as the fading light of evening slinks herself in through my open window, so much lingers and blooms in my heart, my ribs are plush with somber gravity. though whatever this is inside of me does not wish to make itself known in words. not just yet.
a glass of wine. a cigarette. i run my fingers smooth across Baudelaire. Dickinson. Nin. gray dust and centuries suspended in the cooling air.
silence. not for those in faint condition.
i’m thinking of you as i let go of myself and wonder how long it takes to forget the one who sewed you back together after countless falls. i was torn. that is the only way i know how to tell you i was sorry, that i am sorry. that i was so loathe with greed my eyes saw only your hunger, my body sang only for your resonant ache.
and so the melon sky fades into purple with barely a whisper through the neighborhood. echoes of bottles, life, static and sadness.
empty sheets and my linen hands still resemble the shape of you.
little lights are coming on all across the globe. and i am quietly remembering a time when i was young and beautiful, and angst ridden and wretched full of poetry but without the words to heal.
i try to get out past that feeling
that you have something
as everyone tries to tell you
who you should be,
i seek out that place nobody
can ever own,
no one can ever claim or keep.
not even me.
i know it’s fleeting but i
i want that place where
bone becomes sky,
sky becomes wing.
i am not myself
how would she
poor wilt of song;
bare stem shadow.
sweet mad affliction
to be still is
to be flesh is
Image by Velizar Ivanov.
pale yellow brush stroke sky
as the dark buzzards circle and descend.
your body pinned against the grass;
hail tenderness, womb seed sown of wrath,
you have opened your mouth to the rain
since you were a child, soft skin
wet hungry eyes, unbearable needs.
spread your arms wide
and draw your breath — three times by chanted evening before
the tears strain against your tongue.
fall to pieces, lose yourself quickly
these are the only
this veil draped along the cheek, a form of
come to show you
who you are, to drink of you (woman as chalice, woman as fissure)
its voice between the fear; you are not able
to remove yourself.
lie patient, lie still. taste the whiteness of the clouds, heaven washes far
away, folds your hands, dissolves the edges, painted illusion.
you, their comforting angel in times of abandonment.
you the adored, you the mistreated,
rising slow, high, inside the sog of morning.
you, feeble light of grace in the fire seething at the breast of god.
fall deeper, wake the dream,
bare again beneath your wings.
i wasn’t sure i was even up for any of it. the glare of thin ice over the landscape of my slow bones. footsteps in the snow take the longest time; they march heaviness in my chest. this tilted gray daylight is deceiving. rustles of brush, eclipses the barren images of leaving. two fine pale women through a window, sipping tea. wide eyes. chipped teeth. the gold-laced trimmings of fragility beholden to their throats. couldn’t you have gone a little quieter. it’s the way you left the silence behind, clumping in the sugar bowl. clanging in the air, like screams.
they had asked me what, if anything, i could be sure of. they with their otherness, their sterile glass faces, and cold coffee ring eyes. in my greenness i responded in a thin voice. i wanted to be allowed to hold on to myself, to her. give my bones time to separate from the emptiness. sure of nothing save that i had lost everything my hands knew how to heal. everything for which my mind had known to reach. i am only sure there is an infinite amount of pain, a darkness which extends into a twilight of ten thousand small, developing hearts. i am only sure we are strung together by fate and that it will have to be love. love which tears us open to make room — in this vacant, impeccable blindness — for itself.
And so it came to settle into the flesh. Autumn warmth had been taught to neglect the nectarine sky, dark ivy gardens like iron mistakes, the softest for beheadings.
This had been coming for sometime but they never tell you how it will feel. Train tracks storming the cross center of the chest.
Fevered moth wings stirring up
the swell in your throat.
And the way you touch me, there and there and here,
rain moves into sunlight, wet stains upon your face
peels her teeth against the curtains, like pale eyelids eloping.
With you everything drips of descending, velvet stair cases for miles sinking to the bottom of the sea. The heels of gravity throwing lakes into stones, the dull pink tongues of gulls and we, always hungry.
If you part your lips enough that would be all you ever need to say.
forever spinning collar bones looking for a way
back into the shell of who I used to be.
the extension of all the words unspoken between us
thunder between the mountains and the sun.
Cry for daybreak.
Cry for love,
she is in the parlor room bleeding.
Eyes always too protruding. Hands around the air we breath. Nothing to keep us together. Nothing for an ending to embrace.
I see a lot of writers are very concerned with the number of followers they have. I don’t want “followers” I want readers. If you read my work I am forever grateful to you for taking the time, that is the most precious thing to me. And I want writers who write — not for 5 minutes but for hours on end for the pure enjoyment of it, for the terrible challenge of it, the ones who dig into the discomfort and bring back their unique discoveries. I want more writers who are reading the things which they adore and getting inspired by all of life in real life. I want more people interested in the craft of their art, getting lost in the process, becoming so absorbed in doing their own thing that they forget all about whether or not it will be popular, acceptable, or perfect.
Art is so broad and so big. I think it helps to remember that more often. That our gifts and passions are boundless and that social media is just a small microcosm of a way to experience and express it. There are some things which make us feel wider than the sky, larger than life, full of immense possibility and strength. Those are the things I want to invite into my life, my work, my present and my future. What are you inviting in? Devoting yourself to? What do you want yourself to be, as an artist, as a human?
as the slush and snow come down, a light inside you flickers and burns on. it is like the silence comforting itself. it soothes you by taking over the world around you, lifting it from your shoulders allowing you to feel weightless, if just for a little while. the coffee is fresh and the blankets are warm and the pages you covet have not been written yet. you think of all the people who do not understand you and you try to use the eyes of your mind to peer at them up close. blank skin, rough hands. hollow chests. concentrating very hard, you can see the whiteness of the small bones in their wrists, taught like stringed instruments straining for sound. then one by one they turn their heads, roll their heels, turn the corner, turn a season from wind to dust and fall like curling orange leaves away from the garden you have so tenderly sown.
because you were conceived in the womb of a thirsty woman, the letting go becomes a work of art.
perhaps the gray in the sky is as much like you as your fingerprints. though you see them — the tiny slices in the skin as well as the falseness of the wide-set sky — you cannot hold them. though they resemble all the sadnesses you do not know how to express, you know deep inside they are more yours than anything else in all the world. you pull the blankets around you tighter and tuck your knees up to your breasts. you think about how people are uncomfortable around you and how when you feel their discomfort you take it in. you hate yourself for causing anyone harm but you do not know how to stop yourself from seeping into them. this shame becomes the fear you cannot name. you open your mouth to force the words to keep the discomfort at a distance. so long as there are words, there are lines. so long as there are lines, the fear cannot cross over.
the room you live in is perfectly still. awash in the coldness of the rain on the window, you cannot help but remember there is a sun someplace kicking up dirt. the way it is still burning the earth and in its mindless glare, forgot to leave you.
I was born a poet. I have been writing poems since I learned to write, it is in the dna. I like to say I am a poet’s poet, because I think a lot of what I write about is meant for other poets, because I understand them the most. I know their struggles and dreams and why it is vital for them to write no matter what. We are kindred. There aren’t that many of us and we have a unique adoration not just for the poetry itself but for the craft of poetry. We are so stupidly happy that poetry exists as a thing and we are drunk on it when we are in that kind of freedom zone. Poetry is a place we go and in that place we are more ourselves than anywhere else in our whole lives. The pacing of the lines, the dramatic and mysterious subjects, the way we massage and play with the meaning of the words. We were born like this. We don’t have to be convinced of the value of poetry. We live it. And so I think with my book (Luminae) one of the things I am most proud of is that it is not just a book of poems, it’s a collection of poetry for poets. I hope it serves poets truly well. I love us for honoring the beauty and power of the word in a world that seems, right now, hell bent on ruining that kind of honest expression.