I Call Bullshit Upon the Throat of My Art

Palm to neck– tactile hypocrisy. My Adam’s apple,
weren’t my lips once sweet for Jesus? Crucifixion
was puberty lapping holy water in adulthood’s
church, blessed be hope. To remake myself
is a perpetual game of jacks and marbles
rolled by someone older. Rejecting rules,
I say I’ll get better.

 

(originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2019)

Balance

bubblegum, bean
or J for jelly bean

and the first letter
of your name

your bent elbow
your bent knee

upside
down

interpretations. the morning
of early language

the balloon is red
your eyes black

the sky red
your eyes white

the sky white
your eyes red

black drape of night

white rainbow
white sun

everything between
the margins of the

mental spiritual
physical colorful

hangs in
the balance

 

(originally published in Vamp Cat Magazine, Winter 2019)

Solace

It was not solace we sought in the woods,
but rather, logs to provide fire for years.
Having known too many temporary timbers that
smoke then ash in small stretches of time slung
across the small rooms one week to the next,
among the dying leaves we wanted no others.
To watch what turned red on the fringe of the
world’s balance on a sling so fragile we chose
to forget. How long have we known each other?
How long will we? Days whisk into years
without stopping. We know nothing will be
forever; just as every good memory builds
the foundation of happiness worn like vodka
on jeans. If there were a blemish it was houseflies
swept off the cabin’s hardwood. Wings on bodies
in the margins, inert. How soon for us, too.
How winds change in a week but the fire
we started on arrival lingered smoke after
the last departing tires moved pebbles from
the driveway into life’s wild, winding road.

 

(originally published in Dime Show Review, Winter 2019)

M&M

I was searching, too,
having lost the will to film
when I left Los Angeles. So
when you and Kim hid bags of
Haddad’s M&Ms from the other,
I learned it’s okay and rare
to find such sweetness inside
the seams of a rolling chair.
And when I watched you
climb desks and tables
to seek an advantage
inside the pillar, the cords,
the tethered lights– which
resulted in a broken device–
it was never malicious,
wasn’t some power play
I’d become accustomed to
in this industry, just a game
that ended when Janice
emptied bulk bags of the candy
over our desks because
even I was in too deep and,
yeah, it was hilarious. Now,
as we clean our desks to leave,
we find stray M&Ms buried
under paper stacks that serve
to remind, if for a moment,
that you are my friend.

 

(originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2019)

Cocktail Hour in the Wardrobe Department

because Greg today got inducted into the Academy
downstairs at work they say drink as much as you
want this quiet wild hour of comatose fluorescents
after the first champagne they mention the blue
cooler stocked with ice-cold IPAs & I know I will
reach into the frigid cell & corkscrew open a Doghead
with these incorporated strangers I have come to want
to know & if there were an Oscar for spills I would
by now be adorned in gold instead of wishing
for potential future accomplishments to seep in
like rivers running opposite directions to form
a body instead of letting anxious moths eat me
from inside perhaps I’m ready to be removed
from this rusting rack so reality can tailor me

 

(originally published in Goat Farm Poetry Society– Edges Zine, Winter 2019)

Blur

for Mary Oliver

We walked along
the gray edges of
the river. And my
glasses had shattered.
This removed
the shape of things,
the perfect barren limbs
now perfect trees,
what I thought were boats
in the distance you told me
were wild geese going home–
and where else to go
but deeper? I wanted
to see what might be
around the bend, always
something– exactly the
grass we could not know
we needed, pines
that waved us
further into forest.

 

(originally published in Pacifica, Spring 2019)

 

An Iceberg Splits from Antarctica

           the cicadas are out
           early don’t be
           alarmed by the
           coming swarms                              build a memory
                                                                      of winter build
                                                                      a memory of here

                                                                                I loved what we had

                                                                                        cold glove
                                                                                        in warm hand

                                            but now when growing old I know
                                            I didn’t do enough to do my part
                                            the wandering joyrides burning ghosts of
                                            dinosaurs from gunky lungs of millennium
                                            sedans cigarettes in our mouths tv the endless
                                            bedlamps they say sleep is best in total
                                            darkness o how I wasted more than I knew
                                            on those daily long commutes

(originally published in Orange Quarterly, Winter 2019)

Existential Food Poems

After reading five food poems in a row,
I paused, told the audience I get inspiration
from food. I meant I get energy, really.
At home, sometimes, I sit at the table
eating noodles and suddenly
I am at the table eating noodles!
I look at the floppy strings
on my plate and ask myself
what I’m doing. Converting
loose ends to energy, according
to education. Google tells
me to stop eating so many noodles
but to stop means less
energy– the will
to go on. These laces
tying my stomach
consumed by gastric acids
transform into aminos
that fuel me, somehow,
these noodles that don’t
make sense but somehow
allow my string of days
to keep dangling, serve
me on a plate so that
I may exist, so I can fall
in love with someone
and they can fall,
too, and steam
until we cool enough
for them to stick
their fork in me,
then wonder, what
are we doing? The
fork swivels,
gathers
a tornado
of noodles.

(originally published in Bindweed Magazine, Winter 2019)