Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Close ★★

Never one to extend himself,
he stands three steps behind perfection
resisting any attempt I make
to polish his edges,
to revoke the artist's hand.
He builds me up,
wears me out,
and with a devil's grin
he wraps me in his arms
presses my face against his body
and pulls me into him.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Promise ★★★★

She wears a technicolor coat
of mismatched experiences,
of scraps of paradigms,
that don’t quite
line up at the seams.
She bears a love for life
on her sleeves,
in her pockets,
along her borrowed attitudes
and chewed on paper planes.
She wears her stolen soul backwards
because she thinks it looks better
that way.

And she says
let’s never abandon our idealism
as they drift along to the radio.
And life seems like
a promise given
in the bow of her smile,
and there is everything to look forward to,
and everything to be afraid of,
if only there were space in that car
between the breeze and their bodies
for fear.

And staring alone at the bluest sky,
sprawled out on the autumn,
fingers filled with green,

she still can’t find a place for it.

Dissolution ★★

You dissolve my agonies into yourself,
slip them onto your finger,
kiss my open cuts,
and swallow down my scars.
You rewrite my inner passages,
slowly deconstruct my time,
and drape yourself in patchwork scripts
over the wounds that fail to heal.

Impossible ★★★

The night air sticks to my skin
And smells of ash and dirt and heat
I walk home exhausted
My legs singing chain songs
But it’s alright
Because my body longs to pull up out of itself
Rising like a thousand tiny birds from my mouth
Raining backwards into the stars
Wingtips fluttering
Impossible
Impossible

Crosswalk ★★

I saw him on a city crosswalk
The cars groaned next to me
and the dry breeze tugged at my hems
He was clutching the hand of a girl
walking side by side
without speaking
She was pretty, probably more so than I
and he was of the same
thin and fashionable
with hair that whipped his face
with each breath of wind and exhaust
I slipped to the edges of the worn white line
to give them berth
He caught my eye as I passed
and gave this coy smile
His face telling me
Look what I have
Look at all that is mine
Look at What I Am
And me just smiling politely
not sure if it was taunt or advertisement
As if What He Was held any interest for me
As if I myself had never been privy
to pretty boys with their coy smiles
As if he wouldn't pale
under the eyes of my lover
so like spring and fire
and shining only for me

Smile ★★

I see the world
through eyes glazed with dreams.
A waterspout,
a mylar balloon
become reason to stare,
an entrancing spectacle,
and when I try to explain to you
you just smile,
a slight lift to your lips,
and pull me close.
You are either enjoying my vision,
or my fascination,
but in the end still knowing,
and taking me places
where the world is beautiful
and there pull me into your arms,
my head to your breast,
adrift in the space of moments.
You make my heart swell and breath catch
in a single spoken line,
in the touch of your hand,
in your very existence.
And I wish the world
could always be like this,
filled with the light
I see shining in your eyes.
But the world is this kind of thing
that wraps it's loving arms around you
and pulls you apart.
It wears at you and eats at you,
and leaves charred corpses
of naivety.
It abuses it's children,
impartial to suffering or to happiness,
unaware of the difference
between tragedy and the sublime.
And life is frequently
much harder on me
than others might deem fair,
that arbitrary concept
that man so likes
and the world thinks naught of.
Yet you have such endless patience
for my endless problems,
for the despairs and agonies,
of a strange lost soul,
for it's fragile hopes.
You rebuild the walls
the world tears down
and help me be myself again.
And I know, somewhere in my deepness
that when I split my self ragged
in my endless struggle,
when I spill my blood,
lay open my insides to the air,
that you will be there,
with a needle, some thread, and a smile.

Culture ★★★★

there is nothing in us that is pure
we are not sweet distilled spring water
we are sacks of seawater saline
it is blood that churns in our veins
we are constructs of acid and bile
we are filled with living and dying
and house tiny things in our breath that devour
that move and need and perish with us
and we
well we like to fight
and fuck
and our culture metastasizes
and breathes
and tries to call down the future
but we also are a thing
that loves
that is altruistic and laughs and dances and makes art
and poetry
not despite its impurity
not in spite of a selfish ruthless nature
but because of it
because we are fragile imperfect amazingly inadequate shells
so strong and so beautiful and so capable
of really anything
no, sterility inhibits potential
my body, my mind, is no white sheet to keep from getting dirty
every now and then

Clover ★★★

My breath tastes of alcohol
As I pull it in and out
Rolling it over my teeth
A movie plays quietly in the background
As one boy sleeps in my bed
And another is sending texts
Asking
What are you doing tomorrow?
It's three AM and he is asking
What are you doing tomorrow?
I let my thoughts slide
As I have done a lot lately
There is a folded slip of paper in my wallet
A napkin covered in pen sketches
Done earlier tonight in a cafe downtown
As the out of town headliners
Filled the night air
With their droning discord
They arose of their own volition
The notes, the drawings, the thoughts
The sketches were nothing worth mention
Project ideas
The girl at the table next to me
And a slender elegant hand
That belongs to someone I know
There is a face along side it
Lain over other marks
That I recalled from memory unaware
And when I look at his photos now
It's a fair likeness
Unwittingly rendered
And I wonder why my thoughts keep drifting back
To some person far away
With slender hands
And a coy smile
And quick tongue
Just some stranger
Just someone I know
That's all

Opiate Trash ★★★

I fell in love once
It was like sitting too close to a fire
Scalding and noxious
Too bright filling the air with laughing tongues so that
Breath becomes something difficult
That catches in the throat
It licked at my body and consumed and gnawed
And burned into my veins
Like hypodermics lapping at my flesh
Puncturing seeking finding the source
And releasing
So falling in love is like morphine
Wanting to empty yourself on the ground
Overwhelmed and bathed in sensation
Receptors exploding fireworks
Followed by void and the unbearable
Opiate sickness groggy for days
Never wanting it again
But never not wanting it for ever and ever and ever and always
Not a day not a night not wanting it

Stars ★★★★

Drape me in honeysuckle and jasmine
Tiny white stars lain across my breast
Milk white
Tell me I am beautiful, that all is beautiful
All is fine and well
For the night is cool and young
And we do not have to fear growing old or dying
Because we are young
And fearless
Because who can know fear
When the stars are whispering such poetry
Falling down from the immortal black
Saying
Look at us
We are eternal
Our light will burn forever and onward
You see a past that moves outward into the infinite

Feeling your presence wrapped around my body
I tell you
I want this moment to last forever
And you touch the softness of my skin and say
It will, it will
Our memory may fade
And we will one day wilt and sink into nothing
But this as it is will always exist
Irrefutable, irresistible
Having from now on always been
Until forever and endless
Until the world folds up into itself
And is reborn
Still containing the echoes of us

Bagels and Bratwurst ★★★★

I feel
I am reinventing myself

Whatever that means
I guess

Because when I look in the mirror
I see that cliché
you know
the one about not being myself
anymore

So I chopped off my hair
and bought different clothes
and made art
that was oh so smart smart smart and witty
about self and thought and transcendence and death and beauty and
imperfection
and I went out in the middle of the night
to hang out with people
I didn't know
in places I had never been
just because

I could

Because

They were interesting

And so I started listening to new music
All sorts of new stuff
the one that goes
da da dada na na da na ch ch ch da
and the ones about
rebellion
or something

I'm leaving here soon
Y'see
destined for nowhere just yet
only anywhere
for now

And I say
Fuck you roommates!
You and your misanthropy
and your condescension

Fuck you everything!
I love you so much
I dig, I dig, I dig
Let's do lunch

All my friends are in bands now
all artists and hipsters and punks
We'll fight that system some day, kids

Just like we used to

For now I can pull at my hair in the mirror
and I hem and hah
and twine my fingers through everything
and I don't quite recall
where I used to be headed

Did I ever get there?
Am I there?
Is this it?

God forbid

But maybe next Tuesday we can talk

also talk shop, talk philosophy, talk my inconsequential human existence

You always liked that joke

When I look behind this
did it sew me in a new backbone?
Did I grow stronger or outward and up or
have I rewritten, revised, stolen, slid, misdirected or just gone
temporarily somewhere for a stay?

Or did he open me like a bottle
and pour me out on the corner
and tell me this is good,
this is good, kiddo

So I guess I'm all new and shiny and improved and on the up and up
and the down low
and the other directions too while we're at it

So I guess
Nothings changed at all

Nothing at
all

And I know I'm supposed to leave you
breathless
with that poignant thought in your head
so this sits with you until you forget it over bagels and bratwurst

But I can't

Because it just keeps going and going and going

Insomnia ★★★★

My thoughts are erratic
Like small blackbirds on a wire,
Flitting and darting about
Unable or unwilling to settle in.
And this wouldn't be so bad
Except it's already dawning
And I haven't slept.
And I turn over and surrender my night
To the echoes spinning in my head
To the faces I've lost,
Doomed to fade like phantoms
Into an obscuring fog,
Like great ships swallowed whole
By mists cast upward by the churning tide.
Thus is my fate,
The counter to my daydreams,
My musing poetic tapestries.
It burns and lashes at the synapses.
Irrefutable.
And as I sit in the morning light,
Unable to sleep,
I exchange words with a stranger
Who might as well be worlds away,
Explain the insomnia biting at my heels,
Chasing me and wearing me down.
I say, it is because
I am a dreamer.
And he asks
How can you dream if you do not sleep?
And I tell him.
I tell him,
I dream with my eyes wide open, boy.
All the time.
All the damn time.

Fox ★

Pretty girl
I've met her once or twice
Sipping coffee into early morning
We talk about poetry
and sea foam
and words and ink and hurting
She loves a man I used to love
and speaks of visions
and pours out visions
creates and muses
Like me
But different
This tiny thing
made of fire and quick eyes
I know who she is
but
I don't

What if ★★★

What if I like the things you like?
What if we start hanging out
and you show me this new band
play it in your car for me
as we head to the other side
of anywhere
just to pass the time together?
What if I start to like the things you like
that I didn't before?
And what if I meet your friends?
And what if I like your friends?
And your friends like me?
And we all hang out late at night
in apartments or empty lots
or go skating or jam out
or make the time fly
as if it had sparrow wings?
What if you and I hang out more and more?
What if I become familiar
with the scent you leave on my pillow
or the way you like your coffee
or how you look when you are nervous?
What if we go to a show together
and we both really dig the band
and dig each other
and dig life because you know
right then it how could it be
anything but wonderful?
And what if we made this complicated
existence together
learning and making secrets and stories
creating something unique for ourselves?

And what what would happen to it

if you left me?

Et tu, da Vinci? ★★★

We were thick as thieves once
him and I.
The people we were then
could not exist
if not for the sake of the other.
We were interdependent
and lived life
with the passion and fire
that came from surviving
in our own world gone mad,
riding out the storm with arms held tight,
wrapped in each other.
The memories I have
of some nights spent with him
still reek of dreams,
and little lost whispers,
like ghost children.
Sure, we made each other better,
it was as inescapable as
our inevitable end
that we would touch and guide and rebuild,
breath life into ashen corpses of people
and remember together
the light of supernovas.
Just as it was impossible
to avoid destroying each other,
set each other aflame,
to be reborn in new lives,
different people
with new stories for clean pages.
Embodiments, devotionals
to the act of becoming.
Him and I,
we consumed each other
as we rose higher,
spiraling faster,
inflamed,
seeming then
so much like
phoenixes entwined.

Watermark ★★★

There is a faded watermark
stained into my sheets
by the ink bled from your shoulder
as you slept
curled around me.
It is the shadow of a lost moment,
more concrete than the memory itself
which I feel slipping from me
in little breaths,
losing its footing.
I've had other interests since we parted,
traced my fingers through hair,
lain my head to curved shoulders,
and written poems
about bodies and lingering heat.
I've wanted others
in that way that aches
and gnaws
but goes unreturned.
And even if sometimes
I see you in them
It doesn't mean
really anything at all.
Strange,
I'm not used to rejection
but we both know
I am used to the wanting.
And so even if I trace
the outline you've left
I know this pang inside
is not because I miss you.
I just miss your silhouette,
the outline of a memory,
without the details
to ruin it all.

On Paper ★★

I know you look good on paper,
you cook, clean,
and have a respectable job,
but as I sit here talking weather
and last nights dinner
I can only smile pleasantly,
unable to stay still,
cradling my coffee between us.
I am so sorry
that all I can do
is think of the people you aren't.

Allusions ★★

Winter fog settles in
soft delicate tracings
hanging in the chill air
making mockery of distance.
The world becomes a place
of shadow and allusions.
Staring through the windows
I blare punk rock
over the sound system
and my blood boils over.

Lyrics - Got Your Back

Hey kid I saw you looked a little rough today
you know I hate to see that look there on your face
and that whiskey wont chase the ghosts away
so there’s just one thing I want to say

everything’s
gonna
be
OK!

so you got pushed around beat down face shoved into the ground
yeah this scenes a joke your ass is broke caught sneaking out by your folks

but chin up kid
we’re there for you
we got your back your back your back your back
yeah yeah

When the chips are down
we follow through
we got your back your back your back your back
oy oy oy

And I know you got dumped by your girl
and life has bruised and sent you for a whirl
your grit your teeth, your fingers curl
but together we can face the world

everything’s
gonna
be
OK!

so you got pushed around beat down face shoved into the ground
yeah this scenes a joke your ass is broke caught sneaking out by your folks

just remember us
follow our cue
we got your back your back your back your back
yeah yeah

you can count on us
you know it’s true
we got your back your back your back your back
oy oy oy

we got your back

we got your back your back your back
we got you

Lyrics - My Darling Addict

I remember who you were when we first met
Walking empty streets and smoking in the park
I knew you’d steal my heart and you were trouble
But who’da thought we’d end up where we are

You had a lot of friends that weren’t your friends
In the end I wound up paying dearly for it kid
Before I knew I’d fallen in too deep
With you, with pills, with lighters and with rigs

Love your blood
is bitter bitter and metallic
and I don’t have the money honey
to support that kind of habit
and you know I love you
but your bitten bitten rabid
and I don’t have it in me
to support my darling addict

You were trying to live a better life for once
But the past’s a fucking hard thing to escape
And boy while you always had the best intent
you made mistake after mistake after mistake

Love your blood
is bitter bitter and metallic
and I don’t have the money honey
to support that kind of habit
and you know I love you
but your bitten bitten rabid
and I don’t have it in me
to support my darling addict

How long you think those scars will mark your arm?
Will you pay me back for saving your friend’s life?
If those fuckers want to stab me in the back
Do you want me to show them where to put the knife?

Love your blood
is bitter bitter and metallic
and I don’t have the money honey
to support that kind of habit
and you know I love you
but your bitten bitten rabid
and I don’t have it in me
to support my darling addict

When times with you were good they were best
and I know I’ll still miss you when your gone
But babe there’s only so much I can take
If you want your stuff its out there on the lawn

Lyrics - Punk Rock Boys

I met this guy at the punk rock show
Awfully sweet but kinda slow
But he was hot and asked to dance
I decided I'd give him a chance

We end up hanging late that night
With liquor heavy appetites
He was awfully fun to have about
Until he opened up his mouth

I love you punk rock boys
I love you punk rock boys

But I'd love you even more
If you weren't so dumb

I love combat boots, not blue suede shoes
but fuck you guys can be obtuse
Going through life a bit confused
Chasing highs and self abuse

I love you punk rock boys
But fuck you can be dumb

A friend of mine brought a friend of his
to one of our various jam sessions
A sussed up kid from another city
Full of lines he thought were witty

He started talking anarchy
Acting like he was an authority
As if his degree in management
Could make his argument less shit

I love you punk rock boys
I love you punk rock boys

But I'd love you even more
If you weren't so dumb

I mean, I'm not really looking for MENSA here

Lyrics - Hypocrite

I know you say that you aren't racist
But you hang with kids that wear white laces
Your granddad fought in World War II
You're with that Nazi scumbag crew

Dissonant

Hypocrite

Piece of shit

We get arrested for photography
While cops fill the streets with CCTVs
And a child killed in ignorance
Earns an officer a slap on the wrist

Dissonant

Hypocrite

Piece of shit

There's vacant houses on this block
But the squatters freeze their asses off
While the rich get even more tax breaks
To line their pockets and estates

Dissonant

Hypocrite

Piece of shit

The religious right it cries abuse
When we keep god out of court and schools
But they think its fine to punish gays
Since they're burning in hell anyways

Dissonant

Hypocrite

Piece of shit

But who am I to say this to you?
We're all just fucking hypocrites too

Lyrics - Life is Hard and Beer is Cheap

Hey kid if you're drinkin' down one for me
let's drown out all this misery
cause right now I ain't got shit worth remembering
Fuck it, let's just get drunk

And I know that’s perhaps a bit unjust
cause others have it twice as rough
but my job just don't pay near enough
and booze is cheaper than most things these days

See one of my buddies is doing time
another's disappeared and prob’ly died
and me well I just fall behind
and thank god for beer these days

What is it you want to see?
Me to stay clean and act responsibly?
A decent member of society?
Well maybe I can do these things
once we discuss whats owed to me
and reach some terms we can agree
and until then you can shove it in your ass

cause right now I cant sit in a parking lot
without being shadowed by the cops
and all those pigs can fucking rot
because I didn’t do shit to no one
no not today
not today
not today

And its hard enough to stand upright
without this world we gotta fight
and I know the fuck it just ain’t right
I fuck things up enough on my own without the help

Damn right I do

But no one told me how to live
we're all grown up but still just kids
struggling to make our own in this.
I don't remember growing up
I don't remember signing up
I only recall fucking up

No one said it'd be this hard
why the fuck its got to be so hard
whys it got to be so hard
playing shows in empty bars
whys it got to be so hard
awful jobs and PBR

Why the fuck is it so hard?

Untitled ★★★★

He would be,
I think,
disturbed if he knew
that I was writing poetry about him.
But it's not like I choose
what images
coalesce in my mind
like dew on morning leaves.

He is not
like dew on morning leaves.

But he is in luck,
I would not have it in me
to share these thoughts,
these accounts,
these drifting shards
and recollections of sensation
with anyone.

At least not until he is a dying memory.

The knowledge is mine alone
to hold in secret boxes
in my coils and loops,
to come unbidden,
awakened at dawn,
drifting in with the light.

He tasted like alcohol.
I think we both did.
But it was not
in so much
unpleasant.
And I liked the smell of his skin
and the feeling of tracing the lines
left in his body
with curious touches
and inquisitive eyes.

I know he doesn't really care for me
in any sort of way
that I could glorify and gussy up
with pretty words and my tendency
for aimless aesthetics.

But that's ok.

He is young, and brash
but surprisingly gentle.
He is concerned for me

after a fashion.

Sometimes.

And for what it's worth
I really do like him.
I am endeared to him,
try as he might
to give me reasons not to be.

I wonder if his shoulder aches
still
from where I bit down
to stop from calling out
as he pushed himself against me,
together a knotted pile of skin
boots, sheets, and
the bandanna I slipped from him
as his hair fell about my face,
this vivid slash of color
arcing over his head
and down
over us.

I seem to remember it the clearest.

I can recall,
when I close my eyes,
the feel of it coursing through my fingers
and sliding my hands past it
to grip the shaved sides,
to grab his neck,
to pull him closer,
to dissolve the distance of our bodies.

No, he would not like to know I wrote that.

And there is no way I could explain it.

And anyway

I don't know if he cares for poetry.

Imprinted ★★★

Sink me into the sheets
push against my body
dig your bones into my skin
your hips like daggers
grip my flesh with your fingers
bite my lip
and
arch
your
back
Revel in my being
want me or need me
or just
care about me for
a few moments
with everything that you are
every fraction of your self
consumed so as to be
imprinted into you
the way my body
is imprinted
momentarily
in perfect clarity
into this mattress
beneath us

Unattainable ★★★

I will recall the taut coil
of your body under mine,
the hills and valleys
of your sharp hips
shallow stomach
and collarbones
stretched out like a landscape
underneath my splayed hands.
I will remember the taste of your lips
and the heat of your breath
and the feel of your hand
as you pulled me closer
in your increasing fervor.
I can close my eyes and see
the shape of you before me
buried in shadows
ghostlike
your face merging into
the length of ink black hair
body arched backward and wearing only
the dark like a cloak
draped about your shoulders.
I felt in the heart of my bones
the cast of your stare
there bathed in darkness
and before curled beside me
your knees to your shoulders
staring askance
with deliberate blue eyes
eating into me
and stealing my breath.

Coming Home ★★★★

Let's go home
and breathe in the air,
dine on bread and honey and wine.
On the way let's collect
the bits of broken bottles
that litter the gutters
and string them up in the lights,
while taping shreds of tissue paper
and Christmas wrapping
onto the windows like stained glass,
the room becoming
a kaleidoscope in which we can dance.
We can fill the bath with waterlilies,
strip ourselves bare,
and relearn the act and art of feeling.
We can lock ourselves away
forgetting a world outside exists
and grow older together between the sheets,
with laughter and what's left of the wine,
and hushed moments
sacrosanct.

Climbing Babel ★★★★

I can't buy a stairway to heaven
but I can build a tower of Babel
just to watch it crumble
before it can ever get so close
as to scratch at the belly of God.
For this we are told,
we are ruined and cursed
for the crime of self importance
and strength of direction.

The weight of potential
an almost tangible burden,
sometimes my thoughts
begin to hold me down.
I can feel the settling on my shoulders.
I feel I have no choice
but to walk in the grooves
cut by the feet of Sisyphus
forcing onward
until my skin is pricked by icebergs
and I sink into the ghosts of the Atlantic.

Every journey begins with a destination,
a tidy ending,
or else resigned acceptance of inevitable
self consumption.
Assigning ourselves
to a recursive purgatory,
we refuse to relinquish
our unending processes,
cursing Gödel,
God,
for our failure to complete.

All is finite,
though we might run from death
or mourn our childhoods
and broken hearts.
It is in our nature.
Just as it is to set,
still,
such unattainable goals.
We crave perfection
and consume our heroes,
build lofty towers
of brick and faith and pain,
even though printed in their existence
is the preconceived collapse,
the defiance of nature
toward perpetual motion.

An infinite amount of force is needed
to get anywhere these days
when we can't pin our thoughts
to the light.
We are surprised at the hurt
when we never wrote the ending
and the words escape us
and the ground fails us
and we fall.
Those beside us look down
and sort of shrug
their eyes sinking somewhere
and say
and say
you did your best
who could have known?

Learning to Speak ★★★★

He isn't here,
the boy who occupies my thoughts,
so I sit idly,
in his newly acquired
seedy downtown apartment.
Whether a testament to his foolishness
or his tenacity
I can't be sure.
But I can feel the crawling potential.
To be useful I sort the bags of belongings,
an unasked for intimacy
I am only fairly certain he won't mind.
His possessions tell a story
of figuring out how to get by,
of transience and a life spent
rushing then waiting,
dislocation and miscalculation,
of things and people lost and misplaced,
and only ever what you can fit
in the back of a car.
Two toothbrushes,
three bars of soap,
unclean socks,
scraps of paper in piles.
But he still holds steady to some things;
his guitar,
his books, now in unsorted stacks,
a photograph, a butterfly necklace.
We learn what is important, in time.
This sort of life
seems in opposition
to my own constant forward push.
Still we feel each other out
delighting in this intoxicating,
strange, uncertain, and eerily familiar other.
Even aware of these shaky foundations
he can smile at me and say
we are good for each other.
And we,
the lost children, the vagabonds
the changelings and astronauts,
we are learning.
And we can slip away
into the streetlights and muted music
of the six hundred block,
reveling in our precarious shared existence
and every breath we are alive.
Here we can feel the world at the tips of our toes
unfolding before us,
our fingers interlaced,
standing at the chasm,
the destitute and exiled
kings of St. Petersburg.

Getting Well ★★★

You don't like to let on
to your weaknesses
You walk
back straight
with a saunter and a smirk
You bear the world
with a shrug and a grin
and I love you for that

for many things

But its not like I can't see
the look in your eyes
when everything is
like it is
You're evasive and drifting
and you swallow yourself down
in exchange for firm footing
and keeping face

Things are hard
we sheathe ourselves in steel
a trail of bruises
heavy and stifling

You don't like it when I watch
the things you do
to get over this mess
in the kitchen
the bathroom
by yourself

but

I don't like
that you have to go it alone
and I can't seem to tear my eyes from it
either way

that is

until you sort of give me that look
and I remember
kiss you softly on the nape of your neck
and let it slide
because you prefer it that way

Except when you don't

It takes time, I know
and I'm willing
because I see something beautiful
a light, a counter
a weight and a fire

You're wonderful

and in moments between moments
between all this tangled life
you catch my breath
in the palm of your hand
and hold it steady
and hold me there

You have a talent
for untangling my threads

And you let yourself unravel
sometimes
into my arms
because you're you and I'm me
your body aches and shifts
you rest your head against my chest
and I can feel your warmth
and the softness of your skin
I run my hands over your marks and scars
until you shiver
until we're still

except for the rising and falling

I like you, like this
so sweet and vulnerable and strong
entwined in me
both a little broken
both a little scared

I know this feeling

and still
I can feel myself coming undone
and I can feel you coming undone
pulling down our walls
and letting in the wind

Relational ★★★

I wrote you a poem, but I forgot it.
I wrote you a song, but I can’t play it.
I thought of this picture, but I didn’t draw it.
I was going to share the lunch I made
but I ate it before you got back.
I called you up this morning
to scold you for not calling me
and then I apologized for ragging on you
and scolded you for neglecting me
and forgot to apologize.
I ruined your favorite book,
tore the back cover clean off
(and the author’s bio).
I deride you in front of your friends.
I am contrary and sulky.
I got fat.
I am full of the best intentions
but I sort of fail the follow through.
And
I should be studying right now
but I keep thinking about
the way you are,
about you with me,
about the softness of your skin
and the heat of your breath.

And not just because
you borrowed my car
and have work in ten minutes
and haven’t come back yet.

Let's Start a Band ★★

Lets start a band
We'll dress to the nines
You can play guitar
And I'll pretend to know what I'm doing

I'll try to learn the melody
Just like you hear it
As it weaves through you
If you just promise to show me how it goes

And we can get up on stage
Steal a kiss before the chorus
And though the words could be anything
Every note will breathe your name

Why ★★★★

I could see the rain falling in the distance
Like strange translucent curtains
in the process of shifting, churning
folding in on themselves.
But from where we sat
they were frozen in time
as of yet too far off
to reveal their pressing, downward rush,
just strange black spiderwebs
hanging in strings against
the blue and cream
that flared orange at the edges.
But those far off storms
weren't keeping back
the feel of the dust and the heat
that coiled up off the asphalt,
like our breath,
as we sat on the faded yellow curb,
against that concrete
that was cracked and mottled
like veins or arteries,
rivers
overlaid by the shadows
of forlorn branches
mingling into the entropy.
There, besides us, the untended grasses
the compiled dirt,
were making what almost seemed
a misguided effort
to reclaim a hold for roots and potential,
the scraggly, lost wildflowers
hanging their blossoms
over tiny pools of water
coated in rainbows
like black pearls
or raven wings.
Still beautiful.
All still beautiful.
And he interlaced his fingers
into mine
so that our scars entwined without thinking.
He asked me then
How can you love me
I don't deserve you
He meant he was awful
and flawed
like everything
I didn't know how to reply
but to speak
of clouds and trees and oil
and I pressed my lips
to the top of his head
his hair warm and soft and
smelling of musk and salt
and the sweetness.

I Want to Ruin You ★★★★

I want to ruin you
impose myself onto your thoughts
so that every fog filled valley
every sapphire hued daybreak
when the mist blends into the trees
and the trees into the sky
(like artists wish
they could paint in watercolor)
reminds you of me
I want every abandoned railway
cluttered with the forgotten
tin cans
broken bottles
and bicycle wheels
discarded in the high grass
among the metal bars
and rusted iron spikes
to bring my name to you
with the wind
and the rustling arms
of distant forests
where I might have stepped
in some other life
(had things been
different, I guess)
I want my memory to hold you
in a way my hands can't
my will can't
my words can't
so that the teeth
of the glass and the iron
and the vastness of it all
the strangeness
and the siren's beckon
don't consume you whole
(so that you will come back
again

some day)

Is There Such a Thing as Rebirth? ★★★

He looked at her, a little sadly
through heavy lashes
and the stillness of the morning

"Let me hold it for you then"
he said

She cocked her head
her full lips pursing
her hair falling about her
drifting in its own mind
to the wind that wrapped around
her pale white arms
and his weighted heart

"Hold what?"
she breathed into him
as he fell back
eyes pulling closed
manufacturing distance
making it easier

"Your innocence"
he said, softly
almost inaudible
with that slight lift
to his lips

And she laughed
like bells and the charms
on the bracelet
that clung to her thin wrist

And she nodded
and she kissed his cheek
and he cringed

And as he went into the dawning
She walked away
and she learned
what her body could get
from the handsome boys

She learned how to dance
so that they looked at her
their eyes following
like the lost dogs from proper homes
stuffed into name brand clothes
and gaudy jewelry
smelling too strongly of cologne

She learned what it tasted like
to hang from their lips
and suck the wine and the needles
from their hands

And as the autumns came and went
with moon rises
and moon falls
living by night and by night and
by crying to sleep into silk pillows
entwined in the evening
alone in the afternoon

And so it went

And so it was

that he came back
and she fell into him
His eyes were older
world weary
and he held her
and he whispered
all he knew how to say
into the softness of her hair

And he said
"You can have it now
I held onto it for you
you can start over with me
its still fresh
and shiny
and all undone"

And she sobbed
and her hair shook with her head
and he squeezed her hand
tightly
so tightly it hurt

Lyrics - A Song for Falling to Pieces

And I know I'm a mess of good intentions
But I'm just falling apart at the seams
and I know I've the best of good intentions
But I'm just falling apart it seems

Will you will you will you be my savior?
Or just the thing that destroys me?
Will you will you will you be my lover?
Or just leave me somewhere in between?

Cause I can't hold it together
No I can't hold it together
I can't hold it together
This way

Maybe if you told me
All your perfect stories
I could make it all turn out that way
Or maybe all your problems
Well, I can't really solve them
And I can only promise you mistakes

I used to go out looking for the answers
But a sinking feeling says I got it wrong
And that every single one of my solutions
Was just a way I learned to get along

Will you will you will you be my savior?
Or just the thing that destroys me?
Will you will you will you be my lover?
Or just leave me somewhere in between?

Cause I can't hold it together
No I can't hold it together
I can't hold it together
This way

No I can't hold it together
I can't hold it together
I can't hold it together
This way

I Want (It Was Good) ★★★

I want to tell him
of the black on my lips
almost resembling bruises
but not quite
stained from where I tipped the brushes
on my tongue
the ink
tasting almost metallic
I can't say why
I want to tell him this
other than
that I want to tell him everything
the trivial meanderings
and anecdotes
but even more the things like
of the star that fell
on the night we burned those books
in the abandoned lot
or why I look to the stars at all
and how they tie into me
my thoughts
weightless, tethered
rising, shining, falling
and this, myself
I could be vulnerable in this way
for him
I want to shed my husk
guided by his firm touch
these walls I have built against the world
and this, myself
dismantled
to tear apart this carapace
and watch my innermost
fragile, delicate, necessary parts
unraveling into the open air
so he might sort through them
saying
and this
your soul
and this
your heart
saying
do not be afraid
and he might then see me
for every flaw and fault
regarding every dream
every moment of dissonance
saying
yes, so it is
and with all this inside him
we would piece it back together
as best we could
tentative but resolute
laughing back the uncertainties
and he would pull me to him
take me in
and we would
unafraid
face our tiniest deaths
and have our almost overlooked
momentary
but unmistakably glorious
rebirths

Lyrics - Hipster Song

You know I want to be a hipster
I want to be a fuckin' hipster

I want to know about all the bands
get CDs before they hit the stands

I'll go buy ironic T's
and follow all the local scenes

I want to catch the latest news
wear fedoras, converse shoes

But most of all
I want to
Be – Better – Than – You

With a knowledge base obscure
and a breakdown so pure
(insert kickin’ break)

I won't make a lot of money!
But I'll get some art school honey!

Untitled ★★

He told me the other day
that he couldn't do it
that he was saving me
from the inevitable pain
of his instability
I bore it as well as I could
teeth digging into my lip
I've gained weight
lost time
and there are projects due
always due
I have a new cut on my arm
a new hole in the other
gifts from the metal shop
the mig welder
and there are tiny nicks
on my thumb
my fingers
from the sheets of galvanized steel
that now reside in the back
of my dusty blue hatchback
with the fritzy electronics
I feel I am spiraling
down or out
or some other indistinct direction
I am only still conscious
through sheer will
and caffeine
sleep has not come easy
the last few days
the last few weeks
my fingers are black
with charcoal dust
my toes black
like the feet of wandering vagrants
in my battered sandals
all still smelling of molten metal
and still

still

I am so very
content

Bittersweet ★★★★

The restless boy with the laughing blue eyes said
and certainly it must have been
with a sly smile, head cocked
warmly
your poems are always so bittersweet.
And I remember the dutch painters
with their momento mori,
always the bur to twist in our hides.
Things we choose not to look at.
But I do have my kinder ghosts.
Not every sleepless night is haunting.
There were those
spent timeless and drifting
childlike and magnanimous
untethered
dislocated from context.
Splitting the silver coated surf
with bare feet and damp hems,
carousing downtown
under sputtering lamplight,
bathed in
filled with
fae light and fire.
And here, breathless lingering
pressed to warm skin,
held frozen
by soft lips.
I could tell
of a night spent driving through dark,
winding down unknown roads
as if chasing down the dawn,
to watch it cusp
amid mist and mountains
in some place I will never see again,
hundreds of miles from home.
Maybe I will tell him
of the grass on the roof,
or the view of the valley that night,
or how broken glass looks
in the right light
the way we think fallen stars should,
and hope he understands.

The Chase ★★★★

Caffeine and creation.
I string my highs together
like Mardi Gras beads or traffic lights.
An endless series
of distractions and chaotic affectations.
Anything to keep me
from the things buried behind my throat.
Because the moments spent alone
are muddied in confusion,
or perhaps too sharp a clarity.
My feet strike the concrete till they ache,
but there is never enough distance.
The music is never loud enough.
The speedometer never reads high enough.
I push and I grind and I rise and fall,
manic and wavering.
But there is never enough escapism
to satisfy that creature inside my chest,
always unsettled in the stillness.
I can feel its churning.
Somewhere in me I know
I am simply riding the wave
of these thoughts I am fleeing.
The swell is surging at my feet
and I can't keep this up forever.
It has become a matter of
a refusal to acknowledge
while awaiting the point my will gives out,
hoping that by then
that this pressure will be weaker
or else it will unarguably sweep over everything
crush my being and drag me out to sea.

I simply can't run fast enough.

Line ★★

I am worried he won't feed that part of me
the part that speaks now
with these words
I fear in every moment lately
the kind that aches with panic and burning wrists
as the trap goes off and clutches at us too late to step back
our breath and our fire reduced to solemnity
in but one moment of weakness
I fear that as good as he means
and as strong as his will is
he will only throw himself against
my by now pained and insurmountable faces
the foam and zephyrs breaking at his heels
and he clinging so desperately, the stinging proof he still has a chance
looking for something
that is, perhaps, himself
a lost mirrored shard
he stares into my eyes with a lingering thing I simply cannot place
that I used to know like the back of my hand
that I used to return to, this constant recursion
I've gained new scars since then, love
and maybe I never really knew them all that well
we've changed
you are new and I am new and how can we continue with all this abyss of the unknown?
I barely know you
but I cling to you so desperately, now
hoping you can feed this thing that speaks
strip me bare of this uncertainty
strip me bare
that I might repair the bridges between my past and my future
before this all falls to pieces
watch from our bastions
as it hits the rocks and the surf

Echoes ★★★

Recollection comes
as if through a clouded mirror
time separating me
as it surely must
from these details
as if morning dew
or the heartbeats of cicadas
Excepting of course
the glimpses and shards
those most acute pin points
vivid images and words burned into me
the line of a body
a sentence, a gesture
a solitary fraction of a singular moment
I ache inside my unsettled trembling
idea of self
groping but tentative
reaching out and pulling back
cursing my naivety
my history
I long with a depth
as complete as anything else
to be held in steady arms
buried into softness
pressed firmly
to the sound of a beating heart
I want to hear the sweet words
soothing the cracks in my mettle
in my wavering consciousness
consolidating and consoling
A reassurance that all
in time, in this moment
is well, is good, is whole
falling from soft lips
like the echoes of distant windchimes
tiny white flowers on a climbing vine

MODES ★★★★

I try so hard to hate you
I tell anyone who will listen
I don't want you back
I would never want you back
While still quietly defending
Your flaws and faults

I say
You were awful

I say
You hurt me
more than anyone in your position
should

Such an arbitrary thing

Your things still litter my home
my thoughts
From where you left them
thinking you were coming back

I say
I will keep them

I say
It serves him right

And I think of ways to return them
without making you upset

having to face your anger

your tongue is quick and cutting
a well polished stiletto
and I've certainly come to fear it

I try so hard to force you down
make you manageable
swallowable
The force of my urgency
splitting me at the seams
until I am of two minds

I wish you had seen my strength
and not only
what must have seemed
my endless weakness

Dashing myself on your stones

I say
I hate you

I say
You never gave me a chance

I say
It's not fair

But most things aren't
and I know this very well by now
But still I speak it like a mantra

To regain myself I railed against you
Forceful and needing and lost
To regain some semblance of humanity
I misplaced what it actually is

I say
biting back my uncertainties
I only took what I needed

I say
That I don't love you

To fight down the thought
that you are repelled by everything
I am or have become

I can't be sure

But in my dreams
You still talk in those storybook tones
A haunting echo
of when you used to tell me secrets
that you made up just for me

In my dreams you tell me
your regrets
as if you were in the future looking back
ambiguous ghosts

Your stunning realizations
Your tender
heartfelt
implications

And I wake up
Acutely aware of what it was
I actually lost

(I say
you are beautiful)

(I say
amid the caustic words
he's not really a bad person

I say
he used to be so good for me
he used to be

I say
We just did bad things.)

Dreams ★★

They never exactly died
you see
The monsters under the beds
in the closets
the cracks of walls and dresser drawers
They just changed and grew
like we did
changed their shape and learned
learned with us, cherished us
so desperately
wanting us

And sometimes, they haunt us
darkness and cutting and fear
our dark sandmen
our nightmare kings
to torment and plague
and wear thin to bones and brittle
until we give in

But other ones
craftier, subtler ones
they lure
and beguile
they give us such dreams
and visions
and heart
The kind of beauty that can shatter
memories and taunting sweetness

Then they wait
like vultures in the rafters
where they whisper

whisper

whisper

The hard part
is in the waking




We can help with that

Two Hours In ★★★★

A hundred miles from anything I know
in a place that seems familiar
The moon is so bright
that the trees cast shifting shadows over me
I watch my breath hang in the air
like my feelings in my throat
As I think about the way
that kissing is reminiscent
of a certain brand
of cream soda
And everything is so still
And I am still
And I am racing
electric on so many upon many
tiny fibers
weaving into thoughts inside me
Delight or abandon
Right now there is nothing
outside of this point
I am devoured
And the radio chimes in
Don't forget this feeling

Don't forget this feeling

He ★★★★

He sings to keep himself from dying.
To stop his lungs
from consuming him from the inside out.
His soul threatens to crawl up his throat,
out his body,
and he plugs his mouth with words.

He paints so that he will not disappear.
He buries his long fingers
into the colors,
grasping and groping and pulling and yearning,
so that he will manifest,
leave his echoes and fingerprints
on everything.

He fabricates stories to hold on to something,
pulls people closer with vibrant nothings
whispering to call them in,
offering endless musings he never expects
to have believed.
As if he can re-write
his own existence.

The City ★★★★

I suppose he was something like
a sprite or a phantasm
formed in the dust and earth
of some rural nothing
where beautiful things die and are forgotten
He stumbled and drifted
still a thing of half shadows and misconceptions
until finally brought to life in the hills of The City
where his self was assembled
summoned from the deep places inside
Like the golems of mud or stone
with the scripts pasted to their foreheads
by the ancient sorcerers with their
foreign immutable words
he found himself there
and there he opened his eyes
and there was told how to live.

I know this because he called to me
when I was fleeing from my own despairs
lost in the weight of existing and feeling
in being human
and I didn't know then why I went
and I don't know now why I went
but I did go to him
Unknowing but unafraid
Because the voice was soft and soothing
and my life was not.

When I found him
or rather, when we came upon each other
we did the thing that people do
tentative and uncertain
hugging and laughing gingerly
weighing and observing with sharp eyes and ears
picking out the things we seek unknowingly
and as the hours past all I knew for certain
was that I wanted to touch him
wanted his warmth to chase away the cold
that dug under my clothes
And he asked
What can I do?
What do you want?
And I said nothing.

His eyes were not blue like the ocean that borders The City
and not blue like glass marbles
or blue like cornflowers and cloudless skies
Or any of those things that they tend to write of
But his hair at that time was like my memories of autumn
with fading streaks of gold and red
disappearing into a deep brown
like at the end before winter strips it all from us
I remember it best falling about my face
when we kissed
embracing on the rooftop of the building
of his one room apartment
overlooking the lights in the valley
as I pulled him close to escape
And he asked
What do you want?
And I said nothing.

So he took me everywhere that came to mind
he wanted to dote and coddle
to show me things I had never seen
to have me experience what I had never known
to chase away my nightmares
He shared with me his home and the places behind places
the restaurants and coffee shops
the theaters, clubs, and porn stores
everything
And he asked
And is it this?
Is this what you want?
But I didn't know
and I said nothing.

We watched the fireworks over the marina
him and I and another
the waves lapping at our toes
as if trying to catch us and hold us
but always sinking away
the tide is such a transient unknowable thing
like memories or the beating of our hearts
and he held me, smiling, warm, beautiful
transient and unknowable.

I cannot decide if time moves quickly or slowly
when one has nothing to pin it down to
and everything becomes a dream
a phantasm
I don't know how it moved for those in The City
or for him
but it came to be that there was none left
for myself, to remain, with him
or so it felt as I vacillated, tentative and uncertain
and he asked me to stay
that he would keep me, myself, with him
but I couldn't answer
And he asked
What can I do?
What do you want?
And I couldn't answer
and I said nothing.

And I left him
the sprite, the phantasm
and returned to rain and a sinking in my heart
that grows and eats away at me
tugging at the lining and leaving me raw
and now I know.
I know.
I know.

Red Red Red ★★★★

ah the tentative poor
and beautiful you
I write
(try and keep up
its hard we all know)
to express some
loathing self suffering

 of mine yours I do not
    have certainty:
    have certainty

vivid are the copper coils
 the strands that burn
like flame when lit
 (flames when lit
                 burning)
in my mind
breathless pushed under
you
breathless
pushed under

I question the validity
of my words actions
                 meanings
(but then I always did)
    and I regret
devouring with sharp teeth
dragging and
 and

    and

I regret

not what I did but what I left
empty and hollow and un
hole

I wanted to return
the sweetness
(like honey and digging my finger
nails
into
    flesh:  ::)

Your breath back into you
your heart back into
mind soul this this this this
(but isn't that just
something like:
like:
a mirror
   glass)
        shatter and blood

 and lost)

I want you to have rose petals
drifting in the heated water
(a mirror, for you
   more accurate less this)

It should have been yours

           not mine

(not no not: don't argue)

Everything you gave me should have been yours.

Ghosts ★★★

I fall asleep
with the thought of you
pressed against my back
arms wrapped around my still form
and I awake
to the sun chasing away
the fog left in my mind
and the lingering ghosts of us

Artichoke Heart ★★★

I sit
reclining
into some other part of myself
while
my mouth informs me of
hours old chardonnay
day old kisses
current blossoms of artichoke
and panic
Part of me is not here
seceding from the ache
the tumultuous pit
lilting in and out of
disjointed poetry
persuasive intimacies
stuck in recursive
recoiling
passages of time
while my heart
surges and sinks
near as anything can be
and farther
farther still
I want it to never come
or to never end
I am not sure
I am
at
this moment
so very uncertain

Summer ★★★★

He was summer
Hair like ripe wheat
Eyes the color of the caramel
we poured on ice cream
before licking the melted drippings
from each other's fingers
When he smiled he was my youth
burning in the heat
thick with the weight
of coming rains
quick to quench the thirst
of arid tongues
of waiting earth
And in the richness there I blossomed
He was to me the flicker of starlight
the dance that sunset makes
on drifting waves
He was lightning
and the ghosts of sandcastles
as they wash into the sea
ephemeral things
a memory of long days
idle moments spinning away

But sometimes he was winter

Winter ★★★

Winter
makes the scars
burn white
against the soft pink blush
of my cheeks
White like my breath
in the air
the snow that never falls
Now they say that
Spring
is the season of love
but it seems my heart swells and ebbs with the cold
and the air that hastens
to pull the warmth from my body
carries the scents
of the chill
of sea salt
of memories
Passion is found and lost
in lovers' arms
a million times
with every breath
And in a harsh
but not unkind embrace
Winter and I
we share our marks
now so bright
so livid

Water and Earth ★★★★

Water and earth
grounded to Gaia
pulled in and out
like the tides and white rabbits
called by the moon
Could I somehow
walk into the ocean
and feel my discord
washed out
bled from my pores into the sea
Could I take root
my feet entangled
with the rock and rifts of ages
let my body collapse
breathe my soul
from gently parted lips
to dissipate in the night air
the tiny creatures
born inside me
spilling forth to consume my shell
Could I return myself to myself
to the everything I had never left
or could I follow
the so many uncountable invisible threads
and become the stars
and shine again
beautiful

Untitled ★★★

lounging on his bed
pillows and sheets in enticing disarray
speaking of restless nights and entropy
I watch him silently
occasionally
as my body shifts among the fabric
he is, for now, lost in his world
and, one could say, so am I
a TV, voices, somewhere off
the sounds of his subtle movements
his scent, his breathing
I let my thoughts wander, then disappear
into myself, into him
and, my breath heavy with the heat
into the softness, and into nothing

Bathwater ★★★★

Still and clouded
warm on my skin
I sink, my body sort of
slowly, indifferently
drifting downwards

but

not too far.

My dreams have always
in a way
spilled from me,
been left in traces
by my fingertips on
car doors and handrails
ticket stubs and skin.

I feel it
as it does
draining from my ears
falling from my lips
leaving me,
as they tend to do,
dissolving into the bath water
oil or salts or sugar cubes
shedding like skin
lost socks and misplaced
everythings.

Do you still want?
Do you sill dream
the same as the night
the stars fell into the sand around us?
To touch and taste or

slip away
into murky bathwater
sucked down the drain
and lost.

Unwilling ★★★★

He likes the marks
dark and red against his pale skin
proof of my passage through his space
across his body

They remain much longer than I do

Not that I wish
mind
to ever exit his embrace
remove myself from him

from the quickening in my chest
the catches of breath
the taste of his lips
from the feelings that overwhelm
and envelop

I watch his eyes
as he watches mine
through the pale fluttering of his lashes
and the low light

I watch his body move, flex, curl
stir, tighten, relax
shift against mine

And I watch the emotions
that cross his features
as he regards me in the same

as I stay
as I lay beside him
and eventually
as I go
unwilling

from him

What We Know ★★★

The sea reflects the starlight
atop its lurid sway
and we sail upon our vessel
across the milky way

Tomorrow is Bermuda
but tonight we have no home
and our wake splits open heaven
scatters diamonds cross the foam

For there is this certain freedom
that you find out on the sea
we live only this moment
our only goal is just to be

And at this very second
the stars are breaking 'gainst our bow
and we know no better feeling
than the one we're feeling now

Canyon ★★★★

I stood on the edge of oblivion
Before those great red crags of ancient stone
Carved sand grain by sand grain
Into the colossal anti-structure before me
I stirred, unconsciously, away from the edge
But I forced myself to look
Stare into the jaws of the world
The tomb of heaven
And bear all the thoughts that came
It was a great spiritual climax
To an earthly body as me
Molded from mud
Teased by the imperceptible things
Dancing on the edge of thought
Unknowing and lost to their secrets
Having only glimpsed
Their shadows
A stranger turns to me
Opens his mouth, clinging to his camera
As he wishes he could cling to the rock
Beneath his feet
As the wind whips his hair he says
Such is like the breath of god