This is a binding between nature and mankind
unexplainable through philosophy. The trees
want to reclaim us or, perhaps, themselves.
-K. Santiago, “The Whispers in the Wild”
World Cup – athletes at their peak
when the affliction struck.
Crushed leaves in snot on tissue –
it’s nothing. I was Ubering people
around Columbus, heard the chatter.
Can trees grow in brains? Is the new
trend snorting deciduous?
I tapped the CNN app– first it was
a world-class saxophonist struck
down with a green cold.
Next, football stars from Paraguay
and Russia, all blowing chunks
of trees into white, softer trees.
The first doctor to log a patient
said it’s nothing to worry about.
After a week the test showed invasion:
prickly pines a long spine in the nose
and the headlines bleated MEAT TREES!
It was early morning in the haze
of dreaming when my nose dripped forest–
I wiped my hand across the stream,
the flecks of blossoms blooming.
(originally published in Cough Syrup Magazine, Spring 2020)
meat on the heart
he told me
gaze the world
their glossy aura
(originally published in Ink Sac, Winter 2021)
liked his spaghetti
soft as can
off the plate.
But Dad always
said stop playing
with your food!
I wish I could
have figured it out
before he died. I
would have told
him I was toying
(originally published in Ethel Zine, Summer 2020)
Self-absorption has turned me
into a selfish alien. On Earth,
we live in isolation
waiting for the cosmic dawn
to return in a brilliant explosion
that would rock this rock like
a great song
performing on its uppermost
stage, all of my being
expanding like a flower
until the whole universe
like a Great Eyeball.
Our role will be to find
connection– a ring
of stars passing rings
of fire, each a small
cluster of blue petals.
(originally published in The Subnivean, Winter 2021)
here I look at the same room I’ve spent many nights in
the diffuser diffusing the world’s hues into you & me
the cat composed of smoke
Sara takes a sick day & the room crawls with veins
I watch my own age spiderweb into me flipping pages in a manuscript
this room is made of hair this room breathes fur webs
this is what brains are made of
every imprint of hand
when you sit down this bed this ocean floor this beginning
(originally published in Ariel Chart, Fall 2017)
do not miniaturize the bicycle torso between blue wheels
nor the twig tree broad-shouldered nor yellow-trousered man
walking the candy cane
coming shapes myself an igloo of time contracting
mirror view hot pyramids the tips crumble so reaper crows
confuse for wheat
the sculpted falsity in the curving sidewalk
those pickled legs just churn and churn
(originally published in Cafe Aphra, Winter 2018)
The map leads from bloom to wing
to sky– we followed gracefully before
black swan wings haunted our spines.
I was tangled in the garden of words
and you did not believe a thing
I said. I cowered in sagebrush
to study flying squirrels (the wingless
claim the sky). I told you I would never tell
another lie because what is truth
in an ephemeral garden, where the birdsong
of thrashers becomes language?
I attempt to look away from truth
but the truth is, nothing in this world
shocks me any more than when I crane my head
to see the nightmare we have become.
(originally published in Zany Zygote Review, Spring 2017)
(originally published in Mannequin Haus, Summer 2016)
It was tough to leave for work this morning,
collie’s silhouette usually at the top of the stairs
a shadow slinking, eyes glowing.
Your heart nearly stopped flailing its arms
as it sank deeper and deeper into the ocean.
When you watched Silver Linings Playbook
you saw your dog in the face of Bradley Cooper
those dark eyes shining in the greater darkness–
driving home with the key stabbing the ignition,
you drove wanting anything to please you.
It wasn’t in the trees or the swaying lights
or the Post-It notes crumpled in the bagless bin–
no, collie ran in circles. You reached for a treat,
your heart compiling sand and blowing glassworks–
collie on set with Bradley Cooper, his eyes
on her galvanized eyes and all she wants is ham
you’ve never seen a ham this juicy and
why am I excited about ham and
collie with her eyes makes Bradley
see the ham, want the ham,
want the ham like never before.
(originally published in Nude Bruce Review, Summer 2016)
ambled through snow to my bowl of ice
my calloused tongue on her cold
the bowl’s organ
I was a white door
textured and crumbling
in that manticorean dumpster
buds of teeth and name
where that doorknob would have been
the park on a picnic
her triangular table limbs
white oaks unhinged
and her cold drooping javelin wings
(originally published in Peculiar Mormyrid)