Tuesday, October 10, 2017

for Sean

let me be your color, darling,
let me be your course;
let me be the carving wind,
the unsaddled, racing horse;
let me be your palate, darling,
let me be your wings;
let me be the wildness, yes,
and all your stranger things.

for Robert

i've been meaning to fall into oblivion,
or be blown there by an image i cannot forget -
i'm hoping to wind up in oblivion,
but, sad to say, i've not made it there, yet.

(along comes the water, along comes the muse
along comes the artist, along comes the fuse;
along comes the dust, along comes the rain,
along comes the lust, along comes the pain)

i've run all the way to oblivion!
the colors are running, here, too!
there's a dreamscape, a haven, Valhalla -
there's just one thing missing, here: Truth.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

work in progress

she won't tell you she's hungry,
making her own pads, and stealing 
toilet paper -
she won't tell you she's been
using that same outfit for
a week, washing it by hand in her bathroom
sink and hoping,
that they won't shut off the power
or the gas
or come repossess that car -
she won't tell you
and she won't beg
and she won't bother your
simple and stable sensibilities because
she knows better than to
expect her problems to be 
fixed or flatlined or frozen by
any body, anyone at all -
she knows there's no credit line to restore
her comfort or her sleep or her security,
in spite of how much
she has to give,
in spite of how much she


i do it for the joy
and peace
and the knowledge that i can finally
pay forward
what my mother and friends and lovers
gave to me when
i was drowning and wanting to die and wanting to disappear -
i do it because i want you to see what i carry
within my heart (you are in my heart), upon my shoulders,
and between my fingers
as i leave it in your washing machine
and sink
and upon your tables -
i do it because i want to do it, because it is what i can give, and
you are
so incredibly


there you are,
across the great divide of screens and fingertips and keys that never seemed to play the perfect song;
but there you are,
and here i am,
and finally, finally,
i can see your words and understand that
you felt my love and
you knew it lived and
you know you let it


and i'm sure you prefer the later
and the better
and the tomorrow
and the next,
but i am here to affirm that your present
and your self
and your best
is here
and now
and suddenly within you,
just as it's always been.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Now comes the reality
The slow creep of sunlight through mist and mistakes
Branded on sheets throughout a midnight that memory
Didn’t quite net in her silken strands –
Now comes the dust
The fingerprints and ash that somehow become a part of our skin,
The way music gets under the eyelids and between the lips, intention
And deeds seep beneath the doors and gates we build to keep
Words like home and safety and love and grace
At bay –
I built a reality,
One that was a tent in the deep woods of two brains
Thick and gnarled branches entwined to hold back the sunrise
Lest it show up the faults and flaws and the crags beneath our
Wide wide wide open eyes – I built a home for the moment for that
Brief shining splinter of a second in which we were at peace, and still, and lucky,
And enough.


Bright colors and a slim frame and oh my goodness but doesn’t that
Smeared makeup make her an enticing little piece of midnight
Isn’t her helplessness and her brokenness your cue
Your safety net those limbs that slump against you and
Those fingers that snake their way into yours
That minor key that warns and pulses at the base of your skull
Telling you you’re holding a time bomb, less, a piece of tinsel
Caught in the flame, it’s shiny and mesmerizing for a moment but
It’s not what will keep you warm, oh  no little boy,
It won’t set your nights on fire or kiss your forehead when you wake
In the grey dawn hour, it won’t hear your truths and return them with compassion
Passion isn’t found in the weak and the lost and the ever falling –
Call me cruel but my time is short and it is not for the taking and
Breaking and manipulations of a clumsy set of hands and
Eyes that dance for laughter that comes from a throat other
Than mine.


We get what we deserve
We get what we knew would come our way
You know how I feel, oh you know these words -
That long lingering hatred of love
That wish for emptiness
That panting grasp for the starker things
The lesser things
The mistakes and the pain and the undiluted
Rage that somehow destroys our impulse to trust
To lust to touch to find worlds within each other -
We get what we deserve
The freedom from what we yearn to have
The raw wounds unbound and bleeding freely
The notes that rise up from the depths of us
The basements we’ve let flood over and over until the water lines
Are our only link to love or at least
The games we played in the shadow of its altar
I won’t call them lovers we won’t call each other
Any sweet words, no, no, no, I’ll only call this like I’ve called
Every other game I’ve played every other beggars prayer
Every other sudden spasm mistaken for the reality
Of arms and a beating heart and hands that did
No harm.


I watch you and I walk beside you
All softness and the way you
Meter out my steps, the way you leapt
From page to backstage and the periphery of my unkempt
Heart –

I hear you and I listen while your thump-strum voice
Rolls over my skin and rocks my brain, giving me but a single choice
To connect, to reject the fallacy of automatic gratification, the insinuation that I should not
Feel –

Here and now, this room this music this shared
Experience of safety and the joy that’s paired
Between minds open to the lush promise of
No, don’t say it yet, don’t put a name on what this
Is becoming is ending is beginning is striving and starving and
Breathing and pulsing between two mouths that have
Been given permission to

Sunday, March 12, 2017


The sadness and fear and
hope and love and lust
all come rushing to the surface
and I am who I am
without modification;
and while it is not sustainable
it is necessary to live
as myself
as myself
as myself
once in a while,
when it is possible
(once in a while,
once in a while,
once in a great while);
singing the song of my life
without a mask over
my mouth.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

one too many times

it is not the many mistakes
that define your worth,
or the bungled fervor of
blood still rushing long
past her ability to hear -

your voice is not silenced,
nor your hands bereft of
strength -
the heart that beats within your chest
is as strong as it ever was,
as full as it ever was,
as complete
as it ever was.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

over the shoulder

remember her when you are standing knee deep in the ocean,
the supple form of a fragile land mine beside you,
all possibility and happenstance wrapped in the smell of saltwater;
remember the long hours of sunlight and hazy smoke, an overturned
life splayed between two pairs of hands;
she remembers and reasons with herself that all things must pass,
all great epiphanies fade in the face of daily necessity.
music is her connection to your skin,
wine a cheap substitute for the way your voice fills her veins.
you'd think her an untested girl, with the wish and whim of these words:
romance and coincidence the vaunted pillars of less than a week's worth
of touch.
who is she to feel even the shadow of regret, or to taste the bitter
slight of whim? time wins out, beyond fantasy and possibility;
time shows the body and blood what is gilded hope and what is
vaunted fallacy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


i want you to understand that you are
what i was promised in every story
i once believed, as a little girl -
poetry and sorrow and joy and confusion;
a beating heart and harried brain; confounded hope
and enraptured hearts; sheltering
warmth i cannot duplicate.
i want you to understand that you are
for me, just as i am for you,
the source, the slick open mouth, the
separate but keen knowledge of love,
alive and well within the minds
of one another.


i promise to hold tightly
to memory and nights
when we would rove sidewalks and
climb over well-painted fences in order
to elude the enfolding dark and
imminent bedtimes -
i promise to keep you in those midmorning
breakfasts of cookie batter and
eggnog, your hangover lending to your
appreciation of coffee, hugs,
and a shared cigarette.
i promise to hold tightly
to the many talks, the many
pieces of vagabond advice
delivered over beer and from behind
unwashed clothes and a sheathed machete -
i promise to keep you climbing trees
and laughing from behind a volley
of crabapples.
i promise to remember that laughter, the lilt
of your walk on our way to the bus stop -
i promise to remember you, not as a
distant fortress, but
as my

as old as me

we begin,
arms raised and the wind within our
we move, we make, we marvel at
the simplicity and ease of our limbs:
the way they entwine and create
galaxies of limited
those limits, they are what ensures
that the loves we never finish
are ever ripe:
ever rushed
ever bruised
ever brushing against the back door of
death -
no completion is as sweet as the
solidity of an auspicious
and resolute