you say you want to be free

you say you want to be free.
have you any idea how
difficult that is?
to choose for yourself
and to act upon that freedom?
to un-clench your fingers
from around the throat
of what you think you know
and open your hands
your arms
your abused and corrupted
instead to an
uncertain and treacherous sky?

is not easy.

freedom rages against everything
built into the culture you are immersed in
which wants to keep you bound.
wants you hooked to it. addicted to it.

upon your knees at the click of the heels
of it.
it takes a ferocious spirit
one with nails and bones and teeth
to be free.


i write along the edges of a thing i cannot name
a species without a way.
in or out of itself. a kingdom falling
undone. both building and retreating.

and it is sorrow-filled and it is lonely
and i am drawn into its melancholy

when the light dims just right

my selfish useless prayer. beads of sweat
to eat and drink and know of this thing.
the center of which. i may never

even touch.


but i forget myself
even as the rain fills the streets.
as the bitter wine swallows me alone.
i wash away.
and the shadowed droplets
streak the windows
falling against the highest iron wall.
my slight shoulder in passing —
screech the wet tracks of a distant train.
moan the bells of a church
stained of bent glass.
i curl my body into sleep
feather my limbs into
the stitch of skin
you walked
away from.
the abstract of what
i may still
call mine.


haunts inside of me
reach for the dark moon
beyond the veils,
leave marks underneath my skin, melting
into the open mouths
of the fading.

worlds and worlds
within each. their bodies glow
against dark pines
on snowy evenings
in my mind.
the heat of their moaning
is patient
is low —
intruding, adulterous,

are the remnants receding.
each unto each
with its own voice
with the desperate plead
of its own sorrowful tale,
calls to me.

There Is Only One Single Way — Rainer Maria Rilke

“Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write.

This above all — ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it.


A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity. In this nature of its origin lies the judgment of it: there is no other.”

— Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, circa 1905.


kiss the dark

and I cannot help but wonder if this is all a dream, the way the sidewalk curls up against my toes and the words you pressed against my tongue will not stop licking at my insides. I have become the wounding. we walk around with metal fists and blood of heavy crimson. listen for the way the black birds fly, the feather in the wing slides smooth atop the wind. and a white gray sky is all I have ever known. a blank echo carving my long road home. we lose ourselves. we fall through our own fingers and collide with the stars. beg to eat of our own hands. incubation. starvation. temptation. disgust. the rust in my womb grows acrid. grows robust. they call the writers warm and they call them noxious and they take the poets screaming from their own hearts to pin them upon the walls built for casting shadows against one another. we make shapes by imagining our bodies as distorted animals. I’m tired of the way you speak so I color my eyes with silence. we take shape while everything is ragged. I am not strung together the way they hoped. too much relent, too upsetting the way thoughts follow each other in a rough corded line which ties you at the wrists and mouth. when I turn my blindness to the moon, she begins to cry. as I collect her, shine by shine, I close my hands around the breathing. I sing for her, eternity. I kiss the dark and make her mine.

// to nowhere //

and the static played long
children lost, bred from the bleeding of chewed tongues
the sounds came from each corner of a carousel
crumbling human paper
entire days thrown into waste baskets affixed to nowhere
to nothing

digital profanity came dripping from their radio eyes
all in the streets the Sickness
in dark rivers rushing
cutting the small silent figures away at the knees

but they do not see
what i see
they do not hear
they have faces which blister with angry sky
bodies blown away slow
on the wind.

not i.
not i.


// It Was You //

Low in sound
skin bereft of shadow
it was you
tongue the soft feather bed, you
crushed into the word
broke free the wing
of dark autumn sky.

you frothing window
you moving hands among wreckage
they do not know
how to speak

for you. you each night turned
at the beginning
always the beginning
again and again the ground
clawing at the back teeth
a dream gaping, half-lit
within a dream.


// Jasmine //

It had been a jasmine evening which left its hand upon my chest, the moon so lonely I could taste her forlorn eyes. Some days prick like lemondrop needles sweet and bitter against the tongue.
Out there the wolves.
Out there the doves.

Out there a world revolves around itself and the same revolution envelopes whatever this cruelty is inside of me. I can hear you talking but I cannot let you in. There was something they gave me to take away the pain and it took you, too.

I am letting go.

The tethers are coming up
ever so slow

but I still hold you deep in my bones
even if I cannot touch you
this I know
I know.

My ribs full of roses blossoming thorns
swollen sadness she is breaking my soil she is
she is mine,

beautiful are the tears which do not come and I know
I’ll have to crawl up out of this grave
swallow life again but this baptismal throat is fire,
these limbs, how we have become this tired.

I do not know.
I do not know.