Category Archives: poetry

Tapetum Lecidum

Sure as shadow puppets
their pasts
are solid
and often just around
the corner she speaks
numbers, laws, and other
things pulling words
from crystalline
honey, she is
enunciating, among square
things woodeny
the curves
of her body
are punctuating
establishment white
walls no doors,
no windows.

The best girls
have always been
crazy
he thinks
or was it
that they made
her
go crazy
or was it more
that it is
he
that was crazy
and she
was just
the first to
notice?

They say when a ray
of light hits
a surface
it bounces in a certain
way, and a punch to the head
does to the brain
what a car wreck does to passengers.
And she watched
her light bounce off his cornea
without cease
no matter how hard
she struggled
against him,
no matter how hard
she struggled
to make him
leave.


Millenial

I needed
everything wrong about the sadness in
your smile where
you sat, calm,
buttoned-up,
and cross legged in
your innocence.
I’ve carried
you under my skin in every
second of every
minute of every
lifetime since then, swallowed
you as every pill
and then cutting open
my skin to place
you within, soothe this wound,
you left, angry,
persistent.

I’ve searched for
you in the eyes
of every
man
while trying to make sense
both of the women
you’ve been with
and the man
you’ve seemed
to become since then –
everything wrong
and just doesn’t fit.

What then, what then
in every universe
and every single
might have been
in every single touch of
your hand, is she
paper doll
or simpleton or,
like me,
is she close as
you can get,
or even as far away
from our madness to keep
you tethered
safely to the surface.

I created
you – wrote every version
you’ve been.
And who
you are now is easy –
a businessman
a boyfriend,
mowing grass, entertaining,
growing beard, brewing beers
in your cellar
to share with friends,
discussing the game, or standing
for a bit in silence, same
as here but over there, same
as America
but so British,
proper and safe,
congratulations –
you’ve achieved
well-adjusted gentleman.

If so, it’s better off
we don’t
talk anymore
because
nothing good
can come of it.


Forty-Three

a gunpowder trail, sinuous
across the wooden plank floor sparkling
down the stairs, scarring the runner, under
the wainscot and around
the corner, you know
this trail
dropped
from a hole
somehow bored
in the wooden keg and then
he
comes along
and lights
it
from the other end


He Used to Ride Out and Dispossess His Tenants as the Spirit Moved Him

She tried to push love through
his skin, thin like an insomniac’s
two a.m., inject it into the tiny ridges
of wrinkles or will it through age
spots gathered like sad men in strip
clubs alone, breathe it into his mouth, save
him from death sleep, speaking
to bereft only he could
see, roll it like fog down his
thoroughbread thighs,
rinsing the rigidity from his
shins, injecting
opiates in his mortified
toes, but his body
always pushed it back
out, and no amount of her
cherishing
all
the
things
could stop the chill
that came
when her surrogate
heart stopped beating
for them
and he forgot
how to
love
at all.


Too Rare to Die

Our men amble together tangled in shadows
of dusk, fingertips brush, sticky laughter, backs
wet, sweat trapped in the anti-curve hollow just above
belt, just before we ought not think his
ass

or where he stole his mouth, our man with more pout
and the smirk of someone shrewder, clever eyes
threatening to fill your pockets with stones and let you drown
cold

in the promises he makes and the company he
keeps, no weight or means, whole days of wondering
what he thinks, the certain myth of eternity, his
long peppered fingers reach toward without
cease.


Softly, Gently

My love
is rosewater
and butter mint, eyes
of a thief, not Japanese
fans, large
well-written
well-played hands.

His soul, heavy
upon me, my heart
struggling, expanding.  My love
holds it safely, rolls
and sways me, rubs
substance under my
aching ribs, he
twists the time, arms
thrice around me, my right
breast is perfect
now for sleeping – sleep
of bruised lips, we sleep
like stirring.

He paints my night
sky, and blazons our waking.

 


 


There’s This and the Journals of Sylvia Plath. That is All.

So here
is your face
like coming home
to someone you’ve not seen
and forgotten
how they look –
but in a second upon seeing them
you recall everything, every
crease,every aspect,
every gesture.

This night, the moon outside
your window ignites
our universe. This room
for me, becomes the world. From your
bed I watch the smog smudge
the trees, muffle
the passing train’s
occasional rumble
and horn, blot
any time
before you. I sleep well
here, dream of you
and wake to you
like a dream in the blue –
black beside me.
I watch you stir some
in your own sleep
and wonder
if maybe
you dream of me.

In my mind’s eye, you
are smiling boy and man,
and then I, too,
am a girl again.
Two steps above you, I circle
myself around you. I braid myself
into you. I am
covering
and covered
by you.
I carry you with me
when I leave you,
radiate you, bleed you. When I pass,
winter flowers long buried bloom.
I raise my face to the sun
for the first time in years.
My heart rages in my chest.
I am beautiful.