Meditation is mellifluous
melody ignoring the choo-
choo train inside my head,
but I have been growing
better, forth in time.
There are meadows
I will never enter – renter
of everything. Nothing I meet
in this life I keep. Honest. Lover
bearing forever strands
of hair? God, infinity is
so infinite when glimpsed.
Such the rose moon
grows on this
(originally published in Count Seeds With Me, Spring 2022)
The guitar hides from the sun– a shadow
of someone familiar singing. To bare my snake
skin wrapped around this temporary home.
Green of smile. Holes of jeans. Sweat
of beetles. Let me keep a tambourine
nearby. I want to make sound in the spotlight.
(originally published in Academy of the Heart and Mind, Fall 2020)
“I was born blown-minded
with an eye on oblivion.”
I’ve been sitting at my desk,
no artistic talent, drawing
a primate, the universe,
a fetus, a circus, and
with each I realize I’m
just drawing myself
over and over again–
hurtling through space
and time in my muddled
mind to conclude I don’t
know shit. So all these
lines connect where?
I don’t know whether
I’m looking to God
or to get laid. It’s both
the same, really, accessing
the part of the brain that
activates to a higher calling.
Whether that’s the faith
that I exist right now!
Or I must reproduce!
I am a goddamn mess
made of star matter
and the more I try to
laser-focus my brain
the more I learn
there. I feel as empty
between my ears
as the space between
Earth and the moon,
but then I learn that
all of the planets
in the solar system
can fit in the distance
between those bodies?
(originally published in Cacti Fur, Winter 2019)
Head is hard wood, paint and brush
stroke, linens in the lighthouse, light
without threat of darkness or vice versa,
a grayscale version of a tremolo, where
everything acrylic includes your apathy.
Painting nothing / city / boat I raise
my hands in the air to weather the storm.
(originally published in Dreich Magazine, Summer 2021)
& here in my convulsions, inside my Catholic upbringing,
the blue blanket of childhood– an introduction to sexuality–
I thought I’d turn into a pillar of salt. That God Himself
would descend, golden baritone, with his judgment fist.
But it was high school and I knew nothing of Hebrew,
despite forced classes studying the Old Testament and New,
both being death knells until the ringing bell of class-
change. Stranded in the hallways of youth the orange sky
unending. And I’d chant to myself in my bedroom, horny
and hungry, for a shared stereo. To speak common language
with underlying thread. An undying. That I could stay lost
in the map of Star’s music and be worthy of sexuality, too.
(originally published in Carpe Bloom, Winter 2019)
Again, a rainbow sprouting from your violin–
no, it’s no light. You never wanted to mother.
Music was the way– adagios hanging from
the clouds. But God had something in store–
What happened was we were drinking herbal tea
and you told me of new pregnancy within these
silent walls of our favorite coffee shop and I said
I’m sorry, I’m sorry because I didn’t know what
else to. And you said it’s okay, it wasn’t you, just
I had to tell someone. Because you no longer
write symphonies. The instrument collects dust in
your closet– where’s the music? We ask. You
answer: inside, swelling. If there’s one thing
you must hear, she will be a cadenza.
(originally published in Chiron Review, Fall 2020)
Always having a crush
makes life fun. The pining,
as Vonnegut preached, even
if only for a glass of water.
It was in the parking lot, dark
after shutting the trunk where
we stored your viola. You
hugged me, whispered music.
Your warmth pressed against
mine– epiphany. A concerto
we don’t know the notes to. How
do you shut the trunk to a partner
you’ve stored your notes in for
a decade? I see the complacency.
The spare tire in reach. Our palms
touched each time we switched
our beers. It’s true: one of us will
move soon, and I want to whisper
give me a reason not to.
(originally published in bluepepper, Fall 2019)
Finale was the first program I used to
compose music, in eighth grade, back
when my concern was to score colorful,
simple role-playing games I had created
with RPG Maker 2000. A couple years
later, I used new software, hunched
in the dark of my mom’s living
room, toying with FL Studio’s virtual
equalizers, knobs, and keyboard to craft
Schizotrope, the name of the album
I wrote to process a breakup,
an attempt to conjure you through
some combination of melody
and soundfont. When I listen
now, I hear us both a kind
of cacophonous ghost. Back
then, it was simple to slip on
cheap earbuds and recede into
my childhood bedroom, where we
did what I thought– when growing
up– was growing up. So shifted the
trajectory of my songs. And speaking
again of early sex, I sang off-key into my
coffee-stained Hewlett-Packard’s built-in
microphone, made a MIDI sound
marginally authentic to gift myself, in
the future, reverberations of my coping.
(originally published in Artvilla: Poetry Life & Times, Fall 2019)
I never want to
not be friends.
nights & joints
sore from dancing
to Shakey Graves
(Your friends / were
so true / when you /
were 22. / Now
you’ve got nothing
in a cabin
forgetting the world,
beer by beer.
(originally published in Black Dog Review, Fall 2018)
same as spit
on a band room floor
without knowing we are all
holding information too
great to actually understand
mouths into the sea
to conformity’s beat
suntan lotion and absurdism
smother meaningless philosophies all
over your skin and block out the rest
(originally published in Ghost City Review, Winter 2019)