Chas(t)ed

 

 

She labored silently

tiny grunts

pulled inward

with the efforts of this expulsion

exposed

she hid in the stillness of early dawn

screamed

tore mourning doves from the air

stuffed them into her mouth

wrent the sky with her cries

made not a sound

pushed from instinct

her body would do this without her

had declared the time was right

battered down the door

She clenched the outstretched hand of the father

felt his grip in return

firm, reassuring

she was alone

for at least the second time in so many months

hoping to be caught

straining to be heard in her silence

pushing toward release

she bit down on regret

pressed until her brown eyes burst

delivered unto the leaves and twigs a voice

mewing its tiny protests

these she would not silence

had brought nothing to wrap the child in

staggered to her feet

braced herself against the back of the garage

bent

whispered his name

said nothing

 

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Couched Terms

my bridges are burnt
snowflake ash
heavy as song
crashing upon deaf ears

With enough velocity
even the past is possible

the song can still be felt
tattooingbones
earthquake subtle

the scent of siren’s blood carries on the wind
inhaled
fragrant as powdered ammonia
coats the tongue
clings to lungs
silica soft

penlights in the warehouse

dusty beams
illuminate
provide no insight
there is no mad archivist here!

soft science
bespectacled theorists
rock hard for couches
thrust deep between the cushions
hoping to retrieve a memory
a dream

carrion cries of success
a moment unwrapped
vilolently masticated
swallowed for approval
undigested

Cartographers of deceit
these maps are unreliable
“here there be monsters”
the only labels of value
trading currency for hours
time spent drawing borders
creating that terrible rim walker
call Grendel into being
curse his knowing
These monsters are for slaughter
My bridges are burnt
use them as pyres.

Sonnet number only

When to thine brackish eyes I perchance to look
calling to mind the springtime of your youth
leaning to your lips, a kiss was all I took
lovestruck was I when stricken by a tooth

I only meant to have some fun
a touch while in the crypt
your love suprised me even then
when into my flesh you ripped

some say twas wrong to take a bride
whose mind had gone to waste
to them I say I have my pride
but I had to have a taste

they that hath still running blood flee in mighty streams
toghether my dead love and I hunt them as a team

No Aurora

No Aurora

The hope was to see the northern lights
This boat
perched here
in the belly of some pointless Canadian lake
lazily drifting
bobbing in the pockmarked scar of glacial adolescence
exaggerated ripples passing for waves
keeping hollow aluminum time
standing watch
over bobbers
hurled like excuses,
lines tangled,
forgotten.

My neck sore but only just
his, more so, but always

heads awkwardly craned skyward
to offer to the eye
unobstructed
the sacrifice of these stars upon the altar;
light so unfathomably ancient
resplendent
casting not so much as a reflection
having traveled so far for so long
a wave tonight,
the question settled at last
I am certain of it.

I like cats

I make lists
fill my quills with blood
tattoo the ways I’ve died to the underside of my skin.
my radiologist reads the ink
Iam exposed, hidden

I make lists
grievances
etched into my drywall
covered in gypsum
hair white
lips flecked,
spittle and dust
spastic cough,
the sputum a hardening paste
I dress myself in people clothes.

I make lists
read them aloud
I like turtles
learherbacks
mud
spotted
alligator
I am afraid
I make lists
Use both sides of the page,
stuff my couch with them
tie them to balloons,
fold them exactly seven times
hide them in Altoid tins
bury them
crumple them into balls
fill empty plastic soda bottles
toss them in the lake.
tie them to stray dogs
the alley cats read them
sing them back to me at night

I make lists
stack them to the ceiling,
they are written in code I cannot decipher
They are my lists
I am their leige
And I see many hot sluts a night.

Untitled 9

When I was boy

Standing

statue still

locked eyes

transfixed by that spot where sneakers met  pavement

the earth rotated

I held my breath

straining to see it move

I was a boy

in subtropical climes

thrusting popsicle-sticky hands

searching

goading the secretive

dark corners

of humid Florida afternoons

to defend themselves before

scurrying away.

When I was a boy

I felt the foundation shift

crumble against the force

of tiny undeveloped muscles

gritting my teeth

lifting the house

imperceptibly

When I was a boy

I would have forgiven you anything

But I was an idiot.

When I was a boy.

Synaptic Habits

We are not who we once were

crippled fools learning our dance

we have hallucinated these moments

defined by our erosion

and these monuments of our domesticity

grand and eloquent emotionally illegal constellations of humanity

suffocating pabulum of posterity

our dissonance will be emancipated,

soothed by atonality,

creation given wing in the breakdown of form

functions of unresolved ambiguity deny the sirens call of repetition

while madness boxes us about the ears for the sin of inexperience

a desperate, despairing lust for pattern

A demand for order, a resolve into certainty

The muscle memory of music, an organ of synaptic habit,

a violent sacrificial dance

goaded by abstractions that threaten to electrify the familiar

difference is noise and ultimately, loss

Foreknowledge is everything,

tension without release is unbearable, inorgasmic

the slow death of the unfamiliar

we are built to abhor the new

even as we weep, we know we are lying.

 

Untitled 8

amonia bathed in pine needles

bleached, threadbare linens

the bedsheets smell of public pools,

of youth; cruelty.

no flies on the wall

buzzing,

familiar,

pestilent

eradicated

replaced with a thousand tone deaf

metronomes

stupid mating calls

sex-less

indifferent

regular

perfection in binary

each beep a steady answer

there is no attempt to divine a question

cannot be persuaded

unmoved by reason, tears,

untouchable

standing watch, if not guard

bearing witness,

silent

stoic

punctuating affirmations with tiny silences

dividing the quick and the dead

finally singing

the refrain

the same each time

a one note dirge

for the unclaimed

Untitled 7

 

Folded three hundred dollar damascus

slipped,

touched for a moment

a calloused palm

rested

finally

against bone

 

She didn’t notice

she cut strawberries,

cubed cantaloupe

mixed the brightly colored summer treats

careful

not to bruise them.

 

Faintly,

firecrackers.

black cats

bottle rockets

charred paper bits

announce the holiday

tiny bombs

burst the air

She does not blink

 

Home,

a thousand miles from

eyes that will not meet hers,

whose palms, sweaty with guilt

press bills into her own

paw furtively,

Hope long abandoned to

echo silently in hungry mouths

wrapped in blankets

thrown in dumpsters

It is independence day

It is never independence day

 

 

Personal Space

Paid hands

thorough

indifferent

the second tuesday of each month

 

vanity unwelcome

mumbled

averted gaze

tipped well

shuffled out

 

skin against skin

five minutes

maybe less

not enough

 

he began the mourning

before it was finished

before he was toweled off

 

he always paid for the shampoo

fingers like bolts of lightning

tracing across his scalp

mechanical, professional,

eyes closed

he almost believed.