Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30/30: this time it's personal and it's naked and it's ugly.

And it's prose.  Whoops.

I'm feeling extremely restless.  Something about spending an entire day expecting to learn at any minute that any number of people I hold very dear had died.  Something about this ovulation being extra cat-in-heat-like.  Something about too much introspection and existential thought.  Something about I love a man on the other side of a globe and what am I even stringing him along for if I will probably just let him down by going to bed with someone and never live near him anyway.  An open relationship in theory and in practice are different animals.  A past lover asked if I wanted to get down.  I wanted to get down.  I went to see him.  It was fun and it was fine but how will the man I love be after I tell him?  And I left still feeling cat-in-heat-like.  I wanted to go to any bar and go to bed with the first person who made eye contact.  I wanted a stranger to slap me full across the face and tell me horrible things about myself.  I went home and wrote a tender poem about my love then spent my whole dream fucking strangers who said yes.  So instead I drive too fast after school down rural highways and the wind is too cold because I don't have a jacket and it hurts my skin and I like it.  And a car in front of me is kicking up dust and it's stinging my skin and I like it.  I follow the car down roads I wouldn't otherwise have taken because I want the stinging to keep stinging.  And the cold and the sting is making me tear up and I like it because I have an excuse to shed tears and a reason for them I can name.  I'm driving too fast and I'm fantasizing about leaping off and flying for a few seconds.  I hold the accelerator down until it will go no faster and dream about brick walls.  And what am I even doing staying up too late every night and I just want to sleep all day and why am I going to work what does this work mean for me for my future what is a future do I even want one?  What is living for and can't I just sleep under an overpass and start drunk fights with strangers and get my teeth knocked out?  Why do I feel like shit and why do I want someone something to make me feel like shit?  Because then I'd have an actual reason for feeling this way that I cannot otherwise name?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

29/30: Last Kiss Rehearsal

Lights up, low, on a stage.
Long benches, some people seated
here and there, some with bags.
No talking.  Enter, stage left,
the couple, young
but not too young, race
unimportant, but he
should be bearded and her hair
should be long.  Make them
the same height.  Make them stand
too close while she negotiates the purchase
of a one-way ticket in a foreign language, but he's
the one with the backpack.  She hands him
the ticket and they move to a bench.

They have not spoken to each other yet.

She opens
a small plastic shopping bag,
pulls out leftover pizza.
They eat in silence
but hold hands
on top of his knee.  They are

conspicuous in the way
that they are avoiding
looking anywhere else
but those hands.  Like they know
what it means.  Off stage we hear
a long bell, an announcement, and the hands
fall apart.  The couple stands.  The onlookers
look on as we remember

the gun in the first act, when she declared
her categorical opposition
to public displays and we watch as
without hesitation her arms are now
around his neck and she's kissing him kissing
him kissing him like those kisses could speak
every word she just chased
with the pizza.
She pushes the rest of it in the shopping bag
into his hands.  As he goes to board,
we watch in awe, wondering
how long one person
can go without blinking.  He rounds
the corner.
Lights down.

Monday, April 28, 2014

28/30: tornado season in arkansas again

today tornadoes danced
like dervishes across my homeland
while i on the opposite side of this globe
tried to teach
holding my fragile heart tenderly
between my teeth, live streaming newscasts
of nightmares between classes what a unique
feeling of powerlessness it is
to watch a death toll rise in time
with the barometer
unthreading my veins to tie a knot
for each prayer.
i am so tall but this inseam
is not long enough to carry me there.
what good is this wingspan
if i cannot reach
my dozen loves.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

27/30: prompts include writing a letter, using birdsong, among others.

Dear Andrea:

Things are good here.  The weather
has gone hot again, and the rains
should start back up soon.  My new job
is hard and I love it; two of my students
have now written poems.  Isn’t that
some kind of particular magic?  There are birds
that I listen to every night; I’ve been trying
to place their call.  One sound, one high
syllable just now, then again, and again
time to time and if I stand on my apartment
rooftop I can hear it echoing

                                                across town.  I haven’t
managed to actually see one of these birds.
I read yesterday an idea that a teacher
cannot really teach, that the student must learn
on their own, that all the teacher can do
is encourage the learning.  If that’s true, two
of my students have managed to learn
to write poems all on their own
and I’ve never seen a one of these birds.
Their call ends in an E-sound.  One night
I decided it was THREE.  THREE.  THREE.

I think about what I’m learning here, and who,
if anyone, is my teacher.  I go up
to the roof to escape the subtropical heat
if it is not raining and look out
at every sleeping window and marvel at the lives
they all contain.  One day soon a student
will give me a third poem, then a fourth
and I want to say I have taught children
to read but surely I only helped them

to learn.  What a precise alchemy it is,
and I watch as their little eyes solve
the squiggles, as their tiny mouths move
and all the right sounds come out and in
the night I reach out for these birds I cannot name
and I grasp them and tie my worries to their
little bird feet and let go, learning to watch them fly


Saturday, April 26, 2014

26/30: And you thought I was gonna go all month without writing about my mom.

When my mother dies
I will plant her body
inside my belly, safe
to grow again.  I will deliver

her back to life.  I will deliver

who has never hated me.
Not even once.

Friday, April 25, 2014

25/30: Anaphora


got me distracted
driving, got me daydreaming
at work and at rest, got me hating everything
I eat for tasting not one drop like you.
got me popping pens in my mouth
while I'm trying to write, at an angle
like that could invoke your girth,
got me missing the slick of you, saying
your name three times in the mirror like
it could make you appear.  got me staying up late
replaying memories then sleeping in trying
to hold on to dreams.  got me exclamation
mark.  got me restless interrobang.  got me hungry
ellipses.  got me aching like a high schooler
at 2:59 on Friday, got me afraid of what this means,
then relaxing into fear like an opening bud.
got me like a hobo listening to a whistling train, got me ready
like ramen craving falls of boiling water,
got me all sandy beach and you foaming waves.
got me crossing my legs to keep out my dancing hands.
got me tuned and soundchecked, got me kneeling,
head proud, hands folded, wide eyes open tight
and a stomach just as big, ready, praying, flag mouth
unfurled, that you will come on by
and get me.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

24/30: in this forest

Someone in my Facebook news feed referred to his pain in passing as a forest.  So I went all the way there.  He was speaking mostly about chronic physical pain, I channeled mental illness.

In this forest the tree trunks are wide
as nightmares.  In this forest I try
to walk through but my feet stick
in the muck and the branches are all arms
with a raven's grip.  In this forest
the wildfire moss soaks up all sounds,
even ones I imagine, a silence
so thick it's blinding, and now I've lost
all sense of direction.  The canopy becomes
its own night sky, no sunlight for so long
I've forgotten how it feels on the skin
and can't care.  The muck begins
to resemble the warmest of beds, and in
this forest I lie down, held by so many
ravens' arms.  Gravequiet moss
for a blanket and a night too black
for stars.  I open my mouth to yawn
and out sprouts a sapling, growing faster
than any bad dream.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

23/30: How to hold your horses


We are, after all, talking
about an animal measured
in "hands," measured
from the ground up to the place
where neck meets shoulders, called
a magical word: the "withers."
Hands and more you'll need, teeth,
bridles, bits, reigns, this frothing herd
is rearing to race but you

have to hold them.
Weave your fingers
into their manes, take the reigns
between your lips, bite down hard.
Think on lakes and let the calm
trickle down your hands and in
through their hides.  Less grip
and more stable until it's time

to let

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

22/30: instructions for moving to the other side of the world

First, get rid
of every
of furniture.
The bed you shared
with your now ex-spouse.
The pressboard DIY bookshelves
that have survived seven moves
and long term outdoor storage.
Your grandmother's piano.
The coffee table you and your friends
glued naked women to, cut
from nudie magazines.
You can only take two suitcases.
All Furniture Must Go.
Then the books.  Oh, You,
librarian's daughter, don't let
me hear it.
Well, okay.
But you can't keep more
than five boxes, alright?
OKAY FINE, ex-chef,
and five boxes of kitchen stuff,
but those clothes?  C'mon.  After you try,
unsuccessfully to make a buck
two separate consignment shops,
stop by the thrift store and let it all go
free.  Now it's time to pack
two suitcases, neither of which
may outweigh fifty pounds.
Shoes.  At a lady's size twelve,
Taiwan will not help you.  Clothes.
At five foot eleven inches, you'll be shit
out of luck over there.  Only books
on writing poetry, teaching English,
or learning Mandarin.  No more than twelve.
Okay, thirteen.  The bear you've slept with
since you were two weeks old.  Your
fifth international journey will be
his first.  Make it gentle.  Your e-book
will hold a library as well.  The camera
is necessary, as is the vibrator and the anti-
depressants.  Take one thing you know
you will leave behind.  Take one thing
that reminds you of home.  Take
to the airport and take inventory
of everything you're leaving behind.

So Far This April:

I have killed my rapist twice (in one poem I killed another seven or so people), written two more poems about my assault (in one my abuser is merely forgotten into oblivion) and another about the boss who confessed to me he raped someone (he's in the body count of the previously mentioned seven or so).  I wrote a poem about drowning five children.  I have written 6 poems about my new crush and surprisingly only two about my most recently failed relationship (despite it having lasted four years).  I wrote one poem that was much too long and one which was a copout haiku.  I wrote a poem about going fast on my scooter and another about a woman trying to catch a rooster.  What will follow?  Stay tuned to see!

Monday, April 21, 2014

21/30: Whoops?

The prompt was to give a gift to someone you dislike, to kill them with kindness.  I think I failed?


For him, a bouquet.  A parade,
an award.  Rows and rows of medals.
For him, the winning ticket
to the lottery. An all expense paid
vacation.  A new suit, a new ride,
a new house, a smile as wide
as a dozen dozen Niles.

For him, a bouquet
of bees that know exactly
where to sting.  Then parade him
through the streets, a sign hung
round his neck like an award,
“I Fuck Women Without Their Consent.”
A one way ticket
the hell out of town, off this planet,
shoot him into space, one way,
what a lovely vacation, eyes plucked out
so he can’t enjoy the view.  For him,
a freshly-fitted iron maiden, dressed
to the nines, with a pair of concrete
shoes.  A prison van to deliver him
to his own personal Alcatraz
where he’ll never be admitted.  Because I’ll
be waiting
at the gate
with a knife
to carve
in the soft flesh
of his neck
a smile as wide

as a dozen dozen Niles.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014

What an April!

We're two thirds through it now, poets.

For me this one has been delicious for a number of reasons.

So far I've racked up a record SEVEN COMMENTS on my posts.  Yeah, I don't kid myself, I know I'm small potatoes but in past years I've posted a call for people to comment to let me know they're reading, and still not gotten that many, so this feels warm and fuzzy.  I'm talking more with fellow poets about what we're each posting (y'all know who you are and I'm grateful for you) and we're sharing prompts and resources (check a few posts back where I share a whole host of bookmarks).

I've gotten way more views of my blog in this month, too (not least of all because of how popular and viral the whole Veet issue was for a minute there and my decision to write something about it right in that moment).

Also, I haven't missed a day yet, knock on wood.  This is largely because I've been more forgiving with myself this year.  In past years I got behind and started feeling guilty about it.  I started this year deciding to be more lax on myself, even saying I'd allow myself to post in US-time instead of Taiwan-time, so often I post after midnight here but consider it fine since it's still early afternoon back in the states.

How is your April going?  Do you like what you're writing?  Do you like what you're reading?  What do you plan to do with your work afterward?

We're in the home stretch, folks.  Just a week and a half left.  See you at the finish line.

20/30: The dictionary of obscure sorrows

Because what can I write about you that has not already
been written?  The loving of you creates within me myriad
obscure sorrows.  Vellichor: You are an antique bookstore, all
dustsmell and ancient knowledge, and I am sitting in the floor
in the middle, hopeless in knowing I can never
read all you contain.  Onism: I hate every other body
that has known yours before I could.  Hate every
past lover who took your body inside theirs, hate your mother
who carried you first, who nursed you at her breast
decades before you touched mine with a newborn's
wonder.  Mahpiohanzia: because no matter how hard I try
I cannot make this body jump up and fly through the air
around the globe to be with yours.  Aimonomia: If I know
your good name, in its entirety, might you cease
to exist altogether?  Nementia: There are times of the day
I can taste you on the tip of my tongue but can't remember
how you got there.  Gnossienne: because you
are a house with so many rooms I will never
explore them all.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I've been working on these bookmarks for a long long time now.


My bright idea has been to start saving awesome poetry links and organizing them.  It'll never be perfect, but from time to time I click alphabetize on them cuz why not or try to sort out stuff that hasn't made it into a folder yet.

Anyway, within you have some general poetry related stuff, and then folders.  One is links to super amazing awesome poetry if you want to have a read or watch a video.  One is a folder with links to amazing sites for prompts.  One is a folder of links to publishers and publishing resources.  There's a folder of scholarships and a folder of advice.

Share it if you'd like, but please let people know (and know yourself, too) that I'm always looking to tighten this resource up so if you have stuff I should add holler back, or find a link to a dead end let me know.

19/30: write about the weather, but not really

There are rains here in Taiwan like I'd never seen.
Go to bed, rain.  Wake up, rain.  In between?
Rain.  And I love it.  Love it all over
everything, all inside everything, everywhere I go
it goes with me, everywhere I look it's all I see,
it gets in my food, in my drink, in my eyes, down
my ears and into my brain.  I wear it.  I breathe it.
I sleep with it and arise into it.  It bathes me
and my world; it soothes, it nourishes, sings, it

There are winds that blow on the southernmost tip
like I've never felt.  Just try camping.  The winds
will shudder the tent you'll feel shaking, sleep stirring,
rise moving, and in between, dancing.  Just listen
how the ocean sings with it, too, take naps on the beach
and ignore the stinging sand, take a jar of sand home
like setting it on the shelf could keep the wind with you,
like you feel your hair blowing when you look upon it,
and you feel how it felt on your skin, you can feel

And now here I am
in the town where I live
and his wind and his rain
have gone across the sea.
Left me with all this
Left me

Friday, April 18, 2014

18/30 - A Gram of &s

An eleven line form whereby the theme/title of the piece, its letters are used to make new words that end each line.  Get help finding your words here.  No fair changing words - adding "s" or "ed" or any of that nonsense.

What it boils down to is I think it would be fun
if we spent a fortnight, just you, me, a futon,
and a kitchen full of food.  We fuck like Titan
gods, all thunder and smolder, like we might attain
some immortality from this electrified union.
After this, after us, after you I find myself unfit
for any others.  I want to curl myself into
the concave of your body like some infant,
like your skin could become my new outfit.
I think of your mouth and feel hungry and faint,
missing the way it makes me come like a fountain.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

17/30: things are starting to get weird... need more prompts and more TIME in my days to write.

The month before she left she began
eating walnuts, cashews, almonds,
hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, then
garbanzos, barley, sunflower seeds, pepitas,
chia, flax, buckwheat, and lotus;
anything that would sprout.  She spent
her nights standing out in the desert
with her mouth wide open, begging the moon
to kick-start some tide.  The night the rains came
she gave birth
to an exodus
and rode away on a river of vines.
It was Mother's Day and she was giving birth
to herself.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

16/30: prompt ~ write about something you will forget

Poem Removed because Wicked Banshee Press is publishing it!!!  I'll post the link when it's up.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

15/30: Prompt - write about something that will never happen

(oh yeah i'm supposed to give you a pome):

The day you called me and said
I’m sorry, truly, for all of it, I woke up speaking
every language.  Rivers flowed
from their deltas to their springs. I checked
my bank account to find all I needed and more;
politicians quit telling lies.
I looked into the heavens and saw
the sun going round the Earth,
the earth going round the moon, I reached up
to slice a hunk of cheese off the moon
and ate it calmly with wine while I watched
the parade and the bands go by.

Monday, April 14, 2014

14/30: copout

Exhausted today, underslept, but desperate not to fall behind this year, please forgive my self indulgence:

Without supporters,
kind friends with kind words this might
be impossible.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

14/40: prompt - write about something you are/n't good at

Please forgive me.  I slept all day then cleaned house all night and now it's 6am and the sun is up and I feel delirious.

Faking confidence is largely in the smile.
Smile like you’re selling it, like your asking price
is twelve million point five, like you just
got your teeth cleaned.  Smile
like you got those vibrating panties on,
like you got dinner home waiting, and a
naked lover for dessert.  Then the walk.
Somewhere between march
and swagger, less saunter more slide.  Walk
like you own the place, like the VIP list
has one name: your own, in all capital letters.
Walk like you just stole home, picking pockets
the whole way.  Last the voice.  Articulate
but not elitist with a volume they’ll hear
without pissing them off.  Be sure to practice
at home, in front of the mirror,
have some friends over and see
if it sticks.  Once you’ve mastered the art
you can go out and conquer and come home
and climb in the bath and peel it all off
and curl up with Earl Grey and sleep.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

12/30: After Jan Beatty's "Shooter"

Poem Removed because Wicked Banshee Press is going to publish it!  Link up when it happens.

Friday, April 11, 2014

11/30: Another year, another ghost line from Morgan Coleman

Whole heart
-edly.  No half measures.  No
holding back, nothing barred.
Altogether.  Completely.  Not
without fear, but without letting
fear win.  As though I’ve been doing it

my whole life already.  Like a rock star.
Like a natural.  Like my life depended
on it.  Because my life may depend on it.
Because I don’t know how
to do shit halfway.  Because you

are worth everything I’ve got I will start
as I mean to go on.  Because I mean
to go on.  Because within
this spark I have found
my whole self.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

10/30: Gospel of La Poderosa

Praise the scooter.
Praise the little motorcycle that wasn’t,
praise learning to think in kilometers
where you once reasoned in miles, praise
filling up a tank for less than five US dollars
and it lasts for weeks.


you decide it’s time to go kissing the wind again,
praise the rushing wind, the way it feels
like no other home you’ve known, praise
learning to lean into turns, praise the zigs
and the zags and 125CCs, praise travel that keeps you as
in and of the land, praise the banana groves,
the bin lang groves, the roadside shrines,
the corner temples, praise the stink
of fermenting tofu and the savory steam
of mutton.  Praise the rains
when they come and soak through to the bone.
Praise pushing your limits, and the machine’s
limits, and feeling freedom and glory, praise wanting
nothing more than to rip off the helmet and lean
headfirst into the atoms as they race past your face
except to arrive alive so you don’t.  Praise
the full coverage helmet, praise every single
involuntary time you imagine what would happen
if you leaned just a little too far.  Praise the wreckage
you see that keeps you from leaning too far.
Praise parking on the beach.  Praise breathing in
the smog.  Praise driving on the sidewalk.  Praise knowing
every inch of this island is now within reach.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Shout out and promo

I'm not anything even remotely approaching a big deal, so when I have supporters, they mean a lot to me.  I think a lot about Renee Dillon, who I met at a camp we used to go to, who says the sweetest things and always buys my books.  I think about Andrea Milligan who every year sings my praises and posts a link to my blog talking about how she likes what I write.  And now I have a new foreign internet friend, someone named Taidgh Lynch whose blog is Raging Planet Fire.  Stats show me where my viewers come linked from, and since Taidgh linked to me after trying his hand at a chopped-and-screwed poem, I've gotten like ten whole people come over.  That may not sound like a lot, but it means a lot to me.  So check him out.  He's poeming this month, but he also does wicked mail art now and then which anyone would be lucky to receive.  Go give him like at least ten links back, okay?  Thanks, friends.

9/30: Dear Veet: #notbuyingit

(Backstory here)

I still vividly remember the first time I shaved my legs.

It was being granted the permission more than anything, honestly, having watched
the other girls shed their peach fuzz one by one, congratulating one another
as it happened, and me, I mean
come on.
Look at me.
They had peach fuzz but I was outgrowing most of the boys,
and of course that carried plenty along with it.  But my iron mother,
who ruled the house and my body from hairy head
to hairy toes, said no, said
I needed to keep my childhood, my innocence, a little longer.

Whatever.  Eventually she caved and who knows why
but it happened and I wrote her a thank you letter afterward
in which I described how the only thing that felt finer than my clothes
brushing against one of my new naked legs was the other leg.  I stood
in the kitchen rubbing them like some diva cricket.  I went to school

and no one said a thing.

Fast Forward.  And there’s angry red bumps, painful stubble, cuts and bleeding;
razor blades get dull and need replacing and I’m less pretty 
than the other girls because of my stubble, my red bumps,
my ingrowth, then someone said
try Veet.

I did.

It didn’t work.  At all.  Whatever.

When I moved to Wisconsin I quit shaving.  A girl from Arkansas
dabbed smack into winter, I mean come on.  Of course
I took what extra insulation I could get.  Then I was married
and who cares at that point, right? But after the split I was working
in the UK and my friend said
try Veet.

I did.

Different formulas in different countries?  Who knows.  Oh, it worked.
Diva cricket was back and wearing bikinis all across the Mediterranean
even taking her top off here and there, so hairless and proud and sexy
and woman and sexy and woman and hairless and proud.

Then my stems and I were back in the states again, where it didn’t work.
Again.  Whatever.

Until a woman taught me to epilate and the pain
was real
but worth it.  No hair and no stubble and it stayed gone
for weeks but when it came back it came
ingrown and I had to pick
at the bumps to get it to break through
and there were angry red bumps
again and sweet merciful fuck all I ever wanted
was a sexy, hairless, thirty four inch inseam
to outshine all the other girls because this
is what we do, right?  Our lot
as women, we change
we alter we torture we fix we improve upon
because we are broken and wrong and naturally
desirable and it’s so so important
that we be desired.


I reassessed.  Decided function was so much more important
than frivolity.  Let it all grow in, everywhere, all of it
for learning, for science, found my armpits
were a huge disappointment.  It grew in short
and sparse and only made me stinkier.  So that came back off.
My downstairs?  I keep a trim welcome mat
because I like having something that differentiates me
from a nine year old but beyond that
it’s hardwood floors baby because when company comes calling
I want to make sure no one ends up flossing, and my legs?
They’re just as Atheist Jesus made me because there is literally
no function served by getting rid of all that and red bumps
can shove off except now,


your commercials have told me that if I have hair on my legs
I am actually an actual man.
In actuality.

That’s right.  The commercial starts with a handsome gentleman
waking up to his lover’s leg being thrown across him and he reaches
to rub hair.
And jumps up.
And shrieks.
And grabs for the covers because his lover is now
a man in a silk nightie apologizing, explaining,
“I just shaved yesterday.”

Bitch I ain’t shaved more years than I have, how much
of a man am I now?  Does this mean I don’t have
to be afraid in parking garages at night
any more, can I get equal pay now, can I wear
what I want to a party and drink
as much as I like and not watch the glass?  Can I cut
in line?  Take up too much space
on the train? Can I interrupt women and explain things to them
that they already know?  Can I get called on more
in class ?  Can I get promoted
more easily and without being asked
who I fucked?  Can I be 49% of the US population but 83%
of its government?  Can I choose not to have children
without being asked why?  Keep my surname without
being interrogated about it?  Get better funding
and sponsorship for sports, be angry and justified rather
than “on my period,” drive carelessly without
having it blamed on my sex, can I fuck as many partners
as I like and be applauded rather than branded?
Can I now be told by Almighty God that I deserve
to be head of my household, that no woman
may try to teach me or even speak when I’m talking?
Hey Veet?  Can I now be the same gender
as Almighty God himself?  Hey Veet --

the man who wakes up in the bed in your commercial?
His chest is hairless, his face is beardless, is that man

now a woman?  Hey Veet, let me offer you
some direct quotes from my male lovers who I began
to ask, after fucking, what they thought
about my legs:
1)      “I didn’t even notice.”  That’s from the man
who actually squatted next to my legs
as he cuffed my ankles to a spreader bar before we spent an evening
exploring boundaries together.  He was probably lying
but that night was amazing.
2)      “I just figured it was part of your whole thing
you got goin’ on.”  That man fucked me four times
in one night.
3)      “When you fuck like that, who cares?”  That’s
my personal favorite.

Which is to say, Veet,
not one of them squealed
or grabbed for the covers
or pulled away after their hands brushed
against my legs; these lanky cricket legs
have been wrapped around more heads
than it took to approve your bullshit
BADvertisement campaign and each face
is left with a smile.  Hey, Veet

your series of commercials checks so many
boxes it may as well have come straight
from the first season of Mad Men, talkin’
misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism --
oh yeah, there's an Asian pedicurist, too --

I'm exercising

I'm fucking perfect
just as I've grown.

I ain’t buyin’
yo shit
and no
you cain’t even
have a sample
of mine.

**drops mic, leaves stage**

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

8/30: For Noah, who tried to run

I may have my detractors, but you must
give me this much, at least:  Never
were any children more clean,
more well behaved, more perfectly still,
more faces of angels, more Sunday best,
all arrowstraight and godliness.  What is a bathtub
if not a baptismal font, scrubbing every speck
of sin away?  My three boys, the disciples, John,
Paul, and Luke one by one and then Mary,
sweet Mary, the baby that broke
this camel’s back.  Noah saw her there, floating
face down in the holy water, Noah my firstborn,
my eldest, my king

                                         of troubled seas
and he was afraid.  I sang to him to coax
him back, and I sang to him as he struggled
beneath the waves, then placed him there
in the waterstorm he was named for, holding Mary
in his arms, my Alpha and Omega together
and my three straightarrow boys laid out
in the quiver of the bed where I made them.  I loved them
more than I loved God, so I sent them home to him
so nothing could come between us.  Their earthly father

loved me still, told people he wanted me to smith
more for arrows for him and for God.  But I failed him,
failed our quiver, failed God.  My babies stumbled
because I stumbled and when I let their souls fly
I gave them that gift at the cost of paradise, knowing
full well that eternity shall deliver my reward.

Monday, April 7, 2014

7/30: it isn't as bad as it sounds, i promise.

On the days when she does not come, at least
she sends a note.  More Dear Sweetheart than
Dear John, less rejection letter and more regret
to decline the invitation.  It’s fine, of course; I’m used
to the days without her, go about the apartment
just the same, step over the laundry, occasionally wipe
the dirt off the soles of my feet, don’t even look
at the neglected mop - how is it any of the mop’s business
what I do with my time, anyway?  Because the days
when Joy doesn’t come round are not really days, after all,
are they?  Just extensions of the nights when we both know
I won’t be doing any sleeping.  Here, the trash
I should take down to the street, there,
the sand I shook from my bag after the beach
and never swept up.  Now and then an empty glass
with a faint film in the bottom which I will not wash
before I fill it back up.  Who does Joy

think she is anyway?  How is she so fucking
special that I need her around to get anything done?
Maybe things are better left undone, because who am I
if not a to-do list forever unfinished, a love note
never unfolded, a single woman more comfortable
with Dirt and Despair at the end of the day, who wouldn’t
even know what to do if Joy called.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

6/30: the rooster photo

Yesterday I took a photo of a rooster in the street.
I live in Taiwan now.  Things happen like that here.
When I show the photo to my friend, he says,
“Did you ask him why he crossed the road?”  No,
I say, but I did watch an old woman try to catch him.
When I asked if he was hers, she said no and grinned.
I liked that grin.  I understood it entirely, in the way
that anyone who has tried to catch something not hers
can understand.  So crow, rooster, and puff up
your pretty white feathers, and strut, and scratch,
and preen all you like, because I got my eyes
on you and I've been practicing moving
with the precision of a wise hungry crone, and one day
I will get my hands on you.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

3/30, prompt from Megan Falley

Write about the past in the present (simple, continuous) and then chop and screw the sentences.

We are holding hands in a cup of hazelnut milk tea.
I smoke your profile as the sun sets.
We are drinking the dead coral.
The sand is changing what I thought I knew.
I suck rocks on the balcony while you watch.
The waves are crashing against us in the bedroom.
I am climbing on your skin like seaweed
You are unzipping my soft belly.
My skin is your new jacket.
Your hands are invading everything.
The wind is gripping us like a hungry snake.
Your eyes are shaking the trees around us..
I marvel at the taste of your ocean.
Your lips are cradling me in the dark.
My legs unravel when you touch me.
The music is threatening to knock us down with every step,
but we are exactly everywhere we should be.
Your sea is foaming at my belly.
We are naming the stars and then dancing among them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

saw my rapist ex-boss at the convenience store today

When you spot a monster on the street
you must not scream.  That raw, wet ripping
of your throat is medicine for him.  When you go
to park your scooter, don’t look up
if you hit the curb, act like you meant to, of course
he hasn’t flustered you.  He can smell fear
and nerves and can hear your teeth tremble
in their cages, don’t look up, don’t

look up.  Don’t move, in fact, just sit there
like you mean to, like this space
is your space, and if he can smell fear
can he smell war if you think on it?  Smell
wet earth soaked with blood, smell battlefields
dusted with gunpowder, smell the soldier
of you?  Be warrior, be pride, and when

he shakes his umbrella
and leaves, his footprints
puddles of oil, only then

may you raise your growling head, and stand
in the doorway, your hand over your
shuddering heart, pledging allegiance
to the monster you know you can become
if you must.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 30/30 NaPoWriMo Challenge Kick-off: Day 1

Day 1 is a visual poem, because I can, damnit, and a love poem because I have an awesome requited crush.  So look out for that this month.