Thursday, May 17, 2012




I grew up a boy believe it or not.

Hit me back if I make you cry
if I lean too long
on your wind
hit me back
but don't tell
because I'm sorry
we both agreed to the rules
and I did not break them. Okay?

This is what you wanted.


The flying knee to the soft of the back
that dropped him on the field,
a receipt for the cheap shot
(but less that than)
the hang-jaw What'd I Do
and Hey It's A Game, Baby
as he jogged off.
Baby, I'm Just Trying To Win.

So, now you. Now you. Now I'm you.

Running in circles in a cul-de-sac
from a friend
until we're tired and bored
and ashamed.
It wasn't anything.
He wasn't a friend.
We got high in the car.
I was sure he would reach over
and throttle me.
But nah, nah, nah. Whatever.
It's whatever.


On the receipt,
she said to me
You should hit him.
He's a pussy.
You should just hit him
in his fucking face.
She laughed and said this until I was hard
for her.


Broken, as follows, out of order:
the bedframe
the clock
the photographs
the wall
the ring
the necklace
the other wall
the laptop
and two mirrors
because anger lends itself to cliche 
in that way.


Under stale covers
swollen knuckles were compared.

This is not love
to be sure.
This is not--

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Dead Heart by Anne Sexton

After I wrote this, a friend scrawled on this page, "Yes." 

And I said, merely to myself, "I wish it could be for a 
different seizure--as with Molly Bloom and her ‘and 
yes I said yes I will Yes."

It is not a turtle 
hiding in its little green shell. 
It is not a stone 
to pick up and put under your black wing. 
It is not a subway car that is obsolete. 
It is not a lump of coal that you could light. 
It is a dead heart. 
It is inside of me. 
It is a stranger 
yet once it was agreeable, 
opening and closing like a clam. 

What it has cost me you can't imagine, 
shrinks, priests, lovers, children, husbands, 
friends and all the lot. 
An expensive thing it was to keep going. 
It gave back too. 
Don't deny it! 
I half wonder if April would bring it back to life? 
A tulip? The first bud? 
But those are just musings on my part, 
the pity one has when one looks at a cadaver. 

How did it die? 
I called it EVIL. 
I said to it, your poems stink like vomit. 
I didn't stay to hear the last sentence. 
It died on the word EVIL. 
I did it with my tongue. 
The tongue, the Chinese say, 
is like a sharp knife: 
it kills 
without drawing blood.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

“I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems.”

We have a principle that all poems about spring are automatically disqualified. This topic no longer exists in poetry. It continues to thrive in life itself, of course. But these are two separate matters.
Wislawa Szymborska

The First Season

Dirty-foot souls’
dirty foot soles
blossom into calves, of all things,
on the first afternoon in the first season
of nothing but afternoons.
Socks oughta be outlawed.
A pervert’s paradise, here, on sidewalks,
where white sundress silhouettes
stoop, ass-on-heels
to smell shop flowers.
I sing,
God damn Spring!
God damn.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

INTERLUDE (Under Construction)

Still quilled and beaked you lay leathery eggs
in mud burrows and sweat thick milk from your pores to
nurture your young. Your legs are too short to run but
that's okay, nothing is looking to eat you

Let's sit around and put cigarettes out in each others' eyes.
I'll get fat, but you don't have to.
We can say, these cups are for vodka and those over there, coffee.
We neither of us can make omelets, so.

Wake up some mornings in a fist fight;
fists tight down under
down pillows
need to explode somewhere. 
Bruises. Apples cut into quarters with a big dumb knife.
Boxes of rags worn in fits of manic disinfection, of whimsy;
boxes of clementines,  People magazines, of whirring metal toys,
unusually shaped root vegetables,
empty jewel cases
Wood carvings hung off-center, leaning low on one side.
Sloppy black and white glamor prints stuck under dead flowers.
A whole hist'ry
a fake ancestry on the walls.
Horns and feathers, blood (or soup? probably soup) on the floor,
and tissues and hair and fingernail slivers, sometimes gobbed all at once
on the bottoms of your socks.
A gleaming bronze spitoon.
We can say, these bowls are for cereal and those over there, wine.

I'll wash you.

We'll wish ourselves full with tumors and stones, left lonely in place to sink into the ocean
on nights when the addictions churn or the serotonin drops or the money's low or
you know
(we'll visit the beach, I mean).

Then one day,
wet up to our forearms
chilled by the mountain lake where we drowned the children,
it will hit me:
You probably get this sort of thing all the time.