Sunday, January 15, 2012


Damaged is as damaged does

Damaged once, forever-more

Damaged boy meets damaged girl

and they do their damndest

to Damage each other more

Damaged is as damaged does

Damaged once, forever-more

Damaged boy can crack a smile

And damaged girl can play it shy

and damaged love can grow from two

so sweet and slow and bitter

they forget the damage they will

inevitably do

Damaged boy can take her hand

and damaged girl will understand

that damaged look in both their eyes

that damaged smile, their twin white lies

as both pretend the damage can be overcome

and each will make the other whole again

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pros and Cons p.1

5:00 AM Monday, January 10, 2011.
Pro. It's very warm under my blankets.
Con. It's 5:00AM and my phone alarm is far to excited.
Pro. The automatic coffee pot in the kitchen is even now brewing something strong enough to lure me out of bed.
Con. It's still dark outside.
Pro...I'll come back to this one.
Con. I have to be at work in an hour.
Con. It's Monday.
Con. This is a stupid exercise. I obviously do not need a therapist.
Con. I'm paying a therapist to drive me crazy with Pro Con lists.
Pro. I have great insurance.

I push the covers off and consider adding the immediate chill to the right side of my mental list, but i'm only supposed to think of three. I leave the lights off and navigate cautiously through the room toward the door. My New Year's resolutions, among them, be optimistic, keep my personal spaces organized and clean, quit men, haven't kicked in yet and the floor is strewn with all kinds of potentially hazardous objects. Wincing in anticipation, I twist the door knob and cautiously ease the door open. Despite my efforts the hinges let out a hideous screech which echoes down the hall. I pause and listen for a moment, but the snoring duet from the next room, continues undisturbed. Annoyed (read: jealous) at my parents ability to snore through anything, I clomp loudly down the stairs, (as loudly as the fuzzy slipper boots my mother bought me for Christmas will allow) turning on lights as I move through the house toward the quiet Beep Beep of the coffee pot, which has thankfully just finished brewing.

In the kitchen, I open three separate doors before locating the travel mugs in the lower cabinet next to the sink. I pick a ceramic one with a plastic sippy lid designed to look like a disposable coffee cup, and fill it past the “Max fill” line, before perusing my mother's selection of CoffeeMate creamers. I settle on the Peppermint Mocha and pour in just enough to fill the cup to the brim.

Retreating back up the stairs, I bypass the disaster area masquerading as my temporary bedroom, and head down the hall toward the bathroom. In between gulps of coffee I turn on the shower and begin stripping. The fuzzy boot slippers end up on opposite sides of the room. The t-shirt advertising my almost boyfriend's construction company lands half in the sink, followed closely by the sweat pants pilfered from my father's pile of rejected Christmas presents, two Christmases ago. Still clutching my coffee, I step into the shower and adjust the temperature as high as it will go. The combination of caffeine and steam would definitely be worthy of admission to the left side of this morning's pro con list if I hadn't downed more then half the coffee before getting into the shower, where the rest was almost immediately watered down despite the sippy lid. I clear a space for the empty cup between shaving cream and shampoo and then stand under the steady stream of water for several minutes before reaching for the soap.

In the car twenty minutes later, nursing a third cup of coffee, I am finally beginning to wake up enough to think. I contemplate pouring the rest of the coffee out the window to slow the process, but instead of wasting the caffeine, I reach for the emergency pack of Marb Smooths buried under receipts, trash and assorted chargers and cables in the center console. The pack is mostly empty since my definition of 'emergency' has been a bit loose lately. The flicker of the lighter and one deep breath quiets the clamor of thoughts in my mind. A couple more drags, and I have them almost all under my control. Except for one.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


how will I fill it?
In just this short time
the space I kept for myself
has been stretched by
miles of new memories
how will I fill it
when you leave?

where will these feelings go?
can I lock them away
can I forget them
every smile every minute every kiss
as if this didn't exist

how do i fill it?

With what ifs?

What if, what if, what if

6 words to explain
I'm not going to leave you - again

6 words to explain
why I can't let you stay

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

words and sounds

I was always just the words and sounds
he used to drown the music out.
The sacrificial tree to bridge the stream
so he wouldn’t have to get his feet wet.
The gloves he wore against the biting cold.
The bed he lay in as he drifted off to sleep.
The piano where he pounded out his masterpieces
on my unresisting keys.

But I am not the words and sounds
The sacrificial tree
The gloves
The bed
Or his piano keys

I am the woman who will sing you to sleep
who will hold your hand as we splash through the stream
and warm you with my own body heat
who will lie tangled in your sheets
and listen to you gently breathe.

Let me be part of your symphony

Thursday, August 5, 2010


We weighed them carefully:

the balance between our hearts and minds
ever mindful of the passing time
morning cuddling versus late night sex
never-ending happiness, constant distress

We measured in memories
and breathtaking moments
and stopped to revisit
each dawn that we woke with

but the scale has broken
and its tipping to one side
and the balance we've fought for
shatters before our eyes

the cursor is blinking
a sinking beacon
as the silence deepens -

We've forgotten
what it's like
to be together.
I kept them to myself:

Tiny threads of understanding
thick strands of misunderstandings
questions without answers
answered without thinking

I wove with words
and thoughts unspoken
and spoke in circles
to keep it flowing

but the wheel has broken
and the river is flooding
and the water has breached
the silence I've been keeping

the cursor is blinking
a sinking beacon
and still, the silence deepens.

I'd forgotten
what it's like
to be alone.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


All these strands of insecurities
Frantic glances to the left and right of me
To scared to look behind and feel
The eyes of those I left to dust
Solemn with forgiveness
What’s one more thought to bury me
Compared to the effort of struggling free
Cultivate the field where I rest
With every persecuted weed
And tread as if the world depended on
Every graying bit of shrubbery
We thought this was what they called
This stretch of Earth that claimed the right
of existence
But not life.
Satisfaction is my happiness.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Usual Remedies

All the rules in the world
couldn't protect you, little girl
All the prayers and wishes
All the good intentions
wouldn't make a difference

All the pennies in the world
couldn't buy your thoughts, little girl
all the promises and bribes
all the bricks of gold
wouldn't buy those words

All the songs in the world
couldn't sing you to sleep, little girl
all the rhythms and beats
all the soothing lyrics
wouldn't put you at ease

All the smiles in the world
couldn't cheer you up, little girl
all the jokes and funny faces
all the carefree moments
wouldn't brighten your day

All the time in the world
couldn't heal those wounds, little girl
all the bandages and salves
all the usual remedies
wouldn't stop this disease

But you can make your own rules, little girl
and screw their good intentions
and share those thoughts for free

You can sing your own songs
to your own rhythms and beats
and you can learn to live care free

You can rip those bandages off
and let the blood run clean.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2am, exhaustion sets in and still she can't sleep - Treehouse Dreams

Just for the hell of it:

I ate a bushel

of poison apples

to test out a conjecture.

Instead of beauty sleep

I get indigestion.


the reason for Prince Charming’s

poor attendance

becomes clearer:

There’s no princess

for him to rescue here.

Just a girl with indigestion

and to much childish faith

in fairy tales and happy endings.

_ _ _ _

I chopped down that tree
in my front yard
lit a match
and watched it char
and the children came running
from up the street
to see their treehouse dreams
smolder at my feet

Monday, December 8, 2008

On Studying for a Final

The system demands my acquiescence
while it scores the past months of my existence
with numbers and letters that are exceptionally useless
not revealing the early mornings, indecisions, empty kitchen cabinets
or each excruciating minute
striving to be pleasant
while he flips through compilations
looking for another victim
to smother with meaning
that was never intended.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

For Michael

It's a nightly ritual
trespassing in a forbidden territory
the moon slick waterfall, the wind.
The cold disinterest.
Six months of struggle
with this nicotine sickness.
And the charming magician’s tricks
invisible perhaps, but not quite magic-less.

A luxury vehicle and a fighting tree
and a brother -
who is just like me.
The same disinterest.
The same weakness.
Rip down that scaffolding.
Relax into those agonies
and they become a part of the scenery.

Where incarcerated words slide
free of printed prisons
like brilliant butterflies erupting
from our visions
they are mercilessly hunted
and swatted and trampled
into dusty particles.

Except one brave escapee, who
found the moon slick waterfall
perched on the railing
and sang its burden of words
loudly and slightly off key,

to the rushing water and the wind
shunning the disinterest and the sickness
while the magician remained invisible
and the car encountered the unyielding tree,

words for a brother
who is just like me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


A few taps of the backspace key
and I can make it disappear.
Right click, delete, confirm
But it isn’t a laptop
that ends this charade-
it’s me.
On Thursday there are sofas and bookshelves and dinette sets
old televisions, chairs and mattresses
furnishing the sidewalk.

Still, the walls keep inching closer
with each involuntary blink.
There’s no place for my expelled breath to go,
I just keep breathing it back in.

Restless and inaccessible I overcompensate.
It’s 6:00 by the time I get to walking -
back alleys and side streets
counting the cat calls and horn beeps.
My mind retreats finally leaving me
to think. I waste it.

Lets squeeze every last drop of fate
out of this sad little place
and see what happens
when the only things left to blame
for the state we’re in
are the decisions we make.

Hey, pick up the pace,
the thoughts that surface
to keep us from sleep
blur at 90 miles an hour
on the black lit Midnight Street.

Don’t let up the gas.
When the tempo slows
We have to face them.
We have to face them.

But it doesn’t have to be tonight.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


At fifteen
tragic circumstances unleashed
an unconscious monstrosity
on the world of men.
Intent on forgetting
That One Raw Night
Horas non numero nisi serenas
Even in the absence of light.

She changed then
became perhaps
what he had intended.
Dependably erratic in her escapades.
Finding human erasers
to erase what she couldn't face.

High school boys first.
Innocent badasses,
smoking in the fish market parking
lot, while she developed new charms
and then moved on.

Then sweet, nice virgins/potential priests
drug dealing lunatics
a skateboarder
some geeks
ones that made Promises
she couldn’t possibly let them keep.
They tore their own hearts up
confetti on New Year’s eve.
Each had a month or so before
her inevitable retreat.

Eventually she forgave
but the cycle was set.
Guys in bands
college physics TA’s
tattooed philosophers
and men who were never without
their cigarettes.

A dozen more
one for each season
of each descending year.
They meant nothing.

Still, she was looking for something.
Still forgetting that nothing.

Then - he is
Poetically Perfect
she is imPerfect.
And this time she is the nothing
for the first time since that night.

And she can’t forget
without Forgetting
that hope burned into flesh:
Horas non numero nisi serenas
Moments calculated in shadow.
Light in the absence of light.

Monday, October 20, 2008

shadow trap symphony

Returning the favor:

When the last stretch of light was seeping through the trees
a silence thicker than my ears could reach
sent thoughts crawling over the forest floor, on bellies and knees

With the shadow trap success comes a subtle defeat
there’s no perfection in the darkness that clasps us each
just shadows and sameness and the light shards through the trees

indignant they shouted out wild eccentricities
claiming individual personas in one single angry shriek
but they quickly became bored and as a group embraced defeat

yards away, the force of that indifference, forced us to our knees

In the city streets where apathy is bred
it feeds off the distance in our heads
spreading ice through veins
where fire once fed
while we lay comfortable
and cool
in our mother-made beds

The light is dim
in the highest room
but its brilliance yearns
to match the moons
while inside you watched
my colorless dreams
humming soundlessly along
with my shallow breathing
you shook your head
and whispered sadly
“we are sustainable apathetic mechanisms
we are sustaining
and it’s a pity”

You perched on the edge of my feverish bed
and smiled as the sweat escaped in rivulets.
Then you struck your last match and it burst into flames
lit your cigarette, took a drag and held the embers
to my sluggish veins
and my screams pierced the trees past the city lit streets
burning through the forest where the fever took me
while the flames coursed higher you stroked my cheek

Until I opened my eyes to the silence and hope
and the fever retreated
but not the Warmth


There are tiny fiery embers
fading in my chest
Fed by
And the times you caught my eye
the smiles
your touch
and my silly rhymes
Before we used all our speech to conquer the silence
I nurtured your indifference
Deflating our connection
With piercing expectations
And my silly perceptions
Of what might have been.

But I have this crescendo
that is building up inside of me
and it keeps screaming
let me love freely
like I need your permission

Sunday, September 14, 2008


What makes today a bad day? Is it that I stayed in bed till noon, didn’t shower or take my pills, wasted the afternoon on young adult fiction and underfunded movies? Is this lethargy a direct result of the absence of nicotine in my polluted blood stream? One too many drinks at my sisters housewarming? And had I woken up at 6:15, showered, took my pills with my morning coffee, did some work before the movie, rationed out my cigarettes instead of going cold turkey, would this then have been a good day? Could the difference between these outlooks be a simple matter of routine?

I practiced breathing in the morning. 5 minutes lying on my back with the ceiling spinning over head. In and out and the steady rain beating down and the light slivers cutting through the shades. There are things I should be doing. Studying, cleaning, productivity. But really, what is more important than breathing? I imagine as I exhale I am ridding my body of all the toxins I have deposited there for safe keeping. An interesting theory.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How unbecoming

We talk around a thousand smiles
swallowing blatant denials
but the fire on the horizon is dying
and we are excited and afraid to see
what remains, if anything

I look solid but on contact
I disintegrate into a burst of yearning particles
pretty golden specks of uncertainty
captured by a transitory wind

Summers are surreal
each day breaking on the back of the last
before sleep can steal behind closed eyelids
and poison reality
we taunt desire
and explore what we have forbidden ourselves
warming inhibitions to our cause
with teeth and lips
and hands on supple skin
burning up in our inherent vulnerability

He reaches out

I reach out

We ask - and get nothing.
The silence swallows us
with vibrant deep laughter
and hysterical moments of bliss

But the space between becomes unbridgeable.
He lets go.
I remain.
Teetering on the brink
of Everything
and Nothing
and all that is in between

Nevertheless this rebirth threatens
Sweats, Crumbles, Rolls in –
how unbecoming
is this crucial residue of love – Recovering

Monday, July 14, 2008

bedtime story

It takes a battery of sleeping pills
sometimes warm milk
or herbal tea
before he’ll let both of us sleep

Tonight, he asked for a story
and I had nothing,
so I told him about me.

I told him that I used to live in a big house
in the country
with bright green shutters
and acres of possibilities.

I told him about long walks,
and dancing in the rain
and playing Frisbee with the homeless man
in the park on Main Street

I told him about backwards love songs
and piano keys worn smooth
and rooftop stargazing
caffeine induced poetry
and never sleeping

And finally he drifted off

but I couldn’t stop the memories
so I kept speaking
I told him about the silly promises
people make to each other
and about his father
and the pawn shop in the city
where you trade in dreams for security
and money to feed your family

I told him about chain-smoking on badly lit streets
and the best ways to avoid responsibility
and how it never works out the way it’s supposed to
but you have to keep plugging away
because the alternatives are just as shitty

I told him that one day
I’d quit my job
and just write for a living
and we’d have everything we need
but I’m glad he was sleeping
because I don’t see that ever happening.

one line

Gray elephant hopes and one minute stampedes

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dandelion fields

Then –

An interruption that comes centimeters from release
instead of fighting for completion
we awkwardly retreat.

And so we come to our senses
in our field of weeds
and begin to comprehend the barriers we’ve built:

Electric fences that protect
our adopted beliefs
and those damned dandelion weeds

We’re working hard to achieve
a level of unquestioned reality
based on artificial validity
and ideals that leave us
and undeniably

come fight me - at least thats something

Monday, May 19, 2008


Every second you’re shining
with a light that blacks out the night
and I am sucked in by your energy
so beautiful, it hurts to look at you
So willingly, I give you custody

You just append me to your ring of keys
jingling in your pocket
not quite a part of the symphony
as I had imagined
but hey, that’s reality

I make a fortune
redesigning dreams
you’ve never seen a fortune
in your wildest dreams.
We are two separate beings
in a common stream
but it doesn’t take long to realize
you’ll never be good for me

Long after I should be asleep
I stay up to contemplate:

Hesitate until the sun comes up
sigh in relief
and sink into a troubled sleep.
Where these thoughts become replacement scars
and these walls are just replacement bars
Engineered to keep us distant

What more proof do you need?
that we are living
for the kind of tomorrow
that never dawns

I will give you evidence-
Tomorrow is too late
We are dying tonight