// Who Are You To Do This //

How could you
let me watch this warm immaculate sun sliding its heavenly white up through dark trees
and how could you let this beauty invade itself inside my burning flesh.
How could you let me gaze up into the misty galaxies
and see everything I ever begged for as a child
come
true.
Who are you to walk through the eye of the needle and pierce my blood.
How could you let this happen, the way the fear unlocks the chains threaded through my teeth, the memories of hunger which used to snake themselves around my neck.
How could you let this ecstasy happen in plain view, out in the open meadows, in the open wounds, under the gaping cloudless indiscriminate sky, this sadistic magic, this reckless radiance, this cruel rising sun they raise up from the graveyards of the stolen mind.
The way you turn away from me is the way I am trying to learn again how to move. Downtown trains speed by in slow motion like nightmares and the tricks up my sleeve have all been forcibly removed. Who are you to be so goddamn gentle, who are you to touch my disturbance so smooth.
Where were you when I needed the sound of your madness.
Why must I sit among the red rose gardens scratching my nerves with her thorns; why would you deliver me to these black sins crawling,
just to loosen the reins I had on life,
on death,
on the blurred images repeating themselves in the mirrors down the hall.
I have written so many words and mishandled so many more than you ever cared to read.
Who are you and why have they let you in?
You see how I try to pin the butterflies to the ivory ocean waves in my hair
and all they want is to be allowed to fly.
Why do I do this thing where I try to keep what keeps me from falling apart. Should we not all run wildly toward the things which unravel us and instead give our undying gratitude to the ones who rob us blind.
Take these knives and thrust us apart at the seams. Who are you to keep the scars and the stars intact.
Is it not the seams which collect us into anguish, is it not the way our tired eyes close over our afternoon shadows which cause our disfigured lovers to look like an iron oasis of doorframes in the floor boards.
When I was strong you were desolate. When I was torn you were standing on top of a windy hill singing and pulling the swollen rain down along the rabid fires in the midst.
When I needed you you were not there.
So how could you let the sun
rise again.
How could you slope this miraculous new dawn across my face
and leave me alone
with the bloodstains on my knees.

.

.

 

// The Trouble With Heaven //

I’m too much of a dreamer, so the story goes, but the truth is that what they call reality often turns my stomach in ways that are hard to describe. People want straight lines and I want the way pink stained glass bends images into cigarette smoke curling foreign tongues down your throat. As everyone else joins hands and I fall farther and farther away from the circle, I tuck myself inside a faith in the broken shards, the holes in the floors, all the crooked sides of my comical cosmic existence, and attempt to pour forth a drench of words that flood the earth until we all worship at the single altar of mad love instead of sadistic runaway greed.

What is the harm? What is this fear no one can seem to define, yet lives within all of us roaming freely, assembling crucifixions like clues on a board game. Is it blindness or hope that gathers us together, vulgarizes us, vilifies us, heals us, gently carries us toward a distant red sun that delivers us to the promised land of how brief we are, how inconvenient, how troubled, how beautiful.

Will they release or neglect me, these graphic phantom fantasies I press my head against in the quiet of night? Perhaps too many times already, the vacant songs of the things I’ve loved and lost could have remained my veins, my daily ritual black, but somehow I’m the dream coming true in spite of itself. Magic is a fragile flower welcoming the sweet assault of the rain. My obedience arouses you, something in your disarming movement touches me with invisible hands, holds my fickle attention. I want only for you to descend with me and escape, love is the danger of infinite folds, a sapphire ribbon of milk skin; resurrection is your hunger for my sacrificial bones.

Bodies on the pavement, serpents in the sky, and I am undone by the slightest trigger in your eyes. Grace is stillness swallowing hurricanes as an exotic universe creates and destroys itself just to please you. Your teeth against my pulsing wrist startles a flock tiny ancient birds: thin flutters thrusting violent wings in my chest, a dead world ecstatically disturbed. Your mouth on my breast is baptism, the way you collect me breaks us down by fire, fingertips for flames, the gravity between us absorbs the cries of a helpless world, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Sometimes, angel, pain is freedom and the prophets reach for heaven in reverse.

You tip my chin up to the sky, bend me just too far before letting go, I am aware my limits are merely physical. A matchstick glides backwards across the splintered catches in my mind. And as the clouds eclipse the windowless room we inhabit underground, deep beneath the time the gods play roulette with and wider than the desperate gaps between our staggered breathing, our union may be distorted but it is certain. Let the hoards of humanity speak, lifetimes of faces become one face and I’ve lost my lust for listening.

Lovers on the edge have the unfortunate habit of spilling dark secrets when their backs are naked against the wall, but I hold on to mine: silence is my only vision, a castle built upon the rugged journey of your voice as it calls me home, even after all this wasted time.

.

.

// Still Life //

I had been imagining a house
detached
coming off the hinges
of itself.
Inside where the people
are very beautiful
and they are
not speaking.
Their tongues have all been broken
by the jaws of much
too much
to say.
And there in quiet makeshift rooms,
the halls of footsteps grinding on stairs,
indecision,
medication,
fear of spiders and
wire hooks,
in the cold chambers of their slender shadow hearts,
black birds are singing human words
we would recognize as symbols.
Silent are these people
in their lovely cut out houses,
trapped together
falling apart.

.

.

// Looking Glass //

What would it take to touch the face
the one you hide away,
everything I cannot stand about the way you move
lives here on the dark side of my shoulder in
all the days which mark with red the end.

As the scrapes glide down the thin cell walls
of my fragile
mind, I am made to come apart
and yet

I am only washing my knees with
small tears at the feet of it.
Whatever this is,
believe me.

Wherever we need to go,
take me.
We have been there before (we have been everywhere
we just couldn’t see it was forever) and we

know the finger streets in the palms
of it
and it knows our gravel stone
hearts bleed well.

Whatever this is calls to me from the
holes in your eyes.
It contains and contaminates everything we
cannot bear to

speak about.
Please forgive my dying mouth but,
my love, this quiet is becoming so
loud.

This crimson world crawling upon my lungs
is crumbling, ashes to ashes
dust to dust and I
am afraid I do not know how

to count backwards from
I might
be losing you.

.

.

// With You //

I know they will take you
and I will have to let go
of everything I ever built, everything
that mattered
more than everything.

So this is the aria for the lengthening of tenderpain,
this is the sorrow which is keeping the
the skies above
from alighting upon the earth.

This is life running her chainlink vacancies
through stale hotel rooms,
racing my bloodstream
over the hills which eclipse my pale moonbody
in the bruised desires of night.

What they cannot know
is that hidden inside me, of course,
is you.

And this is a language you have
always known. There are no words
between us.
Listen deep for its
singing, listen with all of your
empty pages.

Listen for the coming darkness.

Reach with your eyes and
take in her static
dressing gowns.

I am within the voices. I am within the faces
you see reflected at the windows
of a time gone by.

The tides are the beating of my heart
curling and receding upon your breast.

Wash the sheets and keep the curtains
closed and know by the firelight
eternity
is home.

Inside the secrets inside the stars which you have not yet met,
there I am on the edges
with you.

Wherever they take you, my beloved,
there they will take me, too.

.

.

 

 

// Behind the Sky //

Then there were all the ways

we never found what we were looking for.

We did not know its color or

how to recognize its sound.

The way the lights descended from the heavens

and filled us so bright until the dark

felt like home again.

The home to light is darkness,

they belong inside of one

another and become

a single swaying being

no one knows how to speak about.

And so the silence, on one specific invisible day

and not one day before,

begins gathering twigs and little bones of

things deceased,

assembling her nest inside the

blinding noise.

And this is how we burn our lives away

waiting for daybreak

hiding behind the sky.

Expansion.

Detachment.

Release.

.

.

 

// Run //

I used to know the way of holding fast
to the rings
around your circle eyes
but now it is too dark to see
the headlamps made of the bones of my
mistresses, they brought in
in tomes.
My cry is a mouth which cannot breathe.
The green on the walls
makes me forget where I am:
tired and sick of mentioning the walls
without climbing them
why write them down
at all.
Breaks in the fingers, breaks in the speech,
breaks in the little skins
scratching at me.
Maybe I’m too strong.
Maybe I am very confused
by the bird songs I have read on your
tomb.
The riotous sun rages up along the graveyards
jutting through the oceans
in my chest.
Lovers made fools of the stones they threw in.
You and I and art and death
we are all here headless in this punctured
life raft bed.
The words come faster than I can catch them
how cruel their kindness, how ugly
we are bred.
I have been through much worse than you
but the last thing I want is to get
through you now.
You do not ask me to be of service.
You do not place me behind twelve doors.
You do not light matches with the flames, blessed be thy forked tongue.
This is the colour of anger
this is the fingerprint of the song of demons,
this is the way we eat our own teeth,
cut our own breast,
touch our own weakness,
hallowed be thy name
hallowed be thy frantic recalculation.
Take these books from around my
wrists,
take this bandage from around my neck.
Remember how to sing for me
the way it was.
Remember the things I will not ever forget.
They do not know the darkness hides itself.
They do not know it is the heart
of the light.
They do not know the way it
hurts.

.

.

// Temptress //

This madness is crowding in on the coffee and cigarette smoke, my limbs are phantoms, my limbs are nightmares tangled in long-legged night sweats,
I moan as the thrum of your heady scent
erupts like pricks of sedation at the back of my throat.
This was twelve nights prior to the loss of God, this was yet to burn away the clouds, this was crushed poison and weather vanes coming undone.
Blush curtains, floor to ceiling,
holding speech in the folds of their wrists
collecting dust and you,
tenderloin heart in your mouth, palms wrapped tight
upon the posts of my
alabaster
bed
looking up.
Hands fold, eyes fold, blind folds,
three lush creases line the hollow face
of our disregarded love letters:
one at the neck of the fold,
two at the waist of the fold,
three at the blood fire in the folds.
You touch me anywhere. Sound becomes lace becomes bone.
Pillow feathered patterns press my milken skin
as I trace the star stained desires in your mind.
I will breathe and you will breathe
and we’ll count
seven thousand times back
from eternity.
You and I
we’ve spent heavenly mouthfuls of time
swallowing the nights like knives.
They were
strange beheaded creatures
sliding hooks along
bare walls.
Folded, too, were the love made hours
into flesh, into tear drops, into fingers, into the soft curves of
dewy breasts, cream linens, elbows, skies.
I can still feel you say it against my chest, that pleasure always bent for me
the way of a broken afternoon on sidewalk shadows,
thorough, extensive, discreet.
Your tongue thirsty at my thighs and this somber light
between us
is a hallowed illusion of peace.
All the miserable gray snow
flung fast upon the ground.
All the cruel heat in your penitent eyes
gazing down.
This madness is crowding,
is crowding us in.

.

 

// Write All Of It //

I believe if we want to remain prolific, if we want to maintain flow, if we want to continue to be nimble, a writer must write all of what it means to write. Just like with any kind of life, the struggles we go through to create are part of the creation itself.
Birth, death, ecstasy, curiosity, brutality, resurrection.
So much of what we have to do is sheer survival of the word, of the vision, of the expression.
All the ways the words are meant to be formed, the way they are forming within us, it is so often a terrible mess.
It can be very hard to break through. And the brave ones keep going. The brave ones write all of it.
So write all of it.
Even as many people come and go,
as they adore you and forget you,
as they question you and open you
and move on.
As they stay.
Do not worry about them.
You are still here.
You are still this heavy beautiful collection of dark skies
stealing catches of light through trees.

.

.

// Lovers Cry //

Some days I pray only
for hard rain.
Rain to wash away the streets. Hot rain until I bleed heat underneath my fingernails,
feel the anguish inside me like matchsticks struck upon the bare hands
of lost polaroid time.
I pray for hard rain to penetrate the wild fire in my bones.
On these days, we are now not speaking. On these days we are now sipping whiskey as the setting orange sun splits the trees like razors through electric wire.
Why am I different, why is this different, why am I always in the dark when you find me?
There are clouds of gray smoke affixed to my lungs
from swallowing my tears too soon. The rain begins now falling up, the world turns to ashes now falling down
upon wide open red fields. Is this why we came?
You look through me and climb through the gaps, my heart is a broken window.
Is this all there is?
I gaze back at you but do not dare expel the words. Cracks in the ceiling were cracks all along, floorboards shifting like the ocean tide and I am now not
standing.
Is this the best you can do?
As night rolls into morning fog, I am distracted: what about the boats we’ve untied, they are now burning, they are now never coming back.
You tell me it was me and I am ashamed because I cannot remember. I cannot seem to touch the memories which cloud behind the mind.
Screens are now movies, screens are now backdoors in the summertime, screens are now fireflies on brown sticks trapped in jars. Screens are now slamming, screens are now screams.
Why can’t love take it all back
when love can climb the walls
in the rain?
Maybe she does
but you don’t see she cries like I do.

.

.