april tanka

   round red pomo-naut
   you are the apple growing my belly
       and the cyanide tumoring my brain
            wet slice of cantaloupe
                ripe black opium
                    static stalking radio pollen
                        cadet blue overalls
                            creamy sweaters sway
                                plum sap showers ooze (on the lettered keys)
you make my sensor tendrils sticky—

I wish I could convince your scent
                                your taste your feel
                                    to stay
                                        to come closer
                                            to turn into touch
pale winter hands reaching for
                                        shy rosebuds
                                                                shattering pale pink globes
                                                    of ice


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?

two rubber soles

ashes tryna burn through cotton
pierced a perfect circle in her canvas shoes
sketched a portrait of a hidden hemisphere
glossed 180 degrees behind his eyes
it smolders there longer than it should
peach fuzz sizzles on a hot grill
seared tinge of dna syrup sweeter
than lingering in bed on winter mornings

there’s skin underneath more than silver
& bones cauldron of flowers simmering
when she blushes she blooms sighs out
a house on fire drowns within itself
tried to save her once but the pain feels better
watching embers melt oil landscapes off walls
tried to save her twice but joint her instead
evidence in feeling crossed legs in bed

ashes burned through cotton:
two rubber soles

just a drop

I lose myself
in wonder

in the build-up, in anticipation
in the not-quite-there-but-almost
in the under-pressure-frantic-maybe

what parts
what (or who) do I aim to lose?

I shiver on dancefloors, grazing skin
of strangers, I’m a thief of sensation

I soak my thighs in my own salt,
feigning self-love in vain but with grace

my ego withers on long walks, stretching
the length of tissue between head and heart

I lose myself in moving while
skimming remnants of you floating like foam on crests
and avoiding the desire — broken glass, bottle caps — that dwells (hides) below
if I bleed here, it will sting so I
keep tip-toed and hollow-bellied
instilling fear in feeling of depths I cannot see

I lose myself
in all I want
– he never loved you, Jo, but at least he was honest –
as not to lose myself
in your sea


I laid my hand as a sill against my brow

peered for you down the corridors,
but you were the window:

the distant beaming quasar I’ve only ever viewed through
a telescope
the escaping ray refracted and lost in a pool,
my bare legs wading beneath the surface
with filament kisses I couldn’t feel nor taste

the sun glossed over your human features
and glared off my diamond-mind
emitting ultraviolent solar flares

the light melted when you reached up
white orbs in your hands

you held an emotion under pressure

I watched it trickle through the tectonic plates of your fingers

and you let the gold surge with gravity
through your steel-toe soul
to the ground
where it flowed to my feet
and hardened

and there, in that place
I couldn’t move I couldn’t see
I feared to ask, where are you going?

I didn’t know that I was the vacuum

and you said, right here.


today is
for the feeling of things

today is
for the feelers

today is.

to get something out of nothing
to pick a poem out of the breeze,
out of thin air, one might say,
but out of nothing comes something
if you shake it hard enough

I’ve belief in these superstitions,
do you?

do you think the very next break
of the levee comes here, not there,
from your fingertips and your nervous system
and not from the stuff of ponds and cigars
and books?

today is full.


the stress
the stress
the stress

you’re so stressed out, your sweet little mind,
I’ve belief it’s not supposed to be this way.

will you come with me
will you,        today?

we sit inside, strangers to the neighbors
just an arms reach through the wall
on the other end of a telephone wire

they, too, nap quietly
they have no knowledge of us

would you dare to go there?
out of the dark
and into the bright lights
so temporary and blinding
to nocturnes like us

we can’t see it,
but there’s something in that nothingness,
I believe in it,
it bounces off our radars
off our heads like rain pelting black umbrellas

we will go for a walk

let’s try grabbing the wind,
restrain him, beat him down
for all his money and tears
we won’t see him,
but we’ll know he’s there
like all things that exist
but are too stubborn or lazy
to be revealed


the angry kettle rumbles,
a jealous competitor of the most recent storm.
if you don’t stop him, he’ll see no reason
to cool his temper,
but either will find a medium
be it to scorch your tongue
or rain all day long
so you can’t leave your corner.

you enjoy the steam elevating
from a ceramic cup or
it rises from the ears
to the sky,
the strands of the delicately aged pensivity
vaporized to clouds.

you remember when you didn’t hold tight
to a balloon,
naïve to objects
coming and going
without a maker
conducting the tidy course of transgression:

there’s so much deceit
in art,
and they say
art imitates life,
and humans are part of nature
and they say there’s no path to truth –
and they say.

it just doesn’t seem fair,
does it?

you have to sit and wait
for the boil
while your essence dissipates,
the minerals settle,
and there’s no straining through
a mass as it fades.

you sip gingerly
or you gulp it down
risking burns of degrees,
knowing, at least you have the freezing rain
to soak you in your own foolishness.