Sunday, September 25, 2016

Parallel Parts ★★★

If you were on my mind 
What words would give me away? 
What would slip out of my hands
Trickling secrets from my throat
Filling in the cracks between the letters
Like caulk and analogy
If I spoke of firm hands
Gripping fabric like flesh 
Would you picture your own? 
If I mentioned a line of eyelashes
Painted in sumi-e brushstrokes
Would your own flicker in response? 
Is there a fragmented thing being born 
In the spaces between us
Filling in holes and improving conduction
Or do I fly under your radar
My words only ever saying what I mean?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Turned ★★★

There is something thick like oil
coating the inside of my skin
It dips into and drinks of my mind
When I stare at you I feel it writhe
Like a caustic animal
A breathless parasite
Quivering and reciting the words you said last night
Or the words you said three months ago
Or whatever will make me ache
It weighs my arms down when I would reach to you
Numbs my mouth when I would speak to you
Makes me placid and hollow
It drips into my thoughts like a sinus infection
A building bitterness like opiates and dark chocolate
My land of milk and honey has laid in the sun
For these unwinding summer years
And while the honey might be sweet
The milk has gone rancid
I feel it thickening inside me
I want to walk to the river and rinse myself clean
Let the water wash away our egos
Become clean and simple and uncomplicated
I want you to give yourself to me
your crown laid into the crook of my neck
All warm lips and soft skin
To push into my small places
Naked and pure and easy
But your distance is one I can't travel
An insurmountable gap
And I feel so heavy under all our yesterdays

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Poem About You ★★★★

I think about you a lot,
when the hours grow long and I find myself alone
in the bleeding hours of morning,
driving myself home
So I speak into this box
and press my words like flowers into the aether,
the first step on a strange path
that ends with this thing that you are
an echo diffused by fog
that returns my words in muffled murmurs
and makes them sound foreign to my ears
You are the pit I want to climb to the edge of
and throw my words into
You are a great wall of black glass obsidian,
an endless expanse of surface,
covered in crags and narrows
that catch the light that shines in my eyes
and throws it back in a flurry of pinprick points
that dance across its rough forms
like the night sky tearing asunder
Sometimes you are just the sky torn asunder
You are the sound,
the chasm
the empty vessel
I pour myself like liquid into you
I can't stop thinking about you
Inescapable and immutable
Empty and nothing and all encompassing
A blank board to pin my greatest hopes and expectations
A feeding machine of needles and tubes that drain me
You the blank white page I am spilling my blood like thoughts on
You stand as a mirror
reflecting the image of a father
who I'll never see again
You wear the face of a man from a dream
who slid his fingers across my face and told me
everything is going to be alright
A mirror of me
And also everything else
But trust me,
holding this conversation inside my head,
I'm talking to you and nobody else
And how does that make you feel?
Does it get under your skin like it gets under mine?
Does it scratch into the surface
as if I were writing calligraphy upside down into your insides?
Could I sew you up with ink in words?
Could we manifest some greater connection between us,
crafted by the exchange of concepts and ideas,
a suture to pierce through
some greater barrier of misunderstanding?
If not now then perhaps another time
Another night
There can always be other attempts
To pull worth from tangled tongues
and mangled weavings
For you to listen to
I just really need you to hear me

Winded ★★★★

All night long I've been listening to the sound
of branches falling onto the roof of your house,
and when I go outside
I can feel the wind blowing hard and hot,
pulling at the threads of my hair
like your fingertips sliding over my cheek bones.

The streets are littered with twigs and leaves,
as if everyone had all at once forgotten to wake up,
as if no one had walked these streets in years;
and driving out into a still midnight
there is nothing yet that might tell me otherwise.

The only signs of life are the rhythmic rituals
of the changing traffic lights
and the steady glow of laundromats and convenience stores
mirrored in the inky wet asphalt
their beacons cast downwards
looking so much like towers floating in an endless black.

So I drift along in this lucid dream
waiting for the pinprick that brings me back into reality,
that pops this bubble and brings it down
in soft showers around my shoulders,
like the last remnants of storms
falling down on bare skin,
like feeling the brush of lips
calling me back.

But please
let me sit here awhile longer.

Because in sleep we all are dreaming
and awake I am alone.

Heavier than Breath ★★★★

I have words in my head
that I don't really have words for
a yearning for expression that only manifests
as a shrug and a sigh from my native tongue
I feel like I'm not from these parts
like you haven't seen me here before
there builds an empty midnight listless
seeping up through soft earth or toes or floorboards
an estranged tickling sadness
not the kind of fevered heartache that buries you
that swallows you in its engulfing mouth
in a maw lined with teeth made of spun agony
frothing in saliva like carnival glass and unpleasant memories
it's not the kind of feeling that grips your heart
with hands like a vice
squeezing you until you feel like you've lost
every ounce of breath in your desperate lungs
no it's the feeling of wading out into warm choppy waters
feeling the pull of the surf gnaw at your feet
summoning you forward
it's walking out into that deepness
until you can no longer see the shore
and knowing that you are completely alone
it's wading out into a sea
of cocktails and faces and tiny white plates
and being surrounded by blackness
it's being surrounded and knowing
I am completely alone
no one will find me here
the rocks and the sand and the silvery white surf
of my metaphorical interior
have become draped in this rolling breathing dark
like velvet and black holes
like the moment you first become aware
of the concept of death
I wear the shroud and the shawl of this feeling
but there is no fear
for there are no great serpents here to bite at my heels
no traps to catch me and bind my thrashing form
there is only nothing to drag me into that deep abyss
in fact it would be so easy to drift
so comfortable to sink
to slip my body into a sheathe of satin and feather and pillows
to dissolve my limbs and absolve my presence
to float and to wait and drink down the promise of inevitability
until I found some semblance of solid ground
or perhaps instead make some nest in the mangroves
exchange heavy arms for something more fluid
and learn to breathe an air so thick and heavy
and with so much weight
yet my thoughts already have so much weight
slipping from my grasping tongue like pebbles and anchors and sand
the water seeps in and washes away my words
lapping away at the things that tie me here

Untitled ★★★

I want to drive a spile into your heart
Force you open to me
Press my lips to the metal
And drink down your love
I want to crack open your chest
Fan you out like inverted wings
I want to press my face
Into the soft flesh
Feel the warm wetness inside of you
I want to open my mouth to your wounds
And suck on your sore bones
I want your soul
To run down my throat
Thick and visceral
I am consumed by this hungry yearning
I want to feed on everything you are
I want you
Just let me

Friday, March 18, 2016

The First Gentleman ★★★★

Of the four gentlemen
I was introduced first to bamboo
Watched the length of it rise from his motions
His hands thick around the handle
As the white drank in the blackness

Later he brought me to a garden
Some place I've lost to memory
And showed me the small copse
That some unknown hands had kept
He brought home some fallen stalks
And with me made a walking cane

I marveled that a thing so thin
Could so easily hold me

Those narrow poles
With their thin green leaves like sparrow wings
Are to certain people in places I've never been 
A symbol of summer
Of willpower tempered with flexibility
A symbol of virility and life

And I try to remember him as strong
As powerful and kind
Not as the sadness and the sense of being lost
That worried down his hill like shoulders
And has come to slip into my own life
Like echoes written in blood and kin

And not as it was in the end
As so much weight slipping through me
Without a way for me to hold it back
Without a way to bear the weight
With only old drawings
And hollow sticks

Friday, February 19, 2016

Weighted ★★★★

There is a method used
To keep curtains
Prim and straight
To keep them from billowing in the wind
The owner takes weights
Metal plates or stones
And sews them into the hem
So that the bottom is pulled down
Succumbing to the irrefutable claim
Made by gravity

I have of late
Found around me this feeling
Like I am wearing a cloak
That wraps around my form
Falling from my shoulders
In soft waterfalls of fabric
But it's not a comforting thing

It yearns for the ground
With the weight of the stones
That are threaded into its seams
I am full of gnawing thoughts
They condense like drops of water
Like frost in winter
Forming tiny knots
That grow and build and compound themselves
Until they drag at me
Sinking me to the earth

Yet as much as I feel the urge
To let my body collapse beneath them
They also make it impossible
To sit still
They dig into my sides
So that I shift in my seat
Stir in my sleep

And now the whole world it seems
Has become so heavy
As if the very air
Has become a heavy curtain
A weighted sheet
That brings me down

Untitled ★★★

The minute hand and I
We have a lot in common
Both sitting still and motionless
In a box we cannot escape
Bound by wires
Under the scrutiny of others
I feel I am sinking
Into endless loops
Binding myself
With ever-tightening coils
Of vacant mediocrity

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Worry Stone ★★★★

You aren't an idiot

You make it so easy
to slip the locks from my tongue
Open the latched doors
And touch sunlight
to the dusty rooms behind my courtyards

But if I pour out my thoughts 
Like rice or water or shiny river stones 
You'll catch too much 
You'll put it together 
Like patchwork and jigsaws
Weave your threads with slender fingers
A skein of curious contemplation

There are scars on mine
My fingers, my hands
My thoughts

Would you notice?

Would you care?

I fear you'll hear the words
I'm not speaking
The words that wear me
That I wear like weights
You're too clever by half to not see it

Not by now

Just when did you learn me so well?

But you're comfortable like an old blanket 
And I want to let it all come unraveled 
I'm tired of walls and hidden things
I want your words 
Your words as a knife 
for your fingers to wield

And sometimes I think
it might be ok
For you to carve out a place for yourself
In the hollows
And sew yourself in

But no
I ache more for comfort
Than release

So instead I sew myself shut
And I worry the words
That I want you to find
And pray that you don't

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Recoil ★★

Sleep is an uneasy thing
He dreams in muted colors
When he sleeps at all
A world unwinding in garbled images
Dripping from his stems
Flooding his roots
Feelings adrift between the taste
Of liquor
Of kisses
Of blood
Like copper coils and wishing pennies
His veins digging into the earth
Draining into the soil
He winds himself
As he twists in the sheets
Wrapping himself in his cords
Tearing himself apart

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Anechoic Chamber ★★★

There is a room
With walls so white
That it is hard to see
Where they meet the floor
Instead diffusing
Into indistinguishable infinite

I meet the floor
My legs like pillars
Affixed to a point in space
And if I let my focus drift
Let the light fuzz
On the back of my lenses
I could imagine myself floating in void

The walls are made of math and foam
And hard molded plastic
They drink up noise
In the same way
That they refuse the light


This is a place that takes away heartbeats
And breathing
Denies the closed loop
That is evidence of our existence
And reduces it to the tiniest

I feel my chords flex
Note the resonance of bones
But there is nothing ascending
To alight on eager nerves
They are instead left
Afire with a need
To know relations
To claim a position in fixed space
Wanting reassurance

The walls abscond with all
Leaving not even
The slightest sussuration
To bend and distort
To carry itself from this place
To change
Instead words melt
Like spun sugar on my lips
Unable to enact metamorphosis
A nihilistic mummery
Nothing returns
And returns to nothing
This labyrinth of sound
Swallows all

My thoughts leave me
Like seeds lost to the ocean
Never finding purchase
Fading into a whiteness
That is unrelenting
Unaltered and unchanged
By my actions

I am in a white room