The Steepening Slide

        It started with Cain and Abel Brother against brother So many stones to wield In these killing fields… “Am I my brother’s keeper?” What if I answered, “Yes.”? Would you finally stop screaming for justice, and beg for forgiveness?               Advertisements

Tuesday’s Child Is Full of Grace

  The mailman and the doorman both sing out, “Hi Lori!” Cheerfully, hoping I’ll stop and chat with them. Usually, I do… Happily, sunnily as if the only reason I would ever get out of the elevator was to chat with them. But only if they see me first. If they don’t, I practically evanesce…

Landsharks Swarm The Shore Every Memorial Day

  There are days like today when I am a black figure in the dark. I lie there etched in charcoal, outlines of myself blurring borders of what I imagine I once was. I want to put on my orange coat, cloak myself in sunshine, storm my shower stall: an Allied soldier on Omaha Beach,…

The Mockery and Beastliness of a Hyperborean

  I don’t know. Maybe I just wanted to get a rise out of his stately plump Buck Mulligan. He was a genius and he knew it. I saw that smirk! The one that said, “I will make potted mince out of anyone with my serrated tongue.” And suddenly a red-tailed little devil sprung out…

Good Mo(u)rning

    Caffeine injects a strychnine sky but my mind drips An echo is absorbed veiny impulses blear their fog-horn moments Now awake, I remember things half-dreamed: How a man once crossed seas with a guitar in one hand and a needle in the other cigarette dangling from his lip unlit but smoldering under the…

Do Not Drink The Recycled Water

      It pumps, this heart of mine. Humping away like a flea-bitten dog On a stranger’s leg. Heedless and happy. The dog smile that doesn’t bare its canines The one that dreams of chasing rabbits And eating juicy cow thigh bones. What do Butchers do with those thigh bones, anyway? Just one would…

Tony Bennett Never Did Come Back To Pick Up His Heart

  This is such a strange city – columns of jasmine and bougainvillea grow straight and tall, proudly flanking the homes and buildings they adorn, while the few trees here compress themselves into their too tight containers and gratings, dangling swollen limbs over trunks that are contorted – supplicants to the always bossy wind. The…

…urges our bodies are too afraid to acknowledge

He means well. That’s the main thing, I suppose. But his virtues are always signaling smoke. I could feel the smoke hatch its conspiracies. I’m left choking in their fumes. He runs his hand through his hair like its pale fire is scorching his skull, a prairie moon haunts his eyes while badgers stream through…

Mutatis Mundadis

  She could tie pumpkin stems into sailor knots just by looking at them. Some women had the gift of gab, she had the gift of grab. She would grab your attention like some angry whore might grab your balls for ten dollars and squeeze. Hard. None of this ever phased her. She’d walk around…

…and the rest is rust and stardust

“Every moment is its own eternity,” she says this like the head juror in a murder trial pronouncing a verdict of guilty. Its solemnity undeniable but nearly comic in the obvious bathos she displays. I choose to ignore her. She chooses not to be ignored, and raises the pitch and volume of her voice until…

Whispers And Turns

It’s in the bones. This calling. This giving to the dark. A slow scrawl makes it way through marrow and flesh, marking me its own, it yowls your name but is muffled to a hush by the erratic pulse of my want.

Stranded Across The Barbed Wire

      Was easier than she had imagined The steel only bit into flesh What was a few scratches and drops of blood? Nothing that couldn’t be sopped up with a cotton swab dabbed in alcohol and covered by a Band Aid She loved Band Aids… they stretched over wounds and kept them covered……

Negative Kiss

      There are things to be said, places in felt locked away though not quite forgotten. They are sealed in impossibly old dented tin dripping wax vacuum-packed carefully stored and preserved like July’s sweetest peaches. Precarious, they sit suspended on the muted lip of a shelf in old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard where dusty…

On woodbines and the wounding of things

It screams, “Love me!” at the rare passersby, twining its bindweed through the skulls and skeletons of could-have-been and used-to-be, settling into the cracks of the between-places, the sullen skulk of it never satisfied with the present, its language is all past participles. The verb to be won’t be conjugated in front of it. It…

Tacitus

It was in the bloom of night that he visited me. Like a falling. Like a plunder. Grotesque visions clouded the surface skinning their beasts and I reviled in streams… in rivulets of wonder that beaded their bloodsweat on cool marble brows; brows that would soothe tension and catapult thought into higher realms. To the…

I Y(i) Y(i)

    You didn’t know how to be You question your answers like you’d finger a rosary I agree with your answers, although I resent the questions, still I consider changing my I to our we, happy as I am leaving the hour of our our to my my, equally. I suppose, maybe by the…

The Bathyal Zone

    Midnight, it’s always midnight – the sun’s unwelcome; black swallower – its possessive eyes absorb too much sight. This sweet darkness is complete. You are the crush of water; I, with my slick wave body, am the promise of flight. Down here deep, deep where sound is life and your ghost-devil bite syncs…

The Taming Of The Brood

“Do you ever get broody?”, he asked. The sudden earnestness of which she found herself unable to take seriously. “Broody? Is that a mood or a TV show?” Smiling, and with more deliberation this time, he modulated his pitch, tuning himself into her frequency with the deft touch of a safe cracker’s filed finger pads…

The No-Fly Zone

    Some men conflate irritation with flirtation. They are little gnats buzzing around your ear, trying to prick the first blue vein they see, but they lack the stingers of the truly predatory. So you swat them away with a wave, still, they come back for more. They are ghost swarms gathering their courage…

33, 000 Feet Above Sea Level

    There is a space in the pause A sparseness of language and sound Its paucity – An endgame It is the breath taken before the kiss. The place where eternity wanders seeking itself. Your eyes follow me casting their spell in tiny geometries along the measured meter of pathless trails: But our compass…

Men Shall Know Nothing Of This

    I hold the moon up with legs splayed, my toes carefully balanced at the tip of each curved end; poised and ready, running my tongue along the blade edge of its sickle. These lips bleed the words that you swallow as you kiss my mouth open – tasting both my poison and my…

Five Seconds Before Dawn

    It’s the same dream, over and over I wake up terrified You come to me, every night A mosaic refracting light within the pang of echoes Echoes of the undone The Neverbeen The unborn sun. Reflections play Resignation’s fugue worn down to a relenting – sensing the wet exaltation in miasma’s weight -escaped…

The pleasure of tides and weathers

    It’s not the slow taffy pull of your sweet abuelita’s aging mind; or the white wing lift of the brown pelican finally overcoming his struggle into this anything-but-Pacific wind; or the smile of the guano-covered lady on Crissy Field who the gulls always mistake for Seal Rock as she feeds them sourdough shreds…

The Pool Boy

  She wants me to put on a condom when I fuck her. Like I even needed a reminder. Shiiiiittt. I tell her, “Make sure your trampoline has plenty of spermicide, too, bitch. I’m not taking any chances!” Jesus. And I mean Jesus. My madre putissima, the Santa Maria llena de raza that she was,…

Didn’t Cha Know?

Listen To Spoken Word Here     They say the clothes make the man but I disagree Show me the glide in his stride and I’ll tell you Who he could be I’ve never seen your gait yet, I know you stand arrow straight casting long shadows continents wide I bet an exploration through your…

Epigone

      Every morning I wake up and wonder, “Should I kill myself or just have a cup of coffee?” Most days, it’s six of one, half-dozen of another. Look, I love the bitch, but when she’s high, she says such stupid shit. The kind of thing that makes a thinking man wish the…

Kairos

  Time flattens this bit of earth, the clouds form, the day greys away while I sit here. Disconsolate fingers hitting keys. Keys that write of you with fingers that rather touch you. I want such small things from you. To hear your voice. To say your name, to feel the sound of you, to…

Coffee Talk

  “Why do I sleep so much?” he asks the floor. He’s taken to speaking with his head drooping , his whole upper body dangling loosely at the hinges like a wilting tulip. I suspect, probably unfairly, that he no longer looks directly at me when he speaks because he is tired of the sight…

Through The Looking Glass

She was disgusted. She just couldn’t kiss him. “His breath smells like the last constipated shit I took,” she said to the nobody in the bathroom mirror. She didn’t see her reflection. Her glasses were off, and she wouldn’t assume that the animated blur looking back at her was: a) her or B) looking at…

Weebles Wobble But They Don’t Fall Down

    My wife wanted a baby. I wanted a car. She said a baby was a vehicle to immortality. I said I didn’t plan to live that long. I wanted to live hard, die young, and leave a good looking corpse She said agreed with me as she slipped off her dress, grabbed me…

Landscapes In The Mist

    The hand when it appears will rise out of a green foam sea, tethered to a black wingless bird with a mechanism in the belly of its beast. It will mount the sky and bruise it purple, you will watch from a shore that eroded long before life was the spark in your…

A Luddite In Springtime

        You are just the right size: portable, amenable, easy to turn on, easier to turn off. Freely submittable to the will you will not grant is humanity’s due, but I don’t need your admission and I don’t want your permission. This isn’t a mechanism, it’s a dandelion seed… floating on my…

Caution: Men At Work

    Tarp covers the scaffolding. The wind blows, rattling metallic bones that clank in protest, loose bits of debris skydive into the street. The sidewalk becomes a canvas for dust. Passersby notice, muttering soft curses under their breath as they brush off who knows how many memories without a thought. Ah, if only walls…

Ditch Digger

  You on the indefatigable ground that faithfully accepts every step you pace. The handle of your shovel must be worn by now. But sure… Dig deeper Could you know what it is to feel the floor snarl at your feet? To slip on every fault, have the wind push you against the wall of…

unforgettable

      And then you will ask me why… And I’ll strive to be silent, swallow my consonants, bury all my vowels. Because what is unspoken is always…                              

Somewhere In The Dark

  The night fell in sheets sending her mind whirring, like a super 8 film reel exploding out of its canister, seeking flight from the endless loop of play… Every story needs closure, finality, a final pan out, even the Day. The “Fin” was transcending. The only way to break the cycle of irrelevancy. She…

Elemental

  Fly vivid in the dark, fiery mother this is your fullness, these branches that have wintered in my sullen heart are ready to bloom again. I could ride the sun carriageless, and fall like that boy who wore wax wings, melting into a sea of my own audacity, but instead, I will offer you…

Maybe The Night Owl Is Really A Pussy Cat

  There’s a cat next door. She belongs to my neighbor, John. His sole companion. She’s a big fluff ball. He feeds her well, but I’m not sure he can satisfy her every need. Come early morning, she scratches on my wall. Just before dawn. Every day for 8 years without fail. Her kitty paws…

Dreamscape

    It’s been a year now. The sun has not exploded. The elevator doesn’t always work, but when it does, we go up and down, confidently gliding on its slim cable. I feel like I’ve been brushed into a de Chirico landscape all this time, every pillar is human, perspective diminishes into forever, the…

Regret is not an egress.

Wishing a thing could unhappen, only gets you through the doors of misperception, so she took the elevator ride up to the rooftop plunging headfirst into the clouds She felt the maw of self-pity swallow her until she was formed into the thick mass Of its chyme Memories flash-flooded their acid over her She slid…

Lost And Hiding In The Wake of A Dream

    The spokes turn, we’re burning rubber but we don’t care, we’re running away to nowhere The sky opens up and we scramble to find shelter Under the eaves of a tall building we pant and shudder, shaking off pieces of sky as we dry, and the dream fades faster. Now you’re gone I’m…

We Are All Oz

  People believe what they need things to be. Reality must always be subordinate to and respectful of the eggshell crack. Challenge a deluded person’s delusions and be prepared to be assailed by crouching tigers and hidden daggers flying at you from every direction. Maggie never saw the yellow bricks on the road to the…

Nob(e)l(e)

  When she speaks there’s an angel on her shoulder but she won’t stomp the devil who is sat beneath her heel. Instead she speaks to him in a soft clear voice and reminds him he, too, wore white wings once as she tries to soothe the knots from his tangled head. But he can’t…

Chain Reaction

  It will happen in increments be a Van de Graaff experiment generating an endless summer of Atoms and nuclei Circuits and fields Forces and motion We’ll always be physicists at play A head of hair showing repulsion affixed to the insulation rod electrons in collision allowing spheres to spark Do we really swallow spiders…

Vestigiality

I’ll start at the beginning because the beginning is the place we are supposed to start. That is if we ever really have a beginning, but the question remains, can we? After all, no one knows when life begins. They (those ubiquitous anonymous they that we, the collectively-deferential-and-ineptly-allusional have all endowed with superior wisdom and…

In Liquid Dreams And Amber Moments

    I’m dreaming in poetry again. You wear your Mayan mask – Proud Despite your accidental Teutonic birth. I wear my body Warm against yours The way Spring cuddles Up with Winter’s blanket… Hopefully, in lambswool lilac buds and lullabies And between the twilights we sail down flooded city streets on an open stanza….

Firestarter

      She had “issues”. Sometimes when sitting alone in a room quietly for too long, she’d imagine the curtains catching fire, or the baseboard exploding. Sometimes she’d imagine plunging the 10″ butcher knife (that she usually left rusting on her grease-stained Formica countertop) deep in her sister’s gut, after stealing her sister’s Coach…

Thirsty

    Sunshine and promises play on your skin Swathe of blue wraps itself around you You standing tall – a marvel, a Collossus Your arms embrace the smile of the sea I drink from that fountain of your beauty heels dug in this eroding shore: the joke that is the pure hunger of the…