Thursday, February 28, 2013

i see a tree and some carnal impulse inside of me surges up and suddenly
i want to climb it. 
i want to become it, i want to steal every experience from it, every ring and slide
feet scrambling down wet bark
onto the ground-

maybe i just want to destroy 
everything that scares me, i want to accomplish
every fear.

i met you that day, climbing the social tree 
[grasping the crook of it's trunk while little ants danced over my knuckles]
and i guess there is little logic in this all
things just happen;
you cannot plan star collisions but i can decide to climb
your limbs and 
do everything that scares me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

in bed

dear, you could break me down the center and find spilling
and i'd give under your fingers like M&Ms in your pocket 
around mid-July.

you showed me the shades
behind your eyes.

the best interview is one where you don't even notice the 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

christmas lights

the city's buildings with every few windows lit up like teeth in a 
jacko'lantern, a rotted mouth.
"i could love a place like this,
let it use up all my life in a few years and return me, weathered and 
hollow to the place i grew up. 
i could love a place like this enough to let it destroy me."

i'm not as sad as my writing because
i give it all away.

Monday, February 25, 2013


it's your grandmother's floor and your bare toes or
linoleum hospital tiles and that moulding that
only went halfway up, bisecting the walls like we
bisected ourselves.
[i was] half green, half blue
until they tore down the whole thing and painted it medication yellow.

(wrote a poem about ivy with roots that cling to 
seemingly nothing [which is beautiful]
and barbed wire teeth.
wrote a poem about seemingly nothing and felt 
everything in the world that there was to feel.)

it was sunny today
which was nice.

i am not black coffee

i live with comfortable technologies and a paternal 'airbag' to cushion me from real life. i do not care much for tea or for live music. i am a pair of old converse. 

my cigarettes read 

i am two milks/two sugars
the creamy tan of 

could i keep your attention?

[by the way, if you lost your voice- i'd still call just to show my name on your phone bill. we'd have conversations through ringtones]

Sunday, February 24, 2013

perhaps theres something poetic about my
blood on your hands
it's comforting, i suppose, that i may be equally as vulnerable
[i am]

a rabbit, heaving and twisting and waiting for hounds
a deer racing it's thin-legged heart out
(great big headlight-eyes, windshield glass like confetti[congrats you're

please, you're beauty in the morning-
and you're quite literally[you hate when i say this word]
scaring yourself to death, my dear. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

i jump every other stair in your apartment and pass the
barking dog and the sled and the window thats almost always
propped open.

your mouth and radiator purr me to sleep-
flashing and arching and kneading like a kitten.
thirty blocks away in complete silence 
and i still hear it.

i have class in forty minutes but instead, i sit down and write you a poem[its not the
first time this has happened]. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

the first night, she screamed
music and her hand was a hornet on my cheek.
i punched the wall of your rooftop staircase when i left-
i'm sorry
[i'm not]. 

she pulled me forward in a Bushwick bar

which was not really a 
country club at all and kissed me in someone
else's doorway.

she tells me that she has a tendency to
change her mind 
[naked and breathing and laughing]
she tells me things and asks me to stay.

[hair smells like hairspray and falls in a curtain around her face and her lips are just as red without makeup and her eyes smile more. 
she touches me like a good book,
like my skin was made of words she hadn't heard before,
she touches me like a hot mug.]

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Van Gogh's Wife

He fell in love with her lines, the shadows of her face and the colors of mid-morning blush that would so often creep up her cheek [you imagine]. You knew, as most fools do, that nothing would make you
a piece of his art.

"The man is self-obsessed. It's not your fault". You sigh, lean on your hand and drag a fork across the plate. Truth raises it's swords in defense to the things you never want to hear.
"You don't understand, he paints me. He paints me nearly everyday, moves me around like a wooden doll and tells me, he tells me, 'You have the loveliest eyes'. The loveliest."
"And where do these paintings hang? In the foyer?"
"No... we haven't enough room. They're in storage, he says" and you sigh once more and think of the canvases he uses as kindling. You think of the night he told you that your smile was the perfect way to practice. You fought, of course, because you no longer inspired him, a fact which you both had accepted as paintings of his midnight whores had started to line the walls. Singular, a single whore. She was a blonde, European, with a slender brow and long fingers shaped for piano. You imagine him sketching her naked form on the bench as she sang (which an imagined crystal voice) and played for him. But of course, you imagine all sort of things. You wear his ring and she wears his paint.
"Darling, you need to leave. Leave him with his silly drawings. You should vacation with us to Cyprus, it's beautiful. The trees are heavy with oranges this time of year, you really should get out of that house."
"I can't, he's still healing."
"He's cheating on you."
"I have no proof!"
"Where do you think his ear is?"

i will go down with this ship [edit]

The city skyline had ceased to breathe. The lights, in a perpetual sleep as abandoned high rises closed their eyes for the first time in hundreds of years. The city had retired and the car horns that lulled you once now faded off onto the George Washington Bridge. Cars congested plaque in the arteries of New York, running scared like little mice. The news reports said to leave the city, find high ground and she had laughed at that and told you that what they really meant was 'say your goodbyes'. And you didn't know much of anything at all except that the moon would be here in three days and there wasn't a single thing anyone on this great blue planet could do about it.

Zealots claimed it was the hand of God and Atheists claimed that we had it coming all along. You didn't claim anything though. A single bench in central park, she turned to you and said
"The birds aren't singing, have you noticed?"
"I think they all left."
"Well, they won't escape it either. Two days. No one will. I'm glad sort of, this whole place is complete shit and we all deserve to die." And you didn't know about all that, because you had seen good people and good babies and clean faces that rushed past you, and you couldn't quite fathom that all of them could deserve this. But then again, you didn't know much at all. It seems funny now, as the water rises up the apartment stairs, that you could be so in love with someone so miserable. That her cynicism could make her wonderful, she hated the world and you were addicted to it because you were never much at all before you were with her.

And you've never known much but you know that you are going to die today. You ate in silence and closed the burning ball of fire behind the shades. You wondered, briefly, of how long you both had but quickly brushed the thought from your mind. It didn't really matter anymore. She took you to bed, kissed you slowly and then faster as if you'd disappear if she closed her eyes for a split second, that you would burn away if her fingertips left your skin. When you were both done, you laid your head on her chest and counted her heartbeat as seconds. She leaned up, suddenly,

"I don't know anything about you, I just realized that. Seven months and I don't know anything about you." And you laugh because it had always been about her, her hopes and dreams, her childhood memories, and you had thought that really- she didn't even need you. You could have been a cardboard cut out and it wouldn't have mattered as long as you smiled and let your hair fall in your face and nodded. Emanate death had a way of bringing out the best qualities in her.
"I don't like pork. I never have" And you could feel her mouth curve upwards.
"Why not?"
"My mom used to make it with onions, I hate onions too." And it might have been the first time in seven months that she actually looked at you. Past your cheekbones and dimples and deeper than your eyes.
"Is this real? Is this all really happening?" And she sounded scared, there was a weakness in her voice that made your heart feel as though it was drowning with apartment 3B.
"I suppose so, the world had to end sometime."
"No, what do you really think? Is this all a dream that I'm having, is this everything? How can it possibly all just end?" And she really did want to know what you thought. She really did care.
"I think... if this is a dream, then the whole world is inside of it. Does it really matter if it is?"
"Maybe we could try waking up... by falling asleep" And you were pretty sure it wouldn't work but her heart was beating slow and she was calm and you thought that maybe, this would be a good last moment. That all the things that you have done in your life had cultivated to this exact second and as far as seconds go, this was about as good as you could get. You supposed that if you were to die, to do so right here would be perfectly okay.
"Okay, go to sleep." How many minutes left now? You felt the warmth but didn't dare open your eyes to the window. You didn't want to see the fire.
"What's your favorite book?"
"Goodnight Moon, I think." And the resolve broke, you let your eyes fall open to stare at her. Looking up, her jawline, the tiny sliver of ear that you could see. The smell of her shampoo. Her green eyes and she was crying, just a bit.
"How does that go again?"
"Goodnight room, Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon." How many seconds? "Goodnight light and the red balloon" She's squeezing tighter now. You can hear the oxygen popping, burning up. "Goodnight bears, Goodnight Chairs, Goodnight stars, Goodnight air, Goodnight nois-

one night at 3 a.m. you'll wake, suddenly, out of nowhere and you will turn to the 
cool side of the bed [leaving small shoulder imprints on suffocating sheets] and you will
not remember your dream or who was in it but you will feel a nagging sense of
familiarity with the sinking feeling in your chest and 
you will not miss me on the pillow,
 you will not remember me in the dream.

turn, again, to the cold side of the bed
[i dont want to be strangers again]
with uncomfortable silence resonating in your head. 
the end.

Monday, February 18, 2013

you introduce them to your scars on the sixth date
out of formality more than trust, unfortunately, since you
sincerely wish that the meeting didn't need to take place at all but you
sit, usually on a bed (once in a car) and you tell them to leave while they still can
and occasionally they do but often they don't.
and it all blurs together, an endless retelling of the same story that has begun to feel rather
foreign on your lips, as if you're recalling a shitty movie you saw
years ago.
and their eyes grow soft at all the same parts and you try to hold back but your voice shakes
at all the same parts and you finish, always feeling as though you've said too much with dry

and they want to know more, they want to look, they want the story of each and they all
kiss your face and tell you that it's all going to be okay
as if you didn't know that already.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

there once was a girl made of sticks 
and she liked it that way, felt a strange affinity for coffee tables and barren trees. they planned her funeral for spring
and she liked it that way.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

a carpet of brown little birds behind the fence, surging, 
the whole ground made of them.
 twittering, stripping the meat off garbage bones.

and i realize that i am no different than the beautiful vultures;
her eyes have looked as dead as the trees lately.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

theres something about libraries that i adore; something beautiful in towering stacks of
stories about lovers i will never kiss. stories about soils i will never touch.
i find comfort in these things and knowing that i, personally, will not have to feel the first-hand pain of a scorned lover as they once did. 

libraries with their slanted window shades all a-mess and their 
tepid green book carts. i sit in my corner and remember elementary school and my mother spraying
starch on my collar so it stuck so stiff that even school bus wind couldn't waver it. i think of stone staircases covered with a single strip of sandpaper to catch tiny saddle shoes from slipping and of stained glass windows that felt warm in the winter. those windows, a martyred saint staring down and i was always confused on why they seemed so sad to be immortalized. isn't it what we all want? to be art, to cast light on a little girl's shoulder. i know now that i will not live on in a book, i will not wait silent on the shelf for confused fingers to grasp. my spine will never crack and my pages will never move someone. i will never be a book. i will never be a window.

i sit in the libraries and recall prayers plastered to the inside of my eyes and i'm a little ashamed to remember each one. i sit in the libraries and recall stories in the books and i'm a little ashamed to remember each one.
she moves her hips like a pendulum, like a swinging axe. when someone just knows how hot they are, how coal smolders in their eyes and they stare me down; trying to burn all the parts of me they know i'd let them touch. she stares like the clothes could melt right off of me, the smirk over her shoulder, cocks her head. moves her hips like a cigarette flick, moves her hips like a thermometer, like a simmering pot. bumps into me and pauses, blows the smoke straight up into the sky, lets it roll on her lips and she knows i'm watching. she smiles, glances back as she's walking away and moves her hips like a subway corral one last time. moves her hips like a bedroom door. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

it's a line, 'i know my strengths'. draped by the most 
charming modesty

an underhanded boast, semi-self-depracating. it insinuates, uses her own imagination against her so she'll stand there, in front of you, holding a beer in her hand, eyes flashing to all the things they could be and what she wants them to be. you just stand there with your signature smirk and she'll swoon over the thought of she really wants. she'll project them onto you- 

i use this line with a lot of girls

it didn't work this time though, she actually
asked me to name them 
and i was dumbfounded with a half open mouth and i realized that maybe i am not as interesting as i thought. for a split second i was tempted to let the crazy out, tear the corner back just an inch and amaze
everyone. let them know
i am engrossing. i am wise. i have been to places that you have not. i am fascinating, i am an experiment, i am a car-crash, i am a work of art, 
i am not as nice as you think i am.

i have spent these last four years have been spent trying to become boring, sane;
i have normalized myself to the degree that i 
have to search my head for aproximately 73 seconds to find a single
thing i am good at.

"i'm good at talking to people."

nailed it.

you are made of

the pieces of yourself that you left behind
in beds
their absences stitched together like chain-mail vests and you're stronger for it, aren't you?
empty photographs stacked thick and piled as high as sandbags 
to the door. 
you are made of rocks and heavy breathing and the sound of car doors and gripping the sheets through
the uneasiness of memory, 
detoxing, trying to sweat her out.

you gave your trust away like connivence store matchbooks and yeah, 
we both felt stuck 

you believe that the sky is the only thing that can make you cry anymore.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

i had a wonderful night, we all
sat in a line and drank wine;
dredged and parted and i barely made it
home, fell asleep in a neck-

Thursday, February 7, 2013

traveled for five months and
didn't sleep for three. 

he refused to take a map
everywhere, claimed that if he didn't know where his destination lay then he
couldn't call her in the middle of the night
and beg her to meet him there. 

every motel had a maid knocking with fresh sheets and he
threw up a lot, out of sadness or anger or pure
confusion at what his life had become. 

motels haunted him with the smell of
air freshener and other people.
he lay restless and thought of his old life and how 
all of them seemed to smell now
like the nape of her neck.

traveled for five months, 
didn't come home for six.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

he's taken to calling phone sex lines. 1.99$ a minute, the same opening recording for each one. 'press 1 for mature ladies in your area. press 2 for hot college coeds." he always presses 2 for some reason, although each line's menus vary. the dial tone and then the click. he's learned by now that the click is equal to the chime of a cash register- they're starting his tab. 
waiting waiting waiting
slowly, a voice comes out of nowhere. always the same voice, sultry. a forced rasp, an attempt to be 'sexy'. sometimes they call him 'big boy', sometimes they call him 'sir', sometimes they don't call him anything. they try to talk dirty to him, sometimes he hangs up. every once in awhile though, a nerve stricken. her voice will sound young, sound pure, delicate, her voice will sound like a summer picnic and he'll say
"how was your day?"

three to four hundred a month. dozens of different hotlines sprawling down his cellular bill, 
Verizon must think he's a pervert. 

she's ruined me for all others, just so you know

because i don't remember how to kiss or touch or love anyone else.

Monday, February 4, 2013

i have locked myself out of the steel door
of your mind
i remember a girl, wild mane of hair and tanned. constellations,
laying naked in bed with her legs and hands as familiar as my own
and our skin turned to the same temperature and we were
the same.

i have fallen from the orbit of your thoughts, your mind
as a far off place now, unreachable, i remember a girl
wild mane of hair, calloused fingers, small thin hands.
i remember a girl sobbing into me at my dry erase board, a girl so 
overcome by my declaration of love. 
i remember you as myself.

on a monday night i felt us 
becoming strangers.

if love was enough it would build
a little hide-away somewhere with oranges on the trees.
sun made for sleeping in.

love is waking right before the alarm.
love is the anxious minute
while you're waiting 
for it all to end.

Planes taught us how to leave each other

It seems, for years, that my life revolved around buses, airports and cars. My father took his new job and his new life and left every Sunday with a door click and a key, he left with crackling tires reversing out of the driveway. I, on the other hand, left with tickets. I left with suitcases or book bags or duffels, I left for long distance lovers and that first breath of out of state air. I craved it as an addict, the fold down trays, the window seats, the smell of new plastic. I came down during the departure, nearly scratching my skin off and wondering if it was even worth it in the first place. It's a ripping, a pulling of your limbs over clouds and maps and miles as you fly away from the only place you want to be. As the crackling bus tires reverse from the loop, I wondered of what made me different from my father, what justified my leaving? He left for money and I left for adoration. I left for weekends packed with kisses we couldn't afford any other time, he left with business suits and I left with sneakers, came back with bruises and lumps in my throat.  The goodbyes would age me years ahead of my time, tinted windows and the last looks of teary eyed girls. You look at them hungrily, steal the last images before an engine starts to pull you in the opposite direction and as hard as you try to commit it to memory, their face is gone from your mind with the exhaust pipe. 

I still sometimes wonder what the difference is between my father and myself but I think I've figured it out. 
He hates leaving and I never really do, not anymore.

Friday, February 1, 2013


they built the bridges out of stones and other things made for staying 
in one place
and the people loved them so dearly that they wore them down to the steel bones 
with their shoes.

and we built our bridges too strong for
breaking all at once.
i started brick by brick, now my
pockets are heavy with you.

60th had the best view of Queens and the 51st street lookout like a picture
of real places right over the river,
just out of reach. 

i can't decide if our bridges were made for coming 
or going. 
i guess i should thank you for making this easier.


She stood in the bathroom mirror and you watched from the door as she pressed the hollowed purple under her eyes. 
"I've barely slept, your tossing and turning." So you stay still, holding the door frame the way you used to touch her hips, in the night, touched her hips because she was soft and beautiful and you wanted to be part of whatever she was; even if only for millisecond. Your skin ridges running over her mountains, her boundless sea cliffs of hip bone. Eroded rock. The bed seems to have turned to hot coals, you roll ceaselessly, attempting to escape it. You felt virginal in her presence, on the marriage bed staring at a silhouttle with adoration and awe and envy and resentment. 

Against her naked chest, too soft. Suffocating pillows, the sweet taste before vomit, her mouth as a fever. You come home, dripping wet with puddles blooming from the soles of your sopping socks. 
"Come here, you're a mess" 
and you fall into her. Later, for no apparent reason, you cut yourself while she sleeps. 
Once, slowly, to see what your blood is still made of, to check if she's tainted it. And then crawl back under the sheets; the glowing embers sticking to your skin and your tongue moves into stories. She stirs when you slide your arm up under her ribs and you whisper 'i tried i tried i tried' but she's already asleep.
i fill my days with women that i do not love and coffee,
russian literature and cigarettes.
i fill my nights with crying into otherpeople's pillows
while they sleep
listening to their chests in and out of
thoughtless slumber. i fill my nights
with looking out the big window (by the radiator)
at the silenced city(caged like a snake and muffled behind
triple layer glass)

like watching a car accident on mute