I keep saying
when I start drinking again,
there are gonna be ground rules–
the main one being I can’t be
a fucking asshole–
and these include
nothing hard & nothing sweet.
& only beers, a few.
But I need to be honest
with myself right now.
(Originally published in Poetry Super Highway, Winter 2018)
I need to break the association
this first day over forty in January
sun wicking everything orange
and melting snow which had mountained
around Columbus this past year’s been
climbing an unending goal since I gave up
drinking through a Lent that lasts forever
I stopped believing in God early on
and instead chose to believe in sacrifice
first my health now my vice the nights
when I lose myself in another religion
in rapid ascent up blackout mountain
waiting for the harness to snap
(originally published in Edison Literary Review, 2018)
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)
I want you to read this:
my night was the endless Niagara.
Love, flowing along sediment
of bones and thorny breathing,
ends on a brown couch of dog
and cat hair nice against my jeans.
I woke there next to a loaded potato gun.
Can’t stop writing dirty things
on the Buddha board
hoping you will read them.
If not you,
My bones’ silence
And the message always
(originally published in Serving House Journal, Fall 2017)
passed like a wavering wristwatch.
teeth quietly chattered.
the spider-leg-frizzy occiput.
raw morning shampoo. like an apple.
or butterflies. blunt sides of pins.
the polyester blanket soaked
from evening vinegar.
collected like dust.
(originally published in Cosmonauts Avenue – Spring 2015)
wind like a taiko
along the crown of palm
I shiver with the window
(originally published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Issue #14)