// no one but me //

It’s okay to feel sad I guess when the morning light is far too critical and I’m holding my head in my hands to try to keep breathing, keep creating, keep hope swirling underneath these white shallow limbs. Where did the beauty and the mystery go? Why are there so many eyes and nothing to show for having witnessed all the mindless tragedy of this world?

I hear them shouting but cannot see down the train tracks to warn them, it’s foggy over the hills in my chest and it’s all too loud, all of it, most of all when you hear the silence alone. A ticking clock, dust on the typewriter in the back of my throat.

I used to trust you to do that for me. To hold my hands when I got lost in the clouds in my coffee but I guess I was always a little selfish, mad in ways only you could make an aphrodisiac.

As I stand in the doorway I’m trying to remember the poetry I wrote years ago, before it ever occurred to me that being a poet would change the way they thought about me, it was urgent prose but had more meaning than that, or so I’m fairly certain. I don’t worry as much about my skin anymore, I’m told I look much younger than I am, to which I do not respond because I don’t think we mean the same thing even though you are smiling and I am trying to make you feel less uncomfortable. Mostly, I’d rather not be seen.

I know I gave the words everything I had, all that blooms inside my pink sky body only makes sense if the page is there to catch it. I know it’s hard for you, I know I move too slow when you need to chase the wind; I know I drink wine too early and question so many things you refuse to talk about, or can’t. But I’m here too, last I checked, and all this has to get out somehow so I’ll keep on with the writing, the terrible fire I warm myself next to and curse as I dance in the flames.

Feathery snow is falling from trees and I am only myself so often. Footsteps shuffling down the hall, too many old hair brushes cluttering drawers, the pages of my favorite books folded into exotic birds. I paint my lips the color of a clean slate and the plastic things you cannot forgive but make love to anyway.

What do the shadows think of when they fall against the ending of days that don’t seem to move? The headache continues down my spine; I’m drinking tea with fresh ginger in a room which bothers no one but me.

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// artistry //

“I was born with an enormous need for affection,

and a terrible need to give it.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

I have never melted into the folds of a truth so deeply as I did when I first heard this quote. It is so strong in its vulnerability. We are only as rich as we are willing to own these things about ourselves, our need for intimacy, our need to find little flecks of our own souls in other people.

Our need for togetherness, for kindness, for seeing one another.

These are very tumultuous times we are living in, they can feel vicious, dark, lonely, desperate. But if I could beg of you just one thing, it would be that you do not abandon your sacred craving to give and receive affection from other human creatures.

Affection, affection, affection. Compassion, compassion, compassion.

This is who we are. This is true artistry.

This is where we belong, in the gentle hands of one another.

Love.

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// where we go home //

What I think many don’t understand is that a writer is always turning back toward the writing. That we are either in that space, in that other space which we occupy alone, which we sink into with such reverence and need, or we are trying to get back to it, trying to understand and pull pieces out of the sky which belong to it.

We are an eternal return, an infinite homecoming.

It’s like we have a little invisible drawer where we keep the sacred special secret things and we keep bringing bits back: bits of nature, of emotion, of light, color, taste, texture, sound, impulse, desire, hunger, heartbreak, anger, fear, whatever – everything. Imagery, science, the painting on the wall in a dream – everything.

And we are trying  very earnestly to make sure we don’t miss any of it, not one thing, not one blade of grass or shadow or skinned knee. Not one memory or insight or glimpse of this One divine thing which we don’t know, but we know.

We know and we don’t know, that’s the mystery, that’s why we gather so many things – we don’t know how or why but we know they go together, somehow. Somehow all things go together, they fit, they hinge.

All things, all creatures, all words are turning back into themselves, there is an order threading through the chaos.

We know it on some level which grips at the veins. That the puzzle has no edges but it does have seams and this is where the magic is, in the creases.

Somewhere in the fitting together of the random bits, we find peace, we find meaning.

We do not know where the work will take us, but we know this is our work.

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// shape shifter //

It’s about the time of day when the curtains seem to move,
the heavenly eyes of an alien silence watch tenderly as I undress.
The way you’re about to touch me won’t remember the way it was, we don’t talk anymore, just light matches and feed each other fire
until the end of time comes sliding down these afternoon walls.
I miss you even when you’re still here and you’re on the biting heels of leaving and I can never stop walking home with cigarettes and mantras burning holes in my mouth.
When I sleep I try to memorize the stars just in case the world turns upside down because I forgot to look after her,
and I need to recall how to travel alone.
As my hair comes undone all around you, my fingers are sifting ash like rain and I’m searching my tears for clouds.
How is it we can crave such love, when love tells me she’s already here.

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// people keep talking //

Lush disordered worlds are breeding and collapsing upon my mind every time I close my eyes, even if you can’t hear the sound of this dance or this death or those thoughts of yours I’m invading.

People keep talking, glistening mouths, crushed pearl teeth. How readily we abandon one another, how easily we misunderstand a thing and leave it there. Please turn around again, the world has grown so cold. How each wispy staccato breath is brushed forward and disintegrating; you can’t feel the tilting of time toward the precipice but they keep on with their speak and I am falling farther and farther away from the gravity of their distraction.

They ask me why I write about missing a thing I cannot name, why I write about making love to immortal creatures, and then they tell me how it all lingers too long, probes too close to the beauty behind the sadness. It’s not that I don’t want to give away the answers it’s that I don’t want answers, I want questions like white lights hanging in the trees. I know they think I’m writing to find fulfillment, and they feel sorry for me, some of them actually do.

There are no tears on this side of the wall but I see it in the coffee houses wearing sweater boots and talking through me like thin snow flakes painted on glass.

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// circle of stones //

But the ones who understand, we wear our midnight visions so close to the surface that the veins are fresh crimson even before the skin breaks and we recognize each other by the flecks of mischief in our prismatic eyes. Hold to me from the inside and I will promise you this: they fear us because they want to be us. We know the difference between satisfaction and freedom appears slight from a distance, but when you’re staring together up at the moon it’s the length of a meteor shower racing away from the earth.  You raise my hand in yours and we measure it with our delicate fingers. I know we are so small in our nest but my god if you could see our wings unfold they’d wrap twice around the sky.

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// this is devotion //

In the most sacred space, there is a dramatic and all-encompassing privacy; a spiritual intimacy which threads itself into a complete and full aloneness.

No other voice but that of The Infinite, a sense of perfect solitude that encompasses all beings, all objects, all life, death, light and darkness are reflected into an ever widening abyss, fallen and raised at once, deep until the deep warps fully again into itself and codes the sound, color, makeup and design of the infinite inside every cell, every atom a microcosm of the stuff of fires that become spontaneous bodies, life forms.

Whatever you worship know you may only gather at the feet of it and ask of it everything as it gives to you everything, every thought, every breath, every heart beat, every sensation, every dream, every experience, every pierce of sadness and caress of an ever dying light without end. We are fading, fading, and on the other side of the fade is an advancement; what bows forward is falling back.

Don’t blink as you sleep. Don’t forget as you leave. Remember, remember, remember all of this and keep it with you, beloved.

It is you where I come from, into you I return.

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// communion //

In my silence I am mysterious water and fire, an earth, moon, sun and sky in rotation, stillness is an illusion. Cells within cells, stars penetrating stars. A prophesy: life within life within life and my virgin mouth drinking from your sacred cup.

All life force flowing in beautiful chaotic balance, arms outstretched, infraction, inversions, neophyte eyes, moon pale fingers, strange beliefs, abandoned bodies floating on hymns in the dark.

In dreams I am a nightmare, a withering womb is pierced and invaded, I am consumed and taken by collected spirits of another world, they nourish me as they feed upon me. We belong to each other.

Not the way of this world: deeper. 

My black tears distract you as you try to impress on me the nature of a thing I attempt to write about in ink languages but fail, though I can sing to it, though I move within it as my sins line themselves back to back; revolutions in constant in the veins destroy entire cities as you walk through me in the rain.

I’m in love with the walls that make me furious, golden archways and vines made of catgut strings. I’m tired of the small world, I’m hungry and exhausted. The milk of your instruction is no longer enough.

I remove my nightdress, lace, satin, crimson, pulling and dropping over my head, skimming my lips and shoulders, I lie down beneath you and wait like an animal pacing at dusk.

My dear thief, give me something I can teach, something breathable, something with teeth. I suckle the beauty in your courageous crimes: the way your steady advance cuts through every inch of my thin body, the force of your touch can raise me crawling in the streets half across the world.

Rich soil still beneath my fingernails, grave diggers, night creatures, ancient codes buried thick in tomes, in my nakedness, in my dark benevolence, I am yours and you are the sun, my huntsman, my priest, we are not afraid anymore to look each other in the eye. When it’s time again to ask me, I tell you in perfect ritual rhyme that I worship that which pulsates within and from this obsession.

You tell me again you are pleased.

Hands and hearts of stone made flesh. You move your painted fingers along my scars: the sky births heavy snow falling on leaves; the taste of wine is a dance of holy disintegration, life again begins underneath.

I look up into a crystal constellation rejoicing, the freedom of the secrets of night on the searching tips of deviant tongues.

The turning of the slicing wind is moving her aching blood through trees; something still at the window, watching, is wicked.

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// is this fire, is this water //

It may happen that your words fall short of your thoughts, do not despair. You do not have to worry, you do not have to do this right. The great privilege of the poet is simply to be afforded the chance to even try – it’s all just a try, all of it is just an attempt, a reach – to cradle, just for a few sacred moments little flecks of infinite amounts of the stuff which explodes in the galaxies, which turns always on its axis within us, the very life which is relentless in passing us by.

You do not have to do this how they tell you. You do not have to be anything other than what you are, sliding your torn humanity alongside the words. You are worthy. Give to the words everything and they will give you everything in return.

Humility. Curiosity. Joy.

All of this fullness, it is all in motion as we stand still at the glass: at the swift feet of the winged universe. We are here inside a translation, a transmission, making attempts. Making little marks on trees, on sand, on paper, on hands.

Reminders: we are here, we are here, we say to ourselves.

What does it mean? How may I serve? I’ve been to a secret place and this is what I have seen: Is it fire, is it water, is it honey, is this something you can use? We unearth tools from a time we no longer recognize but something – a thorn, a glance, a pin prick – is familiar to the blood. We belong and we don’t belong. We are footsteps, echoes far away from home, making a way in the dark.

We are suspended always inside the reverent space between the scream and the static. Holding. Holding. Holding.

Listening for the breath, sinking low underneath the quiet only heard by the solitary ones. Hold steady the weight of a world gone to dust and offer it your gentle arms. Hold this space, hold this space. Hold this skin. Collect these bones and let them teach you how to build, word upon word, the honor is in the courage to approach that which calls to you.

Bare feet. Bare soul.

Because this too shall pass.

Clouds will cross a lonely moon.

You will become your own again soon.

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// inside me //

Triggers are a tough tangle, they seem to elude you even as they decorate your dark disturbing thoughts with false promises, plastic limbs and rehearsed orgasms, and somewhere in the shimmer of crystal webs made of chaotic screams, I am a ruby spider with sapphire eyes borrowed from the destruction of another world.

This life is only death, beloved, with her pale foreign face turning slow, fading into sweet melody against the phases of the moon.

How many legs, how many lives, what does it matter to be trapped, to be exposed, to be an overflow of mouths if all of this is just a dream?

Too many people slam nails into the coffin of a narrow system they’ve yet to believe in, but I’m not a slave to passion as much as I want so completely to remember an exact pierce: how to resuscitate my own experience, shatter like glass into my own symphonic ecstasy, sit obediently, patiently, tenderly with the sadness of my own solitary pain, drink from your forbidden wells and emerge pristine in the oil stained streets of every neglected city at the sunset of the final collapse of time.

Would you walk with me if I were blind, if the heels of the night were the only way home?

The sincere (I’m too seasoned to dare assume innocent, but I’m far beyond devotion to shallow truth so I’ll say sincere) intricate fabric of your interest in the oddity of dangerous things probes at the swell of ache within me. What is faith if not the pleasurable agony of longing spiked sharp with the buried memory of impossible exotic demands: command without control, love songs strung up in cages covered in orchids, virgins tasting stamen, tears in my angel hair washing your perfumed feet.

I’m not sure normal is a thing we should be concerned with, as you seem content when I’m taken in mind, body and spirit, by your view of me through windows draped in erotic scenes. We are ruthless and humble, undressed and willing, inside the beginning again and again when you lap at the edges of heat in circles of flesh across my pink sedated mind.

The heart of me is the heart of all creatures: motionless, the beauty of the stillness after a kill. Vulgar doesn’t distract me, crooked is just another trick to get back to the way it was before the labels they’ve stitched inside your skin. Forget them, turn into me; I’ll be your religion, love, tell me wordless what you need.

You like the press and the smell of leather to my lips, how I’m thorough but careful of the words I never speak. There is no such freedom as the emotions you’re not allowed to express and this is the fear, this is the tempt, this is the withholding, this is the paralysis, this is the plague. This is the game and the price you pay to play.

Heaven is the clutching of your pulse on the distorted lens of what you crave, my soft teeth tugging at the waves of trembling madness underneath.

Invitation.

Invocation.

Addiction.  Affliction.

Redemption. Release.

Faith is carved in the center of your hands: trust in all the things you wish you didn’t need.

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