rides the air currents looking for a fight
Soon enough he’s looping, aiming,
my son reading all the noises, which
coincidentally are the noises he makes
with his armory of nerf guns, the ones
James Bond would conceal in a jacket
or the long rifle/shotgun/machine guns.
Snoopy’s fallen afoul of the Red Baron—
M’aidez! Snoopy yelps. Good grief,(More …)
The Room with the Birds of Paradise Bedspread,
Lunchtime, 234 East 7th Street
An old Zenith TV sits bloated in the wall unit. Not baseball season, only
local channels can be caught with the glow-in-the-dark remote control buttons.
In the next cube over, from Left to Right: Erika, 18, prima ballerina, not yet
third-grade teacher; Andy, 8, kneeling with a soccer ball instead of an army rifle.
Next cubby down, Natalie, 3, sits on a white stepladder in her Minnie Mouse overalls, laughing like it is the only thing she knows how to do.
270°-180° (More …)
That we might walk back into each other’s lives
and not feel the pull
of sickness dragging us to this reality
we already knew, that’s all
I truly wanted last spring. The spring before—
morning after morning (More …)
In wintertime, they came. Swarms, at least
five at a time, out of the fields for the closeness
of our heat. We never saw them until after,
which often took weeks through measured
ways of living, surviving each day’s cold.
It wasn’t until the day we heard one for hours—
squeaking, scurrying, and then glue-stuck, so as not
to be—that we realized we didn’t understand
what was considered a death meant for humanity(More …)
1. Like my love life, L.A. is in a perpetual state of drought.
It’s a crime to water the lawn.
2. Rumors of coyotes overrun the neighborhood. (More …)
I want to pinpoint the moment it all went south.
1. My sister blames her ex’s bad genes.
Sometimes she blames the media.
2. When Anna was 12 we sat in the dark in Van Nuys,
watched Thelma & Louise self-ignite.
Brad Pitt’s the perfect man,
my niece said more than once.
Headstrong, even then. (More …)
I gyrate like Little Egypt in my haram pants and diaphanous veil.
The lessons with Fatima have paid off.
But it’s the minefield between the restaurant’s bar and the stage.
Barefoot, my limp is even more pronounced.
Last night I watched two cats humping.
One of them was mine. Like me, she’s been in an accident.
Like me, her bum leg makes her an easy target. (More …)
[i]denim lemonade \ˈde-nəm le-mə-ˈnād\ noun [origin unknown](1956)
1 : an extravagant, often loud spiel of determined work ethic, when in actuality little is being worked upon : PALAVER
2 : any beverage sipped while motivating denim lemonade, usually leading to insobriety (1) <Just one more denim lemonade wouldn’t hurt, would it?>
3 : any light emanating from a screen, often confused for godliness or splendor; SEE ALSO: EFFULGENCE, HALATION
4 : any wet putrescence such as froth, scum, mold, or similar rot due to neglect or lack of use
5: a shrine of post-modernity; also : a couch
6: a liquid scourge of insobriety, especially: inaction leading up to denim lemonade
6: something suggestive of a gaping maw <denim lemonade goes down my denim lemonade real easy>
usage see EDENTATE (More …)
Whatever happened to that used tanning bed? Its dimensions—a perfect fit for the bed of your work truck—feel divinely ordained. “free stuff” and only posted 41 minutes ago: Must pick up, will help with loading the plastic plug-in coffin of vanity, never minding that you live in a two-bedroom with a roommate ignorant of this whim, your tan plans of privacy buzzing purple-blue, upgrading from the roof of pigeon shits and fear of being caught naked, alone, oily, a dead fishskin on steaming tar, the type no one you know eats, picks it away and asks for an extra plate to set on. (More …)
It starts or ends with a fever, can’t
remember which, as the entire world
rusts about you, electric teeth walk in,
paired with a watery ark.
Then something is broken
that is usually not broken. (More …)
i have a stubborn mouth & i
have never been able to make myself
listen; nevermind the discipline it takes to
beat something enough & say you’ve taught it well
the forest called for my echoes and i
obliged, the small and landlocked thing i am (More …)
& suddenly the dense body that makes up
this land, my home, is a frightful fissure.
my eyes are the trusted wreck i navigate with,
like a drunk pilot tumbling through red eye
& from here, america looks like ten shades of the rotten terrain.
america is a black hole filled with the cities it’s (More …)
We thought we had all day to listen while Richard talked
about his anterior cruciate ligament as he did his transmission
knowingly as if he had some intimate experience other than that
one little crack after the jump shot He’d visualized a drumstick
celery snapped deep in a blanket wishbone and spoke (More …)
Once nothing plain being then descriptions
in different languages
then the illusion of illusion that nothing could
describe well enough
Some said they couldn’t say for sure
so translation began (More …)
Our moon falls up every night or seems to smaller the farther
Or maybe it’s only doing round-the-world as the earth’s yo-yo
The secular story is gravity and stasis and making the same face
at all times but everything’s true sooner or later Pick one yourself
A hole in a dark donut so big we can’t see edges so thirsty (More …)
Along the back side of a house
in California, the yard is green and wild
with weeds and my parents are young
enough to fool themselves into love or something
it might stem from. They call to each other
from different rooms, their names like held
things, despite the shifting warmth of June,
the breeze sifting through screened windows—(More …)
i am sweating, & have been since
france. the fabric pressed
against my lower back is damp, but unnoticed
among the small unnoticings
of strangers photographing the light of venice as it slips
into the river. i feel up
walls just to touch
some kind of skin, & i’m lost again, leaking
around corners & trying not to ache
for my own home’s small evening
glow. i suppose this
is what people write postcards about, wish you
were here, & here i am, pushing(More …)
In Northern Ghana, a tribe,
small as such tribes go,
of soft-spoken farmers
and women who upturn
ancient proverbs to mark
the passage of time, to cast
new myths and legends
each passing generation;
they have learned to defy
death, eating the cooked
soft flesh of the ackee—
something that can kill(More …)
Math messes things up; this is
a problem of fate—the enemy
of the random, the egalitarian
paradise of home truths and
proverbs—math wrecks it
all. Rain, God says, falls
on the just and the unjust
alike, but the unjust usually
have umbrellas and math
pays attention to that stuff,
to the facts of it, like when
I say, “We are all having it
hard,” to ease my guilt; most
of that is a lie and it’s true,
the thing I am not saying
is that hard time is a language,(More …)
On the morning after the news,
like a nightmare,
a litany of tragedies, we will
call this the decade of grand
and we will know who we are
by the accumulation of our silent
mourning, no one will
understand why we all wear
black, our women in black underthings,
their eyes shadowed with
regret, their bodies impatient,
their tongues sharper with resignation.
Only we will know how.(More …)
I count the veins that are evident
in each part of my body. What is out
is told as simple as the subtleness of few
veins evident on my left foot. There is no
hiding, just learning another tongue.
I learn to possess in English
what I take for granted in other
languages: my body.(More …)
It’s a calling to have all the words
available in silence
She wears perfume to say spring and
drinks green tea for translations(More …)
The rim of the glass is silent
when you drink it’s the throat
that’s thirsty and your fingers
fight for a turn to keep busy
around the glass
the silence of a merry-go-round
on a winter weekday doesn’t bother
to yield a soundtrack for childhood
for pairing up riding with real and alive(More …)
John tells me geosmin rise after rain
i’m sketching charcoal into tetrahedrons& ask why
one type of surgical stitch is called a mattress stitch this type is
incredibly secure &
good for fragile skin or larger lacerations
[6C10H15O7 + heat]
he says plutonium is not the most unstable element(More …)
catch marrow on my tongue when there’s pressure on the chest
cough holy water into the lungs be a baptismal & drown i am looking for absolution it
looks like love me not i do not feel sorry for myself burn a hole in my hand & call it a
turtledove (More …)
I laud my feet against
the summer grass, & around me
crickets are juiced by the leg,
pushing the world to a spring. it is quiet along
the river. near me, a boy sets(More …)
i move in with my father. this is the day i am born. there is an ulcer against
my thigh. he pretends to be a doctor. there is a scar on his side.
all the same, he says. they cut it off of me. we visit his hometown.
i ask him why all the flowers are made of little hands.
the ground forgot itself, he says. that is the last time we speak.
he leaves on a business trip, dressed in a black suit and slacks.
at home i sleep on a burning bed. i dream of a red train, filled
with words. they overflow off the engine. they fall into my lap.
i wonder what it means when i catch crucifix and tongue.
you are too much, i say. no one in particular listens. i find myself(More …)
this is beautiful: the sky, waking in triples. my father,
over breakfast talking about the computer his team
will build. he talks with the corners of his jaw taking
life of their own, creasing & wiping off chardonnay
lips in unison. on the tv a man with a baseball bat
beats another to a scar. behind him the sky(More …)
I live in a house on a block in a town
where your name takes shape on my neighbors’ front lawns
from heat wave to windstorm. They stake Cathy in the grass
until you win, again, the right to represent us.
You are a good example, Cathy.
Reasonable with your opponents.
So firm and respectful, rage-free
and logical as a man,(More …)
I admit I am not loyal.
That my womb moves and votes for the other guy.
That is my right, and my womb’s right, as I know
you’ll understand, personal responsibility
being so eminent among your concerns,
so important to us all, how we take care of ourselves
and then others, the burlap of our community
woven of such acts of self-preservation
before generosity. Cathy,(More …)