April 14, 2017

ricochet


that old skylight opened 
again

struck by lightning 

s/he 

traveled

spontaneously

holding something lost

briefly cupping

a birth of star

light years behind

already dead

as it glowed

their rituals in repose
bathed in fear
yet
clothed in hope

the world has its ways
to spin us 
in love
or pain

and we think 
all over each other
like paint sealed
windows

how sweet the air
must be

on the other side





March 29, 2017

Saṃsāra

the crushing happened instantly
down she went
flattened like pizza dough
a ball of potential
breath stolen
vacuumed away
blown to bits
across the street
down the hill
she flew
erratically
flittered
sputtered
hacked and coughed 
you
up

wounded bundled
shivering
aching bones
fevered
moans
on your deathbed
she stayed
too many years

rosy cheeks pinched her face
words unsaid hung 
rotted meat
butcher's maze
buzzing stinging salty
loss

these are the times we learn the most
kicked in the gut
illusions delusions
melting ice cream
in the dirt

a re-birth delayed
finally
came the time
dig a hole
deep as she could
open exhale red-hot lungs
hurt-ness
spit
muddy grave

luscious woman
bountiful beauty
silent descent

deeper than you
dared
to
dive




February 26, 2017

The Still House

The last light of today beckons 
top of the hill
a faint shade of blue gets darker with each blink
Venus, the evening star fiery white
brilliantly hovers
planetary eye
ebony trees 
always patient
strong
like sentinels
sway

knowingly

The house is still
save for mouse-like me
boiling water
that whispers
rather than whistles
even the walls seem to 
breathe
quietly

cold night
arrives

a fire
sounds nice.







February 19, 2017

Cochlea

Wispy, 2007

If you want me to remember you
I do

all of me
cellularly.

This season grey
rain swollen
blackwet trees
me-lan-cho-li-a 
covered in
delicious time
to ponder
to find
microscopic snails
peacock pyrite
handspun fibers
of banana
foreign wool
weaving things
I'll never gift
to you

The grass lays down
slumped green tired
dancers
weighted
overwatered.

If you want me to remember you
I do

parts of me
painfully.

To the top of places I go
smiling eyes
hello
quick dart
slow down
marbled ground
consuming
tactile
clay beneath my nails
music lost
swinging
swaying
animal chorus
praying.

The words you do not use
leaves a bruise
a blue black purpleish hue
that I hope does not fade.

Eve by Auguste Rodin


February 12, 2017

Centrifugal Force


Part One

We didn't know a storm was coming when we set out on our bikes that day. The plan was to ride into town and sit by the water with our books of the moment. I'm not sure what I was reading that weekend. Often I would steal a couple Stephen King books my dad had finished. I devoured novels (the thicker the better) and was quite content to dive into Ray Bradbury or Maya Angelou for five hours on a lovely Saturday afternoon. My spot was on our ivory love seat next to the window and dad's was on the larger matching couch.  I loved that love seat. I loved calling it a love seat. We were proud of those couches, long overdue comforts for our brand new mobile home. Isn't it funny how you adopt furniture like it's a family member?

Days like that we didn't talk until the sun had moved clear across the trailer park. Shadows grew longer and one of us would get up to stretch, open the door to exclaim about losing an entire afternoon mumbling about time. However, on this particular day we made a plan to get our asses in gear. I'm sure we packed sandwiches: usually peanut butter and jelly or tuna fish with either pistachios or plain potato chips in those little plastic bags that folded. I hated those baggies, the snacks always fell out. I think they came with twist-ties which I never used. Dad always carried a backpack and I had a fanny pack to stash a pack of Sweet Tarts I hoped he'd buy plus whatever little shells or stones I'd surely find. I was nine, he was thirty and it was just the two of us.

The main road leading to town wasn't a bike friendly route, but it was the only way there. We left the nearly silent dirt road in our small community. Dad barked orders at me, "Go faster, stay to the right, stop weaving in and out, use hand signals!" I could always hear a held back chuckle just beneath the surface. I knew he was trying to make me stronger. Looking back, I can see it worked. Tobacco fields and pine trees lined the road filling my nostrils with earth and familiarity. I'm not sure how many miles but it seemed to take forever as most things do to children. The sun browned my skin and white clouds beckoned us towards Swansboro and the Atlantic Ocean. The General Store welcomed us and our trusty steeds(I was really into Little House on the Prairie, Native Americans and hardy women living the pioneer life). We didn't have a t.v. at that time so my imagination was a wondrous place and as an only child I had endless freedom to let it run wild.

THE GENERAL STORE was the the best place in all of North Carolina as far as I was concerned. The year was 1990 but it may as well have been 1950 inside that place. It was filled with stick candies in swirly colors, golden honey in tiny jars, fancy greeting cards on thick paper, sodas in bottles with hinged well made lids that reminded me of Germany and the beers my dad loved there. I missed Europe and its strangeness. Everything in Frankfurt had been different and I ached for the smell of tiny see through green erasers attached to foreign pencils, long red skinny sweet-n-sour licorice in white paper bags. My mom used to let me walk across the street to buy sweets myself with a handful of Deutschmarks. I missed the wild white horses we fed apples to after school and the way the wood floors smelled in the enormous room at the top of our apartment building. The light was glorious in that space. I loved to run up all the flights of stairs and tiptoe in the vastness, spinning and feeling the ghost of Anne Frank, or so I thought.

Swansboro had its own ghosts and they called to me in so many ways. I can see that now. The Native blood was steeped like strong tea in every patch of dirt we walked upon. I'd spend hours digging up fossils in our yard and feeling eyes on me in the woods. Twenty seven years later my experiences from that land still sing.

I walked the aisles of the store looking at all the wonderful things in baskets: funny jams, kaleidoscopes and pinwheels. Seascape postcards we always bought to mail to the long line of friends left behind in other towns, for my grandma (and papa) who often sent perfect cursive letters to us;  postage stamps, a cream soda and a seat near the sea with my dad. A perfect Saturday. The boats drifted by, we laughed about the time we tried to fish, I caught an eel that bit me on the finger and how the Japanese man nearby silently wielded a huge knife to chop the eel in half freeing me, then asked if he could take the slippery devil home.  

The lazy day passed with sparkling sun spots on calm waters and passersby with dogs and small children running. Dad's dark hair and blue eyes fit in with the people around us, but I always felt out of place in that beautiful, bittersweet backwoods town. I'd look at his face for acceptance and nowhere else. We were two space cadets flying by the seat of our pants. A mismatched perfect match.

After awhile the clouds darkened and he went inside to ask the owner if she'd heard anything about rain. I wandered in restless and ready to get back to our little silver trailer among the pines. I heard her voice rise in that southern drawl I still hardly recognized. 

"Ya'll rode your bikes here? Oh you wanna use our phone for a ride?  You got someone you can call? There's a hurricane comin'. It ain't s'posed to be real big or nuthin', but you can't ride them bikes out there." 

She stood behind the counter with her pale chubby fingers tapping the wooden counter. I could feel my dad's testosterone levels rise. Uh oh. He was a Marine Goddamnit. I could hear his thoughts, and even though a nervous knocking appeared in the depth of my belly I knew we would surely be riding our bikes home. We walked down the wide weathered steps, the crunching of gravel led us to our trusty steeds just as big fat rain drops hit our grim faces.

"Let's go."


February 11, 2017

strangers on this road we are on...


"So where are you going to I don't mind

If I live too long I'm afraid I'll die

So I will follow you wherever you go

If your offered hand is still open to me

Strangers on this road we are on

We are not two we are one"


February 10, 2017

A L E T H E A


the last coiling
came tenderly

imperceptible
breaths

slow dancing
around words
like vines

i forgot my namesake
drunken sinking with your 

eyes
on me

i should have remembered
verity


though how can one know
how muddled these things
go

we're light trapped in a cage
locked by ourselves
tricky sticky shadows
fools

i need a spell
a potion

to place you among
hardly remembered
once enamoured
curios

in the amber light
some nights
i
dance alone
slow beating drums
mournful spheres

snaking spine
hips
descend


February 7, 2017

sensitive

a darkened room
hollowed sound
bring me in
hold me down
this world spins
too fast
i cannot be
silent safety
needingly

fold me 
origami small
cradle
cup
don't let me fall






February 5, 2017

beacon


slipping you
in the dark
en pointe over rocks
moments lost
dissolving paradox
reading-ripples night light moon
your bare wrist
calls to me
unsaid saying

 mise en place

weave you gently in
skin touch skin

begin again
(let's)

take the cue
of your veins
tree shaped lungs
stardust reins
unfold yourself
loose the tight

let our death
be what might
lift your gaze

see beyond
roughest cliffs 
lonesome night

leave behind
thoughts you think
soon you'll see
our road 
bends wide

wildflowers appear

come inside

spiral stairs
yes
you are right on time

up you wind
softly tread
i know your steps
withdrawing exploding
Timid Lion
comp-li-ca-ted

patience is my scent
breathe in 
sweet embers burn

suadade

the walk is long
the years accrue
i'll be where
sea meets blue

digging for us
same as 
you

February 1, 2017

beautiful mess



Morning arrives again at once with distant machines
creating a mechanical overture for the day

Finches in clusters outside my window have a confidence I've hardly known
yellow breasted spirited chatter

I awaken with gray light turning pinkish-gold 
unalarmed, yet mystified 
by 
snips of dreams
taking their leave

like

an unwanted newborn beneath a vacating womb
belting her first call
to arms
that never arrive
or a dear-to-heart lover in a hospital bed
tortured by inner child demons
I want to de-bowel on his behalf
because perhaps what I've learned of love
is endless Hari-kiri
and the demon
is really me

Years ago I used to dream
of sunny day tsunamis begetting silent screams
unfazed I walked biblically to higher ground
helping others
casually

Later in the day
between traffic jams, earthly toils
meditations peppered with faces swirling smoke
golden threads lassoed around each body in the world
shimmering pulsating cocoons
from my tiny fairy sized hands
and I,
shrunken down
in a dazzling chrysalis
within a cavernous space
where my sternum stands
guard

I've been writing these thoughts for a long time
first poem at age 5
about my cat Charlie
journaling as I grew
letters to a mysterious you
rhyming to leave a clue
I used to pull over in parking lots
so not to crash
scribbling it out
beating it down
adolescent fire
or in dark movie theatres
other words would dive in, rustle around
too loud to hear the movie stars say
"Oh you darling, mm mmm..."

Stealthy twitchy fingers rummage to find something
ANYTHING to write upon come on
!
a crumpled receipt business card nubby pencil lipstick 
doesn't matter  
just write the words
and leave me be
later find what had been scrawled
oh dear
like a demented doctor
or 1 year old
words rollin tumbleweed
indiscernable yet 
satisfied

I think another poet simply said it better
I could put in an unsent letter
I need you, I don't need you
I need you, I don't need you
And all of that jiving around

(Leonard Cohen)


This is a map that began when I was born:
a late blooming rose
but mostly thorns
in wood

a feral timid story
for variations of you
created by me

but the best one yet
is baking still or painting itself in my favorite hues
blues turning purples

take me out to sea
I want to see the whales
and birds be free
while the wind whips my hair
into shapes only you can see
I could just touch your chest gently
it doesn't have to be
more than we
can bear




The others before were all
hands pumping hearts
which is fine
delicious and good
some made me laugh
or feel understood
as should

We could meet 3,000 miles away
in a museum
at the end of the day
gnawing enigmatically
upon the long-since-gone bones
put upon canvases 
by passion flinging moans
scattered peonies
dripping down
wavering lines
coloured rivlets
searing time

I know what my old yoga teacher would say
it's a waste of energy
go within
not without
your body is a shell
the one you are searching for
is not there
it's romantic fancy
Stallion meets Mare
shake it off
go to the light
little moth

I nod my head
in the morning sun
make my tea
take a bite
toast with ghee
cinnamon too
my nickname from one that
came before
i wish it stuck
but on another's tongue

memories of a different you
a different me
or as we are
all shredded messy mess
beautiful confetti

the kind we
like best



January 29, 2017

safekeeping

maybe forever won't be so long
after all
we'll hear battle-yells before the dawn
spiders coming down our walls

could be my touch
was too much
i saw your stuffs
innermost
neediness
holyghost

so we put on pause
who knows what else
comes for us
it could be soon

i feel it creeping
blackest dark
the sweetness
gone
survival comes

and we've been 
nibbling each others
bits by bits
not enough
to feed upon
or even be
a thing to envy

the looming shuddering
monster's here

laughing at a
lurking fear

of emptiness
until the end

sharing all i have
with
my
pen





finding

cringing 
cursed
girl

how can you measure
yourself alone?

she has been floating
for all eternity

the length of stones
does not matter
pick you up she will

beach combing chaos lost

you are smoothness undefined
rare earth golden flecked woes

she'd tape your fists
before each fight

let's dance
toe-to-toe
here we go

she knows your whaleing
wailcries

go inside storm clouds
wait she will
like all cursed ones
do

when the sun shines
you still hide
undeserving

look how she soars
above the boats
out there
tangled nets
in her hair

provocative face
lonesome space
never caught
swimming circles
never not

cast a line
thought you got
a rare one
mended wounded too
the two of you
lost the match

or is there more?

to seek her

time for you

to find