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.


Suddenly

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

Restless

A few taps of the backspace key
and I can make it disappear.
Right click, delete, confirm
Gone.
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
space
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

Sundial

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
except
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:

I.
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

II.
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

III.
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”

IV.
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

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

fever

There are tiny fiery embers
fading in my chest
Fed by
each
last
struggling
breath
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

Excerpt

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
empty
and undeniably
horny


come fight me - at least thats something

Monday, May 19, 2008

realistically...

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

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

4am high on life and High Life and gin

They patented diet life today
A single pill to appease
this calorie tragic economy.
Less people to feed
more money to increase
Nuclear Instability.
We just pretend it’s not happening.

---

We went to a show to see
the famous magician
with his invisible tricks
it seemed cheap to me
but I guess that’s how
he keeps them secret.

I stayed for half of it
then crept quietly out to the street
pleased with my own disappearing act abilities.

The drunken gentlemen in the half lit alley
applauded my magical feat.

---

We came across a hole in the ground
bought some shovels
and went to town
digging till our blisters bled
and the dirt walls stood
higher than our heads
basking in our kingdom
with its rivers of red
we lay on the banks
and watched the suns set
and while the walls caved in
we hedged our bets
waiting for the earth
to swallow our last breaths


But if you ask us in an hour or two
our lips won’t spill Regrets

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

pet poltergeist

You found me in the field
on the blanket he left in my trunk
where I wrote
alone in the park
at the mouth of nature
with the humdrum of the city
three feet past the trees.
I stay until its dark.

You have a cute smile
and a fine pair of eyes
I want to take you
home with me
I’ll paint your picture
and we’ll unmask your disguise.

Let’s go for a ride
Just for one night
Let’s go for a ride

I let you drive my car
I like your hands on my steering wheel
and the decisive way you manipulate the gears
so I stay silent when you pass by my house.

You play at playing at make believe
it's in those fine eyes
and the way you tease.
But I have these strawberry dreams
And anthills underneath my feet
And pockets full of weeds

And incoherence
And an inability to commit
was the cost of this disease.

I’d like to ask the man
who said it was ok to have dreams
what he was thinking
and how he sleeps.

The truth is
The real reason
I can’t commit
Is this

knee weakening, earth shattering
uncontrollable, unreasonable
fear

Of becoming your pet poltergeist
placed on a pedestal
above your mantelpiece
where you keep all your failed relationships
and the keys
that open doors to nothing.

some day, if only, yesterday, history, pretend

Some day
if only
yesterday
history
and we are here today
used to be’s
have been already
and now they’re
dead and gone and done

Why not keep thinking about them?
Why not keep reliving the same moments?
Tonight, let’s just pretend.

Let’s pretend…
Let’s pretend there is no connection
never was
a connection
so Intangible
No sharp silk threads
tying
binding
cutting tenderly
tightly
woven
loose on your end
Let’s just pretend.

Let’s pretend…

Let’s pretend I never wrote
that poem
suck that ink
back into my careless
guilty pen
And let’s just pretend.

Let’s pretend…


Let’s pretend you felt something
when you brushed against me
and then those feelings
Transcended
and became
something more
Tonight, let’s just pretend.

Let’s pretend…that I might have meant
something
to you
for a brief moment
Let’s just pretend.

And tomorrow, you can pretend
That we didn’t pretend.

But tonight -
Tonight
Let’s just pretend.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Disconnect

I am the woman inside
that bulletproof glass box
past the merry go round
behind the concession stand
in the prison striped tent
next to the two headed man
who will sell your fortune
for 5 dollars
and a fat tip.
Ticket holders only.

Stop that smile before it touches your eyes
keep your hands pressed tightly
at your sides.
Look but don’t touch.
Look but don’t touch.

Take a moment
to remember how to breathe
and then teach me
the right way
to choke down this atmosphere.

Inhale
Exhale
This air
is thick with detachment.

One deep breath
is enough to keep us

disconnected

for eternity.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Night Walk

We chose the path beneath our feet and soon,
began to walk. Beyond the fields from whence
we came, the houses where we ate and slept
content to keep on marching, stamping out
the fear that lurks inside our heaving chests
with knees and feet that creak and sway and eyes
that close against revealing light and sights
that should be kept under the swath of night.


We chose the path beneath our feet and soon
began to climb. Without a thought to wind
or rain or voices calling out the time.
As raspy breaths like thunder loudly roll
in tiny fragile chests, before silence
takes hold and strangles brewing storms
and leaves us once again in quiet thought
our failing limbs keep pacing slowly past
the relentless dead of night.

We chose the path beneath our feet
and walked into the night.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Finished making sense

I pulled down the scaffolding in my body
ground it up into a crystal powder
and distributed it on the street corner
where the building I grew up in used to stand.

Alive and naked and ready to go
he was waiting for me when I got home.
I said: I’m sorry babe, I’ve sold my bones.
He said: that’s just like you, I should have known.

He got dressed and I watched him go.

I’ve survived on nicotine and Life
these past few cold and empty nights,
but I am finished making sense of this
and living under false pretenses.

Holding Steady

I am self destructing.

I can hear the seconds counting down
took those pills you gave me
to see if I could turn the volume down
smoked that cigarette I was saving for a crisis
and waited to implode.

This elevator is not going to fall any faster
no matter how many times you press the button.
Next time take the escalator.

I hold this cigarette like a pencil
if I could write with it
well, it would tell a different tale.

I’m pretty sure it should be raining
but the sky is holding steady.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

airport

Went to pick him up at midnight
at the airport outside of town
Stalling in the coffee shop
before I looked around
Wondering if that old man by the staircase
is my father
And the grief had aged him 20 years,
in less than 24 hours
How do you tell someone that you love, that they're never going to see their father again?

or tell a brother that your grandfather is dead?

I don't have the words.

Go green?

I like the rain on my bare skin
and I don’t mind when I don’t win.
I can’t help dancing in the rain
and I’ve got the highway in my veins.

And you can have me if you like your women numb
just don’t touch what I’ve become
and please - recycle me when you’re done.

I like the smell of cigarettes
and I don’t believe in having regrets.
I won’t respond to your demands
but I’m a sucker for nice hands.

And you can have me if you like your women numb
just don’t touch what I’ve become
and please - recycle me when you’re done.

I’m an addict when it comes to tattoos
and I have always been my own muse.
I have to work at being happy every day
and if you fuck with me there’ll be hell to pay.

And you can have me if you like your women numb
just don’t fuck with what I’ve become
and please - recycle me when you’re done.

I’d go fishing in the clouds if I could
and walk barefoot all year round if I could
and I’d just like to be loved, if I could
and you could have me if you would.

Just don’t destroy what I’ve become
and please - recycle me when you’re done.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Victims of Addiction

Every tattoo you get, is the last you’re going to get
But a week goes by and you forget the pain
And you realize you haven’t made a big enough statement yet
And then you find yourself advertising your current lovers name
And your sick addiction is to blame

And isn’t it true that every last pack of cigarettes you buy
Is a buy one get one free
And you fuck your good intentions
In favor of sound economy

And you swear that this will be your last hit
Then you smoke it, and forget to quit
But no, you’re not an addict

And you always fuck her one more time
If she asks for it, it’s not a crime

Because we are all victims of addiction
And we will always give in
We’re going to fuck and smoke, get tattoos and get high
Until the day we die

Now I'm broke, but the homeless man has a new car...

If I could buy a miracle
dump my purse into a wishing well
and wait –

nothing.

Angrily eye the grimy water
polluted with soggy dreams
piped in, sucked out
take a deep breath
and commit your dreams to a watery death.

The suits are marching past
briefcase wielding mercenaries
they pass this watering hole twice a day
and know better than to stop and drink.

Drowning copper pennies gleam like gold
lent an ethereal cast by the falling sun
as it sinks below the sterile metal and glass,

the streetlights flicker and ignite.

The man in the refrigerator box
drags his home noticeably closer
leans over the moss eaten barricade
and comes up clutching a handful of dull dreams
enough to sustain him for another week.

who needs sunny days, I write better in the rain

it's raining, soaked to the skin
they call me to come in
but I've had a bad day
and the house is looking slightly suffocating
and I'd rather keep on spinning

later they'll tell me I have no sense
and i'll laugh at their expense
I would gladly die a cold wet death
if I could say I lived my life
until my very last damp breath

for them every second has a plan
and every adventurous detour is a nice way to say you're lost
and rain is just the culprit behind muddy footprints and frizzy hair

But i won't schedule my existence
and i don't like road maps
and i'm going to stay out here spinning
until the gray clouds give way
and the sun is raining light on me
and the rain is shining in the vacant street
while they peer out from behind their glass barriers
and shake their heads at me

Friday, March 21, 2008

Refrain from Living

I've been listening with deaf ears
to a song that has never been played
humming tunelessly along
and acting out the refrain

'And now, ecstasy, I'm cheating on your memory
head thrown back, i'm letting go
If the sun stays hidden I'll dance in the rain
and let it wash these silly dreams away'

Never mind how tone deaf I've become
the lyrics are loud enough
they scream through my head and scorch my skin
leaving brands in flesh where tattoos had been

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

on Walking Around

I lurch through the doors of the cinderblock,
and set out into the breathless night
as the doors thud shut on the soulless, slumbering within.

The road is counterfeit, no gold bricks here.
Just black tar and drab cement stretching into eternity,
steamrolled to submission.

Half –burnt street lights briefly illuminate
the heap of discarded bottles,
then flicker, and expire.

A hacking smoke cloaks the breathing corpses
and taints the frozen air.

Scalding coffee, hastily swallowed, chars my words
and I can regurgitate no sounds to satisfy
the pack of howler monkeys swarming nearby.

Even so, it would be most pleasing,
to thrash him with a pin striped necktie
if only he owned one
or choke her with a pocket dictionary,
until she stands in a pool of vomited polysyllables
soaking and staining her new knockoff Jimmy Choos.

I will not be the one clear thought in this intoxicated mind,
forced to stomach my reality while they retch theirs up.
And yet each time I come to soak with them, I watch instead:

There are half burnt street lights and empty bottles.
There is hacking smoke and warm corpses and frozen air.
There are bright butterflies that erupt from their skulls,
swatted and trampled into the sidewalk by a thousand staggering limbs.