Tuesday, December 26, 2006

the new apartment

mostly empty room,
just a mattress set
i've seen so often
i have it memorized,
and you and i.
not touching
at first, both nervous,
probably shy
remembering, together
happier times, interrupted by
the same woman who's now
interrupting you

but i had to touch you, run
fingers through your close-
cropped hair and let you know
i meant it when i said
i love you
a year ago

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


skimming clouds,
blotting spilled water
from my books and my jacket 0
the water's vivid on the leather
staining the color dark.
i don't want to be here, but then
again, i don't look forward to
my destination. and although
i'm damp, i see this as a sanctuary
cramped as my feet may be,
where i may watch the sun fire
the horizon.
and maybe last night,
i was too drunk to catch the joke, or
maybe it was on the inside
i'm no longer part of,
but i feel you're laughing
at me.
stuck, suspended between
two places i do not belong.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

your knife waits

it's either
a sharp, bottom-of-pit
or a nauseatingly
full slosh these days,
and though no one mentions
because of course you're aren't
really all that thin
[all things considered]
you know the signs. they
confront you
when you least expect it,
holding their truths
in the mirror
the way you judge everything
more harshly than anyone
you get sick more easily now,
the fact that the stairs make you
out of breath. your mind
is a cloudy haze. is this
the same affliction, or
something newer you've developed
from your nasty little habit
of refusing to eat?
who cares.
hold your insanity to yo
like a shield.
sink into the covers,
head aching, stomach
the world revolving around you.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

american health warning

we advise you not to ingest
the things we promised save
for ingestion, and oh
(please) remove that cigarette!
thank you for smoking! but
you'll have to huddle outside, under
the dripping eaves. that's too
poisonous for our indoor air.
also, enjoy our arrays of fine snack foods but
don't eat them, they're bad for you!
(mouth full of doritos...so...fucking...
crunch, crunch...good.)

Wednesday, November 8, 2006


to leach harder
i tie the elastic above my elbow, hang
my arm off the bed, force
gravity to work
for me.
i can see the blood seeping through
constricted veins, shallowly spread
flush red beneath my skin
as if
it tries for oxygen
by getting close to the surface

Friday, October 13, 2006

although you still pretend your scars do not exist

scars are never
they will stare
with their blind,
white tissue
until you are forced
to acknowledge
their existence.
make yourself sicken upon them,
really look, as if you
have never gazed
into their muted, raised
make yourself RECOGNIZE
the damage - i
did this.
i have marked my body,
irretrievably loosened
my skin, widened
my cracks.
the singing
of blood and my mute longing
to speak,
there is no denying this.
i could lie, back
as i did in the years that
i spent hiding from mental incarceration
but the point has vanished;
no one ever believed
the falsehoods.
the fact remains:
i have wreaked
vengeance against myself.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


the tongue trips
over the tinny taste
of words that associate
themselves, rudely
with the taste
of old, and crusting blood.
linguistics linger with
memories that thrash
into me, & attack.
your eyes, staring
up at me, from your
hunched form on the carpet
as you tied knots
into your converse
you seared into me.
i love linguistics,
lovely lover words,
L's, lilting from
any tongue,
any but
your word,
sneered out as if
the fact that mine
would be different,
would poison you.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

bury down, hunker down now *

we're wrapped up
worshiping "more for less!!"
erecting concrete-block monstrosities
shadowing the handmade.

this cathedral smells musty, like history, and
i think you'll know what i mean, the way
bygone buildings accrue the
quiet habits of older times.
thousands of hands
helped mold the metal,
smooth the wood,
wear patinas into the key
from the lock, stuck for who knows
how many years.
like these make me certain that
history is not quite so removed as we
think. peeling-plaster jesus implores
the peeling-paint benches, take
me down, the centuries are
really getting to me,
get to the root of it.

get to the root of it.
sometimes when i run my fingers
on the floorboards i can't even
feel the nails although my eyes
say my hands are lying,
and all this jagged paint
and plaster falling off the walls
makes me ashamed of how little
anyone cares to preserve
brick-by-brick examples of why
big and new is not better,

*B.A. senior thesis poem

Sunday, April 23, 2006


she was just, suddenly, there
i ran into her, intruding
on my campus
my turf.
FUCK classes, i pulled her
by the hand away from her tour
group, held her
by the hand and
for once, she didn't mind.
i took her - my small, lonely chapel
the peaceful cemetery full of dead,
chaste priests
to the ribs above the soaring
gothic cathedral arches, the
abandoned dome of Admin
business-office's open, musty hold
of a basement, under
the road in brick tunnels
the oak whose branches i crawled
into, seeking solace
or solitude
when i cried.
showed the heart
of my campus, the heart
of myself.
fingers clasped tightly
to hers the entire time.
she did not pull away.
and then we lay on the worn,
cool stone steps
running my hands down her
sides, splitting open my heart,
my mind.
tonguing, melding, abandoning
ourselves to the absence
of alone, as the shocked staff
peeped out the office
windows, and neither of us
would mind.
free of shame,
constraint, uncertainty,
fear. i held her
in my hands,
took her to my chapel
we lay together, stretched
on the floor, worshiping
each other. melting
into her.
melting into her.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

i don’t hold my breath for you these days, either *

i don't know why my mouth gums
up when you talk to me.
i tried to offer, meant
to say—two words, your
basic apology—
the words would not cleave, they
hung, forced the works to
a halt
until "uh-huh"

was my
only articulation.

these days we rarely speak
when we do,
i shake
around you

my prolific
mouth shudders to a halt

i itch to
i’m sorry

you talked about the band, gave me
headphones to hear
your new songs,

one about me,

the rough
draft of which
i found hiding in my favorite novel
between 682, 83.
you sent it back
through a friend,
three months after i
asked for it

so now i remain,
with my tongue tied somehow about
your heart, which left

with you

an hour or two
ago, heading out into the night

*senior thesis poem

Sunday, March 12, 2006

to the metal *

dismantling the last three years of my life
i try to forget, as i meet people who interest me
that i will leave,

count down days like sand through my
fingers, gone
before i clench closed my
a phone full of numbers i may,
but probably
call, too full
of excuses and a little,
admittedly, busy.

ahead lie roads i don’t
even know exist. but i like
driving, so

i whip around the curves,
engine rumbling so
satisfying oh yeah that’s
right pedal floor down
heading into the horizon

on roads going
no place

i’ve ever been.

*senior thesis poem

Saturday, February 18, 2006


it is three a. m.
the hot tub whirls and bubbles
i feel i'm floating


the wine cannot be
the only reason i'm so
dizzy, hopeless, tired.


she's wet and dripping
holding her towel closely
until she sees me.

Friday, February 17, 2006


i don't think i'm the kind of girl you're looking for
my emotions bend and sway
and you don't seem willing to put up with me anymore.

i'd look to even the score
between us but i think you'd rather i make my way.
i don't think i'm the kind of girl you're looking for.

and darling i just can't ignore
the way you always leave now, and never stay
the night. you don't seem willing to put up with me anymore.

it's in the way you don't touch me or
repair the tears that fray
our fabric. i'm not the kind of girl you're looking for.

and i don't know if i could have done more
to get you to stay
but you don't seem willing to put up with me anymore.

and this won't be a chore
i'll leave, though i won't know why i'm walking out this way
i don't think i'm the kind of girl you're looking for
and you don't seem willing to put up with me anymore.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

sestina in the key of swingset

children are flying
they pull at the chains of the swing,
their voices crying
out, laughing, trying
to transcend from the sharp
daylight into worlds of their own construct. the creak

of the chains transports them as the kids creak
out hoarse chanteys, legs flying
and flailing. a sharp
ache assails me as i watch them swing.
there, at night, there i sat trying
(but failing) to stop crying.

and the crying
is not what made me weak. i had to creak
out the tears. my ducts were rusty. but trying
to remember the feeling of flying
with you by my side, on the other swing -
this gets me every time. the pain is poisonous and sharp

a sudden wash, a tired ache, sharp
and insistent, nothing more, or less. crying
will not make it stop. i come here to swing
when the children are gone, to hear the creak
of the chains, and to think of you. it's not flying
anymore, without you here trying

to fly too. but memory is sometimes trying
and clear, when forgetting would be a blessing. and flying
brings no freedom, only chains. i'm crying
with every part but my eyes. creak, creak.
the swing

sighs and moans. i could swing
for hours if the wind wasn't trying
to turn my edges blue but even the trees creak
and groan in the sharp
biting breeze. i'm sick of crying,
tired of flying

alone. the swing chains are sharp
with cold. and now i'm trying - i'm not crying
but this familiar creak no longer means flying.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


the ways you treat me are ambiguous
and change daily
last week i was wrapped around you
and enjoying your mouth in mine

tonight your hands explore
my body familiarly
but no more
than anything a friend does
to another friend they feel
close to,
but share no spark
of passion.

i have made my feelings for you
as transparent as water.
you neither mirror my desires
not run away from them,
leaving me staring at your
beautiful face, like always
unable to see the answers.

Monday, January 16, 2006

desperate measures

sometimes it seems as though i've
simply taken a break
and any
day now
i'll walk back in the
door to your welcoming arms.
i know what i'm doing to myself
is torture but sadly enough
it seems to help

the ache of not seeing your face
light up with a smile when
you see me does not cease,
but sometimes i manage to
drown it out with the
right mix of drugs. i know
better this time.

trying to change things is like
attempting to turn my skin
right side in

you are
working too much and i know
what you're doing.
this semester i lost myself
and my grip

and i kept looking at the phone
and wishing so badly to hear
you speak on the
other end of the line.

there is no quick fix, no superglue
will hold this broken thing
i'll hold the shards
in a small box tucked away
in the back of the closet
so i won't think, too much
of you.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

a glimpse through the window

take a look see now
the tableau, the long fingers
that run over my body, what
does it say about me?
what does it say? enveloped
in arms, what do i feel and
how do i go from here?
my hair falls into my
face, candles flicker in
the darkness, the melancholy
notes filter down, nostalgic.

miss you, mirror, i hope you
are happy with him i wish
i could see you.

heart still
take a breath and start
listening and lie back down,
eyes closed and spinning.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

[auto]sarcophagy *

your mouth is bleeding
it wasn't intentional, you just
chewed it red,
a nervous
(guilty?) habit

you’ve done it for years
like your father before you
just another thing to make your sanity
: (maybe you’re due
for an inspection.)

you could do worse,
have before.
a hole-ridden mouth
is private, known only
to those who are too
not to taste.
but blood flows for you,
no way around it —
comes when you least want
the obligation,
down your arms and fingers, a
wristful of mental case

your bloody show
your life-like girl

blood becomes a lifestyle,
a way of crying
when the tears
won't flow, when
you fade

into numbness.

constant companion, friend
you always have
within arm's reach.
spill your life onto the paper,
ink, blood, passion, fingernails,
razorblade, tears, sweat, heartbreak

throw your wordy bloody gauntlet
down (you)
stupid fucking bleeding

*B.A. senior thesis poem.

for the uninitiated, the title basically means "self-cannibalism."
i am particularly smug about this one, i like it a lot.
(thesaurus power!)

Friday, January 13, 2006

privation *

this loss is physical it
hits the solar plexus, making the
air hard to


my vision swims but whether
from tears or
the ache you leave
in me
is unclear.

today i sat all day,
phone in front
of me on the counter.
do not want to hear the ring
which i already know will explode us
like a grenade held
in a soldier's hand, the
pin flung far.
my body feels what i will
not accept.

i have lost you. i
for the call that ends
our fragile, uncertain ties.
shake my shoulders as i wrap
my arms around
my gut wound,
stomach cramped,

and empty.
is this desire, mourning,
violent anger? my body
knows only the terrible

the void.

*senior thesis poem

Thursday, January 12, 2006

conflagration *

[part 1]
the cold eats through the
blankets, hats, gloves, but you
warm me so well i
let go these layers,
strip myself for you and burn us
both to ash, to bone.
my searing lips sprawl your small frame
on my bed

my thumbs on your nipples,
the buttons you love to loathe
that send
electricity down your
spine and through your arms
which attempt (but fail) to pin
my limbs.
you gasp. go on,
touch me. i won’t pull away.

i will burn us
to ash, to bone.
give me
power and your limp extremities
will twitch and jerk.
burn me, burn you
set us smoldering
and watch the sparks catch

in the white-hot heat of our connected hands.
scorch me now,
burn me, ash, bone, blood
burn you to nothing but
between us

burst into flames.

[part 2]

fire is
dangerous, but mostly
it elicits transformation — blistered palms,
sweaty faces,
flickering light that romanticizes
even the harshest
fingers snatch
from the flames or else
the burning sensation, the flames

jumping playfully from
to bonfire
realize, please, that all of this

with flames
will necessitate the fire
of untruths, the burning
keep the flaming show from setting
life afire, from

letting the searing heat out
so that others might
feel the touch
of fire
and be hypnotized
by the burn.

*senior thesis poem

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


hours spent passing back and forth
the hose of the hookah, aromatic tobacco
scenting the air, dreamy.
our voices rising excitedly,
gleaming tidbits of information,
learning more in an afternoon about
life, love and other idiosyncrasies
than semesters of college
ever could teach.
hours lived in a carefree, non-
obligated moment, a brief gasp
of eternity
long limbs, hands that encompassed
mine, feel of a length stretched
down your side, close, whole.
unconditional love, words whispered
in ears that do not demand
reciprocation, merely the knowledge.
sunshine in the afternoon
that glints off of your white pages,
blinding in the ecstasy of a
lazy walk through a moment,
a beautiful brick history that leads
to buildings with antiquity
where you channel knowledge
as a conduit that passes
through time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

(last night i had) *

drinks in a stifling, smoke-choked
bar where i told a stranger we
should be friends. i am done

with subtlety. today, stale
cigarette smell clings to my
unwashed hair so i tie it back
to displace the offensive reek.
promises more smoke, a
whirlwind afternoon filled with
duties before drinking becomes
the only certainty in
the always-changing plan
of the night:
following the band van to another
disgusting bar to do the


thing i'm really up for—
watch the one who gives me
that fluttery feeling

on stage, singing into a mic,
stroking beauty out of the
mandolin with nimble fingers

*senior thesis poem