Inevitable Change

surf another wave
of cyclical maturation

I am who I am, you
are who you are–

static trust– your white
noise a velcro

loosening of being
unhinged– I leave cities

faster than lovers, cruise
the interstate in blindfolds

before rumble strip sobers
me beyond the paved path

(originally published in Bindweed Magazine, Summer 2021)

Spirit (Green Autumn)

What I was telling Kurt
was the danger
nostalgia
of loneliness
too close to the wound
a candle drips
old-timey tunes
still fresh
like traveling
through the pinhole
of a new vortex
I say I am alive
and someone new
knows there is
disagreement
in the leaves
how this fall
they are not
changing
only pulling
by the shoulders
saying you
will come
along
whether
you want to
or not

 

(originally published in Pretty Cool Poetry Thing, 2019)

Last Memorial Day

We walked to the Cultural District to be
at the jazz festival & basked in the sax of Nubya

Garcia beside men on mushrooms grooving
underneath eternal heat, sweat in the air

everywhere. It was a rare off being free
to roam in the spring-summer-autumn days

of Lone Wolf. This year, we seek public stairs
down the warehouse side of Liberty Avenue,

past the church turned brewery & power
plant we nearly lived across from. Above’s the plentiful

hill with blue water tower, where we pretend the mayor
lives inside its steel blue dome with all the rich hidden

in the hills with their crow vision. The community
pool is empty. The boring streets to drive through

are the interesting ones to hike with uneven brick &
ramshackle storefronts never noticed. Here’s a record

shop for anarchists. In this decrepit year we look to fill
my head with chaos to make sense of the field around us.

We have been walking & walking the sunset magenta
over Bloomfield Bridge yet summer seems a year away.


(originally published in Selcouth Station, Spring 2021)

Daydrunk at Silky’s

you answer when you are ready
to leave we want to rush to the next

drunk-stop the next essential crying
opposite ends of Silky’s shuffleboard

table all the sugar scattered on wood
by the windows of natural sunlight

we slide the puck across attempts
to not cross the line too late

we have said what we have said
I am on my phone sobbing

to an automated voice the bank
the prophet’s lugubrious martini

raised inevitably to our lips

(originally published in Subterranean Blue Poetry, Fall 2020)

Square Cafe

pancakes we talk heavy locomotive engine
steam billows out this whale blowhole this
top of mind wisp say something anything
wrong always sugar sweet the stacks
I want to speak doesn’t connect you eat
a hole through final pancake as to
puncture the flour we had bloomed
over the last year and half eternity
we could lose in the vast distance
across the table cerulean walls
surround us in new distance
enclosed and suffocated open
air a quiet din to gorge last
bites by window sunlight
your blue marble eyes I
can’t meet halfway
mumbling

 

(originally published in 24hr Neon Mag, Winter 2019)

Existential Food Poems

After reading five food poems in a row,
I paused, told the audience I get inspiration
from food. I meant I get energy, really.
At home, sometimes, I sit at the table
eating noodles and suddenly
I am at the table eating noodles!
I look at the floppy strings
on my plate and ask myself
what I’m doing. Converting
loose ends to energy, according
to education. Google tells
me to stop eating so many noodles
but to stop means less
energy– the will
to go on. These laces
tying my stomach
consumed by gastric acids
transform into aminos
that fuel me, somehow,
these noodles that don’t
make sense but somehow
allow my string of days
to keep dangling, serve
me on a plate so that
I may exist, so I can fall
in love with someone
and they can fall,
too, and steam
until we cool enough
for them to stick
their fork in me,
then wonder, what
are we doing? The
fork swivels,
gathers
a tornado
of noodles.

(originally published in Bindweed Magazine, Winter 2019)

In Pittsburgh, the First Time,

you told me Friendship is a road
split by two roads, parallel to Liberty,
and I told you that was a poem,
but you said, no, I’m just giving you
direction, and I looked up from your eyes
to the green sign reading Friendship Ave
and knew what you meant. Friendship–
we had yet to spend our first night
in the city, one that would end in
a dark cocktail bar for a dance party
that never materialized. In the morning,
we rode rented bicycles with bent
spokes and a click in their spinning
and I could only follow your lead
and cycle through streets still unfamiliar
to me– we weaved through lonely roads
to the Strip District, then stopped
at the Sixth Street Bridge to admire
the glimmer of the river that warm
winter day and continued until
we found the hill to Randyland
too steep to ride so, off our bikes,
we walked side-by-side up the path
until reaching our destination;
we locked our broken bikes
and kept walking.

 

(originally published in Bindweed Magazine, Winter 2019)

Horoscope – May 13, 2017

Expect your love life
to take a dramatic turn
for the better, Taurus.

Consider power steering:
without it, those daunting
curves down the Pacific Coast

can lead to rock wall
or fence or ocean.
When you drove to Philadelphia

without power steering
for the Black Swan premiere,
you didn’t trust your friends

to steer your Taurus. When
you sold it, the red-faced
salesman strained a sweat

steering it mere meters
into wide-open lot.
He asked how do you drive

this dangerous piece of shit?
You answered I am more self-
confident than I have been

in a long time. Today, you
charged down the staircase
wearing a pink polo your

romantic partner said she
wanted to punch you in
the face for. It’s no wonder

she reacts to you
in a positive way when you
change. Make the most of this

opportunity. Walk dirt
roads drunk on Hennessy
with the movement of stars.

 

(originally published in Construction, Spring 2018)