cloud forest

my baby taught me what’s good about being alone:
the magnetic pull of grace—

wisteria, cafe molido, sky laced with western gulls
every morning with the windows gaping
spores of spring sneaking up flesh sleeves
brushed tin percolator brim boiling to the
temperature, despite the altitude, of my own
heightened senses right now
swinging clocks and quiet trees at work
we learned how to break time when we challenged the sound barrier
but i just want to enjoy right now this moment
to salivate a memory

right now, how do i get back to that place
must i faint at the fringes
(is there no other way?)
must i always need like rock’n’roll
cups of steam, herb-stained teeth
slithering into a black dress in the essential mountain fog
mistaken for someone else only for the night
candle burning between me and a serious man
downed our drinks and steeped our bodies in the harbor
thick tannin made for muddy water
we couldn’t sludge out of—

(that was years ago.)

right now, i toe-grip the sand near world’s end
but not lonely,
thinking how you’d enjoy the view.


escape from jersey city

peppermint chamomile dreamin’

half-tea fuzzy sleepwalking to

where logic and yogic converge

climbing up the palisades

spiked hands on abstracts

tourniquet in fever-sheets

strands of hair caught in knots

like bark splitting gums from teeth

killing metropolis, called the cops

off the grid, no river too wide to cross—

you know where you’re going,

but do you know where you’ve been?

float, 5 minutes

soak your body in salt
to reverse its course:

while you are dreaming
does time flow fast or flow slow;

can you decipher your currents
from the ocean’s own;

I’m wavelengths away
a profession muffled
an underwater echo;

if you succumb to the depths,
do you think you could hear me?

white paint

i wish i could write epitaphs for all the dead peacemakers
musicians and philosophers
but, logistically, i can’t

i don’t know how anyone expects me to write for these people
and their admirers
for the people who need to be written for — not about
can anyone else speak a couplet on it,
and not sound like white paint on stripped fences?

“i’m nervous
i’m not in denial;
t r u sssss ttt  m eee, i feeeeeel itt too
it’ ss jusss tt harrr dddd to capppp turrr e”

i can only be empathic when the sun in me is shining
i will only love you on good days
when i love myself
when my hair is lightest, skinny gut

i will always write love to the wrong lovers —
     prized voyeurism, invisible man for whom i kick open the door
     a handsome jaguar or screeching bluejay —
and for the wrong causes — solitude in sadness
     there’s a whole world out there, babygirl
     you only need to want it badly

i love you, but i want to love people more
i want to be brought to knees
in contrast and saturated color
though my upbringing, through the—

     concrete bricks
     i slid my back down
     when the 3x-held-back boys
     ripped the seams of my levis
     called me blondie and
     revealed my pink florals
     stole my cotton candies
     so i bruised myself and cried
     my mom picked me up early
     the nurse called alligator tears and
     i’m still that same salty blur

while no one is watching and
when i know you are watching most closely,
i write for you and
try not to let the keys spill out my pockets
a jangling noise expanding guilt
onto the floor


when the well runs dry, I hope you think of me
as the water that shivvered away
when you denied thirst

a freeflowing mass that goes wherevver needs filling
to whomevver needs filling
they call to me as deserts and plains
mouths open like tributaries
confessions prolonged and I’vve got to hear them
sixty-percent buoyant, forty-percent mystery
the neck is a bridge over a rivver to the body of an ocean
we swim within ourselvves
and just as much in others

when you forget me,
I hope you remember me as the perpetual force
winding mill of revvelations
the vvolume displaced
when you no longer needed water
to survvivve

act appalled

And so I steal my love back
All of it, at once
Actually Bukowski’s On Love
Because it is the antithesis of what I’m looking for
It’s shit, really
So, naturally, I gotta have it
And he knew very little of it – at least of the upkeep
But we know everything about it
Because we’ve lived it
Because we are it
Because there is little to know, but all to be

      Just be

But then — the apple bites back
(the heart is not inside)
And we both recoil at the sight of our once-favorite fruit

      Just being takes work

Pushing a rickety shopping cart through the intersection
Lighting a joint as you coast through the intersection
Crashing into the shopping cart pushed by the man rolling through the intersection
While lighting your joint
He’s got your face, my expression:

      Act Appalled

Be edgy with your mind,
He says
I am always on the edge!
Of mind and
Of everything else
I says,
And most all movements perpetrated by the mind
So that makes everything—
I need to be dulled

Sharpen your ax-eye-tooth
Go split some wood in the forest
Kill for survival
Something unpleasant and bloody
Then return to me
Do unto me like you have done to nature

Meanwhile, I will search for the
Rain that feels like sun
Rain that energizes and concentrates its iron in the ores of my body
To not feel nothing
To not feel everything
All at once


I fill myself up with you
and become less like me,

yet your smell doesn’t stick
you offer large Ts or flannels after
I decline, scooping my gloom garb from the floor
sliding into anonymity and out the cracked front door

I fill myself up with you
balsam and cedar tonic straight shot
my eyes write over you like a printing press
taking you in so I can pull myself out and through

no matter what or how much you douse on me,
I remain: porous.