When you sleep
I curl into your hand
wrap myself into your palm 
and rest.
Holding my breath
I twist against your ribs
find the rhythm of your breath
fight away my deamons
and imitate
your peace.


I ran it over filthy palms
and let it gather rivers
over red and black stained fingertips
down the bathroom sink.
It separated in marbled forms
spirals, globes of pearled gloss
a film of ruby blood
floating on my reflection.
And there it mingled still
amidst the chemical bath, of salt
and fury, and the image of my face
very much like yours
but framed with curled copper.

And so started the canon:
Longing for the man
The anguish of that August
And the mania began-
Oil, blood and crimson
turpentine dissolves
memories of madness
ritual resolves
purposeful starvation
resurrects the dead
the artist of the flesh
wears a crown of red

Then and Now

My eyes,
they were clear once
and saw- without much knowing,
the world
as it was to me then
a glistening thoughtless place-
in sharp and bright actuality.

And now,
crippled as they are
ravaged by disease and agony
they see,
a world
in dim and darkened filth
a pure and simple

Acid washed

In its infancy it sat and shuddered,
burnt, vitriolic and expanding
riding the crimson blood-splashed rapids,
It curved and wound, spreading agony without discretion,
cruising on a tidal wave of endorphins and plasma till I found myself embraced
in the torment of my own aesculapian understand of my eventual demise.
Now let me be our guide:

There will be a piano there, a blanket with holes and a stamp, illegible, faded and clutched many, many times. You will ignore it other than to observe the hole with contempt. It is imperfect. You will have a bed, with a curtain that pulls down easily on a little round-about-track. A set of drawers with a code: epinephrine, haldol, diazepam, lidocaine, within. They will not let you walk, so you will write furiously, fingers sliding across thoughts and paper manic yet restrained, little finger smudged with black as it slides across the cool slips, rationing ink and pages because soon you'll run out, time will be up. You'll feel the needle in your arm shudder as you breathe and the skin on your ribs crawl back, pull away. Away is exactly where you want to be. And knowledge goes from being power to being simply horrifying. You'll see more here than you wanted to. You'll wonder when they started counting you as a number rather than a girl. You'll miss drawing and oils, photos and acrylic. Canvas stretched tall and looming, industrial against brick walls in a dimly lit studio, dancing to a beat, laughing with a friend at midnight and painting while being, and just being while doing, and just feeling as one should, downing coffee, singing late into the night, not feeling your skull shatter when you laugh. And late, late at night you'll sneak out from your bed and walk the hall up and down. You hallucinate paisley patterns on plain disinfected tile and you delight in the creations your brain is painting. Feeling that acid wash though your veins when you smile and feel it turn like a diamond edged record through your cerebellum. Prayers will turn wicked- Glass in the bloodstream, a violent artful death.

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.


Thursday I walked,
Hood high, pace quick
kicking waves within the gutters
Sending tree fallen sailboats
rushing from my feet.
I have a novel in my pocket
and another one to write,
on things a girl can learn
when she stands outside the pale.
My film, it keeps on running
Through chemicals and fog
the substances that pulse
through the channels in my mind.
Observations of mortality,
desolation, sin and grace
sit wrappen within the gray,
the filter of my view.
Photographs and memory
words and written things,
create archives of insanity
I cannot forget


A well polished blade
razored ribs
lurking below the pale
Inhale, collapse and hold.
Beauty's in the details
fine lines and parallels,
that run, tangled ribbons
in a shadowcast design.
Ana was yesterday
and is still perhaps, tomorrow.
Every moment sculpting
scraping away the excess
of shame and guilt
Between my ribs she gave me,
a hallow sort of place.
Ana's blade was carving,
And from her bones she built
a puppet out of me

That is all

My friend, she walked the city
music in her mind
and dancing in her step.
A dark haired whirlwind
fearless of the metal grates
and streetlight streaking rain.

I caught her in the silence
a silken state of mind
muffled with the memories
of hollowness
and sound.


A choir of spirits, altos all
Singing a sweet serenade
Glassy and silver, humming, they fall
Darting, they quickly cascade

Crisp amber leaves, glossy gold
under billows of low cast sky
blowing in waves, muddy and cold
casting off drops as they fly

A melody risen of unknown birth
Musicians from mist gathered gray
Heaven sent fingers, playing the earth
Washing my troubles away

A changing state of grace

Visions of rubies, light caught in the sun,
the corner of seeing, the damage's been done
In spreading at sunset, in darkened expanse
a moment of blindness, a paralyzed dance
From minor to major, a musical riddle
steady and low, a bow on a fiddle
A sightless musician, a dancer gone mad
playing a song to a dream she once had
In puddles of moonlight, and flashes from storm
in candlelit puddles, where images form
moving in shadows, and fleeing the light
the blindness of music, dawns in the night


We plucked cherries in the garden
overstepping rows of earth
where mama planted snap-peas
and blackened soil gave birth
Us muddy girls, we tiptoed
past the grapes, the appletrees
the strawberries we planted
admist a humming cloud of bees
Sweet pale girl, Sakura
I her twin, the cherry red
dancing under August lightening
tiny arms widespread
Caching rain upon our shoulders
Ivory fingers well entwined
My sister, you have left me
with Sakura on my mind

Orion Missed

Now is when I think of you
When summer clapped its broad wings high above the horizon
and painted pale blue sky a heavenly shade-
as night fell, Orion rose, hunting amidst the stars.
I crushed grass, crisp and cool beneath my feet
and ran in moonlit spirals
We embraced the summer nights- they were old friends to us.
Orion drew an arrow, a placed it in his bow
And from the northern sky he faltered.
A solitary gleaming arch, a glowing point, a collision
between the constellation in your mind
and the archer high above.
Once the moon has cast its blanket
Hatsya is at my throat
so summers heat I wrap around me
its all that I can do

Theia's Hands

Into the hazy glow of static
Fraying steel cables, electrical conductors
faulty in design or function
spark lethal jolts of light

I watch them with passive interest
a light show of disintegration
fire-flys dancing behind the curtain
of a former world view

And this too is momentary
Theia in her radiance
winds her hands into the fibers
of pale and dying nerves

And helpless, I am learning
-as vision slips away-
To dive into the waves of serenity
and drift in the cool of apathy

Left Eye

I found God in the trenches
when blinded by some crime
I know not what I committed
for I sin all the time
The fear of losing vision
has brought me to my knees
with hands clasp, head low
bowing, singing to the breeze:
If I could find redemption
If I could live to See
My prayers and my salvation
Would bring God back to me
So I'm a gypsy trader
Bargaining with fate
singing in morning
till the day grows late
Casting stones into the river
Casting nets into the air
Begging god to bring me vision
lest I parish with despair
And my traps, they bring me courage
I catch stars within their nets
and place them where I see them
and reflect upon regrets
I've found God in the trenches
when blinded by some crime
I know not what I committed
for I sin all the time.

Sutros at Midnight

Washed upon my dress
lifted, worn and pale
a spray of blue or seafoam
caught the eucalyptus breeze-
a zephyr of your breath.
I clambered up the cliffs in heels
you chased in boots, laughing
and caught my hand, spun
a dangerous midnight chase.
CliffHouse, ruins, seaside
you in your ambition
stole sixteen years of purity
in one consuming gaze.
Beneath the watercolored moon
you pressed emeralds, gold into my palm
folded me into your arms
and beneath your black coat I found
a sure and steady warmth.


In dreams
memories announce their identity
without words.
Color is louder than voice
and shades are indelible
as emotion.
In the dreams of my youth
New York was a song
and the minutes of the day
changed their lyrics,
and never repeated them.
The freedom to see clearly
was my wild and uninhibited dance,
and I saw clearly
that there was only beauty.
In wakefulness,
I've viewed distinct shades of night
creep across my folded hands
repeat a simple verse
and take away
my voice


His eyes were a shade I'd never seen before.
They shone out against the paper mask, a kind yet glassy copper-brown reflecting orbs of radiating white that shown down in tear-inducing sheets. The lights were far too bright. I inhaled and felt it rattle within me, a mechanical lifeform, my lungs withering with some unnatural strain. Panic. These were not my own. I fought to speak and felt consciousness slip, the grasp a silk thread on my tongue. A word! It rose dry in my worthless throat, azure, indigo, cobalt, kyanos, see me! I slipped further, faded to a blur. Brown eyes froze, stepped towards me and took my hand, pressing my fingers to his palm. Tilting his eyes to my face, he revealed his voice to me as sirens filled the room.
'Blue,' he said addressing white coats, bodies filling spaces, honey to my soul, the word
'and blue
Means she's not breathing'

Brunette Turned Indigo

I sang a song for a girl
while painting her in oil
low and heavy blue notes
a cadmium jazz sad melody

Bronze flesh became ashen
Brunette waves turned indigo
I caught a girl Observing
a memory of grief

Her song became my own
and then I stepped away
beheld the portrait of a girl
All in one piece when broken

Seven and a half stone

Clavicle to scapula, road map down a ribbon
Fingers over solid intercostal waves,
Hello old friends
Iliac crest, your razor ridge
is a chipped and scarred reminder that She is still within.

Ulna, Radius, pisiform, five inches round
delighting in shrunken anatomy
sinew and flesh fading
while memories float to the surface
she steps-

again, recalibrate.
again, recalibrate.
again, recalibrate.