i met tom hanks

though i am a lake
or the idea of
one, without water, just
a depression
in the face of earth, potential
a pool waited to fill, like
charisma, that energy could
spark a room full of
doubt, a many-roomed doubt
full of one, such a hole
where say i live

 

(originally published in Nixes Mate Review, Spring 2019)

D.C.

Weird seeing how we’ve changed. In sticky
bars we were tornadoes swirling into drunk
arms. After a certain date we spake change

living in the new blotted heart of darkness.
The horizon blessed us but looked to fade
fast. I write poems & you write legislature.

Do better, you tell me, still, though it is
your will. You walk from the shore of the
bleeding Atlantic to break the binding quill

of former centuries. There is no place for
hate here
. Waves of black ink roiling in
for the storm. A comfort, this tornado.

(originally published in The Literary Nest, Spring 2019)

Fog Machine

I am good at drinking the fog
machine shooting stars past
sugar-rings of Saturn.
Entering small atmosphere
of haze and collision. A burn
to swallow smiling.
Everything became
out of body. Some bubbles
pop soon after floating
from the wand but I rode this
for years. The axis of my own
journey seems fleeting. And
the circular magnet of time pulls
me now like desire to step into
a cosmic pool and ride the
ripples I make to its end.

 

(originally published in Free Library of the Internet Void, Winter 2019)

Father Monster

to keep her away from him
this elephantine responsibility
before you is quartz dressed
in granite stripped from volcano
               & I am scared you will try
to kill yourself again if you
don’t stay stone / o voyager
inside this thick sentence / time
spent without your child this seed
in a core / gnawed on
unpitted olives & broken
teeth being the easiest
part of the process
how your judge won’t
listen / how your judge takes
his gavel / slams against
a desk of air & its reaction
is a howling / sound
everyone else can hear

(originally published in Neologism Poetry Journal, Winter 2019)

Square Cafe

pancakes we talk heavy locomotive engine
steam billows out this whale blowhole this
top of mind wisp say something anything
wrong always sugar sweet the stacks
I want to speak doesn’t connect you eat
a hole through final pancake as to
puncture the flour we had bloomed
over the last year and half eternity
we could lose in the vast distance
across the table cerulean walls
surround us in new distance
enclosed and suffocated open
air a quiet din to gorge last
bites by window sunlight
your blue marble eyes I
can’t meet halfway
mumbling

 

(originally published in 24hr Neon Mag, Winter 2019)

Tuesday Night Karaoke at Hounddog’s Pizza

Another weeknight. Of course
we’re being responsible. Hell,
we chose the karaoke spot
with the Christians congregating
at a table before the mic. The
first from the group sings
Reliant K; the next sings
Hozier’s Take Me to Church
and they all nod and clap
their hands. I want to
tell them it’s a goddamn
metaphor. The whole thing.
I mean, life. Not simply the
lyrics (although worship
in the bedroom seems
obvious– from Adam’s
rib came Eve, hard, both
of them, I mean they bit
into the apple, crunched
to the core, came hard
in the likeness of God’s
merciless love. But what
these friends mean is
a crucifix hanging
above the bed, in front
of the mirror, so that
they can watch themselves
pray in the presence
of Jesus). I mean I want to
tell them but I don’t say
anything, and they leave
as I hit the stage to sing
Psycho Killer, leave before
I can tell them you start
a conversation / you
can’t even finish it.
You’re talking a lot but
you’re not saying
anything. Run, run,
run, run, run, run
away.

 

(originally published in MORIA, Spring 2019)

Aladdin’s

Funny, thinking back, the restaurant– hell,
the industry, those incessant phone calls
in the midst of rush, my snaking past
corners with three plates of hummus
and shawarma in aluminum, warm
from the kitchen, only to waste
in a stranger’s presence, scraps
on porcelain I’d bus, then zigzag
through the floorplan of tables.

Funny, thinking now, how little has
changed– insecure in economics,
I’ve jumped the lilypads of job
after job, the backbreaking work
of conforming, of each return home
with something new to say but I’ve
said it, I’ve said my best, my cap-
stone thesis shredded in California,
back when full of possibility–

I desire a bowl of time
loops. Cereal in my milk.

I didn’t even use silverware
in college, a joke inside a riddle
presented as a gift I constantly
unwrap, umbrellas of green
folding into myself in the rain,
suffocating, blinding, this pirouette
of place, this unfixable sedan
screaming off the shoulder
of the highway, smoke
signals ablaze and late
for work.

(originally published in Little Rose Magazine, Winter 2019)