open me as wide as the world is broken

they had asked me what, if anything, i could be sure of. they with their otherness, their sterile glass faces, and cold coffee ring eyes. in my greenness i responded in a thin voice. i wanted to be allowed to hold on to myself, to her. give my bones time to separate from the emptiness. sure of nothing save that i had lost everything my hands knew how to heal. everything for which my mind had known to reach. i am only sure there is an infinite amount of pain, a darkness which extends into a twilight of ten thousand small, developing hearts. i am only sure we are strung together by fate and that it will have to be love. love which tears us open to make room — in this vacant, impeccable blindness — for itself.

Cry for love

And so it came to settle into the flesh. Autumn warmth had been taught to neglect the nectarine sky, dark ivy gardens like iron mistakes, the softest for beheadings.

This had been coming for sometime but they never tell you how it will feel. Train tracks storming the cross center of the chest.

Fevered moth wings stirring up
the swell in your throat.
And the way you touch me, there and there and here,
rain moves into sunlight, wet stains upon your face
peels her teeth against the curtains, like pale eyelids eloping.

With you everything drips of descending, velvet stair cases for miles sinking to the bottom of the sea. The heels of gravity throwing lakes into stones, the dull pink tongues of gulls and we, always hungry.

If you part your lips enough that would be all you ever need to say.

forever spinning collar bones looking for a way
back into the shell of who I used to be.

the extension of all the words unspoken between us
thunder between the mountains and the sun.

Cry for daybreak.

Cry for love,
she is in the parlor room bleeding.

Eyes always too protruding. Hands around the air we breath. Nothing to keep us together. Nothing for an ending to embrace.

so you want to be a writer

I see a lot of writers are very concerned with the number of followers they have. I don’t want “followers” I want readers. If you read my work I am forever grateful to you for taking the time, that is the most precious thing to me. And I want writers who write — not for 5 minutes but for hours on end for the pure enjoyment of it, for the terrible challenge of it, the ones who dig into the discomfort and bring back their unique discoveries. I want more writers who are reading the things which they adore and getting inspired by all of life in real life. I want more people interested in the craft of their art, getting lost in the process, becoming so absorbed in doing their own thing that they forget all about whether or not it will be popular, acceptable, or perfect.

Art is so broad and so big. I think it helps to remember that more often. That our gifts and passions are boundless and that social media is just a small microcosm of a way to experience and express it. There are some things which make us feel wider than the sky, larger than life, full of immense possibility and strength. Those are the things I want to invite into my life, my work, my present and my future. What are you inviting in? Devoting yourself to? What do you want yourself to be, as an artist, as a human?


we told them not to break

as the slush and snow come down, a light inside you flickers and burns on. it is like the silence comforting itself. it soothes you by taking over the world around you, lifting it from your shoulders allowing you to feel weightless, if just for a little while. the coffee is fresh and the blankets are warm and the pages you covet have not been written yet. you think of all the people who do not understand you and you try to use the eyes of your mind to peer at them up close. blank skin, rough hands. hollow chests. concentrating very hard, you can see the whiteness of the small bones in their wrists, taught like stringed instruments straining for sound. then one by one they turn their heads, roll their heels, turn the corner, turn a season from wind to dust and fall like curling orange leaves away from the garden you have so tenderly sown.

because you were conceived in the womb of a thirsty woman, the letting go becomes a work of art.

perhaps the gray in the sky is as much like you as your fingerprints. though you see them — the tiny slices in the skin as well as the falseness of the wide-set sky — you cannot hold them. though they resemble all the sadnesses you do not know how to express, you know deep inside they are more yours than anything else in all the world. you pull the blankets around you tighter and tuck your knees up to your breasts. you think about how people are uncomfortable around you and how when you feel their discomfort you take it in. you hate yourself for causing anyone harm but you do not know how to stop yourself from seeping into them. this shame becomes the fear you cannot name.  you open your mouth to force the words to keep the discomfort at a distance. so long as there are words, there are lines. so long as there are lines, the fear cannot cross over.

the room you live in is perfectly still. awash in the coldness of the rain on the window, you cannot help but remember there is a sun someplace kicking up dirt. the way it is still burning the earth and in its mindless glare, forgot to leave you.

this is poetry for poets.

I was born a poet. I have been writing poems since I learned to write, it is in the dna. I like to say I am a poet’s poet, because I think a lot of what I write about is meant for other poets, because I understand them the most. I know their struggles and dreams and why it is vital for them to write no matter what. We are kindred. There aren’t that many of us and we have a unique adoration not just for the poetry itself but for the craft of poetry. We are so stupidly happy that poetry exists as a thing and we are drunk on it when we are in that kind of freedom zone. Poetry is a place we go and in that place we are more ourselves than anywhere else in our whole lives. The pacing of the lines, the dramatic and mysterious subjects, the way we massage and play with the meaning of the words. We were born like this. We don’t have to be convinced of the value of poetry. We live it. And so I think with my book (Luminae) one of the things I am most proud of is that it is not just a book of poems, it’s a collection of poetry for poets. I hope it serves poets truly well. I love us for honoring the beauty and power of the word in a world that seems, right now, hell bent on ruining that kind of honest expression.


my joy is a feast

There is a phrase floating around in mainstream culture that goes: “Choose joy.” It always both attracted and disgusted me. I used to think that it meant you always had to be happy, put on a happy front, a happy face, a smile, always be “on.” Which, of course, to an introvert like me who has a forever romance with melancholy and dark enchantment, sounded completely exhausting.

Choose joy – which should have sounded light and beautiful – to me sounded heavy and constricting. As though for me to live the ‘proper way’ I would have to forbid myself to ever feel lows or pains or listlessness or longing or sadness or hurt or shattered or beaten down by the world which in so many ways thrives on beating us down.

But now I have made a strange sort of peace with what ‘choose joy’ means to me. It doesn’t have to mean what it means to anyone else, that is okay. Now I see that for me, I choose joy when I choose myself and my honest loves, passions, desires, fascinations, and interests. For me there is joy – perhaps an odd joy, a strange delight in the view of some people – in the gray rain, in the heavy lament, in the way a shadow drapes itself across a lonely figure in her hour of darkness.

For a long time I wrestled with what I thought were two opposing paths – that of the inspirational writer, and that of the poet who bends affectionately toward the sadness of loss, death, grief, the anguish of a life as well as the ecstasy. But the truth is that joy is not always a smile and inspiration is not always uplifting. It may bring you hope but it may sink you deeper first. There is so much more richness and nuance in all of life than in just the pursuit of “happiness” whatever that means.

My joy is not a plastic smile. My joy is in the vast tumultuous sea of human emotion, exploration, discovery. My joy is a feast.



poetry is

Poetry is a place where you believe that the enormous is housed within the infinitesimal. It is safety in the blindness, comfort in the uncertainty, an embrace within the startling. Poetry, if nothing else, is a passage. A way in.


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a death, down the hall (or inside)

just to hear you breathing, tiny in your ungrown shell, has done more to bring me life than the air itself could do. dim is the room and bright is the candle in your eyes. whatever i have done or undone i cannot imagine i deserve this particular type of grace. the kind which is effortless, the kind which fills the hunger and ribbons about the bones and slides easily like soft rivers from the tongue. this is the caress of the darkness of which no one ever speaks. there are no sounds, no words, nothing to repeat. for all the voices, all the years that ever were, pass by this single secret place in a moment. in a blink. how few open their hands and give like this. without even trying.


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unheard of.

little bird, lift your eyes,
open your wings
against the sky,
make your mark.
call out your true, little bird.
free. wild. shivering.
only you.
only you.
only you.

thread the needle. stand on my own.

my throat had overgrown so thick i could get nothing out, words: broken pieces lodged and incomplete. it had been three weeks since the sun eclipsed the shadows underfoot, eternity since the taste of your body reminded me of love.

perhaps we move through the things which refuse to move through us. we push and inch along to pass the time, to extend the distance between ourselves as we may be and ourselves as we once were. in the quiet static behind an evening door, i touch myself to feel alive.

another day turned into dusk, pours itself from bottles of wine. unable to move beyond my own bones, my own howling mind, i type letters by the watery light of woolen snow.

this life is the imminent stroke of midnight just next to me, i feel her breath against my cheek. footsteps, coming dark. they arrange to feed us what they cannot accept, hoping we will be strong enough.



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