Archive | February, 2018

“Space Scissors”

28 Feb

“Space Scissors”

I walk through a land of broken teeth

pulled pullovers, snowy driveways

through broken bones

where every memory is chilled

and crammed in a locket round

the five o’clock shadow hordes

wringing my neck and number,

galloping with bright lights,

rose and red bouquets, princesses dying,

blue flowers pressed to lips,

spiders in hourglasses,

axes greeting spark plugs

greased hands, the witch’s lies

the ogre’s children

if only for human flesh boots

and blades for

ballerinas to dance knives on

while we fence in a moat drowned

in this your life

of your sweet heart of stone

seasoned with scissors, scalpels

and lashes for beehives too quick

behind the refrigerator

your body disappears.

“Scarry Skies”

27 Feb

“Scarry Skies”

I’ll take down the rain

the sky

to undress it

bold as a cherry wood wardrobe

the parlor boys grip their chips

the dents and sparks where you used to

lay your tangled hair, a battle hive

of chain-link barbed-wire bolts

casings and pirouettes in barrels

pure or loud as the silver bell

stricken to cold ears

hearing the roof talk

to the weather’s van

a tonic vain

as stripes could lose their muster

but spots could turn us around tonight

leopards and the wild jaguars caw

pull levers from their spectacle drawers

give me a paradise,

faked or photographed

in guilty hideaways,

not the bone crunch of skull:

a messiah turned away again,

waterfalls to lead you back

through hovering alleys, the juniper coat

emeralds the deep river

eyes agleam with this jungle carnation

to torture and rescue us

because the sunlight

is an impossible illusion.

“Stronger Than Your Answer”

26 Feb

“Stronger Than Your Answer”

Bacteria swarms to a new shore

while ants take a bath in the kitchen

and the warm glow of a bed of nails

and the faint putrescence

of a warm glove

veined by icy hands.

I missed the train

to turned hips away from the cougar fire

a rug moistening at the specter

beneath the mantle, cold candles

the roast of a disowned son

the icicle bouquet queen,

coated in liquid silver minutes

faded phone calls.

“The Last Time I Saw You”

24 Feb

“The Last Time I Saw You”

Turning a corner, the train whistle blew

down the drain, rupturing our fluids

the night when your body relaxed

without you, fish

swam through my hands

the blue dishwasher bleached a pellet

in the dark of the kitchen,

our lips chapped,

our skin crumbling to waxy tissue

it was the last time I saw you

in the house of broken windows

of folded petals

of folded grasshopper wings

where these thistles rasped your throat

to desire a summer long ago

when we both lost our bathing suits

and split down to the rope

on the swing above

the slapping of the waves

riding your bike backwards

we’re friends for pain

the locker room killers

don’t let the mirror drop

don’t let this dinner end

please put away the props

shield me from your dressing gowns

and chain my heart.


22 Feb


for Richard (“Buz” (“Pop”)) Russell

Flapping wings to call you home

a red barn and dirty boots

your mother’s writing poetry

and we drive around in circles

you were embarrassed to be lost

and you wanted us to be together

on an orange-leaf afternoon

you’ll crack a smile and know everything

and I’ll learn.

There’s a rumor about boyhood,

although ours felt centuries apart:

boys don’t cry,

don’t hurt,

and don’t feel.

But that’s just a rumor about boyhood—

that’s just horse feed and crab apples.

Let’s ride our horses through the dark,

patting the hot metal on backs of trucks

ready to haul lumber to glittering casinos.

Let’s live one more rumor about boyhood

before they find us hiding in the woods

with flashlights near tents

before they find us to tell me you’re gone.

“Spider Bite”

21 Feb

“Spider Bite”

It reminded me of my boyhood

in the Pacific Northwest,

that sense of the laundress—

which reminded me of my boyhood

in Los Angeles,

that sense of the boundless—

and I don’t care what the doctors say

when your mother paints a snowy picture

on your bedroom wall,

or we killed a mighty falcon

in our boyhood reverie,

or the spider bite:

a mountain of moles;

the fluid drips through your system

from its hairy jaws

mandibles wash up on the shore

of your spooned skeletons

relaxing in a beauty box,

or betray the hoax to a lavender ghost

he stops by the mirror sometimes

as if to redirect ancient wizards:

ghouls in their bird mobiles

a fair thorn away from here

pinpricked by your favorite goddess.

“Kindly Ones”

20 Feb

“Kindly Ones”

The darling young starling marks

her glass eye

we drowned in the chandelier, looking on

the bullseye marks

the doorknob growing further away

into your thigh-light eyes,

wish we’d met

a blind capsule

a rose, a Sharon

a dimple pressed on sheets

makes a goat neigh

a swan wearing tap shoes

scrambles up a sandy bank

a gift from a friend

however you use this tissue

of the sunken depths

lead no unicorn or lichen

through unfortunate schools

relaxing their grip, but taxis turn

photos fool no proof

for the goat-herder’s daughter

beneath buttercups

the nail worms thrash

palm trees moisten the soda trees to ash

the fruit of havens, hairy and burnt

ballast spells a missing thunderbolt.

“Proud Passerby”

19 Feb

“Proud Passerby”

We’re proud of you

when the healing comes tonight

when the bough shakes embers

through banana rowboats,

when the headlights come tonight:

a wounded boat on a torn sea

hook to sinker, a blister pops

peeled by an alabaster blaze of line

illegal girl poetry by scissors lie

which smudges fish lips to fingertips

trout look-out towers to antelopes

sewed to jackals’ backs,

hard-rode to sundown

scared skeletons made of feathers

a slashed sailor hunting hurt

for a cooked kiss.

“I Fell from a High Depth”

17 Feb

“I Fell from a High Depth”

I fell from a high depth

mapping the gold of wrists,

a parakeet with lonely eyes

through this tight keyhole;

a wind bent for saunas;

a derelict reflection;

frightful fur collars,

ferocious in your bed

night on all fours…

…the llama knows no injury.

The pears fell

we painted our toenails with moonlight

and all the hungry capybaras

licked the leather off a motorcycle jacket

then somebody faded away.

“Wet Apples”

16 Feb

“Wet Apples”

Two black eyes

a heart full of teeth

rivers gush to tell our troubles

rivers rush fish for us

and though we grovel

at the thighs of dawn

and fall down butterfly slides

the hanging lamp in the jungle stills

through green mists the wings of insects

blows your horn through the fog

projects candy films, rings the inn

for us weary warriors to be lifted

by living cat pillows’

incisions stitched with black thread,

ten claws reserved for punishments

amputated with care by silken drawers.