I’m obsessed with process
and transition;
the form it takes.

metamorphosis– freeze,
liquefy and
precipitate, or the moment
before– just to
reform without final
shape. stuck.
or testing permanence
with concrete.

after all that patience
and miles of crouch
through the city,
knees broken,
admiring chalked mortar and filling
the jacket lining
with lip gloss, your ardor
growing big and bright
pulling things towards you
like the moon; oh
to be suddenly seized
by your habits again.

your hand on my back.
it’s just one breath,
that’s all it takes.

“the men” 

this was years ago.
the first time I told them about it.
sitting on the edge of the bay
on a borrowed blanket,

I was vomiting up
an Everclear Slurpee
and peeling back the bottom
of his parent’s quilt realizing
I had covered the entrance of the
ghost crab’s home.
embroiled in my own
deafening philosophy
about the closing of the day;\
the way it moved–
death,
like an itinerant wave
that followed me
and only me,
everywhere.

I coughed that up second
to tell him
the rituals (pinch the
straw, doll) were there to
keep me safe.

the tide crept back
and I heard him light a cigarette,
felt myself starting to drown again
and then his hand on my thigh,
then nothing at all.
pain subsides in very
miniscule amounts
of time
if  you don’t
repeat the
story.
(do not repeat the story)

my head is eighteen visions a second:
someone getting their face smashed
with a brick, someone getting into
a plane, slicing the skin of my fingers,
blood. blood. blood. blood.
and matching the numbers to the proper
order.    reorganizing mantles.
bleaching my teeth and
every inch of my house.
first, you have to feel safe.
I begin to build the glass
around me.

and turning to you again, I
implore you to pick a title and
stick with it.   for me, I say
cupping your baby soft chin,
(Alaska is safer than Australia):
do you like warnings or do you
like to drown?

“warnings”

Saturdays and the 1 pm
alarm clockon snooze,
the bare-faced evenings
in throw blankets;
languid, but there is still
a rabid tongue
between fits of sudden inspiration.
moved
from sheets to
cushions to sheets
to type it down,
to shower
once a week
if you’ll allow yourself to feel warmth.

graze your chin, scalp,
untouched thighs.
open your chapped lips to the sky.
feel the water rush your neck and
trickle down your navel
to soak your unseen toenails.
do not question anything
for those three whole seconds;
it is the closest thing to orgasm
you can manage.
it has been a tough change in seasons:
costuming yourself with
sincerity, (you’re vulnerable)
tights and boots
and an expansive blankness
that still drives your body around
to pick up soy milk.

finish something you started.

there you are.
some cooing cobra.
the chills that almost ate
me: winter.   several
in a row.
the darkness and
introspection of how
I’ve chosen to succeed,
lone and the two of swords.
thanking my institutions
for showing me how to carve
pure copper into
green or sharp to hold,
the likelihood that two things
look identical enough
to both be chosen,
that I will learn the
ways of mask
and holster. 

there you are.

“rage” or “the fifth wave”

there you are,
some cooing cobra,
the chills that almost ate
me: winter.   both
the darkness and
introspection of how
I’ve chosen to succeed.
thanking my institutions
for showing me how to carve
pure copper into
green to hold,
the likelihood that two things
look identical enough
to both be chosen,
that I will learn the
ways of mask
and holster. 

there you are.

“rage” or “the fifth wave”


shake my head no.

“I don’t intend to hurt myself.”
my thighs are cut with finger shaped
bruise and the smell of
someone else’s
laundry detergent
I am windswept,
gutted and frank,
even in malaise, I
fork my tongue to cut:

“I can only cry at hospitals
and then I usually leave.”
lean in, and they said
be gallant. he has
blue eyes.
“most of my family is dead.
I just want to be seen.”

my throat sore from
conversation. persisting
mucus. the taste of him.
takes my hand.
takes my neck.
takes my waist.
stop talking.

but I just can’t.

“catharsis” or “nine of wands”

get some rest,
girl,
it’s the
Four of Swords.
they say I must be
heedless to dabble in the
dark like that
and unarmed.

more unthinking;
a fiery capricious
tantrum,
stabbed in the fucking back
and fingers naturally
pointy and
webbed as things
develop into theory,
into pentacles,
into air.
time is a sequence of
cracking joints, more
misfortune and now 

I blend into the wall
when I want and you will
know me by
eyes popping open,
or my purr of a
low growl,
low to the ground,
undaunted in my
new soft black
steps.

you just hang there.

“Arachne”

typically, an episode starts
at the mantle any time of day
but something has to hit
and it’s usually
three things at once:
stasis plus drugs,
(that means im fucking dizzy and
no one will listen)
an acid wave in
my stomach and
a recurring thought,
(some say intrusive or imply im responding
to internal stimuli)
caffeine, throbs, jaw
tightening into one flat line–
then there’s the timing.

in no particular order:
can’t breathe
can’t swallow
can’t move my legs
and then the heart leaps
start; staggered,

the rhythm is irregular. 

racing.
my pulse burning.
mouth turns to stone.
tongue desperate, bone-
dry, lurching outwards and me
biting it to stop talking.
just want to stop talking.
saying everything that’s happening out
loud and answering their questions
but snapping, imprudent.


i don’t know what I notice first:
that I haven’t exhaled,
swallowed or stood or
  or
that I can’t seem to do anything
nor stop the group from screaming
at me.
desperate choral grove.
the candle on the altar.
blow it out.
no, lick it.
just get up.
listen to me, Cat. me first.
when I’m still, the breezes hit
and then suddenly the room falls
away.I can feel the blackness
pervade as if there is a hand
around my neck;
this ostensive power
beyond me.

i’m clutching the rug,
bottom of the ocean
as the first wave hits.

“the labyrinth”

I checked the time
before walking home.

a habit.
10:26 pm, no magic
in that but the drizzle
feels good on my bare thighs.
my obsession with clocks
began years ago,
616
313
919

everything in threes,
I am sobbing in front of the
young attending.
and I just can’t stop reading the titles.
begin to pick my lip.
sometimes I feel like I am choking.
sometimes I think I am willing it
through like it’s a choice
to breathe or not.

they didn’t check my throat,
not even once.
sympathetic nodding,
no real connection to the
young man but an hour of
purging. weeping.
wrote me a prescription to see
a psychiatrist about my
self diagnosed OCD.
I am always arranging everything.
I call Monday.
the psychiatrist doesn’t take my insurance.
can just peculiarly count rhythm
hearing a few notes.
and can align thoughts with
crescendo, and can align time too.

I decide to skip it altogether.
collect new rocks for
my mantle.
move art in new corners
spend a day composing.


later i will find out
that i have severe dysphagia,
a nodule in my throat.
and that swallowing is in fact
the most insidious
danger.

there are nights I don’t sleep.

“3:13”

we prefer rationalizing,
chronicles.
multiple guards around
us, ephemeral
longing that changes
direction but there are
no exits so we stay fashioned
to her tenuous fingers,
waiting for the fall.

cards everywhere
scattered for clarity and
I’m batshit high,
mixing herbs with ginger
and then more psyilocybin.
feeling waves form in my gut,
always finding the
King of Cups,
a bath running,
my fear of silence
an emerging disability.


i write phrases everywhere

and listen to long
chords, piano.
applause.
make words to them–
letters cut from white paper
then burned.
with force, meaning,
avarice.
tonight’s candle.
whatever she is, she
is bright and flickering
like lightning
and sometimes
she is God.

“the sigils”

your house was yellow.

my house was blue and
a ten by ten box;
me trapped,
torn between watching them
pack up their stuff
from their own pact to self,
their own inculpability,
fragile glass faces
slightly cracked and me,
stunned,dripping a
flattening virulence,

telling them about themselves,
breaking and then
pushing them out.


I really miss your hands on me.
the way you held me in
sullen incubation.
I remember the oldest incantation:
the thrust I was given,
some gleaned anticipatory luck:
      God gave you a chance and

              an unfinished smile.

we needed a spark.
I grin full tooth to show you
my new porcelain canines.
now the frame is melting
and so am I
in the cradle of tar black trees,
I fight the urge to bow
and suddenly tiptoe
all around you;
two inches taller than you remember
and my tongue hits your neck
like a quill.

hold your breath,
I say and
baby,
I’m a smokeshow, they say.
wait
for some other current to take me.
bite your skin.
let the tips of my
fingers dig in and

  there are no exits.

“chrysalis”

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