Fake Pollack

Acrylic in my head paints on canvas a monstrosity
the glut of guitars plucked and discordant my ganglia
a jumbled mess of math wrong equating crystals and string

circus a battle with the world its perspective a plane upside-
down on the runway screaming into sky oh I love who I love
and that’s the mallet rolling down the xylophone until the rot

an explosion at the end with upright bass scaling up
intensity while the sine waves crash against the shore
to counter the tide tolling against the whistling sand

 

(originally published in The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Winter 2020)

Sketches of Buildings

Happy to finally be introduced, you said I’m proud of this architecture.
It’s true– your sketches are exquisite. In the gallery, your large displays

of heart-shaped buildings: blueprints of love in metaphorical forms.
A while ago, when I was lost and new (and you were, too), I knocked at

your door and the day led us to a festival, a sunny ninety. We drank
lemonade and walked with sour-sweet lips as ghosts through strangers.

It didn’t work out, us, but we’d see each other at shows and you’d ask me
when you’d meet my partner. Next time, I’d say, like I was ready to build

something new from the crumbles my desire likes to leave, how
to draw these ashes shapes for someone new to admire.

(originally published in where is the river, Winter 2021)

Deciduous

     organ of the trees ring
                                             the heart’s synthetic beating

         the stepstep crunch
                                               of leaves a drumbreathe

                  tenderly

 

                the forest i lose
                              me          the eye leaves

 

       somewhere someone sees me

                                                        whose real
                                                                             branch

                                              of body

 

                                     how corporeal the limbs
                               these purple nights return

 

(originally published in Kettle Blue Review, Fall 2018)

M I N T

We wandered the meat-factory-
turned-art-gallery, white wall to
white wall, wondering when to
dispel our abstract selves–
positive, negative, we followed
lines from canvas to grate where
blood of cattle used to drain,
where old concrete holds imprints
of feet. My hand sank into yours
that first time. I still see it there.

 

(originally published in Cold Creek Review, Spring 2018)

The Employment of Dreamers

                                                        After Gray Clark

I need to quit my job as the caretaker of people
who surrendered art to come home from work
and watch television. I can imagine acrylic
burning a canvas for eternity. Giving up
mattered to me a year ago. It will
matter again in a year.

 

(originally published in Flypaper Magazine, Winter 2018)

Getting Sober

If I don’t watch it, this lake
is vodka and I won’t care I don’t
know how to swim. Getting sober
is like that. I go out into the world
and look you in the eyes and say
I’m fine. I’m having a good time
and you go on never knowing
I was half-underwater, that
there was a monster trying
to make its way to the surface
and I had to push him down.

 

(originally published in Rattle, Winter 2018 – nominated for Best of the Net)