alarm clock

radiation spewing

light from your phone at 5 am

frozen to the screen

while i wrestle with my sub-conscious

six rounds, one hour a piece

it’s a fight to the death

nightly, yeah i’m a survivor

i’ve conquered darth vader’s older brother

while running the nails of my backbone

down a chalk board

i’ve stabbed my father

more times

than i care to count

i’ve emptied a few prisons

in my day

all in a night’s work

but damn

they always fill back up

i’ve pleaded with the lord

ghastly, on high

don’t take my momma, please

you can have my step-sister though

i’ve searched for so many

god damn knee high socks

i couldn’t even tell

you how many soccer games i’ve

been late for

in my dreams

i’ve made love to humans

with shifting body parts, shapes

all look different

but certainly must be the same person

love is just

love

no matter where i hide it

will always surprise the one it encounters

broken hearts are far more interesting

they don’t smile

but still look good for the camera

lay down under my back

and lick me until i tell you to stop

okay dog that’s enough

i’m trying to ignore my alarm clock

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going for it

start early to avoid the heat

this work can be sickening but

i feel better having thrown up

so much paint

 

working in quadrants is more rewarding

on this page of the internet

than it is out there

with a ladder and a brush

 

at least that’s true in the short term

what a neo-technological declaration!

i don’t think of myself as a millenial

but apparently I really like instant gratification

 

by now we’ve been watching paint dry

for at least a month and a half

and in that time we’ve decided

we’re painting for others, not ourselves

 

this pig looks good in lipstick

maybe the floors don’t quite line up

but hey, we’ve turned this place from homely to home

and it was all for nothing

 

nothing except a few great years

maybe our last metropolitan ones

and some great practice erecting paradise

and working together, in other words, for everything

 

starting tonight we’ll try in earnest

to trade it for money so we can start all over

in a place that is much more noticably

rising out of the middle of the sea

 

seeking peace and quiet, light and soil,

a structure free of mold and saddness

and a small community at the far-left

of this incendiary country

 

i long for new ideas about using land

harnessing human and earth energy alike

the space to see myself clearly

and a forest for my kid to get lost in

 

we may be leaving our friends behind

saying farewell to our sense of place

but we are not going against the current

we’re going for it

words against words

Could this be how they felt

running wild-eyed I imagine with a passion

not one could label

a desire indescribable

a longing without adjectives?

I envy those early us’s

grounded in the chaos of a

new linguistic miracle

I wish I could read the world’s

shortest dictionary

 

The family tree,

even the most complex primate phylogeny

we can concoct

they’re all vertical diagrams

which suggests and antagonistic relationship

to gravity

In time all trees decay and die,

but it’s hard to deny

that the least permanent of its features

are the small twigs and greens.

Can we reconcile our branching out

with the forces of nature?

 

Falling leaves bring tears to some

and to others, joy

we are inversely connected to the reset button

by our attachment to fleeting life

and thus our denial of its bigger picture.

 

I see us playing, working, fighting

way out on a limb

as if we have no knowledge of its structural limit

and if we don’t get a break from our

addiction to outward expansion and progress

we will surely find ourselves scrambling

cartoon-like

hanging in the air of ignorance

with no where to go

but down.

scrawled exponential

beginning

methinks

with the first conversation

and thus founded by the first words

exchanged

between two or more

lesser great apes,

ending perhaps

as early as tomorrow

or twenty eight days later,

ideology

as cognitive culture

created the space for

understanding

and its misses

 

imagine how skilled at listening

were those early gossipers

taking no grunt for granted

not distracted by a thousand

names in their head

nor disillusioned by tropes

nor fooled by the belches

of a politician,

there was a message to experience

and with the right patience and

concentration

a deep understanding would unfold,

a miracle

 

sharing experience through noise

through full-body gestures

and an eye’s contact

soon we primates were a more powerful

collective soul than we could express

without violence

so we opted for that sort of thing

banding together

pretending that the strength of our connection

with an isolated group of hairless monkeys

was somehow more holy

than that with any other

and faction after faction

after fissure

after valley after peak

in the cultural cartography

of the wise-and-two-legged

was

scrawled exponential

on the map

of the universe

which we now ignore

 

insulated now

from

the reality of other’s

by this same

liberating capacity

which brought us connection

on a wholly-[un]holy level

we sure have come a long way

so far a way

from those fledgling conversations

we may have forever lost

the ability to use the

language

as the gift it

really is

stone panegyric

death wears so many costumes

but there is really only one homicide

and even that death surpasses legal definition

it is simply, intentionally, taking a life

 

since we’re still alive, and we never conspired to kill,

i cannot blame her nor myself for this death

we watched our collective life sicken, whither away

and die; we are not murderers

 

sure, we were always going to be prime suspects

in the eyes of those who prescribe criminal behavior

they’re automatically suspicious

of those who found the dead body

 

i’ve come to this plot to pay my respects

and to consider this question:

does anything, anyone, pass before its Time?

or is this simply a conciliatory cliche?

 

we’re so used to playing god, us humans

small wonder she and i longed to resuscitate

the terrifyingly pale corpse

of our once vibrant relationship

 

a eulogy for a romance seems silly

but this is a real death, the loss of

a tangible, unique life, whose magic

we will never know again

 

tragic though it seems by modern standards

i watch the Great Mystery carry on, with simply

a passing nod at this minuscule casualty,

quietly certain we will all Rest In Peace

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potency may have once been

unknown

masked by plentitude and party-tricks

experimentation continues through

currency and curiosity

both of which require nine lives

as neonates and as nobodies

each novel chapter

carries a continuity

which experience I

may dare call

character

Women’s March (it’s January)

left, right, left, right, left, right,

center. centered.

grounded.

wishing we could dole out punishment

to not-our-president

lock him in a tower

and call him a princess

just to hear his blood boil

or see him finally let down his hair

 

left, right, left, right, left, right,

i was born in march

left, right, left, right,

left of center

decidedly moderate

cordial

pass the spiritual digestif

chase the feeling

left, right, left, right

no nostalgia for the future

left, right, left, right

these boots are made for stompin’

all over public property

whose streets?

left, right

our streets

left, right

whose windows?

left, right

…their windows

left

with a feeling

of anti-reconciliation

i cannot meet

the two at once

my wingspan being finite

 

left, right, left, right

round and round the parade route

chasing your own tail is easy

when you don’t recognize it

as your own

why are you here?

I feel scared, I feel angry

why are you here?

I like an excuse to shut down traffic

why are you here?

The state has finally revealed itself, this is our chance!

why are you here?

.

oh, you’ve been here all along…

Where have I been?

you ask