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sellout.we twisted and turned and pulled dreams out of the pockets of unwashed jeans
and tried them on for size
and we dared to love though behind our squinting eyes we knew
that the expiration date was past because all that we want went out of style
on the day a serpent taught a lady how to lie.
I worship those who understand but it's not salvation I'm searching for; I wouldn't
want my daddy to learn that I can do something myself.
if I wanted to be saved I would dress in flowing tissuedresses and turn up my lips
like a museumportrait. I would love a boy as long as winter drags on and I would
be captured on camera a hundred times with him, smiling like a lie.
being an angel, you would call and I would wrestle back the acid and tuck it under my tongue
forever. I would be an eternal sunshineray and I would find a beacon in the gray horizon
called hope and maybe I could follow it like a hunting dog
and win my prize. I would regularly polish my trophy.
my laugh wouldn't ring in your eardrums like
the third first timei've never been abused before.
can i cry?
it's not harrowing,
black winks of fate
with cigar'd gambling men.
are occupying dark winks of time
in other corners, dustier attics.
torn hinges of other wives' lockets
in stark sunlight that staggers into grey
pallorstruck at the still sight of a ropebraid
splayed on a hardened brush meadow too late
"don't lie to me."
abel's soil with poppyseeds, defeat
bleed innocence in electronic transfers,
Specimens.I broke your heart while
I was polishing mine and
the clashing of stonehearts
was too much.
We clashed and split, lavender
It's regrettable, because (halved),
for war and slingshots, we're useless
But oh, how you sparkle
under the misty low beams
of my eyes
sleeping coals.I assembled them, arranged them in our stone ring
before the sun was off work, before he was fading
donning his pajamas
while he was still up watching the 6o'clock news, I was
making charcoal patterns, flowers, squares,
stars and hearts, preparing for the sun to yawn
nod off and leave us to our living
My hands, powdered and gloved in coaldust,
are a testament to the way I want to
invigorate you with my drowsy dollface
and the midnight fire reflecting from my eyes.
You're the type of person I dream about in history class,
when everything seems laid out like a doctor's diagnosis: you're picturesque
despite your halfjoking hopelessly sucked-under pickup lines:
'let's count shoulders.'
and who knows what my crushsymptoms
really mean. You float in my head, surreal.
What proof that you ever existed
what evidence to make us solid, would
outline itself on this paper? I can't
show you the animal kingdom, the wolves,
butterflies, and ants that pester me when
she mentions your name.
I am the one
We tore up the seedling grass you and I
We were outside watching it grow, we are
little pure stalks in chocolate-
But it is spring and we are young
And the pastime of the nimble is
for the record.Boy-
We were best friends. You know that. We were fast friends and you knew the one thing I couldn't tell anybody and you know that once I tore the night away from its pillars and gave it to you.
This you did not understand: that I am a vengeful girl, a volatile one who cannot pin down her worldview for a week, much less devote to you any such fluctuating thing as time.
I cannot say what the words were whispering in my head when I gave you my first gift (a seat at a science desk, as i recall) and a smile (which was bigger?), but I know the snapshot framed in my head is a golden boy in cargo shorts with a steady smile and face like a fishpond at midnight. That means 'calm'. I explain because I'm starting to doubt there was ever a touch of poetry in you.
And this is what I see in you now: an offwhite malformed crumbling cistern of a child, and even that is too much art to fit between the white noise of your name. I don't understand it, but you're rain at the baseball game and a dead car
confidant.too often i sit and
i think about how you're busy being an author and living
and you read and watch foolishmoneybags laugh and yet you
your gems of people
don't worry about your publisher
don't worry about your fans
we went out to lunch yesterday
and i was spacing past the brassy-thick chain around your
shameless drypink throat
and you asked what i was staring at
and i breathed
'across this table, right now, you are thinking of things so far away
that they never even existed
but i am just here and below you and average and you are a goddess.'
you called for the waiter
asked for the check
'idolatry's a sin.
you think i sit in cornfields and dream of you being
mobbed by the
resignation.and, children, that was the time when i wanted to expire
when all i had to say was 'fuck you'
and i could feel myself padding my walls of skin
after an extended venture into life
into boysandboys and catfights
i am coming home
oh receive me
bindings and paper where reality swims and twirls and gathers
adjectives like a shawl about its shoulders
and blushpink ribbons in its wiry, brown hair
can take me onto ships and trains and aeroplanes
from the rat-traps of his words
i gave up my backbone when my pride took off
when that boy had another girl on his arm
and she was hard plastic and empty and his eyes shone
take me, take my parchment and my
erasertears and for god's sake
leave my pride
take my fantasyribbons and my
take my goddamn reality
and burn it like the wastepaper i am.
exhibit.Nanny thinks the carpet is too soft
to be my torturecage
and the sofa and endtables are poor
jailbars, but we
are feline and we're too tough to care
bigsister and littlesister are lioncubs today
baby lionesses, authentically,
we even lap milk from
ceramic bowls, bellies swollen from
the orders we give: 'emily, you're the
Get us more milk.'
She hates serving us, she's only four
but she's getting strong and someday
she'll earn predator status.
(give thanks that we do not consume you, emily,
your fingers peek through the cagebars and
they are white and young and blood
is sweeter than breastmilk)
Roar. We are learning to growl
I tried to wrestle littlesister but we collided with
Nanny's gnarled sandalfeet and
So am I, Nanny.
I am a lioness today and I
Sarah tosses her mane and I explain patiently (she's only six) that lionesses are free,
don't need manes to chase antelopes
she's too young to care
if her imagination grants her maned masculine lion
I.My bones were glass blown:
Crafted to curve lowly -
(un)beautifully - furling like
Imagine me transmuted, bursting through
desquamated skin. Picture my
clay-molded contours liquified
and awakened, shifted:
But I am unseasoned - grape-shelled,
guileless. Esotericism is overflowing
in my veins:
This path is as smudged as
its traveler (skidding yet
never slowed), clotted
Watch my fingers splay, breaking
from my tendons to
grasp tangible air
You can neither scorch nor
whittle me into
nail-sized hopelessness, only
Steeled, my jaw is set -
diffident, not shattered.
Birth of PoetryI tangled my fingers in the curls of the universe,
pulled. The earth fell out: round, warm, spinning.
Awkward and shy, she wondered how she got here; how
a rock that got wet and grew moss could be significant.
So I scooped her up in my fingers, breathed her scent:
(lilies and oceans and ozone and forests and fish and birds
and whales and rain and the empty elegance in wolf howls)
death and life. I found chaos
and knew beauty.
you were the infideli told you there is a difference between wanting to kill yourself
and wanting to die.
you said you didn't care, i could do either
i taught you how to climb a pine tree
and how to tie your shoelaces one-handed;
i sang you the alphabet backwards until you knew it by heart
(you knew me by heart).
sometimes i would weave daisies through your hair
and you would keep them there
until they wilted.
once i dared you to scale the neighbor's fence and
bring me a tomato from her garden.
i thought you knew i wasn't serious
but you vaulted up and back over with a tomato in your hand.
you told me you would do anything, anything for me
and i just laughed.
if there's one thing i want most, it's to see
daisies in your hair one more time:
that way maybe part of you
will look alive.
i know you've already wilted.
i think the day you jumped that fence,
your heart hit the ground running and
you said you would do anything for me:
i guess you meant anything
the sorry childi speak softly
won't be too loud
to trouble you
are shy or
ever i have
if you don't
& it's okay.
you should continue
to breathe & sleep
& go beautifully
the everyday blade
of your love confesses,
blesses each break
of the skin,
give a damn
about muscle or tendon
or flesh or bone only
seeks out the seams
only bites raw
old mother nature, perfect
spirals of grey hair,
sits green suited
floral bloused, simple
hands folded over
the book in her lap,
in the ribs
& thick veined fingers
clutched in glee, cackling
at her joke that i
just steal a flower
on the way
out & i
giggle in return,
& we look on
we give more
when we can.
& she goes
Gonna Soarcaught me a birdie&broke
her birdie neck, hollow-boned,
sounded more like a crinkle than a snap
really you'd hardly be sure it were
until you've got its
in your unregretful hand
gonna braid her wings into my hair,
gonna raise her birdie babies as my own,
gonna jump off this cliff with them in arms,
In stillness1. My bones are rocks, curved and exfoliated and shaped
by the heavy ocean storms in my lungs,
like cyclones of dust and regurgitated diary entries
have been lifted by the trembling earth
and slammed into my spine, repeatedly, until I bow
before everything more powerful than I could ever be.
And they are yours.
2. I love you,
like my lips thirst for more than your mandarin gums,
so I can eat through the hurt, clogged in your throat.
"My heart is obviously incapable of holding love";
let me prove you wrong.
3. Our sex lies in the pain along my neck,
where my blood has pooled and frozen.
I can barely feel my fingers or my toes and I am lost
in the kind of surrendering you never (have the time to) think about.
4. Like plates, we can only make something
when we converge or diverge;
mountain ranges for our breaths to circulate,
or new plains for our feet to soak into our soles.
Clamber over the trenches your fingers have carved on my chest
and hide under my immobile muscles.
strangeryou came clinging to the grace of a summer storm's
underbreath, came cold hands and tired eyes
and a bruised lip i'd longed to kiss
when you stumbled on night listing
too far to the left
cross my thistledown garden by old dusks
that wilt between, i'll keep my door open:
your lady in sepia doesn't live here, only
the ghosts and i -- and Grandmother,
in the far-between wanders when she can
but i've a place where you can
lay your wayworn bones to dry, and
if morning should come calling, i'll not
tell her where you sleep. and stayed awhile.
blind is brightwhat did you see today?
well I saw a woman whose skin was like
drapes of cream, like the smoothest Yukon
snowfall you've never seen, my desertboy,
her rouge tipped across cheeks glossed with
lychee pulpscarlet brewed and served sweet
on a shore leeched clean of shame.
you would have stared, for sure.
and I was on the bus with children
their hands fluent as damselflies addressed
to parents with clogged ears and open palms
I promise, I was only rude
because I didn't know how not to be
same as the way the sound of us
rendered in your inflection and estival lisp
strikes me blank and stupid
oh, i saw a girl as well.
hair cut short; any vanity on her would
have been excessyou take my meaning? she
was not beautiful. but she had enough pinches
of aqueous sunshine and tornadoes
in her mouth to last a while, i saw her in the mirror
but she didn't wave, was too busy being oblivious,
infatuated, plain as a song sung
under dead leaves.
you know closing my eyes I wished
oysteryes.inkchild pressed her cold fingers
right up against mine.
they were like ten-thousand snowflakes,
packed together under her skin.
I couldn't move, couldn't
look her in
the reminiscing eye.
inkchild, cover your eyes.
between her shadow-blue
lips, the words
her skin seemed so shallow,
so infused with blood..
just beneath the surface.
If I touched her,
would she fade?
inkchild, cover your eyes.
i wouldn't want to hurt her,
but her fingers,
so soft, so cold -
they're begging of me,
they're begging for love.
I look down, and
god - how beautiful she is.
Her great oyster eyes, so perfect
the smell of gravestones and his flowers
haunt me, suddenly, remind me..
her ice cold fingers,
her tattoo'ed hips
[the words branded DARKNESS,
lioness.you are my artform.
there are days when my stomach is not tucked in
and these attempts at spanish translation are too feeble
to dredge up verb conjugations
and i am just a fool.
i tried walking off this stupor
but it was like skipping off a cliff
(too easy, and anyway the philosophers
in my mindtunnels were too fat
too heavy to make action practical)
it's a sluggish sort of progress,
this growth into an orange-maned
and daily i stoop to rebuild the walls of my illusions.
(because i want to keep this sunrise radiating
from my smile
and i want to stay happy.)
i try hard not to be a realist.
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