Part 3: the act of taming things

Jung ponders, “How can evil be integrated? There is only one possibility: to assimilate it, that is to say, raise it to the level of consciousness.”


but i’m a martyr for this,
I crave

even self-abnegation
needs an audience
or else it’s just plain masochism
                 lonely and acerbic
without the gentle recompense,
the moist poultice,
the final amends:
the touch of her
sadist’s fingertips
after she laid her.

all cathedrals use pain as payment
and my crucifixion,
while self inflicted;
is just as spilling
just as baneful.
and my bloodletters will wash
the splashes from my feet,
take their time
with each laceration;
needle and thread
and bonded by spell

they slowly stitch
my gashes
into temples.


Lick the salt from the crest
underneath my elbow
where the flesh is softest
and my nerves are most
on end.
It’s a spot I never tell
them about.
You feel something in me,
something growing,
you know I’m antsy
itching to grow the
space between us large enough
to span separate states
and you
let your lips rest there.

The polar vortex
has passed:
it’s Saturday
and the sun is out.
I am lying on my side
facing a bookshelf
that is only
half unpacked
nearest the crack in the
window and I feel a
breeze.   I hear
a sparrow call me.
I hear a car pull away
and feel a wet tongue trace
the blue vein underneath
the skin of my arm
in wonder,
My hands contain
a deluge and yet
you hold them,
drink from my fingertips.
I hear you say the slow word
I strangled:
s t a  y.
and the sun is

I wish I had more words for

just another verse
picking at its stitches,
grunting from the dark and
taking educated guesses at the Rorschach blot
that spreads across its skirt.
but writing with cadence,
inflection, downplaying
it with rhythm as you
try to capture the humiliation of
all the little violations
that add up to today
without one strong word
or accurate verb
to describe the way a knife
sticks for a second and you moan
the wrong way.

what sounds better to you?
I say over coffee, trying to
finish some titles.

“besieged” or “PTSD,”
or simply

“the act of naming things”