Our House

The cancerous floral proliferation of a creative-minded child

Can conjure rabies in a Dad like Snow White’s poison apple.


It goes: fresh undulating capillaries form, at dreamtime, ‘neath

The foundations of a country home conjoining not one, but four


Four children to the central Nervous system of a hardwood,

cross-borne body turning every virgin dandelion to oak


They cast each stem in pitch and resin

instill the fear of God in amber bones.

The cinders dance like lightning bugs

Over the bonfire’s conflagrating trepidation.

Trying is digging up under old skin

Try writing about pain.
Never rests on the skin it is
Within inside, the depths, always,
the down the browbeaten city by city
Tar-black for miles open wounded rubble
Un-glowed organs sticking under bridges
Reverse emanation, the dusty heat and exhaust
A filthy wilted wrist like a child’s and
Is brown. Is brown like a sinking ship
The splintered wood like incense
Brown and thusly dim
Scrub it raw til it—
So many things are like,
Something that doesn’t
Exist in language.

Each photograph mother stark with specific eyes.
Ghostly bright in search, tearing fear
Fearing find or a fresh fruit-crisp birth next
Formula tubes too formulated to rot second chances,
Third chance, a headdress of food stamps,

You my ever looming father sleeveless
battered body leant to a small cat.
You emanated into her
your stored, storm, clearwater countenance boiling
Out into not saying everything ever and you cupped,
Vowing your rough palms,
Your hands around a final marigold when
You shielded it
From sun.

On the nasty human heart


Here I’ve really overworked my physical heart. Not the metaphorical manifestation, but the one that has flesh and clumps, compresses and thumps not like a bird, but like the flaring flanks of a horse. The heat of their own selves steams them. As does my heart. The one in my body, the one charging my limbs and spinning my mind with its pulleys. I have heart palpitations which are harmless at best. I have left too many handprints on it, so that it now feels raw to the touch: the sticky red lollipop left on the rug. Hairs twanged all over. It’s disgusting, yes, you reacted correctly. But it’s my non-metaphorical face that you insult when you recoil. It is one in the same–If you didn’t want to feel its grime on your fingers you should have avoided this–A heavy lump, a warm and living spirit clustered like a dying star. It bleeds constellations out onto the desk. I made a print to hang on my forehead. How fucking stupid could I have been? Now what’s left: a scrap of torn paper nailed to my skull dead-center so everyone passing squints and then quickly looks away.

a broken ballad of sweet cherry wounds and where they come from


When it’s time to undress, I hook my lip like a curtain

pulled back, and it’s what you’d expect.

A grimy finger digging a gemstone ulcer, the sore utterance

that sat salted and festering just inside my cheek for 2 years.

I bite it when I speak, fall asleep to its pulsing ache

and wake up with a lolling head full of seawater,

but I do not bleed.


I did bleed from the knee

when I was 14 and fell from my bike,

watched the glittering cherry-pie opening in my skin

as it stitched itself hair by hair together before my father

saw. Before he could find out I zoomed to the elementary school

down the road to meet on the tracks with a boy from second grade

who I’d converted to Christianity.


A tiny backpack-bible had sat on my desk like a brick

and seeped stone juice, I recall crisply how my mouth watered

at the gold-leaf paper, wafting the same smells as cherry wounds

I’d forced myself not to drink though I ached to:

I’d like to rend my cracked lips and suck their supple

blistering sin from my skin like a mother lioness.

I’d like to nurse the fruit-rot dessert into ingrown fruition.


If I hadn’t eaten my bible, maybe I’d have blossomed

In yellow explosions like the honeysuckle I pointed out to you

along the railroad tracks, maybe my father’s face wouldn’t

have contorted like rotted vines, maybe he’d not have

retreated underground glistening invisibly among

the charred grubs. When they saw my wounds

my family receded like singed frayed

hairs dragged on the dampened sidewalk like

a leash without a dog but the biting under-earth smell

still there, trapped in my own hair, smearing me

across the flat clouded years.


Maybe if they’d known that when it bubbles, my cherried palm

crowns nuggets of gold which I eat to glow. Little do they know

I am one of those goldleaves, the rotted tar sugar of cherry

Potholes in the road, the unfurling fresh hot truths from

Broken skin, the chugging of the railroad which

Ticks out the lifecycles of honeysuckle blooms that

Rattle as no train passes.


I remember clearly they’d rattle quietly without dropping,

underbrush lilting against the heaven-bound train

towards a sweet Jesus future of endless blood.

crisply speaking stories which taste like distinct copper

filaments found in the body, in the tracks beneath the train,

the human brain, and the innocent glistening wound from

elementary school when time stopped under the sun to

inscribe a girl in god-history

in the neighborhood’s very veins.  


So here, I am naked now; this is my body,

My blood and my chugging seawater head

On repeat underneath the empty sidewalk

of my old town, a broken bicycle leaning

in the rain like a rusted shut music-box

streaming copper in silent refrains.


(Still) in this café
Seems like you should write a letter
(You) clutch your jawbone aching from its clasp
After year’s end, assign it to a bin then
(Grind) your coffee-pulsing head to ash
You’ll pick your finest fountain pen
(Ever) stagnant in that sticky seat
To dip in textured golden flakes and
(Taut) with a premise
Seared bright in paper so it can’t be read
(With) possibility that renders time
But appreciated for its shine
(A) word


A word,
but appreciated for its shine,
with possibility that renders time
seared bright in paper so it can’t be read-
taut with a premise
to dip in textured golden flakes. And
ever stagnant in that sticky seat,
you’ll pick your finest fountain pen,
grind your coffee-pulsing head to ash
after year’s end, assign it to a bin then
you clutch your jawbone aching from its clasp.
Seems like you should write a letter,
still in this café.