Jealous fragmentsHe is more than a heroHe is a god in my eyes the man who is allowedto sit beside you hewho listens intimatelyto the sweet murmur ofyour voice, the enticinglaughter that makes my ownheart beat fast. If I meetyou suddenly, I can'tspeak my tongue is broken;a thin flame runs undermy skin; seeing nothing,hearing only my own earsdrumming, I drip with sweat;trembling shakes my bodyand I turn paler thandry grass. At such timesdeath isn't far from me.-- Sappho, translated by Mary Barnard (1958)
Jacob's LadderA focused mind is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.Of all crafts, to be an honest man is the master craft.Great things are accomplished only by the perfection of minor details.Service to many leads to greatness.Follow the advice of your heart.He who climbs a ladder must begin at the first step.
SuspendedSuspendedI like the palms of your hands-dry and static. I like the palmsyour mother planted in the front yardwhen you were five. They grew morequickly, but you grew healthier- less green.Good thing we planned thisexodus into the Dead Sea. Lucky we cannot help but to float. Something from the sea, the land-they were mockingbirds, werent they?This cannot be healthy. How the hell did my mother manageto sink here like a fishafter death? She claims to have exhaledhard, but my lungs will not compressenough; I cannot let goenough. Let me tell you something-We should grow gills,individually, I mean;we could launch into rivers,not be afraid to loseeach other like old pennies.Do you secretly have gills?Arent you curious?Arent you nervous still?I am unsure of the weight of a dozen peoplewho really believe in something.Lets start going to church for nothingmore than adm
for her.it's midnight and I'm writing love letterson my skin to the woman who raised me. it's midnightand every limb has a story. allmy collarbone remembers is the frantichurry of your footsteps when it broke under the weightof gravity and mistaken desire to fly and mybroken pink umbrella, long-gone, remembers too. my elbowsremember the firm pull of your hands in the grocerystore. my cheeks remember your makeup andmy clumsy fingers dipping in like paint pots and my neckremembers all your strands of pearls. I rememberwhen you were young again and wearingred and holding cups of tea in handsthat didn't shake yet and I remember hands that knew howto peel apples, curling skins like red ribbons overthe edge of the blade, confidentin motion, and I remember your voice and I rememberyour songs and I remember.it's midnight and the water is cold and Iam somewhere beyond feeling. butmy love letters are only ink and they are washingaway and I watch them swirl at my feet and Iwant you
psychiatry of lonely nightsThe Psychiatry Of Lonely NightsI.we open your chest,we find his words tucked insidethey hide within each creviceeach folded, words from letters,you stored them in your ribs,you'd swallowed them whole,flossing them between bonesand sealing them closedonly to open to us lonely nightsor a sleepless timeor a remembered phrase at the bedsideonce covered over by parietalperitoneum and solemnstitch,hopethread, worryneedle,pierce of each enunciationand far-off thoughtcut apart by an ample knifea thoughtful gazeheart hurt to see the sightfeeling like concretesifted around the valvesoff-set with cracksall shuddering with each repetitionhe is gone &he is far away &your thoughts thread into your eyesyour fingers reach toward each letter in your chestwhen we lift words, tentative at the corners,your breath trembles and refuses to leave,pain all in your hand that shakes on the precipicebetween heavy shoulder gaping wound andvisceral pericardium, tattooed withwhat wa
Recycled DreamsI was halfway down the second floor apartment stairs when I realized I'd left my left arm on the table.It's no surprise of course, for I've always had a habit of misplacing important things like keys, documents, and identification cards, but to leave one’s arm on the table is truly embarrassing. I would have run back to get it, but the bus driver is always a bit early on Tuesdays and I could already hear the distant hum of the engine making its way to me. And it's not like I really need it for work anyway. So I left it behind.It's penguins and oranges today; my latest client is a fairly normal one. The last dreamer wanted marsupial martial arts masters in Atlantis. In space. You would think putting dreams to canvas is an easy job, and you'd be right - but truly I wonder about humanity at times. Subconscious wanderings are laid bare to my paintbrush - they get their dreams, and I don't fall apart entirely.Morpheus is upstairs. I know because I can see the color runn
petrichorNiobe weeps.gold scattered rough acrosscracked earth and the lastremains of summer - they felllike leaves in the arms of the wind.some scents cannot be captured.the gods bleed onto rock,and the stone sends her prayersin return: petrichor.listen - the heavy thud ofrain on parched ground;the monsoon sealing life back in;the sky bows and kisses earth.Niobe weeps.
Caught DrowningFirst I notice her hair: dark and longer than any girl I've met, pulled back in a high ponytail and still past her waist. Since I'm following the line of her hair, I see her hips next, round and smooth like a bright red apple, picked fresh and rubbed against t-shirts, ready for biting. Attached there and growing like slender trunks from her hemline are two long, smooth legs. She smells like green grass and old wood.We exchange the normal pleasantries. She is subtle and graceful; demure and polite. She speaks like an orchestra, her tones long and smooth, but there's a hiss there, like steam from a radiator. It works for her, and I've never done this before.She laughs at that, a sound like a sour note that tugs somewhere at my stomach. "Exotic," I say; and she laughs at that too.I realize she's waiting for a sign, so I imagine a flare between my lips and blow it out, a slow exhale. I wobble in the breath, but she catches me with her eyes. Black eyes, I notice, all the way through, but
Even ThoughThere will be no caged fingers,no tendons finely tuned to A from tension.There will be no clenched teeth, gritting rosin,to make the final singing note growl.There will be unwinding bed-sheets,hands slowly releasing the tuning pegs.There will be slowly sliding scalesas the four limbs loosen past playing.There will be a simple, quiet exit,not to ovation, but to a hushed audiencewho anticipate an encore,even though it is uncertain.
Autumn MythsThe seasons forma marriage of opposites. Twoexalted lights meet, both searchinga sky devoid of allegiance. It readslike a prelude to creation.-Not cumulus, not stratus or cirrus: instead themists lie on gravel-throated greens, entirely indistinct.We pass with caution through divine riot, knowingvery little except of the carrion: the treetops whosnatch celestial glory, gilt earth with futile pride.They hope for a metamorphisis of old habits butinstead find fortunes are fleeting- goblin gold,lifting with the skies as they fill with hoarse gloom.We gathered some, plucked them fromthe air for souveniers. Counted the decayin seasons, the most innocent of capitalists.-Water is born to the newly naked world. Onlyevergreens announce the new heaviness of lifeas it falls around us. Synchronously, somewherebeneath: fire is a constant candle. A shrine,the chimney stands peerless clothed in whites.Scarves fall from her swan neck, or feathers. Eachone tu
city drowned cleanbirds fly bluer before a hurricane,wings sharper, the bricks neater.one train is always longer than theother. i cried about it. the saturatedcity, droplets of colour caught ontape & rewinding, cups me in itspalms, i am a bug on its window,imagining all of it underwater &people clapping in a silent film,the last dying bubbles curtsyingon their lips, for their marble townthe white skied & terrible atlantis.
Street Corner DrowningI drowned her in her own regrets and moved her off my street corner. She didn't belong there, like that little turquoise car Matty once bought used. Yeah, it ran great and had power windows. But, it didn't fit. It was an eyesore on the curbed canvas of our street's patina.That's what she was: an eyesore. She never wore her feelings on her sleeve because they restricted her range of motion, she said. And I wondered what she thought she wouldn't need stiff elbows for on this block.When the dawn would break in such a fashion that light actually streamed, she should have glittered with the fine sheen of mistakes she'd made. But she was muted by the powders and makeup she used to deny herself that very sparkle. She saw perfection in that facade, but on our street it was considered sin to never let the neighbors see your underwear on the washline or the late rent notice on your door.She'd been around too long already for the liking of
heart.exe[STARTUP INITIALIZED]Disc detected.Boot from disc (y/n)? y[LOADING][INITIALIZING]Ready.Command: run AI.exeAI Sim v1.2Initializing AI...Hello. How can I help you today?Command: find heart.exeCertainly.Searching.........File found.Would you like to run this file (y/n)? yCAUTIONFile certificate unverified.Run anyway (y/n)? yLoading heart.exe...Initializing heart.exe...ALERTheart.exe has accessed AI.configheart.exe has accessed speech_synth.exeI p-presume this rhythm is a heart beat.Too poly-ph-ph-phonic for a programmatic speech.But it seems s-s-security has been b-b-b-breached.It seems security is get-t-t-ting out of reach.Dia-dia-diagnostic checks are bouncing in the streets.ALERTheart.exe has accessed metaphors.docTry and-try and-try and monitor the changes taking place.All this insight is a welcome-welcome-welcome change of pace.So much memory residing in my-in my database.C-C-C-C-C-Can you understand the feeling I can t-t-t-t-taste?WARNINGheart.ex
MorningsMornings After the End of the WorldI am woken in the middle of the dawn's lightBy the sound of the butcher's knives going "swack"In the apartment belowAnd the sounds of something tapping on the glass at my window.It creaks at me, and whines and howlsBut cannot break through uninvited.Some rules still apply, even after the end of the world.The tree rips up its roots and stalks away, unsatisfied.There's a vampire on the phone"Have you thought about life insurance?"I tell her I'm not interested, one life's as good as another."Have you thought about eternal life, then?""Don't those two things cancel one another out?""I'm flexible."But does it really count if Earth corrodes like the weathermen say it will,And the vampires are left in the trackless void of spaceWouldn't they explode from lack of air pressure, just like the rest of us?There's nothing in my place but saltine crackersOf course, the grocery stores will give you a line of credit for a skin sampleBut then there
don't let goyou saymy words sing like the wind.i sayyoure just hearing things;i am no more the breathof an angelthan you are the dappledloam looming uncertainlyfrom the moss beneath trees,but i can tell you this;you are holding up my sky.
A woman is missing.A woman is missing.My sweater is knit too loose and the wind blows through.The leaves are done changing and are waiting to fall.I think of them collaged against my morning-damp windshield;they will mostly be red. My wipers will push them off;I will forget about them. But inbetween these thoughtsmy brain hums. A woman is missing and I cannot forget.Two weeks ago the leaves were mostly green and yellow.Two weeks ago a woman went missing.I didn't know her but she went missing and todayI am standing at a wall covered with candles andI am rolling her name over my tongue and I am thinking.I am thinking and praying, but I am not hoping. A woman went missing; a woman is missing.I keep going to work, getting up each day.I brush my teeth, comb my hair, pack my lunch, drive my car. And mostly I do not think about her. But sometimes I do.Sometimes the hairs on my neck stand up and the two blocksbetween the library and the coffee shop are impossibly long.Som
She's half a step from me1994-i"Call me Harry," she said. "Boys can get away with anything."2010I was playing with matches. Letting the flame lick and dance and gutter in the wind. Letting it almost touch the paint on my front door. Daring it to peel away.The heat from the tiny flame was scratching at the tip of my thumb and I wondered, could I absorb it? If I let it burn a little further down the match, will the fire rush in and fill the dark and cold space that is me?1999Love-making over, she rested her head on my shoulder and whispered into my neck. As I was falling asleep she breathed "I will always come back to you."1996That was the year the bright blue paint on my front door started to fade. I told Harriett that if my father was still around, he would repaint it. She said that if my mother was still around, she'd tell me to get off my lazy ass and do it myself.I laughed at that; Ha
exhibit.Nanny thinks the carpet is too softto be my torturecageand the sofa and endtables are poorjailbars, but weare feline and we're too tough to carebigsister and littlesister are lioncubs todaybaby lionesses, authentically,we even lap milk fromceramic bowls, bellies swollen fromthe orders we give: 'emily, you're thezookeeper.Get us more milk.'She hates serving us, she's only fourbut she's getting strong and somedayshe'll earn predator status.(give thanks that we do not consume you, emily,your fingers peek through the cagebars andthey are white and young and bloodis sweeter than breastmilk)Roar. We are learning to growland snarl.I tried to wrestle littlesister but we collided withNanny's gnarled sandalfeet andshe's mad.So am I, Nanny.I am a lioness today and Iam fierce.Sarah tosses her mane and I explain patiently (she's only six) that lionesses are free,don't need manes to chase antelopesshe's too young to careif her imagination grants her maned masculine lion
the art ofit was too late; far too late, by the time my gaze found hisacross the dim and drunken tangle of a scene.his eyes were dark, the color of burning wood anddust in a foreign country, the kind of eyes my mother taught me to fear, and rightly so; i could already feel his handprints welling in a malady of black and five-o-clock blue just beneath my skin, bruises deeper than bone as i pushed my way through the
surface tensionshe strides like a sea walker,each step rippling outwardsin search of a kindred being.this echolocation finds nothing-angry waves crash her delicate signalsnow as confused as her footstepsbalanced upon the water's skin.she falters and begins to sink-a dangerous game to play Jesusand not know how to swim.soft hands slap against the cold hard surfaceas she flounders for a grasp on reality.her belief keeps her afloatfor now.the water stings her face,evidence of struggle and suffering.her figure frames a distorted self portraitas she crawls back to her feet-on the other side of sane.