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
the abstract of what
i may still
“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.”
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.
This is an excerpt from “Here Is The Flood” — one of the opening pieces in my upcoming book Luminae. You can click play to hear me read the full piece.
I find that one of the hardest things to do is to try to speak about why I write. For me it’s about going deep enough within to a place where one can find the breathtaking beauty in pangs of sorrow, and terrible longing even inside joy. Whenever I write it seems more and more is revealed to me about the paradox of what we are as humans. Though I know I’ll never be able to grasp it in full, I believe somewhere in the search for myself lies the truth of who I am. It is that elusive truth which keeps me coming back to the page.
I hope you enjoy this piece. I hope it sparks something creative inside of you.
Luminae will be available on Amazon beginning November 15th.
The cool dawn is so clutched with frost that the atmosphere cracks when I exhale. I have been here all this time waiting for you to come home, to build your little warm nest inside me and thread your ribbons through my bones. The air has become rich with darkness inside my lungs; thunder and church steeples round and round like a crown above my low fallen skull.
How is it we emerge again? Is it through sheer force of will, is it by the benevolence of something tried and tested by the fires of hell, something divine which guides the universe. White lights are flaring up, one by one, along the runway toward eternity and all those uncertain things which eat away my organs.
How many ways are there to find your way home. How many people are as lost as I am, listening for voices, calling out for affection, tracing their chipped fingers over bumps in the globe.
As I gaze up into your cloud space eyes, my skin blooms with the taste of that heady sensation just before ecstasy and the way it tingles through my wet body. I drink the sweet rhythm of you and at last begin ebbing away from the pain. I am only as strong as what I believe and I believe in nothing if I do not believe in you. Prayers are fresh tears in a jar by the bed, prayers are the beads of dread and sweat I swallow to try to forget.
With my mouth I hand you a leash of promises and you lead me like an animal into the sun. Four small sparrows sit huddled upon the window ledge and as we depart the earth they sing. Every winter which ever scarred the womb has buried itself inside my final breath. A tangle of rose buds encases my heart like a cage and I sleep with you peacefully as the stones which once erected the bloodiest cities in the world begin caving in.
The footsteps I hear are whispers and the whispers are trees. Could the beauty of your stride be my darkest secrets suspended overhead for all to see. The way you collect me like a child collects the dying leaves tells me we are not done here. We are not done.
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
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.
But when I called out for you you were not there, you had become a collection of the things other people laid to rest inside your chest. Your eyes heavy with the quiet death of something I wanted entirely to taste, to be made of, to take into my hands and off your slender shoulders. What did they do to you, my sweet love, that made you cloud so thick inside, fold so yellowed at the edges of your crumbling mouth. I look toward you but you are shifting, you are many sodden bodies multiplied, a wave of faceless mobs turning away in a crowded city square.
The breathing of the pavement hovers inside a dreary mist as I pull a cigarette from under its foil. Inside this void which whispers your name I suck the smoke across my teeth. I would try to keep you but we are only echoes of each other’s imagination. The way you move is a ghost train sliding off its tracks. Yet in your silent mind I am the single voice which curls against your senses, my mouth upon your neck like warm gravestone hills swelling into amber evening. I am the single touch you let touch you everywhere, inside out, outside in.
It is dark where we come from and where we are going, so we make this kind of love without a sound, without a word, without a trace. I am the pulse in the slow glide of your fingers. These chains you tug around my throat, they turn to milk-white doves. They rush against the heavens when I close my eyes.
Isn’t that what you always wanted, something to dangle me over the edge with, some kind of blade some kind of sliding eyes. I believed you when you told me I was everything but maybe we are all thirsty, maybe we are all scabbed over the knees and forever halfway between home and heartache. Some of us live here. And die here. And spin ourselves sick in the cruel open hands of those who cannot take care of themselves. I would open my mouth for you but then you’d come too close. This is a silence we wear on the outside, we are window panes heavy and drunk with rain. Locked down tight but completely transparent. We would hide but our hearts had long ago, by unspeakable things, been forced open. And oh, our hearts. Our mad beautiful masochist hearts.