Sunday, March 31, 2013

dysthymia

you are

the spring in my limp
the depth of my shallow breaths
the shattered melancholy
of my being broken

memories
from before I knew you
sweet smoke
my dad loved to hide behind
dark eyes of an early crush
summertime grass warm
against my bare feet
first real kiss

black-veiled mourner
standing alone
beneath gray rain
clenching teeth and fist
dropping muddy earth
into my grave
smearing what’s left
across your face
hiding your crying
downcast eyes
enduring the disappointment

in all that I am not



Burningword - April 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Very Long Hugs

Grandma hugs me while standing
in the dim light of her kitchen after steak
and strawberry pie. She sears the meat

medium rare and mounds whipped cream
on the pie every time I spend the night.
Then she hugs me for a very long time.

Her heavy breathing makes her breasts heave
against my cheek. Grandpa is in the living room
lying on the couch in Jockey shorts watching TV –

the Rams or the Lakers or the news, something
other than Grandma hugging me for minutes on end.
Her old-lady perfume makes it difficult

to resist the urge to wriggle away
or let my hands hang limp. I don’t remember
if anything else happens, I just know

I keep my arms wrapped around her waist,
confused by her heavy breaths and trying
to figure things out.



Shadow Road Quarterly - Spring 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spectrography

There is a red-hot remembering
at the mention of her name -
the growing pink upon her cheeks,
intensity of breaths, closing eyes.

There is a white-hot regret
that follows and a speechlessness
that has never gone away, an acrid
leaking in the middle of my chest.

There is a dark gray shame
that draws on my shoulders
and causes my eyes to blink wet.
I dare to look to you.

There is a deep-blue peace
that comes with the tilt of your head,
the resting of your hand on my cheek.
You lean into me, kiss me.

There is a yellow and a yellow and a yellow.



Boston Literary Magazine - Spring 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

To Myself

If your poems are pierced by shafts of light
in a battered gray barn, let the dust float
there awhile as red hens squawk
through weather-beaten boards.

If your poems shine
with her blue eyes and pillow talk
and some very heavy breathing,
offer to light them a cigarette after.

If they contain too much
wondering if they’ll remember
you when they’re grown and gone,
just cradle them into heaviness.

When they hide in the forgotten darkness
of your scariest dreams, stare them down
until they skulk into your back pocket
and try to get lost in the wash.



Blue Lake Review - March 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

Just Afterwards

There is a moment
in the just afterwards
of early morning loving,

just after
all the dizzy
subsides into clarity,

just after
breathing hard
turns once again easy,

just after
fingertips retrace
the fair of her very soft landing,

just after
giggles and high praise
and pillow-talk upon my chest,

just after
a final nibbled
reminder of the sweet of her.

A bit longer
after the surprised
interest, the unspoken
concurrence, the first deep
breaths, the wanton flailing
of all that covers, the softest
of hard kisses, the finding
of her eyes.

There is this moment
in the just afterwards
of early morning loving

as my mind flinches
toward the shower and worn denim
and my shoulder reacts against the sunrise

when she says,
"Please don't leave, yet."



The Legendary - Issue 40

An Open Letter to the Emperor

I get it. You went to college
and I went to work. You understand
the Socratic paradox and I know I don’t.
You are certain that I am making everything hotter
while I cannot remember the real lesson
of Galileo and Copernicus.

I get that your heart is bigger than mine,
which explains why you want to spread
my sweat and my time around to those
with less of the one and more of the other.

I get that civilized discourse
means you can call my friends racist
zealots, greedy Nazis, and stupid cunts
while raising my hand requesting the right
to disagree makes me all of the above.

I get that it is much more enlightened
to believe in E.T. than in angels.

I get that diversity is best honored
through the narrow view
of a used up paper towel roll
so that white folks, rich people,
gun-owners, Bible-thumpers
and men cannot be seen.

Ok. I get it. I really do.
It’s just that I thought
I should tell you it’s cold outside
and you might want to put on some clothes.



The Legendary - Issue 40