Shut the Freezer Door

I am frozen in a block of ice
stuck in the absolute zero
of time how it’s rushing
water slowed down into
frozen eternity I mean it’s
my birthday today yesterday
& tomorrow being young
within universe expansion
transient in desire to shift
across continents & eras
what I want is to be known
past murky ice the good parts
melted out into a messy bowl

 

(originally published in Visceral Uterus, Spring 2018)

Kurt Says There Is No Such Thing as Information Loss

You can recover anything. If you can’t,
you will. What you seek exists
but has left for the black hole of knowledge
steady at the center of the galaxy.
You will become a different person,
renovate the house but keep the windows.
You will find a new lover but process
bits of data still there– the comparisons
and air hurtle toward end-time, the end
line unquantifiable by any metrics of the heart,
of time complete and incomplete starts.
There is a long black hair lodged in your beard
from a lover though the body has moved on.
You forget the names of things you know
but know what they are, how you can have mind
without soul but no soul without mind.
You can live a new life
without losing the old.

 

(originally published in the hour after happy hour, Fall 2017; also published in The Cadaverine Magazine)

Forming a Habit of Light Jogging

I feel good about myself
for the first time in millennia.
I mean,

I’m running galaxies compared
to glacial workdays married
to a silver Hewlett-Packard.

Here’s the secret to love:
treat yourself like shit
until you find someone

who makes you not
treat yourself like shit (lotus
petals unfolding…)

There are worse pasts
than ones rooted in mud,
being one who never snorted

or crushed up little orange pills to
ride into the eternity of night. Each
darkness used to be forever. My feet

would walk last week’s scattered toenail clippings
in my small bedroom. Dad often said drinking water
flushes the poison out of your system. The light

of morning flushes each yesterday. Even my toilet,
now armed in the tank with self-cleansing blue
discus, reincarnates in purified clouds. But I am

half-lion, half-man, when sprinting Neil
Avenue, bleach seeping from skin
into my sensitive parts.

The rotation of running
makes me laundry-in-progress
inside this spinning rock. I won’t lie

and say I have forgotten each love
in all our small mutual failures,
how running through neighborhoods

caused us to stumble into intersections
like Flower & 7th or how, in sprinting
toward imaginary finish lines,

we never flung our bodies
through the atmosphere of believing
forever-is-our-rhododendron-garden. Instead

we’d gash our knees on concrete,
look into each other’s black eyes
and laugh, believing we may have fooled

ourselves for good this time. At home
we’d foam our cuts with hydrogen peroxide
from those cheap, brown, plastic bottles

and wonder why some wounds won’t bubble
while others form dwarf star whites
who sting, then fade, in time.

 

(originally published in The Indianapolis Review, Summer 2017)

Space Junk

After the breakup, our phone conversations
become space debris, steel pieces hardly
discernible hurtling haphazardly at five miles

per second. Where do the scraps go?
The gold taste of summer will impact the brain
and puncture, enflame. We wish to assist

the start-ups who seek to construct
machines to eliminate wayward spares
of satellites trapped in the gravity of a body,

propel its dust into the atmosphere to burn.
We drift wary of small artifacts
from failed missions to emerge

in the distance of night to strike
and make split into fragments
we will never assemble again.

 

(originally published in Allegro Poetry Magazine, Spring 2017)

Infinite Strings

It was Maxwell
who asked
if algebra
can be extended.
My theory is
it is possible
if we are infinite
strings of numbers,
if an unknown
number
of remaining days
is what
makes us immortal.
With him
gone,
I recite
as many
digits
of pi
as I can
just to feel
my tongue
flicker again–
does the universe
confuse numbers
with the heart’s
density, or
sparsity?
The night sky’s
violins
sing arias
for minor
constellations
that connect
to never-
ending strings
of
days–

 

(originally published in Columbia College Literary Review, Spring 2017)

Nothing Makes Sense and I’m Glad We Understand That

Wait for the sun to shine past noon.
Palm trees quiver in a vortex of goosebumps.

The universe revealed itself
as a skeleton in the sky.
Vertebrae wisps, stoic.
Jets soared through bone rings
and whispered softly to faraway swans.

Gaze into the galaxy – golden
stalagmites in deep caves – we understand
that we scatter like gulls
only to congregate again
and dance above the sea.

All the swirling rainbow colors
in the reflections from puddles

unravel the universe
from a spool. As
thread slowly sways,
forget
what we understood.

 

(originally published in Syzygy Poetry Journal, Vol. I, No. II)

The Universe Necessarily Sends Metaphors

Swathed in bedbugs, draped
in the gloom of willing hearts
in collective song maddeningly
swept by enkindled starlight obscured,

fate sprouted flowers along
marshy graves and windtorn spokes
of the ethereal wheel of coincidences,
salvos brisk and violent, precisely when
the window-dead moth inched baby-bug steps,

when you plucked a magic eyelash
from a crook in my face, the numb
morning heat of your breath whispered,
in translation, morose and umber.

Now we wait, sanely, eyes closed,
for all the other things I wished
to bear gold in streets we walk
at night, hand entwined in yours.

 

(originally published in Glassworks, Fall 2015)

Near-Collision

Not that I don’t want to walk the streets with you.
But when I sit on a suspended turtle shell
hanged from risen arms and don’t think it’s magic
is the issue. It should be magic.

We walked through spider webs.
Middle-school basketballers howled
like playing wolves behind us.

A rock split and whizzed past us like a meteor:
hurled through space and time
to find us here

and still barely missed.

Thousands of light years
on the pin of a needle.
Striking sandy bits of gravel.
Clanging like dropped silverware.

The fridge is packed with eggs inside.
Vodka lives frozen but still fills glasses
topped with orange juice. They swirl
and marry happily and end
in a bathroom, anyway.

As if chocolate swirls in ice cream
didn’t represent the arms of the galaxy.
Comets made of custard and fairy
dust move in high speeds and
travel in circles smaller than us.

I know at great range
there is someone else I will barely miss.

 

(originally published in Lines + Stars, Spring 2015)