Sunday, November 29, 2009


Does it even ruffle a feather
Of your proud peacock tail, does it
Mean anything that these few
Obvious, indulgent months--

Full of silences and petty bickering
Underneath which lies weak resolve and
Codependence, masked with half-assed
Kisses--will end with two Japanese dolls for

You, and the memory of a few
Orgasms for me? Does it needle you, that
Underlying all of that, no molten ore,

Dense with heat or iron will, no.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Can we place a practiced kiss--

On forehead, sweet as peaches
And just as loaded with
Meanings, layers, and a poison pit?

On cheek, like a phone number
Learned by rote and worn to pieces
Benign as brushing teeth,
Hello, goodbye, banal and brief?

On lips. Locked, unlocked, or unhinged?
"I'm pissed," in bliss, coquettish hint?
In fire, warmth, or wintry dismissal,
In rhythmic, primal discourse
Where you've made your mark
With intentions often missed?

And can we sit with careful distance
Placed between our hips and faces?
Can we sit instead and ponder
Every quandary that exists?

The purple dome that rests above us,
Arching downward, gently freckled,
While we wait with bated breath,
And the heat that builds between us
Weighted with our expectations
Seems to press us ever closer
To our plaintive, precious question,
To the key contained entirely
Within the strained and reckless limits
Of a single, practiced kiss.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

View Live Feed

If it doesn't fit on the pages of a magazine
A tweet, a facebook feed,
Or a cellphone screen,
(Although I'll allow that somehow
Those things just keep getting bigger,
Thank Nokia or LG for your expanded
Canvas, please),

If it doesn't fit within the confines
Of a sitcom scene,
Within the time limits of an attention span
Like a thirteen-year-old kid with ADHD
Who's high on prescribed speed,
Too geeked out to remember how to breathe,

If it doesn't catch the eye of a teenage girl--
The only thing she'll ever read cover-to-cover
Is Twilight, even Harry Potter couldn't keep
Us kids in check, and I would've settled for that,
Grammatically correct and a pretty good read,
But let's face it, it was a handful of years ago,
And in any event good writers are a dying breed--

Chances are, if it isn't cheap, or better yet free,
If it isn't contagious as recycled '80s trends
Or v-necked tees, if it isn't easy, effortless,
Instant, in the time it takes to blink uploaded
Direct to my short-term memory, one-two-three,

Don't even think about being remembered,
Not even for a moment so sweet you wouldn't believe,
Because it sure as shit won't hold them
And, come to think of it, this is even boring me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Symphony

A symphony is passing overhead--
A murder of crows,
A thing with no rules,
Freed even from gravity,
And rudely they lurk,
Excuse them, they were never taught
Their manners, letters,
Or which fork to use.
Not like that outline of a stealth bomber,
Those geese,
With their landing gear tucked
Neatly beneath,
An angle drawn with a protractor,
With precision,
And such good map readers.
Not like that single monster,
The flock of starlings
Which moves in roiling unison,
With single cells that know,
Before the decision is made,
When to turn.

It is the crow's ragged voice,
That interrupts the loudest,
Sounding starkly above crowded streets
And the autumn woods alike.

Breathing halted

Breathing halted, stunted
Acrobatic heart
Fingertips on mountaintops
Geographic lark
Exploring hills and foreign ranges
Plundered, lips part
Shoulder valleys, softer angles
We really shouldn't start
But gently, still, I sink, I skim
Your skin, this work of art

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Forgotten but not yet forgiven

Forgotten but not yet forgiven,
Four years' patient pacing,
You stole my heart,
A poison dart,
To calm its frantic racing.

Calming hope was newly risen,
While still you laid the trap.
You stalked your prey,
All for a lay,
A girl perched in your lap.

From tip of snout
(and pretty pout)
To cloven hoof,
Made me the ass,
Your blush and bluffs
Were hidden tells I missed
That cleaved my heart.
A knife so sharp
Behind your back,
Behind a practiced mask.
The plunge, a kiss,
Metal to skin--
A twist, so pissed,
And still I come
(And come, and come).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicago 3

Shoelace guitar strap
Finger trace scar map
Hearts played on catgut
Someday when eyes shut
I'll call and you'll run
Blinking, breathing stungun
Small burns like ashfall
Flashbulbs in dancehalls
Dawn broke on bed nest
Ghost stare, head mess
Firestart a smoke ring
Cottonwood-fluffy fling
Changed boy, hang the girl
Off and gone around the world
Songs pass pursed lips
Memories of mountain hips
Hopelessly and ever lost
Weathered smirk, double cross.

Monday, November 2, 2009

And here I thought

And here I thought that volume was the key
To arguing effectively
Before she moved a mountain range
And with a whisper, softly
Sucker-punched me
While we stood upon a sinkhole
Sliding sideways through a city.
First we danced across the surface,
A thin veil over deep cuts
Jabs and thrusts I couldn't parry,
The bottom of my stomach dropping out
To sounds so soothing, she could
Be singing me a lullaby,
Rocking me to sleep.
I had never known so clearly
By the wrenching of my guts
And gaze away from what so
Plainly was a trainwreck
Caught in quicksand, this
Had turned a bit quixotic.
And her field of quiet windmills,
Once so staid and stoic, lured me
Now into unbridled fury
As we slid into a standstill,
In a stalemate while a hundred moves
Were weighed, then waved aside in turn.
So I let this fire die to embers,
another day to burn.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Riding the veins of a city
Aboard a silver chariot
Moving with purpose.

Cruising the rivulets
Of a metal river delta
Swallowed by a pike-fish.

A boy with brown skin, arms
Crawling with white-scar centipedes
To show he meant it when he did this.

My pages covered with eyelashes
Shaken free by eyes too eager to appraise.
Restrained, I wouldn't risk it.

Snake stops its belly-slide,
Belching out its gullet's contents.
He stood to leave, but almost missed it--

Reaching for a cane. He limps.
These scars--long lines of deep cuts
And dots for the stitches--

Were made of accident and not intent,
And I--a judgment away from flippant!
Ashamed, gripped his wrist, and kissed it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

How I've Changed

I play things closer to the heart now,
On guard so that I am maybe even
A little afraid of boats now,
Where it used to be planes--
But my fears are closer to the ground now.
(It is not the height that scares me
But the invisible that hides so near,
In depths I'll never see or know)
And I roll filters into my cigarettes--
The most dangerous bet I place--
But bids? I barely make them,
Although my hands are hidden well and
Flush, though you could never tell.
And it's hell to drive the highway
When top speed is ten below the limit.
Oh well, though. I've changed lanes,
I'd rather go around than through now.
(I've learned to bluff convincingly, too,
Does this sound true to you, now?)

This urge, like most

This urge, like most--
rapacious in appetite,
persistent appeals curling,
coiling hotly inward--
Comes suddenly, silently,
expansive in it's space-filling abilities,
spanning decades to build its arsenal--
Foot soldiers to push forward,
reaching for relief,
rapiers scraping stomach walls,
a gasp, aghast, why wait?--
Unfaltering, soldiers
(and their unfettered companion-swords)
cry havoc!
And I am through.
Caving in, the response?
Indulgence, it is true, feels like
feet freed to heat-seek retrieve,
feels like fate.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This White Rabbit

Follow this white rabbit
To the bottom of my stomach,
Where sticks and stones
Will break my bones
But words can truly punish.

Patience while I break this habit;
It cycles like a chorus,
These flats and sharps
That score my heart,
These hearty vines that flourish.

Like vines a house will make decrepit
Old and sad and broken,
The song has roots
That line this chute
Tapping words unspoken.

Unfairly I remain the skeptic
(Your reasoning seems brittle)
A house of cards
Falls in my palm
To show you cared so little.

Like dealers taking bets, expectant,
I'll paint my roses red
The smile remains
To hear my name
Whispered in your bed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Bats outside, leather-flapping with that flag-in-the-wind snap, flutter, fwit-fwit
Like a cotton skirt slapping against two legs, flag to pole
Their cries, two-tone, of a lower pitch and less vulgar (though just as incessant) than that of their feathered--cousins? with wings and voices alike, some distant relative shared--second cousins, fourth removed
The seagull.
Somehow the bats seem frantic, with their flapping and crying, ungainly and uncertain and, well, blind.
A dive, a swoop, a ballgown trailing behind a running woman (she is Cinderella, and her dress will disappear soon, and in any event she's lost a shoe, but it's something of a relief as they were damned uncomfortable), and not a fluid fabric, no silk or satin, but something noisy, thick and with plenty of layers.
They are in a hurry, these bats, but I can't really see the point to their harried, tilted, turbulent flights, chaotic--and I really only hear them moving, in that way aren't I something of a bat myself?--circles, they are tracing circles over a cul de sac.
Circling, swinging, ovoid mobius strips streaming from their wingtips, busy little--
Not bees, kissing this bit, that bit of the lips of sweet orchids
No, bumble is the right first name for bees, honey fits too--slow, they stick to blossom, bramble, and blouse alike
And, well, if a bat landed on your sleeve you'd damn sure scream.
Perhaps, somewhere in that family tree--an uncle divorced, bastard child-of-a-mistress stepson--there's a place for the humble bee, for in their ability to elicit shrieks, bats and bees are quite the team.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicago 2

Hop on in this fast car
From carnival to graveyard!

We've no memories of time zones
Or of differences in skin tones-
Dodging flocks of helicopters
Moving in formation overhead.
Welcome to the land of the dead.


Have you ever been the worst thing to happen to someone?
I think you might've been and that it was fun, once.

Now I can't forget the way that you talked at a slow clip,
Or the tiny little hairs on your top lip-
Stop it.

I hate to admit
That I hope that this hits
Home and hurts
Like a bitch-
Homegirl, you
Make me sick.
But it's just what I get
Making castles out of shit.

Have you ever thought you loved a stranger?
Well that fleeting thrill of danger
Isn't worth it, I promise.


Smothered love, so nothing to declare
Plain and painted, so nothing left to say
In the park where children-statues play
I never told, and so I left you there.
True love, this kind was never quite so rare.

A slipshod stitch to bind us two to one
Unsteady hands that twitch to miss their mark
Unravel now, let go this tired lark
Confining hems, this needle-loaded gun
A foot apart, pristine, distant, done.

Impatience prowling lion-like for prey
Combatted now with sweet and softest kiss
But though we run, so pursued just as swift
When ending can be no more kept at bay
Painted black, so nothing to display.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I will limp with you, I promised
But the slips and missed-step pitfalls
On this trip are not so simple
And your limbs--surprising, nimble--
Aren't so spry or strong since winter--
Excuse them. They weren't made for this.

Where once I felt a fire, I'll admit
You weren't convinced, but despite
Your crooked spine and spirit
I would take you by the wrists and
Pull you in, and there you fit just fine.
Remember on your hairline,
Where I'd plant a careful kiss.

On the night I left you hid, consistent
With your hatred of goodbyes, high-fives,
I miss you's. I found you sitting
In the dark, silent while I came unhinged.
Lights off, as you wished, but to cover
Such vast ground so quick was
Too great a wish, so like a mother
I couldn't resist my last admission.
And while my voice was once the whipcrack
That whisked you back from oblivion
Your mind may be fixed, and made up,
Dead-set on bliss, and though
I know you no longer glisten,
Pristine, I can still sustain a smile
Just for you.


We tried a new melon at the supermarket
Nestled between crater-surfaced cantaloupes,
The milky full moon honeydews.
Greeny-blue skin, and fitting perfectly in your palm,
We sliced it into two scarlet hemispheres
Dotted with the soft white seeds
That you didn't have to spit out.
"This occasion calls for a melon-baller,"
You laughed, although wedges would have been more summery
And we pressed soft chunks to each other's mouths,
Chins dribbling with the pink runoff
Of our strangely named watermelon.

Chicago Prowlers

We are Chicago prowlers,
Pacing streets on tired feet
And I watch for violet flowers.
Violent splashes, garden gore
I stoop to smell, sugar sweet,
Sure as shit footsore.

Chicago summer, welcome June,
Bring your jacket just in case
And even the sky hides its face
At boring, sunless noon.