried little pieces of God
a pint sized celestite
I broke off from a bigger
cluster on the windowsill
to twirl in my fingers. 

I am surrounded by men
who are wolfish and
repentant, sharing stories of a
a lifetime of substance abuse.
my “allies.”
I nod when they say
things that are aptly
reflected instances in which
they felt a guilt greater
than their desire.
they usually begin with things
I took advantage of her
and I cross my legs.

I am wearing brown tights, brown
heeled boots and a cream turtleneck
sweater dress.  my hair is
short, uncombed and strange
and I am mostly plain.
I wear light blush, mascara and
chapstick but I don’t spend all
day about it.
it is important as a woman
to catalogue what you were wearing
and how you generally look
in any moment.
also I had gained some weight
before I  discovered that
starvation will gain you
when you tell the audience the story
they can gauge reaction better.
were you homely, girl?

I was neither homely nor
merely watching the blue chips
of nail polish flake onto
the floor as he spoke
about his trespasses
against women,
finding my hands to be urgent,
suddenly needing my
full attention.

and remembering the whisper
of the woman who shushed
the girl who shared her rape.
watch the celestite break.



“it’s hard to talk about anything anymore
when half your family is dead. it just wells
inside of me.”

“The tears?’

“The scream.”

the first thing you notice about me is
the way I saunter.
even to grab a ginger ale
from the cooler
              “it’s my favorite.”

brush you, smile at your friends
and kind of swarm them
like an imposition.
starting conversations
that are really my to do lists;
assuage shame, assuage
guilt, anxiety publicly and
always alluding with  gesture
and wink
to my prescience without
saying anything.

if you ever said a word,
which I highly doubt at
this point, you’ll say
its the smirk
I mastered,
not the crowd.

“the warehouse”

the night we met
I was hopeless,
two friends in two;
one who wanted to
throw me on the bed by the
neck and fuck me,
and the other someone safe.
my hair was jet black and
I still remember your awkward
interjection to finally speak
a word to me.
my eyebrow cocked,
perfectly incorrigible and still quite
devout but to nothing.
or to a doorknob if
needed as the aphorism goes.
just the fervent pray to cleanse
me day after day after day.
itching to be
under the feet
of  anyone.

look there.
your eyes are crystal blue.

I began to fall in love.

 I’m naming:
ways to feel unsettled in transition,
states, or
how to move between things and
home also;  the way the birds land
on the trees outside my stained-
glass window,
the way the pink light cuts through
the room and all the green on my block
in summer which meant
blackbirds, blue jays, cardinals,
plus skateboarders.
my short dresses catching
on the points of fences.
I am opening the door to warmth
and it shreds me.

I spend forty five minutes
sauntering in presence,
pinching the skin of my purlicue.
tedium, ennui
or indifference.
how much space
reverie takes in my brain vs.
results. What do I want?
a soft nothing
like my jaw opening on
a pillow, feeling the satin
on my thighs and just
gawking at the glitter on my ceiling,

another thing I will miss.

my leisure:
the growth between getting
and having.
people never change.
I am stuck
somewhere on a trail
walking and wanting not endless
provision, but the
allegory made more
by the time
I walk into the graveyard
hoping to see deer,
I am mired deep in belief
that it is a dead sister
I am seeking,
ignoring my real
brother’s name.

I take the sharpie
out to mark the second hour
at the gate.

“the first wave (grief)”

the first hour is the hardest.
my stomach sort of lurches
realizing the first wave has already hit
this is acid so it’s harder.
I take half a tab so
my doors won’t melt
but still I need to get out of a place
that is wall to wall carpet and
packed with scribble,
pillows, cat hair, journals,
some printed hexed postcards
creating a map  as
I chain myself to my five mirrors
not to be heard from for a whole year.
I grab eight stones and empty
everything else out of my bookbag.
I bring one water bottle.

I begin to walk with no
sound, letting minutes
weave themselves around my body as
I patiently walk down the
three flights  trying not
to be appalled by how crooked
the building was
or my sore knees or
the temperature of my men:
a reaching tepid
still present in a corner of
my head even on this journey.
I ignored the chipping bathtub
just to make it out the door.
I have a tendency to clean.
to organize.
to clean obsessively
frightened of the silverfish,
the water bugs.
I am remembering when I had bed bugs.
there are things I threw away in that
terrot that I will miss
I think as my skin leaps
down the steps.

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