He releases a valve, hoping to adjust.
Thoughts ribbon from his gauzy head

to catch in the maw of something else.
The computer's hum becomes a song;

it's lights: a burgeoning kaleidoscope.
He delves deeper to another surface,

loses mass, tries to exercise to slow the descent,
but resistance leaves concentric red bands.

His love disburses into the atmosphere,
hangs in the air like a question,

condenses shotgun on stark charred mornings,
obscures his porthole mirror image

with the crumpled geometry of landing.
The days tessellate together to form

a crystalline skeleton with red blood
beating desire blue into his torpid body.

The realization his eyes are only lenses.
The curdled emotion microscoped indefinitely.

He finds life and doesn't beam it back.


Real Love

It was such a disappointment

to find Santa isn't real

and it was just my parents

presenting their love each year.


Not Helping

There is an ant who,
when cut in half,
fights his back end to the death.

There was a botanist who
came across a scaly herb
and named it "broomrape".


In the future,
defying all reason,
we can be represented by algorithms;
our essence encoded.

My first kiss,
blown through the sieve of her equation,
collects dewy on experience.
We touch in theory.

It is always my first
time and never hers.
She said I'm unique.

Just what I wanted
to hear.



Lady Macbeth's hands were always filthy because she was always putting them where they didn't belong. After trying the spiciest Italian remedies known to her people the good lady decided to buy a puppy to suckle on each of her dirty digits, giving them names like pinky for her pinky puppy and Princess for her other pinky puppy because they were the daintiest. She spent many an enchanting afternoon gallivanting around her kingdom high-fiving the court jester, using her five puppy discount at the local market and giving her servant boys the most roly poly wallop they had ever received in their short malformed lives. And of course there were downsides, but she played them off as fun: new gloves to be buy, interesting new methods for eating a sandwich and elaborate manicures to be had, but sadly her fluffy lumpkins developed a taste for imagined blood and took off on an all to real rampage, dragging their lady along for the ride. "Oh what fun!" she garbled, her mouth stuffed full of dirt as though something could have grown from it.



Sometimes it's hard being so sensitive- like when you see some guy get rocked in the nuts by a football or something small or pointy enough to really get in there- and he didn't even see it coming. He was eating a sandwich while talking on the phone; only managing to wave an x in front of his crotch before crumpling to the ground, sandwich bite held mid-mouth like like a barnacle- and you. You are having a shadenfreudegasm. Where did his manhood go? Compose yourself.

In the abdominal pocket
clipped and quivering
like a frightened doe
I hope.


Atheist God or Low Self-Esteem

I don't believe
in myself


Trampoline Friend

We would test each spring
before looking back at his step-dad,
"Don't kill yourselves" he'd say
before disappearing into the air
conditioning for the summer.

The trampoline's keeper was at least
twice as heavy as anyone else.
He would launch us into the trees
overhead to pick the foursquare balls
and Frisbees that spent all winter growing.

We would get up early and bounce to separate
the drum from the morning dew and bounce
till walking on firm ground felt unnatural.
We rehydrated with Otter Pops and ate
Otter Pops and wore Otter Pops like warpaint

because you can sort of eat them
in the air and in the air we were safe
unless we got a good bounce and floated up,
beyond the sphere of lost things
to a kingdom of bee hives and dappled light

and once we sent smoke bombs and roman candle fire
into the branches and once we invited some girls
and once I put a foot through the cover and slit
from ankle to thigh and iced it with an Otter Pop,

running it along my leg like a bloody train
until I realized my muscles were still clenching
and we were burning out ever so slowly, illuminated
against a backdrop that only moved forwards.


Dogs and Children

L lights fires in the park as though they keep the world warm while I wear reflective safety gear and do my best to keep dogs and children away, but there are just so many. "I think he can handle himself," says L as she douses a house of brittle sticks in gasoline. "But he is just a baby" I plead, pinching an old man's jowl. She is now standing on top of the big toy, fire screeching around her like a jubilant audience. At the bend of her wrist a trickle of gasoline runs down the curly slide, "Dr. Jessup says he is testing you with that face." Her stream reaches the lake of burning rubber that once was a safer alternative and the flames quickly ascend to the base of the crow's nest, "And what if I fail the test? What then?" I look down into my arms and the old man is gently snoring. Night waves hello from across the city and, from the looks of it, L has run out of combustibles. She dabs some of her well-earned sweat with a kerchief I had given for her birthday, "Today was good." she pronounces. I agree in a whisper as to not wake the old man who coos in agreement: a happy family.


Washington Spring

Concentric blossoms
obscure the reflection of
a rippling skyline.


not ill us

Not quite a cuttlefish,
but we can spoon
though I'd need a fork
to get you out of your shell
and a smoke afterwards.


Conflict Resolution

I bought a bowtie for my dog, but there hasn't been any formal occasions lately so it's become sort of an inside joke. I mention it casually over breakfast and he drags his ass across the carpet. He pees all over my sweat pants and I say, "Looks like we're going to the opera".

On Sundays we go to the non-denominational place of worship next to the Wa Wa and hash out our differences by barking at cars through a sound-proof cashier station. Afterward, when we are hoarse and moist with the residue of our anger we get Otter Pops and every time, as I watch him pawing at the wrapper I have a little sad, "Pour it all over me. I was meant to be blue." he seems to say.


In Deference

On windy days L sits by the window
with a book in her lap, waiting
for a chill to rustle through its pages
like a cat through the reeds. In this way
her stories reveal themselves in sudden
jagged fragments, acquaintances vanish,
love flickers and flames,
landscapes melt into conversation
into monologue into description;
paragraphs fissure mid-sentence,
mood writhing, dissected on an uneven plane.
The world balances with its spine sinking
into the fault line of her pale legs,
pleats of her skirt carrying
its motion into the afternoon
while slender pearly arms pillar her head.
Her eyes close to make room for the sun.
The roar of the freeway douses the crackling
of crisp pages as death goes unnoticed; confined
to an instant, smoky tendrils encircle the infinite
and its already crystallized moments, drawing them to
constellation. All far from seamless, unseen, crestfallen,
she wants to know if love lasts; who she will see again;
if her journey was an arc or an ark.


Suicide Pact

It's so hard to find someone

you love and trust

enough to die with,

but still empty

enough to want to die.


L'esprit de l'escalier (The Spirit of the Staircase)

She said
he said,
"It takes two to tango".

Steps away
from her father.

Couldn't he make
like that Billy Idol song
and go fuck himself?

She showed me her teeth,
her stained heart,
her slender arms and legs,
blossoming in color;
bones hollowed for flight,
but I didn't touch her.

I'm all too aware I'm not the sun.
I have a halogen soul
good only to tide over till growth.

The last time I saw her
she was expecting. The time
before that, on my doorstep
with a friend asking me
to buy them cigarettes
and I told them that
was for someone else.

I wondered
if she wondered
if I loved her.

I wonder
if she wonders
now that we're strangers.


Petit Mal While I'm Out

Cupped delicate like a glass menagerie
I step as if it has already dropped
swirl the hook around my mouth
wish my heart beat at an even tempo
like lines strung from around the room

clasped in another hand vibrations coursing
through six invisible limbs a struggle
to stay in place as the moment bursts
over and over and over my head
a melody flits like a hummingbird wing
and under the earth an upwelling
ending in water, water, water

as I bite down doe-eyed
dead bird or gone missing
I'll try my best to drink its blood
and wonder if I'm only teething.


Lost and Found

I found my grandmother in the freezer
gnawing on a roast I had bought on sale
but never had the heart to eat.
She still had all her teeth: something
she had always been proud of,
"I don't eat with my robot
hip" she used to reason.

There was no one left to impress,
but she kept going as though she were
going to fell the roast, dam a river,
raise a family and pass on her efforts.

I left her to the burn-
I'm not proud of it, but would you
have me take her out only to lose her
again; find her behind the dryer, knitting,
what I would guess is a sweater, from dust bunnies
or in the cabinet doing her best
to open a can with another can,
banging them together like clumsy lovers,
but I'll bet I'm afraid to find her
as I left her: ever on her way out,
biting her tongue like an undulating snake
with no discernible head.


Everything is Fleeting

To have desire,
torn from my breast
like an eight-armed tumor
restless with all I do not burn,
feels like nothing I want to feel.

Those I cannot put my finger on:
the quivering catch in my throat;
the taste of fresh salt trickling inland
through twin valleys half mine.

When my heart swells
with space or water
and my fingertips tremble,
scarcely able to contain
what I had tried to dampen
or temper I am reminded that this.

This too.


In a Vacuum

We played fools on the screen,
gesturing toward intricacies
of human contact
through a vacuum.


All Irises In Their Own Ivory Oceans

When the sky is flooded incandescent
and the pinhole pricks
for breath give way
look up.

Focus on the unseen threads
piercing our earth
in a radiant forest
born into black,

ever unfolding across
some saturated expanse,
to bend into convex exits
empty since time's inception.

There is no message
in the waves:
a Morse Code of particles
compelled to play at order.

Take heart,
though what once
lit the lantern
may have left long ago

the body is a filament.
I exist to burn.
I burn for existence
illuminated by another iris.



What's funny about poetry

is most people don't like it.