Thursday, April 4, 2013


despite my best efforts
i cannot hold you in my hands
you're the ever moving shore line
and i'm chasing you with tired legs
my feet disappearing under sand
my ankles raw and stinging in the sea water

its exhausting, but necessary

its the necessity of discretion
the necessity to keep it strictly emotionless
because it makes the fatigue melt away
like sugar on the tongue
and the taste of it is addicting


you fill my cheeks with flush
and provide that electricity
that sends me off into the world
with a smile
i have that sick understanding of addiction
and you to thank for it.


we sit and reminisce about the days
we spent together
all rose colored through these adult lenses
my brain spins off into all the what ifs
they are too bitter to hold in my mouth

ive got bruises on my shins
from the daily battle i get to wage with myself
you rub small circles into them
because you think that massage
will rub out the hurt that we have inflicted on one another
but it just brings it into sharper focus
that knowledge that we can never have the past back

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

three poems for seven eighteen twelve

i am restless
so i go looking for some old scrap of paper
hunting down a memory so fresh
i can smell it

a little shade thrown around the yard
maybe covering my bare shoulder

i felt things back then
really felt them
deep in the bones
and it seems that only after much convincing
you could be persuaded
to let me share the electricity with you

i could always sense
the far off look you must have had in your eyes


(you were never meant to be mine)

and there it comes again
haunting me
so I've got to keep my restless hands moving



i'll let the sun shine on us here
you are the rock
warming in the pink morning air
i am the lizard
that splays out
letting your radiant heat
tingle my toes
and work it's way into
my reptilian bones


today you seem older
a more distinguished brow
your face fuller than i had remembered
but not in a way that makes me suspect gluttony

you talk to me
tell me almost brashly that
30 is the new 20
as if your windfall is a tangible thing
you have felt it
there in your hands

you furrow the brow
and i am filled with understanding
of your conviction

belief is a powerful thing
it shapes continents
and moves feet

but my muscles need stretching
it requires an effort
to make myself believe
that in fact
we are both older
and maybe strength of conviction is enough to fill a man's face
to satiate and make him healthy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

i know you're smiling, i don't even have to see your face

i have an uncle who for some strange reason thinks that harry and david pears can buy a mother's love:


the last time i saw him
i could not hold his attention
we could have been strangers passing one another on a crowded street
once each year
we find some token from his past
that validates his sometime existance

he scarcely knows
what constitutes an acceptable offering
so he sends something
obscenely neutral
universally appealing
surely this will satisfy
the nagging mother
the sister with all the children
the brother whose hands
have the same lines that his father's did

he steps off of the plane
breathes into the cold air
and can feel nothing but the emptiness of his pockets

i recently reconnected with an old friend (ah, the joys of the internet!) who has taken a very different path from me. she and her companion are spending a year volunteering in israel, and they are writing a blog to keep in touch with their friends stateside. i have been reading their posts, and thus, this was born:

first morning

he walks the streets
in a country where he is a visitor
he fumbles their language
and they respond to him in the familiar

it is a place that is ragged with the passing of many years
old paths breathe a life into him
full of memories, rare energy

sitting at a small cafe table
he sips turkish coffee
and contemplates the small
they way the blinds open
the shouting cab drivers
the sound of a ripened lemon
singing a quiet song
as it falls on the roof late in the evening

he thinks of the woman that he woke up with that morning
how he marveled at her goodness
the soft curls of her hair
the quiet tension of her lips
touching just so

the heat of the day comes
and he is readying the ground for planting
he imagines the fattened lemon
that woke him the last night
and thinks to himself
that perhaps the large and the small are not so different

this earth here
that earth there
it should always be filled with this peace

Sunday, November 29, 2009

the ground remembers her

thanksgiving weekend has done me good. i have had 4 days to really get my batteries recharged and prepare myself for the november/december marathon.

i have really enjoyed spending time with the extended families too. i relish the opportunity to reconnect with people i haven't seen in a long time. best of all, i get to listen to the stories that fill up the books of my family history. this year we even watched some home movies that just about everyone forgot even existed. it was slightly embarrassing, but fun. i had a really fantastic talk with my mom about my grandparents relationship too. here are some thoughts that have been stewing.


my grandfather
loved my grandmother
in a stifling way
i imagine their courtship
he arrives from the heat of a summer day
smelling like a tobacco blossom
her shy eyes meet his
hand on the small of her back,
he guides her to the car

years later
he sits in their smoke filled kitchen
brandishing a hand of cards
like a loaded weapon
offers a kiss to the cheek
as she delivers a cold beer to the table
his conversation with the male neighbor
continues on casually
and he makes some remark
about the value of a good woman

in the dark of their bedroom
he whispers into the softness of her neck
his words of love
he wraps his arms around her as if she were some fragile bird
and admits the fear that rests behind his closed eyes
that she may dissapear
into the stillness of the night
without so much as a sound

she has been without him thirteen years now
and she tells me she can sometimes hear him
asking for a light
or a sandwich
when the night air settles in around her
that is his gentle way
to stifle from the beyond


home movies

watching myself
immortalized in celluloid
the colors of my hair and skin
wavering like the reflection of water on the side of a pool
here is the evidence
that once, despite my current state of cynicism and lethargy
i was young and energetic

who was that child, full of questions?
where did she learn those words
and would she let me borrow them
if i promised to return them in mint condition?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

incense and sunglasses on orchard street

i met with an old friend today, and it was like....whoa. sometimes you don't even realize there is a gaping hole in your life until someone starts to kind of contort their self into the shape of the hole with the express intention of filling it in. i can only smile about it.

i had forgotten
the shape of your mouth
when your lips curve to smile
the shock of straight, white teeth

it is a memory
that i will dog-ear
mark "for future reference"
now that i have
a keener understanding
of where such memories should be kept

such memories are kept
near that indexed spot
where happiness is also stored


taking the view of you in from across the table
i feel old memories shift
they loosen themselves from the mental woodwork
like spiders
creeping down a thin sinew
to the present

i think back to an evening
where you and i
held hands in a dark room
and pondered those transcendental things
those mysteries
and love

we were children then
free from the weights of obligation
that we carry around today
like tarnished badges of honor
there was mental space
that we had devoted
to one another
and we intended to fill it with
those fantastical hypotheses
that only our joint genius could produce

we had little understanding
of that omnicscient reason
we were brought together
which i think
is probably still the case

and in some ways
you and i
will always be in that dark room
holding hands
having a semi-conscious experience
thinking big thoughts
and i am glad
that some part of that carefree past
will live on
ghosting the moments between our sleep and wake

Sunday, November 15, 2009

fight this- the language barrier

a palpable tension rises-a dense fog
we find we are somehow equipped
to feel our way through

i imagine two antennae
protruding from our heads
reaching out to read the chemical messages
that float in the air between us

the typical senses are dulled
the cells do their hurried work
compensating, acting out a part
written in the language of a dream
a continuation without conscious effort

our fingers and mouths are numbed
stunned by their own irrelevance
a cruel joke of evolution it is
to leave those organs there, sans occupation


(a revelation)

with you there can be no secrets
you could coax a murderer's confession from me

words leave my mouth half-laughing
as if i were caught in a photograph
taken at an absurd angle
unable to digest your innuendos

the sarcasms that i pour out
the same bland, tasteless effusions
that my tastebuds have grown accustomed to
now come tinged in truth
that stings and burns
on the exit

i must manage this condition
if left unchecked,
your ability to douse words from me
(water from a stone)
your vision
could burrow a hole
into some currently vacant room of the heart
thus ending my ability
to resist your particularly vicious carcinoma

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

liking the idea of an idle caress

i tried to edit this down, and i'm not completely satisfied. i think it is missing something.

you squeeze
(even mangle)
my prerogative
turn it to something
take it and hide it behind your smiling teeth
like a piece of gum
casually moved out of my view

a scene is set
the feather is perched
oh-so-precariously on the edge of the table
the cat
poised to pounce
the marbles leaping on the hard floor
(my heart jumps a little at the thought
the reverberations of arrythmia
felt in earlobes
the fingers search for an occupation)

again, the color rises in me
there is a frenzy stirring below this surface
and all you can do is grin and watch the fallout


this is a short little something that filled up the margin of the page. it's sassy. maybe i will continue on with this at a later date.

you move like a man i used to sleep with.
he could not handle
the love that i sectioned off
and spoon fed him.