draft

all of life’s a draft, shit
foaming to the top, froth
of your father coursing
through you as you work
the days and nights and
women from your
life, another drink
ever present at your
lip, you try to
make the writing
work, you work to
make the writing
worth more than
your own

 

(originally published in datura, Fall 2019)

I’ve Been on a Bender Since Becoming an Adult

in the dark of grimy
bars floral couches live

feathers (what a thrill beneath
neon green) in view of Saint

Maria’s grand brick parish
I unclasp Catholicism’s hands

from my neck (backdrop always holy
human touch) how can one believe

in anything other than getting fucked
up loving people at parties

unconditionally my friends I have
forgotten too many nights not

to complete the circle offered
under guidance of compass

and an unsteady hand
flicking the lighter

(originally published in Incessant Pipe, Winter 2021)

Halloween Party – A Year After the Synagogue Shooting

a year goes quick but it’s enough of a time shift   a mind shift
to pretend we were in paradise with our friends   a steaming mug
of cider   I had a handle on     donning a black wig    forgetting
seemed the natural progression of things    no masks    no monsters
in our midst    no guns   in our field of vision    truly this was
paradise   sometimes it seems a risk every time we enter public
space   this morning I felt there were sinister forces     beyond
my control   that I couldn’t blame on hangover   it was in the gob
of spider ferns unfolding    it was in the wind     a stranger waving
to me   waiting at a crosswalk     America I only feel safe inside
my shadowed home   doors locked   curtains drawn    I felt the lips
of unspeakable tragedy drawing me in for a kiss   and I pulled my
mouth away    to run to Netflix      Mindhunter      Manhunt:
Unabomber     Dexter    so many monsters   wearing masks   this
paranoia’s a fog    lingering     never have I wanted a dog  more
just to add one layer of protection    past the window’s breaking
glass    the shards and sharp teeth   are everywhere this life   if I
knew where  to look and where I know I should

(originally published in Carpe Bloom, Winter 2019)

Panera

I lost the important things
sweeping baguette crumbs
underneath an industrial
fan– cyclicality, the broom’s sashay
from one end of the room to
the next– sand blown from the center
of the desert, and how selfish
to keep water in the bottle
with other mouths to nurture.

 

(originally published in Adelaide, Fall 2019)

The Bucket

Ripples of water
extend into days

we are wordless
with each other.

A storm breaks,
a dog whimpers.

We hear the groaning
Earth shifting

over countless hours
into the endless sea.

I’ve had enough
of windows,

where dreams
are a quick glance

over another
unfinished drink

in the middle
of the day.

(originally published in Count Seeds With Me, Spring 2022)

Dandruff

Poems are dead flecks of skin I
want people to take home

After a reading last year Jordan told me
he likes my poems but they are only

skin cells
So Jordan wants my blood

wants to syringe my heart
and keep it in a bottle

That’s what I did

then he said I want to be inside you
So he wants to wear my skin

A me hanging in a closet limp
and lifeless     A clothesline
of me and me and me

to be opened like a coin
purse and slip in

Yes. Jordan says
he wants to eat me

 

(originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2020)

Coca-Cola Commercial

If I live a modest life I won’t know what it means
when the pipes burst or the banks bust. Either means
money I don’t have. Meat the Earth has. I’ve wanted
to travel but I know airplane fuel results in polar bears
dying on dry soil. Think Coca-Cola commercials with
the Arctic night preternaturally night. No snow, no
snow, and after airtime you crave Coke.

(originally published in Quince Magazine, Fall 2020)

Blown-Minded

      “I was born blown-minded
      with an eye on oblivion.”
                      Young Galaxy

I’ve been sitting at my desk,
no artistic talent, drawing
a primate, the universe,
a fetus, a circus, and
with each I realize I’m
just drawing myself
over and over again–
hurtling through space
and time in my muddled
mind to conclude I don’t
know shit. So all these
lines connect where?
I don’t know whether
I’m looking to God
or to get laid. It’s both
the same, really, accessing
the part of the brain that
activates to a higher calling.
Whether that’s the faith
that I exist right now!
Or I must reproduce!
doesn’t matter.
I am a goddamn mess
made of star matter
and the more I try to
laser-focus my brain
at understanding,
the more I learn
there’s nothing
there. I feel as empty
between my ears
as the space between
Earth and the moon,
but then I learn that
all of the planets
in the solar system
can fit in the distance
between those bodies?

Gray matter.

(originally published in Cacti Fur, Winter 2019)

Littlelamp Littlelamp

                  this is a drughouse

spilled in ink
            and do tell
                   littlefabrics

           how we’re wove
                   in ink tattoos

                     squelched and
                           arm in arm.

 

(originally published in The Broken City, Winter 2019)