ooh

I am here during the dance of wolves:
pitch black,
some hooded room of knives.
talk of betrayal,
and me blindfolded
without warning.

the past
come slowly dragged:
it’s
weighty and pressured,
almost settled at this depth
in acceptance of its rot,
its forfeit but we are
curious about causes.
so there’s a forced decompression
and chipping sides and
losing even more aesthetic,
a film developing as its
exposed to air
like a sunken ship
exhumed solely for gawking,
touching, petting for its
tectonic power, I am a compressed rage
expanding into tower,
the tallest feline in the room
and I demand method
and production.
I am big like sun rays,
just as far, true,
but warm.

my cancer in the 12th.
my house
guarded by a tiny scorpion
so no one knows how
to step and
what else?
you want to ask to hear
the most assured yes:
this is 6.

not previously numbered.
you are an arithmomaniac
because you count your worth
in things and people and
to hoard both things
you need numbers.
lead a couple lambs
to slaughter.
have him drink directly from
your ceremonial wine glass
left most days hidden.
clear but for the black writing
and polka dots:
“not every witch is
from Salem” and he makes a joke
says because we’re not in
Salem
and you say,
I’m not from

Salem and you’re halfway
to the spider now.


“6.” or “full moon dinner party in cancer”

covered in hot water and onslaught,
broken
like the bed we used
to make it in,
found shade in shower.
  wanted to skin myself
to get rid of your fingerprints
but I didn’t want to be noticed
either.    instead
I sat cross-legged
in the tub for 45 minutes
to steam some of it out.
it was a waste of water
you might have said.

I usually go to bed by ten pm
swathed in cheap sheets I picked up
from a trash can: moth-bitten
and low thread count and I washed them
but you’re right it’s a sense of self-deprivation
I wrap myself tightly inside
while I’m
tortured by my low self worth,
absent flowers, cold feet,
lamp on next to me and
wax all over the unfinished table
you were making
before I threw the chair you had finished
down the stairs to get you to
open up
here is what I need
I might have screamed
if I was better at controlling my
“communication”
but it ended in a soft bite to your
neck and a cloying kiss
you can tell has been rehearsed
time and time again.
it’s heavy;
my tongue large with
little darted lullabies

I’m up now and I
linger in the hallway,
nothing in my hand,
wave in my throat
watching the front window;
voice hushed and brusque
and barely noticeable
when I finally move to speak
to make my command on Earth,
withdrawing as it creeps
from its host;
like low tide,
like you

your sudden
retreat.

“February”

what does all of this
mean to you?
she waves her hand
to no one. 

you say it’s important,
ask me to tell it in
“linear order”
but how can I get away with
things telling stories like
that? and besides,
I have survived time
and cage and aged
in linear order.
my proof
    (flex a ripped tricep)
is endless strength,
brimming veins
that have learned how to
vibrate, hum, cluck,
even whistle when your girl
walks by me       I’m
a snake

through her core
and now all you see is a doe
gored in your forest and
I got to eat the whole orchard
I asked for.
are you lost or
just quiet, just hiding
from the butcher inside
it?
you know I’m dense,

ice cold, flush with
forked tongue ready to puncture
someone,     i’m lush;
maintaining a sense of
dam and containment
even in my most berating
fits of temper or panic,
I manage to remain
frozen these days
like a cracking lake
you say I am
sharp and

bitter.
but underneath my skin,
that blue-lace casing,
a carnise river:
little tributaries to
the turning of the world
in linear delivery.
and you say
full of rage     and I say
ok, just wait,

you and I are from
the same place
and I start to pace
the block once more. 

III.

 

sitting on the edge of the bay
on a borrowed blanket,
I was vomiting up
an Everclear Slurpee
and some sort of philosophy
about the closing of the day;
the way it moved
death,
like an itinerant wave
that followed me
everywhere.
the tide crept back
and I heard you cough,
felt myself starting to drown again
and then your hand on my thigh
and then nothing at all. 

pain subsides in very
miniscule amounts
of time
if  you don’t
repeat the
story. 

do not repeat the story

“how to be a river”

or

sit in it.

“how to be a lake”


and turning to you again, I
implore you to pick a title and
stick with it.   for me, I say:
do you like warnings or do you
like to drown?

I think at some point
you have earned the right to say
I know already because you lived it
without acquiescing to
authority so I asked
to see it first:
the river’s mouth,
even though they said
I’d never make it.

“warnings”

I’ve strained everything I’ve ever
owned in my life
including my eyes
so I can’t see
your car is gone,

the way life unfolds without
interference,
the ant hill I just stepped on
or your sad smile that one time I
didn’t notice the
grinning contingency roses;
contingent on whether or not you
decided earlier in the day
to start shit.

the boxes in the corner,
the cat’s nascent behavioral problems,
the missing incense holder,
the empty toilet paper roll,
the moribund note,
the last piece of vegan toffee,
the ants plotting their revenge in the corner,
the forgotten ice cube on the floor,
your wilting gray heart,
my feelings about where our stuff should go

         (back to Boulder),
the sunset in the distance,
self-will run riot,
God’s sweeping fingers,
or
really

further than my
remarkably
dry nose.

“the glasses”

you cough loudly
without covering your
mouth as if you
don’t already have my attention.
but I am also outside
listening to the sparrows.
we both rustle on top of
the afghan briefly
and separately.
I am sleepy eyes and
smothered grief.
you are wide awake
pretending to
sleep as I trace
the pattern of moles
on your back
into a mountain.
crumple underneath that
and reposition
so all of my useless body
is touching yours.
crumble underneath that.

remember when I made you all those CDs?

breathe
between your shoulder blades,
the question slides up your
neck.
I know every way to turn you
on
and back to me
but you just
shuffle,
uncross your ankles
and a dog yelps,
someone screams, a car backfires
and so does every other
fucking thing.
every day my block is
in uproar over something
and I’m just cowered
near the door
waiting for a year to pass.

my old record heart sits away
from you
buried underneath my dry breast,
soon to be mounted and wet with
saliva and soon to be cold
and grasping soon after that
remembered as
cradled by a hand that once
was open palm,
an unsteady hum,
unsated.

you look at the ceiling.
you look through something.
you look heedless,
like you did a year ago
slithering out of my place
leaving a trail of choler
and cry like 
slime and
someone outside yells
at their child.
you say:

the only one that still works is How to Talk to God.
 “how to talk to God”

 

I have two constant insatiable needs:
clarity and validation and I
usually get neither.

my only true constant is my suffering;
that is how I relate to others.
my suffering is a secret comfort
because it allows connection.
we only know feelings by comparison–
yours, mine, ours.
this defines humanity:
our perpetual hunger,
our perpetual processing about the matter,
and the inevitable suffering that follows.

II.

Express the value of life
in lines and
daubed charcoal.
Add the girl’s lids and tinted lashes,
fixed eyebrows,
nose,
lace collar under
overblown cloak.
Hair tucked beneath hood,
chin tucked to neck,
subtract her gloom;
then what would she do?
Harder to draw,
harder to draw something
in.
Highlight her cheekbones in rouge.
Add breath to an otherwise
achromatic lover.

Add her troubled partner in the backdrop:
blue-gray with a hint of black at the corners,
small silhouette of a rainstorm
receding over the edge of the horizon.
Add some balance to a ruminating giant.
Find and add
her absent brother.
Subtract her moans.
Erase her nose.
It’s too bull flare.
No one will take her like that.
Thin the clavicle.
Thin the waist.
Add some plum to the lips.
Add a remark.
“This will not do.”

Grab the Hi-Polymer.
Try to capture the gleam
of mistakes on her face:
birthmarks, pencil marks, oil sheen,
eraser flakes,
lines that are furrows or scars or
warrior wrinkles,
ruddy blotches on the thighs,
dry skin on the feet,
swan’s neck,
bucked teeth,
knife marks and a
revised smile.
Never trust a man with an
airbrush and a promise
the clouds whisper. 

She is flawless.
Precise.
Analogized you.
Contrast to your optimism;
your bubble of assurance
that is dominating,
that denies a compact or an inventory
and drawn in shady undertones
to hide complicated desires.
Proof of hidden bruise
shoved deep inside the confines
of gusto and canvass
come to life in the luster of pencil dust
and uncomplicated process,
 stretched wide
for the world to admire.
A deflated mirror.

She still has all her freckles
and you are noticing
a few things
about yourself.

 

“the artist”

 

 

you can shake your fist at any
foaming coast but her
break remains unscathed,
her scorn in
waves,
her calm in
 tides,
wet snarls pacified in
moon-swept stages
depending on the time of month,
the climate or the
stage.

you are barefoot:
some pedestrian gesture of
worship.
shrine.
avoiding the shells and
ghost crabs that litter the beach
at gloaming.
you’re wild and roaming
again seeking to slice wrists
with guilt and urgency,
pretension,
steal the scissors from his girlfriend’s
pocket.
                    what’s it like to be a hypnotist?
take a seat.
notice your veins rock,
glisten with munition.

life’s a seething blade
and you wear yours deep in your lungs.
the ways you have learned to assuage
are more permanent in placement
if you face it when you
say it.
write it on the page.
have them sing it with
vexation.
have them say it out loud and
curse themselves.
you watched your hands become tributes
to iniquity so you ask your feet
to become your fingers
now,
nothing from your mouth
going forward.

watch your toes curl in the sand
before you start wading.
you are practicing the dying art of
self-restraint.
you are practicing
prayer, overdo
amends.
you are seeking a quiet rest
inside of  yourself.
you are seeking the
sudden wreck
that laid you.

 

I.

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