Hive

I rented an apartment of bees
that first year in Los Angeles
sticky buzzing day and night
stingers past the turn of knob

sunny day the bees hovering
over body encircling you
paranoid optimistic dreamer
don’t leave the hive yes stay

get stung camera rolling and
action as in stasis as in days
wrapped around you burning
August blankets dripping lust

for fame everyone plays the
game gathering in droves to
hot stove hands on surface
level interaction as in in-

action

 

(originally published in Chronogram, Fall 2019)

The Movies

I want to go to the movies I want to see people
act like people I don’t know enough about

anything to know if I know about anything
except let mise en scene keep my mouth

watering I am happy to drop yellowy
popcorn in my lake to swim the butter

and I want to laugh like a lake and ripple
in the conflict of others because if this

is the life I am meant to live one
of darkness surrounded by strangers

I want us to at least see the same thing

(originally published in Ginosko Literary Journal, Fall 2021)

Chiaroscuro

Alone we stand

at Mt. Washington’s overlook,
the incline trembling. How

many nights did we seek
the city lights from Mulholland

Drive?
I reply,

Stanley Kubrick once
filmed with only candles.

You obscure the view,
flick Bergman on your phone

and ask, do you see the reaper?

His head an egg floating
atop a sea of darkness.

 

(originally published in Vamp Cat Magazine, Summer 2019)

Alone in a Movie Theater

I am in competition with darkness
staring into the eyes of people playing people

says the man who lost himself in Los Angeles
on purpose to walk to the beach and along

its shore at night with grayblue jacket lightly
shielding me from breeze inside other footprints

shapeshifting to waves rocking against a porch
of a vacation home that pile of gold inside

a beached skull I carried into an orchard with
knife and sliced gala apples into motorboats how

Dad used to and it is not littering when I biodegrade
myself into Earth sinking deeper into its core

where I sleep for two hours and
wake up a new and filthy man

 

(originally published in Rabid Oak, Summer 2019)

tom hanks

struck by the enormity of celebrity
tongue-tied dry we small fish in death
valley this is my job I am the tiniest
in this production office the center
of large spiraling arms I am asked to do
and do until there are no more limits & a producer
who already looks and acts like a million bucks
asks if he can use the washer / dryer in wardrobe
and I say there are dyes but he cannot find the will
to spend twelve dollars on socks at the company’s
recommended google-search laundromat when
don from transpo barges in and asks about the
laundry service down the hall in our building
and my boss says laundry is today’s hot topic
when tom hanks lands in the room
in normal clothes like a familiar
skyscraper we may be able to name

(originally published in The Racket, Summer 2020)

M&M

I was searching, too,
having lost the will to film
when I left Los Angeles. So
when you and Kim hid bags of
Haddad’s M&Ms from the other,
I learned it’s okay and rare
to find such sweetness inside
the seams of a rolling chair.
And when I watched you
climb desks and tables
to seek an advantage
inside the pillar, the cords,
the tethered lights– which
resulted in a broken device–
it was never malicious,
wasn’t some power play
I’d become accustomed to
in this industry, just a game
that ended when Janice
emptied bulk bags of the candy
over our desks because
even I was in too deep and,
yeah, it was hilarious. Now,
as we clean our desks to leave,
we find stray M&Ms buried
under paper stacks that serve
to remind, if for a moment,
that you are my friend.

 

(originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2019)

Cocktail Hour in the Wardrobe Department

because Greg today got inducted into the Academy
downstairs at work they say drink as much as you
want this quiet wild hour of comatose fluorescents
after the first champagne they mention the blue
cooler stocked with ice-cold IPAs & I know I will
reach into the frigid cell & corkscrew open a Doghead
with these incorporated strangers I have come to want
to know & if there were an Oscar for spills I would
by now be adorned in gold instead of wishing
for potential future accomplishments to seep in
like rivers running opposite directions to form
a body instead of letting anxious moths eat me
from inside perhaps I’m ready to be removed
from this rusting rack so reality can tailor me

 

(originally published in Goat Farm Poetry Society– Edges Zine, Winter 2019)