Overtime

January, so–
renewal, no, just

soaking in the sunrise,
the year– not NEW

year, same shit
as last, endless weeks

of overtime, begging
the sun

please change
your sleep pattern,

stay up all night
for me!

(originally published in bluepepper, Winter 2021)

Alone in a Movie Theater

I am in competition with darkness
staring into the eyes of people playing people

says the man who lost himself in Los Angeles
on purpose to walk to the beach and along

its shore at night with grayblue jacket lightly
shielding me from breeze inside other footprints

shapeshifting to waves rocking against a porch
of a vacation home that pile of gold inside

a beached skull I carried into an orchard with
knife and sliced gala apples into motorboats how

Dad used to and it is not littering when I biodegrade
myself into Earth sinking deeper into its core

where I sleep for two hours and
wake up a new and filthy man

 

(originally published in Rabid Oak, Summer 2019)

That Summer I Still Believed in Everything

Blackbirds linger over the summer of 2012–
I followed them to Austin ahead of winter’s white

knuckle, veered west into the world of tv,
an industry where I found & fought the devil

in myself, his blade lodged still deep within me.
I chose Los Angeles over love, a dead dream

over crisp grass, intoxicated phone calls of
a faraway devotion– how I once told Tony

who I would marry, how it was inevitable
until the two-thousand mile difference

we would never bridge.

(originally published in riverbabble, Summer 2019)

Transition

I walk this familiar street
of spring. Cherry blossoms,

sunshine, the desire
to drink. Yesterday

I snuck into a field
with a flask to avoid

the knife room I
tell myself to stay

out of. My longing a black
rolled-up rug. I tell myself

Stay wound, trying how
I can before I let again

the drunk in me to walk
through the door,

spill me out in scuff
marks and mudprints

just after the rain.

 

(originally published in Penmen Review, Summer 2019)

Ode to Gargoyles

Strong Baboon, I lost all sense of language

                          Duck Angel, blue clouds are turning dark

Anchored Cheetah, chase my spirit away

                          Smiling Lion, Naked Genie, give your lust & longing

Horned Horse, may one day you breathe flame

                          Lost Dog, you have seen my lover

Furless Cat, may my home become yours

                          Hunchback Hyena, I, too, holler at the edge of a roof

Tender Dove, may you pass these tigers safely

                          Galloping Bat, may we find a bed deep in a cave

(originally published in Artvilla, Spring 2021)