Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tom Noyes

The universe is a barbershop quartet, one ongoing medley that won’t be interrupted, even for applause. When you get a red light, someone else gets a green, and it is good. The traffic flows. If you dig a hole, the next thing you do is fill it up. You inhale then you exhale. Too fast you faint, too slow you suffocate. You stay in step despite yourself.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

St. Patrick's Day in Boston

There are bombings in Belfast
but in Boston, it's still.
Stars dance above Charlestown,
the Moon balances on Bunker Hill.

All of the troubles an ocean away,
we drink our pints of Murphy's and Guinness,
toast "Erin Go Bragh!"clad in green,
and wear pins that demand other's kisses.

In Belfast, black cabs drive the tourists by
IRA men that are painted, enshrined on walls
Above sayings like "Ulster forever, Protestant or die!"
while the Catholic's revenge echoes from Falls.

In Bean Town, it's a great day for the Irish!
Dance the jigs, sing the refrains.
Oh me? I'm 80 percent, on my father's side.
We've even got one of the old tribe names.

Pass the beer, tinted Green,
Dance a reel on the floor,
It's a great day for the Irish!
My lovely, could you want more?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


The apples were shining with the condensation of early morning sunlight. Overhead, a distant crow called forlornly into the crisp air. From somewhere off in the distance came the whistling lull of cars passing through puddles.

George laid on his back, looking up at the light reflecting off of the leaves and fruit above him. His back was stiff and cold with the chill of morning. It almost ached beneath him (or was it inside him?) as he breathed disappearing wisps of smoky breath. He had no knowledge of how long he had been laying there. The dullness of his bones made him feel that he had been there most of the last night.

Last night there had been cider, spiked cider. There had been the taste of apple pie on a lover's lips, sugary and sweet, warm like a kitchen fire. Last night there had also been yelling. Had there been a fight?

Yes, George thought, pulling a night's worth of spiderwebs off this memories. There had been a fight.

This solid memory awash in a morning that seemed so cold and frail, moved George to sit upright. The spinning of his head reinforced the memory of spiked cider. He looked at his hands. Bruises there reinforced the conviction of the fight. A knuckle, swollen and red so that it resembled a crabapple, throbbed steadily beneath its frigid dullness.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


your lips a bow tipped
with an arrow of nose

I whisper your true name
into my pillow

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Reciprocal Functions

6 billion people on this Earth.
That's 9 zeros. Ten figures.

In such a wide data set
it's hard to see the fish
for the sea, or ride
the sine waves of information, hoping
the torsion of distance will shrink
over time until A meets B.

And of course, we'll meet
tangentially. You'll be the spurious dot,
no correlation.

They'll say we have great chemistry
but really it'll be that your gravity
pulls me in, falling at -9.8 m/s2.

I'll be the valent electrion orbiting
your element, vaguely negative but
ready to bond, to build, to create
ions of being. Our constancy
adding together our lives
subtracting our fears as we
multiply, making two into three or four
sharing our love exponentially.

I'm looking for something you can't measure.
Something integral to existence,
an infinite but not imaginary number.

I'm not saying that our equation
will always make sense.
Numbers can be odd and even
reciprocals can't always be right.

We'll fight, we'll divide, we'll miscalculate.
There will be plenty of variables to confuse us.
Ones to carry.

But I believe we'll get back on track,
meeting at the X and Y axis, so it's all equal.
and we'll laugh at the origin of our problems.

I'm aware that numbers aren't real, they're irrational.
That the answer to my theory relies
on the acceptance of the very first premise.

The universal law that states
we can do this,
if and only if you want to.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Saranac Lake

Gravel digs into fingertips
carpet and old fast food cups
thrust into a young face

Smaller, thinner, small
like the pebble lodged
in my palm.

Beneath the pushing
of a Mother
beneath a musty blanket

Through fingers
through rough wide stitches
the outline of Father through glass
walking past in the snow.

He blows on snow frosted fingers.
Hands that could tuck you in.
Hands that made breakfast
and pancakes
in the shape of snowmen.

Walk away on the other side.

Beneath the blanket
Mother's hand relaxes.
Spines are straightened
balls of flesh, unfurled.

But the red hollow of a pebble
leaves an impression on the palm
of a young girl.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dealing with Demons

My mother tucked me and my siblings in each night
reminding us of sin, told us to pray
warned us that the Devil was never
too far to hear or see our footsteps
no matter how much he had to drink
but if we were good girls and boys,
turned the other cheek
then God would chase him away
and save us, if we believed
repeated Our Fathers, Hail Marys
and Apostles Creeds then Mom and us,
we'd be in heaven - looking down
in righteous glory on our enemies
and all our suffering would be worth it
because we'd be together and safe
so, we'd fold our hands
bow our heads
and say 'amen'.

When I'd forget the next day
taking God's name in vain or
acting less than saintly
Mom beat the Lord into me
with the same hands she used to pray
She'd call me things like Satan or Demon
had me so convinced I smelled sulfur on my skin
each bruise confused with confession
like my broken blood vessels spoke
of guilt within, revealing a million
cells of transgression spilling
on the floor like rosary beads,
a trail of Our Father's judgment
leaking onto the linoleum.

I prayed.
Every night my sister and I would kneel beside our beds,
weave our fingers together
and in hushed tones ask God for forgiveness.
We'd apologize, saying we didn't know why
he wanted to test me, making kids throw bricks
at our brothers or tease us about my broken family,
We didn't know why he made our lullabies
the sound of breaking glass and fists,
didn't know why he let my teachers
lie about the kids at recess
and my parents deceive and hurt each other
leaving marks across my sister and brothers
until we didn't have a home anymore
and our house was just a case number
because he knew everything, right?

He saw every time my sister held me
when I was too scared to sleep,
saw my brothers
picking up the brick and throwing it back
and he saw me turning cheek after cheek
heard the clicking and beating
of my red rosary beads
and I was sure he had a lesson for me,
I just wasn’t looking hard enough.

So I looked. I searched Bibles and
books, chased strings between beads,
and it turns out I couldn't see the Grace
for the trees.
God was in the one place I'd thought
he'd forgotten about.

God was in my sister, letting me in her bed.
God was in my brothers, always standing up for me.
And God was in my parents too.
In my Mother, in the way she prayed so hard
and my Father, when he made pancakes
and over the sizzling of bacon, laughed
so you'd swear the whole house was shaking.

Though we handle each piece of our
broken home gingerly, minding our fingers
on the edges as we glue it back together
with forgiveness and awkward family dinners
ever aware of the skeletons in the corner,
I'm proud of being a Murphy.
Because we're a family.

We'll damn each other and save each other
with a love you can only describe as divinity.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

On Navy Pier

I grabbed you, noting how
the crosshatching of christmas lights
on your golden skin created contrast
between our hands, and squeezed.

My rings bit into my skin.

We ambled toward the city, dusk
deepening the shadows between our fingers
creating a canyon of black that
seemed to leak onto the boardwalk
leaving an inky trail behind us,
lost in the passing crowd.

Like we were melting.

Behind us the ferris wheel
oscillated while the distorted
reflections of children grinned
at the Lake from fun house mirrors,
farther away than the trail of
our ghost fingers, reaching,
could touch.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Summertime and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.
Your Daddy’s rich and your Momma’s good lookin’,
So, hush, little baby, don’t you cry.

It’s 99 degrees; I’m sitting on his knees
drinking to slow my mind, his hand on my thigh.
After I imbibe, he breathes, toking from a piece,
flame near his face despite the heat.
I call shotgun. Whiskey and weed.

We’re trying to devise
just how many vices
we need to mix.

I take a sip, he takes a hit.
Sooner than later, it’s lips,
rocking hips unable to tell
horizon, skin, or sin, where I
end and he begins.

Oh, Summertime and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.
I’m one hot bitch and you’re quite good lookin’
So hush, little baby, don’t you cry.

Summertime, the days begin
Waking up in a pile of limbs
I dance with the street sweeper on the way
Back up Clark, singing to the beat
My feet make on the sidewalk.

After it’s dark, we’ll write
poems on the cells of our hands
holding, touching, searching each other
for one loose comma of inspiration tucked away
In the structure of our badly formed sentences
of fleshy psycho-babble,
our conversation defined by the monitor’s glow.

While Autumn hides in the hallway, biding her time.
Watching the seconds fall from the clock like auburn leaves
patiently putting Xs on the calendar we pretend not to see,
because she knows you’re not mine.

I should recognize the waning sun
Add up the differences and signs
But I don’t want to analyze,
So July creeps by, vices multiply.

They wanted me to go to rehab,
I said no, no no.
They wanted me to go to rehab,
I said I won’t go, go, go.

‘Cause it’s summertime, life’s good and easy
Fish are jumpin’ and somewhere a clock chimes,
We’re so far from rich, but still pretty fly
So hush, little baby, don’t you cry.

Now August dawns with gold colored days
and the metallic smell of frost lingers in the dusk.
We start to fight. Find faults to put inches
back in, sleeping apart in the diminishing nights
we’ve still got left together, frigid in the wrong season
unable to weather the change.

My chest is filled with ticks, tocks instead of beats.
You’ve lost the heat you had for me.
We crumble under the weight of vice.
And it could be better, we could fix it.

But, we know don’t have the time.

So, I’ve got my pints and
You’ve got your pipes and either way,
we’re getting fucked tonight.

Summertime, the livin’ is easy,
fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.
Your daddy’s rich and your Momma’s good lookin’
so hush, little baby, don’t you cry.

Don’t you ever, ever cry.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

since feeling is first

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

-- ee cummings

Monday, July 30, 2007

the chickens

"You have to reach under them,"
the farmer's wife tells me, forcing her hand
beneath a hen that cries out loudly.

The hen's beady eyes look at its freshly stolen egg
shining against the flesh of her palm, bewildered,
like the egg is a fallen star or an oblong moon
that rose too soon in the peach sky
of the farmer's wife's long-fingered
spider web hands.

The hen begins to scream and peck
squawks of protest. It fights for
its treasured egg; its sharp beak
darts out and strikes
drawing a crimson line on a knuckle.

With a fierce curse,
the bird is struck down by
the farmer's wife's fist.

"Sometimes they'll fight," she says
whistling on her 's' through the black and white
piano keys that are her teeth
placing the egg in a wicker basket
at my feet, "But if you give 'em a good whack,
they'll remember who's boss."

She walks away, entering the house
the shotgun sound of the screen door slamming
and the scrambled static of the police scanner
echoing after her.

Surrounded by foul battery cages,
pebbles grinding into the bottoms of my bare feet,
I take up the basket and approach the next bird.

Sitting upon its nest as if in meditation,
the hen's eyes are serene and closed.
Its feathers are fluffed, feet tucked beneath
white plumes that are spotted with the defecation
of other birds.

So like a statue, she doesn't seem to breathe.

She sits so placidly that instead of seeing meat
and eggs, I see the figure of Mary in the
garden of the house where I used to live,
surrounded by dandelions and weeds,
her beatific face raised towards the heavens.

Her eyes were closed too.

Her marble white cloak was marked
with the drops of birds too.

She held her child in her arms,
and contemplated the wonders of maternity
that this bird meditates
upon the egg between its feet.

I hold the wicker basket,
Its gaping maw reminds me
timidly I extend my hand
toward the base of the hen.

The chicken's eyes open, angrily
and she immediately leaps to her feet
beating her wings and shrieking
defending the egg she's keeping
thrashing the air with her beak.

Determined to do my job, I reach
but she grabs my thumb
and she bites me hard.

I begin to bleed.

Now, irritated in my agony,
I knead my fingers into a fist
and draw it back, self-righteous,
behind my head.

But the chicken stops screaming.

Instead, it sits back down on its egg,
Bracing its head under its wing,
anticipating the blow, with all the grace
of a dove mid-flight in a
stained glass window
trembling with the wind.

A mass of quivering feathers.

I’m poised to deliver the hit,
My shadow covering her
Like an ominous black blanket
But there’s something familiar
In the way she’s cowering
In the fear that makes her shiver.

I’ll never strike.

I stand by the nest until
the chicken leaves of its own accord,
searching out niblets of corn peppered
across the gravel.

Then, I take the egg, gingerly
tucking it in the basket like
I’m cradling my own baby,
even singing it to sleep.

Collecting the eggs like this takes all day
with each chicken only mildly surprised
when it returns to an empty roost.

When the sky turns darker shades
I hush the screen door and creep into the house
with a basket full of tiny moons
and by the blue glow of the stove’s
pilot light, I put the eggs in the fridge.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Life After Depth

Hydrogen and oxygen
chained together
weigh down on sunken ships
putting lost sailors' bones under pressure.

Do their empty eyesockets
see fish swimming above
or birds in air?

Does the sun dapple through
fingers of seaweed or
clusters of leaves?

The corals and anemones
do they sway
in currents or in breeze?

A crab has taken the place of Eve
springing from the jacket
of one of these wide-eyed men.

A shock of red against sodden denim.

The sailor, as he lies,
smiles a toothy grin
the crab crawling across his ribs
and down his sternum

amazed that in this depth
there's still life within him.

The Ballad of Patrick Creevey (draft)

Patrick Creevey, seventeen
full of heart and full of dreams
set out to sail on the open sea
to pay for a golden ring.

His lady fair Molly McGee
worked night and day in a bakery
her hardened hands smelled of yeast
and only wed would she be free.

So it's off to sea with poor, young Pat
'least a fortnight 'til he rows on back
She'll marry him when his ship comes in
and Creevey's baby be.

Three weeks on board, no sign of shore
scrubbing red hands and knees on port
a man named Jack dear Patrick met
who offered him a tempting bet.

Jack, a man dressed solemnly
all clad in velvet of ebony
inquired of Pat why he chose to be
across the waves upon the sea

Patick, resting the soap on deck,
replied that he'd money to get
for a lovely lady Molly McGee
who was a-waiting for his company.

Oh, it's off to sea with poor, young Pat
'least a fortnight 'til he rows on back
She'll marry him when his ship comes in
and Creevey's baby be

"If you best me in a game of dice,
I'll double your wage; you go home to your wife"
said Jack brushing of his veleveteen,
to the sound of his pockets jingling.

Oh, it's a game of dice for poor young Pat
with a quick throw, he rolls snake eyes
She'll marry him when his ship comes in
and Creevey's baby be

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Do Not Write Angry Poetry

I don’t wear words like ‘survivor’
Or ‘victim’ very well. They don’t fit.
A size too small, my shoulders get caught
In the stitches, the feel of the cloth abrasive
and the tag ‘statistic’ itches.
So I just cut it out.

I don’t use poetry as therapy
Treating the page like a chaise lounge
And the audience as an MD
The subtext to every word being
‘Pity me. Listen to my pain, not my art.
You think that other guy went through hell?
Just look at my marks, they’re longer
Deeper and dreamy, conflicted artistic melancholy,’
Like if you’ve ever bled you understand need.
Like scars don’t count, you have to pick at scabs
Until they bleed.

A real reformed addict wouldn’t roll up
His sleeve,
Turning syntax into syringe
Making new tracks to escape on
Because real suffering deserves dignity.

A true resurrection does not happen
Surrounded by a crowd,
no apostles in the garden before crucifixion,
only the company of choice.

It’s having the strength for impetus, for change,
For having convictions.

I fight my battles alone
In the dark
Wondering if it’s real,
If tonight’s the night that
The demon strikes, breaking the door
And crawling in, sitting on my chest,
Weight suppressing breath,
claws hauling out a list of sins
then ticking the box
Next to ‘damned’ not ‘salvation’
Because I’m too proud to pray
To a God that doesn’t listen
even terrified, too paralyzed with pride
to say ‘redemption.’

I wake myself.

Then, between Hail Marys
the sound of clicking rosary beads,
I pray to St. Anthony hoping to find normalcy,
But instead discover gravity.

That things move only when forced.
That there’s no divine intervention.
Only choice.

I refuse to be defined by my problems
I am beyond the outline of my scars
I am worth more than the case numbers
Or the broken bones that have healed within
Creating hills on the horizon of my body
Or the stains on my skin,
Ink black then ball point blue fading
Back to paper white.

I write love poetry
Because love has saved me.

I play with words
Because I like meaning.

I say things prettily
Because I want to live in a world of beauty.

I do not write angry poetry.
I do not share the crosses I wear
Or the things that broke me
because I value my privacy.

My revenge will not
Be the venom of my words
Or living an entire life of ‘after’
But the songs I sing, my desire to love,
and my laughter.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Small Murders

When Cleopatra received Antony on her cedarwood ship,
she made sure he would smell her in advance across the sea:
perfumed sails, nets sagging with rosehips and crocus
draped over her bed, her feet and hands rubbed in almond oil,
cinnamon, and henna. I knew I had you when you told me

you could not live without my scent, bought pink bottles of it,
creamy lotions, a tiny vial of parfume—one drop lasted all day.
They say Napoleon told Josephine not to bathe for two weeks
so he could savor her raw scent, but hardly any mention is ever
made of their love of violets. Her signature fragrance: a special blend

of these crushed purple blooms for wrist, cleavage, earlobe.
Some expected to discover a valuable painting inside
the locket around Napoleon’s neck when he died, but found
a powder of violet petals from his wife’s grave instead. And just
yesterday, a new boy leaned in close to whisper that he loved

the smell of my perfume, the one you handpicked years ago.
I could tell he wanted to kiss me, his breath heavy and slow
against my neck. My face lit blue from the movie screen—
I said nothing, only sat up and stared straight ahead. But
by evening’s end, I let him have it: twenty-seven kisses

on my neck, twenty-seven small murders of you. And the count
is correct, I know—each sweet press one less number to weigh
heavy in the next boy’s cupped hands. Your mark on me washed
away with each kiss. The last one so cold, so filled with mist
and tiny daggers, I already smelled blood on my hands.

by Aimee Nezukhamatahalil

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

may i feel said he

may i feel said he
(i'll squeal said she
just once said he)
it's fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let's go said he
not too far said she
what's too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you're willing said he
(but you're killing said she

but it's life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don't stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome?said he
ummm said she)
you're divine!said he
(you are Mine said she)

- ee cummings

i like my body when it is with your

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like,, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big Love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

- ee cummings

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jack the Reaper

I creep out the back of the house. Mother should be climbing into her sleigh of a bed, brother should be watching TV and me, I should be fast asleep but I want to die a little instead.

Sauntering down the driveway, I dig my dirty nails into my pockets, searching for fire. However, there is no answer to my finger’s burning question, so I stick the cancer behind my ear and weave onto the street. It’s a warm summer night, breeze in the trees, and my feet are itching in my three dollar shoes so I promenade down Lawrence Avenue, a skip in my step.

Which I reach the arrow, suddenly I note that my skin is prickling despite the heat. I’ve changed texture from cotton to suede and there’s a shade on the pavement that doesn’t match the scene. I bring my fingers to my neck, touching the Celtic cross that hangs there. It’s an old inside joke with the company I keep.

From behind me, a black sleeve creeps over my shoulder, spider fingers play with the chain of my cross, shadow on my collarbone.

“Hello,” I say, placing my digits on their counterparts. My heart skips a beat. A searing, fleeting pain streaks across my chest, an echo of a past heartache.

“Hello,” my old friend replies. He retracts his touch and falls in step with me. His voice is pleasant to hear. How many years has it been?

As if reading my mind, Jack speaks, “You know, you’re kind of a tease. We don’t see each other too much anymore – just passing glances, a wave or so. Nearly meeting but always a miss.”

“I dare say you’ll catch up with me one day.”

He laughs at my expense. We’ve reached Sprague street, passing by Karrie’s house. All the lights are out. Trying not to be vague, I start shooting the summer breeze, “How’s my sister?”

“Business is booming,” he takes the cigarette from my ear, “an excellent partner. She doesn’t talk much, good for the morgue.”

He touches a finger to the tip of the cancer stick and it begins to smoke.

“Thanks,” I say as he passes it to me.

“Anything to bring us closer,” he replies with a wink.

I think as I inhale the fumes and exhale through my nose. Nicotine absorbs faster that way. By now, my companion and I have strayed to Elm and feeling especially bold, I take Jack’s cold hand. It overwhelms me, his skin. I tremble. He notices my chagrin and lets go, withering some leaves on a tree we pass. As we amble by the Wead library, I nod at a house across the street and ask, “Why are you so hard on Cheryl?”

He sighs and wearily replies, “It’s not my place to question fate. I just do my job.”

Though I find his tone odd, I don’t speak. The only sound is our shuffling feet, the wind in the trees, and the hush when I breathe.

Somewhere down Park, the silence makes me silly and for a lark, I start doing a jig. Jack smiles and joins in, though he’s a bit stiff. If someone were to drive by, they’d probably think we’re high, but we’re just playing with being alive. But after the jig morphs into a hand jive, we decide that things have gotten ridiculous and return to our constitutional. We’re by the hospital now, its façade toothy with neon signs.

Jack ducks inside for a minute, to take care of some business. I don’t mind. I light another little suicide and chill on the curb, humming the opening bars of Another One Bites the Dust.

In just a few moments, Jack is back again. He smells a little like formaldehyde so I walk beside, not behind him. The aroma is carried away on the wind.

We’ve wound our way to Constable street an found our words a bit lost after his occupational jaunt. It’s always weird to see a friend at work.

“When are you going back to Chicago?,” he asks, as if he doesn’t know.

I play along, “Sunday morning, three A.M.” and flick my cigarette butt onto the cement.

“Rail or sky?”

I smile as I reply, “Plane. Statistically it’s the safest way to travel.”

He laughs deeply, “Y’beat me.”

Starting to climb the incline of Prospect, I suspect that Jack’s got something on his mind. There’s a frown on his lips.

I gasp, giving him a flat tire and he trips. “C’mon man, out with it.”

After recovering his balance and a quick glance in my direction, Jack says, “Sometimes it’s hard to leave work at the office.”

As we descend the end of the hill, I give him my best clap on the shoulder. It stings my hand.

But now, after our meandering maze, we’ve made our way back to Lawrence Avenue. As we walk up to number three, Jack says to me, “Well, it’s been great catching up with you.”

“Likewise, my friend,” I say, climbing the steps to the porch.

He stands at the bottom of the stairs. The air moves in the trees around us. I’d embrace him, if his touch didn’t hurt so much.

“You take care of yourself,” he says, about to turn and leave, “and don’t you forget about me.”

I laugh and say, “Jack, you know I’m a sucker for a man in black, and besides, I can’t forget. I wear you around my neck.”

He smiles, then blows me a kiss. I pretend to catch it, but don’t. He won’t know, though. He’s already taken off.

So with a yawn, I open my door as dawn begins to form. It’s late and I need to sleep. Climbing into bed, I'm not worried about seeing Jack again. It’s only a matter of time.

My Mother is Massaging my Shoulder

My mother is massaging my shoulder
the right one, its knotted sinews.

Overhead a disembodied voice announces
departures, arrivals, boarding calls,
but I don't listen.

It doesn't matter that I am twenty years old.
It doesn't matter that I have traveled across oceans.
None of it.

In this moment, I am listening to my mother
softly humming Church hymns beneath her breath
her fingers softly kneading the muscles beneath my skin
tension under her persuasion.

Once, I came home
my mother was crying in a corner
crumpled under invisible weight.

I put my backpack by the stairs,
pretending I didn't see.
Her sobs chased me
echoing guilty footsteps.

Another time, I was leaving
my mother was singing in the shower
voice mingling with steam

I put my back to the sound
talking aloud
her tones chased me
filling in the pauses of
my breath

The carpet beneath my feet is making
cross hatching on my skin
lines into skin into muscle

My mother is massaging my shoulder.
Overhead a disembodied voice announces
departures, arrivals, and boarding calls.
I don't listen

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

All in my Head

We laughed when by honest mistake
I put the cornflakes in the fridge
and the milk in the pantry.
when I got lost in christmas tree lots
and drove in circles around the block
we smiled to cover our unease
but when I lost my wallet and keys
we couldn't hide behind our teeth
so I got replacement checks,
but the balance was off.

The doctor likes to talk a lot.
He says words like aphasia
apraxia, agnosia which sound
more like goddesses than symptoms
more like muses than a gathering
storm forming in my synapses
lightning striking but firing less.

They say the Irish never forget,
yet I see my face in pictures
I don't remember taking and
people tell me memories that
I don't remember making and
my words are waning and my
brain is straining but
neurofibrillary tangles and
amyloid plaques have
backed me into a misfolded corner
that only a coroner can diagnose
like some sick practical joke

but no one is crawling out
from behind the couches.

My husband, my rock, my caregiver
takes my hand over dinner and
whispers "I'll always love you,
soon you won't be able to remember that,
so I'll say it as much as I can."
He squeezes my hand.

He leaves me crossword puzzles on the table
I'm able to do a few but across and down
leave me confused and sudoku is a lost cause.

I pause when I see him,
not because of his old age
but because I'm having trouble
remembering his name.

And Washington thinks this is all a game
that stem cells are more
precious than my memory that
embryonic studies are murder as
I get further from myself
because some Texan's religious convictions
have turned church into state
and takes a life for a life.

But I'm not really dead.
My heart still beats,
my lungs still breathe
and maybe this isn't even a disease
it's just all in my head.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Trading in my Beauty

I'm trading in my beauty
to be pretty
or hot, if I'm lucky.

I remove my ponytail
and instead use a straightener
making no waves.

I look at my eyes
then line them with black
take my glasses off
add layers to my lashes

My baggy, torn jeans
I trade for a skirt
after shaving my legs
(bleeding a little from a cut
above the ankle).

I've started running in the morning
in the time I used to write
in hopes of losing my figure
coaxing curves to disappear,
in favor of hardened edges.

I’ve cleaned the room, easing
creases out of my blanket
and washing the saliva stained
pillows, no record of dreams.

I packed away the notebooks
that used to outline the bed,
filled my chest with wrinkled pages,
had to sit on top to get it closed.

To loose some baggage,
I’ve emptied my library
of chapbooks, dictionaries
and instead put conversation pieces
on the shelves.

Oh, yes, I’ve read the new Dan Brown novel.
I found it most engrossing,
didn’t you?

Chinese New Year (draft)

Rising and falling softly,
sleeping with your eyebrows knit
against the wall
pins and needles
my arm is
pins and needles

This is the moment
where I should wake you
where I should admit that
I'm trying so hard not to fall in love with you
but I'm silenced by
your sleeping frame, a painting
canvas heavy with layers
and it hasn't dried yet.

As I watch your skin get goosebumps
with the touch of the morning breeze (Chi?)
I think about how I should
clean the house
sweeping away last year's
negativity so that good luck can
creep in and have room to breathe

(Don't forget to hide the broom and dustbin
so it can't sneak out again)

Maybe later we'll go to Chinatown (Cermak)
have passerbys hand us red packets
and if we're lucky they won't find us odd (reserved for death)
but rather like Tikoy, the brown sugar
of your skin mixed with my Irish powder

Laying here, I know that there's
one thing the Chinese got wrong.
The color of love and luck isn't red.
It's yellow.

I want to kiss you,
but when I open my mouth
yellow comes out filling
the room like a great Tsunami
of my gut-grounded-feelings.

But I can't wake you.
I can only marvel at the gold
of your hue, my fascination
with your pigmentation, the
predicament of dawn
in a city never darker than dusk.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

EB fun.

Nick: Dostoevsky gets me hard.

My response, via email:

Note from the Underground:

A Nasty story of the insulted and humiliated Idiot possessed the raw youth as dictated in a writer's diary in the village of stepanchikovo, poor folk. Pulled a double on Netochka Nezvanova, so he had to take some crime and punishment, but he always was a gambler. Now he's off in the house of the dead.

What a major piece of work!

Monday, June 18, 2007

"Oh, Canada" (draft)

I have lived spread eagled on the border
Between desire and empire
Dreaming of your territories.
Je me souviens, very well,
When you were between my thighs
My strange Northern Ally,
And I touched your maple leaf.

I have heard your white noise,
And compared to American boys,
There’s something I enjoy about those
I found in your home and native land,
From the BC man who fucked me and
Stole my poetry to the Nova Scotia
Lady who let me travel her Saint-Lawrence
River of blonde belly hairs to the locks
Of her seaway.

Canada. I want you. I Seskachewant you.
I want to dribble syrup
On your snow white mid-drift and
Nibble it off when it gets hard –
You know maple candy always melts
In your mouth.

And hell, if you want to carve stars
Out of bite-marks and stripes with
Your nails on my spine and shoulder
Call me in October when the weather’s
Colder and we’ll have our own
Sugar shack.

On the first of July we’ll celebrate
The dirty act which made you
In 1982, and named
My foreign soul mate who knows
Dominion on my affairs of state.

In the room women come and go,
dreaming of Toronto.

Oh, Canada. I don’t mind being under you.
I flirt with the border patrol, the royal mountie
Can mount me anytime he wants, thinking common-wealth
Thoughts as he plays with my loony and two-nie and hails
God save the Queen.


You’re my strange situation, my fascination,
Your vowels so round they fill my throat
Like poutin, Molson, and sin,
‘til you make me scream ‘EH! ‘eh! ‘Eh!
My darling canuck, ‘til I make you howl
Like the Habs just won the stanley cup,
Je ne sais pas que je te desis mais,
You’re what I’m talking aboot.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

We'll All Go Together (beginning)

Wednesday night in Tigh Coili
Aeonghus and Ronan tend the bar.
Nestled in a corner, I practice
my Irish with Majar,
my throat grumbling with
the guttural sounds and
vowels too round with my
pseudo-Canadian tongue.

Majar sits next to me,
Aran sweater peppered with ash
cheeks gashed with wrinkles.
The kind of face that's an acquired taste
like the Murphy's stout I sip.

His cracked lips relate to me
in perfect Irish, the story of a Quebecois
lady who got away, due to an unprecipitated
twist of fate (the maid washed her lipstick from the mirror)
the sad syllables weighted with drink.

The crowd has handled as much
as they swallow, the trad stops,
door closes. And feeling like I'm imposing,
the boys invite me to stay
not paying for my pint on the house.

Majar stays at the bar.
Beer mats glow under bar lights,
the sound of sweeping as he sighs.

Only the O'Flarhertys and I see him
wipe his eye, frown, and
sing softly into his glass

And we'll go lassie, go
and we'll all go together
like the wild Irish rose...

the verse, his curse, fails him.
He lays his head on his arms
hugging himself and his glass
crashes to the floor.

Ronan pours me some more stout
as Aeonghus sweeps up the pieces
of Majar's cure. It crunches
beneath his feet.

I lean back in my seat,
heat from the drink flushes my
cheeks, and with a glance at my
friend, I find my timbre filling
the air

and we'll go lassie go
and we'll all go together

from behind the bar, Ronan joins in
a high tenor, Majar
snores a brilliant bass as Aeonghus
takes the lead, dancing with the mop.

and we'll go lassie go
and we'll all go together,
like the wild Irish rose
goes with the bloomin' heather

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Potential Heartbreak" revised

Unsatisfied and a bit used
Nursing a hangover in an empty room
I think about the words I wasted on you
Potentials now lost, the adventures we’ll never share
Each appearing as invisible tangible as the air
Surrounding me.

In a dirty Red Sox cap,
Rediscovering cribbage with my Dad at the Lake House
(Although he rags on you for being a Canuck)
Your smiling face
Looks at me from an empty picture frame.

Farther down the wall is the collage from
Our non-existent road trip, the time I didn’t meet
Your family, (your mother loved me, by the way)
Our uncelebrated anniversaries, undefined magic moments,
Next to ticket stubs of the visits you won’t pay,
As the silent soundtrack of CDs I never made plays.

The table in front of me is cluttered
With drafts of poems
I’ll never write as you sleep.

My cupboards are full of meals
We’ll never make and eat together.

My head is brimming with answers
To all the questions you never asked,
As my secrets stay hidden behind all the things
You love about me but haven’t

These are the last words I have for you
no longer will you haunt my sentences
hiding in the spaces between the letters
or sneaking into the dots of my Is.

As I clean out this room of potential,
I think of the reality.
I think about what you didn’t give me.
I think about what you weren’t.

It’s silly at best,
At first,
There were things that you said,
Ways you moved, pieces falling into a puzzle that
All seemed to fit (despite my logic).

But I guess the finished product
Looked nothing like the box.

But, it was only potential, after all.
Does that count as a loss?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Windy City Blues

5pm, a massive evacuation from corporations
to public transportation, I catch
the 22 bus up Clark street
and brush shoulders taking my seat
crushed by the bodies of suits and skirts
feasting on their blackberries, juice of business
staining their mouths, focused on Microsoft
outlooks, or just lost
in their pocket books unaware of the buildings
passing by.

From the corner of my eye a bouquet
of flowers walks away on a shoulder
followed by a man wearing a chaise
as a hat (he kinds looks like a play horse –
human feet stick out beneath) but no one
is chuckling except me.

Loneliness, I confess, is riding with me.
Today at three, counting ahead six hours,
across sea waves tuned into your frequency,
I can fantasize about your itinerary, if I’m
remembered, and what you’re wearing
(Here’s hoping it’s the sweater that highlights
your double feature of green).

The loneliness is something old, yet this brand
is new, heart worn and liver abused, I’ve borrowed
your blues as I transfer to the CTA red line.
Searching faces I find they’re all different.

But that’s what I intended,
that’s what cities are meant for. Diversity. Multiplicity.
But Chi-town has swallowed the whole
of me
and spat nothing out.

So waxing romantic trans-Atlanticly
I know my particle waves are not
travelling seas to your station.
But rumination substitutes well in
lack of communication – in this not
tragic but bathic tram (existence)
crammed with people I’ll never meet
each headed home on one way streets.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Today - revisited

The corners of my vision
Crusted with the night
I met the day with dark words.

A flame extinguished
With his own breath
Fall to the floor, drop the phone
Bereft (a small heap of flesh)

A tone.
And then you were back.

How does one rise from the dead
With such ease
Not knowing how close they were?

I existed without you for half an hour.
Now I won’t again.

More poetic spam mail

I have been lowcarbing for about 3months (had a week off over xmas) however,back on induction....If i do a small amount of cardio e.g 30 - 40 mins Bike; after - the endorphinsseem to flow and i don't feel too bad. However, if i do resistance training iseem to feel really drained of energy and i am overcome by a generall feelingof unwellness.After resistance training today (feeling drained)i went and ate a low carbbreakfast, which seemed to pick me up but throughout the day i have still feltpretty shitty...Help anyone? I know this post is prob a bit vague but im hoping its just acommon hurdle that people know about...........Wayne>!HAHAHAHAHA. This cross-dressing loony is turning out to be a godsend[message truncated]

A Toast - Revised another time

"A Toast"

Though I have been interrupted
and in bad taste
my lips still hunger for yours
and linger in your memory.
Because as our awkward adolescent
faces kissed our glasses clicked
and made a silent toast to our love
the unspoken words lay sweet
on our tongues the syllables
tumbling over
and under each
shouting silent sentences in our shared breath

You're a fiery one
and like a moth twice burned
a taste of chocolate and the light behind your blues
Draws me back every time
and with a laugh
I’ll convince myself that
I knew
That this was nothing (to you)
But after imbibing the essence
Of your existence
I will leave empty handedgladlybecause I have stood in your shadowat least through your spectre
I glimpsed the outline, the corona
of something that felt like home.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

After Watching the Evening News

My brother asks, "Why write poetry?"

Belly swollen with hunger,
hands and mouths empty,
a little boy climbs into his bed of straw
during a commercial on TV.

Down the street, the corner shop
owned by D & M,
where I used to walk the dog
closes its doors as the light
pores from the neon Walmart sign.

Darfur. Colombian floods. Abducted children.
Gun laws. Rising housing costs, wars neither won
or lost, election candidates that all look the same,
a new reality TV show. Divorce rates. All escape from the
MSNBC stream of verbal ambiguity.

But when my brother looks at me,
I reply with all my heart,

"I don't want to live in a world without poetry."

Lightning Bugs

Little lights dart through the air
between little outstretched hands
a bug, caught between index and ring
brought the the eye,
the thing longs for flight

I'll stay,
but only for a moment.
There are places to go and though
I am but a speck in this vernal land
there are places to go.

Little light, little bug
flickers off into the night

Come back! Come back!

But it's gone.
Made for the air.

Not the Bell-Jar.
Not this place.
Not these hands.

Fodder For Poetry

A fruit stand, oranges under water
breakfast with an old demon,
stumbling drunks on shop street
the way the wind plays with leaves
bonfires. sunsets. the Burren.
Lake Michigan. Lake Titus. Adirondacks.
Croagh Patrick. Le Blanc Potat.
(Although those in the know call it Pee-Vans).

Heartbreak. My foot falling alseep
the way he keeps texting me song lyrics
as I sneak glances at the bar man's delicious
backside the grace in your
slumber. half boiled eggs. Full Irish.
McDonagh's fish and chips
sitting in the Spanish Arch while she
rambles about summer jobs
odd shaped bagatelles in the quays
Nights at Bk's. The noise you made
when I grabbed you in the empty living room
(our bodies fit together perfectly)

finding out that everyone is exactly like me
like they've been hiding all this time

the way Indiana and I sat for hours
in the lobby of the Europa
without needing to speak
how my driver's license is well travelled
seeing old faces in new ones I meet
having someone curse at me
learning that I still have the ability
to make friends. Liddy. Ailise. Both.

the way you spoke when you said
"Do you reckon we'll see each other again?"

Deciding whether to stay or go
to kiss. to say, I'm here.
For you. For now. For always.
laying on my back with Katch
and learning each other through sleep deprivation
Chasing boys, chasing girls, chasing words
trying to say what it all means
to me.

Tigh Coili, the boys. Sitting in an empty pub
but knowing it's full. The rafters moving with our vibes.
Feeling alive.

With all of this, can I not be inspired?

You're all fodder for poetry.
You all live inside me.
Breaking the silence,
making me dance.
Thank you for the chance,
to be with you.

It means the world to me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

In Charlie Byrnes Bookshop

Across from the Da Vinci Enigma Tarot
a man with green converses trips
on the Koran
and I, sitting under literary fiction A-Z
leaf through the dictionary
unable to find the right word.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Potential Heartbreak

Unsatisfied and a bit used

Nursing a hangover in an empty room

I think about the words I wasted on you

Potentials now lost, the adventures we’ll never share

Each appearing as invisible and tangible as the air

Surrounding me.

Your smiling face, in a dirty Red Sox cap

Rediscovering cribbage with my Dad, at the Lake House

Although he rags on you for being a Canuck,

And I laugh on the hammock

Looks at me from an empty picture frame.

Farther down the wall is the collage from

Our non-existent road trip, the time I didn’t meet

Your family (your mother loved me, by the way)

Our uncelebrated anniversaries, undefined magic moments

Next to the ticket stubs of the visits you won’t make

As the silent soundtrack of the CDs I never made plays.

The table in front of me is cluttered

With drafts of poems

I’ll never write as you sleep.

My cupboards are full of meals

We’ll never make and eat together.

My head is brimming with answers

To questions you never asked

As my secrets stay hidden behind all the things

You love about me but haven’t


Looking at these things,

I’m not angry.

And while I may

Mourn for unmade memories,

I feel mostly sorry for your ignorance.

That you gave up these things without a glance

For a few laughs, an easy lay, the character you play

And you play him well. Hell, I fell for it.

I gave you my heart, my body, my art

And you took it all without a return.

So as I clean out this room of potential

I take the 3 things you gave me,

The lessons you taught me:

You can’t share with someone who’s selfish,

You can’t make love to someone who fucks you;

You shouldn’t love someone who turns poetry into a trophy.

These are the last words I have for you,

No longer will you haunt my sentences

Hiding between the letters and sneaking into

The dots of my Is.

But let me close with this, with no deceit or motive,

Not even a play on words or decent rhyme,

just blatant honesty.

The night that we met, for the first time in my life,

As you walked away, I thought

I’m going to marry that man.

And while it’s silly at best.

There were things that you said,

Ways you moved, pieces falling into a puzzle that

All seemed to fit (despite my logic)

But I guess the finished product

Looked nothing like the box.

But, it was only potential, after all.

does that count as a loss?

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Song for April

by Sean Lewis

This is the story of your longest journey

and how it came to meet your fate

and how the reasons, time, and people tangled

and how your answers lie in wait.

And how it whispered, "O, adhere to me

for we are bound by destiny.

And whatever doubts that fill your mind,

follow me, you will be fine."

This is the story of your longest journey.

This is the story of your past lifetime

and how it's with you even here.

Your little loves, your books, your dreams, your freedom:

there were the things that you held dear.

And the little glimpses that you get

are the memories you can't forget.

And the feelings that you can't deny

Now you know the reason why.

This is the story of your past lifetime.

This is the story of the boy who loves you,

who loved you then and loves you still.

And how he stole this song to try to please you,

and now he's waiting on your will.

And if you return to me

I'll make sure that it's meant to be.

If you let me into your heart

I'll rend your ventricles apart:

This is the story of the boy who loves you.

This is the story of your longest journey.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last Words - again

these are the last words I have for you
no longer will you haunt my sentences
hiding between the letters or sneaking
into the dots of my Is

If these confessions, this truth
can't satisfy you, then you can't understand

but is understanding necessary?
A spider being will be,
regardless of the affectations.

My only regret is that your songs
will remain secrets.

Pure Naked Idle

The scent of your skin
is peppered with freckles
the sheets, the peach
of your pigment
the color of my predicament

I want to erase the taste
of the spot beneath your navel
while I'm able to convince myself it's best

but horizon or skin,
where you begin, where I end
is the blurry line of 'could be' (ecstasy?)
and it will never be defined.

Katch + Casey's poems


As the waves crash
salt on skin
not knowing where memory begins
I feel the NaCl and I smile

There are traps set for me
loveless marriage because it's easy
or a life doing other's obligations
but I've got aspirations

the world will be mine and me the world's
I am more than a pretty girl
Fear me. Fight me.
Love me.

I am.
I will.

And you'd best watch out.


Seeing the world in color and shapes
I never see just wallpaper
it's a landscape, escape
the result of St. Paddy's day

But what to do, where am I
caught between a father's hopes
and an artistic temperament

Casey O'Connor, this I am
Juno may be what I admire
but I am truly what I aspire
and this is real.
I make my own reality.

Dierde's Past Life

anxiously folding a blanket
as eyes scan the horizon

Where is he? What's happened?
fighting for freedom, fighting for freight
the dead potato crop's weight

my children are hungry, what can I do?
my children are dying... and I am too.

A boat. A ship. A voyage. A chance.
my grandchildren will Irish dance
because blood is thick, but memory is thicker

and the Irish never forget.

"A Toast" - revised

Though I have been interrupted
and in bad taste
my lips still hunger for yours
and linger in your memory
because as our awkward bespecaled adolescent
faces kissed
our glasses clicked and made
a silent toast to our love
the unspoken words lay sweet
on our tongues tumbling over
and under
each other
shouting silent sentences in our shared breath

when you imbibe from my glasses
a little piece of blue plastic
of me
stays in you
surfing your blood stream
tangling in your ventricles
as we grow close

and then drift apart.

Shit Happens When You're Black Out Drunk

Painting my face and wearing the colors
that are supposed to accentuate my being
I find myself surrounded by lush-es-ious females
each in their own oblivion

And I know as I follow their tangential footsteps
that even if I am the sober one
the quiet one
I've been better for knowing them
and although my mouth is full of words
I'll never say
at least we've had tonight - today
and I could look after each
as they each wandered astray

The Galway Girls

To three there are only two
things that make each day
worth living - friendship and craic
while the fourth sits back
and absorbs it all with pen to paper
somewhere watching each event
and acknowledging the random proximity
which allows the depth of me
to shine through each of you.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Point. Counterpoint. Pulse.

Kick kick shuffle back to the beat
walking through winding streets
ever so trendy with your soaked chucked feet
the picture of early twenties rock

with your vintage tee shirt and raggedy sweater
(that may or may not smell faintly of urine)
and ear plugs feeding the life blood
while your liver pays for youthful magic moments

There are many differences between us,
I spell 'savior' without a 'u'
and when we kissed your lips
held no Eucharist
only the stale taste of old Beamish, taco chips
and the lingering smoke of your cigarette
Kebab house blues - that's what I'm talking 'bout
I just didn't know it at the time.

Are you afraid of silence?
Ringing of blood rushing through
the capillaries of your ear canal
aural unsatisfaction
the night dullened and dumb

is that why you write?
permanent marker on swing sets
and yet
You said your songs were secrets
because although you are a master of words
you'd rather leave them unsaid
empty syllables
running around your head
strings under your fingers sonorous and wordless
speaking in tones for you

but when I look
I see words coursing beneath your paper skin
ink moving through veins
and somehow,
you manage to breathe

the quarter notes and commas
syncopated rests and fermatas
combining in your semi colon
or just cruising your blood stream of consciousness
point. counterpoint. pulse.




Sky turns an amazing shade of blue
and though I've dreamt this six times
your shillouette as you make breakfast
is the only reality I want to accept.

Cerulian skies, but your eyes have
become the standard for all the hues.

Ink colored hands over paper white skin,
unable to tell whether horizon or sin
I can breathe this moment.

And I wonder, out there
what the sea is up to.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

text premonition

waxing romantic on the opposite
side of the atlantic
I have turned a fiend into a friend
and just because your name
comes up 'fate' in my t9
doesn't mean that this is divine
and you're not my destiny
but I'm glad that you know me

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Star of the North

Sitting on the hood of my 95 VW Jetta
between tendrils of smoke and exhalation
the lights of Montreal blur the horizon
above the star of the North

funny I find
that I've come to define myself
on Webster St.
My chilled chucked feet banging
on the headlight
the beat pounding into the night
between falling white flakes

four hours have passed
since you brought me home
having sat beside me for hours
listening to Mother and Father
verbally spar over fiscal affairs
while we drank cold coffee from Styrofoam cups
that cracked between our teeth and watched the clock

each tock bringing us closer to forced
betrayal of one who made us
and deconstructs

Even now, sitting alone on a deserted
country road, ice in the corners of my eyes
frost on my shoes

I'm fucked

the snow has stolen the stars

So I wheeze another drag out of my stick
and pick out what may be a skyscraper
then attach a wish to its distant
electric glow
saying the words slow ever so slowly:

somebody, rescue me. please.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

St. Patrick's Day After

Hung over, splayed
On the couch
I listen to the hail hit the window
Face nestled in the crook of my arm

Finally I admit to myself
That you’re not going to call
(Although we both knew the lie when you made it)

In this cave of my skin
Half-hearted I list precedents
The events, indications, failed expectations
And marvel at how resilient
My desire to see you is.

A lesser woman would blame you
Citing feminist propaganda
Etcetera, ad nauseum, et al.
I don’t.

Your silence isn’t violence, it’s a monastery.
Your sanctuary. The sound of retreat.
To hide from what you feel for me.

The dangerous girl with blue eyes.

Who you’ve managed to own
And discard

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Selections from Gerry Murphy's "End of Part One"

'Reductionist Love Poem'

Never again
your lovely face in mine
as I wake blah, blah, bah.
Never again
my arms around you
as I sleep etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Never again
those long involved conversations
after midnight
but then, never before.

'Water Myth'

"Whatever inspires,"
you call from the shower
the water stunned into droplets
on your suddenly delicious skin
"Well," I reply,
from the airport
twenty-seven years later
"even with arms,
in your presence
the Venus de Milo
would be queuing
to be kissed."

'Further Out'

I can't tell you
where this is happening
I know it's a dream
becuse the left bank of the Siene
has just appeared directly opposite
the right bank of the Lee.
I know it's daylight
that silver-grey, residual glow
from some imploding star
shining in your glossy black hair.
I know it's you
because there is not one
even remotely as beautiful
on the stony inner planets
as I know you have been kissing me
for over a minute
because I have just woken up
gasping for breath.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ode to Tea

Clink. Clink. Clink.
the teacup is crying in protest
against the caresses of the spoon
that makes her insides all a swirl
because the cream has clouded her thoughts
and not enough sugar hasn't made her sweet on him

In hopes to cool her temper, I cup
my hands around her frail body
and whisper sweet nothings into her ear
words blowing softly across her mind
(where I can see myself reflected)
while I slowly retract her intrusive friend
and lay him to rest on my napkin

my lady warms to me
and softly I raise her face to my lips
and we share the tasty kiss of morning

Thursday, March 08, 2007


the greatest single factor in meeting
is proximity
the space between you and me
measured in heartbeats, chipped coffee cups, kilometres
asking for a pen, a dance
remarking on the weather - cold, grey, what I call Irish sunshine

communication being the shortest line between 2 people
with the distance over time
dividing into smaller and more manageable signs

excuse me, do you know where the library is?

Minding my Ps and waiting in queues, ears attuned
to the conversation I wish I was having
he asks her whether Barcelona is nice this time of year
she laughs and replies
behind my eyes I picture them without turning
her faded blue camisole
his dirty backpack with threadbare socks

Space is not a void. Or a vacuum.
It's a place where we move
coins jingling in our pockets, a tune on our lips
wiggle in our hips
a languid afternoon tea

How you keeping?

Cascading causes like run on clauses
crash us into each other
stepping on toes or cobblestones
stringing sentences together
and trying to say what we mean
but somehow losing the translation
from synapse to syntax

and trust me, alcohol only makes it worse.

Proximity requires prescence
being with someone, being with everyone,
just being
is a picture of the effects of proximity
that these words articulate some part of me
and now echo in you

the desire to communicate, the hope you resonate
in the space between sounds
because silence is not the absence of noise
but the potential for creation

Friday, March 02, 2007

In Praise of My Sister

My sister doesn't write poems,
and it's unlikely that she'll suddenly start writing poems.
She takes after her mother, who didn't write poems,
and also her father, who likewise didn't write poems.
I feel safe beneath my sister's roof:
my sister's husband would rather die than write poems.
And, even though this is starting to sound as repetitive as Peter Piper,
the truth is, none of my relatives write poems.

My sister's desk drawers don't hold old poems,
and her handbag doesn't hold new ones.
When my sister asks me over for lunch,
I know she doesn't want to read me her poems.
Her soups are delicious without ulterior motives.
Her coffee doesn't spill on manuscripts.

There are many families in which nobody writes poems,
but once it starts up it's hard to quarantine.
Sometimes poetry cascades down through the generations,
creating fatal whirlpools where family love may founder.

My sister has tackled oral prose with some success,
but her entire written opus consists of postcards from vacations
whose text is only the same promise every year:
when she gets back, she'll have
so much
much to tell.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

For Papa

The way to the Cathedral
is full of people that pass
their thoughts ahead; minds full
unaware of the drizzle that falls
making their coats glisten on the way to mass

the dull sound of my feet
beating the ground is covered
by the cars that pass
my mind behind, vacant
rain speckles my spectacles
as I enter the nave's northern door

Inside the grey stone walls
I light a small blue candle grasping
for a half remembered mumbled
prayer to your memory
as the stones encircle me
collecting my words in their crevices
mortar for God's house

But somewhere in the holy air
that fills this empty, austere place
on a grey stone arch my God sits
unmoved by the moving of my lips
unable as a cause to comprehend consequence

I watch the little flam dance
marking the day like an inverted birthday cake
it occurs to me
You would rather I eat a Boston cream doughnut
with a cup of tea (2 sugars, milk please)
then wait for this stale piece of bread
and light a 75 cent candle you'll never see
because you're four years dead

Ashes to ashes, the time passes
an old Irish man with starched white collar
puts his wrinkled tissue paper hands in black
and marks me with his faith

oily and pungent
cool on my skin

his hands swim in my vision
reverently, I bow my head
the salty holy water leaving my eyes
rains splashes baptizes the floor

four years gone
and if I close my eyes
and listen

I can still hear you breathe

Last Words

These are the last words I have for you
no longer will you haunt my sentences
hiding between the letters and sneaking
into the dots of my Is

There are many differences between us
I spell savior without u
when we kissed your lips
held no Eucharist
only the stale taste of old Guinness
and the lingering smoke of your cigarette
I just didn't know it at the time

I hope you never read the words I left you
Because I didn't mean to give them to you
That little peice of paper covered in ink
heart beating lips dry hands sweating I dared
to leave with a sleepy man you work for
after knocking on a window and disturbing the peace
of my mind
was meant to be shared, not taken.

Those words (and these) though written for you
do not belong to you
they belong to me.
And you stole them with your silence.

I hope that little peice of paper was lost
amongst the napkins behind the bar
or on the floor beneath some old woman's heels
covered in spilt red wine or mud
that would blur the words and tear the paper

because dirt would be better for them
dust and neglect, in ignorance
would be better than your knowing silence
that rings louder than the flat line
of blood that rushes through the capillaries
of my ears

I'd prefer that you hate me
than ignore my invitations to poetry slams
or for a shared pint with yours and mine
or cared enough to call and say it was just me
instead of a callous and cowardly text message

Rather that when you saw me at the bar
you were so overcome that you would have to leave
turning on your black heels, pulling
your leather jacket over your shoulder, scowling.

Than be peferctly able to wave a half hearted hello hello
share a dance where our eyes won't meet
and spend the rest of the night twirling about
with a woman who moves better than I ever could
and places her hands without shame on your backside

But that's the way of things, isn't it?

Words. Words. Words.
Empty syllables resound in my head
I should have interrupted you
saying that I'm a girl who doesn't kiss
after a first impression
Who doesn't spend the night
on the first date, or fall in love
with someone, a stranger, a dancer, a Canadian
with a heart of stone and teeming with apathy
who could disregard a girl who's willing
to wear her heart on her sleeve
and bare her soul in her poetry

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Rainy Monday Morning

Drops of water drizzle down the buildings
pooling in alleyways between the concrete
collecting on the hem of my old blue jeans
a litmus test of morning

Sleepily wandering through the maze of stone
I can still taste the trail
of last night's beer on my tongue
stainging my mouth with its
dull yeasty weight

I can pick and choose my recollections
half remembered and half drunk
the fuzzy pictures traverse in my head
but I tune out before the credits begin
distracted by the horn of a blue Volkswagen
that tried to touch my body with its bumper

An old woman in a green rain slicker
passes a cursory and judgemental eye
as I curse the driver in
a sonorous stream of obscenities
that a whole bottle of Dawn
couldn't wash away

and with a flourish of my jacket
return to my sordid memories and place
my back to the roar of traffic
trudging through the raindrenched streets

Friday, February 16, 2007

For Posterity

hullo, molly ringworm, if that is your real name,here's a couple of schmoleys for your delectation and skullduggeration,as promised an essay on blake, followed by a pom that sips a little fromthe master's cup so to speak, no doubt you spent all night in a sweatdrench frenzy, trying to arm yourself with a couple of rhythmic ripostesin anticipation of our televised literary vendetta, due to take place overthe next ten years (ending in your death), later critics will compare theto and fro to that of a honey bear toying with a lame and incontinentbadger-dog of some kind, but never mind, at least you'll make thefootnotes dave

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Roofer

thrashing branches shriek streaking
into the grey stone stormy sky
rain crashes into the wet
earth foaming in galleys like rabid dogs

high above the ground on a roof
made of shiney silver tin
the Roofer raises a hammer
into the furious and ferocious wind

Heavens rumble and growl
threatening the horizon with
jagged clouds and streaks
of sharp white fire

One nail for a nickel
and children to be fed
One nail for a nickel
and then struck dead

Years after the rain
when above the bed it's dark
footsteps sound from the ceiling
and loud beating of your heart

through the corner of your eye
a figure on the veranda
raises his spectral hammer to the sky
and fire eyes stare straight
as you die

Dying is an Art

Looking out of wire squares
That frame the world
Water tocks as it trickles
Over glass
Somewhere a distant creak
Voices muffled through plaster

Stolen time, shadow time
Silly feeling sullen so
Breaths and gasps echo
Breaking the buzz of silence

Give it to her good, man.
If I must hear your bodies slam
At the vertex
At least make it worth hearing

Sylvia Plath said that Dying is an art
Like everything else
I do it exceptionally well

Three hours have passed since
The hollow ring of a dial tone
Heart heavy my eyes
Leaking framing the
Pallor of my putrid face
I realized that a cup of tea isn’t enough
And forever isn’t always for partners
For lovers, that is.

The death has taken hold of me
And tonight the reaper is out
Having a drink with my friends
Grinning with a plastic red cup in hand
Winking at strangers who might make her breakfast
While I write poetry

And listen to Bruce trying to
Cleave the poor Scottish girl
In half with the dull blade that hangs
Between his legs
But she sounds like she likes it
Another notch on the bedpost for Uncle Sam

Monday, February 12, 2007

Words. Words. Words.

there is no word to describe
the feeling after I've put my
fist through the porch window
and dripping red and shining
with shards of glass
I wave it at my ashen faced brother

Savage? Not enough.

There is no word for the place
beneath your chin
that I wish to press my face to
and inhale the scent of your
black macaroni hair

at least not in the (English-Irish-Spanish-French-German) five languages
we aren't speaking

There is no word to describe
gathering (take a breath)
the bleeding heart courage
required to leave you
the words I had fired
in my mental furnace
until they shown like diamonds
and then you reply
I want to be friends

Disappointment? Too clean.

What could would capture
the glorious silence
following the last note
echoing off rafters and balcony
as the conductor shows all his teeth
forgetting professionalism and saying
not too quietly
fuck. yes.


These phonemes and morphemes
vowels consonants sounds
leaving my mouth
weaving invisibly across the tainted
air stained with my breath
mingling on currents
and entering you

are absolutely meaningless.

The Words, I mean.

There's nothing we can do.
His 70 year old heart is worn
withered beneath his weathered skin
and it's the end of your shift
so you're going home to eat your wife's porkchops
instead of doublechecking the stitches

Your Mother and I are going to court.
sit stiffly in the middle of
a hard wooden bench and ask you
questions about memories you aren't
even sure are real
How did that leg break? Who gave you that black eye?
What's that scar from on your cheek?

I love you.
I'll put my lips to your forehead
and make you tea with 2 spoons
of sugar and a dollop of milk
in the green cup
without you even asking.

I hate you.
walking past you
there's a weight in my stomach
and my ears ring and my face gets red
ashamed and angry and hot

Words. Sounds.
Nothing said.
Everything done.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rumi - Like This

If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,
Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,
Like this.

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God’s fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.
Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.
Like this.

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point

If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.
This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.
Like this.

When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.
Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.
Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.
Like this.

How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?

How did Jacob’s sight return?

A little wind cleans the eyes.
Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us
Like this.


The Basque Nose

I may as well be invisible
when Curtis says to Idoia his wife
That Basque nose
Let me touch that nose
and she lets him
and I’m surprised I don’t
repeat him: Let me touch that nose
even though I’ve thought more often
of her chin— what I would abandon
to touch the line along
the muscle of her neck
to the small ridge below her ear —
a place which has no simple word
even in the half dozen languages
we choose not to speak in that room

Curtis—one of the most benign
men I know except for one
New Year’s when he got drunk and vaulted
his six-foot-four Iowa-farmboy frame
over the dinner table to stomp
the gum out of some brute
pushing up on Idoia
But do you blame him?
The brute I mean
for blabbing anything
the liquor—he mistook
for muse—inspired him to say
just to hear Idoia speak—her vowels
thin cool and round as céntimos
dropped in a beggar’s hand

I smoke on their front patio
Idoia stops in the kitchen
And I hold my cigarette
to the window between us—how (for a moment)
she purses
her mouth near the glass
a mock gesture too much
like a kiss for me to ignore

After dinner Curtis Idoia and I drink
wine which gives me courage
to practice my Spanish I think about
the difference between saber and conocer
conjugating each verb beginning
in first person New Jersey familiar
So when Curtis gets drunk
and kisses his wife’s shoulders
they both close their eyes and I’m still
muttering I know... You know... He knows...
Patrick Rosal

found it!

Twenty Billion Light Years of Lonliness

Mankind on a little globe
Sleeps, awakes, and works
Wishing at times to be friends with Mars.

Martians on a little globe
Are probably doing something; I don't know what
(Maybe sleep-sleeping, wear-wearing, or fret-fretting)
While wishing at times to be friends with Earth
This is a fact I'm sure of.

This thing called universal gravitation
Is the power of loneliness pulling together.

This univerise is distorted
So all join in desire.

The universe goes on expanding
So all feel uneasy.

At the lonliness of twenty billion light years
Without thinking, I sneeze.

Shuntaro Tanikawa

Thursday, February 08, 2007

So. Good.

"Uncommon Denominators"

I add up the times I’ve fantasized about
women I’ve seen but never spoken to
and divide that by the hoursI drive past cemeteries and add again
the weight of breath in your mouth
measured in the ancient Tagalog word for yes
— but the number always comes out the same

So I subtract the moonand the smell of incense on Good Friday
trying to connect Planck’s Constant
to the quantum moment between a candlelit flick and the back of your neck
setting aside my 7 dreams of having sex once
with Tyra Banks who tells me God
You Filipino guys know
how to make love to a woman and even if I tally the 10,069
channels launched by satelliteswhich have an asymptotic relationship
to the count of stones cast
from a sinner’s fist raised
to the power of eight million punch-clockstiffs heading home late
still the number comes out the same
and when a beggar pirouettes along an expressway’s center lane
swearing this won’t be his last
cigarette (smoke rising fromthe rust in his moustache ) I suddenly know
the acceleration of a falling body
has little to do with slippinga mother into the ground or
a whole greater than the sum of its parts

And if you ask what I’m doing
with 7 loaves and 4 fish multiplied
by the root of a dried tamarind tree
or the coefficient of friction
of a bullet on the brink of a rib
or the number of clips emptied
into an unarmed Guinean man
on a dark Bronx stoop I’ll tell you
I’m looking for the exact
coordinates of falling in love plus or minus
the width of a single finger
lost along the axis of your lips

Patrick Rosal

Just because I finally found it (it's fun to read aloud)

Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were
When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
But as at first, when our day was fair.

Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,
Even to the original air-blue gown!

Or is it only the breeze, in its listlessness
Travelling across the wet mead to me here,
You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,
Heard no more again far or near?

Thus I; faltering forward,
Leaves around me falling,
Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward,
And the woman calling.
Thomas Hardy

More Pablo for my mood.

"I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You"

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.

Pablo Neruda

Sums up my mood.

"Tonight I can write the saddest lines"

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her void. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Interrupt Me If I'm Wrong

Interrupt me if I'm wrong

Roaring voices straining to speak
above the saturated air
silently my eyes travel
the solid black horizon of your shoulder
and rest on your chin
as accidentally I brush your arm
with Guinness courage given

dizzy drunk dancing
circles around a dark haired man
eyes shine lips smile
he knows Hello Hello
and takes me to an alcove
that smells of cigarettes
where our faces press
against each other

Interrupt me if I'm wrong

shillouetted by the firelight
eyes trace the lines
of your face and rest
in the shadow of your bright eyes
I envy the syllables that roll off your tongue
and through your lips

I wish I was bolder
to reach across this card checkered table
saying that I've won four games and my prize
is to go take your hand and press
it softly against my cheek

Interrupt me if I'm wrong

beneath the emblem of your home and native land
alight with a blue glow
timbres and tongues tangling
marble white bodies bare
what the fuck was that
I don't care because it was us

the sun streams through
lights floor beams as
lazily let my eye I
linger on you
rising and falling softly
but it's goodbye

Interrupt me if I'm wrong

but I don't want to belong to you
and I may not be long with you
but there's something here
I'm not wrong for you

These are my intentions

to make you my world famous pancakes
to swap CDs with songs that speak for me
to exchange books so we can learn
and watch you make shadow puppets
that all look the same (but I'll never tell)

I don't want to keep you
I just want to know you
while I can
and enjoy the random acts and events
that caused an american girl with dimples and a bad sense of balance
to collide with a canadian man who sings and dances as he cooks dinner

Monday, January 29, 2007

I've been called 'Romantic' a lot lately


dangling from his fingertips
the cigarette glows and smokes
red ember lost
in the grey strands

so this is my life
internal syllables his lips
stay silent shut sewn stoic
it is different than words
others had said hands
in hands lips and fingertips
touching softly (a lie)

cold and wet an a stroke
of light reflects as the burning
end of Eliot's smoky days
(wringing his hands)

the fag hangs from his lips
eyes behind a veil of grey
and his breath tainted
with the tar and nicotine

so many (much time) years
and each drag
bring one beat (beating) closer
to ash and dust

'living with characters'

there is a man with unruly black hair
who is dangerous with a bow
and has a limp and scar on his right leg there

a woman with no furniture
solomnly stands by the window
wringing her hands, thoughts obscure

two little girls wander in an old barn
looking for farm cats that dart to and fro
it's cold so they have sweaters on

behind my glasses they all exist
hidden behind the cracks in my brow
appearing in flashes of intrigue that persist
and demand to be written down

Thursday, January 25, 2007

T.S. Eliot is the feckin' man

his 'Preludes'

The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.

The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.

You tossed a blanket from the bed,
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters,
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed's edge,
whereYou curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.

His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o'clock
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.
I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.
Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

and again.. this time it's mostly bad poetry

'Coffee in Bed'

sea salt tears stream
down the pained plane of
burned sand
lazily blanketed inhale
the fumes of a sleeping
cup of blackness

grey and green beyond
the door frame
I can know and now no
force could make me leave
fleece fortress I've furnished

'Pub in Connemara'
heavy smell of smoke
stains the air
tasting the coal
as the beer stale
drips slowly from
a mohogany bar
cold but the fire
warms radiate
the din of voices
fills the smoky stained air
people enter

'The Writer's Lament'

the blank page is my enemy
mocking me with indifference
anger flares up in me
at my vapid, wasteful indolence

ink spewed on the page
and lacking meaning or connection
I glower at my pen with rage
and grow bitter at my intentions

what good is a writer that can't create?
is there any value in unspent potential?
possibilities are infinite but I berate
myself for the inability to grasp anything substantial.

the elephant forgot
exactly what the stars said
as they striped across the world
but elephants are never supposed to forget
and jack asses aren't any smarter

'St. Nicholas Poems continued'

organ sounds fingers pressing
keys as man walks about
head bowed though
he does not believe


strange, an old building
built of ruins
full of defaced angels
and the floor paved with
the markers of dead
now serves as the place
to plead with God


a crusader's tomb
covered in wax and water
of those who can not even
read its inscription
Brune, lays sleeping
under the forgotten stones
craded in the bosom of black

'Chinese Whisper'

the fat man
scraped the burnt
off his toast with
a knife

by the door a flaxen haired girl
with face florid
sips tea quietly

steam races across her glasses
vanishing mist races
crumbs from his bread
litter his lap hiding in
the recesses of corduroi (?)

oxygen from her lungs
mingles with his and in
invisible currents
maze of neurons fire

'First Day of School'

amongst the tea drinkers
chattering clanking chinda
the fog has settled outside
clearing the world of color

watching the clock
winding so slowly
seconds crawl on slug bellies

through surrounded in
the din of dynamic sanctuary
sitting awkwardly I write

pen to page creating
the conversation I wish
I was having

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More poetry that's tinted green.

'An Oath'

hesitation before an oath
barred and beaten and bleeding from
heart and hand but buzzing rosy warmth
cheeks flushed from beer and tender both
words exchanged none some tangled tongue
Guinness giving my courage the growth

it shouldn't artificially
need if this trying but true exchange
ifs and buts convoludedly
interfere with the aspirations of ' to be'
a verb with dangerous intent
insidious and captivatingly alternatively

could I sear it open and fertile
fighting the fecundity
of the salt sinews and wiles
warring within me wild
as oblivious drinks tea he smiles

beating through the
tangled recesses of the
floorboards strangled the
music enters my ears the
rhythm and pounding of the
feet and instruments beginning the
dance about words I'd left behind

the hallow ring of a dial tone
a silence after the storm
heart heavy my eyes
leaking framing the
palor of my putrid face

real is unreal
lights don't illuminate
books are full of ink
not stories

I am tainted by your passing
a footprint that grows
as the snows melt
slowly disappearing
fade into dust

hidden in the hallway
I will not go upstairs
opening a door to the reaction
of a new face
chemistry, 'eh?
an explosion.
radiation poisoning.
stick around it too long and you'll die.

St. Nicholas Cathedral Poems

sitting silently on hard stone
I listened to the
water trickling and between
the drops I strained
hoping to glimpse
the eternal feeling or a
whisper that would echo
within the hallows of my breast


a high cross watches me
as I weave between the maze
of stone water movies
trickling and drizzling
beneath dizzying heights
upward the lines go upward
arches (aches) into cold air