Yesterday we were at a pool party
attended by only a few others. It was
dog-friendly, as it was last week,
so the lone, small white dog
lapped water into his mouth
while on an inflatable raft and we
stood in silence and watched as he
drank the blue that held the specks
of fallen leaves and submerged spiders
while our beers turned warm. Last week
we were at a party in the same house
with a few of the same people but the
sun was out and I did not have to keep
wondering if you were okay, if you would
dip your feet into the clear with me and all
the people we did not know then because,
last week, a stranger in a bar did not yet
shake your body and bite you
long after you begged him not to–
no, the night before last week’s party
we danced to nineties hip-hop
inside the shadows of others until
we could not help but mine our
bodies for gold. Last week, we laughed
as the dog lapped the pool into his mouth
but watching, now, we know there are some
who force a tongue at whatever water
they see fit, how they lap and lap
until there’s nothing but a splash
of what they lapped at all.
(originally published in The Collapsar, Summer 2016)
dishes are an exercise in repetition
why do we go through our days so quickly
we must be unhappy with material possessions
how we sustain ourselves
I am amazed I have sustained myself for so long
teenage years of french fries and ice cream
adult years of french fries and frozen pizza
there is nothing that greases my heart
more than eating macaroni and cheese
naked at 2 am
when I am bloodless
pots and pans hang on hooks on the kitchen ceiling
the landlord says our water bill is exorbitant
I think it is extraordinary
the parts of ourselves
we must pay for
steam billows out of the dishwasher
when it is done
we pay for that too
in august we chopped heads off of asparagus
rinsed our hands of the green bits
blue antibacterial bubbled white
champagne bottles cling to the wall
someone please set them free
so we can keep that bent and dying orchid
on our kitchen island
(originally published in Eunoia Review, Autumn 2016)
in every entered home
and they are similar
to ballet, a delicate
do not fall wherever
you cannot stand back up
but pirouette anyway– every room
spins the opposite of you.
Hair on the surface of bleeding
bricks. The house of
violent storms. Mortars
with every step.
Heaven, the insurance premium,
costs far too much.
We are legless because
we cannot stand. Wingless
because no one believed
we would fly again.
no one built us for the long-term.
There are nails in every crook
of skin– every place you look.
(originally published in The Black Napkin, Summer 2016)
The longer potatoes taste air, the more
they rust over time. We strummed
guitars with calloused fingertips
(melodious incision). The pot
overfills from the weight of boiling.
We whistled unfamiliar tunes through
afternoon orgasms. My teeth cannot chew
the raw. Steam will temper the room
enough to sustain our songs in my head.
I always liked to mix vegetables
into the mash, the music, but the days
are already too easy to cry. The onion
remains sheathed in its flaky armor.
Bunches of corn are never shucked.
Even the cheddar stays in plastic past
when these potatoes soften enough
to feed. The chords are always
harsh. We could never eat our fill.
(originally published in The Wagon Magazine, Autumn 2016)
Today’s a bit of a special day for me: my first poetry chapbook, ‘The Frayed Edge of Memory’ (Writing Knights Press) has released and is now available for purchase! It’s 44 pages and only $8 for a physical copy. Really excited for you to read it! Thank you so much for your support.
Two sample poems that are in the book: ‘Gate C55’ and ‘Short Return to Los Angeles’
We stare at stars until we feel
the cavalcade of stones shift beneath our shoes.
There is an entropy to the universe.
What melody does the rail hold in her ivories?
Do we listen for an engine to ignite
while we tangle in the grass, in the cold,
in the tremble of tracks? Where else to go?
We tremble, too, waiting
for a song from the vulnerable rail
and her sharp of distance.
If the train will not move I still want
to create landscapes with you
and callous ourselves hurtling
past engine content in her still
into worlds where I become wind,
and you, fire–
with a palm on your cheek,
we’re the mountains,
playas, beaches, moors.
All a blur. A quiver.
(originally published in Isthmus, Winter 2016)
Dredge sponge chunks from the long
day. Necessary sins
dirty your hands. Don’t dig.
Don’t mistake machines for
diamonds. Bubble your hands.
Dishes steam. Enough. You
don’t have to work alone.
(originally published in Ghost City Review, Autumn 2016)
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)
Of all the things to want and never–
death, a cardboard box of pity and riches,
crosses the ocean in a FedEx plane
from a foreign world for you.
It’s the thinning–
no one disbelieves
your supposed withering.
With skull under scalpel,
tell me your scars.
That’s where the recovery begins.
(originally published in Viewfinder Literary Magazine, Summer 2016)
the weight of an axe sleeps
between us in bed.
we dream of horses
wanting to whip us
until the stable
lives up to its name.
the pawnbroker’s hunched shadow
further crumples into shadow.
there it is, a black apple–
and your pupils, telling truths into the dark.
(originally published in Pudding Magazine, Winter 2016)