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i'm writing againthe last few notes
of yellow ledbetter
was the first crackle
of the radio when we dropped
acid by the ocean. it
was the most beautiful sound
i had ever heard.
and when the walls were
filling up with black red
blood and turning, delicately,
my life was wrapped around your
wooden frame, and your eyes
were spaceless visions
of a dead star. your name, ah
i roll it over my fingers
in your car i am a desert singer.
the wind scrapes my arm and weeps
with all the colors of green that
i've never even seen before. for once
i forget the mantra, 'we are the worst
things we ever did. nothing less. nothing
more.' and i tell you that i want to go fast.
well the day passed into night
and the sky was big and black as an oven,
with the moon as yellow as an orgasm, and just as bright
we watched it devour the water and spit
from it's belly to the tide. in your ear i say,
'open wide, open wide.' we are just as
heavy as we are light.
it's good to stay
tethered to the earth,
to have my feet in the ground,
on yesterdaythere are still places in me
that should not be still
a drink and a smoke and
a drink and a pill,
i think and a smoke and
a sink and i spill
a day when i
the missus and the mister
drive calm in their corvette,
her hair protected with a net-
his eyes cast narrow past her neck,
they are not tall where they are short.
and was yesterday
a day when i was
keen of all
a body at a top of a hill must come down
there is no right, or left,
a soul at the top of the hill must
fall and shatter.
small beaches carry my weight
in unreturned breaths,
i carry my stomach and have yet
to frame my beloved for my murder.
and the kind men remain kinder, too kind-
for if i am tired, i will surely sleep.
if i am bored, i shall surely wander.
if i am sad, i will merely weep.
kind men, hearts all asunder,
purge your efforts on some
and close your eyes, soundly.
remain deaf and dumb to the
fruits of salt and cum
was surely a day
where my bones would ki
on sitting across from a stranger at davis libraryi wonder if anyone has ever sat
across from you and wrote a poem about you
even though they don't know you.
i wonder if anyone has ever done
this for me. i hope when you go home
you don't wash your hair. i like that it's messy
and long. if i were a ladybug i would like to sleep
there. i would tunnel just beneath the top layer
and shudder my wings to a close and have dreams of fields
of wheat. i hope you can see how this is a good thing.
and i hope you don't change your clothes. i hope you wear
a sweater everywhere you go. i like that the one you're wearing now
is brown and without a pattern. its not ambitious or pretentious. if i
were a flea, i'd perch on your shoulder for company until i got hungry.
i wouldn't bite you and wouldn't know why in my tiny insect mind.
i hope you never wear contacts, and i hope sometime you fall
asleep with your glasses on. i hope you never talk on the telephone
except once a week to your grandmother. i hope you never peel your stickers
off your laptop, no
on skimming the surfacedear ex-lovers,
dear ex-friends, dear little brother,
i have taken all the posters down and my room is a skeleton.
i wonder why you are sad and i am not.
i have taken time and care to grow into these walls
to plant memories here, first fuck
first sleepless night, first question of suicide,
i have collected bones-
here see them in my closet-
i have broken them all.
love was not strong enough to keep me here,
and love is not strong enough, after
on being a woman'what's a pretty lady
like you doin' smokin' cigarettes?'
'if i fucked you
for every time i've
you wouldn't think i was such
a lady anymore,
and what's a clever fella like you
doing minding my business for me,
i am not a lady-
i do not curve my appetites,
i do not curve through the waist and hips,
i please for my own pleasure,
i soak in my own sweat,
i fuck for my own glory.
tiddly tum, hidden harems and come,
i am the singular player in my play,
i am the prologue, intermission, and final act
every love i have known has been fueled by
my own fury, every discovery dug up by my own
destiny, every body of water i touched, i touched
with my own skin, i am not domestic, i am imported-
virgin beer on saintly lips, i am not comely nor
forthcoming, i offer my bed to no soldier, i take
what i can and give what i can, i do not plea or
placate or play the victim with my eyelashes-
my father says one day, i will be a lady and
take my rightful place to the left and behind
Tattooed in My Tear DuctsI don’t know any big words
and I don’t drink tea and I haven’t read
all the classics and my hair is a startling
shade of ash blonde, if you’re being
generous. I would call it grey. I will not
impress you. And maybe that’s impressive
enough. You will always get an honest
reaction from me.
My mother drinks tea though,
earl grey, and chai and chamomile,
she thinks it will heal her, make her
sleep. But sleep and healing are not
the same things.
I have run from monsters
to find them in my sleep, and by run
I mean get high, and by monsters,
I mean me. If sleep is a mirror
we are all doomed. I’ve seen myself,
eyes red and raccooned, reaching
for some comfort and I had to explain
that my lips swell when I cry. All I wanted
was for you to say that I look pretty when
I have come to realize two things:
one, that everything I want is not good for me and
two, I am not the worst things I ever did.
I am not the worst things I ever did.
I want this tattooed i
on walking with your lover half stoned and deaddo you remember-
all those summers,
different loves with
love was quiet
it was not a
word. it was not
something to be said
or heard or understood.
remember the glances?
the ones that stuck and
held and caused a swelling
in the soul that surfaced in the
eyes and the bite of the bite of the mouth
on the thighs and the drunk and weary restless
nights where salvation was dead but hope was high
because love was not a word, or a scream, or a cry
but a look and a touch and a moan and a sigh
remember those first glances?
before the love, predating love, existing
outside of it, tugging one body to another body
through delirious crowds and clothes and existing
thoughts and ideas of what is and how it works. that first glance
that denied the mind its reasons, denied the earth its seasons,
because this was something outside
remember those big eyes?
the naked ones. fully undressed
but most naked in the eyes. little
secrets were passed through sets of
teeth and the only wo
love is strange
working through many avenues-
sometimes, it takes a peak
of shoulders through a slim
other times, it takes a year of
friendship and not caring if she
fucked your friends or not, if
your friends loved her
and still other times, it takes a bed
and too many hands and not enough
space and little time to wait and no
time to waste-
and no time to wait.
whatever you do don't stop breaking my hearti'm not ready to give in but
i can feel you breathing regret
& resignation. i can feel you
breathing underwater in
between our bodies. i can feel
you feeling less & less &
it feels more real
than drowning & it's worse
& it keeps getting worse
like knowing you
will die a slightly
different death every day.
all wrongso i'll start the drinking into oblivion
after you leave because i'm more graceful
on my own, glassless, grass-fed,
godhead lonely & godless.
i'm more all right all alone where
i can't look at myself, from here
when you're far out, taking the bus back
home, which i wanted to be me
by the time i almost knew
i wasn't. if the bus hadn't come i could have
blamed my not so accidental wishes,
my back & forth desire, but you're already
gone. & no, it's not so terrible but right now
we're drunk & i'm fucking sad,
all right, i'm just sad
& with you & it happens at the same time
sometimes. i get sad & godless &
i sit down without a dream of getting up.
no, you're not awful & no
it isn't the worst but it just
feels pretty fucking bad
transcendencei live alone inside a house of cards
or over two hundred slats of bone.
i make my home in a house like high art,
high-ribbed, bearing my voice from the stars,
from deep in the fire-pits & through the chimney-hole.
i live alone inside a house of cards,
where i keep clipped the wings of my heart,
even my dungeons warped, collapsible.
i make my home in the road of the lark
or a ship, oak-blood & pitch filling the parts
in my timbers, swimming in veins gone shallow.
i live alone inside a house of cards,
a minced prison lousy with blade-scars
for counting the days, skin thin as a willow
where i make my home out of tree-bark,
my ridges withered & holy enough to start
again as a caterpillar’s dappled coat.
i lived alone inside a house of cards;
i give my bone-home back to the yard.
predreamthe night before last i shut
my brain up again, let myself go,
let myself feel the blood feeling
its way to my toes, let myself
not think of anything but pine
cones & the insides of the word
no, how everything must get
curled up severely in its patient
wheels, how sometimes no means
the end premature, but how no
lets me clam up pretty, how it saves
me from the real evils inside my
head, how the dead skin & ideas
crumble into a mess i can't clean
up so i ward them off with no,
so i tell them how to go & how it's
not so bad being alone, how i lied
to my insides to keep them going,
how i told the lie to my father
for his heart & a good laugh.
the night before last i cut out
my magazine flesh for fingers
to hold your hand. the night before
last i cut myself into stanzas
so no one would run out of
breath. the night before last i
met myself like a wish i never
would have made, like a flower
made of cloth settled into your
curls, cropped close to the neck.
waste the fairthe madness passes:
it passes for something
or other while it happens,
indulges the helpless
masses in love & art,
provides for nothing but
imagination, the mad
hatted casting for someone
to hold onto as it passes
& maybe i had you
for a mad moment, for
a sad sometime right
now in between the
illusion of the scene
where we're together in
the green green spring
of our everything but
the madness is passing,
now, right now how
we walk without touching
hands in the wind
anymore, no holding the
cold out of ourselves,
no rhyming sounds
to villanelle our time
into something so
beautiful it doesn't
matter how the madness
passes or that it's passed
away, the euphemistic
way we aren't dead but
left which is supposed
to be easier but feels
instead like betrayal,
like you could be at
fault for leaving me
behind alive to pass my
madness through the fat
stupid happiness of mass
transit where i'm the only
one madly missing you
before you've passed.
but you never got more than two verseseach way from the train i'm clutching at my throat,
i am a songbird with fingers trying to claw it out
of the way of the words i have locked, snuffed,
settled into me like marrow, perforating
the sparrow's heart until suddenly i am alone
& i straighten & hum & fumble through cobwebs
until my throat opens up on its own, the full bellow
of my soul my own bizarre surprise, hollowing
me in the cold, shivering from inside of my bones,
a deep deep i wish i had known existed, how the chill
thrilled the hairs up from my skin all over sobering
any stilling fill i felt, when i realise i am not
alone, & cough & it begins closing again, sick
& restless & empty in the way of mules.
merry gowhen the end of the day starts
to cry behind me i fly to comfort you
& your voice is two stone walls
to nowhere, mismatched, disconnected
& middling, empty of everything
that means you to me, a meaningless
echoing from birch stumps into the swell
of my back & i realise we built ourselves
askew from the beginning & i've been
following the sick trick of your lips
to find it chasing me in circles until
i'm alone with myself & the feeble
drops suckling the dry riverbeds
in the sooty ghost of our forest home.
morning gulls flying homethe bows of
my red shoes
could have been
wings if i just
believed the way
was free, if i
believed the way
i believed you
did, if i freed
you to believe
about us or
but instead i
heels, i planted
the curse of my
self in your
head, i stopped
flying away &
i stopped starting
again & leaving
while you were
to pull up your
roots, one by one from
the barren sand.
one lusty sunset in the life of a sugar faeriewe sat by the water admiring
our licorice silhouettes as the sun set.
i crawled onto the dock & lay
on my back to see the thin top glitter
or the rest of the milky way,
holding my lower lip between my teeth
like i have important things
to worry about. i lay there thinking how
proud i could have made my
family but i chose to be me instead.
i am ready to be great. i am
ready to be the happiest candied pauper
in the dream you dreamed.
you crawl over to me & my heart ticks on.
no, my heart has ticks on. no,
my heart’s disease is you. i love being sick.
i hold your hand to prove it exists.
i just liked the way this sounded in my headmy breath was like dropping cold
keys on a colder kitchen counter. i was gray
with an a for a day when you went
a way. on your own you trumpeted
the clouds and sent for "Los Angelos"
as your mexicana abuela would say-a.
you asked me what
to do with my
mother's china set. throw it away. i said,
burn it. you did not
ask me about this.
kay. babe i loved you a long time
Twenty-three years before the crippling of Crown Prince James III
He was fourteen and she was probably aged about the same, give or take a few years. It had been an hour since he'd met her.
He hated her already.
She scowled behind him and likely shared the sentiment as they scampered up the hillside in a desperate attempt to escape the roaring mob that seemed to be growing perpetually larger and coming ever-closer. Gabriel would have liked to say that it was all her fault he was in this situation, though it was his careless nicking ofwhat was it? A chicken that started the first old woman running, but how was he supposed to know that she'd stumble and fall and everyone else would think he'd assaulted her?
He hadn't. He'd taken the chicken, snapped its neck and run, because he hadn't eaten meat in weeks and he was starting to feel the affects on his already weak limbs.
This is what happens, he thought. This is what happens when you live like th
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