“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

“And I am thinking: maybe just looking and listening is the real work.”

-Mary Oliver

this next section is called: The Final Pivot,

and it’s quite impressive

things just have to start and
the come up is hard, 
and sometimes it is better if im moving.

it depends on how much I swallow.
I remember the agreement
was to not be a

new moon in taurus

learning to relax

via looking at Bulgarian maps,

tracing the Maritsa river to

a point of death, ice,


the breath of a little girl

laughing, her fingers

on my sleeve, grabbing

then shoving me.

“the little girl”

“After great pain, a formal feeling comes–”

it’s in front of the Christmas tree,
one week before you die,
alone and panicked by the
thought of mustering
staring at white frosted
plastic pine dotted with
uniform red balls
when I feel it.
it’s like cement cracking.
the ornaments of my childhood
all gone, lost
with my yearbooks and the
oil painting of mom
taken by the asbestos garage,
poverty; my enslaver.
i’ve been writing this for you
for about ten years
waiting for the day I’d be
by your bed to read the ending.
the bargaining begins.
(it’s just one breath)

this is where the poem begins. 

  1. (dad)

and I think
I may be a masochist,
an undervalued trait of mine.

you are about five neighborhoods
away reading this and I
am heart felt, knee sunk
in one lost picture;
black and white snapshot
of the first rollercoaster I rode.
my father accompanied me,
and recalling when he went too
fast on the jet ski
knocking us both into the water,
two booming laughs,
neither of us really scarred.
it is the drugs that got us,
the suicide,
the dementia,
there’s nothing left.

but I held your hand in earnest
and exchanged a look.
I didn’t hug you during the
I try not to think
of these acts of
care as anything but that
but inconsolable,
heavy cement cracked,
it comes for me as

  1. (sadist)

I tell them,
I am not writing about the men
you see unless it’s
dead dad

dead brother.

who me?
wearing my father’s knit
NY Giants cap and
bereaving, stripped,
replaying the final moment:
hand held, eye contact,
the knowing I had and decision
to forgo a flowery speech.
the last thing my father and I ever
said to each other was
I love you

before I left,
palms on the linoleum,
sobs held,
one more Christmas.

it’s brevity a poet seeks.

  1. (love)

and i think I may be
interminably detached from anyone
not blood,
but that ain’t the half of it.
y’all should know,
(so I’m writing it)

I don’t stand a chance against the curse
but I jump
once I hear the word

to try.
I have never abandoned anyone.

“This is the Hour of Lead –

Remembered, if outlived,

As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –

First – Chill – then Stupor
– then the letting go –”

–Emily Dickinson

IV. (home)


demanding morning study.
it is strengthened so much so
that what has woken me is
an old phrase you said to me.
I could hear you fumbling with it;
an act of reflection while in stalemate.
how long can obstinacy maintain the
buoyancy of flight?
I am learning to stay fresh and put
and you are summarizing yourself
with an inaccuracy that doesn’t
need me yet.

I heard you rereading it one morning
to yourself, no doubt
questioning your word choice
as I stretch, be careful what you
but I know what you meant.
and I know what you like.

there are rules to this though.

“the act of naming things”

I spend half a day entranced;
don’t ask a leopard what she thinks about.
We know it’s movement she is tracking,
the promise of of blood in her 


I stare at my reflection reminded of my mother;
the quiet strength,
the affectation of it,
the looming sunset
in the rear view,
the sadness in some women.

They said god doesn’t give curses
but I’ve seen twenty thousand deaths
and my own
in a single burst
so tell me about perspective.

It all started when I was five and he bent me over and said

here’s what it’s like

to fuck a man

I set the example of

safety in malice.

what do I deserve?

what is fair?


Do you trust your guides?


Do you trust what has to be done?


I can set an example of

safety in malice. 

I am a compressed rage

expanding into method,
I am big like sun rays,
just as far but

“cancer in the 12th house”

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