Eight, Twelve

I know that sickly pull
a retched twisting clutch
rendering strong and controlled form
a pool of chesnut agony
Cold and jagged fragments
icy, bloody bites
slicing flesh to ribbons
memories and nightmares
moonlit cubes sliding
in still and terrorfying calm
across and up the walls.
Loss and fear and agony
a hollow, hungry place
filled with pearly tablets
the burn of canned heat-
medication for calamity.
I know that cavernous space
below the bony arched cage
where beats a worn and withered heart
that simply seeks resolve.
Death is our keeper
and we are his progeny.

Some sort of dying

I tried dying once
But was woken from my sleep
The quiet and the stillness
closer to oblivion

My bones emerged from hiding
my eyes lost will for sight
and scars criss-crossed my skin
a road map of bad memories

I felt my self fading
to some solitary place
where the shimmer in the dusty air
conveyed no scent of you

And even there I fumbled
some creature, out of place
a mess of complications
a worried, manic mind

You were neather there no here
no heaven and no hell
just some lasting thread of memory
that I feel fraying with the years

The Gardener

A laugh
and he brushed my hand

A warm guide to a spiraling swan
dizzy and joyful pas de deux
barefoot on freshly cut grass,
staning a red ballerina green.

Steady, a hand and a laugh
hearty and heartfelt roll
an artist and a gardener
smelling the lemon verbena
as it burst forth from the earth

A lesson in botany
the power of soil, sun and love
how little things could grow tall
with a little bit of skill

Cupping the power of life in my hand
I watched as it curled and frayed
a sickness of wasting and wanting
staining a green man red.

Scales are for Fish

Blue ribbons
How you shape me
Bees in my skull
Bees in my skull
Seven stone makes me lovely
Seven stone makes me loved

Bones are waves
And I am an ocean
Blue, blue ribbons
Make me a puddle
A glint in a raindrop
A tap on the asphalt
Unnoticed and icy
Impossable weight

Scales are for fish
Pale, boney fish
And I am an ocean
A deep, bitter ocean
Seven stone makes me lovely
Seven stone makes me loved
Bees in my skull
Ribbons and raindrops
The sea is full of fish
Humming bees in my skull


Eight summers,
Just enough
for the shimmering wave of memories
to crystallize into solidity.

Patch work quilt
a shield and tear stained marker
-some sort of solid weight
protection from the night
an anchor to my home.

And a television glow
flickering and humming from beneath.
A comforting ripple of laughter
a little past the piano
where she taught me to play.

A strange summer rain
where I sang a song to Jesus
and tried to make her smile,
but watched oceans fill her eyes
before she left with gentle steps.

Summer brings back fragments,
razor sharp and honey sweet
of what I'll never have again.


High on the steel grate
Cello song from far below
We all predicted
the visions in your head
would get you in trouble someday

In your world
disinfected taunts and tile
A series of white exits
Gowns and glances
unmoving, frozen life
'When you're home by yourself,
you're behind enemy lines.'

You said we were alike
And foolish as I am
I took your words for good
even knowing
the visions in your head
would get you in trouble someday


I did not mind the blush of copper wickedness
swirled in your eyes,
or the wild wind that caught your hair
and made it dance and dance.
I did not mind the calloused tips
fingers around the neck,
giving strings their humming voice
Causing pale skin to blush,
and a lasting chill to run,
vertebrae to vertebrae
along an instrument in song.
I never failed to walk with you,
the movement in your voice
giving color to the earth around
and painting a portrait of light.


In silence
I screamed for a time
and brushed fingertips, blue
over my new, re-sculpted form.
They danced for a moment there,
unfeeling yet sensing
that something
was not right.
Another one down
twenty to go
a exclaiming burn in the ribs,
A hallow place
full of obsession
a black ink polluting the blood,
And under it all,
bones begging to rise
to broadcast a shriek
to protest suffocation.
Today I was reminded
that sometimes counting counts.


The trapdoor at the bottom
asks questions round and round
and in a creaking tenor, calls
to a tatterd collage, made from bits of cloth
that sits below the varnished wood
worn from dancing days.
And there, the shattered form of me
bent and fallen from glowing sunlight
summoned to those fading photographs
Pulls about a rich black agony
heavy, sweet and cold.
When I find some light to hold
and memories melt to dust,
your fading face persuades me
to slip between the floorboards
and find a blacker place

Tangerine Sunrise

Snapdragons, marigolds
a tangerine sky
dripping with low hanging mist
Checkerbloom, starflower
from these I fly
catching the steps that I missed
Violet, tidy-tips
Fleeing the sun
Creeping up into the blue
Larkspur, meadow grass
each new day I die
and reborn, start running anew


I found a gold-green feather tucked within my sleeve
as a deafening tempest raged from above,
I saw another fall from the sky
and the taste metallic carmine slipped across my tongue.
Down down down it came.
A bird rendered flightless
A uncurable mess,
I felt a new wind coming.

Your Visit

Last night in restless weaving
from fragile light to darkend lids
You entered my room in silence
And led me to the rooftops.
We sat under the velvet tapestry
Admidst a foggy urban glow
and dipped our hands into memories
that swirled about our fingertips
cold and somehow distant.
Earl Gray was a friend to us then,
bergamot and oranges,
the day we took the bridge to Manhattan
to photograph the downfall
in shades of black and gray.
How early morning, our breath rose
small clouds that made us laugh
as they found the darting rays of light
and played there, in the sun.
And you, with your dark smile would,
make magic come from six old strings
a melody from nowhere
that made dancers of us all.
The way we painted, feverent nights,
The maddening rush of it all,
The way we'd wrap our icy fingers
around paper cups, our coffee black
Like the center of that concreat gray
from which you viewed the world.
And as we sat, old friends again
the moon smiled a wicked crescent
and a coldness from within me sang,
that this was just a dream.