Friday, December 24, 2010

i will not usually do this.

i do not mean to have this as a means to quote other people.
it's meant to be a poetry archive.
but i came across this quote again tonight. twice now, it has had a great significance in my life.

twice now i have moved all the way across the entire country, trying to escape my problems, my life. i'll give you guys a hint: it doesn't fucking work.

"...after all, I was moving
three thousand miles
not to 'escape' my problems
but to put a nice distance
between them and me:
a problem has to be fierce,
to travel that far."
- John Brehm



they were fierce problems, to be sure. still are.

all i know is that running doesn't work. because if it did, i would never stop.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

knees, scraped & scabby

and i do not know how to survive this despair.
how to dig out of this hole i sink in -
instead, the bottom is soft mud.
it sucks at your legs, pulls you
steadily under the water
until you drink it
brackish, coughing,
choking
on the salt.
what comes after this
is only going to be
deeper - higher waves,
the shadows deepening
until all you see
is the utter velvet night,
the tide creeping steadily upwards,
until you choke,
and you drown.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

flinching solstice

it is only now, as the sun
slowly rises into clouds
that sleep pulls at me,
tugging inevitably into
incoherence.
10 am appointment
hit the energy wall at nine:

sleep becomes suddenly
impossible, it becomes
an enemy. instead, make coffee.
walk by your sleeping
lover and wonder how
they do it
how do they do it?

i can never seem
to relax enough
to let the dark pull me under

Sunday, November 21, 2010

unfaithful

as soon as i crawled
into my bed naked, hyper-aware
you were there, your shade
sliding in between our bodies
and into my head.

i closed my eyes,
kissed him, and thought
of you.
this kind
of longing - unwanted,
unforeseen - is the
worst kind,
interrupting the last year and a half
of my life with him
that you left me behind in

still, i conjure you in my mind -
our easy intimacy, the
mind-meld of our sex - the
blatant differences in our fluidity,
and his and my uneasy
awkwardness

i stepped to the bathroom,
after,
and cried for a moment
my stomach rolling with
unsatisfied ache
hating that your memory
so often ruins what i have
painstakingly built with
the remnants of my psyche,
the small bits that escaped
the damage of your indifference.

and i hate this, i hate it
the kind of unfaithfulness
that i cannot avoid,
the attempt to not still want you,
and the weariness of wanting anyway

he deserves better of me.
i deserve better
of myself.

but tonight,
when he is sleeping
i'll touch the places on my body
that you worshiped
with your mouth

and when i release
i'll be holding you,
in my mind.
even after all this time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

have it all

what i lack
is intangible
it's not something you buy
in a store, it's a certain
assurance
that the rent will be paid,
things will turn out

i am losing faith in everything - everyone
who told me the key
to a "good" job was college -
the previous generations
for expecting our lives to be
so much better, but
making our futures drastically worse -
the inability to believe
anything will be fine
if i vote for the right politician - it's
not losing childhood hopes
that bothers me,
it's losing all hope
for anything
to get better, or change

Friday, October 1, 2010

missing

breath
the easy rise and fall,
absence of that eerie whistle
which, when it comes
tells you, hush,
wait
be still
the storm is coming
coming to ravage what you take
as a given,
the ease of inhale
exhale

grasp that plastic-encased steroid
tighter.
wait
until the catch
eases.
gulp air, head swimming,
palm pressed to face.
do not black out.
it only gets worse from there.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

a letter i never delivered

i am already composing my letter to you,
stating my goodbye
it could be years from now, or months
but time will not change its contents
detailing all i'd long to tell you,
but never in my own words, though
there are so many of them
i'm singing them in song,
using words that others wrote,
because with you i hold my own
too closely to my chest
to let you know everything
i'll tell you to the tune of music,
and a passion
that is not wholly my own,
love,
though i do hold it dear

i could, i would write you a million words, but i know that even if you read them, the meaning would escape you - i know you're not big on words. so i'll write to you in music, which i know is a language we share, and i'll let the others do the talking for me, for it's just as true this way - even if i am not the first (or last) to say it.
give it a listen through, and then do whatever you like with it. put it on repeat (as i might do with a favorite song), ignore it, forget it, shatter the cd against a wall. in the end, it's only worlds, love. and that's slightly blasphemous for me to say, seeing as words create (and possibly even destroy) my entire life, but it's true. words are only words, and only actions tell us the truth. but we have to try to communicate somehow, and my best method is through language. listen to the words, then forget them, if you will. in the end, there is only you. and i.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

fast, heavy Chevy

as a child, i'd ride
in my mother's car
past an old filling station
which sold classic cars
one Corvette, hunter green,
$18,990. i told myself
i'd buy that car, one
day. some day.
almost sixteen, birthday-bound,
my father asked me
what did i want?
i said Corvette, a Stingray
i want a fast, heavy chevy
(or maybe, a motorcycle?)
i unwrapped
not keys, naturally,
but a 1972 Stingray
model, bright orange.
my father has a wry sense of humor.

my first car - a Buick of
indeterminate color -
was crashed into an SUV, then driven
into the ground, but
my college acceptance ensured
my parents' goodwill,
and i finally got what i wanted -
hunter green, spoiler,
T-tops, Bose stereo -
Camaro
the poor girl's Corvette, but
i wasn't complaining,
i ran the hell out of it -
brought it through Katrina unscathed,
drove 3,000 miles across the country,
only to sacrifice it
to an icy mountain,
along with three of my ribs.

years later, and
3,000 more miles back
to the southeast, my wheels
are my bike,
my legs, my boyfriend's goodwill -
relearning how to live in the south
without losing my mind,
and reconciling eating organically
with going to taco bell in a Suburban.
reconciling how to want
a fast, heavy Chevy,
versus trying to get off oil,
how to change the desires
of the mind?
can we alter them in time?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

what we call a wage slave

the coffee shop
is a Mac lab today -
slow, silent and dull
and the musician who plays
in the corner, for tips
and free tea
sounds like a terrible
Cash knock-off, and i wish
h wouldn't play at all.
i am enjoying the quiet,
slow nature of a rainy evening
building creaking in the humidity
settling damp timbers into
the foundation, as the hum
of the a/c dries out
damp clothing,
makes me shiver.
i should be able to hear
all of this -
people restless in their chairs,
muffled feet on the floor -
instead, i am trying to discern
the difference in each
song played - so far, all
in 4/4. so far, the same key
applies.
i'm no guitarist,
but even i know the difference
between talent
and mediocrity.

Friday, August 13, 2010

...hopefully

working at weddings
is quite lucrative, but
the more i attend them,
the more i'm certain
if i ever get hitched
the only white at the whole affair
will be my skin -
i'll paint enough color to portray
a whole life lived before
this moment, and after
a party shouldn't be pristine,
but messy and drunken
and wrapped up in everyone's lives,
the way we live them,
instead of imagination -
the supposed purity of what you're doing -
standing in a room full of people,
proclaiming -
i'm going to fuck this person
for a long, long time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

barista deja vu

my touch rattles the cup
in its saucer, spills
coffee & tea
caffeine's restless habits,
a mug resting against my teeth
preventing the warmth
a way to still my hands,
slow everything down.
today is a day built
for bad news, the skies
cloud-hung and sullen
the color of coffee-stained
dishwater, and your eyes,
murky and solemn.
i don't even know what you're asking,
but want no part of it.
i have enough,
in my life, building
to a head.
i strain the tea and sip.
steam obscures my glasses
and i have to ask:
how many times will i stand here,
hands shaking,
waiting for you?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

far away

he says,
sometimes i get so jealous of
that pillow you hold so tightly
while you're sleeping -
the way you grip it, and i
have no way of knowing what
you think -

when i'm thinking too heavily,
too late into the night,
and i clutch my pillow so as
not to wake you with my
tossing in bed, or when i finally
lay down, and you're curled too awkwardly
to get an arm around - the times
when i wonder what you dream about,
when you hold your pillow tightly
to your chest and sigh

Thursday, June 24, 2010

tourniquet, the painting




find text version here:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

transfigurations

i've crossed this country enough times
to forget what it's like
to have a home
to return to.
people ask where
i'm from, and i say
everywhere
which is just as good as "Kentucky," and
more truthful.
i crossed the continent, this time
into a 63% unemployment rate [in my age bracket]
holding onto the sad-sack job
that is my only opportunity,
while they tell me: wear
shorts shorter, shirts tighter,
more makeup, bigger hair, more.
more, more.

or, maybe less -
less like myself, less
like a female who knows enough
to say,
this is wrong
when i'm only hired for my tits
or maybe ass, take your pick.
my early morning stalling car,
stopping in the midst
of three lanes of traffic,
means, among other things,
that i will walk an hour tonight
to dance through
my six hour shift, and sweat
until i don't remember what it means
to be dry
this
these small things are
the meaning of privilege, which
is what separates us
from poor to rich, from struggling
to asphyxiation.
we snatch at jobs
we're obscenely over-qualified for -
please, let me work - please, let me
not drown in the bile
in the back of my throat.

i learned yesterday
that Aaron died.
he drank himself to death,
adding to the top
the heroin overdose
to ensure he'd never be held responsible
for all his debt -
and sometimes, in
the darker moments
that seems like the only way
to ever be free - wasting your life
instead of pointless guilt over losing
a job, and the inability
to pay lawyers' fees.
i ran, from Oregon,
from my struggling friends for this -
63%.
my head swims -
it's heat exhaustion.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

she tells me not to, the painting



you can read the text version here

Monday, May 24, 2010

resist



you can find the text version, here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

S [elf] I [sh] the painting



you can find the text version, here.

starting to paint

so, i told you that i had been doing some poetry with art...
like the poem S [elf] I [sh]
it has a painting to go along with it, also.

so, i will post them all, i think... since i finally took some pictures.
even if they aren't good pictures.
i have a shitty digital camera, and for that i apologize. both my poetry and my photography deserve better. but it will have to wait until someday, when i have money to get a decent DSLR digital camera.

i think i will also find the entries with the poems, and place the pictures alongside the poems, as well...

and hopefully someday soon, i will be inspired to write more poems. and you will hopefully read them.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

bleeding

so distinctive
taste, texture, look or smell
and so different in its stages
red to brown, the brightness fades
reverses, from a thick
smell of copper, to salt, and decay -
even a decade later, on the paper,
the smell remains
preserved, a way
to completely transcend time.
i'm back again: young
scared, a whole lot crazy,
equipped with razors
and an inability to cope -
it all projects sadness,
i should feel that -
but instead:
half of me
turns out the remaining lights,
slips her hand
into her wallet
pulls out a razor,
rests it against wrist,
says
do it.
do it again.
more blood.
more.
more.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

make it neat

anxiety is eating a hole out from
under my ribs.
i take my pulse,
lose count. take pulse; fuckit
it's racing, i don't care.
or do.
i'm not walking straight, i veer
off the walls, towards
the kitchen
fetching tea to wash down xanax
and sit on the couch,
twitching.
i swallow my panic,
beat it back
open the door and shoo at it
like a recalcitrant pet,
shrieking.
panic will not leave, but
remains
curled on my kitchen floor, smirking,
waiting for me to let it through
the cracks between
madness and medication,
the drinks i'll suck down
to dull it all,
the scotch in my glass
settling
into my stomach.

Monday, May 3, 2010

jazz fest

music
rolling through my city -
lone trumpet,
4 am,
no ordinary street musician,
this
but something effortless
the kinds of notes
that rain forth like musical bliss
mingling with
the muted shouting of the neighbors
and people walking home
from bars -
the night is never quiet, here,
the cars fly by
incessantly, highway
always humming

Sunday, May 2, 2010

repeat...

i do this sometimes, repeat a poem...
forgive me if i don't catch all of them.

it's not purposeful...what happens is that i'm pulling from at least three separate sources, and i occasionally forget if i've done a particular poem.

considering how many i've written over the years, it's a bit hard to keep track of which i have and haven't archived online.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

spill

in the gulf
right now, the
ocean is burning
engineers staving off
the inevitable ending
of oil against delta,
oil in our mud and our fish
and all of the marshland
they set the water on fire,
hoping it'll burn quick -
before the rain i can feel
hanging in the air, before
it spreads steadily,
to land.
we are quiet.
we wait.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

twitch

jumping at house shadows
in this familiar space,
i'm internalizing all the voices
that have told me i should fear:
fear the walks i take
in the early hours,
the darkness, the men
who lurk in it, the crime,
the highway traffic, myself
my feminine fact
and i always laugh, say
"whomsoever fucketh
with me
shall receive
his everlasting life
a little early,
assuming
he's earned it"

and i mean every word of it
i ignore what
should spook me,
yell rudely
back
at anyone who assails
me with obscenity,
i am not afraid at all
until later,
when i am alone
solid in my certainty that
i am solitary in this space
which is the most eerie
thing in my life -
rooms
full of silence, a long house
stretching its limbs -
that groan and creak

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

brief explanation...

all of this poetry originally started out on another blog, one i've had for ten years. (yes, i am back-dating my entries, so as to avoid confusion.)

i am liberating myself from this other blog, as it is highly personal, and i wanted a place to put my work (poetry), and only that, instead of the last ten years of the history of my life.

i should also say at this point, that about half of my poetry's formatting is getting lost in this transition between copy&paste, and the way i actually lay it out on a page.

it's highly annoying. however, i don't know enough about computers/text editors/html to really do anything about it, ergo, oh well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

dissonance

like a boss saying
"hiatus",
meaning not working
and i say,
"i need rent"
but what that really means is
no fucking way i'll
manage that, but
i have to eat, goddamnit

i don't think people like that
understand poor
like this, and
i'm not even really poor -
desperate enough
to strip my body for money,
but i've never sold plasma, though
i wanted to -
when i know people who don't
pay any rent, and live
where they find shelter
and don't think much further,
because you can't plan for that -

i, with my college degree
have hurt a bit, but
i've never starved unless
i wanted to

our differences are bills
collected in my name,
a years' salary
in loans alone
begging repayment, leases,
until
i'm so sick over
stressing on
how to pay it
i want to run
and forfeit all of it,
not as if
it would do much good,
a fucking headache i swear
i'd trade
to be a punk in the gutter,
choosing my way

Sunday, April 4, 2010

railcars follow the water

there's something hidden in the silence
what we say when we're not speaking
the train whistles echo
off the curves of the river
and i huddle under the covers
beside your still form.
the nights are never quiet here,
filled with freeway noise
and occasional weekend gunshots
the cats running padfoot
from the porch to scatter
to wherever they sleep
and you also, are silent now:
i mouth unintelligible syllables
into the looking glass
there is more to this.
or maybe nothing at all.
this house itself
is permeable, malleable, waiting
for someone to exploit its cracks.
and as much as possible,
i run out for the night,
but when dawn threatens,
i call you.
always you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

all weekend long

i'm collecting pieces of slate
from all over this city,
like unwanted
refugees. like all of the people
who come to new orleans to live
on her sidewalks and be
marginalized.
i'm waiting for
some kind of sign
that any of us belong here,
swamp-cum-city,
city-cum-sewer, -cum-wreckage as
the neighbors tear walls out
five years after the storm.
here, we all know what
"after the storm"
is referring to.
referring to a city still
in bloom,
its business bustle,
not neglect, five years out,
or houses that sort-of
stand, but are mostly
see-through.
what's it like?
ask my far away friends, and
i have no words for them,
only pictures

Saturday, March 13, 2010

skew

she is beautiful, and
ignoring me
speaking of men she's dating
until i want to scream
i'm right in front of you,
look at me,
fucking look at me.

running around this concrete city
and all i want is
everything
from you,
i am tired of play
i want something real, this time.
something mine.
she wants a pretty gypsy boy,
and my new dyke friend says
she doesn't know anyone
who'd date someone like me

poisonously insinuating my flaws
into unlovable, unwantable
woman,
no woman will want you

and thing is, they rarely do
i remain here,
beckoning.
not queer enough, not
single enough, not
butch or femme enough,
not normative enough
to be labeled into a box
you can check.
i am an outlier.
i skew
your data.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

follow your own instincts

i dream of letting
so many things
just go
of waking up in places
i've never seen before in daylight
and all this stuff i drag
with me hangs
on my ankles like manacles.
i'll never be able
to get lost, to find myself
in foreign places,
with all i cling to,
and i resent it, yes
hate being so attached
to the physical
because my memories live there,
instead of my head,
hate that i have to feel
to remember, to look and smell
and hold in my hands.
writing
is a cerebral act, yes
but only born
from what we know, life
rattling around our heads
into a pattern, of sorts
until we can
distill it into words.
one day, i would
leave my ties
tie up the straps
and go for a while,
run until i'm left
with nothing else to see,
no more road
to follow.
i want to roam
until i find my home, and then
leave it behind.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

pages i'll abuse

you will settle into me slowly,
though my rough leather edges
will be stiff and creaky
at first
i will slowly warm, and wear
until i am soft enough
to take the brunt of you
the silences you wear
like a bruise
and the marks i get from you
will fade away
there will be nothing left when you go
but the worn volume of me,
its tale battered
from an invisible hand

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

i'll covet your sleep

i feel so badly in my sleepless
twitch and jerk,
not for me but
for you, since you finally got to bed
and it's not your fault you love
an insomniac.
i squirm and you shift,
pulling the covers closer to your side.
you say i hog the sheets,
but darling
i can't steal them
when i'm still wide awake,
watching you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

music meant for war

even now i have this longing for you
trumping all common sense and
the fact that i know better
more bitter than sweet,
not unlike the sour candy i
consumed in spades
and even though
you said it hurt your mouth,
you ate it anyway

and in such a manner,
i took you into myself
again
and again, giving chances
you didn't deserve, sacrificing
my peace of mind on the altar of passion.
if i gained nothing but the
knowledge that i failed honestly,
at least i never threw up my hands.
i gave all, too much,
i threw myself into the war
the battle of our bodies,
and i am wrung out over you.
there is no solace in it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

i wish i knew who was taking me home

i think i have overstayed my welcome here
at your house
or if not,
that's how it feels
with my shit scattered over
your bedroom floor
your roommates bristling over
the shitty way i treat the dog
that i lock into the kennel at any
opportunity, since
she shits in the house
and i'm the one cleaning it up
since you're immobile.

i'm tired of going without
my shampoo,
my pillow
sick of sleeping on the side of the bed
the dog took a piss on
of pretending to eat more
than i do
it's hard to lie to you
since you actually take notice
of what i do
or do not

hiding with you in the garage,
shivering with shaking hands
welcome to the fall
the season of cold, and
my madness

where i shrink smaller
inside my mind,
which is not the wonderland
it's cracked up to be
i won't pretend i'm someone
other than me,
but i know the concern
that you don't show
when my brain begins to alter
into this season,

and same as any other,
i won't care that you mind
when i bleed
i won't care,
because i won't see
anything or anyone
past myself
in the end,
i never do.

Friday, January 8, 2010

dollars are just dollars

the quality of our surroundings
hangs heavily in the air
spilling drunks into the parking lot
to stumble towards their cars,
memory sated for the evening
smelling of the kind of thick, stale smoke
only old bars can achieve
the scent of an affair
in a cheap motel room
that's never cleaned
in between its lovers
we watch them go,
clenching
empty wallets in fist
our wording wending,
whispering
wonder
into the next set of ears

Thursday, January 7, 2010

verdicts

look i know i'm fucked up,
feeling closer to you
after fucking someone else

i take my freedom, and
i know you mind
but i appreciate that you let me
on my own time

but when i leave
and roam, i
just get sick
for home,
which is what
you represent to me.
my peaceful center,
but more than peace, you are
a possible future

someone who
i think knows me,
better than you even think
a hard task you seem
to manage gracefully
you don't struggle, push
or even seem to try
it's more like you absorb
the fact of me, and
stand solid against the flow.

i don't know how you do it,
but i'm glad you do.
i'm so glad you're here.