Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tree life

So the other day I found my way to the tree where we
once used to be happy.
I pressed my skin against the grain and felt the tree push back in vain
because what lives inside it can't push clear
and I can't get to it either.
My hair got caught in the drifting vines and my skin got lost in the
browning pines and I scraped the bark with my scratchy nails
and felt the tree shudder and quail.
I guess there's still life where we used to live, if unhappy.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Sometimes, it's not about the words
or about the silence.
Sometimes, it's not about the pain
or the happiness.
Sometimes, it's about getting by
without giving up.
It's about hanging on, for one more second,
it's about staying alive long enough
to remember the pain
and not feel it. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Call me.

You called yesterday while I was sleeping.
My phone picked up your words
and stored them in its belly.
When I finally dug them up, they were stale
and the warmth of your breath had faded
from their core and
left them cold.

If I could hold your words in my palms
and rest your voice against my skin
I'd drink you in through the thin
plastic film that's holding in
my soul within
my body.

I cannot sleep because I keep
wondering if you'd called
and gotten lost
in the silence
of my dreams.

Sometimes I press your whispers into my ear
and rewind the "dears" and sincere
slips of tongue.

Every now and then I'll forget to breathe
and only remember when my feet
turn slightly blue
from being pinned beneath
the weight of the wait
for you.

This time, I'll be there when you call.
I'll wrap every word in festive paper
and seal the vapor of your breath
in crystal bubbles,
condense the syllables
into a bauble
and wear your voice around my neck
and never sleep again.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I dug a grave and finally gave our past the rest
that it had craved and I took
the ashes of our passion and dissolved them in a tidal wave and I
swept up the dust of our former lust and mopped up the mess
that we had made but
there's still a shard, I think, of what
we tried so hard to save and when I walk
I can feel fragments crunch beneath my heels, remnants
of what once was good and should
have lasted but
just couldn't.

Staying up

One summer night I stayed up wishing.
One April night I cried.
One day in May I chose to pray,
And one winter night,
I lied.

One day I saw you walk away,
and I lay in bed and watched. I thought that if I
stayed and slept,
I could forget that you had left.
I wanted you to turn and sigh--to wait for me to say goodbye but
you didn't wait.
You took what we had crafted and you trashed it without
upset or regret or worry that the threads would
reach out and connect
you to me.  

So one summer night I stayed up wishing
that I'd stopped you.
One April night I cried.
One day in May I chose to pray
for everything I didn't say.
And one winter night
I lied and made
myself believe that
you had stayed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The pavement's cold and it's raining
It's a storm.
There's paint peeling off the walls and the ceiling
Layers of acrylic, yielding
Conceding after concealing, year after year
All the stains and the smears,
The badly done veneer
The lines of graffiti that keep repeating
The cracks in the concrete that keep receding
every summer but come grinning back in the winter months
Taunting and leering,
asking for that one coat of paint that would
eliminate the taint
of a poor man's inability
to fix his living space.
There's a lady in the house, and a baby.
The baby's catatonic and the lady
The poor man works through the nights and the mornings
just to eat.
"I'm home, honey," he says, full well knowing
That his wife's passed out by the couch.
No one greets him when he calls, no one answers but the walls.
Look! There's the spot that the coffee stained when the saucer went flying
And the crack where the clay mug shattered
And oh! That was where the month's money went,
Into the dents in the doors and cement
And there's the scar at the heart
of the art
that he bought for his dear
at the start of their marriage career
All she'd wanted was a beer.
So wouldn't it be queer
To erase
all the memories that his place
Had collected through the days
Like pieces meant to grace
the empty space that became
a collage of his fate?
After all, the only answer that he got when he called
Was from the peeling paint on the wall.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The book.

So yesterday I finished writing our book
and I wanted so desperately to
and so achingly to not.

It was raining yesterday while I was writing,
and there were tears on the window pane.
I couldn't tell if I was hurting, or if the hurt
was alive and its own
maybe I was the parasite
and the feeling was the being
maybe I was feeding off the feeling--
--maybe I was leeching--
just to feel alive.

There was no way to un-write our story.
I was almost at the ending.
It wasn't even sad, wasn't wrenching...
The skies had cried for nothing
--their tears unquenching--
The rain was wasted on the window pane
--there were never any tears to hide.

It was so exciting, wasn't it,
the writing?
I wanted so desperately to finish it
that I never stopped to read.

And then, suddenly, it was over.
There were no more pages to turn,
no more letters. I searched frantically for an empty page
--a space.
There's still ink in my pen, I mumbled, blubbering.
There's still more story to write.
But all the pages were gone. I'd filled them all.

I sighed heavily and set down my pen.
I let the ink dry while my eyes got wet
I let my muse die with the dreams I laid dead.

I finished our book--filled it so tight with words
that the pages ran black.
I'd packed in our story with smiles as a filler
and now that it's done I guess
I'll read it
again and again
and forget
that it had to end.

Monday, June 13, 2011


For a while I didn't know how to read
our book
and the letters on the pages were just
scratches of ink
but even then, I think, the markings linked
in even patterns, given patterns
and today, I know the letters are more
than just letters
they're letters from the grave
and the brave
and the scarred and
the scared.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Snow globe

I want to keep you in a glass-globe prison
and wrap up our memories in foil
and stick them in an oven.
I want them to cook and bake and boil
inside the tin sheets till the juices and the oils
like rum in a plum cake
and all that's left is over-baked
memories dry
and desolate.

But you. You I want in a snow globe.
I want to shake up your world
every time I miss you
and smile whenever the fake snowflakes
kiss you
I want...I want to be in there with you,
frozen forever in porcelain perfection
hanging on by my fingertips
and I want...
I want to be the fake snowflakes on your lips.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


If you'd asked me, even yesterday, I would've told you.
I would've splashed ice-cold water over my eyelids
to camouflage the tears
and chugged a mug of scalding hot chocolate
to force down my fear--
to burn away the chill,
the ice-cube in my throat,
and I would've spilled.

Yesterday, I was so bloated with emotion,
so stuffed with nostalgia that I began
to float.
I drifted to the glass ceiling of the master
bedroom, reeling
from the intensity of the feeling that
had briefly seized my throat.

I was choking on the words that had lodged
like hot fudge in my gullet.
But still. If you had asked me yesterday,
I would've spilled.

I wanted you to know--yesterday--
Yesterday, I knew exactly what I would say...
if you had asked.
If there had been a ring involved,
if there had been song,
if there had been nothing but the words
and the sentiment of the thought...
I still
would've spilled.

But of course you didn't ask.
You waited. Hesitated.
I debated, mind you,
I weighed it...
and I decided, finally,
that when you ask me
if we'll ever be
what we were once before,
I'll just say,
"We might've been--yesterday."

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I am quite the ordinary person. Ordinary being, by definition, nothing spectacular. I am, as one would say, unremarkable.
I am a shadow with no gender and no form. I am a voice that makes no sound.
I am vertigo.
I am a stone that bleeds when cut, a priceless gem of useless dust.
I am Mother Teresa's gnarled fingers.
I am the Pope's abandoned robes.
I am the raging half-life of a teenage girl.
I am the smothering pillow in a would-be widow's hands.
I am, by virtue of my skin,
made from the wind.
I am an iced ivory face
in an Iron Maiden's embrace.
I am a ghost that knew no life.
I am life that knows no ghost.
I am a mirror at my best,
and a reflection at my worst.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Yesterday I met a man sitting by an ice-glass lake.
I didn't see his snowy beard
and I completely ignored his face.
All my attention attached itself to his fingers
And all my thoughts--my vapor thoughts--condensed and settled
as tears
before my eyes and there they froze
most stubborn
Till they became glass, ice-glass, organic lenses to focus
my sight--
--my insight and foresight and hindsight and true sight,
on the glass man's fingers.
They were mangled, the fingers, and gnarled
like charred stubs
of a paper tree--
--paper that had once held words
and memories
but is now
and chewed out.
And I watched through my marble-tear lenses
as he held up a pipe,
a solid affair of iron wood--mahogany--ordinary
and blew through it a ball of molten fire,
and, as I watched, the fire hardened,
into light and a heavy orb
of cranberry-orange ice.
But then I blinked,
and the vision shattered,
and my tears broke and the ice-shards clattered
as they hit my face.
A moment later they melted and the world dissolved
into marmalade skies and apple liqueur,
Because the glassblower had
fashioned, from ice, from sugar-dusted air,
and fingers broken and unrepaired,
the Sun.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I peeled off the ribbons of cursive ink,
Words, they're called, apparently.
But all I see in the pages free
of ink is blankness
that the ribbons briefly hid.

It's a book, Someone whispers and I laugh.
What's a book? Pages filled with ink.
It's NOT a book, I whisper back.
It's magic trapped in liquid black.

Magic? Someone scoffs.
What is magic? It's not real.
But what is real? I then ask.
It's blank pages
dipped in solid thoughts
and painted in vapor dreams.

But what is MAGIC? I hear Someone hiss,
It's NOT a book.
It's not a book, I agree,
and I've pissed Someone off immeasurably.

It's the words, I tell them.
It's the words. The magic's not the ink or book.
The magic's in the eyes that read,
and in the curves of the cursive ink.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter Red

I stepped on a shard of broken glass in the winter,
and my foot-skin tore and cried gore
into the snow
and there was no pain because it was so cold
but the red was still bright
despite the white.

I would've, if I could've and I should've--I know--
but I didn't. I didn't seal the cut,
or clean the mess
I just...

I let it run. Run and be done
because it was fun.
It was as fun as a ton of iron blasts from a gun
when you're caught and distraught
for having fought
and stolen a life.

So when the red turned blue in my toe
and the blood crystalized
to crimson ice,
I shook like a leaf
and shrieked with grief
And closed the cut
in my gut I knew,
that the moment was gone,
I am dead to the world the way my blood
is sealed inside my skin,
And the one chance at freedom
died when my blood crystalized.