Friday, January 31, 2014

31/365 : regeneration is science

every 7 years every pin-needle atom of me disappears
without my thinking

who cares if i like it or not
it happens

i am a disappearing person
you are, too

there's nothing love or like can do 
to stop us

Thursday, January 30, 2014

30/365 : digestion

kale and tangerines
beets and pumpkin seeds

people are lovely
but so are these

i want to be alone
and eat quietly

feel your absence
crunch between my teeth

swallow it
and wait

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

29/365 : stardust

i wrote a poem in my head in my bed last night
after i cried myself sightless and small
in his strong bold hold

sometimes, when i orgasm,
the image of myself in my mind
whittles down to a small black coin
flat, collapsed, eternal

i open my eyes and can't see myself
outside or inside
there's nothing to find
but release--

stardust, emptied
and free

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

28/365 : at tree speed

the evergreen truth of
you and me

is we're growing at tree speed
slow and deep

adding rings and roots
shedding leaves, blooming new

standing ancient and tall
inside the crimson heart fog

of an open, unknown tomorrow

Monday, January 27, 2014

27/365 : an ode to portland, upon returning home from san francisco

cloud-blankets of gray
hug the sun
like they miss love

and easy blue sky
gets to rest for a while

while night creeps in
for an unexpected kiss

certain friends show up
to meet you in the dark--
others move to california

Sunday, January 26, 2014

26/365 : eye to eye

i forget so much of the setting.

maybe we sat on dusty chairs
surrounded by sourdough smells
and lavender walls
with strange paisley print
boxing us in.

i'm not so sure
where we were 
when i saw 
i love you 
in his eyes
or later,
i'm leaving
in his mind
how can i find a way out?
i hope she breaks this.

i just know that i saw
two perfect circles of darkness,
and around them
an explosion of want.

browns speckled with dry-grass gold
and new-life greens shooting up between
endless sky-blue sorrowful wonder.

i saw night in his eyes
scanning the waves of
cold-crash-black doubt.

he was a painter--
knew the ways of ocean tumult,
truth splashed in navy midnight madness,
bristles broken and frayed.

the sea was his only way
to say goodbye.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

25/365 : he pulls all my heart strings

i told my mother
i met a nice jewish man
who does magic tricks.
she couldn't see, over the phone,
how much i want to be fooled.

Friday, January 24, 2014

24/365 : I'll stay open for you any day of the week

this is the moment when the Open sign turns off
the light switch clicks down
and I'm just about to lock the door
when I see you running toward me,
my store of simple treasures--
things that sparkle
and pheasant feathers,
tiny notes
carved into leather.

there's a look on your face
that says, wait!
don't close just yet!
there are still some things
I'd like to get!

I let you in.
say, take your time.
I want you to have
what you're looking to find.

I want you to have it all.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

23/365 : 5 minutes on hope

I want to hate hope
because I know
the cost of hoping
and the harrowing
loss of losing
all the time you spent
amusing yourself
with the chance
of something else.

I want to hate hope
because when things don't go
according to dream
what seems like an
earthquake shatters your
heart, and what seems
like suffocating
smothers new starts.

But also--I know a kind of
hope that tips the scale from
fear to love-swell,
from given up
to test my luck
from empty nights
to sun that's bright.

Sure, things might change either way.
But when they do--
when the sky turns blue and
the seasons renew--
it's hope that reminds you
to give up your stronghold,
to soften and bloom, too.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

22/365 : at the flea

cascading royal rugs 
race like a waterfall of blood 
unafraid to gush 
and collapse 
on the flea market floor

and your hand's on my leg 
in the stream of sunlight 
that's flooding my eyes, 
and my eyes can't see 
anything ahead, and ahead 
there's no end in sight.

my hand strokes deer skull sensuality, 
and everything's anything but dead. 

kindness is so alive.
I don't care that you don't see me loving you 
from the other side of the room. 

a pool of precious jewels 
lay between us.
I slip free from my cream lace slip, 
naked skin, paper thin.
I swim through turquoise and silver 
snake skin shimmering like an 
ocean of trust. 

I will not count this as a loss. 
nothing died here. 
I don't care if you can smell the ashes. 
I can feel the love pulsing 
at the warm tips of my fingers 
on the cool shave 
of your honest face,

and I am not sorry 
for sunlight 
or sitting down to write 
in the middle of the end 
of everything that's beginning to grow again.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

21/365 Part 2 : Thank You, Sexy

painters at grocery stores and poets on street corners.
queers in fearless drab and cabbies with hearts of love.

i don't care what color your glasses are, i see glitter.
i see sky-fulls of sun and suns-full of earth.
i see reason after reason to shed and rebirth.

the beauty.
it's a generous flirt
and wants us to flirt back.

21/365 : Between Eugine and Klamath Falls

Nothing's comfortable after midnight on the train. 
Bones crunch into hard angles,
drunks stumble and shout down the isle. 
Someone moans from below,
cry-like and hallow.

No one knows if it's a he or a she, 
or why he's wailing "No!" 
Babies harmonize with his hurt,
the train jolts stopped mid-farm. 

There's so much crying 
that passengers at every edge 
sit on their seat-ledges 
wondering, deer-faced and dumb, 
when the wildness will be done. 

The bells bling. 
The lights sing. 
My blood cries shrill like spires. 
It is not a pretty song. 

The cops crew up and toss the wailer ocean-side, 
field of weeds and cuffed up needs, 
dirt-to-mouth where he belongs. 
"Thatta way!" they say. 
"He was a bag of bad decisions!" 

We set our sails with the sucker off ship. 
Ladies laugh. 
Door knobs jig. 
Everyone pretends they know nothing 
of a sadness so loud it gets dragged out by fire. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

20/365 : Thank God for Wikipedia

I read the entire Wikipedia article about the human heart. Two reasons: 1. I couldn't erase the image of mine doing a strip-tease before yours, losing layers of sores and casting; unshackling from the sacks of shit it had worn like bandages--hoping they'd compost, grow chambers of happier songs. 2. You read things. Which is an understatement. You cannot stop deep-ocean diving. Which is accurate, but not necessarily a compliment, and I want to pay you the highest, so I will give you the best thing I can: my mirroring. I read the entire Wikipedia article about the human heart, because that's something you would do, and I like you. I like the entanglement of our chambers and the songs we sing wildly. I like the tango of our differences, and the way we kiss like promenades. I like wanting to know the cross-walk and the reverse-embrace and each new look on your face as days grow you older and opener. I like your hats, your handsomeness, your eyes dilating because your heart loves to love and your mind loves to learn how to let it. I like your courage, which some people call coarseness, but I think of more as a steady softness, sequoia strength. Which reminds me of something else I want to say: Don't stay. Go. Play. Play as hard as you can at becoming the man you desire. Tire and fill, teeter and till. Work hard because it feeds you and you like the taste of new. Learn cactus secrets and stories from grape residue. Meet yourself, Master Magician: there's nothing you can't do. And while you're pulling table cloths eaten by moths, I'd like to make a request: let me feed you, too. Things your heart wants to eat like Jewish red meat, and I don't mean people, I mean brisket and corn beef, matzoh ball soup that's bone-broth deep. Let me call you home. Hum that ancient song we've both known in our bones from before we ever etched pictures on stones. Before we knew tikkun olam, before we even knew om, the sound of sound, simple and profound. Underneath the ground of language, there is love, and it is speechless. Let us give it. Let us take it. Paint our chambers red and blue.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

19/365 : dance or die

dance or die
over and over again

in the morning
when the hens cry

for the world to remember
that our natural cycles

are dark burst by light
light curtained by dark

sparks of song
that carry us along

through tunnels
of pummeling our way home

no broken ankles here
i will not lose

my moves
even if i'm only breathing

there is no way
to splice my sense

of belonging
of knowing where i am

when i stand
so alive

inside myself

Saturday, January 18, 2014

18/365 : the Internet is no place for Intimacy

these days
I keep my secrets from the Internet

not like back when
I shared them there--
a few people would find my little hide-out
and we'd tumble like illicit lovers
in a late-night world
of feelings and words

now I want you to have them, flesh and scent
bones and movement
crossed legs with only air between us

come closer
lean your shoulder against mine
I want to feel the heat on you
I want to smell the signs
of your mortality
and your sex

I want your fingertips to hold my poems
unscroll my longings
taste my desire
for intimacy

I want you to be with me--

Friday, January 17, 2014

17/365 : The New Fringe

the new fringe has grown beyond
wanting to be seen alone in the light
and into the magic
of wanting to be blessed in the dark

all that talk of vulnerability, of risking everything for love
brought me matchless to the shadows:
broken hips and bruised knees
half a family and no money

i did my clearing, alright

now, i am ready for whispers
promises that say nothing at all
like dreams no one remembers

now, i am ready for soup
potatoes that crumble around healing celery stalks
and ginger root gone wild

now, i am ready to go home
where the stovetop boils over with stories of going farther together
than we could ever go alone

now, i want to plant zennias because you told me to
because there's something you know about springtime--
the color of life in the sunshine
(that it's coming)
and the need to pick sweetness one stem at a time

now, on the other side of giving up
i'm leaning into my luck
that if i play enough
and i plant enough
there will be enough love
to carry us back to the center

Thursday, January 16, 2014

16/365 : I hate knowing the way this thing's going down

part 1

she kept dolls behind glass cases
porcelain shirley temples

her old cheeks kissed her eyes and she'd smile and say things like
well don't you look so darling today
bending over, petting my youth
just like shirley temple with those golden locks!

she was polite and proper and fed me ham sandwiches on potato bread
and made chocolate pudding from scratch with the skin on top
she was as sweet as her award-winning upside-down cake at the howard county fair
she was as kind as a picnic, red and white checkers, baskets overflowing with love

don't tell me she's addicted to pain killers, now
don't tell me she only eats ice cream, now
don't tell me she lives with both TVs on and cries and moans when they don't work, now
don't tell me she wrote a note, now
don't tell me she told him she'll try harder next time
don't tell me it has to be this hard for someone so sweet to die

part 2

i wore dresses that swirled when i spun on the carpet
she sewed me one with six layers of lace

i drank yoohoo at the wooden kitchen table
and watched the squirrels
and listened to baseball

i was not afraid of her age
of her wrinkles, that were soft with powder
of her smell, that was not bodily or rancid
of her mind, that was not torn by depression

we were both far enough from the edges of birth and death
to feel safe playing life together

she's a sunset now
cloudy and cold
in january

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

15/365 : Help

people get old
and then they get really old
and then being around them feels like a walking apology

i don't know where it comes from--
the tangled shameful inner death of the young accompanying the old
how it happens that we all forget what it's like to be held
as if some things breach the land of the lovable
and there are no songs to sing for grumpy goodbyes

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

14/365 : Young Love Revival Part 2

Maybe I'm too old for young love--
for taking the plunge without calculating the drop,
for tangling myself without understanding knots.
I know too much, now.

Or maybe young love isn't tangled at all
but a simple shameless expression of enjoying the fall.

I used to run from across the room--
soar heights before belly flopping the truth
that I don't have real wings.
If I hurt myself, I'd moan a bit, then do it again.

It's time to strip the mattress bare.
I want to jump like I don't care that
I'll land on my belly, and flop.

I want to hear the springs coil.

Monday, January 13, 2014

13/365 : Young Love Revival

Audio recording software >>

the age of earnest eager love is not dead
i am not too old and knowing
too bruised from showing my interest
to show up and kiss you three songs longer
than what would make me strong
and untouchable

i will not be untouchable
behind a locked glass case
i will be breakable
and you will see it on my face
not with fear, but with that
young brave smear of ready for more
hot cheeks on yours
open doors
generous gestures

i will call in sick for you
i will detail my history for you
i will write new rules for you
that have nothing to do my wounds
and everything to do with what i want to do:

love you, like love is new
like i haven't been so bruised
like we can choose
to stay past the fear of staying too long
i will lean in, and i will hum this song:

you're the one i love
you're the one i need
you're the only one i see
come on, baby, it's you!

i will stand belly to belly with you
forehead to forehead with you
nose to nose with you
and i will whisper my earnest eager truth:
baby, it's you.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

12/365 : I'm Not Willing

Record music and voice >>
(audio track)

i'm not willing to be uncomfortable for you

this is the line she told me i need to find
in my mouth, rolling off my tongue
as soon as i've begun to compress

i'm not willing to be uncomfortable for you

strong stranger, aggressive man
quiet seducer, sneaky hands

i'm not willing to be uncomfortable for you

not for your hunger, not for your thirst
this is not about you being put first
not any longer

i'm not willing to be uncomfortable for you

close dancer, space stealer
interrupter, anger wielder

i'm not willing to be uncomfortable for you

not for your dominance
not for your game
not for your desire
to use or to claim

i'm not willing to be uncomfortable for you

not for the point you're trying to prove
that's stacked above the higher truth
that we're equal here
you don't get to beat me
there will be no wins at my expense

i'm not willing to be uncomfortable for you

Saturday, January 11, 2014

11/365 : An hour to live

give me an hour to live
and i'll dance truth blindfolded
splatter paints
across a naked lake of skin
kiss and kiss and kiss again

give me an hour
and i'll jump in the river
die with a wet head
shea buttered body
earth-fed, erotic

give me a hour
and i'll dig holes with my hands
finally understand
the hard brown brittleness
of my timelessness--

these hands
their lines
that are changing
and finding
their story
in the roots of
i'm not sorry to be this alive

give me a hour to live
and i'll give it all away
my attention on our ascension
eternal pupil

give me an hour to give
and i'll hold you
like i'm holding me--

like we all need
to be both inseparable
and instinctual--
wild and tied
to the inevitably wise
tethered together

give me an hour to live
and i'll build bridges
out of sticks
from my heart to your hips
from your hips to my forgiveness
from my forgiveness to our

we're trying
we're trying
we're trying

give me an hour to live
and i won't miss it
on wishing
or fear
i'll give it all back
i'll give it all up
ya hear?

Friday, January 10, 2014

10/365 : "You Forgot to Remember," He Told Me

don't remind me
of the kind of
that chases mud
splatters laughter
inhales mischief
until we're just around the corner
out of sight
from the angry might
of the man who shouts down
our fireworks

don't remind me of fireworks

i just started fancying the rain

Thursday, January 9, 2014

9/365 : over and over again

i reserve the right
to write the same poem
from every angle

i will fill books
with the same looks
because i love them
(and need them)
enough to love them
(and need them)
even on their off days

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

8/365 : It' A Matter Of Survival

we disguise boredom as sadness
(oh, the ways we tell ourselves that we're sad!)

but it's just hard to remember
that we're wildly creative and mad

that we can pick up the damn legos
and build whimsical towers

that we can pick up our brushes
and paint pictures for hours

that it's actually easy to
make messy things

out of sticks, like sparks
that start fires in our hearts

we're so tired of being small flames--
too scared to show up and play

but we're grown ups now
we can fan the fire if we so please

no one's stopping us
any longer
from shimmering gold and free

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

7/365 : shared candle light at 4am, and weed and tequila and time travel

we!--we are meant for
nonsense! the goopey middle
madnesses of art
imitating god

leave your door unlocked
i'll stray-cat paw my way in
meow around the table
as you sing and sing and sing

i'll be the smoke curling off
of your soft chimney lips
and the crimson red acrylic
that you finger paint with

good thing i know time travel
because every time you're about to move away
i squeeze months inside of days
and find the love in me to say

i'm so happy we have this, now

Monday, January 6, 2014

6/365 : Alone is Louder

fall apart in private.
not because
we can't handle
seeing you cry,

but because
crying alone
at first
is louder

and you've
earned your
to shout.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

5/365 : Roughed Up

i don't know you and you don't know me
but the sun's out today and everything looks blonde n' free

gutters glitter with broken sporks n' corner-store bags
trees are barren, web-shadows are cast

i'm dancing my recovery
at last, at last, at last

trembles snake through me
i crack, i crack, i crack

the others dance past me
i'm thankful for that

the long night teaches a thousand ways to say no
it's hard to grow

so strong, and unladylike

Saturday, January 4, 2014

4/365 : Poetry-Worthy

not another poem about a kid
i think sarcastically

as if pink tutus dancing without drugs
or the guru-like watching of a robin on the ledge
or reckless imagination, or 
    exponential brain growth, or 
    saying a fifth of your words completely upside-down
    and tongue-tied by stutter-slurred joy

isn't poetry-worthy

i'll tell you what's poetry-worthy:
this girl gave herself her own middle name
she said call me Nahni FlameShaker Story
and then she fell on the floor roaring
call me FlameShaker! 
and then she spun like a natural disaster
call me FlameShaker!
it's pewrfect! 
it's pewrfect!
it's pewrfect!

i'm tired of writing poems about
god and existentialism
and totally leaving out the light

this 5 year old magic
walks right into my room
throws the door shut behind her
shakes the flames
and then exclaims
I have an idea!
puts her finger in the air
and creates it without fear

she asks for help--
all the time!--
help with the scotch tape!

she makes messy 5 year old drawings and calls them pewrfect
she helps me put my socks on
she helps me fold my underwear
she dances until she don't know where she is
and then under there, she makes boats outta things

if kids aren't poetry-worthy
i don't know what is--
and you can take away my license for this
this thing where i'm writing
to say something
worth saying

i try so hard to make it pewrfect--
these words about the light--
i labor and labor and then say's just not right 

but that's just the grown-up in me
rambling like she's scared to be free
luckily, there's a kid in here in, too,
she stays up all night, n' knows just what to do
with the pen
and the tape
the magic truth
that's hard to say

she just says it
simple as a kid

Friday, January 3, 2014

3/365 : WET HAIR

W onderous news, that
E ven now, at
T wenty six, I can feel the

H oly silky cool tickle of
A ll these wild locks
I nnocent and spiraling
R unning loose across my back into the morning.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2/365 : You Will Labor For It

we can't always count on the light
to wake us, buzzing from our silent dreams--

the cooing, careening owl song,
the old clean sage-smoke only buffalo can know.

we think, some of us people,
that we will wake and walk into something important

outside ourselves, aglow--
a new day, a bright sun, eternal blueness.

but i'll say it plainly: 
your waking won't be, at last, an external sunrise.

it will be your own,
and you will labor for it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

1/365 : SNAKE

S o much for powerless stories.
N o reason, now, to fear poison.
A scension claims my insides,
K ills my doubt,
E ats the little me, spits her out.

Thank you, Elan Morgan, for the beautiful inspiration. Holy hell, here I go. I will write a poem a day until 12/31/2014.