Sunday, February 21, 2016

Orchard Beach

(for Melissa)

We'd go every Saturday (Sitting in the car, all sticky legs
"Get off a me!")
with Ana, the neighbor who lived upstairs

The ocean breeze
crystal reflections in muddy waters

Baby oil with iodine shining slick and smooth bronzada
hot sand, ham and cheese sandwiches and sun

Salsa booming on the Bronx malecon
salt from the sound on our tongues

And the fun
of being a Bronx kid




Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Prayers

They called to Father God, which I rewrote as Mother Dog,
They called for signs of fire, but I barked a rough sentence for water
for these fiery bones.
They instructed the hearth maidens to scatter the oiled twigs
around the faithful friend.
In my refusal to loose the flopped ear of the dear bitch,
they misconstrued my nobility. I was hungry.
I called for corn cakes. Oh, and honey...
full of wonder when my betters rushed to serve me.
The small salver of spring water would surely contain barrels.
What can i say?
It went to my head. I was badly singed when the fire surged.
Maddened, I insisted a unicorn be brought to lick the burns,
even sketching the beast with a bit of crsip tail, dipped in ash.
Wrong culture, said the old one
Did you say Mother Dog, said the young one
I had that little moment, thinking the dog would have
simply sat by me, and never asked, and never left,
when the burning circle extended round me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Anger

A child's anger, it hasn't atrophied,
it hasn't been
put to good use.

Neither nor, and it hasn't been the spur
for adult anger.

Nothing washes over,
and it takes me from
sour noted child sadness of
an English country garden,
lilac bee swat,
spanner echo in the barn,
tattered porno,
third hand absence.

Someone was put to work,
got startled within the hedgerows,
never came back.

I saw something in the city fox,
sharing the listlessness of where we came from,
listless as we are now.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pox

Delivery flat,
hair too long,
hides the scruff.
Perfected the art
of making people
speak to me
child's talk
so I can be a pox
of a visit
and visitors, pox.
I'm so wild.

Fragment

herbal in the end, erased, the
basement and the bunch
of lavender hung
upside down
and dry
we

are
heading out
on time to beat the
traffic like we can't remember
Monday's not the day to go back home but should be.

Look. The panic's gone. The mania, the joy. 10 years of feeling normal and for what?
It's late. It's February. Leap Year. Tell me if you're not ok, I dare you.

Ever

You ever want something so badly
You would kill to have it
and sometimes you think you
actually own it
(just sits in your sweater drawer)
but in the end
you’re not even sure what that thing
is that you wanted so badly
that would drive you to kill?


It’s not dementia.
It’s not hunger
or even thirst
or a quest for sleep
but it persists
needling at you
like a Reese Witherspoon
chin kneading into the
meaty part of a shoulder.
taunting and haunting
a ghost.

It's me.

For your white dress, 
I need a pink slip.

because winter has turned into summer
and spring into fall.

because it no longer crackles like fireworks
but sits soggy in the cavity of my mouth.

I'm expired milk.

growing up in fear

a black man told a black boy
that the police kill black kids
all the time
just like him

you know that, right?
no, the child said
the man told him
they do
the police kill black boys
the child looked scared
no, he shook his head
yes, they kill black boys like you
who don't listen their to their parents
and the police come
and kill them

and the white girl passed by quietly
not sure the child was old enough
for this truth

SIX

she did not pause
nor stand still.

she remained in constant motion
to make sure precise memories would not fall onto her.

Five

wonderment 

about what it would be like
to hear and feel your own
...///\\\...---___---...///\\\...
shapelessness

Four

what would you call

a hiker 

who did not go all the way thru.

cul de sac / dead end hiker?

Three

i am forward folding on my desk chair
bending at the hips to look
down at my toes
one is clothed
in a two-toned brown sock
and one is naked, nude
down to the bone.

Two



the way the sky looks at certain moments
during earlyish afternoons in late winter
makes me wish I could push through the glass
of my bedroom's window
and fly, floating. I would hover peacefully above the
already dingy accumulations of precipitation.

One

the water rose,
so did the caskets.
one by one
corpses inside coffins
floated up, through the flooded Earth

to slowly surface above ground.


"a ball of lint"

-what should my last poem be about?
-a ball of lint.
-really? what about it? oh, you put it here on my old laptop? should i write about how it looks? speculate as to what article of clothing's fibers it's from? muse on how you like how i pronounce it "lent" in my vaguely texan accent? or are we both just poemed out after a month of more or less daily poeming? is this ball of lint plopped on my keyboard the death rattle of 31 days of forced creativity? there is one ball of lint here. i wrote maybe four serviceable poems. not a bad ratio. thanks for the memories, lint.

on the conversations taking place in the other room

the other roommates have gathered around the makeshift kitchen table
as they are wont to do from time to time when mutually convenience and loneliness align,
and the conversation sounds spirited, with each chiming in animatedly on their particular
area of expertise:
we have:
-dispatches from the art world and assertions of pieces being of superlative performance
-a dissertation on the human brain and how it handles complete sensory deprivation
-stump speeches covering socioeconomic landscapes of greater St. Louis suburbs
-interjections on architecture littered with questions of where to play tennis
and I'm holed up in here too afraid to walk past to go piss because I don't have an area of expertise
and I'm sleepy for no reason and don't really feel like nodding.

two days ago poem

I’ve flossed
The second layer of curtains is hung
The day for
given

What’s left
to do

Two days left
The left
overs are 
in glass
in coldness

What’s left
in two

Left to ex
press

Oh sad 2016 DM 
today
is for
giving

praise
to be 
left

with just
these two

coffee
good
wishes

and

thanks all
round

nightlife

I spent two summers in Seattle
but they were non-consecutive,
so I didn't get pruney.
The sun set at like, 11pm -
so late that sometimes businesses would
already be closed.
It was fucking weird to go to get a sandwich
in broad daylight, only to be turned away
by a "SORRY WE'RE CLOSED" sign.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Body Watch

This is the window I'm working in
I shifted the first part back
Now I'm working on the second
Give us this day
our daily fog
give me mine by 11

Deja Vu

Baseline, old haunts,
while walking in a new place found
the same place as my early memories
bald grey trees, tiny gorge
the people walking slowly towards

a celebration!

Ah, but then, my head a
mossy topiary fell with
foam core chipped along the ground
my twiggy neck my trunk the pot
what hath my melancholy wrought!

Girl



Girl.


Everybody likes a party
Girl
Pretty, funny, vivacious, lovely

Everybody likes a city
Girl
She with purpose, authority

Everybody likes a thoughtful
Girl
Waiting patiently for everyone’s pleasure

Everybody likes an Astronaut
Girl
Floating above the world

Everyone really likes a President
Girl
Making the big decisions and all that

No one likes a broken
Girl
After the party, the city, the rest

No one wants the sad
Girl
Who sits alone and scared

No one wants the lonely
Girl
Everyone wants the lonely
Girl

To be lonely with them
For they are lonely
Girl
They are lonely
Girl.
 

Friday, January 29, 2016

ON NOT TALKING

On the sludgy missing you,
on the dripping missing,
on the trudge of you,
on the dirty body I have to propel
into a world that wants to react to it,
when I want to react to the world.

On knowing the thing is beyond my means,
on ripping the butterfly wing,
on pushing on for no reason, on forcing,
on being blown away by my own inability.

Gimme the lesser of the two bad men,
the alpha evil bores me, tho I remember
knowing I was trapped and I had to chew off
my own tongue to escape.

On missing you, on hearing you, on singing to you
until you fumbled so I had to strike and struck hard, to kill.

Love is unlearning how to face someone, or something.

New Computer

Grey & beige blew the bloody doors off.
Looking down at the garden from the office window,
the bramble scrape of the summer before,
and the dried cow shit knocked out of the
cracks in my Dunlops,
and the dog nose in the ground circling round something,
baseball bat giddy,
and my skin, wondering where my tan went,
I'm welcomed to a new age of knowing
I'll never know business.
The spreadsheet starts,
teeth glisten,
I know now keys solid and clicking and the engineering
of a family;
computer literate or illiterate.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hay

Pie chart inverse,
the sun's gone out more than not.
Living is experienced
as the night's jump cut,
the tumble that wakes you so often
and you would have known how the
bedspread falls
along with the dust mites and who
knows what else.
Your life: this is your night.

bit by lint by bit

two pockets
39 years deep
who can remember
what I put in there?
it’s not necessary
to know what it is
I’m holding to
let go

Moose to Moose

Just for tonight
abandon your harem 
and nuzzle your dewlap 
against my cheek
until I weep.

Let day take off for a night
a joyful moon working overtime
for us.

In a circle of pine cones, 
cherries and fire 
while they watch-
mark me.

Let me stroke those 
midnight antlers 
up and down, and 
then down and up. 

Do that thing with your hoof
that makes me blush berry
while larks sing our song.

After everything is done
lead me into the river
sway me.

Water holding remembrance
so I can return to it again 
and again.



This Is Just To Say Sorry For Drinking Your Seltzer


Stranger

Celebrating a stranger celebrating,
a found peace for non-participation.

So warm so I can't speak to that,
would rather not consider how
generosity comes packaged.

Hopping off the festive circuit
a flexible approach
to pacing the bright spots,
the purity to a stranger's celebration
and their grace in pulling strangers in.


thru hiker #3

"i'm not really into camping"
she revealed.
I watched her fill her canteen
at the spring
just feet from where i urinated moments ago
then why would you attempt to hike 2,000 miles?
i wondered to myself
i hope you like piss water
more than you like camping.
when you're done hydrating
do us all a favor
and
please go home.



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

thru hiker #2

"Top of the morning to you!"
"I'm sorry. Vhat?"
Some greetings don't translate
even on the Appalachian trail.

Coasting



Coasting through time
Catching a big wave
Riding the tube like a wormhole
Into a futuristic city

Everything is really clean
The air is super clean
There are a lot of floating vehicles
The fashion is retro Jetsons

It is an illusion of course
I see the poverty at the perimeter
It is a clear line
As If I were standing on a stage or something

It’s  funny there are no people around today
Perhaps it is Sunday, and people are at the park
Eating brightly colored ice pops
And watching strawberries float in the sky

They are lighter than air by the way and disappear
Into the sun
Where they probably explode
Into the space between planets

We possess the ability to step into the timeline
Slow it down, speed it up
Dance upon the moment, the edge of the
The edge of the outer universe

I double down on reality
Amidst the pull
To floating again
While the song plays again, over and over

It is a sign
Impressions held to the cheek
So much further to go
Feels like an eternity

I am thinking of the listener
The cadence of the breath
We go as far as we can together
Sometimes we part sadly

Grass
I stop myself and look up
Stars spinning
I am spinning

Again I will find myself
As a red wind reveals black lines
Swirling there is the silhouette
A black cat

I embrace
The bare tree
Sounds of rustling leaves
Long dead crunching

I see myself
The storm is over
I am on my back
I think it is me

The sun through clouds
So that is like kind of hazy
You know what I mean?
Bright in a weird way

I close my eyes
And let go
When we release into it
We become free of the helmet of self restriction

This helmet locks us down
To hear the sound you have to let go of thoughts
So you can hear
It is not trying to listen, it is listening.

He took a large large breath in
She calls him back
He is standing on the porch
Listening.

kale

10 years back i asked:
"what's kale and what does it do?
just ate some. what's next?

Marathon

Witted but less grasp of the procession,
I've learned the shuffle of the sentiments,
I have them all, their access, I'm trained.
I'm highly trained, even, and it was dim 
to have given power to liking you less
than all the things you have given me rise to,
all at night, fluid glide through my ages,
I take nights and reduce you,
slick compote, the tang of decay,
begins with its tapping on my teeth.

On Sharing a New York Times Cross Word Application Account With Someone (You Remind Yourself) You Love

oh, look! he's already been working on this morning's puzzle.
Already.
By the time you have sludged up the hill and swiped in 
At the train station and gone underground, to
Pull your cellular device out of your 
coat pocket to hunker down and get to work,
shoulders arched and back bent over the tiny
black and white squares on the smooth screen in your hand.



Well, grand. That's great, how wonderful he's taken a 
Shine to one of your favorite pastimes.
It's so fulfilling to share hobbies.
But wait, these words are wrong. 
He's put in three eRrOnEoUs answers for the North Western (upper left hand) corner 
And as you watch,  
(wow!) 
Here come two more! 
Like a ghost has reached over your arm
To magically type 
Their best guess at 14-Across and 28-Down
While you look on, helpless.

So flee. 
You go back to the application's landing page
And scroll up, a couple weeks, heck go back to December
to find a fresh puzzle,
untouched, unopened, blank slate.
You breathe a sigh of relief 

Until, during your lunch break,
You open up back to your monochrome grid from Dec18th,
Smile a little smile to yourself.
THEN nearly DROP the PHONE
When you see.
He has found you.
He has written a cute "Heyyou"
"Iluvu" in 1 and 8 Across, respectively. 

So you scroll scroll and slide, 
Hide again, and go back to October.



my posture is never good enough
always catching my back in pain
trying to support my head
too hunched over

you look up at me with sad eyes
hoping for forgiveness
you're never good enough
and i'm angry because of it

For Tom it started at 30.
A baby, a business, bread
always to pull from the oven.
Rick asks logistics
filler or intel
how important are the machines,
do you know the formulas?
Recipes you mean?
Yes all the pastry gets pulled
the night before.
Keep the spirals fingertip clean,
crimp the edges with a fork.
Is hell an overcoat and tiny dog, 
a downtown bistro with no meatless salads.
Or are you a lounge singer on a cruise ship
who passes all the primo fishing spots
and never gets to dock - -

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Collars Run

Noel thinks my shovelling is a bargaining chip,
he offers me a deal on the space I rent from him,
I can't be there anymore,
I scratched someone's car with my shovel.

I don't fancy my wipers bent,
I don't fancy the sad descent into tit for tat,
yes a historic fall, but I was out there for three hours,
pushing it around like food I'm being forced to eat
pushing and pushing,
and eventually it isn't even food or snow,
it looks like it's just something to do,
no-one will care where it goes,
everything that must be set up
in order to abscond.

31

What am I doing.
Amazed by the speed of sleep
my father says he's afflicted
only with nostalgia, while
everyone else's depression takes
a windier shape, while mine is
generational but not from him or
is just dietary or is not even real,
is maybe also just nostalgia.

Do you ever just mean to get
the classic meal? I want to be
getting classic meals and also
really be on it, be a good person,
fight for justice and clams casino,
iceberg salad and remembering to vote
in local elections, a radical marriage of

Do you want to be in a radical marriage of
in it as like an idea that's part of it not
like a half of it. Even to say halves is not
radical I guess it would be a radical marriage
of classic meals and civic responsibility and
ALSO of generational depression, and that's
the radical triangle; there's no radical line;
It's three points or you're dead just regular
a 31-year old woman with a modest salary
in a big city.




Fate, Luck or Chance?

Nice conversation with Adams. He said some lovely things to me, how it must be New York City, which is why I'm not settled down already, pretty girl like me. Compliments me on my glasses, says, "Yeah, must be new on you. You look nice." He says that he looks at people, watches them on the subway. No one wears rings. 20's, 30's, 40's, even 50's. It's not like that in Burlington. Not in rural areas, everyone wears a ring. He keeps a BMW, a Corvette, a Hummer, and a Japanese motorcycle, a brand I forgot to catch. Last weekend, a car show just happened to be in town. He asked if he could drive his Corvette right up next to the others. They said, "Sure." Keeps a clean engine underneath the hood, everything is custom. Not something you'd just buy off the lot. They gave him first place. Always hustling, can't sit still. Goes to bed by 11:30, wakes up at 4:30, even on the weekends. Drives the Eagles in one of those big buses during training time. Real nice guys. Sometimes for fun, he will Uber his Hummer for a few extra bucks. The way he met his wife, he was working the forklift at BJ's, part-time before he got the bus gig. She was on line, buying a rotisserie chicken. His friends knew what he was up to. He asked her, "You like the chicken?" She said, "Yeah, I do." He asked, "You like ice-cream too?" She said, "Yeah, actually I do." They went to Friendly's after his shift, a few months later, they got hitched.  For their recent anniversary, he bought $200 wheels and rims for her BMW, originally $5000.  He shows me a picture off his Galaxy phone. The guy selling it was down on his luck. 

Can I

I can't wait, the blip that makes anxiety latent
which stays as such
so long as the refresh rate continues to hold up
and there's something to refresh.

Can't wait, obliterated by comfort,
and then anxiety realises its boundless potential,
demanding your dream of being kicked out of
a car, in some backwater with a bag on your head,
any dream you can have of being reset,
so you can think outside of where the quandary of your comfort lies:
an anodyne coddle where your irradiating force
sucks towards you all the throws and cushions
from elsewhere in the house
and your lounge becomes a high watermark
for the packing industry.

That or comfort really is what you couldn't wait for
and it's crazy that we continually toe the line
where decision making is hemmed in
by the double resentment of having to wait
or knowing that now everything is typically religion
to the ascetic.