but I fall asleep it is Friday my youth
is waning. Please tell me every time
you want me there. I love to say I
will think about it. And I will. To
feel if the sun will warm the air
enough to drink gallons the death
of me. I want you to nail me
down I want to stay in bed I want to
surround myself with hanging lights
and loud whiskey-drinkers and dance
around smashed Bud Light bottles
gleaming with the force of recent
desire– someone leaving their
own temporal body, someone
leaving their wallet behind,
someone leaving the world
so damn lonely now.
(originally published in RASPUTIN, Winter 2020)
my cigarette-smoking badass waitress
the Bible I’ll defenestrate at 3 A.M.
Mary I went to Catholic school
while Josh played bagpipes at the Oval
Absorb tradition with sugary cocktails
I didn’t say a word in the play
as Pontius Pilate I wouldn’t
Watch men get crucified by wine
Watch women excise their seven demons
this party’s a tomb
of sacred skeletons
leave it to the wild dogs to feast
on the bottles of Jagermeister
we drink blue glasses
of Zombie in the corner
(originally published in Down in the Dirt, Winter 2020)
but I keep bingeing the same drinks.
Fireball, Tito’s, more and more–
I tap my feet, wait by the window
for the workweek to end to meet
unknowns at bars. I blackout blind
myself into the mistakes I always
make– my legs pressed against yours
in the Lyft, I want to say I don’t want
tonight to be a ghost that haunts us,
but I don’t move. I don’t say anything.
(originally published in Datura, Fall 2019)
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)
Worth inextricably tied to the throttle
I am unable to press forever and
ever, amen, where to lie
down and get some rest? Hallelujah,
livin’ by the bottle without drinking
anything alcoholic, not tonight
at least, not before the long drive
to work, paved highways, praise,
hell on the range is to pay
all your bills at once
and wait a month.
(originally published in Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles, Summer 2022)
I wish I could tell it better. As
this is a poem. Just
at my desk in rainy
January thinking about
the last night of last year,
when I did something that made me
examine my drinking. I know
I am supposed to talk about what.
So this must be frustrating, the
vagueness. It wasn’t a car crash,
necessarily. I didn’t kill
anyone but, perhaps, the old me,
now a zombie walking
out the dregs of the new
year and hovering
outside my door. He wants
to knock. My knowing his
wanting to knock is
his knocking. And if
I haven’t killed anyone
yet, maybe it should be him.
But I can’t bring myself
to do it. I stopped hard liquor.
And beer, for now. Forever,
maybe. Just saying it
is gunpowder on my tongue.
I can’t stop eating candy,
and I’m very thirsty. But
is selfishness refusing to call
Kaveh’s wolf a wolf? Like
pre-diabetic. What will
kill me is the refusal
(originally published in Red Rover Magazine, Spring 2021)
It’s early and I
can’t fall back asleep– maybe, before work,
I can enjoy a beer or two.
[I deliver food]
Cut to: work
Maybe I can sneak home
and have a can in the car.
The depth of craving
I scoff and deny.
What keeps me going is each lap’s checkered flag–
if you can get to February, you can drink. [my partner]
Cut to: February [sober]
I don’t think we should drink.
We can wait another month.
It’s Saturday night and I have drymouth
and the house crawls with
bottles, chasers, faucets, an empty
champagne bottle on display on a table.
Such is a trophy. Gold-adorned
bubbly. I can tell you the kind
of night it was that drank it:
I was how I was.
Who can I become?
(originally published in TreeHouse: An Exhibition of the Arts, Summer 2019)
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)
I drank yesterday; your socks had cats on them. I’m sorry. I wasn’t strong.
The white and pink and soft. Faces I see them everywhere and they meow
requiems of froth. Ciders on the couch our jeans touching. I get to the point
of confusion but don’t get the point of being confused. I am there. Brainfog
sober room drowning in doused apple and loud television football. Green
green fields. I lived alone in pastures for most of my sadness now it sinks
conjoined. Allow me the pleasure please allow me come home to the bog.
(originally published in Philosophical Idiot, Spring 2019)
We used to be the same, used to
dance in living rooms in Grandview
houses, drunk on homemade Moscow
Mules in copper mugs, and then
you said you would no longer.
With a glass of emptied ice
water, you’d drip out the fronts
of bars without a noise.
(originally published in Live Nude Poems, Spring 2019)