Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lavender bruises

It's almost sweet in its familiarity
so subtle, it feels like home at first
rising slowly
bubbling like lava
rising in my chest

it isnt until it catches me in my throat
that I even notice its there
and by then its established residence
and my hands are shaking and my heart
's rubbed raw with emotion

This is your fault
this is you, you did this
and you're the softest, sickest corner of me
my most tender wound

I vaguely recall
honey-thick lullabies
and gentle caresses
all marred by
steaming hot curses
fingerprints on my shoulders

seized by rage
It's difficult to breathe
and I measure my thoughts slowly;
trying to contain

I can't even place blame
as much as every ligament and muscle fiber
that pulls my hands into whitely clenched fists
desperately wants to

You're just a sick, injured animal
and we your captors

And blisters on my tongue where
my cruelties have burned marks
press softly against the roof of my mouth
nursing nursing
always nursing.

There's this sweet gentle hand
deeply rooted in my core
that just wants to take care of you
move slowly over your shoulder blades
work your hair into a long, twisted braid

And I'm breathing deeply
measuring my thoughts
I love you, I remind myself.
And that sweet gentle hand
strokes my hair
tender on the nape of my neck
reminds me of the source of my strength
and all the things I owe to you
my poor, fragile bird
they tenderly broke your wings.
That hand works over the scars
rigid red dots from where
I tugged at the last feathers.

I am so sorry.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The first thing to realize
is that everything you do is perfect
awkwardly nervous giggle
fumbling stumbling hands
adorably crooked teeth
you're perfect

The next thing to understand is
that I am not.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I can only tell my left from my right
because of a tiny freckle on my right pinkie
A surreptitious glance downward
(I've learned to do it so quick you can't tell)
and it's the same thing as knowing.

My hands are small
but only in comparison to others
in the context of my wrist
from the vantage point of
the top of my nose
they feel like grotesquely large monsters
with their own plans and desires

I've got plans too, though.
I've got tremendous aspirations,
that don't involve this place
I'm for indulging in explorations
of new locations, bodies, brains
I've got high expectations
and a thousand and one questions
don't ask for explanations
unless you're ready to hear them

I get too nervous to speak,
I'd rather read your face than your words
I'm firmly grounded in the assumption
that everyone can read my mind

I can't talk to strangers
and I'm too honest to shield my heart
or end this poem.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This body was not
built to love

hands made to grip to claw to pull to tear
to hold to climb to evade
the tender slow sweet gentleness
an added bonus
tangential to purpose

mouths structured to bite teeth designed to cut
tongue capable of making sound, signal for help
two mouths softly moving together, making shapes in the dark
pure coincidence
And those tiny white saws
partially hidden in a grin
is mere circumstantial evidence

No this body has bigger plans
(or lesser, depending on where you're standing)
and if put on trial
could and would only respond
with the flames that are subdued in polite company
in favor of lowered voices and mild handshakes

But right now
these hands feel only capable of softness
this mouth good-intentioned, only willing to make nice
and Isweartogod
it feels so natural and profoundly deep
making echos in my core
you'd think these bodies were built to love
Time, Life, or Something Like It

It's like train tracks
only not
less permanent, less directed
Like shooting stars
sling-shot sent
less fleeting
maybe just as fleeting

A thousand sparks exploding at once
being shot in every direction
hovering a moment like stars
like dew drops to the clouds
before showering down and shattering against the pavement

The point is
its bright and its fleeting and its yours
and the wayitworks
what I like to believe
is all of this magnificent light
all these paths crossing and exploding
sometimes crashing, fragmenting, and cascading to the earth
in tiny wondrous particles

My favorite though is that erie synchronicity
the harmony created when two paths
are running parallel
and it feels like forever and everything and nothing
and the only light you can see is the one racing alongside your own
Boys Will Be Boys

Scuffed knees crouch in the dirt,
tiny fingers wrap around a stone
nervous smiles, tension
the air is almost holy in its solemnity.

He raises his arm,
reels back,
gives a nervous grin to the others
who wait, anticipate

he launches it forward.

and with the crackling crashing crumbling glass
his heart beats big, beats hard, beats fast.

Only a child
but the desire to destroy
the perverse curiosity in dismantling
what you do not understand
courses thick flooding into every
of his chest

They all fall in line
taking turns
rushing to make their own awful crash
before all the glass in the windshield is gone

One boy steps up,
his arms small and wiry
the joints in his elbows protruding,
nearly visible under translucent skin

His rock takes two hands to lift
somehow, between his tiny boyish frame
and his budding primal adrenaline
he is able to lift it and heave it forward

The image of
what it is
to be a man
flashed in his too-big, too-blue eyes
as the metal in the hood crumpled
under the weight of the boulder

but after the groan of the metal
they heard another sound.

Something pitiful
somewhere between a squeal and a whimper
a dying cry.

They crept forward to investigate
pried the rock off the abandoned car
pulled the hood back gingerly

A mouse was crushed, flattened
its colors disturbingly vivid, and all-too clear
smeared against the sooty-black interior of the car

and from a hole in a pipe
a baby mouse crept out
crying for its mother.

The boys stared a moment
the scrawny one finally spoke,
realizing suddenly
what it is
to be a man.
"I think we should go."

He choked back tears
as he walked home
trying not to kick up dust
trying not to disturb the earth
any more.
space for rent

It's a mess in there,
therefore it is timorously, and with hurried apologies
that I give the tour
to the dauntless few that work their way in.

Though chaotic and disheveled
there is some semblance of organization.
You will note in passing, here,
cubbies and compartments
(these are important)
not terribly structured, ever changing
but crucial regardless

for instance
your face, painted purple with rage
fists tight, knuckles white
steaming flecks of spit
punctuating a litany of
the nastiest of words;
has one compartment.
and this compartment
must remain separate from

your palms,
wide, open, protecting,
smoothing down my hair
the top of my head
your eyes
softened, sweet,

The sections all may coexist, but must remain apart.
You walk onward.

I see you stumble over

wires that don't quite connect
bustling with sparks of electricity
trying desperately to reach one another.

And as we pass,

I appreciate you not asking about the shadows
on that wall just there.
The amorphous obscurities
dark shapeshifters,
ominous and sneering;
I am silent as you avert your eyes.

I've been having troubles with the lighting
as well, you notice

flashes of color, excitement
they come and go,
often flickering excitedly, then fading out.
but, occasionally, they come in incredible bursts,
brilliant and radiant,
making hollow the few seconds after.

And suddenly, after turning a corner
I look back and realize
you're no longer behind me.
On Following The South Star

Hey, tell me
start reinventing
We could
replace our eyeballs with googly eyes
and waste time creating constellations
.We can count out of order
and mis-teach young children
,we could organize library books
by book jacket color
.You could be minister of silliness
,and I could be a carousel
.We could print newspapers
of entirely comics and crosswords
,and jump on the sofas until someone gets hurt
defy, define, disfigure
the social structure
morph it into some horrible ugly creature
that only a mother could love
.(and how we will love it)
And if we focus on
maps that lead to nowhere
and face-making contests
with the toddlers on the bus
,we might not notice
run in my stockings, the
hole in your hat,
and we could make pictures out of
the cracks in the paint,
and find shapes
in the grayblack clouds
that are slowly encroaching.

Your heart beat is keeping me up
Your breathing misaligned with mine
the clashing pattern is drilling through my pores

It’s too hot
the stifling heat
rising through the wooden floorboards
and your heavy body
is trapping me in

I see your jacket
draped over the back of the chair
once I found it
adorably oversized
but lately the dragging sleeves
and too-broad shoulders
are an un-fulfilled promise,
empty space you don’t quite reach

I pry myself from your arms
-once protective, now dead weight-
and hear my own bare feet kissing the floor
(cool relief)

Out the window
I see the dimmest glimmer
of where pink will soon burst to life
dusting the horizon

a glass of water from the tap
tipping toes all the way back
and blinking eyes open, you smile
and it drills through my poresbonesheartlungs

I lay back down
and try desperately to sync my breathing with yours.

she works
creating lands of make-believe
taking away what should be there
adding and juxtaposing what should not

fantasy dribbling out of a leaky head
spilling onto a page
distorted images pulling through the eyes
(turning them the most magnificent green)
and sticking like candle wax
to where reality should be

and when conversation becomes too dull for her,
she looks to her hands
in a way that I can tell
she will never look at anything else.

he feels
music passing through him
seeping into his veins, it
spiderwebs down his arms
pooling at his fingertips
blossoming purple just under the skin.
his fingers start to taptaptap
like a metal detector
seeking the strings to make the incision
until the music pours out
heart-wrenching and beautiful

in polite company
he is asked about that "music thing"
"how's that going?" big goofy grins
and he searches for words
knowing he can't make them understand.
through my ceiling tiles
foot prints
tiny pit-pat rats, mice
speeding in circles-startled by each other
gnawing on wires

and above them
I’m tracing your steps
heavy today
something is bearing down on you
pushing on your sternum
wrapping around your spine
tugging at your toes

screech of chair legs
you stand up
the cushion gasps
you sit down
the cushion sighs

further away, a door opens.
another set of feet
light, unassuming, tentative
c l o s e r c l o serclose
muffled sounds
“mrhrmbmf? hmmrbnsoomf, fmmbrgl…”
“mrrfgd! hrmmffggh!”
fartherfa r t h e r f a r gone

a door shuts
I'm suddenly grateful
for the stairs and the chairs
and the rugs and the rats
between your heavy feet and I.

Worth Two In The Bush

She left the hospital
her nose tube dragging behind her
like some sort of pathetic leash

she couldn’t take the build-up
of her words
they circled around and around
pressing against her eyeballs
(they bulged out, straining)
and pushing hard against
her cracked scarred lips

only a grunt came out
and we looked at her
poor thing
poor animal

But her words were piling up
growing out through her yellow nails
her graying hair

she didn’t get far
and we found her
a terrible cold smile
she was
breathless on the pavement
there were feathers in her clenched fist
(she had finally
let them go)
Ankle’s Pioneers

I followed them
I didn’t know where
were going I just knew
seemed to have a plan and
had an empty space and
an unmarked map
that said
I should follow

about halfway through
they abandoned shoes
not to be bound
by the sound of their
(souls) slapping against pavement

(I think it broke their tender hearts)

naked though, they were
flesh wound over bones, sculpted
perfect arc(he)s and slopes
dipping and rising
toes proudly pointing to the sky
the winding lines
(their internal rivers)
purple made green under
the skin that only the day before
I had called my own

Liberated by their new
sensitivity to
touch I think they moved
more gracefully or pointedly
or gracefully pointed
(not pointedly graceful)
and texture became a member
of our investigative party

So sure of themselves
I looked
away from them, distracted
And I realized
(they) abandoned (me)
as I was startled by
a stumble
and I looked down
and I was whole again
and they were gone

(I do not forget our seperation
but something tells me not to try to recreate it.)