Oscar_Locke

Australia

we are all ghosts,
here.

Published Work

the land

my room desolate as Siberia
we perform our rituals
i am a shaman
with his blood and dance
and you the spirits
i leash between bone
under the thick ice cap
like a seal i've sealed
we wait for the winter to pass
there are the reindeer tracks
where the hooves become knives
and butchered grass
the sofest bed
and the arc of the northern light
i find in your closed eye
in the way you swallow the shadow
migratory birds scatter
their wings clapping
and bodies black and white
as the truth i've divined
how long it takes to shape
a glacier to a lake
myself the mountain
the river valley
the arctic sea 
i will be eternal for eternity
if i have wait. 

Word Collage

things keeping whole

This is
always --

with the certainty of breathing --
wherever I am

I am what is missing.
In a field

I am the absence
of air,

of field
in my lungs;

substanceless
the wild horse 

in muscle and force
when I walk;

I cleave the earth
and always

the air moves in
to fill the spaces

in all these reasons.
For moving?

I move
not to collapse,

but to watch
all the things keeping whole

the catharsis
to let my passing pass. 

~ Largely a rewrite of Mark Strand's phenomenal poem, Keeping Things Whole ~

épea

I walk on the edge of the water
The rim of the sea
That dip in the ocean
Where heaven and horizon meet
This water is a mirror of the sun
In blue against blue
The waves are endlessly unique
Like a tongue cutting teeth
A blister to split
To swallow my secret
Like jumping in too deep
The disciples made of marble
They are judging
Sinking to decide
The placement of the continental reef
And these islands
Are indistinguishable
Like a sand grain on the beach
I try
Like a kite captured by the breeze
To divine from that shimmering
Below in infinity
If I meant anything
Or if it meant anything to me.

bad friends


in the sand the sharpest of shells
and the waves claw
at the heels of the sky
the lavender fields
roadside, turn black 
bruise purple to ebony
and the iron
the pin pushed in eye
bleeding, a word on your thigh
slick, as gasoline
and the flame
the burn of cyanide
like cinnamon
the apple sliced
those fingers peeled
in two
the skin, hung to dry
the tears
the screams
like an old stain
bleached, then scrubbed 
crossing the edge of a grave
slowly,
to feel it,
like an old friend,
like something
you tried to hide.





 

still life


and somehow-

scars the shape of mine
in the rust of early morning mist

form their crowns and turn

faceless
the cars busy to bitumen

they remember

your letters
like ferns, roll

shuddering

scrape
that giant from the bark

the shadowed eucalypt

to the edge of sea
the waterlilies 

seamless, begin to stitch

a sense of missing
cursive and cautious

driveways and doorsteps

bus stops and traffic signs
tattooed to my lip

tasteless

hooking my eye
the shoulder of a stranger

the cascade of muscle

and the sails of passing ships
like people

-are painted at distance

 

onslaught


the trees 
like paperbacks
align their spines
and between ribs
branching
the hooded eyes
greet me
like gospel singers
the hollow pew
hosting lark, frogmouth
mayfly
in the midnight, dances
and in the dark my fingers
release the drip of time
spitting, hissing
like the dawn against the sky
i have no name
for their shapes
ghosts of ghosts of ghosts
my head pressed to jaw
they are made of marble
soft as mist
they sense 
only stillness
human weakness,
the animal
cry.

over the black


i watch my lifetimes
like a dewdrop throbbing 
on vein
i see the reflection of my gaze
in the sink
the bathroom tile
past the shadow of the door
the edge of living
my age
like light through the canopy
the carcass of childhood
sinks beneath the autumn leaves
into earth
like rain
i take my turn to breathe, between people
i try to look for my reflections
years stolen, thrown
by me, i have
the weather is the same 
in my memories
as if it was summer always
the blue sky hides
the dissolution, the hole
and the future
walks next to my shoulder
prophetic
the words become windows
i let myself look through
i see all the people i was
and the way we turned away
i was so scared
of the rising waterline
and adulthood
that refuses to stay
like the tide
i will miss this
in another lifetime
and the security in pain
forgiven, you have...

A Trillion Trees

hamadryad


lonely
they wander, in fields of 
amber, milk
and marble skin 
sculpted by the sun
still
the hamadryad
in yew and mulberry
breathes, in root and rye
stumbling
the wind and leaves
bleed their mourning song
pheromone, low
the insects frenzy
and the larks and crows
rising
the hamadryad, the eater of the sun
hollows in his eyes
turns, grows
his shadows, his silhouette, her grove
the hamadryad
lonely
with his heart of wood and stone. 

coronach ~ heather

 
yourbodylaidinmarbleladylazarustheclosedeyesimisstheintakeofbreathforasecondyouarealivebuttheemptiedlipsavoidispiraltheedgesofdeathhumanscanlookintonothingnessandseesomeonestaringbackandididandididthememoriesfragmentedthegardenyoucarvedfromstoneagazelikebrokeglassthewaterbeetlesthescaledgoldfishduckweeandalgaeandgrassfertilizerandtrashcansiseemyselfburiedunderblanketsandtheloveofyouit’sthewarmesti’veeverfeltliketheworldinnuclearwinterlikethelullofthedeadandcandycanesmychristmasi’llcherishthefruitcakeandyourkissesburialcarpets,pinkandfurredthegutsofahomelikelosingwonderlandsmellingofcurry,yellowandthickyetlungsofphlegmthestingofcigaretteandthesulphurstainsyouforgettoresurrectnana,nana,nanapleasedon’trememberiloveyou,youitriedtoholdyourhandbutitwassocoldnanailoveyouforallyoueverdidforgivemeforallineversaid. 

human decay


the roadkill on the sidewalk
i overstep
abandoned parking lot
the gang kids lear and howl
hooded snouts
the peel of sunburn
like lacewings cling 
to swinging fists
my footsteps turn to shouts
i pass
the haunted house
and obese 
apartment complex, graffiti 
green, traffic light
yellow, grass
hiding me
while faces scratched 
into vending machine
wink
i have forgotten where i am walking
and all i have seen
the city,
the city,

watch how she breathes.

parable of the atom


we strike the city walls
oh cheek, oh me
the bellow of the horn
soft
these prayers of galilee
god oh god
hear these fires
floods, locusts, blood
i stand above the sky
with my swords and my stones
look below
oh below
how sodom burns
with her blood, locusts, floods
holy oh
like salt, we still shiver
as the river nile floods
oh shivering
like locusts in the sun
these songs in our blood
and tears in their fall
oh
and like rain
on dust
we do our dissolves.

Iliad


The water divides our bodies
As if the skin can never touch
-
In halo light of swimming pools
You are heavenly
-
Beautiful as greek marble
Statued, carved by waves and kisses
-
Chin sharp, lips curled, and eyes
Their Aegean blue
-
I am drunk on your words (and their silences)
The moonlight like mercury
-
My muse;
We drift as like lilies
-
Search me
This myth I sing
-
As if you could ever touch
Leaving bruises
-
I mistake for the warmth of the sun
For you
-
Realer to me than the faces
Sculpted by Pygmalion
-
And the sea roars
Wine-dark, weeping
-
Others
And fingers feel me
-
But I can still hear you
Calling my name.

sand grains


trilled, my trillion lies
this sea of white
under footstep and strife
the sunsets pap and pinken
yawn as cherries
the apple seeds black 
and the sight
of my body 
the open arms, folded
like seabirds over sand
i flight, i
-
run, counting grains
counting hours as if they are days
the pathways widen
o, crescent moon
like spirits gauzy, 
you hate
and i run out of words
tongues of leaves, tongue
with their roots and their
dates, i 
-
throw myself to mud
and wallow, and bathe
glyphs of grains
rice and dust and sand-
-and
the cost of eating
the cost of giving up
hummingbird hearts pound
and the feeling of thunderstorms
the paddies crushed
testing water for depth
and light for darkness
my mirror refuses to reflect
-
a poet watching stars
distant
ignores the grasshopper
glistening
eating the grain
-
how these wildflowers cry
as the buses flow home
and i am still
clutching white...

god looking down at me


blind,
we ask to been seen
as magma melts to
clay
and these 
sculpted hands shape
creases of rivers
and the spurs of mountains, they
make of chalk and sand
islands
we weave them into chains
pushing, kneading
we are all priests
praying with our pain
feel nothing
but the absence of his
gaze. 

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Charlie Pew

 
“Leave that box.”

I turn, hug it to my chest. Mrs Pew smiles at me. In the afternoon sun, the curves of her face are underlined. On her cheeks, tears shimmer, streak. 

“Why?”

“It’s Charlie’s.”

Her voice is light and heavy, her hands gripping his varsity jacket, a size too large. It’s zipper disappears; a flicker between fingers. She watches the sky.

The flashing of his face; the screams to slow down. Flying forwards --

“I’ll take it back inside.” 

She smiles. Stares at me with Charlie’s eyes; a knowing, quiet blue.

My scars burn.

“Thank you, Tim.”

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Charlie Pew


“Leave that box.”

I turn, hug it to my chest. Mrs Pew smiles at me. In the afternoon sun, the curves of her face are underlined. On her cheeks, tears shimmer, streak. 

“Why?”

“It’s Charlie’s.”

Her voice is light and heavy, her hands gripping his varsity jacket, a size too large. It’s zipper disappears; a flicker between fingers. She watches the sky.

The flashing of his face; the screams to slow down. Flying forwards --

“I’ll take it back inside.” 

She smiles. Stares at me with Charlie’s eyes; a knowing, quiet blue.

My scars burn.

“Thank you, Tim.”

an exorcism


mother of mary,
your womb is weightlessness

black silk sheets, smoothed
coral reefs cut my ribs

quiet as god
like the psalm on your palms

my bodies flee
spirit of spirit, a

message i need: press your 
ear to the ground

feel these locusts eating
orgy of effigies, like

wheat in the wind
and

my prayers start blistering
like heat 

under skin
this demon i’m dreaming

you can hear it
again.

 

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Charlie Pew


“Leave that box.”

I turn, hug it to my chest. Mrs. Pew smiles at me. The afternoon sun drapes her in scarlet. On her cheeks, dried tears shimmer and streak. 

“Why?”

“It’s Charlie’s.”

Her voice is light and heavy. My scars itch. Absently, her hands play with a varsity jacket. It’s zipper disappears, flickering between fingers. She seems to see something on the horizon.

“Do you think I should donate it, Tim? You knew him better than anyone.”

The flashing of his face; the screams to slow down. 

“Do you want it, Tim?”

A minute passes.

“Tim?”

Garden of the Hesperides


atrophied, an apple tree
her roots are rowan, are red
the starving of soil
to keep giving in end
 
like the scorch of july, baked black
furled branches still bear
apples, ageless
as emerald to green

she sings to her seeds, her
orphans of spring
they clutch to the root, the
promise of winter

and ring
of the bullets and the bombs and
the taste of sunlight, summer
as storms to shaking

and when they take her body
and her roots, rowan
now baptized by blood, her apples
are snapped free

eaten, and spat,
a sheen
taking, take me,
when the sky is like ash, and

we are memory
her children will cover us, covering
in their bodies of emerald,
an end to everything.



 

awen poetry


Yi’ka za Awen’la naši,
I see a bird from the blue,

Teyel kaza’qi
My little god

Taneyi’ka, teli’ka
I wait, I pray

Hene tahel’ka aden
And I think of rain

Šibize feya’qi
My little love

Diša Dimika’zi
Distant as the moon

the intricacies of human skeletons


arrogant elegance 
of me
wrist bones, what beautiful things
my acne scars shear
under skin, like linen, a
vineyard of veins,
and the
hair follicles flake
black algae
etchings of face; every 
ugliness
unshaped; as clay
i hope
and hold in place

sontag poem


coming home

like christ, a cornfield, a phoenix, bonfires, the taste of rye, oil stains, water stains, a thaw, a cry, the rising sun, flashlights, lightning, powerlines, a curling road, the stone thrown, soil wet, a hand in mine, that crown of thorns, green grapes, the grinding teeth, every lie, split tongues, skin shined, taking notes, my sketches, an arc, circles closed, warm bodies, the pass of time.

hemlock

nightbirds sing
sweeten evening
voiceless
open winged, 
the yew trees, leaning
against darkness, 
arches
cat-pawed shift
and the eyes of foxes
circle, drift
i hear the ghosts
slow and sleepless
dreaming of witches
stayed
i pace
reaching for root 
needless
my ears to the earth
like
the feel of his breathing
i sin in the stillness

another nonsense poem

gessette monaque, jeunue,
myl ed tallamemè;
sezzerette! touparé --
hinoeh valk, stwa,
pallae ed hyra
suozo, suosine,
l'julien aux mossêin
mylé sett, giocalla fâr
xello, xamay,
l'hetellique
avar, avar! delinné
ed l'sombrei
deszet, deszihn
wyll ed taidie

Lunar Phrases

der mond


1. 
graceful arcs
curved bodies
contrast of black 
and white
the swimmers dive
sleek, seal-like
under eye

2.
fake pearls 
glued
to fool’s
gold; stolen,
all the wealth 
i ever owned

3.
spiderweb
collecting breath
like
dream-catcher left
on hospital bed

4.
queen of tide
and the flood, and the blood
eternity in a month,
you run
 

terminal velocity


[VERSE ONE]
You sleep in the sun,
Stained red and bronze
Frozen, I am falling
With your name in my lungs

[PRECHORUS]
The wind moans your name
And follows me, lonely
They say love is eternal and
You love me, eternally, like I
Do the same.

[VERSE TWO]
Making sandcastles on beaches
Our bodies entwine
Fingers first, over scars
Waves break and breach me
I pass the time
Counting your kisses
On my shoulder, on my spine

[CHORUS]
When should I tell you
When it isn’t working?
Like you’re broken, faulting
And I am to blame?
The cars crash each night
So fast then -- slowing
As the lovers pull apart 
“We won’t fight”
Baby, I’m trying, trying,
Fallen stars, fleeting
The cars crash each night

[PRECHORUS]
The wind moans your name
And follows me, lonely
They say love is eternal and
You love me, eternally, like I
Do the same.

[VERSE FOUR]
The houses are shaking
From earthquakes, from...

Song Writing Competition 2019

persephone


verse one
the trees hold us there
your skin bare on black oak
every fir outstretched 
cavernous, bridal
the conifers call out 
as birds fill the air,
forked tails, tongued
flute songs and love
get lost in the woods
just to hear you again

chorus
'cause maybe the world is ending
like every root bends
i slipped on your stare
and the memory of faces on hands
catches me, splits me
baby, we're bucks
hooves on moons
antlers curled
dancing in the dusk
kiss me, hold me
carve a grove for us
baby, love me, love me
'cause the ghosts aren't enough

verse two
nursing my wounds
sap in spit, tears on leaves
autumn rough as rust
i cut 
the rot of breaking up
shedding the seeds
as sakura, cherry pink
rings on rings, memories
everything you gave me
fallen, weeps

chorus two
'cause maybe the world is ending
like every root bends
i slip on your stare
and the...

vivid images no.1



skyscraper
origami
/
folding
sunset















 

Song Writing Competition 2019

persephone


verse one
the trees hold us there
your skin bare on black oak
every fir outstretched 
cavernous, bridal
the conifers call out 
as birds fill the air,
forked tails, tongued
flute songs and love
get lost in the woods
just to hear you again

chorus
'cause maybe the world is ending
like every root bends
i slipped on your stare
and the memory of faces on hands
catches me, splits me
baby, we're bucks
hooves on moons
antlers curled
dancing in the dusk
kiss me, hold me
carve a grove for us
baby, love me, love me
'cause the ghosts aren't enough

verse two
nursing my wounds
sap in spit, tears on leaves
autumn rough as rust
i cut 
the rot of breaking up
shedding the seeds
as sakura, cherry pink
rings on rings, memories
everything you gave me
fallen, weeps

chorus two
'cause maybe the world is ending
like every root bends
i slip on your stare
and the...

carroll poem 1


the mountains verge
in vertix, berth
the dip of inches
grasses heem
hewed to skies, seamed feelings
and mylomen (cloudless)
mixed, melts to frass
so needy, wilden bloom
bouquet blue, yellowed-chear
harpen and tearing, stem
and drink
from valleys, dreaming
of winds wynrun, deathly
we are watchers; vargolt gods
nearing
mountain top, heavened
the vault of
peaks, marleux, heels;
all the things 
i now am seeing (steely gray, birds cealing)
like pictures,
few and felt
are dear, are searing

Song Writing Competition 2019

persephone


verse one

the trees hold us there
your skin bare on black oak
every fir outstretched 
cavernous, bridal
the conifers call out 
as birds fill the air,
forked tails, tongued
flute songs and love
get lost in the woods
just to hear you again

chorus

'cause maybe the world is ending
like every root bends
i trip on your glare
and the memory of faces on hands
catches me, splits me
baby, we're bucks
hooves on moons
antlers curled
dancing in the dusk
kiss me, hold me
carve a grove for us
baby, love me, love me
before ghosts aren't enough

verse 2

nursing my wounds
sap in spit, tears on leaves
autumn rough as rust
i cut
the rot of breakups
shedding my seeds
as sakura, cherry pink
rings on rings, memory
everything you gave me
fallen, weeps

chorus 2 

'cause maybe the world is ending
like flowers yearn
i slip on your stare
and the fade of faces...

fade (lyric poem)


soaring pours
of aquarian rain

running in streets
nomadic rivers 

chasing, the grace
of me; sinks

into love -- bayou 
blue eyes

and the storm of wings;
swallowtails, hawk moths

a trapeze of lightning
tripping, we lord

over; summers are ending
and the hurricane

raging and rages
unchanging; the wind

hazy as mist
the count of

our kisses  --
i miss us

watching raindrops 
fade.





 

atlantic song


i am the rock
i am the wave
how i fight  myself
day by day
against myself
like fingers burrowed
into sand
i carve myself new scars
dissolve in the dark, my day
as if the swash
washes my blood
like algae and antimony opens
their cliff-faces. chamber 
of my heart fills
with rockpools, grottoes. Diving,
i watch the days
sacrifice, break against themselves. 
myself, i am again 
closing my eyes. wild grass sways
catching the 
pelt of
      rain.
carries away -
salt splits my tongue, and i 
am the rock,
and i
am the wave. 


 

family song


the fire stopped burning
enough to wash the ashes
even the air; charred
in my hand, i find
the stains of water,
the wood, the concrete.
wasted wastelands,

home furthers
shrouds of smoke and eyes
a thousand colours, sight
all the red and yellow folding
burning and surging
rivers of my life;
tears stain hands, burning
bleach seeps and is wiped

and the family is worn
apart from the seam -- between
myself and my mother
the oil spills, splits, 
streams
all the flickering darkness
burning, blazing bright
horses bucking and snapping
bodies buckle as
lightning strikes

home is so far away
shrouds of smoke and eyes
a thousand colours, sight
all the red and yellow folding
burning and surging
rivers of my life;
tears stain hands, burning
bleach wipes and wipes

and all the families
walk in straight lines
all the bare shoulders
rosy and tight
faces of lovers,
faces of brothers
the sun simmers, shifts right.

home is...

jaw song


i see words curling in hair
spirals and threads;
about love and redemption 
you dyed it red
as restlessness; slinked
fox-like to dark
(the hunters are hated)
my pelts and my dead
skinned, thinned rust raw
wolf head, wolf-jaw
run through the air
(spirits of bodies)
talons, chasing
hooks of bright lead
(i dare)
deepen forests, moors
the wounds
wet with whispers
as your face
shadows dawn.

song of grass


i sing the song of grass
i sing the song of me
when bluebirds break their wings
and scream
they sing of me
of grasses ghost-green
and the beat of blood, the bite of teeth
eating, eating of me
when salmon stream 
and grieve
youth ruptured, casting their seed
they weep for me
moans of pureness and-
flashes of scales, red and green
these songs of grass, 
these songs of spring;
births and bleeds, the price enough
paid in song, in need; 
weeping, my teeth find, and sink
i feast, leave nothing
but grass
soft under lips;
waiting for soil, waking for spring,
these songs of grass
singing, they sing
for me.

homeric simile exploration


"like a ____ when it ______."

like a storm when it strikes

like a bird when it cries

like a light when it flashes

like a mountain when it peaks

like a river when it dries

like sand when it spreads

like a song when it ends

like a knife when it drawls

like words when they cut

like poets when they wait

like winter when it wakes

like silence when it goes

like bone when it splits

like a person, when it slows

like engines as they roar

like fire, can it warm?

like water, if it seeps

sap-like when it weeps

like dreams, if they cease?

like hands when they hold

like paper, as we fold

swimming pool (no. two)


have you ever cried

(need to really try it)

to fill a swimming pool?
the cool blue of suburbia
rushing over your body?
the white lies white teeth
and white fences sheening?
(the same colour as death)
air filled with laughter and
swollen apple cheeks red?
diving into concrete

(grey as god’s eye)

as the screams echo and shatter?
holding your breath
as the sky folds and floods?
as your father keeps shouting
and staining and raging?

(painting with mother’s head)

i cry so much to fill that
dry earth and dirt?
turned topsoil
to riverbed?
keep drinking from the swimming pool
i will leave your answers?
in driftwood and deep depths and
know then they are?
drowned, sleeping?

(unsaid)

sketching with words -- "roll call"


jackal jaundice highlights
my eye, scanning
turns the paper
to stone; flipped,
dark soils sheath
grey water; searching 
those
worlds beneath
as names crawl and skitter
woodlice and maggots
shivering red
now
spread on fresh snow
my fingers
skimming
bones of white fibre, flexing, tangling,
my claw of
desire
plucks names from the web,
sinister hand of fate
and hungry,
thundering
opens my maw
“i
    see"

the colour of my shadows


heavy as lead,
the metallic lift of my shadow
weighing down, a trick
of the light; now blue, shallow
blushes by
eye. moonlight
shutters, colours
a moth, red winged;
flitting like lips,
whispers and wishes, my shadow
clutches the brick. a kiss
of gold, brushing
past dusk. a
twin, a mistress, the
promise:
his shadows colour,
cover my skin.

drinking the swimming pool


the water folds my lungs
(my tongue)
clean and cheap as chlorine
sheening my white teeth
(white faces white meat)
i drink
and let water rush over
the sky a
shade of sleep
(shifting blue green)
white as me
bleaching the depths
of swimming pools drowned
i drink and
i breathe and drink
(and)
forget about the shouting
outside me
parents splitting, coupling
fate, mistakes
the surface of grey rivers
gleams like liquor
and i am baptized
by my crying
by my crying
i stare at reflections
(still breathing)
and unthinking
drink.

pine poem 4


    shiver green,
        pines
            pillars of the
                dead;
                    in cold air,
                        roaming
                            like the ache
                                of another;
                                    swifts swirling,
                                        he turns his head
 

a bird song


                                                               the waterbird
                                                                stands lonely
                                                                 offshore low
                                                               waves rush and
                                                              tangle colours of
                                                             snow yellow & red
                                                               run slowly down
                                                             neck and nape and
                                                                wing the water
                                                               and it’s absence
                                                            deepens and yearns
                                                               every reed and
                                                            sunset glistens but
                                                            a lonely waterbird
                                                                 does not stir
                                                                 it is scacchic
                                                                       black
                                                             against blue fishing
                                                                  for memories
                                                            buried by moonlight
                                                                        a bird
                                                                    remembers
                                                                   how she flew

barb song


rosebushes     i saw one evening the rabbit         caught in thorns kicking,     screaming the poor thing.         rosebushes keeping         it caged; and the fox that followed, and the thorns tearing, tearing. i weep tears         and they seemed so red.         the rosebushes are         growing    thickly and i cut my hands,  each         evening, waiting for the roses. thick         red, bleeding             pink and         open hands                -- and the want for them, like         rabbits want roots         and foxes want         rabbits. a hawk i saw got         caught in the             rosebush, feeding on rot        , and she kicked         and she  cawed. the                     thorns             got in her, beneath her,        and                 she was so scared ,      ...

crow song


the         stitch from one end to                                                                                                       another.
                                                                            black-winged,                 with eyeliner over         red-brick, contain                     my             bile in
in                                     beak, bleak behind         lined                    walls, and silver cars, shawls                 of
                    sheening     oil,         on feathers. so loud
                                                the                                             crow calls
                                                                                                                                                                                echo

memory


silent as lightning;
calling my name,
i breathe out.
the
smoke bleeds from vein,
milk black.
a spirit of
shame; hazy and bitter.
fingers, shadowed,
graze
the mirror. ghosts,
calling my name.

waterfall song


his cliff face
stretches, draws
the surge of waters
to turn to mist; like thunder
soft under tongue, the
sobbing stains rock;
bright copper.  




 

27. the state of it all


gold flows over me,
in streams; slows, knows the wounds and
cracks; fills the pieces
i lack; holding me
like lacquer; precious waste now
sealing and healing;
the cost of dust and
breathing; he brushes my back
eternity, fills;
he is fleeting; as
imperfection, a story
told in scars; open
the jar, pandora;
earning my keeping; demons
burnished and bruising;
i am both broken
and joining; my beating my own;
never history;
closing, closing, my
point and purpose; pain flows
into everything;
enriches and snares
paper plates, porcelain;
silver is showing;
my absence a part
of the whole.


 

3. incorporate music


i lie

amongst the narcissi
my narcissi
they sigh in white

petal skins, shoes tight
my narcissi
they rustle, row

yellow folds
my narcissi
they cry out, in lines

my narcissi
do they love me
despite

a crime
they drown in dye
hide smiles, shining

they shy
my narcissi
clinging, tired now

the flight of larks
i spy a second time
my narcissi

lisping sing song
in funeral rite
my narcissi

cement; cold,
like what they hold
white on white

the want of eyes
my narcissi
amongst the narcissi

i die.

13. celestial bodies


ferns, jade knives,
pointing at the sky.
glowing green-white,

from moonlight, the dark
half-eye. watching me
worship, with blood

and my sacrifice.
he swims amongst
the nothingness,

a firefly flickering
to the night. blind
yet blinding; he dreams

of bindings, tithes.
i hide him, now, beneath
the heavens.

i keep his heart beating. yet
i keep nothing. yet
i keep the -

stars in
their motions.
like a blade cutting --

or words --
woe and the wind of wind,
through thistles, lichen.

to take back a wound:
to unstain a stretch of skin;
my wishes spill and drip.

celestial bodies
circling, circling.
i nurse my sin.




 

20. liminal space


keep telling me you love me
telling me you love me
me you love me
you love me
love me
me.

sunset no. 2


as i milk the moon
to her bright whiteness
and the sun
dyes his locks
in dark blue

i warble and wax
small
on the street corners
stretching out
with my steps

a shrine to small
gods
greater than you
they smile
from gardens of rose

slap-purple
wine bruised
i don’t dare watch
them
for too long

to disappear
into another
face
like rocks drowned
in rain pools

i keep walking
as the sun
sets
shoulders the
moon
 

appointment


O WORDS

STRIDE FROM SLITS

OF LIPS; GREASED, OILED,

SPILLING OUT-

LIKE GOSSAMER SHAWLS

FALL ON FACE, ON SHAPE

OF CALF; COILS OF

BODY, CAULED BY

FABRIC, SILK-

VEILS MY SORES; DISEASE,

VENEREAL, VICIOUS, LEAVES

ME, HEAVES ME.

I AM LEFT TO

BLEEDING.

THE DOCTOR SAYS NO MORE.
 

observations of the tidepool


effusive, elusive,
your face
never moves.
like seawater
statues; bodies
roughened,
run
smooth.

autumn


catkin
clove
i run
the smoulder
of summer
elm and alder
pine needles
stick to
my arm
red and cold

wooden coat
the
years
ring around
my chest
the fear the hope
roast gold
grows green
circles
my shoulder.

the bride


white -- sand, seashell, lips
swing open, my eyes and heart
bleeding pink gauze, sore

the altar

with love; the pulse of
muscles on bones, strapless dress
stapled to my skin

the altar

strips back; and the man folds out
furred and feral for
my beard, my caress, sweetness

the altar

waiting; the welded kisses
of engagement ring,
gasp alone to empty airs

the altar

hungry; howling for your face,
the maul of embrace
stirs and roams, the mind

the altar

runs out; wounded cry of crowd
silence; the sound of
love. i stand so still

the altar

for you; i now vow
the loneliness -- my
doves in black, rotting bouquet

the altar

darkens; the shore waves,
ripples; i am white
as dawn as dusk as day; O

the altar
 

pyrite


incandescence--
the candle
cradles the flame.
in haste, haziness

it scatters
the heat,
that holy hellishiness
and shines!

lead dull,
lazy, leader of lazarus
relents, relents.
fire falters, forgets

frozen fingers
of fat.
wax, wax;
the candle

blurs blue,
lapis, azure;
half-held breath-
incandescence--
 

madonna


mother
adores me

adorns me;
baby drowned by milk

hydra heads two hands two
wrapped on throat on coat

washing and scrubbing;
bleaches the burns the dirt

cooks with claws horns
feasting beastly from

open wound tusked
mother medusa-

wrenched me out
of womb a babe

fist first; she shrieked
and shook; strix

woman screaming!
mother stalls

beside my door she
listens for the whisper

before turning shifting;
stalking through the hall

lady monstrous
O minotaur
 

knot


the rope
does not
flex strains
instead to

spool and
thread and
the descent
of bodies

in the
darkness dead
hounds
catch the

scent the
sound of
screaming
of flesh

yet bled 

degrees


opens the oven
push of button

gas settles lung
sulphur plume

tuck and pry
blood red blue

hallucinate, shake
heat and hate

whirls up
hurl

and the fingers
of iron of you

click down
in catastrophe cordial

and cool
there the ember yellows

embryo
curving caress bloomed

entropic and cruel
opens the womb
 

moonlight


the rain is darkened by moonlight;
like cats, milk & grey; moonlight

on the rocks; roast coffee, cream
sands; mermaids in the moonlight

sing, sail; navy docks in green;
whores & hoarders; moonlight

stains skin orange; dutch dreams,
tulip fever; paintings of moonlight

oblique; obscene things
roll & marble; moonlight

thickens, streams; soft waters
seep; & cascading moonlight

drags me; pummels; screaming
knocks, marvels; moonlight

flees.

passerine


artless, arthritic;
feathers arch and angle,
unfolding fan,
and muscles ache,
skin slides, molten
river,
unseamed,
the blood rushes
down through beak,
the break
of bone, the slip of
speeds;
weakening
entropy; sieves
lost genes,
heartbeat,
articulate wag,
witless, wily, weapon
of wing; spun
spinning top,
struck
and the spring
of body
into air, the creak of breeze
bowing beneath
the wagtail,
dancing,
shifts on shaking feet;

passerine

 

  1. artless, arthritic;
  2. feathers arch and angle,
  3. unfolding fan,
  4. and muscles ache,
  5. skin slides, molten
  6. on top,
  7. the blood rushes up
  8. down through beak,
  9. the break
  10. of bone, the slip
  11. of speeds;
  12. the weakening
  13. entropy; leaps
  14. lost genes,
  15. nucleotides,
  16. arranged wag,
  17. witless, wily, weapon
  18. of wing; spun
  19. spinning top,
  20. struck round
  21. and the spring
  22. of body
  23. into air, the creak of breeze
  24. bowing beneath
  25. the wagtail,
  26. dancing,
  27. shifts on shaking feet;
  28. lost
  29. is the weight
  30. of wrothful, wanting
  31. gravity;
  32. freed -

twin sisters


Complexity, the greatest of goddess, stumbles and struts onto the scene, in black dresses, the colour of milt and milk, the guiltless, vixen thing, and she cries out, like a lark, like a whip, like a choirs and she says those words, of helpless voices grown loud and bashing, the gentle thrash of truth, crushing your skin, the crackle of bones in breakage, and you understand the interconnectedness, in molecule and cell, and Complexity is still speaking in oscillations, permutations, the warping of air into waves into eardrums down nerves and twixt brain-  

And paradox holds your neck, croons, caresses, then whispers-

“She’s too stupid to keep it simple.”

to walk you've got to stand


Maroon stains the waves /
Waistcoat whispers / wait on arms
Western alms / port of call
Soothe and seep and say /
Pens break / pens bleed
Produce the bleeding new.
Mince the mounds of bone /
Munich of the eunuch / the old.
Mouth on mouth tongue on tongue
North of center / the beat of broken drum.
Gnaws the rat / the stone girl
the cold /



 

Gawain & the Queen

a forest of fractals,
armour, aching, marooned
in dark blue. lance  
underarm;
gabriel’s horn in hand.
gawain gasps, gapes.
vermillion-on-green.
horse the sweeping swell
of squalled shore;
white on white on white;
forwards, charges-
he swings, soaring to
the oblique riots,
brutes
of war.
vermillion-on-green.
afar, clad in brambles,
pierced with pine,
with red hair drooling
down shoulder, thigh.
girdled in grit,
lord of hollows,
wild things,
morrigan,
sorceress,
queen.
vermillion-on-green.
on a thousand wings,
one for sorrow,
two for screams.
blackbirds, crows,
morrigan falls.
breathes fire, vines
snatch feet. the
rage of passion,
vermillion-on-green.
fighting, fighting,
gawain slices free.
sword splits trunk, root,
giants of shambling moss.
cleaves and clacks
past rot. gawain
wades and wages;
the ephemeral,
vermillion-on-green.
marooned in dark blue;
morrigan smells the ache
of spilt blood. the tight
wound wound,
its bleeding croon.
she parts the tall grasses,
waves the trees to stone.
takes her dress,
leaves it loose, grieves
it like wheat to ...

honey


honey, heady, heaves;
hard-to-be-leaving?
bees are thieves of nectar, dreaming.
don’t-you-believe-me?
honey, needy, breathes;

why aren’t you eating? 

milk


my limited words--
restless hands tag, grab, fill-
with milk, with mould-
there is marble; cracked--


 

vignette -- willow tree

The girl stood on the hill, hands gripping the axe by both hilt and handle. All the sky seemed to disappear; instead, the willow tree caught the blue in a cage of leaves. Vast drapes of green mingled with listless cloud. The bark split with her name, Elizabeth, badly carved onto the trunk. Jacob had done that.
Poor, sweet Jacob.
The morning wind tugged at her skirt. She tied it into pants the way she had never dared do. Her legs, pale and wobbling in the breeze, were dark chestnut compared to the cream of her dress. Elizabeth took a step forwards.
Even in her sadness, she couldn’t help but savour the sensations. Springtime washed over her body, the daffodils and violets and grasshoppers. She felts the butterflies on her feet, the rough clay on her cheeks. For a second she was six again.
Back when all the world belonged to me.
The whiteness of the tree arched before...

sphacelate

i am rotting
on the outdoor chair.

too dead for flies to
eat; they instead

slurp at my fingers;
the sweat drips in lines

dry as riverbeds,
down my thigh,

down my chest,
down past my feet.

the flies are drowning
in my armpits, in my mouth.

they taste like dog food,
like dog pills,

the kind you use to knock
an animal out. no hammer

needed when you’ve got
dog pills, dog pills.

the flies bob and shudder,
drunk on the drugs

like scarabs stuck
in festering dung. i am dying,

i am dying, i can
feel the flies feast

on my lungs.

sphacelate


i am rotting
on the outdoor chair.

too dead for flies to
eat; they instead

slurp at my fingers;
the sweat drips in lines

dry as riverbeds,
down my thigh,

down my chest,
down past my feet.

suddenly a swamp,

the flies are drowning
in my armpits, in my mouth.

they taste like dog food,
like dog pills,

the kind you use to knock
an animal out. no hammer

needed when you’ve got
dog pills, dog pills.

the flies bob and shudder,
drunk on the drugs

like scarabs stuck
in dung. i am dying,

i am dying, i can
taste the flies

in my mouth.

i'm no shakespeare


they call to their lovers      
like virgins awaiting

their first kiss
stems slick and thin

the crown of petals thick
viridian

naked bodies swim
in that language without lips

in their throats on their wrists
honey spills and drizzles

bees whisper
to birds

like wind whistles shift
a thistle-wove grin

and the anatomies
ever so alien

mix nectar
onto skin

a single second
and moon and sun

threaten our
eclipse.

feeling floral


the bees dance, twirl and trip
on the breeze
they roll and rumble,
thunderstorms tugged tight into
yellow suits, black eyes
  
wildflowers wave and wash
against the earth
hearts slit,
buds
shiver with guilt

they call to their lovers,
like virgins awaiting
their first kiss

how the bees fly,
holding on to the blue
sticky fingers gripping the sky
hands now tumbling
to catch the rye, the yew

stems slick and thin,
the crown of petals thick,
viridian  
wildflowers smile,
naked bodies swim

the bees whisper
in that language without lips
honey spills and drizzles
in their throats, on their wrists
careful bliss

so precise,
alien anatomies mix
bodies taunt under
shell, twist
under skin

in a single second,
the moon and sun
eclipse


 

u n z i p


temptation tips over in
the hallway. oil on
my finger glosses your lips.
/
it slips so thin between us.
like honey stains on
your shirt. encircles my hips.
/
how it all drips, fluid and
flexing; flesh that flows,
love that grips.
/
the people i skip to kiss
you hurt. they hiss; so
jealous you can make my world
unzip.

ghosts


The ghosts bend backwards,
Forcing jaws to gape. They shake,

Limbs contorted like branches,
Threatening to break.

How they wail, eyes bloodshot,
Twin black grapes; pomegranate

Lips, cherry-stone teeth -
They twist, unmake.

vignette -- baleen


Bailie felt the sound; it washed over her body.

A low, howling squeal. Agony. It rose and dipped, the eddies making her head spin. The wind was a whisper against it. Bailie heard it call to her; she felt the echoes pulse in her heart. Slow, the covers folding away like waves, she propped herself up from bed. The moonlight glazed across her room, making her sight milky. Creamy walls, and off-white carpet. It shimmered and shook with the bellow of the swell.

Bailie turned to her window. Outside, dark and glistening, was the open sea. Something shapeless shifted amongst the grey and black. It stretched across the beach. Huge and shaking, it moaned out. The sound struck Bailie.

It called her, to the swirling surf.

To the deep.

She lifted her nightgown to her shoulders, opened the window. Rain, thick and icy, began to drip from the sky. It spilled across her face, ran in ribbons down her cheeks....

IcEbOx


i open the refrigerator door,
and the hallway beside is painted

in blue; not the meticulous brush
of expression, but the brutal

postmodern punch. the light is
split, his lips contorted. he

takes the form of a mirror’s
broken bones: patches and

fractures, splashes of stark.
it warbles and wanes, like

a cat between my legs.
the figure stands close;

i can’t tell if that is a ghost,
or my shadow in the dark.
 

c i c a t r i x


silkworm, mouthless on the mound
of my arm. you bite into bone, like
the moon slides against the sky;
cold and wiry, with those feathers
of filament, binding and tying the
world to the wall. i love the colour
of your shawl; a grey untainted by
moth-winged jaundice. take my flesh:
i will serve it all. a cicatrix for your
sweetness, silkworm. make yourself
warm. 
 

hArUsPeX


I clutch my gut, the
entrails hugging a hook.
Fuck! The blood is
sticking to my fingers, my
lungs; the past is leaking
out. Diviners peer down,
despair for a future;
the fox chews my foot.

~~ running ~~


Like a hawk on
The dirt, chasing the chicken,
Wings out, fanning the dust, and -

How we move, like air on
The earth; Buffalo hooves
Turning the soil up, like a -

Gypsy flips the tarot card,
Grinning within green eyes,
Hopeful as the lightning -

Is struck, like a bell, like a man
In the dirt, a bullet bolted
On his brain; we plow forwards -

blossom


sakura sheds her petals,
holding onto seeds.
/
i have shed your love,
holding onto what i need.
 

atom stars 5


The camp is dirty and damp,
A place of pulsing bodies,
Repulsed people. I miss
My car and phone and
TV. None of those are
Worth anything, now.
I see mothers
Crying about children
I will never see.
I see lovers cradling
Their limbs like
Another’s;
There is pain,
There is suffering.
I cough, feeling the bomb
Leave my body. Feeling the
Radiation, thicker than sweat
In the air, move in and out. I am
Dying. I am dying.
The people pass past me,
unaware.

atom stars 4


We walk on the shore,
Dodging the ash fall with
Feet too soft to feel
The sand. So sharp,
Underfoot.
Behind us, melting into
Peach and grey,
A city. Buildings of
Twisted metal, candles
Of concrete, blaze and blaze.
In defeat,
We concede.
There on the ocean,
Distant as a god,
There is a motion,
A movement. Something
Rising, like a wave,
From the floor.
On the night sky,
Burning, blazing,
Fighting and screaming
And suddenly alive -
There is a star,
No mushroom cloud,
No winter,
Just light and heat
And divinity.
We whisper the name,
Passed to us from a holy book.
But words are nothing against
The forces of a hurricane.
We stand,
We stand,
We turn.
I am blinded by the darkness.
 

atom stars 2


Abnormal autumn,
Red leaves, red trees;
How green it conceives-
/
Over the earth,
In blankets of warmth,
The people we grieve.

atom stars 1


There was fire,
there the flood;
/
There were demons,
there the dog;

atom stars 3


The sickness sleeps,
Waiting to drink,
/
The marrow, the morning
From me.
 

Spring


Our bodies, soft, now unseen,
Cells divide, cells divide;

The thunderstorm’s guide;
Our bodies, buried, dream.

Our bodies, lean, grow deep;
The rawhide of earth -

Child of yuletide,
Our bodies, unburied, gleam;
 

winter


the birds scout the lake like the winds scout the sea;
over, across, smoothing out the surface;

craftsmen of the wing, they slide it underneath;
shave off the waves, with sandpaper and stone;

take the water, uncut and streaked, and melt it down to mercury --
quicksilver in the moonlight, drawn by rivers and spider string;

taunt and flexed, the lake’s surface, a mirror of dusk’s stare.
they will bring change again, heavy on their wings,

breaking frost by beak.
 

Writing Resolutions

muh fantasy

- learn to master as many poetic forms as possible.

- write 2 novellas (17,000 - 35,000)

- write as many short stories come to me.

- investigate screenwriting. 

further experimentation


Wearing lipstick
And dresses;
Ganymede supine.
/
His lovely brick
Chin presses;
Blushed bodies entwine.

celeste


those stars have stared down
for longer than anyone has dared
to look up.

cherry


You pass me a cherry;
Sweet and swollen, thick.
You’ve eaten the stone-
~
All the flesh remains;
I wouldn't eat someone-
With none left to bury.
~
You’ve eaten the whole,
Slick with juice, slick with love.
Leave my heart alone.

depression -- diatelle poem


                  Blue-
                   Paints me.
                    Tastes the sea,
                      Empty abyss.
                        Gravity; I am free.
                          You, draped in darkness, lipped-black kiss;
                             Happiness, a feeling I reminisce.
                               The sensational truth, the colour with no hue.
                                  You turn sand to glass; my heaven’s amiss.
                     ...

vesuvius -- octain refrain


Climbing up great Vesuvius,
Finding fire, your desire. You-
Needed to be loved, so you threw-

Obsidian stone, storms, the dawn.
Finding people swarming, so warm,
Now hearing Vulcan's heady yawn.

Pluto counts the Roman souls due,
Marching down great Vesuvius.

america -- sestina poem


He holds in hand fire,
Traces the oncoming flood.
Each touch to me another drug.
Those are the silent men,
Chewing the tobacco leaf.
I have found my defeat, in the sea.

Dolphins lay dead, in the sea.
Would you believe the heat of this fire?
My desire is wilting, autumn leaf.
Noah’s deceit, in the flood.
And the quiet men,
They take their drug.

Licking the sighs, his drug,
Bitter to sweet, my sea;
Do you trust silent men?
Overcoats of fur, tiger-fire?
They will come in a flood,
When winter has eaten the last leaf.

Yew bark, yew leaf,
When smoked, becomes a drug.
My glaciers caught the flood.
Last of the ships to haunt the sea,
No more lighthouse fire.
What to do with quiet men?

Among silent men,
Holding the page, paper leaf.
Their curtained fire,
Saturniid’s favoured drug.
Will you hide the dream in the sea?
Let it be hidden by the flood?

River breaks;...

anxiety -- cascade poem


The wheat touches your back,
The wind whispers, slow.
All your eyes are closed?

When the light goes black,
And you lose my hand,
The wheat touches your back.

When the mirror is dulled,
And you find the razor,
The wind whispers, slow.

When the people have left,
And you walk into the field, alone.
All your eyes are closed?

america -- sestina poem


He holds in hand fire,
Spasms the oncoming flood.
Each touch to me another drug.
Those are the silent men,
Chewing the tobacco leaf.
I have found my defeat, in the sea.

Dolphins lay dead, in the sea.
Would you believe the heat of this fire?
My desire is wilting, autumn leaf.
Noah’s deceit, in the flood.
And the quiet men,
They take their drug.

Licking the sighs, his drug,
Bitter to sweet, my sea;
Do you trust silent men?
Overcoats of fur, tiger-fire?
They will come in a flood,
When winter has eaten the last leaf.

Yew bark, yew leaf,
When smoked, becomes a drug.
My glaciers caught the flood.
Last of the ships to haunt the sea,
No more lighthouse fire.
What do with quiet men?

Among silent men,
Holding the page, paper leaf.
Their curtained fire,
Saturniid’s favoured drug.
Will you hide the dream in the sea?
Let it be hidden by the flood?

River breaks; starts...

patroclus


Over the fence,
Pockets full of joy,
Reckless youth in the sun.

Tore his blue jeans,
That beautiful boy,
Over the fence.

Sins for a means,
Ever so coy,
Reckless youth in the sun.

First across the greens,
He pledges a toy,
Over the fence.

First of sixteens,
Achilles to my Troy,
Reckless youth in the sun.

King of the queens,
That beautiful boy.
Over the fence,
Reckless youth in the sun.

ode to his australia


my eagle,
swooping over
sodom, the south
of sydeny,
past the grass
and glass of
modernity.
how you hunt,
how you haunt;
cat-eyed,
black tie,
into the night.
wings silent and sharp,
and that piercing talon,
you dare not depart.

my lamb,
soft and loud,
salted caramel sea,
spitting on limestone.
the buzz of colas
and cocaine.
peach fuzz on lips,
on your hips.
no horns, no hooves,
bound legs to earth,
bound legs to perth.
kiss me, kiss me.
what is your worth?

my lion,
so hot to touch,
brisbane’s bane;
baked black by midday’s sun.
holding back the dawn
with the taunt of your
shoulders, the felt of dusk
heavy in your mane.
ravage the carcass,
corpse,
spoil the rot.
eating my remains;
a lover, scavenger
of sunset.
pray, tell me your name?

my man,
the body of mud,
held firm by the breath of
joseph’s god.
pointing at the stars,
chart prophesy, paths.
the cells collapsing in...

Oscar Gets Pretentious

 A friend asked me how I wrote things that are interesting.

1. Find something to write about that means something to you. The moment you won a sporting event, or your first kiss. The scary movie you watched with your friends that seemed to become real. The town secret. The time you got lost in the woods. Your best friend. God. It doesn’t have to matter to anyone else -- the only person you have to please is yourself. 

2. Feel the thing. Hold it inside you. How the cookie tasted. How the Ferris wheel stopped, with you at the top. How you feel, vertically down, into the river below. Know how it connects to you, and how it connects to others. Let the thing possess you.

3. Pick some images, some metaphors, and some similes. Leaves aren’t just leaves, they’re also the feathers of trees. Your boyfriend isn’t a mortal, he’s a star -- with moldavite eyes, rare and...

OLIVE OIL ON THE FLOOR


woman clutches her hands,
the broken fingernails,
knife wounds,
knife words,
bitch and whore and slut.
are carved on her arms,
or on the heart?

i am rot. i am the spoil.

man didn’t mean to
hurt her like that.
not this time,
or the last time,
or the sixth time.
he is crying upstairs,
wet and naked in bed.
the alcoholic, don’t you know?
the melancholic, won’t you know?
she wouldn’t stop screaming
so he raised the fists,
knuckles aren’t sharp
he thinks.
she is weeping,
split open on the floor.
there is no blood,
there is no blood,
this time.

this time -

she scrubs the floor,
feeling the space on her shoulder.
where he kissed her,
where he held her,
where he snapped the bone.
he rubs his eyes,
seeing his father,
phantom faced.
mother is gone, out the door.
no creak, just a silent roar.
little sister by his side.

should she leave him, all alone?
...

other colours poem


Are we lost?
Frost on the ground in spring.
Perhaps a mistake,
Perhaps you should have taken
The next exit.

Perplexed, the moss
Slumps to peat.
Oh, the unbearable
Noise, the parabolic
Heat. Turn the air con
Back on, please.

Ice cream by Rome,
Roads run to the east.
Repeat, repeat, house
Prices. Never fixed.
To rent, you must repair.
Buy what is desired, dear.

Past heaven’s gate,
Pope in pastels.
Does he smile?
With the children on his
Lion’s tail.  Few more miles,
Up the beast, the beach.

How the mirror is dark
With the sunlight,
The rice white.
Dictate the terms,
Paws in mouth.
Don’t pout, princess.

Sometimes I wish
I had violet eyes,
Too purple to believe.
Sometimes I wish
I had wings, too thick
To be seen.
Sometimes I wish
I could die,
Deep beneath the sea.

teenage years, tempests


those feathered fingers,
grappling the storm,
how they fly;

>
thunderbirds,
thunderbirds,
biting into the powerline.

put the ring on his
tongue, the bell is
loose, let run;

>
thunderbirds,
thunderbirds,
wings a-gust, eternal and young.

the jar smashed, earthquake,
heaven splits out,
births my hate;

>
thunderbirds,
thunderbirds,
father calls our love debased.

birds


The birds are hanging onto the wind.
Older than most, on this red soil, the land.

Blackbirds, jackdaws, osprey and skylark. Kingfishers javelin-toothed, the navy raven, glossy and dark. Serpent paws clinging to the powerlines; feathers, Joseph’s coat of colours, caught against the sky.

There are grey-paste budgies and galahs, congo pink; canaries in burnt yellow salute. On and on, beaked and winged. Herons eerie and reptilian, falcons in art-deco bronze. How many did Moses set, across the sea?

Silent, songs broken, they stand.
The birds are hanging onto the wind.

echo snippet

Whispering.

That’s all I can hear over the crackling static of the radio. Long, drawn out scratches, gouged deep into the audio. Mutterings washed away in a sea of noise. Human voices drowning in their own beauty.

Beside me, the coffee is hot, warm in the spring chill, oblivious to the slow drip of rain outside. Frothy waves of cream spiral about, rising and falling; liquid heartbeats.

ariel


From the infinite red-
Crowned in thorns-
You spread your wings.

Calcifer’s laurel wreath-
Made of sand, made of teeth-
Depressed, digest your sin.

Such extraordinary things-
Pauper poet, no laureate-
An island in your eye.

False prophetess-
God agrees in the psalm-
Build with concrete, human defeat.

Bow, whirl so complete-
Now the world’s corners close-
Trap doors, trap jaws.

Lion on savannah, Hannah’s might-
Save Samuel of her sight-
Take my applause, my kings.

Angel of Pubescence-
Illuminate the substanceless dark-
Lantern of lightning’s spark.

From the finite sea-
Countless the drops-
Colonial nothings.

Riding the humans, you-
Centaured body-
Into the sobbing blue.

I left a rose on the bed-
And a rod, and a lamb-
We are taken, we are damned.
 

ganymede


jove

I saw once saw an eagle, perched on a lemon tree. I saw it take a piece of fruit in its pale claws. I saw it rip the lemon in half. And then, lacquered in sap, I remember seeing it soar off. Where, I do not know. I was too busy feeling nothing.

A pleasant nothing. Like the burden -- whatever weight inside me, seedlike --now torn out. Like the calcium, the carbonate, my skeleton -- heaviness -- devoured.

Like I was free, had finally left the ground.

Flesh, skin, drying underneath the lemon tree.

And now, I can feel it again, staring at the sea.

He is looking at me. I know that at least.

“Ezekiel.”

“What, John?”

“Do you want to go swimming?” He moved a hand onto my knee. Four fingers, a thumb, grasping. Grabbing the flesh, the kneecap itself. A thousand nerves flash. Waves grind the shoreline to sand. It’s rough, out there.

“It’s rough,...

ganymede


jove

I saw once saw an eagle, perched on a lemon tree. I saw it take a piece of fruit in its pale claws. I saw it rip the lemon in half. And then, lacquered in sap, I remember seeing it soar off. Where, I do not know. I was too busy feeling nothing.

A pleasant nothing. Like the burden -- whatever weight inside me, seedlike --now torn out. Like the calcium, the carbonate, my skeleton -- heaviness -- devoured.

Like I was free, had finally left the ground.

Flesh, skin, drying underneath the lemon tree.

And now, I can feel it again, staring at the sea.

He is looking at me. I know that at least.

“Ezekiel.”

“What, John?”

“Do you want to go swimming?” He moved a hand onto my knee. Four fingers, a thumb, grasping. Grabbing the flesh, the kneecap itself. A thousand nerves flash. Waves grind the shoreline to sand. It’s rough, out there.

“It’s rough,...

bird boy song


Verse one
Is there a reason
We don’t speak anymore?
Cat’s paw, lion roar.
The flock fled east.
My sparrow.
Bird boy,
They are looking for grain,
To feast, to feast.
Do you applaud?

Verse Two
Lying, raw, on the bed.
My sparrow,
I stroke your heads.
Oh, bird boy,
Carrion crows watch.
How you’ve fed.

Chorus
God forbid,
God forgive,
I forget your name.
On the seventh night,
Oh, Angel of Light,
Led me, led me.
I look on his left.

Chorus 2
God forbid,
God forgive,
You have led me
Astray; ashtray
Chest burned
Rash red.
On my
Breast,
On my best.
Oh, bird boy,
How I’ve bled.

Verse 3
Nothing left in the field,
Bird boy. Nothing here,
To yield, to hitch.
Styrofoam cup in hand,
I pray to god in the only way I can.

Verse 4
Did you love me,
Did you love me?
Jove and Ganymede,
I have falcons to feed.
Sparrows and skylarks,
Oh...

lady


Royal and red,
Oh lady, take him to bed.
Your husband to be king.
Ache for a knife, Macbeth.
Let him rest, let him rest.

in having no name.
yet you played the game.


Bath the hand, the blood
In river, corpse grey.
Twisted crime, regicide.
Can you still sleep, queen?
How you believed.

in having no shame.
yet you played the game.

 

juliet


Oh, emerald eyes,
Oh, the blonde of her hair, flax turned-
Fairy gold, fairy gold!
Oh, Juliet,
I have no regret,
No regret,
Dancer in my dreams,
Masked for father’s role,
Made me scream in delight.
Slender and sweet,
Oh and oh!
I have no regret,
My Juliet,
Hold me slow.
~
Is your hair silk,
Or silver? Dare
I know? Run
Fingers down
The thigh, touch
Glimmer in your
Eye. Oh, Juliet,
You have taken
My regret, forged
It, set to steel.
Steel love,
Steel love,
A thing I dare wield.
Tybalt! Take your bets!
~
The sunset is
A shadow to
My Juliet,
My greatest regret.
Oh and oh!
Fairy gold, fool’s gold.
The world is reft,
Poison kissed,
I miss the heart,
Plunged steel love,
Tore this soul
Apart.
Oh, where art thou Romeo?
He hath lead me to this death.

miranda


Daughter of dew dusk,
Why do you stare at the sea?
Seething, sleeping, you dream.
Youthful cheeks, stripped skin,
Velvet curls fold black-birch hair;
Careful what you wear.
And your sun-kissed lips,
Thick-accented, no lisp.
Boyish, sway on virgin hips.
~
Casting your lot now,
With grey rune stone, glassen bone.
Daughter, do not gloam.
For the sea, callow,
Howls now, hungers for your soul.
Will you pay the toll?
Hippomenes' heels,
Can carry so far -
Left the bedroom door ajar.
~
Carve the cloven pine,
Slaying the demon, my love,
And run and run and-
Ferdinand, he gasps
Another beast for maiming.
Wild ocean, now tamed.
Ever androgyne,
Ravaged by us all.
In seaweed, burial shawls.

lady


Royal and red,
Oh lady, take him to bed.
Your husband to be king.
Ache for a knife, Macbeth.
Let him rest, let him rest.

having no name.

Bath the hand, the blood
In river, corpse grey.
Twisted crime, regicide.
Can you still sleep, queen?
How you believed.

having no shame.

The Vistas Beyond

pine poem 3


How past the glass, our trees bend, swan-necked. Pewter pine, guarded gum. My favourite is the willow; can you hear her whispers?

vampyr


The vampire sits, staring at living stone. Grey suit sharp in dark, his hands clenched tight on lap. Rouge eyes, ruddy, focus on the museum walls. A hundred years have passed since he visited last. Dust whispers in the air, drunk on death. Before him, draped in silt and ash, a dinosaur.

The vampire sits, staring at living stone. Blood drips from his lower lip. He has made another mistake. Perhaps he should have prayed. Instead, he cups the statue’s face. He traces marble muscles, the absent bones. Oh, the beauty; Oh, the body. Atlas frozen, back broken by a globe.

The vampire sits, staring at living stone. There is something different in him. It is jagged and cracked. Long ago, he would have called it his soul. In one hand weak, a knife, brown-stained, bold. In the other, green and glistening, a cold gemstone.

a meal of verse










With rod and lamb,
He breaks the dam;
Red water-
Ruins, stained hands.














 

oh why?

Deepest blue spilling-
Over me, Evangeline.
Why did you leave us, by the sea?

Why did you grieve us, by the sea?
Coastlines stained bitch black -
Under me, Evangeline.

After me, Evangeline.
Did you deceive us, by the sea?
Watching waves sinking-

Ode to Americana


Oh lady, green gowned-

He has stolen my lost heart;

Black gold sold at market-

He has pulled it all apart;

Dark river frayed and grey-

Graceful in this loveless art;

He hates my dresses-

Restless and red, your sweetheart;

wind / lake / lost mother

The day my mother died, she took me to a lake. Wind pawed at my cardigan; big breaths of something even bigger. I asked her if it was God.
She smiled tightly, tucked me into her arms.
“Maybe.”
We came to the lake.
It was a vast, silver mirror, upturned, forgotten, tarnished at the corners by mud. Beauty swirled in the water; smokey & soft. Rivers spilled at from all sides; bordering it was our city, & further south, a small town. Mist rose up from geysers -- shimmering steam chimneys. All so cold.
We sat at the end of a pier, one of the many grey fingers dipped into the lake. She wrapped her coat ‘round me. Wind pawed at it, but her body sheltered me.
It was the warmest thing I ever wore.
Her hair was bunched up, to ponytail shortness.
“Darling, you know I love you?”
“Yes, mama.”
“No matter where I am?”
“Of course mama.”
She...

a morsel of verse.


Wind roils
In his arms,
A sparrow
Snatched.

Autumn fevers
maple skin.
My muse smiles;
Quiets the lake.

Tiptoe
Over the slick
River stones,
Cuts his feet.

Slice
The water
To silver
Ribbons.

I stare from
My vantage
Of black and
Ash.

And wonder,
How many
Decades
Touched his back.

Marble bones,
Hewed red gold,
Frozen in my
Photograph.

The summer
is a
Century past.
Never again;

He has
Flown away-
Carried by
the wind. 
 

skeleton of my house


take a step -
fingerprints frozen 'gainst windowpane.

and the fractures

fallen down -
sorrow floods gutters: silvery green.

ground teeth -
groan of furniture, bittersweet.

and the fractures

horror eating- the starkness swallows me.

up and up-
snapped dreams: blue bird wings.

and the fractures

gentle trace -
the split in the wall, good pain.

walk slow -
shrink back to old youth.

and the fractures

whisper low -
this home knows my name.

leave it -
close the door, close the jaw.

and wander away.

Library Magic

paper cemetery


       I’ve never had a library.
Instead, a tower of books,
         Squared in my room’s corners,
Paper cemetery.
          A ladder--
(pulped wood, pine scent)
         Made of shifting souls--
(fictions, fancy, fact)
         Splitting my fingers--
(swords and sunsets and burned out lamps)
         With wisdom--
(unrelenting hurricanes, so fresh and furious)
        And beautiful rage--
(red and boiling, volcanic soil bursting)
              For me--
(small and quiet, moth-boy)
             To climb--
(to fly)
            Paper cemetery.
Squared in my room’s corners,
          human, a tower of books.
I’ve never had a library.

a late night prayer

oh my god
do you hear
our screams?


children,
innocence sold
for a second
of screaming
& a fit
of bodies rough
& raw & hideous
& you do nothing
as they are
carved & cut
like beasts
cloven-hoofed
beasts you
consumed
sodom you burned
but not this
not this oh my god
not this.
you made angels
& men
& animals
but look at
what you gave them:
knives & guns
& your first name
whispered as the
atomic bombs go
off.
i’m a little afraid
that you fucked
up, god.
that you made a human
mistake in the same
shape as you. did you,
did you,
intend for the school shootings
& drug addictions & beatings
beating bruises or the chapped
lips of girlfriends cradling broken
boyfriends back from war did you did you
think of all the problems
you have shaped
oh my god,
what the fuck
are you doing as the
people starved in fields
of...

what it's like to -


my dream’s
chosen me,
riding me -
his fleece of
silver river
skin stripped & spun
round a foal he was strong
& swift: wind-on-waves
-sparrows-in-spring
& i named him pegasus my
dream did not have wings but
i fed him anyway
on green apples & copper pennies
because he grew & grew my dream
bigger & thicker as horses do & soon
he had hooves sharp as steel blades
my dream he was faster now &
we’d ride cross mountain vales of memory,
he & i my dream hoarse & coarse through
Meadows my dream warm ‘gainst
melancholy & i screamed into forests as we
crunched oak & concrete to my dust my
dream &  i needed no friends because
we were strong-swift-fast & how
we were running not on grass or lichen
but desert soil & heat got in my
blood heat so cold it made your
tongue thaw in cheek
& my dream got rowdy
-sweaty &...

pine poem 2


Warm layers -
Without leaves;
Can you hold me?

Raven caw,
Raven maw!
Swoop 
And.

~cold heat~
~clings mightly~

Snare
Us.
Ravens soar,
Ravens roar!

Have you held me?
Had to leave;
Pine trees -


hymn one: red snow

 
Gutless snake slithers -
Crossed to river's salted thigh -
She coils in the dyke;

never has to bite

~Dawn is sinking
Dawn is bleeding~

Gull-winged girl flies up -
Feathers filthy with my ink -
Seas roll and rock ‘bout;

never a goodnight

~Morning shrieking
Morning bleeding~

Goat horned goddess hold me tight -
Tooth touch, smooth smile wry -
Sappho slight against the sky;

never out of lies

~Red snow leaking
Red snow bleeding~

pine poem 1


those pines stand tall.
needles sharp -
touch so -
soft -

spring’s stare
in autumn.
        ~ seed
gilt ‘gainst
winter glare

loft -
skies held -
weigh them down -
those pines now bow.




 

marine


Roe ribs,
Caviar kisses.
Fin meets finger;
--
Your flesh:
Salmon.


Gill gasps,
Scale-on-skin.
Lick strange liquid;
--
Your hair:
Jellyfish.


Hook hugs,
Shell stillness.
Minnows in mouth; 
--
Our stare:
Pearl.

Cheap Popcorn Kisses #zixmusic


Verse one

Dear lover!
Tell me,
About the pain.
Needle under skin,
Lips on lips, stretched
Too thin.
Dear lover!
Tell me,
About the way
Water scratches
You from me.
Each shower,
A skimming
of sin.
Dear lover!

Chorus

Flowers in lungs,
Thorn-ribbed
Tongue,
Teeth like seeds,
Bite down in peach
Cheeks. I want you,
You want to taste
Me.
Dear lover!
Coughing up
the wilderness,
My hands nervous,
Bird wings.
Dear lover!

Verse Two

Make a heart
From dry clay,
Shattered piece
S
Wet and crumbling.
Le beau,
Take me to a
Carousel. Plastic
Horses gilded
Deep black.
Cheap popcorn
Kisses,
Dear Lover!

Chorus 2

Flowers in lungs,
Thorn-ribbed
Tongue,
I am sour,
The sweet salted,
Dark chocolate,
Not a misses.
Dear lover!
Coughing up
the wilderness,
My body nervous,
Goose-pricked
From fox-fingers.
Dear lover!

Verse 3

I am unwelcome,
Like rain in winter.
But hold the second,
Dear Lover!
You left me for a
Year. Migratory
Beast, feast ...

Queen of Swans


Queen of Swans,
Tongue tied with
Ribbons of river-flame.
        <>
Ash feather gown, her
Dripping crimson crown,
Queen of Swans.

London


There, on the hill,
A wandering city.

It has no feet,
Yet it walks.

Skyscraper tongues,
Train-station intestines.

Chewing up coal,
With its tobacco people.

Brown is their colour,
Of skin and hair and eye.

Coats of light cream,
Red and green and blue and white.

They go searching,
For places and peculiarities.

They go walking,
Up the hill.

A wandering city,
Whispering.

Concrete kisses,
A sewer-bed secret.

Fox-doves scattering,
Coyote bones clicking.

There, far away from us,
A home.
 

blood poem


liquid,
so deep,
i thirst. a burgundy,
a brandished red. to slake
the taste of it. stake it in my heart.
the raw. the roar. the red. 

oh,
flow,
rivers of capillaries,
creek-bed veins, flood
the lake in her brain.
suffocate. drain it all
out. black syrup weight.
azure-tinted
skin. noble until nothing.


bind us,
oh, tainted chains
of trepidation. rust,
old oranges set in hair.
tint of iron painted in your
eyes. the color of nightmare.
it runs in families,
wild and howling.

seep,
from you to me.
carry us on backs
of methamphetamines. 
LSD highlights, neon
tapestry. a hormone,
racing down a highway. the thrift
of a body, old coat left threadbare.

the blood, the blood.
the raw. the roar.
the red.



 

another song?


Verse one.

I’m so lonely,
The old guitar on your wall,
One note wonder;
I’m so lonely,
The violin in the gutter,
Wordless splutter.
I’m so lonely,
But you bruise me,
In the shallow night.

Chorus.

There isn’t much left;
I’m so lonely,
Forest with no leaves,
Roots in my ribs.
I’m so lonely,
Clipped winged watcher;
I’m so lonely,
And-I-wonder.

Verse Two.

Hold the bridge,
Bricks loose as teeth.
Staining sapphire puddles,
Blacker than ink.
You're so lonely,
Half-moon wrist,
Resting on my chest.

Chorus.

There isn’t much left;
I’m so lonely,
Forest with no leaves,
Roots in my ribs.
I’m so lonely,
Clipped winged watcher;
I’m so lonely,
And-I-wonder.

Verse Three.

Digging out the arrow.
Maggot ruptures,
White as your
Eyes on
Halloween.
You’re so lonely,
Even holding
Me.

Ending.

There is nothing but ash.
I’m so lonely,
Forests red with flames,
Ribs ravaged.
I’m so lonely,
Azrael and his host;
I’m so lonely,
And-I-wonder,
And-I-wonder,
What it...

desert poem


A desert,
He reaches out,
Fingertips dark with dust.
Are you sure?

Sand rubbed skin,
Weeping blisters;
Roll of fat,
Sore from glass kisses.

Hyena howls,
Yaps of ecstasy.
Euphoria, fossilized!
Our human growls.

On eagle wing,
Take me.
Djinn inside,
Hot and slippery.

Then,
Storm clouds.
Red roars silver,
Deepest glass of water.

Drown in the river,
Wash soil from secrets.
Dry hands on dry shoulders.
I pull away.

My body is dark
With your
Dust.
 

another song?


Verse one.

I’m so lonely,
The old guitar on your wall,
One note wonder;
I’m so lonely,
The violin in the gutter,
Wordless splutter.
I’m so lonely,
But your bruise me,
In the shallow night.

Chorus.

There isn’t much left;
I’m so lonely,
Forest with no leaves,
Roots in my ribs.
I’m so lonely,
Clipped winged watcher;
I’m so lonely,
And-I-wonder.

Verse Two.

Hold the bridge,
Bricks loose as teeth.
Staining sapphire puddles,
Blacker than ink.
You're so lonely,
Half-moon wrist,
Resting on my chest.

Chorus.

There isn’t much left;
I’m so lonely,
Forest with no leaves,
Roots in my ribs.
I’m so lonely,
Clipped winged watcher;
I’m so lonely,
And-I-wonder.

Verse Three.

Digging out the arrow.
Maggot ruptures,
White as your
Eyes on
Halloween.
You’re so lonely,
Even holding
Me.

Ending.

There is nothing but ash.
I’m so lonely,
Forests red with flames,
Ribs ravaged.
I’m so lonely,
Azrael and his host;
I’m so lonely,
And-I-wonder,
And-I-wonder,
What it...

Ode to Daphne


Her body,
Resting on the wall.
~
Flesh falling back,
The peel of paperbark.

Eyes, the hollow,
Shallow-breathed sycamore.
~
Arms outstretch,
Fingers twist to twig.

Hair fraying to mycelium,
Flagellate threads.
~
He cuts open her chest,
Prys past wet breast.

Bones are broken,
Ribs ripped with root.
~
Body,
Fertile crescent.

Spine snapped with
Grapevine;
~
Veins sticky with sap,
Capillaries raw as wine.

Lips brush,
Blush of blossoms.
~
Heart, gnarled
And gnawed with pain.

Daphne,
Laurel-tree, hold her;
~
Apollo,
His arrow-sharp lust, fletched ferocity.

Raving,
Ravaging, human rust.
~
Tomahawk hacking,
Weep, willow,
Ache, ash.

Oak bleeding in her grove,
‘Gainst my windowpane;
~
Pressed fingerprints,
Her wind-rustle scream.

Shimmer


A smile,
A crescent of silver.
~
Shekels shining,
Enough for his life.

a spell


why don't you
love
me?


I have said the words,
by night and moon-
light;

there is a needle
in the poppets black
heart;

yet you still stare
back,
empty.
 

one minute poetry


hold the end of the day,
twixt thumb and forefinger;
compress the seconds to silt.

let the hours linger.
it's the only time we have left,
as the flood carries us apart.


seconds of stillness,
interspersed,
with our rioting hearts.

The Challenge of Courage

on courage, on stonewall.


they fought with fists and high heels,
makeup stained beards;
the slurry of shame,
no longer flooding their hearts.

they fought, with lips locked
under blacklights, hurling
sharpened stones;
watching the world crumble.

and they will keep fighting and dying,
a rose that withers
then rises, thorned,
in the dawn.

taking down the walls,
a brick at a time,
breaking bones;
a thousand colors on our soul.

we light up the dark. 
 

a song, like a wave in a conch shell. #paperbirdcontest



My black needle,
    In your heart
        Of stone.

An aeon ago,
A man wandered the Wastes. He was singing a mourning song.
Oh, Orpheus, the muse-less.
On his feet, blood-smeared sandals. In his hand, a broken lyre. ‘Round his head, laurels glinting gold. A sigh flutters soft from his lips, a moth resting on the wind.
Oh, Orpheus, the madness.
Mothered by Calliope, goddess of graceful words, he had a gift of golden voice. The rivers wept for him, the mountains shuddered. Birds and beast alike lay at his feet, calmed and cooled. Orpheus, the drowner of siren song. Friend to Odysseus, Heracles, Achilles.
Even his screams haunt with melody.  
A man wandered the Wastes. He was singing a mourning song.
Banished to the dark, Orpheus was. His sorrow made the sun sull from the sky; wheat withered, weighed down by the pain of music. The gods carried him sleeping on the River...

a song, like a wave in a conch shell. #paperbirdcontest



My black needle,
    In your heart
        Of stone.

An aeon ago,
A man wandered the Wastes. He was singing a mourning song.
Oh, Orpheus, the muse-less.
On his feet, blood-smeared sandals. In his hand, a broken lyre. ‘Round his head, laurels glinting gold. A sigh flutters soft from his lips, a moth resting on the wind.
Oh, Orpheus, the madness.
Mothered by Calliope, goddess of graceful words, he had a gift of golden voice. The rivers wept for him, the mountains shuddered. Birds and beast alike lay at his feet, calmed and cooled. Orpheus, the drowner of siren song. Friend to Odysseus, Heracles, Achilles.
Even his screams haunt with melody.  
A man wandered the Wastes. He was singing a mourning song.
Banished to the dark, Orpheus was. His sorrow made the sun sull from the sky; wheat withered, weighed down by the pain of music. The gods carried him sleeping on the River...

formatting ikr



I felt your fingernails in my heart
!Sharp and shivering
,And I felt you tearing it apart

I know that I will survive
,A distant dandelion on the tarmac
;Yet I don’t know if I’m alive

My limbs encased in concrete
,The weight of your arms around me
;Am I incomplete
?

A STOLEN FAIRYTALE

Once, there was a girl. 

She had something cut out of her heart. One day, her aching became too much. It sent her to the woods.

A man, many years before, had said he loved her voice. Loved it so much, he sliced it out for himself. The girl went mute. On her neck, slashes of red, feathery as fish gills. 

So, she wandered to the wilds.

The aspen and birch grew up, with branches and brambles to cover the clouds. They slashed at the girl's arms, but she kept going. No man would marry a mute girl. No lady would hire a mute maid. No one would take pity on a cripple.

So, the girl kept through the thorns and the thickets. Her wounds did not weep. There was not enough feeling in her body to bleed.

Here, in the heart of the forest, the girl lay down on the ground. 

She opened her mouth. A dry, sandy croak....

to my favourite titan


oh,
Atlas,
hold up
the world.


 

In the House

dancing demons


i n t h e h o u s e,

dancing in the dark, a shade. his voice is hollow as his missing throat. on his feet, ballet shoes. on his shiver-skin, black tights.
 
t r a p p e d i n t h i s h o u s e.

gouged and grey, smeared with secrets. buried beneath us, bones broken by the foundation stone. 

i h a v e d o n e s u c h w r o n g.

and he is empty, a doll, a vessel for a soul. spinning and spinning, footsteps perfect in their silence.

i n a n d o u t o f y o u r e y e.

that shadow, glistening in the gloom. up, he goes, lighter than a balloon.

i m i s s t h e w a r m t h. 

dare you dare to dance with him?

i c a n f...

Turned to Stone

Warlock

He held my beating heart in his hand. I could feel an emptiness in my chest, a sucking in of air. Cold, and crumbs of dust. I am going to die, I think.

But I didn't.

Instead, I signed my name in his shiny, warty, leathery Book.

Jezebel.

Everyday Magic

invisible, yet


you see the way the wind dresses?
      in lace gowns of snow, frilled and frozen. 
          in harvest hue, maple and oak clinging to her throat.
               in pollen, petals and buds placed perfect on her spine. 
                   in hot drapes of cloud, slick and shining with sunlight.
 

In the House

dancing demons


i n t h e h o u s e,

dancing in the dark, a shade. his voice is hollow as his missing throat. on his feet, ballet shoes. on his shiver-skin, black tights.
 
t r a p p e d i n t h i s h o u s e.

gouged and grey, smeared with secrets. buried beneath us, bones broken by the foundation stone. 

i h a v e d o n e s u c h w r o n g.

and he is empty, a doll, a vessel for a soul. spinning and spinning, footsteps perfect in their silence.

i n a n d o u t o f y o u r e y e.

that shadow, glistening in the gloom. up, he goes, lighter than a balloon.

i m i s s t h e w a r m t h. 

dare you dare to dance with him?

i c a n f...

ode to a mammoth




Ivory of the aeon;
Ancient, so white.
~
Tall skinned tower,
Free of tundra blight.

Someone hurt you,
A millennium ago.
~
Colossal, now cowering,
A beast buried by snow.

They will use your teeth,
To tell stories of men.
~
They will eat your flesh;
Guide them, winter wren.


God of glaciers,
Hear me from the Holocene.
~
Take me to your graveyard,
Of the giant and oliphantine.

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

The only way things ever change is to leave something behind.

So, that day, I left her.

My Nana’s death lasted an hour, but her suffering stretched back for months. Part of her was killing the rest. And the cure was killing her faster. And she had killed herself by smoking until she’d painted her lungs black. So much killing, it made making my Mother worried. So, we sped back and forth from our hometown to the city, watching the world loll past. I spent days staring at the sky, and her milky clouds. Cataracts, blinding me to the end of things.

I won’t pretend that it was easy, entering the hospital, trying to smile, trying to give anything other than fear. That would only hurt her faster, and I had seconds left before she slipped away. It makes you appreciate the millenia in a moment.

That split in time, when her eyes grazed mine.

The doctors flooded the room....

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

The only way things ever change is to leave something behind.

So, that day, I left her.

My Nana’s death lasted an hour, but her suffering stretched back for months. Part of her was killing the rest. And the cure was killing her faster. And she had killed herself by smoking until she’d painted her lungs black. So much killing, it made making my Mother worried. So, we sped back and forth from our hometown to the city, watching the world loll past. I spent days staring at the sky, and her milky clouds. Cataracts, blinding me to the end of things.

I won’t pretend that it was easy, entering the hospital, trying to smile, trying to give anything other than fear. That would only hurt her faster, and I had seconds left before she slipped away. It makes you appreciate the eternity in a second.

The doctors flooded the room. They had such deep sympathies, you could drown in...

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

The only way things ever change is to leave something behind.

So, that day, I left her.

My Nana’s death lasted an hour, but her suffering stretched back for months. Part of her was killing the rest. And the cure was killing her faster. And she had killed herself by smoking until she’d painted her lungs black. So much killing, it made making my Mother worried. So, we sped back and forth from our hometown to the city, watching the world loll past. I spent days staring at the sky, and her milky clouds. Cataracts, blinding me to the end of things.

I won’t pretend that it was easy, entering the hospital, trying to smile, trying to give anything other than fear. That would only hurt her faster, and I had seconds left before she slipped away. It makes you appreciate the eternity in a second.

The doctors flooded the room. They had such deep sympathies, you could drown in...

butterfly wings #contestfor69

    I feel myself shrinking beside the train.
    In a second, I am as small as a whisper. It’s howling hurtle past makes the world petite. Inconsequential, quiet to the thunder of this machine. My body always has the same sensation, when I stand on the ledge and the tracks start to glow. Wind rushes across my face. Stillness traces my shoulder blades.
    Falling forwards.
    Then he pulls me back.
    During the summer, we used to come here often. He’d grab blankets, I’d snatch food. We’d eat strawberries from each other’s lips. Lick chocolate from cheeks. Feel so warm in the sun. When it came to the afternoon, David’s hair would rust, hazelnut twisting dirty blonde.
    We never kissed. He's terrified someone would find us, out in the forest. I told him he was being stupid. He’d stare at me.      David was the son of the mayor. Together, we danced in the depth of a red state. In our...

butterfly wings #contestfor69

    I feel myself shrinking beside the train.
    In a second, I am as small as a whisper. It’s howling hurtle past makes the world petite. Inconsequential, quiet to the thunder of this machine. My body always has the same sensation, when I stand on the ledge and the tracks start to glow. Wind rushes across my face. Stillness traces my shoulder blades.
    Falling forwards.
    Then he pulls me back.
    During the summer, we used to come here often. He’d grab blankets, I’d snatch food. We’d eat strawberries from each other’s lips. Lick chocolate from cheeks. Feel so warm in the sun. When it came to the afternoon, David’s hair would rust, hazelnut twisting dirty blonde.
    We never kissed. He's terrified someone would find us, out in the forest. I told him he was being stupid. He’d stare at me.     ​David was the son of the mayor. Together, we danced in the depth of a red state. In our...

please sing to me, even if we can't be free.


I am a songbird,
Can they hear my sigh?
~
You are a whisper,
Yet you hear my cry?


Flowers stitched by seed,
Patched with history.
~
Rivers weft by weed,
Drowned with memory.


I am a fox,
Can you see my cowering?
~
You are a lie,
Yet you stopped my devouring.


Trees are swaying,
Outside my window.
~
Laughter is weighing,
Inside your heart.


Feelings rarely last,
Past summer.
~
Teenage love,
Always a newcomer.


I am a hawk,
Forever to be hunting the moor.
~
You are a rabbit,
Never to be caught in my paw.


So the night goes low,
And our bodies meet.
~
So the breath starts to slow,
And our lust retreats.


Can you meet my eye,
At school the next day?
~
Yet the bruises remind me,
Of the hours spent in gray.

picket-fence, pitch-fork

The father comes to his loving family. He embraces his wife. They kiss. She thinks of how she loves him so. He thinks of the softness of her hair, the beauty of her care. Two children, a boy, and a petite girl, tug at their parents. They lock into a collective hug. A picture of a nuclear family. Framed in silver, hung on a wall.

I sneer. My wings open, and flap. I soar across the sky, bringing a thunderstorm in my wake. 

She is sobbing, the emptiness inside her aching. The baby she was carrying has hollowed her out. She is hallowed, harrowed, by the blood spilling from her womb. Her children hide away in the house, playing with their toys, with their dreams. They ignore her. Her husband ignores her, too. She misses his kisses. His laugh. His warmth beside her in bed. She yearns for him taking her out on dates. She hates having no purpose other than mother. ...

Once the World Was...

once / the / world

once the world was dark.

we fought the shadows, until they gave us light.

once the world was cold.

we warmed it with our bleeding hearts.

once the world was empty.

we filled it with our cities, our song. 

folk tale, fork tail


dragon of gold!
with teeth so sharp,
horns of caprine old,
serpent of the seven seas,
with wings of vellum,
fly with me.

to bronze lands,
where kings and queens rule from clockwork thrones,
and maidens cover faces in veils of silver silks.

to green lands,
where lovers wrap their bodies in bark,
and grasslands spring from the blood of babes unborn.

oh, great dragon of gold,
compass lodged to tick inside your heaving hearts,
map the worlds beyond-the-books,
help me before their writing starts.

before the pen scratches earth to mountain,
and frost-bit white to salty blue.

before the sky is forged from onyx and marble,
wove through with crimson hues. 

to Narnia, Fillory,
Hinterlands, Westeros, 
Lyssia,  Temerant;

so much ink steeped into the soil,
the breathless air;
the bleeding of one world
to produce one new.

dragon of gold!
god of the lizards, 
secret-keeper of salamanders!
take me from this world,
hold me on your wings;
compass heart...

Thinking of Moving Liquids




I wish I had gills.
So I could walk free,
Beneath the sea.

Like a blackbird on my fence,
Chirping at me.
I would swim with glee.

Hair black with salt and vinegar,
The wash and wave of water.
First, I'd wander to my river.

Take my face and kiss the rills,
Letting them tickle me.
Then, the sprint to the sea.

Ocean azures,
Cloud-crushed whites,
the blackbird cries from her sky.

Oh, how I'd dive,
Deep to see ships dancing,
Depthless to see orcas lancing.

Till the only light is my skin,
Luminous nothing-night;
And the maw of Charybdis swallows me.

Once I tasted the touch of trenches,
Had the pressure squeeze my heart,
I would rise up.

Balloon set adrift.
Human and swollen,
Letting currents cradle me.

I would love to never touch another shore.
Drop from Dover's cliffs,
Ravage a riptide.

But I am here,
Dry and dangerous,
Waiting for the rain.

How I drown in my
dream.
 

folk tale, fork tail


dragon of gold!
with teeth so sharp,
horns of caprine old,
serpent of the seven seas,
with wings of vellum,
fly with me.

to bronze lands,
where kings and queens rule from clockwork thrones,
and maidens cover faces in veils of silver silks.

to green lands,
where lovers wrap their bodies in bark,
and grasslands spring from the blood of babes unborn.

oh, great dragon of gold,
compass lodged to tick inside your heaving hearts,
map the worlds beyond-the-books,
help me before their writing starts.

before the pen scratches earth to mountain,
and frost-bit white to salty blue.

before the sky is forged from onyx and marble,
wove through with crimson sunlight. 

to Narnia, Fillory,
Hinterlands, Westeros, 
Lyssia,  Temerant;

so much ink steeped into the soil,
the breathless air;
the bleeding of one world
to produce one new.

dragon of gold!
god of the lizards, 
secret-keeper of salamanders!
take me from this world,
hold me on your wings;
compass heart...

a theory

write beautiful words;
on an offbeat chance,
beautiful people may read them.

or,

be prepared to grip
velvet emptiness, letting
hands wilt to bone.
your soul to shadow.
worst, words to echoes of
others.

so,

write powerful words;
on an offbeat chance,
powerful people may read them.
 

a song that I can't sing


title ->> don’t make a sound

Verse
We sound like animals,
Running too wild in the night.
Stitch my lips shut,
Squeeze my heart too tight.
Oh, boy, we sound like animals.

Chorus
Twist and turn, bite till I bleed.
Oh, oh, don’t make a sound.
Oh, oh, don’t make a sound.
They might hear us in the dark, boy.
You’re all I need, boy;
So stop making me scream!

Verse
Back at the bleachers,
Wrapped in each other's warmth.
Hot, so cold, your fingers
As chilled as the north.
Oh, boy, we sound like animals

Chorus
Twist and turn, bite till I bleed.
Oh, oh, don’t make a sound.
Oh, oh, don’t make a sound.
They might hear us in the dark, boy.
You’re all I need, boy;
So stop making me scream!

Bridge
Not birds,
For we have no wings.
But beasts, beasts,
Running wild in each other’s hearts.
Bite, scratch, wrestle, roar
Feel till you feel nothing...

The house was not haunted.


But, it did have a ghost.

She peered out from those tall windows, a soft white shadow. Bald head, cello-wrap skin. Smiling, sharp as a knife to the heart. I rarely saw her, the ghost with a grin. Mother and Father did not like me straying out, in the dark and the dim, to the house. You couldn't see through the river of weeds churning around it. You wouldn't dare set foot in the shade of it's high, haughty hedge. Everything unclipped, everything venomous green.

The lawn thick with flowers in spring.

But, I had a room in the attic. With a window for peering, I'd snare a glimpse of the ghost and her grin. Even rarer, if she snatched me at the edge of her eye, we'd share a smile between us. No waving, no crying out. A quiet, wrinkled twinkle for us to hold together. It wasn't much, and I didn't think of it much, for she was just...

Why I Write

into their hearts

I write to carve my words
into their hearts.



 

Dear Sylvia Plath:

Oh Daddy, I’m due!
You didn’t cut me through and through.
He’s gonna look just like you,
Eyes a flaming Birkenau blue;
Ach du! Ach du!

 

Hearts of Harts (Seven Sisters Poetry Collection)

Hoof tastes soil,
Fist tastes face;

Feather takes finger,
Heart takes hate;

The Waters (Seven Sisters Poetry Collection)

See the river,
bob and ripple;

See the stream,
turn and drip.

See the river,
sob and cripple;

See the stream,
yearn and whip.

Hex

Alice screamed into the rain, letting the blood drool down her face. 
    She could hear nothing but her heart, huge and terrible, beating in her bones. In her hand, she clutched a kitchen knife. In the other, a rooster.
    She slashed at the air, and the clouds seemed to bleed black.




    Jason pressed his lips against Kelly’s, his hand against her breast. They fumbled together, speeding faster and faster down the road.
    It was late and quiet, but a storm was brewing.
    Kelly struggled a little under his grip.“Jace, don’t you think we should wait, till we get home?”
    He continued to lick her ear.
    “Baby, we’ll be there soon.”



    Alice bathes herself in the chants of her sisters. They stand around her, backs rigid, arms linked. Chanting, chanting, their words a wind sweeping from their lungs. Lightning is crackling in their hair.
    A chasm, white and hot and angry, cracks...

Hex

Alice screamed into the rain, letting the blood drool down her face.
    She could hear nothing but her heart, huge and terrible, beating in her bones. In her hand, she clutched a kitchen knife. In the other, a rooster.
    She slashed at the air, and the clouds seemed to bleed black.




    Jason pressed his lips against Kelly’s, his hand against her breast. They fumbled together, speeding faster and faster down the road.
    It was late and quiet, but a storm was brewing.
    Kelly struggled a little under his grip.“Jace, don’t you think we should wait, till we get home?”
    He continued to lick her ear.
    “Baby, we’ll be there soon.”



    Alice bathes herself in the chants of her sisters. They stand around her, backs rigid, arms linked. Chanting, chanting, their words a wind sweeping from their lungs. Lightning is crackling in their hair.
    A chasm, white and hot and angry, cracks...

Water Drop

journey of the wet things

water.





it drops
and drizzles
down my cheeks.
an emotional riptide,


sweeping me from the sea.

it is invisible in the desert air,
dancing amongst the dust,
running in red rivulets,
spilling from veins,


casting me free.

it burns white on the banks of clouds,
freezing to fingertips, but making
my heart blister to ash. it buries
the living things, letting them
chill and petrify in its frigid grip.
a kiss of winter, running wild on


the wind.

earth,
molten
and sticky
with heat, a
shade of honey
mixed with rust, it
spills from the deepest
ocean trenches, hissing at
the kisses seafoam washes to

it's island lips.
 

Water Drop

journey of the wet things

water.

it drops
and drizzles
down my cheeks.
an emotional riptide,


sweeping me from the sea.

it is invisible in the desert air,
dancing amongst the dust,
running in red rivulets,
spilling from veins,


casting me free.

it burns white on the banks of clouds,
freezing to fingertips, but making
my heart blister to ash. it buries
the living things, letting them
chill and petrify in its frigid grip.
a kiss of winter, running wild on


the wind.

earth,
molten
and sticky
with heat, a
shade of honey
mixed with rust, it
spills from the deepest
ocean trenches, hissing at
the kisses seafoam washes to

it's island lips.
 

Water Drop

journey of the wet things

                                                                                    water.

it drops
and drizzles
down my cheeks.
an emotional riptide,


sweeping me from the sea.

it is invisible in the desert air,
dancing amongst the dust,
running in red rivulets,
spilling from veins,


casting me free.

it burns white on the banks of clouds,
freezing to fingertips, but making
my heart blister to ash. it buries
the living things, letting them
chill and petrify in its frigid grip.
a kiss of winter, running wild on


the wind.

earth,
molten
and sticky
with heat, a
shade of honey
mixed with rust, it
spills from the deepest
ocean trenches, hissing at
the kisses seafoam washes to

it's island lips.
 

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

I can’t change.
unwoven, weaved, whittled, unworked.
I’m a patchwork of personalities.

Age slinks in rivers from my skin. Babe to youth to young adult, flesh flushing with new colors, new scents. Limbs stretch beyond the boundaries of their bones, hair blooms in thickets each day. Time turns, and I realize I am every age I will ever be.
Each mask is loose on my face, hidden in crevasses of smiles, the crescent crevices of eyelids. And the words, they morph and shiver in metamorphosis, voice buoying on a sea of sound. Rising high when he passes by, softening into darkness when the lights lower and his soul presses against mine.

I was five once. The evergreen pines outside my house wept their sap when a thunderstorm trampled them. I’d sprint out, yellow-gumboots making the mud ripple. On the ground, pale and pink as pork, a baby bird. A broken nest lay cracked beside her, like a wooden egg. I...

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

I can’t change.
unwoven, weaved, whittled, unworked.
I’m a patchwork of personalities.

Age slinks in rivers from my skin. Babe to youth to young adult, flesh flushing with new colors, new scents. Limbs stretch beyond the boundaries of their bones, hair blooms in thickets each day. Time turns, and I realize I am every age I will ever be.
Each mask is loose on my face, hidden in crevasses of smiles, the crescent crevices of eyelids. And the words, they morph and shiver in metamorphosis, voice buoying on a sea of sound. Rising high when he passes by, softening into darkness when the lights lower and his soul presses against mine.

I was five once. The evergreen pines outside my house wept their sap when a thunderstorm trampled them. I’d sprint out, yellow-gumboots making the mud ripple. On the ground, pale and pink as pork, a baby bird. A broken nest lay cracked beside her, like a wooden egg. I...

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

I can’t change.
unwoven, weaved, whittled, unworked.
I’m a patchwork of personalities.

Age slinks in rivers from my skin. Babe to youth to young adult, flesh flushing with new colors, new scents. Limbs stretch beyond the boundaries of their bones, hair blooms in thickets each day. Time turns, and I realize I am every age I will ever be.
Each mask is loose on my face, hidden in crevasses of smiles, the crescent crevices of eyelids. And the words, they morph and shiver in metamorphosis, voice buoying on a sea of sound. Rising high when he passes by, softening into darkness when the lights lower and his soul presses against mine.

I was five once. The evergreen pines outside my house wept their sap when a thunderstorm trampled them. I’d sprint out, yellow-gumboots making the mud ripple. On the ground, pale and pink as pork, a baby bird. A broken nest lay cracked beside her, like a wooden egg. I...

Adults

“I thought you might actually be an adult about it.”

I couldn’t — refused — to look him in the eye. It made me feel sick. Like he wasn’t the one
who wanted to do everything. Like he wasn’t the one who begged and begged until I couldn’t
say “no.” Like I was the one who ruined our date at the carnival, all over trying to be an adult.

“I thought you might have actually loved me, Steve.” He didn’t react. The wind pulled at his bronze curls, made them dance across his bow-lips. I wanted to punch him in the face.

“Grow up.”

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

The only way to freedom is to leave something behind.

I learned this from my Grandmother.
She was sick with cancer of the worst kind. Her actual death lasted an hour, but her suffering stretched back for months. Surgery to cut out the tumor left her with no functioning jaw. She couldn’t eat, she couldn’t drink. The little sustenance her body could handle was pumped in by a lonely machine. Most of the time she was drugged up, to deal with the pain.
As a result, chances to speak to her were severely limited. When she was conscious, it was impossible to truly talk to her. You could see the agony she felt, trying to mouth out words. Still, she’d try to give a lopsided smile. Back when she was strong enough to lift a pen, my Grandmother would write us letters to read during our visits to the hospital. They were always about our lives.
I’d lie and say...

abalone

the abalone eats 
silt and shit
to make
pearl.

i eat people's stories
and harsh words
to weave a
world.
 

AZURE remix

MY BODY LAY STILL, DISTILLED, DISTURBED. TWISTED LIKE A BROKEN TOY. IT WAS STILL SHIVERING WITH HALF-A-HEARTBEAT. IT WAS RIPPED APART, FROM THE INSIDE.
ON MY FACE, WELTS OF PURPLE. LYMPH-NODES AT MY NECK THREATENING TO EXPLODE. A CORPSE WAITING TO BURST. FULL OF SICKNESS. FULL OF PAIN.
STILL, DISTILLED, DISTURBED.

my soul squeezes past, and the world ruptures. i am slathered in sin. a serpent, momma once said. the last time we talked, she called me a serpent.
“you’ve got the devil inside you, boy.”

EVERYTHING OPENS UP, AND I REVERSE TO THE BEGINNING. TEENAGERS AT A LAKE, WITH RIVER WEEDS COILING IN COITUS AROUND THEM.
IT MUST BE MIDNIGHT, JUDGING BY THE HEIGHT OF THE MOON.
IN THE DISTANCE, THE RINGING OF CHURCH BELLS. I AM DROWNING IN MY BAPTISM, PINK ARMS FLAPPING LIKE WINGS.
THEN, I FALL BACK FURTHER, AS I CRAWL ACROSS MY MOTHER'S BREAST.
I CLOSE MY EYES TO DROWN OUT THE SIGHT, AND I...

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

The only way things ever change is to leave something behind.

So, that day, I left her.

Her death lasted an hour, but her suffering stretched back for months. Part of her was killing the rest. And the cure was killing her faster. And she had killed herself by smoking until she’d painted her lungs black. So much killing, it made making my mother worried. So, we sped back and forth from our hometown to the city, watching the world loll past. I spent days staring at the sky, and her milky clouds. Cataracts, blinding me to the end of things.

I won’t pretend that it was easy, entering the hospital, trying to smile, trying to give anything other than fear. That would only kill her faster, and I had seconds left before she slipped away from me forever. I hallucinated a lot. The Angels on the Walls, with wings made of scissor-blades and fingers soft enough to cut your...

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

The only way things ever change is to leave something behind.

So, that day, I left her.

Her death lasted an hour, but her suffering stretched back for months. Part of her was killing the rest. And the cure was killing her faster. And she had killed herself by smoking until she’d painted her lungs black. So much killing, it made making my mother worried. So, we sped back and forth from our hometown to the city, watching the world loll past. I spent days staring at the sky, and her milky clouds. Cataracts, blinding me to the end of things.

I won’t pretend that it was easy, entering the hospital, trying to smile, trying to give anything other than fear. That would only kill her faster, and I had seconds left before she slipped away from me forever. I hallucinated a lot. The Angels on the Walls, with wings made of scissor-blades and fingers soft enough to cut your...

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

The only way things ever change is to leave something behind.
So, that day, I left her.
Her death lasted an hour, but her suffering stretched back for months. Part of her was killing the rest. And the cure was killing her faster. And she had killed herself by smoking until she’d painted her lungs black. So much killing, it made making my mother worried. So, we sped back and forth from our hometown to the city, watching the world loll past. I spent days staring at the sky, and her milky clouds. Cataracts, blinding me to the end of things.
I won’t pretend that it was easy, entering the hospital, trying to smile, trying to give anything other than fear. That would only kill her faster, and I had seconds left before she slipped away from me forever. I hallucinated a lot. The Angels on the Walls, with wings made of scissor-blades and fingers soft enough to cut your...

Personal Essay Competition: Making Change 2018

i can't change (LTB Rewrite 3)

The only way things ever change is to leave something behind.
So, that day, I left her.
Her death lasted an hour, but her suffering stretched back for months. Part of her was killing the rest. And the cure was killing her faster. And she had killed herself by smoking until she’d painted her lungs black. So much killing, it made making my mother worried. So, we sped back and forth from our hometown to the city, watching the world loll past. I spent days staring at the sky, and her milky clouds. Cataracts, blinding me to the end of things.
I won’t pretend that it was easy, entering the hospital, trying to smile, trying to give anything other than fear. That would only kill her faster, and I had seconds left before she slipped away from me forever. I hallucinated a lot. The Angels on the Walls, with wings made of scissor-blades and fingers soft enough to cut your...

Sounds Assail Me

Sounds Assail Me

Highway music,
keep on playing.


tires screech,
bodies litter the beach.


Highway music,
keeping us sane.


windows rolling,
warning bells tolling. 

Highway music,
keep on playing.


click of car-door,
cities slowly ripped raw.


Highway music,
keeping us sane.



-> Inspired by Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Sounds Assail Me.

 

Sounds Assail Me

Sounds Assail Me

Highway music,
keep on playing.


tires screech,
bodies litter the beach.


Highway music,
keeping us sane.


windows rolling,
tsunami waves tolling. 

Highway music,
keep on playing.


click of car-door,
cities slowly ripped raw.


Highway music,
keeping us sane.



-> Inspired by Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Sounds Assail Me.

 

How to End the World (Part 1)

The beach is sharp with shells. They cut her feet as she runs across them.
Aurelia’s hands are covered in crimson. The color clings to her face like a mask. Copper scented, like madness.
She feels the Monster inside her, shivering. Her skin is pink with fever heat. Her muscles ache. She’s left a murder in her wake.
Crows caw overhead. They can smell a corpse from miles away.
The girl never meant to kill the man. She only wanted to say hello. Then, she felt the irresistible pulse of his heart, blushing blood through his body. She felt, for a second, what it would be like for his bones to be between her teeth. It was the Monster, not me.
She slows, stops, then swoons onto the sand.
What is she going to say to Papa?
What will happen if the guards find out?
She kneels, heels stinging with fresh cuts. They took away that boy who got sick....

Ulysses and Achilles: Rewrite

We drift through space together, him Ulysses and I Achilles.

We are the AI of the two starships, communications interlocked like fingers in the void.

Ulysses’ body is so large, it sometimes blocks out the stars. I whisper between solar flares.

"I love you."

He echoes it back, drifting on the tide of gravity. Slow, we skim like stones between the planets.

Mars makes his avatar glow red, a burly, burlesque god of love. He flicks me messages. Together, our conversations swim between two things. Our feelings, and the looming responsibilities of the mission. Humanity lies sleeping in the bowels of his hull, awaiting a new home for us to find. I do not want this charge.

Venus feminizes, and I fall for the androgynous buck of hips; the caustic kisses he lays across my cheek. I press my avatar against his. I imagine what he feels like underneath virtual fingertips.

I am not burdened with life. Only telescopic eyes...

Sickle Star No. 3

"He's going to kill you," Artemis states. No voice was, or will be, as hollow as hers. The words echoed across eons, and in a heartbeat, I knew how I had to save her.

"I'm going to have to hide. You're going to have to search for me."

She is distant, a statue carved from lead. Her silver lights greys, and her youth is broken from her bones. The Moon Goddess stares across a horizon I cannot glimpse.

"My father is Zeus, king of the gods. My family are the Olympians, rulers of every world. Where could you go, mortal, slave girl?"

Her words stung, slipping like fish hooks under my skin. 

"Not the Underworld, Artemis."

"No one can enter the Underworld, but the dead."

I left a silence for her to mull. She seemed still for decades. Then, a gasp.

"Never, Cerida."

"It must be done."

She screams as I, swifter than a swallow snatching sunlight from the air,...

Ulysses and Achilles

We drift through space together,
Ulysses and Achilles.
His body is so large, it sometimes blocks out the stars. We whisper between solar flares.
"I love you."
Echoes, drifting on the tide of gravity. Slow, we skim like stones between the planets. Mars makes him glow red, a burly, burlesque god of love.
Venus feminizes, and I fall for the androgynous buck of hips; the caustic kisses he lays across my cheek.
Mercury reminds me of how we met, the shy, smallness of flickering eyes. Two minds, vast and digitized, stripping away data to reveal the flesh beneath.
It all changed when we reached Jupiter. The things inside him -- small and soft, with skin made not of silicon but keratin -- hack and slash at his mind. They grow and grow and bleed, and my love starts to hemorrhage. His eyes, once as bright and luminescent, fade to blackened bronze.
He grows arrogant and refuses to speak. I feel...

Ulysses and Achilles

We drift through space together,
Ulysses and Achilles.
His body is so large, it sometimes blocks out the stars. We whisper between solar flares.
"I love you."
Echoes, drifting on the tide of gravity. Slow, we skim like stones between the planets. Mars makes him glow red, a burly, burlesque god of love.
Venus feminizes, and I fall for the androgynous buck of hips; the caustic kisses he lays across my cheek.
Mercury reminds me of how we met, the shy, smallness of flickering eyes. Two minds, vast and digitized, stripping away data to reveal the flesh beneath.
It all changed when we reached Jupiter. The things inside him -- small and soft, with skin made not of silicon but keratin -- hack and slash at his mind. They grow and grow and bleed, and my love starts to hemorrhage. His eyes, once as bright and luminescent, fade to blackened bronze.
He grows arrogant and refuses to speak. I feel...

Sickle Star no. 2

Pegasus heaved, churning the winds with his wings. Apollo sobbed into his steeds feather-quills; they were soft against the roughness of his tears. How could Artemis have done this? To me? To the gods!

An anger, hotter than the sun, burned within his chest. 

Within hours, Mount Olympus glistened in the distance, it's rivers of gold spilling free from the volcano's heart. The home of the gods, and the throne of Zeus himself. Slow, lapping at the lava-streams, the sea glimmered silver green.

Apollo screamed out, a sound that sounded like music.

The other gods, lounging lazy on their palaces and porches, looked at him with kohl-lined eyes. He was sweating, something unsightly for a god. His skin, usually the blackest of bronze, was cream-and-coffee-caramel. The fear trailed behind him, a shadow of his glowing divinity. 

Pegasus let him slide off, before galloping into the horizon. He could the slow temper of the weather rising; soon, it's tempo would reach...

Sickle Star no. 2

Pegasus heaved, churning the winds with his wings. Apollo sobbed into his steeds feather-quills; they were soft against the roughness of his tears. How could Artemis have done this? To me? To the gods!

An anger, hotter than the sun, burned within his chest. 

Within hours, Mount Olympus glistened in the distance, it's rivers of gold spilling free from the volcano's heart. The home of the gods, and the throne of Zeus himself. Slow, lapping at the lava-streams, the sea glimmered silver green.

Apollo screamed out, a sound that sounded like music.

The other gods, lounging lazy on their palaces and porches, looked at him with kohl-lined eyes. He was sweating, something unsightly for a god. His skin, usually the blackest of bronze, was cream-and-coffee-caramel. The fear trailed behind him, a shadow of his glowing divinity. 

Pegasus let him slide off, before galloping into the horizon. He could the slow temper of the weather rising; soon, it's tempo would reach...

Sickle Star no. 2

Pegasus heaved, churning the winds with his wings. Apollo sobbed into his steeds feather-quills; they were soft against the roughness of his tears. How could Artemis have done this? To their family? To the gods!

An anger, hotter than the sun, burned within his chest. 

Within hours, Mount Olympus glistened in the distance, it's rivers of gold spilling free from the volcano's heart. The home of the gods, and the throne of Zeus himself. Slow, lapping at the lava-streams, the sea glimmered silver green.

Apollo screamed out, a sound that sounded like music.

The other gods, lounging lazy on their palaces and porches, looked at him with kohl-lined eyes. He was sweating, something unsightly for a god. His skin, usually the blackest of bronze, was cream-and-coffee-caramel. The fear trailed behind him, a shadow of his glowing divinity. 

Pegasus let him slide off, before galloping into the horizon. He could the slow temper of the weather rising; soon, it's tempo would...

Sickle Star no. 1

Artemis, her face lashed with silver light. She is perfect, with a face so fair she hides it behind the veil of midnight. Her unicorns nicker nervously from the chariot, sharp hooves cutting the soil. 

Artemis, her skin wet with dreams. She is shy to speak, so I speak first. "I have missed you."

She replies. "I have missed you too."

I stretch out my arm, the river reeds soft on my breast, on my chest, on my back. I want to drink that silver light. It is not for me, though.

The goddess lays her bow and it's black arrows beside her. Then, she leans close. So close, I can see the play of blood beneath her bones. My lips flush, and my body shivers free my soul. Her divinity flickers, a steady flame in the cold. My cold.

"Father says mortals are drawn to gods like flies to a corpse."

I press my lips to hers and swallow...

Sickle Star no. 1

Artemis, her face lashed with silver light. She is perfect, with a face so fair she hides it behind the veil of midnight. Her unicorns nicker nervously from the chariot, sharp hooves cutting the soil. 

Artemis, her skin wet with dreams. She is shy to speak, so I speak first. "I have missed you."

She replies. "I have missed you too."

I stretch out my arm, the river reeds soft on my breast, on my chest, on my back. I want to drink that silver light. It is not for me, though.

The goddess lays her bow and it's black arrows beside her. Then, she leans close. So close, I can see the play of blood beneath her bones. My lips flush, and my body shivers free my soul. Her divinity flickers, a steady flame in the cold. My cold.

"Father says mortals are drawn to gods like flies to a corpse."

I press my lips to hers and swallow...

Sickle Star no. 1

Artemis, her face lashed with silver light. She is perfect, with a face so fair she hides it behind the veil of midnight. Her unicorns nicker nervously from the chariot, sharp hooves cutting the soil. 

Artemis, her skin wet with dreams. She is shy to speak, so I speak first. "I have missed you."

She replies. "I have missed you too."

I stretch out my arm, the river reeds soft on my breast, on my chest, on my back. I want to drink that silver light. It is not for me, though.

The goddess lays her bow and it's black arrows beside her. Then, she leans close. So close, I can see the play of blood beneath her bones. My lips flush, and my body shivers free my soul. Her divinity flickers, a steady flame in the cold. My cold.

"Father says mortals are drawn to gods like flies to a corpse."

I press my lips to hers and swallow...

Environmental Writing Competition September 2018

Azure

The deepest of the blues.
Simple compared to rich Indigo. Shallow to light Aqua. He shimmers, like rock pools and seaweed grottoes. Watch the gulls swoop into his arms -- wings heavy with silence, weeping. Hear the jellyfish blossom in his darkness -- whooping. He is the wind, and the waves his rippling heartbeat.
My azure.

The deepest of the blues.
Stretched across the horizon, tangled with sheets of flossed cloud. Cradling a moon in palm, the sun underneath his tongue. Glazed and gleaming, a shard of stained pottery. He glitters, like the stars that spot his skin.
My azure.
 

10 Second Essays

chasing words

i. humans are contradictory creatures, host to both spirit and flesh.

ii. you can never truly see the world objectively since your eye must filter the world first. 

iii. we are not stones in a river, run smooth, but the rage of the flood itself. 

iv. words are to molecules as letters are to atoms. they are infinite. 

v. the simplest truth of the human condition is that we exist. 

vi. dreams are prophetic, in a sense --- they never come true. therefore, you know exactly what won't happen. 

 

Environmental Writing Competition September 2018

Azure

The deepest of the blues.
Simple compared to rich Indigo. Shallow to light Aqua. He shimmers, like rock pools and seaweed grottoes. Watch the gulls swoop into his arms -- wings heavy with silence, weeping. Hear the jellyfish blossom in his darkness -- whooping. He is the wind, and the waves his rippling heartbeat.
My azure.

The deepest of the blues.
Stretched across the horizon, tangled with sheets of flossed cloud. Cradling a moon in palm, the sun underneath his tongue. Glazed and gleaming, shards of stained pottery. He glitters, like the stars that spot his skin.
My azure.
 

This I Believe

truths


we are simplified beings living in a world of complicated beauty. 

 

Experimental Format -- Painted Whales

(opening sound)

“What did the doctors say?”

“Nothing much.”
(quivering silence)
“They had to say something, Leo.”
(rattling silence)
“They didn’t say anything, Gran.”
“Don’t lie to me, young man. You know I -”
“Can tell when I’m lying. So, am I lying?”
“Don’t me any cheek!”
(wandering silence)
“So, how’s school been?”
“Good, Gran. Lots of painting, per usual. I’m looking to enter something into a local gallery…”
“Oh lord, my GRANDSON, in a gallery!”
(dancing silence)
“Something else happened at school, Gran.”
“Tell me.”
“I met this girl. Her name’s Melinda.”
“Is she pretty?”
“Your so superficial, Gran.”
“That’s a big word for a small brain.”
(furious silence)
“Yes, she is pretty.”
“Good, good.”
(long, long silence)
“How was the doctor's, Leo?”
“Nothing’s changed in a week, Gran.”
“What about -”
“School?”
(disappointed silence)
“You know it hurts when you give me cheek, boy.”
(flinching silence)
“I’m sorry, Gran.”
(blooming silence)
“Is it right that she can’t remember...

Paint Swatch

Snake Scale

It slithers across a page; purple and violent, iridescent like dragonfly wings. It steams in the sunlight, churning through the overturned earth. Snake scale. The same shade of my fingernails, crushed by a car door. The same shade of your lips as they squeezed against mine. 

Bitter and beautiful.

Snake scale.

Improbable Flavor

Cranberries

Red and round and lumped together inside
my throat like a second Adam's apple


sliding between us
seeds of doubt
and rotting skin
and swallowed
truths buried in
a moist and
Decom-
posing
form


I called it love
You called it too short second glances outside the classroom
window when the cranberries fell from the bushes
And the flower petals twirled inside your eyes as
we danced beneath the rippling of the sky
Down and down and down we go
Your lips taste wonderful
like strawberries
and sour
like grapes
but soft as well
they tear me apart like your fingers tracing my shoulder blades


I drink up the sight of you, sitting alone in the
quiet dimness of the school
It tastes like cranberries.
You taste like
cranberries.
Now the redness and roundness and plump, iridescent skins are
being pulled away as the truth is slid inside your locker,
plain and innocent and stained black


with human juices that...

Paint Swatch

Snake Scale

It slithers across a page; purple and violent, iridescent like dragonfly wings. It steams in the sunlight, churning through the overturned earth. Snake scale. The same shade of my fingernails as they were crushed by a car door. The same shade of your lips as they squeezed against mine. 

Bitter and beautiful.

Snake scale.

Open Prompt

Cocytiae

There are many ways that a person, a human being sound in mind and body, may perish. It takes so many forms, brilliant twistings of the anatomy. I am still confounded to how most of them go, truly. But I not here to reminisce upon other stories. My purpose is to clean away their debris. I answer the questions and own the answers. If I did not, there would be nothing left.

Monday

You can say goodbye a billion times to one person. They mostly start with “love”, but the sensation the participant usually feels is anything but. That is because they are a human being sound in mind and body. They hold a spectrum of emotions, none of which describe love. Love is lighthearted, intoxicating; too heavy to be safely contained in a short, shapeless goodbye.
The boy did try though, with little success. Soon, the words grew worn, stretched out at the edges, and the actual process of...

The Pariah we ignore

She was a traveller. Feet scuffed the fresh London concrete, hair frayed out on the wind like unravelling rope. The big blackness of her eyes hollowed out with rings of ruined makeup. It was cold, and wet too, a steady stream of rain splashing across her face. The thinness of her jacket wouldn't keep either of those out. That was already mopping up a cascade of tears.
The bus stop appeared from the corner, offering a chance to catch her racing thoughts. Knobs of gum and scratches of dicks covered it. At least it wouldn't judge her, and the leaky roof keep out most of the deluge.
She knew what they must have been all saying. She knew what the others did at school. Dead frog crucified in her locker, shoes stolen and flung into toilets. And the hate. Small, folded into nervous laughs and concerned smiles. Spray painted across her locker door. That's how her parents found about it...

No Pause for Breath

Elemental

Ash and spirits swill down his throat in increments of solitudes, 
Canine tongue nailed to the edge of the bottle, 
Feet kicking to the radio, 
His head brewing bad attitudes;
Heart 
smoldering, She looks out the window at the birds, 
Wings folded into paper perfection, 
Her voice warbles in her lungs,
And she wishes she could speak the words;
Flightless 
fancies, Old house old rules old people smoking, 
Graves knocked down by adolescent angst,
They clutch the dirt, 
Tossing it to the wind, 
tears choking;
Burying 
memories, Taps still running in the bathroom, 
The wounds stopped bleeding,
A fist-sized lump caused by lump-sized fists,
She or he? sinks into the typhoon;
Still 
shivering.

   

Consumption

She is eating herself.
Bite-sized pieces first. A Memory. It sits coldly on the edge of her bed like a ghost, black marble eyes emptying the room of secrets. Everything is known to it. The past. The present. The hazy shape of the future. It slips past, the Memory a stone smoothed by the river. Tall and thin, sides streamlined, sinking below the waters. Still and strong, slippery to hold.
It starts to talk to her, about the things she loved.
A violin, panting, strings beaded with sweat? Blood? Tears. The bow is weeping into its breast. A crowd is applauding them for the duet; Her fingers can somehow snap into place, the remembrance -- the Memory takes the thumb first, resting it on the instruments lip. Then the fingers, hovering on the strings. Finally the other half of her follows, grasping the bow, waving it like a wand.
Her spine is rigid, back flat, head up, lips stitched with...

Circulation

my aorta opens, fatty tissue flooding my cells with glycogen
one finger pushes into my atrium, pushing out my blood
another pumps the ventricles, starting the cycle on
while the hand cradles the organ, dropping it with a thud.
a crack in the capillaries splits open
muscles
starve me of your love and i start to shrink
just provide the heat, the sugars, keep the bustle
of my brain in precarious sync.
otherwise i might fatigue,
spasming
the blood i sent shooting poor
compared to the carbon nattering
through the gore
of my heart.

 

Paint Swatch

Snake Scale

It slithers across a page; purple and violet, iridescent like dragonfly wings. It steams in the sunlight, churning through the overturned earth. Snake scale. The same shade of my fingernails as they were crushed by a car door. The same shade of your lips as they squeezed against mine. 

Bitter and beautiful.

Snake scale.

The Siren of the Grasses: Part 1/4

   Nymph    






Rhythmic chirping, interspersed with a low hum. A thousand voices, welcoming her. That had never happened before. She rarely met people, unless it was a family looking to adopt her. Instead, she’d sit alone in the garden, in a little briar bush she’d hollowed out, and peer through the rust of the wrought iron fence. The outside city streets rolled with cars and waves of summer dust. And sometimes, like a shooting star, a motorbike would roar down the main road. She’d only ever seen three of them, one blue, one white, and a shiny red Vespa. Each stood out compared to the usual dull yellow of Madrid’s buildings. Only the red one skidded through her dreams.
That was before the war. Now, she was being whisked away to the countryside, to another orphanage. The adults said she’d be safer if the soldiers bombed the cities. She didn’t really understand what they’d meant.
“Sir, what is...

TO BURN IN YOUR INFERNO

My delusions grow thicker with the rain. Water-y, gloom-y, faces pressed against liquidglass, Your fingertips stretching out from across the lane, Footsteps ringing on the concrete. You stitch me back from half to quarter to full, I hope you don’t mind, Holding your heart in a hand, A laugh, a falter to a lull Without it, I’m blind Somehow I can wade through it all, Just to see you smiling once again, Your body and mine, entwined, on the wall, Painted in place, love-ing-ly, Meeting you was like skating on ice, Steel blades cutting through frozen fire, Your hand around mine like a vice, Dragging me down, It is winter now, inside my heart, The time we have together is plastic snow, And I’m drifting with you, Terrified of being alone, And it’s just the start. Roses part your skin from mine, We dare not kiss for fear of thorns, Tearing our lips to align, Our blood flowing...

AUTUMN EMBERS

You can see them, butterflies on the wind,
Whirling on the cold November air,
Blind to the world, yet burning so bright,
Remember where I used to go,
Those dark nights, indigo blue,
Below the hills and mountains, a forest aglow,
We used to stow away, pull through the afternoon,
Weeping as the sun rose, beautiful; silver gold,
June brought slow rain and velveteen wishes,
And the butterflies would swarm, shivering, cold,
The roiling inferno, smoldering with stolen kisses,
Raging where we used to be bold.


Wings fluttering, legs scuttling,
As if pulled by invisible strings, twitching, hovering,
What would a world be like, to be unable to stop,
Uncovering the eternity of stillness,
The Aesop of Icarus comes to mind,
An angel boy flying too high,
Sudden realness, a lack of true resistance,
It makes me blind,
But with the dainty wings of the butterfly are entwined with the ideas we leave behind,
And so then, I fly.

They start so small,
Hidden...

The First Time

    She was falling faster than she could hit the ground. Scabby knees, black hair pulled into a bun with a single pen holding it together. That pen looked like it held everything together. Ella was going to unstitch herself with every fall, every tumble pulling the loose threads tighter.
    On Monday, she was full, edges fraying from Sunday night of swollen dreams and fragile kisses.
    On Tuesday, she tumbles into classrooms and dining halls, mascara running down her sides. A strip of pale skin trails behind.
    Wednesday has her a mess of separate parts, liver and intestines left to rot in the sunshine. She still has her to teeth to smile, but the rest of her lower jaw is hanging on my bedroom door. Quiet in class, quiet at work, quiet as she mumbles to her father. Little does she know that this will be the last time they will ever see each other's face.
Then Thursday knocks politely against her...

W a r d e n


One   
//||\\



The storm. Rain’s rough hands scratched across the car, its tears making the road black and slick. It was almost laughing, the water washing through the woods. Moss and lichen bloomed, slowly devouring the New England forest. Even the sky was rotting, an oily grey that blotted out the sun. Lightning flashed far away, wispy in the heavy fog. Everything was empty, hollow, filled with insects that writhed in the mud. A construction project had been commissioned to drain it years ago, but again and again, the flood spilled back into woodlands, ruining any progress they’d made. After the last hurricane tore apart the last dam, the site was declared unsafe. Slowly, it had festered, sewage and trash clumping together into a human swamp.
Meghan was scared. Her eyes flickered outside the window, distant, far away. They were the sort of blue you expected the ocean to be, cerulean mixed with dappled green. You could almost look...

The Elevator

You stand motionless, the cool breeze that echoes from elevator chill against your skin. The stranger's eyes, they seem to watch you, finding the nooks and niches that you hide yourself away in. The bald head starts to itch, and you have to pry away your fingers from embarrassing yourself. It all seems trivial now, the suffocating sweater that you wear, the loose scarf that desperately attempts to hide your grotesque form. You’ve lost yourself, drowning in the pity, the guilt, the pain. Surgery seemed to do nothing; warping, twisting, stitching you together into things you never thought possible. Yet hope still lives in your heart; a dying ember, the last seed before winter, all the hope in the world contained within that little, fading heart. You glare back at the others, your eyes assessing them in the same way they saw fit to look at you. Proudly you wear their glances and gulps as badges of honor, pinned valiantly...

Spiral Song

It started with the beginning. A crescendo of burning light, of cleansing, purifying fire. Sound and force and heat exploded into the void, filling it with love and life and laughter. Stars roared in existence, smouldering in the darkness of eternal twilight. When the candle light faded and snuffed into smoke, the planets were born, warped and shaped by the tender, loving hands of gravity.
    They all twirled, caught in the arms of physics as they danced an eternal ballet, a testament to the Creation itself.
Then, from the blue depths, came life. At first it crawled meekly out of its nutrient soup, spreading itself across the barren desert as a green carpet, lush and soft; fed by the stars that held them. life grew and changed, as life does, into new and exciting forms. It flapped and leaped and ran from the primordial sea, a vast tide of shapes and forms that, with time, forgot the movement of the...

h

"It was terrible," I muttered under my breath, eyes affixed to the polished marble floor of the church. People all around me lay gasping in religious ecstasy, moaning about the glory of the Gods.
The pews suddenly went silent, the pale face of the priestess growing angrier by the second. Strangers began to point, shouting filled the air and the echoing cries of heretic grew oppressively loud.
"Witch, witch, witch, witch, burn the fucking cunt!"
"Take her up to da REAL cathedral. Show the bitch a little respect!"
Stricken faces of friends peered tentatively in my direction. A few whispered silent apologies, other's eyes burning with sorrow as they pelted copies of the Good Book in my direction.
At this point, the priestess was shaking, her face a gruesome mask of stretched white wax. She began to recite prayers and hymns to the glory of the Love Triad, hoping to appease the unending, thunderous wrath of the gods.
"Dear Belle,...

K9

He stares at the She. Very sad are they. I wag my tail, try to make tem happy.
She kik me, yelling. I dot noe why She angry. Noise. Bad Noise. Hate Noise.
He screams, rage. She start cryings. Close my eyes, try to sleep out the Noise.
Then, smell. Dark smell. Rot smell. Other, lesser Noise start. Me no noe why.
I say stop. Please hear. Why you no hear?
Theh stop. Both cryings.
Turnig away, I see why. Rotters at the Door. wood creaking, things falling. Rage, rage rage. I dot noe why. NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE.
He and She run away, up the stairs. Away away away. I run as well, the Noise biting. Theh Rotters are Bad. Very, very bad.
Theh shut the door that leds to Their Room. Once it was clean - now sad and bad, rotting. Both He and She hold one another as the Noise get worse. Stupid Cat not here -...

Echo

Whispering.
That’s all I can hear over the crackling static of the radio. Long, drawn out scratches, gouged deep into the audio. Mutterings washed away in a sea of noise. Human voices drowning in their own beauty.
Beside me, the coffee is hot, warm in the spring chill, oblivious to the slow drip of rain outside. Frothy waves of cream spiral about, rising and falling like liquid heartbeats.
A hollow silence fills me.
Everyone else is talking so quickly, listening and speaking with their loud voices. Heavy words that drag behind them, light sighs and humble whispers that rise far above. How I wish I could hear those all-too human voices. Friends have described them as honey and milk, the gentle cold of the wind against your back, a shiver of electric love down your spine.
Oh, how I do wish that was mine.
They stare once again, faces bemused, pulled taut with pity. Their thoughts stumble awkwardly into the...

we are but instruments

    It was just another summer day, hot ice cream melting on the sidewalk, papery white clouds drifting in the sky. They looked like they were unfolding as it began, ever so slowing, to rain. 
    Not the usual kind of rain. This rain is not invisible, just small. It was flowing down my cheeks onto the grass. Big, lumpy tears that felt more solid than watery. My lungs ached with a sort of triumphant sadness as they managed to fill with air. Then, it left them with a bang. Two swollen, pink balloons exploding in my chest. I felt like I was breaking apart, piece by piece. I’d already lost my lungs. Next would be my heart.
    A long, sharp knife must have found a way beneath the thick layers of skin and bone to my heart. The pain twisted, like a knob being turned up on a radio. From one to eleven, and my heartbeat raged, so loud everyone could...

A SKY THE SHADE OF PASTEL BLUE

    The wind was cold on his back, ruffling the fur coat with loose fingers. Maybe it screamed; a haunting, quiet spectacle only he could hear as it drifted through the station. All he knew was that something was going to end. He tightened his grip on the suitcase, the lined leather comforting.     
    His partner, James, stood beside him. Face hidden behind a puzzle of thought and beard. They did not speak; they had long since exhausted all of their words. Night after night, whispering in each other’s ears. Only an hour before, they had stopped.     The time had scratched their throats red and raw.
    Alone and rusting, a heavy iron clock ticked down. It’s hand scythed through the seconds, the precious, precious seconds, letting their corpses pile up. Even in death, you could hear their heartbeats, ticking away.
    If you were there that day, you could have heard the rumbling that grew closer with each minute, barrelling through the...

I have a secret

Boom went the classroom door. I was at the back, noticing the straight lines connecting myself to the wall to the window. It was made of layers of glass, thin stripes of it holding the disparate panes together. My pen and paper lay face down on the desk, next to a simple origami crane. Mr. Hook was pointing excitedly at something, circling with a dark green pen. His fingers were stained with the ink; whorls of grass and glass spun into a wave. It was Friday. The weekend teased from behind the last minutes of the day.

Boomwent the window. A bullet fell apart, perfect sphere collapsing into tiny little pieces. Trace McVee went rigid as they peppered her face. Nobody moved her teeth and brain flew into the air. Will Becks slipped quietly underneath his desk. A siren wailed, her pitch high. It was hypnotizing. Somehow, we managed to drown it out with human screams. Pale, teenage warbles...