// 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.

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// 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.

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// face at the window //

Forgive me, beloved,

for I know not what I do

with this terrible

overwhelm of beauty

before me, beside me,

pressed at the doorframes of my

deviant mind.

Her soft body maddens the veins,

mutilates the heart,

she dwells

and swells within me.

~

And I am afraid this is who I am,

this bend in my wrist toward crooked things;

the way the pain pins her mesh sick wings

to the whispering floorboards.

Is this who I am.  These expert invisible hands.

I am troubled of this knocking

knocking

knocking

knocking

against the spine cage.

~

Disrobe me as the moon clutches at the

breast, at the stomach, for absolution.

I am afraid this

must be my nature,

the threading of my distorted face,

for this howl floods the house with silence

but never does she leave me.

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// forbidden suns //

How long since the feeding.

How long since the fragrance on the mouth of lilac

and quiet freedom.

I am curled against my self awareness

somewhere far away, the mad dog of eternity sits waiting

to collect my freckled footsteps,

moaning and sighing up from the ground.

Rose petal tea. I am wearing ivory cream sheets,

gazing out across

the sliding rain

through the burning bedroom window.

Purple ivy over stained glass clouds,

picture frames cutting off

my gray hands.

Smoking cigarettes made of fog,

drawing frankincense from

the throat

of all the silent kinds of

threats.

And so the day begins

to fall upon the slope of my shoulder blades,

sitting here alone

above a strange

world.

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// give me more //

We are foaming at the mouth with heavy greed, how it glides through the veins like silk silently threaded alongside joy; thrumming steady but out of sync next to the beats of the hurricane heart you gave away to the ones who do not know how to see the light in the darkness.

Let them go and use your hands to carve a home for yourself inside me. Cross my heart, cross my fingers, untie my secrets and hope to die.

We want more when contentment would require much less. I wonder when you reach for me, pull me close and try to hold on to something neither of us are sure how to name but we can taste the mad tugging in the jaw when it aches, do you feel the stars blowing in the wind? Do you feel the jealous sun sliding through the winter trees, heavy with hunger for centuries of sleep? As you place your fingers in my mouth and I obey, I am not here in this body you crave, I am above the world looking down upon this strange darkening scene where we dissolve in the wine on each other’s tongues, and dance and fall and crumble and disappear.

Dolls that will break are already beautiful. Horses that will run are already free.

I hear the voices of the loudest ones and they sound like insanity draped over a vacancy no one dares to speak about, while inside my skin my sins are screaming. They sound like white noise caught on plastic bags floating down the heels of a crowded city street: dirty, disregarded, excessive, hollow.

They sound like nothing and yet people hand over their lives, their last thin dimes, and their slim cut souls, all these little people like insects trapped, going numb waiting for it to matter, for someone to notice that no one notices anymore. We are homeless, we are hunted, we are gladiators. We are white pearl eyes on fossilized  butterflies, we are filthy money down the drain.

Your hand moves toward me slow, a subtle gesture in the mysterious dark. It does not remember as the heart does not forget, where you and I have been. The body in slow motion betrays the mind, you are warm flesh and erotic games beneath the cold night air in my lungs.

How these fingers thread through the bones, whatever it is we are searching for lives forever in the paper tissue dreams which never left us. They can never leave us. They are the fabric of the moon, the place where the bodies of every ocean in every galaxy connect. They are five thousand red mercurial suns setting along the cyclical edge of time.

You at the back window seat of my mind, you on the lines they took from my hands. How I adore you. How many bloodstained years have I been gone.

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// bodies, traps //

Soft wet lips left behind on glass,
a white flower petal cuts the words
away from my hands.
None of it matters like everything matters;
we fall behind as we fall into
and out of
step.
Sand in the swollen nets of time. Thieves
lifting the broken windows of the
night.
We explore each other,
take into our mouths
the devil’s handiwork.
Love is tragic, love is
collusion.
When you look at me like life and death
are on the same side
I want to inhabit the palms of
your soul.
Hold me until my ribs dissolve into stars.
Forgive me these secrets: what we give away
we keep.
Where the rain floods the inside of the caverns buried in the mind
you approach me, tuck away your knives
as your skin becomes wings,
in the darkness we are free
as you
lose yourself and come for me deep.
You fall, you follow, you run,
you return before I’m ready.
Drink me like bloodthirst
sliding through leaves.

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lust for the taste

You permit my palms against your neck,
swallow my lust for the taste
of the pulse of all creation.
We are the birth and death
of nations
bending forward, falling back
into the midst of each other’s
dawning.
Witnesses.
They say the trees, when threaded close together
for miles and miles
bring to bear a spirit,
a presence
of their own
kind,
a knowing long buried
rises for a time.

There are no words for the sight of her silence,
there are no limbs in the halls of her dreams.

We are diamond claws at the back
of a dying thing.
Pull your veils down over me
the moon is pale
and cold but she
moves between us;
when we stand this close
and breathe
I feel it.

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// night swimming //

Maybe it’s just a slow ride into oblivion under a purple evening sky. Wicked trees. Maybe we’re just a slow dance from growing into our wings; from becoming quiet keepers of all the memories we left behind tucked into the backseat of the cars we wrecked and realized we were not invincible.

As you braid my hair I’m saying silent Hail Marys because I’m not sure what you believe or what I believe but I can’t stand it if that’s what tears us apart. But we are always being torn apart.

Time is eternal erosion, destruction; moth wings, tiny and thin but they never stop beating away at the ribcage.

I know it’s cold but pull over and let’s get out right here, stop the rush of what can only continue and hold my hands until we become each other’s shelter from the raging storms in a wild mob of strangers’ eyes.

You are touching on my neck but what makes a poet is her breathing, which builds and releases out of sync with the rest of the known universe. I’d like to make it easier for you but this is the stuff that explodes in me. What is the use of comets, why do our souls cry out when we watch blackbirds flying against the night sky?

What makes a poet is mostly inconvenience and the backhand of truth when you thought it would be soft milky breasts and crimson wet kisses.

In a flurry of inspiration, I purchase a real clock, with arms that sweep around across three images of golden threadbare butterflies. Everything runs, runs out, runs away from you, so much of what we love runs so fast it flies. I place the clock on the opposite side of my writing desk across from a vintage hour glass. I’m sick to death of technology.

The grains of pure white sand begin their falling against the rusted sounds of ticking.

Time echoes time, minute by minute we become reflections on either side of the glass.

So many ways to remember we are lost, to remind us that this life is always happening behind closed doors.

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// prize //

Paint your walls
high on the hills and look for me
elsewhere,
the memories we spun like
royal garments
coming undone
can’t hold a candle
to a returned lover’s face
you could reach out and touch.
Tall buildings collapsing, windows –
ceiling to floor –
exploding
half way around the globe,
I can hear them inside
when I close my eyes.
I’m sleeping again, dreaming of blue canvas sky
the way I’ve heard that satin mourning doves
mate for life.
The way you used to taste me in full;
hard hot rain down the bare soak
of my benevolent
skin,
this darkness has torn my vision away
from the sun.
Just like her, just like him, just like they said it would be,
we – you and I and none of them – we in our aching blindness of being
rise like train wrecks to the next occasion.
Don’t you look for me in your disfigured instruments,
don’t you look me in the eye and bloody my hands
over the absurdity of sculpture in your withered gardens
all but overgrown, concrete limbs climbing along the vines;
beautiful horned creatures carved in black sand,
wander your lavish labyrinth of
tender flesh, steel traps,
rust in the back of the throats of those gone mad
from screaming.
I will be gone.
I will be gone.
White wings on heartache, pricks on the tongue.
You will fall thirsty, beloved, and I
will be gone.

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// messenger //

Your lips part silently
around words I cannot hear.
Muted, but calling to me
just the same
and persistent.

Your face the promise
I’ve been waiting for,
a message behind the walls,
how the beautiful take long baths
in the
crumbling.
Please tell me what
I came here for.
What the syllables
are.

What is this developing distance
between moving and
standing
still.
The words have stopped
falling from your mouth.

“Patience.”

Time is held by the hands,
held in your hands, sliding
through vanishing palms.

And I am waiting.
I will wait with all the world
for the tremble of
a single word
from you.

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