summer mugs me every time
muggy breath and hug of sweat
so hug me hold me let me know
I’m not a cloud who will sink
into a vapor or wave hissing mist
an atmosphere of melancholy hot
days that teleports me to L.A.
stargazing fame because anyone
who meant anything existed far
away celebrities or friends who
wait when you come home to drink
torpedoes in the square then explode
with laughter when telling them how
you lived everyday in a pile of socks
and neverending sunshine
(originally published in Abstract Magazine, Spring 2018)
When I was homeless, I snuck into gyms.
Browned shower floors with footprints.
A rose inside curtains’ slow steam,
I became an endless bloom,
tongue lapping the head.
(originally published in Pidgeonholes, Spring 2018)
I blamed the smog first
for chronic bronchitis,
then for each of my failures
breaking into Hollywood.
My last time
in the Trader Joe’s
parking lot, BMWs
I wore smudged sunglasses,
saw pigeons gather
before the same small gods
I wanted to become.
(originally published in Neologism Poetry Journal, Winter 2018)
these angled wings of black toxic piranha
triangles and sometimes yellow is diode
connecting spark to sky– open your mouth
raw fish skin and wet I will wait for something
new in the feathers of ripped jeans and we will
sigh about the weather the snow and cold want
of July’s salamander tanktop days and reproduce
downriver toward industrial cities of light
and tall structures of billowing ominous smoke
(originally published in The Wayfarer, 2018)
I deliberated when traveling the country
because there was no one anywhere waiting,
no one on either coast with arms open wide to hold
me in their jacket in an ocean breeze– no, grime
rocked from screen to shade. The tide of film
frothed over tours viewing Santa Monica
for the first time as if, as they had hoped,
there was something new to see.
(originally published in streetcake, Winter 2018)
I can tell you how many points LeBron scored last night
or who won the World Series,
but I can’t fix the leaking faucet in the bathroom,
won’t mow the lawn if not overgrown.
I don’t change the oil in my Ford
nor bring home a solid paycheck–
but I will live in an apartment
to avoid responsibility.
I’ll pay lots of money to tell
a landlord I can’t do it.
I’ve already lived in a car to avoid the responsibility
of telling a landlord I can’t do it.
I didn’t know how to fix it when it broke down,
and a Samaritan changed my flat tire when I burst it
when turning into a potholed Burger King lot
and I claimed I was about to fix it.
He told me not to pay more than twenty-five dollars for a used tire–
no more than twenty-five dollars, and get the rim hammered out
I went to the tire shop and paid their thirty-five to avoid conflict.
Wordlessly they stopped eastbound traffic on Pico
and I backed away and left.
One thing I can do well is parallel park,
as if reverse-navigation is worth bragging about
but I’ll take it.
No one has the courage to fit inside this small space.
No one can fit inside here but me
(originally published in Literary Yard, Winter 2018)
hang a horse
watch her body pale
I want a California girl
skin smooth as shale
my gallop from
(originally published in The Blotter Magazine, Summer 2017)
Sitting in the kitchen
of my childhood home,
longing to be home,
I know I’ve lost another
one, another in a string
of partners, balloons of
many colors floating to
some high-up place
where I thought
we both would be
(originally published in The Stray Branch, Spring 2018)
We spent the entirety
of our days together.
Now, the vacation from myself
There is a void beside me
unexplainable in the absence
No one here will keep me
whole. Digging into darkness,
film, facebook, what’s real, what’s imagined,
why does it matter?
I want to caress your stomach in the sun
and know everything is okay.
(originally published in #thesideshow, Spring 2017)
the songbook is full
of songs left to sing
we didn’t wait long to end
the song present in the now
unwrapped from the box
where we sang tenuous tones
(originally published in The Piedmont Journal of Poetry and Fiction, Winter 2017)