wringing meaning from white
fall to silence
NothingI used to be lightning.
Power surged beneath my skin,
and in the silence, I heard myself thrum.
I used to be fire.
I burned bright inside, stellar lungs,
and in the cold, I sang myself warm.
Still and dark.
My stone sinews crack.
I am vacuum, deep void of space.
Asteroid dust, floating.
Mocking SkyThe Texas winter mocks
with dust instead of snow
and bare mesquite to testify with thorns
against a shred of weakness.
The Texas winter gusts
fiercely from the south -
grit on lips, in eyes, on tongues that wonder
where the deer drink.
The Texas winter sinks
in rust and blood and peaches
beneath the horizon. Sweetly, sweetly,
she sips the clouds.
The Texas winter clothes herself in cicada song,
and all the stars applaud.
KnifeRemember that little human
boy who couldn't read aloud -
who couldn't hold a pen
because his slick corn oil skin
kept sliding past itself?
Boy, oh, boy.
And he was born a hundred
years too late for his cowboy
dreams. He rides herd on the
maybes and the somedays.
He sang a knife song - one
that sliced up the rigid spines
of teachers and parents alike
and parted them before him
like God-spoken seas.
Deft elision somewhere between
his teeth and tongue, lyrical, his
words in other men's mouths.
Knife song honed with lime,
polished with manteca.
When our wings intertwined
and I fell into your music –
(It flowed like a trance and
dampened my skin with droplets, pianissimo) –
I could have lost myself
in your sonata storm
and let my chitinous scales wash away.
I knew even then
those strings held you bound
in ways I never could.
Lure me in with silk and gold,
beaded velvet, satin threads
drawn across lips still red with wine.
Draw me down beneath the world
into some secret, wanton lair
while Carnival still beats within our veins.
Wall me up behind the dark
and leave me with my silver chains
to think on wiles byzantine,
Montresor's bleak design.
Lest we forget
In Flanders' fields, the poppies blow,
and we who walk among them know
that here men fought, and bravely died
with equal courage, side by side;
the lark has overcome the crow.
We touch the Dead in memory –
embrace them through the century.
The earth enshrines their valiant hearts
in Flanders' fields.
The torch has guttered years ago;
the enemy has been laid low.
And though your names should slowly fade,
your blood a better world has made.
Rest you now where the poppies grow
in Flanders' fields.
World-saver (A starter)“This one,” said the Oracle. “This one will save the world.”
It spit out a gene map, one with far too many chromosomes.
The President picked it up and spread it out so the others could see.
“An animal?” he asked.
“A world-saver,” the Oracle replied. “The subject will be phenotypically female, outwardly indistinguishable from Homo sapiens.”
“A general?” asked the Chancellor.
“A world-saver,” the Oracle replied. “The subject will prevent the destruction of the planet.”
“And the planet’s people?” asked the Minister.
“Yes,” the Oracle confirmed.
The Professor frowned.
“Where,” she asked, “can this individual be found?”
The Oracle hummed.
“No such organism is presently in existence,” it said. It sounded amused, though that was impossible.
“Then it must be built,” the Professor said.
They took the gene map and turned to
Indian SummerThe Texas autumn froths
in shades of taupe and cinnamon
and lemon-scented yucca blooms -
waxen belles amid the spikes,
thickets of Jumano spears.
The Texas autumn ravages
the sunscorched clay with burning winds
that chew the live oaks all to shreds
and turn mesquites to kindling.
The Texas autumn ticks along
in desiccated deer
yearning for a sip of winter
to ease their cracking riverbeds.
The Texas autumn flows
in rivers of molten tar
along the curbs, beneath the cars,
The Texas autumn breathes hard
like a woman in labor
and clings to the sun
with gifts of fiery fiddle strings
and a prayer for rain.
NOTHINGThe devil is in my television
Antennae horns replaced with cable
Siren Temptress Bitch
Hawker of all things useless
Bloated trucks with testosterone voices
Drugs to ask your doctor about
Car insurance for cars
Life insurance for lives
Lives condensed to an hour
for the short of memory
Voyeur TV 24/7
Ersatz reality and faux news
Six hundred channels and
nothing to see
SomatidesSub-cellular is better,
I prefer it, really,
hidden in plain sight.
It suits my
sense of drama
(No rushing this
most atomic of
and the suspense
I'm All That's Left of MeI’m All That’s Left of Me
She put her lips on the fountain when we were kids.
I've kissed too many people to still be mad about it.
The first time she slept in my bed I had visions
of my grandfather decaying in his coffin.
(The scuttle of tiny legs and a far away buzzing)
I woke up to a thousand pairs of eyes staring at me.
Hers were closed, but her mouth started moving.
“People who dream about the dead often attract flies.
I’ll tell you my nightmares if you tell me yours.”
It was winter and the windows were closed.
There are flowers that bloom once in a life time.
The things I see during the day prepare me for the night.
A family moved into her old house.
They don’t leave beer cans on the front porch.
For some reason that makes me sick.
The only picture I didn't burn is of her
looking past the lens and straight into my eyes.
Everything else about that life is gone.
Sometimes even me.
This is the worst day to tell me I’m blind
Saltwater Burnsmend your brittle
poet fingers &
nurse your static head
cherry lips &
blue, blue fingernails
[girls like you are
Love HurtsHe had a smile on his lips
But embers burning in his eyes.
His razor-blade fingers
Would cut into her wrist.
He disguised his black heart
With whispers of sweet nothings
And hid his need for control
Beneath a veil of concern.
"Love hurts," he would say.
She would lay awake at night
"This pain I feel is a burden of love; at least I’m not alone."
And she would explain away the bruises
Until she had herself convinced
That the mark upon her face
Was from walking into a door
And the broken glass
Glittering red in her skin
Was the result of her own foolish mistake.
Even as her blood
Would sluggishly drip onto the floor,
His snarling face would soften.
He would gently take her
Into his arms
And whisper the words,
"I love you."
So she would forgive him
Because “love hurts.”
And she knew the hands
That had come crashing against her
Were also capable
Of wiping away her tears.
And the sharp words
That exited his mouth
Would be erased
By the press of his lips
Upon her t
In Search of PunctuationThe exhausted traveler hung his
on its hook, dragging his eyes across
and through the curves
looking for any signs of sharpness
or flatland meadows; somewhere
he might rest.
He found nothing but
rhythmic swells and
the faint hands of an impresario
crafting the journeyrock
below his feet.
I suppose." But his cellular
structure was ringing
in his ears,
demanding audience & sleep.
on bradbury and table dancingYou are not a wordsmith
whatever you might like to think. ('Smith'
indicates precision and coldness and fire:
words are softer than that unless you mold them strong.)
It's a difficult road to follow, and not many
make it past the fork. Choose a path,
Janus says, whirligig keys spinning on his shoulders:
I am a wordworker, with my tools too crude, forming
rough-edged carvings painted with pretty imagery.
Notebooks scattered across the landscape
of a child's room, to be stumbled across,
read, red-penned, in the thick and choking breath of night.
When the bough breaks
a hanged man laughs. He carries typewriters
in his pockets, and cigarettes in the soles of his shoes.
I will never be a word mistress,
whoring myself to the speech of people I do not know and will never know me.
The oven is set to Fahrenheit 452, but the words were already aflame
before they ever took shape under your tongue.
You love everything they've ever written, and carry
unabashed loathing for every syllabl
panegyric for heliosthe sun died
in the early hours of morning
in its sleep
burned out in
everythinning spaceshape glory
we held a funeral service
7:13am on the ninth of october
when the light should have let its fingers
grasp hold of the horizon
pulled itself upwards
begun to peer over
a vision in goldstatic overexposure
we touched that celestial body gone dark
carpet of mourning whispered hands brush a star
soft cerulean eulogy sung stark
by shaking wrists
fumbling in the black
over the remnants
of a sin too big for burial
the vast harmonics of a creek
too thin, ethereal
the parable requiem of a sun
too dim to see
quest(ion)ingi built a tower to the wrong
the clouds are dark;
silence to skyline,
a night wrought brittle
i slipped wistful,
wasted hours hanging
heavy to heart-
and rhythmic glory
invades my breath,
a never-still accompaniment
to the fugue-
state of my
we could have been gods,
but the sky is a maze
and we are
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I don my denim battlesuit
and march against reality
in tattered extra-wide sneakers.
I have bitten the dust
it tastes sweeter than honeysuckle.
Bound in my plastic prison
I create hurricanes of my drinking water
I create ambrosia of my pride
I create men of my many shadows,
each falling away
behind me as I stride
onward into hungry daylight.
he was a cathedral
of meaningless echoes,
a beauty that skimmed
his sound was
a lost child playing
at being (pro)found.
a man undone by age
his song rung brittle
through the cracks
of a ribcage made weary,
breath and shallow
his was the war,
a death hollowed
at the center of
his voice fell precise
throughout the dark;
opening what was once
closed, a gentle coalescence
of kaleidoscope harmony.
in some sensethere is no sky
i am a dysphony
of torn tongue
the sun is dead
to her alone
replace the moon
as bitten lips
Tempest of FireO daughter of thunder,
slayer of dragons (and of men),
why dost thou torment me so?
For which sin must I reside in this
purgatory of despair, this abyss
which allows no escape
nor ray of sun... nor hope?
If I, like a holy one, were to pray for
redemption, wouldst thou forgive,
or would thy spite remain?
Like a fire that burns through
a man's soul and scatters his ashes
to the four winds;
would all mem'ry of us then cease?
Remember the before time, when
love govern'd the days and nights
and peaceful dwelling places
were ours to delight in.
I pine for thy touch, thy gentle stroke,
for the words that caress'd my very being;
soft laments that brought this man to his knees,
This solitude, my love, is worse
than a thousand hells.
If I were to traverse a thousand miles
and yet, thou were not there to greet me,
of what good would this life to me be?
I call to thee, but thou remains distant,
thy silence more deaf'ning than the horn of battle.
I beg of thee once more
more options available in dropdown menugoad your gods into breathing underwater.
quip quickfire quarry at your quintessential being:
hark, hiss, hush a serial name. a feared real pain.
a slow-speaking drain of constant osmosis, pull yourself
up out from among the fallen, pull tug twitch violent
virulent, vascular. clad your misery scantily, dress
your sadness with promiscuity. let the skin show
through the fabric, let the blood pulse&pump&pray.
counterbalance in syntax, in tandem, in tears: this
is something you understand. you, the boy -- wait,
no. scream. scratch your dresses from your closets and
rip your vocal chords up, bleed your chest dry, cry. fall
unweighted, backward. be sorrowful in order to keep
from apathy all that you are, all that you could or
will be. you cannot empower yourself, you have not
the strength, wasted it all on pouring your long hair
down the sink to tangle in the sewage, spent yourself
as a power source for other people. there is no fuel
or electricity to be found. your hips are too fuckin