i lie the locust, a villanelle 11-30-16

aka “abstraction is difficult and I haven’t written a poem in over a year”

i lie the locust in the honey tree
sip slow and sweetly soft the summer dew
i fly throughout your flowers honeybee
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Your sharp edges were not your fault
But that didn’t stop you cutting us with them;
Your sting–more bee than wasp,
An attack of self-evisceration–
Pulling out your own entrails even as you wounded us;

I hung back, afraid of the anaphylactic shock of you.

I pried apart the shells of my ribs for you and let you into my soft oyster center
But these pearls were never intended to be bullets for you to shoot me with.


alexander & a look into my creative process

Dearest Alexander:

I have lost your poem.
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i sleep alone 11-4-13

Sometimes I walk up the dusty path through the dry grass
Under the ancient arch of crumbling stone
To where the path trails into the colorless water
And I lay my bones down
Just at the water’s edge among the reeds
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this is how you save yourself 1-24-13

it rains down on you it thunders over you it pours into you
this is how God opens his hands on you this is how you are soaked to the bone
you’re under the bushes you’re under the trees you’re under the eaves
this is how you hide from the darkness this is how you save yourself

and this is where we find you in a knot in a nest
this is where we find you in a hollow a tangle this is how you hide
how you escape the deluge this is how you save yourself


vampire villanelle 1-26-13

Too cold to sleep and yet too warm to die
we sit in shadows, waiting for the night.
too still to weep; alas, too still to sigh!
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Broken Horses

She turns the cold earth over, spade by spade;
the wounded bones lie out, exposed and raw
and glisten under flowers spun of straw–
she buries them in scars that she has made.
The garden fountain where their thrashing drowned
sits cold and stagnant, full of tangled hair.
She cannot leave her heartbreak lying there–
she hides her broken horses in the ground.


love story

her peachpink seashell cheeks don’t look as bright as they did this morning
and her mascara’s smudged which she so carefully applied
leaning over the sink until the edge pressed a damp line into her shirt

she was late for work today but the coffee was good

the man in the elevator who smiled at her when she didn’t see had perfect teeth
(his mother tells him he should be an actor
because mothers always have a dream for their handsome sons)

he’s not smiling as he stands on the sidewalk outside the office building
while a woman holds a microphone in his face

(his face is meant for the camera)

his mother, who always tells him he should be an actor
pauses in the folding of the laundry
as her handsome son tells the lady with the microphone

about how he had smiled at the woman in the elevator
(because he was happy to be alive,
and happy to be in the elevator with a beautiful woman who was gazing into her coffee cup)

and no, she didn’t seem particularly upset, just meditative
–or reflective,
maybe reflective was the word he was looking for–
as if she was working out some minor puzzle in the bottom of her coffee cup

she’s the puzzle now, this twist of limbs
found on the sidewalk by the man with the perfect teeth

whose mother sighs at his face on the television
because she always knew he was destined for greatness


for “kitty” Fountain

To The Kitten Who Died In My Care Last Friday Morning

It seems absurd, that there should be such a difference

in lungs fluttering with air and lungs without

transformed, in (a breath) a moment into fragile scraps of tissue

like wilted flowers or butterflies’ wings.

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