I was a bird

When last I loved I was a bird
Ruffled and old-boned
Pinned between gust and thrust
Alit upon an ancient continuum

Finding a window agape
Draped in azure voile
The room within aglow
In expansive rapture

Barreling over the event horizon,
One fleeting instant of silence
Unaware the impending disruption
Oh! Love travels faster than light

Beyond the sash
Light and night transposed
In the haze, clarity
Alas! It was a mere antechamber of infinity

Husk against feather
Grist against filament
A reconstruction of the avian
That old brutality of fusion

Shut out
Flung upward, flapping
Into the laughter of a cold blue sky
Ah, how nothingness burns!

The inevitable surrender to gravity
Downy smash on new grass
Earth, my oldest friend
A reprieve

Flattened, I am new again!
The attending Silence
Broken by my tentative rustle
So reticent to fly again, since last I loved.


via DeviantArt
via DeviantArt

In the end it was the girl on the pink chrome bike

Not my steaming coffee

Not the ugly billboard touting chocolate donuts

Not the crossing pedestrians

Not the train barreling past

No, only that pretty girl, yielding, poised to ride



oldmapYour A says ah while mine says eh

Let’s plot our vowels

Let’s seek latitude by degrees along that all-too-familiar axis

Me due east
You north

Let’s seek the longitude of our respective consonants

And see where our differences take us


Go ahead

via DeviantArt

Lock me up in your bars of rage;
Open my throat to sing.

Watch my longing escape,
Seeping out faster now.
Watch my blood spread.

Truth is the dirty knife in your hand
And knowing those unknown things.

Fearful still?


Do it! Do it!


nobody can save you but
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
to make you submit, quit and /or die quietly

nobody can save you but
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don’t, don’t, don’t.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
do you want to experience
death before death?

nobody can save you but
and you’re worth saving.
it’s a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.

think about it.
think about saving your self.
your spiritual self.
your gut self.
your singing magical self and
your beautiful self.
save it.
don’t join the dead-in-spirit.

maintain your self
with humor and grace
and finally
if necessary
wager your self as you struggle,
damn the odds, damn
the price.

only you can save your

do it! do it!

then you’ll know exactly what
I am talking about.

–Charles Bukowski

Do you feel love?

Love isn’t

Small cool hands on your back
Arms wrapped around you from behind


A smile on a train
That weightless promise of running

Sometimes it’s

A blank canvas
The strength of a line
The liquid grain in a wooden board


The reflection of sun on metal
Water pouring through your fingers
Friends in strange places

But more often it’s

The pavement’s thud
A check written to your name
A candy bar at the gas station at 2 a.m.


The word no
Dark secrets shared
The truth eked out in screams

I find mine where

Rope meets my flesh
Rocks lie in my belly

Everyone has a pit of fear

I’ll hold the rope
You jump in and pull
Tug it through
It’ll turn inside out

Sun in the dark

That’s love




Let me tell you a story

Let me tell you a story about how I loved a boy once.

This story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Let me tell you how I almost died before I even met the boy. How I fought my way back to life for him.

This story always comes back to death.

Let me tell you about how I loved a boy before I even knew how to speak. I gave him my first words.

My father scrawled this story in a notebook in a drunken stupor while I formed my love into a deep, dark question and hurled it at him.

This story is a puzzle.

I begged him to slip love around my neck like some heavy leather noose.

This story is my scar.

The only answer was my own echo.

Love is the reverberation of my own voice refused.

This story is infinite.

My son scrawled this story in the dirt on the elementary school playground.

Love is never heavy enough.

This story always snakes back on itself.

Let me tell you a story about a black belt in your hand.

This story ends with your voice in my ear.

Do you mind implication?

Nearly a Valediction

You happened to me. I was happened to
like an abandoned building by a bull-
dozer, like the van that missed my skull
happened a two-inch gash across my chin.
You were as deep down as I’ve ever been.
You were inside me like my pulse. A new-
born flailing toward maternal heartbeat through
the shock of cold and glare: when you were gone,
swaddled in strange air I was that alone
again, inventing life left after you.

I don’t want to remember you as that
four o’clock in the morning eight months long
after you happened to me like a wrong
number at midnight that blew up the phone
bill to an astronomical unknown
quantity in a foreign currency.
The U.S. dollar dived since you happened to me.
You’ve grown into your skin since then; you’ve grown
into the space you measure with someone
you can love back without a caveat.

While I love somebody I learn to live
with through the downpulled winter days’ routine
wakings and sleepings, half-and-half caffeine-
assisted mornings, laundry, stock-pots, dust-
balls in the hallway, lists instead of longing, trust
that what comes next comes after what came first.
She’ll never be a story I make up.
You were the one I didn’t know where to stop.
If I had blamed you, now I could forgive
you, but what made my cold hand, back in
proximity to your hair, your mouth, your mind,
want where it no way ought to be, defined
by where it was, and was and was until
the whole globed swelling liquefied and spilled
through one cheek’s nap, a syllable, a tear,
was never blame, whatever I wished it were.

You were the weather in my neighborhood.
You were the epic in the episode.
You were the year poised on the equinox.

–Marilyn Hacker

How about ice cream?

Let’s rendezvous
In a busy cafeteria
Call it business
You bring your delicacies, lay the table, pick my place
Bring them too, your cohorts and underlings
Introduce us
And I’ll bring a surprise

Thirty-three words, including bring in triplicate, for this weekend’s Trifextra.

Three nightmares and a revelation

Three nightmares:

A baby, a ladder, a criminal

The baby has a slit neck, blood oozing, gruesome.

A set of ladders, in place of escalators, in the center of a glittering shopping mall. I avoid the climb down.

The criminal invades our home. He sits with my daughter as she draws, chatting with her, influencing her.

It’s risky. No matter how difficult it is for me, it’s time.