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NeanderthalsThey saw us selling bones and shaping into teeth
the ground like giants feeding giant flowers corpses.
They imagined future ages digging up our dregs as birds
from nonsense geologic.
They saw placebos worshipped, bodies' scheduled
obsolescence and our spines re-stooping beneath shadows
so they held each other in some prehistoric alley-
way and shivered off the furs we bartered for.
To Unfeel OneselfThey're in throngs
sometimes against each other or
children, animals or televisions, beverages or
old socks, nostalgia, cheap fantasies, ticket stubs,
sub woofers, ballpark benches, kitchen counters, keyboards,
touch screens, sunscreen, the waves themselves, four-syllabled
logoleptic indulgences, ice cream tongue shock, pre-imprinted flock
talk, stalking the con-cept in a mis-step that re-flects the whole dust
speck whose image can't be intellectinjected without a time-altered holodeck
but sometimes against the cheers of
pop-conscious allegories, the fears of
mop-concert neverglories, the stories
in venomous gutterheeled snapchops, the gory backdrop
execution of this year's fresh-caught
blindmiscreantsalespitch, the pail's pitch
from the door jamb, pepsiwhorelamb
whose pale itchcoat is slitthroatjustified
clitthroatdemystified and in their eyes
to be served with flies and her freedom
freshtelevised, a child's
ifit oughta end like
cool, low river
down your face
skin on precious skin.
it oughta lift you in
end like clouds
it oughta end like moss
growing from your shoulders
the birds asleep
beneath your chin.
it oughta end
a tear-stroked smile
still and ease the
then begin again
it oughta end
Capgras delusionI read about people whose
brains one day
decide a lover's eyes are
too right framed by a voice
and touch like soft fur in
your lap, on your face
and remembered you drinking
before you crawled
in on me, abuses soaking
and matting down around
your lap, above your face.
I remembered that first time
you had me just leave
it for you and I heard you
dunking your head in lukewarm,
filmy stranger. You sat beside
me later, dripping tears maybe to
your lap, from your face
and as the drain was pulled, there was me
still clipping nails, leaving them out
for you with milk and old hairs from
the pillow, your eyes' light straying often
to my lap, but not my face.
Five Short Poems Chronicling It and Its AbsenceONE.
"I'd survive -- keep up, even
on just whiskey and pancakes.
looking forward strains the eyes."
And for a long time, it says nothing.
I can just reach
inside, grab it
by the boot of it
lift me up with it
not be driven
not be it
but let it be
the bit of it
by the hair
by the bus of it,
and the wind comes up
from the lake at night
but in the morning
and I just
grit my teeth.
it's just its pedal to my combustion
its petal to my collection
its electric to my
Its art is not About, is not
neglected necks, is not Olympian horizons
brewing over the pondering of weary men
who, knowing they will die
duck under it, pigeon-rhythm
I'd survive -- keep up, even
on just some hash and KD each night."
Survival is second nature.
On just mani
An Abstract Essay on Concrete and DrywallHe saw palettes'
reincarnating dialogue with gesture
with smudge. With knowing you
can throw a word,
he grew from the gist its will to write its
technicals itself, tested against its sim
physics, and spit back bullshit from
a distant mind's
root craving for rhyme
internal, like ma- and pa-ternal
but from one's self,
see: the seed
see: the memory
He smeared a bruise-colored napkin traveling
across time, the frame, the wall
the light fixtures, staining the room
"I am not a black and white television."
"I am not a high-rise apartment building."
"I love you all."
UnfeelingWhen your ship had sailed, painted maybe-someday blue;
when your sun had set leaving
just pinpricks behind its wide, black eye;
while its edge was still that wet-red crease
almost eight minutes old;
as the windfront punched the treeline and your hair bent with them toward the past
and its wordless, lipless howls threw shuddering, old roots into the night
where their keening stood choir-like before far, soundless explosions
and the world-silhouette between,
voices almost shadowed
UntitledI was deafened by each still moment
thumbing stubble for the
and breathing for the pure dichotomy of motion
so I left the woom to clean
unmanicured late winter
gardens and be struck
calmly in this lush and sinister;
these bare pleading limbs
causeway and chain link;
and glowing rail cars coasting through the grey -
hopeful beacons of
mar to these
crater-pocked and desperate
the god-turtle carries four elephantsstop asking me
this is not a time for breathing
this is not now, it is not
this is one second after
one minute after
one moment after
one minute after one
this is ad nauseum and i
don't ask me to breathe
are too heavy
to breathe through
to be a writerjump into the world headfirst
crack open your skull on the ocean
sink like a forgotten shipwreck in the belly of a herman whale
come up for air
stumble across the words of the story-- tell it again
lie to a loved one, a stranger, both of them
get away with it in a stolen limousine
write lists that you will never complete
hang them like goodbyes from anywhere they will stick
fall in love like a wrecking ball, destroy a whole city (pretend to)
have your ernest heart ridden with bulletholes, alone on a timber hillside
find god, realize he is just as lost as the rest of us
give him a kurt laugh and look elsewhere
grow an ego with hooves & horns & three eyeballs
feed it four times a day, sacrifice your sons
cut yourself open and bleed, intestine and sentiment in sulfuric puddles
if not by your own hand, find someone who will do it for you
create storybook characters, or at least a story for them to be in
compare everything to the bible
pick your teeth with similes
cloak metaphors with cigar
MerlotYou are defined by the women you take home.
I still smell the flood of 212
that washed from her neck to your fingers
like a wave caused by the convergence
of what was mine with who I wasn't.
You looked better disheveled,
hair splattered across my stomach,
reading about the places you hid yourself
before you met me.
But then a woman with race-track curves
sat on your lap at lunch
"a real lover never lets you finish the bottle
I lost my innocence, that day.When I was younger,
there was a time where all of my friends
Girls wanted to play mommy and ponies
I wanted to play tag and race cars
and so did the boys
so we did.
Not a big deal.
I was six when I went over to a friends house for the first time.
He was really neat--
He had a box full of race cars and a bubble machine
that made the biggest bubbles.
One day, as we were having snacks
(because snack time is serious business, no matter what age you are)
I decided I wanted another one.
It was a stick of string cheese, and I was six--
clearly I was a growing lady and I needed my dose of dairy.
So I walked up to his mother and said
"please," because my momma raised me right, "can I have another string cheese?"
And I will never forget the hesitant look I got
the curious head tilt, the squinted eyes;
it's forever in my mind. It's always there.
Anyway, I didn't understand why it was so confusing.
Really, I just wanted another piece of cheese.
To be honest, I don't remember if she ever
Nudemilk coats the insides of my lungs.
your silence, it heaves in ways
each swell and thrust
of my windpipe. alveoli
punctured, white pelicans fly out
in guise of breath.
i watch blank clouds of condensation
coil and collapse like
steam stills in stopmotion
have no words, no bones
from beneath the skin
in your sleep.
teeth shred the shrouds of my scalp.
each strand curls inward, yanked
out fetal style. your hands,
they sewed white
orchids along my throat,
and i stood still.
i just really don't care about climate changei am fourteen.
i am fourteen years old and they tell me
to take on the world, to hold the globe
like a precious creature in my palms
and to balance the continents
between my fingers.
i don't want to suck the toxins from
the atmosphere and pollute young
lungs, the exposition of explicit
curriculum drives me crazy.
it may be compulsory but having
it drummed into your ears and weaved
into your innards is not the way that
(i want to live).
i am fourteen years old,
and they tell us that kids are growing up way too fast
in a world that's self destructing by the second,
but ignorance is bliss - weren't they the ones
who taught us so?
being dawnistart late-- come into the world
all screaming face and flailing limbs
and grasping fingers
that hold to the womb, the room
you've lived. welcome a brother
before you have learned what the word
should mean; before you are carried
on the shoulders of another brother;
before you can begin to understand
the responsibility of you. watch yourself,
your existence, tear apart your family--
be the reason she wants him to leave,
be the reason he can't control
himself. be the reason two brothers
don't understand a father's love.
drown. be flailing limbs and stolen breaths
and splashing water and your father's hands
holding you down. when he is bored,
gulp for breath, gulp for air; don't let yourself
remember this for long. drown again, drown
again; each scenario a different prison,
and you, barcoded into bravery you don't feel,
can't breathe. trail a teddybear from loose fingers,
but be a big girl. stumble over words
like daddy and love and no, no, no,
please. fall up stairs instead of down,
Ocean,I'm pouring the lake at you again;
to speak the river and swill the crick with you
where all waters flow to and they've crowned you
would find our what-if miracles in a far-off land
in empty bottles under swollen rocks
trickling caves, island curtains and lighthouses
with us so divided by the waves;
let's find our thrones and bind the world to our ankles
with roots and swim regardless
then spree hardship so
our eyes will be just foam in the grace of what they see
as the sun sets and we sing each others' worlds
to forget each others' names.
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