Monday, November 8, 2010


I haven't forgotten the smell of inky ballpoint drops but I've forgotten the criticism I had when we were bound and Falling into your arms last night felt like the end of a long journey
-which is fantasy of course.

Without medium, I'm holding onto moments in the form of booty calls
lingering in your sheets trying to make memories warm enough to get me through the winter.

You were right to say our words would leave these pages
But my past words- my last words- They weren't as kind as yours.
And so while your words careen and scatter
leaving empty sheets for you to pen-again
While you begin again
I can't seem to un-fall.

My words don't leave or fade:
they just defrost.

And I'm not left where I began at all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Liver Box

My cursor is winking at me ///
suggestively ///
expectant of me ///
It expects me to be sexy in verse.

I count on my pen to know everything first
And words last!
Dated words serve the permanence
my scattered mind can't find.

But I can't seem to write
about you.

I've tried.

I sit and anti- cipate the usual flurry
the fury
of heart pour- ing metaphor
and then stripping it down to the plainest version of itself.

Grabbing bottles from a shelf
I mix up a Metaphor Therapy:
An ounce each of love and grief
pour it over melodrama and an icey simile
It's a lot but once it melts into verse, I find
I can finally take it in.

(To be truly effective at squelching my fear,
we go more rounds than I care to share
or you’d care to hear
but I do recommend it.
Mornings are kinder than Xanax and vodka.)

And so the point I can’t write-
The point you haven’t heard-
The point of all these words is that
I've been trying to write about you since I met you.

And also for the last three hours.

When this poem began I wrote that I was sitting on the Amtrak
staring at a half-pink sunset
slivered moon like a skipping rock
moving across a skyline of tree-tops
a few thin clouds in an azuline sky.

But now? The sky is black
and I'm asking for another drink.
If you sit too long
and think too much
the spice fades out to water.

Words I won't show you sit
like drips on my pen
at the edge of my lips
timid toes testing the temperature of my tongue
denying poetry or quips
Words are permanent
but my thoughts are inconstant as the moon!
and better trusted moving slow.

I know this makes me less a Romeo
but I've been practicing my steps for a long, long time
and I'm not going to take you dancing
on some sad, pathetic, stuttering-forever.

Please stay.
I'll get you another drink.
No ice okay?
(You might have to hold it awhile.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


As soon as I call you mine, I start picking you apart
Like every pore I clean and each cheek I pinch for blush

I love you like I love my own arm:
a necessity, a piece of me,
a thankless job to be

Were you a limb separate from me (free standing
shoulder and soft fingers)
you could stroke my arm
or hold my hand
and walk away on fingertips
and I would chase you
I'd reach out and pull you back
and ask if you would stay

But as long as you are mine, you're me
which means: I beat us both the same

Thursday, April 29, 2010


The closer I get, the more involved I become
in admiration of an intricate design

every tiny detail
every fleck of color
every marking left by

If: standing back
you still see the broken pieces

Let me lend you my eyes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Face striped by slats in sun
I was the one he preferred to eat with
tried to clean with his t-shirt before guests arrived
I apologized when the water stains wouldn’t budge.

My Goodbye brought no empowerment
It felt more like abandonment and it
wasn't enough It was a start
I'm smart enough to grip resolve
yet I've an elephant's romantic retention

It wouldn't be fair to call the present less for past Not when
the present is more than hot mashed skin and music and magic
though plenty of
That my past becomes
Hard to recall the days as his napkin-shrouded silver when I'm Hers

and maybe Tomorrow
we've talked about too much
but I did meet your heart, religion, politics before your
choice in wine.

I am filled with gourmet.
I am proudly displayed
with chipped edges and all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Her Memory of Me.

From my bird’s eye view,
the clouds look like frothy waves
on a sea of sky
and somewhere down there
deep in the ocean
she's sipping on a glass of bourbon
leaning with her back to the kitchen counter
where she reframes memories
of making love to me
as something cheap, and thus,

It's hard to see me from where she stands
but I'm no stranger to distance
and so I'm still here.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

From Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers

First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons--but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which has lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world--a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring--this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.

Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else--but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.

-Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Carson McCullers

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I'd Rather Say Than Fight, But I Won't

She moves me sometimes
like a small girl with her first drum
straddled and slammed with mallets on both sides
arms flailing
hair swinging
mouth open
spit flying.

Right now she's frustrated with me
so I don't tell her
that all I want to do is to kiss her mouth-
to melt into the kind of kiss where mouths open wide
tongues stretch
and faces can't possibly mash close enough together
to feel as close as you want to feel
without jaws breaking.