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)
snow has piled on my car it is so irrelevant
this cold undesire to work each day secretly I want
to draw your face with my pointer finger in the windshield frost with
xoxo but here’s the thing this particular morning is a long violin
fog ascending through the city if I can’t
go here is my excuse to go to you
(originally published in Columbia Journal Online, 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)
The green blanket over your head–
Kimmy Granger gets fucked
by a fake photographer
on your iPhone in my hand.
Meanwhile, you ride me, moaning–
it’s snowing– December’s waning
autumn days– awaiting a kind of fate
under flicked-off lights
in the gray of afternoon.
Before this, we reminisced about
the early days– laying in bed my hand
in your hair listening to music.
Then late July laying in grass saying
the ways we make each other happy.
Which is why I must rewind this clip
over and over to the part where Kimmy
is smiling and laughing before
the whole thing starts and
I pine for the blanket, your
green thread and lint.
(originally published in Ghost City Review, Winter 2018)
waiting hoping growing
(originally published in Peeking Cat Poetry, Winter 2018)
Smoking, joking winter asking how to
take things slow.
Drinking, sinking field is thinking about
to let spring go.
Laughing, baffling cold front having one last
Slicing, striking freak-snow lightning– go on,
make a wish.
The cherry blossom knows there is a chance she’ll never bloom.
Wish for her, dear poet. Wish she’ll flower soon.
(originally published by Toe Good, Winter 2018)
These Tinder dates and hookups.
Teeth kisses and unfamiliar homes.
You count cold days and they are circular.
There’s a blue hue from the window.
M snores in unison with the universe
of her bedroom. I can’t sleep, so
I become the fan. After some time,
transcendence is the blade that cuts
through stale air, makes the room breathe.
(originally published in The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Spring 2018)
I binge-take extra-strength cough
drops with gooey menthol centers
having come home from Thanksgiving
earlier than expected
temperatures in the 30s
a shrill turn in the wind
no one outside
but to yell at dogs
men summoning phlegm
hack away at progress
here I sit
perched against white
the medicine kicks in
allows me to speak up
to silence the wall’s tongue
a quiet my body loves
(originally published in Hamline Lit Link, 2018)
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)
was on a stump under a wooden bridge
that led nowhere. You said I am a fence
wanting pink clouds. We walked the tumorous hill.
You brought up your depression. The green
was infinite and quiet and a silence of oaks.
It was cold and snowing when I was naked
in the dirt digging with my hands with the other naked people.
We did not know what we were looking for. It was the first day
of winter and our legs burned from the chill. I said,
tell me everything you’ve ever known to be true.
You said nothing. But I make videos and we can record
our legs for twenty minutes– just the motion is enough
to nourish us. Hairy legs, hairless legs, left leg, right leg
walking upward to the nearest star– we carved a path
but it was our galaxy led us believe we could wind
and weave through sporadic trees called parks / art
exhibitions and we have these trees
on leashes trying to be trees
and if only we could look at them
and notice our leaves the same
we are so ill with them so malignant
and stuck and if we layer with them
into them if we could grow with them
we would bloom forever in ourselves
and then what would we have to talk about?
(originally published in mannequin haus, Summer 2016)