Celestial Egg

                      “They’re not deviled eggs
                      because Lucifer was once an angel.”

At the bar you order
a small white plate
of celestial eggs.

Holy mayonnaise
yellow topped
with chives.

They are gulped
except for the last,
which you offer me

through telepathy.
I am the egg.
When I stop throbbing

is when I live
so I hold it high
in our five spotlights.

The arena cheers.
I see many doors.
Five floors:

on the bottom, death,
but each row above
a plethora of possibilities.

In your car, you say
I am feeling unmoored,
my shoe half-out your door.

The renaissance is what we
make. It is brown paint
over everything, the oil

light– you ask, what is on
your mind? I don’t know
how much you know

but I felt the warmth
of the machine beside me
thrumming on the street.

You were on the phone,
I think. I glared– I think
the end is coming

faster than fresh ideas
or the universe’s
rate of expansion.

The fact you drove
saved me from running
through the dark city

in the center of my existence.
In the shadow room
inside my house,

I did not process
emotion. The throbbing
sprain in my foot.

It was that death
issued a rain check
when I smacked my head

in the basement bar
of the indie theater.
I was the movie

everyone watched.
I left everyone waiting
for me to emerge

from the sewer. I swear
I will not group up next time.
I want each synapse

comprehended. To succeed
would be the stretchy fabric
of my living. Nylon

for the brain. Procrastination
for the ascent. I say you need
not worry because I am not

worried. Depression is a shovel
deep in soil and I am buried
in my mind, thankful

to be given a second
heaping of kindness
when I never deserved the first.

Hard to learn you
when my body is uniformly
jagged and growing

hairs sharp like knives
eternally out of every inch.
I want to be tender

with you, but once
I eat, all mysticism
is lost to process.

(originally published in Academy of the Heart and Mind, Spring 2023)

It’s 9:45 I’m Happy to Be Alive

I’m in bed an engine revs a motorcycle outside
someone on this street screams slow down
but I finish our pack of blueberries, I apologize
what for? We were both eating them. The small
sour ones. The large C-flat ones. Near the end
I say these kinda taste weird. You say they’re
very sweet. I apologize what for? Where I’m at
I can complain about such sweetness.

(originally published in impspired, Fall 2021)


tin colander holes parts of me peeking
out into the kitchen horizon    past the stove
which so very recently burned blue &
contained above potentially dangerous
gas    of which you were in control
unlike last night you did the right
thing  begging cathy not to drive
home  her slurring sentences
& drunken desperation  just
hours before  all three of us
together  I had to walk home
after downing Nosferatus
and you were there with her
drinking tequila when you called
to say now I really
have to say goodbye
but everything was fine you
arrived at your destination
but she wanted to
drive again the night
air thin
& shivering &
blue when she

(originally published in Gingerbread Ritual Literary Journal, Winter 2021)

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)

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)

Film Industry Interview While Walking Bloomfield Bridge

Wild this wind in Pittsburgh–
I am Bukowski reformed
twisting through steel
structures teeth gleaming.

Synthesis of former lives–
Columbus, Los Angeles
drunken pursuit of art
now an upstream leaf.

Marginalia within pages
of tattered library books–
I’ve so little to say you
hear a deep, empty well.

To march back into
my film-reel past
and gloss over poetry–
ghost cleaning gutters.

Allow some space
within my wanting.
My heart an old lens
zooming into the river.


(originally published in The Aurorean, Spring 2020)

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)


Dog through the window– charcoal snow
and peanut-speckle brushstrokes– I watch you
served by our server on the patio under

Azorean’s white umbrella. If only I could be
of service to a creature so brown-eyed and sacred.
I want to be good, too, and melt the heart of people

I encounter. But I am out of it– I still feel new here
and spend my workweeks isolated and curious
for the world I miss around me, its strangers

a wild pack wandering the streets, searching
for any scent that spells joy. How mine smells of cinnamon
blocked by endless windows overlooking a sea of blue

recycling trucks inside a sharp metal fence, and– even now–
I peer through glass, smelting, as our server rubs your head,
as passers-by smile as they go wherever they must go.

I want to be unleashed, too– to put both knees on
concrete, pet the fur between your ears, and
inhale, together, Saturday’s shared freedom.


(originally published in Hello America, Fall 2019)

Daydrunk at Silky’s

you answer when you are ready
to leave we want to rush to the next

drunk-stop the next essential crying
opposite ends of Silky’s shuffleboard

table all the sugar scattered on wood
by the windows of natural sunlight

we slide the puck across attempts
to not cross the line too late

we have said what we have said
I am on my phone sobbing

to an automated voice the bank
the prophet’s lugubrious martini

raised inevitably to our lips

(originally published in Subterranean Blue Poetry, Fall 2020)